Saturday, August 09, 2003

A (Second) Question of Etiquette

Let's say that a man is riding on a subway train sitting across from a hot lady who's wearing a skirt so short that her white panties are radiating the glory of womanhood for all to see. Should he be an honorable gentleman and keep his eyes affixed to the clueless tourists seated far away from her, or should he steal a few furtive glances at her every few seconds? The ethical dilemmas that one has to face every day in this city!!

Friday, August 08, 2003

The Condiment War

Just heard about this event from the nonsense nyc mailing list:

The Madagascar Institute presents:

The Condiment War

A street event promising havoc, folly, and mayhem, featuring the pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war, without any of the, you know, killing.

Mustard! Mayonnaise! Worse!

Fierce fighting, crushing condiment cannons, and nasty weapons of mass disgusting on bikes, in carts, and mano a mano.

Courage! Valor! Ketchup!

Four rag-tag art armies face off in brutal urban combat: The treacherous Toyshop Collective, wily WAMP, the mean, mean Madagascar Institute, and you, the bloodthirsty public, banded together in an Irregular Militia. All teams must wear white and will be distinguished by colored armbands. (Wear a yellow one if you want to fight with the Irregular Militia.)

There are only two rules in this war. One: No glass. Two: We're not trying to hurt anyone. Stain, disgust, humiliate, yes, but no intentional damage. What about hot sauce? Affirmative. Vinegar? You coward!

Madagascar's artillery corps predicts heavy civilian casualties. This is a participatory event and the Irregular Militia wants you: Just wear the whites, bring goggles, and outfit yourself with a personal weapon (supersoakers, cardboard tanks, light duty trebuchets). You do not have to buy condiments, but they will not be provided for you; clean out your refrigerator or end up just another tartar sauced casualty of war.

After the battle, the trench-torn masses will repair to the Madagascar Institute for an afterparty barbecue with DJs Spinoza, kleverVice, and Diggie Diamond. Yes, there will be a hose, but you will want a change of clothing anyway.

Rain or shine.

I had so much fun at the Chunkathlon that I'm tempted to go to this thing, but it seems like I can't just stand on the sidelines and watch. I will actually have to join the food fight, which does not look very appealing because of that brutal Branner staff initiation ceremony I went through a couple of years back. And besides, I don't want to look and smell like shit on the train back from Brooklyn. Hmmm, are the priceless photos that I will be sure to snap at this event worth it?

No More AIM For Now

Sigh, looks like AIM has been blocked at work again. Until I get the new settings, I won't be online for a while :-(

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

A Valuable Commodity?

There's an interesting article in the Chicago Sun Times that sheds some light on the ridiculously high prices of inkjet printer cartridges:

"Pound for pound, forget gold, forget diamonds. There is nothing more valuable on Earth than an inkjet cartridge."
If the ink were gasoline, it would cost you $175,000 to fill your gas tank.

Last Christmas, I finally persuaded Dad to replace the ancient HP Deskjet 520 that had been collecting dust at home for almost 3 years. We bought a Minolta laster printer for $120 from Best Buy. It's smaller, quieter, faster, cheaper (in the long run) and offers much better printing quality than every inkjet on the market. The only thing it doesn't do is color. Big deal, we never printed in color anyways. In fact, I think I will probably replace my current injket printer with a cheap laser printer when it runs out of ink.


Oh man, this is just too funny and bizarre and sad (the last paragraph):

(Reuters) Federal authorities said on Monday they had suspended a U.S. immigration judge after a newspaper reported he referred to himself as Tarzan during court proceedings for an African political asylum seeker named Jane.

The Boston Herald reported that at the start of the proceedings in June, U.S. Immigration Judge Thomas Ragno told the woman: "Jane, come here. Me Tarzan."

Monday, August 04, 2003

School Superintendent Fails Basic English Exam

From AP: "This city's superintendent of schools, who recently put two dozen teachers on unpaid leave for failing a basic English proficiency test, has himself flunked a required literacy test three times."

Sunday, August 03, 2003

A Tale of Two Parties

Friday night: Went to party with Annie after having a drink with her and her friends at a bar in Williamsburg, right next to the Bedford Ave stop off the L Train. On the way to her friend's loft, which was in a pretty sketchy part of Brooklyn, we almost got hit by a cop car as it raced through a red light without its sirens on. When we got to the loft, we saw this totally wrecked white car parked across from the street, with its front half completely crunched up. As we rang the buzzer to get in, a couple of guys walking by opened the doors to the car and started looking for stuff in the backseats and the trunk. I don't think they used a key to get in and I'm not certain that they were the actual owners.

Anyways, the 2-story loft was huge, even with 4 people sharing it. Annie's friends are DJ's so there was much loud music. The weirdest part was that some girl actually brought a porn tape and showed it on the TV in the living room. I don't know what the fuck that girl was thinking, but it was not some artistic piece as she was claiming, obviously trying to justify her stupidity. It showed totally naked chicks. And cocks. And cocks going into totally naked chicks. And totally naked chicks licking each other's... STOP!!! It was fucking hard-core porn all right. And it basically eliminated that entire corner of the room from every guy's field of vision because no one wanted to be teased about being a pervert. At the same time, it had this curiously strong pull that compelled everyone to sneak a peek at the TV once in a while. It was like a gigantic magnet, you know, the kind they use in particle accelerators, and my attention was like a tiny, helpless slab of iron, fighting to move away... "Hey man, are you watching that porn? That's not cool when your girlfriend is here," joked this kid, who was talking to Annie and me. To which she responded, "Oh, we are not like that, we are just friends." Meanwhile, I was thinking, WTF just happened here? I thought we were moving along in that direction. I guess she was technically right, but it was still somewhat jarring.

Later, we were just drinking and hanging out, except she poured way too much fucking Southern Comfort for me. Well, it wasn't all that much, probably just 1/3 of a one-of-those-ubiquitous-plastic-red-cup-that-screams-I'm-fucking-drinking-and-chilling cup. And I squeezed in as much lime juice as I could and dropped in 4 big ice cubes in the cup. Nope. Didn't help a thing. By the time I finished slowly sipping the damn cup, I was totally out of it. I only had ONE beer before that drink, ALMOST AN HOUR BEFORE. Normally, I would be cursing my Asian genetic disposition towards getting wasted from pathetically low amount of alcohol, but this time it had more to do with exhaustion. On Friday morning at some time around 5 am, I was woken up by a loud screeching noise outside. It sounded like a car was braking hard to stop, followed by loud, angry shouts. Both parties had thick foreign accents and I did not exactly have full possession of my mental faculty that early, so I couldn't make out all that they were shouting about. I think it might have been a narrowly averted car-bike accident. The shouting continued for almost 30 minutes, at which point I wished the car HAD ran over the fucking biker and sped away. At least I would have gotten more sleep, and less drunk. Also, that Southern Comfort poison had a 35% alcohol content. Therefore, I didn't feel as bad about being drunk, but it still seemed somewhat unmanly. It didn't help that Annie wasn't drunk at all, at least she didn't show it.

We hung around for a little bit more chit-chatting and then headed out. Luckily her beemer was still there. By the time she dropped me off at my apartment, it was raining cats and dogs. I don't think I looked very attractive with that listless, glazed look in my eyes. Next time we go drinking, I will do the pouring.

Saturday Night: Went to Ahmad's new loft in Brooklyn, also very close to the Bedford Ave stop, also having a ridiculous amount of space. I met 2 of Ahmad's roommates (the third one was and still is in CA), who both went to Brown and majored in CS. Ahmad just had to prove to me that I NEED to pay $100 to get that
SonyEricsson T610 phone so he asked his roommate Jeb to demonstrate to me how cool his T610 was. I remain unconvinced. Then I was asked to "get" a huge cockroach that was crawling around the window, which I obliged by repeatedly stomping on the little bugger. It reminded me of the day before when i returned from work to find a big, dead, dried up roach flipped over next to my bookshelf. I was a bit mystified because I didn't see anything there in the morning when I left for work. Was someone trying to send me a warning, Godfather style? Perhaps my roommate?

I went around and talked to more people, most of whom were Jeb's friends from Brown and lived mere blocks away from this new loft. Oddly enough, there were only two or three people with common names, the rest were all names that prompted me to say, "What is it again?" Those kids were mostly white too, so I was pretty baffled. I don't think I have retained any name other than "Jeb," "Daniel," and "Jenny." Most of them were pretty cool so I had a good time talking to them and finding out more about them. I talked to this girl (also with a name that I forgot the instant after I heard it) who worked for a small record label. Her primary responsibility was to rip songs from CD's, edit them to fill them up with horrible noise after the first 5 seconds, and then put them on Kazaa, Gnutella, etc. She majored in Spanish and International Relations and looked like the type of girl that would never deign to indulge in more than mere chit chat with someone like me, so I was somewhat surprised that we actually had a lot to talk about. I also told Ahmad about my upcoming China trip and he told me about his trip to Pakistan with his dad. Then I got recruited to play some silly drinking game.

After I realized that Ahmad and I had high-fived each other 5 times in a two-minute span, I knew it was time for me to head back. I didn't think that Ahmad and his roommates would be too pleased to clean up my puke. I said bye to everyone, including anti-piracy girl, who hugged and kissed me on the cheek. Apparently, she also had too much to drink. Ahmad was too busy making out with another girl, so I didn't try to interrupt him. That guy is like the hook-up king. Every time he tells me about some girl he meets, the story always ends with them hooking up. I need some of his mojo.

While waiting for the train, I deployed all my mental capacity to willing myself to not throw up. I will NOT throw up by the fucking train tracks, I vowed. I'm not one of those despised drunk, crazy bums, god damn it! I have more respect for myself than that! Christ, I'm a fucking drunk motherfucker right now. Must...resist...puking!! Good Lord, everything is spinning around me. When the train finally came, I got a call from Ahmad. "Dude, where are you now?" He asked. "You should have stayed longer, man!" He said, after I told him I had to go because it was getting too late.

After I transferred to the 4 train, the people sitting across from me looked at me funny. I guess I would too, if I had seen some guy wearing a "Whassssssup!!" shirt holding his head in his lap. At least I was a quiet drunk this time, unlike that time in Serra at the conclusion of the end-of-the-year party when I ran around the dorm screaming, carrying people's boxes, and banging on Allison's door (good thing bk was nice enough to apologize to her for me even though I had put him in a headlock earlier).

I woke up this morning still feeling a little bit queasy, but savored the weekend just the same.