Saturday, March 06, 2004


According to my local CBS evening news, a group of families who had lost loved ones on 9/11 had written and signed a letter in support of Bush's usage of 9/11 footages in his first round of re-election campaign ads. "We are very proud of the president and the job he has done," said one man. Ironically, the very next segment was about six fire stations in the city, which undoubtedly participated in the rescue efforts after the twin towers went down, being shut down because of budget cuts.

Frankly, I am amazed that the Bush administration would even dare to remind people of 9/11, the worst terrorist attack on American soil ever, perpetrated almost two years after Bush took office. Bush even got an intelligence memo a month before the attack entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.," discussing the prospect of "an upcoming Al Qaeda attack and the prospect that terrorists might seek to hijack commercial airliners"! On top of that, this administration has been reluctant to cooperate with the 9/11 Commission in its investigation of the attack: Bush would only agree to meet with the chairman and vice chairman of the commission in private for one hour and Rice refuses to testify in public (in contrast, both Clinton and Gore have agreed to meet with the full commission and Sandy Berger, Rice's predecessor, has agreed to testify in public).

Dennis Hastert, the Republican speaker of the House, refused to grant a two-month extension to the Commission, claiming that he didn't want the investigation to become "a political football," in open defiance of the White House's ostensible approval of the extension. Let me get this straight, he would rather avoid exposing potential embarrassments for the Administration than allow the Commission adequate time to complete the most important investigation in the last century, if not all of American history? Does anyone actually believe that Hastert would have the balls to go against Bush/Cheney/Rove/DeLay?

Worst of all, this White House has never wholeheartedly supported the Commission. It was an uphill battle just to get funding for the investigation. Even now, the budget stands at $14 million, compared to the $130 million dollars spent on the Shuttle Columbia investigation and the $80 million witch hunt spent to bring down the Clintons. Am I the only one who thinks it's crazy to spend less money to investigate the circumstances that led to the deaths of more than 3000 Americans than to produce something like this?

"According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President had ten sexual encounters, eight while she worked at the White House and two thereafter.(35) The sexual encounters generally occurred in or near the private study off the Oval Office -- most often in the windowless hallway outside the study.(36) During many of their sexual encounters, the President stood leaning against the doorway of the bathroom across from the study, which, he told Ms. Lewinsky, eased his sore back.(37)

Ms. Lewinsky testified that her physical relationship with the President included oral sex but not sexual intercourse.(38) According to Ms. Lewinsky, she performed oral sex on the President; he never performed oral sex on her.(39) Initially, according to Ms. Lewinsky, the President would not let her perform oral sex to completion. In Ms. Lewinsky's understanding, his refusal was related to "trust and not knowing me well enough."(40) During their last two sexual encounters, both in 1997, he did ejaculate.(41)

According to Ms. Lewinsky, she performed oral sex on the President on nine occasions. On all nine of those occasions, the President fondled and kissed her bare breasts. He touched her genitals, both through her underwear and directly, bringing her to orgasm on two occasions. On one occasion, the President inserted a cigar into her vagina. On another occasion, she and the President had brief genital-to-genital contact.(42) "

I have long ceased to get all worked up against the Bush administration's shenanigans. After all, there is a Chinese idiom that goes, "a dog can't change its habit of eating shit." What baffles me is how Bush is able to consistently get away with the kind of shit that would have gotten Clinton impeached ten times over.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Compare and Contrast

Problem: broken floppy drive. After being on hold for almost 15 minutes, I played along with the "troubleshooting" instructions provided by the tech support guy. When that "troubleshooting" didn't work, he told me to restore my computer to "factory condition," meaning that I would have had to wipe out everything on my hard drive and reinstall Windows 98 - almost 3 years after I purchased my computer. Cost to Dell to ship me a new floppy drive: ~$15. Cost to Dell from me bad-mouthing its tech support to everyone I know: ???

Problem: My ineligibility for their $100 phone rebate because of a screw up on their part. After spending almost an hour talking to several customer service reps and their managers and getting rebuffed, I spent another hour writing a letter to their customer relations department. Almost two weeks after I sent out the letter, I received a call from a manager at customer relations, who apologized for the mistake and credited my account with $100 as well as 200 bonus minutes (slightly less useful because I never use more than 300 minutes out of my 600-minute plan). For the past two months I have being getting bills in the amount of -$49. Wouldn't it be great if all of my bills have negative amounts? Cost to T-Mobile to credit my account: $0, because they owed me that money in the first place. At this point I'm not sure if I will discontinue service as soon as my contract expires in 6 months because they did redeem themselves.

Problem: broken iPod wired remote. After putting me on hold for about 5 minutes, tech support guy told me that because I didn't buy AppleCare coverage and it's been more than 90 days since I bought my iPod, he would need to charge me to help me "troubleshoot" my problem. I told him that since my remote was still covered by the one-year warranty, I was entitled to a replacement remote. He agreed. I placed the call on Tuesday and just got a brand new iPod remote in the mail today. Cost of remote to Apple: ~$25. Benefit to Apple of me raving about its great service to everyone I know and not automatically ruling out a Mac as my next computer: ???

Speaking of tech support, here is a great article from, you guessed it,

Vote for Him

Check out this impressive resume.

Pure Hilarity

Highlights from the Trojan Games:


Judo ("Going straight for the buttocks. Typically French")


Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Talk about Grade Inflation

From AP via SI:

"Most college students dream of getting a final exam with easy questions like: How many goals are on a basketball court? How many quarters are in a high school basketball game? How many points does a 3-point field goal account for?

To top it off, there are multiple choice answers.

Those were among the questions about basic basketball knowledge on the final exam, and only test, that students took in Georgia assistant men's basketball coach Jim Harrick Jr.'s Coaching Principles and Strategies of Basketball class in the fall of 2001."

Guns for Books!!

This morning I woke up to my radio alarm as usual. Just before I turned off the alarm, I heard one of the DJ's announcing the station's participation in some program to promote reading in the schools. It totally brought back memories of my own participation in a high school book drive. At the time, I was the VP (probably the last time I will ever have that impressive of a title) of our school's National Honor Society and was on the city-wide NHS committee for organizing a book drive to collect one book for each K-8 student in the Minneapolis Public Schools system.

We were given a list of contacts to beg for donations. After I got pledges from my assigned contacts, which amounted to only 10 to 15 books, I came up with the fiendishly clever idea of calling KDWB, the most popular radio station in town.

Me: Hi, I'm working on a city-wide book drive to collect one book for each child in grades K through 8 and I was wondering if your station could help us publicize our efforts by hosting some kind of fun event at a mall or something [images of KDWB DJ's giving out station T-shirts, caps, etc. in exchange for book donations flashed across my mind].

Lady on the other end: Yes, we can do that. What is your budget?

Me: Huh? Budget? I don't think we have any budget for this. I thought you did this kind of service for free [recollection of hearing KDWB DJ screaming "come to Luther Ford this Saturday to meet Tony Fly and the morning crew and enter to win a free car!!"]

Lady: Umm, no, we usually get paid to do these kind of events. If you don't have any money, we can still put in a public service announcement for you.

Me: Oh, ok... [more stuttering], thank you then.

My naivete and subsequent rude awakening to the realities of corporate promotions count as one among many of the experiences that have shaped my cynical worldview.

If Only I Could be this Witty

Rantings about the Oscars and Catherine Zeta-Jones from

When she presented, one of my friends pointed out something that was obvious, yet I had never noticed: She epitomizes the whole "I'm too damn glamourous for you" mentality of some of the bigger stars. And every time the camera showed her and Michael Douglas after a joke, both of them laughed like "Oh, I'm too wonderful to be bothered with your bourgeois humor. Nonetheless, I will chuckle to please the peons who pay for my fabulousness."

Catherine Zeta-Jones can shampoo my crotch. If it weren't for The Game (which was sheer genius), so could Michael Douglas.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


If someone that I talked to for a grand total of 3 times back in school wants me to add him as my friend on Orkut, should I accept or decline? I don't want to add people to my friends list just for the sake of having 80 people on my list even though we've never considered each other to be friends. If I decline, then I feel like I'm being rude.

Why would people even do this? To pretend they have an ungodly number of friends? What is the point?

"Dear Concerned Citizen"

So begins the unsolicited membership material from the Sierra Club. I don't really know how they got my address and why they contacted me, but I'm guessing it has something to do with my subscription. It is somewhat flattering though since it does bump up my liberal street cred. Maybe I will get an introductory membership offer from the ACLU next week. Then I will become the tree-hugging, ACLU-card-carrying, anti-family, pro-abortion, fag-loving, God-hating, East-Coast liberal bogeyman that the Republican demagogue love to burn in effigy.

Sunday, February 29, 2004


Last night I had two really weird dreams. In the first one I was driving down the highway with Caroline. We passed at least 10 cars on the side of the road that had been totaled. Most of them were wrecked so badly that the entire front halves were missing.

In the second dream, Dad proudly showed off the new car that he just bought. It looked like a cross between an old station wagon and a yellow Chevy El Camino like this one. I guessed that he only paid a few hundred bucks for it, but he told me he actually spent $10,200!

Ahmad's Party

Last night I went to Ahmad's loft in Brooklyn to help celebrate his sixth birthday. You see, the boy was a leap-year baby. I was going to get Ahmad a present but then I figured a bottle of Absolut would be the best present for his alcoholic ass. After I tracked him down in the living room, I was pretty surprised to see him with his full head of hair dyed in a ghoulish gold color and sticking in all directions. He looked like he just jumped out of an anime movie, but the color actually worked really well on him.

I really didn't enjoy the party as much as I wanted to because I didn't know that many people, since they were mostly Ahmad's high school friends and their friends. In the beginning I talked mostly with Ahmad and his friend Jeff, who's also a total drunkard, but also really nice and laidback. Throughout the night, I talked to some guy who majored in Theology because he liked literature but didn't want to major in English, even though he professed to be totally unreligious (confirmed by the mostly empty 40 bottle in his hand); some guy who's teaching math in a middle school in the Bronx; some girl who's working in advertising. It was mostly stupid, shallow chit chatting, something to keep me from drinking too much since I can't talk and drink at the same time.

Until this kid John saw my Shanghai T-shirt. Earlier Ahmad and Jeff had told me they thought my black shirt, which features a white sketch of the Jewel of the Orient Tower in between the Chinese words for "Shanghai", was totally "rad," which I really appreciated. However, I wondered if I should write "bought in China, not some fucking thrift store in Brooklyn" on the shirt lest people think I'm yet another fucking hipster who loves to troll thrift stores and buy weird ass shirts just to show off how totally "ironic" I am.

Anyways, I was totally caught off guard by this white kid John's recognition of my Shanghai shirt, so we started talking. Apparently, he studied Chinese at a university in Chengdu for 9 months and did quite a bit of traveling in China. He even went to the western autonomous region of XinJiang, which is mostly occupied by Arabs. I also found out that he's originally from Idaho (at which point we spontaneously flashed the "West Coast!" sign like the slightly intoxicated fools we were), just moved to Brooklyn and is looking for a job. We talked for a good 20 minutes and swapped phone numbers before he headed his way to the living room to get a dance party started.

As I was talking to John, I wondered why I enjoyed talking to this guy so much more than all the other people at the party. Have I become more Chinese since I graduated from college or are the people I'm meeting just not as interesting anymore? I found a lot to talk about with John mainly because of our memories of China. On the other hand, I had roughly the same number of Asian and non-Asian friends at Stanford and yet never felt like I was closer to the former group for cultural reasons.

I shut off my brain and followed John to the living room to watch the "dance party" get under way. I soon came to the conclusion that some white people should never be allowed to dance to Dr. Dre. What I witnessed was horrifying and grotesque: these kids (John excluded, fortunately) were not as much dancing as convulsing. I know I didn't think much of hip hop dance moves when I first saw groups of jersey-sporting, du-rag-wearing, bling-bling-flashing, black men gyrating on BET, but at least I have gotten used to that by now. Watching these geek-chic, white Ivy League kids contorting their backs and jerking their legs with no particular rhyme or reason was just too much. I swear at one point I had a flashback to an episode of Chappelle's Show from two weeks ago in which Dave was making fun of the different racial groups dancing to their own kind of music. When one of the guys incorporated the pantomiming of closing a window into his dance routine, I decided it was time to leave the living room.

Thereafer, I engaged in more insipid small talk before I walked in on a conversation between Kabir, a guy I knew from Stanford who's also living in NYC now, and this girl Izzy, who's Ahmad's ex. Their debate about the "Sex and the City" finale was just the final motivation I needed to leave the party, but not before Ahmad forced me to drink half a cup of this foul gin-and-tonic he made. Of course, gin-and-tonic drinks are foul in general so I am in no way criticizing Ahmad's mixing ability.


I just saw this picture at the Sports Illustrated website, taken at the Stanford-Oregon game. It brings to mind the Indian god Shiva.