Sunday, February 04, 2007

oh please, please, please...

i'm watching the superbowl this afternoon, not for the football, and not really for the commercials either.

i watch because i'm praying that the media fest that engulfs the event will be the perfect time to announce that apple and apple are finally going to be friends, that the beatle's music will finally be available on itunes, and that i'll finally be able to pre-order my brand new beatles-themed ipod tomorrow.

oh, sweet merciful lucky stars, let that day be today.

Friday, February 02, 2007

work SUCKS

i've talked a lot about work, right? i work for a very nice (but a little crazy) professor named dr. ghosh with two other students, elliot and dan. we're working on a mobile-reverse-osmosis-produced-water-recycler-unit thing. that basically means we have this enclosed trailer that we converted into a "water filtration lab" (ha), with pumps and pipes and magic membranes that filter out the bad stuff.

well, our design isn't working. it's not doing what we want it to do. and even if it did, it won't work with the contamination level of the water we're supposed to be cleaning. it's physically impossible. and even if it wasn't (by some serious miracle), it's not economically feasible. it costs less just to use some other water source than to filter it with out fancy (impossible, not working) technology. it's kind of fun to pretend that we're impacting the water shortage problem in new mexico, but the truth of the matter is this project is going nowhere. we just have to keep up pretenses for funding purposes.

despite all that, it's not altogether un-enjoyable to work with the system, run tests, take it apart, and try to fix the problems. we're running into issues we never thought of (some of which really should have been pretty obvious), but instead of being frustrating, it's kind of... fun. right now the thing isn't working, and we're isolating certain parts of the system to find the problem. it's kind of like a puzzle. it's cool.

i even like hanging out with my co-workers, which is especially nice after working with the likes of nat and ryan (especially ryan). but elliot and dan are funny and i like them, even if they do make fun of me for going home on the weekends and being a bellydancer.

but that all changed today. SIGH.

the other part of our job is trying to look good for the big-wigs that are giving us all our money. last week we spent a lot of time putting together this monster presentation for dr. ghosh to take to his reverse osmosis conference in california. he got back last night, and today we had a meeting about all the things the california people think we should do. dr. ghosh likes lists and outlines, so gave each of us a personalized to-do list for the next two and a half months.

dan's going to keep working on the system, troubleshooting the problems and basically doing the fun stuff. elliot is going to be taking trips to hobbs and albuquerque to take water samples and buy parts and check out equipment. also, pretty cool.

i, in my firmly-established role of "report and presentation girl," am going to read about seven books and four papers, summarize each of them, and write a report about the history of produced water processing. yeah. and if that's not enough, i am also supposed to become an expert about the potash mining universe in order to write an extensive summary for eveybody else.

this is so lame! i'm partially regretting being a TC minor now that dan and elliot get to keep doing the fun stuff and i have to go read a big ol book. potash mining is totally boring. it also has little or nothing to do with our project, even if it was going to work. and the history of produced water processing? give me a break.

the worst part of this is that i have to motivate myself to get it done and i can work on it whenever and wherever i want. i could conceivably put this off for several weeks and then try to bust it out in a few days. i'm already undisciplined enough about my homework, and it's fairly interesting.

not only that, but my homework actually makes a difference to my life! i get grades and knowledge that i'm actually going to use, whereas this stuff may or may not pertain to a project that is doomed three times over.

why did i have to be all snooty and get my TC minor and become report girl? report girl has no fun.