Life as a wish

Perhaps you fancy the beauty of tulips…

Or maybe you prefer to imagine all the wishes a dandelion can bring…

As for me, I don’t need to choose.
I’ve got it all.

Spring is here, fragrant blooms are all about, and my mates and I are finished with classes.

Grabbing a latte was the perfect celebratory thing to do.

Yes my friend, I surely have it all.-P

New Project

I’m all about doing stuff. I’ve never been one to take pleasure in sitting around watching television, or playing games. I really like to keep busy and I often have several ‘projects’ to keep me occupied (i.e. gardening, building, knitting, sewing, reading, running, etc.)

This being said, there’s only a finite amount of time in the day, and with grad school taking up about 95% of my waking hours, many of these hobbies and projects have been put on hold for a rainy day that will likely never come. Over the summer, research will be my main focus, there won’t be classes and seminars interjecting at inconvenient times, and in addition to getting some good research done, I’ll be able to finally do things outside of science to enrich my life. One of my problems is that I want to learn and do everything. I have to realize that I am human, and that I can’t do it all.

I’ve narrowed down a list of a few things that I’d like to do:

*Start going to Bikram yoga regularly again (4-5 x per week)
*Become fluent in French again (so that when I move to France I’m not a nuisance)
*Become a music snob 😉

Pitchfork is what I find to be the premiere music review site. They cater and review indie music mostly and they have compiled extensive top album lists for various decades. I’d say I’m well versed in pop music, if a song is on the radio, I can pinpoint what month/year it came out and who is singing it. My knowledge of indie music is lacking, but I think that with Pitchfork’s top 200 albums of 2000, my knowledge of music will grow. My goal is to listen to an album a day starting with Radiohead’s Kid A and going to album 200.
Given that there are 200 top albums listed, I should get through the top music of the 2000’s by year end. Who knows… maybe this year or in the next few years, I’ll go to the Pitchfork Music Festival and experience some of these bands live. After looking at this year’s lineup, I’m tempted to go check out the bands LCD Soundsystem and Panda Bear on Saturday

(Ben, I know you are reading this… if you are around July 16-18, let me know if you’re up for going to Chicago)

Luckily, music is one of those things you can have on while crunching numbers and building instruments…. I’m super good at multitasking 🙂

As for other projects, I recently got around to painting my room… it is now the same neutral color that the rest of the house is and I like it way better than the brown color it was before.

1 project down, 3401 to go.

-P

It’s easy… just think… harder!

I’m in this odd phase in my research project…

Courtesy of my boss: (coming into the office when I stepped away)

I’ve managed to luck out with a project that has a lot going on and I’m at this point where I can choose to pursue several avenues.

The thing about science is that you have to foresee the future; I mean, you have to know what will have an impact and be that next big thing. I’m not sure how people develop this skill.. perhaps after spending enough time in an area you get a feeling for what’s important.

In other news: US NEWS & WORLD REPORT has finally published an updated versionof the chemistry graduate school rankings.Looks like IU has moved to the #3 spot for Analytical Chemistry in the country. nice.

-P

Getting wiser.

Or at least growing in wisdom teeth… unsuccessfully.

I’m on antibiotics and vicodin because my gums are infected/inflamed, and without meds, I’m in more pain than I’ve ever been in. I have an appointment in about 10 days to get them pulled…
I don’t think I’ve known anyone to be so excited to get a tooth pulled as I am right now.

Aside from my gory tooth saga, this past weekend was great! After the madness of work last week, I was finally able to catch up on sleep, and despite the tooth pain, I managed to make time to hang out with friends Saturday night and work on my term paper on Sunday.

The Graduate Professional Student Organization (GPSO) on campus typically has mixers for grad students here at IU. I decided to go to the Root Cellar with some chem friends to check out the event and meet people outside the department. I ended up meeting some interesting new math and physics people and enjoyed a bit of live music as well.

The Root Cellar has an interesting ambiance, though, with such a packed event, it felt almost too cozy.

It was nice to hang out with friends after a week of work and meet new people.

I’ll let you know how the wisdom tooth thing goes.
-P

Office space.

This is where I’ll be for the next week:

My mortgage payments really ought to be going to pay for this. It seems these days, I only go home to do laundry. I can’t wait until May… I’ll be going to TEXAS!

May 8 – 22… if you’re in Austin/Houston, and want to hang out or grab a drink/grub, let me know.

-P

Group hike

I was glad I put on my ugliest pair of shoes today, because sure enough, my research group went out hiking at Griffy lake.

Boy was it fun!
Perhaps he was right… a bit of fresh air is all it takes to get a second wind.

If I can make it through April, I’ll consider the next month to be a success!
Maybe I’ll even pencil time in for a hike or two 🙂
You can see more photos of the hike here-P

Spring is here!

Having a real seasons really makes you have an appreciation for them. I think it is safe to say, that I’m currently living through my first spring:

The bulbs around campus are blooming:

The sun feels warmer:

The days are getting longer:

And my little seedlings have hatched!

I’m counting down the days until I can enjoy the crisp arugula with my pasta 🙂

-P

New Recruits

This past weekend has been full of entirely too much fun. Recruitment weekend here is even better when you aren’t a recruit…. maybe because I know more people, or maybe it was because as a grad student, I’m not expected to do anything except eat free dinner at posh restaurants and try fancy wines (recruits generally have to meet with professors).

Should I have studied more, worked up data, worked on my presentation?…
Probably, but taking Saturday off was so worth it. In the end, I learned a lot about myself.

In graduate school, we learn what we don’t know, and we quickly learn that we don’t know much. Recruiting weekend made me realize that I’ve learned A LOT in the past 10 months, and while I may not know much, I’m capable of doing most anything I set my mind to. I’ve grown so much more confident in the way I talk about science (mostly because I know much more now), and my demeanor has changed.

Finally, I’ll leave a photo for you of some of the recruits and grad students at Nick’s (the oldest pub here in Bloomington) yesterday night:

Guess that’s all for now. Back to studying for my mass spec exam tomorrow.-P

What’s cooking Wednesday (Tofu w/ tomato and egg)

My apologies for not posting much as of late, I’ve been uber busy trying to get some simulations to work and experiments to run… not to mention the joy of classes and the upcoming recruitment weekend here at IU. I completely spazzed and forgot about WCW. I’m afraid today’s WCW is a bit unimpressive… mostly because when I’m on a time crunch, I typically have few ingredients in my fridge to work with, and little time to spend in the kitchen. I guess here’s a glimpse of a meal that takes 10-15 minutes to prepare (and can last up to 3-4 meals!)

Ingredients:
1 tomato – diced
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. EVOO
3 eggs
16 oz. Tofu – cut into 3/4 inch cubes
Sugar and salt (to taste)

In a saucepan, mix diced tomato, with EVOO and garlic. Allow to cook for 3-5 minutes

In a separate bowl, mix eggs and add cubed tofu to the mixture.
Add tofu mixture to saucepan and add sugar and salt to taste

Allow mixture to cook until eggs/mixture are light and fluffy (no liquid should be visible)

After it has been thoroughly cooked, it is ready to eat!

Oh.. I checked my garden out this morning… my seedlings sprouted! I’ll take a photo of my new babies if I can get home before the sun sets or leave the house after it rises!-P

Tease me

Spring Break was so good for my soul; I left work early to play disc golf almost every day, wore shorts/flip flops every day, shuffled some papers around, but truly enjoyed my little holiday.

What a tease.

It is back to reality for me. I’d taken a week off of my 9pm-3am sleep cycle last week, and it was near impossible for me to pry myself out of bed today. My schedule is ridiculously packed this week… a mass spec exam, a time course experiment to run the latter part of the week (meaning I’ll be spending 2-3 nights in lab waking up every 3 hours to do stuff), writing up a C500 term paper (on my research for the year), finishing up a simulation in SIMION, and of course: running.

Research/classes get in the way of so much I want to do… coming in to graduate school, I thought I’d have more time to go out and enjoy the town/join some organization/travel. I guess its a good thing I came to a school in a small town… there are enough distractions here to hold me over, and I doubt I’d get much done if I went to a school in a larger city (like Austin)… heavens knows I had a little too much fun when I was an undergraduate there 😉

-P