[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 8 most recent journal entries recorded in
|Friday, October 7th, 2005|
|drunk at 2pm
i am drunk and tired and angry and sad and all that jazz that goes with not feeling good about oneself. wow, maybe i'm just manic depressive! anyways, things float on here. today was a bad day. tomorrow will most likely be a much better one. either way, i know that there will be much drinking in my future. alcohol = good.
|Wednesday, October 5th, 2005|
I'm sitting at my computer just staring out of the window thinking, "In a week and a half I will be out of science and academia."
For those of you who don't know me: I am a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia U doing neuroscience research. I have been doing science research in one form or another since my sophomore year in high school. In many ways I have been groomed to be a science researcher/professor for at least a decade. Which is why it's exciting/scary/invigorating that I'm actually leaving science behind for the foreseeable future. I've sold my soul to the business world and will be officially a 'consultant' when November rolls around.
I keep reading and rereading those words over again and am shocked (shocked!) at how they really don't convey what I'm feeling. I am an almost uncontrollable bubbling mess of excitement because this is a bright, new, shiny world that is opening up before me. I will travel a lot. I will board airplanes in cities that I never thought I would visit (either because I just ignored them, never heard of them, or just didn't have enough imagination to think about them). I will talk to CEO's of world renown companies, Nobel Prize laureates, and then all the rest of the people who actually make things work (regardless of what their titles are). I will have another chance to find out if I'm good (a good person, a good thinker, a good worker, etc...).
I am sad, scared, a crumbling, huddling mass of...stuff all centered in my gut. My friends, those so close to me that they are indistinguishable from family, are almost all in science. Will my separation with science also cause a separation with my family? Will we still be able to talk, to communicate, to share? Though my time in my current environs have not been totally good, there have been people that I have met (one person in particular) that I will miss in my everyday. It's odd. I am, in general, someone who wears their emotions quite openly, and yet I am not one to cry. While I stare at the sad stark courier font on my screen I feel some slight tears gather. Stupid monitor refresh. I won't miss you!
I keep thinking of stupid schlocky emotionally manipulated moments in certain movies now. The scenes of Shawshank Redemption where Morgan Freeman's character talks about how he just misses his friend. How in the final moments of the movie he crosses the border and talks in his wistful, pain filled voice about hope. Or the scene in Shine when a disheveled, rain soaked vagabond sits down at a piano in a bar and proceeds to play and play and play. Other movies and their scenes flash in my head: Searching for Bobby Fischer when the dad is yelling at the teacher, Little Man Tate when he tells the world that he takes in the mail, the scene from Mindwalk where the trio of ppl are talking in the relic of a church. I think this just shows that I've gone completely tangential.
Anyways, as it stands I am at a crossroads. (Actually, I've already passed the crossroads. I just liked the way that sentence sounded).
Quick questions: If you have a blog, what is it for? What do you use it do? Who are you thinking of when you write? If it is for someone, who is that someone? Why do you write?
I think that in many ways I am writing for that fascinating brunette who caught my eye and my attention many moons ago. Though she doesn't read these words often, I hear myself talking to her when I type. I guess that's all I have to say for now.
|Tuesday, August 30th, 2005|
Today is the two year anniversary of my (and Judy's) wedding. I'm sitting in front of the computer having arrived late at work and now have Postal Service - Such Great Heights playing (probably) a little too loudly for my co-workers (who cares!). I'm also happy. Very, very happy. My Ph.D. thesis also came in the mail today, all nice and shiny and bound together. Though the day is all cloudy and gloomy, I think there are too many things around to make me happy today. So please excuse the utter glowiness of this post.
Before Judy and I got married, our priest requested that we write essays about why we loved each other. Since we've written too many college essays that meant nothing and because we had written scientific papers that were devoid of emotion, we poured our hearts, time, and meager talents into them. They were personal and true. Little did we know that our amazing priest would take bits and pieces of our essays and read them out loud during the wedding sermon. Needless to say we were very embarrassed. It is one of the best memories of my life.
I'm cutting and pasting my essay here. Please read it in all it's sappy gloriousness. Our priest told us to read these during our anniversaries, so I'll read along with you. Please forgive the mixed metaphors and bad grammar. English was my second language!
Why I love Judy
Or “What I did during summer vacation”
To be honest, I’ve been having a lot of trouble completing this assignment. Surely a level of procrastination has played a part in it, but I’m also just finding it hard to squeeze all of my thoughts on Judy into discrete words and sentences. I love Judy. It seems a bit cliché, doesn’t it? The words seem small and sparse on the large, white page, but to me they seem to echo in that rather cheesy but significant movie special effect kind of way. As many times as they get used in bad (and good) romantic comedies those words hold special meaning for me.
What I want to say is this: there are a lot of concrete ways that show that we love each other. All of the little things that we do for each other, the things that we do together, and even the arguments we get into are examples of our love. But the truth of the matter is that those are just things, stories, words on a page. Don’t get me wrong; they’re important, very important, but they are just the content of our lives. The reason why I love Judy is that she provides context to my life. With Judy the space between words ceases to be just empty white. She can fill those blank sections with more action than Aliens, more sadness than A.I., and more laughter than Finding Nemo.
Let’s take cooking for example. When we first met, I basically couldn’t even cook spaghetti without giving myself a healthy serving of salmonella on the side. Judy and I learned how to cook together, listening and telling stories about the food we liked until our separate tastes mingled and mixed to create dishes that we both enjoyed. Now the very act of cooking will always remind me of Judy because of the new and different spices that I’ve learned to use. Who would have thought that adding cumin to refried black beans could ever hold so much meaning?
She is both impetus and energy for me. She encourages me to try new things, to meet new people, to taste new foods. She is also there to enjoy all of these new things with me, to help me color in those blank spaces in my world with our own special palette. With Judy, I have taken swimming lessons, Vietnamese classes, learned how to foxtrot, ran a half-marathon, and visited cities that I’ve never seen before. To put it mildly, she has changed my entire world in the short time that I’ve known her. Now everything that I do, from simple cooking to rigorous research, has a unique history and context because of her.
Just like any good story though, there are sad times as well as new, exciting times. In these dark, dreary, and sometimes desperate times she has always been there for me. She has seen me through troubling academic times, frightening familial health crises, and more sad, rainy days than I can count (and I can’t count past five). Though these times can be far from fun, I have survived and grown in no small part due to her help. She makes me smile when I am sad and makes me laugh when I want to cry. She is there to hold my hand and comfort my heart. Sometimes the space between words can be quite black, but I know that Judy will always be there to fill the emptiness and help light the way.
I could go on and fill pages and pages with words and white space about other things that I love about Judy: her laughter, her smile, her relationship with her family and friends, her dedication to work, and her respect for others, but really there is just one more thing that I want to add. I love Judy because she needs me as much as I need her. Judy has dark times and happy times too, and I love being there for and with her. I love being able to give her roses and a card to brighten up her day, to make her dinner when she’s down, or to throw her random surprise parties for no reason whatsoever. We give and we take. We share. Our lives have become intertwined, interwoven, interconnected in almost every way. I don’t care if I’m known as “Judy’s husband” and she doesn’t care if she’s known as “Jerry’s wife” because all those silly grammatical rules of ownership don’t really apply to us. We belong to each other; we’ve taken those words and that white space and filled in the context for ourselves.
|Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005|
|Two Random Thoughts
just popped in my head and i don't know why:
1) we still have no idea who mailed that anthrax to the government, but apparently it doesn't classify as news anymore.
2) the media has been utterly silent after one initial article about the pregnant woman who disappeared close to two weeks ago. besides that last blip on july 28 on the national radar it has only been local news covering the story. i hate to say it, but the missing pregnant woman isn't some cute white teenager. this makes me very angry. why doesn't this story resonant at all with the national news? a search for missing pregnant woman on news.google.com shows that there have been roughly 14 stories in the past day about the missing woman in philly while a search for missing teen aruba shows over 700 articles in the past day. both stories are sad and deserve coverage, but why the disparity between the two? ugh. is the media really this negligent or even worse, racist?
|"Do you realize?" - Flaming Lips
The A train is running slow today, taking it's time at each stop and leaving the doors to the hot, humid tunnels open for long periods of time. I am listening to a mix of Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., and Postal Service (thanks Rebecca!) and it all adds to this feeling that I want to stay on the subway and then just walk out those open doors at some random stop where there are busy, bustling people outside. I just want to take stock, steal time, recover those moments that I've seemed to have lost in the daily grind of the lab that I am in.
The lunch speaker is a scientist that I cited in my thesis. I'm excited to hear her speak, excited to touch the subject that I've ostensibly abandonded these past few months. I don't think it's enough energy to bring me back to science though, more a level of arousal to a friendly, familiar face.
I was all down on the ride in, but as I was walking out the stanky subway tunnel, Jackie Wilson Said by Van Morrison started playing and all of a sudden there was a bounce in my step. Damn that Van Morrison!
|Thursday, July 28th, 2005|
I checked my e-mail using my Playstation Portable last night. Unfortunately, the PSP browser doesn't like livejournal so the dream of being able to update this while I'm out shopping with the wifey died a quick death.
There are many times when I am deeply ashamed of calling myself a gamer. The current fiasco with the Hot Coffee mod and Grand Theft Auto being the current cause of my shame. Honestly, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, it's better off for you. Basically, it was uncovered that there was a chunk of code that was hidden in the wildly popular GTA:San Andreas. When unlocked, a minigame was uncovered whose main purpose was to allow the player to simulate sex with various girls in the game. Overall the actual game is pretty harmless. It's a lot less than you'd see on Skinemax on a Friday night. I'm just pissed because the publisher decided that they would try to sneak this into the game in the first place. It's not as if the image of a gamer as a pre-adolescent nerdy pasty 12 year old needed reinforcement. How freaking juvenile is this?
Another instance: Was surfing one of the many gaming websites that I normally frequent in my time wasting schedule when I came across an interesting juxtaposition. On one side of the website there was a link to an article about how gamers need to grow up (interesting article). Right next to this link was a HUGE ad that took up a quarter of the website extolling the benefits of signing up for a new download service so that you could get the latest GIRLS OF GAMING magazine. It's even worse than it sounds. It's not even pictures of real live girls who game (which is sexy), but RATHER pictures of digital vixens. ARGH. Do we really need this?!
Ugh. I'm so tired of this. Ok, enough soapbox. I'm going to go stare at Lara Croft now.
|Wednesday, July 27th, 2005|
|a little bit of self-confession
i was thinking a little bit more about the things that i have read and played and listened to lately. i have to admit that there is another reason why i enjoy letting these stories float in front of my eyes and slide through my ears. and here's the slight confession bit. i think i'm lost. maybe not a truly mind blowing "lostness" where i want to run down the street screaming for a pair of clean underwear, or a level of confusion about my life where the things i do seem utterly meaningless. it's more like i've taken a turn down a highway i normally travel only to come face to face with a neighborhood that just seems unfamiliar. it's a bit of exploring, adventuring while i try to find my way home. or at least i hope it is.
(tangent: the whole, "i'm lost" thing totally makes me think of that scene in Lilo and Stitch where stitch is standing out in the middle of the woods with a small spotlight of silver moon on him. he looks up into the sky and just plaintively whispers, "i'm lost." why don't people like this movie more?!)
for what seems like the umpteenth time in my life, i'm trying to find my story. i feel like i live my life as a character in a story, slowly taking on mantles and titles and personalities only to remove them again when the plot thickens or changes or just becomes different. i am feeding on the stories in these books, games, songs trying to find my place in them, trying to locate the words to describe who and what i am now. i am leaving the world where i could safely call myself a scientist, a post doc, a former graduate student, a neuroscientist. who am i now? i have to admit that i shiver slightly when i think of calling myself a businessman. it seems so far away from what i feel like i should be, but i no longer feel like a scientist either. (of course, these almost cliche statements of personal identity always tend to resolve themselve into the simplistic line that states, but wait! i'm just me!)
i lost track of where all this was going, getting confused with my words as i try to sort all these thoughts. i'm sitting here, with rain coming down outside my smallish brooklyn apartment and the killers singing, screaming about something or other and i really wonder why the hell am i typing? who's going to read this? what are they going to think about me? how will they react to the things they see on their screen? will they be bored? will they care? more importantly, is there any way that i can get them to give me money?
all questions that i don't have answers for. so here's what i'm hoping. i'm hoping that i continue to type in this little box as the days wear on. i'm hoping that i finally find a story worth telling. i'm hoping that when i do end up telling a story or many stories, that they are good stories. oh, i'm also hoping someone who is reading this will send me $10 million to go lie on a beach somewhere and be "lost." any takers?
I think it must be a combination of my long commute on the subway and my current utter lack of interest in reading scientific articles on the train that has led me to be a voracious consumer of all types of media (woo! long sentence!). Over the last two months I have read (in no particular order):
The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Lamb by Christopher Moore
Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt
Ugly Americans by Ben Mezrich
Catch Me if You Can by Frank Abagnale
Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami
The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
I have watched the entire season of Wonderfalls, unlocked most of the things in Hot Shots Golf Open Tee, and listened to numerous mp3's by The Shins, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, R.E.M., and some other bands I don't want to name for fear of being a dreaded name dropper. (look at me! i listen and read stuff! woo! i'm cool!)
I had wanted to start all this off with a review of each of the things listed above, but to be honest they've all just kind of melded together into a big mess in my head. These are the things I feel when I think about these books: sadness, war, hurt, loss, a longing to touch some bit of extraordinary, a disenchantment with current methodologies, and animals. There's always more, but then this whole entry would just be a list.
I was going to write more, but I can't exactly think of something interesting.