What's my story?

Hey, thanks for asking.  I built this website because UCLA gives students some server space to do so.  I figured, why not?  So, I'm learning HaTeMaiL at a comfortable clip.  It beats being bored.
I'm 33 years old and a senior at UCLA School of Dentistry.  Before dental school, I was at various times a mechanic, child prodigy, nihilistic misanthrope, graphic artist, angry punk, molecular biologist, skirt-chasing drunk, fiberglass fabricator, pontificating jackass, all kinds of stuff.  I took a long winding road to dental school, and I have few regrets.  From the Buddhist perspective, I must still be a teeny bit of each of those things.
I enjoy dentistry because it is art.  Everything I do in a patient's mouth is a handmade prototype- dentists don't install 'off-the-shelf' parts, because there are none.  Each restoration is a one-off piece of work- it bears testament of my skill (or lack thereof) to everyone who sees it.
Because of my previous lab experience I applied for a clinical research fellowship at the National Institutes of Health.  So, I've taken a year off from UCLA, and come to NIH to learn about clinical research.  I'm digging it, but I also want to go home and finish earning my degree.
I was born to live until I die.  To paraphrase Thoreau, it would suck to be dying and to realize that you hadn't lived.  That's not going to happen to me.  So far, I have:

  • Lived in downtown L.A. during the Rodney King riots
  • Taken cabs and subways in New York City
  • Been married (and subsequently divorced)
  • Chased lots of women (even caught a few)
  • Met 3 Nobel Laureates and a Pulitzer recipient
  • Seen the Doors play live (well, the surviving three)
  • Driven 140 mph in the Nevada desert
  • Driven drunk
  • Totaled a car (not related to either of the above)
  • Built a car from the ground up
  • Made better beer than I can buy
  • Drank more beer than I could make
  • Survived the Northridge earthquake
  • Carried a concealed weapon
  • Started my own business
  • Fixed some teeth
  • Pulled some teeth
  • Beaten someone up
  • Been beaten up
  • Been shot at
  • Held a human heart in my hands
  • Been arrested for stealing my own car (really)
  • Been thrown out of better places than this
  • Made an ass of myself...
  • again...
  • and again...
  • and again.
  • Served as Student Body President at UCLA
  • Sawed open a human skull, and removed the brain
  • Had things placed in my permanent record
  • Loved a woman who loves me (I've got that right now)
  • Broken four bones
  • Published research in peer-reviewed journals
  • Gotten about forty stitches
  • Broken my nose slam dancing
  • Seen some great tattoos
  • Offended thousands (they deserved it)
  • Been written about in the L.A. Times
  • Been a college radio DJ
  • Had about a million lusty crushes on women
  • Made a few priceless friendships
  • Pissed on a guy's shoes at a party (they were on)
  • Worn a shirt to Graceland that said 'Elvis Blew Me'
  • Gotten drunk with total strangers in a foreign country

  • I didn't make that list to brag- a lot of those things aren't exactly bragging material. My point is this: life is too short not to be living it.  I will die with no regrets, even if it's today.  Thanks, and please sign the guestbook.

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