|First Full Day||0 comments|
This Thursday, I woke up around 6 naturally, got ready, went to have breakfast (by myself), and then morning prayer. This was followed by message by Stephen Kaung, group fellowship, and lunch (with Chris, Jessie, Hannah, and Daniel). Then I walked a few people to their dorms since they didn't really know the way and wanted help. Then I took the chance to rest a bit in my room before the singspiration and afternoon message by Dana Congdon. Chris and I rushed to dinner, later we were joined by Cathy and Gloria. Then I walked around and talked to people, took a picture with Tabby <3, and then went to the evening meeting by Kwok Hin Wong. I was so tired by then and couldn't really absorb anything, unfortunately.
[Non Sequitur: Kansas man builds a replica of Golden Gate]
|Airport Service||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I woke up at 5 (naturally) and got ready for airport service. Charley and I went to the airport to join the SCA team to welcome people to Seattle for the WCCC conference. Since my arm hurts a lot, Chi decided to have me work at the desk. Basically, I assigned people in (mostly) pairs to go and pick up saints and bring them back to the desk. Then another team takes them to the bus. Since I did this, Chi was able to float around and take care of incidental matters. We finally finished around 5 and drove to PLU. We made it just in time for a very rushed dinner, drop off some luggage for other people, and then went to the meeting. I got there when they already started singing before the meeting. I had to take care of a few things, but definitely was able to focus on the message (praise the Lord!) by Christian Chen. Afterwards, Charley and I finally had time to unload our own luggage. We are roommates without putting it as any special request. I am very tired, time for bed.
[Non Sequitur: Scratch-off minesweeper postcard]
|Meeting Up with People||0 comments|
This Tuesday, I did work in the morning again as Charley slept. Then we went to Google to have lunch with Sid and chat. Afterwards, we came home to continue our music video project. Then we went to meet up with my property manager at my parents' house in Shoreline to take a look. Everything looks great. Then we went to visit Uncle Mack and Auntie Tina, and chat for a few hours and have dinner. In the evening, we went to attend prayer meeting, and then came home to finish packing for the conference tomorrow. I might be off the grid until Sunday.
[Non Sequitur: First Google image for every word in the dictionary]
|Day at Home||0 comments|
This Monday, Charley took a day off, and we stayed home for most of the day. I did work in the morning while Charley slept, much like Saturday. Then he got up and we ate lunch together. He broke some glass so we spend quite some time carefully cleaning up. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon singing together. We have this idea to make a music video together. We'll see how it turns out tomorrow. Charley and his parents took me out to a buffet for dinner. I ate way too much.
[Non Sequitur: Human hair necklaces]
|Breaking Bread at SCA||0 comments|
This Sunday, I went with Charley's dad to SCA in the morning. I forgot my water bottle, so I called Charley's mom to bring it with her when she comes. I only got it after the first hour of breaking of bread meeting, so it was very uncomfortable—yet of course I thoroughly enjoyed my favourite meeting. After lunch, I walked around and talked to a lot of different people—most people remembers me better than I remember them. It was fun to get to say hi to all these uncles and aunties that used to be so fond of me when I was here 8 to 11 years ago. Then I spent some time doing math at a corner before the all-church service meeting for WCCC, which I also attended. I will be helping out at the airport on Wednesday. Afterwards, I helped Tiffany with stuffing letters to the group discussion leaders into their check-in package. I was the only one who read Chinese proficiently, so I volunteered to write the family ID of the people on the letters and let other people stuff them in. It was fun to work with these young brothers and sisters that I sort of know from meeting each year. Ann's parents invited me and Charley to dinner at a restaurant near SCA, where we also saw three other groups of people from church. We had a good time fellowshipping, and then we came home to more fellowshipping.
[Non Sequitur: Queen Elizabeth II's fashion rainbow]
This Saturday, I woke up early and did work all morning while Charley was still sleeping. When he got up, we went to pick Alan Chen up from his place and get lunch at a Pho place. We talked for quite some time—it was good to finally catch up. Indeed, we used to meet together in Hsinchu about twelve years ago when we were kids. After that, this is our most substantial conversation, despite having the real possibility since he came to Seattle (though of course I was already in California). In the afternoon, we went back to Alan's house and played some trivia, Rummikub, and chatted. When his roommate Tony came back, we spent some time singing, waiting for some other people to be ready for dinner. We went to the same restaurant for dinner, and then came back to Alan's house again. Tony suggested watching The Phantom of the Opera, since all three of us really like it. Despite it being one of my favourite, I thought we could do something else that is more productive. Eventually I succumbed, and we did that for a while. When Charley arrived after sending the other brethren home, we decided to call it a night and come home. Overall, today was a lot of socialization, but it was time well spent.
[Non Sequitur: Ithaca mayor turns his personal parking space into a mini-park]
|Bible Study at SCA||0 comments|
This Friday, I woke up at 8 (oops!). I quickly got ready and went to work with Charles again. I spent most of the day working, save lunch break with him to a dim sum place in Chinatown. In the afternoon I video-chatted with advisor to discuss paper issues. At night, we wicked up Calvin, had dinner, and then went to SCA for Bible study. It was great to see many people. I went around greeting lots of older brothers and sisters. I think the order of having gone home first helps this process a lot, since I can volunteer the information that my parents are doing well, and then they won't ask me to say hello for them when I go back. After Bible study, I sang with them for a bit, and then we came home.
[Non Sequitur: Paris woman trapped for 20 days in bathroom]
|Working in Seattle||0 comments|
This Thursday, I woke up at 7 after sleeping only 5 to 6 hours. Since Charley's mom doesn't want me to take a shower before 8:30, I stayed in bed and subsequently fell asleep a bit more. Then I got up, took a shower, ate breakfast, and got ready. I went with Charley to his work place. He put me in an empty room on a different floor, where I worked for about seven hours today. In the middle we went out for lunch, besides that, I was working on math all day. I continued with fixing my first joint paper with Igor, which I started doing last night at the airport. I finished this round of revisions and sent them to Igor. I think this might have been our 8th round or so now. It's getting quite exhaustive and exhausting. I am very glad for an extremely productive day. In the evening, we had dinner with his parents, and then we talked for the rest of the night, mainly quizzing each other on trivia. I like playing with him, I actually win every single round—this happens seldomly for me: not with friends from Caltech, UCLA, or ACF.
[Non Sequitur: Colorful strips of geometric vinyl tape transform room]
This Wednesday, I woke up at 7 despite going to sleep very late due to my evening with John. I spent most of the morning doing chores and errands, including walking to school to print boarding pass (which I didn't use) and get lunch (which I did eat). In the afternoon, I finally started packing. I then left at 16:35 and got to the bus stop at 16:55 to take the Flyaway. We left 17:05 and got to the airport at 17:40. I printed a new boarding pass (so it's prettier) without waiting (there were kiosks with no lines). I got to the gate at around 18:05. We boarded at 19:50, and lifted off at 20:20 (it was scheduled for 19:15). We flew for 1:59:46 and landed at 22:19. I got my luggage (which was gate-checked due to a full flight—they were taking volunteers, since I had a biggish luggage which may or may not fit, I decided to "volunteer" and get awarded priority boarding) and got to the curb at 22:44. Charley came to pick me up around 11 PM and we got home before midnight. We ate a bit, I took a shower, and now it is time to sleep.
[Non Sequitur: Tokyo paper representation]
|War Horse||2 comments|
This Tuesday, I woke up at 7 again, yay. I walked to school while talking to Caleb, got lunch, ate while talking to him, and then went to the library to borrow a book. Steph called me and we talked for an hour or so. Then I talked to my future officemate Siddharth for an hour about Turing machines. I then rushed home and drove to tutoring. This was followed by driving for about 1.75 hours over the distance of about 15 miles to get to John Shen's apartment in downtown LA. He cooked simple dinner, and we ate quickly, since I was so late. Then we walked over to Ahmanson Theatre to watch War Horse on stage. It was pretty enjoyable, though I think he was not impressed at all. This has been a very filled day—I basically had the entire day planned, though most events had some flexibility, so I was not overly stressed.
[Non Sequitur: Blindry]
This Monday, I woke up at 8... oops? I was up last night until 1 AM because I couldn't wall asleep. What's worse, I was so tired that I spent the next two hours lying on my couch and bed—and even fell asleep (albeit briefly). I then ate breakfast/lunch for the first time in a long long while (that is, merging the two meals—something I really do not like to do). Then Steph called me and we talked on and off for about one out of two hours (she was dealing with some errands while (not) talking to me). This is the first time we really talked since she last visited me on my birthday. Then Caleb called so I decided to talk to him while walking to the department for a simple printing errand. After I got home, I saw an email from Igor about our rectangles paper. Basically, good and bad news. I'll have to work on this some more... I went to Mitsuwa for dinner, followed by tutoring Zac. I worked on stuff for the MRC rectangles group at Mitsuwa, and also later at night.
[Non Sequitur: 3d sketches]
|Talking at ACF||0 comments|
This Sunday, I was surprised that I woke up at 7 still. Indeed, last night I couldn't wall asleep even until 1 AM, in part because of a loud party that was going on. I am very thankful to the Lord for waking me up for today's meeting. I translated during breaking of bread and played guitar for the kids. We then had a retreat planning meeting over lunch, and after that I talked with Beryl a lot longer about a lot of things—mostly retreat or HSG related. By the time we were done, almost everyone was gone. I chatted a bit with June, Tammy, and Eunice, and then a lot more with Steve and Tammy. I will miss these people a lot when I leave. I finished talking to them at around 4, which means I talked for 3 hours or so!! I then locked up the parking lot (it's kind of funny that I'm still the one locking up today, even though I have been gone for four weeks; I was also the one who unlocked it this morning). Then I drove back, and had dinner, relaxed, did a bit of math, re-watched one of my favourite movies A Walk to Remember, and now getting ready for bed.
[Non Sequitur: Dance school]
|Bible Study||1 comment|
This Saturday, I woke up at 7 after sleeping a bit after midnight (again). But I was so tired I stayed lying down for another hour (though I tried really hard to not fall asleep). Then I rushed to get ready and went to Bible study (getting there just in time). After Bible study, I went with Fang and the Han family to Thai Purple. It was nice catching up. Then I came back and played around with the new audio system to get up to speed, as I might be doing recording tomorrow. Then I spent another half an hour or so filling all the bathrooms with hand towels. Indeed, in the morning I noticed most of them are not just out of hand towels, but also not stocked in the cupboards. I went to our storage closet and couldn't find any. In the afternoon I checked the girls' restrooms and found a few unopened ones, so I distributed them among all the dispensers, so each one would have at least a little bit. Then when I was about to leave, I spotted a new box of multi-fold towels in the kitchen. So I opened it, filled the dispensers, and stocked the cupboards. Seriously, how do they function without me? Nah, just kidding, I'm sure they'd find a way.
On the drive back, and also later at home, I talked to Caleb. Since I ate too much for dinner on accident, I wanted to take a stroll, so Caleb talked to me while I walked to the math department, printed something, and walked back. Then we continued talking while I was in the room. All together, I'd say we talked for about two hours today. That's 3.5 hours in two days.
[Non Sequitur: Dear Einstein, do scientists pray?]
|The Complexity of Generalized Domino Tilings||0 comments|
This Friday, I slept from a bit past midnight to 7. Excellent. Now it's time to go the other direction, and hope I don't keep sliding later. In the morning, I went out for a short jog, and then I did math. I read through a paper that Igor did not fully understand yet is still citing in our paper. I figured out what it is saying, realized it is not saying what Igor think it says, and wrote him an email detailing this. Then I went to have lunch with Justin Shih. Four years and this is the first (and most likely last) time we are doing this. It's a bit ridiculous that we just exchanged numbers yesterday after all these years. He graduated so we probably won't have more opportunities. I wanted to catch him before he leaves, so I treated him to lunch. Later, I went back to his apartment and we had a nice time chatting. I took some of the stuff that he was giving away, and then I came home to continue working. Sure enough, Igor had emailed me back with his thoughts. I incorporated everything and sent him another draft. When he had finished, I made yet another round of edits, and then submitted the paper to a journal (without him looking at it again). This is our second joint paper. Let's hope for good results. I need some now. At night, Caleb called me and we talked for 1.5 hours or so. It's been almost a week since we last talked. It feels so weird to have so much we need to catch up on. We'll try to talk tomorrow again, and then maybe Sunday, and Monday—too much to say, too little time: I will be leaving on Wednesday for Seattle.
[Non Sequitur: Rinser toothbrush]
|Meeting with Igor||0 comments|
This Thursday, I woke up at 5 after sleeping from around 10 PM last night. Nice. Hopefully I will be tired around midnight so I can sleep and wake at a reasonable time again tomorrow. I had a foot injury hence I haven't jogged in several weeks. Today I decided to start again—I am terribly out of shape, but it feels good to come back. I went to Whole Foods but they were not yet open in the morning. So I came back, did some work, and then went again (by car) to buy stuff—this ended up working well since my fridge is quite empty and I bought way more than the amount I would want to carry walking back.
I did work in the morning to get ready for meeting with Igor. We talked about our dominoes paper. I will make some more edits by tomorrow, but pretty much we are done with this. I told him I'll continue writing my third paper in the next few weeks. Today is our last meeting for the summer as he is leaving in a few days.
[Non Sequitur: Build a hovercraft with your kids]
|Back to LA||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I woke up at 5 AM again! I went with astro to his lab in the morning, where we both continued to work on our papers. After lunch, he drove me to the airport. We left around 14:30 and got to the airport around 15:30. As usual, I went to relax for a bit (his car was super hot), then changed into long pants and stuffed the shorts into my checked luggage. Then I went to check-in at the Silver Member counter (didn't have to wait at all). After sitting down to eat some snacks that I brought, I went to empty my water bottle, and then went through security. It was pretty fast—I didn't even have to take off my shoes. Immigration was equally painless—no waiting meant I had to fumble to get my passport once I reached the empty line (I was unprepared since I thought I would have to wait in line at least a few seconds). Then I walked to the gate, which is at its usual location (C8). After checking it, I doubled back and came to the EVA VIP Lounge. Now I have 1.5 hours or so here before boarding. Having lounge access makes travelling a lot more pleasant. I got some free food to eat.
I walked over around 18:00 to board the plane. We lifted off at 18:56, and after a 11:45:16 flight, we landed at 15:41. After a very long taxi, we finally got to the gate at 16:01. It took me a long time to de-plane and get through customs. Even after that, I still had to wait a long time for my luggage. Weird, they didn't do the "Elite class luggage comes out before economy class" they had when I landed in Taiwan. Eventually I got to the curb at 16:56 and waited for the Flyaway bus. We left the airport (with only three passengers) at 17:19, and got back to Westwood around 18:03. I then took almost half an hour to walk home. Apparently walking that distance with a heavy luggage and an injured wrist after sleeping very little on a long flight is much harder than with a lighter luggage, healthy, and well slept. I don't regret not asking people for a ride though—this is much simpler for everyone.
On the plane I watched Love's Kitchen and The Hunger Games. I slept for part of the middle third of the trip. Now I've unpacked and am going to try sleeping around midnight or so.
[Non Sequitur: MIT's freaky non-stick coating keeps ketchup flowing]
This Tuesday, I woke up at 5 again, despite going to sleep at midnight. I stayed in bed until 7 and got up. After breakfast, astro was working on his paper (joint with me) and I was working on my paper (joint with Igor). Then we went to NEHS to visit the art teacher—something we like to do every year. There we met nogard (planned) and chatted with the teacher for an hour or so. He had lunch plans, so I went with astro to buy lunch and brought it to his lab to eat. Then in the afternoon we continued working on our own papers. He also had me look over our joint paper, and I picked out a lot of English errors to fix. In the evening, we went to meet with silver, whom we were unable to contact for yesterday's dinner. We had dinner, walked around, and sat at a drinks place afterwards and talked for a total of three hours. Our lot really has a lot of friendship from the good old days.
[Non Sequitur: Who works the longest hours?]
This Monday, I woke up at 5 again and went to buy breakfast with dad before he goes to the farmland. I started packing this morning, and it only took me 45 minutes to do so! Then dad and mom went with me to buy lunch boxes and go to the train station. We ate there, and then they bought station tickets to go in with me to help me carry luggage. I took the 13:03 train leaving Hualien, and arrived in Hsinchu at 17:08. My middle school friend astro came to pick me up, as usual. We went back to his house first and rested for a bit. Then we went to dinner with Libby and aeon. We had a nice 2.5-hr dinner, talking about old times, the past year (I saw them last summer), the present, and the future. We also chat randomly about academic matters and such—they are definitely three of my closest friends from middle school.
[Non Sequitur: Canberra man runs half marathon in hot air balloon]
|Last Full Day at Home||0 comments|
This Sunday, my dad woke me up at 5 and said he wants to go to the farmland by himself, and asked me whether I want to go with him to breakfast now (so early??) or wait until he gets back (way too late). I gave him a better offer—go buy breakfast now and eat it at the usual time. I am so smart! I sent Igor a revised draft of our dominoes paper, and told him of my unavailabilities for the next few days, and suggest meeting this Thursday (precisely 24 hours after my scheduled landing back in LA). Then for the rest of the day I took care of pre-packing. In the US, pre-packing involves picking what to pack. Here in Taiwan, it involves opening and tossing all the plastic containers and boxes of merchandise I purchased to save space. I did that for most of the day. I also talked to Caleb one last time before heading back to the States.
[Non Sequitur: San Jose high school students share name, quote, and fame]
|Farmland, Part II||0 comments|
This Saturday, I went with dad to the farmland again, but this time with mom as well. Today I was mostly the photographer, taking pictures of my parents harvesting a variety of produce including corn, carrot, yam, and eggplant. Then we went to our breakfast place as usual. Then for the rest of the morning, I tried getting the photos off of my dad's phone. I posted some photos on Facebook. In the afternoon, I continued working on my dominoes paper—I am almost done with another round of revisions. In the evening, the three of us went to Hualien City again for dinners, and also to run some final errands.
[Photo: The vegetables at lunch were from our farmland!]
[Non Sequitur: Visual clues help us eat less]