Thursday 13: A (cell phone) photo review of 2011

It seems I blinked and an entire year passed. Again. I could tell you about it, and whine about how fast time seems to be flying, but I thought showing you would be more fun. For this Thursday 13, here is a photo recap of 2011 using the day-to-day vantage of my Droid.

1. January 2011

We stepped back into time for a Mad Men themed birthday party at the Valley Ho in Scottsdale.


Sporting a double bumpit. See pictures of the fete here.


A pre-semester cleansing ritual… Roasting marshmallows over flaming course papers. It’s cathartic to say the least!


Goliath, the ever-helpful writing companion as I start my fourth semester of PhD school at ASU.


A show at the Mondavi Center at UC Davis.

2. February 2011

Valentine’s fleurs from my beloved, sent to Cactus Land.


In line at the airport. I thought for SURE this guy was a mobster. Look at that attache. There is certainly millions in unmarked bills inside.


A quick jaunt to the Monterey Bay Aquarium after attending the Western States Communication Association conference.


A post-Valentine’s celebration at Montrio Bistro in Monterey. Tim’s excellent plane drawing skills on display.


A quick stop at Casa de Fruta for these lovelies. See my “How to cook a perfect artichoke” post for instructions.

3. March 2011

Sunset in Arizona. Spring is surely my favorite time in the desert.


Periodically religious zealots camp out at ASU to try and convince the coeds to stop fornicating and find Jesus. Crowds gather. Yelling ensues. It’s often quite ugly, although this sign made me laugh.


Family brunch at the in-laws’.


Spring break dinner at Ella in Sacramento. No lobsters were harmed in the making of my dinner. (But sadly, we may have lost a cow, some wild mushrooms, and a few prawns…)


My first-ever homemade fish tacos! You can make them, too. Recipe here.


I started a new research gig and ended up visiting New York. See “Malvinis take Manhattan.”


In case you wondered.

4. April 2011

April 1. Southwest 812. The most eventful flight of my life. For the experience, see here.


Second research trip, to Los Angeles. I arrived after dark and wondered why it was so loud in my hotel room. When I woke up and realized I was sleeping just about on top of an active runway, I realized why.


There’s always interesting commentary/art on the chalkboard at ASU by Coor Hall.


Kristin and my favorite cactus.


My ASU ladies! We enjoyed delectable pub food at Four Peaks Brewery.


Research trip number three was probably the hardest of all. I had to go to Hawaii. It’s tough being a grad student sometimes. See what I mean here.


Research trip number four to Chicago actually was tough. I flew on Easter Sunday and it was surprisingly difficult (see “Easter at 36,000 feet”). I did, however, love the hotel I stayed in. It was set up perfectly for business travelers and even boasted free refillable water bottles for guests. Too cool.

5. May 2011

On the list of “most random things ever,” a pigeon laid an egg on our doorstep in Tempe. Sadly, it also came back and ate said egg a couple days later. Bizarre.


You know you live in a college town when Safeway stocks ping-pong balls next to the beer. Oi.


My favorite cactus in bloom!


Best part of May, and let’s face it, 2011, MOVING HOME! All hail the Corolla-mobile.


The chop! I lost more than a foot of length. Seven months later, Mr. T still hasn’t forgiven me.


In line at Costco. I wanted to talk to the grandma ahead of me about her unbalanced diet. There should really be some chocolate in that cart, you know.


Last research trip, a glorious day in Seattle.

6. June 2011

I met my soul mate.


Mr. T and I hit Cafe Marika, an itty bitty hole-in-the-wall Hungarian place in downtown Sacramento. The chicken paprikash of my dreams people. As I recall, this was a “date night” that started at 5 p.m. and ended around 7:15 after a visit to Home Depot to look at ceiling fans. High quality romance here.


Strange late-Spring weather but the double rainbow was pretty.


Rads from Project Green Thumbs Season III.


A surprise birthday trip to Mountain Winery to see…


Diana Krall!! We were third row, center. SO COOL! (More on the surprise here)


Rag Wing Day at Rancho Murieta and then a visit to the Sanders Family Hangars. (A zillion photos here.)


Grand Theft Hershey.
My 29th birthday dinner at The Melting Pot. The fondue fork stabbing motion leads me to believe T was still mad that I cut my hair off.

7. July 2011

My Fourth of July cake a week after baking. Once the fur started growing, it became something of a social experiment in our household… I wanted to see how long we could go without mentioning the giant chocolate petrie dish on the counter. The answer? 10 days.


Studying for comps!


Girls’ day out to see Harry Potter!


First anniversary eating of the stale nasty freezer wedding cake.


First anniversary trip to McMinnville where we saw the Spruce Goose!


Whitney finally made me truffles three years later.


Visiting the Pacific Northwest. We picked 26 pounds of blueberries in Oregon. Yes, 26 pounds!


And I became a braceface.

8. August 2011

Mr. T fixed our grill and I started BBQing like a maniac.




Trying my best with hair accessories.


Goliath fell in love with a hedgehog. A boogie boogie hedgehog.


We bought 550 pounds of rock to line my newly-planted trees.


Spicy garlic saffron shrimp with saffron rice and sauteed mushrooms and onions. Delicious flavor but I murdered the shrimps. They were rubbery and sad!


I accompanied my best friend and her boys to the water park for the first time in eons. It was Graden’s first trip and he wasn’t too thrilled by the experience.


Sacramento International Airport. In August I kicked off a new commuting schedule… flying to and from Phoenix every Wednesday. I racked up 57 commercial flights in 2011.


Maybe for April Fool’s day I’ll use wine descriptions to grade student papers. Certainly undergrad writing could be “very ripe and primal” with a “velvety texture.” Ha!

9. September 2011

Summer spaghetti. Please promise you’ll make this next summer. Please. With fresh tomatoes and basil. Please!
Some asshat drilled my gas tank at the gym. My open letter to the creton(s) here and “Eight things to remember when your gas tank is drilled


Rubber plugs from my gas tank. The drilling happened two days before my in-house comprehensive exam day!


Tragedy at the Reno Air Races. This is as close as we got to the grand stands this year.


An improvised birthday dinner for T.


And days later, a birthday serenade.


I was highly concerned about the direction of women’s Fall fashion.


Sssssss. Downtown Phoenix.

10. October 2011

Dinner with the Pope for Emily’s 23rd birthday.


Sacramento pretending to be Fall.


School business.


Winter garden seed planting.


I flew into the new Sacramento International Airport terminal on its second day of operations.


I passed my comprehensive exams!!! This is my comps cape.


At Dulles in Washington DC where I received the most invasive freedom frisk of my existence. Note to self: Never wear leggings to the airport again ever ever.


A little Fall pho.
Family trip to Lake of the Pines.


Dillon Beach on a glorious and abnormally warm fall day.


Halloween cupcakes! (More on pirates and cupcakes here.)

11. November 2011

Mr. T made advance preparations for his checkride victory.


Victory steak tasted really good!


Paella cook-off at Berryessa Gap winery in Winters, Calif. My first time trying paella and I got to sample 10 different dishes. Delish!


Santa flew through Phoenix ahead of schedule.


A quick trip to New Orleans for the National Communication Association convention.


I love me some hanging baskets!


Our first of three Thanksgivings, at T’s parents’ place.


Yum! Thanksgiving confessions here.


Second Thanksgiving at Tom and Deb’s. Mr. T carved the ham.


We were playing Uno. Frankie says “Deal me in.”


Thirdsgiving pie at my mom’s house.

12. December 2011

Tom turns 50!


I trimmed the hedges without injuring myself or the house. And I had a blast!


Project Green Thumbs, Winter Edition.


Hung twinkle lights from the eaves for the first time ever!


A favorite tradition: Christmas cookies at Shannon’s.


Baked 40 loaves of pumpkin pear and pineapple banana nut bread for Christmas gifts.


Chicken cacciatore. Mmm.


Peanut butter blossom happiness.


Christmas candy from around the world for T’s airport gift exchange. Did you know marizpan pigs symbolize good luck in Germany?


Ray-Dad, my father-in-law. I love that he actually sat still for the styling of this tinsel wig.


Want to take bets on how long it will take me to get this sucker down this year?


My foray into gourmet… cream of wild mushroom soup with arugula and black truffle oil (recipe to follow!) and carmelized cauliflower soup with croutons and cheddar.

13. Bonus! Only because I needed something for 13… 🙂

Boeuf bourgignon at a French restaurant in Seattle. On the short list of best things I ate in 2011.


Something I didn’t buy but desperately wanted to.


A company that got an obscene amount of money from me this year.


I’ve started taking pictures at the grocery store check out when I can get away with it. I have a collection of “what not to eat” pictures including the order behind me… cookies, chips, pizza, hot dogs, frozen meals, soda and nary a vegetable in sight. Yikes. (Although I am one to talk with cream, pasta, cheese, bread and ice cream.)


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