Monday, June 30, 2008

Orange-Angeles adventures

last weekend was a blast. (ok, technically since it's Monday now, it was the weekend before last. but whatever.) it was a lot of driving, but it was totally worth it. it started on Friday with the Phoenix to LA-ish drive (or Orange-Angeles as Tom used to refer to the Orange County/Los Angeles County area). only this time I wasn't by myself. Jonah, Sarah, and Beth came along because we were all going to Disneyland! so I dropped them off in Anaheim and then went up to LA to see the family. bright and early the next morning, I picked up Anthony (the best brother in the world) and drove us both down to Disneyland. you see, Anthony now has this kick-ass job at ABC and can get me (and a couple other people) into D-land and California Adventure for free. so that's awesome. super awesome.
Saturday was also Beth's birthday so she was super excited and Jonah had something special planned for Sarah as well. the five of us got to the park just after the 8am opening and proceeded straight to the new-ish Finding Nemo ride that none of us had been on yet. however, we noticed there was no line for Star Tours and so we stopped there first. although that line is usually short (nowadays anyway), I have never actually walked onto the ride like I did that morning. after a short battle against Imperial star destroyers, we walked over to Space Mountain to get a fast pass. however, that line was also ridiculously short (about 10 minutes) so we decided to just go on it as well. crazy good luck! up next was Finding Nemo, which was about a 45 minute wait. but still, we couldn't believe our luck with the short lines. later in the day we realized it was at least partially due to the fact that it was ridiculously hot and humid all weekend. but it was worth it. the lines were shorter than I have ever seen them on a weekend during the summer. so that was nice. other highlights from the weekend at Disneyland: waiting in line at Pirates of the Caribbean (congratulations Jonah and Sarah!), Beth taking pictures of Pooh (a la Amelie and the gnome) constantly, dinner at the Blue Bayou, the kids doing the Jedi training academy, the backside of water (as always), Anthony getting sunburned, the super fun new Toy Story ride, and pineapple floats at the Enchanted Tiki Room. here are some pictures:
Disneyland June 08

after the eventful weekend at Disneyland, I spent a few more days in LA visiting family and friends from college and driving all over the place. I don't think I could have packed in any more fun.

in other news, I am officially mad at DirecTV because they are stupid. I tried to go watch the UEFA Euro 2008 Final yesterday at a pub with some people from my soccer team, but for some reason DirecTV screwed up and nobody could get it. anywhere. argh! (and yes, I was recording it at home, but I wasn't at home and now I don't want to watch it because I already know what happened.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

hello summer

so I know it's been a while since I've updated this blog, but I've been busy. busy doing what, you might ask. well, here's a recap of the last few months with links to appropriate photo albums:

February: in February I celebrated my birthday with more Star Wars legos (super awesome) and lots of beer at Four Peaks, got a new hard drive for my computer (not by choice, see previous post), went skiing up in Flagstaff, and tried to not get buried in school work.
Birthday 2008

March: first there was the spring break trip to San Francisco to see Tom (and also Tara and Navneet). we hung out at Golden Gate Park, had some really good brunch, visited the pirate store, and ate some delicious cupcakes. later in the month was the two conference trip to New York City and then Baltimore. lots of work, not much sleep, but totally worth it. while in New York, I saw two Broadway shows (Spring Awakening and A Chorus Line), drank some flavored vodka with Fred S-H, walked around Central Park in the cold, and spent an entire day at the Met. in Baltimore, I went to the Science Museum, ate a giant crab cake, hung out with Brian F, and did lots more work-related stuff. in all, the conferences were great; our presentations were well received, I went to lots of interesting talks, met some cool people, met some important people, and generally had a good time.
San Francisco

nyc and baltimore

April: more school work. recovered from all the traveling. and I got a dog! she's awesome. I named her Laika, after the Russian space dog that was the first earthling to orbit the Earth. she's a two (?) year-old Australian cattle dog mix that I got from the Arizona Animal Welfare League (the biggest and oldest no-kill shelter in the state). she was already house trained and knows some commands (but chooses not to follow them occasionally). she likes chasing birds, eating ice cubes, being friendly and adorable, and barking at invisible people outside our apartment.

May: lots more work. finished up the semester (glad that's over with). I have approximately four more classes left to take before I can take my comps (next spring). the dissertation research might start in the fall, depending on some funding issues and a few other things. so far, so good.

June: well, now it's June and summer is officially here. it was 107 today. which is officially hot. last weekend, some of us went cliff jumping at a swimming hole near Gisela (up near Payson). it was super fun. there was a collision of physics and soccer people there, which was an interesting mixture of personalities. everyone had a good time (although not everyone jumped off the 25 foot cliff. wusses).
Cliff jumping

rest of the summer: I'm doing research all summer. but I have lots of other things planned. I'm going to LA in a week or so. my brother has a kick ass job at ABC, so he can get me into Disneyland for free (woo hoo!). I'm also going to San Francisco for the 4th of July to hang out with my step-sisters and that side of the family. later in July I may or may not be going to a conference in Edmonton. in August I may or may not be going to Berkeley for a research meeting (NSF site meeting, to be more exact) and hopefully going to Seattle for Steve and Keely's wedding.
in the meantime, I will be reading lots of books and watching lots of movies and hanging out with all my awesome friends (except Angel, who will be in China for the summer and is going to the U.S. v Netherlands men's soccer game at the Olympics and is therefore no longer my friend, unless he brings me back something cool).