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)
I think either fate or the laws of probability or coincidence is playing with my mind again, for somehow whenever I start writing an e-mail to my ex-roommate she always sends me a message first.

I really want a Matthews dorm reunion now. I'm really curious as to where everyone (not just Harvard folks) will be ending up soon. That even includes Yuki the Future Serial Killer from my behaviorism class.
theladyrose: (Default)
I keep randomly seeing strangers who resembled people that I know. I still remember the last time I went out with [ profile] dragonfly66 to lunch I spotted a Paly student who might have been Cathy without the magenta highlights. I could've sworn that I saw Mekkie at the drugstore the other day but that's impossible. There was a guy at the supermarket who looked rather like [ profile] eyepiece_simile's brother, albeit somewhat older, and it suddenly struck me that [ profile] shakeitdown's significant other reminds me in appearance of an elementary school classmate of mine named Evan. Is there some kind of weird convention of genetic doubles (Project Helix participants?) going on that nobody's bothered to tell me about?

Oh, by the way-f you ever happen to see the rather melodramatically entitled docudrama "Murder at Harvard"-the actor playing the part of John Webster bears a really freaky resemblence to my behaviorism classmate, Bow Tie Man, down to the sideburns and glasses. I don't think that John Webster is good at disco dancing, though.

(I think that if you mentioned "bow tie man" to anyone at Harvard this past summer, they'd know to whom you're referring. I was sort of freaked out on the day of my final when he wasn't wearing his Harvard "veritas" logo bow tie and had ominous notions of flunking in my head just because something felt wrong with the universe.)

I've finally decided on a few New Year's resolutions. As I feel a bit idiotic for coming up with them so late, let's just claim that I prepared them in advance for the lunar new year at the end of this month. They are:

1) Say more nice things about people that I'm normally too shy to say.
2) Meditate more often; I haven't really since December 1, 2004. I could really stop doing the angsty freak-out all the time.
3) Go running around the neighborhood more often to exercise and meet some of my new neighbors.
4) Stop hitting the snooze button so much, i.e. fewer than 23 times (my all-time record).

On the trend of never quite knowing the time, I've been listening to a lot of seasonally inappropriate music lately, songs with words like "spring" or "summer" in them. And people keep giving me strange looks whenever I hum Christmas carols. I'll probably stop sometime in April, but I give no guarantees.

To my fellow classmates and IHL-ers: dear fluffy eena-chan will be visiting after school on Friday, so if you want to hang out with her this is your chance.
theladyrose: (Default)
Reasons why I love today (and other moments of this past week):

1. I got an e-mail from Danielle, my Harvard summer roommate! I've been meaning to contact her for ages except I lost her e-mail address. But now we can actually talk again and it will be the next best thing to getting boba every night with the Matthews gang. Summer nostalgia is starting to wash over me.

2. (Note: non-classmates will be totally confused by this next point, which describes a slighty bizzare IHL tradition.) I was finally ringled this past Wednesday by Alecia! I never knew that she was such a great baker; she even figured out how to replicated the 007 Walther PPK in chocolate chips on my ringling cake! It was so gorgeous that I actually took a picture of it.

3. The winter concert this past Tuesday-I can't believe that was my last winter concert ever. And the regular choir sang two of the Majestic Britain tour trip pieces, "Ose Shalom" and "For The Beauty of the Earth." The few old Britain trippers waiting backstage and I couldn't help but join in. It's so strange to think that we seniors are the last class to have participated on that trip and have gone through some of the best two weeks of my life. I really hope that we can do a sort of "farewell" concert even though we've only got one unreliable alto (*coughs* me). I like the idea of going around to random train stations and singing like we did at the Bayswater Station.

4. This week's episode of Alias for the uber awesome score this week, a great blend of season 1/season 2 thematics and orchestral approaches and the fresh material for season 5. There's some really awesome development of the season 4 mission theme (love the funky low electric guitar and flute mischeviously calling each other), plus the season 2 "Balboa and Cluber" and "Hitting the Fan"-style circular figure in the strings for the fight sequences. And I can't forget to mention the delicious quotes of the Sark and Sloane motifs. For the quieter moments the lovely season 1 "rebuilding her life/S&V love" theme (best encapsulated in the season 1 soundtrack's "Double Life") at the end plus a little quote of the new "Sydney rebuilding her life" theme. Not that he needed to prove himself, but Giacchino is really hitting his stride in getting his score to reflect the blend of the old school seasons 1-2 feel with the new developments of season 5. I really hope that Giacchino will release a season 4 or 5 soundtrack (I honestly don't remember s3 except for "Almost Two Years" as the new love theme). And then there are some squee! plot developments. It's just a little sad that a TV show can brighten up my day as much as it is now.

5. Bead club and assembling bead kits for kids in hospitals. It's a terribly girly project but the hands-on work is incredibly soothing after dealing with random stress of which I now have none really to speak of.

6. Finding new listening material: due to my vaguely magpie-ish "Oooh, shiny new music! Must pretend to analyze and stick on repeat excessively!" tendencies I have discovered the wonders of legally downloading music via MSN. Surprisingly I'm pretty impressed with their selection-I finally have an excellent complete recording of the Nutcracker (whose orchestrations are more nuanced and whose tempo is more in line with the energy of the work than the London Philharmonic Orchestra's "Highlights") and the film versions of various songs from the Sound of Music. The Bernard Herrmann sampling is quite extraordinary for a mainstream commercial enterprise; yay for finally getting his Jane Eyre composition and some of his chamber music! I could swear that he incorporates thematic material from Vertigo and Marnie with some hints of "Conversation Piece" from North by Northwest, but I'm not quite sure if it's meant to be a chamber music adaptation of those film scores.

And last but definitely not least:

7. My film score composer of choice, Michael Giacchino, is being nominated for two Grammy awards for the Incredibles. It's actually pretty pathetic how much I have been dancing around my room since hearing this lovely news (she notes as her friends list starts backing away from their computer screens, disturbed by this extreme fangirling). Once the winter holidays begin I might finally have the time to design those fangirl T-shirts.
theladyrose: (Default)
Fall is a mysteriously lovely time of year, especially when the light wanders somewhere between summer and twilight. I don't care what people say, the leaves do change color here in Northern California!

Sophia showed me this awesome frozen yogurt place this afternoon. It's almost as good as the one near Harvard. [ profile] lacesilkvinyl, I want to get boba with you, Danielle, and Sophia right now! (I'm really sorry about being lousy and unreliable, but I can't call you until this weekend because I'm low on cell phone minutes until November. And I have a really nasty feeling that the birthday card and CD that I sent you never did show up. Damn the post office.) And wander around Cambridge until beautifully absurd hours of the morning and stare at the stars from the foot of the Lamont Library steps. The Harvard reps came to visit the IHL this afternoon, and I kept wanting them to hurry up through all of the obvious stuff about concentrations instead of majors and reading periods and whatnot. But of course, they ended up saying everything I already knew about the place, although with a little more PR enhancement. They never even mentioned how fabulous Cambridge is for uni students. And now I have just made my uber-pretentious quota for the day.

'Tis the ringing season again during which hapless junior ringees find creative ways to woo their senior ringers into giving the juniors the seniors' class rings. Apparently there are a lot of all-girls' institutions with similar traditions (including Banquet), according to Ellie, who spent her senior year of high school at an American all-girls boarding school. I am quite delighted with mine; I wasn't expecting anything this morning when I found that adorable Snoopy stuffed animal holding the jack-o-lantern and the cute black cat mug with the Halloween candy. And then there was the inspirational "you can get through college apps" card. Huzzah! Must think of something nice to do for whoever it is-I've narrowed it down to two people.

And now for my totally bizarre output of boredom )
theladyrose: (Default)
For the record, I forgot to mention this before but my advisor is the APUSH teacher. Yay, my first choice!

One of the things that I've grown to appreciate about Harvard is that I don't feel any need to disguise my stupidity with my usual pretentious rationalizations. There will always be people much more brilliant than you (the majority of those I know) and people much dumber than you. I've been amazed by the sheer number of idiots I've come across who have managed to get in some how who manage to screw themselves over with smoking and drugs and other crap and still do fine. This isn't to imply that I except myself from the idiot category, but some of the other Harvard students have gone amazingly wild. I don't exactly plan on going on a self-destructive streak anytime soon, but if these people can turn out relatively fine then I should, too. Right? I've only begun to realize that I can actually have an active social life and still do reasonably well. And here, there aren't any more self-placed censors. I don't think I've quite realized in how much of a bubble I've been for so long.

Going back to high school: what really pisses me off about my schedule is that I have very few classes with anyone. This will probably mean I'll spend lots of time with people who are in some ways still strangers to me. This is senior year, and I'm practically estranged from all of my friends. This is going to be the last time we're seeing everyone together; I've known you guys for at least four years or more. What I'm most afraid of is leaving high school and thinking, "I don't really miss anyone because I never really got the chance to know them/we drifted apart." I want something better than this. I've only just begun to realize how much I've lost out on working so much. It's not that I don't like learning; it's that I'm tired of having to place personal relations outside of family as a secondary priority. My friends deserve better than this; I deserve better than this. Yay for my weak attempts at self-actualization!

People really need to hear this really nifty French song to which [ profile] gandydancer introduced me even though you all don't know French. If you go to this awesome French group's website, click on Albums, and then on the album cover fourth from the top or bottom, you'll see "C'est Plus Pareil." I have to go find this album to actually buy now.


Jul. 23rd, 2005 05:00 pm
theladyrose: (Default)
Mmmmm. I've nearly forgotten how much I love the Sound of Music, but it's even better when you're watching with friends in the dark on top of your mattress that's been pulled out onto the floor. And then afterwards when you're discussing girly things and gossiping (well, sort of) for hours. In many respects I'm a sentimentalist who uses pseudo-intellectual rationalizations.

I don't think I've even mentioned the crazy 8 PM to 5:30 AM party we had for Sophia's roommate's 17 and a half birthday yesterday. Sophia, her roommate, Katie, and I prepared for hours getting food and preparing a cake in the abandoned space that is the dorm kitchen. I met a lot of interesting people (guys, that is; I don't think I really met any new female dorm mates) and a few slimeballs, but it was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Yay for food, thunderstorms, mafia (I had to leave the room during this because I had to call my parents), truth (the dares are for another day), and random conversations. Now if only I could get to know more guys better; I'm tempted to ask two different people out but I'm pretty sure that neither of them are really interested. Gah.

I hate being timid; I pretty much said nothing because I either had nothing interesting to contribute or I didn't want to interrupt at an inappropriate moment. I'm terrible when it comes to going to parties where I don't really know anyone because people are always so busy talking to each other that I hate to interrupt. It would also help if I were a more interesting person. Why oh why must all of my friends be kinder, smarter, wittier, and more charming when I'm just trying to string together a simple sentence? I love you all very much but you give me the worst inferiority complexes.

I need to figure out how to modify my behavior within the next 3.5 weeks so I go to bed earlier than 5 AM. Screwed am I...I didn't even call Ellie this evening.
theladyrose: (Default)
This is what I'd like to know:

Why are there six rooms over in Straus A, the dorm across from mine, that have lights on every night until at least 3:30 in the morning? And why is it that the two on the furthest left hand side always have their shades down but the rest don't? What are all of the people in all of those rooms doing night after night? I can believe that there are a few insomniacs, but it seems too coincidental that they're all next to each other. And even if the occupants of both the rooms on the second and third floors that face me are insomniacs, then why haven't they held any large gatherings together to rejoice/comiserate in their inability to fall asleep? They can't possibly be working this late every single day.

Perhaps I'm being paranoid and have too much Agatha Christie on the brain. But it does seem rather odd that the occupants of all six rooms would engage in unknown nocturnal activity for four weeks straight. All of the lights are on, not just the ones in the common rooms, so it seems unlikely that someone just forgot to turn off the light night after night.

To continue Miss Marple Junior's report:

Danielle smelt a strong scent of marijuana just as she sat down on our window seat, but when I went over to our proctor to ask her to investigate "a strange smell" there were suddenly strong whiffs of barbequed food instead. My proctor didn't seem to notice anything strange and told us not to worry about it. Also, I noticed that a guy leaving Straus started talking to the assistant dean who happened to be passing by (at rather a late hour, 10:45, when he should probably be off duty from work); the dean didn't seem to notice that the door to Straus entrance B was "illegally" propped open. Perhaps this student was purposely distracting the dean so that he wouldn't notice the door? Everyone with a Harvard ID can enter a dorm whether or not that person resides in that dorm; that's how students can meet with their class tutors in the tutors' rooms. The dorm alarm should go off anyway if a door is propped open, and that door was open for a good half hour at the very least. I'm wondering about whether or not the alarm system was tampered.

This is all mere speculation on my part, though. I have absolutely no proof, and I can't very well just barge in at this hour to investigate. I've got to figure out how to get myself in there to figure out what's going on.

But on a more prosocial note:

My fabulous godfather sent me a letter! It is always touching to have someone tell you that "you've touched a nerd's heart" even though he did make a few jabs at Harvard; then again, like nearly all of my dad's friends he went to MIT.
theladyrose: (Default)
It's been an odd night.

Sophia, Danielle, and I laid down on the stone benches outside of the science center and sprawled ourselves out on them. It's surprisingly comfortable at night, as if you're laying on top of an air conditioning vent except that the air currents are blowing on your face instead of your back. I have to do that again sometime when it's this hot, and it's been pretty Hawaii-like lately except without the pretty flora.

There was a small invasion of barbarians, or guys from Weld, in the laundry room as Danielle and I got our clothes out of the dryers at around 11:30. Unfortunately whenever I was about to fold my underwear, some guy just HAD to walk over and dump his wet laundry into the dryers next to mine. Right. And then there was this one guy, Roger, who was having problems cleaning out the lint filter, so I took pity on him and showed him how to do it the most quickly. After everyone had dumped his stuff in a washer and/or dryer, I went around cleaning all of the lint filters of the dryers that weren't being used. For some reason I find it strangely soothing.

Despite the morning rain it's been swelteringly humid all day; having two fans on in our common room hasn't helped much. At around 11:45 tonight Danielle and I just couldn't take it any longer, so we changed into our bathing suits and stood under the cold water in the showers. Of course, we just had to meet three dormmates along the way who probably thought we were crazy. One girl I've never seen before from upstairs probably thinks everyone on our floor is just as insane. I'd definitely do it again, though, and probably will.

Afterwards Danielle and I went back to our room wrapped in towels. She tried washing an apple by draining out her hair on the window seat, but eventually gave up and poured on water from the freezer to clean it. Naturally, random people from the dorm across from ours, Straus, started wandering around outside/looked out of windows. One guy did a double take as I probably looked like I was naked wearing my towel; the straps of my bathing suit were hidden under my hair. We couldn't stop laughing at each other for a good fifteen minutes.

And among other things:
I have officially played 5,723 games of Spider Solitaire and have a 77% winning rate. That's pretty pathetic.
theladyrose: (Default)
I guess I've never really seen any good horror movies, because the few that I've watched manage to simultaneously bore me and amuse me. The exception would be Psycho, except that I view this one more as a crime story rather than horror.

Adrienne, Danielle, and I went to see Scream, the sort of cliched trite tripe I haven't seen in ages since that Christmas a few years ago that I spent with my cousins on Staten Island watching bad gory movies. The whole self-conscious references, i.e. "Let's announce what's about to happen in an ironic twist of events by openly paying homage to other horror movies!" struck me as dull rather than clever, and I won't even mention how terrible the acting was. Freud would have such a field day analyzing this with all of the really crass sexual references. The Trivial Pursuit New Years Eve party that I attended seems to be creamy Victorian innocence in comparison to the hedonistic partying that stereotypically characterizes my fellow teenage peers. Amidst the visual tedium, the score gave up on providing any sort of sustainable tension within the first ten minutes. At least it was bad enough so that I had a lot of fun mocking it afterwards.

I have yet to actually listen to my new Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone album, although it's been highly recommended to me by [ profile] lehah. To be honest, I know virtually nothing about Morricone other than the fact that he's best known for scoring spaghetti westerns and that he's currently working on Leningrad. I'm really getting hooked on the Philip Glass compilation in the meantime.

And before I forget, many happy returns to [ profile] gandydancer on her birthday :D
theladyrose: (Default)
I am starting to see why people claim that I am obsessive compulsive, except I'm not. Right.

There's a lot of Harry Potter madness over at the Harvard Coop; there must have been at least 150 people crowded into the bookstore at 11 tonight. Danielle, Sophia, Sophia's roommates, and Filippe (Sophia's roommate's boyfriend or unofficial 3rd roommate) and I waited outside just to see what people were doing. We noticed that quite a few people had arrived in costume (the best one was of Professor Trelwaney whose name I am sure I have misspelled) and many more arrived with painted lightning bolt "scars." The line was ridiculously long, so I'll probably get the book tomorrow or later this week as I still have other required reading to do.

Ellie got me a Phillip Glass compilation from the NY Metropolitain Museum of Art, Up Close, and I've got to say that the more I listen to it the more I believe Glass to be an absolute genius. There are composers who experiment for the sake of trying to attract attention, and there are composers who experiment in order to redefine the elements of musical composition while paying homage to the work of past masters. Glass is of the latter category, but he's the sort of composer whom people immediately worship or hate. Personally I'm intrigued by his redefinition of Impressionism as minimalism in exploring the development of harmonic fragments. To oversimplify somewhat, minimalism is just Impressionism taken to the extreme.

I never cease to be amazed by how pretentious I can sound despite the fact that I have no idea what I'm talking about.

And as a random note: I thought that this article was pretty cool about Israel monitoring the health of models (thanks to [ profile] horosha for the link):,,1528862,00.html#article_continue
theladyrose: (Default)
Reading about punishment for the last forty five minutes was a lot less depressing than I expected it to be, but I'm about to give up on reading the 13 pages left in the chapter tonight as my mental processes progressively resemble those of what I'd imagine to be a zombie.

I wonder when I will stop being suspicious of people whom I don't know well when they ask me about anything somewhat personal. It is highly doubtful that my journalism instructor has any alterior motives, but I doubt that I will overcome my cynicism about journalism so soon. That doesn't mean to say that I consider my instructor to be a terrible human being, but even the best journalists seem to be excessively preoccupied with furthering their own careers rather than trying to impart news to the public.

I guess I'm a cynical optimist then?
theladyrose: (Default)
My lovely post about why Michael Giacchino ought to score Casino Royale was so cruelly wiped out when my laptop froze on me. Gah! There goes an hour and a half of trying to compile my Giacchino reviews.

The prospect of leaving Harvard is worrying me already; now I feel that I need to weigh my time carefully for fear of letting a few idle hours slip past. I can't picture not randomly wandering into friends' rooms at semi-strange hours of the evening to get frozen yogurt or boba or to make a trip over to the Trader Joe's along the river. I actually bother to motivate myself to interact with people in person more than twice a day. The greatest surprise for me is that people actually bother to do stuff together. Back in Pleasantview during the weekends, nobody ever asks, "Hey, do you want to go out to get lunch?" or "Want to do something, anything, just to get out of the house?" It could be my own lack of initiative, of course, but this whole face-to-face interaction really is something I could get used to. I can't picture not being able to randomly wander around at night.

I've been somewhat surprised to realize that the actual Harvard undergrads here are fairly normal human beings-and to be honest, a lot of them are a lot stupider than I expected, or perhaps they really tone down on emitting intellectual vibes outside of class.

Perhaps I'll go to bed before 3:30 AM, but that's highly unlikely considering my baseline behavior at the moment.
theladyrose: (Default)
I am tempted to toss away every plan I've had so far of getting work done because something totally unexpected ends up delaying the best of my intentions.

Initially I planned to go to Lamont Library after lunch to look up a chapter in a biography on B.F. Skinner for my behaviorism oral presentation tomorrow. Originally I had planned to meet Danielle over there, but the lines were horrifically long and I couldn't find her anywhere. I ended up checking for mail and then looking at LJ friends' updates before it struck me that I ought to get some food. Unfortunately that really nice guy who gives me free pizza wasn't by the Science Center cafe today so I actually had to pay.

It's 1:30 PM at this point, so I figure that I'll head back towards my room to get my laptop and then go over to the library. Just outside my dorm, though, I spotted a lost looking middle-aged guy. What started out as a "Do you know where Mather Hall is?" turned into a lecture on wealth redistribution, housing subsidies, the conservative bias in American politics, problems with the New York City transportation system, public transport security in preventing terrorism, the Iraq war, joining the military, and getting into Harvard (his views, at least), roughly in that order. The guy turned out to be one of the union organizers for the NYC MBTA bus and subway division (he showed me his membership card, and it looked realistic enough) whose wife was attending her class reunion at Harvard; hence, he was searching for her old dorm while she was hobnobbing with her former classmates. His views on politics and conservatism struck me as being rather simplistic (populistic, even, but he's a union member after all), but it was entertaining enough to hear him rant and give me "the insider's perspective" on security in mass public transportation. And thanks to him, I now know how to get decent rates for dental coverage and discounts for subway tickets. I couldn't figure out whether or not he thought I was much smarter or much dumber than I look; after awhile I think it was the former when I scolded him for ingesting all of the phosphoric acid in diet beverages. He, Larry, seemed to take a mildly creepy interest in the fact that I am Asian and hinted that he couldn't share a computer with his wife because of "certain kinds of images she might accidentally discover." I gave him my e-mail address anyway because he intrigues me and seems harmless enough.

I really do love meeting all of the various eccentrics around Harvard Yard/Square. Perhaps it's because I'm equally bizzare?

I kept trying to muster up the energy to go over to the library, but various friends kept stopping by to talk and convince me to do something with them. Not that I mind the distraction, but I really did need to get my report done. Finally by 9 this evening I went over to the library to start my brief report and randomly lectured about Skinner's baby tender/air crib to Sophia as we were doing laundry.

I don't want to go back home for some time; I'm approaching my third week here at Harvard, and already I can't stand to think about leaving. God forbid I become bored of a less absurd existence in Pleasantview and regret all of the times I could have done something with someone and didn't this summer.
theladyrose: (Default)
Legally insane? Me?

Pah, you must be kidding! I've never been legally insane before.

But I must admit, there is something rather disturbing about feeling freakishly functional/hyperactive considering that I'm not really sure when I went to bed last night. I'll probably regret this later when I discover that I just killed off a few hundred neurons, but I will enjoy my semi-calm, semi-WHEEE! state.

And I swear, I haven't touched any soma or other sketchy chemical agents lately.
theladyrose: (Default)
I am thankful that my friends in Britain are all safe and weren't hurt by the London bombings.

The thing that surprised me the most about today was that I'm actually in a functional state; for some reason I'm always incredibly awake in my behaviorism seminar. Thankfully Danielle woke me up this morning just in time for class. Still, I'm going to try to get myself into slipping into better sleeping habits because I don't want to become legally insane again. I shouldn't be an insomniac considering how my life is on the scale of things in a lovely state.

And now for a meme to lighten the mood before I slog away at work.

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||||| 43%
Stability |||||||||||||||| 63%
Orderliness |||||||||||||| 53%
Altruism |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Interdependence |||||||||| 36%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Mystical |||||||||||||||| 63%
Artistic |||||| 23%
Religious |||||||||||| 50%
Hedonism |||||||||| 36%
Materialism |||||||||||| 43%
Narcissism |||||| 23%
Adventurousness |||||| 30%
Work ethic |||||||||||| 50%
Self absorbed |||||||||||| 43%
Conflict seeking |||| 16%
Need to dominate |||||| 30%
Romantic |||||||||||| 43%
Avoidant |||||||||||| 50%
Anti-authority |||||||||||| 50%
Wealth |||||||||||||||| 70%
Dependency |||||| 30%
Change averse |||||||||| 36%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Individuality |||||||||||||| 56%
Sexuality |||| 16%
Peter pan complex |||||||||||| 43%
Physical security |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Physical Fitness |||||||||||||| 57%
Histrionic || 10%
Paranoia |||||||||||| 50%
Vanity |||||||||||||||| 63%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||| 56%
Female cliche |||||||||||| 50%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
personality tests by
theladyrose: (Default)
Some things weren't meant to be played in an orchestral arrangement, like the very pop-flavored title theme for "the Persuaders."

Oh goodness-I'm seeing the sun starting to rise. I have to get over this insomnia or else I'll be completely screwed for class for the next few weeks and when I return home.
theladyrose: (Default)
Caffeine on a relatively empty stomach is bad for you, especially if you're drinking it sort of late in the evening. Why don't I ever bother to consider these simple consequences beforehand?

Perhaps I ought to try to get some sleep now and hope that I'll recover from the mental weirdness in the morning? There's so much I still have to do for class, though....
theladyrose: (Default)
My cousin Jason got married this Friday! Congrats to him and his new wife, Jenny; may you have the happiest of times together. And happy 77th birthday to my paternal grandmother as of yesterday!

I left Thursday afternoon to go up to NYC for the wedding and got back at around 8:30 to my dorm this evening. There were tons of relatives from both sides of the couple's family plus a lot of co-workers and whatnot. The ceremony was held at this psuedo-Victorian manor on Long Island where the festivities ended up being held inside as it was pouring ropes that afternoon. The bride cried a lot, and the maid of honor gave the sappiest speech I have heard in years. The flower girls didn't show up until the ceremony ended (their father got hopelessly lost in the rain), the best man dropped the rings down the aisle, and the groom kept bumping his head against the floral arrangement hung on the top of the wedding arch, but I still think it's the most entertaining wedding I've ever attended. Then again, I've only been to two others before, and the first one was when I was three so I remember nothing. I was amazed by how many of my stiff-faced relatives flung themselves about on the dance floor with the aid of a few drinks. My cousin even took off his bride's garter blindfolded in the middle of the dance floor; luckily my grandmother's eyesight isn't so great anymore. And then the best man, who caught the garter afterwards, had to put it on the girl who caught the bride's bouquet with his eyes closed. Nobody ended up starving-there must have been enough for two entire small African nations to consume within a week. I'll confess that I'm not particularly fond of the bride from what I've heard about her, but if she and my cousin are happy together and will continue to be happy together, then who am I to judge?

I met a lot of people who knew me and my father when we were younger; two of them actually showed my old Christmas card photos to everyone else at my grandmother's birthday dinner yesterday. I nearly crawled underneath the table but thankfully I was slightly photogenic then. My female cousins are all much prettier than me; what happened to our gene pool to give me the short end of the stick here? To be very shallow/defensive, the married ones have unattractive (which doesn't mean ugly) husbands, although they seem to be nice if dull human beings. We have tons and tons of photos that I'll post up later if anyone remembers to send them to me.

While I was up in New York, I also visited two universities. As chance may be, I always end up liking the places that I expect to detest and don't really like the places that I thought I'd want to attend. The only exception to this finding is that college where [ profile] cutemew will be attending in the fall. Hmmm.

Apparently my semi-existent accent is "transatlantic," the accent that was super popular for women appearing in spy films and TV shows in the 60's so that they sounded exotic while still being understandable. Personally I think like I sound like a pretentious anglophile who can't drown out the American tones in her voice, but whatever.

If I'm not making any sense and am rambling on excessively, I'd like to blame ingesting a lot of caffeine on a relatively empty stomach as the culprit. My nightly boba drinking may be the cause of my semi-insomnia/late night hyperactivity.

And now for some long-awaited musical commentary that probably will bore and confuse just about everyone )
theladyrose: (Default)
Are there any good ways of drying out socks and shoes quickly? There was this pouring rainstorm that created deep ponds around the drains this afternoon. I ran across the street through the JFK Ave. puddles to get an umbrella, got lunch, dashed across the six inches of sloshing semi-dirty water, and then ran to class. I might as well have jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed by the time I got to class; I had to go over to the bathroom sink to literally dump the water out of my socks and shoes. I spent almost the entire class barefoot in the air-conditioned room; apparently the maintenance crew refuses to turn off the AC during the summer. By the way, [ profile] horosha, the Greek girl's name is Rosa, and she probably swore more about being soaked today than the rest of the class combined. Her profane vocabulary is quite astounding.

And now, may I present to you the wonderous adventures of Bow Tie Man and theladyrose )

I still have to pack to go to NYC tomorrow, and I'm not coming back until Sunday afternoon. I'll get to see all of my relatives soon, though. Somehow I'm going to finish up my reading for my classes and look at two colleges along the way, so it looks like I won't be able to post until Sunday.

And since I've been promising a picture... )


theladyrose: (Default)

June 2010

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