Friday, December 30, 2005

Life Continues

Ah I'm back from a much needed hiatus from responsibility. Cheryl and I basically sat around at her parents and did nothing productive this Christmas holiday, while it was wonderful it also got boring towards the end. Alas I now want to get busy, stupid ingrained work ethic! But anywho I got some fun stuff for my kitchen, some Italian cookbooks and a paellera. Hehe I have already used the paellera to produce something that tasted horrible, but at least I have the concept of how to make a paella now. I also plan on buying a book.

Coming back from Texas was a chore; Cheryl and I got a bunch of books for Christmas and made some very heavy suitcases. Basically everything Thomas Dubay has written but one that I am especially excited about "The Evidential Power of Beauty: Where Science and Theology Meet". From the reviews and my flipping through it a bit, it is a book that I will be quoting in my Mathematical Catholic blog, if I ever start writing there again. I also got some great fiction books Joyce, Hugo, Collins, ... Basically something that I can enjoy amid the plight to survive grad school.

On a less happy note I got word back that I was not selected for Teach for America, which doesn't bother me too much. My interview went really well so as I told a friend, "After that interview if I don't get the job it will be God's way of kicking me in the pants and saying 'Finish school first, idiot'". But hey I have plenty of prospects for work this summer, either San Francisco, Albuquerque, or here in Chicago. My advisor also suggested looking at KIPP but I am afraid they are looking for more experienced and permanent teachers.

Anywho I gots to run, I am taking these few days before school starts again to catch up on some research.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

I love Christmas

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Me a hero ... yeah I can see it =D

You scored as Maximus. After his family was murdered by the evil emperor Commodus, the great Roman general Maximus went into hiding to avoid Commodus's assassins. He became a gladiator, hoping to dominate the colosseum in order to one day get the chance of killing Commodus. Maximus is valiant, courageous, and dedicated. He wants nothing more than the chance to avenge his family, but his temper often gets the better of him.

Which Action Hero Would You Be? v. 2.0
created with

Friday, December 02, 2005

Aha so it isn't just my generation!!!

I found this quote in the forward of Life plus Ninety Nine Years by Nathan Leopold, it was written in 1957:
Today, nearly thirty-five years after that crime, youth is stumbling blindly along the same path. Parents have ceased to be the infalliable arbiters of juvenile conduct. After children reach a certiain age parents are openly considered as belonging to separate social and intellectual strata. If there is love, the parental relationship is tolerated, but the idea of government by parental admonition is extinct.

and later one reads:
Juvenile murderers were considered fiends incarnate in 1924. They were a puzzling problem in 1952. They have ceased to be a novelty in 1957.

Blame generation Y no longer, kids were bad back then in the good old days as well.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

It's a wonderful life - Communist Propaganda?

Ever wonder why everything just happens to work out in Frank Capra's classic. Besides using God, Joesph, and Clarence the movie is very communist. Maybe that is why I like it. Think about it, a guy convinces the community that capitalism, aka Mr. Potter, is evil, and they should pool their money together all that is good and righteous, the Building and Loan. The Building and Loan, convinces our hero to join it's conquest of the working man, leave his future and bright plans. In one shining moment, it sinks its hooks into his newly wedded wife as she freely gives up her dreams and cash to save it.

Then there is the grand finale, our hero is at his last string because his comrade in arms messes up. He does the low of lows and goes to the capitalist, and what does he do; PRESS CHARGES? As our hero is about to take his life he gets a glimpse of the world without communism, and man is it bleak. Then out of nowhere the comrades come to save him, with the hordes of money they weren't telling him about.

Awe I love these happy endings.

Thursday, November 24, 2005



And for the first time in my life I will attempt to cook one. Sorry vegans, I don't like tofu that much.

What are you having for Thanksgiving?

We get to have:
Maple Roasted Turkey with bacon, cornbread stuffing, potatoes au gratin with portabello mushrooms, some fancy green beans, veggie mix salad, pumpkin pie, magdalenas, cookies, marinated mushrooms, pita bread w/ some of my special sauces, and rolls.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

On Children

I was recently emailed these, and I thought they were rather nice. Since I don't like forwarding things I will just put them here.

Paul Harvey Writes:

We tried so! hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd like better.

I'd really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.

I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room,but when he wants to crawl under the covers with
you because he's scared, I hope you let him.

When you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him/her.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.

On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one. I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy\girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it. And i! f a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Hannukah/Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you! - tough times and disappointment,hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I'm here for you. And if I die before you do, I'll go to heaven and wait for you.

The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth
to 18 and came up with $160,140 for a middle income family. Talk about
sticker shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition. But $160,140 isn't
so bad if you break it down. It translates into:

  • $8,896.66 a year,
  • $741.38 a month, or
  • $171.08 a week. (this is cheap!)
  • That's a mere $24.24 a day! Just over a dollar an hour.

Still, you might think the best financial advice is don't have children
if you want to be "rich." Actually, it is just the opposite. What do you
get for your $160,140?

  • Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
  • Glimpses of God every day.
  • Giggles under the covers every night.
  • More love than your heart can hold.
  • Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
  • Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
  • A hand to hold, usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
  • A partner for blowing bubbles, flying kites, and ...
  • Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.

For $160,140, you never have to grow up. You get to:

  • finger-paint,
  • carve pumpkins,
  • play hide-and-seek,
  • catch lightning bugs, and
  • never stop believing in Santa Claus.
  • keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
  • watching Saturday morning cartoons,
  • going to Disney movies
  • wishing on stars.
  • You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator
    magnets and collect spray painted noodle wreaths for Christmas, hand prints
    set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's

For $160,140, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a
hero just for:

  • retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
  • taking the training wheels off a bike,
  • removing a splinter,
  • filling a wading pool,
  • coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.

You get a front row seat to history to witness the:

  • first step,
  • first word,
  • frst bra,
  • first date, and
  • the first time behind the wheel.

You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree,
and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called
grandchildren and great grandchildren.

You get an education in:

psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality
that no college can match. In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there
under God.

You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under
the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever,
and love them without limits, So . . one day they will, like you, love
without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the price!!!!!!!

About Grad School

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one struggling:

UofC Fires

Friday, November 18, 2005

Flawed Traditions

Honor Killings

A reason traditions need to be questioned. There are also several books out about the subject as well, just search Amazon for "Honor Killings".

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The meaning of Butter (no it's not a theological question)

Cheryl: Cream Cheese is more fattening than Butter.
me: Really,..., After I compare the labels I think you are wrong.
Cheryl: That's not Butter. Butter means margarine, not butter.
me: So what do you say when you mean butter.
Cheryl: Butter.


Me: So my turn at the dishes means your turn at the dishes. =D

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shock and Awe

Ah the adventures at the grocery store continue. So I went with my wife last night to grab our weekly goods. As I come back from getting beer and cheese (the manly parts of the trip =D), I gaze down the aisles to find her, but what is couldn't be...oh no my wife is one of "those" type of grocery store shoppers. You know the type, the ones who leave their cart in the middle of the aisle as the tramp up and down trying to decide what brand of this or what brand of that is the best option. The kind where the nice old man with his cane in the cart is patiently trying to get around the cart while they secretly smirk while they dilly-dally along. The kind that shoots the nasty looks as you touch their cart to move it out of the way. Oh woe be it that this is my wife, the one I cherish and adore, knowing that this is just a fluke and she didn't mean to be one those wretched types I hurry down the aisle and push the cart aside so the old man and disgruntled stocker who was most definitely think about touching the cart are able to pass.

Monday, November 07, 2005

The Sky is Falling, The Sky is Falling!!!!!

So I wake up to a story that I fear our country would be a little better decided upon. Torture. Cheney wants to keep it, but the 90 - 9 Senate vote wants to ban it for good.

It doesn't take long to find the evils of torture. I didn't ever form too much of an opinion on it until I read the book Nunca Mas. It is a accounting of the tortures and killings of the Junta government in Argentina from the 70's to late 80's, (the secret behind Evita). But they have accounts of how women, who were blindfolded for years and constantly told that they would be raped, cannot walk down the streets without fearing for their lifes or that their captures might find them again. How babies would be torn from their parents and given away to families who were told the mothers died.

Thus I am so excited when I see that there is a ban on torture used by the military, but it could be vetoed by the President. This should be stopped and the bill needs to go through. It would be an ideological shift in our country that would protect truth and uphold justice in the world.

Friday, November 04, 2005

UofC blaming who?

So apparently there was this party at the UofC that has gotten the administration and the black student population in a ruff. Some white kids had a party where they dressed like thugs, drank 40s, and listened to rap music. Then when some black students came they were appalled at the party.

Now what is the real issue here, that these kids were acting like all black people are thugs or that they were mimicking what they see in pop culture? In reaction to the party, there is going to be a large meeting on campus about race relations, which is a good thing, but my problem is that the community is shocked at the this party when it is exactly what the entertainment industry has been selling for the last twenty years. For example check out the billboard for 50 cent's new movie. And he is right when he says that it is no worse than any other action movie, he is just being targeted for criticism.

What I hope is that this might be a societal marker where the black community looks at what people are told is black culture and decides to change it. Not change the culture, because it is so much more, but the narrow image that the "selling rock or hoop shot" ideology is the only thing that preserves in black communities. And for the UofC to realize that the reason there are so few blacks on campus is not necessary because we are racist, but we hold students to standards that not easily attained without proper preparation. Preparation that is more accessible to rich white people, and that needed to be changed, 200 years ago.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

A beautiful story

Okay so you might not agree in all fronts but overall I like this story:

Jail Escapee Gives up at Bar

The man stops his crime spree because he is worried about his daughter. Some might call it a moment of weakness when he gave himself to the FBI but others might call it epiphany. A drastic change that will carry him throughout his life. I pray that he has the courage and strength to carry the change to all parts of his life.

Which brings me to the problem of crime that most people don't really consider. Most criminals have been the victims of crime at one point in their lives. They buy into a life that has immediate perks with an associated cost of jail time. But when you visit people in jail they almost uniformly say that they are sorry for what they did and plan on changing their lives. Except when they get out they have to deal with the same problems that put them where they were to begin with. This is why half way houses and jail ministries are so important to give people like the man in this article support in his courageous move towards truth. I would love to believe that I would be strong enough to make such a change in my life, but alas it is one of those things that I never want to test. Maybe that is a good thing.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Explanation of my current doings

Okay so I have had a few people ask me what's going on, are you planning on quitting school? The answer in short is no. When I wrote the blog saying how life sucked, I was enrolled in a class that I was not prepared to take, in fact I am about a year's worth of preparation away from taking the class. So I changed my degree plan to include less mathematics and more computer science. I plan on taking the mathematics at some point but I want to take a series of courses that will better prepare me.

Also, I have applied to Teach for America and am thinking about taking two years out of my schoolwork and going to teach at a poor school here in Chicago. For me, this is not an attempt to get away from the drudgery of my schoolwork but rather an attempt to do something very close to my heart. It doesn't take me very long to look back at my youth and see how a few great teachers really showed me how a good education was the key to coming out of the slums. I was fortunate enough to have that lesson taught to me, and I would like to give back to the community in some serious way. I know what people say, "Scientist help with society." or "Get your career in place first and then go change the world." Both of these ideas cross my mind daily but really do not embody the amount of service I want to give.

There has been something missing in my life here in Chicago. All I really do is study and research. I have been active in my Church and the Pro-life association here on campus. I have also done lots of service type stuff, like giving out food or helping with an organization drive for communities. But when I decided to come to Chicago, one of the major reasons was because there was a Catholic Worker House nearby. A professor at my old school shared his experience once with living in a Catholic Worker House and helping the poor. Okay it was more than helping the poor, it was partnering with the poor and agreeing to help each other through life's challenges. This is what I want to do in a very real way. To not only be a witness and advocate to the problems in the educational system, but to be a partner invested in the success of the educational system.

With that said, I don't know if I will go away for 2 years or not yet. I just applied to the program and that could or could not mean I get into the program. I am also applying myself 100% to my studies because I do believe that science changes the world.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Donde esta los tamales

Grocery stores were made "por mujeres, para mujeres, y de mujeres", well at least stocked with this in mind. No matter how many times I go to the grocery store by myself with a list from my wife, I always spend 30 minutes looking for one last item. This last time it was tamales. But that isn't quite as funny as me looking for q-tips. First I thought q-tips would be with make-up since that is what it is used for quite a bit. No luck, well lets try pharmacy, nope. Next to cotton balls, nice try. How about paper goods, not on your life. Okay let me go to a random corner, and the winner is ... They were next to nothing in particular at all!!!!

Then the worst is when they move something, you ask about where it is and the employee acts like its always been in the same place. One week I was looking for tofu; it's not in the Chinese produce section but the man says look in the natural foods section. Not there. Next week there it is again in the Chinese produce. GOO I'm about ready to get all my groceries delivered.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

More of Andy's Life

YEA!! New awesome recipe.

It is for Uncle Yan's Secret Meat Sauce. Apparently the chinese cookbook that claims most of chinese food is vegetarian, actually has an awesome meat sauce recipe. But it's a secret, which makes me wonder, is it that the Chinese are vegetarians or that they just hide their meat from one another? But anywho it got the seal of approval from my wife, which is no easy thing to do, so it is officially in my lineup of great recipes.

Classes still hard.

So I am really in the wrong program, or else I really need to go get some other education before I finish this program. But it looks like I am going to have to change things. One of my collegues who also thinks things are too hard for him is rather discomforted that he didn't make it through. He, maybe more than me, took the hard classes and did well in undergraduate at a big engineering school, but our theoretical background doesn't amount to a hill of beans compared to those in the math program here. Anywho it looks like there will be some major changes in my life in the next few weeks.

Church is awesome.

Okay so we have found a group that is a bit more like us at our church now. Add to it our rosary group and all the excitement over our new Pastor and Calvert house has become an awesome place to go to Mass. I have even had whispers of my old spirituality that seemed all but lost come back. I am also reading some more literature and would love to write a Catholic novel at some point. But alas my writing skills really show that I should be a scientist, the Holy Spirit will have to do any writing that comes through me.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Goo Grad school sucks

Someone quoted "Grad School: a good way to waste the best years of your life."

If that means working endlessly to make sure that you know a bunch of facts that might change the world, but probably won't, he is absolutely right. But after a 30 hour studying weekend, I just know that they are facts and that is that.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Ugly People

Ugly people make me sad. I don't mean ugly as in "unfavorable looks" I mean as in rude. Especially when they are people you really like.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Summer STAY HERE!!!

The summer is quickly fading, and all of us Chicagoans are trying to hold on to it. Another winter of depressing cold and dark days. And grad school work to help the ambiance.

Well while it's here I am going to enjoy the summer. In the last week I have done more outdoor sports than I have in any other week since high school. One observation I have about exercise. It is a lot like beer. The more you drink, the more you will need to drink next time to feel the effects. Alas, the Buddha belly seems to be here to stay.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Me in Nethack

If I were a NetHack monster, I would be a little dog. I'm a loyal and trusting companion, always ready to protect my friends. Even if they do feed me tripe, sometimes.
Which NetHack Monster Are You?

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Good Bad

Good things of today:

  • Yummy veggie dish, Solyenka.
  • My program worked.
  • My wife.
  • Evernight remembered who I am, even though I haven't played in about two years.
  • Mass

Bad things of today:

  • Veggie dish didn't have meat.
  • My program needs more work.
  • My wife has to work.
  • My Valkirie in Nethack died of deadly poison, she is the third I lost that way.
  • Mass ended.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Vegetarian YUM YUM

Okay I have found a truly amazing vegetarian dish. Now I know that people in my past would be taken aback that I could ever like anything but meat and potatoes, but they have yet to try the Indonesian dish Gado Gado. It starts off with a humble bed of baby spinach, with yellow rice to serve as a base to this visual masterpiece. Then we add the veggies: cabbage, sprouts, green beans, carrots. Top the veggies with come tofu and drizzle the oh-so-good peanut sauce all over it. And finally add sauteed onions, garlic, and ginger root.

Hehe much to the chagrin of my wife, I really want to serve this to all my vegetarian friends if they ever come over for dinner.

Thursday, September 08, 2005


The more I work with computers, the more I realize that you can't trust them. They don't know beans and they lie about it. In fact if you ask them nicely to do something for you, right away they zip off and do it or so they say. Unless you have Nazi type systems or extra enhanced bugging/error checkers sitting there to make sure what they did was correct, they won't care if it is correct or not. And they are very good at decieving all those other devices that say the computer is working correctly (after all they are part of the computer as well).

In a lot of ways it is like a 5-year old boy. You ask him to go wash his hands; off he heads to the bathroom to return immediately. You say, "I didn't hear any water running." With a surprised look he runs back. As he steps out of the bathroom, you asked if he used soap and back he goes. Finally, he comes out and you are stuck with two options. One go back and watch him wash his hands or two believe that he did it and let him die of e. coli because he really didn't wash his hands. So your only option is clear...or is it?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Why I don't like guns

Because you never get to meet the person behind them, only the gun.

High Noon in North Woods

Now how will rural white america give this man a fair trial? Guilty or not all we can ever meet is a man with a gun.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Great Labor Day

Heh the US is the only country in the world to celebrate Labor Day on a day other than May 1st. Mostly because that was the day of the big Union demonstrations in Chicago that had several explosion killing hundred or so people. The US government hung the unionist leaders saying they were responsible then exhonerated them afterwards. The world keeps their memory alive even if the FCC will fine any radio announcer who refers to May 1st as Labor day.

While we know that people in New Orleans might not be enjoying the day, it was beautiful here in Chicago. If only it really meant something like it use to.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Yup, I gots a new cookbook. So what you say! Well believe it or not, it is a vegetarian cookbook. My family is in shock and awe. "Andy ... eating vegetarian food ... He doesn't even like vegetables!"

Well, the times are a'changin. I just got the new Moosewood Cookbook, and let me tell you if everything in the book is as good as the first recipe that I made, spinach and cheese calzone , then I might become vegetarian.

The Moosewood Cookbook has been the largest selling cookbook of all time. I am sure that without it there would not be so many vegetarians today.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

ID or Flying Spaghetti Monsters

This is great!!!

Of course, it is a bit irreverant towards my faith but dead on with the science aspect.

My Boring Life

Okay so when I started this I never realized how cool/busy a person has to be in order to have things to blog about daily. In fact I was certain that I had enough thoughts to publish regularly but as it turns out my life is pathetic.

Okay, so I have the greatest wife in the world. My job is to play with numbers all day. And I have the blessed opportunity of going to Mass everyday. Yes my life is great ... just not to read about really.

Stupid reality check.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Life Beyond the Midway

So now I live at 61st and Ingleside. If you are familar with University of Chicago that is just over the midway, which means scary land for all those who live north of the midway. In fact, I was one of those people who was scared of the land south of the midway until I observed two things:

  1. The price of housing in Hyde Park proper
  2. The other cheap area around Hyde Park, i.e. the very scary land across Hyde Park

That would convince any of us cheap grad students that the land south of the midway is our milk and honey. But since I have moved over here I have found that it is not at all the dangerous land that I once thought. In fact where I live seems to be a very nice little neighborhood.

Some ways that the new place is better than when I lived in Hyde Park proper include:

  • No one panhandling in front of my building
  • I have actually met most all of my neighbors
  • Police cruise down my street frequently
  • Vistors will have a place to park

Well anywho I gots to run.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Yahoo for my wife

So today I pass the big one year mark, that is one year of being married. I know that this is the time to get all romantic and make all those people out there sick to their stomachs but that is what anniversaries are for, right? Well all I will say is that a year ago I made the best decision of my life and can't wait to work for the next 80 years making it a better decision.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The New Place

WooHoo we have a new place. It is great, hardwood floors, a kitchen that I can walk in, two bedrooms, and all that. Nevermind that I am still moving in, this place is great. It is also like a 15 min walk to my office versus the 40 min walk to the other place. Now since I am sure I will have so much time to enjoy it, well those times I am not trying desparately to keep up with the 80 hours a week of studying and the 20 hours of research and the general selling of my soul that they expect at the UofC. Hehe anywho pictures will come later (as soon as all the boxes are unpacked).