06-20-2019

Blogging: I’ve been writing and publishing a lot of posts on Friday, but I always manually adjust the date to be Thursday at 10 am. I could change my publishing day to Saturday, but then I’d probably write and publish on Sunday. Plus, I like how consistent this blog looks, even if it’s not historically accurate. (But the dates are never off by more than a few days.)

Leisure: I recently watched Gattaca and Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and I enjoyed both. I might watch more movies from now on, because I think being “well-watched” (perhaps more so with TV series, though) is the modern “equivalent” of being well-read. Plus, Keanu Reeves has been really popular on the Internet lately.

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06-13-2019

Books: I recently read Naïve. Super by Erlend Loe, and it made me realize something: some of the most compelling books I’ve read have simple story lines. In this case, an awkward dude meets a charming girl and his life turns around—simple! Well of course there’s more, but I think that’s the gist. In fact, I’ve read multiple books that follow this pattern, and I’ve enjoyed them all. (Perhaps I’ll outgrow this genre someday.)

Yet even if someone fed me the same exact plot, I wouldn’t be able to write such a compelling book. I wish I could, though—maybe I’ll write some fiction someday…

Music: Air Traffic Controller – Hurry Hurry (the verses are in 6+6+4+4!). Panama Wedding – All of the PeopleUma. The Lighthouse and the Whaler – Venice.

06-06-2019

English: I finally realized why I often stumble when spelling “harass”: it’s due to “embarrass”! Apparently “harrass” is an outdated spelling though.

I’m surprised I haven’t seen this before: a Wikipedia article for common spelling mistakes. It even has grammar errors, making it the ultimate compilation for pedants of English. (Some things are a little off though, like “cypher” is listed as a variant of “cipher,” but “decypher” is a downright misspelling of “decipher.”)

05-30-2019

Basketball: The NBA Finals begin tonight; this year marks the fifth consecutive appearance for the Warriors and the first appearance in Raptors franchise history. It’s also the first Finals since 2010 without LeBron James (though his team has been receiving lots of media attention nonetheless). And, for the first time, the Warriors do not have home-court advantage.

It’s also Kawhi Leonard’s first season with the Raptors. If they win, I wonder how the Spurs would feel, especially DeMar DeRozan. Apparently, DeRozan wishes the best for his former team, and so do I.

Kawhi has been my favorite player since Tim Duncan retired, and now he has the chance to avenge his monumental injury in 2017 (the Spurs were up by 20 at the half!). He also has a chance to deny the Warriors a three-peat, which he did to the Heat in 2014.

05-23-2019

English: Ben Stiller was a guest on a recent episode of Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend, and he opens with the following:

I feel excited, yet I’m not holding my breath, about being Conan’s friend. And I don’t mean that in a negative way, I just feel like maybe the ship has sailed.

This illustrates the major role that idioms play in English, and I’d like to improve my fluency in idioms. They frequently arise naturally in speech, and in writing as well—even the previous sentence uses one!

Sometimes I botch idioms, a recent one being “horse/dog in this race/fight.” There’s also “dog in this hunt,” and it seems that “having no dog in this hunt” is a bastardization of “no dog in this fight” and “that dog won’t hunt.”

I’d also like to improve my vocabulary. The thing is, I sometimes get insecure upon hearing a word I don’t recognize, and I used to tell myself that using an obscure word is useless (and possibly pretentious) if the listener doesn’t know the definition. I wanted to have a simple, down-to-earth style of communicating. But then I heard Conan use the word “undulate” in a comedic bit about shaving his lower back, and now my perspective has shifted. After all, Conan doesn’t sound pretentious to me.

05-16-2019

Basketball: Kawhi Leonard made an incredible buzzer beater in Game 7 against the Philadelphia 76ers. Earlier in the playoffs, Damian Lillard made an amazing buzzer beater as well, to end the series against the Thunder. Needless to say, these playoffs have been pretty exciting. It does feel a little weird without LeBron James, though.

And in the midst of all this, Zion Williamson has been receiving a lot of attention from the media. It’s pretty crazy.

Music: Fleetwood Mac – The Chain. Mallrat – Groceries. Morgan Saint – Just Friends.

05-09-2019

Board games: I recently played perhaps the biggest game of 2018: Root. I played Vagabond, which seemed fairly straightforward; Eyrie seemed quite difficult. The Woodland Alliance won, partially due to everyone teaming up against the Cats when they were on track to winning via dominance. The dominance cards really shook things up, and I’m a little worried about the huge effect they have on the game.

Update: I played again a week later, this time as Eyrie. The Woodland Alliance won again, but just barely. This game, we essentially ignored the dominance cards the whole time, so perhaps my worrying was premature. The amount of conflict is quite high—possibly too high for me. Early-game decisions have a crucial impact on the final scores, yet they are also somewhat arbitrary, because nobody is in the clear lead.

05-02-2019

Cooking: I recently made lasagna for the first time, and I did it with a friend. We roughly followed this recipe, replacing the beef with turkey and omitting the onion. It was also my first time using no-boil noodles, and I think that was a good idea. It was quite easy, and the uptime was fairly low.

But apparently, no-boil noodles turns the lasagna into a baked pasta dish. The “Meatball Method” from BA’s Best recipe sounds pretty interesting. Speaking of BA, the “Making Perfect” series on the Bon Appétit YouTube channel just started, and it’s quite thorough.