Tianjing and Jared got married (sneak peek)!!!!

Published July 7, 2015 by iampotassium

Hey everyone! Long time no see! Hopefully I’ll have some time to update you on all the fun going on in my life but for today, let’s celebrate my two dear friends Tianjing and Jared who got married last weekend at the Chapel at Red Rocks here in Colorado. It was a beautiful wedding on a beautiful day (the rain waited until we were safely inside for the reception) and I had the honor of being their photographer (along with my friend Jem!). Having a second photographer made all the difference compared to the first wedding I photographed where I was the sole photographer. I feel like Jem and I just waltzed in and took control of the situation by taking awesome pictures. I got to be extra bossy – not only did I tell Tianjing and Jared what to do, but I also requested shots from Jem too (we split up the work so that we had different lenses on our cameras to get a wide variety of shots without having any downtime to change lenses). Plus it was a lot of fun to be working with someone instead of just running the show by myself!

Aaaaaaanyway, let’s talk about the bride and groom! I’ve known Tianjing since the first week of our graduate program here in Colorado. Tianjing showed up late so she missed the annoying 2.5 weeks of orientation that we all had to go through but we were fast friends anyway – I think it was our combined love of eating and being silly that did the trick. Ever since then, we’ve been getting together randomly to cook or go out for delicious food (one example is our trip to Aspen)! One day when we bumped into each other in the Cell Culture Facility at school, Tianjing told me she’d met a guy…. As she told me more and more about him, I knew he had to be someone special and I couldn’t wait to meet him! I finally did and as I sat across the table from Tianjing and Jared at a Korean BBQ place, I couldn’t believe how perfect they were for each other. I had this thought over and over again pretty much every time we hung out after that and it was definitely at the forefront of my mind on their wedding day.

I truly enjoyed taking your pictures, guys. It was so fun capturing all the giggles, smiles, and kisses that made up your wedding day. I wish you two all the happiness in the world. :) Stay tuned for a deluge of pictures!

That’s it for your sneak peek, folks! I hope you enjoyed them. What’s that? You want just onnnneeee more? Okay….

Esther and Felix are getting married this year!

Published March 17, 2015 by iampotassium

Hellooooo world! It’s been forever since I posted. But what a good time to start posting again when I have Esther’s and Felix’s engagement pictures to show you! We had an eventful February weatherwise – it was the warmest February on record and also the snowiest! How does that even happen?! Anyway, all that snow made for a beautiful backdrop to take pictures with Esther and Felix! I’ve never had snow around for engagement pictures and it turns out that it’s really fun! We had some snowball fights, Felix stomped out their wedding date into the snow, and they made some snow angels together. It was kind of awesome.

I first met Esther in 2013 when she interviewed to be a postdoc in our lab. We pretty much hit it off right away (especially after experiencing an awkward brunch together on the last day of her interview) so I was really happy when she and Felix decided to move here! Since they’ve been here, we’ve done a lot together – Esther and I did yoga with butterflies; Esther, Felix, Cobalt, and I started a tradition (called “noodles”) of going out to dinner on Friday nights with any lab mates (and their significant others) who are free/hungry; we watched Germany win the World Cup together; etc. We spend so much time with these two that I was really excited when Esther asked me to take their engagement pictures! In October, Esther and Felix are getting married in Germany! I am so excited for you guys and I really hope that Cobalt and I can get over there to be there for the big day! Congratulations again, you guys!

How to write and defend your PhD thesis in 2 months

Published November 10, 2014 by iampotassium
  1. Start working from home. It’s lonely but it allows you to have whatever writing schedule you need every day and keeps you from distracting yourself by hanging out with your labmates. Only go to lab for mandatory meetings with your advisor or to get information out of your lab notebooks.
  2. Teach your labmates all your lab jobs (editing websites, taking over the lab safety and hazardous waste removal jobs, etc) for you while you are out. They will do them so beautifully and without asking very many questions. For this, you are forever grateful.
  3. Sometimes working from home means going to a coffeeshop and drinking a cappuccino while working. Your advisor agrees to meet you at the coffeeshop so you don’t have to go all the way into lab to meet with her. Also sometimes your labmates will join you.
  4. Work every day for 1.5 months straight, taking breaks when you need them but never taking a break that lasts for an entire day.
  5. Get on an antidepressant that reminds you to eat and sleep on a semi regular basis despite all the anxiety and stress you constantly feel. As soon as you defend, you can get off of it but for now, it’s necessary.
  6. Go home to California for a week and write feverishly at the desk you used to do your homework at in high school. Your parents will make you tasty food, force you to take breaks when you need them, and cheer you on. Plus one or both of them will stay up late every night playing on their tablets while you write so you won’t be as lonely.

    You and Gustav making weird faces on a tiny plane heading home…

  7. Exercise at least a little every day. It helps break up the monotony and the lamity of sitting at a desk all day and it reminds you that you are a human – not a writing machine. Soccer, swimming, running, and biking work pretty well. Take Cobalt on your exercise adventures if he’s around.

    One of your exercise breaks includes going to see the aspens change color with Titanium and her mom. So pretty… you could have stayed there all day. You tried to but Titanium and her mom said you had to go back to work…

    While you were looking for pretty aspens, you also found this cute little puff…

  8. Attend two of your friends’ weddings. Weddings let you take a break from your stress bubble and remind you that you are surrounded by wonderful people. :)

    One of the weddings you attend is at the Denver Botanic Gardens during the Chihuly glass exhibit. Having gone to undergrad in Tacoma, Washington, you can recognize a Chihuly piece anywhere but you still find it beautiful in this setting…

    One of your favorites is this boat. You even come back after the wedding to photograph it all lit up at night.

  9. Let Cobalt take you to a movie sometimes. It’s nice to do stuff with just Cobalt even though you are a stress ball.
  10. Go to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta with Cobalt, your sister in law, niece, and nephew because it’s great to spend time with people you love and also because the balloons are majestic and awesome to photograph.

    You go on opening weekend and it is packed! But it is a perfect day for balloons so the sky is also packed!

    You and your family get there early (~6 am) to see the first balloons go up. Included is this Wicked balloon, which you think is pretty neat because you are going to see Wicked later that day.

    You are among the first people to ever witness the Yoda balloon, which was unveiled this day.

  11. Learn how to use Adobe Illustrator in 3 days (your skills expand drastically when you NEED to make Figures)
  12. Go suit shopping with your friends the day you turn in your thesis. This is great because you get to shop for fancy adult clothes in celebration of turning in something epic and also you really need a suit for your defense talk…

    Here you are super nervous because your defense is the next day. At least the suit looks great!

  13. Go to your favorite undergrad conference to recruit new graduate students to CU even though you defend your thesis in a week. You’re stressed out, yes, but the students’ excitement to go to graduate school and learn is inspiring. Plus you have really cool conversations with your fellow recruiters, your sister (who is recruiting for her school), and some of your friends that you haven’t seen in forever (who are recruiting for their schools!)

    Look at you and your fellow CU grad students at the SACNAS 2014 conference, recruiting new grad students for your school! You look like a freak, but at least your friends look good. :)

  14. Be prepared to reanalyze your data at least 4 times while writing and then again right after you defend.
  15. Surprise your advisor by finishing everything on time even when she thought that “no one” could do everything in that short amount of time.
  16. Present your research to your family and friends with only one minor technical glitch that is easily solved. Do not lose your composure over the glitch or over the whole situation because your presentation turned out awesome and you really know your stuff!
  17. Shake hands with your committee faculty after your defense because you’re a doctor now! Yes, it feels weird and anticlimactic now but just keep smiling and it will slowly feel more and more real! Congratulations! Now it’s time to figure out what’s next…

PS – Is it obvious that you just read Neil Patrick Harris’ Choose Your Own Adventure Autobiography?

We got a kitty!

Published November 3, 2014 by iampotassium

Yayyyyy! Look who’s posting again! It’s Dr. Potassium! That’s right! I am (unofficially) a doctor now! I need to edit my thesis and turn it in to get my diploma and officially become a doctor but the hardest part is over! Whew… it’s been an insane few months, you guys. INSANE.

But let’s save all that insanity for another post because today we have much cuter things to talk about! Cobalt and I got a cat and named her Tarantula (really, are you that surprised?)!!! Look at this adorable little puff.

So a few weeks ago when I was feeling really stressed out from all the craziness that goes into writing your thesis and then having to make a presentation to defend your thesis, my friend Titanium picked me up and we got coffee. It was great because we went up into the mountains above Boulder a little and sat on a rock overlooking the city. So pretty. As we talked, we decided that petting kitties at the animal shelter could make the end of our coffee time even sweeter! So we headed to the Boulder Humane Society to check out all the cats. They’ve seriously updated the cat area and now instead of rows and rows of cages, there are big rooms with tons of toys and shelves for the kitties to hang out and play/sleep all day! Titanium and I went into the “playroom,” the biggest of these rooms, to play with the kitties there. We met each of the cats there, including one super sweet but super skinny orange and black kitty. After we met all the cats, we sat on the bench in there and Miss Skinny came over and hopped up on the bench with us. Titanium put her on my lap where she proceeded to fall asleep! Awwww….

Soooooo I pretty much immediately fell in love with this cat and asked the Boulder Humane Society if I could put a hold on her so that Cobalt could come meet her the following day. However, we ended up having to wait almost a week for Cobalt to meet her because the Humane Society wanted to monitor her eating and make sure she was generally healthy before they released her. They finally determined that she was going to need some dental work done before we could take her home but that we could come in and see her before then. We got that news the day I defended my thesis which meant that my family (my Mom, Dad, sister, and sister in law) was in town! So the next day we all went to the shelter to meet our potential kitty. Cobalt fell in love with her too so the day of her dental surgery, we went to two different pet stores to prep our house for our new little puff and then we brought her home the next day!

I think Tarantula is feeling quite at home here now. She’s already looking a lot healthier and she is practically inhaling her food. Plus she loves snuggling and purring. At first, she was super distressed when Cobalt and I weren’t both in the same room but now she has calmed down about that. Awww yay! She also loves to look outside windows and has commandeered almost every window in the house for her personal viewing (downstairs in the morning, office after dinner, bedroom at night, etc).

Hey human! What are you doing outside?! Come inside and pet me!

In case you are wondering where the name Tarantula came from: one time, Cobalt and I went to go play with kittens at the local Petsmart. There was this adorable calico kitten named Tarantella but Cobalt and I read her name wrong so we kept calling her Tarantula! From that moment on, we vowed that one day we would get our own Tarantula (read: a cat named Tarantula, not the spider, much to Cobalt’s disappointment) one day. From the moment our Tarantula fell asleep on my lap, I knew she was purrfect. :D

Tarantula says “Stop talking about me and come cuddle with me!”

Finally, today is my mom’s birthday! Happy birthday Mom! What a great day to start posting again! :D I’m going to try to do twice a week but we might have to wait a little for me to work my way back up to that… Hopefully I’ll post on a semi-regular schedule again though. I’ve missed you guys!

Now it’s your turn: tell me about your pets. Tell me your favorite story about when you first got your pet! If you have a kitty, is she/he an inside/outside cat or just an inside cat? I grew up with mostly outside cats so it’s been fun learning how to have an all indoors cat. :D

One haunted anniversary

Published August 13, 2014 by iampotassium

Hey all! How are your weeks going? I am having crazy times trying to move (long story – maybe I’ll write about it later when it’s all over with :p) and also working on analyzing my FINAL DATA SETS for this paper I am trying to get submitted so I can finally write my freakin’ thesis and get the hell out of grad school!

Anyway, I thought that today I would share some pictures from Cobalt’s and my fun 2nd wedding anniversary trip! So this year has been pretty sad for the two of us – I mean we get along great still but a lot of really lame things happened during our second year of marriage. So we decided that we deserved to have a bit of fun for our anniversary.

So! Have you seen The Shining? You knowwwww REDRUM and All work and no play make Jack a dull boy, etc etc etc. Well the Overlook Hotel was based off of this hotel in Estes Park, CO (~an hour away from Boulder) called The Stanley Hotel. Cobalt and I have always wanted to stay there but then we found out that they had a “ghost adventure package.” This package includes a guaranteed room on the haunted 4th floor of the main hotel, a K2 meter (to hunt for ghosts), two glow in the dark squishy ghosts, AND two REDRUM mugs! :D Plus there was only one room left for our anniversary! It was perfect! We took it!

So we drove on up to Estes Park on our anniversary and checked into our lovely haunted room and got all of our fun haunted toys (the ghosts turned out to be a lot of fun to play with once it got dark)! We explored the hotel a little and then went into Estes Park for dinner at this place called The Dunraven Inn. We couldn’t decide if we wanted steak or pasta and The Dunraven Inn specialized in both! Score! Then we headed to the bar in the Stanley Hotel which has a ridiculous amount of different whiskeys. They are listed in “The Whiskey Bible” and the shots of whiskey range from a few dollars to over $300! Cobalt was in whiskey heaven and ended up trying this super fancy Buffalo Trace whiskey (it wasn’t the $300 a shot one). It was a pretty good evening. I highly recommend checking out the Stanley Hotel if you’re ever in Colorado (also visiting me and Cobalt… duh… :)). We still need to go back and go on a ghost tour! :D

Below are some more pictures from our adventures! Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we captured any ghosts in our pictures though… Bummer…

View from the front of the hotel

Hotel at night!

The meter is going crazy! It found a ghost!!!!

Oh wait… it’s just a glow in the dark squishy ghost…..

In other unrelated news:

  • Check out this kitty that I was catsitting this weekend. Look at that belly….
  • We just bought tickets to go to one of my best friend from college’s wedding in September! I am SO excited that we are going to get to go! Also in the same trip, we are going to be able to see some of my friends from my old lab here (yes I had to change labs in the middle of my PhD program…. another story for another day) and I get to go home for a week so my parents can spoil me while I write my thesis… (hint hint) :D
  • I am really sad about Robin Williams’ death.

Let’s just look at balloons…

Published August 6, 2014 by iampotassium

Hey everyone! It’s me again! I’m filled with all sorts of conflicting emotions right now (such as 1) Cobalt and I just celebrated our 2 year wedding anniversary=yay!!!, 2) Cobalt and I are getting screwed over by our apartment complex and might not really have anywhere to live in 9 days=bad!, 3) I set my date to defend my thesis (October 24th) so I can finally get my PhD = YAY but also SO MUCH WORK = :-/?). So instead of talking about all these various things, I am going to post pictures of balloons.

A few weeks ago, Cobalt and I wondered how many helium balloons it would take to make my stuffed sharks fly. We decided to buy 20 balloons and see which animals would be able to fly with that amount. Turns out – stuffed sharks are heavy! But tiny Micro Squishable dinosaurs are light! So Sir Chandler “Cornflakes” Montgomery III got to go on a fun adventure – see below!

Sir Chandler and the balloons!

Looking out over Boulder!

We had Chandler tied to Cobalt so he couldn’t escape… Here they are looking particularly epic.

Cobalt wanted this picture taken. It looks like they’re having an important conversation.

That was fun! Can we do it again?!

Gustav is too fat to fly… :( Any guesses on how many more balloons we would have needed to make Gustav fly?

Yay! Balloons! Are you feeling better because I totally am… Okay back to reality for me… More posts coming soon!

Fourth of July Photo Contest Winners

Published July 23, 2014 by iampotassium

Hey all! It’s been a long time since I posted again and I apologize about that. I know I sound like a broken record here but seriously, this trying to graduate thing is ridiculous! -_-

Anyway, let’s talk about America! Today’s post comes from the 4th of July when Cobalt and I asked our friends to text us a picture of something “American.” We got a lot of fun pictures – so many in fact that we are only posting the winners this year. Thank you so much for sending us pictures everyone! Also, if you didn’t send us a picture/didn’t win – don’t worry – there’s always next year! :)

Let’s get started:

Grand Prize

Cobalt and I really liked the composition of this pic. Artfully done. :)

Second Place

We loved this picture – so cute and also awesome! :D

Third Place

This is a pic of a bunch of Americans celebrating the 4th of July in South Korea where they are teaching English!

Yay! Congratulations to our winners!

What are you guys up to? Did you do anything sweet for the 4th of July? Cobalt and I ate a lot… Now that July is also half over, how has your July been? Anyone going on awesome vacations? I’ve been working and trying not to kill the microscope out of rage (it keeps breaking!)…


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 142 other followers