Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ow!

I hate how it's been about THREE months since my accident, and the entire left side of my head is still tender and my hip/pelvic region is still super painful because of my fracture there. Argh.

That being said, I am super super thankful that I am healthy enough to complain about the pain on my blog. Hooray for life and having first world problems! :-)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

And when there's nothing else, there's always Beaker...

I watched Sesame Street (or Sessy Street as I said as a baby) religiously as a child. I still have a soft spot for the Muppets--I find Beaker to be adorable! Here is his version of Ode to Joy:

Meep!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Coming out of the closet

Okay, no...Not the sexual closet. But the political closet.

Hi, my name is Nishi and I am a Democrat. And I FULLY support our President, Barack Hussein Obama.

If Democrats are hoping to re-elect Barack Obama in 2012 we need to support our candidate. Is he perfect? No. But has he done a damn good job everything considering? YES. All of us individuals left of center, and to the general left of the political spectrum need to actually support our candidate instead of subjecting him to intense scrutiny. The degree to which we dissect our candidates is unnecessary and detracts from the issue we should be focused on: Who will be our next Commander in Chief? Public discourse is both necessary and vital to the growth of our political system, but when it comes down to who we support with our ballots, practical consideration must be given.  Sure, the Independent or Green Party candidate may represent your ideals a bit more, but if we don't want another Republican to take office, who would likely grossly misrepresent our ideals, we must give consideration to where our vote will actually have an impact.

It's time to be rational, folks. Because of the lack of a solid Republican frontrunner, there are talks of Jeb Bush (former President George W. Bush's younger brother) entering the race. Do we really want another four years of a Bush leading our great nation? I sure as heck do not.

This illustration pretty much sums up how I feel. It also doesn't hurt that George Clooney is a stone cold fox. mmm.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Osho is crazy yet genius

This quote more or less describes my views on possession within relationships. It may seem a bit weird on first glance, but give it some time to marinate, and I think it makes a lot of sense.
"Only those people who are capable of being alone are capable of love, of sharing, of going into the deepest core into the other person... without possessing the other, without becoming dependent on the other, without creating "the other," reducing the other into a thing, and without becoming addicted with the other. They allow the other absolute freedom, because their sole happiness cannot be taken by the other, because it is not given by the other."
- Osho

Saturday, December 3, 2011

For the love of God, wash your hands!

I love this picture for the following reasons:
1. The man in picture is wearing a Boston Red Sox hat, and I <3 the Boston Red Sox.  If you don't, it's because you haven't been to Fenway yet and felt the magic.

2.  My Clinical Pharmacology professor once told the class that some horrifyingly high percentage of people (70-80%) don't wash their hands at all after using the restroom. If this statistic is indeed correct, I must say that this is so incredibly disturbing to me. Seriously people, wash your hands! A little soap and water goes a long way in disease prevention. I'd like to think this photograph is accurate in its portrayal that us science folk are more likely to wash our hands after (and before).

Related side note: I once dated a boy who didn't wash his hands after using the restroom. Needless to say, I broke up with him shortly thereafter.

Picture stolen from: http://survivingtheworld.net/Lesson1247.html

(Yes, I am posting an awful lot lately...but there's nothing like finals and writing an orphan drug application to get you to procrastinate!)

Where the hell have you been? And why haven't I talked to you in six months?



Most of you probably haven't had a real conversation with me in six months, and for that I am very very sorry! Among the other things that I have mentioned on this blog, one thing that takes up all of my time these days is school. Many of you know, I only really started my education in the sciences a bit over a year ago, so running experiments that cost thousands of dollars each run causes me to be in a state of constant terror.

The pictures above are of my team's latest experiment involving a line of Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells that my lab has never used before and one of the bioreactors that was used.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Where I've been and where I want to go...



I was bored and had a bit of downtime between meetings, so I started playing around with this map of places I've been, and places I want to go. I never realized that I want to travel to so many places! I better get my passport warmed up and find a travel buddy (Not to mention money..). Clearly, I want to see the world.

Here is what the colors on the map mean:
Maroon = I've lived there
Blue = I've been there
Lime Green = I want to go there

Yes, Antarctica too! ..why not, right? I've actually heard that there's a boat/ferry that you can take from the tip of Chile or Argentina to get there, and it's not too expensive, so it's not as far fetched as it seems.

9 Things to know at 25(ish)

I know I promised pictures of Thanksgiving, but I have been so busy that I'm not really sure how Friday is already here. My DSLR camera is at home, and I'm at school...so this post will have to suffice.


Relevant magazine posted an article 5-6 months ago, written by Shauna Niequist, about what us 20-somethings should strive to know/achieve and minus the religious infusion in the article, I actually thought it was quite relevant, and I happen to agree with much of it. Check it out, and let me know what you think.


Please note: I've adapted the article, removing a good amount of the Jesus talk. Not that I have any problem with Jesus, or religion in general, but I don't believe in prosthelytizing on my blog. If you want to talk Jesus, Allah, Krishna, G*d, any other version of God and related prophets, or your belief that there is no God, I am more than happy to engage in such a discussion. I just didn't feel it was appropriate for this article.


9 Things to Know at 25(ish) 

 When you’re 25-ish, you’re old enough to know what kind of music you love, regardless of what your last boyfriend or roommate always used to play. You know how to walk in heels, how to tie a necktie, how to give a good toast at a wedding and how to make something for dinner. You don’t have to think much about skin care, home ownership or your retirement plan. Your life can look a lot of different ways when you’re 25: single, dating, engaged, married. You are working in dream jobs, pay-the-bills jobs and downright horrible jobs. You are young enough to believe that anything is possible, and you are old enough to make that belief a reality.

1. You Have Time to Find a Job You Love
Now is the time to figure out what kind of work you love to do. What are you good at? What makes you feel alive? What do you dream about? You can go back to school now, switch directions entirely. You can work for almost nothing, or live in another country or volunteer long hours for something that moves you. There will be a time when finances and schedules make this a little trickier, so do it now. Try it, apply for it, get up and do it.
When I was 25, I was in my third job in as many years—all in the same area at a church, but the responsibilities were different each time. I was frustrated at the end of the third year because I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do next. I didn’t feel like I’d found my place yet. I met with my boss, who was in his 50s. I told him how anxious I was about finding the one perfect job for me, and quick. He asked me how old I was, and when I told him I was 25, he told me I couldn’t complain to him about finding the right job until I was 32. In his opinion, it takes about 10 years after college to find the right fit, and anyone who finds it earlier than that is just plain lucky. So use every bit of your 10 years: try things, take classes, start over.
2. Get Out of Debt and Stay Out of Debt
Part of being a healthy, mature adult is learning to live within your means all the time, even if that means going without things you think you need, or doing work you don’t love for a while to be responsible financially. The ability to adjust your spending according to your income is a skill that will serve you your whole life.
There will be times when you have more money than you need. In those seasons, tithe as always, save like crazy, and then let yourself buy fancy shampoo or an iPad or whatever it is you really get a kick out of. When the money’s not rolling in, buy your shampoo from the grocery store and eat eggs instead of steak—a much cheaper way to get protein. If you can get the hang of living within your means all the time—always tithing, never going into debt—you’ll be ahead of the game when life surprises you with bad financial news.
I know a lot of people who have bright, passionate dreams but who can’t give their lives to those dreams because of the debt they carry. Don’t miss out on a great adventure because you’ve been careless about debt.


3. Don’t Rush Marriage
Now is also the time to get serious about relationships. And “serious” might mean walking away from a dating relationship that’s good but not great. Some of the most life-shaping decisions you’ll make during this time will be about walking away from good-enough, in search of can’t-live-without. One of the only truly devastating mistakes you can make in this season is staying with the wrong person even though you know he or she is the wrong person. It’s not fair to that person, and it’s not fair to you.
“Who are you dating?” “Do you think he’s the one?” “Have you looked at rings?” It’s easy to be seduced by the romance-dating-marriage narrative. We confer a lot of status and respect on people who are getting married—we buy them presents and consider them as more adult and more responsible.
But there’s nothing inherently more responsible or more admirable about being married. I’m thankful to be celebrating my 10th wedding anniversary this summer, but at the same time, I have a fair amount of friends whose marriages are ending—friends whose weddings we danced at, whose wedding cake we ate, whose rings we oohed-and-aahed over but that have been taken off fingers a long time ago.
Some people view marriage as the next step to happiness or grown-up life or some kind of legitimacy, and in their mad desire to be married, they overlook significant issues in the relationship.
Ask your friends, family members and mentors what they think of the person you’re dating and your relationship. Go through premarital counseling before you are engaged, because, really, engagement is largely about wedding planning, and it’s tough to see the flaws in a relationship clearly when you’re wearing a diamond and you have a deposit on an event space.
I’m kind of a broken record on this. My younger friends will tell you I say the same things over and over when they talk to me about love, things like, “He seems great—what’s the rush?” and, “Yes, I like her—give it a year.” And they’ve heard this one a million times: “Time is on your side.” Really, it is.


4. Give Your Best to Friends and Family
While twenty-somethings can sometimes spend a little too much energy on dating and marriage, they probably spend too little energy on friendships and family. That girl you just met and now text 76 times a day probably won’t be a part of your life in 10 years, but the guys you lived with in college, if you keep investing in them, will be friends for a lifetime. Lots of people move around in their 20s, but even across the distance, make an effort to invest in the friendships that are important to you. Loyalty is no small thing, especially in a season during which so many other things are shifting.
Family is a tricky thing in your 20s—to learn how to be an adult out on your own but to also maintain a healthy relationship with your parents—but those relationships are really, really worth investing in. I have a new vantage point on this now that I’m a parent. When my parents momentarily forget I’m an adult, I remind myself that someday this little boy of ours will drive a car, get a job and buy a home. I know that even then it will be hard not to scrape his hair across his forehead or tell him his eyes are looking sleepy, and I give my parents a break for still seeing me as their little girl every once in a while.
5. Get Some Counseling
Twenty-five is also a great time to get into counseling if you haven’t already, or begin round two of counseling if it’s been a while. You might have just enough space from your parents to start digging around your childhood a little bit. Unravel the knots that keep you from living a healthy, whole life, and do it now, before any more time passes.
 We generally trust medical doctors to help us heal from physical ailments. We can and should trust counselors and therapists to help us resolve emotional and psychological issues. So let your doctor do his or her thing, and let the person who has an advanced degree in mental health help you with yours.
6. Seek Out a Mentor
One of the most valuable relationships you can cultivate in your 20s is a mentoring relationship with someone who’s a little older, a little wiser, someone who can be a listening ear and sounding board during a high change season. When I look back on my life from 22 to 26, some of the most significant growth occurred as a direct result of the time I spent with my mentor, Nancy.
The best way to find a mentor is to ask, and then to work with the parameters they give you. If someone does agree to meet with you, let it be on their terms. Nancy and I met on Wednesdays at 7 in the morning. I guarantee that was not my preference. But it was what worked for her life, so once a month I dragged myself out of the house in what felt to me like the dead of night. It also helps to keep it to a limited-time period. It’s a lot to ask of someone to meet once a month until the end of time. But a one-year commitment feels pretty manageable for most people, and you can both decide to sign on for another year or not, depending on the connection you’ve made.
7. Volunteer
Give of your time and energy to make the world better in a way that doesn’t benefit you directly. Teach Sunday school, build houses with Habitat for Humanity, serve at a food pantry or clean up beaches on Saturdays.
It’s easy to get caught up in your own big life and big plan in your 20s—you’re building a career, building an identity, building for a future. Find some place in your life where you’re building for a purpose that’s bigger than your own life or plan.
When you’re serving on behalf of a cause you’re passionate about, you’ll also connect in a deep way with the people you’re serving with, and those connections can yield some of your most significant friendships.
When you serve as a volunteer, you can gain experience for future careers. Instead of, for example, quitting your banking job to pursue full-time ministry, volunteer to lead a small group, and see where it goes from there. Use volunteer experiences to learn about causes and fields you’re interested in, and consider using your vacation time to serve globally.


8. Feed Yourself and the People You Love
If you can master these things, you’re off to a really great start: eggs, soup, a fantastic sandwich or burger, guacamole and some killer cookies. A few hints: The secret to great eggs is really low heat, and the trick to guacamole is lime juice—loads of it. Almost every soup starts the same way: onion, garlic, carrot, celery, stock.
People used to know how to make this list and more, but for all sorts of reasons, sometime in the last 60 or so years, convenience became more important than cooking and people began resorting to fake food (ever had GU?), fast food and frozen food. I literally had to call my mom from my first apartment because I didn’t know if you baked a potato for five minutes or two hours.
The act of feeding oneself is a skill every person can benefit from, and some of the most sacred moments in life happen when we gather around the table. The time we spend around the table, sharing meals and sharing stories, is significant, transforming time.
Learn to cook. Invite new and old friends to dinner. Practice hospitality and generosity. No one cares if they have to sit on lawn furniture, bring their own forks or drink out of a Mayor McCheese glass from 1982. What people want is to be heard and fed and nourished, physically and otherwise—to stop for just a little bit and have someone look them in the eye and listen to their stories and dreams. Make time for the table, and you’ll find it to be more than worth it every time.
9. Don’t Get Stuck
This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. They mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated.
Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.
Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? What parts of my childhood faith am I leaving behind, and what parts am I choosing to keep? Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”
Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love. Life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned.
Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path. 


________________________________________________________
The original article can be found here:
http://www.relevantmagazine.com/life/whole-life/features/25956-11-things-to-know-at-25ish?start=1


 <3

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Noooo, not Big Bird!

Haha... Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

I'm in the midst of preparing our family's grand Thanksgivng feast. Pictures of the delicious spread to be posted later.

Friday, November 18, 2011

In memory...

In memory of my grandmother, Jayalaxmi Karsandas Thakkar who passed away Monday(11/14/11) morning at 9:15am PST. While by English language she is my grandmother, I called her my Nani my entire life, literally meaning "my mother's mother".
 
You were amazing. I miss you and I will always love you. I am proud to have been yours.

This photo was taken during my last visit to India during March/April 2010, when cancer had already begun taking a significant toll on her. We had just received news that she was suffering from Stage 3B ovarian cancer. Doctors operated on her left ovary and had removed a tumor that was the size of a papaya. Yep. A friggin' PAPAYA. In case you're not familiar with the size of papayas, here is a reference:
I wish I was kidding. She complained for years that she was experiencing issues with serious frequent urination, stomach pressure and bloating. Every time she visited the doctor for literally two years, she would be sent off without a single urine culture, ultrasound or having any other relevant diagnostic method used on her. The doctor would write her a prescription for an even stronger dose of antibiotic and would send her on her way. Of course this did nothing to alleviate her symptoms, until finally, after TWO years of complaining, doctors performed an ultrasound and they found out the very obvious reason for my grandmother's supposed two-year urinary tract infection. 
That's Indian medicine for you.

I would say that I have been close with my Nani ever since I was a child. My mother's parents both visited us in California, them living in Bombay, India their whole lives, when I was three years old. My Nani and I were two peas in a pod from that time on. During that visit, I remember we would snuggle on the couch, watch TV and she would give my chubby little legs massages. Although I was quite young, I actually remember that time, and I remember feeling an extreme sense of elation not common to most young children. Nani reminded me for many years after this that I would often march up to my mother during this visit and declare "Nani and I are friends!". And indeed we were. As I grew older, her and I would exchange many postal mail letters, as e-mail was not yet common at that time, and I would enjoy many visits to India where I would be greeted with one of her famous breathtaking, gripping bear hugs the second I walked through the door of her home. During these visits we would make fun of my mother endlessly (yet lovingly), and stay up late into the night as she told me stories of years past and how grand life was when my grandfather, her husband, was still healthy. My grasp on our family's dialect was weak at that time, so communication was quite difficult, but that seemed to matter not and we improvised when necessary.

Ever since I was a child, everybody would watch me walk and they would exclaim "you walk just like your Nani!", nobody seemed to look into why or how something as individual as a manner of walking could be passed down two generations. As I entered my late teens, I had several sports coached insist that I look into having my legs measured as it seemed that my right leg was longer than my left. I visited the doctor, and indeed this was true. It turns out that my grandmother and I were the only ones in the family that had one leg longer than the other. Early into college, I finally finished growing (a bit late considering I'm a female), and I realized that my Nani and I had yet another thing in common: I am 5'6" and she was 5'7". While this may not seem particularly remarkable, if you know that my mom is adorably stout in size at 5', and my father is 5'5", you will understand why I was excited to have yet another thing in common with my Nani. I loved that about her and me, we were both the taller, gimpy oddballs of the family.

During my last visit to India, for the first time she was too weak to greet me with one of her famous bear hugs. I remember feeling emotional when I realized this, as it was a clear indication of her digressing condition. But, never to allow an opportunity to show affection escape, she promptly grabbed my face when she saw me, shook my head around and gave me many wet, slobbery kisses. When we parted ways as I left to come back to the United States at the end of that visit, she held me tightly, gave me many kisses and asked me when she would be seeing me next. I immediately ran out of the house and turned away, as I was struggling to face the reality that I would never be seeing her again.

I cried many tears while saying goodbye to her then, and I am crying many tears now. My heart breaks knowing that never again will I be the recipient of her marvelous slobbery kisses. I miss you Nani.

Monday, November 14, 2011

To my childhood best friend...Happy Birthday!



Okay, no, I did not post this just to put up embarrassing pictures. I do want to say, however: HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY! I know we barely even talk a few times a year at this point, but I still adore you and miss you quite a bit. Let me know how 25 feels, my time is coming in a month!

I hope your day was a beautiful one.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beautiful People

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

I believe this with all my heart. The next time you find yourself in a situation that you feel is reminiscent of the bane of humanity, remind yourself that the way this situation is shaping you is ultimately for the best. We learn from not only the good in our lives, but also the bad.

I am going through a very difficult time right now, perhaps reminding myself of this will help me get through it.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm alive.

You may (or may not) have noticed that it has been a bit over a month since my last post. A few days after I made my last post I was in a horrific car accident. My description of these events may not be well written or very coherent, but I am just going to write as I remember.Allow me to post a few pictures before I explain more:


As you can see, the car was a total loss, or as we say "totaled" in the accident. I would normally black out the license plate number of the car, but it is no longer under the legal possession of me or anyone in my family...

Back to the story...this car accident was the closest I've been to losing my life thus far. I was on a major freeway down here in Southern California on a Friday morning--where two freeways merge and there is one exit, actually.A big rig to my right was changing lanes and was about to hit me, and out of fright I swerved to miss him (after checking to make sure the lane to the left of me was open first), but apparently I swerved so much that I lost control of my vehicle. My car jerked uncontrollably from the left to the right and then I began to spin across all seven lanes of the freeway.

At one point, my vehicle was completely perpendicular to the direction of traffic and I saw a big rig and a few cars approaching me as I watched from my position in the driver's seat. A strong sentiment washed over me: this was it, I felt. My time on this earth was over, and that I would surely die. Within an instant, I saw the faces of everybody that was most important to me, from the past and present, and I felt a deep sadness when I thought I would never see these individuals again. I immediately realized that I would miss my mother the most, and I knew she would miss me the most.  I looked down at my cellphone to see if I could manage to call her before I was hit by the cars approaching me, and then before I knew it my car spun out of the way and slammed into the side concrete barrier wall. I knew the airbags would deploy and looked down immediately after the impact to see it happen, first the driver's airbag, then the passenger's airbag. I was annoyed that they didn't inflate. It is truly bizarre how lucid my thoughts were in such a traumatic situation that happened so quickly.

And then...I looked up and realized what had just happened and my conscious being reconnected with my physical being. A sense of shock and fright washed over me.

Two good samaritans, one driving a pickup truck and one driving a large vehicle transport carrier, pulled over to pull me out of my car. I sobbed uncontrollably as I attempted to speak to the 911 operator, and these incredibly kind-hearted individuals began to take care of me. They sat me down, checked my wounds and bumps, gave me ice packs, and tried to keep me calm. They both waited with me, until California Highway Patrol showed up, so I wouldn't be alone. I didn't catch the name of one of the gentlemen, but the gentleman driving the vehicle transport carrier was Todd Brown. Thank you, Todd Brown. I will never be able to properly express my gratitude to you for the kindness you showed that day. Good people still do exist. Never give up on the implicit spirit of humanity.

As for me, I had a hematoma (under the skin, but not the skull) on the left side of my head, lots of bruises and a sprained wrist. Considering the events of the accident, and the fact that it occurred during peak traffic time, it is astonishing that the damage to my vehicle wasn't worse. But most of all, I am very lucky to be alive.

If you see me in the near future, or have seen me in the last month, and I look extra emotional and happy to see you, now you know why.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Coldplay- Every Teardrop is a Waterfall

My apologies for those of you who are already sick of this song, but... I happen to absolutely love it. Just listening to it takes me back to my first Coldplay experience in the summer of 2008. It was simply amazing(I love live music).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rishtas and Relationships: Dr. Nik

A little while ago, I received an e-mail from a young gentleman, whose email address identified him as "Dr. Nik", he seemed to be in search of a lady love, but he clearly had the wrong Nishi. I exchanged a few hilarious, and odd, e-mails with this gentleman, here are a few snippets:

From Dr. Nik:

Hey Nishi,
How are you doing? Hope your day is going well. Your parents had contacted me and provided your email address to contact you. I hope you do not mind as I know we all have very busy schedules. I am new on this online website and was not sure if a website was for me, but am willing to give it a try. [...] I really have a great family that is super supportive. Med school keeps me busy. I really like cooking and experimenting with traditional recipes as those get boring after a while. [...] I like going out dancing or just staying home and building a fire in a huge fireplace when it is snowing outside (not the gas fireplace, but the one where you use logs)...and hiding under blankets in front of the fireplace...Randomly, I like the sound and smell of rain, especially when you are sleeping.[...] Oh and yea if nothing else kiddo, I can at least leave you with a really corney, pathetic joke. It makes the kids in children's hospital laugh at least...hehe:  Why Don't Aliens eat Clowns?
because they taste Funny....duh! hehe told you it was corney..have plenty corney jokes I guess...kids find them funny at least..

He also included a bunch of pictures of himself, but to be nice, I won't post those.

This was my response:

Hi Nikhil,

It was nice to read your e-mail, however, I think you have the wrong Nishi...

Best wishes on your search to find your lady love!
Nishi
 
Good 'ol Dr. Nik responded with an appropriate, curt reply:
sorry Nishi. I guess her parents must have given a typo. My fault/apologies. doesn't p***t mean parrot in gujrati by the way?

All the while, I had been talking to one of my girlfriends, who frequents online dating sites. She told me that she had e-mailed with this gentleman before, and he had sent her the same EXACT e-mail, except with her name switched out.  We found this discovery to be quite amusing, so I e-mailed him again:

Not a problem.
Yes, Popat means parrot in Gujarati, I do believe.

By the way, you might want to mix up the e-mails you send out...one of my friends who you've spoken to before said you sent her the same exact e-mail with the names switched out. Just saying, the girls you talk to might start noticing the redundancies... 

His response was a bit, shall I say...confusing? 
haha thanks. Yea I wish I was more original, but I guess I am a boring guy. Maybe that is why your friend rejected me.

Thanks for the girly insight. It is okay...in my old age, I hope someone will find boring old me interesting. As for your friend, I am sorry if I overwhelmed her. Guess I was unoriginal. Either which way, I appreciate the advice. It is good to hear a girl's perspective. So appreciate the advice and hopefully even if I have a boring personality, I can not overwhelm the gender of estrogen. 

I wasn't sure whether to feel sorry for him, or be completely confused why a complete stranger would be entirely self-deprecating while talking to someone he doesn't know. Does this fellow not like himself? Was he joking? Looking for compliments? Or just a plain odd duck?  In any case, I had NO idea what to say to all of that, so I just didn't respond. Poor fellow. My friend told me a bit about her virtual interactions with this man, and she told me he very clearly seemed to be odd and highly self-absorbed. I wouldn't have picked up the latter from my e-mail exchange with him, but with gems like these in our dating pool, it's no wonder Indian women have such a hard time finding a good mate within the community. 

Perhaps it's time to start looking outside of the community, ladies?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Proof!

I've decided to post proof of my love of cooking/baking. See below:
 My homemade Thanksgiving fruit tart! Complete with a whole wheat tart shell and a 75% egg white filling. Of course the folks eating it didn't know it wasn't deathly unhealthy...people seem to complain when they know a dessert could not be in its full-fledged calorie-laden form.


Goobers enjoying Thanksgiving dinner(made by me, ingredients prepared by mom--bless her heart for putting up with my craziness in the kitchen). The gentleman with the super shiny bald head would be my father, and the (not-so) young man sitting next to him with a ridiculous expression on his face may or may not be my big brother. Okay fine, he's mine.

I can't wait for this year!
Okay, enough shenanigans. I'm off to bed.

Night Owl...again!

It's 2:45am, I have class early(for me) in the morning, yet I fail to be able to fall asleep. There is something about the peace and stillness of the night that draws me so. For me, it is the birthplace of many a fruitful thought and countless hours of fervent productivity. How fitting is it that one of the meanings of my first name is "night"?

This is a bit odd, but I am wishing I could bake a cake and have somebody to feed it to, at the moment.  I love feeding people. So much so, that cooking grand feasts for my family around the holidays is one of my very favorite things to do. Mmm, is anybody hungry?

buenas noches.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Delight in our existence

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. 
-Khalil Gibran

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I just got home, and it's been a solid 12 hour day...

...But I can honestly say that I find nothing more rewarding than working in the sciences. I just started my postbacc program, and I am working with/under many a postdoctoral student. These folks are incredibly intelligent and probably have a decade more of experience than me in the sciences. The adjustment so far has been rough, and at times I even feel like I'm being hazed into this foreign world. But I still find it incredibly worth it, and even exciting and enjoyable. It's constantly evolving and you could even be a part of positive change.

Bring on the kinases and oncoproteins.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It's been a while...

In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.
-Eric Hoffer

I have long believed that the only state of order that can exist in our lives is disorder itself(entropy, holler). Change happens constantly--we all know this. So if this is the case, if I embrace this fact, why does serious change still nauseate me? It's not that I don't know how to adapt or don't want to. In fact, when my life has been too repetitive and constant for too long, I get annoyed and bored. You would think after 24 years of this, I'd be unfazed.  Familial chaos, loved ones perishing and countless other maladies fetter my life right now--I suppose things are only as bad as you let them be. 

It seems that I am still learning (to adapt). 

Until then, I may continue to be a bit absent. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Fourth!

Fact #1: I am a patriot to unusual degrees.
Fact #2: Fireworks simultaneously make me happy and giddy, yet warm and fuzzy inside.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

My soul feels ragged...

...if you see me anytime in the near future, please give me a hug.

I also miss my friends from the East Coast, so this post will be an homage to them and my college years.
















Thanks for the memories.
DISCLAIMER: If I forgot to put your picture up, that doesn't mean you're not missed!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Animal Crackers (Cookies)!

Remember Barnum's Animal Crackers that were all the rage in elementary school? I was quite a fan of them as a child, I'd pout and whine to my health-conscious mother until she agreed to buy them for me--only if I ate no more than four per day. 
To this day, whenever I see a box of them(or the like) in a grocery store, I get a bit giddy and get a strong urge to buy them. Normally, I'd give in, but I'm making a serious effort to be healthier lately. So when I saw a box of these beauties at Trader Joe's today, and I didn't allow myself to buy them, I wept a little inside.

...they even had icing on them! mmm.

Yes, I just wrote an entire blog entry on fun-shaped cookies. That is all. :-)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Do not let your fire go out

Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swaps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it's yours.

-Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Dad.

I haven't always been a fan of my parents, or even close to them--I was quite the angsty teen. But I can definitely say that the older I get, the more I appreciate the way they raised me and the more I adore them to pieces. This doesn't mean we don't have our significant disagreements or extremely differing perspectives on life--but I can't say how grateful I am to have them both.

So here goes...
(In honor of Father's Day that passed yesterday)


Who is my Dad?

My Dad is my most beloved,
Yet my biggest enemy.
My Dad is the one who criticizes me the most,
Yet celebrates my every achievement harder than anybody else.
My Dad always believed I could be more,
Even when I was convinced I was nothing.
My Dad pushes me harder, believes I’m stronger,
And will NEVER take “I can’t” for an answer.
My Dad has always spoiled me rotten,
Yet always shown me that humility and being good to others should come first.
My Dad has always given until it hurts,
The needs of my brother and me always taking priority over his.
My Dad isn’t and was never perfect,
But always did and does the best he knows how to.
My Dad has shown me how a real man should act.
My Dad loves me the most.
My Dad BELIEVES in me.
Here’s to you Dad, I love you.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Lame

I am sitting here a bit dumbfounded.

One of my close male friends just called to "break-up" with me. Except the only problem with this is that him and I have NEVER had a romantic interest in each other, and we also have never had any significant personality conflicts. His reason for not wanting to be my friend anymore? His girlfriend is not comfortable with our friendship. Wow.

I can understand why a woman would be uncomfortable with her man having close female friends(although I personally do not agree with this mentality), but seriously I am about as threatening to my friends' relationships as a stuffed Spongebob Squarepants doll. What especially stinks about this is that this individual has been someone I've been with for about the last decade--we've laughed together, cried together and seen each other's lives change drastically.

I've always enjoyed the friendships I have had with my male classmates or colleagues, but I can't help but wonder that if these types of connections are impractical as we grow older and spouses and significant others play a greater role in our lives? Does anybody have thoughts on this?

What can I say? I wish him luck.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Let it be

 
This song soothes my soul.
I love that the sound is so raw and untainted by modern synthesizers and AutoTune.
Love.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Crazy eHarmony Cat Lady Video

So this video has just started to go viral on YouTube, Facebook and other social media websites. It is a video created by a young woman attempting to post an introduction video, to enhance her dating profile, on the dating website eHarmony. What makes me wonder is why she would actually post such an embarrassing video where members of the public could see it? Hmm...something tells me that this young woman won't be getting too many dating inquiries.




"Hi my name is Debbie...and I love cats...and I love to run...and I think about how cute they are, and their ears, their whiskers and their nose...I just love them, and want them. And I want them in a basket, and I want them in little bow ties, I want them to be on a rainbow!!"

I know many of you love cats, but can you say that you love cats THIS much?  

Ummmm....yeah. If you're ever feeling like you might be a little odd or insane, go back and watch this video, and I assure you that sentiments of normalcy shall promptly wash over you.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Some day, we will dream again...

Some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. 
- C. S. Lewis

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Challenge what you believe

I came across this thought provoking piece of advice while I was reading today:

Do not simply believe what you hear just because you have heard it for a long time.

Do not follow tradition blindly merely because it has been practiced in that way for many generations.

Do not be quick to listen to rumors.

Do not confirm anything just because it agrees with your scriptures.

Do not foolishly make assumptions.

Do not abruptly draw conclusions by what you see and hear.

Do not be fooled by outward appearances.

Do not hold on tightly to any view or idea just because you are comfortable with it.

Do not accept as fact anything that you yourself find to be logical.

Do not be convinced of anything out of respect or deference to your spiritual teachers.

You should go beyond opinion and belief. You can rightly reject anything which when accepted, practiced, and perfected leads to more aversion, more craving and more delusion. They are not beneficial and to be avoided.

Conversely, you can rightly accept anything which when accepted and practiced leads to unconditional love, contentment and wisdom. These things allow you time and space to develop a happy and peaceful mind.

This should be your criteria on what is and what is not the truth; on what should be and what should not be the spiritual practice.

-From the Kalama Sutra, The Buddha

...Thoughts?

Animal Humane Society Talking Cats

While taking a break from late night work, I was watching some trashy reality TV online and this commercial to promote the adoption of cats from the Animal Humane Society came on:
I am normally not a cat person, at all. But, this particular commercial just made my heart melt.

Check it out...and maybe consider adopting a kitty?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

So...the world is ending today?

So, as we've all heard, Harold Camping, the 89 year old Christian Radio broadcaster and President of Family Radio, a California-based religious media network, has predicted the end of the world to be today. Camping performed a series of ridiculous calculations, supposedly using data from the Bible to determine that today, May 21st, 2011 would be the beginning of Rapture. It is said this is the beginning of the end of the world, with the actual end being 5 months from today. It is said that during Rapture, all believers, or followers of Jesus Christ will ascend to heaven, while the rest of us non-believers/sinners/heathens are left to experience constant earthquakes, fire, famine and locusts(locusts, really?!).

On paper, one would assume that Camping is an intelligent man, he obtained  BS in Civil Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Personal experience has generally had me believe that most Berkeley engineers are quite smart individuals. Hm, I guess not in this case. While normally, I would say that these types of notions are guided by attempts to racket money, it doesn't seem as if Camping has encouraged his followers to necessarily donate all of their money and possessions to his organization. But, he has simply encouraged all those who believe in the May 21st rapture to donate all of their money and be rid of all of their worldly possessions-- if the world is ending, what use are your things?

What especially troubles me about Camping's prediction is not just that he is clearly WRONG(at the time that I write this, New Zealand has already passed the time the rapture was supposed to occur without incident), but that he would encourage all of his followers to be rid of their worldly belongings, when it is reported that he himself has maintained his homestead, and has not given away all of his money. What makes it worse is that not only have many of his followers obliged his request, but they have also left their jobs and spent much of the last few months attempting to spread the word of today's Judgement Day. I would imagine that many(though unfortunately not all) of his followers are ill-educated, and will be put in a very difficult position when they wake on Sunday morning and realize that: 1.) The world has not in fact ended, 2.) Harold Camping is incredibly ignorant and irresponsible, 3.) Shit, I have no place to live, 4.) Shit, I have no way of sustaining my life--welfare here I come! Encouraging his followers to act as he was not willing to act, by getting rid of all worldly possessions, is not only wrong and disturbing, but it is IRRESPONSIBLE. Hello, how can he not even have a modicum of social responsibility?

That being said, I feel especially sorry for the children of parents who are devout believers in Camping's prediction. I especially felt bad for the children of a woman who was interviewed that blatantly stated: "I worry about my children. I know they will not be going to Heaven with me and my husband. But I just have to accept it--my children are sinners." Sheesh, and I thought my parents were hard on me? Not only is it unfortunate that these children have crazy parents, but you can't help but be a bit concerned about the psychological well-being of these young ones.

On a more amusing note, there are (real) companies lead by Athiests that advertise their services of saving the pets of believers after the ascend to heaven on Judgement Day. Hilarious, no? When I initially saw this website, I thought it was a joke:
Eternal Earth-bound Pets, USA
Nope, it's completely real. And to be honest, I'm slightly jealous that I did not come up with the idea myself. This company is clearly experiencing insane volume with a flat fee, for a service they will never have to complete. They aren't one bit dishonest in their business pitch, they can't help it if their clients are among the ignoramus that believe the May 21st end-of-days prophecy. Hmm, perhaps I will be the one to come up with the next ingenious money-making idea the next time religion makes everybody lose their minds?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Hmph.

I am impossibly grumpy right now. The last 2-3 weeks have been madness in terms of deadlines and other work that needs to get done. I miss seeing the people I enjoy spending time with(yes, I miss you, you and YOU). And I miss sleep.

Better too busy than sitting idle though, right?

The good news? I am officially done with my first master's degree. Hurrah! Hopefully no more than 2 more degrees until I've reached the terminal degree of my academic education.

A more substantial post to follow in a few days.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden is Dead: Thank God, Jesus, Krishna, Mohammed (PBUH) and Buddha...!(?)

(DISCLAIMER: Bits and pieces of this are borrowed from various sources and people, it's not all my own)

This evening, while napping, I was awoken by the sound of my phone binging upon receiving multiple text alerts from CNN informing me that Osama Bin Laden had been killed in Attabad or Abbottabad, Pakistan-- some 35 miles from Pakistan's capital city, Islamabad. It is said that he was shot in the head after an exchange of gunfire during a 40 minute raid, by 20-30 US Navy SEALs, on his heavily guarded million dollar compound. US troops immediately recovered his body, after which he was identified via facial recognition, DNA testing and identification by one of his wives. His body was buried at sea, according to Islamic tradition, shortly thereafter in order to avoid making his grave site a shrine for his followers.

My initial reaction was one of disbelief, we had been chasing this elusive terrorist for over 9 and 1/2 years now. Could it be that we had FINALLY achieved what every national politician in the last 9 and 1/2 years has been promising--his death? When I turned on the television, I found President Obama addressing the nation:

I was met with the immediate realization that this was indeed reality. Waves of relief, happiness, shock and sadness simultaneously washed over me. I was incredibly happy, relieved and shocked that at long last, the man who conducted the largest terrorist attack on US soil, on September 11th, 2001, was finally put to justice. However, I could not escape my deep-rooted emotions of sadness and shock-- the recollection of the tens of thousands of innocent soldiers and civilians who lost their lives in pursuit of this sick individual makes my heart wrench. It's almost as if the images of the burning Twin Towers and Osama Bin Laden's deceptive face are emblazoned on my mind.  I mean, don't these images rouse some type of memory or emotion within you?:











Make no mistake, I could not be more relieved that an individual who is such a strong symbol of international terror is now gone. But we must remember that Osama Bin Laden is exactly that. A very powerful, rousing SYMBOL of terror and destruction. His death does not mean the end of terrorism. His death does not mean the end of al Qaeda.  In fact, it is said that his death could be the start of a string of retaliatory attacks around the world and on our nation.

While I would wonder who wouldn't be at least marginally relieved that he can no longer bastardize a beautiful faith like Islam, and inflict death and destruction upon countless innocent individuals, I feel that perhaps this should more so be a moment of introspection-- not necessarily one of flippant merriment. We must reflect upon the horrors and atrocities that millions of people across the world went through during the last 10 years.
10 years, 2 wars, 919,967 deaths and $1,188,263,000,000 later, and we managed to kill one person. Was it worth it?
We must question:
What comes next? 
Tonight as a nation we celebrated justice, but justice for whom? 
What has ultimately been achieved and what will change? 

How does our reaction relate to the future... when we wake up tomorrow, with what responsibility do we wake? Surely there is an obligation to peace which is much greater than what we, the world, have borne for the last ten years?

If violence begets violence...do we only have more violence to look forward to? If so, why do most of us feel such resonating emotions of simultaneous relief and anxiety?

This is all necessary food for thought amidst the rousing celebrations and sentiments of relief.

Interestingly enough, exactly 66 years ago, on May 1st, 1945, Germany announced Hitler was dead. Perhaps May 1st is the day of the dead societal menace.
Ultimately, I feel that the 9/11 generation is allowed to not be afraid for once, if only for a few days, we are allowed to be optimistic(no matter how misguided these sentiments may be).
...and now to leave you on a more light-hearted note: