One yellow daffodil at a time

On the commute back from work, the trains are split into the ones going towards the city, and going towards the airport. Generally I like dividing my train ride in two; get on the airport-bound train and get off half way through, so I have two small wait periods instead of one big one. One day as I got off the airport-bound train, a man rushed up the escalator, but was a few seconds too late. He looked dejected as he asked me which train that was.

When I informed him that it was the airport train, there was a hint a relief in his features. It was the equivalent of finding change in your couch as we go through the biggest economic crisis of our lifetime. I wanted to give the man a hug - he had lots of anxiety, his appearance was disheveled, and despite me being a chemist who's robbed of the majority of his olfactory factory, there was a familiar sweet scent about him.

"I'm going to be late, goddamnit I'm going to be late, she's going to kill me," he repeated over and over.

"The train will be here in a few minutes," I offered, "and the duration of the ride to the end won't be that long," but he wasn't having it.

Then the small talk began

"Were you coming from school?"

Work. Pharmaceutical.

"So you hand out drugs at the pharmacy?"

Make. Lab.

"This train's a beaut isn't she"

Olympics. Satisfied.

I had been waiting, but before long, he revealed that his wife was being discharged from the hospital from her first round of chemo, and that she was currently stuck with her mother. I've learned from experience that at this moment, the conversation's his - no OMGs, no I'm sorrys, no anecdotes - it was his story to tell.

"I'm complaining too much, God, why am I so selfish."

"Because it's tough on you too. In the next while she's going to need you to be there for her, and right now, for the one second, you need someone to be there for you"

Hospital cots, gift shops, bad coffee

"You sound like you understand"

Been there, done that, cried a bit

"Does it get easier?"

"There is nothing easy about watching your love ones fighting for their lives, with their lives, while you sit on the sidelines, where there's literally nothing you can do to contribute to the fight."

If you take away all the hateful messages, a little bit of me could understand what Christie Blanchford was getting at here. Our society has been shaped by men who don't cry in front of others, so when it does happen, it has the same effect as an unseen left hook.

After he recovered, he became a little more composed.

"Can you smell the alcohol on me?"

Gum was offered

"I usually don't drink, but that seems like it's all I've been doing for the past week"

"No more?"

"No more."

The duration of the ride between the second to last to last station was a silent one. He started getting antsy again. I put my hold on the side of his arm.

Godspeed, and good luck.

(no subject)

I've been working in industry for almost 8 months now as a synthetic chemistry intern for a pharmaceutical. I'm trying to figure out if I like it more than academic, if I like Chemistry as a career, or if I want to go some different direction entirely. My biggest problem is that it's rare that I would be doing something only to experience the "I love this; this is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life". Although the most recent time I've felt that, it was about an oboe player, who turned out to be one of the greatest mistakes.

I've been called an old man a few times now because of my job. Social life comes in bursts; never often enough, never long enough. Part of it is it's now crunch time, and everyone's either doing their thesis, working, or trying to take over the(ir) world.

I constantly have a feeling that I'm stuck, with no clear path to follow, and my past running at the speed of light trying to catch up with me. I need to enjoy some escapism. Last year, being in the musical helped me put my combined honours degree in a box in the back of my mind. This year, I'm trying to complete my last work term somewhere away from here; Germany, Switzerland, San Francisco, anywhere that'll take me. I do hope that I do hear back, and that the escape will be everything I hoped for and more.

(no subject)

So much for updating every day; that seems like a bust.

I think I finally figured out why theatre kids are so happy. There's just this magical feeling when the show begins to run, and well, and the cast is connected on multiple levels, and as the show says, it's all up to chance and chemistry.

The last time I had bruises and cuts up and down my body, and pains where I didn't know pain existed, and was still happy was a long time ago in high school volleyball, and now, today.


This'll be a list of resolution that I will keep. As such, I won't include stuff that involves diet or exercising more- I've been trying to eat better, and being on a volleyball team next year will hopefully jump start my amount of exercising- hopefully I can just do that without the guilt associated with breaking resolutions.

1. Pass my 6 credit english course. I've been hating this course, and not doing at all well (failing is actually a real possibility). At first I thought it's just an annoyance, then I realized, the course actually causes me much pain =(.

2. Use lj more often. Since I started at my other blog, I have been neglecting this journal quite a bit. I will try to post more here (despite a lot of people proclaiming that lj is "dead"). It might be possible that I'll just start copying and pasting my blogspot posts here, but at least that's a start no?

3. Be back in a (non-undergrad) lab before the year's up. I've been rejected to numerous opportunities and positions lately, which is a big shock compared to getting almost everything I've wanted back in high school. I guess I just felt rejected for a while lately, and have been afraid to forward any more resume/approach any doctors. This resolution's going to be the least in my control, but I'm going to try my darndest.

4. Have a productive summer. Whatever that means. If I can be back in the lab, great. If I can get a paying job, great. If I can get some travelling done, great. I'm not going to spend it like last summer, taking courses that I don't necessarily need to take.

An Interview

So I had an interview today, in which I was kind of un-on-top-of. I started the day with a math midterm which didn't go as great as I thought it would, thus was affecting my mood a bit. Then comes the 15 minute wait (after rushing to the interview after the midterm). On top of that was of course my cold, which has always been icky, especially if I have to talk.

So I gave a pretty mediocre interview, not horrible, but not the "Oh gosh aren't I amazing" that I wanted. Although the funny part was, last question was "Now we'll end it with one final, but fun question. If you can be any city in the world, which would you be?"

I picked


I had no effing idea why o.o;.

The next 8 months of my life

Let me preface this entry with the fact that I love the Chem building in our school; there is something stoically rustic in the stone architecture, juxtaposed with newly installed tinted glasses at parts. To me, there is nothing I'd love more than to spend time in that building.

With that said, it turns out on Fridays I would be able to spend nine consecutive school hours there. I would be going from room 250 => 324 => 300 => 150 => 470. I mean, I wouldn't have to be in the building proper for nine straight hours, that would be absurd. No, the Chem building is designed so that for half the rooms you would have to exit the building and enter through another entrance. The rest of the week would be a myriad mix of the above rooms plus room 226.

I almost want to visit the Chem building a few times this summer - take in the wondrous oaken doors and the charming granite staircases - before being imprisoned there and start growing sick of the building, jaded as I could be.

I might develop the blasé attitude as a defence mechanism, or maybe the castle-like building will just lose its novelty with me.

Where were you then?

There are many "big" events where almost everyone seemed to know where they were, what they were doing, and who they were with. It might be because my memory is not as great as it could be, but I don't remember many of these moments. I could maybe remember 3. One of which doesn't count as it's a situation that's only big to me.

The first would be 911. I knew what I was doing; sleeping. I was too young to really understand all the implications of the event, but I knew it was a big thing. I went into my school, where the teacher decided that we needed to have a discussion about this major current event. We moved all the tables to the side, moved our chairs into a circle, then the teacher started briefing about the event for those of us who were not caught up. Obviously the briefing was very PG, since even as the vice principal the teacher could be fired if the conversation was too explicit. The class then all shared their views, before ending with a minute of silence.

Then comes HSF. As probably is the case with the other 9 finalists, I was at school when the phone calls were made. I dropped by home during lunch to see the answering machine blinking (well, it was blinking, but I was directed to it by my mom). I was freaked out (and evidently misunderstood the phone call) after listening to it a few times. I went back to school, explained the situation to my teacher, and excused myself for the afternoon. Apparently I looked pale; I definitely felt it. I had to psyche myself up (like I do with many many circumstances). I even had to phone one of my references to ease my nerves. After I felt that I've done as much nerve prepping as I could, I called Mr. Sommers. What came after is all over facebook.

Lastly, Obamamania. The mood that night was very weird. I was in Woodward, and was feeling really disappointed by the information night that was being held there. My future career looks more shrouded and bleak than ever before when I left the library. But as I walked out of the campus that night, getting ready to head home, the atmosphere didn't feel right. There were electricity in the air. I could not go a block without someone overhead yelling or some drunk pedestrian looking ecstatic. I had a hunch about what happened and sent a text to my friend from Chicago: "Did he win?" The affirmative answer explained my feelings as I crossed the campus that night. It seemed funny how the night that is marked with hope by millions of people around the world was so bleak to me.

(no subject)

I miss discipline, both seeing it in other people, and in myself.

I miss the ask not why when told to jump, but rather how high mentality.

I also miss skinny me, but that's a whole new topic.