Long overdue update 2012

I, as always, have been sadly neglecting my blog. So, here’s what’s been going on.

Longwood Gardens Lily

Lily at the Longwood Gardens orchid show.

I tried once again to get a job in California this year, this time at Orange Coast College, my dad’s alma mater. No go. Starting to lose hope that I will find a full time teaching job out there. But I’ll keep looking.

I had a lovely time at this years Boskone, where John Scalzi was the guest of honor. The convention made me excited all over again to write, though I still haven’t accomplished much in that area. But I will someday soon, I swear!

I’ve also been spending a lot of time with the DC Area Flower Safari Meetup group, taking lots and lots of pictures of flowers. The organizer, Patty, is a total doll. You’d think it would get boring after a while, but it really doesn’t. Of course, I have a horrifically long backlog of pictures to upload to Flickr, but that’s to be expected. You can see one of my lily pictures here, from Longwood Gardens in PA.
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A Spring Jaunt to London

Because I’ve been busy with teaching, this (painfully detailed) write up is a little late.

England And Wales Slideshow: Amy’s trip from Washington, United States to 4 cities London, Cardiff, Bath and Amesbury was created by TripAdvisor. See another United Kingdom slideshow. Create your own stunning free slideshow from your travel photos.

Rob and I had been talking about taking a trip to London for a long time, so we got off our asses in May 2011 and made the journey across the Pond.  I had been to London once as a child, but (as my mother says I always insist on mentioning) I spent most of the week sick in bed at the hotel.  Rob, a long time fan of British TV (Doctor Who in particular) and Britain itself, had never been.  So it was time.

I’m not sure I got the super-dooper best deal out there, but I used Virgin Vacations to book our flights and hotel.  It was easy, convenient, and the cost seemed pretty reasonable.  I had always heard good things about Virgin Atlantic and they have non-stop flights from Dulles to Heathrow, excellent for a nervous flyer like me.  There was a hotel available right next to Victoria Station, also seemed like a good choice.

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Playing around with TripWow

Some new toy from TripAdvisor, a way to make cute little video slideshows of your photos. I used my Chicago and Catalina pics for this. Of course, it implies that I visited both places on the same trip, which isn’t the case. But still, it’s fun.

Chicago Slideshow: Amy’s trip from Rockville, Maryland, United States to 2 cities Chicago and Catalina Island was created by TripAdvisor. See another United States slideshow. Create your own stunning free slideshow from your travel photos.
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Veterans Day


Arlington National Cemetery
Originally uploaded by etacar11

To those who serve today, served in the past, and, especially, those who gave the last full measure of devotion, I give thanks.  You deserve so much more.

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Spiders?!?

Why have I had luck recently in taking pictures of these hateful creatures? I can hardly stomach being around them! Ok, ok, I know they aren’t really evil and are an important part of the ecosystem.  But they just better not come near me!

The first one lived for a time in my family’s chicken coop in Middletown, Maryland.  It didn’t bother the hens and seemed to have a steady diet of critters.  But eventually it moved on, who knows where.  I’m glad I got the chance to capture it though.  My friend Marc told me it’s an orb weaver, though that’s not very specific, since there are many different kinds of orb weavers.

Huntington Beach Spider

Huntington Beach Spider

The second one my sister and I spotted while walking to my aunt’s house in our hometown of Huntington Beach, California.  No clue on its type, another orb weaver?  We saw more than one of the same type living in bushes along the road near her neighborhood.

I welcome the opportunity to shoot more of these creepy things.  Just keep your distance, please!   The zoom is my friend.

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Been a long time

I have, like many times previously, been neglecting this sad little blog. Time to brighten it up a bit. I’ve already changed the appearance. What have I been doing since last year?

My mom and I finished the lighthouse triple crown by completing the Maryland Lighthouse Challenge in Sept. 2009.  We had been to couple of the lighthouses on the Challenge before but it was great to get away just the two of us and see all the Maryland lighthouses.  And of course, the trip was less arduous than driving up to Long Island or New Jersey.  My dad, who went on those challenges with us, happily let us go on our own for this one.  I didn’t blog during the Challenge, but shot out a few twitpics to keep my online friends amused.

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Old blog posts

Yay!  Thanks to a post on the DC Web Women listserv, I was able to figure out how to import the posts from my old, dead blog here.  Thanks, wrrls!

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Last Year at the National Zoo


National Zoo – Red-fan Parrot

Originally uploaded by etacar11

I took a trip to the National Zoo last year and saw some stuff I hadn’t seen in a while (or maybe ever).

The Asia Trail I’ve seen many times over the last couple of years.  But I don’t remember the last time I went into the Bird House.  A lot of the birds were, of course, hard to get good shots of.  But the Bird House has both indoor and outdoor flight exhibits that actually allow  you to get very close to them, with no barrier in between.

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Summer of Music

Oh, my sad, neglected blog. I’ve been to a bunch of concerts recently, so I thought I’d write about them. Yes, I took that picture of Trent Reznor myself, more on that below.

I hadn’t gone to any rock shows [except for one Pet Shop Boys show with Rob] for quite a few years, until last year, when I saw Nine Inch Nails play twice, once in Philadelphia and once in Atlantic City. Since Trent Reznor announced this year that he was retiring from touring, I jumped at the chance to see NIN play one last time, this past June at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. The summer NIN tour in North America was called the NIN/JA tour, because they played with Jane’s Addiction. Since Jane’s broke up in the 1990’s and I hadn’t seen them play since 1991 (I skipped an SAT prep class to go to that show!), that made the whole thing even better.

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Valley Forge

It wasn’t REALLY on the way home exactly, but close enough. I made Rob take us to Valley Forge after we saw Nine Inch Nails in Atlantic City. He didn’t mind.

I had been to Valley Forge once before, on a junior high school field trip. Can’t say I remember much, though.

It was a dreary November day but the fall colors were out. We drove around to a lot of the stops on the driving tour. The National Memorial Arch (seen here), a covered bridge in the park, some of the old quarters. Washington’s Headquarters was closed, unfortunately. Looks like I will have to go back again.

History of the area: This is where the Continental Army under George Washington spent the winter of 1778. Conditions were horrible and the army was poorly trained and equipped. Prussian officer Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben was brought in to remedy the training part and he succeeded in turning our boys into a force with a fighting chance.

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