A Holiday-Themed Excuse to Show Off Some Pictures From Holly's Visit

This is my thankful post. So much of the internet is dedicated to complaints and complaints about complaints, that it is about time to give thanks. After all, life is pretty good, isn't it. And no, the timing of this post has nothing to do with a certain holiday that occurred this past week.

I am thankful for my family. Especially the ones that come and visit us, as my sister Holly did this weekend (as demonstrated by this - may I say artsy - picture I took on our trip to DC). And of course, I am also thankful for the ones that comment on my blog.

I am thankful for Virginia, to copy the answer that Theresa gave during an amazing dinner we had at out Grandparent's place in Buena Vista last Thursday. It is nice to live in a beautiful part of the world (case and point below), and I have been given so many opportunities here, such as being able to attend UVa and getting a good job for next summer.

And certainly not least, I relate the same answer I gave directly after Theresa extolled the virtues of the old Dominion: I am thankful to Theresa - she may have a playful streak (which is not at all annoying in any sense of the word), but she certainly brings copious amounts of joy to my life. I also love her hat in this picture - she looks like a burglar)

Now for what I am definitely NOT thankful for, since we don't want too much gratitute in one place. I HATE CHRISTMAS ADS: they represent all that is wrong with capitalism by pretty directly saying that you will not be happy unless you buy lots of stuff (and that your loved ones will hate you if you don't get them what they want). OK, I'm going to stop here. I could get carried away...


The Fridge That Represents America

Last week I said that I would not talk about our fridge. This week, though, I will. Not because I have nothing else to talk about, but because I have discovered deeper meaning in the story. Deeper meaning into the true spirit of America, which, if anyone even remembers, was the whole point of this blog to begin with.

Sometime last week I read some tips on how to make your home more energy efficent, one of which was to make sure the seal on your fridge door is tight so that the cold air wont escape. So, naturally, I go home and check our fridge and discover that the seal on our freezer door was loose enough to allow cold air to seep out. I the hope that the management would care enough about my energy efficiency to perhaps fix my fridge, I called them to my place to check it out. And they did come. The maintenance guys agreed that the seal was loose, so decided to fix it BY GIVING US A NEW FRIDGE! And, looking back, when our dishwasher's door-latch broke, they got us a whole new dishwasher! Is this how you all do things here in America? If any little (and I assume easily fixable/replaceable) part of a machine breaks, scrap the whole thing and buy an new one?! Should I stop washing dishes, and instead buy a new set after every meal? My car is due for an oil change, should I just get a new one instead?

I guess my complex might be trying to replace all the old appliances with new ones (in which case, we should make up some problem with our stove), but I like to think it is America's consumer culture that is fueling this amazing juggernaut of waste.

Oh America...

And in completely unrelated news, as I am writing this post, I'm listening to a live Broken Social Scene concert on npr.com. I mentioned a little while ago about how the Stars Concert we attended was available on the website, and now I will go the next step and recommend you (nay - command you) to subscribe the the "All Songs Considered Concert Series" Podcast, where you can download full concerts from artists like The Arcade Fire, Spoon, The New Pornographers, Animal Collective, as well as the two previously mentioned shows. Pretty Cool, Eh? (I had to throw in that 'Eh' to remind myself that I am still a Canadian)


This Doesn't Surprize Me In The Least...



My Cop-Out Post

I was thinking all yesterday on what profound (or at least humorous) words I could write this week, but alas, no one can be brilliant every day (or, even ever, if you are less than impressed with my blog so far). As for our activities of this week, unless you want to hear about our new fridge or repairing our car, I wont bore you with the details.

Instead, I present to you this clip from a cartoon that Holly and I loved when we were kids back in the 80s. Youtube certainly hasn't helped all of those 20 and 30 somethings who are already becoming almost sickeningly nostalgic. Of course, my present display of nostalgia should be forgiven, considering the pure awesomeness of this video: Animalypics.


Wilson Sonsini

It's official. As of yesterday, I have accepted an offer to work at the Palo Alto office of the Law Firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as a summer associate next year.

That's right, not being one to restrict my moves to short distances, Theresa and I will be packing up next may and traveling the 2824 miles (4544 Km) from one coast to the other. Anyone familiar with my recent history should not be surprised with my decision to once again cross an entire continent in order to forge a new home. In the past five years, I have moved from Mexico City to Edmonton, Alberta (2974 miles/4786 Km), and then from Edmonton to Charlottesville (2423 miles/3899 Km). It seems my motto should be "If the move isn't at least 2000 miles, its not worth doing." I also find it significant that this new move means that I will have lived in the four corners of North America, living in the North (Edmonton), South (Mexico DF), East (Charlottesville) and West (Palo Alto).

But anyways, I am very excited at the opportunity of working with Wilson Sonsini. From what I have learned so far, they are a great firm with a specialty in technology and life sciences. I can't wait


It's Business Time...

And I don't mean in the "Flight of the Concords" sense. What I am referring to is my business-oriented short course that just wrapped up last week and has a name so long, you would think it was a title to one of my blog posts: "Launching the Enterprise: Selected Topics in the Start-Up of a Biotechnology Company." Essentially, in this class we split into a few groups and produced investor presentations about an actual biotech company of which our instructor is currently involved in. Secretly, it seems like an chance for him to gather a bunch of ideas from us before he has to give his own presentation this week, but since the class was so fun and informative, I wont hold it against him.

Now, I don't want to brag, but I must say our presentation was pretty much amazing. We tried a new method of powerpoint presentations that our instructor very quickly introduced. The method is outlined in a book called "Beyond Bullet Points" by Cliff Atkinson of Sociable Media and essentially does away with bullet points and focuses on short descriptions and compelling graphics, leaving the speaker to discuss the details of the presentation. I must say, after watching both traditional and new powerpoint presentations on the same topic (another group also elected to try the new method), I have been converted to to new style. Not converted enough to actually buy the book, but definitely enough to convince Theresa to use it in her upcoming presentation on Genetically Modified food. Her presentation is also pretty slick, and will definitely blow everyone else in her class out of the water. Look out Nash!

Here are a couple of slides from both Theresa and my presentations. The first is from Theresa's presentation and is pretty self explanatory. The second is my slide, which accompanies the section in our presentation that discusses how focusing our drug on a certain type of cancer makes it eligible for Fast Track FDA approval and orphan drug status (I debated whether I should include an orphan in the pic: maybe have Oliver driving the sports car)