Headlines for Thursday:

Priorities - A: high, B: medium, C: low; Status - _: unfinished, X: finished, C: cancelled, P: pending, o: in progress, >: delegated. Covey quadrants - Q1 & Q3: urgent, Q1 & Q2: important
AXCall Tita Elmi and set up visit
AXWork on reading paper
AXBook my train ticket
AXPlay with Rails
ACWork on article for IBM
CXGH travel stories
CXIce cream with Anthony and Samuel

1. Stirfry with Mike Tsang: 00:43

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Mike wanted to know how to cook the sugar peas we received in last week's Good Food Box, so I suggested a stirfry. He bought chicken breasts from Dominion, and we threw it all together in my kitchen. Onions, garlic, carrots, mushroom, sugar peas, chicken, broccoli, sesame ginger teriyaki sauce... It turned out to be a colorful and flavorful dinner, and it tasted fantastic! I prepared ginger jasmine rice to go with it, and the rice was wonderfully soft and delicately flavored.

Very good food. =) Happy girl.

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Random Japanese sentence: その子は猫の尻尾を捕まえた。 The boy caught the cat by the tail.

2. Backlog: TLUG: 00:51

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I caught the tail end of the Toronto Linux Users Group get-together at the GSI pub last Tuesday, and I'm really glad I went. I chatted with Colin McGregor about writing for journals, and received a lot of encouragement from him, Drew, and Maureen. I also chatted with a bunch of the other regulars. =)

I like going to those meetings, and I feel very much welcome there. Now that I've made friends, I don't have to worry about drooling fanboys or whatever because my friends will take care of things. I love it when I can sit down and drop into a conversation, when people smile when they see me and draw me in, when they joke... =) It's almost like being home, almost like being in PLUG.

And hey, Drew's totally cool now. =) Thanks to Bill for asking him to be nice to me, and thanks to Maureen for being an absolutely wonderful person...

I like this group. I'll go again next month.

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Random Japanese sentence: イヌとは対照的に、ネコはごく最近になって飼い慣らされたものである。 In contrast to the dog, the cat has become domesticated only in recent times.

3. Reflections: 01:42

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I haven't been blogging lately. Things have been a bit confusing, but I'm glad that I'm starting to sort things out. I'm looking forward to the weekend. I plan to spend at least a day blissing out near some lakeside park armed with a journal and my Moleskine, reflecting on some knotty things. Then it's back to cramming my reading paper...

One of those knotty things hasn't really been mentioned in my blog, aside from oblique references to forks (metaphorical) and onions (literal). A friend reminded me that a lot of people care about what's going on in my life, though, so even though I try not to bore you with all the details of my almost-always-sunny life, here's one of the clouds.

For practical reasons, Dominique and I have decided to no longer be in an exclusive relationship. I still hold the greatest respect for him and I hope it'll work out in the future, but the timing sucks, and there's nothing we can do about it.

I've learned that life is so much better when I'm in a good relationship, or at least among good friends. I'm in no rush to get into a crappy relationship, though. Having tasted what a wonderful, wonderful thing love is, I won't lower my standards.

So what happens now?

Well, life goes on. My reading paper is due next week. My research proceeds. My friends and family are there for me. Life goes on, and spring brings the sun back.

In terms of people? I don't know. I really don't know. I don't have a good idea of my future yet, so courtship is out of the question. I'm not into dating for the sake of dating, and I'm accustomed to more affection and love than most people know.

Perhaps this is a good opportunity, then, to shower that affection and love on my friends. I am free, and I choose to remain free so that I can be where I am needed and wanted, and where _I_ need and want to be.

When I miss the feeling of being very, very special to someone, I can hug my stuffed toys and remember that I am at least a little bit special to at least a few people.

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4. Pinged: 01:45

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And to the friend who pointed out that lots of people are probably pinging me to make sure I'm alright: spot on. And that just makes me feel _so_ wonderful.

Thanks, everyone. <hugz> You make my day sunny.

Random Japanese sentence: ジェーンは猫よりも犬が好きです。 Jane prefers dogs to cats.

5. Limit: 03:09

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A limitless future limits the present. What's my future? Is this home, is this where I'm supposed to belong? What of my duty, what of the potential to serve the Philippines, what of all the love and friendship I've left behind there?

I am adrift, no stars to guide me. I can follow the current, but I must then follow alone... I should keep faith that when I am closer to shore, I will find what I need. In the meantime, let me do whatever I can. It is but one of the sacrifices I must make, and it is merely the sacrifice of something I have so recently discovered. May I have the strength to live without it!

"Where I am going, you cannot come."

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Random Japanese sentence: あれはネコですか。 Is that a cat?

6. Sacha-sense tingling: 04:32

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This is what it's like to be loved. =)

I was having one of my I-hate-being-an-international-student moments when Dominique turned up online, telling me his Sacha-sense was tingling. I was incoherent during the first half of our Skype conversation, but he just kept listening to me and joking with me until I felt better.

I don't think I'll wake up in time to go to IBM tomorrow, so I'll make it up on Monday instead. I guess I'll work on the reading paper, then...

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Random Japanese sentence: 我々は犬や猫や鳥などを飼うことができる。 We can have dogs, cats, birds, and so on.

7. Woooooohooooooo! Congrats, Ateneo!: 17:33

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You go, kids! That's totally, totally, totally awesome. Kudos to Allan, Punzki and Topher, and to their coaches (Hi Doc Mana! Hi Doc V! And I know Eric had a hand in that somewhere...), and to everyone else.

Goodness, I _miss_ Ateneo and the competitions...

The Ateneo Team "Linden BoyZ" bagged 6th place in the 2006 World Finals of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) Java Challenge held April 11 in San Antonio, Texas, USA.

The Ateneo contingent to the ACM ICPC consists of students Allan Espinosa, Mark Punzalan, Christopher Rigor, and faculty members Dr. Pablo Manalastas and Dr. John Paul Vergara as coaches, and Dr. Rafael Saldana as Regional Contest Director for Asia-Manila.

The first place in the ICPC Java Challenge went to KTH - Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden). The Ateneo team Linden BoyZ beat the other top universities participating in the Java Challenge portion of the 2006 ACM ICPC World Finals including Massachussets Institute of Technology (MIT), California Institute of Technology (CIT), and Princeton University.

E-Mail from Dominique Cimafranca

Random Japanese sentence: いなくなった猫はまだ見つかってない。 The missing cat has not been found yet.