Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

faith in our system

I have had my faith in humanity, our police system, and our postal service restored.

my wallet was returned yesterday. i got it in the mail, with all the cash, receipts and credit cards intact. although moved around. and it was sent, along with the police report i filed with the cambridge police, to my old address at 8th st, which is what is presently on the driver's license. so then, the usps forwarding system sent it to my current address as i requested months ago. that just makes me feel that even in today's convoluted world, things that should work as you expect sometimes do.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

joe wong

fobby chinese people giving a speech at RTCA dinner. funny stuff. i have a new hero and he's NOT william hung.

"life is like peeing into the snow in the winter night..."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

collegiates costs

Yep, we're taking the plunge (again) and doing collegiates.

This is an attempt to keep track of all the costs of becoming a full time student. So far, my costs are:

$50 UIU App fee
$8 MIT Transcript request

To come:

airplane ticket
tournament registration
hotel and local travel
college tuition
worlds (?) costs

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


i got my tetanus vaccine today and my foot checked up. there was some minor scraping from construction work, no big deal, and i was overdue for the shot anyways. but the doctor was really nice and it just occurred to me that doctors are foul weather friends. you only ever see them when your life is in peril. and when you are relatively healthy, even a trip to the doctors to get a regular checkup is a pain and no one ever wants to do it. but that makes us the doctors' fair weather friends. if the doc has a good prognosis or treats you and you become healthy, then they get to see all your appreciation. but if you get bad news, then there is that unavoidable feeling that the doctor is linked to your misfortune. that is why the medical profession is so noble.

Monday, March 22, 2010

you know when you really want something

and it doesnt happen? you kind of knew it might not but you can't not hope. then the letdown is still bad and all you can do is sigh. like when you're going for a job interview that's out of your league. or a girl that's out of your league. or hoping that you get the mvp award when you're not really the mvp. well that's what happened with me hoping that some nice person picked up my wallet, looked up my info and left me a message at work. and it didn't happen. not a big deal but i am surprisingly let down.

the weekend is

this weekend was pretty much amazing. and terrible.

on thursday we had a presentation for work, and afterwards the boss suggested that we can take friday off because it went well. so it was great - the beginning of a 3 day weekend was 60+ degrees and sunny. i put in enough work on my garden/cleaning up the patio that it felt like a real spring.

then i go for a run and go to cambridge bicycles first to pick up some spare inner tubes for my bike, since a sunny day means it's a good day to work on handy things outside. and as it goes, my jogging shorts didn't have pockets so i put my wallet in the same jacket pocket as my keys, which promptly dislodged them into the street. when i came bakc to retrace my steps they were nowhere to be found. either someone picked them up and left a nice message in my lincoln email, or it joined all my other shit in the land of lost items. i HATE losing things.

i was in no mood to jog and instead spent the next hour closing my credit cards. but still it was a beautiful day so i put my backup credit cards in a plastic ziploc bag that is still now my wallet.

then we had an amazing barbeque on saturday. my back yard has proven to be a chill enough place for about 8 people to eat burgers and drink beer, and once the leaves come out and there's a bit of shade and fragrant flowers it will be my private getaway. we proceed to drink our way through two real movies and one not real movie, playing a harold and kumar drinking game at the same time as kings. that was quite amazing.

sunday was chilly again. i find myself walking outside in the same pair of shorts and a similar tshirt as saturday but it is noticeably more uncomfortable. to repent for the excess of the previous day i eat only a breakfast and a dinner. hamburger for breakfast, potluck for dinner. also, i redeem myself by going to RDC's killer cardio sunday practice, between lifting weights with alicia for about an hour and then sitting on a stationary bike and chatting with chin for another half hour. not that the bike burned any real calories for me.

finally, i found out that my photography skills aren't that bad after all. i did catch a few lucky shots at the NLDC Potluck Party, which will be posted on my photo site soon. now i just need to figure out how to quickly and accurately adjust focus manually so i wont wait for the damn autofocus. and had i chosen i think i would have picked up on the bachata lesson pretty quickly but i was of course busy with my own art.

it felt like a spring weekend. or even a summer one. but i am still pissed about my wallet.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

reggie watts

this guy's kinda funny. and who couldn't use a fuck shit stack?

LOOSEWORLD x Waverly Films: Reggie Watts in F_CK SH_T STACK from LOOSEWORLD on Vimeo.

Friday, March 12, 2010

coffee is beginning to taste more like tea to me. either i've got a really light brew or my taste buds are mutating.

music is like salad. it fulfills a certain primal craving but always leaves me wanting more

dj hero soundtracks don't sound as good unless they're all that you hear. i guess i need stronger bass in my basement, or bigger earphones.


i've had several interesting thoughts recently. i put them up on my gchat status but they're too ephemeral. they had to do with music, salad, and other basics of life. i might just start posting such quips as titles of empty posts now, to emulate twitter.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

high fps video

gawd i need to do some slow mo video. imagine this but with taekwondo. of course doggies are cuter than people kicking but still.

Monday, March 8, 2010

the speakeasy

in new york we went to a little bar dan and kathy knew about called the dutch kills. this was one of the coolest bars i've seen. the atmosphere was really interesting, and the decor and theme was pretty much an underground prohibition era bar. the bartender was a bearded, suspender and tie wearing gaius baltar. they would be able to serve you a drink based on preference of alcohol. and they also have hand chipped ice so that highball drinks had a long solid ice rod, and rocks drinks had a large cube. there was sawdust on the ground and an old piano, unfortunately not being played, in the corner.

i've become a little bit obsessed about ice cubes. i think it kind of fits in with my idea of self expression through saturday night parties. an establishment that serves alcohol can also be a place of creativity, and bartending itself is an art form if one chooses to go beyond just serving drinks. i've always understood garnishing but we never talked about ice techniques, and now i'm fascinated.

here's an amazing article about ice sculpting in new york's B flat bar.

capturing the moment

memory is definitely the best camera, because with a real one it is so hard to capture the moments that matter. the moments where the tension and concentration is finally broken and all emotion is released. i wished that my camera was continuously on like my eyes and ears were, and that i had captured every such moment at west point this weekend.

when aziz beat sean to secure mit's victory against albany, he made it look easy. he came off the ring barely breathing hard. but after bowing out and shaking the coach's hand, he let out a thunderous victory cheer that reflected all the tension. that cheer answered all of our questions, whether he could adjust to wtf style, whether he could help out our men's team as a newbie in the club. my mind's camera will remember that time.

each time tara walks off of the mat, she has this intense glare and walk like she's about to destroy someone, whether she did well in the previous round or not. i wanted to capture that look because it was intense, yet there's always a sense of serenity. she never walks quickly to the chair or to her water, but she's always at a pace as if she controls not only her match but the rate at which time is ticking and how much time she has left to rest.

there was one match where sophia won with incredible poise as she always does. when she came off the mat everyone ran to hug her and congratulate her. i managed to take a few pictures of people smiling because they were genuinely happy and full of admiration. for this one, even the pictures in my memory are fuzzy, and i wish that i had captured a few real photos. we'll just have to try to remember the good moments and make new ones.

Friday, March 5, 2010

self expression and late night art

i need an outlet for self expression.

sometimes i find it in physical actions. sometimes i feel that what i do on the mat is a form of expression. all the movement, the exertion, the way you kicked a target, all of that was YOU. i guess that's what they mean by expression of ki. taekwondo, although a combat sport, is a cousin to dance. sparring can be beautiful, and it can be ugly. but in the end, it helps you express your need to accomplish something physical, and your need to take that risk between winning and losing.

sure, there are other conventional forms of expression. photography, for one. i find it less mystical, maybe because i'm just not good at it. i havent come to understand how to express one's soul in a picture, because all i can do is take pictures to reflect what's on the surface. to find a meaningful shot i would have to take pictures of everything, then understand what i have never shot before.

and as for music, i used to do it alot. i played years of classical, but again it was always copying the masters, learning what already existed and playing exactly the style i picked up from the recordings. sure i played poignantly, and my teacher and fellow students' mothers lauded my unique talent for expression. but it wasnt me expressing myself, it was beethoven and chopin being brought back alive, somewhat, in my talented hands. but they were only talented to the end of the page. when the bars stopped i stopped.

only when you excel at something that puts you at the edge, then that's when you're finding your form of expression. otherwise, you're just following the envelope, and you'll always be copying others. but pushing the envelop means you're doing something you can't stop thinking about. when constantly, every day you are thinking about the next time you could do something. and you mold your weekly goals around getting to that point, and you think about how to make that point even better when it happens.

i realized that my newest form of self expression is the saturday night party.

it's something i find myself panicking and stressing over early saturday afternoons. but it's not like a competition between me, martha stewart and paula dean. at 1:35, the vibe of the party determines the success of the artist. soon, when the last saferide is set to come, that's when the my judgment happens. when i'm in the groove, that moment comes and goes without meaning. and throughout the night i would expression myself through the drinks that i make and take, the conversations i stumble through, and the drunken food i consume. and like good art, it must be ephemeral, and be gone in the morning.