Food, friends, and foam

Friday

Started the day at the lab freezing stuff with Mike. The amount of tools, instruments, equipment, and cool stuff on the shelves and in the drawers blows my mind. Down the hall there are 10 other rooms with completely different cool stuff. And outside there are like 100 other buildings… Made progress, took notes, nothing super-exciting to report, I didn’t explode anything (5 days down, 45 to go!)

Later in the day, I also was fortunate enough to attend JPL’s American Heritage International Cuisine Night. There were at least 25 different tents set up with ethnic food served by JPL employees who volunteered to represent their own cultural group. I stuffed myself with the delicacies of 6 nations–who waged a brief gastronomic World War, but eventually realized that there was only one digestive tract to coexist in and then held hands and sang songs.  Ate some Asian Indian chick pea curry, Korean bbq and kimchi, Thai spring rolls with mint, Spanish paella, Latino pastries and potato dumplings, Italian gelato, and I didn’t have any of the American tent’s Rice Krispy treats and chicken pot pie, but I heard they were good too. I also missed the German, Japanese, Native American, Polish, and Armenian tents, but hey I have to look good on the beach here eventually. More on that later.

Saturday

Rented a car and went to JPL scientist friend Amanda’s house for tacos and intrigue in the form of the card game Illuminati. A new favorite. Afterwards took half a watermelon and a cutting board with me, and set out for the Pacific! This would be my first time to really see and splash in the ocean, aside from a dark and cold glimpse of the Atlantic a few years ago.

In Oklahoma, the beaches are OK (hey, new state motto?) but you can’t see the ocean from there. You can from Malibu, though. I went late in the day and avoided some traffic. Parked and walked 50 feet to where land stopped and water began. It was as powerful and serene as I had imagined. I’m going to spend at least a couple more weekends there, and I’m sure my girls will love it when they get here too.

I keep asking the natives where they’d go if they only had 10 weeks. If anyone reading this has been to LA and knows something I simply must do, let me know. So, pictures:

Gound in the lab. Thankfully it didn't wake up and start chasing me around.

Found in the lab. Thankfully it didn’t wake up and start chasing me around.

Here's a closer look at the prototype hands of our future overlords. Just kidding! That's not what we are working on here! I promise.

Here’s a closer look at the prototype hands of our future overlords. Just kidding! That’s not what we are working on here! I promise.

This robot is too handsome to be evil, anyway.

This robot is too handsome to be evil, anyway.

Thanks, JPL.

Thanks, JPL.

The longest line was at this guy's tent.

The longest line was at this guy’s tent.

Yum.

Yum.

The kimchi was my favorite of everything.

The kimchi was my favorite of everything.

I doubt there was any food left.

I doubt there was any food left.

JPL scientist Amanda Stockton and her gracious but devious co-conspirator Jim Davenport. Everyone was smiling and good friends, and then we played Illuminati the card game... Theresa won, and Shane is still mad :)

JPL scientist Amanda Stockton and her gracious but devious co-conspirator Jim Davenport. Everyone was smiling and good friends, and then we played Illuminati the card game… Theresa won, and Shane is still mad 🙂

Look familiar, anyone?

Pacific Coast Highway north of Santa Monica. It's cool seeing all the places mentioned in the songs I grew up listening to.

Pacific Coast Highway north of Santa Monica. It’s cool seeing all the places mentioned in the songs I grew up listening to.

Fun-looking place on the way to Zuma Beach.

Fun-looking place on the way to Zuma Beach.

Zuma Beach. Chalk me up one more transformative encounter with the majesty of nature.

Zuma Beach. Chalk up one more transformative encounter with the majesty of nature.

I feel like a peaceful and calm David Lee Roth in this picture.

I feel like a peaceful and calm David Lee Roth in this picture.

I'm definitely coming back to this spot before I leave.

I’m definitely coming back to this spot before I leave.

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One thought on “Food, friends, and foam

  1. Love it, love it , love it…. next year an internship as science writer!
    So glad you are blogging…
    Take good care,
    Mary
    Mary Phillips Associate Professor of Biology Tulsa Community College 10300 E. 81st ST Tulsa, OK 74133 918 595-7689 mary.phillips@tulsacc.edu ________________________________

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