Saturday, December 30, 2006

Just because I can...

I am posting a few more photos. Enjoy.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Point and shoot

Here it is, the fancy new camera with which I will now be shooting mad photos to add to my thrilling blog posts. It is a Canon Powershot SD630, a pretty sweet piece of machinery with a giant 3" LCD screen on the back. Yeah, you wish you had one.

Anyway, look forward to more of my pictures and less of my ranting in the coming months. The photographer in me is screaming "I'm back baby, and I'm better than ever!"

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Merry

For those of you who hang on every word I write, a new post is here. I have been busy this past week, flying from the midwest to southern California, having tea in fancy gardens, touring elaborate villas, trying on wedding gowns (or bridesmaid's dresses, one of which I will probably wear as a wedding gown), doing Christmas crafts, and making Christmas cookies. I have also been busy strolling on the Strand and running 5ks in the sand (which was a real treat for my reluctant running partner.) So I have not had a whole lot of time to write elaborate posts.

Still, I carved some time out of my busy schedule to wish you all the merriest in this holiday season. Eat well, sleep well, and enjoy your friends and family. Joyeuses fetes!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gift Anxiety

I'm not sure when gift-giving became such a difficult task. I remember when all it took was a few hours and some construction paper and markers for me to make enough presents to please everyone in my family (except perhaps my brother, who really just wanted a Sega Genesis game.)

Nowadays, the process of giving Christmas gifts is more like a giant guessing game which you're almost certainly going to lose. Most people for whom I buy gifts make lists, so it's not as if I don't know what they want. But as I've grown older, I've fallen into that sticky trap of believing that the best gift is the one that's not on the list, the one that the person has yearned for for years but has forgotten about and neglected to put on his or her list. This is the gift that will make him or her beam with glee upon opening it and say "I can't believe you remembered I wanted this! I didn't remember I wanted this!" Then he or she will proceed to immediately put it on and admire him or herself in the mirror, open it up and start reading, or break it out of its box and begin tinkering with it.

But obtaining this perfect gift is of course near impossible. It involves intense mining of your own memory and/or telepathy. It also leads to panic attacks when you realize that it's two days before Christmas and you still haven't bought anything for the person because you were waiting for this stroke of inspiration to hit you and point you toward this elusive "perfect gift" you've decided you have to find. It's ridiculous.

And even should you find yourself in front of some item in a store which you believe might indeed be this perfect gift, if you're not absolutely sure and you decide to chance it and buy it anyway, and the person hates it and thinks "I gave her a list. Why didn't she just get me something off my list?" well, then you're royally screwed.

Maybe I'll just go back to the construction paper. I'll give everyone a handmade bookmark or a coupon book full of things like "one free carwash." Except that nobody washes their own cars in the city and no one really needs another bookmark.

Oh, the agony...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Say Cheese

This afternoon Baker and I had our picture taken for an engagement photo. This whole shebang was a generous gift from his parents. There was no pressure, of course, but still, I was nervous. I don't really do professional photo shoots and I usually consider myself not that photogenic. But I guess these attitudes are pretty universal, so it's not as if I were any more unprepared than the next guy.

Anyway, we arrived at our photographer's studio, and he started snapping away. We were told to turn this way and that, and within minutes my smile muscles began to ache. The photographer and I quickly discovered that I have absolutely no natural "posing" ability. (There goes my professional modeling career.)

Still, I think we managed to avoid the really cheesy poses (no gazing into each other's eyes) and when he downloaded what he had in his camera onto his computer, I was pleasantly surprised that several of them seemed to turn out quite nicely. There were of course several in which I had my eyes half-closed, but these shots were relatively few and far between.

So I guess you could call it a success. Not that I'll be going in for head shots next week or anything, but all in all, it was a positive experience. And now we'll have a visual aid to give those relatives who ask, "You're marrying WHO?"

Monday, December 04, 2006

All Written Out

Why I should want to use my little break from writing my papers to write a blog post, I'm not sure. But here I am, doing just that. Excuse me if my thoughts are completely incoherent. My brain is a little fried.

Still, writing in English goes so much faster than writing in French. Big shocker, huh? As always, the main challenge remains maintaining the momentum, which means finishing a 2 or 3 hour stint of writing one paper only to take up the fat stack of freshly printed pages and begin revising one of the others. It's quite exhausting.

Momentum maintenance was not something I did so well this weekend, especially yesterday when the temptation of watching Rex display such a profound lack of skill while the rest of the Bears managed to make up for it and bungle to a win proved too much for me to resist. After that, of course, I had to check out the local gym and then indulge my shameful predilection for The Girls Next Door. (Please don't ask me to account for my taste for this show. It is horrible trash, yet I love it all the same.)

But alas, it is now time to attempt another half hour or so tickling the keys of my laptop, hoping to coax out genius. Good night and good luck to you all.