Oct. 27th, 2010 05:05 pm
astra_nomer: (Default)
I'm having a wonderful time here in Paris. I have decided that I could eat crêpes for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and not get tired of them. Come to think of it, that's exactly what I did today. Of course, it helps that there are a seemingly endless variety of fillings for them.

There's apparently a big strike planned for tomorrow. I guess the strike was on hiatus for a few days for school holidays or something. There was some debate as to whether the students would barricade the doors and prevent the conference from happening, or whether they'd sleep in and miss the chance to do so. My bet is that they'll barricade the doors, but only after the conference has started, and we will be all trapped inside rather than outside. Whatever, it's all kind of surreal, and makes me want to burst out into, "Do You Hear The People Sing."

Found a nice pedestrian walkway to go running on, which is good because it's still dark out at 8am and I dislike having to dodge traffic in the dark. Keeping up with the running is good, because then I can justify having a pain au chocolat during the coffee break. Yum.

Pauvre moi

Oct. 24th, 2010 03:33 pm
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Made it to Paris successfully, despite jet lag and threats of strikes. I didn't see signs of striking anywhere, except as warnings of delays on the metro, but found that the metro ran just fine for me, but now I feel like I've just jinxed myself.

I encountered cold weather and a film crew, just as I did in Pasadena.

I also encountered too many delicious buttery pastries. Good thing I brought my running shoes, so that when I am up way too early in my jet lagged state I can go running. Along the Seine River. In freaking Paris.

(My attempt at convincing [ profile] unclenomer that I am suffering here is utterly failing, isn't it.)
astra_nomer: (Default)
The sun finally came out today. I realized that there are mountains to the north, dominating the horizon. They were hidden by clouds before. Still, USA Today tells me that it will be warmer at home than it will be here.

I am running critically low on yarn. Anyone know of a yarn store near Old Pasadena?
astra_nomer: (Default)
The weather reports keep telling us that it will clear up tomorrow. They've been saying this since Monday, but it's still raining.

I've been working out in the hotel fitness center every morning, and I run into the same group of astronomers there. And the same cheery hotel staff wish me a good morning. This morning, I got up late, and ran into a bunch of friends heading over to the convention center as I was heading back up to my room to shower. It's times like these that I wish I could become invisible at will.

I went to dinner last night with [ profile] mjperson at this sushi restaurant where plates of sushi drifted by in front of us on little boats, and you would just reach out and grab whatever looked good. It was yummy and amusing. The restaurant was called "Afloat Sushi," IIRC. Then I wanted tangy frozen yogurt with mochi for dessert, but I was overruled and we had gelato instead. It was a shorter walk in the rain and I had delicious dark chocolate and raspberry gelato, and all was good.
astra_nomer: (Default)
There's a film crew in the plaza of the shopping center across the street from where the conference is taking place. This being Pasadena, this isn't entirely out of the ordinary, I guess.

So if you see a movie or TV show featuring the IT guy from The Office (whoever that is, I have never seen The Office) and a woman with a seeing eye dog, and a scene involving a line at a food truck serving hot dogs, I was there gawking at them. (And no, I won't show up in it, so don't look for me.)
astra_nomer: (Default)
I seem to post only when I'm traveling or something, and then mostly to gripe. In keeping with that, here I am blogging from Pasadena, where I'm staying for the week for a conference.

I was looking forward to this trip, in the sense that California is a great place to go in the fall and winter because it's sunny and warm. This morning, I looked out the window, and it is RAINING. I feel robbed.

Then, after checking in at the conference registration desk, I went in search of breakfast and coffee, and there was nothing open within a 2-block radius of the convention center, to which I can only exclaim, WTF?

Still, I'm actually still in a reasonably good mood and looking forward to a fun conference. I've come to realize that preparing a poster is much less stressful than preparing a talk, because you can fiddle with your talk and mess with it up until the last minute, but with a poster, you gotta be done long before you even step on the plane. So hey.
astra_nomer: (Default)
I am coming down with a cold. Good thing I gave my talk already.
astra_nomer: (Default)
Given that I'm here in Sweden for a conference, it's not surprising I have little to say from a travelogue point of view. Still, here are some highlights from this trip so far:

- Jet lag sucks. I've been sleepy all day, but tossing and turning in bed all night. But my nap this afternoon helped.

- Also helped: a trip down to the in-hotel spa. Swam in the 38ºC pool, soaked in a Jacuzzi, tried out various baht salts, drank some lingonberry juice, and had a nice time. Didn't try the egg-shaped sauna because of lack of the right kind of change.

- Sweden has enormous slugs, like 6-in long, that creep out onto walkways, particularly in the mornings and evenings.

- The conference is taking place at this resort hotel on the shore, with lovely views of the seas. Sunday and Monday night featured spectacular sunsets. Tonight's was only okay, because I managed to have my camera with me. Murphy's law.

- Because the hotel is so swanky, everything here is expensive. I had a $8 pint of cider with dinner tonight.

- Swedish sounds like a mix of German and English with a Swedish accent thrown in. Luckily, most people I've encountered speak English, too. I'm such a privileged American.

- This is the furthest north I've ever been. However, it's close enough to the equinox that there's isn't a noticeable lengthening of either day or night.
astra_nomer: (Default)
Sun Sep 5 02:30:38 EDT 2010

I'm writing this over "breakfast" at Heathrow Airport. Although defining
meals as breakfast/lunch/dinner seems kind of futile when you are traveling
across multiple time zones. I thought about having sushi for breakfast,
but thought better of it and went for a good old fashioned hot English
breakfast. But with coffee instead of tea. Mmmmmmm.

Did you know that Heathrow has a curfew that doesn't allow planes to land
until after 6am? We got in early and had to sit in a holding pattern for
a bit.

The plane ride was fine for the most part, although I continue to be unable
to sleep on planes. I dozed off for a couple of hours at best. I have
had moderate success with medicating with booze to help me sleep, but
they aggravate the dehydration I already experience, so I'm avoiding that.
I remain convinced that airplane seats are designed to be maximally
uncomfortable. Really, whose back is comfortable curved like that anyway?

The next leg of my journey will take me to Gothenborg (or perhaps Göteborg),
Sweden. This is the first time I am traveling to a foreign country as
an adult without any working knowledge of the language. I don't even know
how to say, "do you speak English?" in Swedish. Heck, I don't even do a
good Swedish chef impression, nor have any møøse bytten my sister.

I have a good three hours to kill here. Let's hope my laptop bettery
holds out, because while I brought the US-to-European power adapter,
I failed to bring the one for Britain.
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
(composed 13-14 hours ago)

If I were at home right now, I'd be fast asleep in bed, and it would be my birthday. As it is, I'm sitting in San Francisco airport, and it's still a couple of hours until I'm officially another year older. (There's someone shaving with an electric razor, right here at the gate...)

The conference I attended was really good on many levels. There also were some aspects of it that really sucked, though, like the hotel I stayed in. Perhaps I will write about all this some day, but not tonight. Well, maybe if my flight gets delayed by another few more hours,I suppose.

But right now, I am just exhausted. I'm short on sleep, mentally drained, and homesick. I didn't really want to spend my birthday in a series of airports and airplanes, but I do have to admit that the trip was worth it.


Jul. 10th, 2006 08:56 pm
astra_nomer: (Default)
This might be a good time to make a note of my upcoming travel plans.

Read more... )

Anyway, if you want to make plans to get together with me, comment here or email me at [first name] AT alum DOT [undergraduate institution] DOT edu.


Oct. 24th, 2005 10:35 am
astra_nomer: (Default)
I'm spending the week at this conference, on the Big Island of Hawai`i. I've been markedly unexcited about the trip, for a variety of reasons, mostly having to do with reluctance to travel. But here I am now.

Facination with Hawaiian geology )

If the sun rises soon, I will go for a jog. Or maybe I will go for a swim in the sand-bottom pool. Or maybe I will just be lame and hide in my room until breakfast time.

I apologize if I don't have time to comment on all my lovely friends' journal, but you understand, right?

ETA Forgot to pack my jogging shorts. Rats.


astra_nomer: (Default)

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