Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Friday Flickr Blogging...on Tuesday


We were crazy busy with packing on Friday night, so I wasn't able to get around to posting a photo. However, if I'd had the time, this is what I would have put up. Search phrase for this week - "Casino Point, Catalina" That's where we did most of our diving this weekend.

Now in a little while, I'll upload my own photos from the trip. Can you stand the excitement?!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Scuba Sue

Okay, so I promised details about our scuba class from last weekend. Here are some fun facts about scuba diving that they don't tell you in the PADI open water manual or DVD:

  • Fact - Dive gear + certifications = ¡mucho dinero!

  • Fact - Wet suits are very nearly impossible to get into unless you are dry.

  • Fact - When you flood or remove your mask, it's difficult at first to remember that you still can breathe. Really a bizarre sensation.

  • Fact - Scuba gear is heavy! Sure, it's no problem when you're underwater, but man, lugging the gear around on land is a workout.

  • Fact - Scuba diving will invade your dreams, chasing away all those nightmares you've been having about work (bonus!)

Actually, re-reading that list, it looks like I didn't enjoy the class very much, but I promise that I did. For one thing, breathing underwater is crazy and very, very cool. For another, I learned how to do all sorts of neat things, like hover midwater without sinking to the bottom or floating up to the top. I learned how to calculate how much time I can safely spend underwater at depths up to 100 feet (if it's the first dive of the day, 20 minutes; less than that if I've already spent some time at depth earlier that day). I learned that English and Australian divers (and I, apparently) frequently have unusually buoyant feet and may require ankle weights to offset the effects of "floaty feet." I learned that spending 10 hours in a pool over the course of a weekend makes you very, very pruney.

I'm excited, and admittedly a little nervous, about the open water dives this weekend. I'm sure the water is going to be fuh-reezing, but the incredible things we'll be able to see...totally worth it. We're going to go on a night dive (scary! but the instructors are really enthusiastic about it), and a deep-water dive, to 100 feet, where we'll get to check out a shipwreck! We'll be taking photos underwater and (hopefully) playing with DPVs and learning how to navigate. It's going to be three days of diving, shivering, warming up, and diving some more, with the occasional meal and snooze thrown in there for good measure. I have no doubt that we will be completely exhausted by our trip home Monday evening, but by the end of it all, we will be proficient scuba divers, ready to tackle the warmer waters of Mexico in a couple of months. :)

All right, back to my studying. Have a good rest of the week, all.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Boys don't make passes...

That's hot!
...at girls who wear (circa 1972 safety) glasses.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Forgetful...

Man, here I was, enjoying the whole Friday Flickr Blogging thing, and then I completely forgot about it once I quit blogging from work. Here then, are your make-up Friday Flickr posts for the five weeks I flaked out and forgot (Alliterative? Me?).


Week One: Busted
Since I was busted for excessive internet usage at work. Poor Beethoven...guy can't catch a break...er...d'oh. ;)


Week Two: Anniversary
This was the Friday of my parents' 33rd wedding anniversary. Aww...


Week Three: Soil Analysis
I began soil collections for my thesis project this week. Not sure if I'll be able to get more info out of the dirt than a sharp-nosed collie, however... ;)


Week Four: Yoga
I started taking a yoga class this week. I am not quite as flexible as this fellow, and yoga requires a heck of a lot more upper body strength than I expected. I think it's going to be a good thing for me. (There was actually a really cute Flickr pic of a hamster looking very yoga-esque, but it was un-bloggable. Ah well.)


Week Five: Scuba
Started our scuba class this week! (This photo look familiar, Tom?) ;)


And there you have it. I promise I will try to do the Friday Flickr posts again from now on. Even if you guys don't care so much, I enjoy it. ;) More on the scuba class a little later...

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Yawny

I woke up briefly between 4:00 and 4:30am every. Single. Morning. This week. I'm not sure why that is, but I know that at least a couple of times, I found myself the object of a very intent stare.


As a result, I've been pretty sleepy off and on for the last 5 days. Wednesday night I actually conked right out in the middle of Mythbusters. I'm actually all sleepy right now too (have to keep erasing my many drowse-induced typos), but I'm sitting here typing up a nice little post for you good people. Exciting, isn't it? I thought so.

Tomorrow Tom & I will drag ourselves out of bed one last time at a ridiculous hour on a weekend morning to collect the final six soil samples for my thesis project. Then we'll meet up with our fellow scuba students at the dive shop and head over to the pool for a nice, long day of skills-learning. Then, on Sunday, blessed Sunday, we will actually get to sleep in until the sun has risen fully! It's been 3 weeks now since I've slept until it was completely light outside. Aaah, the little things we come to appreciate...

And with that, I'm off to bed. I can barely keep my eyes open now anyway. G'night!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Commutress

Yesterday afternoon, Boomer (the Maliboomer) started making some really baaaaad noises with his brakes. I mean, they'd been squeaky for months, but when I asked the guys at Pep Boys to have a look at them (way back in, oh, February or something?), they said they were fine, so I just kept on driving and wincing at the noise every time I stopped. But yesterday they started making this horrible grinding sound, which is just one of those things that, if you know absolutely nothing about cars, you just kind of instinctively know can't possibly be good. So, as it seemed a really unwise course of action for me to drive in to work today, I had Tom drop me off at the metro station at o-dark-thirty so I could take the light rail into downtown and thence board the Metrolink, which conveniently stops just a few blocks* from where I work. Less conveniently, it puts me to work an hour later than usual, so it's not exactly something I can do every day. Also, with gas prices dropping back into a somewhat more reasonable range, it's no longer cost effective to take the train to work. I'd end up saving on wear & tear on my car, sure, but tickets would run me quite a bit more than the cost of a tank of gas each week.

It's a pity, though. I find commuting by rail infinitely more relaxing than commuting by car. I have a nice little walk home from the station, and the weather these days puts a spring in my step. I can rock out to my iPod and get caught up on the Scientific Americans and Newsweeks I never seem to get around to reading. I can doze a bit. I don't arrive home tense and disgruntled with the idiots I have to deal with while driving.

Of course, there is a tragic flaw in all of this, in that I don't go straight to the gym. I've come home today and sat for, oh over half an hour now, reading emails and blogs and typing this post. I need to get up and go swimming, but I'm just so comfortable here on the couch...

All right, off I go. The pool is calling. Boomer got nice new brake pads today and is waiting for me down in the parking lot. And at least he smells better than the train. ;)


*Or so I thought. Turns out, the platform is actually a little over a mile from where I work. Oops.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Dive! Dive! Dive!


Exciting news, people. Exciting! Next week, and weekend, Tom & I are going to begin scuba dive training. One of Tom's friends is a diver, and his wife just recently got her dive instructor certification, so she graciously set us up with a sweet discount on the PADI open water course! After initial classroom and confined dive training, we will be departing at the end of the month to Catalina Island for a 3-day weekend of ocean diving (and, I'm told, freezing our butts off). If all goes well, we'll pass the course and be able to go on some exceedingly cool dives in Cancun. I am very excited!

Tom & I have both been reading the PADI manual in preparation for the course, learning about neat things like mask and fin attributes and scary, scary things like tooth squeezes. Seriously, not being able to equalize the pressure in a little air pocket under your tooth would have to be about the worst thing ever. (shudder)

That's about the most noteworthy thing of late. Work's been...well...work, and I'm just plugging along with the thesis stuff. We risked life and limb on the 405 freeway this morning - me collecting soil samples and Tom trying not to anger the drivers with our many exits from and re-entrances to the flow of traffic. The weather has been lovely and cloudy and cool this week, and we even got a little bit of rain the last two days. The cats are doing fine. Sleeping on the back of the couch at the moment, if you must know (which I doubt, but oh well...now you know). I've been swimming and going to yoga in the afternoons, which has been good. I'm quite pleased to be doing something active, even though it's been leaving me more tired than usual.

Seems like I had something else to write, but now I can't remember what it was. I assure you, if it comes back to me, I shall return. Til then, happy trails and all that. :)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The weekend of no late mornings

Both days this weekend, we got up early so that I could begin collecting soil samples for my thesis project. With Tom as my (much needed and even more appreciated) wheel man, we set off as early as we could manage so as to beat the worst of the traffic. We traveled one freeway yesterday and another this morning, stopping every couple of miles so that I could pull a soil sample from the side of the road. A super-snazzy borrowed GPS device (thanks Dad!) allowed us to record the exact location of each collection, hence the beautiful map I posted yesterday. Next weekend we'll be at it again, and possibly one more day after that, depending on how much we are able to get done. I'm pretty excited to start work on the "meat" of the project - analysis of the samples - though with all the little soil-filled vials sitting in front of me, it does look somewhat daunting. But it wouldn't be a proper Master's thesis project if it were a cake walk, now would it?

Saturday afternoon we swam. I'm going to do more of that after work a couple of days this week. This afternoon we played racquetball. I hit myself in the head with my racket. I am teh coordinated! ;) But we already knew that, didn't we...

Hope the weekend was good to you. May you have the fortitude to face Monday head-on and beat it down like the whiny little bitch that it is. Or something.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

How I spent my Saturday morning...


Explanation forthcoming ;)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Shear me!

Isn't it great how sometimes you can get such a good haircut that you feel like a sexy bad-ass? Not one of those homely bad-asses...someone who could not only take on the world, but would also look damn good doing it. I think it's great.

I paid quite a pretty penny for my haircut today, as I expected to, and it was totally worth it. It even increased my "apparent age" by a whole year (usually I get mistaken for 18, but today at the wine shop, the proprietor said I looked 19). I am rather pleased. :)

The football game last night was pretty fun, except that the announcer sounded like he was drunk. Both of the schools had a shocking number of cheerleaders. The squads were quite possibly larger than the football teams. One of the schools had four different types of cheerleaders (pom-pom bearers, tumblers/tower builders, a flag squad, and the JV girls who sat in the stands and occasionally yelled things). The flag team would devolve into random twirling whenever the band started up a song for which there was not an established routine, which was actually kind of nauseating, but overall they seemed reasonably skilled. It was a good time though, and it made me nostalgic for those frigid Friday nights I spent playing in the pep band in high school.

Off to bed, and then sleeping in tomorrow as late as the cats will allow. (Well, as late as Leo will allow. Loki's pretty agreeable as far as that stuff goes.) Have a great rest of the weekend. :)