Swimming through the universe, one light-year at a time.

Swimming through the universe, one light-year at a time.
NCG 4631 "The Whale Galaxy"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bleed American

A week ago, I painfully woke from a nap between classes and work, and groggily drove to my next obligation. But on this day, unlike so many others from the past two months, I looked outside as the sun shone on the parking lot outside the store where I work, and thought to myself, "What IS stopping me from being in control of my life?" This question followed me for the next few hours, tossing over and over again in my head while I cashiered, bagged, took money, gave change, smiled at customers, moved boxes, arranged bottles, until the answer became quite clear: nothing. And it was during those perfectly ordinary hours of my day that I decided to take my life back.

The past 2 months have been frustratingly depressing for me. I've been pulling 30+ hours a week at my new job, which devours my entire weekend and majority of the week. I have two days off where I am cramming in schoolwork and studying between classes, catching up with friends, family, household necessities, and sleep. I've been going to bed wretched and waking up angry, agitated by seeing my paycheck disappear to what seems like an insurmountable credit card debt, and aggravated by my friends for their well-intentioned, though time-consuming phone calls. But ever since the moment I decided to be in control, I've felt surprisingly more relaxed, taking on the same load but not fretting over life's blights. And maybe I'm just starting to get used to it.

This is not to say that all is peachy, for even as I write this blog I am tired. So tired, with so much to do this week, even the upcoming holiday gives me a few grey hairs. And I still have a bit of a grudge, and I can feel the urge to retract back inside myself. Solitude is a coping mechanism I've used against the pressures of the outside world for a long time, but one which is dangerous and cannot be over-indulged, for it is also a quick route to insanity. But I feel 10 times better than I did a week ago. Good news: I was accepted into the Physics and Astronomy Department at school, and I'm pretty sure I aced my first Pre-Calculus midterm. And I see no reason why I can't continue to do well, why I can't see my dreams through academically, why I can't get on top of my finances, why I can't be attractive and visit the gym regularly, why I can't make new friends and spend time with my current ones, why I can't read for fun or make music! I see daunting odds and obstacles ahead: days, weeks, years of exhaustion maybe, but I have no doubt of my ability to get through them.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Only the weak are every really strong.

It is well-known, though a myth, that all women are deceitful, conniving beings unworthy of being trusted, just as it is well-known but a myth that all men are brutal, hateful animals whose only motivations are power and sex. The only truth when it comes to the sexes is that ALL people are capable of treachery and harm, and the expression thereof will vary from person to person.

I have seen men ruined by women. Yes, it happens, absolutely. And I, as a female, have undoubtedly been ruined by men. What most people do not know is that I have been so deeply and repeatedly hurt and abused by men, by multiple men in fact, that if it were not for the fact that my closest friends are male, and my father and brother both outstanding people, I would be bereft of the ability to trust and love them. But even my own father instilled such great pain in me that I have only once spoken of, and never again will. It is hard to come to terms with just how injured I really am, and I think in some ways, always will be.

I always told myself that I would never do to another, male or female, the cruelty I had done unto me. And to the best of my knowledge and ability, I have stayed true to this form. I have always tried to be as honest and respectful of others as I could, though I'm sure I have had to let people down sometimes, for I'm not a perfect person by far.

What I don't understand is, why then, when women who are so powerful in the society we live in, who can turn men to butter simply by existing, who can crush even the strongest man with her words or actions, why is it, that I am so weak? I have pondered this over the years and come up with a few answers such as needing more self-love, being honest with myself, seeing reality, and finding the right people, and while all of the above are valid, I think it boils down to this: our greatest weaknesses are our greatest strengths.

The most frail part of me is where I gather the most resilience; where I am vulnerable to be hurt, I am most fiercely devoted to myself and to those I care about. And until someone comes along who can actually prove his worth, no man, or woman for that matter, will be allowed into my heart.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Beauty and Eroticism

It's around that time of month again, and I'm not talking about my menstrual cycle. Though for some reason I feel most like blogging around the 26th. Each few weeks changes rapidly, yet it's the same...

I'm taking an Images of Eroticism class this semester, and other than being able to watch some very enjoyable (and some NOT so enjoyable) erotic films, I feel I am getting something out of this course. One of the topics that came up today was our view of beauty, and the challenge thereof. For every day we are forced to consume this representation of what makes a person attractive, and while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, this eye is heavily influenced by our shallow and materialistic culture.

I, being female, being an Asian female, and not a bad-looking one at that, have never had a problem getting laid. Yet I feel, almost every day, the immense pressures of being a woman in this society. Because, let's face it: if I were fat, or old, or had a nose scrunched inside my face, who would want me? And that's the ugly truth: no one, or at least damn next to it. Not to say that every person who ever wanted me was shallow, for I consider myself far from what you would call "hot," but there will always be some outward aspect of anyone's attraction to me, and there is nothing wrong with that. My ideal is to find someone who thinks I'm one sexy bitch yet appreciates and respects my mind and heart above all else, and here is where it gets tricky. My first boyfriend loved to fuck me, could barely do anything but when we were together. Alas, his problem was that he didn't respect me, didn't value me or my thoughts, and through mind games and hurtful actions, made me feel deep shame for my body, as well as my soul.

What do I find beautiful? Hard to say, for I have been attracted to people of all sizes and shapes and genders and so on. However there are things I'm clear on: I like people who are not afraid to get dirty, who are intelligent and so comfortable with themselves that it naturally emanates from them onto me. I want someone who is not ashamed of him/herself, because for so long it has been made to seem like I should be of myself.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


What good are these walls
that can be penetrated, or delved underneath
to the soft soil which feebly supports them
and spread so pervasively, straight through
to the core of me
which must be protected?
I fought illusion before
but never a reality quite like this
always mistrusting those who touched me
while you remain unquestioned.
Because between our friendship and something more
there is a deep affection
from what occurred before and what is becoming torn,
though, however intermittently you appear
I feel its presence steadily.
I am not the one for you, sadly,
just someone who cares, undoubtedly.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Friends in Passing

Memory is a funny thing. It is independent of our will and desires, and no matter how much we may want to remember or forget something, somehow, it almost always acts opposite to our preferences. Of course, memory can be strengthened, weakened or somewhat controlled, but essentially, the mind remembers what makes a significant impression on it, even if this impression is a very small detail.

I was informed this past week that an old friend and colleague died. He was 26. I have never encountered the death of someone I know, besides my grandparents, and the news came with some very strange feelings. Even though I hadn't seen him in 3 years, I always assume that others' existences runs parallel to mine, just out of sight, and will run for approximately the same duration. But now, knowing that he is gone: that he is no longer alive, and we all go on, is heartbreaking. I was a there for a short period in his life, and though it'd been years since our last correspondence, I was around when it ended. My shock and sadness seemed to be for the identity of him 3 years ago: cool and compulsive Bahman, plagued by his moods and addictions but a sincerely caring and contemplative guy. And for the year that I knew him, we were good friends. People change, but not their essence, and I can still imagine what he was like, his gestures, voice, smile...I can remember him as acutely as I can remember the scent of my first boyfriend, and while our relationship was never sexual/romantic, the strength of its memory persists.

Bahman, Bahman, you always liked to do things your own way. Your entire life was unconventionally formatted, and your death was, too.

And so it seems
inevitably, I would return to my place of birth
before the fine tenderness of my mother's womb
back to the rustic depths of the earth.
I recall first feelings which in fact endured
and the warmth of company resurfacing
I was alone - and never at all
I was reckless - and never thought I'd fall
Yet when I did, I could not bring myself to regret it.
For every second, every moment
was a tread closer to the incident
which would render my life to closure
and reunite me with my maker,
Death, came, at last.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Math is fun

This may possibly be the best summer session I've ever had since entering college. I've enrolled myself in Precalculus and General Physics, and never before have I felt such anticipation to wake up at 6:45 a.m to drive across the Bay Bridge and back just to attend classes. I feel that the study of physics opens my mind to see so many invisible worlds all around us, and how they interact with each other to manifest the physical phenomena we observe. And math is the language of all that occurs: a strange, mind-bending game which can in fact be conquered and understood. Yet the more I learn the more questions come to surface, and this makes me appreciate science all the more. These 2 concentrations constantly feed off each other to create a beauty so complete, it just makes me want to smile.

So, how do I know my math instructor is an amazing teacher?

The first day of class, while reviewing the standard definitions of natural numbers, integers, rationals, real numbers, etc. I asked him what another example of a non-real number, besides i could possibly be. Instead of answering with just a dry, 2 second reply, he launches into the history of mathematics:

Math was created to model the world around us. Quite obviously, whole numbers exist since the only way we can quantify more than one object is to count: 1, 2, 3, 4... Negative numbers must exist in order to describe being in debt and such. Fractions are highly useful, and irrational numbers occur naturally e.g. the the hypotenuse of a triangle with both sides of length 1 is the square root of 2. But are non-real numbers, well, real? Can we find them out in the world? A debate was held on this, and the conclusion was reached: no number actually exists. There are no numbers that can tangibly be found in the world, there are only well-defined concepts.

This intrigues me, as I have had this quandary inside myself. As many other scientists have also pondered: to what extent do the mathematical workings actually describe reality?

The other day, confused on his requirements, I asked him if he wanted English sentences as proof or mathematical manipulations. His response to me was, "They are one and the same."

Well, now, isn't that something?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Final Frontier

I just finished watching the latest Star Trek in theaters for the second time, and I am just as floored as I was after the first showing. There is something about this movie that strikes a very strong chord in me, and it is not just from being an astronomy and physics fan. While this theme is not unvisited, it does resonate loudly: sometimes, it is entirely necessary to renounce logic and embrace emotion.

I find this motif, while comforting, difficult to follow, precisely because of the adjunct it contains: sometimes. I am conflicted and unclear about when to stick with my head and when to abandon it. And if I do, to what degree? I realize I have a sort of internalized sexism, where the idea of being a stereotypically emotion-driven female disgusts me to the point that I often strive to squelch that part of me. Somehow, I believe that if I am not as rational as males are perceived to be, I am inferior. I am inferior because I have a vagina and I incorporate pathos into my decision-making. I realize this is a severely flawed system of thought, but I cannot resolve it inside myself.

Another interesting concept of Star Trek: time-travel. Future Spock meets Past Spock. So, ignoring any paradoxes or physical impossibilities, if I were to travel back in time and could tell myself anything I wanted, what would I say?

My answer would have to be: nothing. Absolutely nothing. I would stand back and watch the past me make all the same mistakes, say and do all the wrong things, and feel the all the same emotions. Because it's not about who I could've been or what I should've done, it's about how I got there. I do not believe in fate, I believe in the way of travel.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

This Time Last Year

Because I think it is highly important to always keep perspective of one's time, growth, and change, I am following the lead of a retrospective post from Bitch Ph.D's site, one of the blogs I visit regularly.

This time last year I was living in the corner of a living room of a bland, overpriced apartment structure next to my university, frustrated with my lack of privacy and the financial irresponsibility of non-lessee roommates, but also grateful in my luck with finding the 2 other roommates who would become my good friends and support in transitioning to the city.

This time last year I was an English major, ditching class to run off to Borders to check out an inexhaustible amount of superbly fascinating physics titles, and re-taking a summer Intro to Astronomy class for fun.

This time last year I was starting at my first real job in the city, making a ton of new friends from work, developing a terrific fondness for alcohol, and finding my place amongst a new community and location.

This time last year I was falling for a close friend, and finding out just how painful following these emotions could be, and how much the past had played a role in my defective view of relationships and stubborn desire to remain single.

This time, now?
I have just moved into a wonderful house with my own little room with those same good friends as roommates, and a few new ones. I have all the privacy I need and a spectacular view of the luscious trees of the Golden Gate Park, right next to my house.

I am an Undeclared major moving in the direction of becoming declared, and developing a 3 year plan to obtain a B.S. degree in Physics/Astronomy. I am reviewing, as well as learning, my lower-division math at a rapid pace. I am exhausted and often frustrated. But I have never felt better about my academic decisions.

I gradually and heavy-heartedly left my old job for one which was much better paying. I recently made the choice to leave the well-paying gig for some peace of mind. I am currently unemployed, and actively seeking a new employer. So far, to no avail.

I am happily, though very jadedly, single. An old flame, the very first, has forcibly reappeared into my life, and I am dealing with the harrowing repercussions of both the past and the present. I hold my friendships closely and dearly to me, though at bay, so as not to repeat mistakes and wreck the relationships I have.

So. This time last year: where were you and where are you now?

Sunday, May 31, 2009


I write now not because I have a specific subject in mind, but because I haven't expressed myself outwardly in a long time and feel a great knot has developed within. I am entangled in my emotions and the situations around me and find it hard see them from the calm, distant perspective of my psyche.

My current grades leave something to be desired, but I am not worried about them as I know the way I approach my studies are about to change drastically. I am, however, concerned about my social life and how it has and will continue to be affected by these obligations. I place my friends very high on my list of priorities, but am bothered by how very few seem to know or care just how much time I have to put into school. Not only is it a difficult subject matter by nature, but for someone like me who is not quantitatively inclined, it can be excruciatingly challenging and time-consuming. And this is not even including time taken away by work. I only ask that they understand and allow me my space during demanding days of the week. I am exhausted by my own inability to balance the various areas of my life.

I am angry because I have been damaged for a long time, and while some pain is necessary for character, I feel I was ruptured again at a point where I was in the process and perhaps even the completion of healing. I am angry that I let a stranger from my past be granted forgiveness only to have my trust shattered once again, and that this time I must take responsibility for my own demise. I am angry that I let the actions and misfortunes of stupid, inconsiderate individuals speak for those who would actually care and prevent me from seeing myself as worthy of such affection, and that I am psychologically bound by these bad experiences. I am also angry that those who think they are doing me a favor by offering me romance either already have or will only prove to do more to add to my anguish, and they cannot see what I really need more is their friendship. I am angry that I am so hurt, that I have given up so much, but I still have yet, or am emotionally incapable of accepting a genuine hand.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


But I was weary during the month of May.
And though the coming of summer
spread light by the promise of change,
Those dead flames contained
a harrowing quality. And the memory of thee
however far, still haunting.
So when I heard those four walls call,
almost deafening in their song:
harping, harping
grating upon my soul. I know
much of what I'd thought been freed,
was, in fact, still enclosed.
I wasn't afraid to face the old
I was afraid the old would resurface
within the new.

Monday, May 04, 2009


Though it has sustained me for quite some time, I am retiring "Life From the Lonely Planet" as the title of this blog, not only for our recent, exciting and increasingly numerous discoveries of exo-planets, nor for the fact that I find more and more wonderous things about this planet through my study of science, but that I honestly no longer feel alone in this world. I don't know how I ever did. For with maturity comes a more keen awareness of those around me the and the effect my existence has on the people I care about, and vice versa. If, in the end, all we have are ourselves, and the final event of our lives is a solitary one, I see no reason to be or feel this way during the course of my life.

A better explication of the new blog title, however, will have to slowly reveal itself through future posts.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Plain Geometry

I believe my life to be dull and violent
in the same line, where several
planes of existence converge, congruent
at first, then shift with time.
I do not pretend to understand
these mechanisms of mine:
why I perceive not through eyes
but fluid emotions,
and when the actions of others
no longer resemble familiar dynamics,
I turn to accuse them of malicious intentions
when I am not truly sure,
but more what I feel in the ache, and the burn
of the moment.
I am in ruins.
Alas, I will not fall to despair;
I still see some shred of logic in there
where, the motions of mind, however disjointed
still hold the bearings of such graceful equations.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Werewolf and the Heart

I'm taking a Sex & Relationships course this semester, not completely of my own choice but to fulfill a "Relationships of Knowledge" segment required to graduate. This partially forced class is a welcome guest to my schedule (even if it is at 8am), not only for its low difficulty and juicy subject matter, but for the opportunity it gives me to examine a lot of issues I've had with the topic. This course follows the life-cycle of a relationship, among many other aspects, and I can already tell looking through the syllabus that it's going to be a real heart-jerker for me: sexual attraction & beauty, falling in love with whom & why, lovers from friends, friends with benefits, being single, non-monogamy, sources of conflict between the sexes, ex-sex, jealousy, infidelity, abuse, deterioration of a relationship, etc. And that's just a small slice of the pie.

For a long time I have felt myself too plagued to ever be able to enter another romantic relationship, and I've almost too comfortably come to terms with it. Some people pine away at the idea of finding an unearthly partner, helplessly drawn into the raptures of love, and spending the rest of their lives with that person, but I am not one of them. I would be content to be single for the rest of my life, but certain things, like human emotion, seem to get in the way. I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised to find that I'm not alone in this mindset, especially among females. Upon talking to a few of my neighbors, though their philosophies not quite as drastic mine, the concept of being in love was supported as being an undesirable thing, at least for the time being, and they were performing careful balancing acts in their lives to ensure what they did have going on did not turn into something too extreme.

What surprises me more is how few people actually know what a healthy relationship is. I, myself have never seen the light of one, though I like to think that I have a good grasp of my own emotions and understanding my interactions with other people. However, I may have to eat my words, for what scares me more than what a potential partner could do to me, is what I could, and have, done to myself. For as F.D.R so kindly admonished:

"Beware the werewolf and your own heart's desire."

I have a feeling there will be many more posts regarding what I'll be getting from this class.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Another Successful Orbit Around the Sun

It's been a hell of a year, and while 2008 turned out to be immensely different from what I'd hoped for, the ride forced me to grow and set things in perspective. There were a number of undesirable (internal as well as external) occurrences, but I can't say my first year of living in San Francisco was a bad one. I'm truly grateful to be able to reside in such an exciting and culturally rich city. And the few good friends I've made here, as well as the ones I've kept from back home have made the occasional urban blues so much more bearable.

I could fix up pretty much everything in my life right now, but my only real new year's resolution is this: to shed away the unnecessary and detrimental emotions that have burdened and hindered my development for too long. Life is overwhelming. We all know this. But does it always have to be? I put ridiculous amounts of energy into adhering to a stubborn pattern of adversity for myself, and I am tired of it.

I might as well list a few things I accomplished this past year, just to wrap up the last Earth-Sun revolution on a positive note:

1) Lived on my own (with amazing friend-roommates, and with other pretty terrible ones).
2) Set specific and high academic goals (for the first time in my life).
3) Worked my first full-time job (then drank away my stress with the coworkers).
4) Remained celibate for 11 months (though this crosses over into half of 2007, and I never intend on going back).
5) Got back into reading for my own interest (Crichton rules).
6) Increased muscle mass (not quite what it was at 19, but always room for improvement).
7) Allowed myself to develop deep feelings for someone of the opposite sex again (i.e. letting go of the axiom "I hate ALL straight men").

And of course, a poem, written a few months ago:

Time has been bent
into the shape of memory
to produce this peculiar feeling, I get
as a stranger, no longer
to your absence
for in your departure, I was thrown off balance
but never truly expected
your return to the planet
and to find you in my orbit again
gives rise to subliminal emotions
hidden there, all along
hinting at remnants of friendship, now gone
and thickening the atmosphere between us.
I hesitate to contact you
whereas once, in retrospect, I never would
but old habits have no basis
in the present
and cannot support what hasn't
existed, for so long
where you've been and where you are now
is much too far,
though is not a matter of distance, for me,
but one of holding on
or forgetting.