Sunday, February 29, 2004

If I were a rich man...

This is how i would like to fly the friendly skies.

in another, unrelated issue, how many people out there seriously consider tax breaks and the costs of having a maid in their decision to have a first/second/third/fifteenth child? seriously, i'm curious. obviously since i haven't had to face that decision, i don't know what i would consider. and it is extremely logical to consider cost when you are thinking of having a baby, since children are, of course, very expensive. i'm living proof of that. but some little [emotional part of me, that isn't coldly calculating and materialistic], is jumping around asking if having a child is really all about how much money it will cost you in the long run.

UPDATE: another random thought. the arguments that i'm thinking about against free trade are more pertinent to the point of view of the developing nations, right? exploitation of cheap labour, income inequality and the like. the only real argument i can come upwith that the US cares about in any way is the insurmountable manufacturing unemployment. it seems to all come back to that. everything else doesn't seem to matter in the big picture. that's sort of depressing.

two things that reduce me to despair

first, wandering around on Dan's blog i see an article about a woman who was dragged away by her drunk boyfriend from her workplace, in front of her 'horrified colleagues', driven home kicking and screaming in his truck, punched and then thrown over the parapet of her apartment to her death. charming. does anyone need a better explanation of why i think people are basically sucky and horrible? (note: not evil, because evil requires a spark of insanity and genius that i find worthy of appreciation, in a twisted kind of way) both because some drunk guy thought he had no choice but to throw his girlfriend over a wall to her death because she wanted to break up with him, but also because he wasn't stopped from taking her away, clearly against her will. what, ten people standing around can't stop one drunk man?

second, i'm trying to write a paper about the benefits of free trade, selling it to some senator who is protectionist in stance becos he has a lot of job loss through the collapse of the auto manufacturing industry in his state. and in the back of my mind, while i am running through all the standard arguments (which to me are PERFECTLY reasonably and totally compelling; the greater good and all that) i am constantly thinking that there is no way such a senator would vote against protectionist policy, because he would lose the next election in his home state. even if it meant denying tons of people the benefits of free trade; even if it meant risking a trade war with japan/china/korea. -shrugs- people who have the chance to make a real difference to lots and lots of people rarely do because it requires them to stick their necks out and risk something personal. and what incentive is there for that to happen? disguise it as concern for your unemployed workers, by all means. all it really means is those unemployed workers are not going to vote for you in the future. there are so many things wrong with this scenario i can't even put them into coherent sentences.

besides, i'm hungry, and it's time for dinner, and for me to stop thinking about trade policy for a while. gah.

UPDATE: yet another thing that fills me with despair: reading over the comments on my paper last week for LRS. it seems i will never be a good writer. the language of confused, befuddled, obstruse academia calls me to in its lack of concern for comprehension on the part of the reader...

tevas, oh tevas

i was reminded earlier this morning that i didn't say anything on last night's blog about the Teva sandals i almost got for a song -read 15 USD. -moan- now, i'm a kids size 5 (having discovered this by trying on a 4 and realising it was slightly too small, then a 6 and realising i could get one and a half feet into it). of course, SportMart doesn't have any of those in stock. it hardly seems fair that i am the most common foot size for kids as well as women (well at least in Singapore i am) which means that when it comes to shoes/sandals on sale, my size is always out of stock. boo =(

-sigh- the time has come to go shoe-hunting, to replace my almost-dead Reebok sandals, my no-longer-waterproof NB trainers, and the pair of stacked-rubber-heeled Payless shoes that every singaporean girl in chicago (ok that's an exaggeration, just me and janice and amanda and maybe someone else. but i think amanda might have two pairs. =p) owns that i threw out two days ago becos they were just dead. aiyee!!

Saturday, February 28, 2004

a most excellent afternoon spent out shopping on michigan avenue. i've finally had my Chipotle burrito -hold the beans, extra rice (no Atkins diet for me, i'm a huge carb-whore)- which sustained me through an afternoon walking around the MagMile, as well as a sidetrip out to SportMart where we failed to find alex his new bag (does no one in Chicago carry Deuters? they seriously need to up their marketshare, people) but managed to get him a new pair of walking shoes, to replace the pair that are semi-destroyed. (he says it's my bad example, since i go everywhere in my trainers. well he doesn't have to follow my bad example, so there. =p) my haul? tons of earrings, and some stuff to rescue my poor abused face. i look like the right side of my face is falling off. it's awful. also a cinammon-sugar pretzel and lemonade from Auntie Anne's. that stuff is GOOD.

i've also just spent the last two and half hours watching first Celebrity Spelling Bee followed by Who Wants To Be A Supermillionaire?. i'm pleased that i can outspell the celebrities on the show most of the time, and also that an eight year-old boy named Sameer Patel can outspell us all. he's a great kid. =) and the questions on Supermillionaire! putting aside the fact that there is no way in hell i can win Fasters Fingers First since i am a psychomotor moron, there's still no way i can get to 10,000,000. i'd be stumped by the 100,000 dollar question. mostly because it's starting to involve american history and domestic politics, and i just completely draw a blank there. (it strikes me that most of A01A, and the Humanz tutors, who i would call as my Lifeline, would also be rather helpless when it comes to wondering if Frist(?) is the Senator(?) of Tennessee. though they might be able to tell me how many American presidents have come and gone in the time Castro has been in power)

now i really should go take a look at that capitalism paper. -huge sigh-

UPDATE: i just opened it. i looked it over. oh my god. it's going to take me ALL WEEKEND to revise it. was i really that stupid back in first year? Thank You William Sewell for my grade. i totally did not deserve it at ALL.


changes to blog

seized by a desire to reward myself -for doing a reasonably large amount of work-related reading this morning- i have fiddled around with the blog, and present you with three new features:

(1) permalinks
(2) comments (i know, they are in addition to the tagboard, and they are for more specific comments abt the post as opposed to longass conversations via tag, ok?)
(3) trackback.

yay.

many things to say re: many people, so i am going to start at random and then make sense of it later, perhaps.

(1) dan: i stopped by his blog and discovered to my pleasure that it is indeed my blog linked from his under the disconcerting but perhaps accurate pseudonym 'Chick'. as in baby chicken. -amused-

(2) cheetung: now that he has deigned to grace us with his online presence again (dude, that dissertation must be requiring some massive procrastination time. good luck!), his stuff is even more entertaining than ever before. go read his latest re: ringing phones and imperatives in life that have nothing to do with doing the work required to graduate (oh how i sympathise: i have shitloads of reading for a class in which i have to write a paper and all of it undone)

(3) evan: congratulations on half-colours! -grin-

(4) my parents aren't going to be visiting in May, which makes me sad. because they aren't going to see my apartment (dad's seen it but mom hasn't!) and also because i don't get to see them til june. however, the reason for this is that we are going on a cruise to alaska after spring quarter, so it's not a disaster.

(5) i got my iPod to work, and it's now playing Yo-Yo Ma's performance of Bach's Cello Suites, hooked up to my excellent speaker system and also freeing up some memory from my hard drive. most excellent. =) (oh yo-yo ma, you are so cool. i love this set of suites. i will willingly listen to them over and over despite having had to do that my first fall quarter at this university taking Critical Appreciation with H and wanting to kill the instructor for making us do this)

i also need to do things like figure out how to get pictures up on this blog - i am convinced i can somehow use university resources to put my photos up so i link to them -but prior to that i need to get batteries for my camera, which is currently dead. and rewrite an old paper (from spring quarter my first year) so i can turn it in for LRS: it's about the emergence of capitalism in early modern europe, and i need to find some kind of reader for it who isn't William Sewell, who taught the class. bah! =P so if anyone has any ideas on who on earth could possibly care about this paper who isn't an ivory-tower academic, please, tag me. -despair-

and now it's 1030 on friday, and i am hungry and have work to do. shopping beckons this afternoon, so more later.

Thursday, February 26, 2004

iPod dreams II

quick update -- after obsessing for a long time last night, i finally unplugged the damn thing to realise, to my horror, that nothing had been transferred. but i have fixed the problem now -damn software incompatability crap- and now it's merrily downloading music at a not-quite-blazing but still respectable speed. (i tried it last night with FireWire from the iBook and it blew me away. damn USB 1.1!) hopefully before i have to go to class. but i can be late.

whew!

iPod dreams

screwup number one: my laptop doesn't have high-speed USB. instead, my syncing is limping along at some painful USB 1.1 rate. damn you, dell, for not putting USB 2.0 and FireWire on my computer. -grumble-

limplimp. more updates later.

update:

screwup two: the syncing still going on. it's been two hours since i plugged this baby in, and since i have only 300+ songs to transfer this is starting to worry me. on the other hand, i tried to stop it and it wouldn't let me which to me means it's trying to do SOMETHING. and it's trying to do it on USB 1.1. dammit. shoulda gone with the iBook's FireWire instead.

looks like no sleep tonight for me...

adr: 20GB.

Spring Cometh!

but that's not the point of this message. though it is a sunny 2 degrees out, and the sky is an impossible, unreal shade of blue that shades from a rich royal to a faint, delicate baby blue with baby'sbreath clouds floating around over the city. walking to school this morning i unconsciously slowed down so that i would be able to stay outdoors longer, and savour the knowledge that slowly but surely, Spring Cometh. =)

however, the point of this post is this: i picked up the iPod today. -grin- the store called while i was at rehearsal, so upon checking my voicemail i did a little dance in Fulton (recital hall), then legged it over to the campus computing store and picked it up. it's charging right now, and i am being outrageous about downloading lots of my CDs onto the computer to move to the iPod once it's fully charged -around dinnertime. more later on my frustrations at trying to make it work =)

UPDATE:

in honour of my procrastination and my decision not to move over to LJ -at least, if i DO go to LJ, it'll be in addition to Blogger-, the links are back on my sidebar. yay.

for two old friends

Nothing [5 sept 1999]

sing, crystal angel:
you will shatter, even as your melody falls
on a thousand tone-deaf ears
that exist in this circumference-centred realm
your wing too fragile to sustain the deep
resonance of your longing –
no mortal vessel can hold the entirety of nothingness.

but you can no more silence yourself
than the blade of grass turn aside
ice fingers of Jack Frost.
you vibrate to the tapping of visions:
each sliver of your fragmented shape
reflects chord upon chord of
Immortal-drawn Self –
lead-tainted crystal has poisoned you with hope.

crystal-singer, you want to imagine
some tin soldier heeds your passionate cry;
a wooden world wakes to your pitiful plea;
even if the price is yourself.

can you ever accept that no one is listening?

**

Three Ways of Looking At Love [5 july 2001]

I.

we laugh, and we play,
but most of all, beyond all,
we sing.
and as we sing our marvellous way,
we laugh, we play, and sometimes
sometimes we fall, tremulous, in love
with each other,
absorbed by the perfect chord,
consumed by our passion for
making music.

eyes closed in effortless escape,
dive headlong overboard into the
splendour falls of song, swim
the heady rush of soprano melody
upstream fade into sensual bass thrum,
half heard half felt, deep in the bones,
aching in the soul. we ring triumph in
soaring tenor tones pealing the
lonely alto darkness, universe-wide.
heart over head rapids rushing
devour us; we dissolve into
the harmony we paint one another.

II.

wear white gold around a finger,
wear it a reminder of those you have lost
into the sargasso of your past. wear a
never-again love on your sleeve;

and bell-jar yourself
in antiseptic purity. is this love,
alone?

III.

timeless ritual floods the air
flowing warm against my skin
soothing; bathing me with the
tender-rough caress of a lover’s hand;
coursing my spine tumbling with the
flaming fury of reassurance,
and I can breathe again:
feel my lungs expand
absorbing the peace
of familiarity
and the infinite grace
of home.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

last post from me tonight, i promise

So the latest furore involves Bush endorsing a constitutional ammendment that would enshrine marriage as the union between a man and a woman, which, of course, leaves the homosexual couples of america out in the cold. or does it?

right up front, i'm going to say that i personally think the institution of marriage should remain as it has traditionally been, the union of a man and a woman. goodness knows it hasn't been the most stable of traditions, what with Vegas marriages and quickie divorces in Reno and that kind of thing. but it's what we have, and it's what our old friend Paul tells us to do in the Bible (and while i have my issues with Paul, i'm gonna let it slide for now).

but that doesn't preclude my wanting the right to civil unions for homosexual couples. i don't think they should be denied the benefits of a civil union -and before anyone asks what a civil union is, i'm going to define it as an institution that the state officiates (you can become united at City Hall, as it were) and provides both partners with the same legal and civil protections as if they had been married (in Las Vegas!). that means they are each other's next of kin, they get parental rights if one partner has a child, partner benefits at the workplace..you know, all the good stuff that married people get. OH. TAX BREAKS. yeah. because as far as i am concerned they should be given the same recognition of long-term partnerships as heterosexual couples are, thank you very much.

(and if one more person gives me the homosexuality = promiscuity argument, i swear i am going to drown him in the nearest sewer grate. -derisive snort- as if heterosexuality were automatically protection against promiscuous behaviour. helllloooo?)

courtesy of Jay (my fellow peon grunt over the summer at the Fed):

If an economist and an IRS agent were both drowning and you could only save one of them, would you go to lunch or read the paper?

spending a lot of time reading non-work-related stuff, which is bad, because i have:

(a) 10pg final for Chinese Politics due friday of tenth week;
(b) 4000 word paper on ASEAN due for Duncan's class on the same day; and
(c) 7-10pg final paper due for Little Red Schoolhouse on the monday following that. yay. the draft for THAT, my friends, is due next monday. wish me luck.

so of course, i procrastinate by reading Krugman's latest effort, The Great Unravelling, and also A Passion for Books (eds. Harold Rabinowitz and Rob Kaplan). now, in that great little book of essays about books and reading, i found a piece titled The New Lifetime Reading Plan (Clifton Fadiman and John S. Major) comprising a list of 133 entries that encompass everything you ever need to read, according to the authors. So, like any good geek would, i ran through the list to see (a) how many i've read; and (b) how many names i don't even recognise. in interests of saving space and not blowing everyone's mind, all i list below are the ones i've never even heard of -- tag me if you've read them, and props to you if you have! =)

23. Kalidasa, ca.400, The Cloud Messenger and Sakuntala
25. Hui-neng, 638-713, The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch
26. Firdausi, ca.940-1020, Shah Nameh
50. Matsuo Basho, 1644-1694, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
58. Laurence Sterne, 1713-1768, Tristam Shandy
120. Kawabata Yasunari, 1899-1972, Beauty and Sadness
130. Thomas Kuhn, 1922-1996, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
131. Mishima Yukio, 1925-1970, Confessions of a Mask; The Temple of the Golden Pavilion
133. Chinua Achebe, 1930-, Things Fall Apart

now, i clearly spend entirely too much time not working. and now i am going to compound it by going back to Dan Drezner's blog and browsing around in there, quite happily, for a long time. =) ciao!

Monday, February 23, 2004

what next?

i woke up on a lovely, pseudo-rainy cool morning to get this crap in my inbox. props to kevin for pointing out quite how low the standards of journalism have sunk in my region of the world (wait, doesn't that imply that at some point it was higher than this? hmm...)

i'll say here what i said in the email to A01A, though i must admit that Josh expresses my irritation more eloquently and a lot more profanely -to my great enjoyment- on his blog.


-rolls eyeballs- oh come on...who writes this drivel? ok, granted an unreasonably large number of 'elite' kids are also, unfortunately, arrogant and small-minded kids (welcome to the Singaporean education system, where minds are slammed shut faster than the speed of light); and granted that a large number of kids from 'elite' schools tend to wind up dating each other. so what? kids from neighbourhood schools wind up dating each other also, no one kicks up a fuss about that. it's partly a function of seeing each other every day, being in the same place at the same time, and having things in common to talk about, for goodness sakes. or didn't this writer take econometrics -grin-

i have to say though, the kids like RJCDude need a good kick in the pants. =) and that this writer is clearly taking advantage of some people's ability to be realistic about relationships -ie the fact that there will be income disparity, or there will be differences in interests between the two. -shrugs- but if they can deal with it, more power to them! (because all i'm saying here is, being an rgs girl, i know how hard it is to live with our crazed, outspoken personalities, 'elite' school boy or not =p)


-shaking head- gah. i'm not quite sure who to be more disgusted with, the muckraking reporter/journalist/really bad writer; or Get Real, Cynic, Super-infector or, of course, the one who started it all, RJCDude. bah.

oh, oh, and i love this kid. reading his latest effort not only made me laugh out loud in my cereal, but also forget how annoyed i was with RJCDude. -grin-

done!

my eyes are crossing and my back is killing me, but i am finally done with the first draft of this blasted paper on ASEAN. (note: this is not even the real monster yet; i think that one is just going to kill me. i gotta write it soon, that's all i can say) it will probably need extensive revision in the sane light of day, but since it is 0041h right now, i am going to log off and go to bed. hah!

sleep.

you know, something about Don Maclean's American Pie captures my mood tonight. something about it being bittersweet maybe. something about it being real, maybe. something about how it reminds me of the first few months of 2001, when i felt like the world had somehow turned itself upside down and i didn't want to get out of bed in the morning, but American Pie somehow made me keep on getting up and teaching and dragging myself around until one day i forgot to be unhappy. i've always loved that song (which means i was livid when Madonna did that ridiculous cover of it), but i never can put my finger on why. something connects between the music and me without the medium of intellectual understanding (since clearly i didn't live through what he is talking about in the song).

i guess at times like these i just feel somehow fundamentally disconnected between two different mes: the me who writes about regional institutions and believes that they can somehow ameliorate the badness in the world -the me who is optimistic and believes in human potential and all the sparkly good things about people; and the me who has basically lost faith in human nature, human rationality, human goodness. who has basically stopped believing that people want to stop killing each other, people want to improve their lives, people want to care about other people. the me who can't reconcile what i hear in church -'turn the other cheek', 'love your enemies'- and a world where 'deeply conservative', 'christian' leaders can invade other countries with impunity. i think that's what it is - people disappoint me, and i just want to keep them all away from me so i can't be disappointed any more. which is foolish of me. because it can't be done.

i guess i've become a different person over the last three years here in chi-town, and i don't foresee that changing over the next year while i remain at this university. and i begin to see the problems that my older friends faced upon returning to Singapore to live -- the problems of being square pegs in round holes, and the frustration of caring intensely about things in the way they live and the way other people around them live while simultaneously being unable to change them. of being different from my peers because of the experiences i haven't shared with them, and the perspective i've gained from being away from home; because of the difference in training and inclination and oh god knows how many different things. i've become an advocate of knowing more rather than less, so strongly that it feels like that's the way i've always been. but now i wonder if that's the best way to lead my life, if all that means is i am going to break my heart trying to change things that can't be changed.

ok. enough self-indulgent crap. gotta go finish writing that damn paper -ASEAN!- and maybe, hopefully, somehow get some sleep.

oh, and in other news: remember how i'm guzzling Diet Pepsi in an attempt to get a free iTune? pstan won one today, in his one Pepsi in god knows how long (you're not a Pepsi drinker, pstan!). so there you have it -- i am clearly destined not to win at these lucky-draw-type things!

Sunday, February 22, 2004

evan, this one's for you:

work = force x distance = m.a.d = Mutual Assured Destruction = nuclear holocaust

hang in there, i'm sure you'll be fine in the end. -grin-

just watched Lost in Translation (we stopped by the grocery on the way home and rented it, and then bought four servings of yoghurt and one tub of raspberry sherbet) followed by the last half-an-hour-ish of what looks like the last episode of Season Two of The West Wing on ABC. so i'm sort of tv-ed out, while simultaneously in a somber mood. Lost in Translation is absolutely fantastic -i believe everyone who's told me that before now. good call y'all-. i can't quite describe what it's about or quite do justice to it in words. suffice to say that it's more about the absences than the presences, i think. and the acknowledgement of connections and misconnections.

missed Kill Bill last night despite our best intentions to make it because -get this- there was a blackout in Ida Noyes, and they evacuated the building. it was also Mardi Gras celebration night, and that got cleverly cancelled thanks to the blackout. what is going on on campus? first Hutch loses power for about four hours, and now Ida gets it right when half of campus wants to watch a good movie at cheap prices. oh well.

time for me to get some sleep -- it's one thirty in the morning, and i really should be in bed!

Saturday, February 21, 2004

just got home from a long TA session with matteo, where we spent more time bullshitting about the EU than we did talking about building institutions, which is the point of this course. before i say anything else about my cursed apartment, Sarah from my LRS seminar group forwarded this to us, and very appropriately so:

Judges delay rulings on gay marriages

By David Kravets and Lisa Leff

Feb. 17, 2004 | SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Two judges delayed taking any action Tuesday to shut down San Francisco's same-sex wedding spree, rebuffing conservative groups enraged that the city's liberal politicians had already married almost 2,400 gay and lesbian couples.

The judges took part in separate hearings. The second judge told the plaintiffs that they would likely succeed on the merits eventually, but that for now, he couldn't accept their proposed court order because of a punctuation error.

It all came down to a semicolon, the judge said.

"I am not trying to be petty here, but it is a big deal. ... That semicolon is a big deal," said San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren.

The Proposition 22 Legal Defense and Education Fund had asked the judge to issue an order commanding the city to "cease and desist issuing marriage licenses to and/or solemnizing marriages of same-sex couples; to show cause before this court."

"The way you've written this it has a semicolon where it should have the word 'or,"' the judge told them. "I don't have the authority to issue it under these circumstances."

Until they write their proposed court order correctly, Warren indicated he would not order an immediate halt to the marriages of gays and lesbians that continued throughout the day across the street at City Hall.

Lawyers for both sides then spent hours arguing about punctuation and court procedures; the hearing was still continuing late Tuesday afternoon.

Gay couples from as far as Europe have been lining up outside City Hall since Thursday, when city officials decided to begin marrying same-sex couples in a collective act of official civil disobedience.

Also Tuesday, San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Ronald Quidachay said he was not prepared to rule until at least Friday in a separate challenge of the marriages.

Mayor Gavin Newsom has said the city will keep marrying gays until the courts order a halt, and then the city will pursue a constitutional challenge through the courts. Newsom says the equal protection clause of the California Constitution makes denying marriage licenses to gay couples illegal.

"What trumps any proposition is the California Constitution," City Attorney Dennis Herrera said Tuesday.

The conservatives want the courts to nullify the marriages and block the city from granting any more of the "gender-neutral" licenses.

The newly elected mayor's decision to permit gay marriages, while still legally unsettled, has intensified the national debate over whether same-sex couples should be allowed to marry and enjoy the many benefits only married
couples receive.

Quidachay told lawyers for the Campaign for California Families that they had not given the city enough notice to obtain an emergency injunction. "The court itself is not prepared to hear the matter," the judge said.

The conservative group said state law explicitly defines marriage as "a personal relation arising out of a civil contract between a man and a woman." The group also argues that San Francisco is violating a ballot measure approved by California voters in 2000 that said only marriages between a man and woman are valid.

"If the mayor can't read the law, we're hoping a judge can read it for him," said Randy Thomasson, the group's president.

Whatever the outcome of Tuesday's court hearings, the final word is expected to come later from the California Supreme Court, as both sides have promised to appeal.

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in November ruled that the state's constitution permits gay marriages. Lawmakers there are debating a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages.

In Virginia, gay rights proponents scored victories in the conservative-leaning House of Delegates on measures involving access to health insurance and home loans.

The House, which last week passed a bill reaffirming the state's ban on gay marriage, narrowly passed legislation Monday that would allow employers to offer group insurance benefits to gay partners who live together. It rejected a measure seeking to make state mortgage loans available only to married heterosexuals or blood relatives.

After issuing a record 750 wedding licenses Monday, San Francisco City Assessor Mabel Teng estimated that 30 to 50 gay couples would be married Tuesday.

find it online at this site, as well as many others


this article is satisfying to so many parts of me: the punctuation/grammar nazi is chortling in glee, jumping up and down hand in hand with the homosexuality-is-not-a-crime/disease/evidence of abusive, evil childhood part of me, thrilled that the conservatives have been undone by their lack of punctuation skills. it's so funny it hurts.

and beyond that, i love the phrase 'official civil disobedience'. the very idea of it makes me happy.

what doesn't make me happy, however, is the fact that my cooking gas is not on, and the pilot lights on my stove have yet to be relit. (although the heating gas is back on, and the apartment is slowly warming up) time for me to head out to H's place yet again, to warm up before going to get something to eat!

oh, and if anyone is interested in a rant against SATC, wander over to ol' Dan's blog and see what he has to say. just so you know. =)

back in the apartment

after spending the night sleeping on hanyann's couch, i am back in my apartment. i've cleaned off the grime of the last twentyfour hours, and put my leftover shrimp-fried-rice in the fridge while simultaneously making kaya toast (you never really only want one slice) and eating my last strawberry-and-kiwifruit Yoplait. ten seconds ago, i realised that the heat in my apartment is off. now granted, we had a gas leak last night. but what time did they let people back in here? why isn't the fucking heat back on yet? i bet i wouldn't be able to cook too. i haven't tried, having no desire to blow up the building or attempt to relight the damn pilot lights on my own.

now that the excitement of this little adventure has worn off, the irritation is setting in. i swear this damn building is cursed. and i'm even willing to bet there will be no apology for this major inconvenience -though i certainly hope some heads will roll as a result of yesterday's little mishap. here's what the note -shoved under our door by the condo managment- says:

At approximately 2.50pm today, the gas company ruptured a pipe on East 55th St. As a precaution, and until the leak is repaired the gas to University Park Condominiums has been turned off. This includes cooking and heating gas off for at leasts the next six hours.

you understand what they just said, right? the gas company ruptured its own fucking pipeline. i bet trained rabbits could do a better job of looking after gas and heat in this building than the clowns that the gas company and this management association hire. speaking of trained rabbits:




You're Watership Down!

by Richard Adams

Though many think of you as a bit young, even childish, you're
actually incredibly deep and complex. You show people the need to rethink their
assumptions, and confront them on everything from how they think to where they
build their houses. You might be one of the greatest people of all time. You'd
be recognized as such if you weren't always talking about talking rabbits.



Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.



no class til three. til then, sitting in my rapidly cooling apartment -thankfully it is above freezing today; otherwise i would be forced to go to the office and demand spaceheaters be sent up here, and they can bill the damn gas company for their stupidity- is not what i want to be doing. i am heading back to campus with the iBook to sit in Hutch and figure out what ASEAN really does in its spare time.

Friday, February 20, 2004

breaking news:

there's been a gas leak in my apartment building, and the building's been evacuated. it's really exciting, in an apocalyptic kind of way. i was walking back to my apartment, and as i neared 55th and Dorchester, i realised the flashy-lights i had noticed earlier in a sort of peripheral manner were attached to fire-trucks, ambulances, and cop cars parked outside my building. the fire-trucks were attached to fire hydrants. there was a helicopter, which i had also registered in the back edge of my mind as 'hanging around up there in a stationary position', flying small tight circles around my building. there were firemen and cops and there was crime scene tape -the bright yellow tape with 'do not cross' on it- everywhere. so i walked, in a tentative manner, up to a policeman and asked him if i could go into the building.

'Do you live in this building?' indicating the South Tower.

'No, I live in the North Tower.'

'You can't go in there, it's been evacuated. There's been a gas leak.'

my mind shuts down for a couple of moments while i wonder, in a befuddled, stupid manner, if i had somehow left the gas on in the morning before leaving my apartment (seeing as i was the first one out this morning, that is sort of stupid, because my roommate would have smelled it) and hence caused this huge flashy-light show. then i gather my senses enough to go into the south tower lobby and find out that there had been some kind of maintenance work done during which they'd hit the gas pipe or something. and that we would probably not be let back into the building in the near future (six to eight hours was bandied around, to my horror). so after calling my roommate and warning her, i headed back here to Hutch, where i am blogging away. (i've also called my mother, who is alternating between amused and excited, and being sorry that i have been thrown out into the cold -well relative cold; it's above freezing today)

more when i return to my apartment, hopefully tonight. for now, dinner. =)

after two weeks of assiduous diet-pepsi-drinking i have yet to win a single iTune. but i have reinforced alex's hatred for diet pepsi (one wonders why he doesn't simply stop stealing my drink, since he knows very well he hates it -grin-). and perhaps ameliorated my harsh stance against pepsi -- though i must say that if it were Coke doing this deal with iTunes i would be much -perhaps infinitely- happier. even though diet pepsi and diet coke both taste equally weird and awful, so...

i need the caffeine. it's a three pm class on a thursday afternoon. thank god tomorrow is friday and my first class is at three.

anyway, the point of my blogging right here (i'm sitting in the middle of the Starbucks on campus) is to ask what the hell is going on with the Chief Justice back home. First he halves the jail term of the poor guy sent to jail for having this strange girl who really should be locked up for her own good perform oral sex on him, then he wanders over and halves the jail term of this guy who cheated an Iranian businessman out of more than 70,000 dollars. what? i would hope that cheating someone out of 70,000 dollars, as a case of criminal and deliberate fraud, certainly deserves the full penalty anyone can dish out; while sticking someone behind bars because (a) Singapore has ridiculous laws outlining what you may or may not do in the privacy of your own home and (b) some chick gets a kick out of performing oral sex then running to the police (and thereby making me want to shake her and say 'what the fuck, girl? what were you THINKING?') is stupid. very stupid.

rereading the articles, i have come to realise that the oral sex laws exist because 'some things are against Asian culture' and are therefore written into the penal code. 'carnal intercourse against the order of nature', i believe the phrase is. i am so enraged i come from a country where things like that can be said with a straight face. 'against Asian culture' indeed. tell that to the hundreds if not thousands of Asian men in the brothels of bangkok and geylang paying women to have sex with them, in whatever way they choose to imagine. 'it's against your Asian culture, guys, cut it out.'

combine that with this little gem in the ST today, about forced savings for children, and it makes me wonder what is going on in my country. what is happening? are we getting more stupid, more greedy, more vindictive, more stupid? what? do we seriously think that forced savings -this is essentially what we are telling our small, innocent, lost young lambs in Naval Base Primary School to do- is necessary? when i was eight years old, i got a daily allowance, like most other kids. i learned that if i didn't spend all my money on any given day, i could buy an ice cream -out of my reach becos it cost more than my daily allowance- at the end of the week. or, better yet, i could not have the ice cream on friday, put that money in my piggy bank, and at some indeterminate point in the future i could go into the bookstore and buy myself a shiny new mechanical pencil (i know, i know, i was a geek even then. silence.) or whatever. that was my incentive to save. isn't that the real incentive to save when you are seven or eight years old? who, at seven, can honestly say ' well, if i keep my ten cents a day for ten years, and then add my CPF, one day i will own an HDB flat/BMW/swimming pool/house in Cairns'?

yet by doing this ridiculous forced savings scheme, where children don't get the benefit of their putting away money in the short-to-medium term, where's the incentive to save? come on, think back to when you were eight: if someone had told you that part of your allowance would disappear into an account where you couldn't use it for a longlong time, if you didn't spend it today, what would you have done? i would've bought myself another white rabbit sweet, that's what i would have done. or one of those ridiculous flags-of-the-world erasers we used to play table-top pepsi-cola with. (i was good at that. oddly enough.)

my mac's batteries are running down, forcing me to stop now. but -shaking head- i still can't imagine where the singapore i remember from when i was ten years old has gone. the Singapore that seemed rational and kind and full of reasonably nice, smart people who worked hard but didn't go crazy when money was involved. i guess that was all a fantasy inside my seven-year-old, st. nicholas-trained enid-blyton-filled head.





Thursday, February 19, 2004

Happy 22nd Birthday

a little in advance, since it is already the 19th in Singapore:

-singing-

Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to You
Happy Birthday to Ceciliaaaaaaaaaaa...
Happy Birthday to Yoooooouuuu!


Happy 22nd Birthday, she'enedra. i miss you tons. hope you have having an absolutely smashing day! i love you =)

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

finally, some original content

because i want to (a) procrastinate and (b) complain about how all the classes i want to take are always at the same time or (this is a new complaint) clash with Motet rehearsals. here's a list of classes i want to take:

Introduction to Game Theory
Introduction to East Asian Politics and Security
The European Union
Seminar on Realism
Economy of Ancient Rome
Introduction to Finance


because of multiple time clashes, the only class i can definitely take is Economy of Ancient Rome. gah. so i'm gonna sacrifice game theory and take yet more East Asian classes (i predict at this rate i will be able to graduate from this college with three degrees: one in economics, one in political science, and one in East Asian studies) and then praypraybegonmyknees to take Mearsheimer's Seminar (which knocks out Finance). at this rate, i'm never gonna get my economics degree. -sigh- i only need four more classes. why is it so ridiculously hard to get them??

and can i handle two seminar classes, both on wednesdays? (Realism and the European Union, though that could be potentially all kinds of cool)

decisions, decisions.

hmm. still no original content from me this week, but what the heck, i keep coming across these gems. like who wouldn't want to own a Navy jet? your very own Hornet, courtesy of eBay. woohoo! every girl's dream.

exploding whales? what's next?


Cetacean moments

The case of the exploding whale caught my attention while browsing through news from Taiwan last week. It happened at Tainan, the 17th-century Dutch capital in the southwest of the island -- taken from them soon after by Koxinga, the great anti-Manchu pirate-warrior, in the later moments of the Ming Dynasty -- and famous today for its coffin cakes, eel noodles, and milkfish congee.

The whale was the largest ever to wash up in Taiwan, by rather a wide margin -- an old bull sperm, 17 metres in length and about 50 tons in weight. (The previous record was 11 metres.) It beached itself, and expired before a large crowd near the old city.

The industriousness of the Taiwanese must never be underestimated: It was resolved to load the carcass onto a flatbed trailer, and truck it to Chung Keng University, so that marine biologists there could conduct an assiduous post-mortem. Three construction cranes were required, along with 50 men, but within 13 hours the thing was loaded.

The route to the university led through the middle of town, unfortunately.

In the retrospective judgment of Prof. Wang Chien-ping, a large quantity of gas must have accumulated in the whale's belly, through natural processes of decomposition, under increasing pressure. The smell, attributable to the same processes, had already become an issue. I speculate that the jostling of the whale, both by the cranes and in traffic, might have contributed to the later catastrophic event. As luck would have it, the truck was passing through a busy market street when the blast occurred.

The quantity of blood and entrails to be found within a 50-ton whale is apparently quite considerable. These were suddenly distributed up and down the street, covering cars, pedestrians, and shopfronts. I am pleased to report that no one was killed. A vigorous cleanup was immediately begun by residents of the neighbourhood, wearing face masks. Reporters arriving on the scene quoted them as being "disgusted."

In a quick change of plan, the administrators at Chung Keng decided they didn't want to receive the remains after all, and after repositioning the remains of those remains, the truck proceeded instead to the Shi-Tsao Nature Preserve. (A fine bird sanctuary, incidentally, on a migration route. And, notwithstanding the problem of cetacean volatility, I recommend Tainan to any traveller. It remained the chief city of Taiwan until the late 19th century, has dozens of temples, several ancient city gates, and a lively night market.)

Exploding whales have been a problem over time. It would seem to be an inevitable design glitch in large mammals. But spontaneous combustion is something to which Taiwan seems especially prone lately -- we read the other day of a lady's cellphone blowing up in Taipei.

Now, thanks to the universal fame of Dave Barry, who wrote about it, memorably, 20 years later, another exploding whale story may be impinging upon my reader's memory, even as I write. That whale, however, did not explode from natural causes, but owing to being stuffed with dynamite by the Oregon State Highway Division, on Nov. 12th, 1970. It was a mere eight-ton whale, that had been found beached and was, unambiguously, deceased. Since the detonation was pre-announced, it was captured on local television. The plan was to distribute the whale carcass along the beach near Florence, Oregon, in smaller pieces that could then be removed "naturally" -- by hungry seagulls.

The best-laid plans often go amiss, and after a very satisfying initial explosion, which drew cheers from onlookers, their tone suddenly changed. In Mr. Barry's words, describing the archived news footage, "You hear a new sound like 'splud'. You hear a woman's voice shouting, 'Here come pieces of ... MY GOD!' Something smears the camera lens."

The crowd began to run for its lives. The roof of a car belonging to someone named Umenhofer was caved by descending whale debris, a quarter-mile away.

In the excited phrase of Paul Linnman, the contemporary TV reporter, "The blast blasted blubber beyond all believable bounds." Yet, in the end, "whale sectors the size of condominium units" remained at the original site. Nor did seagulls appear soon after (Mr. Barry guessed they relocated to Brazil).

David Warren for The Ottawa Citizen, 1 Feb 2004.

Monday, February 16, 2004

News from Calvert House

Broomball Redux

Well fortified by the Rice and Beans served by second year Danny Wasserman at the Undergraduate Dinner, the Calvert House Papal Bulls spilled onto the Midway Ice Rink with the unifying cry, "Unam Sanctam!" They were cheered on in their quest by several passionate supporters, who made the night air echo with cries of "Give me an A! Give me an M! Give me a D! Give me a G! What does that spell? AD MAJORAM DEI GLORIAM!"

Father Michael Yakaitis, still peeved by threats of liturgical dance set to the tune of "Hey Mickey", refused Patrick la Victoire's request to pronounce anathema on the other team -- and everyone else seemed to have problems pronouncing it as well, as Suzanne Lawler's cries "Give me an A! N! A! T! H! E! M! A!" were met with profound silence worthy of a Carmelite Monastery. THere was, however, one unfortunate sidelines brawl between Miss Lawler and Mr. la Victoire that appeared to be over the title of "executioner". Despite both parties' lovely curls, no hair-pulling occurred.

The Broadview Brawlers, who came without a pep squad, found themselves short one girl, and so Calvert girl Erin Sweeney played against her own team. Out of true Christian charity, she refused to sabotage the Brawlers, and may indeed have assisted the one goal of the game, against intimidating goalie Adam Molnar in the first half. The Beatitudes were perhaps too present, as the Papal Bulls lost the game 1-0, despite the quintessentially dorky cheer of "Yeah our team has got momentum! Et Antiquum Documentum!" Patrick is being blamed.

THe absence of ardent Broomball fan Jared 'Robo' Sagoff was duly noted. It may have been due to his erroneous belief that Papal Bulls are Church pets. Alice Hutton has informed him that such creatures are politely referred to as liturgists.

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Windows XP = Anglicanism?

Umberto Eco wrote, back in 1994, an article for an Italian newspaper, L'Espresso, about Macs and PCs. Take a look here.

trio mediaeval

alex and i went to a concert last night by trio mediaeval, a trio of scandinavian [two norwegian one swedish] sopranos who did a beautiful concert of medieval music originally written for male voices, as well as a short program of norwegian folk music. imagine three absolutely pure voices filling Rockefeller Chapel in the cold, miserable gloom of a Chicago winter night, and you will realise why their music brought tears to my eyes. the medieval polyphony, in particular - i can almost, on the edge of my mind, go back hundreds of years to a time when churches were all filled with polyphonic latin chants, while the candles cast flickering light on male choristers dressed in robes - none of them holding music and with no conductor to keep time, only the music that flowed inside their blood to keep them together. from a time before the Church decided that it needed some way to keep its believers together and alert during Mass, and made everyone sing -and as a consequence had to make the music English [so that its non-Latin-speaking congregation could understand what it was singing] and simple [so that its non-specialist congregation would be able to follow along without the ability to read complicated music]. while i enjoy singing in church, there are times when i wish the Church had left the singing to the specialists; somehow it puts me in a more God-mindful mood to listen to voices like the trio mediaeval singing the Latin words to the Mass.

cloning

the South Koreans have done what everyone has been dithering about for the last few years, since Dolly the Sheep proved that cloning animals is technically possible: they have cloned a human being. i guess since Dolly the Sheep was cloned, we knew that human cloning was techically also a possibility -- because human beings are really sort of a larger kind of animal, at least physiologically speaking. but i always hoped that the ethical issues -the fear of playing God- would stop us. clearly, that hope was misconceived. of course, i'm not going to deny that stem-cell research might be important in the search for a cure for diseases like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. i just don't believe that it is something to be undertaken without due care for the ethics of the situation.

when you weigh the difference between using stem-cells from aborted fetuses and using stem-cells from cloned embryos, i really don't know which is the lesser of the two evils. they both come back to the same question: the definition of 'life'. the notion of playing God really only makes sense if you think of the creation of these cloned embryos as creating life, because of the possibility that if they were transplanted into a womb they could potentially reach maturity and be born. just like in IVF. i guess i would really like to believe in humankind's ability to refrain from actual cloning of human babies -as in having cloned children born; as in playing God and creating life- but have not the faith that they will. the slippery slope and all. plus you have the argument that the people who accomplish the deed might just be thinking 'i wonder if it's actually possible for me to do this' rather than 'should i do this?'

happy valentine's day, everyone.

kyrie eleison
christe eleison
kyrie eleison


Saturday, February 14, 2004

have been entertaining myself this morning by reading what the Straits Times has to say about the primaries over here in the US - the goings-on of Kerry, Edwards, Bush and assorted other people who are now out of or on their way out of the fray, like Clark and Dean. while i'm sort of sorry that clark is out of the race -how cool it would be to have a President of the United States who was also once Supreme Allied Commander of NATO- at this point all i am concerned with is that the Dems don't shoot themselves in the foot and destroy the campaign of the man who can beat Bush because they can't decide who they should nominate for the job. argh. all we need is someone to beat Bush. in this case i'll take my chances with the devil i don't know, because the devil i do has done a terrible job, and will in all likelihood continue to do a terrible job if reelected for another four year term. the horror of it.

while waiting for november to arrive i shall continue to entertain myself by reading Krugman's Op-Ed pieces that appear in the NYTimes every wednesday and sunday, which these days invariably point out some shortcoming that Bush and/or his Administration possesses -- lying about WMDs, lying about tax cuts, lying about the cost to the taxpayer of the war in Iraq; or their simple inability to do math -- if income is far far less than expenditure, how the HELL do you expect to decrease the deficit? is the money-supply fairy supposed to come and deal with your crap, or is it a problem for the poor guy who will take office in 2008 -presumably that's the kind of timeline the White House would LIKE to be working with now- to deal with?

bah. today's Op-Ed in particular was entertainingly short and sharp. why the budget contains 27 glossy photos of Bush is a question for another day -- when i get over the horror of the idea of 27 glossy colour photos of Bush in Heroic Presidential Poses. if you have trouble accessing that link -it's to the NYTimes archive of his piece, try the Krugman Archive.

have a nice day. =)

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

the Yeti-hit-penguin-with-a-stick game

for the people in my life who are monumentally bored/procrastinating from writing that really big paper/missing his wife who is in Stuttgart/missing her husband while in Stuttgart/really like hitting penguins with big sticks and seeing them land headfirst in a snowbank, click here and enjoy.

-grin-

Morning Express

To the crew on the Morning Express, via email:

Hi Guys:

I'm an overseas student and really really miss listening to the Morning Express. I woke up to you guys for years [well really to the National Anthem, since my alarm would go off shortly before six am] before moving out here to Chicago for college. Imagine my excitement when I learned that I could listen to you guys over the Internet every night while slogging my way through piles of neverending homework. Then imagine my despair as time and again I get the annoying 'Server Bandwidth Exceeded' message as I try and try to get my Flying Dutchman fix. Please please get your guys on this so I and the hundreds of other Singaporeans overseas can continue to listen to our favourite morning show, instead of being forced to listen to Virgin Radio over iTunes to get quality non-hiphop/rap radio programs over here in Chicagoland. Save us! =) Thanks!

perhaps it will amuse the crew. in fact, perhaps i will make their show! but ah...the wonderful irony of life -- i won't be able to hear it, because Server Bandwidth will be Exceeded.




Monday, February 09, 2004

announced during Mass this evening: there is going to be a Calvert House Broomball team -they start intramural competition tomorrow night at nine pm at the ice rink on the Midway. and get this --

they're gonna be called The Papal Bulls.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

addendum to earlier post

re: opening sally for ASEAN paper floating around in my head:

i've lost it. as i knew i would. there was no way it could survive two days of floating around in motet-land, augmented by a judicious application of Hui Liangyu bio information and paper planning.

oh well, back to the drawing board. damn this paper.

home sweet home

back from galesburg. the concert was a remarkable success considering that neither choir had any idea what the other was doing for this concert...coincidentally we'd picked a couple of composers in common and it gave randi and tim something to talk about other than the food we were promised post concert. [which failed to materialise in the form tt randi had implied -- it was reception finger food, not dinner. we remedied that by miguel ordering a pizza almost immediately after we hit the hotel and started the post-concert party]

the auditorium was amazing, warm and cozy. it produced the most gorgeous sound from the guys -of course that meant that every single mistake was amplified too. -amused- one moment sticks out really well: the guys started of There Is No Rose in the weirdest way i have ever heard them do it, and Randi shoots them this Look: the -what the fuck was THAT- look, and i almost lost it right there and then. but after that, it was beautiful. i think the ending was as beautiful as i've ever heard us do that piece. i almost cried.

the schmoozing after was kind of boring, i lack schmoozing skills...and then i was too tired to really hit the post-party. so, that was galesburg. the busrides were ok. =) it was nice to hang out with aaron for a bit.

but now i'm back in the HP, need to get my shit together and some work done. instead i am reading Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, napping, and going downtown to have dinner at the Star of Siam and watch Mystic River with pstan. the movie was excellent, i enjoyed myself, and i am still reluctant to work. -moan-

hopefully tomorrow will be better workwise. gonna hit BJ for brunch tomorrow morning, then slug it out at the Reg for a while before church, and hopefully get lots of shit done. but don't get your hopes up.

Friday, February 06, 2004

leaving for galesburg, il at noon. from the emails bouncing around on the motet mailing list this overnight trip is going to be a blast, but right now i have the opening sally for my ASEAN paper swimming around in my head, and it's frustrating to know that i won't be able to work on it until i get back tomorrow. on the other hand i can take my reading with me, and perhaps get some of it done on the bus, if the China reading doesn't take all of three hours, or we don't wind up singing random songs gratituously. [THAT was a long sentence. boo.]

i wandered around inside JSTOR and LexisNexis last night, looking for stuff on Hui Liangyu, China's new Vice-Premier in charge of agriculture, and realised that i am an idiot for not looking up ASEAN stuff there as well. so i typed in 'ASEAN and formation of' into the search engine and lo and behold, tons of papers popped up regarding the first few years around ASEAN's inception. wow. i AM an idiot. but it reminds me of why i love being at college, with all these resources at hand. i mean, when else after college am i going to be able to access all these periodicals and not have to pay for it? even at the office all i'm gonna get is Factiva and maybe if i'm lucky World News and LexisNexis. no more JSTOR, which is where all the juicy stuff is. -boo-.

in other news, since i know lots of people who know janice read this: jan is still in barca and is doing ok now. she was mugged on sunday and was hurt, wound up in the emergency room and was out of things for a couple of days, but she's back on her feet and back in classes now. if you get a chance, send her an email and threaten to break her assailant's kneecaps. ok? =)

anyway, gotta go print out said readings and maybe eat some breakfast and pack and change before going to see matteo before walking to the Chapel -not to get married, but to leave for Galesburg with the rest of motet on a schoolbus. -grin- [i just mistyped 'motet' several times as 'moet', i'm not sure what that betrays about my internal workings] oh, and alex is going to be in new york for the long weekend, lucky pig =) but i'll be back here, back to work tomorrow afternoon. -groan-

see y'all tomorrow!

Thursday, February 05, 2004

after two and a half years at the U of C, i've finally realised something:

all the partial differential equations i've been solving for the last two and a half years are a mathmatician's way of saying ceteris paribus.

that makes me happy. thinking about math and econ for no apparent reason while i'm brushing my teeth late at night and coming to a conclusion like above makes me happy. understanding why states in a two player coordination game have ellipitical indifference curves makes me happy.

i am clearly, without question, a huge dork. =)

at some point today i will be writing a 500 word [or less] critique of the assumptions of game theory as it pertains to international relations. until then i am goofing off listening to the CD of the Motet's Advent Vespers concert, updating my blog while reading other people's blogs [oh gosh, Sudeep's voice is amazing], and reading Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. which is good stuff. i started it this morning because i was reluctant to get out of bed and start my workday. for some obscure reason i thought reading would make it easier to get out bed -- i'm not quite sure what kind of crack my brain was pretending to be on this morning when it thought THAT up, because clearly it didn't work out so well. when nine-thirty rolled around it was painful dragging myself into the shower, away from that lovely book...

in other news: my parents have decided to get me an iPod for my birthday! which is, incidentally, in one months' time. =) it struck me, as i loafed off in bed this morning, that the smallest iPod -not the mini, which has 4GB, but the real iPods- has a greater capacity to hold music than my laptop has to hold anything. my laptop, poor dear ancient thing, has just 10GB. i know, she's a baby by current standards, but she's almost three, cut her some slack -grin- isn't that a weird thought? that a tiny little thing the size of my palm can hold more information than a laptop the size of...well of my lap. -grin-

time to go read some more Cryptonomicon...i mean polsci reading. =)

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Neil Gaiman

i couldn't resist posting this:

Gaiman, in his online journal says:

Google is your friend. Google loves you. Google wants you to be happy.

for some reason, i find that absolutely hilarious. perhaps i am going insane. =)

so the midterm sorta kicked my ass -from here to sunday. -grin- while i'm not sure that more studying would necessarily have helped seeing as i am confused about some of the material, actually remembering stuff that i had studied [like the names of the Gang of Four, perhaps] would have helped immensely. at least, at the very least, i can tell you where Xinjiang, Hunan, Anhui, Fujian and Liaoning are. hah! =)

now to settle back in the humdrum of regular work -- including preparing a six page bio of some current chinese politician [mom! help me!!!!!] with aaron; writing stuff for LRS hopefully of a higher quality than i produced this week -wince-; and writing a critique of the assumptions of cooperation theory -somehow!- by thursday so matteo can laugh at me over the weekend while i'm in Galesburg, IL, instead of New York. bleagh.

i wanna be in new york for suicide weekend.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

browsing through LJs instead of working, i read this in Evan's LJ:

I have a mountain range of work to do. This was supposed to be the hill of the lot. It's turning into an everest or rather a K2 (2nd highest but most difficult mountain to climb in the world). The everest of the lot is fam right now.

perfect description of my work situation right now. whoa. =) thanks, evan. i'm gonna remember this one from now on.

back to my mountain range of Chinese Politics -again.

Monday, February 02, 2004

oh, the superbowl

my first football game of the year -on the telly, of course- was the Superbowl. not too bad a game -even alex was getting into it -grin- as it progressed. conveniently scoreless until we returned home from church too, which was nice, and then a blitz of scoring. yay the Patriots for a flashy ending.

on the other hand, the halftime show -which everyone seems to think is one of the big highlights of the superbowl, along with the commercials that cost obscene amts of money to put on during the Superbowl itself- was a complete disappointment. the Drudge Report went to town on it; the Times had a few words to say about it, and i'm sure if i bothered to go look it up, CBS and MTV would be bitching it out online too. all i can say is -dear god, Janet and Justin, there are kids watching the show. if you can't come up with some real musical talent between you then get your lousy asses off the stage and let someone who can sing and dance take the stage. no one wants to see bared body parts after a performance like that -shudder- i think it'll be giving me nightmares for a while.

time to get back to work. Chinese Politics midterm tomorrow. -sigh- booo for midterms.