Sunday, September 28, 2008

Apparently Not Quite Over

It's been an interesting weekend, and now that I realize I have an exam in 1.5 weeks, I'm going to go into hyper-studying mode this week.

Anyway, on Saturday SR-F and I went to see RZ-F, who with her parents was staying at her cousin's house about 40-45 minutes away from campus in another city. RZ-F's old roommate, CM-F, also came by to visit. RZ-F's in med school at Case Western whereas CM-F's in med school here (not telling where here is XP). Much of the conversation was RZ-F and CM-F comparing med schools and complaining how they're just dying. Well, I contend it's entirely their fault. RZ-F decided to do a Master's in Anatomy on top of med school, adding like 12 hours of classes a week on top of it all. And CM-F is training to run a 26.6-mi marathon in October.

We went to Olive Garden for lunch. I got so full that I didn't finish my meal and had it boxed to go. That ended up being my only meal of the day because I was so full. Afterwards we had the brilliant idea to go to Coldstone Creamery for ice cream. No, not a wise decision. I swear my stomach's still bloated and overly large from Saturday lunch. But at least the conversation was interesting, again medical stuff (hey, what else would 2 med students, 1 public health student/future med student, and 1 pharmacy student talk about?).

Oh, and RZ-F loved my head massage present, haha. It needs a bit of loosing up from being in the box, but when it is, I'm sure it'll get quite a bit of usage. RZ-F commented how it looked like I had lost weight (no, actually I had been in the same 5-lbs range for about a year now). It must've been my new jeans - they fit a bit closer. Interestingly, the jeans are a bit loose about the waist yet hug my thighs a bit; I must have overly muscular thighs from running or something, sigh. Anyway, it seems RZ-F's parents ask about me sometimes. Why, I have no idea. Last time I met them, I was nice, but I didn't give the "proper greeting" as it was at graduation and the whole day was a whirlwind. You know, the whole, "阿姨好" (translating roughly to "Hi Auntie"). Forgot to say that, and I thought they'd think I was some terribly rude child whose parents didn't bring him up with proper manners. It seems that wasn't the case, as they actually thought I was really nice because talked to them in Chinese at all. But! This time I was all polite and proper, haha. At least to her mom, as her dad stood far off washing the car.

So as we were parting ways, I realized I haven't quite gotten over her. A good part of me still wonders the "what if's" if we had pursued a relationship. It hurts a little that she's pining away at some guy in China who she doesn't know that well, while in med school, dying under her inane courseload. At least she gave me a mooncake for the much belated Mid-Autumn Moon Festival like, 2 weeks ago.

So I spent most of Sunday at the library with AG-F. She was dying of a cold, the second one she's gotten in a week and a half. Poor AG-F. :( She sits there with her accusatory eyes wondering why I haven't gotten sick yet in all this time. I feel like her stress is partly self-imposed in that she tends to stress out about her courses a lot more than she needs to. She always does well anyway. SR-F and I have had to drag her away from her homework and lab to hang out just once a week, and take her mind off academics. She needs to get drunk or something.

After I left her at the computer lab, I was walking to the bus stop to get back to my apartment. On the way I encountered ES-M! It's been a while since I've mentioned him on this blog, but he was the Chinese Malaysian I had a crush on all of last year. It seems (yup, you got it) I'm apparently not quite over him either. He was walking with his friend, Tina (don't know her last name, so not going to code her name here :P). I suspect they might be boyfriend/girlfriend but I'm not sure. All I know is I felt a tiny twitch of jealousy. Well, Tina's nice and they'd be a nice fit if they were boyfriend/girlfriend. They have the same matching happy-go-lucky/bordering on bubbly personalities. It was good to see him. He still owes me a lunch date.

Damn. ::pines::

Friday, September 26, 2008

A Day in the Life of Me

I had such an amusing day. Well, I consider it amusing, I can't say for anyone else.

First a little snippet about yesterday. A PhD, MPH guy came to speak on the topic of epigenetics in my toxicology class (aka, anti-pharmacy). He was hot! He was tall, lean but muscular, had a rugged beard and voice, and was only wearing a shirt and jeans. He looked to be in his late-20s or early-30s at most. The podium was in my way from visually undressing him. XD

Now, today. I didn't have class today and when I woke up, I just did not want to go to the School of Public Health (SPH). Several of us were getting together to check our genetics homework around 1pm. Well, I got to SPH around 11:15am, so I decided to go to the gym. Going to the gym in the middle of the day is strategically brilliant, as it's rather empty and you don't have to feel super-embarassed when lifting weights. However, it also makes me hate my body. :(

You see, all the old men and women exercise in the middle of the day. And today I was running on the track behind two girls. I see an old man, probably in his 60s, stretching for a run too and I think he'll go at his nice leisurely old man pace. I pass the girl in front of me then suddenly the old man passes both us! And after I finished my 1 mile on the track, he was still going!! So not only did this elderly guy pass me, he ran more than me too! And in the weight room, there were some buff old men on the machines. Even the old ladies seemed fitter than me.

There's just something wrong with me, in my early-20s still, theoretically in the prime of my life, being out-gymed by people in their 50s+. Also, the locker room is NOT a pleasant sight. So many old men who don't make proper use of the towel. >.<

Well, anyway, I go to SPH and go through the genetics homework. Then I plop down and begin to finish my last online training module. Soon BA-M, a 2nd-year in a couple of my classes, comes by and tells us there's free food. The girl I was sitting across from and I quickly pack up our laptops, walk over to the other 2 girls we were checking homework with, and said "Free food downstairs." The speed at which binders and backpacks closed was unprecedented. We were downstairs next to the food within a minute. It was good food too!! Left over form some seminar. I feel that, as grad students, we develop some 6th sense about free food and we hunt down the free food all too readily.

After I had finished my work, I went to a store to find a present for my friend, RZ-F, who will be visiting tomorrow (and her birthday's on Monday). I didn't know what to get, but then I saw the head massager!! It was great, I surprised my friend SR-F with it. If you've never tried one of these things, you must, it's great. People's reactions to it the first time are hilarious. As my friend, JW-M, described to me, "It's like a sex for your head. It feels like your head's kind of having an orgasm." Well, something like that, but that's what my brain heard.

Later in the evening, SR-F, AG-F, and I watched the new episodes of Heroes. That show's getting a bit too weird . . . I'm not sure if I'm going to keep watching. Anyway, we decided to go to Buffalo Wild Wings afterwards because AG-F really wanted something spicy. On the way, we were talking about lab and such. In particular, how grad students all laugh when a professor says he/she has "an army of undergrads." Haha, oh to be an undergrad minion/peon/slave.

It seems my old researcher has a new undergrad working for her now. At one point, she had 3 working under her including me. She has had the most undergrads out of anyone in my former lab. So she really had an army of undergrads to do her bidding. Man, now I want my own undergrad minion/peon/slave. Just one! I should get a research position first though . . . which I'll have once the administrative dust clears!! One day, when I become an attending, I'll have my army of residents and med students. Oh, that'll be fun. And my pharmacy friend, SR-F, will have her own army of residents and pharmacy students. :P

So yeah, that was pretty much my day. I just love having amusing conversations with my friends, who're all in grad school, as we reminisce about undergrad and wanting undergrad minions/peons/slaves of our own some day.

A while ago, Hypnos sent me a song called Heria Psila (Hands High) by Mixalis Xatzigiannis. It's a Greek song that's been stuck in my head on and off. A little while back I decided to see if I could find a music video on YouTube. And I did, and this Greek is HOT!! :D


Holy Fudge Monkeys!

"Holy fudge monkeys" was a term I used to use instead of phrases like, "Oh shit," or "Fuck," or "God damn it." I kind of stopped using it by the end of my freshman year at university here. Anyway . . . I hope you get the jist of what that term means.

I had a revelation today. I will not be an epidemiologist. Along that line of thought, I will almost certainly not finish my MPH in Hospital & Molecular Epidemiology. When I go to med school next year, that's it, no turning back. I realize that epidemiology is far more impersonal and statistical than I had thought. Practically everything is on the population scale (obviously enough) but I would find myself craving that personal interaction with someone - the kind of interaction where you know you have influenced someone's life or made someone's life better (that's the ideal anyway). Also, I don't much like statistics. At all. I mean, the formulaic terms like "risk/incidence proportion" and "incidence rate" are easy enough to calculate, but practically, what does it all mean? It's somehow slipped by me. And what's with this concept of "person-time" with calculations? That's just so weird to me.

I also realized that I made a good call not to go into the Toxicology program at the School of Public Health here. While I like my toxicology course so far, what we went over today made me wince a little inside. We were doing "biotransformations." Yeah, that blank stare is the same thing I gave about 24 hours ago. In a nutshell, biotransformation is the metabolization of a drug/toxin into a less toxic form so it can be excreted from the body safely. In any case, it brought me way back to orgo, and those were dark days for me.

But, I did learn something interesting from biotransformations, haha. There's this compound called "trimethyl amine" that's found in choline, which is in a lot of foods from vegetables to fish. Your body normally metabolizes it into its oxide form to be excreted. But in people who can't metabolize this substance, they end up smelling like dead fish all the time.

Interestingly, the ability to metabolize this temporarily turns off in some people during puberty, or when they exercise too much, or when they eat too much of a particular kind of food. Man, it would really suck to smell like dead fish all day.

And here's the real "Holy frudge monkeys" part of my day. I picked up the GSI (graduate student instructor, many places call them TAs) application form from the Biology Program office today. And then it hit me . . . next semester I'd potentially be taking up to 18 credits of courses, have at least 10 hours/week of research, and then GSI for up to 20 hours/week. That's about 18 hours/week in class and up to 30 hours/week working. I'm going to die. T.T

But it's worth it. A GSI position would get me free tuition for the semester and an $8000 stipend for the semester. I've narrowed my choices down to 4 courses that I may want to GSI for: Bio 118 (Biology of AIDS), Bio 207 (Microbiology), Bio 226 (Animal Physiology Lab), or Bio 305 (Genetics). I'm kind of obligated to apply for the Bio 305 position because that class has traditionally had bad GSIs, and I kind of told one of the professors who'll be writing me a letter of recommendation that I'd certainly choose that class as a possibility (and I'd be kick ass at GSI-ing for that class). I'm also somewhat obligated to try for Bio 226 because my friend is a GSI for that lab this semester and she really wants me to GSI with her next semester.

There are pros and cons to lab and non-lab courses. Lab courses are great because they almost always end early, but you still get paid for the whole time. So I'd be working well below 20 hours/week and still get paid for all that time. As long as the undergrads aren't inept it'll all be fine. But I swear, if someone spills 100% ethanol and lights him/herself on fire, or licks a plate, or drops a rat, I will raise hell. Non-lab courses allow me to have more interaction with the people I'd be teaching in discussions. I could see how they're doing, get a good idea of where they're are, what level of understanding they have, etc. But, I'd likely work that 20 hours/week, which I'm hesitant about (as I'm going to die of exhaustion next semester anyway).

Now, I just have to make sure none of the EEB/MCDB PhD students take up all the GSI slots. I'll arm-wrestle them for the position. XD

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I really like my public health genetics course. I can't express how much appreciation for life I get from understanding genetics and its implications. Now, I know that for many people their eyes have already glazed over by this sentence, but please bear with me. If you remember nothing else about genetics, remember the number 0.01%. If you want to know why, keep reading.

We are all the same
The human genome is ~3 billion base-pairs large. And that's only one set of chromosomes, really our genome is ~6 billion base-pairs because everyone has a pair of chromosomes (one from dad and one from mom). And that's ~6 billion pairs of the 4 "letters" of the genetic code: A, T, C, and G. Our entire make-up is 4 letters repeated in different combinations.

And the vast majority of our genome is the same amongst each other. In fact, 99.9% of our genome is identical: I have the same As, Ts, Cs, and Gs in exactly the same combination and in exactly the same spot in my genome as the you reading this for 99.9% of my DNA make-up.

An interesting extension of this is that the concept of "race" is artificial. There is more genetic diversity "within a race" than genetic differences "between races." And all the genetic differences between races can be eliminated after a single generation of completely random mating. So while true equality (at least genetically) is impossible for us, if we all have sex at random with any person in the entire world, our children's genomes would largely be free of any differences attributed to race. In other words, the increased incidence of sickle-cell anemia in Africans, cystic fibrosis in Europeans, and lack of alcohol dehydrogenase in Asians (the reason why Asians get drunk so easily), would no longer be coupled with the respective races. It would be distributed more or less evenly amongst everyone.

We are all different
Despite the fact that we all are 99.9% identical, we are also 0.01% different. That doesn't seem like much, but 0.01% of ~3 billion is ~30 million. So what makes me different from you is ~30 million As, Ts, Cs, and Gs. Of these ~30 million differences, about 100 are uniquely mine that will never be seen on the face of the Earth again. And you can bet you have about 100 mutations (simply put, a change in DNA sequence between yours and the person next to you) that is uniquely yours that'll never be seen again either.

And all of our DNA contains relics of our past. With this tiny percentage, with just 0.01%, we can trace back our ancestry for many generations. We are all a mosaic of everyone who has lived before us, we carry within us the DNA that someone had long ago. In a sense, within this 0.01%, we are not really one single person, but rather a collection of thousands that have combined to form a life that's uniquely us.

Also, it's mind-blowing to think that 0.01% of our genome is potentially the cause of so many good and bad things. And all the discrimination, all the hate, all the differences we see in each other, accounts for so little of who we all actually are. If only we could learn to love the other 99.9% . . .

Against genetic determinism
There's this notion that because something is genetic then it's certain. A deterministic view of genetics. There used to be this concept of a "one gene, one disease" model (or OGOD model). In reality, a relatively small proportion of things are strictly determined by genetics alone. Even in embryonic development, the environment in the womb and the mother's diet can have an effect on the outcome of the infant.

And as we age, less and less of what happens to us is a strictly genetic. We may have a gene that predisposes, or increases our risk, of getting a particular disease. But as long as that gene isn't activated or turned on, then it doesn't even really matter. Most of the time it's our external environment - whether we eat healthily, whether we exercise, whether we smoke or not - that acts as the trigger for these genes.

Sometimes, even if a particular gene is activated, it can still be counteracted. Say, even if I have a gene that makes me more likely to be overweight, if I eat right and exercise enough, it won't matter. It just makes it that much harder for me to keep the weight off than it is for someone else, that's all. (Yeah, sounds nice and all but it's still more effort for me.)

In many respects our DNA is indeed a blueprint. But for the rest, it's more of a guideline that we have a fair degree of control over through our own choices and actions.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Son of a Bitch

So this is a rant against the order of things.

1. I go to re-register to vote near my current apartment. I got my voter registration card in the mail on Saturday. I look at it and get instantly peeved because one, I don't know where I'm supposed to go and it's not within walking distance, and two, they spelled my middle name wrong. My middle name on my driver's license is "QI-BANG," but they spelled it as "QIBANK." Interestingly, this caused me to be registered to vote in 2 locations - my home city and my campus residence. I sent an address/name change form in the mail today to have my voter registration be my home city, and then I'll just do absentee. The State is rather inept for some reason.

2. I'm finally FEMA certified (I'm required for certain volunteer things). Okay, I'm not 100% FEMA certified, as I only needed to do 3 of their online training modules. But they each take like 3 hours to complete! Good thing I was able to skim and get them done in about 1.5 hours each, haha. Still, what a waste of my weekend. After doing those training modules, I now know how ridiculously convoluted FEMA is and I can easily see why it wasn't so great during Hurricane Katrina.

3. Today I got my internet bill from Comcast. On there they charged me last month's bill and this coming month's bill in the balance. I go to check my checkbook. Yes, they did cash my check for last month's bill. This means they clearly erred and they'll get a very annoyed call from me tomorrow. I tried calling today, but their phone lines were jammed and they hung up on me after I'd been put on hold for like 3 minutes. Comcast hung on me?! Ugh, there's something wrong with that.

End rants.
Oh! I got another boring guest lecturer in pathophysiology. Today was the pulmonary system. Not the most exciting system as it's largely physics that governs its function. Really, there aren't many parts to the lungs and breathing. However, in between sleeping periods, I did learn some interesting things.

For example, why cigarette smoking is mechanistically bad for your lungs. The actual cigarette smoke irritates the goblet cells in the lower respiratory tract. These goblet cells make mucus so all the dirt that gets that far into the lungs gets stuck in it. The smoke causes over-production of mucus. Also the toxicants (not to be confused with toxins) in cigarette smoke paralyzes the ciliate cells. These cells normally beat their cilia in sync with each other, moving the mucus up and out of the lungs where you'd normally swallow it. But the cigarette toxicants paralyze these cells for up to 24 hours, so the over-produced blobs of mucus just sit there in your inner lungs. This is why a lot of smokers cough and hack.

Another thing is why fat/obese people have problems breathing. Apparently, the fat creates a kind of "belt" around the lungs and pushes on the diaphragm. So one can't expand his/her lungs as much, and the diaphragm can't move up and down as far, leading to smaller and shallower breathes. Also, there's a special condition where as a result, one can become partially hypoxic (don't get enough oxygen) all the time and will thus be tired all the time.

Yeah, I know I find such things fascinating. And that's why I'm going to med school next year. :D
I know I keep diverging and dragging this post out longer, but seriously, the following song has been stuck in my head for days. Can you imagine doing your epidemiology homework and FEMA training while this song is on endless loop in your head?

女子十二乐坊 (12 Girls' Band)

Last thing, I swear. So I've been rather slow on reading blogs that I've bookmarked of late. I promise I'll to all of them, so I might be adding your blog to my blog roll any day (or week) now. If your blog is rather long, it might be a while. Tonight, I add this blog to my blog roll:

Jason's Randomness

It's a good blog! Go over, read, and say "Hi!"

Friday, September 19, 2008


A few days ago my friend, JR-M, asked me for a picture of myself to include in the inside cover to the soundtrack of his movie, "Lord Save Our Souls." Our mutual friend, CM-M, composed the music and played the piano part whereas I played the cello part. There was also a viola and voice part. If/when I figure out how to post music, then I'll post a clip or two. It's really good! Anyway, I'm digressing.

So I took a few pics of my head (which is harder to do than it may seem, or I'm just that uncoordinated). I was bored, so I took multiple silly pics of my face. It turned out that JR-M found a better of pic of me on Facebook that suited the CD cover. Ah well. So I just cropped out my eyes and eyebrows below to create something I'll call, "Progression."

So there you have my incredibly average Asian eyes. I do like my eyebrows, however.

And just for kicks, I took pictures of my table, following in the footsteps of the ever-cool gay+teen+sydney and David.
You will notice that this is, indeed, a table and not a desk. A fold-up table at that! In the first pic, you'll see my philodendron plant, office supplies (hole puncher, stapler, staple remover, white-out tape) next to it, 2 trays with my bills and forms, a water bottle conveniently in front of the rag i use for certain "activities," an epidemiology paper that I printed 4 pages/side (400 printing pages/semester is NOT enough in grad school), and my laptop. Notice that it's NOT a Mac. In the second picture, you'll see my laptop (again), Kleenex behind the laptop, my alarm clock, a desk light, folders, empty water bottles, and cups of pencils, pens, and highlighters.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Bug Genocide

Because I'm too lazy to post something of real substance, here's a transcript of my IM convo between my friend JW-M and I tonight (he's in Beijing right now, sadness) to entertain you all:

JW-M: niiii haooo
Me: dude!
Me: what's up?!
Me: :P
Me: a centipede just crawled up my wall in front of me
Me: i deftly dealt with it
JW-M: good
Me: aka, I smushed it against the wall and disposed of it in the toilet
JW-M: /eat
JW-M: oh
JW-M: alas
Me: though, there's a centipede-smear on the wall now =/
Me: i refuse to eat anything with an exoskeleton
JW-M: i see
JW-M: crunch crunch
Me: ugh
Me: ::twitch::
. . .
Me: did i tell you about the suspect-cockroach in my apt?
JW-M: lol no
JW-M: was it like scurry scurry
JW-M: and then did you kill it good
. . .
Me: JW-M
JW-M: what
Me: i need to break into the chem building
JW-M: wat
Me: and steal all the insect pheramones
JW-M: wut
JW-M: lol ok
Me: so i can lure all the bugs away from my apt
Me: where they'll mate themselves to death
Me: far away
JW-M: sounds fun
. . .
Me: i suspect rollie pollies hiding in my plant's soil
Me: eeeee!
Me: i felt a gnat crawling down my arm
Me: stupid creatures
JW-M: they prolly do
JW-M: what is your bug problem today
. . .
JW-M: its only like one month until the bug genocide anyway
JW-M: thank god
Me: i can't wait

For those wondering, the "bug genocide" is the day when it suddenly gets cold (also the first day of frost on the ground). Since the bugs don't usually see it coming, there are like NO bugs after that day for a few weeks at least, because they've all died. It's wonderful. *waits patiently*

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Words To Live By

AG-F told me the other day that our old lab is slowly closing. :(

MAP-F is going to be leaving the lab soon. Last year 3 post-docs left: LC-F (back home to Brazil), BE-F (for a professorship position somewhere in Illinois), and NS-F (for a lab position in California). And QF-F will be leaving soon when she graduates with her PhD. She's my favorite person in the lab - such a calming and industrious influence while at the same time being highly amusing. My old researcher, MMC-F, doesn't want to stay and went on several interviews last year even while she was pregnant with her daughter (she's really cute in the pictures, btw). The only guy in the lab, SD-M, also doesn't want to stay and has interviewed at several places. Neither he nor my researcher got any positions offered to them. Now this leaves only MB-F and AV-F left, but both of them are part-time researchers. AV-F actually teaches middle school science, which is really cool.

So there it is. Of the "original" 9 lab members as I know them, it'll be down to 2 within the next couple years. And there are no undergrads working in the lab anymore, as far as I know! There's always been 1-3 undergrads in her lab for at least the last 5-7 years. Anyway, this is all besides the point, sad though it is.

The point of this post is that as I was going through my old folders and cleaning my room, getting the last bits settled, I found something I copied from my researcher's desk that someone had emailed her. Read carefully the following:
"As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take many pictures, laugh much more, and love like you've never been hurt. Because every 60 seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Don't be afraid that your life will end, be afraid that it will never begin."

I think these are words to live by.

Friday, September 12, 2008


Umm, I think I'm still drunk. First of all, don't judge me. I'm "sober enough" to type this and I hope coherently.

So anyway, I think I'm more than tipsy but less than full drunk. I mean, some of my senses are dulled whereas others are slightly enhanced (?). Touch - dulled. Smell - dulled. Sight - unchanged. Hearing - dulled or enhanced depending. I mean, I have a little trouble typing this without erasing a lot of errors. And it take some effort to stand up straight. Anyway . . .

My friend, KS-F, organized a little get-together for some of SPH guys at a local bar. So I took the bus down, which took HALF AN HOUR. Just to let you know, the bus usually goes the same distance in 15-20 minutes. So I arrive like 20 minutes late, oh well. I get a rum & coke and over the course of 3 hours, I drink another shot of the happy hour special and like 4.5 full glasses of beer. Yeah . . . totally at least a bit drunk.

I have a weird metabolism when it comes to alcohol. See, I don't have that "Asian gene" that makes me go bright red. I've checked in the mirror. So I can drink a fair amount without getting drunk. But what I drink tends to hit me like 30 minutes to 2 hours later, so I have to be careful. I think that shot and 1.5 glasses of beer is starting to hit me now . . . I also sober up rather fast, though I'm by no means sober right now . . . at least I'll sleep rather well tonight (I think).

So interesting thing. My friend, PC-F, who I don't actually know that well, I find her kind of hot. And PM-M, he's rather attractive too. I think they might have a "thing" with each other, I'm not 100% sure. They would make a cute couple and the thought makes me a little jealous. I sat with PM-M on the bus back to my apartment, as he lives a bit further out than I d0.

He was clearly more drunk than I. He did drink more, but then again he had more mass to him so he could handle more comparatively. We were on a bus with pretty much all freshmen, as the buses going to north campus merge into one bus after midnight. Some poor forsaken freshman threw up at the back of the bus. Gross. I'm glad I'm not that drunk . . . Anyway, I find myself saying some random things out loud, though I was always aware of what I was saying (?). Wow, that too way too many edits to get rid of the errors. Anyway, PM-M was starting to slur his words, I was a little at the very end.

Wow, I almost was tempted to lean in and kiss him. Thing is I'm not actually that attracted to him. This must be the alcohol. Also, there was this freshman girl sitting across from us. PM-M pointed out how slutty all the freshman girls dress. It's true. And she had nice breasts that I was staring at . . . at some point she disappeared, she must've gotten off the bus. I was also tempted to tell him I was bi at the very least, but I still had enough control to stop myself. That wouldn't have gone over well on a rather full bus.

Well, I think I'm done now. I'll probably read this later and be like, "Wtf." Oh well. I also have a meeting in the morning at 10:30am . . . I must be sober for that. So sleep now I think. Good night. :D

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Was That A Cockroach?!

So I go to wash my dishes. And in the sink, crawling around, is some brown insect. It scurried really fast up the side of the sink, around the corner, and towards the back near the wall. I think it was a cockroach. I lifted the cutting board and there it was, hiding. I tried to crush it with the cutting board but instead knocked it back into the sink. I gave a loud yelp (this was made more amusing because my roommate was just unlocking the door) because I was fairly sure this was a cockroach. You see, not many things get to me. I'm seldom grossed out by anything and I can suppress most things. But a cockroach?! In any case, I then proceeded to "flush" it down the sink.

Now I'm paranoid. I have my eyes on the lookout for any signs of an infestation. I need to break into the Chem building where they house that super-concentrated cockroach pheramone. With it, I could lure all the cockroaches in the apartment complex out to a distant place where they'll basically mate themselves to death. Really, I only need one tiny drop. Barring that plan, I'll call pest control.

I'm such a biology major, lol. Other signs? When I say "evacuate" instead of "empty" my backpack and refer to bus stops as being "downstream" or "upstream," and even identifying a "promoter" to the buses. Yeah . . . In other news, I think I may have found a work-study job in a lab somewhere. Yay!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Haha, Nice Try

This was going to be a glorious post about my epic success, that is how my desire for ice cream > rain. Alas, that wasn't meant to be.

At about 10:42pm I made my way to the bus stop. I noticed that the bus should be arriving at the bus stop at about 10:45pm and I was at least 5-6 minutes away. Then it started raining. Hard. Like, downpour hard. I walked a little faster, wanting to be under the bus stop shelter thing. I see the bus coming around the corner and I start running, sprinting as fast as I could with an umbrella in hand.

The bus must've been a little late, as it was around 10:47pm or so when the bus actually got to the stop. University buses are always chronically never quite on time, usually either 2 minutes early or late. My jeans were pretty much soaked from the knees down and my shoes were a bit squishy inside. No matter, ice cream awaited me at Stucchi's.

I get to Stucchi's only to discover that it's closed! Gah, no matter. Barring Stucchi's there was always Ben & Jerry's. Well that was closed too. Gah, no matter. Barring Ben & Jerry's there was also Starbuck's, whose pumpkin spiced latte I recently discovered and love. Well that was also closed. I wasn't holding much hope for Expresso Royale coffee either.

Well, SR-F was kind enough to take me to Kroger's grocery store where I'll just buy a tub of ice cream to take back to my apartment. But what is this? Kroger's was closed too!! Apparently this Kroger's closes at 10pm, wtf?! So after an hour out and about, looking for ice cream or coffee, I ended up back at my apartment empty-handed and un-satiated.

Epically failed attempt. You win rain. ::shakes fist at sky:: Seriously, why're all these places on campus closed by 10pm or 11pm? Don't they know this is a college town and that things should be open at the very least until midnight?!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Crushing of Souls

I feel like we grad students have such a bleak look on things academic, especially my friend AG-F (and I, to a far lesser extent). She's getting her Master's in genetic counseling here and that program here is one of the most intense in the nation.

So you'll pardon us when we walk by the diag and see freshmen sitting there, playing on their guitars and singing. And when I'm on an overly-crowded bus to central campus and I hear a girl recount how she ate some nachos that didn't agree with her and threw up in her dorm room. Or when there are way too many girls who are way too dressed up for no reason in the middle of the day.

And our response to all this? Just you wait, you'll see. Once classes are in full swing they will crush your souls. No longer will you have time to play your guitar and sing on the diag. No longer will you have the time nor energy to put on make up, select your tightest fitting outfits, and sling your purses rather than your backpacks over your shoulders. And to you, girl-who-talks-about-throwing-up, I'm sure your friends don't want to hear about your exploits with the trashcan. And I'm positive the rest of the bus doesn't want to hear it either.

Oh, and while I was at the library printing and filling stuff out, there was this freshman girl at the table over. And she was on the phone with her boyfriend for almost 2 hours straight. And she kept sobbing and telling him how she loved him, and how he shouldn't be doing whatever he's doing to her. It was kind of pathetic really, I had to fight the urge to go up to her, close her phone, and tell her to just forget about him and study. I hope that never happens to me, in a very full library of all places.

Ugh, I can feel myself detaching from central campus and all the undergrads. And in 2 weeks, grad school will hit me full force. I can feel my social life slipping away already . . .

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Week Before Grad School: the Aftermath

I'm so procrastinating right now. I just don't want to do my readings, haha. This is so not me. Anyway, the aftermath of last week/early this week.

The Roommate
We have the most amusing communication methods. You see, our primary form of communication is notes/memos to each other that we leave in the morning or night. One of us wakes up way before the other and leaves a note for the other to read. Our next line of communication is via email, followed by phone calls. Since we don't see each other for like 90% of our day, the only time we've actually talked face-to-face has been late at night really.

And so, I'm quite amused. He's pretty easy to get along with, which is good. We kind of keep out of each other's way and just remain polite and all.

School of Public Health
Oh man, some of my classes are intense! I'm glad I'm exempting out of the intro biostatistics course - as I see it, the fewer biostats courses I take the better. But I think I will enjoy all my courses, at least to some degree. I did, however, have to fight the urge to instantly drop one of my classes when I saw the name of one of its guest speakers. You see, I took environmental journalism last fall semester with 2 horrible instructors. Horrible. And one of them (the "dumber" one) is the guest speaker. Sigh.

I really like my public health genetics and my pathophysiology courses though. The PHG (public health genetics) professor is so funny to listen to. She breaks out chuckling every few sentences. What a riot! And my pathophysiology professor is African-British, so he has that amazing accent. Plus he says some really funny things sometimes in class.

I did also find out about what could happen to my MPH if I go to med school. Apparently, there have been several people in my place before, many of them in my HME sub-program. So my credits are good for at least 4 years, so I can come back to finish my MPH degree after med school if I so choose. The question now is, should I? Or even, would I? I don't know . . . after 4 years of med school, I don't know if I want another year of public health before going into my residency. Well, I suppose I do have options now and I have 5 years to make my decision.

The Apartment
So, after several emails, 2 of them with pics attached documenting the sheer grossness of my apartment, things have finally reached a conclusion here. At the same time, I emailed a friend's dad who is a real estate lawyer and has dealt with such issues. I was one day away from going to Student Legal Services to see what legal action I could take against my irresponsible landlord.

On Tuesday morning, my dad called the office himself and talked to the two managers. After several volley of words, a stubborn tug-of-war, they agreed to have my apartment cleaned by 6pm on Tuesday, September 2nd, as well as refund our August rent. When I returned to my apartment later Tuesday evening, they did indeed come have have it cleaned. Victory!!

I did, however, sweep the kitchen floor for the remaining dirt and debris (as they only did like an 80-85% job) and I disinfected the toilet again. I have high hygiene standards and, damn it, they will be met!

So I emailed the director of MCW to see if my deposit form and money had been received. They indeed have, so that's taken care of. I should get something in the mail telling me what to do next sometime late this week or early next week.

The two undergrad professors I emailed have agreed to write me letter of recommendations for my GSI application (some places call them TAs). With a bit of luck, I will be a GSI teaching some undergrad course next semester. This means that my public health tuition becomes free AND I get a decent stipend. Woot!!

These past couple days things have been falling into place quite nicely. Now, I should shower and maybe read more . . . but who am I kidding, I won't do that until tomorrow. XD