Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Beat down by the hands of fate once again

Things have been simply awful the last month. Things going from bad to worst. Then, out of the blue, I’m finally given some relief. I win my first ever ultimate tournament. I had a good weekend going to a Bourbon distillery and a drive in (first time ever).

Thing were picking up for the Pup. Of course, not being able to stand that, fate comes in with a royal beat down. It's one thing to pick on me, but you've gone too far.

Sitting still in the middle of the turn lane, someone pulled out and without looking, smacked into me and Lucy. My hand isn’t well, but I’m fine. Lucy took the blunt of the impact. She’s not doing well at all.

All this and I couldn’t even call the one person I wanted to talk to.

I don’t know what I’ve done to continuously get beat down like this.

I think it’s about time to lift the Jack ban at the house. Jack, Welcome home.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Jelly Jelly...

Come a little closer..... closer...

Mmm... Sushi Buffet

Sunday, May 21, 2006


The End of Spring Season Ultimate tournament was moved back a week because of a mistake in the planning. This was probably better as it was raining last week. However, because of the move, there were only 5 members of our team that would be able to make the tournament.

It just so happens that there was another team with the same problem so we decided to play together. Their team name was Dick’s hunting club, our was the Thundersticks. So, the ThunderDicks was born.

I’ve been in a lot of tournaments, all with the same results. I think in the 10 years or so of playing ultimate, teams I’ve been on have only managed to win 2 or 3 tournament games. I’ve also been on several teams that went 0-12 and 1-11 for the season.

I knew it would be different from the first game as we won the game 9 – 3 against the top seed in our bracket. Even though we’ve never played with each other, everyone had a very good idea of their role and could execute it well.

We went on to be undefeated coming out of our bracket with no games even remotely close. We were holding teams to 3 points or less. A quarter final and semi final game later, we were in the final game with a record of 5-0.

Mind you, we’ve played 5 games, and the temperature was pretty hot. Everyone on the team have all drank a couple of gallons of water and Gatorade. The team (More Cowbells) that we were facing was by far one of the most talented. Our team didn’t have the superstar talent but had a lot of above average players, and more importantly, we played very well together (playing zone defense all day).

So the game finally started. We scored the first two points, but then they came back to tie the game at 2. We were a little nervous as we were never tied in any of our other games. We turned the fear into motivation. We hunkered down and played some very good defense.

We managed to score the next few points and took it to half time with the score of 7-3. During halftime, there was very little talking as we were busy with drinking fluids and sucking in air to keep from cramping up.

We scored first in the second half, but More Cowbells were not ready to give up. They scored 3 unanswered points to make the game 8-6. We knew we had a game on our hands. Personally, I was very afraid of this. I’ve been in this situation all too often. In many of the other teams I’ve played with, many would get to this point in the game and totally self-destruct.

I swear this part is not made up. As I was walking onto the field for the next point, I had a déjà vu of the play that was coming up. The point began and everything was as in the déjà vu with players being in certain places. The déjà vu was me making a D (defensive play) on a throw. Sure enough, I stepped in just as I did in the déjà vu and got the D.

I’m sure this is the result of heat exhaustion, but it was awesome never the less.

We took the game to 10-6 and we can start tasting victory. After we scored one more point, I came back into the game. I wanted this win and I wanted it badly. Everything else with me have been going so badly lately that I need this win. I need to have a win.

I played like a man possessed. I ran faster and played harder than I did all day. I stayed for the last 3 points and had 3 Ds and the throw that scored the final point of the game.

That was it. ThunderDicks Wins! ThunderDicks Wins!!

I couldn't believe it. After 6 straight games (9 hour day with no bys), a 10 year drought was finally over. The pup has finally won an ultimate tournament.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

I Remember

I remember a time when I loved romantic comedies. I remember arguing with others that those situations can happen. I remember defending the idea of whole thing. Most importantly, I remember when I believed those situations can happen in real life, in particularly, to me.

An accidental meeting or situational set up, two people out of the millions around them, meet up.

Something happens and the two begins to talk after seeing the mutual attraction in each other’s eyes. The two always have great chemistry and was wonderful together even if sometimes they seem totally wrong for each other on paper.

The two overcomes a great obstacle and they either find out how much they really did love each other, or their love is solidified somehow.

I remember a time when I believed that could happen.

I remember a time when I had this hope to keep me going.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

They Might be Pups

If you didn’t know, They Might Be Giants (TMBG) is one of my favorite groups. They were my first concert, and first …. Um.. I can’t say without getting into trouble, but let’s just say TMBG concerts was the first of many things for me.

I’ve seen them almost a dozen times in the 12 years or so I’ve been listening to them. So yea, I’m a bit of a fan.

After coming off a horrible week, and then a weekend that didn’t turn out the way I had hoped, I was a bit of a mess. I tried all my usual things to pick me up, but it wasn’t happening.

Just as I was about to give up doing something positive and revert to Jack and the Captain for support, a creative loafing page (alternative newspaper) flew onto my leg on my way to the liquor store.

I looked at it for a brief second and right there in bright wording “They Might Be Giants” in concert in a few days. I couldn't have been happier to see that. Yes, I know if I was a real fan I'd know if they were coming. So after sitting through the funk for a few more days, I went to the TMBG concert.

Sure enough, TMBG were every bit as fun as always. They put on a fun interactive show. There was even a special appearance by StrongBad of Homestar Runner (see link). Even the guy who opened for them was great. He sang depressing, happy, and some hateful love songs with a little uka-lay-le (sp?). A little guitar. No, I have no idea how to spell that. Anyway, he was fantastic.

Things haven’t changed with what’s put me in this funk, but I’m glad TMBG was there. I’m sure it’s pure coincidence, but right now, I’ll take it.

Remember kids, Istanbul is not Constantinople and Triangle man always wins.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Day Dream

Sometimes when I’m listening to upbeat trance music, my mind starts wandering. It’s like a music triggered flash back. I see happy faces. Lots and lots of happy dancing people. We’re on a beach and the flash back always starts during dusk and then goes into the night.

Everyone is dressed in their best parachute pants or Kandy Kid gear. The girls are cute, some with their wings, dancing perfectly with the music. And not that swaying, stripper, or booty bumping dance you ever see anymore. Real Dancing. The guys put on a good show too. Some with their light skills, and some get down and dirty with their breakin’. All the movements are fluid and the glow sticks are colorful.

There’s no one fighting, no arguments anywhere. Maybe a bit more hugging than normal. No one cares what each other’s race, ethnicity, religion, beliefs, or style are. It’s just a group of people looking to have a good time and share it with others.

The beats moves everyone into a trance. As the beats moves faster, the people get more excited. An overwhelming sense of warmth flows through your body and the lights around you begin to blur a bit. The only yearning for you now is for more water and to be touched. The need to get that physical connection with someone.

You can try, but you won’t have a bad thought in your head. Similar to what a person with severe depression may experience with their downward spiral, you feel happiness and nothing but. You cannot stop but feel happy. Bad thoughts can be brought up for mere seconds, and all seem to just fade away. Nothing you or anyone else can do can bring you down.

Everyone dances into the night, and soon the sun will begin to shine. The rest of world will once again be awoken with their hatreds, prejudices, and self serving agendas.

It’s time to go.

Kids, don’t use drugs.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I don't know if this is true or not... but...

Pity the fool who doesn't listen to Mr. T's advice

Associated Press
Last updated: Monday, May 08th, 2006 01:22:55 PM

NEW YORK -- If Dr. Phil can dispense advice, why not Mr. T?

The TV Land network has announced that it will start "I Pity the Fool," a series where "The A-Team" star travels across the country dispensing inspiration and advice.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Mr. T. said that "the `t' stands for talking." And that's what he's going to do: "talk it up."

The series starts in October. Mr. T will offer help to people struggling with personal or professional problems.

He rejects any comparisons with Dr. Phil, adding: "You're a fool -- that's what's wrong with you. You're a fool if you don't take my advice."

Monday, May 08, 2006

Conference Goodness

Once again, it was time for my profession’s annual conference. The once a year meeting where academics come out from behind their journals and labs to be treated like rock stars with young grad students drooling at their every words. A bazaaro place where the number of papers publish is actually a good pick up line.

As a young grad student, I go to the conference to marvel at all the new research, participating in as many symposiums and sessions as I can. I fill my schedule back to back from 8am to 6pm and still thirsting for more. I introduce and hang out with highly published academics as if they were rock stars. Talking to fellow grad students about who we’ve met like teenage groupies.

Now, my schedule is much more different. Having found my specialization in the field, I go only to those topics are relevant. In my case, they were few and far between this year. Having a job is also a great privilege. The conference is a major place to network and get job interviews. Not having to worry and be on all the time makes the trip much more relaxing. It’s much more important nowadays for me to meet up with old co-workers and/or meet new people and network.

It’s too bad I didn’t know it back then. If a young person in the field really wanted to know about how the field works in the real world, the best education is at the bar, not at the symposiums. The information you learn at the bar is priceless and you will never find in a book. The books will tell you how ideally things should happen, but the bar will tell you exactly how things actually happen.

Starting from around 3 or 3:30pm, the bars begin to fill up at the conference hotel and it goes strong until the bars kick everyone out 12 hours later.

I spent most of my conference with a couple of old coworkers from previous jobs. It was great being able to spend time with them like the old days. I won’t bore you with details, but generally, it was a lot of talking and drinking.

One thing that was interesting was a one of my friend’s coworker. When he introduced me, I said ‘nice to meet you’. She responded with ‘We’ve met before’.


Apparently, about 3 years ago, when she was a grad student under one of my friends, we were introduced at a conference in Toronto. She said that there were a lot of pictures taken at that conference. They’ve often wondered who this one random person was in a lot of their pictures.

I of course, cannot remember any of it. She pulled up some pics she had uploaded on the net and sure enough, there I am hugging all these girls. One pic in particular was the girl I’m talking with now.

All I remember from Toronto really is…. Umm.. I’ll let that stay in Toronto.

One thing about that girl is that she’s fantastic. Fantastic like very few girls I’ve ever met. Fantastic like a feeling of just knowing they’re great.

Fantastic and married.

I remembered at one point in my drunken babble I said, it’s too bad you’re married. She came back with, I wasn’t married when you first met me a few years ago.


I woke up at 6am on Saturday after passing out very early Friday night. Something which I’m still very unhappy about. I got my learn on at the conference for a while that morning and early afternoon, then it was back to the ‘networking’. Tonight, I was sure to pace myself as I didn’t know how long the night would go.

Sure enough, the night never ended.

The drinking and talking went on until 6am. I went back to my hotel room to pack up and caught a taxi to the airport for my 8am flight.

Another good conference.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

I Encountered A Girl…

But I fucked it up.

So I’m in line for a six inch sub and I’m just, you know, having a day. Then this woman-child gets in line behind me. I look and I say, “Don’t I know you? Wait, do you work here?” I have no tact whatsoever.

It turns out that we took a few college courses together, mainly clarinet ensemble. She’s a golf coach now, me a physics geek. Anyway, honey-dip is hot.

We talk for however long it takes to spread mayo on bread. It’s all going good.

But here’s how it ends:

“I gotta go. But wait, I have a cell phone (it’s true, I have a cell phone). Though it doesn’t work, see check it out. Somebody sat on it. But I’m collecting old, unwanted or broken phones for a project. Yeah, I wanna write code to them, you know learn the platform, and perhaps create an emulator for my pc. Sooooo do you have any old phones you’re willing to part with?”

“Sure I have several. I don’t think they’re broken, just unwanted.”

“GREAT!!! I’ll be your friend if they come with chargers and/or SIM cards.”

“Well I’ll have to look around, but I’ll see what I can do.”

I pay for my sub and leave. Yup, the same shit I was good at in high school—dropping the ball. And I’ll never see her again. I forgot her name, didn’t get her number, nothing.

“I like broke phones and I can not lie.”