A letter to my former self

I’ve been thinking alot about my life these days.  Hell, when do we ever NOT think about it I suppose.  But more specifically how I lived my life pre-30 and how I live my life now post-30.  So I thought it would be fun to write a letter directed to my younger pre-30 self on things I wished I knew THEN that I know now.  Perhaps one day I can give this letter to my (imaginary future) daughter and spare her the pain of what we think will occur during and post-30 time frame.

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I will….

This has got to be the sweetest song – EVER.

Who knows how long I’ve loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to, I will.

For if I ever saw you
I didn’t catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same.

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we’re together
Love you when we’re apart.

And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know, I will
I will.

The Beatles  – I Will

Change is Good

Friends — its been quite some time since I last posted anything.  Sincere apologies.  To the credit of my blog — I’m pretty sure that ONE person who is out there that actually READS this — is doing quite fine without.  In any case, here I am….STILL.  There is much to be updated on and much to blog about.

More then half of the 2011 year has quickly swiped by and its certainly amazing at how much has happened and changed.  So here is a picture montage of the past few months: 1) Its a nice way to quickly visualize some past events and 2) I’m simply lazy .  So let’s begin….

This year started off with…
Seeing dear old friends in NYC.

Old and New Friends

Two old friends and The Beatles

  …and with it brought food and drink — obviously.

Ramen making

Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs with Apple Cider cocktail
And catching up with new friends from 2010 in Boston.

S and I

Embarking on a new job with all of its responsibilities and work friendships which have transitioned to priceless friendships.
And food ….yet again:  homemade Turkish breakfast.

Friends, Turkish breakfast, and Wii.

Turkish breakfast

Catching up with old high school friends at the circus.

EJ and I

J and EJ


Dabbling in the arts.
Practice painting in the works
Trips to Ogunquit, MaineMarginal Walk Way

Marginal Walk Way

Marginal Walk Way
In the end, this year has been a fruitful and productive one — filled with massive change and new introductions.  But one thing became clear — life is NEVER the same.  Change is good — isn’t it?  It brings us perspective and allows us to reflect as well as appreciate those happy memories while still look forward to the possibility of the future.

And this year was certainly the year of the baby.  Seven friends told me they were expecting.  Four of which have already given birth.  All but one lives far enough away that it would take a minimum plane ride to visit each of my honorary nieces/nephews.  Its scary really.  The idea that friends that I’ve known since the age of 12 (in some cases) are having babies.  Babies!  They no longer live the young carefree life.  Hell, they no longer live the single life.  But they are becoming mommys and daddys — and excellent ones at that.  Here’s to them growing up and me unleashing scandalous stories about their parents.  Wheee!

Today its your birthday….

So I’m back in good ol’ Beantown and the city welcomed me with open arms ala snowy weather.  I don’t necessarily know what it is about cold snowy weather but I feel this oppressive need to have a cup of coffee, watch mindless TV/movies, and take periodic naps throughout the day.  Unfortunately, we can’t all conduct ourselves in such a manner and I’ve chosen to ATTEMPT to be productive.  Please be mindful that I’ve yet to step away from the computer and actually DO anything.

And while attempting to resume back to normal life here in Boston — I’ve made several pilgrimages to Trader Joe’s desiring the basics:  milk, juice, eggs.  Easy right?  Well not so much when folks freak out with severe pandemonium that another snowstorm will cripple the city.  Its as if I’m reliving south Florida hurricane paranoia all over again — the insanely long lines at the supermarkets and gas stations.  Minimal to no amount of basic items and  bare shelves with only crappy foods left to purchase.  Snow (to me) doesn’t seem too malicious compared to brute force wind and rain ranging from 30-100+ mph.  Yea, long periods of fluffy white stuff — not so much.

And now that we’ve settled into winter 2011 and slowly approaching the end of the first month — have you been good on your resolutions and promises?  Like I said in my previous post — I’ve decided to simply be mindful of completing do-able tasks and appreciating every positive experience along the way.

Here is a glimpse of my morning.
Yes, its my birthday today!
Picture Details:
Owl coffee cup from Whittard of Chelsea
Electronics: Laptop (not really pictured) and Nookcolor
15% off gift card from Anthropologie
Complimentary shampoo/shower gel/bubble bath from Sephora
Various nail polishes
This birthday I have much to be thankful and grateful.  I’m grateful and appreciative of having such wonderful parents and brother — to whom I love dearly and owe so much for their support.  And my wonderful and thoughtful friends who’ve been through a tumultuous 2010 with me but have stood by and encouraged me all the way!  And finally, this birthday brought forth news with the start of a new job and hopefully a new beginning for a prosperous 2011!  I’m overjoyed beyond words and the angry little chemist in me is (temporarily) silenced with gratitude.  May all of you have a wonderful 2011!
Bday Baby

Playing Catch-Up

Whenever I come home for the holidays — I somehow retreat into this cave of catch-up.  I read leisurely as if I’ve been censored all my life, I catch-up with current/new music, and I eat.  These seem to be how I conduct myself while enjoying the quite mountains and ease of suburbia.  I basically run away from the mayhem of city life — from Boston.  It calms my very erratic mind and I recharge for whatever may come in the coming year. 

What I see:
A view looking out to our backyard.
Yes, those are deer! (FYI: My camera lens was smudged)
View one evening.
Musical Obsessions:
Artist – Album
Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros – Up From Below
Seabear – The Ghost that Carried Us Away
Penguin Cafe Orchestra – Signs of Life
Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History
 Carla Morrison – Aprendiendo A Aprender
Literary Musings:
Author – Title
Bill Bryson – A Short History of Nearly Everything
Anthony Bourdain  – Medium Raw
Sloane Crosley – How Did You Get This Number
Haruki Murakami – The Elephant Vanishes
And so I’ll end with a lovely song.

Bye bye bye….2010! Hellllooo….2011!

I think I’m going to try to behave as if my last post was just the other day — its just easier on my psyche.  And I will definitely refrain from saying my last post was from last year — that just might tip me over the edge.  I know its been awhile but as usual — life has been a hectic rush at the last leg of 2010.  Frankly, I was beside myself to have that year over.  Let this new year ring in with all its new possibilities for success, growth, and even love.  And even with all my cynical and slightly neurotic posts — I do have a tiny bit of love in my heart (somewhere in there) and I’m grateful for those that have remained close to me through thick and thin.  2010 was a hard year filled with mistakes, challenges, and disappointments.  It started early on in the year and rolled all the way through to the end.  
As I look back at my end of the year post from 2009 — I’m amazed at how two consecutive years can bring such opposite results.  2009 was filled with lots of travel, friends, and laughter whereas 2010 (albeit travel heavy still) brought with it a sea of menace.  They say not to dwell on the past but to look forward to the future.  Oh I’m looking forward to it alright.  I’m staring at it right in the face!  But I do say this about 2010 — it has truly taught me (unlike most years) to be prepared for what life throws and to understand that we can only control ourselves.  Someone once said to me, “the way you approach and tackle a difficult situation is how you should measure your successes in life”.  
And so instead of  delving into the difficult times of 2010 — I thought I’d try to put a positive spin by relishing special moments and things that I loved.  Its my first positive act to ring in the new year with gusto, bravado, and gumption.

Memorable Events:
My brother receiving his PhD
Staying in a 200 yr old Cape Cod house
Reuniting with with dear old friends in NYC & FL
Challenging Events:
Attempting hot yoga
 Music I loved:
 Artist – Album
Monsters of Folk – Monsters of Folk
The xx – xx
Rodrigo y Gabriela – 11:11
She & Him – Volume Two
The Big Pink – A Brief History of Love
Bats for Lashes – Fur and Gold
Broken Bells – Broken Bells
Florence and the Machine – Lungs
Claudine Longet –  Greatest Hits
Yann Tiersen – Goodbye Lenin!
Donovan – A Gift From a Flower To a Garden
Mirah – (a)spera

This year I’ve decided not to make a list of typical resolutions but instead to make a mental promise of accomplishing attainable tasks.  So by the end of the year – there aren’t regrets or disappointments but merely happy inevitable accomplishments and perhaps even surprising outcomes.  No forceful expectations — with only a promise to put maximum effort in whatever I attempt to do.   
Hope you all are enjoying the first moments of 2011 already and may this year be the start of a beautiful, prosperous, and healthy new year!  Hip hip!


“A” 4 riting

I know this post is somewhat random — but when are they NOT random?

Recently, in an academic grant writing class, students were given an exercise to review and edit our neighboring peers.  We each were given an assignment to write a scientific proposal for a future study and told to switch amongst our peers to accurately gauge each student’s work.  I succumbed to that terrible fear of being discovered a hackjob and terrible writer, so I put as much effort as I could muster into this assignment — about a day’s worth.  Trust me — that’s a generous portion.  As we swapped our writing samples, I prayed  that the individual who received my work refrain from manically breaking down in hysterically laughter.  
Then I focused on two samples given to me.  And I read.  And read.  Then re-read.  And I quickly realized the following:  people have no concept of the English language — its form, appropriate grammar, and even rudimentary spelling.  That being said — I did a mental manically hysterical laugh in my somewhat psychotic brain and breathed a sigh of relief.  Phew, I guess I wasn’t that much of a dumbarse writer after all!  Of course, my blog posts clearly represent otherwise.
Then I thought the death of eloquent and succinct writing had met its maker after the inception of instant messaging and ultimately text messaging.  How we write for efficiency and speed not content or quality.  Honestly, I’m probably the initial individuals to blame who certainly perpetuated this form of communication as it allowed for quick in-your-face gratification.  My earliest recollection of an instant message was as a freshman in college — or as I like to call it — the dark age of technology/internet when one was chained to a computer instead of actually going mobile. 
Then I remembered seeing the following on Jimmy Kimmel and it basically tells the story of where our future generation may be headed.  And its a dark one folks….
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

This is what I’ve succumbed to…

Recently, the physiological nature of my home, my person, and my overall mental capacity has been — to put it mildly compromised.  
I believe this picture explains it all:

Now granted this might not be the EXACT photo representation of my current state of affairs.  But it certainly sets a close example.  As I write this, I have (yet again) a moundful (nay heapful) of reading, writing, and analysis to be completed.  All in the wonderfully fruitful and exhaustive timeframe of a day.  So instead of delving into the mindful world of science and the challenges of NEVER answering the age old hypothesis of whatever — I blog (i.e. procrastinate).  And so the picture you see before you is not only a cartoonish representation of my current state but a close sample to what has become and what inevitably will be.  Being mindful that I do lack some things from this pictorial sample.  Like that blue plate and  actually having ears.  Plus I lack that strange yellow triangle thing up the top of my head.  I mean don’t be ridiculously absurd.  Overall, it is still fairly accurate. 
As a quick update — which I’m known for such — I saw the recently released movie, The Social Network.  As most 99.9% of the population succumbed to the procrastinating effects of this devilish internet platform — I needed to understand the history behind it.  Why was this done?  WHY?!  And when this was in its creation — someone should have stopped Mark Zuckerberg and said, “but we implore you — this will only drive more decreased productivity and evil will only ensue”.  At least that’s how I would of said it.  Really.  Overall, the creation of Facebook was an inevitable progression in the human need for information — albeit it useless and painstakingly time consuming.  See my previous post.  I do admit to coming home and having a slightly elevated appreciation for the coding platform itself.  The CS nerd in me that never came to be was highly captivated as well as sufficiently intrigued in knowing more.  So I googled and googled and Facebooked. (yes, that night).  Until I came to the horrifying realization.  
And it was simply this:  that the option to Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook to “Add as Friends” was painfully disabled.  I was left with nothing but misery. 

Hello, Newman

“Mister postman look and see
If there’s a letter in your bag for me
I been waiting such a long time….”
In the past, the relationship with my post person has been fairly rudimentary and followed a simple equation:

post person receive/deliver mail + Emily open mail box/pick up mail = happy.

Its been this way for YEARS in every city and every place of residence.  This relationship protocol has seemed to have halted temporarily however seeing I have been receiving messages from my current post man.  Let me explain.  My current place of residence has been a new experience — in that its a much older building then what I’ve lived in the past.  I like to call it vintage styled with its old hard wood floors, small walk-up feel and housing only six apartments total.  Its charming and quaint and I find myself working beside the bay windows much of the time.  Its got that neighborhood charm.

Now here’s where it gets a little nutty.  Each tenant must put their LAST name and APT # on their respective mail box.  A task I thought was given to building management.  As a result, I never made it a priority to make the correction/update.  In the past two weeks, I’ve been receiving a message here or there courtesy of the USPS man/woman indicating various versions of: “please put name on mail box”.  Now in my own ingrained paranoid NYC mind — I thought the following:  1) I don’t want my neighbors knowing my last name, 2) will the transaction of mail not be complete if said name refuses to appear on box, and 3)  F–k you mail person!  And went on my merry way.
Until I received this yesterday night:
Message from my postman
Now I was mad.  How dare he/she write in CAPITAL letters with exclamation marks! EXCLAMATION MARKS!  And write the slightly threatening, psychotic looking, “no name, no mail” message.  As I raced to get to class while still holding this wretched message my mind raced of all the things I could possibly do in response:
I could write my name in illegible cursive .
I could write in tiny print
I could write in a ภาษาต่างประเทศ (foreign language) (in Thai). 
I could respond simply with the word “No”.
Finally, the thought of ignoring the message was high on my list.  Then the obese hamster in my rusty mind started running on its wheel and I thought:  are they legally aloud to withhold mail simply because a resident didn’t have their name on their mailbox?  What about P.O. boxes?  Or places like dormitories?  These days 99% of my mail tends to be junk.  So it actually thrilled me to think I would be rid of those things.  In the end, the thought of not receiving the 1% that I do consider to be critical or important mail outweighed my neurotic, slightly mad and overly evil ways of countering.  
Damn you Mr. Postman!  Apparently Newman was right:
“When you control mail, you control INFORMATION!”

Crazy doesn’t begin to describe it…

Sometimes I think I blog to avoid any means of REAL productivity work-wise.  Hmm — nope I’m pretty sure that’s the case.  Across from my beat up old laptop lay a mountain of published papers to be read, analyzed and stored away mentally for brilliant thought provoking interchanges in class.  Some days I adore the intellectual stimulation and some days I quite literally feel as if I’m just barely holding on.  In fact, the other day while sitting in class, a fellow classmate leaned over and whispered to me, “did you read?  I have to admit I focused so much on our upcoming projects I simply read the titles for these journal articles.”  My mind raced as I mentally shouted, “I KNOW!  ME TOO! WHEEEE!  Yea, so I’m not the only dumb arse here.”  But I politely responded, “meh, I read hopefully its an easy night.”  Secretly, I wanted to pat him on the back and say, “welcome to my world friend”.
I do tip my imaginary hat to those academic braniacs who seemingly balance that careful line of academia while still maintaining a sense of actual normalcy and human persona.  How do you do it?  How?! Because quite frankly — I do need to be led into this tiny secret society.  Times like these I think (for the millionith time) why I chose a profession/career that required (amongst the basic of things) a detailed grasp on the study and analysis of proteins/peptides.  To be able to take a compound/subject/sample and to determine its amino acid composition, molecular weight, peptide mapping, etc etc etc.  Argh!  Now this thing is slowly seeping into my PERSONAL BLOG.  My HOME! My place of venue to vent and express how strangely bizarre it is to have an entire apartment vacant of clutter yet still maintain an untouchable corner of chaos — riddled with unopened mail/used tissues/stacks of half read books.  To the unadulterated eye it visually brings imagery of slight madness, obvious clammer, and a complete sense of disarray in a sea of order.  This table is symbolic and a physical sample of my mind.
Sort of like this.
Yes, its times like these that I think I wish I could rewind 10+ years and rework the following majors  or minors (computer science, creative writing, art/design, foreign language)  into what was already a packed academic schedule.  Perhaps I’d be living and writing about a different life.