Sunday, January 22, 2017

So far, 2017 is off to a decent start. survived the big end-year presentation (end-2016, that is. we always have a wrap-up presentation of the previous year's work early in the current year), and results are coming in nicely for my second project, which surprisingly, is more bio-based than my first/main project. it's my first foray into biological territory, and i suppose that i'm being eased in nice and slowly. i'm working with enzymes, which i think are less finicky than cells. all i have to do is thaw out the quantity i need, and use it with no special treatment...unlike cells, which have to be cultured, grown, split, and are prone to dying if not taken care of well enough. not to mention the results from my enzyme assay are highly reproducible. what's been bugging me for a couple of days now is how to modify the assay for a kinetics study. i'll probably figure it out soon. my professor is aiming to publish this by june, so you can guess that there isn't much work left to be done. in fact, if i do publish in june, this project will have been in my hands for only 7 months, which is really fast/short. once i have the protocol, it should be quite straightforward. am hoping for a march/april submission, but i won't get ahead of myself.

the date and i are still progressing ok, except that we had a little conflict a couple of weeks back. it was about punctuality, and my lack of it. i do acknowledge that it's my fault, because i didn't plan well enough. if the roles were reversed, i guess i would be upset as well. the only possible thing i can say in my defense is that i'm the one driving more than halfway across the island to make the appointment. plus i had cooked, so that should count for something, right? the date told me that they would rather i not cook and be on time, vs cook and be late. it was a bit surprising to me. then again, different people have different values and priorities. while i would have liked the issue to simply blow over as soon as it happened, i wasn't in the position to demand anything, because i was the one to blame. so there wasn't much else i could do other than apologize and promise to try and do better in future. it's been ok since then, i think. next time i do want to cook or anything, i'll have to give an hour's buffer, just in case. all in all, it's part of learning about each other, i guess. no major hard feelings...though the date said that they'd stopped seeing someone previously because he was consistently late. so that should give you an idea of how high it's prioritized. the date says that this was instilled in them from young, so i guess that's why. and the mother doesn't like tardiness either, so apparently it runs in the family. speaking of the date and mother, we had a mini (and very early) reunion dinner earlier today. ate at the london duck at west mall. we didn't order any duck, quite ironically. maybe next time. i could get used to this early reunion dinner thing. we had ours (with the extended family) yesterday at long beach, east coast. it was not crowded at all. i think aside from us, there were at most 10 other (small) tables occupied. should make this a new tradition.

been thinking about conflict resolution recently. just like there's more than one way to skin a cat, there are multiple ways to solve conflicts as well. for the sake of my own health, i've decided to inconvenience myself a bit and avoid that stretch of road where idiot drivers will try to cut in before the double white lines, rather than the more direct/confrontational approach of trying to block them and blaring the horn. sure, it means travelling a longer distance by the CTE (which is prone to jamming as well), but the switch makes for a smoother drive overall. and i suppose it matters what time i leave lab. so far, i've been experimenting with two methods: come early go early, or come late go late. the former is more difficult, i think, because it involves beating the 7:00am ERP at braddell road, and fighting with morning rush hour traffic. thankfully, the journey home is really smooth if i leave early enough. for come late go late, the journey to school is fine, but going back is the problem. there's the usual problem of moron drivers and double white lines, and the CTE remains jammed past 10:00pm. i wonder if i would be better off taking the money set aside for a car, and putting it towards renting a place near school, like within walking distance. it's actually an interesting thought. or maybe even just move into lab, since that would be free. i have a portable bed there, plus there are accessible showers. only problem is that it gets really freezing cold in the early morning, like between 5:00 and 7:00am. i know from experience; had to stand in front of an open oven to warm up.

driving really makes me see the worst in people. every single negative stereotype applied to singaporeans can be used on moron drivers. examples include "first-world country, third-class citizens", "selfish", "self-important", "inconsiderate", "no social awareness", "cowardly". i could go on, but i think you get the idea by now. i do notice that these morons are typically (in no particular order) women, old men, middle-aged men. it's pretty equal race-wise, though i think indians have the slight majority. if i ever run for politics, i'll go after the transport portfolio, and implement stringent criteria on car and driving license eligibility. don't signal? suspension for a month. if your not signalling results in a near miss or accident? ban for X years depending on severity. inconsiderate driving? 6-month ban minimum. 3-time repeat offender? permanent driving ban. caught driving while banned? number of minutes behind the wheel = number of weeks in jail = number of multiples of $100 to pay in fines. and i'd also modify the COE system. moron drivers are subject to a multiplier or even outright disqualification, based on how big of a moron they are. good drivers get massive discounts. that's just a dream, but if anyone with decision-making power in LTA or the ministry of transport is reading this, do be sure to credit me.

after a bit more research on cars, i think i'll stick to spending within my means, ie. no vezel. also looked through mitsubishi, mazda, toyota, suzuki, nissan. nothing really eye-catching. there have been a few more second-hand civics going up on the market in these few days, though depreciation is still in the 5-figure range. one of those has kind of caught my eye - a 1.3L hybrid. good news, it's black too! and it's OMV is surprisingly high. think close to twice that of my current regular civic. i think i'll get in touch with the relevant people after CNY. not too sure if the next 4.5 days will be conducive for closing deals. maybe a car change will happen around february? i don't know. as long as it happens before may. and reminder to self: enquire about keeping the same license plate number. i'm sure that a fee has to be paid, but i'm not sure how much, exactly.

with all the talk about reunion dinner, i think you'd know that CNY is around the corner. friday is the eve, saturday and sunday are days 1 and 2 respectively, and monday is an off-in-lieu. the year of the rooster will be starting, and according to various sources, it seems that it extremely favours the dragon zodiac sign, ie. me! apparently, dragons are rated the most lucky in wealth, health, romance, and in general. while it's reassuring to know that the stars have my back, i definitely have to rely on myself too. also, it's the first CNY in sengkang. not that i'm too excited about it. i think i'll be spending most of it in lab, same like last year. with luck, i'll finish the enzyme kinetics stuff. the date is also planning on a low-key CNY. maybe we'll have our usual saturday date night, or push it to sunday if it seems everywhere's closed. also, reminder to self: see about getting a car wash if the prices haven't already been jacked up.

-random thought of the day: Be more conscientious/diligent in using the planner.-

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