Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Another movie Christmas.
Catching up on my summer blockbusters. Here's what I've watched since finals ended, in alphabetical order:

The 40 year old Virgin
Batman Begins [I dig it, even though I kept thinking about Tom]
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Fantastic 4 [Not so fantastic...]
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
I Heart Huckabees
The Interpreter
LOTR Trilogy [sigh...]
Sin City

My goodness, I do love the films. Maybe I'll have meself a little Catherine Keener-fest. Or a Jessica Alba-fest.

The other thing I've been doing a lot of is shopping. With my parents. Which means I can have almost anything I want. They try to dress me in designer goods, I take them to Old Navy and choose out two nice going out tops for myself. They let me loose in the local upscale mall and I come home with a cutting board. We go to Bed & Bath and I come home with a frying pan. Yes, I've got a little bit of nesting on the mind.

I know this is how my parents show me love, especially because I'm a student and I never come home anymore. But I'm starting to get caught up in the materialism of it, instead of the spirit of it, if there is a spirit. I think tomorrow we're going to the outlets. Oh, the worst is when we go to Costco. It took me a year to finish that jug of olive oil ...

Friday, December 23, 2005

Sick. So Sick.
Just in time for winter vacation, I've been felled by a cold. I think I've slept 20 of the last 30 hours. I was supposed to drive home today but put it off until tomorrow because I couldn't get my act together before dark and wasn't feeling up to driving in the dark. Got some Christmas shopping in. And some cleaning. Holy crap there's a floor under all that muck. I've mopped my floor once, maybe twice, all semester. EEW.

On that note, Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas everybody!

I think next year, I'm going to try and send cards out. I really appreciated all the cards I got; they were quite the nice pick-me-up in the midst of finals and such. And it seems so mature and grown up. :)

Thursday, December 22, 2005

So fat.

That, my friends, is my broken bed. I broke it yesterday morning, all alone, while sitting down to put on my socks or some other mundane task.

While it's true that the rate of weight gain on my person has been frightening, I must also admit that this bed is about 6 years old. I bought it after I graduated college, for my first apartment. When I left that job and apartment to get my first grad degree, some friends helped me move. When I wasn't looking, they took my entire bed apart. I haven't been able to put the damn thing together since. I have a bag of screws and bolts that look like they belong in Ikea furniture, but I don't think they belong to my bed. So for the last 18 months or so, my bed has been held together with wooden pegs. Like the one sticking out in the picture.

Yes, there are about a thousand different jokes / snide remarks to make. I've made them all in my head and will spare you.

So this leaves me another dilemma. Do I get a new bed, and if so, what kind? I have to get a new bed. I slept in the damn thing last night, all askew like that, and kept wanting to roll off. I feel sort of slanted this morning and am certain that while I sit here typing, I am sitting crookedly, more so than can be attributed to my normal bad posture. Do I get a replacement frame from Ikea or do I get a nice bed because I'm getting older and it's time to stop buying play furniture? I could just get a metal frame, but then I'd have to buy a boxspring, and that costs almost as much as a replacement Ikea bed. Oh what to do?

At least I'm going to my parents' house tomorrow. There, my bed is horizontally parallel to the floor.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Blogger's Dilemma
Blogging is weird. I often catch myself walking around town, to and fro, observing and thinking, "Oh, this would be great to blog about." And then I see friends who read my blog and I feel weird. Like I've started to live through this damn thing and offline interactions are almost surreal.

Knowing that people read this thing, I've started to temper what I write about and how I write. First, I've started to use appropriate punctuation and capitalization. That might be for the better. More significantly, I think I've started to temper what I write. I post news stories instead of deep dark secrets and thoughts. I've even contemplated posting this great banana bread recipe I have, but then that will really be contrary to the original spirit of this thing. Then again, the original spirit of this thing was to talk about traveling and other cultures and people I meet in those other places and cultures. Being in law school has seriously limited those experiences (although a friend and I are talking about going to Greece for spring break!)

I'm not sure what to do. I've thought about starting another blog, but then that would make it five (seriously!) and it really doesn't help because part of what's tempering what I say is the fear of fucking up my legal career like I fucked up my adventure tourism career. Oh I don't know. Maybe I just have nothing interesting to say simply because it's STILL finals time.

But here's a thought ... I'm suffering through that time of the month. No, not THAT time of the month. See, before THAT time of the month, I have another time of the month. During this other time, my appetite increases exponentially. Add that to bloating, and I go through this monthly down time when my self-esteem suffers and every thought is about how fat I feel. I was able to temper this feeling most of the semester by staying really active. And for a lot of the semester I really wasn't eating, so when my appetite did increase, it only meant I was eating a normal, healthy amount of food.

However, it's finals. And I've done a lot of sitting on my ass, not leaving my apartment for days at a time. This is like a three-fold attack on my self-esteem and I am suffering. I can't wait for THAT time of the month to come so I can resume being normal self. I know I've put on a little weight towards the end of the semester -- gym boy is just not that interesting anymore and free time to work out and friends with free time to go rock climbing with are all seriously lacking -- but hopefully the banishment of two of my three fat-feeling-related problems will make me a happier person. At least for three weeks.


Sunday, December 18, 2005

A rant.
Just because people are different from you and have grown into different interests than you, does not per se mean that you've grown apart as friends. It just means you're different from the person you were when you met however many years ago. Does not mean you can't still be friends just because you have different interests. First of all, the whole point of friendship is to stick by each other's side. Second of all, how sad a life to surround oneself with people who do only the same things as you and are just like you.

Am I directing this rant at anyone or anything in particular? Not really.
Geeks these days.
A friend and I went to study at a university across the river that is full of geeks. Geeks all the way to the horizon. Enginerds, chemists, physicists, etc. I heart geeks. Anyways, I'm kind of ill today because the alcohol I consumed last night just did not agree with me, so I spent a lot of time taking in the scenery. And one kid was using a calculator that looked like this:

Oh man, I am so out of touch with geekdom! I remember when a Ti-82 was the rolls royce of calculators. (That was lame.) And when I started taking calc in high school, Ti-85s were still around. What the hell is this beast? Anyways, I've definitely found a great place to study. And they're open until midnight!

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Mayan art.

Archaeologists have discoverd a nearly intact, 30-foot long Mayan mural, painted at about 150 B.C. on the wall of a pyramid. Remarkable, really, both to look at and to contemplate.

Read more here.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Poke me like a pincushion.
I got my last Hep B vaccine on Tuesday. When I started college, I think it was less common to make the vaccine mandatory. But this behemoth university I attend made me get it. Great, now I can go have unprotected sex without fear of getting hep b! As soon as the tingling in my shoulder goes away! It's kind of annoying ... it's like having perpetual chills. Well, it's better than the three days of nausea I had after the first shot. That may have been related to the severe hangover I had, though. Heh heh.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

And the verdict is ...
So right after I posted yesterday, I went to pack up my stuff so I could go to school and get some studying in ... when my Dell gave me THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH. I freaked out. I worred that my computer was sliding downhill faster than anticipated. So I unpacked and went online and started to shop. But ... my Firefox browser reverted to safe mode or something and I haven't been able to restore it since. Lost all my bookmarks and settings. Which is fine b/c my bookmarks were getting cluttered. But I also lost my shopping carts where I stored my different computer options. Not wanting to wait up to a week for a new computer, I went to the university's computer store. It's located in the basement behind these double doors -- think high school cafeteria with the bar across the middle and the little slit window. So I went in there, picked out a computer, and brought it home after meeting a friend for coffee. So which did I choose?

Yes, I went with the powerbook. I had to do some financial gymnastics to bring that sucker home, but that's beside the point.

The most beauteous part of the whole process is ... I took that picture with my cell phone. And instead of paying the 25 cents to send myself a picture message ... I linked up my Sony Ericsson and my computer via Bluetooth. Holy crap, I feel like such a geek.

How did I end up making this decision? Of all the computers they had to sell at the university computer store, this was the most viable option. No Dell Inspirons was the rule. The store clerk pretty much said to stay away from all Toshibas. Since it was between a Toshiba and a Powerbook, that pretty much made the decision.

Did you really need to know all this? Well, it's done.

PS I know this post starts to fly right in the face of my last one. While I chose the computer out of practicality, sort of, I confess that a part of me chose it to be "cool." Alas.

PPS I've named her Priscilla.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The waffling continues.
Yesterday I decided that I should just go ahead and buy the computer I picked because I think that if I order online, I don't have to pay tax. So I'm sitting at my computer right now, with the computer I picked in my shopping cart. And it kind of makes me sick to my stomach just a wee bit to think about committing. There are probably many reasons why -- fear of commitment in general, a sense that neither choice is perfect, etc. But when I went into my exam on Monday, again, when booting up, the computer couldn't find the hard drive. Thankfully, I'm done with all my in-class exams. But really, I'd like to have my new computer sooner rather than later in case this thing I'm pounding on really is on its last legs. I think the fact that I'm getting a new computer because I NEED one rather than I WANT one makes a big difference here. If I had seen a computer and fallen in love with it, I might not be having so much trouble.

How did I pick this Dell? When I started grad school at NYU, I got a flyer from the school about the computer specials they were having. This was the second cheapest unit they had. And it was easy -- I charged it to my student account, interest free. Maybe in retrospect, or at least on this one thing, NYU beats out my current behemoth institution of higher education. Oh, that and it was in NYC. Oh, NYC. Such a fun place, but such an unhealthy place for me.

Which comes to another topic, sort of related. I recently had the pleasant experience of catching up with an old friend who was in town for a short trip. We were talking and somehow the topic got to beauty products -- Sephora and being two of my favorite places to shop. "I have to stop looking at women's magazines," my friend said.

This made me remember how I gave up women's magazines. Yes, in college or shortly thereafter, I decided that looking at those magazines was bad for my mental health. And so I gave them up, cold turkey, and rather successfully. The point here is not to gloat over my friend. The point here is that I may have given up glossy women's magazines, but unknowingly, I have substituted them with ... catalogs and tv shows and the internet. I'm not mentally healthier. So what is the problem? The problem is that looking at women's magazines made me want to buy products that promised to make me beautiful. It made me want to care about fashion, about how I look, about how "cool" or "hip" I can be. Now, I just go on websites, look at catalogs at the latest fashions, and watch shows like Queer Eye with the same result. I think Queer Eye might be the worst. It's a fun show, but I watch it mostly for the cool products it features. Given that it's a show about men, I usually watch Thom's part the closest (home decor), but last night's wedding episode was chock full of things for me to dream about!

So what to do now that I've realized my issue? Well, I can't go around cutting off the internet and cutting off catalogs -- because I need the internet, and catalogs come unrequested. I suppose there's more proactiveness I could take in not succumbing to these temptations -- don't go to the websites when I'm on the internet and throw the catalogs in the recycle bin. But maybe it'd be better just to change my heart and my mind. I think the first would be easier -- a stop gap measure. I should stop going to websites just to browse. I inevitably end up buying something I don't need, anyways. And then when I do need something (need being a relative term), like a computer, I can't make a decision. Crikey. I'm fucked.

Monday, December 12, 2005


From CBC News:

Ken Moroney, police commissioner of New South Wales, said the mob broke the windows of an ambulance and attacked two paradmedics. In another incident, people chased a woman on the beach because of her race.

"That woman was literally saved by the police officers and those officers deserve my highest commendation for the way they went about their task," he said. "The other equally offensive conduct, the absolutely total un-Australian conduct, was an attack on an ambulance."

Maybe it's the studying too much that's making me parse language, but this quote begs the question: Is it Australian to have mobs chase women on the beach? Maybe it's Australian if it's just randy men chasing women...
Be there. Look racial violence in the eye.

Riot-like fighting has broken out in the suburbs of Sydney. Sort of like Paris, except these were started by "thousands" of white guys attacking people on a beach they thought were Arabs. These "thousands" of white guys were sparked by rumors that two Lebanese men attacked a lifeguard. The day after the beach attack, some Arabs "retaliated" ...

No point in me recounting the facts for you right before my first exam. Go read the stories. Then try not to be depressed.
AP via NY Times

Friday, December 09, 2005

Oh, snow.
I swear, in this city, you have to check the weather report every 3 hours to know what is going on. It has snowed three times already this winter and each time, it has taken me by surprise. Although it's nice to open the curtains and see snow falling and snow on the ground because it makes me feel like a kid again to have the first thought in my mind be, "Oh, maybe we'll have a snow day," when I'm caught unprepared by a heavy flurry in the middle of the afternoon in nothing but a sweatshirt, it can be kind of painful. Oh this crazy city.

We're not likely to have a snow day today. Classes finished yesterday. Today, I will study like mad. Or go mad studying.

A picture for your enjoyment, taken by not me:

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

A last thought
I was undeniably fat in high school. I was fat when I started high school, and by the time I finished, I was even fatter. I lost a lot of weight before I started college, and then put a lot of it back on during college. Since graduating college, my weight has fluctuated some, but I've pretty much maintained the same ballpark size and shape -- thinner, healthier and in better shape than I ever was in high school.

So, when I was anticipating my high school reunion, the one thing I didn't worry about was looking worse than I did in high school. I mean, c'mon, I've also discovered the wonders of plucking my eyebrows and using a hairdryer. I've had nowhere to go but up.

And I've already intimated that my high school reunion was a great time. And it was. There's just this one incident ...

The bar was crowded. We were drunk. There was one door between the private room and the main room, and the area was narrow, crowded, hard to navigate and kind of in a corner. So everyone was in everyone else's way. And I'm either coming or going and waiting for someone to get out of my way so I could get out of someone else's way. And this guy I went to high school with is trying to get by, too, and pushes and shoves and when he gets by me, mutters rather loudly and clearly some sentence including the words "fat fuck".

And there in two words was one big thing I was dreading about reunion -- the return of feelings of being judged for one facet of who you are (appearance, weight, height, etc.) that doesn't reveal the true you. The sense that there was this true you within that wasn't discovered or appreciated or given a chance. This wasn't my complete high school experience because my high school friends were really great. But I was fat, and for that I was teased, even by some people who were nominally my friends. While I feared these feelings coming back, I wasn't expecting the actual name calling that happened in my childhood to happen in a bar in New York City. I went to reunion not expecting that immature shit, but rather, I was expecting awkward interactions with people we've shared a kind of dirty, humililating past with. Yes, we were bullies or awkward anti-sociods back then, but we've all grown up and become adults, become more and better than we were in high school. In a sense, going to reunion meant facing the awkward teen in us that we've outgrown. Well, all of us except for one greasy fuck.
Update and Intermission
I may not be around very much for a while. Two exams, Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning, then two more take home exams.

Going to see Spamalot and Wicked when they come to town next March and April, respectively.

Really, really, really want to see Rent the movie and the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Producers. Maybe over winter break. Or I'll be too busy going out in NYC over winter break. I'm still thinking about NYC, and wanting to live there and spend time there. I am the queen of the grass-is-greener syndrome.

Still boy crazy. Sappy music and looking at couples walking down the street makes me wish I was part of two, not just one. This is unusual for me, I think, as sappy music usually makes me squelch the part of me that wants to date and marry and etc.

Waffling on the Powerbook. So many issues I should make a spreadsheet...

OK, back to outlining....

Saturday, December 03, 2005

computer lust

If you're dorky, check out specs here.

Making the move from PC to Mac is kind of a big deal. Hold my hand, please.

Friday, December 02, 2005

health matters
I am, generally speaking, a healthy person. Except for that year when I was working with kids on a daily (and I mean 6-7 days / week) basis, I get about 1-2 colds a season. I haven't had extensive medical care for any serious conditions, and I'm generally pretty good at letting illnesses run their course.

However, I currently seem to be suffering from something, or a bunch of somethings. I thought it was allergies, but now it's more like a cold or flu. Then I got a hangover (which yes, is a self-imposed medical condition of sorts), but it seems to have turned into food poisoning and a perpetual headache. I still seem to have some nausea and general gastro-intestinal discomfort, and today the dizzy spells have set in with some force. Also, [TMI ALERT! TMI ALERT!] I found some disconcerting bodily fluids in my BMs the other day...[END ALERT.]

I know I watch too many medical shows and am turning into a bit of a hypochondriac in my old age, but I'm worried. I'm not really stressed from finals, no more than usual, and I've never reacted to stress with anything more than a few zits and an over-zealous appetite. And I'm still staying somewhat active, although less intense than normal b/c of a lack of time and energy from the above symptoms.

If it turns out I have a tapeworm or Ebola, you heard it here first, folks.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Patience is not my virtue.
On the very first day of high school, I think my very first class was social studies, after the teacher called my name, he looked up at me and said, "You're not going to misbehave like your brother, are you?" (Or something to that effect.) This continued to happen on the first day of a lot of the rest of my classes in high school.

I bring this up now because several of the people at reunion came up to me, said hello, and inside of a minute asked me about my brother. These were guys played on sports teams with my brother and were terrorized by my brother. Though they knew me as my classmate, they knew me better as my brother's younger sister. In fact, my brother made the comments on the old high school blog, whereas I didn't. (Although it wasn't a big deal not to make the blog, it was somewhat soul-baring to have my brother make it ... it was the substance of the comment that did it. But I've taken all that down now, so it's erased from the face of the universe.) And at reunion, one guy came up to me I didn't remember at all, but he knew me, first and last name.

I was called on in class yesterday, by Professor UCC. I suspect he called on me because I came in late and walked across the room. He stopped mid-sentence and everything. But when he called me by my last name, it really brought me back to high school. (Perhaps it was because reunion hadn't worn off yet.) And upon reflection, I realized that it was really nice not to have anything to live up to, no familial reputation that precedes me. No expectations at all, except to work my hardest to learn law.

OK, now I'm veering towards the cheesy.

As for the title of this post ... I think not giving my number out to guys in bars is a reflection of another personality trait -- my impatience. I am NOT good at sitting on my arse waiting. I'm not very vested in any phone calls I may receive as o result of last weekend, but anticipating and even the small part of me that hopes for a phone call would really just rather pick up the phone and make the call, even if it results in rejection. I am not very good at playing the traditional female role, as tantalizing as the prospect of being chased may seem. In the words of Prof. Family Law, I'm a can do kinda girl, I think.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Help, please.
I'm on the market for a new computer. (I never did get that cell phone.) My computer is on its last legs, I fear. At the very least, I'm not sure how much more of this banging around it can take, from being transported to and fro. Here are the laptops I'm considering:

Dell Latitude -- I'm quite partial to my Dell Latitude now, and it has served me well, although I had to replace the hard drive 2.5 years into it. It's now lasted me 4.5 years. Not bad.

Dell XPS -- or something like that; it's their new multimedia gaming laptop. Looks...shiny.

Compaq -- cheap as, and my Compaq desktop was always pretty nifty.

IBM -- I hear it's a good workhorse.

Toshiba -- Ditto. I'm not sure how much to rely on word of mouth b/c I think it all depends on how people treat their laptops. You bang it around, it no workie for long.

iBook -- I want to be hip and cool. Although I can't take exams on Macs, I could always keep my old laptop around for just such a purpose.

Any other suggestions?
"Evidence suggests that exposure to abuse leads to severe physical and psychological effects (i.e. nightmares, bedwetting, headaches, stomach aches, anxiety, aggression, withdrawal) similar to those experienced by victims of physical abuse."

Monday, November 28, 2005

A post-something buzz...
I was in a pretty fantastic mood today. Reunion was a great time, made me feel sentimental. Also, I think it was just hanging in NYC, with people my own age or close to it (within a year or two), and with cute, oh so very cute, boys. And Thanksgiving itself was pretty good -- I think I'm still buzzing from my family all being together and getting along. Miraculous. And even though I did no homework this weekend, I just had such a great time. It's kind of made me feel withdrawn from law school culture, kind of how I felt when I first moved here. Not into the scene, wanting my own separate life...

But let's get back to the boys. At 10pm, we were kicked out of the private party room and went into the main bar. As I went to the bar to get a drink (or water), these two guys were there, and we started chatting. One of them was really cute. So we talked and talked and talked and for about an hour, I was way more interested in talking to them then having awkward conversations with former classmates. But then, after about an hour or so, I realized that I should probably go back to talking to them. So ... I gave this guy my number and went away.

I GAVE HIM MY NUMBER. This doesn't seem significant, but it is, because I am the queen of thinking myself out of these situations. I felt the urge to run come on, but I overcame it and just threw caution and fear to the wind. I'm not sure there was all that much chemistry there, but it was a big deal, I think, not to let that override everything. Hey, it's just a cell phone number.

The falling in love part, though, came later. There was a guy at reunion. I'll leave it at that. And we chatted and chatted and chatted ... and two hours and two bars later, he's like, blah blah blah, my fiancee.

So here we have reunion rule number 1: if you're engaged or in a serious relationship, put it out on the table right away.

But we talked and smoked, smoked and talked about some pretty weighty, drunken topics, and then he asked me for my number and was like, can we talk about this again? Umm, sure. Again, it's just a phone number. And it wasn't at all romantic seeming on his part.

I'm so boy crazy right now. I'm also missing NYC, and missing the people there, and the nightlife there. I'm also, like I said, feeling withdrawn from law school life / social scene. So, I was totally buzzed all day today from a fabulous weekend (and still sort of hungover, ugh). And then I got home and opened my mail and found a letter from my bank. I used my check card three times last Saturday when my account was overdrawn. Stupid me. But that also meant 3 $30 fee charges. $90! It made me ill thinking about it. I'm kind of in a foul mood and am going to try begging and pleading, mixed with promises of never doing this again, with the bank tomorrow.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

That wasn't so bad, after all.
Reunion has come and gone, but my hangover is here to stay. Seriously. It's quite pathetic. But...I CAN'T BELIEVE HOW FUN REUNION WAS! Sure, I was anxious before, and it was awkward during, but everyone was so nice. Well, I can think of one who wasn't. But it was so much fun! I ended up staying out until 4 am with a few friends, and re-kindled friends, and a grad from the year behind me. Somehow, at around 3 a.m. I had one too many drinks, ended up taking a cab downtown to my old neighborhood in the east village, so my re-kindled friends could eat shwarma at a place that used to be a divey pizza shop. Hot!

But now it's 9pm, and I'm still at my parents' house, on dial up. I'm not sure when I'm going to be driving home, but I think it's going to happen tonight, if I could only manage to see straight. I really want to go to class tomorrow, and after sleeping all day, as might as well drive all night.

There's so much I want to say but I should really do some homework.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I did indeed get those movies. But with the movies on my desk, I did homework and made a few phone calls instead.

Actually had a meal and talked to my brother. It was was our first attempt at conversation in about 2 years.

I love that my parents implore me to lose weight. I love that when I come home they try to shove as much food down my gullet as they can. Oh Chinese love.

I love that everyone thinks I'm Korean and that I'm from California. Seriously, in the last few days, everyone's like, oh are you going back to California for the holiday? Well, no, because my family is in NJ. Oh...I thought you were from California...and Korean. It's really weird. Why is my life so enignmatic that people can't get it straight?

Be back soon. I'll probably blog like 8 more times before I leave. Dial up be damned.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Blogging on dialup.
I'm home. And I just looked through my senior year high school yearbook. Oh, I am no longer even remotely looking forward to reunion. I was SO fat in high school.

I'm tempted to go to the video store and rent three movies for 10 dollars, as that is the deal they always run.

Then again, I'm staring at the pile of law school books I drove home and think that movies would be a bad distraction.

What to do?

Don't I deserve a few movies after driving home for like 7 hours?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

A sign...?
I'm going through another phase of insecurity and self-doubt. I wake up after a night on the town and think about how I was a total idiot the night before. I say something in class and immediately think what I said added zero value to the world.

I think I've changed a lot in the last 1.5 years since I've started law school. On the one hand, I'm a lot more insecure, particularly lately. On the other hand, I'm a lot more aggressive. I say things and am sort of snippy with people where I think I was slightly gentler about it before. Or maybe I'm just as snippy and my insecurity makes me perceive myself as snippier. I also compare myself to other people a lot, which is never a good thing.

I've been thinking a lot about this lately, about how I've changed, which is why I'm bringing it up now (again), tho' it's kind of late in the game. I think at the root of is law school dynamic, the competition, the constant sense of comparison. It's somehow needled its way into my persona and being and perceptions of self-worth.

Lobotomize me, and get it out! I want to be the old me!

Then again, maybe I should take a long hard read of this dirty ole thing and see if I really have changed in law school, or if it's law school just amplifying characteristics that have always been there. Perhaps a task for Thanksgiving, which starts as soon as my class gets out at 5:45!

I was walking towards school from the gym and was kind of in a foul mood because of the weather. And then I noticed these like 5 greyhound buses lined up at a corner. And then I thought about all the students that are traveling home this week, all the families that will be welcoming them home, feeding, pampering and loving their studious kids. (Although at this school, I think the kids tend to party more than study...) And I was overcome with a happy, warm feeling. I love Thanksgiving. All that food and family and tradition ... Although my family has no tradition, my mom has already told me that she's going to take care of me when I come home this weekend. Should offset the trauma of my TEN YEAR HIGH SCHOOL REUNION. ACK!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Ever since I studied journalism in graduate school, I’ve been instilled with a generous serving of cynicism when it comes to the media. Yes, we have freedom of the press, but it’s false, I would say. When reporters aren’t being manipulated by spin doctors and press secretaries, they’re being manipulated by ad executives, pushing the newest toy, fad or movie in a synergistic tie with the mother company.

But what is freedom of the press but being able to say and publish these types of thoughts without fear of death or punishment?

On one of the first days of graduate school, a classmate of mine who is from Colombia asked, as we were discussing the publication of controversial or erroneous information, “You mean, you don’t have to worry about being killed?”

So as it comes upon Thanksgiving, I guess maybe my point should be that, even though things suck sometimes, and it’s not perfect or ideal, maybe it’s not that bad after all.

Friday, November 18, 2005

I like green.

John Negroponte, the founder of Wired magazine and the MIT Media Lab, went to the UN and proposed his plan to provide $100 hand-cranked green laptops to every kid in the world. (Read the Wired story or the CS Monitor story or get more images; the screen turns!)

The story is inspiring (even rural kids can have computers and wireless!), sad (umm, food and water first?), and farcical (a hand-cranked computer?! I can think of a few professors who could use one of those!).

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Pat Robertson should be tested for dementia.
He's a fucking cracker.

First he calls for Hugo Chavez's assasination.

Then he tells the town of Dover, PA, that it has rejected God b/c they voted out the school board members who were trying to introduce intellligent design.

First, how Christian is it to murder? FOR OIL!

And then, as if our kids aren't stupid enough, we have to start teaching them to answer unanswered scientific questions by saying, it was God. That'll really help us keep up with the world when it comes to scientific research and such.

And then have you heard of those two young twins who sing songs about white supremacy and essentially think Hitler was a hero? Oh man...
I'm a bum.
I can't get up for an 11 o'clock class. Sheesh.

Maybe I can get some input. I am thinking of getting a new cell phone. I can get a discount if I extend my contract for a year, which I was planning on doing - I'm not getting a new cell service, if at all, until I finish law school. So here's the new phone I'm eyeing, and I can get it for free: .

Whatcha think? My current phone is crap. I can't get reception if I'm standing next to a cell tower. And I don't like flip phones.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

I sure do [heart] the rock climbing...
I love it. I love it, love it, love it. I love hanging out at the gym and encourage people, and conquer fears and challenges, and be challenged, and fail, but know that I can keep trying. Oh, it's great.

I was talking with some of my climbing partners, though, and asked, so, when you look at a 5.12 route, do you think, "YEAH! One day, I'm going to conquer that!"? And they said, "Of course! Don't you?" Umm, no.

I really don't. I don't set goals like that. I'm happy doing 5.8 and 5.9, and not really doing 5.9s so much as cheating on the way up. I just think, my body is my body, and I don't think I have the body of a woman who can climb 5.12s. I had similar concessions when I was really pursuing taekwondo. I'm NEVER going to fight middleweight, I will never be THAT fast, but I work with the strengths I have, and I try to improve myself that way. But in rock climbing, I think that means I'll never climb a 5.12. I could totally be wrong. I don't know enough about the sport and the people to really know, but I get a sense ...

I don't *think* I let these self-imposed limits get in my way. I mean, if I found myself mastering 5.11s, I don't think I'd stop just because I had somehow decided I would never do 5.12s. I think I set these goals out of realism, reserving the option to be surprised. Maybe I'm a pragmatist. Maybe I'm a realist. Maybe I'm a pessimist. Who knows. I'm pretty happy right now. Hell, I usually take up a hobby and drop it after a few months, and the fact that I've been doing this for about 8 months straight, I think that's a good sign. If only I could get back into taekwondo...

Friday, November 11, 2005


Scientists have discovered a t-rex-like crocodile. With teeth and fangs. They have nicknamed it Godzilla. It's scary! The article in the NY Times also mentions crocodiles with flippers and fins. Oh, evolution.

Also, the conclusion of Category 7 is on this weekend. Don't forget! :)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Nothing to say ... in a sense
I know that unlike most bloggers, I post news articles from newspapers and such, but do not comment on them. There are a few reasons I do this. One, I do not have the time to formulate a well-thought out, meaningful, persuasive commentary. (Are commentaries supposed to be persuasive?) Usually, I just devolve into a rant. And really, who wants to read that? They also take a lot of energy to write and I usually just end up feeling ... hopeless. B: I post certain articles here as part of the bigger blogger picture. The articles I post generally fit into one of a few overarching themes, and if you know me, or read me regularly, I think you will know what I think. I consider this entire blog as one entity, rather than each entry being separate. Is that too analytical for a freaking blog? I'll stop.

I think lately I've been questioning a lot of my friendships. I've, erm, dropped a few friends over the last six months or so. And I'm in the process of making new ones. I'm not sure that I'm necessarily getting closer to them. I think I'm just spreading myself out thinly so no one person or group can get too close, so I won't be hurt. Ahh, I might be giving my subconscious too much credit there. Dude, it's law school. These friendships are professional, in essence. I have no loyalty, haven't had enough time to develop loyalty, and don't have the energy to expend. If you hurt me, I'm going to bail. I'm too old and too busy to deal with that crap. In my free time, I do not want to be dealing with immaturity or insanity. Unless it's my own. Cuz that's a fun ride I can't get off. [A little disclaimer ... there are definitely friends I've made at law school that I'm going to keep forever. I think you know who you are.]

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oooh, me likey!

The new attempt at boxed wine, only in a tube. On sale in NYC, and served at some restaurant. More details in this New York Times article.

Also, this morning I noticed a lot more people looking at me than usual. Maybe being premenstrual makes me paranoid. But all I kept thinking the whole time on my commute to school was, is my fly unzipped, does my outfit clash horribly? What?! Not the best start to the day, but that's ok.

Monday, November 07, 2005

November 7, 2005
When Cleaner Air Is a Biblical Obligation

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 - In their long and frustrated efforts pushing Congress to pass legislation on global warming, environmentalists are gaining a new ally.

With increasing vigor, evangelical groups that are part of the base of conservative support for leading Republicans are campaigning for laws that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which scientists have linked with global warming.

In the latest effort, the National Association of Evangelicals, a nonprofit organization that includes 45,000 churches serving 30 million people across the country, is circulating among its leaders the draft of a policy statement that would encourage lawmakers to pass legislation creating mandatory controls for carbon emissions.

Environmentalists rely on empirical evidence as their rationale for Congressional action, and many evangelicals further believe that protecting the planet from human activities that cause global warming is a values issue that fulfills Biblical teachings asking humans to be good stewards of the earth.

"Genesis 2:15," said Richard Cizik, the association's vice president for governmental affairs, citing a passage that serves as the justification for the effort: "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it."

"We believe that we have a rightful responsibility for what the Bible itself challenges," Mr. Cizik said. "Working the land and caring for it go hand in hand. That's why I think, and say unapologetically, that we ought to be able to bring to the debate a new voice."

By themselves, environmental groups have made scant progress on global warming legislation in Congress, beyond a nonbinding Senate resolution last summer that recommends a program of mandatory controls on gases that cause global warming.

Officials with the Sierra Club and the Natural Resources Defense Council said they welcomed the added muscle evangelicals could bring to their cause. But they agreed that it remained uncertain how much difference it could make.

A major obstacle to any measure that would address global warming is Senator James M. Inhofe, an Oklahoma Republican who is chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee and an evangelical himself, but a skeptic of climate change caused by human activities.

Mr. Inhofe has led efforts to keep mandatory controls on greenhouse gases out of any emission reduction bill considered by his committee and has called human activities contributing to global warming "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people."

"You can always find in Scriptures a passage to misquote for almost anything," Mr. Inhofe said in an interview, dismissing the position of Mr. Cizik's association as "something very strange."

Mr. Inhofe said the vast majority of the nation's evangelical groups would oppose global warming legislation as inconsistent with a conservative agenda that also includes opposition to abortion rights and gay rights. He said the National Evangelical Association had been "led down a liberal path" by environmentalists and others who have convinced the group that issues like poverty and the environment are worth their efforts.

At the same time, Mr. Inhofe said he took the association's stance seriously because of the influence its leaders had on people who generally voted Republican. Evangelical groups including the Noah's Ark Foundation lobbied successfully in 1996 to block efforts by the House to weaken the Endangered Species Act.

Now known as the Noah Alliance, the group continues to work on environmental issues, along with groups like the Evangelical Environmental Network, which describes itself as a "biblically orthodox Christian" organization. It subscribes to a policy of "creation care," which it defines as "caring for all of God's creation by stopping and preventing activities that are harmful," like air and water pollution and species extinction.

Mr. Inhofe said many other evangelical organizations held opposing views on the environment. He cited a coalition of faith organizations, scientists and policy experts known as the Interfaith Council for Environmental Stewardship. The council formed in 2000 only to issue a statement of concerns that declared global warming problems caused by humans as only "speculative." A new version of the council is planning to organize shortly, and members are re-examining their stances.

A member of the original group's advisory committee, Michael Cromartie, vice president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, a conservative group that studies moral issues and public policy, said more recent disputes among conservatives over global warming focused not on the science behind it but on ways to address it.

Mr. Cizik said the alliance's draft position on global warming was still under review by its leaders and would not be issued unless they voted unanimously to support it. If only a majority supports it, he said, it could be released as "an evangelical statement on climate change."

While he was reluctant to predict its potential political impact, he said, "I don't think there's a Republican running for the White House in 2008 who will not have to deal with the emergence of evangelicals on creation care."

John Green, a senior fellow for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, said a policy statement from the National Alliance of Evangelicals could influence Congress. But the real test, he said, was whether the group's leaders could influence their congregants.

"It's still early in the process," he said of evangelical involvement in the environmental movement. "Among rank and file, evangelicals are as environmental as the rest of us. They're in favor of environmental protections, at least in principle."

On the other hand, he added, "they don't like environmentalists. They associate environmentalists with the Sierra Club and with people who have nontraditional religiosity. Alliance leaders have a real opportunity here, but the impediment is getting over the image of environmentalists."

Mr. Green said the full impact of the alliance position would not be known for several years. But if their support for global warming legislation increases, "then," he said, "Senator Inhofe is going to have to sit up and listen."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I got a rejection letter yesterday from a firm in California I didn't even apply to.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Weekend Update
My lack of blogging this week has not been attributed to any bad thing. It's not work that's stressing me out or killing me. It's not that I'm curled up in the fetal position in my bed, sucking my thumb and crying it out. Things are ... good. I've just been kind of busy and social.

Monday we had our last volleyball game for our co-ed team. We got solidly walloped. I also had some assignments due for my journal, so that took up a lot of my weekend. That was also the night I ran into the crush of the moment and had an awkward interaction, inspiring, I think, my last post. I'm still fucked up, but I'll live.

Tuesday I decided to bite the bullet and accept an offer. Enough of the indecision! So I did, and I went with the one where after the interview, I actually walked out and said, if I get an offer from them, I will take it. So I turned down the one ranked by Fortune as a top 100 place to work. And I turned down the one with the beautiful, energetic lobby and fabulous people. The firm I picked does not have much national prestige, nor offices in California, to facilitate my running away. But I'm really happy with my choice. So Tuesday night, a few friends and I went out and celebrated with martinis, margaritas and yummy pseudo-Mexican food.

Wednesday ... I don't remember Wednesday.

Thursday I went to the movies and saw Wallace and Gromit. Crackin' movie, folks! With two fabulous friends I wish I could see more often. There was also some beer and some pool and some "buffalo chips", and much movie candy. And then a great movie. Oh it was so much fun! The only criticism ... before the movie started, there was a movie short, produced by Dreamworks, but totally evoking Pixar. It was stupid. It also had the characters from Madagascar, which was retarded. But Wallace and Gromit was great. Oh so funny, so fun, reminded me of college, and it was just great. I also really enjoyed being able to see fingerprints on the characters' faces. Claymation is hot.

Last night, I hung out with a friend. He'd been smoking and drinking alone a lot, and so had I, so he said, we should get together and do those naughty activities together. So we did. And ate pizza, and watched Crash, and then got potato chips and smoked more cigarettes. Before that, though, I went to the gym for a swim, but managed only 20 minutes b/c my swim teacher on Thursday kicked our asses so much I was still tired. On the way back from getting a new towel, where I had a normal interaction with my crush (soon to be ex-crush, cuz having crushes on boys with girlfriends is bad news), I ran into this guy. We were looking at each other repeatedly, and then he was like, you look familiar. I was like, yeah ... and then we realized, hey, we were at this party, blah blah blah. I thought he was someone else, but then he was this other person I met at this other party. Anyways, after talking about the gym and how great it was he was like, so, I'm on facebook, are you? Umm, yeah, I am.

The point of my story is, did he just use facebook as ... something resembling a pickup line?

You know, I don't care how cheesy it was. He's cute. And I thought as much when I met him last April and invited him to my birthday party. If facebook is going to help facilitate anything, I'll take it!

Now, I'm about to go and take a field trip to a climbing gym north of the city.

And that was the update of the week. I hope you've made it this far. I had some interesting stories I wanted to tell during the week, but I seem to have forgotten them. But I'm glad that what free time I've gained from less work, I've managed to fit in more socializing. Yeay for friends! And booze!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

something is amiss...but i don't know what
I am thoroughly convinced that yes, it is in fact me that is fucked up. Not boys. How many times do I have to go through the same twisted moronic dance before I own up to my issues? However many times it's been, I'm ready. Yes, I'm fucked up. I could say I need to grow up more, but there's only so much time before I essentially start ... growing down. Maybe 30. I'll aim for 30. By 30, I'll be perfection. Or something.

On top of that, I am withdrawing. Withdrawing from my friends, withdrawing from the norm. I am making different friends, new friends, initiating with old friends I don't normally see. I am incredibly unhappy, and it's making me edgy. (But somewhat productive. You wouldn't believe how much work I got done this weekend.)

A friend told me today that he is going to San Diego. The guy has never lived there, never worked there, yet he got an offer from a firm there. Lucky shit. Being an engineer helps, but besides that, I'm so jealous. But then again, I've been there and back again. The challenge for me is to stay in one place and deal with my life instead of running away from it. Stay the course.

Monday, October 31, 2005

heavenly hell
When the nip in the air turns into downright frigidness in November, I don't mind so much because I know I can go home every night of the week and enjoy some damn good TV. No repeats. And even better than no repeats, it's sweeps, so the shows pull out all their stops. Guest stars. Plot twists.

And the best part? (Well, sometimes.) MOVIES OF THE WEEK! Or Movie Events. Whatever they're called.

I also have a bit of a fetish for natural disaster movies. A la Volcano, Bats, Dante's Peak. There's a long story there, but suffice it to say I make sure to watch every natural disaster movie that comes out. (Which, yes, has taken on a new slant ever since Katrina. And Wilma. But I digress.)

CBS has done me the lovely favor of merging the two in one. In a four hour extravaganza called Category 7. In actuality, it's a sequel to Category 6, which was one of the most god-awful movies ever, even in my twisted demented world where the cheesier the movie, the better. But somehow, the sequel, the spectre of laughing at inappropriate times, the cheese, the winds, the attempts at twanging my heartstrings ... oh I love November.

I am going to go home every night, turn on Barry White, light a few candles, pour me some Shiraz, and make sweet, sweet love to Tivo. Mmm, Tivo.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

whys before doing more work ... or going to bed
* Why did it snow today (yesterday) and it's only October 29?
* Why do I eat when I get drunk?
* Why have I been getting drunk alone a lot?
* Why is drinking 1/2-1 bottle of wine starting to become a weekly occurrence?
* Why is wine so good?
* Why is the Elizabethtown soundtrack so wonderful?
* Why are boys so weird?
* Why do I always find weird boys?
* Why do our journal editors hate us so much by making our tech check and our five page note outline thingamabobber due on the same day?
* Why is spider solitaire so fun?
* Why was I like the only idiot in the city who didn't know it was going to snow?

Ooh, I can stay up another hour b/c of daylight savings! Yeay!

* Why does everyone else in the world spell it "yay"?

Saturday, October 29, 2005

dreaming of traveling
Someone yesterday asked me what I was going to do after I graduate from law school and take the bar exam. I recalled that some friends and I were going to explore Mexico. I also had an idea to go back to New Zealand. Dreaming of that makes me happy. Thinking about it and planning it, oh they bring much contentment to my belly and my heart and my head. Why my belly? I don't know.

But on that note, I go research and write for my journal note. My note which is about New Zealand. Yeay!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Remote Control Device 'Controls' Humans
- By YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer
Wednesday, October 26, 2005

(10-26) 04:28 PDT ATSUGI, Japan (AP) --

We wield remote controls to turn things on and off, make them advance, make them halt. Ground-bound pilots use remotes to fly drone airplanes, soldiers to maneuver battlefield robots.

But manipulating humans?

Prepare to be remotely controlled. I was.

Just imagine being rendered the rough equivalent of a radio-controlled toy car.

Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp., Japans top telephone company, says it is developing the technology to perhaps make video games more realistic. But more sinister applications also come to mind.

I can envision it being added to militaries' arsenals of so-called "non-lethal" weapons.

A special headset was placed on my cranium by my hosts during a recent demonstration at an NTT research center. It sent a very low voltage electric current from the back of my ears through my head — either from left to right or right to left, depending on which way the joystick on a remote-control was moved.

I found the experience unnerving and exhausting: I sought to step straight ahead but kept careening from side to side. Those alternating currents literally threw me off.

The technology is called galvanic vestibular stimulation — essentially, electricity messes with the delicate nerves inside the ear that help maintain balance.

I felt a mysterious, irresistible urge to start walking to the right whenever the researcher turned the switch to the right. I was convinced — mistakenly — that this was the only way to maintain my balance.

The phenomenon is painless but dramatic. Your feet start to move before you know it. I could even remote-control myself by taking the switch into my own hands.

There's no proven-beyond-a-doubt explanation yet as to why people start veering when electricity hits their ear. But NTT researchers say they were able to make a person walk along a route in the shape of a giant pretzel using this technique.

It's a mesmerizing sensation similar to being drunk or melting into sleep under the influence of anesthesia. But it's more definitive, as though an invisible hand were reaching inside your brain.

NTT says the feature may be used in video games and amusement park rides, although there are no plans so far for a commercial product.

Some people really enjoy the experience, researchers said while acknowledging that others feel uncomfortable.

I watched a simple racing-car game demonstration on a large screen while wearing a device programmed to synchronize the curves with galvanic vestibular stimulation. It accentuated the swaying as an imaginary racing car zipped through a virtual course, making me wobbly.

Another program had the electric current timed to music. My head was pulsating against my will, getting jerked around on my neck. I became so dizzy I could barely stand. I had to turn it off.

NTT researchers suggested this may be a reflection of my lack of musical abilities. People in tune with freely expressing themselves love the sensation, they said.

"We call this a virtual dance experience although some people have mentioned it's more like a virtual drug experience," said Taro Maeda, senior research scientist at NTT. "I'm really hopeful Apple Computer will be interested in this technology to offer it in their iPod."

Research on using electricity to affect human balance has been going on around the world for some time.

James Collins, professor of biomedical engineering at Boston University, has studied using the technology to prevent the elderly from falling and to help people with an impaired sense of balance. But he also believes the effect is suited for games and other entertainment.

"I suspect they'll probably get a kick out of the illusions that can be created to give them a more total immersion experience as part of virtual reality," Collins said.

The very low level of electricity required for the effect is unlikely to cause any health damage, Collins said. Still, NTT required me to sign a consent form, saying I was trying the device at my own risk.

And risk definitely comes to mind when playing around with this technology.

Timothy Hullar, assistant professor at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., believes finding the right way to deliver an electromagnetic field to the ear at a distance could turn the technology into a weapon for situations where "killing isn't the best solution."

"This would be the most logical situation for a nonlethal weapon that presumably would make your opponent dizzy," he said via e-mail. "If you find just the right frequency, energy, duration of application, you would hope to find something that doesn't permanently injure someone but would allow you to make someone temporarily off-balance."

Indeed, a small defense contractor in Texas, Invocon Inc., is exploring whether precisely tuned electromagnetic pulses could be safely fired into people's ears to temporarily subdue them.

NTT has friendlier uses in mind.

If the sensation of movement can be captured for playback, then people can better understand what a ballet dancer or an Olympian gymnast is doing, and that could come handy in teaching such skills.

And it may also help people dodge oncoming cars or direct a rescue worker in a dark tunnel, NTT researchers say. They maintain that the point is not to control people against their will.

If you're determined to fight the suggestive orders from the electric currents by clinging to a fence or just lying on your back, you simply won't move.

But from my experience, if the currents persist, you'd probably be persuaded to follow their orders. And I didn't like that sensation. At all.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

drunk blogging, the new drunk txting
I feel so lame. I felt too swamped with work and didn't make it to my friend's show tonight. Turns out they didn't go on until 9pm and my friend put me +1 on the guest list. Darn. I really wish I had known. I told him I'd try and see their show when they return to the town across the river next month.

I feel badly about it. I think I'm feeling a lot of conflicting obligations in me and I'm not meeting any of them satisfactorily, and I just feel totally bummed. Like, our school is having a Halloween party on Thursday night and I told some friends I would go but now I'm not sure. I have so much work and so much blah blah blah blah. GAR!

I hope things will get better in November, but we'll see.

What a pathetic post. I shouldn't even hit publish.
2 IPAs, 2 tequila shots, and a very very large G&T
OH MY GOD. I ACTUALLY went out tonight. A friend met me at the bar across the street from school and we had drinks and we were going to go watch my friend's band play. But then about 45 minutes before they went on, who walked into the bar but the three skinniest men in show biz. Seriously. They are so skinny. Go to their website and buy some merch because these guys need a sandwich. Anyways, we shared a few drinks, a few laughs, and some convo, and then they realized they were going on in like 5 minutes so they ran away and then my friend and I followed b/c we wanted to see them play.

And then we saw them play. And then my friend gave me a very sweaty hug. And then I came home and watched Gilmore Girls and poured myself a very large G&T and then tried to do work but im'ed and talked on the phone and blogged instead.

And now we've come to the present and in the very near future, I'm going to brush my teeth and go to bed.

I really wish my hair was longer. I'm going to grow it out. I can now get it in a ponytail, which is more than I could say three weeks ago. Funny how that works.

Like that random comment? I'm drunk. I've been exhibiting some alcoholic tendencies recently, but I'm okay with that. I've also been spending way too much money on food. But I'm okay with that, too, because food is food and it gets me through stressful times.

Also, I really need to do laundry. It's so bad. I actually have more dirty clothes than clean. And that's a big deal for me. I've resorted to buying new pants instead of washing the ones I have. Bad. Also, I need to take out the garbage. My apartment smells funny.

Oh well.

By week's end, I have to trim my summer options by half. I don't like having to do it. I like being wanted, and I want to have them want me. Ahh well.

Tomorrow, I go visit a firm. This time, I'm in control. Nice.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Quickie: Wham, Bam
Blah. Blogger freaked out on me and deleted what I wrote. In short, I'm alive. It's 1 a.m., Monday morning (or Sunday night) and I have a draft of my paper. It will likely be the copy I turn in. Oh, mediocrity. I spent less than 12 hours studying for my final. It's hopeless. What I have learned about international law is this: it's vague and uncertain.

I almost freaked out today when my computer started acting up and wouldn't charge. After nearly crying while standing in the street, I huffed it over to the university computer lab and banged out the paper. (And taking about 500 steps in the process! I'm wearing a pedometer for a study.) Then I came home and found that if I string the cord up over the screen, it's ok. So I should be ok for the exam tomorrow.

Now I've eaten some french fries and am doing some work for Professor Summer Research. It's going faster than I expected.

Thank you, God, for letting me get through this weekend, even though you kept throwing crap in my way. I suppose I should hold off on the thanks until after I wake up in the morning. I feel an oversleep coming on.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Due Diligence
If you are good at it like I am, then you can find this blog. As a result, I have been toning down and editing out a lot of what I wouldn't have hesitated putting up in the past. I'm on the verge of accepting a job offer, and I'm starting to think more and more about what I say in case someone does find this. And suddenly I'm starting to be more private about my feelings and thoughts, on certain levels. I'm feeling like a loner this weekend. I keep thinking about going swimming, despite my pseudo bum knee, b/c I want to be alone in my head, in 8 feet of water, or however deep the pool is.

Yeah, my knee went pop yesterday during a volleyball game. Ouchie. It hurt like a bitch at first, and then it totally stopped hurting ... while the EMT was poking at it, of course. It's been kinda sore today, but I think it kinda ... popped back earlier today. So I'm optimistic that I can get a good swim in tonight, and maybe go climbing tomorrow. I know with swimming I can just use a pull buoy if it's bad. And the climbing ... I've gotten really used to Saturday climbing and will feel weird not going. So there. I feel confident that I can get my work done this weekend. If only I would stop blogging and surfing the internet.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Warning: griping, bitching, moaning and complaining follow.
I am going to take the next three minutes and spew out to the "world" all the crap I have to get done in the next few days. Hell week, now that it's Thursday, is in full effect.

Monday I have both a final for a class and a mid-term paper due for another class. My friends and I who are in a similar predicament petitioned for exam relief (available if we have two exams on the same day), but did not get good news.

I also just got out of a meeting with Prof. Summer Research. He has just piled some work on me as well. We are working on Week 8. The students will be discussing week 7 on Tuesday. See?

I do not think there are enough hours in the next several days, nor enough caffeine in the world, to make this all happen. But by the will of God, I will survive, and I will get it done, even if it has to be half assed. I'm already wired and jittery from the four cups of coffee I've had today and the 1L of Diet Pepsi I'm currently ingesting. And the Reese's PB Cups, minis. I am going to drop dead from a heart attack on Monday, but at least I will make it to Monday.

Ok, I'm done with the self-pity. Time to tackle the work. I will not breakdown. I am far too old and mature and wise and experienced for that. I will be efficient. So efficient, I will not even have typos so as to waste time hitting the backspace key. Oh well, too late for that.

If you love me, you will send me love. In any form at all. Even if it's comments. Cuz wow, comments make me really happy.

Is that manipulative? That's me!
Learn something new.
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Tuesday, October 18, 2005


I feel old
I’m taking this intermediate climbing class and my instructor has been discussing the possibility of entering competitions. You know, I just got done talking (with my interviewers) about how I gave up taekwondo because I couldn’t dedicate as much time to it as I wanted. And with the focus on competition, there was a lot of time (and emotional energy) dedicated to it and I didn’t want to do it half-assed. But I’ve substituted taekwondo, at least its exercise aspect, with other sports, such as swimming and rock climbing. I do not want to turn rock climbing into the new taekwondo. That would change things too much, and I like it where it is. But there’s a part of me that wants to. What is wrong with me? Why am I so competitive? Why does competition always end up being part of my life? It’s weird.

I’m not going to swim class today so I can get work done for my afternoon class. I’m also feeling really worn out. My body aches everywhere. Shoulders, arms, forearms. I’m also going to miss Thursday’s class. That might put me behind on Thursday, but I’m ok with that. Again, there are people in that class that make me feel competitive. And the whole concept of circle swimming – it’s like there’s always someone chasing you. Blech.

Unfortunately, I can feel myself getting fatter already. Sigh.

Update: today, the things I have eaten include a whopper, french fries, instant ramen, and (now) wine. UGH.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Sunday, October 16, 2005

umm, hello, CREEPY!

Sisters Think Parents Did O.K.
New York Times, 10/16/2005

WHEN they were growing up, Dr. Soo Kim Abboud and Jane Kim used to sit, like many children, in the shopping cart next to the candy racks at the checkout line and wail loudly, hoping that their humiliated mother or father would cave in and shush them with a Snickers bar.

But their parents, who were hard-working middle-class immigrants from Korea, had other ideas. Eventually they set a rule: Read one book from the library this week, receive one candy bar the next. Looking back on it, the sisters are not complaining. Instead, in "Top of the Class: How Asian Parents Raise High Achievers - and How You Can Too" (Berkley), to be published Nov. 1, they applaud their parents' coercions. "We read the book, and we got the candy," said Dr. Abboud, 32, who is a surgeon and clinical assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania medical school. "We didn't go without."

In "Top of the Class" the Kim sisters advise parents who want successful children to raise them just as the Kims did - in strict households in which parents spend hours every day educating their children, where access to pop culture is limited, and where children are taught that their failures reflect poorly on the family.

But while this approach is common in many Asian countries and among many immigrant groups in the United States, it runs counter to an American culture that celebrates if not venerates self-expression and the freedom of youth. (This is, after all, the country that invented the teenager.) And some educators believe such a single-minded focus on achievement can be harmful. "Often I will see Asian-American kids become lost when they get to the university," said Kyeyoung Park, an associate professor of anthropology and Asian studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, who teaches many first-generation Asian students. "They feel disoriented, because they realize they've been sheltered and the world is not as their parents said it was."

Still, the sisters insist that in an age in which competition to succeed has never been greater and American parents are spending thousands of dollars on tutors and counseling for their children, traditional Asian methods are proven to work. They note that students of Asian descent make up about 25 percent of undergraduates at top universities like Stanford and Penn (and 41 percent at the University of California, Berkeley), even though Asians are less than 4 percent of the population, and that as of 2002 Asian-Americans had a median household income about $10,000 higher than the national average.

Part of their motivation for writing the book, the sisters say, was to counter the assumption that Asian students perform better simply because they are smarter. "My sister and I are not exceptionally gifted," said Dr. Abboud. "We're O.K. This is something anyone can do. It doesn't take a lot of money or private schools just to get kids learning on a daily basis."

As children the Kims were not learning on a daily basis, but an hourly one. One daughter's C-minus in biology could cast shame upon them all, so the Kim family reviewed each report card as a group in order to strategize about how each child could address weaknesses. The Kim parents also insisted their daughters come straight home to study after school instead of hanging out with friends (whom they could see on weekends only), and limited each girl to one hour of television a week and 15 minutes on the phone a day.

Every night the girls would complete hours of homework assigned by teachers and then do more lessons with their parents. Even artistic pursuits were approached with achievement in mind. Both girls played the piano and won several prizes.

"Our parents viewed competition as a necessary and unavoidable part of life," explained Ms. Kim, 29, who has a law degree from Temple University and works as an immigration specialist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "They wanted us to embrace, not fear, it."

Dr. Abboud and Ms. Kim, who were educated in public high schools, believe that Asian-Americans succeed in part because Asian parents are willing to sacrifice their own leisure time to micromanage their children's educational progress. While neither woman has children - Dr. Abboud is married to an orthopedic surgeon, Ms. Kim is single - they don't hold back from prescribing parenting advice. "It's tough, because parents are so much more busy now," Dr. Abboud acknowledged. "Not many could do the three hours of teaching that we had. Even we couldn't do that. But you can still do 45 minutes."

They are less understanding about what they view to be a particularly pernicious form of American overindulgence. "Too many parents now are into positive reinforcement for everything," explained Dr. Abboud. "In America people are so scared about doing anything that might negatively impact their children that they applaud every little thing they do. In Asia they expect both effort and results."

Both Kim sisters recall struggling at times with their parents' discipline and expectations. Dr. Abboud said she felt alienated and lonely at times during high school in Raleigh, N.C., and Ms. Kim, who was more gregarious and rebellious, initially wanted to be a writer. Her parents gave her a year after college to pursue it, but after Ms. Kim's efforts to find a job at a magazine foundered, she agreed to go to law school. Today she is happy she did. "American parents will say, 'Do whatever makes you happy, even if the talent isn't there,' " Ms. Kim said. "You need a reality check."

The Kim parents moved from South Korea to Los Angeles in 1971 so Mr. Kim could study computer science at the University of Southern California and pursue a more comfortable life in this country. Mr. Kim, who had been a math teacher in Korea, arrived in the United States with only a few hundred dollars and went to work as a janitor for a time to make ends meet before eventually finding work as a network manager in telecommunications. His wife, Dae Kim, worked 14-hour days as a seamstress before Soo was born.

For immigrants like the Kim parents, pursuing a life organized around the single principle of career achievement makes a certain sense because their children will be rewarded by better lives. Still, the relentless pressure to succeed can backfire. Peter A. Spevak, a psychologist who runs the Center for Applied Motivation in Rockville, Md., where he strives to help patients build career success, says that children who are pushed too hard may eventually prosper but can end up being "very frustrated" adults who feel like they "missed their own childhood."

"They can become a successful attorney," Dr. Spevak said, "but there's an emptiness to them."

The authors themselves acknowledge that Asian career values can be hazardous to one's health if taken to an extreme degree, as in Japan, where pressures to excel in an exam-focused educational system have been linked with high dropout rates, social withdrawal and suicide. "That's one stereotype we don't want to perpetuate," said Dr. Abboud, who said rules of the house should be strict but not oppressive.

Without even considering the psychic costs, American readers might find the book's narrow definition of success myopic in a country with such a vast plate of career options to sample from. Even some first-generation Asian-Americans do.

One such person is Minya Oh, a host for the New York radio station Hot 97 who goes by the on-air name Miss Info. Ms. Oh grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where her Korean-born parents owned a toy store. Like the Kims, the Oh parents pushed their daughter relentlessly and hoped that the academic intensity found at the nearby University of Chicago would rub off on her. They tirelessly attempted to steer her toward a career as an architect, she said, even though she had no interest in math or buildings.

Unfortunately for her parents, it was the rap music she heard around the neighborhood, not the hushed conversation on the campus, that made Ms. Oh prick up her ears. Her parents, she said, were gravely concerned when she decided to pursue her love of hip-hop as a career. They still are. After a decade of writing for magazines and appearing on radio and television, Ms. Oh still must endure her mother's reminders that it is not too late for, say, law school. The needling still rankles Ms. Oh, who said she considers herself a rebel against the old-world Asian success ethic.

But she is not sure her voice would be heard daily by 2.2 million listeners without it.

"Even when you rebel as a Korean-American child, you can only rebel so much," Ms. Oh said. "You have no option of absolutely falling off the overachiever wagon and being a schlump."

I've talked to my cousin, who is also, umm, Asian, about this and we both agree that this book is retarded and is going to be slammed left and right. So I will let them do it and just offer it here for your entertainment. And conclude by saying, my childhood was NOTHING like these chicks' childhoods. And this book doesn't help anyone; I already got plenty of the, "Oh, she's Asian that's why she's good at math" stuff growing up. Grr.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

the procrastinating post, part the 47th
My apartment is DISGUSTING. I have socks here and there, even bras. Piles of books and papers. Dust bunnies that are more like dust dinosaurs. And I got a new desk chair in the mail and so there are boxes in here, too. There's even more stuff in the kitchen waiting to be taken down to the garbage and/or recycling shed. With the weather, I've been reluctant to go back there. Actually, I'm always reluctant to go back there.

But let me talk about this desk chair some more. My old one was making my ass hurt so I got kinda drunk one night a few weeks ago and ordered a new one. And I assembled it yesterday. Holy crap, my ass has found heaven. Unfortunately, my floor is hardwood and very angled and the pressure of me highlighting a sentence in my reading was sufficient to start me rolling across the room. Very uncool. But I just took a rug and put it under me and that seems to create enough friction.

I'm sequestered. The rain has stopped, but my moot court memo is due on Monday. Then next weekend I'll be sequesterd for a paper and a final. Then the next weekend I will have to write 5-pages for my note for my journal.

I'm thinking, November, I'm going on a bender and renewing my friendships. And taking out the trash and recycling, and picking up my socks and such.

Neolithic Chinese Used Their Noodles
By Thomas H. Maugh II and Karen Kaplan
LA Times Staff Writers

October 13, 2005

Long and stringy, chewy or delicate, stuffed or hollow: In all its configurations, the humble noodle is a primary food source for billions of people, but its origins have been obscured by the mists of time.

The Italians claim they created the noodle as the perfect complement for tomato sauces; the Chinese say the Italians got it from them, via Marco Polo; Arabs claim its creation as an easily stored foodstuff suitable for long treks in the desert. The Japanese, Koreans, French and even the Germans have also claimed the noodle as their own.

Chinese researchers may have finally settled the contentious question after unearthing a 4,000-year-old container of noodles in northwestern China, according to a report in today's issue of the journal Nature.

The easily recognizable noodles are far older than any that have previously been discovered and predate the first written mention of noodles by at least 2,000 years, said archeologist Houyuan Lu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, who led the team.

"I can't imagine a more conclusive piece of evidence than this," said Ming Tsai, a celebrated Chinese fusion chef who owns the Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Mass.

"This find definitely proves that the Chinese were making noodles way before the Italian Marco Polo came," said television chef Martin Yan. "I take pride in that, even though I have a lot of Italian friends."

Archeologists have found other foods from the deep past — the dregs of 9,000-year-old wine in China and hearths for bread-making in the Middle East 23,000 years ago.

The noodles are the oldest prepared food found intact.

"You often hear about ingredients being found, whether it is corn or ancient grains, but it is not too often that you hear about something as complex as noodles," said Greg Drescher, senior director of the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa Valley.

Although the ancient noodles were similar in shape to their modern counterparts, their composition was quite different. Most noodles today are made from wheat or rice, but the Chinese noodles were made from millet, a type of cereal grass that has been cultivated in the country for more than 7,000 years and that is still a mainstay of the diet in arid regions of the north.

That discovery confirms work by archeologist Gary Crawford of the University of Toronto at Mississauga, whose efforts at other Chinese sites dating from the same period also show a high reliance on millet. That may explain, he said, why archeologists often find no grain seeds at some sites: The grains were crushed into flour and made into noodles.

The noodles were discovered in the excavation of the site known as Lajia on the upper reaches of the Yellow River in Qinghai province. Lu's team has been digging there for several years and has found the remains of a Neolithic village.

The excavations have revealed the remains of many houses containing human skeletons, pottery, stone and jade artifacts, and animal bones, Lu said in an e-mail message. The condition of the artifacts suggests that the region suffered a major earthquake, followed by flooding that buried the village relatively intact.

Earlier this year, Lu said, the team found a well-preserved bowl buried upside down in a fine, brownish-yellow clay. When they removed the bowl, the lid remained behind, buried in a cone of silt. Lying on top of the cone was a fist-sized mass of noodles.

"Apparently, an empty space existed between the bottom of the bowl and the top of the in-filled sediment cone, preventing the noodles from being crushed by the weight of the sediment," Lu said. "The empty space must have become tightly sealed and [oxygen-free], allowing excellent preservation for 4,000 years."

The noodles are delicate, about 20 inches long, and yellow. They resemble noodles called la mian, which are made by repeatedly stretching the dough by hand.

Examining starch grains and mineral deposits called phytoliths in the noodles, the team determined that they had been prepared from millet, a tough plant that grows well in hot, dry climates.

The finding lends credence to the belief that early civilization in that region was supported by the domestication of millet, and that the use of other grains arose much later in Chinese history, Lu said.

Tsai doesn't think it would have taken a technological breakthrough to produce the first noodle.

"It's two ingredients, flour and water," he said. "They discovered the grain, and they knew they could grind it. They figured out that when you ate the flour directly, it was nasty. Any cook with any sense would say, 'Let's mix it with something.' Then someone figured that if they cooked it, it would be edible."

Not everyone agrees that this is proof the Chinese invented noodles.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of the public radio show the Splendid Table, thinks they were probably invented many times by many people.

"I think the noodle has been a solution for people, in one form or another, over much of the world," she said.

So, does it matter, ultimately, who invented noodles?

"No," Kasper said. "What does matter is that they exist, and they've existed as a way of preserving nourishment for a very, very long time. That I find exciting."

Friday, October 14, 2005

raindrops keep falling on my head ... and shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes
yes, sir, it IS possible for it to rain for two weeks twice in one year. twice in six months. this weather blows.

have you heard that coldplay song "fix you"? the song creeps me out. it's melodic and beautiful, but the concept of another human fixing me? i don't want to be in that type of relationship. maybe i'm just reading too much into it. anyways, here are a few verse:

When you try your best but you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need
When you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse

And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
could it be worse?

Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you

and yeah, i'm reverting back to improper capitalization. at least for today. i want nothing more than to go back to bed.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I return.
There are about 20 things I should be doing instead of blogging, but here I am.

Let's start with the end. Many years ago, I swore to myself never to fly America West ever again. Every time I fly them, I ended up sleeping in the Las Vegas airport or with lost luggage or at least 2 hours late. Unfortunately, America West codeshares with one of my favorite airlines, Continental. I used my Continental frequent flyer miles to get my fat ass to Tucson, which resulted in a few legs of my travels on America West. Well, my flight from Houston to Boston was delayed twice for a total of two hours. And then when I got to Boston, my bag was nowhere to be found. It turns out that it was sent to Phoenix instead of Houston from Tucson.

The inauspicious end aside, my trip was fantastic.

When I first arrived in Tucson, the heat was stifling. Dry, but 90s. The heat broke on Saturday around noon, with some thundershowers, which put a serious damper on our plans to go rock climbing. But the rain stopped and while we never did find those rock climbers, either b/c we literally couldn't find them or b/c they had gone home, we did take a short and lovely hike. At about 8500 feet. Huff, puff.

Sunday I went rock climbing with a guide from Rocks and Ropes, a climbing gym in Tucson. We were out for about 4 to 5 hours and did six climbs. I could gush on and on about how lovely it was, but suffice it to say, climbing outdoors is a completely different experience than climbing indoors. And I'm excited to bring my newfound enthusiasm and confidence to our climbing wall at school. Besides that, it would have been a perfectly pleasant morning even if we weren't climbing. The breeze was perfect, and we were in this shady gully with actual running water. (Tucson IS a desert, and the mountains aren't much wetter.) Then, after a nap, one friend and I went to see my other Tucsonian friend play in a roller derby scrimmage. It was so hot and I want to play so badly. But if I have the time to dedicate to that, I would have the time for taekwondo, so no roller derby for me.

I went out Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. Some nights were more raucous than others (read: there was more alcohol). But nothing too crazy. It was just great to visit with friends, be in a place where I made myself not think about homework, and just have fun. With cheap drinks. And great Mexican food. Real, authentic, beans-with-lard Mexican food. Now I have to lose those 10 pounds I put on. And catch up on all that work I didn't do. Moot Court. Etc. Bah.

But it was so worth it.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

a quickie
The climbing with the UofA group was thwarted by a sudden downpour and an inability to find the climbing site. So I'm paying a dude to take me climbing tomorrow. Unfortunately, my friend can't come, but I'm sure "Luke" and I will have a lovely morning.

OK, gotta go drink some beers and drinks around town!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Jennifer Garner is dead to me. She had to go and have this crazy relationship with Ben Affleck and get knocked up and drive away the only good thing about Alias: Michael Vartan. Could the man BE any hotter? No. Could Jennifer Garner be MORE annoying? No. Grrr. If she drove him to MY arms, however, that would be a whole 'nother story.