Tag Archive for 'once'

“Falling Slowly” Wins!

Excellent! Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova won an Oscar for their song “Falling Slowly” from the film Once. Now if only Marketa had had a chance to say a single word…

ETA: Mar got her words in after all! Jon Stewart had her come back out on stage. It’s all on YouTube, naturally.

No Rest For The Weary

Work life has been rough for me recently. I spent most of last week trying to diagnose my ill workstation, only to find late on Wednesday that the problem seemed to be a corrupt SolidWorks file that had managed to destabilize the entire OS. I couldn’t even get a virus scan complete in safe mode. Eventually, I was able to delete the problem file and then all those troubles disappeared. I set the data I’d been taking on Friday when the problems started to process overnight.

Now, on Wednesday, I’d awakened with hearing problems that I assumed were caused by my ears being congested. One of the side effects of this was that it was physically painful for me to be near constant droning noises like electronics and fans. Guess what you find in wind tunnel labs?

So when I woke up with the same problem on Thursday while, at the same time, feeling less well overall, I decided that after I went to pick up the recently processed data, I would make a visit to health services. I ended up spending half of my day there, getting diagnosed with the early stages of a middle ear infection (in both ears!), and loading up on drugs and antibiotics. By this point, I was feeling feverish, but my advisor really wanted that data, so I slogged through all the data analysis I could think of in my debilitated state, and went up to report it. I could say more on that, but I’ll refrain and instead say that, having planned to leave early since I was sick, I didn’t get to leave campus until 4:45.

On Friday, I got an e-mail from my advisor asking me, by Tuesday, for a “schematic drawing” of the multiple camera assembly on which I’ve been working. Well, all of that existed in my head, sure, but I hadn’t had the time (broken computer! data taking!) to get things drafted in SolidWorks (which broke the computer!). My Friday afternoon was spent desperately attempting a) learn SolidWorks and b) model all the components of the multi-camera sled. I went in on Satuday, and, after some eight hours of work to get one screenshot of everything put together, I send an e-mail with the picture and ask if this is alright, and, if not, please get back to me so that I can fix it. I got a reply late Sunday night: thanks, but no. I wanted X and Y and Z and A and B, too!

Cue the freaking out. How am I supposed to model all these things in SolidWorks by Tuesday when I have classes today? Screw it, I decided. It was time to put my mad Photoshop skillz to use. I had about an hour before my first class, so I rushed into the work. About forty-five minutes in, Photoshop erased all of my work. The office was filled with the sound of my cursing. I redid as much of it as possible, rushed away to class, and spent an hour desperately trying to keep up with a TA who erased things she put on the board immediately after finishing her sentence. Then I returned to my desk and ate lunch while continuing to work in Photoshop.

On top of that, I read the lab manual for my first optics experiment. Now, this is an undergraduate-level physics course, but I’ve never had any significant amount of optics before, and it’s been five years since the subject’s even been touched. Moreover, it’s a course that meets for six hours of lab and one hour of lecture every week. Overkill, anyone? Steph and I arrive to find that we are two of four students, so there’s no chance of hiding behind others, and, naturally, the professor decides to ask me the first question. It doesn’t take very long at all for me to fumble things completely, at which point I tried to excuse myself by explaining exactly how little optics and waves I’ve studied and just how long ago that was.

My first task was to do an equipment inventory. Fine. I had a list, and it wasn’t too tough to figure out what half the optics equipment was. But then I got lovely visits from the professor, who wanted me to do things like show him how I could figure out what the focal lengths of the lens were and determine which of these damn things was a quarter-wave plate. For reference, I’d never heard of circularly polarized light, let alone a quarter-wave plate before this afternoon. We finally got through the theory of what-the-hell-is-this, and, of course, he then wanted me to set up polarizers and the quarter-wave plate with the laser so that I could verify that it was, in fact, one of these mythical quarter-wave plate things. Thankfully, they left me alone for long enough that I could start setting up the optics and put together the photo sensor so that I could measure intensities properly. At one point the professor came back in and watched me work for a minute, then said, “You are very precise. That is excellent!” I got a similar compliment from the TA when I was doing the first part of my experiment–he noted that I was very particular about my safety precautions and alignments. I laughed and told him that I’m an experimentalist–I may not know much about optics, but I can handle setting up experiments and doing them properly. So, in the end, I guess that came out okay.

Then it was back to my office for a quick meeting with my advisor (two minutes? maybe?) and another hour or so of working on that Photoshop picture.

I got home to discover that my toilet was clogged by my roommate for the second time in less than 24 hours.

The only real bright spot in my day? Receiving the Once soundtrack, the new Josh Ritter album, and a Josh Ritter EP from Amazon.

I can has weekend now? Please?

Once News

In substantially happier news than malfunctioning electronics, I just learned that Once, starring Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (and their music), won the World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival. I’ve been reading rave reviews from all over throughout the festival but winning an award is even more exciting! I’m really hoping that the U.S. distribution is large enough that we can at least get it here in Ithaca at Cinemapolis or at Cornell Cinema. Fingers crossed!