The end?

I'm home. But it will never really
End. I'm different.


She hauled her fat red suitcase up into the back of the Prius (everyone drives one in California, it seems) and looked up at the sky. "Oh, no," she said. "Cloudy..."

Her soon-to-be-former roommate smiled. "It's because California is sad you're leaving." She brightened.


A mass of vegetables and scrambled eggs meant breakfast. Overpriced, for sure, but delicious. She, her boyfriend, and his parents sat down and watched the periodic fluctuations in the security line. "I think it's time for me to go... thank you again for the ride, and thank you," she turned to the blonde boy with his muted, but still present, grin, "for everything. This summer was fantastic."

"I'm glad I met you," he said. "You made things infinitely more interesting."

A kiss. "Goodbye."


Her face was pressed against the glass. SFO slipped sideways as she whispered a farewell to the state and everything it had provided her for the summer. The plane took off, whisking through San Francisco's characteristic clouds. A few wisps blew across the wing, catching the sun just right. Rainbows poured off behind, and she knew it would be okay. California wasn't going anywhere.


Routine. Well, maybe.

Thanks, everyone, for making this a phenomenal summer. I'll never forget you. :)


Best weekend ever!

From deserts to moons,
Stars to dawns, forests to nights,
Traveling by car.

Holy crap, I'm exhausted. Evan and I spent way too long in the car after Defcon. We left on Sunday around 4:30pm and got back to Mountain View yesterday around.. 10:30am. When we went to work.

The drive was phenomenal, though. We swept up through Death Valley, which we reached at such a time that we got to see the sunset. It was wicked hot. We'd elected to leave the AC off both to minimize the risk of overheating the car (which we almost did, anyway; it wasn't making happy sounds as we climbed the mountains around the valley in 114 degree heat) as well as to really get the desert experience. Watching the sunset was great. Everything around was totally barren, the mountains turned orange... yeah. I don't quite know how to describe it.

Then, more driving! We stopped to watch the Perseids for a bit later through the desert, once it had cooled off.

Further driving. We got to a town called Bishop, CA, that, according to our primitive map, was approximately even latitudinally with Mountain View, though pretty far over and across the Sierra Nevadas. We found a road, too, marked 168 West. It didn't show up on our map, but anything that goes West directly towards our destination has to be good, right?

So we climb to 8,500 ft on this road. And we see another sign. End 168. $*#(@)$@.

So we lost an hour and a half there, and we bowed to asking for directions at a motel. By this point, it's about midnight. At the motel:

Us: Hi, what's the fastest way to San Jose?
Motel guy: Well, it's probably not going to save a lot of time, but I'd guess going up to Reno and back down.
Us: ...ummm... isn't there a shorter way?
Motel guy: You can drive up through Yosemite, but going in the mountains is going to slow you down.
Us: Eff.

So we called Steven for directions to do this crazy thing, and he informed us that we were 300 miles and over 7 hours from home. Disheartening, to say the least.

So we drive up to Yosemite. Around 2am, we're both lagging pretty hard core (since we got so little sleep over the weekend already), and we decide to park the car on a scenic vista turnoff thing and sleep a few hours. At 5am, we wake up and continue on.

Seeing dawn in Yosemite was beautiful. The pine trees, black, silhouetted against the lightly blue/grey sky made a pretty dramatic drive. We were still too tired to properly appreciate it, but c'est la vie.

Driving, driving. We get to San Jose just in time for rush hour! Terrible. But the car gets returned, we magic our way through some public transit, and we get to work at 10:30. And work. For a full day. And, last night, sleep. For 12 hours. Feels good!



I don't know how to
Hack, but I feel totally
Ninja typing here.

In the middle of the desert, in sunny Las Vegas, NV, I'm learning about computer security. There've been some neat talks. One about war ballooning (see: war driving), there's one coming up about hacking the LCD billboards that seem so popular now, there're some about lockpicking, etc., etc. All these people are either totally ninja or total posers (I guess I'm a poser, but whatever). It's neat to be here, though.

Even the badges for the con are sweet. They have LCD lights and an infrared transmitter. They're totally programable! I can't wait to play around with the light settings and stuff.

Oh, as a sidenote? Evan picked up some beater frickin laptops for us to use this weekend. We didn't want our real laptops getting pwned. (There's a thing here called the "wall of sheep" that continually displays the logins and passwords and stuff of everyone who's too lazy to block out hackers.) So I'm writing this post in w3m. I think that makes me a badass. ;) At least, a little bit.

Anyway, I know it's been a while since I've written anything, but I have to just glaze over the things I've done in the interim. I went to Yosemite (Evan, Mike, and I hiked to the top of the mountain and swam in an amazing, frigid, spring-fed pool) and whitewater rafting (class IV! woot!) last weekend, had a birthday party for Evan (with delicious cheese), saw Venus (did the touristy thing), went to Chicago for a couple days (weird to be home), didn't sleep enough (I'm at about 26 hours for the last week), and saw my host for the last time (sadness!).

I can't believe next week is my last at Google! GAH!!



Wisdom for all
Is to be shared in a knol,
So go check it out!

knol.google.com , my team's webpage, launched publicly today! Surf on over if you have time!


A bummer. Maybe.

No longer a teen,
But I can enjoy myself
And go crazy yet.

I had a pretty cool birthday. :] Robby, Evan, Jeff, Mehul, and I hit up SF for the evening and went to an 18+ music place where there were local bands, etc. The place was full of hipsters, coolly watching the music and enjoying its artistic significance. Evan and I danced. Good times. The City, though, is pretty lame on a Tuesday. I guess I'll have to party up next year when my birthday is instead on a (BUM BUM) Wednesday. Hahaha.

The week itself was a little dull. Evan, Mehul, and I went to see Wanted, which was awful. There was game night and Frisbee, soccer, ... Oh, Friday night Evan, Robby, Alex, Dave and I attended another silly hipster event. It was silent movies with scores provided, live and impromptu, by local bands. That was kinda neat. The films were definitely enjoyable, but a little weird for my tastes. Except for one that was a 4 minute film that basically involved a fractaly morphy thing. :D

Saturday Evan and I got a car, since we intended to go hang gliding on Sunday. That didn't happen, but, anyway, on Saturday we went to Santa Cruz. So full of tourists. But what can one expect? We did find a place a couple miles up the coastline where there was an enormous rock covered in pelicans, and a little farther up yet there was an ocean research place that was part of UC Santa Cruz. They had, like, full size whale skeletons. Whale bones don't feel like what I expected, though. We enjoyed the sun and surf. Watching the ocean waves break against the cliffs was so... not Indiana-esque.

I got to try out scuba diving on Saturday, too. In a little dive shop in Santa Clara there's a pool and a $15 try-it-out type of program. One of the interns from Apple that I met randomly on the Caltrain set up a big Google/Apple program for us all to try it. SO MUCH FUN. I totally want to get certified now.

After that, Steven, Evan, and I went to Palo Alto. I'd never seen a Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie, but at the Stanford Theater they were showing "Top Hat." Most excellent. I felt pretty classy sitting in that sweet theater and watching a film from 1935. ^__^

Sunday was the day we were supposed to go hang gliding, but I guess I failed to actually set it up. It was apparently too foggy to have done it that day, anyway (according to the woman I called). So we instead wandered around the Mount Tamalpais (or something) park. It was GORGEOUS to be above the clouds, then in the clouds, looking over golden fields and evergreen forests... mmmm...

I got to spend more time with Robby, too; since Evan and I had a car we explored the North Bay and then met up with him for dinner at a(nother) hipster place. This one was faux Asian. The food was delicious! And I can't say the atmosphere didn't amuse me.

It was a full weekend, for sure. I hope that I manage to blog more than once a week, but we'll see. ;)


Another big weekend!

Fire, erupting
From metal, shooting up and
Alighting the sky.

The Fire Arts Festival happened in Oakland this weekend. It was super! I guess I can't really post pictures from it (they're kind of hard to take), but I can talk about some of the super awesome things that were there:

Fire Piano! There was a keyboard hooked up to an array of torches that would spit fire when the keys were played. Evan totally rocked Fur Elise on this.

Fire dancers! This is requisite at a festival involving fire.

Fire tornado! I don't know exactly what the fuel to this was, but there was a gas vapor or something being blown out of a vent in the ground and into cross-breezes created by a circle of industrial fans. It was then lit, and, voila! Fire tornado!

Fire Battlebots! Two guys + remote controls + ROBOTS THAT SPIT FIRE.

Fire and ice! A block of ice with a torch in the middle that would intermittently flare up and melt a little more (in a nifty pattern, mind you) on the inside of the ice.

Fire bubbles! A bubble blowing machine that put oxygen and petroleum into regular soap bubbles was encased in a plexiglass hexagon. There were a few holes in the container, and through those the organizers had stuck hot pokers for popping the bubbles with sastifying BOOMS and flareups. There were even knobs on the sides of the case for adjusting the mix of flash and bang.

Tesla coils! They shoot lightning! There was a guy dancing around underneath one of them in a Faraday suit. I'm so jealous!

That was Saturday night! During the day Saturday, Evan and I hit up the City and visited the SF MOMA, which was definitely pretty neat. The best art was on the third floor, where you aren't allowed to take pictures. Bummer.

Across from the Museum is Yerba Buena gardens, where we found a sweet tea house. We had $7 tea and a fudge brownie with green tea mousse.

Eating in the City is pretty much the best thing ever. I had a burrito in the Mission and some awesome Chinese food in China Town. :3

Kung Fu Panda took up part of my time this weekend, too. I'm not ashamed to say I enjoyed it. A lot. :D

Anyway, that was my weekend. I think. Maybe there was something else. But, regardless, it's time for me to get to work so that I can get off early and go celebrate being 20! ^_____^



How can something so
Delicious be so bad for
My iron level?

Crap. I went to donate blood today, and I was told that my iron level was too low for me to do it safely. A total bummer. I'm a little suspicious of their newfangled California hemoglobin machine, especially since it registered a 10% jump in my iron level between the two tries within 10 minutes, but, nevertheless, I wasn't allowed to give blood.

The culprit? Tea. Did you know that tea has tannins that prevent your body from absorbing iron? Hmm. I'll have to cut back before next time, I guess. ;____;



Holy crap! One week?
How can I pretend to be

Is my birthday in less than a week? Yipe! 20! ;____; So oldddddddd..... hahah. :)



Natural beauty,
Plastic and metal speed, both
Part of big weekends.

Cramming 12 college kids into a passenger van for a three day weekend lends itself to a lot of fun. We managed to get a sweet cabin just off Lake Tahoe (Nevada side). From it, we could see the mountains, the lake, the stars... oh, it was amazing.

For the 4th, we bummed around the beach. We got schooled in volleyball, threw a Frisbee, kicked a soccer ball, barbecued (which was super exciting for me, since we got free-range chicken! yum-o!), and watched the fireworks. Woot!

The next day, we managed to leave the house by 2:30 (pathetic, I know) and get to Tahoe City to rent jetskis and a motorboat. Evan and I showed everyone how it was done. :P The bruise hasn't showed up on my hip yet, but when it does...

More barbecue that night, and then a trip to Reno. I feel I deserve a medal of some kind for driving that damn van through the mountains. But anyway, we scoped the casino scene (ca-scene-o?) and then meandered (read: slowly moved to the car and had Valkyrie and Garrett drive for 45 minutes through intense mountains at 2 in the morning) back to the cabin at Incline Village.

It was truly a star-gazing, jetskiing, barbecuing, volleyballing, van-driving, swimming, casinoing, hiking, picture-taking, boating, wandering, chattering, not-enough-sleeping, chess-playing, billiardsing good time. :D


The Penny Saver, an Answered Prayer

With living in a real apartment (as opposed to one on campus) I've started getting my first junk mail. Today's post brought me the Penny Saver. I had thought that the internet, helped along by ebay, had replaced this kind of printed "for sale" advertising, but I was much mistaken. I didn't find any couples wanting to adopt (as featured in the movie "Juno"), but I did find quite a few posts thanking various saints for miracles and answered prayers. Nestled between an advertisement for a collection of cassette tapes and one for like new designer purses was an add thanking St. Jude for "Miracles on my hours of Despair." I don't know if St. Jude reads the Penny Saver, but I rather enjoy thinking about him sitting around and poking through his junk mail.