Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Happy Happy

Today: No traffic! I got to work in 15 minutes!

Yesterday: Making Xmas presents with the boy. Although he essentially did all the work, it made me happy to see him in his element (making terrazzo). He says I make him nervous when I watch him, which makes it all the cuter. Don't tell him I said that. If he knew I thought he was cute while doing manly terrazzo work, he might get offended teehee.

Sunday: Wrapping presents and making them pretty. For some reason, I lovelovelove decorating packages with ribbons and bows. It's the simple things in life.

Saturday: Amy made some of the most delicious food for Shane's birthday I've had in awhile. I love me some enchiladas and hers made me very happy. I am enchilada-picky, so they have to be damn good to make me want seconds!

Friday: Playing rock band with my favorite (Hayward) people. It's way more fun playing with 3 than with 2!

Thursday: Turning in (both) of my finals!

Wednesday: Finishing one of my finals and felt GOOD about the entire test. That NEVER happens!

Tuesday: Watching Lost with boy made me happy. I can't wait to have him caught up for the new season to start at the end of January!

And that's what made me happy last week.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Change We Can Believe In

We did it.
We actually did it.
It hit me this morning on my way to work. I just started bawling like a wee lass. I am, for the first time in 8 years, proud to be an American.
It's a good day to be alive.
I can finally breathe.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stephen Hawking Update

Sorry I don't have the time or creativity to actually write a post about myself... I'm alive and somehow surviving... the boy does an excellent job of taking care of me between melt-downs and midterms. He brings over his XBox and plays video games whilst I am immersed in my hours of homework a night. This is the worst of it, tho. Next semester is just one class. Which means I will not be graduating in the Spring, but next year. I can't keep killing myself like this just so I can be done faster. And that's the final word.... Did anyone besides me not know that he wrote a children's book (see below)? I must own it ASAP.

Stephen Hawking retiring from prestigious post
Cosmologist intends to continue his exploration of time and space

CAMBRIDGE, England - Cosmologist Stephen Hawking will retire from his prestigious post at Cambridge University next year, but intends to continue his exploration of time and space.

Hawking, 66, is Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, a title once held by the great 18th century physicist Isaac Newton. The university said Friday that he would step down at the end of the academic year in September, but would continue working as Emeritus Lucasian Professor of Mathematics.

"We look forward to him continuing his academic work at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics, playing a leading role in research in cosmology and gravitation," said Professor Peter Haynes, who heads the department.

Hawking became a scientific celebrity through his theories on black holes and the nature of time, work that he carried on despite becoming paralyzed by motor neurone disease.

University policy is that officeholders must retire at the end of the academic year in which they become 67. Hawking will reach that milestone on Jan. 8.

The Lucasian professorship post was founded in 1663 by Henry Lucas, who left his 4,000 books and land expected to yield 100 pounds a year to the university. King Charles II officially established the position in 1664.

Sir Isaac Newton was the second to hold the post. Paul Dirac, a specialist in quantum mechanics who predicted the existence of positron particles, had the title from 1932 to 1969.

Hawking was appointed to the chair in 1979.

His 1988 book, "A Brief History of Time," was an international best-seller; "A Briefer History of Time," intended to be more accessible, followed in 2005.

"George's Secret Key to the Universe," co-authored with Hawking's daughter Lucy, was published last year for the children's market.

Hawking first earned prominence for his theoretical work on black holes. Disproving the belief that black holes are so dense that nothing could escape their gravitational pull, he showed that black holes leak a tiny bit of light and other types of radiation, now known as "Hawking radiation."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

Monday, October 13, 2008

So this is why I take CV BART

I'm sad that Hayward is getting worse :(

Two shot at downtown Hayward BART station
By Kristofer Noceda and Jason Sweeney
The Daily Review
Article Last Updated: 10/13/2008 02:32:32 PM PDT

HAYWARD — The downtown Hayward BART station is closed after two men were shot near the station's entrance at about 12:35 p.m., witnesses said. Both victims were transported to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley.

One man was shot in the abdomen and is in critical condition. The other victim — believed to be a bystander — was shot in the "lower left flank" and is expected to survive, said Hayward Fire Capt. Eric Vollmer.

Authorities are searching for the shooter or shooters and are investigating the motive.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Microscopic Black Holes... Are You Scared?

Super-smasher targets massive mystery
Chapter 1: Particle collider comes close to the big bang on a small scale
By Alan Boyle
Science editor
updated 2:12 p.m. ET Sept. 8, 2008

MEYRIN, Switzerland - In the beginning was the big bang.

God may have been around before then — but as far as scientists are concerned, the big bang is as far back as they can go. And to get back there, they're getting ready to blast subatomic particles so energetically that the extreme conditions of the freshly born universe will be re-created on Earth.

Will those "little big bangs" crack age-old scientific mysteries? Or, despite repeated assurances from the world's top experts, will they create black holes that could gobble up the planet? After decades of preparation, scientists are finally switching on a machine that will separate the facts from what is plainly science fiction.

The machine is the $10 billion Large Hadron Collider, or LHC — the most powerful, most expensive particle-blaster ever invented. On Wednesday, Europe's CERN particle-physics lab is due to start shooting beams of protons through the LHC's 17-mile-round (27-kilometer-round) ring of tunnels beneath the French-Swiss border.

It will take months for the machine to reach full power. But eventually, those protons will be whipped up to 99.999999 percent of the speed of light, slamming together with the energy of two bullet trains colliding head-on. Underground detectors as big as cathedrals will track the subatomic wreckage on a time scale of billionths of a second. Billions of bits of data will be sent out every second for analysis.

As big as the numbers surrounding the LHC are, the mysteries it was built to address are bigger:

* What was the newborn universe made of?
* What causes things to have mass?
* Why is most of that mass hidden?
* Where did all the antimatter go?
* Is our entire universe a mere sliver of all that is?

"The LHC is the most powerful microscope that's ever been built," said John Ellis, a theoretical physicist here at CERN. "It will be able to explore the inner structure of matter on a scale that is 10 times smaller than anyone's been able to do before."

Ellis said the LHC also serves as "the most powerful telescope ever built," even though it looks inward rather than outward.

"We know that the way elementary particles interacted with each other controlled the very early universe," he explained. "So with the LHC we are able to, in some sense, re-create the conditions that existed in the universe when it was just a fraction of a second old — the sort of thing that the optical telescopes just can't see."

What's the point?
Past experiments in particle physics have yielded scores of practical spin-offs, ranging from new medical therapies to high-tech industrial materials — and even the World Wide Web, which you're using to read this report. But the potential for spin-offs isn't why more than 10,000 researchers around the world are looking forward so anxiously to the LHC.

"People ever since the ancient Greeks – and probably a long time before that – have wanted to understand how matter is made up, how it behaves, where the universe comes from,” said Ellis, surrounded in his office by stacks of research papers. “And so we are responding to that continuing human urge.”

The quest is not without controversy: Scientists say there's a chance that the LHC could create microscopic black holes, a phenomenon never before observed on Earth. They hasten to add that the tiny singularities will instantly pop out of existence, but that hasn't stopped critics from trying to block the collider's startup. Two of the critics have filed suit in federal court in Hawaii, seeking the suspension of LHC operations until more studies are done.

Responding to the critics, CERN has issued a series of reports explaining why the LHC will pose no threat. Ellis was one of the report's authors. "If the LHC were to make microscopic black holes, it would be tremendously exciting — and no danger," he said.

The 62-year-old London native has spent more than half his life at CERN, delving into topics ranging from dark matter to the theory of everything. Once the LHC is up and running, he expects to find out whether the theories he and other physicists have developed over all those years lead to solid evidence — or lead to a scientific dead end.

“Theoretically, that would be the most interesting possibility, because it would really mean that we had to tear up our notebooks of the last 45 years and start more or less from scratch,” Ellis said.

The God Particle

The theory described in all those notebooks is known as the Standard Model, which ranks among the scientific world's most successful theories. The Standard Model lays out a menagerie of subatomic particles and their interactions — and provides the basis for inventions ranging from television sets to microwave ovens to nuclear bombs.

Only one elementary particle predicted by the Standard Model has not yet been detected: the Higgs boson, which is thought to interact with other particles to give them mass. Without the Higgs, the big bang might have been an insubstantial flash in the pan — all energy, and no mass. Or so the theory goes.

The elusive Higgs boson looms so large as a gap in the Standard Model that Nobel-winning physicist Leon Lederman wrote a book about it called "The God Particle." (He joked that he wanted to call it the "Goddamn Particle," but his editor wouldn't let him.)

"This is in some sense the holy grail of particle physics, to find this missing link in the Standard Model," Ellis said. "So that's one thing that we're really looking forward to with the LHC. In fact, back when we persuaded the politicians to stump up the money to build the thing, that's probably what we told them."

Not even the LHC will be able to spot the Higgs boson directly. Instead, physicists will have to infer its existence through an analysis of the other particles that should be created when it decays. It's not an easy task, but Ellis believes the evidence should turn up within a year or two of the machine's startup.

Even that won't mark the end of the quest. Ellis compared the Higgs boson to a doorway that should lead beyond the Standard Model.

"I don't think that the Higgs door, if you like, is just closing off the room, and there is nothing beyond," he said. "I believe there's going to be a lot more physics beyond. What it's going to be, I don't know. Maybe it's supersymmetry. Maybe space has additional dimensions. Maybe it's something that we haven't thought of yet. I certainly hope it's something we haven't thought of yet. It would be great to come across a real surprise."

But Ellis and his colleagues at CERN have two nagging concerns in the back of their minds: What if somebody else finds the magic door first? Or what if they spent all these billions of dollars and there's no Higgs particle at all?

A competitive twist
Fifteen years ago, when Leon Lederman wrote "The God Particle," he thought the Higgs boson would be found in the Superconducting Super Collider, a project that was just getting started in Texas. That machine would have been four times as powerful as the LHC — but when the costs started running far beyond the initial estimates, Congress killed the program.

Over the decade that followed, U.S. scientists weren't just waiting for the LHC to be built: The focus shifted to the Tevatron collider at Fermilab in Illinois, which theorists figured might have just enough punch to pick up the Higgs' trail.

Last year, researchers at Fermilab passed the word that they had found some interesting data — readings that hinted at the presence of the Higgs but weren't yet solid enough to publish. That added a competitive twist to the grail quest.

"The longer we wait, the higher the probability that Fermilab discovers something that we wouldn't mind discovering ourselves here," Jos Engelen, CERN's chief scientific officer and deputy director general, said last year.

Beyond the God Particle
What if physicists don't find the God Particle they are expecting to see? Ellis acknowledged that was a possibility. "This might be a little bit difficult to explain to our politicians, that here they gave us 10 billion of whatever, your favorite currency unit, and we didn't find the Higgs boson," he said.

But Ellis has faith that even then, there'd be something to discover — maybe something even weirder and more wonderful than the Higgs boson.

"Probably the most likely option then might be extra dimensions," Ellis said. "And there are some ideas where if you have some additional dimensions of space, you could somehow do the job that the Higgs does in the Standard Model."

For years, string theorists have noted that their equations come out better if they assume that the universe has nine or 10 spatial dimensions instead of the three we can perceive. The LHC could provide the first evidence of those extra dimensions: Some theorists say the collisions could produce anomalously heavy particles, suggesting that part of their momentum was going into the extradimensional realm. Harvard physicist Lisa Randall estimates that the LHC could nail down the evidence for extra dimensions in five years.

Other theorists have focused on the idea that every subatomic particle should have an as-yet-undetected "supersymmetric" partner that mirrors many of the characteristics of the particles we know, but is dramatically different in other respects. The partners would have greater masses and a different spin, for example.

To date, no actual evidence of supersymmetry has been found. But if supersymmetric particles don't exist, then a lot of the theories that look beyond the Standard Model would have to be thrown out.

If supersymmetric particles do exist, they could account for a large part of the universe's dark matter. That's the 90 percent of all matter that scientists can detect only by its gravitational effect — a puzzle that has bedeviled astronomers for decades. "There are good reasons to think that these dark matter particles, if they exist, will be observable in the LHC," Ellis said.

Exploring the big-bang frontier

One of the LHC's detectors, known as ALICE, is devoted to studying the stuff that the universe was made of less than a billionth of a second after the big bang. Earlier experiments have hinted that the stuff was a super-hot liquid consisting of subatomic particles known as quarks and gluons.

For one month out of every year, the LHC will switch from smashing protons to smashing heavy lead ions, in an effort to re-create that quark-gluon soup and let ALICE analyze the recipe.

Yet another detector, LHCb, will study the tracks of particles containing specific types of quarks and antiquarks. The Standard Model predicts that equal amounts of matter and antimatter should have been produced in the big bang — but today, we see hardly any antimatter in nature. That's a good thing, because matter and antimatter annihilate each other when they come in contact, leaving pure energy behind.

LHCb will follow up on earlier experiments that suggest matter won out over antimatter because they somehow decay in different ways.

And then there are the wild cards in the deck: Could the LHC really create black holes or exotic forms of matter? What about all these claims that the world is in peril?

Tuesday: Doomsday fears and futuristic dreams
© 2008 MSNBC Interactive

Friday, September 05, 2008

Shiny Disco Balls

Well, I made it through my first two weeks of school. Granted, only 2 of my 4 classes had already started, but I made it. So far, so good. First 2 homework assignments, done and done! Next week, I start the 2 harder graduate-level classes. So we'll see how chipper I am by this time next week haha.
I bought myself a laptop on Wednesday. I still don't have a car, but now I have pretty new electronical devices to play with! I converted over to Mac-land and got the cheapest of the MacBooks for $1099. Student discount of $100 so $999... plus an iTouch for free (after rebate = $299). So now I have a computer at my townhouse woohoo! I've been living there since April with no computer. Kinda lame. I didn't really have room for my desk and pc! Well, really I just didn't want to clutter up my space with the desk and pc. So now I can leave it at my dad's house for him to use plus I still have it should the need arise.
What about your car, you may ask... it's in the shop. My boss's brother's shop in Hayward. He verified on Wednesday that my engine does, indeed, need to be replaced. Yuckie. I was hoping that I only needed a new timing belt, but I was wrong. He quoted me $2875. I guess that's do-able. Only because I was gonna spend $3000 on a used car anyways.
And that's what's new with me this week.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Who's Gonna Save My Soul?

Me? I is exhausted. Yesterday was not a happy day for me. I made it into work at 7, that part was semi-okay. Had my co-worker Russell give me a ride in. Then I left for BART at about 8:15 from another co-worker, Paula. Got to campus pretty early and had the worst white mocha possibly known to man. I think they burned the espresso or something. I drank it anyways, don't get me wrong.... but it was in no way as delicious as I would have hoped. Must be all new people working at the coffee place on campus now. Hopefully it'll be better next time, cuz I needs me the coffee to make it through class! So, class was from 10:10-11:00. Boring. But, since I've taken the class before (at CSUH, from my least fave teacher), I'd expect no better than boring. That's a good sign, really. We'll just see how I do otherwise. After class, I was walking to the elevator and my freakin' arch-nemesis was standing there. I just kept on walking. What I really wanted to do was stop and scream in her face and then keep walking, but I thought better of myself, as the hall was pretty crowded with people. So I took the stairs instead. Barf. Not the best way to start my semester, let me tell you. So I went outside for a smoke and called the boy to calm my nerves from seeing her, mostly so I wouldn't start hysterically crying. He didn't answer, but he did call me back later. Thank goodness. I didn't want to keep that pent up rage/anger/misery inside for too long and all of my good school friends weren't on campus (since they're not re-taking that class like I am). Anyways, hopped on BART and made it back to Oakland at noon where I really didn't want to walk to work. Called another co-worker, Memo, to see if he was going out for lunch and if he could swoop me up when he did so. Met him at Subway and made it back to work a little before 1. Searched for work to do.... which was a little disconcerting since I came all the way back from school to work and I really had nothing to do. Got another co-worker, Richard, to give me a ride back to BART at 3:30. Had GRE Prep class at 5:10. Kinda interesting. Short lecture on Laboratory Techniques: standard deviation vs. uncertainty, graphing Bell's curve and log-log and semi-log plots... etc. Was outta there at about 6. Waited for my friend Aariel to show up on campus to say hi. It's nice to know someone outside of the physics department! After she was off to class, I got in line for the shuttle back to BART. And I waited. And I waited. And I waited. I'm pretty sure there was only the one shuttle bus. So I waited for about an hour. All I wanted to do at this point (about 7 now) was go home and curl up into a ball and pass the eff out. But no. Instead, I waited. For so long. I could have walked it faster than that. If you could walk on the freeway, of course. Anyways, finally got to BART at 8 and was on a train back to the CV within 5 minutes. The ride is about another hour, in which my phone was about to die. I was trying to hold onto it's life for as long as possible so I could get picked up from CV BART when I got there. Luckily, my roommate was there waiting when I pulled in about 9. Got home, charged my phone. Ryan was so worried about me because he called and called while my phone was off/dead. He came over and gave me hugs and kisses galore and held me until I fell asleep. I fall asleep so much faster when he is with me. Maybe my brain doesn't go a mile a minute when he's there. Either way, I was out by 11.
Never again.
I am officially taking Wednesdays off of work and staying on campus the whole day. Which means I'll be working on Saturdays which I am less than thrilled about, but what can you do? I can't commute back and forth like that. It was just too damn much.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Leaving On A Jetplane

I'm gonna need a jetplane for this school schedule I got this semester. Starting tomorrow. Woot. I can't even contain my excitement. Here it is. Laugh at me, please. So's I won't cry.

Work 7-8:15 am
BART/Bus to campus 8:20-9:45
Undergrad Electromagnetism II 10:10-11:00
Bus/BART to Oakland 11:30-12:30
Work 12:30-5

Work 7-3:30
BART/Bus to campus 3:30-4:45
Grad Statistical Mechanics 5-6:30
Bus/BART to Castro Valley/Oakland

Work 7-8:15 am
BART/Bus to campus 8:20-9:45
Undergrad Electromagnetism II 10:10-11:00
Bus/BART to Oakland 11:30-12:30
Work 12:30-3:30
BART/Bus to campus 3:30-4:45
Physics GRE Prep Course 5:00-???
Bus/BART to Castro Valley/Oakland (wherever my non-existent car is)

Somewhere in there is homework and independent study in General Relativity...

Shoot me now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Butterflies and Hurricanes

And just when I thought that things couldn't get any better... Ryan took me away for the weekend. I'm pretty sure he's officially the best boyfriend ever. I've decided to nickname him bbe for short. Not as cute as his for me... he calls me Sarah Star or his Shiny Star. I wanted to call him the Ry-meister because he love love loves Jagermeister, but he said that makes him sound too much like an alcoholic. He's probably right.
Anyways, the weekend... awesome!!! He called me when I was on my way home from work on Friday afternoon to see if I wanted to go away with him and I said a hundred times yes! I start school on Wednesday and didn't really do too much all summer, so I figured what the hell. Who needs to go car shopping when there is fun to be had? He wanted to go home and take a nap before heading out (so as to also miss traffic times), said he'd call me. He did call me... at 1 in the morning. He also loves to sleep, I may have failed to mention that. I was pretty mad. I canceled all my other fun plans for Friday night (poker night with the peeps) since I had no car and wound up doing nothing on Friday night until Ry came over. I hate being mad at him. It's too hard! Especially when he comes over to make things better. I want to just be like, "whatever, it doesn't matter anymore." But then it keeps on happening! This was not the first time that he's basically kept me waiting all night because he wanted to take an 8 hour "nap" after work. I don't want to be pessimistic and just always assume he will flake on me, but at the same time, I don't want to sit at home alone on a Friday night on my last free weekend before school starts!
Needless to say, he did come over and made things right with me when he did wake up. And we were on our way to Tahoe on Saturday morning. Yay for weekends with boys! We had so much fun! On our way up, we stopped and had the best burger ever at a place called Moo-Moo's. Yum-o! When we got there, we went to a few casinos to see how much a room would be. The first place said $450. Yep, you read that right. $450. Holy shiat. And no, thank you. The next place said $299, and they were at 107%, so we moved on. To the parking lot. Where we went online to Orbitz to book a room from his phone. Got a room, semi-close-by, for $150. Showered and changed. Then to the gambling. Where we both lost kind of a lot of money on Blackjack, Roulette, and Hold 'Em. But we had fun losing it! And got slightly drunk off of free drinks in the interim. Dinner was sushi. Hecka yummy sushi, mind you. On the walk back to the hotel, we stopped for some beer and Jager and snacks. And the rest of the night I will leave to your imagination. But it was fun. In case you were wondering.
Sunday, we woke up, checked out of the hotel, and had some breakfast. Gambled a little bit more. Just enough for me to lose my money and for Ry to almost make up for what I lost. Then he took me to Emerald Bay. It was so beautiful. I had never actually been to Tahoe in the summertime, and it was amazing. It was hot, which seemed a little weird to me... like 85-90 degrees outside and shit. But we hiked down the 1 mile slope to the beach below. There's some weird Viking house there. The water was pretty cold, but felt really good on the footsies after hiking in the sun. We wandered around a bit down there before hiking back up in the sun. And then we headed back for home. Stopped for dinner at Chevy's. Grabbed a couple movies from Blockbuster. Passed out pretty early, after watching The Bank Job.
So yeah! BBE! Best Boyfriend Ever. I finally found a guy who can take care of me. And wants to. I can hang out with him as a friend and be intimate with him when we are alone. And either way, he makes me happy. And stress-free. Until Wednesday. Today, he's picking me up from work to go and look at cars when he is off work. Hopefully we find something good. I'm already sick of looking for rides and it's only been one day.
Happy Monday!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Won't You Smile Awhile For Me...

It's been brought to my attention that I haven't updated the status with the boy in a good while... so why not now, before I start school and go back into hibernation:
I couldn't be happier right now, to be perfectly honest. I can't say it hasn't been the smoothest ride up until this point, but I feel like I can be patient, when the need arises. Maybe because my feelings for him are so strong. Maybe because I am growing as a person. Who knows... either way, as of today I am completely content. I'm not worried. I don't doubt his feelings for me. I feel great, really.
He scared me for a little while. I'm not sure why he doubted my feelings for him... something to work on, I guess. Maybe after it was all said and done, he realized that he doesn't need to doubt me. I hope so. Something in my gut told me to believe him, to trust him, and now everything is better. Insert big smiley face here.
He's been terrific to me through all my car drama. So supportive. I'm not sure he knows how much it's meant to me the last week that he's been here for me. With me. Taking care of me, really. I try so hard to be a strong, independent woman, but sometimes it's just nice to have an even stronger shoulder to cry on and lament to. And he's provided that. He makes me goo. I melt still every time I see him. Little puddles of Sarah goo. I know Sierra knows what I'm talking about. It's so nice that we both can be goo simultaneously! That never happens! And Becky is goo too. She's engaged, even. My little sissy, all growed up. Tear.
So, question: Should the one year mark be the day we met, or the day we were official? How do you guys determine it?
Really, it doesn't matter. I am trying to live each day new. At least for now. It's kinda nice, really. Especially when I get to wake up in his arms. I almost forgot that feeling. Safe. Happy.
And just in time for school, when all these feelings of contentment will become stripped of me. Yay. :( Let the stress begin.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Honking Antelopes

Well, it's pretty much official. The Kia is dead. I can't say it wasn't my fault, it probably was. Here's what happened:
Last Thursday, on my way home from work on 880, my car randomly turned off. Thankfully, there was a bit of traffic (880 + rush hour = poop), so I managed to coast across the 3 lanes to the off ramp shoulder. Did I pee my pant anyways? Just about. It was stop and go, so as I was about to go, there was nothing. My radio was still on, but no car power otherwise. WTF?!?!?!? I looked down and the car was dead. Tried to restart to no avail. Turned on my hazards and my blinker and was able to coast safely to the side of the freeway. I called my dad, shaking... then called AAA for a tow. Told them I would tow it to the Kia dealership, since that was the closest place I could think of to take it from my location on Marina Blvd. So, I called Kia to let them know I was coming when the Freeway Patrol Service stopped by to see if I needed help: gas, a jump start, etc. They were able to tow me off the freeway to a drop location, which turned out to be almost as far as the dealership, but in the opposite direction. Whatever. My dad picked my up from the dealership which at this point was closed.
On Saturday, while I was at my company picnic, they called and left me a voicemail to say that my timing belt had stripped, causing my engine to seize. :( Now here's the zinger: this is still covered under my warranty if I could show receipts that I got the 60,000 and 90,000 mile check ups, proving that my timing belt had been checked out as a preventative measure. Which I didn't do. So, it was probably my fault the whole thing happened! Stupid me!!! I had my stupid clutch replaced at 70,000 miles, you would think that might count for something.... we'll see if it does. I haven't called them back yet. But really? I am not putting any more money into that stupid car. I'd rather spend the money on a car that can get me through the next year of school, at least. Then I can get the car that I really want, after I finally start my career.
I hate being so dependent on cars. Now I don't know what to do. I start school next Tuesday, so that doesn't leave me much time to get my shit together. Today I will go by the dealership and see exactly how much it would cost to fix and if its more than $1000, which it will be, I guess I'll get a new car. Actually, my dad took me down Auto Row yesterday to look at some options, and there was a nice looking Nissan for $3000 that was a stick. I want to get a diagnostic on it before anything else, but I'm not sure how that works. "Hey, car salesman, can I borrow this car for a few hours to get a diagnostic?" Will they let me?
And then there's still the problem with the Kia being at the dealership. I'm sure they're going to make me take it away. Where the hell do I take it? What am I supposed to do with a car that doesn't have a working engine?
Argh! What the hell did I do to Karma to deserve this one? Have I been too happy lately or something???
Le sigh.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Why I'm Not Practicing...

Woman stabs herself during Wiccan ceremony
Accident happens during good-luck ritual
updated 3:24 p.m. MT, Tues., July. 22, 2008

LEBANON, Ind. - A woman accidentally stabbed herself in the foot with a 3-foot-long sword while performing a Wiccan good luck ritual at a cemetery in central Indiana.

Katherine Gunther, 36, of Lebanon, pierced her left foot with the sword while performing the rite at Oak Hill Cemetery, police said.

Gunther said she was performing the ceremony to give thanks for a recent run of good luck. The ceremony involves the use of candles, incense and driving swords into the ground during the full moon.

Gunther said was aiming to put the sword in the ground, but hit her foot instead.

"It wasn't the first time I performed the ritual, but it was the first time I put a sword through my foot," she said.

Gunther immediately pulled the sword out of her foot, and her companions took her to Witham Memorial Hospital, where she was kept a couple days for treatment.

No charges were filed, police said. The Wiccans were warned that being in the cemetery in the city about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis after posted visiting hours constitutes trespassing.

Wicca is a nature-based religion based on respect for the earth, nature and the cycle of the seasons.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

10,000 Days

Sierra: Yay for awesome hikes

me: i know! it was perfect weather yesterday
Sent at 10:23 AM on Thursday

me: we had to walk past a huge group of cows
i was scared
pretty sad, i know

Sierra: why were you scared of the cows?
Have you been bum rushed by cows before?

me: no but there were so many of them!
they could totally crush me by head butting me or something

Sierra: OK
you are funny

me: have you ever had to walk past cows before?
theyre intimidating, man!

Sierra: lol
Um yeah but I think usually they are behind a fence
One day all the grazing cows came over to watch me run by it was cute
Sent at 10:32 AM on Thursday

me: these guys were in the pathway
like 10 of them
all staring at us with their dead eyes

Sierra: did you find it creepy?

me: i wanted to run
do you think cows can sense fear?
or are they too stupid?

Sierra: I dunno
I would be afraid to run

me: i was wearing red too
i think that's a myth
and they were all girl cows

Sierra: I think it's ok as long as they wern't bulls
hee hee hee

Monday, June 02, 2008

Eating Seeds As A Pastime Activity

The results are in:
I am no longer on academic probation.
And thank goodness!
The official grades are:
Quantum Mechanics = B+
Astrophysics = A-
Total GPA = 3.17
Woooooo! I mean, it's not anything to write home about and it won't get me into any ph.d programs, but it gives me a wee amount of breathing room for next semester. In which I am taking Statistical Mechanics, Undergrad E&M II (retaking it since I learned zippo the first time 'round and I have to take a grad level E&M class in the spring), GRE Physics Prep Class (have to pass the GRE with 25th %ile or better in order to graduate), and General Relativity (taken credit/no credit only since it'll be independent study). So um yeah. I'll be a busy busy bee next year if I want to graduate next May. Honestly? We'll see what happens.
So.. since school is over, I have not much else to report. Work is lame since the economy is not so good right now. So I am not allowed to help with testing in the lab for the time being so that the lab guys have enough work to do... but that means I am working only on reports which can get tedious and old pretty fast. Plus, it depends on what those lab guys are doing on how much work I have since I pretty much get paid to make their test results look presentable. Whatevs. At least it pays the bills. I just hit my 4 year mark with the company and haven't had a raise in over a year... but I doubt I can ask for one due to afore-mentioned economy crisis. C'mon economy! Pick it up! People! Start building things again! Sarah needs something to do this summer!
Enough with the rant.

Friday, May 16, 2008

If I Can't Have You, I Don't Want Nobody, Baby!

So... the quantum grade is in already and it's a B+. I'm ever so slightly disappointed. I was really hoping on, nay, counting on an A or at least an A-. You know, that whole academic probation thing is still hanging over my head. Granted, the B+ brings up my GPA to a 3.0, the minimum I am allowed as a grad student. What does that mean? I have no cushion. That means I have to get a B or better in my Astro calss. Sad face. I was really wanting to do extra well this semester so I wouldn't have to worry about this anymore! Argh!

On a lighter note, here's an interesting article from msn.com:

Einstein's 'God' letter fetches $400,000
He dismissed belief as product of human weakness, called Bible 'childish'

LONDON - A letter in which Albert Einstein dismissed the idea of God as the product of human weakness and the Bible as "pretty childish" has sold at auction for more than $400,000.

Bloomsbury Auctions said Friday that the handwritten letter sold to an overseas collector after frenetic bidding late Thursday in London. The sale price of $404,000, including the buyer's premium, was more than 25 times the pre-sale estimate.

Bloomsbury did not identify the buyer, but managing director Rupert Powell said it was someone with "a passion for theoretical physics and all that that entails."

"This extraordinary letter seemed to strike a chord, and it gave a deep personal insight one of the greatest minds of the 20th century," Powell said.

The letter was written to philosopher Eric Gutkind in January 1954, a year before Einstein's death. In it, the Einstein said that "the word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."

"For me," he added, "the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions."

Addressing the idea that the Jews are God's chosen people, Einstein wrote that "the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything 'chosen' about them."

Bloomsbury spokesman Richard Caton said the auction house was "100 percent certain" of the letter's authenticity. It was offered at auction for the first time, by a private vendor.

'Rather quirky about religion'
Einstein experts say the letter supports the argument that the physicist held complex, agnostic views on religion. He rejected organized faith but often spoke of a spiritual force at work in the universe.

John Brooke, emeritus professor of science and religion at Oxford University, said the letter lends weight to the notion that "Einstein was not a conventional theist" — although he was not an atheist, either.

"Like many great scientists of the past, he is rather quirky about religion, and not always consistent from one period to another," Brooke said.

Born to a Jewish family in Germany in 1879, Einstein said he went through a devout phase as a child before beginning to question conventional religion at the age of 12.

In later life, he expressed a sense of wonder at the universe and its mysteries — what he called a "cosmic religious feeling" — and famously said: "Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind."

But he also said: "I do not believe in the God of theology who rewards good and punishes evil. My God created laws that take care of that. His universe is not ruled by wishful thinking, but by immutable laws."

Brooke said Einstein believed that "there is some kind of intelligence working its way through nature. But it is certainly not a conventional Christian or Judaic religious view."

Einstein's most famous legacy is the special theory of relativity, which makes the point that a large amount of energy could be released from a tiny amount of matter, as expressed in the equation e=mc2 (energy equals mass times the speed of light squared). The theory changed the face of physics, allowing scientists to make predictions about space and paving the way for nuclear power and the atomic bomb.

Einstein's musings on science, war, peace and God helped make him world famous, and his scientific legacy prompted Time magazine to name him its Person of the 20th Century.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Did I Fail To Mention...

That I got 48/50 on my Graduate Quantum Mechanics midterm? Can I get a what-what? Maybe my calling isn't Astrophysics, after all...

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Giving All My Power To The Money Machine

This just in: Friday night, the boy asked me to be his girlfriend. Granted, he was more than just a littled effed up at the time... but he asked, no less. He actually texted me earlier in the evening saying he had something to tell me. Which kinda freaked me out. Especially since he proceeded to lose contact with me for the next few hours. So, I think he was serious about it? We had breakfast the next morning and I mentioned that he said that and he wasn't terribly surprised (but didn't remember). Since he was drunk at the time, I asked him to ask me again when he was sober. So, of course when he didn't remember, I was a little sad. But I think his words the next day were, "the offer still stands." Grr. Boys are a little slow sometimes. Does he not realize that I wanted him to REALLY ask again? "The offer still stands" is so blah! Whatever. I'll take what I can get. He also said those three little words when we were all cuddled together. I didn't tell him about that part. That, we can save for another day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

A Friend With Weed Is Better

Cliffhanger indeed! Sheesh! I's been a busy, busy girl since my last post!
First things first, the boy and I never really discussed issues any further. I'm okay with that, for now. Enough was discussed at the time to keep me at bay. Besides, I have more important things on my mind right now to get overly stressed out on boy stuff, right? Needless to say, things have been going really well with him. I'm not calling him my boyfriend, but what's in a word, really? He explained his side, I explained mine. We'll leave it at that for now.
Midterms are finally over! I had one oral exam on my birthday which totally blew, but it's over so yay. My other midterm was a take home and I turned it in yesterday. So now it's back to the normal school stuff. My Astro teacher decided that he was overloading us with work and thus is giving us an option to either take another oral exam final or write the paper. I am waiting to see how well I did on the last oral before making my decision. Really? Oral would be less time consuming. But I'd prolly do better if I wrote the paper. But it's nice that he finally realized how much he's expecting from us.
I moved! Out of the parentals! Woot! I moved at the beginning of the month into a townhouse in CV with my friend from CSUH, Josh. Awesome! I was so ready to move out. I love my daddy and all, but there's only so long I can handle living with him again (aka, one year). So I moved out. Josh is one of those WoW peeps, so he wouldn't move in until we got internet. Specifically, cable internet. Which was Monday. So I had my own place for 10 whole days. 'Twas nice, actually! On my birthday, the boy brought me sushi with candles in it and we stayed in and watched a movie in my own place. :) yay. It's hard dating when you both live at home with parents! But such is the Bay Area life, I s'pose.
Yeah, yeah... need to work now. Hope that can tide you over, Ms. Shiva!!! Much kisses!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

So Give Me Something To Believe

Still no word back from the boy. It's hardly been a day and a half, but I still want the letter to be ash. It's to the point of making me sick to my stomach. When I think about it. Which is pretty much always.
I realized today that even though I am on Spring Break, I should prolly actually work on school stuff. I was trying my damnest to ignore it, but really? I don't want to be uber stressed out in two weeks when I am overwhelmed with midterms and papers and homeworks. Yuck! So I seriously need to finish up the homework that was due last Friday that my teacher decided to give us the break to finish up. And? 15 page paper comes to mind. And seeing as how I completely skipped over the undergrad Astrophysics class (it was cancelled, so I went straight into the grad level Astrophysics course), I have a lot of research to do on my topic (X-Ray Binary Formation and Evolution) before I can even do the research. Since I have zero background on the subject except a nice picture in my brain of a star swirling around a black hole which is gobbling up the star's mass (pretty picture, actually... but I can't write 15 pages on how much I think the picture is pretty, right?), I need to actually LEARN about X-Ray Binary Systems before I can delve right into reading 5 recent physics journal arcticles on the topic (not the easiest of tasks, if you've ever tried to read a physics journal article on a topic you know nothing about...). And then come up with 15 pages to write about! Wooooo! And a smidgen of hoo to boot.
So that's where I've been all semester. Learning about stuff so I can learn about stuff. I guess that's what Grad school is all about? I dunno. I'm not even sure anymore that I want to even do Astrophysics. It's pretty hard! But then what? I kinda like Quantum. I hear there's a Quantum Astrophysics field that is up and coming... I'll have to look into that. After the paper is done, of course. Providing I ever even start it. Teehee. Such the procrastinator, I am.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Black Holes and Revelations

Sarah made a booboo yesterday. She told the boy that she is in love with him. What the eff, man?!?!? What was I thinking? Was I even thinking at all? Everything was all fine and good and we had a fun night at D&B's on Saturday night. Sunday morn, he went to take a shower and get ready for family gathering nonsense and by the time he came back, I was in tears. So here's the deal. We've been dating for (almost) 6 months and I kinda feel like we're in limbo-land. I understand that he has girlfriend issues right now because of some past bull that he had to deal with... but I just can't sit idylly by anymore. I have feelings too! And if he isn't going to step up to the plate at some point, now is the time for me to know. I guess that's my argument. I dunno anymore. I was sad because all these doubts are totally overwhelming. But in the end, I had to tell him. He was utterly confused as to why I was happy when he left me and in tears when he came back. I had to tell him something, why not the truth? So now I dunno. He wanted me to write everything down because sometimes it's easier to get thoughts out on paper. I would have agreed with him 5 years ago. But writing all that stuff down just made me feel icky inside. Basically it was like this, "Here's how I feel - and here's why I am sad because of it." So it was a pretty depressing note by the end, in my opinion. I wanted to burn it. I still do. But he talked me into letting him keep it so he could mull it over for a few days and get back to me. Then I'll burn it. I want no evidence of 4 pages of negative thoughts roaming around my life. Blegh. So now I wait until he has some sort of organized feedback for me. I felt worse before I saw him last night. He keeps telling me not to worry... but the last time I said "I love you" to someone, he broke my heart immediately following. I know Ry wants nothing to do with another broken Sarah heart... so I hope he can move forward with me.
Oh yeah and Wooooooo Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Empty Walls

Hey all!
I went and saw Serj Tankian on Saturday night at the Warfield. Awesome. With a little sprinkle of FANTABULOUS on top! What a good show! And the Warfield? I forgot how utterly awesome that place is!!! I went with the boy - who is not my boyfriend, but technically he is cuz we are exclusive but whatever.
Shortest post ever. More to come when I'm not at work haha.