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Category: simple pliny

10/16/10 03:52 - ID#52959

Sick of clutter.

My flat is in a dreadful state of preventable clutter and it's annoying! There is always this small corner in my flat that has a big laundry box with piled up papers, journals, books and whatnots. I am determined to get rid of that pile today. I really like the idea of a floor level "bookshelf".

image

My floors are not grey but they are due for a thorough cleaning and polish. It's been 7 months since I polished them last.
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Category: simple pliny

05/30/10 07:37 - ID#51764

The truth is...

I have definite animal-hair related allergies. I found that out for sure over this weekend. I thought I had missed something growing up with a strict rule against having pets. Turns out, I just missed sneezing like a maniac and having the worst itchy nose ever.

What is interesting is the symptoms seem to have a latency period and kick in after having more than a few hours of contact with animal hair. Certainly feels like a delayed hypersensitivity reaction.

Also, being woken up at 3:45 in the night with a huge dog breathing and drooling on your face to be let out in the yard is not restful. I guess I will stick to the no-pet policy from now on.



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Category: simple pliny

03/03/10 08:15 - ID#51103

Totally Bald.

I went bald today and it is a liberating feeling. I can feel little streams of air wafting across my head. A young lymphoma patient snipped my curls off. She is still on a regimen of five different kinds of chemotherapy. A cancer survivor told me about the time when she lost her hair - all of it, including the hair from her nostrils. She said she felt as if she were breathing the world in every time she inhaled.

I am more convinced than ever that we need to keep going, work harder and think out of the box in our battle against this wretched disease. We don't have any time or space for cynicism. My department's reaction amazes me. All of them, without an exception, went out of their way to make my bald nutty head feel appreciated and warm. They are a unique family.

I ran into the charming (e:enknot) in the cafeteria when I went searching for (e:libertad). Tony, who on earth is Andrew Reed and how do you know him? More importantly, what is he doing on the tables of our cafeteria? He is not even a first-page hit on Google Images: He is clearly not one of these: Or is he? Do you have a deep dark obsession with the British church, state, police and sport, that no one had an inkling about... till right this moment!??

(e:libertad), I am now so curious about your office! I am going to gatecrash someday. You work in a mysterious building that is just marked by a direction - not even a name! And no guests are allowed?! Why, my office is always crawling with guests and other random people!

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Category: simple pliny

02/17/10 04:59 - ID#51028

Update on the Going Bald Experiment

I checked and I am mildly shocked to see that I seem to have raised $475 for cancer research simply by promising to go bald in 2 weeks.

I am experiencing a warm fuzzy feeling despite the treachery of deviant Lake Erie which seems to have unfrozen again.



PS: Apparently, they won't shave my head to the bone and will leave a smattering of hair. I am going to request that they really shave it all off. I have got my department paying for my most expensive hair-cut ever so it better be technically perfect.


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Category: simple pliny

02/12/10 12:51 - ID#51001

Thinking of going bald...

for bucks.

But mainly because I want to see if I can tackle a fraction of pain and the serious blow to vanity that the patients I study are going through everyday.

March 3 is the D-day I don't know if I can work up enough guts to go through with this and bear being absolutely bald for the rest of the winter.


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Category: simple pliny

01/13/10 08:50 - ID#50814

Mental note. Really mental.



It was not about badges.
It is never about badges.
It will never be about badges.

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Category: simple pliny

05/11/08 02:54 - ID#44307

Cool as a Cucumber

I am going to be working on Rule 49 from this minute.
49. Develop Equanimity.

The unfortunate fact is I am not. Either cool or even a cucumber. I care too much about everything. I care about everyone around me to the point of interfering in their affairs and offering my opinions. I think its time to stop. Completely grind to a no-opinion, cucumber stop.

My inspiration will aptly be, a CUCUMBER.
Eight alphabets. Eight rules.
image

Let's see.

It remains a Cucumber.
1. All these rules are not applicable to my family. I will interfere,
judge, argue and be a pain. Nopes, *you* don't escape. HEHE.

It's crUnchy!
2. If situations are chewing on me, then I shall remember the crunch of this post. Keep calm. Drink more water. Remain silent.

It's a Creeper and takes the shape of the trellis that guides it.
3. I shall go with the flow and not interfere with anyone's lives, decisions, opinions and practices. If it is their wish, its their wish alone. It does not concern me.

It has tons of entrapped cucumber jUice.
4. I shall drink more water and cool down. Every time I am irked I shall take the divine opportunity to take a detour to the water cooler and drink some water instead of speaking.

It is Mute.
5. I shall not be offering my opinions anymore, unless I am asked. I shall be silent. Your business is your business alone. Not mine. At all.

Its pollinated by Bumblebees, but only if released into the cucumber field at the proper time.
6. My help and opinions shall be available anytime, and all the time. BUT only if you ask. Not otherwise. I don't want to be sorry that I gave you both but you didn't want them anyway.

Its grEen outside and a delicate shade of the lightest green inside.
7. Err... that means I should be jealous sick calm. Yes, calm. No matter what kind of volcanoes are exploding around me.

Its a gReat balancing sandwich component.
8. I shall not judge you whatever you do. Not because I don't care but because I shall respect your right to be who you are and what you want to do plus I don't want to be sorry that I judged you and it was because of my prejudices and beliefs.



Progress report:
1. Did not email much.
2. Working on summaries to (e:chico). One on time, but slipped on 3.
3. Planning to put the lunch/7:00 AM work plan into action this week.
4. Took a hiatus. Three days of:
19. Do what you love. I walked and enjoyed sunshine. I cooked!

55. Learn to do nothing. Haha. I didn't have to learn this. But I put it into practice. I used the freed up time to do nothing. And I loved it!

44. Try living without a car. Alright. I don't have one anyway and this is cheating, but hey this is the 72 day plan. I need all the mileage I can get (irony totally intended).


~End of day Seven~
The Simple Pliny Project
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Category: simple pliny

05/07/08 10:47 - ID#44268

Swirled into the drain

So basically, ALL elements of The Simple Pliny Project went whooshing into the gutter today. Here's the progress report.

1. I did wake up at 4:30 and started reading my article but I could not finish it and emailed (e:chico) to let him know that it was going to be late. I haven't finished it YET, because it lead me to 5 other articles. However, I do optimistically believe that this has been a good learning exercise.

The one line summary is that Directed Acyclic Graphs are a clever way to make your readers believe that you are being objective and smart, but you are only as good as your literature search is. I could go a step further and call it "Stating the Obvious" - STO.

I am working on a more formal summary and hoping to mail it before tomorrow's 7:00 AM deadline. 24 hours LATE. GRADE- F.

(BTW, (e:chico) kept his side of the promise and unfailingly sent the rattle-cage reminder email to this truant. GRADE- You are awesome. A+++)

2. I fell off the no-email wagon and landed on my head. GRADE- F

3. I came into the office at 8:00. GRADE- B+ But I am still in office and additionally am posting my failures on (e:strip). MODIFIED GRADE- F
(I intend to stay till my articles and report are done.)

4. I did not bring lunch. GRADE- F
But I ate at Quaker Bonnet Eatery instead. It had indeed the MOST AWESOME sandwiches.They were SO GOOD. Highly recommended. Plus I found that they DO SELL BREAD! So Rejoice! However, all their bread is of the whitest kind. Look elsewhere for high-fibre unbleached bread. Yeah, you better not have had popped the champagne at the initial sentence.

So, there you have it. I need to start all over again. After all Robert Bruce of Scotland did it. I can atleast try.

--From the Nadir.--
~End of Day Three~
The Simple Pliny Project
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Category: simple pliny

05/06/08 08:08 - ID#44257

Tick Tock, Chop Chop, 1-2-3

In edition two of the simple pliny project, my kleptomania from "The Living Simple Manifesto" expands its uneven claws to score a couple more nuggets.

Nugget 29. Establish routines: Morning, Weekday. (Hey, the claws were *uneven*. They can only tackle so much at a given time!)

I am an insomniac. (Man, this is almost starting to feel like a Something-Anonymous meeting - atleast as it is shown in films... Yeah, for those of you who thought this tangential comment was coming from experience in real life, SHUT UP ALREADY!)

So Ahem. Where was I? Yeah. Hello everyone, I am TinyPliny and I am an insomniac. I cannot sleep for more than a three hours at a stretch. I have no idea why. Wait. Maybe this has to do with all the anxiety linked to the fact that I NEED TO GET MY PROPOSAL DONE!! Or maybe I will cling ferociously to the thought that I am just an insomniac.

Either way, the ruthlessly loud sparrow racket outside my flat window wakes me up at around 4:30 AM nowadays. Hmmmm... I am convinced that the sparrows are in some mental/spiritual contact with my advisors. Because a) both of them wake up at insanely early hours and of course b) they probably are getting annoyed with my hebetudinous "progress". (Note to myself: If 72-day plan doesn't work, shoot sparrows and bury bodies at Forest Lawn in the dead of the night.)

So the proactive idea is, if I am awake already, why not work it into a profitable routine?

1. Will write summary of the dissertation article I read first thing in the morning and post it (hopefully, (e:chico) won't be scared away!!) to (e:chico). Include article in the list of references, if applicable.

2. Make lunch and pack it instead of leaving it in the fridge because I am running almost late to a meeting or felt lazy and took some apples instead.

3. Get to office around 7:00 and come back early. More quiet time, more time to get the reading scheduled, done. Less time to fritter away.

52. Make a Most Important Tasks (MITs) list each day once I reach the office.

In case you were wondering, I did learn how to count in kindergarten. That's Nugget 52 I stole from the Zen bloke. *unhinged laughter*

Ah yes, the progress report:
-- Conscientiously avoided all feeds except a few (related to my dissertation) today.
-- Did not send even one feed-wiki-related email in the past 24 hours.
-- Received a comment from a friend (you know who you are, wink wink) that they perhaps might cry themselves to sleep today (in lieu of reading my email? Yeah I get it, you you you!)
-- Another one just smirked quite maliciously (you know who you are as well. Well. Bleah.)
-- A third just emailed me all the feeds and attached articles, concerned that I might not have spotted them. What the...@$##$%#%
-- MUST....NOT....CAVE...IN DEL DEL DEL DEL DEL DEL DEL damn. Shift+PgUp+Del

~End of Day Two~
The Simple Pliny Project.
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Category: simple pliny

05/05/08 06:54 - ID#44246

The e:hodown epiphany

(e:hodown)'s post has brought it all into focus. I think the key to being better is feeling better. Feeling better implies being proactive in eliminating the things that make you feel worse. And NO. That does not include drinking whiskey as the granny suggests ( ), tempting as it might be. :)

The elements of my proactive plan shall be shamelessly stolen and adapted from The Living Simple Manifesto.


Thus, each day, I am going to take a couple ideas from that page and apply it to my case. Call it misplaced optimism, but I like the thought that a major chunk of my messed up world can potentially be straightened up in 72 days or less!

Since I am glued to a computer most of my waking hours, its only fitting that I start where it might impact the most. Starting with Rule 7: Limit your communications and Rule 60: Simplify your RSS feeds


I admit I am guilty of internet trawling. I wiki-surf and feed-read all the time. I am attracted to every remote science story there is and I read them all. Not only do I read the article, most often than not, I track down the source journal papers and read them as well. Then I email the most interesting of these to a handful of my friends and my family. I do this all in separate emails because they are all from a different timespan and/or sphere of my life and some of them don't know each other so clumping them all in one To:/CC: line seems inappropriate. I receive many of their responses and opinions and answer them all. Some of them send me some related papers, which I then proceed to track down and read. Its a never-ending cycle.

The result of all this frantic reading and emailing is:
1. I become a little bit more informed each day. Score: +1
2. I lag behind in the dissertation reading I am supposed to be doing. Score: -1
3. I feel guilty about this and get nightmares. Score: -2

Net Score: -2. I feel worse by the end of the day even though I feel informed.

The objective now is to convert this negative score into an overwhelmingly positive one and I can do this by:
1. Eliminating all superfluous emails. The emailing probably takes more of my time than reading stuff.
2. Just limiting myself to a science-digest like programme every weekend.
3. Do more dissertation reading and use the time saved from emailing to summarize this reading.
4. Post progress on (e:strip). (Which, BTW, I need to check just once a day, preferably in the morning. :))

~End of Day One~
The Simple Pliny Project.

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