Year Review of Li Chen
Captured on 2018-01-14 17:13:06
GPS location: 46.110558, -123.947806
Camera: Xiaomi MI 5 Focal:4.26 ISO:455 Shutter:4.32
Description: The miraculous color at the beach was remarkable. The post-processing algorithm from the camera made it even more surreal.
Captured on 2018-03-17 21:50:16
GPS location: 40.879639, -122.132117
Camera: Xiaomi MI 5 Focal:4.26 ISO:382 Shutter:4.64
Description: First first-class flight from SJC to SEA. Upgraded with Alaska MVP gold, which was obtained from 4.0 GPA :) Surprised at the meal.
Captured on 2018-05-19 15:55:35
GPS location: 49.342738, -123.114781
Camera: Xiaomi MI 5 Focal:4.60 ISO:100 Shutter:9.18
Description: Finally, a trip to Vancouver after year long procrastination. An interesting park best for a family visit.
Captured on 2018-06-17 19:52:00
GPS location: 48.855377, 2.345010
Camera: Xiaomi MI 5 Focal:4.26 ISO:596 Shutter:4.06
Description: Nice concert in a historic Chapelle. Dazed at the glass windows
Captured on 2018-08-29 17:40:42
GPS location: 55.871875, -4.289075
Camera: Xiaomi MI 5 Focal:4.26 ISO:100 Shutter:9.23
Description: Established in 1451, one of the universities with longest history. Great buildings, and we are attending the conference inside it.
Year 2018 is a busy year, with dozens of jet lags, leading to severe memory decline and hair loss, perhaps...
Extending the addiction of driving from last year, a trip to Portland was as expected. Number one attraction there might be Woodburn Premium Outlets. The sunset color for Sunset beach was also fantastic. With similar reason, winter trails were explored one by one from the Seattle Best Winter Trail recommendation list.
As one of the few things to do in Seattle, I was finally persuaded to try skiing. Without guides and not having watched YouTube videos, Snoqualmie Pass became a miserable place with mental darkness. But I admitted skiing is fun, if not falling too much.
I can never imagine, just one month later, in March, my ski level was greatly improved in Whistler, one of the best ski resorts, thanks to the guide from my advisor. Also, I think Whistler is a great place for beginner, with so many interesting but also challenging green runs, taking half an hour to ski&fall down the mountain. Deep learning became a heater topic. I was taking more deep learning related projects, and also ISMRM held its first workshop on deep learning near Pacific Grove. Interesting to see new technologies developed at the meeting. Also enjoyed the first first-class trip by Alaska.
After the trip to CA, I found renting a car from airport rental facilities was much better than from neighborhood. So both my friends and I got the habit of taking 1h Link to the airport to rent a fancy car, one of the popular is Dodge Charger. With frequent rentals, more hiking places were explored. Finally, I got tired of driving after the third visit to Olympic National Park.
I was told the dorm on campus will no longer provide summer lease,
due to the increase demand of summer interns from Seattle IT companies, so finding a new place to live in autumn becomes a headache. Luckily, I found a nice place with reasonable price, and also good apartment-mates to live with. It turned out to be much fun to live with someone who has similar interests and knows well. In the warm May, trip to Vancouver finally achieved after year-long procrastination.
The whole summer was one trip after another. ISMRM in Paris in mid June. Three posters, but still enough time to enjoy a concert in chapel, an opera in France on lawn, a visit to the Louvre, and the famous French cuisine. This was my first trip to Europe, and really worth more visits. I got 16 credit cards in June and considered as expert for travel by friends. Redeeming miles earned from Alaska credit card, the HU flight to Beijing really set the standard for my understanding of a business trip.
After Beijing's symposium, I stopped over at home and started the originally planned US trip with my parents. Poorly planned as I am too busy travelling, the trip was kind of awkward. Booking next day hotel was always a burden after a whole day of tiring trip. And I was having severe sleeping disorders after so many flights. But the rewarding part was the scenery and meeting with old friends.
US trip finally ended in early August after 2763 miles driving, mostly by myself. I hated driving. A short period of back to work, another trip to Europe in late August was waiting.
When I went back in September, I felt everything in the past three months was a memorable dream, with no reason. Felt being lagged behind in schedule for research, I was trying to catch up in the following months, but found I was surrounded by so many projects.
Contrast to what I behaved early half of this year, I was asked by friends why I was so busy. Answer is I cannot figure out when a project is the end. Also why from results to publications can take as long as years, which is quite frustrating. Accidentally, I was shocked at the rising of my hair boundary,
As the unusual weather this year, 'last hike this year' was repeated for multiple times. Seems all mountains near I90 were visited. Among them, the Mailbox peak had the best view in my mind. But hiking there was not easy, especially companioned with someone who is so good at hiking.
Equipped with a newly bought TV on Black Friday in the large sitting room, parties are of more fun in party months. Never thought I will buy full ski equipment and epic local pass in second year of ski. Looking forward to this late snow season.
Overall I am satisfied with those wishes.
The exploration of work play balance never stopped. Handling tons of work, while also travelling around the world this year, I felt much fulfilled at the long list of projects and travel destinations. I still failed to separate work and play, as they interleave together, and each comes to mind now and then. But I am better at handling the way to face this busy life. Work hard, and play harder. Make every moment meaningful.
I am much confident in driving through this year. With nearly 10k miles, my attitude towards driving changed from addiction to boredom to hatred. Now I'd rather sit in the car and enjoy the view.
At least first half of the year, I was able to visit the gym constantly. With extra intake of protein, it is clear I was gaining weight quickly and as expected. But with frequent travels in summer then busy work in latter half year, visit is less frequent than usual. Hope I can squeeze more time to invest in health next year. I also found out the aerobic exercises are essential for maintaining sustainable energy for work. Hope at least aerobic exercises can be kept if I am really busy.
Thanks to the lunch subscribe service called Mealpal, my meal selection was largely diversified by attempting new restaurants near the lab with unbelievable price. As expected, most of them I will not come for a second time, but some of them really worth frequent visits, in addition to On The Fly, which decreased meal variety and quality after change of ownership.
2018 is a year with many explorations. First first-class and business-class flights, a new habit for skiing, first time to Europe...
The end of year 2018 also means another year of aging in my life. Aging may be a word too early for my age, but the moment I suddenly found the missing hair on my forehead, I realize talking about aging might not be purely self-pathetic.
However, when the craziness for driving entitled my Executive Elite status in rental company, when skiing with falls on green runs turned into my eagerness for black, when one project after another piled up and kept pushing the limit of my endurance, I know I am still young and ambitious. The life style I am choosing may not be the most comfortable one, but I embraced it with no hesitation, because there are always new adventures waiting ahead, and things worth contributing with all the time and energy in my precious young life.
But there must be one day with driving fever faded away, driving became a burden in daily life, and chasing for slope difficulties came to an end, and interest for adventures gradually went lost. I do not want to accept it, but sometimes it is unavoidable, such as my anti-driving mood now. Hope these days never came, and I am young as always.
It seems like a golden rule that work, play and sleep you can never achieve them all. It worries me that sleeping less this year might endanger my health long term wise. Sometimes sleeping less was for work, but this year it seems more and more often for play, such as getting up early for skiing new snow, and late rental car pick-up to ensure 24h billing cycle. Not sure whether that is a good choice to choose work and play among those three, as it seems sleeping less decreases the critical time for deep sleeping. Considering the memorable moments used for play this year, I won't regret it.
In addition, I have to admit reading for leisure is dead for me currently. This year I only had one or two chances to read novels in my limited spare time. Reading might not be a suitable habit for me in the near future. But what really worries me is the insufficient time to read papers, which shows little short-time differences, but will become a serious problem in the future.
Better manage of projects
Constant aerobic exercises
Read more papers