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Getting rid of some books, let me know if you want them... )
It's more convenient if I see you in person occasionally (or at least show up in your city sometimes, but if you are not local and want something I can deal with the post office also.
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[livejournal.com profile] lorimt, [livejournal.com profile] memnus, and I will be at the Escondido Ren Faire tomorrow whenever we all feel like heading out the door (probably 10-ish). Heading back sometime in the afternoon (when we're tired or I've run out of things to spin, whichever comes first).
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For those who don't read [livejournal.com profile] news: Livejournal is no longer permitting the creation of basic level accounts. Existing accounts will keep the option.

This was first announced in the comments section of a different news post, and was spun as streamlining the registration process (since three options are so much more confusing than two). This is a remarkably shortsighted business decision that goes against users' expectations for the way the site should run, and not announcing a change this big and then justifying it with the argument that the users are too stupid to know what's good for them (and that it doesn't need announcing because it only applies to new users--no existing user would ever want to make a second account, right?) makes me even less happy. LJ lost me as even a potential paying customer a year or so ago, and now I'm definitely considering moving elsewhere.

Tasty!

Dec. 8th, 2007 08:36 pm
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In the spirit of the food-posts, here is some of my quasi-recent delicious stuff:

Stuffed pumpkin )
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I am currently in San Diego (living in North Park, working in La Jolla not far from UCSD), working for Johnson & Johnson as a research assistant and doing medicinal chemistry. The job is fun so far--I'm on a methodology side project while I learn my way around the lab (which will probably lead to a paper, whee). Then I will start making a whole bunch of compounds for biologists to test. I like my coworkers and I'm not the only new person; we got another PhD this week. I've committed to stay for at least two years. If it is still going well I will start thinking about the good-job-where-I-don't-want-to-live balance. At that point I may also have some clue about where I want to be long-term.

I have a nice 1-bedroom apartment, not enough furniture, and two cats! They are rescue cats, are about 3 months old, and are adorable. They currently need names. Up for consideration are:
  • Strange and Charm (the one that woke me up at 7 by batting at my head and gnawing on my ear would be Strange)
  • Funball and Pixie
  • Some combination of Greek gods (The extended family's naming scheme; I've been working through Bullfinch's for fun recently)
  • Something Arthurian that doesn't imply too much doom [or does; Lancelot and Mordred, anyone?]
  • Hobbes (for the orange tabby) [and Schrodinger]

I will need to get a car soon, since the insurance for me will run out on my mother's. I'm thinking of a Fit. It's not that much more expensive than used cars I'd be thinking of getting (5-year old Camry or Civic, probably), gets great gas mileage, and is like a (very) mini-station wagon in feel.

Brian was here a week or two ago, and I'll be visiting him in a week or three. Maybe long distance gets more fun when there's less time left to do it?

If anyone wants contact info, feel free to email me (quartzpebble at gmail). My phone is still my cell.

Happy Fourth to everyone. Here's hoping the country can turn itself around. (Damn Bush. How the fuck does he think that he can get away with all this? How has he?)
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Not much here. Break is in one week. Brian arrives in two. In three I go to the ACS meeting in Chicago. In four there's the new-old proctor dinner. If I keep counting, I'll get to thesis and then graduation. Really, not that much right now.

News!

Feb. 7th, 2007 02:46 pm
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I have a job offer! It's with Johnson and Johnson PRD, doing medicinal chemistry down in San Diego (La Jolla, specifically). It seems pretty decent, as far as offers go, and there are much worse places to live than San Diego (though part of me would like to see what it's like outside of CA). I'm still a little shellshocked (and generally tired) so it hasn't quite sunk in yet, but definitely good news. They want to hear back a week from today; I may ask for more time, though I'm certain I won't get any more offers before J&J will want to know for sure. I'm still trying to decode the various paperwork and agreements and policies they sent.

In other news, I'm still around. I have entirely too much stuff to do this weekend (not surprising), but Brian is visiting (an entirely welcome not-surprise). I've finally gotten myself to Prof. Sparks' sewing group and am making a bag for dance shoes. Social dance class is going very well, speaking of. I also need to get home to pick up my SS card (whee paperwork) but once I do I will actually get paid for the carbons tutoring (people are coming very consistently--I really hope the department picks up that this is a good thing).
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A lot has happened in the last, oh, month or so, and I don't feel like writing in any depth at the moment.

I went home for Christmas, which was weird for various reasons. I went to Utah for a week or so at the end of break and did very little (though I met new people and was (briefly) part of the wackiest game of Illuminati I've seen) but said more than I'd quite expected. I got to see about the right amount of snow. I came back, was at the proctor retreat, and found that I'm more than ready to graduate. On Thursday I had an on-site interview with Johnson and Johnson (La Jolla) and liked what I saw there. People seem happy and enthusiastic, and I could definitely do worse than spend a few years there. I also applied for a few positions at Amgen, which would be in Cambridge (MA) or SF (CA), and a few others who haven't gotten back to me at all. Now I get to re-group and figure out what work I've neglected in the last few days. I went down to the church today to chat with our new priest. She's somewhat older than my mother, I think, and I enjoyed talking with her. She's interested in the intersection of science and theology, which is also neat.

In general, it feels like things are changing a good deal right now, and like it's the right time for them. I'm thinking about settling down, and it's not utterly terrifying. I'm thinking about starting my own household, and looking forward to it. I'm actively trying to join the Working World (TM) and I don't feel like an impostor in my Interview Suit (TM). I'm thinking about leaving Mudd, and I'm so ready to be gone. Not to leave the people, necessarily, but to leave the school itself. The thought that this is the last time I'll be doing everything this semester is more comforting than frightening.

Through all of this, my hair has been varying degrees of short and fuzzy (I got clippers for Christmas!). It's shorter than it's ever been right now, and will probably get even shorter (probably nonexistent) once all of my classes have met. Pictures are coming... well, when I get not-lazy. Or decide to procrastinate by figuring out how to upload stuff to Odin, which is more likely.
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Yep, update. )
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List! )
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On Monday I returned from a visit home for my brother's graduation. That was all right--a high school graduation, done quite prettily despite lacking much substance. It was somewhat strange answering teachers' "So, what do you plan to do when you graduate?" with "I don't know."

The best part of the visit was all the people I got to see: family, a variety of friends, and Brian, who was fortunately in Long Beach for an archery tournament. Food, cuddling, and conversations were had, and it was good.

Travel woes )

Currently, I'm still enjoying the kitchen--made delicious french toast for supper tonight after making split pea soup last night.

In general, I'm doing all right. From my utter relief to have gone back and seen friends, I suspect I'm not quite social enough for my own sanity (it's hard with new people). The universe seems to be conspiring to keep me from getting out contra dancing, since the dance this weekend also overlaps with WVW. (Not that I'm complaining too much about that one, mind.) Instigating social stuff, like perhaps starting a showing of Firefly, also might help.

Research is all right. Soon I'll have a midsummer report to write (sadly, probably should start that one during WVW... part of taking the Monday off). I'm getting started on another project which may involve Shiny Instruments rather shortly, if I can show that I'm actually making a Reactive Species (TM). My advisor reminds me of my old journalism teacher, in some ways. He can be very intimidating (especially in group meetings) but I think is deliberately trying to be encouraging with me.

It's odd to be going off again already. I'm very much looking forward to WVW and the various people there, though.

Speaking of traveling, my end-of-summer plans are currently in flux. Not in Fluxx, though that would be neat too. (Rocket to the moon!) This may, unfortunately, involve dealing with customer service.

Since I'm back reading this summer, any book recommendations would be welcome. Fiction will probably get read more quickly; interesting nonfiction will probably be read somewhat more slowly. The library here is wonderful. The introduction we got to the chemistry resources, and the way that they're so well organized, makes me wish that the Mudd chem department did that. Would have made a number of things easier.

Off to the library now.
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We got (unofficial) chemistry department t-shirts today. Since I didn't want one that said "Need Money for Beer Research" I got the snarky one (much funnier, anyhow):

Physical Chemistry
The grand attempt to apply y=mx+b to everything in the universe

Organic Chemistry
The practice of transmuting vile, toxic substances into publications

Analytical Chemistry
The fine art of letting the machine figure it out for you

Inorganic Chemistry
The syphoning off of NSF grant money for research that will never be useful. Ever.

Biochemistry
An exercise in making buffer, after buffer, after buffer, after buffer...

Combinatorial Chemistry
The process of making a million useless compounds when one would suffice

Chemical Engineering
Doing for actual profit what other chemists just do for fun

I'm amused.

Classes

Jan. 23rd, 2006 09:13 pm
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So, classes so far:

Instrumental, with lab. So far, it's been E&M, Stems, and chemical instrumentation rolled up into one big blob of... something. Looks like it may well continue to be something, despite VR teaching it. There are also webquizzes. I suspect I'll like analytical from him, but I'm not sure about this class. The lab also has out-of-lab writeups.

Inorganic, with lab. From VH, which makes it good so far. A good chunk of the lab seems synthesis-focused to some degree, which I like. (Pretty colors, too.) The lab work is restricted to lab time, though lab time can run over. I suspect I'll have fun. He told us that he chose our book "because of the pretty colored pictures." And didn't seem to be joking.

Anth 3: Language, Culture, and Society. From Prof. Strauss at Pitzer. It focuses on sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, and has been quite interesting so far. It seems like the class would flow better if it were two and not three days a week, but her lectures are fairly engaging, the amount of reading is reasonable, and the material seems like fun.

Shakespeare. We've already read two plays, which feels ridiculously fast. Looks like fun, despite the huge class size.

Geochem. So far, p-chem but without any of the rigor (as in, not using activities for Keq and being sloppy with units). Interesting examples, and looks like it will be more interesting once the class gets into geology.

I found out this morning that I can be off the waitlist and into Science and Religion, co-taught by Olson and Su and the canonical Hum Class That Makes Me Win--on-campus seminar IE, quite possibly in my concentration. The downside is that it overlaps with geochem and that it *is* a seminar, so I would be left with two nontrivial chem classes, two labs, and three nontrivial hum courses. I also need to decide before 2:30 tomorrow, the next meeting.

My schedule certainly is strange--roughly 9-5 MWF, 11-noon and (potentially) 2:45-5:30 Tuesday, and nothing Thursday. I'd forgotten how draining lab can be.

In other news, I should get my proctor app in and I should finalize my list of REUs. Really not much else going on besides getting used to being back here. I suspect that I'll be more than ready to leave by the end of next year.
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Today was long. The message was vague on whether I had to report for jury duty, so I showed up at 8 AM anyway (not like I was doing anything else). Nothing happened--after a few hours working on a puzzle they had, they announced that the only trial scheduled for that day was canceled, and we all went home.

I discovered that hair dye a) does work to dye sheepskin, if you want to dye it some hair-color and b) takes forever to work through the fleece and takes forever to rinse out. Eesh. Edit: And ends up smelling sort of funny.

Napped for the afternoon, then went contra dancing. I'd forgotten how much fun it is; good music, good people, a lot of energy. It's also nice that unbalanced gender ratios don't really matter in it. I may take a carful of people a few times next semester. I met a grad student at UCLA who seemed very nice, and a Pomona professor (who dances very well apparently teaches Russian lit, of all things). The drive home was interesting in that special "I'm exhausted" way. My legs will probably complain tomorrow. I'm also hungry but have no energy to go make food.

I haven't gotten much done that I was supposed to be doing, but I have gotten quite a lot done on a project or so that I wanted to work on. Eh. I suppose I can take most (half-ish, I guess) of the weekend for cleaning house and seeing about making the room I currently inhabit moderately livable.

There's a huge quarter-moon in the west. Pretty.
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Arrived home Sunday afternoon with Ray and my brother--my mom stayed in Georgia to help my grandfather move out. It's good being back and having the house more or less to myself. It's also nice to have uninterrupted access to a kitchen and to eat what I want, when I want. (Especially after the massive quantities of food produced to feed 12 people for a week.) I'm still a bit jetlagged, but am fixing that and sleeping a lot. I've been remembering fewer dreams since I got back. There's enough to do that I'm not crazy from boredom but little enough that it still feels like vacation.

I'm on call for jury duty through the end of this week. I've been told not to report today or tomorrow, so I'm more or less waiting around. I started looking for summer research opportunities, but aside from the NSF-REU main page, I'm not really sure where to start. I know I don't want to stay at Mudd and most likely don't want to stay in the LA area for the summer. There does seem to be a lot out there--I'm just not sure where to start looking for something that fits.

Ray wanted to take advantage of the mall's closeness before heading back to Santa Cruz. As a result of that and Christmas money, I now have tall boots, amazingly enough with nice round toes (not pointy, not square). I'd been wanting ones like them for a while.

Anyway, home is being good for me. There's also a kettle here and some very nice Earl Grey from my grandparents'.
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Funball was last night and was a lot of fun. I took the chance to dress up a bit (because I clearly haven't had enough of that this weekend with LTG Friday, Funball yesterday, and Mad Feast tonight). The organizing and directing people in setup and takedown went surprisingly well, with many frosh helping out. (This is, of course, a step in my plans of Making Someone Else Do It Next Time.)

And the party was good, this time. The music was dancy without rehashing too much of last year's playlist (thanks, [livejournal.com profile] mackenzie!), the frosh were froshy, the cotton candy was tasty, and even with the organizing, it was less stressful and more fun than the last one. Missed a lot of last year's seniors, though. I also got to watch [livejournal.com profile] memnus dance, which I always enjoy. (Also discovered that I really should take some sort of formal dance class, on the theory that practicing not crashing into someone will help with that.) A bunch of Northies swiped the rose back--expected but mildly obnoxious to happen in the middle of everything.

I'm not ready for the semester to be over. Synthesis for o-chem, 8-10 page paper for religious studies, final project for Middle English (mostly recording bits of Chaucer), Abstract final (not so stressed since it's pass-fail, though I'm not liking rings so much), bio final (whee, almost done with core), and p-chem (I think one assignment plus final, which I'm almost looking forward to since I'm twisted that way). Oof. And less than two weeks.

I think laundry magnets may happen over break. I also may head to see various Colorado folk over break. And I also got selected for jury duty over break.

Have been going to a collection of churches with Matthew and Sarah and may have found a comfortable one--actually, the one across the street from Dan's old apartment. It's in walking distance, too.

Things going generally ok.

Created [livejournal.com profile] muabiowridimo05, on the same theory as [livejournal.com profile] muabiowridimo but which would theoretically gather a different set of people who know each other. I'm not sure how much time for writing/introspection I'll have in the next few weeks, so it may actually happen more over break, but I liked the idea when I saw it the first time and I'd like to give something like that a go. It's too easy to ignore time for thought around here.

Now, to actually work.
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Because I was bored:
Silly me-doll )

Memage.

Nov. 6th, 2005 08:26 am
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"If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don't speak often, please post a comment with a memory of you and me. It can be anything you want, either good or bad.

When you're finished, post these instructions on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people remember about you."

From most Mudders on my friendspage, at this point, but first from [livejournal.com profile] bennj.
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Take the MIT Weblog Surveyq
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Target: Frosh Physics lab

Wimpification status: Complete.

Hee.

That is to say that we have successfully removed the evil miasma of Kaleidagraph through liberal application of various approximations. You fight fire with fire. Or something like that.

That is really to say that we're maybe doing a curve fit to find the period of a spring's oscillation. Maybe. With little to no error analysis. Because it's to convey the ideas of spectroscopy, not rigorously study the applicability of Hooke's Law.

And you know what that means? Yes, Kaleidagraph. That means I don't need you. Or your "singular coefficient matrix."

So not sorry.
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