(x)Prelude to Foundation
:: by Isaac Asimov
(x)Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix
:: by J.K. Rowling
(x)Bird by Bird
:: by Ann Lamott
(x)Forward the Foundation
:: by Isaac Asimov
(3.9.03-?)One Hundred Years of Solitude
:: by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
:: by Isaac Asimov
:: by Barbara Kingsolver
(x)Man from Mundania
:: by Piers Anthony
:: by Isaac Asimov
(x)Daughter of Fortune
:: by Isabel Allende
(x)Foundation and Empire
:: by Asimov
:: by Orson Scott Card
:: by Jose Saramago
(x)A Clockwork Orange
:: by Anthony Burgess
:: by Asimov
(x)The Eyre Affair
:: by Jasper Fforde
:: by Milan Kundera
(x)In Our Strange Gardens
:: by Michael Quint
:: by Diana Wynne Jones
(x)East of Eden
:: by John Steinbeck
(x)Future Homemakers of America
:: by Laurie Graham
:: by Ann Patchett
:: by Margaret Weis
(x)Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
:: by Dai Sijie
05.14.03 We're wireless!!
11.21.02 Blog moved from Tripod to BlogSpot. Three cheers for Verizon webspace!
9.24.02 Archives moved to main page.
9.07.02 Internet access available at new apt.!
4.14.02 Due to popular
the comments section
has been re-instated.
only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad enough to
live, mad to talk, mad to be saved... The ones who never yawn or say
a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow
Roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars."
[Tuesday, April 30, 2002]
When I went to New York this past weekend, one of my friends there remarked that I looked so much better, much more "womanly". Puzzling remark. Was this a veiled way of saying I had gained weight? Upon further thought though, I realized that she may be right. With the start of work and the 8-hour (if not more) work day, my butt has seen a lot more of the swivel-chair than it really needs. I wonder if, like play-dough, my butt will eventually be permanently squashed outwards over time. The 8-hour work day means minimal exercise, besides the occasional walk to the water-cooler for some gossip. And I thought I was unhealthy in college.... At the time, I underestimated the value of running everyday to classes I was perpetually late for, and partying it up every weekend on the dance floor. Now, the beer flows more freely at every happy hour, my butt still sees its friend - the swivel chair - faithfully everyday, and I've become more "womanly".
To be fair, I have filled out a lot in places where I needed it. My neck and shoulders are now smooth instead of a gridwork of bone structure, and though I may never attain the hourglass-ideal, I'm a little closer to it with the extra flesh on my hips. The fat never goes to my boobs, where it would really be appreciated. Life's funny like that, isn't it? I'm fascinated by the fluctuation of numbers on the scale every morning. The "joey" pouch I used to try to cultivate in college (because I thought little bellies were cute) is now thriving on its own, no worries about it disappearing overnight anymore. I wonder, does this really make me a "woman" now? The naked women in the masterpiece paintings always have phenomenal curves and a small joey pouch too. Have I become closer to that ideal? Perhaps a step. I always admired the small rounded belly on women. It always seemed like such a beautiful curve. While in the shower, I compiled a list of appreciations and disappreciations.
Things I'm not Thankful for: my now-uncomfortable jeans. the uneven distribution of weight (i still have toothpick arms!). the failing economy. my low paycheck.
Things I am Thankful for: filling-out > I think it'll do me good. the uneven distribution of weight (i don't look much heavier unless i'm naked). the failing economy > for helping me find bioinformatics. my low paycheck > for forcing me to spend time with my family - its been wonderful, even with the squabbles.
An article that my friend sent me, killer squirrels!
posted by ink|
12:32 AM |
[Thursday, April 25, 2002]
Poetry from across the sea.
Its funny how small the world is. I recently began emailing with a friend of my roommate's, who I met through a friend from loveboat. He's led one of the most amazing lives. I get an email every morning at approximately 11 am (which I'm guessing is about 11 pm in China where he is at the moment), detailing his thoughts and his life and what he wants to make of it. Its my dose of the foreign and exotic. My glimpse of a vivid life from my little cubicled desk in front of my computer in Philadelphia. Its pathetic. I feel like one of those housewives who gets her daily excitement and culture in her boring life from watching the Jerry Springer show. Its amazing how something small like an email can open your eyes to what's out there, its amazing how it can suddenly make you realize how you may have settled for the status quo, how you may have become comfortable with something you shouldn't be, and how your previously-okay life can suddenly seem dreary when you look at it with new eyes. Anyways, here's some poetry that came with my last email. I've never been much of a poetry chick, it puts me to sleep. But I liked this.
Excerpts from ...and these are only some of the things I believe by staceyann chin
Imagination is the bridge
between the things we know for sure
and the things we need to believe
when our worlds become unbearable
I know if you speak differently from the rest of the crowd
chances are your contemporaries have already made fun of you
and I believe Dharma and Greg are funny
but only if they make you laugh
and I believe Pinky and the Brain are revolutionaries
because-every night-they try to take over the world
like them, I believe there will always be something to fight for
and I believe everyone should believe in something
anything - if it helps you make it through the day
so I believe in Ashanti spirits
in spite of what the pragmatists say
I believe in unbelievable phenomena
like telepathy and karmic shape-shifters
crafting futures from the moon
I believe in that elusive world peace
I believe if I believe - it really could come soon
and I believe in unexpected and capricious friendships
I believe in trusting with the tenacity of a fool
And I believe in believing everyday
-and for as long as we can-
I believe we should believe in something we don't know for sure
acknowledge the range of possibilities
unlimited by what we see
move reality with imagination
we decide what our destinies will be
Here's some more of her poetry. Interesting woman.
I watched the NBA playoffs last night. Toronto vs. Detroit and Dalla vs. Minnesota. I have to admit, I was rooting for the Raptors to win. I think the Sixers will have a harder time against the Pistons if they have to face them in second rounds. Despite my obvious bias, I was still impressed by the sweet string of three-pointers the Pistons delivered. Stackhouse has my respect.
The Dallas vs. Minnesota game I watched partly out of pure curiousity. Mark Cuban is legendary, even for those like me who follow only the Sixers. He was disappointingly well-behaved, but that didn't mean I had a lack of entertainment. The game was much more fast paced than the games I'm used to. Run and shoot, run and shoot. Both teams play an offensive game, as opposed to the Sixers defensive play which makes for a slower-speed, hiccuping sort of pace. I was also reeled in by the thought of watching the most diverse team in the NBA, internationally that is. Zhi Zhi Wang from China, was practically "bought" from the Chinese league into the NBA. I hear that he has to have an interpreter at practices. I almost feel sorry for the poor guy. Is there a Chinese community to welcome him to Texas? Or does his star-dom intimidate the otherwise loud and clamorous gossip wagon of Chinese mothers? Eduardo Najera from Mexico was surprisingly pale. I'm guessing his family is well-off since he went to college in the U.S. , international students always have some cash to burn. I wonder what they think of his playing in the NBA. A waste of his tuition
money? That's what my parents would think.
Watching all the tall guys, and being a science major in college, I couldn't help but wonder, are these guys really all just... superior physical specimens of the human race? I'm willing to bet that a lot of the people over 7' have Marfan Syndrome or gigantism (where you have an oversupply of growth hormones in your bones). Do these people have normal life spans? People with gigantism tend to die of heart problems or lymph problems. Abraham Lincoln had Marfan's Syndrome. Some of the players in the NBA definitely have some of the characteristic facial features of genetic/chromosomal anomalies. I didn't really get a good look at Zhi Zhi, but the fact remains that Asian people generally aren't that big. And for him to grow to 7'... I know that I'd be interested to see his blood test. With the international recruiting that the NBA does and its emphasis on height, I wonder if it will end up becoming a gathering or collection of genetic freaks? The irony that young children idolize these people isn't lost on me. However, I have to admit, I was a bit smitten by Kevin Garnett. He was no genetic anomaly, he had none of the facial features of a genetic abnormality. He was a fine looking tall man. Or, as my med school friend said while watching the game with me, "Garnett is just an outstanding specimen."
posted by ink|
4:32 PM |
[Tuesday, April 23, 2002]
Luck, its all luck.
Weekend in New York was great! Shopping in Woodbury Commons was a tasty delight. Scouring through some articles last night. Found this one particularly interesting. Of course, this is nothing new to girls. What's interesting about it is that everyone else seems to view it as a "new" phenomenon.
I have to say, I feel like I've been very blessed in life so far. I've never really had a terrible job, everyone I've worked with has been genuinely good and sincerely interested in helping me out. I got into grad schools with minimum qualifications, and for all my griping, my undegraduate career wasn't all too bad either. Half the time, I'm expecting my luck to run out. At some point, I'm going to stop getting lucky breaks. Or I'll have a run of bad luck for the last 20 years of my life. Karma. I'm half fearful that all this means I'm going to lose a leg at some point.
posted by ink|
11:01 PM |
[Friday, April 19, 2002]
The Big Apple
Gone to New York for the weekend. Granted, this fits into current trends since I'm only a sporadic poster at best (Sorry sorry!).
posted by ink|
10:18 AM |
[Wednesday, April 17, 2002]
Feel the Love
"How come you have no love handles when you're standing up, but when you pull on something like jeans or a skirt, suddenly the love handles pop up."
"You don't have real love handles then. I have love handles even when I'm naked without pants on."
"It still doesn't make any sense."
"Sure it does. Its like the push-up bra effect. Push-up love handles."
It's odd sometimes how life works out. I started out at my job feeling slightly resentful, like I'd been cheated out of something. But now, I realize that I'm one of the few people in my graduating class who is actually using my major and feeling like I'm contributing as an entry-level person. No endless web-surfing during the day here. At this time last year, I hungered for something that would require me to wear business casual to work and a pair of pumps. I felt like it made me legitimate. Somewhere along the line, something changed. The traveling and attire needed for business has lost its appeal. Perhaps I've finally grown past the appearances. Perhaps life works itself out sometimes, regardless of how much you think you know.
"27 is the age at which a woman's chance of getting pregnant begins to decline." - Time Magazine Frightening isn't it? Here's a few more facts for you.
"Women generally know their fertility declines with age; they just don't realize how much and how fast. According to the Centers for Disease Control, once a woman celebrates her 42nd birthday, the chances of her having a baby using her own eggs, even with advanced medical help, are less than 10%. At age 40, half of her eggs are chromosomally abnormal; by 42, that figure is 90%."
According to the math I did.... If I want to catch the tail end of my peak fertility period, let's assume I have children at 27. Factor in the 1-2 years post-marriage that you need to become financially stable before having children, and that dates my "marriage" year to age 25. Factor in a one-year engagement means being engaged by age 24. That would mean that I would need to be dating my future husband right about... now, at age 21. I haven't even taken into account things I want to accomplish by the age of 30, such as career moves and traveling around the world. Check out the article here .
With spring approaching, our front yard is quite the colorful cheery little place. However, I can't say the same for our lawn. Because my dad is always away on business, and we're too cheap to hire people to take care of it (my dad insists he can do it himself on the weekends), its a mess. I'm almost embarassed by it, especially since we're the corner lot. Today, I furtively snuck out with a pair of mini-hedge clippers, determined to trim down some of the taller tufts of crab grass. I let out a string of un-ladylike words when the damn hedge clippers wouldn't slice through the grass. That was how I got caught. My dad was kneeling behind a bush, putting down fertilizer, and heard my expletives. He stood up and explained that the hedge clippers were made to clip branches, not grasses.
"Grasses, because they yield to the force, cannot be cut by the clippers. Bush branches, because they are more rigid and stubborn, break under the pressure. Much like people. You should take a lesson from the grasses."
My dad, the garden philosopher. He never fails to pass up an opportunity to give me a lecture.
posted by ink|
12:01 AM |
[Sunday, April 14, 2002]
After a couple more times through the Pinkerton cd, I've decided that I was overly harsh. Despite the lyrics, I still love the album to bits, which is quite unusual for me to do after only a few days.
On a brighter note, I've found a place to live for the summer. This means I'll be freed from the chains of the omni-questioning parental units. Even two months of independence is worth the cost. I'll be in a 10 bedroom old-style rowhome, with dark wood oak staircases, in a tiny bedroom with a big loft bed.
posted by ink|
2:47 AM |
[Thursday, April 11, 2002]
I've been a Weezer fan for about.... 3 years now. Started when my college roommate started singing "In the Garage" while in the shower. Since then, I've listened to the green and blue album extensively. The green album is more audially pleasing at first, but I get tired of it pretty often. Very pop-like. The blue album is more of an acquired taste, but it also wears with time better than the green album.
My friend gave me a copy of Weezer's Pinkerton album last weekend. After listening to it, I had a mixed reaction. I absolutely loved the sound. In fact, I think I like it the most out of all three albums so far. However, a closer look at the lyrics and it started to bother me. Music has never just been about sound for me. Its been a combination of the emotions/feeling the sound evokes as well as the meaning of the lyrics. I've never had problems with sexually explicit lyrics, but something about the lyrics in Pinkerton bothered me. Perhaps it was the references to masturbation in "Across the Sea" and of fingering in "Butterfly" ("I can smell you on my hand for days I can't wash away your scent.") . Though I tend to be liberal on most political issues, I definitely fall into the conservative category when it comes to sexual references. References to sex are okay, but explicit details as to how things happened tend to bother me. Quite frankly, I like Butterfly a lot, but that one line grosses me out. Too much information that I really did not care to know. The lyrics in Across the Sea make me wonder about Rivers mental health.
Despite the fact that the lyrics bother me, I still find the album the most enjoyable musically out of all three. I don't really understand why no one seems to like it that much. The phrasing of the songs is done very well, with rhythms that are fresh and new and always surprising. Its refreshingly unpredictable. One of my favorite tracks is The Good Life. I'll have to listen to the cd again to figure out which other ones I like, but that one in particular stood out from the beginning.
The entire cd is great, but puzzling. It makes you wonder about the person behind the music and what the story is. I found a great website about the history and background of Weezer . I found it interesting that the band members don't seem to get along. And of course, there's always their official website .
[excerpt from a conversation]
PC: I let my boyfriend cum on my face the other day.
N: Ew, why'd you do that? I feel like it'd give you zits. Or at least a nasty rash on your face.
PC: It wasn't that bad.
N: I can't believe you let him do that and didn't scream.
PC: It took some convincing.
N: Why did he want to do that? Guys are so weird.
PC: It dried out my skin where it hit.
N: I feel like it should burn or something.
PC: I got some in my eye and in my hair. My vision got all blurry and my eye got red.
N: Wear goggles next time. And a swim cap.
posted by ink|
11:45 PM |
[Wednesday, April 03, 2002]
There's nothing like getting the blood moving...
I've hit upon the perfect way to stay awake during the weekly 9 am meetings.
I drink a large cup of coffee, not for the caffeine value, but for the diuretic value. Within an hour, I have to pee. Badly. This call of nature is usually strong enough to snap me out of whatever drowsy reverie I've been indulging in. I go to the bathroom and take full advantage of the break to do 25 jumping jacks while I'm in there (and keep an eye on the door in case someone walks in). The rest of the meeting is smooth sailing from there on.
The bathroom is my haven while at work. I take mini-naps in the stall in the afternoon after a filling lunch, I use it to do my wake-up exercises during meetings, and there's no playing field as level as the bathroom. Your manager isn't quite your manager when she's sitting in the stall next to you with her pants around her ankles as well.
posted by ink|
11:17 AM |
[Monday, April 01, 2002]
"And the dice roll thunderously..."
The more time passes by, the less I believe in free will. Perhaps I should rephrase. The more time passes by, the less I believe that people have control over their lives, that they can steer their ship with the choices and decision they make. We are steered from birth along a pre-set path. And we follow this path meekly and unquestioningly, without any ideas or thoughts. Was college ever an "option" for me? Not particularly. It was understood that I would go. Not-going was not a viable choice. Nor was it even considered. It does smack of herd-mentality, like sheep who follow the shephered faithfully and blindly. But, there's some comfort in that sort of blindness, some shelter.
And now that I've been spit out into the world, naked and helpless and as unequipped as the day I was born, I feel like I have to go through all the steps again - learning how to sit up on my own, crawl, walk - in the adult world. As I stand amongst the swirling eddies of time, buffetted on all sides by the howling winds of chance, I realize that there's little I can do besides go where the wind pushes and make the best of it. Nothing since graduation has gone according to plan. And my fate and future have changed, not as a result of my own hand, but as a result of the unpredictable. I do not steer this ship, unknown forces do.
Its funny how I've started to become more religious as I get older. The unflapping certainty of youth has worn off, as well as the "I control the world" mentality. And as I realize how little control I have over my own life, the question naturally leads to - if I don't, then who does? And there is only one answer that I can think of. God must control all our fates. There is no other explanation that I can think of to elucidate the why's and the how's of the thousands of random factors that leave such permanent imprints on our lives. Something like a layoff or an economic downturn can forever change the course of your life. Its a little frightening to realize that you have so little control over such powerful influences in your life. They may strike at any moment, and in the blink of an eye, your life is different. And what can you do but roll with the punches and hope for the best? Just pray that lightning will strike at the right moment and you'll hit the jackpot.
Life is a lot like gambling I've decided. Like pulling the slot machines at the casino or playing a hand of poker. Few people win big, most break even or lose a little (thus the large numbers of doing-okay-but-slightly-discontented people in the world), and the unlucky ones lose. This truly is the game of life. The question is, what will I roll next? Which way do I go? I'm sure God is watching above with interest. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. So despite the seeming chaos, I think there is an underlying order that we cannot fathom. All we can do is nfollow what we think is the path underneath the randomness and hope we're on the road to our destiny. I don't believe that everyone achieves their destiny. I believe that everyone has the opportunity to achieve it. I believe that the random occurrences and events in our lives happen for a purpose, to bring us closer to our intended destiny. One which we probably can't even guess at.
I feel like I'm at one of those crossroads, I'm in that area of the woods where the magnetic fields are all crossed and your compass spins, pointing in all directions, useless and confusing you. Which way out of the woods? Too many people become lost forever in the woods of their own lives, wandering around, looking for the path they strayed off of. And too few people make it out. Every glimmer of light through the trees promises potential exit. Too many, too confusing, and there are no clues. No reliable ones at least. The most visible path coul lead to doom, much as Hansel and Gretel were led to the gingerbread house of doom by the bread crumbs. The most visible path could also be the one meant for you.
With all these possibilities, I've decided to spin around with my eyes closed and point in one direction. And that will be the direction of working in some big city somewhere. Grad school will have to be put off. So come August, if I'm not working in the Big Apple, I'm heading out west to try my luck. I've decided on a direction, all I can do is set my jaw, shrug on my figurative backpack, send up a prayer, and be on my way.