Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Going to CHINA!

I just got the e-mail, I have officially been accepted to the ISU Summer Session Program. This summer the program will be held in Beijing, China from June 23 to August 24. The program is expensive, and I am a bit confused about the financial situation, but I think that is manageable. More details as I get them in coming days and weeks. Next step, secure a visa for the trip.


This is one of the main reasons why I started this blog. I am hoping that I will have enough internet access in China to regularly update this and Flickr about my adventures and experiences in China.

Next step... do I get to go to Ireland too?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Down and Out in California

Greetings from California.

I am out here for business, but I have lots of friends out on this coast. Unfortunately, I am holed up in my hotel room trying to get things done. I have work, homework, and NASA Academy work, all which needs to be done ASAP.

I am here until Wednesday night, at which point I am taking the red-eye back to the East Coast to participate in an all-day NASA Academy meeting.

I can't wait until things slow down, so I can breathe and have some fun and relax.

On the 24 February, we have made a commitment to go to our favorite game store, the Family Game Store in Savage Mill, Savage, MD. They have open gaming every Saturday night. Everyone is welcome, drop me a line if you can come, the more the merrier. If you can't... play a game in our honor.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day

Classic John
Originally uploaded by Sci-Fi Laura.

Happy Valentine's Day everyone. This is a picture of my Valentine.... see there are even hearts over his head.

Unfortunately, due to the weather, he is stuck out of town and I am here at home. There is ice everywhere. That is fine, because every day is Valentine's with my sweetie.

This really helps me though. I think I can get all my homework done today and make some progress on the NASA Academy work. Wish me luck.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Poppet and Pins 1

Poppet and Pins 1
Originally uploaded by Sci-Fi Laura.

Life is full of beautiful colorful things, but far too often, they have sharp pointy undersides. If you are not careful, you can find yourself surrounded by color and pain.

This is a picture I took with a poppet. Poppets are created by Lisa Snellings-Clark. Lisa creates them, and then they wander off to explore the world and the universe. They tend to look at things in a slightly different way.


I've made some progress, but I wasn't able to extinguish that darn torch. I hope I don't go up in flames by the end of the week!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Captured in Stone

Cherub Fountain, originally uploaded by Sci-Fi Laura.

To cheer myself up a bit, I decided to share one of my favorite photos. I find this photo beautiful and spooky all at the same time. I can't decide if the look is one of innocence, questioning, or knowing. The broken neck and weathered face implies worldly experience in one so small.

The picture may be cropped a bit in your viewer, click on it to see the larger version.

Form damaging Function damaging Form

I have been working very hard on juggling quite a few flaming torches recently. I am planning on extinguishing one this weekend, but instead of working on that, I spend the whole day (at least 8 hours) working on something else.

Sorry for the vague description, but those who know, know what I am talking about. Those who don't, the concept is more important than the details.

Time sensitive thing B has become excessively complicated in the last week. It is politically charged and sucking my time away. The problem is that a couple days ago, the process to do B was changed, with out any consultation with the group who will implement B.

The change itself has its positives and negatives. I don't like it, but I don't completely disagree with it. The biggest problem is that the motivation behind the change is being perceived as a lack of trust in the volunteers who do B. The problem is exacerbated by the very short notice and lack of regard for the reaction of aforementioned volunteers.

Because I believe that B is needed, I agreed to help with the notification and convincing of the volunteers. Before I could do that, my words were vetted past several committees (once without my knowledge, agreement or participation) to the point that I questioned signing my name to the final e-mail. I did anyway.

Now, I am questioning if I should have stayed involved. I am stuck defending a decision I don't believe in and words I didn't write. Worst for me, I think that this might have damaged my reputation with this group. At this point, there isn't really a way for me to back out, at least not one that I am comfortable with.

In the last week so many things have been temporarily dropped so I could help out this one group. It is a problem.

Tomorrow... Rather, the rest of today... thing B is definitely going on the back burner. I must finish thing A before Monday.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

My MOM has a Blog

I will forgo the personal update, since it is just about how crazy things are right now. Instead, I will point you to the new Blog in the verse, the one created by my Mom.

Kudos to my Mom for her blog, but I have to say I was speechless when I first saw the e-mail. I mean, she is my Mom. She is not tech-phobic, but no expert either. She is not the standard demographic. Way cool to go outside the box, Mom.

So, where is this blog? Right there -> Babka Liz's Blog

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Quick Update

Sorry for the lack of updates, but I have been a bit flooded recently. The NASA Academy selection process is well underway, and I am busy coordinating over 50 people across the country along with several other time sensitive projects.

The news on my friend Joe isn't great. Please send him your prayers and good thoughts. He has a very difficult fight ahead of him.

As may be evidenced by the fact that I am talking about my workload, my health has been improving. With the new medicine, my coughing is much better... but it got worse before it got better. Very early Saturday morning I almost ended up in the hospital. We avoided the trip when I finally drifted off to sleep after coughing for about 4 hours incessantly. With all that coughing, I now have a pulled muscles in my sides.

Last night I was having a bit of trouble sleeping so I finished "The Bonesetter's Daughter" by Amy Tan. I really liked it. In some ways, it was two different stories, but weaved together well.

This weekend will be spent getting caught up on all the homework that has been languishing since I have been sick.

Stay warm, and if you are somewhere where there is snow... throw a snowball at someone you love.