Semi-Charmed Life

29Jan/0910

25 Random Facts About Me

A friend of mine did one of these on Facebook and tagged me as one of 25 people to fill one of these out as well. I figured since I never did one of these on Xanga that I might as well do one now. But not on Facebook. I'm not going to tag anyone, but if you are reading this, it would be cool if you left a comment with a link back to your blog/facebook/whatever and did one of these as well.

1. I prefer fountain soda over regular soda. With ice.

2. I didn't start cutting my food with a knife until freshman year in college.

3. I hate drinking water and will only drink it as a last resort when there are no other alternatives. And if it's fountain water, it had better be cold!

4. I don't eat seafood, but over the past few years I've developed a taste for fried calamari and fried flounder (Congee Village!).

5. As far as I can remember, growing up I had 4 best friends during different periods in my life: P, K, C, and S. I don't believe in "best friends" any more and never had one since JHS.

6. When I was in JHS, I was convinced I had a tumor in my chest and believed I was going to die. I don't know how that got into my head.

7. In JHS, I believed I was going bald prematurely. I checked the bathtub drain every night to see how much hair was there, and counted every hair on my pillow in the mornings to see how much hair I had lost overnight. JHS was obviously not a bright spot in my life.

8. I can't stand having long nails. I trim them maybe about once every 5 days.

9. I started smoking cigarettes because I thought it made you look cool. I've never been a real smoker, but I've stopped casually smoking because I realized smoking cigarettes is stupid.

10. I don't know how to hold and use chopsticks properly.

11. I can't wink either of my eyes.

12. I can't whistle either.

13. I can't swim.

14. I love to read, but I am notorious for finishing 3/4 of a book and starting on a new one. Currently I have about 5 books that are unfinished, and half a dozen more that I haven't read.

15. I love buying books. I don't know what it is about a book that makes it feel so good to own. I don't feel this way about cds or dvds.

16. I got called to the principal's office when I was in elementary school because I grabbed another kid's nuts in retaliation for something. Or maybe I just did it for the heck of it. I don't remember, but I'd like to think I had a good reason to do something like that. My mom had to come in and get me.

17. When I was younger and my family lived in Chinatown, my brothers and I tried to plant some watermelon seeds in a patch of dirt in front of our apartment thinking that we were going to grow our very own watermelons. Nothing ever grew.

18. The first time I ever drank beer was when I was at a rush event. It was a mixer and we were playing Kings. I lost and had to drink a whole pot of beer. I had no idea what I was got myself into.

19. I am deathly afraid of needles.

20. I don't have any idols. There is no one that I look up to or wish to be like.

21. When I was a toddler, my parents brought me to Hong Kong. I don't know who had the bright idea to put me on top of a bunk bed, but I fell down and busted my head open. I have vague memories of being in a hospital and some girl who I thought was an angel was taking care of me. I can't remember her face all too clearly, but it felt like she was an angel. I'm not sure if she was a nurse or a random person in the hospital.

22. When I lived in Chinatown, I had this bad habit of vandalizing our walls with pencil graffitti. I loved scribbling random crap on our walls.

23. I only believe in God when I need something from him.

24. My earth science teacher in JHS would not give me a recommendation for Bronx Science (I think that's what it was. It was for something.) I wasn't the best student, so I don't blame her, but I thought it was messed up.

25. I won the school spelling bee once, although I forgot if it was in elementary or junior high.

28Jan/093

Personal Development Goals

1. Fix my posture. Currently working on this one. I'm constantly asking myself "Am I slouching?"

2. Make eye contact. This one is really  hard. I realized I make close to zero eye contact when I talk to people. Friends, family, strangers. This might be the most important one.

3. Bench 185. I'm at 135 right now. Very doable.

4. 20 pull-ups. I'm at 6 now. Will be a bit tough.

5. Smile more. Might be as hard as number two.

6. To overcome fear everytime I'm conscious of it. Be aware of it. Define it. Acknowledge it. Overcome it.

7. Stop cursing.99% of the time.

8. Stop spitting in public. It's not a habit. Really. It's a throat problem. I'll try to hide it from the public though. At least in broad daylight.

9. If I have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all. Before I speak I'm going to ask myself "What good will come out of my words?" If the answer is nothing, then shut up.

I have other goals as well, but these are the personal development goals I'm going to accomplish by the end of the year. Some are easy. Some sound a little stupid. Some seem almost impossible.

But they'll all pay off.

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24Jan/094

Asians In The Media

If you have been following the news lately, you might have heard of the story of the truck driver in Chinatown who left his van unattended in reverse, which then crashed into a group of children killing two. You might also have heard about the student at Virginia Tech who was having a coffee with a fellow student when he all of a sudden decided to lop off her head in the middle of the coffee shop.

The one common denominator in all of this is that they're all Asian. Why are Asians involved in so many unsavory headlines these days? I guess the truck driver can get a pass since it was an accident, and you hear about crazy shit happening like people driving their cars into storefronts and what not all the time who aren't Asian. But he still doesn't do much for the stereotype of Asians being inept drivers.

Both of these incidents are tragedies, so I'm not trying to dismiss one as being better or worse than the other. But as far as the Virginia Tech incident goes along with the incident in Toronto and the first Virginia Tech incident, I'm worried about what ramifications these will have on the image of Asians in America. Maybe I'm just more sensitive to the whole race thing because I'm Chinese, but I just can't help but feel that Americans will associate "Asian" with "crazy". I don't want people thinking that Asians have these unresolved issues that manifests itself into a beheading or mass murder of some sort.

Because Asians have their fair share of crazies, just like everyone else.

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19Jan/091

Mountain Creek on MLK

I went to Mountain Creek today with Joey and Kevin. Mountain Creek is not the shit hole that many people make it out to be. Well ok, it is but there are some good reasons to go. I'm a bit of a snowboarding snob, in that I will refuse to go to any mountain that is not in New England . . . it's just not worth it. The conditions usually aren't that great and the trails aren't anything special. Plus they're usually really short. I like nice long trails. It's just not worth a 2+ hour drive. I make an exception for Mountain Creek because a) it's close, b) I go there for the park, not for their trails and c) their triple play pass was only $69. The biggest downside of Mountain Creek is probably the douchebag teenagers. Seriously, I can see why teenagers are so despised by the adult population.

Today was a huge failure because I'm chickenshit and need to grow a pair. I avoided nearly all the jumps today and barely touched any boxes or rails. I'm never going to get jumping down at this rate. The one saving grace of the day was that I brought my camera and snapped a shot of Joey finally nailing a nice grab on his board.

And here's one of Kevin landing a jump:

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19Jan/096

The Unpopularity of Scifi

It's unfortunate that the scifi genre of movies and television is so often maligned and unappreciated by the general public. I can somewhat see why. I don't consider myself a scifi fan. Scifi shows and movies don't really come off as appealing to me, and often times I get the impression that it's either too complicated to watch or too cheesy to believe. Those biases are the reason why it took me so long to pick up on good television shows.

My scifi resume isn't that impressive.

Star Trek: The Next Generation

tng1

This was one of the shows I grew up on. I don't consider myself a diehard fan, but it was a show I watched whenever it was on and I've seen a lot of damn episodes. People who have never seen TNG are really missing out. Very rich show with some very good stories.

Star Trek Voyager

voyager

Another very good Star Trek series. I was never much into any of the other Star Trek series except for TNG and Voyager.

Stargate: SG-1

sg11

I wouldn't even call myself a fan of the show because it would sully the fanhood of a true fan of the show, but this is something I watch every now and then when it airs late night. The plot is usually pretty interesting, and I like Richard Dean Anderson.

Battlestar Galactica

bsg

I thought this show was the geekiest show ever for the longest because of the name of the series. I'm glad I gave it a shot because even though I thought some of the stuff in the first few episodes were corny (frack!?), the plot is very epic and the characters really grow on you. And yes, even the word frack becomes tolerable. Awesome show. I have to catch up on the last season though. I'm hoping they tie up all the loose ends.

Firefly

firefly

This is the show I'm currently working on now. Another show that I'm glad I gave a chance to. This show was axed after only airing 11 out of 14 episodes, which is an atrocity considering how good the show is. It's a shame when there is a good show out there that is not well received by the mass audience. This has been the case with 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights and Arrested Development, along with other good shows which either end up being canned or teeter on the edge of cancellation every season. I'm on episode 9 of 14 already, and I'm already feeling sad that there will be no season 2 to look forward to, although I'll have Serenity (a full length movie based on the show was made because the Firefly dvd was well received). Fox apparently butchered Firefly by airing the episodes out of its intended order, which made Joss Whedon vow to never work with them again. His new show "Dollhouse" will be airing on Fox, but he has said that "These are different people [...] they didn't do to me what was done to Firefly."

And here's David Cross and his take on why Arrested Development got canned:

Anyway, going back to my original point . . . don't know if I really made it, but it's that there is an unjust negative bias towards scifi by the mass audience, and people should try to overcome that and give scifi a chance. If they give it a shot, they'll realize that there's some really good writing out there, and that some really good shows don't have to end up being canceled.