Friday, December 31, 2004

Edinburgh, Scotland

hey everyone! I just got back from Edinburgh, Scotland as part of my UK trip. here's what has happened so far: monday afternoon I left LA (my plane was delayed an hour because the plane before us was late due to bad head winds, luckily this meant that our flight would be an hour shorter) and arrived in London around noon on Tuesday. I met James at the airport, and we headed back to the apartment to drop off my stuff and then went right to the train station (King's Cross) to jump on a four and a half hour train ride up to Edinburgh, Scotland. I was really really exhausted from traveling so much, and had a bit of a stomach thing, so I didn't do too much the following day. But yesterday, I was feeling better and had a look around the city. Edinburgh is famous for this huge castle. it was really cool actually. I took lots of pictures and all that, so you can all see the wonderfulness later on. there were also lots of kilts and bagpipes all over the place which was pretty amusing and annoying, respectively. now, I am back in London and setting out to do some more exploring with James and Stewart. I'll update again soon! Happy New Year's Eve!

Sunday, December 26, 2004

merry christmas!

well, another christmas has come and gone. and this one was one of the better ones I've had in recent memory. usually christmas is not such a fun day since I have to spend most of it traveling from one parent's house to the other and I usually end up having an argument with at least one of them over something stupid. however, this year there were no arguments and the drive wasn't so bad because it was a beautiful southern california morning and part of the drive was along the santa barbara coastline which was absolutely amazing. also, in addition to getting some nice clothes and shoes and cds, I also got the new bose sound dock for my ipod! how exciting is that? I can't wait to get back to arizona to try it out. it's going to be awesome. thanks santa!

christmas day also included watching two very important movies. the first was A Christmas Storywhich is one of the funniest christmas movies ever made. I watch it every year (thanks to tbs's 24 hour marathon) and it still cracks me up. "you'll shoot your eye out!" and all that. I ended the day watching one of my favorite movies of all time, It's a Wonderful Life. it always gets to me. it's such a great film. jimmy stewart is really amazing in it. "remember, no man is a failure who has friends".

so, to all my friends out there, I hope you have a merry christmas (or chrismahanakwanzaka as the case may be) and a wonderful new year.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

christmas shopping

I think that I have set a new record for myself. I have been to the mall every single day this week since I arrived back home. I think this proves once and for all two things: 1) I procrastinate at everything, even christmas shopping and 2) there is nothing else to do in the san fernando valley but go to the mall. but at least I think that now I've gotten everything I need to get. now I just need to wrap everything. and, of course, I left the wrapping paper that I bought in arizona, so I have to use my mom's. oh well.

I have finally caught up on my sleep. yay! it only took a week. I will destroy it again when I leave for London on monday, but whatever. it was nice while it lasted. my plan to avoid jet lag: to sleep only 2 or 3 hours on the plane, stay up all the next day and go to bed at the correct time. it worked last time, so hopefully I can do it again.

the fantastic news of the week: they have announced the date for the next harry potter book! I am sooo excited. can't wait for July.

the other nice thing about winter break is that I have been able to catch up with some people that I haven't talked to or seen in a while. sunday I had lunch and went shopping with marla. she told me a whole bunch of stories from her adventures as a middle school teacher in south central l.a. (courtesy of teach for america). sooo crazy. big props to marla and the other teachers there. I also talked with mike ficken online for a while the other night (glad to hear he survived law school) and I am going to hang out with laura tonight and carolyn on sunday (hopefully).

Saturday, December 18, 2004

LA woman

so I'm back in LA. I had a really interesting flight. I think that my pilot was new or something because it was one of the worst flown flights I have ever been on. and it wasn't turbulence (although we did have some of that in the middle of the flight). during take-off it was incredibly jerky and haphazard and during landing it was almost worse. he came in waayy too fast and we landed really hard and at the wrong angle. *sigh* what can you do? whatever, at least it was a short flight and we got in a little bit early (although my brother was not early to come pick me up, so I had to wait a while anyway). so, now I'm at home for a little over a week. today I slept in quite a bit, had some in-n-out burgers with my brother and just did a whole lot of nothing. it was nice.

to recap arizona since end of finals: wednesday I slept. then me, adam, katie, angel, oscar, and tedman went out to dinner at the macaroni grill. and all I can say are these two things: my dinner was amazingly good (they had this fabulous deal for a salad, the penne rustica, and half a piece of tiramisu for only $13. I mean, you can't pass that up) and that adam should not have long island iced teas when he hasn't eaten anything in a while. it was hilarious, a very memorable dinner for sure. that, and we had a new waitress and the guy training her was pretty funny too (it seemed like he was hitting on us, but who knows?). ah, so that was nice. after dinner, we had to take angel to the airport, and just outside my apartment complex, katie got into a tiny little accident unfortunately. the other car totally sped off, they were probably uninsured or something, so that put a bit of a damper on the evening. but we all got to the airport eventually and bid fareful to angel.
thursday morning katie and I managed to convince adam to drive us to ikea (since her car was sadly out of commission, making some kind of funny noise) so katie could get some christmas presents. after that, she left for the airport and I spent the rest of the day watching movies and taking a nap. friday I cleaned my apartment and packed for winter break.
and now I'm back here. tomorrow hopefully I'll get to hang out with marla for a bit and maybe do some shopping.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


i'm done! done! done! the semester is finally over. I thought this would never come. the last week has been absolutely horrendous, but somehow I survived. I am sooo looking forward to this break. I need it so badly. school is ridiculously stressful and it the semester was just getting crazier and crazier.

now I have a couple more days here in Arizona and then friday I fly out to los angeles for the week to do my christmas shopping and see my family. after christmas, I'm going to London for a week and a half (and hopefully Scotland for a couple days). then, I'll be back here to watch my mom run another marathon and then maybe San Diego for a few days before school starts again on january 18th. we'll see what happens. mostly, I'm just looking forward to sleeping in, reading some non-school books, and having some fun.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

this is getting ridiculous

my professors are insane! there's no other explanation for it! I slept only two hours monday night and four hours tuesday night. I have another assignment due tomorrow (luckily not in the morning) and have to study all weekend for a midterm next tuesday. oh yes, you read that correctly, we have a midterm on the last day of class, with the final less than a week after that. hmm, interesting. argh! and yesterday, one of our professors made us come to an extra lecture, which he said would only be one hour but ended up being almost an hour and a half, making me almost late to my other class which I had to do a presentation in. our other professor has been consistently running about 15-20 minutes late after every class. soo annoying. it's like, it's not our fault you can't finish everything you were supposed to in the allotted time.

anyway, today is much better than yesterday since I actually slept last night and managed to do all of my laundry. yay for that.

in other news, ken jennings, the jeopardy god, finally lost on tuesday. and I couldn't watch it because I was at school being studious. argh. I have been trying to find the entire video clip online but I can only find the audio for final jeopardy (I love how the audience gasps. that's awesome). but anyway, it will be nice to see someone else winning on the show, even if he was amazing. it's also nice that a woman beat him. hehe. yay! and he will never forget h&r block again.

t minus two weeks till the end of the semester and the beginning of me regaining sanity.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

happy thanksgiving!

happy thanksgiving everyone! I'm at home in los angeles for the rest of the week. I flew in very very early yesterday (my flight left at 6am pst - eww). yesterday, after taking a nap, I hung out with my mom for a bit and then just kind of did nothing the rest of the day. we went out to dinner and then watched west wing (supposedly my mom's favorite show which is weird because she slept through most of it and because she would probably never vote for president bartlett - but whatever. I would). I slept in a bit this morning, watched the end of the macy's thanksgiving parade and then got stuff ready to go to my aunt and uncle's house for the big dinner. almost everyone in the family was there which was nice, especially my little cousins whom I don't see very often and who are growing up so fast. my littlest cousin just started talking and walking. he's sooo cute! anyway, I spent most of the evening telling everyone how much school sucks and that I'm going to London after christmas and trying to avoid any conversations about politics (my family is predominantly republican and crazy). so it all went pretty well. I had lots and lots of food, didn't watch any football (yay) and had a pretty good time. now, full of turkey and triptophan, I am off for a long sleep, which I am very thankful for.

things I am thankful for: my friends and family and our health, really bad physics jokes, easy mac, my ipod, and rainy days when I'm stuck inside with a mug of hot chocolate.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

another long week, but with a good ending

whoever thought of the semester system needs to be shot. I am exhausted. if I was still on quarters, I would be two weeks into my winter break by now. and it sucks even more because everyone else is used to this 15 week marathon. (but, me thinks that they wouldn't be able to handle winter and spring. muahaha). anyway, I can't wait for the thanksgiving holiday this week. tomorrow I will be up all night doing homework, but I will get to sleep on wednesday after my early morning flight to los angeles to my mom's house. then on thursday I can eat lots of food and sleep all day friday. and then maybe go shopping on saturday or something. then I can work on some more homework, sleep, do homework, and then come back here on monday evening. we'll see what really happens.

so, as for last week, I barely made it through. kept sleeping through my alarm in the morning (which hopefully I won't do tomorrow because I will still be awake) which is not so good. last sunday I was up until 9am and then the following night slept 12 hours, tuesday I slept 3 hours and then 12 on wednesday night. what a mess I am. I need a vacation.

friday was nice because I went to rubio's for dinner with adam and angel and then went to trader joe's which I hadn't been to since I left san diego. adam and angel were excited about it as well, so I think I'll be able to hitch a ride with them again to get more groceries from there. after that, adam and I went to see "finding neverland" starring johnny depp which was really good (and not just because johnny depp is amazing). so that was nice. after that, katie persuaded me to go to this spanish restaurant to go salsa dancing with her and alec and angel. we had lots of sangria and had lots of fun. we definitely want to go back sometime for some yummy tapas for dinner (when we actually have money).

saturday I spent the afternoon with my aunt who lives in phoenix and we took a trip to ikea (she hadn't been yet). so that was lots of fun. it was much more relaxed than the time I went last week (but not much less crowded). I ended up buying the dining room table that I was looking at last time (and cute red cushions for my chairs and a matching oven mitt. hehe). so that was fun. after that, katie and I went grocery shopping and I decided to have a couple people over for dinner to christen the new dining table. I made a nice pasta dinner, complete with caesar salad, garlic bread, and some red wine. katie also made brownies which capped off a lovely evening. I showed everyone how the magic table could double its size by folding and twisting the table top, which definitely impressed everyone. yay for ikea.

the dining table's inaugural dinner! alec, katie, angel, and adam were in attendance

another view of the lovely dinner I made (and another view of the magic table)

Friday, November 12, 2004

"it's getting better all the time"

what week it has been. I think today things are finally looking up again. I had a not-so-great weekend (except for a few isolated nice incidents). friday night was nice because alec had a bunch of the grad students over to his aunt's house and she made us a real dinner. it was really good. ever since a week and a half ago (around halloween) I have been having lots of trouble sleeping. I think I have some kind of insomnia or something. it's not good, whatever it is. I can only sleep about 4 hours a night, and even that is difficult to get all at once. I don't know what the problem is. even when I'm tired (like on sunday after my soccer game) it is difficult to fall asleep. anyway, so the weekend was pretty much spent trying to figure out how to be not tired any more, which meant a lot of reading and watching tv (and working on my research project of course). the soccer game on sunday went alright. we tired 0-0 which was a bit disappointing for me. our forwards are not working hard enough and just can't score. it's frustrating since I play defense and don't have much of a say about how many goals we score (just about how many the other team scores). anyway, I still couldn't sleep and therefore slept through my alarm on monday. luckily, because of veteran's day today, all of my sections to teach were cancelled this week, so I didn't miss anything (although I wouldn't have missed that, but whatever). monday night I still couldn't sleep to save my life. I think I got about 3 hours in between 4 and 7 am. tuesday night was almost worse. I was exhausted when I got and fell asleep at 9pm, which is basically unheard of in my world. unfortunately, when I woke up and looked at the clock, it was only 1am. I found stuff to do for a few more hours until I was sort of tired again and got a bit more sleep around 5am. I think I managed almost 8 hours that night, although it wasn't all at once. things started looking a bit better on wednesday because that was the day of the grand opening of the new ikea store here in tempe. I absolutely love ikea and was very excited about having one close by again. so, me and jen and angel went over there around 2pm and battled through the crowds (and the parking mess). it was pretty crowded, but not too horrible. unfortunately, jen and I had class at 4:40 so we kind of had to rush it in order to get back to school in time. we didn't really get to fully take in the wonderfulness of ikea, but at least we could say that we were there on opening day (and we got free ikea key chains that are also a measuring tape. hehe). after class, I came home and wasn't quite tired enough to sleep. so I watched some tv and then katie called and wanted to rent a movie. so, me, katie and angel rented eurotrip and watched it over at her house (after doing a small bit of impromptu grocery shopping). when I got home after that, I crashed on my bed and got a full seven hours of sleep. yay! I was so excited when I woke up this morning. well, that and the fact that katie wanted to go to ikea, so headed back there around noon. because we didn't have classes today and because our mechanics homework assignment got pushed back to monday, we had the whole day free to enjoy. so, we ended up spending about 4 and a half hours at ikea. the parking was absolutely horrendous. and it was even more crowded than yesterday. but we still managed to get a lot of good stuff (and big wish lists of what to get next time) and had lots of swedish meatballs. oh yum. today I finished the day off with soccer practice and some mint chocolate ice cream. things are definitely looking better. (oh, that and I am seriously considering going to london for a week after the semester ends. what do you think?)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


wow. so I guess the first thing to say is that I'm really depressed. although I guess I would say I'm not surprised or shocked by the outcome of the presidential election today, I really didn't think it would happen. I suppose that I overestimated the intelligence of the american people, but it's still not good whatever the reason. last night I was up until about 12:30, glued to cnn, hoping against hope that things would turn towards kerry. but of course, it got close, but just didn't make it. what surprised me, though, was how much bush won the popular vote by. actually, I guess I should scare, that's what scared me. because this means that his presidency and the last four years and all his mistakes and blunders and bad judgement have been validated. the world can no longer assume that it was just a fluke and we didn't know what we were getting ourselves into four years ago. but now we know and there's no excuse. if the world hated us before, I can only see it getting worse.

and not only did we re-elect the moron, but 11 states passed initiatives to ban same-sex marriage, many denying same-sex couples even a civil union. this depresses me too. some of them were passed with a huge majority. how is it possible that so many people are prejudiced and arrogant and homophobic? it just makes me sad. everyone should be allowed to have the same rights, no matter who they happen to spend their life with.

here's an interesting editorial that a friend sent to me:

the other thing that I am really pissed about is what happened to me when I went to vote yesterday. I had to wait about an hour or so to vote, which wasn't so bad. I was expecting a wait, so that wasn't a big deal. however, when I got up to the table, my name was not on their list of registered voters. I registered to vote here in arizona well before the deadline. I have my receipt and everything, which I showed them. but, regardless, my name wasn't on the list, so I had to fill out a provisional ballot (which isn't such a huge deal or whatever because my vote doesn't really matter in arizona too much anyway). anyway, I was upset. and here's why: I registered on campus from some guy that had a table set up and had been registering people for a couple weeks or so. two of my friends also registered at the same time. neither of them put down a party preference when they registered. I did (as a democrat). both of them received their voter registration cards and sample ballots last week, about when we were expecting them. when they looked at them, they had been registered as republicans. I never received mine at all. although there is no conclusive evidence, it is extremely strange and suspicious. I'm sure I'm not the only one that this happened to, either.

our nation is definitely polarized. it's almost as if we are living in two different countries. and I don't know how to repair the damage. but I do know that there is no way that bush will be able to do it.

but yay for obama. I have a sliver of hope left.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004


so it's 3am and I can't sleep. I don't know why. but it's really annoying. I only got about 4.5 hours of sleep last night due to me being up until 4am working on homework. sigh, isn't grad school wonderful? so, I was sure that tonight I would be super tired and be able to fall asleep at a normal hour (say, midnight). however, I am not tired and therefore cannot sleep. I tried watching tv since there was a west wing marathon on, but unforunately the episodes that were on at the time were the re-election ones so I started thinking more about election day (today now) and all that and so that didn't make me tired, just nervous. although I don't think that is the reason for me not being able to sleep. it might have something to do with james, but I doubt that as well, even though I miss him a lot, I have a better idea of when I will be seeing him again, so that is helpful (even if it is a few weeks later than we originally thought). it's not school stuff, since I don't have anything due this week (some kind of miracle occured. I think it has something to do with hell freezing over after the red sox won the world series). so, I really have no idea why I can't sleep and the fact that I don't know why is making me more unable to sleep I believe. le sigh. ok, maybe I'll try reading. that might help.

and for goodness sakes, don't forget to vote today! (and with your brain, preferably)

oh, and days 10 and 11 are posted on my travelogue (link to the left)

Monday, November 01, 2004


saturday night, brian and steve had a halloween party at their house. a good time was had by all. here are some highlights in pictures:

katie, the disco queen and me, marilyn monroe

katie and angel, dressed as her baby grape (long story, don't ask)

the hamburglar (steve) plays beer pong (and quite well, I might add)

katie and alec

alec and tedman, in tedman's signature look

macbeth and his lady

katie and brian after the wrestling match

brian as a ma-na-ma-na man (or something like that)

Sunday, October 24, 2004

out on the town

so last friday, me and a bunch of the other physics grad students went out on the town to de-stress from the week of midterm hell. we started off at dos gringos, a place trying to be like the fun mexican bars south of the border (except for being clean and more expensive). unfortunately, one of our friends, angel, is from puerto rico and hasn't gotten an arizona id card yet, so they wouldn't let him in. it's such a stupid thing, because he's a u.s. citizen and all that and just because his id is different they won't let him in. sooo dumb. so anyway, we left that place and headed over to mill avenue so we could all hang out together. the first place we went to there also wouldn't let him in, so we were starting to get really annoyed (at the stupid people, not angel). he wanted to just leave so we could go in, but we wouldn't let him. next we tried the sushi restaurant/bar and they wouldn't let him in at first either. but then something happened, and they changed their mind. thank goodness. so we all found a table in the back and ordered our sake bombs. and a good time was had by all. here are some pictures from the evening:

clockwise from left: katie, oscar, angel, tedman, steve, keeley, alec, and seth (well, the back of seth's head anyway)

me and katie

me and angel (don't worry, james, nothing is going on here. hehe. i miss you!)

katie and alec

adam not being drunk. someone earlier in the day said adam was like a quantum state: he was either drunk or not drunk. (haha. physics joke. sorry guys.)

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

reverse the curse

wow, what an exciting and interesting game six. curt schilling rocks. I am so excited for the red sox. they actually might pull it off and get to the world series this year. we'll see what happens tomorrow night. I should be able to catch the last half of the game after my late class. reverse the curse! this is the year!

in other news, jon stewart is my hero. he went on crossfire last friday and totally kicked tucker's ass. it was awesome. you can watch the clip here:
so great. then, last night on the daily show, he continued to make fun of them when discussing what happened when he went on the show and such. it just gets better and better.

I figured out how to do international text messaging today, so hopefully it works. keep your fingers crossed. modern technology is only great when it works correctly.

yesterday I turned in my e&m midterm which I spent all weekend working on (literally, I was working on it all weekend. my life sucks). by some act of god, I have nothing else due this week (except reading articles for tomorrow night), so I'm excited because I should be able to get a normal amount of sleep starting tomorrow night all the way through early next week. sooo happy. it's scary that little things like that make such a difference.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

the debate comes to ASU!

well, today was definitely not an ordinary day at ASU. the third and final presidential debate was held on our campus. some classes were cancelled, others were moved, but most were just poorly attended. luckily, since I ride my bike, the road closures and parking lot closures did not affect my trip to school. but, basically, it was impossible to get to campus if you didn't walk or ride your bike there. after I finished teaching my classes, I wandered over to the student union and basked in the glory of the craziness and chaos that was unfolding there. there were lots of kerry supporters, lots of bush supporters (less than the kerry supporters, though), and also lots of people who were just using the excuse of the debate to be funny, annoying, or just weird.
the media were swarming everywhere; it seemed like cnn was campaigning for something, although I'm not sure what. we saw lots of great signs throughout the day. some of my favorites that I didn't get pictures of: "promote abstinence in 2004: no bush, no dick" and "save the environment: plant a bush back in texas". and then there was also the yelling match over at the bush booth. apparently some republicans are really angry about something. it was hilarious.
so, here's my photo journal of the day. enjoy the insanity.

some signs outside the MSNBC stage where they were broadcasting live (I saw chris matthews last night).

the lawn by the library where the CNN stage was set up.

some people had really really big signs, fighting for space behind wolf blitzer.

here's wolf blitzer reporting live from asu. does anyone else think it's weird that he has a teleprompter to do an interview? (one of my favorite protesters of the day was over here, he was saying, "dan rather should be fired. wolf blitzer is the best reporter ever." it sounded like he wanted to marry wolf or something. it was pretty funny).

this guy gets the award for most inventive way of getting your sign seen.

although it seemed like everyone had either a kerry or a bush sign, there were some people that didn't...

taping some show for MSNBC. they were interviewing some students on their views about the candidates. it wasn't that exciting.

the campus was overridden with media people. they were everywhere.

the award for cleverest sign.

the republicans were getting really angry with a couple people and started full out yelling at them. it was really amusing.
at one point, the bush people started yelling "four more years", so the kerry people responded with "three more weeks". that was nice, even if it will be longer than three weeks even if kerry wins.

traffic was an absolute mess. they had to close a bunch of streets. it was a big big mess. a lot of my students didn't even make it into class.

kerry's supporters were lined up all along the street leading up to the auditorium where the debate was held. we were waiting to wave to him as he drove by on his way there and wish him good luck.

i saw john kerry! in the window you can see him giving us the thumbs up sign. sorry i couldn't get a better shot.

so, after the kerry sighting, I had to go to class (that was moved off campus because the debate closed the building we usually have it in). luckily class ended early so I was able to watch at least the last half of the debate. I think it went pretty well. go kerry!

Friday, October 08, 2004

the debate part deux

wow, what an interesting debate. I guess I wasn't expecting it to be that entertaining. bush is so hilarious. I really am scared that he is our president. oh goodness. who knows if kerry will actually "win" the debate or whatever, but that doesn't matter. I think most of the people that actually watched the debate with even a somewhat open mind will see what is really going on. at one point, bush actually totally interrupted and yelled at the moderator. I was talking to a couple people online during the debate and we all agreed we wouldn't have been surprised if they had started wrestling around that point.
anyway, on another note, next wednesday will be very exciting since the third and final presidential debate is going to be held at arizona state university. our whole school is starting to go crazy, with parking lots getting shut down, certain classes being cancelled or moved and just a general sort of feeling of excitement in the air. I can't wait to see what happens.
days 8 and 9 have been posted up on my travelogue. sorry it's taking so long. I barely have time to sleep and do all of my homework as it is. maybe I'll get some more done this weekend.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

black and blue

today was an interesting day. I had to teach four sections and those were just a mixture of insanity and boredom. we went over the midterm that they just got back, and some people were just outraged at their grades. other people it seemed could care less. it's weird, it seems like each of my sections has a different personality. for instance, one class is always talking and asking questions and contributing in class, while another one just sits there and stares at me blankly for 50 minutes. I have no idea how that happened. it's very weird.
anyway, the classes went relatively well, except each class kept asking me what was wrong with my arm and I had to explain how some guy elbowed me during my soccer game on sunday and left me with the hugest ugliest bruise ever. it is the size of my fist, and is turning wonderful shades of blue, purple, red, and yellow. at least it doesn't hurt as much today. monday was pretty painful. the worst part about it, though, is not that I have the bruise, but that they didn't call the foul during the game! argh. sooo annoying. and we only tied (although we were totally dominating; we should have won). oh well. next time, no mercy.

on a sadder note, one of my good friends from high school's dad just died. the weird part is that I read about it on the reason is that her father was one of the original mercury 7 astronauts. it was really cool in high school because he used to come to our soccer games and watch. they also had lots of awesome pictures in their house; pictures of him with important people and cool space pictures and things like that.

in other news, I got a wonderful email this morning which just made my day. :)

Friday, October 01, 2004

colloquim and karaoke at the vine

today (thursday - ok, technically yesterday since it's 1:30am) was such an interesting day.
it started off alright, since I got 8 hours of sleep last night, something that has not happened in a while. yesterday, after being on campus for 13 hours and doing an awesome job on my presentation, I came home and just vegged out in front of the tv. I got to bed early and slept really well. I was exhausted. classes today were sort of eh, but whatever, I try not to expect too much from them except to be something to complain about. anyway, after our last class, we were trying to decide if we all wanted to go to the weekly colloquim or not. the topic sounded kind of boring (some kind of biophysics thing about molecules) and we all had homework and other better things to do. but, the free food called us, and we ended up going. most of us brought something else to do during it, so that helped. luckily, we got there early enough to get seats in the back row (the very best place to be, especially if you don't plan on playing attention). however, this colloquim was different from all the other ones we had been to. it was hilarious. and not intentionally. that was why it was so funny. I think only the first and second year grad students sitting in the back were getting all the innuendoes, but it was hilarious to us. we had to contain our laughter. it started off talking about scruin, which is some kind of protein extracted from the sperm cells of horseshoe crabs apparently. however, every time the speaker said scruin we heard him say "screwing" and it just cracked us up for some reason. it didn't help that he had graphs about how to increase stiffness and the length of floppiness and things like that. it was all we could do to be quiet. now, maybe we were being immature, but whatever, it was hilarious and helped us get through the hour of usual boredom.

thursday night me, katie, adam, angel, and hwi went to the vine near campus for karaoke night. katie and I had been talking about going to someplace for karaoke for a while, so we figured we finally might actually do it. adam started us off with pearl jam's "jeremy" (very good) and then hwi did a great job of eric carmen's "all by myself". she actually hit all the notes and everything. it was awesome. katie and I took a while to pick the perfect song and then the guy in charge ended up losing our slip of paper, so we didn't get to actually go on until right before we were ready to leave. but, we still got our song in: journey's "don't stop believing". it was great, if I do say so myself. it's a good karaoke song, and everyone in the place got into it. we couldn't convince angel to sing, but hopefully next time he'll get the courage to do it.

Monday, September 27, 2004

sore and tired, but happy

it was a very tiring weekend. well, sort of. I decided that friday would be my weekend, so I slept in and then met up with some of the astronomy people at the vine for happy hour after I had slacked off at home for a while. then I went to the "open house" and looked at some stars for an hour or so.
saturday I went into the office and did homework for about six hours. I got so much done! go me! that night, adam and angel and I went to see garden state. it was sooo good. I am mad that I waited so long to see it. I'm dumb like that. I wanted to see it since it came out (well, actually since I saw the trailer many months ago), but like everything else, I procrastinated for a while. anyway, it was exactly what I needed: to get away from reality for a while and just not think about everything else that is going on. I am stressed out to the max with homework and projects and teaching and everything at school. I always have so much to do it is ridiculous. on an average day, I am at school for anywhere between 10 and 14 hours. that sucks. oh well. I guess it will all be worth it (plus, apparently next year will be a lot better).
sunday I slept in a bit longer than I wanted to and didn't really get much done before my soccer game. we had our first real game on sunday and even though it was at 4pm and therefore still really hot outside and none of the girls had any subs, we still won 3-1. brilliant! (our team's name is brilliant! - have you seen those new guinness commercials? yeah exactly). so that was cool. lots of fun, however I am crazy sore today and will probably be worse tomorrow.
today I got in early to turn in some homework and then did more work. ugh. the good news though: we had some homework that was going to be due on thursday, but it was moved to next tuesday. thank goodness; I will be able to sleep this week! when I got home, I made brownies. oh, they are soo yummy. they are the ones that have the dark chocolate syrup in them. oh, perfection.

right now, I'm listening to the garden state soundtrack. it is really good, just like the movie. there is this one song in particular that has been haunting me this weekend. every time I listen to it, it just breaks my heart. it is a beautiful song. (although you really need to hear to fully get it) here are the lyrics:

"I Just Don't Think I'll Ever Get Over You" by Colin Hay
I drink good coffee every morning
Comes from a place that's far away
And when I'm done I feel like talking
Without you here there is less to say
I don't want you thinking I'm unhappy
What is closer to the truth
That if I lived till I was 102
I just don't think I'll ever get over you
I'm no longer moved to drink strong whisky
'Cause I shook the hand of time and I knew
That if I lived till I could no longer climb my stairs
I just don't think I'll ever get over you
Your face it dances and it haunts me
Your laughter's still ringing in my ears
I still find pieces of your presence here
Even after all these years
But I don't want you thinking I don't get asked to dinner
'Cause I'm here to say that I sometimes do
Even though I may soon feel the touch of love
I just don't think I'll ever get over you
If I lived till I was 102
I just don't think I'll ever get over you

Monday, September 20, 2004

tom visited!!

tom came and visited me today! his dad had a conference in phoenix, so tom and his mom tagged along. so, tom and I were able to hang out for most of the afternoon. they dropped him off after my first office hour and we got some lunch on campus. I showed him all around our student union (he didn't believe me at first that we had a bowling alley) and some of the finer points of campus. then we headed back to my office because I had to be there for office hours. of course no one showed up (how typical) so we just hung out and talked. then I had to teach a class and so tom showed himself around the rest of campus. after my class, we walked over to mill avenue and I showed him downtown tempe (just that one street). we spent some time at urban outfitters and then went over to gordon biersch for a couple beers and talked the rest of the time. it was so good to be able to catch up with him. I wish he didn't live so far away (come back to the west coast tom!). I miss you already!

and, to top it all off, he couldn't have picked a better day to come. it was only 90 degrees today, which is the coolest it has been since I moved here. it was actually nice outside for a change and not unbearably hot. what a nice day all around.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

beach pictures

ok, so I finally decided to post the pictures from my romp at the beach two weeks ago. sorry it took so long. (although I doubt that anyone actually was waiting to see them - except maybe anthony. sorry bro.)

carpinteria is known as the "world's safest beach". I think it's because the waves are relatively small and you can't surf until the lifeguards leave for the day.

a view of the beach from our condo. those two blue tents is where we were hanging out. we had lots of fun swimming in the ocean too.

the best thing about carpinteria besides the beach is this place - the spot - which has great food. we always get the same thing: cheeseburger, fries, and a root beer freeze. ooohh soo good, I can just taste it right now.

some of my cute little cousins playing in the sand.

they have great sunsets there too.

I like this one too.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

an interesting week

well, this week was much better than last week, to say the least. first of all, I didn't have any homework due (so, of course, I didn't do any - how dumb am I?). anyway, I had a pretty relaxed monday. tuesday was good (someone actually came to my office hours! yay!). I had lunch with one of the older grad students and we went music shopping (there is a music store in our student union - how perfect). I got the garden state soundtrack which is really good. there was also a little party hosted by the physics faculty members to welcome the new grad students in the evening. it was definitely interesting. they had really good hamburgers though. it was an amusing party to say the least. physics people are so funny. I think my favorite moment was when one of the professors (think typical old physics professor guy) talking about rappers. I wanted to laugh so bad. it was just so out of place. but very funny. wednesday was the long day it always is, but otherwise uneventful. thursday was a bit tiring, but I had enough energy to go to my first soccer practice that night. so I joined an actual soccer team (not intramurals like before). we have real uniforms, referees, and practice every week. it's very exciting. it's this new league called "soccer for adults" run through the ayso program (where I spent so many years in my youth). so far, it's been good. everyone seems nice. we have our first game next weekend. yesterday (friday) I actually went to school even though I didn't have any classes and worked a bit on my semester project for my education class, spending some quality time in the library with some physics journals. yesterday evening, me, katie, james, and mike decided to do some grading so we had a little grading party at katie's. along with doing lots and lots of grading, we ordered some pizza and watched a movie. it was actually fun even though it sounds kind of boring. I think we are going to make it a weekly ritual. see how much fun it is being a grad student?

p.s. day 5 is up. click on 'travelogue' on the left and then day 5.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

two long nights in a row

oh man thursday was a long long day. wednesday night was bad, as I posted earlier. but I was not prepared for thursday night. I got about three and a half hours sleep on wednesday night, so when I showed up to school at 8am on thursday I was pretty tired. but sleep is for the weak! I had work to do. I turned in my e&m homework and started working on mechanics. had a bit of a break for lunch and then had another class. I was supposed to go to colloquim after that, but I was so tired that I went home for a nap (and so did almost all of the other first years too). I came back to campus around 6:30pm and got to work. within a few hours, almost everyone else had shown up to our office and we were all working on various problems and taking turns procrastinating. we went to get some ice cream at 9:30 and some other provisions for the long night ahead of us. my original plan was to be done by midnight so I could go home and sleep, but as it turned out, I was there until 6am. yes, I saw the sun coming up and everything. it was a pretty shitty night, but we made the most out of it and actually managed to have some fun (well, as much fun as you can have while you're doing homework).
I slept almost all day friday, except when the ups man came to drop off the package I ordered. I got the new polyphonic spree cd (really really good - especially "hold me now" - my favorite new song) and a book of comic strips about grad school (check it out at which is totally hilarious. great way to procrastinate.
saturday was pretty much a wash as well. I slept until 1pm and then kind of did nothing the rest of the day. adam and angel called a bit later though so we decided to go out to dinner (yay for sushi!) and then out to a bar afterwards. adam's friend collin joined us for dinner and then katie, mike and hwi joined us after dinner. adam was really drunk after the bit of sake we had with dinner and then after he had some more at the bamboo club, he was hilarious. wow, I had no idea (nor did anyone else) that he would be like that. sooo funny. so we all relaxed a bit and got ourselves ready for the new homework assignments we will be receiving on tuesday. ugh. it never ends.

in other news, I got another page of my travelogue up so now you can read all about my time in Paris.
I promise I will be working on this more. promise.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

i hate jackson

so it's 1am and guess where I am. that's right, at school. I've been here for over 14 hours already today. and that doesn't count my 12 hour day yesterday. katie and I are thinking of putting up a hammock in our office. ah, isn't grad school wonderful. currently I am working on an electricity and magnetism homework assignment that is due at 9:15am. I have good answers for half of the six problems, which is more than a lot of the other people since they also have a quantum mechanics assignment due tomorrow morning (poor things). unfortunately, our e&m problems are ridiculously ridiculous. they are all from the jackson 'classical electrodynamics' textbook which is most decidedly the most evil book ever written. everyone hates it and yet it has been taught in grad school for the last fifty or so years. it has become a rite of passage for new students to see how much they can learn to hate something and want to give up. the only good thing is that because everyone universally hates it and the problems contained inside, many nice people have posted their solutions on the web. now, while I have looked at these solutions and therefore could turn in my homework right now, I have learned from past undergraduate mistakes and this time around, I am actually going to try to understand what these solutions mean. I would rather get a bad grade on my homework than not understand this stuff. I need to be able to pass my comprehensive test next year.

oh, and my friend katie says, "I (referring to herself) have smelled better." I feel the same way.

blogger is great for procrastinating! now back to work. I would like to sleep for at least a little while tonight (oh, because did I mention that I'll be doing this again tomorrow night for my mechanics homework assignment. oh yeah. right. aaaghhhhh!!).

I heart starbucks iced mint mochas.

Saturday, September 04, 2004

how to be a beach bum

so I know I should be studying (which I am doing - I am just taking a short break), but I had a really exhausting day of sitting on the beach. ;-) yes, I am currently in santa barbara at my step sister's house, but I spent all day today (and will spend all day tomorrow) at carpinteria beach, just south of santa barbara in beautiful southern california (pictures will follow when I return to my home computer on monday). the weather here is absolutely amazing, especially coming from arizona, and I am enjoying every minute of it. the sun is out, but it's not ridiculously hot and the sun feels good.
the ocean was also wonderful. I didn't realize that I actually missed being near the beach until last weekend when I was slightly bored. normally, I would just go to the beach to chill or hang out, but unfortunately in tempe that is not even a remote option. the beach is an hour plane ride away. the closest thing was the swimming pool in my apartment complex, but that meant going outside in the 105 degree heat, and my air conditioned apartment kept sounding better and better. I guess I am just a socal girl at heart and it will take more than a few weeks to adapt to the arizona desert.

by the way, school is going alright. classes are hard. my only reprieve this weekend was that the mechanics assignment that was originally due on tuesday was pushed back to thursday or friday because we hadn't covered enough material in class. thank god! it saved my weekend. I had too much reading as it was! so now I can mostly enjoy my time at the beach instead of spending the entire time in the condo working on lagrange equations.

Monday, August 30, 2004

one week down, many more to go

so, I survived my first week of grad school last week. then I basically took the weekend off and did nothing for three days (I don't have class or anything on fridays so I have a 3-day weekend every weekend. don't worry, you wouldn't be jealous if you saw my homework assignments). today (monday) I taught the first of the five recitation sections that I am in charge of. I think it went pretty well. no major problems. it's also the first week of it, so it probably doesn't count. but, anyway, I am glad it went alright. I have four more on wednesday, and those will hopefully be just as easy. I'm really glad that I'm teaching recitation and not lab, because I've already taught lots of labs (at ucsd as an undergrad) and I want to do something different, to challenge myself. it might also help out if I decide to use these students as guinea pigs for my term project for my education research class. we'll see.

on another note, the reality of the summer (i.e. europe trip) being over is starting to set in. I am really sad that it is over. I know that I am also excited about grad school and all that stuff, but it is just hard to leave the best three weeks of my life behind. and to leave behind all of the amazing people I met while I was over there. I wish I lived closer to them or they lived closer to me or at least that it didn't cost $900 to fly to australia. that would help. so I honestly don't know what is going to happen. email is nice, but it's not the same as being with people. that much I know for sure. *sigh*

damnit. I hate being a hopeless romantic. it makes everything more difficult.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

first day of school

well, today I had my first day of grad school classes. in the morning I had advanced electricity and magnetism and in the afternoon, classical mechanics. the e&m teacher is new and russian, but luckily his accent isn't too bad. his handwriting, however, is another story. and because it's his first time teaching, he goes a bit too fast and doesn't explain everything very thoroughly. but today was just review of vector calculus, so it wasn't too hard to follow. the mechanics guy seems alright; a little boring, but that's probably just because it was all review today. although I did appreciate how he set up a framework to work in at the beginning; it was quite interesting. tomorrow I have my other class, on conceptual change in science students (through the education department) and another TA meeting. I start teaching next week, which should be exciting.

the best part however, is my schedule. mondays, i just teach one class at 2:40pm. tuesdays and thursdays I have a class at 9am and 1:30pm (and a colloquim at 4pm on thursday). wednesdays I teach from 7:30am to 1:30pm and then have a class from 4:30 to 7:30pm. so that's a long day. but, (drumroll please), I don't have anything at all on fridays, so that more than makes up for it I think. :)

I also had a pretty good weekend. friday night I went out to mill avenue (downtown tempe is just one street - but it is fairly cool) with a couple other grad students in my class. saturday night some of the second year grads had a party at their house because they had just finished their comprehensive tests and needed to unwind. it was fun and I got to meet a lot of other grad students, some who had lots of good advice about teachers and advisors and classes and stuff. it was good. sunday night we went out because it was someone's (one of the guys in our class)birthday. all in all, not a bad weekend.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

an ultra-compact story of my europe trip in pictures

so, I was sort of bored, and getting sad about my trip being over (and missing people), so I thought I would post up some pictures here since it is taking me a while to do the full travelogue on my other site (don't worry, it will be finished in a couple weeks, I promise). So, here is a brief view of my trip through some of the pictures that I took (I have over 700 to choose from, so this is a really condensed view of everything).

the Eiffel Tower at sunset. aahhh.

a view of it the next morning, right before we took the stairs up to the second stage (we took an elevator to the very top from there). my advice: wait in line - don't walk up. it sucked.

the Notre Dame cathedral was really cool. especially since it started to rain as we got there. luckily it stopped when we came out. good timing, huh?

the view from my room where we stayed in the French countryside (no, i'm not kidding. this is what i saw when i woke up).

overlooking Monte Carlo (I only lost about $5 at the casino the night before - at least I didn't pay $6 for a coke like some other people did)

in front of the Colloseum. it was sooo hot that day. almost as hot as it is here in Arizona.

at the Trevi Fountain in Rome. yes, i threw all three coins in (one for good luck, one to ensure your return to rome, and one so that you'll fall in love).

on the Rialto Bridge, overlooking the grand canal of Venice (my new favorite city - tied with Paris).

having a good time in Venice. the guy on the right side sitting on the top of the bench is our tour manager, Jase.

where we went mountain bike riding in Austria. soo beautiful.

having some beer in Munich, Germany. the guy on the far left is James (miss you!).

most of our group up in the Swiss Alps. a snowball fight started soon after this picture was taken. :)

the amazing view from the "top of europe" - 11,300 ft - Jungfrau mountain

some random canal in Amsterdam

James and me. last night of the tour.

some of the boys (and Quinn) on the canal cruise.