Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bay to Breakers

This weekend was the 100th anniversary of the San Francisco legendary Bay to Breakers. Despite living in the bay area almost all my life this was my first time attending this 'race.' I would describe it more as a parade of ingenious costumes (and occasionally lack thereof). My friends and I went as 'vehicles.' We fashioned cars out of cardboard boxes (and one boat) and wore them over our shoulders.

The weather threatened thunderstorms, but luckily the only rain we experienced was the sudden downpour right as we were boarding BART to SF. Kan ironically pointed out if the weather stayed nasty at least, "We were in cars." But the clouds cleared and later in the day the sun came out and I stripped down to my t-shirt. (The rain has come full force this week making my bike-commute less than pleasant...and I thought summer was near).

They close the roads on a 12km stretch from the embarcadero (bay) to the farthest west edge of golden gate park (breakers). We walked a couple of the miles in the middle section. In the top picture we were walking back to Bart and saw a bug stuck in traffic, I just had to pose with it.

Here is the group of vehicles--Pickup truck, Taxi, VW Bug, Party Bus, Boat, Firetruck

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grad School Visits

So it is confirmed that I will be pursuing a Master's degree in graduate school this fall. But the question as to where I will be, and what exactly I will studying is a big question mark. So far I have visited two schools, and have 4 others to check out. A few weekends ago I flew out to UNC Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) and the following weekend I was up at University of Washington (Seattle, Washington).

Here are a few snap shots from my travels.
North Carolina
Chapel Hill Campus is beautiful. Even though it was still February, the weather was nice. It was a rainy 70 degrees for part of the stay and sunny (but colder) for the rest. This is the famous well of Chapel Hill. UNC Chapel Hill is the oldest Public University in the USA founded at the end of the 1700's!!! I really loved the program here. I felt like they really wanted me, and the research opportunities were fascinating. Chapel Hill is a cute little college town, but I was a little weirded out by fact there was no city (even the nearby cities of Raleigh and Durham didn't really have a visual presence). There are trees EVERYWHERE!!! The roads are like driving through a forest, with resident and commercial areas hiding behind the forests.


My experience at UW was pretty much the opposite. I felt completely comfortable in Seattle. The city has the perfect balance of metropolitan feel with nature at its finger tips. The program, on the other hand, excited me less. The visit was less organized, and the professors seemed less interested in me as they did at UNC. It was the typical grey, cold, cloudy Seattle weather. But on Saturday morning before I flew home the sun peaked out for a few moments on my wonderful walk along the water.

They told me that it is super easy (in fact ideal) to live without a car. Between biking, the bus system, the accessible city layout, and the pleasant walking paths, you can get around without a car! Some students who did have cars confirmed that they haven't driven in at least a month. Definitely not the case in NC!

I also came up with this little rhyme on my walk

The sun was bleak
My nose did run
My fingers
Perpetually numb.
But despite a
Threatening forecast
The rain was short
It did not last.
I felt that in Seattle
I could fit right in
It was the bay area
with a Washington spin

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Laughter Peals

Here is another poem from a few years ago that I wrote while living in dorms in college.

Laughter Peels

The laughter peals
Like the banana
Saved from lunch
It slides down thin walls
Exposes the young meat.
The laughter breathes
It silently inhales
Before it races out the door
Two pounding feet reach out to catch it
Four, six, eight, follow close behind
It settles on colored sheets
And hard seats
And salty carpets from midnight chips
It begins to dance
It’s passed around
It quietly does twirl
It balloons up about to burst
It attracts a crowd
Doors left open, heads poke in
It pulls it out from the deep
Studying’s slumber cries out defeat
The short and tall
Unite as one
The lungs expand, its about to come
Laughter rings out in the air
And settles like dust everywhere

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I just found this poem that I had written freshman year of college. The poem truly romanticizes the experience of studying chemistry, but the yearning for the days when learning was fun still comes through.


The sweet smell of book orders
Bright white pages
Fresh and new,
The stiff spine unopened
A world to walk into

Carbon chains
And ring Alkanes
Illustrations for the old
Stick figures in love
Stories of attraction told

Like the days
When we were young
Memories when school was fun
Excitement in unopened books
Reading them in quiet nooks
Adventures in a fantasy
Has become journeys through chemistry

Monday, February 14, 2011



Girls go to the gym to lose weight
Boys go there for weight gain
I go there to strengthen my body
To feel capable of any-thang

I’m not intimidated that I lift less
Than any boy around
I’m not threatened by their machismo
A girl’s mere presence does astound

Strong arms so that I may (one day) do a pull up
Muscle tone for an athletic physic
With strong legs I run, jump, dance, and bike
I can do all of this and never feel weak

Abs and back make up the core
Their strength is for injury prevention
A flat stomach is also nice
So they deserve a lot of attention

I love the feeling of power and independence
The self confidence it’s instilled in me
And the oh joy those endorphins bring
A good mood guarantee!

Muscle Beach, California (August 2009)

Friday, February 4, 2011

No Pants, No Problem

My friends and I always used to joke that pants are SO uncomfortable. So of course we got excited when we found out that there is a National No Pants Day! In San Francisco people celebrate by riding BART with no pants but acting completely normal. It is kind of like a flash mob where people show up to ride certain trains at certain times, pants-less but otherwise completely dressed. They are instructed to respond 'Oh, I knew I forgot something' when questioned about why they have no pants on. I did not attend the event, but in solidarity with the cause I wrote this little humorous poem about pants. The photo is from the article I found out about the No Pants Bart

No Pants, No Problem

Sometimes jeans feel a little too tight
The way they hug your hips, just isn’t right
They’re too small when they’re right out of the dryer
But the next day you must keep pulling them higher
Spandex isn’t appropriate for the city
Don’t wear sweats if you want to look pretty
Overalls were once a stylish look
But now they scream construction work
Corduroys are out, I’m not sorry
Only wear khaki if you are on a safari
And don’t even get me started on slacks
When you put those on, you can never relax
Designer jeans cost half of my month’s pay
And I feel guilty about sweatshops anyway
If you want go out all night and dance
You will feel so constricted in pants
On short people they drag on the ground
On tall people their ankles abound
The girl-in-front-of-me’s crack is a pokin’
And on that old guy, his zipper is broken
On gangster boys they sag down to the knee
Hipster boys wear them far too tightly
Pants come ripped, pants come flaired
Some come skinny (all come paired)
When I try on a pair I am always wary,
Because comfort is not in the vocabulary
In my opinion, a great societal problem
Is you always gotta wear a bottom
So one day of the year lets give comfort a chance
And go about our day, simply not wearing pants

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is your day
And no one is more deserving
Of sunshine, a bike ride,
And chocolate dessert (double serving).

And may you live a hundred years
And around the world you reach
Because the world would be a better place
If they follow what you teach.

You never get into a car
But travel by bike instead
You save the air from CO2
And your body’s built of lead.

Your canvas bags, your compost bin,
You’re an environmental savior
And from the garden you tender and care
We reap food with unparalleled flavor.

On top of that you clean and cook
And all that ‘round-the-house stuff
Without complaint you put us first
I cannot thank you enough.

You are the best listener I have ever met
When I reach out for help, you are there
You consider all sides, you give sound advice
You empathize, you care.

You are the best mom a girl could ask for
So with that I’d like to say
I love you mom dearly
And Happy 57th Birthday!