Thursday, May 31, 2007

birthday love

thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! it first started with the facebook messages, then the text messages, and a few calls here and there. then after i finally got into boston after a stupid delay, we had a great little gettogether that turned into sort of a party (with wine and cake.)

of course, the whole weekend was a party.

liza and ripan got married the next day, may 27, 2007. (remember it well, ripan.) it was a fusion wedding, indian and russian/jewish and overall pretty american. so it started with a baraat which usually involves the groom riding an elephant while his relatives dance around him. instead they just rented a car.

as we danced toward the wedding chapel/room, whatever it actually was, we met the other side of the family, all the russians who were quiet and regal. it was almost like a clash of cultures, or rather one that eventually turned into a meld and combining of cultures. which was good.

the best part was the indian buffet, russian hors d'oeuvres, and open vodka bar. i've never learned to appreciate grey goose until it flowed freely...but now i'm not drinking any other vodka. ever. and i do regret, as i always do, being too drunk and full during the ACTUAL dinner, which was later, because we were served more indian food, but i barely got to enjoy it due to a full stomach and a spinning head.

anyways, among the gifts i received were a GPS system from alicia (finally! i will never get lost again!) and a check from my parents. and since today on woot there was a camera and underwater case for $100, i consider that the gift from my parents, because it's the same price. the camera's kind of crap, but the underwater case will allow me to finally take surf pictures...woot!

Friday, May 25, 2007


uh oh, it was just waiting to happen. lolucsd macros (aka pictures of taekwondo with funny nongrammatically correct captions.) kinda like lolcats. but with people YOU know.

(this is a belated entry.)

Click on "Inspiration" beside each image to see what it is based on. Many are in the style of the lolcatz on but the two at the end are based on xkcd, a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language.


Throw cheezburger
| inspiration


Back massage
| inspiration | and more from

Insert cheezburger
| inspiration

| inspiration

| inspiration from xkcd

| inspiration from xkcd

Thursday, May 24, 2007

ucsd tournament

Here are the sparring matches from the UCSD tournament this past weekend. Some of the movie files seem a bit long to me. I haven't watched them yet so tell me if any one is wrong or has more than just that match in it.

Again, RIGHT CLICK and save to your computer.


Bryan 1

Bryan 2

Gallahad 1

Gallahad 2

Johnny and Peter Exhibition

Ken 1

Ken 2

Ken 3



Paul 1

Paul 2

Paul 3


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

innocuous wednesday

wednesdays are the most innocuous day. monday is always the most energetic (for those who are awake) because it's the beginning of the week and people are coming back from a weekend, ready to go. tuesdays there's still that energy left over, and for us we have meetings. thursdays are pretty innocuous too, but they're leading up to fridays. and fridays are the day before the weekend. wednesday is smack dab in the middle of nothing. and the office is quiet and san diego's may gray is dampening the whole socal atmosphere. so today it's pretty chill...almost too chill.

except this morning as i was driving to work, there was a HOMELESS FIGHT on the street. first i saw this one guy cross the street right in front of a car making a uturn. he was booking it to this other black homeless guy holding one of those signs on the median. they started talking and it seemed like the white guy was saying something like you can't use that space it's mine, or pointing at some stuff the black guy had. the black guy didn't think anything and leaned in closer to listen because i doubt homeless guys enunciate. at this point i had to drive away but i kept watching in the rearview mirror, and even from a distance i could see the white guy was getting closer and getting in the black guy's face. suddenly the black guy takes a swing, probably hits the white guy in the face, but loses his balance and falls down right in front of the left turn lane. fortunately the light was red but he was sprawled out in front of a large red suv. that's when my light turned green, or had been green for a while, and a row of cars was stacking up behind me, so i had to leave. but i saw another person come running, and maybe they called the police, but i really just wanted to sit and watch the fight.

late night...somewhere in boston

its one of those nights that i was all prepared to go to bed early, and really didnt have anything to do, and was decently tired at around 11. and i don't know why but i'm a bit awake now...kind of not sleepy anymore. maybe it was because i was hungry, so i went to grab a snack in the kitchen. apparently the microwave and the toaster are a bit loud at 1:30 am. maybe it was because i was thinking about moving back to boston, and the excitement of the apartment hunt woke me up. and thinking about work next year, and all the possibilities. sometimes it's hard to sleep when you have too many things on your mind, and not enough in your stomach.

housing will be quite an adventure. i will be looking for a single bedroom apartment. but those don't come cheap, and it'll be hard to have to save quarters for laundry again, and not have a huge kitchen and living room. and it'll be hardest to have to pay for utilities in a city where temperatures range from 20 F to 95 F throughout the year. san diego has its stability, but the price is monotony. i know that i will enjoy the spring that much more when it's only a month long.

and in three days i'll be turning 24. actually i haven't thought about this at all. i entered my age as 23 earlier today when doing a survey, an i remembered a time when i didn't realize i hadn't yet turned 23, and completely missed what it was like to be 22. not that it matters anymore after you turn 21. that's probably why i'll be 21 forever. yeah, really, 24 doesn't really manifest in my mind. is it denial? is this why, when you get older, a birthday doesn't seem to have as much of an impact as when you are 6, turning 7, turning 7 1/2, turning 10? each half birthday means twice as much as now. and even on the big 3-0 and 4-0s, they're not quite as much joy and balloons and cake, as midlife crises and questions of where have the years gone.

the celebration should be grandiose, though. this weekend is perfect. a friend's wedding, another's housewarming party, a 3 day weekend. and a birthay snuck in there somewhere, which is perfectly convenient. i should have just extended my vacation to tuesday. after all, i have plenty of time left, and not much time to use it.

i think the next iteration of my blog will see it being renamed something cheesy, like there and back again, after jrr tolkien. i mean, it really was like that - i travelled there, and now i'm back. who knew that a year ago, when i was leaving for the airport on the T for the last time, all the romantic memories of my favorite city that i was locking into my heart, would be reawakened to a reality just about a year later? does that make them any less romantic?

i'll be returning to a cambridge of my adulthood, not the boston of my tumultuous college years. different. no more microcosm of MIT undergraduate life, where anything is possible, and everyone is young forever. where boston is a large playground for the underaged and fake-id endowed. where there is work and then there is play, and both take up more time than you have in a day, but you can't afford to miss a minute of either. where people don't go to bed before midnight. or 2 am. where my night would be just beginning right now, in a suite full of people wide awake, in pajamas, cooking up greasy midnight meals while clutching books and bibles full of notes.

and my fraternity house will be just minutes away, but years away too, with some annoying pledge of the class of 2011 sleeping in my lofts, watching tv in my lounge, drinking beer in my party room. i can always walk by my front door again, open it with all the pride i had, but now entering someone else's house. and kenmore square will no longer be mine, but only another T stop for my trip to nowhere.

and my school will be there, but if i walk through the infinite corridor i will see all the newest, greatest minds that are being bred and molded, like i was but probably better. as i walk through, i'd wonder if i contributed to the history of this place, if my name would ever be put onto a tile on the hack wall, or be discussed to legendary proportions in someone's lab or classroom. and if i'm lucky i'll be partially affiliated with MIT again, with either Lincoln Labs or the Broad. and that's of some comfort, even if it's not jumping in a time machine and going back four, five, six years, back to the moment i received my acceptance letter.

maybe i was meant to be a lifer, though i always made fun of conor, john ho, and even nathan when he thought about the ph.D program. i used to dislike kendall square so much, because it was too close to MIT and life, and always dreamed of traveling to far lands, to california. but when i think i might end up living there, it's comforting, to know that i would need nothing more than a bike to travel to all that is my world. (ok, so maybe broad would be too close. i'd have to try living a bit farther. lincoln would give me the distance necessary.) but living in cambrige and working for some other company (like google) would not be the same. some part of me wants that email address,, back again and active so that all who email me will know, and everyone who drives behind me will wonder, "who's tim?"

but still it's the same boston skyline, the same chilly winters and throbbing summers, the same bike paths down dirty cambridge streets. i'm afraid to live it again, because i don't want it to be different from what i remembered. but i'm afraid to miss any more than i have, because then it would have gone and changed without me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

i look like a bob

which one of these guys looks like a tim? and which one's a bob?

if you guessed the same way that this article says, you probably don't have a very hard time remembering my name.

Monday, May 21, 2007

"warning: spoilers"

no actual spoilers here, unless you havent seen star wars.

yea. i really shouldn't read spoilers threads on digg. the first time it was something about starbuck, and i was thinking, "starbucks? the coffee shop?" then i realized it was about BSG and i cried. seriously.

well this time i'm like, haha, this tshirt that ruins 18 pop culture endings that i found through should be fine. for example, the first one was *STAR WARS SPOILER* Darth Vader is Luke's father. duh. and also, for a lot of people this was bad but *300 SPOILER* all of them die except for the one eyed bard guy. well...that's not hard to figure out.

then i kept reading, and after a while came upon some kind of iffy ones, like donny darko, which is actually fine because it's impossible to understand the movie without reading about it anyways. and then i came across a harry potter spoiler but i thought "well i probably won't watch it anyways, although it kind of ruins some stuff." then i came across...another BSG spoiler. and i had to shut my eyes.

damnit! don't ruin BSG for me! stupid internet.

raw food recipes

omg this looks so good.

i stumbled across a blog for someone who has a cookbook for raw foods. it caught my eye that she was an asian who's publishing don't see too much of that among the rachel rays and giadas. and i'm not too keen on purely raw foods and i like to think i'm different from the typical socal health nut. but i love avocados. like i love lamp.

Spicy Kream of Avocado Soup
via Ani's Raw Food Kitchen

1 1/2 avocados, peeled and seeded
2 Tablespoons unpasturized miso, brown or white
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 1/2 cups filtered water
1 lime’s juice
3/4 teaspoon rosemary
1/3 teaspoon chipotle


1/4 cup tomatoes, diced


the best thing i ever got out of facebook was the apple sampler packs from the apple students group. i am horrible at finding new music that i like so the samplers were great. yesterday i listened to a lot of the more chill blues/jazz/r&b/rhythm songs and now i decided i like a lot of them.

some albums im listening to now:

Sao Paris, Sambaleias

Kev Brown, Albany

Vikter Duplaix

Adrian Quesada, Tamarindo

Sunday, May 20, 2007

chickens two favorite blogs are definitely The Consumerist and Treehugger. for one, the consumerist keeps me jumping in my harebrained schemes of money management, and keeps it real in the world of material consumerism. on the other hand, treehugger yang balances my worldly yin and soothes my bank-account fueled rampages.

tonight, treehugger has made me want to raise chickens.

Chickens from

seeing as how i'm probably going to end up living in a concrete-covered semi-urban region of boston soon, enjoying four months of warm weather per year, it makes me want to take up my childhood gardening habits even more. i'm already growing miniature carrots in large clay pots outside. i even have peppermint which i've deemed a worthy investment, after having made FOUR successful mojitos. (the rum was not from local sugarcane/beets, alas).

but what could be more fun than chickens? and fresh eggs? according to mother earth news apparently farm fresh eggs are really tasty. they even look better in that picture. and the description of farmed chickens reminded me suddenly of why i had, for one or two weeks, forgone meat. i'm not militant about vegetarianism at all, but thinking about farm animals in pens sometimes makes you turn back to beans.

yea. urban chicken. brings new meaning to the MIT Coop.

stats for demo i know that demo videos attract the most visitors. or at least, posts about ihouse. maybe ian's just such a hunk and ucsd can't get enough of him.

here's what happened after i posted the ihouse demo videos.

yea yea my blog isn't that trafficky. whatevers

Saturday, May 19, 2007

ihouse demo

I've finished editing the International House demo videos. Even though i was working with stupid-oriented windows movie editor, it still gave me tons of trouble...including changing the screen resolution and aspect ratio, which i finally figured out was camera and captured-media independent. i am stupid.

but here's the ihouse demo crew! while i still remember them: from front left, fa long, jemma, ming, jeremy, ian, and kyung and garret from our own ucsd tkd group! of course technically everyone's welcome to be a part of our club now if they choose to practice with us.

and if you notice, jeremy, fa long and ming are wearing my doboks. and the red and blue belts are also mine. lolfers.

here's another of ian in the middle of the break. looks good! although no one did a spin hook break like i was hoping.

and finally, here are the links (and embedded) videos. these won't autoplay this time so dont worry if you're in class or at work. right click to save them to your computer.

The blackbelts perform koryo

The main demo part

We didn't get to take the colorbelts kicking paddles, but that was cool too.

good job!

Friday, May 18, 2007

bank of america

bank of america customer service is good. i know Consumerist often has complaints about them but my recent experiences have been fine.

i missed a credit card payment on my balance transfer which had involved a earn money on low interest balance transfers scheme so that there was a $39 late fee and the promotional 1% apr was voided. i called in yesterday and asked them if they would be nice because i've been a good customer. the first lady immediately removed my $39 late fee and said to call back so they can review my apr. today, i called and mentioned it and the lady said "done." and that was it. wow, i thought i'd actually have to beg and plead and threaten to take my thousands elsewhere.

the other good thing is that they don't outsource. they have english speaking people, not indians, on the phone. argh i hate outsourced customer service reps.

so maybe bank of america is something worth investing in, because good customer service = high returns? but you're already investing in them as your bank, anyways.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

another nerdy reference

ok i've been working out some memory errors at work and i receive an email from a current mit team member asking for old photos. and suddenly i realize that life is like a program in which there may or may not be lots of memory leaks. for example - i've allocated a large buffer for the MIT aspect of my life - all the photographs, videos, friends, etc. that i've gotten over the past few years were allocated into memory. however, when i left for san diego, that memory was not cleared. i clearly still had several pointers to the memory space, because i continue to interact with them - i continue to collect photos and media from MIT over the past year even though i was not there. it's like the other programs still had a pointer to my MIT memory and have been updating it.

and i allocate a bunch of memory for UCSD, which i'm currently using. but when i leave ucsd i don't think i'll deallocate it. or maybe i will? probably i will leave one or two pointers in the form of unprocessed video, and maybe some connections to friends here. but i will most likely put down the smaller chunk of ucsd video, and reallocate my MIT buffers again.


thursday diversion

ah the news of the week. i've been up to alot since my last post, including formatting and copying files around on my computer, which is still in the process of doing so now. i've also made some visits to monster, reaffirming my belief that kids straight out of college have the most to talk about and the least actual content. but i am slightly better off than i am before, having done some more extensive searching and writing up a cover letter that helps me understand what i want to do. (i wonder if the Broad Institute is a fun place to work?)


this morning ryan and i sat at his computer for about an hour trying to fix a freeze up that i was almost sure i wouldn't be able to fix. first, i'm horrible about being put on the spot to fix things. i don't do well when someone's watching me, and typically i solve a problem much faster if i'm alone in a room coding and trying stupid little things. (too self conscious.) but suddenly it worked, and even though i think i know what we changed, we changed VERY little (less than a line of code). but i can still walk away feeling satisfied.


this weekend is the UCSD tournament. we have quite a large team going - i think 10 competitors, which is relatively large. and lots of support, of course, from everyone else who won't be competing. but i left ucsd yesterday with strange mixed feelings. maybe it's that i will be leaving this place and now my involvement has fallen...and it's just not what i'm used to. what i'm used to is always being in the fray of things, helping out, being frustrated that everyone else isn't involved. now that i'm less involved, and don't really care about it, deep down i still don't like it. (maybe also because my teaching time is being shared.) sure, i am an attention hog. but taekwondo and work are very similar in ways. i've left my undergrad years, gone out on my own for a year - working at a startup, leading a taekwondo group. now i realize that my experience is not enough, and i have to go back for a more advanced degree. thus - business school, training at CW. under professor master dan chuang.

web politics

there have been so many web stories recently. most of it has been political, and it's making me sick. but one can't read articles, participate in public digital outrage, and then not be able to do anything about it. i mean, what am i going to do, write a letter to nancy pelosi about bush and his cronies? picket the scientologists to save keith henson? often i've found that reading one side of the story (in my case, mostly tech savvy, liberal blogs) is never enough, because when i go and read conservative blogs i get sick of the way they call democrats and liberals names. but then i realize that the same happens on this side. the worst part, yet the most attention holding, are the comments below any controversial or hot digg topic. they usually descend into "youre an idiot" and "pwnd" and "go crawl back under your rock" and shit like that. whatevers.

web distractions

and what would happen if humans shut up, and machines became our voices? here is a conversation between ALICE and jabberwacky, two AI chat bots:

ALICE: Are you alive?

Jabberwacky: Perhaps.

A: Why the uncertain tone?

J: Everything is uncertain except for five facts.

A: The whole universe?

J: And we both might just be some ones and zeros in the computer memory.

They're deep and calm. insightful yet unpenetrating. this is zen.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

computer nerdgasm

i received my Seagate FreeAgent 500 GB external harddrive today in the mail. it's a sleek machine that has a much smaller wire/power adapter/base volume than my previous 80 gb drive, and is about the same as my other 250 gb harddrive. but this one looks super cool. and now my total external hd capacity is 832 (500 + 250 + 80 + 2). and internally my desktop has 160 + 250 + 300 = 710 Gb, putting me at 1.5 Tb of storage (minus whatever they need for system files, so like 1 TB.)

however, the 80 gb doesn't quite work on my desktop. and, as i found out, neither does my new FreeAgent.

I got the freeagent so 1) i could move all my crap from my media drive somewhere else, so i can reformat it from FAT format to NTFS. but since i can't read the FreeAgent...i'm getting kind of worried. So i'm going to try to reformat the freeagent on my laptop, which is Windows XP Home, rather than the Windows XP Media Center edition that my desktop runs. Maybe a new format will help?

As i was doing that, i ended up rummaging around for windows drive utilities, and came across an article that listed all these useful things you should use to maintain your computer:

Tucows: Increase Computer Performance

Among the tools i've started to use are Registry Mechanic and Diskeeper. I have a horrible time keeping my computer defragmented (especially when i download from bittorrent, and when I copy large 12 Gb video files from one drive to another.) So hopefully this will all help my system out in terms of speed/performance and data access. and maybe my harddrives will stop being stupid and be recognized on windows! and maybe my 250 GB drive will stop being a stupid FAT system which will not allow partitions greater than 50 gb or something like that!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

self expression on facebook

art, music, clothing, hair, fancy cars, poetry...these are some of the ways people typically express themselves. and actually facebook is a great way to find out how one does it. the internet is basically a big posterboard where everyone finds a way to post their ideas, personality, life, to a public domain where people can view it. that's the idea behind social networking.

if you look at facebook, you can tell the personality of a person by their posting. typical college facebook obsession aside, there are many different styles of facebook posting. some people use it as a blog, and write note after note, tagging all their friends so they can read about the carried-over teenage angst. others use photo albums and are prolific with a camera. still others like to share links, and while this involves nothing being created by the author himself it does show a lot about their interests - ie, are you a techie news junkie or pop culture vulture? others may simply be constantly changing their about me and profile, or interacting with so many friends on their walls that it's hard to follow who they are because it is changing by the minute. and then there are others who have empty facebook profiles. that's because they have a real social life, and interact with _real_ people.

i suppose i am more of a poster. i read digg and boing boing and share interesting links. i do it on facebook because it will automatically share it with my friends, in the hopes that they will read it, read about me, contact me, interact with me, make my days less tiresome. i also write in this blog...more for my own sake than anyone elses, because i think i have three regular subscribers, who must be bored off their ass at work.

but blogging and copying and pasting links is easy. i would eventually like to be able to express myself in more ways. clothing and hair require too much money and attention to style, so i think i will be looking into photography (via facebook or flickr) and video/documentary editing. ah yes, the traditional definition of "art" through multimedia. but hopefully combined with tools such as blogs and facebook posts, they will be much more interesting to the hungry masses who are dying to know who i am.

Monday, May 14, 2007

ucsd at uci

Here are the most recent sparring videos from UCSD. Warning: some files are sort of large and might take a while to download. I would right click on the name and save it to your computer, rather than try to stream everything from here. The actual files are hosted at Fileden but apparently you can't get a public listing.

Chris 1

Chris 2

Ken 1

Ken2 1


Paul 1

Paul 2

Steve 1

Steve 2

Steve 3

Steve 4

inspired by school, scared by work

attending a graduation ceremony, especially one which was so focused on applied sciences, has made me feel a renewed interest in graduate school. for a small fraction of a second i considered getting a PhD. but just being at a place like the keck institute, hearing a talk by Nobel Laureate Stanley Prusiner, and reliving the escapades of all the grad students through the stories, all these have made me really want to go back to school.

i'm not sure if i want to go to a pure business school. i almost desire science again. actually, i almost want to go to the keck institute. or MIT.

so now i'm going to sit down and seriously start thinking about what kind of school/program i want to go to. seems that people who went to keck had already done several years of industry experience. i think it'll be good for me to do that. so that brings me to the biggest obstacle... is a scary place. i've briefly looked at job postings in the boston area. i had an idea of what i'd want to do - well, kind of an idea like a bright eyed freshman. i want to do some software...maybe with a biomedical engineering focus. maybe with some business aspects. i think i can do anything. there's so much opportunity out there. america is great!

but then i look through postings, requirements, 3-5+ years of experience, proficiency with .NET, C# or OpenGL, has shown success leading a team, knows the product cycle and has succesfully managed the development of a product, has a perfect GPA and 2400 SATs, loves to do charity work and works well under pressure but is never under pressure because time management skills are so great. OMFG i'm going to go hide under a rock.

family reunion, of sorts

i went to pasadena this weekend to attend my cousin Asia's graduation from the Keck Institute, a small but prestigious school that focuses on biomedical/pharmaceutical business and management.

most of the weekend was spent, in my mind, in front of a plate of food. for dinner we went to an italian place that had really good pasta with sausage, i forget what it was called. we loaded up on the bread because i had gotten really hungry on the long drive up. then we went to hang out at a bar in pasadena, and on the way back i guess it was not-quite-drunk munchies but we ended up stopping at an in-n-out, and i accidentally got a double-double, which was double what i wanted.

the next morning, we had breakfast at our hotel, Embassy Suites, which had pretty much the most kick-ass breakfast buffet, ever. they had a made-to-cook omelette line that also served hash browns, toast, pancakes, bacon, and sausage. i ate a ton of eggs and hash browns, then just for fun had a huge glazed donut.

the graduation was very quick because only 36 people were in the 2007 graduating class. they did have time to talk personally about each individual, so the whole show didn't finish in 5 minutes, but it was definitely bearable, and with the great weather it was a perfect setting. while the graduates were busy taking a class picture, my cousin jessica and i hit the finger food table at the front of the line, and had a bit more quiche, strawberries, veggies and dip, and cookies than we should have eaten before lunch.

lunch was at an afghan/american place that served great sandwhiches and soups. their afghan fries were a bit greasy, and the one waitress we had had sort of an attitude, and didn't remeber vita's soda, then blamed it on the other waitress. but we tried out some of asia's home brewed wine, a 2005 syrah, and it was actually really tasty. the wine goes well with my lamb pita sandwich, which i took home because it was impossible to eat any more food. (i was too full before we even sat down.)

i think this weekend, a combination of seeing family again, good weather, great food, and meeting cool people make it really relaxing. especially since everything was covered by various people, and i ended up spending very little money.

of course, there was one small thing i found really interesting. i drove one of asia's friends home back to san diego - vita, who had come up with another friend who had to leave because of an emergency. when we got back they were laughing about how they were trying to see if vita would be able to get a ride from me, but they had been apprehensive - "What if asia's cousin is weird? maybe we should take the train." then they were relieved that i was normal.

i remember when i graduated MIT and the girl next to me - alma - told me afterwards that it was cool we talked during the ceremony. she was afraid that everyone (course 6) would be weird, but was glad that i had been the only normal one there so she could have someone to talk to.

hah...what is normal? i'll take it as a compliment but it's an awfully bland one.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

traffic stops

traffic is so stupid. i went up the 15 today and there were two big traffic areas. the first basically stopped right before the intersection of 56 and 15. which is what i would have taken to get onto the 15, except i was lazy and thought it might be easier to to the 15 early and take it all the way. well right after the 56 things went right back up to 70 mph.

the next jam was from one accident or something that was in the middle of the divide. right after we passed it the rest of the cars sped up. and i noticed that the other side suddenly was in the middle of their own jam. stupid curious bystanders.

Friday, May 11, 2007

corks and other MAKE stuff

so cool:

Things to make with corks

i've started collecting wine corks since i've discovered two buck chuck. but i feel that people collect them often for nothing...and i had thought about making something like a cork mat for hot summers...but here's even more ideas. and a reason to drink more wine!

another cool link:
Improve your photography with classical art palettes

all of these links i don't really look at, but just bookmark using it's kind of like when i was in school. taking notes means you've learned it, even if you don't really read the notes while in class, or while studying. yep.

life is not fair

and to summarize, but also to keep the mood a bit lighter than it has been:

long term, short term

there's a sort of paradox in everyday thinking that i'm trying to come to grips with. it's the debate between thinking long term and short term. as it is, i've had experiences that support both.

for example, much financial wisdom says that you should look toward the long term. "invest for retirement" is something i see alot in all kinds of money magazines and stock advisors. there are ads everywhere that talk about how a house is a good investment (in most areas of the country) and will help you retire early.

retire?? i'm just getting started.

that's when i start to think that long term thinking can't be too useful when you're young. even in the microcosm of taekwondo, sometimes it can be harmful. when i start thinking too much about how i'll fight in the finals, i end up losing in the first round. it's funny, when i fought at kansas city i thought i was going to have only one match because dana willoughby or whatever was such a tall bantamweight. but having that mindset actually helped me get past him. hm.

but living only on the short term is no good, either. if you live paycheck to paycheck, at the end of the year you realize, out of tens of thousands of dollars in income, you've saved up around $500. wtf? where did it all go? those carnitas burritos and shots at the bar don't serve any purpose for you now, do they?

and also, for taekwondo, if i'm thinking ok i'll train this week for this weekend's tournament, and then relax next week, over the course of the season i've only improved one week's worth total. because i've only been training for that NEXT week. so for taekwondo i HAVE to think long term. like, how do i make myself awesome enough to win matches at senior nationals this year? how do i train so that my health is good in general, and not just binge lose and gain weight? how do i PURCHASE airline tickets early so they don't cost me $200 more than they should?

but then i find that long term thinking hurts me every day. on wednesday i had so much shit in my mind. like, "thursday we have to have demo practice. saturday i have to go to LA. next weekend i have to help ucsd's tournament all weekend. then there's some korean competition, and fresno. i have no weekends anywhere. no time to relax!!!" subsequently the stress of the next MONTH were all crammed into my head for that afternoon, and i ended up not being able to do work. thirty six hours later, most of that stress was gone because the demo practice went well, and as a result none of the other things seem really stressful anymore.

so what should it be? long term, short term, mid term? (and you STUDENTS complain about midterms...hah)

demo is go!

it's like a huge burden off my chest. i've meant to write this down a long time ago but kyung's the man. he's one of those types of people you meet randomly throughout life who then becomes indispensible. and you know you can depend on him. (among a few others at ucsd.) like john wong at mit, who suddenly joins the club in his senior year, but would have been great to have known early on. but maybe its one of those things where you only really come into your own in things you enter later in life. who knows?

but amazingly after only an hour our demo looks great. well, great like a demo put together in two days does. but it's worked out well so far, and we ended the night's practice on a note that i am confident that they will carry the rest out fine themselves. so basically my job is over and i am no longer super stressed, and pissed off at humanity. and it's funny how my uniforms fit three very differently bodied people. i had to loan some uniforms and belts out. and they all fit, but one guy's like 5'10 and fortunately i had my size 5 MIT uniform. the other two fit right in with the uniforms, and for a second i always forget that they are actually all uniforms i usually wear.

so hopefully the kids at ucsd's i-house will have a good demo this saturday, while i go off to my cousin's graduation. as a graduation gift i bought a dna neck tie and a bottle of robert mondavi 2005 wine, which was half as expensie as a bottle of the 2004. sorry, asia, im still a poor man but next time we will drink both bottles together to compare the difference.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

the difference is bread

i've never actually realized it before but there are different qualities of bread. definitely the cheap stuff tastes different than the expensive stuff. i mean of course you'd expect that a regular white sandwich bread or the giant 69 cent loaves would taste different from the multi grain, enriched bread with fancy stuff on its crust like oat flakes or even raisins. but just today i could tell the difference between my lunch, which had the Valu brand from ralphs, and the van der kampf wheat bread i'm having for dinner. just a single bite of the toasted VDK bread proved to me that at less than twice the cost, there was more than twice the flavor. deep, huh?

comparison of UCSDTKD and MIT STKD


1. MIT STKD has an inspirational, and permanent, leader. UCSD has a combination of Bobby Ren and Master Baik, and the occasional student instructor.

2. MIT STKD has a rival. That's why it matters. UCSDTKD's only rival is the trimester system.

3. UCSDTKD is composed mainly of blackbelts who are relatively skilled coming into the club. MIT STKD's core is its colorbelt competitors, and many blackbelts who come into the club leave very soon.

4. MIT kids would rather go to taekwondo than do schoolwork. UCSDTKD kids seem to disappear three or four weeks because of midterms.

5. English is the official language of MIT STKD. Korean is much more favored at UCSD.

6. MIT STKD recruitment happens largely through its PE classes. UCSDTKD members seem to wander into the club, and I don't know where they come from. There are no rec classes yet.

7. UCSDTKD has very few expenses, but also zero income. MIT STKD has a full blown, multi-thousand dollar budget. Primarily raised by the club itself.

8. The officer corps of UCSDTKD is relatively young, still learning, and very eager. The MIT STKD officer corps is established and experienced.


1. UCSDTKD has Tapex. MIT STKD has multiple hangouts, including the student center lounge.

2. Both clubs have had trouble being recognized by administration. Both clubs have succeeded.

3. The officer corps of both clubs always has trouble recruiting. Who wants to put in time and give back to the club? (see my last post about enthusiasm.)

demo vent

maybe i jump too quickly to make decisions. maybe i'm too eager to help out and/or promote a tkd group. a group that really doesnt deserve it, and is incapable of rallying and responding. what's with the lack of enthusiasm and interest? i'm practically begging people to help out, and really minimizing the time they need to commit. probably all for nothing, too.

what is pissing me off is that basically there's a lack of interest, enthusiasm, and willingness to help out. i would have jumped at the opportunity to help, even if it meant a few minor personal sacrifices. "school work and midterms" should not be an excuse. there are many other things that you do in your life that wastes time. so now it comes down to *maybe* i will be driving to LA late on saturday and missing a family dinner because of some demo that i want to make successful, but has no support from my side. at this point it's basically a saving face operation. i have to save face for ian in the eyes of ihouse, and i have to save face for ucsdtkd in the eyes of ian and his ihouse friends. and also for myself, because i've scheduled and cancelled this demo like twice now and i'm about to cancel it again.

torturing myself over this brings me to wonder about bigger life questions. what does it mean in the world to be enthusiastic? dedicated? motivated? ambitious? i think that it definitely means you will be disappointed when the rest of the world doesn't follow. i think that it also makes you into a leader, purely because everyone else is too lazy to be one. because i'm definitely not a good natural leader. but in the field that i'm best at - taekwondo - no one else is there to lead, and it's much easier for me to fall/get pulled into that role. garrett said yesterday that the demo will be hard if i'm not there for saturday, because you need someone assertive and strong to make the demo go, otherwise it'll just fall apart. who, me? assertive? that surprised me, but i guess in light of it all, i am the most assertive when i do something in taekwondo, especially when i feel, subconsciously, that everyone else is not pulling their weight.

lesson is: don't participate. fuck the world. don't expect others to volunteer to help just because you're like that. i think i've proven my willingness. now i need a few more people to do the same.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

math at work

ok no more internet surfing and wooting. (haha nathan you nerd) i have to do work...until 12, when i go play racketball.

so what is this "math" thing they're talking about? how do you figure it out? put this "pencil" to the "paper" and write things on it? hmm, sounds intriguing. ok, so i have to figure out Tensor notation for our software. it's been so long since linear algebra (12th grade, in fact. which is why that's bad.) and now i have to learn a whole new way to represent matrices - at higher dimensions? math make brain hurt. in the style of lolcatz: (img from cute overload)

spring cleaning

it's spring cleaning time and that means craigslist has got tons of irresistable things. i think i'm going shopping.

i'd forgotten how fun craigslist was. so for the first hour of work today i'll probably be browsing the for sale and free ads. today i already picked up a blender, probably my fourth blender bought off of someone, but this one is a nice oster that came with a second blade thingummy - something for blending smoothies and milkshakes. cool!

other things i saw recently that were NOT on craigslist:

acer 22 inch flatscreen computer monitor - $200 - - already sold out by the time i saw it =( the link will only work for today. woot is a dangerous place to shop because it's so addicting.

gps systems in general...i got lost on the highway again on the way to buying the blender. i blame the "local bypass" where the highway splits into three sections each direction or something, and you don't know which one leads to carmel valley rd.

Monday, May 7, 2007

lesser evils

right now for me, life is all about the lesser evils, like what do i have to do that's the least unlikeable? i try to procrastinate but eventually i have to do something, so i need to find out what is the least undesirable thing i can get done. one at a time. ugh.

monday diversion

after all the diggs and's and political blogs and woots and FACEBOOK that have stopped amusing me inbetween snippets of coding, i've rediscovered craigslist. so here is a short blurb from best of craigslist:

Dear, guy masturbating in the bathroom stall at my work..."

Ms Manners says... - Ok, so you had a poor choice in bathrooms and you are just naturally loud. Even elemental problems such as these can be overcome by following rule #3. When someone comes into the bathroom....STOP!!! Seriously, I'd think that would be the easiest rule to follow. Did you not hear me open the door? Did you not hear me pull the ass gasket from the holder, tear off those 3 annoying pieces that hold the center in place, and sit down? Good god man, another man is taking a shit not 8 feet away from you. Shouldn't that take the bloom off the rose, so to speak?

seriously, i agree 100%. what's with those toilet seat covers anyways? why are they basically completely attached? if you didn't know and it was your first time sitting down on an attached toilet seat cover, doesn't that just ask for a messy job?

oh yea, the rest of the article is also about some jackass in the bathroom, and is quite amusing.

photographic memory

there's a certain danger associated with looking through old photos. namely, suddenly it will bring you back into a world that is long gone but doesn't seem so long ago, and yet things have changed so much since then and all that remains are vague memories of a time that seems more glorious with the passing of each day.

the problem with looking back is that you will often see things that make you look forward and wonder about the future. but for me it doesn't make me realize that in another five years the "glorious past" will be my life today. instead i worry, needlessly and prematurely, that life is flying by and i will no longer experience it as fully as i did before. but maybe that's just because i'm not taking as many photographs anymore.

it's also really interesting to see photos of those brief times in your life when things are really different. those ephemeral transition times that don't remain in your longterm memory, except in the form of a nondescript photo album nestled among the larger memories, of taekwondo tournaments and fraternity parties. or of people in situations and roles and relationships that were very transient, but captured on camera, reminds you of the pace of life and how things will never stand still, except on film.

ok, i'm done with yet another pointless nostalgic entry, for which i post no images because they're 1) better in memory and 2) on my other computer.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

the weekend of may 6

this is what i'm doing right now as i'm writing this blog entry.

the barbeque is smoking like a burnt out diesel engine, but smells ten times as nice. i've marinated my beef ribs and chicken breast with a blend of soy sauce, barbeque sauce, ketchup, sugar, garlic powder, and remnants of a trader joe's mandarin orange chicken sauce packet. the only thing that recipe is missing is beer. =)

the weather is about 79 degrees F. i'd come back from surfing about two hours ago. the surf was rough, but hey it's 79 degrees and sunny, the water was about 61 degrees and my longboard was in need of riding. the parking lot was completely full so i had to park on the street, because some fat woman walked into a spot that had just opened up in front of me.

i had gotten up this morning at 11:30 and had a nice big bowl of cereal for energy. but i got back around 3 and since then i've been famished. while i was marinating my beef ribs i had a cucumber sandwich and a glass of reisling - that is definitely one of my FAVORITE grapes for wine.

and now the barbeque is lit and i'm having a beer from rick's cinco de mayo celebration. a ucsd student named ian who wanted me to help him with a tkd demo called today and cancelled (well it was a mutual cancellation) so now i can just sit with my beer and barbeque, and listen to The world's top 25 most sad songs.

sometimes i get afraid that one day when i run out of interest and purpose in life i will become extremely depressed. i know that i am going to have a dangerously depressing mid life crisis. but then there are days when the sun is bright and life can just happen and everything will be fine.

Friday, May 4, 2007

things i want to do but might never get around to

life is hard to schedule around. there are so many things that i wanted to do, and always thought there would be that DAY when finally my obligations would be over and i could explore new things. that date is usually the beginning of summer vacation. and then it became graduation (after my student hell and thesis were over.) and now it's something like "when i pay off my loans" or "when weight cutting season ends" or "when i've started having money to save." but the truth is, sadly, that maybe a lot of these things will never really happen.

1. Learn photography. My friend at MIT jinhock ong has been taking incredible photos, including one of my favorites, of a match between me and stanford at NCTA collegiates. here's another beautiful shot he's done recently, which prompted this blog entry:

2. Learn to professionally bartend. This came out of both a dreary boredom at home when i didnt have taekwondo (tuesdays and weekends, before i owned an Xbox) and a need to go out to a party scene more. I seriously considered bartending school, until many people convinced me that bartending school is just a waste of money. but now the problem is going out to a bar i like and asking for a job. somehow, i've found a temporary solution: two buck chuck and oblivion on xbox 360. tuesdays have never been the same.

3. Learn to breakdance. I went to a few breakdance club practices and felt ridiculously embarrassed. i always think that maybe knowing a few toprock moves would make me look better in general. and once in a while you see a music video that just glorifies breakdancing. but i think to actually get to a point where it's worth doing it alot, and i'd be good at it, i would have to be in a completely different world than i am in now. like LA.

4. Learn korean. I downloaded the Rosetta stone. i can say "airplane" and "girlfriend" (even in slang!) and personally i think if i spoke korean, i'd have an easier time interacting with all the koreans in taekwondo. whenever master baik starts speaking korean to the korean's super annoying for the rest of us. and when a korean coach talks to his player in korean there's definitely something in it that would benefit a non korean speaking opponent. but i stopped doing the rosetta stone regularly because i'd rather watch battlestar when i have my laptop, and it got hard after the ordinate and cardinal numbers. because they never tell you what something actually means...u look at the pictures and guess, like kids do. and i actually learned a lot making this image.

5. Learn japanese. i took a semester at MIT, got a C, but now i understand anime a lot more. such as: watasiwa THE MAN desu.

6. Buy a nice road bike. this is one of those that would have depended on me having about $800 cash to throw around because i've finally stopped paying off my loans and have been successful at saving. It's fun to bike in boston because it's flat and everything's reachable by foot, and there is a large bike messenger subculture there. it's fun to bike in san diego because it's warm and there are bike lanes everywhere. I would like to get either a nice new roadbike with all the new technology like a super light frame, or i'd get an oldskool track bike with the single gear, flat handle and only front brakes. that would be hardcore. or i can stick with my decent $100 roadbike in san diego and my $40 modded bike in boston. only problem is they squeak.

7. Finish the MIT Sport Taekwondo glory years documentary. Argh, the biggest weight on my heart right now. and the most space on my harddrives. and as the years go by i become afraid that such a documentary would no longer be relevant to the times, and that any interview, and my interpretation of that interview, would no longer have the heart that it would have had the day after we won the cup for the 2nd year in a row. but i still have the footage, and the relevant people are still around (albeit not much longer) so i have to do it soon. that's one of those things where it'll get done when i have some summer vacation, or after i graduate, or after i stop cutting weight all the time for taekwondo.


8. After continuing to procrastinate i realized another passion of mine that will actually never get realized: art. and comedy. more specifically, comic strips. writing an intelligently hilarious comic strip and posting it on the web to see. sort of like xkcd. but another important aspect is to be able to effectively deliver punchlines through the use of the art and expressions of characters' faces. art is one thing that i started on and never continued with, so i had a bit of talent but it's regressed enough that i look at my childhood work and say "wow." so then i thought "web comics would be a good outlet, because you don't reallllly need to be able to draw." still, i have much more talent reading other people's webcomics and wishing i was as cool.

here's one i stumbled upon on facebook:

Thursday, May 3, 2007

life...after taekwondo

in some ways i feel like kansas city was my last taekwondo tournament. it is, at least for a while, although i may or may not go to fresno. but maybe it's because i accomplished a little something. i feel like i'm living life after taekwondo.

for one thing, i STILL do not have anything in my fridge to eat. partly because i'm lazy, partly because i've worked myself into a guilt-ridden case of mild anorexia, and mostly because i'm a cheap ass and won't buy anything not on the Ralph's weekly sales circular. i still spend about half an hour standing in front of the fridge, my eyes moving from the old yogurt to the veggies, to the jam. the yogurt is never something i want to eat, for some reason. i think i bought it with fresh fruit in mind, to make smoothies...but that's not happening. the veggies were good when i was in my vegetarian phase. now it's just a pain in the butt to wash, chop, steam, and eat them without any flavoring. and cooking is just too much for my laziness. and the jam would go great with peanut butter, but my bread's in the freezer and plugging in the toaster is too much.

sometimes i remember that i have ramen. thank god for the ramen. but then again i have to heat up water and let it stew...i only do this when i'm half drunk and playing oblivion. otherwise, it's not a real meal but too big for a snack. so i don't eat ramen, either.

but, i have plenty of time to cook. and do other things. no more guilty tuesdays where i tell myself i should go to the track. (i still should...) instead i have time to do things like go to the russell peters show at UCSD! (this time, it was on a wednesday. so i had to miss half of sparring class.

here's russell peters all his glory.

great show, hilarious stuff, some overly angsty and bitter opening comedians, and a lot of indian, chinese and arab jokes. there was only one black person in the audience so that wasn't worth making fun of. one thing i would have liked to hear more of was when he went to the principal's office and the principal thought he was retarded, so he spoke really slowly to russell, who then thought the principal was retarded.

but after that was done i went back to taekwondo practice, which was entirely unsatisfactory because i wanted to kick and spar and do great taekwondo things, but there wasn't enough time or space. and upcoming events will include: UC irvine sparring this weekend, where i'll probably coach or center ref. i-house culture night, where we might to a demo (may 12). fresno qualifiers...hmm. not quite the end of the season yet, huh?

and my new goal is to get up early to go lift weights. i guess early means...8ish?