Friday, May 29, 2009

Mala Fixed

I finally got around to fixing my mala last night. This is the third time I've had to fix it. The fact that it keeps breaking is annoying, but ironically, a good lesson in impermanence, which is central to Buddhism.

I took my DOT test today. I did much better then I expected, especially since I was so uncertain on so many questions.

I worked on my project today. I found two people, and plan on going to one every other week, and the other on the other weeks. The price is still steep, but if I budget right, it will fall within my new budget with enough money left over for food. On Monday I get the tools I need, and meet with the first person, "L" on Wednesday. I will see "O" the following Wednesday.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I Don't Understand People (personal rant)

The hardest thing for me to do is understand why people do the things they do.

I had a fight with my room mate last night. I will admit, I have a slightly higher standard of "clean" then most people. It comes from growing up around my mother, who did not clean, but obsessively sterilize the entire house every weekend. I am not nearly that clean, but I do prefer a clean home.
My room mate and I split the dishes, and we ended up getting into a fight about it. Long story short, when I tell someone to do the dishes, I expect them to be done within 36 hours, not 3-4 days. I also expect any trash accumulated to be thrown into the trashcan, not left on the counter.
Issac complained that I acted like he did not live there and said that if there were any chores to be done, that I should tell him.
This further pissed me off. My mother does not come into my apartment and tell me what needs to be cleaned. I am perfectly capable of observing messes and cleaning them up. I should not have to tell him when and what to clean. If I can see what needs to be cleaned, so should he.

Patrick, who was there to observe the fight, pissed me off even further by saying "You honestly expect a guy to be proactive about cleaning?"

Wow, sexist much, Patrick?

Cleaning has nothing to do with sex and gender. It is about being an adult. Its about responsibility and doing things even though you don't want to. I just wish my room mate would take some responsibility.How hard is that?

His job is a part time math tutor, his major is Theater (and another in Math), and his biggest projects right now are Ren Faire and giving his girlfriend four orgasms a day. It's not like he comes home completely exhausted or stressed every day. Meanwhile I'm working on my Med Tech degree, I just finished a semester of 18 credits, and am taking 9 summer credits, and will soon have a job. On top of that, I am now going through summer insomnia, which means I am constantly wanting a nap.

I ended up deciding to buy myself dishes that I like, give Issac the old ones (he does not have any outside of three bowls), and agree that we will wash our own dishes.

We're better now, but it was still one hell of a fight.

Another event happened that which is a good example of human nature:
One of my closest friends, Ryan, was interested a while back in a woman named Heather. Unfortunately, so were two of his good friends. A lot of drama ensued, and finally they all agreed, for the sake of the friendship, not to date her. One of the friends, Josh, actually forced Ryan into promising this. Then, two weeks ago, Josh asked her out, and they are now dating.

Pretty lousy, eh?

To further the irony, Josh is a Christian. A hardcore, in-your-face, loud and proud, Evangelical Christian.
And then he goes and commits an thoughless, selfish, dihonerable, sleezy, and very unChristian act. (Which Evangelicals are prone to doing.)

Makes me glad I am now a Buddhist. It took me a long time to get away from the hyprocritical Christians of my old community, but I am much happier now. Its not that Christian part that bugs me, I love (most) Christians, and I like the actual teachings of Jesus. I don't like when people make a big deal about how great of a Christian they are, and then commit extremely unchrisitian acts. If you're going to be a Christian, be a good Christian.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Poem of Fools

Sir, I admit your general rule,
That every poet is a fool,
But you yourself may serve to show it,
That every fool is not a poet.

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Monday, May 25, 2009

Sunday 5.25.09

It was a fair quiet day. Tired of procrastinating, I got all dressed and ready to go to the gym to work out. However, the gym was closed for Memorial Day weekend.
Ryan and I went to the city diner for dinner, and I had an awesome corn chowder and part of a great strawberry malt. We headed to his apartment afterward so I could catch up on Lost. I am in the middle of season 3. A little slow, but I am assured it gets much better.

Lately I have been going through an insanely strong nesting instinct. Really strong. I have been browsing through IKEA websites and the like, not looking to buy, but simply curious.

What will my future home look like? When I am all grown up and graduated, when I move out of state into a big city, what will my apartment look like?

I am a huge fan of modernism and minimalism.
My dream home will be in shades of black, white, gray, silver, and blue. I imagine gray carpeting, blue-gray walls with a lighter gray trim, black furniture, blue or white curtains/blinds. The bed will be a modern-style platform bed, no tacky headboards. The bedding will be darker blues and grays. Lamps will most likely be silver and white. The lighting will be bright and white, with dimmers. Steel counter tops. The accents will be mostly silver and blue. Lots of candles, and hopefully some white orchids. Any art will be simple.

Very minimal, very quiet, no loud colors or patterns. Some place I can come home and relax.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Doc Martins

Nifty Dr. Martins I found. I don't plan on going shoe shopping until my Etnies fully die (They're wearing pretty thin, but I'll give them another 7 months), but when I do need another pair of every day shoes, I may go for Dr. Martins, and hope that they last longer. I'm pretty rough on shoes.
But these ones, "Bailey," are pretty cool. I hope they last longer then my current ones.

Late night pie

Ugh, its 3 am and I am too exhausted to write much of anything.
I had a midnight pie run at Denny's with Ryan tonight. We caught up, and talked a lot about relationships, mostly comparing my logical approach to his emotional approach. He helped me make a list of questions and variables I should know before admitting my feelings of love to David. Big questions on the list included:
- What kind of relationship does he want? More specifically, where would he like this relationship to go?
- In terms of communication, does he prefer blunt or subtle?
- What kind of personality does he have? (So far, laid-back, a touch submissive, great humor)
- What, in this relationship, would he like to see changed?
- What things make him nervous?

There were other questions too, but these were big ones.

Now, time to go curl up in bed, watch Sex in the City, and sleep.

Friday, May 22, 2009


It made me giggle. It will make you giggle.
Giggle, dammit!

found at

Classes, Classes, Classes! (and music)

I had my lab class tonight, and decided afterward to drop it. I expected the intro Biology classes to be easy, but this was ridiculous. At least in the lecture I am learning a few things here and there, which is exactly what I wanted: to fill in the blanks of my basic biology knowledge.
I managed to get a 50% refund for the lab, which is better then nothing. All the more time to spend working (once I actually get a job).

In other class news, I finally managed to get into a fall '09 Chemistry class & lab at my actual university, instead of having to drive 50 miles away to the other campus. Its going to save me a nice bit of money, since I was going to have to pay mandatory fee for both campuses, not to mention the cost of gar driving there. It's not with my preferred teacher, but she is not as bad as some of the others, according to student reviews (I always schedule my entire semester not around work or sleep, but professors. Trust me, it makes a difference.)

I also managed to get a music player on the blog! How do you like it? I like a lot of harder rock and metal as well, but this is my feel good/wake up/calm down music. Hard rock on my blog didn't seem to fit. There's some of the newer hits by MIA, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna, as well as some good beats by Paul van Dyke, Engine Room, Blue Man Group, and Massive attack. Some of my feminist favorites such as Beautiful, Fighter, and Miss Independent, and calmer tunes by Elysian Fields, Gary Jules, and Death Cab for Cutie.
And geeky ones such as Flight of the Conchords and John Coulton.

I stopped by Davids house on my way back home, and gave him a gift of charcoal pencils. They were pretty cheap, but I could not really afford better, and I wanted to give him a gift. I remember him saying he likes drawing with charcoal.
I ended up falling asleep while watching Family Guy, curled up on the couch with him.

Zen Koan

My branch of Buddhism, Zen, deals mainly with two things: zazen and koans. My specific branch, Soto Zen, is mostly concerned with zazen. I never pay much attention to Buddhist koans and stories, however, this one is one of my favorite:

Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.

Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor's cup full, and then kept on pouring.

The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. "It is overfull. No more will go in!"

"Like this cup," Nan-in said, "you are full of your own opinions and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?"

This thought had a profound impact on me, especially since I've seen many examples of having to "unlearn" in real life.

There is Always Hope

found at

Imagining the 10th Dimension

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Buddhist thought

As the bee takes the essence of a flower
and flies away without destroying its beauty and perfume,
so let the sage wander in this life.

- The dhammapada

To pass though this life without causing damage or harm to others. A hard task, but one worth striving towards.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Hubble has been fixed. Hubble has been updated. Hubble is happy. Look at Hubble's happy face. Hubble love astronauts. Hubble can eat astronauts too. Mmmm.... tender, juicy astronauts.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why I Love Stumble Upon

Calorie Counter
- Type and any food, and it will give you the nutritional info. Great for dieting.

Interactive Periodic Table
- Pretty nifty for doing online chem homework

Web Elements
- Goes a little more in depth then the periodic table listed above.

Feminist eZine
- An extensive list of feminist blogs categorized in topics such as eco-feminism, domestic feminism, cyber feminism, male feminism, postfeminism, feminist art, music, books, and health.

Neurological Control
- A cool list and short description of the hormones in the brain, and how they affect us neurologically.


Ways To Energize Your Life

1. Change your socks for refreshment.

It’s an amazing trick. Bring a change of socks to work, and change your socks midway through the day. You’ll be amazed at how much fresher you’ll feel. This trick is especially handy on days with lots of walking.

2. Rock out loud.

Whether you work alone or in a room with coworkers, a quick one-song rock out loud session is an effective way to beat back exhaustion.

3. Get rid of the stuffy nose.

If allergies have your sinuses blocked, you may be feeling more tired and cranky. An over-the-counter allergy medication should clear up your sinuses.

4. Work with your body’s clock.

There is a natural ebb and flow of energy throughout the day. We start off sluggish after waking up, even after a solid 8 hours of sleep. Our energy peaks mid-morning, and it’s natural to want a siesta in the afternoon. We get a second spike of energy in the early evening, followed by our lowest energy point just before bedtime. Once you understand this natural rhythm of energy throughout the day, you can work on the important tasks during your peak hours and avoid early afternoon snoozefests (meetings).

5. Have a piece of chocolate.

Not too much, but if you’re going to have some candy, it might as well be chocolate. Dark chocolate has more caffeine than milk chocolate.

6. Have an afternoon power snack.

A small healthy snack that is low in sugar and has protein and/or fiber a couple hours after lunch helps you finish off the day strong. Some suggestions:

  • mixed nuts
  • nonfat yogurt
  • apple and peanut butter
  • frozen berrie smoothie
  • trail mix
  • granola bar

7. Hit up the water cooler for inconsequential banter.

A little midday gossip and random banter is a great pick-me-up for your tired mind. It works because it gets your mind on zero-stress thoughts for a while. The mental break for just a few minutes will revitalize you.

8. Eat lots of berries.

Especially berries that are blue, red, or purple. The color comes from anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant, that boosts energy. Any kind of berry will contain tons.

9. Wear brighter colors.

This trick is related to the mood you project to people, and the reciprocating mood they project towards you. If you wear dark, somber colors, you project a dark, somber attitude, and people will respond to you with a somber attitude. If you wear bright, happy colors, you’ll get that attitude projected towards you, which will boost your own mood and energy levels.

10. Take a power nap.

But do it in your chair. Don’t lie down on the sofa or you won’t get back up. Keep it short: 5-10 minutes max. Any longer and it will have the opposite effect of knocking you out for the rest of the day.

11. Flirt.

It’s fun, it’s harmless (keep it innocent), and it’s effective. Nothing quite gets the heart pumping like a little flirting.

12. Aromatherapy with lavender.

Research has shown that the lavender scent increases alertness.

13. Wake up at the same time everyday.

Including weekends. This sets your body clock. Otherwise, you’ll be wide awake when you should be asleep. Or worse, asleep when you should be awake (dozing off in a meeting is embarrassing). The key is to go to bed at the same time every night. If you need to reset your sleep cycle in one day, stop eating for the 16 hours before the time you want to wake up.

14. Drink lots of water.

Dehydration is a sinister cause of fatigue because it slowly creeps up on you. If you consistently drink less than 8 cups of water a day, you may be sluggish all the time. Get a 32 oz (1 quart, 4 cups) water bottle. Your goal is to polish off 2 of those a day.

15. Use caffeine wisely.

Coffee and caffeinated sodas can boost your alertness, but be careful about letting it be a habitual crutch. The temptation to drink more caffeine to get even more energy will be strong. Drink coffee earlier in the day to avoid insomnia, which will make the next day worse.

16. Avoid energy drinks.

Energy drinks provide a near-instant hyperactivity boost, but they always result in a crash.

17. Eat low glycemic (low or complex carb) foods.

Trade in good, complex carbohydrates (low glycemic index) for the bad, simple carbs (sugar). Carbohydrates with a high glycemic index means the sugar is more easily digested by your body. That results in a spike in energy followed by a low-sugar crash.

High glycemic index foods to avoid include white bread, potato, and high sugar foods (like sodas). Low glycemic foods (the good carb foods) include fruits and vegetables, grains (eg., whole wheat bread), low-carb foods (eg., meats), and pasta.

18. Eat more soluble fiber.

Soluble fiber is the kind that slows down the rate of absorption of sugars. It evens out your energy levels by preventing a sugar high and crash. (By the way, insoluble fiber is the kind that prevents constipation.) Don’t worry too much about which kind of fiber you’re getting — they’re both good for you. Rotate more high soluble fiber foods like nuts, grains, fruits, plant matter (vegetables), beans, and oats into your diet.

19. Get your Vitamin C.

Get a daily dose of citrus fruits (eg., orange juice in the morning) or a vitamin C tablet. Study after study shows the correlation between citric acid deficiency and chronic fatigue.

20. Sniff some citrus.

In addition to the Vitamin C, citrus scents (like orange, lemon and lime) stimulate alertness. So lather on some of that lemon scented lotion.

21. Cover the B Vitamins.

B vitamins cover a range of bodily functions, but most B vitamins are involved in the process of converting blood sugar into usable energy.

22. Quit smoking.

Ex-smokers frequently report an energy boost of 2-3x when they quit smoking.

23. Play to relax.

Playing a game keeps your mind working (versus, say, watching TV), but doesn’t have any of the energy-sapping stresses of work. Go ahead and play that quick game of Scrabble on Facebook, but have a strict time limit if you don’t want your boss to say something.

24. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.

Snack throughout the day. By eating smaller but more frequent “meals”, you will maintain a steady dose of energy instead of experiencing food comas. Don’t snack on fatty and sugar laden junk food though.

25. Enjoy a cup of tea.

In a recent study, University College London researchers noted that drinking a cup of tea 4-6 time a day reduces stress hormone levels in your body. The study’s results suggest “drinking black tea may speed up our recovery from the daily stresses in life.”

26. Splash some water on your face.

Just letting the cool water hit your face washes off the grime and stresses of the day. You could also jump in the pool or take a shower for the same effect. Showers stimulates the circulatory system and metabolism. Get wet to feel more energetic.

27. Stand up, stretch and take a couple of deep breaths.

Stretch your arms, back, legs, and neck. Take a deep breath through your nose, hold it, and let it out slowly and forcefully. Repeat several times. This will take 30 seconds and will be an instant fix. When you sit back down, you’ll have the clear head and fresh feeling needed to power through the tough/boring task in front of you.

28. Get your world organized.

When your world is organized, you don’t have to expend mental energy keeping track of a million things.

29. Look on the bright side.

A generally upbeat and optimistic outlook on life will keep your energy level up. Look for the positive in every situation and you won’t be so tired.

30. Take a mini-vacation.

Take one day and just do whatever you want. No work, no chores, no errands. Enjoy your one full day of vacation, then come back to work more motivated and energetic.

31. Eat a satisfying breakfast but a light lunch.

A heavy lunch, especially one with lots of carbs or fat (like a burger combo) will hit you as soon as you get back to the office. And it’ll be a sluggishness that lasts to the end of the day. Eat a big breakfast instead. It provides the fuel you need for the day, at the time when your body needs it the most. Not only will you avoid the afternoon food coma, the big breakfast will make you more productive in the mornings. Double win.

32. Choose protein over fat or carbs.

Foods with lean (low fat) protein help you feel fuller for longer. It also prevents blood sugar spikes, giving you more steady energy. Lean protein foods include fish and other seafood, lean pork, or chicken breasts (”white meat”).

33. Shed a few pounds.

The things you do to lose weight — exercise, drink water, avoid simple sugars — are actions that also have a positive effect on your energy level. Even better, the actual loss of excess fat provides an energy boost of its own. You’ll feel “lighter” and things that use to make you breathless will now seem much easier. Losing weight provides a double-impact to boosting your energy.

34. Listen to tunes while you work.

It’s well known that our brain’s pleasure centers light up when we hear music. Throwing on the headphones and listening to any music you like while working will give you a productivity boost.

35. Start exercising.

If you have a fairly sedentary life, just the idea of starting an intense exercise program is exhausting. But if you go slow, literally taking one step at a time, you can go from being sedentary to becoming a runner just like Leo.

36. Eliminate stress.

Stress is draining. Sometimes it’s worth it, like when you’re on a deadline to delivery a big project. Sometimes it’s just a waste of energy.

37. Have more sex.

Talk about an endorphin rush! If you keep those endorphins flowing regularly, you’ll have more natural energy. Literally, more bounce to your step.

38. Move gym time to the morning.

A lot of people go to the gym after work. Try going to the gym in the morning instead to get energy that lasts all day.

39. Purge low-value tasks from your todo list.

If you have a ridiculously long todo list that is impossible to get all the way through, you’ll feel tired just thinking about the todo list. If you want to actually cross off tasks from your todo list, you’ll need to throw out the crap tasks that you don’t want/need to deal with. Either delegate those tasks, move them into a second “nice but not critical” list, or just admit that they’re probably never going to get done and move them to the “maybe/someday” list.

40. Avoid the mid-day cocktail.

If you want to function in the afternoon, avoid alcohol at lunch.

41. Get a massage.

Loosen up those tight muscles and you’ll feel more relaxed. A more relaxed you means a happier and more productive you. Trade a quick shoulder rub with a coworker after lunch to perk both of you up for the rest of the afternoon.

42. Dress up.

Feeling better about yourself has a magical way of giving you more energy. Put just a tad more effort into looking your best for work, and you’ll get compliments from coworkers that will make you feel better.

43. Don’t drink yourself to sleep.

Alcohol keeps your body from entering deep sleep, so even if you get the same hours of sleep, you won’t feel as rested.

44. Get a thyroid test from your doctor.

If you are chronically fatigued, it may be a symptom of hypothyroidism. That’s when not enough thyroid hormone is produced, with fatigue as one of its symptoms. Visit the doctor if you’ve been tired for a long time and haven’t had a checkup in a while.

45. Take a walk outside.

Getting outside for some fresh air, a change of scenery, and a quick walk to get your blood going will do wonders for your mood and motivation. Seeing the sun is a signal to your body that it’s not bedtime yet.

46. Lower your blood pressure.

Besides being a risk factor for a heart attack, high blood pressure makes you fatigued. If you haven’t seen your doctor lately, go in and get your blood pressure checked.

47. Rotate yogurt into your diet.

Yogurt with live cultures keep your digestive system clean, which helps your body absorb all the nutrients from food. That makes you healthier and more energetic. Yogurt is also a good low-fat snack.

48. Have a laugh.

Laughter is great medicine for exhaustion. Make sure you laugh regularly to keep your mood up. Seek out funny people or subscribe to a daily email joke.

49. Add more cardio to your gym time.

The aerobic exercise gets your blood pumping. It builds stamina and endurance, which is useful for both triathalons and neverending department meetings.

50. Take up yoga.

The stretching, slow controlled movements, and focus on breathing reduces tension (and stress). The benefits include better sleep, feeling more relaxed, and being mentally sharper.

51. Eat eggs.

When people have eggs (mostly protein) for breakfast, versus bagels (all carbs), they feel more energy and eat less at the next meal. Protein makes you feel fuller without feeling stuffed.

52. Get a good night’s sleep.

We need 7-8 hours of sleep to be fully rested. Consistently sleeping less than 6 hours a night builds up a “sleep debt” that is hard to recover from.

53. Get more ginseng.

Ginseng is well-known to have energy boosting properties. It is an adaptogen, which means it build resistance to stress and boosts energy.

54. Socialize.

Turn off the Internet and go socialize with friends. Humans are social animals, and we need regular socializing to keep ourselves in peak health and energy.

55. Get on your toes.

Roll up and down on your toes. This stimulates your circulatory system, which will deliver much-needed oxygen and fuel (glucose) throughout your body. You’ll be more energized and sharper. You can do this right now.

Aerosolized nanoparticles show promise for delivering antibiotic treatment

ATS 2009, SAN DIEGO? Aerosol delivery of antibiotics via nanoparticles may provide a means to improve drug delivery and increase patient compliance, thus reducing the severity of individual illnesses, the spread of epidemics, and possibly even retarding antibiotic resistance.

Delivery of antibiotics via nanoparticles has shown promise as a drug delivery mechanism, particularly for controlled release or depot delivery of drugs to decrease the number of doses required to achieve a clinical effect. The effectiveness of this delivery mechanism has not been confirmed directly either in infection models or in patients, but according to new data to be presented on Tuesday, May 19, at the American Thoracic Society's 105th International Conference in San Diego, this delivery technique appears indeed promising.

Carolyn L. Cannon, M.D., Ph.D. from Washington University School of Medicine, and colleagues from the Center for Silver Therapeutics Research at the University of Akron in OH investigated the efficacy of nanoparticle-encapsulated silver-based antibiotics for treating pulmonary infections in a mouse model of pneumonia. Treatment with antibiotic-laden nanoparticles effectively eliminated respiratory infections in mice that had been inoculated with Pseudomona aeroginosa, a common bacterial species that often infects the respiratory tract in humans, particularly immunocompromised patients, ventilated patients or those with cystic fibrosis. Infected mice that inhaled aerosolized nanoparticles encapsulating silver carbene complexes (SCCs), a novel class of silver-based antimicrobials with broad-spectrum activity, showed a significant survival advantage over the control mice that received nanoparticles without the SCCs. Treated mice also had decreased lung bacterial burden and spread, compared to the control mice. Moreover, the treatment with nanoparticles occurred once every 24 hours, a regimen that is known to increase compliance in human patients, versus the usual dosing interval of inhaled antibiotics for P. aeruginosa, which is twice daily.

"We were surprised and thrilled to see a 100 percent survival advantage in mice treated daily with SCC22-loaded nanoparticles at doses significantly lower than those used to achieve a similar survival advantage in twice-daily dosing of unencapsulated SCC22. During a 72 hour period, all of the infected control mice died, whereas all of the mice that received just two doses of SCC22-loaded nanoparticles spaced 24 hours apart survived."

"My collaborators, Wiley Youngs, Ph.D., and Yang Yun, Ph.D., and I are eager to complete toxicity studies that would enable us to start clinical trials," said Dr. Cannon. "While the mouse studies are tantalizing, the goal that propels our research is realizing the promise of these novel antibiotics and delivery mechanisms through an analogous survival advantage in patients."

First Day of Class (for real this time)

I am so tired. I had a hard time getting to sleep last night, which resulted in me sleeping and missing the first hour of my three hour Biology class. It did not really matter since it was the first day, so fortunately I missed nothing of importance. The class was boring, but we get into cell biology tomorrow, so that should be a bit more fun.
I went and had lunch with Dad, and bought my Bio textbook. I love buying textbooks. They smell like education and knowledge and debt.
I'm so exhausted I could hardly see straight. I'm heading to bed for a nap soon, but not until a cup of tea and an episode of Battlestar Galactica.

Night with David

David came over tonight to hang out. Although I've seen more of him then I usually do this past week, we haven't had much alone time to just hang out without any obligations or plans. It was a wonderful evening, very relaxed and laid back. It was good to spend time with him without the distractions of friends or puppies. He had to leave a bit earlier then we both would have liked, since he has puppy watch tomorrow, and I have 8:30 class (yes, I actually have class this time)
He made a humorous short movie last week with a bunch of his friends, where he played the part of a gay Abraham Lincoln, complete with a three foot high top hat, black trench coat and five inch white go-go boots. He loved the look and is thinking of designing a character from it.

Enter Lincoln!

David and Ryan chilling between scenes

Monday, May 18, 2009

It makes my inner geek happy

I saw it, and I had to blog about it. Look at the pretty! It is a digital microscope, 1.3 megapixel with a zoom of 200x. With a simple USB plug, one can instantly look at images, take pictures, and instantly download the images onto a computer.

How freaking awesome is that?


This would be so awesome to have for microbiology class, or histology. It's small, and easy to transport, so I could take it to the lab, take pictures of their samples, and study the pictures at home.

I cannot adequately describe how happy this makes me ^_^

Do I still get credit for attendance?

So I woke up at 6:30 this morning, dragged my carcass out of bed, got dressed, did my hair, my make up, ate breakfast, brushed teeth, and finally woke up, ready to meet the day! I drove to school for my first round of morning classes, only to find out my class does not start until tomorrow.


I came home, started season 3 of Battlestar Galactica, and worked on specimen processing homework. Department of Transportation biohazard specimen transport regulations are weird. Essential, but still a little weird in their reasoning (Seriously, HIV is considered Class A only if its cultured, while blood samples are Class B. Wtf?)

Geek Alert

Alright, I know the title of the blog says Lab Geek, but honestly this is more a personal blog. It's title is derived from the fact that, as a Medical Lab Technology major, I am a lab geek, and a huge nerd as well. While I enjoy a variety of side interests, from cars, shopping, Buddhism, dancing, and shooting, my biggest love is science, particularly anatomical and medical science, as it closely related to my field.

What can I say? I find science cute.

And apparently I am not the only one. Think Geek carries a line of "plush microbes," little plushies representing various microbes, such as strep, lice, mono, the common cold, heartworm, rabies, and blood cells. I pretty much had a geekgasm when I saw them. As a future Med Tech, the white blood cell (above pic) is my favorite ^_^
They are also sold at a local science store, am I may buy one for my Med Tech teachers, Steve and Heidi.

Check them out at



Common Cold

E. coli

Am I the only one who is a little disturbed by how happy the herpes looks?
They take the geekiness a step further by introducing the plushy sequel, "Petri Dish Plushies" The Flu plushies ^_^

New Hair

Well, kinda new. I found a great new salon which I absolutely love. When the semester finished, I felt absolutely disgusting from finals, as I usually do. Completely wrapped up in tests, I hadn't shaved in weeks and my hair had grown two inch roots. I wanted to do something new with my hair, and after a week of searching found a great professional salon with fair prices, and the stylist, Tammy, did an excellent job.

I ended up with a beautiful dark red-brown base, and bright red and blond highlights. It turned out funkier then I expected, but I like it, and I felt much better afterward, cleaner. I new look to kick off the summer, I guess. I plan to go back in July, right before my practicum, to touch it up. Its hard to tell from the photos, but it turned out awesome.

I love dying my hair. Since I am a poor college student, I usually dye it myself with the help of Lara, but every once and a while I'll have it professionally done. I've had it nearly every color of the rainbow, but lately I've been longing to keep it normal shades of brown and red. Maybe I'm just growing up. Thats a scary thought, eh? I've even taken out my labret piercing, opting for just the monroe. A more feminine look, I suppose.

So I finally have some pictures of it. Huzzah!


... was spontaneously adventurous. I hung out with Ian most of the day. We chatted at his place for a while and then went to go see a movie, Taken. It wasn't bad, the plot was good and the actions scenes were intense. I don't think I would buy it though. (Funny, since I don't actually own any movies)
Ian laughed at the fact that today was the closest thing we've had resembling a date. We never actually dated, but there was once a definite relationship and it was way outside thelines of normal. It's a long story, for another day. We parted ways, but still remain good friends. He's seen more sides of me then anyone else.

After the movie, we headed to Darlene's to help her and Daniel kidnap a free piano for Chelsea. They could not get it up the stairs though, so for now it remains in their garage.

I start school tomorrow! Summer biology class. It's a basic biology class, but I'm hoping to add a biology minor to my degree, and am taking microbiology in the fall, so I need a brush-up. I intend to kick ass in this class (No, I'm not competitive. Not at all).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dream cars

When people speak of their "dream car," they often speak of cars they will never be able to afford, such as a Porche or a Lamborghini. I like to dream of cars I have a chance of one day affording once I graduate. For instance, when I graduate and move, I would like to buy a VW Jetta or Beetle. The most expensive car I ever hope to aspire to is an Audi TT coupe. (Can you tell i have a thing for German cars?) Maybe I'll buy an Audi when I have my mid-life crisis, but I won't die with regrets if I never own one. I also love Nissan. My first car (sorta) was a late 1980's Nissan Maxima, and it was a fun little car with a plenty of jump. Hondas are fun too ^_^
I love going on car websites and building my own car. Here's what I end up with:

Audi TT Coupe
Ice Silver paint (though the Sahara Silver or Meteor Gray are beautiful too)
17" tires (The 18" were prettier, but $800. Eeek!)
Front wheel drive
Alcantra Leather Interior

VW Jetta TDI
Platinum Gray
Art gray interior
6-speed automatic Transmission (I still cant drive stick. Stop laughing)
Rear Chrome Accent
iPod Adapter
30/41 mpg

VW Jetta S
Black exterior
Anthracite interior
6-speed automatic transmission
Chrome accent
iPod adapter
21/30 mpg
$18,884VW Beetle
Gecko Green (or Heavenly Blue)
Black interior
6-speed automatic
Splash guards
20/29 mpg

Nissan Altima Coupe 2.5S
Precision Gray or Winter Frost
Charcoal Leather Interior
Continuously Variable Transmission
175 horsepower
4 cylinder engine
32 mpg

Nissan Altima Coupe 3.5 SE
Winter Frost (or Precision Gray)
Charcoal cloth interior
Continuously Variable Transmission
V6 3.5L engine
32 mpg

Nissan Sentra Fe+ 2.0 SR
Black exterior
Charcoal cloth interior
Continuously Variable Transmission
$18,480 (awesome gas mileage for under $20,00)

Honda Civic Coupe LX
26/34 mpg
Automatic Transmission
Alabaster Silver exterior
Gray interior
16" alloy wheels
{Ok, its not very pretty. But again price plus gas milage is awesome)

Can you tell I have a weakness for coupes? I also prefer my cars to be white, silver, gray, or black. The Beetle is a fun little car, so it deserves a fun color. While I love them all, so far my absolute favorite is the Nissan Altima 2.5S coupe. It has a firece look, and the gas milage is nothing to laugh at, either. Once I get my degree and start my career, it will be affordable as long as I budge responsibly.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Bring on the Arts!

The 2009-2010 concert season looks like it's going to be freaking awesome! While I'm not a theater or music geek like so many of my friends, I do enjoy a good show. So, here are the upcoming shows I hope to see:

Bellydance Superstars Oct. 2-3, 2009
I love bellydance. Sony and I will often break out in random bellydance moves whenever we're together. I've even done a public performance or two. I'm particularly into tribal fusion, how can you hate dressing up in elaborate shiny outfits and dancing to heavy drum and techno beats? I hope Sony is in the state for the performance, because I know she would hate to miss it.

East Village Opera Company
Feb 12, 2010

I'll put it this way:
The East Village Opera Company consists of a powerhouse rock band, a string quartet, and two classically trained vocalists. I love rock opera sound, and this group seems very promising. I love the way they mix and modernize well known classical songs, giving them an edgy sound, like Trans Siberian Orchestra did with Christmas music.
Check out a video of them here:

Feb 23-28, 2010
I saw the movie when I was a kid, and loved it. Scandal, jazz, sex, secrets, fingerwaves, and fishnets. I mean, come on, this show defined the standard for Broadway musical. I'm pretty excited to hear that they will be visiting my humble state in Feb of 2010. I will be there!

These are the big three I would like to see. However, two more artists caught my eye. The first one, who will be playing a show on September 19th, 2009, is Vienna Teng. I looked her up on YouTube, and her smooth alternative-classical sounds quickly won me over. She's a more classical version of Nora Jones, and her piano skills are impressive. The other artist was the Ahn Trio, a trio of Asian sisters who play the piano, violin, and cello, and explore the limits of their music. They belnd their sounds together beautifully, especially in the song "Dies Irie"
They play March 5th of next year.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Motorcycle Maddness!

Isaac and I went to visit Bri at work. She works at the local Harley-Davidson dealership, which basically means I use visiting her as an excuse to drool over the pretty bikes. She introduced me to the head salesman, Chicago, who showed me around and helped me decide which future motorcycle to buy.
I really like the Buell Blast (It's also a Buell dealership). It's a great bike for beginners, even the motorcycle classes use Blasts to train their students. It cheap ($4000-$6000), easy to ride, easy to handle. I sat on one and loved the way it feels.

one day.
they have motorcycle courses this summer, but I'm too broke. Maybe next summer ^_^

New Gene Test Predicts Colon Caner Return

May 14, 2009 -- (

A test that characterizes each tumor by its genetic signature may soon help some colon cancer patients decide whether to have chemotherapy after surgery or whether they can safely forgo additional treatment.

Called Oncotype DX, the test predicts the chance that cancer will come back after surgery alone in people with stage II colon cancer.

"This test empowers doctors and their patients to make more informed decisions about chemotherapy after surgery," says researcher David Kerr, MD, professor of cancer medicine at the University of Oxford.

If its name sounds familiar, that's because the new test is a version of the Oncotype DX breast cancer test that is already being used to guide the treatment of estrogen-fueled breast cancers that have not spread to the lymph nodes.

The version for colon cancer patients is expected to be available next year, according to Genomic Health, which makes both tests and funded the work.

Risk of Cancer Recurrence

About 25%-30% of people diagnosed with colon cancer have stage II disease. That means the cancer has spread through the wall of the colon and may have spread to nearby tissues or organs, but has not spread to the nearby lymph nodes or distant areas.

Although most people with stage II colon cancer are cured after surgery alone, about 20%-25% experience a recurrence of cancer.

The problem: "There's no good tool to tell us who will have a recurrence after surgery and who won't," says ASCO President Richard L. Schilsky, MD, professor of medicine at the University of Chicago.

That's where the new test, which looks at the activity of a dozen genes involved in colon cancer risk, comes in.

For the study, the researchers analyzed 761 genes from 1,851 patients with stage II colon cancer and identified 12 genes with the potential to predict the likelihood of cancer recurrence.

Then, they analyzed tissue samples collected from 711 people who had undergone surgery for stage II colon cancer.

Depending on the activity of the 12 genes, participants were assigned a recurrence score and classified as being at low, medium, or high risk of recurrence.

The study showed that the recurrence score accurately predicted the risk of cancer coming back, Kerr says.

People in the low-risk category had only about a 12% chance of having a recurrence at three years, the study showed. But people who fell into the high-risk category had a 22% chance of having recurrence.

The Chemotherapy Dilemma

The recurrence score can be used to guide the difficult decision of whether to have chemotherapy after surgery, Kerr tells WebMD.

In patients with low recurrence scores, "I don't think any doctor would recommend chemotherapy. The side effects and hassle of chemotherapy outweigh the benefits," he says.

But in patients with high recurrence scores, chemo can cut the risk of cancer coming back by another 5%, Kerr tells WebMD. "We know from other work that patients are willing to accept side effects given that degree of benefit."

What about patients at intermediate risk? There, the answer is less clear, Kerr says. "In my clinical practice, I find that younger medium-risk patients tend to say the benefits of chemo outweigh the risks. Those age 70 and older say, 'Thanks, but no thanks.'"

Schilsky tells WebMD that the new test is a good step forward. But he says he would like to see it better discriminate between patients at low and high risk of recurrence.

Kerr says studies to refine the test, incorporating more genes that may be involved in colon cancer and following larger numbers of patients, are under way.

His team also hopes to develop a score to predict not only whether a patient will suffer a recurrence, but also whether chemotherapy will actually work. Their first attempt at such a test failed, largely due to too few patients, Kerr says.


How cool is that?
Maybe its because I am a Med Tech

Late night drive

David was upset tonight, over a game he and his friends have been designing. Some of their most original ideas cropped up in a newly released game. He was frustrated, as well as tired from a boring day at work. So I took a quick trip down the highway (I love driving at night), to go comfort him.
I was good to see him. I had not seen him since last Friday. We spent about an hour cuddling together, which was awesome. He calmed down pretty quickly. The nice thing about David is that when he gets frustrated, he does not scream or shout, or get violent. Considering how shouting is my #1 anxiety trigger, I appreciate his calm demeanor, even when his emotions are running high.

He's so awesome.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The Spring semester ended a week ago.
My grades came in a few days later:
Technical Writing: A
College Algebra: B
Intro to Organic/Biochem: B
Statistics: C
Weight Training: A

I passed Chemistry!
Actually, I have never failed Chemistry. I usually get D's, when I need a C or higher to start my labs and continue my dream degree. Most people hate chemistry classes. I love chemistry, I'm just not very good at it. What saved me was Biochemistry; it's close relation to biology makes it easier for me to comprehend.

This means I may now advance to my labs. I registered for Hematology and Microbiology, as well as more Chemistry, in case I decide to go for a Biology minor. I've been looking forward to taking Micro and Hema for over a year!

I am finally advancing forward.
This semester was the toughest yet, with 18 credits. Fortunately, only one case of strep! (In 2007, I had 10 cases of strep between January and August, one of which included scarlet fever and an ER visit. I was immuno-compromised that year due to a previous illness). Despite the challenging semester, it was a good one for me, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I am finally figuring out who I am, and who I wish to become.

However, during the rush and chaos of the semester, I did not have the luxury of time to dwell on who I was, and more importantly, who I wanted to become. I just wanted to get through the semester. Finals descended like a Class 5 hurricane, and I endured with massive amounts of caffeine, late night study hours, cheap food, and two minute showers. I emerged, sleep-deprived and unshaven, with a sigh a relief and a higher GPA. I went home and collapsed into a 14 hour sleep coma.

When I awoke, the scheming began. A scheme of rebirth.

I have a much better sense of direction in my life now, more then I ever did before. Much of my uncertainty and hesitance has vanished; that which has not vanished, I simply made my peace with.
I have a vision of the person I would like to become. It is not a static ideal; it is flexible and open to change. It is simply an ideal of betterment, goals I would like to achieve, things I would like to own, values I would hold.

Who I am:
-I love to read, mostly fiction, sci-fi, literature, and medical/science non-fiction.
- I hate drunks. I have never been drunk. I will never be drunk. While the taste of good beer and wine is nice, I usually have about 3-5 ounces and then move onto water or tea.
- I am a geek. And a nerd. And a dork.
- I like strong tea.
- I often neglect my appearance after three weeks into the semester. My hair will grow out until I have 5 inch roots showing, my cosmetics and moisturizers forgotten, and my hair thrown up in a hurried ponytail. I grab clothes, put on deodarant, and rush out the door. (I do not like this about myself.)
- I am a Buddhist (Soto Zen tradition).
- I like shooting guns, but I do not care if I ever own one.
- I like expensive purfume. Jasmine Noir by Bulgari is my current favorite.
- I like an occasional cigar.
- I am a feminist. An actual, egalitarian feminist, not a man-hating hyprocrite.
- I love science. Particularly biochemistry, physiology, pathology, medical technology, physics, virology, and biology.
- When the anxitey starts to set in, I hide in the comfort of logic and science.
- I like fast cars and motorcycles.
- I support equal rights.
- My favorite flowers are lotus, orchids, and deep red roses.
- I dont usually drink coffee, but when I do, I like it black. Or with vanilla creamer. Yum.
- I drink SlimFast for breakfast, not necessarily for the diet appeal, but because it's a quick breakfast.
- I have a weakness for black leather, especially in the form of shoes, purses, and coats.
- On the rare occasion I do drink, I like beer dark and preferrably imported, and the wine, red.
- I don't care if I ever get married or have kids. Single life, married life, life with kids, and life without kids each have their own joys and disappointments. I learn to live with the joys in the life I have now (Unmarried, dating, no children), and should my life situation change, I will discover new joys and sorrows.
- I'm not a computer expert, but I know what I like and what I dislike. (Windows Vista = Evil)
- I speak passable French. It's actually a fun language after the first three years. I would like to learn Japanese.
- I have a weakness for cute things.

Things I would like to achieve (in order of achievablitiy. Some of these I will achieve by the end of the year, some of these in 10 years):

* I would like to raise my GPA to a 3.2. Right now I am at a 2.7

* I would like to lose some weight, and stay healthy. I plan on working out three times a week this summer during my break from classes. Five times a week would be ideal, but minimum of three times a week, to be realistic.

* I would like to maintain a professional appearance in my my college career and professional career. This means maintaining a postive and appropriate attitude.
It also means paying attention to my appearance:
- I will moisturize my face every day.
- I will use the appropriate amount of cosmetics.
- I will work on the rosacea on my face. I hate it. Clinique has some products for rosacea.
- Hair will be done neatly, and cut/colored by a stylist.
- I will wear the right clothes. This means:
+ An actual lab coat to all my lab classes
+ Clean clothes every day (actually, I do this anyways)
+ Scrubs to any medical-based jobs
+ Owning at least two women's suits for job interviews and other professional events, as well as a few extra pairs of nice slacks.

*I would like to be a better Buddhist, and visit the zendo once or twice a week.

* I would like to own a Mac computer. Perferably one desktop and one laptop, unless I find this excessive.

* I would like to have my degree, and be working in my selected field. I would prefer to be living on either the West or East coast.

* I would like to own a car. Something sensible. Nothing too expensive nor too cheap. I love the volkswagon Jetta or the newer Beetles. Audi's are beautiful too, but out of my projected price range. German cars are amazing.

* I would like to own a motorcycle.

* I would like to have either a Master's degree, or a second Bachelor's degree (in biology).

* I would like have an indoor orchid garden.

...this should be fun ^_^

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Time to move the records of my life from pen and paper to HTML and keyboard.

Summer is finally here, with long sunlit days working hard to thaw out my frozen home state.
Although the spring semester ended a week ago, I still find myself in a state of recovery. These past seven days have been filled with mornings well spent sleeping in, catching up with friends I lost contact with over the semester, spending time with David, digging into a pile of books, and pouring money into Blockbuster in order to catch up with my favorite TV shows.
I finally caught up on Nip/Tuck, House, and How I Met Your Mother. I kinda miss TV. It's a rule of mine never to own a TV while in college; I had one while living in the dorms and found myself annoyed by its constant interference with my studies. I rent TV shows now, (or watch them online), but only when I have the time for them.

David and I, along with a ton of friends, saw the new Star Trek movie on opening night. It was amazing! The acting was top notch, the special effects were stunning, the story line was solid. I highly recommend it. While I enjoyed both movies, I personally preferred it over Watchmen. I enjoyed it a second time last night with my room mates, Isaac and Bri.

On Friday, I went to go see David's new puppy. A yorkie-poodle mix named Chewy. Normally I am not a fan of small dogs, but who can resist a puppy? The fact that it does not yap excessively helps.

On Saturday, I bought my mother flowers (petite yellow roses, her favorite), and gave them to her for mothers day. Her P.O.S Dell finally died, which means she is buying a new computer. She plans to buy a new iMac, which makes me happy. This also means she will no longer be using dial-up internet (I never understood her reasons for using internet technology a decade outdated). A new Mac and high speed internet! I'm excited.
Welcome to the 21st century, Mother!

On Sunday I rescued a kitten. I saw an ad for a free kitten, and discovered a malnourished 5 month old female being tormented by five children, one of whom had cut off some of her whiskers. I do not know if I will keep her or find a better home for her, but I could not let her remain where she was. The kitten, a scratching post, litter box, litter, and two bags of food, all for free. Not a bad deal, eh? I named her Lithium (Lithie for short).
Why Lithium? Because she makes crazy people happy.

This week I'm getting back into the mode of responsibility.
That means facing the horrendous amount of money I have spent the last two weeks on food, movie tickets, books, movie rentals, and hair; promising myself to create a budget and spend my money wiser.
It means turning in my summer loan application.
It means applying for a summer job at the university's IT Department.
It means working on my DOT biohazard transportation regulations for my MT class.

I've done most of this. Tomorrow, I turn in the IT application and work on the MT class. And then I will be free until next Monday, when Summer classes (Intro Biology & accompanying lab) start. But tonight, I am sitting back and relaxing with a cut of green tea and season three of How I Met Your Mother.
And a shiny new blog.