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I turned 25 yesterday. The day started out kinda blend. No celebration this year with family: mom went to work and sis went to practice for a performance she has to do at church for today, and I had to fly back to SD for school. Once arriving at SAN, though, hypnoflow was there to pick me up with a small cake and a lit candle. We went to a couple comic stores and book stores in San Diego and La Jolla and had a delicious dinner at a Sichuan restaurant. Before dropping me off at my dorm we stop by the gliderport at Torrey Pines, which was really romantic with just the two of us at the sea cliff at night. When we got to my dorm no with back yet so I get to show him my room before he has to go back to LA. It was the first of my birthday that we were able to be together and it was great! <3

Engliash class

Pulled my first all-nighter this semester last night writing the first draft of my essay for my English class. Turned out the schedule had been push back a week because the teacher canceled class last week. We end up doing peer review exercises with 4 students that actually turned in their two working paragraphs online on the day class was canceled. I happened to be one of the 4 students so we have to read and rank and discuss the paragraphs. Teacher made it anonymous but I still feel weird voting myself despite that I felt like mine was better than the others. Mine was the forth in the handout and we spent a lot of time on the first one and shorter time on the second and third, but didn't get to mine which was upsetting because I really want to see what the teacher and other students had to say about my paragraphs. I guess it doesn't matter since I wrote those paragraphs fairly quickly at the last minutes and they are not even meant to be put consecutively in that order and my draft ended up taking a completely different stance on the topic.

ps. The teacher reminds me of rikoshi a lot. He kinda looks like rikoshi and the way he talks and even the way his voice sounds is similar. Hmm... weird o.O

Cousin's Here!!!

In my last post I was worried about my math quiz. Well, I got it back the next day and fortunately the teacher did give me partial credit so I'm still doing really good in his class. Since that post, I've watched my usual dose of Naruto, Teen Titans Go, and the new TMNT episode that came out this week. I also finished reading Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan this morning. I went to IKEA on Tuesday, bought a drawer and some decorations for the house and cleaned our house some more with mom and sis. Wrote and turned in my second Android assignment Wednesday night and wrote the code for my third assignment that's due this coming Wednesday just before I started writing this post. But the biggest thing that happened this week was the arrival of my cousin.

He got here safely with China Airline on Wednesday night despite some three-hour delay. And though sis and I both still have classes, we managed to find the time to take him to a farmer's market at the mall near our house, Westfield mall and Powell in downtown SF and Westlake Shopping Center on Thursday, Sausalito on Friday, rode the cable car to the pier and fisherman's wharf Saturday, and church today.

Tomorrow I'll have to go to CCSF early with him for his orientation and assessment test and he'll be starting with his classes for the English program on Tuesday. A friend from church is back from Boston for the month though, so we'll try to have some outings if we can work out with all our schedule.

ps. I also have 1 midterm and 2 quizzes for math this week. Good luck to me.

Another post so soon?! :O

Just finished reading Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg and writing a quick update before going to bed. After my last post, Saturday evening was spent with friends from church. We get together at the house of one of my friends and had a big feast before one of them had to go back to school in Santa Babara on Sunday. There were lots of food and we all left the gathering pleasantly stuffed. Sunday morning started off slow, but as my cousin is arriving on Wednesday, we finally stopped putting off the daunting task of cleaning the house. It's been a mess since we moved in here about one year and two months ago. It's still not quite done yet, but we could only do so much in one afternoon. Mom made a really good dinner as a reward for all our hard work that night. This morning I had the second quiz for my Calculus. I thought I did okay, but as the teacher go over it after we turned in I found that I made a few calculation errors in two of the most important questions. It's kinda upsetting because I knew how to approach the type of questions and the errors are just stupid mistakes in calculation which I find embarrassing to have made. I guess I just have to hope the teacher gives partial credit for doing the work. I also got my assignment back for my Android class. At least I got a decent grade for that. We have another one due this Wednesday and I really need to get started on it. It'll be hard tomorrow(or today since it's past midnight already) as we need to finished cleaning the place up for my cousin but I'll have to try and find the time to finish it tomorrow and Wednesday before class.

Reading and movie

Quick update. I'm doing good in my classes so far. Aced one graded assignment, a quiz and a midterm for Calculus so far and turned in one assignment for the Android class. Haven't got it back yet but I think I should have a decent score for it. Other than school, I'd read John Goode's Tales from Foster High, End of the Innocence and two bonus stories Enjoy the Silence and To Wish for Impossible Things from the Foster High series. Also read Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg. Next on my read list are Bill Konigsberg's other novel, Out of the Pocket and John Green's Will Grayson, Will Grayson. And when I wasn't reading mostly I was hanging out with church friends. We watched more movies, including the new Monster University and went karaoke-ing and had food truck meetups, etc. All in all it was a pretty good week. I was productive and also had lots of fun. Now I'm just excited for the coming of Wednesday when my cousin will be here visiting from Taiwan.

Time flies and a math curse

Last time I posted, I just finished my Spring semester and now I'm four days into my summer classes already. I put off writing journal for a few days and things just pile up and that in turn makes me put it off even more. It's a vicious cycle. In the past 3 weeks, sis and I saw Star Trek, we had friends from church over at our place to work on the song we're going to perform this Sunday, and when we are not practicing we went out to restaurant or dine in at our place while watching a bunch of movies and one Saturday we went to Bintang to play badminton Sis designed a logo for our team and Hypnoflow helped making it looks nice with his graphic design skill. On June 3rd when Jay Bell's Something Like Autumn came out, I bought both the kindle and paperback version and finished it in 2 days, crying at 2 points during the reading. Other free time was spent watching TV shows or hanging with family or both.

Now that classes started again, I am all busy again, but I also get to be out of the house more. I'm taking Android Programming and Calculus I. It feels like I have some kinda curse with this class because this is the third time I'm taking it and not because of failing. It was the first math class I was put in when I first moved to the US back in 2004 when I was a freshman in high school. The school had no previous record to determine my knowledge in math and English and so I took a placement test for each and wound up in AP Calculus and a bunch of ESL classes. It was funny that at the time Calculus was the easiest class since I could do it without understanding what the teacher was saying. After I somehow managed to pass with a 3 on the AP test despite having difficulties with English, the school had no math class of higher level for me. Other than the occasional need of math in science courses, my education was math-less up until I became a freshman at USC. Because USC only accept scores of 4 or above for waiving out of a class, I had to take Calculus again. While I still retained some memory of the subject, the concentration of a whole school year of AP Cal material in one semester plus the other university classes and extracurricular stuff I was doing proved to be too much for me and I ended up finding time for those other stuff by taking time away from studying for math. I barely passed with a C and later on I was so bogged down with other personal and academic issues that my path was again math-free.

When I went back to school at CCSF last year, I knew eventually I was going to have to take math for the CS major. I knew I was very rusty with calculus when I saw VidanTiger, who's also attending CCSF after leaving school for a long time, was doing his cal 1 assignment. I put off taking the class so could take it during the summer and while I could probably transfer my cal 1 class from USC and just move on to cal 2, I thought I'd probably be better off taking it again to refresh my memory. It was definitely the right choice because while the lecture felt like a deja vu, the material felt more foreign to me than they are familiar. The fact that it's a summer class makes it perfect for me. I get to refresh my memory on the material and it's moving at a fast pace so that it wasn't too easy and becomes boring for me. Hopefully after this I'll finally able to move on and be done with it once and for all.

Free time finally!

It's almost a month since my last post. It was the last few weeks of the semester and school works and finals almost took up all my time. I still went to see Iron Man 3 with sister when it came out (it was really good.) and stayed on track with all the TV I'm following. That and family obligation took up all my free time. Since I am the driver in family now, I drove mom to work and sis to Berkeley for her orchestra rehearsals, violin lessons, practice for her solo performance,  cap and gown pickup for graduation, etc. Also there were award ceremony, symphony concert(they played Beethoven Symphony 9 in D minor, which was really really good), graduation concert and her graduation commencement itself to attend. But now I'm done with all my finals and assignments and projects and I get to take a break until summer classes start on June 10. It feels so refreshing to get to relax without the stress of school.

There are still some chores and errands I have to do for the family, like yesterday when I drove sis to Berkeley for violin lesson and went to Costco with dad to buy grocery and to take passport picture for dad since he needs to renew his Taiwanese passport, but these are nothing like school works. Tonight I'll be hanging out with friends from church at my place. We'll practice some songs to perform on Father's Day and after we'll watch some movies and have pizza. And sometimes this weekend I'm planning to go see Star Trek with sister. Everything is great right now and the only downer for me is that almost all the show I'm following ended the same time I'm done with finals. Doctor Who, Nikita, Arrow, Supernatural and Glee are all over for the season and I only have Revolution, Family Guy and Naruto Shippuden to kill time with. I did started following Teen Titans Go and the new TMNT series and I wish there are more episodes out because I'm caught up on both already.

Now that I'm more free, hopefully I'll be posting journals more frequently. Now here are some videos of my sister's performance at her graduation. Watch and likes!


This past week...

This is probably going to become another long entry just because it's been a week since my last entry about sister's concert and other things. I think I should start posting multiple short entries throughout the week instead of waiting a week and having a wall of text summing up the week's activities.

Basically. I just study from Monday through Friday morning, with the except of driving mom and sis around and taking breaks to stay up to date with shows that I follow on TV. As I didn't have assignment due for my Perl class and I'd done my Network class' assignments for this and last week, I started with my Java class' reading and assignment on Monday (it's usually my Tuesday task). I do my reading and reading quiz for the sys admin class that I usually do on Wednesday before class on Tuesday so I could prepare for the exam covering the topics from the past five weeks on Wednesday. I felt pretty prepared going into class Wednesday night and I am confident with how I did on the test. I also watched this weeks Revolution on Tuesday morning. Thursday morning I watched Arrow, Supernatural and Naruto Shippuden after driving mom to work. Then I caught up on last week's reading for my MySQL class and did the reading for the current week as well. In between I had McDonald with sister before I drove her to BART so she could go to Berkeley, picked up mom from work later at night, had dinner and then picked up sis from Berkeley. I started working on the assignment then and finished around 4:30 AM Friday morning.

Everyday throughout this week I watched the video of sister's concert at least one time. On Friday, between watching on my own and watching with sis and watching with the family, I saw it least eight to ten times. Considering that it's a 34 minutes video, it probably took up most of my day. I also watched Glee and finished watching the last two episodes of Dream High with sis. Then, after watching classical concerto all week, I found the video of sister's performance from her elementary school graduation concert 9 years ago from one of my external hard drive and mom, sis and I watched it and just laughed at how small my sis was and how big her violin looked on her and how she tried to dressed so grown up when she played the piano. I uploaded those to my YouTube channel as well.

Here's her playing violin when she was 13:

and here's her playing the piano:

Sorry for bombarding you guys with these video, but if you can't tell, I'm my sister's biggest fan ever.

Saturday I watched Nikita and Doctor Who which were both so good! In between the downloading time I read another story from Hot Dish. I've now read up to Kandrel's "Dream a Little Dream of Me." It's going rather slow compare to how I usually read these novels and anthologies, but there's just too many things going on right now for me. But that's not to say I'm not enjoying every story from this anthology. In fact, each one is so unique and special to me that after reading each story I need some time to process it before I am able to move on to the next one.

Nothing much is planned for today. Sis had her piano this morning while I was thinking about the dream I had last and trying to sketch up backgrounds and plotting details for it to become stories I feel it has the potential to become. Later we will probably go to church in the afternoon. I know it's weird but we don't have our own church so our congregation meet in the afternoon at the church that let us use the location after the morning congregation is finished. I don't know if I'll do it, but I can probably start working on the reading and assignment for my Perl class that's due tomorrow night. I probably should.

Another story idea

Had a dream last night where I was a high school student somewhere and stalking this other student. It actually stuck around in my head after I woke up. Since then my mind been trying to fill in the background and now it's grown into something that has the potential for a serial :3

Distraction and Procrastination

After my Wednesday post, I had pretty much the whole day to work on MySQL assignment which was due on Friday morning. But my mind seemed to want to do anything but my assignment. I read "The Evening's Festivity" and "The Moment at Eternity" before I tried to start working on the assignment, but then I kept distracting myself with twitter and YouTube videos. When I finally started reading some of the material, I had to go pick up mom, then had dinner..., then pick up sis from Berkeley. It was already 11PM when we got home and I let myself watch one more episode of Dream High with sister. When that end she showed me recording of her rehearsal for Saturday's concert with the orchestra from that night. The recording is about an hour. So when I started working on the assignment it was already over 1AM. I finished the assignment at 5:30 and gone to bed at 6 to sleep for 3 hours before getting up to drive mom to work. While the assignments for the class is challenging, it's not like I can't understand it when I actually study, I just find myself always dreading to work on it and keep waiting till last minute. :(

After turning in the assignment Friday morning, prepping for sister's performance took over most of our time. I drove her to Berkeley so she could practice some more. We contacted people to get affirmation that they are coming and setting up rides for people who needs picking up. I also finally got a haircut (last one was in January), though it was so last minute, I had no appointment and most salons around were closing soon that I ended up getting my haircut at a pretty ghetto barbershop, fortunately the haircut turned out to be okay.
We also bought a camcorder and a stand so we could record the concert, which I have uploaded to YouTube and will have it later in the post. Friday night, after having everything prepared for the big day, I was able to read about half of "A Monster and a Gentleman" before getting too sleepy at 3AM.

Saturday morning was a hassle. Sis and I got up first and while she did her makeup I made breakfast for her and mom and I. I drove sis to BART so she could go to Berkeley to prepare first. Then I had to rush to the gas station before going home to pick up mom and dad (dad took a long time and almost got us behind schedule) and then go pick up Mr. Wu from church who we invited and needed a ride. We got to Berkeley an hour before the concert started. Dad and Mr. Wu had breakfast at Cafe Strada while mom went in to help sister do her hair and I went in to set up the camcorder. Before the show started I was all nervous about people not showing up. But some 20 people from church, a singing coach I had back in high school who also had sis performed at many gigs, our high school math and English teachers and a neighbor we had back in Taiwan who moved to the US all came to see sister play. For me, her actual performance of the song turned out to be the least enjoyable of her performance of that song for me. The whole time I was worried about if she'd mess up the next note or forget her part or fall from the platform. It was a great relief for me when she finished the last note of the third and last movement of the song. The audience all stood up and clapped and cheered. The applause went on so long that she actually came out to bow a third time, which they say happens really rarely. Unfortunately, I didn't expect her to come out the third time and had stopped the recording when she went in after the second time.

After the concert, there were many mingling, congratulating and picture-taking. We thanked our friends and teachers for coming and caught up with what's going on back in high school and told them what's going on with us. The people from church actually reserved two tables at Taiwan Restaurant so we all went and celebrated some more.

When we got home we watched the recorded video of the concert again and then started preparing a song to sing on Sunday since we were asked to perform something for a family who's moving back to Nanjing this coming Tuesday. I downloaded Nikita and Doctor Who during that so I could watch them when we decided on the song to sing and worked out some arrangement for how to sing the song. In the end we decided on an energetic song but making the first verse slow and sentimental with sis playing guitar (it's her first time playing in front of people since we bought it two months ago) and I sang harmony, then it lead into the faster beat and I sang the main melody while she did some counter melody embellishments. When we felt prepared, I watched Nikita and Doctor Who while I upload the video to YouTube. By the time that's over it was about 2AM.

Today(Sunday), I didn't wake up till almost 11. After I'm up we did more practice on the song then went out to Serramonte to eat and then went to church. The sermon was alright and we did our performance along with a couple other ones. It went alright though I messed up the lyrics at some point. After church we went grocery shopping before we gone home and I finally started working on my assignment for my Network class. Fortunately the task was pretty straight forward and I was able to finish and upload it in time. Sis and I watched two more episodes of the Korean drama as I wrote this post. Now that the concert, the weekend and the Korean drama(almost) are over, I guess I need to get back into focus with my school work again. Especially for the sys admin midterm I have this coming Wednesday. Dx

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January 2015



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