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I am a Leo.

From wikipedia: Leo () is the fifth astrological sign of the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Leo. It spans the 120-150th degree of the Tropical zodiac, between 125.25 and 152.75 degree of celestial longitude. Under the tropical zodiac, the Sun transits this area on average between July 23 and August 23 each year, and under the sidereal zodiac, the sun currently transits this area from approximately August 16 to September 15. The symbol of the lion is based on the Nemean Lion, a lion with an impenetrable hide.[1]

1. I am not a constellation, but I am very bright.
2. I do transit the sun every year around August and I have been doing so for 31 years but the sun does not transit me.
3. I am not a lion..but I am pretty fierce. My hide is kind of penetrable. For example, I received a paper cut from an Ikea instruction manual yesterday.

day 7 - your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.
day 8 - a moment you felt the most satisfied with your life.
day 9 - how you hope your future will be like.
day 10 - discuss your first love and first kiss.
day 11 - put your ipod on shuffle and write 10 songs that pop up.
day 12 - bullet your whole day.
day 13 - somewhere you’d like to move or visit.
day 14 - your earliest memory.
day 15 - your favourite tumblrs.
day 16 - your views on mainstream music.
day 17 - your highs and lows of this past year.
day 18 - your beliefs.
day 19 - disrespecting your parents.
day 20 - how important you think education is.
day 21 - one of your favourite shows.
day 22 - how have you changed in the past 2 years?
day 23 - give pictures of 5 guys who are famous who you find attractive.
day 24 - your favourite movie and what it’s about.
day 25 - someone who fascinates you and why.
day 26 - what kind of person attracts you.
day 27 - a problem that you have had.
day 28 - something that you miss.
day 29 - goals for the next 30 days.
day 30 - your highs and lows of this month
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day 6 - write 30 interesting facts about yourself.

1. When I get a song stuck in my head, I will listen to it many times until I get sick of it. The current song in my head is Mind Mischief by Tame Impala. I think I learn lyrics better this way.
2. I can name most songs I have listened to more than once after listening to a few bars. I have won many trivia contests with my talent.
3. My happy occupation is in the kitchen making a delicious meal or baking. I don't think I would like it as much if I was a chef.
4. I feel the most pleased when I see that others are pleased. I feel the most uneasy when someone is unhappy with me or they show discomfort.
5. When I was younger, I spoke three languages. English with my sister and teachers, Hebrew with my parents, and Russian with my grandparents and my au pair. I was so confused that I ended up forgetting Hebrew, but I am pretty sure I could pick it up.
6. My parents' happy place is Israel, but my happy place is Japan. When I am in a crappy mood, I usually go to the Japanese supermarket and browse the bookstore.
7. Chicago is my heart and LA is my soul, but the Bay Area is my home because weather.
8. I could never date someone who hates road trips or any kind of traveling in general.
9. I have never seriously dated a (nice) Jewish guy. I am more than okay with this. The current Jdate website makes me cringe.
10. I was once on a game show. In a dilemma that they gave me, I opted for a stereo system, which caused me to lose the game. The winner won a basketball hoop stand. I think I made out better.
11. As I grew older, I slowly came to realize that everyone that is successful in life is also a good impostor at what they do, especially my former adviser.
12. The last four years were incredibly challenging and my happiness fluctuated like nothing else I have ever felt before. As a result, I have started to really enjoy the good times and relax a little more in trying professional situations.
13. My parents raised me with a champagne taste on a food stamp budget. I have learned to be frugal in adulthood, but I have some very extravagant food tastes.
14. My college friends will probably stay with me for the rest of my life.
15. I used to hate running when I was in high school, but running, especially running trails is now my favorite form of exercise.
16. I think that pot is way better than alcohol (which I mostly drink for flavor), but both make you do and say some pretty stupid and regrettable things. My least favorite holidays are the ones where you drink, except for Franksgiving.
17. My grandfather was far from perfect, but I really looked up to him when I was growing up. He taught me how to swim, how to swear in Russian, how to throw back the vodka, and how to not take any bullshit from other people.
18. I have never been able to confine myself to a musical genre and I feel sad for people who do. I grew up on classical rock, Mariah Carey, and Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
19. Writing my graduate Master's thesis was much more satisfying and more fulfilling than if I were to actually go through with the rest of grad school. I think I spared myself and my dignity by not continuing.
20. I want to travel internationally all by myself soon. I am starting to feel good about alone time for the first time in a long time.
21. I don't think I ever want to skydive or bungee jump. Maybe it is safer than getting into my car every day, but falling from the sky just sounds absurd to me.
22. I have a better chance of randomly picking up and finishing a book within a few days than actually going through my book collection and reading the stuff I own.
23. My parents are high school sweethearts who will probably stay married forever. Sometimes I think that my parents are still in high school, but it is better than the alternative.
24. When I write, I end up doing it in spurts, usually after some major occurrence in my life.
25. One day I would like to pack up all my belongings and move to a foreign country for two years and then come back like nothing ever happened.
26. I once rode a bus through Oakland to Fremont from 1am-3am. It was scary, but not as scary as I thought it would be.
27. I would like to take instrument lessons this year, probably piano.
28. I am still sad that one of my favorite people in the whole world decided to abandon our friendship for some false idol. I still have her mementos lying around.
29. My family is crazy on the face. We argue a lot. We say weird things to each other and we sometimes avoid each other. After reviewing other families they are still more normal than most people. I had a pretty stable childhood.
30. I met Cher once. I sat on her lap and pretended to play guitar with her. It was documented in a music video.


day 7 - your zodiac sign and if you think it fits your personality.
day 8 - a moment you felt the most satisfied with your life.
day 9 - how you hope your future will be like.
day 10 - discuss your first love and first kiss.
day 11 - put your ipod on shuffle and write 10 songs that pop up.
day 12 - bullet your whole day.
day 13 - somewhere you’d like to move or visit.
day 14 - your earliest memory.
day 15 - your favourite tumblrs.
day 16 - your views on mainstream music.
day 17 - your highs and lows of this past year.
day 18 - your beliefs.
day 19 - disrespecting your parents.
day 20 - how important you think education is.
day 21 - one of your favourite shows.
day 22 - how have you changed in the past 2 years?
day 23 - give pictures of 5 guys who are famous who you find attractive.
day 24 - your favourite movie and what it’s about.
day 25 - someone who fascinates you and why.
day 26 - what kind of person attracts you.
day 27 - a problem that you have had.
day 28 - something that you miss.
day 29 - goals for the next 30 days.
day 30 - your highs and lows of this month
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The office manager called me and told me that I need to come in and meet the CEO so he knows that I am human. I think this process is almost over.
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I received an email from solar company, after bugging them for an answer saying that they already hired someone. The interview made me realize that there were a lot of problems with entering that space, but it definitely drops my confidence a bit more slightly.

I think I am going to Bend, Oregon for my birthday. I have always wanted to see Crater Lake and Bend sounds like a lush green paradise compared to strangely windy gopher infested Los Gatos. I also am somewhat in the planning stages for a New Zealand trip. If I get a job before then, it would kind of be hard to go on vacation, but the airfares look pretty tempting for a few key places.

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Job/transition stuff..

I am still waiting to hear back from my interview at the solar company. The interview went well. I felt like I was spewing buckets of repressed scientific knowledge to someone who actually cares about my research. The phone interview lasted for 30 minutes. I consider the wait to be a good sign that they haven't weeded me out yet.

The company is in its early stages. 15 employees total, 12 of them scientists..most of them from the same lab. Their plan is to make organic solar cells, mostly for windows. They are still very much in research mode.. so I would be doing research related activities, except I am not designing the material so that is good. Either way, I would learn more about organic solar cells and possibly organic electronics in general--which might help me sell myself to other industries in the future. It could be good for me as a long game, but organic solar is kind of a fledgling technology with an uncertain future.

Moving to Santa Barbara, as beautiful and wholesome as it sounds, would be expensive--although much closer to my aging parents. Ironically, my little sister is aiming to go to Davis (though this will happen next year), so we might actually be farther apart.

While I have been spending some time applying to jobs (chemistry and otherwise), I have also taken a little education break to do Python (Learn Python the Hard Way) and improve my statistics and overall math skills. These activities were daunting when I was younger, but now I find them to be kind of fun. Ultimately, a job that synthesizes these skills would be great.
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A month ago, I replied to a craigslist ad for a job in solar, located in Santa Barbara at some company heavily affiliated with UCSB that shall remain nameless. I was really fed up with being rejected by jobs in my own field (Materials Science) and also fed up with people telling me that my field was supposed to be growing. I wholeheartedly began to jump the materials ship and reinvent myself. They contacted me yesterday, and they want to phone interview me. I am cautiously over the moon.
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This week, I am giving myself a change of scenery and spending some time in Reno/Verdi and LA.

Reno has been kind of a dark horse city, never really a town that I would go to for hipster type places, but right now I am sitting in the most awesome little cafe with free wifi and delicious baked goods, and the coffee is San Francisco good. Also, there is a really nice co-op, a soup place, cafes galore, and some impressive beer drinking options. I might have to visit more often, especially since it is closer than Portland.

Verdi is also getting a little more developed, but it remains the quaint little town on the CalNevada border with beautiful scenery. My sister is doing a great job building her little farmstead. Her husband built her a greenhouse with my dad's glass surplus. She also has the most adorable and well-behaved Tabby cat named Janet who loves to snuggle.

On Thursday afternoon, a friend and I are driving to LA where I will spend a few days before diving back into trainings and self-study again.
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One interview at Apple for a contracting job being a map monkey... they (well my one interviewer) didn't seem too into me, the candidates ahead were probably more qualified, and I didn't get the job, but I did have a really cute professional outfit.

I also had a phone interview for Crowdflower for a jr. technical analyst position. I thought that it went okay but I found out the next day that they decided to go with someone else.

I did get a raise at my tutoring job, which goes into effect immediately--although I am not going to be tutoring full time for a while. The one good thing about this is that I can work on my inexperience so that I stop bombing these interviews.

My teeth are also very very clean. And I will probably get new glasses when I go to LA next week. Plus.. Obamacare?

I miss 9 to 5 work, but it is good to be taking some time off for my sanity--Also, probably some travel soon. Anyone have a couch?

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Feeling rejected by all the job applications I turned in and the one job interview I had.
Feeling rejected by the bay area and all of its traffic and competitive nonsense.
Feeling rejected by adulthood. Can't seem to move forward. Not sure how to move on.
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I went to a wedding in Healdsburg this weekend. I had such a lovely time, but it was made even lovelier by the fact that I didn't have to think about experiments, or writing, or any sort of work at all.
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