Thursday, January 28, 2010

I'm tired of preparing for life

I just want to start living it.

This has been my motto basically all day. When I was in elementary/middle school I was preparing for high school. High school was preparing me for college. College is preparing me for a job. I had to do a whole course just of preparation for this project. Now I'm here, working on a project for school, and then I'll go back to school and take more courses to prepare me for life.

I want to finish this project. I want to finish school in May, graduate, and start my life. I want to get a job, in my field, close to where Jonathan gets a job. I want to get married, and have babies. I want to stop preparing for life and start experiencing everything life has to offer!

I know some people who are older and done with school would tell me I'm crazy, that they would love to go back to school and not have the responsibility they have now. But honestly, I've been in school for 17 years. It's time to live.

I'm ready.

I'm waiting.

It's time.

-Nikki

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Of transportation and San Fransisco

Probably will post some video later.

This weekend I went to San Fransisco. We walked around a lot, didn't really do all that much. Maybe I'll go back this weekend to explore some more. It's a big place!

Transportation in California:

I don't think I've posted much about it. Most of the travel we have done has been by the Caltrain. SRI covered the cost of a monthly Caltrain pass, which lets us go between 2 "zones" on weekdays and anywhere on the Caltrain (San Jose to San Fransisco) on the weekends. Really nice, lots of stops, can get basically anywhere you want!

However, my MQP partner has a car. Every once in awhile we'll drive from our apartments to SRI, which is about a 20 minute drive. We can use the carpool lane on the highway, which travels significantly faster!

I miss my car. I feel like I've lost some of my independence without it. I have to relay on the train and Sebastian to get anywhere.

I wish I had my car out here because, after driving in MA for so long, I'm surprised about some things about roads in CA.

-There actually exists such a thing as left turn lanes- at every left turn!
-No one ways- streets actually go 2 way- and there's enough room for BOTH cars!

Among other things. Also, people aren't crazy. You get cut off less. People don't go as fast. This may just be my perception as a passenger though.

Oh and another thing- cross walks. There are actually crossing symbols that work! They don't seem to feel the need to stop all ways of traffic for someone to cross! And if there is just a crosswalk and no button- people stop! You aren't waiting forever to cross the street.

That's really all for now- I'm actually pretty homesick but I will be on a plane in 45 days!

Special shoutouts

Hi Mom!
Hi Dad!
Hi Katie!
Hi Grandma!
Hi Grandpa!
Hi Sheryl!
Hi Jeff!
Hi Julia!
Hi Robbie!
Hi Bug bug (Elianna!)
Hi Memere!
Hi Pops!
Hi Sue!
Hi Alita!
Hi Liz!
Hi other people from Mom's work who happen to be reading this/listening to this being read!

And of course
HI JONATHAN!!!!

I miss you all! I will be home soon with lots of adventures to tell you all about! And pictures! And video!

-Nikki

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Saga of Exercise and Heels

So if you know me then there are probably a couple things you've noticed.

1. I don't wear heels, ever. I can almost always be found wearing sneakers, unless it is a special occasion.

2. I'm lazy. I don't live too far from campus, but I can be found driving up because I'm too lazy to walk.

3. I have a bad knee, which I hurt in high school. It acts up when I walk too much. Sometimes I wear a brace. I cannot find my brace.

I have done a lot of walking while I've been here. Walking to train stations, wandering around San Jose, wandering around Mountain View... my legs have gotten a lot of exercise.

I wear heels to work because that completes the whole "business casual" look.

This weekend, my knee was KILLING me. I'm picking up a brace my next trip to the drugstore. Today, I got home from work and took off my shoes and walked around. My legs hurt a little. There are muscles there that I didn't know I had.

Now I lay in bed, and my legs feel strange.

Oh and work? Don't get me started. I wish someone had some semblance of a clue what ANYTHING means and what we're supposed to be doing. Because I don't. Hopefully the next couple of days bring some clarity. And the next couple of weeks go quickly. And March 6th comes and I'm home, with my family and my Jonathan, my MQP behind me.

Loving and missing you all!

Special hello to my mom's coworkers who apparently all read my blog! I have a fan base! Woot!

-Nikki

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Let's Open up a restaurant in San Jose...

OK maybe not.

We did go to the car show though! We (7 of us) took the train down to San Jose and went to the car show in the San Jose Convention Center. It was huge, pretty awesome even though I'm not into cars, and I got to test drive a Chevy Equinox which was pretty awesome. I'm not picky with cars, I don't know much about them, but any SUV that gets 32 MPG (highway) catches my eye right away! Here's a picture of the one I test drove:






Isn't is preeeeeeetty? Anyway, then Nicole and I went to lunch at Johnny Rocket's and got some massive burgers, and we met up with the boys and all went to a happy hour at a Chinese restaurant.

This was going to have video, but on the train I pulled out my camera and found that I had left the battery in the charger, in the apartment! Oh well... another time.

Today we're going to lunch, then finding a mall to wander around.

Miss you all at home, see you in 8 weeks! To be perfectly honest I'm not crazy about my project and I'm seriously regretting taking this instead of the design project I had lined up. Oh well.. live and learn. Hopefully the next 8 weeks go by fast, and I'll be done with MQP!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Earthquake!

Yes, I have experienced my first Earthquake.

No, I didn't run around screaming, as I'm sure people would expect me to. It actually kinda of excited me. Once I found out it was actually an earthquake, that is.

I was in mine and Sebastian's office, talking to a couple people when we felt this shudder. It only lasted maybe 2-3 seconds, and my first thought was "We're in California! That was an Earthquake!". But I didn't say anything because, well, it tends to go that I say stuff like that and people are like.. what are you talking about it was just ____!

So I figured it may have just been people moving some furniture or heavy equipment upstairs (it reminded me a bit of when the boys above my room freshman year would jump around upstairs). Then someone was around saying "did you feel the earthquake? They say it was a 4.2 magnitude!". Then Prof. Finkel emailed us about it.

We also finally got our desktop computers today! So now we can start doing real work!

-Nikki

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

First day at SRI!!

So a little about yesterday, and some video from yesterday too! Woot first video blog post!

Yesterday I went to eBay with the 5 people who are working there. I didn't have anything else to do, so I figured I'd see the sites. It takes like an hour and a half to get there on the light rail, (see the video- I show a map!) so we got to see a lot of different companies. We wandered around eBay for awhile, went to CVS, then headed back to Mountain View and got Vietnamese food for lunch. I successfully ate an entire meal with chopsticks for the first time ever! Usually I give up and ask for a fork.



Today was mine and Sebastian's first day at SRI. We got there, got our badges, toured around the place, met the people we will be working with, and got to go to a staff meeting. We made a schedule on our white board, had lunch with our people, got our train passes, and read a paper for 3 hours. It is a long and intense paper.

We also got to meet some cool people, especially the WPI graduates! Such as the President and CEO of SRI, Curt Carlson, and some other staff members. It was pretty excellent, just meeting people and figuring out what we're doing.

Tomorrow we get our computers, and the real work starts. There was a bit of a mix up with the Helpdesk there (they thought we weren't coming until February!)

So I'm having fun out here, it's relatively warm but still a bit chilly for my tastes (I know you people shoveling snow probably hate me for complaining that the 55 degree weather is cold!). I miss you all!

By the way, I love it when people comment on stuff, so please comment away!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Finally in Cali!

So yesterday was quite the adventure.

I woke up at 4AM (Eastern time). Got everything ready, and my parents drove me to the airport in Boston in the snow. It took us awhile to get there, and while I was in line to check in for my plane they jumped me ahead because my flight was getting ready to board. Checked my luggage in, found Nicole, and we got in line for security.

After a tearful goodbye with our parents, we got through security with minimal problems (Nicole's bracelets don't come off so she had to be manually checked). We got to the gate just before they called us to board.

We weren't sitting together, but I had a window seat next to a guy who just slept the whole time. I was right on the wing!



Anyway, so we were a bit delayed leaving because we had to be deiced, and we had only about 20 minutes to get from Gate D to Gate C in Dallas. Luckily there is a tram type thing that brings you between gates inside security, which leaves every 2 minutes.

So we got on the plane just in time, I think we may have been the last to board! I had another window seat next to a girl who was going back to school in California after spending Christmas in Dallas, where she lives. I also got to see the Grand Canyon from the plane! That was pretty awesome.

When we got to San Jose, it took awhile for our luggage to come out, but we got it with no problems. We met up with some of the boys from WPI there and they had gotten a limo van service, so we jumped in with them. When we got to the apartments they had some trouble finding our reservation, but we called Professor Finkle and he came down to help us.

The apartments are nice, I'll post some pics later. There are two bedrooms with two twin size beds, two nightstands, two closets, a large dresser and a TV, with an attached bathroom. Between the bedrooms is a living room area with couches, a desk, and a TV, and the kitchen has everything we need to cook.

Nicole and I went food shopping last night, which probably wasn't the best idea because we were tired and hungry so we sounded like two stoned people with the munchies going through the market. Things are a little more expensive out here!

Once we got back we finally got our paperwork to get connected to the internet, then I completely conked out. I was trying to talk to Jonathan and I was like yeah.. this really isn't working, I need to sleep. It was only 9PM here, but I'd been up since 4AM Eastern time- 1AM Pacific time! It was definitely time to sleep.

So here I am, 8AM, letting you all know that I am here in Mountain View, I am safe, glad to be out of the snow, and missing you all terribly. I start work at SRI tomorrow though!

-Nikki