September 2008 Archives

During this time of the year, the leaves on the trees around you change colors from a sunny green to an array of oranges, yellows, and reds.  The air seems cooler and your breath is visible against the setting sun around 6 p.m. in the evening.  The stars at night seem to shine more as the crisp cool air wraps around your body like a blanket.  This is the time of the year when you decide to put on your heat in the car to keep yourself from getting goosebumps and the "shivers." 

Do you know what this reminds me of?


It reminds me of baseball, the end of the long season, and the start of a new beginning where records don't count, where heroes are born, and when a champion is crowned.  Fall reminds me of the MLB Playoffs. 

While apple picking, football, and pumpkin carving are floating around my mind, baseball still dominates those plans, thoughts, and ideas.  A lot of people think I'm crazy that I'm still holding on to baseball even when the season is close to its end.  I just love the sport a lot and this time of year is the "Prime Time" of the baseball world.  This is when the world's greatest baseball teams compete for the ultimate prize - the MLB World Championship.  All of this excitement for the Red Sox reminds me of the 2004 and 2007 baseball season when the Sox took it all and showed the world that they are the best of the best.  Oh man, I remember those long nights in my family room watching every game of the playoffs wearing my Sox cap, my Red Sox jersey, and my Red Sox PJs.  I was literally on the edge of my seat watching with suspense, anxiety, and joy.  Seriously, I enjoyed every moment of it.  That's what baseball is all about - bringing your family and friends together to cheer on your home team, boo at the opposing team, and praying for a win.  And I'm a huge Red Sox fan.  Heck, I'm a huge baseball fan.  Some people look at me and say that I'm a quiet, conservative person who doesn't have what it takes to yell... Ha!  When it comes to baseball, I'm probably the loudest and most rowdiest person out there!  Every out, every homerun, every run, every pitch, I go all out!  I remember last year when Papelbon was partying it up with the AL Championship Trophy.  My brothers and I did a dang Irish Jig and just danced and shouting the night away.  Man!  Just imagine us going all "Papel!"  You have no idea!  Funny enough I don't drink so no one can say that I was drunk during the playoffs!! 

So this year, I'm looking forward to a huge run for the Red Sox, more dancing for me, and more celebrations!  Be prepared for more Red Sox blogs!! 

LET'S GO BOSTON RED SOX!!!!! 
LET'S GO!!!!!!!!


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- Quiet and Conservative,
Christian

For the past few months, I've been writing stuff on the side about my thoughts of life, its ups and downs, and things I've observed and felt.  As I was looking through the files of my computer, I found this file that was labeled "Happiness."  I read it to myself and figured that I should share it with all of you. 

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Title:  Happiness: We All Deserve It

It's 12:32 am.  It's the time when you sense the smell of a brand new day starting yet the youth of the night is covering the night sky with its warmth.  And I'm saying all of this in my cold air conditioned living room under the gray roof of my blue house.  I'm sitting here thinking about a certain someone who had her heart broken to a billion pieces.  All the text messages I've gotten from her reminded me of the first week of May when my own heart was broken into a billion pieces.  It brought back horrible feelings and memories of the worst breakup in my life.  The pain... the tears... the wounds... the feeling that life will never ever be fixed again.  It's the feeling of emptiness... nothing... loneliness... isolation... at the same time with immense sadness filling the body, that brings the soul down to the ground after 4 years of soaring above everything else in this world.  It's like a paper plane being thrown up into the air, twirling around, looking for its landing, then abruptly crashing head first to the ground.  I wish I had the ability to explain the feeling I had during the breakup but I can't find the right words.  Disastrous?  Catastrophic?  Life ending?  You can add any word you want...

It's hard to see people including her suffering like that.  It just brings the chills to me, reminding me of my 4 years of fabricated heavenly feelings for some stupid girl who broke my heart.  Why do we have such things as breakups?  Why do we have such thing as sadness, pain, hate, cheating, and stupid crap like that?  Unfortunately it's all part of the plan of life.

As I looked at the broken girl that I dearly care about, I just wanted to ask and make sure everything was alright... and that was stupid of me to ask something like that.  It's obvious that no one will be okay after being contacted by the moronic ex and bringing up certain things and hammering down on a cracked heart waiting to be broken again and again.  I just didn't know what to say to her.  I wanted to say, "Hey you know what, let's just leave and start life together and I promise I won't do the same stuff your ex did to you."  But then again, I'm cocooning myself in overly positive and irrational thinking and most likely is not the right way to approach life sometimes...

We all deserve a chance at happiness.  Happiness is what we all have the ability to have.  Who gives a damn about money, fame, riches, or whatever.  Those are just extras in a successful life, but will those things bring you happiness?  Everyone including the girl I'm liking (maybe a weak word?)  deserves to be happy.  Heck I can't emphasis it enough.  I've always said this to people that I would rather have a person happy than anything else in this world, even if it meant that a current relationship I could have, has to break up.  This is where some people think I'm crazy. "Well you're going to miserable!  Why would you set yourself up like that?  Do you know that the girl will find another guy?  Does that affect you at all??"  Yes I would be miserable, helpless, and lonely, but deep down I would rather see the other half happy.  It's a major sacrifice.  I guess its all because of one simple thing:   I care.  If it ever comes down to anything in my life where that situation has to happen, I would still pull it off.  If I cared for a girl that much that I would rather see her happy, then I would still pull it off.  Crazy... yes.  Emotionally torn?  Probably.  Heck, I just care too much.  I'm just too nice.  I'm just too much of something.  Respect?  Kindness?  Sweetheart-ness?  No idea. 

That's why I'm taking stuff really easy.  I'm here to let her find her own happiness with me or with someone else.  I don't know how she's going to carve her path towards happiness, but she WILL find it soon.  Someone like her, she will.  Her walls will finally fall down and her pain will subside.  I'm here to find my own happiness too, but I'm usually the one that stops and listens.  Stops and pray.  Stops and looks around.  When I see the opportunity I grasp it, hold it tight, and move on with it.  Maybe that's why I'm with her.  No idea, possibly.  Sometimes I can't explain why stuff happens.  Ask my noggin. But like I said, I don't know how to express myself fully... maybe I do know the reason.

So here's my advice to you.  Stop and think.  Are you happy right now?  What's more important to you?  Stop and look around.  Are you happy with that?  Look at your heart and think this:  You deserve all the happiness in the world.  You don't earn it, you already have it planted in yourself.  Smile.  Laugh.  Go out.  Enjoy the weather.  Find your happiness and grasp it.  Never let go of it.  Maybe you have your happiness right on front of you, right behind you, left, right, up, or down. 

Wait, look, listen.  Happiness is right there.  It's around the corner.  Hold it's hand and never let go.

With love and care,
Sir Christian


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That is what I wrote a couple weeks ago.  I'm still trying to grasp happiness by the hand and hold on to it tight.  Sometimes you walk away from happiness, yet it always pokes your back. 

I do want to hear what you think about my letter about happiness.  I would really appreciate it.

Thank you,
Christian

While at work, I was thinking about the first few weeks of school and something hit me. I just realized that those who just started reading my blog posts don't really know who I am as much!  It might be a pain to search for my first blog post, so I mind as well give you an update about myself!

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My name is Christian Tiongson and I'm (finally) a senior Exercise Physiology student at the University of Massachusetts - Lowell.   I'm a commuter student who travels from Malden, MA to Lowell, MA every day.  For those who don't know how far it is, the round trip drive is approximately 60 miles.  So basically my drive up to Lowell in the morning is approximately 30-45 minutes depending on traffic and usually 45-60 minutes going back home.  Fun stuff, huh?  About 99.9% of the time, I drive my 2005 Mazda 3, which has brought me up and down the state through every kind of weather (snow, rain, sleet, wind, sunny, etc).  It is also really great on gas with an approximate 30 mpg.  In other occasions when a snow storm buries the roads in Malden and not in Lowell, I take the commuter rail up to Lowell and take public transportation.  Not bad, but somewhat pricey.

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As of now, I'm planning to attend graduate school to become a doctor in physical therapy.  But I feel that there is something else for me out there, like becoming a certified strength and conditioning specialists, an exercise physiologists, or do something else that relates to sports.  So right now, I'm still in the undecided state (unfortunately).  I really hope that something pops into my view that catches 100% of my attention and later pursue it.  Let's see what I find through classes and life... I am part of Alpha Lambda Delta, which is the Freshmen Honor Society, and planning to become part of Omicron Delta Kappa, which is the Leadership Honor Society.  Alpha Lambda Delta haven't been doing much lately, so I plan to devote more time with Omicron Delta Kappa.

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When I'm not busy with studying, I'm either hanging out with my friends (and that special someone), hanging out with my family, playing baseball with my brothers (and sometimes sister), doing artwork, playing guitar, or just playing around with my laptop.  Most importantly, I am the coach of a Babe Ruth Baseball team in my city.  I've coached for 6 seasons (3 years in Little League and 3 in Babe Ruth).  This brings you to my next point... I LOVE BASEBALL!  I relate everything in life to baseball from problems to love, etc.  It's part of my life.  I can't explain how much I love the sport.  In the winter I get really depressed when it's done.

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I also write music although not professionally but as an amateur musician.  My music name is "Sir Christian."  I don't sing at all, yet I do try (and I have a few fans out there who love my singing).  When I'm not up for singing, I'm just jamming out on my guitars.  You can listen to my stuff on my music myspace, www.myspace.com/blacklite .  The sound quality isn't that great due to the lack of equipment, but I believe that it's good enough to be on that site.

Well I think I basically told you my life story.  I'm happy with what I have right now and who I am.  If you have any questions about the commuter life or stuff, just email me: christian_tiongson@student.uml.edu or add me on facebook!


Leave some comments!

- Christian Tiongson '09 

 




September 11, 2008.

| | Comments (1)
Seven years ago, I was in Malden Catholic High School.  I was just a freshman who started the first few days of my high school career.  I was young, naive, and unaware about everything around me... until the attacks happened.  Throughout the early morning, there have been rumors going around the school that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center.  At first I didn't believe it, since seniors can make up crap about anything and make freshmen feel uncomfortable.  But then the rumors kept on going.  The whole school was talking about it.  There were students with blank faces on them, some with tears streaming from their eyes of fear.  I knew there was something wrong.  

During homeroom time, which was after my first few classes, the headmaster came on the intercom and made the painful announcement:  "America was attacked.  Two planes hit the World Trade Center and another hit the Pentagon.  There are rumors that the Chicago Sears Tower was struck..."  My heart sank to the ground.  How could this happen?  Why did this happen?  The United States of America?  We got attacked?  I thought we were impenetrable from attacks.  That whole day was torture for me... I did not know what to do... what to say... I basically just sat there and stared at the television and watched the replays of the planes hitting those two towers.  Then something hit me even harder.  One of my teacher's brothers was in the plane that flew into the towers.  It was hard to sink in... Was this the end of the world?

Going home from school was just as numbing for me.  Instead of the buzzing and loud environment of students on their way out of school, there was this eerie silence... just complete silence.  My dad looked very worried when he picked me up.  It looks like he haven't slept in days.  On the way home, we were listening to the radio for updates from the attack sites.  It was already 3pm and the towers were already long gone... collapsed.  When we got home, I went to the backyard and just stared at the sky.  I knew that one of those planes went over my house, since I live under an air route from Logan Airport in Boston.  But at that moment, the sky was silent.  No clouds, no planes, no birds, just plain blue.  There was just a deep pit in my stomach when I saw fighter jets scrambling the skies around Boston.  They were ready for any other attacks.  They were ready to protect us again.
 

As years passed, the pain is still felt from that horrible day... "a day which will live in infamy."  Everything around us changed.  Our lives changed.  The way life was viewed changed drastically.  As I sit here typing out this blog for all of you, I still have that awful feeling in my stomach.  I still can't believe that happened. 

Please don't forget about that day.  Remember those who lost their lives, and those who fought hard to keep us free.  Pray that something like that will never happen again...

I'll leave you one thought before I sign-off from my blog:

Where were you on that day?



God Bless America,
Christian 

Okay.  Parking at UMass-Lowell isn't the greatest... Heck, it's even not worth the $148 full-time commuter parking fee that I have to blow from my wallet every fall semester!  I've talked to other commuter students from other campuses and they pay less than $100 for parking.  Talk about a major rip-off!!!

The commuter lots are always filled to max capacity, which totally stinks for commuter students.  The overflow commuter lot, or what the new UML Parking Map calls the South Auxillary Lot, which is also known as "The Grass Lot" to some people, is only open for a number of hours and at times can be filled to near max capacity.  So where else should I park if those areas are just completely jam packed?  There WAS an option of parking my car in North Campus and taking the shuttles to the other campuses, but that option is pretty much burnt up in the oven since the University Avenue Bridge was just shut down in August, and its planned reopening will be on December 1st. (Talk about bad timing with bridge construction too).   The other campuses are inaccessible due to the high amounts of traffic from students traveling through the streets of Lowell.  I mind as well just walk between campuses until the bridge is fixed!  I've talked to one of my friends who travels between campus, and she is very ticked off with parking and traffic at the University.  She doesn't like the fact that parking here is very insufficient for all students, especially for commuters.  Honestly, there seem to be more commuter students attending UML.  So is there a solution for that?

Is it just me, or we are missing a parking lot near Sheehy Hall?  Yep, the parking lot is gone for good.  That means that the Riverview parking lot will be a little bit fuller with residential students.  And what happened to the "VIP lot" behind Mahoney Hall?  There was a section of 4 - 6 spaces of unmarked parking spaces which was used by students (including) for the past 3 years.  The first day of the Fall Semester was a shocker:  my favorite parking space is no longer available for students.  It's a professor/staff lot.  What a big stinker!  
I just have a feeling that UML will continue its tradition of insufficient parking for awhile until either a big capacity parking garage is built on North and South, and the "Grass Lot" turns to an actual parking lot but for now, I just have to deal with it...

Oh there's more to say, but all that cluttered thoughts just fell out of my head... Let me compare my cluttered thoughts to a Jenga tower.  Take a few thoughts out, put it on paper (or in an electronic blog), and CRASH!!! The tower falls to the ground.  Okay, maybe its just a writer's block...

Enough from me tonight.  I need some sleep... All I'm going to say is that I'm not looking forward to my next adventure for a parking space this Friday. 

- Christian



Welcome Back!!!

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After months of just laying around, working, coaching baseball, and other fun stuff, I managed to get myself up around 7am in the morning, eat a good breakfast, get ready, and head up to Lowell for my first day of classes.  The commute up to UML wasn't too bad.  Traffic on Rt. 128/I-95 was a bit slow, but it was never a crawl.  Overall the commute was a good 40 minute drive, which was considered a normal run up to Lowell. 

But there was one thing that surprised me the most:  I got to avoid the annual first day parking crunch.  How I managed not to get into that is just one big mystery to me.  You can say I was really lucky.  I drove into the "VIP Lot"  (check my March or April blogs about some terminology my buddies and I made up) and found my favorite parking space vacant.  (Score!)  Right away, the start of my senior year was going better than expected.  I got to see all my EP buddies again after 3 months of nothing.  We all just had this similar feeling:  surprised...  "I can't believe we're seniors."   After 3 long years with hardcore science GPA classes, we were there looking at each other knowing this will be the last semester/year together.  At that point, I didn't even feel like a senior.  It just felt like the first time we all met each other in Professor Chamberlain's Intro to EP class (and yes, the get up, get your number and address exercise). 

I had 4 classes that day:  Research Methods in EP, Exercise Prescription and Programming, Health Care Systems, and (oh man) Vitamins and Minerals.  My first two EP classes were as expected, which was just a quick intro into senior year.  We watched a video about Universal Precautions and about HIPPA (look it up).  Health Care Systems was just a quick intro too.  But there was one class that caught me by surprise:  Vitamins and Minerals.  At first, I thought it would be a general class about vitamins and minerals and its use, but it all came up to be a very detailed and structural biochemistry class.  The professor was extremely nice and intelligent, but the information that I absorbed did not match what I expected.  Besides, there were a few graduate students in there who were there because it was required.  I basically planned to take that class to fulfill my nutrition minor.  So after 3 hours of "what the heck I am doing here"  I went into the library, looked up ISIS, checked my credits for the semester and found out that if I dropped the class I will still be a full-time student.  The only bummer is that I have to wait until the spring semester to make up that one class.  My original plan was to keep 5 classes for the fall and 4 classes for the spring, but obviously that's going to get switched around.  Oh well.

I definitely have more to blog about my past weekend, the Lowell Spinners game (Thanks Elaine!), and other stuff about my first week.  So please come back and read some more!

- If you have any questions about the college or about my commute, email me Christian_Tiongson@student.uml.edu. 

Christian


P.S.  I found this video in one of my blogs.  It was a video of me driving from Malden/Melrose line to Lowell in a 11 minute stint.  Don't worry it's a compacted quick video:  Click here to watch my video!

 

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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