Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

So I waited until it was actually new year before posting. I didn't want to make new year's resolutions while I'm still in the previous year. New year is too often a time for reflections on the past year and renewed vigor towards the current one. In one sentence, 2007 wasn't a bad one for me - one full of new things, one full of ups and downs, but overall not bad. 2008, however, I'm determined to make much better.

Okay, I don't like resolutions because they're like a set goal that I can't really achieve. So I'll say it this way: I will be determined to make progress. 2008 will = progress in these areas (as always, in no particular order):

1. Lose weight. I'm aiming to lose about 15-25 lbs in 4-5 months and then maintaining that new weight. To do this, I will go to the gym at least, but hopefully more than, 3 times a week.

2. Get a relationship. Start dating, progress a friendship "to the next level," something. Almost anything.

3. Get into med school. This is perhaps the big one. This means I can't afford to mess up my interview in 22 days.

4. Get straight-A's for this semester. I know it's possible, I've done it (once) before.

5. Finish my goddamn research project. It's been not working and a pain in my ass for over 2 years now.

6. Take a chance with new things, or something. Branch out, explore, etc.

7. Get to know some fellow bloggers in a way more than just what I read on the blogs. If you're reading this, feel free to contact me before I attempt to contact you!

8. Learn to cook new things.

9. Take off a mask or two. So far I've blogged mostly about the masks I wear, if it's something personal. It's about time I reveal a face or two behind these cracked things.

10. Come out to more people. Even if this mean 1-2 people, it's still progress.

Well, those are the big ones. There are smaller ones to the side, but these will be the ones that'll take precedence. Well, it's now 2008 and I'll be graduating after this semester. Wow, where has the time gone?!

Anyway, as if it hasn't been said enough, Happy New Year everyone!!

So I've added two more blogs to the list. They are:

Midwest Ben
MSTP Bound

Check them out if you haven't by now.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mask of the Artist

I have always loved art. I love creative expression in all its forms. As I've probably said before, creative expression such as art or music can bring out a person's soul, even if they never intend to. I've always been considered good at art, and there is some latent talent there that I haven't (and probably never will) tap into. Now I'm not good at all art forms (I don't think any one person can be), as I have my own particular styles and tendencies. For example, I suck at calligraphy with a brush. I do envy those Chinese people who make the Chinese language into art, because I can't do it.

In any case, I've always loved to draw. Although what I draw almost never comes out how I imagine it in my head, the end result is usually acceptable (to me). When I wear this Mask of the Artist, time seems to disappear. I can bend over a piece of paper for minutes and even hours at a time as the world passes me by. This isn't so good when I'm in a lecture. There's something about drawing that's so compelling, so captivating, so . . . personal.

Anyway, I'm what could be considered a "pencil artist." My chosen utensil is the pencil, mainly because I don't have access to other media such as paint or oils, and I don't know how to create art with Photoshop or any other programs. So I've taken to the pencil. I do wish, however, I had some "formal training" with pencils and shading, rather than just figuring it out. As a consequence, most of my art exists currently as "line art" without shading or coloring. I do hope, however, to come back to them one day and color them.

Last Vigil

As the last of its kind, this ice dragon looks to the setting horizon as the age of dragons comes to an end.

Kurotaka Makoto

This is me being a dork. He is me as a shinigami captain if I were a character in the anime Bleach. His sword (zanpakuto) is called "Hakage," which means "Under the shadow of leaves." Ask me for more details if you're curious. XD

A Dark Past

My friend, JS-M, asked me to draw him a dark warrior with a dark past. He looks half-shinobi, haha. I used his initials to create a "seal" or symbol to represent him.

Ice Mage

I offered to draw my friend JW-M an ice mage. I think the reason for this was because we both felt the mages in WoW (World of Warcraft) look less and less like actual mages, rather than mages wearing heavy armor. The more powerful armor sets looked stupid, and this is a "return to an original" concept.

So here are 4 examples of my "typical" art. Yeah, I do like to draw fantasy. Sci-fi is cool too. I wish I had some of my older landscape art, but I wonder what happened to them . . . Recently I've drawn very little. It makes me a little sad.

If you want, you can "commission" something from me, haha. Just let me know what you'd want me to draw for you and I'll do it and post it on this blog when I'm done. But you must be very specific on what you want, otherwise "artistic license" takes control. And as a word of warning, how fast I finish a drawing depends on many factors - such as classes. So it might be done in a few days, or it could be months (or never). Anyway, you're free to ask and pester me about it. You all know how to contact me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I had debated somewhat about posting this, as it's sort-of-not-really graphic, but oh so awkward and embarrassing.

Let's see, I couldn't fall asleep the night before last (Christmas night). Don't know why but whatever. So I had trouble sleeping the whole night, though I must've slipped in and out of consciousness because it didn't feel like 5+ hours had gone by.

So I got fed up. I was also getting really warm under the blankets and covers (all 4 layers of them). So I pulled off the layers, took off my clothes, and just laid on my bed naked. Then proceeded to masturbate. It was good. By the time I finished, I had cooled off a bit and was ready to put my clothes on again, pull the blankets and covers over me, and finally get some sleep.

It must've been around 6am or something because I heard my mom get ready for work. Also, I had turned on the lamp next to my bed and that light seeps out the door frame. I should also mention there are like no locks on any of the doors inside my house except on the bathrooms. And of course I laid in my post-masturbation glow or something too long. I hear my mom move near my door and I scrambled to at least cover myself with my clothes, even if I couldn't put them on in time.

The door cracks open a tiny bit, a weird noise escapes my mouth, and it shuts just as fast. Probably no longer than a second. But that second was tense. Also, one can see almost my entire room through just opening the door a crack. But my mom never mentioned anything later that day (yesterday) so I guess she must've closed the door faster than she saw anything, though she might've suspected.

That was close. Too close. Had she opened the door a minute or two earlier she would've caught me at the, uh, height of everything. That would've been much worse. Needless to say, I didn't sleep after that. Blah.

I need to get out of the house again and back in my apartment, where my roommate's gone like 85% of the time. I hope you were entertained by this oh so awkward and embarrassing moment.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Season's Greetings

This could be the most underwhelming Christmas ever, haha. Usually nothing special happens on Christmas at my house anyway, but it is relaxing, and that's something. We don't generally buy/exchange gifts (anymore) but that's okay, my brothers and I seldom ask for anything anyway. Sometimes we'll ask for a "collective gift," one that all 3 of us want and will share - usually it's something quite expensive.

We kind of "celebrate" Christmas because everyone else does. It has, unfortunately, become something of a token holiday in some respects. It's perfectly fine without gifts (don't shoot me) and just a time to be at home with family (and/or friends). And even non-Christians can probably acknowledge that Jesus Christ is an important enough a figure to warrant one day a year in honor of him.

In any case, I've been feeling like a hermit the last couple days. So, I created an AIM screen name as well as a account for this blog. They're both in the sidebar to the right. So, IM/email me and say "Hi!" Or to chat and whatnot. It'll be good to get to know some of you guys reading this.

Lastly, as if this hasn't been said enough, happy holidays and merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Mask of the Writer

Why do I write? Why do I like to write? Why am I writing here? Ah, the questions I think I haven't answered before. It is, actually, somewhat strange for me to write a blog. But I am also simultaneously maintaining a LiveJournal account as well, though it's been in a state of semi-neglect lately (probably due to this blog). But I'm jumping ahead, first back to the beginning.

The Mask of the Writer is an old one. Truth be told, I used to hate writing. English was my worst subject in elementary and middle school. I wasn't bad in that I didn't get A's, because I did, but it was my worst because I wasn't able to capture its nuances. I was particularly bad at grammar - caused me much grief. But my 11th grade English teacher was amazing. Of course she was, she held a law degree. She taught us the essay - my chosen style of writing. With it I was able to analyze text and support arguments in my papers with sufficient evidence. And we had to be careful not to take things out of context. Finally, I had a way to discover, analyze, and play with the nuances of the English language. If I had the inclination, I would probably choose pre-law instead of pre-med owing to my writing style. But I don't have that inclination, so whatever.

Every time I write something substantial donning this Mask, it comes out at least essay-like. It tends to have a particular structure and form, with particular details of support and order. Granted, writing in a blog/journal is still free-form in ways an essay cannot be. Anyway, pardon me if things sound too rigid and formed - it's just how I write.

Now, in my sophomore year of college I opened a free LiveJournal account that I still post on from time to time. It was mostly somewhere I could rant and vent, as well as comment on my friends' LiveJournal accounts. I stuck to mostly "my day" things - things that generally weren't very private/personal. And of course, I started this blog where my identity is, as far as I know, still anonymous, something that's become more precious than I'd thought.

But why do I write? It serves many purposes. The most apparent one is to record my thoughts and events so that I may come back to it. Memory is an imperfect thing, and writing is one way of ingraining that memory elsewhere, to be revisited later. Through this, I am able to go back and read my old posts - which I do from time to time - and see exactly how I've changed. The changes are subtle, I admit. I don't think I'm one of those people who drastically change from one year to the next, etc. It's a slow progression with me, I think. And writing lets me see and follow that on a timescale that makes sense.

Another reason is rather morbid. But writing leaves some trace of my being behind. Who knows if I am to die today, or tomorrow, or the day after. There's always that uncertainty and I'm occasionally reminded of it. For example, a person I know who went to Cal Tech just died a few days ago. He was 20, and he wasn't feeling well. About half an hour later he had a heart attack and died, even though he was promptly rushed to the hospital. Just like that, with no prior health condition, with no warning, sudden death by a heart attack. How does that happen?! Why do things like that happen?! It's scary to even think about. And so I write - to remind myself that I was alive, that I am still alive. It's like leaving a part of me with whoever reads this.

But why write this, and why here? What do I hope to achieve? I don't know if I have a good answer to that. A part of it is to organize my thoughts, to clear the debris in my mind and help me focus. A part of it is to help me figure myself out: who/what I am, where I've been, where I stand, where I'm heading, and where I may want to go. All are ambiguous questions that aren't easily answered, because again, who knows what tomorrow brings.

I write here, on this blog, also as way of telling me to not hide that hidden part of me. And perhaps readers stumbling across this might be touched (I doubt it?), who knows. Here a part of me lives behind several masks, only the eyes and voices showing. And at the end of this, I hope to take off those masks one by one. And at the end of this, I hope to see me, strange as that sounds. But perhaps there are many "me," I don't know but I intend on finding out eventually.

As always, you're welcome to read, support/criticize, and comment as you please. I don't offend that easily. Soon though, I might create an email and AIM screen name just for this blog. So when I do, don't hesitate to say "hi" and such!

Okay, I've fully read and caught up on several blogs. They have been added to the sidebar and are as follows:

Falling off a log
Figuring Myself Out
Minding the Heart
Naughty Confucius

So yeah, check them out if you haven't already!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Semester in Summary

Oh man it's been a long and rather eventful semester. So much has happened, and yet so little; some of it good, some of it bad; but where to begin? Where indeed. Well, in no particular order (it's almost never in any particular order) . . .

Firsts: This has been a semester of firsts. You'd think that by your senior year of undergrad things are pretty much set-in-stone. But no. I started a blog and "came out" to the internet (which is kind of creepy thinking about it). I came out to myself, I guess. I came out to a friend. And this is only a small part of many other "firsts." Yet still, I hate the term "coming out." It feels . . . dirty somehow.

Classes: Miserable. I had 2 I liked (of which one I loved), 1 I tolerated, and 2 I hated with a passion. Usually, there's at most 1 I hate, and the rest I like or tolerate. Not one of my best semesters in terms of liking my classes, but definitely not my worst semester grade-wise. 3 A's and 1 B, and 1 still to go (probably some kind of a B). I am glad, for the most part, that this semester is over. I shall now sit here and await my last semester of undergrad, and fully embrace the courses I've chosen.

Friends: As I've said, I came out to SR-F. That was nerve-wracking. But it's good to see nothing has changed. It's kind of eerie how nothing's changed between us - no increase in bond, no decrease, just "business as usual," or so it seems. Friendships elsewhere have somewhat deepened. I haven't been this close to JW-M since freshman year when he was my roommate. I really should come out to him . . . soon. And hopefully next week I'll get together with my old friend, JR-M, who I haven't seen in person in over a year. This is unacceptable. It's strange to think that after this semester, we're all going to be scattered across the US (or world). Again, just like right after high school. Sigh.

Travels: I've been to more places this semester than all other semesters combined, I think. I went to Canada for RZ-F's birthday, "up north" for SR-F's birthday, and to New York for a med school interview. All were interesting and exciting experiences. I rather like to travel, I just don't have the opportunity to do so very often. So it's very refreshing when I do.

Sexuality: I'm coming to terms with it, still working on that. To say I'm straight is a lie. To say I'm gay is also probably a lie. To say I'm bisexual doesn't feel quite accurate, but it's the best I've got. To say I now know my sexuality is a misnomer, as there's still a bit of confusion left. There are days I swing back and forth, days where both attractions coexist, but I don't know. I know I "swing" mostly towards guys, but never to the total exclusion of women. And even as I type this, it feels somehow fake - as if it's not my words but someone else's. What a weird feeling.

Body: Well, at least I haven't gained weight this semester, which is alright. I've been running and lifting, so a significant proportion of my fat has been replaced by muscle, that's for sure. I no longer feel out-of-place in the weight room as I can actually bench and lift a respectable amount now. Some of the guys in there though, are WAY too buff, and it's kind of disgusting. I'm more comfortable with my body, but to say I'm happy with it would be a lie. I still need to lose lots of weight. I wish I had a high metabolism, stupid genes. >.<

Orchestra: It's been a love-hate relationship this semester. I liked the music we've played, I like the people I sit near, I love playing my instrument, but it doesn't feel "unified" somehow. An orchestra is suppose to have this strange synergistic feeling, where each of the sections feeds off of and fuels the others. The cello and bass sections support the strings, allowing the violins to play out. Meanwhile, the violas blend in and fill in the gaps. The brass accent loud and grandiose parts, whereas the woodwinds join the violins in the lofty melodies. And while as an ensemble we sounded good, I didn't feel it. As a single cellist, I am but a cell of an organ of a body that is the orchestra. But that said, String Orchestra has been an amazing experience. While we don't sound solid yet, the ensemble is more readily there. And it feels like everyone's playing their roles, if not the correct notes.

Other/Final Thoughts: Well, there are many other things I could write about, but they're "conveniently" not coming to mind. Hmm. But, I'm sad to say sexy ES-M won't be in my Chinese class next semester, as he couldn't sign up for my section. Alas. But, I'd like to say (and I think I've known this for a while), I can be seduced with sexy cello playing haha. I'm just drawn to the sound of that instrument (I've been listening to cello concertos for the last day or so). It's just such a sexy instrument! Okay, enough of that.

Happy holidays everyone! Even if you do/do not celebrate anything, it's the season and thoughts that really counts.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ah, Glorious Winter Break

All I have to say is, "About damn time!" It's been a LONG semester, one that actually felt long. Most semesters feel unnaturally short to me, as if time is really flying, as it were. Anyway, there's so much to say but to put it all in one post would be to make things quite schizophrenic and somewhat disjointed. So, I'll start here. This'll be "Part I."
Things to do this break (in no particular order):

1. Finish composing "Farewell" and maybe "Spring" (I'll probably change both titles).

2. Catch up on reading blogs I've bookmarked, and add them to the list. I would list the ones I'm reading here, but it'd be rude of me to do that and not put them on the list to the side if I didn't like said blog.

3. Work on my mini-course. I'm going to be teaching a mini-course with JW-M to 12 freshman next semester! It's on HIV/AIDS and government policies. It's going to be awesome - a little biology, a little poli-sci, a little for everyone concerned about this issue.

4. Clean out my e-mail inboxes. While I'm at it, I should clean out and delete some (or a lot) of my porn. They just take up valuable space on my laptop.

5. Watch several movies. In particular, I want to watch "The Golden Compass" and "I am Legend."

6. Make a snowman? Haven't made one in years because there hasn't been snow during this time of year in a while. The major snow was usually a "month late" in my opinion, coming in early/mid-January.

7. Prepare for another med school interview on January 23rd. Yay! Another one!! Here's hoping for more.

8. Draw. I haven't drawn anything in a while, but now I'll have time. To whoever wants, I'll draw "commissions." A bit on that later in a few days, just note that it could take me weeks to finish anything.

9. Determine bowings and fingerings for the cello parts of the pieces we're playing in String Orchestra.

10. Sleep! Get much more sleep!!
Okay, so my break isn't too exciting. I'm not going anywhere to escape the cold, but whatever. I finally have time to do things. They may be boring or tedious to some, but they need to be done. Part II coming soon!

It really bothers me when people say things like, "That's so gay" or "That's tight." The converse, "That's so straight" or "That's loose" are never said. I can never bring myself to say those words, and I just want to protest against these things, but I know the futility of that attempt. I got my brother to stop for a while, but alas, my long absence deteriorates the conditioning. I also avoid the word "bitch" as much as possible, unless I'm referring to someone who truly deserves that title (which is rare, because there are few people I dislike that much).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Any Indication of . . .

This post will be so incredibly nerdy . . . Anyway, the last few days I've been playing Starcraft: Brood Wars with my friends. When I told my med student host this he was like, "People still play that?!" Um, yeah we do! While playing, I noticed how different my "style" of playing was compared to theirs in general. So I have this theory: the kind of game(s) one plays, the character(s) one chooses, and the way one plays reflects something about that person's personality, or at least tendencies. Let's start . . .

I very rarely play first-person shooters, as I stick mostly to strategy games (like Starcraft) or RPGs (like Zelda games). I lack the speed and reflexes for first-person shooters. I'm too methodical, calculating, and cautious. I could perhaps be good at sniping, but that's my limit. For this reason, I tend to stay far away from shooters.

I like strategy games like Starcraft because I can plan out my moves to some extent. And I can coordinate my armies and groups. I'm not the best at micromanaging and I don't tend to memorize hot keys, so I'm definitely not the fastest player. And again, if it's a game of speed, I will almost certainly lose; but if I'm left alive for a significant amount of time, it can prove difficult to kill me (or at least, I'll make it as annoying and harassing as possible).

So here's where I differ. I tend to play very defensively. I either concentrate on building defenses before troops, or I completely ignore defenses and build lots of troops and have them stationed in/near my base(s). I don't build expansions very quickly either, though I'm a decent resource-gatherer. I like to build ranged and highly mobile units so they can go from point A to point B in a flash. I am usually useful in team games because I make good support for teammates. I can usually get some of my troops to defend my teammates or to support their armies, most of the time. If we're able to coordinate our troops, we can make a good combo.

In RPGs I like to play spellcasters or ranged characters. I don't like to get hit and I prefer not to be "up and personal" with my opponents. For example, let's take World of Warcraft (henceforth called "WoW") when I used to play it a couple years ago. My two primary characters were a hunter and the druid. The hunter was great because he was a ranged character who didn't rely heavily on mana, so he could just keep going provided he had enough arrows. In groups I was basically ranged support. I dealt damage to the primary target, but I also protected the spellcasters (particularly healers). However, I liked my druid much more.

Why? Because the druid could do a little of everything: he could be a great healer, he could be a great tank, and he could be a decent damage-dealer. The druid can fundamentally fulfill the role of whatever's lacking in a group - the ultimate support unit. I find that I really like to be a support person in a group. I'll volunteer to be the healer, the one everyone depends on to stay alive. Or I'll volunteer to be the tank, the one that takes all the damage so everyone else doesn't. While I only really like to tank for a good group, I prefer to be the healer/backup healer in pretty much any other group. By the way, most people hate healing in WoW, and I'm not sure why; I guess it takes a special person to enjoy healing others.

So the moral of this post is, I suppose, if games are any indications, I can be a cautious, methodical, defensive, and supportive person. Hmm, sometimes I wonder why I post such random (and trivial?) things.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Good and the Bad

First of all, thanks to W (Erik) of Whittle et al. for his good luck wishes on my New York Medical College (NYMC) interview. I had never been to NY, so it was pretty cool; but man, it's been a really long 3 days, and with every "good" there was an equal "bad." Let's see, I think I'll present it this way.
I had to get up at like before 7am to get to the airport to catch my flight. Thankfully, I had several hours down time between when I would arrive in NY and when my med student host was going to pick me up. However, my plane to LaGuardia Airport was delayed over an hour because there was a lot of air traffic at LaGuardia. So we all sat on the plane for over an hour longer, grrr.

I found the NY Airport Service bus that took me to Grand Central Station fairly easily, but it dropped me off at the "wrong" side of Grand Central. I walked into the subway section when I wanted the rail section, which was Metro-North across the street. I had to cross the street, and when I entered Grand Central, I was lost for like 20 minutes.

I eventually found the ticket person and bought my round-trip ticket. And I also eventually figured out the schedules for the trains. I still had 2-3 hours before peak time, before things got really crowded and expensive. I wandered Grand Central for a while, as there was quite a bit to see in there. There are quite a number of shops and such, as well as a "Dining Concourse" (aka, food court) on the lower level.

I arrived at my destination at 4:30pm-ish. My med student host wasn't going to be able to pick me up until around 6pm or so. But, he actually ended his preceptorship (doctor shadowing) early. So he picked me up around 5:30pm instead. Yay!
The Interview
Again I had to wake up early before 7am, ugh. I hate waking up that early, I could practically watch dawn come. The "continental breakfast" was really lacking when I reached the Administration Building. I did like how the med student campus apartments are like, 3 minutes away from that building and less than 5 minutes away from their classes. The apartments weren't bad either, somewhat better than mine right now, in fact.

The other med school applicants were rather intimidating to me. This one person worked for the NIH for 2 years, another worked for a health management company that manages health-related NGO non-profits. I think I was the only interviewee there who was at his first interview . . . some of the places other people already interviewed at include Harvard and Washington University. Sigh.

Regardless, I felt my interview went fairly well. It was a fairly relaxed atmosphere, very conversational, but her questions were unusually difficult to answer at times. But that's not to say I didn't have an answer, it just took me like 30 seconds to figure ways around to get her to clarify what she was asking.

We talked a bit about my non-science courses. I mentioned medical anthropology, which I loved, and how I read Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, a book about how Hmong people and Western doctors approach medicine. Apparently my interviewer was well acquainted with that book. I then mentioned how we also discussed Deaf culture, and she immediately piped up how she worked with Deaf people. Ahh! Then she asked me what I thought the future impact of cochlear implants on Deaf culture. This was difficult to answer, because I didn't really know. I said something to the effect of, "Well, Deaf culture is going against the minority. Hearing parents will want their Deaf children to get cochlear implants whereas Deaf parents will resist cochlear implants for their Deaf children." Apparently that was what she wanted me to say, or something like that. ::Sighs a breath of relief::

I then mentioned all the research I did in my undergrad between two different labs. She kept asking me how things worked and exactly what I was studying. Unfortunately, I had forgotten some of the background on the research I did, as I only really know what I did from day-to-day fairly well. It took me a minute or two to fish out enough info so that it didn't look like I had no idea what I was doing. That was a little scary on my part, but I think I did okay . . .

Logically, her next question was, "Why be a doctor? Why not research?" Well, I had prepared for this question for a while, so I had an answer. Same thing goes for her question, "Why NYMC?" I felt I did fairly well on those questions.

As we ended, it began to snow. I like snow, because in my Midwestern state, snow means it's not that cold, because below a certain temperature it doesn't snow. Apparently people in NY don't really know how to handle snow very well. Oh yeah, about 25% of the med students are from NY, about 20% are from CA, and the remaining 55% are from like 28 other states. And there were 3-4 CA applicants there. They felt it was freezing, lol. I thought it was relatively warm, compared to where I'm from (while I don't like the cold, this weather was tolerable). They also never saw snow before, so they were like, "Is that snow? Is it coming down fast? Or is this normal?" Needless, I was highly amused by their cluelessness.

The snow was nice, but it also caused NYMC to close down at noon, about 20 minutes after my interview ended. This caused our campus tour and lunch afterwards to be canceled. Gah! I ate some turkey bacon and eggs back at my host's apartment. I try to avoid bacon as much as possible, because it's so bad for the health. But I was starving, so whatever. I should note here that their apartment is very very clean, as far as guys' apartments go. Like, 5x cleaner than mine (not that mine's filthy, only that I'm pretty much the only one who actively cleans when I have the time - which isn't too often). Also their apartment is very "Asian," because 2 Asian guys and an Indian guy live there. Their 4th Caucasian roommate is almost never around, and I only saw him for about 10-20 minutes when I met him.
Leaving NYMC
By the time my med student host took me back to the train station, it began sleeting. That's SO much worse than snow because it's a lot more slippery. But I arrived at the train station alright, and took a fairly early train back to Grand Central.

At Grand Central, I had to find the NY Airport Service again to get back to LaGuardia. So I went to the tourism booth and asked the person there. She was like, "It's on 41st Street between Lexington and Park." I was like, okay . . . this shouldn't be too hard. I walked out of Grand Central, into the freezing rain. Ahh! So I promptly went back in, but not before getting quite wet. And I couldn't find this bus stop. I kept poking my head out of random Grand Central exits to see if I could see it anywhere, but I didn't. So I decided to walk the stretch of road right outside Grand Central and between Lexington and Park. I eventually found the NY Airport Service. Across the street. She should've told me that!
Leaving NY - Part I
Well, I thought it would take forever to get to LaGuardia due to the weather, but it didn't. And I had been frantically checking to see if my flight was canceled whenever I had internet connection. It hadn't been canceled, but by the time I arrived at the airport, it was canceled. Oh no!

I managed to get re-booked for a flight to Minneapolis/St. Paul, and take a connecting flight from there home. When I got to the gate, there were so many people there! Probably because everyone on my plane, which was a direct flight from LaGuardia home, was re-booked onto that one.

My parents suddenly/randomly called to tell me that I got an interview offer from Wayne State University and a rejection (from a hold originally) from George Washington University. I told them that I also just got an email from Albany saying I was on hold there. Grrr, indefinite hold is almost as good as a rejection.

Anyway, then this random Chinese woman goes up to me after I got off the phone and asks, "Can you speak Chinese?" I answered "Yes," and she started speaking to me in Chinese. Her English wasn't very good, and she wanted me to translate the constant stream of announcements for her, as well as to just have someone to talk to. Soon this other Chinese guy noticed I could speak Chinese, and asked for my help in translating as well. I actually helped him re-book his flight because he didn't know quite enough English to do it himself. Needless to say, I felt proud of myself for being so useful and helpful. Hurray bilingualism!! Now, to get 100% better at Spanish so I can be almost trilingual.

Well, my kindness wasn't well rewarded by the weather gods. The freezing rain had coated all the planes in a layer of ice, and the de-icing couldn't keep up with the rain. So every plane out of LaGuardia from NWA was canceled, except mine. It was delayed about 1.5 hours. I did manage to get about 2 hours of sleep on the plane to Minneapolis.

But because the plane was delayed for so long, all the connecting flights (except for Boise, ID) had already left. They had attempted to wait for us, but they weren't going to wait over 1.5 hours. Understandably.
Leaving NY - Part II
Well, when we got off the plane at Minneapolis/St. Paul, we were greeted with a counter with our re-booked tickets. Needless to say, many people were pissed. Since I didn't have enough money and with no credit card, I just spent the night in the airport. It was about 11pm by now, and my flight was at 6am. So even if I had managed to get to a hotel, I'd only spend like 4-5 hours there. Not worth the money.

Let me tell you, finding comfortable place to sleep in an airport is rather difficult. I first found a bench, and "slept" for about half an hour. But there were too many noises. Same thing with location 2. By now it was like 1am when I finally found a spot that was quiet and decently comfortable. But I suddenly woke up around 3am in a panic for whatever reason, and I couldn't go back to sleep.

So I went to my gate and just sat there. I dozed off for a little bit. Then this Asian woman walked up to me, sat across from me, and started talking to me. I was like, "Who are you??" She first thought I was Japanese, but I corrected her. Then she said she was Hmong. OMG!! Was this real?! I just met a Hmong!! It was like out of the book I had to read for medical anthropology! This was an anthropological experience.

I had to fight every urge to ask her random useless things about her culture. This wasn't too difficult to do because I was exhausted. I must've talked with her for 15-20 minutes. She mentioned how you shouldn't let any boss over you, and that you should be your own boss. And she recommended that I pursue chiropractics over medicine so I can set my own hours and be my own boss. Throughout all this, I thought, "This is SO part of your culture" (The Hmong people are fiercely independent and don't like to be told what to do, which is the source of a lot of conflict between their people and others). Anyway, that was an interesting encounter. Before she walked away, she said how people my age need boyfriends/girlfriends, otherwise we wouldn't feel human. Hmmm . . . I think she might be hinting at something to me.

By this time it was almost 5am, and I hadn't eaten anything really since about noon the previous day. So I had Subway in the airport, and returned to waiting. 6am came around, we boarded the plane, only to be told half an hour later that we had to get off due to some malfunction and that they were finding us another plane.

Well, half an hour later they did indeed find us a plane. And we were on our way home. I slept maybe an hour this time.
Once Home
Once I got back to the airport at home, my dad picked me up and directly drove me back to my university. I was meeting someone in the library to study for our final exam in evolution today (oh, did I mention that? Yeah . . .) at 11am. I left the airport at around 10:30am, got back to my apartment at 11am, and got to the library by 11:10am or so.

We studied for several hours, then went to eat something at 3pm before our final at 4pm. The final went alright, though if I had either a good night's sleep or an extra hour to study, I would've had a guaranteed A on it. As it stands, I probably got a really low A or a fairly high B on it. Oh well, it's over with.
So yeah, that was the last 3 days. Got about 5 hours of nonconsecutive sleep, if that. Was all over the place due to the weather. Had to take an exam almost as soon as I got back on campus. I don't feel quite as tired as I really should.

There were some good things . . . Staying with the med student was a really good experience. Witnessing the CA guys be all confused and such over snow was funny. Being useful to random Chinese people was something to be proud of. Meeting a Hmong was a rare opportunity (they're a really small Asian minority), and was akin to an anthropological excursion as far as I'm concerned. Oh yeah, and the actual interview went alright. Here's crossing my fingers for an acceptance email/letter in 10-12 weeks.

Anyway, everything else was just bad. I don't ever want to fly NWA (Northwest Airlines) again. Okay, sleep for many hours starting NOW. It also felt really really good to jerk off after 3 days of not having done so. Just one of those things you miss . . .

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Oh, the Dorkiness

As I was browsing my friends' facebook profiles, I came across the webcomic Piled Higher and Deeper. It's hilarious, I assure you, particularly for those of a more dorky/nerdy persuasion. Here are some of the classical highlights:

For the original link, go here:

For the original link, go here:

For the original link, go here:

The last one was actually printed and posted in the lab I worked at over the 4 summers.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Series of Amusing Events

Life's been rather boring lately. It's been the usual for this time of year - stressing out about papers and exams. On top of that, a med school interview for me next Thursday. Nevertheless, the passing days have their moments, and amusement ensues (maybe only in my mind, who knows).

Although this is a poor and rather uncreative thing to post for a 1000+ page view, it's the best I've got at the moment.
Sunday (12-2-07) was the Pops Orchestra concert. I did not want to be there, the weather was gross (rain and snow at the same time), I had too many papers due, etc. There was, however, one highlight to the concert.

During intermission, AW-F got this note from someone. This freshman's roommate gave the note to her. Right before intermission ended, she wanted to share the note with some of her friends in the cello section (AW-F plays the cello too). Well, of course the entire section became curious and before long, this poor freshman's note was made known to the entire section. If he knew/saw, he'd be terribly embarrassed.

Basically, he was trying to hit on her from afar. I don't blame him, AW-F is really really attractive and has that bubbly persona that makes you smile. The note said something to this effect (I'm paraphrasing from memory): "I think you're very cute and you're clearly really good at the cello. Do you want to go out for coffee or a date sometime? Here's my cell number: ###-###-####. LSA freshman, Jared."

After the concert, she was like "Maybe I will call him back, just to say 'no.' I do have to give him props though, he's got guts." Lol, was all I thought.
In Chinese today (12-4-07), we had this in-class writing assignment where we basically translated a page. That was moderately rough. And I'm generally a slow writer in both English and Chinese. ML-F was way ahead of me, but she kept forgetting a few characters here and there. I eventually almost caught up. Here was the verbal exchange:

ML-F: When did you catch up?!
Me: Umm, just now.
ML-F: Crap, I can't win . . .
Me: ::laughs:: Crap, now I can't write because I'm laughing!
ML-F: I won't let you win, I'm going to win.
Me: ::still laughing:: I'm almost caught up . . .
ML-F: I'm done! I win!!
. . .
After Chinese class, I was walking down the stairs, wearing my really big greenish coat.

Me: I have an aversion to wearing hoods with this coat. I look like an Eskimo in this coat.
ML-F: That's okay, we're Asian.

Honestly, I love the things that come out of her mouth. It's as random as the stuff that comes out of my mouth. She tried to convince me to write her Apocalypse paper for her, and that she would do anything I wanted . . . and by that she meant she would pay me . . . with food . . . or cookies rather.
There's this chocolate cake in my lab. I don't know what went into it, but I couldn't finish eating the slice I took. And it was a relatively small slice too. I got about 2/3 of the way done, then I had to quit. I went to do some of my experiments, came back, ate a bite, and then threw the rest away. If I had eaten any more, I might've thrown up.

That must've been the richest and densest cake ever. This is why I don't usually eat brownies. They're of a similar denseness. Needless to say, I'm not eating anything chocolate (unless it's chocolate itself) for quite some time.
Yesterday after dinner I was drinking my hot honey water (read this post for explanation), as I'm wont to do sometimes. My roommate DvF-M looks at me all weird. And I had to explain to him how it warms me up on cold days (it's been very cold here lately), it calms me down when stressed, and it soothes my throat if it's dry, irritated, sore, or if I have a cough. He still looked at me weird.

Then, I was reading the news and I saw this. I am now justified. Honey merits more than people give it credit for. Dis not the honey, for it is sweet and good for you.
That's pretty much it for now.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Mask of Stoicism

It seems I have a Mask of Stoicism, one I use to mask my real emotions (particularly when I'm tired). JW-F pointed it out to me tonight at dinner, though she didn't use the term "Mask of Stoicism." Here's how the conversation sort of went:
RZ-F: I love red peppers. ::puts lots of ground red peppers on her pizza::
JW-F: I like them too, but that's way too much for me.
RZ-F: I like it spicy.
JW-F: Yeah, but if you put too much it stays in your mouth. And when you get that one flake between your teeth and your tongue touches it, it's so spicy it burns.
RZ-F: Yeah, I know what you mean.
Me: What? I barely notice it.
JW-F: Well, when it's mixed in the food it's okay.
Me: Eh, whatever.
JW-F: . . . You're either very stoic or you just don't care.
Me: ??
JW-F: You're stoic when you just don't show it. And when you don't care, you just don't care.
Me: Okay then, I'm stoic.
. . .
JW-F: It really bothers me that she has that solo part in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (about the cello solo that we wanted).
Me: Umm, yeah . . .
JW-F: Are you being stoic now or do you just don't care?
Me: I . . . uh . . .
JW-F: You're stoic. Of course you care inside.
Me: Okay.
It's true, I mask my real emotions so I just appear really stoic, unless you're a really close friend of mine or if I get really worked up over something. In all honestly, I love spicy food and am rarely phased by it. It just doesn't burn me nearly as much as most of my friends. Maybe it's cuz I'm Asian, haha. I've only been really affected by the spiciness of what I'm eating a handful of times (that's not to say there isn't spicy food out there that'll get me, I just haven't had it yet). Actually, I barely taste the spiciness in Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich - it just tastes seasoned to me. :P

I can't believe my blog's been visited over 1000 times. That's like, a landmark or something (for me)! I should post something amusing for my next one. I'll think of something. In the meantime, I'm counting down 11 days or so till my med school interview at NYMC. As far as I'm concerned, this may be the only interview I'm offered. I cannot blow it.


Is it possible for one's mood to swing 180-degrees in less than 12 hours, then swing 180 back after 3 more hours, then swing back again so on and so forth? My mood's a frickin' pendulum today.

After my horrible journalism class (it was actually bearable today), a classmate came up to me and asked me for the contact info of one of the sources for my final article. He was the kind of person's that's near-impossible to find, and I just got really really lucky. It seems her younger sister is in my study session that I lead and I just found that out like a month ago. Apparently, her younger sister thinks I'm a good study leader (it's kind of like a tutoring job, but I'm not allowed to give answers) because I explain things well. I must be doing something right! So I left that class quite happy and flattered.

In lab I finally saw my friend, AG-F, who I haven't seen since like Monday. So we talked, and I helped her out in the mouse room, etc. It was sad when she went to subject 3 mice to euthanasia. The "most humane" way was to kill them with carbon dioxide because it puts them to sleep first before they fully suffocate to death. Well . . . the carbon dioxide tank has been really bad lately. The flow of the gas wasn't constant or something, and the mice started going into seizures. That was horrible to watch. We both felt so bad, but there was really nothing that could be done. Stupid death tank. She told me worse stories that happened when other people kill mice. I smelled like mice when I left the mouse room.

And after returning back to my lab, I got the results for my 20 DNA samples back from the sequencing core. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but the sequencing core (along with the transgenic core and enzyme core) sounds a lot better than it actually is in reality. It has such a futuristic name but it's kind of a disappointment when you actually see it. It's basically a room like an office. I'm sure it's connected to some place that's cooler, maybe. Anyway, I got back my DNA samples for the experiments I did last week. Well, apparently none of my samples had the right DNA sequence I was looking for. That was like, inconceivable. I made sure there was DNA in my samples when I sent them. This was just not right. I was shocked, and upset, and annoyed. I had worked about 2 weeks on these samples! Grrr.

Then I watched the latest episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender (many hours later). Yup, a part of me's still a kid inside. I will hold onto that part of my soul for as long as possible. I love cartoons and anime. Anyway yeah, dorky it may be, but it sure lifted my mood.