Monday, November 28, 2011

Aaaand it's Monday


I had two days off work due to Thanksgiving weekend.  I wish I could have a four-day weekend every weekend.  University students have it easy.  If they're smart (and/or lucky), they can arrange their class schedules such that they can have Monday AND Fridays off every week.  I was able to do that all of senior year....which was GREAT looking back.  The downside was that I had 9 hours of class non-stop every Tuesday and Thursday BUT even then, that is less time than I currently spend at work every week.

Earlier this month, I came across an online deal for customized Christmas cards through a vendor called Mixbook.  For $20 (plus $6.98 shipping), I get 40 5"x7" cards+envelopes that are supposedly "silk-finished."  I guess "silk-finished" means that the printing is shiny?

I like the overall result and I am hoping that the prints turn out okay, otherwise I will be sad =(.  Before I set up the print on Mixbook's website, I re-sized my picture to fit almost-perfectly on a 5x7 card but for whatever reason, this was the best I could make their interface do.  During the process, I learned to increase the dpi (aka dots per inch), which controls how well an image can be converted from a digital image (seen above) to print.  If I was smarter, I would have asked a friend who does art & printing as a side job/hobby...well, now I know.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Bustin' the Booty

I signed up for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge on Sunday:

Participants can earn points for eating right or being active (running/walking/swimming/etcetc) and win prizes.  I only glanced over the points system briefly, but there are Advanced/Intermediate/Beginner levels, regular challenges for participants to earn extra points, and points for getting your daily value of fruits and veggies, among other things.  It's a kewl way to motivate myself to work out and track my progress.

Since I'm still in the initial phases of physical therapy (more on that later), I have to take it easy on the weights.  I realized that just the act of pumping my arms while running was very tiring after several minutes because it involved more movement than my left shoulder is accustomed to no crazy arm-flailing sprints for a while :)

I ran 2 miles at a 2.0 incline on a treadmill and worked on my core for 20 minutes.  While I was proud of myself for being able to run that much after over a month of sitting on my butt, a 2.0 incline is not very impressive considering San Francisco has hills insane enough to hold an annual event like this:

(The video is from an event called Bring Your Own Big Wheel which is held on one of the city's more steep and twisty inclines.  It's basically a bunch of adults riding down a twisty hill on their kids'/nephews & neices'/best friend's kids' toy bicycle.  It's free and draws a huge crowd every year on Easter Sunday.  )

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Instead of studying last night, I fixed my computer and re-installed software for better outlining (facepalm of shame).

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nicknames - The Digression

My real name is Ming.  A name like that leaves me open to a lot of puns.  At first, they were "normal" cute nicknames like "Ming-o" or "Mang-o".  Then my friends and I discovered the awesomeness of puns and I became "Mingle."  At gatherings, my friends would say "Go mingle, Mingle- haaahaha!"

Then, when Napoleon Dynamite came out in theaters, we learned the term/slang, "dingleberry."  For the hardy types, you can look up the exact term on Urban Dictionary, but I'll just say that it means a "tenacious piece of poo." Someone cleverly noticed that "dingle" rhymes with "mingle" and I became "Mingleberry."  Thank you, friends, for holding me in such high esteem.  I am pretty tenacious though, so I guess it's kind of an apt nickname...except for the part about being a piece of poo.  

The mangled part refers to how I feel after a stressful day, which is summed up in this picture:

And that was how I came up with my blog name and e-mail (berrymingle@gmail)

Saturday, November 12, 2011



At this rate, I'm going to turn into a big manatee-like blob and I'll have to roll myself for transportation, which is great for going downhill but makes for some slow-goings uphill.

I like going to these food truck events, even though they suck money out of my wallet faster than my old college roommate can inhale her food during eating contests.  Some of the trucks are really cute, like the NomNom Truck:

This time I tried food from the Chairman Bao Truck:
Pic from the Mobi Munch Chairman Truck site
I love the pun.  The truck takes traditional Chinese cha siu bao and makes it into a taco.  The unfortunate result is that it defeats the purpose of cleanly shoving the entire bun into your mouth, but it was still delicious.   At first I thought the truck's popularity was all hype, I thought, "Maan, I can get an authentic cha siu bao for $0.60 at a Chinatown store."  But after trying it I actually liked it.  I also tried stir-fried garlic noodles from a truck cleverly named "An the Go" because I love garlic and garlic-flavored burps.  Mmmmm.  But despite spending all that money, I had to go back to my ONE TRUE LOVE, mac and cheese spring rolls.

Today I went back to studying.  Except for the past angst-flavored week, I have been pretty good about studying 6/7 days per week.  I've officially designated Friday nights as my no-work day so I can relax and catch up with friends.

Friday, November 11, 2011

D= (sad face)

Me: "Oh when are you going to China?"
Senior Home Resident (not a patient):  "Next week to visit my family"
Me: "Oh that sounds really good.  The winter there in the south is warmer than winters here."
SHR (Non-patient): "Yeah...It will probably be my last chance to see them"
Me: "Oh...." [Awkward silence]


Angst...and Food

I'm told I get pretty cranky and angst-y during the full moon phase.  Apparently I'm not as awesome as a non-Twilight werewolf so I typically avoid people during this time.

Despite that, I still went to a book signing hosted by Cat vs. Human author/blogger/artist Yasmine Surovec.
I also like cake
and then meandered over Gott's Roadside Burger for another ginormous burger and sweet potato fries

I stole this from the Yelp page again, because honestly, I'd rather shove a fresh burger in my face than take a picture of it  =D
MCAT class was cancelled tonight due to the instructor's illness.  I believe his other class had their potluck on Wednesday night soooooooo hopefully he didn't get food poisoning from someone's delicious goodies =O I should have studied more tonight, but at least I was really good about reading on the bus ride to/from work today.  The tough thing about MCAT classes is that I struggle to keep up with the workload and it feels like the information just goes into my eyes and out the ears.  I wonder if it's possible to hire a slave driver, like in that one Ben Hurr scene when the slaves are rowing the ship.  It looked really effective in the movie.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Stupid Things That I Did

Another topic that came up during study group yesterday was the topic of "stupid crap that you do that seemed like a good idea at the time, but really wasn't."

For example:

Somewhere along the line I picked up this insane routine where I would study/write papers until 4:30 AM and sleep until class at 10 AM.  Sometimes it was for a legitimate reason, like if a 10-page midterm paper was due 1-2 days after several science midterms, and no way in hell was I going to sacrifice precious time writing a stupid paper.  MOST of the time it was out of pure stupidity.  I would sleep at 4:30, wake up at 7, walk around the corner for a triple shot latte, walk back to my room and sleep until 9:30 to study.  Then, I would take a nap from 4 PM-7 PM.  Sleeping a full 8 hours and then studying the rest of the day didn't occur to me.  I don't know how I survived...Actually, that whole quarter/year was a blur.  I have no idea what the hell I was studying for at the time.  I didn't do this everyday - only during midterms and finals.  The problem with that was that professors didn't understand the concept of the MIDterm, so we actually had thirdterms in addition to finals, which means that I followed this routine for a week every three weeks.

Another time, I was forty minutes late for a two-hour midterm because I overslept.  Luckily, this was an Environmental Horticulture class, another student was a full 60 minutes late AND I did well on the midterm, so other than being embarrassed it all worked out.

In freshman year, I joined a sorority because I was full of optimism and wanted to do something different.  I also thought, "Hey these girls seem unique and ethnically diverse, which means that they're open-minded and kewl and not the stereotypical sorority."  NON!  After a while I felt like I was in middle school all over again, helplessly flailing and being sucked into a pit filled with hormones and quicksand.  If it was possible, I would smack my freshman self with a stinky wet slab of rotting tuna and tell past-me to get a job or something.  From a positive standpoint, I did make a few lasting friendships out of the whole experience, but aside from a few select individuals, the others were poisonous.

I started to notice an "us or them" mentality that wasn't healthy.  Meetings lasted hours because they couldn't decide on a color for some stupid banner.  ("I want navy blue" "Nooo I want royal blue"  "GAH.  TAKE THIS PRISM.  YOU CAN MAKE ALL THE COLORS OF THE FRICKIN' RAINBOW!!!")  My friend and I got a lot of crap for not having the energy for "study group" in the library when we had literally just finished a five hour lab and had not been home since sun up.  No, W, the "OChem for non-science majors" that your friend took is not even frickin' 20% as hard as "OChem for science majors" and no, I'm not sleeping on my book.  It's called osmosis and if I plug one ear with my earphones, the knowledge will stay in my brain.

I was relieved when I left.  I picked up another internship on weekends, and also found a job at the campus gym.  Working the 9PM - 1AM shift in a gym that smelled like B.O. for $7.25 an hour felt like paradise.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Study Group

Edit: Whoaaaaa typo galore. Had to fix it =3  Actually I think I was just overly excited to talk about the Staedtler pens.

A few of my classmates and I had our firrrrrrrst study group today.

I feel slightly better about the study process now, after finding out that no one else in class can keep up with all the homework (no one that works, at least).  I also think that I study at a really slow pace.  After I work on practice problems, I can't just read the explanations for the ones I answered incorrectly.  I have to neatly rewrite the problems and answers with my Staedtler triplus fineliner pens (When I get into medical school, I'm going to splurge on the 20-pack. Whoooooooooooo).  And I can't just scribble down the answers.  They have to look nice and neat like this:

This is probably the equivalent of using size 6 font.
So far, the people that attended the study group are pretty cool....Coincidentally we're also the ones that talk  the most.  During our study break we talked about our respective schools.  One girl is from Virginia and she was telling us that she thought it was cool that longboarding is popular in California...This quickly degenerated into stories about freshmen trying to learn how to longboard/skateboard/bike around campus at the beginning of each school year.

Next week we'll be preparing a set of questions to answer, so that when we come together as a group we can go over key concepts.

In other news, a bunch of new people were hired at the office.  I'm not sure what's going to happen in the long run, but I effectively have no computer OR desk to sit and do work at, which defeats the purpose of going in to do paperwork every Tuesday/Thursday.  I've been joking to my coworkers that I'm going to start sitting in an imaginary chair and typing on an imaginary keyboard to emphasize the ridiculousness of the whole situation.  I think one of the new employees is only in the office for half a day, so I'm debating whether or not to ask if I can switch to an afternoon shift to reduce the amount of time spent twiddling my thumbs.  I feel kind of silly and useless, but I can't do work because everyone else is using their computers and I can't study because the boss breathes down our necks.  I'm not the only person without a desk either: My coworker also doesn't have a desk, so when she comes in to try and print/work on stuff for marketing, she can't without asking someone to stop their work so she can borrow the computer for a few minutes.  That's just silly.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


This weekend I actually did a lot of opposed to previous weekends where I throw a temper tantrum on the floor of my room before actually making myself study.  I finished all of my Physics homework and all but one of the biology review homework and quizzes.  I actually thought I had caught up to all my work.  I was soooo proud of myself...Until I realized I completely skipped OChem review.
Sitting in my corner of shame and defeat
And so, the epic battle with studying continues.

Actually, I've been good about studying after work and during gaps in my schedule.  Unfortunately, that means I camp out in Starbucks a lot.  Now, I have to find some way to work in a regular gym routine =/  I miss living near a college campus where things are only 5-10 minutes away via bike.  Now, I have to plan my life around public transportation or parking.  It seems ridiculous to have to set aside 30-60 minutes of public-transit for 3-4 miles' worth of travel or worse, 30 minutes just to LOOK for a parking spot.

I had my third session of physical therapy this week.  Now I can raise my arm above my head (kinda).  Woohoo!!  It's crazy seeing the differences between my P.T. appointments and my work place.  Patients get half an hour at the senior home (where I usually am), but at the main site they might not get a full half hour of treatment on a busy day.  In comparison, my appointments have lasted about an hour and a half.  Then again, some of the other patients I see at my P.T. place only stop by for about half an hour, so the "time" factor might rely a lot on the individual's current phase of treatment as well as the severity of their conditions.  In other words, my shoulder was uber-effed up.

I lovelovelove my P.T!  Having a P.T. who is also great eye candy is very good motivation to go to my appointments on time.  Usually, I'm torn between wiping the drool off my face and wincing when he tests my range of motion.  My ROM has increased about 5-10 degrees each session.  It's tough because not only did the surgeon tighten up my shoulder, but there is a lot of muscle guarding and conditioning that I need to unlearn.  A lot of the exercises and stretches he does are easy for other people to do, but they are motions that I haven't done myself in years because my shoulder was so unstable.  Despite that, I actually have fun during P.T.  He laughs at my weird facial expressions during stretching and I laugh at the fact that his dogs (Useless 1 and Useless 2) already chewed up part of his new lawn.