More Good Food

Recently ate: Chicken with almond sauce, potatoes au gratin, mustard greens, deviled eggs, apple pie a la mode (dinner).

Last night Jodie, Miriam, I and two of their friends cooked the aforementioned dinner and it was very good. Also, after I mentioned there existed a winery called roshambo (because someone on my ultimate team pointed it out to me) apparently Jodie actually visited fit and bought a bottle which we drank during dinner. I was surprised: it was good. Finally, we went to a fairly good Stanford improv show. I'd only seen two of these in the past. I enjoy improv. Sometimes I think it'd be fun to get a group of friends together and just try doing some improv comedy and see what happens...

In the last few weeks I've been trying to spend more time with friends before leaving for New York. It makes me nostalgic and wonder why I don't just spend more time with friends, well, most of the time.

Note to self: blog about funky Target t-shirts.

Scientific Skepticism

Recently ate at: Cheese Board Pizza (mmmmm... had to go there before I left Berkeley for a while!); Cafe Intermezzo (really big tasty salad with avocados and all sorts of good stuff, both dinner and leftovers for breakfast)

Last morning Benjamin (a friend of mine who has been nice enough to let me crash at is place for few days while I'm homeless) and I were listening to Forum on KQED and one of the guests made a comment that women have more neural pathways than men (although male brains are bigger). This lead us into a discussion about scientific claims that have political or other motivations behind them. Benjamin is quite skeptical of many scientific claims, especially those as broad as that and that would require some very complicated and lengthy experiments to prove. I'm much more optimistic that scientists tend to design good experiments and, at least in academic journals, tend to only make statements that are justifiable and have merit. We both agreed that sometimes science in the popular media gets misdirected or misinterpreted by excitable journalists.

Incidentally, according to the NIH this is true in parts of the brain. And, as this article describes the actual situation is more complex. And statements that sound too general to be true probably are [too general to be true].

On the Complexity of Giving Advice

Recently ate at: Bread Garden (brioche and scone - breakfast); Barney's Gourmet Burgers (lunch); Eat A Pita (greek - had falafel - dinner)

Yesterday I was attempting to give advice to my friend Ojan as he was debating between two jobs offers. It was an interesting situation. One part of my brain that was trained to be an Academic Advisor. The whole point of this is to give advice by sharing one's own knowledge, experiences and lessons. But the other part of my brain was trained to be a Peer Advisor. This is usually for relationship issues (not just romantic ones). As a peer advisor, one is supposed to be a blank slate: never give advice and rarely even offer anything new to the conversation. The point is that you are not them and you therefore aren't qualified to make decisions for them. Just repeat and rephrase what the person already said. (Hearing what you're saying said back to you helps a lot more than you'd think.) Keep prompting them to continue and just let them talk through their issues.

It was a careful line I was trying to walk. But I think I helped Ojan make and feel comfortable with his decision.


I moved out of the i-house on Sunday. Put most of my stuff into storage. And now I'm sleeping at friends' houses until I go to New York.

Being homeless is a weird feeling. It's nice that I can pretty much and move whenever I want. That's liberating. But I think it is alienating too. Like knowledge that any place I'll move into I'll move out of soon enough, so why bother to really settle down? New York will be strange. I'll want to meet people, but then I know I'll probably be leaving soon.

Talked to someone friends at work yesterday. One commented, "Seems like you're always moving." hmmm...