Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Haircut fail

since i don't feel like typing the whole story..

[12/21/10 6:57:00 PM] Amy : thanks
[12/21/10 6:57:05 PM] Amy : i was trying to save my hair
[12/21/10 6:57:11 PM] Amy : i got a perm today
[12/21/10 6:57:18 PM] Amy : but they permed my whole head
[12/21/10 6:57:21 PM] Amy : even my bangs
[12/21/10 6:57:28 PM] Amy : and now it looks like i have an afro
[12/21/10 6:57:42 PM] Amy : so i was looking at videos on how to straighten hair
[12/21/10 6:57:51 PM] Amy : and i just tried it
[12/21/10 6:57:55 PM] Amy : but i dont think it works
[12/21/10 6:57:57 PM] Amy : :(
[12/21/10 6:58:03 PM] Amy : so im stuck with the afro
[12/21/10 6:58:05 PM] Ayris: o_o
[12/21/10 6:58:06 PM] Ayris: lol?
[12/21/10 6:58:17 PM] Amy : oh thanks
[12/21/10 6:58:34 PM] Ayris: D:
[12/21/10 6:58:36 PM] Ayris: well
[12/21/10 6:58:37 PM] Ayris: sorry
[12/21/10 6:58:39 PM] Ayris: it's sort of funny

tried flat ironing the bangs again today

It's a little bit more tamed now. :)

This was at the top of my news feed on when i got on facebook today
I just had sex, and it felt so good...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

If I were rich...

I would probably find myself in the streets of Miami wasting away my days. It's a horrific thought, sure, but in all likely cases, that would be what happens since I can't be trusted with too much luxury. I was just thinking about what I'd do if I had suddenly won the lottery one day and became a millionaire. Either money would corrupt me or I would lose it all overnight just as easily as I lose my wallet. Yesterday, Jessica (the girl from London) and I were talking about her life as the daughter of a billionaire. She has vacationed in every continent except for Africa and South America, had dinners with the president of China, seen Paris Hilton while shopping in New York, she owns three houses all in different countries, and probably has enough money to feed an entire city, but she doesn't seem at all comfortable talking about the benefits of being rich. The two things she did stress was her brother's clubbing obsession and her father's habit of smoking 3 packs of cigarette per day. I wonder if all the rich had some flaws. It would make sense that rich people are more susceptible to bad habits since they're not under financial stress and so they don't have the need to stay professional or sober or well-educated or whatever, and it's just so much easier (not healthier, but easier) to live life like its the 20s. So yeah, back to what i was saying about wasting my life away in Miami. We visited Miami 3 years ago? And the only thing I remember from there was all the drunk people coming out of clubs at 7 in the morning and i think if i were rich, i would eventually end up in one of these places cuz of my lack of will to stay in school/work for admission into medical school/whatever track id thought id be going into.
Speaking of school, grades came out yesterday.... 3.69qpa and A's in all core courses. I think not sleeping for the entire finals week has paid off. My only regret is not leaving time to study for data structures and going into that final with a caffeine high thinking id ace it without knowing anything we learned over the last month. Also, I would really like the idea of installing shower rooms in the library for the poor kids who need a place to cram for finals but don't want to walk back to their dorms at 5 in the morning. Jessica told me that in London, they have 3 weeks of break to cram for finals and alot of people live in the library for those 3 weeks with their sleeping bags and toothbrushes and it's so much more convenient for them to do so because they have shower rooms. A school like CMU were all the students are tortured by academics would really benefit from something like that.


More restaurant reviews:


Uncle Sams:best subs ever
Aladdins: decent if you're into mediterranean
Bangkok Balcony: portions are too small but delicious
Pamela's: great breakfast place
Rose Tea Cafe: comparable to bangkok
Quaker Steak and Lube: only go if you're going with Graham/someone who will devour wings like they're animals.
Primanti Brothers: bleh. personally, i don't like the idea of stuffing fries inside burgers
Eat Unique: interesting
Szechuan Express: yay for cheap Asian food!
Sushi boat: okay
Korea Garden: decent but expensive
Little Asia: their pad thai does not taste like pad thai
Star of India: bleh. comparable to... Taste of India...
Dave and Andy's: must go eat their ice cream... so good!!!


Not Your Average Joe's:is really not your average joe's: great food. Their bread is delicious.

Beer Works: i like the decorations/atmosphere, best steak ever, go there if you're in the mood for pigging out, not good for vegetarians. all the beer is freshly brewed from the restaurant

Thursday, December 16, 2010

girl from london

So a few days ago my mom called me and told me on a short notice that a girl from London will be coming to live with us for a few days over winter break. No details were given, I had no idea who she was or why she'll be living with us and at that time I was too burnt out from finals to bother asking for the details. Anyways, her flight was supposed to arrive at midnight yesterday, a few hours right after I get back from the mellon, but her first flight got delayed and she missed her connecting flight, so we ended up having to pick her up this morning. Apparently, this girl had been awake from at least 48 hours due to traveling and jetlag, but even then, she was full of energy and ready to soak in all the excitements of Boston. As a result, my mom and I ended up shopping with her for 7 hours today. Over the course of our hanging out today I learned a lot more about her background. She's a recent graduate from the London School of Economics and her hometown is in Hong Kong. Her father is an investor, hence she's visiting U.S. in her father's behalf to talk to my mom about developing an area nearby here that used to be a golf course. Her mother passed away to cancer and ever since then her father as been looking for cancer research company to invest in and after finding out about my dad's research he wanted to connect with my dad as well, but since he has been super busy lately, the daughter as been dispatched to us to spend a weekend here on the account of her having a week long vacation after school ended. Aside from the business talk, she's a very outspoken and friendly person with a ridiculous passion in shopping.

Claims from Our Shopping trip:

4 pairs of boots from UGG ~$400
1 mini wallet with a "moneyclip"? $150
3 dresses from BCBG ~$300
2 coats ~$300
1 dressy shirt ~???

1 sweater $19.99
1 dress $49.99
1 cinnamon pretzel $1.50

1 sweater for my daddy $40

A comment on the wallet: that thing is smaller than my palm and it looks just like any other ordinary wallet except its thinner and it has a clip that you can attach your cash to. She found it inside one of those glass display cases and the first thing she said was "woahh I need one of these, and it's so cheap! Only 150 dollars!" I can't imagine how rich she is... O_o

I asked her about the prices in London and she said that everything is more expensive, but then again the stores she go to are probably only meant to be for billionaires. The tradeoff is, the tuition for London School of Economics is only 15000 pounds per year for international students. And apparently, their vacation time add up to 6 months per year. What the heck CMU?

Oh yeah, when my mom first told me she's an Asian girl from London, I thought she would look and sound a bit like this

but it turned out that her English accent isn't British and she's not child-like at all. Instead, imagine a 23 year old Meryl Streep with a mixed South African/Chinese accent.

Tomorrow will be day two of shopping and then we'll visit the Harvard campus because she wanted to get a taste of the Ivy League. After that, my break officially starts with reading 100+ pages of publications about machine learning and pancreatic cancer, starting the assignment for Odyssey and applying to internships. Next week, all the Boston students are coming back from finals so I'll be pigging out at a friend's house and watching a movie during the weekend. Fun stuff! Yay for break!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


There's always that tiny bittersweet feeling that accompanies the end of each chapter of our life. Our team just gave the team project presentation today and that is officially the end of Lab I. I had fun, despite the frequent frustration we've had with the experiment. I'll surely miss the smell of ether and of course, the post-lab dinners with the group. Chinese is officially done as well, and it is weird to think that next semester there will be no more morning coffees with A.Chen and sleeping in Chinese class. There is no more tutoring with the East Liberty kids since I will have no time to tutor next semester but instead have my life consumed by 251 and research. I'll miss the kids: D'Ambrose, Dom, M., Heaven, Mykya and the hyperactive Christian and I'm only naming these people because they are the people I'd never want to forget but I know I'll forget at some point and cry over the fact that I have terrible recollection of names. But anyways, I wish the best for them and hope that they'll all stay in school, and of course, Mr. Brown who always teased me for being a Pats fan and for looking like my Asian counterpart, Jiwon, whom sadly I still haven't meet. Perhaps someday when I'm old, I'll write a book about all of them because each and everyone of them at East Liberty are such memorable people and as cliche as this sounds, they deserve to have their stories told.

Yesterday, I got a text from someone I haven't heard from in a long time, in a way it did mark the end of something that would have otherwise continued to be on standstill. I don't really know whether I'd rather prefer closure than uncertainty. Looking back, there are so many things that could have gone differently and so many things that could have been made clearer. I remember Vivian's philosophical argument about what matters is not how things ends but it is about getting rid of any misunderstanding of events leading up to the ending. It's tragic that I don't have the capacity to think like Vivian. I guess for me, the fun is in the mystery of not knowing, and trying to stick an eye into every nitty gritty well of someone's life ruins the fun. Also, it doesn't help that I'm a shy person and isn't bold enough to have done things differently.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, I've figured out something that's tragically wrong with me. The more I get to know someone, the more boring they become, and of course people can say the same about me. But, as they say, the only way to get to know a person really well is to interact with them on a day to day basis... but by seeing someone too often you're exposing yourself to the danger of getting bored of that person, or vice versa, the other person gets bored of you. So should there be a need to limit the amount of time you spend with any particular person? Or would it be better to solely interact with strangers so the conversations never gets old? That's really sad to think about. There's always rare exceptions to this, the image elderly couples holding hands for example... that's a picture I'll always be envious of.

That's it for the post. I don't know why I tend to blog about such depressing things. Maybe there's a stronger need to put depressing things into writing whereas happier memories are only worthy of a mental acknowledgment. But that's it, once last post before drowning myself in textbooks. Let the finals studying commence.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


The weekend before breaks is always stressful but somehow I am not even a bit concerned about the two tests tomorrow and lab report Tuesday. This weekend was supposed to be devoted entirely to biochem, but uh, fun got in the way? Friday night was my little's AUO concert. Going to a classical concert for the first time in years just reminded me of how much I hated concerts. The one thing that always bothered me about classical pieces was that the songs always tend to drag on longer than usual. At certain times in the song, as the tempo gets faster and stronger, you start experiencing that heavy anticipation of the ending, but every one of those anticipated endings are always followed up by another set of chord progression which I guess is the introduction to the next part of the piece. Fifteen minutes later, they are still playing the same song. Anyways, that 2 hour concert seemed more like 5 hours. It was an interesting experience though. The audiences were mostly elderly people and the site of an elderly couple going to an orchestral concert is just such a precious thing, not something a normal college student would see everyday.
After the concert was Harry Potter. I cannot even call myself a real Harry Potter fan since the only book I've read was the last one, but it is easy to fall into the Harry Potter craze especially at CMU. The movie itself is decent. When did Ron become all jacked? It is weird to associate his goofy and childish face with that muscular figure, but that's alright, I'm still very much in love with him. After the movie, Soo and I went to Nancy's place for some drinks. Everyone there was Korean except me. And I don't know why I thought it was a good idea to fill up the awkwardness of not being able to speak Korean by drinking more alcohol. So, half of my Saturday was spent trying to recover from a hangover and less than 3 hours of sleep on top of studying for biochem. Saturday afternoon, Xuexia invited me to origami club and Edmund taught us how to make a dragon!

Sexy pink dragon --->

After origami was APHIO pre-thanksgiving dinner. The food was delicious. To recover from food coma, Sujin, Nancy and I went to Razzy and then got some exercise in through pingpong,ITG, and pool. That was when we bumped into Rahul and he reminded me to update my blog. So yeah, this post is for you dude. Just a little update on what's been happening with my life. And it's sad that we don't see each other anymore but I hope you're doing well.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Hell week is finally over. I have had maybe a total of about 5 hours of sleep within the last five days because, of course, CMU loves to torture their students the week before the long weekends. I bonded with my lab partners pulling off all nighters doing chem lab reports and studying for that god awful chem lab test, which I'm pretty sure I got rapped on nevertheless. The only good thing I got out of this past week is the technique of mastering how to survive on 1 hour micronaps and how to trick your brain to have self-induced caffeine highs. But aside from work overload, what really got me into this shitty mood has been because of the complicated mess of social interactions. That feeling of being trapped, knowing that possibility of forming a new relationship is completely open but not being able to start anew. I truly miss freshman year. We were all so careless and innocent and back then, meeting someone new is most exciting and wonderful feeling in the world. Now, that doesn't even matter anymore. The people I've met sophomore year are just as cool, but somehow I get that feeling of distance... knowing that they've had a whole year of college experience before meeting you. It seems most people have settled down into their niche by now, but I am part of many niches but never fully committed to a single one, and all the groups I'm partially a part of are only one dimensional: a group to gossip with, a group to study with, a group to party with, a group to eat food with, someone to steal blocks off of, someone to rant to, someone to get physical with, someone to be awkward with, someone to tease, but never someone with whom I can do all of the above. It's a frustrating feeling, but life isn't always perfect. And I guess most of this is my fault, for not keeping in touch with people and for letting schoolwork completely drain my soul.


Other highlights:

-Relay For Life: This year's relay has been especially emotional because it brought back memories of the summer (part of the reason I decided to revisit and update this blog). During the summer while working at AVEO I got the chance to met my boss's two year old soon, who is suffering from a brain tumor. When I first met him I would have never imagined he had cancer because he is truly an adorable little child. Then, my boss told me about his condition. I cannot even vaguely imagine how hard it must be to face the prospect of knowing your two year old child may die of cancer. I do hope Ben and his family are doing well.

-Football Concessions: worked the cash register for the whole time. Holy cow. High school football games at ridiculous. So many people O_o.

-I've temporarily banned myself from facebook. It's been two only days but I'm already suffering from major facebook withdrawal syndrome. The password has been changed and now only Dylan knows what it is. Maybe I won't be so distracted now? We'll see how long this lasts.


People are interesting. So I've decided to write about a few new interesting people I've met this year. This is a little sketchy I know, but I swear I don't/would never stalk any of these people...

girl from work: another sophomore here at CMU. She described her schedule to me while we were waiting on the bus back from work. Basically, her days start at 4am every weekday (crew) to 8pm at night (meetings+classes+work at admissions office) and then she does her homework after that AND she also has a job as a desk attendant (graveyard shift I think), AND she's in a sorority AND she's also a tutor at EECM AND she's a mentor at McGill. Yup, her life seems very busy.

boy from work: a brother at Delt, chubby face/built, very adorable, like a teddy bear, speaks Japanese. That's all.

favorite aphio pledge: bonded with her at Relay for Life, karaoke, and concessions. She acts drunk when she's sober.

other favorite aphio pledge: funny story... he showed up in our apartment at one time and I came into the apartment totally not anticipating this because I had no clue that he was friends with Adrian. Apparently he came over to smoke with Adrian. I must have acted really surprised or I just came off as a really traditional/ innocent person because he felt the need to personally have a conversation with me the next day and explaining how he's been battling drug addiction and wants to quit and would appreciate it if I don't tell the chapter. A pretty chill guy though, I think we became friends after that.

my little: worst little/big match possible. She's a hardcore Christian. Bleh.

new gay friend met from lab: why are gay people so... pretty? it's a shame that they are gay. Also, I wish I have a gay best friend.

another dude from lab I: has the habit of saying "totally", "this fella", and "for sure"... those are his favorite phrases. he is also very anal about making every solution accurate to the drop which bugs the hell out of me because I'm not a patient person.

umbrella boy: offered me his umbrella because it was pouring rain outside and I live far away from campus. Probably the nicest act a stranger would do for you, but because of him, I now have a cynical view on life.

boy from library who's also in ochem: you know there's something wrong with you when you're meeting new friends at 3 am in the morning on the antisocial floor of the library. Organic chemistry truly brings people together.

freshman buddy: freshman at CMU but also from my HS! And a bio major! It's only his second month here and CMU has successfully converted him into an insomniac. Also, he gives me his blocks/buys me coffee in the mornings --> favorite freshman :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Just listened in on a fabulous presentation about the genome as a giant sudoku puzzle and the process of genomic clustering and biomarker discovery, inarguably the most mind-opening talk I've heard in a long time, high respect for Dr. Murray Robinson. God I'll miss this place... so many interesting and intelligent people. Biology is not so boring, screw you hater CS/physics/math majors.

The dude working in the next lab bench, Zakir, is fasting for a month as part of his Islamic tradition. You'd think having no food all day would make you a grumpy and lethargic person, but he's more energetic and talkative than usual. Hmm... as a personal goal, I want to see if I can fast for at least a week, to make up for my failure at veggie nom.

Filling out my last time sheet. Time sheets... are so confusing. Why can't I just fill out the hours online? It's less likely to screw up the dates that way. Whoever invented the idea of timesheets deserves a punch in the balls.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


The nicotine of food.

new phone!

samsung intensity, same number. trying to figure out how to turn off the speaker phone... instruction manual isn't helping, either that or I'm really dumb, but yeah, just a heads up, if you call me you'll be on speaker phone.

CMU on Friday! So psyched! So the plan is we start driving at 3am in the morning, I'm driving for first 5 hours and then parents taking over for the rest of the trip, if all goes well and we don't crash cuz of my terrible driving, should on campus in the afternoon. I need to start packing..

Monday, August 9, 2010

religion and how it's a piece of shit

I know this may offend a lot of people... it already put me at odds with my mom and a bunch of my Christian friends, but hey, it's my opinion and I think atheists deserve their equal share of free speech. If you are religious, that's great, still got high respect for you. This is just my opinion and you don’t have to agree, any comments/critiques welcomed.

Basically, I've been an atheist all my life and ever since my mom converted to Christianity I've grown to develop a stronger sense of repulsion towards it. During Sundays, she would always invite these people from the so-called “Jehovah's Witnesses” for bible studies. Sometimes when I'm in the house, she would force me to drop by and join them for their discussions on how God created the world. Luckily I managed to avoid them this Sunday by getting out of the house really early and camping out at clothing stores. Anyways, I think my mom is going nuts from all this religious brainwashing. I don't think I can talk to her normally anymore without the topic of our conversation somehow digressing to involve creationism. To her, the concept of evolution is completely bonkers: “no, humans are not evolved from apes. God created the first man and ripped out a rib from the man to make a woman.” Also, “the human eye is so complex that it couldn't possibly be a result of evolution…” even though real science shows that the human eye is a structurally inefficient piece of crap that's completely designed backwards for its function, like having your anus at your mouth. I’ve given up trying to win the argument over intelligent design vs. evolution, but what annoys the fuck out of me is how she spends so much time and energy on trying to decipher the words of God when she has bigger problems to worry about. That’s the worst aspect of religion; it belittles mankind and undermines everything we work hard for and constantly reminds you to suck up to this invisible entity who’s like a baby craving for attention.
I got a call from a friend a few days back, it’s the first time she contacted me since a year ago. She’s currently spending the summer at a missionary trip at New Jersey and the reason she called is that she needs donations because the trip costs money but she’s already broke from tuition. I told her I don’t have any money to donate at the moment, which is partly true since my paycheck’s about to go to CMU anyways, but bigger reason for not donating is that the donation money would have gone to the church, an institution that I despise and have no interest in supporting, also I find it ridiculous that she is paying thousands of dollars to help spread religion when she’s having a hard enough time paying for her own education. I think if there were a God, God would not want you to spend the money you don’t have to spread his teaching. Otherwise, God is pretty darn selfish. Seriously, all that money spent on missionary programs and churches, and the war against Islam for that matter, could be used on better things.

I watched the Book of Eli yesterday, if you take away its religious theme it’s a pretty kickass movie. Basically, this guy named Eli (Denzel Washington) is a survivor in a post-war apocalyptic world and he has the last remaining copy of the bible. So Eli has to protect it while dodging from bad guys. At the end of the movie, Eli lost the copy to the bad guys but he manages to travel to Alcatraz and get a scribe write a new copy as he recited it word by word. Poor Eli wasted his entire life protecting that book, and I think the last words he said before his death was something like “Oh Lord I’ve suffered long enough and now I’m just happy to be finally allowed to rest!” except more dramatically phrased. So, the bible survives after all, happy ending? I think not. Eli made painful sacrifices to be considered a hero at the end, but why go through all that trouble so the next generation and every generation onwards has to suffer from mass brainwash? Bottom line is, religion is a waste of time.

I’ve been listening to this guy on youtube.

He gives some amazing insights into the discussion about Christianity and atheism. Give it a listen if you have time. Yeah, I’m a huge hypocrite for spending time on these philosophical discussions when I just said that religion is a waste of time, but this is really interesting stuff!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Movies watched/misc updates

Inception (8.5/10): I think the concept of a dream within a dream is clever but didn't like how the plot is based off a guy trying to steal business from a competition by manipulating with his mind through dreams, but overall, excellent special effects and what a twist ending.

Toy Story III (6/10): I didn't like it as much as other pixar movies such as Up and Ratatouille. Since they finally realized that the toys-coming-to-life aspect got old, they decided to incorporate social-commentary styled dialogues into the movie and made it seem like a poor version of a children's story trying to imitate adult humor. I didn't like first or second movie, maybe that's why I'm so critical on this one...

Dinner for Schmucks (7.5/10): A clever parody of the modern definition of intelligence vs. stupidity. The stuffed mice are so cute! I want one.

Liked the movie overall but it got a little crazy for me towards the end with that mind/brain control scene.

The Other Guys (9/10): Definitely a must-watch. It's stupid to the point of being funny plus it's a good action thriller, and Will Ferrell's detective partner is cute. New favorite movie quote: "Imma peacock, you gotta let me fly!"

Saw a flock of turkeys crossing the road in Burlington... that just made my day.

Had my second trip to a legit Indian Restaurant yesterday. I didn't know that haddock was a fish until now... nor that when on the subject of Indian food, mildly spicy means Bhut Jolokia mouth burning/tongue inflaming spicy. O_o

Can't believe its nearing the end of summer vacation. Two more weeks and... CMU >_<. I still need to get my schedule sorted. As of now I have 62 units :O But I can't drop Chinese until I know for sure that I can enroll in 15121 since its lab time on Thursday conflicts with undergraduate colloquium. I'd rather not take undergraduate colloquium but I don't know if it's required for sophomore biology majors. I shoot Dr. Braun an email but she's on vacation and wont be able to respond until next week. Ugh. Or maybe I shouldn't drop anything, 62 units is manageable right...? Although that would mean going hungry on Mon/Wed/Fridays...

Thursday, August 5, 2010


This is a comment on Liz's post about the homeless from a long time ago. Today, I was driving through Alewife on the way to work and I saw a homeless man carrying a sign and asking drivers for money. I've seen that guy many times before, but he changes his sign every week or so. I remember back in the beginning of the summer the sign said something about him being a veteran, and then last month it changed to something along the lines of him being crippled and needing to feed his family, and now the sign says he has MS... O_o All of this could be true, but more likely, he's making up stories to gain sympathy, but somehow I can't bring myself to criticize him. I don't know what deserves more sympathy, being an honest beggar or being driven to the point of desperation where you have to tell lies to get help. This man was probably never a veteran, or may not have a family to feed, or doesn't have some neurodegenerative disease, but that doesn't change the fact that he is living on 20 dollars a day out on the streets. The media is putting more attention to this kind of issue now but it hasn't really resonated with me until it hits home and I start seeing it for myself. Sad world we're living in.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Protect your kid from stoner music.

Friday Rambling continued/trailer trash/fashion

So bored. Wants to go home now. Guh.

I ran into a high school friend at TJ Maxx a few days ago. I think I might have mentioned about her to some of you before (Vivian maybe? idk) and said I found out through facebook that she got pregnant and had a baby and two days after the baby was born, her relationship status went from in a relationship to single. Anyways, she's working at the Maxx for the summer.

She doesn't seem so different, even talks in the same way as I remember from years ago. I feel guilty about admitting this but when I first found out she got pregnant, I thought ohh noo, she turned into one of the trailer-trash girls and made her way into the hooker community with piercings and tattoos, but it turned out she's still the same nice and friendly girl, or maybe it's only my perception of her that changed. The term trailer-trash... I've used it freely before without considering what it actually implies, but now that I think about it, it's such an ugly and gag-worthy term and can be just as offending as gay or retarded. I guess my point is, my perception of trashiness has taken on a more stringent standard after college. Trashy clothes are more acceptable, alcohol and weed is everywhere, sex is no longer a taboo, babies are just the typical aftermath of an ops moment. I still don't approve of every aspect of college culture, but now I don't tend to make a big deal out of them anymore. I don't know if this is the normal college life. Most of the old friends I've talked to during the summer said that college is pretty much a continuation of high school but I'd completely disagree with that, and it's not a bad thing at all (or maybe it could be a bad thing... I don't know anymore).

Yeah, so I got more clothes! That's a total of four shopping trips over the summer. Uhh kill me, a quarter of my paycheck goes to the mall, fml. Liz, stop me before I go bankrupt. Somehow Chris found out about my awful habit of spending money on clothes that I never end up wearing (thanks Ariel -.-). Now he wants me to start wearing decent clothes, either that or he's challenging me to a fashion show so he can show me up with his hippie ass clothes that he bought over the summer. So far we decided on two judges (if you'll agree to it): Liz and Ariel, Ariel will probably vote for Chris (because you like him better) and hopefully Liz likes me more? :D So it'll be one-one and we'd be back to where we started. We'll need a third judge, preferably an unbiased judge with a high sense of fashion... but I think I'll just end up caving and let him declare himself a winner. Clothes are only fun to try on at the mall, but planning out your outfits everyday is such a hassel, I'd rather use the extra 10 minutes in the morning to snooze and be lazy. I wonder if the majority thinks like Chris, who pays alota attention to his image, or Joe the shoeless hobo. :P I'm sort of split in between, meaning if you dress sloppily I may think negatively of you but there's not much of a difference between semi-decent vs. high fashioned. Your thoughts?

Friday Rambling

Finally DONE with counting cells. The new definiens software for cell counting came but the sad thing is, my supervisor came up with the theory that tumor necrosis may effect our results and started making me keep track of dead cells, which are hard for the software to recognize since they have fragmented nuclear contents that screw up the cell count, so I ended up having to spend most of monday-thursday counting images by hand again -.- but it's all done now... and I get Friday to relax/write/stalk all of your blogs ^^.

I'm starting to enjoy pharmacy, at least the biology behind it if not the labwork and image analysis. So I thought I'd write about the project we've been working on for the last two months. If biology bores you, stop reading now.

The main candidate drug of our company is tivozanib and it's an inhibitor of VEGF receptors and without going into detail about the specifics of the mechanism, the VEGF pathway basically induces angiogenesis (growth of microvessels) in tumors. So treatment of tivozanib inhibits angiogenesis, triggers hypoxia and stops the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to the tumor region. The company has created an almost complete human-in-mice archive and the bioinformatics department have been working on a gene expression profile for each kind of tumors they have in the archive. An interesting thing they discovered was that the tumors resistant to tivozanib generally shows a significantly higher expression of myeloid genes associated with macrophage activation. So a hypothesis that someone came up with is that macrophage activity plays an angiogenic role in these resistant tumor types. In the project I'm involved in, we want to see if depleting macrophage count will turn tivo-resistant tumors into tivo-sensitive tumors. We've tested a couple of *what we thought* was macrophage inhibiting molecules in combination with tivozanib to see if there is a greater tumor inhibition. One of the molecules that showed promising results was xeloda. It's a chemo drug that's already been approved and studies have shown that it's effective in treating bone marrow diseases such as leukemia. So from my basic understanding of the rationale behind picking this molecule to target the macrophage: leukemia is a cancer of white blood cells, therefore macrophages are involved and if xeloda treats leukemia, it kills macrophages? Whatever the rationale is, we got very surprising results. Treatment of tivo-xeloda combo works much better than the additive effect of tivo only, or xeloda only in terms of reducing tumor volume, which, so far, is to be expected based on our hypothesis. However, when I looked at the images of IHC, the macrophage count on the xeloda and xeloda+tivo seems to be actually greater than the vehicle (control) and tivo only treatment arms, which completely contradicts the xeloda-kills-macrophage-theory. Since scientists are a bunch of skeptics they used three other methods to confirm the IHC, still getting the same results, AND made the group repeat the whole experiment, getting the same results again (a whole month work put to waste, gah). So in the end, we found a combo that works great and could translate into useful clinical information, but our initial understanding of the mechanism behind it turned out to be completely wrong. Accidental result based on bullshit reasoning, lol. We're still working out ways to explain the synergistic effect of xeloda and tivo. The most simple explanation is that tivo targets blood vessels and xeloda directly kills tumor cells, but we're still unsure whether macrophage activity contributes to this effect. Yesterday our group called an emergency meeting and talked about the results/future directions, it was very confusing to follow, especially since my direct supervior and his supervisor get into heated arguments all the time, but pretty exciting nevertheless.

I think for the next month we'll be focusing more on a Tivo-Avastin comparison project. Avastin is the frontline drug that's on the shelves for the type of cancers we're interested in treating. Based on our phase one and two clinical results, Tivo not only work better but shows less side effects for patients. Now, it's just a matter of organizing more presentable results and marketing big time, and hoping Tivo gets through phase III of clinical trials.

This morning we had a biweekly presentation, I had a hard time paying attention due to the lack of sleep (slept at 3:30 yesterday and woke up at 7, fudge), but there was one thing that I got a laugh out of. So the presenter today showed a slide from a tumor efficacy study done in Japan, there was a graph of tumor volumes vs number of days after treatment, and a few of the treatment arms went up to as high as 9000 mm^3 (that's about as big as the mouse itself). Wow Japan, so much for animal health regulation. So AVEO was originally planning on using this data in an upcoming conference, but they don't want people to question it and then have to deal with complications. So, one person proposed (as a joke, or maybe not...) that we should change the numbers into percent increase, to hide the actual values, which I find very clever, but very sad. I'm sure they'll end up settling this in a more professional way, but it makes me question just much of the data from the scientific community is really trustworthy...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ugh mom.

It's so frustrating talking to my mother. She's been talking about starting her own "beesiness" for almost two years and that's all she ever talks about at home. Her plan is that she'll get famous on her Asian blog where she writes about architecture/her life in America and attract some rich investors in China who will buy her design package. From what I can make of her logic, here's her plan: She claims that the houses in China sells for more than it's worth in US dollars, so she can export materials from US to China and build houses there while borrowing money from an investor. In her mind, everything sounds so foolproof, but the sad thing is, she doesn't know any bit of English and has no experience in handling business transactions in the US. Coming from someone who doesn't even know how to spell pizza I dont think she knows how big of a task this is. For the past two years she has done nothing but design two houses. She hasn't attracted any real investors yet but has been almost scammed two times and in the meantime she turned down two real job offers.... for what? to stay at home and fantasize about becoming a billionaire and brag about her awesome (non-existent) entrepreneur skills. Yesterday she got a private message from a so-called rich billionaire who wants to collaborate with her on a town-wide building project, now she's getting all hyped out again. I really hope that it is not a scam this time and it works out for her, but somehow I get the feeling that this is another one of those false alerts. Sometimes I wonder whether it's better to live in your own fantasized world like my mom and always thinking of plots to dig the easy way out while not realizing that there is no such way, or be completely aware of the day-to-day hardships you're dealing with but at least get a sense of reality. Maybe I should try adopting her philosophy and see how it works out.

Haven't been keeping up with metal news lately, but SHIT! Four new album releases! Thanks to Ryan for bringing me up to date

Album release dates: memo for self

Avenged Sevenfold- Nightmare-July 27th aka tomorrow???
Disturbed-Asylum- August 31
Stone Sour-Audio Secrecy-September 7th
All That Remains-For We Are Many - September??

And if you have some money to spare and want to contribute to the oil spill relief, feel free to take a visit to this site.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I've been exploring some eating places in Cambridge over the past couple of weeks during lunch and after work. This is mostly a note to myself so I can remember... in case I come back again in the future and forget which ones are good.

Pepper Sky- so so, tastes a bit like Taste of India though...

Middle East- was gonna come here with Liz to see a band but the event got canceled. (btw we still need to meet up and do something) Went here with Christine this week and ate some delicious kabab and kibbe over an interesting discussion about MIT quirks. Random fact, MIT dorms have something similar to our condom wall, they have trippier condoms though... theirs are flavored and they glow in the dark... woah!

Mulan-went here with our research group for Xiaojiang's farewell party ;_; We reserved a roundtable so there were alottt of food. Delicious... a bit pricey.

Toscannini's- best ice cream place ever.

Fire and Ice- I love the concept of having the chief grill whatever ingredients you choose.

Thailand Cafe-it's okay, but the lunch specials are blehh.

Cafe Luna-yummy salads~

Indian Restaurant that I don't remember the name of-Rahul showed me the proper way of eating a chicken. Thank you Rahul.

Mary Chung-their stuff is really good, would go there everyday if I can.

Cinderalla's-lol my friend got food poisoning after eating their fish sandwich.

Pacific St. Cafe-very convenient if you don't feel like waiting, but the waiters don't know how to speak English.

That's all. Hoping to explore more places soon. Overall, Cambridge food > Pittsburgh food.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

brain fart

The good thing about a lab job is that you get hour long breaks in the middle of your experiments while chemistry is slowing doing its own job. Yeah, now is just one of those breaks when I sit around and ponder about what to do for the next two hours before starting the next part of the procedure. I really need to find something productive to do for these occasions. I figured I should start writing more. Yesterday, I was trying to write an email to a professor about working in his lab next semester and for half an hour I couldn't even start the opening sentence, so I started writing in bullet point format. After a ridiculously long time of brainstorming here's what I have:

-will be sophomore bio major, wants to know if you have any openings for lab aide/research assistant
-interested in neurobiology. reason: always been interested in general biology, but ever since taking brain/behavior with Behrmann, gained interest in the workings of the brain
-has experience with animals, can dose, take blood samples, collect tissues
-has experience with procedures such IHC, ELISA, Western Blot, PCR, gel electro., cell culture, general lab safety...
-would like to work in your lab because: wants to pursue undergrad research, you have interesting research/publications, wants to gain experience with the technologies in your lab ie. multi photon imaging, single neuron electrical recording blah blah

It started sounding like an amateur resume. What's worse is that I can't even turn this bulk of crap writing into complete sentences. It's like I don't even know how to speak English anymore. In all honesty, I think I was smarter back in 5th grade because back then at least I knew how to write complete sentences. So... time to do some psychoanalysis on myself and figure out what the hell is wrong with me. I have a couple of theories.

1. Colorguard: I joined colorguard ever since middle school and have hit myself on the head for God knows many times. If only back then I knew I was committing brain cell genocide each time the flag lands on my head I would have quit a long time ago.

2. I don't do enough crossword puzzles: Here's an interesting insight from the article "Do You Get Dumber As You Grow Older," "The most powerful youthing formula is doing mental exercises. Studies have shown that those seniors who play chess, card games, solve puzzles, or pursue an interesting hobby, not only have a great attitude, but they are also biologically younger than others of the same chronological age." Based on past experiences I think this is very true. In high school, we had a school newspaper that featured a new crossword puzzle everyday and some of my friends would always do those during free periods. I've tried to do those occasionally but I was always the idiot who could only figure out 10% of the puzzle at best. Then there are those geniuses who could complete all the puzzles in less an half an hour, even the impossible Friday ones. Of course, those are the people who eventually ended up in Harvard/MIT.

3. Korean drama: So far two people have tried to convince me that watching Korean dramas stimulates brain cell apoptosis. Ops.

4. Genetics: I probably have a dormant "stupidity" gene that gets expressed after a certain age... or could be a "stupidity" virus, sort of like AIDS you know? Or early onset Alzheimers...

5. Anti-Asianess: If genetics isn't the cause, maybe culture can explain it. There's the stereotype that Asians are raised under pressure to focus more on academics hence with an adequate amount of test preparations and honor level English courses they are generally better at reading and writing. My parents didn't raised me in that way. Sure they may fit the Asian stereotype themselves and they have high expectations for me in terms of academics but they never did much to enforce that so I was pretty much dependent on self-motivation (and I don't have much of that :P).

6. Laziness: tying into number 5.... this is the most probable reason (though #1 and 2 are fairly likely also) aka I need to read and write more!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

rabbit and walden

Here is the rabbit that ate all of our beans. My dad wants to invent a rabbit catching device and trap it, then have roasted rabbit meat for dinner. Poor thing. It's been living in our backyard ever since it was a baby and I feel like its part of the family, but Asian parents care less about that, they think everything is food.

Went to Walden Pond this morning, the place of inspiration for the famous Henry David Thoreau. I was very inspired. Here's an excerpt from "Walden" to inspire you too.

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartanlike as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to 'glorify God and enjoy him forever.'

Still we live meanly, like ants; though the fable tells us that we were long ago changed into men; like pygmies we fight with cranes; it is error upon error, and clout upon clout, and our best virtue has for its occasion a superfluous and evitable wretchedness. Our life is frittered away by detail. An honest man has hardly need to count more than his ten fingers, or in extreme cases he may add his ten toes, and lump the rest. Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity!"

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Babies, food, soccer, and octopus

So we had an Asian party over bbq and potluck and soccer today at our place with some of my dad's friends. Three of the families had little babies, one of them is 7 months old, the other ones are 2 years and 4 years. Oh, and the 7 month old one is named Wallie. He's the cute one... but it must suck to be named after a robot. Ohh Asian parents :\ And the 2 year old is named Ben, which is normal as an English name, but translated into Chinese, it means "stupid"... just a funny observation... I wonder if his chinese name actually uses the same character as "stupid" because that would be very unfortunate. Anyways, that's pretty much the only interesting facts about the babies, other than that, they just stare at people and drool alot.

There was a lot of delicious Asian food. Two of my favorites were the vegetarian baozi, which is sort of like dumplings except they're steamed instead of boiled, and japchae, which is korean noodle....sooooo good! I'll definitely try to a hand at making them at dinner in Shadyoak sometimes.

Yeah so, the world cup...

I never really caught on with the soccer fanaticism so I really don't have much to say about it. But, apparently, Chinese people are crazy about soccer. I wonder why, I mean you don't see Chinese soccer making headline news. Is the Chinese team even ranked in FIFA?

The first 110 minutes were excruciatingly boring, and when it came down to about 5 minutes left we were all looking forward to the penalty shootout. Then out of nowhere Spain pulled that last minute lucky shot. I honestly think Germany got robbed of their place in the finals, it's such a shame that Muller missed the Germany vs. Spain game, if he were there, they would have been the ones playing the Dutch today. But watevs, yay Spain! The octopus did it again huh. There's something profoundly fishy about a cephalopod being able to predict the outcome of 10 games in a roll correctly. I admit I'm just an skeptic in general but I really think its a hoax, they probably did something with Paul's food...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Seltzer tastes digusting.

It really does. The company has a free vending machine on our floor with every type of soda imaginable and I thought I'd try out something different today so I got a Raspberry Lime Seltzer since it's zero calories. It tastes really bitter and strong, reminds me of that terrible beer people forced on me in China last summer, yet ironically I'm on my second can of seltzer today. Maybe carbonated water is really just liquefied marijuana in disguise and once you start you can't get off of it. Not that I've tried any drugs but I have a feeling I'd be a terrible addict if I ever try anything.

Spent an entire morning at a microscope room taking pictures. The room is pretty nifty, you have to get through a rotating door that blocks off all the light from outside and once inside it's completely dark and you have turn on this special orange light to work at the station. It's similar to the dark room in our high school photography class...made me a little nostalgic actually. Photography in high school was alot of fun, we worked with old-school manual cameras and did some trippy things like double exposure, long exposures, and dodging and burning. My old camera is probably sitting in the closet gathering dust right now :( I'm gonna make it my new goal for the summer to actually find that camera and start taking pictures again. Hopefully this will actually happen instead just becoming another false promise.

But onto another topic, is it bad to not remember people's names? I've been running into this animal facility dude alot lately on my way from room to room, he's a very nice and conversational type of guy, so we'd always stop for a while and talk about the weather and work and he'd give me updates on soccer games. I know we've introduced ourselves at the beginning of the summer, but I don't remember his name and I feel really bad because he'd always greet me by my name and it feels a little rude not to respond in the same way. I have an urge to just ask him again, but that sounds a little bit weird right?

Friday, July 2, 2010

Obligatory Friday Blog Update

The long weekend is almost here I can smell it already yayyy!

Plans for the break:

-have an intellectual discussion about math with Rahul
-Martha's Vineyard + beach!
-Read Wuthering Heights (I haven't picked out a legitimate book to read since... a year ago?? So my brain needs a little mental stimulation)
-catch up on BBC and radiolab podcasts
-Watch the firework at Nara Park

Hope you'll all have an amazing July 4th weekend and if you have any exciting plans, please do share!

Friday, June 25, 2010


It's been a pretty uneventful Friday in terms of work but since I have to stay until 5:30 to meet a friend for some ice cream, I figured I should do some blogging and blog stalking to kill the time for a couple of hours.

Generally, I hate to be stuck in the "future work prospect" conversations but lately I've been having alot of those and it's giving worries about what I want to do with my life. A few days ago at an intern lunch, some of the co-interns shared their work experiences and future career goals. They all seemed to be on the same standard track: graduate school of pharmacy or medical school, PhD, and then either go into research or clinical. Most likely, I'll have to follow the same track if I want to land on a decent job down the line, but looking ahead from this point in life, the process seems so dreadful. It's pretty much a three fold repeat of college admissions, and each set of stairwell is more treacherous than the one before, and at any point in time you can fall off and your dreams are crushed just like that... I don't know if I'm fit for that... and I keep telling myself that I still have at least two years to decide what I really want to do, but after two years, what if I'm still as in decisive as I am now?

And going back to that whole spiel about how pharmacy is bad, here's part two of that rant. First off, I'm only doing the brainless procedural work and there is nothing intellectually stimulating about this job. As an intern, basic lab work is fine, but I wouldn't want to be doing this for the rest of my life. Of course I can hope to become the brain of the operation after graduating college, but here's a rough rundown of the job hierarchy here:

people who do the slave work: phD scientists (~20% of the company), associate scientists (20%), the cubicle people (~15%), the animal technician people (~20%), interns (~5%)

the more important people: lead scientists (~15%), management (~5%) , the boss (CEO)

So... chances are I'll still be doing slave work after 10 years. And this is only the stats for AVEO, at bigger companies like Pfizer and Novartis the distribution is even more skewed. Today, we had a former employee coming back to visit from his new home in San Diego. He told us that the biotech industry in the West Coast resemble factory assembly lines where 90% of the biotech companies are devoted to single processes such as creating cell lines, making certain antibodies, etc. At least now I have the privilege of switching off between animal work and lab work, I can't imagine how terrible it must be to repeat the same work everyday.

My second concern is about the integrity of the industry. After reading this I was just completely appalled by the lack of standards and fraud control in the industry. Along the same line, there was a recent news about how some big pharma company rejected a Stanford research professor's publication that could potentially cure diabetes only because its current treatment plan is more profitable. The things people do for money these days!

So with pharmacy out of the question I still don't know what I want to do. Going into the research seems to be the more realistic option right now, especially oncology research, it's interesting despite the cycles of pipeting/waiting associated with the lab work... maybe I should start emailing professors about working in their labs next semester. In terms of career options, I'm still undecided. I've always thought that the perfect job is to be a stay-at-home-mom. Thus far, it still stands at that.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Random highlights

-text from (617): "congratulations, i heard you're getting married". The funny thing is I know this is coming from a guy who had mistakenly texted me a dozen times a year ago in a stalkerly manner as if he was trying to hook up with whoever these texts are supposed to be for. You'd think by now that he'd get the point that either this girl he's seeking doesn't want to talk to him or he's got the wrong number. Perhaps I should actually text him back this time and tell him he's got the wrong person.

-found a new celebrity crush.
Ed Westwick is a British actor who plays Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl. I would have never guessed he's British from his perfect American accent. (reminiscent of Hugh Laurie except younger and better looking!)

-just finished season 3 of Gossip Girl and there won't be a new season until fall :( I was originally planning on writing reflections on shows that I've watched but I don't have anything insightful to say about Gossip Girl. The relationship web of Gossip Girl is even more complicated than the cmu relationship web, so it's kinda hard to follow at times. And...I still can't get over the fact that Chace Crawford got arrested for possession of pot, Nate Archibald was my favorite character :(

-My mom is the most gullible person ever. She fell for two scams in one week. Some agent from Shanghai called and said she won some money from a draw and she actually believed it and gave out her bank information. -.- thankfully she told my dad and I about it and we closed the account in time. The other scam involves a "rich millionaire" she met from her asian real estate blog site who supposed wanted to buy some of her housing design packages. The story is too embarrassing to share.

-Some of the interns wanted to get together and go out to drink on weekends. Then it occurred to me that I'm not 21. I wish I was though, not for the benefit of being able to drink legally, but as a social right of passage. It feels odd being surrounded by people over 21 for the majority of my days.

-what is with the world cup fever?

-currently watching: There Will Be Blood. it must suck to work in the oil industry... and it must suck to be deaf.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Counting cells is sleep inducing

Of course they would dump the most boring job on the intern. Each time I open up another histology image file, my heart just dies a little inside. Reminds me of the time Vivian, Ariel and I had to paint a basement-full of leaves for TSA, except this is ten times worse. At least painting leaves doesn't require much thinking and on the plus side, we were suffering together in misery, but now I must bare the burden alone. WHERE ARE YOU VIVIAN AND ARIEL?? i miss you guys :(

And since counting cells is so boring, I'm being rebellious and giving myself a little down time to plan out a schedule for the rest of this week.

Plans for this week:


-listen to morning presentation, free donuts
-finish counting cells, 4 more images to go
-find some soothing trance/stoner music to learn to while counting cells

-change medium for cell line
-finish dosing (fyi, the mice I accidentally dosed with alcohol are all miraculously still alive :D)
-type up raw data on excel
-figure out how to make charts for efficacy study
-group meeting afternoon

-follow Feng around

After work:
-finish Gossip Girl season 2
- watch It's Sunny in Philadelphia and How I Met Your Mother by Adrian's recommendation
-more practice with java applet
-get through chapter 2 of organic chem

-swimming? beach?
-kayaking with liz?

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bored At Work

So im sitting in a cubicle looking at 211 notes since i finished all my work early today. theres a woman talking to a guy in the cubicle not far away from me. the lady is telling a story about how her psychotic friend has frequent fights with the ladys husband and how the fights have gotten so violent that the lady had to relocate her home so that the psychotic lady couldnt track her down. I dont know her exact involvement with the psychotic lady/the reason behind the fights but from the tone of it she sounds pretty serious. ohh the juicy gossip. i dont know if i should feel guilty about not feeling guilty for eavesdropping.

it must be fun working for human resources like these people, you get half the day off to gossip with your neighbors. so chill

Saturday, May 29, 2010



The Arrival: 9/10

Interesting if you're into alien invasions and conspiracy theories.

Wrong Turn 1 and 2: 8.5/10

scary shit, very gory too. I recommend it if you like scifi movies or find cannibalism intriguing.

Currently watching:

Gossip Girl 8.5/10

Started from the beginning of season 1 a few days ago and I'm hooked now! Watched four episodes in one day! Ah! My eyes are bleeding from staring at the screen for too long. I used to hate this show (because Vlad likes it. Plus, it just sounded very girly). But after giving it a second chance, it's not too bad.

Other stuff:

Spent a nice relaxing morning in a friends backyard tanning out in our bathing suits. Had to pull out spf 70 sunscreen... although I've been warned that spf 40/above gives a higher chance of causing cancer. Is that really true? If so, I may have cancer now.

I've decided that I don't want to pursue pharmacy as a career. There's too much pressure associated with the job due to its unstable nature, and too much competition rather than collaboration. More on that later.

Sewing machine finally came!. Fixed up some old jeans into a bag. Idea taken from

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pest Control

We found a mouse running around our kitchen! oh no! So my dad pulled out these suckers. They were supposed to be used for catching the squirrels that were chewing on our roof, but since that did no good, we'll try it on the mouse.



Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beowulf... what the shit

Beowulf was on FX today so I decided to watch it. Hated it.

I read the book junior year in English and it was one of the few books that had a lasting impression on me. Plotwise, the book wasn't so thrilling, but for a story written more than 1000 years ago, it did bring up themes that accurately reflect some of the major flaws of individuals and societies in general so for me it was a thought-provoking and educational book. I felt that alot of that substance was lost in the film adaptation.

The character portrayal of Beowulf was especially disappointing. Beowulf is an interesting character, the flawed and fallible man, the hero who is incapable of being a king... it would have been great if the director had captured some of that essence and portrayed it more thoroughly in the film adaption, but instead more emphasis was placed on sexing up the plot than character development. The "flawed and fallible" aspect of Beowulf's character was briefly touched upon, but only through Beowulf's affair with Grendel's mother and Ursula (I'm pretty sure Ursula wasn't mentioned in the book... but man, if they had to invent a new character, way to choose the worst name), which is nice but seriously Hollywood?... you can do better than that. And Grendel's mother... what the shit, I thought you were supposed to be a hideous monster, not a seductress covered in gold.

The animated effect also throw me off. Maybe it was more effective in theaters with IMAX 3D and all that fancy shit but on tv, it just looks they don't quite know what effect they were trying to achieve so instead they made a hybrid where all the female characters have plastic and overly retouched faces and the male characters are still like their normal self and so when they have people of the opposite sex in the same scene, ie, kissing scenes, it looks as if Beowulf is kissing a plastic mannequin. Also, some of the effects look very futuristic, which doesn't sit well with the fact that this story is supposed to be set in the 5th century.

That's it for my rant. Just had to get it out there, worst movie I've seen in a long time.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Been accused of not being honest, so here's a truth survey!

75 Questions You've Probably Never...


Take this survey

1. First thing you wash in the shower?

2. What color is your favorite hoodie?

3. Would you kiss the last person you kissed again?

4.Do you plan outfits?
only for special occasions

5. How are you feeling RIGHT now?
extremely cheerful

6. Whats the closest thing to you thats red?

7. Do you say aim or a-i-m?

8. Tell me about the last dream you remember having?
being chased by a giant elephant and forced to hide inside a steam tunnel

9. Did you meet anybody new today?

10. What are you craving right now?
iced mocha

11. Do you floss?
i try to

12. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?
chinese food

13. When was the last time you talked on aim?
few months ago, don't use aim now

14. Are you emotional?
of course, i have emotions

15. Would you dance to the taco song?
why not

16. Have you ever counted to 1,000?
no, don't have the patience

17. Do you bite into your ice cream or just lick it?
lick it, i like to savor the taste

18. Do you like your hair?
not right now, it looks very barbie-like

19. Do you like yourself?
sometimes i love myself, sometimes i hate myself

20. Have you ever met a celebrity?
seen, yes, met, no

21. Do you like cottage cheese?
i love ALL kinds of cheese, except goat cheese

22. What are you listening to right now?
Not Myself Tonight-Christina Aguilera

23. How many countries have you visited?
3-China, US, Canada

24. Are your parents strict?
compared to most asian parents, nope they're quite chill

25. Would you go sky diving?

26. Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush?

27. Would you throw potatoes at him?

28. Is there anything sparkly in the room you’re in?
my room is dark and dreary

29. Have you ever been in a castle?
yeah, it was actually a college dorm, and i would love to live in one too

30. Do you rent movies often?
i use to rent from blockbusters, now it's so easy to pirate movies

31. Who sits in behind you in your math class?
no one sat in the same place everyday in Concepts, so i wouldn't know

32. Have you made a prank phone call?
yup, bad idea...

33. Do you own a gun?

34. Can you count backwards from 74?
theoretically yes

35. Who are you going to be with tonight?
no one :(

36. Brown or white eggs?
this is a racist question

37. Do you own something from Hot Topic?
im too scared to walk into Hot Topic...

38. Ever been on a train?

39. Ever been in love?
maybe? but i think i'm still too naive to know what love means

40. Do you have a cell-phone?

41. Are you too forgiving?
i try not to hold grudges

42. Do you use chap stick?
during the winter

43. What is your best friend doing tomorrow?
no clue

44. Can you use chop sticks?
i cant properly use chops sticks... and i'm asian! shameful...

45. Ever have cream puffs?

46. Have you ever seen The Butterfly Effect?
O_o yes

48. What was the last CD you bought?
Bullet for My Valentine - Fever

49. Boys or girls?

51. Is your hair curly?
not anymore

52. Last time you cried?
beginning of the year

53. Ever walked into a wall?
oh yeah

54. Do looks matter?
not to a huge extent

55. Have you ever bought anything from Pac Sun?
maybe? i actually don't remember where 80% of my clothes come from

56. Have you ever slapped someone?
haha no

57. Favorite time of the year?
fall only because spring =allergies, summer=too hot, winter=too cold

58. Favorite color?
don't have one

59. Are you sarcastic?

60. Do you have any tattoos?

62. Do you sleep with the TV on?

65. Do you like your life right now?
it could be more exciting

68. What was the most recent thing you bought?
organic chemistry book -.-

69. Do you have good vision?
my vision sucks

72. Do you have a job?

74. What are you wearing?
t shirt and shorts

75. Have you ever crawled through a window?
yes, into a school bus


MySpace Surveys

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Finally got to tour the animal facility today. The facility has mice of all kinds... black, white, brown, albino, and transgenic mice babies which are about the size of jelly beans. Unfortunately I'll only get to work with the hideous kind, the ones that resemble a miniature version of the naked mole rat. Maybe I'll have less sympathy when it comes time to sacrifice them... no, I kid, it'll be very saddening when the time comes.

One thing that was disconcerting about the Animal Care Manual... it states that the policies are aimed at minimizing health concerns for the animals, but according to the protocol, tumors grown on the mice are only considered problematic when they exceed 2cm in diameter. Now, 2cm compared to the relative size of the mice (average mice here is about 4cm long), is about half the body length. If it were me, I don't think I would be pleased to have tumor that's half my body size growing on me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

first day at AVEO

Contrary to my expectation, the first day was pretty relaxing. I got to Cambridge at 8:30 in the morning bright and early! The actual orientation didn't start until 10 so I walked around and explored the neighborhood. Cambridge is gorgeous, the place has an urban vibe to it but it's still peaceful enough that you get to see old couples holding hands and taking their morning strolls in the park (which I have to say, is the most adorable thing in the world). I'll be sure to bring my camera next time to capture the wonderful scenery.

As to be expected, I got lost inside the building, but the nice janitor man showed me to the receptionist. So, they didn't have alot of work for me the first day. They went through the basics such as computer/email/finance. Then, my supervisor, Feng, took me out to lunch at a Chinese restaurant. This was my first time having a "professional" one-on-one lunch with an adult, and I thought it was going to another one of those awkward and silent lunch since he seems like he is as introverted as me, but we did sustain a couple of interesting conversations about medical schools and Pittsburgh sports teams. After that, he gave me a bunch of the company's publications to read, which kept me busy for the next three hours. Reading bio research publications is ridiculously exhaustive, but I have to say, I'm very thankful for taking Berget's (Yes, thank you Dr. Berget) and Campbell's class because when I came across familiar terms like p53, fibromatosis, dysplasia and knock-out genes I felt semi-intelligent despite the rest of the publication not making any sense. It's a boost of self-confidence at least.

Tomorrow is lab training day! Yay for chem safety all over again. And if you don't recall/have never seen those.....
Thankfully, they'll be walking through lab safety in person instead of making us watch videos.

Also, I'll probably be working with the mice tomorrow! So exciting! Feng told me there are 120 of them that need to be injected with tumors. Poor mice :(

On a different note. I don't know why this blog is called summer '13 adventure when it is clearly not 2013 yet, I must been thinking about the class of 2013. Silly me. Time to change that.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Went to see Robin Hood today! Overall a good movie... maybe not so historically accurate, but a good action movie! Russell Crowe was adorable as always.

sustenance farming

My dad, being the silly asian that he is, tried to convince us that it's possible to survive an entire year on vegetables grown only from our backyard garden. So, we planted more vegetables!

Vegetables already half grown:


Vegetables still yet to be planted

As of now, I will be solely eating garlic and cabbages for the next few months. Hope those tomatoes grow soon...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Short peeps can be models too!

Watching America's Next Top Model Cycle 13. It's the season where Tyra only takes girls under 5'7. I guess giving short models a chance is an admirable idea, but it's not as believable as they make it to be since over half the girls on the show are 5'7 or 5'6 anyways, which is still pretty tall for the average 18 year old. They should consider a new season: America's Top Model for Midgets, for girls 4'8 and below!

Call myself pathetic

for getting lost in my own hometown 10 minutes away from my own house. It was a warm and sunny day outside so I decided to go jogging. I must have been too immersed in metal heavy music to remember where I was going. Anyways, it took nearly 40 minutes to find my way back home. Next time, I'll need a gps tracking device to carry with me everywhere I go.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I love ebay!

Just discovered the awesomeness of ebay shopping thanks to Vivian.

Things bought so far:

Portable Sewing Machine $17.39

Principles of Biochemistry $43.99

Organic Chemistry $29.99

Things still on my wishlist:

Adjustable Mannequin: lowest offer $133.80

Noise Cancelling Headphones: $46.95- $300+

Italian Recipe books: $0.99+

More clothes


So, I cleaned out my closet today and found a mountain of clothes that are too small/old/unfashionable. I'm thinking about recycling the fabrics and making dresses and tops out of them, hence the sewing set and adjustable mannequin. I doubt that any of the stuff I make will be wearable in the future, but it should be a fun summer project. Updates and pictures to come if and when I get the sewing set!

Also, internship starting next Monday!