Saturday, March 29, 2003

Old Navy == Walmart

I just saw one of those annoying we-are-cool-because-we-are-cheap Old Navy commercials again. The last time I went to an Old Navy was the last time I would ever go to one again. All of clothes in there looked like they were made by the same third-world country child laborers that Walmart employs. Actually, I take it back. Walmart has more variety and better designs. And old ladies who wave at you when you enter the store.

Basically, Old Navy is the store for people who want to pay Walmart prices but are too embarassed to shop at Walmart.
A Wonderful Day for Journalism

Woooooohoooooooo! has secured another round of funding. The $30 I spent on a premium membership has been worth every penny. Although has nowhere near as much content now as it had during the dotcom boom, it is still an invaluable source of information for me. Every day I read insightful, well-written news/politics/technology articles on this site that I cannot find anywhere else. In this time of war, seems to be one of the few publications that dare to question and criticize the policies of the current administration. I just wish there were more quality journalism of's caliber in this alleged "liberal media." I simply cannot live without my daily fix of now.

I just sent my sister a gift premium subscription. I don't think she will be disappointed.
There is no Biz Like Show Biz

I hope this memo is fake. No one in his/her right mind could possibly come up with something like this.

Friday, March 28, 2003

More Pictures

All right, I finally put up lots and lots of pictures I've taken since moving to New York.

I'll put up a brief summary later. Making this gallery took way longer than it should have.

At lunch today for whatever weird reason the topic of waking up in the middle of the night and wanting to pee came up. I've had this weird experience, and I don't know if other people share it. Here it goes: Occasionally I would wake up in the middle of the night and want to pee. However, the urgency is usually not super critical and I'm usually too lazy to actually get up and walk to the bathroom, so I just go back to sleep. Then I start having dreams about going to the bathroom and actually peeing. After I dream of peeing, I'm usually jolted awake by the fear that I might have just wet my bed by accident. Thank god this has never happened, but it totally freaks me out every time.

I wonder if this is like the eating asparagus and having foul-smelling pee phenomenon. For a while, I thought I was the only one with that problem.
Horrible Crime

From the Times:

"10-year-old boy was charged yesterday with enticing a 3-year-old boy to leave a library in Woodbridge, N.J., and then beating and sexually assaulting him before leaving him to die in a storm drain."

I'm speechless.
Crazy Morning

I was almost 50 minutes late to work today because of a bomb scare on the Williamsburg bridge that the J train normally passes on the way to Manhattan. What a way to start a beautiful sunny Friday!

UPDATE: apparently there wasn't a bomb, just three idiots who decided to break into a restricted area of the bridge to drink.

Thursday, March 27, 2003


From a Craig's List apt ad:
"Geeky and studious professional GAM [Gay Asian Male??] seeks male or female roommate to share top floor of renovated Harlem brownstone. I am neat and socially conservative..."

How can someone be both gay and socially conservative? It's like being a black white supremist, like in that Chappelle's Show skit.
Yay! Way to go Terrorist Reprisals!!

About 20 minutes ago, the people on my floor were summoned next to the stairway by corporate security as part of a fire drill. The security guy went over the procedure in case of a fire. Somehow it segued into a lecture about what we should do if there are "chemicals" released in the vicinity. Then he started talking about people getting trampled to death in the Rhode Island night club. I guess that's actually related to the fire drill since he talked about trying to find alternate escape routes should there be too many people crowding one exit.

The drill comes in the midst of increased security at my firm. About two weeks ago, they gave us a tag imprinted with an automated hotline number that we could call to find out the company's operating status in case there is some kind of emergency. Last week they started requiring us to show our ID's to the guards before we scan them at the turnstiles. Today they started searching/x-raying visitors' bags and packages. I'm wondering if they will start issuing us NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemical) suits next week.

Network Television

Recently, I have been watching so much TV it's scary. I watched the Daily Show on Comedy Central on Monday night. Smallville on the WB on Tuesday night, followed by the Shield on FX, and then The Daily Show on Comedy Central. Last night I switched back and forth between the Lakers-Rockets game on ESPN and Comedy Central, which had South Park followed by Chappelle's Show and then The Daily Show. From time to time I switched to CNN to check on the war. Tonight I plan to watch more episodes of HBO's Six Feet Under before following it up with a healthy dose of The Daily Show, maybe even a little bit of Collin Quinn if I'm in the mood for some asshole-watching.

What's wrong with this picture here? With the exception of Smallville, which is a surprisingly good show despite sharing a schedule with the likes of Dawson's Creek, I don't watch anything on the major networks. There is almost no show on ABC/NBC/CBS/Fox that really interests me nowadays. Sure, occasionally I switch to Fox for a quality show like The Simpsons. In the mornings I watch Good Morning New York on the local Fox affilliate for weather and news while I eat breakfast. I even watch CBS for the NCAA tourney. Other than that, I can't really think of any currently running show on the networks that I watch consistently. Why? Because I have absolutely no interest in the current crop of reality shows like American Idol, Survivor, and Are You Hot or Not. There is no network sitcom or drama that I find particularly interesting, entertaining, thought-provoking, or capable of challenging my beliefs. NOTHING. Just bland, family-friendly, lame crap some producers cooked up to get ratings and advertising money.

What is going on here? Why aren't there more quality shows on the networks? Are they too afraid to bring out harsh, grim dramas like The Shield because they are worried about offending viewers and losing advertisers? Do they think we are too stupid to understand and appreciate ground-breaking shows like Six Feet Under? Are they only interested in duplicating surprising hit shows and milking the current fad for all its worth? How much more can they suck?

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Asian Fetish

Today as I was going down the escalator in Grand Central, I saw an Asian guy on another escalator petting his hot blonde girlfriend. I almost wanted to run up to him and high five him. It felt good to finally see an Asian DUDE with a hot white chick, instead of the other way around. No, I am not narrow-minded and against interracial relationships. In fact, in my own twisted logic, more racial mixing leads to less racial discrimination since no one can really claim to belonging to the "superior" race. Besides, most hapa girls are fucking HOT!! I just wish there is some kind of balance in this interracial dating conduit. I can honestly say that in the three months I have been in NYC, this was the first time I saw an Asian guy with a white girl. THREE MONTHS!! IN NEW YORK CITY!! THERE ARE 10 MILLION PEOPLE HERE!! Of course, I have lost track of the number of couples with the other gender/race composition.

I remember reading in Newsweek a couple of years ago that Asian women are most likely to marry outside their racial group. The figure provided was 7% if I remember correctly. My own personal experiences definitely bear this out. On Craig's List there is no shortage of "cute, petite" Asian females looking for "Caucasian guys." Conversely, there are so many white guys with Asian fetish that it was disgusting (yes, I am a loser and I admit to looking at online personal ads). A while back I was waiting in a line with some buddies in a bar/restaurant. There was a really hot Asian girl in front of us that seemed way too friendly to me, not that I would complain about that. We were getting along really well until she said she was waiting for some people. Of course these people turned out to be her boyfriend and his brother. What made it even more disappointing was the fact that this guy was white. I know I should not have felt this way, but it totally felt like a slap in the face.

Junior year at Stanford I got a message through the AASA (Asian American Student Association) mailing list from the president entitled "I'm not Your Asian Fetish" or something like that. Basically, it was an announcement about empowering Asian American women or some bullshit like that. As Kodawg can attest, I was very very tempted to reply and asker her why she was dating a white guy.

Then there is the media. Beautiful Asian/American women in newsrooms, movies, TV shows are often paired with white men, sometimes being portrayed as nothing more than hollow sexual fantasies while the few Asian men I see on screen are often goofy (Jackie Chan) or maniacal (Japanese Yakuza gansters or that Asian guy that gets beaten up by Van Damme in Bloodsport II), and completely devoid of any kind of sexual appeal whatsoever. In fact I saw a new Bacardi Silver commercial tonight in which a fugly Asian chick was drooling over some white guy, to the point of almost stalking him. I almost wanted to pick up one of my myriad remotes and send it through the TV screen.

Of course, I have also seen a fair number of white guys dating hideous Asian girls, so it doesn't always work to our disadvantage.

I'm just wondering what is wrong with us Asian guys? It just seems unfair that in the eyes of non-Asians, Asian gals are considered exotic and desirable, while we are commonly thought of as nerdy and unattractive. What gives? Is it a height thing? I do see many short Hispanic guys with their bootylicious chicas. Could it be that we are usually nice and respectful but not very assertive/aggressive so that we are deemed as boring? Is it the genetic disposition towards glasses wearing? We can't really help it if we have bad eyesight!!

Ok, I'm feeling tired and depressed now. Time to go to bed.
More on Asian Names

Tolu brought up a great point that I have meaning to comment on for a while. What is up with all these super generic Anglo names that Asian/American parents pick for their kids? How many Mike Lee's or Eric Chang's or Jennifer Wang's or Benjamin Ko's (hehe) do we need in this country? How bland can you be? Possible names for my kids if I ever get married: Valerie, Courtney, Autumn, Sonya, Niko, Lawrence, Neo, Rocky, Maximus, Major, Nigel, ESPN, Bruno, The possibilities are endless. Major Liu sounds like a fucking Chinese restaurant, so maybe not that.
Sneaky Iraqis

These guys are very cunning. It looks like this war is going to be neither quick nor easy, just as I had suspected. My favorite part from the article:

The attacks have made 3rd Infantry soldiers even more vigilant about protecting their column. If anyone is sighted approaching U.S. troops, the first question from their officers is “Are they armed?” and if the answer is “Yes,” the immediate response is, “Kill them.”
First Contact

So for the past month, this cute Chinese girl sitting a few rows from me has been kind of eyeing me, and vice versa. I was alone with her while waiting for the elevator when she asked me if I were Chinese. Normally I hate it when other people ask me that after they've just met me since just because I look Asian doesn't mean I'm Chinese. I hate it even more because I have no right to be mad since I AM Chinese!!

Anyways, we chitchatted for like 3 seconds before my elevator came. Too bad we were going in opposite directions or else I would have talked with her more. Here's to hoping that something good will come out of this encounter of the second kind.
Sneaky Asians

I just found out that my Thai coworker, whom I have known as Lynne for the past 3 months, actually has totally a different first name. Her "real" first name is something like Pornvamee, which kicks ass since I've never met anyone whose name starts with "porn."

I think it's kind of funny how many East Asians/Asian-Americans I know, myself included, have both an Asian name and an Anglo name to make it easier for everyone else when just about every other ethnic group sticks with their "ethnic" names. Why do we Asian Americans try to blend in so much? Why should a "Chuanshen" be considered less American than a "Jose" or a "Tyrone" or a "Vinny"?

Another interesting phenomenon that I have noticed is the lack of Asian Americans in Asian car commercials!! A friend attributed this to the fact that these car companies are trying to appeal to an American audience. But Asian Americans ARE Americans!! I think the problem is that many if not a majority of people in this country still do not consider us to be Americans. I don't think they are all racists by any means because it seems more to be a subconscious assumption that usually goes unchallenged. Part of the reason such misconceptions exist may be that WE are sometimes not sure if we are more "Asian" or "American": We can speak perfect English, indulge in pop culture, and live in the burbs, but we can't ever forget or give up certain traditional values or beliefs, or, in my case, Chinese food :-) Then again, why should we have to choose between the two? Various other ethnic groups have retained vestiges of their culture and yet are still considered Americans, like the Italians, the Irish, the Jews and the Africans. When will that day come for us?
Mind in the Gutter Again

Last night on the way back home, I saw a "Snatch Attack" sign in front of some store. After doing a double take, I realized that it actually said "Snack Attack."

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Web Sightings of Me

Here's a sample of search results from with my name as the query terms:

List of Evil Persecutors in Lixia District of Jinan City, Shandong Province
... Jinan City, Shandong Province 1. Liu Xiping, Male, the Deputy Secretary ... Communist Party of Lixia District Liu is a chief instigator in the persecution ... of Falun Gong practitioners. 4. Liu Guangyan, Male, the Head of the Student Recruitment ...
more hits from: - 5 KB

AI: Juvenile may die after death sentences in 'Daimler-Benz' killings
... Intermediate People’s Court in China against Zhong Weiyang, Liu Guangyan, Ding Shanyang and Zhang Eryang includes a death sentence ... visit our contact pages for further details. Though Liu Guangyuan is officially recorded as aged 18, his mother ...

Looks like I share my name with an evil Falun Gong persecutor and a teenage murderer. I will refrain from making fun of Falun Gong for fear of being pestered.
Where is Raed?

I don't know if this is some kind of high tech war propaganda, but I don't care since I find his account of the daily bombing raids fascinating and compelling, even if it could be false, which doesn't seem likely.
OMG, I Have Fallen

for classical music that is!! In my search for some suitable music to listen to while at work, I've found that classical music is the least distracting/headache-inducing. It should make me smarter too, if all these studies can be believed. For some reason, the music I'm listening to on the "MOSTLY CLASSICAL" Winamp station is much more interesting than all those cheap $3 Best Buy classical CD's that my sister and I have bought over the years. Actually it's even more interesting than some of the pieces performed by the Stanford Orchestra (no offense BK).

Right now, I have no idea what this chick is singing in German. Hell, I don't even know if she is singing in German, but I have to say that I like it. Damn it, I'm becoming cultured. This can't be a good thing.
Damn It

I'm too prolific for my own good tonight. Ok, I've noticed all these hits on my page that were referred by, which is impossible since that page can't possibly contain a link to my blog because 1.) it's not published recently and 2.) it's not particularly noteworthy.

I did however, notice this interesting entry in a random recently published blog:

I am partially studying the last teeny-weeny bits for my Chinese finals and ready to go to San Francisco...tonite! I have oen more final and then I am hopping a train out of crazytown. My parents are going to pamper me for 4 days and then I get to spend one nite with Gary and then I start work and a brand new quarter.
I found out what "our" problem is. I have retarded ejaculation, according to the Joys of Gay Sex. It means taht I am too anxious to orgasm. That really sucks. They are suggesting a really interesting technique to make the tension go away but I am not sure if Gary is up for that challenge. Other than that, I think being a top is not a bad thing and I just need more practice...if you know what I mean ^_^. So I geuss I will borrow the book and figure out how to make him happy."

I didn't know I had a gay Asian lover who has "retarded ejaculation.

Actually I think I know why my link is on the blogger homepage now. The recently published section doesn't just contain blogs that are published for the first time, it contains blogs that have just been updated, or "published" recently, too.
Last Thing for Tonight. I Promise

Apparently, MTV Europe has imposed self-censorship, at least according to this memo. Banned videos include:

* System of a Down "Boom!" - anti-war video containing facts and figures about, amongst other things, the projected casualties in the war in Iraq.
* Radiohead "Lucky" - contains war footage including injured children.

"Furthermore, videos with words such as "bomb", "missile", "war" or other sensitive words in the artist or song title should not be shown at the moment.

Examples include:
Outkast "B.O.B (Bombs over Baghdad)" - song title may offend.
Radiohead "Invasion" - song title may offend.
Megadeth "Holy Wars" - song title may offend.
Gavin Friday "You, Me and World War Three" - song title may offend.
B-52s videos."

B-52s videos? Man, I'm glad I'm not in a band called The Patriots or Scud.
Before I go to Bed

This poll was found on a real website launched apparently by the beef industry to target teenage girls:

What type of beef do you most like to eat with your friends?


Monday, March 24, 2003

Mondays with Srini

[22:03:53] srini91: the war is supported by 70% of Americans according to O'Reilly
[22:03:57] srini91: I love to hate that show
[22:04:03] srini91: I love to hate Fox News
[22:04:06] gfunknation: that guy is such an asshole
[22:04:13] srini91: yeah
[22:04:15] gfunknation: yeah, i hate that channel
[22:04:24] srini91: I wish liberal people were more like him though
[22:04:31] srini91: ass kicking, without destroying shit
[22:04:44] srini91: all we have is Jesse Jackson
[22:05:21] gfunknation: i know
[22:05:22] gfunknation: wtf
[22:05:34] gfunknation: i wish the people could have their own show
[22:05:51] srini91: create your own news station
[22:05:57] srini91: the liberal equivalent of fox news
[22:05:58] gfunknation: the best liberal show on tv is a fake news show
[22:06:05] srini91: haha
[22:06:18] srini91: The Gary Liu Hour
[22:06:29] srini91: I'll come on and piss on O'Reilly
[22:06:31] srini91: for an hour.
[22:06:43] gfunknation: yeah, haha
[22:06:44] gfunknation: definitely
[22:07:19] gfunknation: it'll be Liu & Panguluri
[22:07:43] srini91: but I'll just be pissing or pissed off
[22:08:07] gfunknation: that's ok
[22:08:23] srini91: I'll hold up a sign saying "O'Reilly = Stupid" or "O'Reilly:unbiased as His Mom:Whore"
[22:08:30] srini91: I like the second one
[22:08:35] srini91: he loses either way.

On Larry King I just heard Colonel Cornum, an ex-POW from Desert Storm, say that the Iraqi practice of letting Arab television stations film American POW's is "abhorrent." Rumsfield has expressed similar opinions on this incident, saying that Iraq is violating the Geneva Convention by "humiliating" these POW's, i.e. allowing these POW's to be photographed. I find such opinions very interesting since we have been watching malnourished, dirty, ragged Iraqi soldiers being handcuffed and rounded up and munching on food packets on ABC/CBS/NBC/CNN/Fox News nonstop for the past two days. And let's not forget about the hundreds of "enemy combatants," not POW's according to this administration, being held indeterminately in Guantanamo Bay. Of course, I'm not saying that we should treat the Iraqi soldiers like royalty. I just think that we should be more self conscious about our own behavior before we start condemning the Iraqis, especially when we have almost no international support in this war. The Coalition of the Willing doesn't count as international support since only Britain and Australia are actually sending troops to this war, with Australia only committing a couple of thousand soldiers. Even the British people do not support Tony Blair in this war as far as I can tell from all the turmoil in the streets and the Parliament.

Personally, I think it's a good thing that these American POW's were shown on TV. First, they are less likely to be tortured, killed or "missing" once everyone in the world has seen them. More importantly, I think it's important for us the American people to see the bloody consequences of war because unlike in the Vietnam War, the American press has made this war appear remarkably sanitary. We need to be harshly reminded that war is more than specks of lights darting across a green screen, that the evil Iraqi soldiers (most of whom are hapless conscripted peasants anyways) are not the only ones dying in this war.

Finally, I find it ironic that with all this freedom of press that our news organizations enjoy and all the high tech equipment at their disposal, the most memorable, powerful, and visceral footages from this war have come from Al-Jazeera. All I ever see on the US networks are flashy 3-D maps, fuzzy night-vision images, American soldiers rolling through the desert triumphantly in their tanks, and press conferences where the Secretary of Defense and the generals proclaim how successful the war has been going. These are not war footages. They are a cross between government propaganda and reality programming. In contrast, the Al-Jazeera footages actually show the unpleasant realities of war: crumbled buildings, maimed civilians, dead soldiers, theirs and ours.

BTW, why the fuck is Miss America on tonight? And I thought the Oscars last night was irrelevant.
Spamming the Spammers

If the NYC police department starts doing this, I probably won't get so many annoying flyers on my windshield.
My Bracket

It has gone to hell because I was too optimistic in my assessment of the lower seeds. At this point I'm 8 for 16 for the Sweet Sixteen. Really really bad picks from me: Penn over OK. St AND Syracuse (they lost in 1st round); Wake Forest going to the Final Four (lost in 2nd round); Cal beating Oklahoma AND Butler; Creighton beating Duke in 2nd round (they didn't get past first round. WTF was I thinking?); Wagner beating Pitt (what a poor choice for a 5-12 upset).

Oh well, at least I picked Notre Dame and Butler correctly. BTW, this internet radio thing ROCKS!! Tons of good songs by artists I've never heard of before. Give it try. Just to go and browse their radio station listings. I'm listening to Radio Paradise: "eclectic intelligent rock" now.
News = Lies??

Am I paranoid or is this ruling really really fucking disturbing? If news organizations are free to broadcast information they know to be false, who can we trust? Not that I'm so naive to think that FOX News is "Fair and Balanced," but this is just creepy.
I'm the Pimp!

Woohoo! I just figured out how to configure winamp to work with the network proxy servers so now I can listen to crappy internet techno/trance radio stations instead of crappy pop radio stations from my neighbor's radio.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Adrien Brody is the Pimp

That guy did everything right tonight. First he wins the Oscar for best actor, then he gives Halle Berry a steamy kiss ("They didn't tell you that was in the gift bag"), then he gives the best speech of the night, even telling the annoying orchestra to "cut it out." He's my idol now. I'm going to check out The Pianist ASAP.

Even though I am ecstatic that Michael Moore won for Best Documentary and I agree with what he said, I thought his speech was out of place and self righteous. He looked like a pompous ass on stage. Brody was definitely less inflammatory even though he also seemed to be against the war. His speech was a masterpiece from start to finish. It was basically a stream of consciousness. It was eloquent and moving. Wonderful. Go Adrien.

I'm also really thrilled that Chris Cooper won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Adaption, although he was definitely better in American Beauty.

Speaking of actors that deserve more recognition and fame, what happened to Ed Harris? He looks so old and gentle now, and doesn't resemble the steely tough guy I remember from movies like The Rock, Apollo 13, and China Moon.
Interview with an Iraqi Exile

Once again, has a thought-provoking article on the war.
Interesting Experiment

Hmm, this dating event sounds pretty fun and weird, something New Yorkers would do.