Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stereotypes - Always True

I love lists. (I wonder how much of this blog is me professing my "love" for things.) This love turns into hate twice a year: once a couple of weeks before New Year's and once a week before my birthday. I start making lists of things I wanted to accomplish last year but didn't and lists of failed goals continuously in my head. It's maddening. So, I'm always on a lookout for more fun lists around this time a year. Here are two that made me laugh tonight:

1) Stereotyping people by favorite author
Highlights:
Thomas Aquinas - premature ejaculators.
Alice Sebold - people who liked Gilmore Girls (even the first season).

2) Stereotyping people by favorite indie band
Highlights:
Death Cab for Cutie - girls who quote lyrics as their Facebook status.
Radiohead - everyone.

Brilliant. I saved the best for last. (I should also probably note that I don't know a lot of those authors and music bands, but the ones I do know are, for the most part, funny.)

Guess what is not going on my list of failed goals this year (I know you are all anxious to know):
- Finally play Nocturne Op. 72, No. 1 the way Chopin intended it to be played.
- Get further in learning Nocturne Op. 9, No. 2.
I am taking lessons from my old piano teacher in Russia. $6.50/hour. WADDUP, yo.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

JT is Neato

and I just wanted to say that...
It is day 11 in Russia. I am learning Photoshop.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Nothing to Blog About

It is day 5 in Russia. I have a side-braid, yo.

This is what has been running through my head all day.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Stop Cubans Table, Seriously

Have I ever told you how much I love Google voice? I love it a lot. It's pretty awesome. It transcribes all your voicemail and can transcribe your phone call if you press 4 during the call. Their transcription algorithm does a really good job and when it doesn't, it provides endless entertainment with its interpretations of people's speech.

Here is an example. My parents left me a voicemail in Russian and this is what Google thought they said:

On a slightly less fun note, I'm in Russia. On a not-so-slightly less fun note, somebody is breaking my heart.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Almost There

This is what I do while e-studying for my software development (CS 35L) final with Sparta. Taking pictures of myself wearing a ridiculous outfit, braiding my hair, and drinking orange-cream soda. Give me a break, it's my last final.
Flannel: Patagonia Fjord (here) (JT got me the last one in this color, had to get it shipped from Chicago. SUCKAAAAAS!)
Shirt: Threadless (here) (Gift from Mark a few years ago. Thanks, Mark!)
Cords: J.Crew (here) (Sue bought these for me at the J.Crew outlet a few years ago.)
Socks: J.Crew (here)

Did I really just mix argyle and plaid and take pictures of this atrocity, you ask? Yes. Yes, I did. I wanted to record what happens when Olga runs out of clean socks. (To make matters worse, these socks are knee-length.)

So, guess what happens tomorrow after my CS final. I leave for Russia! My final ends at 2:30 and my plane takes off at 6. I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm going to be there until January 8th. (That's a week after winter quarter begins and the day we leave for our first ultimate frisbee tournament. Sa-weet!)

I leave you with this song that I've been trying to teach JT, and which, consequently, got stuck in my head.
Moo.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Meet Mars

My parents have named me Olga. I am now Mars for all my Ultimate Frisbee teammates and other Ultimate people.
The initiation was SO MUCH FUN! It is 12:30, I just got back. It started at 8. Now I need to finish my Digital Systems project.

And this is what my not-finished project looked like. I couldn't do the whole thing using this software, so I did it by hand, but this gives you an idea of what my (really weird) design for Single-Precision Floating Point Multiplier looked like.
(I loved CS M51A. Professor Nahapetian is the bomb.)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lemon-Chamomile Shortbread

It's week 10! We're getting close to finals which means I have to study. What's conducive to studying, you ask? Eating crazy amounts of bread, butter and sugar is.


Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • grated zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon loose chamomile tea
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Directions

Heat oven to 325° F. Combine the butter, sugar, and salt in a mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in the lemon zest, loose tea, and flour until smooth. Press into an 8-inch square cake pan.

Bake 30 minutes or just until the shortbread begins to turn golden. Cut into 9 squares, then cut each square into 2 triangles.

Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove the shortbread cookies from the pan.





This is pre-pink eye. I had time to clean the kitchen and take a shower while it was in the oven. It's good! You should make it.

Pink Eye Is Not So Bad

My coughing has slowed down today. My side stomach muscles are sore from all the flexing that they had to do to facilitate the persistent coughing.

Coughing has been replaced by PINK EYE! I have to say, readers, that it is much less annoying than coughing. In fact, it's kind of fun.
My eye is not irritated at all, it just looks weird. Fun thing is nobody wants to be anywhere close to you. Even MORE fun thing is roommates will not get anywhere close to your food. Knowing that fact I went out and got myself a 1/2 gallon of gelato that I started eating straight from the carton. Mmmhmm...and, oh, the comfort of knowing that nobody is going to be eating my ice cream when I'm in class.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SICK of Being Sick

It all started with a sore throat Tuesday night. I had a salt water gargle marathon.

Wednesday morning I woke up weak, nauseous, with a slight fever and a headache. I was mainly frustrated at how weak I was and barely shuffled to class. I had no sore throat by Wednesday night.

I felt a little lightheaded on Thursday.

My cough ensued on Friday.

I lost my voice on Saturday night. (I think it was from squealing during JT's tickle attacks. Totally worth it.) It was discovered on our ride to Griffith Park Observatory when I couldn't sing "ahoowooo" during Shakira's She Wolf.

My voice has gotten better since then, cough has gotten worse.
I made a makeshift humidifier in hopes of helping this terrible cough. No such luck.

***UPDATE***
I have viral pink eye.
I woke up with sleepies glueing my left eyelids shut. This sucks.
Still coughing. UGH!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Mangoes are Ripe

Last Tuesday Jay-Z and I got mangoes. They were on sale at Ralphs for $1 each. By Friday I decided my mango was ready to fulfill its destiny. You see, I love mangoes, but they are such ass pain to eat. You have to peel them with a paring knife making sure you're not taking off too thick of a layer; you have to cut around the pit; then you get the threads stuck in your teeth. That's why I rarely get mangoes unless I find a volunteer to cut them into bite-size pieces for me.

I am growing up and running wolves! Look at me. This is clearly the only proper way to eat a mango.

Mmm... check out this pit, nicely cleaned by yours truly. Can a knife do this good a job of getting every last bit of mango off it? I think NOT!
I am only not showing teeth because I was pretty sure I had a huge piece of mango thread stuck between each pair of teeth. Let me tell you, I had a very satisfying floss session right after this picture was taken.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

No Rolling Pin

Last week was a little hectic, as was the weekend. (I had my first 2 day ultimate tournament!) I only saw Jay-Z briefly during the week. I knew that her grandpa had suffered a stroke last week and was in the hospital but when I texted her on Sunday to ask how he was doing he was gone. So, I made sugar cookies for Jay-Z as soon as I got back.



Sugar Cookie Dough
3.5 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks of butter (room temperature)
1.5 cups of sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

1. Mix the dry ingredients together.
2. Beat sugar and butter until fluffy. (wee!) Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.
3. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough. Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

I then rolled out the dough (without a rolling pin, mind you) and sprinkled the surface with sugar and cinnamon. I rolled up the sugared sheet in a log and refrigerated it until it was "cuttable".


YUM.

Tuna at Midnight

So, I've been super busy, so not blogging as much. Oh, but you just wait. Break is coming soon and I am going to Russia. You know what that means? A blogging diarrhea where I let out everything I've been meaning to say for the past quarter but never had the time.

But for now look at me have delicious tuna steak and potatoes at midnight.
This picture is time stamped 11:53 PM. I kid you not. You see, I had a paper due today. So, I had been procrastinating ALL day on Tuesday just so I could stay up all night and turn it in at 11 AM on Wednesday. Oh joy. At 11:30 PM I realized I hadn't had dinner, so I had this!

My roommates, especially one particular one, are extremely relieved that I had finally used all my potatoes. I buy a lot of potatoes in the beginning of the quarter and just use them over time. I think they taste better after they had been sitting out for a while. Well, last night I finished my beginning of the quarter batch.

Oh! Paper is Kobed and I'm actually proud of it. I think it's good. Slept all day today though.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Reckless Abandon


a moment, a love
a dream, a laugh
a kiss, a cry
our rights, our wrongs
a moment, A LOVE

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Kitchen Aid Christening

I love cookies. I love making them, I love smelling them, and I LOVE eating them. Here, at Belle Château, Jay-Z and I embark on this task of making/consuming cookies quite often. Oh, and we do it well, we do it very well. (Especially I.) I've been using this chocolate chip cookie recipe since high school. It's the Neiman Marcus $250.00 cookie recipe. It uses espresso powder, and since J and I love coffee we jack up our cookies with that stuff. This was the first time I used my Kitchen Aid mixer, hence the title. I am very excited. It's my very first mixer. It's not a standing one YET, but it's lovely.


Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Directions
    1.Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)
    2.Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.
    3.In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.
    4.Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.


    2 tips:
    - Do not over-bake.
    - Do not put too many chocolate chips.
    (I am addicted to sugar, so I always try to slip in more chocolate/sugar than the recipe calls for. You really don't need to do that for this recipe.) (Well, maybe just a couple of extra tbsp of sugar.)
    Delicious cookies make for happy roommates!

    Friday, November 6, 2009

    Is This Mama?

    So, I was doing this iPhoto faces thing last night. It's supposed to learn faces of people to the point where you can just search for a name and it will show you all the pictures of that person. It's kind of cool. It does really well. I only had to tag a few pictures of Vova for it to identify most of the other ones. I am not tagging myself in any of the pictures just because I rarely go to my iPhoto to look for pictures of myself. So, iPhoto keeps trying to identify all these pictures of me as Mama.
    Silly computers. I do not see the resemblance of mom in these at all. (Check out Vova's suaveness though. That was taken on September 1st, 1997. My first day in 1st grade.)

    Jessica, how is your iPhoto faces thing doing? Has it learned that Ayn Rand on Vova's t-shirt is not a real face yet?

    Monday, November 2, 2009

    Run It DOWN

    I got back from San Jose this morning. (Feels like weeks ago.) It was an awesome weekend. The best one I've had in a long time. Lots of laughs, delish food, frisbee, tree climbing, longboarding and other shenanigans with JY. Now it's BACK TO WORK time! School is great. I have a lot of work to do, but I'm feeling pretty good about it. I have a Digital Logic (CS M51A) midterm on Wednesday. I think I'm adequately prepared. Most importantly I need to catch up on my Linux projects.

    Today was ultimate practice. It was a gooooood one. Awesome hard drills topped with 30 minutes of scrimmage time. My left foot hurts like a biatch. I'm making an appointment at the Ashe Center. So, one of the drills was a modified Huck drill. You run deep with defense on you. I was on the offense, Omega was D. I tapped her shoulder and ran for the disc. It was far in front and I sped up to catch up with it. I caught the disc way in front of me, my legs failed to keep up and I slid with the frisbee in my hands scraping both of my elbows, my right knee and right hip.
    It doesn't look very bad and it's not. But it buuuuuurns.

    Wednesday, October 28, 2009

    It's a Great Ruler!


    Working on my Digital Systems project. I am very proud of myself for coming up with this design. It took me a few days to think of it. I kept going to my professor to try to clarify things. She was really stingy on what she gave away but kept telling me that I was close and I could do it. I TOTALLY DID! The left picture is 3 of my 8 logic gate systems and 1 7-bit multiplexor (MUX!). Those are just pieces of my final hierarchical design. It's pretty cool.

    I bet papa is proud of my neat THIN lines. He better be.

    ***UPDATE***
    Well, look at who's ahead of the game. Papa has politely informed me that those diagrams should really be done in AutoCAD. Bad news: I have a Mac. No AutoCAD for the most awesome operating system on the planet. Good news: I have JY! CHECK IT.
    Awesome? Yes, awesome.

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    Too Much Wisdom

    Upon waking up yesterday morning I realized my left ear hurt when swallowing. I dismissed it as beginnings of a cold. (All of my roommates have been coughing and sneezing for a couple of weeks now. They still are. That's what cold medication does to you.) I went about my day and by the evening it was really starting to bother me. I gargled salt water which didn't seem to help.

    So, this morning when taking my Invisalign out I realized I had had similar symptoms about 15 months ago just before getting my wisdom teeth out. I got all four of them out last year. (I have them in a ziplock to prove it.) I'm really confused. I counted my teeth today. I have all 28. Is it possible that I have an extra molar coming in? I'm worried because I don't think I can handle anesthesia again after what happened last time.

    ON A HAPPIER NOTE! JZ (Jay-Z, hahahaha!), JM and I made a trip to World Market a few days ago. I love World Market because they have candy that I remember and love from my trips to various countries. I picked up Milka and this Israeli chocolate called Flake. I don't actually know if it originated in Israel. I just remember eating it every day there.
    JZ also surprised me with these really, really cute gloves. I will take pictures when it actually gets colder. (UGH, I'm really not likin' this close to 90 degree weather. Fall needs to hurry up already.)

    Off to ULTIMATE!

    update:
    I love, love, love playing ultimate. Flick has gotten pretty solid. My defense was good today. In fact, today I D-ed the disc and then cut to score right after. My feet are hurting so much in cleats right now. Every step hurts the tops of my arches, but when I play it totally ceases to matter. I may be limping when I'm just trying to casually walk/run somewhere but when I run for the disc, it is MINE and nobody is getting to it faster.

    Thursday, October 22, 2009

    It's Lalalalalala Love!

    I got to hang out with these two the Sunday after the Joshua Tree trip. AND I got to see JY again last weekend. Weeee!

    I miss both of these goons like CRAZY.

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Anthro Paper

    I am currently working on my Anthropology paper that is due on Wednesday. It is kind of interesting but still a pain in the butt. IT IS SO HARD TO CONCENTRATE! My thoughts keep drifting.

    I just wanted to share my favorite quote from one of the articles. "The rectum was approachable straightforwardly..." I don't know how somebody could write that with a straight face.

    Thursday, October 15, 2009

    sed is great

    This morning I got jacked up on delicious coffee (thanks, J!) and put together a presentation on probably the coolest unix command I know of.
    While making this I realized two things:
    1) Using Unix is frustrating.
    2) It makes me feel like a badass.

    Off to school/work I go.

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    Mud + Ultimate = HAPPINESS

    Ultimate practice on the field was cancelled today because of the rain. Pshhhh. Little do they know that playing ultimate in the rain is actually the best. We did a long run around campus and then practiced layouts. (This is a perfect example of a layout, in case you were wondering.)
    This is what I looked like when I got back from practice tonight. SO MUCH FUN!

    Tuesday, October 13, 2009

    Monday, October 12, 2009

    Flash Circuit: 4 Olga: 0

    So, I was working on my engineering homework this morning (after 1 am). The assignment was to analyze a disposable camera and write a memo to our pretend company's disposable camera development team.

    I was actually kind of excited to do this project because I had heard about how flash circuits work but I had never seen or played with one. So, I start tearing this thing up; plastic parts are flying everywhere, camera film is rolling
    around the desk, then I finally get to the flash circuit.

    First thing I do is close the charge switch. I listen as the current is pulled from the battery through resistors into the capacitor hidden in the back. The charge-ready bulb lights up and I'm ready to witness Bremsstrahlung radiation in action. As I reach to close flash contact I accidentally make contact with the leaf metal charging contact and capacitor discharges through me.

    Ahhhhhh. "Ouch" and "shit" were the only two words out of my mouth for a while after that. It hurt a surprising amount. And that's not even the end of this story. Still cursing I took the battery out and was determined to get the damn circuit free from the plastic casing. I managed to shock myself 3(!!!) MORE times doing that. I'm not talking rub-your-feet-on-the-carpet-in-a-Vegas-hotel-and-touch-a-metal-door-handle shock either. This was painful enough for me to yell obscenities at the circuit for a few minutes, while I was alone in the room, mind you. All 4 of those shocks were through the same finger. I'm wondering if there was a blood vessel that popped because I now see a thin red line under my skin.
    Ta daaaa!

    Saturday, October 10, 2009

    Loving Life, Loving YOU

    We just got back from our trip to Joshua Tree. It was short (only one night and one day), but so good. The weather was perfect. It was over 60 degrees at night and wasn't too hot during the day. We rock-climbed all day today. JT also helped me practice throwing (the frisbee). I learned how to thumb flick and other useless (but cool) throws. My flick was so wobbly today, it was horrible.

    Climbing was so much fun. I will likely post more pictures later. There were no injuries except JT's ear and finger getting attacked by a bush, other scratches and my scabbed pinky.
    The pinky didn't really hurt, what hurt and still hurts now are the pads of my fingers. I feel like somebody took a layer of skin off each one. It hurts to type. There were many times, while climbing, I was about to quit because my fingers were not happy. It wasn't that my arms or legs were giving out, it's that I could not feel my fingers. (Oh, but the satisfaction of getting to the top...)

    These pictures are a better representative of how I'm feeling right now. I never want to forget this feeling. I enjoyed every second of this weekend and I am so happy.

    Friday, October 9, 2009

    I Feel Shitty

    I can't stop thinking about what happened at UCLA today and it is making me nauseous.

    Carla Bruni has a beautiful singing voice and is helping me not throw up.

    Sunday, October 4, 2009

    Shed Some Light

    I am back in A-town today. It's nice. Today we drove around looking at cars people posted for sale on craigslist.


    The first car we looked at was a 2-door hatchback Ford Focus. What a piece of shit that was. I was kind of excited because it was a 2000 and my original goal was to get a car that wasn't older than me (1990). It was priced within my price range (sort of), and well, I REALLY wanted to love it. During the test drive I noticed there was some trouble with the clutch, the interior was shitty, and, most importantly, the guy gave me the creeps.

    We did all go to In-and-Out on the way back, so the trip wasn't a complete loss.

    Next we looked at 2003 Saturn Ion. (2003! Woo!) I loved, loved, loved, loved this car. This also was under $3,000 and the person selling it was much less questionable. It was a 4-door with a really roomy trunk. It's nothing fancy, no power windows or locks, the air-conditioning needs fixing, but it felt and looked fantastic.

    After all this I took grandpa to IHOP and we had a good time. On the way home I noticed the full moon. It made me think of the Sunday two weeks ago as JY and I were coming down the mountain, scared shitless. It was a new moon and we kept losing the trail because it was hard to see even with our headlamps on.

    Friday, October 2, 2009

    Cartwheels in the Kitchen

    Tomatoes and cucumbers drowned in mayo
    +
    Spinach and cheese ravioli with kasha
    +
    Hungry and excited (for the weekend and Ultimate practice) Olga
    =
    This is for you, Jessica.

    (Today concludes my first week back at school. Although I am already buried in homework, things are going swimingly. I had my first quiz in digital systems today and I totally gave it the spanking it deserved.)

    Homework Day = Food Fest

    Thursday was spent predominately on homework. It is week 1 of school, friends, and I am already swamped with work. Professors are warning us that it's only going to get harder and I am wondering if I can, indeed, take 4 classes this quarter. Unfortunately I really like all of my classes, so there isn't an obvious drop candidate. We shall see.

    So, whenever I spend the day doing homework, or studying in general, I end up eating 2-3 times more than I would normally eat. I find myself wolfing down Nilla wafers, whole bars of milk chocolate, bread, cheese and anything else I happen to have on hand.

    See, when I'm a little hungry and I am just lounging around I will most likely be too lazy to get up and get something to eat. When I'm actively solving problems at the slightest feeling of hunger I get a box of cereal out and eat half of it while thinking about whatever it is I'm working on. I can't seem to concentrate on work if I'm even a little hungry. I just end up thinking about food and what I could be eating instead of the problem at hand.

    ONE of today's snacks was totally stolen from Mrs. Y. We had a pre-dinner snack (my favorite kind of snack) very similar to this in her home. I loved it then so I decided to try to imitate it with what I had on hand. This is what I did:


    1. Cut and toast bread. (Bread is the most important ingredient, so it better be good. I happened to have super awesome Gelson's french baguette that I had bought while it was still warm. Remember it, Sue?)
    2. Warm up some tomato based something. (I had a can of tomato soup. Mrs. Y had delicious-delicious bruschetta.)
    3. Cut THICK slices of fresh mozzarella cheese. (Mmm.)
    4. Steal some fresh basil from your roommate.
    5. Soak the bread in tomato-based-thing, put basil and cheese on it, (put some more of the tomato-based thing on top) and you're ready for elves and singing and dancing sprites to dance around in your mouth as you hum an indistinguishable tune.
    Enjoy!

    (You better make and eat this thing. I didn't write all this for nothing. That means you, mama.)