Friday, March 27, 2009

March 27, 2009 (RUSSIA!)

I go to bed at 9 pm and wake up at 6-7am here for some reason. I woke up, had tea and cake and went back to bed to listen to Atlas Shrugged. "Audiobooking" has its plusses and minuses. Because the tracks are so long when I want to "reread" an excerpt it's hard to get right to it. The book itself is awesome.

Mama and I went swimming yesterday. It was fun. I think I've improved a lot. The first 20 minutes in the water I didn't go up to the wall. I was trying to see if I could pass the scuba test and I definitely can. Thanks to Monique, Beth and Elliot. If money permits I'll do it this summer. Then I came out and cannonballed a few times. I reenacted the whole Anchorman scene: "Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I've just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story. I need all of you, to stop what you're doing and listen. CANNONBALL!" It was all fun and games until it was over and I got to shower with a bunch of naked old ladies.
Then I got to see Mr. Smirnov who I met last winter. He is the head of the department of Mathematics and Super Computer. Pretty cockass if you ask me. You can read more about him here. He is super nice and was really interested in the work Vova is doing. I guess dad used to work with him when he was a professor. The only thing I didn't like about him last winter was the fact that he drank. He said that he doesn't really drink anymore.

This morning my back hurt. It might have been from swimming.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I am taking a swimming class next quarter which I am super psyched about. I'm finally going to learn how to swim properly. I need a one piece suit for the class and after careful consideration I settled on a Patagonia suit.

Look at this beauty! Don't you just want to cannonball into a pool in it? Don't you have visions of yourself doing the Single Ladies dance in it as soon as you put it on? I know I do.

This is a patagonia swimsuit. I looked at suits at REI and they were not cheaper than this. I decided to go with patagonia because I think it's great. Also good reviews.

I was trying to decide between getting a J.Crew one piece and a more sporty one. I opted for the sporty one and I think I made the right decision. The J.Crew suit was pretty! I will have it one day.

Spring Break (part 1)

I'm having a pretty good time in Russia. Eating lots and relaxing. Vova got dad a scale for his birthday and all of us are weighing ourselves before and after food. It's really fun. Turns out grandpa, at 190 something cm weighs 57 kg. I don't even know how he is alive. I am 160 something сm and weigh 55 kg.

We're all sporting our UCLA attire.

I am definitely enjoying the food here. The great Russian tradition of eating dessert after each meal is just fantastic. As my aunt says, if you don't have dessert after a meal it's like you haven't eatten at all. I completely agree. I am eating blini in this picture.

Mama gave me argyle socks and you have to tuck your pants in your socks so that the boots go on smoothly. I thought it was picture worthy.

I'm trying to run here, but it's hard to get out of a warm apartment into the cold. I am still planning to the run the 1/2 marathon doing laps around the monument. Stay tuned for more info on that. I think I'm going to walk 400 meters every 3 miles.

Monday, March 23, 2009

36 Hour Trip...WHA HA!

First of all, when you fry, fry Delta. It was awesome! They have this new safety video that features a pretty hot redhead who kind of looks like Kylie Minogue.

I remembered this video as I was writing this. I agree with zefrank on most everything, but not Delta apparently. This video is still worth watching for its entertainment value. Enjoy and check out his other videos!

Oh, when Barry and I got to LA I realized I forgot my phone. Naturally. I don't think I forgot anything else which is surprising.
The flight to New York was late but I got to hold a baby and make my connecting flight, so it was OK. I was determined to get soft serve ice cream before my long flight. I was so late they had to call my name. I wouldn't have it any other way. The flight was pretty empty so I had an seat between me and this other guy. I claimed it shortly after the takeoff by putting my head on it. I'm sure he wasn't thrilled but whatever. I slept in 3 hour intervals waking up to read David Sedaris and to listen to Atlas Shrugged. Which is awesome, by the way. I was a little skeptical after I finished the first chapter. But then I took a break and kept thinking about it. The more I did, the more I fell in love with it. I can't wait to listen to the rest.

We got to Moscow an hour ahead of schedule. I didn't have any checked luggage so I ran out after going through customs and mom wasn't there. I had to wait for her for an hour while these creepy men kept asking me if I needed a cab. She got to the airport on time and then we went to the train station. We had a lot of time to kill so we rode the metro to different stations for a while. I really wished I had brought my camera. It's beautiful. If you've never been, go.

Here is me and mama.

The train was awesome. This guy who was riding with us really wanted to talk to me in English which was weird but fun. He also studies programming but we couldn't really talk about anything of value as his English and my Russian are limited, especially in CS area.

I was really tired and fell asleep really fast. I woke up at 3am because everybody around me was snoring really loud. I put my earplugs in and went back to sleep. I woke mom up at 5:30 so we had time to drink tea and brush our teeth. (They close the restroom an hour before the train gets to the station.)

Grandpa didn't come to the train station. :-( But grandma did! We came home and watched my ballet video first thing. It is gooooood!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Spring Break: Day 1

Hey yo, peeps! Spring Break is here!

James and I came down to Moorpark College and saw our favorite place of work. I miss it. Brendan was there and so was his wife and my favorite baby Liam. We got to hang out for a bit.

I am at the Bees right now.
I didn't tell anyone I was coming so it was a bit of a surprise. A fun surprise, I hope. I ate way too many strawberries and too much vanilla ice cream here. I also made an angel food cake!

Barry is taking me to the airport to go to Russia! I'm sort of dreading the 16 hour flight, but I'm excited to get there. We're going by my apartment first because I forgot my retainer and, drumroll please, my PASSPORT! I forgot I was going international. I think I'm still in denial I'm on spring break and I'm going to Russia. This is just starting to hit me.

Anyway, wish me a safe flight and a sweet voice reading Ayn Rand in my ears for the next 16 hours. PEACE!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Buffalo Exchange!

A few days ago James introduced me to Buffalo Exchange. It's super awesome. I went there after my last final yesterday and scored J.Crew shorts and a skirt for $9.00 each.

J.Crew shorts. I think they're from last season. I remember the color. This is size 2.

And an unidentified skirt. I got it because it's comfy and will be perfect to throw over ballet tights after dance next quarter.

This is what I wore yesterday. I threw on my running shorts when I woke up in the morning to study with James. It was really nice out at 3 and didn't feel like changing just to take a math final. 

This is what the campus looked like when I got out. You can see James and our new friend Tarun walking down the steps. The weather changed from sunny to misty in the time it took me to write 3 proofs, solve 3 recurrence relations, answer 5 counting questions and 20 true and false.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

White Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I really wanted pancakes for breakfast yesterday but I woke up too late to have them for breakfast before work. I made them when I got back and they were super delish.

You can see my calculator and scratch paper from finals studying. Pancakes took precedence. White chocolate chip is, I think, my favorite kind. Made even better with raspberries. Banana pancakes take close 2nd.

I'm done, son.

Today was my last final - Discrete Math. That was my last math class, I think. I might have to take complex analysis. I'm not sure. I studied pretty hard for this final but it ended up being so easy. It was suspiciously easy. Maybe it's because I studied a lot. The proofs were a bit tricky, but I knew how to do them.

The professor for this class was pretty useless. I stopped going to that class about half way through the quarter. He is impossible to understand and makes mistakes on the board all the time. I remember for the second midterm I decided to go to the review lecture just to not feel guilty about skipping class. About 10 minutes into it I remembered why I didn't go to the lectures, so I left. The person who taught the class for me was the TA - Jane Sherman. 

She is pretty awesome and explained the material well. Of all my professors and TAs she cared the most about us. She held multiple hour review sessions and extra office hours and her discussions were pretty banging. She wouldn't do the homework for us, but she would explain to us how to formulate the proofs and what not. I think the most valuable thing I learned in Math 61 was writing proofs. There is no other way to learn how to write proofs other than doing it over and over. It's pretty hard to get used to.

Anyway, I'm done and finally get to take a shower! Yay!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

2 down, 1 more!

So, I pretty much love living with my awesome roommates.

James and I had an electrical engineering study sesh that was really helpful. I love EE but it's very hard. After we were done I made shrimp scampi and we all ate properly at the table with cloth napkins given to me by Sue. (Thanks, Sue!)

You can see we're all really happy. Especially D when I try to hug her. James helped me set the table, D did the dishes and C provided dessert.

This quarter we learned all these intricate details about p-n junctions and semiconductors. It was an AWESOME class. I loved my professor, he is super distinguished and taught very well. He answered every single question in detail. Some professors don't answer questions well. If Prof. Jalali didn't understand the question a student was asking he would clear it up and then answer. An admirable trait in a professor. I really wanted to clap after his last lecture and I did and then every clapped. The only professor I had this quarter who was applauded.

Here he is in all his glory.

You can read more about him here:

Today was my EE final. It was super hard but I got through it and I'm done. I'll post a copy of it at some point.

After the final James and I went to see Slumdog Millionaire. I'm pretty sure we were the last ones to do so. It was pretty good. I liked the dancing at the end. We tried to study for math after that but we didn't get very far. It's hard to study after taking a final. We cooked wings and potatoes. Yum.

Work tomorrow. Bye!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

1 down, 2 more.

Hermione is staying strong in me.

We're going to focus and not make stupid mistakes or oversights, pay attention to detail and relax tomorrow. My EE2 final is tomorrow from 11:30 to 2:30. 

I got a sore throat last night and I'm gargling salt water. This morning I felt weak and dizzy. I biked to work and almost fell in the elevator when it started accelerating. We have really fast elevators and I felt lightheaded for a second. I had to catch myself on the wall. I went to CVS after work to talk to a pharmacist. She said to just get rest, drink a lot and get plenty of vitamin C. I ate an orange. I feel better now than I did this morning, I hope the trend continues tomorrow.

Hermione would never get sick during finals. I therefore demand myself to be healthy and full of energy in the morning.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Life After CS32

It's pretty good! I did absolutely nothing productive today. Carmen had to work this morning so I woke up too and told her I would walk with her. It was fun. I ended up just sticking around on campus and reading The God Delusion for a while. Then I found out a gymnastics meet was going on so I went there. We kicked some ass. It was close but we won. I think gymnastics is my favorite sport to watch.

Then the Bees came and took me to see Confessions of a Shopaholic. It wasn't very good. The dancing scene was by far my favorite.

I finally tried Pinkberry. It was really good. I mean, it was regular frozen yogurt, but I loved it. I had it with white chocolate shavings, strawberries and coconut.

So this weekend was pretty much my first weekend at the apartment. D always goes home, but C was here. C was super awesome and supportive. We even watched a movie and she shared her strawberries and ice cream with me.

We were really excited when D came home. We went to Coffee Bean at 11 pm to get D caffeinated so she can study for her final. Then we came home and played love songs. The only love song we could all agree to was Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis. I love that song and everyone should watch this video.

I was doing some sort of an interpretation of that choreography during the song. Then we listened to Ja Rule and Franz Liszt.

I'm going to bed, see ya! Oh, COMMENT!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How are you feeling today?

This is how I feel this morning: ready to kick ass.

Song playing in my head: It Started With Mixx by Los Campesinos!



That's kind of how I feel right now. It felt so good to walk by the computer lab this morning and not go in and stress about the project. (I didn't finish the project completely which I was very upset about last night but I'm OK.) And now I have a lot of studying to do for finals.

I got a good night's sleep last night. I didn't dream I was staring at my computer screen {surprisingly}, I dreamt I was riding a bike and somebody pulled up beside me and told me I could hop on and off the sidewalk on my bike. So I tried doing that instead of getting on and off the sidewalk on the little ramp and I got it on the first try. I hopped off a sidewalk when I had to cross a street and I could hop back on when I wanted to. It was awesome.

Anyway, I walked outside with DeDe to go to school and it was really nice out. I immediately regretted my decision on bring my jacket. I had about 30 minutes before my class, so I walked right out of Boelter into the Court of Sciences and laid on the grass instead of sitting next to 100 gross, sweaty, stressed out engineering students. It felt really good.

Then I had class and CS review with my TA. I met this girl, Jenny, she is in my CS 32 class and I ended up studying with her and James for a while. She had to leave after like 2 hours and James and I kept studying. He left my apartment 20 minutes to 2 AM. Ah! There is so much to know, it's impossible to study everything. 

So Jenny told us a lot about other TAs in other discussion sections. Turns out they did super awesome reviews and their discussions were so much better than ours. Also, the other section of the class had a professor who did much more reviewing and was telling them more about what actually was going to be on the test than our professor did. It was so disappointing. I guess this is part of being a newbie at school. Next time I'm going to go to all the sections of the class and all the discussions to figure out what works best for me.

Today was also the USC vs. UCLA basketball game. I was so excited to proudly post on facebook about our glorious win, but we lost! How can that be?! We're really sucking this season. I didn't watch the game because I was too busy practicing writing recursive functions and sorting algorithms but the whole apartment building made a big groan at one point and James and I knew what that meant. What a shame. And we were considering going to the game. 

It's the freshmen. The guy missed all eight of his shots. Jrue Holiday. What kind of a name is that, Jrue? Nubes.

It's late. I'm showered, I have clean teeth, moisturizer on my face, Aquaphor on my lips. I'm going to bed so that I'm ready to rock tomorrow. Night!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

For Lunch/Dinner I Am Eating...(03.12.09)

...(from left to right) a GIGANTIC orange, a bagel with strawberry cream cheese, crackers and brie cheese and a banana.

That was one of the biggest oranges I have ever seen. I got these at Vons. They're navel oranges. Really sweet too. I ran out of strawberry cream cheese this morning so I have to get more tonight. The brie has been in my refrigerator for a long time so I need to use it.

Today is the day my project is due. Hopefully I'll be able to wrap that up and Kobe it at 9 tonight. Wish me luck!

Oh, I've decided I'm taking ballet next quarter. Not sure about swimming yet.

Today I Am Eating...(03.11.09)

...a stuffed bell pepper! I had a bell pepper laying around for a while specifically for the purpose of being stuffed. Today it finally fulfilled its destiny. I stuffed it with previously prepared ground beef, rice and taco seasoning. Served with a biiiig dollop of sour cream and all broken tortilla chips. (I have a little left from my giant size Ralphs tortilla chips bag.) Finally, a dinner at home.

My hands smell good thanks to DeDe's soap.

When I came home Carmen was sleeping because she wasn't feeling well. When she got up DeDe read a book to us out loud. I liked it. It's called Summer of '42. I wanted to read it more but she refused. Then she read Lanark to us. We're taking those chapter by chapter. I liked both, surprisingly. 

Then they played J.Lo for me while I danced. Jennifer Lopez reminds me of New Hampshire because I got her DVD then and I would watch her music videos at least once a day. They were too shy for a picture so they hid behind their laptops while I guess I pretended to lick DeDe. I'm not sure what's going on; it all happened so fast.

I also took my braids out just now.

Curly hair!

How was your day?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

She is gone... :-(

I've been going through a bit of a tough time lately. Fortunately my friends and family have been extremely supportive; I don't know what I would be doing without them. My bestest best friend Beth, who goes to school in Ohio, was home for Spring break and was able to be here with me during one of the hardest things I have ever had to get through. She is going to hate me for posting this picture but I think it's cute.
Trust me, we're only smiling because I could cry no more. Thank you, Beth! Last night was my last night with her until summer break. 7 weeks, I think. I still have my finals coming up and a CS project to turn in. My spring break doesn't start until March 20th.

Anyway, I thought I would continue with the blog because it might help me take my mind off things. Mornings is when I feel most sad and I usually stay in the computer lab until 11 pm, so I'm going to try to post in the mornings. Without further ado This Morning I Am Wearing...

J.Crew pajamas. They're by far my favorite pajamas. Beth says I look like a candy cane.
The first picture was a bit of a fail. I didn't manage to run far away from the camera in time so I just stood there. I like it though. Notice the hair! I hadn't showered for 3 days until Beth came and made me. I usually don't brush my hair after a shower because it's so thin and has no trouble untangling by itself when it's dry. Beth insisted on brushing out my hair and gave me two french braids that I slept with.

Also, I know this is the one you've been waiting for, This Morning I Am Eating...
Honey Nut Bunches of Oats! My newly found awesome cereal. I like it. Check out my awesome cereal container. It can hold up to three boxes of cereal so I can mix three different types.
Off to school to work on my program.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Today I Am Wearing...(03.07.09)

Today was Maegan's 5th birthday party! There were lots of kids and it was kind of fun. They had a bone shaped pinata. I think that was everybody's favorite part. It took the kids a long time to break it. 

I was planning on running at Cheseboro this morning. Cheseboro is, I think, my favorite place to run. It's in Agoura. It's also where the 1/2 marathon is going to be. I woke up an hour before the party so I didn't have time to run there. I ran the driveway 6 times instead. It was good. I needed to run more hills. 

I wore a pink jersey dress than I've had for a long time now. I think the brand is Honey Punch. I don't remember where I got it.
And my favorite picture:

It's very J.Crew. :-)

Friday, March 6, 2009

This Morning I Am Eating...(03.06.09)

...cream of wheat! With sugar and strawberries. So good.

Finally finished the milk that was going bad. Bagel with strawberry cream cheese for lunch and then I'm going back to Agoura for the weekend! Yay! I have a lot of coding to do this weekend. Ah.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Today I Am Eating...(03.04.09)

...a curious amalgam of leftovers! I have what used to be shrimp and pork curry from that night I had dinner with Barry. He and I devoured the shrimp and the pork, now it's just curry with spicy peppers. You can see there is one lone shrimp on top of the bowl. I also have the green beans that I made with Elliot. 

I'm pretty sure I just ate something I wasn't supposed to eat in the curry. 

What are you having for dinner?

TB Test {poo}

I had to get a TB test today for my job. That's the one where they stick a needle under your skin on your forearm. The area where no needle should ever come near, in my opinion. I was nervous about it all day. I finally got it at 1. That's 5 hours of freaking out. 

It took me half an hour to find the room I was sent to. (Apparently one building has 3 different 6th floors. UCLA makes absolutely no sense as far as floor enumeration goes.) As I was wandering around one of the 6th floors at the Neuropsychiatric Institute I came across a children's autism wing. It was interesting. I saw a little girl as she was being tested.

Anyway, back to the test. The nurse was super nice. I told her I didn't like needles, especially in that area. She called a nice lady, Eva, in to distract me while she was doing the test. AND she gave me the shot to the side, not in the middle of the forearm. I felt a lot better about a needle over to the side. It did not hurt a bit. The spot burned a bit while I was sitting in the EE lecture today. (Today's lecture was *awesome*, by the way.) 

I have almost no reaction from the test which worries me a little. It is less of a reaction than this. If I took a picture you wouldn't even see it.

It worries me because I remember in Russia when they did this test every year I had way more of a reaction than that. I'm not sure why they require a TB test. Apparently I have to do this every year. This is the first time I'm encountering a requirement like that in America. As nice as this experience was, I hope I'm not still working here by the time I'm due for another one.

I'm almost done with EE homework! Sweet!