Sunday, January 26, 2014

Internet Dating Panda

As much as I love my cheese curl readers, I have to admit that being a graduate panda in the middle of Richmond is quite lonely. And after a fun fun fun MLK day weekend in Asheville and Charlotte,  NC, as well as evidence from the rest of my life, I have finally realized that I have almost all male friends. Being in the field of engineering, in graduate school and generally having the vocabulary of a sailor and the sense of humor reminiscent of a 5-year old, it makes sense that I feel more at home among boys. Last night, I attended an improv comedy show for the first time and, yet again, was proved to enjoy fart jokes more than any other joke topic. Of course, great literary magazines such as the New Yorker still can put a little sprinkle in my tinkle (let me just say here that The Onion does not hold a candle to the Borowitz Report), I am still prone to guffawing at such plebian humor as resides in everyday references to phallic objects.

In any light, I decided that I should look for more female friends now that I am in Richmond. Not that I am trying to be more ladylike, but perhaps I was just too close minded about the possibility of there existing other crude, vulgar yet brilliant women like myself that I might want to befriend. Although I am happy with my roommate and my female lab mates, I sometimes feel trapped in a social circle that is too dependent upon work. This can be very dangerous, since we all know living in the [cell] hood can escalate everyday quarrels very quickly.

So, in answer to your questions:

Q: OmG gUrL!! Wut happened wit yo hubby!?!? Did ya'll break up!!!
A: No, The Boyf and I have not broken up! We are still happily together and I am just internet searching for female friends. Also contrary to popular opinion and commonwealth law in some states, we are NOT [yet] married.

Q: Which sight RU usin? Iz it gud?
A: I'm on OKCupid. It's ok, hence the name. But it's free, which aligns well with my frugal tendencies.

Q: did u find sum1 yet
A: It's only been less than a week, and it's kind of hard to find girls since the site is set up for people to find others of the opposite sex (unless you choose the gay option). I have seen a few cool profiles, and contacted one person so far, who hasn't contacted me back yet. So this is what rejection must feel like in the internet world...not so bad.

Q: so u only look 4 gurlz?
A: Obviously I also creep on the "boyz", if you will. But I have no intention of contacting them, unless they contact me first. Although that probably won't be likely.

Q: Y NOT? OOPS HOLDUP I GOTTA TURN OFF CAPS LOK. yea cuz i get nudie pics all da time.
A: I actually have a fake name/alias and didn't upload a picture. I guess it's kind of a double standard for using the website and expecting people to respond to you even if you don't provide a lot of information or photos. But this thing isn't important enough to slander my internet reputation and kill my future prospects of continuing on in a decent profession.

So there you have it! I suppose if anyone becomes of this, I shall let you know! At least it is something in the background whilst I continue to hustle my way to da top! In another said but true story, the bartenders at the local bar near my apartment now know me by name! And in yet another twist of unfortunate events, I just wrote this entire post while sitting in the coffee shop be I locked myself out of the apartment again! But fear not, the business club, Wednesday dinners, and my church community have all boosted my spirits and led to increased networking and new acquaintances! Plus, lab keeps me busy. Except for today, when all my cells died.

No matter!

Next weekend is the Chinese lunar new year! Then Valentine's Day, when The Boyf gets to spend time with me! And sprinkled in the next two months are a poster symposium in Atlanta, one in Richmond, one committee update, and two conferences (New Orleans and Charlotte)!! Many big things are happening and the future is now! Until next time...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Panda!

My dearest cheese curls and corn puffs:

Today is the first day of 2014! Can you believe it is already 14 years past the end of the world, and 2 years past the apocalypse?! And yet, the Megabus still has crappy wifi. Oy vey! Humans will soon be equipped with live wifi via Google glasses or something, although I personally am against the whoring out of information for social networking pleasure. 

The holiday break was long (10 whole days!) and pretty exciting, for The Boyf was finally able to spend time with Padre! YOU  NEVER THOUGHT THIS WOULD HAPPEN! More on that later, since I am currently in the mist of pissy-ness toward The Boyf and am trying to avoid thinking about merrier times together. This should pass soon as it always does, but if it doesn't then I will be soon looking for a new Panda Boyf!

Now, onto bigger and better things!


1. Publish! Submit at least 2 first author  manuscripts, and publish at least one this year. Hopefully will also publish as co-author on collaborations. 

2. Read the Bible! For the past 7ish years, I have read the bible cover-to-cover each year. Some years I read chronologically, some years I read both old and new testament together, some I just read from front to back. Last year, I used the YouVersion bible app and it was so much better than lugging around a 5 pound leather bound book (although missing the "Did you know?" type of things that I usually enjoy in the student versions). Previously I would read whenever I could, and if I couldn't read one day, I would catch up on the weekends. Last year my resolution was the read the bible EVERY DAY. And I did! But many times it would be at the end of the day, when I was delirious and not really paying attention to the text. So this year, my resolution is to read the bible every day, IN THE MORNING, or at least during the day and not right when I'm going to bed. I'm also reading the King James Version and following the Robert Roberts (I know, say no more) plan, which will cover the old testament once, and the new testament twice! 

3. Getting to work and started early! This follows with my last point, and also leads to an overall resolution of living healthily and happily. While living with The Boyf in Atlanta, it was necessary to be up early all the time so we could drive together in the mornings. Now, I have been dragging my feet in the cold weather to get to work by 8am. I am hoping to be able to SLEEP EARLIER (really, this is the key point...perhaps my resolution should be more like "limit extensive online shopping right before bedtime") and get rip rarin' to go in the mornings, hopefully to get to work by 7:30am and have my cup of coffee, read the bible and read the news before everyone else gets in. I also like coming in for a little bit on Saturdays to plan things out for the week, aside from the hectic activity of all the other labmates during the week.

4. Be a values oriented panda! I have to admit, with graduate school and moving around and everything, my panda head became quite big and I have been complaining nonstop and having a hard time being nice to everybody! I have been thinking about this, and hopefully in conjunction with my previous resolutions will be able to be a happy panda this year, and pass on that love and happiness to others! Earlier in 2013 I resolved to do the things I enjoy (even if they are by myself), and I will continue doing that. But it will also be important to connect with people and network (obviously that was going to come up, you know me!), but make sure I am still in line with my values and treating people with respect and honesty! Because at the end of 2014 and for the rest of my life, I want to say I was able to make the world a little better, and sincerely mean it! 

Well, that's it for my glowing review of the brand spankin' new year! What are your new year's resolutions? 


P.S. I also have a ton of Christmas cards left over! Send me your address if you want one, you silly cheese curl!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hairless Panda

So Movember is finally over, and now your little baby panda angel is going to reveal the fruits of her hairy labor!

Okay, so the hair really wasn't that bad. At least I can be grateful that my Asian heritage left (or didn't leave me) with one thing. Although because I didn't handle a razor for so long, I didn't really know how hard to shave to get all the hair off. So I did some slight razor burn on my legs:

Don't mind the marks on my calf; those are just from the REALLY TIGHT H&M pants I bought (apparently European sizing is not as forgiving) and tried to live in over Thanksgiving break in order to stretch them out. Not sure if they got smaller, I got bigger, or my body fat just re-accumulated elsewhere (PLEASE BE BOOBS OR BUTT SO HELP ME GOD).
Also, we have started Thursday TIGHT NIGHTS! Instead of going out to a bar, we have resorted to the 50 cent wings at Chilis in celebration of football season. Obviously I don't care about alcohol or sports, so the great deal in my mouth is really the highlight here. And I even got a chance to take a picture with the VCU mascot, Rodney the Ram! (In my Penn State apparel, nonetheless):

Also, I am currently surviving the woes of being black pump-less (referring to the shoe, not the gasoline, of course). Having the misfortune of my heel discombobulating in the conference elevator while in Atlanta, I had to wear flats and run the risk of being assaulted by the conference fashion police (of course in academia, we have none; I only pretend to make myself feel better). Now in the midst of Christmas shopping season, shouldn't there be so many great deals on free shipping and shoes, especially in the classic and timeless black pump style? But alack! I am doomed to raiding eBay sales without gain...and what is the deal with these so called "peep-toe" shoes? Showing toes of any kind is completely unprofessional, not to mention making "peep"ing sounds with your feet. Leave the peeping to the marshmallows during Easter!

Please, if you can find a classic, black, leather pump, LET ME KNOW! Also, it must be $20 or less...I may be willing to pay for shipping, if they are Jimmy Choo or something. Otherwise, I shall forever remain in the shadows of the department store bargain bin. The joys of finding a shoe sale!

Finally, last Friday was the GRAND ILLUMINATION! Where many Richmonders came outside in the freezing cold in order to watch a Christmas tree light up, and then go to the Governor's mansion to shake ole'  Gov'nah Bob McDonnell's hand for an uncomfortable, extended period of time and be wished a "Merry Christmas" even if you are an Islamic Democrat (Obama). Aside from the awful, awkward political nature of this event, the lights are quite nice to have outside and make the streets look safer and filled with holiday cheer!

And speaking of Obama...MANDELA! The passing of a great man. And it was nice to see President Obama shake Raul Castro's hand. Truly the things that can be accomplished after death and happy to see Mandela's spirit live on, although sad to think that one must die before his dream can be achieved. Rest in peace, Panda Mandela.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Turkey Panda

Happy Thanksgiving, my dear little ones! Thanksgiving is the best holiday, because not only does it cross racial/social/gender/cultural/religious/etc. barriers, everyone gets to put on stretchy pants and eat turkey until they pass out from tryptophan overdose! Although our household opted to go out for dim sum in Chinatown, I still ate until I had minor constipation! Although the aforementioned effect may have also been caused by WAY too small pants from H&M that I have donned for the past three days in hopes that they would stretch out (or I would become slightly smaller). What is up with European sizing? Why can't we just have one size for everyone? I still propose a 3D scanner to automatically scan each person's body, then make the clothing specifically tailored to that body. The future is now!

In other news, I also got a chance to get some shopping in on Black Friday (PANDA FRIDAY!), for EIGHT HOURS. Yes, we were one of those families that went out on Thanksgiving Day (we are Chinese, for God's sake. There is no way we could pass up deals like that). Eight hours is certainly a lot, especially when it is from 10pm to 6am. Dancing in DA CLUH' (that is Panda speak for "the club) is way better than walking around under the fluorescent lights FROM HELL for so long. Obviously all this could be blamed on Cabbage's poor decision making skills, as well as her insatiable lust for material goods. WHAT HAS THE WORLD COME TO!? Even Little Mao was brought along on the trip, although he seemed to love being able to stay up all night. Panda here has still been trying to catch up on sleep lost by that godforsaken night in retail wasteland! It seemed that this year's political and financial circumstances have prompted Americans to stay at home, quivering into their turkey bosoms, filled with stuffing, too scared of the uncertainty associated with Obamacare to spend a little quality time cajoling at their local outlet mall. Nevertheless, apparently internet sales are up by 7%, with more to come on Cyber Monday!

Due to lab drama (happening all the time anyway) between our lab manager and Dr. Zebra, my meeting time has been scheduled for Monday morning at 6:30am. WHAT THE DONKEY!? Although early morning meetings are actually much appreciated to get them out of the way, I will have barely any time between Sunday evening when I arrive at home and Monday morning to prepare my meeting materials. I'd better get a good night's rest so I can get started ASAP tomorrow...

ACK! I know I promised to update twice this month, and technically I started this post before the end of November. But alack! 'Tis now the first of December! Which means I GET TO SHAVE!!!

Updates on the hair removal very soon...December shall be an advent month of many fantazmo posts! Stay tuned...

Friday, November 15, 2013

Atlanta Panda!

In accordance with my promise, I shall be updating TWICE in this merry month of November, or should I say...MOVEMBER! Obviously, I have decided to once again participate in the hair growth festivities, and without obvious facial hair, have been exercising the right of my underarm, leg and other (ahem) areas to FOLLICLE HEAVEN! Needless to say, The Boyf is not pleased. In fact, I suspect the reason why he isn't coming home for Thanksgiving is less that he "has to work," but more that he is disgusted by the feathery delight that is emerging on my legs. But hey, at least I don't have to pay for those tights that prevent rape - I can just grow my own pair!

In other news, The Boyf has been working so hard the point of pulling all nighters and even taking intermittent naps on the office couch (that was especially brought in for the purpose of resting his weary head) between 23 hour days. This means that I am...STRESSED OUT! Even the promised annual Christmas card collage photo session did not happen this trip...which lead to a series of pathetic shots of just myself in travel mode...without a partner.

Like a blowfish, I have been simmering my stress internally until the day my unshaven body parts decide to blow up into a large inflatable ball! While this may seem entertaining to the average bystander, it is EXTREMELY entertaining to even myself, although typically I enjoy the blowfish effect on The Boyf and not myself. Nevertheless, I have learned to freak out less about these things and am instead pursuing other ways of getting involved and being productive while in the city.

A particular venture with which I am very excited is the starting of volunteer consulting services! I have started assembling a spreadsheet of student groups that offer pro bono consulting for local businesses and nonprofits, in hopes that we may be able to produce our own group to help biotech startups around the city. This also provides me a platform for networking, which is always fun because I still have a million business cards that have outdated information on them that I need to finish handing out, so I can buy more because I still can't part with my Atlanta roots.

I am also in the process of applying for scholarships since the NSF grant runs out next year. Not only does this entail writing applications/grants/essays for the money, but also "drafting" (writing everything except the header and signature) recommendation letters for my selected references. Gone are the days when your advisor sings your praises; instead, you sing your own praises in this new era. Although it's a little weird writing about yourself, it's actually a great idea for references that are too busy or haven't been able to interact with you thoroughly. Plus, they'll verify the letter is true before placing their John Hancock on the document. And if you're slightly schizophrenic, it can be a fantastic experience writing from the perspective of different people. See how mental illness can actually be a contribution in the academic workplace!

Last week I had a chance to go to Atlanta for a conference. The conference was pretty good, and REALLY GOOD if you take into account that some sort of delicious food was served almost at every break. Who could not love a conference that serves apple pie and ice cream at a poster session? Plus, it was a pretty productive trip. I got to see The Boyf, some friends from school, a bunch of people from school at the actual conference, some faculty members, AND eat at the best brunch spot in town! And, you'll never (no, you will) believe this, but...


Four dreadful months of baking soda and vinegar are over! I haven't been happier. And of all shampoos, I ended up using Head and Shoulders (apparently the worst kind according to the sulfate-free enthusiasts) to break the fast, since it was the only one available in The Boyf's bathroom. But with amazing results! No blow dry, no brush, air dried quickly, no tangles, shone beautifully, and did not get oily for 2 days! I've used shampoo twice again since then...and I'm totally converted back to traditional hair products. Although I may try out castile soap, since it's more natural. But what I really need is a trim and some country fried lovin' from my hairdresser. GOD IS GOOD!

Posting soon....