Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Flight of the Phoenix

It's been an eventful week in this corner of the blog-o-sphere. Blogs have been ending, deleting, and returning.

I was thinking of some poetic way to describe the movements of these blogs, and I came up with "Flight of the Phoenix." I would've written a poem to this situation, had I the time (which I simply don't right now). But how poetic is the mythical phoenix! A bird of fire, immortal and yet not. When it reaches the end of its current lifespan, it becomes consumed in fire and is reduced to ash. Yet from the ashes, a new phoenix is born. A symbol of life, death, rebirth and reincarnation.

And so we see the end of these blogs: Joshua's eggSPLICE, Razz's Doin' me head in, and Equal Eight. At the same time, other blogs have recently been deleted and are now mere ashes, such as: Zee's Where I Stand and Queer Asian.

But like the final part of the phoenix, some blogs have returned from a long time away and have reincarnated themselves. I'd like to welcome back "Picture Perfect" and Tranquil Time from their absence from the blogging world. I hope, in time, the bloggers above who've recently ended their blogs return to the blogging world - perhaps in a new reincarnated form.

So in the wake of the Flight of the Phoenix, I'd like to say goodbye and good luck to some blogs, and welcome back to others. To the ones who've taken flight, I hope we see you all again in one form or another.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Chinese New Year!!

Happy Chinese New Year!! :D

新年快乐,恭喜发财,身体健康! (xin1 nian2 kuai4 le4, gong1 xi3 fa1 cai2, shen1 ti3 jian4 kang1!)

The above means: Happy New Year, may your year be prosperous and full of good wishes, and may your body be healthy!

I went home for the weekend for Chinese New Year. Ate. So. Much. Food. It's going to take a while to work all this off, oh well. I said the above Chinese to my grandparents before I left for school again. It was nice hearing my grandparents' laughter - it's so full-bodied and full of life, just ripples through and puts a smile on your face. I truly mean the words above when I say it to them.

One of my primary life goals is to be like my grandparents - to be healthy (my grandparents have VERY few health problems, *knocks on wood*) and happy in my old age, and surrounded by family. All else is pretty secondary.

Oh, and I got the traditional red envelop (see example below) with about $100 inside from my parents. I'll put this in the bank in a couple days.

So, my youngest brother is getting a B/B+ in his English class. My parents are annoyed that he got C's on two of his essays. To which my other brother remarks, "It doesn't matter if he gets a B or a C, it's failing anyway." This obviously refers to the Asian benchmark that if it's not an A, then it's failing. We got a good laugh out of this. My youngest brother already got into the school of engineering here, so my parents don't actually care that much about this class (unless he gets less than a B).

To be fair though, my youngest brother is only one of 3 guys in his English class. And his teacher is apparently a huge feminist and they have to read feminist books, short stories, and articles all the time. In all honesty, if I had to read what he reads, I'd be bored out of my mind and probably get a B as well.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


I'd say it's been the longest week ever (even though the week's not done yet, fuck), but that's almost certainly going to be superseded by an even longer-seeming week in my future. So a quick run-down:

Tuesday = longest. day. ever. The vast majority of this post is about Tuesday. I was basically busy from 8:30am until 8:30pm and didn't get back to my apartment until 11pm. T.T I had to teach my discussion during Obama's inauguration speech (I did watch it later, however) and was mildly surprised that maybe 1/3 of the class showed up. Bayes' Theorem is not an easy topic to teach. I spent over an hour last night typing up a notes file to distribute to my students, to walk them through how to use Bayes' Theorem step-by-step.

One of my students emailed me asking for the solution to one of the quiz questions he had to take before lecture on Tuesday. I saw this question and basically went, "Wtf." I enlisted the help of AG-F, my genetic counseling friend. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I really need to get myself a genetic counselor on retainer. She solved it because it was the EXACT same question that was given to her class - a grad-level class. Poor undergrad guy, no wonder he couldn't figure it out.

For one of my classes, we had to watch the documentary "In the Family" which is about BRCA1 mutations that greatly predispose women to breast cancer and ovarian cancer. It was a pretty intense film. I could totally sympathize with the one woman who said that getting her ovaries removed was akin to a guy getting his balls removed. Removing ovaries = instant menopause, not a pleasant thing. Mildly better than death from cancer.

As I was walking with AG-F back to her apartment (so she could give me a ride to mine), we got talking about abortion and how both pro-life and pro-choice are retardedly wrong in some respects. I won't get into it here, a later post perhaps.

I hate biostatistics. I cannot emphasize my extreme hatred for that subject. The professor talks in theory and then expects us to apply the theory to solve concrete problems. I don't know how to apply the derivations he writes. Plus his handwriting is horrible. Plus all I hear are meaningless variables all lecture and scratch my head at their meaning.

I haven't gone to the gym all week. The cold freezes my will to go to the gym. I've been feeling pretty lazy and unmotivated. This isn't good, because what follows unmotivation is exhaustion, then a twinge of sadness, then loneliness, then despair. Then oddly the cycle resets itself and I'm suddenly motivated, energetic, and ready to bring on the day. It's usually not as bad as it sounds.

I think I'm becoming borderline anorexic throughout the day (aka, for breakfast and lunch) because I simply don't have time to eat nor do I have the time (and backpack space) to pack a larger lunch. I also hate to eat out alone. I basically only eat out with friends because eating out alone is costly, relatively unhealthy, and kind of depressing. Dinner is my main meal of the day, which I know it shouldn't be if I wish to lose weight. Blah.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Splattered Mind

This post may be quite long. You've been forewarned.
Discussion Sections

So last week I had to teach my 3 discussion sections. Each one was rather unique. My first section (on Tuesday) consisted of almost all seniors. I could see the senioritis setting in, as they just did not seem to care. My second section (on Friday) was pretty quiet and timid, mostly juniors and sophomores. I got the vibe that they didn't really want to be there. My third section (also on Friday) consisted of mostly sophomores and juniors. I actually really liked this section. They responded pretty well (aka, didn't just sit in utter silence staring) to some of the tidbits I said to get their minds working.

I feel just a wee bit bad for my Tuesday section simply because they're the first, and I'm basically still working out the kinks in my lesson plans. I changed it up a bit between Tuesday and Friday sections. I assumed that, because the Tuesday section was almost all seniors, that they knew things that in reality they didn't. I didn't make this mistake with my last 2 sections.

Anyway, I survived! And I just finished prepping for tomorrow's section. I think I have this week pretty well planned, hopefully execution will be just as good. Somehow I'm expected to teach them Bayesian probability when I haven't been formally taught it myself. This may be interesting . . .
Dinner Cook-off

Saturday was our (AG-F, SR-F, RZ-F, and my) massive cook-off day. I arrived at about 4pm to AG-F's apartment and helped her and her boyfriend (DC-M) clean her apartment before SR-F and RZ-F arrived about 2 hours later. Our dinner "menu" consisted of: surf-n-turf (tilapia and steak), golabki, pumpkin bread, apple pie, and bread pudding.

Disasters struck the moment we started cooking. While AG-F instructed me how to make surf-n-turf, I accidentally breaded the steak. Okay, minor issue. As she tried to help me speed the cooking along, she put too much olive oil in the pan, so when I cooked the breaded tilapia it was almost submerged in oil. Then AG-F was cooking the rice in a pot (she didn't have a rice cooker) and burnt the bottom layer of rice, causing the apartment to fill with smoke. We cracked 2 windows open, and it was interesting that the smoke alarm didn't go off. Then just as SR-F was about to put her apple pie in the oven, she dropped it, causing a sizable chunk to fall out.

Despite all this, it was a miracle that no one got hurt (4 people in a tiny tiny kitchen, mind you). There was a large carving knife on the floor next to where we ate . . . Also, all the food actually tasted pretty good. Okay, the tilapia was a bit greasy and the steak tasted a bit odd (not bad, just kind of weird - will not bread steak again). But everything else was actually really good! We watched WALL-E after dinner, recovering from being so ridiculously stuffed.

By the way, you know you're a science major (and have worked in a lab too long) when you say something like, "Where's my aliquot of bread pudding?" Seriously . . . I said aliquot. o.O
Western blot

So I'm helping AG-F design a Western blot experiment (I won't go into the details of it here) to detect this particular protein she's interested in. I have the most experience in this technique out of everyone she knows, including her labmates and mine. So I'm offering her help every step of the way, as we hope it can be done.

Interestingly, due to "lab politics," she has to keep this experiment on the down-low. Her lab has decreed that further investigation into the expression of this protein would be a waste of time, but she wants to prove that there is something there that's meaningful. A Western blot, if she can get it to work, would do just the trick.

Anyway, how cool is it that I'm good enough at something that people would come to me for advice and such?! ^_^
Winter Not-Wonderland

This is a snowy bus stop I was standing across from.

This is a massive snow pile.

This is me, in my eskimo ninja form.

I'm SO glad that the temperature is now in the positive double-digits. I'm tired of walking out of my apartment and having the inside of my nose freeze (literally) instantly because the weather's -7 F or something. We actually cheered when the temperature reached 10 F (-12ish C). I mean, we walk outside and we didn't instantly feel frozen to the bone! That's progress. Cannot wait until spring is here.
What else . . .

Today I got my travel vaccinations. I was surprised by how few vaccinations I needed to go to Beijing and Tianjin, China. All I got was the flu vaccine shot, the hepatitis A vaccine shot, and the typhoid fever oral vaccine. I didn't know that hepatitis A could be trasmitted via food, water, and feces. Good to know. I have no intention of getting hepatitis A, and subsequently cirrohsis of my liver and possibly liver cancer later on. The doctor was amiable and easy to talk to, and I was actively observing her attitude and manners so that I may learn a bit. She was right about the muscle soreness - both my upper arms are now sore from the shots. Grrr.

The one thing that surprised me the most about the whole travel vaccination was how expensive it was. Apparently, my parent's health insurance doesn't cover travel vaccinations, so the whole $79 had to be paid. Stupid insurance, not even good where it's needed. At least it paid for half of the cost of the meds to combat traveler's diarrhea (in case I get it) and the oral typhoid vaccine. Still though, that added up to another $45. -_-

It's interesting being on the "other side" of teaching. As a student, we interact with professors a particular way. Sometimes we feel like they're making the questions particularly difficult to be mean or something. In reality, I think this is rarely true - at least with the class I'm GSI-ing for. Several of my students had expressed their concerns about the course, which I relayed to the professors lecturing for the course. We spend most of our 1-hour prep session not discussing what we're doing in discussion sections, but rather how to best tactfully address student issues - how to tell them something like, "No, the quizzes aren't meant to be easy, only easier than the hardest questions you'd see on the exam."

Lastly, there appears to be a leak from the apartment above me. There was water falling down the side of one of my walls near the corner. That has stopped and it looks like it's drying. But that's going to stain. I hope I'm not charged for damages when I move out . . .

It was short-lived, but I have to say goodbye to the blog Equal Eight. :( I really enjoyed that blog. I hope all who've had the pleasure of reading that blog remember the amusement and joy it brought its readers.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

This Displeases Me

Argh, not the best week ever. I am displeased. The following displeases me:
  • It's fucking cold here. Right now it says it's -7 F (-22 C) outside, and -23 F (-31 C) with windchill. It's not allowed to be this cold. I may need to start wearing shorts under my pants; in the interim, I'm happy for the advent of the boxer-briefs.
  • I was given the wrong key to the room where my office hours are held. I had to go back to the key office (and trek across what feels like the tundra) and get the right key.
  • The room where the genetics GSIs' office hours are held is really just a hole-in-the-wall closet in the old part of the Chemistry Building. Sigh, such a crappy room.
  • I was woken by my roommate's alarm twice when it went off before 7:30am.
  • I haven't gotten a decent night's sleep since I started classes.
  • Apparently, I've been getting what's called a myoclonic twitch when I go to sleep sometimes. Like, an arm or leg would suddenly jerk and it would feel like I was slipping and falling. Kind of bizarre . . .
  • My body - I haven't made significant improvements in fitness or weight loss within the last year. Still working on it.
  • I haven't gone to the gym much this week because the sole of my left foot hurts (sore), in particular the arch of my left foot. It's a bit better now.
  • I have to take biostatistics. I hate that class SO much, you have no idea how much I hate that class.
  • My roommate's friend, who I'll call annoying Korean girl (AKG). AKG is SO annoying - on Sunday, she banged on our door for like, 3 minutes while yelling out my roommate's name in the hall. My roommate was asleep and I let her in; she just went to his room and woke him up. o.O
Now, for things that please me:
  • My friend JL-M will be in town tomorrow (today). I haven't seen him since graduation last May. We're going to grab lunch together.
  • My friend RZ-F will be coming into town on Saturday. We plan to hang out, cook, and watch a movie with other friends.
  • There is no lab meeting this week! I so hate going to lab meetings, they put me to sleep after the first hour (lab meetings are 90 minutes long).
  • Few people show up at my office hours. Though, I'm glad I was able to help out the few who do.
  • Regardless of how annoyed I get at my roommate, he's a pretty decent guy overall.
Well, this was a rather random post. Oh well. :P

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

"So what?" I Hear You Say

That was something my pathophysiology professor said when he started lecturing on something he thought we thought was unrelated to whatever we were being lectured on. It was followed by "Eh hreh, I hear you say" when he explained how it was, in reality, related.

So I figure I'd address the poll I put up ages ago (and ended seemingly ages ago as well) and hit that "So what? I hear you say" wall. I'm not sure I'll get to the "Eh hreh, I hear you say" epiphany. We'll see.

The question was: "Dear reader, where are you from, and are you cut/uncut/a girl?"

The results were:
  • 29 US - cut
  • 13 US - uncut
  • 0 US - girl
  • 6 non-US - cut
  • 21 non-US - uncut
  • 3 non-US - girl
So, percentage-wise for male responders: about 69% of US guys are cut, 31% of US guys are uncut, 22% of non-US guys are cut, and 78% of non-US guys are uncut.

This isn't actually that far off from "actual real world" proportions of the two figures. I think I've read something like, about 75% of all guys in the US are currently cut (my numbers are skewed, likely due to younger readers who're less likely to be cut) whereas only about 20-30% of all guys in the world are cut. It is interesting to see that the two numbers are almost the same but flipped.
I may get majorly flamed for what I'm about to say, but to challengers I say "bring it."

A few weeks ago I read an article that made my blood boil. In a nutshell, the article asserts that circumcision rates in the US are too low, that Medicaid in states that no longer cover the procedure should cover it again, and that it's a valuable public health tool. Current national circumcision rates (with tons of regional variation) is at about 56% for guys being born right now, and it continues to decline overall. "So what?" I hear you say.

The article was very poorly written and could lead to misinformed decisions. There is NO real reason why non-therapeutic circumcision (circumcision that isn't medically necessary) should be covered by health insurance. At all. Almost all circumcisions (in the US and globally) are chosen electively and thus non-therapeutic. Now, I'm not a doctor (yet) or an epidemiologist, but I think I've enough "training" to argue my point reasonably well. I'm arguing that circumcision is medically unnecessary as well as an unnecessary cost from a medical/public health perspective, at least as it applies to the US.

Note: I'm not arguing whether cut or uncut is "better" on aesthetic, personal, ethical, legal, or socio-religious grounds. Some of those are largely un-arguable, at least from any truly logical perspective.

In a brief overview, the reasons are as follows:

1. The assertion that circumcision may reduce the risk of getting HIV by 50-60% in heterosexual men is misleading and overstated, even if it's true. In the Bailey et al. paper, 25 uncircumcised men who became HIV-positive accounted for the 60% statistic (22 cut and 47 uncut men got HIV out of a sample population of 1391 and 1393, cut and uncut respectively); the risk to an individual is 2.1% higher for uncut guys in the Bailey et al. paper. In addition, the studies that arrived at that figure has been bombarded with valid (and invalid, lol) criticisms challenging its methodology, external validity (and thus generability), and application to public health. Additionally, the results of these studies haven't been replicated anywhere outside Africa and there are studies that suggest circumcision status makes no difference in reducing the risk of getting HIV in gay/bi men.

2. The assertion that circumcision reduces the risk of getting any STD is completely unfounded. For every study that says it does, there's a study that says it makes no difference. Condom use and monogamy trumps circumcision at every turn.

3. The above two assertions do not reflect trends in other Western developed countries where circumcision prevalance and rates are much lower, and also where HIV and STD rates are also much lower. It's probably because they use condoms more and actually practice safe sex; gee, how about that. Furthermore, no medical body in the world (not even in the US) supports routine non-therapeutic circumcision on medical grounds.

4. The assertion that circumcision lowers the chances of getting a UTI (urinary tract infection) in the first year of life is overstated. While this may be true, the risk of a UTI in uncircumcised infants is 1% at most, and much lower infants who're breastfed. Additionally, females have a much higher risk of UTIs throughout life (at 5-7% or something), yet there's no "intervention" on their behalf.

5. Circumcision is not without risks, just as with any surgical procedure. In most cases the complications are minor (infection and excessive bleeding) but gone unchecked could become life-threatening. Severe complications have been well-documented, included deaths. Unfortunately, there have been a lack of studies into the rates of complications arising from circumcision, so the true number is unknown but conservatively estimated at 0.5-2% in the US (conservative = at least). Also, in several studies, the complications of circumcision weren't reported as being a result of the procedure, so the rate may be higher than the estimate just given (some say closer to between 2-10%). Treating complications is terribly cost-ineffective.

6. Most problems with the foreskin are easily (and cheaply) resolved by non-surgical means. Circumcision is just an added cost to the health care system (and money in someone's pockets). US physicians are poorly trained to handle foreskin problems, and have tended to "default" to circumcision.

7. Circumcision is painful to infants and until very recently (within the last decade), analgesics/anestheics were rarely used. Those painkillers are also an additional cost to the health care system.

So that's that in a nutshell. I had begun to write a full detailed elaboration on each of the points, but then realized it'd end up taking me until tomorrow morning (if not into next week, there's that much to be said on this topic), before I finished. Questions, clarifications, etc welcomed via comments or email.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Think I Sold My Soul . . .

Behold my schedule for this semester!! (Please click for larger version if print is too small to read.)
I don't quite know how this happened and I don't know how I'm going to survive this semester. I'm SO glad I dropped Infectious Disease Epidemiology. How do I manage to do this to myself every semester?! Every semester I tell myself not to push myself too hard, to take things easy so I have time for "fun," but this happens invariably! This is why I don't date or do anything right now, haha (partly true).

As one can see, I have 4 "true" courses: Biostatistics; Virology & Molecular Lab; Genetics, Health Behavior & Health Education; and Cancer Epidemiology. My 5th course is research, so I also have 10-13 hours of research that I have to do.

And I'm a GSI (again, GSI = grad student instructor). I have 3 discussion sections to "teach," each of them are 1 hour long. But I failed to realize (until today) that GSIs have 4 hours of office hours. I'm not looking forward to office hours, because I've been told that undergrads will mob GSIs for answers and explanations, hoping to get any leaked info on exams and quizzes. Not cool. I think I just sold my soul to GSI-ing . . .

I brought up something interesting at the meeting earlier today where all 6 of us GSIs and the two professors for the course met. I asked about how much "freedom" each individual GSI had in teaching his/her own discussion sections. Apparently this has never been asked before - the GSIs and the 2 professors traditionally met once a week, planned, and detailed what was to be done in every single discussion section to maintain "equality" across all discussion sections. This meant that everyone had the exact same problems to do, exact same activities, etc. It sounds pretty rigidly structured, but the professor(s) seemed hesitant to quash my "enthusiasm to teach."

So clearly I singled myself out and now I've reached a mild dilemma. Should I push to have more freedom for each individual GSI to teach how he/she sees fit (the other GSIs seemed kind of opposed to this) within a semi-structured outline of the discussion? Or should I conform to everyone to maintain equality between everyone else's sections and mine? Maybe I can, from within, influence what activities and materials will be handled in a significant number of discussions in my favor? I just don't know. Granted, we all get together once a week and collectively determine what points are most important to cover in discussion sections, what problems to go over, and what activities to do. Still . . . it's kind of like prescribing the same blood pressure medication to everyone, rather than tailoring which blood pressure medications to give to which patients.

The thing is I come from a vastly different background than pretty much all the other GSIs. I have more experience in "applied" genetics in relation to research, public health, and particularly epidemiology. I understand how genetics is used in the "real world" and how to get students interested in these applications. Most of the other GSIs are real biology grad students, so they work on such and such gene in species such as fruit flies, nematodes, mice, plants, etc. Basically, not people, and basically students will come to the point where they'll ask, "Why should I care about genetics?"

I don't want to become a "rogue GSI" and get my sections all excited over something I can't, or am not allowed to, deliver. I want my undergrads to care, I want them to see that genetics is useful, and is becoming ever-increasingly important in medicine, public health, and science in general. The course I'm GSI-ing for is the undergrad intro genetics course, so I know it's going to be focused on fruit fly, nematode, plant, mice, and bacteria genetics. Aka, boring (to most of the students, a large chunk of who are pre-med). I don't think they realize this as I don't think any of the other GSIs were pre-meds themselves.

Thoughts anyone?

So I went to the gym today for the first time since before finals, like a month ago. I'm going to be sore and in pain tomorrow, haha. You may/may not have noticed my random 1-hour or 2-hour breaks in the "middle" of the day Mondays through Fridays. Those are for going to the gym (and resting/prepping as necessary).

Because of the ridiculous-ness of my schedule, I'm relegated to eating what I'd like to call the "wandering grad student diet." Basically, breakfast and lunch consists of fruits, a mix of nuts, and cereal bars while they still last. Dinner stays normal, though I think I'll be too tired to cook a ton.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Passing on the Torch

I'm back at my university now! I start classes on Wednesday. -_-

Break was a bit too short, and yet at the same time too long. I can't stand being at home - sharing a room with my brother (long story), colder temperatures than in my apartment, sedentary as a barnacle all day, feeling lethargic . . . it's just not me. I also gained 6-7 lbs over break, fuck! It's okay, that weight isn't "real," it'll disappear in 2-3 weeks of subsisting on my own food and working out regularly.

So I come back to my apartment in the midst of my old Japanese roommate leaving and my new Korean roommate settling in. The first thing that hit me was the 80-85 degrees F. It was way too warm, especially in my room where it's an additional 2-5 degrees warmer. So I turned the heat down "back to normal."

I'm not sure if I said this, but my old roommate decided that the commute to his classes was too far (about 30 minutes by 2 buses). So he wanted to live in an apartment closer to central campus. My new Korean roommate (from Korea) is a material science engineer in his senior year, so he'll be much closer to his classes than I'll be to mine. He's here from January until July, which is conveniently when our lease ends. For a Korean (from Korea) he speaks remarkably good and unaccented English. He seems nice and pretty laid back. We'll see. My old roommate's still lingering around, as he still has some stuff left in the apartment that he hasn't moved out yet.

The apartment is in that chaotic transition state right now. I'm waiting for the dust to clear before I vacuum, sweep, and dust. I can't stand a dirty apartment (I'm not so anal as to require a spotless apartment, I just like to be able to walk barefoot anywhere in my own apartment), so I'm hoping things settle down pretty fast so I can clean a bit.

I have a GSI training session tomorrow from 8:30am until 5:30pm. Gross! At least we get free breakfast and lunch. After that I'll probably go see what books I need to buy. My friend should be back in town by the time I'm done so we can catch dinner and go grocery shopping. My financial aid situation's been all up in the air somewhat in the last few days, as I see random money being given and taken away from me. It's kind of odd. I hope things clear quickly so I know what my billing statement is by Wednesday, when the tuition bill is due.
A quick note on something before I forget (and I'm sure I'll do a more in-depth post on it later). I don't think I can come out to my parents any time within the next 4 years. In other words, I'll need to be done with med school and in residency somewhere else. The ridiculous new proposal of some southern state (Alabama or Louisiana) where single parents and gay parents aren't allowed to adopt came up. My parents don't see what's wrong with that law. My brothers and I kind of argued that there are no studies that support that law logically. Yet my mom still believed that kids raised in such an environment would grow up to be not-quite-right, not gay themselves necessarily, but not quite right - as if they'd get messed up.

Gay marriage also came up briefly and my parents don't see why gay marriage should be recognized legally (granted, they didn't argue against gay marriage, but still). Their thinking (and specifically my mom's) is that both partners would be working, what's the big deal with joint benefits? I think if there was ever legislation in my state to ban gay marriage (too late, actually), my parents would probably not vote on that issue. I'd like to think that, while they're personally against it, they don't have a good enough reason against it. I know that if I come out as bi or gay to my parents, they'll think it's their fault. They'll think either they raised me wrong, or there's something genetic about it, or that there must've been some bad karma (something like that) in either their or my past lives.

I think there are two conditions that must be met before I will think about coming out to my parents. The first is that I am completely independent from them, so after med school. The second is if I'm madly in love with a guy who's "worth fighting for" and who I can see spending the rest of my life with. As of right now, neither condition is met and so I continue to bide my time. I get a cold chill when I think about some of the things they've said.

Okay, enough of my boring-ish day and pseudo-parental issues. I've caught up with 2 new-ish blogs. They are:

Life On The DL
Writing Fiction

I'm sure they're no strangers here, but head on over and say hi! :D

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Great Blog Reorganization

Okay, it's not actually that noticeable. But, the urge to reorganize things in a more logical fashion washes over me every now and then - periodically, routinely even. So I reorganized the sidebars to the right. Most notable are the sidebars with the links to the blogs I read and follow. If I follow your blog and you don't see it there, let me know. Some blogs have been taken down, so they no longer show up in the following lists. The sidebar lists are as follows:

Blog List 1 (aka, The New-comers)
This list contains all blogs I follow that began (for the most part) posting in 2008 or later.

Blog List 2 (aka, The Veterans)
This list contains all blogs I follow that began posting before 2008.

Blog List 3 (aka, The Retired)
This list contains all blogs I read that are now either potentially abandoned, currently abandoned, or retired.

A more substantial post commenting on the poll (in the sidebar to the right) that ended later.