Back into the Boston Cold (14-31 Jan)

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A beautiful splatter of snow on the hill behind my building, shortly after my return.

Thursday, 14 Jan

I’ve just recently become aware of my “impending doom”: the end of my job term. So, I began job searching shortly after my return from sunny Southern California. During my search, I went to do an informational interview with the director for a microscopic facility here at Harvard. She was hiring for a new microscopy technician. I didn’t know what the field of microscopy entailed, but I figured I should find out, as it sounds like an interesting niche to squeeze my tiny self into.

Boy, after today, I think it might be a field I might want to pursue within biology! It sounds like so much fun. It’s a mix of administrative work requiring someone with an affinity for technology and support staff work and a passion for various fields within the realm of biology. I think I might go for it, but in reality, we’ll see where the future takes me.

Friday, 22 Jan
I have to say that I’m rather tickled by my shopping trip today. So I’m walking around Star Market and I see a rather large display stating that two boxes of Kashi granola bars are $5! Knowing how expensive Kashi granola bars are normally ($4/box), I was eager to reach for my favourite Dark Mocha Almond flavored boxes greedily.However, upon checking out, the boxes didn’t ring up the way I expected at self-checkout. So, I got one of the employees to “check the prices” for me and all that jazz. It turns out: the sale ended YESTERDAY! I was pretty bummed, as this would mean I’d have to pay the full price if I wanted my yummy Dark Mocha Almond granola bars. Instead, much to my surprise, the employee checked me out and gave me a box for free! When I told him that I had two boxes, not one, he put the second onto my tab for only $2.50! Two boxes of Kashi Dark Mocha Almond granola bars for $2.50?! Too good!

I guess being a goody-two-shoes has its benefits. (The employee said it was something to “thank” me for catching their mistake.)

Tuesday, 26 Jan

Some of you think you know me, some of you really do know me, while others of you might agree that you don’t know me. Well, here’s a fact that few people know about me: I’m somewhat of a nerd about apples. Yes, apples, that (generally) red fruit that most people like in a pie, or as a juice, or even by itself — supposedly said to keep a doctor away (but it’s not like doctors don’t like apples too, you know). Anyhow, I’ve had many apples up till today, starting with the classic Gala and Fuji varieties that were popular at the Asian market I regulared as a child (no, I did not grow up on Red Delicious or Granny Smith apples). Over the years, I’ve built up a — I guess you would call it an affinity — an affinity for trying out various varieties of apples that I may find while pursuing the produce aisles.

My first fascination came about 5-7 years ago when I first happened upon a Lady Alice apple at the local Trader Joe’s. What’s a Lady Alice apple? I know some of you might be rather confused, as you’ve never heard of such a type of apple (or even paid attention to the fact that there are several varieties of apples — other than red and green — on the market). Well, that’s because the Lady Alice apple variety is fairly new on the apple market and most grocery stores won’t hold it in stock simply because it’s not a widely grown variety (i.e. a cheap variety for them to buy in bulk/keep in stock). But trust me, the Lady Alice Apple exists. Anyhow, I had chosen out a Lady Alice Apple first because I was in a  phase of collecting fruit stickers — yes, those annoying little stickers on fruits people despise (and sometimes have no idea why they exist). The Lady Alice Apple had — and still to this day has, when I find them — a rather curious looking sticker. I won’t go on about fruit stickers…but the Lady Alice one is pretty awesome looking.

Back to the original point:
Recently, I went to the Whole Foods around the corner from my house. (Why? Because they have a larger variety of apples, since they can (probably) afford them, and I only ever really buy them one at a time when I’m sampling apples.) There I found two new varieties that I took rather a liking to: the Snapdragon and RubyFrost apples. I hadn’t heard of them previously (though I know some varieties only appear sporadically, such as the Lady Alice)  so I Googled them up, as I do best when I’m curious about something. It turns out, they’re BOTH varieties from Cornell’s apple-breeding program in conjunction with the New York Apple Growers.

Oh how I love being on the East Coast where I have a larger selection of apples to choose from because apple breeding is a thing in New York! ❤

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The beginning of my first basketball game: Harvard vs. Cornell.

Friday, 29 Jan

So, I hate to admit this, but I’ve never been to a ball game in my life (that I can remember). No baseball, no basketball or soccer, football or even golf! That ended today.

As part of a program I’m in, I opted in to get free tickets to watch a college basketball match between Harvard and Cornell. I wasn’t going to say no to free tickets to do something I had never done, so I went.

Throughout the game, I found it much more intriguing to observe the audience, more so than the players.  During the first half of the game, the fans were rather silent, almost dead silent. After a break, maybe after most people had decided to opt in for game day snacks, everyone became rather lively. I was rather startled by the stark difference, though I’m glad to say that it was not as crazy as an NBA game of any sorts where I’d imagine I’d fear for my life simply due to the sheer noise.

All in all, it was great craic, but I would probably not opt to go to another game any time soon. Oh, results? The home team lost:

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Another thing I learned: The MBTA ticket machines are running Windows XP

“Today” I Learned

  • For almost a month now, my shirts have been riding up from my hips to my waist and I couldn’t figure out why. It was driving me mad! Turns out, it’s my warning sign telling me I’m gaining too much weight around my buttock — and probably stomach — which creates more circumference, more than what my shirts were meant to stretch to, so they don’t — they ride up instead.
  • Apparently for some restaurants, there’s a thing called a “soft opening,” as opposed to a “grand opening.” This allows for the restaurant workers to practice their skills a little bit before they advertise their restaurant to the general public loud and clear.
  • I’ve been told this recently by a friend, but I had to share NOW because Huffington Post release an article. So, you know those TEENY-TINY (useless) pockets you have in your pants and you don’t know why they exist? Well, I just re-learned that they were designed for storing pocket watches! No, seriously…when jeans first came out, that’s what they were for back in the late 1870s.

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    Fun fact: a zested lime look A LOT like a tennis ball.

  • Today’s lesson was handed to me by one of my online “pen” pals. I learned — I know it’s nothing fancy — that you can customise your Facebook Messenger chat with colours. She had set it to PINK (not my favourite colour).
  • In the US, there is a popular chain grocery store with fairly reasonable prices for the types of quality food they have: Trader Joe’s. Most people I know who have experienced it LOVE Trader Joe’s. What most of us probably don’t know is that it is owned by a German company that’s really popular in Europe, which is — I’m glad to say — slowly seeping into the US: Aldi.
  • I admit, I’m terrible at geography. Thus, it doesn’t help when people start referring to places by a “regional” name rather than a country itself — like Scandinavia — which I recently found out includes Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

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