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Spring Semester 2010:

* Teaching: Fundamentals of Microbiology - MW 12:00-2:40p
Medical Microbiology - TR 2:00-3:15p
Colloquium in Cell and Molecular Biology - R 3:30-4:30p
Thesis Research - Identification of T Cell Subsets and Immune Response in Colon Cancer Using Immunofluorescence - FOREVER AND EVER
Old Journal Entries
Or rather, entries from the old journal, as it were...

- An open letter to the College. (August 27, 2006)
- Untitled. (July 16, 2006)
- Haunted (Part One) (May 29, 2006)
- Are we growing up, or just going down? (May 3, 2006)
- I had a dream... (March 19, 2006)
- ... (March 14, 2006)
- Enjoy it while it lasts. (September 12, 2005)
- Scene: 3:27 AM. (September 3, 2005)
- Untitled. (July 26, 2005)

Psst... if you're looking for the academic writings I used to have here, head to my Reading Room.
Rented DVDs

- The Rage in Placid Lake (2003)
- Son of Rambow (2007)
- 大紅燈籠高高掛 / D� H�ng Dēngl�ng Gāogāo Gu� [Raise the Red Lantern] (1991)
- Au revoir, les enfants (1987)
- Chalk (2006)
- Le Samoura� (1967)
- Empire Records (1995)
- The Bank Job (2008)
- Le Quatre cents coups [The 400 Blows] (1959)
- Love and Other Disasters (2006)
- Friends and Family (2001)
- Sugar [unrated] (2004)
- The Curiosity of Chance (2006)
- Blade Runner: The Final Cut (1982)
- Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)
- Death Note [anime] (2006)
- Battle Royale (2000)
- Le scaphandre et le papillon [The Diving Bell and the Butterfly] (2007)
- Extras, Series 2 (2005)
- Extras, Series 1 (2005)
- Shelter (2007)
- Metropolis (1927)
- Cashback (2006)
- Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay [Unrated] (2008)
- The Catherine Tate Show, Series 2 (2005)
- The Catherine Tate Show, Series 1 (2004)


- Tokyo monogatari [Tokyo Story] (1953)
- Akira (1988)
- Habuah [The Bubble] (2006)
- Prime Suspect 4, including:
    - The Lost Child (1995)
    - Inner Circles (1995)
    - Scent of Darkness (1995)
- Like Minds [USA: Murderous Intent] (2006)
- La Strada (1954)
- Black Orpheus (1959)
- Le Notti di Cabiria [Nights of Cabiria] (1957)
- Cleo de cinq a sept [Cleo from 5 to 7] (1962)
- Det Sjunde Inseglet [The Seventh Seal] (1957)
- Prime Suspect 3 (1994)
- Funny Face (1957)
- Lalechet Al Ha'mayim [Walk on Water] (2004)
- Charade (1963)
- Yossi & Jagger (2002)
- Mists of Avalon (2001)
- Blow Up (1966)
The *New* Reading List
Since June 2006...

- A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
- High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
- Travesties by Tom Stoppard
- The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner
- The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
- Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga
- The History Boys by Alan Bennett
- The Dark Child by Camara Laye
- Movie-Made America by Robert Sklar
- Diary by Chuck Palahniuk
- Rant: An Oral Biography of Buster Casey by Chuck Palahniuk
- Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Dead Emcee Scrolls by Saul Williams [61.3%]
- Atonement by Ian McEwan
- Junk Science: An Overdue Indictment of Government, Industry, and Faith Groups that Twist Science for Their Own Gain by Dan Agin, Ph.D. [64.4%]
- So Yesterday by Scott Westerfield
- Lucky Wander Boy by D.B. Weiss
- The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
- Doctor Who: The Key to Time: A Year-by-Year Record by Peter Haining
- Why Buffy Matters: The Art of Buffy the Vampire Slayer by Rhonda Wilcox
- When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy
- 1984 by George Orwell [18.8%]
- Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
- Intuition by Allegra Goodman
- V for Vendetta by Alan Moore and David Lloyd (Yes, I realize it's a graphic novel but it still fucking counts!)
So THAT'S where all the people reading this come from...
Easy. Breezy.
Friday, October 10, 2008 @ 8:38 pm
Compared to the last two weekends, this one should be fairly relaxing. Well, it can be. I'm finally going to have time to run out to Costco and stock my fridge and pantry, and I can catch up on the reading I neglected last week while studying for my physiology exam. I'm actually not as far behind on things as the old-me would have been at this point in the semester. I must say, I'm impressed with the new-me, who is quite like the older-than-old-me--with the grades and the awards and the work ethic. There is one thing I miss about the old-me: getting drunk and having fun with a bunch of friends.

While it isn't really a substitute, my Advanced BCMB presentation group is going out for booze and nachos on Monday night while we discuss the stuff we're going to present the following day in class. It sounds like disaster, but it really isn't that bad. Instead of presenting a whole paper, we'll be presenting one figure in the paper, so all in all we'll only have to speak for about 5-10 minutes (1-2 minutes each). Chances are we'll talk about what each of us is going to say for like 5 minutes before we start drinking copious quantities of beer and watching Monday night football. Truth be told, I'd rather watch Chuck and Heroes, but I've been somewhat of a social ghost lately and it will be nice to bond with people I hadn't known previously to moving down here. Fortunately, the bar we're going to is 5 minutes walk from a trolley station, so I don't have to worry about driving. I love public transportation.

What else? We're one third of the way through October (time seems to fly when you're constantly doing something) and I still haven't heard about the fellowship. I have a sneaking suspicion I'm not going to get it because I realized that my personal statement probably wasn't what they were looking for. I followed what they stated on the application itself, but I neglected to put in stuff like: I'm the first person in my family ever to get a higher degree; I come from a background where people just don't become scientific researchers/professors because there's a pressure to become a professional like a nurse or physician or dentist or engineer--you know, the money-making occupations; I come from a mostly immigrant neighborhood--and not the Chinese-software-engineer type of immigrant, but the Vietnamese-hairdresser/Mexican-mechanic kind... you know, bullshit that shows that "I come from the wrong side of the tracks" (even though our neighborhood isn't actually unsafe and isn't blighted and doesn't have a higher-than-usual concentration of drug pushers and crackwhores) and therefore am somehow more deserving of this fellowship than other people. The bullshit that those people live for because it makes them feel like they're doing a good thing by giving some unfortunate kid some money.

Whatever. I guess when writing it, I didn't want to make it seem like it was some giant miracle that I made it this far. It wasn't. My parents sacrificed a lot of things to send me to the right schools, and I was naturally smart enough to excel in them. That's it. Big fucking deal.

In other news, this week marks the halfway point between the time I moved to San Diego and when I'm flying home for Thanksgiving. I really miss my family and old bedroom (as small as it is compared to my apartment) and my cats. My mom sent me a letter the other day and it made me cry, though it wasn't a particularly tear-jerking letter and it was fraught with immigrant grammar mistakes (which you would think would bother me, but when I read it, I could hear my mom speaking the words and fucking up the English just a little bit and it made me miss her greatly). The fact that she actually took the time to write a letter and actually wrote the words "I am proud of you" are what got to me.

I think that's a good place to end this entry--on a high note. Well, let's take it a bit higher: this weekend and all next week, meteorologists don't see it being stiflingly hot. It's going to be gusty and cool this weekend, and the highs next week shouldn't break 80. Well... maybe that's a good thing only for me.

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Another (nearly) perfect day.
Thursday, October 9, 2008 @ 3:16 pm
Today had nearly perfect weather--well, at least according to my taste. This is the California fall weather I know and love: it's sunny, but not hot; it's breezy; it's the kind of day that makes me want to have a picnic.

It was made so much sweeter by the fact that the physiology exam was pretty much a joke. I was out in 25 minutes and everyone else seemed to still be deep in thought. Honestly, it wasn't that hard. I think they were severely overthinking things. We didn't even cover very much material--just some neurophysiology and neuroanatomy.

On the bus ride home, I sat near an attractive young man. He could have been illegal--he had one of those faces and a demeanor that could fall on either side of 18--but I found myself strangely compelled to stare at him at every opportunity. (I gave him the benefit of the doubt that he was at the very least college-aged as he did board the bus with me at the university transit center.) His disheveled hair peaked out from under his hat. His arm draped lazily over his skateboard. The early afternoon sun drifting though the window and illuminating his blemish-free face. Alas, our journey together was too short, as I disembarked at my stop and walked away.

It's funny what you start to think about when you look at a stranger. Alternate timelines explode in your mind, constructing histories of what might have been and futures of what would have been. Elaborate stories, none of which are based on your own objective reality, suddenly are posited into existence. That we can create worlds that exist solely within the confines of our consciousness is a tribute to the powerful emergent properties of the brain--of neurotransmitter release and binding, of firing action potentials, of the trillions of synaptic connections of trillions of brain cells. It is simply--and pardon the pun--mind-blowing.

Human neurophysiology is such an intensely beautiful thing.

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Literally: Take on Me. [EDITED]
Wednesday, October 8, 2008 @ 11:34 pm
I have a physiology exam tomorrow, which naturally means that I am trying to put off studying.

In order to help you waste some time, I am posting this video for your procrastinatory enjoyment:

EDIT: So wrong:

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Crawling along.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008 @ 7:33 am
I've been trying to make an entry for the last two days, but the site has been abominably slow. It would take forever to load the create-an-entry page (and suddenly stop loading it afterwards), it did not allow me to read other blogs (either the page wouldn't load or I would get tired of waiting for it to load), and I couldn't even post on the ShoutBox (I'd type in my shout and press enter, and after a long time, the main page would not refresh, and my shout would not be posted)! It's been annoying me to no end. It's still slow for me right now, but I actually made it to the create-an-entry thing, so at least that's an improvement.

I finally found the time and developed the fortitude to talk to one of my potential thesis advisors. Alright, it wasn't so much that I found the time rather than that he's teaching a two-week module in my Advanced Topics course. And it wasn't so much that I developed fortitude to talk to him in person rather than it was convenient to catch him on his way out of the classroom. Anyway, our short discussion went pretty well. He's still waiting to hear back on his grant application, so he said to check in with him at the end of the month for a definitive answer. I really want to work with him because he works on signal transduction and immunology--two things I am very interested in. If I don't get into his lab, it's not the end of the world. There are other researchers I'm going to contact as back-ups with interests ranging from the mechanisms of cardioprotection to the development of bacterial minicells to deliver cancer vaccines. One of the has GOT to have space in their lab for someone next semester...

I have a feeling I was going to say something else, but 1) it's getting late and I need to get ready for school, and 2) I forgot. I guess I'm getting old.

�Hasta la pr�xima!

P.S. File this under "T" for "Things that bother the shit out of me":

The expression is, "without further ado," NOT "without further adieu." "Ado" means like fuss or bullshit, whereas "adieu" is goodbye. Essentially, you're saying, "Alright, enough with the crap--let's get on with it." Was Shakespeare's play called
Much Adieu about Nothing?! NO. IT WAS NOT. And do the French, upon their goodbyes, bid each other ado?! NO. THEY DO NOT.

So please, for the love of God (Dieu, not Do), stop mixing the two (deux?) up!

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One advantage to having a noisy dishwasher.
Sunday, October 5, 2008 @ 12:05 am
It drowns out the noise of the very loud and very annoying girls screaming in the hallway.

For fuck's sake, someone gag them already!

OOH! This just in: someone's getting towed!!! Thank God. I'm tired of having barflies park in the apartment complex's parking spaces. It gives me a sick sense of satisfaction when I see someone getting caught for something they aren't supposed to do.

Yes. I think it's already been established that I'm going to be the guy sitting on his front porch, yelling at the neighborhood kids to get off his property.

I imagine that if/when I retire (because you can't really tell in these trying economic times whether or not you're going to be able to), I won't mind having turned into that guy.

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And you've left me with nothing to defend.
Saturday, October 4, 2008 @ 7:45 pm
Digging through some old files, I found one of my favorite songs throughout the latter part of high school (a.k.a. the Matthewian Dark Ages) and the beginning of college (a.k.a. the Personal Renaissance). I decided to get the video from YouTube and post it here. I am pleased to present Joydrop's "Sometimes Wanna Die":

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Weekend work warrior.
Friday, October 3, 2008 @ 12:20 pm
So after 43 hours of being awake, I finally finished my part of the presentation and headed to bed around 12:30 am last night, slept for what seemed to be the best 6.5 hours of my entire life, and woke up this morning surprisingly refreshed and ready for another grueling weekend.

I've got a ton of stuff due on Monday and I have another Physiology exam on Thursday. This weekend, I have to kick it into high gear once more to get shit done. Short respite on Monday evening, then back to the grind on Tuesday to start studying for the test. This time, I am firmly resolved to study in increments so as to not have another 43-hour work-and-study-thon of DEATH.

I checked the weather forecast for the weekend and it looks like it might be a rainy one. Sounds like perfect work weather. I'll park myself at the base of my couch, pull the coffee table in close, and listen to the rain fall through the leafy canopy just outside the sliding glass door that leads out though the balcony.

Finally, some weather that is sane!

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Friday, October 3, 2008 @ 12:26 am

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