Saturday, August 02, 2003

A Question of Etiquette

If a man sees a cute girl whose nipples are poking through her tight-fitting shirt like germinating seeds about to break through the fertile soil, should he risk her embarassment and wrath by alerting her or should he hold his breath and enjoy the view? Would the fact that he knows her from work make a difference?

Friday, August 01, 2003

So Much To Do, So Little Money

After living in the new Manhattan apartment for a little more than a month now, I have to say that the extra $400 a month I pay in rent is so totally worth it. It's pretty amazing what a change of scenery can do for one's social life. Ever since moving here, I have been going out almost every night, hanging out with friends, old and new. My social activities have increased ten-fold, although I guess the warmer weather does make me feel more restless. It's so convenient and liberating. Totally fucking unbelievable. I wish I had moved into the city sooner.

On the other hand, I have been hemorraghing money like crazy, which is unsurprising when the bars/clubs here charge $12 for a freaking martini and $7 for a bottle of beer. There will be even more bloodletting when I go on my China trip next month. I really need to find more free/cheap activities like the chunkathlon, or else I will be broke.


From Reuters:

"A black Baptist minister looking to diversify his church wants to pay white people to attend his sermons..."

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Get Loaded? No Thanks

I wasn't too impressed by all those ads, which seemed to alternate between incompetent parodies and shameless rip-offs of the Apple Music Store ads. Now that I've read some reviews of the service, I'm even less impressed. For one thing, I would never buy music that has as many restrictions as the Windows Media Audio files being sold by I'm even weary of the AAC files that Apple sells. Even though they are much less restrictive than the WMA files, they are still not as flexible as mp3s. I know that people have claimed that AAC files offer better audio quality and compression compared to mp3s, but I can't tell the difference between 160kbps mp3s and CD tracks and I still have almost 9 gigs of free space on my iPod, so I don't think AAC files will provide any real benefit to me.

Frankly, all this Digital Rights Management shit is just that, shit. The music labels just don't get it. There is no need for me to repeat all the most common objections to the RIAA's heavy-handed tactics because everyone has heard them multiple times already. I will, however, relate my own experiences with P2P networks. I think they are fucking awesome because if I hadn't been able to download and sample songs for free, I would never have been willing to take a gamble on kick ass albums like Bjork's "Selma's Songs," Aimee Mann's "Lost in Space," and Coldplay's "A Rush of Blood to the Head," to name just a few. I'm even shelling out ridiculous amount of money to see Bjork in concert (and possibly Aimee Mann too). Because of Kazaa and Shareaza, I am much more likely to spend money on music. I just wish the record industry could recognize the full potential of digital music distribution.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003


Is it just me, or does Orlando Jones's skin look a lot lighter as compared to before? I saw an ad for his late night show while watching Nip/Tuck on FX, and I was pretty surprised at how light-skinned he looked compared to his old self on Mad TV and in 7-up commercials. BTW, Nip/Tuck is a pretty good show. Not quite as good as The Shield (then again, that's the second best show on TV right now after Six Feet Under), but still much more interesting and provocative than most of the network crap currently running now. I do find Joely Richardson's exasperated, melodramatic wife character really annoying though.

Jet-Lagged Gary

That will be my new nickname after I go on my China trip next month. I will be gone from late August to mid-September. On my itinerary: Beijing (4 days), Shanghai (2 days) and then Lanzhou, my hometown for the rest of the time. I will be carrying around SIX airplane tickets!! First NYC-Beijing, then Beijing-Shanghai, then Shanghai-Beijing, then Beijing-Lanzhou, then Lanzhou-Beijing, and finally Beijing-NYC. I will be spending roughly 35.5 hours in the air and will need to return to work the day after I return. Pretty brutal, but so fucking exciting!! I can't believe that I haven't been back since I came to the States almost 13 years ago. I wish I could jump up and down and clap my hands like a little girl now. My visa better go through.

You know, for $1035 there better be some mighty fine bitches lined up for me when I get off the plane. Actually, I think it's illegal for foreigners to have sex with Chinese citizens. Damn, there goes the plan! Seriously though, I hope my relatives won't try to match me up with some random girl. Chinese people love to play matchmakers. Oddly enough, "Dui Xiang," the Chinese term for "match" in this context, consists of the word "opposite" and "elephant." When I heard that term as a kid, I always pictured dancing elephants.

I wonder if my relatives will think I am illiterate once I start tripping on words that I've forgotten. When I left China, I didn't even finish elementary school, although I was reading a few years ahead of my grade level. My Chinese language skills have deteriorated steadily through the years. I can't read as fast I used to and I've forgotten how to write many, many words. I probably need an English-Chinese dictionary to translate some English words whose Chinese counterparts I have forgotten. How sad. Maybe they will suspect that I never actually came to the US. That all this time my family had actually been hiding in some village in Mongolia just to play a prank on them. That would be kinda neat actually.

Oh well, at least I have about a gig worth of compactflash cards for my digicam. I hope they are enough to hold all the random pictures I will be taking.

Monday, July 28, 2003

I Love Search Engines And The Wacky People That Use Them

I thought I had seen everything when it comes to weird search keywords submitted to search engines that somehow yield my blog as a possible match. Among them: "video female catfighting," "T-boz naked," etc., etc. (too bad I didn't save all the page referral data).

Today I found the best query yet: "how to log onto aim when warned too high to log on"

Did I mention that my blog came up as the top result in Google?

What Will They Think Of Next?

"101 Things Removed from the Human Body," a reality special, will be broadcast on Fox on Thursday. I found the following quote pretty amusing:

"Some producers who do these kind of things are sort of shy about them, but not Eric [Schotz]," says Fox alternative and specials chief Mike Darnell. "Even I had trouble looking at some of this stuff. ... But Eric always brings enough passion as a producer that when he got excited about a 300-pound tumor, I got excited about a 300-pound tumor."


I have always been lucky when it comes to shared living. At Stanford, I lived in quads for my first two years and in a double in junior year. The worst thing my frosh roommates (Sachin and Jason) had ever dished out was a garbage can of cold water when I was taking a shower. And it was all fun and games since I did get them back. During Sophomore year, James and Pat ambushed me with a supersoaker after I had pestered them earlier with water guns. They even took a picture of me opening the door just before getting soaked. I never really minded BK's whining in junior year because he put up with all my hijinks.

And yet now I find myself wishing I were living alone. Now, I have been getting along pretty well with my roommate. We are by no means at each other's throat and we generally try to stay out of each other's way. But he has done some things that are really bewildering and even infuriating to me. A while ago, I would go to the bathroom and find the toilet lid down. When I opened it up, there would be a pool of Gandhi-rade floating in the bowl, taunting me. After I talked to roommie about it, he has flushed more consistently, but I'm still nervous now whenever I see the toilet lid down because I really don't like these surprise gifts from him.

Saturday, I came back from dinner to find an envelope addressed clearly to me and ONLY ME lying on the coffee table, ripped open already. It contained nothing confidential, unless one considers Bjork concert tickets integral to national security, so it wasn't that big of a deal. But I'm still pretty pissed off. I haven't asked him why he opened my letter yet because he didn't come back home until very late on Saturday and was out all day on Sunday. I really hope it was just a careless mistake on his part.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

The Chunkathlon

On Thursday, I got a message from the nonsense NYC mailing list that had a description of an event called the Chunkathlon that was to take place on Saturday in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. How could I not go check this thing out after seeing the following description?


C.H.U.N.K. 666 presents the Chunkathalon, a series of death-defying bicycle contests that purge the group of weaker members while amusing the survivors.

Events include the 40 lap, powerslide competition, baby rescue, apocalyptic quickfix, the help-me-up, the gauntlet, derby, flaming wall of death, jump, hurl, and spew, as well as the World Chopper and Tallbike Jousting Championships.

All chopper, tallbike, etc. bike clubs are respectfully commanded to attend. All chopper, tallbike, etc.-equipped individuals are invited to participate.

So I went on Saturday and had a great time. Here are the pics. BTW, most of the pics have captions.

I was pretty surprised to find out that the two biggest groups of people participating in this event actually came from Portland, OR and the SF Bay Area. I was even more surprised by how crazy these bike guys were. When I think of bikers, I think of all those dorky Stanford grad students who always wore their helmets, and peaceful, quiet people biking on trails through the park. I totally did not expect to find heavily tatooed, pierced guys who chugged beers like there was no tomorrow.

Oh yeah, that Doyle guy, who looks like he could be an extra from Brave Heart, is actually from Minneapolis and went to some arts high school. Go figure.