Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Incredibles

I'm so glad that the GA promo is still playing on  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.


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?


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....


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


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.


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


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.


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. :(


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!


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


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.



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