Thursday, July 31, 2008


One year ago today, Greg and I left our apartment in Tempe and took up residence in our new place in San Diego. It's hard to believe it's already been a year, but memories of living in the desert are growing dim. I love the proximity to ocean, friends, family, and northern California that the move gave us. Here's to another good year ahead!

Today also marks my completion of Laurie Halse Anderson's "Write Fifteen Minutes A Day" challenge. Even while road-tripping, I managed to find those fifteen minutes in which to write. I'm really grateful to her for the challenge, which seemed much more manageable and maintainable than something like nanowrimo. Now the trick is to keep up the new habit, even when school starts. During the challenge, I mostly followed her given prompts for what to write for the day. Anybody want to volunteer some fiction prompts for me in the comments? Your contribution would be much appreciated by this aspiring writer.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Nerd Prom!

Thanks to houseguests A and K leaving us their badges when they departed last night, we went to Comic-Con! Just us and about 125,000 of our ilk. We were only there for a few hours, but that allowed us to quickly peruse the dealers room, see Peter Mayhew look very bored, and ogle the Owl ship from Watchmen. We also ran into B & A and their really cute kids and met up for dinner with them later.

Promotion for The Mummy, set up outside the convention center:

About 1/8th of the dealers room:

Ah, Comic-Con... can't wait til next year:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Links on My Mind

The New York Times published a horrifying article this week: Botox for Bridesmaids. Apparently it isn't enough now to get manicures together, but brides now expect perfection of their bridesmaids. In one situation mentioned, the bride wanted her bridesmaids to get matching cleavage enhancements. Hell, you'd be hard-pressed just to get me in a dress... heels are not even negotiable! I don't understand the world.

I understand the universe much better, but that's because I was well trained. You may have seen a news story this week about understanding the trigger for aurora. The scientist in charge of the THEMIS mission, Vassilis Angelopoulos, was a graduate student at UCLA when I was an undergrad there. In fact, I was his student worker for my last two years at UCLA. He taught me how to analyze data, enhanced my programming skills, and inspired me with his dedication and his kindness. What scientific skills I may have were first learned at his side, and I'll always be grateful to him and never surprised to see him do well.

Here's a list of possible names for the new Oklahoma City NBA team - Barons, Bison, Energy, Marshalls, Thunder and Wind. Wow, I'm trying to think of worse options, and I am not coming up with any. Could we please send the team back to Seattle now?!?!?!

And now, two nominees for best blog ever: Cake Wrecks and (huge spoiler alert!) Bear's Battlestar Blog. Cake Wrecks takes a horrifying look at professionally-made cake disasters, and I was in tears after laughing at some of the images. Bear's Battlestar Blog is the creation of Bear McCreary, the composer for Battlestar Galactica. Don't read entries for the episodes you haven't seen! I'm just warning you! Otherwise, if you're as much of an admirer of the musical score for BSG as I am, you'll appreciate the composer's insight on making the music work for the episodes and into the creative process. Some musical cues are provided, too!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm back

We saw The Dark Knight today, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I also loved the Watchmen trailer. It looks perfect, but the potential for suckage with such a complicated story is high. It's been a good summer for comic book movies, though. Maybe the trend will continue.

We had a great trip to Northern California. San Francisco, Fort Bragg, the Wine Country... it was hard to leave! Here are a few pics to show you why!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Lovin' Northern California

Spent a few days in San Francisco and one night in Fort Bragg. Spending a couple of days in the Napa Valley before returning home. A few comments:

  • I have not needed allergy medication since arriving in San Francisco.
  • San Francisco is still my favorite city.
  • If everybody in the country could eat the produce from the farmers markets around here, we'd all be much healthier.
  • The northern California coast is still as gray and quiet and lovely as ever.
  • Even if you don't drink any alcohol, like myself, the Wine Country still has a lot to offer.
  • Biking around the valley for six hours yesterday has not left me in pain today. Yay!

If any of my pictures turned out, I'll post them when I get home. Hope y'all have been having a good week!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Two things

First, congratulations to our dear David Moles for being honored with the Sturgeon Award.

Second, because the best thing about living in Southern California is its proximity to Northern California, I head north tomorrow. Behave while I'm away!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Be not ashamed

To the neighbor who hurriedly turned off his music after his shuffle playlist started blasting the theme from Chariots of Fire: You shouldn't have fumbled about playing snippets of two rock songs while regretting your Vangelis choices. We all have guilty pleasures when it comes to music. Heck, I have some Vangelis myself - the theme to Cosmos! ;)

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Bits and pieces

Spent a lovely Fourth of July with family and friends. Much yummy food was eaten, fireworks exploded without scorching people or property, good conversations abounded.

Just finished reading Superpowers by the wonderful David Schwartz. I really enjoyed it and recommend it.

If you're like me and you're still worried about the fires near Big Sur, this site is useful:

I'm at that point of the summer where I feel worthless as a human being because I'm not accomplishing much, but don't want to work because I'm still on summer vacation. I have two trips to look forward to before going back to work, but I have a feeling that my physics and astronomy schedules for Fall 2008 will be completed by the end of the week. Y'all know I like my job, but I think having a month or two when I'm not working sixty hours per week is a good thing.

I have been accomplishing something, though. One of my favorite authors, Laurie Halse Anderson, has started the "Write 15 Minutes a Day Challenge". She's given prompts for those who do not have a work-in-progress, and I've been participating each day. It's been fun, and it's reminded me that I like to write and perhaps can take time from writing exams, class notes, etc... to do some other forms of writing. (There is, of course, the "does blogging count?"-debate, but we won't go there!)

Almost time for NFL training camps to start. Twitch, twitch...

And because I haven't harassed you with space pictures recently, here's Saturn, from Cassini: