Saturday, July 31, 2004

      >> 6:25 PM

Friday, July 30, 2004

Ten things from this past week
  1. Flew [Independence Air] and really like them despite joking with Rob that they would hand out little American flags for us to wave patriotically to keep the plane aloft. They are much friendlier than the big airlines and the captain always seems to address the passengers before the flight to let us know the plan and to keep us updated on things. Apparently, they've also shelled out some money to have celebrities record the FAA required safety messages at the beginning of the flight. I heard Mia Hamm, Dennis Miller, Jarmes Carville, and someone else I didn't recognize. The thing that really got me was that they held the plane for fifteen minutes after departure time (we still arrived on time) because they knew that the security line at 6 am getting into the terminal at RDU is horrendous. At least a handful of people came onto the plane sometime between our scheduled departure time and when they actually closed the door. The last time I flew American Airlines on a 6 am flight, I missed the plane by a few minutes even though I got to the gate fourteen minutes before the departure time (they told me they closed the gate at fifteen minutes before).
  2. Went to my college roommate's wedding in Chappaqua (home of the Clintons, I think) after getting lost in the area for an hour and a half. We were a bit late to the ceremony (oops) but I think only by a few minutes. I drank a lot at the wedding and got pleasantly tipsy while catching up with friends.
  3. Ate shu mai and scallion pancakes at my friend's favorite restaurant in Chinatown. I also had a portobello mushroom-potato-pesto crepe at Palachinka's in Tribeca; a falafel sandwich on St. Mark's Place; breakfast at a diner in Astoria; dinner with a friend at a lesbian-owned place in Spanish Harlem; yummy vegetarian dim sum in Chinatown; a birthday dinner at Teresa's Polish-Ukranian restaurant in the East Village and drinks at the KGB bar after; frou-frou drinks at a gay bar in Chelsea; bubble tea at St. Alp's; and bibimbap at a restaurant in Korea Town.
  4. Went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and decided I want to be a painter.
  5. Met for the first time in person [a really cool blogger] (discovering how small the world really is, we talked about the small town where I grew up and where he had lived for a bit as well) and hung out a bit with [another bloggy friend] at a bar that played a Björk song as soon as we walked in.
  6. Went to Bombay Nights on Broadway and decided I want to be a musician-type person. I had wanted to see Wolverine/Hugh Jackman kiss a boy in [The Boy from Oz], but it was sold out by the time I decided to go because I stupidly had not bought a ticket the week before, thinking it was too expensive. Avenue Q was also sold out. :(
  7. Found out I misrepresented/offended a cool professor on my blog (someone who doesn't know me). Randomly ran into another cool professor at this tiny but apparently very hip coffee bar [Joe], didn't talk to him then since we hadn't met before, e-mailed him later that day to set up a coffee date, and then rambled at him rather incoherently the next day about what I'm studying.
  8. Rediscovered how much I love the little "parks" scattered around the city at odd intersections. Did a fair amount of reading in those parks but also closing my eyes and listening to all the sounds around (cars rushing by, of course, but also the sound of the garbage guy dragging a plastic trash can on wheels down the sidewalk, of people talking at nearby benches, of birds chirping in the trees, of dogs barking, of leaves rustling, of car horns honking, of air conditioners humming....). I also went to Central Park to commune with the ducks.
  9. Went to [my favorite bookstore] a few times (only bought three books, though!).
  10. Walked a hell of a lot. Yay!

      >> 10:00 AM

Friday, July 23, 2004

Woo hoo! Found the passport. Now I can stay in the hostel in NYC instead of a hotel room. I hate how everything is so last minute and frantic these days. I thought the misplaced passport was going to keep me up all night. But I found it. So now I just have to run some errands and then pack.

I'll be up in NYC until Thursday. I'm going up for a wedding, but then I'm (finally) going to take a bit of a vacation and hang out in the city, checking out my old haunts and seeing what's changed in the last few years....

      >> 6:10 PM

Because I have no soul....

Freudian Inventory Results
Genital (43%) you appear to be stuck between a progressive and regressive outlook on life.
Latency (76%) you may be using learning as an escape from living.
Phallic (43%) you appear to have a good balance of sexual awareness and sexual composure.
Anal (50%) you appear to have a good balance of self control and spontaneity.
Oral (60%) you appear to have a good balance of independence and interdependence.
Take Free Freudian Inventory Test
personality tests by similarminds.com

(Via [p-o-f].)

      >> 8:12 AM

Thursday, July 22, 2004

[Poker with Cheney.] (Via milypan.)

      >> 7:54 AM

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

[20q.net], an on-line, artificial intelligence twenty questions game. Fun stuff. (Via Better Fangs :F?)

      >> 3:34 PM

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

"Even those who live the life of the mind must eat," they [dissenting members of the board] wrote.

The National Labor Relations Board [ruled last week] that graduate students at private universities do not have the right to form labor unions. I'm not sure where I fall on the issue of graduate student unions. I find it hard to understand why they shouldn't be allowed though I am not convinced that they are the solution to graduate student teaching woes. Part of the problem is that some programs totally rely on graduate student labor to staff small, required courses (it helps keep the student-to-teacher ration down, too). But if graduate students were to unionize for better wages and fewer courses to teach each semester, it would probably just shift the burden onto adjunct labor (yet another big ol' problem).

      >> 3:11 PM


Separately, in a sign that the device may be branching beyond its musical roots, Duke University said the school will give all incoming students a new iPod to download educational materials such as recorded lectures and schedules.

I can't believe the school is [actually giving all incoming students free iPods]!!!!!! That's so not fair!!!!!

      >> 2:34 PM

[Governor's gibes stall budget, Dems say]:

To illustrate his point, Burton brought to his press conference his espresso machine with a "closed until further notice" sign on it. Burton, who often brought steamed milk for the governor to meetings, said the governor would have to go without the frothy beverage.

That's just weird.

      >> 1:35 PM

DONE! Done with class for the summer!!!

      >> 12:43 PM

Monday, July 19, 2004

This is one of those days when I just want to give up on all my professional academic aspirations and become a [comic book writer]. :( If only I had the talent for such work....

      >> 3:42 PM

Thursday, July 15, 2004

[W Ketchup]. Sick.

      >> 6:48 AM

???? What does this mean? [Senators Kerry and Edwards] were the only senators not to vote on the cloture motion for the marriage defintion amendment (108th Congress, 2nd Session, S.J. Res. 40). Am I really being that cynical to think that they really believe because they are running for the big election this fall that they can't "officially" go on record about the same-sex marriage issue, even though they have apparently both noted in the press that they would not support such an amendment (for various reasons, none of which necessarily imply support of same-sex marriages)?

      >> 6:05 AM

Monday, July 12, 2004

I was at the comic book store yesterday just to buy the latest installment (issue 2) of Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men but ended up with a "director's cut" of the first issue of Astonishing X-Men and these [The Last Man] books. It was because I wanted to avoid being drenched by the rain storm that I stayed in the comic book store so long and succumbed to the temptations on the shelves. I bought the first three trade paperback volumes of Brian Vaughn and Pia Guerra's The Last Man (issues 1-20 or something like that). I read the first volume at the coffee store while waiting for the downpour to subside. It really is very fascinating, a post-apocalyptic world (present-day rather than future) in which suddenly and inexplicably all male mammals die except this one guy and a monkey he's been training.

      >> 3:06 PM

Sunday, July 11, 2004

Evening sky.

If nothing else, the stormy summer weather here creates beautiful clouds and light. The sudden rain storm forced me to buy lots of comic books and hang out at a coffee shop for two hours, though....

      >> 10:56 PM

Saturday, July 10, 2004

[The NEA] reports that "literary reading" is on a sharp decline among Americans. A discussion is underway at [critical mass].

      >> 7:00 PM

Want [shiny new toy].

      >> 6:45 PM

Thursday, July 08, 2004

[Google faces trademark tug-of-war with kid's Web site]:

Esrig is determined to make Google back off and he hopes to do it without spending a lot more money on lawyers. "I'm not looking for anything adversarial," Esrig said in a phone interview Wednesday. "I think they will find I'm a fairly reasonable guy."

Is it just me or does everything seem scripted? No one ever says anything different. We always have the same reasons for doing things and the same characterizations for what we do. If we sue, we're never those "other" people of a litigious mindset; we are always "reasonable." Eh.

      >> 2:07 PM

Am loving Weezer's cover of Britney's ["Baby One More Time"].

      >> 12:41 PM

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Sometimes I really wish I had Evie Garland's power from the tv show [Out of this World].

      >> 10:36 PM

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

It appears that the self-proclaimed one-and-only independently-owned coffee shop on the campus strip of Franklin Street in Chapel Hill has closed. So long Strong's Coffee. No notice. No signs. Just a blank storefront and inside, an empty floor. There are still drinks in the refrigerator, though, and it looks as if the kitchen hasn't been totally cleaned out. I stopped by one morning last week and found the door locked. This morning, I stopped by again just in case that one day was a fluke. But sadly, it seems not.

I wish there were something more exciting to report than the closing of a coffee shop in town....

      >> 6:15 PM

Sunday, July 04, 2004

These myths of origins are important, certainly. On July 4, 1776, a group of settlers in the Americas declared independence from British rule. Or rather, the act of adopting such a relationship to Britain happened a couple of days earlier, but the document we have come to know was signed on the Fourth. The history of national holidays is really always quite interesting. It's always what we do with an event or a historical memory that is what's important. Freedom and democracy seem to flow forth from that magical number, the Fourth.

[Pauline Maier] writes:

In fact, holding our great national festival on the Fourth makes no sense at all -- unless we are actually celebrating not just independence but the Declaration of Independence. And the declaration we celebrate, what Abraham Lincoln called "the charter of our liberties," is a document whose meaning and function today are different from what they were in 1776. In short, during the nineteenth century the Declaration of Independence became not just a way of announcing and justifying the end of Britain's power over the Thirteen Colonies and the emergence of the United States as an independent nation but a statement of principles to guide stable, established governments. Indeed, it came to usurp in fact if not in law a role that Americans normally delegated to bills of rights. How did that happen? And why?

Today's holiday makes me think of North Carolina's own proudly commemorated independence day. I only recently found out about the importance of [May 20th] in North Carolinians' imagining of their (our?) history. As contested as the actual date and events are, many people still cling to this mythical point of origin; May 20, 1775, fully a year before the national declaration of independence, the colonial settlers of Mecklenburg courageously declared their freedom from British rule. Like the Fourth, the 20th of May has since become a date symbolic of North Carolina pride, democracy, freedom, and self-governance. The date is actually part of the state flag. The day has also become one on which North Carolina has tried to build its history in later years. On the 20th of May in 1861, for example, the state formally seceded from the Union.

      >> 8:40 PM

Friday, July 02, 2004

Spider-Man 2 ROCKED. The Robster was very underwhelmed, but I thought it was amazing. Very heavy-handed in "symbolism" but in a way that really captured comic book narrative style. Some moments lagged, but it was still a beautiful movie. And the visual tableaux were amazing, like panels from the page.

We also caught [Michael Moore's] Fahrenheit 9/11 this evening along with a very large audience at the downtown theatre. Really very disturbing in a way I didn't think I could be disturbed more by BushCo. Everyone should see this movie. Like in his other work, Moore makes everything so black-and-white; he makes the whole situation in Iraq and the Bush presidency seem so straightforward: Wealth (white) men seeking oil riches and military contracts have hijacked the country. But propagandistic as his film may be, Moore never lies or bends the truth. It will be truly a sad reflection of the state of US democracy if Bush is re-elected in November.

Oh, and I finally told my boss that I am going to quit. The 23rd of this month will be my last (regular) day there. Maybe I'll actually do some of my own work (research, reading, writing) this coming year....

      >> 8:48 PM

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Bondage Spidey.

      >> 3:04 PM

Hmmm. Two out of seven ain't so bad.... Ok, ok. It's awful. I really need to get more on the ball. And tonight I must go see [Spider-Man 2] which I just realized today has already been released for the long holiday weekend.

Found out from the doctor today that I am indeed cultivating more microorganisms on my body. I swear, my body is just not made for this climate. Just goes to show the lie of genetic predispositions to climate type since I was born in sub-tropics Taiwan from a family long resident there. I wish I were more used to this humidity and stuff.

At least the long weekend (Monday off) should give me some time to tackle some of my non-summer class related projects.

      >> 1:09 PM