Life on the Edge

For a period of a few days, I literally had two dollars in my checking account. I didn’t want any outstanding checks (in case I had any) to bounce, so I transferred in $100 from another account. I forgot that I had just paid a $130 bill. So when I came back to check it yesterday, I realized I had no money in my checking account, and my savings account (from which free automatic drafting occurs) was $40 above the minimum. I had to buy gas using cash!

A few days ago, I was biking to class without hands. This guy rushed pass me on his bike, and nudged my handlebar, destabilizing my bike. As biking without hands is dynamically unstable beyond a certain “wobble” threshold, I reached out to try to stabilize the bike. Unfortunately, I could not reach the handlebars in time, and the bike went down. As I was falling, I did something with my legs (I don’t remember what exactly I did) and hopped out of the way of my bike, with nary a scratch. In fact, I didn’t touch the bike at all as I lept out of the way, and I ended up on my two feet. People came up to me afterward asking if I was okay. I thanked them and told them I was fine and rode off. I don’t think anyone knew what had really happened. The funny thing is, I was not one bit shaken. Things like this (such as close calls on the freeway) don’t seem to affect my emotions any. Are my emotions too slow to react?

I got two hours of sleep on Wednesday night thanks to a problem set due Thursday morning. Then I had to take someone to the airport. All fine and dandy. I came back, went to class, and was okay until towards the end, when I finally started feeling really tired. But surprisingly, I stayed more awake (and my notes were still legible!) than I would have in some other classes that I’ve had. Information theory is pretty interesting. Anyway, last night around 8:00 PM, I couldn’t stand it much longer, so I decided to go to sleep. Aside from the paper-thin walls that woke me up somewhere around 11 PM, I managed to sleep until 10:00 AM this morning. I’ve never slept that long before. 13 hours of sleep! Man, do I feel good right now. And motivated enough to update this page.

Last night also, I took out some frozen beef short ribs. Usually, when I want to cook them, they’re so frozen that I would thaw them in hot water, but then the meat gets all mushy, so I decided to leave them out to thaw the natural way, hoping it would finish by tonight. It was as hard as ice, so I thought it might take 24 hours to thaw. I got up this morning, saw the beef still sitting out, and saw that it had already thawed, which worried me. After all, it might have thawed hours ago, and now it’s just sitting there for the bacteria to produce their deadly toxins. I opened it up and smelled it. There was this mild sour smell to it, but the beef wasn’t brown, which is what happens when you leave the beef in the fridge for too long. I rinsed it and cooked it and refrigerated it at lunchtime, so that I wouldn’t have to leave it out another 6 hours for dinner. Only time will tell whether that meat was still good…

Life not so on the edge

This quarter, I’m taking three classes, one seminar, and TAing a class. Surprisingly, I still have Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays off, which is very nice. I’m not as time-pressured as I was last year this time. Still, this quarter is the last quarter of my master’s program. Next quarter, I would have no money left for classes, and I still haven’t found a research group. I’m still looking, but professors have not replied. I also need to fill out a form to continue taking classes, and I will be notified this quarter whether I have received a fellowship for my potential Ph. D. There are quite a few things going on this quarter.