Wednesday, December 22, 2010
[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
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
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
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
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
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
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
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
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
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
Friday, July 30, 2010
Protect your kid from stoner music.
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?
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
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
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
-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
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
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
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
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
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 http://noedb.org/library/features/25-shocking-facts-about-the-pharmaceutical-industry 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
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
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
-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
-kayaking with liz?
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
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
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday, May 22, 2010
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
75 Questions You've Probably Never...
TAKE THIS SURVEY!
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?
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?
11. Do you floss?
i try to
12. What comes to mind when I say cabbage?
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?
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?
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?
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?
48. What was the last CD you bought?
Bullet for My Valentine - Fever
49. Boys or girls?
51. Is your hair curly?
52. Last time you cried?
beginning of the year
53. Ever walked into a wall?
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?
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
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
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.