Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Psychic Doubt

I don't think I'm psychic or anything, but I just wanted to share this experience with all of you. Today, in my first class, about 15 minutes in, I got this jolt inside, like, "oh crap, I forgot to shut off my phone!" Now this may not sound like a big deal, but when cell phones go off in quiet classrooms, it's not only humiliating, but highly disruptive. I didn't want everyone listening to Valse des Fleurs as I tried to fidget for my phone to shut it off. Not that I thought anyone would call me anyway.

I was able to get the phone to switch from melody to a blinking light, but I couldn't turn it off because it plays a melody when it shuts off and I wasn't going to do that either! I didn't expect anyone to call, and class wasn't disrupted.

What do you know... I get to my next class and check my phone, and about one minute after I had shut the phone off, I had gotten a phone call and a voicemail from Continental. I am so glad I shut it off. It's just really interesting how the impulse to shut it off came out of nowhere in class so suddenly, yet was timed so right.

So am I psychic or is a coincidence? I'm inclined to lean toward the second, but the suddenness and the timing of it all is just so very interesting. :)

By the way, Continental did the right thing. If you want to know more, ask me. :)

Monday, September 27, 2004

Caprice and Bambi (WS 1.0)

Last night, I checked out the "sneak preview" of "Wife Swap" on ABC. It seems like a copycat show since Fox brought out "Trading Spouses" first, but ABC had it in development first. I haven't seen any episodes of "Trading Spouses," judging Fox by its previous reality programs and labeling it as "probably sensationalistic." Maybe I'll check it out because I liked "Wife Swap." Even if they're consciously creating drama on WS by finding extreme families, it still provides a good basis for conversation and figuring out where you stand on different family issues. It's a nice learning experience for all of us. Now that the episode has sunk in and I've read enough on TWoP to distill some more of what I think, here goes.

A short summary for those of you who didn't catch last night's show: two families swap moms for two weeks. For the 1st week, the family lives by the old mom's rules and routines; for the 2nd week, the new mom gets to change the rules to the way her household runs. Last night featured two women, Caprice and Bambi, "affectionately" referred to by some online as NeatFreakMom and SlobMom respectively. Caprice cleans the house for 5 hours a day (OCD behavior), everything is immaculate and their house has no noise whatsoever. My initial reaction was that the cleaning thing was over-the-top but probably due to OCD, but the no-noise was a little weird. Bambi, on the other hand, has 25 pets, lives in a filthy house with pet feces and ungroomed animals everywhere. The kids looked dirty and are undisciplined, as they want to be their children's friends and not parents. Bambi insists the house is a "home," as if explaining the mess through that definition, and that her house is full of love, unlike the other house. I did not want to set foot in her house; I can only imagine how it smelled. The husband works and also does all the housework; what Bambi does besides think herself a goddess is unknown.

The swap happens, and Bambi does a few things that I think are good for the OCD house. They are more spontaneous, the husband plays the guitar, she gets them a fish, etc. But she also got them a kitten - that's good because one son wanted one, but why bring in a pet if you don't know if they'll keep it? She also had a party for all the neighbors with dogs! She seemed genuinely nice when she was helping the other family. However, when it came to herself, she said the experience taught her that she liked herself more than ever before - meaning nothing would change - and she seemed kind of thickheaded when it came to that. As if she could learn nothing from the experience because her way is the only right way to raise children with love in a home filled with love. (And feces and dirt...)

Caprice cleans Bambi's entire house, tries to start disciplining the kids, gets them a dining room table, and does the most controversial thing all episode: she sends 22/25 animals to an animal spa for the week so that she could de-clutter the house, clean, and show them what it's like to live another way. I had no problem really with the animal send-off; it was drastic and I can see how people might be upset, but those 25 animals didn't look like they were doing so well in that house. Maybe their time at the animal spa might be even better for them. They were ungroomed, not clean, and who knows if they were even taken care of properly. With 25 animals and not even 4 adults in the house, it seems close to impossible to maintain a safe and healthy living condition. There's a 2 year old running around a house that has animal poop on the floor. Bambi gets home, starts cluttering up and putting things on the floor, complains about the dining room table being there, and basically goes right back to her old self and her old ways, as if the only purpose of this experiment were to show other people how they should be living and not have any effect the opposite way. She wants to be her children's friends, her house is not dirty but a home, and sending the animals to an animal spa for a week is like sending away children. Hmm. I can't agree. Caprice goes home, keeps the kitten and it really seems like their family is changing. Someone got something out of this experience, and it wasn't Bambi. Caprice might make lots of lists and be a control freak, but at least she was willing to change her ways for the better.

It drove me crazy that someone would do this experience, to teach them more about their family and their life, and get nothing out of it. Not just not get anything out of it, but not to be receptive to any of it. I understand that she was pissed that Caprice said that her house was filthy and that she got rid of the animals, but that's not an excuse to just ignore anything good that could come of this. It should be about what was said, not how it was said. One of the most interesting exchanges between the two went as follows (paraphrased):

Caprice: "You're not a parent to the kids! You're just a friend!"
Bambi: "We are parents! We clothe them, we feed them, we give them somewhere to live..."

I didn't think providing basic means of survival was considered parenting. Yes, it's important to provide those things for your kids, but just because you provide for them materially doesn't mean that you're a parent. What happened to guidance, discipline and learning?

Another interesting aspect of last night's episode (besides the animals, cleanliness and philosophies on parenting) is mealtime. While Caprice's family seemed to have a regular mealtime, Bambi's family seemed to eat anytime anywhere. They didn't have a dining room table until Caprice got one for them, and the kids seemed to really like the idea of eating together as a family. To me, it seemed crazy that people wouldn't have a table and that families wouldn't eat together on a regular basis, but after reading multiple people's stories of how they grew up eating whenever and not together as a family, I guess it's not that odd. I'm just used to everyone eating together and making it a priority. At home, unless my dad was going to be out late for something, everyone ate dinner together at the same time. It was just a given, unless someone was late and then dinner was saved for them on the stove and everyone else ate together. I guess it's so deeply instilled in me that it didn't really occur to me that family mealtimes don't happen as much anymore. It's kind of sad. :( I feel like that was good time where people could bond. I guess a lot of people nowadays eat in front of the TV than together as a family at the table, but I guess we lasted as long as we did with a single dinnertime because we ate together at the table with the TV on. ;-)

The kids in Bambi's house seemed really undisciplined. The kids really saw themselves as equal to their parents. Now, as an adult, I often find myself slipping into that mentality, but I think it's different when you're an independent adult and when you're a teenager. A parent shouldn't have to consult with a teenager about every household decision before they can do something. A parent should also be giving a 2 year old daughter a bedtime instead of letting her stay up running wild at her teenage brothers' sleepover until whatever time of night.

The show made me feel both good and bad about my own living situation. On the one hand, I'm not Bambi - my place may be cluttered (and I'm still unpacking), but it's not dirty, and there is a fundamental difference there. But on the other hand, while I don't want my house to be as clean and sterile as Caprice's, I don't want it to be as messy as it is now. It was sort of an encouragement to get things a little more tidy. :)

So, for anyone who has made it this far, I'm curious:
  1. Any stories about animal houses like this and how kids turned out afterwards?
  2. Do you think parenting is more than just providing the "basics" to children? Is it better for kids to be disciplined or should parents be their best friends jumping around on the beds with them? Can there really be middle ground here?
  3. If you saw the conditions of the animals, do you think it was right or wrong for Caprice to send them to the animal spa to be cared for that week? Is your opinion influenced by the fact that you have animals or don't?
  4. Did your family eat meals together on a regular basis? Or just on big holidays like Thanksgiving?
  5. Did you watch Wife Swap, and if so, are you going to watch again?

I saw some of the families for upcoming episodes on Oprah, and am looking forward to seeing how all of this plays out. :)

Now that I've wasted a good deal of time typing into the void of cyberspace, I should probably do some homework. The dreaded H word. Today was the first day of school, and it was hard to get myself there. But since pilates, dinner and LAX loom on the horizon, I should probably do some work now. Thank goodness there's only one hour dedicated to TV tonight. ;-)

ETA: I forgot to mention a good point that I think someone mentioned online. Imagine being one of the kids in these households that were on TV last night, and going to school today? Everyone has seen the idiosyncracies of your family on national TV... that's got to be a scarring experience. What if classmates start teasing the kids about having feces on their carpeting? Imagine what neighboring parents think, who sent their kids over for sleepovers there? They should do follow-up shows on how communities treat people after they appear on reality shows. I'd be interested.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Sleep Numbers

Whenever I'm awake in the early morning, I end up catching the commercial for the Sleep Number bed. It's not a very good advertisement, yet I always find myself wondering whether I should call up for the free information about the Sleep Number bed. Through the whole ad, I wonder if it really works... even though I'm not purchasing a new bed anytime soon. That's one product ad that definitely knows it's hitting its target audience - discussing not being able to sleep at night and not feeling rested during the day, at 2-3 am, to people who are clearly still awake... and end up wondering whether they might be able to sleep better on a Sleep Number bed. Ha. Does it work?

Friday, September 24, 2004

Fall TV Roundup Part I

Now that we're a couple of weeks into the fall television season, I suppose I should give my take on what's on, both new shows and old. (There will be follow-up posts on this as more groups of shows debut.) Here goes!

Short version (since I didn't realize the other one would get so long!):
Sundays: Jack and Bobby +
Mondays: The Benefactor - ; LAX +
Tuesdays: The Amazing Race + ; Father of the Pride ~
Wednesdays: Lost + ; The Bachelor -
Thursdays: Survivor ~ ; The Apprentice + ; Without a Trace +
Fridays: Nothing yet - Dr. Vegas premieres tonight.
Saturdays: Encore presentations of The Apprentice +

If I could recommend one thing: If you didn't see it on Wednesday, I highly recommend "Lost." It's like a suspense-filled movie.

Extended version:

Sundays last year belonged to "Alias" and "The Practice," occasionally catching "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" before that. Now "Alias" isn't coming on until mid-season, "The Practice" is gone and replaced by a questionable "Boston Legal," and "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" isn't premiering until Sunday. So my Sundays were up for grabs.

For the past two weeks, the only show I've watched has been "Jack and Bobby" on the WB. I haven't watched a WB show since the first season of "Dawson's Creek," but this one's pretty good. If you haven't heard the premise, it's about two brothers, one of whom becomes President in the 2040s. It's present-day scenes about their lives intertwined with documentary footage from after the President's terms. Pretty interesting, and I'll keep watching. I recommend it. Jack's pretty cute too.

Mondays last year were a TV wasteland if you don't count "MNF." (Although it didn't stop me from watching.) What was there? "Average Joe"? "Forever Eden"? Fox pulled "Skin." Well, I guess there's "Fear Factor." And there was "Who Wants to Marry My Dad." And that fake marriage show that I can't remember the name of. (Just came to me: "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance.")

So far this year, all I've got is "LAX" on NBC, but better than last year's wasteland. I tried watching "The Benefactor" but I got bored. Not that "The Apprentice" isn't really just about who Trump likes, but this was pretty blatantly Mark Cuban picks someone he likes and gives them money. He also wasn't very charismatic and the show was kind of boring. On the other hand, "LAX" is kind of fun. It follows "Las Vegas" which I sort of watched on and off last year, but I just found the show (LV) more "decorative" than anything else. LAX isn't the greatest drama on TV, but I don't think it's supposed to be. It's just an entertaining show with some interesting airport stories. I really liked the two episodes I've seen so far, so I'm sticking with it. Besides, Heather Locklear and Blair Underwood, and that cute passenger coordinator guy with the accent? It's a pretty cast.

And that brings us to Tuesday... "The Amazing Race" was the hit show of the summer, and now has a second Emmy win. It's a fantastic show, and it's coming back in the fall, although to what day, no one knows yet. Let's just hope it's not Thursday! (It won't be - CBS already has Survivor/CSI/Without a Trace booked solid.) Yay for TAR!

Besides "The Amazing Race," last year's Tuesdays were all about 24. But 24 isn't going to be back until mid-season either, so I had time to check out "Father of the Pride", the highly hyped show on NBC "from the producers of Shrek." It's not bad. It's entertaining. I'll watch it if it's on and I'm not doing anything else. But I'm not going to tape it, nor am I going to kick myself if I miss an episode. (Unlike, say, TAR.)

Wednesdays last year were also kind of slow, except for "The O.C." (Oh and Tues/Wed were also "American Idol"...) Fox has now made a very bright (note the dripping sarcasm) decision to move "The O.C." to Thursdays up against both "Joey" and "Survivor." Whatever. I've got J.J. Abrams's new "Lost" on ABC to keep me busy. And can I say OHMYGOODNESS intense?! It's crazy that this show, which was sufficiently frightening, action-packed, and edge-of-your-seat exciting, is on in the first prime-time hour. There are kids watching! And it's paired on the same night with "The Bachelor" and "Wife Swap." ABC, what are you thinking!? Anyway, the first part of the pilot of "Lost" aired this past Wednesday and it was great. The second part airs next week, and I've heard that both hours of the pilot air together the following Saturday. As for all the new shows, I recommend this one highly (after only one showing) - it probably is the best new show this season. And even though I haven't seen anything but part one of the pilot, I have faith in J.J. At least now we know why season 3 of "Alias" wasn't up to par...

After watching an intense hour of "Lost," watching "The Bachelor" afterwards just made the franchise look bad. Besides the fact that their "historic" two-bachelors was really an old concept (they were beat to it by "For Love or Money" - oh that's right - another Monday summer show!), it was just ridiculousness all around. And who did the girls choose? The one who I thought looked greasy. Haha. No, I did not watch the whole 2 hr crapfest. It was only during the commercials of L&O.

Moving on... Thursdays last year were "Survivor All-Stars" and "The Apprentice" starting last January. (What did I do before then? Not watch TV on Thursdays?) "Survivor" was fun; it was the first season I'd seen since the original and Australia. Got me back into it again. And then there was "The Apprentice." I loved season one - it was fun, it was watercooler talk, and it was always interesting. This season though? So far it hasn't lived up to last season, and I doubt it will. But it's been interesting. And someone from my law school class is on TV - and he's not one of the psychos/weirdos/annoying people. Yay!

"Survivor: Vanuatu" has been pretty slow starting. I find the challenges interesting, but the people are not that remarkable yet. Maybe they'll grow on me. Good news - "Without a Trace" finally beat "ER" last night in the ratings. It was a good episode. Scary though; I thought I might have nightmares - luckily I didn't.

Now on Saturdays, they are airing "Extra! Bonus! Boardroom! Footage!" of "The Apprentice." And my goodness, it's worth it. If you didn't watch the encore ice cream episode, you never would have known that Ivana okayed Stacie J calling up for temps, rationalizing it that she was "getting her out of the way so everyone else could work." Based solely on Thursday's episode, you'd think she was a crazy woman. I'm not saying she's perfect; based on some of her business actions alone, she's a little flaky, but other than the freakout in episode 1, she hasn't really seemed "crazy." However, I guess omitting that with the crazy arc the editors were going for. It's really interesting getting to see the extra footage. After all, the boardroom's the best part!

More to come when there are more shows. Like you wanted me to write more about TV. After all, this post only took how many hours, on and off, to write?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Little Bit of Thanksgiving

Since I was just in the kitchen preparing some turkey burgers, I smell head to toe like cilantro. Of course, that's partially due to the fact that Dominick's soaked the cilantro in tons of water and when I picked up a bunch, the water spilled all over my feet, but mixing the burgers just added to the effect. I guess it's better than walking around smelling like other food products, like, say, fish sauce or sprouts or some not-so-fragrant types of cheese.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Silver Coins

For a few weeks now (or more), I've been seeing commercials on television for these silver coins that I felt exploited 9/11. Apparently, they recovered some silver from a bank vault at the 9/11 site, and someone made them into coins that they're selling for $20 each. I was appalled - 9/11 isn't a breeding ground for profit! Every time the commercial comes on, it makes me wonder who would do such a thing. And who would buy it? Who wants silver coins that advertise themselves as having the sole purpose of remembering 9/11? Who wants a souvenir of a national tragedy? Who wants a souvenir of death, destruction and horror? A memorial is one thing; a personal silver coin souvenir feels incredibly wrong.

Apparently I'm not the only one rubbed the wrong way by the advertisements for these coins. The New York Times wrote an op-ed today about them titled "Five Pieces of Silver." (I think, referencing the fact, that you can buy "up to five" at a time of the coins.) Opportunism indeed. If you want to read the full story, here's the link. In case you don't already know about the coins from the TV ads, I've excerpted part of the article below. Greed and profit (even if you're donating $5/20 to charity) off of something so sensitive and tragic just feels so wrong.

Opportunists have never stopped crawling over the rubble of Sept. 11, looking to make a buck ... Consider the National Collector's Mint. "Silver Recovered From Ground Zero!" reads a fake news release from the company datelined "Thursday, 8:55 A.M." It explains: "You see, when the Twin Towers fell on September 11, 2001, a bank vault full of .999 Pure Silver bars was buried under hundreds of tons of debris. After months of salvage work, many of the bars were found." Some of that silver, it says, "has been used to create the magnificent 2004 'Freedom Tower' Silver Dollar." The coins are yours for $19.95 each, plus $7 for shipping, handling, insurance and a "deluxe velvet presentation case." Each one is cheaper if you buy more; the limit is five per customer. "Avoid disappointment and future regret," the ad advises. "ACT NOW!"
The president of National Collector's Mint is Avram Freedberg, a prominent businessman in Stamford, Conn., and a donor to Democratic causes. The coins are sold out of an office on Slater Street in Port Chester, N.Y., about 25 miles from ground zero. Mr. Freedberg's lawyer insists that his client is honoring the dead. He says the company gives $5 from each sale to the Bear Search and Rescue Foundation, a nonprofit group that supports canine rescue units.

I agree with the Times (although I need to ask, was it really necessary to associate this guy with a political party so close to an election?) - if you're attracted to these coins because you're donating to charity, just donate to the charity directly instead. This isn't like getting your own piece of the old Berlin Wall. There's no need to collect souvenirs from a mass grave.

Monday, September 20, 2004

Movie Mania

I love HBO. While cleaning the apartment today, I've gotten to see "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", "X2" and "Drumline." (Of course, I've seen them all before, but who am I to not watch a movie that's good even if I've seen it before?) Now "X2" is on again... and what am I watching? Guess. :) In other movie news, I watched "Pieces of April" yesterday while cleaning up some files. Never thought it would be a tearjerker, but it was.

My favorite Emmy of the night? But of course, the well-deserved award for "The Amazing Race" as best reality show. If you aren't already convinced you should be watching this show, will two Emmys in two years convince you that it really is the best show on television? :) It's a quality show. The two hour finale is coming up on Tuesday, and I'm really excited. If you haven't gotten into the show yet though, the new season will be on sometime later in the fall, and you should start from Episode 1 and you'll see how into it you can get! From the cities I already know they've visited, it's going to be a fantastic season. Congratulations to "The Amazing Race"! TAR's the best! Woohoo!

Other things I'm trying to figure out... why clutter won't go away... whether Miss District of Columbia is a girl I used to go to piano school with (or just someone of the same name)... whether I'll get my errands done tomorrow... what I should cook or bake to fulfill my cravings of making something new and/or different and/or special... why people are objecting to the treatment of the Republican party in "Jack and Bobby"... what time I'll be able to fall asleep tonight. :)

Friday, September 17, 2004

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Movie Recap

In the past 5 days, I have watched plenty of movies. Here's the list:
  • The Breakfast Club
  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • The Mask of Zorro
  • The Bachelor
  • Clueless
  • Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  • Waking Ned Devine

Hmm. I guess it wasn't as many as I thought. ;-)

Then again, in the past 5 days, I have also watched hour-long episodes of "Jack and Bobby", "LAX", "The Amazing Race" and hours of football. So I guess it works itself out. ;-)

Supermarket Sweep

I love grocery shopping. I love it so much that I contemplated listing it as an "interest" on my resume during interviewing last year. (I didn't, but that was because I didn't want to seem like too much of a freak.)

We took a trip to Dominick's tonight to pick up some basics: pizza for dinner (it's not delivery, it's DiGiorno's), sandwich stuff and potato salad for me for lunch, canned soup on sale, salad veggies, and some yogurt for breakfast. Other than items fitting into those categories, the only items I purchased that weren't on sale were a small container of garlic hummus and a bottle of Miracle Whip (Light). Not bad. I saved 17% by buying sale items.

Despite going to the grocery store with a list, I always shop in a particular manner. Namely, up and down each aisle. I usually skip the health & beauty aids aisles (isn't that what Walgreens is for?), and pass by certain sections with barely a glance (e.g. soda, potato chips, pickles, olives, butter, ice cream, meat, cereal). Today, I skipped the drinks and baking aisles altogether. But other than that? Every aisle.

Why? I like to scan for sales. Sure, I read the ad. That's where my list came from. But there are always things on sale that I didn't see in the ad - and you can always use a good deal like 25% off Fig Newtons.

Why else? Because finding new merchandise is fun! There were weeks last year when I went to the grocery store so often that I would recognize new marinade products, or different snack food flavors. It's exciting to me.

I don't know why I find supermarket merchandise so exciting, but I do! That's part of the reason why I love shows like "Supermarket Sweep" and certain games on "The Price is Right." It all deals with food brands, different types of food, grocery store set-ups... it's very interesting. There's nothing more comforting than seeing fully stocked grocery store shelves (sort of like those Target one-color product ads). It's no wonder why my place to retreat to when I'm stressed out is the grocery store (and no, it doesn't necessarily make me buy more, I just feel comforted being in such a land of plenty).

What's your supermarket shopping style? (I sound like an Emode [sorry, Tickle] quiz question.) Do you go up and down every aisle? Do you go shopping with a general idea of the food groups you want to buy, and search only those aisles? Or do you go with a particular list of the items you need to buy and hunt down where those are, picking brands later based on price and availability? Or, the farthest from my method unless I'm in a huge rush, do you go in knowing exactly what products you want to buy, and buy only those without looking at anything else?

How many grocery store chains do you shop at? I've been trying to count the number of different grocery store chains I have frequented over time. I try to get a frequent buyer card at all of them, but either not all of them have them or they mail it to you and I wouldn't be going back or I didn't have time to sign up for one. I think this is a pretty comprehensive list of the stores I've been to [aside: these websites are SO different - some are really pretty and some just look put together; and yes, I have many of them bookmarked - they have recipes!]: Pathmark, Shoprite, Stop & Shop, Shaw's, Waldbaums, A&P, King Kullen, Wegman's, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's, Dominicks, Jewel-Osco, Cub Foods, Giant Eagle, Winn-Dixie, Food Lion, Gristedes, Meijer, Roche Bros, Stew Leonard's (also possibly Bi-Lo and Kroger? I can't remember). Other than Albertson's and Safeway (which are basically the parents of Jewel and Dominicks), Vons (which I guess is also part of the chain since it's the same website content?), Piggly Wiggly and Ralph's, where else do I need to go? Where have you been that I haven't listed? :)

Sunday, September 12, 2004


How fantastic! The Arts section of the New York Times has lists of releases for the upcoming TV season and the upcoming movie season! So, even though I wanted to write more essay-like stuff in this blog, I'm going to make another list. ;-)

In addition to the TV shows I mentioned in the last entry, this season I also want to check out a few other new shows: Lost, Desperate Housewives, Wife Swap (now here's a shocker - those are all ABC shows!), The Partner. Maybe some others, we'll see.

For the fall movie season, here's what I'm currently intrigued by (ones I'm really interested in are bolded):
  • Sept 17: I'd probably watch "Mr. 3000" or "Wimbledon" for fun, and I still haven't figured out exactly what "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow" is about, despite watching various trailers over a period of months.
  • Sept 24: "A Dirty Shame" sounds interesting. And of course, "First Daughter." It looks cute. :)
  • Oct 1: "SHARK TALE" Yay! (My next MUST-SEE)
  • Oct 8: "Friday Night Lights" because by now, you should know me + baseball/football movies!
  • Oct 15: "Team America: World Police" hehehehe.
  • Oct 22: I think I remember watching a trailer for "Surviving Christmas." I don't remember what I thought. But I think right now, I'm a sucker for any Christmas comedy where they play jolly Christmas music. They were playing Christmas songs on Sleepless in Seattle and I was happy.
  • Nov. 5: "Alexander" is hyped, but for me, this day belongs to Pixar - "The Incredibles"! Finally. :)
  • Nov 10: "The Polar Express" - ZERO interest in the "Seed of Chucky." Ick.
  • Nov 19: "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" and "Spongebob Squarepants" - what am I going to do now?
  • Nov 24: Hmm. Maybe it wasn't "Surviving Christmas" I remember thinking would be funny, but "Christmas with the Kranks"? Since that's based on the novel "Skipping Christmas"? Too much confusion. I think it was "Christmas with the Kranks."
  • Dec 10: I just saw a trailer this week for "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou." I haven't decided what I think of it yet. And "Ocean's Twelve" opens this day.
  • Dec 17: There's buzz about "The Aviator." And "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events." (Isn't that what the Bloomingdale's windows are going to be?) "The Onion Movie"?!
  • Dec 22: "Meet the Fockers"! Teehee. Oh, and "Phantom of the Opera."
  • Dec 25: Ooh. "Pride and Prejudice" meets Bollywood in "Bride and Prejudice"? Never heard of it, but intriguing. Very interesting.
  • And the calendar goes beyond the 4 months of the upcoming movie season! To reveal such intriguing movies such as "Robots" (March 11), "Kingdom of Heaven" (May 6 - Orlando Bloom), Star Wars Episode III (May 19), "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (June 3), "Batman Begins" (June 17), "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (July 15 - okay, now we're cutting it close to the bar exam), and "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" (Dec 25). All these dates are probably going to change, but how exciting!

I reserve the right to add many more movies to my list of movies I'd be interested in seeing. :) What's the current list of movies that are out that I want to see? (based on the currently showing list on metacritic) - Around the World in 80 Days, Bourne Supremacy, Day after Tomorrow, Dodgeball, Fahrenheit 9/11, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Harry Potter 3 (saw), Hero, I Robot, King Arthur, Manchurian Candidate (saw), Mean Girls, Spiderman 2. That list is good for reminding me for the next DVD season. ;-)

Okay, I really should sleep instead of thinking about all the movies I want to watch. Clearly I'm addicted to films, since I watched 3 movies today. :)

Saturday, September 11, 2004


NBC is showing the encore presentation of The Apprentice right now, and it's supposed to have 20 extra minutes of boardroom footage. (So why watch it on Thursday?!) Now I'm glad I taped Thursday's episode though, because right now our cable is set on "static" and I can't watch it! How bad is that? What's wrong with Comcast? It's been like this for at least an hour. I don't know how much longer since I've been watching movies all afternoon. I didn't have the TV on cable since I was watching Queer Eye around 11.

So what did I watch so far?
  • The Breakfast Club (how have I never seen this before?)
  • Sleepless in Seattle (seen this many many times on TNT, but just opened the DVD today)
  • The Mask of Zorro (always fun)

And I wanted to finish it up by 7, so I could watch The Apprentice. But no... cable has to be all static. Grr. Will it clear up by the time the extra footage airs? Please!

As for the rest of the week... here's what's on:

  • Sunday: football games, Jack and Bobby on WB
  • Monday: premieres of The Benefactor and LAX
  • Tuesday: THE AMAZING RACE!!!!
  • Wednesday: nothing (another reason I'm upset that they moved The O.C. ... it was fine where it was! Why change it to a night where TV is already packed!? Stupid Fox.)
  • Thursday: premiere of Survivor: Vanuatu, second episode of The Apprentice, some special on being obsessed with The O.C. (yes, they all conflict)

I don't know beyond Thursday yet. :)

I wonder if the extra footage is people's introductions. I really thought that was missing from Thursday's show. It was so confusing trying to follow along with who everyone was without those short intros!


I just spent the past hour or so updating my photoblog. I just thought you should know. :) I'm actively looking for comments... ;-)

Edit: Oops. Here's the real link. (Thanks Jeff. I never would have caught it.)

Friday, September 10, 2004

Night River

Want to visit me in Chicago? Here's some scenes from my evening walk today. :)

The Michigan Avenue bridge

The bridge and the river, from the east

Looking east toward Lake Michigan, the river walk that extends to the rear of my apartment building.

Isn't it pretty? :)

Indian Garden

Alvin and I went to dinner tonight at Indian Garden. They have a few locations - we went to the one within walking distance of the apartment. What's funny about this is that Indian Garden is still the only Indian restaurant I've been to in the city of Chicago. We went to the one on Devon Avenue (the street with lots and lots of Indian restaurants, a bit of a drive north) for Diwali, and it was excellent. I wasn't in the mood to think about parking the car somewhere (so that ruled out Vietnamese and Chinese food), so we walked to the downtown Indian Garden location. Yummy. Check out the food:

Our entrees - Tandoori Chicken, Gosht Rogan Josh, and Chana Masala.

Another view of the entrees with the garlic nan. Posted by Hello

Yum yum. I can't wait for Diwali again this year so I have another excuse to try a new Indian restaurant up on Devon. :)

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Burning Tiles

Back in Chicago and back to being addicted to Bookworm. It must be a geographic thing...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Quiz Results

Took a quiz and here are the results:

eXpressive: 8/10
Practical: 5/10
Physical: 3/10
Giver: 4/10

You are a XPIT--Expressive Practical Intellectual Taker. This makes you a Manager.

You are cool, thoughtful and intelligent. Your approach and your sense of humor are under-the-radar, your charm is undeniable. You keep everything under control. You have distinctive vocal mannerisms. You may not have much interest in approaching strangers, but when you do, you are successful.

You will probably end up with someone beautiful, fascinating and off-balance. While your partner may steal the limelight, it's you that keeps things running smoothly and provides stability in your relationship. If you are with someone as contemplative and hard-headed as you, you can have a tough time.

Your greatest asset is that you tackle conflict as it rises -- you don't ignore it and let it brew. If you have a partner that *does* let it brew, it will make you crazy! You can find yourself fighting for two -- trying to anticipate your partner's needs and draw their feelings out -- which is exhausting and, well, not your job.

You would never cheat. You would make an excellent spouse. When your spouse's friends met you, they would think, "Crap, why couldn't I get that one?"

Of the 60408 people who have taken this quiz, 5.4 % are this type.


Apparently, XP = "good at resolving conflict" and IT means "in control/can be controlling."

Do you think my profile is right?

What are you?

Tuesday, September 07, 2004


Well, it's decided. I've always wanted to go to New Zealand (and Australia), but now it's gone WAY up to the top of the list. If you want to know why, all you have to do is watch tonight's episode of The Amazing Race. It was like an hour-long travel ad for New Zealand. I'm dying to go to Rotorua now. I can deal with the sulphur smell if I can go sledging and zorbing. (Don't know what zorbing is? Go here.) I'm still giddy and giggling with glee about how exciting it would be to go zorbing. Wooohooo!!!!! And there's so much to do in Rotorua, not just adventure stuff! Check it out. Someday, someday I will make it to Rotorua. :)

Edit, 2:25 pm, 08 Sept (since it didn't post last night like it was supposed to...): In addition to zorbing and sledging, the Agrodome (where the Zorb is) has other cool stuff. If you don't want to bungy, you can swoop. Or you could free fall into an air cushion. I've been daydreaming about this stuff all morning. And I'm not even an extreme sports/adventure/adrenaline junkie! I just really want to go zorbing!!! And I want to fly! :)


The Apprentice 2 starts on Thursday. I'll be watching (of course), but even more intently, since a classmate of mine is apparently on the show. I just read through some of the bios on the NBC website and a major difference between the last season and this one?

A lot more lawyers.

Or, rather, plenty of lawyers, period.

What's with all the JDs??

Course Selection I

In college, my course selection stayed far far away from anything to do with economics. I did the basic micro and macro classes, but it didn't go any farther than that.

Registration opened today for the autumn quarter, and out of all the classes I'm considering, the only one without a distinct connection to corporations or some form of economics is a class on the mental health system. That's not even constitutional law or politics - I haven't ventured in that direction. I wonder if it would surprise anyone who knew about my college course selection that my law school interests are so focused on corporate law. I'm not even choosing classes like this because that's my career direction; I'm choosing them when I'm actually looking for classes that are the most interesting to me!

I really have no idea what I want to take this quarter. There's less than 15 seminars being offered, and that seems like very few compared to last year. I wonder if I'll get the seminars I entered the lottery for. I think this quarter I might actually shop classes. (It's so foreign for me to go in on the first day of school in law school and not know what I'm taking! It's never happened before!) So we'll see how it all shakes out. I'll let you know when I finally choose my classes... and how corporate they end up being. I mean, this is me we're talking about (American culture, papers on the history of the refrigerator and dating in Seventeen magazine...) - will I really end up in a class on corporate finance? It remains to be seen. :)


Here's one way Chicago differs from NYC: In New York, I can't buy a view like this for when I wake up. I think I'm going to have to enjoy this year while it lasts.

The lakefront really is one of my favorite parts about Chicago, and whenever I'm away from the city, it's definitely one of the things I miss most. It's so incredibly beautiful!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Play Ball

I am a Yankees fan. However, I'll be one of the first to say that this whole forfeit story is ridiculous. Yes, there are rules, and sure, there are feasible ways that the Devil Rays could have made it to Yankee Stadium for a doubleheader on time. But c'mon, show some sensitivity - the state of Florida just went through a hurricane; I think you can cut the guys some slack for not being there exactly on time for the game. Yes, baseball is important, but sometimes there are other things that are more important. The Yankees don't need to be giving everyone another reason to not like them. Demanding a forfeit was just so unnecessary.

Room with a View

I'm still moving into my new apartment, but check out the view from sunset today. I couldn't get the perfect angle on my camera to capture how vibrant the colors of the sunset were, but the view is still awesome. :)

Posted by Hello

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Back Online

Yay, the internet works! Apparently they didn't turn on the right number or something. Wheee.

What was one of the first things I did when I got back online? I searched for the person who I thought looked familiar in one of the Apprentice 2 ads with the headshots. I'm out of the loop, otherwise I would have known the reason why he looked so familiar: he's in my law school class! I knew I recognized him from somewhere! Let's see how he fares this season. He's going to be famous.

In other internet news, I googled myself again today, and there are results that I have never seen before! The first few times I ever googled myself years ago, there was just me and someone with my name in Portland, OR, but I didn't know much about her. Then for a while, it was just me and a teenage girl living in France. I even saw pictures of her. But today, I pulled up results about myself (I'm on the top of the list... hehe!), the French girl, the person from Portland who is part of Youths for Christ, and also some 16 year old girl with my name from San Francisco! And here I was, thinking I was unique... ha.

I should probably clean some more... lots of stuff to be done. The household surface wipes smell good. Haha. How's everyone's Labor Day weekend?


Haven't posted for a bit. Still don't have my own internet connection (wireless or regular), so whoever "Linksys" is (or if there's more than one), thank you for helping me intermittently keep my sanity over the past few days. I've been able to check my email and do some other stuff online, but haven't wanted to take a chance with posting or trying to upload pictures or anything. So I'm here in Chicago, safe and sound... but still moving stuff, unpacking, cleaning and trying to get my own wireless.

Watched the Navy Pier fireworks tonight... I was expecting July 4th caliber but they were kind of short. The heart fireworks were pretty though. My little mini-vacation in Chicago as a "tourist" is ending tomorrow (my parents are heading back to NYC), so the really intense moving and cleaning will begin soon. Yay. Hopefully I'll have my own internet soon!

Wednesday, September 01, 2004


Currently in Holland, Ohio... a suburb of Toledo. It took a little under 10 hours to get here, and we made it by sunset, which is pretty good considering that we were pretty much stopped for about 45 minutes in Pennsylvania. Here's some pictures of the journey:

The interstate in Pennsylvania... lots and lots of trees.

Stopping for lunch at the golden arches.

Stuck in Pennsylvania 7 miles from the Ohio border... why are we in park!?

Dinner at Don Pablo's... yum. Posted by Hello

(More pictures in the usual place.)

In other news, I avoided the RNC except for what I heard from friends or the Daily Show, my preferred source of political news. ;-) I'm very strongly in the Anyone But Bush camp, and really can't comprehend anything the Republicans have been spewing. I found an old episode of Who's the Boss on Nick at Nite, Sex and the City on TBS, and a nice hot shower much more enjoyable than Ah-nold and his cronies.

I hope Hurricane Frances doesn't hit Miami! Poor Turks & Caicos and the Bahamas.

Time to sleep... see you in Chicago!