September 30, 2011

Our Wedding. A list. Part 3

12. After completing our seating chart I turned to Fiance and said “Do you want to just scrap the whole thing and not have a seating chart?”

13. We have a song as part of our ceremony.  I really hope people sing.

14. We’re going to dance a polka at the reception.  Not as our first dance, but as one of the dances.  Because polkas are really a lot of fun.

15. We have some silliness planned for both the rehearsal and the ceremony.  We’re a silly couple so it just makes sense.

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September 23, 2011

snapshot: maple in ann arbor

Snapshot Detroit (and southeast michigan) – to introduce you to Detroit one picture at a time.  Ironically I start with a photo in Ann Arbor.

One of the things I love most about Ann Arbor is the liberal sprinkling of maple trees.  It makes autumn a most beautiful season to watch.  The trees are only barely starting to turn this fall, and I can’t wait for it to look like the trees are aflame. (Although the trees in Minneapolis can wait a few more weeks before they catch.)

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September 20, 2011

Five years ago

Five years ago this week I was saying goodbye to my friends and family in Minnesota.  I saw one last movie with my oldest little brother (Little Miss Sunshine, which bears an uncanny resemblance to parts of my life).  I flew to Boston to say good bye to some college friends and spend one last Saturday tailgating in the mods.  I flew to Philadelphia and met 40 other wandering souls much like myself.  And then we all got on an airplane and found ourselves in Tanzania as the fresh new batch of Peace Corps Volunteers.  And I met the young man I’ll be marrying in less than a month.

Five years ago we were 41 volunteers.  Quickly to become 40, as one decided to return to America 24 hours after our arrival.  We were 22 men and 18 women.  We ranged in ages from just 21 to into our 60s.  Many of us were fresh from college, a few held masters degrees, one a doctorate.  A couple of us had been to Africa before, but some had never left America.  We came to teach math, chemistry, biology, physics and computers.  Some of us left before the 27 months was complete.  Some stayed an extra year.  A few have made Tanzania their homes.

Five years ago we remember things a little differently.  He remembers meeting me in Philadelphia.  We were doing an icebreaker where we each had a paper that listed a few characteristics about each of the 41 volunteers and we had to figure out who matched which characteristics.  I guess I was sitting alone in the middle of the room when he came up to me and commented that my characteristics (likes to garden and knows how to crochet) could have also have been his.   I remember meeting him in Tanzania.  We were in line to receive yet another vaccination.  He hadn’t slept in well over 24 hours and was cracking jokes about being a vaccination addict and looking for his next score.  He made me laugh.  I was smitten already.

Five years ago we were put in the same small group for language training.  Five years ago we were given host families next door to each other.  Five years ago we walked each other to and from training every day.  Five years ago we were placed as teachers in schools within hiking distance of each other.

We didn’t start dating for another 2 years (because things are complicated when you’re in the peace corps).  But five years ago I knew he was the one.

Five years ago I started falling in love with both a country and a man.

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September 17, 2011

Seven Things: That Engineering Grad Students Keep Near By

So first off, school has started, I’ve been helping my advisor with projects for a conference she’s in charge of that’s had me on call pretty much all the time, we’ve been running around like mad people trying to finish up wedding check list items AND enjoy and put up the fruits and veggies that are so beautiful right now. So we’ve been a little busy.  And we managed to catch a cold at the same time, and came down with it yesterday. So I haven’t exactly had my act together enough to write this post.  But here I finally am.  Phew.

I spend 60ish hours a week in a lab or with other grad student engineers, and we keep some fairly unique stuff nearby.  Now I’ll admit, my lab is a bit unique among many of the other labs, but I’d imagine there are some similarities across the board.

1. Snacks.  We do pretty well in this department because at least two of us like to bake but don’t like to keep sweets around.  So we often have cupcakes or cookies around, and usually a stash of candy or pita chips somewhere as well.  When you work long and odd hours sugar is a must.

Like these lemon poppy seed cupcakes I made for B's birthday.

2. A tape measure or a calipers.  We constantly are measuring things.  What else is there to say?

3. Graph paper.  Either for sketching designs, doing calculations, or homework.

4. Technical drawings.  Preferably with notes.

5.  Remote control helicopters.  No, legit.  We got these last summer because they feature the material that we design with in their missile launchers.  Sometimes you just need to take a break and try to land a toy helicopter on your lab mates head.

6. Parts catalogs.  But used to hold up your monitor to a more ergonomically comfortable position.  We don’t actually use the catalog to find and order parts, that’s what the internet is for.

7.  Headphones.  Because with 8 people trying to get work done in the same space, sometimes you just need to be able to tune everybody else out.

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September 9, 2011

year 1

dear friends,

one year ago today I bought myself a domain and decided to make macnamania it’s own little free standing space.  Know how I know that?  Because godaddy just sent me the renewal notice for my automatic bill pay for another year.  So I guess we’re doing this again.

love, macnamania

ps. I know I owe you a seven things post, as well as really just any posts.  And I have an idea for it an everything.  But school started this week, so I’ve been a bit distracted.  Stay tuned, it’ll be along soon enough.

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