Saturday, May 13, 2006

A day in LA

Some times the days here are very full. They are full in a different kind of way that they are full in Greece, especially Athens. In Athens I felt I was doing stuff but it was an illusion: at the end I had spent more time trying to get somewhere or do something in preparation, rather than actual activities. At the end of the day I felt full, but in reality I hadn't done many things; I had just spent my time trying to.

In LA it is different. Some days, like today, I get to do many things. Part of the reason is that universities here a vastly more lively community; it's not just classes and exams. It is about life. The weather helps, and the people try to take advantage of it. The things I am about to describe do not correspond to a typical day, which is somewhat boring. Today is one of the days that are exciting.

I woke up at 10am. I went to my office in school just to find a FedEx envelope on my desk. It was the media bank, the gadget for unloading pictures from my camera! I couldn't resist trying it so I run back home and got my camera and my old laptop hard drive. I went back to the office and assembled everything, and I quickly realized that the device has only ONE button (other than the power on switch). You stick the memory stick in, press the button, and it copies the pictures on the hard drive. Then I hooked it up through USB2 to my PC: everything was there. Mission:Accomplished, and now I won't have to worry for storage in our trip.

Right about when I was starting to do research, Dimitris called: "Free food in front of EEB!" Indeed, it was graduation day, the whole campus is a big party and they served lunch for the EE graduates and their guests. When all 3 students in my office got there, I met for the first time Belma's (Erdem's (my labmate) housemate) sister, brother and mother who had all come from Turkey. Stavros and Zafeiropoulos also came after my immediatte call to them, and we all had a great time.

I went back to the office and did some work. I realized it there was nothing wrong with my matlab code, it has to do with the input I give it. Still, how do I get the right input to feed? As I said to Stavros earlier, Katsouleas doesn't know either (that's the beauty of PhD), he just makes suggestions here and there.

Around 4pm I left Erdem sleeping on the floor (we desperately need a couch in our room!)
and went to the graduation ceremony. The PhDs were there (marios, akis, dimitris). We all went to the nearby Starbucks for a coffee. We discussed a lot of things, but I was troubled with my research issue. Hence the followign picture:

I went back home, changed, and then headed for the tennis stadium for a match with Erdem at 6pm. I hadn't played tennis for over a year, and I realized that I very very quickly remembered. We spent about 1 hour playing.

I went back home, checked some online stuff and then around 10pm I started watching TV. First, Numb3rs, the special math tv show. Then there was a documentary on world's top 10 beaches, during which Rajay was struggling to teach me the phonetic difference between beach and bitch. For the record, Mykonos was one of them!

The day finished with Jay Leno and Tom Hanks. He gave a great interview at his show, probably the best interview I've seen on Jay Leno! If you have fast internet, go to mininova and download today's show (May 12) when it comes out, it was just pure fun.

Now I am blogging, and then I will continue my nightly ritual my playing Myst. Goodnight, and Goodluck.