a string to connect pieces of my life

Friday, November 30, 2007


I am very thankful for many things that happened today.

1. I got my first paycheck as a postdoc. It is not much more than what I got as a graduate student, but I am still pretty happy about it.

2. I met with a old friend of mine. He gave me some good advice on the problem I am working on. In addition to that, he offered to re-install the operation system and install all the software for my new laptop. That was super nice of him. And I said YES without any hesitation. :)

3. I finally have internet at home. I waited the entire morning yesterday for the service guy who never showed up. He came on time today though. I even thought about asking him why he wasted my time. Anyway, now I have not only the internet but the cable. My new HDTV picked up over 100 channels which is way too much. I don't have enough time for that. Actually, I don't have time for TV in general.

4. My new officemate Ying gave me a great microwave, for free! I returned the one I bought earlier to Target. And I was going to buy another one from Walmart after the comcast installation. While I mentioned this during our group lunch, Ying said I could take the extra one in her apt. And it was this huge Sharp microwave with 1100 W output. Almost too good to be true.

5. I made some delicious noodle soup tonight. Nothing seemed better than a bowl of hot tasty noodle soup in such a cold night.

it is well

I started to like my new environment. It is quite different from what I had been around for 5+ years. People here work in a team, and have lunch together everyday (sometimes even with the professor!). They seem to genuinely care about each other. I felt blended in almost immediately.

Also, the schedule doesn’t seem to be a problem any more. Getting up is painful in the morning. But I am becoming much more efficient during the working hours. And at night I feel comfortable doing whatever I wanna do without feeling guilty. That is pretty awesome.

The research in my group is mostly about fluid behavior in lung. Though I am facing some challenges and have much to learn, I love the fact that things I am going to do can lead to applications for human beings. Hey, maybe I should have tried to become a real doctor.

Another thing I am happy about is that I am learning how to use ANSYS (a solid mechanics software). There are several commercial softwares I have been interested to get familiar with, but never had any realistic drive to do that. The professor gave me a problem that could be solved by ANSYS, so these two days I have been indulging in playing with it. Ahhhh, so nerdy.

I am sure that I will beat myself down many times in the future as it is in my nature. However, at this moment, all is well.

Monday, November 26, 2007

a week in review

Things are getting blury. I need to write them down just for the record.

Monday: totally wasted

Tuesday: reviewed my auto insurance at AAA and changed address at the Secretary of the State

Wednesday: helped Jinli with her P.S.

Thursday: My husband and I had the Thanksgiving dinner at Natasha's apt with her, her brother and Jinli. We watched the movie "Accepted" (not as funny as I expected) and played cards. I was going to generate a spreadsheet based on our scores, but Natasha will probably be mad at me if I do that.

Friday: went to Target and bought a bunch of stuff. I need to return the microwave because its exterior got very hot after I heated the food. I am wondering what that means.

Saturday: drove around and played with our new GPS.

Sunday: went to see "no country for old men" with Natasha. It was enjoyable, but not as good as "Fargo".

Monday, November 19, 2007

since I am not being productive

Everyone in my research group went to a conference in Utah. I still came at 9am, which is not me at all. Or I am a changed person now.

The nice thing about being alone in the office/lab is that I can let the music out. The disadvantage is that I tend to slack off when no one is around, unless I am sucked into doing something.

I have been having a jet lag due to my current working schedule. Years of being a graduate student has ruined my ability to live a normal life. I had to stay home although I was invited to two parties last Saturday because I felt so sleepy and tired around 6pm. Hopefully the adjustment won't take much longer.

Anywho, my new apartment is coming together. I bought two bookshelves and a TV stand from Target, a sofa bed from ArtVan and a LCD HDTV from Costco. And one wall in my living room is now being painted with a lovely color. Woohoo!

It is also obvious that I am in a shopping spree. Must fight agaist material desires!

more fall colors

Here are two pictures I took in north campus last week.

Monday, November 12, 2007

a new phase of my life

1. I moved back to Ann Arbor, and even the same apartment complex. Although I didn't signed the contract yet, unofficially I have accepted the postdoc position in the Biomedical Engineering Department.

2. In fear of moving again, I am trying to keep my accessories as less as possible. I want to see how long I can live without a microwave. I use my oven to heat the milk every night.

3. The only thing I bought for my new apartment was a computer chair. I need at least one chair to maintain the minimum comfortableness at home. And I am in love with my new chair!

4. Rumor has it that I will be studying the mucus clearance in cough. It sounds gross, but I don't think I will use real mucus for my experiments. I am kind of interested in this topic because every year I suffer from a long period of coughing.

5. I am working in a schedule like normal people now. I get up around 7:30am and go to bed before 12am. So weird!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

photo time!

I paid a visit to Rui on my way to Ann Arbor in Octocber. It was nice to see her again. And she has such a nice apt that I couldn't help taking pictures of that place. Also to give myself something to remember.
from the balcony of Rui's apt

The weather at Cedar Rapids had been terrific. It would be a waste if I stayed at home. So I explored the downtown area.
downtown Cedar Rapids (Iowa River)

Last Sunday we went to Macbride Lake between Cedar Rapids and Iowa City.
Lake Macbride
I stopped at a rest area in Michigan. See how beautiful it is at some random place in my favorite state
random rest area in MI

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Asian comedian with a Southern accent

I was switching the chanels. Comedy Central was presenting Henry Cho, who is standup comedian born in Tennessee.

It is rare to see an Aisan face in this industry. It is even rarer that he is really funny. What is totally crazy is that he has this Korean + Southern American accent.

He said he doesn't speak Korean at all. One time when he was visiting Korea with his dad, he was asked by an American girl if the bus was going downtown. That girl was trying very hard to speak Korean-style English in a very slow way so that she could be understood. Cho looked at the girl and said: "I reckon so."

Hahahaha. And it reminded me of the conversation between Eric and Brian.

Friday, November 02, 2007

counting the days of freedom

Doing nothing has been great! Too bad it is going to end very soon.

Today I got up around 11am, read a chapter of Bible, checked my email, did some online shopping (I am not proud of this part), took a shower, and then went to Ruby Tuesday for lunch.

I sat at a corner with abundant sunshine (the weather here has been incredible), eating my salad, mini-burger and fries, drinking some coffee, reading a few pages of "Boundaries", and staring at the streets from time to time. Yup, that was good.

Sidenote #1: I am driving back to AA next Monday. Nothing is promised. We will see how things go. I am grateful for the fact that I have options in my life. Either way will be fine.

Sidenote #2: I have got my first Wyoming quarter!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

the world's cutest M & M candies