Tuesday, January 29, 2013

8 Best/most interesting articles

(1) oh Man oh Man...I'm not crazy! (AND neither are most women...)
http://thecurrentconscience.com/blog/2011/09/12/a-message-to-women-from-a-man-you-are-not-%E2%80%9Ccrazy%E2%80%9D/

(2) Effort is what makes life worth it, when did it go out of style? (or I guess how come it never was in style???)
http://nymag.com/news/features/27840/

Quote that sums it up: "Expending effort becomes stigmatized—it’s public proof that you can’t cut it on your natural gifts."



(4) On performing at your personal best...and the importance of a coach/mentor to help along the way:
http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/10/03/111003fa_fact_gawande?currentPage=all

(5) Deliberate Practice/The making of an expert. I've been extremely intrigued by the body of research done by Anders Ericsson. (I highly recommend his main book that publishes a better context and supporting research of expert performance:  The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance)
http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/training/becoming-an-expert-deliberate-practice-part-1.html

(6) Comprehensive Soldier Fitness + Authentic Happiness: This is the basis of my toughness plan:
Mental Strength of Life-Army Comprehensive Soldier Fitness
http://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/newsletter.aspx?id=1552

(7) NEVER GIVE UP:
http://www.limitless365.com/2012/11/30/never-give-up/

(8)The main reason I am obsessed with Leonardo Da Vinci. His collection of human anatomy drawings are incredibly intricate and gorgeous. Although I think I read somewhere that his anatomical drawings were part of his process in creating accurate depictions of human essence in his paintings, I see these drawings as art itself and interpret them as realizing that art sits within each of us. In essence, we are art personified. IF I wasn't trying to control my hypomanic spending, I'd totally invest in a book of his drawings. (Maybe for my birthday...)
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/07/17/leonardo-da-vinci-anatomist/

[T-2 Days until my FAVE holiday!!!!!!!]

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hilarious Jeopardy Moments

OK, each of these jeopardy videos are simply hilarious. New favorite pastime is watching funny moments on jeopardy--well worth it:

(1) Wolf Blitzer failing miserably at Jeopardy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bd2ySV7AfgM

The thing that gets me is that they gave a picture of a pasta that clearly doesn't look anything like fettuccine. Rightfully earned -$4600.

(2) This poor kid is so choked up/nervous, aww:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fwKl8pBPVg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

The comments are pretty funny though. 

(3) AC's triumph on jeopardy--Just adding more to the list of reasons why the Coop is so great:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Z7M_DKxzic

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The toils of a faulty jaw



Greetings readers! Today I'm going to write about my TMJ problems (i.e. my gum chewing disorder.) While I allude to this in jest, I must say that my TMJ problems are actually the cause or a result of a number of the current health problems I endure (migraines, clenching, sleeping problems.) Hopefully anyone reading this that also has TMJ can relate/understand.

Basically TMJ is a blanket-term for issues of jaw opening/closing. Typically the problem is either caused my constriction/over-exertion/inflammation of the masseter muscle (in milder cases of TMJ) and/or issues of the actual jaw joint (hence the name temporo-mandibular joint located adjacent to the ear and serving as the junction between the jaw and skull.)

I was first diagnosed a few years back by an ENT when I went to have some ear pain checked out. It was found that my jaw clicks and is not aligned adequately and was probably the result of 1. clenching at night and 2. excessive gum chewing. I was instructed to not chew gum (prior to this diagnosis I was an avid gum chewer chewing probably close to 4-6 hours a day for years since I got my braces off in 8th grade.) Additionally I was told to avoid certain hard or chewy foods (bagels, peanut brittle etc...) and was also advised to get a bite guard (occlusal guard) to wear at night. While I've more-or-less kept close to abiding to those restrictions (the gum is where I slip and I'll try to keep the "chewing" to a minimum though) what happens at night while asleep is a different story. Depending on my fatigue level I'll still clench vigorously even with the guard (the guard is really there to prevent further damage of teeth but it does nothing to prevent clenching.) It'd be one thing if this issue was limited to my jaw, but excessive clenching will lead to sleep problems and eventually the onset of viscious migraines.

A word about migraines--anyone who has suffered through them knows that they are truly insufferable (basically a blow to the head where I'm particularly sensitive to light and also become unbelievably nauseous.) The best thing on earth is excedrin migraine and ultimately blacking out from the pain (which is why I freaked out during last year's excedrin recall.) Unfortunately the caffeine in excedrin is what helps the migraine (and the only thing that helps it---without it I'll continue to suffer basically non-functional for several hours to almost 1 day) but I'm also hypersensitive to caffeine and unable to sleep once I've consumed it...which leads to sleep problems (and the other string of problems that follow inadequate sleep.)

I'm still trying to find something that works with the clenching. This appears to be an area where, if targeted in TMJ therapy, could alleviate a good amount of the anguish that comes from having TMJ problems. I've read literature on how botox aids in paralyzing the masseter muscle so I'll look into that eventually, but long-term use of botox has it's own issues and it's still unclear if the issue will persist once botox treatments are stopped (one needs injections every few months.)  Also, botox will help target the muscle contraction issue but if one's TMJ is a result of a combination of muscle and joint problems then the joint problems will still persist. Hopefully I'll have some more insight into this as I'm trying to fix this in my life. I bring this up today because I've endured quite a bit of problems this week due to excessive clenching (most likely brought on by stress) and found out about the TMJ support group online which is very informative (http://www.tmj.org/site/)


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Let's Hope Common Sense Prevails"

Back To Love!

Enjoy these words of wisdom from the POTUS.

"Let's hope common sense prevails"

Call me a little narcissistic if you will, but I really think B-dawg and I would make great friends. Especially since we both think Michelle is wicked awesome and, oh yea, I like having healthcare.

Enjoy your day folks!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Five more things!

Taylor Swift-I Knew You were trouble

I feel like I haven't put one of these up in a while:

(1) I've secretly always wanted a Chia pet. Ch-ch-ch-chia! I wonder what kind of plants these are anyway. Whatever they are, what a great invention.
(2) I don't really like flowers at all except roses and I like to grow orchids because they're non-fragrant. I really really want a Blue Orchid. The one time I ever took the Orange Line I saw some woman with a beautiful blue orchid and I asked her where she purchased it but I couldn't get what she was saying. (I'm sad to report that I think my current orchid has died...darned frosted windows, but I'm still optimistic that I might be able to revive her!)
(3) I love Interview With the Vampire...weirdly I hate horror films but there's something about this one that's dark and intriguing.
(4) The first time I saw The Godfather I was 6. My parents thought this was a classic...I'll never forget the horse head in the bed. Epic.
(5) As a kid I was deeply afraid of blowing my nose in public...I really don't know why, maybe I thought my brains would come out or I might have just had sinus anxiety. :/

Monday, January 7, 2013

As the bunny goes...

I wanted to share a nice quote that my friend MB back in MI sent me:

We never see bunnies walking,sliding,or moon walking. They are always hopping because God ordained them to, it's in their DNA. Although they hop slower sometimes than others they just keep on going. Sometimes we must go slower as well but lets never stop. Let's go hop into destiny this year.

Ironically, here's a picture of my Lapin Copain that I took last week. Sure he's small and moves, but when found in nature he's kind of cute:

Friday, January 4, 2013

Chow Chow Genghis Khan, The Debate on Kwanzaa, Knitted Snittens and more: Musings from this week

(1) OK, It's really not that cold outside or perhaps I think my threshold for pain might be increasing? I say this after a 7 degree morning yesterday but I hope so--that's the point of my life right now. Stay healthy, fit, and with a purpose and the cold doesn't seem to disturb me. The wind on the other hand works against gravity and I'm just a tiny person so I can't help what goes on there.

(2) I'm still annoyed about Mr. Mouse. My dad's suggestions were either cheese or deer urine---neither of which I keep in my apartment...I'm hoping this is in someway a Stoic/Character building experience, but I'm more irritated that the rent in this place is insane and there's no one to call when I encountered Mr. Mouse. (My concierge proved useless citing that he's just as afraid of mice.) It's unfortunate because of my irrational and particular fear against small things that move. Anyway, my building stated that I'll have to wait until Wednesday :o(.

(3) Moving on, I saw this picture of Martha Stewart's doggie Chow Chow Genghis Khan II and was immediately uplifted. There's something about her dining with this bear that I find hilarious. Despite my allergies, I would totally get this dog since it looks much larger than me and while falling into the wikipedia vortex I've discovered some interesting things about Chow Chows: 1. Freud had one that he used to see patients with since he believed that the dog could pick up on certain aspects of human personality, 2. Martha Stewart lost her first Chow Chow Genghis Khan I in a Kennel fire previously, 3. owning a Chow Chow might increase your insurance premium as these doggies contribute to aggressive dog bites. Here's a great picture of Chow Chow Genghis Khan II at lunch with Martha (apparently it took home a Blue Ribbon for "Best in Breed" at a dog show):


(4) So while I'm always disappointed if someone else is filling in for Anderson Cooper on AC 360, but this time the substitute was held her own in this debate on Kwanzaa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMDGCPbSz4M
Part 2 is even funnier

What a magical TV moment.

(5) Lastly, I was sitting at the Marriott at Kendall Sq yesterday trying to read (as I frequently do because of its proximity to Starbucks AND the T station) and because of colder temps lately the lobby was definitely not well heated and I came up with a great invention: Knitted Snittens. Unfortunately, a quick google search revealed that I've already been beaten to the idea (http://www.indie.com.au/post/indie-products/clothing/winter-wear-melpdesigns.html), but I hold total royalties on that name.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A letter to my most recent visitor: Mr. Mouse

Dear Mr. Mouse

How are you? I'm not doing too well. Today was not great for me. I tore a hole in my nice scarf since it got stuck in my zipper at the gym (see photo), the radiator in my bedroom is leaking and making spooky sounds (as you may already know), and I've been stifled by your unexpected appearance.

I'm sorry you were frightened by my scream, but you have to understand that I did not invite you and I'm really not sure you and I can be friends. We don't have much in common and I just think you'd be happier with your family and friends in The Commons. I know it's cold outside but be tough, I think you can handle it. I've left Mr. Wolf Blitzer on the tele so you will not be entertained and so you are aware that this is my apartment and I'm paying rent, so you must go. I'm hoping you are not offended, but I've only got a few more weeks left until my exam and I don't want your occupation to disrupt my zen. Please understand. Take care and best of luck.


Sincerely,

S

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Years Pleasantries

Greetings and Happy New Year! 


video

(1) Above is a nice rendition of me playing Jingle Bell Rock on Christmas on my piano back in michigan. There's still mistakes (even after playing this 3+ hours) and everything is forte (even the piano and mp parts) but I'm just glad I could at least throw a coherent piece together after not having played in over a year (muscle memory prevails!) so enjoy one last holiday tune! (this took way too much time to make but I'm glad I think this video works!)

(2) Some quick thoughts from the past year: First off I'm incredibly glad and lucky that I moved to Boston. As a child I've always wanted to live here so it's amazing that I'm finally here. I do love this city. Secondly, I'm incredibly thankful for my friends here (esp PK and AL--thanks for a fabulous NYE!!), my family (and extended family), and everyone else in my life that looks out for me despite distance/time. Everyone is unique in their own way and has their own role in my life and I'm the better for it. Thirdly, I'm glad I decided to take control of my life again. The evening of Hurricane Sandy with PK planning on how to fix our lives was epic and rebuilt me. I also consider myself very lucky to be in my post-bacc, to work in my lab, and the experience of studying for the MCAT. Each endeavor has undoubtedly made me better as a student and a person and enhanced my insight on becoming a doctor. Lastly, thanks so much to all my readers, thanks to the fine gents of Hotties on the T for enjoying my blog and exposing it new readers and, of course, continuing to entertain me whilst on the T, and special thanks to the blog that inspired me to start my own blog: PK's Blog http://one-thing-today.blogspot.com/

2 Big lists:

(3) OK, resolutions which I already started mid-december so they're in full-gear by now (I don't wait for a calendar to tell me when to start resolving my life) here goes:
1. Have an undefeated mind and conquer pain.
2. Stability
3. Stop impulse purchasing (to the best of my ability during hypomania).
4. No excuses, no exceptions. Always play like a champion. 
5. Deliberate practice. Everyday.
6. Care
7. Remove/minimize encounter with life toxins
8. Improve cholesterol to "best" range for LDL and improve vitamin D levels to well within the range.
9. Resolve
10. Resilience: Fall Down Seven times, Get up eight
11. Grit
12. Diet: Minimize sugar intake. Sugar is a killer. Eat fresh things and eat 3 meals per day.

(4) Also, here are some nice lessons learned from my previous posts from 2012 and some randoms mixed in:
1. Resolve to be better/never stop trying to get better.
2. When we love we always strive to become better than we are. --The Alchemist
3. Find a way to make your life work.
4. Per Epictetus (famous Stoic) suck it up, move beyond misery, keep fighting.
5. Greatness is a process.
6. Love all things and people greatly
7. Keep Calm and Carry On
8. Always always always be nice and kind.
9. Ignore the Chatter
10. "Nothing worth having comes easy."
11. Respect your parents, they gave you life and you owe them everything.
12. "Don’t be put off from your past failures. Welcome them, and then destroy them." 
13. You were very impressive in your time here, and that does not just go away.
14. Grit means I have to show up for life every day. 
15. Every day you don't do something to achieve your goals is a day you're getting worse. 
16. Boundaries   
17. Failure is never permanent! 
18. Never underestimate your need for personal space/privacy in a clean living space.
19. Protect yourself/Support yourself. 
20. SAVE

OK whew...

Anyone needing help on their resolutions check out an old HBR post entitled the Betterness Manifesto: http://blogs.hbr.org/haque/2010/05/the_betterness_manifesto.html