Sunday, November 30, 2003

i'm famous!

ok, sorry, had to post again. i haven't done an ounce of work since my last posting.

but i was looking up my name on google. everyone does it, but i admit that i do it. and guess what i found out?! that i'm actually semi-published. granted, no one got my permission, but hey, i feel famous!

i wrote a paper with a classmate in my california politics class at uc berkeley about female legislative behavior in the california legislature. we got a 99 on it, so i was rather impressed. little did i know that the institute for governmental studies decided to put our results in their magazine and then the PAWCF decided to publish it in their newsletter! who knew?! i was rather proud of the work and considered continuing it for fun (yes, i'm a nerd), but i never knew it was even that good. funny thing is that the PAWCF cited it as though it was a real, published study that was done by professionals. i don't know why i'm so excited about this.

try it, google yourself. what do you find? also, you can sign up for google alert, which will email you every time someone googles you and what link they click on. i know, it's like stalking yourself, but it's quite interesting.

ok, back to work. on page 4. out of 8-10...

new look

well, not a totally new look, but i added books i'm reading to the sidebar, in case anyone's interested. they're not all too interesting and rather nerdy books if you ask me. another book that i'd like to get on that list is stiff. it came out last year and its subtitle is something like "the lives of dead people." it's basically a book about what happens to us, physically, after we die. i'm fascinated just by the topic itself. i'm looking forward to anatomy next semester, if it's not wildly apparent already.

so, thanksgiving was fun... sorta. laid back. went to a family friend's home for dinner with a classmate and spent the rest of the weekend wasting time and trying to spend as little time working on a paper as possible. i was hoping to have it done by now, but i'm hopeless. utterly hopeless.

who read this blog? i'm just interested. i know that some of my friends read it, but who? email me or leave a comment, just so i know. i don't even know why anyone would read this blog. it's so out there. it's really about nothing and everything at the same time. it's about politics, my lack of social skills, random stuff. it's a tiny peek into my mind. when i say tiny, i mean tiny because for the past few weeks, i've been jumbling up my words so badly when i'm speaking because my mind speeds by at a million miles a minute. for instance, i used the word "hurted" the other day. what has come over me?! ok, now i'm rambling again. back to my feeble attempts at writing a paper.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

i'm confused

can someone please tell me why the u.s. government held a member of the military in jail for 3 months on charges of adultery and pornography possession? i'm rather confused. maybe i'm missing the whole story? someone, please shine a light on my confusion.

if it's just those charges, then we have a problem. there's some mention of espionage and something-or-other, but anyone know details?

oh, and the damn medicare bill passed yesterday, with 11 democrats crossing. damn them. i'm moving to canada. no, that's too hard. i'll just have to change the system myself.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

we have the axe!

dude, i love berkeley. i love the fans, i love the game, and best of all, i love winning!!!

so i went to a bar today in boston where the cal and stanfurd alumni clubs were holding a game viewing party. after paying my dues, i sat down and expected a nice little rivalry. we'll just say that the stanfurd fans are definitely bad fans. they don't cheer loudly, they don't know what's going on in the game, and seem rather uninterested. when they got a turnover (one of many to come), they didn't cheer loudly. i heard one girl scream, "go stanfurd!" what a disappointment. add to that the few stanfurd people in my class didn't even bother coming. whatever.

oh, so we won!!! i love this game. i lost a little bit of my voice screaming and yelling and singing songs, but i love it. i love the game. i love being around stanfurd people. oh, and i saw someone that i knew from high school who's at mit now! small world, i swear.

but that's it for now. i have to go to bed and sometime this weekend, i still start studying for hematology!

oh, one bad thing: no cute guys today. none. now that's a disappointment!

Friday, November 21, 2003


tomorrow (or more correctly, today) is the big game! for those of you who did not go to uc berkeley, that means that it's time for cal to kick some stanfurd butt! i miss being in berkeley for this weekend, and it's so exciting and seeing everyone wear blue and gold everywhere. i never knew that i could like two colors so much until i went to cal.

lots of the students here at the med school went to private schools or schools that had no huge sports teams or any outlet for school spirit and unity. now, don't get me wrong: i'm no cheerleader and by no means am i the obnoxious person who screams at the top of their lungs while you stand right in front of them. i'm just a proud alumnus. and i've been telling my classmates who never got to gather around for a college sports game that it's something to witness.

good things about tomorrow:
cal students outnumber stanfurd students
get to meet other alumni
we're going to kick butt

bad things about tomorrow:
we have to pay $20 to watch it on a TV (stupid satellite fee)
there's a slight chance that cal's going to totally screw up and lose the game (but i'm truly an optimist!)

ok, that's enough. bed time. oh, i got three tests back today, all at once. passed all my exams and for the first time, got higher than the average on biochem! yipee! jump for joy!

Tuesday, November 18, 2003

getting older, faster

is it possible to get older, faster? i feel like that's what i've done in the past month or so. i was talking to someone today and they made me realize that matrix has only been out for two weeks. how weird is that? i thought it came out a month ago, at least. i feel like what i've done in the past week alone could fill two weeks.

on monday night, i felt like a huge burden had been lifted off my shoulders. yeah, i still had a nutrition assignment to do and yeah, still had lots of reading to do, but after taking the final... it felt good. so today, i just cleaned my whole room. it took me the whole night, which is rather surprising because it's about the size of a closet, and considering that i don't actually have a closet, it might as well be. but i can't complain for the price that i'm paying ($435! it's cheaper than sharing a room in berkeley).

so, while cleaning, i organized all the clothes, which in the past week i just threw all over my room. i realized that with my purchase of not one, but TWO, scarves today that i needed a drawer designated for winter wear. in it, i have scarves, gloves, and hats. yeah, i know that i have way too many, even for someone who lives in siberia, but you have to have different scarves for all occasions. i mean, god forbid that you are caught with the same scarf on for two consecutive days! that's almost like changing back into your old socks after you work out and take a shower at the gym. ok, maybe not, but you get the idea.

now, going back to nutrition. it's rather fascinating. not because i find it warrants a totally free-standing class, but because nutrition in general is interesting. i tend to think that i eat well, and my nutrition journal reflects that. i'm deficient in the normal vitamins that females are deficient in (calcium, iron, etc.). however, i'm consuming almost two times the recommended amount of salt. i know that i like my food salty, but i never knew that i used that much. but it's also funny in that i'm uninterested in lowering it because high salt intake has shown no adverse effects on an otherwise healthy individual. if i had high blood pressure (hypertension, in medical-speak. don't worry, that's about all i know in medical-speak), then i'd worry. however, last time i had my blood pressure checked, it was 90/60. yeah, crazy low.

armed with all this new knowledge, my roommates feel as though i'm an "expert." one of them asked me about some supplement that i always hear advertised on the radio. when i told her that there are no real scientific studies done on supplements usually, she had no idea! and this is someone who takes all this weird bacterial stuff in a foil pouch in our fridge and claims that eggs and sausage is good for you in the morning. not that i don't eat eggs and sausage, but i don't claim it's good for me. i claim that i'm eating in moderation, which is different.

oh well, i feel like this was a lecture of some sort. of what sort, i have no idea. it's too late and i need to get my laundry from my gangster-claimed basement. not kidding you. if i showed it to you, you'd freak and tell me to move out of my apt. so i will spare you the graphics and just tell you it's bad.

oh, i just found out that lots more people read this than i thought, including people i don't actually know! hahaha, i feel all warm and fuzzy inside now. leave comments people! i swear, i won't bite! well, maybe nibble, but no bites, i swear.

Saturday, November 15, 2003


i really have to learn how to do that. so, i went out tonight to a friend's party for some of his roommates' birthdays at a bar. it was fun and there were some nice looking guys, but i just don't know how to mingle. how do you do it? i think of how to do it and i think that's what's wrong.

and why don't guys approach me in bars? i don't think i'm intimidating. some of my friends and i were speculating it's because we aren't girly enough. we don't twirl our hair, smack our gym, giggle, or do any of that crap. is that why? i mean, i could play along, but what is it really worth?

and how come med school is just time to figure out who you're going to milk to pay off all your loans? i feel like every time i go out, we're man-hunting. this was never the way it was in undergrad. what's changed? we got older? we feel more maturer? i sincerely doubt the latter, but who knows. maybe finding a secure relationship is part of feeling mature.

either way, it's very surprising how many people are engaged/married/having kids. one of my classmates' wife just had a baby. several are married. several are engaged. it's scary. i never thought that it would be like this, but that's just my naivete showing.

ah wells. i have to go to bed before i realize that it's cold in there and no one else is joining me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

weird weather

i don't understand the weather here. i think i'm going crazy (this isn't the only reason why i'm going crazy, but it definitely contributes to it).

here's an excerpt from my daily email from
Saturday: Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 40s and lows in the upper 20s.

so i read the first sentence and get so encouraged! then i read the rest and i get glum. dude, how can they do that to me!?

oh, and earlier this week, it said this:
A chilly start across the Northeast
Mon., Nov. 10, 2003 6:33 A.M.
Matt Newman, Meteorologist; The Weather Channel
Clear skies and light winds (courtesy of high pressure) have combined to
result in a chilly morning across the region. In some cases, the cold has set
new record lows for today's date. The same high pressure responsible for the
cold will also result in plenty of sunshine across the region throughout the
day. The sun should help to warm the air this afternoon, although expect
today's highs to run a few degrees below seasonal averages for this time of
the year. Afternoon temperatures will range from the low 40s across Northern
New England to the low 50s across the mid-Atlantic. Enjoy today's sunshine
because wet weather is due to arrive by Tuesday across much of the region.

i don't know how i'm going to survive. i mean, the weather doesn't feel that bad, but if they keep on breaking it to me like that, i'm going to feel terrible for the rest of my time here. when it first started getting cold, i was seriously wondering in my head why i even wanted to leave california and why i chose boston of all cities (though my other choices - new york and connecticut - aren't much better weather-wise).

but good news is that i think i'm adjusting quickly. i was walking home with just a light sweater today around 11:30 and i felt fine. weird. but when the wind kicks up, it's wicked cold (like that, "wicked"?).

ok, gotta go to bed now. have a test tomorrow. will barely pass, but then again, P=MD. aren't you encouraged that tomorrow's doctors are looking to only get 70% correct?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

veteran's day

i just realized that today is veterans day. what a suitable thing to write about (war) on veterans day. i do thank all the veterans who have fought for this country and thanksful for those who are still protecting us. i do not blame them for all the conflicts, political wrangling, and such that happens.

it's a sad world where bush, however much he calls forth reserves and military personnel for obscene amounts of time, decides to not give them fair compensation for it. why doesn't he put his fiscal responsibility principle to work when it comes to compensating those who deserve it.

ok, i better go now. and my comments thingy hasn't been working lately, and i apologize for that. i don't know how to fix it, otherwise i would say that i would.

what has this world come to?

so, i read something like ten million times a day, to see what's up. there's never enough news to keep my satisfied, but i'm fascinated by the fact that violent, offensive actions against the united states have escalated since we "declared and end to conflict." how can it be an end to conflict when people are still hungry, people are still armed, and people are still angry? in an article on, it describes how a military person (i don't know his exact title) said it's one of the deadliest months since conflict ended. there's something seriously wrong in this situation. does no one else see it? how come i don't see any commentary on it? this may be because i'm isolated from the rest of the world and don't have access to a paper everyday (though i'm seriously debating getting the NY Times delivered - it's surprisingly cheaper than the Boston Globe).

on a similar, somewhat unrelated note, i'm listening to justin timberlake and black eye peas "where is the love". it's an awesome song. i think that people need to listen to it. it's pop, and i admit, i feel guilty for downloading so much justin timberlake, but i love this song. "people killing people dying children hurting hear them crying. practice what you preach don't you turn the other cheek.... where is the love?" now, i'm not trying to get some deep philosophical meaning out of a pop song, but i mean, i wish that the public would question what war and conflict means in this new world of ours. at the same time that we're getting overloaded with information about jessica lynch, no one is paying attention to what's still happening in the place that she left.

oh well. i don't know what i'm trying to say. random stuff, all i can say. my mind's shot after looking at biochemistry for the past three days.

Saturday, November 8, 2003

so, i don't have anything too interesting to say other than that it's freezing here. literally. high today: 40. farenheit. i'm not having fun. well, i'm also not out very much, considering that i have three tests coming up.

what's up with everyone else? i just read and there was just a bombing in saudi arabia. just thinking about how humans are capable of so many good things, that you have to wonder why drives someone to put so much effort to cause so much pain. i think that we forget that in politics. politics is about power, but it's about other people as well. too bad bush seems to forget that.

speaking of bush, he passed the ridiculous partial birth abortion ban. not only is the name deceiving, but his efforts are so misguided. it falls into line with his other stupid policy decisions, like the Mexico City Plan, his "wonderful" contribution to fight international AIDS, and his attempt at "smart logging." sorry, he may be a great texan, a great person, but he is very misguided about the world. or maybe i am. either way, i think that he's wrong and i'm right.

also, i was surprised to hear that Howard Dean, who earlier this week said something very stupid about the Confederate flag, is waiving public funding for his campaign. how is he going to raise money? he's a people's candidate, not a republican. i'm looking forward to this. turns out that kerry and wesley were also thinking of waiving public campaign funds (which come with limitations on how you can spend it). though i think it's nice and all, let's face the truth: democrats aren't as rich as republicans and though i'd hate to admit it, money does win out most of the time.

oh well, enough politics for now. back to biochemistry. anyone know why we care about fatty acid synthesis? what does succinate dehydrogenase do again? what's a cell?! i'm screwed.

Saturday, November 1, 2003

so, i went to a residency forum today at Harvard Medical School. first, HMS is an awesome campus. everything's grand looking and all marble. tufts looks like a pile of crap compared to it. ah, but i still love my school.

so, to relay the real story. i was asking a residency program director about health policy opportunities in the residency programs at his hospital and in internal medicine / primary care residencies in general. he said not to worry about this unless "you plan on becoming head of the WHO and getting rid of worldwide malaria." i didn't say anything to him then, but i immediately thought, "well, yes, i do plan on becoming head of the WHO and getting rid of worldwide malaria." though i admit that i am wildly optimistic (my favorite phrase to describe myself right now), i will not say i'm naive...just because i say that i will do all this stuff doesn't mean that i will do it. it merely means that i have the possibility of doing it. i mean, when i heard that the head of the WHO was stepping down and they were looking for a new director, i looked at the biography of the outgoing director and wondered how i'm doing in comparison to her. is that weird? i've also done the same for surgeon generals, heads of state public health departments, people in the news, kofi annan, etc. i say that i know i'm a true nerd when kofi annan is my hero.

but the residency program director's comment reflects a certain societal expectation that as you grow older, your expectations of the world and of yourself become more "realistic." i guess no one in those high positions starts out thinking that they will be where they are X number of years down the line, but i mean, there's gotta be some thought of a possibility in their head. i'm just accepting the idea of that possibility. will i be disappointed if i don't save the world? no, because i know that i will have tried as hard as i could to become whatever i want to become and in that path, i have changed the world. even making a mark in the world, whether it's developing some trivial piece of policy or helping someone overcome childhood cancer is worth the ride. the "unrealistic expectation" of becoming an answer on jeopardy (one of my goals in life) by becoming some grand figure is helpful to me because i know that even if i don't become that person, that i will have enjoyed the journey and that i have tried my hardest to get there.

maybe this attitude comes from the fact that my parents made the "american dream" a realization by owning their own business and becoming part of the middle class. maybe it came from the fact that i believe there's still room for change in this world. but mostly, i think it's from a deep-seeded feeling that everyone is doing something for a purpose. i never felt like i was going into medicine because i wanted to make lots of money and earn a lot of prestige. i went into it because i knew that's what i enjoyed and that was one way in which i could make a real difference. my purpose is to serve others, as a physician and as a person. though that's hard to keep track of while i'm writing papers and studying biochem, it's still in the back of my head when i ask myself "why?"