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Thursday, December 27, 2007 @1:51 PM

My birthday this year was very low-key since I was in the process of writing my thesis. I received only one gift this year; "Always maintain a joyful mind" written by Pema Chodron. I was very surprised to find this book in my letter box after coming home after a long day's of work. I opened the package. I have never heard about this book and wondered why my Travel Companion and fiance would get me that as a gift. Later on I found out that we both had some misunderstanding. Previously I casually mentioned that I would like to get a few books to read once I completed my thesis writing. He then went and browsed the site and thought "Always maintain a joyful mind" was one of the few I would like to read and therefore decided to surprise me with it.

"You know I thought that's the book you were interested. But anyway, I think the title of the book will bring some positive energy to you during your tough writing time."

I did not end up reading the book during my thesis writing. It was sitting on my desk the entire time. But whenever I felt drained out and stressed out, the five words on the blue cover caught would somehow caught my sight and sustained me just enough energy to keep me going.

And now with a degree completed, I am now resuming my reading habit joyfully.

every page of my imagination

2 people traveled to my fantasyland

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 @10:51 AM

Writing (the thesis) has become the center of my life at present; there's just no energy for other things. Hence lack of post. Nevertheless, this is a forwarded message that is worth sharing.
Are you a rubbish truck?
Beware of Garbage Trucks
by David J. Pollay
How often do you let other people's nonsense change your mood? Do you let a bad driver, rude waiter, curt boss, or an insensitive employee ruin your day? Unless you're the Terminator, you're probably set back on your heels. However, the mark of your success is how quickly you can refocus on what's important in your life.
Sixteen years ago I learned this lesson. And I learned it in the back of a New York City taxi cab. Here's what happened.
I hopped in a taxi, and we took off for Grand Central Station. We were driving in the right lane when all of a sudden, a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, the car skidded, the tires squealed, and at the very last moment our car stopped just one inch from the other car's back-end.
I couldn't believe it. But then I couldn't believe what happened next. The driver of the other car, the guy who almost caused a big accident, whipped his head around and he started yelling bad words at us. How do I know? Ask any New Yorker, some words in New York come with a special face. And for emphasis, he threw in a one finger salute, as if his words were not enough.
But then here's what really blew me away. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was friendly. So, I said, "Why did you just do that!? This guy could have killed us!" And this is when my taxi driver told me what I now call, "The Law of the Garbage Truck™." He said:
Many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment. As their garbage piles up, they look for a place to dump it. And if you let them, they'll dump it on you. So when someone wants to dump on you, don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Believe me. You'll be happier.
So I started thinking, how often do I let Garbage Trucks run right over me? And how often do I take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the street? It was then that I said, "I don't want their garbage and I'm not going to spread it anymore."
I began to see Garbage Trucks. Like in the movie "The Sixth Sense," the little boy said, "I see Dead People." Well now "I see Garbage Trucks." I see the load they're carrying. I see them coming to dump it. And like my taxi driver, I don't take it personally; I just smile, wave, wish them well, and I move on.
One of my favorite football players of all time is Walter Payton. Every day on the football field, after being tackled, he would jump up as quickly as he hit the ground. He never dwelled on a hit. Payton was ready to make the next play his best. Over the years the best players from around the world in every sport have played this way: Tiger Woods, Nadia Comaneci, Muhammad Ali, Bjorn Borg, Chris Evert, Michael Jordan, and Pele are just some of those players. And the most inspiring leaders have lived this way: Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King.
See, Roy Baumeister, a psychology researcher from the University of Florida, found in his extensive research that you remember bad things more often than good things in your life. You store the bad memories more easily, and you recall them more frequently.
So the odds are against you when a Garbage Truck comes your way. But when you follow The Law of the Garbage Truck™, you take back control of your life. You make room for the good by letting go of the bad.
The best leaders know that they have to be ready for their next meeting. The best sales people know that they have to be ready for their next client. And the best parents know that they have to be ready to welcome their children home from school with hugs and kisses, no matter how many garbage trucks they might have faced that day. All of us know that we have to be fully present, and at our best for the people we care about.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let Garbage Trucks take over their lives.
What about you? What would happen in your life, starting today, if you let more garbage trucks pass you by?
Here's my bet: You'll be happier.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 @10:21 PM

My first job experience was not a pleasant one. When I received the offer as a research assistant in a research institution, I was thrilled; since I was not offered for Grad. school, this job allowed me to satisfy my thirst in medical research, while getting paid as a job. I was so looking forward towards to start the job. However I changed my mind soon enough when I found out my boss then only treated me as his secretary (full time) instead of working at the lab bench. I worked from 8am till 8.30pm on the first day of my job. He threw me a stack of papers containing his raw numerical data instructing me to plot in graphs and construct illustration figures for his scientific reports right on the first day of my job. I was all stressed out for the first month because I knew very little about Excel and Powerpoint, let alone performing more advance tools like constructing illustrations and plotting professional charts/graphs. On top of that, I was not demanded to get those chores done given in a short time frame. Although it did not take too long for me to pick up some basic tools, I was experiencing a lot of dissatisfaction from the boring routine as a secretary. Come on, I was supposed to get involved in the front stage in the lab, not as a secretary.

Obviously I am no longer staying in that job. Although I used to complain how unpleasant that job experience was. Although I always thought I learned little from that job. These few years in Grad. school, and especially during the time I have to write my own scientific report, constructing my presentation slides and even at the present moment when I am making illustrations from scratch for my own thesis, I feel so grateful that I was pressed to acquire the Excel and Powerpoint skills from my first job.

Sometime ago, I was watching a talk show. The guest invited used to be a famous singer, but now is a successful rich businesswoman. She mentioned in the show that just prior to the 1997 Asian economy crisis, she was divorced and was heartbroken. She was depressed and hid away from her social cycles for a year. During that year, she sold all the properties she was holding and stayed at her friend's place overcoming her emotional turmoil. Because of her personal issue, she escaped the economy crisis that had affected many at that time. Just when many were trying to sell off properties during the economy crisis to get rid of debts, she managed to make some good buy after recovering from her depression. Hence she's a few digits richer since then.

We tend to be short-sighted in our encounters; we jump to conclusions too quick when something just happened to us. This is good. That is bad. That's why we get upset so easily. Things appear to be bad now, does not necessarily mean it is truly bad later. The same applies to good things. Instead of letting our judgments and conclusions lead our emotions, it's better to try to look at it positively. Thumbs down or thumbs down, it's all depends on how we look at it. We flip the above picture down, the thumb is pointing down, but if we rotate the picture 180 degree, it's thumbs up again. Amazing isn't it? Hah, that's life!

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Wednesday, September 19, 2007 @4:01 PM

Five, four, three, two, one. The timer is running...

My application for my dissertation has finally officially been approved by the examination board. In other words, the timer has started, which also means a series of deadlines have to be tackled one after another until my *big* day. Well, one of my major events in my life.

During the past few months, people have been asking me almost one question, once they knew my intention of defending my thesis end of this year. "What are you going to do next?". Excellent question. I would like to know the answer too. At one point, I felt too miserable and scared to even think about that question. Just when I knew people were about to ask that question, I would rather run. I have given a lot of thought about my career and my future. But still there is only that much we could plan for. At this stage, I just want a good break. Instead of telling people I don't know what I'm going to do after my dissertation, I have been responding , "I'm going to take a good break. I want to be able to sleep in and not think about work. I want to spend time with my loved ones, which I haven't been doing since I've enrolled in Grad school. I want to catch up on some novels and learn more about history and culture that I always have great interests."

I was always wondering how it would be like at the final stage of completing a doctoral degree. I was even imagining how I would want my dissertation to be, how many guests I would invite and how I would want my book (thesis) to look like and stuff. One would expect people writing their thesis should be panicking in completing the writing. In fact some of my seniors were stressing big time. Strange enough up to this point, I haven't felt the same , yet. I don't even feel like organizing a party. All I want is a good break.

It's been close to four years and it does feel like a marathon. I love what I am doing but moderation is the key; there should be some balance in life and it is really time to move on.
I so can't wait to complete my degree. But right now, I really have to get started in writing my book. Five, four, three, two, one...oh don't remind the timer will be beeping soon.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Thursday, August 16, 2007 @10:51 PM

Although we are already the forth generation immigrants, our family is still practicing some traditional Chinese eating culture. Soup has been a major emphasis in the Chinese eating culture, especially for Southern Chinese. Since my ancestors originated from the South of China, soup is common in our menu.

What is so special about soup and Chinese eating culture? Of course like other eating cultures, Chinese also emphasize on tasty and delicious food.Yet what makes Chinese eating culture worth mentioning is Chinese also believe we could rejuvenate or revitalize our body and thus staying healthily by eating. What does this mean? Basically Chinese believe that the natural phenomena are classified by the five elements (Wu Xing, in Mandarin). This philosophy also forms the fundamental of Chinese medicine. And like all things in nature, food that are obtained in this world can be grouped into those five elements. Therefore Chinese apply the medicine theory in their eating culture.

Like many traditional Chinese family, our family also believes in Chinese medicine philosophy. My maternal grandmother, the chef of our family, has been taking great care of our well-being. She's been feeding us with soups regularly; soups containing the "cool" effect during hot days, potent ginseng soups when we are deprived of sleep, "warm" soup in winters, or soups that are considered "neutral" to buffer our system. Although I have not been picking up my grandmother's habit, it does have some influence on me. Once in a long while, I do make myself some Chinese soups. Recently I'm even hooked up with a show on authentic Chinese soups from various parts of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. I so wanted to travel to those places and taste their local soups. I guess that would be a good motivator for me to write my thesis. Just when people around my age are engaging in some youthful modern activities, here I am talking about culture and tradition. It is either I think like an old lady or I'm a food lover. Hmmm...

every page of my imagination

1 people traveled to my fantasyland

Wednesday, August 08, 2007 @9:55 PM

The advancement of technology does not seem to help in better communication. Telephones, pagers, cellular phones, text messaging, internet chatting, internet talking..all these tools should have facilitated in better communication between human-beings, at least it could connect one individual from the north hemisphere to the south, or basically anywhere in the world, one way or the other. Yet are we truly utilizing them to better communicate with our family and friends?

The first year or two after I left home alone, I owned no phones nor internet. All I relied on was my mother calling me once a week. Although I am not too close with my mother, my impression was I still looked forward to her calls. I do not usually share my secrets with my mother, but at least I always tried to fill her in of my daily updates. As years go by, I got myself a phone and then subsequently adapted the internet teleconferencing with family and friends. Yet I also noticed the quality of communication with my family and friends have significantly dropped throughout all these years, despite the duration of the calls has been more or less the same. The conversations have been pretty superficial.

Maybe we have generation gap with our parents? That is very possible. Some of our parents might not be able to follow the mind of the younger generations. Yet what makes it more pathetic is some of us do not even communicate well with our siblings or partners. Communication gap is not restricted to physical distance. I have seen my own sisters living under the same roof hardly communicate deeper and they do not know where each other is up to.

Perhaps we are more busy now? Actually no. It is because we are not putting effort in opening up to communicate with others. Others as in our parents, family members and close friends. We rather spend time surfing TV channels after channels for the whole night, rather than spending just 10 minutes or so to talk to our family members properly.

We can't deny the importance of communication. Misunderstanding or conflicts happen due to lack of communication. It is difficult to juggle our busy daily life. But I think spending just some quality time interacting and communicating with our family and loved ones is essential.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 @10:43 PM

It's been quite some time since I last dropped by here. There were times random thoughts were formulated but when I had blogger opened with a few lines typed, the urge of writing vanished completely. There has been a lot on my plate for the last few months. "This is an extremely stressful time for you. I remembered the last few months before my dissertation (also the thesis writing time), I was extremely stressed out. So I could really imagine how you are feeling right now. Plus it happens that you have more ongoing issues to take care of, as compared to others who just need to deal with dissertation. You just have to stay focused."

Not only I have to stay focused, I am learning to be calm and positive. Because of so much going on right now, posting should be fairly easy for me. I'm sure those topics should be interesting for you to read, well, at least some of them.

With this being said, I still have no intention in discontinuing this site. In fact please join me in celebrating the birthday of this site today. I just realized that jaderays turned TWO today. Wow, was it really two years ago that I wrote the first entry here? Anyways for those who still come and visit, thanks for coming. Come, have a piece of cake. More to come...

every page of my imagination

2 people traveled to my fantasyland

Monday, June 25, 2007 @8:10 PM

Yes, welcome to the new face of this site as well as the new music playlist. Thanks to my Witty Sister, my technical consultant and the guest DJ. :)

I wonder how many of us are aware of the fact that things are changing every second every hour and we all are changing every moment all the time. Let's stare at the mirror and look at our face closely. Have you realized something? Perhaps more wrinkles? Less hair? Or maybe smoother face if you have just undergone cosmetic surgery. Nevertheless, our skin now is very different from 20 years ago.

Is our skin now the same as last year? Last month? Last night? Or even just an hour ago? Well, truth to tell, like it or not, the answer is a big NO. In fact the skin ain't the same as a minute or a second ago. This is the true phenomenon of nature. In fact everything in life is subject to changes all the time, big or small in various degrees.

We tend not to notice the ongoing minute changes. As such we could be pretty shocked only when we are aware of a big change. Some of us might not be able to deal with the major change and become a little hysteric.

Actually changes are not that scary once we understand the phenomenon of life. We just have to bear in mind that everything and everyone is always changing. Yes, it includes the layout of this blog too. I hope you like this new look. Should have acknowledged my sister's generous offer earlier. I guess it's never too late to do so now.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Wednesday, June 20, 2007 @7:04 PM

While full concentration is expected in the last stage of my degree, my mind has lost control and misbehaved a little; there are a lot going in my mind, "Yes, I want to continue my reading habit, not scientific reports, once I grant my degree." "I want to be able to sleep in and sit around at home do nothing, once I've finished school." "I want to take a break and travel and explore to places I haven't been, once I've had my dissertation." "I want to start doing some real workouts regularly, once I've submitted my thesis."

Yes, my mind is so active that it keeps reminding me that I have a lot of things I would love to accomplish, but just not now, because I am busy. Oh yeah, I am so busy, at least I sound like one. I have to complete some very last experiments, completing my research projects, finishing up writing a few more scientific reports for journal submissions, start writing my book aka the thesis, preparing my dissertation and planning for my career. Yet the mind refuses to focus on the long to-do list.

I was chatting with one of my sisters who is having her semester examination the other day.

Me: So are you looking forward to your last paper? You can enjoy yourselves after that.
Sister: Not really because I am always enjoying myself. Exam is just a process, I don't see it as an end-result.

Whoa. My sister sounds so wise. After hearing her response, I instantaneously reflected on myself. I knew I haven't been truly enjoying myself since last year. I knew I have been just thinking about my work and how to complete my degree as soon as possible. And that's what I have been doing. I bailed out social activities; I had to turn down my coworkers' and friends' invitations for some gatherings and outings. Not that I was working very hard but I was too tired to go anywhere after work or during the weekends. All I wanted to do was to sleep and have some personal time at home as that was the only little time I could have for myself at home since I spent all my time mostly on work.

I could have still enjoyed myself a fair bit while working hard. But because all I could see in front was to complete my degree as soon as possible, I kept using it as an excuse to push behind or even turn away things that I wish to do along side. Maybe I could not take a few months off to do a backpacking, well I still could but I would just graduate few months later. At least I could still enjoy life outside work. Reading some books or hanging out with friends a little certainly would not delay my progress. I could still enjoy the process of granting my degree (or whatever I am pursuing) while working hard towards achieving the goal.

This is quite a common issue for some of us. We just keep using something as an excuse to stop us from doing other things we would like to. I know someone who has been claiming to driving for many years. The last time I asked him, his reply was, "When I achieve my first milestone at work *getting my first paper published*, I'll go for driving lesson." To me that sounds ridiculous. Getting a driver's license has nothing to do with work accomplishment. Yes, I laughed at this person and here I am doing the same. If you feel like pursuing some activity, just do it. Why wait?

It might be tricky for me to go suspend my degree and go backpacking for a couple of months at this point. It might also be pretty difficult for me to be a social butterfly since I have never really been one. But I will make sure I will enjoy the process of completing the remaining of my degree. Actually not only about this degree but in life in general. We do not need an excuse to do something.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Monday, June 11, 2007 @7:48 PM

For those growing up in the 80s, you could be one of the New Kids on the Block fans. I was never a fan of NKOTB thought. I guess by the time I started listening to pop music, NKOTB had vanished from the stage.

But I do know one song from one of the members of NKOTB. The song, "Stay the same" (click here to listen to this song) by Joey Mcintyre was in fact one of my favourite songs back in my college years. My housemate at that time introduced me to this song. "Be proud of who you are."

I believe we all will come across some phases in life doubting ourselves; it could be due to certain events, certain peoples or even for no real reason. That is the best time to do some so-called soul-searching. What it really means is basically to examining our thoughts and to learn more about ourselves. Usually we are just too busy engaging ourselves with various activities, rarely do we slow down to look at ourselves, not to mention to reflect on things.
I had my moments of self-doubting, confidence deprivation and lost of navigation. Looking back, I had most of those moments when I just left home after being sheltered for 17 years. I could still remember my first day stepping my foot on a foreign land after an eight-hour plane ride. A piece of land that I did not have a single friend or a distant relative. The only person I knew was a schoolmate from my home country. But the whole settling down thing was never a problem to me. In fact I did not recall having real homesickness. But it was the subsequent experiences during my five-year stay there that created those moments of self-doubting. I have had my doubts in friendships, human relationships, capability, talent, personality and even appearance.
I guess I should be glad that I did not act crazily or behave in extreme while struggling through those moments. In fact I did not even realize I was going through those moments since I had no experience of such in my growing up for the first 17 years of my life living at home. All I had to do was to make sure I completed my school work on time, did well in my studies and be an obedient daughter who would make her parents and family proud. I was not even sensitive enough to realize I was going through some down moments. I was not physically close to my family or close friends. I did not have the chance to share what was bothering me. Plus it was really difficult to articulate the emotions over the phone or writing letters. All in all, those moments happened for good reasons. They allowed me to reflect on myself, to learn and grow.

No doubt there will be more self-doubting moments in our later stage of life, for you as well as me. But we all know they are there for us to slow down and to examine at ourselves, to understand ourselves better.
Stay the same
Don't you ever wish you were someone else
You were meant to be the way you are exactly.
Don't you ever say you dont like the way you are.
When you learn to love yourself, you're better off by far.
And I hope you always stay the same,
Cuz there's nothing bout you I would change.
I think that you could be whatever you wanted to beIf you could realize,
all the dreams you have inside.
Don't be afraid if you've got something to say,
Just open up your heart and let it show you the way.
Believe in yourself.
Reach down inside.
The love you find will set you free.
Believe in yourself, you will come alive.
Have faith in what you do.
You'll make it through.

every page of my imagination

2 people traveled to my fantasyland

Thursday, June 07, 2007 @10:55 PM

Being born and brought up in a country of hot climate all year round, I am not too keen about sunny hot days. I had never understood why some people love sitting outside the restaurants or cafeteria in a hot day. And I certainly find it weird for those who love sun-bathing under the big hot sun.

Having living in this country that is cold for at least half of the year and where it gets dark at 2pm during the winter time for three years, I finally began to appreciate the sun or to be precise summer time. One obvious thing is how everyone looks happy and energetic. Many like to take time off from work to travel around or just simply stay at their summer house with their family.

Unlike the majority, I do not do too much during summer. In fact I work more during summer. It does make me feel better when I step out of the building to head home past 9pm and the sky is still bright. It may sound pathetic to hear that I still have to work like a rat when many are lying at the beach or sitting at the garden sipping coffee, but I am still able to have my fun time. I like to get ice-cream from a nearby shop at the hospital with my coworkers and chill out during our "coffee" break. Oh yeah, I love barbecuing during summer too. I guess this is one of the few local interests I picked up after I came here. I still can't believe that I am organizing a bbq for the lab next week when I am already struggling to complete my work.

Well, all work and no play makes the already boring Jade a super dull girl. Enjoy your summer.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Wednesday, May 30, 2007 @10:43 PM

When things are rough, or when we are not having a smooth ride, we tend to get more and more stressed out, frustrated, flustered and angry. We tend to just feel all the negativities. The more we think about the rough time, the more down we are emotionally. But if we try to look at the matter differently, to transform the negative to positive, then we will be able to see it in a different perspective.

"You shouldn't worry. There shouldn't be anything for you because worrying will not solve the problem. My experiences told me things will work themselves out eventually."

"Maybe at that time I would be extremely frustrated that things are not working the way I wanted, but later on things just surprisingly worked out."

"Perhaps they did not turn out to be what I wanted at that time. But I am always happy and satisfied with all the outcomes so far. Probably what I wanted at that time was not correct."

This was what my coworker told me lately.

My aunt told me that she watched a show the other day. The host interviewed a famous singer of how she felt when she lost a big award recently.

"Of course I was a bit disappointed. But soon enough I realized there's nothing to be upset about because it was just an award and I did not have anything from the beginning and now I have a glorious career. I have already owned a lot as compared to before."

My aunt also mentioned that, "A rough ride isn't bad as we see. It makes you learn and trains you to be a stronger person. You will accumulate experiences and after that you'll know how to handle. That's what we call wisdom."

All these sound really simple and most likely we have heard it n times. But it is good to be reminded again, especially during the so-called rough times. The words make a distinct difference of either we continue sinking or we float.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Thursday, May 03, 2007 @10:25 PM

A month or two ago, I received an email from my close friend, who I became buddy with in elementary school. My friend is getting married in July and she was hoping that I would fly home to attend her wedding.

I had sort of lost touch with this friend of mine for about two years. In other words, I haven't seen her for two years. I was even suspecting that she was already married last year for some reason. Well it was not too surprising to receive her break the news since she has been dating her beau for about three-four years now. It is about time. On top of that, a lot of my classmates/schoolmates/coursemates and even my juniors (who are few years younger than me) are getting married, if not already married. "You are already at that age, it is about time." Many people including my family claimed so.

So is it really about time? When do you consider it is time? Personally I think it is more of whether are you ready, rather than it is about time. You could date or even married with someone for years yet you do not even know the person very well. Some who just dated for awhile but they just worked out nicely and are happily together. It really just boils down to how much the two putting effort in making it work; putting effort in communicating, understanding the person, acknowledging the flaws, appreciating the good sides and knowing what to accommodate and stuff.

Is it about time just because you are at that age? Again, personally I do not agree to get married too young, for practical reasons. You are still a kid yourself and are not financially independent. You still have a lot to experience before you have enough to share with your own kids or shoulder more responsibilities. Yet of course it is also ideal not to settle down too late, especially for those who want to have their own kids; you want to have enough stamina and energy to take care of your kids. Still, does that mean just because you are at the age of settling down or in other words you are no longer young, you should just settle down with whoever you are with, or worse still simply grab someone and settle down? This issue seems to be more common in women. Although the twentieth century has brought about revolutionary changes for the status of women, we (ladies) still feel the pressure about marriage. The biological clock is ticking is the blame. There is reduced risk for normal pregnancy and healthy childbirth for later childbearing women. True. But why should we worry about kids when you are not even sure whether would you be happy settling down with that person, who would be your children's father?

It will only be about time when both know that they are happy to spend their lives with each other. There should be absolutely no hesitations. Neither one should feel forced to do so. And no other factors including time and age, should be influential.

every page of my imagination

1 people traveled to my fantasyland

Monday, April 23, 2007 @11:29 PM

Why I am here? Why you are able to come here? In other words, why I blog? I haven't thought about the reasons, at least not up to five or six reasons (Man, how did Cindy manage to list so many reasons?). I know there was a little story for the birth of this blog.

All right, so here comes the story...

Once upon a time...Gotcha!

Nah, it's not that too long ago. It was sometime in 2005. I was browsing some blogs linked from an old blog, the one blog (more like a personal website that I discovered while searching for Graduate Schools back in 2003). I hadn't read that old blog for a long while after I relocated. So one fine weekend, I was a little bored at home and wondered what had happened to that blog. Then I went back to that site. Nothing was updated. So I randomly chose a link from that site. It linked to another blog, which happened to have many links. I wasn't too interested in the entries of that second blog. Again, I randomly chose a link from that second blog. There I found something a bit more interesting. But what made it more interesting was, I chose a link randomly from that super long list. And that was how I met Cindy. Oh, no I haven't met Cindy, but that's how I stumbled upon her blog, and since then became my first daily read. I also stumbled upon few more blogs through the same way (links from links).

That wasn't all the story. I was really inspired by the good writings. All along I had an idea of wanting to write down stuff I see, listen, and experience, primary or secondary. I used to have a notebook for me to jot down elegant phrases I read elsewhere, English and Chinese. I even attempted to write some entries during my sophormore year at college, but they were in Chinese. At the same time, my Witty Sister who is pretty updated with "fashions" in the world and is a computer geek, encouraged me to start my own blog. She's also my technical consultant in revamping my blog last year. Hence the birth of jaderays (named after the meaning of my second Chinese name).

The more I blog, the more I enjoy writing, albeit I do not have too much exciting and personal things to share. Believe it or not, it also helps in improving my English writing skill. It's like back in English class where we were required to write essays, instructed in various topics, description essays, argumentative essays and ex cetera. Here I do not have to follow instructions, I just write whatever and whenever I feel like it. Writing and reading blogs have become my daily habit. I still maintain a habit of reading a handful of blogs; their excellent writings always inspire me to write; let me tell you a secret, I like to analyze their styles of writing. Oops a daisy, I hope they won't make me pay them tuition fee for free writing lessons.

Oh, yeah, I realized it was lame in claiming writing has become my daily habit as I do not write that frequently as of late. Well then I should thank Cindy for providing a free topic for me to write for today. See, another reason I blog. I was tagged.

every page of my imagination

3 people traveled to my fantasyland

@10:53 PM

After a long and tough debate, I've decided to jump in a new relationship with the new boy. I've been with my ex for 5 years now and I think it is time to get a new boy. I have always felt reluctant to end the 5-year relationship with my hunny, opps should now be my ex since we've been through a lot all these years (refer to My hunny). But since I will start writing my thesis in a few months' time, I can't afford my hunny throw me some tantrum. Basically my ex only allows me to sit and work at my writing desk at home, at a fixed angle. Once I move it aside, the ethernet adaptor for my cable internet connection will dislodge and it will take forever for me to hook it back to the correct specific angle to allow connection. Yes, you did not read it wrong. I am still using ethernet adaptor for cable internet connection. My ex is a humble non-modern guy.

I was going back and forth with my decision. Although my ex does cause some inconvenience but he's been doing a great job as the only entertainment source for me. I still manage to do some work at home using it, but not too heavy duty. I tend to do most of my analysis and writing work at work. I could do my thesis writing at work. But then that means I might have to stay at work late when my thesis writing is approaching. I could still do some writing at home but then my ex is not stable and could play some trick anytime. With all these concerns and opinions from my Witty Sister and my Travel Companion, I decided to invest a new boy for the sake of my thesis and my degree.

I love new gadgets. Yet at the same time I do not want to be too spendthrift. As long as the tool is working, albeit it is old-fashioned or out-dated, it is fine by me. A tool is supposed to assist us in doing work, but not us in helping the tool. Recently I watched a documentary show and the host for the tv mentioned something he thought was ridiculous. "I just don't understand why some people got luxurious cars and left the car seats covered with the plastic shields still. They have to be so careful each time sitting on their car. Car is meant to be a vehicle transporting us from one place to the other. But not us being the cars' tools." He is so right. So now I'm going to make my new boyfriend work very hard. Damn, he better makes me feel he deserved the money I just spent.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

@8:41 PM

I just returned from a quick conference trip, which I would call as a trip sourcing for aspiration.

This conference is a huge meeting, gathering more than ten thousands of experts working in oncology research. This was already the third consecutive conference I participated. It provides the latest updates in the field that is usually very helpful to newbies like me. Many researchers also utilizes this great opportunity for networking.

I noticed a trend, a learning pattern of my own developed over the last three years. For my first year in this conference, upon receiving the hundreds pages thick of program book, I did not know where to start and which session to attend. Since this is one of the largest oncology research conferences in the world, it is a norm to have more than ten sessions ongoing at the same hour. Looking at the program book, I only found heaps of jargon and absolutely had no idea would there be a link in my own research topic. Hence I tried to attend as many sessions as possible and after the first day out of the five, I became so exhausted (in addition with jetlag). I hardly understood and appreciated those lectures I attended. Then in my second time of my conference, I became "smarter", at least I know which session I should be picking. Well I was only picking topics that had relation with my own research topic. Although I was still partially dumb to understand fully the contents, my brain was doing some work in trying to relate the information with my own research design.

This year, I realized there was some changes about myself. Since I am completing my research degree and I am uncertain whether I will pursue a career in research and even if I do, it might not be in oncology, I needed not care which sessions should I be attending. I mean it was still rather tough choice to decide which one I shoud go, at least I could just sit there and listen to topics I am truly interested and need not worry how would I apply that in my own topic. I could literally feel myself nodding my head (not that I was falling asleep) but a body reflex when understing and agreeing with the notions of the speakers. I was even gathering inspirations (facts and figures) from some of the talks for my thesis, which is pending to be completed fairly soon.

For the past few months, I was having a constant battle in my heart. I came to a junction after a long straight drive of a freeway and felt lost of which direction I should turn. I've been contemplating hard and had even talked to several people hoping they would give me some advice and insights. I know I like what I am doing now. But when compared to many of my peers and seniors, I realized I do not have a very strong passion. Yet at the same time, I like to do what I am doing now, not for money, not for fame, not for power but more for helping people ultimately and eventually. I was hoping by attending this conference, which might be the last scientific conference I would be attending, if I have decided to have a career change after my degree, I would be able to see a clearer picture of what to do next.

I would not say I have found the answer to clear up what's been stirring my mind for the last few months now. But at least the close to ten thousand miles of traveling was still an experience and it was still a good source of aspiration. I think I am moving my car now after hesitated for so long at the junction.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Tuesday, April 10, 2007 @9:32 PM

I watched a show interviewing a well-known professor (Professor Yu Dan) from China, who recently held a series of lectures in interpreting the Anelects of Confucius. Anyways, neither was she talking about Confucius in that interview nor I am going to discuss about Confucius here.

There were a few interesting little stories that this female professor brought up that I really liked and have inspired me. On top of that I managed to work out my facial muscles and while watching the light-hearted interview show. But I just want to highlight one here.

This lady professor reminisced a little incident that she learnt from her daughter. One day while having a nanny looking after her few months old baby, the nanny pulled out a lot of toys on the bed. The whole bed was flooded with different variety of toys, colorful soft toys, expensive play toys, toys that making funny sounds to attract people and ex cetera. The nanny took out all those toys and showed them to the few-month-old one by one telling her, "Look at this baby, this is so beautiful, play with this..." The baby did not even look at the toys in front of her. In fact all she cared was to play with a water bottle that happened to be there on her bed. No matter how hard the nanny tried to distract her attention by tempting her with all sort of fancy toys, the baby remained indulging herself playing with the bottle.

"We can be very subjectives at times. We tend to make others believe and follow what we think is best. We (the adults) think the expensive, colorful toys are interesting. Yet this was not what the baby thought. She probably was thinking that water bottle was the best toy at that time."

After hearing her story, it actually reminded me such experiences I have had in life. Parents thinking kids should do certain things because the parents think that would be the best for the kids. We want our friends/family/significant other to do certain things, telling them that would be the best for them. Yet little did we realize something we think is the best might not be the case in other's mind. The best thing is still to respect others' decisions. If it involves us, we could discuss about it but we still have to respect the final decision, which might not be something we would agree. After all you just want the person to be truly happy in what they are doing.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Sunday, April 01, 2007 @8:25 PM

There are ups and downs in life. There are big and small matters bothering us. Sometimes it takes a second to clear our mind. Sometimes it takes a long while to figure things out. Sometimes we may actively want to talk about our problems with our friends or some even seek professional counseling.

Talking our problems with someone we trust or we know will give us helpful insight is necessary. It helps us to look at our problems from a different angle. Even others might not have an immediate solution for us, at least talking about the problem helps us feel better; we just need to release the negativities out of the system.

Yet sometimes we could be swamped by the problem itself and have forgotten to seek help from others. If we pay attention to the people surrounding us, we may be able to identify them. It certainly does not harm if we stop by and casually chatting with them. If they are comfortable, they will gradually open up. Recently I bumped into a coworker who looked pretty bothered, in fact she was hiding in a room crying. I politely asked her whether if they were anything I could help. I did not solve her problems. I was not able to solve her problems. All I could give was lending her a pair of ears and some encouragement.

With this said, I would like to take the opportunity to thank H. for dropping by to chat and be a fantastic listener.

every page of my imagination

1 people traveled to my fantasyland

Sunday, March 25, 2007 @9:16 PM

During my recent trip visiting home, my Travel Companion and I saw this, "Never give up" and he took a picture of it. Like the words.

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland

Monday, March 19, 2007 @9:58 PM

It's been about 15 years since I last played with little babies. Actually I don't have that much chance in playing with babies, other than my own siblings. And when I said "played" it was truly spending time with those little human-beings to amuse myself. It's literally a picture of an extremely big kid fooling around and bullying a five-to-six times reduced size kid.

It's been a long while since I last visited my friend, Mr. Nice and his family. The last time I was there, my friend's daugther was just a few-month old and was just learning to crawl. But now she's already 1.5 years old and already riding on her small bike knocking on me deliberately.

One hilarious scene was, her parents (my friend and his wife) told me that they have set a little punishment for the baby. When she makes a severe mistake, the parents will order her to "stand at a corner". Although the baby barely speak, she understands a lot of our adult words. So when her parents were describing her "stand corner" punishment to me, she was standing aside paying attention to our conversation. The parents told her, "Show Jie-jie (older sister; referring to me after I insist that she should call me sister instead of aunty) where is your 'stand corner' and how do you do that.". Next I saw two fat clumsy legs moving fast to the corner of the room and I looked up, finding this smart cutie little one pointing to herself smiling and making some funny sound. She was telling me "Hey Jie-jie, this is my 'stand corner'!" Seeing that scene I burst into laughter.

Her parents certainly have devoted a lot of time, patience and effort in bringing her up. It is extremely difficult since my friend is still completing his doctorate degree whilst the wife gave up her career in their home-country to come here and join him and soon after they had their first child here. What makes it tougher is to raise kids in a foreign country where you don't even speak its language and they were just relying on his low stipend.

"Babies grow fast. Looking at them learning every little things and making baby steps, really makes me feel all those sleepless nights bringing them up is worthwhile," the wife told me.

I asked my friend who will be defending his thesis next month, "What do you think about your four-year here?"

"Life's been good to me. It would be if I could be richer but I won't complain about it," he said jokingly.

My friend's and his wife's words made me felt touched. I felt a little ashamed of myself after talking to them; the way they perceive life is so positive. Eh, maybe I should be the one to "stand corner" and reflect on myself.Go stand corner now. Okay...

every page of my imagination

0 people traveled to my fantasyland


Viewing the fleeting world
- a star at dawn; a bubble in the stream; a flash of lightning in a summer cloud; a flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream together with Jade

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