Thursday, December 01, 2005

The thoughts of an unexpressful mind...

"Each one of us is alone in the world. He is shut in a tower of brass, and can communicate with his fellows only by signs, and the signs have no common value, so that their sense is vague and uncertain. We seek pitifully to convey to others the treasures of our heart, but they have not the power to accept them, and so we go lonely, side by side but not together, unable to know our fellows and unknown by them. We are like people living in a country whose language they know so little that, with all manner of beautiful and profound things to say, they are condemned to the banalities of the conversation manual. Their brain is seething with ideas, and they can only tell you that the umbrella of the gardener's aunt is in the house."

--W. Somerset Maugham, The Moon and Sixpence


I must say that I disagree with this statement. Not so much in the obvious truth in the limit of our human tongue, but rather in the lamenting of the nature of man and language. There is deficiency in all things: physical energy is lost wastefully to friction and heat; seeds are produced in masses of thousands so that one may have the chance to live. It is clear that words in their banality degrade meaning and emotion into the very simple signals that this writer speaks of. However the deficiency in our expression is what makes good expression truly great. As the diamond in the rough is prized for its worth, while the diamond in the diamond field is but another diamond, the degradation of our every expression into the mundane whisperings of everyday life ensure that our truest moments are left as opportunities for theatric excellence. Our broken hearts are expressed in tears and writhing mouths, void of any words, but laced with human expression. Our smiles are recognized in every language, dialect, and nation... death and grief just as consoled and understood. The handicap of our tongues to express the majesty of our minds make the poems that move tears from dry eyes, music that move hearts from closed walls, and speeches that move men and women to their feet in inspired unity, truly works of art, a testament to the human spirit despite the shackles of our physical beings and restraints of our simple tongues.

A world where thought was shared in complete and utter understanding would be a more banal world than this. The value of human thought is not in question, but rather the ability to share these thoughts. In a world where all is shared, and nothing expressed, all thoughts would be equal, all ideas understood, and they would all meld and mend into a potpourri of human feeling, no one being more distinct or precious than the others, no one more moving or melancholy than the next. All thoughts would be shared, each one understood, on account of this perfect communication. Why express yourself through poetry, art, music, or deeds, when the feelings of your mind and the intentions of your heart are already known? A world without the need to overcome the barriers of human expression would be a world without the need to be human. Our language limits mankind from ever reaching one another, and inadvertently sears the desire to forever long for one another in consequence. Let our barriers remain, so that we may forever fight to overcome them, and in doing so, live out our humanity.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Pediatric ICU

On Thursday morning I shadowed one of my instructors who works in the peds cardiac ICU. It was amazing. One of the patients was a 14 day old baby who had his chest cut open with only a thin film of plastic draping the hole in his thoracic cavity to prevent infection. Lemme tell ya, watching a baby's heart beat from an opened chest is friggin nuts.

I luv bein a med student.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I was used today...

Vishal asked me for my cell # today... he subsequently mentioned that he felt better now that he had an even number of entries in his cell phone. So used. He said I should write a blog entry about it. So here it is. But I've exhausted the excitement, drama, and altogether overwhelming emotion of the incident in my first few lines, so I shall bring a close to that saga of my life.

Chapter 2: Vengeance is Mine
I looked up your cell # on the med roster Vishal and added you. You're #143. You may have the peace of mind knowing that you have an even number of entries in your phone, but let it haunt you, let it hound you, let this sword of Damocles plague your every waking moment and the lulls within your dreams because you know that somewhere, somehow, you're an odd entry in someone's phone.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Glasses

Sometimes the glass is half full.
Sometimes the glass is half empty.
And sometimes, there just aint no frickin glass.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ode to a Med Student...

Never let them see you bleed.
When you're wounded,
tell them it's ketchup.
But not your ketchup,
no, that would show weakness.
Say someone spilt it.
Obviously.

Never let them see you cry.
When they look,
ask them if they think it's strange
that it's raining,
under a cloudless sky.
Ludicrous.

In weakness, show strength.
In strength, show weakness.
Sun Tzu thought so.
Sun Tzu taught so.
This art of war begs a dialectic champion.

Misery loves company.
Our education binds us,
intertwines our minds behind us.
My weakness will become yours,
and yours will become mine.
Hiding our tears from ourselves,
averting our eyes from wounds not there,
and in unified solitude,
conquer that which might have been,
and that which may tomorrow be.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Is it possible?

Today was another amazing day.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Another day, another chapter closes, another verse begins...

Today was my first day of medical school. Like whoa. The people are amazing, the faculty are incredibly nice, and the curriculum looks like it'll keep me entertained far better than I was during undergrad. The day started off well. I woke up at the ungodly hour of 7 to shower... after which I moseyed on down to the shuttle stop so I could take the bus to avoid the strenuous 15 minute walk to campus. Introductions were haphazard as I sifted through the milieu of people, making my way to the all so important pastry table. Muffins, fruit, whatever; they had good orange juice and that's all that matters. My love for this orange juice did not go unrequitted, as it soon found its way to my backpack and pants (it doesn't waste any time this juice), embracing me with its glory. What a way to start the day eh?

The rest of the morning went rather quickly. We listened to deans talk about how great UCLA was (duh), and some more interesting statistics regarding matriculation and whatnot. UCLA undergrad sends the most to UCLA med (about 30 students), followed closely behind by Berkeley (woo hoo... we're so awesome haha). Another interesting factoid (this will give you all the more reason to come here zohair...) there's about a 3:2 girl to guy ratio here. With only 160 students in your class, the potential for drama is just way to high if you ask me though. But, different strokes for different folks eh?

We met in groups to do some learning. Then watched this amazing cultural awareness presentation put on by professional performers. Then we went to Chili's to chill (I'm so punny).

Anyway. It's awesome. When I'm working 80 hour weeks with 32 hour shifts during clinicals, I'll look back and think on the good old days... Here's to another 4 years.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

whispers in the night..

the problem with staying awake when you're not supposed to is that often times the paths of your conscious mind begin to blur. the lucid becomes mirky, the crystals now limestone. maybe i'm getting nostalgic. maybe now that i'm at the edge of the world, ready to embark on something that matters i'm getting cold feet. the human lust for opposites permeates our condition as people. it drives me crazy. we never know what we have until it's gone. we don't know it has begun until it's over. all is fair in love and war. comfort breed contempt and children. actually that last one had nothing to do with this topic but it's an interesting quote.

i believe i'm at an all time low on endogenous intoxicant. those beautiful opiates, endorphins, and neuropeptides that remove us from the reality of our days. namely they are: chemical fluctuations in an evolutionary mechanism to pass on our genes, the depression of our reticular activation system and downmodulation of the thalamocortical tract, and ethanol ... simply put: love, sleep, and alcohol.

not being someone that drinks, i'm short outta luck when it comes to inebriation i'm afraid. being a poor med student i can't afford the luxury of love. and being someone with bigger aspirations than he can swallow, sleep is a distant dream as well.

one of my friends was playing all her depressing music cause she's been kinda in a rut. i told her it wasn't healthy at first, but sitting here bored outta my mind i realize how beautiful it is to twist your own soul in bittersweet anguish in the memories and feelings of other heart trodden beings . not only do they feel the pain you feel, but they've colored and adorned themselves with shades of their own. it is this ensemble of misery that cries out to us, pleading us, be a part of my melancholy... in our unified tears we are strong, alone are wet eyes are pitiable.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

I-PhrOD

There exists a new social order in this era of information & technology. The substituents thereof are not the genetically superior, for the upper echelons of beauty, intelligence, and strength are not solely comprised of these beings. Nor are they the proletariat or the followers of the American Dream, as comfortably wealthy members of society have joined this rank as well. No, the primary requirement to be a part of this new elite caste of American culture is but to own an IPod.

The IPod is not simply an MP3 player women use to accessorize with its undoubtable beauty and men use to compensate with its enormous hard... drive. Rather, it stands as a symbol of musical authority, a testament to your peers and colleagues that you too are musical connoisseur enough to necessitate such a monstrosity. The chic shades of fruit dialectically paired with the unprecedented white head phones speak to your unquestionable sense of good taste and modern fashion. As they are the symbol of a new social class, the envious dwellers of earth (whether we'd like to admit it or not) have checked the price tag on these items. Knowing we cannot afford such a thing makes the IPod an artifact of affluence and conspicuous consumption - pocket sized.

As our quazi progressive nation (I saw quazi progressive because we are in the era of Bush) moves towards a society of equality, it is time for the common man to be given his reprieve. The IPhrOD is the solution.

The IPhrOD simply put, is a pair of white earphones. "What the ..." you may ask. The reality of the situation is simple. Don a pair of these IPhrODs and watch heads turn and eyes enviously follow. Legitimate IPod owners will notice your equipment and quietly offer their nods of approval as you pass them by. Who cares if there's no 20GB musical hard drive at the other end of the cable. Tuck your social inadequacy nicely into your sweatshirt pocket or your backpack: no one will ever know.

This isn't about music... this is about respect. Order yours today.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Losing Touch

I've lost touch with reality.
Uprooted. Estranged.
Syncopated rhythms lulling syncopated rhymes
Not for me.

Me, the mouse in the apartment refuses.
Enter the trap, I will it.
There is cheese in there, I say.
He stares.
Blink.
Blink.
Blinks in mouselike mockery
(if they are capable of such a thing).
He is smarter than I.


...

Sunday, March 13, 2005

In Jeans at a Fancy Restaurant...

Yesterday was Mike Lew's bday!!! Happy birthday Michael!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In order to celebrate his birthday, a bunch of his friends surprised him at a snazzy little restaurant called "Salute" over in Richmond. It was fun and all but this post isn't about that.

On our way out I noticed a father with his two boys eating there as well. Maybe it was because one of the boys was 8 years old that I noticed them... or maybe it was because they were wearing jeans at a restaurant where everyone else was dressed up that made me notice. The younger son was jumping around, excited to be with his father; the older one (maybe about 16) was quietly cutting his steak with an intensity that made you suspicious that it would leave his plate if he looked away. It was as if the scene was taken from a Dicken's novel - the estranged father sees his sons after a few years without even a Christmas card. The younger son knows nothing but that he spent an hour after school each day, waiting by the door, knowing his father would one day return. The older is furious that this man they used to call "dad" abandoned their mother and them without even a goodbye. The old man knows he screwed up, but he can barely make ends meet taking care of himself, not to speak of a family and children. Still, he wanted to make it up to them, and scraping together three days pay from his night shift as a security guard at a parking garage makes enough to take his boys out to a classy little "ristorante" called "Salute e Vita"...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

About nothing at all...

This post is about nothing. The nothing that surrounds us, the nothing that binds us. The nothing that vasts the oceans blue. The nothing enclosed within the minutest crevices. The nothing that is everything, but in it's pervasiveness eludes meaning and substance. The nothing we can speak about for ours... we think about nothing... talk about nothing... do nothing, say nothing, believe nothing, eat nothing, feel nothing... All things considered people may perhaps utilize nothingness more than somethingness.

And this rude woman just made a ruckus by dragging a chair across the floor. It's the library dang it - show some respect.

She just disturbed the nothingness that was in the air.

Ashes from ashes, dust to dust. All things full circle, nothing a must.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

The Price of a Baby Blue Ribbon...

... Social Commentary on the Tsunami Relief Effort.

Lately, as you look around Berkeley campus you see various people wearing and selling small, simple, safety-pinned baby-blue ribbons. Your first thought perhaps is "Who would wear such a thing?" which is quickly followed by the slightly more distressing question, "Who would BUY such a thing?" Upon initial reflection of this brilliant marketing ability (to sell a 2 cent item for an astronomical profit margin) you think that maybe the undergraduates from the Haas School of Business actually developed some practical skills other than Powerpoint ... you quickly come to your senses: no, it can't be them. You then catch the sight of 5 foot asian girls trotting around with sandwich billboards, that inadvertantly cause them to waddle, with the words "Tsunami Relief" Sharpied across their walking advertisements of altruism. Lo and behold, you have met the master of the baby-blue ribbons.

Despite the fact that you are on Sproul Plaza, and your initial reaction to anyone carrying a sign making eye contact with you is to run, you decide to hear this one out. They explain that they are selling these ribbons, and the 2500% profit will go to some organization who's acronymn is too long to stomach, much less remember. They ask you if you want to purchase a ribbon. Looking into your wallet you - being a guy, and thus never carrying change on your person, unless you have just bought something, after which you will probably shortly dispose of that change as well - realize that you have nothing but bills. You give them a dollar, and tell them to keep the change. You walk away, but instead of thinking "Wtf? I just bought a cheap Target brand .5 cent ribbon and 1 cent Wallgreens paperclip for a dollar" you feel satisfied. You didn't just buy a ribbon my friend, you bought back a piece of your conscience.

Maybe not your conscience itself, but the peace of mind portions of it anyway. Where did it go? How did the ribbon Nazis end up with YOUR piece of mind? Oh they took it from you, or rather you hurled it at them, as soon as you fell into their path. Your mind reasoned that 200,000 people have died and thousands more are dying of hunger, disease, or abuse. It argued that you have three more dollars in your wallet (yes I'm poor), but you don't have a baby-blue ribbon. It contested that the world around you is rallying to save these people, but you won't even give up a measly 50 cents when people come knocking on your door. Aside from what you have gained as a new owner of a baby-blue ribbon, the real value you realize is found in avoiding the guilt that would have rested above you as a Sword of Damocles, waiting to fall with the question "So what have you done to aid the Tsunami victims?" Congratulations my friend, with 50 cents you have bought a piece of humanity, a piece of compassion, and a piece of mind that would have failed you should you have spent that money elsewhere.



After Notes: I'm not saying I criticize the efforts of either the Tsunami Aid Part or the people who buy these ribbons. Just commenting ^^

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

PC is Dead...

... or is dying anyway.

Introducing the new Mac Mini!

http://www.apple.com/macmini/

You guys have to check this out. Not only is it comprable to PCs in speed, storage, and processing capability, it's a desktop computer that weighs less than 3 lbs and is approximately 6"x6"x2". Impossible, you say? Well Mac did it.

The reason why Macintosh will slowly, but surely, overturn the Microsoft/PC world is because they have the best designers/marketers in the world working for them. While PC has been the leader when it comes to available software, custom variability, and low prices, Mac has still been pulling ahead? Why? Because they know that we are quickly approaching an age where the computer will not only be commonplace in the households of Americans, but it will be necessary. Ask Grandma and Grandpa if they have any idea what that little plug does in the back of their mostrous computer device thing. They won't know. All they know is that it lets them check movie times and their stocks. Say goodbye world of paper news and mail; computers are taking over.

Mac knew this. They recognized the need for computers by the common American. And let's be honest now, the common American isn't too bright. I read a statistic that said that 45% of Americans do not know that the sun is a star... frightening, truly. I won't argue the validity or truthfullness of this claim, because irrespective of this I'm sure that we've all met our share of people that make us question our evolutionary place as higher cognitive beings. So in order to sell to these people, do we make computers complicated with countless functions and just as many things that could break or go wrong? No, Microsoft, this is not the way to go. Mac made it simple. One button on the mouse. A Unix core that makes it difficult and not worthwhile to create viruses for their system. No real option to mix and swap parts once it's out of the factory. Everything with an apple on it is co-compatible. And to top it all off, they made their computers pretty. PCs for the longest time held on to their blacks and their greys, but Macintosh sold in hot pinks and lime greens... colors that men have no comprehension of, but woman seem to register; how could America say no?

The longest standing complaint of Macs has been that they're too expensive. However, with this new portable, cost effective Mac mini, my die-hard PC support is waning. It's only $500, why not? I built my computer by hand and it still cost me roughly $800 originally. Throw in all the upgrades and part replacements and we're looking at a good $1200. And have you ever tried carrying a case on a bus in Berkeley? I have. It's not fun.

So goodbye to PC. The funeral march is playing, and the hearse is ready to take you. With the greater demand for Macs, the software industry will follow, and Windows will collect dust and time as the apple of the new computer age will shine in fruition.

Mac Mini
Mac Mini
Mac Mini

I've changed the comments section so anyone can comment... . Feel free to comment, criticize, argue or agree ^^

Monday, January 03, 2005

Another Year...

... another broken resolution.

Another year has passed. As dusk set upon 2004, the dawn of hopes, dreams, and aspirations embodied in Holiday Sales and annual New Year's resolutions heralded a new turn in this world's relentless path around the sun. In years past I have written thoughts and ideologies of friendship, cherishing my experiences with the people I held so dear with pleasantries and euphemisms, trying to capture the meaning of our relationships. However, due to my altogether horrific track record this year in maintaining ties with my friends, I've decided that to write such a memoir would be an empty mockery of my writings past. So instead I shall comment on New Year's resolutions.

New Year's resolutions: America's excuse to take the time and reflect to better themselves only once every 365 days. The path of man throughout his existence is one of mistakes, shortcomings, and faults. It is the imperfect beings that we are that seemingly allow us to strive to become better ones. Perfection in a world of perfection is not perfection, but rather a matter of commonplace uniformity. But this is hardly a matter to consider in our lives, for we all have our unique chinks and scrapes that characterize us as the imperfect personages that we are. Yet we still hold our ideals. Some scratches are seen as more desirable than others; some etchings more pure; some shapes more ideal. These are the molds that we aspire to in our lives, and yet as a nation we have decided to allow this pursuit to surface in the forefront of our minds once at the beginning of every year. At the "beginning," though our calendar and markings on the endless string of time is arbitrary in and of itself. Why not mark February 1st or March 2nd? Is the cold of winter a symbol of rebirth when it may be spring or fall that allows life to grow once more? A moot argument.

Should not man challenge his life every day, as his mistakes and follies are ever so present in each one? Are not these New Year's resolutions but a self serving form of hopes and prayers, thoughts of those that mean well but are slow to act believing this will serve their purpose in bringing to pass change? The devil is a friend of idleness, yet it would not surprise me if the bedfellow of idleness were inconsistency. Life is about change. If we allow ourselves the pleasure of breathing, feeling, laughing, and in short living each day, should we not make time for improving ourselves in stride? A New Year's resolution is a symbol of all that is meant to be broken in the year to come. A New Day's resolution a symbol of all that we intend to change today. That is not to say that these assertions should be demoted to fickle fancies of the mind that enter into our passive thoughts, but rather they should be more rooted essences of our consciousness than what the capitalistic enterprise of the holidays would allow us to believe they are.

It is not perfection that makes a man a god, but rather the pursuit for perfection that makes him truly divine.

Followers

About Me

I'm a quixotic idealist that's readjusting to the reality of the world around him. An aesthetic at heart, willing to not shower a week at a time to go camping, exploring, hiking, etc. I love food, poker, and anything that can be turned into a competition.