off to chicago!

Have a great week all! I'm not sure if I'll have time to post while I am out there, but I'll try!


shake a fist! procrastination

Why am I such a big procrastinator? I thought I had shaken most of the procrastinating bones out of my system, but now I find myself waiting until the very last minute to finish an essay required for one of my law school applications! I've actually been very good about things in the past few years, so I'll chalk it up to the fact that it's been years since I wrote any essay of substance (aside from my personal statement, which was a grueling and time-consuming piece of work spread out across two years). At least it prepares me for the many papers I'll have to write in law school.

One thing I really need to work on is typing, as I am much more accustomed to writing by hand (at least in high school and for my one history essay sophomore year of college). Surprisingly, Mavis Beacon is gradually increasing my typing ability, or at least helping me get used to not looking at the keyboard when I type (I still don't type with the correct fingers 100% percent of the time). I feel so grown up when I type a sentence without looking at the keyboard!

- Promo video for the new Microsoft Origami (found on CNET's blog)
- The first woman (plus 18 others) elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
- One L.A. family's trip to NYC. I still can't believe I live here!
- D&D goes online. Seriously, how can they expect to compete with World of Warcraft using dice graphics?
- Current events on Wikipedia. It's got a good mix of all kinds of stuff (today - Taiwan, bank robberies, Da Vinci Code!)


asdf jkl; ajkl lsdf

i finally installed mavis beacon teaches typing on my mac, so don't be surprised to see some uppercase letters now that i am learning how to type the "official way." i figure there's a good chance i'll have to type a few papers in law school, so better start working on those typing skills now.

- coming soon, the new age of dvd
- goodbye barney fife...
- see how much any house is worth (almost a bit scary...)
- 1 billionth song sold on itunes - coldplay's "speed of sound." i was really hoping it would be something funny like color me badd or vanilla ice... what a prize payout (10 ipods, imac, named scholarship + 10k)!
- google's doodles
- from gothamist: malcolm gladwell's blog!

montreal recap

so i was hoping to bum off someone else's blog for a weekend recap, but since they are lagging (gerald has started putting up detailed posts here and here), here's my montreal weekend in a nutshell:

friday 2/17
- went shopping at the brooklyn target for snacks, cd/tape converter, and games

saturday 2/18
- woke up at 8AM to pack, although we didn't actually hit the road until 11AM
- we stop for lunch near the woodbury outlets at around 2PM (normally an hour's drive outside of manhattan). janet braved crazy new york traffic, and kept her cool even though new jersey has the worst signage ever.
- i take over driving duties, at least until we hit the adironback mountains and run out of gas. susana and francis hitch a ride to the nearest gas station with a friendly crazy looking old man, returning with a gas container which francis uses to fill the tank with no gloves on, in sub-zero (fahrenheit) temperature (thanks francis!).
- gerald drives the remainder of the way to montreal, making good time aside from a speeding ticket issued by a very unfriendly new york state trooper.
- arrive at the border. my passport picture is agreed upon as the worst.
- we arrive just in time for dinner at garcon (after pushing our reservations back to 9PM).
- after a great dinner (lobster bisque and chilean sea bass for me), we check in at the starwood hotel (thanks to susana!). it's been colder here than in any time in new york!
- head down to the bar for beer and pool. francis and susana beats janet and i soundly. the non-engineer in the group is far and away the best in this game of angles and force.
- we play a few games of boggle. i don't experience my usual domination, as francis has actually played similar games before and is very good. gerald and susana, not so much.
- janet and susana take one bed, francis and i take the other, and gerald hits the floor as we are all thoroughly exhausted.

sunday 2/19
- we kick off the day with a feast at beauty's where we ordered nearly everything on the menu. it was all delicious, and even better, dirt cheap!
- next up, mont royal. i stepped out for a minute to snap a few shots, then retreated back into the warm car where i quickly fell asleep for the rest of the mountain tour.
- time to go shopping! gerald, francis and i split off from the girls, and proceeded to pick up some apparel at roots (a canadian sporting good store) and mini-hockey jerseys at mcdonald's.
- night is falling as we head to schwartz to sample their famous smoked meats. similar to our meal at beauty's we order tons of food, which is again delicious and inexpensive. $4.55 canadian for a monster sandwich - just like at katz's deli (but with smoked meat rather than pastrami)!
- after dinner we take a driving tour of old montreal. it was nice but nothing worth writing home (or extensively on the blog) about.
- finally head back to the hotel. i think there was another driving snafu on the way back, but i was sound asleep in the back seat.
- susana wins the most excrutiating game of of uno ever! next time we adhere strictly to the printed rules (no more picking up 20+ cards!).
- this time i hit the floor as we are once again exhausted.

monday 2/20
- we wake up early and hit the road around 11AM.
- quick stop at the duty-free shop at the border to exchange our remaining canadian cash.
- lunch at kfc.
- a one hour stop turns into three hours at the woodbury outlet. they did have some very good stores though, possibly the best outlet i've ever been to.
- i finally arrive home at 11 PM. thanks to gerald, susana, francis, and last but not least, janet (our driver and other birthday boy/girl!) for a fantastic weekend!


taking advantage

i've decided to take more initiative in exploring new york city's culinary delights. with the law school looming, and the possibility that i may only be in the city for a few more months, now is the time for me to dine to the fullest. with that in mind, i had lunch today with gerald at blue ribbon bakery. here's a list of a few more places i'd like to try in the next few months:

- peter luger steakhouse
- lombardi's pizza
- grimaldi's pizza
- yama sushi

please feel free to send recommendations!

on the web:
- david sedaris is funny. click now before the link turns into something else!
- while shopping in soho, i passed a crazy line at kid robot.
- bert knows i'm a sucker for inspirational sports stories.


african american history meal

in honor of african american history month, today our cafeteria served up its tribute to soul food. i went with seafood gumbo, bbq pork ribs, collard greens and sweet potatoes, although also on the menu was macaroni and cheese, spicy rice, chicken and shrimp etoufee, cornmeal battered catfish fingers and fried filet of flounder with hush puppies.

the portions may have been a bit meager (only two ribs!), but it was pretty tasty. as i've mentioned earlier, our gourmet cafeteria is pretty satisfying. the only downside to having a great cafeteria is never leaving the building during the day. but i guess it's still better than the lunch options we had at build (although athena cafe had a fabulous egg salad).

- thanks rachel for the heads up about new york's anthrax scare (on her street two blocks away!)
- it was really interesting reading google's official testimony about the internet in china
- kudos to venture capitalists supporting educational entrepreneurs! mentioned in the article is aspire public schools, which has been a great supporter of build (yay lionel wilson prep!)


"falling apart"

my sister sent me an album by the lovemakers and i can't get the song "falling apart" out of my head. not that i'm falling apart (i have no idea what the lyrics are about), but the track is so upbeat and catchy that i keep nodding my head to the rhythm at my desk. i doubt this looks any funnier than the faces i catch myself making when i'm working on the computer.

- google puts up $1 billion for social entrepreneurship! go them!
- had i applied to boalt, this would have sucked
- for susana - a north korean musical
- l.a. traffic really is this bad


escape from new york!

i'm back! this weekend's 60 hour road trip to montreal was a blast! aside from the occasional car problem (getting lost, running out of gas, speeding ticket, etc.), all of us thoroughly enjoyed the long weekend as we stuffed ourselves silly all weekend (with the occasional shopping and sightseeing in between meals).

i'll try to post a more detailed recap soon, but for now, check this stuff out on the web:

- don't judge a steak by it's color
- tribeca film festival: 4/25 - 5/7
- a new new york comic convention! my friend bobby will be there promoting his own art studio!
- what to do with all the crap on the sidewalk
- art spiegelman, one of my favorite graphic novelists, speaks in the bay area
- the california state bar is tough. that means extra props to my friends/family who passed (mark, wilson and joey!)
- worms attack apples!


montreal or le burst!

tomorrow morning (really in just a few hours), janet, susana, francis, gerald and i will embark on a weekend-long road trip to the french-canadien city of montreal! i have no idea what to expect, but tonight one of monica's friends said there are only two word worth knowing to have fun in montreal: full contact.

anyways, i probably won't be checking my email often, much less posting here, so everyone please have a great, fun, safe president's day weekend!


i love a good story

today i started reading haroun and the sea of stories. salman rushdie has got to be one of my favorite authors in recent memory. i first heard of him as the guy who had a death sentence placed on him thanks to the satanic verses, but listening to the ground beneath her feet (i love audiobooks!) made me a big fan of his graceful and imaginative writing.

the berkeley rep actually did a small production of haroun a few years ago, and although i was bummed to miss that, i was excited when i picked up a used copy of the book a few weeks ago. so far, i have not been disappointed by this tale haroun, the son of a storyteller, written by rushdie, a fantastic storyteller himself.

in other news:
- pillow fight, then nap. only in sf (which is why i still miss it)
- anyone else want to go to this 826nyc event?
- survey says more girls on the internet than guys
- trouble brewing at in-and-out?
- stanford core mission of "of rocking out and bringing funk to the funkless"?


blogs and books

blogs: posted on gothamist was an interesting article about blogging in new york magazine, "blogs to riches." although i don't intend (or even expect in my wildest dreams) to make any money off my blog, it's still a great way for me to express my thoughts and opinions to the general public. i've never had my own website (i could never figure out html well enough), but i'm glad i started posting to the internet as it's highly therapeutic for me.

as usual, i am jumping on the bandwagon late, only now discovering many of my friend's xanga blogs from college. other tech trends that i eventually caught on to were: email (sophomore year of college), downloading music (two weeks before napster was shut down), instant messaging (not until my first job after college), and digital cameras (last spring).

books: this morning on the train i finished goodbye, columbus. recently i've learned much about the jewish-american culture, having read everything is illuminated, goodbye, columbus, the contract with god trilogy (the first graphic novel ever published, written and illustrated by the great will eisner), and recent articles in the new yorker about israel and ariel sharon. i never knew much about anything jewish, but now have a much better sense of their history and culture. i also felt this same enlightment with the indian-american culture, after interpreter of maladies, god of small things and the ground beneath her feet.

what i'm looking for now is great fiction about the chinese-american culture. i would love to find something engaging and insightful about the chinese-american experience, so please send any recommendations my way (no amy tan books please).


valentine's day

for all of us single people out there (and those who secretly wish they were single), here's my favorite blog about socializing with the opposite sex: lepper messiah speaks

i haven't decided what to do tonight, but i think i need to take a break from world of warcraft (still not entirely sure though).

my leg hurts

wow, last night i had one of those crazy leg cramps in the middle of the night. i felt it coming and attempted too late to massage the cramp into not lumping up into one tough, painful knot. now my left calf is tight and tender, and it doesn't help that on my way to work i was constantly trudging through muddy snow and hopping over dirty puddles.

in other news, i give a big thumbs up to gmail's new chat-as-you-email feature. early on it was a bit buggy, freezing my inbox and dropping connections mid-chat, but now it seems to be more stable. it's a great way to drop a quick note to someone, without having to have an messaging client installed or sending them an email. along with their labeling system and conversation organization, the gmail+talk feature is just one more reason why google is now my preferred internet email provider.

of course, as long as yahoo! continues to support my fantasy sports addiction, they don't need to worry about losing my business (plus i love the my yahoo! portal and they recently bought flickr, one of my favorite sites to browse).

bye bye social life!

hello world of warcraft! thanks to yong-min, who flew in to town from sf just to show me how to play. he also did some sightseeing on the side, but either way it was good to see him.

ok, gotta go back to slaying beasts and completing quests!


i asked for it

the blizzard of '06! i guess it was good timing on my part to install world of warcraft yesterday, as it looks like i'll be spending a lot of time at home with the big snowstorm going on right now. at least now i won't feel guilty staying cooped up in my room playing games.

my cousin winnie just told me there's 22 inches of snow in central park!

my first snowstorm

finally snow! it looks like we may even get 12 inches tonight! braving the weather, i went out with mike and had an awesome time tonight. new york nightlife is great, and the people are always so friendly (with the exception of one bouncer).

i did feel sorry for everyone trying to catch a cab out of the city tonight, and felt very fortunate to live downton and within walking distance of train stop from the lower east side.

i'll shoot for a weekend update tomorrow.


go bears!

cal 65, stanford 62! with this victory, we claim sole posession of 2nd place in the pac-10 at 15-6 (9-3 in conference play). go bears and boo cardinals (except for my friend and former boss suzanne, whom stanford law school is lucky to have as a lecturer)!

also, fantasy baseball is back! if you really want to see how much i love fantasy, you can view my yahoo! sports profile. still searching for a first place win in a money league!

stop what you're thinking!

i had this great long post written at work, but since i was in such a rush to leave at 11:45pm i forgot to publish it before i left. in the spirit of what i wrote about, i will attempt to keep this simple.

this post was inspired by neil klugman, who constantly questions and doubts the sincerity of his girlfriend, although from what i see, she's done nothing to deserve his suspicion. of course, internal fears and insecurity are natural, especially at the outset of a relationship. i'll be the first to admit i get insecure, especially when it's that someone you really like like, not just like.

then again, i don't get it to the point of secretly meeting in a hotel, then fighting and screaming before storming off to who knows where. unfortunately, that's where i left off when i arrived at work, so i'll have to wait until tomorrow to see what finally happens. i hope neil and brenda get back together again! basically, neil (and i) need to learn to keep things simple, stop over-analyzing and just take things as they come. i've gotten pretty good at it at most things in life, but dammit, girls always throw me for a loop.


record haul!

this is so exciting i don't know how i forgot to post about it on tuesday! with one smooth turn of the handle, i got 12 m&ms (one double peanut!) for one quarter out of the candy machine! everyone at build knows how exciting this is, as i averaged only 6 m&m per $0.25, with all-time highs of only 7. had i known i would be "sweet vendings" biggest customer, i would've modified the machine to be a little more generous when i assembled it.

anyways, here's a pic of the magnificent dozen.


and i guess it's not really that exciting.


oh, the anticipation

i really hate it when i'm watching or reading something and i get the feeling things are just too good to last, that there's something horrible or painful or sad coming right around the corner. why can't everything just be good all the time (or at least just not end terribly)?

goodbye, columbus is the story of two kids who "meet one summer break and dive into an affair that is as much about social class and suspicion as it is about love." granted, that serves as a tip-off that things will not be 100% rosy, but still, i didn't expect the good to be so great! maybe i'm just a romantic, or more likely, a sucker for the blooming of relationships. there's nothing better than the first moment you realize: this is the beginning of something special. when you're heart starts beating fast, your palms get sweaty, and the only thought that can stay anchored in your mind is that someone and you together again...

even if it's not me that's falling in love, the fact that someone else is enthralls me enough that yesterday i missed the subway stop on my way from the gym to gerald's house. i ended up taking a quick detour, exiting 23rd st and walking the rest of the way with a quick break for three slices of pizza (i was hungry after working out, and i couldn't wait to read what would happen next).

well, it's time for me to go home so i've got to wrap up this post (which really began three hours ago at around 7:30pm, with minor additions about every 15 minutes until now). good night!



finished reading: the final solution: a story of detection
started reading: a contract with god trilogy (at home), goodbye, columbus (on the road)
added to my playlist: the delgados, the new pornographers, the lovemakers
installed on my computer: world of warcraft
upcoming trips: montreal (2/18 - 2/20), chicago (2/28 - 3/4), los angeles (3/16 - 3/18), los angeles (~6/29 - 7/3)
things i want to do soon: christie's auction (2/10), lower east side tenement museum (???), watch a movie at the ifc
noticed [correction]: amazon has not discontinued their (pi/2)% a9 discount. save 1.57% on every purchase by using their search engine!

another two bite the dust

right on the heels of danielle and edwin's engagement, i am proud to congratulate two other pairs of newly engaged friends - jason and misty, and trixia and chris! that's such wonderful news (but guys, really - are you sure?)! i wish i could be out in sf to celebrate (j, chris - this is it! are you really ready?)! but i'm sure i'll see you all soon enough (crazy! marriage is such a big step! bachelor life, game over!).

i miss all of you out in san francisco!


sloooooooow day at work

a sunday spent exporting data, running modules, generating content, populating fields and re-indexing databases...

thank goodness for the internet:

- from francis - funny video one and two
- neat post about the cool new buildings in beijing courtesy of julia
- threadless, which i heard about from tien

and music:

- in between dreams (jack johnson)
- c'mon miracle (mirah)
- plans (death cab for cutie)

why is it only five o'clock! 90 more minutes...

all you bay area movie lovers

my favorite film festival, the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, has put out a call for volunteers. i've volunteered numerous times, as it's a great way to get involved and support a great event and organization. for more info, visit their volunteering page. i've helped with gala events, press screenings, and just plain old guest services.

while we're on topic, i'd like to say that i love film festivals. san francisco has some great ones (such as the sf indie film festival, currently ongoing), and i'm really looking forward to the film festivals out here in nyc, such as the tribeca film festival and the ny international children's film festival. not a festival, but movie-related, i'm also hoping to visit the museum of moving images soon.

can't.... stop... must... buy... books...

along with role playing games, another of my vices is book buying. although i am a vehement supporter of public libraries, i just love owning my copies of books. as most of you probably know, large book collection = pain in the ass when moving, so i told myself to be frugal when it came to buying books in new york. unfortunately, i just cannot resist the allure of browsing small used-book stores.

last thursday morning, i stumbled across a tiny little used bookstore on my way to tour the cardozo law school campus. having time to spare, i was just going to take a quick look before moving on. of course, twenty minutes later i walked out with two books that had been on my "to read" list - fortress of solitude and haroun and the sea of stories, both at under $6 apiece!

on the topic of books, i had just finished reading everything is illuminated (also bought used for under $5), which was the story of a young man's quest to dig into his family's past, with great use of the written language to switch between jonathan, the main character, and alex, his translator. this light-heartedness was offset by haunting descriptions of pre-war ukraine, with stories both realistic and imaginary. i actually learned that morning jonathan safran foer was doing a reading in brooklyn at 12pm that day, but was bummed because i couldn't make it.

right now, i am thoroughly enjoying the final solution, by michael chabon, the author of one of my favorite pieces of literary fiction, the amazing adventures of kavalier and clay. it's the story of an old sherlock holmes in retirement, and definitely made more enjoyable after reading many of the original sherlock holmes in europe a few years ago.

if you're out here in new york, please let me know if you'd like to borrow any of my books, i'm always happy to put them to good use!

it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

it's a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
a beautiful day for a neighbor,
would you be mine?
could you be mine?

hi blog reader, I'm glad we're together again... it's been a while since i've last posted, but i have to comment on what a truly beautiful day it is today. nice and sunny, not too hot, not too cold, morning signs show the makings of a perfect sunday afternoon. days like these i love to read a good book out in the park, run a few miles, or check out a museum, or even just sit somewhere and people watch. life is all about taking advantage of days like today.

but dammit, i have to work! shake a fist!

back to the lyrics:

It's a neighborly day in this beautywood,
A neighborly day for a beauty,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?

I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
I've always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

So let's make the most of this beautiful day,
Since we're together, we might as well say,
Would you be mine?
Could you be mine?
Won't you be my neighbor?

Won't you please,
Won't you please,
Please won't you be my neighbor?


do i dare?

last week i picked up a copy of world of warcraft, as i have a hard time resisting anything on sale (only $30 at target!). however, i have serious reservations about actually installing it onto my computer, as i have a tendency to get majorly addicted to games.

i've always loved rpgs (role playing games). the early days consisted of the full-text zorks, followed by interplay's dragon wars (the sequel of bard's tale iii), and the classic d&d trilogy of pool of radiance, curse of the azure bonds and secret of the silver blades. then came a period of time where all i played was koei's bandit kings of ancient china and civilization i.

in high school i stopped playing computer games, but picked up an even costlier addiction - magic the gathering. known as "cardboard crack," i was an undercover magic junkie for years, secretly squeezing in a game during lunch in the physics classroom or attending tournaments on weekends at the local game store. by the time senior year rolled around however, i had kicked the habit in favor of playing ball, working out and actually socializing with others.

i was finally off games fo the first time in years, and things were good. college was a blast, i was staying fit, hanging out, and doing what normal college students do (except not studying enough, or is that normal too?). then came the granddaddy of all rpg time-killers - final fantasy tactics. i loved that game to the effect of at least 20 hours a week for a few months.

next was starcraft. i quit that cold turkey right before finals after wasting many hours playing all the random online group variations (my favorite was starship troopers). then came the first mmorpg, ultima online. unfortunate (but probably fortunately) my account got hacked and i logged in to find my character naked but for a pair of tighty whiteys and in a city i had never been to. i literally ran around in my underwear (the game character, not me, although i could've been in just a pair of underwear as i often locked my self up in my room and would play until 4 or 5 am) until some nice online player gave me clothes to wear and told me where i was.

that experience tempered my gaming urge until i discovered magic online. all the fun of playing magic, without having to sit in a stuffy, smelly gaming room, playing with weird, unsanitary 30-year-old virgins and 12-year-olds lost in their trenchcoats! i was hooked. i went through hundreds of dollars and months and months, until i finally met devy and put away the gaming for good.

but now i'm single again, and economically, playing wow could actually save me money if i end up sequestering myself in my bedroom every weekend. do i create my warrior character and risk letting it eradicate my social life in nyc along with the assorted goblins and kobolds? or do i just let the game sit on my shelf, waiting for a rainy weekend to unwrap it?


back in the driver's seat

ah, to drive again. aside from the pleasant feeling of being behind the wheel, it was also comforting knowing that in california, traffic rules once again actually matter. for as long as i can remember, i experience intense nervousness and paranoia whenever i ride with crazy drivers. however, after just two months in nyc, i can now focus on a point far in the distance, ignoring how miniscule the defensive driving safety zone is, or how we are not staying the dmv-recommended number of car-lengths behind the car in front of us.

another thing i had missed about driving in california is listening to npr. with a one-hour commute each way to my previous job, i was a public radio/audiobook junkie. my favorite show during the week was fresh air, while on the weekends it would be a treat when i caught either car talk or wait wait -- don't tell me. both of these show are not only very funny, but informative as well. a great way to learn something new about cars, or catch up on the past week's current events.

most of my time in la was spent hanging out with family and friends. as an early birthday present my mom bought me a new pair of running shoes from run with us, which my sister believes is the only running store in pasadena. i had wanted new shoes for a long time, but was unable to find a running store in nyc. in sf, there's gotta be at least 8-10 different stores that are solely dedicated to running/cycling. i also got a runner's fanny pack, so i can finally go on long-distance runs without having to worry about where the next hygenic water fountain was.

in addition to receiving an early birthday gift, my visit also coincided with chinese new year. it had been a while since i last received a red envelope, as i have not been back for the occasion in years, but i reaped the rewards of being home this time.

the one thing i didn't do in los angeles was get in-and-out. the truth is, i missed the nyc shwarmas a lot more. maybe yatagan tonight?

burning the midnight oil!

is that the right term? i was hoping to ease back into work today
(yesterday) but it's 2:00am and I'm still toiling away! shake a fist!