January 12th, 2007

tools, brains, computers

in LA

I [foolishly] forgot my wifi card so my laptop was essentially useless when I got to LA. (today i'm plugged in, in a side room, to post a little note). The talks have been very interesting, and I feel like I've gotten some good ideas -- both for my own research and for trying to talk some junior students into working on, or passing on to faculty in our comp-ling program.

I wound up sharing a hotel room with another student -- originally I had my own, due to last minute booking, but one the other two student boys from our lab has laryngitis and the healthy one opted to stay with me rather than risk catching whatever he has.

The whole trip has been a series of last-minute contingency scrambles: switching plans to get to the airport; unsureness about whether the Advisor was coming at all; delayed flights out of Seattle before dawn in the snow and de-icing; swapping around the meeting plans here because we were late; the hotel losing my reservation ("you cancelled this reservation," she said. "No I didn't," I said, "I promise."); at checkout, our keys stopped working (even with bags still in the room), etcetera.

I really like the feeling of this research group -- they seem very un-stressed-out by their work, despite the high-stakes feeling I get from doing very similar work at my lab. I'd consider working here, though I am not a huge fan of Los Angeles itself.

It's been nice to occasionally exchange text messages with boobirdsfly, who's extremely busy in Seattle while I'm down here. She's so great, and I love her so much.