Friday, November 30, 2012

This Week's Lesson's learned

Christina Aguilera-Let there be love

(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!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A nice moonscape and another nice T station ad

Ed Shereen-Kiss Me

Here is a picture of yesterday's moon from outside a building in an MIT courtyard:

 Isn't it lovely?

Here's a nice ad from the Porter Sq T stop. I don't know why I like it so much:


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Some musings from this week

Bruno Mars-Young Girls

(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?


(2) This is an interesting article from the Times about anxiety: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/11/24/the-snake-in-the-garden/ Actually the whole anxiety forum is very interesting.(http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/category/anxiety/)

(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.

(4) I found this photo randomly (c/o google+):


I have more musings but I have to  stop and do some actual work...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

And it's time for another poem

Not perfect, but today I wanted to wax poetic:

Today I felt a windy breeze
that pushed and pulled against my knees.

The clouds blocked the sun
rain plus snow are no fun.
let's hope tomorrow this wind will ease.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Time to celebrate!

Usher, Ludacris, David Guetta-Rest of my Life

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!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

5 more things!

Ellie Goulding-In My City

(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.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving/First world problems

Short/satirical SNL skit

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!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

This week's lessons learned

Ed Sheeran-Wake Me Up

(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 what You 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.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

My First Periodic Table

Birdy-Skinny Love

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)!



Wednesday, November 14, 2012

This week's lessons learned (thus far)

Brian Benham-Mess

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.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Another mini Stoic lesson

Ellie Goulding-Explosions

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.
-Socrates
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, I have 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 can control 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...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans Day, this Week's Lessons Learned, and some fun stuff

Ed Sheeran-Give Me Love

First off, *Happy Veterans Day*

(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.

Now for something fun. Although I hoped to keep this blog apolitical I must say thank god we have four more years. Here's another reason why I <3 Anderson Cooper http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/08/ridiculist-confusing-sweatshirts/?hpt=ac_mid
"You mess with MIT you get a little good will hunting up in your grill."

Lastly, how cute is this: a couple of 88 years (both over 100) finally take their wedding photos. I feel like this is going to be me if I can make it to that long and convince some unsuspecting soul to marry me: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/09/husband-and-wife-ages-101_n_2090119.html

Friday, November 9, 2012

Perhaps there's hope for me yet!

Lady Gaga-Dance In the Dark (I cannot believe I haven't posted a L. Gaga song on here yet considering I'm a huge fan.)

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!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

3 Cool Career Choices

Simon and Garfunkel-The Boxer

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.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Monday, November 5, 2012

5 more things to know about me!

Billie Idol "Dancing with myself"

(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.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

This week's lessons learned

Kaskade "Stars Troll"

(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.