19 September 2016

Life is short, knowledge--infinite

"I confess that I have been blind as a mole, but it is better to learn wisdom late than never to learn it at all." --Sherlock Holmes (The Man with the Twisted Lip)

I read that passage from a textbook that has nothing to do with philosophy, theology, crime, or Conan Doyle. It was a comforting message; a timely one at that.  It's not common to experience the motivation and idealism of youth when approaching midlife so I'm relishing this "inspired state." I regret the aversion I once decided to direct towards abstract math when I was younger--peer pressure. My biological sciences clique snubbed intangible Greek letters like pests. We focused on the animate; after all, biology is the study of life. Yes, I used to practise the narrow mindedness of specialization that I currently detest. I once was blind but now can see--a bit, with the aid of many things and persons. There's much to absorb and the anticipation of eventually having a 20/20 understanding of abstract math is giving me butterflies. The kind one experiences a few seconds before performing on stage in front of a live audience. 

Image from http://www.victorpest.com/advice/rodents-101/myths/moles


12 September 2016

on happiness, social expectations, and being fickle

Image from The Mind Room

Relatively speaking, I think I'm happy. But the U-shaped Happiness Curve makes me look forward to the next 10 years--because I'm a 64-year old trapped in a 35-year old. Almost 10 years ago, I remember posting about how I felt like I skipped the peak of life and went from climbing up the hill then finding a warp zone a la Super Mario Bros. and then exiting into denouement. Oh my morbid, gothic phase--the good old days. I still have my Wednesday Addams snarky tendencies, but I have been trying my best to be more Disney Princess-like; breaking into song and singing to inanimate objects and whatnot. I do wish I were more sentimental---no, maybe still detached but sentimental-ish.

I firmly believe that when one has reached a degree of acceptance (of one's circumstances)---genuine happiness enters the picture. That is why the graph above makes sense. With all my brooding and weirdness plus my opinion of happiness as being a spectrum rather than a Yes/No variable, I think I lean towards happiness.  I've accepted the fact that I'm flawed, have a love-hate relationship with thinking, tend to zone out (daydream), and probably value things (concepts) that people might cringe at. I'm okay. 

Yes, Pharrell Williams, I will clap along because I feel like a room without a roof.

I'm on a cocktail of flu medicine, vitamins, and Advil. Consider this post as drug-induced. *confetti*


30 August 2016

perfect vacation moment

Alone but not lonely.
My idea of a perfect vacation moment mainly involves time alone--no urgent activity to anticipate, quiet coffee shop, book or phone on hand, comfortable temperature...and just like this very moment--subway performers playing Golden Era music on saxophone and accordion. It's just perfect.

I normally spend family vacation time in an island or beach resort in the Visayas--or a mountain resort in Baguio city or Tagaytay. I've been on fantastic island hopping and snorkeling excursions, forest trekking...I even consider the years of field work I've done as a biologist as mini-vacations just because the outdoors is always a good breather.

But quiet time with my thoughts; I find that to be the most luxurious. Time is invaluable.


06 July 2016

thinking about thinking

In situations when I'm forced to be idle-- such as having to stay at home or getting stuck in a no-WiFi zone or when there's a blackout--my flatulent brain would ruminate and pass gaseous outrageous thoughts that I try to keep at bay by blinking innumerable times until my eyelids feel the burn of fatigue. I occasionally like those moments especially when the aforementioned brain farts are related to what needs to be done. Otherwise, I wish my consciousness would let me think passively of white wall-less halls of deafening silence. You know, when it's so silent you actually hear an *eeeiiingggg* sound...


25 April 2016

Cranial Nerve 1 - Olfactory

My neighbor is clearly baking something and it smells glorious. And now I have to blog about it.
Scents can affect us in various ways which is probably why the perfume/ cologne industry is still booming.  Even laundry detergent and fabric softener are big on scents these days. 

Well, my favorite smell would be...bread. I'll give 20 bucks to anyone who can tell me if there's bread-scented cologne--as in plain bread. Not cinnamon rolls or pumpkin pie (which, I'm pretty sure have been incorporated in body lotion or candles). 

Ah, the smell of a local bakery in the morning. It's comforting.


23 April 2016

Much ado about

...a lot of things.  After rationalizing and allocating a reasonable amount of thinking time, an imaginary hose splashed cold water on my consciousness--not everyone subscribes to the Golden rule. Fun fact.


10 March 2016

on a roll


A couple of years ago I began writing a novel and at this rate, I will never be able to complete it. It made me cringe---it didn't seem to have a plot...it was juvenile and had the makings of what would be a Sweet Valley High reprise. You never know, James Rollins was a veterinarian before he became this incredible sci-fi novelist.

Earlier this morning whilst at a meeting, the topic of waking up in the middle of the night with an active mind was brought up. I used to be creative in those moments---but lately I've been comatosed intermittently. 

Ah yes Shakespeare, to sleep...to sleep perchance to a dream. Aye, there's the rub for in that sleep of death what dreams may come.


Uncontrollable stereotypes

I used to teach and have been as objective as I could in terms of evaluation--which is easy especially since when assessing knowledge of anatomy--a femur is a femur and there's no other interpretation of that. Wrong spelling wrong. A femur is not the same as the humerus. The ilium is not the same as the ileum. I have had colleagues ask essay questions either as bonus items or for the sake of having some subjective control especially if they particularly don't like a student. Let's face it, teachers are humans...hominids...humanoids...from Kingdom Animalia. Anyway, I suppose having whatever is part of my identity making it difficult for me to break all the preconceived notions about my kind. XX chromosome, parental unit, natural sciences, alien Third-worlder...I thought I had no self-esteem left after going through a few peer-reviews, but wow. What I feel now is like the equivalent of that nothingness in between electron orbitals. Then again, I may be a boson. That's not too bad. I exist--that's a good thing, right?


08 March 2016

flashback, keep the horse blinders off

[Feel free to aim your super soaker on me via your monitor---it's your computer.]

I was in graduate class today and my prof mentioned John Godfrey Saxe's "The Blind Men and the Elephant" which I mentioned in 2007 when I was ranting about how people with specializations tend to snub other fields of specialization.  Someone once told me that when he was doing his thesis about this specific method for data analysis, it was as if he had a hammer and everything was a nail.  I get that.  Each time I was studying a disease, I thought everyone had it---I had it, whether encephalopathy, worms, flesh-eating bacteria, delusory parasitosis, etc.

Let this post be a reminder that we need to zoom out and get out of whatever specialized ivory tower we live in and contaminate ourselves with other equally interesting (or more interesting) fields of knowledge.

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03 January 2016

I am the master of my fate

"Haven't had a dream in a long time
see, the life I've had
can make a good man bad

So for once in my life
let me get what I want
Lord knows it would be the first time."

The Smiths best describes current circumstances. My "function now, feel later" approach occasionally works, but my subsconscious eventually succeeds as the victorious antagonist resulting to silent weeping sessions in the shower. What an interesting situation to be in, especially since there are more smile-worthy things to focus on compared to the cry-worthy things that external forces prefer to magnify. I remember previous posts ago when I thought that I've developed a calloused shell of nonchalance only to be deliberately poked with a "trident" of provocation. And the ultimate question is "why?"