Friday, 6 December 2013

Monday, 17 June 2013


First time in my life, I've been described as intimidating. What has happened in the last half year to earn me this status? I don't know how I got here and if I'm stuck in a scientific problem again, I still don't know how to dig myself out. It's just puzzling that's the way kids see me. The only trick I have is to ask people for help. Well, if I inspire you, good for you. If I intimidate you, I'm sorry, but I'm actually not half as zai as you think I am.

Jammed today, first time in 3 years? It was awesome. Didn't know we could still play.. and we sounded decent! We played through most of the songs that we wanted to. And still remembered how to play some old stuff that we used to know. I want to do this again.

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Dear mouse

Please mate. Please deliver. Please don't eat your babies. Please pass on your mutant allele. That's all I ask of you. Thank you.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Thank you postdocs

Trust them to remind me how much data I have, trust them to remind me how interesting my project is, especially when nothing seems to be working, or when the boss tells me I'm not good enough. I thank them for brainstorming with me, sitting down and spending more time thinking about my project than myself, thank them for teaching me loads, thank them for always being friendly and for hanging out on weekends.

Today I feel good about my project.. =) High from lab meeting

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Fake it until you become it

It's rare that I get moved by a video. This video moved me. I'll start this experiment tomorrow. Stretch out, pretend I am powerful and I can do things. King of the lab!

Sunday, 14 October 2012





I've noticed that I've stopped coding into music. Songs don't talk to me any more. I haven't downloaded anything in a while.

Quote of the day: You're a people person. Use your artistic talents.


Monday, 23 July 2012


my taste in music has changed, evolved, matured?

a few years ago i had a post about why I like a song. If i didn't remember wrongly, the criteria were good melody, something clever/ complex like unexpected key changes, compound time and i don't remember what the last one is

最近很喜欢听五月天的歌。可能是因为他们的歌具备了以上的条件,但我更觉得我喜欢五月天是因为他们的真诚。我能感觉到他们的high, 他们的真心,他们的用心,他们的努力。听了这么多年的歌,终于明白什么是唱出了感情,终于明白歌曲最终的用意。

Here are some of the songs that 让我感触良多, ones that inspire me.
1. 最初的梦想 --  范玮琪
2. 给未来的自己 -- 梁静茹
3. 我飞故我在 -- 林俊杰,张靓颖
4. Make you feel my love -- Adele

Monday, 9 July 2012

Went to a SF symphony summer concert, symphony with a circus. Very entertaining. They played familiar classical favourites like Flight of Bumblebee, 1812, William Tell, movie themes like Star Wars, Superman, pop songs from the Beatles, they even played my favourite Sorceror's Apprentice. I thought that I'll be moved by drama of 1812 or the excitement of Star Wars, or the suspense in Sorceror's Apprentice, but what really touched me was from the Beatles. A descending bass, the progression that is so familiar.. I wonder if the descending bass has the same effect on everyone, or is it just me. Is it instrinsic to this progression? Or is my response an acquired one due to previous encounter with this?

I wish things don't have to move in riddles, that moves don't have to be loaded with intentions. I wish my mice will just tell me what I need to know, cells will behave, shRNAs can knock down proteins and Southern blots will work. Wishes.

Mission in the Mix. My 3rd and maybe final year. I love it. It's the highlight of the summer. Love the friendships that form through the process. Love how 16 year olds can get along with 40 year olds. It's here that ages don't matter, shapes, sizes, race, sexual inclinations all makes no difference. We are friends with everyone. All you need is an enthusiasm for dance and performance, you don't even have to be good.

Micaya.. An inspiration in my life. Looking so elegant at her age. Teaching hip hop at that age. I want to be this active when I'm 50. She's the one who tells us to be generous, to give everything we have to the audience. You're only on stage for that 10min, there's no replay, undo, regrets. Give it all. It's ok to be imperfect, audiences like real people, they like to be able to relate to the dancers. This is the time to be real. I tend to be someone else instead. Is the person on stage the real me? Idk. But I do lose many inhibitions onstage, it's a show, I can be vulnerable for 10min and show you faces and attitudes that don't normally make it out of me. The same thing I do for giving talks. It's like putting on a show. For an hour, I don't have to be the usual me, I can pretend to be a good speaker, friendly, sociable, funny, whatever and give a good talk.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


I've always liked this song, since we first played in lower Sec. My attempt at creating tracks and mixes. It's not perfect, but it's been a while since I recorded anything and I really wanted to record this. This is one of the things that's keeping me sane these days

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

3rd year slump

1st year: make friends
2nd year: start of a hopeful project
3rd year: shit, have i been wasting my time working on something (a) already known (b) is an artefact (c) only idiots care about?

I'm an escapist. I run from problems. Grad sch is a place where problems don't go away if you ignore them. Maybe I should run away from grad sch..

Friday, 3 February 2012

Wednesday, 25 January 2012


In this year, I will
  1. Drink at least 500ml of fluids a day
  2. Know more about ribosomes than my PI
  3. Not sacrifice time with friends and family for work
Happy new year

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Friday, 2 December 2011

Can you keep a secret?

Too many goings on. Too many secrets. I just want to be in my little scientific bubble and struggle with my own microcosm of experiments.. I need to be constantly reminded that I should stay as far away as possible, that I do care about my own future and what people think of me

People, open your ears and listen to what others are saying. Listen.

Everyone needs a 4 leaf clover, and a little luck. Good luck to my ou xiangs and my benchmate, good luck to my car.

Monday, 28 November 2011


Got a score/ data request from someone in an electone forum.. felt like it's something from a previous life.. Don't even remember where I got the data from, how meticulous I was in compressing the data, uploading them, unprotecting things, archiving others. Those were the days..

Looked through the recent forums, and there are actually new stuff for EL recycled down from STAGEA.. wow. Now I really want to play again. Especially after watching the guy at Castro Theatre, Alan, play an organ. The first instrument is like a first language. It's the instrument that I'm most at home with, that I can do the most things with.. I miss it

Monday, 17 October 2011

Alison Gopnik: What do babies think?

This is a really informative and entertaining talk.
So what's it like to be a baby? It's like being in love in Paris for the first time after you've had three double-espressos. That's a fantastic way to be, but it does tend to leave you waking up crying at three o'clock in the morning.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Heidelberg pact

It's interesting to know what others think of me, and of my choices. I know that Tim my postdoc thinks that I'm a joke, messing around in the lab, experiments always failing. Also interesting to know what people think of life.. I'm really glad I got to go to the meeting. Was a rookie, but at least I was a happy one. It was surprisingly easy to make friends when everyone is there alone.

Here are some quotes:
"When I'm old and can't move, he'll be in his prime. All these papers, it doesn't matter. What matters is my son." (Really that's what you think?)
"Women PIs are all career women, they don't understand your need to spend time with your family." (Don't think this is true)
"You'll do well in the lab because she'll make sure you do well" (doing well 可以被逼出来吗?)
"I didn't think you'll be doing that (dancing)" (Look what peer pressure can do)
"Trust me. Drink this glass of water now and you'll thank me tmr for not getting a terrible headache." (Then he pours a glass of wine for everyone)
"He's a nice guy. He cooks, he cleans, and there's a side of him that I've never understood" (That's the definition of a nice guy?)

I love that every town has an old part that's preserved. It gives the place character. Germany is definitely worth returning. There's still so much more to see. In 2 years time maybe?

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Faust-- a tragedy

"I've studied now, to my regret,
Philosophy, Law, Medicine,
and, what is worst, Theology
from end to end with diligence.
Yet here I am, a wretched fool
and still no wiser than before"
"I well may know more than all those dullards,
those doctors, teachers, officials, and priests,
be unbothered by scruples or doubts,
and fear neither hell nor its devils
but I get no joy from anything, either,
know nothing that I think worthwhile"
~ Faust Part I (Goethe)

What brings happiness in life? Striving towards an unattainable ideal. Making progress towards that ideal. Slowly attaining god-like status, but never reaching it because once it's reached, life cease to have a meaning. Faust is miserable even though he knows much more than everyone else. You would think that knowledge will make him happy since he is a scholar. But he stopped making progress getting towards the god-like status. And more drastic measures must be taken to resume that..

I think one of the saddest things is to watch relationships break apart. Not just romantic relationships, but friendships as well. Friends that were once close become people you don't talk to any more. For no major reasons, just distance, time, new friends, new lifestyle etc. Some friends try harder than others to stay connected, but eventually everyone gives up and just make new friends from people around them. Too much effort otherwise. At the end of the day, what are u left with? Memories of great experiences. Strands of friendship that, maybe one day, will thicken and strengthen again. Or maybe it'll just be another name in the long list of friends on fb.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

I have taken a liking to bald trees. Every winter they die and in spring, they're reborned, with a stronger will to live. And even when they lose all their leaves, they still stand tall, majestic and beautiful.

Saw this little creature digging out of from the ground to look for food. Cute little fellow. Wiki says it's a vole.

It's cherry blossom season =)

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Sick to the stomach

That's the feeling all day. There's nothing physically wrong, just mentally, emotionally very wrong.

A weekend ago, I felt possessive. Yesterday I was angry. Slightly angry at me for being selfishly possessive, for putting hope in places where I shouldn't. Slightly angry at people for being so freely giving in their words and actions. Slightly angry at others for being, well, so different from me. And the slightlies add up to a non-slight.

Today I just feel like a failure. I think the purpose of a job, besides bringing in the money, is to feel useful, a sense of fulfillment. After all that's all you do all day. Better do a good job and be great at it. Today, I saw that the only experiment that I was doing this week failed. Think I need to re-evaluate the way I'm doing expts, to reduce failures and increase my utility. Half the time I think i'm just wasting reagents. Adding on to the list of failures, in lab and in life.

It's times like this that I re-read my blog. Visit past eras. Learn from experience. Look for inspiration. And there was this post on a ballet teacher. She was the one who made me want to dance again, who made me feel like it's ok to dance even though I suck. She made my summer in lab much more enjoyable. If I become a teacher one day, I want to be like her. Encouraging, caring, personal, inspiring, qualities that I wish to have. She was the one who said just tell yourself you can do it and you can. That's what I'm going to do now.

You know what? I'm going to repost everything i've quoted her for.
"Pretend you're confident."
"Think happy thoughts. Think of a day when things went better than expected."
"You can't always be nice and gentle in life. Sometimes you have to be strong and angry."
"If you can't remember any of those things, I have one more trick, just think of this: I am going to do it. It's simple but it works."