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)
The Supergirl Dilemma: Girls Feel the Pressure to Be Perfect, Accomplished, Thin, and Accommodating

(Many thanks to [ profile] st_crispins for the link.)

I've posted up before this article on the overlooked psychological detriments of all women's secondary education, but I think it's an appropriate parallel article. And heck, while you're at it, did you know that women are outperforming men at the university level?

What's shocking me is the increasingly younger age at which girls feel the pressure to be perfect. Virtually everyone I knew in elementary school, both male and female, wanted to go to college, but I always assumed that was more a matter of class expectations. Of course girls should go to college; it's practically expected of all middle-class and higher. The trend now seems to be heading off to grad school.

This article is so frighteningly true. As the graduate of seven years of an all-women's school, I've probably witnessed more of my peers in the midst of breakdowns or near-breakdowns than not. (That's what happens when you spend too much time in the senior lounge.) The concept of pleasing others, though, has evolved; a lot of girls (myself included) think of fulfilling our families' and peers' expectations for success in that category while the study seems to imply that pleasing others mostly involves fulfilling others' personal needs.

More simply put, if you can't ace your 5 AP classes, tutor underpriviledged elementary school children, make banners for the graduating seniors on your soccer team and bake brownies for your depressed friend, you fail at life. I know of a fair number classmates who have done all the above and still feel inadequate. To be honest, I can think of relatively few who would say that. There's such a big push, really starting with my generation, to. We expect ourselves to volunteer in the community, pitch in during family crises, comfort friends having a bad week and create the most memorable six-month anniversary gift for our boyfriends (if we still have time to be in the relationship) while maintaining good grades in challenging classes. The group of people we want to please keeps expanding: parents, friends, teachers, get the picture. I wouldn't call the expectations placed on girls as passive; it's a more dyanmic evolution of the approval seeker.

With older girls nowadays, there's a sort of perverse pressure to be really good at math and science; it's almost an understood requirement to take at least AP Calc/Stats and/or an AP science course even if you don't plan on dealing with those subjects much in college. I don't know about others, but I feel like I'm perpetuating the 50's housewife stereotype because I am not going into engineering, pre-med, pre-law or business. So many of my friends from high school are going into engineering, the hard sciences or pre-med ([ profile] melee_melo, are you still considering gynecology?); they easily outnumber those who are studying the humanities and social sciences. The vast majority of my female friends in college now are business majors, some of whom are double-majoring in the humanities. The rest are majoring in bio, engineering, architecture (not known to be a particularly "feminine" discipline), communications or cinema/theater. Friends (you know who you are, *cough* dear [ profile] eyepiece_simile) often joke that I'm taking a "fuzzy" courseload, and that psychology isn't a real science. Apparently the cognitive science and neurobiological requirements, never mind the prerequisite calc and statistics courses, for the major don't seem to count :P

The article doesn't really touch on the body image issues mentioned in the headline, but they're definitely an issue. It does feel rather simplistic to say that the general obsession with perfection extends to the body, but anorexics tend to be high achievers. [ profile] eyepiece_simile, correct me if I'm getting this wrong, but our old high school hospitalized more female students than any other local high school. Our college admissions counselor told me that the anorexic students she encountered were A students. I could try tying in the article about anorexia I wrote a few months ago, but I don't have a copy, and virtually no one ended up reading it anyway. In simple terms, not only do girls have to perform perfectly, they have to appear flawless and effortless in the process.

I know I'm speaking in vast generalizations here; I'd love to hear any rebuttals or general comments. The post is locked for viewing by female viewers only.
theladyrose: (Default)
I know I haven't been around much here lately and well, I won't be for another week or so either. Graduation and the related events have consumed most of my time for the past week-not that I'm complaining about being with my lovely classmates, though :) I'm off to go to orientation tomorrow and will be staying in LA for another two days to explore the city with my family before [ profile] eyepiece_simile and I live out our 7th grade dream of going to Disneyland.

I'll be back next Thursday or so; I'll catch up with everyone then.
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)
Ack, I have to decide on a Baccalaureate quotation to say outloud by midnight. I've already used Hitchhiker's Guide/Alias/the Lion in Winter frighteningly often so I'm trying to use something new that's not too long and not too flippant. The choices are down to the following:

"In a world where carpenters are resurrected, anything is possible." (Have I used this one too often?)

"Truth takes time." (Again, used too often?)

"You could always tell what kind of a person a man thinks you are by the earrings he gives you. I must say, the mind reels." (Too out of context?)

"Ultimately you will do what you want. That's what free will's all about." (But I don't believe that...)

"Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so." (Too flippant?)

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something more bizarrely inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened." (The most likely at the moment? Too absurd?)

"The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question How can we eat? the second by the question Why do we eat? and the third by the question Where shall we have lunch?" (Too long? It can't be longer than 3 lines as it must be printed in the program.)

Something else?

Edit: I ended up picking the Hitchhiker's theory one. I'm just that predictable.

On a different note, I've been trying to teach myself to play Mozart's "Turkish March" with my eyes closed because I was having a case of the mean reds. Surprisingly, it worked-I can do the second half of the piece pretty accurately at a decent speed but the beginning portion I can't do very quickly at all.
theladyrose: (Default)
My ability to be distracted by completely pointless things is inversely proportional to the amount of class I have left. It's absolutely astounding. And this means that I will certainly regret putting off my Enfants du Paradis paper and comedy satire this weekend if I don't magically get around to it earlier.
theladyrose: (Default)
My college e-mail screen name sounds like some kind of exotic Middle Eastern fruit. And naturally I can't change it. Hmmm. It's better than my 8th grade school e-mail login screen name, which sounded like a kind of Medieval disease in [ profile] zedhaus's view.

According to that same user, [ profile] leflyingolive, Tina and I have been singled out for the dubious distinction of "Worst (Senior) Driver" by our classmates. I'm not sure if I should be honored or playfully insulted or both. In my defense:

1. I've never gotten a ticket.
2. The accident I had was found to be the fault of the other driver. It was the first rain of the season that day.
3. Any of the really sketchy driving maneuvers I've done (driving the wrong way on a one way street) I did by myself by accident.
4. If you had my father looking over your shoulder while driving, you'd be a stressed out driver, too.

In all honesty I deserve the "Worst (Parallel) Parking" Award.

On a slightly more cheerful note: this really makes me want to go to college. I do not have to go broke getting more Elmer Bernstein soundtracks! (Although I should be receiving Bernstein's take on Bernard Herrmann's works in the next two weeks.)

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)
My brain feels like it's doing somersaults down Mount Everest. Two (three?) more weeks, then I'll be done with all of the major academic stuff for high school.

Kerstin told me there are 16 days of school left. I have just finished my second-to-last edition of Counterpoint Weekly ever on dogs and Myspace. I don't think I'll take a high school final ever again.

I haven't even begun to fathom the countdown.

And damn, I really could use an extension on this internship app. I don't even know what the choices are!

déjà vu

Apr. 6th, 2006 12:18 am
theladyrose: (Default)
Don't you hate it when no matter how much or how little sleep you get you feel perpetually exhausted?

That pretty much sums up the past two weeks or so. It explains a lot, at least in my mind.

The idea of Spring Break is starting to scare me. All that free time-I can't figure out how I'm going to fill up all of those hours. I really need to start preparing for AP exams or else I'll fail and screw up the rest of my life.

The weather bears a freaky influence over my emotions.
theladyrose: (Default)
I'm fairly sure that I'll be ending up at USC (yay for full tuition scholarships!) though Wellesley is something of a distant possibility. Amusingly enough, my entire family is assuming that I'll end up there even though I haven't made my final decision yet; even my great aunt from South Africa (who, with her husband, actually accompanied me on one college tour at UCLA) has called to inquire.

And apparently I might have more than 28 cousins. I've sometimes wondered if they've been hiding under the bushes for over a decade or so.

I better actually try to get some sleep soon for some junior friends of mine are kindly kidnapping me tomorrow at 6:50. Oh, rivalry week...
theladyrose: (Default)
You know that famous poem by Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress? While cleaning out my desk I discovered a satirical response from said mistress, a collaborative effort written by [ profile] dragonfly66, [ profile] glerf, [ profile] thehashmark and me two years ago. Yes, these things can come back to haunt you.

Beware: extreme cheesiness and general lack of meter, rhyme scheme and style )
theladyrose: (Default)
Robotics=major awesomeness

As just about everyone seems to know by now, we're going to FIRST Nationals in Atlanta! While I was a lazy slacker (the only vaguely useful purpose I served during the competition was to cheer our team on obnoxiously), I can honestly say that the rest of the team so deserved the Engineering Inspiration award. You guys rock. The saftey runnerup and entrepreneurship awards were a little more sketchy, but perhaps that's a tribute to our collective BS skills.

I've still kept the scout report sheets that Seana and I came up with just in case we want to keep tabs on the other SVR teams that will be going to Atlanta if anyone wants them.

And I can honestly say I haven't been to a wilder celebration party-the couch pile was priceless. Then again, my idea of a party generally involves intense board game playing and a lot of sugar.

Amongst other random things that have happened lately, my mother just gave me a very good argument about why I am a closet WASP and ought to move to Boston. The only minor flaw is that I'm Asian but I suppose we could overlook that.
theladyrose: (Default)
Only at a robotics competition would you find a purple monster, a lion, a giant banana, an orange and black striped hat and a gator mascot dancing around in a circle featured on the big screen.

Unless you're having a bad acid trip, I suppose.

My brain feels like socks. The Hungarians really know how to phrase these things. And perhaps I'll elaborate later when I manage to mentally detangle myself from multiple plotlines and too much audiovisual stimulation from SVR. There was no sort of vaguely kinky subtext attached to that last sentence, I swear.
theladyrose: (Default)
I would be seriously tempted to sell my soul if it meant that I'd never be late to anything ever again. I must've unconsciously turned off my alarm clock this morning because I woke up at 7:40 instead of 6:40 this morning, and normally I leave twenty minutes earlier. I was already sort of late to another class earlier this week though not from sleeping in, so Ellie is really upset about it.

This is the point in which I should use all of my nifty behaviorism knowledge to reprogram setting events (the CD in my ) that will reinforce the prosocial punctuality behaviors of waking up and getting out of the house earlier. I've unfortunately unconsciously associated sleeping in with David Holmes's Ocean's Twelve soundtrack and therefore must use another wake-up CD. With new morning music, I must fight the temptation to hit the sleep button and wake up at a consistent time in order to form a solid association between the prompt (new soundtrack) and waking up on time. I can use old soundtracks (i.e. practically every one I own) on the weekends when hitting the snooze button is less detrimental. I should probably figure out some kind of system for reinforcement as well but I'm too lazy to think through all the details right now.

Oh, B.F. Skinner. We still love you even if you did stop using lab rats as experimental test subjects in 1943 (or was it '42? I don't remember for certain anymore).

Two freshmen randomly just burst into the Counterpoint office to rearrange their Top 8 ranking on Myspace and asked me about my college choices. They both like my loopy handwriting although Ellie thinks it's virtually unreadable. Most people I know are split on the legibility issue.

And I'm still really terrible at this whole remembering birthdays thing; I managed to remember one but not the other. And this is already with copious reminders/mental prodding; it's just embarrassing at this point. At any rate, many happy returns to Shirin and Elena!
theladyrose: (Default)
My father has way too much fun describing his roach killing exploits. Though it's not as scary as knowing that he, a geeky class valdectorian, had at least six times as many dates as I did by the time he was my age.

The finance presentation today possibly squished my brain like a rotten watermelon being run over on my street. Seriously, all of the vague considerations I had for business school pretty much crawled into a hole and died; my fellow IHLers are smart, but most of us (I presume) don't really know anything about private equity and investment banking. I would've been even more lost if my mother didn't randomly give me economics lectures during dinner. Tonight we calculated that while you'd make $10/hr at the internship they're offering, the cost of transportation and lunch alone would eat up any profit.

In other words, it looks like I better look for a summer job elsewhere. I'm seriously considering trying to find some kind of tutoring work but I don't know how many places would hire a mere high school grad. I've heard that SCORE is decent.
theladyrose: (Default)
Ach, my last 24 hour plays ever! This was probably my favorite experience, though the sophomore year ones (the romance novels, Genesis as told by the serpent, and possibly the Ricky Martin fanclub as well) were pretty fabulous. Yay for multi-role craziness and having all comedies! It's extremely difficult to do serious drama for these sorts of events, though Ingrid (and Jeeyon, come to think of it) could definitely make it work.

Perhaps I'll post my play here later after I cut out the bits that didn't work. It's not serious at all, but I'm not sure if you could really call it comedic. I'll list out all of the references/lines that I stole from other sources when I post the edited play. And I owe it big time to [ profile] blofeldscat for STENCH (their rival was CHAOS; is this a real spy show reference? I'm not sure if I actually made that up), [ profile] dragonfly66 for brainstorming ideas, and [ profile] leflyingolive for giving me call sign ideas. People seemed to like the weird bird ones-I ended up picking flamingo and cockatoo.

I regret not hugging Sol and Xanthia for their uber-awesome performances. The only thing about the hugging would be that my sketchy costume was sort of backless, which would've been really awkward for everyone. The casting there was great-I couldn't have asked for anything more. The little fumbles were hardly noticeable during the performance, and they recovered from them well. And their rapport was pretty good. I feel bad that I gave them so much dialogue-originally I thought the play was too short until I realized I accidentally set the screen margins for a 11x17 inch sheet of paper. 7/4 of a page turned into 3.5 full pages. Whoops. There are a lot of little bits that I wish I had cut out now; my creative/editing skills are pretty lousy at about 2 in the morning, and I know that a lot of the references didn't make sense. I'm too used to talking about the Avengers, Danger Man, 007 and the like with fellow fans :P It was definitely more geared towards the adults rather than the students just because the former was more likely to know what I was talking about.

Looking back now, I wished I had more action going on than the straightforward interview exchange. The problem is that it would've been hard to actually act out some of the mission scenarios, and I didn't want to make it too hard on the actors who had enough to remember already. Nicola was mostly used to establish the framework/back story of what was going on; the second half of the play was my realization that Carla didn't have many interesting lines and became sort of bizarre compensation. I really had no idea what I was doing with Carla (the interviewee) because for the longest time I couldn't figure out what her name ought to be, and because it's really hard to do character development in ten minutes. Originally I expected to play the Nicola role because we had a shortage of actors and because the terminology was technically difficult, but I was very impressed with Sol and Xanthia.

The Alias season 4 title theme cue used at the beginning wasn't optimal, but I couldn't find the Top 100 Television Themes CD this morning containing the Get Smart title. I figured that more audience members would recognize Alias anyway.

Heh, I really muffed up in all of the rehearsals! What I love about the 24 hour plays is how much you can't stop laughing during rehearsals. My neighbor, who's an elementary school teacher, has a name that's extremely similar to the name of the dead hamster in Tess et al.'s play, so I kept on saying my neighbor's name instead. [ profile] latina_business, I have no idea why you casted me in Myspace Romance, but I'll confess that I had a great time :) I'm sorry that I randomly truncated parts of the script during performance. I tend to be of the school of thought where forgetting the exact wording of lines is OK so long as you say the equivalent, even if shortened, in a natural-sounding manner. I managed to pin down the original breakup monologue-well, a sort of ad-libbed version-right beforehand. But it got really shortened when I did it as I was disoriented when the audience started laughing unexpectedly. And I suck at projection, but whatever. What scared me the most about Myspace Romance was that it was actually based on a classmate's exploits. The believability factor was freakily high.

Lesson of the day: fishnet tights are a pain to put back on after having to take them off, especially when you have quick costume changes. Thank goodness for Eneida and her magic hair spray skills. Let's just say bumping into the two teachers who wrote my college recommendations as well as the Dean of Students, i.e. teachers I like who know me, after the performance was awkward incarnate. I had to walk around in the myspace whore/showgirl getup for quite a bit beforehand so I wouldn't feel so self-conscious on stage. I'm just really glad I didn't do the kicking my leg up onto the other actor's shoulder maneuver after all.

Afterwards Elena and I went out to dinner at this great Mediterranean place on University, Cafe 220. This is the first time ever-besides Havard this summer-when I've actually gone out with a friend to dinner. My unofficial curfew is 10:45-11, and that's really pushing it for special occasions. My family is really big on having dinner together, and I spend more time at home, especially on the weekends, looking after my dad. Afterwards we got gelato. Only in California (or maybe just the West Coast) will there be a long line for ice cream in winter even though it's still chilly outside. Appropriately enough, we caught the last half hour of the first Austin Powers movie back at her house.

I had almost forgotten how awesome she is even though we had breakfast together just two Mondays ago during February break. I consider her to be my unofficial wifey.
theladyrose: (Default)
AAH! I have roughly half an hour before I must go home, and I have barely 1.5 pages of my play written!

And my evil world domination organization doesn't have a name yet!!!

Why can't I remember any of my then-brilliant ideas that I came up with at 2 or 6 in this morning?!

Edit: as of 10:47 tonight I still have some obvious missing chunks in the script, and I need to leave now. How am I going to finish this thing?!?!
theladyrose: (Default)
Sometimes I think my brain is operating differently from what I want it to be doing. For some reason it's been randomly spewing out candidates and composers from the AFI's top 250 film scores of all time list that didn't make it. I have no idea why it's doing this, considering that I haven't looked at that list in at least two months. It's very distracting.

I couldn't fall asleep until 1:30 last night because I've started to work out ideas about what to write for the 24 hour plays. I really hope I will be writing after all; I've been wanting to be a playwright for the past four years and actually might have a decent idea for a satire/sort of dark comedy.

I think I've officially caught senioritis, or second semester senior slacker-dom. Help! I'm determined not to procrastinate too much yet; 3rd quarter is always the hardest for me because of the ensuing apathy, but at the moment I'm determined to break that spell. I was hoping that I wouldn't become infected until after AP exams, too.

Then again, I don't have to do all of the Euro unit reading tonight, do I? Will someone please be kind enough to reply "no" to my question?


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