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It's evolution, baby!! [21 Oct 2003|09:28pm]
I took the GMAT over the weekend. I came out with a score of 670, which I guess is pretty decent considering that I only started seriously studying a couple weeks before (and I use the term "seriously studying" loosely). The frustrating part is that this is the same exact score I got when I last took the test two years ago. The way is breaks down is that I did really good on the verbal part and kinda shitty on the math. The math was totally insane, psycho math. With numbers to the 253rd power and shit like that. I guess I should be lucky to get the score I got, because at the end of the math portion I was just guessing.

What else? I saw Kill Bill, which was awesome. Even if I didn't think it was awesome it's like, too bad...gotta see the sequel to find out what happens in the end. But it was a fun movie. The best part was that Lucy Liu's character Oren Ishii is a Chinese-Japanese-American like myself. I've rarely seen that in person, let alone in a film. I usually hate Lucy Liu, but her character in this film was totally badass.

I snagged some Bridge School tickets today! As I predicted, they let go of some okay seats for Sunday's show. Row J of section 200 which is kind of way off toward the side, not as great as last time but I don't care, it's better than being on the lawn. This week I've been listening almost exclusively to Pearl Jam, which brings me back to high school. I used to be such a big fan, and then for a while I forgot that they existed. But here I am really excited to see them again. But not quite as excited as I am for Crosby Stills Nash & God.
4 infections| Give me SARS

Dashboard [13 Oct 2003|05:32pm]
If you had told me a year ago that my most frequently played song was something by Dashboard Confessional, I would have told you to take your white ass back across 8 Mile. But here it is in 2003 and I'm not afraid to admit that I really, really dig this "Hands Down" song. Even despite the embarassing "won't you kill me" chorus (doesn't that sound like the ultimate emo parody?) there's something about the song that really gets to me. Maybe it has to do with the fact that he's got a full electric band behind him, or that the melody is just really good, or maybe I've just been in the kind of mood lately where I can identify with really whiny, sappy music.

I still wouldn't go to one of their shows, although I will probably see them at the Bridge School Benefit later this month. At least at that show, no one will know their songs and you won't have that annoying sing/screamalong with all the teenage girls.
1 infection| Give me SARS

A job that slowly kills you [11 Oct 2003|06:56pm]
Yesterday afternoon, some of my coworkers came down from another floor in our office. They said the paramedics were up there working on someone. He hadn't been feeling well for the last couple days, and he had fainted. Then about an hour later we got an email from the head of the department saying that he was taken to the hospital and had passed away.

I didn't know this guy real well, or at all really. I'd seen his name on documents and memos, but I never actually met him. I've probably seen him around the office, and if I saw a picture of him I'm sure I'd recognize him. But that's just scary. He was something like 70 years old, which makes you wonder why he was still working here. And of course, for the people around him, who tried to help him and who have to walk by his empty desk from now on.

This didn't bother me quite as much as what happened when the news went out through that email. This highly annoying loudmouthed woman who sits next to me just went "Oh my GAWD, the guy DIED! Hey, did you hear? That guy died!". And then runs over to the next cluster of desks to announce it. "Hey, you guys!! He died!! That guy upstairs DIED!!".

I mean...shut the fuck up and have a little respect. Do you get some kind of pleasure out of being the one to break that kind of news? Some of these people might have been close to him. There's no good way to learn of someone's death, but any way has got to be better than some blabbermouth announcing it like she's announcing Barry Bonds hitting a home run. That kind of pissed me off, but as usual I just kept quiet and tried to put it out of my mind. I'm starting to resent being reassigned to this desk.
Give me SARS

See username for details [08 Oct 2003|07:22pm]
So I wonder if my fellow Californians woke up this morning with a hangover and buyer's remorse. Like, do they realize what they've just done? It's was all fun and games yesterday, but the next morning you wake up and there's a stranger in your bed and you wonder what exactly came over you the night before.

I am, of course, referring to the fact that Gary Coleman only placed 8th in the field with 12,000 votes. This is an outrage! I have completely lost faith in the citizens of this once great state. The only qualified candidate on the ballot, and he still came in behind the porn star? It's a sad state of affairs when Gary Coleman gets less votes in a gubernatorial election than a porn star. Granted, Arianna's campaign did have a lot more publicity, but still...

California, you do indeed suck. Go ahead and embrace your actors and your porn stars and your actors who like to grope porn stars. But just know that the next time a shoplifter gets chased down outside of Foot Locker, the little guy bashing his kneecaps with a billy club was destined to be your next governor. And he will be "BAHHHCK", Willis.

Coleman in 2005 (or whenever...)
Give me SARS

It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n' roll! [05 Oct 2003|12:48am]
I saw School of Rock last night. Jack Black is great in it. Nearly two hours of Jables being Jables. In fact, it's probably the first good movie he's had a starring role in. High Fidelity was a great film, but it doesn't count because he had more of a supporting role. Saving Silverman was kind of lame, and he seemed to main be in the second half of Orange County. JB is funniest when he's being himself, and this role is probably the closest thing to it (other than the upcoming Tenacious D movie). Case in point, I'm watching him on SNL right now and it's not nearly as funny when he's portraying all these other characters. Anyway the movie rocked my head, and my mind, and my brain.
Give me SARS

Subway it is a porno [02 Oct 2003|09:57pm]
[ mood | aggravated ]

"We're so far apart but the trouble is/That I can't take BART out to where you live" - The Mr. T Experience

So it was just announced that BART might not be coming to San Jose until sometime around 2026. I'm not joking. You want to know why I picked the livejournal username that I did? That's why. Public transportation is pathetic here. I would love to live in a city where I didn't need to own a car. I just got back from New York, and I was just amazed at the number of options those people have to get around and how interconnected all of those options are. And don't let me start on Hong Kong. If they had that kind of efficiency here, something like an extension to San Jose would have been a done deal 20 years ago. By now they'd be building BART tracks to Lake Tahoe.

1 infection| Give me SARS

And it's root, root, root for... [01 Oct 2003|09:05pm]
For postseason baseball I guess I am giving my support to the A's. Because my Dodgers squandered yet another season and are now sitting at home as they usually are in October, I need to follow a team during the postseason because I don't want to be watching playoff games without someone to root for temporarily.

Right now the A's make the most sense to me. I've never had anything against them (except in 88 when the Dodgers whipped their asses). They're still an underrated team, especially right here in the bay area where nobody attends their games. I sure as hell ain't rooting for the Giants, and nobody wants to see the Yankees or the Braves in the World Series. When your three least favorite teams are in the playoffs it makes it easy to pick sides. So, if the A's lose to the Red Sox I'll root for the Cubs because I used to watch a lot of Cubs games on WGN when I was a kid. If the Cubs don't make it, I'll root for the Red Sox because of that curse of the bambino thing. If neither of them make it, I'll root for whoever is playing against either the Yankees, Giants, or Braves. If it comes down to the Giants vs. Yankees or something like that, I'll be watching preseason hockey.
Give me SARS

Don't call it a comeback [29 Sep 2003|08:07pm]
I'm back in town. I wrote some stuff on the trip which resemble journal entries, so I'll post it up here eventually. For now I'll just say that the trip was a lot of fun. Some things I learned over the last week:

-New Jersey is the ugliest state in the union
-Phoenix, Arizona is the ugliest city in the union, excluding any city in New Jersey
-Baltimore is one big ghetto, with a really nice ballpark stuck in the middle
-Atlantic City needs to fall into the Atlantic
-Rupert Jee actually exists, and is not some made up character for the Letterman show
-CBGB is the punkest place on earth. It even SMELLS punk
-Public transportation really sucks in California compared with the east coast
-New York really is the greatest city in the world...but THE YANKEES SUCK!!

Dammit, I missed the onsale date for Bridge School Benefit tickets. The lineup looks really good this year, although slightly pandering to the Live 105 crowd (Dashboard??). I'm still gonna go though. If it's like last year the good seats will be released the week of the show.
Give me SARS

The most important thing to pack... [18 Sep 2003|09:56pm]
Instead of making mixtapes or mix CDs for my trip I'm just gonna bring a bunch of albums by bands from the areas I'm visiting (New Jersey, Washington D.C., Virginia, New York). Here's what I've got so far:

Bruce Springsteen - The Rising (NJ)
Bon Jovi - Cross Road (NJ)
The Ramones - All The Stuff and More (NY)
The Slackers - Close My Eyes (NY)
Interpol - Turn On The Bright Lights (NY)
Sonic Youth - Murray Street (NY)
Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique (NY)
Ryan Adams - Gold (NY)
Fugazi - The Argument (DC)
Scream - Fumble (DC)
Foo Fighters - There Is Nothing Left To Lose (VA)

Any suggestions are welcome, it's probably in my collection somewhere. Sometimes I forget where bands are from. I wish I had some Run DMC.
Give me SARS

Pull me out of the aircrash [17 Sep 2003|08:14pm]
from live105.com

LIVE 105 wants you to see Radiohead, here and there! The "here" part: Up close and personal at the next Studio Sessions at Metreon! The "there" part: On the lawn at Shoreline on September 23rd. Brought to you by Scion, Smirnoff Ice and Metreon.

If someone wins and wants to hook me up with this, I would gladly cancel my trip to the east coast next week. In fact, I would gladly send you to the east coast in my place. Have you ever been to New Jersey? It's a beautiful state. I've never been to the theater at the Metreon, but I'm guessing it's small. I wonder how Radiohead feels about their show being sponsored by Smirnoff Ice.

I do have one show to look forward to before I go, which is Cake and Cheap Trick on Friday! How awesome will it be to hear "Frank Sinatra" and "Auf Wiedersehen" on the same night?
2 infections| Give me SARS

The hardest button to button (er...push) [15 Sep 2003|09:46pm]
[ mood | tired ]

It happened again this morning. I was walking into work today, approaching the street I cross every morning to get to my building. I was the first one to the intersection, so I pushed the button on the crosswalk signal light. Not three seconds later, this guy who was walking behind me, who clearly saw me press the button, walks up to the signal light and PUSHES THE BUTTON AGAIN.

Now, maybe I don't understand how crosswalk signals work. I was under the impression that pressing the button once was enough to alert the complex system of signals that there are pedestrians waiting to cross the street. I was not aware that repeated pressing of said button triggers some kind of overriding mechanism that immediately stops traffic in all directions and gives priority to those pedestrians. I guess this is the same kind of mechanism that causes the elevator to reach your floor faster when you push that button repeatedly.

This guy works somewhere in my department too, on another floor. I've definitely seen him around. How do they let idiots like this work for us? Oh wait...I'm an idiot, and I work for us. Speaking of which, I started my new assignment at my new desk today. Not much to report there, but it seems like people around me aren't too thrilled that I'm there. Oh well, neither am I.

1 infection| Give me SARS

RIAA = Raping Innocent American Adolescents [14 Sep 2003|09:17pm]
[ mood | defiant ]

There's not a whole lot special about my room, but one thing you would notice if you saw it was that one whole side of the room seems to be taken up by CDs. I have one of those CD tower things, plus a bunch of CDs that wouldn't fit in there are strewn about this small table next to my bed. Under my bed I have three or four CD carrying cases of varying capacity, all in use. And then of course, piled next to my CD player are the CDs that I happen to be listening to that day. Down in the garage I think I have another boxful of CDs I haven't listened to in a long time. The point is, I have a ton of CDs. I keep buying them regularly, and come to think of it, that's about all I buy. I'm not a real materialistic guy, but music is something I just can't get enough of.

I also download music illegally...at least three or four times a week. It's how I keep up with the music scene, especially the part of the scene neglected by radio and MTV. It's how I find out whether a song I heard is reflective of the rest of the album it's on, or whether it's the band's only good song. It's what makes me an informed consumer, not a criminal. And time and time again it's helped me discover great new bands. It's what actually gets me through the door of the record store to purchase those CDs I have everywhere.

Before the RIAA goes beyond the college students and 12-year-old kids and starts filing lawsuits against blind kids and children with terminal illnesses (and lets not forget the in utero lawsuits), maybe they should consider that in some ways allowing people to download music freely can be a great marketing tool. They should consider providing their consumers with a product that is so inspiring and entertaining from start to finish that they would be crazy not to purchase it. And they should consider that the more they attack their consumers with threats and lawsuits, the less likely it is that those consumers will support the artists that they represent.

Give me SARS

The Man In Black [12 Sep 2003|11:50pm]
[ mood | sad ]

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,
Why you never see bright colors on my back,
And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.
Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on.

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,
Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town,
I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,
But is there because he's a victim of the times.

I wear the black for those who never read,
Or listened to the words that Jesus said,
About the road to happiness through love and charity,
Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.

Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose,
In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes,
But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back,
Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black.

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,
For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,
I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been,
Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,
Believin' that the Lord was on their side,
I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,
Believin' that we all were on their side.

Well, there's things that never will be right I know,
And things need changin' everywhere you go,
But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right,
You'll never see me wear a suit of white.

Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day,
And tell the world that everything's OK,
But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,
'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black.

Johnny Cash

Give me SARS

Moon cake [12 Sep 2003|07:42pm]
Happy Mid Autumn Festival! Nobody wished me a Happy Mid Autumn Festival, I'm so offended. Of course most of my friends are like, not Chinese, so maybe that has something to do with it. Bastards, I celebrated July 4th, the least you could do is return the favor. Global awareness is a two way street! Actually, I don't even care. I don't celebrate it myself. The only thing that ever comes out of it is moon cake, and I HATE moon cake.

Moon cake is nasty. I'm all for being in touch with my Chinese side. I like being immersed in the culture. The best food I've ever had was probably something I had in Hong Kong or Taiwan. But moon cake is NASTY. It doesn't matter what kind of filling they put in it, it's just nasty. The texture is nasty, the taste is nasty, the feeling it gives you when it it's in your gut is nasty, the feeling it gives you when it's...nevermind, that's definitely nasty. How can anyone eat this crap? More importantly, how can anyone pay an exorbitant amount of money for this crap? Because they've been doing it for over a thousand years or something, I guess. Somewhere along the line you'd think people would realize that they're eating what amounts to some guy taking a bucketful of bean paste and bread crumbs and whatever scrapings he could find and mashing it into something the size of a hockey puck. With his bare feet.
Give me SARS

Warren Zevon [11 Sep 2003|09:54pm]
[ mood | melancholy ]

I don't believe I'd ever heard of Warren Zevon until he announced that he was dying last year. I still don't really know any of his songs, but I have been following this story since that annoucement because it is pretty intriguing. The guy was on Letterman several months ago. I guess that was his last public appearance, and I guess everyone knew that it was going to be his last appearance. I don't know how you can do it, going on TV to effectively say goodbye to the world. Well the way Zevon did it was to sit there and crack jokes about his impending death, which amazes me as well. Yeah, of course you don't want to make things too depressing, especially on a comedy show. But there's some people who stay positive in the face of tragedy, and then there's this guy who is just attacking it with humor - something that apparently came through in a lot of his songs.

And then of course, going for that final album, putting everything he had into it, to the point that he had to finish recording vocals at home because he was so sick. So I have enormous respect for the guy, even more than most of the musicians that I'm a fan of. I'm going to dig up some of his music, probably starting with "The Wind", the album that just came out. I think I owe it to the guy.

1 infection| Give me SARS

Don't look back in anger, I heard you say [11 Sep 2003|06:40pm]
[ mood | peaceful ]

You know what, I'm not really gonna go into what happened at work. Besides the fact that it was already more than two weeks ago, besides the fact that you (whoever reads this. Does anyone read this?) will have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm already at peace with it and I don't feel like bringing it up again. I no longer harbor any ill will toward anyone. All that needs to be said is that I start a new assignment on Monday, and all things considered it's probably one that's going to be a lot more anjoyable for me. I'll be doing lots of field work in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and Cupertino which is pretty much where I hang out anyway. The people I'm working with are cool, I don't have to worry about that. What is there to complain about? Yeah, I don't agree with the way it was handled, but what's done is done so now I'll move on to the new assignment for the next year or two, totally kick ass at it, and show those fuckers in management what kind of a mistake they made (okay, so I'm not completely at peace).

5 infections| Give me SARS

Qualification was the golden rule [08 Sep 2003|09:28pm]
[ mood | pessimistic ]

I just got back from an information meeting for Berkeley's MBA program. Hahahahaha, I'm doomed. Everyone in the program works for Intel or IBM or Sun, and they've been working there for quite some time. Not too many entry level government appraisers in that program, that's for sure. My GMAT score, which I thought was decent, is below the median, and my GPA...uhhhh, let's not talk about that. The whole thing costs $70,000 too, so at least I know my allotted employer reimbursement of $700 will cover 1% of that.

In the last month I applied for and was actually accepted into USF's Master of Public Administration program. Then I did a little research and found out they have a 90% acceptance rate. I mean, they must be pretty desparate for enrollments if they accepted my ass. They even waived the application fee, and they moved the deadline forward because they wanted to make a "decision" quickly. I missed the new deadline, and they still let me submit everything, and the next day I was accepted. Two days later was the registration meeting. I went down there to tell them "no thanks" (actually, I deferred admission, just in case) and there were a whopping five people there. Somehow I don't think this program is quite up to Berkeley's standards.

Just to illustrate my point, I read in the paper that even the Dalai Lama got a degree from USF this past weekend. Now they're just handing these out to anyone. Come on, I don't think this guy puts too much time into his schoolwork, seeing as how he's too busy running from the Chinese government and all.

I still haven't ranted on the work situation, have I? Stay tuned.
Give me SARS

Lost and naked in the city again [06 Sep 2003|07:05pm]
Hmmm, I think I have a layout I like finally. I just spent the last hour or two tweaking stuff and getting the hang of the coding. Brings me back to those days in college when I was all "Yeah! I'm gonna major in computer science and make hella money as a programmer, and then I can buy and sell each and every one of you bastards!!" right before I failed the first of many midterms in Intro to Programming. You know, when you can see the relevance of what you're doing, when you can get instant gratification like on this livejournal thingy, you tend to be a lot more motivated. I'll tell you what, if I was a computer programmer at least I'd know when I fucked up and I wouldn't have to wait a year and a half before someone informs me of it.

I feel a rant coming on...but I'm too lazy to follow through at the moment.
Give me SARS

I'm famous (internationally!) [04 Sep 2003|07:46pm]
Okay, so I didn't get around to talking about the work situation last night. I don't think I'll get around to it tonight either. But I do have something cool to share. I came across this today when I typed my name into a search engine (teoma.com, it works really well). It's a Q&A session with Henry Rollins, conducted by the BBC. People were asked to submit their questions through email. I totally forgot that I had done this, and so I pulled up this site and found that the guy actually answered my question:

Q. What was it like recording at Sun Studios in Memphis? Did the vibe have a direct effect on the songs you recorded there? Eric Matsuda, San Jose, CA

A. Around two in the morning, it's really something. It's very quiet outside and you forget that it's open to the tourists during the day. It was truly something. I don't know much about "vibe" or whatever but it sure was cool being in there and playing music where all that great stuff went down.

I like how he kinda made fun of my wording there. I have no idea what I meant by "vibe", that's just a word you hear a lot in conjunction with music. I must have written this not long after coming back from my trip to Memphis, where I actually did the tourist thing and took the Sun Studio tour, which was totally badass. Anyway, now my question is a part of the massive BBC archives, which puts me up there with the Beatles and the Who.
Give me SARS

A recap of the last two weeks [03 Sep 2003|09:25pm]
[ mood | awake ]

1. Got a reassigment at work, which wasn't really a "demotion" but it did come as a result of my incompetence (although they didn't use that word). More on this later. In fact, more on this in about 10 minutes from now...I really need to vent about this shit.

2. Applied for, and was accepted by a graduate school, and then decided not to enroll (something about the 90% acceptance rate and the fact that only 5 people showed up on registration day)

3. Contacted by two old friends I haven't heard from in years, on the same day.

4. Went to Lollapalooza, relived my youth, bought a four dollar Coke (but passed on the 30 dollar t-shirt)

5. Still dealing with a personal issue, which I've discussed at length in my previous journal...hence the creation of this new journal. The old one was getting way too depressing and sappy and Dashboard Confessionalish. It's still up somewhere, and might even see an occasional update, but I can't tell you where it is because, frankly, I get embarassed just reading it myself. I'm looking for a more mainstream audience here. Things are getting better on this front though.

I usually start up these journals in a moment of inspiration and then give up on them after a couple weeks. That could very well be the case here, but for now I feel really motivated...I guess. Oh, and there will be a redesign as soon as I figure out how to do it. I think I've used this same style for the last three journals and I'm sick of it.

Give me SARS

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