Log in

No account? Create an account
it feels good   
12:07am 24/10/2008
  Dear Senators Obama and Biden,

I voted for you tonight. Thank you for inspiring hope. I hope you win.

(3 active transcriptions | upregulate)

presidential debates.   
03:18pm 08/10/2008
   I watched the town-hall style Obama-McCain debate last night.  Well, the first 30 minutes of it.  Frankly, I am tired of this "he said, he said" finger pointing.  How many people will actually change their mind based on the debates? What I did notice is that McCain is really old, as in I worry for his health old.    

(1 active transcription | upregulate)

Dark Knight   
09:08am 14/08/2008
  I FINALLY saw the Dark Knight.  The movie was great, and I loved the cars and the motorcycle.  But how DEPRESSING!  So depressing, in fact, I actually has somatic manifestations.  I walked out of the theater feeling heaviness in my chest, and shortness of breath.  Unlike any other good v. evil movie that ends with triumph for the good, this movie left me believing that selfishness and a trace of evil are intrinsic in human nature, thus good will never win the battle.

Ok. Time to go to lab and do some science, my contribution to hopefully make the world a little better (or at least one more step toward graduating).

(2 active transcriptions | upregulate)

NBA finals   
06:14pm 09/06/2008
  boston fans are OBNOXIOUS and FAIR-WEATHER ONLY and KOBE > MJ.

that is all.

i look forward to watching an amazing basketball GENIUS DOMINATE all them other chumps.


For Tim   
10:05pm 24/03/2008
  Do you know how many people carry a photograph of you? As far as I know, two: my mom, and Tim Imes. 

Tim was a security guard at the med student dorm building. Even though I never lived there, I visited others frequently enough to make a friend out of Tim.  He was a friendly guy that loved sports.  He didn't have an easy life, born and raised in the poor neighborhoods of Baltimore, but he made honest money and a respectable living.  After his wife died last year, he began working the night shift so he could be home during the day for his kids.  Sometimes I thought, he must be lonely.

Tim treasured the memories of his life.  He had several photo albums in the bag he carried to work: one from his younger days, one of family members, and one of friends at work.  There is a photograph of my boyfriend and me in the third album.  He took the picture with a disposable camera more than a year ago.  It was on the day of the groundbreaking ceremony for the new med student education building.  We were in our white coats, smiling in front of his security front desk.  I had forgotten about that picture by the time he showed it to me, but I remember the warm feeling that our friendship meant so much.

Tim passed away on Wednesday night.  He went to sleep, suffered a heart attack, and never woke up.  He was only in his early 50s.

Rest in peace Tim, I'm so sorry you left us, but I'm glad you didn't suffer too much.  I wish I had a picture of you. You were a good friend.
Pants Gripe   
01:01pm 19/03/2008
  I got my pants from Victoria's Secret yesterday. And they didn't fit. Size 4 in any other brand fits me just fine, but oh no, not VS. It's too big at the waist and sticks out at the hips, giving the appearance of a reverse muffin top. Now I have to return them. To make it worse, VS stores does not take return items bought online. UGH!

I hate that certain brands will have non-conforming size systems. Is this to make customers feel better because suddenly and magically, they have shrunken a full size? Lame.

(2 active transcriptions | upregulate)

01:13pm 03/03/2008
  Now that the weather is getting nicer, my walk to the gym is no longer painful, prompting me to start exercising again.  Today I went to yoga for the first time ever.  It was as amazing as everyone has chalked it up to be! I love this lunch-time 45 minute nap/stretching session, and even more since I can call it "exercise"!! And I am so calm right now, it feels great.

I imagine there will be more yoga in the near future. 


January progress   
09:31am 23/01/2008
  Lab: Small bumps on the road. As always. Science never works on the first try. But I guess if it did, I would get my PhD next month with a Nature publication in hand. That would be nice. My lab mates are great and my PI is having us over for burritos this weekend.

Grad School: I hate it.

Home: New furnace is installed and working. Thanks to my parents, I will not be breaking the bank over this.  Though they insist it is a gift, I will be paying them back. Very slowly.  Strangely, within the last weekend, two of my lab mate also had broken furnaces. In this 20 degree Baltimore winter.

Social life: I saw 27 Dresses, which was much better than expectations. The major plot was predictable (of course, it's a chick flick!), but it was cute and fun. And the very end made me tear up a bit.  What a feel good movie! Next week I am going to Capital Grille for Baltimore Restaurant Week.  Yay!


(1 active transcription | upregulate)

The pain of home ownership   
08:27am 21/12/2007
  Owning a home is great (mostly), except for those awful times when something goes awry. Since two days ago, I've had a sneaking suspicion that the furnace is doing something funky.  It looks and sounds like it's working, but the house is consistently at 60 degrees (cold!). Great. This is barely 48 hours before I fly out. I scheduled an appointment for a maintenance check up for this morning, and it's pretty much going to break the bank ($99 just for a diagnostic, plus $an arm and $a leg to fix whatever is wrong)... Let's hope I don't have to replace it, which is anywhere from $3000+.

Perhaps it's time for a phone call to the parents :(

Update: it'll take $340 to fix. Ok. At least I can afford that. But it still hurts.

(3 active transcriptions | upregulate)

Cooking with Grace   
04:52pm 16/12/2007
  Every Sunday afternoon, I take some time out to be domestic. It starts with swiffering the house and laundry, and ends with a delicious meal. Today I decided to make a potato dish that my grandmother often cooked, with some modifications. I love potatoes. I love carbs.

It all starts with a potato (actually I used 6)


(9 active transcriptions | upregulate)

10:56am 12/12/2007
  The gym on campus offers group aerobics classes. Now that I'm in grad school, I finally have time during the day to go. I want to try their yoga classes. So you yoga gurus, where do I get yoga mats? And what kind of clothing should I wear?

Getting in shape again is amazing. Exercising gives me a boost of energy. I just wish I had someone to go with me!


almost forgot:   
09:33pm 09/12/2007
  My new hobby is decorating baked goods! I just bought my first cookie sheet 2 weeks ago and yesterday, I made brownies and decorated them with white chocolate. So much fun! As it turns out, good baking is not so different from good science. Both require methodology and flexibility. Oh, and perseverence.


(5 active transcriptions | upregulate)

black friday shopping   
10:37pm 23/11/2007
  it's all about the   

(14 active transcriptions | upregulate)

Lab diaries   
01:11am 23/10/2007
  Tomorrow 2p.m. will be a moment of truth. For the past 3 months (minus the hiatus I took for Step 1), I've been working on a project to bind bacteria to breast cancer cells via antibodies, in hopes of using bacteria and a novel approach of cancer drug delivery.  There have been MANY kinks along the way, but I am finally ready for microscopy.  If this works, it could be the holy grail of cancer research, and it could actually lead to a better cure.  OK. I can't keep my hopes up. Because nothing in science works the first time. But I've got to try it.  

(4 active transcriptions | upregulate)

01:39pm 22/07/2007
  I don't like the books. But I like the movies and the stories. Harry Potter readers, please help spare me from thousands of pages. Does he live? Does he DIE? Synopsis please!  

(5 active transcriptions | upregulate)

Being a surgeon for a day   
08:41pm 09/05/2007
  We operated on pigs. Twice now. Once two weeks ago, once today.

I did:
cholecystectomy: taking out the gall bladder.
nephrectomy: taking out the kidney.
small bowel anastomosis: cutting a section out of the small intestine and then reconnecting the two ends.

It's an indescribably amazing feeling to be the surgeon. The table is yours. The patient is yours. When you are holding that scalpel, everything else fades away.

I was a surgeon for a day. How cool is that?

(3 active transcriptions | upregulate)

conversation with m   
09:46pm 02/05/2007
  on the way back to the floor after clinic:

dr. m (my attending): so, grace, what do you want to go into? surgery?
me: to be honest, i love surgery, but i don't think i'm cut out to be a surgeon. i get too emotional.
dr. m: grace, you are too nice to be a surgeon.

i'm going to take that as a compliment and think nothing more of it.

at my midterm eval today, i found out that i got high pass in neurosurgery and honors in thoracic surgery, despite passing out.

(5 active transcriptions | upregulate)

good news   
07:18pm 20/04/2007
  Ms. VS is a lovely woman on thoracic surgery. I first met her in the pre-op room, at just another routine introduction before scrubbing in. I watched her surgery, LL lobectomy for a carcinoid tumor. Throughout the week, I visited her daily. She is a warm, funny, and passionate woman. Today was her last day in the hospital. When I went to check up on her by myself, she asked about her pathology report and was so anxious that she cried.

Two hours later I got the report and dragged my very tired post-call resident to go tell her the good news: benign and non invasive! She cried and hugged me. And made my day.

(1 active transcription | upregulate)

10:07pm 17/04/2007
mood: disappointed
In the same hour that I found out about the Virginia Tech murder yesterday, I was scrubbed in a open chest surgery, where I held a living and vibrantly beating human heart in my hand.

Despite having had years of classes in science, ethics, philosophy, no amount of theoretical discussion compared to the 30 seconds that I held another person's heart. Life is fragile, life is sacred, and life is so close to death. It is easy to kill, but it is tremendously hard, and demands the utmost mutual trust and respect to preserve the sanctity of life.

The murderer was wrong. Killing oneself is wrong, and killing others is worse. Depression is a terrible thing, it can make one forget to care for humanity.


day 2 of surgery and this is what happened   
12:26am 28/03/2007
mood: exhausted
-16 hour day, but I'm lucky that I got to go home on call night to catch a 4 hour nap before reporting back to duty.
-5 ER trauma consults, including lots of screaming kids.
-1 case scrubbed in on, from beginning to end. I got to MAKE THE FIRST CUT, retract, help out in general, stand on my feet hunched over holding my arms in weird positions for over 5 hours, and SUTURE (3 stitches!!). I am so freaking lucky.
-1 egg sandwich, 3 granola bars, 2 bananas, 6 inch subway, 1/2 apple, 2 diet cokes consumed. Does that sound like a lot? I don't know. No time to eat, and I'm so hungry.
-1 brilliant question, 1 stupid question asked.
-8 times pimped, 6 times succeeded.

Thank you to friends who commented. I will write back this weekend when I have more time. I really shouldn't LJ, I don't have the time. But this is so amazing, I had to document it.

(18 active transcriptions | upregulate)