Hellooooo world! It’s been forever since I posted. But what a good time to start posting again when I have Esther’s and Felix’s engagement pictures to show you! We had an eventful February weatherwise – it was the warmest February on record and also the snowiest! How does that even happen?! Anyway, all that snow made for a beautiful backdrop to take pictures with Esther and Felix! I’ve never had snow around for engagement pictures and it turns out that it’s really fun! We had some snowball fights, Felix stomped out their wedding date into the snow, and they made some snow angels together. It was kind of awesome.
I first met Esther in 2013 when she interviewed to be a postdoc in our lab. We pretty much hit it off right away (especially after experiencing an awkward brunch together on the last day of her interview) so I was really happy when she and Felix decided to move here! Since they’ve been here, we’ve done a lot together – Esther and I did yoga with butterflies; Esther, Felix, Cobalt, and I started a tradition (called “noodles”) of going out to dinner on Friday nights with any lab mates (and their significant others) who are free/hungry; we watched Germany win the World Cup together; etc. We spend so much time with these two that I was really excited when Esther asked me to take their engagement pictures! In October, Esther and Felix are getting married in Germany! I am so excited for you guys and I really hope that Cobalt and I can get over there to be there for the big day! Congratulations again, you guys!
Congratulations L and J! :D
Cobalt and I have been having a bit of a hard time these past few weeks (and not just because of my super sprained ankles so we were overjoyed to be part of something awesome last weekend: my friend L got married!
For the record, I am pretty sure that L was the second person I met here in Colorado because we were roommates during the biochemistry department recruitment weekend here at CU! My other friend LJ beat L only because I met her two weeks earlier at the UW recruitment weekend.
Geez stop reminiscing Potassium and get on with the
pictures story already. So Friday was a beautiful day for a wedding! It was so warm outside that Cobalt and I didn’t have to put on jackets as we drove across town to the Boulder County Justice Center. There we met up with some of our other friends and L and her soon-to-be-husband J. We had some photo time in the courtroom before the judge came in so I hobbled around on my poor little ankles and got pictures of everyone pre ceremony. The ceremony was short but sweet and then we all got to sign the marriage license as witnesses! Talk about a special marriage license – clearly their marriage is highly approved of because it has not one, not two, but seven witness signatures. When Cobalt and I got married in California, there were some ridiculous rules about marriage license signatures (all of the signature must fit IN THE LINES OF THE BOX OR YOUR MARRIAGE LICENSE IS NOT VALID!). Yikes! So this was much better. :) After the ceremony and license signing we all braved the crazy rush hour traffic to go out for Korean BBQ. It was delicious and a really fun evening! Cobalt and I left full of food and really happy to have spent such a good evening with friends. Thanks L and J for letting us be a part of your special day. :D
One more thing I have to say before we get to more pictures: trying to hobble around on sprained ankles and get nice pictures without falling over/distracting from the ceremony was hard work. I was sad that I couldn’t put as much focus on the photo settings that I wanted to use as I usually do but I think the pictures turned out good anyway. See for yourselves!
And now it’s your turn: During dinner, L asked me “Potassium, when do you start to feel married?!” and I said it took a bit. Not that I didn’t want to be married to Cobalt or wasn’t ready for it – mostly it was just so crazy how one day I woke up and wasn’t married but then I went to bed married. How did that happen so quickly?! My brain took a while to adjust to the rapid change! Now I am asking you! When did you start to feel “married?” Was it immediate or gradual? Did something happen (i.e. filing taxes jointly for the first time, moving in together, etc) or did you just wake up one day and feel married? :)
CU Fashion Show!! Part 2
Hello everyone and welcome back to the Fashion Show Recap! Today’s post has a sneak preview of runway pictures! Are you excited?! I’m excited. Before we get to the pictures, I just want to talk about being a photographer at a fashion show. I was stationed at the end of the runway with a few other photographers and a giant spotlight. The models were supposed to stop for ~ 5 seconds and pose for us, then walk a few feet and pose again before returning back down the runway. The spotlight turned out to be awesome for lighting the models so that we didn’t need to use our flashes but it was hard getting the settings just right on the camera. Each position the models stopped in had slightly different lighting conditions so I was constantly switching exposure time and the aperature back and forth to make sure I got nice pictures of the models at each stop. It was kind of fun! Also, in order to get the models and their outfits to not be overexposed, I ended up sacrificing anything not directly in the spotlight – creating a sort of halo effect around the model. I think it still looks cool, though I am sad that it’s hard to see some of the models’ shoes…
On to the pictures!
Yay pictures! Tell me what you think! Do you have a favorite? What’s going on for you guys? At CU, finals week starts tomorrow (our first year has to proctor an exam at 7 am tomorrow!) but I am so far removed from classes as a 6th year PhD student, all the bustling and the stress is kind of confusing for me. I just go to lab every day workin’ on ma science. I had an epic check list of things that I wanted to get done before Christmas but then the lamp for the microscope I was planning on using broke… and then some of my other science decided it didn’t feel like working either. Maybe it’s time for a vacation… It’s not all frustrating though; I finally succeeded in making something I have been working on since JULY. Whew… ahhhhh the life of a scientist. It’s ridiculous.
Okay that’s enough about me. It’s your turn – Talk to me! Go!
CU Fashion Show!! Part 1
This weekend I got to be a photographer at a fashion show at CU! My friend C is a designer in the club and he invited me to come take pictures! It was really awesome. All of the designers are students at the school and I was so impressed by the talent my fellow students have! The outfits were all so unique and each designer’s story and selected pieces were so fascinating. I also liked hanging out with the models before the fashion show started. We had fun chatting about school, their outfits, their poses, everything! I can’t believe I was nervous when I arrived at school because as soon as I started taking pictures, I couldn’t stop smiling. I took over 1000 pictures! I’ll post some sneak previews here. Today we’ll have a look at everyone getting ready and then we’ll get to the runway later this week! Are you excited?! I am! :D
Wow! Are you excited for the runway pictures?! I am and I’ve been looking at them for the past few days!
Now it’s your turn: tell me what you think of these outfits! Also, tell me something you’d love to learn how to do or that you are currently learning to do! I’m loving being a photographer right now that’s for sure but I would also love to get better at clothing design myself! :)
Potassium does not like cold
So we got a pretty good snow storm earlier this week. It would have been fine if it hadn’t been followed by ridiculously low temperatures… I woke up yesterday and it was -11 F outside. I’m originally from California… we do not do below 0 F there. Luckily for me, I have a ton of data analysis to do so I stayed home working on my computer while burrowing in blankets and snuggling with stuffed sharks all day. At one point, Cobalt even brought me the fanciest hot chocolate ever! Maybe I should stay home and work again today!
I did actually end up braving the cold last night to go to a girls night where we attempted to decorate Christmas ornaments. My attempts are below – there’s a shark on the clear one (as well as a shark in the 3 of 2013) and a skull for Cobalt on the red one!
What temperature is “cold” to you? Can you handle -11 F? HOW?!?!? Anyway, what do you have planned for the weekend? I have some pretty exciting things planned! I can’t wait to tell you about them next week! :D
Engagement Pictures with Jennette and Kegan!
A few weeks ago (before all this crazy rain started), I had the honor of taking engagement pictures for my friends Jennette and Kegan. It was kind of awesome because I’ve gotten to watch their whole relationship from the very beginning. I met Jennette because she did her masters research in my lab and I totally remember the snowshoeing trip where she met Kegan. I also remember meeting Kegan for the very first time when he came to our lab to pick up Jennette for a lunch date. Awwww the memories… and more to come! I am so excited you guys! :) Anyway, we met up at Chautauqua Park for an engagement photo session and it turned out to be a lot of fun. I am normally skeptical of doing fancy pictures at Chautauqua because it is a very popular hiking destination and is often full of people just waiting to get in your super cute portraits. It also has really weird lighting during most parts of the day so you have to plan your photo sessions just right. All that said, however, we had a great time and the photos look amazing. Thanks so much Jennette and Kegan for being good sports while we trekked all over hills and rocks and fields to capture your awesomeness as a couple!
And now a few more of my favorite pictures…
Some things I learned while doing these pictures:
- As I previously mentioned, I learned that Chautauqua has a lot of cool places (hidden from the majority of hikers) for neat pictures
- Bushes are not my friends. I edited a lot of these pictures with the help of my nephew and he and I ended up getting really frustrated when we would come across a picture with Jennette and Kegan looking adorable and a giant bush blocking one of them… way to go setting up that shot, Potassium. :p
- I had a lot of fun with Jennette and Kegan because we’d find a cool place to shoot pictures and then they’d start suggesting poses/ideas/etc that they wanted to try! It challenged me to be more creative and thoughtful with my poses/angles/etc.
Wow… it’s been a while since I’ve written. Life has been a little insane here for me and Cobalt. More about that later maybe but first and foremost, how the heck are you?! Anything exciting going on? If so, please tell me because Cobalt and I could definitely use some cheering up. :)
The great defenders!
Helllloooo everyone! I finished my committee meeting yesterday so I am back! I think it went pretty well. I analyzed a lot of data and didn’t sleep pretty much for the past two weeks so that I could put all of what I know about my protein in my presentation for my committee members. They were helpful in telling me what they think I should focus on that will tell the best story (i.e. so that I can write a paper/my thesis) so that I can graduate within the year. Yeesh… It’s going to be an epic year. That’s all I can say about that…
Anyway, for now I am happy to be back in a world where I don’t have to analyze data and think about my project every waking (and sometimes sleeping) moment. I have a lot of stuff to catch you up on but first, I want to talk about my two friends E and L who are both defending their PhD theses today! Congratulations you guys! You worked so hard and by the end of today you will be doctors!
And now a little back story. First, L is my first friend here in the state of CO. I met a lot of the people in my class all at the same time (recruitment weekend) but I actually met L at the University of Washington’s recruitment weekend two weeks earlier. The next weekend, she went to go check out a school in Canada while I checked out UC Davis and then we reconvened after that here at CU chemistry program’s recruitment weekend. I am so glad we both decided to come here. It has been an honor getting to know you L and I hope we keep in touch about what’s next for you!
Now E! E is an organic chemist in my year but we decided early on that she is an honorary biochemist because we pretty much were inseparable our first year. E, I will never forget our horrible decision to go to Wendy’s and get milkshakes right before an indoor soccer game. It was worth it because we had to get caught up on everything but man… that was an interesting soccer game. Also E was my first photo buddy here in town because we got our DSLRs right about the same time. It was so much fun running around Boulder county learning how to take pictures with you. Also, I think we all had a blast at your wedding! I know you are about to head to Portland soon to join your hubby and I wish you the best of luck! Keep in touch friend, I will really miss being neighbors! :)
That’s all for today everyone but stay tuned because I have engagement pictures for you (hopefully) next week! :D So what has been going on in your worlds lately?
In my Defense…
Welp, I am about to enter my 6th year of grad school which means that some of my lucky friends in my class are starting to defend their theses and then graduate! Since I’m probably going be talking more and more about defenses as we get more into the season, I thought I would take a minute to give you a run down about how grad school works in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry here at CU. So during our first year, we have this crazy schedule that involves classes, TAing (usually general chemistry or biochemistry), and trying to find a research group to join. We also have a written test about our knowledge of chemistry or biochemistry that we either took every first Saturday of each month until we passed a certain number of them (the Chemists did this) or that we took one epic day the August after our first year (We biochemists did this). Then our second year was full of finishing up our classes, doing research in our labs, and preparing for a scary oral exam where three professors spend two hours asking us about anything in chemistry and biochemistry to make sure we understand enough science to do our projects (the point is to see how you handle not knowing the answer so it’s a pretty awful two hours…). After that, the remaining years of grad school are full of science, going to conferences, (hopefully) writing papers about our findings, fighting with instruments not working/cells not growing/something breaking/procedures not going right after they worked perfectly every other time, making mistakes/figuring them out, etc until finally one day, it is time to write up everything we’ve done in a nice neat little package called a thesis, present our work to our faculty committee, our peers, and our families and then (after the presentation when everyone except our committee members leaves) defend our theses to gain the title of PhD. Whew… It’s a ride. And I’m not even done yet… but someone is…
The first of my friends in my class, P, defended his thesis today! Yayyyyy! P I am so proud of you! I remember back in our first year P and I used to do homework together and talk about graduating like it would happen at some point in the distant future. I also distinctly remember getting confused when I was teaching a lab and I ran downstairs to the lab P was teaching in so I could ask for his help. After our first year, we stayed friends and caught up over lunch almost every week. It was especially fun last year because we were both planning our respective weddings and so we could compare wedding planning notes in addition to catching up with why science infuriated/excited us that week. There was also much soccer and kite flying and other adventures. We even tried to take a kendo class together one semester at the school rec center but found that we both liked trying to stab each other/sword fighting with the shinais (kendo sticks) better. You made grad school more bearable and fun for me, friend and I’m really really going to miss you when you and P make your big move this fall but I am super excited for what happens next for you guys! Congrats friend! :D
What are you guys up to this weekend? I think I am going to be sleeping. I know I say that a lot but seriously… this week was REALLY intense…
Fireworks from the sky!!!
Hey everyone, sorry about the crazy post schedule this week. Anyway, today I wanted to talk about lightning because last weekend, Cobalt and I were driving home from a movie (Joss Whedon’s Much Ado about Nothing) and a vicious storm was moving into town. There was lightning everywhere! It was pretty cool actually – it was like nature’s fireworks show just in time for the 4th of July! The storm turned out to be pretty epic too. As soon as Cobalt and I got in the house, it started pouring and then hailing with this HUGE marble-sized hail. We had to run back outside and rescue our little plants from death hail!
Does anyone have any fun plans for the 4th of July? We have a 3rd of July fireworks celebration here in California that we will be attending tonight. Exciting!
May showers bring…
You guys… I can count the number of days until I go to Paris on one hand! I am simultaneously jumping for joy and freaking out (it’s kind of awkward to explain). I have been constantly obsessing over one detail or another all while trying to get through my normal life here in Boulder. It’s been an intense week – both with the planning for the trip and just with everything going on with life. I thought today I’d basically give a little photo summary of some of the things that have happened this week.
First of all, the trip. Cobalt and I picked up some euros for me to take with me next week and set up a travel bank account through our bank here for easy access to more cash at any ATM anywhere. I learned something about euros too. Did you know that they get bigger in size in proportion to their amount? Seriously, the guy at the bank showed us the 5 euro note and it is so tiny compared to the bigger bills (and our dollar bills). They’re all so shiny too.
In addition to doing some money things this week, Cobalt and I bought Paris Museum Passes. I’ll give a full review when I get back but I think these guys are going to be awesome. They grant us admission to over 60 museums and landmarks in Paris (including the Louvre and Notre Dame, etc) so we won’t have to wait in line for tickets (apparently this is a thing…). Also, they’re good for four days so that means we can go in and out of places like the Louvre as many times as we want during those four days. I am really excited! The passes arrived yesterday so they’re featured on the top of my blog post today! Next up – we need to plan out what museums/attractions we want to go to and then figure out which attractions should go on the same day…
And now a lab thing. You may recall me mentioning about a month ago that my labmate K did his PhD defense and now has his PhD. Normally after you defend, you get to walk during commencement and be hooded (you get this crazy hood attached to your robes – seriously, google PhD graduation) by your advisor. Well our advisor came all the way back from France for K’s defense but she couldn’t get back for commencement this week. My friend/labmate G and I took matters into our own hands and we held a “commencement” for K yesterday. We asked Cobalt to announce him (Cobalt has this amazing radio announcer voice), we got him a king’s crown and a feather boa to act as his graduation cap and hood, we asked our boss to record a little video so that she could be there in spirit, we got him a stuffed neuron with a graduation cap as a present/”diploma,” we invited all our labmates, and then we all threw confetti and had a little party at the end. I think K appreciated our crazy efforts to make him feel special for commencement. Yay! Congrats again, K! :)
In the midst of all of this, Colorado has decided that the phrase is actually “May showers bring June flowers…” At least it’s not snowing anymore, right? :-/
How are you guys doing? Anything fun planned for the weekend? I’m going to France next week and I’m probably going to be super busy/jetlagged so the post schedule is going to get a little crazy. Is there anything you’re dying to hear about (Paris trip planning or otherwise… I know I haven’t talked a lot about our plans for the trip so please feel free to ask away!) before I go?