Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Damn it feels good to be a grad student

PAYDAY!! Whoop thaaa raaa (thats my slur of "whoop there it is"). Besides being stuck in 1992 as my post today has proven, I am also soooo happy to have made bank. This is my first pay check in awhile and crap, I just realized something. Like as I was typing I realized something that sucks. I was all stoked cause my pay was huge! But I realized that it includes my last month of pay from the Lupus Center so I won't be getting this much every month. Eh well, at least this month looks good.

I want to take this time to let you guys know what I do everyday that you don't see me. I am really proud of the work I have been doing and I'd like to share:

Class 1 - Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering
This class can be defined as the area under the hard as hell curve. But I'm still going, falling behind I promise you, but moving just the same. Fun fact about this class: Dr. Federspiel took us all out for an end of the month happy hour to Hem's where the beers were on him. Fun right? Oh yea and guess what else? Thanks to a Miller Light promotion, Dr. Fed's bottomless generosity, and Craig's skeezy way of including himself in the party - BOTH Craig and I were selected from a raffle, individually, and left the bar with $600 total to go on a spring break trip. Look out, JAMAICA!!!!

Class 2 - Cardiovascular System Dynamics and Modeling
This class is the definition of bioengineering and I absolutely love it. All of our assignments have been intense programming and modeling of the cardiovascular system as an electrical circuit (makes me wanna get a tattoo real bad). I want to show you my code but an anonymous reader has told me that was lame.... Oh well, EFF them:

OOOHHhh, check out that human input impedance spectra. Doesn't seeeeem impressive BUT I had to perform fourier transforms into the frequency domain and then convert back to time domain for analysis. If you don't know what I am saying, you're cool, stay that way ;-)

Now there's a sexy plot! The clinical curve is real human arterial pressure data... the dumber looking bottom curve is what I did! Haha, it's actually good though, since that curve was modeled after a circuit composed of only 2 resistors and a capacitor arranged in parallel. Who's laughing now?! Hmm, no one is, good point, let's change the subject...

Lastly, is my TA class. How I love people who are just learning MATLAB... so frustrated, so hateful, if only they knew MATLAB is the language of technical computing. No really, it is, look here. It's fun.

So I don't ride the 54C to school anymore since my lab has a parking lot. This means I don't get my daily fix of Pittsburgh's best characters. When a door closes, however, a window always opens -- my gym is a gold mine of weirdos! I won't elaborate now but trust me, sweaty, middle-aged nurses and business women make for great talking points ;-)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kanye West, Ph.D.

So I am back in the grant writing phase, ladies and gentlemen. This means Mama needs money and she's gonna sell herself to get it. This is all in the realm of science, of course, which adds an element of sexiness, I think. I am appliyng for a rather large research grant called the Graduate Research Fellowship sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF). If granted, I will have my entire PhD paid for. Umm... Cha Ching. Last year I applied and got honorable mention, so I am optimistic since I have improved my merit rankings and research findings since then. I hate these essays though, I'll tell ya what. It's very hard to write catchy ideas that attract and hold a reader's attention.... oh wait - I do that every time I blog! Oh I'm just playing, I don't love myself THAT much ;-)

This is what I have brainstormed so far for my personal statement:

A wise man once preached, "Everything I'm not made me everything I am." I feel that Mr. West (aka. Kan the Louis Vuitton Don) was really onto something when he released this pearl of wisdom. We'll never make it through life as candy-coated sucka-ass bitches, instead, we must rise up like Yung Hove and set an example for the world.

That's all I have so far, I have to figure out a way to tie that into cardiovascular disease.

Oh that's enough playing around for now... you kids run off and have some fun, Mama has to get back to work.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Calling it Quits

Whoever said, "Haste Makes Waste" was obviously not a Scrabble player...

I had the most heart wrenching experience today playing Scrabulous. Thinking of my blog 24/7, I decided to document this event from start to finish to allow my readers to live vicariously through the following screen shots:

Figure 1. Ohhh, hmm... perhaps I'll have a chance at the elusive, "QUIXOTIC"

Figure 2. Oh my god, it can happen, it can actually happen! I just need a U on the board...

Figure 3. Waiting for it, waiting for it... Take note of the score differential as well as my sad attempt to apologize via chat.

Figure 4. After passing about 7 times, I finally get a U and it's in a bullshit place. What do you think I do?? Do I keep waiting?? Or do I....

Figure 5. QUIT!

Alfred Butts must be turning in his grave. The dream was over. If you're wondering why I want quixotic so bad, it's that the MINIMUM i could get would be 76 points! Not to mention that it was the first BINGO ever, obtained originally by Mrs. Alfred Butts.

Thanks for journeying through defeat with me. Next time you sit to play any derivative of Scrabble, remember this:

Anyone can play a 76 point word, but only assholes QUIT...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Tow Jam

Yesterday sucked. In every possible way. Yet I sustained a fantastic mood throughout the day. I love when I do that.

I brought my Netflix with me to mail and left them in my lab which I didn't return to until 2 so missed a damn day with no flix.

I got to my first class late and made a racket getting to my seat.

After class I printed a 231 page document on the color printer in the bioengineering lab which is uber unallowed.

I went to hole punch about 70 of these pages at once and encountered my first jam of the day. This wasn't your typical, "Oh silly me" kind of jam, oh no, this thing was clenched. And I wouldn't give a damn except that my only options were 1)fix this thing or 2)throw away the stupid hole punch and reprint pages 1-70. Well anyone who knows Eric, the nazi of B63, knows #2 was absolutely not an option. At first I went at this punch thinking, ok, this is no biggie I just need to release the punchers and free the paper. Jesus Christ, people, I had to dismantle the whole thing. 15 screws, a busted spring, and myriad small paper circles later, I had released my document. What a waste of time...

Next I go to return my library books that I find out are 8 days overdue. Total = $3.70. Bite me.

I return to my vehicle to find 2nd jam of the day. My key no longer feels like it has a place in my ignition, I guess. I jiggle and jaggle and jerk and twirk but nothing, not a damn thing. And I really don't have time for this. I have to tutor stupid ass freshmen how to multiply [1 2 3] by [1;2;3]. So luckily, my shining knight is studying at Hillman and comes to relieve me from the jerking and twirking. He couldn't fix it either.

I fainted in class cause all I ate was a bowl of Italian Wedding Soup for lunch and went to the gym for a long time. Luckily this happens to me all the time, so I pretended I was tying my ballerina flat and put my head between my legs till I came to.

8:30 - My TA class is over, I return to the car, and still nothing. I guess it's AAA time. I call, they promise me an hour at most. I ring em back after an hour twenty and they say, "Sorry, babe, give it 30 more" Now this sucks, I haven't been home, Craig cooked a dinner I can't eat, and I'm just so sad.

I go to get a snack at 7-11 and see the lovely Lauren Anglestein! We chat, she lifts my spirits and as I am checking out, I get the AAA call! I was too excited, I didn't even complete the transaction, I just ran out of there after throwing my Cheez-Its at the cashier.

Ole Danny Boy from AAA fixed up the car... Guess how - BY JERKING AND TWIRKING! What does he have that I don't have?!

I'll never know. But at least I got home and didn't have to call a tow truck and wait another hour for that. Oh man, what a day.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Friday, September 5, 2008

~ Sinusoids ~

I realize it has been awhile since I updated my blog, but my readers should note that summer Jamie Neutron and fall Jamie Neutron are very different isotopes...

I'm swamped...

But in the most fantastic way! I absolutely love where I am going with graduate school. My classes are damn near impossible, but I am so intrigued by the subject matter and, to my surprise, I am getting it! I'm taking Cell Biology, Cardiovascular System Dynamics and Remodeling, and Mathematical Models in Chemical Engineering. All of my professors are world renown and they are so unbelivably good at lecturing. I wish I could speak like they do :-/

Also, it is so good to research again. Getting down and dirty, knee deep in Matlab code...it's where I belong. Yesterday was weird though. I wrote code to plot 2 constituve equations that measure the amount of strain energy on mouse small renal arteries against each other to see if using one model over another would make any big difference. I didn't expect that it would since one model derived from another but my result was weird as hell. I got a sinusoid!!?! Jigga what?! Take a look:

God damn sinusoids...

I have a lab meeting today at 11, hopefully a more advanced mind can interpolate what this little magic carpet even means.

I had dinner with MickyHane last night. She's so cute, we had fun. But, quite honestly, when I was visiting her dorm, I started to pine for days gone by. How freaking amazing was freshmen year?? I feel like an old fart, but really, college was the best. I walked into her dorm room and the TV was on while her roomie was doing homework, there was a laundry drying rack in the middle of the room, pictures from high school all over the wall, and random people popping their heads in the door to say hey. That experience was like nothing else, I want it back...

Alssooooo, Craig and I went to Myrtle Beach last weekend. It was perfect, such a great time: Beers on the beach, all you can eat meat buffet (this has nothing to do with the fact that I was staying with 4 guys), lounging by the pool, road trip with Matt, and MY MORNING JACKET! Take note, readers, this band is going to explode, they are by far the best live act out there and their energy is only out beat by their amazing music! I'm on my work PC, but when I get home, I'll upload the footage I took at the concert, unbelievable.

So this isn't quirky and silly like my other posts but I really feel different these days. I'm getting really serious about school and I am excited to do big things this year...

Let's still get drunk tonight, though.

My YouTube Playlist of the Minute