Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Olden Days

I found this letter a few months ago, tucked into a photo album from junior high.
Every few years, I pull it out and give it a read. My friend Melanie sent it to me in the summer we turned 13 while I was at my Dad's for a few weeks. I believe (based on the letter's contents) that was also the summer that Mena and I went to visit our Dad's family in New Hampshire as well. I stuck it in the album because Melanie had written some lyrics on the back of the envelope. (Other things I stuck in the album: napkins, ticket stubs, business cards and brochures as souvenirs from places we'd visited from Quincy to L.A. to Colorado.)

I wonder if I have more treasures like this somewhere at my mom's. I wonder if our kids will have things like this to look back on and remember their childhood. I mean, who is going to save e-mails and Facebook posts? And, oh, it is fun to read. All about boys and the things kids do on summer vacation when they're in junior high (Example - "I wish you were here for my party, we slept in a tent ... Oh, happy birthday to you to! We are both official teenagers now! Totally groovy!") Just lovely.

Melanie lived in Quincy from seventh through ninth grade, I believe, and then moved to Washington. Sometime during or after high school, we fell out of touch, but managed to find each other through the magic of the Internet and now she lives in L.A., where we recently got to see each other for the first time in more than 12 years. Today I finally remembered to to scan the letter in and e-mail it to her. So I guess, sometimes, technology can be a good thing :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009


This is me last night, getting in some reading in the Wolf Pack media room while I waited for the football game to end so I could shoot the post-game press conference for the RGJ. As I waited, I read about the Internet rendering newspapers obsolete. I thought it was a little ironic, but at the same time I thought about the press pass in my pocket. Soon, I will have to write a paper on how I think the Internet will ultimately effect journalism, and I think my theory is this (though it will obviously be fleshed out a little more): There is room for both professional journalists and "amateur" or "citizen" journalists to work together. Yes, a blogger sitting from home could easily write about the post-game press conference and generate a lot of hits and comments, but not just anyone can attend the press conference. Unless you are credentialed media, you have to wait for the press to report on the conference to write about it. Perhaps when we live stream on the Internet, or when TV broadcasts something live, we provide a shortcut to the "amateur journalist" - but in many cases they still look to us for the initial information. Last week, we read an example in a different book about the Trent Lott/Strom Thurmond debacle in 2002, which led to his resignation as senate majority leader, in which traditional media largely ignored his racist statement until became a huge deal in the blogosphere. The thing is, the first blogger to take it and run with it read the quote in an ABC story. Because all those bloggers weren't at Thurmond's birthday party to hear the quote in the first place. Yes, there are some instances where everyday citizens can report on things just as well or better - taking photos of breaking news before media arrives, for instance - but I think there is room for both, a way to work together, to complement each other. Obviously, I don't have all the answers. But that is what I'm in school to try to figure out.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A visitor and a wedding

So, as you know, Andrea came for a visit last weekend. The purpose of the visit was the wedding of her friends Annette and Louis, and since Jeremy is away for training, I was able to go as Andrea's date to the wedding, which was beautiful. (If you think this sounds like deja vu, you are correct!) It is always a treat to have my old roomie here and the weekend went by too fast! Here are some pictures from the weekend and the wedding:

Friday night at West Street Market

Me and Dre at the Wedding on Saturday

Alexya, Kat and Me

Kat, Alexya, Annette, Dre and Brandie

Post-wedding, we met up with Chris and his friends - would you believe it if I told you Dre and Chris Murray here knew each other from college?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our new plan ...

Given how busy we've been lately, what with prep football in full swing and me starting school, we came up with this idea: Instead of realizing at 5 p.m. that we have nothing planned for dinner and nobody took anything out of the freezer, maybe we could save time and money and still eat some good meals if we would plan out our week of meals on Sundays, do all our shopping in one day, and then the rest of the week would be smooth sailing. We figured, given how much leftovers we usually have because it's just the two of us, three or four meals a week would be perfect. I also thought it would be a good idea to try to incorporate at least one new recipe each week. It went pretty good the first week (last week) but then our weekend was pretty busy (more on that in the next post!) so we never came up with a plan for this week ... hopefully this will become more of a trend. Last week's plan included two new recipes - Rosemary Chicken and Salmon with Brown Sugar and Bourbon Glaze. The third recipe was an oldie but goodie - pizza, easy to throw together for Chris one day when I had an evening function (and yes, we also eat salad).
I realize that this type of planning is common in many households, but it's new to us! Anyone have better plans or suggestions for making sure we stick to it?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's a small world, afterall

Erin, Tammy, Andrea and Jen at lunch Friday in Reno
Once upon a time, I lived in Yuma, where I met a girl named Andrea who had just graduated from UNR. Andrea and I became great friends and roommates. Then I moved to Chandler, and later Chris and I moved to Reno, where I met a girl named Erin and we became great friends. One night, Erin invited us over for a fondue party, where I met her friend Jen, who happened to be a friend of Andrea's from college. Now we are all friends! Good times. Small world.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Brown-paper packages tied up with string ...

DIY giftwrap - all you need is a paper grocery bag, scissors, tape, a stamp and an inkpad (I've had my inkpad for five years and it hasn't gone dry - yahoo!) This upcycled wrapping paper took me about five minutes to make and cost me nothing since I had all the stuff already. The hearts aren't evenly spaced or inked, but that just adds to the charm, right? (If I had the time to make these stamps, I'd be making myself some Dia de los Muertos wrapping paper, too.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The new date night

Chris, Tammy and a home-cooked meal. In the RGJ break room ... for the third time in the past week or so. We are busy people these days.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pieces of Reno

So, the other night, I was driving home from the office. Sometimes, you know, you drive the same road so much you don't notice anything anymore. But it struck me, what an odd little city Reno really is. In the less-than four mile drive, I go by a playground, houses, some of the biggest and brightest hotel-casinos in town, seedy rent-by-the-week motels, favorite old-time Reno restaurants, dive bars, strip clubs, a homeless shelter, mobile homes, tattoo parlors, over the railroad tracks and the river, past the dump. There is something fascinating about it. I decided I'd take pictures one day, on the way to or from work, to show some of these details about this place we've come to call home. I plan to do this sometime, but right now I don't know when I'll have the time - it would be a long walk (or a long drive with all the stopping I'd have to do). In the meantime, along the same idea, I took some pictures on my walk from school to where I parked my car today. You can see those pictures here.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Ready for a nap

I was up early. Before the sun early. Way before the sun. Before 4. I went to the Great Reno Balloon Races. Me, and tens of thousands more people, all up before dawn, to see this:

Chris slept through it all. But it was pretty amazing to see. And, I think I earned the title multimedia reporter while I was at it. Want to see more? Photo gallery here, video here, story here. Now I'm going to take a nap ...

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Something's missing

Mom and Stony on their wedding day

This summer, I had some free time on my hands, and I made a few trips to Quincy. And each time, as I was on my way, I would think of my stepdad. All I wanted to do was go to our old house and sit with him on our old front porch, drink iced tea and talk. I miss those talks with him, and this year, maybe more than any since he died, I have thought about him so much.
When I was finishing the sixth grade, Stony was earning his associate's degree in hydrology and watershed management. This was a pretty big deal, as he'd never finished high school (though you'd have never known it) and hadn't been in school for decades. He graduated among the top in his class. I miss him for many reasons, but it's my area of study these days that has me wishing I could pick up the phone and call him. Right now, for instance, my homework is to re-write a brochure on hydromodification, something that I'm sure he could help me understand better. But also, sometimes I learn something that I think is really interesting and think it's something he'd want to know about, talk about, debate with me about.
His absence is always felt at big events - our college graduations, my wedding - but it's these little moments that meant so much that I miss the most.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

San Francisco with the V-Team

As Benny, Michelle and Olivia were making their way home to Okinawa from a family visit in the Midwest, they stayed a couple days in San Francisco, so I went to join them. It was so great to meet Olivia and see Benny and Michelle with her! She's such a very happy baby and loves to stick her tongue out, and I think she only cried twice while I was there! (It also was fun to eat some good food in the city!)
Here we are at Pancho Villa's in the Mission, the V-Team was glad to have some Mexican food (and, yeah, so was I!)

Olivia's first trip to the Golden Gate Bridge - and first time having to wear a beanie, I believe!

Michelle was pretty excited to have some clam chowder :)

Last stop: Cheesecake Factory. Yum!

It's always so nice to spend time with my Yuma buddies, and I wish our visit could have been longer. Hopefully it will work out that I can visit the V-Team for Spring Break next year :)
*Click on pictures to view them larger

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sneak Preview

I'm in San Francisco with the V-Team. Olivia wanted me to post this picture for Chris, and let him know she's sad he couldn't be here to read her the sports section, and have some clam chowder.