Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Behavioral Med

Physio ended roughly two weeks ago, U.S. Healthcare ended a week ago, and now we're starting Behavioral Med. So far, it's been a pretty good class. It's not very stressful and they say it's our breather between Physio and Pharm.

Except it also starts at 8am and my body is still in denial about the 6am wake up time. I tend to only get four hours of sleep a night these days for some reason - I don't know what I do, but the next thing I know it's 12am and then insomnia hits. Which means I've been passing out in class a lot.

The professor did a relaxation exercise the other day to show the effects of meditation on the body. Buddhist monks can apparently sit in a freezing room and raise their body temperature through meditation. So he asked us to close our eyes and he took us through this hiking scenario, walking through fields and mountains and all that fun stuff.

I LOVED this exercise.

As soon as my eyes closed, my body wept with joy. And the last thing I remembered was the professor describing the path to the mountains before I passed out completely.

Fifteen minutes later, he woke us up. Half the class blinked blearily in the light and some people pleaded, "Can we do it again?"

"No," the professor said. "Now does anyone feel warmer?"

Silence. "Actually, we're pretty cold."

"You fell asleep, didn't you? I'm going to eat you guys."

Tomorrow, we're doing our first patient-doctor role play session. Very soon, we'll be sent off to our respective sites to do some actual patient interviewing. Exciting! But I wish I could concentrate better on my studies and pick up the slack for once. I feel like I'm always dangling by a thread and all the could've, would've, should'ves get depressing.

Cousin's wedding went well. Us girls did our bridesmaid duties superbly, the groomsmen were under the impression that they were lock-picking, door-busting triad members, and I learned that it is indeed possible to balance an egg with a partner groomsman using only one pair of chopsticks between us. Skills. Oh, and I managed to drop lobster into my lap onto my dress and wound up standing in the bathroom for fifteen minutes with my cousin, scrubbing some of the stains out with the help of some soap, eye make-up remover and a handy hand dryer. Butterfingers, word.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Classy Studying Style

I've been dying in Physiology the last two months and ... that pretty much sums up my life thus far. This past week, I've been running on three hours of sleep per night - I really, really hate waking up at 6 every morning to make my 8am classes - I've officially turned into a caffeine junkie. The lady at the cart - French Vanilla, small, breathes life into me. All in all, I've been slaving for a while and I believe I still pretty much dropped off the cliff on our exam today. Why, brain, why! I know, with all the abuse I give it and the lack of proper rest, it's fortunate enough my body can still make its way to school without keeling over, but ... brain, please, miracles I need.

For my last exam, I spent the night before even more spectacularly. I stayed in a study room with a couple of friends and pulled an all nighter at school, napping for a bit in chairs pulled up together. Yeah, like hobos, no big deal.

Kids, this is not the proper way to study efficiently, but I've been telling myself this for the last four years and somehow, it still always comes down to mindless rushing the eve of an exam.

I went to my neighborhood library last weekend to try to study, but I wasn't in much of a mood to concentrate that day - I didn't have my coffee fix - and ... that particular library branch is apparently not really a library.

It is however ...

A) a playground, a nursery, a place where you can abandon your shrieking kids for a few hours. My brother works there and he says some librarians had actually had to run outside and pull wandering kids out of traffic because they were looking for their mothers.

B) a social area where ladies gather and chat in loud voices. People get the privilege of hearing about so-and-so's handsome son who should have no problem at all getting married 20 years from now when they're all grown up. Cousin got up and went to stare at one particularly vocal woman until she got the hint.

C) a homing site for the not so mentally stable. I'm sorry, but if you're sitting at the computer and talking to it for half an hour ("I don't believe it. I don't believe it. I want my email. Hello! MY email! HELLO! Okay, let's see if this works. Come on! Okay, you want my password. I'll do it again. Here. I don't believe it. What is going on? HELLO!"), you skip from frustrated individual straight to "Kids, please don't go near that lady." And please check personal hygiene before you venture into a local place.

By the end of the session, my cousin and I thought the old man with the phlegm in his throat was the most normal person at our table. Sure beats the father who smelled, the trenchcoat dude who seemed to be unaware of his sporadic humming, or the lady who lambasted her computer. I wanted to turn around and advise her to go to a librarian for help because she was starting to sound deranged, but provoking an unhinged person is never a good idea. I probably wouldn't have made it out of the place alive.

I had dragged my cousin along and we literally circulated the area again and again searching for better seats. We ended up near the bathroom and of course, some guy had to go in and clog the toilet - I felt bad for the little girl who went in right after him and then hurried back out an instant after. The stench was the final clincher in moving us along to the exits.

I'm just glad it's the weekend now and I can finally sleep. Next Sunday is my cousin's wedding banquet though! It's going to be a hectic period because I have exams coming up that week - okay, actually, I've been having weekly exams all this time anyway so who am I kidding? I'm going to be a bridesmaid actually and it should be fun.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Be Still, My Heart

Nothing much has been going on. Met up with some friends. Joined a nearby gym. Went back to school. Actually, I've been in classes for a while now. Physiology's been brutal so far. Wake up 6am everyday for classes which sometimes run super late - I got home around 10:30pm last night after wrapping up a paper. I don't even know how I wake up sometimes. The first exam, I ran on three hours of sleep a day and on the day of, I didn't even have the stamina to cram in the morning break. I just passed out in the study room and told friend to wake me when it was time to go.

We had a lab the other day where we ran EKGs (recordings of the electrical activity of the heart) on each other. It was easy for the guys in our group because all they had to do was strip off their shirt and the girls would label their chest, hook them up. The worst they had to deal with was removing the stickers, maybe taking a few chest hairs in the process.

Us girls though ... we had to head to the bathroom, fumble underneath our shirts to get the leads on (it's slightly more ... complicated for girls. We have to work around certain curves. And wired bras. Plus, I found that I had way less surface area for the six thoracic leads. V6 was supposed to somewhere midaxillary - roughly down the middle of your side. Mine ended up near my back. Friends laughed at my boniness.), then hook up the wires without pulling any of the stickers off, and get back to the lab room. Should the machine beep in error, the girl would have to shoo the guys into turning their backs before rummaging underneath her shirt to fix any wrong leads.

I was in and out of the bathroom, trying to hurry before the class ended, to replace the previous girl after she failed to elicit any signals for some odd reason, but I laid on the cot for five minutes, pressing around my chest to figure out if any leads had fallen off underneath my shirt as the machine kept beeping.

The two professors hovered around and I wondered if I was just a failure at hooking up leads when the guy in our group exclaimed, "Oh! I know why." He held up the plug. They'd forgotten to actually plug the leads into the machine. Geniuses, we all are.

So we ran the EKG - first with me reclining back, then holding a deep breath, and finally, lying on my right side. It went well and all in all, it was an interesting lab. Now we finally know what those lil squiggly lines mean. And I have my very own sheet of signals. I don't think I'll be having a heart attack anytime soon.

Still, physio has not been a favorite class of mine so far and the next test, coming up this Tuesday ... sighs.

On a happier note, another of my cousin is getting/has gotten married! They've registered, but the banquet is set for next month. I was a tad worried about the whirlwind courtship, but he seems happy and as long as he's happy, all is good. With all these preparations going on, I'm getting excited too. My dad just went over the other day to help write out the invitations because his Chinese calligraphy is supposed to be pretty good - or at least, pretty neat - and yay, it's just exciting haha. I love weddings.

Writing status: I'm so sorry, but like my sleep hours, it's been nonexistent. I wish it was otherwise. No time. No mood. No joy. Thank you all for continuing to send your messages and reviews even though my responses are still delayed - everytime I get an email, my day just brightens. You're the best.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nothing New

I finished up my board exams and I've been doing ... pretty much nothing the past week. Hung out with friends and family, watched 500 Days of Summer (loved!), played Guitar Hero, went to the casino, gorged myself at buffets, and bummed around at home. It's a good life.

Except I'm trying to write and I feel incredibly unproductive. I've been in a major funk. My cousin wants to throttle me. I have 9 pages for TM 28, but every time I pull up the document, my heart screams "WHAT NOW!" and then my brain shuts down when I try to figure out the details. So then I wind up sitting in front of the computer, staring blankly at the screen for an hour or so. Same goes for the other non-FP novel I've been working on. Seven pages here and there and then nada. I will finish TM sooner or later if it kills me. I only have three more chapters or so to go! Get a movin', brain!

Alas, days of freedom are dwindling down again. Classes start this Friday. I just bought my Physiology books and am looking into US Health Care Policy and Behavioral Med bks for later. I also need to prep for another med school interview. Five hour drive, dang. It's going to be an overnight trip and I'm heading off tomorrow so by the time everything wraps up, I'll have enough time to ... sleep before I get back to school. And cue sadness.

Random events: my brother recently sprained his ankle during a basketball game. The dude who tripped him was actually on his team so it was very "WTH?" So my brother's hobbling around the house from his room to the TV to my room these days, bored.

More randomness. I got attacked by a mosquito again and I have an inflamed lump the size of a golf ball on my ankle. So my brother and I are both limping pathetically now.

My friend recently went to be an extra in that new Queen Latifah movie, Just Wright. Haha, it's really out of nowhere, but she was bored and she showed up and got some cash for sitting and standing around. She was supposed to be part of the audience for a basketball game and she got to sit front row. She was also in several scenes where she had to walk around Queen Latifah and she totally tripped once. Fail. But I really want to see the movie now just to point her teeny face out and be like "SEE THAT DORK? I KNOW THAT DORK!" Especially if they actually on the rare chances keep in that tripping scene. I love my friends.

Also, tried to participate in that Cash for Clunkers deal to get a new car, but things didn't pan out. Bye bye, pretty Camry.

Another friend has been off to Tokyo for a week now, having the time of her life while I'm rotting here, and she promised me a lot of candy. Cool candy. See this, K? I have this down in writing and public now. No backsies.

Missed my cousin's wedding, but I got a lot of pictures and some videos of the events. They tried to dance down the aisle a la JK Wedding Style, but it was kinda funny since, in the words of my brother, "it was more like shy Asian shuffling". And my cousin is a party pooper. It looked like my cousin's bride was ecstatically waving her bouquet in the air while my cousin resolutely marched down the aisle as if he was trying not to associate himself with this shenanigan. My mom joked that the bride seemed thrilled that she finally managed to reel in my cousin.

The Wedding Cakes - Cuteness, it was made up of tiny vanilla and strawberry cupcakes.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Family Vacation & Parmesan Ice Cream?

My family's heading off to California in a few hours for my cousin's wedding. Yay!

Bad news is I'm not going. No. I'm stuck at home. Studying. Yay.

So they spent last night packing and preparing and they were all busily trying on clothes for the wedding, comparing outfits and ties and shoes ... so I went and tried on some of my pretty dresses too. Whee, let me dream.

Dad snorted when he found me in front of the mirror.

Mom was blunter. "Fool, what are you trying on stuff for? You're not even going."


I shall smuggle my way into their carry-on tonight.

Random tidbit, I'm a fan of Jane Austen so during one of my moments of boredom/procrastination, I was randomly researching the Regency era and happened upon an episode of this British food/culture show: The Supersizers Go Regency.

The Supersizers Go ... have many episodes showing various periods of British History (i.e. the Elizabethan, the Victorian, the Twenties Eras), but I happened upon the Regency episode first. Basically, it takes the concept from the movie, Super Size Me, which was about Morgan Spurlock eating nothing but McDonalds for a month and then checking the effects on his health afterward (horrific). Well, this show features restaurant critic Giles Coren and comedian Sue Perkins as they spend a week "in" a certain era, including dressing, eating and participating in the various pursuits (including a ball and how to "capture a husband") of that time period, before they conclude with a health check up to study the overall effects on their body. It's interesting - a lil bit of humor, health, cooking and historical info all at once.

And some of the food options ... cheese with maggots, parmesan ice cream ... heh.

This is Part 1 of the The Supersizers Go Regency episode. If you're interested, you should be able to check out the rest on youtube.

Monday, August 3, 2009

More Through Me Fan Character Pics & Artwork

I realized that I haven't gotten around to posting some more pics and artwork people have sent me ... months ago. I'm so sorry! I feel absolutely horrible. Please don't think I've neglected anyone because "Stupid Maeven plays favorites and hates me". No, I'm just horrible at managing time and responding and updating in a timely manner. I also tend to forget things easily so I have messages lined up in my inbox ... and then they fall off the page because of new emails and then by the time I click back ... it's months later and I realize readers probably forgot they'd ever messaged me in the first place, ouch. I actually just got around to replying to messages from January this morning. Slap me, please.

Anyway, here's a compilation of character pictures sent in by some readers. Some of their messages made me laugh. You guys are awesome.

Angelia suggested: Adel Bradbury - Jessica Michibata

Angelia says "I thought Jessica Michibata would make a good Adeline Bradbury. She's half Japanese, a fourth Italian, and a fourth Spanish. According to Wiki, Jessica's a whopping 5'9 - which, I think, fits Adel since she's tall (especially for an Asian since she's almost as tall as Tristan...). However, I wouldn't really google her since she's a lingerie model. :X

Here's some pics (which are thankfully, with her clothed)."

maria suggested: Adel - Vanessa Hudgens and once again, Tristan - Alex Pettyfer

maria says "The first person that comes to my mind when i think of Adeline is Vanessa Hudgens, shes part everything from chinese to irish and has the whole exotic look going on."

Also: "As Tristan i think Alex Pettyfer is perfect for the role, hes got long blond hair but and green eyes( i know Tristan has blue, but we can overlook that fact because hes gorgeous)"

And! xxPoisened-black-Rosesxx sent me a link a while back to her Deviantart gallery where she has some cute sketches she did of some False Facades and Through Me characters. :) She even took the time to draw out a scene from False Facades and I thought the drawings are absolutely adorable and funny. Check out her gallery here: http://death-on-a-rose.deviantart.com/gallery/. Thanks, Katherine!

I also got some picture suggestions through PMs from some readers, but if you're not aware of this, FP bans links to other sites to avoid spamming and tends to fudge up the link in the message before it gets to me so unfortunately, I haven't been able to get to any websites readers have passed along. If you really want to send me any link, please leave a comment on this blog and I'll be sure to check it out.

Thanks again to all the patient readers out there! I'm slowly but surely getting through all the PM responses - I might even be able to run through more individualized review responses soon. Hopefully. When my last exam is over.

Otherwise, writing-wise, I've figured out what I hated about the next TM chapter and am currently reworking the whole thing. I like it much better so far and I hope to have it out soon. Thanks again for sticking with me - you guys are the best!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer Heat & Violence

My dad's been at jury duty for the past week and he comes home every day now with stories and questions about certain English words he couldn't quite catch. Poor daddy. He said there was a case about domestic abuse and the man had hit a woman or something so words like "open hand", "closed hand" were being thrown around. Except he didn't know what "open fist" meant. He sat there, wondering and wondering if "fist" was a weird past tense form of "hit" or if it meant another attack type - like "open feet". So he turned to the people next to him and asked, pointing at his feet, "What does open feet mean?"

They laughed. And then pumped their fists in a gung ho, yes indeed way. "Open fist! Open fist!"

"Uh ... huh." He was still puzzled until he came home and I explained in Chinese, "They meant fist, as in a clenched hand, dad. Not feet."

"Ohhh!" Haha, he's so cute.

Other stories included all sorts of crazy violence. Crazy, as in things that could've easily been avoided had everyone maintained their tempers. For example, a simple car accident that could've been settled by insurance exchange turned into assault because one driver punched the other driver out after they called the cops. Really not smart.

Maybe it's the summer heat that has people simmering out of control.

Two summers ago, I had the misfortune to bump into one certain ... firecracker.

I was walking in a quiet neighborhood, peering around at the door numbers because I wasn't familiar with the area and needed to find an apartment building. I paid home visits during that summer to homebound senior citizens that receive Meals on Wheels in order to complete their assessment forms, check their medications, evaluate their support group, and see if they're feeling alright.

So just as I was heading down the block, holding my files and glancing up at the buildings, a guy coming toward me bumps into me.

Not just a simple oops, brush against you kinda thing - he ran into me, barreled against me so I stumbled half a step back and his folder scraped against my wrist - I think he was hoping to cut me or something.

I was mildly taken back and expected a mumbled apology, but when he just walked past me, I just shrugged it off as another rude New Yorker and continued my way.

Except a few seconds later, probably just when he realized that I wasn't going to turn around and pick a fight with him, I heard him snap, "You could've given me more room, selfish bitch!"

Uh ... I turned around and he was glaring at me, fists at his side. Now that I could see him more clearly, he was a scrawny guy - taller than me, sorta pasty, but seemed like a normal college kid around my age, maybe older. He had a black beanie hat on (in summer??) and he was holding a red folder.

All I could manage after blinking at him for a few seconds, "Excuse me?"

"You could've given me more room!"

I realized he was offended that I didn't make way for him to go past me so I got pissed off. Hell, you tried to walk into a girl, I didn't even ask for an apology, and now you're calling me names?

"Uh, why didn't you give me more room then?" I retorted.

I realized then that I should've ignored him. He obviously wanted a fight and he threw up his hands as he snarled, "There's a bicycle rack next to you! You want me to walk into the bike rack?!"

So then I thought okay, perhaps it was my fault - I wasn't really paying attention to the surroundings - I was looking for the door numbers so maybe I was hogging up a lot more space than I thought ... but the streets, by all means, were not crowded. There was a quiet restaurant where they had a sidewalk cafe and where the bike rack was located next to my left and we were the only two on the block. If he was coming toward me, could see me and the bicycle rack clearly, why did he choose to walk along the side of the bike rack and try to jostle me out of the way instead of walking to my right, which was next to the open road, where he could've easily swerved around me with plenty of room to spare?

Or, if I had really been holding a sumo stance in the center of the street and he honestly couldn't have gotten past me without touching me ... he could've just been normal and said "Excuse me." Or if he wanted to continue to be his nasty self, say "Excuse you." I would've moved, probably even offer an automatic "Sorry."

I just stared at him and I was so disgusted by this guy (was chivalry absolutely dead??) that I could feel my lips curling in revulsion.

He was pale and angry and was waiting for a response and I realized something was definitely wrong here and I was not about to get into a brawl with a potentially mental guy - even if he was around my size - I'm a girl, but more importantly, I'm a weakling girl and have no wish to be punched out by some random lunatic spoiling to pick on someone.

So what I did was ... yeahh, I didn't think things carefully, so basically, I looked him in the face, told him to "F*** off" and then backed up slowly and walked away, hoping he wouldn't leap and knife me in the back.

It was probably a stupid move and my mom told me I should've ran away instead of provoking nuts like that because if I had managed to tick him off enough, I probably would've ended up as a meat patty, but I don't think too carefully when you get me particularly, extremely angry ... besides, call me petty, but I didn't want it to seem like he got the last word.

Except he still kinda wanted things to end his way because even as I strolled away from him, he was still yelling and screaming at me, "Bitch! Stupid! Meanie! BLAHBLAHBLAH!"

Honestly? How old are you?

Fortunately, I think the only thing that saved me from getting tackled to the ground by him was the fact that several waiters from the restaurant came out to watch the spectacle since it's not everyday that some lunatic starts screaming in the middle of the street at a twig-sized girl.

Perhaps heat waves does things to people's brains. Perhaps he was once a regular student who loved Magic cards, WoW and yodeling and just had a bad day, absorbed too much sun and blew up.

Perhaps he realized that his black beanie hat didn't help him cool off much.

Or perhaps he was just a jackass.

So have a fun summer, guys, but more importantly, steer clear of pasty, angry people. They're not your friends and should it come to the point where you have to kick them, run like the wind.

Writing Status: 15 pages for the next chapter of TM, but I don't ... feel it's right so far. Something about it doesn't jive with me. Sorry, everybody - I'll try to polish it up and get it out soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Dolphins & Seizures

Last Neuro session today! I wanted to cry after my practical on Monday, but I got my grade yesterday and found out I did better than I expected so yay! Today was our review session and then we have our class final on Friday. Almost over. So close. We just have one more miniboard exam next Friday after that.

Thanks for all the reviews and messages, guys. Hopefully, I'll get around to writing more sometime soon.

Random interesting tidbits from recent lectures:

  • Dolphins sleep with one eye open. They're mammals so they have a little problem of making sure that they can come up to the surface for air at intervals. Solution for when they need to rest? Half of the brain goes to sleep while the other hemisphere keeps the dolphin moving and alert in case of predators nearby. Smart evolution. I wish I could multitask like that.

    I see you.
  • Seizure. So thud, there's someone convulsing on the floor near you. What do you do? (Call 911, duh.) But in spite of the commonly perpetuated idea that you should find something to stick into the patient's mouth during seizure to prevent him from biting his tongue ... don't do it. Don't. People, thinking to help, usually either A) lose a finger trying to jam something down a clenching jaw (don't underestimate those muscle spasms, folks) or B) the patient bites through the object and ends up aspirating the broken pieces. A bitten tongue can generally heal. A patient who chokes to death won't.
And my professor remarked dryly, "People also somehow think the patient will swallow his tongue if you don't stick something in his mouth. Last time I checked though ... the tongue is attached." So no, rest assured, a patient won't swallow and choke on his own tongue.

Also, don't try to restrain the patient since that usually does more harm than good. Do try to ease their breathing by rolling them to their side and cushioning their head with something soft. Patients with seizures or epilepsy generally come out of the attacks by themselves and in mild cases, won't even need to go to the hospital. However, if the seizure lasts more than 5 minutes, there's serious potential for brain damage and the patient should definitely be sent to the hospital to be checked out.

That's all for now, folks. Off to cram! :(

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I Miss Rusty the Narcoleptic Dog

We had lectures from 10 to 5 today. Well, we had an hour long break for lunch around noon, but still, it was no joke. Half of the class didn't show up for the second half.

It was all about developmental neurology today. Nervous system development lecture was pretty interesting with an awesome visiting professor - she's of Indian descent and her gorgeous sari plus her humorous kickass personality made her a top fav. A student asked her at the end how she managed to balance her work with her family and she just replied, "Spell man for me. Now woman. Double u oh man, right? Oh yeah, we can totally handle double the work of a man."

Then we had a pain mechanisms and management lecture that was just ... painful. Not that the lecturer wasn't cool and funny. He was a great guy, but the lecture just went on and on and we ended up going over time by half an hour. The professor even had to excuse himself halfway in his lecture to ask where the bathroom was. He hurried off with a "I'll be back soon!" before returning to finish up. By the time 5:30 rolled around, we were slouched low in our seats and I was scribbling on my fourth crossword a friend had saved from yesterday's newspaper since the two newest ones had occupied me earlier in the morning.

I miss earlier lectures like the ones on hypothalamus. Narcolepsy, ooh.

The professor had showed us a clip about Rusty the Narcoleptic Dog and it's awful, we know, but the whole class just fell apart when he played it.

"Here frolics Rusty," the professor narrated. "Playing happily in the grass. And off he goes! He runs and runs and runs - and then boom."

Poor Rusty!

But we couldn't help it. We laughed.

And begged the professor to play it again.

He refused. "Last year when I played it, the class begged me to replay it too. Again! Again! No more. No replaying."

Rusty's adorable and while not all cases of narcolepsy are so abrupt and dramatic, poor Rusty's a prime case of the chronic sleep disorder in animals.

During the lecture, I wondered if I might have narcolepsy. Especially during long classes sometimes. Like today. Then I remembered that I also have insomnia at night. Hmmm, tricky.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Med School Interview

My Neuro exam went okay, my mock interview went well, and I currently need to prepare for my next Practical - right after the Fourth of July weekend (they have no sympathy!) - and then my final, which is the same week, the immediate Friday following that (not only no sympathy, they wish to kick our ribs in while we're down.)

BUT! my most recent hurdle: I had a real, live (yeah, as opposed to dead) interview today at one of the cooperating med schools we're looking into transferring for our last two years when we do the fun stuff: clerkships, rotations, clinical experience, etc. :)

I was nauseous yesterday night and spent hours reading up on healthcare system and ethical issues just in case the interviewer decided to pick my brains apart.

Except what happened was ...

Morning comes, I roll out of bed and into my business suit (my, as in my cousin's suit, as in I have no real clothes of my own. Actually, do you know how hard it is to find a good skirt-suit in size 0-2? Macy's smallest was labelled a "2" but was probably really a 4 since I drowned in it. I don't understand. I'm so ... small-boned. I tried to gain weight before and ... let's just say I wish I can gain weight that would actually build up and give me curves as opposed to just congregating in my thighs.)

So off I went, baking in the summer heat in my suit, checking every two seconds to make sure my skirt didn't do its lil circulation dance around my hips until the slit in the back migrated to the front. Got on the train, basked in the frigid AC, and then made the transfer to my next train that would take me to the medical center!

Only I got on the wrong train. Oh yes, can you have faith in the future of medicine or what?

I sighed when I realized and moved off the train only to wonder where the uptown connection was. Damn it, was it one of those stations I had to get out of and cross the street to catch the returning train? I asked a lady and she pointed me in the right direction. She also had the most adorable son who clung excitedly to his mom as he stared at me with wide eyes, "Mom, she's so pretty! The lady's so pretty!" LOL. So I thanked both his mom and him and as I scrambled to head down the steps, I heard him continuing, "She has such pretty shoes! I like her shoes!"

Thanks, kid. You're my fav guy now.

Anyhoo, I made it to the station where I had to get off and I got out in not one of the most nicest neighborhoods. But it's okay - bright daylight. A distinguished Indian gentleman with glasses and a messenger bag approached me and asked if I needed any help with directions. He pointed the right way to me and then advised me to be careful around people in the neighborhood since it's not the safest place and I could potentially get mugged.

Thanks, nice person! *wobbles off in high heels*

So I had my interview with a doctor who specializes in the pediatrics department and it was nice. He didn't really go over my app before the interview though so he basically asked me what was listed on it, my hobbies, my study habits, and he told me about the school and the rotations system and the hospitals students get to work in. Then we talked about President Obama's healthcare proposals. I brought it up and for some reason, by that time, it felt more like I was interviewing him. I'd say something, ask him something, and he'd explain, continue into another topic, and hmm ... Somehow, there goes an hour. It might have been a bad thing that he talked more than I did, but that was how it went down and ... sighs. All in all, I hope it was a satisfactory interview and that the doctor would at the very least remember me in a positive way.

Went back to the train station except this time, it was one of those funky stations that the uptown and downtown trains run separately. So I stood at the corner peering around for a while since the uptown is generally located across the street. Except it wasn't. So I was convinced it was in camoflauge. Behind a van or something.

Third friendly person of the day came to my rescue. A young man asked me if I needed any help and I kinda mumbled, still peering around, "Yeah, I don't quite know - where the heck is the uptown station?"

"The uptown? Oh!" And he looked around too.

So we both glanced around us and I grumbled, "Isn't it generally across the street?"

"Yeah, right?" He laughed and then told me to wait while he jogged across the street. He then waved me over and directed me down the block. "I think it's down the street there and then you make a right."

"Okay, thanks!" I wandered off and lo and behold, the station was indeed nearly two blocks away from its brother. Weird.

Whew, I've been really exhausted these days but I feel pretty unproductive. I haven't done anything particularly strenuous ... just the norm. Hmm.

Anyway, I'm working on the next chapter for TM and I hope to finish the story soon. Not next chapter, but I'll try to get the rest done sooner than later. About time.

And ...

R.I.P. Michael Jackson. What a legend. What a legacy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Through Me 27 Update

Through Me Chapter 27 has finally been posted! It's incredibly long - 22 pages - but I figured you guys would kill me twice over if I didn't offer up some answers after the long wait. Thanks for the patience and support, all!

Now that this is over ... I'm going to fail my second Neuro exam. Oh boy. And friend is probably gonna slap me five times for saying I'm studying when I've been writing instead. I'm sorry!

Exam's coming up this Monday, the day of my birthday. Ugh. I can feel the old age creeping up on me. And this completely shoots celebratory plans over the weekends to hell since I'll be busy cramming and not sleeping.

And friend's gonna slap me again for not using this day more productively. When people expect me to study early in advance, so that I can have a carefree weekend before the exam ... yeah, I don't know why, it never quite happens.

But I hope you guys have a great weekend! And an awesome Father's Day! :)

What I've recently learned in Neuro:

- Most people know that there are five tastes, but not many of them can actually list them out. Do you know what they are? And spicy does not count. (It's actually a pain reflex. But it's so good.)

- Too many people have landed in the hospital - and died - for taking an odd mix of ecstasy, Viagra, and Red Bull. Don't do it.

Oh yeah, I'm so ready for this exam. Heh.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Say What?

I wasn't going to mention the whole plagiarism incident again, but the girl who plagiarized my story didn't take the initiative to remove the story of her own accord so earlier in the night, I went and signed up at Winglin to ask the administrators for their help.

And that led to me going through the comments left on "her" story just to see what exactly has she been saying and how the readers have been responding. At first, you know, it was kinda amusing in a "Are you for real." kinda way seeing the way she responded to readers, thanking them and telling them to comment more because it'll give her ideas, but the more I read, the more, ah, pissed off I got.

Because instead of the attention-seeking young girl I imagined her to be, she started to come off as this high and mighty writer who was encouraging people to write and continue their fanfics and noting how sad that some writers never update and abandon their works and ...

Oh, for god's sake. Hypocrite, much?

One of her many gems of wisdom:
Katrina -- 24 May 2008 at 12:13 a.m.

I encourage other fanfic authors to finish their work too. I have seen a lot of kimerald fanfics out there but only a few got updated and finished. After a couple of chapters they were just left forgotten. It was sayang cause some stories had a very good and unique plot and some started out really well. I hope some authors will read this and have a little inspiration to finish what they started. I also encourage other fans to write fics too. I know you guys got lots of creative ideas.:)
And ...
Katrina <email address removed> -- 24 May 2008 at 12:03 a.m.

thanks again for reading.
angelica, crimson rose and tanya- thank you for the comment.
pink_butterfly and bisangni- yes crazy love will be ending soon. I know you guys hated being bitin, sad but this has to end. I don't have a new story right now to replace crazy love. I can't even promise that I will have the pleasure of time to write another one since school has been taking most of my time. I am actually very glad that you liked this story, my first ever fanfic story. Thank you all for reading . Till my next update.
Katrina -- 22 April 2008 at 6:41 a.m.

thank you for the comments.
angelica- wow, you really got the whole story printed on paper? thank you for the kind words. :)
hope you like this chapter.
HAppy Birthday Kim Chiu!
So now her dear readers have printed copies of "her" story. Good going, plagiarist. Thanks.

Sighs, I'm sorry, please put up with me. I know I should go the high road and just stop thinking nasty thoughts. You know, cleansing breath, good karma, all that jazz.

Still. If I ever find out who this girl is in real life ... heh.

Anyway! I still need to get the rest of the lab stuff down for my practical on Friday and prepare for my mock interview with the Dean that's immediately following my exam.

But in response to some concerns that I might remove False Facades, rest assured. I probably won't be doing anything to the story. I removed it once before, remember? And during that time, I realized that it wasn't fair to suddenly wipe out what had been left on the site, free for your eyes and comments, for years. Especially since the plagiarists probably had saved copies on file while the readers who really deserved to read the story were just left hanging.

I also realized that just because I removed the story, it unfortunately doesn't mean that certain readers, again, haven't already made personal copies and that some of them might have them ready at hand to distribute and share without my consent. Case in point, I checked the dates of this recent plagiarism case and I believe this girl actually posted up the story during the period of time False Facades had been removed. I think by having the full story back up, it might perhaps help me in tracking down more plagiarists; i.e. there's more of the original story bits to match with copies out there in Google searches.

More importantly, unlike the works of many other authors who have been hit with plagiarism, False Facades is nowhere near polished. It was written when I was very young and while I'm dabbling in revisions in private, I think this draft, which retains its rough and fluffy state, will always have this nostalgic appeal to me and some readers. Without its bizarre, over-the-top sort of humor, the story just wouldn't be the same and I feel that no matter how embarrassingly written certain areas were, I'd like to keep this draft out there. Just for fun. It was the original that had started me off on Fictionpress and drew the attention of most of my readers now and I think it deserves to be kept around to show how far I've developed and how much further I still need to go.

Plus, unlike the authors who are actively protecting their works for publishing interests, I definitely know that while False Facades might make for a light affair, some wacky sitcom, or even a cartoon, I doubt it will ever see the light of day in the hardcore publishing industry. (I'm sorry, FF, but it's true. Don't fret, I still love you the same.)

Thus, I came to this realization that this story is perfect to be left open and free for your perusal and entertainment. Nothing serious, everything at the whims of the characters. While I might still finish up revisions (yeah, some day in the far off shiny future) and self-publish it on LuLu.com, I'm more interested in doing so in order to attain a better copyright on the story so the draft will most likely always be around on Fictionpress.

What this does mean though - and I've been thinking long and hard about the future of FP - is that I probably, sadly, will never be able to post anything with more original ideas. I still want to write for fun and hone my writing (though I wonder how the fear of plagiarism's going to ultimately affect my posting, if I'll ever hesitate over a chapter one day and worry "I need to protect and hide this from the world."), but I'll probably stick to revamping cliches and we'll see how things goes. Do you guys have any favorite cliches you particularly enjoy?

Until then, I'll stick to finishing up Through Me and after that ... we'll see.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

FF Plagiarized. Again.

Happy news: I had time to get down 8 pages for Through Me Chapter 27! So I hope to get it out pretty soon, yay!

Bad news: I was informed by McQuinn of The Fictionpress Watchers that False Facades was plagiarized. Again. On Winglin. Again.

This time, the girl not only took the time to change the locations, features, and names, she also managed to translate pages of the dialogue into another language - Filipino, I think?

By now, there's been so much plagiarism incidents, I'm more astonished by the level of dedication some people have in stealing stories than I am really upset. Of course, I'm still ticked off, but it wasn't to the point where I got murderous furious like last time, when the girl actually impersonated me and answered readers with a flippant, "Yup, I'm the same Maeven from Fictionpress! Totally not plagiarizing here!" Uh huh.

Like before, I left a message on her comments page to give her a chance to remove the story herself. I generally think the plagiarists who steal my stories are pretty young and their purpose is to get whatever comments they could. Hopefully, she'll realize this is a very serious crime and won't do this again. If not ... I'll have to set up a Winglin account tomorrow and post a message to the administrators. Sighs.

Bright side? I found out how kickass The Fictionpress Watchers are! Holy crap, I really don't think I would have ever found this plagiarist. Even though it seems like there's a sudden increase in plagiarism incidents, I think it's more because we have these new Watchers and their dedication to uncovering all these incidents that have been floating around unnoticed these past years. Even though the message was bad news, I'm in total fangirl mode and if I wasn't such a mess these days and so website/technologically bleh, I'd totally leap into LiveJournal territory and sign up just to worship join their community. I don't know how they do it, especially since this person actually changed a lot of the dialogue into another language, but they found it and I'm eternally grateful. I bow down to their sleuthing skills.

And now ... I have to study for my practical. I went to bed at 6am on Sunday to study for my written exam, oh lord. Good thing I had a monstrous iced coffee earlier in the day. Otherwise, Neuro seems to be going well and I'll be posting the next chapter pretty soon. I sent it off to my cousin for her perusal first and I'm going to hammer down some more details, maybe add some extra scenes, before I get it out there. Once again, thanks for your support and your patience!

(Is it sad to get so used to plagiarism incidents that most authors' reactions these days are "Oh damn, not again. Link, name, administrators, please?"? I honestly thought I was lucky enough to have my story finally go under the radar and escape all these recent issues. Thank goodness it's just one recent case and it's on a site that I had dealt with before. Here's to hoping plagiarists will go extinct sooner than later.)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Air France 447 & TM Non-Update Update

Yes, I know. I know. I suck. Thanks for all the recent reviews and PMs about Through Me and I'm sorry that they all also include variations of "WHERE THE HECK IS THE NEXT CHAPTER, EVIL ONE! I KNOW YOU'RE BUSY, BUT! Please. Kindly stop the torture."

Deepest, DEEPEST apologies about the wait! I know it's horrid of me and if I was the reader, I'd want to slap me too - though none of you have been so mean as to threat that. Yet. I love you.

Anyway, here's the deal:

My first Neuro exam is this Monday, followed by the practical on Friday. I currently have no idea how to study for it - the textbook reading list is basically "Read Ch. 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11 for tomorrow. Godspeed." No joke. I'm not even exaggerating. Those are literally the exact specified chapters I have to plow through for ONE day's worth of lectures since we have lectures straight from 1 to 5 these days. The professors have to do a sort of tag team thang, switching off every hour or so. By the end, our brains are mush.

Thus, I am basically pretty much screwed. Give me at least the time until I finish the exams and then I'll try my hardest to complete the next chapter. I have three pages written so far and I'll slowly but surely churn out the rest when I'm not drowning. So perhaps, in two weeks?

That being said, the recent news about the Air France tragedy is utterly heartbreaking. I can't imagine what the family and friends of the victims are going through, especially those who arrived at the airport waiting to pick up their loved ones only to hear that the plane went missing and then presumed lost with little chance of survivors. It's like a cruel joke. My deepest condolences and sympathies to the families. Even though the chances are beyond low, I keep hoping that I'll come across a new headline that a miracle survivor clinging to life was rescued somewhere from the middle of the ocean. May they find the rest of the plane debris soon and uncover the mystery of what exactly happened before the plane went down so suddenly.

My mom is officially freaked out by planes now. Coupled that with swine flu ... bad.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Still Wishing for Summer Vacay ...

Had our first Neurosci lab back in our Gross Anatomy facilities today - we're studying the brain more in detail. Friends who hugged me today say I smell like lab so I might have to pull out my scrubs again.

I really wish I could be on vacation. Memorial Day weekend was like a false alarm thing - all nice weather, happy BBQs, and then ... back to school.

Last Friday seems so distant now. I had my board exam in the morning and then went out with some girlfriends. Unfortunately, they wanted to go see a movie. Not just any movie though. I could have settled for X-Men, Angels & Demons, or Star Trek. Anything.

No. They wanted to see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

Yes, that movie. Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. About a womanizing photographer who gets a life altering experience a la A Christmas Carol and explores what true love really means in the form of a childhood crush that can't be denied because of she gifted him with his first camera and they were always meant to be together and - This is a chick flick. You know the deal.

My face twisted so much, one of the girls immediately got defensive.

"Matthew McConaughey! Matthew McConaughey! Hot!" she wheedled.

Yeah, he is, but I'm not paying $12 to ogle his face. I'll admit the movie was cute and better than what I expected based on the trailers (but yes, I also had very LOW expectations), but am I the only person in this world who would rather watch your regular average chick flick (and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is most definitely a chick flick with a little "inspirational" pizazz at the most.) at home on DVD than in the theaters? I don't know but somehow, I automatically categorize certain chick flicks in a different category - i.e. the types that don't maximize the effects of a theater experience i.e. that will waste your ticket money.

Yup, I'm judgmental.

So what ended up happening was ...

I lost the battle. I know, I'm still ashamed.

Friend hooked three other girls in and loomed over me. "It's three for Ghosts and YOU'RE the only one who doesn't want to watch it so are YOU going to be a spoilsport, huh? HUH?!"

"But it's a - Fine," I muttered sulkily.

Other friend gave me a sympathetic look because she secretly agreed with me, but was too lazy to argue with me. Traitor.

Third friend suggested, "Well, how about 17 Again? Or ooh! Hannah Montana!"

I chuckled. "Good one."

She gave me a puzzled look. "What's wrong with -"

"OKAY, Ghosts it is!" I clapped my hands.

So ... the movie was okay. Sadly, I'll have to say that even for an cliched chick flick, it was still better than my all time hated movie: Mummy 3.

True, it had all the elements we'd seen before and the plot was predictable, but it had its funny moments, its cute moments. It was purely for entertainment and it carried its romantic comedy badge proudly.

I liked the trailers though. I kept pointing out various movies to the friends. "Now that's worthy of a theater ticket!"

They agreed, but eh, we were there and paid for anyway.

Amongst the various trailers that caught my attention:

This one made me want to cry and I can tell this will be a major tearjerker. Based on a novel by Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper is coming out in June, I think.

And of course!

Harry Potter love. This trailer is epic.

Asides from Ghosts, I also watched Taken the other day. My cousin recommended this action thriller and it was truly pretty good. A father goes off to save his daughter after she gets kidnapped by sex traffickers during a seemingly innocent trip to Paris. The story freaked out my girl cousin and me and the one man Rambo routine captivated the guys' attention.

I also demolished several books I had stored up, including A Great and Terrible Beauty (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy)by Libba Bray. I had picked up these books for break times in between study sessions - like I'd finish a textbook chapter and then relax with a chapter or two from a novel for fifteen minutes. The books started out okay, as in I was still able to put it down, but as I got further in, I wasn't able to stop reading until ... they were finished. Study plan failed.

Excellent writing. The protagonist and her friends definitely had their unlikable traits in a way that made me admire Bray's writing even more. True, I did want to smack around some of the characters - and at times, the protagonist herself - during some bad moments, but everything, including those nasty personality quirks, felt real. Cattiness, peer pressure, insecurities - the girls were real, regular teenage girls with their petty rivalries and cliques and their selfish dreams and fears rang true.

Although the last book had certain scenes and revelations about certain characters (i.e. Felicity and Pippa's relationship) that I felt didn't exactly flow with what was previously depicted about the girls in the previous books and seemed more like it was thrown in for a sudden shock factor rather than feeling like it had always been planned by the author all along, I still adored the books. Some descriptions were so vivid, they creeped me out. (The scraping of the three ghostly girls' boots against the floor - wow.) And when it came to a certain tragic scene in the last novel, I couldn't help it. I teared up.

Few books have wrenched such physical reactions out of me and I'm so happy that I had the pleasure to read these books. Highly recommended!

I also hit several duds with other novels, but I'll leave this post at this for now.

Back to work! Need to finish several chapters tonight, get to bed earlier so that I don't pass out on my feet again, and be ready for lab work tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend & FP Plagiarism

Hope everyone had a nice Memorial Day weekend! I went to one banquet family reunion and two BBQs and gorged on way too much food. It was a nice break.

Unfortunately, I believe I'm practically five months behind on responses so I hope most readers can get their answers from this blog.

I know. I suck. I haven't updated in ages. I'm sorry. Super sorry!

I just finished Histology, which was a packed course with an exam every week. I had my board exam last Friday and ... now we start Neuroscience.

Friends and family think I'm joking when I say I'm going back to school tomorrow. They're like "Silly! It's summer vacation now!"

No ... it's your summer vacation. It's my start to a brand new course. I'll be rolling out sometime in July so wait for me then before you guys start having fun, yeah?

Yes, I'm quite depressed. I'll try to fit writing in there somewhere.

Of other bad news, I recently received messages from readers about plagiarism issues and the uproar in the FP community over how plagiarism had affected a major FP writer, Myrika. I believe she not only had to deal with multiple cases of people posting her story on other sites, but some of them had the nerve to try to slap the story up onto Lulu.com for profit. Sadly, Myrika has made the decision to remove her stories and stop posting on Fictionpress.

I generally like to duck in and out of FP.com to browse random stories and favorites and while I haven't been able to follow all of Myrika's stories, I'll have to be blind not to know that she is one of the top writers on the site - one of the most responsible, proliferate and talented ones with a way with words and timely updates. We've been around Fictionpress for roughly the same time period - I remember when I first started out, she was working on her earlier stories and since then, she's churned out quite a list of impressive works (compared to my measly ... 3. Okay, 2.5 stories. Okay, fine, 1.75. Ouch.) She's a truly dedicated writer and no one - especially not someone who has spent so much time on her pieces - deserve such disrespect, such blatant theft of her works.

I respect her decision to remove her works and work on her writings in private. I respect her calm manner in addressing all her readers and her resolve to protect her stories. I know sooner or later, she can get her polished works published and that would truly be the reward she and her loyal readers deserve for all these years of devoted writing and support. She will be missed on FP, of course, but perhaps, we can soon look forward to a whole new era of published writers stemming from Fictionpress origins? Like, we can soon be properly bedazzled by them in their new and sparkling ... Super Saiyan forms. (Sorry, Dragon Ball references were all I can think of.)

I've certainly heard about several writers making their attempts toward or are already well along their road to publishing. Ooh la la.

And then there are the rest of us still hanging around on Fictionpress for our hobbies. I've recently noticed some very nice stories and I'll try to make a point of noting new kickass writers soon. Everyone who enjoys writing have my respect as long as they, in return, have respect for all others - writers and readers included - and are truly continuing to hone their skills with their own ideas and talents.

May everything work out for everyone who puts in their greatest efforts. Karma's great at that.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I hope everybody had a lovely, lovely day with their families and loved ones. We celebrated Mother's Day a tad earlier this year and my brother and I took our parents out for dinner on Wednesday night since Dad was home from work as well. They're the best parents ever and they do spoil me entirely too much. LOVE!

Anyway, in other news, I'm okay! I'm alive! Everyone can rest assured that I didn't bring home swine flu with me from Cancun. Nor did my friends. I think. I don't know about that guy who almost got arrested for having sex on the beach - nah, he's fine. No flu symptoms and he paid the cop off.

If only that was a joke.

I had my latest exam last Monday and I have another one coming up this Friday. I got two hours of sleep last Sunday and nearly had a nervous breakdown at 3 AM because I couldn't seem to get the material down, but the test went better than I expected.

HOWEVER! I didn't bubble in two of the correct answers because I'm a scantron fail kinda girl so ... goodbye, 5 points. I want to punch someone.

After having an exam every single week these past few months, it's somewhat of a sad breather when our last exam isn't immediately this Monday. Too bad there will be five more days of information than the last one. My friend destroyed my happy bubble when she told me that the reproductive systems, male and female, each had two chapters.


She flipped to the chapter - Spermatogenesis - and I realized histology is cruel.

"Why - why do sperm get a chapter by itself?" I babbled. "Even the urinary system is just one massively long chapter. IT DOESN'T DESERVE ONE WHOLE CHAPTER!"

Naturally, of course, it would be a guy who'd take the time to inform me with a smug smile, "But it's important."

Important, my -

Other news: I got a haircut. Finally. My friend was getting ready to chop my hair for me because I was always searching for split ends during lecture. I have sorta side bangs now.

Also, I recently won a writing contest and they awarded me a $75 Amazon gift card. Score!

Other than that, no real good news and I wonder why I'm so unmotivated these days. These past few years, actually. I just can't seem to sit still and focus. Well, that's how it goes. Keep on truckin'!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I'm back! My trip went well - there were a few wacky moments, some drama, but on the whole, it was a pretty good trip.

But our flights ... insanity.

Our flight to Miami, where we made the connecting flight to Cancun, was at 6 am. We had to get to the airport two hours in advance for check in which basically meant no sleep for the night. I met up with a friend to go together and we spent the night chatting and painting my nails with one of her nail polish.

Except her nail polish is lacquer and needs like a month to dry because even several hours later, the paint didn't really settle in and by the time we reached the airport, one of my toe nails had a chip in it already.

Of course, I couldn't stop staring at it - which was dorky because I would be walking and peering at my toes at the same time. So genius me decided that maybe I could fill in the chipped part with some color so it wouldn't be as apparent. Unfortunately, only one other girl brought nail polish and it was a light pink color - completely different from my dark brown red.

Still. Stubborn idiot as I am, I forged on in hopes that the light pink could somehow build up at the chipped part while being sheer enough to keep the rest of the red color.

So yup, I got what I deserved: something that looked, in the words of a guy friend, "like a diseased toe".

Lesson learned.

But that wasn't the end of mishaps for my feet.

When we arrived in Cancun, we stood around in a circle - a group of 8 or so - waiting for our transportation shuttle. All of a sudden, the guy next to me backed away swiftly and muttered something almost underneath his breath at our other friend, V, across from me. "Hey, hey, you might want to move away because there's a bird ..."

A gust of wind wafted through, messing up our hair. And splat! Something plopped down on my right foot.

It was red.

At first glance, it looked like tomato paste and I was like "WHAT CLUMSY FOOL IS EATING PIZZA OVER MY HEAD??"

Then we all looked up, saw this black bird perched on the roof, and EVERYONE around me took a few steps back in unison and went "EWWW!"

I realized there is no loyalty in this world.

For some reason, the bird's shit was red - maybe it was menstruating, TMI? - and while I desperately searched for napkins, I turned my fury to the guy next to me. "WHY DIDN'T YOU PULL ME BACK WHEN YOU MADE YOUR ESCAPE!"

The guy spluttered: "The bird was over V! I didn't think it was going to crap on you!"

The others started to double over, laughing. V grinned like a fool. "The wind blew it to you!" he chortled. "It saved me."

I had no words. I was too busy hobbling on one foot, trying to clean up the mess while my friend poured water from a bottle trying to help rinse it out.

Indeed, my feet are cursed.

Those birds are everywhere though. I was always ducking and peering up around me.

I See You, Evil One.

So from the very start of our vacation, I was thus dubbed "Shitfoot" by another guy there for our Cancun "nicknames". Yay.

But otherwise, the trip was fun. We went jet-skiing, snorkeling, exploring. The hotel exceeded my expectations. I had read thousands of awful reviews for Oasis Cancun so I arrived in a dark mood, expecting theft and cockroaches and rude staff. But everyone was really polite and the man who cleaned our room didn't even take the tip I left out for him. He was so sweet and we had to track him down face to face to hand him our tips.

Plus, the Mexican restaurant where we ate at a lot - the waiter was hilarious and on our last day, he just set down a cup of lime slices in the center of our table without a word. We were like OHHHH! when he came over, waving a bottle of tequila. Haha, he usually liked to take my order before the others because I guess over there, it's always ladies first so when he headed over to me to fill my cup, he just kept pouring and pouring into a regular plastic cup and somehow, I ended up with the most alcohol compared to everyone else, including the five huge guys at our table. Way too much for your normal tequila shot and lord knows I can't handle my alcohol. So guy to my left swapped with me, wisely nodding "I know this little Asian girl will die if she guzzled this down."

Still. One shot and I was soon silently weaving through the hotel resort. Followed by laughing. Followed by laughing+crying. Sighs. Also, I learned what bad friends I really have especially when one of them kept encouraging me to skip while a camera was locked to her hand.

Anyway, the ocean was gorgeous.

Except the beach was really more like a strip and the tide came in so close to us, we didn't have to get into the water to get wet. We even saw one girl get swept into the ocean, beach chair and all like a makeshift raft.

Ocean to the left, pool to the right. Hotel grounds were amazing.

Too bad our flights home were horrific. Dallas weather was icky so they kept delaying our flights until it was five hours past our original departure time and we wound up missing our connecting flights back. Much drama ensued and us girls got angry at the guys and we all ended up staying overnight in the Dallas airport, girls fuming in a separate corner while the guys rolled luggage carts around tentatively, and we all got home a day later. We were hungry, cranky, and wanted to punch someone out. But everything's fine and dandy now.

Alrighty, that's it for now. Unfortunately, I have to go back to studying. Again. This course is a killer this time. We have exams every single week from now. I'm not even joking. Weekends are no longer breathers - they're cram sessions.

As for writing ... um, no. What is funny though is that I was recently approached in real life by a classmate for an autograph because he read one of my short stories in last year's school literary magazine. Haha, he even pulled out the issue from this tiny sealed ziploc bag. That was flattering ... and mildly awkward. Especially since I think my so-called autograph is more boring than Evil Bird Splatterings.

For the next chapter of Through Me, I have ... like a page and a half. Which is nothing. Because I want to change them. When I have time.

There truly is never enough time in this world.

Thank you so much for your reviews and adding me and my stories to your favorites list. I'm sorry for not being able to keep up with my responses. I seriously have PMs backed up to January. Ouch. Sorry for the wait and I appreciate your patience and support!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Histology & Dorky Lurve

Histology is the land of purple and blue. I don't understand how we can take two to three hours staring at a few slides - and still somehow end up running short on time.

I'm officially four chapters behind for the text readings whoa. And I need a better atlas, curses.

There is not enough time in the world!

A friend's status message brought attention to this cute commercial featuring an extremely dorky guy and a girl who looks strangely a lot like a friend's friend. I love commercials with a story. Yay for medicine. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Anatomy! ... Almost Done?

The class ended without an issue and the appreciation ceremony was lovely. Now we get a week to furiously cram the whole semester's worth of material for our miniboard exam.

But what's this you say? It's Wednesday? As in most of the week is left and I really have only one day left to study before waking up freakishly early to commute in for the exam? Hahaha, surely, you jest.

Holy shit. Denial speaking.

In other painful news, I recently went clicking happy on online shopping sites (it's what I do when I'm in a panic) and I bought myself a torture device! Whee!

Emjoi Soft Caress Electric Hair Remover

So asides from my wallet wincing, I, too, can grimace in pain and commiseration. It's only what I deserve! Truly, the real tests of a woman's strength: childbirth and epilation.

For those of you innocent souls who are unfamiliar with the epilating process, it's pretty simple. Say you have 50 tweezers on steroids moving at a pace I would call a hyperactive blur over your skin, snatching away at your hair and yanking them out by their roots. You're left hairfree, smooth for maybe 6 weeks (or so they advertise), excruciatingly happy. Those tears of pain? Nah, they're tears of joy!

And if you want to try this sucker on your armpits ... do it. It really gives results so you don't end up with a five o'clock shadow half way in your day just as you're lifting up your arms in front of a cute guy or for peace signs in a lovely picture kept for posterity forever and ever. Just be sure to toss back a few shots beforehand - I kid.

Not really. No pain, no gain, right?


(And in case you didn't realize from this and last post, I'm getting nowhere with writing. I'm just as sad as you guys are. Time is too short these days. Sorry! :(

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Going AWOL

Hello! Forgive me for the lack of updates recently. Thank you for all your messages and pictures!

The final stretch of anatomy is coming up. My final's in less than two weeks covers the leg, head, and neck.

You'd think the head and neck would be all simplistic and nice since the regions are pretty small in comparison with the rest of the body. You'd THINK.

More than a quarter of the BRS review book is dedicated to the head and neck. WHY! WHYYY!

I've learned that I don't have quite as good a memory as I thought. Sure, I can remember the most useless facts in the world and it comes in handy when I pull up some quotes from a conversation eons ago (Beware if I hold a grudge against you), but when it comes to memorizing these structures, I'm pathetic.

Dumbass brain, why can't you be somewhat useful one of these crucial exam times?

So friend said that practicing piano helped with her memory so being the desperate dork as I am, I took some time to plunk away at the keys of my long abandoned piano. Work, brain, work! Mind you, I'd quit lessons when I'd hit second grade level so all I've been doing now is stumbling over the same songs over and over. My neighbors better love Für Elise and The Swan.

Actually, I think it's just a form of productive procrastination (oxymoron?) for me right now. Life is just too sad and complicated these days!

Therefore, you can imagine my lack of writing motivation recently. I'm in no shape or mood to churn out another chapter so please forgive me for the delay until I sort out all my academic duties. I'd rather not fail out of medical school and end up on the streets because I'm pretty sure my parents won't take too kindly to that and unfortunately, I don't have a sugar daddy to support me sitting around at home, dwindling my days in front of the computer, writing and snacking. Oh, how I wish! (Uh, the part about me being able to laze about the house, writing and gorging. Not the ... sugar daddy part. Unless prospective sugar daddy is tall, dark, and handsome in which that case, you can call me at - I'm joking. Truly, I think I am.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Through Me Artwork

Cousin's friend forwarded over some quick sketches for Adel. He's amazingly talented and I think he's a pretty cool guy for indulging us so.

I believe cousin kept insisting for more Caucasian features so poor guy went through several drafts, playing around with things. He's awesome. My cousin, a slavedriver. :)

I have an exam next Friday on Abdomen and Perineum. And I have to submit a Personal Statement Monday. Writing's definitely going on the back burner these days.

Friends say that I declare "I'm going to fail!" too many times. Apparently, I've said it so many times that the other day while I was making small talk with a classmate of mine whom I've spoken to only three times or so before as we washed our dissection tools, he asked "Are you prepared for the exam?"

My answer was a rapid fire, "No! I'm gonna fail."

And he chuckled and was like, "That was fast."

"Yeah, you don't even need to ask."

He grinned. "Yeah, I remember you saying the same exact thing last year right before our miniboard."


"Yeah, we were standing outside in the hall and I asked you about the exam and you were like ... I'm gonna fail!"

Ah. So that's my catchphrase people will know me by. Epitaph: I'M GONNA FAIL. RIP.

So I'll try to refrain but ... you know.

On another even sadder note, I managed to rack up the most horrifying credit card bill to date. I want to die from guilt. Fortunately, the money I got back for research fellowship work could still cover it.

It was a momentary insanity thing. Classmates were all planning for Spring Break vacations and they asked me to come along and somehow, it went from "I'll see" to "I got hooked into going to Cancun. Forgive me, wallet." It happened so fast, I'm still reeling.

For some reason, my class really wants to have fun this spring break. Nearly all of our class are going somewhere. Are these people aware of the bad economy??

Eight girls and 1 guy are going together to Jamaica. Professor doesn't know guy is gay so he's like "That should be illegal." (Scary tidbit: Jamaica's really anti-gay so everybody in our class are all hush-hush wary for the guy. A girl said Jamaica actually has store signs saying NO GAYS and all in all, we're all thinking "Does he not know about the situation there?" Someone's probably going to try to enlighten him soon, but he's a really confident guy and a few girls in their group have discussed that maybe no one would know he's gay and they could just ... pretend. That, or they're going to get stabbed in the back.)

Another bunch is going to Atlantic City. A few girls are thinking about Ireland.

For our Cancun group, it's going to be around five girls, ten guys for about four days and ... yeah, I didn't even know we had so many guys in our class. Usually, girls outnumber guys in our classes, but the numbers just kept racking up. Eh, having a large group can be hard sometimes for vacations. Someone's bound to rub me the wrong way at times and there's no real escape.

I'm just hoping the place would be nice and tropical and I won't get sunburnt. That, and I'm looking forward to good food and drinks. Drunken revelers better get out of my way to the restaurants because even though I'm only about 100 pounds, I can eat my weight's worth and I will trample you for it. Just watch.

Professor was like: "HELEN, you going to Mexico too?"


"HELEN, you going to drink from 10am to 1am?"

Friend laughed. "Those are the times when they're serving drinks. Helen can't drink. She's gone after a bit."

Professor nodded sagely, holding up his fingers an inch apart. "One drink?"

"Unfortunately," I sighed. "Yes."

Back to studying!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More Anatomy and Some Slumdog

We're working on the genital regions now. Enough said.

Some of my group members got scolded yesterday for accidentally cutting through the pudendal nerve so after a while, most of them migrated elsewhere to deal with tagging skeleton parts, leaving me alone to dig through the butt area.

TA returned and was like "Where'd your friends go? They left you all alone!"

Then he peered closer at my work so far, patted me on the shoulder and said, "Good work! See? We can see the inferior rectal nerve now. Keep clearing that fascia! Good!"

Thanks. Truly, that's been a huge dream of mine, excelling in the art of buttock fat removal.

Once again, I need to catch up on readings - especially for abdomen. Exhausted! I'm so scared I'd fail the next exam. :(

On another note, I saw Slumdog Millionaire a while back. I can see why it's such a hit. The story had an interesting premise and was absolutely heartwarming, the child actors were excellent (especially in consideration of their backgrounds), the cinematography was awesome, and the soundtrack was gorgeous. I've always been fond of Bollywood music - the fast paced dance songs never fail to bring a smile to my face. I think it's the same reason why I'm a fan of old time musicals as well.

The music for this movie wasn't exactly the traditional Bollywood song and dance type, but A.R. Rahman's work for the soundtrack was stellar. I keep listening to O...Saya in particular. I think the drum beats really reflect the rhythm of a train chugging away across the land well - I keep remembering the scene during the two brothers' journey and how they locked hands as they nodded off on top of the train so that they wouldn't topple off while it was in motion. I really adore the little kids.

And of course, the sweet ending song when they finally found their way back to each other again in the deserted train station ...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Through Me Character Pics - Nelaela

Nelaela (notmaryjane) sent along some more character pictures for Through Me. Thanks!

Adeline Bradbury - Marie Digby.
Nelaela says: "What can I say? she looks perfect, for me, anyway. ;) lol. She's half Irish and Japanese."

Tristan Harland - Robert Hoffman

Sammy Westlane - Emmy Rossum
Nelaela says: "Yeah, I know what you're thinking, she's not even a redhead, buuut, let me finish first, she got this innocent and cute feeling that when I saw her pics, I'm like "ohmigawd. if she's a redhead, she'll be a pefect sammy!" Not to mention, she's so pretty, and adorable (like Sammy)."

Thanks, Nelaela!

I'm really craving sushi right now. Spicy salmon, dragon rolls ... COME TO ME!