Friday, January 30, 2004

oh Krugman, i think i love you

this may be the one point on which my views fall perfectly in line with Paul Krugman's:

...Of course, most people don't feel that their taxes have fallen sharply. And they're right: taxes that fall mainly on middle-income Americans, like the payroll tax, are still near historic highs. The decline in revenue has come almost entirely from taxes that are mostly paid by the richest 5 percent of families: the personal income tax and the corporate profits tax. These taxes combined now take a smaller share of national income than in any year since World War II.

This decline in tax collections from the wealthy is partly the result of the Bush tax cuts, which account for more than half of this year's projected deficit. But it also probably reflects an epidemic of tax avoidance and evasion. Everyone who wants to understand what's happening to the tax system should read "Perfectly Legal," the new book by David Cay Johnston, The Times's tax reporter, who shows how ideologues have made America safe for wealthy people who don't feel like paying taxes....

And this was part of a larger con. What's playing out in America right now is the bait-and-switch strategy known on the right as "starve the beast." The ultimate goal is to slash government programs that help the poor and the middle class, and use the savings to cut taxes for the rich. But the public would never vote for that.

So the right has used deceptive salesmanship to undermine tax enforcement and push through upper-income tax cuts. And now that deficits have emerged, the right insists that they are the result of runaway spending, which must be curbed.

While this strategy has been remarkably successful so far, it also offers a big opportunity to the opposition. So here's a test for the Democratic contenders: details of your proposals aside, which of you can do the best job explaining the ongoing budget con to the American people?


Originally published in The New York Times, 1.27.04

while you're at it, take a gander at this archive of his works: The Unofficial Paul Krugman Page.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

geeez.

the guy sitting next to me in duncan's class is fast asleep and on the verge of snoring. -rolls eyes-

The West Wing

NBC, for reasons unknown, has decided to stop in the middle of season five of The West Wing and show reruns from the beginning of season five. until next week, that is, when they will show us 'five new episodes in a row!' -hopefully not all next wednesday night but instead five weeks in a row. who knows, with NBC. bah.

but, deprived of my West Wing fix for the night, i came online and looked up fansites, and found this one which has hilarious quotes from the first season [i haven't looked at the others yet, since i haven't watched every episode. i'm working on season one on dvd. mmm. =)] like:

CJ: Is there anything I can say, other than the President rode his bicycle into a tree?

Leo: He hopes never to do it again.

CJ: Seriously. They’re laughing pretty hard.

Leo: He rode his bicycle into a tree, CJ. What do you want me to -- “The President, while riding a bicycle on his vacation in Jackson Hole, came to a sudden arboreal stop” -- What do you want from me?

from the pilot episode, and:

Bartlet: CJ, on your tombstone, it's going to read post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

CJ: Okay, but none of my visitors are going to be able to understand my tombstone.

Bartlet: Twenty-seven lawyers in the room, anybody know post hoc, ergo propter hoc? Josh?

Josh: Uh, post, after. After hoc. Ergo, therefore. After hoc, therefore something else hoc.

Bartlet: Thank you. Next?

from the second episode, titled, of course, Post Hoc, Ergo Prompter Hoc.

everyone should watch this show. it's great. it's the one great hope that television can actually entertain while engaging the mind. what a novel idea. =)


Monday, January 26, 2004

copyright laws and other techie things

i love the New York Times Magazine. it's chock full of great stuff to read at the brunch table every sunday, and offers me full length articles about some of my favourite things, like food. -grin- this week, two articles in particular worth reading over, esp those of you interested in copyright law like the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, or DMCA. which is getting a lot of flack, perhaps deservedly, for being entirely too sweeping and under the control of special interests IE big corporations rather than the lowly independent voice. anyways, here they are:

The Tyranny of Copyright and this week's Consumed: The Treo 600.

even as a non-techie geek i am fascinated by things like the Treo and Blackberry and the ipod. heehee. i can't wait to get my hands on an ipod...=)

Saturday, January 24, 2004

i might as well have a new computer, because everything on this one has been wiped in the process of fixing what was wrong with it previously. i have some data backed up somewhere, but otherwise all the programs like ICQ and AIM, microsoft office, that kind of thing essential to my life - they've been erased and need to be reinstated.

so forgive me if for the next couple of days this page is filled with profanity and indignation at the stupidity of microsoft corporation.

and those of you who regularly read my blog and have blogs of your own that i usually stop by, please drop me a line and let me know where that blog is -with the exception of adrian, and people who are linked off adrian, because i know who you are and where. in particular, RYAN, where is your blog?? -grin-

Friday, January 23, 2004

ok, clearly i am avoiding doing any real work, like reading for my chinese politics class. but anyway, i just emerged from Little Red Schoolhouse, my writing class for the quarter, and was struck by something on the cover of the handout re: writing:

"Begin at the beginning," the King said, gravely, "and go on until you come to the end; then stop." Lewis Carroll

that, together with Neil Gaiman's advice to people who ask him how to be a writer:

Tell a story you care about about people you care about, and make the reader care what happens to the people in the story. Let your message come second to your story.

seem to encapsulate what makes people good at writing. good in the sense that people care about what your characters are doing and why they are doing it; in the sense that your writing means something to other people, makes them think, makes them laugh, establishes a connection between the text and the reader. it's not just about why you write but who you are writing for: who your imaginary reader is, what he is going to care about, and why. but ultimately, the story comes first. and how it begins, and how it ends.

currently on repeat play inside my head:

Sand In My Shoes

Two weeks away it feels like the whole world should've changed
But I'm home now
And things still look the same
I think I'll leave it till tomorrow to unpack
Try to forget for one more night
That I'm back in my flat on the road
Where the cars never stop going through the night
To a life where I can't watch sunset
I don't have time
I don't have time

I've still got sand in my shoes
And I can't shake the thought of you
I should get on, forget you
But why would I want to
I know we said goodbye
Anything else would've been confused but
I wanna see you again

Tomorrow's back to work and down to sanity
Should run a bath and then clear up the mess I made before I left here
Try to remind myself that I was happy here
Before I knew that I could get on the plane and fly away
From the road where the cars never stop going through the night
To a life where I can watch sunset and take my time,
Take all our time

I wanna see you again
Two weeks away, all it takes to change and turn me around I've fallen
I walked away and never said that I wanted to see you again

oh, the U of C

From Nathan, who transferred to UPenn at the beginning of the year:

NDRITS: i went to get my fourth quarter nat sci credit trannied over to penn
today
NDRITS: so i end up in some fucking crazy prof's office in i don't even know
which department
NDRITS: so i'm sort of following him around as he walks ans files stuff (it's
after hours and he's really busy)
NDRITS: he asks where i came from, and when i say chicago, the guy stops what
he's doing, looks up at me, and says "why the hell did you transfer?"
NDRITS: then, he says, what do ya need, credit? ok, what do you want....
NDRITS: not even joking
NDRITS: so i told him
NDRITS: and so he signed the forms
NDRITS: and now i have penn credit, just like that...he didn't even look at the
syllabus...not even a glance...for all he new i was bullshitting, but he was so
impressed with chicago it didn't even matter
NDRITS: anyway, i thought all of you suffering in the cold would appreciate to
hear of the respect that chicago gets out here in the ivory leagues

in other news, it's so far below freezing here my legs get numb walking to school, and my feet haven't been warm since i got out of bed this morning. oh, and it's chinese new year. =)

Thursday, January 22, 2004

-growl-

my laptop is currently experiencing issues with microsoft products such as Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer --i never knew Explorer ran this many functions until It Stopped Working a few hours ago- so forgive me if for the next couple of days i either do not post anything or post multiple times each time screaming about how much i hate microsoft.

at this point i'm pretty much decided that i'm gonna switch over to ibooks, but this always happens when my laptop starts to piss me off so. but this time around, i have actually been using an ibook and i quite like it, so who knows what will happen.

in other news:

Happy New Year everyone! well it's not officially new year here yet, but it certainly is back home. i just got off the phone with my crazy family -grin- who spent all their time telling me about all the food i'm missing out on. with the exception of my grandfather, and that's because he's deaf in one ear and couldn't hear me at all. -shakes head- gotta love my folks, they're all insane, but in a good way.

so. i'll keep y'all posted on the status of my currently non-working microsoft products -- this may involve calling them tomorrow or friday and yelling at them. -who knows if i'll have time tomorrow?

Happy New Year. =)

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

the State of the Union

so Bush gave his last State of the Union speech of this term [and hopefully his last State of the Union speech ever...come on, Dems, you can put up SOMEONE who can beat Bush, it can't be very hard!], and unfortunately -and predictably- it was highly unimpressive and unsatisfying. it's sad when the democratic response post-speech is more coherent and pleasing than the 'pomp and pagentry' of the State of the Union.

several comments i -as a non-american, non-patriot etc- have to make on his speech other than the fact that he needs to change his speechwriter, because it was seriously lacking in punch:

(1) more domestic policy less foreign chest-thumping. yes we need to hear about your recap of foreign policy of the past year, and your intents with regard to the rest of the year. but we do not need most of the speech to be a justification of the war in Iraq. if i, a non-american, want to hear more about healthcare plans and economic stimulus packages, i'm sure that most americans want to know more also. a thirty-second mention of a growing economy with no details is not a good sign -- it means you're glossing over something that isn't going to reflect well on you.

which well it shouldn't. because in the last four years this economy has gone from a budget surplus to a budget deficit, helped along by massive spending, tax cuts, and a contracting economy that is bleeding jobs. then Bush floats some undefined, ill-described plan to cut to budget deficit in half in the next four years, promising as he has for the last few years to keep spending at 4%, and more significantly, keeping all the tax cuts he's already implemented. i'm beginning to think this man could benefit from his own No Child Left Behind Act, as he has clearly never learned the laws of simple mathematics -- if you keep taking things away without putting things in you are never going to get out of deficit...

(2) personally i am unhappy with the stand he is taking toward 'the sanctity of marriage' and sexual activity in general. and i am all for states' rights. The Defence of Marriage act apparently defends the institution of marriage as involving one man and one woman, etc, and then Bush goes on to describe something like states are not allowed to influence the decisions regarding this made by other states. ok that's not quite right but it's something along those lines. well one thing i have to point out straightaway: this law doesn't prevent states from making their own decisions regarding what they think is right, as long as they don't try and make all other states follow it. so New Hampshire can damn well legalise gay marriage, and if New York or California doesn't want to acknowledge that marriage as legal, that is their choice; in New Hampshire a gay couple can be married. or if you prefer, as i would, can have a civil union. just as it is up to the church to decide if it wants to sanction the notion of gay marriage or gay bishops or what have you; it is not up to the state to decide for them.

i think his view is impractical, and doesn't take into account reality. we don't live in some imaginary landscape inside your mind, Mr. Bush: people out here do not practice abstinence, even if they share your faith; peopel out here contract and die of STDs. Abstinence may be the only 100% foolproof method to avoid sexually transmitted diseases, but you damn well better have some kind of backup plan in place -and an education program is NOT going to be that backup plan; it's not that kids don't know about STDs, believe me- because abstinence is never going to make it in this or any country.

where i was looking for a grand vision of the American agenda for the next year, i got babble about Iraq and the capture of Saddam; where i was looking for an action plan for making the American people better off i got a ragtag bunch of semi-plans and a lecture on morality.

god bless america, indeed.

Monday, January 19, 2004

listening to a CD that alex left at my place: a recording of the Singapore Repertory Theatre's production Forbidden City: Portrait of an Empress with Kit Chan singing the lead role. my parents saw that production over the summer -i was here- and were favourably impressed. at the time i read the email i was pleased that a local production -it's by dick lee, among other people- was doing fairly well. listening to it now, however, a bunch of things strike me.

kit chan has improved and just keeps on improving from the first time i heard her many many years ago. her voice has grown in strength and clarity and diction; it's really quite amazing. also, the music is fairly well written -in that there are no glaring compositional errors and so forth. it's encouraging that Forbidden City, which was a fairly large, expensive, well-organised production, exists at all in our local arts scene. and it is almost entirely local, yet another encouraging factor. but while we pat ourselves on the back we have to remember that this is the first step on a very long road to real musical/artistic acclaim and success. and this first step has a very familiar sound to it. we really don't want all 'asian' musicals to wind up sounding like Chang and Eng, do we? after all, not all western musicals sound like Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables.

but really that's all the good i have to say about it just listening to the cd. i have no doubts that if i were to see it staged i would probably take things differently, but the things bugging me about the cd are unlikely to change:

(1) the music is somehow just competent -- there are no compelling pieces that stick in your head, and it is somehow very...singaporean in sound [oh GOD, i just heard some kind of fake electronic instrument. bah.] . i'm willing to go as far as 'asian sounding' -perhaps it doesn't follow classical rules of composition or something, but it just sounds very...tinny, very thin, very unsatisfying. very reminiscent of late night variety shows on tv. or national day songs. the new kind, not the kind that involve standing up for singapore and counting on me, singapore. it reminds me of a ridiculous musical that the rgs GEP kids in my year did in sec one for history involving creative corny rewrites of familiar showtunes to fit the story of singapore's founding. i think i got to be farquhar or somesuch minor character.

(2) the singaporean accent sticks out so painfully in the singing. my conductor told us years ago that a singaporean choir is instantly distinguished -not necessarily in a good way- from the crowd by the quality [or lack thereof] of its vowels. and rushing of consonants and compression of syllables and mistaken emphasis on the wrong syllable. surprise surprise, all of the above appearing in the supporting cast. even in kit's singing, though that's probably the fault of the writing...the music forces her to do that. argh, the abbreviated vowels are killing me. now, no one can accuse me of being a snot when it comes to speaking with a singaporean accent -any of my american friends will happily vouch for the fact that i have one and i use it quite frequently, albeit not often to them since it is incomprehensible to them. but when i sing, i don't have use it because honestly, it doesn't work with music. english is a nasty enough language to sing in without additional mangling of the vowels. believe me.

yes, i'll be the first to admit i am a music-snob. especially when it comes to vocal music. but honestly. ouchies. and fake electronic music? another nono. BIG nono. ouchies.

-sigh-

Saturday, January 17, 2004

refining, always refining

still mentally processing possiblities for the ASEAN paper. think i have fixed on ASEAN as some kind of focus. as pstan said last night, ASEAN shouldn't be too hard to write a bigpicture paper about. the question remains as to which big picture i want to write about. -sigh-

(1) the relative gains argument i clumsily wrote around in the last post about this paper. i'm still not sure how i am going to articulate that to myself, much less my TA, much less my professor in a paper proposal that's due thursday. -gloom- all i know at this point is if i do write the relative gains argument it will be somewhat to do with the relationship between economic and military security -growing your way out of trouble argument, as it were. that said, i'm not sure how i'm going to write some kind of paper about this topic...from a historical perspective? like a survey paper?

-in the 1960s, the ASEAN region was faced with tremendous political and economic uncertainty
-solution to the problem was to create ASEAN focused on economic cooperation. why?
-because we want to grow our way out of political instability.

does that work?

(2) cheetung suggested something about airline regulations intended to keep budget airlines out of the air within AFTA. with an eye to keeping our national carriers alive -m'sian airlines, sia, etc. which leads to a bigger question of writing regulations hiding protectionist sentiments -back to the old non-tariff barriers argument. i can go over the literature and find out what kinds of things AFTA has been up to, and see if they have actually benefited the countries as much as they should, and also how you could interpret cooperation on various issues in terms of the theory. a solid paper, but somehow less interesting than the historical survey one, i suppose.

ahhhh decisions. TA session this afternoon. have to hit the library prior and find some material. ahhhh.


Wednesday, January 14, 2004

ah, the Reg

gotta love the Reg. last night the library services send me an email claiming that i have a book out on loan and it is so overdue that i will soon owe the Reg 100 dollars in fines, at which point my account gets suspended and i can't borrow books. which is bad, since i have a research paper to write this quarter, which generally means twenty books in various stages of being read strewn all over my floor.

only one problem with this very polite, helpful email: i never took the book out of the library, i've never seen the book, i don't recognise either the call number or the title [which i looked up on the helpful elibrary catalog. fun.]

so i email them back informing them there's been a mistake, blahblahblah.

this morning i receive a polite email saying that the book has been put 'on claim' [presumably referring to the fact that the patron -that would be me i suppose...a patron?- is claiming innocence. i dislike that word -'claim'-; it resounds of disbelief and suspicion] while the library conducts an 'intense search' of the shelves. -grin- and then it continues by saying this usually takes between three to four months. my library privileges continue as normal in the meantime.

two things popped into my head:

(1) three to four months is a long time; and
(2) three to four months is an incredibly short time to conduct an 'intense' search of the library shelves for a single book, if the library in question is the J. Regenstein at the U of C. there are literally miles of shelves in there. there are millions of volumes in there. how does one even begin to locate a missing book in a library that size? i can't find missing books in my own house.

each library book should have a tiny personal locator with a GPS tracker on it. -grin- that way the Reg could tell you instantly if the book was in the library system at all. or if not, whose house/apartment/car/trash can it is currently residing in. that would be nifty. =)

as promised, a post about the paper intended for Snidal's class. here's what he has to say about the assignment:

The most important component is a paper that analyses a problem of international cooperation and efforts (including failures) to address the problem. The goal is to take the theory that we will develop in this class and apply and evaluate it with respect to some real international issue....

so far i've got some rough notes scribbled out about ASEAN, and perhaps something to think about that arose in my chat with pstan over AIM last night. i'm still in the process of formulating a 'problem' surrounding ASEAN, though i think perhaps one along the lines of 'how does ASEAN continue to function despite all our neighbours hating us and us being afraid that they will come and kill us in our beds at night' [in perhaps more diplomatic, impenetrably social-science-language-d terms] will eventually emerge. in particular, the question of economic development and relative-gains: is ASEAN an example of a situation in which [contrary to claims that it is relative gains rather than/in addition to absolute gains that states care about] being in the 'losing' position of gaining less than your competitors is perhaps desirable [some kind of inverse of the relative-gains argument, where in this case the state chooses to be the 'loser'?] of course this is from the POV of Singapore, since we were developing rapidly and our neighbours -at the time- perhaps were not so rapid in their growth patterns.

my supposition, or proposal, or your nominalisation of choice: that Singapore has a twofold approach toward economic benefits as demonstrated through its efforts in keeping ASEAN going. [you have to admit, we do a lot of the legwork.] one: we wanted -in the 1960s and 70s- our neighbours to start growing more rapidly, close the gap in development and infrastructure, start trading with us and each other; due to the premise that (a) it would stabilise the various states which were threatening to erupt into political instability [who are we kidding here -- the only way to stay ahead of political collapse and turmoil is to make sure the entire juggernaut of a nation is moving forward economically fast enough not to fall over. like riding a bike, as the Economist likes to say.] and (b) giving them something to focus on other than the fact that they really don't like us; in fact, giving of our aid to tie them into a network of interdependence such that despite the fact that they hate us, they need us. economic interdependence, in terms of skill and advice and trade partnerships, as political and security insurance.

two: now that they have learned their lesson well we have to speed up again or we get caught. and our neighbours are good at playing catchup. so far we have managed by the skin of our teeth to stay ahead but now we need something to give us an edge again -the financial crisis of the late 1990s has given us back a breathing space, by cutting into the less resilient stretched-thin economies of our rapidly developing neighbours, and in some cases inducing a relatively extended bout of political chaos. [cue Indon.] the breathing space will evaporate within the next five years, so how can we stay competitive in a world that contains not only close competitors in our neighbourhood with cheaper labour but also a rising China and Korea and a recovering Japan? we build a stronger, tighter regional trading group -demonstrating that globalisation in trade isn't so much globalisation as it is regionalisation [oooh memories of all those essays written about 'the future of globalisation is in regional economic agreements like the EU']. there's some merit to the argument that strenth lies in numbers? going back to the relative gains argument, this is coming at it from the reverse -or traditional- side again: in terms of gain everyone is going to benefit from closer trade ties and virtually zero tariffs. but we might gain more, so we have more incentive to make this FTA -AFTA- work out for us all.

what the data tells me, at least in preliminary, is that yes, ASEAN was formed in a time of political turmoil to allow the states to stablise through growing economies [grow your way out of trouble; a typically asian way of dealing with problems. none of this cathartic working-out-the-bugs crap for us: in the words of one Amelia Sachs 'If you keep moving they can't getcha'] and as ASEAN's economic influence grows the ASEAN ministers are starting to turn their gaze toward security issues...and that yes, ASEAN's FTA is ahead of schedule, several YEARS ahead of schedule, fortituously having had its deadline moved forward several times...or is it 'fortituously'? with the 'threat/opportunity' of a rising China as a neighbour to SEA, doesn't it make more sense to get AFTA's lazy butt in gear so that we are poised to take advantage, as it were?

my thoughts on the subject are still, as you can tell, highly confused. and this post is mostly about general ideas i'm considering writing a paper abt. if anyone has suggestions on refining some kind of ASEAN-related problem, i'd be really appreciative at this point. esp since this paper is highly likely to be a twenty-pager submitted in lieu of a BA, if i choose not to write a BA next year. at this point, i'm still undecided.

i'd like to write a BA but i'll need to come up with a topic and an advisor. that means i need to be continuously thinking about it as this quarter progresses. i'm notoriously bad at things like that. so who knows. =) in the meantime, i'm gonna take this Snidal paper as insurance, hedging my bets like the good econ disciple i am...


Tuesday, January 13, 2004

blog on blogging

a quick post of something i read last night just before falling asleep =) thank you new york times. titled 'My So-Called Blog', it discusses the invasion of the online/real world of teenagers and early twennies by the ubiquitous blog. not a bad article, if only for the human interest.

gotta go, but more later re: a paper i intend to write on ASEAN for snidal's theory and practice class!

Monday, January 12, 2004

before i get back to work on my one page summary for Little Red Schoolhouse, four things:

(1) West Wing is one of the greatest TV series ever made, and watching two episodes in one sitting is merely whetting my appetite for some kind of marathon at the end of this quarter. in the meantime, i continue to wish that Bush were more like Martin Sheen, which is a kind of terrifying kind of wish. thanks alex for the great present. =)

(2) Adrian, i have to register my protest against your latest posting on your blog. =p

(3) i've heard from janice over in barca! she's doing well, lacking in internet access other than GSB computers, which are a rare commodity at the best of times, and enjoying the sunshine [which we are also getting, for the moment, albeit minus the heat...but it's currently THREE DEGREES!]

(4) Feng-Yuan is now 22! granted this birthday announcement/wish is several days late, but i did remember to wish him in the day itself, although on chicago time, so =p Happy Birthday, old boy. =)


Friday, January 09, 2004

how cool is this

i am typing this post from a wireless internet connection on campus. i love this ibook, it is so cool =) i can use it to take notes in class - though admittedly the drawing of diagrams is close to impossible and may require my using pen and paper anyway- as well as check my email from various points on campus. like right now, where i am perched at a table in the Classics Cafe, drinking Mighty Leaf green tea [it is a really yummy blend] and typing happily away whiling away time til alex gets done with class. gotta love this campus =) we are starting to rival you dartmouth people who can check their email in the middle of commons now, aren't we? -grinning-

Monday, January 05, 2004

New Year Resolutions

our little new year resolutions party didn't quite work out at Ying's on NYE's -as i recall my only contribution was to learn 20s charleston, and right now i'm not even sure that's a possibilty- but i am seized -or was seized, on the plane- with the desire to make some newish ones right now. so here goes:

(1) The Perennial -I Will Lose A Few Pounds- involving either going to the Gym, swimming in Ratner -i have yet to be in it!-, or hopefully just walking in the bitter bitter cold to school will take care of the cardio parts of that;

(2) Do Pilates once hopefully twice a week - my muscles need to be strengthened so that the bitchass backaches don't kill me, and my posture improves. plus it will be cool to have some hang-out time with Hanyann and Claire, and the studio isn't far from the apartment at all.

(3) Boost my GPA hopefully improve my writing and try to stay motivated through all my classes this quarter. ooh good luck with this one, jeanette.

(4) Strongly consider moving over to LJ sometime soon. when i get bored enough winter quarter you'll know what happens...

hmm. looks like a tall order to me...

safely back. the flight from narita to chicago was horrendously long, compounded by the fact that the guy in front of me had reclined his seat til his head was practically in my lap -and- i had horrible cramps in my legs for hours which stopped me from staying in one position for longer than half a minute at a time. made alex's life miserable. =) but we got back ok, had dinner with hanyann, and then collapsed in bed at the unknown hour of ten pm. combination of getting old and jetlag...not good.

and we were up again at four am. -grins- however time was fruitfully spent playing Civ III until the Original Pancake House opened its doors at seven am, at which point we had breakfast...first time i've been to the OPH and didn't have to stand and wait for twenty min for a table. there's something to be said for this whole wake-up-early schtick. -grins-

it's a hell of a snowstorm going now -thank god we flew in yesterday, that's all i can say- downtown is obscured, the edges of hyde park are obscured! in a flurry of descending snow. it's all white and pretty, and will remain so for approximately half an hour after it stops, beyond which it will be all grey and slushy. but til then...=)

school starts tomorrow. wish us luck!

Friday, January 02, 2004

back to the old grind

leaving for chicago in a few hours -- the odds and ends of things left to finish. like take a shower, clean up, throw a last few oddments into my backpack, and lock all the bags. then sleep, and when i get up in the morning it's to face a 20 hour flight back to sub-zero weather for another six months of chicago life. there is, however, florida in spring break to look forward to...-grins-

it was a good break back here -- some sunshine, lots of time spent with the Wormz -always a good thing-, lots of good food. perhaps too much -- i don't know if my clothes back in chi-town fit right now! which could be a disaster seeing as it is winter and i really do need all the clothes i can get. =) but it'll go away soon enough. of course there were things i didn't get to do, people i didn't get to see, things i didn't get to eat, but on the whole things back here were great. driving around with cowan and charles last night in a mini-convoy of two cars, walking on bedok jetty at midnight [not so much the getting scolded by both parents for getting home 'late' despite assurances that cowan was with me AND he was dropping me off at the front door, for goodness sakes] ; new year's eve party at ying's place reminding me of how old we all are; dinner with all my family on both sides. all good things. =)

but i'm also looking forward to returning to my sedentary life in chicago, with my own apartment and a bed that doesn't creak when i roll over and jab me in the ribs when i don't. =) and who can forget classes. =)

i'm such a U of C geek.

but anyways -- Happy New Year to everyone who reads this =) and the next time i post it will be from my DSL connection in chi-town!