Ok, the video below was brought to my attention by another AnderFan whom I just recently met! It is Anderson Cooper's talk show and is just hilarious. I'm not even going to question why he throws someone off his show that he brought on in the first place, but it's AC and he can do things like that and get away with it. Enjoy!
(1) When we love we always strive to become better than we are. --The Alchemist
(2) Find a way to make your life work.
(3) Per Epictetus (famous Stoic) suck it up, move beyond misery, keep fighting.
(4) Resolve to be better everyday.
(5) I love and practice Stoicism because it pushes me to deprive myself and endure various internal and external stresses in life. Resilience makes you immortal in this realm.
(6) I personally invest myself in every relationship/friendship in my life fully. Despite coming off as self-absorbed, I genuinely care about other people and consider people. When you know me you know me for life (unless you criminally offend, then it's game over.)
(7) "We are only half awake"
(8) Greatness is a process.
(9) I choose to love all things and people greatly.
(10) PK is a wonderful friend and baker. Below is a photo of the cookie box she gave me. Isn't this cute? I like it when my food is in the shape of wild animals. These cookies were delicious, thank you PK!
(1) “It is not within our power to forget or gloss over circumstances which we believe to be evil…They tear at us, buffet us, goad us, scorch us, stifle us — and you tell us to forget about them?”
While I love the theory and practice of Stoicism, the post above from The Stone adequately captures the inadequacies that I've encountered upon how to appropriately deal with certain life events through Stoic ideology. Refinement appears to be in due order.
(2) Here is picture what I hope to be my new doggie. I found this furry guy outside Whole Foods today and he seems to be eager to pose for my picture. I don't suspect I'll be able to get a doggie anytime soon since I found out I'm allergic to dogs and cats, but on the off chance I do get one I would like to name him Captain Furrgeson or Professor Snout.
(3) A picture of my gorgeous Christmas ornament! For some reason I find ships (or perhaps it's the concept of aquatic voyages) incredibly intriguing. Although I don't really celebrate Christmas I thought this was too pretty to pass up. Plus, the fact that I can look at a tiny ship in the ocean makes me feel like a giant.
OK, Despite being only Tuesday I've got some stuff to share:
(1) Examine your life always.
(2) Examine your life always.
(3) Collective Angst.
(4) Oxytocin can actually alleviate the impact of stress on the cardiovascular system (literature provided upon request.)
(5) Those poor Connecticut babies :o(
(6) No matter how cranky I am upon hanging up the phone on my dad...always, always, always just call back 10 mins later.
(7) Xtina Aguilera cannot view EVERYONE's facebook profile, you have to accept her as a friend first (ok I knew this, but I imparted this gem of wisdom onto my dad during my phone-call back.)
(8) I know absolutely nothing about managing finances and I desperately need to read some books.
(9) NEVER GIVE UP: http://www.limitless365.com/2012/11/30/never-give-up/
(1) Happiness can come in unexpected places.
(2) Ignore the chatter. There are a million plus one people out there who will try to give you unsolicted advice. Most oftentimes it's inaccurate, uninformed, or unsuitable. IGNORE IT.
(3) If at first you don't succeed, try try again and again and again.
(4) Always always always be nice and kind.
(5) Obesity is a very serious health disorder that is extremely misunderstood.
(6) It's time...to pick it up
(7) my quest is to make the world better through medicine. Things I do on the side or during my fits of highs and lows are just that...appreciate talents for what they are and don't attempt to make everything a priority in life. Sometimes, some things are better left in the background to pull out or rely on in times of agony or even in times of glory. Not everything is meant to define you indefinitely.
(8) "Nothing worth having comes easy." Per the asian way of parenting, nothing is fun until you're good at it. Despite what's known as "innate talent" on this side of the world, in eastern countries it's believed that all individuals really have the ability to achieve anything as long as they try hard enough and are dedicated long enough (barring any serious physical disability.) I've experienced this and am experiencing this first-hand. People who believe otherwise have never actually pushed themselves to succeed in something they weren't good at naturally.
(9) Ubi sunt qui ante nos fuerunt?
(10) Et, Où sont les neiges d'antan!
(11) "Don’t be put off from your past failures. Welcome them, and then destroy them."
I want to spend a minute and reflect on the importance of the Supreme Court's decision to hear two cases on the ban of same-sex marriage. (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/08/opinion/next-civil-rights-landmark.html?ref=global-home) Regardless of whether people believe in marriage or not or believe in same-sex marriage or not I think the heart of these cases is about love and whether the State (and Federal) governement recognizes that love does not discriminate against the gay or straight or rich or poor or colored or non-colored or religious or non-religious. Love just is what it is.
At lunch we took a nice walk through the Ether Dome exhibit (http://www.massgeneral.org/history/exhibits/etherdome/). I've been on this plan to become more tough (I'll explain later) but on one of the plaques I read the awesome quote above that exemplifies my major goal in life right now: to conquer pain (in essence, to conquer myself--read on.)
This week has proved to be extremely informative about how one small decision can have a significant impact on a number of different areas. I've joined a new gym and I've decided to go to bed earlier and I'm a much better person in a number of ways for both of those reasons.
(2) Whilst settling into my new routine/toughness plan I feel indestructible. I really do feel like I can climb a mountain (well...work towards climbing a mountain and make it to med school and publish my book and finish my other writing projects and master the piano.) Perhaps it's because I can now climb 10 flights of stairs with relative ease or stand for 6-8 hours and not feel it. Excruciating effort feels amazing. I found this quote a while back from the abstract of the book Aquarium by Victor Suvorov about Soviet military intelligence. I feel it really captures my current attitude on life:
Man is capable of performing miracles. A man can swim the English Channel three times, drink a hundred mugs of beer, walk barefoot on burning coals; he can learn thirty languages, become an Olympic champion at boxing, invent the television or the bicycle, become a general in the GRU or make himself a millionaire. It's all in our own hands.
If you want it you can get it...
Success comes only when the training, of whatever kind (memory, muscles, mind, willpower, stamina), takes a man to the limit of his capacity. When the end of the training becomes torture. When a man cries out from pain and exhaustion. Training is effective only when it takes a man to the very limit of his capacity and he knows exactly where the limit is...
That's the road to glory. That's the path to success. To work only at the very limit of your capacity. To work at the brink of collapse. You can become a champion only if you are the sort of person who, knowing that the bar is about to fall and crush him, nevertheless heaves it upwards. The only ones who have conquered themselves, who have defeated their own fear, their own laziness and their own lack of confidence
I have a lot on my plate left to conquer. By no means have I conquered even a fraction of what I want to do, but that's what helps me stay on track. That's what helps me get up at 430 every morning. That's what helps fix what I need to fix in health and in my life. That's what helps me eliminate things and people that are just toxic. That's what will help me eventually conquer pain. That's what will help me conquer myself.
So I'm posting some musings from this week since these items don't really fall under lessons learned or 5 things to know about me. Moderately uneventful week though, but extremely productive nonetheless.
(1) Something's amiss today: I not only admired a tiny dog shoved down someone's coat on T and I also just now helped a small child who was playing in between the elevator doors while his dad left him and his little sister unattended. Children and small dogs...it seems I'm on my way towards some progress in life.
(2) On that note, I found out from my allergy test yesterday that I'm allergic to Oak trees, ragweed, all types of mold, cats and dogs, and some other stuff I can't remember. This makes sense now and hopefully I'm on my way to better health!
Obviously the photos taken are despicable when the man should've been helped, but I also can't help but consider my T experiences. First off I am incredibly thankful for the MBTA and that because of the T I don't have to drive and I'm a much better person not driving. I don't like that I'm almost always shoved out of the way at park street and I do get concerned sometimes that I might get thrown off the stairs since people are always in such a rush. It's really mainly park street where this is a huge problem since the other redline stops are not so terribly crowded in comparison, but I wish sometimes people would be a little more considerate since we do have to share the T/T station.
(5) While I'm no fan of cats, for some reason this picture of Colonel Meow just gets me cracking up:
(6) Lastly, much to my dismay and due to my ignorance of bird migratory patterns I have recently been informed that those pigeons that I'm terrified of will not be leaving for winter so I will have to somehow learn how to deal with them. Sigh...
(1) I really do LOVE the tinsel during the holiday season. Festive decorations put
me in a better mood. Here are some I took last night of the lights of the Commons/State House! Stupid iphone camera is so blurry at night.
State House and Holiday Lights
Boston Common lighted Christmas Tree (as seen from a distance)
Boston Common Lights as seen from my roof!
(2) My week was filled with impulsive decisions which now make me excited about stuff again.
(3) I read 4 books during thanksgiving. I'm quite proud of that :o)
(4) I really do love hot chocolate. Even if I don't make it right and it turns out in 3 different phases:
Mexican Hot Choco from the MGH gift shop...3 phases and yet still scrumptious
(5) I have to force myself to go to bed
everyday. Life is just so invigorating for me that I never seem
to want to turn off the lights or the mind. gruff!
(1) Anything really worth doing is scary.
(2) Keep calm and carry on.
(3) It's very easy to dismiss or disregard people. I'm grateful for my ability to look past any labels and just be kind to everyone.
(4) By the same token, it pays to be nice to everyone.
(5) Wonderful opportunities can arise in the most unexpected situations/circumstances.
(6) I really do believe my capacity to do things is limitless..."suck it" to those who hold me back.
(7) I love the feeling of being scared. That's my way of knowing I'm pushing myself.
(8) Also, I LOVE holiday cheer and tinsel. They've decorated my lobby beautifully and evidently there will be lights put up around the Commons which I can't wait for.
(9) I'm not the only one who laments the dissipation of written letters in our society: http://www.theschooloflife.com/blog/2012/11/john-o-connell-on-resurrecting-the-pleasure-of-the-well-written-letter/
(10) I truly have some annoying neighbors. Keep quiet I'm trying to sleep!
(1) Today at lunch we were talking about dogs. Now I don't like animals smaller than me, but I do want a doggie that looks like the one in the photo below. It's an Old English Sheepdog to be exact and I'm fairly confident this bearish figure is probably bigger than me. It's the doggie from the Little Mermaid and apparently they're docile herding dogs that are called the Furry Nanny since they occasionally herd small children. I'm pretty small, so maybe it'll keep track of me too?
(3) Remember just how difficult it must be for our veterans: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/us/the-hard-road-back.html
There's a lot of insight on this Times forum and I'm incredibly interested in the medical treatments of injured veterans including trauma (TBI's are the hallmark injury of the Iraq war), orthopaedics, neurology/psychiatry (PTSD etc...) I'm hoping to find a rehab facility for veterans here in Boston where I can volunteer. A Special THANKS to our troops and veterans! Thanks for freedom.
Today I found out I have passed my cholesterol test! Sure I'm only 26.5 years old, but I'll take whatever victories life throws at me at this point. I'm in the "near ideal" range for LDL and the "best" range for HDL and the "desirable" range for overall cholesterol and triglycerides. (Mayo Clinic Guidelines ). I hope to jump to the "ideal" range (<100mg/dl) for my LDL next year and maybe also make even more improvements on my HDL. Let's hope this diet/life-hacking toughness plan helps! I was born for the fast life!
(1) I love cookies and cake. If I could, I would join a cake-eating contest
and I bet you I'd be a front-runner. Funfetti cake with rainbowchip
frosting. YUM. Too bad for my diet...
(2) Style is my weakness.
(3) I haven't set foot into a movie theatre in 4 years. The last movie I saw at a theatre was Harold and Kumar 2 Escape from Guantanamo back in the summer of 2008. It's been 2 years since I've watched a full movie in general from start-to-finish in one sitting. I'm not entirely sure why this is, but this puts a lot of pressure on a movie selection for me...the next one better be pretty good.
(4) On that note, I was an extra in the third installment of the Harold and Kumar Movies
(A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas.) I got
paid for just standing/walking around looking cute in winter gear while shopping in a mall--I was born for this. Thanks to my manager/former engineering boss (Tony!) for the opportunity. As my talent manager I did give him 10% of course. I never saw the movie though so I'm not sure if I made the final cut, but I don't think I did.
(5) I love sending holiday cards. Watch out for yours in the mail--yes, paper mail which I've already mentioned how much I love. Nothing cutesy though, I find that tacky.
First off, Happy Thanksgiving. Despite the fanfare that goes with this holiday, it actually is a good idea to remain thankful for what we have--health, shelter, clean drinking water, heat, safety, a stable government/infrastructure etc...
I've been pondering the subject of first-world problems for a while now and it seems appropriate to post the video link above of a Saturday Night Live skit that tactfully and hilariously illustrates the disparity between living in a first-world country like America versus a third world country. Truly speaking we are ridiculously lucky to live in the free world and those of you who have actually experienced life in a third world country in any manner can attest to the difference in the quality of life between even lower income areas in America and poverty/disease-stricken third world countries. Just some food for thought!
(1) I might have to accept the fact that I want something that no one can ever give me and just compromise. (2)My mind is my biggest obstacle. (3) Trust whatYou want to do--don't let others dictate what you should do or what is best for you. They have no f--ing clue. (4) You Can Do It. (5) I have extreme seperation anxiety. (6) Every day is an opportunity to be tested and to learn. (7) Class cannot be learned, procured, or bartered, but it can be lost. (8) There are 27 bones in the adult human hand. (9) No single flaw defines me. (10) Putting a duvet cover on my duvet is up there on my least favorite tasks to-do (darn my short wingspan.)
(11) Quantum jumping is flipping awesome.
I believe everyone in science should have a proper periodic table. When I was in 8th grade my teacher gave all of us a gorgeous periodic table. Because I am obsessive-compulsive about preserving everything in my life that's important to me I have managed to keep this periodic table for 13 years and it's in pretty nice condition too! I still use it all the time and it includes the full names and electron configurations of all the elements (something most tables don't have.) Feel free to take and use it (sorry it's blurry though)!
Week is turning out to be crazy so here's some lessons thus far: (1) Ack....I have to put this one again, but it is what it is:
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are
strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It
kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. -Hemingway
(2) Things and people are not what we wish them to be nor what they seem to be. They are what they are. -Epictetus (3) I'm not the only one that believes philosophy has been unjustly detached from public/modern life: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2012/nov/08/what-can-you-really-know/?page=1 (4) The one thing you should never lose is yourself. (5) My inability to let go, accept, and move forward is slowly breaking me. (6) I am definitively On My Own. (7) What is real? (8) Understanding people is extremely difficult (and it makes it harder when I'm already a complex individual.) (9) I hate that I am so misunderstood. Some special lessons I got from my former engineering boss, Dave (special thanks Dave!): (10) Have confidence that you know what to do, even if it means asking someone else (11) You were very impressive in your time here, and that does not just go away.
I've put up the following quote before but I am posting this again especially as a reminder to me.
If you don't get what you want, you suffer; if you get what you
don't want, you suffer; even when you get exactly what you want, you
still suffer because you can't hold on to it forever. Your mind is your
predicament. It wants to be free of change. Free of pain, free of the
obligations of life and death. But change is law and no amount of
pretending will alter that reality.
Without getting too detailed into where this coming from I will say this. I do think the above statement is true and yet I still I struggle with accepting change and have so for quite some time now. In fact, Ihave an intrinsic fear of change to the point where I essentially become riddled with anxiety as I seek to figure out what I can control. This is tough because my beliefs in fatalism run deep and it sometimes makes things difficult for to recognize what things I can control. The Stoics believed in fatalism, but also embedded into their ideology was the notion to only be concerned with things we cancontrol and things we can partially control. I would like to think that one-hundred percent of the time we always have control of how we react to things so maybe that's the place to start. More on this later...
(1) I'm stuck.
(2) I am highly agreeable.
(3) Don't trust everyone.
(4) Every one degree difference in longitude is equivalent to 4 mins of time.
(5) Although circumstances or situations may be different, they may not necessarily be better.
(6) Those metal gloves in Porter Square T station are actually a public art exhibit each characterizing an emotion or movement of people in transit. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glove_Cycle) They're actually part of a larger collection known as Arts on the Line which sought to introduce art work into the MBTA T stations in the past few decades (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arts_on_the_Line#Artwork) Fascinating! Except it doesn't include that picture I took a while back about artwork I saw at the Park St T station.
(7) I have catastrophic thinking.
(8) I'm grossly misunderstood sometimes.
(9) Invest in others as much as you expect them to invest in you. Otherwise, let go of your expectations of others.
I recently read this article in SA Mind (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=when-nice-guys-finish-first) about how being nice can have it's benefits. While it is certainly true that I think I (almost desperately) seek social harmony, I don't necessarily view that as a bad thing. On occasion I challenge beliefs, and assert myself when something of moral principle comes into question. I took their quiz (http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-nice-are-you-quiz) and (not surprisingly) scored as highly agreeable. Most of the description on there holds true except that I don't enjoy children unless the children are quiet and are acting like adults. The best compliment I received this week (heck this year and possibly ever) came from the concierge guy in my building-this guy is also a Reverend-and he said that the first time he met me he knew I had a pure heart. I find that very nice since I strive just be uncomplicated and nice (although having an uncomplicated life proves to be quite a challenge for me.) Take the short quiz above to find out how nice you are!
I've been thinking a lot about my career lately (insert panic attack.) While there's nothing in this world that can possibly deter me from wanting to be a doctor I was thinking about these 3 professions that would be cool if they existed (or still existed.)
(1) Philospher-It should come to no surprise that I long for this to be a profession since I've indicated my love for philosophical theory (esp. Stoicism which I try to actively practice) multiple times in other posts. I find it a little disheartening that the occupation of lifelong contemplation of our existence, reality, and our roles in society/the world, for all intents and purposes, is nonexistent. Back in Ancient Greece, large schools of philosophy were an integral part of the civic infrastructure and were professions that contemplative individuals joined to learn from previous scholars and either continue the education through formal rhetoric or diverge and establish new-found ideologies based on their studies. These were devoted individuals who loved knowledge/the art of thinking and even sacrificed their lives for their principles (ie : Socrates, Seneca etc...) I understand that religion has partially served to fulfill this role in society, but what about for those of us who wish to pursue The Thought without being entrenched in theology? I try to comment and think about the world, society, and my role in society on this blog, but it's a little difficult since I consider myself just a disciple of Stoicism and I have no Stoic teacher to whom I can ask questions or learn from.
(2) Tooth fairy-Basically my favourite book as a child was "No Tooth, No Quarter" and I really wanted to be a tooth fairy until I realized it wasn't a real profession. Actually, I wanted to be Queen Denteena-Queen of tooth fairy land.
(3) Explorer of the world/voyager--No one does this anymore. Or perhaps we
are all considered explorers of the world these days. Either way, I'd be thrilled if the King
and Queen of Spain gave me a bunch of money to go on a nautical voyage with large ships, but unfortunately I don't see that happening anytime soon.
(1) Aside from disliking things smaller than me, I have a serious fear of birds. Ever since I was 6 and saw the Hitchcock movie "The Birds" I am terrified of the avian species (why my parents allowed me to watch a horror film that young is beyond me.) This fear has only gotten worse living in a city filled with filthy pigeons and chickadees. Shoo shoo, go away!
(2) I have a weird obsession with/crush on Anderson Cooper. And Jon Stewart for that matter.
(3) I fight against my fear of escalators almost every day. How come
no one else is concerned about the sharp edges? Especially the steep
ones in porter square station that seem to go on forever.
**Remember remember the 5th of November. (Happy Guy Fawkes Day!)
(4) Voting is a very important right that I (and everyone else) ought to take seriously! GO VOTE TOMORROW!!!
(5) I would jump at the chance to be on SNL. Comedic timing is a gift and those actors are brilliant at what they do. I would love to be important enough to host SNL one day.
(1) Take severe weather warnings seriously.
(2) We are lucky to live in America--I'll explain this one later.
(3) There is an important difference between fragrance-free and unscented.
(4) Some people (and things) are just noise.
(5) Only allow yourself to break from an activity after you have had the urge to quit 3 times (i.e. workouts, diets etc...)
(6) Getting started is the hardest part.
(7) Grit means I have to show up every day.
(8) I am not allergic to fin fish (although I was told this test has a 5% margin of error.)
(9) Everyday is a game; you have to play it if you want to win.
No musical theme today either...if I have time next weekend I'll make an audio recording of my poem with spooky sounds.
In honor of the Halloween festivities I will write a poem about the many things I find scary. Boo.
'twas the night of the 'ween!
The evening of all hallows!
As I lay in half slumber,
fearing the diet I start tomorrow.
"No cookies!" they say
Cakes and chocos? Out of question!
Nothing savory, nothing packaged
"Try some flackers" was the suggestion.
Tonight the dreams turn into nightmares of insects, rodents, birds, and massages.
Yucky mold and mildew, and dust that covers all visages.
Kidnappers, burglars, stalkers and bandits.
Ghosts, goblins, witches and all those spooky spirits.
Escalators, shaky trains
Going gray from my growing pains.
Getting shorter, getting smaller
The MCAT, AMCAS, and med school soon to follow.
"Oh forget it!" I exclaimed. The diet can wait for after tomorrow!
Happy Halloween! Stay safe during trick-o-treating!
(1) Stay SAFE
(2) Aim to be healthy
(3) I really need to watch the news/weather more or at least get a weather app. I almost missed this hurricane if it wasn't for the kind people in my building.
(4) Get pumped
(5) Nothing is fun until you're good at it. Nothing is more fun until you're good at something hard or that you once sucked at. Nothing is most fun until you're an expert at what was once hard for you.
(6) We are what we repeatedly do. 10,000 hours--I do believe it. If that doesn't work, then do 20,000, then 30,000.
(7) It's always a choice to NOT to take the easy way out.
(8) I'm in the midst of trying to conquer myself.
(9) Along the same lines, I employ a lot of people to fix my life.
(10) Per the coast guard, Semper Paratus
(4) Frontline of leadership from HBR: http://blogs.hbr.org/frontline-leadership/
-I used to read this when working on that end of things and I just found the posts to be very enlightening on the parallels of leadership in the corporate world and leadership in the military.
(6) This last one is from one of my posts a few weeks ago where I mentioned reading a profound blog post, so here is that blog: http://www.colinsshorts.com/ I urge my readers to read this because Colin is a super talented writer.
I'm also in the midst of reading Dr. Gawande's The Checklist Manifesto (the actual checklists he has implemented at Brigham are shown in the video.) I love the ideology behind this book especially since it reminds me of a checklist I used to use as an engineer when designing things. It makes sense that engineers and production sites use checklists, but I always enjoy seeing a core principle that has already streamlined/improved one industry transcend disciplines (especially when the application is in medicine.)
Don't ask why I'm up this late. I got lost in reading about medicine again. Enjoy folks!
Obviously the thing I want to do in my daily life is be a practicing doctor, but beyond that here are six natural landmarks or things in nature I want to see or do in my life. Hope this encourages you all to think about what you'd like to see in nature too!
(1) Aurora Borealis--also known as the northern lights (OR aurora australis -the Southern lights.) See how pretty they are!
(4) A Safari during the largest land migration in Sub-Saharan Africa. Apparently millions of large land animals migrate towards food/water. Now I don't just want to go on a lame jeep tour. I want to do one of those adventures where you sleep in cabins in the middle of Sahara and the Lions and Cheetahs walk around your cabin and scratch on your doors in the middle of the night. Adventure? I think so!
(5) Caves- ok I know i'll have to overcome my fear of small animals (i.e. bats) and insects but I really want to see the stalactites ever since I was 8 and received a book from my teacher on Caves.
(6) Hold a Panda in a Chinese Panda Sanctuary. This goes hand-in-hand with holding the Koala at a Koala sanctuary. Anyone who knew me between the ages of 6-8 knows that I was obsessed with Pandas to the point where I'd memorize facts and make presentations to my parents about this animal.
(7) Climb some sort of mountain. I always talk about how it's important to me to push myself physically and aside from getting in shape to do this, I think the experience itself would be amazing. Now I will be realistic and not try to do something ridiculous, but there's these luxury hiking tours from Abercrombie & Kent where other people carry your packs and food and you stay at nice hostels along the trail.
Lastly, yay to the Detroit Tigers for beating out the Yankees 8-1 and making it to the World Series! Detroit seriously needs a win, let's hope this is one for the books!
(1) I need to invest in myself as much as I invest in others.
(2) Worry about myself/have some faith in myself.
(3) I can do this, but I need to catch my breath.
(4) I need to stop chasing after what's not mine, not worth it, not worthy of being mine, or what's not right for me.
(5) I need to find a way to stop being so critical of myself to the point of self-persecution.
(1) Whilst browsing through iTunes I came across Wes Anderson's most recent film Moonrise Kingdom. I guess this was released for rent earlier this month (and evidently I somehow missed the theatrical release earlier this year.) Now I don't recall the last time I've watched a film, probably almost 2 years (and it's been more like 5 years since I've been to a movie theatre.) I might stick out the 90 minutes for this one because I find Wes Anderson to be a cinematic genius for a number of reasons: his choice of retro style, outlandishly crazy/compulsive characters who proceed as normal throughout the films, his portrayal of dysfunction within a family unit, the dry humor, and of course his use of imagery. Here's the trailer of this film which I find darling.
(2) After watching this trailer I couldn't help but stop and ponder about some aspects of love that I think are just forgotten these days. I love that this film brings back the art of letter writing. I think part of why I adore the idea of letter writing is that it is so much more personal than an email. Now if only I can find a pen-pal. Secondly, I'd like to refer back to a previous post of mine that talked about vulnerability's role in clicking with another individual. The article I posted also referenced a questionnaire that was given to accelerate the level two daters connect. The questions are very interesting: http://www.bakadesuyo.com/2011/08/is-there-a-shortcut-to-bonding-with-a-romanti/
(3) Anyway, naturally I've progressed to pondering about the concept of love and how it makes its wicked way into our world in unexpected places. Of course it's prevalent in music and other art forms but I often consider how love is everywhere. Obviously I love medicine, but a lot of the philosophy literature I read is soaked in visions of the philosopher's love for thinking. Lastly, I noted in an earlier post that I've finished my book. (Obviously that is until I read it again and completely change it seeing as I'm constantly editing my work and as I think Marquez said it best that you never stop editing your work, it just gets published.) At any rate the only reason I mention this is that I think my book of poems has emerged from my encounters of love's dark side in many ways. I have purchased my Writer's Market and now am hoping I find a publisher. I give myself 8 months...wish me luck (or better yet hook me up with a publisher.)
(4) Before I end this post, I'd like to lament for ten seconds that today is my half birthday. Ughh twenty-six and one half is flipping old.
(5) I ramble on about all kinds of negative things on here so instead I wanted to end this post by sharing a random act of kindness I encountered today on my way home. I was pulling out my keys from my pocket in front of my building when my eye drops fell out of my pocket. I adjusted my items (phone and keys and things) before considering bending down but in the mean time a nice gentleman wearing a pinstriped suit must've seen me drop them and bent down before me to pick them up. I think, especially on the east coast, it's been rare for me to find individuals who are just kind people. I'm not naive to think that life was going to be like Sesame Street when I grew up, but I do believe in others and society and I do think everyone has the capacity to just be kind. Hopefully this encourages anyone reading this to pursue a random act of kindness to a stranger on the street.
The world breaks everyone and afterward many are
strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It
kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. -Hemingway A Farewell to Arms
(1) Sometimes I'm just not enough.
(3) Always keep building on who you want to be. (Maybe contentment will be achieved one day...)
(4) Apparently vulnerability has something to do with establishing a firm/solid relationship. Perhaps this is why I make friends so easily?:
(5) There's an appropriate time, place, and audience for the real me.
(6) First impressions are rarely incorrect. Trust what you have already seen.
(7) I live next to Marmaduke. Woof woof.
(8) Failure is never permanent! (a repeat)
(9) I really really really need to find a publisher for my book.
(10) The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. -Hemingway
There is no music for this post. Just words. I did not intend to write today...
Until I read the blog of a friend and the ticking clock of life was thrown into the foreground of my current existence. I will link to that blog in a later post (as it is one of my favorite blogs) but would like to leave my readers with this impromptu short prose:
What do you do when a fire emerges that quickly turns into the uncontrollable conflagration which inevitably will consume your soul? Those of you who've walked through fire understand this feeling of helplessness; you are just one individual fighting a war against an army of great numbers eager to devour the essence of your existence. Perhaps the question is not what do you do, but rather what can you do? Furthermore, what will you be left with when all is lost and over? We would not have remorse for lost time or missed opportunities if we always lived with that ephemeral feeling of urgency that lifts our spirit into an everlasting-awakening.
I often reflect upon a story that one of my former bosses from Michigan once told me about the manager of the army depot we used to frequent for our vehicle production. (Forgive me if this story is a duplicate--I am suffering from déjà vue and sense that I've wrote this somewhere before.) The story goes that the manager had inquired about the quantity of some material or part and the response from an employee was that we don't have enough parts or materials to finish all the vehicles on the line. The manager cleverly responds "I'm not worried about finishing production at this point, I just want to start."
I think about that phrase a lot especially as I've been removed from my engineering career and the workforce for some time and I'm left suspended in this existence of being "in-between." I just want to start. I moved here to Boston under the premise that this aligns with what I eventually want to do with my life and it does--I don't spend a lot of my time convincing myself that this is part of the journey. I'm just trying to go along with it. I spent today in an orthopedic surgery conference thing learning about arthroplasty. I just want to start. I spent the summer and most of my time in Boston thus far adjusting and working to move forward against multiple resistive forces of life that keep jilting me back. I just want to start. I just want to start. I just want to start.
Now, in reference to that blog, this week, and some other stories. Outside of my pathophysiology class I have encountered on numerous occasions this week the degenerative diseases that I've learned thus far. There are no coincidences in life. Fatalism prevails. Before I read my friend's blog tonight I was remembering how this individual used to talk to me about his plans to become a writer and his plans to allow him to take leave from work to become a writer. While I did not disclose this to him at the time, I promised myself that I would invest in his "kick-start" (I think that's what he called it?) because I believed in him and I also felt the lingering ghosts of dreams, aspiration, your life's purpose that you know are/is attainable because they hauntingly beckon your motivation and existence now. We kept thinking "we just have to be patient." We just want to start.
Holy smokes! I think, I THINK, something went right in my life! My move was insanely seamless today despite all the odds stacked against me (the rain, not enough boxes, half of my items unpacked, lack of BH parking, limited time.) This was surprisingly NOT stressful and not filled with late extortioners. My TR movers were fabulous and I am shocked that this worked out this well (thanks to the movers by the way.) I am excited to be able to hang up my artwork (which really is important to me) and I feel like I can finally breathe. I automatically feel so much better just being somewhere else right now. WHEW! I will of course have to work out what's going on with my previous place and the other places that I've invested money into, but hopefully those are logistics that can sort themselves out. Suffice to say, I really feel renewed and optimistic that I feel like I can actually handle life.
I hung out with one my friends last night whom I hadn't seen in a very long time and she put this perfectly when I was exclaiming "how much more stuff can one person take?", her response: "it stops just when you think you can't take any more."
Tomorrow is my moving day encore for me. Wish me luck.
5 more things to know about me!
(1) I never want to stop being a nice person.
(2) I know how to weave. On a real loom. These are the looms I learned on at Cranbrook (fun fact: the weaving studio at Kingswood is the largest in the country):
(3) A part of me is a little incomplete now that I don't get to practice piano here.
(4) I really like painting and wish I had the time to further hone that skill. I've been painting as a child (acrylics on canvas) and I love it.
(5) I'm a textbook histrionic. (http://www.health.am/psy/histrionic-personality-disorder/)
This week has proven to be a battle once again, but I've
really stopped to think about what is it that I really need to sustain myself and persist as a functional being and what in my life is just adding to the endless frivolity we call self-indulgence. I hope this urges my readers to at least lend a fragment of consideration to what they really need in their life and what in their life is just kitsch.
(1) A place. A sacred/clean/hygenic space. Whatever it's labeled, I have not had a stable environment to return to for a very long time. As a result, this has thrown all sorts of other things in my life off-kilter. My study space, my meal plans, my exercise routine, my sleep schedule, and even my usually full social life.
(2) A routine or schedule. Even if it shifts day-to-day, it's important for me to have a schedule and stick to it. Not having a solid placed to stay where all my books and items are in order has also placed a strain on being able to sustain a schedule.
(3) People. I find I get super-bummed if I'm not surrounded by people or hanging out with people. I'm a social creature that thrives on interaction with others. I'm not the only one though. I read an article a few weeks back from my favorite blog (a nytimes philosphy blog) http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/26/the-living-death-of-solitary-confinement/ which discusses the importance of human interaction in defining one's identity and consciousness and how individuals living in solitary confinement in prison become plagued with psychological issues. Fascinating! I think isolation or lack of interaction affects some more than others, but obviously solitary confinement is the worst.
(4) Daily workouts. This can make or break my sleep patterns and mood and energy level.
(5) Looking after. Whether by nanny, life coach, or husband it is clear with the way I've handled my real estate issues that a solid second opinion is in firm order to hold me back from making my irrational and decisive decisions. While no one has gotten hurt in these experiences, a lot of money has gone out the window and I've just been stressed and when I'm stressed I don't eat. So there are snowball effects. I think having someone who looks out for me is very important for my well-being, but unfortunately my current circumstances don't permit that. Until then, I have my crystals and my psychic.
(6) A creative outlet. I am crafty and artistic and I like making collages and paintings and playing piano. When these parts of my life are stripped from me I tend to wander aimlessly or become fidgety. Here is a picture of my most recent painting from Paint Nite. While not my best work, I still think it's somewhat pleasant.
(7) The Challenge. What is life without the challenge to better ourselves in every avenue? What motivates us to move forward and help others then? I think a lot of us can realize that having a certain challenge to propel ourselves forward is the key to not only self-improvement but also the eternal motivator.
(8) Freedom. I grew up in a wildly liberal household where I was basically allowed to do whatever I wanted (within reason.) To compensate in this world of rules, I now try to fill my life with people who at least either understand or support my ridiculous plans/activities or offer sound advice on when to act differently in an appropriate and non-patronizing tone.
I believe, to date, the most disheartening realization that I've come across in my lifetime of twenty six and almost one-half years is that it is almost nearly impossible to change this world. I am constantly troubled by not only the injustices that I experience, but also the ones that I am attuned to as I meet more individuals from various walks of life. Truly speaking, my real estate issues are trivial in comparison to the individuals I know who are either buried in student loans or living hand-to-mouth on limited incomes and grossly inflated Boston rental rates or the even more unfortunate individuals I don't know who can't pay off their medical bills.
I remember this statue back at Cranbrook of Diogenes (a Cynic Philosopher) holding a lantern. The story goes that he used to traverse the streets with a lantern in search of an honest man. I think, according to Cranbrook's history, the Booth's placed the statue in the middle of this spiral staircase to the Cranbrook assembly hall because they thought that was relatively inconspicuous location and only those of pure-heart or something could see it. (I'm sure I've botched this story somehow.) Anyway, here's a photo I'm sure I have one I took myself but I'm too tired to find it now.
*Lastly, but perhaps more importantly, I want to thank the readers of my blog! I hit 1,000 page views today since I first started my blog in May! Yay! Now I know 1,000 doesn't seem like much (and I should really only count 500 of them) but I don't have facebook or other social media to advertise my blog on so this count is pretty close to measuring the actual readers of my blog that I've recruited which I'm pretty excited about. At any rate, I'm glad y'all enjoy reading my ramblings! Here's to 1,000 more!
(1) Sea horses--this is just about the only exception to my aversion of small animals that move and that's probably because this is an aquatic creature. I LOVE seahorses. They look so peaceful and majestic. What a gorgeous creature!
Did you know: 1. that the male is carries the baby seahorses instead of the females in a pouch 2. there is a longsnout seahorse and a long-snouted seahorse (different species)
(2) Whales--this should of course make sense since they're so big, but I love whales because it boggles my mind how tiny I am and how large they are. I often wonder how big I am in comparison to a whale's anatomy. Am I the size of it's fin? I find that so interesting. I need to still go whale-watching-next summer!
(3) Manatee--These gentle creatures look like giant teddy bears in the water. Of course I've never met one so I'm not sure if they growl or not, but from what I've heard they are very kind sea mammals. Let's hope the poaching stops so I can meet a manatee one day. Normally, I think babies are annoying but this baby manatee looks very cute.
Did you know: Manatees can weigh up to 1300 lbs and are up to 13 feet long (c/o wikipedia) ? That's more than twice my size. They are also the only animals with a vascularized cornea and they sleep half the day in the water.
(4) Octopus--I'm sorry but these things are amazingly vicious and yet deceptively gorgeous too. I think I pick this because I love the number 8 because if you turn it sideways it is an infinity sign. Did you know that: (1) An octopuses first strategy is to to hide when in danger. I feel like I know far to many people who are like that too so perhaps that is a legitimate defense tactic? (2) Octopuses also eject ink as a second line of defense in order to bamboozle predators. Ink=pepper spray for women. I think these creatures are on to something. (3) They have very good eyesight too.
*Picture from Baltimore's National Aquarium. Clearly I did not pay attention to the 'no photography' sign. (5) Jellyfish--Ok This last favorite sea creature is just a pretty to see and I am fascinated because of bio-luminescence and its biological applications. I once read that the protein that allows jellyfish to appear illuminated has biotechnological applications such as gene marking. This research/application won the Nobel prize in chemistry.