theladyrose: (Default)
I'm embarrassed to admit that it's been more than a year since I last updated, though I still follow the awesome that is all of you on a regular basis. Update about life stuff theoretically coming soon - not sure if I'm more excited or terrified about having one semester of grad classes left, considering I will be picking up my bachelor's degree tomorrow. At a glance, senior year's highlights involve hearing that Bear McCreary doesn't think that my commentary on his score for Battlestar Galactica sucks, becoming friends with the professor who produced the MFU soundtracks/wrote the season 4 DVD liner notes, utterly failing to avoid dirty jokes about wood while learning to play Settlers of Catan, and finishing my thesis on age differences in autobiographical memories that will theoretically be published in a journal 10 people will ever bother to read within a year.

In the meantime, however, I've been avidly following all the comments folks have been writing about Doctor Who, and after watching the season finale [ profile] darklightluna and I felt inspired to write a slightly cracky meta ficlet pitch as to why you should become the next Companion today! You can read it on here.

Alas, the 5 minutes you waste reading through it is unrefundable in all but 42 star systems.
theladyrose: (Default)
I have to confess, being off LJ and other blogs for 2 weeks was gloriously liberating - so much time available for so many new experiences! I'm hoping to strike a happy balance between being sucked into reading interesting things online and achieving my (existentia)list goals for the coming academic year.

I just realized that I haven't updated in nearly 2 months, and while I don't lead a completely and utterly fascinating life, I do feel like thinking things out through the written word to process everything that's happened.

Short version: turned the year that's the winning number in blackjack, seriously questioned life goal of getting a clinical psych PhD, learned about doing geropsychology research at Stanford, hung out with mostly 70 and 80 year olds when I wasn't chasing after them with pedometers, cheated on Douce France at Coupa Cafe with [ profile] dragonfly66 and [ profile] shakeitdown, visited my NY relatives, and spent an enchanting week in Oregon before returning to college

I keep hearing that college graduation's supposed to be this pre-quarterlife crisis inducing transition, and quite honestly I don't feel in the slightest anxious. Then again, I'm sticking around another year for grad school and crossing my fingers that Rose and [ profile] darklightluna will do their master's here, too, starting next fall, so that I won't be bereft of college friends (Gabe, I already know you're sticking around :P). Despite the pessimistic trends in American unemployment data these past few months, I'm feeling pretty good about where my life is going - and increasingly it's headed towards the workplace rather than into a aging-focused psych PhD program.

My intense love-hate relationship with research continues to be...cyclical. The prospect of my future career focusing primarily on research makes me want to bludgeon my head with the nearest blunt object. As fascinating as I find the culture of academia, it's mostly because I know enough now to legitimately snark at it. Thanks, Stanford, for showing me that bureaucratic pettiness is rampantly flagrant even in the best psychology department in the US. Though I am just a wee bit jealous that they actually pay *all* their participants $15/hour. The intellectual territory they explore is absolutely fascinating, but being the one who actually extracts all the data from those who inhabit it - terrifying given the pressure to produce publishable, grant-awarded results on a continual basis. I know just enough about doing research to sound vaguely impressive to undergrad business students (ie. my college friends), but I keep realizing how little I know about meta-level stats. I stand in awe of econometricians and demographers. I can do multinomial logistic regression now, which is the most complicated stats test I need for my thesis data, but I'm not fluent in SPSS syntax the way I wish I were.

On the one hand, I love my academic mentors and my thesis project, and almost all of my personal idols are/were professors or otherwise educators. But reading PhD Comics and reading Thomas Benton's columns in the Chronicles of Higher Ed have been playing legitimate devil's advocate with all these voices telling me to get a doctorate. I've come to the realization that much of the appeal of having a PhD is the prestige, as much as I genuinely love what I'm learning. I'm working past my intellectual inferiority issues about being dumber than all my good friends and role models. Growing up in Silicon Valley, which is the most intellectually snobby place in America outside of Boston, instills a warped sense of linking higher education at brand name institutions with being financially and otherwise successful. Alas, that's just not true these days. My friends who haven't gone to college are some of the smartest people I know (I'm referring to you, f-list), and I have to get over my incredibly classist notions that higher education is the Path to being a person worthy of deeper respect.

As to what I was actually doing, I'm too lazy to summarize it, so I have my grant app report here if you're curious )

Outside of research - I swear I will actually elaborate on the rest of these experiences in a later post, but that's almost dooming myself to never getting around to it. Given it's the 1st week of classes, though, I probably will actually write about them : )

Loved my first day of classes and can't wait for film music history tomorrow with Jon Burlingame, one of the best lecturers I've ever heard and the producer of the MFU soundtracks. Here's to an incredible (and hopefully productive) senior year.
theladyrose: (Default)
I haven't been very responsive here lately, I'm afraid; the end of the semester crunch has been occupying my time, but I'm home now.

I feel rather lucky to come home just in time to celebrate Mother's Day and be with my family again. We ended up going to see the new Star Trek movie, then I treated her to this awesome Vietnamese place. Short, non-spoilery review of Star Trek: worth seeing once for entertaining viewing as long as you don't spend too long staring at all the Enterprise-sized plot holes. It was surprisingly less campy than I had anticipated, with the actors playing Kirk, McCoy, and Scotty really owning their roles. Zoë Saldana's Uhuru is pretty damn awesome, too. Seriously, I was apprehensive about Kirk after watching the trailers, but he had enough charisma to actually pull it off. Unfortunately the bits with Spock just didn't cut it for me, especially that one scene at the end; there wasn't enough time to really flesh out his character with all the action going on, and the whole brooding Sylar in disguise characterization felt forced. But when it comes to hooking in a new generation into the ST franchise, I think it's quite effective by creating another dimension to the series for new and old fans to play with.

Anyway, Mother's Day once again has made me realize how lucky I am to have the people who support me in my life. I tend to wax sentimental when I write, but it really is true. As cheesy and cliché as it may sound, I do consider those of you who read this to be my extended family, the kinds of people I could only wish I could be related to just so I'd have an excuse to see you more often because you're all so awesome :D

And I can't imagine where I'd be without the wisdom, humor and guidance of the surrogate parents in my life who tell me the sorts of things that I have difficulty believing when my biological mother tells them to me. Even simple things like "Good luck" and "take care of yourself" - I take that to heart. And goodness knows you've helped me out in so many ways I can't name them all, from your Christmas cards to letting me interview/coerce you to helping me out on class projects to your sympathetic and often hilarious comments. Once again, thank you all!
theladyrose: (Default)
I've never understood the vitriol about Valentine's Day. Sure, $14.7 billion spent on gifts this year as a proxy for love strikes me as patently ridiculous; what scares me even more is that total expenditures related to this holiday's festivities are at a record low. But the true sentiment behind the day shouldn't arouse so much bitterness and ire. Believe me, I'm as familiar with heartsickness as the next person, but I refuse to let that prevent me from recognizing all there is for which I'm grateful.

I see Valentine's Day the way I see Thanksgiving and Christmas: an opportunity to reflect on what I have that I all too frequently overlook. This day is a celebration of love; I just expand that definition of love to something beyond the romantic kind.

When I think of love, I think of my family and friends and the friends I secretly count as family. I honestly can't imagine what my life would be without you. Call me a romantic, but I find it tragic how often we don't notice or acknowledge all those things that make us smile as we realize that yes, someone out there does care about us.

Love is someone checking in to see how I'm doing after angsting about a bad day. Love is someone going out of their way to send you a DVD featuring your favorite actor or a CD featuring your favorite composer. Love is someone baking green tea pound cake just for the fun of it and not minding when you end up eating most of it. Love is someone letting you continually bum rides off of her even though she refuses to let you pay for gas. Love is someone writing you a story or sharing a favorite poem. Love is someone washing your sheets and remembering to stock up on your favorite snack every time you come home. Love is someone sending you ridiculous lolcat photos and random cartoons because he thought you'd be entertained. Love is someone you haven't seen in ages sending you a letter or a postcard. Love is someone reminding you to stop taking yourself so seriously and learn how to crack a smile every so often. Love is someone who means it when they urge you to take care of yourself on the days when you don't think you're really worth caring about. Love is someone teaching you something new that they thought you'd enjoy. Love is someone trusting you enough to share a secret. Love is someone sharing something they've created so beautiful that you forget to breathe for a few moments. Love is seeing someone you admire stand up for what she believes is right and inspire you to take action, too.

I may be single, but I do feel loved this Valentine's Day. Thank you for being there.
theladyrose: (Default)
The news around my f-list has been going around like wildfire: Patrick McGoohan has passed away. I am very sorry to report that Ricardo Montalban has passed away today, too.

I found out the news just before going to my first death and dying class. Irony can be rather indifferently cruel.

I don't cry over deaths, generally - it took me 5 years before I could even shed a tear for Cathy. I spent most of class this afternoon dabbing at my eyes.

Many friends and I have lost a hero today, and many others around the world are mourning his loss.

It is a true privilege to have such a dynamic role model to whom I aspire. As corny as it sounds, his creative work as an actor, writer and filmmaker have left an indelible imprint on my life and have changed me for the better by giving me a greater sense of empathy, perserverance and appreciation of life's complexity. The characters he portrayed made such an impact on me, and I honestly don't know of anyone else whose acting mattered to me so much and have actually caused me to reevaluate how I view the world. My liberalism and beliefs about justice were largely shaped by the Prisoner and Danger Man, which is every bit as thought-provoking and morally ambiguous as the former if you watch carefully.

He inspired us to think more critically about the roles that institutions play in regulating, however covertly or overtly, our thoughts and behaviors, to accept the unsettling but ultimately necessary ambiguity that hangs over so many of our decisions, to recognize the human capacity to withstand the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. If such lessons seem grandiose, it's because his work transcended the boundaries of intelligent entertainment and make for philosophical material that keep us debating and thinking to this day. He had the clout and the chutzpah to make a pop medium like television political without being explicitly so, thought-provoking and actually meaningful, even if the messages were often ambivalent. He made snarky paranoid eccentricity cool. There wasn't a role of his that I didn't enjoy tremendously that provided a bright spot in even mediocre settings (OK, maybe Brass Target. But that movie just stunk, period). His incredible integrity, personal and artistic, sets a standard worth following for all of us.

Death gives us the opportunity to come together to honor a life that has made ours so much richer. I can only hope that generations to come will discover what an incredible legacy he has left. If there is an afterlife, I can only hope that it's giving him a king's welcome.

Patrick McGoohan, you will always be a hero to me, and for that I am grateful.
theladyrose: (Default)
We all need people to stop us.

I have a tendency to dress up messages in formal language in hopes that it'll make me sound smarter. So much of the core emotions become buried under the abstractions that the impact is lost. So here I am, simply stated: thank you for making my world a better place and for restoring my faith that people really act on their intentions to do good for each other.

Thank you to the friend who went on Thunder Mountain Railroad with me four times in a row in Disneyland.

Thank you to the friend who snuck in turn of the century romantic adventure novels in my locker senior year.

Thank you to the friends who will let me ramble about Cronenbach's alpha and Piaget's stages of development because I like having someone to geek about research to.

Thank you to the friends who let me call our bell choir group the Electric Penguin Anarchists and politely never pointed out how I had no idea what I was doing trying to figure out our chime rhythms. Or that I always tried stealing the D5 and D6 bells because the hammer wasn't loose.

Thank you to the friend who was willing to split the tempura/sashimi combo at Sushi House.

Thank you to the friends whose families have treated me like one of their own during dinners and vacations.

Thank you to the friends who drove me around when my mother was sick and after my car accident.

Thank you to the friends who dragged me down the hill when I couldn't walk in Arlington Cemetery.

Thank you to the friends who put up with my driving the wrong direction in parking lots and speeding a bit too quickly around hilly curves.

Thank you to the friends who enjoy doing nerdy things like playing Trivial Pursuit, jumping on trampolines, beading and candlemaking with me.

Thank you to the friends who let me ramble about my inner geekdoms, film music and Doctor Who and James Bond and the Internet and so many other things.

Thank you to the friends who go out to dinner with me to explore random awesome places in LA.

Thank you to the friend who left me chocolate and roses by my door even when I wasn't talking to you. No words convey how sorry I am for treating you as I did.

Thank you to the friends who've cooked and let me shamelessly mooch their food.

Thank you to the friends who make APASS the wonderful, open and zany work environment that I'll always look for in the rest of my jobs.

Thank you to the friends who blurt out the awkward, hilarious things that we're all thinking but too shy to say aloud.

Thank you to the friends who make me laugh, even when I'm being emo as all heck.

Thank you to the friends who let me be a shameless gossip.

Thank you for the fact that I've never heard of any of my friends backstabbing me.

Thank you to the friends who've changed my view of the world and made me think about all of the beautiful and astonishing things in it.

Thank you to the friends who don't call me out on being a pretentious ass.

Thank you to the friends who don't give me a hard time when I screw up and deserve to be yelled at.

Thank you to the friends who listen and sympathize when I whine and angst about anything and everything.

Thank you to the friends who still put up with me even when I flake out.

Thank you to the friends who trust me with their secrets. I'm touched and honored that you respect me enough to share so much of yourselves when it takes so much courage to speak up.

Thank you to the friends who keep me updated on what's going on in their lives, even when I'm too busy/tired/lazy to write back. I do pay attention.

Thank you to the friends who want to reconnect weeks/months/years later without contact and having the same closeness as we did since we last met.

Thank you, friends, for being the people I hope I will be.

Thank you, friends, for helping me when I didn't know how to help myself or know how to even ask.

Thank you for being there in my tie of need.

Thank you for being there because I honestly don't know how I'd do it without all of you.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends, and may it be a good one.
theladyrose: (Default)
Before I forget: congrats to [ profile] tortillafactory on being married and happy belated birthday to [ profile] greenhoodloxley! I'm afraid I'm rubbish about remembering these things on the days they actually occur, but the wedding photos looked like a lot of fun and I hope you had a great Halloween birthday.

As of 5 PM this evening, I am officially into my master's program here in gerontology. Considering that the paperwork took two months to complete, it felt rather anticlimactic. I'm just glad that it's all taken care of now and that I was able to register for all but one of the classes I needed today. Well, except that I have to take the GREs by the spring of 2010 if I want to increase my chances of convincing the university to continue paying my tuition, but I have all of winter break to study.

Speaking of which, taking a practice GRE may be the scariest thing I've ever faced on Halloween. And that was just the psychology subject test, which left me feeling mildly homicidal towards the creators of standardized tests. Thankfully I didn't waste all of Halloween on obsessing about the future and hiding indoors from obnoxious neighbors. Ailsa, Lillian and I went out for a 10 o'clock ramen run at the ever delicious Daikokuya, followed by long talks over the multiflavorful tastiness of Yogurtland, in Little Tokyo. I highly recommend both places, especially on a student's budget. We gawked at the surprising number of non-skankily attired revelers wandering around downtown. It was exactly my sort of favorite holiday - good food and company, not necessarily in that order. It's the sort of luxury I crave these days.

Funny, it's the second year in a row I was in Little Tokyo on Halloween. Last year I was improvising a historical group tour of the neighborhood alongside my boss and trying to figure out how to transport 18 people in one car because the DASH bus stops running after 6. Maybe I ought to make it a tradition...
theladyrose: (Default)
I was talking to [ profile] laleia the other day about what it means to be an adult and how after hitting the big two oh we're reevaluating the way we think about the future. She was telling me about how after working this summer, her vision of the future was less about what she wanted to do during her vacation time and more about envisioning what her apartment would look like after graduation. The increased leisure and freedom we associate with having total control of our adult lives is underscored by recognition of responsibility and a desire to do something productive with our time. Erikson's life stages come to mind, with the middle adulthood phase focusing on generativity vs. stagnation. Some say that we're growing up too quickly as a generation, being forced into situations that require us to think in the long term (college debt, anyone?) before we know any better.

Adolescent psychologists love talking about how adolescence has become a prolonged lifestyle stage and that in Western/"developed" societies, there are few clear markers as to when we actually become adults. In the US, you can get a driver's licence at 16, buy cigarettes and porn and vote at 18 and drink at 21. Those are just your legal rights. A lot of us work part-time jobs but aren't financially autonomous. Our parents expect us to do more around the house, but some give more decision-making authority to their children than others. If a teen becomes a parent, it's generally safe to assume that the pregnancy was unplanned. All these milestones of what it means to be adult take place at different times nonlinearly. If it seems that my generation has problems growing up and moving out of the house, in our defense it's more challenging when none of us know what's supposed to happen when.

Hence the new "young adult" period that roughly marks age 18 to the 20's, the ambiguous span from when most enter college and slowly transition to some kind of general self-supporting autonomy. We have a vague notion of self-reliance (how very Emerson!) when it comes to delineating adulthood, but with a globalized intellectual property/service-based economy so many college grads are living at home and/or relying on parents for financial assistance even if they live apart. And to be honest, most people my age don't have well-balanced functional romantic relationships. Maybe we know how to conduct a t-test or write a paper that can garner an A, but sticking to a budget, assembling a bunk bed or managing time well often seems out of our intellectual reach.

To be honest, I don't believe that the jobs that most students have make them any better at managing their own finances or learn the value of money, because the research on middle class kids shows that they espouse more cynical views of the workforce and workplace ethics, become more materialistic and be more likely to engage in some forms of "deviant" behavior like drinking. Working (10+, if I remember correctly) actually diminishes academic performance. (Though personally, if researchers actually bothered to study teens from less wealthy backgrounds, it'd probably show different and more positive outcomes.) For one thing, many high school college students use the extra income from being office gophers or filing away library books to buy personal luxuries and things they don't really need. Combined with poor financial literacy and the astonishing availability of credit, it's no wonder that we're hopelessly ignorant when it comes to fiscal responsibility.

It's so easy to become arrogant, thinking that just because we've gone through so many years of higher education and taken tests measuring our likelihood of success in the education system means that we have any idea of what it means to be a successful, well-functioning adult. Sometimes I wonder if we, the entitled and neurotically achievement-oriented Generation Y, just have a massive lapse in emotional intelligence. Or maybe I'm just too timid to tell the kids across the hall to keep it down because some of us actually have to wake up at a decent hour of the morning tomorrow.

This isn't to say, of course, that Generation Y fails at life. We're more worldly, technologically plugged in and theoretically more tolerant of people from different backgrounds than ever before, and quite a number of us are finding creative new ways to save the world or at least dedicate serious time to volunteering locally.

Call it the burden of complexity that grows heavier with each decade and century. Sometimes I think we're so busy trying to fulfill an agenda that we forget about how valuable it would be to ask someone who's been through a similar experience already to help guide the way.

I need my older friends to gently smack sense into me when I'm panicking or approaching Hamlet levels of angst. It's much easier to listen to and accept the advice and guidance of someone who has the experience of your parents, being parents themselves, who doesn't have all the history of conflict and the traits that irk you about your own mother. In friendship, you can simply relate to each other as the people you are now. I guess this is my terribly convoluted way of saying thanks for putting up with me lately and serving as examples that yes, people do manage to happily survive these emotional quagmires of the teens and 20's.
theladyrose: (Default)
Venezia Mestre isn't the worst place to be stranded in the middle of an unexpected transportation workers' strike.

It's just that with less than 12 hours before the first part of your Italian I final and after a good 11.5 hours on the train from Vienna, you really don't want to be dumped overnight rooming with Venice's ugly cousin, hoping that you'll be able to snag the first train to Verona at some unknown ungodly hour.

I could talk about how Vienna was otherwise worth a wonderful weekend of procrastinating on finals and papers by touring Hapsburg palaces and art museums, but I really need to get back to work.

In the meantime, on a more serious note, a former classmate/student of mine (yes, it's complicated) has been documenting the typhoon disaster in the Philippines that has been relatively ignored in the news media. I highly respect his work as a freelance photojournalist and recommend checking out his coverage and his other photographic work here.
theladyrose: (Default)
I think I'm officially known at the Verona train station as that strange American girl who tried to reserve a spot on the Milano-Lausanne connection for a flying chair.

una sedia votelle: wheelchair
una sedia volante: flying chair

Ooops. This is what happens when you watch too many Pink Panther/Get Smart-ish things. The good news is that they gave me a refund on the tickets that I bought that were marked up ridiculously, although it was fun trying to explain the situation in my very limited Italian sprinkled awkwardly with French.

The people at the front desk of where I'm living are convinced that I slept with the friend who visited me this past weekend. It was the only way I could figure out how to sneak him in because technically we're not supposed to have guests stay over. Marco now gives me awkward winks, and I find it difficult to stifle giggling (yes, giggling) whenever I'm going in or out now. I've also come to the slightly depressing conclusion that the only way you can keep Italian men from openly oggling/calling you out is if you're in the company of another guy. The more awkward part was going into the cafés and random couples/parents looking at us, totally puzzled as to why we weren't holding hands or anything like that. I know Plato's Greek, but I would've expected that the concept of platonic friendship wouldn't be so novel over here, friends of different genders going out together. Or maybe I was just being especially self-conscious as my friend has a girlfriend but openly admitted that he's always liked Asian girls...and this was before he had anything alcoholic. Still, we did end up having a fun time.

I am convinced that we might've found the best gelateria in the heart of town near the Arena, but I think I need to go there more before I can be sure :D
theladyrose: (Default)
Happy Thanksgiving to all those celebrating today!

I haven't been as responsive on LJ lately as I'd like because of coursework/extracurriculars/family/friends/life (I know; can one be vaguer than that?), but I always find myself checking the f-list several times a day just because someone always has something interesting to say or show. Thanks, all of you, just for being here. I've enjoyed reading your debates and musings and reviews and stories and art. I often find myself unable to comment simply because I'm overwhelmed by your talents and perserverance and insight. And how could I forget your zany sense of humor, the YouTube clips and the polls and the pictures and the captions and the caps and the cartoons and the parodies; those never fail to brighten my day, seriously. I feel like I've learned so much just from what you have to write, and I feel privileged to have these glimpses into your lives. Collectively you're some of the most generous, sympathetic, supportive folk I have been lucky enough to know, and I want to thank you for putting up with my angst and self-fixation and general flakiness. I look forward to seeing what else you have to share; you all never cease to amaze me :)

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.
theladyrose: (Default)
It's quite possible I'm one of the few people who *isn't* picking up the last Harry Potter book. Ah, the joys of catching a morning flight to New York tomorrow! Family, friends and museums - what more could one ask for? It's a pity I won't be joining my "other" family with the ever amazing [ profile] eyepiece_simile in Cape Cod this year, but we can always see about next year.

So, in the mail yesterday I picked up the most peculiar postcard, which featured San Francisco's Palace of Fine Arts (which is roughly an hour's drive away).

"I want to buy your house. I am not an agent. Call me."

Well, you have to give this mysterious sender named Jason props for being to the point.

Today's equally unexpected postcard was of the Kremlin, straight from Moscow. Martina, a high school friend who's also at USC, sent it to me. It's been nice reconnecting with old friends lately - within the past week, Sophia and I checked out the Qwik-E-Mart recreation and walked around Shoreline, and I had lunch with PP (she who teaches choir and intro) yesterday when we ran into the class valedictorian and her mother. This afternoon I met up with Alison, whom I haven't seen since 5th grade though we don't live that far from each other. I hate borrowing clichés, but the two and a half hours we talked made up for those nine years apart. And as weird as it sounds, I actually like the meetings over at my boss's house - there's something surprisingly cozy about the start up environment when you've got three people jammed in a home office trying to figure out what went wrong again when rerecording the newest "how to" site voiceover.

But not all of these encounters have been that pleasant, although the one I'm thinking of is actually imaginary. I had a philosophical sort of nightmare straight out of Sartre's Huis Clos (No Exit) or the Prisoner episode "A, B and C" that involved me at a party in someone's rather bourgeois living room where I was trapped presumably for all eternity as my ex kept hounding me about why we broke up. I've been receiving some awkward messages lately from him; he really is a great guy, but all I want is for him to find someone else who'll really make him happy and appreciate him for who he is. The way things are now, the current extremes of awkwardness makes the prospect of being locked up with Inès or Number 2 an absolute picnic by comparison.

On a not-so-related note, I've been reading this fascinating and equally humorous book by Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness, which focuses on the sources of our regular dissatisfactions than the title would suggest. His commentary about how insistent we are about how unique our perspectives and feelings are, leading us to mistakenly disregard the feelings of others when put in a particular situation as a poor predictor of our own when placed in the same scenario, really struck me. A wise and generous man once told me that I'd come to enjoy John Barry's chamber orchestra album the Beyondness of Things over Eternal Echoes. I found this remark rather strange at the time - considering we came from such different backgrounds, it seemed rather unlikely that we'd eventually come to have the same view. And yet as I've been reorganizing my soundtrack collection to accomodate some newer material and listening to works I haven't heard for some time, I realize how right he was. If the Beyondness of Things is a nostalgic view of life as we'd like to remember it, highlights of breahtaking and sometimes heart-wrenching majesty, Eternal Echoes recognizes the quiet beauty in our everyday lives. It takes a certain degree of maturity to appreciate the more ponderous tonal colors of Eternal Echoes, a deceptively sedate musical retelling of the moments that show us for what we are when we're in our element.

I don't remember what the point of that story was, but I do remember thinking that my own memory problems seemed to corroborate with the points Gilbert was making, which might explain why I'm willing to trust his argument so much.

And last but not least, a totally unrelated LolCat meme )
theladyrose: (Default)
When allergy medication tells you not to operate heavy machinery while under the effects of the drug, food processors do indeed count as heavy machinery. Just because it's a small Cusinart doesn't mean that you can't potentially cause a lot of damage!

Somehow, [ profile] eyepiece_simile is still my friend (I think? I hope!) after nearly destroying her kitchen today for our joint family Young Frankenstein dinner party. I swear, I'm normally not such a zombie-esque butterfingers.

I mix metaphors the way I do pesto sauce - in incomplete and uneven chunks. I should probably get some sleep before I wreck further linguistic (is this an adjective that can also describe linguine?) havoc.
theladyrose: (Default)
Sophia: What holiday is in a week and a half?
Me: President's Day!
Sophia: Shut up...Valentine's Day.
Me: Oh, right...
theladyrose: (Default)
I think time is imploding, because I can't believe that I'm moving in five days to LA. And like a limited edition candy bar (think white Chocolate M&M's, which aren't exactly a candy bar but you hopefully get my point), suddenly a fair number of people want to get a piece of me.

OK, I suck at metaphors and totally misconstrued what I meant to say there. I don't remember hanging out with so many people in this relatively short period of time since, well, last summer when my Harvard friends pretty much lived in the same building. It's really awkward being the first one of all of my friends to leave, and I'm sorry that I'm not able to spend as much time with everyone as I'd like just because there are still a fair number of last minute tasks I have to get done before departing. What I really need to do at this stage is pack up clothing, books and other small scale personal items. I'd really appreciate any tips on what to bring or not bring and how to get it to campus.

Top Six Reasons Why My Roommate, Catherine, Will Be Annoyed By Me/Most Likely Be Avoiding Our Room

1. I tend to leave random piles of stuff on my desk in precarious positions. Actually, I tend to unconsciously scatter books and papers all over a room in such a way that I can eventually find what I need.
2. I have a horrible tendency to hit the snooze button for literally two and a half hours straight. My dad, from whom I seem to have inherited this habit, was ousted by his roommates the spring semester of his freshmen year and was lucky enough to snag a single room for the rest of his time in college.
3. Thea claims that my taste in music belongs in the confines of elevators or plays when one's been put on hold. There has to be someone out there who thinks that Film Score Monthly's release of the six set Man from UNCLE soundtrack is a gift sent from heaven.
4. I assume I snore because everyone else in my family does.
5. I have other bad habits, but I don't want to scare away all of my friends from visiting :P

As of today I have become hooked on YouTube, which is actually a bad thing as I have roughly five sentences completed of a paper (an intellectual autobiography; how do I even go about this?!) I need to write before my classes start. But as I fend off my academic responsibilities I must also defend myself from rumored allegations that I have rather elitist tastes in cultural matters. Let's just say that the following will show anything but.

Warning: I have a twisted sense of humor...occasionally )
theladyrose: (Default)
Note: I started writing this yesterday but have only gotten around to posting it today.

Happy 4th of July and belated Canada Day! Once again, I'm reminded that Keith Lockhart of the Boston Pops is the cutest pro conductor ever. And the fireworks look amazing everywhere but here-this is the first time I've only seen three or four fireworks shows from my house because it's so hazy tonight. I think the record I've seen from the living room window was 24. Yes, I'm spoiled.

I look depressingly normal with my hair wrap cut off. My new hair cut makes me actually look a bit more mature. I'm getting off topic again.

Disclaimer: I can't help that I keep sticking in random pop culture references in my entries. It's like I've been brainwashed by Speedlearn.

The San Francisco Express

[ profile] somewhatcynical (Annie) is in town at the moment, so her old roommate from last summer, [ profile] eyepiece_simile, (Sophia) kindly invited me to join them on an expedition up to San Francisco on Monday. I tend to visit SF at most twice or thrice a year either with my parents, godparents or to visit a former English teacher for brunch-but that last one is a classic story of forgetfulness and awkwardness that I've told here before. At any rate, it's much more fun going anywhere with friends.

We took Caltrain up to Milbrae and then switched over to BART to get to the Powell Street Station (right across from the San Francisco Shopping Center on Market). After the SFO airport stop, there was a cute Japanese family whose patriarch kept asking us about which stop they would need to get to the Japanese Tea Gardens. The Caltrain stop that I took last time deposited me in a sketchy area near that "Is your dog bulimic" graffiti mural; I'm grateful that I didn't get approached by any strangers. Needless to say I didn't really want to repeat that experience even with a group, so my parents suggested taking BART into the city instead. I've never used BART before, but it was surprisingly clean and efficient, like a regional train service with subway/tram cars. It would be really nice if they had more stations in San Francisco proper, though, besides stretching out all over the North and East Bay. But despite those minor complaints I definitely would want to use BART again, perhaps to visit [ profile] dragonfly66 sometime.

We got into SF at around 10:30 or so in the morning. Luckily I know the Union Square area very well as I've gone there every Thanksgiving except for the year my mother just came home from the hospital with endocarditis. There weren't any protestors for once (sorry, I can't help being facetious), but it was a weekday and they tend to come out later in the afternoon to pester the tourists waiting in line for the Powell and Hyde cable cars. We went into Union Square and acted touristy and stared at the random mini-palm trees at the corner facing Macy's. I have no idea how palm trees can survive the fogginess and semi-freezing temperatures of San Francisco, but apparently they can. And as Annie pointed out, the park benches there are an aesthetic attempt to prevent homeless people from sleeping on them.

One is always a wanderer; three are always going somewhere together.

After that we marched uphill and then downhill to Chinatown. We approached from the back side first as we wandered around the unofficial "natives only" stores, restaurants, temple-looking churches and the ambiguously named benevolent societies. Surprisingly enough, I've never been to the SF Chinatown before. I don't know how to describe it, really; it's not quite like Hong Kong (most of the SF Chinatown inhabitants were speaking Cantonese with the Guangzhou dialect, I think), and it's definitely not what one would call mainstream American. There's a sort of directness about the place, "what you see is what you get," no pretense about what it's like to make a life for oneself as an American immigrant. It's a heady mixture of pragmatism and nostalgia. The goods they sell-they're a sort of parodic representation of what it is to be Chinese-American, as if the image of China that they remember has become a farce in itself; they're selling and almost believing in the myth they've created for the tourists. It was all eerily familiar. The shopkeepers could take one look at me and knew that I couldn't speak their language; I'm as assimilated as they come nowadays. That was more embarassing than having to ask them to speak English. But I knew where they were coming from; I just wish I could've explained myself somehow.

We later moved towards the more touristy section where the store displays included antiques, higher class counterfeits and jewelry rather than groceries and cell phone charms. We randomly stopped for boba at a sushi place (?!) as Annie had never tried the drink before, but unfortunately it was way too sweet. Sophia got some firecrackers of dubious legality. Annie got some gifts for her family and a plastic sword, and I now have some mini paper lanterns for my dorm room next year.

The sort of do-it-yourself dreadful affair...

We climbed uphill a few blocks-San Franciscan hills feel like mountains-to catch a cable car to Fisherman's Wharf. We got smooshed into the back of the car and tried not to fall on top of each other whenever the cable car suddenly started climbing uphill or speeding downhill. The views were incredible, I'll admit: Coit Tower, Lombard Street and the Bay with Alcatraz dead center. We headed towards some kind of marina featuring historical ships through the ages. Annie and Sophia tried tying a bunch of different kinds of sailors' knots; may I say for the record, Annie is a knot-tying queen. Afterwards we browsed amongst the various little shops and stands-it's a capitalistic paradise but a fun one. There was this one store in particular that sold these intricate Russian nesting dolls of all different sizes. And of course we had to stop by Ghiradelli Square to get chocolate. At one point I swear I thought I was going to get trampled over by the chocoholics on the way to the register.

Almost-a word that sticks edgewise in the throat to strangle one. Still, it was a lovely scheme.

Being cheap and energetic (not to mention slightly hyper after the intense chocolate) we decided to eschew waiting in the long line at the Wharf cable car stop and go further up the hill to catch one without having to pay the five dollars. Well, we realized after passing the first two or three stops (conveniently placed every two blocks or so) that there'd be no way we could get on the still-full cable car, so we decided to go up a little further...and a little further...and a bit more up to the top, and so on and so forth. We'd randomly stop every once in a while to admire the view from a stationary position. By the time we reached the top of what seemed like the steepest, highest hill in San rancisco ("We made it! Oh wait...there's another block to go, but it doesn't look as steep, right?" x4) we pretty forgot about jumping on the silly cable car. A couple of blocks downhill never did anyone any harm, right?

If you must get us lost, could you do it a bit faster?

Well, a few blocks downhill soon turned into many. We stopped about halfway and debated about how to get back-there was no point in taking the cable car at this point as we hadn't seen any in a long time.

I'll be honest with you-I can get pretty arrogant when it comes to directions. If there's one vaguely useful skill I posess, it's my sense of direction that I must've inherited from my dad. This is probably why I tend to be the navigator on school field trips. Even if I don't really know where I am I can usually find my way back to where I started. Needless to say, I be very stubborn in thinking that my way is the best way to get somewhere. And usually it is. Luckily Sophia and Annie are nice people and put up with me and my reiteration of "we're almost there; only five blocks [down this direction]." We passed the time about talking about Lifetime movies and such-now I really must see Snow Queen sometime. Surprisingly enough I didn't feel the least bit tired, which is surprising as I tend to be the weakling. Maybe it's because I ate more chocolate than everone else.

We stopped inside Grace Cathedral to take a break and sat on the pews to admire the stained glass. I wish I could've felt the majesty of God or some higher power, but I couldn't. I can appreciate church architecture from an aesthetic, intellectual standpoint, but nothing more than that. I couldn't stop thinking that the money spent to erect this cathedral could've been used to help the people of the community-construct homes or fund schools or keep kids from getting into gangs. And you just know that the people who helped construct this cathedral thought that they were celebrating God. I didn't feel the least bit awed by God's presence. It seemed like such a hollow splendid empty gesture just wasted on me.

You'd never believe this, but if someone introduced me to religion at an early age and got me into the whole church youth group thing I'd be terribly devout. It's too late for that now. There's this horrible cold rational logic that interferes with my desire to have faith in something other than a secular, universal hope. But I'm getting angsty, and that wasn't the point of this entry. It's a lovely cathedral, I'll give you that. Somehow I prefer the missions, if only for the historical aspect.

We headed back into familiar territory as we approached Union Square again and miraculously (I'll try to cut out the sarcasm, sorry) managed to make the BART back in time so that we wouldn't have to wait 45 minutes to catch the Caltrain at our connection in Milbrae. For the first time ever I managed to do a decent amount of reading (John Le Carre's The Honourable Schoolboy) while riding backwards without feeling any sort of motion sickness.

We could make our daring, resourceful and nauseatingly punctual escapes...if only the door weren't locked.

But the adventure wasn't quite over yet. We had a three minute time window to make the Milbrae Caltrain connection but it felt like way less. I was being an idiot and ccouldn't figure out which platform we needed to be on until Sophia pointed it out. By this time we had about a minute left and ran for our lives up and down the stairs to cross over to the other side. It really felt like something out of an action movie-the train conductor yelled something like "Last chance!" and we all practically jumped on. For a few moments I was afraid that Sophia was going to be left behind, but thankfully that didn't happen. And we had a very interesting conversation on the way back that makes me miss my friends from Harvard and the IHL already.

All in all, I had a lovely time with Sophia and Annie and would definitely want to do something like this again. Anyone else up to such an expedition, perhaps during a college vacation reunion? This summer is good, too.
theladyrose: (Default)
Sorry that I've been rather quiet here lately-I've been doing a ton of internal LJ maintenance, as in cleaning up entries, tagging everything, slapping on icons for each entry, sorting out memories, etc. I think I've poured in at least ten hours so far and have reread all 676 entries of this LJ. It was a surprising amount of work that I've been meaning to get around to, but I'm glad I finally did it.

Random observations/comments:

1. Elevators close more quickly in Southern California than any other place I've ever been. Seriously, the doors feel like they're shutting in after ten seconds, which isn't enough time to push someone in a wheelchair and definitely not from a standstill. [ profile] eyepiece_simile actually heard me shriek loudly when I thought the doors were about to close on me (it wouldn't be the first time!) when we first checked in at Disneyland. But our Disneyland trip will comprise its own special entry.
2. There are far more vegan restaurants in LA than in San Francisco.
3. Contrary to popular opinion and/or onscreen representation, it is not actually sunny all the time in Southern California. Actually, it was pleasantly cool when I was at USC for orientation, so I didn't end up being baked to a crisp. Amazing.
4. "It's a small world after all," besides being an adorable Disneyland ride/mind-boggling mind numbing song, actually does apply to real life. I will get around to explaining my own version of this truth of the cosmos later.
5. Ferris wheels are much scarier than you'd expect. Yet I was nowhere near as scared on the 800 foot freefall drop ride. Eh?
6. Rereading this proves that [ profile] cutemew, [ profile] zedhaus and I would make the most awesome songwriting team EVER.
7. I make it a point to never write an entry on my birthday. I'm not sure why.
8. I am really grateful that I wrote as ridiculously much as I did documenting my time at Harvard.
9. I can run across the USC campus in roughly ten minutes without really knowing where I'm going when fuelled by the adrenaline rush spurred by worries that I wouldn't get into my first choice classes.
10. Someone, please mentally slap me when I start getting really angsty on everyone and do everyone a favor, OK?
11. I have become a closet adrenaline junkie along with Sophia. We pretty much rule all kitschy wholesome thrill rides.
12. This is a really lame list I should stop now and actually write real substantial entries when I have some sleep.

And now for a random quiz, because it's summer, and I have to randomly spam these things even if it won't make sense to most people )
theladyrose: (Default)
Congrats to all of the Class Day prize winners! You all really deserved what you got :D

Good conversation always makes my day, especially when I get to talk to people with whom I normally don't have the chance to do so. At the same time I hate to realize that there are still so many people I'm only beginning to realize are very awesome whom I wish I knew better but have little time left now to spend with them. And yet I still hold on to the quixotic hope that perhaps it's not too late; it's never too late. We'll see how things turn out.
theladyrose: (Default)
So I could tell you all about being in the flipped raft by Fowler's Rock (south bend of the American River near the start of the Class III rapids).

Except I'll have to get around to that tomorrow when I have the time.

All I can say in the meantime is thank God [ profile] eyepiece_simile and Patricia pulled me out when they did. I'd rather not drown to death after my 18th birthday, thanks.

ms. roboto

Apr. 29th, 2006 08:15 pm
theladyrose: (Default)
We won the FIRST Spirit Award at robotics nationals and placed 48th overall! You robotics people definitely deserve it after all of the hard work you've put in this season. I am in awe of your collective robot repairing, driving, bs-ing, animating, website designing and business planning skills :D


theladyrose: (Default)

June 2010

27 282930   


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags