It's been so long since I've written a post. So. Long. I don't even know why there have been such a lack of updates - if you could see my content management console, you'd see about 10 drafts of different posts I've attempted.

Now that it's 2016, let me summarize the big events that happened last year.

I got promoted!

I received my promotion last fall after being at Google for 1.5 years. Shoutout to my awesome manager, Tommy (who is probably never going to read this so that doesn't count as sucking up), who puts a lot of time and energy into making work enjoyable and rewarding for everyone on our team.

People always ask me what's been different after my promotion. I usually say, "nothing really," but it always leaves me feeling like there's more to be desired out of my response. But it's true; nothing has changed. It's not like I received my promotion and was suddenly handed a dozen new responsibilities along with my new job title. The situation can more appropriately be described as a constant accumulation of ownership over different tasks and parts of the system that I worked on.

It's more like I've been doing the work of someone at "the next level" for a sustained amount of time before the promotion came.

I bought a new laptop

My last laptop was a 2009 13" MacBook Pro. It lasted me six years - not bad at all. It cost me $1300, and I sold it on eBay for $540 bucks. That's an annual depreciation rate of about 16%... not too bad. Or, I guess you can also think of it as paying about $126/year to "rent" the laptop. #WORTHIT

My new laptop is a 15" MacBook Pro. It was a post-promotion present from me to myself. Actually, there was a bit of a fiasco where I tried to get a Dell XPS 13 and run Ubuntu on it. Long story short, Dell sucks and Mac is God. I returned the Dell after getting one repair and one replacement. F A I L.

I got surgery on my left thumb

I tore a ligament at the end of May when I visited Humphrey and Ed in Chapel Hill, NC. We were playing pick-up basketball at their gym, and there was a guy on our team who threw a lightning bolt pass at me. He had gone up for a rebound off of a missed shot by the opposing team. When he landed with the ball, I was standing stationery on the right side of the court. I started running forward to prepare for a fast break, but it was too late - he had already chucked the ball at the spot I was standing at a split second ago. I contorted my body awkwardly so that my hands could reach back to catch the ball, but it was too little too late. The ball smashed into my thumb.

Originally, I thought it was a bad jam. My joint and palm turned black and blue, and I used Ed's ice pack all night. After two weeks, the complexion returned to normal, but my finger still felt sore and awkward. I went to my PCP, and he told me to just wait it out and that I was fine. Two weeks later, my finger did not feel like it was getting better. I decided to go to an orthopedics hand surgeon and... voila! My collateral ligament on my left thumb was torn and in bad shape. Had I splinted my finger when the injury occurred, I would have been fine. After receiving a second opinion that resulted in the same prognosis, I opted to do surgery.

I was in a cast for about two months, and the entire recovery process was almost half a year including physical therapy!

My team placed 3rd in our pool league

Me, Isaac, and Yutaro have been playing pool in a league for over three seasons now. We've switched between two pool halls, Amsterdam Billiards and Society Billiards. We did two seasons at Society first, and then one season at Amsterdam so far. Our fourth season (second at Amsterdam) is starting this week.

For our first season at Society, we finished second-to-last place. It was a tough season, but it was a lot of fun and we all learned a lot about playing in a competitive environment. We improved drastically during our second season and finished in third place which was an awesome improvement!

Society is a bit more casual than Amsterdam. The music is louder, the format is round robin where you play every four games and your team consistently switches players after every game. At Amsterdam, our current league, you play a single opponent every night in a series that can last up to over 10+ games. There are also many more teams at Amsterdam. Society had about 12 teams in the league, and Amsterdam has almost 30. We placed first in our division last season at Amsterdam but got knocked out in the second round of the playoffs.

Esther and I arranged for both of our parents to meet

Esther and I have been dating for almost 6 years, and we decided it was time to have our parents officially meet for the purpose of our relationship. It was a big step, and it was a very grown-up experience for me. I had never really thought about our relationship outside of the context of us two as individuals. But, we both have families that have their own unique lifestyles and traditions, concerns and expectations, and tackling these issues head on as a team was a really powerful experience that has brought us closer together. I went to my sister, who has just recently gotten married, for a lot of advice. That's when I realized... that I'm getting pretty old!

Oh yeah, and if you're wondering, our parents liked each other and things went really well.

And many other events...

  • My sister got promoted!
  • My brother-in-law's startup, WorldCover, is kicking ass!
  • Epic trip to Seattle and Vancouver (this warrants its own post...).
  • Trip to LA with Esther, Isaac, and Yutaro. You can read about it in one of my previous posts here.
  • Trip to London for an exhibition NFL game between the Jaguars and the Bills.
  • Amazing trip to Shanghai and Li Jiang in China that I will definitely be writing about soon.