Random life updates

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Long time, no speak.

I’ve been a little occupied lately, well, most of the time. Sometimes I do have time to write things here but I can never think of something interesting enough to write about that I haven’t already spazzed about on Twitter. So I thought I could just share what I’ve been up to in the meantime.

Okay. Here we go.

1. “Work.” I put it quotation marks, and I use air quotes when I talk about it person, because yes, I physically complete tasks and receive monetary compensation for it. I am basically an assistant, lol. My dad works for a contracting company in Washington, DC. I help out and basically do all the things nobody else wants to do. Errands, if you will. But is it part of my career path? No. Not at all. Honestly, I’m blessed to have what I have. One day, I’ll be able to return these gifts to my parents. I’ve been lucky enough to come from a family that is well off, by way of extremely hard work, faith, and support. I have a great work ethic, I work hard in everything I do, even though sometimes i like to cut corners to make it easier for myself. I challenge myself whenever I can, and I always want to do the best I can. This is true in my work, schoolwork, friendships, relationships, etc. I don’t like to shortchange people. If I can’t agree on anything else with my mother and father, I can definitely say that hard work is a major part of success. I’m blessed, I really am.

2. School. I think I’ve mentioned before that I am a graduate student. I’m pursing my master of science in Biotechnology, with concentrations in Biosecurity and Biodefense. Basically I study biological weapons and techniques. I have interest in science/biodefense policy, and I hope to make a career out of it very soon. It’s all part of my master plan. I’ll come back to this topic later. Otherwise, school has been a lot of work. I’ve completed 4 classes (12 credits), and I have 6 in progress, so if and when I successfully complete this semester at the end of April, I would be halfway through my program (yay!). May 2015, here I come. It’s not easy, at all. But I’m getting through it. Family life/life in general has made it difficult to stay focused and do the best work I can do, but I’m optimistic that I will get my 4.0 this semester. I keep getting 3.5’s…and I just want a perfect GPA for once lol. Anyway..enough about school…

3. My life. I’ve been a minimalist in that department for basically my entire life. And I’ve been content that way. I’m not really in a hurry to make any drastic changes, although it does cross my mind from time to time. I’m 23, so naturally I’m contemplating what I really want out of life. One of my best friends is coming up on her first wedding anniversary in May, and the other one is due to have her daughter any day now. So yes, I definitely get nagged about it, lol. When am I going to “settle down” and find someone? I don’t know. But I will tell you that kids are not in the near future. I’m still raising my siblings, lol. Dating is just more work than I’m usually willing to exert, but I think with the right person, I could compromise. Until then, eye candy is always welcome. πŸ™‚

4. Writing. I’ve been busy with my other blog, called Life, Policy, and You. It’s centered more towards my career interests, and allows me to sound off and exercise my competence in science, society, and policy as they relate to each other. I figured that stuff didn’t belong on my personal blog, as it’s more news-like, technical, and political. So if you’re curious about my interests in science and policy, along with some cute, nerdy trivia from time to time, please take a few moments and check it out here. It’s still very brand new and I’m sure there are still problems with it, but bear with me. Thanks a lot in advance! I hope people can enjoy it as much as I like to write it.

5. Friends and such. I really haven’t done a good job at being around and available to everyone, mostly because I always have so much to do, but I always make sure people know that they are important. It wouldn’t be unusual for me to travel randomly when I have time to see a friend who lives far away, or have something nice sent to them in lieu of my presence. I’m terrible at texting when I have other things occupying me, and phone calls sometimes are impossible to return as I don’t really have time to do that until well after most normal people are asleep. But my friends mean a lot to me. I’m grateful to have friends who are not only as busy as I am, but are understanding. I’m glad there are people who don’t find my quirks to be odd and not charming, or who embrace my strange sense of humor. That’s so awesome. πŸ˜€

6. Photos. I have not taken any photos in nearly a year, and that is because I don’t really have time, and I don’t really enjoy taking pictures that I’m ‘told’ to take anymore. I’ve taken photos for artistic leisure, yes, for sure. But I don’t do events so much anymore. One, because at first I was helping friends for free, and then I started charging people and I noticed my stress levels go up because I get so worried about the quality of my pictures vs. the prices they paid. Another reason is because I usually do birthday/party outings at restaurants, lounges, and clubs, and taking photos for parties is exhausting and mentally straining. Imagine having 10 people hovering over you at any given moment asking you for a picture. Then they want to see the picture, then they want to take it again because they “look fat” or I “didn’t get their good side” or “one of my homegirls was in the bathroom.” And people get really fucking rude. Plus, you’re on your feet the whole time and you don’t get to drink and eat and float around like everyone else. So yeah, needless to say, I’ve taken a photo event hiatus until I forget how much I hate party pictures. Not to mention, the lighting is always REALLY bad.

So that’s pretty much what has been going on. I’m a full time assistant, deputy mom/tutor/chef/chauffeur/sugar mama (to my little brothers), grad student, artist, writer, and a very involved friend to those who consider me to be a friend. My life is a marathon, but I am so grateful.



JFK: The 50th

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It has been quite a while, I know. I apologize for that! Life just gets in the way, you know…

But it’s a perfect time for me to write something. My favorite president in history, up there next to Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jimmy Carter, Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton was assassinated 50 years ago today. That is a big deal to me. As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated by JFK’s legacy and his short time in the White House. While he didn’t get to be President for very long, he did serve as a great Congressman and United States Senator before becoming President. He was a President who was concerned with civil rights and equality, a concept that many people at the time were not very much in agreeance with. I have a quote that I will always remember, that I have always used whenever asked for a favorite quote, a profound quote, or just a random quote. It is even in my list of quotes on Facebook πŸ™‚ The quote is usually an abridged version of this:

“We need not accept that view. Our problems are man-made β€” therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable β€” and we believe they can do it again.”

This message of perseverance may not mean much to many other people, but it has also spoken to me somehow. Kennedy said these words in a speech at American University on June 10, 1963, a little over 5 months before his tragic departure.

There are all kinds of propositions and reasonings and conspiracies as to how he died–how he was killed. While the general reasoning is that he was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald, who was himself shot not long after the President’s death, this is becoming an increasingly doubted claim as time goes on. Many think the Warren Commission or Lyndon B. Johnson is responsible. Or Russian spies, or Cuban spies…or J. Edgar Hoover. As for my own thoughts, I will say that no one knows who is responsible for it. As much as many people believe that their own theories are the correct ones, the truth is that no one knows. The only person who really knows is the person who pulled the trigger in Dallas that day…who is still (and probably will be forever) under debate.

I don’t like to dwell too much in conspiracy theories because they sometimes place blame on people who might be completely innocent. I heard someone say recently that LBJ was responsible and that someone should have assassinated him also. What if he didn’t? Why would you wish that kind of misfortune on a person? No one knows. After all, isn’t the saying “innocent until proven guilty?” Unfortunately, we will never know what happened on Β November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. We won’t know who cut short the life of one of (in my opinion) the greatest leaders of modern history. Who created a widow out of Jacqueline Kennedy, and left Caroline and John, Jr. fatherless. The Kennedy family in general has been known to see a great, almost unusual deal of misfortune, and this tragedy is only one of many. There are many articles on the “Kennedy Curse” which outline all known misfortunes of the Kennedy family and their chronological order.

I hope that today’s leaders can learn from the things that JFK was allowed to teach us in his short time here.


John Fitzgerald Kennedy
May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963

fear is

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One thing that makes you sweat in a cold room,
makes your heart beat fast while standing still,
gives you frightening Β images, makes you anticipate impending doom,
and even when you know that you’re great, it makes you question your skill…

there is no title.

Aside Posted on Updated on

Just a random post, I feel like writing something.

My brother found his recorder yesterday, and I found mine probably a few months ago. It’s a recorder, I know, I shouldn’t be excited…but I am lol. I know it’s such a silly instrument but it just made me laugh because last week I was in DC with my friend John, and we saw some guy playing his recorder on the street. I don’t know if he was playing his recorder for money or if he just wanted to play there, but I found it pretty amusing. I’ve had a few recorders in my lifetime, mostly due to moving and thinking I lost my recorder when I really didn’t, then getting a new one and finding the old one later. My brothers each have recorders as well, so there are several of them lying around. There’s no question that public schools teach the recorder because it’s so simple and it’s a great way to learn how to read notes on a staff.

Did you know that there are people who play the recorder professionally? Like they seriously play the recorder? I never really thought about it until today. I can probably play about 5 songs on the recorder, but none of them sound any more than amateur to me.

I’ve been wanting to buy an Irish tin whistle for a little over a year, but for some reason I never get around to it. But I finally went to order one today, and I came across a few other instruments. My younger brother has wanted a flute for a long time but my dad first told him it was a “girl instrument”. After convincing him that it wasn’t a girl instrument, he told my brother he had to learn piano first. I taught him the basics and fundamentals of piano, so now my dad has no excuse, haha. But anyway, I came across a fife, not a cheap plastic one, a really pretty metal one. I immediately ordered it for him. A fife is a good way to learn the flute, and it also sounds beautiful when mastered. My parents don’t really have time to check his homework and keep track of his grades, so I’m in charge of that, and he’s gotten off to a great start. This will be his reward, he’ll be so excited. πŸ™‚

My youngest brother plays the trumpet, and he’s GREAT at it. He’s auditioning for honors band and all-county band, and brass ensemble, so that can give you an idea of how good he is for a person who hasn’t been playing for more than two years. I started playing piano when I was 6, took lessons until I was almost 9, started them again at 11 or 12, and stopped again at 14. I can read music, but I’m not as good as I would be if I was consistent. I played the strings (mainly cello, viola, and violin), throughout my 5th-9th grade years, and I started to learn guitar but never really got past the basics. My older brother, who has autism, plays the keyboard/piano by ear, but only plays melodies he made up by himself. My dad played the pipe organ as a child, which is how he learned to play piano, but he’s really good at playing the harmonica. He’s probably better at the harmonica than any of us are in any instrument.

So needless to say, I still never bought the Irish tin whistle.

When I can finally get my siblings to focus enough and make a drum beat (because none of us play the drums, although I can do a decent drumroll), I’ll probably record it and post it here so you guys can see. We can jam a little bit. We’re not great, but we’re creative.

I guess you can say you learned something new. πŸ™‚


Twelve Years

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It’s been 12 years. It’s hard to believe it it’s been that long, but I’m sure to those affected by it, and those who lost loved ones that day, it feels like it has been such a long time.

On September 11, 2001, I was in 6th grade at Deer ParK Middle Magnet School. When the second plane hit the towers at around 10:30, I was in third period, which I believe was either gym or band depending on if that day was an ‘A’ day or ‘B’ day. Anyway, I don’t remember because that’s not when students had found out what happened. After third period, I had lunch, then 4th period was my magnet class period, which was Theatre Arts (yes, I was a theatre arts magnet student for 3 years, and I was pretty good at it, I’ll talk about that some other time), and we went along as scheduled. We did notice, however, that our magnet teacher, Mrs. Buffaloe, was a little tense and uneasy after a teacher had come to the door to whisper something to her. Teachers didn’t want to tell the students what was going on, and that became more difficult when parents started coming to the school and kids were going to the office for early dismissal. Everyone wondered, why is everyone going home early? What is going on? At the time, we didn’t know or really care what was happening, as long as our names got called to go home.

My youngest brother was only a month old at that time, and my mother was actually taking him for his one-month check-up at the doctor, so she wasn’t aware of what happened. I remember my older brother and I got off the bus and got home and no one was there, so we waited about 20 minutes to find our mother rushing home. She told me that there was some kind of attack in New York and at the Pentagon, but she wasn’t quite sure what exactly had happened. We walked in those house, turned on the news, and instantly saw the footage of planes crashing into the towers and people screaming and yelling in chaos and fear. It was a very frightning scene, and it unsettled me for a while. Yes, I was only almost 11 years old, but I think I had a pretty good understanding that this was bad. Really bad. Over the next few weeks more details came to surface and suddenly, I had thoughts of “what if” and “how come” these planes were hijacked. Then we started hearing the words “terrorist attack” and “Al Qaeda” and “Muslim extremists” and things changed dramatically from there. Airport security became IMPOSSIBLE. All kinds of laws changed after that day. Muslims were never looked at the same way again. Any brown person from the Middle East, Eastern Europe, or Northern Africa automatically had potential to be dangerous. Heck, if you were a Black or Hispanic person who had hair dark enough or a beard long enough or even looked like you were in hijab, you were suspect.

So much has changed since then. We’ve had troops sent to Iraq and Afghanistan. One of my older cousins has actually done a few tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. A few years ago, he got seriously hurt by an explosive and thankfully lived and made a full recovery. He was awarded a Purple Heart for his service. He recently returned from Afghanistan and is doing well. More recently, Osama bin Laden was captured and killed. That is one of the greater victories during President Obama’s term as president. But that’s not what I’m writing to remember. I’m not writing to talk about conspiracy theories about 9/11. I’m not writing to talk about the government and any hidden agendas that are believed to exist. I don’t know what exactly happened that day, and neither does anyone else who wasn’t on any of those planes that day. I just know a lot of people died that day. A lot of people are permanently injured. Many people have scars that will never heal, mental scars of loved ones taken from them too soon. And sadly, many people were never found. It’s so sad and unfortunate that this had to happen, for whatever reason it may be. This is my love. This is me remembering the fall heroes that day, from firefighters, police officers, pilots, doctors, first responders, airplane passengers, people who worked in the twin towers, people who were just visiting New York City that day…mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, friends, grandparents, aunts, uncles…you are not forgotten.

God bless the families who still grieve and feel pain from the tragedy that happened 12 years ago. And God bless the United States. God bless the world. Peace will come, one day.

Take care everyone, thanks for reading.


Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

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Weekly Photo Challenge: An Unusual POV

Have you ever really looked at a flower?

I took this photo when I was still in college. Sometimes I’d walk around and take pictures of things for projects I was doing, or simply because I needed something to occupy my mind. As any person in college can tell you, sometimes you really need to just do things to keep your mind off of things that may be bothering you. This is what I did. Either this, or I’d go to the performing arts center and play piano in one of the practice rooms. πŸ™‚

Anyway, this is a flower, I believe it’s an orange lily. I found it somewhere on campus last year next to some sunflowers and other pretty things. I have a macro lens kit that does really well with taking pictures up close. This was taken with my oldddd Canon Rebel that definitely ran its course…so it’s a bit fuzzy. But I have a new one now πŸ™‚

To see the Daily Post’s Unusual Point of View photo, click here.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Sea

The Daily Post’s “Sea” post can be seen here.