New baby and sweet tidings.

Contrary to what you may think, I spent a considerable amount of time in the library during my undergrad years at UT. I spent so much time in the library in fact, that I ended up making good friends with the librarian/library staff. Lately I have been going on many ‘good-bye’ dinners and the past dinner I went on was with one of the members of the library staff.

I had a habit of checking out 2-hour reserve books… and the staff always took notice. As a parting gift, James made this necklace for me:


It was a very thoughtful gift, and I’ll treasure it and all the memories I’ve made in

And finally, on a completely different topic, I’d like to introduce to you the newest member of the Gandhi clan…

I’ve actually had this baby now for about 3 weeks, but I’ve postponed posting any details on her until she had a proper OS installed.

Manufacturer: Dell
Age: 3 weeks
Weight: 4.7 lbs.
O/S: Linux
Special features: super awesome NVIDIA graphics card, 2.0 mp web cam, sleek steel encasing, super low price, and 3 year warranty.

the best part about this new baby that differs from most others, is that this one comes an instruction manual (not that I intend to use it) and an ‘OFF’ button.

I guess that’s all for today.

-P

Last full weekend in Austin

The last couple of days have been spent doing nothing but fun. Much of Friday was spent packing followed by geek talk at Andy and Brendan’s. After that, I went to one of my favorite places to eat at in Austin (Z-Tejas) with a co-worker. I think what I’ll miss the most about Texas (aside from my friends/family) is the Mexican/Tex-Mex food.

Yesterday I went to the Pecan Street festival downtown. I get a real kick out of going to festivals and it was nice to walk around 6th street during the day and see what the vendors were selling.


I ended up making friends with a pedicabber and got a free ride around the historic part of the city and over the lake.

I even got to accomplish one more thing on my to do list…


Using the loo at the Driskill 😉

Until tomorrow.

Already getting excited!

After reading some recent Clemmer group publications and publications regarding the general field of ion mobility mass spectrometry, I’m beginning to get excited about moving to Indiana and starting grad school. You have no idea how ready I am for this semester to end, and in exactly 2 weeks, I will be on a plane to Europe! I’ve finished booking bed and breakfasts in Italy, and have a general outline of what I will be doing and when:

May 13 == fly to Europe

May 14 – May 24 = = bike trip (with Hugo/Tillie)

May 24- May 29 = = Spend time in Denmark/Netherlands

May 29-June 1 = = Holiday in Colmar, France

June 3- June 7 = = Time in France (Paris)

June 9- 10 = = (fly to Rome) Rome
June 11-12 = = Venice
June 13-14 = = Florence
June 15-16 = = Rome (Fly back to Brussels)

June 16-19 = = Explore more of central Europe

June 19-29 = = Time in Luxembourg (with Nishith and Benedicte)

June 30 = = Back to US

After some of my non-science friends complained about my blog being too technical (see previous posts involving pub nights), I’ve stopped doing journal clubs here. Maybe when I go to Indiana, I can find some equally enthused chemists to have round table science discussions on Friday or Saturday evenings

… or maybe not.

oh and I forgot…

July 6 = = Start Grad School!!!!

Packing up

After realizing that my move out date is in a little over 2 weeks, I decided that I needed to get busy wrapping up my business here in Austin and begin the dreaded task of packing. My apartment has been a pigsty for the last week (mostly because I’ve been traveling a bunch lately and have been too lazy to do my chores).

I didn’t think it could get any worse, but I have succeeded in doing the impossible.

I didn’t really think I had THAT much stuff, but I clearly was wrong. Here is about 1/4 of all of the crap I own.


I spent a good 45 minutes untangling wires of my computer peripherals and I’d say all of my geek stuff is worth another 25% of my stuff. I’m too incredibly lazy to re-plug all of this in, so I guess my internet connection will be cut off as of tomorrow at my apartment.

You’ll notice or maybe know that my desk was made of cardboard boxes and a free piece of ply-wood I got from the loading dock of the chem building. The good thing about this arrangement is that I have what seem to be an endless supply of boxes to last me through the torture that is packing.

I seriously feel like I’ve spent hours upon hours moving stuff, without any visible progress.

Cheers to no internet at my apartment, and many futile attempts at hacking into networks. At least I now have a valid excuse to go to coffee shops/internet cafes.

I hate moving.

Knit day

Knitting has this odd way of calming me… it’s a lot like meditating in a way. I spent a lot of today knitting; getting my thoughts aligned on one thing and not stressing about variables I have no control over.

I ended up knitting a foliage hat (found on knitty/ravelry) in Frank Ochre Malabrigo. The hat is currently blocking, and it is so deliciously luxurious, and soft… I’m really loving the hat!

I started knitting it top-down and find it ridiculously more convenient. I like getting the DP portion out of the way and finishing up the rest mindlessly. 🙂

As you may expect, my this was my first lace-style pattern. I’ve decided I’m not too much of a fan of lace-knitting because it is not mindless. I have the attention span of a 5 year old, so I probably ended up re-starting this thing about 4 times before I actually got around to doing it correctly and sticking with it through the end.

Despite one person disliking the ochre color (ahem, Nick), I really like it.
Hey, it may not look good on me, or be too terribly wearable, but it is so bright and cheery… enough to make me happy when I knit it up.
In the end, I think that is what matters most anyway.

-P

Earth Day 2009

I spent the majority of today hanging out downtown and partaking in Earth Day festivities. The weather has been totally uncooperative, but a big crowd showed up for the event nonetheless.

Halcyon is a great coffee-bar in downtown Austin known for their smores… I think they make a killer Vietnamese coffee and I decided to indulge myself after volunteering at Earth Day.

Till tomorrow 😉

Visit to North Carolina and subsequent fiascos.

Like the title suggests, I’ve spent the latter couple of days of the workweek in North Carolina.

N.C. is gorgeous! This time of year, the weather there is wonderful, the dogwood trees are in bloom, and of course, there is grass… that is green!

I ended up getting into Raleigh in the late morning, and spent the rest of the afternoon walking around the city exploring. I came across a Whole Foods store that brought back sweet memories of Texas. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Whole foods, it is a grocery that has its roots/headquarters in Austin, and is one of my favorite hangouts here in Texas.

In general, I had a pleasant experience on my trip, but…

Tornadoes in the southeast and south-mid-west U.S. ended up causing flight delays, and my flight out of the Raleigh-Durham airport did not leave until 10:15 pm. While I normally would not have been peeved, the biggest problem was that I had a connecting flight from Atlanta back to Austin. My odds of catching the connecting flight were 50/50 at best, but I decided to risk it and head to Atlanta to see if I even had a shot at catching the 9:15 pm flight out of Atlanta. Yes, I know 9:15 pm is before the time my first flight left, but I was hoping that my connecting flight would have been derailed as well due to high winds.

After getting off of my flight that landed in Atlanta, I RAN to the monitors to find that my connecting flight had not left, but the gate had changed to an entirely different terminal on the other side of the airport. YES!!!! The plane is still here… $#!7, I have to gooo!

I RAN to the shuttle to get to the other terminal. Meanwhile, hordes of people were lined up to get new flights out of the city (since their flights had been delayed as well). In all of the hustle and bustle, I made it at 11:40 pm to the gate of the flight that was to leave at midnight. I was out of breath, tired, annoyed, frustrated, and a fellow behind me says, that the flight attendant made the last call for boarders only 30 seconds before I had arrived at the gate. UGH!!!!!!!

I kicked at the gate, and knocked, and other people did for me as well. The host saw me and mouthed ‘no’. I looked at the window to watch my plane leave without me, shot the following picture, and cursed the flight attendant out under my breath.

I ended up spending last night in terminal C gate 34 at the Atlanta airport.
Not fun.

I’m just happy to be home. I caught the 8:40 am flight back to Austin from Atlanta this morning.

Home sweet, Texas!

ScIeNcE RULES!!!

I had the opportunity to hear Bill Nye speak today. In case you are too old/young to know who Bill Nye is, he is a comedian and scientist who brought science to the masses. I LOVED this guy as a pre-teen and tried to watch him, along with The Magic School Bus every Saturday on PBS.

In any case, his talk surrounded issues of climate change and stem cell research. In the past week, I have heard 3 talks that address these same issues.

I have long known that climate change has been happening, I’d also say that I try my hardest to minimize my carbon footprint. I ride my bike/walk places when I can, I’m a vegetarian, and since I grew up with a scrooge-like father, I rarely, if ever, waste things. When I do decide to go for a drive, my car is fairly fuel efficient, averaging 34 mpg. I can’t say the same for most other Americans.

It’s interesting how all of these lectures I’ve attended recently bring up the same point; the fact that the generation preceding mine had the fun of discovery, and now it is my generation that has to implement ways of undoing the damage that has been done and in effect, set limits to what our minds can do. Stem cells, can be likened to weapons. They can be used to not only help mankind, but to hurt it. Cloning can only lead to disaster, and gene therapies have, and will continue to be controversial. Reversing the environmental impact of development is also a challenge, but one I feel we can surpass (given adequate research funds from the government).

At the end of the day, I’d like to think there is no problem too big for man-kind. Of course, things I hope for, hardly ever come true and I fear that jealousy, greed, and narcissism will inevitably be the future problems of the world as opposed to the minuscule problems of science.

Where am I going?

I suppose the question in the title can be answered by knowing where I want to end up.

You’ll have to forgive me for not posting in several days. I spent the weekend in none other than:


I was surprised at how much I liked Bloomington. It’s a great college town with an eclectic mix of restaurants, people, and research in chemistry. The guy I wanted to work for IS really as neat in person as he is on paper and hopefully I can contact him in the next week or so (after my next visit weekend) and let him know that I wish to jump on board. The city is absolutely gorgeous in the spring and rightfully has the name ‘Bloomington.’ They actually have flowers. The flowers grow. Did I mention they have grass… that is green?


The campus has a rich history and the new lab facilities are absolutely incredible and far surpass those here in Texas. While it is a small town, I feel that will probably be in my own best interest…. less distractions from research. I hope to make some great new friends and I think IU will be where I end up.


I am happy.

-P

Another brilliant weekend

This past weekend was simply stunning. I spent the morning on Saturday at the Austin Farmers market:


The rest of Saturday was spent grading reports and knitting followed by a trip to north Austin to sign up for the Cap 10K race. Much to my dismay, the race for timed runners was closed (since I waited till the last day), so I ended up going to the Domain and went window shopping.

I ended up not signing up for the 10K since I wasn’t about to pay $30 for an untimed run and an ugly t-shirt. Instead, I woke up early on Sunday, ran 10K around the lake, and then spent the afternoon hanging out at Andy and Brendan’s house. Andy decided to hatch/adopt some chickadees so I got to visit with them…

After hanging out we decided we’d go out for dinner and a movie. We ended up seeing I Love You Man. It was a funny movie. I have officially capped out my 3 movie/year max. I guess the final installment of Harry Potter will have to wait until it comes out on DVD.

After that, we ended up going out to dinner at the Oasis. The views from the restaurant were spectacular and watching the sunset was relaxing and took my mind off of things. I now feel like I’ve ‘done’ Austin. If I had to leave tomorrow and not come back, that would be okay. That’s a good feeling.

Such bliss.

I guess that’s all for now. I have a ton of publications to sift through today and training stuff I better get to.

-P