Piano Student 1 and Piano Studnet 2

I was early for my piano lesson today, so I got the pleasure to witness part of the lesson of another younger student that goes kind of like this…

Teacher: Oh good, let’s get you another piece to play.
Student: Another piece? I alreagy got two…
Teacher: …
Student: I’ll do an easy one.
Teacher: How about this one?
Student: (start talking about cockatrice, which was part of the name of the piece I think)
Teacher: Oh good…interest… let’s play now.
Student: (flip through books, found another piece) I know this one, let’s do this one. (proceeds to start playing with right hand)
Teacher: Great…let’s add the left hand…
Student: (trying to play the chords for left hand…) I’m tired… (took a deep breathe, start shifting around)
Student: (trying to play a little more) I don’t want to do this one anymore. (moving around in chair, wouldn’t play)
Teacher: Dude, stop wasting time, play the piece…
Student: Your time is my time…I need to finish my book report… (kept on talking)
Teacher: (trying very hard to stay calm…”RARRRRRRRRR”, I think that’s what he’s saying inside :P)

Take that and imagine MORE talk going forth and back, then you have the actual situation. Luckily, my teacher did find a 3rd piece that he was able to go through with the kid. He saw the smirk on piano student two – ME -‘s face and his comment to me, “Oh yeah, you are so much easier to teach… fortunately he’s one of the worst already, hahaha…”

On the other hand, while I was waiting for my lesson, my teacher’s mother gave me some reassuring compliments on my piano playing – “很好聽, 很有感情” (enjoyable and involves lots of emotions). Not to brag (maybe a little :P) but this gives me a new surge of motivation, especially for me picking up piano at an older age. I can’t help but have some doubts of how far I can take it. If techniques are lacking, you can still practice… but if a person’s piano does not carry emotion, it’s probably more difficult to correct. So this is definitely a nice timely “pad on the back” that makes me more motivated than ever to keep on playing and practicing, for the love of piano and for whatever audience there maybe…even if it’s just one.

Steven’s Creek Trail

I paid a visit to Steven’s Creek Trail here in Mountain View. It has been a long while since I’ve been to there. I used to be a frequent visitors of the trail with my bike… which was stolen on campus more than a year ago.

Despite the cooler temperature, there were still many visitors to the trial. The trail runs amidst the city yet still maintains a sense of isolation, even though you can still see all the buildings hosting all the tech. companies. The buildings only stretch mostly at the beginning part (1.5 miles I think) of the trail going from Moffet. There are plenty of greens, water, and fresh air.

I only walked a short part of the trail today. Here is the photo album.

Piggy Hit 130 :)

Good news! I finally hit 130 on a scale today! I know body weight fluctuates a lot throughout the day, but it has been a long long while since I was over 130, like 1.5 years ago before I returned to Stanford after my period of leave-of-absence.

You all must be thinking, “what? so excited about being 130. This guy is nutz…” Why am I so happy? For the folks who know me, it’s not difficult to understand because it’s insanely difficult for me to gain weight. (I hope I don’t get attacked or killed for saying that…) Probably due to a combination of living habits (sleep, what sleep?) and insanely high metabolism. After a lot of effort of keeping up with my diet and consistently hitting the gym, I finally hit a milestone, albeit a small one. Actually, I find it interesting becauase I reached 140 before; however, I am certain that I am more in-shape now than when I was 140.

How much am I really doing? Actually, unlike other people who go to the gym 1-2 hours. I go 30-45 minutes for 2-3 times each week, being my efficient-lazy self. I do not do cardio in the gym and instead, leave the cardio requirement to playing basketball outside. My routine in the gym consist of doing the MAX weight on each machine/free-weight that allow me to do 3 rounds of 8 rapses at each station. In addition to that is some “piggy-style” situps to build that 6-packs that leaves me with immense pain right after, which I will not go into details here. Contact me if you are interested. To my knowledge, for people who want to tone and have lean muscles, they should do 3-4 rounds of 12+ rapses. In other word, focus on quantity over amount of weight. These are just what works for me, so please contact a profession trainer for advice.

Peronsally, I don’t want to be profoundly huge. I don’t think it looks that great aesthetically (no offense!) and especially for one with my height…haha. BUT! I have to say being in shape is closedly knitted to self-confidence and a healthy mind. Not to be superficial, I will say that being in shape and also somewhat fashionable do provide a boost in one’s confidence. Tell me who wouldn’t feel good knowing yourself is a better looker :P Besides, health should be the top priority in our lives. Not only we’ll be happier, it’s also the fact that only when we can take care of ourselves, we can take care of others.

Hence, exercise should be an essential part of our lives. To really make it an integral part, we cannot think of it as an “extra” activity in the day or some sort of burden that takes away our time. Make it a habit to go to the gym, walk or run outside, or whatever sports you like to do, and turn it into a routine, a habit. Start small and keep it growing. These are my 2 cents.

Piggy in Texas

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Piggy was in Texas from the middle of last week ’til Sunday. The main purpose of the trip is a training/crash course for new hires joining the company. All in all, the class was alright, pace was too slow…but the good part is that I got to meet some interesting and different people. And I’m always up for that. By different people I mean that they’re not engineers :P What makes it even more interesting is hearing from these folks outside of engineering arena who had accumulated plenty experience outside. One of them is even a fellow Spartan alumni from Michigan State, woohoo!

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View outside of my hotel window.
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Meet Buch and Sundance – the beautiful and gigantic Royal Swan inside the hotel!
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Austin Downtown
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Peet’s piano bar – what a fun place!

So the class ended on Friday in Austin and the same evening I got a rental car and headed to Houston. The minutes about Houston:

  • Due to my ignorance, I was amazed how much bigger Houston is than Austin :P?
  • Their Hong Kong style restaurants were on par w/ the Bay Area. I went to two, only remember one named 金大碗
  • Like LA, I was not very pleased with the traffic there, including the fact that my GPS got confused because of local street running parallel right next to highway.
  • Like LA, things are too spread out…making the traffic problem worse.

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Here’s DA space-cow at Houston airport!

Besides Houston, I also hit Galveston, which is where my friend is located. I enjoy the small town feel of Galveston, where seems to have much fresher air and surrounded by nature/water. Due to time constraint, I didn’t get to hit too many spots in Galveston (or Houston) – the fact that I had to drive back to Austin to make my flight on Sunday. I only wish it’s not such a rush so I could take more pictures. Well, next time when I go for vacation.

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Pictures taken crusing down Seawall Blvd.
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Beautiful builings in downtown Galveston.
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Inside Fudruckers

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