13 April 2005


Now that I've had enough sleep to write coherently...

Instead of classes on Thursday, Matt and I went to Los Angeles so I could ponder over grad schools. Three grad schools in 3.5 days meant that Thursday and Friday were completely free for whatever. So we just bounced around - saw Sin City, drank oodles of Jamba Juice, went to Commerce Casino (I can't believe people play poker that badly in a casino; after three bad outdraws by people who shouldn't have even considered playing the crap that they were raising with, I wanted to bolt), &c.

Saturday was San Diego and a big pile of disappointment, ignoring the awesome map of Los Angeles that Matt bought for me (which I studied almost everywhere we went, so now I have a decent idea of where things are and where the freeways go). UCSD has a really nice campus, with some really cool architecture. The library looks like a tree growing out of the ground, the quad/bookstore just invites you to stay awhile and do nothing productive, and they even have a set of ponds with waterfalls between them along the path to the quad. Then there's the math, science, and engineering section. Shrudder. It was depressing and old. I can't imagine that any of the buildings were not part of the original campus. In case things weren't already bad enough, they had a list of the courses actually being offered during 2004-2005. Not only were most of the classes that I wanted not being offered at all, but the majority of grad classes listed didn't have a room or professor attached. It's worth mentioning that they have a club called N.E.R.D.S. that's having a LAN party Saturday, April 11. In case that wasn't bad enough, they made up their own retarded leet for their posters. Good-bye UCSD.

Well, that was depressing, let's go to the beach. Scratch that. Let's figure out how to get to the beach. The fun way. So apparently Pacific Highway != Pacific Coast Highway. However, it does lead back to the 8 according to one sign. And I remember an interchange along the 5 for the 8. Okay, we have some semblance of an idea as to where we're going. Oh wait, we don't. A useful sign! "8 West beaches" - that way! A few uturns later, we're on 8 west. Hmmm... the freeway seems to have ended. And so have all the signs. Time for guess and check. Somehow we managed to find the beach rather quickly, as well as become very familiar with a few intersections. Even more shocking, we found a very close parking spot. Yay beach! Very easily the best part of Saturday.

On the way back, we stopped at a brewery/restaurant. Matt ordered a pint, and even I had to admit that it was good.

Next stop, Blockbuster! Due to their complete lack of anything good, it was fairly easy to convince Matt to get Ringu, which I've wanted to see for awhile. Unfortunately, neither of us really watched it, as we both fell asleep about 35 minutes into the movie.

Sunday! USC! OMGWTF! It's in the middle of the ghetto? Why is such a nice campus in the middle of a ghetto? Okay, it wasn't actually the ghetto. And Vim (Matt's friend) was an excellent tour guide. Still, location is important.

Perhaps we should have looked at a map of UCLA before leaving his house.... back to Encino! ....back to the 405! ...a nice neighborhood! A nice campus! A really nice engineering building! Clean, modern computer labs! A linux users group! Heaven!

Pending a decision on RA/TA positions offered, I've actually made a decision! Yes, I'm impressed with myself, too. To UCLA I go!

Getting back to New York turned into a huge nightmare. We were running late and got to the airport with very little time to spare. That ended up being a good thing, since the flight was delay due to mechanical problems. Our 10:45 flight didn't take off until the magical hour of 1am, at which time it was noted that Matt's chair was broken and couldn't recline. Fast forward through 4.5 uncomfortable hours of semiconsciousness. Deplane, stumble around, find the monorail. Buy train tickets. Get on monorail, sit in front car and get blinded by sun. Get off monorail. Oh shit.

The trains listed seem to be delayed. Okay, well, it's still rush hour, there's no way that they're going to keep delaying trains. Right? A switch is broken between Newark Penn Station and New York Penn Station. Well, there's nothing else to do but wait. And wait. And listen to announcements every five minutes to remind us that we're still stuck at the airport with hope in sight. And then it got worse.

They were letting some New York bound trains through, but they cancelled all EWR stops for the rest of the day. We are more than welcome to take bus 62 to Newark Penn Station and take the train from there. Back to the monorail, where we found out that our tickets would only let us through the gate once, and if we wanted to reuse our ridiculously overpriced one way tickets again, we'd have to pay another $5 each to get through the gates between the monorail and the train station. No, they couldn't do anything about it, but they would let us the other way through the gates for free. How nice.

We managed to find the bus at Terminal C, which, for a mere $1.10, entitled us to a scenic ride through downtown Newark. Last stop, Newark Penn Station. I know there's a pastry shop there somewhere, and having eaten nothing since before getting on the plane, god help anyone who tries to stop me from finding it. So of course there's a nice long line. To the pastryish stand near the information booth. Cheesecake! CHEESECAKE! Things are looking up. Less than 30 seconds later, the 8:30 NEC train to New York was announced on track 3. Five minutes later, at a quarter to 12, we were sitting on the train, eating cheesecake and trying to stay awake.

At New York Penn Station, it took three NJTransit employees to figure out how to return our EWR tickets for a refund. Theoretically the refund check should arrive 2-4 weeks after we mail the form and tickets in.

My weekend ignoring both computers and work is over. I must go be useful again. Now what happened to all those event approvals?


captaincrax0rz said...

Huzzah! Hooray for easy decisions! Next step, you're going to be my personal guide to the grad school process! Isn't that exciting? I know I'm excited!

osmodion said...

I can hardly wait!