01/01 Direct Link
Resolutions (in order of ascending difficulty):
No cigarettes for the entire month of January.
Make a class schedule I can live with.
Spend less money on beer.
Break the new hard liquor = vomit trend.
Play with Big D at least 1/week all semester.
Fill out my medical school applications and have them sent on the first possible day.
Be more patient with the situations I find myself in.
Exercise 3 times a week for the rest of the semester.
Keep my room livable and clean.
Be accepted to a medical school I would gladly attend before next New Year’s.
01/02 Direct Link
When I think about the way we’re taught to treat love, it makes me feel like a behaviorist’s pigeon.

When you see something(s) you love, you want to kiss them and hug them and say that you love them. It makes you happy to be with your loved one, and sad to be away from them.
When people see you acting funny, they know. He’s in love, they say, And you know how people act when they get that way.

Input: Love
If ‘Loved One’ is far, Then:
If ‘Loved One’ is near, Then:

Nerve: struck.
01/03 Direct Link
I think this view frustrates me because anytime I find myself falling in love with someone in the smallest way, it’s never like that. A couple of times it was like a bad addiction, where I make up excuses to be around that person, and find myself doing ridiculous stuff to get their attention or affection. Similar to this is the kind of love that gives voice to my demons. Every angle of life is rehearsed, carried out and eventually replayed through the lens of a love that’s as warm and friendly as an oil spill. Those are the worst.
01/04 Direct Link
To greener grass. The best is when I can’t do anything but float. I close my eyes and see myself drifting lazily towards no place in particular, but any place would be fine- like I’m stuck in somebody else’s happiness, so my ups and downs can’t ruin it. Also high on the list are late nights. Spending entirely too many hours of the wee morning getting tangled up in somebody else and smiling until your face hurts. The next morning when we kiss our goodbyes, I look at her, she looks at me, and it’s clear we share a secret.
01/05 Direct Link
What I dance around in my head, the questions with which I fence when I’m not otherwise occupied, are these.

What is it about emotions that fails description but yearns evocation?

What is the often palpable but sometimes minute marriage between processes of thinking and feeling?

Point me to the tangled tissue, those million axons that claim responsibility for the interface of thinking and feeling.

I imagine it as a soft-spoken worm, fearless despite its small size.

Were it friendly, I would tickle it and coax out worldly secrets. Should it prove uncooperative, I would probably beat it to death.
01/06 Direct Link
When 3 hours turns into 6, that’s not witchcraft, that’s annoying.

Car trips remind me of how desperately I want to control the weather, or at least know somebody who knows somebody who does. Man, that guy would be inundated with requests. IN UN DAT ED.

The fact that I have transformed one word into four is also not witchcraft. It is a hollow attempt to fill up space, because I don’t want to hear me talk about all the vegetable noodles I ate last night, or how little fun I had in the snow on the drive up. Zap!
01/07 Direct Link
This morning I woke up halfway three times, and all the way once. All four times, I was tangled up in her. I was hoping for a snow day, but of course not.

At 10:12 I walked (late) into the chemistry class I’m grading. I don’t think the teacher remembers, but I got the lowest homework grade in the class when I took it. Other than Simon, who I’ve know for awhile, the class is all freshmen. The last time I felt this old was at the weezer concert.

To begin on the good foot, Guinness and Pizza for lunch!
01/08 Direct Link
I wish I knew a supervillain. Better yet, I could live with one. I figure I would be the enterprising asshole who tries to work with him, like the “Sprechen Sie Talk?” guy in Die Hard.

The problem with most enterprising assholes in movies and the like is that they’re always fucking dumb. It’s part of the hubris of supervillains to always be surrounded by people who can’t think for themselves.

As we see in megapopstars and supermodels, the real-life supervillain equivalents, this is not the case. They work with the best people, ensuring their dominance of the popular media.
01/09 Direct Link
Due to lack of supervillainy in the Centre County region, it looks like it falls to me to have a disfiguring accident or get bit by a radioactive monkey so that my mind slowly twists. That’s right: I will become a supervillain, to do what no other supervillain has done: successfully form a shadow organization.

The Band of the Purple Hand
Our symbol will be a hand turned purple by the 11 rubber bands around the wrist. Just in case you didn’t figure it out: the world is the hand. You have to be a member to understand the bands.
01/10 Direct Link
To: BotPH
From: Carl Conspiracy
As far as conspiracy goes, there’s really two things I want: complete control of the governmental machinery and tacos. I figure once the cogs of capitalism are humming along to my tune, the tacos will come rolling in. As the brains of the outfit, I guess I’d better get cracking and come up with a plan. Without a scheme, we’re just a secret club like Knights of Columbus. Since some of you are looking to me for guidance, my only instructions thus far are: SHINE YOUR LOVE. More answers pending.

Conspiratorily Yours,
01/11 Direct Link
Last night I was at the bar for less than 90 minutes. In those ninety minutes, I successfully spent 31 dollars. I had three drinks. One of them I got for free, one was from a pitcher (the rest of which I gave away), and the last was an irish car bomb- I also payed for two other people’s. The Irish car bomb is a $6 way to convince yourself to consume roughly two alcoholic beverages in less than 30 seconds. It’s the rich man’s beer bong. Dench spilled his on some unsuspecting belle. At least he found that humorous.
01/12 Direct Link
For me, reading and sleeping go together like peanut butter and chocolate. That’ll do me in every time. When I read something I have to think about, I sleep on it. Often this is a gratifying experience, as I awaken with new insight into whatever situation I was reading about. Today I took a substantial Information Induced Nap. Erin Luhks dropped by to pick up her sewing machine. The reason I know this is that she left me two CDs to listen to. I do remember talking to here, but not about what; probably the CDs and the sewing machine.
01/13 Direct Link
When I eat a lollipop, it’s my goal to destroy it by any form of oral manipulation. Usually, I suck on it for a few minutes- in part to just get started, but mostly to lull it into trusting me. When it’s least expecting it, I strike. Several swift crunches later, the Dum-dum is reduced to a candy wasteland on my molars. Then I chew on the stick until it’s reduced to a wad of paper in my mouth.
I love the taste of spitballs in the early afternoon: the taste of victory.
I hate lollipops. Lollipops killed my brother.
01/14 Direct Link
Despite our so called modernity, I think we’re still surrounded on all sides by myth.
1: Armchair physics: the belief that every phenomenon can be explained by Newton’s laws. Granted: they’re true. But you can’t justify war with “for every action there is a reaction.” You can’t even explain the movement of one atom with it.
2: The miracle of the human body: athletes will themselves free of cancer? No, they’re lucky. False positives, spontaneous, remissions, these happen all the time. You only use 10% of your brain? If you’re retarded. It takes that 90% to cook this shit up.
01/15 Direct Link
Would you rather:
Spend a night in a “haunted” house either alone or with 10 people you hate?
Control minds or read them?
Have people always or never assume you’re serious?
See your mom or some random old person get beat up?
Be invisible or fly?
Travel through time or control the rate of time?
Be successful or rich?
Be an indie rock musician or snotty rock critic?
Have a good wedding photo and a bad wedding or vice versa?
Be able to talk to animals and plants or dead people?
Understand quantum physics or speak pig latin perfectly?
01/16 Direct Link
I don’t believe in God. I reject the idea for several reasons, which I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. In an external way, I honestly think this universe is a less than insightful creation.
Entropy is a cruel master. No matter what you do, you’re never going to beat it. Every day humans eat, kill, and breed our way through so much stuff that experts think our biosphere won’t hold up through the next hundred years. This entropy has begotten the cruelest rule of nature: life’s urges are survive and expand in the short-term.
We’re fucking ourselves to death.
01/17 Direct Link
Today in English I was made to describe my enemy. Without naming him, he is best described as Answer Man. Answer Man and I share the uncanny ability to recall facts almost verbatim from textbooks. For him it is a boon and for me a curse. I have been made to sit and listen for four years as he coddles up to teachers with his recall skills. It shames me to know that in my classes one can succeed solely knowing the rote facts.

Years from now, I’ll see him explain stolen data years from now at a scientific conference.
01/18 Direct Link
Last night I used my cell phone for a practical reason for the first and second time in rapid succession. Thus far it had just been a cool toy and a way to make sure I had a free phone line at all times. As of yet, I have never used Instant Messenger for a useful purpose, and that’s been in my life for almost 4 years.

I really wonder if these things alter your neurochemistry in the long-term by lobotomizing Frontal Areas, making it impossible for you to ever have a real conversation again, or giving you emotional ESP.
01/19 Direct Link
Right now, this edition of Microsoft Word is convinced that a highlighted selection is to go undisturbed when I press delete. Is there anyway I can convince it that this is a mistake? Is there some Box to Check in The Folders That Are Not to rid me of this situation. Is that what Tom had in mind for his Macintosh? Did he find himself deleting too many sentences he liked? Doesn't he know about Undo? Undo plays nice, I swear!

This is where technology fails me; in that space between irksome and frustrating that only emerges in term papers.
01/20 Direct Link
Where the Hell am I? I'll just write about what I see.
I see two test tubes, filled with beads of glass that contain DNA of two types. Tomorrow I shall glue those two pieces of DNA together. If I succeed, I will be pleased. If I fail, I will have wasted yet another week.
I guess the way people complain, I should feel lucky that not wasting a week of my life is an option. I don't. Really, people and I are in the same place: we feel like we've borrowed something from somebody and they want it back
01/21 Direct Link
So this week's a pretty big one for good old Sandel. My old boss, Dan is coming into town to finish up a few things with our old projecting, looking at the HO genes in froggies. When he's got his end of the bargain taken care of, my life will become a lot easier as far as thesis writing goes. My insertion of a resistance cassette into the Cre vector will be a big to-do, hopefully. Then, I can get on with doing "playing god"experiments in mice. Learning transgenics would be the ideal capstone to my experience in this lab.
01/22 Direct Link
So much for putting faith into that particular vat of chemistry. The ligation didn’t work. Rather, I can’t say the ligation worked, because the control worked. And when the control isn’t supposed to work and it does, that’s a red light.
It’s really got me down: this reaction has occupied enough of my time. To cheer myself up, I’m deleting people from my buddy list. It’s gratifying in the same way as killing ants. Just some little aspect of the universe has ceased to be because of my whim. I can only enjoy it when I’m in a bad mood.
01/23 Direct Link
The past 24 hours have confirmed that my previous attempts were empty vector. This is, as I estimate it, a blessing in disguise. The reason these two hunks of DNA didn't hook up is naughty pBS246 got all tied up with itself- the biochemical equivalent of jerking off! Fortunately I have some special mittens that will prevent that from happening again. I just have to go back and do it right, by adding the appropriate amount of CIP, effectively preventing me from ever catching 246 alone in its molecular room with its pants down ever again.

Goal: Done by 2/1/02.
01/24 Direct Link
Today, a POP STAR was fired! Mariah Carey was dismissed from her contract. This is a big deal to me because we can do better. It’s not that I hate them. I hate paying for things and I think people who make better music do it on more modest means, which makes them more inclined to distribute there goods online. So we should keep downloading. Eminem: you’re next, pal.

It also occurred to me that the human brain might be solved, but it will never be fully understood by our current means. Like quantum physics, it’ll be too fucking weird.
01/25 Direct Link
Today is my first Friday off from lab since I've been here. Since I'm not going to work, I'm not gonna do anthing I was supposed to. I think it's a good plan. I mean really, why bother? If I can't bring my will to bear on molecules, it's for fucking sure that I don't have the moxy to find a nice place to live next year.

I say next year but I mean the end of August. I'll have my diploma (second and arguably most puzzling) and I'll have a job with a salary. I could buy/afford things.
01/26 Direct Link
Word has it sacha brown was kicked off of 100 words for writing Choose Your Own Adventure. Man, if that's not something I would put in a novel as an event steeped with meaning, I don't know what is.

Yes I do. A phrase repeating in my head last night: "Wretched Abacus": the organ in your CNS that makes the tough calls without flinching. It's behind the hangy-ball. You can feel it tighten up before it starts to operate. That's the Abacus' way of telling you to back off. It's also responsible for ice cream headaches. Goes to show you…
01/27 Direct Link
"Love and/or being in love sucks."
I think this statement is more true if you delete the words "love" and "in". Anything that presses too forcefully on the act of being can be brutal. Love is just one thing in twenty. Others, for me, include "American Musicals" and "Dumb Professors".

I wish I could just whisper to everyone I know, "Let it go." And they'd look at me, eyes wide, cop a high five, and run off. Like the characters at the end of Disney movies. I don't think I'm a good enough liar to pull it off.
01/28 Direct Link
A moment of wonder. As much as I jest about it. I have had the opportunity to do some pretty amazing things. In a few moments, I will mix two pieces of DNA together, to make something entirely new and beautiful in purpose. By March, it will be used to remove a piece of a gene, with nearly 100% confidence, from a mouse. It will be used to study how the intact gene functions in the formation of the body axes and potentially model the onset of cancer in the gut. It is beautiful like modern symphonies: stunningly absurdly ambitious.
01/29 Direct Link
Next time life gives you lemons, instead of making lemonade, go to life’s house. Give his charming “Singin’ In The Rain” musical doorbell a push. When he opens the door, still dressed in his PJs, grab life by the collar and pull him out onto his front walk. Before he can even open his mouth, sock him in the nose and shove him into his door. Beat him bloody and senseless, and then some.

Smoke a cigarette while you survey the wreckage. Kick him in the gut. Hard. Make some witty remark about lemons.

Then tell him Sandel sent you.
01/30 Direct Link
Today, I learned the basic details of my first post-college job. For the first time in my life I’ll have a real income. It will be cool.
I could afford all sorts of shit that I would never be able to buy now, like organic vegetables, piano lessons, rent on a downtown efficiency, and maybe a playstation 2. And I’ll have local healthcare! I’m really excited about this at the prospects of not being a student. I think I’m going to enjoy next year.
But it really isn’t that much money and afterwards I’m still heading straight for grad school.
01/31 Direct Link
Tonight I’m making dinner. I’m pretty excited. The recipe looks pretty good and difficult to screw up: tricolor cheese gnocchi in a red pepper and tomato sauce. Yum.

I just took my first test of the semester and received my first graded assignment. There is no real word to express my lack of anything to say about either, so I shall create one:

In the short term, I have to go to writing class, which I slept through on Tuesday. Then I need a nap. I also must stop cramming for tests. It beats the crap out of me.