Tuesday, June 29, 2004

dinner party at brandon's

weekend update

ok so it's been a few days since I posted. sorry about that. I've been busy doing stuff. what stuff, you ask? well, here you go.

friday evening I went to see "fahrenheit 9/11" with cogan, q and jeremy. cogan and I went to get sushi beforehand (where he totally spilled his miso soup all over the table. hehe. ;-)) and then we waited in line for about an hour. there were crazy amounts of people there to see the movie. it was so exciting. it was mostly young people, but it was also the 10:55 showing, so that probably explains part of that. anyway, the movie was excellent. parts were hilarious and parts were heartbreaking. michael moore has a great sense of timing and knowing what to put where and how much is enough. a couple parts did drag on a little bit, but on the whole, it was a good movie and really made you think about what was going on in the government and our country. it shows all different sides of the iraq war: the president and his advisors, the soldiers fighting over there, those who were wounded fighting over there, family members of soldiers who died, and even family members of killed iraqis. it was very emotional and parts were very hard to watch, but overall it really helped you wake up and see what kind of things were going on on the other side of the world. I think that everyone, regardless of their political affliation (or lack thereof) - and probably especially republicans - should go and watch this movie. it will give you a new perspective of what it means to be an american and hopefully inspire you to change that image. despite what things you might have read somewhere, it is a very pro-america movie and michael moore is clearly patriotic. there is probably nothing more patriotic in this country than standing up to your government and telling them that you don't approve of what they're doing. our country was founded on principles such as these and it is important, especially in times like these, to remember why we're here and what we strive to be.

saturday was spent sleeping in and then going to coronado with jeralin and nancy. it was overcast, so that kind of sucked, but I think we all had a good time. my new digital camera (a nikon coolpix 3200 - 3.2 megapixels with a 3x optical zoom plus many other wonderful features) and so I was able to take some pictures and try it out. so far, I love it. and I can't wait to be taking pictures of europe in a few weeks (three weeks from right now I will be in France). saturday night I just hung out with some people; nothing too exciting. jeralin and I went to world curry for dinner, so that was fabulous as always. oh man, their vindaloo is spicy. I love it!

sunday I spent about three hours at ikea (the best store ever) with cogan. I bought a shelving unit for my new apartment and a couple other things. cogan bought some stuff too, much to his chagrin. we also split a yummy cinnamon roll. sunday evening I relaxed and went to bed at a reasonable hour (I think).

monday I went to work (oh, surprise) and then to a dinner party at brandon's apartment. he has the cutest apartment ever! we ate lots of yummy food and we listened to ace of base. it was great. after playing a really long game of cranium (which janine and I won) we went to tgi friday's for brandon's birthday celebration. I also bought the new wilco album. it is really good.

today I went to work (oh, surprise again) and then hung out with jeralin and nancy again. we got pho for dinner and also went to the cheesecake factory for some dessert. oh heaven.

tomorrow: after work, playing raquetball with jeremy (hopefully) and then going to fred's mexican cafe with mike ficken and jeralin. I will finish off the day with my last trip (probably ever) to karl strauss college night. so sad. if you don't have any plans, you should come too.

also, if anyone wants to buy a desk or a wetsuit, let me know immediately.

two weeks from tomorrow I will be on a plane to london. can't wait!!!

Thursday, June 24, 2004

"they're going to put you in the movies"

ugh, what a long day at work. I only have six days left of work (my last day is next friday) so I have all this stuff to do and finish before then. right now, I'm working on finishing up this activity on buoyancy that I wrote a few weeks ago. today we were working on the demonstration video that goes with the activity. somehow, I was persuaded to be the instructor in the video. I did this before with an earlier video, but that one was not as big of a deal because I didn't do very much. this one is me basically teaching the class. here comes cynthia, the next bill nye! haha. I had a really surreal moment involving this earlier video about a month ago. part of my job is going around to the classrooms that are piloting our curriculum to observe them. one day, I happened to be observing a class that was doing the activity that I had helped with the video for. the minute the video goes on, everyone in the class turns and stares at me. I was like, yes, that's me, now please just watch the video, not me! it was really weird to be watching them watch me on the screen. anyway, this same problem is going to happen on monday when I go to watch them do this new activity (we have to test new activities before we can print them). although this will probably be worse because the video is going to be much much longer and more involved. oh well. it's kind of fun anyway.

oh, and my brother has informed me that the donnie darko trailer is now available online. they are going to release a director's cut of it over the summer and I cannot wait. it's such a great movie already, and I wonder what the director wanted to change. hmm, we'll see.

oh, and I'm going to go see michael moore's "fahrenheit 911" tomorrow night with the jeremys and q. it's going to be cool to see it opening night (we already bought our tickets online to ensure that we could see it tomorrow - we are just so smart. hehe). I was trying to find an interesting quotation from "fahrenheit 451" by ray bradbury to put up here (since that's where michael moore got the title of the documentary), but so far have found nothing.
that used to be my favorite book (until i discovered kurt vonnegut). I've probably read it about 10 or so times. I even wrote a paper on it for my adolescent lit class last year. my concluding paragraph was: "Fahrenheit 451 is a complex novel about the emotional development of Guy Montag, a fireman in a future society, who transforms from being a simple-minded robot of his society into a free-thinking (and reading) adult. His development can be mirrored to the development of an adolescent into adulthood because of the similar struggles and obstacles. Also, Bradbury’s use of fire throughout the novel reflects the change that takes place in Montag, from a destructive blaze to a warming fire.... Montag’s growth is likened to a phoenix, dying and then being reborn out of the ashes into a hopeful future." reading this again, I wonder how similar this will be to michael moore's interpretation of the bush administration's handling of the september 11th tragedies. maybe this movie will help some people in our society have a more adult and free view of what actually is going on in our government and give them the impetus to make a change that we need. maybe our nation, too, can be reborn.

Monday, June 21, 2004

coffee and conversations

wow, I've had way too much caffeine today. I had a frappuccino this morning, a coke with lunch, and then a cappuccino (which was supposed to be decaf, but apparently was not) about an hour ago. I am wired. but it's been an interesting day at work. I basically just talked to people all day long today. after sleeping in a bit too long (oops - stupid snooze button), I come in for the dreaded monday morning at work. checked my email, caught up with my co-workers, worked on some stuff, nothing too exciting. after lunch, one of my co-workers, rebecca, came over to my cubicle and we ended up talking for over an hour. she is leaving this week to move to new orleans for a new job (she was just doing her post-doc here). she gave me a lot of advice about grad school and stuff so that was really nice. about an hour after that, ed came by and wanted to get coffee (hence the cappuccino) and we talked for a while too, about the project we're working on and the general political climate regarding educational policy in the united states (and a very bleak one, at that). it was also a really nice talk. he also gave me some advice for grad school. then tony came by as he was leaving to go home a little while ago and we talked also about my future grad school plans (you notice a theme here?) and how pre-med majors seem to hate physics for some reason and how horrible this is. anyway, it's been quite an interesting day at work and although I had way too much caffeine, I can't really complain.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

tom, errands, and the gasp heard 'round the theatre

ahh, what a wonderful saturday. I slept in until like 12:30, meaning that I got about 10-11 hours of sleep (if you don't count being woken up by a phone call in the morning). I hadn't slept more than seven and a half hours in a really really long time so it was much needed. after waking up, I talked to tom on the phone for about an hour. I miss you tom! then, after making lunch, I went to the bank and got gas for my car and wandered around office depot for a while, drooling over office supplies (I used to be addicted to buying pens - ok ok, I sort of still am - but I didn't buy any today, as hard as that was). I actually went there looking for a digital camera (the one I want was on sale there), but I realized that the mail-in rebate would take forever and I could get the same price on the web without having to fill out stupid paperwork. So, I believe I will be ordering my nikon coolpix 3200 tomorrow sometime. now I just need to figure out how much memory I need and/or an adaptor to transfer pictures to my ipod. after all that, I came back home and read for a bit and then went to target with jeralin. didn't buy anything exciting. although I did get a cherry coke. I realized that I am addicted to those damn things again (ok, actually just the caffeine that's in there, but whatever). oh, and just for your information, although barq's has caffeine in it, diet barq's does not, a fact that I realized only after a huge headache earlier this week. :-( I then spent the rest of the day attempting to organize my desk (fairly successful), cooking dinner (very successful, if I do say so myself), and scrapbooking just a bit (relatively successful).

last night, I went to see "saved!" with jeralin, q, wesley, todd, and janine. it was hilarious! and really good. the funniest part, though, was before the movie even started. they were showing the trailers, and for a particular new movie, josh hartnett popped up on the screen and q gasped really loudly. every person in there heard her. the entire theatre, especially our row, was laughing hysterically for almost the whole trailer.

Friday, June 18, 2004

omg. ken jennings is amazing. so, because I am a huge nerd, I try to watch jeopardy most days. the last two weeks have been exciting because this guy, ken, has been winning insane amounts of money. today, he just made it 13 days in a row. he now has amassed $440,158! I bet he's glad they changed the 5-day rule on jeopardy last year. and almost every day he wins before they even play final jeopardy (he has more than twice as much as the second place person). he is crazy smart. wow.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

four weeks til europe

yay! my europe vacation stuff came today. I got my tour brochure and information and tickets and stuff. hehe. way too excited. i leave for london in three weeks and six days (yeah, that's four weeks from yesterday). I have eleven days left of work, three weekends in san diego, and not enough time to get everything done. *sigh* such is life. I haven't even started packing yet to move. and I know that is going to take forever because I have so much crap in my apartment. and of course, I want to go to ikea next week because they are having their half yearly sale and I am addicted to ikea. there is an ikea opening in phoenix (yes!!) but unfortunately it won't be open until sometime fall 2004 which means later than I would like it to be. so I figure since I'm already moving a whole crapload of stuff out there, I might as well move the whole crapload plus a little bit more. still haven't figured out yet exactly how I am getting myself, my car, and all of my stuff up to LA. I'm sure it will all work out. somehow.

in other news, work has been really busy this week! and it's gone by really fast. I can't believe that it's already the end of the week. my boss is going to this major meeting next week at the university of maine and he has to get all of this stuff ready, which of course means that the rest of the office is getting stuff ready as well (I'm not implying that he isn't doing anything - he is crazy busy and can't do it all himself).

got the new gomez cd the other day. listened to most of it today in the car. so far, it's good. I like some songs better than others. it seems that the second half of the cd is better than the first half. interesting. they are on tour this summer with the polyphonic spree, but i'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to see them. argh. they are amazing live.

oh and I think I figured out (finally) which digital camera I'm going to buy. and it's on sale for two more days. better get it quick.

oh, and I've been emailing a couple people that are going on my trip. one of them is this 21 year old australian who is a geology major (although he started out as a physics major). his family is also from italy. how perfect is that? hehe. and no, I haven't seen a picture yet.

....listening to the rolling stones. wild horses couldn't drag me away.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

three graduations and a sunburn

so this weekend was exciting. I went to three different graduations (marshall, muir, and warren) and got a ridiculous sunburn. i am completely exhausted (and in pain) at this point, but I think that it was well worth it. I got to see almost everyone graduate and made fun of more commencement speeches than I thought possible (with a little bit of help from my friends). warren's ceremony was definitely the longest, about three and a half hours (although I also stayed the longest at that one), muir's was the most confusing (they said they were going to go in reverse alphabetical order by major but ended up doing no such thing even remotely), and marshall's was the most boring (but I was also the most tired since it was at 8:30 in the morning). I got to hear the same speech from the acting chancellor three different times, heard some other speech using cabbages as a metaphor for something, and then also seth's speech which mentioned getting california burritos at coti's multiple times (his speech was actually really good). luckily I had my ipod to help me through some of the commencements and also good friends to talk to. otherwise I might have died of boredom. in the end, though, I am really proud of all of you that graduated, I will miss you, and I wish you best of luck in all of your future endeavours.

the other thing I did this weekend was go bowling on saturday night with marla, shana, and gregg. it was the very last time that marla could go (she moved out today and will be in south central los angeles working with the teach for america program). I was really tired so I didn't that great, but it was still fun nonetheless and I think we all had a good time (even gregg who gets embarassed every time shana and marla and I start to sing along to the music at the bowling alley). the big news of the night was when shana told us that brian had finally gotten his drivers license (he's 22). the funniest thing was that we weren't like, "finally" when she told us, but completely shocked. he always said he was never going to get it and I guess that we believed him.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

another week + puppets

so it's thursday. and I have the day off of work tomorrow because of reagan's funeral and all that. but I think I'm going to have to work for a few hours anyway. yuck. our project has these crazy deadlines and I only have like 15 days left at work so I have lots of crap to do before then. ugh. anyway, it's not too bad. I might be able to do it at home instead of driving all the way over to sdsu. that would be nice.

so, let's see. the weekend was very eventful as I mentioned earlier. so that's good. the rest of the week has been fairly uneventful. most everyone else is studying and finishing up their finals. went to karl strauss as usual last night, but it wasn't the usual sort of fun because not everyone was there. oh well. next week will be better probably. I finished reading 'a tree grows in brooklyn' today. it was really good. i love being able to read at work during my lunch break. I've gotten so much done. I think next I'm going to read 'the amazing adventures of kavalier and clay' by michael chabon. it won a pulitzer prize so hopefully it will be good. and tom liked it, so I guess I have to trust him. ;-)

oh my gosh, so the other thing that I've been doing this week is listening to the 'avenue q' soundtrack. it won tonys last weekend for best musical, book, and music and lyrics. and I had heard before that it was good, but hadn't listened to it yet, so I figured I should give it a try. and, I must say, it is one of the funniest things I have ever heard. not many musicals can make you laugh at loud and sing along at the same time. it's hilarious. I don't really know how to explain it. it's sort of a cross between sesame street and 'rent'. there are puppets in the show and everything. but it's definitely not for kids. there is a parental advisory sticker on the album and just to give you an idea, some of the song titles are: 'the internet is for porn', 'everyone's a little bit racist', and 'it sucks to be me'. one of the funniest songs is 'my girlfriend, who lives in canada' which is sung by the puppet who is a closeted gay republican. sounds familiar, anyone? hehe. also, 'there's a fine, fine line' is a really great song. anyway, the whole thing is really hilarious and interesting, so you should check it out.

Monday, June 07, 2004

one hundred and ten degrees

I just got back (like two hours ago) from arizona. I went there for the weekend to look for a place to live for next year during grad school at ASU. and, I am happy to say, I found a great place that is pretty close to campus and is affordable and nice. and it's only $500/month!! now that's not like dirt cheap in arizona, but compared to san diego, it's a steal! it's a one bedroom apartment (625 square feet) all to myself and I am very excited. can't wait to move in in august. the weekend was also fun because I was able to hang out with my aunt and uncle (they live in phoenix and my aunt helped me find the place) and my four year old twin cousins (fraternal girls). they are the two cutest things in the entire world. I'm really excited that I'll be able to hang out with them as a lot more as they grow up and everything. sooo cute! so, it was a pretty chill weekend, except for the weather which was HOT. the average high for the weekend was 110 degrees. yikes! but it was a dry heat and actually wasn't too terrible. I think I will be able to get used to it without too much of a problem. I also got to take a little mini-tour of ASU and found the bookstore and student union. I bought a sun devils t-shirt (yay for having real sports teams!!) and I'm way excited for school to start.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Me, Marla and Tim showing off our HP apparel (and also our dorkiness). I would like to add that many people there were in full hogwarts uniform/costume.

Expecto Patronum!

I just got back from harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban (went to a midnight show in mira mesa). there were crazy amounts of people there that I knew, which was kind of unexpected, but definitely made it fun. I went with a whole bunch of people, including marla, ben, tim, adam, andrea, and doug and also saw carolyn and some other people there. there was also mass disorganization at the theatre. originally they were only going to have two screens of the movie showing, but because demand was so high, they opened up more and more as the day went on (I think they ended up with six or seven screens showing it at midnight).
so, onto the movie. it was really good. it was much different than the first two films, which is a good thing, and although it strayed a bit from the book (in really only minor details that will only bother those of us who are obsessive about things like that) it kept the main sense and theme of the story. I was disappointed at some of the things left out, most notably the last two quidditch matches, harry's "real" patronus (at the end - they didn't show it as a stag the way it is supposed to be), lupin not giving any explanation to harry about the marauder's map writers, and the late appearance of the firebolt. having just finished the book, I was probably more keen to the subtle differences than the average viewer, but oh well, that's what I get. the direction of the movie was good (but of course I already knew that, since it was directed by alfonso cuaron - the same guy who did 'y tu mama tambien' which is one of the saddest, beautiful (and sexy) movies). the script wasn't too bad either; I think they did the best they could with the time they had and tried to really simplify things and themes instead of include everything cool or seemingly important (which apparently may not be so important now, since jk rowling said that she would be looking over the movies to make sure that everything essential for the series stays in).
ok, well, maybe I'll post more later. I would also love to hear comments from those of you that have seen it. I need to get some sleep because I'm flyinig to arizona tomorrow morning (this morning - aughh!) to look for an apartment. I will be back on Monday night. have a good weekend!

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

a long day

aughh what a long day. I am so tired. so it started off like a normal wednesday, i.e. nothing too exciting. went to work, had my tea and pretended to be really busy. normally on wednesday, I go to a physics education research (per) reading group at ucsd with some of my old professors and some other grad students. well, this week, one of the grad students, my friend liz, was doing her oral topic defense on a paper that we had recently read and she had wanted me to go to it and be there for moral support. I almost didn't go (I actually had a lot of stuff to do at work), but I decided to go anyway, and I'm glad I did. [for those of you that aren't familiar with the inner workings of getting a phd, it basically goes like this: you take some classes and get your ass kicked. and then you take a really really hard written test (call the qual - short for qualifying exam) which is basically the hardest test you will ever take in your entire life. when you pass that (you only get two tries), then you pick your research area and you start to form your review committee. you then have to research topics in your area and present a published (by someone else) paper to your committee and they ask you questions about it and other related topics in the field. once you pass that you are advanced to what is called candicacy and then you can start working on your phd thesis and all that fun stuff. when that is finished, you have to give another oral presentation on your thesis and then defend that. sounds like fun, huh? it's a little bit different at every school, but that's the general idea, for physics anyway, and my guess is for most science programs and probably some others.]
well, the presentation was good and she did well (and passed) and then we all went to the pub afterwards to celebrate. while I was a the pub, Laura left me a message and so after the pub I met her in la jolla at karl strauss for dinner. we had a nice long talk, just like old times, and had some yummy pizza. then we decided that we also needed golden spoon, so we stopped there afterwards and then laura drove back up to northridge.
when I got home, I decided to finish reading harry potter and the prisoner of azkaban since I had started it on monday and wanted to finish it before tomorrow when the movie comes out (hopefully I am going at midnight to see it since I will be gone all weekend). the movie looks amazing and I just can't wait. this is one of my favorite books, the beginning of the best part of the series and it will be so cool to see it on the big screen. expecto patronum!

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

6 weeks to go

I have finalized figured out exactly how long I am staying in san diego and when I am moving out and all that fun stuff. so, my last day in america's finest city will be july 5th, which means that I will be here for fourth of july. that will be lots of fun. one last hoorah. so this also means that I have only 21 days left at work. yikes! that's not very much. but I'm glad I'm staying that extra week because I really need that money for europe (and speaking of which, I have only 43 days left until I leave! - six weeks from tomorrow).

I had my last ucsd intramural game tonight (volleyball). we played really hard, but didn't win - it was the playoffs and we were lucky just to get that far. but it's the end of an era. I have been playing intramural sports there since my first quarter at ucsd. I played soccer (outdoor and indoor), volleyball, innertube waterpolo and softball. those were some good times. le sigh. so it goes.

oh, my friend sent me this great link today. even if you don't like the polyphonic spree (and why wouldn't you - they are really good)- they had a couple songs in 'eternal sunshine of the spotless mind' - it's a cute little game to play if you're bored. hope you like it!