ready, set, go

So last week I false started and thought classes started on the 26th. Duh. They actually start this week. I did almost everything I wanted to do on my break: go boarding, file stuff, get renter's insurance, reformat my computer, change out the lighting in our room, do scholarship research, read, clean out the storage room, major house cleaning, dump stuff at goodwill and edit some video. Sounds really lame but getting that long list of stuff done was a huge relief. Now I'm almost ready for the next wave of school hell - my last semester of course work which includes Pedagogy, Research Methods and Thesis Proposal. On top of that, instructing the department's writing lab and doing Toastmasters. I have a feeling all the other fun volunteer stuff like the SF Int'l Asian American Film Fest are going to have to rest this year. I think I might've bitten off more than I can chew but I don't have a choice as my visa requires I register for a certain number of courses. I'm poor and busy - my life for many years yet to come.


buy this please

Not sure if you can view this link or what but I need to sell this and I hope to hell for more than $5. It's a print autographed by most of the US Olympic women's gymnastics team including Carly Patterson and Courtney Kupets. Jason also signed it.


Hot 97 Miss Jones show suspended!

Yup Tedman is right. The details are at http://www.hiphopmusic.com/. Show is suspended indefinitely. Sprint and McDonalds pulled advertising though the official statement of the former was a little weak. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service also pulled their ads and probably had the strongest statement. Scroll to the second post on that site to see it. What pisses me off still is that, according to the web site, those who called in to support the show were allowed to speak while those who called to denounce it were screened out. Of course that is to be expected and it's not hard to get around that but thousands of listeners I'm sure are getting the false impression that most people still want the show back. It'll be really really interesting to see what happens next. I just hope Miss Info isn't out of a job for putting up a fight with that bitch Miss Jones who verbally attacked her and accused her of thinking she's superior becase she's Asian. That exchange of words was in itself something to protest. I'm also disappointed to see the FCC taking such a long time to come up with a response to all this. Janet flashes a nipple and they're all over that. These imbeciles blast out racial epithets and ridicule the victims of a tragedy 150x the scale of 9/11 in terms of body count and they're still sitting around shuffling paper and asking each other what they should do. Just pathetic.

Jin vs. Miss Jones

Check out rapper Jin's response to Hot 97/Miss Jones's "Tsunami Song". Damn this guy thinks fast huh?

I typically can't listen to hip hop, I guess mainstream hip hop to be more specific. I don't know if it's the cussing, misogyny, violence, all the talk about money and material things or a combination of the above. But I have to admit there are artists out there, like Jin, who really do use hip hop to convey a message and a positive and meaningful one at that. It's kinda refreshing to hear stuff like that. But when I turn on the radio and get to a hip hop station, that's just not what I tend to hear. I guess once artists hit the big time, important messages get lost and all that matters is appealing to rebellious teenagers (with an allowance to spend) in order to get more airtime.



Did some spa research in preparation for a friend's stagette in SF. Just pasting to share the info and see if I can paste a table and make it look decent.

Nob Hill Intl Orange Refresh Spa Radiance
Location 1075 California 2044 Fillmore 1130 Post 3061 Fillmore
Tel 345-2888 563-5000 563-2316 346-6281
massage 25min $60-65
massage 45min $75 $95
massage 50min $110-$120 $80-115 $85
massage 60min $95 $100/105/110
massage 75min $135
massage 80min $155-$165 $110-115
massage 90 min $130-145
wraps none $90-95 none
scrub 25min $65
scrub 50min $110
scrub 60min $135
scrub 75min $135
facials $115-165 $85-110 $80-110 $100/125/135+
manicures $33 $35 $25
pedicures $45 $60 $45
facilities and deals pool, deck, steamroom, sauna, jacuzzi, shower, steam and enjoy our redwood sundeck, fireplace lounge and some gourmet food and tea sauna and steam rooms, or relax with a special blend of tea; wet room wraps customized services, 3rd generation estheticians
Pros pool, deck, steamroom, sauna, jacuzzi, good reviews good reviews; free yoga 4:30-6 w/ 2 treatments clean, looks good, can bring own food and refreshments ** facial, massage, manicure $160 - 2hrs gratuities included in pkgs Good reviews
Cons sometimes busy esp saturdays by the pool, expensive, unpersonal indifferent service, tough parking $20/hr rushed, disinterested staff, lounge is tiny; no pool customer service issues, cookie cutter?; no pool nowhere private to rest between sessions; no pool or steam
CALL Max 7 massages and 2 facials at once, ~10 services per hour; Sat is busiest >5 people best book private $2K for 7 treatments. 2hours private time. Else book individually for <5;> 6 massages, 4 facials and 3 nail techs at once, 10 rooms total, relax area in locker room and by water bar, no private booking 2-3 massages and 5 facials @once, book 1-2 months ahead, no pool or steam



So there are something like 150,000 people dead, thousands of children orphaned and even more people left homeless as a result of the tsunami. Whole towns have been swept away, people are injured, diseased and starving and aid workers can hardly keep up with the need for help.

And one morning radio show in NYC, Hot 97 hosted by Miss Jones, decided to "make light of the situation" by airing a song with lyrics like:

"And all at once, you can hear the screaming chinks.
And no one was saved from the wave.
There were Africans drowning, little Chinamen swept away.
You can hear God laughing, 'Swim you bitches swim.'"
"So now you're screwed. It's the tsunami,
You better run and kiss your ass away. Go find your mommy.
I just saw her float by, a tree went through her head.
And now your children will be sold. Child slavery."
Listen to it now

When an Asian American co-host, Miss Info, said on the air that she couldn't support or get involved in the production of that piece, Miss Jones who is African American went off on a tirade about how she (Miss Info) is always separating herself from the rest of the crew because she is Asian and thinks she is superior. Miss Info couldn't even get a word in edgewise. Listen to the clip of the argument. In it, you might hear another host, Todd Lynn say "I'm going to start shooting Asians."

More info at http://www.asianmediawatch.net/missjones/update2.html

The station issued an apology on its website, but not on the air. The hosts donated a week's pay to tsunami relief (probably their slap on the wrist at the advice of their PR manager) but have not made on-air apologies.

If this pisses you off (and frankly I'd be pissed off if it didn't piss you off) write directly to the station and to the FCC.

Hot 97 WQHT-FM
395 Hudson Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-229-9797
Fax: 212-929-8559
E-mail: hot97@hot97.com
E-mail: morningshow@hot97.com

Barry Mayo, General Manager, Hot 97 WQHT-FM
John Dimick, Program Director, Hot 97 WQHT-FM

Emmis Communications
One Emmis Plaza
40 Monument Circle, Suite 700
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Phone: 317-266-0100
Fax: 317-631-3750
E-mail: IR@emmis.com
Jeffrey H Smulyan, Chairman and CEO, Emmis Communications

Federal Communications Commission
Enforcement Bureau, Investigations and Hearings Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, D.C. 20554
Phone: 1-888-CALL-FCC
E-mail: fccinfo@fcc.gov
Web: www.fcc.gov/parents/content.html



A while back Yahoo upgraded its instant messenger to include what they call LaunchCast radio. I found it really cool. You could customize the "my radio station" with your preferences and as it played songs, you could rank them or rank the artist or album so that it knows next time whether play it again. So I put in some preferences - house, progressive, 80s, pop, some folksy and alternative stuff. If something comes on that you don't like you can rank the song "never play again" and then hit the skip button. Here's the thing though. You get a limited number of song skips unless you pay for LaunchCast PLUS. Ah, always a catch. For a while I found the thing pretty much played stuff I liked. But recently it's been pumping out everything I hate - rap, really horrible recent hip hop garbage and, for the love of whatever god is out there, country. Guess their goal for the new year was to increase sales of LaunchCast PLUS. Those bastards.


media, ethnicity and poker?

Here's an interesting topic and written about by a Canadian Poker player Daniel Negreanu whom I only sorta like. He's a bit cocky. But I gotta give it to him for bringing the issue of media coverage of Asian poker players to light even though I think he meant to say Canada is a mosaic rather than a melting pot as the latter infers that people forego their culture to blend in. Also to say racism was a non-issue would be overly dismissive. Anyways, it is a good read.

Thanks to Blue Hoodie for this link originally posted on his blog.


hmm this would've made for a nice thesis topic.


deadly weapon?

Sorry it's been a while since my last post. I got all caught up with stuff like getting an oil change, tire rotation, buying texts, getting my car jumpstarted after the battery died, and doing bridesmaid duties. So Friday night we had a chance to go out. I was the DD so I have a pretty clear memory of an interesting turn of events that took place before we even stepped into the club. We headed to Mixed Elements at Element Lounge on Geary @ Polk. Typically my favorite Bay Area party with good house and progressive music and friendly mixed crowd in the late 20s to 30s range. But that night we had quite an anomoly. As we got to the cashier I saw that she was having an argument with some drunk lady which went like this:

cashier: You have to pay $10 cover
drunk lady: I'm invited. I know people here.
cashier: If you know people, you'd be on the list. You are holding a drink. You can't just walk in here and have a drink and not pay cover. (someone by the bar I assume had bought and handed her a drink)

(dirty looks are exchanged)

What came next completely caught me off guard. The drunk lady wound up and threw her drink, which was contained in a REALLY heavy bottomed Maker's Mark glass, at the cashier's face from about 3' away. And damn she had good aim. It smacked her right on the cheek and the drink splashed all over her, and all over me. Then somehow the drunk lady landed in a heap at my feet. It happened so fast I didn't know what to do. I figured the bouncer at the door would just grab her. The thought also crossed my mind that if I hung onto her hair or swung a punch at her myself (just for the hell of it) she might just reach up and deck me one too (and she's already proven her strength and aim). Since we hadn't even started our night and the boys were thirsty I made the split second decision to do absolutely nothing. Next thing you know, the lady gets up and bolts out the door with the bouncer running after her.

I went to chat with the girls who took her place at the end of the night. They claim the bouncer intentionally made a half assed effort at chasing her down because she really did know some of the club staff. So effectively he was allowing her to get away. So that was our Friday night adventure. The rest of the night was great save for James' breathalyzer breaking down. Excellent music great crowd.


wearing white

2 days ago, Simon learned why it's important not to wear white when you go to get your passport photos taken. I laughed until I started wheezing when I saw this. And then so did Eva when she had to sign it. Other tips: let them know if you're getting it done for a Canadian passport as the photo has to be cut to size; don't smile (or the photo might get rejected); don't forget to have a doctor friend endorse one of them.

passport photo Posted by Hello

lost disk

I recently inherited a Sony Clie SJ30. Unfortunately the software that came with it is missing. No big deal I said to myself. You can always find this kinda stuff online just like drivers and what not. I was so wrong. You have to pay if you want any of the Intellisync software that originally came with the device.

With my IT ego larger than usual after just having installed W2K on a mean old computer I think to myself, I'll just search those geek forums. There is a workaround for everything. The solution I discover seems to be to just install the basic Palm Desktop. So I do that. Reboot, restart Outlook and look for that little hotsynch logo but it's not there. Back to the PalmOne web site. It reads:
The version of Palm Desktop that you can download from our website may not include conduits for synchronizing with Microsoft Outlook. These conduits are available on the CD that came with your handheld.
You bastards, why isn't it on the version you can download? If I'm downloading I obviously dont have the f*cking CD that came with my handheld.


finally some Apple jokes

I was starting to believe that everyone on my campus, including students and faculty, has an iPod and ibook. I can't go a day without someone in my department singing the praises of Apple products. Despite the fact that I was an iPod billboard for Halloween, I've never owned anything made by Apple and probably will never be able to afford such a product (or just have the sense not to be ripped off). In fact I'm completely Mac illiterate as my peers in the grad lounge can attest. But I have to give it to these Apple folks for digging themselves out of a marketing hole to suddenly become the arbiters of all that is cool. They really hired some stellar product marketing people, coughed up some big bucks and teamed up with some clever advertising folks. Take for instance the iPod. It is big, heavy and very expensive compared to similar products (but their ads are brilliant). Now the iPod Shuffle? Isn't that basically one of those little jump drives with a play button and a plug for headphones? It's marketed as some sort of iPod lite, but really it's so stripped of features it's barely an mp3 player anymore. They named it Shuffle because (I couldn't believe my eyes), it has no screen. And those geniuses built their marketing of the product entirely around something it lacks.

That said, I still want this free iPod Mini because I'm Chinese and I like getting things free.

Here's some sarcastic commentary on the whole Apple craze. (you'll have to mouse around til you get the expand to original size button to read the gifs).



stuff for sale

I cannot believe I discovered 2 microwave ovens in our storage closet. Obviously it was in need of a thorough re-organization. Got some stuff for sale now. Hopefully the sale of these things covers the cost of my textbooks:

So ugly it hurts Alcatel ADSL Modem - free

office chair - $30

microwave - $30

hamster ball with docking station, wheel and playpen - $5/free/$15


I'm back

My last 3 or 4 days in Vancouver were relatively uneventful. Mother Nature decided that, rather than give me the gift of snow before my arrival so I could hit the slopes, the snow would come down in heaps a few days before my departure. And it came down not just on the mountain, but on my street and in my driveway leaving me stranded at home like I was for NYE last year. The suburb I live in has a whopping 9 snowplows/salt trucks which means that the hilly side streets I need to maneuver typically don't get cleared and I have to wait for it to melt away on its own.

But hey that's OK, because I ended up spending a total of 19 hours reformatting my parent's computer. I would liken the whole experience to running a marathon while suffering from asthma, inner ear infection, diarrhea and two broken ankles. Everything that could go wrong did. The ancient computer wouldnt boot up from the disc (yes I reset it to start from my CD drive in the bios) which meant making floppies, one of which ended up not working so I had to make the boot discs twice. After the OS install, my video card, sound card and NIC were not recognized. Luckily, per Tiger's advice, I had already downloaded the NIC driver before reformatting. It would have been game over for me if I hadn't done that. Next came the windows updates. Keep in mind that since my video card wasn't working everything on my screen looked like some abstract artwork. I had 44 updates (ie patches, service packs and what not) to download and install. For whatever reason, I could do only about 2 -3 at a time else the download or install would time out and I'd have to start over. That took up the bulk of my time. Meanwhile I discovered that dragging and dropping and moving windows around wasn't possible. But I kept at it. Download, install, reboot, repeat. On day two some small miracle happened. Everything looked normal again and there was sound. After I completed almost all of the updates, drag and drop began to work too. And then it was over. I went ahead and did all the easy stuff (re-installing the software) and then spent a few hours re-organizing the mess of files all stashed in one directory. I think I deserve some sort of trophy for all that.

Now it's time to reformat my own computer. But first I must tackle cleaning out our storage closet.


computers suck

I have no idea what my parents did to fuck up their computer the way it is. Pop ups galore, clicking, dragging and resizing windows is not doable, highlighting items is impossible and everything else is slow as hell. So I decide to lose my computer formatting virginity. I would consider myself somewhat technical, short of programming in anything beyond (really shoddy) HTML, though in a former life I had learned VB. So I decided to first go ahead and back up everything. Low and behold I realized that the freak who worked on my parents computer previously shoved everything into directories called "back up", instead of putting them back into My Documents and Favorites and such, and didn't tell my dad this and he, of course, had too big of an ego to ask how to find these files without using the painfully slow search function that the freak recommended. I was kinda wondering why the My Documents folder was so bare. And there in the "back up" directory this fellow made was a gigantic mish mash of files including family photos, spreadsheets, word docs and mp3s. Yes, turns out my dad didn't know how to organize things into folders and, again, had too much pride to ask. So it took me damn near two hours to sort this stuff out partially so I could burn the stuff onto CDs. I still have half of it in a directory called "unfiled shit" because I just can't deal with it right now.

Now I've got my Win 2K Cd in hand and ready to go but need to make some boot disks just in case. If things go well I'll have to go on a scavenger hunt for all the software my parents have lost and install all that, then all the bits and pieces like winzip and Acrobat. If things go not so well ie. I just screw up the whole shebang or the computer doesn't find my NIC and I can't get online... well I guess that means this could be my last blog for a little while. I really really hate doing IT stuff. I derive no satisfaction whatsoever from making computers work better, installing stuff or setting stuff up. I can't believe people do this for a living. Be nice to your IT and desktop support team at work, I'm beginning realize how frustrating their job is taming both computers and uncooperative people.


homemade hockey signs

I gotta make this fast because it's second intermission but I just had to record some of the home made signs I've seen so far in this Jr. Hockey final:

"Da da Canada, nyet nyet Soviet"
"I missed math to be on TSN"
"Team Canada fueled by Canadian beef"
"Take Silver, No"

It's interesting how hockey crazy we are in this country. Damn near every commercial has a hockey theme to it - JVC, Ford, Tim Hortons, Robitussin, Royal Bank, Chevrolet.

Alright so after an unbelievable 2nd period where we scored 4 goals, 3rd period was a matter of playing keep away with the Russians and throwing in a couple shots on the Russian goal just for good measure. Unlike US hockey coverage which cuts to some other sport's highlights as soon as the buzzer goes off, our game was followed by neverending replays, analysis, commentary and interviews with the players. Hard to believe the guys are under 19. They must have some serious media training because, not only are they humble (unlike certain athletes south of the border), they are all incredibly articulate and speak with maturity and class that you just don't expect from a bunch of teenage guys. So congrats to Team Canada and let's hope to hell we have NHL to watch next year. Canada cannot take any more hockey deprivation, at least I can't.