Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Seventh Day

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 13 has been reposted! Happy New Year's Eve! May everyone have an amazing new year! Hopefully, this upcoming year will be way better than the last!

I feel utterly exhausted - I think I slept at like 5 am yesterday night so tonight's another advanced scheduled posting in case I'm busy elsewhere or I just pass out.

HAPPY 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sixth Day

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 10, Chapter 11, and Chapter 12 have been posted!

SKoW Hall of Fame

I was inducted into the SKoW Hall of Fame yesterday night and they gave me these pretty, spanking new banner and avatar. I think the SKoW staff and the owner, Jenina, have always outdone themselves and their hard work to recognize writers' own hard work (especially since they and us - we all don't get paid) is one of the top examples of how certain members of the online Fictionpress community truly rock my socks off.

In addition, thanks must go to all those readers who took the time to read, review, nominate and vote for their favorite stories. Without them, none of this could have been possible.

Look! Pretty graphics by their special graphics specialist, Cheryl! (You should check out the other graphics she made for the rest of the inductees - some of them took my breath away. If I could, I would put all my favorites up here, but then that's probably dorky and the other writers may not appreciate silly me displaying a row of THEIR graphics like they belong to my own personal harem collection. Pokemon, much? Kickass Author, I choose you!)

But here are mine:





I'm going to miss my equally cool avatar I got from SKoW Round 6, but all the other cool kids are updating their profiles all the time so I guess I should get with the program too.

Also, it's my badge to show that I am antiquated now and my name should no longer pop up again in the nomination process because readers are incredibly sick and tired of seeing me again (Ew, Maeven again? I thought she's collecting pension in Florida by now.) - yah, I joke, but no really, that's how it is. Haha, so keep an eye out for new blood and excellent stories and nominate your heart out! I believe the nomination period for SKoW Round 7 just started, ooh.

One of these days, I should definitely write up entries for stories I feel deserve way more attention. Yup!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Fifth Day

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 9 has been posted! This is a scheduled posting so if this automatically goes up tonight, it means I got caught up reading and writing today and didn't make it back to the computer in time for the chance to put up a second chapter. Sorry, I'll definitely make up for it tomorrow.

Thanks for all the reading suggestions, people! Some of them, I read already. Others, I'll be sure to check out next time. It sounds like many of you are fans of Russian writers. :) Interesting coincidence!

I've been reading a lot of YA novels lately, particularly fantasies since I'm working on a novel on the sidelines with these elements. But the genres I read typically range all over - as long as it has great writing and a well thought out plot, I enjoy most novels.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fourth Day

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.


False Facades Chapter 7 and Chapter 8 are now up!

I've been placing holds for dozens of books at the library recently since I'm finally on break and can relax with a few novels. I'm a much faster reader than writer - when I was younger, I could get through four, maybe five short novels in one day. (I only wish my time rate for schoolwork readings is on par.) When my requests are all here, I'm sending my brother to lug them home for me. He conveniently works part-time at the library. Very convenient.

Any suggestions for good readings?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Third Day

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 have been reposted!

Thanks for the kind messages, everyone! I'm pleasantly surprised that there're quite a few of you who still ask about the revised False Facades version. To be honest, I thought the previous enthusiastic responses were because people just wanted me to hurry with revisions so I could slap the free draft back up on Fictionpress. :) I'm still working on it and I'll let you all know whenever I get around to polishing it up for LuLu.

I have to fork over $255 for anatomy textbooks next term. Eep! I'm broke. Friend brought over most of my books and a pair of scrubs today. It's an XS, but I still feel like I'm swimming in it for some reason. I eat like a pig (it gets embarrassing when I eat outside, especially at Korean restaurants, and people sitting next to us start shooting these glances over at me ever so subtly like they can't comprehend where the food goes. I like to turn my head just so - and then whip my face around really fast to catch them! Their heads jerk away so quickly, I think they get whiplash.), but I think I'm totally unhealthy and can't absorb nutrition or something.

I installed RealPlayer, which came along with this Weather Channel Desktop on my parents' computer. Every once in a while, it'll emit a thundering sound and freak my mom out. She also thinks it might fry the computer, like it somehow absorbs lightning from the air and transmits it through our screen. Hmm.

Oh! And right, I got a few messages from readers both in the past and now about how they don't labor under the misconception that authors with so many reviews will actually sit down and read all of them so they're just reviewing with the idea that it'll hit a blank wall or something.

Um, I don't know about other writers, but I most certainly read every single review! Reviews are like ambrosia to me! If that's the reason why you don't leave me a review, banish the thought from your mind! I sit there 24/7 in front of my computer with my email open, waiting to leap onto a review that trickles in - okay, no, really, I highly appreciate hearing from readers and while I may not get around to answering every single message, I do love reviews and do try to respond to specific questions or F.A.Q.s.

Is there any Fictionpress writer out there who isn't an absolute review whore? We wouldn't be posting stories up for feedback otherwise. We absolutely want to hear from you and anyone who says otherwise is lying to you and you should never lend money to him/her!

Okay, very good, the thunder just rumbled again from my mom's computer so it must mean I'm all righteous and whatnot haha.


Sudden Death
designed by fablefire at shirt.woot!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Second Day

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 have been reposted.

By the way, I've already gotten a few messages again about how the story reminds them of a certain manga, anime, TV drama, movie, etc. Yes, it may remind you of certain stories, but please don't leave a message with this underlying implication that I had somehow plagiarized another story. After I've had my story plagiarized several times myself, I don't take accusations of plagiarism too kindly.

The notion of copying someone's idea was one of my pet peeves back when I first uploaded this story and I'd like to kindly remind readers that just because a story has certain similar elements to another story doesn't mean that the author necessarily plagiarized. Based on your criteria, this would indicate that all cliches are basically copies of each other - all those vampire with mortal girl, best friends falling in love, step-sibling love, rivals-turned-to-lovers stories should all sue each other for copyrights.

Plagiarism is the exact copy or near rewording of the same exact scenes, lines, and dialogue. A post on the non-infringability of plots and/or ideas by published author Justine Larbalestier summarizes points from blogger, Candy, most succinctly: "You can’t copyright a plot or an idea. You can only copyright the specific expression of that plot or idea as recorded in some sort of tangible form. Think about the nightmare of attempting to nail down and legislate a plot or idea for a story. How specific would you have to be before you could declare something unique enough to copyright? i.e. 'An angst-ridden story about a vampire falling in love with a human.' Dude, if you can copyright that and collect a small fee every time somebody published that story, you could have your own giant pool of gold coins to swim in, Scrooge McDuck-stylee."

Please keep an open mind. I can swear on my life that False Facades is an original writing of mine, from its characters to the dialogue, and I will never copy someone else's hard work.

I honestly never even heard of Hana Kimi before I published False Facades on Fictionpress. And to those who have told me that the story is a copy of "She's The Man", the movie came out in 2006, way after I put up the story in 2003.

And I believe that asides from the crossdressing girl, the plot line isn't really the same as these other stories. I think.

But you all are entitled to your own opinions and the more I try to defend the writing, the more I may seem like a snotty know-it-all or something. :) So in the end, I can only say that I hope you'll still enjoy the story as it is. That's all!

Thanks.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

First Day of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
A partridge in a pear tree.

False Facades Chapter 2 has been reposted. Merry Christmas, all!

I went to cousins' (dad's side) place today, had my other cousins (mom's side) with us, ate a lot, had mango ice cream, watched WALL*E, and played Speed Scrabble. (Btw, Pa is indeed a word! I wasn't cheating. Look it up, cousins. Never argue with me again. :)

All in all, it was a pretty fun day as holidays should be - a packed house with loved ones and laughter and of course, friendly insults. Haha, hope everyone had a great day too!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

False Facades Reposting

In light of the holidays and the recent deluge of inquiries about False Facades (I'm guessing with winter break starting, people suddenly have more time to kill), I've decided to repost the story on Fictionpress. :) Along the lines of holiday spirit and to make things more festive, I'll be posting up the chapters over the next twelve days, in acknowledgment to "The Twelve Days of Christmas" (one of my favorite Christmas carols when I was a child). Twenty nine chapters over twelve days - you do the math. Since it won't be evenly divided, on some days, you'll see two chapters and on some, three.

In regards to my revisions, I haven't completed them yet, but ... oh wells. :) I'm feeling too cheerful this winter break. But once again, I must stress that I highly prefer no one copy+paste my writings. Please don't repost my story anywhere else, even if you credit me. I don't see the point when you could just as easily offer a referring link. I don't wish to see stories floating around on winglin.net, soompi, quizilla, or even xanga. If you didn't even bother to ask for permission beforehand, that's a double kick in my gut when I find out.

But I trust you guys. I have to believe that there are more good readers out there than bad. As I've written months ago, before I took down False Facades, in a PM to reassure a fellow FP frequenter who expressed her own fears about posting up her work after she noticed my plagiarism issues:

I know how you feel. I would love it if it weren't so easy for people to just click, copy and paste what so many authors here have spent hours, days, months writing. Sure, there's that nice little copyright sign at the bottom of the page, but it's small comfort in a world where so many people are anonymous and can take anything without any regards to the author.

Right now, I comfort myself with the knowledge that I'm showing my work to the world and that hopefully, even with plagiarism, the stories would have already been documented on the site as some sort of a proof that I've had the story here long before.

Fictionpress to me is a hobby right now and a method of motivation for me to finish up a long work, through gaining feedback and constructive criticism. I've long believed that my writings posted here are still in first draft modes and I've been astonished, dismayed, that any person would still plagiarize these pieces, even with their rough sections.

But I like this site because of the community, ease of usage, and feedback. Through the readers, I get to know what works and what doesn't and hopefully, this will help polish my writing skills for the better. In the end, the reason why I've chosen to maintain my works here isn't because I'm brave, it's because of the incredibly nice readers who haven't let me down.

It's scary publishing works online sometimes, but hopefully, there are more good people out there than bad.

So! I lost faith a while back, but now, with the Christmas cheer around us, I want to believe in Fictionpress again. Really. Truly. Deeply do! :)

But even though I had the story up before, I'm kinda nervous. By removing the last 29 chapters, I fear that I've given readers who haven't read the story before super high expectations of the story. I hope this doesn't inevitably lead to disappointment.

Readers should remember that this story is a super rough draft that I dared to put up years back when I was around thirteen, young and innocent. Now, I'm older and more ... fragile haha.

Like I've said before, this story has multiple cringeworthy points that jump out at me now that I look back at it, but at the same time, it's the story I'm perhaps the fondest of. In spite of my embarrassment at certain things I came up with, certain sections never fail to let me smile. It is the story that most clearly documents the changes in my writing style. Readers can literally follow the earlier, comedic, dialogue driven chapters to later ones that get developed more and more. Hopefully, you'll see what I mean. For this freezing winter break, I hope False Facades, fluffy and sweet with a cheerful, over the top sort of humor, can offer some sort of entertainment for you all. For the cynics out there who's hovering in the background ready to bash my writing, I admit ... I'm scared of you. But I also accept criticism full-heartedly since of course, I recognize my weak points. I can only hope though that if you really find that you don't like the story, please just stop reading and move along to enjoy other stories out there; don't let this consume your holidays - if you feel it's not worth it, then simply don't spend any more time on it.

For the readers more willing to deal with my crazy, whimsical writings, um, let the games begin? Haha, I do hope False Facades will be to your liking.

Cheers, everyone. The first day of Christmas starts tomorrow. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Let Them Eat Cake

I had the weirdest dream ever, but it wasn't all that unpleasant.

I was thrown back to this Pride and Prejudice type of setting and I sat in this stuffy gold gown with my sister(? I don't have a sister in real life) next to me and this tall, broad-shouldered guy with dark hair to my right who never looked at me directly, but I knew - just knew he was the Darcy type. Across our dinner table were two girls who were also sisters, one dark-haired and one blonde. My dream self recognized that the dark-haired one was the meaner one while the blonde was the prettier, somewhat nicer girl.

Then things went silly from there.

Waiter took our orders - and we could place orders for special BREAD. (I blame this on yesterday night's search for brunch food. I'm going out for brunch next Sunday with some friends and I made myself hungry looking at menupages. So many muffins, challah toast and bialys, ooh.)

Anyway, so we placed our orders, but when our special BREAD came, silly me had no clue which one was which. There was a longer challah looking type with onions (which was supposed to be mine) which I started to cut open and .... stuff with gravalax but my sister quickly warned me "That's not yours!" (Stupid sister!), so I grabbed the blonde girl's rounder, smaller bread instead and, er, dropped back the other bread into the basket, gravalax included.

Guilt guilt. I buttered the blonde girl's soft bread and was chewing it when Darcytype tilted his head left in my direction and whispered ... something. I forget, but it was something that made me realize "Oh shit! Wrong bread!" and made me feel even guiltier for dropping back my bread into the basket since even though I didn't bite into it, it's not quite nice to have your fingers all over someone's bread.

Meanwhile, the sisters across from us were oblivious and they kept chatting away, eating their entrees while I'm still gnawing at my bread, mouth dry. They finished their entrees and they didn't appear to notice or want the bread, but as the blonde girl turned her face, eyes all shining, to Darcytype across the table, he made a remark "Enjoyed the food?" which had this snarky undertone that I knew was directed at me.

Guilt overwhelmed me and I slammed my bread down onto my plate and leaned forward like a mad woman. "Excuse me! But I ate your bread!" Sounds ridiculous, I know, but in my dream, I was acting as if I was making a noble speech. "I didn't know this bread was yours and I'm sorry but I also sort of buttered/gravalaxed my old bread for you too." Pointed at the challah sandwiche with salmon in between.

The sisters stared at me, revolted. "Ew!" exclaimed the blonde girl. (Not very Pride and Prejudice, no?) "I can't believe you ate my bread!"

I started to stammer. Darcytype went silent and still next to me. I babbled, "I'm sorry - I - I'll make it up to you - how about - how about you have my dessert instead?" At this, while my upper torso's leaning forward to the girls in supplication, I felt Darcytype's shoulder brush against mine, leaning against me as if telling me "No. You don't have to do this."

I'm guessing this must be very good dessert.

The girls' eyes widened and they immediately agreed even though they were still pretending to huff and pout.

This must be incredible, mind-boggling dessert!

I sat back, forgotten, as the girls went back to chatting, and I felt absolutely miserable for trading my heavenly chocolate cake or something for a piece of stupid bread.

But when dessert came and the girl took my plate, Darcytype cleared his throat and subtly shifted his plate over in front of me.

I blinked. "Wh - what?"

His voice was gravelly as he finally glanced over at me. "I don't care for sweets."

Then he dropped his napkin into his seat as he got up and left our table.

. . . Weirdest dream ever! I rarely remember my dreams, but this is the weirdest dream of all time!

They say dreams tell something about you.

I guess mine says I'm a pig that prizes her dessert way too much.

That, and I should label my bread in the future.

Stephenie Meyer dreams of sparkling vampires and I get dreams about cake and bread. Thank you, muse.

Happy Holidays!


Elizabeth: "That's exactly right. I ate your bread!"
Darcy: "And I relinquished my cake to her. Problem?"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Through Me Chapter 25

Through Me Chapter 25 has finally been posted! Sorry about the lateness - I was going to post it yesterday, but I passed out instead. I had to wake up at 6 for an 8am final and then a day's work at lab. By the time I got home, the commute took the life out of me and I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.

Happy news, finals week is finally dwindling down. I am done!

Next semester, I'm taking Gross Anatomy and while I'm looking forward to wearing the scrubs and getting my white coat, I'm pretty sure I'll be crying by the end of the first week. Friends say that once it all starts, there's no real break until the end of the year. Whoo. Joy.

Recent news in a paragraph: I took my finals. I went to a school party at a club, got wasted because my Asian blood is not equipped for even one Coke & Rum, guy I was dancing with thought I was funny until he realized I was falling asleep on my feet and tried to help me out for water and fresh air, got my water taken from me by the security guards (dazed blink - "Hey! Where'd my H20 go!") because apparently, they thought it was vodka or something and no drinks were allowed downstairs, laughed a lot, threw up during the long commute home, cried a bit and swore never to drink again. Following weekend, went out with elementary school friends and had sushi, got walked home by a guy who likes to insult others too much, friend called this morning to make sure I was alright with him asking her for my number; I said no. I took the train home yesterday and was woken up by a blonde, girl-next-door-college-student-looking-type, opera singer belting her lungs out for change to help pay her rent. Interesting month.

Easy Optimism
designed by sekiyoku at shirt.woot!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Breaking the Law

There hasn't been much going on in my life except for studying and cramming so things have been boring lately. I have 9.5 pages done for the next Through Me chapter, but there are some things to wrap up.

Anyway, I was in the library today in a separate study room/cubicle thing with a friend and I had half a sandwich out on the table, unopened in a plastic box, while I was studying. Most people tend to sneak lunch there while they study in spite of the "No Eating" rules since there's generally no one around to keep track of violations. I've seen people literally demolish a whole McDonalds meal there and it seems more like a picnic area. Not that I'm condoning eating in the library - bad, rats and bugs and all that, bad! But I never thought the rules were enforced that seriously so I wasn't paying any attention when I pulled out my container while digging textbooks from my bag and set it beside me .

But a voice interrupted me while I was reading: "Miss?"

I turned out and a security lady stared me down. Uh oh. "You're not supposed to have food in the library."

"Right, right, I'm so sorry." Now what? I picked it up, unsure about what to do (a.k.a. what I can get away with), and she stared back at me. So I slowly tried to inch it back to my bag just in case silly me could save the poor food, but alas, thwarted. "No, you can't put it away in front of me." (I was tempted to ask if she could turn around for a minute then, but I'd probably get tasered or something.) "You have to either go out to finish it or toss it -"

"I'll toss it, thanks." I nodded, prepared to stand up.

But she stopped me to ask for my ID and then, no joke, she started scribbling notes in this little notepad thing that's reminiscent of what meter maids generally use for parking violations. She kept writing and writing and asked for my ID digits and then kept writing and writing.

I eyed my friend; she smirked.

Finally, the lady finished and was like, "Okay, I'll watch you go throw that out now."

I'm sorry - I know this is supposed to be all serious and official, but I couldn't help but be a little amused. I got up and made my way through the shelves to the garbage pail and tossed it before turning around to head back down the long aisle. The lady literally just watched me, feet shuffling side to side, and when I returned back to the room, she turned around and ambled off with a mumbled, "Have a good day."

My friend burst out laughing. On my book was my ID and this pink ticket.

We studied it and I wondered, "Am I supposed to pay something?"

"No, I think it's just a violation form. Haha, 'Student had food out on table'."

"Oh, wow." I slipped my pink slip into my folder, not quite sure if I should keep it, toss it, or frame it now. "My very first ticket - think this will go on my permanent record? Am I a delinquent now?"

Friend snickered.

Then I noticed that the lady had copied my ID digits down wrong.

Whoops. Criminal on the loose!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

T-Giving & Mario Kart Love

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I got herded over to my cousins on my father's side in Staten Island. Pay toll is now $10 - what is the world coming to?

So I met some of my usual cousins (or cousins-stealers, as my cousin on my mother's side like to not-so-affectionately call them whenever she finds out we have to go to their place instead of hers. I think she'd fight for custody if she could.) and then I found some of my more long-lost cousins.

The first thing two of them said when they climbed up the steps to the attic and saw me and my baby girl cousin was "Oh, hey, um ... I assume ... you're ... girlfriends of someone ...?"

I stared at them. "Are you kidding."

Long-lost cousin #1 looked scared. "Uh ..."

"There are only like two girls in this family, you know, and you can't even remember us?" Seriously, the testosterone of my father's side is overwhelming.

His eyes darted over to baby cousin and his expression was astonished. "Mimi?" That's our pet name for her. "You look like you're in college!" Yeah. Baby girl cousin is no longer such a baby. A freshman in high school, she's wearing make up and has an unhealthy fascination with learning more about drinking games and what drinks she should drink. ("None, BABY COUSIN!") I want to gather her up in my arms and squeeze her back into a toddler.

Then long-lost cousin hesitated over me again. "Uh ..."

His brother jumped in then and was like, "She's the sister of him!" Points to my brother who's in the corner playing a computer game furiously with my other cousins.

I point at the brother, my long-lost cousin #2. "I like him better."

"Highlights" of the Night:

- Trying to stop my baby cousin from guzzling the bottle of wine. Showed her how cool I was by immediately turning into a tomato after taking half a measly cup of wine. Long-lost cousins now think I'm a party girl and an alcoholic. Dude, if I was, I wouldn't be such a lightweight!

- Having three tables for separate hotpots. 'Cause that's how our family breaks it down for Thanksgiving. Even a kiddie table latches onto a new element of excitement with a huge pot of boiling water in the center of the table. ("Call me an alcoholic one more time and I'll shove this pot in your face." - me across the table to long-lost cousin #2. His response: "I always knew you were violent." Damn it. Now everyone knows.)

- Trying to convince baby girl cousin that alcohol is not cool for underaged people. Except she seemed to hold her alcohol better than I did. ("Aw, it's okay. Not that red anymore!" - her to my tomato face.) Damn it.

- Long-lost cousin #2 seemed to found a sadistic kindred spirit in me and attempted to strangle me/lead me around on a leash with my own scarf. And I'm the drunk one??

- Tried to talk to long-lost cousin #1 about medical school stuff since he's a medical student at John Hopkins except we got distracted by cooler stuff - i.e. why his finger is bandaged like a sausage ("So this friend had a dog and warned me not to pet it, but it was so cute and tiny and I was so wasted and I thought 'How nasty can the dog be? ...'")

So in other words, Thanksgiving break came and went too quickly. I went to bed yesterday at 4 in the morning, but I turned in my two papers. Mission accomplished.

Yay, good mail! I got a Sephora delivery today and the journal that published my short story also sent me my two issue copies which are supposed to be my payment of sorts. Dad teased me about holding out for cash, yah right. The copies were nicer than I expected - honestly, I pictured a thin magazine pamphlet, but these were cute glossy black books.

This is a cute song my friend sent me, the "Mario Kart Love Song" by blinktwice4y:




lyrics:

V1:
You be my princess
I'll be your toad
I'll follow behind you
on rainbow road
Protect you from red shells
wherever we go
I promise.

V2:
Noone will touch us
if we pick up a star
If you spin out
you can ride in my car
When we slide together
we generate sparks
in our wheels and our hearts

Chorus:
The finish line
is just around the bend
I'll pause this game
so our love will never end
Let's go again

V3:
The blue shell is coming
so I'll go ahead
If you hang behind
it'll hit me instead
but never look back
cause I'm down but not dead
I'll catch up to you

Bridge:
Don't worry about
Bowser or DK
Eat this glowing mushroom
and they'll all fade away

Chorusx2

to the mushroom cup
and the flower cup
and the star cup
and the reverse cup

walalalalala
walalalalalawaluigiiiiii

Creative and hilarious - I wish someone would take a blue shell for me too.

And now! Back to cramming furiously for my finals. :( Sorry about the randomness of this post - my brain is just sluggish now.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Naturally Rosy, That's All

So I had my French exam in the morning and then I had to lead a small group discussion in my epidemiology workshop later in the afternoon. Oh boy.

The room was cold so I kept my jacket on.

Except once I stood up to draw causal pathways and variables on the blackboard, I realized that I have nerves of yogurt. As in, with more than even three pairs of eyes trained on me, I start melting. Suddenly, suddenly!, I was overheated and I could literally feel the warmth radiating from my cheeks.

It's like I just downed a bottle of vodka - cue Asian glow! And the worst thing about blushing is that you know that you're turning beet red, but you can do absolutely nothing to stop it! Nothing!

(Unless someone does know a way. In that case, please share the wealth. Except I don't mean advice like "Dude, just pack ice in your pockets and whip it out." Not funny.)

Presentations, sighs. All that kept running through my head as I talked with my cheeks singeing the air was "GAH! DON'T LOOK AT MEEEE!"

Next up: Endless exams. Where's a Superhero when you need one? Gosh, I'd even take a sparkly vampire.



Edit: I was wondering for a while why the heck the Google Ads that appear on this blog keep showing ads for Lip Plumpers. Then I realized it's most likely because of my post on Chuck Bass' pout. I found that amusing.

Fanart - Rose-Rayne and Anonymous

So Rose-Rayne (deviantART profile linked) sent an awesome fanart of Will! Gah, one fanart gives me the giddiness of receiving like ... 76.5 character pics at once! Major whoa.

Thanks, dear Rose-Rayne!

William Carter by Rose-Rayne



Look it! He even has the kickass T-shirt he wore in Chapter 23. :)

Speaking of fanart, this reminded me of some pictures I received way back in the False Facades days and I thought these fanart deserved to be posted up as well:

Samantha Westlane - Anonymous



Vincent Grenford - Anonymous



Tristan Harland - Anonymous



Thanks for the lovely artwork, Rose-Rayne and Anonymous! You guys are amazing.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Busy, Busy!

I've been getting to bed at 3 in the morning this past week for papers and exams. It's quite sad when the fox in my Gmail theme gets to bed earlier than I do. Three little foxy ghosties pop up instead to play Go outside the house so at least, I get animated animal spirits to keep me company.

Beyond sad.

It's cold and I have a heat dish on that just started blaring. That can't be good.

I have to work with describing and calculating confounding variables in the association of alcohol consumption with lung cancer right now and my group members are hiding from me. Heads will roll tomorrow if they show up without any work done. No joke. Friends say I'm a dictator during group projects.

Short post today because I'm really stressed out. It's crunch time for papers and finals and board exams so I'm having a hard time getting writing done. I got three pages for the next chapter of TM. :(

On a happier note, I got fanart! :) And a few more pictures to post up later on.

Until then, got chivalry?



Edit: Oh, btw, speaking of chivalry, did anyone go see the Twilight movie? Someone sent a short clip of the theater experience and all I heard was these animalistic moans and shrieks. From the audience.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Gmail Themes

I adore Gmail. I literally have everything saved there, i.e. story chapters, short stories, term papers, photo backups, etc. If apocalypse ever hits and for some odd reason, I am the only person left alive with the most invincible beings on earth (i.e. the cockroaches), Gmail will be right up there on my list of things to mourn. For that matter, I simply just love Google the company itself. Is there anyone in this age who doesn't visit Google at least once per day?

And thus ends my fangirl -

Wait, no! Because now they've turned out Gmail Themes! Hark, what is this glory I behold!

I was mighty irritated last night though when I had to find out from my friend that Themes were being rolled out. I was absolutely clueless and couldn't seem to be able to find the tab that my friend insisted was under settings. I thought she was lying to me since friends tend to do that, especially when you're online where you can't witness their smirks and snickering, so I went to - what else? - Google it. Turns out there were pretty themes being added to our Gmail accounts to spice things up and I was just not one of the lucky ones who got that awesome tab option last night.

They promised though that the feature would be rolled out slowly through the next few days. That still didn't stop me from wondering for hours if I had done something wrong. ("I love you, Gmail. Why do you not love me back? That so-called friend of mine doesn't even use you that often. I, on the other hand, check you religiously." *Whispers* "She doesn't deserve this.")

So within several minutes, friend's Gmail actually, for some miraculous reason, died on her and she couldn't even get the log in page up anymore so she ran and left nasty messages on my facebook (since no pretty Gmail for her!) about how I had probably sent too many whining, tearful chat messages to her and killed her account. I laughed.

Our friendship is loving in its own brutal way.

So themes will infiltrate and take over Gmails pretty soon over these next few days (while hyping it up even more and making the people who didn't get it yet feel like the losers who didn't get an invitation to the popular kids' party, I guess), but I believe it might be in order of how long your account has been around. This morning, lo and behold!, I received my pretty themes. Right now, my account's set on Tea House, which follows the time of your region and shuffles scenery around, with the sun setting into evening. (It's dusk now and a fox is sitting out in the backyard with some ducks, playing a flute, amongst peach trees.)

I also like the Ninja options - throwing stars to star your items!

Friend has hers set on Zoozimps (am I the only one who keeps typing Zoopimps instead?)

I'm easily pleased.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Like Aged Wine

So I stopped by the DMV the other day, but it was just closing so I couldn't get anything done and had to leave. But this security office guy there comes up to me and was like "How can I help you?" and seems all sympathetic, "Oh yeah, it's too late. Try coming by half an hour earlier next time."

So I'm just "Oh, okay. Thank you." But then he stopped me just as I was turning for the door and asked "How old are you?"

Bewildered, I said, "Twenty one?" (I don't know why I felt the urge to reply in a question - you ever hesitate over your answers even though it's a fact like that? - like maybe I was afraid he'd whip out handcuffs if I didn't say the right number and was preparing myself to babble on "NO WAIT, I MEAN TWENTYFIVESIXISH!")

"Oh." His face turned skeptical with this slight smirk. "Because you look twelve."

So I just stood there, all conflicted, like ... "ARE YOU FOR REAL! HOW CAN YOU BE SERIOUS - oh. Wait. Hmm. Thank you." Then I flounced away.

I didn't quite know how to react since my first instinct was to get all offended, but then I realized that I'm not getting any younger these days so with my nightly bouts with insomnia and lack of sleep, perhaps I should take it as a good sign that I don't seem as worn out and wrinkly as I thought? Maybe? Yeah?

Then again, I'm pretty sure being taken as a preteen at my age isn't exactly something to brag about either.

Baby-faced friend K was like "If you look twelve, then I look eight."

Other friends voiced in "Pfft! You so don't look twelve! It happens to Asians all the time! We just age really well!" Cue flipping of hair over shoulders.

Except, now that they say that I so don't look twelve, then I wonder how old do I really look then? Why can't I be twelve! I'm still young and youthful, aren't I?

Seriously. I'll forever be a Toys R' Us kid.

In other news, I hate papers and I hate finals and I hate miniboards that cover a year's worth of material, especially since I can't even rock an exam that covers a quarter of one semester.

And I despise deadlines.

When I grow up (and am no longer twelve), I shall be ... a Terminator.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Birthdays

There are a lot of birthdays these days. First it was my cousin's birthday and the next day was a friend's 21st. This past Thursday, I didn't get home til around 1 in the morning because of the friend's birthday bash. He wanted to go to a bar and then a club and things didn't get started until 10pm. I left early.

Since I chose to go straight from school instead of commuting back home, I had quite some time to kill. I found myself wandering a Barnes & Noble, perusing four floors of books. For such a bad economy and all the doom and gloom surrounding the publishing industry, it was nice to see the bookstore packed. People had a hard time finding seats, especially since you're not supposed to sit in the aisles, blocking the shelves. I flipped through one of Tess Gerritsen's newest books and wandered through the YA section with all the books from Stephenie Meyer, Lauren Myracle, Melissa Marr, Sarah Dessen, etc. etc. I believe the staff picks featured Lauren Myracle's Bliss, Meyer's Twilight series (naturally), Judy Blundell's What I Saw And How I Lied, and of course, Suzanne Collin's The Hunger Games. I can't wait for the next book from Collins. The Hunger Games rocked my socks off.

There was an event going on around 7pm with Paul Simon though so that definitely helped pulled in a larger crowd.

After that, I met up with a friend for Korean food and Pinkberry (the newest oh so pink Pomegranate flavor! With pomegranate toppings! Chockful of antioxidants! Except I really can't taste the difference between it and the original.). And visited Sephora for more perfume and make-up goodness - we're addicts.

Finally, FINALLY, we met up with a bunch of people for the birthday events. Birthday boy danced his butt off and got all scandalous and we just plied each other with drinks.

Exhaustion.



Is this not the saddest yet funniest thing ever? :(

Through Me Chapter 24

Through Me Chapter 24 is up! Things are slower in this chapter, but everything will pick up again next installment.

By the way, I wanted to wish my lovely cousin a very happy belated birthday! I got her some make-up stuff and she gives the new Clinique Lash Power Mascara Long Wearing Formula thumbs up. I read good reviews for it and since she wanted a waterproof, long staying mascara, I picked it up for her to try out. According to her, you need no eye make-up remover and it rinses off with warm water in the shower. Oooh.

But what happens if you tear up? Supposedly, it takes several splashing of warm water to get it off though so it sounds good to me. Unless I'm planning to bawl my eyes out, it seems like an awesome mascara. Easy to wear, easy to clean.

And this ends your commercial of the day. We return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Basshole Pouts & Voyeuristic Bubble Baths

I took my Biochem exam yesterday and it was horrific. I can't even think about it without feeling the need to curl up into a random corner of my room. The end.

Also, because of my furious cramming and essay writing, I am so behind on NaNoWriMo that my NaNoWriMo calendar widget so far is coded alarm red because that's supposed to be the color when I've done monstrously bad. That's sure to be alarming.

So I went on a night of braindead frenzy instead as I caught up with random TV shows. Watched Gossip Girl and marveled at the way Chuck Bass can do his "pursing of the lips in cynical thought" thing (a.k.a. the Basshole pout?), the number of times his soulful lips juts out is probably more than all the girls in the show combined. And these are high elite teenage girls who have to stress about, like, getting into Yale, hitting all the hot spots, hooking up with cute boys, trying to get family time in with Mommy and Stepfather #5, AND making sure they still look damn hot. Whoa, these brave souls with their lipgloss slicked lips must be true masters at holding back their angsty facial expressions.

That being said, Chuck Bass is my favorite Gossip Girl character. I have an unhealthy fondness of watching the sadistic relationship between Blair and Chuck - they just make things so much more interesting. (A side note, the couple's joint name is CHAIR? What? Bluck wasn't cool enough?)

Chair Reunion. Or Team Bluck. Featuring Chuck Bass' Blue Steel pout.

Next up was America's Next Top Model. What is going on with that show? One minute, the awkward, eccentric European Marjorie is wrangling her hands and going "I'm so insecure!" and the next, she's frolicking in the bathtub with two other girls, having a threesome bubble bath. Episode 11, she follows her go-sees debacles up with a second tearful bath while her best buddy sits along the side of the tub, sipping from a mug as she observes Marjorie bathing and bemoaning, "I wish I was more confident!"

I don't know about you, but the last time I took a bath with someone watching was when my mom still had to prop me up so I wouldn't drown.

Or who knows, maybe I'm just the odd one who doesn't rank friends watching you take a bath up there as a fun girl-bonding session. Hmmm.

Back to writing papers and working on the next chapter (How do you get out of awkward situations? Adel says: Run.) in between trying to claw my way back up to a NaNoWriMo friendly word count.

Through Me: Character Pics - Izzie

candypop117 (a.k.a. Isabella, Iz, Izzie, Bel, Bella, or Izzie :) sent some more pictures (this time with a Tristan!) over.
Says Izzie:
I was checking out your blog a few minutes ago and with all the pictures I just couldn't resist sending you my ideas...

My very own Tristan (Doug Pickett) seemed to match everyone else's Tristan..which is pretty good in my opinion but there's this one picture of him that just hits home...well for me anyway:


Tristan Harland - Doug Pickett




Adeline Bradbury - Paula Taylor







"Her name's Paula Taylor (Thai-Australian). She's an actress and a model, and I personally think she's so cute! Most people may recognise her from the Amazing Race Asia." - Izzie

Thanks for the pictures, Izzie! Even though your Tristan is the same as a previous post, it's always nice to see more pictures of particularly appealing guys. :)

Through Me: Adel Pics - Jessica

I got quite a few pictures the other day for characters and here's the first post:

Apparently, Alex Prettyfer has a lot of love so there's one more fan on his side and Jessica didn't feel the need to search for another Tristan. However, she was inspired to go Adel-hunting, braving the perils of the internet search engine.

Says Jessica:

"I don't actually look up pictures very often, so I don't have much experiance with this kind of stuff. Oh my gawwwd, it's so scary. Half the sites on google lead to semi-pornographic images (which thankfully I didn't click). One that I thought was safe actually had a disclaimer that said "enter if you want to see explicit sexual images". I fairly ran away from that site. >_<

Oh, the things I do, as a loyal fan, to obsess over your story.
This is why you should update more riight? <33
Just kidding, I know you're busy.

Meh, I don't actually agree with the Adels that were posted up. They seem to, I dunno, classy. Adel seems like a really average-ish girl who shines on the inside more than the outside. I wouldn't think of her as a stunning beauty. But I guess that's just my interpretation.

That being said, I present to you my hour of google searching. Appreciate the hazardous websites that I braved to get these images. Oh my. D:

Oh, I do appreciate it. I really do. :) I know too well the kinds of weird images that pop up whenever I try to search for something. ("Why is there a lady reclining on a table in stockings and a red bra here? I thought I was looking for Chicken and Waffles ...")

Without further ado, here are the new pictures, courtesy of Jessica's fearless efforts:


Adeline Bradbury - China Chow (British actress) (That's one funky name, btw.)







"Last one is kind of weird, but it was on the page, so hahaha, I just included it. That's China Chow btw." - Jessica.


Adeline Bradbury - Celina Horan (Model)





"Celina Horan also makes an okay Adel, but she's too, uhh, angular and flawless for my liking, but the second picture with the tree really reminds me of something Adel would do. (:" - Jessica

Once again, thanks, Jessica, for taking the time to look up pictures!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can

Congratulations to the President-Elect Barack Obama!

Last night, for a moment there, I was worried about the Bradley effect or if there might be another repeat of the Florida fiasco, but Obama and his team have persevered. Throughout this grueling campaign process, he'd maintained his calm composure and has shown class and grace in the face of relentless attacks on his character. I'm proud of our nation and while the near future probably won't be free of rough patches, I know I'm looking forward with hope. Last night was a testimony to our belief in the democratic system and I thought both contenders handled the election results with professionalism. Kudos to McCain for his long, hard-fought campaign battle and for his gracious concession speech. Congratulations to Obama for his triumphant victory and his powerful speech in Chicago. May Obama's new administration offers the change we want and need, as it continues to inspire thousands to make a difference everyday.

While I was coming home from school, this girl asked the man next to me if he knew where she could find a copy of The New York Times. Dressed in casual Columbia sweatpants, she'd apparently been shuffling all around in search of a copy of the elusive newspaper with its bold headline: OBAMA.

The man told her that he had looked for it himself and couldn't find a copy from three different news stands. It was sold out everywhere.

Across the nation, throughout the whole world, everyone knows that we are witnesses to a new page in history. Generations later, we will probably look back at this time and pull out these very same newspaper clippings to reminisce on this day, the day the United States chose change.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Election 2008


Duh. For those of you living in the United States, I hope you're exercising your patriotic right! Unless you just woke up from hibernation, I think we all know how important this election is, especially since the next President will have to pick up the slack left from the ..... that was the past eight years. Since it's late in the day, hopefully you've already voted. If not ... there's still time yet in certain states!

Through Me: Adel Pics - Sascha and Magz

More pictures, courtesy of Sascha! Apparently, her ideal Tristan has already been posted up, but she has a new face for Adel:

Adeline Bradbury - Kristin Kreuk





Thanks for sending in your thoughts, Sascha! I was super excited for more pictures. :) Again, for any readers who would like to send in images for characters, please feel free to do so.

Edit: Magz also agrees with Kristin Kreuk and has shown her support by throwing in another grungified picture for Adel. :)

Since I think they should go together, I decided to team up your pictures here rather than separating them into different posts. That, and the fact I'm kinda lazy at the mo'.

But behold!


Adel à la hides in the garden, falls from a tree, wrestles with Tristan in a bush, slaughters dust in the attic?

Thanks, Magz, for your input!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Fowl Play

Okay, I lied when I said I was gonna get started on my essay. Brain cells not functioning well right now.

I came across this really, really old piece of news last weekend about amazing celebrity mishaps and I think it's my weird funny bone trigger. I just couldn't stop laughing my head off whenever I thought about it even though it was probably quite scary and painful at the time.

Fabio went to Busch Gardens back in 1999 to do a promotional event for a new roller coaster, Apollo's Chariot. Locked into the middle seat of the front row, the ride set off and by the time the ride ended, they rolled back into the station with Fabio looking oh-so-serious with blood splattered across his nose and cheeks.

Apparently, as the ride passed over a pond on a descent, the serene geese floating upon the lake were spooked and ...

A bird hit him in the face.

WHAT ARE THE ODDS?! He had two lovely costumed ladies to his left and right and the stray goose does a kamikaze into his face!

It must be all that "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" pheromones.

Laughing Girl: Yah, I totally placed the hit on you, Fabio. Not butter, my BUTT!

Park officials said that no sign of the bird was found (cue creepy X-Files music?), but I think a park guest mentioned that a dead goose was found floating in the pond after the ride. Either Fabio killed the 20 lb goose with his wicked powerful nose or we can be optimistic and say that the bird is still out there, ready to snipe someone another day ...


By the way, I always knew roller coasters are one of the top dangers in the world. I never saw the joy in paying a lot of money to wait on super long lines to strap yourself in a reckless contraption that wreaks havoc on your hair and vomit reflex. No, sirree. Now add stray birds to the calculation.

(Roller coasters rank way up there on my fear list along with bloody horror movies, fatty meat, and insects, a.k.a. I'd rather get a shot than be dragged onto one. The end.)

Through Me Chapter 23

Through Me Chapter Twenty-Three is finally up! At nineteen pages, it's easily two times the size of a regular chapter. It nearly killed me.

The weather's been freezing these past few days. It went from glorious sunny warmth one day to getting a blast of what felt like ice needles in my face. Friend and I couldn't even see in the wind as we walked down the hill from campus and the rain didn't help much. However, it warmed up a bit yesterday. Hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! Baby cousins went as a pirate and a witch, haha. The older one is now 3 years old and he outgrew his costume from last year so all he had was his pirate hat.

I had a quiz and two exams this past week and I have more coming up next Monday and Friday. Also, the presentation for French? Yeah, some girl went up and did my assigned city, so I need to prepare a new presentation for a new city now.

Also, work sucks. I have to recheck soldering for individual electrode pins before they get sent out to be gamma irradiated which means I'd have to repack everything by next Friday. Cursed life!

But NaNoWriMo has started and I'm using it as an opportunity to crank out something I've been thinking about for a while. Since it'll be really rough and will contain ideas I'd need to recheck along the way, it's going to be one of my sideline private projects, I think.

BTW, Chapter 23 featured Will's T-shirt with the lovely saying: "If You Like My Guns, You'll Love My Rocket." This was actually based on a real shirt my friend wore to class. It was hilarious since he actually had the nerve to wear it for his Genetics presentation and everyone else were like "Psst, just keep staring at his shirt." I googled it and found the shirt sold online at cafepress. Humorous T-shirts galore there, apparently. :)

I need to write serious stuff now, as in epidemiology position essays on experimental vs. observational designs regarding a paper on Estrogen and Progestin Therapies. Joy, my checklist just gets longer and longer.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Through Me: Character Pics - Anonymous

Thanks to Anonymous for taking the time to offer some pictures of Through Me's main characters! As with the previous post for girlgamer112, I just wanted to post some of them up here for certain curious readers' viewing pleasure. Have I mentioned how I love to receive comments? Getting pictures are like extra bonuses. :)

Adeline Bradbury - Song Hye Kyo (S. Korean Actress)





Tristan Harland - Alex Pettyfer (Actor)





Once again, much thanks to Anonymous for these pictures!

Regarding the next chapter of Through Me, I'm halfway through it. I'll see if I can get it out soon.

Friday, October 24, 2008

American Comfort Food

I've been eating too much outside. Or so my mother says. She thinks I'm going to eat my way into destitution and won't be able to pay for my med school expenses.

This past Wednesday was a friend's birthday and we went to this American soul food southern comfort cuisine type of place. The decor was really nice with cute miniature salt and pepper shakers (those artistic types where you can probably shake out fifteen flakes and call for a refill) and round glasses holding candles on each table. As a group of twelve, I think we took over a quarter of the restaurant.

I had their Tres Macaroni and Cheese with turkey flavored collard greens and garlic mashed potatoes on the side. A friend got the restaurant's famous Chicken and Waffles dish with maple syrup. Don't knock it. Pieces of fried chicken dipped in maple syrup are oddly yummy.

I could practically feel my arteries clogging with each bite, but it was good. Friend's waffles came with strawberry butter. Gasp. It's like strawberry ice cream since its sweetness just melts in your mouth ... but it's butter. And will melt its way toward your arteries.

Halfway through the meal, friend and I swapped plates. We seem to always do this. He eats my food. I eat his. I think we get tired of working on our original food after a while. Thank goodness. I didn't think I could survive the Mac and Cheese.

Then another friend of mine split a homemade green apple sorbet with me. We nearly swooned.

Said friend with her deep, creative expression: "It tastes like I just bit into a real apple!"

Seriously though. It had pieces of apple peels in it!

Okay, now we just sound dorky.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The World Wants Me to be a Public Speaker

My genius French professor decided on Tuesday that we should give short presentations on various cities in France for sometime next week. This isn't so bad because it seems short and relatively easy.

Then I received an email from one of the editors of the literary magazine that had published a short story of mine a while back. Short and brief, it was a simple invitation for me to read sections from my story at one of those cafe reading nights. Then she emailed me again with more details, stressing that she and the other editor hoped that I will accept.

My throat closed up.

I've realized that I'm an intensely private person. I like to think things through - sometimes, I tend to overthink things to the point where my friends and family want to smack me. I regret moments when I post things or say things too rashly and I can dwell on mistakes for days.

But all's well when I'm still relatively hidden. I can accept all kinds of harsh comments or pointedly cutting reviews. I can nod and take it in stride, accept everything as tidbits on how to improve my writing.

To stand out there in the public though ... all my senses seem particularly heightened. Everything seems brighter, hotter, more suffocating, more painful.

I remember, way back in high school, I had received Honorable Mention in the Bertelsmann Random House, Inc. Creative Writing Competition during my senior year, but it was during a time when writing was still mainly my secret and I had no courage to attend the award ceremony by myself.

Only later, when I received my gift package and award by Fedex, did my parents find out about the details. They weren't exactly pleased, but I think they'd been pretty much resigned to the fact that it's the way I am.

Even last year's fiction award ceremony featured me sitting nervously in the back row with my friends prodding me up on both sides. My presenter had to search for my presence in the audience before making his speech and I just made a beeline up - shook hands awkwardly - out the doors.

I'm a wimp.

I think that my short stories have always held more pieces of myself than anything I'd ever attempted to try to voice out loud. For some reason, they've been the places where I'd more often than not laid out my heart and tears, but I don't believe they will ever see the light of day unless it's for a professor or a judge's remote eyes. Even now, my Fictionpress postings aren't something that I'd necessarily wrenched out of from somewhere deep within me - they're the types of stories I jot down for shameless fun and what I feel can be sent forth in the world without worries about people plagiarizing an extremely personal account of mine. Like some weird form of protective device?

Then False Facades was plagiarized. Several times.

And I quickly realized that no matter how rough my writing can get, I can't relinquish my hold on these stories. To me, taking an awful draft of mine is no different from stealing one of my more polished works. Is it like a mother loving all of her children equally, in spite of the fact that some of them may drive her completely batty and she's just counting the days until they fly the coop?

Either way, I think I'm losing my zany, flighty spirit I've set aside for Fictionpress fun.

I'm more wary now.

And I think it affects my writing more than I'm willing to admit. I'm not sure if it's necessarily a good thing. I may be obsessed with trying to write better these days, but is it good for my mental health to lose the remnants of my freewheeling, unrestrained style that I'd kept solely to let loose?

I need to get back to just simply enjoying writing again. I've signed up for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year solely for this purpose, but I hesitate to say this out loud. With my sleepless schedule, I may not finish, but I hope the deadline challenge will allow me to just freewrite what I've been thinking too hard about these days. Hopefully. Maybe. I don't know. I do have some new ideas though and it'll be nice to use this time to test new waters. I'm thinking since the whole point of this month is to basically bang out as much words as possible (though they offer 50,000 words as the finish line), this can be a freeing experience and I need not spend so much time obsessing over each word and sentence structure. Maybe. In these recent years, I've been getting really anal for some reason and to let go of this anxious controlling instinct I've developed, this might just add to my burden rather than offer relief. I picture fingers itching and skin crawling.

Wow, how did the topic of presentations get to this long reflection on writing? Huh.

I think school's been getting me down. I have quizzes and exams coming up again (yeah, when did they ever stop again?) and I feel so drained these days. So blank.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Prader Willi Syndrome

Mission completed! I got through my presentation better than I expected. I'm always deathly nervous about presentations before a large bunch of people and I told some friends not to stare directly at me. One guy said he'd make funny faces and another nodded and told me he'd sit in the front row then and glare at me without blinking so I made some weird, hopefully intimidating face at them and then clutched my pages feverishly while I staggered off to the back row to wait my turn.

I had prepared a bunch of notes, but it turned out, once I got up there, my mouth went on automatic and I didn't need to refer to my papers after all. Plus, my professor's clicker is really cool - flips through slides and it comes with a laser light too. Whoa, be mesmerized.

It took forever for my nerves to settle though because my group was the last one of the day and we had to sit and wait through the others, pretending to jot notes and be all attentive to what they were saying.

But it's all over now!

I just need to get through two papers and another upcoming exam now ...

While I'm here though, allow me to list some general aspects of Prader Willi Syndrome just to enhance your erudition. (Hey, not everything can be about awesome, hot guys and romantic antics. Unfortunately.)

Prader Willi Syndrome (PWS) is a genetic disorder on chromosome 15 and its main characteristics are hypotonia (low muscle tone), hyperphagia (abnormally increased appetite), and hypogonadism (defective sexual reproductive organs), etc.

PWS patients have characteristic features including small hands and feet, short stature, almond shaped eyes with a triangular shaped mouth and a thin upper lip. What's most interesting about PWS patients is that they're overwhelmed with a need to eat and can never satisfy their appetite. They're typically really friendly people, but they may resort to all types of food-seeking behavior, including foraging, hoarding and stealing. Think you have it bad when your kid steals from a cookie jar? Families with PWS members must keep food locked away safely and keep fridges bolted because PWS patients are unable to prevent themselves from raiding the cabinets for any sort of food.

This leads to morbid obesity and can, in turn, cause complications such as diabetes and heart problems. There are general treatments for these patients, including a special group home geared for PWS, but as of yet, there's no real cure for the disorder.

Not to be biased, but I think I had one of the more interesting diseases of the day. :) The class seemed more inspired to ask questions about its aspects anyway.

That, or my group just got them incredibly confused.

For more information about Prader Willi Syndrome, this is the association's site: http://www.pwsausa.org/index.html.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Through Me: Character Pics - girlgamer112

This is all for girlgamer112 and her herculean efforts to get the image links to work. :) She sent a bunch of pictures of her ideas for Through Me's main protagonists, Adeline Bradbury and Tristan Harland. I've selected some to post here along with her comments. Thanks, girlgamer112! You're the best.

Adeline Bradbury - Maggie Q. "Well-known actress and model. She is eurasian and is half-chinese. I am aware that she is in her late 20s/ early 30s, but her pics of when she was younger are like the perfect comparison to Adel." - girlgamer112









Tristan Harland - Doug Pickett. "One of Ralph Lauren’s prominent male models. He is regarded as a younger version of Leonardo Dicaprio, due to some of his pictures. Not the ones I’m posting though. Last picture is the perfect picture for Tristan! =)" - girlgamer112







Once again, much thanks to girlgamer112 for her efforts! I adore the pictures. :) It's always lovely to see other people's ideas of representation for certain characters and I'm forever looking forward to readers' feedback.

News regarding writing, I'm working on the next chapter, but I have a presentation to prepare for on Monday. I've emailed the slides and the handouts to my professor already so now's all about the matter of preparing in detail what I'm going to say. There's also supposedly going to be a 5 minutes Q&A section with some visiting professors so I'm really tense right now and feeling sick to my stomach. I wish I'm one of those people who can get up there and just wing it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Exhausted

I'm absolutely exhausted. I have a splitting headache.

And I come home to my parents belting out songs to their karaoke dvds. What they lack in pitch and talent, they make up with enthusiasm and decibels.

Today, I was supposed to have two exams: French and Epidemiology.

Except, when I straggled into French class after staying up til 3am last night going over Epi, my professor announced that she had a "plan".

She postponed the exam for the third time. Normally, I wouldn't complain about getting a reprieve, but it's gotten to the point where I just want to get it over with. It's the second time I've crammed for her nonexistent exam when I should have used my time to better focus on my other exam.

But back to her genius plan: so she suddenly had the impulsive notion to skip the exam and go see a movie. Her reasoning? It's in French and it's a good movie and plus, it's a thriller so she claims that she's too scared to watch it by herself. Nice that she's in charge of a whole class that can accompany her now then, isn't it?

Most students would be "Nice!", but most students don't have a second exam later in the day that they can't miss. Normally, I would have looked forward to these events, but I just wished that she would just plan out things more thoroughly. If you're not going to give an exam, email us so we don't have to study needlessly. If you want us to see a movie, tell us so that we can just meet at the theater instead of wasting time coming to campus first.

Another girl was even more annoyed. She not only had another exam later, but to make matters worse, she took a taxi this morning just to get to French on time because she was afraid she might be late for our so-called test. Two other kids had work and other classes.

We were very disgruntled. The partypoopers of the class.

Professor zeroed in on me because I had a very "Are you for real?" face on.

She said: "Oh, you have an exam at 2? It's okay. I think the movie ends at 1:15."

Me: "I don't think I can get back to campus on time though."

Professor: "It's fine. Take the A train - it'll be fast."
(What world do you live in where public transportation runs so smoothly?)

Me (tight smile): "I don't think so."

Professor: "We'll leave now."

Me: "Actually, I think I'd rather study for my second exam now, you see. Since I spent time studying for French instead."

Professor: "Oh."

Me: "Yeah ..."

Professor: "Well, can you go see it later in the day then? We'll make this an assignment. Okay?"

Cursed life. Fortunately, four other students couldn't go either so we decided to try to set up our own movie date for tomorrow. Then this kid Googled the movie and he found out it was up online so we can just watch it for free. Score.

So I spent two hours reviewing for Epi again in between nodding off in the library and ... the exam was ... okay. Epidemiology is a really conceptual subject and since I'm not a math fan, the calculations make me too sad.

Now I have to ... watch the movie, restudy for French again ... and prepare for Genetics presentation next week. Who finds the idea of explaining the biochemical basis of a genetics disease with a Powerpoint presentation in front of 80 people fun?! Yeah?

If so, please come replace me. Please. I'm one of those people who can't even recite a sonnet in front of the class without quavering.

Oh! I think the wailing downstairs has abated. They're only mumbling now. I think they must not know the song.

My eyes feel so dry - so very tired. :(