Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! Here's looking forward to a happy and healthy 2007!

In the same format as last year's recap:

Movies/shows I saw in the theaters in 2006:

  • Tarzan

Vacations/trips in 2006:
  • Pittsburgh
  • Las Vegas
  • Connecticut
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Washington DC
  • Chicago/Champaign
  • San Diego
Big events of 2006:
  • First full year of work (not nearly as many events as last year!)
Resolutions for 2007 (largely the same as last year...):
  1. Exercise at least 10 minutes a day and at least 3 hours a week total.
  2. Try to eat healthier and keep a food diary.
  3. Try to sleep before midnight 1 am every day, with exceptions for special events (I'm so bad at this).
  4. Put away/clean up at least 5 things a day.
  5. Read at least 1 leisure book per month.
  6. Keep in touch better. (I know this is one of those vague resolutions, but still...)
  7. Keep a more organized budget book.
  8. Post a randomly selected picture on the blog every time I sign on and have adequate time to do so.
  9. And the whole bunch of resolutions I make every year that I can't really quantify: be happy, be more patient, be nicer to people, be more organized, etc. I mean them, but honestly, they're hard to keep and how do you tell whether you've really "achieved" them? They seem more like life goals than a resolution that you can either keep or not.
  10. Take enough time off to stay recharged and refreshed.
Yup, same as last year. Let's see if I keep them any better this year! I would like "organization" and "health" to be the keys for 2007.

Happy new year!!

Yum


Posting another random picture since one finally popped up that wasn't from Hong Kong! Yet another photo of food... my plate at the Bellagio Buffet in Vegas (April 2006). Yum, that looks good.

Fish Fillet Pizza


From a grocery store in HK (August 2005) - want one?

Last Year

Wow, I really failed at all of my resolutions from last year except for the "random picture blogging" one. Great...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

December Wrap-Up

December has been one crazy month. You can tell by how few posts there are from December, which is very clear now that the new Blogger kindly keeps track of the number of posts each month. I have barely written a thing in December!

So here's a random list of thoughts:

1. You can tell it's getting close to New Years Eve around here. A few days ago, the large concrete barriers started appearing on the street corners. Then thick streetpoles with large black speakers attached. Huge electrical wires draped over streets. Stages being built. The "2007" already set up on the top of the building in Times Square. Last year I took photos of a lot of these things going up, but this year, I was just running to work, too tired and too sick of the crowds. Which brings me to...

2. The streets are packed around here. I have to cross Times Square to go from home to work and back again. Last night, the mass of people waiting to cross the street had built up to such a level on some of the corners that it was spilling over into the street. And this happened on what I was calling an "extended" street corner meaning that the corner had already taken over part of the lane (it had those pole things in the street to prevent cars from going over there). It was spilling past the poles. And of course, if a crowd is built up, you can't get past the corner to keep walking down the street. 6th Avenue isn't much better. It's usually not that crowded at night, but nowadays, since it's close to Rockefeller Center it's been kind of a nightmare.

3. I haven't felt that into the holidays this year. I think I was so busy at work that the holidays crept up on me without really any warning and then there was so much to do for those that there wasn't much time to just enjoy it. I was so late with my Christmas cards this year that I couldn't even finish them all. One thing I miss about school was having a couple of weeks off in December. You could trim the tree, take a lot of time to buy presents, wrap stuff, enjoy holiday decorations, drive around to look at displays of Christmas lights, sleep, put together holiday treats... hard to do when you're working late. It wasn't this crazy last year. This was a really crazy December!

4. I look forward to new years because of new beginnings and fresh starts. I'm pretty into the resolutions thing and also recapping the past year. Maybe it's because I'm so exhausted, but the two things people probably associate most with NYE in NYC both sound so... tiring (going to a packed club or standing outside in Times Square). What I have never really understood with the whole TS thing (which I did want to do when I was younger) is how do you go to the bathroom? Fit TV really gets the New Years resolutions thing. They aren't doing special programming, but showing workout programming all day tomorrow and into the next. Yeah!

5. Outside one of the lunch places down the street from work were people selling NYE stuff for the past few days. Those 2007 eyeglasses, hats and those loud horns. They were blowing them so loudly the whole time that I wanted to scream at them to stop. Some of us still had to go back to work...

6. Did I mention that the panda cub in Atlanta was named Mei Lan? When I first saw the list of choices, that was my favorite. She just "looked" like a Mei Lan. It fit the little adorable cub so well. I would have been ok with any of the names with "Tao" in them because I could call her Tao Tao but I really liked Mei Lan. Sure, there are a lot of Meis, but it's so cute. And she's so cute!

7. Alvin and I went to Le Madeleine for dinner last night. We live nearby and have been intending to go for awhile, but somehow never made it until last night. And to think that now, they might get evicted soon, is very very sad. Go sign the petition to keep them in the neighborhood! The food was yummy and the atmosphere was so relaxed and so friendly. After all the hard work, it was a perfect meal - so relaxing and a nice escape.

8. I miss the San Diego Zoo and our animal friends there.

9. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I had to get a root canal this month. That sucked. It made eating difficult for some time. The first part of it was done a couple of hours before dinnertime and I was trying to figure out what I could eat. I ended up getting tuna tartare and avocado salad which was perfect (minus the salads part). Yum, tuna tartare.

10. Naruto marathon tomorrow! I can't believe that Alvin said they're going back to episode 1 after the next new episode. But... I have to find out what happens! I guess I'll watch the Japanese version...

11. Thank goodness so much of TV went to repeats and specials at the end of December. My DVR needed a break. It was amazing last week that there were days where, for the first time in months, nothing was being recorded! Shocking!

12. I have so many pictures to download from my cameras. Maybe I'll do that this weekend :)

Hope everyone has a happy and healthy new years! Maybe I'll do a year-end recap later.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holiday Eats

A happy and healthy holiday to you and yours! Here's some photos of yummy holiday eats:

Christmas Eve sushi dinner at Hokkaido, Staten Island: roll of black pepper tuna and avocado topped with spicy white tuna (I think this was the Christmas roll)

Christmas dinner at my aunt's house

Festive dessert

Hope everyone has a fantastic last week of 2006!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all!

I'm using a different computer from the one I had my Christmas pictures on from last year, so no Christmas photos. But happy holidays and happy new year to all! :)

Durian


From the random photo search... lots and lots of durian!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Yogurt


This came up on my random photo search. Did they ever come out with this state-side? Hong Kong McDonalds had a lot of cool stuff, like a side of corn that you could get instead of fries.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Travel


Random photo time: Lantau Island, Hong Kong, August 2005. Just thought it looked nice on my screensaver. Craving travel.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Food Festival


Random picture time: From the Food Festival we went to in Hong Kong in August 2005. I have no recollection as to which stand this was. I just remember there were good fruit flavored moon cakes and good vodka based drinks at the fair. And that it was mobbed and getting samples of anything was an ordeal. Except for the alcohol. It was definitely an experience.

Survivor Cook Islands

I am so happy about Survivor! :)

Yay for Yul!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Dreaming


I could use a vacation. Or ... some sleep ...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Delays

Sorry for the lack of posting.  December is one crazy corporate time of year.
 
I just got an email from American Express concerning my payment made on December 3rd.  Umm... it is December 15!  However, I open the email and it says it was sent December 4th.  What is going on with my email?!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Waiting

Why does this always happen to me?
 
Seamless Web says 20-35 minutes.
 
I ordered at 8:08.  I am still waiting.  Argh.  So much for 20-35 minutes.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Dinner at Work

Today for dinner I ordered a spicy soup, some dumplings and 3 types of rice (sticky rice, curried rice and mushroom rice). Atkins really wouldn't have worked for me, huh...

Ugh. I haven't been able to shake this headache for the past 7+ hours...

Friday, December 01, 2006

Looking West

It must be nice to have the west view from the office.  You see Times Square.  The river.  The cruise ships when they go down the river.  The sunset (on days that are not quite as gloomy as today).  Broadway shows.  And currently, you can also view, the approximately 30 story high billboard of a lingerie-clad model advertising the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
 
I wonder if that distracts anyone throughout the day.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Noise

Someone's car alarm is going off on the street below and it won't stop and it is really annoying!  And it is really loud even though I am 21 floors off the ground!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Santa's Village

Some random thoughts:
 
1.  When I am at work, especially at lunchtime when the piano player is around, it feels like I am at Santa's Village at the mall or something.  I keep expecting a train full of children to start riding around.  I suppose this is because our first floor lobby has one giant menorah, a few sleds and about eleven twinkling Christmas trees with presents under them.  Oh, and a snowman.
 
2.  Thinking about snowmen reminds me of the snowman dishes at Target which are oh-so-cute.
 
3.  Yesterday the Nascar pit stop people were down the street.  Tomorrow it is going to be packed around here because of the Rockefeller Center tree lighting.
 
4.  Circuit City is still not impressing me.  They refuse to account for their own mistakes, namely that their manager identified certain merchandise as on sale and rebate-eligible, when it is not rebate-eligible and now you're stuck with no product because the timeframe to purchase rebate-eligible merchandise has ended.
 
5.  I like onion rings in all forms.
 
6.  I wish the Atlanta panda cam still had 24/7 access.  I usually don't look at it between 10 and 5 on the weekdays, which leaves me out of the loop.  I want to see the cub's first steps!
 
7.  Can the "warm wave" last until Sunday? Please?
 
8.  Should I make a book full of photos of sushi?
 
9.  Too much paper on my desk!
 
10.  The radio keeps skipping today.  Booooooo.
 
And finally - any ideas for someplace I can go to buy lunch with a credit card where the overall purchase amount is around $5?
 
Argh, I almost signed this post with "thanks" and "best regards."  Sigh.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Feeling Clean

It's amazing how good a clean and fresh start can feel.

Now that we're back from Thanksgiving weekend, there is a full freezer, a refrigerator with fresh produce and fully stocked shelves in the pantry. (Well, they were relatively fully stocked before we left, but now they are even more filled with goodies). Clean sheets, tons of clean laundry, new shower curtains and towels, new soap dishes, cleaned the whole bathroom and rearranged everything in the shower. It just feels so good. And I actually worked out 2 days in a row for the first day in a really long time!

[I am in no way implying that none of these things were clean before and that this is why it feels so good. I realize now, rereading the paragraph above, that it could be taken this way. But it's just rare for me to have all of this done on the same day because of the limited time for cleaning with work, so it feels... different.]

It's almost like the wonderful feeling you get when you finish up a tube of toothpaste or a whole bottle of cream or a bar of soap or something. Or am I the only one who gets really excited about something like that?

Time to go clean up some more! Or... sleep? It is 1 am... And then perhaps in the morning, I will start keeping those old new years resolutions...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Mirage


Photo from my April trip to Vegas. No particular reason why I put this one up... I just felt like posting a picture and this was the one my screen saver chose. Well, it wasn't the first one my screen saver chose; that was a slightly out of focus photo of a postcard from Hong Kong. But this was the second one it picked out. We didn't stay at the Mirage, but a lot of what I love about Vegas is being able to do so much walking for fun and visiting all the hotels. And looking at this picture, all I can think of is the sound of a waterfall and how relaxing that is.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Credit Cards

Why would you start a credit card solicitation with:

"Dear [Name]:

You don't need another credit card..."

My response? "No.  No, I don't."

Shredded!

Black Friday 2006

What did you do for Black Friday?

I have written about Black Friday before. I have been doing the crazy "get up in the early morning and line up for bargains" thing for quite a few years now, but this year wasn't nearly as successful as some past years. I blame it all on Circuit City. With the way they were working this year, there was no way that I could make it to 7 stores by 8:30 am like I did in 2004. Then again, perhaps it's not all Circuit City's fault. I think the crowds have been getting worse annually. It wasn't nearly this bad in the good old days! (Last year's huge nightmare was Staples, but I don't think I wrote about that). I also haven't been showing up over 30 minutes before opening, but even so, it shouldn't be as bad as it was today.

This year, many of the stores opened at 5 am. (There were some places that opened on Thursday night, other places at midnight, but I don't think any of those places were near me). Even the mall was fully open by 6 am, with some stores choosing to open at 5. (Honestly, this opening earlier year by year thing is going to have to stop eventually or everyone would open at midnight. Judging by my sleep schedule, this might actually be preferable...)

We got to Circuit City by 5 am and the line was snaked around the parking lot and barely moving. Luckily, the temperature was in the high 40s, so it wasn't unbearable. Just boring. Fewer than 10 customers had left the store by the time we got in the doors. What did that mean? That there were hundreds of people in the store. Which is not all that large. And remember how disorganized and poorly run it was in 2004? Not much about Circuit City on Black Friday has changed, other than the fact that there were many, many more people there this year. (Side story: I remember one year way back (ha ha) when Best Buy had opened at 6 and Circuit City had opened at 7, and I was waiting on line in the freezing cold outside Circuit City. This was probably their most efficient year as all the free/good deals were right in the front of the store for a grabbing frenzy).

Let me set the scene describing the layout of the store without all these people. You enter and there is a lot of empty space, taking up a decent part of the store. There is the customer service counter on one end, and diagonally across the empty space, 2 cash registers and a Coke vending machine. The car radio department is on the left side. Once you cross this area (car radio and check out), which takes up about 1/4 of the store, you hit all the other departments: wireless, computers, cameras, movies, music, home theater, TVs, gaming, etc. Can we start off this story by saying "inefficiently designed"? (And it's not like the inefficient design makes it more aesthetically pleasing. It doesn't).

Now let's put the hundreds of people in and explain the register layout. You have those 2 registers in the empty space. Maybe 3 registers at customer service. But haphazard lines leading to the registers. Another register by car radios, another few smack in the middle of the DVD and music areas (yes, among the tight aisles). Registers along some of the borders of the stores, by the TVs, etc. What did they do, try to insert registers wherever there was empty space? That's what it has always felt like. Except, magnified to this level with all these people, the entire store was composed of lines. Everywhere. In every direction. All heading to some unknown place. And the worst part? None of them moving. Barely a few inches every few minutes. Completely chaotic. And people trying to shop having to squeeze inbetween the people on the lines and not very successful at that.

In short, a nightmare.

Plenty of people in all the stores I went to that had big sales were like, "wow, this is so mobbed, this is so crazy." But even if you've never gone Black Friday shopping before, it should be assumed that it would be crazy crowded. They do news stories on this! But Circuit City deserved all the comments, because while other places were crazy, that was just a nightmare.

We had gotten into Circuit City around 5:20-5:30. By 6:15-6:30 or so, I had found about half the things on my list and completely given up on the rest. Since the lines weren't moving at all, my dad dropped me off at Best Buy and then went back to Circuit City. I figured by the time I got out of Best Buy, it would be light out and I could just walk to wherever everyone else was if I got out before them. But I was just heading to the store. What were the chances of that?

Well...

When Best Buy is more efficient than Circuit City? Chances were pretty high. I was in and out of Best Buy in about an hour. The line moved efficiently and at a decent pace. I was out of the store before they had even hit the registers at Circuit City. And it's not like there were less people - I don't think there were. It was just efficient.

Unbelievable.

Like I said in 2004, Best Buy had learned from their difficulties the year before. Layouts make sense. There is one consolidated checkout line (with the exception of certain departments, but from what I could tell, they weren't causing massive chaos, although it might have been a longer wait if you wanted certain products) and the nice guy with the yellow balloons marking the end of the line. The representatives were excellent at crowd control, and not having people uselessly get on extra lines they didn't need to be on. In short, I was pretty satisfied. Especially since I found out about some DVDs my mom wanted while I was already on line, but I found them all in the GPS and vacuum departments while on line, abandoned by others. That was fun.

Hmm. This entry has changed from a summary of my Black Friday to "How Circuit City is Chaotic and Inefficient." But it's true! I left Best Buy, walked to the mall, went to about 8 different stores, bought a Christmas present, checked out whether the food court was serving lunch food at 8:30 am (and yes, they were, thankfully) and then rested and people watched outside Bath and Body Works, all before my parents and Alvin got to the mall. I feel terrible that they were stuck at Circuit City in that unpleasant miserable experience.

Bath and Body Works, lunch snack, dropped off bags at home and then went to Target (one of my favorite favorite stores). Then, just as I described to people at work, it was time to go home for a nap! I estimated that I was usually home for a nap around 1 or 2 after all that strenuous shopping. Well, watched Grey's Anatomy and then took a nap. What a heartbreaking episode.

But back to Circuit City. Because we had to go back there after our nap because of all the things they did wrong. In addition to the general layout problems, inefficiency and chaos I mentioned before, here are some other things that went wrong:

- Sale items were ringing up at non-sale prices. For example, I got a TV DVD set that should have been $19 but it was still ringing up $40. Shouldn't this have been taken care of before today? Knowing how busy it would be and that people were specifically going there for sales?

- Rebates weren't printing out for rebate items and this was forcing people to have to find other representatives and to get on additional lines. Not to mention the fact that some receipts weren't even printing complete enough to be able to be copied for rebates.

- They had a promotional camera if you spent a certain amount of money, yet if you hit the threshold, no one mentioned it. How is that a "thank you" for your business? Judging from the number of people price matching at Circuit City, maybe everyone should have gone to price match at Best Buy! The line moves so much better there.

One last note - if anyone from Circuit City is reading this, I realize that this is not the case at every store, because the experience some relatives have had at other stores was more similar to my experience at Best Buy. But judging from the number of customers at this store, it was an absolutely horrible shopping experience to be conducted the way this was. Not to mention the fact that some of these people might have tried to avoid the chaos if they could order online starting Thanksgiving day, as was mentioned in the ad. However, many people said they couldn't even load the page. There has got to be a better way than what was going on today.

And to end this entry happily... Black Friday ended with sushi. Yum. :)

Holidays

Agh, the host on QVC just said, "Christmas is exactly one month from today."  Is it really so soon?!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Clothes

I turned on QVC while doing some work and heard the host say the following, "You go out to dinner with your husband and then you take it off..."

Really bad timing to turn on the program.  I think it was for a shawl or something.

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Games

I just need to close Minesweeper so I can get some work done!

Stuffing

My favorite part of Thanksgiving!

You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.


I don't mind the turkey, but my favorite part of Thanksgiving is all the side dishes - stuffing, mashed potatoes, carrots, veggies, mmmm. Last year I added on a spinach and cheese casserole. Yum.

Some Days

... are just no fun.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Game

Woohoo!  That's how the Y-H game should end. :)

First win since my junior year.  Can't believe it was so long ago.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Clouds

Do you ever have those moments when you just look at the sky and watch the clouds slowly saunter across the sky?
 
Right now, it's cloudy and there is a huge storm brewing.  The clouds are literally speeding by.  Kind of a whirlwind dizzy feeling if you stare at them too long.
 
Anyone watch Daybreak last night?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Showers

It was lightly raining today.

Then I walked home and as I passed through Times Square, it started to pour.  Big heavy drops of rain as the tourists stopped in the middle of the only path to take pictures and all the street corners were flooded.  I was so glad to seek refuge under the little garage spots by the NY Times building.

Got home and went out to get take out from across the street.  During the less than five minutes in which I was in the apartment, the rain had gone from pouring to lightly drizzling.

Just my luck!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Babies

Surprise!


Just kidding. Not mine. But pretty darn cute!

Luggage

Remember way back when I was complaining about a NY Times editorial about how carry-on baggage should be banned?
 
Here's a good example of why a ban would not be practical and why it would be horrible for travelers (and would make me either drive or use luggage forwarding, wherever possible):
 
 
Funny that it comes from the same paper.  I wonder if they have changed their minds.

Night

Ack. It's 4:20 pm and it's already dark outside.  Sigh.

Balloons

There is a combination red and white balloon (2 balloons attached to each other) floating in the sky above the office buildings right now.
 
30 sec later... Actually, looked out the window and not sure where it went.  Did it pop?
 
30 sec later... Nevermind... just looked again, it's directly across the street.  That was pretty quick for it to blow across the avenue.
 
30 sec later... Now I think I've really lost it.  Oh well.  I wonder where it floated off to now.
 
I had lunch but I'm still hungry.  Boo.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tips

Question for all of you readers (all like 3 of you, if even!):

Suppose you were to park a car in a restaurant parking lot.  When you leave the restaurant, there is an attendant in the parking lot who works for the restaurant.  Suppose that such attendant hands you the keys to your car and tells you to move it yourself.  You take the keys and go over to your car, intending to move it.  However, your car is blocked in by another car.  The attendant leaves the area.  You ask him if he can move the car that is blocking you in.  He responds that he will not move the other car until you give him a tip.  Suppose that you didn't give him a tip earlier because you were told to move your own car and the person wasn't going to do anything but give you the keys.

Is it proper for the attendant to require a tip before moving the car blocking you in?  Is it proper for any parking attendant to require a tip from any patron?

I'm not the "you" but I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

Friday, November 03, 2006

My Feet Hurt

So exhausted and getting sleepy.  We went to the zoo and walked for more than 6 hours (with the only breaks being lunch and taking the skyride).  So tired.  But we got to see all 3 pandas in action!  Yay!

Shark 1.06

Did anyone else watch tonight's episode of Shark? I usually really enjoy this show, but so many things about tonight's episode had me screaming at the TV. Well, not screaming screaming, since it doesn't really matter that much, but it really took me out of the episode.

First, how does attorney-client privilege cover an email from one person to another person who is not his attorney where the attorney is bcc'ed? I thought I remembered a CLE at work this past year about how you can't get privilege to cover a communication just because you cc'ed your attorney or labeled it as a privileged communication, so how is a bcc covered? Maybe I am remembering the rules wrong, which is totally possible, but it doesn't even seem to make sense under common sense. Especially if the attorney is bcc'ed - then no recipient would ever think it was a communication to an attorney. I didn't think throwing out the emails was such an easy decision, but I know it was necessary to move the plot along. But if it works the way I seem to remember, I don't really like that they had this in there.

Second, considering the case they put forward, how is it possible that the case even went to the jury? Can't the judge decide that the state has not gotten anywhere close to meeting its burden and dismiss it as a matter of law?

And last, at the end, isn't Shark's nemesis facing a conflict of interest? I can't remember if the suit was brought against the individual fashion designer, the company or both, but at the end he's advocating for the company and talking about how the individual would plead guilty. Unless the individual were never part of the suit at all, isn't this a conflict of interest?

Anyway, just wondering.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hello from San Diego

Hello from San Diego!

It's nice here. Gorgeous weather. Had some good fish tacos. Walked around and just relaxed.

The hotel has a channel where you can just watch fish swim around as if they're in a fish tank. Can I get that in my office when I get back?

JetBlue was great. I was never able to fly it before, because they didn't fly to Chicago until recently. But now I fully appreciate what I was missing, being able to watch TV all the way there, good snacks, a crew that actually cleans the seatback pockets of the plane so that the next person isn't confronted with empty bags of potato chips...

Happy Thursday!

Rain

It's raining. Of course it is. It was a gorgeous day outside today, which I couldn't enjoy since I was inside tying up loose ends before vacation, and now it rains. Hmm.

Still trudging away at packing...

Packing

I am such a slow packer.  Back in senior year of college when I was traveling often, I used to be able to pack up a suitcase in an hour or less without a packing list.  At least that's what I remember...

Heading west in a few hours.  Maybe I'll say hello from there.  If not, have a good weekend!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November

I can't believe it's already November.  Where is the time going?
 
(And should I write a message like this every single month since the feeling never changes?)

Possible Trans Fats

The hallway smells very strongly of fried chicken.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kidnapped

ARGH NBC. This was truly a quality show and you're now replacing it with more Law and Order repeats.  Sigh.  So much for letting a serial wrap up its storyline in 13 episodes.  Isn't that what all the networks promised in order to get people to watch the serial shows?

http://www.thefutoncritic.com/news.aspx?id=7231

Donuts

I watched this MSNBC or Today show piece about Krispy Kreme and Dunkin Donuts, and now I want a donut.  Either a glazed one... or one with chocolate icing and sprinkles....
 
I think the donuts downstairs are 2/$1 after 5 pm.  Uh oh...

Heartbreaking

It's heartbreaking watching Michael J. Fox in those ads and in interviews.  It's horrible knowing that there's something that can possibly be done to move things along and yet we can't do anything about it because of "artificial" restrictions (for lack of a better word).
 
Sigh.
 

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Floral Arrangements


I always intend to post pictures when I'm on my laptop at home, and I like doing it randomly so I pick based on what my screen saver pops up at a given time. Anyone want to guess at where this was taken? I wouldn't mind being there right now...

Time Changes

These daylight savings time changes make me kind of dumb.

For example, last night (well, I suppose, earlier this morning), Alvin mentioned to me that we had missed the benefits of the time change. My response was, "How can that be? It's only 1:15 am!"

Right.

I knew about the time change earlier this week, and had been looking forward to an extra hour of sleep, but when it finally came around, I totally forgot. I blame being totally engrossed in Kidnapped on the DVR. It is such a shame that this show is being wrapped up in 13 and being burned off on a Saturday night, when it is so much better than a lot of things that are still on TV.

And as a side note, it always seemed to me like I watched a lot of TV but I took this research survey yesterday which made me realize just how much prime-time TV I don't watch. Interesting. Although I did catch up on 3 weeks of The Nine yesterday...

Anyway, back to the time change.

I thought it was genuinely 1:15 am, not 2:15-became-1:15 am. I searched for something that would reveal the truth to me - my phone, blackberry, the cable box, my laptop - but they had all switched automatically. Finally, I glanced at the stereo which said 2:15 am. Oops.

This morning I jolted awake at 11 am, and started to make lunch. I had hoped to get up earlier but it hadn't happened. I wanted to make sure I could get up, so I could get to sleep before 3, so that I could actually wake up for work. Such is every Sunday's crisis.

I was part-way through microwaving a Kashi meal for lunch when I saw that the cable box said 10:30 am. 10:30?! But my phone said 11 when I got up! Apparently, my phone didn't change...

This time change thing really makes me feel so dumb.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Geography

So, on 1 v. 100, they asked this question: "If the 'Wedding Crashers' crashed 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding', what traditional Middle Eastern dessert could they expect?"

Choices:
Baklava
Moussaka
Spanakopita

Of course, I picked baklava, but my real answer was, "Greece is in the Middle East?!"

Friday, October 27, 2006

Free Fridays

Wow, I'm exhausted. It's been a busy week. A "good" type of busy, though. Better than sitting there not busy and watching people doing work, wondering why you're not doing anything...

The rain is setting in, and it's supposed to steadily and heavily rain for a good part of this weekend. I've had 5-6 cups of tea and/or chai throughout the day. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is on TV now. Nice warm and cozy Friday evening in. That's the thing about Fridays... it's "freedom" but I'm always just so tired!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mmmm

Oh, how I love sticky rice.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

New Shows

I haven't really given up on any of the new TV shows yet. I was about to give up on Smith, but then it got cancelled, so it was out of my hands. I do wonder why Men in Trees is still the next to go on the DeathWatch site; it's a lot better than people are giving it credit for. I wish it would (a) move after Grey's Anatomy and (b) post good numbers there...

I'd say if I had a list of favorite new shows, it would probably go like this: Brothers & Sisters, Shark, Justice, Heroes, Men in Trees. I also have Ugly Betty, Jericho, Friday Night Lights, Six Degrees, The Nine, Standoff, Vanished and the Kidnapped burn-off on my DVR, but those are probably my 5. Ugly Betty is only just missing the cut - I'd add it if there were 6 because it's really adorable and refreshing. Friday Night Lights is on my DVR but I still haven't watched it yet. I go back and forth on Jericho; it was just ok in the beginning with some good moments but lately it's been getting more hooks in. As for the last 5 on the DVR list, 4 of them I have found just OK with good moments and NBC's basically done with Kidnapped.

As for this minute, I'm just watching L&O CI repeats on Bravo. There's always L&O on. But if there are any readers who get counted, please watch Justice tomorrow night. Needs to be saved!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Virus

That email virus going around today is driving me crazy.  (Mercifully, it seems to have stopped for the moment).  Imagine sitting at a lunch with an interviewee and seeing 22 new messages on a date a deal is supposed to close.  And then to open it and realize that 21 of those messages are junk virus emails.
 
By the time lunch was over, I had 92 junk virus emails in my inbox.  92!!  I wonder what this experience was like for those people whose blackberries buzz with new messages.  Scary.  I think it's finally under control but the way the emails were flooding in before.... really annoying.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Autumn

Autumn's really here.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

PR

Somehow last night's Project Runway episode made me like Jeffrey.  That has never happened throughout the entire show for me.  Darn editing!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Pouring Rain

Remember how yesterday it was a balmy 70 degrees and gorgeous? Today, not so much. Clouds. Pouring rain as I walked home. And not pouring with little misty drops. It was that driving rain, where, once it hits the pavement, it bounces back at you and hits you in the middle of your leg, so that it feels like you're getting hit by rain from all directions. You could squeeze the water out of my shoes and my hair was fairly wet considering I had an umbrella.

Then again, as I was walking home, I thought about how, considering everything that happened in New York today, it could be so much worse. Getting soaked really isn't so bad in the big picture.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rock Center

Some photos to go with the last entry:







It was so gorgeous out today. Unfortunately, it's going to be so cold this weekend!

Photo Walk

Since it's a gorgeous 70 degree day outside, I decided to go for a walk around Rockefeller Center.  A few comments:
 
1.  Apparently it is Fire Safety Awareness Day or Week or something.  There were a ton of fire trucks and American flags up, and one table was giving away red plastic fire hats so there were a bunch of people walking around the area with them.  I didn't take one.
 
2.  I treated my lunch break as a photo-walk.  I used to do that all the time in Chicago.  I forgot how good it feels to play "tourist" in my own town.
 
3.  The ice rink is up.  Zamboni going across the ice and everything.  But understandably, it was not very safe for skaters at 71 degrees.
 
4.  I went to go see Anish Kapoor's Sky Mirror.  Finally.  I have been meaning to go ever since they first announced it.  I was a frequent visitor of the Cloud Gate sculpture at Millennium Park in Chicago (aka the "Bean" or the "Jellybean"), so of course, I liked this one.  Unlike the Bean which mostly reflected buildings (and it was gorgeous, there are pictures on this blog somewhere), the Sky Mirror shows the entire street scene and it's pretty fun.
 
5.  I was taking pictures of flags and flag reflections since the entire plaza was covered in American flags.  One shot happened to be of a window with reflections.  I have no idea if it even came out how I envisioned it, but the only way to get better is to practice, right?  The only reason I mention this is because right after I took the shot, I heard one girl walking by say to her friend, in a very "whatever" tone, "What was she taking a picture of?"  Like, there couldn't possibly be anything there to take a picture of.  People create photographs that are art out of everything.  Would she have said the same about Andrae on Project Runway 2 taking a photo of the gutter water, which turned out beautifully and inspired a wonderful dress?  Seriously.  I don't care if you ask the question in your own mind, but to say it loud enough and within earshot of the person taking the picture, is a little rude.
 
On a topic unrelated from my walk, there are trailers from filming in front of both my apartment and the office today.  One is for Criminal Intent and the other is for some other production whose name I don't yet recognize but can alert you about if it comes up. :)
 
I suppose I should get back to work now.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Toys

I can't believe this Today Show segment.  They're talking about how the holiday shopping rush for toys has already begun even though it's only Columbus Day.  The holidays are so far away!  But judging by how fast the past year has gone, it'll be here in no time.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Giants

Yay, the Giants won!

Why couldn't the Yankees win? Sigh. Or at least make it go 5 games?

Grassy Hills and Skis

Last night I had a dream that I was on an interview with an athletic wear/sneaker company, I think Nike. It wasn't present time; it was like summer associate interviewing and I was choosing between working there and working at a law firm. It was a huge building and complex, right in the middle of Manhattan. I think the address I remembered was 25th & 9th.

I was excited about the interview. I got there an hour early, but when I walked inside, there was a line of hundreds of people waiting to get in. Apparently they tape TV shows there, so everyone was lined up to go through security and check in for that. But I was there for an interview! It all seemed to be one line, and the wait was long. They had these plastic signs with the approximate wait time from certain points on the line, which they would hang around people's heads like the people who stand on the streetcorners holding ads. But the line, despite the projected wait, was actually moving at a decent place. Eventually I was allowed to just go to a different clerk since I wasn't there to be in the TV show audience.

The next thing I remember, I was out behind the building on a big grassy hill and my parents and I are doing yoga. And after we were doing one of the tabletop like poses, all of a sudden, the big grassy hill is covered in snow and there are people skiing. But they weren't using skis. One of them was on a big ivory colored pillow and another was skiing holding a balance ball. It was odd.

That's all I remember. Anyone know what that means?

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Out Again

What a frustrating baseball game to watch.

It's over. Again. Argh.

Impressionism

I do like impressionism...

You Are Impressionism

You think the world is quite beautiful, especially if you look at it in new and interesting ways.
You tend to focus on color and movement in art.
For you, seeing the big picture is much more important than recording every little detail.
You can find inspiration anywhere... especially from nature.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Some Cancellations

Here come the cancellations (and re-shuffling).
 
Kidnapped, shipped off to Saturdays to burn off the rest of the 13 episode run and then it's gone.  I think that's a shame because it's a really well done show, the characters are really interesting, the storyline could be taken in so many different directions... but no one is watching.  It's sad that the quality of this show is so much better than Vanished, but the latter has lasted longer and is only getting shipped off to Fridays.  (Which, really, aren't that much of a TV wasteland anymore).
 
Smith, pulled from the CBS schedule effective immediately.  Was it doing that badly?  I thought the ratings were decent, not great, but decent... I guess repeats of CSI and Criminal Minds do better?  I admit, I am not as torn up about this one, since I wasn't attached to it.  It wasn't nearly as realistic but I was so much more attached to last year's Heist.  I just didn't find Smith as interesting as Heist.  I watched the pilot, skipped the next week because of the Contender finale, and then watched this past week's episode while playing computer games and was kind of bored.  I was debating whether or not to tape it on Tuesday and was going to give it another chance, but I guess not anymore.
 
Next network...
 
Fox is moving Justice to Monday and I am so glad that they are at least trying to save the show.  It is the best of the 3 new ones I think (the others being Standoff and Vanished).  They're all getting shuffled around but I hope Justice succeeds.  If you're a household that gets counted, please watch Justice when it comes back after baseball!  Victor Garber is wonderful.
 
And as for ABC, I'm expecting them to move or cancel Six Degrees any day now.  It's coming off the heels of the most watched Grey's Anatomy, totally squandering that advantage and bleeding millions of viewers at the half hour mark.  (But what to move there?  I can only think of Boston Legal and What About Brian, because an action show might not be the most compatible...)  I think it's interesting, but my first thought after watching the Heroes pilot was that Heroes did "six degrees" better than Six Degrees... which isn't quite right.
 
To not leave out the CW... I have finally gotten around to watching Veronica Mars and you should too :)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Songs

I totally agree about the songs - remember my previous post?
 
"Music is a great entry point into peoples emotions and to make them aware of a show, said Michael Benson, senior vice president, Marketing, ABC Entertainment."
 
 
They should have added in cross-references, e.g., See: Grey's Anatomy, How to Save a Life, The Fray, Goo Goo Dolls, Better Days, Six Degrees.
 
While I'm on a song kick, why is KT Tunstall's "Suddenly I See" song (which I loved back when I first heard it on SYTYCD) on every single new fall show?!  See previous post re: limited music choices... I like it, but it's making me mix up all my shows that I've heard it on!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Incredibles

I'm so glad that the GA promo is still playing on tvguide.com.  I thought for sure it would be gone after the season premiere, but I was wrong.  ABC really did a good job with the fall promos this year.  Pick a catchy meaningful song, insert clips from TV show, everything becomes memorable.  Considering ABC is one of the only networks I remember the promos for.  (Other than Victor Garber's quote from Justice).  And it could be argued that I watched more on other networks (Fox...) this summer....
 
Put said promos on websites and have them start streaming when the site opens (I used to hate that).  People get sucked in.  People listen to song on repeat.  Win/win situation for artist & show.  I'm just looking for more good music to play on repeat at work. :)
 
It's Thursday. :) :) :)
 
Although with the way this week has gone, it certainly doesn't feel like it!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Studio 60

I have a confession to make.
 
I think that, over the summer, I was looking for every reason not to like Studio 60.
 
There were reviews about it being "too inside."  They said that if you liked The West Wing, you would like Studio 60, and I wasn't really a fan of that one.  Any reason I could seize onto, I did.  Besides, it took Medium's spot on the schedule, and was so hyped at the upfronts that I couldn't imagine myself liking it.  Sure, I'd watch it and give it a chance, but I wasn't as excited about it as some other people were.
 
How things change...
 
I found the pilot episode quite charming.  The show in general was well-written, well-acted, smart, lots of little touches that were great.  I was surprised that I liked it. But I did.  And I plan to tune in every week for as long as it sticks around.
 
I'm almost ashamed that I tried to hate it! :)
 
After all, what was I thinking?  Even it were "too inside," I am familiar with and LOVE TV.  I mean, I'm a TV addict.  How can I not like a show about making TV?
 
So.... if you're not watching it, I actually really recommend it.  It's very well-done TV.  There's a lot of that today, but can't hurt to find another good one.  I think "charming" is the right word for now.

Annoyed

Here's a video about John Rocker and his "Speak English" campaign.  Please tell me what you think of it.  Also, please tell me what exactly this "American culture" is that people are supposed to assimilate into.  Needless to say, I am a little aggravated by it.  Just a little.
 

Monday, September 25, 2006

Product Placement

Can you now do product placement with the TSA? Nice.
 
 
Still annoying that you can't bring your own bottle of water from home.  They overcharge for those at the airport... or are they trying to make money for airport retailers?
 
Maybe it's just me, but this clear plastic bag thing only reminds me of the bar exam.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Six Degrees of Goo Goo Dolls

So... I'm watching the premiere of Jericho, and you've got to be kidding me - both Jericho and Six Degrees used the same song in their pilots?! Was there a limited list of pilot music or something?

Justice

I really, really hope that this isn't true. Are they really going to cancel Justice? It's so entertaining and I don't have to think and I look forward to watching it every week. I thought they were going to swap out an episode of Vanished for Justice in October. Is that not happening? Argh...

And I can't see the stats on the death watch on this computer. Sigh.

Premiere Week

That was one long week. It was the official fall premiere week and it was jam-packed! I think back to Amazing Race and Vanished and they feel like they aired ages ago!

Thanks to my DVR and encore performances (and staying up horribly late), I was able to see the following shows this week: The Amazing Race, Vanished, Studio 60, Standoff, Dancing with the Stars (both), The Contender, Smith, Boston Legal, Bones, Justice, Kidnapped, Celebrity Duets (both), Survivor Cook Islands, Grey's Anatomy (clip special and premiere), Shark, Six Degrees, Men in Trees and Numb3rs. (Taping Jericho tonight.)

I forgot how much work being a TV addict is. (But is that all? I felt like I had recorded more...)

Anyway, this may end up being a long post as I give some of my thoughts on the new season, based on this week.

Some of my "favorites" for the official premiere week:

Best music (shows and promos): ABC (I don't even remember any of the music from any of the networks, but ABC had that "come on over" song for Thursday nights, "Better Days" for Six Degrees, "How to Save a Life" for GA, and music video promos, it was awesome!)

Best series premiere: Shark

Best season premiere: Grey's Anatomy

Show that I liked more than I expected: Studio 60

Show that I expected to like more than I did: Smith (I liked Heist....)

Reality round-up:

The Amazing Race: + for diversity, going to Beijing, an eating challenge that wasn't ridiculous in quantity, not hating most of the teams. - for kicking a team off in the middle of the first leg, the return of the "Charla strategy" (not sure what else to call it), "motivating" people who come across like jerks.

Dancing with the Stars: I just want Jerry Springer to outlast Sara Evans. Please! She's not very good, but all of the country music fans are keeping her in it. And people made all that fuss about soap fans keeping Kelly Monaco in. At least she tried to do the dance instead of standing 2 feet from her partner! And what was with the comment about taking the judges' comments but not changing anyway? Whatever. I think Jerry is actually kind of fun on the show. It seems generally obvious which people can dance... and for me, it seems that the guys are much better than the girls (for the celebrity side).

Celebrity Duets: I already posted about how Jai shouldn't have gotten kicked off. He can sing! Argh. I didn't vote though, so should I blame myself? *shrug* No one watched because everyone was watching GA!

Survivor: Yul got the idol! Yay! So far, I'm still not finding the race split to be offensive. I didn't think it was the best idea, but I appreciated that they were somewhat interested in getting diversity (even if they're mostly pretty people). I can understand why Jeff said "wait and see." I think it'll end up being "wait and see" all season. And that "I fell in love" part of tribal council is still awesome.

Dramas and Ratings:

I watch a bunch of shows on Fox. Vanished (entertaining and suspenseful when it's on, but once it's over, I either forget what happened or I notice all the holes in the story), Bones (one of the best shows and I don't know why more people aren't watching), Justice (I find this one lots of fun, but don't know why more people aren't watching it and it's in a terrible timeslot) and Standoff (not the greatest show ever, but I think it's better than Vanished, and it's really starting to get into its groove with the Asian crimelord episode).

However, I think the only dramas that are doing "amazingly well" for Fox are Prison Break and House, neither of which I watch. The former I tried to tape last year but never started watching so I ended up deleting it on the DVR. I tried picking it up again this season but I think I need to watch S1 on DVD first. As for House, I just get bored watching it. Maybe I keep catching the wrong episode?

So, needless to say, and with Fox's history, I am very worried that shows I like will get cancelled. (Sigh.) Can't they move them around after baseball? Test out new time slots? Not let Justice rot in a time slot that includes Criminal Minds and Lost? (I thought that was a disaster before the season started). I just hope they give them a chance. I don't want to start another list of shows that I thought were prematurely cancelled. (My Fox list for last year was Reunion and Kitchen Confidential.) If I had to pick only 1 of the 4, it would be Bones without a doubt. Then Justice. I just don't trust Fox with its history. Never giving anything a chance. Sad.

I've been checking out the new dramas on NBC and CBS too, as you can see from the above list. I'm not going to place bets on what will survive and what won't. But the two that come to mind as memorable are Shark (he is just perfect for that part or it wouldn't work) and Studio 60 (for me, it's not watercooler, like can-you-believe-it-happened, but it was still good).

And then there's ABC... I remember when ABC was like the fourth place network, but now I think it's really the network to beat. They have some huge hits like GA, DH and Lost, and a lot of new shows coming up. I think their promotions are pretty good (the music, especially). Six Degrees was good enough to make me wonder what comes next even if it wasn't that compelling, and Men in Trees is really cute and I hope it survives.

We'll see what happens!

The Heights

I am still so giddy that Grey's Anatomy beat CSI by a LOT last night. I was so excited at work when I read about it that I was practically cheering. Yayyyyyyyy!!!!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Happy Hour

Well, not the past hour of TV. How could Jai be kicked off Celebrity Duets? He was clearly the best singer there. Darn. He should have been a lock for the finale.

But as for "happy"... I have now watched the Billy "I fell in love" segment of the Aitu tribal council about 15 times. It is laugh out loud funny to me every single time. You need clips like that to make you smile. (And it will get deleted soon with how full the DVR is, so I won't be able to laugh at it for too much longer). It's funny in the same way that I get smiley watching the Clay Aiken appearance at the AI finale from May, and how giddy his fan got.

Watching the Shark premiere now. What premieres did you watch this week?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Loop

I'm not sure if ABC created this Grey's Anatomy-The Fray music video ad for me to listen to the song on endless loop at work....

Question

Umm.... is it bad that I kept my browser open on a certain page in TV Guide to keep playing the Grey's Anatomy music video over and over again?  And then when I went to another page and it was a different ad, I started searching the site to get the GA ad to pull up again?

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mosquito Bites

I have a mosquito bite just above my knee that I got on Sunday night.  It has now blown up to larger than the size of a quarter - is that bad?

Friday, September 15, 2006

Thoughts

A few thoughts from today:

1. As of next Monday, I will have worked for a year. And only a few days ago did I realize that the armrests were of adjustable height.

2. We have had repeated hardware failures today at work. That sucked. It is quite difficult to work on documents when Word crashes every couple of minutes. And Edgar proofing without being able to print anything is no fun.

3. I can't believe we're already almost second years.

4. Today's weather and my mood were great partners. It was horribly rainy and cloudy and overall depressing outside. Wheeeeee.

5. Jai should totally win Celebrity Duets. The final 3 should be Jai, Alfonso and Hal. Just my opinion.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

DwtS 3.1

Dancing with the Stars is back! Woohoo!

I think my 3 favorites tonight were Mario & Karina, Emmitt & Cheryl and Vivica & Nick.

Quick summary of all the competitors:

Joey and Edyta: Not bad at all. Did you see his arms?! The dance was fine, but the song wasn't that good. It sounded better on America's Got Talent.

Sara and Tony: A vote for Sara is a vote for Tom DeLay. Needless to say, I'm not interested. It was kind of boring anyway.

Tucker & Elena: Tucker looked like he was having a lot of fun, but he looked like he was at a junior high dance. At least he tried more than Master P.

Monique & Louis: It was cute, but I don't have strong feelings either way.

Emmitt & Cheryl: I don't consider a vote for Emmitt a vote for the Dallas Cowboys. And lucky for that, because this was good. And I like Cheryl. They looked like they were having fun.

Willa & Maksim: It was okay. I wasn't really paying attention.

Mario & Karina: That was awesome. Alvin's sister-in-law told me she'd be good. I can't believe Bruno asked, "do you have extra batteries in your pants?" Watched this one again.

Shanna & Jesse: I was kind of bored.

Harry & Ashly: So many couples... it's almost too many by this point! Is this more than last year? I like Ashly though, even if the dance was just okay.

Vivica & Nick: I thought this was fun. I'm running out of things to say because there are too many teams and it's everyone's first dance, so what do we really expect from them?

Jerry & Kym: I am running out of ways to say "ok, but I wasn't thrilled..."

It is awesome that they read out Al Sharpton's quote about voting in celebrity dance contests though! That was great!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Picture Time


I just felt like throwing a photo up here for color since the past few posts have been mostly text. And it's nice to share photos. I have "life photos" at my picasaweb account but in order to get there, you'll have to know my account name which I will give out if asked.

I took this photo in Hong Kong last year on August 13 when we took the MTR out to Lantau Island to go see the big Buddha and the Po Lin Monastery. I just thought it was interesting especially in contrast to the skyscrapers of Hong Kong Island. What do you think?

I need to start going to sleep earlier. Sunday night football = tired Monday morning. Monday night football (doubleheader) = tired Tuesday morning. And now the commercials are telling me I'm supposed to yawn through Wednesday morning too? Great.

Regulations

I always found the Yale Undergraduate Regulations amusing. Not all of them, but mostly the ones that governed social life, such as "no photography in the dining hall." (No one followed that one anyway.) (And I don't mean that I find rules themselves amusing, but you should read some of these...)

I found an old copy of the regulations in one of my boxes and Alvin and I were reading them tonight. Pretty amusing. We found one that I don't think I noticed before:

"At any event at which alcoholic beverages are served, there must also be available non-alcoholic beverages and food, of sufficient quality and in adequate amounts."

Food of sufficient quality? Chips? Haha.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Carry-on Luggage

I think, in the case of this article, I must disagree with the New York Times.

Their editorial advocates banning all carry-on luggage from airplane cabins until technology is developed to detect dangerous materials in carry-on luggage. Their editorial purports to examine all the advantages and disadvantages of this type of ban but a lot of things are left out.

Here's a quick summary of the pros and cons according to the Times.

On the plus side -
  • Shorter security lines
  • Faster boarding of the cabin
  • Safer because terrorists won't have their bomb materials with them
  • Tougher scrutiny for checked luggage
On the minus side -
  • Greater burden on lines for luggage screening and screeners may rush bags through without checking adequately or flights get delayed because of wait for bags
  • Out of concern for their laptops and other electronic devices, some people won't fly and the airlines could lose money
Their only compromise solution -
  • Have bins on the plane to lock in valuable electronic devices
A few thoughts with regards to their editorial:
  1. Their primary reason for banning carry-ons would be because technology can't screen for dangerous items yet and once we can, we can bring stuff on board again. However, hasn't history shown that if you're constantly reactive as opposed to proactive, you will never be ahead on that front? Technology will match the current "threat," but will it be equipped to handle the next one? If you stop things one way, people will just find another. If this is the logic, a "temporary ban" until technology catches up, who can ensure that the ban will ever be lifted?
  2. One of the advantages is shorter security lines for travelers. Yes, but since everyone has to now check in a bag, how about longer check-in lines? When I traveled in O'Hare in August, the line to check in was dreadfully long and winding, but the security lines moved fairly well. The only problem was that people were cutting it close for all their flight times since the lines were so long. Sure, the security lines may be shorter, but you're making up for it somewhere else.
  3. Faster boarding. Sure, slightly faster, but does that really outweigh security of personal belongings that people value?
  4. Terrorists won't have their bomb materials, better scrutiny for checked luggage - that sounds good, but see #1 above.
  5. I agree with both of the cons that they list, and because of the hassle of flying, a lot of people already are switching, especially for short trips. Why bother if you have to get to the airport 2 hours earlier and it takes forever to get your bags once you land?
  6. Compromise solution - I think it is good, because it answers the concern of important and valuable items getting stolen, getting damaged, etc. by baggage handlers, but are you really going to store every person's digital camera in one of these bins? Seriously?
Now for a couple of thoughts of my own:

When the ideas of banning carry-on baggage first started floating around the time of the liquid ban, I thought of two HUGE reasons why people are hesitant to check their bags. (As someone who 90% of the time traveled with only a carry-on suitcase, it didn't take long to figure out). Why check your bag when you can't trust that it will make it to your destination with you?

Two big reasons - (1) all those stories on the news magazines about things getting stolen from checked luggage and (2) bags get lost all the time! Why would you check your bag when the chances are so high that it won't be there with you?

I noticed that this editorial never once mentioned lost bags. Did they travel in the airports during the liquid ban? Did they notice just how many people did not get their bags when they got off the plane? We stood in LaGuardia at the baggage carousel (well, the mini one) and not only was it 4 rows of people deep, but I listened to all these people talking to the guy working for United talking about how their bags weren't there. They could track down some of them, but they were all coming in on later flights because of the baggage volume. Our systems can't handle the volume of checked baggage we have now, and if we have to check in MORE, it's not going to work! Not to mention that, since things often get lost, all the travel experts tell you to travel with a spare set of clothes so that you don't get stuck at your destination with nothing. Or if you're going to a wedding or something, you don't exactly want to check all your dress clothes. The only answer the editorial seems to have is that the airports can figure it out through the "ingenuity of aviation planners." That's not all that comforting, as it's quite vague...

I think a lot of people who can afford it are going to end up turning to luggage forwarding services. Maybe that's the way to go. Although I'm concerned that they just leave it at the destination like a hotel - what do they do at the destination point? I'm curious in case I ever need to turn to that. But should a ban like this ever go through, the dilemma is then what to do with my digital SLR? No way is that getting checked in, but do I trust someone else to carry it? I will be quite annoyed if I can't have that on my person.

And on the electronics point, it sounded from the introduction to the editorial that they were not in favor of electronics being allowed on the planes. The description of their proposed carry-on was "travel documents, keys, vital medications, reading materials and any other minimal items that are allowed." Who is going to draw that line? Do you include cell phones? Blackberries? PDAs? What if you allow cell phones and not blackberries and someone has a combo one? Do you allow laptops? Digital cameras? If you allow a small digital camera, how do you exclude an SLR (or the bag you need to carry it in)? Handheld video games? iPods? Are electronics "minimal items"? If they are, does it depend on size? Argh, you can tell what items I carry that are important to me... (Seriously, do they intend for the same "ban" to exist on international flights? 15 hours to Asia with NONE of your belongings? That would be a nightmare.)

Anyway, now that I have been thorougly annoyed by this article, I'm going to see what's in the articles I pulled out. Usually I enjoy reading the Times since I ignore all the real "news" articles. For me, this is a travel article. But it's got me really annoyed. I understand the logic and the simplicity behind the idea, but thinking about it realistically, I don't think a carry-on ban can legitimately be proposed unless our baggage handling system is dramatically improved so that we can be sure that items aren't stolen and bags aren't lost as frequently as they are now.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Panda Cam

I LOVE CNN.

Thank you so much for sponsoring the Atlanta panda cam so we can watch Lun Lun.  My only request is sound and then it would be amazing.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sad News

This is absolutely heartbreaking:
 
 
Poor Ya Ya.

Comments

I'm still a little annoyed at the comments Michael got about his dress (and as edited, not to his face). Telling him he should be taking care of his one dress? What was he supposed to do? Sense the eggs and fly through the air to catch them in mid-air to save the dress? I mean, seriously, how can you tell a designer that he needs to watch over and take care of his "one dress" when someone else is wearing it and they are walking down the street? Seriously.

You can tell what I have on in the background.

Yay for Jai

That Jai Rodriguez-Brian McKnight duet was so awesome. Soooooo good. It's the only one I've really cared about so far. Sooooooo good.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

More Random Thoughts

US Weekly, Sept. 18 issue, p. 24. Check out Jamie Lynn's facial expression. It's hilarious.

Random Thoughts

... as I work from home tonight:

1. Yay! Design Star got renewed for a second season!

2. I am worried for Justice because it is in such a competitive timeslot (Lost, Criminal Minds, Biggest Loser [I think]). I really like the show, but it has gotten mixed reviews. It's so entertaining to watch and I love that they tell you the truth at the end. I can't wait until they get someone guilty off.

3. Jessica Simpson has made the US Weekly cover 2 weeks in a row now. From "A New Love for Jess" to the Sept. 18 cover of "DUMPED!" Hmm.

4. I am glad I have something mindless like Celebrity Duets to play while I am working.

5. The problem with an evolving organizational style/method of your own is that, since it takes time to figure out exactly how to do it right, everything is a mess as you are in the process of figuring it out.

6. Today I got a salad for lunch. The guy heard "feta" when I said "cheddar" but that is ok because I like feta. I was starving, yet about 2/3 through the salad, I couldn't go any further. Those salad bowls are packed full. Unlike when I go to the pay per ingredient places...

7. I loved Kayne's dress on Project Runway. Maybe it showed up better on TV. Maybe I just don't understand couture. But I loved Kayne's dress. I will admit that, as much as I like Michael, his dress was just okay. It was nice when they tucked those "flaps" in. Laura's definitely looked better in Paris. I was just glad to see Vincent finally leave, so the people I liked were saved. Uli's was good, but while I think she's good, I'm never overly excited about most of the designs. I hated Jeffrey's dress at first, but I think after seeing it a few more times, it is growing on me. I still like Kayne's better though...

8. I started listening to podcasts while working. It's actually kind of nice having Tim Gunn streaming in my ears while doing work. Does anyone have any recommendations for free podcasts that I don't need iTunes or anything special to listen?

9. I wish I went to the premiere of the View so I could win a free cruise.

10. Yay for Threshold reruns on Sci-Fi! I miss that show. :(

Withdrawal

Every time today that I have tried to spell the word "withdrawal" on this natural keyboard that I use at work, it comes up as "withdrwal."  EVERY TIME.  I have been using this keyboard for months.  I find the keys harder to press and my typing speed slower on this natural keyboard, but the ergonomics are definitely better.  So it's a trade-off: softer keys + more accurate + faster typing vs. not scrunching my shoulderblades together.  *shrug*

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New Panda Cub!

I don't usually put any punctuation in post titles, but I am beyond giddy (at work) that Lun Lun had a cub! YAYAYYAYYYYY!!!!!!!!!   So much anticipation, so much waiting, yayyyyy!!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Design Star

I kept seeing ads for HGTV's Design Star all summer but never flipped it on. Turned on HGTV during the end of the first episode today and now I'm completely sucked in to the Labor Day marathon. Oops.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

On the Map

Ooh, the Hong Kong map marker disappeared (only a limited number stored) and there's a new one from Perth. This is fun!

Searches

Some recent searches:

Restaurants in Chinatown Chicago
My personal favorites are Joy Yee's (for tapioca freeze and a huge menu), Penang (for Malaysian and good for large groups) and Evergreen (for all types of Chinese food, also good for groups). There's also the relatively new Saint's Alp Teahouse which I have gone to in both Hong Kong and Chicago which is fun.

Breakfast Restaurants in Chicago
I'm not a big breakfast person. The last time I was in Chicago, we mostly got muffins from Fox and Obel for breakfast (they're really big, there's also a cafe if you don't want muffins). But I do have some good suggestions: in Streeterville, there are West Egg Cafe (love this place but so crowded on weekends, they make good turkey burgers and corned beef hash) and Cambridge House (sort of the back-up for me if West Egg was too crowded, still good stuff), and over in the West Loop, Wishbone (good chicken andouille hash). All these restaurant recs are in the sidebar I believe, but can't hurt to test my memory.

Restaurants in Chicago
A little less specific and I'm not going to list all of my favorites, so I will refer to the sidebar.

Pronounce Corbeille
*shrug* My French pronunciation sucks.

Tapas Restaurants in Chicago
Cafe Iberico. Never tried Ba-ba-reeba. Unpleasant hospitality experience at Emilio's.

Dell Technical Support
This is funny because the search came from Dell (hi! I'm writing on my Dell right now!) and it went to my QVC entry.

Statcounter Map
I like it. It's fun. I plan to look at it when I finish this list.

Kyle XY
One of my favorite summer TV shows. Highest rated series ABC Family has ever had. It's really good and I hope it comes out on DVD. Highly recommend.

What I find funny about these searches is that there are 4 Chicago restaurant searches. One came from Chicago, from a service provider that I believe was also used at my old building. Another was from Chicago, another was from a government office in DC. Another says Maryland, but the address to me looks like Illinois. Why did all these Chicago restaurant searches suddenly come here? I never even mentioned all the restaurants we went to last weekend in Chicago or that I was even there! So strange!

I love international visitors. My current stat map shows visitors from Buenos Aires, Wellington NZ, Ottawa, Dublin, London and Hong Kong. Of these, the only place I've been is Hong Kong, but I would love to visit all the rest! Speaking of Hong Kong, I started doing my random photo of the day thing on the photoblog again. Let's see how long I can keep it up!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Neighbors

I haven't complained about neighbor noise in a long time. Not since Chicago, really.

The past few days, the bass through our shared wall has been incredibly loud. Ladies and gentlemen, I think we have a new neighbor. Joy.

At least I'm not stuck at home studying for exams and it's just more of an annoyance. I was thinking that if it were to stop raining, maybe it would be better, because then they would go out, but then I thought about how winter is coming.

Hmm.

Pocky

This doesn't sound very good... and it also seems like a flavor I would not particularly want to try. Has anyone has it? Is it any good?

I guess I am also comparing it to this amazing dessert I had at The Modern today. Mmmm... it was really really good. So good that I keep unintentionally dreaming about it.

You Are Chocolat Orange Pocky

Your attitude: funky and flavorful
Rich and deep - yet zingy and zesty
You are the perfect partner in crime

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Quiz Overload

Took a bunch of quizzes while watching Celebrity Duets. Here's some of the answers.

I thought my element was always water...

Your Element Is Earth

You excel at planning and strategizing.
You could be a champ at chess or Survivor.

Well grounded, you are able to be realistic and rationalize.
On the inside, you have a hard core. It's tough to phase you.

You are super productive, and you are able to think anything through.
Focused and super charged, your instincts are a good guide for your next step.


How is this the DARK color purple I said I liked?

You Are Lilac

You are a very innocent and pure person. Ethics matter to you.
Your friends consider you a great listener, and you often play therapist to your friends.
You are good at drawing out truths in conversation, however painful they may be.
Non judgmental and patient - people feel like they can tell you anything!


I don't think this one is that accurate either:

Your Learning Style: Unconventional and Insightful

You are very intuitive and ingenious. You're attracted to any field of study that lets you break the rules.

You Should Study:

Art
Art history
Architecture
Comparative religions
Eastern religion
Education
Music
Philosophy


And apparently my color of passion is pink. Sounds like Victoria's Secret to me when I hear pink.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Couscous

Dinner today was teriyaki salmon and wild mushroom & herb couscous. Yum. I like cooking, but after work, there's usually never enough time!

It's definitely getting into autumn. Starbucks dropped the pomegranate juice blend tazo drink from their menu and added pumpkin lattes. I miss the pomegranate drink. Summer's really over.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Travel and Costco

A year or so ago, I started a list of the dates and destinations to which I had traveled, recording airline flights and hotel lodging and the like. I can't find the file (it's probably on my old computer), so today I have been putting together a new list. I like lists. This is fun.

Today I also went to Costco, mostly for an eye and contact lens check-up. I miss having lunch at Costco. I don't mean the pizza or chicken bake stuff; I mean the samples. Back in high school, I used to head over to Costco with my mom after school whenever I didn't have afterschool extracurriculars, and would eat sample snacks. I never really ate lunch in high school (I don't know how I did this - I rarely ate lunch, I didn't go to the bathroom the entire school day - how is this possible?), but would eat after school or when I got home. So Costco was perfect! Lots of fun picking up all different samples, and inevitably, buying something sampled. Yum.

I had lunch today, but also went to Costco for samples. They had turkey breast, chicken andouille sausage, breaded chicken tenderloins (these weren't ready when I was there), potato chips (reminding me that I don't really like potato chips), chocolate chip cookies and these multigrain crackers topped with crab salad. Bought the multigrain crackers. Can bring them to work and eat them with the cheese wedges that I got from Costco. A good snack.

I can't find some of the itineraries I am looking for, such as one of my interviewing trips to San Francisco. (You can see I am back to the travel topic). I think it is because some of the itineraries were sent via link to those travel reservation sites and not directly in email. Bah. I don't know if I saved printouts of them. Will need to check at home.

I never felt like I traveled much over the past few years. But looking at my list right now, there are tons of entries for law school. Then I realized it is just all the flying back and forth from Chicago to NYC. That counts, but it doesn't count. Oh well. Will go to try to discover more pieces of the past. Celebrity Duets is on tonight!

Kyle XY

Tonight was the Kyle XY finale. I haven't seen it yet (it's recorded on my DVR at home, but I'm at my parents' house and we're still only in the first half of the show's marathon from today), but I am proud to say that I got my mom's entire side of the family hooked on the show.

I told my mom, who really liked it on the ABC encores. My mom told her sister. While at my grandmother's apartment, I flipped it on and everyone got sucked in. And then, of course, I told everyone about the scheduling of the marathon.

I feel so proud. :) I'm trying to get people hooked on Psych as well, but that hasn't had the same type of results yet and now the summer season is over. Let's see what fall shows I get to advocate for!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sneeze

I can't stop watching this panda video. It's adorable. It makes me smile.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Peninsula

My random photo selector (currently, a couple of clicks on the screensaver) chose this photo for me to share with you today.


This is the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong. We went on a tour on our first full day in HK, and this is where the tour met. It's a really nice hotel and was directly across the street from our hotel (the Sheraton). Our hotel room windows looked out at the Peninsula and out toward the harbor, so we saw it every single day. I don't have that much to say about it since it's not where we stayed, but it's still a great looking hotel and my random photo of the day! (Adding some color to the blog...)