Tuesday, December 27, 2005

merry christmas, etc.

Christmas was really nice this year. I didn't get into any arguments with either of my parents, which in years past has been quite a damper on the occasion. but sunday went off without a hitch and I had lots of fun at my aunt and uncle's house with my mom's side of the family and also at home with my dad and brother (and the dog). the weather stayed nice and we had the stereotypical 80-something degree los angeles christmas.

monday I met up with an old friend from high school that I hadn't really talked to since graduation. it was so nice to catch up and see how she is doing. we gossiped a bit about some people from high school, who was getting married, who was pregnant, and so on. it was pretty interesting (and a bit scary). neither of us could imagine having kids right now. when I got back from seeing her, I broke open the yearbook and reminisced some more about the good old days of high school. things were so different back then, and a lot simpler in many ways. but I definitely wouldn't trade it for what I have now: independence and opportunity and choices to make. the other thing I looked up when I got back was myspace. this was how we were re-acquainted and I wanted to see who else I could find on there. well, what do you know but about 36 girls from my class are on there (it was an all-girls school) which makes up about one quarter of our whole class. the problem is that I'm getting sort of addicted to looking at everyone's profiles and seeing what they are up to. it has been quite interesting to say the least. the one I just saw (and hence promoted me to blog this right away) is that my ex-boyfriend is getting married to someone that was in my class! what?! all I can say is, wow, I hope he's no longer crazy (for her sake). I don't even think they knew each other in high school. that is sooo weird.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

back in the valley again

after recovering from a version of the common cold over the weekend (when I also attended a fabulous holiday party at russ and amy's), I cleaned my apartment monday and prepared to leave for the holidays (yes, I am celebrating more than one thing during these two weeks, give me a break). yesterday I left sunny phoenix and drove the 400 miles to los angeles (which was actually sunnier and warmer - how did that happen?). I made the whole trip in about five and half hours (with a short stop to eat a sandwich) and on only one tank of gas. that's right folks, my car is awesome (I got about 38 miles/gallon). anyway, the trip wasn't as bad as I was expecting and it was sort of nice to be back home. the soundtrack of the trip: broken social scene (a new canadian band - very good; it was different and interesting), wilco - kicking television (a new 2-disc live cd of a concert they did in chicago a little while ago - very excellent, wilco is amazing as always), and white stripes - get behind me satan (which I've had for a while but hadn't listened to in a couple months - helped with the traffic situation when I got into LA). no sooner had I gotten home, though, and my step-dad and I got into a "discussion" about the whole intelligent design thing. he has this thing where he doesn't listen to other people, so it's kind of hard to talk to him about anything, but this was totally ridiculous. anyway, luckily my brother showed up and interrupted us before it got really ugly.

today my mom and I had our first shopping day. we actually got a lot accomplished and didn't get into any fights or disagreements (normally shopping isn't such a good mother-daughter activity for us). so that was good. I only have a few things left to buy before christmas. then I drove down to LA to have dinner with marla. it should've only taken about half an hour, but of course, the traffic was completely ridiculous and it took almost an hour and a half. such is life (in LA, at least). the 405 was like a parking lot from the getty all the way to my exit at wilshire. that is basically four miles and it took me half an hour. but, when I got to marla's apartment, none of that mattered. it was really good to see her again and we had a really nice dinner and visit. her apartment is super cute and so close to so many things. she is really lucky to have found it. we caught up on all the happenings of our friends and what is going on in our lives. her experiences with teach for america are really interesting to me and the things I'm doing at school. she was definitely interested in hearing about how education researchers think about the program and I was interested in hearing her take on the same issues. it all makes a lot of sense now and it's really good to hear about it from all the sides. anyway, after that, I hung out with my brother and we watched 'crash' which is a really excellent movie. you should all go see that right now (it's on dvd).

Saturday, December 17, 2005

end of the semester

so I survived another semester of graduate school. phew. this one wasn't nearly as bad as the first two, even though I was probably busier this time. the classes I took were actually interesting to me and will be helpful when I start to write my dissertation (whenever that may be). also, I was working on a big research project which was interesting to say the least.
there has been lots of drama in my office in the last few weeks and I'm still not entirely sure what is going on. basically, what it comes down to, is that I'm going to need to find a new advisor sometime next semester. she will probably be leaving here, and furthermore, I don't think she would be able to help me do the kind of research I want to do. so that will be another change to deal with next semester, along with a new job on the project that's funding me and three classes to top it off.

my plans for winter break: I am staying here in phoenix a couple more days. on monday or tuesday I will be driving to see my parents in los angeles. sometime after christmas, probably around the 29th or 30th, I am driving down to san diego to hang with some friends and spend new years down there. then I will be back here on the 2nd. so if you are going to be in any of these places when I will, make sure to give me a call so we can hang out. :)

an update on my dad: he is home from the hospital and doing fine. they found a couple things wrong, but they are both treatable with antibiotics and he should be back to normal soon. so that's a big relief. thank you all for your support last week.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I am a master at the art of time suckage

[quoting Reality Bites, quite an excellent post-college movie]

so, I've decided maybe the only thing that I am really truly good at is procrastination. I mean, really, I had two final papers due yesterday. and did I work on them over the weekend? not really. I thought about them a little bit, but didn't do any real work (i.e. typing up stuff) on them. what an idiot. so I worked on them on monday and tuesday, finishing the last paper a half hour before it was due (and believe me, that was not as close as I have been on other assignments). the thing is, maybe they're not great papers, but I think they were alright, and I got everything in there that I needed to. so, even though I procrastinate, I always finish things. and see, that is the key to good procrastination. if you don't actually finish it, then really you are a slacker and not a procrastinator. that's my story and I'm sticking to it. I am an excellent procrastinator and have honed my skills over my years in college and now in grad school. I feel that I could teach a whole class on how to effectively procrastinate. but perhaps it is not a skill that everyone can master. maybe it is some innate talent that I was born with. hmm. something to think about.

the other thing that was stressing me out yesterday was that my brother called me around lunch time and told me that my dad was in the hospital. he had been not feeling well lately, had some stomach pains, and on monday night, it got worse and he passed out a few times and was puking up blood. very bad. so, he took him to the emergency room and the doctors are looking into it. as of right now, they have determined that he has an ulcer, but they're still not sure why he was passing out so they're keeping him in the hospital for another day or two I guess. I really hope everything will turn out fine. it's just hard being so far away. I can't just go see him in the hospital like my brother can. but at least anthony (my brother) is calling me a lot and letting me know what is going on. that helps a bit. so, please pray for my dad and keep him in your thoughts.

Monday, November 28, 2005

happy turkey weekend

so I survived the long weekend at home. it all started off with a bad omen Wednesday morning when they forgot to put my checked luggage on the plane and I had to wait an extra two hours for it to come on the next flight (luckily I got a $50 voucher out of the ordeal). hopefully that's the last time that happens. the good news was that I got to hang out with my brother a bit longer and that was nice. later in the afternoon, we went to see the new movie version of RENT. I was very happy with how it turned out (see previous post), so that was a relief. I'm going to see it again this week. yay!
Thursday (turkey day) went off without a hitch. we all went over to one of my uncle and aunt's houses in Thousand Oaks and had lots of good food. it was the first time everyone on my mom's side of the family was all in one place in a really long time. it was really nice to see everyone and play with my little cousins (two of them just started playing soccer, so that was fun).
friday, I stayed as far away from the malls as possible, and saw a couple of friends. I had lunch with Laura and then some coffee with Carolyn later in the afternoon. it was so great to see both of them! :)
saturday, my mom and step-dad took me to lunch in Venice Beach and then to the Getty Museum. if it hadn't been such a blustery day, it would have been slightly better, but it was actually pretty nice. sunday, my littlest cousin was getting baptized, so I saw most of the family again for that.
all in all, it was a pretty good time at home. I got some work done, which is good, and saw some people I hadn't seen in a while, which was great.
now, back to the grindstone for a few weeks and then super-study-time through winter break. ugh.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

confessions of a renthead

in the fall of 1997, when I was a junior in high school, a friend of mine introduced me to the musical RENT. I remember the first song of it that I heard and I remember exactly where I was: on a school field trip, on the bus, listening to "one song glory". the rest is history. I quickly became obsessed with jonathan larson's amazing rock opera. for the first few months, I listened to the entire show every single day before I went to sleep. I basically fell in love with it. it was so optimistic, so idealistic, so full of life and love, of strength and family & friends overcoming tragedy and loss. it gave me a new philosophy on life; a new way of looking at people and the world and myself. and it has changed me forever. I don't think that any other thing has affected my life in such a deep and meaningful way as RENT did and does. I saw the stage production three times, in los angeles and in san diego and even saw the original mimi in one of the casts. each time I saw it, it reaffirmed my beliefs that love and hope can overcome anything.

so you can imagine my feelings of both apprehension and excitement when I heard that they were finally making it into a movie. on one hand, I couldn't wait to see it on the big screen and to see six of the eight original cast members that I had fallen in love with. on the other hand, I had such high expectations and ideas about what it should be. however, I had faith that they would not let the movie lose what makes the show so special.

so, I saw the movie this morning, and I must say that I am really impressed and amazed at what they did. somehow they were able to translate from the stage to the screen without losing too much of the power and presence that the stage affords the musical. each medium is different and it is interesting to see how things have to be altered and how certain things work better in one or the other. there were minor changes, and they added some extra stuff in to fill in some of the gaps, and I can honestly say that I loved it. they definitely did the best that they could and I can't ask for more than that. (and I definitely can't wait for the dvd to see the few scenes that they deleted.)

so, in conclusion, I am still a proud renthead, and can't wait to see the movie again later this week.

no day but today!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005


what is wrong with these people?

how appropriate that today was the day I gave a presentation in my science ed class about the philosophy and nature of science. argh. makes me so upset. and motivated. I guess I won't be out of a job for a while. *sigh*

my solution: I'm joining a new church so I don't have to think about this any more.

more pirates!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

new travelogue

so, basically, geocities sucks. there is a rate limit on how many people can look at my webpages and there is that dumb ad on the right side that is super annoying. so, for the past few months I've been trying to figure out some other option for hosting my travelogue (for free, since I am a poor grad student). I love blogger, and did eventually figure out a way to get it to work the way I wanted it to. the benefits of the new site are that I can put up as many photos as I want (and if you click on them, they are bigger than they were before) and it's totally easier to use. right now, I have up the same content that was on the other site (basically, days one through twelve). I am now going to start on finishing up the rest of the trip and will let you all know when that is finished. let me know what you think (and yes, I already know that the dates are wrong. I am going to fix that last, along with adding links at the bottom of each day to the next day).
the new travelogue: http://cynthiaeurotrip.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

teaching an old dog new tricks

so, as I'm sure I've mentioned previously, the movie version of RENT is coming out in november. and while the trailers look amazing and I keep hearing from the cast and directors that it is going to be great and very true to the original musical, I am still hesitant and am anxiously and apprehensively waiting for the day before thanksgiving. the first step towards this process of accepting the new came yesterday. the movie soundtrack was released two weeks ago, but I was broke (well, I still sort of am) and I was busy, so I didn't pick it up until yesterday. I was having a pretty shitty day and I hoped that listening to the soundtrack would make things better. and of course, RENT always pulls through.

it was really such a strange thing listening to it. imagine listening to something that you have had literally memorized (down to each instrument and vocal aside) for the past eight years, yet it sounds totally different. I knew all of the words but it was new. it was kind of trippy. but interesting. all of the songs are different in some way, some much more obvious than others. there is a heavier, more rock sound to most of them. there are also two new voices out of the eight original actors and that is definitely taking some getting used to, especially Mimi. I'm still not sure yet about Rosario Dawson playing her. I'm really going to have to wait until the movie to see if she can pull it off. the new Joanne (Tracie Thoms) is really great, so I'm excited about that. all of the returning people are great as well. Adam Pascal (Roger)'s voice has changed a bit in the last nine years, so that is interesting (but he is even hotter than before, so that's really good. hehe). and Anthony Rapp (Mark) is still amazing. there are a couple lyric changes, but even those are very very small (for instance changing 'christmas eve' to 'christmas day' in one case which I'm sure has to do with some change in the timeline of events). Besides all that, though, I am enjoying the cd and as part of my get-used-to-the-changes plan, I am not going to listen to the original broadway cast recording until sometime after I see the movie.

in other news, school is still humming along. I'm busy as usual. friday night, a bunch of us went out to get cuban food and then went to a couple of art shows in downtown Phoenix. that was pretty cool. the ASU football game was really fun on saturday. me, Brian, Steve, and Keely got drunk beforehand and made a big racket. one of the highlights was when Steve fell like three rows forward and landed on some girl (not really like on top of her, but just sort of into her). she was sooo mad. it was hilarious. all in all, it was great fun. too bad we lost. that sucked. sunday my grandparents were in town visiting, so I went to my aunt and uncle's house (they live about 40 minutes away on the other side of Phoenix) to have dinner with them. it was really nice and a good way to end the weekend.

Monday, October 03, 2005

catching up

I've been a bad blogger. I'm sorry. it's been way too long since I've last posted. I've meant to be better. I apologize.

the last few weeks have been a bit crazy. or at least it seems that way. school has started to consume my life once again, but at least this year, I think it is mostly by choice and not because it is being forced on me. I am starting to seriously think about what sort of research I want to do for my dissertation (even though I don't really need to start working on it yet) and how that is affecting my current research. I feel very overwhelmed because I have a general idea of the direction I want to go in, but no clear focus or way of getting there yet. but I suppose it's good that I have a direction. that seems like an important first step. I had a meeting with my advisor last thursday to talk about this sort of thing and I began to talk about the direction I was thinking about in vague terms because I'm not sure she was expecting it or will be willing to accept it down the road. we'll see what happens. she has some ideas in her head about what she wants me to do, but I don't really think that's exactly where I want to go, so hopefully we'll be able to find some middle ground that will work out. one interesting thing that came up in the conversation is that I might have the chance to go to south africa for a few weeks next summer to work on a research project. that would be super exciting and I hope it all works out. they would pay for everything except a few things like my visa and vaccinations. so that would be even better. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

along with all the school stuff, I'm having fun too. I bought a student season ticket for ASU football (and basketball too, but that hasn't started yet). I was at the LSU game and the Northwestern game (which we were able to sneak jpg into when he came to visit) which were both fun. but last weekend, the USC topped them all. it wasn't all that comfortable because it was a 12:30 game, so it was ridiculous hot out. plus, all the drunk frat boys around us were sweating alcohol so it smelled totally gross. the first half of the game was really exciting; we were winning 21-3 at half time and we all really thought that we might be able to win it. but then the second half something happened and we just went downhill. our quarterback, keller, threw a bunch of interceptions and then our defense got really tired because they had been on the field too long and we just couldn't hold them any more. with about 5 minutes left, usc finally pulled ahead and ended up winning. oh well. at least it wasn't as bad as last year's lost.

friday was the one-year anniversary of scruin day and the little grape's birthday, so we celebrated with a small party at my apartment. katie, angel, hwi and I made shirts for the occasion which were pretty hilarious. some other people came over and we ate grapes, drank wine, and watched monty python and the holy grail (because it's funny, not because it had anything to do with grapes). and a good time was had by all.

in other news: my soccer team, brilliant!, has won our last two games 11-0 (same score both times, isn't that weird?). our team rocks. also, a new in-n-out opened like a mile from campus so that is super exciting. I don't have to drive 20 minutes to get my burger fix anymore (although I still have to drive that long to get my chipotle fix. hopefully that will be remedied soon).

Thursday, September 15, 2005

very strange indeed

ok, so I'm sort of freaking out. there's been a very weird confluence of events today. when I was in the shower this morning, I started singing songs from "the sound of music" for no apparent reason. I hadn't even thought of that movie for a while. when I got out of the shower, I checked cnn.com for the headlines of the day and they said that robert wise, the guy who directed the movie, had just died. so that was a little weird.
but then, tonight, I wanted to watch a movie. I decided to watch "I am trying to break your heart", a documentary about the band wilco, which I had purchased over the summer but just hadn't gotten around to watching yet. then I went to imdb.com to check on some movie thing and what is the movie of the day? that's right. the movie I am watching right now. I'm officially freaked out. what does this mean?

Friday, September 09, 2005

I miss the beach

so I'm back. and I survived the shortened week. Tuesday was one of the longest days in recent memory. I woke up around 5am with only about four and a half hours of sleep under my belt and had to drag myself to the airport. luckily I had some coffee and was able to get an entire assignment typed on during the hour it took to get back to Phoenix. Brian picked me up at the airport (thanks again!) and I headed home, only to briefly unpack and then bike over to school for a long day of work and classes. the good news was that I had finished all of my homework before I got to school (something that doesn't always happen). the bad news was that I had to be at school until 8pm. ugh. anyway, I survived.

the beach and the accompanying weekend were awesome. I got into LA on Friday and spent most of the day hanging out with my mom. it wasn't completely horrible. the coolest thing was that I went back to my old high school for a visit. my old high school physics teacher had sent me an email earlier in the week and said I should come by and say hi if I could. we had a nice little talk and he wants me to come back some time and talk to the girls about college and physics and grad school and stuff like that. apparently, I am the first and only person from my all-girls high school to ever get a degree in physics. so that made me feel pretty cool, but also more aware of the gender problem in physics. but anyway, that's a problem to think about later on (like not right now). I also saw my dad for a while and that was nice as well.

Saturday we drove up to Carpinteria beach (just south of Santa Barbara). the weather was absolutely perfect all weekend (we stayed until Monday afternoon). eventually everyone else in the extended family showed up (although my brother didn't come up until Sunday). it was lots of fun hanging out with my cousins and aunts and uncles and everyone. my newfound obsession with sudoku was echoed in my stepdad and grandfather, so that was amusing as well. (in case you don't know what I'm talking about, two things: a. it is extremely addicting and b. it is great.) so I got a bit of a tan (because even though I live in the land of eternal sun, we spend most of day in air conditioned buildings or automobiles) and caught up with everyone. one of my cousins just started college at cal state long beach. her suite has the same bathroom facilities we did at ucsd (two toilets, two showers) except she has to share it with 13 other girls instead of just 7 like I did. yikes! good luck with that!

so besides all that, classes are going pretty well. I don't feel overwhelmed yet, but I don't think I will either.

oh, and I failed the comps (along with more than half of the people who took them) so I will be taking them again in January. sounds like fun, huh?

Thursday, September 01, 2005

vacation, here I come

so I'm off to escape the heat! I'm leaving for LA tonight and then will go up to Carpinteria (in Santa Barbara) for the weekend to be with my family. it should be nice and relaxing (even though I do have about 80 pages of reading to do while I'm there). the best part about the weekend is that the high temperature projected for the weekend is 72. ah, heaven. it's 108 here right now, so I'm very excited about that.
I'll post more later!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

a long way home

so classes started this week. I seriously can't believe how many people are on campus. it seems like twice as many as I remember from the last two semesters. craziness. stupid freshmen. wandering around lost. it's hilarious. hehe.

I am taking two classes this semester. they are both education classes, so no physics! woo hoo! it's a nice break, let me tell you. I'm also taking some research credits and working on the same research project from the summer, so that will be good as well. all those things will definitely keep me busy. I already have over 100 pages of reading to do for next week. but the good thing is that I don't have any tests this semester, just a bunch of papers and presentations and stuff like that. which I prefer. so yay for that.

Monday was Angel's birthday, so we went out to Gordon Biersch for dinner and then to the Cue Club afterwards for some drinks. it was lots of fun.

yesterday was a totally full day, with all my classes and meetings and stuff.

today wasn't so bad as far as all of that goes, but there was an interesting incident on the way home. so, Katie and I have been carpooling this week since it's really super hot and we don't want to ride our bikes (parking is free during August). so she drove this morning and everything was great. we had to park pretty far away, but there was a shuttle to drop us off by our office, so no worries there. we had to leave our offices around 2:45 so I could get home in time to drive to my research project meeting in mesa. so, that was fine. we went over to the shuttle stop and waited with everyone else. we ran into Hwi and talked to her for a while and then her bus came so she left. ours showed up a few minutes later, but it was totally full, so we had to wait for the next one. the next one was so full it didn't even stop, so against our wishes, we decided to walk to the car. it was really f*cking hot today, so we were dripping by the time we finally got out there. we manuevered out of the parking and got onto Rural Ave. we decided that there was a bunch of traffic there, so we should take McAllister instead. so, we got into the left hand turn lane on Rural to turn onto University to get to McAllister. here's a map if you're confused (please note that our car was parked as far away as possible from campus). as we're sitting in the lane (we are the next car to turn), Katie's car totally dies. like won't even turn on. so there goes the a/c. crap. we realize right away that she is out of gas. arghh! and of course, we are across the street from a gas station. so I got out and tried to push, but something was wrong and it wouldn't move (it was in neutral, but as we realized later, the ignition was in the wrong place). after waiting about ten minutes in the ridiculous heat, we convinced two strong boys walking across the intersection to help us out. they figured out what was wrong with the ignition and helped us get it across the street. whew. so finally we got some gas and everything was good again. luckily I wasn't too late to my meeting and everything worked out ok.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

glad that's over

well, I finished taking the comps yesterday. and all I can say about that is that it's over. I'll find out in about a week how badly I failed. hehe. we'll see. I'm still praying for partial credit.

to celebrate the end of the test from hell, some of us went out last night (after, of course, a nap). angel, hwi, and I went to get some great sushi and sake bombs for dinner. it was delicious. we even got a free dessert. woo hoo. after that, alec and rosa (one of the new grad students) met up with us to go see "the 40 year-old virgin". it was hilarious. I haven't laughed that hard for that long ever at a movie. steve carell is awesome. he really made the movie. after the movie, we went to back to katie's place and hung out for a while. by that point, we were all exhausted and went home. I think I slept for about ten hours. it was wonderful.

the plan for the rest of the weekend: do as little as possible. school starts on monday, so I plan to be as lazy as possible before then. so far, so good.

a hilarious article: intelligent falling (from the onion).

Thursday, August 18, 2005


while procrastinating tonight, I ran across this blog: http://avantgame.blogspot.com/2005/08/ministry-of-reshelving.html
a great book, and a really funny idea.
(some of the comments are hilarious too - people need a sense of humor.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


so the first day of the comps was today. from 8am to 1pm we struggled through seven classical mechanicis and electricity/magnetism problems. my brain still hurts. we got some free ice cream later in the afternoon, but even that didn't help much.

tomorrow is another study day and then on friday we have quantum mechanics and statistical mechanics. hopefully that will go alright.

pray that the graders are generous with partial credit. seriously.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

my name in lights

ok, not really lights, but it's still pretty cool. here's what's going on with me this week.

so, yesterday I flew to salt lake city, utah for the summer meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). it was a fairly uneventful flight and trip to the hotel we are stayng at, near the university of utah (where the conference is). I didn't get a whole lot of sleep last night and had to wake up super early this morning (6am, which was really 5am for me). today was the first unofficial day of the conference, and we went to two four-hour workshops. it was slightly painful, especially around 2:30pm when the caffeine started to wear off and I got a bit punchy. anyway, it could've been worse I suppose. at least they are paying for me to be here (and for my food and everything which is totally sweet).

there were a few redeeming highlights today. first, when we checked in the registration area this morning, we got a t-shirt with our packet. on the back of the t-shirt, there is a list of all the people who are presenting a poster or talk at the conference. and my name is there! it was exciting. then there was boring boring boring. after the last workshop, Brian went with me to go find Fred, my old boss from SDSU. it was so good to see him and see how the project was going and everything and how everyone in the office was doing.
after dinner, Brian and Jen and I headed back to the conference area because we heard there was some free food (this is the only way to get graduate students to go anywhere). there were lots of booths set up with various vendors trying to get you to buy their books or calculators or physics demonstrations. it was pretty ridiculous. but they had chocolate cake, so it was ok. Brian decided to make it more interesting, we would search out all the free stuff and try to get as many stickers and pins attached to him as possible, making him the physics whore. it was quite funny; (one of our favorite stickers said, "the physics front" on it. we stuck it to his back). while we were walking around, I ran into one of the professor I knew from UCSD who I haven't talked to in a while, so that was really great as well. but the best part was seeing the finished project of the textbook/curriculum I had been working on at SDSU. it had finally gotten published and the publisher was there and had the full-color, hardcover version (I had only ever seen a black and white softbound). it was really amazing to see this thing that I had helped work on for sale and potentially being used by students all around the country. however, the best part, is that my name is listed as one of the contributors to the book (as it should be). it was so cool to see my name in print like that, in a real book and everything. It was a great feeling.

Brian and I ended the evening at the bar with a few drinks and then the hot tub at the hotel. it was a good end to a long and tiring day.

tomorrow morning I get to present my poster on the research I was doing this summer. hopefully it won't be too boring. I have to stand in front of it for an hour while people come by and ask me quesions about me. we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

"are you a rocket scientist?"

so the most hilarious thing happened today at school. I was sitting in my office, working on some stuff on my computer, when all of a sudden my advisor (in the adjoining office) starts freaking out about something. Jen went in to investigate what the disturbance was, but she didn't really say anything except, "oh crap" or something to that effect. so, now, Brian and I are intrigued and walk in there and we see that the entire office is filled with smoke and smells completely awful.

so it turns out that our advisor was making some popcorn in the microwave and just trusted the machine to know when to stop popping. it was a smaller than normal bag and I'm guessing that the microwave didn't know or care. anyway, it caught on fire and since the microwave was sitting on a cardboard box, it started to catch that on fire too. around this point, our advisor saw the smoke and realized something bad was happening and proceeded to freak out. Brian came in, unplugged the microwave and took it out to the stairwell while Jen and I and our advisor started to get the smoke out of the room. we were afraid the fire alarm and/or the sprinklers would go off, both things being not fun situations to be in. apparently when Brian opened up the microwave, there was some yellow gas that rushed out (probably the butter?). luckily he didn't get burned or anything.

here's a picture of the guilty microwave (and the bag of scorched popcorn):

so then our advisor decided that she had to call the campus police and tell them what happened. they called the fire department and sent them over. we were expecting at the most one truck with a couple guys to make sure that everything was ok and that nothing was still burning, etc. she explicitly told them on the phone that nothing was still on fire and that there was just some smoke (and an awful smell). so, a few minutes later (and we are still laughing hysterically at this point), we hear some fire engines. multiple ones. and we're like, oh crap, did they really send a bunch of trucks for this?

well, I guess the fire department was fairly bored today, because apparently they sent over four trucks (although we think they may have been exaggerating - we only saw two). three firemen, in full gear, carrying hoses, tanks and long hook things, came up the stairs a little bit later to see what was actually going on. once they saw the microwave, they started radioing in "popcorn in microwave" over and over again. and then they started making fun of our advisor. they were like, "are you a professor here"? and "are you a rocket scientist"? we were like, well, she's a physicist. and they started laughing. and we started laughing. it was really funny. they were giving her a really hard time about it, which made it even funnier. she was a pretty good sport about the whole thing, but definitely won't be hearing the last of it for a while.

the firetrucks:

so, all in all, it was an interesting afternoon at work. I would like to point out, that even though it was a tiny bag of popcorn and our office is on the fifth floor, the smell permeated all the way down onto the first floor. I think our office will smell bad for at least a week.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


today and yesterday were mind-numbingly annoying in terms of work, but luckily each day was redeemed by something else happening. yesterday, it was a lunch trip to in-n-out with brian and then shopping with katie and angel in the evening (complete with dinner at cpk). today, it was an awesome thunderstorm and a subsequent short-term power outage. oh, and I also bought a label-maker for no real reason.

the thunderstorm is really cool. it started getting windy (like around 50mph) around 7pm or so, and then around 8 or so, my power went out. that was exciting in and of itself. luckily I found my flashlight without any difficulty and then got some candles lit. after a while I decided to go over to angel's house which was a couple blocks away, but had power. we watched the storm develop even more and it started pouring rain around 9pm. by the time I left his house about 45 minutes later, the streets were already sort-of flooded and made driving home more interesting than usual. when I got home my power was back on (luckily) and it's still raining and probably will keep going for at least a few more hours.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

grad school, eternal damnation...what's the difference?

today's PhD Comics was especially hilarious:

and the studying continues...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

pics from last weekend

we went out for steve's birthday on friday, as I mentioned earlier. here are some pictures from our night out.

this was us at the big bang, where after a few drinks, steve was called on stage and did the ymca dance in front of the entire club. it was hilarious (I have a video, but it's too big to upload to my other site. sorry.) what is angel doing?

before the big bang, we were at the cue club and played a bit of pool. here are the guys discussing a crucial shot.

30 days, physics style

so Angel and I decided to start a new blog documenting our immense pain over the next 30 days while we're studying for our stupid written comps. you can read all about it here: http://30daysphysicsgradschool.blogspot.com
I will still be posting here, of course, but the other site should be good as well.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

harry potter and the half-blood prince

so I just finished the sixth book. and I am still stunned. so many things happened that I was not expecting (though, some of them were not surprising nonetheless). it is quite an emotional book, and much much darker than any of the previous ones. it is also probably my favorite of the six. I think this is due mainly to the way that all of the plot lines are interwoven so well so that the book flies by and keeps you interested all the way through. plus, there are so many revelations and explanations that bring together many of the things that have been questioned during the rest of the books. in that way, the ending is good because it answers a lot of questions. however, it also leaves you feeling very anxious and expectant because you can taste how close the last book is (even though you know it will be at least two years before we get it). the inevitable death that we all knew was coming was harder to take than expected, but this was mostly due to the person who did the killing. that part, more than anything, upset me and will keep me waiting to see what happens in the last book.
the romance in the book was highly amusing (and also with the pairings that I thought would happen) and that, along with the usual interesting little tidbits about the magical world that rowling throws in every now and then, make it a very enjoyable read. it had just the right mix of humor, mystery, adventure, and emotion to make it the best book of the series so far. just be sure to have a tissue on hand while reading the last few chapters.

Friday, July 15, 2005

5 weeks to go

the last week and a half has been particularly annoying. the studying for the comps has been kicked into high gear and it's slowly killing me. five weeks from yesterday is the first day of the test, so I'm starting to really freak out, and I'm hoping that it doesn't get much worse (but of course, it will). *sigh* anyway, I have lots and lots of studying to look forward to during the next five weeks and hopefully it won't entirely kill me. luckily tomorrow night the new harry potter book comes out (year six: harry potter and the half-blood prince) so that will help me have some enjoyable breaks from studying over the next week.

oh, and it's really freaking hot here. the high has been around 112-113 the last week and will probably continue that for the next two months or so. ugh. I had soccer practice tonight and it was still over 100 degrees when we finished up around 9pm. that is insane. insane!

Saturday, July 02, 2005

san diego!

so, earlier in the week I decided to go down to san diego this weekend for the fourth of july (and for a reprise from the 112 degree phoenix heat). friday afternoon I set off to drive down there. I was expecting a really long boring drive, but it actually wasn't too awful. I had lots of cds to listen to (and a in-dash 6 disc changer so I didn't have to do much) and it went much quicker than I was anticipating. first of all, excluding the stop I took in Yuma for some dinner and a bit of a break, it only took me five and a half hours. so that's fairly amazing. also, my car totally rocks as I was able to make the entire 400 miles on only one tank of gas! woo hoo! so yeah, it wasn't too bad. I got in late last night, and hung out with jeremy and a few other people that were over at his apartment.

today, I had lunch with carolyn down in the gaslamp (at this nice little pizza place) and walked around horton plaza a bit. then we decided to drive up to san clemente so that we could go to the rainbow sandal factory store. even though it took a while and there was a bunch of traffic on the way back, it was totally worth it. I needed new sandals sooo badly and kept meaning to order them online, but I'm so glad I didn't. not only did they have the entire selection there, but they were super cheap. I ended up getting two pairs instead of just the one pair to replace my worn-out ones and I paid only a little bit more than I would have if I had ordered them online and paid for shipping. so that was fantastic.

tomorrow, the plan is to go to the beach and see some more people probably.

Monday, June 27, 2005


so I've had a busy last couple of weeks. I've been meaning to post, but just keep forgetting or running of out time. anywho, here goes nothing.

last weekend was pretty fun. friday night we had a surprise birthday party for one of my office mates, Jen. we surprised her at the phoenix zoo and then went to Jody's house for a bbq. the zoo pales in comparison to the wonderfulness that is the san diego zoo, but it did have two redeeming qualities: first, it was super cheap; on friday evenings you can get in for only $2. second, they had this exhibit that you can go in and all these crazy squirrel monkeys are running around, literally inches away from you. they were super cute and hilarious (as all monkeys are). I took some video on my digital camera. one of the videos is posted here for your viewing enjoyment: click here

last sunday we had a really good soccer game; we beat the first place team. it was great. yesterday we played them again for the championship, but unfortunately lost. they were playing a very physical game which our team is not as used to. oh well. second place is still pretty good. our team has improved so much since last fall.

last week was pretty crazy at work. there was lots of stuff to do and seemingly not enough to get it all done. I did get a bunch of studying done, so I feel pretty good about that.

thursday night we all went out because it was Katie's last night here for two weeks. it was lots of fun and definitely hilarious. saturday, steve, brian, and todd had a party at their house, so that was cool as well. there weren't as many people as some of their past parties but I think everyone had a really good time.

in other news, there is less than three weeks left until the new harry potter book comes out, so I have begun to re-read book five so I will be all up to date when the half blood prince arrives. it sucks because I don't know anyone else here who reads the books so I don't have anyone to talk about it. plus, they all think I'm crazy. whatever. they are missing out.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Thursday, June 16, 2005



I am sooo excited. cannot wait until november. I think the most exciting thing is that they got so much of the original broadway cast in the movie (mark, roger, collins, benny, angel, and maureen). six out of eight ain't bad. check on the cast here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

30 days

so, there's this new show on fx called "30 days". morgan spurlock, the guy who only ate mcdonald's for one month in "super size me", has a new experiment. during each episode, he explores how it would be to live as someone else for 30 days. in this first episode, he and his fiancee moved to columbus, ohio and tried to live on minimum wage. it was a quite interesting and eye-opening exercise. the worst part came when both of them got sick on the same day and each had to make a trip to the emergency room. of course, they didn't have insurance, so the bills were enormous and completely ridiculous (I think they charged him $40 for an ace bandage). anyway, try to see it if you can. it's on wednesday nights at 10pm.

in other news, we won our soccer game on sunday (and I scored a goal!) so if we win the game this sunday, then we will play for the championship the following weekend. we will have to play really hard for that to happen, so hopefully our whole team will show up and give it their all.

my research is going well. I got a whole lot of new stuff to work on today, so that's good. being busy and productive is nice. studying is going slowly. I think we are making some progress, but I just don't know if we're making it fast enough. august 17th is creeping closer and closer.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

"bank error in your favor, collect $200"

ok, so it wasn't a bank error, but basically I felt like I had picked up the best community chest card in monopoly when I got my mail a week or so ago. there was a sizable check and I had no idea what it was for (it was from ASU). the mystery persisted for about a week, and finally last friday I got the answer I was hoping for, namely that the check was not a mistake and that I could deposit the money without any guilt (some friends were trying to persuade me to just cash it and not say anything). it turns out that I received a fellowship when I first got here and no one told me about it (or the other person who got it). we were supposed to be getting a check each semester, but somehow they not only forgot to tell us about it, but forgot to give us the money. and so, a couple weeks ago they realized what happened and just sent us all the money now. so it's super exciting. I get to pay off all of my credit cards and have a bit of money left over. so that's the best news in a long time. yay for that.

in other news, the studying for my physics comps test is going alright. I think I am making some progress. Angel and I have scheduled about two hours of studying every day for this month. next month, we'll move it up to probably four hours a day, plus one day of just studying. should be fun.

tonight I'm going to a Bright Eyes show with Katie. should be cool.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

work and last weekend

so I've gotten into the swing of things with my new research job. most days go something like this: roll into the office around 10am, read the newspaper online, work on something - usually this means reading one of the forty or so articles that are scattered around my desk, have lunch, read some more, argue with someone about what the article was saying, think about how to turn that person's research into some kind of research you can do, read some more, then go home.
only starting tomorrow, at the end of my "work" day I won't be going home, but instead going somewhere else to study for two or more hours for my crappy test I have at the end of the summer.
but I do like it. it's really interesting research and I feel like I actually can contribute something. so that's good.
oh, and today I got my new computer. ok, well, it's not actually new, it's a few years old, but it's hardly been used and it's pretty. it's a G3 iBook (soo cute). I'm updating the memory and getting a wireless card so it will be awesome in a couple days. I won't be complaining at all since it was free. and it works so much better than the other laptop I had at work which for some reason refused to let me view pdfs and doesn't like doing more than one thing at a time. what a lazy pc.

anyway, bought some new music today. yay for wilco (I got one of their older albums). I think that they are my new favourite band. even though I really like weezer's new album, I do think I have outgrown them a little bit. and wilco is really amazing. they make me happy. (radiohead's probably number two now I think.)

in other news, I had a pretty good weekend. had a couple of really nice long conversations with friends (carolyn and tom), and went to a couple really good parties (at katie's and jody's) for the memorial day weekend. it was lots of fun. thanks everyone.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

way to go George!

just got back from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and I must say, I am very pleased. Mr. George Lucas pulled it off and didn't make this last one suck. yes, there were some moments of cheesiness (he clearly cannot write a love story), but overall it was really good. the first part of the movie is awesome, then the middle drags a tiny bit, but it picks up in the end. R2D2 is seriously hilarious and yoda still kicks ass. the only other thing I can say is, four lightsabers?! now, I need to get some sleep. I am off to LA tomorrow evening for the weekend and hopefully will miss the 109 degree heat predicted for this weekend. phew.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


so I haven't slept very much the last three nights. it's mostly because I'm stupid (and I have to be at work at a decent hour in the morning - I started on my research project this week). here's why: sunday night I had a couple cokes with the celebratory dinner after our soccer game. couldn't fall asleep (it was very reminiscent of my insomnia days from last semester. not fun).

monday night, Angel and I cooked dinner for Katie, Adam, and Oscar at Katie's house. we all watched 'Raising Arizona' and laughed at the Tempe "accents" (the movie is set where we live now). great movie. anyway, I didn't get home until like 2am or something. very stupid.

last night, I rented the movie 'Tarnation' and watched that. Jeremy had told me about it a few weeks ago and it looked really interesting. it's a documentary by this guy Jonathan Caouette about his life growing up with a dysfunctional family (including his schizophrenic mother). he started making the movie when he was about 11 years old and continued filming his life up until now (he's about 30). he had a budget of about $200 and edited the whole thing on apple's iMovie. considering all of this, it's really quite an amazing movie. it's not always easy to watch a documentary (especially if you're not used to watching a movie without a real plot), but this one was very different. there was a real emotional core to it that pulled you in and didn't let go. Jonathan's story is both amazing and heart-wrenching. and the way that he tells it is so unique and spellbinding that it's hard to look away. anyway, I really liked it. the love he has for his mother despite all of her problems (and the problems they have caused him) is really inspiring and beautiful.

tonight I won't be sleeping much either since I and a bunch of friends are going to a midnight showing of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. should be lots of fun (and hopefully - please Lucas don't let us down - a good movie too).

Sunday, May 15, 2005

pics of the car!

so here are some pictures of my brand-spanking new car:

it was a pretty good weekend. saturday morning I bought a car (yay!). then that afternoon I drove katie and angel to the mall (even though I had no money left to spend). we got some chipotle and enjoyed the mass consumerism.

that evening, me, katie, angel, and adam went to this free reggae festival at the tempe town beach lake (or whatever it is called, since it's not really a lake or a beach). it was pretty fun, especially all the people-watching (old drunk people are really hilarious). as we were walking back after the concert on mill, some little kid came up to adam and said, "the world is flat". we were like, "what?!". it turns out that one of the astronomy professors and his family were right behind us and the professor paid his kid two bucks to say that to adam. it was pretty funny.

today, I did a bit of cleaning (after sleeping in) and then went to trader joe's with katie (she had never been there before, so that was fun). it was sooo hot! today was the first day it was over 100 degrees. it's all downhill from here. then I had my weekly soccer game at 6pm (it still pretty hot, but not too horrible). it was a pretty decent game, we won 8-1. the best part, though, is that I played forward for a little while and I scored one of the goals. woo hoo! I think they're not going to let me play only defense anymore. but that's cool. it was fun.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

I am no longer car-less!

so, folks, it is official. I now have a car. I went in this morning at 9am to the toyota dealership and emerged only two hours later a proud new owner of a corolla (phantom gray le in case anyone really cares). yay for that. (thanks again mike for driving me over there.) everyone was really nice and helpful and made the whole thing really easy. they even gave us a free lunch afterwards. woo hoo.

so, yeah, I'm super excited. don't need other people dragging my sorry ass around anymore. first order of business: the mall with angel later this afternoon (although I don't have any money left to spend unfortunately). hehe. oh well. at least I have a car!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

done! one year down, five (?) to go

well, the day I have been waiting for has finally arrived. I have finished my first year of grad school. somehow, I survived. whatever doesn't kill you, makes you stronger (and builds character, as calvin's dad always said) so I am filled with a new strength.

I stayed up most of last night working on my take-home advanced electromagnetism final. and it was tons of fun, let me tell you. I think I slept about four hours and woke up around 7am (like I have the past three days - which in and of itself is quite an accomplishment for me) to get it all finished. it's definitely not perfect, but it should get me a passing grade.

now I have the rest of the week to relax, re-organize my office to get ready to start my research on monday, and clean my apartment. (and possibly buy a car). sounds good.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

pretty picture

the Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) today is really beautiful. check it out here: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
here's a close up of it: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/image/0505/saturnplane_cassini_big.jpg
it is a new picture of saturn taken from the cassini satellite. it's super cool because of the angle it is taken from. the rings are totally edge-on so you almost can't see them. also, there is a shadow on the planet from the rings that is really cool. hope you enjoy.

it is 8:30pm and I am still at school and probably will be here until at least 11pm. such is life. I can't wait for next wednesday when I will be done! today was interesting because we had the end-of-the-year physics department party-like thing. there was some free food (so the grad students would attend) and they gave out some awards to people we didn't know. the funniest thing was just watching the other people in the party. katie remarked it was like junior high all over again. everyone was standing on one side of the room, only talking to people they knew. the only difference from junior high was that the topics of conversation were physics-related. physicists are funny like that.

Monday, May 02, 2005

finals, music, and a paranoid android

I can't believe it's May. holy crap. that means I'm almost done with school. one week from tomorrow I will be all finished with my first year of grad school. that is a scary thought. this semester has gone by so fast (especially compared to the long hell last fall). I have one class tomorrow, lots of grading to do, and lots of homework to work on. wednesday is "reading day" (or as one of my students called it, "the day off of school to play video games"). I won't be doing that, but I will be studying and homeworking. more of the same on thursday. then on friday I have to turn in some quantum mechanics homework and take my statistical mechanics final. should be tons of fun. the weekend will be spent working on my electricity and magnetism take-home final (due tuesday) and studying for my quantum mechanics final (on monday). so, once I finish all that I'll be done! then I get the rest of next week off to sleep and do lots of useless stuff. I start working on my research project the following monday.

I saw the hitchhikers guide to the galaxy on friday night and it was really good. I was a bit worried because the movies have a bad habit of screwing up really good books, but it was actually really funny and carried along the spirit of the book really well. the stuff they added was cool (especially the yarn vomit) and the stuff in the book was done well. and I guarantee you will come out of the theatre singing the theme song, "so long and thanks for all the fish". it was great.

I also finally went to the music store on campus. hadn't been in like almost a month. I got the new stereophonics cd (which I really like), donnie darko on dvd, and pre-ordered the new weezer cd that comes out next week. I'm really hoping that it's good, but my expectations aren't too high. the green album was not so wonderful and I only really like about half the songs on maladroit, so we'll see what happens. I have to say that when I first heard "beverly hills" I was kind of disapointed (I'm not really sure why, it just wasn't what I was expecting), but after listening to it a bit more, it got stuck in my head, so that's a good sign. I'll let you know about the rest in a week. I also listened to the new ben folds cd in my friend's car over the weekend and I think I might pick that up too. it's pretty good.

oh, and the new soccer season started yesterday. and I already have a massive bruise on my knee. some guy who is twice my size totally ran into me and I fell on my knees in the dirt (our fields suck and there's very little grass). so I have these really beautiful bruises and future scabs forming on my knees. it's hot.

Monday, April 25, 2005


so we won our soccer game last night. it was actually a pretty boring game (we won 5-2), especially when compared to the two horrible games we had the previous weekend. both of those games were against our arch-rivals, the "twinkies" (yes, that's their actual team name, I'm not making fun of them) who are probably the meanest team in the league. they were hard games physically but they also weren't any fun because most of the guys on their team are jerks. so that kind of sucks. we won the first game and lost the second, mostly due to some really awful referee-ing. the guy actual didn't know some of the rules of the game and we were tempted to bring him a copy next time we saw him just so he would know what to call. it was ridiculous. anyway, that is over now, and we triumphed over them because we are first place in the league. woo hoo! go brilliant! so that's exciting.

what else is new:
-only two and a half weeks until the semester is over. I cannot wait. then I can start working on research and not have any more homework to do for a while. I will be working full time and studying all summer, but I think that will be good for me. hopefully it won't suck.
-I will be buying a car very shortly (probably in less than a month). still trying to finalize my decision as to what to get. I'm leaning towards a toyota corolla right now because of the reasonable price and the good gas mileage. we'll see. I kind of want a civic, but those get stolen so often it just doesn't seem smart. I don't know.
-weezer has a new cd coming out in a couple weeks. should be interesting. they are on the cover of rolling stone this week. very interesting article. rivers just keeps getting weirder and weirder. I just don't get it. I'm not still obsessed with them, but I am very curious to see what the new album will be like. I really really want to go to coachella this year to see them (and wilco since their show in arizona is now sold out - I am stupid and waited too long to get tickets) but it just doesn't seem like it's going to happen. so sad.
-it's starting to get hot here. last week was pushing into the 90s. but then it rained over the weekend, so I'm not sure what's going to happen. hopefully the weather waits a bit longer before it gets really gross. summer in phoenix; what was I thinking?

"happiness is in the doing, not getting what you want." -Before Sunset (such an amazing movie)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

a busy couple of weeks

so I haven't really posted since I got back from my spring break trip to Puerto Rico which is because I've super busy back at school. I'm still not used to this semester thing. we still have another month left of school, but then I'll be done in the beginning of may. what is that about? oh well, whatever, I'm not going to complain. only it feels like the semester will never end. I'm so glad we had quarters at ucsd. so much better.

anyway, school is going well in most respects. the really good news is that I have a research position for the summer months (for the parts of the day when I'm not studying my butt off for the stupid comprehensive exam at the end of august). so that should be fun (or at least interesting which almost as good). the other excellent news is that I'm going to the aapt (american association of physics teachers) national meeting in august as well and will be presenting a poster on some of the stuff I will be working on this summer. so that's cool. I'm super excited.
I also got another office, so now I have two offices in my building (one for TA stuff and one for research stuff). but the best part about it is that in my new office I also have my own laptop computer to use (with wireless) so I don't have to wait on the abysmally slow shared computers downstairs in the other office. haha suckers! lol.

and my soccer team kicks ass. we are 1 point away from first place now. brilliant!

also, the weather here is beautiful right now. I am trying to enjoy every day because I know that in about a month it is going to be hot and gross. oh well. at least it's nice right now.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Puerto Rico!

so I spent last week in Puerto Rico and it was totally wonderful. we had such a great time, we saw the most beautiful places and hung out with some cool people (and ate lots and lots of great food...mofongo!). I think I ate one form or another of plantains at almost every meal. they are so good. anyway, it was lots of fun. here is a smattering of pictures to give you an idea of some of the things we saw and did.

one of our first views of puerto rico as we drove around the town of naranjito, where angel grew up

after our trip to mayaguez, we went to this fabulous beach in cabo rojo

another view of the beach (that is the very southwestern tip of the island...and beyond that, the caribbean ocean!)

a view down the beach

adam, angel, katie and me

later that night, we went out to celebrate katie's friend's birthday. this was taken after we each had a couple rum and cokes.

the next day, we headed up the west coast and stopped in rincon where we saw some humpback whales that migrate here annually. it was really cool.

one of the beautiful cliffs in rincon

another beautiful shot of rincon

they also had a lighthouse and some really good pina coladas there

that night, we headed up to old san juan. this is an old fort called El Morro.

a shot from the fort towards the north coast of the island

angel and adam striking a pose

another beautiful sunset while we were walking around old san juan

the next day we headed over to arecibo to see the big radio telescope. here are the computers that are searching for "little green men". hehe. just kidding. on the left is the computer for the serendip project and on the right, you can see the feed for the seti at home project. (we also saw the computer that discovered the first pulsar)

we were very lucky because adam knew one of the researchers there, so we got a personal tour of the telescope. this picture is taken from the middle of the telescope.

some of you might recognize part of this from the movie goldeneye where james bond was fighting some bad guy. i don't remember. but the telescope is cool.

here is paolo (adam's advisor) showing us one of the new detectors. we are inside the gregorian dome at this point (if you know what i'm talking about - if you don't, don't worry about it, it's the big dome thing in one of the following pictures).

katie, angel, and me in the fun hard hats we had to wear while we were up on the telescope.

here is the cat walk that we had to climb up to get to the telescope. you can see the visitor's center for here where everyone else had to stay. haha! isn't it beautiful there?

here is a view of the dish from the cat walk with a shadow of the detectors and all that stuff (we were up pretty high).

back at the visitor's center, me and the telescope

another beautiful sunset at another beautiful beach

the next day, we travelled to the rainforest, el yunque. here is a view from an observation tower.

hiking through the rainforest

at one of the waterfalls

maybe angel really is a monkey?

at yet another beach, this time on the northeast corner of the island

katie and me

one more sunset

palm trees and the last sunset

Saturday, March 12, 2005

midterms over, spring break here I come

okay, so I survived the week of midterm hell. what a ridiculous week! aaah! anyway, it's over now and I think I did alright. now I'm off to Puerto Rico for a fun spring break!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

sunshine and "A" mountain

this has been quite a weekend. last week was a bit stressful in terms of school stuff, so I was very happy to have a whole weekend and no homework hanging over my head. friday night I spent with a good friend and some good conversation and music (one of the nicest evenings I've had in a long time). saturday I went to IKEA with katie and angel to try and spend the wonderful birthday present from my friends (you guys are awesome). then we went to in-n-out for some yummy burgers.

today the sun was out and it was a beautiful day. katie, angel and I decided to hike up to the top of "A" mountain next to campus. afterwards, we had a nice lunch at gordon biersch and then they had to work on some homework. I stayed at home and watched the academy awards. I am so so happy that both of the screenplay awards went to the people and movies I thought that they should (charlie kauffman for "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" and alexander payne for "sideways", both excellent movies). and johnny depp looked hot (too bad he didn't win). so that was good.

so here is a smattering of pictures from our little adventure today.

"A" mountain, so named for the big letter on its side, in honor of Arizona State University. go sun devils!

some cool rocks

the view of the part of campus where my office is from the mountain

me and katie on the A

some other mountains in the distance

katie, angel, and me at the top, above downtown tempe

Friday, February 18, 2005

puerto rico!

guess what? I'm going to Puerto Rico for spring break in just a few weeks! how exciting is that? one of the other grad students is from there, so we are going to stay with him and his family and everything. it should be great. I really really need a vacation (right now) and will need one even more by the time it finally comes around. I can't wait!

picture me here in just a few weeks!

Sunday, February 13, 2005

happy birthday to me!

so yesterday was my birthday. I am now officially old (24). le sigh. but, actually, it's not so bad. I had a really great time last night. I invited a bunch of people out to dinner to celebrate. we went to Rula Bula, this irish pub that has great food. I, of course, got the fish and chips (soo good). we also had lots of guinness, black and tans, and some irish car bombs as well (a shot of baileys dropped into some guinness). after dinner most of us headed over to another bar down the street where we had some more drinks and lots of fun. I hope you all had as much fun as I did. thanks for a great night!

the whole gang at dinner (rula bula, an irish pub on mill avenue). adam, brian, steve, keely, mike, alec, oscar, angel, katie, me, hwi, and tedman

starting the evening off right with a few irish car bombs

katie and me being silly (how else could we be?)

katie, angel, and me

adam, with some very good desert

over at the cue club (the bar we went to after dinner)

adam and me

angel and brian

me and brian