Recently I made two acrylic paintings.


Jellyfish1 by Layla


This was done on a 15×30. I liked it so much, I got more canvases to do more jellies. Right now I am working on a darker one with box jellies (Cubozoa).


Vivi by Layla


This is my beloved cat, Vivi. She died last June and I miss her.

Acrylic is really fun and easy because you can let it dry and sort of start over if there are any mistakes. I would like to someday get watercolor right. I also want to work on a piece with a real background, maybe after a couple more Cnidaria.

Stats and Programming


I got an A+ in my stats course!! Haven’t seen those since high school! It made me really happy, but I think it made my boyfriend even happier. It made me happy because it reminds me of how much I love math.

Which is cool, because my first research assignment is on modeling. Which is to write a simulation program on a programming software (in my case, R). I’m really good at it! I think it’s got a lot to do with how little making errors bothers me (call me Layla “Patience” H). Also I’m good at reading coding and figuring out what parts do what. This is not going to be impressive for most of my friends (who are engineers), but I’m impressed and so is the professor who is acting as a consultant to my PI and me on this particular research. Apparently both these professors are really intense/well known/super-published. Apparently, because another grad student told me, and sometimes when I’m reading stuff, these professors will be cited.

Anyway, so I was like, Huh, maybe I should’ve been a mathematician (Mr. Roulette would’ve been happy) or computer engineer (Ms. Kim would’ve been happy). And then I realize, I’m so happy I get to work with animals! We’re breeding mice right now, the colony should be producing babies soon! Biology rocks! Especially EEOB (evolution, ecology, organismal biology)!

Another happy school post. But it is 3am, so that’s the other side of school. (That I secretly like.)

Of this world.


I can’t stand seeing anymore “notw” bumper stickers.

What do you mean, “not of this world”?? Obviously, we are all a part of this world. Take pride, take responsibility, in this world. No matter if there is a life after death or not, we all need to take care of this life, because we can all agree that this one exists.

Not sure if you guys have come across this, I thought it was a gothic thing at first, but notw is an apparel company “for young Christians”. There’s a verse in the bible that says that Jesus said that his kingdom is not of this world. Fine. But to label oneself notw seems so irresponsible, apathetic, immature. Don’t you even care? About this world. About us human beings who live in it.

I’ve been over the religion thing for a while now, but it’s so prevalent in our society, it’s suffocating. Especially because the people who put stickers on their cars probably don’t even think much about it. It’s so accepted for religious groups to ostracize everyone else, that it’s not even embarrassing or shocking.

I care about this world. I am of this world. We are all obviously a part of this world, even if we are also a part of some other world. Let’s take responsibility for it.

Final’s week!


Today we had 5.5 hours of presentations in my Theory of Evolutions class. I went second in a class of 18 students (so glad!), which made it kinda hard to stay awake after the halfway point. So I drew my classmates! On my iPhone hidden in my bag. It’s funny how much better I got by the last drawing!

The prof, looking like a Shakespearian.
I liked that she had a cute double chin.
I like her hair.
I wanted to try drawing her not straight-on; it turned out the best!

I really liked drawing faces as I was looking at them, instead of just doodling, because I get stuck with the same faces/poses. And girls are much easier to draw because hair is so interesting! The only boy I can draw is Kyle.

It’s 3:33, make a wish! To sleep earlier?


So I went to Thailand and Taiwan in Spetember!

I drew over the picture to study real proportions. I wanna get back into drawing, but better.

I downloaded an app (ArtStudio) to doodle with; it’s a pretty powerful program (layers!) considering it’s free. I want a stylus so I can doodle better, but then it’s silly ’cause I have a tablet for drawing.

I’m in school again, which I love! And I’m better at it! This time feels more real, because a PhD pushes boundaries. It’s not just learning, but also discovering; at the end of my next however many years, I’ll have a book of things I’ve researched that no one else has ever done. So cool!

I’m glad everything else in my life is very grounded, that I’m somewhere familiar, close to friends and family.

“Culture of Distraction”



My favorite parts:
– “The more you train your brain to pay attention to distractions, the more you get distracted and the less able you are to even focus for brief periods of time” Dang, I was getting proud of the way I multi-task, but this is not good!
– “How many times, guys, have you been barked at by your wife because instead of giving full attention to what she was saying, you were looking at your phone.” I’m even more terrible because Boy doesn’t bark at me and all I’m doing is harvesting mushrooms.
– “You’re eating lunch with a friend and they excuse themselves to the restroom. A gap. Now, you pull our your phone because being unstimulated makes you feel anxious.” TOO TRUE; oh you’re going to the bathroom? Time to sweep some mines!
– “It would be so nice if I could just say that the solution is to stop using your devices. But […] 1. these devices do have real value […] 2. it would be like telling that over-developed upper-body bodybuilder to stop working out. Make your chest and back scrawny so that it’s in balance with your legs…” I like that he is not looking to just stop this madness, but build on top of it.
– “Besides taking a break from distraction, another step is to ACTIVELY TRAIN your long-form attention and mindfulness.” Like meditation. This is tricky though, because Minesweeper is similar to meditation in my brain.. I think.
– “[In 10 years] people are going to be even more distracted, even more unable to pay attention to things for any length of time. Even less able to tolerate boredom. Even less able to pay attention to one another. […]constantly seeking out mindless stimulation.”

It’s something we all know — yeah yeah, we as a people are getting worse, socially and in intelligence and productivity, because of our smartphones — but I liked the way this Joe Kraus presented it. The predicted future is frighteningly familiar (“Idiocracy” UGH) and his conclusion is simple yet points to a very scary problem of Terrible Parents of the USA. Responsible adults better stop taking the Pill and start making non-crazy People of the Future. But these problems deserve another post.

I am lucky that I grew up without too much nonsensical stimulation. My taste-buds do not like wacko sugar drinks and I hate TV and its commercials because they are so noisy. But oh I love my phone. Boy is surprisingly the opposite of a distracted person and I admire him for it. His thoughts are really intense and in-depth and confusing to me because they go back to The Bigger Picture all the time and I’m like, “Whoa, how did it get all that intense! We were just looking at a billboard!” He could not see the point of one of my App games (me neither, but it was like Tamagotchi and had colors and food to feed them so it was cute?) and so he hated when I was on it at least once an hour.

I’ve been cultivating the quieter me these days, I hope it can catch up soon. I started Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls because it was sitting on a table at a friend’s house, but he was still in the midst of it, so he gave me A Farewell to Arms, also Hemingway. Books!! I am going to borrow Lucky Jim by Kinglsey Amis from some library. Apparently it is a comedy that is as laugh-out-loud hilarious as Catch-22. Yee!

I think writing this counts as an act of focused thought as well. +1 pt for that, only 9999 to go!



I saw the Morrissey concert two nights ago in San Diego. IT WAS HIS BIRTHDAY!!

Morrissey is the singer of The Smiths who went on as a solo artist because his guitarist left. The Smiths was pretty much Morrissey though, so the music stays pretty consistent. Morrissey is depressing and full of sorrow and needs love like a sad ugly puppy, even though he’s old now, and was never ugly. He is notorious for not showing up to his shows, so we half-expected that, but he did show up! I think he wanted to feel loved on his birthday.

He sang great songs and was HILARIOUS in between. Whatever he was on, he was ON it. “Today is a special day… Today is the celebration of Saint.. Saint Rita. […] She is my guide.” I was laughing so hard, happily, because Boy was LOVING it. Boy is in love with Morrissey, and it was so fun to see his big big smile and eyes twinkling at Morrissey. 

Towards the end Morrissey hoped to us that ‘we would think of him when we got home, in our beds, with our arms over our covers’. I’ve thought about him these two nights, because he just wants to exist in our hearts. 

At the encore, things got CRAZY and I cried because the crowd went wild and people in the pit started scampering up to the stage, and they wouldn’t stop, and TWICE the guards couldn’t hold back the guys and they ran up and hugged Morrissey with all their love and Morrissey was bewildered and amazed that these people needed him so and held hands with one getting pulled away by the guard. Those of us up on the bleachers were so excited by each attempt and so it was the whole stadium and Morrissey against these guards who kept us fans apart from the artist, and things were happening so fast and lovers were being pulled apart, and then it ended when the song ended and Morrissey bowed off the stage, and left me just stunned with a big lump and overwhelmed tears. JUST SO HAPPY, I LOVE LOVE!

“When exactly…


“When exactly were you brainwashed into believing that the best way to earn a living is to have a job?”
– Seth Godin, Brainwashed

via Swissmiss


Goes along very well with the lessons I’ve been learning about the world in the last year. But what do I have to offer? Hmm.

Kyle’s in class for three hours, so:


I just cried a couple tears at this Coffee Bean at the story of Reggie the black lab (Jerma.. D':) I hope people bought my I’m-just-yawning while I wiped them away. Actually, I don’t think anyone saw.

Gonna see a lot of friends next week! Yee!! And I have GREAT plans toward the end of summer — a wedding in New Hampshire for Jasmine and Taiwan&Thailand with Jennypoo!

I want to stop dreaming. At least until it gets cooler, ’cause this Inland Empire heat gives me the most frustrating dreams. I wake up really annoyed, cranky, unable to smile. (Wait, maybe that’s just me every morning..) I just wanna be nice, I promise!

This is an adorable 3-month teacup chihuahua named Jennifer.


She is really playful and fearless and SO TINY<;333 so tiny, actually, that she almost died when that big German Shephard accidentally pushed(?) her. She bled a lot and everyone thought she was gonna die, but I did not. She was whimpering, but she was breathing and her heart was beating strongly. I told them she just needs water and a lot of sleep, but they took her to the vet anyway, who gave her an IV and extra vitamins. I think it's my bio education that made me so calm and confident that she was gonna be fine. Later they thanked me for being grounded so they didn't panic. I'm glad I got that part of my personality from my dad.

I'm re-reading Catch-22 and really, it’s the funniest book! Even funnier than Bossypants, which I love. It’s, uh, silly insanity? Sort of like Dinosaur Comics! 22yo me loves it even more than 14yo me.

I’m turning 23 this year. WHAT TO DOOO!? So exciting!!

I’m good at a lot of things.


And I want to prove these qualities in a tangible way.

I’m great at Minesweeper. I could enter a contest. Or better yet, start a contest. But are there enough interested people? There are always interested people.

I’m into singing. I have one song on YouTube (mostly embarrassing, but now it’s cute ’cause it’s Young Me) and I wanna add more but I wanna get better at Ukulele and I want a proper mic.

I like writing, so this is good. But I wanna write about things that are bigger than me.

I like being a leader in small groups because I like deciding what is best for all. But I know people who have more experience than me and so it is obvious to me that I am not a leader. But I’m good at deciding!

I am really great with animals! I’m certain that this is true, but 1. only people who see me with an animal they are familiar with recognize this, and 2. what’s the point of proving this? I just wanna a plaque that says “Layla is recognized by the Animals as being Great With Animals.”

I am good at tasting and smelling! Granted, I can see how at least half of the population thinks they are good at this, but I am like, at least “smell tester” quality. By that I mean, I saw a show where people from a chemical company go out to an orange grove and decide the differences between dif orange species based on taste/smell/feel, and make those favors using chemistry. I can test the smells for authenticity! I can!!

I sew dresses but I don’t care to make to sell, because I don’t measure size when I make mine. My latest one is really cute but I have passed the time where it’s approp to post on FB to say “I made a new dress!” because it’s been over a month.

I want a self sufficient home, but land costs money. DID YOU KNOW: until very recently (last year?), China had no property tax. The dream!
Oops I almost started a whole another post there! Good night!

Oh, and cooking! I’m quite good! Though I’m plateauing ’cause I gotta venture out to more foods, more spices. And technique. Restaurant is still a ways, I suppose.

Though I just though today about having a convenience store that is cheap but delicious and eclectic lunch food! Like bento and handmade burritos and bowls. With ever changing menus and fresh vegetables! I would only need a small space and a cashier.

Whoa, becoming another post again. I have my marine mammal internship from 8am so sleepy time!


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