Peace and prosperity and a bit of fun

Yeah, so, I’m at work on a Saturday. Which is quite alright, because this means I have Internet, and can catch up on my site/news reading. Oh, and maybe publish a book review or two, since I finished The Once and Future King a week ago and the first Harry Potter book last night. I’m also a significant chunk into DeLillo’s Underworld and the second Harry Potter book. Looks like this is going to be a moderately decent summer in terms of book reading.

Dr. M returned on Thursday and gave us real work to do. I’ve been analyzing the organic carbon and nitrogen content of several samples Jenn used in a solubility enhancement study to help her wrap things up. Jenn’s been running samples on the UV/VIS Spectrophotometer to verify the accuracy of the machine Dr. M used in Alaska. Data shall be switched, and numbers crunched by opposite parties. I’ve got a couple more things to do for this Antartica project (what I’m writing the program for), then I get to start on the semiconductors project. I’m excited, but I have so much to learn.

Since I haven’t been working in the main lab these past few days, things have calmed down a lot for me. I basically just sit in a room in the graduate studies/research building and run the samples through the TOC while I crunch the numbers from the previous samples and get the files ready to send over to Jenn. So my days have been nice and quiet and fairly non-stressful.

During my run on Thursday, I had a bit of a breakthrough. Now, for all my walking and running this past year, I still can’t run fast or far at all. I’ve been stagnant in running ability since February or March, in fact, but I’ve been chugging along anyway, occasionally pushing, but not trying to hurt myself. I figured that at some point, I’d break past the barrier, even if it took months. And Thursday, I did. I’m still not running fast or far, but it’s further than I’ve ever run in my life in a single stint. I just need to be able to reproduce that stint the next time I run, and keep on that until I break through again.

But that may be a minute, since I woke up this morning with a wonderfully painful and liquid cough, right out of my chest. Which means no running until that moves elsewhere. Why couldn’t I have just gotten a head-cold?

For a bit of a break from the monotony of work, I went out with Bob and some of the guys he works with on Wednesday night. We saw Spiderman 2, which I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s funny, but after hearing Bob geek about directing techniques and other filmish things, I can’t help but notice them when I see movies now.

Then we all went to Mogger’s, a place Dr. McKnuckleberry swears by as being just wonderful. I thought it was just a dirty little bar with shitty service, myself. They weren’t checking ID’s, either, because ye olde sophomore next to me got a big ass glass of Guinness with no problem. I had a water while the guys worked their way through a couple (or more) beers each. Bob got this raspberry something-or-other beer that he liked a lot, and he suggested I taste it, since he said it tasted a lot like raspberries. Ew. Raspberries my ass. It tasted just like alcohol. Beer taste aside, it was that same taste that’s in wine coolers and wine and fermented pineapples (don’t ask) that makes alcoholic beverages untasty. Maybe I’m wrong, but the one element they all have in common is alcohol.

But it was hella fun hanging with those guys. Once I got settled in and started remembering names, I relaxed and got fun and giggly. They all relaxed as well, which was probably aided at least somewhat by the beer. It’s nice to hang with some folks who don’t just sit and stare at you like you belong in a zoo when you’re laughing so hard you can’t stop… because they’re laughing with you. Although I must say, Bob’s embarrassed and murmured rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Hey Hey What Can I Do” to Glass Halo drummer David Evans’s acoustic guitar deserved more than a passing giggle. He even imitated Robert Plant’s shrieking singing in parts.

That was my social fun for the week. Now I’m going to park my ass and do work all weekend, finishing this program and learning how to get error on an exponential decay coefficient. I wonder if math will always be my weak link, because it certainly has been in working with Dr. M.