Thursday, July 18, 2013

Break from lab thanks to a chemical spill

I am currently sitting outside in the shade while people discuss science and papers because there was a TEMED spill in lab. TEMED is used when making SDS Page gels because it polymerizes acrylamide, and one usually uses about 5uL (or less) per gel. It is extremely smelly and apparently corrosive to tissues, as I just learned (not from experience, fortunately).

The sun is very hot here but it's always cool under the shade because there's not much humidity and the temperature itself isn't too high. The grass is of the bright green shade that I like, and there's actually more grass than weeds. There is a giant tree that provides the shade and a nice breeze. I usually don't get much break during the day, so this mandatory break is quite enjoyable.

I haven't been up to much in the last several weeks. My usual day consists of getting up, going to work, getting overly expensive lunch from the cafes on campus, working more (until late usually), coming back home, eating dinner, and falling asleep to TV. It doesn't sound like a bad life, but I always complain about it because long work days are very physically exhausting.

On the weekends, I do more fun things. I've so far gone ice skating, been to the beach at Santa Monica, visited Hollywood, gone out to get yummy Japanese food in Little Tokyo, spent a hot afternoon riding different kinds of roller coasters, gone shopping at a mall, and gone shopping in Old Pasadena. Oh, by the way, when I say I visited Hollywood, I mean that we spent a total of 2 hours on the metro (LA metro is rather sad), spent 1 hour shopping at the gigantic Sephora store where I even got a complimentary massage to get the 'full hollywood experience', and 1 hour actually walking around and being touristy. Yes, a good portion of my summer has been about glamor and giving into my shallow desires and buying clothes and makeup. Well, most of my friends here are very well dressed and my best friend here is an amazing makeup artist, so I guess I've been learning to enjoy these activities as well. Besides lab, it's been an amazing summer with lots of great people. When I first got here, people told me that because Caltech is so small, everyone knows each other here. I didn't believe them at first but now I do, because I feel like I know way more people than I could have ever imagined.

I think they're almost done cleaning up, so I'm going to end with some pictures. I'm going out to dinner with some friends tomorrow for restaurant week, so I'll take more pictures then for the next post.

ice skating! 

in front of the Chinese theatre where all the hand/foot prints are

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