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 My new blog, Brian Blogs in Brooklyn!


    Well, all things good or bad must come to an end.  I'm hoping you 'll remember this website as the former.  I don't plan on updating this website anymore.  All news and updates will occur on

    The good news is that I won't be taking this website down.  It will stay right where it is should you want a snapshot of my life between June 2006 and June 2008.  

    The big difference between this website and my new one is ease of use. has managed to make it very easy to upload pictures and will automatically archive my posts, saving me time and making my homepage easier to load.  Both Googlepages (the service hosting this website) and Blogger (the host of my new website) are owned by Google, but Blogger is a much more mature project, while Googlepages is still in beta testing.  As such, it has been a bit buggy when I wanted to add something.  

    My new website  

    I hope you'll agree with me that Blogger will be prettier and easier to use.  I'd love to hear from you if you've read this for awhile.  Just email me at, or use the new comment feature of Brian Blogs in Brooklyn. 


 06.10.08: A game of Banana-grams that I played on my own while I cheated with a dictionary. I deliberately made it as complicated as I could.


    Doing good, thank you for asking. Now that spring cleaning is done, I've been trying to treat studying like a full time job. I'm fitting in 6-8 hours a day studying. Ideally, I spend 2 hours a day studying each subject. That has gone well, and I've finally made progress studying every subject more than that I had done in recent memory.

      But the result of the studying is that I don't leave the house much. Truth be told, I like it. I could totally be a hermit. But I think I'm going to be going out today. I am planning on going to a string of cafes in Manhattan, mooching an hour here or there sitting and studying. 

    I do have an ulterior motive though. Our grocery store's frozen food section is closed. The fridges just stopped working. The same thing happened last summer, only closer to July. But this is unfortunate, as Alicia and I have gotten into a habit of eating breakfast to avoid over eating later in the night. We had just bought this frozen bag of Jimmy Dean's Ham Scramble, and it was pretty close to being fabulous. You add the eggs, Jimmy adds the potatoes, peppers, onions and ham.  But without it, we're stuck with no hammy goodness. So, on my way back to Brooklyn, I might just pick up some frozen food in one of Manhattans much cleaner and more well stocked grocery stores.

    Well, Topology calls!

ps: Isn't that tree that grows in Brooklyn (pictured below) cool?


    I've started getting into the flow of summer. Because studying is such a high priority, I've decided to take a different approach one of the other math grad students mentioned. Since I'm not really doing for awhile, I'm going to treat studying like a job. I'll try to fit 6 - 8 hours of studying in. I would be so happy to get that much done 4 or so times a week. Plus, it will help me from squandering my time. Yesterday, I spent about 4 1/2 hours just playing around on the internet. So it is certainly time to fix that.

    Otherwise, I heard some good responses about my garden, so I thought I'd include some pictures. Here's one from farther a way to give you a sense of the corner.

    The wall next to my building is a garage, I believe. Those two windows are ours, but the door leads to the hallway outside of our apartment. The trash that was too big to fit in the garbage is sitting in those weeds. Previously, it was on the concrete where my table and chair is sitting now. Next is the view from my chair of the building and next door wall.

    You can see the wiring job done by the various cable guys throughout the year. I thought I could clean it up with some twist ties, but I just got paranoid of breaking someone's cable TV. 

 Here's the best part about the backyard. This is just to the left of the previous photo. I'm not sure what kind of a tree it is, but it is gorgeous, and acts as a canopy for the area. 

    Well, time to work! I'll let you know how it goes. 

06.06.08: Our back yard after I had a week to clean and work on it.


    Hello! Summer is definitely in full swing, and it's been just over a week for me since school finished. I've accomplished a lot, but not in terms of studying. So you can guess what my goal is next week. 

    I wish I had a picture of the backyard before. There was trash all over the concrete, weeds all over the dirt, and it was generally not a nice place to be. But I swept it up, pulled some weeds out of the ground, and then headed over to the hardware store. 

    Cheap was the name of the game. Those white rocks are chipped marble that were in bags of about 30 pounds for only 4.99. I bought three. I also bought the planter, some potting soil, those sticks, and six little plants of ivy. I'm hoping they really start to crawl up that wall. I will probably buy more ivy and another planter if this one takes off, as there is more wall to crawl up. Lastly, I bought some garden soil and some Zinnias. I'm not much of a gardener, but it was cheaper than just filling the whole area with chipped marble. Plus, if it works, I'll have a cute little garden going. I haven't tested whether my thumb is green lately, so this will be very telling. 

    Getting it all home was a challenge, as the hardware store is about ten blocks away. I had a black wire cart that Alicia and I use for groceries and laundry, so I first tried to load up everything. When I realized the two bags of soil were too much, I just made a single trip with the marble. I'm happy to report the cart managed to make it home with the marble and even survived a second trip for the rest of the supplies, but it is officially retired now. The sides and bottom bent from the 90 lbs, and the front two wheels are completely shot.  I had to make the second trip using only the hind legs of the cart. Luckily, I bought another cart from the local grocery store for $20 bucks, so all is good. 

    The cleaning occurred Monday/Tuesday, the shopping occurred Thursday afternoon, and that evening was when I set to work making it pretty. I found rocks from the construction site to surround the garden to prevent the chipped marble from blowing away, as well as giving the garden some definition. Alicia and I had different ideas about what to do, but this turned out not so bad. Hopefully it will continue to look good throughout the summer.

    As for the planting of the Zinnias, only time will tell. I'd love to see them all bloom, but I'm going to accept that I might not be a good enough gardener. We'll see!


    Just dropping a line. I'm taking it easy and managing to get a lot done. Spring cleaning has come and is almost gone. Not only did I scrub the floors, I cleaned the fridge, microwave, shower, toilet, sink, cabinets, pantry and windows (thanks to Mom for the windows tip).

    Now I'm entering my studying for the summer. I haven't yet started it actually, but Alicia has a ton of Bar Review material to wade her way through, so I'll certainly have quiet study opportunity in the evenings. I'm going to start out with reviewing material for a class I'm taking next semester, then work my way back to studying for those darn exams that are coming in September. 

    One distraction that I've had is the back yard. It is really a nice little area. It's away from the street, has a nice tree that blocks the direct sun, and is quaint.  But, it's a mess. I'll get some photos tonight. Thus far, I've cleared out the garbage that was there previously, then swept the cement. Today, I'm planning on doing something about the weeds. As for furniture, who knows? I've been watching craigslist for free stuff, but nothing great yet. 

    Well, that's all for now!