|[VB] Mellow Day||0 comments|
This Sunday, I picked Jacky up again. I translated for breaking of bread, lead singing for the kids, and then listened to the message. In the afternoon, I played volleyball with Cal-y-mari, Jennifer, David, Jacky, and the Lee boys. Then I had dinner with David and Jacky at Subway, and then drove Jacky home. In the evening, I did a bit of work, and then now time to sleep early. Good night world!
[Photo: Messerschmidt's The Vexed Man at the Getty Center.]
|[VB] Seven Nice Games||0 comments|
This Sunday, I picked Jacky up and went to church. Today was a super light day in terms of service. It was my turn to translate for breaking of bread, but Ernest insisted on doing it. Then I played music for the high school and middle school kids. David Wu joined us for singing (as he is teaching the HSG, for the first time), which made it really fun—I could hear someone else singing for once. He said "bring the house down" when we were going to sing Shout to the Lord and he went 8va second time around during the verse. For lunch, I had no meetings or offering duties, I simply sat in the chapel at the table we used for HSG and ate there. After I sat down at the empty table, about five kids (middle school to high school) came to join me. I told math jokes, they laughed a lot. They asked me for more math jokes, so I told more. This was great. Since we were planning to play volleyball and they are not playing football, I left early and didn't even lock up. This must indeed be the lightest I've ever done!
I haven't played volleyball since the day before Anne left for Taiwan. At the beginning, I was with Anne and played against Caleb, Jennifer, and Jacky. Then Priscilla and her friend David came. I played with them against Caleb, Jennifer, Jacky, and Anne. It was pretty close at the end, we were leading by a little bit. I could easily serve and finish the game, but I figured that's not that fun for people, so I just serve nicely so we could actually rally. In the end, we lost 20-22, but I really didn't care about that. Then I told Caleb that we don't usually get to play on the same team—we should take advantage of the fact that we have so many people. He agreed, and played with me and Jacky against Priscilla, David, Jennifer and Anne. Then Caleb said he was going to leave, I coaxed him into one more. Someone suggested the teams for the second match-up, which was very close. So we did that, and then Caleb left. Now with him gone, Jennifer suggested brothers verses sisters. We won 25-14ish the first game, but then we started practising various shots and lost 22-25 the second. I convinced them to play a tiebreak to 15. I was very tired by the end, and we lost 11-15. I had a lot of fun—playing seven games. Then I went with Jacky, Anne, and David to dinner at Pho 79. I only met Jacky yesterday and David today, but it was very nice to have dinner with them and chat. This works because of our common life in Christ. After dinner, I drove Anne and Jacky home. I was so tired that I got home, took a shower, and went to sleep. So for two days in a row now, I didn't really watch TV!
|[VB] After Jogging||1 comment|
This Sunday, I went to fellowship as usual (wow, I haven't used this phrase since two Fridays ago). Today I helped play guitar for the high school and middle school groups. Afterwards, I talked to Bob for quite a long time. I figured this is important, so I continued listening to him talk about various things. Today we had a high school group planning meeting, which started late since it took me longer to open offering box than I expected. So we ran quite long into the service meeting, which I stayed for while taking care of other things a bit away from them, only listening in and jumping in at a few key places (regarding keys, haha). On my drive home, I called Caleb back (since I missed his call earlier) and talked the whole way. I decided to go to the gym to jog again. After jogging, I went to the volleyball court to cool down before coming home, but I got sucked into playing again. So I ended up being out until 6 PM, which was great exercise anyway.
|[VB] Wooden Center||0 comments|
This Sunday, I went to pick Hannah up again. She drove to church (and back), so I didn't have to drive much today. Yay! After the meeting, I helped Ernest with making CDs. A whole lot of people wanted CDs today. Good thing he was here. I wouldn't know what to do if I had to do this all by myself. Then we sang some hymns. Besides leaning a new hymn today, we also reviewed 4 old ones! Then I drove Hannah to the groceries store since she wanted to buy some food. After that, she drove us home.
Then I went to the gym directly in my Sunday clothes. I changed to sports attire and went jogging, like yesterday. I ran slightly faster by a minute per mile. It was still fairly slow, so I won't tell you what the actual time was. Then I went to play volleyball for about two hours, where I played 4 out of six games. I met some new people today—some were really friendly. I would like to go back again. I haven't played in the Wooden Center since October last year.
|[VB] More Volleyball||0 comments|
This Sunday, I went to pick up the kids for church, as usual. I translated for breaking of bread (Hannah played piano for the first time!!), taught high school group, and did offering. It's my 3 in 3 day. After I was all done, many people I wanted to talk to had already disappeared. So I went and looked over the textbooks that Steph's parents brought for me. More on that tomorrow.
In the afternoon, we played volleyball again! Initially I was with Mari and Caleb Chiu, playing against Eddie, his friend Angela, and Anne. Then Priscilla came and joined my team. Later Caleb left, and I switched with Eddie. Then we did a 2v4 game with me and Eddie against all the girls. Finally, when people were done with football, Alex joined our team while Alan and Hernandez joined theirs. In every single configuration, I won a majority of games. It was definitely interesting to play with different people in various team set-ups. I hope the other people had fun, too.
Afterwards, we went to Vietnamese house in the Phoenix plaza. This meant we had Vietnamese food two days in a row, so I had the chance to order something different from what I usually order. Then I gave Alan a ride home.
|[VB] After Several Months||0 comments|
This Sunday, I picked Hannah up for church, as usual. I then translated, went to the youth group sharing meeting, and then led the high school group planning meeting. After we were done, pretty much everything was wrapped up by then. I locked the building up, and then I went to the field. The last time I was at this field was the day before school started in the fall. Since then, I have been very busy working and preparing for my ATC exam. Once I was done with the exam, I emailed Eddie, Mari, and Priscilla, and suggested playing 2v2 volleyball. Mari has been asking me for weeks when I will have time again, and I kept putting it off to come home to work even on Sundays. Now I definitely intend to stop working as furiously, at least for a while.
|[VB] Wooden Center||0 comments|
This Sunday, I picked up Eric for church as usual, but Sam and Hannah were not coming today. It's been a while that I drove him by himself, we talked about some random things. During the meeting, I listened to the message in the chapel via radio transmission. After the meeting, I tried to hunt down Beryl to talk to her about HSG matters. This went on for about forty minutes, since whenever she is talking to someone else, I leave for a bit and come back and she is talking to someone else already. I need to be more assertive so I don't have to wait on this the whole time. Then I drove Eric, Anne, and her friend back. I actually took Eric groceries shopping as well. Then I went to the gym to exercise for the rest of the afternoon. Instead of running on the treadmill like I've been doing, I ended up playing a few games of volleyball. I was definitely the worst player, and they had to cover me. But I did some good stuff, and overall, we won every single game—but it's almost all because of my teammates.
|[VB] Sand Volleyball||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I went to school for classes, had lunch with Athipat for the first time this (school) year. Then I had a long-ish meeting with Igor and talked about a lot of new ideas. Today besides walking to (and from) school, I also walked to (and from) Whole Foods for groceries. In the evening, Eric texted me to come play (sand) volleyball with his friends, so I did. It was pretty fun. This week so far I've had some sort of exercise each day.
|[VB] 2v2||0 comments|
This Sunday, I went to pick Eric up from the UCLA dorms and go to church. This might become a regular thing now. After church, we went to the park. Some of us played football. I played some volleyball with Eddie, Mari, Caleb, Priscilla, and Steve. During breaks, I chased Mercy and Cether around in the playground. At the end, Eddie and Mari played against Priscilla and myself—I think we all had some fun. Afterwards, people went to have dinner. Eric wanted to come back first, so I took him. I was so hungry, good thing I had a snack bar that I gulped down. It was good talking to him on the way there and back, getting to know him a little.
|[VB] Windy||0 comments|
This Sunday, I went to church as usual. I went out and had lunch with Chris and Jess at Pho 79. Then I spent quite a bit of time talking to Beryl and Stephanie regarding HSG. In the afternoon, I took out the trash and locked up as usual, then I went to the park and start setting up the volleyball net. I haven't played in a month or so. It was very windy today, and people were not very interested in playing. I think I played perhaps 6 games only. Afterwards, I was originally going to have dinner with them, but since no one took the net and I am not coming to the outing tomorrow, I was concerned they might want to use the net assembly (like previous years) and so I took it to church. Then I sort of lost interest in going to dinner, so I just came home. A weekend is over, must start working hard again tomorrow.
|[VB] Bigger Group||0 comments|
This Sunday, I woke up early again, yay! I practised the first half of my talk in the morning, then I went to church. I listened to the message in the chapel again. I'm thinking of making it play on the speakers, but I'd need to get some converters. I helped Kevin with some differential equations homework (wow, I still have it in me!) and then went and played volleyball. It was pretty fun. We played 2 out of 3 and switched teams after each match. Some were evenly matched but some were quite far apart. Anyway, it was good—I think I played with every single person. Afterwards we went to Sam Woo to have dinner. We had only seven people, and six of us shared family-style, which is, in my opinion, the only way to eat out at a Chinese restaurant—it's quite unpleasant, in my opinion, to only order one dish and eat the whole thing for a meal. At night, I thought about some combinatorial design problems. One of which was for Steph's teaching, but the other was just for my own benefit. In other words, Michael Woods and Evan Murphy's endeavour into Trebuchettes was successful! Congratulations.
|[VB] 2v2 Wins||0 comments|
This Sunday, I went to church as usual. I listened to the entire message! Usually about half-way through, I need to use the restroom, eat some snacks, and also get fresh air. We've been testing this system of broadcasting the message over an FM channel (locally, the signal is not very strong). So I listened to the message outside! Yay, no more need to come home and listen to the second half of the recording.
Afterwards, we had a baptismal service for a sister, Matthew, and Zeph. Then we went to the park to play sports. I was originally going to just go home and work (the last few weeks I went to play table tennis, but today I actually had made up my mind to go home). But Eddie and Stacie wanted to play. So I stayed. They teamed up for the whole time, while I played with Steph, Tammy, then Jennifer (one at a time), while they rotated out of football with the rest of the people. I won every single game. Then I was with Steph against Steve and Tammy, Alex joined us and Fang joined them. Finally I was with Alex against Steve and Fang. Anyway, I did not lose. It was quite fun. But I think I'm going to pay dearly tomorrow. So much work, not even funny.
In the evening, I went to dinner with them. Tammy ordered some dishes she knew I would like! Yay Tammy!! Then I drove home while talking to Caleb, and continued talking for like an hour while I do tasks around the house and such (and he did, too). All in all, a very good day.
|[VB] Whole Group||0 comments|
This Sunday, I studied Hebrews 12 with the high school group. Jonah was teaching the upper elementary group. Neither of us wanted to teach for 1.5 hours, so we sang some songs. I played the guitar, it was horrible. But I guess being great is not necessarily the point. Anyway, then in the afternoon, we played volleyball as a whole group. I think we haven't done this since last summer. It's good to do it again. I don't know if this is a one-time thing or it will be recurring. But anyway, I might not be able to play too much next quarter anyway. Afterwards, we went to dinner at Phoenix. I sort of miss just spending some time with brothers and sisters. I took a break from doing work this weekend.
|[VB] A Little||0 comments|
This Sunday, we had sharing meeting in the youth group, and high school group joined them. I had something I could share, but so many people wanted to share I decided not to share this time. In the afternoon I went out to the field. This is the first time since three months ago. A few of us played a little volleyball, but most people still played football. I guess people love football so much that not even Doris visiting will change that. Oh well. Today I had extra time because I just gained 6 hours of work time tomorrow as something was cancelled last minute. But otherwise I'm not certain at this point how many Sundays I can afford to not work anyway. Right now I can already feel my hand getting sore. This week will be fairly painful I think.
|[VB] Finally with ACF||0 comments|
This Sunday, we finally played volleyball again! Chris is back in town, so we decided to try to get enough people to play while most people are playing football. We found Anne. So now we are only lacking one person. We figured that would be easily remedied, so I actually stayed for once and got pumped up to play—except we were lacking a pump. But later we found it, and were able to play volleyball. Besides the aforementioned, we had several people (in waves) play with us, including Dan, Eddie, Gershom, Jessica, Joshua, Priscilla, Ray, and Rebecca. The most we had at one point was 4 on 4, but it was still very fun overall. Afterwards, people went to eat, but I decided to leave and come home. Eating out takes too much time. I already spent the entire day out, I should come home and get ready to sleep so I can wake up early and do work tomorrow. The last time I played volleyball with ACF was roughly three months ago right before I went back to Taiwan. Between then and now, I played once (briefly) at Wooden Center.
|[VB] After Two Months||0 comments|
This Sunday, I woke up rather early and got to church with plenty of time to spare, despite the fact that the 10 ramp on the 5 was closed and I had to make a detour. It feels good to be early again. We had a sharing meeting, which was pretty good. Some people who don't usually shared did. Then afterwards, people were playing football again so I left and came home. Since this is actually the first Sunday I had time to play (a fact that I mentioned to a few people), I decided to go play volleyball in the Wooden Centre. Almost everyone there was Chinese, so I fit just right in. They are quite good, and continued to "cover" me, though also encouraging me to join them. Yay. I think I'll go every once in3 a while. They are friendlier than the weeknight people I've encountered before. Anyway, this is the first time I played volleyball since before going back to Taiwan two months ago.
|[VB] WWNVB Once More||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I went to IKEA in Carson to look around for furniture. Afterwards, I visited Jess to give her some computer equipment. Then we talked for a while. When Steph got home, we went to get a carwash—my car was very dirty from being parked outside for a week while I was on the East Coast. Then I ate the food I got at IKEA and then headed to Culver City for volleyball. I basically did not get to spend time with Steph at all, oh well; I guess it was not necessarily the point.
Volleyball was quite fun. It may be because we haven't done this in a while, or because we had more people this time (we played 5 on 5). Alexey came to join us and he played very well. Now I can feel satisfied and go back to Taiwan.
|[VB] With Mary||0 comments|
This Friday, I went to school to take care of some errands, including parking permits and printing things for the trip (maps, schedule, address, boarding pass). Then I went tutoring again, followed by driving to Torrance just like yesterday. I went with Mary to pepper volleyball, which was really good. Later Steph came to join us (wow) and it actually worked out quite well as well. The key is to have Mary there, who can control the ball really well. The easiest was when Steph was only setting, since Mary and I can both hit and bump quite accurately to each other and to Steph, respectively. Anyway, I stayed for dinner, and then talked for a while. Bye Mary.
|[VB] Tight Games||0 comments|
This Sunday, even before breaking of bread, I started talking to people I needed to track down. After translating for breaking of bread, I continued tracking people down during recess (like in elementary school?), and worked on the training meeting material during message meeting, then continued working while eating lunch (did not even finish lunch) and started doing training meeting for two hours. By the time I was done, I was exhausted (also because it was already dinner time for East Coast time) and just sat there on the bench. I was consider going home, but people wanted to play volleyball, so I figured I would play a bit.
The games were really tight. I was with Steph, Fang, and Alex (and later Steven) against Steve and Tammy, Jonah, Doris, and Jennifer. Jennifer had some great hits today actually. And I was pretty happy about some of my sets. We won the first and the third games, and lost the second one 31-29. Those were really tight, and thus really fun.
|[VB] WWNVB||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I spent the day finishing the handbook. It is done. Yay. We have it sent to the printer. No going back. This was a lot of work in the last few days. I am glad it is over. Time to rest.
In the evening, we resumed WWNVB. I got there at 7:15, at the beginning of when we said we would meet. By 7:30, no one was there, so I started setting up the net. When I was done with the net assembly, Steph showed up. So I had her help me with the boundaries. We were done, and still no one was here (and note that it takes a lot longer to set up boundaries with few people), so we did some peppering practice. It was actually really good. Anyway, after waiting for about an hour, finally people showed up, and so we played. I was with Doris, Steve, and Tammy pretty much the entire night. It was kind of fun, but also I wished we had more variations—like Sunday. This may be the last time I play volleyball before the conference? We'll see.
|[VB] Team Swapping||0 comments|
This Sunday, Steph translated for breaking of bread! Well, I started first since she was late. But then she took over. This was her first time, and I brought this upon her. The reason to look for new people is because, if not, starting this month, I would have been the only one translating. And that's not good. Especially since in the next few months, I will be gone for half the time.
In the afternoon, we played volleyball. We did not have many people, and we agreed to play 2 out of 3 to 15 points each. After each set of games, we switched teams. This was quite fun. At first I was with Jess and Doris against Dan, Steph, and Albert. Then I was with Steph, Doris, and Annie against Dan, Albert, Jess, and Rebecca. Then I was with Rebecca, Steph, and Albert against Dan, Annie, Doris, and Zeph. Finally, I was with Steph and Rebecca against Dan, Doris and Albert. I lost 2 or 3 games, but I won every single set. Poor Dan. I did not really get a chance to do too much attacking, but there was a lot of running and strategic playing and covering. So it was still fun. The few hits I got, I directed them with a lot more precision than the past. I think my squaring practice is paying off.
|[VB] Practice||0 comments|
This Sunday, I went to church by myself. Alex is home now, and even in the future, we probably will seldom carpool, since he will be living with Jonah and Fang. In the afternoon, we had a baby shower for Dan and Ruby. This is the first one I've ever been to, since they wanted brothers to go as well, even though usually it seems like only sisters go. Ernest also helped me to copy Patrick's last message from tape to the computer, so we can listen to it more easily. By the time we were almost done, almost everyone was gone already—with only Alan and Doris left. We decided to go play volleyball anyway. It was actually really good practice. At times it was frustrating because we were not getting the peppering rhythm down. But eventually we had some good rallies. I have much more control of my hits than either of them, but Doris got better towards the end. As usual, she digs very well. I also practiced over-hand setting to the point that my fingers were really tired. This was a good day.
|[VB] Hurt||0 comments|
This Sunday, I woke up to my alarm, so tired. I was seriously considering coming back after the meeting to rest. But when people wanted to play volleyball, how could I resist, so I went. We played some good games, but I got hurt. For the first time, I actually have a noticeable bruise. I think this happened when I dived to save a ball, and I landed wrong. I have been doing this a lot, and I always roll and get back up without hurting myself. Somehow, today I was unable to execute a correct landing. Now I am hurt.
|[VB] Saturday||0 comments|
This Saturday, I went to Bible study as usual. I left a bit early to have lunch with some Caltech people; we were celebrating Caleb Ng going to grad school, I think. Afterwards, I came back to church, picked up Alex, Gershom, and his friend Dan. We drove to Torrance to play volleyball. We waited at Steph's place until people arrived, and then we played. It was pretty fun, and people were quite intense (not implying we were playing well). Afterwards, we had dinner at King's Hawaiian (yay!), and then Alex and I went back with Steph and Chris to their place (where I left my car). I talked to Steph's parents for a while, and then we came home. It is pretty late, I definitely need to set an alarm for tomorrow morning.
|[VB] Good Games||0 comments|
This Thursday, we played volleyball in the evening again. This time, we had Fang, Alex, Dan, Doris, and Steph. So we played 3v3. It was really fun. We had a few off games, but most of them were quite close, and quite challenging. At the very end, I was with Steph and Doris, and I was working really hard to make Steph win one more before she leaves. When we were down 22-24, Steph said, "we lost." But I (lightly) rebuked her. We won the next point, and it was my serve, and I got us tied, and eventually we won. I was quite happy, but I honestly did it for her.
|[VB] Small Games||0 comments|
This Sunday, in the afternoon we played volleyball, baseball, football, and soccer. Wow. Four sports! I mainly played volleyball. We had full games for a while, but then people started playing soccer. So Doris and I played against Steve and Caleb. Tammy joined them, and Alan joined us. And later Antonia joined them and Annie joined us. These small games were quite intense, and fun. Afterwards, we had like 15 people go to Phoenix for dinner. I shared food with Lydia, which was pretty nice.
|[VB] Good Sunday||0 comments|
This Sunday, I translated for communion and did offering box afterwards. I am no longer sure which weeks are mine and which are not. It becomes all kind of fluid now. I know that I missed last week, so I was fine doing whatever this week. After church, we played volleyball, despite not sure how many people will play (possibly 2v2). After a while, however, we actually got a few full 6v6 game! It was a pretty good mix today. We had games where there were people of different levels playing together for fun, and also some quite intense games. We had some games that were quite chill or landsliding, and some others that were very close. Fang jumped high and spiked once today. That was epic. I also got some good digs (really happy) and a few acceptable hits (yay). I really need to set better. It is also nice to have Jonah joining us again. He seems to be recovering. Afterwards, we went to Phoenix for dinner. And then I took Alex home. The entire trip we did not say a word, I think we were both rather tired. I am actually quite glad we feel the freedom to not say anything (and sometimes talk a lot). It's good to be able to do both.
|[VB] Resumed||0 comments|
This Thursday, I got up semi-early again (yay!) after only 8 hours of sleep or so (given how much I've been sleeping lately, this is a good change of pace). I worked a lot, almost being too late to school. After a wonderful teaching session (yay!), even though I again did not get to the magnitude function of an n-dimensional vector, I went to seminar, did some work, and then came home. I cooked dinner, and then got ready for volleyball.
I have not played since two Sundays ago (18 days), so I am a bit rusty (and eager). I also predict I will be really sore tomorrow. At first I played with Jess against Dan Shen and Alex. We lost quite badly, and Steph came in to help, but then Jess left. So we played 2v2 this way and lost two games, and then I teamed up with Alex, and won. Jonah joined their team and we still won. So now Steph lost all and Alex won all, so they are now together, and I am with Dan and Jonah. We won both games, but they were both very very close. I feel bad for Steph since she lost every single game. I actually kind of regret not letting her won the last one. But anyway, it was fun tonight for me. Hopefully I will be able to do this again some time, but next week look really busy so far.
|[VB] Wavering||0 comments|
This Sunday, I woke up early and went to pick Leo up. I got his contact information from Tammy who got it from Sernhong who wanted us to say hi to him. So I went quite far out of my way to pick him up, but I figured this is the first time, and I've been the one talking to him, so I'll do it. I gave Alex to Joy not because I did not want to take Alex, but because I did not want Alex to have to sit through a lot longer drive just because I'm picking Leo up. Anyway, good that everything worked out.
In the afternoon, we played volleyball. Today it wavered between extremely frustrating to extremely rewarding. The frustrating part came from people not paying attention or playing in very mean manner. The rewarding part partly came from the fact that I set for Steph quite well today and she also set for me quite well. In the past, we've tried and failed a lot, and today, it worked! Yayayay!
|[VB] Very Good||0 comments|
This Thursday, my section was very poorly attended. Oh well. They had very few questions, so I pretty much did all the extra problems I prepared. Good thing I came prepared. In the evening, I went to play volleyball like last week. Unlike last week, I have a lot of energy today, and did quite well. I had very few opportunities to hit, but I defended quite well, and I realised I get quite some pleasure playing in the back—which is a good thing. I am able to cover most of the back, and when I do my job well, no one sees it, but I am happy. I started out with Caleb and Alex against Dan, Dan, and Chris. We won and then Steph joined them. We won again, and then I joined them while Steve and Tammy joined Alex and Caleb. We lost a few but then came back and won the rest. It was really fun tonight, since many games were really close.
|[VB] Switch Teams||0 comments|
This Sunday, I picked up Jess and Alex for church, and finally, after translating 3 weeks in a row for communion, I get to pray this week. It's good to pray again, since I was also sick the week before the 3-week stretch so basically had a month of non-prayers. Anyway, in the afternoon, even though it was really cold, we played volleyball still. Today I think was really fun, since we switched teams a lot. We played 2 out of 3 and kept switching teams when that happens. When it is tie-breaker it was pretty intense (we had that a few times), whereas the one where one side won 2-0 straight, we quickly switched teams since that was somewhat of an unfair team composition (I think—I had forgotten what the teams were). Anyway, I think I am a lot happier when we switch teams and such. I had a few good digs, some good passes, a few acceptable bump-sets (I still don't feel comfortable enough to do overhand set), and some good serves (once when we were down 19-22 or so I score 4 points straight just by serving—they were unable to return it over—so we caught up). I have a few acceptable hits as well, I think. But since I was focusing a lot on the defense in the back and also setting, it took my mind off the fact that I did not get many good sets to me for hitting, and thus consequently was not frustrated by such.
|[VB] WWNVB Resumed After an 18-week Hiatus||0 comments|
This Thursday, I did more tutoring in the morning, teaching at school, office hours, and seminar. For my office hour, only one student came, but he did not have question about the course. Indeed, he had already finished all the homework for this term (!!), and turned it in to the professor this morning. Steve, the professor, who is a combinatorics postdoc, gave him some books to read for fun. He came to ask me help on one of the combinatorial problems he could not figure out. This is so cool. We talked for half an hour, and then I had to go seminar. Today the seminar was really interesting, and I quite enjoyed it. Then I had a lot of little tasks I had to take care of, including preparation for signing a lease tomorrow at Kelton, where I will possibly live for years to come.
At night, I picked up Jessica and Alex and went to play volleyball. After a 18-week hiatus, WNNVB is finally back! I was with Steph, Chris, Stacy, and Dan Chan. We played against Alex, Jess, Dan Shen, Dan Tse, and Doris. We lost almost every single game, but we did won towards the end. I had very few opportunities to even hit, but I did get a few good hits in, even one with my left hand. I guess I was just not next to anyone who could set well. Oh well.
Afterwards, I went back to the math department to do some more work, only to leave close to midnight. I was so tired and I almost ran someone over on the way home. I probably should not do this too much any longer. I have been sleeping about 6 to 7 hours each night, which is a lot fewer hours than my usual routine.
|[VB] John Elijah||0 comments|
This Sunday, I translated communion for the third week in a row now, covering for Joy, Jonah, and June, respectively. Next week is actually my week... so... Anyway, then I did recording since Ernest was not here, and then offering box. So busy today. I finally started eating lunch but then we had a meeting to pray for John. In the afternoon, we went to play volleyball. It's good to play again. Today we played 4v4 mostly. I was with Caleb, Steph, and Fang. It was pretty good. We probably won and lost around the same number of games—which makes it fun. I had some fairly good hits today, and also some very accurate passing. As usual, my sets are still not really up to par. Today was the last time John is here, so it was nice to play volleyball with him one last time before he leaves. Afterwards, they went out to eat Korean BBQ, and I just came home and ate leftovers from yesterday's lunch. I like saving money.
|[VB] Resume||0 comments|
This Sunday, I had so little sleep, but I got up anyway. Chris came to carpool, and we picked Alex up. In the morning, I translated communion again. Then I taught high school group with Beryl. We covered Genesis 1—3 with Rachel and Rebecca. It was pretty good. Afterwards, we had a "short" WCCC meeting where, amongst other things, we spent half an hour talking about water bottles. Afterwards, we went to play volleyball. It's nice to start playing again. I have not played for a few weeks now. Hopefully this will change starting today. Then we had dinner at Yasmin.
|[VB] Again||0 comments|
This Sunday, Chris drove to my place again and parked in my spot, so we can carpool. We went to pick Alex up, only to find the road closed for bike race. Eventually we got Alex, and Chris drove, and we were right on time (usually we would be aiming for 15 minutes early). It was quite hot, and I was uncomfortable, so I sat near the door. In the afternoon, we had a brief HSG planning meeting, and then a WCCC meeting right after. Then we went to play volleyball. Yay, today was a lot more enjoyable than last time. However, we still pretty much did not switch teams. I don't understand why people are so adamant against switching around so we get to play with different people. We had dinner at Sam Woo, and today we had 7 people sharing 7 dishes, which was actually pretty good for once.
|[VB] Ending Early||0 comments|
This Sunday, I woke up at 6 something (I am quite happy with my recent self-awaking time). I went to church with Alex as usual. Today I translated during breaking of bread. I also listened to the message today. I think besides special meetings, it's been quite a while since I actually listened to a Sunday message (the last 4 weeks were special meeting and sharing, and before then I think I taught high school group two or three times in a row). After church, we played some volleyball. We ended quite early, so I decided to come home for dinner, instead of spending money eating out.
|[VB] Many People||0 comments|
This Sunday, I went over to Joy's place and we picked up Alex (she drove). We then had our normal meeting schedule. In the afternoon, Hou-En and June drove me back to their street to pick up my parked car, and then I drove to the park. We played volleyball. Today there are many people, including some who are not very good and such. But it was nice to get them involved and such. We played some horrible games, but also a few good ones. We are rusty, but every once in a while we get good plays. I had a few acceptable hits, actually. I also went and jogged with Christina for perhaps a mile or two. In the evening we went back to church for a third message with Jim. Then we had dinner. I did not have a good appetite, so I sat outside by myself for a while, and some people came to talk to me. Eventually I ate a bit, and then left early.
|[VB] Great||0 comments|
This Sunday, Chris came to my place in the morning, and we picked up Alex together and went to church. I translated for breaking of bread today, and I taught the high school group with Lydia. It went a lot better than what I could have asked for. The Lord is faithful. In the afternoon, we went to play volleyball. Today it was really good, I really enjoyed it. My bump pass is definitely not as good as it used to be, but it has improved since last week. My set is slowly coming back, too. And my hit was actually better than when we left off! The last three or four months I have not been able to time my approach pretty well, but today, there were two or three that felt very very good. And Rachel got better too, yay! At night we had dinner, and then I drove Chris back. Alex went with Steve and Tammy to play bridge with Jonah. I'm spending some time by myself.
|[VB] Rusty||0 comments|
This Sunday, we had a sharing meeting at church. But since we were only given a two-days notice, I think many people were not prepared to share. Oh well. Sometimes this happens. In the afternoon, we played volleyball once again. I think we have not played since Thanksgiving, which is about 5 weeks ago. We were all very rusty. I could not hit the ball square when I was hitting against the net to warm up. And that was not because of Galois theory. :-D Anyway, it's good to be back, but I hope we would also get back to our level. By the way, when we were waiting, I talked to many people about my notebook paper making endeavour. I have a few more tasks to do tomorrow, but then I think I may start having good paper to write notes on. Yay.
|[VB] Mixture||0 comments|
This Saturday, we had a special meeting. Brother Godwin Sun from Seattle came to speak on the topic of The Release of Life. The message was quite enjoyable. Afterwards, we had lunch, and I worked on some last songbook stuff with Chris. Then we went to play volleyball. After a while, many people decided to play volleyball. So we played some 3v3 (John Russey, John Elijah, and Gabriel against Chris, Alex, and myself), and then played 2v2 with (Gabriel and Chris against Eddie and myself). They were quite close and fun. I have to drive Chris, John Elijah, and Caleb back to Dan's place where they parked their car, so the four of us and Eddie went to Pho for dinner, while the rest of the people went to Dave's place to watch football. I dropped them off at around 7:30. And then I sat in completely stopped traffic for about 15 minutes because of a traffic accident involving more than 10 cars. Eventually I got to the math department (probably later than when Chris got home). I worked in the math department a bit, and then went home.
|[VB] 2v2||0 comments|
This Saturday, after Bible study, we had lunch at Yazmin, and then went back to the church building. There, Steve and Tammy, Jonah, Caleb, and Alex played bridge for a while. Lydia worked, and Doris and I just talked for a while. Then Jonah, Steve and Tammy left.
Alex, Doris, Caleb, and myself went to play volleyball. We played two on two, all different pairings. I started with Alex, and it was 1:1. Then I was with Doris, and we lost 0:2. Then I was with Caleb, and it was 1:1 again. Then I played with Alex and won, with Doris and lost, with Caleb and lost. Caleb and I decided we should be able to beat Doris and Alex, so we played another time, and won. Finally I played with Doris again and lost. Overall, we played 11 games today. It was really fun and quite intense. It has been quite some time now that I actually got any good hits in. Today there were a couple that I was proud of. I was so excited that Doris and Caleb were surprised by my display of emotions. Apparently Doris and I are both lazy, so when we are paired together we always lose. Though most of the games are actually quite close.
After volleyball, we went to Win Tin for dinner. The food was good as expected, but the company was even better. I think this was the first time Doris saw me having a meal with Caleb in a smaller setting. We joked around a lot, and she must have experienced what Steph experienced a few weeks ago when the three of us had lunch together. Apparently seeing Caleb and Jed talk to each other is very intense, and quite different just talking to Caleb or Jed individually. Today was quite enjoyable. Hopefully we will do this again sometime.
|[VB] 3v3||0 comments|
This Thursday, I resumed playing volleyball on weeknights. I picked up Alex and went to the park. Soon, Fang and Steph showed up. The four of us realised that the field is in use until 7:30. Since we have half more hour, and Steph was hungry, we decided to go eat a bit first. Perfect timing, Dan Shen came just as we were heading out, so we just hopped on to his car and went to Denny's. Upon returning around 8, we started playing. Alan came soonafter, so we played 3v3. Being a combinatorialist, I realised that it is unrealistic to play all possible triples against each other (which takes 10 games). So I suggested that we switch around so everyone plays with everyone (that is, all the pairs gets to be played). This is like finding an optimal (non-disjoint) edge covering using pairs of disjoint triangles. We can do it in 4 games, but that would require two people playing with each other the whole time. We did a more random approach. In any case, it was really fun. I was glad when people realised that after the first game, no matter how we switch, it is equivalent to trading one person only. It was quite mathematical today, and many games were really close. We played two games per match-up, and several match-ups we got 1 win 1 lost, so I think that was quite good in terms of evenness.
|[VB] Back||0 comments|
This Sunday, we had our WCCC kick-off meeting to start dividing responsibilities. I volunteered for service desk, since last time I did a lot of it and I think I am comfortable co-leading it this time. It will be with the old people: Caleb and Steph, and perhaps Auntie Rosy. (Last time it was Caleb, Steph, and Esther; Esther is doing Children's ministry this time, I think.) After the meeting, we went to play volleyball. I started playing again this week! Yay! It is exciting to get back onto the field. I did not play too well today, but that was to be expected. I did not jump or move as much as I used to (partly because I don't want to, partly because it is not as fresh in my mind). But it was a lot of fun still. At night, we went to Sam Woo for dinner, where I shared food with Antonia, Lydia, and Gershom. Afterwards, Alex went to play bridge, so I went home by myself. Once I got home, I remembered I promised Joy that I would buy something for her, so I went out again. By the time I eventually got home, it was around 10 PM already. I spent the next 2 hours working on the songbook, for things that we discussed with various people today.
|[VB] 5 People||0 comments|
This Thursday, I picked Alex up for volleyball. After being there by ourselves for a (long) while, Caleb finally showed up. So the three of us practised setting for a (long) while. Then Steph showed up, and we set up the net and played 2 on 2. We played both configurations with Caleb with Alex or Steph. I never got a chance to play with Caleb, since then Dan Chan came (which is good). With 5 people, we have a bit more options in trying to even out the teams. We did pretty well (in terms of team distributions), and got some competitive games going on. The very last game was Dan and I verses the other 3. We lost 24:26, partly because I slipped when it was 24:24, and then Alex served a ball that touched the net. Although the ending was not great, the process was really fun. I enjoyed playing a small game today. It is a lot more intense.
|[VB] Many People||0 comments|
This Sunday, I picked Alex up for church "as usual" even though this is only the first time since he got back. Today brother Phil Strong came to share; his message is titled Being prepared in the last days, and is based on Daniel (which is quite an opportune timing, as we are currently studying Daniel on Saturdays). In the afternoon, I talked to Steve for a while, and then I drove Dan Shen to volleyball. There, I played quite a few games continuously. There were a lot of people, and it was really fun for me today—a lot of close wins and close losses. I had some good hits with my left hand instead of my right hand. My timing for my right hand is a bit off. Afterwards, we went to eat dinner at the San Gabriel 99 Ranch plaza. It is a seafood restaurant, and I had more allergic reactions than usual. But all is well, and I still had enough to eat. Then I drove Alex and Tina home. Tina just came from Texas, and will be here for a month or so.
|[VB] Lots of People||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I went to the last day of combinatorics tutorials at IPAM. It was a good finish. I quite enjoyed at least half of the talks. I was very physically fatigued by the end of the day. But after eating dinner, my strength returned. So I went to play volleyball tonight. There were lots of people, we played 6 on 7 at the end (we rotated the 7th person in before each serve). It is fun to have so many people, pretty much everyone came: even Steven and Fang (yes, they are distinct). I think the only one who is on the list but did not come was Alan. Anyway, we ended a bit early, when Caleb kicked the ball into the tree, and it did not come down. We'll play again tomorrow, with my ball.
|[VB] WWNVB on Thursday||0 comments|
This Thursday, we had WWNVB. This used to stand for "Westside Wednesday Night VolleyBall." Since we moved it to Thursday, we needed a new acronym. However, in my moment of genius, I suggested that we reinterpret the second W to mean "Week" so it reads "Westside WeekNight VolleyBall." In any case, this way we can flexible and play Wednesday or Thursday depending on people's schedules, without worrying about the nomenclature (too much).
Tonight I brought Alexey along. He came to my place at around 6:10. We got there around 6:45; this was longer than usual, since there is traffic, as expected (the last few times I "expected" traffic but did not meet any, for some reasons). The trip back is much quicker, around 15 minutes. People were slow to show up, so Alexey and I practised a bit at the beginning. Steven showed up all the way from the east side! We played quite a few games, and they were really good. Indeed, after changing the teams up a bit, we were quite even, and had many close and good games. Alexey plays really well, and decided to play a few more even after the original suggest departure time of 9 PM. We ended up leaving shortly before 10 PM. It was good night, perhaps we will do this again.
|[VB] Practise with Alexey||0 comments|
This Tuesday, I continued my studying of algebra. In the evening, I went outside and practised volleyball with Alexey. I met him a while ago when I was practising by myself. After we found out that he is also a math grad student (first-year), we started having email contact. Due to a variety of circumstances, we had not practised together since then, despite meaning to. Today it happened. We played for half an hour, just bumping, setting, and hitting. We talked a bit while playing, too. I think I have not sweat so much in so short a time since the last time I played with him. Apparently practising is much more taxing than playing for real.
|[VB] Few People||0 comments|
This Sunday, we had quite a bit fewer people playing volleyball (at first). It took me a while to get there, since I had to go return the lunch trays. By the time I got there, they were pretty much still playing 2 on 2. Eventually we had a few more people, with some bridge players coming to bridge the gap. But I have to say, for this number of people, and without the most regular people here (read: Caleb and Doris), we definitely had quite a few intense games going on. In fact, I really enjoyed playing today.
|[VB] Resumed||0 comments|
This Wednesday, we resumed playing volleyball, after a hiatus of two weeks. The Sunday before we had a party at the Ling residence. Last Wednesday the park was unavailable due to the carnival. And this past Sunday we opted not to play as it was too hot, and the wild fires makes the air quality really bad. It is nice to play again. Today, Doris and I went early, only to find lots and lots of kids playing soccer. We practised a bit, and then they left, so we played. I don't think we played very intensely, perhaps due to the hiatus, but it was still fun.
|[VB] Left Leg||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I went to play volleyball as usual. I took the Freeway again, and it was again quite fast. Hmm, so strange. I got there and did some math while waiting. Eventually Karina showed up, and then Caleb, and finally Doris. We played 2 on 2 for a while, and eventually some other people showed up. After a while, my left leg started hurting, at exactly the same place my right leg hurts recurringly. So I stopped playing; I did not get to play much. I took Karina home, and then came back, stretched while watching them play, and then went home early.
|[VB] Intense Sunday||0 comments|
This Sunday, I went to church as usual. Today, no one was doing the sound system, so I just decided to do it, without being trained. It went all right, I suppose, with a minor problem in the beginning. After lunch, when people are socialising in the courtyard, I decided to go in and do some math.
Then we played volleyball at Washington. Guga came back this weekend so we got to play with him; it is quite nice playing with him, and arguably he was the one who got me into playing volleyball. It was quite intense today, actually, for a Sunday. We played many games, there were wins and loses, shifting from playing 6v6 to 4v4, and eventually a few 3v3 games. Overall, it was very enjoyable. I brought the net system, since Caleb was not here. I brought it back, since I'll be going to WWNVB on time. I don't mind having the net system, it does not affect me too much; and I get to use the very old oldly shaped ball for some practice during the week.
|[VB] Designated Setter||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I brought the volleyball net system to the park. I decided to test the freeway, which made me get there a lot faster than expected. I left at 18:00 and got there around 18:20. Doris was going to come at 18:40 (I think she did, we just did not see each other), but we only started playing with each other around 18:55. For half an hour or so, I practised timing the approach for the attack hit (and the jump serve, I suppose). I threw the ball really high, stared at it, and then approached it and hit it against the wall (so it would bounce back). The wall is really helpful in this exercise.
People started showing up around 19:00. Caleb is injured, so he can only attack with his left hand, which is not very effective at first (though he got better very quickly). When we got enough people, Caleb decided that he would be the designated setter and set for everyone, since he cannot attack. It was a good experience, and it worked out at times and did not at other times. There was also a crazy moment when many of us, including Dan Tse in the back row, were all running and approaching for each set (to fake out) but it got too crazy. All in all, it was a good time. I stayed until the end, and took the volleyball system since Caleb will not be here the coming Sunday.
|[VB] New People||0 comments|
This Sunday, we played volleyball on the east side in the afternoon. Some of the people went to Tea Station before volleyball. Since Rachel asked me to give her a ride, and she went to Starbucks, I did not go to Tea Station, but waited at church for her to come back. Upon her return, I drove her and Gabriel to where we play volleyball. We first went to return the lunch trays, but we still made it to the school quite earlier than the rest of the people. We waited there for a while like little children, playing on the play ground. Gabriel is a lot stronger than I, relatively, for he could do pull-ups much easier than I.
Then people eventually came. Since Caleb was not here, we had a lot of hard time setting up the net system. Eventually we got it up and running. Today we had quite a few new people joining us to play, and also those who do not usually play with us. This includes Rachel and Jeffrey, Rebecca and Zeph, (Gabriel), Monica and Antonia, Becky, and Melody. We also had Steven coming, which is also somewhat rare. I think we all had the mindset of a "church outing" kind of feel to the day, so it was fine that we did not play any serious volleyball. It was definitely quite enjoyable, just spending some time with brothers and sisters. Some people who were not playing even came, including Priscilla and the Dengs.
Afterwards, due to some unfortunate planning, volleyball ended early, and there were still quite a long time before the planned farewell dinner for Jess. So most people either went back home first (if convenient) or dropped out. I decided to drop out, especially since I will still see Jess next week (other people may not if they are going on the camping trip). I came home and rested.
|[VB] Attck Hit||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I went to play volleyball with ACF West-siders as usual. Today, however, very few people came at the beginning. At first it was just Steph, Caleb, Doris, Jonah, and myself. It was quite difficult to get a balanced team. In general, whichever team Caleb is on wins easily. Later Jess, Dan and Ruby came. So we played 4v4 for a while. I worked on jump serves for a while. It did not give me good jump serves, but it did help a lot with my attack hits. Indeed, I would say that today is the first time I was able to consistently time my approaches so I could carry my momentum into the spikes instead of jumping straight up and swinging my hand. Afterwards, Caleb actually told me he likes how I am approaching the attacks now. I am very happy about this improvement.
|[VB] New Practise Buddy?||0 comments|
This Tuesday, in the evening, I went out to practise setting by myself again. Then I started bumping to myself, moving around on the grassy field right in the middle of the Weyburn complices. Then a random* guy walked up to me and asked if he could practise with me. He had a strange accent, and I was unsure of his skill-level, so I told him yes, but I had to leave in 10 minutes or so. This way I have a way out if he is really bad and I don't want to play with him anymore. He is not very good, but I think he may actually be slightly better than I. In particular, his sets are better than mine, though I think if I keep practising this way, I will soon be good, too (hopefully). Our bumps are both quite steady. Perhaps due to my bad sets, he could not hit well at all, whereas I hit better in our spike-bump-set drill. (*) Then I found out that he is not that random in actuality. He is a first-year (incoming) student in the math department! He just got to the US two days ago from Russia. Boot camp (that which I also attended last year) starts in a week, and he is here a few days early. Perhaps we will become volleyball practise buddies? Who knows.
Tonight I went to prayer meeting. I was very looking forward to it, but Steve and Tammy's place was too stuffy, so I was unable to stay inside. I sat outside the whole time, since I was not very comfortable to drive home in the condition. I could have left in the middle, when I was feeling better, but I did not want to disturb them during the meeting by asking them to come open the gate for me (to get my water bottle). I took this opportunity to call my mother, so all worked out.
|[TT] After a 3-Month Hiatus [VB] Wooden Centre||0 comments|
This Monday, in the afternoon, Josh Zahl came over to play violin with me. We practised the duet piece that we've been playing for the last couple of months, roughly meeting once every other month to play together. It is a low-priority thing so we are not putting in a lot of effort to it. But we were definitely glad that some places we were still playing quite well, and in fact, perhaps even better than last time we played together (precisely two months ago on 6/3).
Then at night I decided to go to the Wooden Centre to play table tennis. After roughly a 3-month hiatus (and very infrequently before then, too), I am finally back. Playing real table tennis feels very different from playing "ping-pong" in the math department. Today I mainly played with a visiting professor in the geology department. He says he usually plays with Professor Kefeng Liu, who is currently out of town.
Besides playing table tennis, I also went and watched people play volleyball for a while. They look really good, and is completely at a different level than how we play at church. However, towards the end when they did not have enough people (some left early), I asked them if I could join them. They were quite nice about it, and helped me along the way (they gave me the easiest jobs to do—hitting outside) and also pointed me towards where I should move and such. If the opportunity arise again, I may want to play with them more, and learn from them. But just watching them play is already beneficial enough! Today is a great day for sports.
|[VB] Back-Row Setting||0 comments|
This Sunday, after church, we played volleyball like usual. However, this week Rachel was ready to join us, but due to people needing to go to the airport, it was decided that we will play at the west side instead of near church building. Thus Chris, Eddie, and I decided to keep Rachel company for a while, as it is uncommon that she gets to stay out instead of leaving right after church. Jennifer took Rachel to Tea Station and we met them there (other people went, too, but they got drinks to go) and stayed there talking. At the end Jennifer took Rachel home, and the three of us heads over to the west side in three cars. We desperately wanted to carpool, but we are all heading in different directions afterwards so we cannot. I also had to go home first since Chris had food that needs to be refrigerated. I eventually got to the field a bit past 5. After playing a few games, and talking to different people during breaks about back-row setting, we finally tried it out with Caleb, Steve and Tammy, myself Doris, and Gabriel. We put Steve and Tammy opposite so she can set short for him (which worked out really well). Doris said she liked it, too, because she was concentrated on setting when she was in the "back" standing in the front. Caleb thought it worked well, too, and says we should try again later. I also noticed that Gabriel could also function better as a setter in the back-row since now he is completely focused and would run a lot just to chase down the second hit (instead of standing in the front idling thinking someone would get it). All in all, it worked very well. We should try this again.
|[VB] Dennis||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I got ready and went to school and did some math and had lunch there as usual. Jess dropped Dennis off at UCLA, and I showed him around the math department. We played table tennis for a while, until Chris came to pick us up and we all drove back to my place. There Eddie was waiting, and we went in. The four of us sang Karaoke Revolution for a while, and also talked. We then went to get dinner at Enzo's pizza, and then went to play volleyball as usual. Today I got to play with Dennis, it was quite fun. For one of the games, we were down 2-7 or so, and I started serving. I served very well, and many balls they could not even return (a few they did, but we won). I ended up serving to 16-7. Fourteen points in a row!! I think I was jump serving most of them, using my body strength and jumping forward motion to hit the ball real hard. I got tired, and I figured we are about to win anyway, so I switched to underhand serving for the next serve, and we lost that point. It was a good run, though. I really enjoyed tonight (we lost some games and we won some games). It was really fun.
[Photo: Taking a group photo with my sister before heading out to eat; we fail at taking a perfect photo.]
|[VB] New Clothes, and Westside Volleyball||0 comments|
This Sunday, I was late to church because I was not feeling well when I woke up. But as I got better, I went anyway, and was able to catch the end of breaking of bread (and also partake of the cup and the bread). It was nice to see all my brothers and sisters again. Rachel first noticed that I was wearing shining (new) shoes. Several people also noticed them. June first noticed that I was wearing a new shirt; Steven did as well. After church, I drove John Elijah back to the west side. We are playing volleyball here, so I had the pleasure of not having to drive back myself. It is good to talk to a brother on the way.
For volleyball, when people have mostly arrived, we fielded 3 teams of 5 each. I was with the Steve and Tammy, Jonah, and Ruby. (Dan Shen is hurt so he did not want to play too much.) Despite the fact that our team lost most of the time, I really enjoyed playing today. We also played well (which sort of means we are actually weaker than the other teams, since we were not messing up ourselves?) in our opinion. Each time when we were resting, we also talked about our games and what to do. We tried 2-3 but decided to stick with 3-2 with the front middle person setting. For a few balls when I was in the back for 2-3, when I received very squarely to the setter, I would come up for an attack, it was very satisfying. Everyone on my team did well. I dare say they each functioned better than I. I definitely need to work harder to get better to not drag people down. One thing we figured out is that if I am on Jonah's left, he can easily set for me, and I for him, due to the fact that he is left-handed. (It is usually easier for right handed people to attack from the left side of the court, making the right side of the court the weak-side.)
|[VB] Volleyball, Once Again||0 comments|
This Wednesday, I woke up at 8, after sleeping for about 10 hours—that's more like it. I went to school for lunch and stayed to do math for the afternoon. I met one of my officemates, though we did not talk much. From the first impression, it seems we will get along just fine—he's not talkative, but extremely polite, well-kempt, and seems studious (though technically also a first-year, he has passed all his quals already since he did his undergrad and masters at UCLA).
In the evening, I went and played volleyball once again. Today I drove there myself. I left late enough that if there had been heavy traffic as before, I would have arrived at the end of the "start" period. However, since the traffic was lighter, I arrived after only 25 minutes, right at the begnning of the "start" period. It was quite fun today, having not played for quite some time. I played well, serving much better than before (tennis definitely helped a lot!), bump-setting well as usual, and able to spike a few balls. Today, for the first time, I was effective and blocked a few balls as well. Perhaps I was just really energetic and kept jumping up and down. In any case, it was quite enjoyable.
I also decided to give volleyball its own tag (after table tennis!) since I play it so much now. I will tag it as [VB] from now on.