Wednesday, February 28, 2007

5 days in the beautiful Santa Ynez valley of California, triathlon training, great company, wonderful food, breathtaking scenery and balmy weather- could I ever ask for more? Spring break looks to be a wonderful time! I reached Santa Barbara today after having to take a later flight due to nothing less than my own folly. For some reason I thought the flight was boarding at 1.30 pm and leaving at 2.05 pm, and only realized at 1.35 pm that it had left at 1.05 pm and was touching down in SBA at 2.05 pm. But thanks to some lovely folks at the LAX airport I managed to get a seat on the next flight out to SBA (in a propeller SAAB aircraft complete with one flight attendant, no less) and reached there to find my bag and bike case safe and sound (those had come on the earlier flight which I was supposed to be on).
We started the camp with a 4.3 mile run on rolling hills winding through and around the perimeter of a couple vineyards, and I realized how terribly unfit I was when I started panting up a terribly steep hill that never seemed to end. And there were two of those in quick succession. But I think it will all be good in the end. Put my sweet Felt S22 bike together and I'm looking forward to getting a chance to ride it after such a long wait- it will be great to get to do that in the beautiful valleys of Solvang. I'm staying at this quaint inn called the Meadowlark Inn and enjoying myself thoroughly- it's rustic and there are a total of nine pillows on my bed. For the life of me I can't figure out why they'd ever think anyone would need nine pillows all at once, because they pretty much take up the entire bed. I guess it's better than not having any, though.
On a separate note, when I was on my way back on the run just now, I saw a familiar-looking type of steeple from afar and as I approached the inn my hunch was confirmed- I must say, God never ceases to amaze me with the signs He introduces into my life to assuage my misgivings and fuel my growing conviction that perhaps this is true after all. It is just so incredible, the way He works.
33 O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way - but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.

34 O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.

35 Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen.

- 2 Nephi 4:33-35

Saturday, February 17, 2007

7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

-Matthew 7:7-8 (KJV)

Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

It’s undeniable that we should be together
It’s unbelievable, how I used to say that I’d fall never
The basis is need to know
If you just don’t know how I feel
Then let me show you that now I’m for real
If all the things in time, time will reveal

One, you’re like a dream come true
Two, just wanna be with you
Three, girl it’s plain to see
That you’re the only one for me, and
Four, repeat steps one through three
Five, make you fall in love with me
If ever I believe my work is done
Then I’ll start back at one

It’s so incredible, the way things work themselves out
And all emotional, once you know what it’s all about, hey
And undesirable, for us to be apart
I never would’ve made it very far
’Cause you know you got the keys to my heart

Say farewell to the dark of night
I see the coming of the sun
I feel like a little child, whose life has just begun
You came and breathed new life into this lonely heart of mine
You threw out the lifeline
Just in the nick of time

Brian McKnight Back At One

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Doing a quick post before I get back into completing my preliminary bibliography for my thesis work! This blog is so dead. It appears like my resolutions to update never seem to transpire. The perennial excuse being, that, after all, I always already have too much on my plate. So anyhow, I'll just grab whatever opportunity I have to fill this site with some of my ramblings about how life has been so far. The semester is looking to be an awesome one, albeit busy. 3 POLSCI classes, all honors-level (challenging, no doubt, but I find them to be some of the best courses I've ever taken, with excellent faculty), a biology class and a chemistry course to fulfill my natural science requirements. Biology 118 is perhaps the... well, I won't call it slackest, but you know what I mean. I am entirely disinterested in Chem 105- I can't even remember the name of the course, that's how bad it is- it's something to do with atmospheric and oceanic systems. Lots of equations, lots of flashbacks to physical geog in RJC- I think the 2 years' worth of phygeog never really sunk into my head. But it'll be okay. As long as I get my credit for it in the end.

I rushed (that basically means, in formal terms, apply for a fraternity/ sorority in the Greek society language) Phi Sigma Pi, a co-ed Honors Frat last week and over the weekend. Last Tuesday there was a "Meet-the-Brothers" event, something akin to a speed-dating event where all the (rushees? rushers? I don't know) were paired up and would move from table to table, manned by brothers (all members of the frat are brothers, even if they're girls- I like the sound of that), where they'd be pummelled with questions left right and center. Basically the goal of rush events are for the brothers to decide who they want to invite into the frat, because after all the rush events and interviews are over, they usually have a chapter meeting and vote on who to elect to join the frat. Anyway that was great fun and I don't think I'd ever met so many people in the course of half an hour (we had two minutes at each table, so it was a whirlwind). On Sunday I attended another rush event, which was a Teach for America session where we packed backpacks to send to children in New Orleans, in places which had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. On this note, I really appreciate how Phi Sigma Pi (the Pi from now on) does so much good work in organising community events and other things that benefit the larger society, on top of being a social organisation where cool and like-minded people can hang out. I guess that's what drove me to rush in the first place. We had interviews on Sunday, which didn't really faze me considering the tons of interviews I've been through in the course of my young life (HAHA)- in fact, I really enjoyed myself and I hope I didn't blabber too much rubbish either.

So anyway I got a bid to join the Pi yesterday night and that was pretty awesome. Out of the 40-odd people who rushed, they accepted 16 new initiates- and we're now the Alpha Delta pledge class! And I finally got to paint the Rock (that's a huge chunk of, well, rock- don't ask me what kind, remember I don't know shit about physical geog- located prominently somewhere just off Central Campus), which is commonly painted by frats/ sororities/ student organisations. Everyone keeps painting it over and over until no one's actually quite certain what the size of the original rock is, seeing that it's layered with a gazillion coats of paint. Bloody cold night, temperature about 20 below freezing, but still pretty awesome! Photos will follow shortly, Blogger is being a nasty little prick by not letting me upload anything right now. Anyway, back to work!

Okay I finally uploaded them (manually, gah.) Presenting... the Rock!

And the Alpha Delta Pledge Class of Phi Sigma Pi!