Hungry for the Games!

Just as I thought, once I picked up the second book of The Hunger Games trilogy, I knew I wouldn’t be able to pull myself away. I finished the last two books in 48 hours and was so glued to them, that I read them in a format completely foreign to me. On my iPad! My attempts to find them at a library completely failed, on hold everywhere. And after finishing my first programming assignment, I felt as if I deserved some reading time, but it being 11pm, I wasn’t going to have any luck buying a print copy. I decided to appease myself by purchasing them on Amazon and looking forward to reading them soon. But with one-click purchases and the Kindle app on my iPad, I had it instantly!

Some pros about the experience:

  • No need for a book light! Yay!
  • Popular highlighted quotes, which at first threw me off, but I found that I actually enjoyed.
  • Since I carry my iPad with me everywhere anyways, there wasn’t an added book in my purse.
On the con side:
  • I don’t have a copy on my bookshelf.
  • Can’t pass off the book to a friend.
  • Not as gratifying reaching the half-way point and watching the pages dwindle.
Will I continue using eBooks? Yeah, maybe every now and then. There are often free eBooks, which is something I plan on taking advantage of, but in the end, I loving having books in my personal library.
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“She seems so cool, so focused, so quiet, yet her eyes remain fixed upon the horizon. You think you know all there is to know about her immediately upon meeting her, but everything you think you know is wrong. Passion flows through her like a river of blood.

She only looked away for a moment, and the mask slipped, and you fell. All your tomorrows start here.”

Neil Gaiman (Fragile Things)

Love packages from friends, especially when they include coffee and chocolate! (Taken with instagram)

What about the books?!

If you are curious about my program, this is pretty informative: Hack Your Program: UCLA Department of Information Studies. Arguably one of the downsides of the program is the admissions requirements: a statistics and computer programming course, one of which may be completed during the grad students first quarter. This would all be fine and dandy for me, stats, check! But when I found out that enrolling in a CS course at UCLA was nearly impossible, things got interesting. I’ve been scouring community colleges for a course that met the requirement, as another stipulation is that the class must be project based, not an introductory CS course. I enrolled in a C# that didn’t have any prereq’s but assumed most students had some sort of programming knowledge. I have zero experience with programming, but with the help of MIT Open Courseware I was able to garner the basics. In order to focus on programming, I had to remove distractions, so after I finished the first book in The Hunger Games, I didn’t pick up the next one, very hard by the way, as these books are page-turners that induced my obsessive reading habits.

I had my first C# class last night and although I am definitely going to be challenged, I think my preemptive studying has put me in a position to pick up a book or maybe finish up some comics.

Sunshine Shake

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The gorgeous drink above is from the darling little Cafe 50’s in Venice Beach. As I slowly relocate from Orange County to Los Angeles, I’ve started exploring my new surroundings. I have frequented Intelligensia many a times, so here I parked and walked to Cafe 50’s, a nice .6mi stroll through Venice residential. The prices are great and the food is tasty. The beverage above is vanilla ice cream with orange juice, creating one of my favorite desserts of all-time, a creamsicle! As a broke grad student this place is perfect, maybe not the best for vegetarians, but I was able to work it out. They do have vegetarian sausage, which is more than I can say for most places. If you get there between 7-11am you can nab two eggs, bacon or sausage, and a choice of french toast, pancakes, a bagel, fruit with toast, potatoes with toast, or cottage cheese with tomatoes for, be ready to be shocked….. $4.50!!!!!! Yup! Needless to say, I’ll be going there again.

Surprisingly, that’s not the most awesome thing that’s happened in the last few days. As a child, my mom and I spend some of our best quality time rummaging through other peoples castaways. Yard sales! I’ve been feeling a little homesick or maybe that’s not quite the right description. I have yet to find the word for it. But it’s that feeling you get when you realize how many bills you have to pay, how much debt you are drowning in, all the necessary cleaning, and the various other “adult” tasks in your life and you just long for easier times. Which for me, was before I moved out of my hometown, but more on that later. I’ve been longing for black lace to make pillow covers with burlap, but the price of fabric is much more than I remember it being so I’ve had to hold off on that project. I bought AS-IS throw pillows from Ikea, because that’s how cheap I am, even at Ikea where everything is already outrageously affordable. The cheapest black lace I could find at Joann’s was something ridiculous like $7/yard (Joann’s isn’t my fabric store of choice, but there really aren’t many reasonable options in OC that I’ve been able to find). I need to tell you this because if you are unfamiliar with fabric prices you will not fully realize the spectacular-ness of my find. Beautiful folds of black lace nearing 10 yards for $5!!!!!! I whipped up two envelope pillow covers in less than an hour. They aren’t exactly what I wanted because I haven’t had time to buy burlap, but now I have enough extra that I can do variations upon variations.

But I suppose that isn’t the most important part now is it. I think what really mattered was how I felt wandering yard sales, a sense of calm and purpose. With the impending doom of grad school fast approaching, my insides have started churning and I’m getting ready to hit the ground running. This was exactly what I needed. A reminder to enjoy the Sunshine and get past the Shakes.