I've found some extremely helpful discussion groups on Flikr regarding my choice of camera and all the clicks and whistles that go along with it. Something that's been pretty wonderful is the advice that I can convert four of my older lenses to work perfectly with my new camera. Reading through everything I'm realizing that the lenses I have are pretty great. People have entire groups dedicated to posting shots they're taking with lenses I just happened to inherit and have in my possession for most of my life. sweet.
I'm hoping a few things arrive today - my Unofficial Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook, my nomination and medical paperwork (my insurance runs out in a month!), my 24mm f/2.8 lens, and an email back from a guy who does AI conversions for older Nikkor lenses. I need to get my medical clearance asap since I'm leaving so soon! Right now all I know is that I'll go sometime in February, but really that's only six months away, which will fly by. I've been thinking about my dog a lot. I think she's going to be the thing/person that's hardest for me to leave; this dog and I have a very special relationship. The dog I grew up with had to be put to sleep in 2006 (I'd had her since 1992) and it was possibly the hardest decision I'd ever had to make and follow through with. It broke my heart and I get teary eyed to this day thinking about her. Anyway, ten months later my mom knocked on my door and handed me a tiny puppy. Scarlet. It took us a while to warm up to one another, she was a little depressed not being around her litter-mates and I was reminded of the dog I'd had to say goodbye to. Eventually we realized that we needed each other, and have been inseparable ever since. This past summer I stayed in South Carolina for a month and a half and Scarlet of course came with me. Long story short my cousin's dog took issue with Scarlet being so precocious around her food and "attacked". We weren't standing in the room with them so we don't know exactly what happened, but it ended with Scarlet's eye being pulled/popped out and we rushed her to the vet ER. She was put through surgery and had her eye sewn shut for a few weeks, but she ended up making a full recovery. I still think that the left eye is a little bigger than the right one and maybe will always be out a little further, but she's alive and can see. Taking care of her and worrying about her has made it that much harder for me to think about leaving her behind for two years (and no, I can't take her with me, nor would I want to... the margin of error is so much smaller in a developing country with the lack of vet care and just the impracticality of trying to travel around the world with a dog... really? please.)
The original point of this post was an idea, one that I've seen a few places on Flickr - a 365 day photographic journey that will start September 1, 2010 and go through September 1, 2011. I'll take at LEAST one picture every day and post them here or on my Flickr account, possibly as part of one of those already established. Knowing that half my time in the next year will be spent in situations that I have NO grasp of right now, I will most likely not be able to post the pictures daily, but I'm definitely going to try to shoot every day. I just invested an ungodly amount of money in a camera and it would be ridiculous not to use it as much as I can.
Oooohhhh... the mail just arrived! Unofficial Volunteer hand book got here, but no nomination yet. UPS tracking says my lens is on the truck for delivery and that my camera will be here tomorrow. I'm off to read & do some financial nonsense.