Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Real World Panlist?

How does everyone feel about forming the real world equivalent of an '07 panlist? Something like a Google or Yahoo group...

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

it was the best of IDs, it was the...worst of IDs

Looky looky, my two new forms of ID! My DRIVER'S LICENSE and my government ID. "Department of Commerce" sounds funny to me. Also, I wish I looked a little more like my picture. Even my sleepy driver's photo would do, which was taken a month after I turned 18 with the lady telling me to say "cheese" but she took it before I could form a word...

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: Taiwan?
me: Hmm?
waiter: Taiwan?
me: Yeah.
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

I... to tha O.... to tha W A .....

So monday I start working in a large corn plant. The good news so far, is that I'm pretty well set up to start work. I have a two bedroom, 960 sqft apartment that is costing me 830 a month in rent (even though it won't be ready for another 3 weeks, i'm staying in an extended stay hotel until then), I have a car (hooray for financing), and I have steel-toed boots (a req to go to work. There was a store with all these different kinds, including slip-on steel-toed shoes, I was impressed).

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

still in brazil!

Hey palz!

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 great to hear about what you all are up to! I like this blog thingy!


Monday, June 18, 2007

Help for the financially oblivious

Hope everyone's enjoying their summers. Everything is business-as-usual on this end, just starting to settle into a routine. All my former teachers I've seen while working in the high school see it fit to tell me how old I am already. Considering I spent four hours yesterday lying on the couch and watching golf, I can't argue.

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.

Until now?

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

like thurr

Here I am at work, being delinquent per usual. Everyone else was given time to fill out a form I already incorrectly filled out in a tizzy and handed in. It's great 'cuz I can't correct it but I assume they'll call if it's a problem. :-)

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

From the Tropics

First one of the Brazil-explorers to post! Although I guess that's not that surprising, since I think I'm the only one back in this country at this point, although I know Jenny's coming back before the general crew as well.

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

Resumes are Hard

Well, maybe if I keep a running update here I'll have a better shot at forcing my way through. Resumes are tough! Especially when the field I want to go into may or may not want different info on it than a standard UCS cut-and-paste resume. But I shall press on, and hope that the few meagre contacts I have made will help me secure a job. Otherwise, to unemployment with me!

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

Hanging by a thin thread of stolen internet

Well, I am now moved into my new apartment! The phone was indeed set-up, but the DSL was not. In fact, Verizon is still verifying that they can even give me DSL service. They are updating me via e-mail. Which is great, since I don't really have internet access.

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


I am in Lawrence, Kansas (a little oasis of liberal, artsy, organic kooky types in the great expanse of bigotry and ignorance, not to put too fine a point on it) living with my sister and her girlfriend and their somewhat crazy kitty. All I do is go to the pool and the gym and read books. I think I might get a part-time job at the grocery store, because I've never had a non-academic job in my five years of employment. It's very nice here.

The end! Hope you all are well.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Moo-ving tomorrow!

I'm packing up my last few things and preparing to move!

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 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

Paradise City, redux

06520 has its wonderful moments, but really, there's no place like home. So for the next year, 07036 will take the place of the 'Have as my own little paradise city. I'll have no comments about the ugliness we passed through on the Turnpike on our numerous trips to NJ (Penn, Princeton, IHOP, Freedom Tour). My town looks better from the Parkway anyway.

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!

Back Home in the Have...

Well, you all got out in the nick of time. 4 out of the past 7 days have been miserably raining. Though we had the most bad-ass thunderstorm I've ever seen last Thursday. There was a bolt of lightning every 15 seconds for a good two hours. I was actually glad I was in the concrete bunker of Morse.

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.

hello world!

Let's get this straight. is not our blog site. :-) (It's spelled wrong. it's Warren was worried.)

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!