Happy Vernal Equinox: Celebrating More Than Just Spring (or … A Love Story, Part 1)

(Let’s pretend that I got this one posted “on time” 2 weeks ago, ‘kay?) The vernal equinox, otherwise known as the first day of Spring (here north of the equator!), has meaning to me that goes beyond its astronomical significance.  March 21 is the day that the StarMan and I have long regarded as our anniversary date.  Going all mushy or TMI is not my style, but I really don’t give StarMan the credit he deserves. He is the embodiment of unconditional love, and I am the luckiest person alive to be the person with whom he decided to share his life.

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Year 2013 First Trimester Review: Travel Resolution

The government agency for which I work holds its employees responsible for at least two performance reviews per year:  one is the “real” review, which forms the basis of promotions and awards. The other is a 6-month check up to see if the employee is on-track for meeting the performance goals that were established between the employee and his/her management in the previous year.  While I really detest/dread these performance reviews — they take up an inordinate amount of preparation time  —  I have to admit that they do serve a useful purpose: they hold us measurably accountable for the things we promised we’d deliver.  In that same spirit, I’ve now had 4 months to dig into my 2013 New Year Resolutions:  What’s my score so far? Continue reading

A Short Week In Long Beach

I’ve spent the last couple of days catching my breath following a wonderful mini vacation + science conference that my significant other (“StarMan”) and I attended last week.  We really made the most of the trip, in a way that I wished we lived our life, every day.  For example, we opted to drive to Long Beach rather than just fly, and we took a route down the awesome, vertigo-inducing Pacific Coast Highway, passing through Big Sur.  On the day we arrived in Los Angeles, we went to the La Brea tar pits, a place that I’ve wanted to see since I read about them as a 10-year-old paleontologist wanna-be!

We finally checked into our hotel in Long Beach and spent Monday through Thursday attending the American Astronomical Society conference, which is a kind of astronomers’ Super Bowl. Continue reading