This is a story about my mom, the woman who gave me life.
Growing up, my mom was never the stereotypical luby-duby one who showed lots of affections. It might be an Asian thing but I’ve never heard her say “I love you” to anyone before, neither in Chinese nor English. Words of encouragement were rare and she never failed to remind me that “you can do better next time”. But the truth was, she didn’t need words. Her love for me was written all over her life.
Sometimes during the last semester, I finished reading the Bible. Every single word of it, at least once, for the very first time. The Bible is the Book of Life, an instruction manual for life, a living, morphing document containing answers to the deepest desires of the human heart. Calling myself a Christian, I thought I should at least read through it once, even through the complete comprehension might take longer than my lifetime. Therefore, during the summer of my freshman year in college, I took on the Bible in 90 Days challenge (as well as a second round of P90X). Obviously, it took me much longer (just over 4 years) and lots of rereading to complete this challenge. However, what mattered most was not that I finished the challenge but that I read through the words of God. And in the process, I found out that my favorite book in the Bible is Ecclesiastes, a.k.a. the book about the ever so popular “Meaning of Life” question.
I started blogging just over a year ago, after coming off of a terrible semester at the end of 2011. I was burnt and crushed but still alive. I was excited about 2012 but wow, what a journey it has been!
So what happened in this eventful year?
- My girlfriend evolved into my fiance, who then evolved into my wife
- Joined a research lab, quit, and joined another research lab
- Plugged myself into a small group from Austin Chinese Church
- Trained my body back into shape, only to return back to square one
- Worked on a side project b/c grad school wasn’t satisfying enough
- Have about 10 blog posts drafted but not finished
- Learnt a whole lot more about trusting in God
In hindsight, God gave me peace and taught me patience in 2011 so that I could be better prepared for this roller coaster year, one that was filled with ups and downs and wedding planning. Yup, there were lots of wedding planning… lots and lots of it.
This week, Apple announced a few “new” products in its line of awesome i-products, including the 4th Gen iPad and the iPad Mini. And my response? Utterly disgusted. Actually, I’m so disgusted that I’m taking time off of my busy grad school schedule to write about it. It’s even more disgusting than the food poisoning I just had last week.
No, I’m not talking about the devices themselves. Don’t get me wrong, the i-products embody excellent engineering. As an engineer, I would love to be able to work on those products. I’m also a big fan of the late Steve Jobs’ focus on clean UI and his philosophy on paying attention to small details. Independently, every single one of them contains excellent engineering, even the iPad Mini.
What I’m disgusted about is Apple as a company and its evil marketing to get consumers hooked onto the iNeed drug. Yes, I said evil. This is my first time using that word to describe anything, ever, and here are my reasons.
Yes, it’s that time of the year again, when the top athletes from around the world congregate in a village to duke it out for their countries, when I give myself an excuse to work and watch TV at the same time, and when I finally get to show off my China spirit. Yes, it’s the Olympics! And I’m SUPER EXCITED! Today marked the end of Day 8 (mid-way point) and it’s a good time to put out some thoughts. I didn’t do as much pre-Olympic research as I did in 2008 but I’ve been tracking the progress in extreme details.
One of the reasons I love the Olympics is b/c I get to watch the sports that usually don’t get much publicity, sports like Archery, Shooting, Handball, Indoor Cycling, Fencing, Rowing, and Weightlifting. They have not disappointed me so far. When the athletes push their games to such a high level, everything just becomes that much more exciting. But aside from purely enjoying the games, I’ve also been doing some data analysis on patterns that are worth noting and thinking about. Here are some of my observations…
What a refreshing 2 weeks it has been! To get my mind away from the suffocating nonsense that’s been going on in the lab, I took a short vacation to San Francisco (1) to work on a mini side project with David and (2) to visit California for the first time in my life. This detour was the breath of fresh air I desperately needed to continue my action-packed summer. And of course, I couldn’t be happier with the weather in SF. Now I feel ripped off by the weather condition in all the places I’ve lived in before… *coughtexascough*