Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Holidays

Last night, I found a tiny ball-shaped piece of string, so I put it on the bed and called out to my brother: “Ew, look! A spider!” Then I proceeded to take his pillow and bash it on the piece of string. After a couple good hard hits, I took the pillow and deftly squashed the ball of string. My brother, unwilling to believe that the “spider” was only a piece of string, was rather mad at me and hit me a couple times.

Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 5, 2011


When I checked in on my fish this morning, he was already dead.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Alpha, the Betta Fish

Almost 4 months ago, I bought my very first male betta fish from Petco and I called him Alpha :) And he is the prettiest fish you'll ever see. These pictures were taken with my phone:

I had to shine a flashlight on him to get this effect, but look at the way his scales catch the light!

Last night, though, I found Alpha lopsided (floating weirdly on one side) near the top of his container. Tonight, Alpha is stuck at the bottom right corner of his container, just sorta sitting there. His gills were still moving but there wasn't much movement besides that.

I've lost many a fish before but I really want this one to live...

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello Americans and non-Americans!

Today is American Thanksgiving!

Here's what I'm thankful for, in no particular order:

1. My best friend :)
2. My blog :)
3. Warm place to live and sleep
4. Facebook and the internet and the way we communicate
5. TBS and the movie I'm watching Yours, Mine, and Ours
6. Peanut M&M's
7. God's love for us
8. Work to do
9. A good working brain and body
10. A working computer (though not the best, I'm still really fortunate to have one!)

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 7, 2011

"Dad, You're Ugly!"

Okie dokie.

First of all, I hope we all remembered to day-light-savings backward an hour!

Secondly, I'm pretty sure I've slept roughly 50% of Friday-Sunday away...
As a corollary, I smell like stinky because I haven't showered in forever. (I'll do so once I'm done with this post, calm down.)

Anyway, I don't really have much to post (but I did upload the pics from my cell phone so you'll see a picture of alpha Betta soon!), but I did find this hilarious video on Youtube from Jimmy Kimmel. Check it out.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

How To Look Like Barbie

I ran across this picture on Yahoo! the other day and I brought it up today in a conversation I was having. The conversation is irrelevant-- I just wanted to show you the picture I saw. Basically, this model had her body marked up (plastic-surgery style) to show what changes needed to be made to her body to look like Barbie's (the doll's) body. The changes are rather shocking.

The changes that need to be made to a relatively attractive and healthy woman are quite astounding.
(The model's name, according to Yahoo!, is Katie Halchishick.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hershey's New Chocolate Kisses

I was watching Law and Order: Criminal Intent (a fantastic show, by the way. I usually don't watch much TV, but now I've watched two episodes in a row) when my program was interrupted by a commercial for a new kind of chocolate by Hershey's: Air Delight Kisses. As you might already know, a Hershey's Kiss is a little pyramid-shaped "drop" of chocolate. The "Air Delight" comes into play because Hershey's added little air bubbles into the center of the Kiss, a process technically known as "aerating" (and thus creating "aerated chocolate").

I cannot think of any reasonably decent reasons as to why Hershey's made such a pointless product.

The first thing that came to mind is how revolting the texture of the chocolate would be. Granted, I have not tried an Air Delight Kiss yet, but it seems that chocolate with holes in it might not exactly be the most ingenious idea. If you just look at the picture of the chocolate (below this paragraph), I think you would agree that the chocolate just looks defective. To me, it looks like worms have been burrowing inside this chocolate and the tunnels are the result of their movements. It looks gross and squishy and like it would just collapse in your mouth. I don't understand what textural/flavor appeal this chocolate would have over the regular Hershey's chocolate.

Furthermore, the economic side of me immediately raised a red flag. If I put air into my chocolate, I would use less chocolate to make each Kiss. Therefore, I would be selling less chocolate at the same price. I looked this up online, and the following numbers are from

The same “classic bag” of solid Kisses is 12 ounces. The Kisses Air Delight is 9.4 ounces. A standard portion size (200 calories) is 9 pieces (40 grams). For Air Delight it’s 11 pieces (41 grams). So each Air Delight Kiss is approximately 3.64 grams, while a classic Hershey’s Kiss is 4.44 grams, or approximately 18% lighter.

There you have it, almost as clear as day. Hershey's is shortchanging you 2.6 ounces of chocolate candy per aerated candy bag, which comes out to be roughly 21.67% less chocolate by weight. In other words, you're probably going to pay the same amount of money for these weird aerated chocolates than you would pay for the standard chocolate Kisses, even though you're going to get significantly less chocolate.

So why bother buying them?

Apparently, as I have found out researching for this blog post, aerated chocolates are supposed to be a big deal in those other countries: Japan and the UK, for example, already have aerated chocolates in major brands. The total market for aerated chocolates is roughly half a billion dollars, and the demand for these chocolates is predicted to increase.

I don't quite think Hershey's made the smartest play here. These aerated chocolates look disgusting and cost more than regular Kisses. I love chocolate and I love air, but I certainly don't see the need to put them together.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quick Updates

Some really quick updates:

1. I lost my phone. And wherever it is, that poor soul will be woken up tomorrow morning at 6:50 and will have trouble turning off the alarm.

2. Blogger has changed its format so I don't really know how to make new posts and stuff, but I'll learn.

3. I've been exhausted lately. I just try to squeeze too much into one day.

4. I've also been having a rather blank slate of ideas...I can't think of anything to write/blog about.

5. I got a Betta fish in August or so. He's blue and he's really pretty :) His name is Alpha (or, more accurately, the little Greek symbol for alpha -- the lower case one).

That would make him....

[Wait for the bad joke...]

An alpha Betta.

6. I wish I had more time to talk to my best friend more....

Anyway, that's about all I can think of right now.

I'll see if I can post a picture of my new fishy on the blog....but the pictures of him are on my phone, and my phone is.........

Have a good night.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Rest of August


Let me attempt to summarize August between my last post and now.

1) I climbed Mt. Whitney! :) [It wasn't that hard.]
1b) I saw an air evacuation take place (small yellow helicopter).
1c) The backpack trip was roughly 49 miles (with a roughly 45lb backpack...which got lighter as food was eaten).
1d) I also have a couple of good scars from that trip.

2) There's something wrong with me. My abdominal area is hurting like crazy and I have rather mild gas. It feels like my intestines are stretched out with bloaty-ness.

3) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad is horrible. Amy Foster (by the same man) is much, much better.

Anyway....I think that's all I have for about now.

Geez, my stomach isn't doing well.

PS: I hope all the Hurricane Irene people are doing alright. Praying for you :)

Friday, June 17, 2011

May 24: Blood Drive Day

On Tuesday, May 24, I had the opportunity to donate some blood to the blood drive at the local high school.

Overall, the entire procedure took about an hour and a half (11:05-about 12:40). However, I'd say a good 30 minutes was just waiting around doing nothing waiting for the nurses to attend to me, as well as 15 minute waiting period at the end.

So, first, they did a quick ID check, then they took my hemoglobin level by (rather painfully) pricking my middle finger.

After passing that test [and I'm thankful I did-- a number of people had low hemoglobin levels, so they weren't allowed to donate blood in fear that they would pass out] I was given a roughly 50 question survey which asked rather disturbing questions that I don't think are appropriate to post here.

Having answered my survey, I sat in a chair and did absolutely nothing for about 15 minutes, just waiting in line for an interviewer to become available. After the interviewer reviewed my survey questions and took my blood pressure, the interviewer gave me a basket full of vials and whatnot I was directed to a chair-- the blood-giving line.

Gee, was I excited, haha. There were a lot of students texting on their phones and looking extraordinarily bored. I was mostly nervous. Would it hurt?

Finally, a very busy Asian nurse came and directed me to a makeshift bed. She took my BP again and cleaned my arm with this very nifty sponge and water/alcohol dispenser. Finally, timidly, I asked her if it would hurt. She replied with a nonchalant "Well, we have to break the skin." (Gee, really?) She tied a cuff around my arm and slid a needle in a vein on my left arm. It didn't hurt that much, really, but I didn't look at it go in.

And then she had me squeeze a ball of tape every 5 seconds or so. Really, the needle just itched a whole bunch. But it was a bit cool and scary to see my blood filling a pouch. It really is, quite simply, a rather boring process. Squeezing the wad of tape got a bit boring after the first twenty minutes.

After around 10 minutes, I was done. The nurse quickly slid the needle out of my arm (I looked away again). Geez, having the needle taken out of your arm hurts a lot! I looked at the pouch of blood and I wanted to take a picture of it but the nurse took the blood away before I could whip my phone out of my pocket. She bandaged up my arm and told me I had to keep it on for 4 hours after that.

An entire pint. I felt rather accomplished. She quickly asked if I felt thirsty or tired or faint (no to all), then directed me to the waiting area at which I had to wait 15 minutes. Most lightheaded-ness and fainting occurs within 15 minutes of donating blood, I believe. The rest area had cookies and juice and crackers. I ate a lot (shhhh, don't tell). It was lunch time, after all.

All in all, I think that giving blood was a rather painless experience and it is definitely something I would do again. I'm glad that I was able to donate my blood to someone else. Someone probably needs it much more than I do.

Anyway, I called the hospital a couple weeks later via a card with my donor ID on it and I was informed that I'm blood type B positive (B+).

Finally, I just want to post a picture of my bandaged arm.

Red badge of courage, indeed.

If you ever get a chance to donate, I strongly suggest you do.

Have a good day.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Review of Prey, by Michael Crichton

My favorite book I read this year is Prey by Michael Crichton. Published in 2002, the novel details the nano-robotic industry’s business transactions that destroy the relationship between protagonist Jack Forman and his wife Julia. After being hired by Xymos, a big nano-bot company, Jack is hired to restrain and destroy a destructive and quickly evolving swarm of black nano-particles that systematically and swiftly suffocates and consumes the flesh of the animals and of the workers of the Xymos fabrication plant at which the particles are made. The plot is filled with many surprises and is relatively unpredictable. This was one of the books that I just could not stop thinking about. The strongest aspect of this novel is Crichton’s fast-paced and suspenseful writing style, which strongly appealed to me because Crichton always left me wondering what would happen next. Characterization was not extremely important, but the plot is extremely well developed, and it definitely involves a number of exciting cliffhangers, violent deaths, and explosions. The biological and technological aspects of the evolution of a learning swarm are thoroughly and carefully explained and applied so that I, the reader, was interested but not overwhelmed by the scientific information. In fact, I think Crichton made a very bold move by including all the scientific data; by explaining the reasons behind the swarm’s evolution, the general plot of the novel became more interesting and more coherent. On account of its thrilling plot and interesting scientific information, Prey has definitely earned its spot as my favorite book this year.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yes, I am a Genius

It's 11:50PM on Thursday, May 26.

I really wanted some oatmeal as a late-night pick-me-up sugar booster, so I opened the pantry and pulled out a packet of oatmeal from the assorted oatmeal box.

It was Raisins, Dates, and Walnuts variety. I had one of those the other day, so I put the packet aside and withdrew a new one. It was also Raisins, Dates, and Walnuts.

Slightly annoyed, I pulled out a couple more packets and realized that they were all Raisins, Dates, and Walnuts.

Peeved, I wondered what company or what employee would be so cruel to put only Raisins, Dates, and Walnuts in a variety pack of oatmeal. After all, am I not supposed to receive different varieties of oatmeal in a variety pack?

Then I realized that the box only had Raisins, Dates, and Walnuts, and that the box is, in fact, not a variety pack of oatmeal.

Yes, I am a genius.

On the bright side, I now have a cup of Raisins, Dates, and Walnuts oatmeal next to me. I even added extra raisins.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Music Monday Whatever Day It Is

Alright guys, thanks for hanging with me through my period of blogging inactivity. I'm pretty sure I will be able to post a little more often as we approach the end of May, but for now I have songs I want to sing you.

Good old classics from a very talented family.

First off is Mr. Frank Sinatra with Fly Me to the Moon

Next is Mrs. Nancy Sinatra (Mr. Sinatra's daughter) with Bang Bang [sorry about the poor video quality, but I think part of the "experience" is the way these artists compose themselves, and I think Nancy really holds the "sleek" aspect of her time]

Have a nice day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Weird Dream

Hi all.

Haven't posted in 2 weeks.

The number of posts I'm making nowadays is appalling.

But I just wanted to post very quickly about my dream I had last night.

Basically, I was inside an outdoor pool, and on the wall of the pool were these hairy gray caterpillars...about the length of a pencil and the width of a loosely rolled up playing card. Swarms and swarms of them were breaking off the side of the pool.

I was freaked out so I pushed off the wall and headed toward the center of the pool when I noticed these gray jellyfish like blobs floating all around me in the water.

I usually don't remember how I feel in my dreams, but I remember being very very freaked out.

Anyway, here's to more blog posts.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Left Contact (Again)

I've had trouble with my left contact before.

Well this time, I have a very good reason to be thankful.

Saturday morning, I put in my contacts around 12:00AM (near midnight) and went to sleep. When I woke up at 7:20, I took out my right contact like always, then realized my left contact had fallen out when I was asleep.

So, naturally, I freak out.

I looked everywhere. Behind the bottles of contact solution, behind my pillow, near my bed, on my clothes, in my blankets...nothing.

I finally sigh and put away my right contact and I reason I'll just have to look for the left one later. I had something important to do that day (hence my early rising).

As I lifted myself from my bed, I glanced around one last time and-- lo and behold!-- there was my left contact, BEHIND me on my bed. It was in the one spot I had not looked for it, and, if I had shifted any of my weight behind me, I would have surely crushed it into pieces.

So, that's that. Thank you God for helping me find my contact :)

Monday, February 21, 2011


Before I forget,

Let the records show that on Friday, February 18, 2011
and Saturday, February 19, 2011

that it actually HAILED for about 6-7 minutes per session in California.

That is all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

10 Random Things, Which, Under Most Conditions, You Will Probably Never Know About Me

Per request: 10 Random Things, Which, Under Most Conditions, You Will Probably Never Know About Me

1) My shoe size is 14 US.
2) The ring finger on my left hand is significantly longer than the index finger on my left hand (about 1.5 cm longer). The ring finger on my right hand is only slightly longer than the index finger on my right hand (less than 0.5 cm).
3) I cannot watch a scary movie. They're scary.
4) When dealt a hand of poker cards, my highest cards go on the left.
5) I stutter quite frequently. I can almost never pronounce "just" without messing up the "juh" sound.
6) I am deathly afraid of roller-coasters, or any other open-air ride that involves motion. Yes, including the little kiddie ones.
7) My favorite philosopher is Kierkegaard.
8) My favorite poem is Dream Within A Dream (1849) by E. A. Poe.
9) I cannot whistle.
10) I stink at (and will not attempt to play in the presence of other people) any First-Person Shooter game whatsoever (ie: Call of Duty, Halo, etc).

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dumb Ants (and Random Facts- Ants)

Here's a little fact about ants you probably didn't know:
  • Black ants and Wood ants do not have a sting; instead, they are able to squirt a spray of formic acid. Some birds put ants in their feathers because the ants squirt formic acid which gets rid of the parasites.
Did you know that? Black ants don't bite-- they spray acid. Not just acid, but FORMIC acid, which is....HCOOH or something (thank you, high school chemistry).

The reason why I have become interested in ants is because yesterday, as I was minding my own business in the yard, they attacked me. Thousands of them swarmed up my left leg and --

Okay, slight exaggeration. I was washing something outside with the hose, and I guess I must have flooded their ant hill home and a plethora of them started to scramble around, and I didn't realize that some had started to crawl up my leg. But I shook them off and went back inside...where I realized that there were still a bunch of them all over my clothes and arms.

And their bites stung! Goodness, they didn't hurt, but they were annoying!

And that annoyance prompted me to look up facts about black ants and their bites...Hence the fact above. (Once again, thanks to high school chemistry) I knew that an acid can be neutralized in water (or something like that), so I took a shower, and now my skin is fine and I don't feel any stinging or anything.

But anyway, here are some other random facts about ants I found on the internet:
  • If a man could run as fast for his size as an ant can, he could run as fast as a racehorse.
  • There are thirty-five thousand kinds of ants in the world.
  • The abdomen of the ant contains two stomachs. One stomach holds the food for itself and second stomach is for food to be shared with other ants.
  • Adult ants cannot chew and swallow solid food. They rely on juice which they squeeze from pieces of food.
EDITED: 1/19/11 2:18 PM: Corrected appalling grammar errors.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Sister’s Keeper Is Not A Chick-Flick

My Sister’s Keeper is not a chick-flick.

This novel, written by Jodi Picoult, is a touching tale of the bravery and the sorrow of a small Rhode Island family. Thirteen-year-old daughter Anna Fitzgerald was genetically modified before her conception to be a living gold mine of cells, blood, and marrow for her 16-year-older sister Kate, who is dying from an aggressive form of leukemia. Tired of her parents focusing their attention only on Kate, Anna seeks legal medical emancipation from her parents Brian (fire chief at the station and amateur star-gazer) and Sara (ex-lawyer and full-time caretaker for Kate) with the professional help of impersonal but experienced lawyer Alexander Campbell and of court-appointed guardian-ad-litem Julia Romano, as well as with the occasional odd job from her older, seemingly-typical rebellious teenage brother, Jesse. The novel’s dramatic conclusion captivates, stuns, and finally overwhelms the reader as the narrators end the tense tale of an aspiring girl and her troubled family.

The novel is narrated through the eyes of all of the previously mentioned characters (save Kate, who narrates only one chapter, and that in the epilogue), allowing the reader to get all the sides to the delicate legal issue at hand. Anna’s narration opens the novel—it is these narrations which I thought to be most appealing on account of their meatiness and their raw passion. Anna’s narrations drive the plot forward and foster the reader’s interest in the conflicts within the novel. Her spunk and her determination make the reader like Anna and sympathize to her cause. On the other hand, mother Sara’s narrations are drawn out, doused with stereotypical emotions, and bitter to digest. Sara’s narration constantly wavers between the past—Kate’s early years of prognosis—and the current legal case before her. While her switcheroo is undoubtedly necessary to both the plot and the emotional appeal of her novel --After all, Kate has to be a real person to the reader, lest we not care about her death-- I myself find the tedious and emotional narration to be overwhelmingly bland and overcooked. I recall thinking at numerous points throughout Sara’s narration, “Okay, I get it. Your daughter is dying of cancer. Let’s move on” and flipping to the next chapter. (Thankfully, the next narration was Anna’s.)

The other narrations were deliciously crafted. Jesse, though he narrates few chapters, has a darkly humorous side to him—and a surprisingly passionate and existential one, too. Brian’s narrations are plain but personable; a true mix between the narrations of his wife and of his daughter; a true testimony to the character of a tired, drained, and confused father. Campbell’s narrations are bitingly sarcastic and Julia’s are scathingly critical. Both are extremely witty characters and I looked forward to reading their narrations (though Julia’s narrations were a bit confusing). In short, the personal narratives of every major character were enlightening to both the plot and the nature of the novel itself.

The real potency of this novel, however, lies in neither its plot nor its characters. In truth, I find that Keeper should have been published as an ethics or philosophy textbook. Questions of morality and the idea of what is right or wrong are strongly embedded within the essence of the novel itself. When I read this novel, I could not help but question the actions of the characters and judge them for myself. The first and blazingly obvious ethical dilemma presented in the novel is the birth of Anna: Anna was born just to keep her sister Kate alive. Does this dehumanize Anna—does her birth make her a thing and not a person? What about Anna’s parents—Are they justified in using the technology of create-a-baby to design the “perfect” baby for Kate? Keeper uses the multifaceted narrations to present all the sides to—but not answer—those questions. I had to really study Anna’s aspirations and her family’s (especially Kate’s and her mother’s) treatment of Anna before I finally concluded that Anna is simply a thing, and that, in all real senses of the term, Anna was never quite human. But it is in this process that Keeper is really etherealized; Keeper forced me to probe deeper within the thoughts and actions of each character.

Overall, My Sister’s Keeper is an enchanting tale. While the beginning was a little slow, after the characters and driving conflict were introduced, the storyline of the novel leaves the reader intrigued and captivated to the end. While this novel was not a true “put-me-down”, I did find myself wishing that I had more time to read it and digest its ethical conflicts and appreciate the depth of its characters and plot. Contrary to popular belief, My Sister’s Keeper is not a chick-flick; it is a real, raw, and touching tale of a tragic family and their aspiring daughter’s struggle to fight for her rights.

Score: 7.9/10

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