Go to the beach!

Today was a good day, by and large. Probably because I only went to two gravity talks. One of them I couldn’t hear a word that was being said, and othe other put me to sleep, literally :-) On the other hand, the other talks I went to were really quite good – they were all invited talks, which are typically a little less stressful on the brain than contributed talks. I was very upset though that Raman Sundrum cancelled at the last moment (his flights got delayed or something); I was very much looking forward to his talk.

I bought a couple of books from one of the vendors at the conference. One of them is on Dark Energy, which I have a feeling I’ll be reading through in fine detail over the next month or so. The other is a guide to mathematics for graduate students in theoretical physics. It’s a hefty tome, and it looks like a good reference book. Most of the stuff I know already, but the section on group theory, Lie algebras and representation theory looked sufficiently good at first glance that I figured why not.

I caught up with a professor at UC Berkley this morning who had given a physics colloquium at Cornell a few months ago. We chatted at some length about how to get a postdoc position. Scary thought. He invited me to come and speak at UCB sometime, and ran through all the people in gravity/astrophsics/high energy theory that he thought were interesting. Time to get some work done to pull together a good presentation for places that I should go and visit :-)

This evening, a friend from Cornell and I rented a car and drove to the beach for the sunset. We went to Laguna beach, which was lovely. The water was really quite cold, but it was wonderful to have my feet in the sand, and seeing the sun set over the Eastern end of the Pacific ocean was great. I took a bunch of pictures on my iPhone, but I’m not sure how well they turned out. After sating our desire for beach, we went looking for a restaurant for dinner, and found a place up on a bit of a cliff overlooking the ocean, aptly called “The Cliff”. All of the seating was out on the cliffy part, with a direct drop down to the beach over the railing. It was lovely. A bit of an expensive place, but hey – it’s our last meal of the conference, and at least I’ve been pretty frugal so far. We decided to go for a bruschetta appetizer, and I swear, it was the best bruschetta I’ve ever had. It was topped with this thick, warm balsamic vinegar which was absolutely divine. We didn’t have any dessert there however; that was reserved for the frozen yoghurt place near our hotel. If ever you see a “Tutti Frutti” frozen yoghurt place, do go there. It’s awesome. I’m still eating mine now, I got so much! :)

Tomorrow is a day in transit. We need to get to Los Angeles airport (LAX) by about 9 in the morning, and we won’t arrive in Ithaca until 9 at night. Not looking forward to jetlag! (3 hour timezone shift forwards, this time… backwards is so much better!)

I’ve enjoyed my time at the conference. I realised at this conference that I’m feeling much more confident as a physicist at this point in time, by comparison to how I’ve felt at previous conferences. Furthermore, I’m once again motivated to go and do a whole bunch of awesome physics :-) So, look out world, here I come!

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