Friday, November 27, 2009

Sweet 16

I went to the 16th birthday party of a family friend. It was an odd mix of Indian and American birthday parties.

Tips for fathers giving 16th birthday photo slideshows:
  1. Don’t put multiple pictures on one slide. Make them big so we can see all the embarrassment.
  2. On the same note, we don’t need quite that many. Just pick the funniest ones.
  3. Let her sisters do the talking. They have funnier captions.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for my family, who has, does, always will love me.

I’m thankful for my roommates. The current ones, with whom I share so much, and the past ones, who I wish I could see more often.

I’m thankful for my friends (who include all of the above as well). I definitely need to work on allowing myself to get closer to you, but even now, what would fun be without you?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Research Position!

Today, I am happy. Not just because my essay is done (thought that is contributing).

I (almost definitely) have a place in the neurobiology lab that I really wanted to work in! Starting next semester, of course. It’s exciting, though, because the lab researches some often overlooked stuff. The professor is really nice, and the lab is small, so I’ll actually get a chance to talk to her.

Second semester junior year…better late than never!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Anatomy Essays

I have an essay due for anatomy in a couple of days. It’s supposed to be our personal and professional reflections on the book Stiff. And guess what? The author, Mary Roach, is coming to visit our class on Wednesday!

The book's pretty funny, I liked it. What I’m worried about is the style. It’s a bit informal. I think the first part sounds a bit like a blog post. Oh well, it’s just anatomy.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

UC Protests

If you haven't heard yet, the UC Regents are increasing fees by 32% this year. That means a $1000 increase in fees by next fall. This is a public university! It's meant to serve everyone, including those who would be left out of a privatized system, and to serve them damn well! All of the UC campuses are extremely good schools. Berkeley alone is in the top 10 for the nation in 35 out of 36 undergraduate departments.

I understand it's not completely the Regents' fault - the economy is putting pressure on the state government, which of course begins its chopping with education. The tuition increase doesn't affect me greatly - it's inconvenient, but my family can manage it. But I know plenty of people who can't. I'm not in the situation of the Regents, but there has to be a better way to deal with this than by placing financial burdens on the faculty, workers, and students (especially without consulting them).

Including all of its campuses (according to its website), the university represents some 220,000 students and another 170,000 staff and faculty. That is a lot of people, who are all in the powerful position of being involved in higher education. We've got the students, faculty, and staff banding together. 5,000 of them marched as one during the walkout on September 24. Can we not get the administration to join us and make the state hear our voice?

At any rate, I just saw this video from AggieTV. Way to hold the fort, Davis! We need to get the administration to see that we are serious.

日本語のパーティー (Japanese party)

A group of people from my 日本語の class had a party last night. My roommate came with me, and we thought of leaving when the other girls did, but we stayed. Good decision. It was actually way more fun with just the guys. I learned to play beer pong (but with water), which I am apparently pretty good at, and then we rocked out on Guitar Hero World Tour – we make a pretty good band!

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Not me, just people salsaing.
(Image from Creative Commons)

On Thursday night, I went to a salsa party hosted by the Social Ballroom Club. The founders of this club are friends of mine who, like me, tired of the stress and drama of the competitive ballroom dance team.

Only D-dog came with me. Dizzle couldn’t make it, but she said it sounded “yummy!”

Yummy? Huh?

Oh, I get it. Well, this was a salsa dance party, but I do like chips and salsa too!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

On the Origin of Species

As of 4 pm today, my apartment contained 14 copies of the Origin of Species (special introduction by Ray Comfort, a.k.a. the Banana Man) I love my roommates.

We’ll keep 1 for each of us, and 3 have already gone to friends, but there’s 7 more. You can have one if you promise to laugh at the intro.

I also love these bookmarks a student group was handing out right next to the free Origins.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pickup Lines

My roommate got hit on in the oddest way I've ever heard of.

On her way to a physics review session, D. realized that she was a little bit early, and decided to pick up a copy of the Daily Cal newspaper and sit outside while she waited for the review to start.

A tall, blonde, slightly geeky-looking guy (geeky we're fine with, but he was just weird) sat down next to her.

"So…do you read that often?"

"Oh, um, no, just every now and then."

His phone rang. He ignored it. "Oh, do you know when the new issues come out?"
This still in reference to the school newspaper, which has the word "daily" in its name (to be fair, it's no longer printed on Wednesdays due to budget cuts).

"Oh, you know, every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday…"

"Oh, okay." He tried to chit-chat a little bit more. Eventually he decided he ought to pick up the still-ringing phone. With a reluctant sigh, he finally said, "I guess I should answer that."

"Uh, okay."

So he went off to the side talking on the phone and it was soon time for class. As D. walked towards the classroom, tall guy was standing near the door, so she gave him a normal smile, thinking he was a normal, if slightly awkward, person.

Immediately, he said to the person he was talking to, "Oh, I'll call you back later," and caught up with her.

Long, awkward pause.
"Would you like to be given the chance to hit on me?"

D. was utterly confused, wondering what on earth he meant. "What?"

"You know, do you want to be given the chance to hit on me?"

"What do you mean?"

"You know, you're supposed to compliment me in some way or say something nice about me. I'm not really sure what ensues, but we'll get to that when it happens."

"Oh, um, I think I'll pass."

"Are you sure? Do you want a rain check on that? Oh, wait, it's not raining. How about a sunny day check?"

"Uh, maybe next time…"

Luckily, it was time for the review session to start, so D. managed to escape.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A "Major" Decision

I was talking to a friend about my major and career goals (research, not medicine), and how I ended up with them because I like solving puzzles. It reminded me of a thought that’s popped up a couple times lately.

If I hadn’t fallen in love with biology, I would probably be a computer science major. The thought seems odd. But the more I think about it, the more I believe it to be true.

となりのトトロ (Tonari no Totoro)

I finally watched My Neighbor Totoro. You know, the animated film by Hayao Miyazaki?

It’s really cute, but the details are what got me. Satsuki and Mei truly act like children their age. It’s in the way they jump around, sing, and tease each other. Despite the fantastical premise, it lends the film of a sense of reality – enough to keep you absorbed.

And I want to ride the ねこのバス (cat-bus)! It looks so comfy…

My Roommates

From now on, I’m using the nicknames another friend made up for me and my roommates. He named us all [initial]-Dog. I was S-dog, my roommate C-dog (which eventually morphed into Sasscat because she was being sassy), D-dog, and J-dog (which became J-dizzle, which became Dizzle).

Collectively, he called us (or our physical apartment) “the Pound.”

Well, I guess that just means he couldn’t even beat a dog/cat in Scrabble or Cranium ;)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Mother's Dreams

I wonder if my childhood desire to become an astronaut stemmed from my mother. The dreams she remembers when she wakes up very often include flying.

In dreamland, it’s very simple to fly. Apparently, you just have to flap your arms like this, or spin like this, or put yourself in an arabesque-like pose. My mom always wakes up feeling that, wow, she’s discovered the secret! Only to realize that it doesn’t work out here.

Perched on a Hyphen

I said I would do a post a day in 75 words, but I didn't say I would give up my longer posts (and I didn't say I wouldn't, thought that was mainly because it didn't fit under the 75 words). And this one is most definitely long, but it's okay, because I've finally discovered how to put things after the jump!

I've mentioned this before, but I'm Indian-American. I don't mean American Indian, or rather, Native American (honestly, just because Columbus got his geography wrong doesn't mean we all have to). I mean I'm a desi. I'm from the Indian subcontinent. Except I was born here in America.

As I used to say when I was younger, I'm 100% Indian (genetically, from both my parents) and I'm 100% American (born and mostly raised here). Unfortunately, I've always been extremely skinny and I have no twin or clone, so anyone who looks at me knows that I am obviously not 200% of a person.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Gathering Storm

My library hold on The Gathering Storm, the twelfth book in the Wheel of Time series, has finally arrived. I started Wednesday, a break from studying for my anatomy midterm, but only managed 50 pages. Yesterday evening, the immersion began, ending today.

Robert Jordan was an amazing fantasy writer (may he rest in peace). Brendan Sanderson, despite some stylistic differences, was able to keep true to the feel of the series. I am happy.

A New Plan of Action

I've been writing 50-word stories on WeBook. It occurred to me yesterday that such a format might apply in other areas as well. So every day will bring something interesting I have experienced or read that day. In 75 words (or 50 for an uninteresting day). It’s short and it should keep me posting every day.

Today (I’m sleeping late, so technically yesterday), my roommate decided we should bake Super Mario cupcakes sometime soon.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Religion, Or Lack Thereof

I would consider myself an atheist. I'm not adamantly against the existence of gods, I just don't believe in them. I need either evidence or experience from which I can extrapolate, and I haven't really seen any 'proof' of God or Allah or Zeus that I think could not possibly be explained by science. But everyone's heard this argument before. It's extremely true, and (at least now) one of my main reasons for not being religious. I will probably come back to that in some future post when I've been reading about how some religious ideology has resulted in a lot of people being hurt, as seems to happen quite often. But for now, I want to talk about something slightly different, a very short experience I had with being religious.