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."

Sunday, 27 March 2011


Hum training is actually turning useful. I can't even describe how similar this proposal writing process is to Hum paper writing. I do the same things. Scribble on pieces of papers. Get consumed by the topic. Debate with myself endlessly whether what I'm arguing is logical/ significant. Talk to professors when I have something/ get stuck. Only difference is now I have to find my own evidence and topic. Can't just take quotes from 2 books.

Just came back from a weekend getaway from cells and ribosomes. A real holiday. Little work. Go out and play, stay home and contact, laze around, even read a bit of fiction. But I'm just as lost as ever. Can I? Should I? What do I want? Getting post-holiday blues. Maybe I can sleep it off. Sleep is another of my getaways. When you're asleep, you don't have to deal with anything.

Resolution for April: Less procrastination, more work. now.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Clogged sink

I feel like a clogged sink
Where people pour all their used ink
Red, purple, green and yellow
Hoping I can make a rainbow

I feel like a paper pillar
Where heavy weights are on my shoulder
Lift now, do not falter
Or you will be fed to the shredder

*I want to be free
Why won't you let me
I'm stuck in the middle
With things I want to say
With things that I can't say

I want to blast music so loud
That I can't hear myself shout
I want to leave here
Go far without fear

No more a clogged sink
No more of used ink
Escape from this boring stream
Go swim in the sea of dreams

Hear the song

Monday, 7 February 2011


In the past couple of months, I've discovered the value of friends. I've seen what friends do for each other, seen what best friends for life means, also seen how needed friends are.. It's surprising but this is a new world to me. This level of friendship, this level of relationship is rather foreign. The kind of friends that can 为朋友两肋插刀。 Maybe I want to be part of it.

I have decided on that the only difference btw friendship and relationship is that friends are not exclusive. Friends are a no committment, come and go kind of thing. You don't have to choose 1 friend over another. You can have everyone as a friend as long as you have enough space to contain them. Can you feel as deeply for friends as for lovers? According to this logic, yes.

I am a copier. I mimic what others do. If you're nice to me, I'll be nice to u. If you like me, I might copy that too.

January resolution was to keep my friends and make new ones. Worked out pretty well.

February resolution shall be to spend more time every day using my brain.

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Costa Rica

  1. Animals, animals, animals. Tree frog, toucans, funnel spider, tarantula, sloths, leaf cutter ants, snakes, mamut, coatis, quetzal, owl, hummingbirds, iguanas, howler monkeys, capuchin monkins, squirrel monkeys, racoons, agouti, crabs, fish, alligator, farm animals, humans. yay
  2. Whitewater rafting in the most front seat without falling out of the raft and without shivering from cold
  3. Sweet fresh pineapples, and bananas, watermelons, papayas
  4. Fresh-squeezed orange juice
  5. View of the volcano in the tent at the 1968 Arenal lava trailhead
  6. hitchhiking
  7. Casados! and gallo pinto + huevos for breakfast
  8. Guanabana juice
  9. Agua dulce
  10. Pizza and salad at Rancho Margot
  11. The whole Rancho Margot concept, that one can be self-sufficient by growing trees, veggies, keeping animals, composting, generating electricity from streams, and still have all the luxuries a decent hotel/ resort have
  12. Heiner from the lovely Monteverde Villa Lodge who didn't speak as much English as we would like but tries so hard and was so friendly
  13. Vehicles that have no problems going over unpaved roads
  14. The fun family on the night tour with us and the huge family on the canopy tour with us. I like how the stranger barrier breaks down after being on a tour together
  15. Ziplining. The zipline was already long and fun and then there was the rappel aka fireman pole/ rope (super scary) and Tarzan swing (super fun) and Superman (cool experience)
  16. Swings for chairs at Taco Bar in Jaco
  17. Beautiful sunsets over the Pacific
  18. Surfing.. or an attempt to
  19. Pacific ocean
  20. Setting off fireworks. Yippee! More fun if they were the kind that explodes in the air
  21. Sleeping in every bus/ van ride
  22. Friendly Ticos
  23. Black dog that first followed us then guided us into town
  24. A country that's so rich in life, in plants, animals, people
  25. Escape from real life =)

Forgettable moments

  1. Too much time in hotels watching old movies/ CSI/ 30 Rock
  2. Spending too much on tour guides.. especially the volcano hike on a rainy day and the Manuel Antonio guide
  3. Insect bites
  4. Some random motel that we stayed in cos it's cheap in Fortuna that had ants on the wall and air con that's too cold and rooster at 4 in the morning
  5. Mud, spending so much energy trying to avoid sinking
  6. Long long bus rides, especially the one from Quepos to San Jose
  7. Sleeping over in a cold airport

Saturday, 1 January 2011


It's not often that I feel lonely. Much less feeling lonely in a group. New year's eve dinner was fantastic, posh French dining with friends that I miss. What am I missing? It's the feeling, feeling of someone being there.. but feelings get people into messes.

Reminder to self: none of the recent goings-on involves me. Stay as far away from mess as possible. If anything, I need to stay objective. No one really needs me, even if I know everything. I have no solution for anyone.

In the new year, I will manage time more wisely so I can accomplish more and still have time for myself. Happy 2011. Cheers.