Vacation!

May. 22nd, 2016 10:53 pm
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I cleverly scheduled my trip to friends in Wisconsin to coincide with Wiscon. If anyone else will be at Wiscon and would like to hang out, ping me. I should be there Saturday and Sunday. If you would like something from my vacation - post cards, for example - leave a comment! Comments are screened.

Now I just need to address the really fraught packing questions, like what books pack along in hardcopy and which are acceptable in ebook.

Road Trip?

Feb. 23rd, 2014 10:18 pm
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I'm considering a San Francisco to Portland road trip on or around the first week of March. Suggestions for to-do items and people to see ([personal profile] loup_noir?) are welcome. Left to my own devices, I will probably make a few motel reservations, throw a bike and several thousand calories of travel-friendly snacks in the back seat, load an mp3 player with audiobooks and singer-songwriter guitar anthems, and see what happens. Road cycling is likely; skiing is unlikely. Powell's is essential.
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What are some recommended activities for a late November day trip to Yosemite? The current plan is "show up; have fun; go home."

Please keep in mind that activities which don't happen this trip may reappear in December plans. I bought tire chains; if this is fun, or at least clears my head, I'll probably do it again.
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I am back from my New Year's Chicago trip. The pork belly pastrami is eaten, and the Museum of Science and Technology t-shirt that says C-H-I-C-Ag-O with mass values has made a successful debut as part of my commute wardrobe.

Tomorrow is the SF bike party. I know what I'm wearing, so perhaps I should see about properly adjusting the headlight mount and sticking fresh AAA's in the tail-light, and maybe try strapping things to the cargo rack (Christmas present for me my bicycle me!). Or I could surf the internet. Decisions, decisions.

At some point I should write my 2011 retrospective / 2012 look-ahead. The placeholder version is: I regret almost nothing about 2011. 2012 is forecast to be demanding and rewarding all at once. A slice of real destiny, to paraphrase a favorite author. The material rewards are unlikely to manifest before 2013, but the important stuff - engaging work, community, a good exercise program, etc - are already in gear and moving me forward.

Oh yes, if someone's having problems commenting on LJ, PM me or comment on the DW version. I believe I have have invite codes if you need to create an account to comment.
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Instead of doing a full trip report, I'm going for highlights. So my first trip report is a love letter to a chicken curry puff.

[personal profile] norabombay, [livejournal.com profile] trolleypup and I had dim sum at Yank Sing on February 14th, aka Valentine's Day, aka the Chinese New Year. We ate fantastic food, possibly even better because of turnover rates. [personal profile] norabombay had ecstasies over the sea bass, I decided that yes, I really do like seafood, even when it's not sushi or canned tuna, and as we were winding down a 1 1/2 hour food extravaganza we got a plate of the chicken curry puffs.

Imagine, if you will, a pastry with a soft filling. Not just any pastry: the dough was light, flaky, separating into layers that sort of melt into warm buttery heaven in the mouth. The filling was mildly but definitely spiced, and had sort of potato-ish base, with little bits of chicken mixed in. I am not usually an epic foodie, but for this I would become one. Starch plus protein is my OM NOM NOM NOM spot, and this was approaching a platonic ideal of NOM-ness.

Other food and booze highlights were the Return of the Captain Morgan's Coconut Rum (coconut rum doesn't make everything better, but I have good associations), and lunch at Ebisu.

I flipped my Sunday and Monday and went into work on Sunday so I could hang out with one of my Boston crew today. Given the 100% prediction of rain, I am glad we are focusing on museums. I'm also super-glad we're getting a late-ish start, because I am a slacker.
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Spending Valentine's Day with platonic BFF [personal profile] norabombay and miscellaneous others in San Francisco. Think Jay and Silent Bob, only our drugs are OTC and/or prescribed. Next up: dim sum at Yank Sing, possibly accidental-on-purpose trip through the Castro and/or Golden Gate Park once the fog clears.
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In San Francisco. Lovely weather. Up since 4 AM EST, minus in-air naps: now it's 10 PM PST. So far: air travel, BART travel, multiple impulse purchases, beer, Indian food, vaguely Middle-Eastern food. Fog. Cafes. Makeovers. Al fresco dining. Stealth shopping. Am missing swathes of news and Olympics programming, send bulletins. Tomorrow: dim sum with [livejournal.com profile] trolleypup, unknown plans with [personal profile] norabombay's crew.
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Today M. reneged on giving me a lift to the airport Saturday morning, citing hypothetical future road conditions, and two hours later I had alternate plans that did not include a $70 cab fare. I'm doing my best to interpret this in light of the awesome list of people who will come through for me in a crunch rather than dwell on why I was in a crunch.

I think I am more than ready to not be stuck at home: this morning I dreamed that someone had left an overwhelming number of DNA extractions on the lab bench, which had morphed into my freshman chem lab, and snowpocalypse refugees / fanatical co-workers were napping in sleeping bags on the floor. My subconscious obviously has strong feelings about my productivity this week, feelings which I doubt will be improved by my plans to be out two days next week. In penance I will assign myself a Saturday shift next week (and incidentally recapture a vacation day, ha).

Tomorrow I need to pack my laptop and adapter, stick the external drive with the backup image in storage, and retrieve some luna bars from the work stash. After work I need to pack a snack stash for the plane and meet up with my Friday plans / Saturday ride. Other than that, anything I forget can be purchased in San Francisco, and I do not actually need the entire Western canon to entertain myself on the plane.
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Most of the mushy snow-berms from December's snowstorm have finally melted, thanks to a couple of wet and warm days, and tomorrow I get a coworker back from two weeks' leave. I am unspeakably relieved by coworker's return, but I miss the snow. Suddenly I understand why people don't keel over from the dark in the frozen north.

[personal profile] norabombay is talking about going to San Francisco over President's Day weekend, and is trying to convince me this is a good idea. If I fly out Saturday morning and take the red-eye home Tuesday night, I minimize vacation time burned and get the cheap fare. But I still miss class. (Since the last time I skipped school was April of 2004, this actually sounds kind of thrilling and edgy.) It would be a three-and-a-half day trip: I think I would manage to fill the time, but traveling is expensive, and I've been to S. F. So I am making the classic pro-con list, split roughly into PRO: S. F. = awesome, [personal profile] norabombay = awesome[livejournal.com profile] trolleypup = awesome ; CON: that's my car downpayment!; what about Acadia National Park, and Portland, and and and...

I am late for work, and I haven't found anything witty to redeem this post. Tonight I start part two of Intro to Medical Genetics, also known as "if [personal profile] norabombay and I ever stop talking about and start writing that space opera thing, this is all going to show up in the Genetic Engineering Gone Wrong plot."
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I need motivation to be a positive force at work in the face of an insane workload. What are people up to in February, and may I crash on your couch?

Comments screened, because this is no-pressure very spur of the moment vacation planning. I am avoiding a staycation: I need to get out of the house and change things up.
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I finally got some vacation photos edited and uploaded this weekend. Cross-posted to facebook, which means, help us all, my dad may show up in flickr comments.
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The central dogma - DNA is transcribed into RNA is translated into protein, this is the flow of information in a cell and that is what will be on the test - is a convenient lie told in high school and freshman biology to simplify the complex:

It's diagram time! )

In biochem 3 the prof drew the central dogma on the board and proceeded to break it. I don't have the full diagram any more, but I think there was more stuff on it. I'm not going through my entire notebook reconstructing it, but I'm kind of tempted, because it was pretty cool.

I'm way behind my f-list, and may not catch up tonight, or before this weekend, but know that's it's in a good cause: I have vacuumed my room and retyped my class notes. Trip pictures and summary to follow sometime this weekend, maybe? I hear there's a thing on the mall I may want to attend. The very short version: I had a great time, did museum time and outside time, got slightly sunburned twice, saw my sister, and accidentally drove up Russian Hill in the dark. I had an adventure! Now I'm locked into adventures with genetics until the end of the semester.
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What could possibly be more beautiful than driving down freeway 80 at sunset, clouds piling and breaking against San Francisco's hills and a lemon-yellow sky? Only driving back up the 80 toward those same hills, black against black, sodium-lit streets climbing toward the heavens, with your sister demanding "Life in Technicolor" for a soundtrack. This vacation thing is awesome.
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It looks like LJ skipped checking feeds for a day or three there, but the only thing I really needed to know was the SIGG water bottle flap. Short version: animal studies indicate BPA is on the "Bad chemical! Consumer panic!" list, everyone ditches their polycarbonate BPA-leaching water bottles for metal SIGG bottles, several years later SIGG mentions their bottles have BPA in the lining, so SIGG says it doesn't count. Outraged bloggers express outrage about this interpretation. I'm going to take mine to Whole Foods - the other betrayer of the left - and try to make them replace it, since mine is something like two years old and has huge dents from the innumerable times I've dropped it. I'm not going to get pissy, but you know, I've dropped that bottle so many times it's got interior denting. That sort of makes me question the integrity of a "safe" lining, but not enough to make me stop using it this weekend.

Tomorrow: sibling chill time, gigantic East Bay shenanigans (I'm debating flaking out, since I'm looking at one networking item sandwiched in either a lot of travel time or a lot of zipcar money, and I didn't make it to the Museum of Modern Art today), maybe more beach time. Next summer: three day weekend, Outer Banks, with something approaching my age cohort to share costs.
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At no point today did I text anyone to say: I'M ON A BEACH. People whose cell phone numbers I have, consider yourselves fortunate.

This is how my vacation may play out:

Wednesday: I'M ON A PLANE.
Thursday: I'M ON A BEACH.
Friday: ... I don't know how to turn art museum day into transportation. I'M ON A BUS lacks panache.
Saturday: I'M ON A DRIVE. OR MAYBE A BART.
Sunday: Museum day take two, or hangover. California Academy of Sciences? Coffee house with excellent people-watching?
Monday: AND BACK ON THAT PLANE.

My sunburned nose and I say hi. Oh snap, tomorrow I'm on a postcard quest.

VACATION!

Sep. 17th, 2009 01:41 am
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In S. F. Not dead, just jet-lagged. Amused myself on epic cross-country flight with Oppenheimer bio and pictures out the window. Also many pictures of dinner. Ebisu wins at life. Fatty salmon (?) slices awesome. Anonymous flight attendant who gave me one of the extra chocolate chip cookies as I got off the plane is awesome. But not as awesome as people who donate crash space to my vacation cause.

Tomorrow: Muni, map(s), food stocks, Ghirardelli Square? Lie to coworkers, buy Ghirardelli chocolate from convenient Trader Joe's, and extend Golden Gate Park time?

I changed my wristwatch time, but not my laptop time. Exhaustion explained!

Ick.

Sep. 10th, 2009 11:47 pm
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To no one's surprise but mine, I have minimum sleep needs. When I neglect them, I get the exact same sore throat and stuffy nose every single time. I had a headache too, but no fever, and then I bought Oreos. Now my throat and nose are a little better but I have a sugar high. Whoops! I was all set to chalk the throat up to the chair I inherited from someone with cats (may pass it on: all I want in an office chair is a crazy high seat and a stiff back that won't let me slump) or my multiple neighbors who smoke when I have the windows open, but no: sleep.

In other news, Leverage continues to entertain, and I need more hobbies, but you all knew that. I am planning my San Francisco trip - my sister has scheduled some time in her favorite city, so we will hang out, yay - and I'm trying to decide what to go to and what to leave for another time. I'm probably going to apply to Bay area grad schools just for the interview weekends: I may not get off campus, except for meals, but S. F. and environs in spring? Rock on.
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Last week was a bit nuts: doctor, GREs, signing up for class, that thing with the thing that always leaves me crying* at 1 AM, looping "Bobby McGee" and swearing that grad school is going to happen because I freaking love science and want to do biology stuff forever and ever and ever, and also I was out of real food and living on sandwiches. And then I ran out of sandwiches!

*Metaphorically. No tear ducts were harmed in the production of this journal entry.

It is a crying shame that I am weak in the soul, but it's true: I am much more likely to get groceries when I can bring them home in a car. It makes groceries more expensive, but my time is worth something and my joy in radio blasting, trash talking** suburban driving is worth something too. So today I blew $15 and change on a zipcar to bring home about $40 of groceries. When I was unpacking, I discovered I have totally become my dad, and I am banned from buying any more meat until I've used what's in my freezer, I don't care if it's on sale. I should feel poorly about the wasted money, but I'm in love with the open road, so I don't. Driving is fun! Buying groceries is also fun, but that's another story.

**There are main thoroughfares I will not name which are death traps. Perhaps greater DC metropolitan area is lubricated by the blood sacrifice of people trying to cross the street and catch their bus, with a supporting fender-bender feedstock from anyone trying to make a left-hand turn. It makes me feel better to squawk while driving.

I feel painfully spendthrift, yuppie, and hipster tooting around town on a car-sharing plan, but it's all going to be worth it in San Francisco: I'm crashing with [livejournal.com profile] trolleypup and there are ten billion Zipcars in his neighborhood. I'm sort of tempted to drive Lombard Street for kicks, but I think walking down would be more fun than killing myself on the curves. I am mad excited about the possibilities, which include convertibles. They're more expensive, but how many times in your life can you drive the coast road with the top dropped?

This was supposed to be about cost/benefit analysis, and my very disordered week, but apparently my Sunday focus is very unfocused. Not surprising, since I started this on Friday.
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In affirmation that I know a thing or two about Photoshop, I rock.

Blah blah blah GRE angst. )

It's time to turn over my work playlists, but I'm running into problems: I already have half of Pink's "Stupid Girls" album in different mixes. So I'll have to branch out a bit. My life is so hard (not really): there is too much awesome music in the world.

I complained about a laundry list of worried well concerns to my doctor at my last appointment, and got a suggestion to exercise more and snack for the blood sugar shakes. So basically, what I was doing my last year of college? Sweet. Except for the part where I was about three times more active in college than I am now: I'm going to have to integrate running or swimming or cycling into every day. This could be hard.

I finally bought my San Francisco plane tickets: in town the evening of the 16th, heading home on a redeye on the 21st. I have guide books, no idea what I'm going to do there, and no idea where I'm staying, other than "not in a high crime area like the Tenderloin." Yay vacation!
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I sort of have a plan:

September: I make my merry way to San Francisco. Possibly the 9th - 13th/14th? Flights are about $260 out of IAD, which is only possible thanks to dad's proximity to the airport.

Winter: schedule trip to LA environs, overlapping [personal profile] norabombay's plans for the weekend of February 26th - 28th.

Now I just have to convince myself to, you know, spend money.

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