Wednesday, May 31, 2006

a new start

so the last few days have been absolutely crap. I spent all day sunday, and most of the day monday, tuesday, and today moving my stuff out of my old apartment into my new one. I had some friends helping me on sunday, when I had the u-haul truck and moved the heavy stuff and the furniture. the only good thing was that it was only 95 degrees this weekend, instead of the 110 it will be this coming weekend. ugh. anyway, it was pretty painful, but I managed through it. I finally finished cleaning and moving the last of it out today and am now trying to settle into the new place.

the spectacularly good news which is luckily overshadowing the crappiness of the past four days is that today, almost a week earlier than expected, my new MacBook showed up! it's soo beautiful! I love love love it. I also set up a wireless network in the new apartment so Hwi and I can use our laptops wherever. and it finally works. things are looking up.

so, I have a new apartment (and a new roommate!) and a new computer for a brand new start to the summer.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

I hate moving. end of story.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I ordered my MacBook! I'm so excited. it probably won't be here for another week and a half though, so that kind of sucks. I went to the Apple store, but because I wanted to upgrade the hard drive (as well as the ram), they said I had to order it online. sadness. oh well. it will be here soon. hopefully by then, everything will be settled into my new apartment. I'm moving this weekend into a 2-bedroom with Hwi. hooray! it will be lots cheaper, closer to school, and more fun. hopefully the move goes smoothly. I gave myself lots of time, like almost five days, so there shouldn't be any stressing out or anything. I hate the process of moving (packing and all that stuff), but I think this time it will actually be alright.

the world cup starts in two weeks!!!! soooo excited!!

Monday, May 22, 2006

state of the thesis

today's PhD comic seems especially appropriate to me this summer.

although I don't actually have an outline, I do have an impressive amount of data (some of which has been partially analyzed). go me! hehe.

oh, and travelogue update: I couldn't sleep the other night, so I finally posted the rest of the pictures for my europe trip. the link is on the left column. enjoy!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

let's see...what's new?

the season finale of Grey's Anatomy was soo good. I have gotten at least three other people addicted to the show in the last few weeks, so I feel really good about that. and, coincidentally, as it turns out (because I have season one on dvd and I am so smart), the actual hospital where they film the show is only a few blocks away from my dad's house in LA. it is an outpatient VA hospital and I used to drive by it all the time. no wonder it looked familiar! how cool is that?

I am moving in a little over a week to a 2-bedroom apartment - no more one bedroom for me. Hwi, one of the other grad students, is moving in with me, so that will be nice. it will be a lot cheaper, slightly closer to school, and not as quiet and lonely. so hooray for all that. it has been nice living in this apartment; it has been almost two years, which is the longest I've been living in only one place since 8th grade. crazy.

"school" is going well. I am deeply embedded in my summer research now, so that has been keeping me busy and interested.

yesterday was the final champions league game (european club soccer) of fc barcelona versus arsenal fc. and what a game it was. I only caught the last half, but it was probably the better half to see. first of all, it was pouring rain, and arsenal got a red card sometime in the first half so they were playing down a man the rest of the game. still, they managed to score and it was 1-0 when I turned it on. barcelona fought back hard and it was pretty even for most of the half. however, with about 15 minutes left, arsenal was getting tired and they let in two crazy goals in about four minutes. it was all downhill from there. the dynamic of the game totally changed and barcelona held the upper hand the rest of the way. it was such an exciting game to watch and it just made me sooo excited for the World Cup that is starting in a few weeks! the first US game is on June 12 (it's a Monday and the game is live at 9am, so you can be sure I'll be going into school late that day). hopefully we'll make it out of the group of death and into the round of 16. that would be awesome.

in other news, I'm going to buy a new computer once the move is finished. apple announced the new iBooks this week (it is now called the MacBook) and I can't wait! it looks so nice and I really need a new computer at home. my current dell laptop is almost four years old and is literally falling apart: one of the two hinges that connects the screen to the rest of the computer is no longer connected. I'm amazed it still works properly (although it did angrily beep at me yesterday. maybe it knows I'm replacing it). its hard drive is full and it is too slow for everything I want, so I am upgrading. I am going to get the 2.0 GHz white MacBook, but I'm going to upgrade the ram (to 1gb) and the hard drive memory (to 80gb) so it will be perfect. :)

Friday, May 12, 2006

zoom a little zoom

there is only one thing to say before I start this post. and that is to apologize to all my readers who do not share my nerdy tendencies. this post will lay bare all of my "science is awesome!", and "gee, that's neat" sort-of inclincations. so, sorry if you don't have these inclinations as well.

it all started yesterday morning as I was driving to one of the schools I was doing teachers observations at for my research project. I have been listening compulsively to NPR lately (maybe like the last six months), so I was tuned in as usual. Morning Edition was on, and there was this segment on a particular video blog (or vlog) called Rocket Boom. now, first of all, I was struck first because the vlog sounded hilarious and cool (in a real low-tech way). secondly, I was struck by the theme song of the vlog. it was stuck in my head the rest of the day.
when I got home last night, I looked up the vlog and watched a few webisodes which were quite good. however, I was still hung up on this song and I needed to find a way to get the mp3.

this afternoon, I did some more searching on the RocketBoom pages and found a link they had to the song {called "zoom a little zoom") and where (and who) it came from. it turns out that it is from some folk singer and it is part of a larger series of songs from the late 50's/early 60's called Singing Science. "Zoom a little zoom" is from the "space songs" album. so, I was super excited to be able to listen to (and download!) the song (it is now in the public domain). but, after looking at the rest of the songs on the album and the series I got even more excited. not only were there other songs like "The Ballad of Sir Isaac Newton", "It's a Scientific Fact", and "What is a Shooting Star?", but there is "Why does the Sun Shine?" which turns out is the original version that They Might Be Giants covered (and which I and the other astro grad students here have taken on as our theme song). needless to say, this was a majorly exciting find and after listening to the songs, I was crying I was laughing so hard. what a great afternoon!

Monday, May 01, 2006

James got married!

I spent about 16 hours in a car this weekend, but it was worth it. five of us drove to Socorro, New Mexico for our friend James's wedding. we made a couple stops on the way there, most notably in Pie Town (to have some lunch and, of course, some pie). we also drove by the VLA (Very Large Array) - a bunch of telescopes to you non-astro folks (they were in the movie Contact if that helps). the wedding itself was really pretty and nice. they had it in the background of a house that belonged to a friend of the family. the girl he married, Mirka, is from Slovakia and so they did the ceremony in both languages so her mother who was visiting would know what was happening. they also did a couple Slovakian rituals after the ceremony. one of them was really hilarious. Mirka smashed her champagne glass on a cement tile and then James had to clean it up. but he had to do it three times because each time she said it wasn't a good enough job and he had to do it again. we were cracking up. maybe you had to be there. the reception afterwards was lots of fun. there was some great food and plenty of wine and we all had a good time.
the drive back on sunday was fairly uneventful. I guess the important things to mention from the car rides was that I taught Katie how to knit on the way there and Hwi and Angel how to on the return trip. it definitely made the trip go by faster and it was fun too. they are hooked! (well, maybe not Angel - but he just needs to practice some more.) for some reason, Mike didn't feel like learning how to knit. hehe. I also got to use my brand new used polaroid camera that I picked up at the goodwill store last week for $4. what a deal!

in Pie Town, NM (notice Angel's new license plate)

the VLA telescopes

the happy couple

James cleaning up the mess Mirka made. hehe.

the five of us that made the trip: Mike, Hwi, me, Katie, and Angel

the girls and James

ah, look how pretty! hehe.

James and Angel being silly

Katie and Hwi being silly