Greetings, humans. I hope your summer is proceeding smoothly. Mine’s going well, so here’s a fun fact for you:  Despite the small size of the planet Mars in comparison to Earth, it has a very similar landmass to our planet because of the oceans that span 70% of the Earth. I thought it was cool. You should too!

New Member of the Family!

As you can see from the picture on this post, Kia and I have welcomed a new member to our family! Her name is Emma, and she is curled up in a ball on my stomach as I write this. She’s a 9-week (or 10 or 11?) old tabby that we just adopted from the shelter in Bloomington. The name Emma comes from the “m”-shaped marking above her eyes.

After bringing her back home to meet Zorro, our almost 3-year-old black cat, we entered a short period of cat-tension around the apartment! Now, after a few days, they are playing together and being civil (most of the time). Hooray!

Books

Montem, my novel coauthored with Philip Brown, has been done for a while and is now edited. We have submitted it for copyright and are figuring out the publishing process. We can either work with a traditional publishing house or agent, or we can take the self-publishing route. Each path has its pros and cons. Please comment any thoughts or suggestions!

For my personal reading, I’ve been digging through Michio Kaku’s Physics of the Future. I recommend it! He brings the reader through a tour of futuristic technology, including computers, AI, and medicine. Kaku divides the predictions into easy chunks:  near future (now-2030), mid-century, and 2070-2100. This allows for a recognizable progression of events. Despite a few out-of-date bits (it was written in 2011), it’s a great read and very thought-provoking.

Piano

Kia’s step-sister had her wedding last month, and Kia and I performed! She sang, and I accompanied her on the piano. It was probably one of the hardest parts I’ve performed before, and I felt less anxious than I have in the past. My practice paid off! We got a lot of positive feedback, and it seemed to be a success!

In preparation for school and for my own goals, I have begun a new piano practice regimen. Each day I read through 5 jazz charts and 5 hymns. Those two genres are going to be prevalent in my future, so I want to get very comfortable sight-reading them!

Duolingo

I’m on an 80-day streak practicing German through Duolingo! It’s great for your brain!

Climbing

I’m starting to do V5 boulders more frequently in the gym now. It’s exciting, but I only have a month or so left to reach my goal of a V6 in my first year of climbing! It’s making me nervous, but I’ll keep pushing myself. I’ve also started incorporating a hangboard routine into my workouts. At the end of each session, I hang on various holds for 12 seconds, and then rest for 1 minute. Next time, I can tell you about my new thoughts on my diet. That’s all for now!