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31 December 2010

Here We Are Again

Well, here we are again. The end of another year.

As I write this, I'm half-watching NBC's Minute to Win It while mom finishes cooking the second course of our "fancy"-ish New Year's Eve dinner, even though it's nearly two hours since we had the soup. I'll probably have to go eat well before this ever gets posted, but the beauty of blogging is that you'll never know where I left off!

(And yes, if you happened to remember from last year's end-of-year post, the second annual New Year's Eve Nachos are going to be one of the courses. Eventually.)

Twenty-ten has been an interesting year for me. I know you probably couldn't tell that from this blog, but it's true! Most of the stuff I've gone through in 2010 has been rather personal in nature, which is a large reason why I didn't write much of anything here. Still, it comprises a lot of what has shaped 2010 for me, so I'll do my best to summarize things a bit for the benefit of my readers.

If you've been paying particular attention, you may have noticed that I recently changed my mini-bios on many of my social networking sites (including, naturally, the "About Me" section on this one). That's because I have officially graduated from the University of Pittsburgh on 18 December 2010 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, an undergraduate certificate in Nuclear Engineering, and a minor in Music.

But wasn't I supposed to graduate in May? Didn't I actually participate in Commencement back on 1 May? The short answer to both of these is yes.

The slightly-longer-but-not-too-in-depth answer is that I had had some personal issues in the fall of 2009 which had affected my schoolwork and caused me to earn some incomplete grades. After a full 19-credit slate of senior-level courses in the spring of 2010, I then could refocus myself on finishing those last requirements for graduation. Unfortunately, other external pressures prolonged this effort past August and reset the goal to December. And I hate being so vague, but it really is better in this case. Sorry.

I moved back in with my parents at the end of July, which I'd written briefly about at the time, and which has thusfar remained neither largely good nor largely bad. It just is.

Although I worked toward my graduation steadily throughout the year, I spent the last part of November and the first half of December frantically picking up the pace and finishing everything that was left, at the expense of putting off other routine tasks (among which, obviously, was writing for this blog). And so, on 20 December, once all of the graduation stuff was finalized, I found myself with nothing more than a long list of things to do (literally, I made a list, even including individual episodes of television shows I'd intentionally missed). And I've been slowly whittling away at that list ever since, so that I can begin 2011 at least mostly unencumbered by 2010.

Anyway, here we are again. In the waning minutes of 2010. I'll forgive myself for having written last year that I was excited for a new decade to begin in 2010 when, as ABC Australia wisely noted, this is technically when the decade rolls over. I guess I was just dealing with the "modern" understanding of a decade. Writing the "1" seems to have meant more. But surely writing two of them will be even more significant?

So, I'll put up with the unfortunate double-keystroke in "2011" which I'd mentioned last year. And I'll actually post some of the photographs I took in 2010. For as much as I'd looked forward to 2010, I'm looking forward to 2011 more.

Random tangent: Carson Daly is saying "Twenty-Ten" and "Twenty-Eleven," whereas Ryan Seacrest is only further promulgating the ignorance in the old "Two Thousand and..." way. No disrespect to Dick Clark, but I think that after tonight, I'll be switching my New Year's Eve loyalty to NBC until further notice.


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30 November 2010

I'm Alive

It's true. I am indeed alive. But you certainly wouldn't know it from this blog alone.

I'm truly sorry for that.

There are a number of reasons I haven't been writing here as frequently, but to itemize them here would be moot. Those who know me personally have an idea of what's been going on in my life recently (although you probably don't even know the half of it). It's been a bit of a stressful time, to say the least.

Nevertheless, it is indeed the last day of the month, and as I prepare to say goodbye to November while still feeling as though I'd just welcomed it in, I feel I owe you guys ten minutes of my time to write something just saying that I'm still here. At least in some manner of speaking.

Last week, I did churn out something markedly longer than this post with the intent of putting it here. It's not particularly timely, but it just happened to be something that was on my mind and, as is usually the case, the simple act of writing about it proved quite therapeutic. After thinking about it for a while, though, I decided that it's going to need a lot of careful revision before it can ever be allowed to see the light of day. And that's something I don't particularly have time for right now.

You can see my dilemma, hence this post.

On the plus side, this all promises to be temporary. I will properly emerge from this cave of bloggy nothingness in a few weeks. And I have to say... I can't wait for that day to arrive.


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31 October 2010

The Eyeball

I know I've been ignoring this blog (what else is new?), but today I do have a quick little Hallowe'en anecdote to share with you.

My mother was handing out our candy to the Trick-or-Treaters this evening, and to get into the spirit of the holiday she put a fake eyeball (a decorated ping-pong ball) into the bowl with the candy for fun.

Well, even though we only got a couple dozen visitors this year, nearly every single kid (especially the young ones) saw the eyeball and wanted it. Mom was getting a bit frustrated by having to keep telling these kids that it was just there for decoration and that they couldn't have it. At one point, she even mentioned that she should just decorate a bunch of ping-pong balls as eyeballs and pass those out instead of candy next year.

Then she mentioned that that might actually disappoint the children. And that it might be a choking hazard.

She's probably right on both accounts.


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20 August 2010

Dream 6

Oh, goodness. I mean, I have all sorts of dreams all the time, but fortunately (or unfortunately) they've been more tame the last few years. Granted, most nights, they're pretty cool. On occasion, they're awesome. But then, every once in a while, I get the most bizarre things, sometimes disturbing things. And although it didn't start out that way, this dream certainly became one of those.

Dream 6: A Sharp Staff Picture, night of 18-19 August 2010

I am approaching the bottom of a grand staircase in slow motion. There's no one around yet, but there's a voice from my past encouraging me, "If you want to affect the way the world sees these things, go do it. You can be that kid who makes the difference." It is clear that this voice is a father figure, though he's a mixture of two roughly equal parts... one of my actual father and one of every other male I've ever looked up to.

Whatever exactly my "father" was alluding to, I'm here now. A new beginning. There's a great hallway behind the staircase and many rooms on either side. An ornate wooden door with shiny, brass handles is at the bottom of the staircase, sort of behind me, but not quite.

I ascend slowly to the top of the staircase and retrieve a large, ovoid mirror, about 2 metres high, 3 metres wide, and at least 30 centimetres thick. The mirror's edges are rather jagged and its back is weathered rock. It's as though someone took a roundish boulder, somehow made a clean, flat cut through it, and stuck the glass on the flat part. How I can lift this monstrosity, never mind why I'm doing so, is beyond me.

As I move the mirror into its position about a third of the way down the staircase, people start filing in. Another young man in a suit and tie, about my age and stature, but a few inches taller, is nearby. He calls out to one of the faceless others, "Hurry up; you'll miss the staff picture!"

I assume my place in front of the giant inexplicable mirror. The others fill in the remainder of the staircase. I am halfway to my right of center, with only the young man in the suit between me and the plated railing on my right.

Then the President comes in. Roughly equal parts George W. Bush and Barack Obama in both appearance and personality, but that's unimportant. He smiles, makes some small talk with the others, then comes to me, shakes my hand, and situates himself at my immediate left, directly in front of the giant mirror.

The photographer at the bottom of the staircase sets up his shot, and it's only as he's ready to take the picture that I notice I'm a bit squished between the President and the young man in the suit. And then I realize my face is being squeezed from both sides. Not squeezed out of the picture, no. Just squeezed. As though the President and the young man in the suit were playing some sort of practical joke on my visage. Except they weren't.

Somehow that all ends and everyone files back to their offices to resume their normal duties. Someone else takes the mirror back to wherever it was before. As I make my way back down the staircase, it shifts from mid-afternoon to some time in the middle of the night. Everyone else is sleeping but me.

A faint streetlight outside the front door is the only light entering the spacious anteroom. I lock the door, but just as I turn away from it, there's a knock. I look through the marbled glass into the darkness and can just barely make out the silhouette of a familiar face. I let him in and relock the door behind him.

"Good evening, Mister Prime Minister. How are you tonight?"

"Oh, hello. I'm just fine." Then a pause and a smile. "Did I miss the staff picture?" We start chatting amicably and jovially about policy or whatnot.

This jolly, old chap is, at least in appearance, roughly equal parts Benjamin Franklin, Nick Clegg, and Robert Gibbs in a top hat. There's not really a well-developed personality to speak of, except I already knew from prior experience that I like the guy and that we got along quite well.

Before I know it, we've spoken for several minutes and the Prime Minister decides he'd better depart. I turn to face the staircase and he disappears into a large room to its right.

But instead of ascending the staircase to where I belong, I sit down for a while. The door immediately behind me and the staircase directly in front of me, I just think. My legs are crossed, "Indian style" like they teach you in kindergarten.

I soon discover that, somehow, I am floating some distance above the floor. As if I were sitting in a chair with my legs crossed, but the chair is not beneath me. A small puppy briefly passes underneath me.

"Hello, there, Beverly."

Beverly just scurries off silently into the pitch blackness, into the distant reaches of the building.

Facing the staircase, I'm presented with a list. Boldface Roman type, numbered from the bottom upwards, alternating white and pinkish-tan rows. Two columns: a song, and a key in which to sing it. Almost like a track list of sorts.

Suddenly, I start vocalizing. But these were not songs. More like wails. Think Moaning Myrtle, but twice as loud and thrice as demonically creepy. Each "song" is only a few seconds and a few words long, and while it may start on a "note" of sorts, the very nature of wailing greatly distorts the eventual final pitch.

Basically, I'm screaming beyond the top of my lungs.

The process soon becomes entirely involuntary. My voice becomes raspy and the "lyrics" become increasingly random. One "song" is a simple plea for Beverly's return. Another states that it's not dinnertime.

And, every four or five, there would, quizzically be a "song" called "A-Sharp" to be sung in the key of A-sharp. It was always prefaced by a brief pause, but once it started it was far louder than the rest, and the only words were "A-sharp." Often, but not always, this was followed by a slightly softer, but still obnoxious song listed as "B-Double-Sharp," again with titular lyrics, but to be sung in G-sharp, even though it only sounded a single semitone lower when it came out.

Though I was still floating, this semi-paralytic process continued for some time. I physically couldn't do anything else. I probably came back to "A-Sharp" three or four times before I felt a pair of hands abruptly squeezing my neck.

I was only able to glance up for an instant. The darkness obscured the Prime Minister's face as he swiftly grabbed a blunt object and hit me twice in the head. I fell to the ground.

* * *

I awoke from this dream at 04:48 EDT and could not move for several seconds thereafter. The chorus of wails was still resounding in my head, "A-Sharp" being by far the most prominent. Once I came to, since I am a geek, my curiosity was naturally piqued. After having checked the time, I reached for a nearby pitch reference. Eerily enough, the original A-sharp itself was perfectly in tune.


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31 July 2010

Summer Stasis

This summer has been flying by so quickly, it's not even funny. Every once in a while, I've gotten the itch to write something here, but my attention has too often been diverted elsewhere. (Which, to be honest, has often been a good thing.)

The main highlight, activity-wise, was another week of counseling at Music Camp this year. Before I knew it, earlier this week, I was packing up my belongings at my apartment in Pittsburgh and heading back home to Girard.

At home, right now, things are a bit off, to say the least. Mom's been overworked lately, and Dad's been overstressed as a result. David, preparing for college, is caught in the middle. And I'm trying to get acclimated to our normal family structure as I'm used to doing, except such structure doesn't really exist right now.

It would be unfair to say things are bad, since there are so many families which deal with much worse for much longer periods of time... but it's definitely "a bit off," which is at least somewhat unsettling.

So for now, I'm in a bit of a stasis. Yes, there are things going on in my life, but right now, I'm marking time until things are a bit more settled in the lives of those around me. Nothing right now is so urgent it's bursting at the seams. Which is actually quite refreshing when I think about it.

I've been doing some introspection during this quiet time. The sort of thoughts that help you figure out exactly where you are, what you are, who you are... so that you can have any hope of knowing where you're going, what you're doing, who you're becoming. And while I may not have the most ostensible pieces quite nailed down, spending time alone with my thoughts has definitely paid some rich dividends.

I'm working on the rest. As my friend and I have said to each other, "one of these days, we'll figure it all out."


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14 May 2010


Has it really been five whole years since I started this humble blog?

The short answer is yes. Yes, it has.

A lot has happened in the last quinquennium... more than I can ever hope to have written about. And so, as I've done so faithfully in the past, I whipped up another Bloggy cake in celebration of this achievement.

That said, it wasn't that easy. It's getting harder and harder to find good clip art birthday cakes. Yes, I do have certain standards when it comes to selecting clip art cakes, the biggest being that it has to be workable with the black background of this blog (which, much like the title, I've been meaning to change for a long while, but I haven't yet found the motivation to come up with anything better).

And it has to be somewhat professional-looking. I mean, clip art is vectorized by definition. For some reason, people think that the things they draw with the "pencil" tool in Microsoft Paint qualify as "clip art." (Hint: They don't.) As far as I'm concerned, they're just drawings. And while some of them are very nice, many aren't... and in any case, they're not what I'm looking for.

Still, is it so much to ask that new and halfway decent clip art images of birthday cakes be uploaded to the web and make their way to the first 20 or so pages of Google's results at a minimum rate of one per year?

The short answer is yes. Apparently, it is.

Maybe in future, I'll actually use 14 May as an excuse to bake a real cake. But for now, this digital cake is my sincere thank you to the 1160 visitors this blog received during its fifth year. Yes, that's down 53%, but it's completely understandable as I've written 66% fewer posts with 71% fewer words[1]. In my defense, for much of the past twelve months, I've been a senior at university who has neither been traveling abroad nor attempting to blog every day (and even being way too busy to write every other day, let alone more than once in April).

But "I'm not dead yet... I'm getting better...," er, something like that.

Anyway, in addition to the admittedly contrived and self-centered celebration of five years of admittedly poor blogging, tonight I'll be celebrating my friend's 22nd birthday (which was yesterday), and on Sunday my home church will be celebrating its 175th anniversary... both are significant achievements, if you ask me.

Here's hoping I'll see you again soon... whether in person or in the blogosphere!

* * *
[1] I should note that these figures were somewhat hastily calculated/estimated (and obviously do not include this post). As such, they might be a tad off. But they're certainly close enough and I don't particularly care to go back and figure it out exactly.

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03 April 2010


So, I've decided on a compromise. I totally don't have time to actually do BEDA this year. After taking a look at my schedule of exams, presentations, and performances for the next few weeks, I've noticed that many of my roughest days are going to be the odd-numbered ones. So I've decided to be clever and try to blog every even-numbered day. Hence, this year, I'm attempting BE(E)DA... Blog Every (Even) Day in April. (It'll even be pronounced the same.)

"But, Tim," you say, "what's this about posting on even days when you're posting on an odd day?" Like last year, I'm going to consider it to be the same day right up until I go to bed. After all, half of the time I'm not even home by midnight. Ah, the life of a college student!

Of course, April being what it always is, there is the inevitable case that something more important may will come up, so much like last year, I reserve all rights to amend my BE(E)DA goals, skip days, or just call it quits at any time. I think I did pretty well in 2009, considering that I got 14 days through daily blogging before, as I put it then, I had "bigger fish to fry."

Speaking of which (and I swear, I did not plan this transition), I really was looking forward to going to a fish fry tonight. Being in college, I've been in Pittsburgh for pretty much the entirety of Lent every year for the last four years. (Although I have spent a few Fridays therein traveling to basketball tournaments.)

Anyway, it's not that Pittsburgh doesn't have fish fries (they do). It's just that for the longest time, I've not known where they were. Or at least, didn't care so much to look... until earlier this year, I realized it had literally been four years since I'd been to one. So then I got this thing called a craving.

Of course, Lent came, and I forgot all about it until the last possible week (this week). So I looked up a list of local fish fries and was dismayed to find that most of the ones anywhere near me wouldn't be serving on Good Friday. But I found one in the South Hills, scoped it out, and invited Dylan to come along.

Unfortunately, life got in the way. Two reports due by midday, rent due in the afternoon, and not much sleep had drained my energy. And apparently, at the time he'd considered coming along, Dylan wasn't remembering that his parents would be in town.

Not being able to find another friend to go with me, I lacked the motivation to make such a long trip just for dinner. So I stayed home, got some stuff done, and made "Charlie shells" for dinner (don't ask). Oh, well. Better luck next year. Or maybe I'll just get fish at a restaurant some day soon.

Anyway, happy Easter to all! We'll see where the rest of April shall take us soon enough.


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31 March 2010

March-ing On...

I hate missing a month on this blog. To be fair, I'm not terribly fond of missing a week, but life happens, and you've got to go with what you've got.

Speaking of life, it's been incredibly busy lately and is showing few signs of slowing down. I mean, I'm a little over a month from donning the cap-and-gown (and yes, if you're from Girard, "cap-and-gown" is one word). And that's scary. But there's all sorts of things to wade through on the way.

April is going to be really busy. As such, I'm sitting on the fence about attempting BEDA again this year. Either the posts are going to be really short (like this one), or they're simply not going to happen every day. Perhaps shooting for every other day would be more reasonable? But alas, "BEODA" just doesn't have the same ring to it. We'll see.

In any case, I'll be March-ing on through April to see what the future May hold for me... hopefully it'll be great!


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13 February 2010

My Crazy Friday

So, today was a pretty crazy day. Here's a (not-so-)brief synopsis:

  • 01:31 - Finish drafting and mapping Singing Valentines delivery schedule
  • 02:42 - Finish final (printed) version of Valentines delivery schedule
  • 03:06 - Bed
  • 07:05 - Alarm
  • 07:15 - Check for last-minute messages
  • 07:42 - Morning correspondence
  • 08:03 - Shower and morning hygiene
  • 08:41 - Send schedules remotely to campus printer
  • 08:44 - Briefly look over Music Theory homework in preparation for quiz
  • 08:54 - Gather belongings with intent of being on campus early to study and eat
  • 09:00 - Leave apartment
  • 09:02 - Arrive at bus stop
  • 09:09 - First bus passes me and two others (too full)
  • 09:23 - Second bus passes me and five others (completely empty, but was a training bus)
  • 09:27 - Third bus passes me and seven others (not headed to Oakland)
  • 09:29 - Fourth bus passes me and eight others (too full)...
  • 09:30 - Bus right behind it (thankfully) has room for all of us, but no more
  • 09:39 - Arrive on campus
  • 09:42 - Frantically cram in some last-minute quiz studying in what little time is left
  • 09:59 - Sit for quiz
  • 10:02 - Quiz begins
  • 10:24 - My phone rings... probably urgent, but can't answer
  • 10:40 - I finish the quiz
  • 10:41 - See call was from John Goldsmith, Heinz Chapel Choir director
  • 10:42 - Go knock on his door since it's right down the hall; no answer
  • 10:44 - Listen to voicemail; he emailed some additional last-minute orders that were in his mailbox; also, he's going home (pretty early, I might add)
  • 10:49 - Head to computer lab to pick up schedule printouts
  • 10:51 - See that only one of the three copies actually printed, despite the fact that I was debited the sheets for all three from my print quota
  • 10:53 - Use my laptop to print the other two copies
  • 10:58 - Second of the other two copies actually prints and makes it to the "output" table
  • 10:59 - Frantically and apologetically call Patrick, making sure everyone's already there and ready to begin
  • 11:02 - Arrive at William Pitt Union
  • 11:16 - Sing two telephone Valentines
  • 11:35 - Head to a few local businesses for "Random Acts" of Valentines
  • 11:51 - Leave group for class
  • 11:57 - Send a series of advisory text messages to the second-in-commands
  • 12:02 - First class (ChE 0602) begins
  • 12:18 - Mind wanders briefly to "when the heck am I going to eat?"
  • 12:40 - Class seems like it's about to end; it doesn't
  • 12:49 - Class ends
  • 12:50 - Ask friend if she might be able to deliver a lunch to me later in the day if I pay her back; she's not able
  • 12:51 - Take long elevator ride down to Einstein Bros. Bagels to see how the line is and if they have salads
  • 12:54 - Line is long, no salads; take same long elevator ride right back up
  • 13:01 - Second class (ChE 0613) begins
  • 13:33 - Class comes to its ten-minute break early; professor says we'll be done early; I rejoice
  • 13:45 - Class resumes
  • 14:23 - Class ends
  • 14:27 - Arrive at Quiznos Subs; order sub
  • 14:30 - Receive and eat sub
  • 14:40 - Depart Quiznos Subs
  • 14:45 - Arrive at William Pitt Union, discuss the past three hours' of Valentines with second-in-command
  • 15:00 - Take over Singing Valentines again
  • 15:22 - Deliver seven Valentines across campus in 40 minutes... one undelivered due to bad campus address
  • 16:08 - Head to new address given at old address; recipient's office is actually elsewhere
  • 16:31 - A few more phone Valentines
  • 16:56 - Finally deliver previously undelivered Valentine
  • 17:23 - A slew of phone Valentines... basically sing the same 90-second song repeatedly for a couple hours; people come and go, but I stay
  • 19:36 - A number of complimentary phone Valentines undeliverable because the numbers were disconnected (very curious)
  • 19:59 - Deliver final Valentine; dismiss and thank singers profusely
  • 20:05 - Arrive at Benedum Hall
  • 20:09 - Arrive at my locker, retrieve trumpet and pep band clothes
  • 20:14 - Walk up hill
  • 20:20 - Arrive at Petersen Events Center
  • 20:23 - Change clothes, gather belongings
  • 20:29 - Enter arena just in time to play
  • 20:51 - Phone battery dies
  • 21:02 - Tip-off, Pitt v. West Virginia
  • 21:21 - Eat some chips I had from lunch while watching the game to try to stave my hunger
  • 21:34 - Start to get a bit thirsty from chips and repeated use of voice
  • 21:51 - Halftime
  • 22:07 - Plan to eat a late dinner at Arby's after the game since they close at 24:00
  • 22:57 - People start leaving, Pitt down 66-59 with one minute left
  • 23:04 - Regulation ends tied 68-68
  • 23:17 - Portions of voice may have been lost
  • 23:26 - First overtime ends tied 78-78; forgo the option of dinner
  • 23:44 - Second overtime ends tied 88-88
  • 23:55 - Portions of sanity may have been lost
  • 24:02 - Game ends, Pitt wins 98-95 in 3OT
  • 24:11 - Spend about two full minutes at the drinking fountain quenching aforementioned thirst
  • 24:14 - Leave Petersen Events Center
  • 24:23 - Arrive at Benedum Hall
  • 24:25 - Change clothes; return trumpet and pep band clothes to locker
  • 24:31 - Walk to bus stop
  • 24:42 - Board bus to Shadyside
  • 24:53 - Arrive in Shadyside
  • 24:55 - Arrive home
  • 25:00 - Bathroom; settle down; ears start ringing
  • 25:14 - Start writing this post
  • 25:45 - Click "Publish Post"
  • 25:47 - Bed
That said, today was really fun. But I'm also glad that my days aren't like this every day.

And with that, good night. I've got reports to write in the morning.

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11 February 2010


Before I start, I should note that the friends I mentioned a few weeks back, as well as their newborn child, are doing very well. However, there will inevitably be some challenges over the coming weeks and months, so please keep them your thoughts. If you want to stay updated on their progress, you can head over to their CarePages blog here (free registration required).

* * *

Yes, I'm stealing a post title from a friend. No, I am not ashamed. ;)

Anyway, as you have probably surmised from said stolen title (which is really the best possible title for something like this), the main reason I'm writing this post is because the University of Pittsburgh canceled classes on Monday 8, Tuesday 9, and Wednesday 10 February. The reason? All the snow, of course!

That's my friend Marie at right, standing in the freshly fallen snow that came down on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 February in front of a car parked in front of our apartment. I was standing in the middle of the street to take the photo, which was largely fine, as nobody was really driving at the time (and if they were, they were painfully slow, giving ample time to get out of the way).

The official total for the weekend storm at Pittsburgh International Airport was 21.1 in (53.6 cm), and from how things looked, that sounds about right. Obviously, if I had a yardstick, I'd have checked myself. But short of taping my rulers together, I have no way of measuring anything higher than a foot on my own. And that would be a terrible waste of tape, not to mention the inaccuracies involved. So I have to trust the authorities on the matter.

Then on Tuesday and Wednesday we got another 7.9 in (20.1 cm) from a separate storm as the city scrambled to keep up, and we're still getting a few flakes even now. Fortunately, they've been better at keeping up lately (although still far from perfect, according to many complaints).

Anyway, I've actually got classes today. That is, of course, unless the people planning to push snow into the roads to prevent that do something drastic in the next few minutes. But somehow, that seems unlikely.

Sunday was awesome... I had lunch with my friends, then we did some work, then we walked to campus, went to a massive snowball fight, did a bit more homework, had a late dinner, found out classes were canceled, drew a massive Bunny in the snow, and then just hung out. We didn't even watch the Super Bowl at all. (Although I'm personally glad the Saints won.)

Monday and Tuesday, as each day was canceled, I found all sorts of things to do to occupy my time. Some were fairly important and others were rather frivolous, but the point is that I kept switching from one to the other thing and no real progress was made on anything. But Wednesday, I decided to just pick something I would enjoy and see it through to a reasonable end.

It should be noted here that most of the projects I enjoy don't really have an "end", so this just meant staying "focused" to some degree or another regardless of what "other things" I could be doing. Basically, I was ignoring all "opportunity costs", to get back in the mode of the macroeconomics lecture I'll be attending in a couple hours' time.

Anyway, as fun as it was not knowing what was coming next and having copious amounts of time to do anything, there is something to be said for routine. I'm glad that we're done stagnating for now and I'm excited to move forward. Even if that means the next 36 hours are a crazed kind of busy as a result!

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18 January 2010

Friends in Prayer

I’m going to take a little time out from the normal banter of this blog today. Yes, as usual, I have some thoughts on my recent birthday. And for a while now I've also been meaning to film some stuff for an upcoming post here. You read that right. Film. Don't get too excited; it'll be a while yet.

Alas, life goes by much faster than I have time for here. A lot has happened to me in the last couple of weeks, more than I will ever be able to write here. But every once in a while something happens that simply can't be let go, something that just needs to “get out there.” Now. And so, today, I’m writing about just such a something.

On Friday 15 January, two of my friends[1] welcomed their second son into the world, a truly joyous occasion. Unfortunately, there were some complications.

A CT scan revealed a subdural hematoma, and on Saturday evening, this not-even-one-day-old child underwent emergency brain surgery to treat it. Though the operation was a success, he remains in neonatal intensive care where he is being carefully observed to ensure that there is no more bleeding or swelling.

His parents are strong believers in God and are clinging to every bit of good news and every prior success story from the doctors. So far, things are looking good; however, the next several days will be critical.

Please, dear readers, keep this precious child, his parents, and his entire family in your thoughts and prayers during this trying time. With God’s help, he can be another success story for a new generation.

I’ll resume my regularly scheduled programming soon enough. And in due time, Lord-willing, I hope to report good news on this front.

* * *
[1] To avoid the confusion I caused some people when I had mentioned this to them earlier, it should probably be noted that these particular friends are not as near to my own age as the word “friends” might connote. The parents are both in their 30s.


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01 January 2010


Well, it'll still take a bit more time before I'm fully comfortable with it being 2010. I'll give it about a week. Once I start writing it down at the beginning of every class, it'll sink in quickly, I'm sure.

I feel that my annual doodle is somewhat reflective of my mood and optimism for the year. Of course, a lot of the glamour of the new decade has faded since midnight. We romanticize the coming of the new year to end, and a somewhat mystified once it finally arrives, but after about a day or so we quickly realize that everything's pretty much the same.

And the next year, we do it all over again.

Still, even if 2010 doesn't lend us a complete escape from the negative aspects of our lives, it still provides a clean slate of sorts. And it's kind of refreshing.

I rang in 2010 in a much more normal fashion compared to last year, which for me meant sitting at home in the living room and counting down with the family. At midnight. Not at 03:00.

Earlier this evening, I made New Year's Day Cheese Sticks, and while I was perfectly satisfied not making it a new "tradition" like the Chips-'n'-Salsa and Nachos, my brother insisted otherwise. Let's just hope he remembers all these things next year.

And right now, I'm watching Florida beat Cincinnati in the Sugar Bowl, which is making me very happy, for a number of reasons. (None of which involve any animosity toward any of my friends who happen to live in the Cincinnati area. I love you guys.)

Anyway, I'm going to declare a moral victory over my 2009 blogging resolution. Although I did post more than in 2007 or 2008 due to attempting BEDA and my trip to China, I completely failed at even providing a basic update on my life for nearly three months toward the end. I'd like to move past that so that I can get beyond mundanes and actually write something meaningful from time to time.

So for 2010, I resolve that I'll make progress. Progress in writing more often, both for this blog and for myself. Progress in school. Progress in whatever comes after school. It's a lot of unknowns, but part of me thinks that that's what makes me so hopeful.

Best wishes to all for a happy and blessed Twenty-Ten, in whatever forms it may come!


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