Justin's Blog

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Week Two? Or Three.

I'm having trouble starting out this entry...
Then again.. it's not like I never have a perfectly fluid start.

Or body.

Or conclusion.

Last week when we left off, I was stranded at Pike Place Market (not really) in a café called "Local Color". After I finished writing that entry and had submitted it, I had to make the decision of what do to for the rest of my day. I figured that the entirety of my week had been spent getting acclimated and wound up (a.k.a. lost on campus, lost in Seattle, etc.)... and that it wouldn't hurt to just call it a day, and chalk the rest of the evening up to de-stressing. So it was decided.

So after the café, I said "Hmm. Where do I want to have dinner? The dining hall is finally open, so I could go back and have dinner at school... but that would mean cutting my "day off" short. Long story short, I said, "When is the next time that I'll be able to justify having dinner out of the dining hall, and when will I actually have the chance to get off campus?". So I had a meal out. And with some hesitance, I made it a nice meal out.

Yours truly, now complete with white shirt and cuffed cords.

It was so nice, in fact, that I felt bad walking into the restaurant in my stained white t-shirt and cuffed corduroys. So between my decision time and 5.15pm, the time for my reservation for one (sad, I know.) I went to the Gap and got a polo off the sale rack. I needed one anyway. I think all of my polos are borrowed from Jason. I don't wear them much, anyway, so it's really fine.

Building... Seattle, not Hong Kong.

The meal was pretty good.... mashed potatoes, duck, and asparagus (that's the short story). I had some sort of dessert, too... it had the texture of pecan pie, but instead of the pecan filling, it had some sort of filling made with... "olde scotch"? I don't really remember what the waiter called it. I hadn't ever had it before, though. The whole shebang was severely lacking in the "company" dept., and not worth as much as I paid.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Space Needle... this is it. Built in the 1962 World's Fair. And still kickin'.

Sooo... I was not really correct with my reasoning about "the last time with being in a dining hall"... I remembered during the meal that I was scheduled to have dinner with the stepfather of my longest-running extrafamilial friend, Jon Krause. His stepfather, Don, is sort of one of IBM's nomads, running around to different headquarters and doing awesome work... he's been flying between Cleveland and Seattle for a few weeks now (home on the weekends, Seattle hotel during the week)---a pretty sweet coincidence with my work.

Some guy.... crashed. I think that this may have been more serious than I took it at the time.

Anyway--the meal was nothing short of spectacular, both in conversation and actual dining. And the view. By his choice, we had dinner in the restaurant at the very top of the Space Needle... one of the sweetest of Seattle attractions. The restaurant is spectacular. Amazing food. I had tuna (rare) with such a good peppercorn crust, wasabi mashed potatoes, some sort of strawberry-rhubarb compote... Man.... it was amazing. Dessert was the house tiramisu. Even more amazing, the restaurant rotates! It makes one revolution every 46 minutes, so Mr. Rohde and I got to spin around almost 3 times throughout the meal.... And the conversation was great, too... just stuff about life, liberty, happiness... Definitely one of my best times here yet. I've got a picture, too, from the meal. Probably one of the worst taken, worst posed, most overpriced photos that either myself or Mr. Rohde have been in to date.

Top of the Needle to you.

Hmm... during the week, I did work for both Chicago and for Washington... stepping up work by like, 12fold for Washington midweek. It's so much fun. Right now I'm trying to get this XYZ stage to move in more than one direction at once..... ask me about it next time you see me. It's awesome fun. And the Chicago project is nothing short of cool, either... I'm currently doing a bunch of research on these things called Integrated Assessment Models, which merge models of the earth's climate and economies. Bomb stuff. Mmmm. and now, I've got a colleague! Sarah, a second year at Chicago, is employed as my researcher's lab manager, but is doing work on this project... because I'd never be able to get it done on my own. We've also got a law student working with us.

This is my friend, Seattle... Seattle, this is Dinah Andersen. I'm sure you'll get along. Just remember that players change, and it'll be fine.

So the week was awesome, and full of work and other good stuff, like hourlong bike rides for fun and runs to a wacky place called Fremont.

And by the end of the week, I was spent.

Friday night... Wall-E. I've never actually found a movie to be adorable based on previews (I know... strange word to hear Justin say...) but this one had me. Friday night confirmed that. And I'll probably see it when it comes out on home video, this time devoid of the giant chorus of "Awwwwwww" coming from the seats around. I saw it with my co-interns. Good time. And if you're ever in Seattle, Emerald City Smoothies is nothing in comparison to Jamba Juice. Don't even try.

Hmm. Saturday was yesterday. Let's see.... I ran in the morning... and then.... oh. I did a lot of work for Chicago. At night, I went into the lab and made a minor breakthrough in getting the stage to work. I had been calling the different axes the incorrect names in my coding (the directions I give the stage), and I finally found the correct names. But as soon as I could get that working, I tried manually configuring it by using the instruction manual so that we could pull more work out of it. It's what the manual told me to do!!!

It started making crying noises... I've never really "shushed" much... probably a dog or two.... maaaaaaaaybe a human (once.).... but I really strangely naturally and humanly started talking to the machine, "shushing" it and telling it that it'd be okay. Hmm. Strange thought to make me smile, but the way I reacted was just so funny.

I got the stage to work again... no worries, kids. But tomorrow---I'll be on it again.

TODAY! I said "Ha!" and that was that--I took the #75 bus to the beach at Warren G. Magnuson Beach. No sand there. On top of that, I had to walk around lost for like, 1/2 hour when I got dropped off by the driver in the wrong half of the park. Totally lost.

The hot setup.

But it ended up fine. I wore hardcore sunscreen and as a result am now neither sunburnt nor tan.

I got back... and had some ice cream.

And here I am... sitting outside the Starbucks (opens at 4am, closes weeknights at 1am and Friday and Saturday at 2am) typing an entry to all you guys. There's a barista walking around giving samples.

Hmmm. A final thought:

10 things from this week that I haven't yet mentioned.

1-Midweek the dormitory was invaded by camps. Football. Lacrosse. Cheerleading. Golf. Basketball. So loud. Soooooo messy. And like, 12 years old. Crazy. As a result, I've been spending my evenings working for Chicago in a Barnes and Noble with free wifi. B&N cards welcome--I buy iced tea, they let me use wifi.

Did I mention that I have not yet met Bill Gates?

2-But. I have become friends with a bunch of the kids' clubs. There was a leadership camp that stayed this week of which I made like, 4 new friends... They're all going to college next year, and are really cool kids. I also made some friends in a girls golf camp of all like, 15 year olds. They were funny.

Main Campus, Pre Wall-E. Mt. Ranier.

3-So the dormitory isn't as eerily empty anymore. The rest of my hallway is full of college kids from Hong Kong who are here to learn English for the summer. They, like me, are here for 10 weeks, and are really pretty awesome. I've made friends with some of them, too.

4-The funniest group yet is this group of like, 200 or 250 kids from China.... so young and so crazy. Like, 12 years old. They travel in packs of like, 8... and when one opens the door by swiping their card, they all go "OOAHOAOOAOAOOOO!!!" in mock amazement. It's so awesome.

5-The lame barista with samples ran out, and therefore skipped me. Lame. So lame.

I found this at 3rd and Stewart downtown... I don't know what it means.

6-One of my co-interns, my age, has both a full back tattoo and a 31 year old boyfriend. Good job.

7-I've got to stop eating like, 3 bowls of cereal with every meal. Definitely cramps my style.

Oh no!
Spotted en route to beach, after I had found my way.

8-Party happening here 4th of July. Supposedly last year fireworks got thrown off the roof... I accidentally typed Firefox the first time. That would be realistic in some parts...

9-Oh, disgusting. I now have Windows XP running on my computer.

Windows... this is running on my computer, now. Actually, this was taken at Pike Place.

10-I've consumed a ton of water today. Sometimes I amaze even myself.


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