Mar 032015
 

Back in college J & I made a big first purchase together – a Canon SLR. We were both dreaming of taking amazing photos of life. When we went our separate ways, I kept the SLR and continued to spend rolls of film documenting my travels and life. However, the way of high-end point-n-shoot digital cameras came along, and my love affair with my Nikon Coolpix began.

For years most of my photos have been taken with my little Coolpix, which I still love despite it’s low battery life and battered look.

With the increase in mobile phone technology, my Coolpix slowly moved to the wayside for my iPhone’s quick pics. However, as time has passed, I’ve always looked longingly at the DSLRs that have been out on the market.

A few years back, I decided that when I finished the blasted degree, I would treat myself to a new DSLR and spend time learning how to take photos I would be very proud to show off and may even hang on my walls (if I ever settle long enough to decorate them!).

This year, I received a bonus for receiving an award at work and decided that if I waited until the degree was done I might never get the camera and my life cannot be dependent on whens or ifs. So, I used half of my bonus to purchase my new ‘baby’.

IMG_5018

I love this camera – it takes amaze-balls pictures and has so many options for ensuring I get quality photos. The only problem was that I didn’t have any idea what all the buttons did!!! Or, how to adjust the bits and pieces to have control over the kind of photos I would get.

Even still, on automatic, I could take great pics, but I wanted to learn more.

So, last weekend, my friend T and I took a photography 101 course from Gulf Photo Plus. We spent two full days learning about all the functions on the camera and how to compose photos so that they are ‘professional-like’. There’s still a lot to practice and learn, but it was an excellent course.

Now, of course, I’m taking photos of everything adjusting the ISO, aperture and shutter speeds to capture the depth of fields and use the thirds rules in my pictures. :P

I’m sure that in no time at all National Geographic will be calling me to write and take photos for them full-time! hahahha. Truly, though, it’s a lot of fun and I’m glad I didn’t wait….

More to come,

~T :D

Mar 022015
 

Is it possible to travel too much? Am I just too spoiled in my ‘old age’ that when I go to a new city, it’s not as exciting as it used to be?

I’m in Madrid for a conference (INTED 2015). I was here before about six years ago with my mom and Aunt Sue. It was a short visit before we took off for the south of Spain, but I remembered it being a pretty cool city.

The trip over felt long and tiring. Probably having a flight that leaves at 1:45am is what taints the experience. I came with a colleague and so at least we could have someone to chat with and have pre-flight drinks with. ;) It was a pretty easy flight for me as I slept the whole way, but had a three-hour layover in Amsterdam before another 2.5 hour flight to our destination. By the time we arrived at the hotel around 1pm, we were fairly wiped.

We did settle in to our rooms and then go for a meal and wander around. I’ll post the pics a bit later as they are in my camera…. Then, we came back with the intent of going back out later for tapas and sangria, both of us ended up crashing and not having the energy to go back out. :(

Still, even though it has been good so far and I like the city enough, I think the traveling part is starting to wear on me a bit…Maybe I just need to ensure that my departure times are not so rough so that I can enjoy it more…?

Anyway, will definitely be posting about the conference and the city de Madrid!

More to come,

~T :D

Feb 202015
 

There is a short period in the morning that determines how much I am going to get done during the day. During the work week, this window is less noticeable because I generally have the same schedule that gets me up, ready for work and at work at the same time. For the most part, I am predictably productive and know that I can get my tasks done.

However, the weekends are a different story….

I have less than a week now to complete my literature review and am determined to submit something even if it’s not stellar. I just need to get over the hurdle of not doing it at all – or avoiding the completion of it. This is the last major hurdle to me completing the dissertation and there’s really no excuse. My future is starting to become more dependent on it as my hopes of an easy transfer to a different department are starting to dissipate and not having the degree makes it that more difficult to convince those who need convincing that I should be the one who makes the move (more on that later).

So, I really have to make a better effort and push myself to be productive/focused no matter what time of day or schedule I end up on.

This moment is a perfect example – we thought we had plans to go to a brunch so I hadn’t expected to get much done anyway, but was going to focus in the morning. However, we decided not to go to the brunch early; therefore causing me to move more slowly in the morning. By the time I sat down at my computer, I just wasn’t in the mood. So, I surfed the internet and made some paleo cookies (since I’m back in my own cooking space again! :D).

cookies

Now that that is all done, and my house is fully of sleeping babies, I really should focus….

sleeping

:D

More to come,

~T :D

 Posted by at 15:07
Feb 192015
 

This morning I had perhaps an epiphany – has my mood and brain synapses been altered since I stopped being so diligent with my Paleo diet?

Hm…it is quite possible since I have increased my caffeine, sugar and carb (sugar!) intake quite a bit the past few weeks. I stopped being so focused on Paleo eating because my weight had dropped a bit too much and with the yoga, all of my clothes are now quite too big. Since I cannot afford to buy new clothes and am too lazy to get them properly tailored, I figured I’d just stop thinking about what I’m eating. It’s definitely a lot easier to not have to think about these things – however; now I’m wondering if this is part of the reason why my mind is whirring again and my thoughts are not fully settling down….

I had already planned to return to being strictly Paleo starting next week and may have to do another caffeine and sugar detox. The only problem is that I’m going to Madrid for four days at the beginning of next month and it might be a bit hard to follow this plan. Still, it never hurts to try the best that I can.

Also, I need to eat more throughout the day…. So, it will be back to meal planning, ensuring I bring my lunch (helps with the funds too!) and maybe setting my alarms again to drink water and have a snack. :D There are worse things in life to have to worry about, right? Hopefully, I will notice a return of my mind to a medium whir as well – as this is the most important thing. :D

More to come,

~T :D

 Posted by at 08:19
Feb 182015
 

So, my plan to write more has kind of gone by the wayside the past five weeks or so. There are a number of reasons for it:

*adjusted my living situation a bit
*work changed to be busier (understatement!!! :P)
*went on an up, then a down and am somewhere in between now
*my head is jumbled
*my body is tired….

This is just a short list, but you can get the idea….

I need a bit of a regular creative writing outlet, though, especially as I start to do more academic writing. Since I have a creative outlet through pottery and regular yoga to keep me more zen-like than without it, I feel like I should be balanced enough, but lately something has been nagging me…. I want to find a way to make use of my real passion – writing. At the moment, I need to focus on finishing the PhD and doing my academic writing. Therefore, that means that I need to use this blog space more regularly to ensure that I get the creative writing outlet that will hopefully keep me balanced for now.

So, (hopefully) I will be back on here more regularly with my random ramblings! :D

More to come,

~T

 Posted by at 19:32
Jan 122015
 

Almost exactly a year ago, I finished reading the book _Unbroken:  A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption_ by Laura Hillenbrand. I wrote about it and then I even wrote a brief about it, which was published on Amazon.

So, when I heard that the film was being made, I was quite excited about it as it’s such a great story.

Last weekend, I made M go see it with me, but I’m afraid I was sadly disappointed. M had never read the book, but came out saying “It was just missing something, wasn’t it?”. My response was, “Yeah, like 2/3 of the book!”.

There’s so much of the story that is interwoven and necessary that I can imagine it was quite hard for Angelina Jolie to pick out the pieces to adequately tell the story. The parts that were taken in entirety were well-done; however, there just weren’t enough and perhaps not enough time to do it justice.

In any case, it’s a decent film – though quite PG for a story that is graphically disturbing. I’d say it’s okay to see it with teenagers and to draw interest in the story. However, if you haven’t read the book – read it after you’ve seen the movie. Yes, this is advice contrary to my usual recommendation. In this case, reading the book before the movie just sets you up for grave disappointment…. :*(

More to come,

-T

 Posted by at 18:25
Jan 082015
 

Well, today is the last weekday of holidays with nothing left but an ordinary weekend separating me from the ‘real’ world again. :(

In the past three weeks, I had grand plans to be productive, but instead I relaxed and had a lot of fun. So much fun, in fact, that I could see myself never going back to work and truly never being bored. When I was younger and worked from home, I thought that I would never like it again; however, now that I am older and more anti-social anyway, it really doesn’t seem to bother me to be at home all the time. Of course, I would like to have a group of ladies-who-lunch now and then so that I didn’t become completely isolated… ;)

Still, it is time to get my head back into things. One of the reasons why I haven’t been keeping up with my postings and writing is due to not being where my computer is. However, this week I fixed that! I have a new ‘temporary’ office setup.

My lil' home office

It’s not much at the moment, but maybe this weekend I will get a proper desk… :D For now, it does the job! So, first steps taken to reaching goals – off to a good start!!!

More to come,

-T :D

 Posted by at 18:00
Jan 052015
 

Today was my first day of the new year on my own; and it has been much needed. While I dearly love my friends and BF, the extreme introvert in me has been in serious need of refilling my energy basket.

So I took some time to reflect and set some goals for the upcoming year…we shall see how it goes!

*I will finish the PhD at last!
*I will sort out my finances finally and get myself on the savings path toward my condo in Hawaii.
*I will change my job whether at the same university or another one in the area – I am signing a new contract, but it is a means to hopefully changing to a different department, which I should know more about in the spring.
*I will be more consistent with a schedule to ensure a balance with love, life and sanity!
*I will get back into coaching to keep up my skills and continue the pursuit of my life purpose to be the spirit that inspires others to reach their full potential.
*I will be very selective about how and with whom I spend my time so that my energy basket never goes below 1/4 full. Should I get dangerously close to that I will take a weekend to myself somewhere to refill completely. (Gotta be sure to take care of me!)
*I will love openly and completely.

And I will get back to writing and blogging more regularly but maybe not everyday as before. Still gotta work out a reasonable schedule for that, but I will get back to it as there is a lot to write about!

That’s my upcoming year! I hope to “Secret” it all into reality!!!

All the best always,

-T

 Posted by at 12:22
Jan 012015
 

I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus from blogging and lost my somewhat systematic method of posting for the latter half of the year. However, with a new year comes new goals and a reassessment of life’s proceedings.

So, as I start to settle in to the new year and start to lay down my goals for the next year I am going to be putting my blogging back at the top of my priority list!

Stay tuned for more to come.

-T
:D

 Posted by at 19:17
Nov 272014
 

Amidst my general unhappiness with the job at the moment, I do know that there is much to be thankful for and so here is my gratitude list in honor of Thanksgiving.

*12 days of teaching left
*I am able to go to Beirut next Monday evening for four days.
*I have a wonderful man in my life
*My best friend is better than anyone else’s best friend by far and away! :D
*My friends give me great joy, love and support
*My family is my rock and security <3
*I have a job
*I am healthy – physically and mostly mentally
*I have a lot of freedom in my life

So, even though I might like to complain or feel as if the world is not going according to my plan, I really have nothing at all to complain about. Life is truly good and I need to always count my blessings each and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

-T :D

 Posted by at 13:19