a string to connect pieces of my life

Saturday, April 28, 2007

another state, another city

Here I am in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This might be the place I live for the next couple of years. We will see.

On our way here, we stopped by the welcome center on the border between Iowa and Indiana (or Illinois?). It sits on a hill overlooking Mississippi River. I got on the patio, and the smell instantly brought me back to President's Island. For those who are not familiar with this term, it is not really a traditional island and the only "President" I have met there was my advisor.

Cedar Rapids is overall a nice place, especially for a family. It is a medium size city with a medium population of 25,000 (correct me if I am wrong). It is very safe in most parts of the city. A big river (Cedar River) runs through the downtown area. I didn't see much traffic here. Most people are nice, but I did meet a few that I wanted to kick their butts, with high-heels.

Everything has been quite smooth. I did shopping for the last two days. It was exciting and tiring at the same time. Of course I bought something nice for myself too. It was considered as some awards for my help with the moving. See, I am a cheap labor, no matter who the boss is.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I am absolutely speechless over this one.

Here is the bunny jumping.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

if it is what it is

A friendship that I thought I had but has never really existed is gone. I am glad that I can finally put an end to it.

It shouldn't have been this difficult.

So long.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

still shocked

I didn't feel much yesterday. But when I was looking at the pictures of those victims, they seemed so alive to me. I can't believe those lives were taken in such an unexpected way.

I cried while watching one of the interviews on CNN. The interviewer asked the student what he felt now that people started to call him a hero. He couldn't hold his tears and said "I am just glad that I can be here".

So sad.

Friday, April 13, 2007

the benefit of graduate school

Natasha's advisor volunteered her to give a talk in front of undergraduate students about why they should go to graduate school. Here is what we come up with after our discussion on the topic.




Wednesday, April 11, 2007

no.1 reason we should graduate in May

By saying "we", I mean Natasha and me.

This afternoon we were chatting in the office after everyone was gone. Since neither of our lives is in a very good shape right now, we are managing to encourage each other and pull it through.

In the meanwhile, we need some hope and inspiration. So Natasha was talking about having a big party and making all the fancy food after our defense. Lamb, ham, tiramisu, fish, you name it. And she wanna go to Costco to get the raw material since they have some good quality food there.

Then here comes the No.1 reason we MUST graduate in May. It's not because I want to, not because of her postdoc fellowship, not because of the deadline, but because my Costco card expires in May!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


I am totally intrigued by google satellite map. It is amazing how magnified it can be.

Tonight I found my hometown on the map.

This is the park we went to in grade school for field trips. Each time we need to write a report on the trip although we went there every year. I totally forgot we had a park until my friend reminded me of that. How could I forget?!

I thought I was unable to remember anything in my own life, but it was not true. Looking at the maps, my mind flies through the streets and places. Memories flood.