…and they make me want to run around in crazy circles.

That is all.

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It’s been awhile…

I’m not going to lie — there have been instances where I COULD have blogged, but I just decided not to. Funny thing is, I can already feel my ability to write eloquently slowly deteriorating. Just the other day, I forgot how to spell “embarrrassed” and had to look it up. I’m turning stooooopid!

Can’t be helped.

Anyway, I just wanted to jot down for anyone who cares to read/know that next week  I will be taking my GRE. Here’s to hoping I don’t fail dreadfully.

Alas! Back to studying for this week’s two exams!

Much love.

It’s that dreaded time of the year again; the time when the edacious, mind-thirsty final exams lurk in the dark corner commonly called the end of the semester. Starting from tomorrow, I will have a total of 6 exams left to cruise through study tirelessly for before my long overdue freedom finally arrives. Well, that is until summer classes sprout their evil, little heads. Without a doubt, I deserve a relaxing break in the foreseeable future.

Before I’m left with no more than 5 brain cells due to neural overload, however, let me first invest some of my quickly depleting neurons in this entry — or rather, complaint.

Fifty-two dollars for a tank of gasoline?! Much to my dismay, my bank account balance just shrank from an opera singer of ample proportions to a thin model that sways with a gust of light breeze. I kid not. What with the horrible Austin traffic, unfailing barrage of red traffic lights, and ghastly summer Texas weather that makes you feel like you’re living at the core of the sun, 16 gallons of gas doesn’t translate to much — especially if you drive a full-size sedan and constantly need to go buy groceries because you have a daily appetite equivalent to that of 10 grown men. Alas.

It appears as though my music repertoire has grown immensely in the last month or so, causing much distress with my dieting iPod. Imagine a mother trying to stuff Gerber’s baby food into a implacable child who refuses to eat because he/she has just satisfied himself/herself with the discovery of the hidden chocolate chip cookies location. I knew I should have gotten a fatter baby… I mean, an iPod with a bigger capacity. I’m now left with a mere 13.3MG of free space, which equates to one copy of Bolero by Maurice Ravel. I feel too attached to my current iPod to purchase a new one with more storage; however, I can’t keep playing an endless game of mancala with my old and new songs as pebbles either, displacing one in order to accommodate another. Alas.

I’m done with the pseudo complaints for now. Onwards.

I’ve decided on a few selfish goals I hope to accomplish before I wrinkle up and die — selfish being objectives that are unrelated to saving the world, of course.

1) I want to master all 8 major languages, apart from maybe Russian (I know my limits). It hasn’t quite been decided on when this endeavor is to take place as of yet but hopefully it’s achieved before old age dementia sets in.

2) I want to learn to play the violin and to play it well. Since early childhood, I’ve dreamt of owning my own violin and creating breathtaking music from it, but (as many friends already know) my mother pulverized that dream. I believe the beautiful words that escaped her skeptical lips sounded like this: “To play a violin, you need both intellect and skill. You have neither.” (Except in Mandarin.) So, I turned to piano and flute instead — the former because my mother said I have hands fit to play the piano and the latter because… I can’t recall why.

3) I want to be pampered at a spa from head to toe. I want my mom at my left and my sister at my right. I want us to get massages, pedicures, manicures, facials, everything. I want to giggle at how ridiculous we all look with cucumbers on our faces and cotton balls between our toes.

4) I want to write a book filled with stories from my parents’ childhood to early adulthood and contrast that to that of my sister and my own.

5) I want a set of gorgeously decorated tea cups made solely of milk and white chocolate. (Don’t judge!)

6) I want to be the architect of my final house. To this, my mother responded: “Who’s going to want to buy a house you designed?” And with a smirk, I told her — ‘Everyone.’

Thus far, that’s where the list ends. Perhaps as time progresses I’ll hold more selfish tendencies and desires.

Recently, I obtained a handful of sheet music for the flute and piano; all of which are classical pieces. I’m quite ecstatic about returning to Houston after finals are over and freeing my flute from its dusty confines. Did I mention my sister signed up for the 6th grade beginner band as a flautist for the following academic year? I must say I can’t help but feel sparks of merriment from within — I can make her my little pupil! Whips, angry glares, and all! Ah, young minds ready to be molded.

If time permits, I will add another page to this site titled “Musique” right under the pages “Révélé,” “Le contrat,” and “Nouvelles” listed in the upper right corner. It will contain a select few pieces of (mostly classical) compositions in my possession of which I believe those who lack can take advantage. I must warn, however, that most of the pieces are flute solos or flute with piano accompaniment, but individuals adequate in the area should easily be able to translate the notes into their desired format. Although I have a wide collection of compositions, most of them are hidden somewhere in the jungle back in Houston, i.e. my closet, piano bench, attic, bookshelf… However, there are a few currently with me in Austin worthy of noting:

(In arbitrary order)
1. La Chanson de l’adieu from Étude No.3 (Opus 10-3) — by Frédéric Chopin [Flute with piano accompaniment]
2. Ave Maria — by Franz Schubert [Flute with guitar accompaniment]
3. Concerto in C Major for Flute and Harp (I. Allegro) — by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [Flute solo]
4. Concerto in C Major for Flute and Harp (II. Andantino) — by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [Flute solo]
5. Concerto in C Major for Flute and Harp (III. Rondeu) — by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart [Flute solo]
6. Thaïs (Meditation) — by Jules Massenet [Flute solo]
7. Morning Mood (Op. 46) — by Edvard Hagerup Grieg [Flute solo]
8. Salut d’Amour (Op.12) — by Edward Elgar [Piano solo]

I forgot to mention — I bought a pair of Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 earphones. I must say they work exceptionally well and are exceedingly more comfortable than those silly earphones that came with my iPod. Especially worthy of note is the noise isolation property, which translates to a clear sound devoid of all the excess, extraneous sound contaminants I would otherwise hear with regular earphones. There’s a distinctly strange feeling I have when I listen to music using my UE earphones — the music appears to be in my head, for lack of a better explanation. When using other earphones/headphones, I both feel and hear the music coming from an external source. However, using my new UE’s, music appears to be a product of my own nerve impulses rather than a product of an inferior product’s electrical circuitry, thus, producing sounds directly in my brain as opposed to indirectly through a middle mechanism. I can’t describe it any better than that. Suffice to say, instead of simply listening to music, I become the music. The comfort is also astonishing. With the in-my-head feeling and the comfortable and malleable behind-the-ear wires, I tend to forget I even have the earphones in. I’ve fallen asleep with them in 4 times already since purchasing them two weeks ago.

Alas, seeing as how I have an exam tomorrow, I ought to go to bed now.
Au revoir, my little munchkins.

It’s definitely going to take awhile for me to accustom myself to this new WordPress layout. In all honesty, though, I think the original looked better — the current one seems too “internet-y,” for lack of better wording. Random colors that don’t quite complement each other are strewn wherever, e.g. the vermilion over the light blue background next to the dark blue text. The combination of red and light blue just doesn’t quite work to my eyes’ liking.

I shall keep today’s entry short, since I was recently reprimanded by my Genetics Lab peers for being too verbose in my “edible vaccines” report. Pardon my indignation but I believe my essay was rather “kick-ass” in comparison to theirs, which mostly consisted of sentence fragments, incorrect syntax, missing verbs, and omitted punctuations. What’s worse, they advised me to commit the same errors for the sake of shortening my sentences, for example:

Original sentence —
Albeit the research involving the creation of edible vaccines is not at a point where it can be placed at the forefront of methods used to protect individuals from infectious disease outbreaks, understanding of the science behind the development of plant-based vaccines, recognition of the development of edible vaccines’ values to society as a whole, evaluation of the safety concerns associated with it, legislative support and approval of further experimentation, and allocation of current expenditures from traditional vaccination research to that of edible vaccination will all help bring the creation of plant-derived biopharmaceuticals to the forefront of methods in the very near future.

Suggested correction —
Albeit the research involving the creation of edible vaccines is not at a point where it can be placed at the forefront of methods used to protect individuals from infectious disease outbreaks[.] Understanding of the science behind the development of plant-derived vaccines[.] Recognition of the development of edible vaccines’ values to society as a whole[.] Evaluation of the safety concerns associated with it[.] Legislative support and approval of further experimentation[.] Allocation of current expenditures from traditional vaccination research to that of edible vaccination will all help bring the creation of plant-derived biopharmaceuticals to the forefront of methods in the very near future.

Yes, I realize that that gigantic paragraph is one unbelievably long sentence, but dissecting it into fragments that bear no meaning is a horrific recommendation. “Albeit the research involving the creation of edible vaccines is not at a point where it can be placed at the forefront of methods used to protect individuals from infectious disease outbreaks” is the dependent clause of the sentence; I can’t just detach it on a whim to appease less-than-brilliant readers. If they offered some other suggestion that didn’t involve producing nonsensical sentence fragments, then I would definitely feel more humble and less self-righteous. However, that simply isn’t the case; hence, I’m left wide-eyed at how absolutely ridiculous their advice is and how ignorant they are of proper English sentence structures. You’re in a distinguished university, dears, not still in some elementary school learning about subordinating conjunctions.

There… I just needed to get that rant out of my system.

Now for some pictures I had taken of the Betsey Johnson dresses I purchased. That’s right, dressES — I recently bought another one of her wonderful creations. This second one is a brown, chiffon, size M dress smothered in miniature bows.

Dress 1: Burgundy and mauve colored velvet dress.
I adore the details she adds to the lacing.

Dress 2: Brown colored chiffon dress with miniature bows.
Once again, the details amaze me.

Although originally intended for my use, I’m contemplating giving the second dress to my sister, since the bust area is a little smaller than I had previously suspected. There was originally a yellow silk dress by Betsey Johnson I was planning on buying for her, but after much thought, I concluded that my wallet isn’t hefty enough to afford a $150 dress, yet. This chiffon dress will complement her skin tone perfectly.

Hm, I hope she’s not reading this entry… the dress is supposed to be a surprise.

I seem to be on a spending spree as of late. The earphones that came with my iPod Nano have been irritating my ears for the past 2 years, and not only my ears but also my head, leading to a skull-splitting headache if I leave them in for too long. Hence, I’ve been ogling the Ultimate Ears Super.fi 3 Studio earphones for the past 3 months. At a whopping $129.99 for a pair of earphones, I feel as if I’m buying gold from the devil with my soul as currency.

I just want comfortable earphones that are also capable of delivering impeccable sound — is that too much to ask?

I ought to be studying for my three upcoming exams and writing my two 8-10 pages papers, but I figured I needed to share with the general public this wonderful video I came across as I was checking my e-mails. It’s absolutely infectious — I couldn’t stop laughing the entire minute and eighteen seconds of the video and gasping every time the poor kid hurt himself. Not everyone will find this entertaining; I just tend to have a soft spot for the innocent, melodious laughter of infants.

Enjoy, my little munchkins.

The 21-year old: “Daddy looks like a woman…”
The 11-year old: “Where? I want to see!”
The 55-year old: “See! I told you this is a woman’s jacket! I’m not wearing it!” (Attempts to march back into the house.)
The 52-year old: “It is not a woman’s jacket! Don’t you dare take it off! You are not wearing the same jacket you wore all week to the restaurant!”
The 21-year old: (Aside to The 11-year old) “Daddy still looks like a woman…”

Do you ever feel that you ought to change a certain aspect of yourself and, yet, are reluctant to do so because it stands at the core of your identity complex? Let alone, you’ve grown emotionally and mentally attached to the trait such that dismissing it is equivalent to shattering a fragment of one’s soul. Alright, perhaps that was a bit melodramatic. The combination of an overactive cerebrum and the unhampered time provided by Spring Break tends to result in over-over-analyses of anything and everything. It’s a good thing Spring Break is over in this respect.

I’ve concluded that I may be a bit overly kind and am a mental masochist — there’s a tendency to feel guilty in situations where I am actually not at (what the general public would define as) fault, e.g. –
Bought lunch (chicken), saw famished homeless whilst driving back to condo, gave him small piece of my chicken, got back to condo, couldn’t eat lunch because I felt miserable for not having given him bigger piece. Why didn’t I? He obviously needed the food more than I.
Went shopping at grocery store, saw elderly man 4 customers ahead in the check-out line, his welfare card must not have allowed certain items to be purchased so cashier, deaf and mute, took them (3/5) away. I felt every moral fiber in my body screaming for action and wanted to push the 4 customers in front of me aside to buy those 3 items for him…but I didn’t do anything, just stood idly watching the somber expression on the poor man’s face. When I finally made my way back to my car with the question “Why didn’t I help him?” flowing incessantly through my mind, I just sat in front of my steering wheel and cried.
– …and the list goes on.

Reverting to the original question, it’s as though I am governed by two distinct and, perhaps, mutually exclusive perspectives.
On the one hand, the savior archetype seems to be prevalent. Being cynical of the moral direction in which society as a whole is heading, I feel the need to act as constant Sherpa to civilization’s problems in hopes that 1) my tiny efforts will in some way “make the world a better place” for everyone else and 2) people will learn vicariously and do personally. Plus, I get a happy, fuzzy feeling when I am of assistance to someone.
On the other hand, my faltering hope in the general public has left me questioning the plausibility of the aforementioned proceeds of my actions. Additionally, failure to perform my self-proclaimed duty has led to consequential and unnecessary guilt.

Is it time to recalibrate my current mindset or keep on keeping on? Whilst the former will lead to less, if any, guilt (+), less kindness (+/-), and less altruism (-), the latter will lead to little to no change in guilt (-), same level of kindness (+/-), and more self-fulfillment (+) — i.e. Protect oneself or protect everyone else? That, perhaps, is the fundamental dilemma individuals face on a day-to-day basis. With the “right” formula, an egocentric, opportunist pitted in a laissez-faire society would become the perfect modern Machiavelli. I don’t think I’m mentally prepared to see little Niccolo, Jr.’s running around.

Maybe the best decision involves not scrutinizing the situation with such a black-and-white demeanor. Maybe I simply shouldn’t think so much. Maybe I should start learning to forgive myself. Maybe…
I bore thee. Such self-indulgent and dizzying musings should be done solely in my head, anyway.

So, on another note — I finally bought one of Betsey Johnson’s wonderful dresses. It’s burgundy and mauve colored, velvet, with spaghetti straps. Her dresses tend to run in abnormally small sizes (relatively speaking) so I had to buy a large, otherwise my bust wouldn’t fit, and I certainly don’t want to look like Dolly Parton – blegh. I’ll take a picture of it when I stop feeling lazy – Ha!

I seem to be collecting unpublished entries — there are currently 4 drafts sitting on the back-burner, and I can’t even recall when I created them. This is precisely what I’m referring to when I speak of commitment issues. Nevertheless, I find them largely insignificant now, so onwards I shall march…

Perhaps I lack dignity, or perhaps I possess fantastic taste — who knows, who cares — but I adore the show “Project Runway.” The sheer innovation of a select few of the contestants utterly amazes me, almost to a point where I feel motivated to create a complete outfit myself. Back in high school, my mom actually insisted, albeit only for a short period of time, that I work towards a career as a fashion designer. I had numerous sketchbooks overflowing with illustrations of evening gowns I would potentially design. There was one particular dress my mom claimed to be absolutely ingenious, and I treasured that sketch forever because a compliment from my mom only happens once in a blue moon.

… It’s been over 2 years since I touched those sketchbooks. The last time I tried to find them, the search was to no avail. It’s a pity, really… because, otherwise, I would have definitely tried making that particular dress for the Orange and White Ball. Alas, out go the old, in come the new.

Speaking of clothing, I’m enamored with Betsey Johnson’s line of dresses. Unfortunately, they’re rather expensive; thus, I’ve decided — if I had all the money in the world, I would buy all the Betsey Johnson dresses in the world. No… better yet, I’d buy Betsey Johnson herself. Yes, yes, that is a wonderful plan.

The whimsical nature of Austin’s weather as of late has gotten me thinking: How would I define a day of perfect weather? To which I’ve concluded — A bright, sunny morning with a thin, icing-like layer of cirrus clouds drifting steadily high up top and a conservative interspersal of cumulus clouds, a few thousand feet above ground, floating slowly across a light cerulean sky. The temperature is a degree at which a thin blazer can be worn comfortably over a sundress, where the light, refreshing breeze, carrying a lingering scent of freshly cut flowers, brushes the hem of the dress to cause a wave-like motion. The sun is radiant but not calescent, allowing a proper, floppy sun hat to be donned. A light shower commences during mid-afternoon, whereby the former light cerulean sky is now interlaced with laminae of dove-colored rain clouds behind which the sun hides bashfully. With the forthcoming sunset, altostratus clouds descend, providing the perfect polychromasia of vermilion, titian, and amber. The blanket of constellations can be admired flawlessly in the clear, night sky after the altostratus clouds subside and the chilly evening weather provides the perfect opportunity for such a rendezvous, coupled with a wool blanket and a cup of creamy hot chocolate.

The mere envision of such a day makes me realize one reason life is worthy of living.

…but for now, I must be one with the brilliantly wonderful show “Lost.”

Au revoir, little kiddies.