Hobbies & Interests

As unbelievable as it sounds, I sometimes manage to find some free time. And when I do, this is what I like to do and think about to entertain myself.

Hobbies

Here's what I do for fun!

The Saxophone

Kumon

I played for the Symphonic Band at school in 7th and 8th grade, so as you might have guessed, I'm no Kenny G. Regardless, I still take out Theodora -- yes, it's a she -- everey once in a while and play my favorite Jazz and Blues tunes.

Dr. House

Kumon

I don't even own a TV, but there's one show that I simply do not miss an episode of: House. Whether for the medical intricacies or all the drama surrounding the character of this interesting genius, I've been hooked on the series since season 1. Other shows I try to follow closely are Nip/Tuck, Smallville, and Lie to Me.

The Radio

Kumon

Sure, it's the 21st centrury, but there's not a day that goes by without my dilligent listening to the radio. Usually done while I'm driving, tuning in to my favorite radio stations (FM 102.3 and AM 1170) means I get my daily news and my fix of talk radio (Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and our local David Arnett).

Reading American Literature

Kumon

There's nothing like lying back on my bed under the covers and reaching for a good ole' American novel. Excuse my immodesty, but there's just nothing that compares to the classics made here in the US. Favorite authors include William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, John Steinbeck, and Ayn Rand (come on, she's American) among others.

Interests

Here's what I like to read or learn more about!

Languages

Kumon

 I speak a bunch of languages. The list includes English, Portuguese, Spanish, Esperanto, Catalan, Latin, Mandarin Chinese, and the most recent addition, Egyptian Arabic (still very much a work in progress).

Stem Cell Research

Kumon

Few things amaze me as much as pluripotent cells do; stem cell research gives "the miracle of life" a whole new meaning. Perhaps what awes me the most is all the possibilities and applications concomitant to it. With the advent of iPS cells, it's only a matter of time until we future doctors will be able to use this technology as an integral part of medical treatment.

Politics

Kumon

 I like Politics. It's awesome.





Disease Etiology

Kumon

After decades of research in the field of genetics, it is finally time to reach the ultimate goal of this endeavor. It is up to us, 21st century scientists, to go out and discover which genes cause disease and how much of a role they play in human health.


Latest Projects

Unfinished Thoughts


Sitting outside my professor's office, waiting my turn to get some questions answered, I wait in a seemingly idle state. There are no flashcards to review, no tests coming up for which to study, and no homework with me at the moment, so I just sit and wait. Maybe for a subconscious fear of being the landlord of the devil's workshop, my mind is filled with absolutely amazing ideas and inquiries. My brain is transformed into Grand Central station with multiple, simultaneous trains of thought colliding and/or cooperating with each other. Faster than anything I could ever grasp, one thought triggers the next until an agglomeration of hypotheses and postulates builds itself up into a beautifully architectured structure of theoretical cognition. Reaching this zenith of my 10-minute philosophical journey, I feel an incredible rush of happiness that seems to stem from the innermost depths of my cranium and radiate peripherally. I feel the urge to write pages upon pages detailing my rationale, only to then search the volumes of forgotten lore to see if any other mind has yet conceived what I had just given birth to -- a thesis, a breakthrough, a brainblast, an illegitimate love-child of my left brain and his beloved mistress, solitude. Before I have the chance to write down a most humble description the fullness of this breathtaking mental construct, I realize it's my turn to go speak with the professor about the trivialities of thermodynamics. And it's all lost. The grief of having a stillborn baby overcomes me. Had I had a full hour to marvel at my unfinished thought, then maybe, just maybe, I could have won a Nobel prize. After resolving all my physical chemistry doubts, I try mighty hard to retrieve what had not too long ago been a spectacle of knowledge inside my skull. I pull out a sticky note on which I wrote the topic of my thought that was so rudely truncated by reality. Mirrors. Starring at that yellow little square encompassing that seven-letter word, I know deep inside that I will never know again what was so important about mirrors.

'Tis a curse, I tell you, for it happens far too often, especially in the last few months. In the lunch line at the cafeteria, when walking to Keplinger 3 minutes before class starts, when standing in front of a urinal, when driving to work, or at 3:27 AM as I'm trying to sleep. Novel ideas concerning political thought, secular ethics, biochemical pathways, metaphysical abstractions, aesthetics, and methods of finding car keys are all gone in an instant. As soon as these ideas mature into adolescence and are almost ripe, the real world that inhabits the space outside my big head calls out to me. That's when I have to abandon my cognitive ordeals in order to attend to my mundane obligations -- stupid things like getting an education, making a living, and even sleeping. These surreal mental delicacies whose fate is to be utterly destroyed by more pragmatic processes are what I call unfinished thoughts. Trust me, I've tried carrying a little notebook around to write them down, but I just don't have the time or the opportunity to do so. And when I do, it turns out to be a rushed, incomplete description of the unconceptualized awesomeness. And I kid you not when I say that despair and desolation accompany every frustrating loss of all these holy grails that pop into my head from time to time. I just wish that, someway, somehow, I could make time stop, just so I could nurture these creations of mine into completion. But I know one day I'll come up with a solution to this conundrum. Let's just hope it doesn't end up being yet another unfinished thought.

 

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