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"Everybody sees what you appear to be, but few feel what you are."

Machiavelli,
The Prince

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003
Behold the glory of a silicon wafer. Here is a picture of one of the orifices that I use for my research. It was taken using the 40x microscope magnification and I added the dimensions (in microns) of the major and minor axes for reference. The diameter of a human hair is around 100 microns so these orifices are pretty small. And that's why they cause so much trouble.

Posted at 11:08 AM, 0 Comments

Tuesday, August 26, 2003
"The Two Towers" is mine! The theatrical release version, that is. The extended version is going on my Christmas list. You can never have too much Lord of the Rings.
Posted at 1:40 PM, 0 Comments

Monday, August 25, 2003
At this point I'm pretty much on my own. Caesar submitted the first draft of his Master's thesis last Monday and now he's gone to Hong Kong for two weeks. I knew eventually I'd be left alone on this research project, but I didn't think it would happen so abruptly. This fall, in addition to taking a combustion class (taught by one of my advisors) and working on my research, I will probably be assigned as the TA for the undergraduate aircraft propulsion course. Let's hope the curse gives me a break.
Posted at 4:31 PM, 0 Comments

Sunday, August 24, 2003
After having the tickets in my possession for nine months, Dan and I finally saw "The Producers" last night. And it was fabulous. I am already planning to spend a significant amount of money at Best Buy on Tuesday, but after seeing the show I am compelled to add the Broadway soundtrack to the list. Jason Alexander and Martin Short were incredibly funny. So funny, in fact, that they made each other laugh. I'll have to elaborate in a diary entry.
Posted at 11:33 PM, 0 Comments

Saturday, August 23, 2003
Last week I found out that Meghan and Danny, two of my dearest friends, recently got engaged. And if that wasn't exciting enough, Meghan asked me to be a bridesmaid in their wedding. This is beyond good news. Not only is the event going to be fantastic, but I've never been a bridesmaid before and I'm really looking forward to it. I've been waiting for this wedding a long time.
Posted at 7:54 PM, 0 Comments

Thursday, August 21, 2003
Although I wouldn't call today successful, it was certainly more so than yesterday. And with that little bit of encouragement I face the fact that I have to be back in the lab in twelve hours.
Posted at 7:16 PM, 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 20, 2003
I wish I had good things to say about my research project, but that's just not the case. Now that I've conquered rusty tank valves and microfabrication it's time for something else to go wrong. The most recent problem is keeping the orifices in one piece. Granted, the silicon wafers are very fragile, but they are shattering no matter how careful I am. This is extremely frustrating. Days like today make me feel awful. And so the curse continues.
Posted at 5:06 PM, 0 Comments

Sunday, August 17, 2003
Yesterday was just one giant attempt to avoid thinking about my research project. And it worked until about 9 PM. As for today, I am currently in my office and getting ready to go to the lab. Hopefully not for long, though. This isn't what weekends are for.
Posted at 3:43 PM, 0 Comments

Saturday, August 16, 2003
While taking my clothes out of the dryer this afternoon I discovered that I had washed thirteen t-shirts and thirteen pairs of underwear. (To go with my thirteen pairs of jeans?) I thought it was only one week's worth of laundry, but considering those numbers let's hope it was more. Otherwise I have been wearing more than one outfit a day without noticing. Is my weekend interesting or what?
Posted at 9:41 PM, 0 Comments

Thursday, August 14, 2003
I've decided it's not my research project that's cursed, it's me. Yesterday a wafer I have been processing for two weeks was destroyed in the DRIE machine. And today I utterly failed in an attempt to gather some reasonable experimental data. I was hoping to continue the recent trend of pleasant research group meetings, but it's not looking good this week.
Posted at 8:46 PM, 0 Comments

Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Recent events (including new apartment furnishings, new additions to my wardrobe, and new catalogs) have caused me to write some additional spending rules and revise some of the old ones I laid out in May. These are a bit temporary and will no longer be applicable in a few weeks, but I know they will still be effective. I have only broken one of the old rules.
1) No more buying clothes until I go to Tallahassee (August 29)
2) No more buying jeans until I wear the ones I own (as per last Thursday's post)
3) No spending more than $200 on my apartment until my next paycheck (August 30)
4) No more buying CDs until the release of Hilary Duff's album (August 26)
5) No more buying videos unless they are outrageously cheap (i.e., from Wal-Mart)
6) No more buying soda, Reeces Pieces, etc. until I get back from Tallahassee (September 4)
Posted at 9:48 PM, 0 Comments

Thursday, August 07, 2003
After spending ten hours in the lab today something finally went right. It only took a month, but I produced twenty-seven new micromanufactured orifices for my research project. This happened after the silicon wafer got stuck in the DRIE machine for an hour and a half this morning, but I was still immensely proud of the results. Yesterday's reasons for hating my research are still valid (and I added a new one today), but now that I've actually accomplished something they seem less important. You'd never think a silicon wafer could be that influential.
Posted at 6:12 PM, 0 Comments

In an effort to convince myself that I don't need any new clothes I wrote down all the pairs of jeans I own. I was surprised to discover that the grand total is thirteen. (Is that unlucky?) And that's not including my favorite pair that's falling apart. I'm becoming like a certain old roommate of mine that owned more than twenty pairs of blue jeans. I also discovered that with all of those decent pairs, what did I wear today? The falling apart ones.
Posted at 10:18 AM, 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 06, 2003
My research project is cursed! I know I've speculated that this was the case for some time, but now I am thoroughly convinced. Here's a list the things that went wrong today. (It's also a list of reasons that Caesar and I are going to get yelled at on Friday at our group meeting.)
1) The DRIE machine was acting up again
2) Obtaining dry ice for the low temperature experiments was way too difficult
3) The 55-gallon drum of acetone was empty
4) Decent experimental results were nowhere to be found
Posted at 10:04 PM, 0 Comments

Monday, August 04, 2003
Since I had the morning free I went to Ikea and I bought a bookshelf. It's hardly large enough to hold all of my textbooks and it's taken the space of my floor lamp, but at least I finally have another place for books. Now I have more space for novels, but my school notebooks and binders had to go in the closet to make that possible. And, of course, this new furniture addition has caused me to question the layout of my entire apartment. Maybe I just need some new lamps.
Posted at 8:18 PM, 0 Comments

Sunday, August 03, 2003
I got the new Ikea catalog in my newspaper this morning and I've already picked out several items that would be perfect in my apartment. One of them being a bookshelf I've needed since last quarter. That's the only piece of furniture I can definitely afford to spend any money on, though. The others are optional, considering my graduate student salary. And the stuff I liked in my recently aquired Pottery Barn catalog is definitely optional, considering the store's inflated prices.
Posted at 10:38 PM, 0 Comments

Saturday, August 02, 2003
So far it's been a good weekend. To start off, I didn't get yelled at yesterday at my research group meeting. Then today I got up early, went shopping, and watched the new X-Men: Evolution episode. Now I need to clean my apartment because Dan's coming over later. At least I only have a small space to clean. I can't afford anything bigger in this neighborhood.
Posted at 1:46 PM, 0 Comments

Friday, August 01, 2003
Written on my Palm Pilot while killing time in the Nanolab:
"I ran into a cheerleading squad shopping at the UCLA store this morning. They were buying whole Bruin wardrobes while all I wanted was a t-shirt. LA's climate is too warm to only own a sweatshirt from your graduate school. And why should I be the only college-aged person not advertising for my school?"
Posted at 12:16 AM, 0 Comments

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