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Monthly Archives: January 2006

Farewell, January: A Month in Review

The month of January is already over. That means that approximately one-twelfth of 2006 is already over. Gone. Sometimes time seems to go so quickly.
Here’s a quick recap of the month of January:
I never went to bed on the night of December 31, 2005; rather, I didn’t go to sleep until sometime in the wee morning hours of January 1, 2006. Far too few hours later, I woke up, still on the floor of Adam’s house (Adam is my sister’s friend). Two days later, on January 3, I flew back to California where the job and apartment hunt really took off. While I actually only ended up interviewing with Berkeley this month, I turned down an employment offer from Ameriprise Financial and setup an interview with Accountant’s Inc. for February. I applied for two apartments in San Francisco. The first one I definitely didn’t get. Too bad. The application for the second apartment was actually just submitted today, and might also fall through, as we may have been a day late and a dollar short with the submission (another application was submitted yesterday). I got a new mountain bike this month – a Christmas gift from my mom. I’ve been using it frequently to go out geocaching. It is good exercise and also helps prevent air pollution. I also used the bike to ride for the Peacekeeping Team on the Walk for Life. I was appointed chair of the logistics committee for the National Young Adults Conference which is being hosted by the San Francisco Archdiocese and I joined the planning team for the St. Dominic’s Young Adult Retreat. I got involved in a meaningful way with Sunset Youth Services where I will begin teaching a video production course to at-risk youth in April. Until then, I will be working on a promotional video for them that will be screened at an upcoming auction. In the tech world, I had the chance to attend the MacWorld Expo and see some of the up and coming tech innovations. On the web, I discovered that the vlog/video blog/vodcast is the way of the blogging future. I discovered sites such as Rocketboom, BathTubYoga and HelpMyPatients. Three of my friends got engaged this month. Leilani and Shane got engaged to each other and Ingrid got engaged to her long-time friend, whom I have not yet met. I unexpectedly met up with three ND folks – Sarah who was in town interviewing with Google; Jacob whom I had never previously met, but who lived in Zahm and just moved to SF; and Anton, who lived across the hall from me my freshman year at ND and then transferred to Stanford University.
All in all, for not working and not having a permanent home of my own, I would say it was a pretty eventful month. Primary goals for February: secure a job and secure an apartment.
Until February…

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The Internet Explodes!

Who knew that the internet would become such a versatile tool? Certainly Al Gore must have known when he invented it, but otherwise, who knew?
One of the areas of the internet that exploded recently and is already changing rapidly is the blog. There are thousand, nay, millions of internet users who think that their life is cool enough to write about for the rest of the world to read. Give me a break, people… do you really think that there are more than 2 to 5 people out there who really care about what your upcoming plans are for the weekend or about how your job hunt is going? No, the world doesn’t care, and yet you all just keep on writing. Some people are just so self-absorbed, I can’t stand it. Geez.
But the written blog is passing into oblivion.

Read more »

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All You Need is Love

So, my friends Leilani and Shane got engaged on Wednesday night after the Young Adult Mass. They’ve been dating for as long as I’ve known them, which is hovering right around a year now. It is rather ironic because just the other days Mike asked me when they were getting married. I said, “they aren’t even engaged yet,” to which he responded with the question, “when is that going to happen?” I told him that I didn’t know – well, now I do. I don’t know what the date is going to be.
As it just so happens, there is another pending wedding in the YAG. Chris and Michelle, graduates from Notre Dame and St. Mary’s, respectively, are getting married later this year. They have actually been engaged for some time now, but I thought it was worth mentioning here.
On the job front, I have an interview at UC Berkeley on Monday. It should be the final meeting I have with BAS before they make a hiring decision. I am confident that I am qualified for the job, but as with anything like this, there is little use in counting your chickens before they hatch. Clearly I can’t rely on getting this job, because there is always a chance that a better candidate could come along. I personally feel that is unlikely, but you never know.
Tomorrow I am supposed to be going to the 25th Anniversary Celebration for EWTN, the Global Catholic Network. They are celebrating 25 years of broadcasting all this year. The first big celebration is taking place in San Francisco and Mike has tickets to the events, so we’ll be going. They are celebrating in several other cities later in the year. Check out EWTN for more information.

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A Dream Come True

One of the things my mom gave me for Christmas was a beautiful crucifix hand-made in Jerusalem with a mother of pearl trim. I brought it to San Jose with me and hung it on the wall in the room I am currently occupying at Jeanne’s house. (For the curious, I used an existing hole to hang it – I am not making new holes in other people’s walls.) Last night I had a dream that the crucifix fell off the wall for some reason. In the dream there didn’t seem to be anything specific that caused the fall, and in the dream I simply picked it up and re-hung it. When I woke up this morning, what should I discover but that the crucifix actually had fallen off the wall and onto the floor! Needless to say, I was somewhat taken aback. Thankfully no damage was done and it is now hanging on the wall once again.

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I would walk 500 miles

You know, I think I would walk 500 miles. This past Wednesday at my Young Adult’s meeting we heard one of the resident Dominican priests talk about his pilgrimage in Spain. The Camino is one of the oldest pilgrim routes in Christian history, and is actually considered to be the definition of a pilgrimage. The pilgrimage takes you on a nearly 500 mile walk across northern Spain. This is the same path that was walked by countless saints, kings, and even the Apostle James. It takes most walkers about 5 weeks to complete the pilgrimage. At first, you might not think this sounds like such a great idea, but I really do think that it could be a really enlightening experience. I am adding it to my list of things to do at some point in my life. And I’m putting a footnote that I want Amber to go along with me to do it. Amber, if you’re reading this, you might want to start thinking about a little training… 500 miles is a long way to walk, even if it is over a 5 week period.

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You see some strange things…

I took my new bike out for its first official spin today. I actually rode it once before I owned it as part of a test ride, but today was my first ride as the owner. I didn’t do any real “mountain biking” with it, I just rode it around on some surface streets by Jeanne’s house and along a dirt trail that runs along the Saratoga Creek. All in all, it was probably about a 6 mile ride. It’s been about 4 years since I last rode a bike and I forgot how tiring it can be even on flat surfaces. I guess it is good to get started on flat ground to recondition my body before hitting up any big hills.

I spent part of the day today up in the city. I’ve been up to the city a lot this week – four days in a row. I went up for a meeting at 11 a.m. at Sunset Youth Services where I will be teaching a video production course to some young people. I met with the Executive Director of the center and her husband to discuss how I wanted to be involved with the center. I am really looking forward to the experience. After I finished up with that meeting, I headed over to Union Square where I was supposed to meet my friend Sarah for lunch at 2 p.m. I got to Union Square at 1 and headed to Starbucks where we were scheduled to meet. I intended to get a mocha and to then sit down and use my computer while I waited for her to arrive. As luck would have it, just before I was about to pay for my mocha, the fire alarm went off and the store had to be evacuated. Nothing was really on fire, and I don’t know why the alarm went off, but it did. However, I did get a free mocha out of the deal. Once the alarm went off, the barristas returned to the store while the patrons were made to continue waiting outside. Since I had already ordered the drink and the cup had been written, they made the drink and brought it out to me. When I indicated that I still had to pay I was told not to worry about it. How nice! Of course, this meant that I couldn’t sit down in the store to use my computer, so I took a walk and took a few photos at Union Square. One of those photos is pictured in this entry. When 2 p.m. rolled around, I headed back to Starbucks to meet up with Sarah. I hadn’t seen her since May, 2004, so it was good to catch up. She came with her roommate from freshman year and No. Cal host, Kathleen, whom I had never met despite attending the same University. Not too surprising – with 2000 students in my class, I couldn’t possibly have known everyone.

As I was taking the metro back to my car (which I had conveniently parked in the Stonestown parking lot) I saw some very interesting things. First, there was a guy, probably about 30 years old, who boarded the train with two younger girls (one probably a high school freshman, the other perhaps in second grade). When they first boarded, I first thought that they knew each other, but I quickly gathered based on their conversation that they had only just recently met. I don’t know that for sure, but I suspect it is very likely. The guy wasn’t doing anything particularly strange, but the mere fact that he seemed so interested in talking to these two girls made me slightly uncomfortable. I also witnessed vandalism in action. Some punk kid (who happened to white – one of only 3 other white people I could see on the train) decided it would be totally awesome to write on the inside of the doors with magic marker. It wasn’t totally awesome; rather, it was totally lame. They have security cameras in the train, but I don’t know if they caught him or not. I thought of saying something to him like, “you know, you’re really not that cool,” but then I thought better of it and decided not to do anything. Social inaction, perhaps, but I’d rather that than risk some personal injury for confronting a clearly misguided individual.

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At the Expo

I’m here at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. It is a very exciting event for a Mac lover like myself. I’ve been here since just before 10 a.m. this morning and have had a chance to meet the developers of some of the best pieces of software for the Mac. For instance, one of the hottest applications in the past year is a photo tool called Comic Life which allows you to take photos from iPhoto and create a comic strip with them. I met the guy who developed that. Some of the more interesting displays have actually been from the smaller developers. I met a guy who developed a debugger for DVD Studio Pro, something which I wished had existed a few years back when I was working on some DVD things for NDtv. This debugger isn’t made by Apple or any of the major software developers – it is just some guy who is here with a small booth at the expo.
The creativity that goes into some of the work that software developers do is really amazing. I am glad that I had the chance to come and visit the expo. On top of the brilliant minds that are here, I also had a chance to learn more about the new Intel-based MacBook Pro – Apple’s newest laptop which runs at speeds up to 5 times as fast as their PowerBook G4 machines! The advances in technology are incredible, particularly considering that these huges leaps in technology are coupled with dramatic drops in price. I am thinking it might be time to get a new computer.
Well, I am at a public terminal here at the Expo and there are others waiting for to use the computer (a Mac, of course) so I should let them have their turn.

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Do people change, or is it just me?

Have you ever had friends that were really great people when you first met them, but then after a few months, rather than seeming cool, they just seem completely annoying? Now, I’m not saying that there are any people in my life like that, but in the event that there were, I’m sure I would ask myself if the person changed over the course of the few months, if I just had the wrong impression of them from the get go, or if I was just fooling myself for one reason or another.
So I was up in San Francsico yesterday looking at some apartments. I found one that I’m going to apply for. It is located in the Inner Richmond district and is a 3 bed, 3 bath place. Assuming the application for tenancy is accepted, I’ll plan on moving in there together with Mike and Don right around Feb. 1.
After I finished apartment hunting I headed to church at St. Doms where I had the chance to catch up with some people. I love the young adult group there… so many cool people. Following church, I had to drop some stuff off to my friend and former workmate, Brad. I pulled up in front of his apartment and called him to let him know I was there to drop off his Netflix DVD and his book on CD that he had left in my car. As I was waiting for him to come down to the street and ambulance showed up, sirens blaring, at the top of the street. Within a minute or two after the first ambulance appeared, five fire trucks showed up, together with some other emergency service vehicles right on the block I was stopped on. I quickly realized that I couldn’t stay on that street any longer. Had I stayed another minute, I’m sure I would have been trapped by all of the emergency vehicles. Thankfully Brad was outside when I decided to pull away, so I threw his stuff out the window to him and took off just in time. It turns out that there was no fire – just a false alarm – but at least everyone now knows that the firemen will turn out in force.
As you should all know, I enjoy the offerings at Starbucks. Today a bomb was planted in a Starbucks’s bathroom in San Francisco. I’ve never been to that particular Starbucks, but it isn’t at all far from St. Dom’s. Police have called it an IED: Improvised Explosive Device. At least in initial reports, they wouldn’t disclose the amount of explosive in the bomb, but from what I could gather, it sounds like it was a small bomb. Nobody was hurt, and the bomb squad was able to diffuse it safely.

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Let’s Get This Party Started

It seems that as the gates of the new year opened, my horse dashed full speed right off the starting line. It’s just a week into 2006 and I’ve already got myself deep into many new projects. I’m planning two Young Adult retreats – one for the St. Dominic’s YAG in March and a National Conference being hosted by the San Francisco Archdiocese in August. I’m the head of Logistics for both events, which mean I am in charge of making sure everything runs smoothly – from preparation to transportation to event execution. It is a challenging task, but one that I am happy to be doing. In addition to these two retreats, I am also serving on the St. Dominic’s YAG Committee which oversees the various YAG events at the parish. I was asked to join them last year, but left suddenly for New York before attending a single meeting. I’m excited to finally be working on the committee. I’m also still working on developing a program digital film program for Sunset Youth Services. All of this is on top of my job hunt! You don’t know how good it feels to finally be doing things like this that actually feel important.
Speaking of the job hunt, I’m very excited about the possible opportunities at Berkeley. I’ve now met with two different departments there about two different possible positions. They both sound like jobs that would be very interesting and I’m looking forward to having the chance to prove that I’m the right person for the job. Working for a place like Berkeley would be awesome. I’ve always been a very academic person, and higher education has been of particular importance to me, so to work for a reputable academic institution like Berkeley would be about as close to perfect as a job could get.
I’m sitting at Starbucks at the moment, and I swear that my friend Ryan Greenberg is standing in line at the counter. Of course, it can’t possibly be him as he is engaged in two noble years of service with the Holy Cross Associates in South America. OK, the “Ryan” look-a-like just turned towards me and I no longer think it looks like Ryan at all. Scratch this whole paragraph…. except for the noble service bit, you can leave that in.
The MacWorld Expo is coming up next week. I managed to get a few free passes to the event, which is very exciting. The passes normally cost $45 each. I’ll likely use only one of the three passes they sent me since I have nobody to take with me. Well, that isn’t completely true. I am going with Jeanne’s son, Cliff, but he already has a pass. If Mike were here in San Francisco, I’m sure he would want to go, but he decided it would be cool to stay in cold and snowy New Hampshire until January 22. Give me a break…

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January Swimming

I can’t believe how nice the weather has been for the past two weeks. Here I am getting ready to leave Utah and the weather has been almost spring the entire time. It only snowed 3 times since I’ve been home, and every time it snows, it melts off by the following afternoon. We had so little snow that we were even able to open up the swimming pool to go for a swim!

OK, maybe we didn’t actually go swimming, but we did open the pool. The picture was taken on Jan. 2, and I can’t remember a time that we could have even opened the cover if we wanted to on Jan. 2. The entire backyard is usually covered in snow, and the cover is a thick ice sheet. Not so this year. I thought of taking a dip in the pool when I discovered the tropical water temperature of 35 degrees. Then I thought better of it, realizing that 35 degrees was in Fahrenheit, not Celsius.

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