Category Archives: Adventures

I’ll take the long way, please.

Once again, I’ve been neglecting my blog, this time for an entire year. I sort of forgot about writing in here until I remembered that it was nearing a year since my last (uninspiring) entry. Anyways, just take what you can get and everything will be just fine.

It may be old news by now, but sometime last December I went on a little road trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco. I had just finished my first taste of grad school finals, was burnt out and wanted nothing to do with science. So I did what any normal person would have done: instead of taking the normal and boring 6-hour route up the 5, I decided to make my way up the coast on Highway 1, a twisting, turning, 12-hour jaunt.

Call me crazy, stupid, or Bob if you want, but I pulled a Robert Frost and took the road less travelled. I got up at dawn and made my way up the coast, stopping first at my old stomping grounds in Santa Barbara for breakfast. The California coast is home to some amazing sights, and sounds if you stop in San Luis Obispo County to check out the elephant seals, whose apathetic noises kind of sound like the irritated groaning you’d make if someone woke you up 30 minutes before your alarm was set to go off.

If only I could have this kind of life...

I don’t really have any idea why they need to talk anyways. All they do is lie there on the beach in their own filth. It’s like

“hey…whatcha doin on that side of the beach?”
“chillin, how bout you?”
“chillin.”
“chill brah.”

Once I passed the stinky elephant seals I encountered windy roads and fog so thick it was like driving through a marshmallow.

You try driving through that.

Thanks to the mostly deserted road, I got out of the fog in one piece and made my way to the whole reason I went coastal to begin with: Big Sur.
Continue reading

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Who needs Vegas when you can Double Down at KFC?

Today, April 12, 2010 marks the day that the Double Down sandwich from KFC emerges from test markets in the Deep South and takes hold in every KFC restaurant in the United States. This monstrosity consists of two slices of bacon, two slices of Monterey Jack cheese, and Colonel’s sauce (whatever the hell that is), all wrapped up in two fried chicken fillets as the bun. If there were ever a KFC in Hell, this would be on their Dollar Menu.

The real Double Down, not the glamourized version you see on TV, with an apple for size comparison.

Hang on a second, let’s recap. Two pork products, two dairy products, and two pieces of chicken in one edible unit. It’s basically Noah’s Ark in a cardboard box. With a sandwich so obviously horrifically bad for you, let’s have a look at the nutrition numbers, and I use the term “nutrition” loosely:

Basically, you'd get equal nutrition from a slice of cheesecake sprinkled with a heavy pinch of salt and topped with an egg yolk.

Being the dedicated blogger that I am, I decided to venture out and purchase a Double Down to try for myself, so you all can experience eating this thing with me, without the atherosclerosis of actually eating it. You’re welcome.

"Should I? Shouldn't I?"

Will I eat it? Continue reading

That Branchy show from a few months ago…

I found a video on YouTube on that private Michelle Branch show I attended in mid-December. Cameras weren’t allowed in the venue, so this official video is the only record of this show’s existence. This is your only chance to live vicariously through me to experience one of the best and smallest shows I’ve been to.

Hey…wait a minute…if you pause it at :30 seconds you can see me in the video!

See the hat?

So there, that’s basically all you need to pretend that you were me. Although I’m sure many people already wish they were me………maybe not.

Apologies and Updates.

Apologies are in order for my three-month-long neglect of this blog, if you are/were a dedicated subscriber. If you weren’t, then I guess it’s a fresh start for both of us. I really didn’t have much to blog about these last few months, and didn’t really feel like boring everyone with trifling updates of my currently boring-ass life. But I’ve recently found my drive to blog again, so let’s just pick up where we left off: recanting stories laced with self-deprecating humor.

For the past 12 weeks or so, I’ve been busy figuring out where I’m going to spend the next five years of my life in grad school. I’ve been on the road on grad school interviews, which were a whirlwind endeavour that had me travelling 12,000 miles, visiting 5 universities, going on 27 one-on-one half-hour interviews with faculty, listening to 15 hours of presentations, watching my language at 4 dinners at a professor’s house, and imbibing at 8 “social events” complete with copious amounts of alcohol. I felt like George Clooney in that plane movie. It was quite a grueling experience, but less so since all of it was paid for by the schools.

I visited, in chronological order: UChicago, UCLA, Northwestern, UNC, and of course UCSB, evaluating each school’s Biology Ph.D program. The first interview at UChicago was a harrowing experience, but other than that disaster, the schools did their best to recruit as much as interview, making sure we were comfortable our entire time there. I was put up in the nicest hotels in town (save for one school, cough,) taken out to great restaurants, and basically given all the alcohol I could drink without ruining my chances at admission (it’s happened to other people before, I’ve heard stories.)

To tell you the truth, most of the interviews with professors were 30-minute drone-fests, 5 minutes spent talking about their research, 5 minutes on my research, 5 minutes on the program, and the other 15 minutes blathering on and on about the weather, Santa Barbara, or a combination of the two to fill time.

The worst moment of the interviews? Continue reading