a bunch of random things

I took this amazingly clear/sharp photo of a dragonfly hanging out with turtles at Caltech’s Throop Memorial Garden last weekend. Stanley, Wesley and I were killing time before our fourth/last session of our motorcycle training class, and I gave them a tour aka showed them the turtles at Tech.

The class (Basic RiderCourse) is an alternative to taking private motorcycle classes and passing the DMV riding test. There was an evaluation at the end of the class, which I guess must satisfy the same requirements as the DMV test, but it is supposedly way easier. The test consists of making two opposite turn U-turns in a box (20 ft x 60 ft), a swerve to avoid an obstacle, an emergency stop, and a 135 degree turn. I pretty much failed the box and passed the rest so I passed! Woooooo soon I’ll have an M on my license instead of a C. Pretty exciting stuff. I would recommend taking the class, especially if you’re under 21, because it was a pretty fun (albeit expensive) weekend adventure. It’s $250 for 21+ and $150 for <21-yo. After taking the class and passing the evaluation, you get a form to turn in to the DMV, at which you take the written DMV test and voila! Motorcycle license! And knowledge about how to ride a motorcycle! In other news, I decided to get my MS via thesis instead of purely coursework. This means that this fall quarter, I won't be taking any coursework and instead be a full time researcher. This extra time will be invested in finishing my research project, and preparing the results for a publication and writing my thesis. Since it's a bit of a late decision, I'm going to not declare my candidacy until winter quarter, for which instead of registering as a student I'll pay a "filing fee" and be an off-campus student who's only thing left to do is turn in her thesis. This gives me a bit more time to figure out what I'm doing for my project, and also I have more of an excuse for not having found a job by March. Yay! My hair is growing out, which means that I have bangs, along which I have fro. I think if I use my blow drier or straightener I can get rid of the fro-ness but I get distracted too easily and I forget to. Whatever, nobody sees me these days except my intern and sometimes my PI. And sometimes Stanley but he says I'm pretty no matter what my hair looks like <3 ALSO useless information that I find faintly significant: I hit the bottom of my MAC gel eyeliner! By the time I reached the bottom of my Bobbi Brown one a few years ago, it had dried out and was annoying to use. But this MAC one has been nice and smooth for at least two years! Good job, MAC. Mos def buying another when I finish. (Plus it's cheaper, $15 instead of BB's $22!) Um another useless thing that I might as well mention as I'm on a roll, is that I got the Essie "no chips ahead" top coat and it seems to work really well. So if you're looking for a top coat that actually works, then I'd recommend it. (Although I haven't tried any other top coat that is specifically formulated to prevent chipping, so maybe it's not better than anything else...)

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