Sunday, July 30, 2006

 

Greece!

Hello from the gorgeous Greek Island of Santorini: think paradise. :) I know that I'm a huge fan of superlatives, but this time they're warranted. Yesterday, was quite possibly the best day ever: went sailing, climbed an active volcano, rode a burro up a very steep hill, and watched a gorgeous sunset from no-question, the town of Oia, famous for its blue rooftoops). (btw, I'm never riding a burro again; it's v. scary.)

Before I tell you more about Santorini, I guess I should catch you up on my life. I realize that I've been woefully out of touch the past month, but it's been a little crazy on this end. Things wrapped up at work on July 14th, which was hard. I really loved the people I worked with at Northrop Grumman, and will definitley consider returning to NGC after HBS. Anyway, so the next day, my friend Steve, whom I've known since like 6th grade, came over, and bought all of my furniture - all of it, which was awesome. He had just moved to LA, and needed stuff, so the timing was perfect. It's actually amazing how things work out sometimes. Spent the weekend packing up, saying goodbyes, and moving out. (btw, if you're moving cross-country and not taking furniture, I HIGHLY recommend UPS; they're great, and most of my stuff arrived early.) Left for Boston on Tuesday the 18th. Checked into my apartment with no problems. (The apt. is actually pretty spacious, and quite nice) Was in Boston for 36 hours, long enough to meet up with a couple of friends, lock my stuff up in my room, run to Target, and leave again. Headed out for Spain on the 20th, and have been in Europe ever since.

Spain was great: had a chance to relax for a few days before my friend Sara and I took a tour through mainland Greece. The tour was amazing: even though it was entirely in Spanish, I learned a ton about history, art, arquitecture, and culture. We went from Athens to Olympia to Delphi, finishing in Metamora. Greece is AMAZING. It's funny how many of the mores and customs of the western world are tied into ancient greek life. Anyway, Sara and I were on the tour for about a week. She went back to Spain on Monday, and I caught a ferry to Santorini. I LOVE travelling alone. It's really amazing who you meet when you're by yourself. In the last few days, I'm met three guys from the Basque country, a German photographer, and a woman who teaches Italian at a German school. Pretty cool.

Anyway, I'd better get outside; it's very nice out. :)

Monday, July 10, 2006

 

and so it goes




First a happy thought: tonight saw the most amazing moon rise over Manhattan Beach. The moon was full and bright orange, the water: clear, and the reflection over the ocean: amazing. Stood on the Manhattan Beach Pier for almost an hour watching it; really wish I had my camera. The pic above is from a few days ago; now only one week left in sunny Southern California!

Truth be told, this last week has been three months in the making, but given that I don't leave well, I still can barely believe it. To add insult to injury, at work we're in the middle of our final proposal revision, which is for all the glory. After this NASA will make a decision on which team will design and build the CEV. It's taken 2 years to get to this point, and everyOklone's pretty excited. And this is the moment that I chose to walk away?! Ridiculous... It's going to be weird to watch the announcement from Boston, although I haven't entirely ruled out coming back to celebrate if the Northrop Grumman-Boeing team wins... :)

At home, my furniture is slowing disappearing. If there's one really cool thing about this move, it's that everything seems to be working out... My friend Steve, whom I've known since 6th grade, just moved back to LA and is buying the majority of my stuff. He actually bought my beloved camaro this morning, which was sort of sad, though I'm really happy that the car is staying within the friend family.

*********************three hours later********************************************
oooo, so I just got off the phone with my roommate. Now all of a sudden I'm again looking forward to school. My new roommate and I are going to get along well; I can totally tell! We were talking about all the people that we're going to meet, and now I feel somewhat better. It's true that in the next 3 weeks my life is going to change dramatically, but it could be ffor the beeer!

On that note, good night!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

 

Happy 4th of July!





Hello All,

Happy 4th of July from warm, sunny, gorgeous Southern California. This weekend my fabulous friends threw me a going away bbq. Here are some pics from it...

Wow, I have exactly 2 weeks left here in LA. The moving preparations are underway. It's amazing how things work out; the whole furniture thing is working out as different folks have laid claim to different things. My Z28 Chevy Camaro is being sold to a friend from Grand Blanc...

My apartment at HBS is ready; I can pick up the keys as soon as I land on the 19th. I will have exactly 48 hours to get stuff in order before my flight to Spain on the 20th. The trip to Spain is probably the most exciting part of this whole move deal. I have to be honest, leaving a place, friends, a job, and everything that you love is really tough... Fortunately, it seems that I have to work through the 18th, which will minimize reflection time...

Ok, it's the 4th of July, I have to head to the beach!

:)
Uma

Monday, June 26, 2006

 

T-3 weeks and counting

I realize that I have been extraordinarily delinquent in posting this month, but things here are CRAZY! In short, I have 13 days left of work, 3.5 weeks left in sunny So. Cal, and 2 months before school starts. I know I've moved across the country before, so this shouldn't be a total shock, but as I was packing up my apartment yesterday, I realized that I'm not 100% sure I'm ready for this. See last time, school had ended, everyone was moving up, moving on, and moving out, so relocating cross country seemed natural. This time, in contrast, I'm leaving everyone and everything behind, arguably for a fantastic experience, but, it's still kinda scary. Suffice to say that these are interesting times...

Before I get into what's going on, I thought I would tell you about a really interesting organization... For those of you interested in current events and foreign policy, most major cities have World Affairs Councils, which host speakers / discussion panels on current affairs. Check out www.lawac.org for the Los Angeles WAC. The LAWAC actually has a young associates group, which hosts targeted events for people under 30 (e.g. dinner at the house of the French consul). It's a great group of people from all walks of life. Anyway, last week, I hosted an event for the Young Associates with my astronaut boss who spoke on the "Case for Space." The event, held in the Hollywood Hills, on a deck at sunset, was sweet. Carl showed images and spoke about his space flight experiences before closing with a discussion on the future of exploration. I'd always wanted to host an astronaut event when I was running the UM Club LA, so this was very cool.

oh oh... got called to a meeting. more later!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

 

Magic



Had a really cool experience tonight. Went to a place called the Magic Castle with a big group of friends. The Magic Castle is a Hollywood landmark, home to the Magician's Guild, and one of those places that you have to go to once. Saw all kinds of illusions, card tricks, and even a guy who can roll a billiard ball across his face. (don't ask)... Anyway, it's a pretty neat place, so I'm attaching a pic in the hopes that some of you get to check it out. www.magiccastle.com. I think before I leave LA, I will have to help the Club with its LA relocation page. For those of you who are moving out here, there are so many great things to see in this town!

Monday, June 12, 2006

 

wow

oh my goodness, I only have 21 days of work left! That is so completely crazy. I can't believe I"m going back to school, with no income for 2 years! wow. ok. i'd better get back to work.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

 

fotos

So I promised that I would upload some cool pics of recent happenings...


Mission Control, Houston


Me as an Apollo Flight Director (my job is so cool!)


My astronaut boss' official mission patch! (one of three)



umm... where'd this come from? (my La-Z Boy recliner that is for sale. Any takers? All furniture must go.)

GAH! I'm moving in exactly 6 weeks! That's crazy.

 

here we go again...

once again it's 4:30 a.m. and I'm awake and ... working. I have no idea how this keeps happening, but somewhere between overcommiting and not prioritizing well, I end up in this do-loop where I average about one ridiculous night every couple of weeks... BUT, it looks like my tuition reimbursement chances are getting better, so all's well that end's well...

:)

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