Tidbits: Other Geo Trip, Seniority, All About My Mother, More Music, iPod

Monday, 2004-06-21; 08:25:00

Movies, lyrics, trips, etc.

Well, I wrote about my one geo trip to Nevada, but I never did write about the second field trip that I had the weekend immediately after. This field trip was basically a revisit to many of the places that I went on for a class that I took back during Spring quarter of freshman year -- not coincidentally, another volcanology course, except that one was an intro seminar rather than an in-depth course. It was cool, though, to be able to revisit a lot of the places that we went to before and learn more about the formation and history of the various rocks and landforms. I actually still have photos from the freshman field trip, and I recognize basically all of the stops after going to them again on this second volcanology field trip. :)

We went over Memorial Day weekend this year, just like we did last time, visiting various craters and cinder cones along the Mono-Inyo crater chain in Long Valley (which is just a bit east of Yosemite Valley -- in fact, you pass through Yosemite to get to Long Valley). Mono Lake, Black Point, Panum Crater, Lookout Mountain, and Hot Creek were all stops along this field trip, just like they were during freshman year. I didn't take any photos this time, though, although it seems that I didn't really need to.

The one thing I was disappointed about this year's field trip is that instead of camping at Mono Lake, like we did freshman year, we stayed at the Bishop research facilities where scientists usually stay if they're doing field work in the Long Valley area. The forest on the edge of Mono Lake, however, was one of the most peaceful places to which I've ever been. (I have the distinct feeling that I might've written about it before, or maybe I've just told a few people about it.) The forest isn't too thick or anything, but at dusk when the sun is setting, you can just walk over the ash and sand that makes up the forest floor near the edge of the lake and just listen to the wind going over the ground and through the trees. You could do that anywhere, I suppose, but just having few roads through the area and being able to enjoy the quiet serenity of that place was awesome. It's one of those places where you can just lie down on the ground with a few people and just enjoy your surroundings for even a few hours -- everything else just doesn't matter when your there.

I was hoping to revisit that place, but unfortunately we didn't end up camping there. I was looking forward to that for all quarter. Not that it made the trip horrible or anything, though -- on the contrary, it was still really, really fun, and a great way to get away from the bustle of Stanford, even though we did have to still learn about volcanology. But it's not a total loss -- I'm doing some of my summer research up there in Long Valley, so I'm sure I'll have a chance to go back to the Mono Lake forest for a bit, even if it's by myself.

This geo trip, of course, had it's own moments. One of the funniest anecdotes was about one of the nights that we went into Bishop to have dinner. We stopped at a Thai food restaurant (which was surprisingly good for what I was expecting from the area), and afterwards we stopped at a Baskin Robbins. A few classmates and I went into the ice cream shop, and while I was deciding on what ice cream to buy, I noticed that this woman also in the shop was looking at me and giggling. I tried to ignore her, but it was obvious that she was laughing at me for some reason (and it was also obvious that I noticed, which was making her laugh even more). It was really hilarious because she actually told me to stop make her laughing, even though she didn't even tell me what I was doing that was so funny. Her laughing also infected her friend for some reason, and I couldn't stop myself from laughing a bit at them. It was pretty funny, but in a strange way -- they must've been drunk or something, because I don't think I was doing anything that particularly merited laughter. The only thing I could possibly think of that might've made them laugh was that I was staring off into space a bit as I was waiting for my turn to order, and that I kinda noticed them come in and they were chatting between themselves a bunch. I believe I kinda rolled my eyes at them, thinking I didn't actually do it but just thought about doing it. I can't be sure if I actually did that, but it might be cause to have made them laugh at me.

Not that I was embarrassed about it or anything; I just thought it was funny that they just burst out laughing at me for no particular reason (or at least no reason that they would divulge to me). Everybody else on the geo trip had a big kick out of that story when I told them.

Anyway, it was fun to be around the people in that class for those few nights at the research facility; all the geo kids are fun people, so we had a few great nights. :)


One random scary thought that I figured I might also share: I'm a senior in college! Ack, time flies by so fast.


I just finished watching a foreign film called "All About My Mother", which I must say is a very moving film. It's about a woman who loses her son in a car crash. She goes on a journey to come to terms with her son's death and ends up getting involved in with an actor who her son admired, a young girl and her child (by the same father), and various other people who are all part of a complicated set of relationships with the woman and her son. It's a heart-wrenching film (as many films are), but it's very well done. I highly recommend seeing it.

(As a side note, how come it seems that the only really good movies these days are foreign films? Although, I guess I shouldn't be surprised with what trash has been coming out of Hollywood these days.)


I also found two songs that I also highly recommend, both being free singles from the iTunes Music Store. The first is Rachael Yamagata's "Letter Read", which is a bit off-beat and jazzy, but nevertheless has great lyrics and melody (this was last week's free single). This week's free single, "They", by Jem, is a short piece that's kind of electronic/new age music (at least according to the genre from the store), but I think it's good nonetheless. It reminded me of some music I'd heard before, and I think for some reason that it's the background music from Myst III: Exile.

Anyway, If you haven't been keeping track of them already, be sure to visit the iTunes Music Store every week to get the latest free single, because it's one of the best ways to discover new music that's not necessarily stuff that they play on the radio.


Last but not least, I also have lately come to realize that I may have underestimated how much I miss my iPod now that it's dead. I used to listen to it all the time when walking to class or when I was somewhere away from my computer, but now I don't have that luxury, so I can't listen to my music nearly as often. It's a real shame, because I love listening to music. I tried to get an iPod off eBay, but all the auctions end up going over $100 and I'm not prepared to spend that sort of money on a used iPod. Maybe I'll get lucky and pull off an auction win for only a double-digit price: here's hoping!

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