Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I just watched American Idol, and then sort of left the tv on a relatively okay show while I decided what to do with the rest of my evening. Not really paying attention, I heard a song from the tv that brought me back to the living room of our old house in Armonk, with its rose-colored carpet and wooden coffee table that Andrew drew on the underside of, which we used to run mini-laps around while listening to some Brazilian music that my dad had on CD. One of those songs (an instrumental one) just played during the tv show, and now I wish I could remember the artist! I searched "Brazil" on iTunes and came up with a bunch of familiar songs, like Umabarauma and Sonho Meu and So Quero Um Xodo, and I have no idea what any of those mean but we used to listen to them on repeat when we were kids. Mmm, I love the samba and bossa nova. I got into Stan Getz big time in high school, and to this day he's still my favorito on the saxophone.

Anyway, today was a mildly frustrating day, and it's hard to explain why. I guess I started with a frustrating trip to the Student Activities Office, to follow up on the processing of a hockey reimbursement check that is taking like 4 weeks to process. Every time I come in there, the lady just looks through all her folders and just gets like one step further in the sequence of steps required to just void and reissue this check! Stop making excuses and just do it already! I'm tired of coming over there to ask about this one stupid check!

Later on, I ran into my advisor in the lab, which is usually a good thing because he gives me a lot of helpful info. But sometimes it's frustrating because it's such a large quantity of info, and sometimes he brushes over the basics, such as WHY we want to use this analog meter, or WHY we're building this circuit, or WHAT is his point, so I must have this confused look on my face which causes him to start explaining how op-amps work, which I luckily know by now. Anyway, it's some kind of communication barrier that just makes me feel stupid sometimes, like I'm lagging behind him, both physically and intellectually, with a furrowed brow of inadequacy. In some cases, I prefer to just figure out how these things work on my own, so that I really understand what's going on, instead of trying to record everything he says on the tape-recorder of my short-term memory (which is faulty at best) and then struggling to understand his take on the situation. Bah.

So the task that followed from figuring out what circuit I had to build was to solder a bunch of surface mount components on a printed circuit board. I used to think soldering was fun, but in today's battle of Anjuli Vs. Soldering Iron, I was definitely the loser. I don't even want to go into details, but suffice to say that it's like precisely placing individual glitter particles on miniscule glue droplets with my gorilla fingers. >:( Yarr.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

homemade crepes and other fruits

It's totally raining outside. Of course it starts raining right on Friday morning and will continue through the weekend. Because we just can't be granted good weather on our days off. If this is some kind of challenge to strengthen our characters towards tolerance of gloomy weather, I sure hope it's working.

James and I made crepes this morning - so delicious! They're so easy to make, too. The recipe was supposed to make 9 crepes but somehow we only got four out of it. Our fillings were combinations of sugar, fresh strawberries, nutella, and jam. So delicious. Somehow, food that you cook yourself is like 100 times more tasty than food you buy. Maybe it's because you saw where it came from and watched it develop into a scrumptious bite. You get to taste the fruits of your labor both literally and figuratively. I also enjoy making non-edible things by hand, and it's endlessly satisfying. I wish I had more time to spend on crafting!

Things are slowly coming along with research. I sort of have three separate tracks in my project, which is nice because when one thing is not working out, I can work on the other two. But sometimes it gets overwhelming, like after group meeting when I have a list of suggestions and things to do, and I furrow my brow to organize it into an ordered list of tasks. Since I don't want to be a grad student forever, it is better to have a long to-do list than a blank one.