Monday, December 31, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
That's about all that's happening in my life. It's not snowing in LA, although it has been like 60 every day, which is kind of cold, I guess. Or it would be if it weren't sunny. :p
Ummmm, here is a video that never fails to entertain me, if you all haven't seen it already. And here are some crazy bug photos. The end!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Happy Hannukah....to whoever here might celebrate it?
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Everyone's favorite new Iowa resident, Warren, looking very science-y and Yale-y in his fashionable Yale sweatshirt. Has this picture been around for awhile, or was it taken specifically for the finance booklet? Did you have any idea you'd be so internationally famous and probably responsible for millions in science and engineering donations, Warren?
Also, does anyone else know any of the 07 donors listed? One of the girls lived on my floor in entryway E of Vanderbilt freshman year (they called themselves "the Asshole Suite" in typically charming fashion...), but no one else rings a bell. And how is there already a donor from 08? Talk about over-achieving...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Here's the deal:
1) 05 and 06 are having a joint tailgate, and they'd like to invite 07 to join in!
2) people are going shopping in New Haven on Friday night as a small group to get supplies. These will be standard, simple tailgate fare: hotdogs, hamburgers, paper plates, chips, cheese, etc. If you're going to be around and you'd like to get in on it, email Katie (Dana).
3) booze: as of right now, it's looking like BYOB so that everyone can have the kind of beer/girly drinks they like. If you're flying in and can't bring something, Mike LoPresti is taking drink orders to get on Friday night during the shopping (email him). Also, there will be at least one dispenser thing full of hot schnoccolate.
4) if you're planning on coming, shoot Katie an email -- she's trying to get an idea of numbers. There will be probably be a suggested contribution somewhere between $5-20 (depending on whether we go with BYOB or a keg).
5) I went to the Harvard-Penn game on Saturday to scope out the competition. It is going to be sweet to watch our team/band pound theirs into submission.
*Either Jenny or I will update you as things unfold (e.g. final alcohol decision) -- so excited to see everyone!!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I'm the new Voice of the Trenton Devils!
I'm sooo excited! The pay is meagre, to say the least, but I'll be the play-by-play man for the rest of the 72 game season, plus any playoff games we manage to get into. I'll be traveling down to Florida and throughout the east coast, while also handling PR for the team. I even have interns working for me (which just might be a little awkward, considering I was an intern just this past Friday).
I'll be sending out an email in about a week with my new email address and links and the like, but if you're interested here's the website for the team: www.trentondevils.com. My first game on the air is next weekend, and all the broadcasts will be free of charge over the air (I'll have details for how to get them, as well). The biggest bummer of all will be that I won't be at the Game because of it =(, but I'll be there in spirit and try to be in Princeton for the game there.
I'm also moving to Philly, since its really close to Trenton and I'd rather live in a big city. Does anyone know any other Yalies who are in the City of Brotherly Love? And even better yet, might be looking for a roommate? Let me know.
I hope everyone's doing well! Lets see more updates =).
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
My position is "Museum Aide I (Site Manager)". I'm the only one at the museum all week so it's my job to give all the tours, run the gift shop, and now I'm learning how to do the financial stuff too. And starting next week, the museum will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for the winter so I'll have more time to help with the cataloging and researching.
I thought I'd be lonely being here alone all week, but it's not bad at all! I always have really interesting people coming for tours and there have been LOTS of German tourists. And we all know how much I love Germans. But actually, it's really cool to get a chance to practice my German and these old German tourists are usually thrilled to find someone speaking German, even though my Deutsch ist pretty terrible.
So I'm happy here in my little museum in the cutest city ever. You should all come visit me! See you all so soooon at The Game! I'm getting in some time Friday evening and plan on partying straight through Sunday morning. Hope you're all down for that!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Anyway. Some PhD comics I found funny.
Newton's Three Laws of Graduation:
Also I watched 28 Weeks Later two weeks ago and I was still feeling the effects of it throughout the week. Scary zombie-like infected people --> seeing vulnerable points of break-in in my apartment --> fear of people breaking into my apartment (which given the number of creepy guys who talk to me or follow me from (and to, once) the bus stop correlated in my head as a valid fear!)
I'm fine now. And I want to see 28 Days Later. The Game is so much sooner than I think it is!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Also I was planning on sneaking into the Bowl with the band. Thoughts?
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Last night I dreamt that a bunch of us ypmb 07ers were hanging out in Harvard Yard, drinking wine with President Levin, the dearly departed Larry Summers and a smallish group of other Ivy alumns (extras). Eventually Summers starts badmouthing Yale and we get appropriately righteous, climbing up on some nearby scaffolding to sing "Bulldog." When we start to sing, I realize that we somehow didn't sing Bulldog at all, but BCY. Then, no, it wasn't BCY... it was my high school alma mater, and everyone started to realize that we weren't singing a Yale song and dropped out, leaving me the only one to finish the song.
Later in this dream the statues of Elihu Yale, John Harvard and (I shit you not) Abraham Lincoln were stalking me as I tried to make my way to the Harvard version of DUH urgent care to treat a concussion I got in some lecture hall. Long story.
If anyone has any sort of interpretation they'd like to share, go for it. As for me, I think it means too many application essays in too short a time.
Side note: the transition from Yale fight song to my original alma mater isn't actually that strange. The lyrics:
Although Yale has always favored
The violet's dark hue
And the gentle sons of Harvard
To the crimson rose are true
We will own the lily's splendor
Nor honor shall we lack
While Clarion stands defender
Of the orange and the black.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
Guess what I did yesterday. Went to the hardware store, bought a few mums (potted flowers, for you un-botanically inclined) for the apartment, carried the mums back to the apartment (ick), wrote two rough drafts of applications essays and watched a little TV. Notice, therefore, what I did not do: assist research.
Nope, I wasn't fired: Harvard had yesterday off. Columbus Day. I think graduate programs outside the school of arts and sciences had classes, but that's beside the point. What's with these pansies? Those of you with friends or classmates or whatever that went to It-Which-Must-Not-Be-Named might have known their schedule, but I was shocked. What days did we get off? Oh, right. Not days -- day. Martin Luther King Jr. Day only. Pretty hardcore, if I do say so myself.
Ben, I'm assuming that you guys had yesterday off as well, but is Yale in the minority or the majority here? Gilene, what did UCLA do? Iowa? Just curious. :o)
In other news, Michael got 2 tickets to game six of the Cleveland/Red Sox series via an online lottery -- we're both hoping A) the Red Sox win and B) they win slowly enough to make it to game 6. Wish us luck!
Monday, October 8, 2007
Anyway I guess I'll be at home for a few days, so Jenny and Diana, let's hang out!
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Are any of you going to The Game this year? It's about (past?) time to start looking at plane tickets and so I'm taking a poll...
I guess a poll isn't very blog-like, so I'll add a personal story to make up for it. My life is kinda boring, even in the celebrity gossip capital of America. In that spirit, though, I do have one story:
I went to a company party/dinner several weeks ago at my boss's house in the ritzier area of Santa Monica (not to be confused with the not-so-ritzy area of Santa Monica where I live). We only have 15 employees, so it was a pretty small party. As we were all arriving at his house, we passed an ambulance on its way out of the neighborhood. A while later, various reporters from People and Us magazine and so forth started ringing the doorbell, asking if we know anything, and paparazzi began to appear en masse, camping out in their cars with cameras and a spotlight. Turns out that my boss lives across the street from Owen Wilson, who apparently tried to off himself right before out party. So yeah, that was my recent brush with Hollywood greatness. I bet you're all impressed, right? :)
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I tried to shrug the thought off as I entered the music building, but as I descended the steps, the feeling of familiarity became even stronger. And as I moved to open the band room door, I paused for a second, my hand resting on the handle, to reflect.
Then it hit me.
By indirect contact, I have now touched the balls of the men of '07. Wow.
Friday, September 21, 2007
I just got to England and am almost settled in. My college, Pembroke, is exactly what I was hoping it might be: nice manicured lawns and gardens set amidst old (I mean old) buildings. It gives the word "picturesque" a new meaning. Quite exiting. Classes start on the 1st of October, but we're off to the Lake District for an orientation on Monday. Maybe I'll make my first friend there...
Anyway, I suppose when I get a chance I'll try to write something more comical or verbose as that seems to be the trend on this blog. In the meantime, here are some pictures from Greg and my Alaska trip (which was awesome) that we took in honor of Oh Sev. Two words for our next party: Glacier Luge. Enjoy!
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
And so I did.
The night started off with a bit of stalling, and then the opening group, "No Label". It was really confusing at first, 'cuz it was unclear that they were called No Label and didn't just not have a label.
No Label on MySpace
Don't be frightened at how unattractive they seem in their picture...
They weren't bad. They were generic, but pretty good for live! And if you look at their profiles, most of them are more legit than random girls who have spent too much time fashioning themselves scantily clad and dancing to music videos in their living room.
But yes, the one and only, MC Hammer.
It was pretty lame 'cuz he stalled for, I dunno, 30 minutes after the last act. At least. But whatever, it's the Hammer.
- the great dancing era that was the 80s and 90s
- a random safe sex song interlude "I've got a condom in my pocket, 'cuz we be practicin' safe sex...SAFE SEX...safe sex...SAFE SEX..."
- seeing people older than me in Woodrow Wilson Plaza (right outside the Ronald Reagan building) doing the hand motions to "Too Legit to Quit".
- how calm the MC (not hammer, of the concert) was in retrospect, when he had to stall for 30 minutes (at least) keeping the crowds interested and in the area even though it was hot and boring and MC Hammer was primping or something...
K so I wrote this draft a while ago until I remembered to go home and put in a youtube video. That finally happened. :-)
ps - Little Richard will be performing later this month.
Jenny will probably be the most excited to hear this, but I found out I wasn't the only Yalie with the team this year! Matt Cohen and Brad Mills are both with the squad, and Joe Zappala had played with them before. There's going to be a friendly face in the locker room, and that's going to make this internship a little easier.
I also got back from Yale this weekend, and it seems like everyone in the band has broken up with each other. Funny how that works, isn't it?
Are people using the google group? I keep forgetting about it, but I guess I should check it more.
Oh, and does anyone have any good podcasts to recommend? I've discovered the commute goes quicker when there's discussion in the background.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Since he decided to be all mysterious in his post, I'll explain the offer he got; legal assistant work in a law firm. He'll be working for lawyers who represent start-up companies that create medical devices and techniques. I don't think he knows exactly what the job entails, but it sounds like it includes working directly with clients as well as some administrative stuff. He hasn't taken the offer yet - has a couple of interviews this week with other places - but he probably will. The only down side is that the firm is in Palo Alto, which would mean he would have an hour-long commute.
I've accepted an offer from a non-profit that manages affordable housing and provides all sorts of services to formerly homeless people, such as employment training and tenant organizing. It's a really great organization, I like the people I'll be working with, and the position itself should be very stimulating. My title will be Fund Development Associate, so I'll be writing grants, talking to individual donors, and organizing fundraising events for the organization. I think writing grants will be really interesting because it will mean doing research on homelessness issues, and talking to donors and organizing events means I'll get to interact with a lot of people. Overall, the position is a good way to start out in the nonprofit world.
I don't start for another few weeks, though, so I have to find ways not to go stir crazy. As Chris explained, sitting around the apartment got boring pretty quickly. I'm looking for volunteer opportunities, including a trip to the food bank tonight. I cook often, partly because we don't have enough money to go out to eat, but mostly because I like big projects. I've made calzones, soup, and veggie burgers from scratch, and lots of different kinds of pasta. We also frequently check craigslist and other websites to find free things to do in the city. Last Sunday, we went to what we thought was just your average Labor Day celebration in Golden Gate Park, and it turned out to be a huge reunion of the "Summer of Love." I thought the Summer of Love was 1969, but apparently it was '67 because this was the 40th reunion. All sorts of crazy people were there - it was great. They were handing out love branches, blowing bubbles, setting up teepees, trance-dancing, hula-hooping, and more. Oh, hippies.
Today we got to go on a tour of the Anchor Brewery today for free! I don't like many of the Anchor brews, to be honest, but it was a pretty interesting tour, we got tons of samples at the end (everybody who took the tour was very buzzed), and we met some very nice people.
So that's our San Francisco experience in a nutshell. Although we've been spending far too much time alone in our apartment (we don't have many friends yet), we haven't gotten too sick of each other. I'm a little sick of watching TV, but frankly, I can always watch more episodes of Scrubs. Thanks, Jamie, for getting me hooked on it.
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
But what does it mean to the unemployed? How is one supposed to enjoy a nice picnic in the park when (s)he is not contributing anything to society? What does a "day off" from lack of gainful employment mean, anyway?
Ladies and gentlemen, yesterday I sat on my ass watching about a dozen episodes of Scrubs. The only thing that made this different from any other day was about a half dozen episodes of Scrubs. I thought about Seaver's "Jobless in April" facebook group, and how I could start a new one called "Jobless in September".
I think the worst part of it all is that all my teacher friends have gone back to school. While bumming around for the summer is socially acceptable, spending an entire September day in your underwear is for losers.
Oh, by the way, I got a job today.
Monday, September 3, 2007
It was pretty weird that they went from normal club fare randomly to Nirvana (which everyone loved of course anyway) and Apache...with people just jumping around like a band party or something...=P
I added a new section to the page where we can put favorite links! I dunno why I decided on this tonight, but I did. Oh well. I put in the Yale Bands website and Justin and Nana's blog. Give me suggestions for more! Think of it as another place to have your bookmarks. :-)
And I've been bored lately so I might change the template or something. Someone should object to this if it comes up.
Bee tee dubs, I hung out with Jenny in DC tonight and it was awesome and you should all visit. =P
Saturday, September 1, 2007
Labor Day weekend out here on the East End of LI is ridiculous. Speaking of which, all of a sudden Labor Day means something again. Living life outside of Yale and its "no holidays...except for MLK Day" schedule is going to take some adjustments. I've taken to planning my drives by how many right turns I can make because to take a louie means a ten minute wait for a slot to cross traffic. Luckily the Manhattanites all leave on Monday, and I get my town back. Hopefully not for too long, though.
I got an internship with the Trenton Devils, the ECHL affiliate of the New Jersey Devils. It doesn't pay, but I'll be able to do color and pre-game/intermission hosting for any of their broadcasts, which is a huge thing for someone with only a year and a half of radio airtime. Trick is, now I have to figure out how to squeeze in a job that does pay to support my commute. Ahhh, the wonder that is post-collegiate life.
I'll be heading into the Have basically every weekend from here on out, so feel free to get a hold of me if you'll be there too. I love you guys!
Thursday, August 30, 2007
As the title of the post implies, however, there is a hahvahd undergrad working at my lab. There were other undergrads there for most of the summer, in an internship program, but this girl wasn't part of the program, so she's still around these last few weeks in August, finishing up work before school starts (late here, of course). It wasn't so apparent when there were other people around to draw attention away from her, but recently it has become increasingly clear that this girl (Kelly) is either the worst employee ever or unbelievably stupid. And since I love anything that reflects badly on the cantabs...
Exhibit 1) Upon arriving at the lab, Kelly had no idea how to enter data in Excel. That's right, enter data. Not that she didn't know how to do stats with it or organize it -- she had literally never used the program. And it's not like she figured it out, either: someone had to show her how to enter the numbers in the desired cell and hit enter to move to the next one.
Exhibit 2) Today Kelly was supposed to go start transferring files from our current lab office, on the 2nd floor, to filing cabinets in one of our new lab rooms, on the 1st floor. She was sent down with the first carton of files, and came back in about 5 min, saying that she couldn't figure out how to get the filing cabinets open; they wouldn't come unlocked.
Since the keys to these filing cabinets are literally sitting in their key holes, I was somewhat surprised: "Did you try the keys in the hole above the drawers?"
"Yeah, I did. It felt like it was unlocking, but when I tried the drawers, none of them would open."
"You used the key in the lock?"
"Yeah. I don't know what's wrong..."
"I'll check it out."
I checked it out. The filing cabinets were unlocked. These filing cabinets just happen to be the kind with the little slide next to/below the handle that you have to push over when you open the drawer. This was apparently too complex to be readily apparent.
I could go on, but I think it's clear from the evidence above that either Kelly is incredibly inexperienced (well, she does go to hahvahd...) and none to bright when it comes to figuring anything out for herself, or she's a terrible employee, basically refusing to do anything without causing as much work as possible for everyone around her. The evidence, combined with what we all know about hahvahd already, was enough for me to decide which I believe.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
This past weekend was the first I spent in DC. It was super and exciting and now I'm sad to be in Croton but that's not what this post is about. This post is about what I did on my way home from DC on a very rainy and traffic-plagued Sunday evening. Deep in the wilds of New Jersey, I stoped somewhere, it doesn't really matter where, and got to do my favorite thing in the world. That's right, I got to look at Ben Jorns!
Ben, since I don't think you've posted yet, I will tell everyone about your new room (haha i was in Ben's room! scandaloous!!!!) Ben is living in the graduate college which looks just like Branford. His room has white walls and dark wood trim, just like Branford. The courtyard, slightly less beautiful (and dark and rainy), but most definitely Branford-esque. So now all Ben needs to do is find some new girls to make faces at from across the dining hall and he'll feel right at home!
After I got to see Ben's room, we went to a delish Indian food buffet for dinner. It was sooo good. While we were standing up and getting our food, I heard US! Right there, in an Inian Restaurant in Doesn't Matter, NJ, was Sabbath Slammasters in all its glory. All of a sudden, it stopped, as ben said "Hey Pop". That's right, Bens ring tone is still rocking. It was super exciting.
Our dinner was way too short and filled with TMI on my part and nerdy talk on Ben's, but oh boy was it fun. I highly reccommend stopping in on Ben whenever you are traveling through the Garden State. He may be somewhere that doesn't matter and studying something that is way over our heads, but he is still pretty fun.
And there you have it, an update on Ben's life because there is nothing to update with mine.
oh ps, Ben is very excited for the undergrads to come to campus- in his words, "That's the nice thing about undergrads, I keep getting older, but they stay the same age" and "I'm not a TA yet, so it's not sketchy".
Monday, August 20, 2007
Other fun things of note are:
-the "Gay St" exit signs, where the y is always misaligned for some reason.
-eating at Sonic, which I had no idea was a drive-in, and that was pretty awesome. Had a chili cheese burger, and a banana cream pie shake. WhoaMG.
-I got 32 oz. beach fries at the beach. I decided against the 64 oz. (also DE has no sales tax!)
Alas the trip ended on a poor note when we ran into traffic, doubling the length of the car ride back to 5.5 hours. Also listened to the same Linkin Park CD the whole ride back. Ask me if you want to know "why" or how I survived.
Can you believe the summer's almost over?
Thursday, August 16, 2007
This is my very first post ever to a blog, so you guys should feel very special :) So greetings from sunny Los Angeles, where I am now living and working. I survived my three-and-a-half-day cross-country drive from Georgia and am now renting a cute (read: tiny) studio apartment in Santa Monica only two blocks from my office (so no commutes or traffic jams!). Santa Monica is a separate city just to the west of Los Angeles proper with (somewhat) cleaner air and nicer (and yuppier) people, and I can even walk to the beach from my apartment. I also experienced my first earthquake last week, which I guess means I'm a real Californian now (it was very minor).
My new/first job -- the reason I moved out here -- is in market research, which has a whole lot to do with my Yale major (biomedical engineering). We work with several different types of companies -- film studios, video game makers, and a few others -- and collect and analyze consumer opinions about their products. Basically I get to tell people that I work with movies, which really sounds awesome and impressive, right? The people I work with are really young and very nice, which makes for a really great environment for a first job out of college.
I miss you guys lots, and as Jenny said, I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not moving back to New Haven in a couple of weeks. Life is almost boring after college without all of the parties and events. You guys are all welcome to come and visit, but bring a sleeping bag -- you'll be sleeping on the floor because I don't have any furniture (wouldn't fit in my apartment anyway).
And alas, no, I haven't seen any celebrities yet, but I'm keeping my eyes open ;)
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Hi everyone! Welcome to my first oh-sev blog post, brought to you by a “I was productive before and now have very little to do” day at work.
I love reading about all of your adventures to new places- right now I am still comfortably in the Best Chester, working for the organization that owns the historic site I worked at in high school. At first I hated the whole 9-5 thing a lot, but I got used to it quickly and am really enjoying myself. I get to spend all day looking at 19th century prints and I have a really cool boss who has given me a lot of authority over what we do with them. It’s suuuppper, check out my newest facebook album for some examples of what I’m looking at.
This job doesn’t end until September, but the weekend after next will be my first in DC. I’m moving into Doug and Will’s super sweet apartment with everything I could ever want, including a view of the airport and of airplanes landing and taking off. Their subletter is leaving that weekend, and I am starting to pay, so I’m gonna go down and play because lets face it, Westchester may be the best, but its also the most boring. I don’t have a real job yet but I’m sure I’ll get one eventually. I’m giving myself a little time to just relax and look for one (which may not be all that relaxing) and I’m really looking forward to getting to know a new city.
I keep having to remind myself that fall does not equal Yale. The other night I had this great dream about blunch. It was the first day back in the fall and commons had been turned into a food court but they used those wooden divider things to block the counters from view. A lot of you were in my dream and we were all talking about how weird it was that we were in commons even though we’d graduated.
Sorry if this was boring, but that’s what I’m up to. I miss you guys a lot and please please please come to DC all the time next year so you can see the sweet apartment for yourselves!Oh-sev <3>
Saturday, July 28, 2007
For those who are unfamiliar, 7-Eleven converted about a dozen stores across the country into their Simpsons counterparts to promote the movie. In addition to cardboard cutouts of characters (including an old guy in the freezer), they sell Buzz Cola, Squishees, pink doughnuts, and tons of Simpsons merchandise - t-shirts, cups, comic books, etc. Sadly, they had sold out of their Krusty-O's.
We went at a quiet part of the afternoon - there were only about 30 people in the store and 1 security guard. Apparently there have been lines around the block. If I can figure out how to get pictures out of my cameraphone, I will post them here, because it was awesome.
Anyway, today it's off to the GARLIC FESTIVAL with Mike Chan. Have a good weekend.
Oh so before I forget, the title of the post refers to the 50% humidity going down in the 852 (Scottsdale) at the moment. Apparently it's "monsoon" season, but it's all relative and should probably just be called "kinda humid with some occasional rain, both of which seem crazy to us all because we live in the high Sonoran desert" season.
Highs and lows of moving here include:
-Not knowing anyone except for some distant cousins
-Arriving while the Diamondbacks are on a 7 game winning streak and finding it easy to follow them (on radio - no tv yet)
-Fairly cheap rent and cost of living
-Breaking my ceiling fan (crucial to perceived room temperature) while moving an apparently indestructible IKEA lamp
-Driving around the desert listening to Meatloaf
-People being nice to me after telling them I just moved here and I'm a teacher
Before moving to the Phoenix area I spent June in London going to other people's graduation parties (not nearly as fun as going to your own) and the first half of July in Hong Kong and Bali hanging out with my dad and half sisters.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Yesterday I experienced my first ever 'business trip'. No I didn't get to wear a blazer and get on a flight with nothing but a briefcase and a laptop, I was stuck in a minivan with 4 other people as we drove 5 hours (I was reading harry potter).
We were visiting another corn plant (the world's LARGEST corn plant to be exact!) to ask questions on a process they have running there that we are getting up and running at our plant. Anyway, you know your hotel is in the middle of nowhere in the midwest when your room window view looks like this.... Yes... that is a corn field.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
- when I hear some songs I still think "this would make a fun arrangement for the YPMB"
- a coffee habit is really easy to pick up, especially if you sleep less than 5 hours a night
- no matter how much I complain about my parents, I'm still sorta sad when they leave (it's complicated, but at the very least I'd like my mom to stay and not my crazy dad!)
- making money doesn't mean you'll actually have any more of it at the end of the month
- if you reconsolidated only some of your loans, things get complicated
- it is your responsibility to check on your student loans, even if you haven't been receiving statements in the mail
- you don't get reported to the credit bureau until 60 days of deliquency :-)
I had more to say, but now I don't remember. Oof! I forgot my camera! Gonna meet up with some band people after work. Will post fun gossip if any. :-)
Thursday, July 12, 2007
We highly recommend you all check out couchsurfing.com whenever you travel next. It's an international social network - kind of like myspace/facebook - where people open up their homes for travelers. We stayed with an Ohio State post-doc in Columbus who was extremely accomodating, lending us a bedroom and giving us a campus tour! No money changes hands - people simply open up their couches, floors, spare bedrooms, etc. It's a great way to meet people in the places you visit.
Of course you have to be careful, but it can be done safely (i.e. you can choose female-only and/or households of couples). These days we can be kind of paranoid as a society, and we can expect the worst of strangers - it's kind of sad, really, because it makes people cold and distant. Anyway, I think couchsurfing is one great way to avoid that. Check it out.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Not that blogs aren't great, but it is a somewhat different kind of medium. Blogs are great for life updates, but emails are better for "Hey! Check out the Obama Girl video!" or "Who's the greatest living _____?"
Leave a comment if you think this is a good idea.
By the way, has anyone seen Hillary Clinton's stab at YouTube humor? It's pretty painful. Not only is it bad acting, but it's pretty clear that she and Bill haven't had sex in decades...
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Anyway, took a walk through Old Town Alexandria the other day. It's so cute! It's clearly kind of high class in its quaintness, but it's like a different world from some of the other parts of this place. :-) The waiter at the sushi place I ate at was actually from China, and it was really awkward how I found out...
::the bill comes::
waiter: Are you Asian?
me: Um, yeah.
waiter: Where are you from?
me: Oh, my parents are from Taiwan so I'm Chinese.
waiter: You don't look it.
me: Oh...where do I look like I'm from?
waiter: My hometown is in China.
me: Oh...okay. (Was that an answer to my question? I guess he thought I asked about him...)
When I left the restaurant he said bye in Chinese and I said likewise and he said something else but I didn't fully understand it...
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Cedar Rapids isn't such a bad place. For one, there are a few tiny hills here and there! And where I'm living, there aren't any corn fields, which makes it seem a lot less desolate. The one thing that has been a little sad is how everyone seems to ask wtf I'm doing there. Taxi driver making small-talk, store clerk after looking at my I.D. when I was buying beer, it seems, it seems like the people here understand that if my driver's license says New Jersey, I should NOT be in Iowa. Regardless, the place around me has a suburban feel to it, and theres a mall and tons of places to buy things around here, so it isn't like I'm deprived here.
I'll post pictures up within the next week or so, because I'm sure you all are DYING to know about Iowa! DYING!!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Chris and I are still in Brazil (most of the group left, but we had a couple more places we wanted to visit) and right now Im typing from this free internet cafe in Curitiba, a city that has implemented various cool programs like free internets and big bus lanes in order to be environmentally sound and economically responsible - basically it a really cool progressive place, although theres not all that much to do because its not really a touristy area.
In a few weeks Chris and I are going to be road-tripping out to San Francisco - does anybody have any suggestions for really cool things we should do or see along they way? We haven decided our route yet...if we go north, we could see yellowstone, but if we go south, we could visit st. louis.
Okay gonna go explore the city some more...it great to hear about what you all are up to! I like this blog thingy!
Monday, June 18, 2007
So I'm behind on the times. For everything. I didn't get AOL until 7th grade while all my friends had it in 5th. I didn't get a cell phone until the summer after freshman year while all my friends got them in high school or earlier. (Diana notwithstanding, who I believe got hers just as late as I did.) And I don't have a credit card.
In the face of a growing number of purchases I'd like to make online and an increased sense of annoyance with having to listen to my grandmother's spiel about how I need to take better care of my money every time I ask to use hers, I'd like to get my own credit card. However, I am woefully ignorant to how the credit card application process works, what fees will be associated, what sort of plan would be best for me, etc. So I'm going to go ahead and list out a few questions of mine. If you've got time to answer any of them, that'd be great. And I'm sorry for how ridiculously novice they may be. My grandparents aren't very helpful with any information at all and I'd like to avoid reading through the fine print on these various websites.
- Do you have any particular cards which you would recommend, for or against?
- I've heard good things about CapitalOne; does anyone have experience with them?
- What sort of plan is best for a person with no prior credit history?
- What the hell is APR, and what sort of range should I be looking for in a credit card?
- Does it matter what bank you're affiliated with when applying for credit cards? (For example, I use Bank of America; are there particular credit cards which are recommended for my bank, or is that irrelevant?)
Friday, June 15, 2007
An important thing to point out is that some people at work actually pronounce their "air" sounds (marriage, their, etc) like "urr". I am the only one who finds this amusing enough to have to actually stifle a smile when it happens. I am a bad person.
I feel like pictures of my apt or my building are to come at some point, but not now, since I'm at work and they've been warning us about how everything we do is recorded. :-) Not super worried.
Orientation week has been all over the place. There are 7 "labs" in this training class, and about 16 people per lab. We're still filling out forms into next week but also we've drawn pictures representing ourselves and presented them, and then worked as a lab to come up with a "shield" representing our lab as a whole. We've done some patents, a mock interview with a lawyer (who turned out not to be a lawyer) and then we wrote and perform skits. And then we have class after lunch! Most of us are straight out of college, so I expect a lot of happy hours.
Oh also strange and/or sweet...we get two huge flat screen monitors (for all of the documents we have to look at yuck) and a webcam (in case our supervisors are working from home and we still have to talk to them). But for now, the webcam is just creepy 'cuz it's always on.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Anyways, Brazil was awesome, although Rio de Janiero significantly more so than Sao Paulo: I repeat an often-mentioned realization when I say that I am so glad we went to Sao Paulo first and then Rio. Sao Paulo is easily the biggest city I have ever visited. NYC? Chumps. Trust me. I forget the stats, but the Brazilians had no limit on the amount of land they could use in building their financial capital (just the amount of forest they could cut. Grumble...) and they liberally made use of all of it. Serioulsy, you can drive for miles and see nothing but high-rises. It's ridiculous.
Equally ridiculous, perhaps, was how well the concert band was received everywhere we went. Our first concert ( in Santos, a coastal city south of S.P.) was in a beautiful hall, sold out, with people waiting outside to get in over an hour before show time. We got several standing ovations from that crowd alone, and three encores. Duffy was talking to a high-school age girl after the show and she got so emotional that she fainted, I kid you not. The other concerts varied in hall and crowd size, especially considering that we played one on a Monday night and charged $10 US for it, but we got standing ovations everywhere we played and multiple encores every night, with a record four. FOUR. Our last concert was in a church in Rio that had people literally packed into the wings and aisles, including jammed all around the percussion section. Brian told me that a guy with a camera actually moved some of his equipment to get a better shot. It was quite the change from New Haven, let me tell you. Not that you guys aren't great about supporting the YCB, but damn.
I could go on longer about how cool Rio was, especially the beach, sunset from Sugarloaf Mountain (and how we bribed our way up it), etc., but this post is ridiculously long enough. Suffice it to say, I'm currently about halfway moved in with Michael in Somerville, MA (right next to C(L)ambridge) and we're headed to Spain for two weeks with his family tomorrow. Here's to the real world!!
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
The fences are back up on CCL...I guess they just stopped work temporarily so that it would look pretty for the grads and alumni. It's kind of sad to see it cordoned off again.
Oh, and to all of you who helped me (or suffered through having to listen to me) with my computer: thanks! I finally made a decision, and while I gave up the whole "tiny for the bus" thing, I got a monster HP 17 incher with the works. I can't wait to get it!
Check your emails for a message from me regarding NY get-togethers!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Virginia is a friendlier land than NY. I think I had already decided this when my sister moved to Fairfax for a year about, wow, 8 years ago? My mom got at least 3 "Oh, is she starting college? Oh, no? Oh but she looks so young!" Also I passed a "Jesus Book Store" the other day.
Been chillin' out with my new plant and betta fish, tentatively named "Bonblau". I may stay here for 2 years due to the sheer amount of effort needed to settle in. Played a bit of Stepmania on my computer and I found out that if you play and then look at something on the wall (like a light switch) it looks like it's moving down. Which is creepy.
Here is a pic of Bonblau! He doesn't like the camera. Also you can't tell what he really looks like 'cuz he's blue and so is the bottle. I welcome name suggestions!
Friday, June 8, 2007
The end! Hope you all are well.
Tuesday, June 5, 2007
I think I got off the phone with the, hmm, 4th person from Verizon I've talked to since less than a week ago. Maybe, just maybe, I'll have a working phone line when I get to Virginia tomorrow. It's not really a flaw in the design but no one really knows what's going on in that place. They all know their small portion of your order and then send you to call someone else in a day or two. I also have no fewer than 5 reference numbers that I need to have on hand when they call and I don't really know the difference among them...I just sorta say stuff until they go "oh that one will work".
I'll post at some point after I get there. If anyone's passing through VA or DC lemme know! Also, for people who are still apartment hunting...check out apartmentratings.com after you've narrowed things down. The numerical ratings are pretty misleading, but the comments people leave might show a trend. For example, the place my sister lives has a rating around a 60/100 even though it's really nice...however the comments complain about construction on the nearby streets being atrocious...and it is. :-) My mom is still mad I didn't find out about the site earlier 'cuz there are some problems she would've liked to avoid...but I think it'll be alright.
Mmm, I think I'll add s'more labels. Also I write long posts everywhere I go so I'll try and post sparingly. :-)
Monday, June 4, 2007
Today I started my first day of work for the summer at the Information Technologies Department of my town's school district, where I've worked for the past three summers. I'll continue here for the foreseeable future, though I can only work part-time (19 hours a week) once the 2007-08 school year starts. When that comes, I'll [hopefully] be working as a substitute teacher in my old high school for the year, alongside the same teachers I tortured during my time there.
If anybody's stopping through the NJ/NYC area at all this summer, let me know! I work a full 8-4 day from Monday-Thursday, but Fridays are negotiable (I'd only be working for 4.5 hours anyway) and you'd be more than welcome to stop by. Or we could try to get people together to meet up in the city sometime. And I'll be heading up to the 'Have for at least a couple of weekends, especially for the purposes of playing YSS Kickball on Thursday nights.
Leave it to me to write the first discernibly long post. Oh well. Much thanks to Diana for such a great idea and getting the ball rolling on this!
Summer Session is off with a bang. My suite is gigantic: I have an entire floor to myself, which means I've got two guest beds plus two couches. Which means you all should drop by when you start getting Yale-sick.
Let me 'n Warren (or any other admins at the time) know if you want to become an admin! (Be able to change layout, color, whatever...may as well. Or you can just bug one of us if you want to change something?)
Time to play!