That's right, I've moved away from the land of quality cheese and adequate popcorn, to the land of delicious cherries and no popcrn whatsoever. I live in a Small Town now. I realized this when I went for a drive last week and determined that there really isn't much else besides what branches off of the main road. Now the main road is quite long and there is a lot of shopping, and the university is at the end of it... but really, if you go anywhere else (okay, maybe follow one cross street) there's nothing there. In half an hour drive I start seeing signs like "Watch for Fog on Mountain". Mountain? that explains why my car's been groaning for the past 10 minutes. Poor vehicle--it doesn't like inclines, and we're surrounded by them.
On the other hand, the view is great. So many trees that there are rabbitholes everywhere. Beautiful star shaped flowers grow along the edges of the parking lot and pool into some of the spaces, filling the air with a sweet scent in the mornings. At dusk I get the cicada effect--it reminds me of Puerto Rico, the way all the insects call out to the dying light. You can even hear it indoors. And coming down a mountain, the land falls away like a blanket, and you can see forever.
That's right, I've converted to Astronomy fully now. Sort of. Actually there is not in fact that much difference between Astronomy and Physics. I mean it! I mean, the topics we cover are clearly astronomically focused, and yet at the same time we're delving into and expanding thermal physics and gas dynamics. I will admit that the approach is different--look at the labs! Last week I spent 4 hours in the doghouse at the university's local observatory, with a huge brilliant moon ruining the seeing and stars like pinpricks and the wind blowing fresh and cold above us, squinting through different eyepieces of a 6" refractor. AWESOME! so much better than shoving little resistors and capacitors into a breadboard and wondering why the hell my signal is still zero. And in November the department is taking the entire lab class out to Kitt Peak to do onsite observing and touring of various telescopes there.
Well, I miss my friends and family like nothing else. It's crazy to come home alone and just be myself in my big empty, boxed and unsettled apartment. But the people here are very nice. Albeit I've only met the ones in the department, but the level of welcome is almost unbelievable. And when I compare it to the physics department back home--well let's just say there are quite a few differences. I haven't found a new advisor yet, though I'm meeting with a guy next week who does cosmology instrumentation (woo!).
Besides learning how to deal with the heat and humidity, figuring out how to keep my car from overheating, learning to drive in NYC (where Twin lives) and pay tolls and park (it's all confusing there), I've managed to sprain my ankle when I.... um... dove from this burning building to save 18 kittens and a bird. That's right. Anywho, I have a cast on and have learned how to walk with crutches. It's a big pain in the ass, but I'm getting pretty good at it. Fortunately, I should be able to have the cast off this Friday and then, who knows, a walking boot or something?
I've also signed up for a local Community Shares Agriculture, and I get my first batch of food tonight! I don't know what I'm going to get, but I'll let you know tomorrow and also update you on what I plan to do with it. If I can get some baking soda, vinegar, cooking wine and cooking sherry, I should be equipped to cook almost anything!
I've taken a passionate interest in scarves, and am currently working on three of them. Yes, I realize that's a bit excessive. I'll share more as I get some pictures, but one is a beautiful brown and orange, my first time doing stripes, the second is turquoise blue in the Ocean Current pattern (from that book of patterns inspired by the ocean), and the third is purple in a design I'm inventing.