Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Thanks Google

"There are many ways of breaking a heart. Stories were full of hearts broken by love, but what really broke a heart was taking away its dream - whatever that dream might be." --Pearl S. Buck

Showed up on my iGoogle page just now. Appropriate in light of the current state of things in my life.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

And So It Goes

Just yesterday I recalled my old dream of becoming an astronaut. It was by accident really, we were talking about the Challenger Shuttle catastrophe and about Richard Feynman and then suddenly it all came flooding back to me. Everything that used to inspire me and drive me to work my hardest since freshman year in college. It used to be a distant, but concrete goal that I could focus on and could use to further expand my interests.

The revival of my dream came not a day too soon, I've been in a slump this whole year for no apparent reason. I've been feeling tired, unmotivated, and stressed. I couldn't understand what was happening to me - I didn't recognize my old self in this new apathetic, tired, lazy me. I've been sleeping too much, procrastinating, searching for some new meaning, something important.

The thought alone rejuvenated me. I walked around all day smiling. I thought - it doesn't matter if I don't become an astronaut, but now I know where to aim and what it is that I've been missing so much lately. It gave me something to work towards. So what if I'm taking a job in technology/software next year? So what if it's not scientific enough? I can come home everyday and have a dream to work towards. I can take concrete steps to help me decide what to specialize in once I pay off my loans and am ready to jump onto the PhD wagon. It gave new meaning to my desire for PhD. My desire before was based on the vague feeling that I just haven't gotten academia out of my system yet and that I wanted more. Now, the PhD could have a greater purpose, a concrete goal.

All that came crashing down today with these words:
P: this NASA idea sounds great. but i'll have to pass on that.
P: Thanks anyways though
P: i know you were thinking about my best interest when you made up your mind about that
P: but do your thing. Good Luck

Yes, that is my boyfriend's response to all that I just explained above about NASA, astronauts, PhDs, and goals.

It's sarcasm, by the way. And not the friendly kind. It's the kind that goes hand in hand with the long diatribe I wrote long ago about having to choose between following my dreams and holding on to my relationship. Not much has changed.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

I'm graduating!

Today, I satisfied the very last of the requirements necessary for graduation. Nope it had nothing to do with world culture, or labs, or art, or philosophy. Today I finally took the swim test. Now even if I fail every single class this term, I will still graduate (with a single major instead of a double, but hey it feels good to say that anyway).

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


De-icing techniques

jabbing violently with the ice scraper
pros: it's fun, and nice big chunks of ice come right off
cons: too easy to get carried away, scratch the paint and/or windshield

using scraper as lever to lift the ice off
pros: no scraping sounds, can get even bigger chunks of ice off if you're good
cons: shitty scraper bound to break in half under the weight, it can be tricky to get under the ice

scrape, scrape, scrape away
pros: no damage to windshield, gets the job done... eventually
cons: flying shards of ice, boring, scraping sounds hurt your head, arms get tired

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Being Light-Minded is Hard Work

A place that hasn't entered my mind since Heart of Darkness, freshman fall in college - at least not that part of my mind that's personal, adventurous and creative. The genocide in Darfur and famine in Niger go into an entirely different part of my mind. But enough about the negative.

In just 5 short months I'll be spending 6 weeks frolicking, getting bitten by, and changing nappies of baby baboons in South Africa. With my boyfriend.

On (what some might call) a whim, we applied to a volunteer program in a baboon sanctuary. My boyfriend actually heard of the program back in September, but at the time we neither had the time or the money to be able to think about it seriously. With the prospect of me graduating this June and getting a sizable signing bonus from my employer-to-be, we were faced with the dilemma of how best to waste this money without doing something silly like putting it down on a house, investing it, or saving it.

I wanted to go study Buddhism in Thailand. I had made plans to go do just that about a year ago, when I had a term off from college. Instead, I got an internship... by accident. The internship was with my current employer-to-be (who gave me an offer for a full time job at the end of the internship). Thus I figured it was only fair that, having sold my soul to the devil (err.. corporate America) last winter by choosing an internship over Buddhism, that I should redeem myself by at least going to Thailand before I started my full time job at this same employer in the fall.

However, there were a couple of problems with that. Mostly, the fact that I would be leaving my boyfriend back home. I invited him to come along, of course, but Buddhism and Thailand just don't strike his fancy quite in the same way they do mine. To him, it was a huge waste of money (even more so than putting it down on a house).

enter Animal Planet, baboons, and South Africa

We both love animals. A lot.
So I did some quick research and realized that we could afford to do the baboon thing for 6 weeks together. Now I'm not sure if we'll have enough money to put down deposit/security on an apartment we need to rent when we come back so that I can start my new job, but... those are just technicalities and mere details.

Africa, here we come.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

New Year Resolutions

A couple of days late, but I was thinking about this recently and thought I should record it somewhere to remind myself.
So my goal for 2007?
Be on time/timely for everything.

This encompasses a lot of things for me, not just getting to a place on time. This means answering emails/returning phone calls in a timely manner. This means starting my projects/assignments/research on time. This means taking care of things when they should be taken care of. But of course, it also means if I say I'll meet you at 9pm, I should BE there at 9pm. This hasn't been a problem for me when I'm on campus, but back home when not everything is a 5-15 minute walk, I have a hard time starting to get ready early enough to leave the house and get somewhere ON TIME.

If I had to pick one thing about myself that I detest the most, it's this.

A close second would be my inability to keep my space relatively clean.
So goal #2 is:
Keep my room 90% clean, 90% of the time.

Why only 90% of the time?
Just trying to be realistic. This room will NOT be clean during midterms/finals.
I'm not trying to give myself a loophole though. Achieving this goal would be a HUGE step up for me.