Archive for the hobbies Category


Posted in funny, hobbies, Life, Me, Nerdyness, Neuro, randomness, ugh. on 02/18/2011 by asante

Hello world.

My name is Asante, and I am a self-proclaimed certified nerd.

I often find myself researching for fun. I read ahead in text books. I know weird facts and words that normal people don’t care about. I’m going to graduate school to study MORE random facts that only I care about (as far as my friends are concerned, anyways). I read. A LOT.

BUT… I know when to turn it off.

You know, like that self-awareness kicks in at some point and I realize there is more to life than showing people how intelligent I am. I’m realizing now that in this regard, I am an anomaly.

I’ve spent the past 3 weeks getting to know quite a few nerds as I navigate the uncomfortable realm of grad school interviews, and let me tell you: in 3 weeks of these there have not been more that 4-5 “normal” applicants per pool. Seriously. The rest are charmingly, but blatantly socially awkward. To the point where I felt awkward for NOT being awkward. How twisted is that?

I mean I appreciate a person who can really delve into the significance of a single cell patch clamp response. Or the consummatory dopamine circuit. Or even the molecular significance of a missing post-synaptic transporter. (Getting away from you there? I know, fear not, I’m coming back. And yes, your eyes are supposed to be glazing over.) But for the love of everything that is good, approachable and non-awkward, give it a rest sometimes! I love my work and I love the brain and all that, but if you can’t find a balance between your academic motives and your personal life, I don’t know what to say for you.

Even the professors I’ve met, after I  ably describe/discuss the complex parameters of our study and what I do within it, have asked me “What else do you do? Like, when you’re NOT in the lab?” It would surprise me if some of these folks had an answer to that question. Like, seriously.

I love being a nerd, don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being in the company of such intelligent and driven people. But when the professors are gone and the grad students are offering you a beer, TAKE IT. And then relax. We all know you’re smart. Now show us that you can be a normal person. At least until the beer wears off.


do the #nerdygirl rock.

Posted in college, friends, hobbies, Me, rant, revelations, The Future, Uncategorized, Work on 12/08/2010 by asante

I. Am. A. Nerd.

Always have been. I’m that girl who spends entirely too long clicking the “Random” button on Wikipedia for fun. I’ve been known to read random chapters in my textbooks just out of pure unadulterated curiosity (that’s on TOP of my actual workload, mind you.). I’m that irritating person correcting your grammar, contributing random facts nobody wants/needs to know to otherwise lighthearted conversations, and that sorta-know-it-all who probably knows the answer to that obscure question you just asked, because I thought it was cool, and looked it up last week. I like to know stuff.  #shrug

Yeah. Nerdy. Soooooo nerdy. lol.

And I’ve always been this way. But you know what I’ve noticed, in 20-or so odd years of nerdiness? The world is not nerd-friendly. At ALL. If you’re not Ken Jennings, Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, nerds get very little love. If I had a nickel for every person whose eyes glazed over when I tell them what I do, or for every person who trips over themselves running in the opposite direction when I describe my undergrad degree….. I’d be a wealthy girl. lol.

And so in large part, I keep it to myself. Because nobody really wants to know. Most of the time they’re just being polite lol. They’re expecting something more succinct. I sit in silence while my friends discuss their work or their next career steps, because though their jobs escape my expertise, they can much more easily be relayed in laymen’s terms. Nobody wants to hear about the neurobiological or structural correlates of human psychopathology. *feel like browsing elsewhere yet? lol* No matter how interesting I may think that stuff is.

I never share. I never discuss. Mostly because I don’t want to feel like I’m boring people. As much as I love knowing shtuff, it’s hard out here for a nerd! lol

It definitely makes the whole dating scene significantly more complicated. I mean seriously, it may sound elitist and pretentious and I apologize for that, but it definitely narrows the field of available prospects when I have a Ph.D. in my future. (I would like a dude with at least a bachelor’s and aspirations for a higher degree. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.) So I find myself by and large dismissing the “just” high school grads/GED holders/”street entrepreneurs”/college drop-outs/general know-nothings. Because c’mon son. I’m going to be a doctor. lol. (no, it’s not an M.D. but it’s a DOCTORate. So yeah.).

But as grad school approaches and my commitment to this field that I love deepens, and the fact that this will be my career  for like, EVER, gets realer by the day, I realize I need to own up to it a little more. I need to start being proud of the weird way my brain-parts work lol. While my friends own/rock the fields of business and law and medical school and all those great careers that are more mentally accessible for the casual inquirer, I need to learn to pipe up and be like, “Yea Dude. I’m a future black neuroscientist. I can tell you how that gray mushy stuff between your ears functions. And I can tell you why it acts funny sometimes. ASK ABOUT ME!!!” lol.

Yes I’m that one super-nerd in the crowd. I need to stop mumbling “brain stuff” when people ask me what I do. Proudly proclaim that yes, I have a bachelors in a field that some people can’t even pronounce, and I’m going to be one of those “other” doctors one day.

Next time you see me, I’ll be on my Keri Hilson* steez, doing my “Nerdy Girl Rock”. Because honestly, Nerds Rule. lol.


*For the record, Keri DID attend my alma mater. Even if she didn’t graduate. Former Emory Folks stand UP!

I love Booky Wooks.

Posted in catching up, happyness, hobbies, inspired, Life, randomness, reading, revelations, The Wonderful Internet on 12/06/2010 by asante

Reading is awesome. For serious. One of my bestie’s favorite quote is,  “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” When did we all give up on the amazing art of disappearing into a book?

I won’t lie, I’ve been skimpin’ on my reading quest of late, but I just picked a new book before my Thanksgiving trip, and I cracked it open on the bus this morning. I think it’s a genuinely bad idea to forgo reading in favor of lesser entertainment forms…. Yea I can hear you all calling me a nerd. I don’t care. #nerdygirlswag. On a thousand-trillion. lol.

According to the BBC, the average person has only read 6 of the following books in their lives. SIX!! That’s it?! Maybe I’m just a bookworm, but I think as humanity we all need to do wayyyy better. Read my blog (lol) then log off the interwebs and head to the nearest bookstore/library. Please and Thank You. lol. Anyways, below (after the cut)  is *my* version of the  Top 100 Nominated books on The Big Read list…. Bold if I read it, Italicized if I didn’t finish it (Yet!!!).

Enjoy! And pick up a book or two off the list why don’t ya.

Continue reading

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” – Steig Larsson

Posted in hobbies, Life, Me, Nerdyness, reading, Uncategorized on 06/17/2010 by asante

Paperback CoverSo I just finished this book this afternoon, and I have this to say:


lol. I LOVED it. I’m a big fan of crime/drama thrillers when they aren’t written to be impossibly lame, and this book definitely delivers. I have to credit my bestie with giving me the push to read this one, I saw the sequel at her place a few weeks ago, and decided I needed to catch up with the series to get on her level :)

But on a serious note, this was an extremely satisfying book. I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who decides to read it, but it is such a well crafted, engaging, and seriously entertaining read. And it’s written for a  Swedish audience, so you get to feel a lil’ international as you pore through it lol.

I really appreciated the strong social tones the story brings to light as well. After months and months listening to woman after woman who has been subjugated to sexual violence and assault by men who on many levels, hate women (pseudo reference to the Swedish title of this book) I was really impressed that Larsson took such care to address this issue, even if it was fiction. It was well written, and a painfully accurate, but rewarding part of the plot.

Seriously though y’all, it’s a quick, enthralling read, and you won’t regret it.



“Someone stop the world…”

Posted in catching up, friends, happyness, hobbies, Life, Me, randomness, rant, revelations, ugh., weekend, Work on 06/16/2010 by asante

Ever get the feeling that life-in-general has just gotten ahead of itself and you just want EVERYTHING to pause for a few seconds so you can get back on your feet?

Yea, I’m so there.

There has been a LOT going on lately (not all of my life is blog-worthy, haha) and while a lot of it is good things (so I prolly should shut up and stop complaining) it’s just gotten to the point where it’s just exhausting and overwhelming and I just want to crawl into a hole somewhere by myself. My weeks at work either crawl or completely get away from me, and then the weekends roll around and I can’t help but want to be a loser and cuddle with my puppy in my apartment, alone, and not go anywhere. Not that I want to be a recluse or anything, I love going out with my friends, but it’s gotten to a point lately where I just don’t have the right mindset, and I end up making excuses half the time.

A lot of it may just be my overwhelming displeasure with Atlanta. I loved the city, but I think the spark has fizzled. I’m getting restless, I want to go somewhere new…. but I don’t know if I’ll be doing that any time soon (stay tuned).

I just need to get a lot of things back on track, so hopefully I can get my mind right sometime in the near future. Because when I’m in such a funky mood I can’t enjoy the things that are going well!! It all just ends up in a big messy jumble in my head and the chaos of it prevents me from seeing anything else about the situation, other than it’s chaotic. Maybe I should make a list…

  1. Get my finances back in order. They’re not terrible, but I know better, and they should be better. No more random spending…. (another nail in the coffin for my residing so close to Atlantic Station lol. Toooo much temptation.)
  2. Be more social. Not just hitting clubs with my friends either, I need to expand my circle a bit… I need to stop being such a punk about going places that interest me just because nobody wants to come with lol.
  3. Really focus in on my grad school future. Because I do NOT have a choice, I WILL get in. And I’m going to be awesome. So it’s probably a good idea to figure out exactly how awesome I plan to be. lol.
  4. Stick to my guns about who I do and don’t want around me. Just like I’ve been letting other little things slide, I’ve been letting my guard down a lil too much in this area and I’m not liking the results. Certain people come in and out of your life for a reason, I need to remember that
  5. Start doing more with my weekends! Take a walk with my dog and/or camera,  scout for art shows, festivals, meet, greet, enjoy, and LIVE a little. No more Asante-The-Recluse. I already am squirreled away at my cube for 40 hours a week, I need to take better care of my psyche in my downtime.

Ok, that’s a good start, I think. And I know I make a lot of lists, but I swear I do check them every now and again. lol. Glad you all can stomach my self-improvement rants from time to time.

Here’s to getting back on my feet, and heading back in the right direction :) *clink*

Living a life of passion.

Posted in beautiful, F, happyness, hobbies, Life, Love, randomness, rant, revelations, The Wonderful Internet on 05/03/2010 by asante
Hey everyone :)
Today’s post was brought to you by:

1. The Book of Awesome, inspired by the website “1000 Awesome Things” a remarkably sweet and inspirational blog-turned-book that has revolutionized my mornings. How can you not smile first thing in the morning when pondering the everyday “awesomeness” of things like #520 “When a baby falls asleep on you”
or #990 Picking up a q and a u at the same time in Scrabble” or #816 When the late-night pizza order arrives really, really early or my personal favorite, #743 Taking your high heels off at the end of the night and walking home in bare feet. I read their daily entries every morning, and it’s a really fun way to remind myself that it doesn’t have to all be academic insanity all day every day, sometimes I can just step back and relate to the post and it brings a moment of serenity to me. AWESOME! lol. No seriously, check it out.

2.  One Week Job, a college grad’s excursion to find a job that he loves. His method? Take a different job for a week, every week, for one whole year. Practical? Hardly. Crazy? Possibly. But kind of exciting at the same time. Check out his journey here.

I’m sure EVERYONE who just graduated into this stinkpot of an economy has had that moment where they had to make that decision: take the job that pays the bills over the one that would make them happy and leave them living with their parents. lol. I consider myself fortunate that I’ve landed in a job that covers both my interests and my expenses, but sometimes I feel like it lacks passion. I mean when I get THAT patient interaction that really moves me and I can tell I made an important, if tiny impact on that person’s situation, I can definitely feel it, and it’s incredibly rewarding. However it’s not every day. I know I sometimes find myself thinking, is this it? If I choose this path, will it still inspire me the way it does today 5 years from now? 10 years? 20?

I did my best to help F through this a while back. It came down to a senior class that would look good on his transcript when he applied for work as a chemical engineer, which is what his degree is in, or a class that fell within the realm of psychology, an interest that rubbed off on him from me lol. He ended up taking both, and was really glad he did. I think it was the balance of doing what he had to do along with doing what he wanted to do that made that semester a fulfilling one, especially since by the end his interest in the psych class gave him the energy to muster through the engineering one. 

And when it comes down to it, that’s what I think living a life of passion is about. The majority of us are caught between what we want to to and what we have to do. When you dip too far into the side of what you have to do though, I think you lose a lot of yourself, in many ways. You always see cheesy movie endings where the stuffy politician has a orchestrally-accompanied change of heart when he remembers his childhood dream of being a rodeo-cowboy or something like that, a dream he lost in his money-hungry search for power etc. etc. Dumb example, I know, lol, but the message is in there somewhere. Somewhere along the line though, it can happen to all of us, I think. But it doesn’t have to!!

My message for today is to remember to temper the drudgery of your every day obligations with something that gives your life purpose, and imparts meaning. Take some time every day to do something YOU want to do. Because do you really want to wake up 20 years from now and look back on a wasted opportunity, years of unfulfillment? Life is full of things you HAVE to do. Take a break from the bills and the classes and the taxes and find a moment of happiness. Whatever it takes. Learn to play the sitar in Bora Bora or do cartwheels across Times Square or go swimming with some dangerous creature in some unknown body of water or learn to read some obscure language that nobody else understands or live in a tree in Ecuador or write a book about rodeo clowns or exclusively photograph the left ears of some endangered animal SOMETHING lol (I think I’ve out-randomed myself lol).

Find a way to divulge passion from your life. Before it’s too late.

Healthier, Happier, Me.

Posted in beautiful, catching up, friends, happyness, hobbies, Life, Me, randomness, revelations, weekend on 04/04/2010 by asante

Hey y’all :)

So as all you faithful readers (and maybe some of my newbies :) are probably aware of, the reason I started this blog was for one main reason: self-improvement.

Over the course of my undergrad career, I got lazy. Towards the end, I was so stressed out and focused on the task at hand, the degree, that I let very important things slide in my life, things that needed to be re-addressed and reaffirmed before I could make my mark on this big crazy world out here. This blog has been a Godsend though, really helping me to re-focus and re-examine myself and really see the glaring holes that I needed to fill, and places where I was a lil rough around the edges.

 Now more than ever, with my work life wreaking veritable havoc on my psyche (more on that later…. Stay tuned on or after 4/12/10.) I’ve managed to find a few moments of clarity, which is really doing wonders to get bits and pieces of my life and myself back in order.

My fitness has improved: Not gonna lie, I let myself get awful fat my last 2 years in college lol. Not so bad that I had to re-up my wardrobe, but I noticed it, and it was soooo upsetting. But, thankfully with the weather starting to act like it has some damn sense, I’ve regained my motivation to get my lazy butt up!!! Tiger has definitely been reaping the benefits of this, I’ve managed to keep up with at least one 30-45 minute walk with him every day, and he’s loving it lol. And it’s helped me a lot too; In the past week and a half of long, brisk walks with him, I’ve seen more progress with my weight and my physique than I was seeing with rigorous gym excursions…. another nail in the coffin for THAT lol. (I hate “the gym”. I’d much rather just find other ways to keep myself moving, walking or playing with my dog…. much less mindless lol.)

Skin/Hair/Nails/”Beauty” etc.: My hair is growing like a darn weed lol, and my new found consciousness for what I put in my hair has expanded to what I put on my skin, too. I’ve been having a love affair with sheabutter, once i discovered how much my hair likes it, I started using it on my skin, with fantastic results. Also just tried the oil-rinse method, and lemme just say: WOAH. Lovesit. My face has all but cleared up, I’m on the verge of throwing out every foundation/powder I own because my complexion is BANGING these days lol, no lie. (I always hated foundations anyways, I always felt like i was slapping glue on my face or something, so cakey and weird-feeling, no matter how little I put on.) I’ve noticed my nails are less brittle too, probably from enjoying all the goodies in my hair (I have serious Hand in Fro disease… lol)

Eating Habits: Forcing yourself to buy healthy stuff at the grocery store is a WIN when you have spending habits like me lol. I’m not the best with my cash, so when it gets to the end of the month and I have to scrounge through what I’ve got instead of wasting $$ on something quick and easy, I really have no choice but to eat healthy lol. All out of juice? Water it is then. lol. Fruit running low? Hello, carrot sticks. These end of the month spending friezes also help with my stove-top creativity too, I’m back to cooking more, which is so much fun. I don’t know why I always forget how much I love cooking, until I get my booty in front of that stove and start concocting (don’t even get me started on my Penne Chicken Casserole that I created today… Heaven in a Pan lol. I’m coming for you, Neeley’s!! lol but I digress….).

Psyche: Like I said, this is probably the one part of my life that is currently under siege… *sigh*. I have discovered without a doubt, clinical therapy is NOT in my future. I’m way too much of an empath; my interviews have really been getting to me lately, which is not a good sign. Definitely time to take a step back and re-evaluate where I’m headed from here, I’ll fill y’all in when I have more to say on that subject.

My Circle: Always changing/shifting, but I think I’ve been doing a lot better maintaining old connects and forming new ones. I can honestly say I’ve drummed up quite a few new dynamic friendships lately, but more importantly, I’ve been making strides to reconnect and refocus on those old school eternally faithful friends, who I admittedly have taken for granted. I’m sorry! I’m working on it, I promise. As for those revolving door relationships… gotta say, my guard is still up. I’m trying to be accepting, but I just can’t get behind the whole “I felt some type of way about you 6 months ago, but we’re cool again” thing. Either I’m in, or I’m out. And 9 times out of 10, I’m going to assume I’m out. I’m not the type to be hanging on someone’s every action, waiting for a change of heart. If someone shows me who they are, I’ll believe them lol. Don’t have to tell me twice. But yea, as always, work in progress.

Anyways, if you made it this far without hitting the “X” in boredom, gracias lol. Just thought I’d check in more with myself than anything else, though of course I appreciate the audience. Gotta keep myself honest and open, and if not here, then where? I’m always up for a good rant. lol. Hope you all manage to keep all your ducks in a row too :)