Friday, July 29, 2011

Dont go "ghetto" w/ Hazmat

Its lunch break here at school and my pb sandwich is toassssstin! Whilst I munch on my celery & carrot sticks, I wanted to update on my week!

We spent the first part of the week running preliminary experiments (think tap water and laboratory air, and gas standards) with our instruments that just finished getting assembled to see how they're working and make adjustments if possible. On Wednesday I started packing up all the lab equipment into crates and finished with this yesterday. Yesterday afternoon our whole lab went into Ship It Out mode to get our 8 large heavy cases down to the loading docks and strap everything to pallets. This morning we packed away our Hazmat gas cylinders.
This is a pretty good story..Eric was de-icing our mini fridge yesterday around lunchtime and accidentally hit the cooling agent cylinder with his screwdriver/ice pick and gas went flying out..the fridge was totally broken. So anyway, he went out and got a new one last night and so this morning, there was an empty new fridge box in our lab.

It must have been too early in the morning, b/c John had a pretty terrible idea this morning that I should pack up the 4 heavy gas cylinders we are shipping as Hazmat in the fridge box! He gave me some soft sheets of foam and told me to just be crrative, yada yada. I thought hazmat must not be too big a deal or something. I didn't realize it was doomed to begin with until he came to check on my handiwork and realized the cardboard was way to flimsy for those heavy 2000 psi tanks. When I stepped away from it, I saw that the loads duct tape I deemed necessary for reinforcement combined with pictures on the box of glasses of juice and people eating cheesecake made the box look..anything but serious. And John admitted that Hazmat should not look like a joke. Within an hour, our great lab fam had remedied the situation and placed the cylinders horizontally in a large plastic cooler, lined snugly with thick styrofoam blocks. Ready to go!! John started singing a Spinners song about a ghetto child while we re-packaged.

Everything will be picked up in a few hours and FedExed to Fairbanks, arriving a few hours before John and I do next Thurs.

Monday, July 25, 2011

School day

I head to campus between 8 and 9 a.m. It's a 3 mi ride to my building, which is on the very east edge of campus.  There are literally a 100+ buildings behind the two that you can see in this pic!!  At 15-stories, my building is the tallest building on campus and has a Doppler radar system on the roof, which I have yet to observe up close.
That's my lighthouse!  jk, but it IS my building.  I'm on the 9th floor.  I really like this road that leads me on to campus.
Once I lock up my bike, I hit the stairs.
  184 of them.  (I didn't count them all, just calculated).
At anytime, I LOVE a coffee break!!
    So the good news as of today is that our machine is all built!!  Now we just have to get it to work.  The bottom two shelves house the Cavity Ring Down Spectrometer, which analyzes gas using lasers and highly reflective mirrors, and its computer hardware; The next shelf up has a ton of impt. stuff secured onto it for intaking the air and gas from seawater; the top shelf has a built in monitor and keyboard. Our gas needs to be really dry for analysis, so out front there is a canister of silica gel we will connect w/ tubing for drying the samples, attached to the left and right sides of the front frame are water condensers filled with glass beads, and on the back frames, we attached nafion dryers.
The intense reality is that we have to get it properly working and ready to ship to AK this Thursday!!
Close up of the 2nd shelf

Birds eye of  2nd shelf.  I actually took out the green and black round things (back pressure regulators) and replaced them with smaller, more efficient ones that arrived later in the afternoon.

Looking head on at the Stream-select valve and the side of the 2-position valve

 For those of you non-electrically-inclined people, here's something you can relate to:  lunch break!

I love toasting my pb sandwich at lunchtime.
This pb is pretty boss!  I like smuckers too.
 After lunch, which I take for at least half an hour, it's back to the lab(s) for more work on the machine.  I learn a lot everyday and get better with the tools for steel tubing cutting and cleaning, wire stripping & crimping.  I am beginning to recognize nuts with their corresponding wrench size; and the trickiest things are the fittings: Swagelock and Valco ones for tight seals on our tubing.  Anyhow, by the time the AC starts to give me chills, I know its getting about time for me to leave!  Between 6 and 7 p.m., I make my exit.  The woman I'm working with in the mornings is an early-to-work person and doesn't like it when I'm late by her schedge, and my advisor, who has a lot to show me in the afternoons, is a hard-working, late-to-leave kinda guy. Long days, but whatevs--Alaska is on the horizon!
Stoked to leave at the end of a day
 Now I want to share a bit of what the TAMU campus looks like, because I'm awed by it.  I'm making the pictures X-large because these buildings are freaking huge!

The football stadium from the outside

And apparently....

This is what the stadium looks like on Game Day.  Capacity is 83,002 I believe.

View from the stadium looking towards the Rec.  The buildings aren't the only big things--big skies here.
The Texas A&M Rec Center. So far, I've been swimming in the Olympic (50 m) pool inside and took a dip in the hot tub.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Today I put my clothes away!

Earlier this week, I broke open a fortune cookie and after reading the fortune said, True Story (a response I use all too often, which you know if you've had a conversation with me in the last year).

Getting a fortune @ Happy Yogurt, a place as cheerful as its name
It's not that I've experienced a change--besides turning the big "21," I am still very much the kid who lived on Wrightsville Beach.  But I'm not on WB any more!!  I'm in Texas and just about everything and everyone is new to me. Totally exciting most of the time, sort of lonely and scary on occasion.  My new habits and haunts are all chosen with a background awareness that my day-to-day actions and attitude in this new place is what will both define me and settle me in this place.  It's useful for me to think of myself as a plant that's been transplanted to a new and definitely larger (Everything's bigger in Texas, doncha know) pot of dirt and I'll just be making an exponential amount of adjustments before I am acclimatized to my new home.  I can already feel my self growing a lot though, as I'm learning and exploring (like) constantly.

    In my apartment, I have been constructing my awesome IKEA furnishings in my spare time when I feel like picking up a screwdriver.  That was Never during this past school week.  I was using a screwdriver (not to mention a whole host of other tools!) during the day and the last thing I wanted to do was build something when I came home from school.  Good news though!  The lab instrument is like 95% complete and I will in all likelihood begin running samples on it tomorrow (Monday) afternoon!  It was a lot of work and man! we re-adjusted things like the positions of the different components a million times--it was like one of those brain teaser wooden puzzles or something.  The scientist I was building the instrument wasn't very friendly to me, so that was def not a bright spot in the past few weeks, but I did learn a great deal from her about lab-built instruments.
     This morning though, I was totally up for finishing my dresser!  I put on some NPR and some Pandora radio and just hammered it out.  Ha.

Constructing a drawer for my classy birch IKEA dresser
    It came out really well!!  First off, I realized how to correct an error I had made on it earlier in its construction (my top was on wrong!) and it was smooth sailing from there.  By noon, I was putting away both my freshly laundered clothing, which had been in a heap on my floor where a dresser would normally go, and that which was still sitting in a box in my closet.  Dressers really are great.  And this one has really smooth drawers and a well-designed (those Swedes!) upward slanting edge for opening them, eliminating the need for drawer-pulls.
Dresser full o clothes!

Upward slanting edge for easy-opening
Shot of my bedroom as it is now! Window w/ curtain, dresser, and bed!
 I was so happy to complete it and then went to the gym for a good run.  Then I was off to meet my friend Cara in downtown Bryan at The Village, which was soooo cooooool.  Everything I dreamed and more.  A pocket, or rather 4 walls (which were covered in art by the way, a veritable gallery) acting as a haven for those who seek it!  Looking around at the people, I felt a rush of happiness and familiarity--people like me do exist in this town!  They're here!  I've found my way here!  It's different in Brazos Natural Foods--people aren't communing with each other there--there's no cafe/sit down area.  The BNF email tipped me off to this place, though!
Off to check out downtown Bryan for the first time this afternoon
 Cara, my new friend from Germany, and I really enjoyed hanging out together today, as usual.  We've been hanging out a bunch these past few weeks, getting to know each other and exploring new places.  We've gone twice to the Northgate area to eat at Freebirds, went swimming in the ginormous and awesome Student Rec Center, watched the World Cup Final between USA and Japan last Sunday at the Fox & Hound, and today enjoyed The Village.  We always talk so so much and have a fantastic time.  She's only here for a summer internship though, so our time here is short--I'm leaving in 11 days for Alaska!!!!  In light of this, we're planning a trip to Austin together this weekend--giant smiley emoticon.  Cara has been all over Europe, studies like every branch of oceanography at her university in Kiel, and speaks 4 languages (German, French, English, and Spanish, in order of fluency) and has studied Latin.  I had to pry this out of her over hours of conversation.
My new friend, Cara.  She's German and awesome.
We met by accident!  During my first week, I was looking for a room on the 8th floor where you set up some oceanography student computer ID thing, and popped in to a room with cubicle-like spaces.  I saw Cara and and asked her for directions to the GeoNet ID place, and she was like, "I have no idea, it's my 2nd day here."  And I told her that I was totally new too, and we set plans to eat our lunches together that day and have been enjoying hanging out since then!

      At The Village, I enjoyed the Cold Cuke sandwich and a glass of white wine.  Was it good?  No.  Totally sublime.   And a few hours later, I dared to try their S.O.B. Mocha, which has dark chocolate and adobo sauce, and it was bold!  Like I love spice and had to enjoy it in small sips!  LOVED it. So happy.  Speaking of happy..

Happy Yogurt!!   Gawd that place is so cheery!
    I have been to Happy Yogurt twice now and loved it!!! It's a wi-fi cafe and plays movies on a hi-def TV during the evenings.  It's a place where most of the customers come multiple times a week.The yogurt tasted like ice cream.  The owners are a girl named Koda and her mom, Momma Judy, and they are the sole employees I think.  I've had their chocolate yogurt, their red-bean coconut shake, and their shiitake mushroom happy buns.  Really good time!  I watched Modern Family on my iPad when I was there Friday and another evening I watched the movie they were showing, "Easy A," a modern day "Scarlet Letter," which I had watched at Shira's place in Cali.

    I realized that at this time last year I was getting ready to leave the Eastern Shore where I spent 12 weeks of the summer interning at a marine science camp.   I checked out my pictures from this time last year, and they were from when my dad had driven up to visit me! 

Dad and me on Assateague Island on July 24, 2010

      The highlight of his visit was showing him what I did literally every free chance I got--bicycling from our campus to the island of Chincoteague and on over to Assateague where I'd take the Hike & Bike beach access to reach the ocean.   It was an 11 mile distance to cover one-way, but you'd never know it because it was an incredibly scenic ride, across a long marshy causeway where I would often glimpse what came to be my favorite bird--the black-necked stilt.  I would wake up around 7 or 8 on a day off and head straight there (or to a Chincoteague hotel pool or hot tub!) and would also go over on a free afternoon, even if I'd already been to the island with a camp earlier. Some days I would even make the trip twice, seeking shelter in the middle of the day and returning as it cooled off. One day, I realized I had a flat just as I was departing the beach access--and it was noon and I had no water left!!  But a friend rescued me 3 miles later.  Dad loved the ride too, and the stretch of beach there was very unpopulated because you had to bike (or hike!) to get to it and all the people were over by the parking lot access a mile up the beach.  Aunt Lucy came with me on the H&B too!  And one time, my friend Allison and I rented a tandem bicycle and rode it to the H&B!!  So many happy memories.  And I always had my favorite green tea sunscreen with me.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

BNF grocery haul!

Today commemorated my 3rd Saturday in town and of course, my 3rd trip to adorable little Brazos Natural Foods.  Today they had some really great sales.  When BNF has items on sale, you identify them sometimes by a little sticky note on the freezer/fridge case or shelf but always by the addition of a little yellow price sticker next to the white one.  And sale items aren't synonymous with "about to die" items.  They're still in date for several days or way lata.

The entirety of my purchase posing for a quick pic before most of it rushed into the refrigerator, which I keep Xtra cool.
Yea, I'm talking my favorite loaf of bread (Genesis from FoodforLife) and another good barley bread marked down from $5 to $.99! They're already in the freezer so why not buy both.  And free-range goat milk from my very zipcode, at half price and still fresh through the end of next week!  I could go on and on.  Ok I will. That squash and tomato were in the sale bin and that head of broccoli was something like $1.79. Total scores.  Organic has never been so cheap.  Except for when it was fuh-ree from friends @ the Co-op in Wilm. Awwww.  Nothing gold can stay.

And ya gotta love on some bulk.  Cute ziploc bags and square self-price stickers.  I'm used to round ones (it's all about the little things right?)
From 11oclock: polenta, brown basmati, yellow quinoa, millet, currants, pepper, tumeric, vietnamese cinnamon, and ginger
 And at BNF, as I've mentioned on an earlier post, there's a bunch of brands I've never seen in NC.
Prime ex. of a unique, locally TX natural product.

Just to toss in how adorable BNF is with a concrete example--The cashier hands you a nickel at the end of the transaction for each reusable bag you brought. 3 nickels jangling in my pocket is just so fun.

Check the cute plain jane receipt.  & no tax in TX!

But it's certainly not just the price of sale items that is exciting to me as a shopper.  It's the whole concept of limited time only! get that 99 cent loaf in the freezer case before the shopper with the green basket perusing the 20 types of flours behind you does!! Ya know.  At least that's how it is for me.  In fact, I do know that I'm not alone.  Everyone in the marketing industry knows this tendency of people.  But getting organic and local food is more important to me than cheap, and luckily I can afford to shop soley at BNF.  And when the thing of limited time only and great value is something I know I enjoy and want, my hand reaches out like a swift dagger!  Just kidding.  I really do stop to think for a good bit.

After a lovely shopping experience, I enjoyed some Heritage O's.  I am gonna love this cereal!  It's very dense and it takes the O's a good 25 mins to get soggy, haha!  Perfect for someone like me who likes to read some NPR stories, NY, or browse some blogs with breakfast.
Cheerful bowl of O's and goat milk w/ a cup of freshly pressed Ethiopia Salimba AA

Self portrait with brekkie-for-lunch
 Another recent score: this hot sauce from the tex-mexcellent Freebirds up the street.  The name and description of this particular sauce as "blistering" is very fitting.
I love it--just had a liberal sprinkling on my dinner of brown basmati and kidney beans w/ broccoli.  The fresh broccoli from BNF has a really good, strong broccoli flavor that I just can't neglect to mention.  Good food just rocks. 

OOOh!  And not to brag too much about the deals here in Bryan-College Station, but oohhhhhmygah can you say 4 buck movie tickets?  Not the discount theater. Or just at matinees.  All the TIME at the regular, just-released-for-movie-theaters theater.  Ok, the student price is $4, but reg adults is only $5! All matinee tix are $3.75.  Pretty cool.  Didn't check, but I expect that refreshments are still for the millionaires.
My HP ticket from today's showing!
 LOVED the Harry Potter 7 finale movie btw!!!  It was so good, I would even venture to call it the "best movie of the series," and would give it a mark of EE (Exceeded expectations, the top grade of Ordinary Wizarding Level tests, for all you HP readers out there).

Next I will post more about this picture--taken inside Happy Yogurt!!  Yes, I have visited (twice!!) already.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday the 18th

The first order of business for me in the TAMU library, thanks to my good friend Stephen, was to find the Haruki Murakami section.  Answer:  4th floor, Row PL.  Sadly, it was a bit small.  But, I haven't read 5 of the titles they have, so that will keep me happy for a little while and there's always Interlibrary Loan, I suppose.  Note:  I didn't have time to get through A Wild Sheep Chase before leaving NC ( it was a bit tough to get into) and had to return it..and I all I can say is, We will meet again, Mr. Black-starred sheep.
The first thing I checked out from the TAMU library!

So I have been loving listening to Mr. Murakami's memoir, which focuses jointly on his running and his writing.  I love him more than ever before.  My fav things I have learned about him so far are that he loves Sam Adams seasonal beers in the summer when he's living in Boston and that when he writes, he writes just until the point after he gets tired where he feels like he can write some more..I love this concept.  I've been applying it lately to furniture constructing (which I continue to chip away at while I listening to What I Talk About When I Talk About Running).

Still unfinished dresser..its the most time consuming piece yet!
       Today I did some more electrical working for the big instrument, but we are now just waiting on an order from Swagelock so that we can do all the fittings with our steel tubing.  SOoooooo, my advisor sent me down to the basement!  Can you believe it?  He had hyped it up as a hazing event of sorts, but I wasn't intimidated when I walked in the little room..I said, Oh, but there aren't any lions in here!  What could be so bad?  And then, he proceeded to show me a big metal barrel, with lots of glass vials in it.  He said they had seawater in them.  It dawned on me that I was in a hazardous waste storage room.  But it didn't add up--seawater isn't hazmat, right??!  But then John told me that the SW had mercurial chloride injected in it (to preserve the chemistry and destroy any biological activity)...OHHHHhhhhhhh MERCURY!!! Ahhh, get me outta here!! 
          Nahh,, I didn't run away after all--but my skin did start to crawl and my stomach started getting all knotted up.  John didn't leave me down there alone though--he saw how slowly I was going and I guess realized it would take me hours by myself. So he stayed to help me uncap and dispose of almost all of the 5.5 gallons of the stuff that was sealed in about 150 little vials and we talked about how excited we are both getting for our Alaska trip.  We changed gloves (and we were double gloved) about every 20 bottles or anytime we got the liquid on us.  I was being extra careful because I had already had a slip up this morning when my breakfast (a lovely bowl of cereal, hemp milk, and yogurt) flew out of my hands on the way to the table and flakes, clusters, and raisins went flying!  Didn't want that to happen with glass and Hg.
Loads of vials that contained seawater & HgCl2 (!!) before I emptied them out!

The lovely view out of the window directly above the sink where I put all the mercurial chloride tainted vials.
   After all the toxicness of the afternoon, I took a little nap and had a nice session in the gym's sauna.  For dinner tonight, I steamed my first ever pair of tamales.  Tamales are so Tex-mex, right? 
Tamales filled w/ seasoned corn masa & wheat gluten, made in Austin, TX
        I totally love Brazos Natural Foods where I have found my haven for grocery shopping.  Despite their diminutive size (1.5 checkout counters!), teeny produce section (guess they figure we should frequent the Farmers Market?) and short hours (9-6pm is their longest window and they are closed entirely on Sundays) they rock!!  The products they stock rocked my socks off--both Saturdays mornings I've gone shopping and filled a basket til my arm ached after an hour of happy perusing. 
        I've never seen a lot of the brands, which was shocking, and have discovered by reading labels that that's because a lot of them are li'l productions from TX.  Yet all of my favs are there--Newman, Lundberg, Yogi tea, and the like.  I've been most stoked about seeing things like Bulgarian yogurt, 7 flavors of Coconut Bliss ice cream, about 8 brands of coconut oils/butters, the complete absence of Cascadian Farms, and above all, loads of genuinely marked down items and sales!  I was also shocked that they don't utilize bar codes in the store, but rather, the check-out girl manually enters in all the prices into the register based on the product's price sticker.  And after ringing me up, she gives me a nickel for each bag I feels quaint and I like it.  Did I mention they play NPR?  Or that they are located 1.1 miles from my apt. (which is seriously saying something in this sprawled-out town).
           Two places I just became aware of and can't wait to Become a Regular at :  Happy Yogurt and The Village.  Though I haven't been to either place yet, I think they look SO cool and hafta go!..I will give full reviews once I visit them, hopefully sometime this week or weekend.  My 1st order of business @ Happy Yogurt is to try the red bean/coconut boba tea and plan to sit and chat awhile--apparently its a really popular place with its fans b/c its owners/employees are totally personable and regular customers become part of their fam. The Village is in downtown Bryan which I haven't been to yet, and its all about LOCAL local LOcAL!  I want to go to the Saturday jazz and have their signature Dark chocolate-Adobo Mocha and also a Cold cuke sandwich...their ingredients are sourced from local farms and they incorporate artists and musicians into their business philosophy.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

On becoming a Regular & Start of laboratory schooling

First of all, I just cycled over to Tutti Frutti and realized I will be a very regular customer for as long as I live here.  The store is only a half a mile away!  PLUS the owners are Indian and I just made friends with the boss's son who was working this evening.  He gave me a $2 Off coupon tonight even though I just spent one, and we chatted until some fresh customers entered the scene and interrupted our conversaysh.  I sat outside on the sidewalk b/c I love the brain freeze and hot weather combination, and I think my bike and I were pretty great advertising for the little shop (either that or the FroYo rush is at 7:30 sharp)--it was empty when I got there, but like 10 people came in after me.  One man asked me what the best flavor was, and I said "Strawberry banana, but also, the peanut butter is crazy good--you can even taste the redskin of the peanut somehow!"
Technically, I live in the city of Bryan and arrive in C.S. 25 secs into my ride

    But aside from frivolous serious topics like FroYo, I realized that I haven't written about what my graduate student work is like at all yet and I wanted to share some pics, which speak 1,000 words, as we all know.  Basically, I'm becoming a bit of a nerd.  No, a total nerd!  I am learning this Chem Lab language from the company I keep for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  I hear all of this analytical chemistry talk, which is littered with initialisms for machines and abbreviations for methods, and at least understand what the other grad students and professors are saying (even if can't speak the language yet).  While in the lab, I catch myself hearing what two people are saying and realize that the conversation would be just complete nonsense to other very bright, English speaking people (and sometimes this thought pattern happens when someone is talking directly to me, and that is not so good).
The Kessler lab: site of many interesting (and esoteric!) conversations
 And the view out that window-->
What our 9th-story perch offers us: You can see clear into next week
       Slow though it may be, I am definitely making progress on learning skills necessary to being a bona fide chemical oceanographer.  My awesome advisor, John, keeps me motivated with at least an hour or two one-on-one learning time each day and tasks that I can complete e.g. "Read the first 40 pages of this computer programming manual for important concepts."  He also keeps me looking forward to the bigger picture--exciting plans for research and travel, where I'll use what I'm learning--literally!  

      Ya see, I am learning how to build a machine (really, to arrange and affix a set of instruments that I'm being introduced to simultaneously) into a self-contained box that we'll use to measure the air-sea flux of methane in Alaska and *just found out* California.  I'll be in AK in 3 remote locations for the month of August and then will cruise from San Francisco to San Diego in September!!

      The machine I'm talking about is a one-of-a-kind, lab-built instrument: a Seawater Equilibrator/ Cavity Ring-Down Spectrometer.  Yea, sounds fancy, huh?  If you have a bottle of seawater, this bad boy will  separate out the gases in it and use lasers to measure the amount of methane and spit out some fancy graphs on the monitor screen!
The crate that will house our equilibrator/ CRDS
 We've been placing all these instruments in this shelf, drilling holes in it(when necessary), and screwing and velcroing all these pieces into place. 
Top shelf of our machine:  Home to power supply, pumps, valves, flowmeters, & solid state relays
    Now that most of the pieces are in place on the shelf, I'm learning about electrical circuits.  I knew next to nothing about basic electricity components.  I was thrilled about all that I learned from a lesson from my advisor about the electrical outlet!  No joke.  And for this instrument, I learned how to use wire cutters/strippers, some basics for soldering irons and wiring.   I did the wiring for the Equilibrator pump after watching the while the Air pump was connected. Green means Ground, White means Live, and Black means Common (I think!?)..
First electrical wire I ever cut, crimped, and connected.

Rainbow ribbon waiting to connect other things to the control modules
   Whilst all these cerebral development is going on in this place far from the place I grew up, I stay sane by reminding myself to keep breathing (sometimes I catch myself taking shallow breaths when I'm a bit stressed) and taking comfort in remembering who I am.  I am Don and Rosemary's daughter; I am a friend of _________(fill w/ my name of one of my many close friends from the past 21 years of life) and I think about my dream of living out at sea.
Still a goof!  And still reppin the Seahawks :)

Enjoying froyo & friends

     It is like super hot here in Texas, with daily highs in the 105F range, and overnight lows in the 80s.  One of my fav things on the planet is fresh froyo and its freezy qualities tastes even better with all this heat!  Everyone in this bustling metropolis must agree because there are a dozen places to get it!  Not quite as many locations (seemingly on every corner!) as in the L.A. area, but still a ton more than NC.  Plus! my favorite one of all, Yogurtlands!  It's an instant mood changer, and gives me something to look forward to if I'm out shopping, getting lost on my bicycle coming home from a new place, or after having a rather dragging day at school.  Today I'm looking fwd to going after I assemble some more furniture.
     A big part of the thrill with FroYo places is the scope and quality of flavors: black raspberry, strawberry kiwi, shredded coconut, kona coffee, green tea, dutch dark chocolate, madagascar vanilla bean, original tart, and even things like red velvet cake batter, chocolate milkshake, and caramel almond bar..usually the places have like 16 or so flavors!  I sample a bunch and then settle on a several (mostly fruity) flavors to go in my cup.  Then there's the toppings: I get excited about seeing fresh mango and the asian mochi candy

I sampled this flava, it was incredible!
Froyo tastes esp. good after you've been lost and found your way again
My first time @ Ylands w/ Shira & Allison in Dana Point

Ecstatic about Yogurtland after hours of wandering the aisles of Target

Pistachio, dragon-passion fruit, & mango, with fresh mango & walnuts

I got invited to an afternoon pool party that was being thrown together by some Oceanography students.  I went and brought a cold hunk of watermelon.  It was a great time! I made friends with everyone there and was not too surprised that no one was from Texas.  Roxanne is from Jamaica and she is studying green sea turtles in the Galapagos; Carlos and Marco are both from Ecuador; Eric is in my lab and he's from New Jersey; Carrie from my lab was there too and she's from China).  Eric grilled some really tasty vegetable kabobs w/ mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, red onion, peppers, and zucchini..and Marco made some plantain kabobs!  We played with a volleyball in the pool and talked about research and recent travels.  Several of us are going to go watch the Womens World Cup Finals on Sunday at a sports bar.

Roxanne, Eric, me, Marco, Amelia, and Carlos at our little pool party :D

Lunch time @ school
On a side note,  I found something exciting on a piece of fruit during lunchtime this week
See the star shape?