Wednesday, December 31, 2008

2009 Resolutions

It's that time of the year where we all commit ourselves to the "honored tradition" of declaring our resolutions for the year, and pray to God we keep or meet them. I sincerely hope I achieve all of mine. Many of them are on-going ones that'll probably carry over until next year and years after.

2009 is a year of change, not only for the US and the world, but also for me. A lot of things will be changing this year. I intend on taking it all in stride. My 10 resolutions for 2009 are:

1. Lose 20-25 lbs from my lowest weight in 2008. It should only take me 2 weeks or so to get back down to that 2008 weight from what I currently weigh (though I'm not sure I want to know). Hopefully I can go to the gym (almost) every weekday. If I can lose 10-15 lbs by Spring Break (end of February) that'd be ideal, but I want to lose all the weight by August and maintain my weight thereafter. Any tips and/or suggestions?

2. Update my wardrobe. I've been wearing most of my clothes since the beginning of undergrad. I've lost weight since freshman year of undergrad, so I went from an XL to a L and now to somewhere between an M and L (shirt size). A lot of my clothes are loose on me, so I need to get new clothes. The problem is that I hate shopping and I don't know what's fashionable, stylish, and will look good on me. Help?

3. Learn to cook new things! This is one of my on-going resolutions. Foremost amongst things I want to try are steak, various soups, and desserts. Got any recipes?

4. Get better grades in grad school. This may be a bit challenging, as I got 3 A's, 1 A-, 1 B+, and 2 S's (aka, pass for my pass/fail courses). I suppose I could get all A's . . .

5. Be a kick-ass GSI for Genetics. :D This one will be intense, but it might be fun as well.

6. Rekindle some old friendships, maintain current ones, and make new friends (both online and in real life).

7. Not let med school consume or destroy me when I start in August.

8. Begin to explore a romantic relationship. Don't care too much if it leads to sex or not. I just want someone to cuddle with and talk to at night.

9. Make progress in coming out. A resolution in progress, this one is.

10. Live by my philosophy for the year: Whatever happens, bring on the day.

I suppose there is one more resolution . . . but it's not one I can do much about. I would like more Followers on my blog (points to the 3 current Followers in the sidebar to the right). I want some blog love. :P So if you read my blog regularly, please Follow it (especially if I'm following your blog, ::wink wink::).

Now, to look back to my 2008 resolutions. Hmm, it actually seems like I've met most of them to some degree. Go me!! I hope I can do the same (if not better) for 2009 as well. :D

---TANGENT---
I don't know why, but I'm in a rather happy and silly mood. For your entertainment, I've provided the following.
Found at this link.

Hamster on a Piano (Eating Popcorn)


Kevjumba - Girls are like m&m's

---END TANGENT---

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 in Summary

I feel much better since my last post. I had lunch with a friend, SA-F, at Panera who I haven't seen since graduating high school (5 years ago, o.O). Whereas my life has been straight as the arrow flies, hers has been less than ideal. She's had quite some time throughout her undergrad years and then took a year off to work, I think. She couldn't get into any Bachelor's of Nursing programs, and so will be doing an Associate's of Nursing first. I hope she eventually continues with her Bachelor's and hopefully her Master's after that. I wish her the best of luck. Maybe one day we'll be working side-by-side, who knows.

It was really really really nice to get out of the house and talk to a friend. We talked from lunch until almost dinnertime, lol. I think she was relieved to finally have an intelligent conversation with someone (apparently, the customers where she works can sometimes be idiotic). A good conversation, some laughs, and some fresh air and sunshine (must've been the first time in weeks) was what I really needed.
-----
And now, as many other bloggers have done, 2008 in summary:

(My mind thinks of the year in three parts: Winter Semester, Summer, and Fall Semester.)

Winter Semester (January - April)
- Taught a class (mini-course) to a small group of freshman on HIV/AIDS with my best friend, JW-M
- Felt the closest thing to "true" (aka, clinical) depression. :(
- Came out to the person I had a crush on (didn't even realize until too late), RZ-F. She didn't believe that I was bi. I still think she doesn't.
- Came out to JW-M. He was great about it, I just wish I had talked to him more about it.
- Had 2 med school interviews - crapped the first, rocked the second.
- Applied to 1 grad school (public health).
- 4.000'd my final semester of undergrad (first time in all of undergrad).
- Graduated (with Distinction, :D) with my Bachelor's of Science - Biology.

Summer (May - August)
- Worked in my old lab as a lab tech from May till July. Fun times.
- Completely re-designed my experiment (cue made scientist laugh).
- Abandoned my experiment before it was completed; I was sick of it after 3 years and just wanted to go home for the summer.
- Organized a volunteer trio/quartet together to play in the hospital lobby for about 2 months.
- Arranged Tetris for strings & piano instrumentation (such happy music, :D).
- Got accepted to grad school (public health).
- Got accepted to med school (albeit, delayed admission to the entering class of 2009).
- Started talking to a bunch of "new" bloggers online. :P

Fall Semester (September - December)
- Started grad school.
- Started work in a new lab - this time in genetic cancer epidemiology (used to work in human genetics).
- Went to go see my friend's, JR-M's, 30-minute movie.
- Met two bloggers in person.
- Got intimate with someone (a guy) for the first time, which entailed:
-> Kissing for the first time
-> Giving a handjob for the first time
-> Getting a handjob for the first time
-> Giving a blowjob for the first time
-> Getting a blowjob for the first time
-> Showering with someone (non-relative) for the first time
- Talked to a few more bloggers online. :)
- Got a grad student instructor (GSI) position for next semester; hence I'll get a tuition waiver and about $8000 as stipend. :D
- Had lunch with a friend, SA-F, who I haven't seen since graduating high school.
-----
In retrospect now, quite a bit has happened this year (though it didn't always feel like it). It's surprising what happens in a year, isn't it?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Straight as the Arrow Flies

Okay, I'm done with break now. I tend to think too much, my brain doesn't want to stop. I need something or someone to keep me distracted periodically so I can stay focused (weird as that sounds). If I'm left to my own devices, my brain gets bored and I start to brood in dark thoughts. This has unfortunate ramifications.

I go to bed between 2am & 3am and wake up between 10:30am & noon. It's so hard to go to bed at night because my bed is freezing, and it's so hard to get out of bed in the morning because my bed becomes an island of warmth in a room of cold. I've found it particularly difficult to get out of bed the last several days. I would wake up and lay in bed for an hour or more before getting out. I also wake up with this . . . soreness at the base of my sternum. I think it's psychosomatic. But I digress, a little.

My life has been, by and large, "straight as the arrow flies." It has always been about the next step - about preparation and delayed gratification. I worked hard in elementary school so I could do well in middle school. I worked hard in middle school so I could do well in high school. I worked hard in high school and practiced the SAT/ACT (a lot) so I could get into a good university. I got into a good university, but then I had to work on keeping my grades up, doing well on the MCAT, doing research, getting clinical experience, and etc so I could get into medical school. I haven't deviated once from the path of this arrow's flight, though there were many instances that made me wish I had. I had set my mind on something I and I stick to it.

I've worked so damn hard, always to get to the next step thinking I'd breathe a sigh of relief when I get there. But I never do. I never took a break, I went straight as the arrow flies to the next step according to plan. I followed the damn Asian model. Granted, grad school for a year instead of med school is just a minor misstep along the path. I'm tired now, and unmotivated. I feel like I'm married to my career (which currently is grad student).

I can't help but wonder how many chances to hang out with friends I've turned down in order to study. Or how many other experiences I've forgone in order to prepare for the next step. I can't help but ask myself what I've missed out on all these years. Don't get me wrong, I've learned a lot about people, life, and myself over the years. But just as everything in my life seems about set, something feels like it's missing.

That something is that I am lost in all matters of the heart. I've never dated. I've barely kissed, so I know I'm no good at it. I'm not sure how to flirt, or how to tell if someone's interested, or pick up on hints. I don't know how to get someone interested in me. I don't know what to do if a person IS interested in me (hasn't really happened before). I don't know who I am romantically or sexually. I want so badly for love to just fall in my lap and steal my heart away - to be so enthralled by someone that it defies all logic, to hold someone and cuddle for hours while listening to his/her day, to learn how to kiss and make myself vulnerable. I've had a taste of this once, but it was quite ephemeral; what remains resides in memories. I think the scariest part is that I might've suppressed this part of me for so long that I'm not sure I would recognize if I'm attracted to someone.

And you wouldn't immediately know upon seeing me, but from time to time it tears me up inside. It's like, my chest is heaving and trembling on the inside, and that soreness below my sternum comes back. It would be unfair for me to do something now at the end of a step and right before the next, so I'm cursed to suffer in this limbo for another few months at least. Come med school, will I have time still to figure all this out? Or will it be too late? I feel strangely alone.

Wow, and just skimming through, I've just seen this post plummet into the darker corners of my mind. And so the arrow continues to fly, ever nearing its target (whatever that is) and flying by a whole ton of things that I probably have missed along the way.

Cuttlefish, eh?

Found at this link.

Hmm, maybe this is the branch of biology I should've done research in, and not fiddled around with the E. Coli genome or cancer cells. Cuttlefish are certainly more interesting to observe than colonies of bacteria growing or cancer cells on a slide (or dish).

I've kind of been lethargic the last few days, and my head feels cloudy for most of today. It's late and I'm going to bed. I'll post something more substantial later.

---TANGENT---
So I remembered this JUST before I went to bed last night. I caught up with two more blogs! :P I think my eyes are going to assassinate me for trying to catch up with a blog each day/night. Left a bunch of comments as well (so to Razz and gatechguy1, sorry for the sudden influx of comments if you find that annoying!). Their blogs are:

Doin' me head in
Thoughts of a College Boy...

As always, if you haven't done so you, head over, check out their blogs, and say hi! :D
---END TANGENT---

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mask of Caring

---DISCLAIMER---
This post is a continuation of my last post, here. Be careful when reading this post. The tone of this post may not come out as I intend. It is not with sadness or loneliness that I post. For now it's merely an observation, a musing over the last several days. This post is rather long.
---END DISCLAIMER---

The more I come to realize about myself, the more I realize that my life is not always my own . . .

What I'm about to say I've never told anyone, and I doubt anyone remembered the event at any rate. When I was around 7-years-old or so, I wasn't all that well-behaved (are there any well-behaved 7-year-olds?). Once, my mom got so pissed that she swore at me in Chinese. It was the phrase 该死 (gai1 si3). I didn't know it meant "Damn it" as the second character, 死, means "death." I thought that she wanted me dead or something. So I went to the kitchen, took out a knife, walked back upstairs, and gave it to my mom. And told her to just kill me as clearly my life was causing her problems, and that if she didn't do it, I would. Of course she freaked out and never said that about me (or later my brothers) again.

Flash forward a decade or so. In high school and in my undergrad, I was the friend that others went to for help. I may not have been at the top my class (particularly so in my undergrad), but I had a way of explaining things that others understood, even if I myself didn't quite completely understand. Many of my friends weren't as eloquent at explaining things back to me, so I didn't get much out of this. My mom found this very annoying actually, and she would often say, "Why does so and so ask you for help? You always help them, but they never help you back! You're always giving them knowledge and get nothing in return. You need to be more shrewd and say 'I don't know' every now and then, you can't just let them take everything you know and then do better on the exams than you."

Even now this rings true, perhaps more so. And yet I continue to do it. I continue to help. I think my one jewel, perhaps my one defining characteristic and curse is that I sometimes care too much for others I know and get relatively little in return. Ironic how it's almost eerily similar to the doctor-patient relationship: you want a caring doctor who listens, yet you're "done" with them once you leave the office. This then, is my Mask of Caring.

When I was in high school, I would wake up an extra 20 minutes early or so and make breakfast and pack lunches for my brothers. Everything would be ready by the time they woke up, brushed their teeth, and came downstairs. I would proof my brothers' college application essays. I was the one to truly push and motivate them where my parents failed. In my own small way, I guided them without forcing them (unlike my parents, lol).

I'm no saint by any means. I hardly do much volunteering anymore. In high school I would volunteer for all these community service clubs, but I found too many of them shallow and purposeless. I would do things but never interact with - or even see - the people I was supposedly helping. I've found that in some respects, such undergrad service clubs are similar. Instead I did biomedical research. Although I'll never see the faces of the people my research may one day (in the distant-ish future) help, I know that it will help someone, someday. I've had a hand in breast cancer research, human genetic deafness, and colorectal cancer. These are not uncommon things that plague society. Yet I know I will never gain any glory (aka first authorship) from my research.

And whenever a friend needed help with something, no matter how reluctant I was, I would do it unless I had a legitimate excuse that trumped (which doesn't come up often, except during finals week). I was the one constant, the "rock" in people's lives. JW-M would rant to me, RZ-F would rant to me, SR-F would vent her frustrations to me. I took it upon myself really - no matter how much they didn't want to tell, I would elicit it out of them because I knew they needed to talk to someone. For a long time I was able to listen, passively, stoically, process, then give advice. I let things pass through me so they didn't affect me personally.

Then things changed, I don't know when. When someone was down, I became down. When someone was happy, it would temporarily lift me out of whatever state I was in. Reading the events surrounding other bloggers the last month or so has been rougher on me emotionally than I even realized. It was difficult to study for my final exams. I may sit here passively, stoically on the outside, but inside I cared. And it hurts, almost physically, when I find out a person can't confide in me. And although it's easy to just ignore my Google Reader while I studied, I had to know what's going on if at all possible.

It's easy for me to care less (aka, not think about) people I've never met, don't know in any way, and are removed from my life. But once a person enters my life, even at the very periphery, I can't help but care. Even if they don't talk to me much, don't reveal much to me, I will care. I don't know what it is, it almost feels like a duty for me to care. As if caring is a duty that we as humans owe to each other - to care unconditionally, without any real thanks even. How many times my friends have asked me why I cared about x, y, and z. Because I do, because I must.

I don't reveal much about my inner self, not even on this blog where I'm quite open, considering. I wonder how many people care to find out. I wonder what readers out there think about me - if I'm just talking out of my ass or actually being sincere. I know I don't come across as the most emotional blogger. That's just how my writing is. In caring for/about others, I've left little room for myself. Hence, my life is not always my own . . . I live, in a good part, for others I think.

And again, I don't really get much out of it. It's not like my brothers help me much. Actually, they try to get out of helping me wherever possible, lol. And despite helping others - in my lab, my friends, etc - it's not like I'm rewarded. Heck, most of the time I'm not even invited to things as they simply "forget" to invite me. Even the best amongst my friends - JW-M, SR-F, RZ-F, etc - will sometimes invite me as almost an afterthought at the last moment.

It's all okay, I suppose. I don't dwell on this much. I suppose the one thing I want most in this world is someone in person to love and care about who cares and loves me enough to want to figure out everything about me, and then reflect my care back on to me. I think, that's the only way I can truly care about myself in a positive way. At any rate, my Mask of Caring is almost a duty I undertake - to care almost unconditionally about others that I personally know.

---TANGENT---
So, for the last 2 days, I've been relentless catching up on two blogs in particular. Two blogs that many bloggers who read mine are well-acquainted with. They are:

Mirrorboy's Blog
Right Time and Place

If you haven't had a chance to go over and say hi, I suggest doing so. :P

Also, I'm still fighting for my A in Pathophysiology. The ONLY way I could get an A- is if they "standardized" the letter grades, which is weird and unfair. I can't let the ONE class I actually really CARED about give me an A- when the average according to the average points on my exams give me an A. Grrr.

I also read something in the news that made my blood boil. I won't talk about it here, that's for another post in the future.
---END TANGENT---

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Jewel

I've been mulling over a particular thought the last few days. To those who I talk to online and have been absent the last couple days, I apologize. I will frame this thought in this post and then follow-up on it in my next post.
-----
The title of this post is from the 5th scene of my friend JR-M's 30-minute movie. The main character, Jeremiah, goes to a church to talk to a priest. An excerpt of the scene is as follows:

Jeremiah: Think it's possible for one man to change the world, Father?

Priest: The world?! Oh, heavens, that's an awfully big piece of pie. But I think a man can find his jewel.

Jeremiah: His jewel?

Priest: You see, I think of us all as empty rings, or pendants. Each one of us is searching for that one thing that we can do to make ourselves, and our place in this world, complete. And when he sees it, it will be as brilliant as heaven itself.
-----
And so I ask myself, and you, what is my (your) jewel? Who, or what, are you going to devote yourself to?

JR-M also included in the insert to his DVD the following pic:
Cryptic words with no punctuation. It's difficult to say what is truly meant by these words. However, I'd like to interpret the phrase as the following:
"In shackles we have awaited yet torn asunder. We're born to light and new worlds, ye great minds of true men . . ."
If my interpretation is correct (and if I accurately know a thing or two about my friend), the above probably means something to the effect that many of us somehow feel stifled or suppressed by some unseen force. It wears us down, it literally chains us. But we all have a chance to do something, to shape this world. All that lacks is the mind, and the will.

What do you think?

---TANGENT---
I'm mildly annoyed that I got a B+ in Intro to Epidemiology. The class wasn't even hard or anything, but that final (posted briefly here) was ridiculous! I bet it single-handedly brought down my grade from an A/A- borderline.

The one grade I AM pissed about is Pathophysiology. As I've said before, I freaking loved this class. I did really well on the first 2 exams. I didn't do nearly as well on this last exam, but then again I studied for less than 24 hours and still got a B on that exam. However, that B dragged my overall grade down to an A-. BUT! When I calculated my grade average, it should've been in the "A range." I'm fighting for that A for the mere principle that I deserved that grade. Apparently, the difference between an A and A- in grad school is bigger than in undergrad (my grad school is on an 8.000-scale that I have yet to figure out).
---END TANGENT---

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winter Break!!

ZOMG, I'm done with exams and Winter Break has finally arrived for me. I don't even care what I get on those exam, haha. Now that I'm home, it's going to be a pretty chill break with me not going anywhere really. This break I hope/plan to (in no real particular order of importance):
  • hang out/catch up with a few friends in town
  • catch up on several blogs and link them
  • sort my blog list
  • sort my pics on my laptop
  • sort my music on my laptop
  • sort my bookmarks on my internet browser (I've way too many bookmarks)
  • watch TV shows, anime, and movies I have on my USB
  • watch, sort, and delete porn off my laptop (too much that's just there and that I don't watch)
  • finish reading The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax
  • read The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • watch all of the Planet Earth series on DVD
  • draw the pic "commissioned" by my friend, SA-F (like 2 years ago, lol)
  • draw the pic "commissioned" by Hish of Minding the Heart
  • draw the pic(s) "commissioned" by James of Just me
  • play my piano
  • master DDR (or at least get to 5-feet/5-star solidly)
  • finish the game story plot for the Neverwinter Nights module my friend JW-M and I are making
  • write 2 chapters of my story (I'm not the only blogger out there writing a book, though this story's not meant to be a published book)
  • do my "homework" for public health (I know, right?!) and other online "errands"
  • come up with a workout plan and "diet" that I'd actually follow next semester (and hopefully lose 20 lbs - I only went to the gym like 4 times between Thanksgiving and now)
I think that's about it . . . If I can get through all that it'd be pretty amazing, honestly. And now, some Lolcat. :D


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Must Be Productive . . .

So . . . I had my epidemiology final today. It was EPIC. Epic in the sense that it was literally impossible to finish. I guess the 2nd-years weren't joking when they told us that, haha.

Here's the breakdown of the exam. 2 hours. Open notes/resources (as long as it's not with another person or utilizes technology). 30 questions. Each question has its own page. Most questions had multiple parts to them.

I got through like, 2/3 of all the questions (so I finished like 20 questions). I skipped most of the questions I didn't answer not because I couldn't (eventually) figure them out, but rather because they take a long time to figure out how to do. When time was called, I just drew smiley faces on those pages I didn't answer. At least there's (hopefully) going to be a MASSIVE curve, because very few people (if any) actually finished that exam.

It's snowing hardcore outside and I'm procrastinating. I have one more exam to go - pathophysiology - tomorrow. I figure, I might as well post and get some of the procrastination out of my system.

And here's an entertaining YouTube vid: Tetris with lyrics.


Enjoy. Now I'm off to study the nervous system, skin, muscle, gastrointestinal tract, and liver for tomorrow.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Just Gotta Press On

What's it like to have the ground freeze beneath your feet, the mud tracks becoming solid, within the span of a day? A little disconcerting I must say. I think I must utilize the final evolution in my winter-gear. Time to bust out the eskimo-like coat. I hoped it wouldn't have had to come to this this year, but alas.

I apologize for not blogging in the last several days. I've been quite busy studying for my finals this week. Two down and two more to go! On Wednesday I'll be DONE.

You know, it's kind of sad when in order to study for an exam, you need to think about all the ways people die. For one class it's cancer - breast and colorectal especially. For today's toxicology final I had to review things like alcohol poisoning, drug overdosing, heavy metal exposure (lead, mercury, etc), and such. And on Wednesday is pathophysiology - so basically what happens when something goes wrong with the body. So. Much. Death. No wonder doctors have some of the highest rates of suicide.

Here's my public service announcement. Do NOT take alcohol with Tylenol (acetaminophen). Both damage the liver in large quantities, but the combination creates something called reactive oxygen species that literally use electrons to punch holes into the surrounding liver cells, resulting in liver failure. Death soon follows liver failure. See?! Death!!

What's sadder is when you see something that makes you initially get excited before you realize what's going on and then get sad. For example, KS-F told me her cousin has colon cancer. At age 22. Right away I suspected FAP genotype (basically, you start getting colon polyps at age 10-12 and these have a 100% chance of becoming cancer by the time one's 17 if left untreated). I was excited to know what's the likely cause of colon cancer in such a young person, and I suggested genetic counseling for her family (though she seems to be fine, so she didn't inherit it). Then I realized how ridiculously sad it was to have colon cancer at 22.

Later I talked this over with AG-F and she agreed. The genetic counseling students would get all excited over an interesting/unique case in conference, but then they meet the people. And when you meet the people these diseases affect, you can't help but feel sad (and a little ashamed that you were so excited by the disease in the first place). Such is the world of health care professionals. The day I stop seeing people as people and start seeing people as just walking symptoms/diseases is the day I've lose my humanity.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Last Day of Classes!

I thought this day would never come. The semester dragged on and on until Thanksgiving, then suddenly it's all over now.

I went to work (research) today. I won't go into the details here, but my experiment epic failed on me and I lost 3 hours of my life. I want them back. I did nothing wrong! Stupid buffer. This exemplifies why I hate research sometimes.

I got my anti-pharmacy grade back from the exam I took last night. 24/28, the mean was 22.9/28. Not bad considering I studied for less than 2 days. This'll probably end up as a B+ or A-, or maybe an A if I'm really lucky. So as long as I don't get lower than an A- on the final, I should get an A of some sort in this class. Oddly, I don't find myself caring much.

It rained today, which sucked. It melted most of the snow. As much as I hate the cold, I hate cold icy rain even more. I would take the snow over icy rain any day.

A clothing store in town was going out of business. So I went with SR-F and we each bought a T-shirt for $4.22. That's a pretty damn good deal. It took me FOREVER to find a medium-size shirt; most were L, XL, or XXL. I mean, honestly, an XXL can almost fit two of me.

JW-M sent me an email today with the subject line as "oh yes, they do exist." Refer to the pic below:
This was in Xi'an. Those are the "famous" biang biang noodles. Notice how ridiculous the first two characters are (the two large characters on the left and middle)! I mean, "biang" isn't even a legal pronounciation in Mandarin! Anyway, the old Asian man icon thing is pretty badass, as well as that super-char composed of very common component-chars.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I Missed You!!

Picture from here.

Hey, I'm back! You may have noticed a few minor-ish changes to the blog format and the pic in the header. I bet you missed me as much as I missed you (or maybe you didn't notice my absence). A few things to update.

Yesterday was my friend JW-M's birthday. He's in Beijing studying abroad right now. I wished him a happy birthday online and on Facebook. I also told him that I loved him as a friend, something I've never said to a friend before (I think). And it's true, I value his friendship very dearly. He also told me that I was the one "true friend" he made in college, so that was really touching. I almost teared up a little.

I took my toxicology (anti-pharmacy) exam today. It was kind of rough but shouldn't be too bad, considering I just started studying for it yesterday.

I finished my term paper!! It is epic 12 pages with 13 references. The policy proposal I came up with is quite novel, if I do say so myself, as it doesn't involve government legislation to proceed with regulation. My topic is the need for regulation on PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis).

In a nutshell: PGD is where they take 1-2 cells from the early embryo and do a genetic test on the DNA to see if that embryo has any genetic diseases. The embryo isn't destroyed in the process and can be implanted into the womb.

Now, some issues I had to address in my paper:

1. Cost and access. PGD isn't cheap at about $5000 and most health insurances won't cover it. That's clearly a health disparity along economic lines, and the poor who may need this technology can't access it.

2. PGD for controversial medical use. There is the case of Molly Nash. She was born with Fanconi's anemia, a fatal childhood genetic disease. Her parents used PGD to conceive a second child who was born free of the disease and was an HLA match with her sister. Because he was selected as an embryo to be an HLA match, doctors could then transfer his bone marrow into Molly to save her life. Were the parents ethically/morally right in "commissioning" a second child to save a first?

3. PGD for sex selection. Should PGD be used to select the gender of one's child? The only accepted indication in the medical field is when there's an X-linked disease in the family that would be bad for a male offspring. But the private sector can do whatever it wants in this respect.

4. PGD for non-disease genetic traits. Let's put it this way. Should deaf parents use PGD to make sure that their children are also deaf? Should straight parents use PGD to ensure their children are straight, or gay parents use PGD to ensure their children are gay (assuming the children is conceived via surrogacy and there is a single gay gene - which there is NOT)?

5. PGD and public health. If we could use PGD to eliminate genetic diseases from the population, should we? Can we? There are dire ramifications when we mess with the diversity of the human genome. For example, when a person only has one copy of the sickle-cell anemia gene mutation that person is resistant to malaria, but two copies of that gene mutation causes full-blown sickle-cell anemia. We don't know enough about the human genome to mess with it. And even if we do, I don't think we should.

So those are the interesting issues I had to consider and ponder and come up with some kind of regulatory policy on. If your head's spinning, don't worry. Mine was too on Saturday as I was on page 4 of 12.

Anyway, I realize (for the 100th time or something) that I post really long posts. I apologize, but that's unlikely to change, and that's probably why I don't have 20,000+ page-views. I mean, I'm not THAT boring am I?

Picture from here.

I really liked that picture. A lot of bloggers have been down lately. If you're one of them, and you see this, or you know a blogger who is in need of some cheer, send them this or an e-hug or something.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts

A belated Thanksgiving thought. I went to bed a couple nights ago with a random smile, as I thought of how my grandpa will be 80 in about 3 months and how he's still so ridiculously healthy (no medication of any kind). I'm thankful that he's in amazing health, that he wakes up with a smile almost every day, that he's still enjoying what life has to offer.

In a different vein, I'm thankful for all the e-friends I've made through this blog. I'm thankful for the (seemingly) handful of readers that come my way. While it hasn't felt like I've changed much or grown since I started this blog, I know that to be false. The bigger question is, what's the next step?

I want to make a massive overture to a particular subject that I'm thankful for. Those with access to it probably don't think much on it, but rather, just expect it. My next post, the one on this, may be a while from now. I'm considering taking a mini-hiatus for a week or so (somehow I don't think I'll be misssed) to finish my term paper and study for my 4-5 exams. In the mean time, I hope these random thoughts below amuse you.

1. So, for the last few days, I kept thinking I had an appointment with my adviser at 2pm tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 1). But I knew that I'd have to miss my pathophysiology lecture about 30 minutes early, and that's my favorite class. I agreed, and she was meeting with all her advisees at once I think, somewhere on the 6th floor. I realize now that it was all a dream. There is no appointment meeting. Now I wonder how much of my other scheduling events are the result of a dream. Hmmm.

2. I had a dream last night where I was traveling to Beijing, China. My dad was with me for some reason. We drove to the airport, where we got on a plane but we had to transfer to another plane for some reason in Chicago or something. My dad got in a fight with the pilot and was then handcuffed to his seat. So we're on this plane to San Francisco (my dad handcuffed to his seat), where we stop before arriving in Beijing. For some reason I was really anxious and/or apprehensive about flying, which I rarely am. There were storms expected ahead and I wasn't sure if the pilot was going to attempt to fly through them or go around. Anyway, I woke up mid-dream and I tried forcing myself back to sleep to finish the dream. I hate waking up mid-dream. Anyone else do that?

3. Some Lolcats pics. From this site, of course.

I love this site, haha. It's the most addicting distraction I've come across in a while. My friend and I just kept sending each other links for about an hour.

4. Last, but not least, I'd like to introduce (who haven't come across it yet) the blog Equal Eight. It's rather hilarious, so go over and say hi! :D

Friday, November 28, 2008

A Breath of Our Inspiration

I didn't have a Thanksgiving post (obviously). I don't know if anyone missed me in my week's absence, somehow I doubt it. First, I'd like to direct people to AJ's and Matt's blogs, to give them words of encouragement and love and all that in this time.

I came across the following poem again, and it was, as a line in there, "A breath of our inspiration." There are powerful words in that poem, words of inspiration and change. That we can all be an agent of change. That we are the shapers of our collective future. I know not everyone's fond of poetry, but it's a good read. Enjoy.
-----
Ode
by Arthur O'Shaughnessy (1844 - 1881)


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams,
Wandering by lone sea-breakers,
And sitting by desolate streams; --
World-losers and world-forsakers,
On whom the pale moon gleams:
Yet we are the movers and shakers
Of the world for ever, it seems.

With wonderful deathless ditties
We build up the world's great cities,
And out of a fabulous story
We fashion an empire's glory:
One man with a dream, at pleasure,
Shall go forth and conquer a crown;
And three with a new song's measure
Can trample a kingdom down.

We, in the ages lying,
In the buried past of the earth,
Built Nineveth with our sighing,
And Babel itself in our mirth;
And o'erthrew them with prophesying
To the old of the new world's worth;
For each age is a dream that is dying,
Or one that is coming to birth.

A breath of our inspiration
Is the life of each generation;
A wondrous thing of our dreaming
Unearthly, impossible seeming --
The soldier, the king, and the peasant
Are working together in one,
Till our dream shall become their present,
And their work in the world be done.

They had no vision amazing
Of the goodly house they are raising;
They had no divine foreshadowing
Of the land to which they are going:
But on one man's soul it hath broken,
A light that doth not depart;
And his look, or a word he hath spoken,
Wrought flame in another man's heart.

And therefore to-day is thrilling
With a past day's late fulfilling;
And the multitudes are enlisted
In the faith that their fathers resisted,
And, scorning the dream of to-morrow,
Are bringing to pass, as they may,
In the world, for its joy or its sorrow,
The dream that was scorned yesterday.

But we, with our dreaming and singing,
Ceaseless and sorrowless we!
The glory about us clinging
Of the glorious futures we see,
Our souls with high music ringing:
O men! It must ever be
That we dwell, in our dreaming and singing,
A little apart from ye.

For we are afar with the dawning
And the suns that are not yet high,
And out of the infinite morning
Intrepid you hear us cry --
How, spite of your human scorning,
Once more God's future draws nigh,
And already goes forth the warning
That ye of the past must die.

Great hail! We cry to the comers
From the dazzling unknown shore;
Bring us hither your sun and your summers;
And renew our world as of yore;
You shall teach us your song's new numbers,
And things we dreamed not before:
Yea, in spite of a dreamer who slumbers,
And a singer who sings no more.


Found at this link.
-----

---TANGENT---
Okay, so I seem to have this ever-growing list of blogs I intend on reading and then linking to my blog. I will work on that . . . once I'm done with my term paper and exams and have nothing to do over Winter Break (in about 3 weeks). I also need to go through all the blogs and sort them out over Winter Break (I have WAY too many links, and they just keep increasing). In the mean time, I'd like to link to these 3 blogs that I managed to catch up on:

Call The Shots
The Covert Homo
This is my life...

So go over and say "Hi," among other nice things. :D
---END TANGENT---

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Value of Friendship

---TANGENT---
As James pointed out to me, we bloggers in this circle seem to go through cycles of depression and the like. He may post about it, we'll see. Several bloggers have been feeling down of late, like AJ and Landyn. Others might have "coming out anxiety" like Charlie and E. We should all be good friends and give them lots of love and encouragement, as well as the gall to drag them out of the mire of down-ness.
---END TANGENT---

On the outside I usually try to stay as calm and as stoic as possible, as it helps to quite down my emotions enough to allow me to think (and we all know how I tend to over-think). But unbeknownst to many, I have a tendency to soak up the emotions of others. So I often get happy when others around me are happy, and down when others around me are sad or stressed. Even if my own personal situation doesn't concord with those of others, the emotions of others sometimes take priority over my own. I don't know if this is a good or bad then when the lines between my emotions and the emotions of others become blurred.

A couple days ago I was in the bank depositing a check. As I stood in line my eyes began to tear up for no reason at all. I wasn't personally sad, I didn't keep my eyes open for a really long time, and I don't think it was an allergen in the air. But for some reason my eyes just welled up and although I didn't cry, I sure felt it.

I think it was the "weight of the world" kind of thing. How for a while now I've internalized the emotions infused into the posts of other bloggers, and how I've had to deal with my own things. I won't go into them here as it'd only make me sound emo or something, and I'm totally not an emo kind of guy.

I spent much of the evening bumming around in my apartment - without motivation, without inspiration, without want to do anything. I was just lonely and crawling by. Then I IMed my friend, JW-M. (For those who're new, he's probably my best friend from university here and is currently in China for a year.) He just replied, "Hey, I'm playing Neverwinter Nights (NWN) a bit, it's fun." Then he said something like, "We should make a module together!"

For whatever reason, that seemed to pull me out of my personal little mire of despair. Not sure why and I'm not sure why he has the power to do this. But I love him for it. It's totally trivial, really, designing a game mod together. We've attempted in the past with another game or two, but have never been able to finish. He assured me this would be easier if we made it as simple as possible just to get success. He said I could brainstorm storyplot ideas (he knows how much I like to think and come up with random creative things).

So in the span of 5 minutes, he had given me some kind of strange purpose in my life. I don't know, but it made me pretty happy. And it's utterly silly in retrospect - all this over him saying that we should do something with a game together. But hey, we all need random things to perk us up like that every now and then, no?

Other tidbits of my life in the last couple days:

- Apparently I did much better on my pathophysiology exam than I thought. I got an A+ with the curve.

- My cold is progressing on time. I now have a minor cough and a slightly stuffed nose. Great. Too bad my pharmacist friend told me that every study on cold and cough syrup indicate that they do nothing. Note that for the future.

- I went to go see the CSO concert. I don't think I've ever heard all of Beethoven's monumental Symphony #5 in C minor. It was something else. I may do a post on just how the conductor seemed to weave the individual parts of the music from each of the sections into what we call "music." There was much nostalgia in attending a concert.

- I watched Top Chef tonight (well, last night now) with two friends of mine. Oh how we love food, and thus that show. Her roommate also watched with us and would not stop talking! A part of me wanted to say, "Hey, I love talking to you, really, but I can't hear the TV and the volume's up at a decent decibel." After her roommate went to her room, my friend (in a very quiet hushed voiced) apologized for the loquaciousness of her roommate.

- My brother's birthday is today. I'm going to skip going to the gym and he's going to skip class so we can have lunch together.

- My friend, JW-F, will be flying into town late tonight. I haven't seen her since we graduated. It'll be nice to catch up and such. (If you ever wonder who these people are, they're generally listed in the panel on the right of this blog if they're "recurrent characters" in my life.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No Respite

Argh, another week. I would post the whole "10 things about me" deal that other bloggers such as AJ, Matt, Razz, E, and James have done, but I've already have a post dedicated to this kind of thing. So, I'm not going to add to that list tonight. I would, however, like to give a shout-out to Matt at Brass Matt, AJ's boyfriend's blog. Seems like a really cool guy, go over and say hi.

Now, a couple positive highlights first . . .

- My youngest brother, KC-M, got into the College of Engineering here! I expected nothing less. Now let's see if he can get into "better" engineering schools like MIT or CalTech. I wonder if he even applied to those places . . .

- My friend, SA-F, got into nursing school! I haven't seen her practically since we both graduated from high school together. I only talk to her online a few times a year because she rarely signs on. She's going to be paying me a visit some time in early December before she moves miles and miles away for nursing school. I'm SO proud of her. :D

- I made my first chicken potpie/chicken broccoli bake. Chicken broccoli bake was one of the few things in the dorms that I actually looked forward to eating, it was sooo yummy (and probably quite bad for me, hence why I magically lost 20 lbs in a year after I stopped eating dorm food). It actually turned out pretty well. It was cooked just right, it was edible, it looked yummy . . . the only problem was that it was a bit bland. Hmm, maybe I really should've used cream of chicken soup rather than low-sodium chicken broth. Oh well, got to go with what I've got (which also happens to be healthier).
-----
Now for the negatives.

- It's cold. It was about 50-55 degrees F during the middle of last week. It's in the low 30s/upper 20s this week. It's freezing (literally)!! It snowed all day yesterday and I made the unfortunate decision to leave my apartment to go to the library to study. And so the annual ice age begins around here . . . brrr. I swear I live in a global warming-proof state (there is actually some scientific data to support this, to a point).

- My window doesn't have a very good seal where the latch is. It's gotten cold enough to the point where condensation has formed on the inside of the windows. I live in the freezing Midwest for crying out loud! It wastes A LOT of heat and energy if cold air is going to leak in and hot air is going to leak out all winter. So I sealed it up with this plastic insulation thing. Now there's an air bubble where the cold air wants to get in but can't. I wish apartment complexes would invest in energy-saving technologies so they didn't have to jack up the rent every year. Sigh.

- I saw 2 ants in my bathroom. They have no business being there or anywhere else in my apartment. Ants must die, when I find them again.

- My bathtub periodically clogs. It sucks. I keep forgetting to pour Drain-O or a similar substance down the drain to clear it. Consequently, I shower while standing ankle deep in water that's not draining away. Note to self: remember to un-clog bathtub drain.

- I seemed to have developed a cold, again, only about 6 days after I had just gotten over a cold. I should not be getting sick so soon after just being sick. This is suspicious. And being the recovering Type A pre-med I used to be, I've come up with several possible scenarios ranging from the most plausible (like, 99%) to the least plausible (of which they all total about 1% in my mind).

The most plausible biological explanation is thus. I've been stressed, tired, and sleep-deprived all of last week. Consequently, my adrenal glands pump out cortisol to help me maintain homeostasis and cope with the stress. Cortisol also causes a person to go into a fat-storing phenotype, and thus causes people to crave fatty comfort foods. That explains why I've been craving to eat out all last week (I didn't eat out, because it was rainy and cold). Cortisol also, over long periods of time, causes a weakening of the immune system. With this weakened immune system and the many other sick people around me, it's totally plausible that this is the precise mechanism by which I've become sick so soon after just recovering.

I would go over the less plausible explanations that haunt and plague my thoughts, but they're pretty ridiculous in retrospect because of the low-risk I've put myself in (low-risk doesn't, however, mean no risk). The possibility of a worse scenario is very very slim, so I'm trying not to dwell on it.

Edit: Some may misinterpret this last part of my post, if one's been particularly keen and sharp. Let me point out examples that could fall under the "least plausible" category. There is the possibility of me getting the flu, as this is flu season and I didn't get a flu shot. A flu could kill me by initiating a cytokine storm - aka, my immune system goes into overdrive and kills me in the process. Another somewhat more likely, though still not too plausible, would be mold or some toxicant in my apartment. I have noticed that I feel significantly better when I'm not sitting in my apartment for extended periods of time. I cough less, my throat hurts less, etc.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Day 2: Long Goodbye

Day 2 will follow a similar style as Day 1. In some ways, Day 2 was much better.

So after we parted ways the night of Day 1, I went to a friend's apartment and attempted to study for my pathophysiology exam this Monday. I didn't realize how exhausted I was and I was falling asleep all over my notes. It wasn't even midnight yet! So I just went home and crashed.

When I woke up the next morning (before my alarm, annoyingly enough) I felt oddly serene. I really shouldn't have, as I had an exam the following day that I was simply not yet prepared for. But I woke up, went about my morning slowly, doing laundry and such. Just a sense of peace. I hadn't felt that way in a long time.

I get an IM from him around mid-day. He didn't want to attend the last thing he should've, so he was going to ditch it and visit me and say goodbye. Half an hour later he arrived at my apartment. I let him in, he sat in my only chair in my living room, lol. I took out my cello, tuned it, and just played it for a bit. It's been a long time since I played my cello, longer still since I've played it in front of anyone. I was really just fooling around and played a few excerpts I somehow still had memorized in my head, then I played some of the melodies I had begun to compose but no one had yet heard in person (at least, until now).

Just as I was packing up, my roommate returned. He picked something up and left almost as soon. After my roommate left, we walked over to my small round kitchen table and sat kind of opposite from each other. My right leg was in between his, and he rested his hands on my knees, slowly rubbing them. We talked for a while, about what I couldn't quite remember. I remember remarking how I really had to study and all, repeatedly.

His hands slowly worked their way up towards my crotch, and as they did, I got harder and harder. We got closer and closer. He rested his hand on my hard-on and stroked through my jeans a bit. Well fuck, I had to get rid of my hard-on now, otherwise it'd bother me for hours (which would really put a dent in my studying). I tacitly agreed to let him unbuckle my belt and undo my jeans.

---EXPLICIT DETAILS---
He extracted my dick from the fly of my boxers. He gave a few strokes up and down, then brushed against the tip of my foreskin like the night before. And like the night before, it elicited a similarly amazing response. He pulled it back and rubbed the head bare a bit, which was a little more intense. I hardly moan at all, but I was moaning the night before and right then.

Quick tangent: I realize that I seem to talk about my foreskin a lot in the last post and here, haha. It's just that, that's where the best feelings seem to be for me. I realize some (many) of the readers here probably can't relate because they're lacking that part of their anatomy. Well, I apologize but bear with me.

He came closer, brought his chair so it was beside mine. He put one arm around me and felt me up and down under my T-shirt, while jacking me with his other hand. He gave me small kisses on my neck and ears. I then showed him something I like to do: with one finger (index finger) on the head, and then with 2 fingers, bring the foreskin up over that finger and just rub the foreskin about a bit. That felt sooo amazing, way more so than when I do that to myself. Of course I was leaking pre-cum a bit now, which again, I almost never do. He seemed to have fun playing with my foreskin. It was kind of like a toy I've had for a long time and enjoyed, but never knew how much fun it would be to share with another person.

He put his head on my shoulders, I put my head on his and closed my eyes. I took over jacking myself while he continued to just run his hands over my body and hugging me alternatively. I see his lotion (that he left at my place the night before) so I took a bit and applied it to my dick. I rarely use lube of any kind, because it's messy (and I hate dealing with that) and it tends to make me so sensitive that I cum much faster than I would otherwise. I jack myself for a bit, but wasn't even getting remotely close to orgasm however great it felt.

He took over again as my arm tired. I ran my hands up and down his arms, his legs. I put my face to his head, feeling his hair on my cheeks. I tell him to stroke just the head a bit and leave my foreskin back. With the bit of lotion as lube, it felt really sensitive and good. But I still wasn't even close to orgasm. I took over and went rather fast, still to no avail, haha. He moved his head close to give me a bj, but I wasn't feeling up to that because I didn't want to shower in the middle of the day, lol. So he brought his head back up and against mine.

I then give up, stuff my hard-on back into my jeans, and zip up. I really needed to study, lol.
---END EXPLICIT DETAILS---

He had to leave soon to catch the bus back to campus, and he had already been over for about an hour and a half already. At the door we hugged. Usually when I hug someone I feel awkward for some reason, like I don't want to get too close or like I'm not sure how. This was different, this was the first hug I gave in a long time that was totally uninhibited, totally honest, and totally not awkward. It was as sincere as it possibly could've been. He bent down to kiss me and this time, our kiss actually felt like it could've been a real kiss, lol. We kind of hesitated at the kiss - like we wanted more, but at the same time didn't. We hugged tighter for a good minute, and I felt his heart beat fast. I'm sure we could've stood there hugging for a good another minute or two.

Before he left, I gave him a gift - a reminder that there is hope in the world, that someone will always care.
As you can see, those are tiny origami cranes made from Starburst wrappers and stored in a film canister. Each one takes about 5 minutes for me to make and there were 100 cranes in the film canister I gave him. In the second picture, the crane is right next to the piece of the Starburst wrapper it's made from. The story goes that the paper crane is a symbol of hope and good luck, and if one makes 1000 of them, he/she will get one wish.

So again, I gave him that gift as a sign of hope - hope for life, hope for better days; and as a symbol that there will be someone wishing him well.

About half an hour after he left, my hard-on still hadn't quite abated. So I did jack off, and even alone it took a bit of effort to orgasm but it was well worth it. I shot clear of the tissue I was attempting to use to contain it, and I had to wipe it off my carpet before it dried and stained, lol.

When I went to the library later that night, I kept smiling and chuckling softly at the most random things - at the music I was listening to, at renal failure (which I was studying), at hormones - it was all kind of bizarre for me.

---TANGENT---
Now I'm really curious about something concerning you, the readers (however many of you are out there). Look to the poll I've created somewhere in the right column of the blog and answer honestly and only once. Thanks.
---END TANGENT---

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Day 1: Heart over Mind

Okay, the post people have been waiting for. And yes, day 1. ;-)

And thanks to Steevo and AJ for their encouragement and totally unsubtle nudging along. Some of you may know who I hooked up with, but if you do, don't ruin it for everyone else! Let each person put two and two together. So it seems most people voted for the "omg too detailed" or similar category, but a couple did ask for just the "prude details." Maybe there's a way to satisfy both. But plenty detailed it'll be. You all have no idea at the consequences you've wrought, lol. This is going to be a LONG post.

Anyway, I've been talking to the person I hooked up with online for several months, since July or so. He doesn't live in the area and I don't have the means to travel to him. But this weekend he was in town, and so we agreed ahead of time to meet up, at the very least for dinner. So I took a shower about an hour before heading down to campus. I had shaved above and trimmed below the night before, so things were in order.

Now, if you pick up nothing else from my writing, it's that I tend to overthink. I think too much and I come up with several different scenarios for a single event as well as several possible excuses. For example: Will I get too excited and cum too quickly? Does he have an STD that he neglected to tell me (unlikely, but still a passing thought)? What're the chances of getting x, y, or z? What if I give him my cold that I'm just getting over? What if it's awkward? What if I'm uncomfortable? What if . . . what if . . . the "what if's" go on and on. I had to stop thinking with my head, and let my heart lead. Easier said that done for me.

I get to campus around 5pm. I meet up with him inside one of the university buildings (it was cold outside) and we went on a short tour of some of the immediate campus surroundings. After a brief discussion we settled on sushi for dinner. Sushi, as always, was delicious. He particularly like the oonagi (eel). We talked about grad school, life, things of that nature throughout dinner. It helped me relax a bit. I keep failing to remember exactly how expensive sushi is. We didn't eat that much, but our bill came out to be about $50, which we split pretty much 50/50.

Then we walk a bit to the bus stop back to my apartment. I point out some of the nicer buildings along the way. I swear, the temperature dropped like 10 degrees within 2 hours. I was on the verge of freezing. We get on the bus and take the 20-minute ride or so to a stop about 10 minutes away from my apartment. We get there, and my roommate was home! Grrr!! But then, almost as if something answered our prayers, my roommate left to go to a friend's place for a bit.

We worked our way to my bedroom. He sat on the far edge of my bed, his back against the wall. I sat next to him and then turned to face him. He took my hand and commented on how tense I felt. While I wasn't consciously nervous, I guess I must've been so physically. I had to force myself to relax and just "go with the flow" (thanks AJ). He took my hand and put it on his face, on his chest, over his heart. I then turn around and lay down into his chest as he held me, with my hands rubbing his thighs and knees through his jeans.

Okay, this part starts to get graphic. The prude version is that he touches me, I touch him, we get undressed, we give each other oral sex, we attempt to kiss, we finish each other off, then we shower together. Skip this upcoming section if you just want the "prude details."

---EXPLICIT DETAILS---
He then starts to put his hands under my shirt and rub my stomach, and over the neck part of my shirt and rubs my chest. I'm a very ticklish person, so it all tickled at first. There's a fine line between feeling good and tickling. At this point I started "melting." You know how people say how passion is like sparks and electricity? Well, that wasn't how I felt. Most of the time I feel like either a very concentrated and carefully controlled ball of energy, or a spiky and excited burst of energy. But at this moment, I was feeling different, like slow-moving wave in the ocean-tide or something. So steady, sensual. And I was hard.

He lifted up my shirt a bit to rub more of my stomach. All this time I was rubbing his legs through his jeans or running my hands up and down his arms, following where they went. All the while he kept complimenting me on my body, which is by no means anywhere near impressive by any standard. Not sure exactly what he saw in it, but I was glad he put up and pushed through my (many) insecurities.

I suggested that he go a bit further down, so he then unbuckled my belt, unbuttoned and unzipped my jeans. He hovered his arms over my hard-on in my underwear (dark grey boxer-briefs, for anyone's who cares). I both hate and love being teased. He then put his hand in my underwear, grabbed my dick, and gave a little squeeze. Again, not particularly impressive down there. As he pulled his hand out, he felt the tip of my foreskin with his fingers and, according to his account, it looked like I was about to jump out of my skin (a priceless look on my face, says he). It was something I've never felt before, and it felt so good. He went back in briefly to poke around the head of my dick, which also yielded similar responses. I also leaked pre-cum like crazy, which I almost NEVER do.

At this point, I decided I tease him a bit. So I sat up and closer to him, pressing myself against his groin. I could feel his hard-on through his jeans, pulsing ever so slightly. He returned to just feeling me up. I lay with my head on his chest, just feeling really relaxed and comfortable. He had me take off my shirt. I turn to my side so I can unbuckle his belt and unzip his jeans. I then extracted his dick and "examined" it. I had never touched another guy's dick before, so this was all new. On top of that, he's cut (unsurprisingly) unlike me and I didn't know how to handle this model. I gave a few squeezes, rubbed in circles on the underside of the head, tried to give a couple strokes. There was very little slack, so that didn't work so well. I guess I had it real easy in this respect and never quite appreciated that fact.

All this while, I had my blinds closed but the door to my room was left open. Well, if my roommate came home suddenly, we were certainly in a compromised situation. So I got up to close my door as he took his shirt off. I come back and he slowly slides my jeans down, the tent in my underwear quite apparent. He slides those off too, and my dick gives a little bounce back. He gets up and removes his jeans and smiley face boxers.

I take his dick again and give it a squeeze and another attempt at stroking, haha. We stood there, one leg kneeling on my bed. And we just hugged real close, feeling each other's naked bodies, grinding a little. I then tried doing something "interesting." I took my dick and lined it up with his, then I rolled my foreskin forward so it covered his back. I was mildly surprised I even had enough skin to do this, but it was kind of fun stroking both of us with my foreskin, haha. It was actually a little awkward as he's quite a bit taller than me.

He then gently, playfully, knocks me onto my bed. He grabs my dick, gives it a few strokes, and starts to suck on it. My first bj! And it was a new sensation for me, not quite what I was expecting (not that I really knew what to expect). He does this for a while, then moves upward. We attempt to kiss. I say attempt because we both sucked miserably at it as neither of us had ever kissed anyone before. It was so awkward it was cute, haha. He moves back down and continues giving me a bj, varying it a bit with how he did it and stroking with his hand. With his other hand, he took mine and placed it on his head so I could stroke my hands through his head. It felt so good. We were going so slowly - it was so relaxing and sensual. I had my eyes closed most of the time, just enjoying the sensation of touch that had been so lacking in my life. My hips must've bucked a few times.

While this all felt sooo good, I couldn't cum and I really wanted to. So with one hand I just took hold of my foreskin and kept it skinned back, as the inside's usually oh so sensitive. Surely a bj on that area would get me off. No, haha. Good it indeed felt, but I couldn't get off. I felt just a little bit bad, because it must've been tiring for him. So I took over and stroked myself, pretty fast. That wasn't working. I kept going until my arm hurt, switched to the other until it hurt, then back.

Suddenly I was on the verge of cumming, and I told him so. He moved my hand out of the way, took my dick and put it in his mouth. I came in his mouth and it felt so good as I felt every bit come out of me. Even after I had finished he kept me in his mouth, trying to suck me as I got super-sensitive, as most guys do after they cum I imagine. It was a little agonizing, like I didn't want it to stop, but I really did because I got so sensitive, but really I didn't. He did back off, and what bit of my cum he didn't swallow he let drip on my leg. I wipe up, then pushed him onto my bed.

It was kind of funny as he reclined and hit his head on my wall I decided it was only fair for me to return the favor. I took his dick, looked at it for a moment, then went down on him. My first time giving a guy a bj! I'm glad he wasn't much bigger than he was - 2 more inches and I would've gagged for sure. I tried my best, going up and down. I hope I wasn't too bad, but I'm sure he would've let me know if I was terrible. Also, he was running his hands through my hair, so how bad could I've been? My jaws got a little tired, so I jacked him off for a little while. My saliva didn't seem to last too long and before long it got too dry to wank, so more bj! After a several minutes of this he was getting close and my jaws were getting sore.

I stroke him a little bit longer, then I ask him to take over. I hand him the lotion he kept in the pocket of his jeans. He applied a bit and stroked. I ran my hands up and down his stomach and legs, holding and rubbing his balls a bit in the process. Within 30 seconds or so he blew his load . . . all over the place! On his stomach, on his chest, on his shoulders, and on my wall!! After he had finished, I took my cum rag and tried to wipe up the stuff off the wall before it dried and stained.
---END EXPLICIT DETAILS---

Then I opened my door a crack, poked my head out to see if it was clear, then made my way to the bathroom. He soon followed. We both got in the shower together and soaped up each other's back and such. After we dried and got dressed, I got really hungry, haha. All this took almost 2 hours.

I put on my pea coat and grabbed an umbrella, as it was drizzling outside. We make our way to the bus stop and get back to campus. We first stop by a bubble tea place to get bubble tea (for those who don't know, bubble tea is either green tea or milk tea with different flavors and tapioca "bubbles" at the bottom - it's an Asian thing). Then we walk down the street and I buy us a nutella crepe to share. We talk a bit more - about life, about the internet, about webcomics, etc.

Since he didn't know the area, I walk him most of the way back to where he was staying near campus. He held my arm for part of the way as I held the umbrella. That was cute. We get to a corner where we were going to go our separate ways. He bent down to give me a peck on the cheek. We hug under my umbrella for a little while, then said our good nights and goodbyes.

Stay tuned for day 2. ;-P

This song, "Pocketful of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield, was how I felt the remainder of the night and into the next day. The music vid, which couldn't be embedded, can be found here.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hey, I Hooked Up

Hey, I hooked up tonight!

I would post more details, but I'm dead tired, so this post is just a tease (I know, you all hate me now right?). To let you all know how ridiculously busy I'll be for this coming week, here's a sample of my schedule of the week:

Monday: Pathophysiology exam. I also have to get my GSI (grad student instructor) contract. I'll be teaching a class next semester!! I don't know for what undergrad course until I get my contract, but I'm really excited.

Tuesday: Epidemiology homework due. It takes 2-3 hours to do.

Wednesday: Genetics homework due. Probably also takes 2-3 hours to do.

Thursday: A group paper and a presentation/discussion thing.

The rest of the time, I have loads of research. But of course that's not what's interesting. What's interesting is the hook up I'm not talking about in this post, lol (still hating me?).

Comment and let me know how much, um, detail you want me to go into when I do blog about it in a few days when the dusts of academia clear a bit for me. Your choices are: prudely detailed, moderately detailed, quite detailed, pretty detailed, play-by-play detailed, and omg-too-detailed.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Two Things

First. Today I went to social get-together of sorts with people in my public health genetics inter-departmental concentration (PHGIC). It was just a smallish group of us students and some faculty. The chair of the epidemiology department, one of my professors and director of this PHGIC, was present. So was SB-M, who I've mentioned on here a few times as the hottest (and youngest - I think) administrator at the school of public health. I think he's only about 25-years-old or so.

Anyway, it was nice to sit with the chair of my department (let's call her Dr. K) and talk to her as a person, not as an authority figure to be worshiped like God. Of all the professors I've had the privilege of speaking to personally, she's definitely the most down-to-earth and she has an amazing laugh. She laughs a lot. She's like Santa Claus's wife, no joke. Everyone seems to look up to her, and I mean everyone. Well, except maybe her 14-year-old son, but that's just him being a teen. :P

Somehow (unsurprisingly) the topic of careers popped up. And she was saying how she was building a career when her partner wanted to start a family. Partner? Huh? Actually, I had suspected this before when SBK-F (the person who guest spoke on appealing to theological values to get people to agree - see this post) came in to ask for car keys, and Dr. K said SBK-F was her partner in passing.

So it hit me. Here is a person who is well-respected, is well-liked, with a great reputation, a great personality, an amazing laugh and sense of humor, chair of the department, etc. And she's bi/lesbian. And no one cares. And it doesn't even matter. Now that's pretty cool. It just makes me sad that my state denies her and many others partner benefits because same-sex marriage is illegal in my state. She, and no one else, deserves to be denied rights.
-----
Second. This is completely unrelated, and might be boring. Anyway, I've tried. I've tried to lose weight, made some great progress in the last 3 years, but now I seem to have plateaued - reached a steady-state. I envy and hate people who have the metabolism of a hummingbird, whereas mine is closer to that of a bear nearing hibernation. I don't eat that much throughout the day except for dinner (generally), and I exercise 3-4 times a week for about an hour at a time.

So I'm going to put myself on a limb and post my workout routine here (please don't laugh at my incompetence). Here's my current 1-hour exercise schedule (note, I don't know the names of most of the machines as I'm not a gym buff, so pardon my use of the motion I'm using for the machines):

- Stretch (3-5 min)
- Run 1 mi on the track (7-9 min)
- Walk 1/4 mi on the track (3-4 min)
- chest/shoulders ("standard" bench press) - 115 lbs, 2 sets of 8 reps
- chest/shoulders/back (pull down machine) - 110 lbs, 2 sets of 10 reps
- Run 2 mi on the Elliptical machine (15 min)
- abs (abs machine) - 80 lbs, 4 sets of 10 reps
- bicep (bicep curl machine) - 90 lbs, 2 sets of 10 reps
- triceps/chest/back(?) (push down machine) - 125 lbs, 2 sets of 10 reps

Tonight I asked my friend what I should do to make my 1-hour exercise schedule more effective at helping me lose weight. I'm not sure I can survive/maintain what he wants me to do. He also wants me to eat more, which is difficult considering I have very little time for breakfast and lunch. So I want additional input. Remember, I only have about 1 hour to exercise between classes (I actually have 1.5 hours break between class every day, but I need to include travel and changing time).

So does anyone have any good suggestions/modifications to my routine (or simple & quick food suggestions), before I attempt my friend's regimen? I'd like to lose about 20-25 lbs by February or so. Though, if it takes me until the end of April, that'll be fine too.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Wrap-up

I spent the evening watching the election last night, and consequently got no work done. Oh well. As people may (or may not) have noticed, I try to keep politics out of this blog because I don't much like politics. So just a few things:

1. I'm glad Obama won. I hope he'll be able to deliver the change he promises and the change that we so need as a country after 8 years of Bush. I have no doubt he'll be a competent and capable president, but I feel just a little bad as he's charged with cleaning up all that Bush messed up.

2. McCain is a great and respectable man. There was a time (at the very beginning of the campaign) that I might've considered voting for him. The closer it got to election time, the more that evaporated. Yet, he exhibited dignity and grace in his speech accepting his loss in the election.

3. California, we've been watching your Prop 8 here. Of all the states with that initiative on the ballot, we never expected it to turn out so close with "Yes on Prop 8" slightly ahead. Last I checked, not all the precincts were in, so there's still hope that "No on Prop 8" will win the day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you. If for no other reason to support "No on Prop 8," it's that if Prop 8 passes, it'd be a clear violation in my mind of the Separation of Church and State. And I hold that concept pretty sacred.

4. I am ecstatic to say that Prop 2 in my state passed (barely), which means "looser" restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Prop 2 is actually a very specific and detailed proposition that has many limits on obtaining embryonic stem cells (see my past post here for more). So "looser" really means "at all" and with all the attendant restrictions at the state and federal levels.

Now, to go research for my term paper on pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (aka, embryo screening). And to study for my pathophysiology exam next Monday. I do love that class, lol.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I went Clubbing!

Okay, so this is a pseudo-tipsy post. I really should be full-blown drunk now, seeing as I had 5 shots of vodka, a long island, an apple martini, and a kamikaze (and maybe 1 more drink . . .), but I'm only mildly tipsy. Might be from all the dancing. Though I am partly deaf from the loud music - I hope/sure it's temporary.

Anyway, today. I went to lunch with SR-F and RZ-F for lunch at a local Indian restaurant that had a buffet-style lunch. I ate too much. Then SR-F, RZ-F, CM-F, and I watched the movie The Changeling. It was a really good movie, definitely worth a watch. Unfortunately it was a really sad movie and I can pretty much only watch it once in my life.

When we finished the movie, we went back to SR-F's apartment briefly. SR-F got ready for orchestra rehearsal whereas RZ-F, CM-F, and I went to pick up SM-M, an Indian friend of RZ-F's. People call him "Surge" so I'll call him that here. The 4 of us went to Olive Garden for dinner where we waited for over an hour to get seated. I got so full so quickly as I was still full from lunch. So I have the majority of my entree boxed.

After that the 4 of us went back to our separate apartments to change and just rest for an hour. I really didn't want to go, as my stomach was still so damn full. But RZ-F convinced me to go. At about 10pm we went to Surge's apartment to drink before going to club. I had my 5 shots of vodka there. If I weren't so full from lunch and dinner I might've drank more. Then we went to a local club. I hadn't been to a club since my freshman year of college. I didn't like it much then because, while I like salsa music, I can't keep up with it and my friend (partner) wasn't on the beat. She wasn't even sycopating! Yeah, I'm a music person so I must somehow find the beat and keep to it. It just didn't work then.

Anyway, we went to the club. I didn't expect to like it. I actually had quite a bit of fun, as evident by my smile pretty much the entire duration of the 3+ or so hours on the dance floor. I danced only with CM-F, which although I would've liked to dance with RZ-F at least once, I wasn't disappointed in. For the record, I had no idea what I was doing. So I just let CM-F take the lead. So there were 4 of us - 2 girls and 2 guys - CM-F and RZ-F, and Surge and I. The club wasn't very crowded, which was good (for me). We got our other drinks there. I didn't actually know I was tipsy until I left at what would've been close to 3am if not for daylight saving's time.

CM-F and RZ-F had to pee a lot, lol. Silly women and their smaller bladders. But it was fun. I figured out pretty quickly how to follow CM-F as she was dancing and just tried to keep up with her. At least she could feel the beat. I was pretty close (physically) to her the entire night - I haven't touched a person that closely in a LONG time (or maybe ever). She ran her hands through my hair a few times and put her hand on my chest every now and then - note, those felt really good. After a while, the way she was dancing and grinding me almost gave me a hard-on, so I had to fight that for a few minutes. That would've been awkward, particularly in the jeans I was wearing. Thankfully the alcohol also helped to suppress my hard-on a bit too.

So for my "first time" I was told I was pretty good. Not sure how much of that I trust, but I'll take the compliment for now. :D Note, it was really good to hold/feel a person that close and just feel them move against you. Despite the fact that CM-F has a boyfriend that she's been going out with since I've know her (which is at least 4 years now). It was still a good experience and I didn't feel like a complete retard while dancing. But maybe that's the alcohol talking.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween!

So I realize it's about 2 hours past Halloween for me here, but that's okay. This would've been a drunk post had I actually been of constitution to down alcohol tonight. As it is, I have a cold and am exhausted, so I'll try to keep this short.

In short, this week sucked. My two exams went okay, though the exam questions for my 2-credit class were far more difficult than what should've been for a 2-credit class. My left eye had this tendency to go out-of-focus every now and then throughout the week, not sure why. I've been lightheaded all week, not entirely sure why. Been feeling really down for about half the week. And now I've a cold so the back of my throat's a little sore. As a result of all this, only went to the gym once so now I feel like I gained 5-10 lbs and feel quite bloated (probably not true). At least my Western blot worked - I would've been really pissed if it hadn't because that experiment takes 7-8 hours to do.

Today was fun though. RZ-F is visiting for the weekend and is staying with SR-F. It was good seeing her, a bit nostalgic. And yet, every time I see her, I wonder what might've been between us. Sigh.

Her old roommate, CM-F, who's a med student here now, stopped by. The three of us (SR-F doesn't drink and doesn't like to party like that) went out. We stopped by a med school frat first. It was alright. My first time doing jello shots. They were weak. Med students (::rolls eyes:: lol). But there were tons of people in constumes there. One Asian guy was dressed up as a native American Indian, so he obviously had no shirt on. Wow, so lean and hot. It's now my goal to lose weight and get nice abs so I can dress up as something shirtless next Halloween. Halloween's been really nice and warm this year. Usually it's cold and drizzling around here.

We then went to a bar. En route I found a $20 bill on the ground. We used it to pay for almost all of what we got at the bar, haha. No one drank much because we ordered food - it was more food than we thought. If I had drank any more I would've thrown up, not from being drunk, but from being too full. More hot guys about. Some slutty and really attractive women about too. Usually not attracted to people that dress up as sluts, but some of them . . .

Apparently I'm considered an Mo.5, lol (1st year med students are M1's, 2nd years are M2's, and so on, so I'm an Mo.5 or M-half). On the way back to SR-F's apartment, RZ-F was complaining about there being a "dying breed" of nice guys in the world and generally hinting heavily at her guy problems. If only she could see what's in front of her sometimes.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Only

Couldn't concentrate last night on studying for my exam tomorrow, felt a bit down. Wrote this poem instead in half an hour. Somehow the words are stronger and have more meaning in Chinese. Some of it is lost in translation, I'm sure. Below is the poem in Chinese, atonal pinyin, and English. I may explain it later.

-----
惟一

你还记得我吗?
你还认识我吗?
我是你的什么?
只是一个朋友。
看不到我,
听不到我。
你不知道,
不知道我的病。
我的胸口压着,
我的心手抓着,
可是脸不感觉。
没有气能呼吸,
没有眼泪能哭。
只有我一个人,
没有第二个人,
永远像这样吗?
我请你看着我,
听着我,记得我,
认识我,知道我。。
我不能只是我一个人。

-----
(wei yi)

(ni hai ji de wo ma?)
(ni hai ren shi wo ma?)
(wo shi ni de shen me?)
(zhi shi yi ge peng you.)
(kan bu dao wo,)
(ting bu dao wo,)
(ni bu zhi dao,)
(bu zhi dao wo de bing.)
(wo de xiong kou ya zhe,)
(wo de xin shou zua zhe,)
(ke shi lian bu gan dong.)
(mei you qi neng hu xi,)
(mei you yan lei neng ku.)
(zhi you wo yi ge ren,)
(mei you di er ge ren,)
(yong yuan xiang zhi yang ma?)
(wo qing ni kan zhe wo,)
(ting zhe wo, ji de wo,)
(ren shi wo, zhi dao wo.)
(wo bu neng zhi shi wo yi ge ren.)

-----
The Only

Do you remember me?
Do you recognize me?
What am I to you?
Just a friend.
You don't see me,
don't hear me.
You don't know,
don't know my pain.
There's a pressure on my chest,
there's a hand grasping my heart,
but my face is unmoved - emotionless.
There is no air I can breathe,
no tears I can cry.
There is only me,
there is no other person.
Will it always be like this?
I ask you to look at me,
hear me, remember me,
recognize me, know me.
I can't be just me anymore.


Picture from here.