yubsie: (Sleepy ShinShin)
Back from a week of conferenceness. It was a good time, though definitely mentally exhausting.

At the opening mixer, we had the interesting moment of realizing that thanks to last year's conference in Austria, we actually knew more of the European people than the North American people. Crispin (our German exchange student from the fall term) eventually showed up. He'd forgotten his poster in Toronto and had to go back. Beats the time Paul left his in Denmark!

On Monday my labmate was really sick and I wound up having to present her poster. That was pretty nerve wracking as it's quite far from my own chemistry. But I don't think I made an idiot of myself in front of Professor Kira! He's a huge name in silicon chemistry and he came by to ask me questions right near the end.

After doing that, giving my own talk the next day wasn't half as bad. I'd been pretty nervous since it's an international conference and it's mostly professors giving actual talks. Still, talking about my own work was way easier! My microphone kept cutting out, but years of theatre are good for many things. A lot of people really liked the talk and I had some good discussions. Joe Lambert (big guy in silicon NMR) was really interested in what I was doing. He was also disappointed I didn't wear my fedora to give the talk, but I am so not yet advanced enough in my career to be quirky. :p

Wednesday was a half day of talks and an excursion to Niagara Falls. I got lucky and wound up on the bus that went to the winery first. And had the always awkward moment at a wine tasting of "Actually... I can't have alcohol". The cheese was nice though, and the ice wine smelled good. Apparently the other groups didn't get to try that one, which is a shame since that is the wine the area is known for. Then we went to Niagara Falls and I wound up showing the Europeans around despite only having been there once. Luckily our bus driver was great and pointed out all the key locations before dropping us off. Going on the Maid of the Mist was awesome, I really need to go back with Ryan. :p

On Thursday I got to meet my academic grandfather, Adrian Brook. This year is the thirtieth anniversary of both the Si=Si bond and the Si=C bond. Brook made the latter, so he made it to that day of the conference. (Bob West made the other, but he always comes to these things). The banquet was that night, which was lots of fun.

On Friday it was time to switch from ISOS to IDW so we mostly looked around Niagara Falls. The opening reception was at a rooftop patio overlooking the falls that is the best place to watch the fireworks. Awesome.

THe food. THe FOOD at IDW. Usually breakfast and lunch aren't included with this one, but since it was in a hotel they had to spend a certain amount on food/drink. The nibbles was scrumptious and for lunch on Saturday they had this amazing cheese tortellini in a white wine sauce. And ample drink tickets for all. :p

This was the conference where I was giving my poster. ANd I won a prize for it, yay!
yubsie: (Default)
Back home. The house is freezing. We had a good trip (for the most part anyway), but it is nice to be back. Well, mostly it's nice to be off the train. :p Though it was a remarkably smooth train ride this year. There were almost no delays in either direction! That's almost unheard of around Christmas.

When we were with my parents, my poor mother spent most of the time being confused. She just doesn't speak Geeky Reference as much as my father, brother, sister, Ryan and I do. And geeky reference we did! Considering we arrived just in time for the Doctor Who Christmas special, it was inevitable. And of course, as usual my father had gotten me the new Pratchett book. And read it before me. This year, his new twist on his emailed "spoilers" was to rename one of the characters from one of the other books he gave me to Tiffany.

I wonder what normal families do. :p

Speaking of normal families, apparently random people have been asking my mother when Ryan and I are having kids. Apparently these are people that don't actually know me, really.
yubsie: (Barnabas and Del)
Look at me finally posting the rest of my pictures from Austria! You know, that place I went in July? :p Next up: Polaris and Fan Expo! :p

Pictures of Graz )
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Good weekend in Toronto, even if Vicki was unfortuanately working most of it. We had fun on Friday night though! We were left to our own devices on Saturday, so we went shopping. The TTC Daypass is brilliant. On Saturday or Sunday Ryan and I can both travel on one, which costs the same as four tokens. So we can travel as much as we want for what we'd pay for one round trip.

We went to Indigo, where I managed to find The Western Wizard by Mickey Zucker Reichert. I was surprised, since I was sure that entire trilogy was out of print. I'd been looking off and on for the first book for roughly ten years before finding it second hand. I also got the second Song of Ice and Fire book and Neil Gaiman's Batman comic. ALl in all, a good time! Made even better by discovering that the mystery gift card in my purse was actually for $50.

We were in Best Buy when a voice behind us declared that we weren't supposed to be in there. It turned out to be [livejournal.com profile] 2raggedclaws. I only know... five people in Toronto, not counting family in Markham. What are the odds? We then wandered down to the little anime store and generally got all sorts of good exercise in.

Then of course we went to see Legally Blonde, since that was the whole point of the excercise. A really fun show. I was impressed to discover that all the dogs used were from various humane societies. Also, the lyrics for "Ireland" had changed. Still all sorts of fun.

This morning was less than awesome when we discovered that we were boxed in by someone who was illegally parked. Not a good time. We did eventually get out and get home.

Right in time for me to discover I'd left my keys, bus pass and flash drive at Vicki's. Because I'm awesome.
yubsie: (Default)
We got off to a bit start yesterday because it took forever to get Kim's youngest out of bed. But we eventually made it downtown to continue our walking tour of Vienna. We walked by the Imperial Palace, the Parliament Buildings and the university. We also went to the Albertina, which is an art gallery with an impressive Impressionist collection. They actually start with Impressionism and then the later galleries are all organized through the progression up to the modern day. A lot of Monet, Renoir and Picasso (it's always exciting when I actually recognize the artist!). Amazing stuff.

I dated myself horribly when I said that the woman in one of the paintings looked like Carmen Sandiego and Aislinn had no clue what I was talking about. Kids these days!

After the art gallery we went to Rathauspark where they were holding a food festival. Good place for lunch! And of course after that we stopped for more gelato. There was random dancing with drums in the street. I'm not sure what exactly was going on, but it was cool!

After that we went to Schonbrunn palace. We were too late to tour the inside, but we walked through the gardens and took lots of pictures. Then we went to a beer garden and had Wienerschnitzel, because some things simply must be done.

Now we`re in Graz, which looks like a lovely city from what we saw while hauling our luggage to the hotel. We even managed to get a room despite Jess and me each thinking the other was taking care of booking that!
yubsie: (Default)
They were having electrical difficulties with our plane, so we were about two hours late leaving Toronto. Fortunately, they took us OFF the plane pretty early on, since one of the difficulties they were having was with the air conditioning and the plane was pretty miserable.. The pilot had never seen a problem quite like it before. But they did eventually get the plane working! I watched How to Train Your Dragon (OMG ADORABLE) and Alice in Wonderland (also fun) on the plane. And slept about as much as can be expected when trying to sleep on a plane.

Needless to say, we didn't make our connection and had to take a later flight. They gave us a snack voucher. We had fun adding a pile of chocolate bars to our lunched in order to reach the full value of the voucher. :p

The important thing is we're now in Vienna, huzzah! The view from the hostel is gorgeous, which makes it... almost worth the hill. :p Wifi in the lobby gets the job done. Crashing soon but wanted everyone to know we lived. :p
yubsie: (Default)
So, the talk went pretty decently, I think. I got a few good questions, including one I had to ask the guy to take me through slowly afterwards (on the computational stuff).

But man, the guy before me thought he had a 40 minute talk when he actually had a 20 minute talk. I was kinda freaking out at that point because Kim's talk was pretty soon after mine in a different room and I was worried she wasn't going to be able to stay for my whole talk. She did manage it though. My talk was standing room only! Which... probably had more to do with the room being too small than anything else.

After the conference that day a bunch of us went to Vicki's to play the BSG game. Chris brought the Pegasus expansion and OMG it was EPIC. The humans won... but just barely. So many resources were at one or two. If the final crisis card had activated the Raiders, the civilian ships would have gone SQUISH. It... basically felt like the New Caprica rescue. :p

Also, we had apparently been playing Cylon attack cards wrong all this time. Which might explain why the humans always lost. :p

Other fun things at the conference: I ran into a friend from high school. I hadn't even realized she was in chemistry, so that was awesome.

Oh, and Steve (my supervisor from undergrad) was actually there this year. It took me days to actually track him down, but I did eventually get to talk to him.

After the conference (well, actually, I blew off the last afternoon) I met up with my mom and we went to see Mamma Mia. It was definitely more fun seeing it with her than seeing the movie with Ryan, since Ryan doesn't like ABBA. Also, the stage show is better because the male leads can actually sing and dance. :p It was lots of fun.

After the show Mom took me for supper and then gave me cab fare because it was pouring rain. Except it took me forever to actually get a cab. But I did eventually make it to the train station!

So yeah, we were an hour late even getting on the train. I was going to email Ryan from the train, except not only was the wifi not working... the power outlets weren't working. I'd never seen that happen before. Though I ran into one of the guys from the department at the station, so at least I was sitting with him and had someone to talk to (otherwise I did have a book...)

We also got stuck for like half an hour in Brantford when the brakes got stuck on one of the cars. Oddly, even though I've been on trains with much worse delays, this was probably one of the more annoying ones. I think it's because it was supposed to be such a quick and easy trip without even having to change trains, so when it took twice as long as it should have it was really annoying.

Poor Ryan though. He was at the station to pick me up at 9:30 when my train was supposed to get in and he had to wait until 11:30. And he had to work at six this morning. It was most unfortunate.

But, I'm back!
yubsie: (Default)
Got a ton of great data in Ottawa. Still tired from catching a 5:40 AM train yesterday. Still trying to get receipt out of motel since the front desk wasn't open until 7 AM. What the frak.

Finally saw End of Time Part II last night.

Spoilers! )
yubsie: (Default)
Got to London 10 PM. PIcked up samples at lab 11 PM. Repacked. Bed now. Train to Ottawa at 8 AM.
yubsie: (Default)
Whee, free wifi on the train. It's free because the connection is... less than awesome, but it's getting the job done.

Not surprisingly, with the massive storm we were travelling through we were about an hour and a half late getting into Montreal. Not quite late enough to get the 50% travel credit. :p But late enough to miss our connection. Not a big problem, since they just stuck us on the next Toronto bound train. I just wish someone could tell us what's going to happen with our second connection. I know we won't make Toronto in time for the 4:25 train to London, but no one seems to be able to tell us if there IS a later train to London or when it is. I've been told that worst case scenario is they stick us in a cab. :p They've assured us that the ticket is a contract that says they WILL get us to London. Of course, to GET this information I had to listen to a whole spiel about checked baggage which rather baffled me on account of my not ASKING about baggage.

Other than the connection confusion, the trip's been decent. Though we were on an older train overnight where apparently the lights don't turn down as far as they do in the newer cars, so that made sleeping a challenge. At least the older cars have the nice footrests that I can curl my legs up on. Less convenient storage, but you can't win them all.

Hmm, apparently we're thirty minutes behind schedule on this train. Of course, I'm not sure what on schedule would have been...

Picking up baggage is going to be interesting seeing as the entire student body of UWO is going to be coming in tonight. Then I have to stop by the lab to get my samples to get on ANOTHER train tomorrow.
yubsie: (Default)
Well, made it to Halifax okay. Halifax people... are any of you currently actually IN Halifax? We leave at 1 PM on January second, and basically have no plans, so let me know if you want to make plans appear!

Doctor Who Christmas special was WOW. Not sure when I'm going to get to see part two though, since I'm off to the NRC as soon as we get back to London. Blarg. Want part two NOW!

Christmas has been full of books and DVDs and CDs. And wonderfully portable gift cards. A lot of those are to food type places, so I'm starting to wonder if our families think we aren't eating or something.

My d*mn AU fic is all formatted so as soon as I get my computer booted and stick the thing on a flash drive I can post it and get it out of my LIFE. :p
yubsie: (Default)
We made it to New Brunswick! Only about two hours late, too! Half of that was boarding delays in Montreal. The other half I suspect is just a case of the sheer volume of passengers this time of year pushing everything off the schedule. It was a relatively uneventful trip. I finished two books and started a third. It had small print though, and I had a bit of a headache after getting at least some sleep in interesting positions, so in the morning I took advantage of the outlets on the train to play Avernum and work on my Secret Santa fic.

I must say though... it's nice that they have so much space under the seats for luggage, but I wish the seats were a little farther apart. Mostly because every time I got down to access my bag under the seat, I wound up smacking my head on the seat in front of us. Ow.

Still haven't seen my sister yet. She's out LARPing. We kinda thought she would be home by now though. Seeing my brother has been nice though, university has done good things to him. :p
yubsie: (Default)
Fun times: Spending most of Canada Day joking about how we were spending Canada Day with "Twenty thousand of our closest friends!" and then actually running into someone we knew other than the group we were meeting up with us. This random guy came up to us and asked if we went to Mount A and it turned out he had been in our Japanese class. What are the ODDS?

I also am amused by my country. On the way in they were checking everyone's bags. Which involved briefly glancing in and then ASKING if we had any drugs. ASKING. :p

Oh, and I got to climb the fence on Parliament Hill. There was just the one narrow gate in and out. After the fireworks, EVERYONE was leaving. So going over the fence was clearly the more efficient option. I am proud to say that I didn't flash anyone even though I was wearing a skirt.

I'm such a nerd. I needed red and white... so most of what I wore was my Laura Roslin costume. Because... it was red! I just switched the camisole out for a white shirt.

And now Ryan has met... well, most of my dad's side of the family. I think he was vaguely frightened by how many they were. And there were three more of my dad's siblings who were never there! I have a big family. :p

So a very fun time in Ottawa, whee! And now Polaris is this weekend... one of these days I'll actually put in a full work week, I swear. :p
yubsie: (Default)
I am home! Ten hours of driving is REALLY LONG! Also, the people at Dunkin' Donuts put WAY too much sugar in their coffee. I was worried there wouldn't be ENOUGH sugar because I just said milk and sugar and I usually get a double double with milk. But no, it was RIDICULOUSLY sweet. Insane.

We went shopping last night after the conference. So now I can say I've been in Macy's. I am far too poor for Macy's, but I have been in one. I went to Borders for the siren call of AMERICAN COVER PRICES. I was good though and only picked up the first Song of Ice and Fire book (yes, I'm finally caving). Partly because the British postdoc we adopted at the conference got the only copies of a couple other things I was looking at. :p

Oh, and I got Rune Factory 2 because it looks fun. Though I am confused why there are two Gamestops in one mall. :p

Also, did you know Long Branch, NJ has a sizable Brazilian community? We found this out while talking to the staff at the Brazilian place that we went to for supper. It was the awesomest buffet ever, they charged by the pound. Dinner for all three of us came to $21, including these amazingly awesome fresh juices. And the food was soooooooooo good, there was amazing squash. The less adventurous members of our group went to a fancier place. Their tip was more than our meal. :p
yubsie: (Default)
Guys, did you know Molly Hayes has led an eventful life? :p

I just apped her at [livejournal.com profile] glaxcinprison. Her history wound up being 1183 words. This is SLIGHTLY insane, given that PAPADAMA'S history was only around 900. And Molly is TWELVE. That is an impressive bit of having history there. :p

I get to spend Canada Day in Ottawa. Since my grandparents rather ought to meet Ryan. Go me. :p
yubsie: (Default)
I am home and I am clean. Slight delays on the way back, but nothing like the way down. Sleeping on the train wound up working out fairly nicely. We were in two seats that were facing another set of seats. The people who were sitting in the other sets went... somewhere. Probably because you can't really use the footrest in that setup. Once we realized they apparently weren't coming back, we Ryan grabbed their seat so we could both sleep across two seats.

Getting our luggage was interesting, because there were four full cars going to London. You'd think classes were back in session tomorrow or something. :p For some reason the baggage carousel is against the wall, so it was fun trying to SPOT our bags.

But I am home and I am clean! And on the train I finished The Science of Discworld III, read Nation and Neil Gaiman's Eternals and started The Darkest Road (last volume of The Fionavar Tapestry. My mom bought it for me on the condition that I give it to her for her library when I finish :p)

I was going to make a grocery list but then I realized it was going to consist of "EVERYTHING!" :p
yubsie: (Default)
Well, we made it to Halifax! Eventually. :p We were about four hours late getting in in the end. Two hours of that was waiting at the train station in Montreal. Our first train was running late (snow on the switches) and we were a bit worried about making our connection. We got there after the connecting train should have left, but that train was running even later and we didn't get to board until much later.

Downside of this was that the train was still stopping until the wee hours. And we were sitting right by the somewhat noisy door. We were worried for a while that we wouldn't be able to find two seats together, which would be a problem since Ryan had all the food and the blanket (since the blankets provided were, as I remembered, a little on the small side). Luckily they did find us something and I managed to get at least some sleep in the interesting contortions needed for sleeping on the train.

Also, Via is SO nice when your train is running late. They provided us with free lunch (Tim's sandwiches), free drinks and free supper (St Hubert's chicken). This was good since the food we brought was running awfully low when we were on the train over more meals than expected. We also have a 50% travel credit that we'll probably use to visit my grandparents in January.

In conclusion, I was quite glad to get a shower and change out of the clothes I'd been wearing for the past two days. Also, I'm pretty sure that if we'd flown we would STILL be sitting in Pearson Airport.
yubsie: (Default)
My bags... may or may not be packed I... may or may not be ready to go... Let's play "What is Yubsie forgetting to pack?"! :p

The cat was NOT happy with us taking her to the kennel. MOstly the "YOU PUT ME IN MY CARRIER! IN A BOX! I HATE BEING IN A SUPERPOSITION OF STATES!" thing, but with a dash of "You're LEAVING me here?". Poor kitty.

I'm SO glad we're taking the train. The airport we would almost DEFINITELY be making a connection at is having a lot of weather delays that are only expected to get worse tomorrow. So 26 hour train ride here we come!

The Christmas party last night was really fun. Soooooooo much food. My frosting vehicles (sometimes known as sugar cookies) were a big hit. We still have a few left to eat on the train. Which reminds me I should make some sandwiches. :p
yubsie: (Default)
Back from a fun weekend in Toronto! We watched more BSG with [livejournal.com profile] i_paint_the_sky, finishing up the Kobol arc and seeing up to Final Cut. So I got to know two more Cylons! And apparently there is impending doom.

We also introduced Vicki to the wonders of Classic Who. Though Robot lacks a quarry. :p Still, it introduces Four.

Also, I wonder how much BSG/Doctor Who crossover fic there is that exists solely to pair Cylons with the appropriately numbered Doctor. :p

Oh, and I gave Vicki The Wiz for Christmas, so we watched this. The phrase "acid trip" comes to mind. :p

Also, Vicki is awesome and gave me John Barrowman's autobiography for Christmas. It is shiny and will entertain me on the train ride. As will the other books I bought when she took us to see the store she works at. And Fables 11, which we had to pick up at another store. We'll see if I actually hold out until the train ride with that one. :p
yubsie: (Default)
Okay, so Avenue Q? Is made of pure unadulterated WIN. So many laughs not on the soundtracks. So many things that are infinitely funnier with context. Christmas Eve, much as expected, is a total show stealer. Not surprising, she DOES get all the best lines. The actress playing Gary Coleman was also BRILLIANT. And of course, puppets ftw. :p

Marineland was also a blast. Cute little baby whales! Though, for the record, the unpadded middle seat for two hours kinda sucks. We also stopped by to see Niagara Falls which was pretty spectacular.

Traffic on the way back to London was inexplicably awful though. It took us half an hour to go 20 km on the HIGHWAY. For no apparent reason. There was an accident at one point... on the other side of the divided highway, so that shouldn't have affected the flow of traffic on the other side. Bizarre. And a little annoying. :p


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February 2013

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