Finals are over

Today (Yesterday) was my last day of classes this semester. It started off great. All I had to do was give a presentation in my paleontology on “Methane Driven Mass Extinctions – A Possible Cause for the Permian Extinction?” Class started at 8am. No problem with that. Except for the fact that I woke up at 9:45! Oh yes. I screamed, jumped out of bed, threw some clothes on and ran out the door. I got there right as the last presentation was going on. Luckily, my professor let me go after he was finished. How did that happen? Evidentially I set my alarm for 7PM instead of 7AM! That was nearly catastrophic.

My plan is to leave tomorrow at some point. Still have some stuff to take care of around town and need to finish packing up everything. Then I go to U-Haul to rent a truck and off I go! I should be back down in Redlands late tomorrow night. I’m not anticipating leaving here until nearly 12pm or 1. It’s about an 8 hour drive, so I should be in town by maybe 9:30 at the latest.

The last few days have been incredibly tedious, but it’s over! I found someone to sublet my room, finals are done, transportation back home seems to be arranged. I still need to get a place in Westwood, but I don’t have to worry about that until this weekend. Anyway, thanks to all the great people I’ve met up here in the past four months. Despite the stressful academic life, it has been an absolute blast.

Summer time… and the living is easy…

I just got back home from my going-away/summer-is-here party I had with people from work. Not that many people there, but I was definitely happy with who showed up. It was quite a fun experience and we talked until quite late. It’s kind of a bummer to have to take off when I’m just starting to really get to know people. Ah well, in 3 more months I’ll be back and things can pick up where they left off. Anyway, to Emily, Harmony, Julie, Katherine and Ben, I thank you guys!

Interestingly enough, as I was riding the bus home tonight, this guys leans over and quietly says something to me. I didn’t understand, so I asked him, “what was that?” His response was:
I hope I see you again.

!!

So, it’s 2 o’clock in the morning, I’m on a crowded bus in the middle of San Francisco and a guy is hitting on me. What do I do? I turn and flash him a smile and say “thanks!” He tells me to have a goodnight and gets off the bus.

Luckily, this event was cancelled out by a beach bonfire we had last night for the geology crew. Lot’s of hot dogs and drinks were provided for this end of the year bash. Musical instruments were even brought! I brought my guitar and jammed with one of my professors. Part way through the night, two girls from another bonfire came up and wanted to kidnap me and take me back to their bonfire. That was… interesting.

Anyway, it’s quite late/early, so I think I should head off for now. Goodnight.

Out with the cracka fro!

Well summer is almost upon us. You know what that means! Time to do away with the disheveled hair. My excuse for growing it out was basically because San Francisco is cold, and I need something to keep my head warm. In reality, I was just lazy and cheap! Anyway, here I am, all brand new and shiny! And a few pounds lighter now that all that hair is gone…

I’ve been taking a lot of pictures lately. Probably because I’m leaving for a few months and feeling like I’m already going to miss it up here. This is from Sunset Peak, which is basically our front yard. 🙂 Our house is the green house in the lower left hand corner by the tree. You can just barely make out the towers for the Golden Gate in the distance. Here is another from the peak, looking towards downtown San Francisco.

One final down, one to go. Plus two labs I need to finish (late), two projects for geomorphology I need to finish and a presentation on methane-driven extinctions. Ah yes, nothing like 7 days left in the semester and a workload equivalent to a whole quarter. This weekend is going to be hectic too! Last day of work tomorrow, geology bonfire at the beach on Friday night, and a going away party on Saturday night. Bring it on! I work best when under insane pressure anyway! (Though that probably isn’t a healthy thing at all!)

I forgot to mention in earlier posts, I finally sold my Epiphone Les Paul Gothic the other day. Nice to get that out of the way. Now I need to get rid of the Gretsch and all will be well.

Anything but studying.

This is my “I-Should-Be-Studying-But-I’m-Going-To-Do-Everything-Else-First” post. My room is always the cleanest when I have a project due or things to study for. A favorite quote I’ve seen on a Despair poster about procrastination: “Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.”

I’ve been getting quite a few emails lately about not buying gas on May 19th. I decided to visit a great site on the internet, entitled the Urban Legends Reference Pages to check this email out. I use it quite a bit and it is a great resource for anything that sounds too fishy (such as those “forward this to everyone you know and you will get $500 from Bill Gates!”). According to snopes, this May 19th “gas out” will have absolutely no effect. Basically what needs to happen is a boycott of larger proportions to send a message. As the snopes article states:

An event like a “gas out” can sometimes do some good by calling attention to a cause and sending a message. In this case, though, the only message being sent is: “We consumers are so desperate for gasoline that we can’t even do without it for a few days to demonstrate our dissatisfaction with its cost.” What supplier is going to respond to a message like that by lowering its prices?

David and I were jamming together the other day as well. Whenever we hang out, I get so inspired to play and write more music. He just has this awesome energy about him. I’m so happy my sister found such a rad guy. I showed him the latest on the song I was working on awhile ago and he was really excited about it. Perhaps I can actually finish this thing and do a good job recording. Our friend Phil is in New York working on an audio recording internship, so when he gets back, I’ll have to see if he’ll want to help out. Maybe by then, this thing will be done!

In astronomy news, there is some pretty rad stuff happening soon. On June 8th, Venus will transit across the face of the sun. Unfortunately, us living on the west coast won’t be able to see it. Doh! Of course if you are super geeky like me, you simulate it using a program called Celestia.

On my way back home from school today, I looked up as I was opening the door and discovered we evidentially have a new roommate!

Also, courtesy of my awesome friend Harmony, I came across an interesting website that talks about a photographic interview. It sounds like fun and once I find some time, I am going to try it! Well enough with the massive link propagation! Talk to you soon.

Two Weeks!

Things are quickly winding down. I really can’t believe how fast the past four months have flown by. What a wild trip it’s been. In two weeks, I should be back down in Southern California for a day, then Dan and I are going to head up for a quick hiking trip into the Sierras. After that, if things work out properly, I come back down and move into a new apartment in Westwood for the next 3 months. This time, I’ll only be an hour and a half from home, which isn’t too bad.

I finally had the real 90-day review yesterday at work. It went completely awesome! I scored a 30 cent raise and they told me to definitely come back at the end of summer. How awesome that went! My last day of work is on Thursday. I’m gonna miss that group of people.

On Wednesday there was a university-wide walkout that was supposed to be statewide, protesting the Guvernator’s fiscal policies that relate to the Cal State system. Not sure how well it went at other colleges, but there was quite a bit of noise at this one. I didn’t participate though. Way too much to do with finals coming up. However, the situation is pretty dire. They are cutting the engineering and dance programs here. The school can’t even afford to print up schedules for the fall semester! Some of us are worried that geology might be next on the hit list since we’re a fairly small program, but apparently we actually bring in quite a bit of money to the school with research grants.

I love this city!

Went to the beach yesterday to do some homework and took some pictures. It’s so awesome since there is a dune right there at the edge of the beach and you can just sit up on it and have an excellent view of everything. I also figured out the mileage and it is exactly two miles from my house.

Looking north
Looking south

This was taken in the evening a few weekends ago. Check out the famous fog. Yes, basically a picture of nothing: Fog!

Fall Semester

Stuff for the fall semester is coming together quickly. I had my advising appointment today and it looks like I will be able to take all the classes that I requested. However, it is going to be tough. Next fall will be nothing but geology classes: Stratigraphy, Structural Geology and Mineralogy. Between studying and field trips, that will leave little time to do anything else! However, I need all 3 of those classes to take the classes I want in Spring 2005. Ah!

The more I look at it though, the more I want to do my field camp in New Zealand during January 2006. What an unbelievable experience that would be! If I put my heart and mind towards nailing that goal, I’m positive I’ll find a way to go somehow. Hell, the last year is definitely evidence of this, as I have achieved all sorts of things that I really wanted. That tends to make one somewhat confident. 🙂

Tentative School schedule for the next few years:

*Plus a few GE’s and electives that I will have to throw around in certain area. ALMOST DONE THOUGH!!!

Brandy is definitely coming up to visit this weekend, so that will be fun to hang with her as well. In anticipation of this, I need to finish my paleontology paper tomorrow! We’ll see how far I can get. I’ll also need to turn in my two-weeks notice at work tomorrow too. I’m going to miss that group so much. These are some of the most friendly and awesome people I have ever had the fortune of working with in my life. I hope they let me back in when I return at the end of the summer.

The Boys of Summer

Baseball is back! I have to say last year’s playoffs was some of the most amazing baseball I have ever seen. From the Cubs to the Red Sox and even the Marlins, all the games were just phenomenal. And now that Murdoch and Fox have finally sold the Dodgers, I can like them again without a guilty conscience. Not a moment too soon too, because they are ON FIRE this year!

I just got back from a game tonight with some of my fellow geology classmates. Oakland A’s versus the Yankees. While I’m not necessarily a fan of either team, I am always down for hating on the Yankees. It was a great game and went all the way to the top of the ninth inning, when in true Yankees fashion, they tied it up and then drove in the winning run. While I wasn’t rooting for them, I can definitely appreciate some fine baseball.

Plans for the weekend:

» Wait for more info on that internship.
» Friends from high school, Emily and Brandy may be in town on Saturday night.
» Write a paper for paleontology.
» Finish up TWO late labs for geomorphology.
» Start looking for people to sublet my room for the summer.

Tomorrow is advising day as well. Looks like next semester is going to be another tough one. Currently on my plate is Mineralogy, Stratigraphy and Structural Geology. However, I might not be able to take the Structure class due to some funky prerequisites, so I may be taking Hydrology instead. In the next year I will need to squeeze in Physics 3 and Chemistry 2 somewhere also. Perhaps if I kick butt, I can take field camp in New Zealand in the winter of 2006! That would be so amazing! I think I can save up the roughly $4500 it will cost between now and then. Definitely worth it for 6 weeks!

Some various cleanup on the website too. I’ve added ratings for songs in the music section. Also, for those using Internet Explorer or Mozilla derivatives, you might notice the new background graphic up above. I thought it added a nice bit of personality to this blog. 🙂 The background picture doesn’t render in Safari for some reason though. Not sure why at the moment.

Dynamics of waves

This last week started off amazingly hot weather wise. The past 3 days have been absolutely perfect though. Yesterday, after sleeping through my alarm and ditching a class (doh!), I decided to go hang out at the beach for a while. That was refreshing to do. It’s so relaxing and the beaches up here aren’t crowded compared to the ones down south. Of course that is directly related to the fact that the water is icy cold. Despite that, it was a gorgeous day. Today I did… the same thing! Yes, that is unheard of. Me going to the beach on my own volition, let alone two days in a row! I decided to take advantage of the beautiful weather today and go running along the beach.

Of course all this beach stuff has sparked my interest in trying to surf. It looks so fun. Rentals for surfboards and wet suits down at Pacifica are fairly cheap from what I hear and I know some people who would be willing to teach me. They even have lessons, though that is slightly more expensive. However, a few things are stopping me. My fear of creepy, crawly things and other carnivores that lurk beneath the waves and the constant fact that Mother Nature is reminding you of whom your daddy is. The last time I was swimming at the beach was at San Clemente in September and a stingray decided to use my foot as target practice. I pretty much wrote off the beach after that. The other problem is the fact that I am not a strong swimmer at all. I guess before I even consider jumping on a surfboard, I need to work on my swimming endurance skills.

Nate and Christina are coming up later this evening to visit, since they are in the area for some family affairs. That will be nice to see them. I don’t think Nate and I have hung out since before Christmas. Dan was thinking of coming up sometime in the next few months too, though I might be back down in So Cal by then for my internship. It’s definitely nice to see my friends again though. The people up here are cool, but I still miss so many from down south.

Also, the unthinkable is happening! I want a Mac. Not just any Macintosh though, I really would like a laptop since it would be convenient for carrying around all over the place when doing research and school stuff. I’m looking at some of the Powerbooks, and of all the laptops I’ve looked at, the Powerbooks look like the best ones. Though they are slightly on the pricey side. The model I’m looking at is around $2600, and that is with Apple’s student discount. So I probably won’t be getting one of those very soon. Though with my internship and getting money from that, perhaps I will be able to afford it after all!

School is winding down but there is still a lot of work. One thing I’ve definitely neglected this semester is playing guitar. I really want to write more music and even lyrics, but I just can never seem to find the free time to do it. Perhaps we can get back to that soon. Who knows, maybe with me back down south, Dan and I can get back together and lay down some more music. It seems like we’ve come quite a ways from when we first started with our first song, “Fairly Simple” to the latest that are slightly more technical: “Starting to Rock” and “Tsunami Rock” (both of which actually don’t have base lines yet… but they will!).

A few weeks ago I ended up seeing Offspring for something like my seventh time. I wasn’t that impressed unfortunately. Their set list revolved around a lot of their more cheesy songs and I think I was one of the *older* people in the audience! Considering I’ve been less than impressed with their last three albums as well, I almost think it’s time I should just walk away. 🙁 I haven’t even bought their latest album yet and it’s been out for nearly 6 months, and sadly I don’t have any plans to buy it. Ah well! Despite that, I am greatly indebted to their manager, who has hooked me up with tickets and after show passes nearly every single time I have asked. Thank you Larry. At least there’s been a lot of new music I’ve been getting into, such as Muse. Check them out!

What a huge entry! Anyway, catch you soon.

Rock and Roll, Geology Style!

I would like to take this moment to dedicate a special thanks to my friend Tracy. At the beginning of this month, she forwarded an email to me about the Southern California Earthquake Center and summer internships. Mind you, she is in Boston… majoring in Mathematics. How this email arrived in her in box, I will never know. But knowing that I love geology, she forwarded it along to me! I checked out the website and decided to fill out an application, two days before the deadline (April 5th). I’ve been waiting around since then for word of their decision. Something like 70 students from across the country applied for it.

I GOT IT!!!

Looks like I will be moving back down to Southern California for the summer to work at UCLA! Words cannot describe how excited I am to have gotten this. There are a few issues I need to work out, namely if I will be living at my parents and commuting or renting a place in LA somewhere. We’ll figure this out as the time draws near. It is supposed to start at the end of May. What a great experience. All thanks to Tracy for informing me too!

Anyway, I flew back up here yesterday morning after spending the past few days in So Cal. It was beautiful weather and definitely nice to see my parents and hang out with many of my friends again. It was a fairly relaxing experience from the non-stop tedium that is going up here at the moment. My research paper is finally almost done and only 3 weeks late. Good thing too, cause two more papers are coming up soon, plus a final presentation. Ah, to live life in a stressful environment!

Braces supposedly come off in four weeks! You can tell it’s so close, my teeth needs to move just a little more…

Alright, off to write a few more things in my paper before I go to bed. Until next time!