Results tagged “2008” from Hawk Talk - Christian

As I sit here in my warm and cozy blue-walled room, I began to reminisce on the past week.  From December 19 to December 27, 2008 (9:26am to be exact), tons and tons of things happened - finals, two winter storms, the holiday rush at Hallmark, finishing up Christmas presents,  Christmas, "The New Black Friday," and my friends' little Kelly's Roast Beef Christmas party.  It doesn't seem like a lot to many people, but to me, as that laid back kid who takes everything easy (kind of), it's definitely enough for me to stay in bed for days! 

So to make life simple for my blog readers, I'm going to blog about my experiences during that small week and give you the inside look of what I did and how I felt during the storms, Christmas, and others that I mentioned before.  Honestly, I'm not here to blog all about me (even if it's going to end up like that), but I'm just putting myself out there just to see if you all had the same experiences during this week.  I'm definitely welcoming all of your comments!!!!

So let's start off my first blog in the series with a bunch of photos from the first Winter Storm:

This is me driving in Wakefield by the lake.  You can't really see it, but it was snowing very heavily.  This was part of my 2 hour trek home from Wilmington to Malden, MA.

Here is the picture of the lake... oh, I mean snow and fog hovering over the lake.  The storm #1's visibility was probably less than 100 feet.  That itself made my commute home even worse.

That white thing in the back is my car covered in snow.  My family was in the process of clearing out my dad's car.  My car was never really cleared off until Monday due to ice and more snow.

This is the Malden Station intersection at Exchange St.  Obviously the storm blanketed the streets and sidewalks.  You can't even tell where the sidewalk is!!

I think my photos basically tell you this:  THIS STORM WAS BAD HORRENDOUS!!!!  My street was never plowed completely either.  When they finally plowed my street out, they dumped everything on front of my house.  So my shoveled out driveway was once again (actually it happened three times) covered in snow - thank you plowers!  Despite the circumstances, I still braved out the storm with two LONG drives.  My first drive was from Wilmington to Malden, which took two hours.  I seriously thought I was not going to make it because my Mazda 3 was slipping everywhere!  I've never had problems driving in the snow with my car, since it's has front-wheel drive, but I guess the storm was too strong for my little car.  My second drive was my trek to pick up my sister at Malden Station.  This time I used my dad's Subaru Outback, which has 4WD.  That trek took 45minutes to an hour which included waiting for my sister's train.  After the end of a night full of daredevil driving and shoveling to exhaustion (sorry it's not called the Wingate Anaerobic Test), I jumped into my bed and went to sleep.

Since my car was buried in snow from Storm #1 and Storm #2, and altogether iced up for days, I had to get rides home to work the next couple of days to and from work, which was also not pretty commute-wise.  In a sentence or so, Storm #2 was like Storm #1 except that it didn't dump that much snow and it was shorter.  But they both had the same results - horrible driving conditions, near-to-blind whiteout driving, and a major headache at the end of the night.

Through all of this, I'm happy to say my back did not hurt from shoveling!!  You have to thank the physical therapists at work for showing their patients and me how to shovel correctly!

That's enough about the "Twin Storms" for now...

My next blog will focus on the Holiday Rush. - CT
I can finally exhaleWhew.  For the first time in months I'm actually stress-free, relaxed, and all those other synonyms for enjoying relaxation once again! 

For the past 2 weeks, my exercise physiology buddies and I have crammed in a bunch of assignments, presentations, take home finals, in class finals, and other stuff before the "finish-line" end of the semester.  Seriously, this has been a very stressful two weeks, and you know what's weird?  I'm only taking four classes.  Funny enough, I was less stressed out with a six class load than this semester's four class pickup.  Very very strange, or like my friend said to me, "You're completely backwards on that part, man."  I guess it's probably the fact that all my assignments were due on the same day and I needed to strictly enforce some good ol' hardcore time management (which seems impossible at times).  But that's the life of a college student I guess - there is always something due, something to study for hours on, and other administrative due dates you have to meet for your academic program.  It's going to be like that from day 1 freshmen year to graduation.  You're just going to be busy, busy, busy, until you hit these life-saving semester breaks.  Oh well, the academic marathon is over and I can finally kick back and relax...  I wish I could write more about how exciting it is to be out for 2008... but I'm just too excited to sit still right now!!!

So what do I have planned now since my semester?
- Clean up my room (since I've neglected it for the whole semester... yuck)
- Record a few Christmas songs on the guitar (which will soon be on if everything goes as planned)
- A little Christmas shopping
- Call up someone about my new job opportunity (awesome)
- Watch tons of T.V.
- Finally get a good workout in
- Plan stuff with friends
- Be a kid :-)

That's only a short list of the things I want to do right now! 

I know that finals are still going on... so I hope those who are still running the academic marathon finish strong!  Good luck!

- Christian


How does it feel to have the last day of classes canceled due to "one of the worst ice storms on record?"

Don't answer, because I'll answer it for you!!!!

It is grrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeatttttttttt!!!!!!!!  Oh man, you have no idea!  My presentation and in-class final was canceled!!  And it's the last day of classes!!!!  All I have left is finals and I'm all set for 2008!  Wooohooo!!

Okay, maybe it wasn't completely great since approximately 500,000 from the Worcester and Merrimack Valley Region lost power.  And you know what stinks even more?  Most of those poor souls won't get their electricity restored until Monday at the earliest.  So that means that there is no lights, no heat, rotten food in the refrigerator, and other negative effects.   My buddy from Worcester told me that since his power won't be restored for the whole weekend, he has to stay over his sister's house until further notice.  I heard it was terrible in the Worcester area.

He sent me a picture of his street during the storm:


Nasty picture, huh?  It looks like it snowed a little, but it's not snow - it's just tons and tons of ice that just piled on top of each other from the heavy rains and the sleet.  With that extra weight, tree branches, power lines, poles, and other stuff fell straight to the ground.  On top of that mess is the black ice.  I just read an article off and one woman died from sliding off black ice.  Her truck dove head on into the Charles River... Thank God I didn't drive around last night when the temperatures dropped below freezing.  I got reports from people at UML that electricity around the city is still pretty much dead too - internet services are down too.  (It makes me wonder if you'll be able to read this blog today).

Okay, this blog is getting a bit depressing (and it's time to bring out the cookies! - it's a Health Care Systems class inside joke)!   Let's talk about a more positive ice event! 

Back tracking five days (December 8) before the ice storm, Omicron Delta Kappa (the Leadership Honor Society) went to the Boston Bruins hockey game vs. the Tampa Bay Lightning.  It is one of our first social events for the organization.  About 20 members, faculty, and their friends headed to Boston to watch the RED HOT Eastern Conference leader Bruins rough up the Lightning 5-3.  I honestly think in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Boston Bruins jumped on top 3-0, giving the fans a show!!! 

I actually recorded the most exciting point of the game through the Flip Camera I borrowed from UML.  Before I drop the link, here is the description:  The bruins are already up with a power play 5 vs. 4.  After failing to score in the first few seconds of the power play, one of the Lightnings were penalized for holding giving the Bruins a 5 vs. 3 man advantage.  In this video, big man Zdeno Chara fires one of his hardest slap shots for the power play goal.  Fun times!

It's on youtube right now:

Well I hope you find warmth during this icy weekend.   Stay relaxed, focused, and mindful during this tough finals week!!!  You're almost done!!  Sprint to the finish with flying colors!!!

Good Luck With Finals,

It's Sunday, November 30, 2008.  The time is 6:45pm, and its gloomy and dark outside.  The ground is wet, the air is cold, and Mr. Sun's warmth and light is 12 hours away from us.  This whole environment makes me reflect the fake Christmas Spirit we all have during this time of the year.  Wait, let me use another word for "Christmas Spirit," because stressing to buy a toy for your kid, pushing other people just to get the perfect gift for your "loved one," and giving retailers the iron fist because nothing is going your way is NOT what Christmas is all about.  Christmas is far from this fake mask we put around our heads from the start of November to 12:00am the day after Christmas.

For those who do not know, I work at a Hallmark retail store around the Boston area.  I started in July, and loved it until the word "Christmas" floated above the Hallmark staff.  Right away, my coworkers (and I) gave one huge sigh in disgust, not relief.  All of us thought back to all the "Charlie Brown Commercialized" Christmases and thought about how stressful it was working, shopping, and preparing for huge Christmas feasts and events.  I personally did not like the working aspect of the Christmas season.  And today just made everything implode with stress...  I've helped a few customers who were extremely rude to me and my coworkers.  Even with their "happy" red coats and "religious" christmas pins over their heart while whistling a season tune, they would give us crap for not "making their day" or not contributing to the Christmas season.  My honest answer is that we are trying out best to give them what they need for their season, but it seems impossible for both ends... it seems impossible to make everyone happy...  

This brings me to a question that still remains unanswered:
Why do we have to be so stressed out, grumpy, rude, and (add other adjectives of your liking or disliking) during the Christmas season?

Why do we have to put ourselves in financial debt to make our family, friends, and other loved ones "happy?" 

And for those who are not stressed out by the holiday, why do we have to put on a so-called fake "I'll be nice for the 25 days of Christmas only," and not continue to be this nice-Christmas self throughout the year?

Those answers will never be answered... that's my opinion.  I've tried to decipher the Rosetta Stone of the "Fake" Christmas Spirit for years, but that ancient mystery is still floating above all of us like a dark thunder cloud.  I can tell you this.  I am trying to change.  Yes, good ol' Christian who does not like working the Christmas Season, because of all the fake unnecessary negative vibe that is felt from customers.  All my life, I've always thought this time of the year is joyful and memorable for everyone in this world.  Come on, it's when Jesus was born, right?  That's the true meaning of Christmas right?  Not this stupid commercialized crap that we all grew up with?  It's all just the flashy, material possessions that makes us happy right? No. 

Is it just the thought?  Yes, but if its just the thought, why do some people spend thousands, and put themselves in debt or in any type of financial crisis?  Like I said, it still boggles my mind.  And I'm not saying that we should stop buying gifts for people, no way.  I'm more of a gift-giving person who adds a memory to it, or to create a memory.  For example, for my friend's 21st birthday, I recorded a music CD with original guitar tracks that I made myself.  I made it extra special by making a (love?) song just for her.  That made her love the gift even more.  Why can't we just do something simple like that... something personalized, creative, and self-fabricated?  I do not want to make someone worry about how much money I spent for their present, because I don't want to put a dollar sign and a figure next to my friend's name.  My friends are not worth money; they're worth more than that.   I want to put everything from my heart into my present.  That's why every Christmas I always make something just to show how much I care, how much the person (or people) means/mean to me.  I think that's better than buying a flat screen television.  Think about it.

I really hope I'm getting my message down nice and clear... sometimes its hard to type down my complete, straight to the point thought about certain topics, especially when my thoughts can be explained in many directions.  But, I hope you (the reader) relax this Christmas season, and think of its real importance.  Put all that money-spending, fake-fronting, Christmas-stress aspect of you aside, and look at the true Christmas Spirit.  Everyone has their own meaning of that spirit... I really hope its not the buying aspect of it.

From my heart to yours, have a Merry Christmas Season.  This won't be the last time I'll say that to you, my readers!

- Christian 

Today is the day when America chooses its leaders of the future - from state representatives to the president and vice president of the United States.  Also, certain "questions" or policy changes are voted in by the same privileged American citizens.  November 4, 2008 will be the election that no one will never forget. This is the first time America will see a major change from the "presidential norms" of having a Caucasian male president or vice president.  Tomorrow, everyone will know if Mr. Barrack Obama will be the first African-American president, or Mrs. Sarah Palin will be the first female vice-president.  Because of this major change from the "norm," there is a projected record breaking voter turnout.  So today is definitely a crucial part of American history. 

Obviously as a lifetime American citizen, I exercised my right to vote this morning at my voting poll station at the Mystic Valley Charter School gym.  Funny enough, there was a very small line and a minimal wait time.  It literally took me a good 10 minutes to walk in, check-in, get my ballot, fill it out, and check out.  It was a quick process, so I was extremely happy that I got to participate in this historical election in a short time.  Unfortunately, many voters are having problems with lines, wait times, and broken machines across the nation.  I'm just happy to say that my voting session was not an issue.  Come to think of it, the time is 4:00pm and everyone is coming home from work. There is exactly 4 more hours to vote, and from what I saw in the news, there will be even longer lines and wait times!! 

So if you are reading this and you have not voted yet, head out now!!!  The lines will pile-up outside, and the temperature is dropping!  If you hate the cold and hate long lines, go now!  Don't even finish reading this blog!! GO GO!!  

Okay, for those who already voted, congrats! (Ha Ha).  Now is the time when you can just sit here and wait (and do homework obviously).  Seriously, I'm completely excited to hear who's the winner!  History will change no matter who wins/loses.  The way of life may change forever.  The War in Iraq might come to an end.  I just have a big feeling inside (a little nervous actually) on what will happen when the new president gets sworn in.  Will the changes be for the good, or for the worse? There are so many questions that needs to be answered, and I'm hoping our new President can answer them without problems.

So did you do your part today?  (If not, why didn't you stop reading and run out to vote!! Just kidding!).

Christian Tiongson for 2012! (Yeah Right) 

I, Christian J. Tiongson, would like to apologize to the Boston Red Sox for losing complete faith in them, turning off the game when I thought the season was over, and totally be the opposite of a hardcore Sox fan that I am.  Last night, when I saw Dice-K give up three home runs to give the Rays the lead, I first thought, "You know what, this is so disgusting... There is no way in hell there will be a miracle comeback."  Then the runs keep on stacking... It was 7-0 when I finally turned off the T.V. and said, "Until next year." 

The whole night I tried to do homework while my baseball spirit died out.  Funny enough, a little part of me told me to turn on the T.V... just turn it on to see what's going on... I did have that tiny ounce of Red Sox faith in there.  So I turned it on.  Then I saw the Sox magic unfold on front of me.  There was the Ortiz 3-run home run that turned a 7-1 game to a 7-4 game.  Then the 2-run home run from J.D. Drew, then the game tying RBI by Coco Crisp.  When the game was tied, I wanted to cry... "WHAT DID I DO?  I DOUBTED MY SOX!!!  WHY DID I LOSE FAITH?"  The faith came back to me and next thing you know, J.D. Drew shot a ground-ruled double to bring home Youkkkkkkkkkk for the winning run. 

Do you believe in hard work, not giving up... do you believe in miracles?

After last night, I finally believed in all that. 

There is a life lesson behind this crazy rally from the Sox.  Do not give up the good things you have.  Do not give up your goal.  Do not let your guard down.  Because if you give up, there is no way you can win.  The Sox showed me this last night.  Now, I'm going to live with this in mind:  "Never say die."  Because of you let your dreams, goals, and your life die... you die as a person.  Don't let the so-called obstacles of life bring you down.  Even when the situation is bigger than what you can handle, everyone has the BIG heart to go on and be champions.

I feel like a champion today.

Thank you, Boston Red Sox. 

Go Red Sox!!!!

- Christian
Hey everyone!

I'm sorry that I haven't stuck to my temporary Sox / Student blog posts.  A lot of things happened this week which threw me off course with everything, so I'm in the catch-up phase... I also think that no one wants to read a blog about the Sox getting absolutely blasted by the Rays.

So let's start new here!! 

The Sox are down 3-1 in the ALCS. 

Doesn't that remind you about the past few ALCS with the Sox? 


Let's look at the 2004 ALCS (above).  The Yankees, who were the AL East winners were up 3-0 in the series.  During Game 3 of the that series, the Yankees demolished the Red Sox 19-8.  Obviously, you know what happened with that series!  The Sox won the next four games and went straight to the World Series to win it all!


Let's look at the 2007 ALCS (above).  The Indians, who were the AL Central winners were up 3-1 in the series.  During Game 4 of that series, the Indians shooked the Sox 4-3, leaving the Sox with the good ol' "Do or Die" situation.  The Sox won the next three games and went straight to the World Series to win it all!!!


To top off that sweet historical baseball cake, each time the Sox did that, they swept their opponents (Cardinals and Rockies) in the World Series (World Series rings above).

So can the Sox repeat their ALCS miracle run?  If you think of the chances, there is probably a smaller chance of repeating this event.  But because the Sox have tons of experience of being behind with their backs against the wall, I think the Sox definitely have the drive to reach for a World Series ticket.  Look, we have our ace Dice-K on the mound.  He gave us one of the best performances in Red Sox ALCS history.  So a win from him tonight would give the Sox the extra motivation to create a war path into the Series.  A Dice-K win would charge up Beckett for the Game 6 ace come-back (sounds like Ace Combat).  And obviously we have our young gun, Jon Lester for Game 7.

So all looks bright Red Sox Nation!  The Sox hit the panic button and now are ready to fight to the very end.  In my opinion I believe the Sox can do this.  They can surprise the Rays with a big win, and demolish them away at Tropicana Stadium.   I still have the good ol' Red Sox faith going on!  Even if it was depressing to watch the last three games, I'm not going to quit on the Sox!!!

User: "The Eggplant" on


- Christian


Last night, between 8:30pm - midnight, Dice-K pitched one of the best performances in his life.  He pitched a masterful 7.0 Innings, gave up only 4 hits, did not give up any runs, walked four (which most of them occurred in the first inning), and struck out 9 batters.  To add the perfect topping to that fantastic, sweet pie, Dice-K flirted with a no-hitter into the 7th inning.  Let me say that again... he flirted with a no-hitter into the 7th.  For those who don't know what a no-hitter is... well... Dice-K did not give up any hits at all!!!!!!  All I can say is that Dice-K DOMINATED the Rays.  100%.  Absolutely.  He gave the Red Sox and the Nation the extra step towards GLORY, THE MOTHERLAND, THE CHAMPIONSHIP.

Think about it.  We have 7 more games to win and we can go around saying we have back-to-back World Champions!  But that's too far to think right now.  Today is Game 2 and the injured Josh Beckett is on the mound.  Like I said in my previous blog, the Sox are looking for a good outing from J-Beck.  He is under the dome and he's not exposed to the cold air so that's going to give him a better advantage than Game 3 of the ALDS.  The warmer air won't stiffen him up as much as the cold air did during his last outing.   Everyone has to remember this.  Josh Beckett has the potential to be ace-material like he was during the 2007 Playoffs.  We got to put our faith in him and also totally forgetting our last pitching performance.  There are no such thing as records in the playoffs.  Every round you enter, think of your 0-0 record not your 4-1 record.  It's a new slate each time you climb the ladder.  Thinking this way will let all the pressure of you.  Look at the Colorado Rockies for example.  They swept every team in the playoffs EXCEPT for the Red Sox.  I guess you can say that the pressure of staying undefeated in the playoffs destroyed their chances (plus they faced a very very very good team). 

Well there is nothing much I can say about yesterday's game other than it was a close to perfect outing for our Sox pitchers and a "clutchy" way for our hitters.  It was very enjoyable to watch.  I guess it was one of those games that was so incredible, you had to be on front of a T.V. (or there in Tampa) to really know how "perfect." It was perfect to me.   


- Christian

By the way... I'm leaving you the link to Jacoby Ellsbury's Blog on my page so you can read all his experiences, thoughts, and feelings about the playoffs!!! 
Jacoby Ellsbury's Blog:  


That was some pretty suspenseful and intense game of baseball!!  The L.A. Angels and Boston Red Sox were basically battling out with two causes:  The Sox are fighting to advance to the American League Championship Series and the Angels are fighting a sweep and trip home with thoughts of next year.  And what a fight it was!

I felt bad for my good friend, Kristin who won tickets to the game last night.  She basically sat through a very tense game in the freezing cold and watched them lose.  Poor Kris!  I'm happy to say that she still felt good after the game because, like me, WE LOVE THE RED SOX!!  Hey, at least she get to see her favorite player  future husband, Jacoby Ellsbury, make history last night;  he is the first hitter in history to have 3 RBIs in a one single.  Boys, that's the reason why you run hard when you have 2 outs under your belts!!!!!!!!!!! 

The Angels were being patient at the plate and taking advantage of Beckett's mishaps and defensive mistakes.  They keep their cool the whole game and held tight to that 4-4 tie for a good 6 innings (from the 5th to the 12th inning).  Angels pitching was dominating last night;  they were 100% different than Games 1 and 2!  They kept the Sox in check with "sure-out" pitches and got out of jams without any problems.  And I'm not saying the Sox bullpen wasn't great.  They also showed their strengths throughout the whole "tied" span of the game, but the Angels got the best of the Sox in the 12th inning against Javier Lopez.

To be absolutely honest with you, I didn't like Lopez falling into that relieving spot in the 12th.  I'm not saying that because he allowed the game-winning Angel's run.  It seems like everytime I watched Lopez pitch (except for a good 1 or 2 times), he either gets racked (gives up tons of hits and runs), or walks a bunch of people.  Maybe it was just me...  Also I believe in the whole concept that submarine pitchers are easier to hit than overhead/ three-fourths / sidearm pitchers. 

Here's my theory of submarine pitchers:  Most of the time, submarine pitchers throw a fast ball that drops.  This drop is usually caused by the arm motion of the pitcher, the way the pitcher holds it, and the release of that pitch.  All those factors would cause the ball to have an extra spin.  Plus (using physics), the pitch is more likely to go against gravity in a diagonal path, like a very lean geometrical right angle (even if gravity wouldn't have as much of an effect than air resistance, the spin of the ball, and the release point).  This would cause the ball to drop in like a batting practice pitch that is going a good 90mph.  Usually when hitters see that predictable drop, their eyes light up, and they turn on it (or in lame man's terms, they hit the ball really hard).  That's what I thought about when the Angels scored that final run to win the game.  And don't get me wrong!  I don't hate submarine pitchers!  They are awesome pitchers who give that extra spice to the pitching pen/rotation.  I just believe that since the Angels are one dangerous group of hitters, I would've went with the over the umbilical Paul Byrd. 

Jon Lester No Hitter.jpg
Photo from South Carolina Sox Fan Blog

But the past is the past, and today's game is a new game!  We have our Game 1 hero Jon Lester on the mound and the Sox will use all that frustrations and vent it against the Angels!  I'm not worried about last night's game, because I have faith in the Sox!!  We can do it!  We have the talent, the speed, the hitters, and the drive to win another championship!


- Coach Christian Tiongson

BAY.jpg / AP

Who said that Jason Bay was a horrible replacement for Manny Ramirez?  Who said that he'll have the first game jitters?  Who said that the Red Sox will lose some home run power when Manny left? 

Well, if you said those stuff about Jason Bay, you mind as well wear a "Kick Me Sign" behind your back. 

The Red Sox showed the world that they don't give up deep into the game.  The Sox stunned the L.A. Angels with dramatic fashion, 4-1. The Sox didn't seemed like a broken down, injured prone team last night.  J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell "defensively" contributed to the Sox win, although they did not produce any runs or hits last night, which I think is fine with me.  Let me explain:  When was the last time those two had a real hardcore Red Sox game?  And when I say Red Sox game, I don't mean a minor league triple AAA game.  When was the last time they were under the pressure of the nation's eye?  I think they just needed to be broken into their normal baseball lifestyle.  Sure, J.D. Drew and Mike Lowell are "healthy" enough to be on the ALDS roster, but its still pretty obvious that the veterans are still hurting from their injuries.  Despite an offensive "Silent Night," they still were there to back up Lester in one of the young pitcher's greatest performances ever. 

Most of you would've said that Lester didn't pitch his greatest game last night;  he gave up 6 hits and 1 run in his 7.0 inning outing.  But playoff-wise, the rest of his stats are phenomeon!  Okay, let's add in the 1 run he only gave up in 7 innings... his ERA was 0.00 last night, he had 7 strikeouts, and only gave up 1 walk.  That is definitely ace-caliber material right there.  Like what Terry Francona, who is the Sox manager, and the rest of the media have said, Jon Lester is growing before our eyes.  He went from being a "kid" in the clubhouse to Red Sox Nation's future ace.  With all the stuff he went through, he definitely showed the world that he is stronger than any other pitcher in the league.  There is no doubt about that.  Lester has a bright future ahead of him, and nothing... absolutely nothing will stop him!

There were tons of great plays last night like Ellsbury's diving catch to save a base hit, Jon Lester's striking out the side, Papelbon's strong close, Youk's heads-up play in shallow right field to throw up "Vlad Glad," and of course the great Jason Bay hitting a two-run homerun to give the Sox the deciding lead.  Oh man, last night was definitely a game to put in the books!  That game gave me a great feeling about this year.  It felt like old times from the yelling, the high fives, listening to the radio when I wasn't home, wearing my Red Sox gear in World Series fashion, and having my eyes glued to my wide screen T.V. in my family room.  Oh it just felt sooooooo good inside! 

One game down!  Two to go!  Then off to the ALCS!!!!


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