Thursday, September 29, 2005

Don't Ask Your Boss to be a Reference

A pretty obvious (in hindsight) lesson learned:

I am in school now, studying a fairly obscure academic subject, pursuing a PhD in it, and generally being a great big nerd. But that's not nerdy enough for me, no no no no NO! I am also working in a tech company. Geek^2. It does help pay the bills though and it is a fun job. I really enjoy it and adore my manager so I can't complain. In fact, I realize that I'm damn lucky.

But along comes cool tech company #2 (CTC2, as opposed to CTC1) to solicit me for a job with them. CTC2 would be a dream company to explore but I have history with CTC1 and they can offer me much more financial stability than CTC2 can. So I'm mulling this cash vs cool problem over and CTC2 says I can at least send in my resume and see if they will actually offer me a position. "Sure," I think, "that can't hurt."

So, I start updating my resume. I get to the references section and see one name. Better add some others. I add a professor with whom I have worked and then I add my current boss. I call the professor to ask for permission and she says OK. Great. One more to go. I call up my current boss and explain the situation and he says "No, I don't think that's a good idea." At this point I am thinking that maybe I offended him with even considering CTC2 or something but no, it's much simpler.

Scenario 1: My boss hates me. Why would I want him to be a reference? He would just say nasty things and I'll never get any job.

Scenario 2: My boss likes me. He would like to keep me as an employee. Why should he help me leave him? He probably won't like but he probably won't volunteer any information about me that might make me more appealing to CTC2 or any other CTC.

So either way, my boss isn't going to say great things about me to a propspective employer. Ergo I should not use him as a reference. Thankfully, the situation is closer to #2. In retrospect, it was a pretty simple. Also, in retorspect, I was a complete dumbass for not realizing this until my boss laid it out for me. My hindsight is 20/20 but my vision looking forward is apparently legally blind.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


I have another theory. Bear with me here.

The internet is an anonymous medium so people are very lax about looking at horse porn, spouting their own retarded opinions that are wrong, and generally typing horifically. You've all seen it. Ppl who type lik dis an use craaaazy abrev. lol ttyle wtf? But there is something even worse than AIM-speak. Something more annoying, more basic, and which infringes upon the most fundamental of netiquette rules.


My theory is that there are two types of people who type like that: those who are aware that they are doing that, and those who aren't. For those who are aware, well, it's their choice to be ostracized by all the internet and remain a pariah in the real and virtual worlds. Losers! But for those who aren't aware, I think perhaps that at some point they hit the Caps Lock key and then could never figure out how to turn it back off. One day they're typing along happily and all of a sudDEN OOPS! NO MORE SPEAKING QUIETLY! TIME TO WAKE UP THE NEIGHBORHOOD!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

To Sneeze or To Orgasm?

One day, I'm hanging up curtains in my dining area. No, there aren't any windows in the dining areas but curtains are being hung anyway. I know, wild huh? But it's an interior decoration experiment at the suggestion of a trusted friend so I thought might as well try it. (The finished product looks alright actually.) I'm hanging these curtains on an afternoon amidst a busy schedule. Homework to do, a recruitment call from a coveted technology company coming in soon, and there I am standing on top of my dining table putting anchors into my drywall. Incorrectly at first too, I later realized.

But anyway, the rails on which the curtains hang are secured through two hook-like anchors at either end. These hooks are themselves secured to the drywall by two screws. When you don't want to precisely measure the distances the two hooks should be apart, how far from the ceiling the holes should be drilled, etc., you secure one hook at a decent place and then use the rail and the second hook to judge. In essence, hold the full assembly in one hand and do the drilling, anchoring, and screwing (ahem!) with the other hand.

So I'm there with the hook and the rail in one hand, drill in the other, and I feel a big sneeze coming. One of those ones that will rattle the heavens and shake the earth though at that moment, more important than any meterological or geographical consequences, I was thinking about how my hands would move. I'm on the verge of an unstoppable sneeze. I'm on the ahh...ahhhhh...AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH part when suddenly I lose my grip on the drill and think it's going to fall.

Oh shiSaved!

I make the catch in time and there's adrenaline rushing through my blood tunnels, pulsating in time with the beat of my blood pumper. And a second later, I make a wonderful realization: I don't have to sneeze anymore!

So, the moral of the story is: sneezing is a an impulse that is trumped by the sympathetic nervous system being activated. The sympathetic nervous system is also responsible for the "fight-or-flight" response, as well as having an orgasm. So logically, if you're about to sneeze, one way to stop it would be to be threatened by an attacker. Another way is to have an orgasm right then and there. Both hard to produce but hey, you don't want to drop that drill on to your dining room table. Nasty dent that would make.

Monday, September 26, 2005


I've never had an eye for precious stones or metals. I chalk it up to malefeasance (huhuhu). And since I've never had that particular set of retinas and matching irises, I've never understood carats. Or karats. Or even carats. What the hell is it?

Apparently, a carat can be two things: A unit of weight or a unit of purity. As a unit of weight, it is applied to gems and equals 200 milligrams. It is further divided into 100 points. Simple arithmetic yields 1 point = 2 milligrams. Why don't people just say so! A 300 milligram VVS2 F sounds about as sexy to me as a 1.5 carat VVS2 F. Why do we need an abstract unit of measurement on top of an existing one? Are jewelers that bored?

And Zoroaster forbid you buy the stone and don't set it in gold. More carats! As a unit of purity applied to gold, the number of carats indicates purity in a percentage with 24 equal to 100%. So for example, 12 carats equals 50% gold. Here, I suppose, there could be a psychological difference. "I've got a 12 carat gold ring on me finger" sounds slightly more appealing than "I've got a 50% gold ring on me finger." It begs the hot dog question: "What's in the other 50%?" Rat guts, my friend, rat guts.

So what a carat is can be pretty confusing for the unbaptized. In the US, however, the carat that indicates purity is often written as karat so as to avoid confusion between carat and carat. But that also means that some carats are karats and some carats are carats but a karat is never a carat unless it's a carat. Aiyah.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Friday Cop Out

The weekend approaches, and I am bereft of what little creativity I manage to muster up usually. I don't get writers' block (or is that writer's block? I can't even punctuate anymore!) because I refuse to call my self a writer. I write. I play the piano. But I am not a writer and I am not a pianist. It's a rather picky distinction but I like to reserve a lexical level for true professionalism. Being able to pick out chopsticks (and I do mean on the piano, not from the kitchen aisle at Super Big Fat American Obese K-Mart Plus 24hr HYPER-ULTRA-EXTREME MACH 10 with a New Pacakge but Same Great Taste!) does not make one a pianist. Only people who have either devoted their life to the piano or have reached a high level of maturity as a musician on the piano should be called pianists.

Hehehehehe. I said pianist.

Thursday, September 22, 2005


It is really amazing how much clutter and unorganized objects can shrink the perceived space of a room. I'm sitting in my new apartment amidst a forest of stainless steel poles and I have half an hour before people come over. The place looks like an Ikea showroom (I wish!) but I've come to terms with that. Cheap and modern looking furniture isn't easily acquired if one discounts Ikea! But moving boxes, bags, discarded packaging, and sundry are strewn about.

OK, time for aggressive cleaning.

No more saving packaging since I don't plan on moving for a few years. Out with the plastic bags on the couch and in with open space. After about 20 minutes of aggressive trash collecting (and discarding) and putting things outs of sight, my living room doubled in size. I think people, including me, often neglect the impact of the absence of something. Fledgling interior decorators such as myself probably neglect space, neophyte composers may neglect rests, and perhaps even inexperienced scientists neglect what is not seen or observed. The "negative" is as much an quantifiable thing as the "positive". It merely takes an inversion of viewpoints to switch from one to the other.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


The second floor bathrooms of my office in San Jose has a few stalls. I usually use the first one one approaches, next to the urinals. It's not official but in my mind it's my rightful toilet, a scatological birthright. The chamber is not just a porcelain centerpiece though. No, it even has a stainless steel rail to the right, when seated upon the centerpiece, to aid in rising, I assume, from a s[h]itting position. On this rail, almost always, is left a portion of the newspaper, neatly folded to reveal the comics and games section.

Now I'm a speed defecator (did I just say that?). I don't indulge on the toilet by reading a magazine, reading a book, or, like some, writing a book (or at least about the temporal equivalent thereof). Just today though, I decided to glance at the comics and games section. There's a game that involves finding as may subwords as possible from a main word. Each letter can be used only once and words must be four or more letters in length. For example, the word "section" could contain "sect", "scion", "stone", "tine", "tines", "tons", "scone", "ties", "tics", "tins", and so and so forth. The challenge is to get as many subwords as possible within 30 minutes. The creators of the puzzle tells you how many subwords can be found and you go to it.

It may have been destiny or it might have been a sign from Uranus but I think today's word was special, even fated (date, daft, deaf, feat, fade, fate). Perhaps you want to try the game too? Find 24 subwords, within the main word, within 30 minutes.

Are you ready?

The main word is: Erupted.

My list is below. I'm pretty sure I got all 24 in around 15 minutes. Corrections appreciated.

In the order that I thought of them:

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

This Post is Rated M for Mature

There's a nice article in the NYTimes (free reg. req.) about swearing. There's a good overview of some work done on what parts of the brain generate curses and how it is a fixture of human speech ever since the dawn of homo sapiens. But I was rather disturbed at a passage near the beginning of the article:

"Incensed by what it sees as a virtual pandemic of verbal vulgarity issuing from the diverse likes of Howard Stern, Bono of U2 and Robert Novak, the United
States Senate is poised to consider a bill that would sharply increase the penalty for obscenity on the air.

By raising the fines that would be levied against offending broadcasters some fifteenfold, to a fee of about $500,000 per crudity broadcast, and by threatening to revoke the licenses of repeat polluters, the Senate seeks to return to the public square the gentler tenor of yesteryear, when seldom were heard any scurrilous words, and famous guys were not foul mouthed all day."

If ever you doubted the good old US of A was actually the US of Puritanical Manicas, now is the time to repent. Cast away those doubts and come to the light! Suggesting that profanities be limited on pukishly wholesome family programming is one thing but putting it into law is, frankly, fucking ridonculous. While we're on the subject and since I can say what I want: fuck fuck fuckity fuck fucking FUCK ass shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit! Suck it, Senate!

And it's not like the censoring measure reallys work either. The infamous bleeps on TV or radio are almost more profane and titillating than the actual swears themselves. If swearing is bad enough as it is, why wrap it in more taboo? Add to that the fact that most bleeps cover only the vowels and you have a farce of a cover up. Think about the last time you heard somebody say shblipt on the Radio or seeing Jon Stewart say "cobleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeepck". Lewis Black also brings up a valid point: Bono never said "Fuck". He said "fook". What is "fook" anyway?

In the end, curses aren't specific words. There's nothing about about the sound or the words per se that makes them curses. If congress wants to ban specific words, they will have to revise the bill every few years to keep up with the current fashion in profanities. But what happens to the old words? Are they desanitized? And if they do not pursue this irrational course of action and instead aim for the more retarded but logical goal of prohibiting a context of swearing, then they are really out of their fooking minds.

So which is it going to be, you puritanical crazies? Do we arbitrarily designate certain words as swear words and forbid them (can I still say "Vaseline"?) or do we disallow swearing altogether, because it certainly doesn't seem like you are going to leave us alone.

Now everyone all together, say it with me:
(Try it. You'll like it.)

Monday, September 19, 2005

More Driving

I was doing a lot of driving related to moving but I've also been doing a lot of driving for work. I spend every other week in San Jose (300 miles away from Santa Barbara) being a techie rather than an academic. Yes, I'm like geek^2. Anyway, there's really no point to this post except some rambling complaints about my relationship to driving.

I don't like driving long distances on roads that don't have twists and turns.
I don't like people who do not realize that on a two lane highway, the left lane is not the "fast lane". It is the "passing lane". Used to pass people. So if you're going to drive as fast as the person in the normal lane to the right, use the normal lane so as to avoid forming a moving roadblock!
I don't like that my butt hurts about 75 minutes into any drive. Being really skinny isn't always advantageous.
I love to drive with the top down but the Californian sun can be brutal.
I don't like that US roads aren't racetrack-flat like the autobahn.
On second thought, I'm rather disappointed that all roads aren't like race tracks. With no other cars on them. And with soft walls made of cotton candy!
It's the twenty first freaking century! Where's teleportation?

Yes, boohoo, I am complaining about trifling trivialities on drives in a convertible in sunny California. Let the stoning begin.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Sonic Addiction

You know what I think would be a great name for a band? Volume 26.

Anyway, a few weeks back in Shanghai, I met a brother of an uncle who wanted to buy a piano for his daughter. The Chinese way of getting things done is to find somebody in the family (or the friend of somebody in the family) who is an expert at what you want and then get their advice on it. So it was I got "dragged" into selecting a piano for this family. I say "dragged" because testing and selecting a piano for me is like a kid in a candy store. After testing out all the lower echelon selections and fulfilling my blood oath at a Yamaha dealership, I went next door to a Steinway dealership. Now excuse me as I wax enthusiastic, anthropomorphic, and avec fromage.

Heaven! And with Saint Peter nowhere in sight! Instead, I ask an angel (presumedly) if I could try out the pianos. She says yes. That makes her an angel, which means I am definitely in heaven. Working my way from the front of the store to the back, I alight my fingers upon keys connected to soundboards of increasing size and greater sound quality. Near the back of the store is a glass room with omgomgomg!!!

Steinway D 9' Concert Grand!

My heart jumps up to my right scapula and the rest of my internal organs instantly realign to compensate. I utter a barely contained request to the angel if I could try out the piano.

Ambiguous response, but it sounds positive. No. Impossible. How can anyone waltz in an expect to be given permission to play on the concert grand? I ask again, half cursing at myself for my own stupidity. Why not assume a yes and then take it from there? Oh well, it can't hurt to hear the response.


Angel or no she was no longer of any consequence to my world. Sit down on the bench. No. Must sit straighter. This piano deserves the best that I can give. Touch middle C with a firm but gentle middle finger of the right hand. Instant bliss. The time for slow, focused appreciation of sound was over. Fast forward to drawing torrents of sound out of the keyboard and boy does it deliver. The treble is bright, sharp, but does not grate on the ears. The bass is deeper than the reaches of interstellar space and just as wide and expansive. In short, this is what I idealize when I think of the sound of a piano.

I tried out a variety of pieces on that divine beast and eventually left my temporary steed giddy with delight but also sad at the impending departure. It was love at first hearing and our short relationship was passionate. I can only look forward to the day when we'll meet again.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Moving Day 3

Assembling so much furniture brings with it an appreciation for the clean logic that Ikea furniture assembly possesses. From my personal experience, most Ikea furniture goes together really quickly, is reasonably sturdy for something so resembling Legos, and much of the building process is intuitive. Compare this with a non-Ikea wine rack which came with no instructions and with no indication of front/back orientation. Wouldn't be so bad if I didn't find out the hard way that there was a specific orientation I had to follow.

So, three Cheers for Ikea!

Hip hip, cheap!
Hip hip, clean lines!
Hip hip, 20 Swedish meatballs with potatoes for only $5.99!

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Moving Day 2

In the past 5 days I have driven:

On Saturday,
From Santa Barbara to Redondo Beach (about 100 miles)

On Sunday,
From Redondo Beach to Capistrano Beach (about 60 miles)
From Capistrano Beach to USC main campus (about 60 miles)
From USC main campus to Pasadena (about 25 miles)
From Pasadena to Burbank (about 15 miles)
From Burbank to USC main campus (about 20 miles)
From USC main campus to Carson (about 10 miles)
From Carson to Santa Barbara (about 110 miles)

On Monday:
Back and forth a few times between sublet and new apartment.

On Tuesday:
More back and forth betwen sublet and new apartment.

On Wednesday,
From Santa Barbara to Carson (about 110 miles)
From Carson to Capistrano Beach (about 50 miles)
From Capistrano Beach to Santa Barbara (about 160 miles)

Total Distance: 1 bajillion kilofatigues

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Moving Day 1

Moving, physically. Wondering if my new apartment will be inspire me to refresh my writing. Realistically, it'll take up more of my time and energy that should be spent on writing but who can resist decorating and replacing ugly light fixtures with halogen pendants? Not me.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Mind Your Own Philanthropy

In the aftermath of Katrina, as after any disaster, there are plenty of people who devote their own time and energies to helping the survivors. Every little bit does help, often times regardless of the helper's sincerity. For a family who has lost everything, a meal is ultimately a meal whether it is cooked by the Red Cross, an altruistic samaritan, or a celebrity looking for some extra exposure.[1] Some people, however, are not content with their own efforts but feel the need to convert others. I'm not a big fan of these people.

I recently saw a posting on an internet forum wondering why people in Santa Barbara weren't making more posts on this forum and banding together to help the survivors of Katrina. That's all well and good except the poster forgot a few things:
1) Not many people read the forum he posted on. It follows that even for people who have looked at this forum as a way to communicate, they probably would have (and should have) decided that it was not an effective method to get the message across.
2) People who are helping are busy doing that, helping, not reading on the 'net.
3) What is the poster doing posting these exhortations instead of actually doing something?

After so many tragedies, there are people who talk, complain, analyze but ultimately do nothing. Not only that, they blindly try to impose their own vague sense of right and wrong on others around them. It's not a terribly far cry from blindly evangelical religious fanatics and their often times narrow minded deeds. Trying to get others to rally around a cause is understandable but beating them with your own moral tonfa is not acceptable to me.

Friday, September 09, 2005

So Trusting!

Here's something that probably would never happen in China:

I'm browsing around craigslist again and see an FM transmitter for the iPod. My car doesn't have a tape deck (only a CD) so I've always considered this as a solution but always found it expensive ($30+). I have a CD burner so why don't I just burn CDs for those long trips? I've also heard lots of bad reviews about sound quality from these transmitters but I drive a convertible with the top down most of the time so audiophile quality sound is not what I'm looking for. Still, 4GB of music is tempting so when I saw a $15 transmitter on craigslist, I praised craigslist, made the usual sacrifice of the head of a pig wrapped in USB cables, and emailed the seller right away.

30 minutes later. Score! It's mine! Remind myself: "firewire cables next time!"

I reply with a suggested time for the illicit transaction but it seems the seller is busy the next two days. The only time slot he has free is Friday between 4:30 and 5:00. "I'll be busy slaughtering pigs for the sacrifice!" I think to myself so that's out. So the seller suggests (and this is the part that wouldn't happen in China) that he leave the FM transmitter outside his house and that I can come and pick it up. The plan is I go to his house, drop about .0336 ounces of gold (at today's market prices) into an envelope and slip it under his door, kill the cop on the stakeout, dispose of his body, and walk away with the transmitter.

What if somebody else takes it before I get there? What if I take it and claim that somebody else must have taken it? I wouldn't do such a thing and even if I did, the seller would be out $15 until such time as he hires the mafia to go after my knee caps (he does have my number), in which case he'd be out a favor, I'd be out some kneecaps and mobility, and nobody would be happy. Except for the mafia, those bastards.

So the moral of the story? People in America are pretty trusting (yay). People in China can't afford to be (oh well). And never get the mafia to resolve your issues(those irrefusible bastards).

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Column A or Column B?

The academic world is very asynchronous and temporally nebulous compared to the corporate world. My personal viewpoint is that of an academic (in music) with two arms typing out code for a computer company every once in a while and it is an interesting one. For example, there is never an end to any projects in academia. Sure, you can get your PhD or you can finish writing an article but where does that take you? A PhD dissertation should be continued, and is often turned into a book. An article becomes nothing more than a local accomplishment in the grand scheme of your academic studies. It's not that there isn't a finish to projects but that there's no finish studying. In contrast, one could imagine a clean break in the corporate world by switching jobs, projects, or just by making one customer happy. The satisfaction is much more immediate and often times, well, satisfying.

Two examples from [my] real life:

1) A coworker needs a tool to help him do some rote tasks. I jump on a projet to write him a little application to help him perform the tasks. In essence a single-minded piece of software that makes one little aspect of my coworker's job easier (and saves him carpal tunnel). Written in a day, debugged and added changes over a period of 2 weeks as we live tested it. Done.

2) I write a paper for a quarter-long seminar. The paper gets turned into an abstract and is sent to both a local and a national conference. I am accepted into the local conference so I give a talk to my colleagues and professors at my university to prepare. Get feedback and suggestions. Then I run off and give the same talk at the local conference. Get feedback and suggestions. Receive news that I've been accepted to present at the national conference as well. Procrastinate. Research some more. Expand the presentation. [From here on it's the future.] Give the paper at the national conference. Get feedback and suggestions. Further expand presentation into an article. Submit article to journals until accepted. Article is published. Feel good. Repeat entire process with another presentation/article but which draws upon similar themes I've explored in this article. Unite both and others into dissertation. Get PhD. Get associate professorship job. Write book exploring further exploring the same theme and satellite articles as well. By now, reference my own articles as a source. Schmooze at conferences. Get tenure. Write articles that meta-explore the themes of my academic career. Get old. Write broad articles (or books) about the history of the themes I've explored. Get older, write historiography of the themes I've explored applied to a broader field. Death. Arrive at the afterlife. Monitor progress of other people continuing my work. See little to none. Discouraged. Stops monitoring progress and goes off to frolick in the heavenly fields with the celestial virgins forever more. Projects finally ends.

Which one do you prefer? Then again, as labored as I make the academic process seem, one is promised fields in which to frolick with virgins. Why else would I be in academia?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


In a post somewhere on d4 'n3t, I read this:

"The Red Cross states that if half of those Americans living within 2 miles of a Coinstar machine donated just $1 in spare change to the Red Cross, it would raise more than $65 million to support American Red Cross lifesaving services in communities nationwide!"

I am not eloquent enough to make general comments about Katrina and the chaos it has caused, save for expressing my sympathy to those who have suffered in its wake. I am, however, enough of a nerd to look at the above statement and wonder about those figures. So let's take a look at the numbers.

At $1 per American, it would take 65,000,000 people to generate $65,000,000. Since half of all Americans living within 2 miles of a Coinstar machine can generate $65,000,000, all Americans living within 2 miles of a Coinstar machine could generate twice that, $130,000,000, which then translates into 130,000,000 Americans. The population of the United States of America is approximately 295,734,134 and so roughly 40% of all Americans live within 2 miles of a Coinstar machine.

Can that possibly be true? I never realized Coinstar had such an empire...within 2 miles of which I, at least, am not. Either that or someone is exaggerating a wee bit.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

The Glass Is Broken

I remember reading somewhere about a teacher railing against negatives, how we're teaching our kids to see the bad things in life rather than the good. For an example, she recounted the following: she wrote down a set of six arithmetic problems with answers on a large sheet of paper and showed it to her elementary school class. For example:

3 + 5 = 8
5 + 7 = 12
2+ 6 = 7
9 + 2 = 11
1 + 5 = 6
4+ 5 = 9

When asked to say something meaningful about this set of problems, all of her students pointed out that 2 + 6 = 7 is wrong. The teacher then went on to complain about how not a single student said that the other five equations are correct. This, she thinks, shows the negativity we teach our kids.

What a load of shit, in my opinion.

There is seeing the good in situations and then there is complacency. In a classroom situation, in which even the kids understand that the purpose is to learn, any good student will try to improve. Seeing the 5 correct equations and then just leaving them as is, that kind of an answer would worry me far more than the supposedly "negative" one. An adult interpretation would be: "Oh look, there are five gas mains that work! I'm being positive! Screw all you naysayers going on about the one that's ruptured a leak the size of me bum in downtown manhattan. You're all negative." [Petulance added for empahsis.]

Picking out what's wrong with a situation and leaving it at that is as short sighted as this teacher's interpretation of her students' responses. Picking out what's wrong and fixing, resolving, or improving the situation is what we should be teaching kids. As far as I can see, the real problem in this story is not that the kids are seeing the negative side of things, but that the teachers is.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Crispy Memes

To take the place of your normally scheduled Monday post.

A lifetime:
should be chock full of fun experiences.

5 years ago:
I had just come back from a summer in Shanghai teaching English. Had already performed my earth shaking switch to music but had yet to decide whether conducting or music theory was for me. Either way, onwards to my junior year!

1 year ago:
In Shanghai again, eating. "The Car" had been acquired. Also resolved the earlier issue of what to study. Music theory it was, and is!

Woke up late. Conversed with friends. Went downtown by the scenic route and picked up some sunglasses on the way there. Browsed the shops downtown and saw a $41 set of 3 stainless steel mixing bowls by Rosle. Gorrrrrrrrgeous and called up two friends to get them to talk me into or out of buying the set. Decided to keep walking and sit at a coffee shop first. Read a bit of A History of God, conversed with friends online, and organize some pictures. Got peckish around 6pm so swung by Sur La Table and picked up that set of mixing bowls because I am so weak! Reparked the car and came back to the main drag to Palazzio to get some dinner. The same book, some great dinner rolls smothered with butter and garlic, a 4 pound bowl (tub?) of Fusili "Ooga Ooga", and a glass of Toasted Head cabernet sauvignon took up an hour and then some. Got some more rolls and a bit more than 3 pounds of the Fusili to go. Back home to admire my mixing bowls and then back out to a local bar for some drinks with friends. Back home around 1AM and more conversation online. Fell asleep to Couping Season 3 episode 1.

I will not labor. Most likely I will think and obsess about the new apartment and get very little done. A day of rest. A day of worrying.

5 snacks I enjoy:
1. Pork chops
2. Dim Sum
3. Ferrero Rocher
4. I don't really snack
5. Dinner

5 songs I know the words to:
1. "Christe Eleison" from Mass in B Minor
2. "Et in spiritum sanctum" from Mass in B Minor
3. "Qui tollis peccata mundi" from Mass in B Minor
4. 为什么你背着我爱别人
5. "Rejoice o daughter of Zion" from The Messiah

Though most of those don't exactly take a lot of effort to memorize the words. I mean, once you know one christe eleison, you know them all! Har har har. Shoot me now.

5 things I would do with $100,000,000:
1. Buy a Steinway D 9' Concert grand and a house/concert hall to match.
2. Start a music theory program/support an existing music theory program.
3. Be generous to relatives and friends.
4. Invest and establish funds for benefit of posterity.
5. Cars (racing), Kitchenware, Scotch, Wine, Travel, Dining, and extreme sports.

5 locations I'd like to run away to:
1. The town where any one of my friends lives.
2. The city of Shanghai.
3. The country of Europe.
4. The satellite of Earth.
5. The planet of the Apes.

5 bad habits I have:
1. Laziness

5 things I like doing:
1. Playing the piano
2. Driving a sports car
3. Eating and drinking with my relatives
4. Conversing with friend
5. And I guess studying music theory

5 things I would never wear:
1. Miniskirts - don't have the legs for them
2. Mumus - don't have the baby for them
3. Mohawks - don't have the attitude for them
4. Mobile Phones - don't have the stomach for them
5. Manties - don't have the lack of dignity for them

5 TV shows that I like:
1. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
2. Coupling
3. Freakazoid
4. Family Guy
5. Iron Chef

5 famous people I'd like to meet:
1. Stephen Hawking
2. Frederic Chopin
3. J.S. Bach
4. Francis Bacon
5. Your mom

Nobody said anything about time travel, or not. I want to meet those people.

5 biggest joys at the moment:
1. M Roadster
2. New apartment
3. Friends
4. Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls
5. Knowing what I want my career to be

5 favourite toys:
1. M Roadster
2. Digital Camera
3. Friends
4. Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls (OK, more generally the Kitchen)
5. Music

5 people to tag:
Waht price should I put on the tag?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Life according to craigslist: men seeking men

Craigslist (here we go again) is great. I like craigslist. But for a short cop out post today, I'd just like point out something:

I present you with a list of links from Craiglist SB. There are all from the personals section. Some, as to be expected, may contain content not safe for work. If you work with children, they're doubly not safe. But not all of the links contain warnings. Which ones do contain warnings? No warnings unless otherwise indicated:

strictly platonic
women seek women
women seeking men
men seeking women
men seeking men OVER 18 ONLY!
misc romance
casual encounters OVER 18 ONLY!
missed connections
rants and raves OVER 18 ONLY!

Rants and Raves I can understand. Oh the swearing. Casual Encounters I can also understand. Probably lots of explicit pics and "dirty" language on there. But men seeking men? Is Craig the list making an editorial statement here? [1]

[1]OK, I know he's not. It just happens that there are lots of explicit pics in men seeking men. Not as many as the spam-riddled women seeking men but lots nonetheless. Still...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Spam Any Place That You Are...

Long live Craigslist, for it is useful and mildly amusing when one is bored. I was happy when a Craigslist Santa Barbara started. It's not a panacea for all my wants as Craigslist SF Bay is but the establishment is appreciated nonetheless. Pretty soon, Craigslist had expanded to all corners of the globe including my real Asian hood: Shanghai.

Interested in what would be listed on Craigslist Shanghai, I hopped on a browser and went over to take a look. The apartments listed are expensive and ok, though I've seen much better for cheaper. Personals aren't all that fun (only a few of them). Sales aren't great either (same reason). Services is boring. Oh but wait, I take that back. What do I see screaming at me in all caps?


This is advertised as a "therapuetic service." "I suppose one's own can be thought of as such at times," I snicker. But what an odd title. *click*

"Back to the good old days Western therapy to solve the problem. Never be embarassed again."

Ah the good old days. No periods back then. No penises either. Western therapy will solve the problem of your having a penis. Lop it right off. No more embarassment!