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rough magic
i here abjure
it's been a long time since my last post; clearly a lot's happened. i've completed my pre-requisites, and i was accepted to my nursing school of choice! classes begin next month; the whole program is seven quarters in length -- six plus a full time residency.

on TOP of all that excitement, i am moving in with the BF at the end of the month. it's pretty crazy.

the lj betrayal comes in here. i've started a blog about nursing school and the like on blogger. the interface is more friendly to my eyes, and it's a lot more customizable and "linked in" with the blogosphere than LJ. i'll still be stopping by here from time to time, but my main posts will be on blogger from here on out. i invite you all to stop by and take a gander -- it's the same name (windy city lotus) and the link is here: http://lillotusblossom.blogspot.com/

it's been a great community here and i'm going to miss y'all. i'm also taking some of you with me -- i linked a few of your blogs onto my new blog so you're not so far away :). hope it's okay, and i hope you can stop by!
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today was the first day of summer session classes at UIC. chem lab --- usual first day directions and safety videos; i am now stuck trying to find a pair of glasses to wear in lab as contacts are not allowed. needless to say, that wasn't in the budget. bleh, but oh well.

i have my own drawer, filled with my own beakers, erlenmeyer flasks, watch glasses, and pipettes. i purchased my own safety goggles at the bookstore along with the required textbook, lab notebook (with carbonless copy capability), and manual. i went to the register, and as the lady swiped my credit card, i had a sudden flash of undergrad all over again -- the amount i paid for three science books would have bought me a full courseload of class books as a liberal arts major. yikes.

there's still something so lovely about brand new books, though, even if they cost you an arm and a leg.

anyway. after class, i hopped the halsted bus to harrison, and then took the 7 to paulina and rush university -- my dream school -- to meet my bf, who was there for the day doing some research. the bus dropped me off in front of the bookstore. dickies brand scrubs (who knew?) were hanging in the window, as well as white lab coats. past the racks, i could see a wealth of health science books. cardiology, radiology, opthamology...

"nursing fundamentals"

i couldn't resist.

i walked in the door, and was greeted by a skeleton sitting on a table, dressed in a suit and holding an antique surgical kit. he was cool. on the table next to him (among the multicolored doctor and nurse beanie baby bears) were boxes of netter's anatomy flashcards. even cooler. behind him and to the left was the shelf with the nursing school texts. i walked over, and stared at them, scanning the titles in my mind. critical care fundamentals. emergency room nursing procedures. pediatric nursing neuroscience. pathophysiology.

at that moment, everything came sharply into focus. this is what i am working for. in a year and a half's time, i will be standing here again, purchasing these books for class. it was more than just wanting it to happen -- that i've been feeling for months, ever since i made the decision to do this. at that moment, i could taste it. it was the best feeling in the world. i was standing there with my chemistry and my algebra books weighing down my bag, and in front of me was the goal, the point, the entire meaning of everything i've been working so hard for since i quit H&M. i felt calm. complete. awash in warm feelings of the purest determination, i felt the panicky anxieties of all my life's recent choices melt away. and i knew in that moment that the months, and year ahead of me, are going to be magnificent.

here's to making the life you want happen! :) off to study for my algebra test.
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rest in peace

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chicago's pizza has an online ordering option. we'll see if it actually gets here; either way, it's amazing what you can do on the interweb these days.

normally i wouldn't eat something fattening and unhealthy like pizza, but tonight's a treat (that, i'm not drinking, and i've had salads with/for lunch all week). it's the end of my third week at work, and i'm getting a handle on things pretty well. today i got a ton of stuff done, and i made decent headway on the excel sheets i'm supposed to manage, and re-learning how to program it in the process. i have to tinker with them this weekend, but i don't mind. i'm geeky enough to reap an enormous amount of satisfaction when all the rows and columns add up perfectly. i am determined to master my (minor) phobia of math through this job.

that's the good side of why taranee gets pizza tonight. the other side is frustrations with dating and the opposite gender in general. i won't go into details, suffice to say it's been the kind of week (and month and year) that deserves pizza and a favorite movie on a friday night.

right now, the brightest spots in my life center around my new job. first off, it's a new job, and it's 9 to 5. i'm making friends at the lab, and been slowly developing a little more of a social life. last night was some fun :). and, i went to an information session for the school of continuing studies earlier this week. i'm all set, and ready to register for classes on monday. it's incredibly, impossibly cheap-- as an employee, i can get a degree for $177 a class. no fucking joke. and as a student at large (by not enrolling in any specific degree program or major) i'm not bound by any prerequistes. i can design my entire curriculum, and study whatever i goddamn well want. this fall, i believe it's going to be biology and anatomy. classes are once a week for 3 hours and no labs this time around, so i'll have plenty of time to do homework and still manage my job.

sometimes i feel all this is too good to be true. i'm wondering when the other shoe will drop, when my job will suddenly raise an ugly head and i'll see what is going to make me miserable, when school completely kicks my ass and i'm unhappy and adrift all over again.

things are different now, and i'm working really hard to believe in it. i'm coming at life with a positivity that's almost unprecedented with me. cross your fingers.
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besides the asian actresses, i also got jet li (LOL), jo jo, keira knightley, and (of all people) hedy lamarr. omg.

amusedCollapse )

upon later efforts, i got a slew of obscure japanese girly girl actresses, and patrick stewart. :)
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it seems i get all my current social and political rants from reading the new york times. i suppose there are worse places to get informed.

rant of the day -- WHY do lesbians get so up in arms when a woman wants to become a man?

this was one (of the many reasons) i didn't like chasing amy-- the disdain and exclusion whatshername got from her lesbian friends when she told them she was dating a man. and in today's times is an article about when jane becomes jack. women were quoted as saying things like women becoming men is akin to treason, to going over to the enemy, to no longer caring or standing up for women's rights, and/or lesbian rights.

what the fuck? first of all, are you not seeing the rampant hypocrisy of your position? maybe you do or you don't seek acceptance in a heteronormative society, assimilation is not necessarily liberation. but surely you want the same rights and priveleges the "accepted" forms of couplehood have. you want to be looked at as a normal part of society, free to live the way you want to live, the way you feel you were *wired* to live. so why do you hate and discriminate against women who feel that they should have been born men? i guarantee none of those transgendered men will question your desire to be a lesbian, what right do you have to exclude them, call them traitors, and think that the minute they become men, they will become the oppressors, keeping women down? you think the presence of a grafted on penis is going to instantly create a sexist, republican voting anti-gay marriage man? what is wrong with you?

and what about men who decide to become women? i don't hear any rumblings about how they are betraying the gay male population by becoming women, how the presence of womanly breasts is going to make them men haters.

what has happened here? when did this become a war between lesbians and everyone else? the article talked about the "michigan womyn's music festival", which i am horrified to say, only invites "women who were born women, and who live as women". like the very spelling of "womyn", a policy like this that (theoretically) excludes heterosexual women and transgendered women, comes across as little more than childish freshmen in college brainless activism bullshit* and completley counterproductive. just because i am wired to desire men (as you are wired to desire women) does not mean i think harold bloom sucks any less, or quench my desire to make ann coulter cry through systematically dismantling her entire arsenal of warped ideologies. it reminds me of when ani difranco, folk singer and lesbian idol figure, went and got married to her (male) producer. people buzzed about what a "betrayal" it was, yada yada. just because she has dreadlocks and piercings and sings women power music doesn't mean she has to be a fucking lesbian, and just because she isn't, or because she chooses to be with a man (for all we know she's bi) isn't reason enough to vilify her or call her a 'traitor' to "the cause". the stereotyping and assumptions made here are mirror images of the ones anti-gay bigots and the religious ultra-right have against you.

on the same side of a different coin, dan savage was lectured in his column this week for the past two weeks of bitter vitriol he's put into his columns about the state of gay marriage in this country. YES it's a problem, YES, i think you should be able to get married. so why are you spreading the hate and the bitterness? why do you have to cut down the 'straights' and 'breeders'?

i (and others like me, male and female) are not the fucking enemy. lighten up.

*don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with activism, in college or otherwise. my problem is the kids who go to college, and start protesting everything in sight without really thinking about what they are saying. for example, it's all well and good to protest 'survivor' because they eat rats, but i guarantee you won't be so loving to rats if you found one in your dorm room. it's commendable to protest sweatshops in third world countries, but have you thought about what the sweatshop workers are going to do once you shut down their factory? are you going to provide them with a meaningful job to make ends meet? as bad as sweatshops are, i think women and children would prefer that over prostitution. *basically*, thoughtless activism and loud public protesting irritate the hell out of me because in the end, they don't do anything. this isn't the 60s, people. it's a different world, and change has to come about a different way.
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ok, go!
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my old job just paid me out my unused vacation and sick time.


:) i am very, very happy. to celebrate, i paid my bills, put some money away in savings, and treated myself to rainer maria's new album. debating whether or not to take advantage of the threadless sale and get yet one more t-shirt. i'm selling some books tomorrow, if i make some cash maybe i will.

compounded with the fact it's friday, life is good. very, very good.
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omfg. some genius at research in motion and apple went and wrote a program to make blackberries compatible with macs. i am SYNCd, baby. hott.
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when i was in calgary in july, i saw a special on tlc that followed the stories of five or six morbidly obese people-- how they lost incredible amounts of weight through stomach stapling, and how many of them sadly gained it all back and more. cat scans were shown signaling increases of dopamine in their brains when given food after a period of denial. individuals interviewed in the study talked about how they "just couldn't help it" even though they knew what their eating was doing to them. the whole gist of the program implied that these people were genetically wired to overeat.

there is an article in this week's new york times magazine about the existence of "obesity genes"-- the first one was discovered in the early 90s, and since then over 50 genes linked to obesity have been "identified". with all due sympathy, the times points out: "People like Janet, who can get fat on very little fuel, may be genetically programmed to survive in harsher environments. When the human species got its start, it was an advantage to be efficient. Today, when food is plentiful, it is a hazard."

RIDICULOUS. if this is true, and there is an "obesity gene", why does it mainly afflict people in first world and developed countries like the US? what is the "harsh environment" that these people are wired for, when we have entire countries of people in africa that are desperately poor and starving. shouldn't they have this gene? shouldn't they have adapted to eating rocks and sand by now? and what about the increasing obesity rates in economically devleoped/developing countries like thailand and singapore? kids are getting fatter over there too. have they spontaneously developed the fat gene? has anyone checked the correlation between the fat gene and the spread of the mc donalds franchise? that special on tlc quietly slipped in the fact that the study participants were fucking *starved* before they were hooked up to the cat scan machine and had chocolate cake dangled before them. who the hell *wouldn't* have a surge of dopamine in their brains when presented with your favorite food after being forced to go hungry?

the article continues on to discuss other theories of obesity-- our metabolism slows down in times of plenty, since we live in a constant state of plenty, well that explains obese people. or, there are microbes in our guts, that we accumulate in the first few years of our lives. the combination of certain microbes makes the individual extract *more* calories and *more* polysaccharides out of the food they eat, so eating the same food as someone without those microbes will make them fatter faster. or, it's a virus akin to one found in chickens in india.

i'm not a scientist, and i'm perfectly willing to say it's a strong possibility that our biological makeup is implicated in what we look like, how much we eat, how quickly/slowly we lose weight. that it's not just a matter of a lack of self control. but does this mean there's an intelligence gene? a genetic predisposition to being good at math? hell, maybe that would explain why so many asians are in the sciences and engineering disciplines. is there an "acting" or "artistic" gene? through gene therapy, could i become the next meryl streep? do murderers have a genetic tendency towards violence? do lincoln park trixies and people who shop at abercrombie have a biological predisposition towards being assholes? do cubs and sox fans have a similar gene somewhere that links their sports inclinations?

of course this is an exaggeration. no one says that obesity is solely a genetic and biological factor. but what they *are* saying, is that for some people it's harder to lose weight, it's easier for them to gain weight. the times put forth a theoretical pair of people-- both of the same weight, but one had previously been obese. you can give them the same amount of calories, but the one that has previously been obese has to consistently eat less in order to maintain her weight.

there are some big people in my family, but no one is obese. maybe it's because we're asian and we just tend to not be obese. i gained a bunch of weight back in college, i wasn't obese but i was about 30 pounds heavier than i am now-- my body mass index calculation put me firmly in the "overweight" category. is it my genetic predisposition to not be fat that helped me lose all that weight in two years? or was it the fact that i busted my ass and worked out three times a week because i had found an exercise class i loved? i've never been a strong math student, does that mean that no matter how hard i work, i will never understand calculus and i will never pass physics?

why would people living in first world countries like america and canada and europe have this gene to help them store up all this food (and because of their economic circumstances, inadvertently make them fat) over people who are living in countries where the majority of the population lives in extreme poverty and at risk of starvation and has lived in that condition for decades, if not in perpetuity?

could it have something to do with the fact that it's incredibly expensive to live a healthy lifestyle in this country? that it's cheaper to live off mcdonalds and other fast foods than to buy salad fixings and tofu? whole foods and trader joes certainly don't have dollar menus. (to me it's akin to how expensive it is to get an education in this country. hell, buying a fucking book these days is an investment. why does it cost over $40 to own an anthology of literature, or over $100 to buy a biology textbook?)

could it also have something to do with our culture of instant gratification? i want this and i want it now. i am entranced by the venti caramel macchiato frappucino with extra whipped cream from starbucks because, hey, i need coffee in the morning.

it's never just nurture, but we can't place more blame on nature as a consequence. i am much more inclined to share the culpability with nonbiological factors-- availability of food, economic circumstances, being taught to make healthy food choices, and consciously choosing to take care of our bodies. not everyone can be stick thin and gorgeous, some of us will never be a size 0. but it's a sign of our ridiculously pampered culture of self-entitlement that we shift the causes of obesity in our corner of the world onto microbes and genetic predisposition instead of acknowledging its role as one amid MANY factors that lead us to look and act the way we do.

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