a string to connect pieces of my life

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

San Antonio --- Day 2: A good day

I have to admit that Day 2 here is probably the best day I have ever had in the history of this meeting.

Fabulous weather

It was like a good summer day in Michigan. Warm, but not hot.


I didn’t need to worry about a thing because I already gave my talk. My professor didn’t bug us much, so I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted to.

The Alamo

After lunch, we went to the famous Alamo. One good thing about San Antonio is that everything is very close to each other. It took us less than 10 mins to walk from the restanrant to the Alamo. Honestly, there wasn’t much to see at the Alamo. It is this kind of place that you go because it is famous and you take pictures and then you leave.

Remember the Alamo!

One interesting thing is that towards the end of our visit there, Peter turned and said to me that “I saw a spot where I could take a nap, so I am just going to do that.” So he left to take a nap at random spot in the Alamo, which Brian thought was totally awesome.

Old college classmate

Before going to the talks in the afternoon, I had nothing to do in my hotel room but flip throught the conference bulletin. Suddenly a name caught my eyes. My undergraduate classmate is here too to present his poster! I haven’t seen him for over 10 years! So I went to poster session and talked to him for a while.

The boatride

I took a boatride along the river in the afternoon. It was more enjoyable than I expected. The boat driver was humorous and introduced the history of the buildings along the river. The colors and sunshine at the time was just perfect.

the San Antonio courthouse

A good dinner

Since Mexican food we had for lunch didn’t impress me much, I decided to go Italian for dinner. It is by the San Antonio riverwalk. The river is lined with dozens of restaurants with all the lights and people and music. It is like the main street in AA except 5~10 times longer and it is a river instead of a street.

The cute restaurant which has not-so-good mexican food

It was funny to see that although the evening was warm enough to wear just a shirt, all the restaurants have the heater on. We had to explain to them that we were from Michigan so that we could move to a spot that was relatively far from the heaters.

Look how many heaters they put out there!

Brian and I ordered the same chicken pasta. I was happy with my food. And it was simply nice to sit outside in such a warm evening chatting with a good friend. I am grateful that I could actually have one good APS experience. Thanks Brian!

San Antonio --- Day 0 & 1

The flight was smooth. Our made a stop at the Memphis airport. Brian and I walked around and reminiscinced about our time here. Brian showed his affection by eating Memphis stype ribs, touching the walls and hugging the polls at the airport.

It took us a while to look for another colleague after we got to the San Antonio airport. The weather was very warm outside. And I found this at the airport.

the flower machine at the San Antonio airport

In the morning I went to Brian’s talk. He did a great job. Then I met with my professor and colleagues and made some change to my slides. I bought my lunch from Mcdonald’s, which sucked for me because I really want to have good food when I am in a strange city. My talk was the in the late afternoon. I guess it went ok.

the convention center where the conference was held

In the evening was the conference reception held at an old train station. We had mexican food, which was ok. Again I felt that I was a total outsider there. It is never fun to be around a huge community which you don’t belong to.

For the past few years I have hated the same conference we are at right now, because: 1. I always feel weird around a huge crowd; 2. I am not good at talking to strangers; 3. It seems that everyone else has someone to talk to; 3. When I want to do something fun other than listening to those talks, no one wants to go with me; 4. Everyone else except me seems to be having a good time.

So I spent the rest of the evening watching TV in my bed.

the view from my hotel room

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maybe God is working on my pride and selfishness. It is not fun for me at all. It sucks.

I know the reason behind all this is that I can't fully trust God. I want to take control instead of letting him take control. I don't believe that if I give in, he will bring what is the best for me.

I don't like people who are mean, judgemental, skeptical, sarcastic, ungracious, or ungrateful, but right now I feel I am somewhat all of that.

I am sorry.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I am in a dark place again. I have been having horrible, horrible nightmares. What was worse than dying was to watch the people you love the most die in front of you. I cried hard in my dreams, but there was no trace of tears after I woke up.

I don't know how to be with people who seem happy. It almost feels like I am carrying some sort of disease. I don't want to infect them with my sadness. Besides, talking to people has been tiring. Too much explanation is needed to make myself understood. I don't see the point of doing that.

The winter just began.

Monday, November 10, 2008

central park

I finally went to the central park during my last trip to NYC. It was nearly dark when we got there. There were still many people walking or jogging. We wandered around for an hour in the park. It was fun.

the reservoir

the bow bridge

Thursday, November 06, 2008

weird guy

This happened a couple of weeks ago. I was walking towards another building that belongs to BME department.

The guy walking in front of me suddenly turned and said to me: "You smell like my daughter!"

Honestly I didn't know how to respond. I couldn't say "thank you" because I wasn't sure if it was a compliment. So I simply smiled and said "oh".

That guy continued:"You must be using the same perfume. My daughter smells exactly the same."

Fortunately I got to the building door by now. So I kept smiling politely and entered the building.

But seriously, it wouldn't feel this weird if he was saying that I smelled like his wife, although I prefer to not get such comments either.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

maybe they weren't named after the color

Me: "I bought a bag of red delicious from Sam's Club yesterday."
Rui: "Oh, golden or yellow?"