Saturday, 28 November 2009

Where women glow and men plunder

First, I want to wish everyone a happy belated Thanksgiving - I hope that the food was good and the company was great! Interestingly, my day was not without celebration (I expected to be giving up Thanksgiving dinner and 4th of July festivities when I came here, so I am now interested to see how they handle the latter here...). My college has a disproportionately high percentage of Americans, so there was a nice Thanksgiving feast at night. In fact, there was even a luncheon put on by the American Students Union for which I was signed up, but science took precedence.

That is okay, though, because the past week has been full of celebration for me - lots of birthday festivities (both mine and others'!) over the weekend, a few formal dinners this week, a house potluck, and an epic celebration of a successful dissertation defense in our lab. Lesson learned this week: do not say to your supervisor (we'll call mine Veona Vatt to stop this from showing up on Google searches of her name) that you "cannot believe you are double-fisting in front of the Veona Vatt." I don't know which part is more embarrassing - that I used the term "double-fisting," which is taken completely the wrong way here, or that I called her "the Veona Vatt" to her face. In my defense, she handed me both of the drinks.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Great place to live - if you're an orange

Since my first post on Sunday, I have had four people suggest that I either make this blog private or be more careful about what I write, presumably because it is open for people outside of my family and friends to read. While I completely agree that I should maintain some discretion in terms of revealing my personal details, I am not concerned that future employers et al will read this and make some sort of decision about me based on it. First of all, I plan to remain in academia where people don't read anything outside of "the literature" so I am good on that front (just kidding!), but what's more is that I don't think I really have anything to hide. Most importantly, this is not meant to be a serious blog! I can't believe I am even writing one (I would mock myself for doing this, but I have a fragile self-esteem).

The silver lining to those comments, of course, is that I have had four readers! That's two more than I expected (the benefit of having parents is that you automatically have two people required to read these things). Thank you to all of you who struggled through that first post. Anyway, as I said before, I haven't accomplished anything notable in the last two days, so I will use this post to detail my last few weeks at UCSD. I will include some pictures, but only a select few - I am going to start uploading my pictures onto a website as a backup to having them on my computer. I will probably do that over the winter holidays, so if you want to look through more pictures from anywhere, let me know and I can give you the information.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber.

I have been meaning to start a blog for a while, but I keep finding excuses not to. I figure that since today is my birthday, it is a good day to start - my goal is to make it one year without giving it up so this provides me with a pretty simple end date to remember.

The purpose of my blog is threefold: to keep some type of documentation of this year; to try to stay in touch with family and friends; and to keep track of my marathon training so I stay accountable. I am stating this outright because you can expect my blog to be extremely boring.

Anyway, for this first post, I thought it would be good to start with some details about myself. Since you are only reading this if you already know me, I will try to make sure that no one knows more than half of things on this list: