Matthew's Big Blog of Adventure!

Wednesday, August 30

Packing for PCC

Hey gang,

Messy RoomIt's that time again! The summer's been long and fun, so it's time to counterbalance it with three more months of grueling labor, stress, and (were I not so manly) tears. Yes, the packing has begun! Felix the Cat's magic bag would come in very handy right about now with both my and my little sister's stuff to pack. Procrastinating until now was a sort of bad idea since our family seems to have tons of plans for every night left until we leave, although this means we've gotten to eat out at a couple favorite restaurants recently and try out a few more. There's a new mediterranean/middle eastern place called Khalid's Cafe just outside our neighbor that seems rather good.

Reading in the bookstoreIn sort of related news, Charlotte's best friend Kirstin just left for St. Olaf's in Minnesota. Thank goodness for cellphones and email, or Kirstin may have dragged Charlotte along in the van! ;) Speaking of Charlotte, I still haven't convinced her to start packing. We've been going to Borders semi-frequently since I've returned from Utah and she's spent every moment there memorizing art books on comics and caricatures. Now, she's scanning in her art and cleaning it up in a photo editor. She's been mumbling about making a web comic or something like that, though it will probably have to wait until the Christmas break, since we sadly have very filtered Internet access at school.

Indian entertainmentAugusta State University hosted India Day a few days ago. It was a blast! Many of the grad students Crista knows participated in the program, and evidently spent the entire year since the last India Day preparing some wonderful entertainment, including traditional songs, dance, and instruments. The food was incredible as well, prompting my mother's rekindled interest in getting Mrs. Pumachcharige to teach her how to prepare more Sri Lankan dishes.

Google's photo management software Picasa is awesome! I've been staying up late into the night tagging all of my photos with everyone's names so I can instantly bring up all of the photos in my collection of a certain person or event. It's a great way to find wallpaper too. All I have to do is add a wall-worthy picture to my "Groovy Wallpapers," for easy retrieval the next time my desktop begins to look dull. (Usually about once a day.) Then, I copied Mom's 3.5 Gigabytes of photos, culled 2 GB out, and have yet to finish labeling them. It'll probably span into the new semester! 8)

Time to go pack!

Wednesday, August 2

Hiking with the Duprés

Dupres on a hikeThis weekend was great! I got to spend it with my friends, the Duprés. Our families met about 12 years ago when we both went to Grace Baptist Church in Laurel, MD. Then, about 10 years ago, we both moved to the Augusta, GA area. It's been 6 years since I last got to see them, and since then their kids have grown a lot! We had an impromptu birthday party for me, went hiking in the mountains overlooking their house, and got to go to a lot of church dinners. :)

Their youngest, Nathan, and I have a lot in common, including a coffee addiction. I was shocked when I looked up Saturday morning to see him holding a mug. Naturally, he says he only likes it with cream and sugar. Yeah, drinking it black is usually my last resort too.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Park City, UTAlso this weekend, I drove a little south and east of Salt Lake City to Park City, UT where they have a good concert series. The Salt Lake Symphony and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir gave a two hour joint concert including Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, selections from Rachmaninoff's Vespers (which I have at home, by Robert Shaw,) and a great Ralph Vaughn Williams sacred selection.

It was quite nice. Yesterday, I picked up a CD of Christmas music by the Mormon Tabernacle at Deseret Industries (the Mormon welfare equivalent of Good Will) for $3! Even better than that, though: I picked up Beethoven's Missa Solemnis, which is often considered his best work. It's performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, and is on a Philips LP. Also in the box were some Beethoven pieces directed by George Szell and solo violin by Nathan Milstein, one of my favorite violinists -- his CD of Bach's Sonatas for Unaccompanied Violin are excellent -- and another album of Vivaldi concerti. Not a bad find for 25 cents total!

AlleyDuring the week, a friend and I went to see Man of La Mancha in the Ellen Eccles theater here in downtown Logan. The area has that theater, the Lyric Opera, and an old movie theater that shows classic films all on one block. (The alley in the picture leads to the back of the Lyric Opera.) The soundtrack is pretty good! You can hear some snippets on Amazon's sountrack page. It's a play about Miguel de Cervantes, and his classic story, Don Quixote. The performance was okay, and it was fun to spend time with my friend and one of my roommates.

The internship is almost over. We're in the middle of compiling all our results, making pretty graphs, and writing our papers which we're hoping will get accepted at good conferences. Got to go and finish graphing!