New Year

Well, its 2009!

Its been a year since I started this blog. I don't know if I really accomplished my goal of writing more. I decided a few months ago that the reason why this blog couldn't function for me as a place for me to record my "unaltered thoughts" is because this blog isn't anonymous. I know my readership and they know me, so for me to write down my silly inner musings about the universe or my love life is too personal and embarrassing to put on a blog with my real name on it. I might have to start an anonymous blog somewhere else if I really want to journal online, as I had originally envisioned.

It is nice, though, to have in this blog a record of my life goings-on and of my more-or-less altered thoughts during the year 2008. It wasn't an overly exciting year. My life stayed pretty stationary. I did school, I did science. I did develop a close friend group and it was fun to bring in the new year with them last night. Really, 2008 was a good year to do the things I like to do, recoup from bad years past, and to plan for the future.

Now this year, 2009, is when the future comes into play. I finished applying to graduate school in December, and my first grad school interview is in 8 days! I have several more interviews after that (and hopefully more to come that I haven't heard about yet), then I find out where I got in and have to decide where to go. I graduate college this year, I will move this year, and - honestly - there is a good chance I will get engaged this year.

It's kind of crazy. I feel like my "real life" is starting. It's going to be sad to leave CMC and Claremont, but I think I'm ready to move on. It's bittersweet, but at least I think I will enjoy the next step even more than this last one. Bring on 2009!

"I Saw A Hippy Girl On 8th Avenue" Lyrics

This is one of my (many) new favorite songs that I found on Pandora. I love this one because I used to dress all punk, but since I have been in college I just kind of wear jeans and t-shirts and sweatshirts every day. I don't even wear my black eyeliner anymore. I blow dry my hair maybe once a fortnight.

But I still feel like a 'punk' on the inside in that I want to be anti consumer culture and I don't like to be part of the mainstream unless I can think of a good reason. I'm a vegetarian and I still graduate towards people who are 'different.' My musical tastes still include punk and metal music, though I also like alternative, folk, country, classical, and even some hip-hop and rap every now and then. Really now I am just more of a science nerd more than a punk, and I have more important things to think about and spend my money on than what I wear.

Okay, so here are the lyrics (by Jeffrey Lewis):

I saw a hippy girl on 8th avenue
She barely looked at me for a second or two
and I suddenly realized I no longer looked much like a hippy

She had a long thin dress and rainbow clothes
not long ago I wore one of those
but now-a-days I guess I don't very much
like anything

I had a great pair of bellbottoms
I had two
my friend borrowed one
and the other I outgrew
and now to the eye
I'm turning into another
non-descript guy

But I still travel light
and my hair is still long
and I still hate deoderant
and I still sing songs
but over the years I've noticed
I'm not dressing as colorfully and psychedelic as I used to

Cause I wore my tye-dyes
until they rotted to shreds
and I can no longer follow
The Greatful Dead
and it's gotten to the point where I don't even identify with most Phish fans anymore

And someday soon I know I'll cut my hair
and a week after that I know I won't even care
Is that what it all comes to
all along
everything that you feel
will one day feel wrong

I was talking to my friend Eric
just to see what he thunk
and he said
'Jeff, it's weird
but I no longer look like a punk'
I guess we don't need our clothes
for an identity crutch
and we looked at each other
and we didn't look like much
and we looked out at the world
like a movie theatre
at all the hippies and the punks
and the skinheads and the skaters
and someday or other
maybe sooner or later
they'll come to the realization
that what's important is what you can carry on
in human conversation
and it's not what you wear on the outside
it's what you think and feel on the inside.

I won't be sleeping much tonight... or this week.

My lit and stats presentations for tomorrow are now (mostly) made, now I just have to finish my TWO chem reports that are due at 8am.

When those are done, I will sleep for a few hours, get up and go to chem, come home and take a shower, then go to the computer lab to edit/practice my presentations (especially for stats).

Then I have present or listen to presentations from 2:45pm - 7:30pm (with a break for dinner).

After that I can sleep! For a little bit...

But ALL day Thursday I have to finish writing the two papers that are due on Friday.

After I turn in the papers on Friday I have to do my LAST (overdue) stats homework assignment. THEN I can sleep!

But then all day Saturday and Sunday I have to STUDY for my organic chemistry final.

Oh and probably on Saturday I'm going to finish the freaking writeups for the talks I had to attend for thesis. I wanted to do it earlier, but now that I think about it I will probably have to wait until Saturday to do it...

But when those are done ALL I am doing is studying for OCHEM.

Monday morning I take my chem final, and then I am DONE with ochem (for this semester).

Then I will sleep some more.

But ALL day Tuesday I will be doing my take-home biostats final. Then I will turn it in when I'm done (probably on Tuesday, but maybe on Wednesday).

And THEN I will be FINALLY done with this FREAKING semester that has been STRESSING me out so much!!

Okay, I needed that. To vent.

I am seriously so stressed out right now that my hair is falling out and my stomach is having all sorts of weird problems and my shoulders feel like bricks. But I just have to do this week and then I'm really really done. And I'm going to relax A LOT over break, and then take it easy(-er) next semester.

So its really just this one really hellish week...

Just one week...

Why I haven't been posting...

I) I finished applying to graduate school!
II) School, work, neuroscience club, mentoring...

But I'm almost done with this (hellish) semester. Here is all I have left:
1. Overdue stats HW #1 - Today
2. Overdue stats HW #2 - Today
3. Thesis talk writeups (6) - Today
4. Stats presentation - Wednesday
5. Lit presentation - Wednesday
6. Chem formal report rewrite - Wednesday
7. Chem normal report - Wednesday
8. Stats paper - Friday
9. Lit paper - Friday
10. Chem final - Monday
11. Stats final - Next Wednesday
Then DONE!

I have several posts brewing that I just haven't gotten around to. One is about why I should have made this an anonymous blog, another is about why I'm against male circumcision (well any circumcision really). But first I have to finish school... now back to it!

The Election - An Obligatory Reaction Post

The results I care about:

1) OBAMA WON! Yay!

2) California Prop 4 (requiring parental consent for minors to get abortions) has not been called yet. Right now CNN shows 99% of precincts reporting with prop 4 winning 52% to 48%. Messed up.

3) California Prop 8 (banning same-sex marriage) also hasn't been called. CNN shows 99% of precincts reporting with prop 4 winning 52% to 48%, sound familiar? This is unbearably depressing to me.

You know, that means that in California there were A LOT of people who voted for Obama and at the same time voted for Prop 4 and Prop 8. This disturbs me. It disturbs me that people can be racially tolerant and leaning toward a liberal ideology and still be intolerant enough to think that it is wrong for same-sex couples to get married. It also bothers me that Obama not only says he is a Christian but claims that he also defines marriage between a man and a woman. He is quick to defend the rights of ethnic minorities, but he is slow to stand up for other minorities in the states such as atheists and GLBTI individuals. In these ways he does not represent me and my secular corner of America which desires true equality for ALL Americans.

So where does this leave us? Well I am hopeful that with a liberal president and a democratic senate we will be able to get some progressive judges on the bench in the next 4 years. Also, the "No on 8" folks out here haven't given up quite yet. A law suit is being mounted saying that Proposition 8 was unconstitutional to begin with therefore it cannot be added to the California constitution. There is still hope... but I remain thoroughly disappointed in California voters tonight.


So since I checked CNN last night things have changed - Prop 4 is NOT going to pass! That is awesome, I'm glad. But I'm still totally ticked about prop 8. Thats just BS...

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