Monday, May 28, 2007

home so far

i enjoy being home so far but soon it may get to be too much. since returning to pittsburgh i've been enormously productive at avoiding all of my actual responsibilities. (forwarding my mail, making sure i have a place to live next week, etc.) on saturday i finished reading edith wharton's ethan frome. i'm not really in the mood for that kind of thing right now; the book didn't really appeal to me very much.

i also tried to resume reading l'etranger in french, but my slowness at reading in french discouraged me from getting very far in that.

yesterday i started reading nabakov's laughter in the dark, the last of the books he wrote in russian. it is very nice.

yesterday i also reunited with liz. <3 we walked to heinz chapel, where her wedding will be next summer, and speculated on good colors for bridesmaids' dresses. the best choice seems to be this copper/champagne color that matches with the stone on the ground. it's pretty ridiculous that liz is getting married; i am not ready to even have close friends who are participating in remotely grown-up activities.

fortunately, after our somewhat grown-up activity we did less serious things. we went to american apparel (the only store i like anymore) and bought matching dresses with plans to decorate them with some sort of "liz and jean" design:
(hers is blue; mine is pink.) after that we got our makeup done at sephora and showed the lady our dresses so we could match them. i was amused by the fact that the 2 ladies there guessed my ethnicity as follows, in the following order: cambodian, hawaiian, vietnamese, "fiji-ism," something with some sort of asian, and then "you're not chinese, are you?" i guess i did get pretty tan. :) the one lady also assumed liz and i were out of school, which was nice because most people ask if i am over 18 (sometimes over 14 >:o). maybe it was because liz has the bling rock, a.k.a. her engagement ring. later liz and i decorated our dresses--you may look on facebook for pictures. the actual wearing of our dresses in public was somewhat anticlimactic, but that is to be expected.

today i went shopping and discovered that i have little interest in spending money and in acquiring additional material possessions. but perhaps it is just my current mood.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


influenced by some rather convincing times articles and the availability of extremely tasty coffee at my office last summer, i became a regular coffee drinker. since i have yet to encounter valid and convincing evidence regarding the possible adverse effects of coffee, i am quite curious. the benefits of coffee are supposedly as follows:
-good for cardiovascular health
-one of the main sources of antioxidants in the american diet
-good for weight loss--according to max chalfin, it's a mild laxative?
-possible preventative for alzheimer's?
apparently up to 3 cups of coffee a day is not bad for you and may be good.

the one negative effect someone has mentioned to me is that coffee prevents people from entering into deep sleep during which the body produces human growth hormone to repair and rejuvenate. (on the bus from santa barbara to los angeles last summer i sat next to this guy who spent a couple of years starting a company making specialized alarm clocks... he told me that he had attended many conferences on sleep and such things...) since the completely unbiased times articles failed to mention this at all, i am not sure how much this counts against coffee.

if you know of non-sketchy evidence supporting the other side, please comment with a reference to the source, if possible. :)

summer at last

some number of days before the summer solstice, my summer vacation commences. i vow to update this more frequently than i have in the past, but this statement is pretty much meaningless for the following reasons:
-because nobody reads this, i am not held very accountable ;)
-every summer i vow to write in my xanga->livejournal->blog often and i never do because i am much more interested in living life rather than recording/reflecting upon it. it is for this reason that i also rarely take photographs anymore. (i used to be much better at this in high school before my life actually became interesting.)

let me begin by describing my current circumstances. i finished ("failed miserably on" would be a better way to describe it) my last final on wednesday and spent until today tying up odds and ends to move home. moving out was particularly exciting this year because due to storage limitations i rid my life of a great deal of material possessions. i am now at home in pittsburgh enjoying summer rain, eating large amounts of food, and trying to read books while my mother tries to lecture me on life habits. my summer schedule is as follows:

june 3 - leave for santa monica
june 4-9 - intern training in mountain view
june 9-september 5 - google
june 1-8 - robocup world cup in atlanta, GA

my plans for early september are currently up in the air. i hope to do the reach for the beach relay september 14-15.

this summer i would like to do the following:
-figure out my thesis topic. current candidates are:
1) implement haskell type classes using ML modules
2) make my own version of make
3) do something with latex (unlikely to happen)
-walk around a lot.
-learn haskell.
-spend a lot of time in the sun.
-update my blog. :)

on my reading list is the following:
-ethan frome (edith wharton)
-of mice and men
-pale fire (nabakov)
-laughter in the dark (nabakov)
-more virginia woolf
-l'etrangere (camus)
-other things but i can't remember them right now...
please send recommendations.

enough for now. more later. ;)