2016 Year in Review

As I said in one of my other posts, this was a rough year personally. But there were lots of good things that happened, and frankly, more of them than I had realized. Here’s what I wrote on Facebook.

I’ve written and erased various posts about how tough a year 2016 was. It’s hard to figure out a balance between giving those things a proper weight and not letting them overtake you. In any case, my lovely friends and family were the best part of 2016. I’m very grateful for those who gave me vet advice and moral support when Willow was so sick, for those who were there for me when I was sad, for the ones who make me laugh and enjoy being in my office every day, for the ones who love JWST as much as I do and with whom it’s a pleasure to work, and for those faraway that I don’t see very often.

I was lucky enough to get the chance to reconnect with friends I haven’t seen in person in years, including my very oldest friend, friends I haven’t seen since high school graduation, DragonCon friends, musician friends, and a former intern who has gone on to an amazing career. And I met a whole bunch of new people! When I remember all these things, 2016 doesn’t seem so bad.

So, friends, Doug, work, and the fact that Willow is still with us after nearly dying last winter. I’ve already posted about costume events, and food, so here’s everything else!

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I wrote a bunch of Norway Traveller guest blogs:

Fjord trip:
http://norwaytraveller.com/fjord-norway-road-trip/

Finnmark:
Part 1: http://norwaytraveller.com/finnmark-tour-alta/
Part 2: http://norwaytraveller.com/finnmark-tour-hammerfest/
Part 3: http://norwaytraveller.com/finnmark-tour-berlevag/

My story was published in this anthology!
https://www.amazon.com/Young-Explorers-Adventure-Guide-Guides/dp/1940924219/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483334908&sr=8-1&keywords=2017+young+explorer%27s+adventure+guide

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My oldest friend, whom I have known since we were babies, spent part of her year (and part of last) in DC for work, so we got the chance to have dinner a bunch of times and reconnect.

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Cool people I met – Dave “Bio” Baranak, an F-14 pilot who advised for Top Gun, Bob Picardo (Star Trek Voyager), Bill Nye the Science Guy), Prudence Farrow (John wrote Dear Prudence for her), Rod Rodenberry (Gene’s son), authors Beth Revis (we have a mutual friend), Renee Ahdieh, and Megan Miranda.

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My work friends were awesome, and there was often coffee and donuts/cake/beignets, and lots of shenanigans, some of which included:

Fake Alex:
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Fake Dave:
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Plant Dave:
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Alex’s tower of breakables:
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Which is apparently a thing he thought was a good idea more than once:
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Joe and I adding a book a day to Alex’s monitor:
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Fav new recipe this year – this biscuit and berry cobbler:

Wine Country Wild Berry Cobbler November 2012

Fav new show – Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. I have watched S1 multiple times. It’s everything.

Seeing JWST’s mirror for the first time.
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A friend took this one of me
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Seeing them upright right in front of me for the first time.
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I got to see it rotate another time too, which was amazing.

A video posted by Maggie (@lovelyrita_mm) on

Showing them off to a whole slew of people over the year.

Angela and Bethany:
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Diane and Deanna, artist friend Dane (I was lame and forgot a selfie both times), and some of the other cool people I met this year that I mentioned earlier.

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The Schoellners:
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High school friend Nina and Family:
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High school friends Lee & son and Kristie:
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Stephanie and Mat:
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I saw my musician friend Jeff from Box Set for the first time in 15 years and met the rest of his band too!
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My friend, retired physics prof Jerry:
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And of course Doug!
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Disney in April for Flower & Garden & Food:
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Disney for one night in July:
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Disney for Food & Wine in September:
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Abbey Road on the River, which was awesome this year:
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Hanging out with Janine and seeing retired astronaut Pam Melroy again at a Women in Aerospace meeting:
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AwesomeCon – our JWST panel, plus hanging out with Gloria in our long-planned League of Our Own costumes:
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Katie’s Wedding
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Rock Hall! (And John Lennon’s Epiphone Casino!)
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Baby sea turtle rescue in Florida:
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Pokemon was a thing!
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Because of it, we discovered a lot of local parks, which was really cool. A few of them include:

Allen Pond
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Buddy Attic Park
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Watkins Park
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Lake Artemesia
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We saw Paul McCartney:
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Brookside Gardens:
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Glendending Nature Preserve Butterfly Garden
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Ari Hest at The Woodshop:
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He played my request!

Box Set:
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My band had a gig!
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Saw my parents a bunch of times for seafood!
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We had a really amazing media day for JWST:
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The telescope was magnificently lit and you could see yourself in it.
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Followed by my pet project, an artist event! I thought it would be fun to have people who maybe wouldn’t normally follow us come see our visually stunning telescope and create in front of it, with hopes to do an exhibit of the art in the spring. It went so so well, and it’s one of the best things I did this year. (It was also partially inspired by meeting artist Dane at AwesomeCon – after giving him a tour, he created JWST art, and I thought it would be so cool to have lots of artists do representations of JWST in their own styles!)

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An intern I had in 2009, who did the art for two games I designed, came to the art social and helped out with the day. We had a lovely time catching up since it’d been years since we’d seen each other. And we had a lovely day in DC the next day, with lots of good food, Pokemon hunting, and museums.
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Doug and I checked out this replica Spanish galleon in Alexandria:
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We were also able to catch a night of the Washington International Horse Show with Mike & Gloria:
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And lastly, some lovely sunsets and a rainbow!

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