Friday, May 30, 2008

What are you doing this weekend?

Forecast
Fri: 81°F / 61°F, mostly sunny
Sat: 79°F / 63°F, scattered t-storms
Sun: 78°F / 58°F, mostly sunny

See
Sex and the City (starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon, Kristin Davis, Kim Cattrall)
Get 'Carried' away! Every other female in this country is seeing the movie this opening weekend, including one half of the Life in Boxes crew. Yuri and Jorge will definitely let you know what they thought of it, in a post to come next week. ;)

The Strangers (starring: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman)




Events

Seaport Music Festival 2008 (ongoing until the end of summer)
South Street Seaport
Tonight, May 30- DJ Mike Wolf, Die! Die! Die!, Wire

World Science Festival Street Fair Sat, May 31, 10am-6pm
Streets around Washington Sq- interactive exhibitions, experiments, games.

Shakespeare in the Park
Central Park, 8PM, various nights
Hamlet (through June 29)

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Cluster Bombs Banned (Don't Get Too Excited)

Countries Agree To Cluster Bomb Ban- CNN

More than 100 countries attending a conference in Dublin, Ireland formally
adopted a treaty Friday to ban cluster bombs -- a large, unreliable and
inaccurate weapon that often affects civilians long after the end of armed
conflict.

Yay! 111 Countries signed this treaty. Unfortunately for the rest of the world, the ones that count didn't. The United States, China, Russia, and Israel were notably absent from this treaty. This is like the NBA saying the Lakers score too much therefore Vladimir Ramanovic can't shoot. Meanwhile, Kobe is killing the other team. For all you non sports fan, this is like Big's marriage to Natasha. Carrie is the one that counts!

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Go See London From New York City

As if there weren't enough reasons to go to the city, they've just added another freakin' awesome reason: go to New York to see London (or vice versa).

Artist Paul St. George has created the telectroscope, two giant telescopes, one placed near the Brooklyn bridge and the other near Tower Bridge in London, which allows the viewers to see each other from across the pond in real time, 24 hours a day.

While this crazy Victorian, steampunk'esque telescope looks just like an art piece, the thing that makes it crazy is that it actually works. Instead of using mirrors and somehow making up for the curve of the earth, inside each teletroscope is an HD camera and a screen.

This is the best combination of creative art and technology I've seen in a long time.

The telectroscopes are only going to be around until June 15th, so go get a glimpse while you can. For more info, read more....

Check out the official website here.
And here are the exact addresses of the two telectroscope locations:

The Telectroscope is situated at Fulton Ferry Landing near Brooklyn Bridge.
Fulton Ferry Landing
Old Fulton Street, Brooklyn NY - 11201
Subway: Lines A and C to High Street or F to York Street

---

The Telectroscope is situated on the south side of the river near Tower Bridge.
More London Riverside
London SE1 2DB

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Photograph of the day

I am a huge photography nerd, so I had to share with you one of my favorite photographers. Joseph O. Holmes is a tremendously talented photographer that has the photoblog, Joe's NYC. He focuses mainly on New York City and shows a unique perspective of the city in every photo he posts.

The above image is from his American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) series. The first time I saw this shot, I was floored. It is both simple and amazingly creative.

Oh yeah, and the craziest thing is that he updates his blog every day. As a fellow photoblogger, I can attest to how difficult that truly is.

Anyway, check out his blog to enjoy his other works.

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Thursday, May 29, 2008

30 Things to do Before You're 30 (part 1)

30. Learn Korean.
While I was half asleep in the back of some conference once, I heard some guy say that it will be essential for the future business leaders to know at least one Asian language. Very true Asian dude. Also, if you live in the USA/Western Hemisphere, learn to speak Spanish.

29. Learn French
French is roughly the 10th most spoken language in the world but is number one in helping you get a date. Even faking the accent is good enough sometimes.

28. Drive Stick
My mom thinks that manual is an ancient technology and will slowly go the way of the dinosaurs. Mayhaps, or maybe only the cool kids are doing it. Am I that insecure? YES!

27. Learn to Dance
Yes, I am Latino. No, I do not know how to dance. Thing is, rhythm doesn't come naturally to me (watch me try to clap in rhythm if you ever want to have fun). However, as a young boy I was smitten by the GAP commercial in which everyone is swing dancing. I want to jump and hang in the air for a couple of seconds while the camera does the Matrix effect too!

26. Learn to Cook
This is more of a survival thing. I kid you not, I did not bring a single utensil or plate to college and I was not on the meal plan. Eating out everyday (HA!) gets expensive. I'd like to think that in the near future I could feed myself without depending on a Pizzeria. I just hope I don't set the house on fire in the process.

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Top Chef: Bland Steak (Spoilers Ahead!)

Steak, steak everywhere, let's all have a bite. Once again, straying away from the initial idea of "Wedding Wars" (which I personally think they dropped after seeing the HORRENDOUS wedding cake that Pirate Lisa made .. goodness, talk about ruining a bride's day!) and a bit of a departure from "Restaurant Wars," the remaining four chefs found themselves working with meat. Get your mind out of the gutter, people, we're still talking about steak here!

So yeah, this week's episode was a bit of a bore for me. I mean, it was no surprise to see who the bottom two were [again]. But I guess the thing that really irked me was the fact that it was Lisa and Spike who made it down to the final four, when it should have been Jennifer and Dale. Seriously, those two cuts were the most surprising ones for this season. No good; Julia does not approve.

Anyway, Spike and Lisa end up at the bottom two .. and of course, Lisa ends up getting saved once again. Blegh. Normally, I would be jumping up and down in anger that Lisa managed to stay alive once again [six times so far biatch, and yes, I am keeping count), but Spike really did deserve to go home. As much as I hate to admit it, when it comes down to Spike and Lisa, Spike isn't exactly the most skilled chef. Sure, Spike seems like a cool dude and all, but he's had his fair share of douche bag moments, and managed to survive by the skin of his teeth, weeks up until now.

Touché, Pirate Lisa, but you better be packing your knives next week.

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Artist of the Day: Wayne Thiebaud


Wayne Thiebaud is an American painter best known for his paintings of cakes, pastries, lipsticks, candy, and other objects of mass culture. Though he technically precedes Pop Art, his works are often associated with the movement because of the common objects and the style in which he painted. I was recently introduced to his stuff and I fell in love because of his use of exaggerated colors and the whimsical nature of his work. Plus anyone who can make art out of cakes and candy and pies is a winner to me. The above work, titled Cakes (1963), is one of my favorites of his. Yumm!

If you want to read more about the artist, here are 10 things about Thiebaud for your reading pleasure.

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Movie: Lars and the Real Girl


Movie Release Date: October 12, 2007
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2008
Genre: Dramedy
Running Time: 107 Minutes
Director: Craig Gillespie
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emily Mortimer, Patricia Clarkson

Lars and the Real Girl is an Oscar nominated quirky indie comedy about a painfully shy man named Lars, who brings home a girlfriend one day much to the surprise of his family. The girlfriend, named Bianca, turns out to be a life-sized doll made out of silicon, and the movie is about his family's and their small town's reaction to this interesting development in his life. Instead of being outcast as the weirdo creep with a sex doll, the town begins to embrace Bianca, treating her as a real person, as Lars does. Whoever said love has to be 2-sided?


This is a really sweet comedy that is interesting because of it's fantasy-meets-real-life element. What I mean by that is, it's a complete fantasy to have a whole town embrace an essentially socially awkward young man, and play along with his delusion that his internet-order doll is real. I hardly think this would happen in real life; Lars would be carried away to a mental institution in the first 15 minutes of the film (which almost happens, if left up to his bewildered brother Gus). So in that sense, the movie is almost like a fairy tale, except it's set in a wintry, small Northern town and no one is made up or overly pretty (or at all, actually) or dressed in fancy frocks.

What makes the movie work is that it's really well written, really original, and really well acted. It's all about these characters, most specifically the development of Lars's character and his journey of overcoming his anti-socialness through his relationship with Bianca. There's funny dialogue, but the humor comes from the interactions all of the characters have as they try to accept Lars and Bianca. I was most touched by the fact that his family (especially his lovely sister-in-law) and the town wholeheartedly rallies around Lars, because he is one of their own, no matter how different he may be. It's really a story about love, communication, and hope.

Grade: A-

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Artist of the Day: The Shanghai Restoration Project


David Liang infuses traditional Chinese instruments with hop hop and trance to create a uniquely intersting mix. Check out The Shanghai Restoration Project.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

[Feature] BitTorrent 101


Remember the golden age of Napster and Kazaa? When they hadn't gone corporate or gotten full of false titles and viruses? When you could very easily download... certain content with little hassle?

Unfortunately, those days are pretty much over. Downloading has become a bit harder these days and BitTorrent has become the best way to get... certain things :x

Today, I'm giving you a quick guide to using BitTorrent....


What is BitTorrent?
BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing protocol that is fundamentally different from things like Kazaa. Instead of one person directly sharing a file to another user, BitTorrent has one person (the seeder) sharing bits and pieces of a file to multiple users (the peers), who in turn, share the small bits that they have to each other until they get the whole file (and become seeders themselves). In this way, the original seeder needs to send the whole file just once for multiple users to get it. Also, this reduces the burden of a single user and lets everyone share small amounts. This diagram (taken from Wikipedia) does a good job illustrating how it all works.

The good thing about BitTorrent is that, with popular files, you will have many seeders (people who are sharing the whole file) and peers (people downloading and sharing pieces of the file), thus, you will have very fast download speeds. Also, since you aren't downloading from one specific person, you don't have to worry about them signing off or just being a jerk and not sharing files.

The bad thing is, if the file is not popular and there are only a few or no seeders, the files will take much longer to get.

Overall, BitTorrent is a good system for sharing files, especially if they are popular.


How you use it
The first thing you need in order to start using BitTorrent is a client. Basically, a client is a program that knows how to read .Torrent files. Personally, I prefer uTorrent for Windows and Azureus for Macs. The setup for these programs are straightforward and as long as you follow directions you should be good to go.

The next thing you need are the actual torrent files, or, the things you want to download. To find torrents, you need to utilize torrent search sites. My two favorites are Mininova.org and ThePirateBay.org. All you do is get on these sites, search for what you're looking for, and choose the file that has the most seeders and peers. Once you found your .Torrent file, download it and open it. This will cause your BitTorrent client to turn on and setup the file.

Once your client is running the .Torrent file, you will be both uploading and downloading at the same time. Since BitTorrent relies on people sharing, it's encouraged that you continue to share a little after you've downloaded the whole file. That way others can become seeders as well and people can continuously download files.

And so that's BitTorrent in a nutshell. Download a client, find a .torrent file, and start downloading and uploading. It is a simple concept wrapped around simple programs.

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[Weird] Site of the Day


Ever feel the need to pee, but held it in, hoping for a cleaner, more sanitary bathroom? If you could relate, then MizPee is for you!

MizPee finds the closest, cleanest toilets in your area. You can add and review toilets, get some cool deals in your area and challenge your knowledge of toilet trivia.

Found via Popgadget.

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Friday, May 23, 2008

What are you doing this weekend?

Forecast
Fri: 73°F / 47°F, sunny to partly cloudy and warmer
Sat: 72°F / 49°F, mostly sunny
Sun: 77°F / 52°F, sunny most of the day and nice
Memorial Day/Mon: 79°F / 61°F, mostly sunny and pleasant

See
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Starring Harrison Ford, Shia LeBeouf, Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen)

War, Inc. (Starring John Cusack, Marisa Tomei, Hilary Duff, Joan Cusack, Ben Kingsley)






Events

Brooklyn Bridge 125th Birthday Bash (May 22nd – 25th)

Friday, May 23rd: Brooklyn Bridge Film Series
Watch 2 short, historic films (Panorama from the Tower of the Brooklyn Bridge (1903) / Manhattan (1921), followed by Walt Disney’s 2007 film, Enchanted. Films begin at 8:30PM, with music preceding the movie screenings.

Memorial BBQs
Go out and get the grill going, ya’ll! There’s pretty much at least one barbeque going on this weekend .. if you haven’t been invited to any, plan out an impromptu bbq!

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John Mayer, the Comedian


If When I become a celebrity, I'm going to be a cool one. Celebrities are much more enjoyable when they're funny and self-effacing. I think one guy who personifies this coolness is John Mayer.

Aside from making good music and having a good blog, he makes very
funny videos. His latest (up top) is a video describing his music making process.

Read more to see some more of his classic videos....


2 Guys, 1 Cup
I've already told you about the original 2 Girls, 1 Cup. John Mayer and Sherrod Small (of VH1 fame), parody that nasty video with Pinkberry and chocolate syrup.




Kanye West and John Mayer Record Bittersweet
Not only is Bittersweet a great song, but this video is hilarious.
"Go back and listen to Daughters, bitches."




John Mayer in a Bear Suit
John Mayer dons a bear suit in order to interact with his fans anonymously before a show. He goes around bashing on himself and mispronoucing his name as John Myers.
"Did you know that John Myres (sic) lip syncs all his concerts?"
"Your Body is a Wonderland was written for a guy!"

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Thing I Want of the Day

Engraveyourbook.com offers custom laser-etched moleskine notebooks. This is cool for a couple of reasons. First, I am a sucker for those overpriced moleskine notebooks. Second, lasers are cool. Third, the cost of customization isn't that expensive.

You can get a predesigned notebook for either $20 or $32 (depending on the size of the notebook). If you want to upload your own design, you just throw in an extra $5 (oh, and you can get the spine lasered for an extra $5 too).

I really, really want one :x

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RIP Laptop

My poor, poor, Toshiba laptop (2004-2008) has succumbed to a myriad of Trojan viruses.

Despite a valiant fight it clearly did not have the strength and will it had in its younger days. She was a good laptop. Given to me as a gift in the first week of January 2004, it began its life as my primary source of Internet during my stay in Florence, Italy. It was the only laptop in our room that was successfully connected to the Internet, and thus became the center of the room not only for me, but for my roommates as well. In its early days, it was used to keep me informed of news happening back in the US, as well as for playing True Poker, Madden 02, and Cossacks. Upon its return to the States, it carried on its responsibilities during my college years. It was there for every paper I had to write, as well as for every song and movie I had to download. In its later years, it encountered a few problems, but nothing a few updates and keyboard replacements couldn't handle. It laid majestically in the middle of my living room as though it owned it. I was beginning to think that my laptop was invincible. Tragically, however, two days ago it was infected and was unable to recover.

What can be said at a time like this? The files will be missed, the memories will be remembered. Not in bytes, but rather in reminiscing anecdotes of a simpler time. I guess what I'm trying to say is, fuck it! I'm getting a Mac.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

It pays to talk to your parents, kids!


After my Stephen Colbert sighting on Tuesday, I must have told, oh I don't know, EVERYONE I KNOW, about my big encounter with an A-list celebrity. What can I say, I highly enjoy celebrity sightings.

On a completely random-yet-kind-of-related note, I ended up watching SNY with my dad for a little bit that night, and he just kind of threw out that he sees Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui sometimes. What. This was random cause a) I hadn't mentioned my own celebrity sighting for him to bring this up (not that he'd know who Colbert is anyway), and b) I hardly ever watch TV with my parents. So I asked him to tell me more, and it turns out that he sees them on 49th all the time "because that's where they live, you know." Hmm. I just got schooled by my dad. That hasn't happened since like the 6th grade.

The kicker? He's like, oh I really like Matsui, he's really quiet and keeps to himself. I was like, wait, what, how do you know that? He just looked at me like I was dumb and was like, well duh, I've gone up to him and said hi. Apparently his exact words were: "Hi, Matsui!" (Omg, I wonder where I get my dorkiness from.) Props to Papa Shin though, I would've been too nervous to say anything. And then this got him talking about how he has also run into Reverend Al Sharpton and how he said, "Hi Reverend!" (dork.) And he got a handshake out of it. Love the Rev or hate him, that's pretty cool.

But between this conversation, Julia's post about living with parents, and my own celebrity sighting moment, it got me thinking. I don't know about you guys, but I hardly talk to my parents even though I live under the same roof as them. And you know, they're actually really interesting people. They've got at least 20+ more years of life experience over you, which automatically makes them significantly interesting. Case in point: who knew my dad was such a magnet for celebrity sightings?

My dad's not the easiest person to talk to- he's super quiet and reserved. But I also see his dorky and funny side when I see his interactions with other people, mainly people who at least make an attempt to talk to him. I'm making it my mission to do that. As annoying and uncool parents can be sometimes, they'll really open up when you do the same, cause I bet you they're more intimidated by you than you are of them (if you are, at all). Give it a try, kids. You'll learn a thing or two about them you didn't before. And, that's pretty cool.

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Top Chef: WTFmate (Spoilers Ahead!)

About a week ago, I wrote a mini-rant about my current guilty pleasure: Top Chef. As I rushed home to catch last night's all new episode, my mind ran wildly with theories as to which chef would be packing up their knives to go home. "Please, oh please," I thought to myself. "If any of the judges has a sense of decency, they will send that talentless waste of blob Lisa home! And Dale will end up as one of the final two!" But unfortunately, like most reality TV shows, all of my hopes and dreams were crushed last night, as Chef Dale was sent a-packin' whilst that stupid dirty pirate hooker who can't cook for *!#$ was saved for yet another week.

First of all, a BIG WTF to these so-called judges. Chef Tom was MIA this week, so instead that stupid jerk from No Reservations (*Anthony Bourdain, who coincidentally always has reminded me of a butt pirate) was the guest judge. I mean, I know it's pretty prejudiced for me to hate the guy without tasting any of his cooking or whatevs, but something about that guy just totally rubs me the wrong way (that's what she said! no time! but she said it!). *Interestingly, when I looked up Anthony Bourdain, turns out he grew up around our neck of the woods - Leonia, NJ.

Even though I wasn't too pleased with the judges' decision, I have to admit, Dale needs to work on his attitude. So I guess deep down inside, I knew his cocky attitude would get the best of him .. but why this week? And why before Lisa and Spike?! Oh, Dale ..

Anyway, Dale ending up taking the cut pretty hard, and his last TH (talking head) showed a more vulnerable man with poofy red eyes, stating that he respected his opposing team for the challenge (Richard, Stephanie, Antonia - aka, the talented bunch who better kick either Lisa or Spike's ass in the coming episodes). Beh, I guess my prediction that the season finale would be a Richard VS. Dale standoff were crushed. Instead, I'm seeing Richard VS. Stephanie. But seriously, wtf are Spike and Lisa still doing on the damn show?? Spike seems like a cool guy, but definitely not Top Chef material.

And Lisa? Puhlease. She's just asking for a punch in the neck, courtesy of me.

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Sports Recap: Playoffs For Three! (and some...)


NBA PLAYOFFS

How many times can I be wrong about the Spurs? The answer is twice! The Lakers will beat the Spurs in six because no one can stop Kobe Bryant (I know I've said this a thousand times already but it still holds true.) Yes, Bruce Bowen is a phenomenal defender but great offense beats great defense more oft than not. Besides, the Lakers are more than just Kobe. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom in the front court make for some pretty passes in the low post.

LAKERS OVER SPURS IN 6


Is it me or does it seem like the Celtics are getting drugged when they leave Boston? Here's my boldest prediciton to date. The Celtics will win a game on the road. GASP! Also, if anyone has a spare VHS tape of He Got Game can they please lend it to Ray Allen in hopes that he remembers how to shoot.
CELTICS OVER PISTONS IN 6

So far I am 9-3 in the prediction department. 75 percent is OK, but i'm hoping for a 3-0 finish with the Lakers beating the Celtics in the NBA dream finals.

MLB BASEBALL
Alex Rodriguez (man crush) is back and hitting for the Yanks. Two games, two homers, and two doubles. But of course, you can't please everyone all the time. In Alex's case, you can't please any New York sportswriter anytime for any reason. In his first game back, Alex hit a homerun in a 12-2 loss to the Orioles and smatters of "meaningless homeruns" already began. The score was 9-0 before the Yankees got to bat. As Max Kellerman aptly put it, "Maybe he should've hit it before the game started." Calm down Yankee fans!

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TV Show of the Day


The Office is over for the season, what's a girl to do? The summer is a particularly awful season when all the networks bombard airwaves with crappy reality shows while scripted shows are are on hiatus. There is a gem to be discovered among the crap, and that show is FOX's very entertaining So You Think You Can Dance. Think American Idol for the dance crowd, but with way more talent to be showcased. My love for TV and in particular dance based reality shows have already been documented on this blog, and you may recall me counting down to this day way back in March. Fellow fans, rejoice with me, and newbies, just check out the 2-hour premiere tonight and thank me later. YAYYY!

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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Stop Looking Like an Alcohol N00b

As I've mentioned before, drinking causes the classic Asian flush because the body cannot break down ingested alcohol completely.

Basically, your liver is a total n00b at drinking.

While there is no way to make your liver more awesome, there is a way to stop yourself from becoming the Kool-Aid man every time you down a shot.

The cure to the Asian flush is Pepcid AC. If you take this heartburn medicine an hour before drinking, you won't turn red while drinking.

How does it work? I have no idea. But according to Wikipedia:

It is not known why ranitidine and famotidine may in some cases, but not all, help reduce the symptoms of the alcohol flush reaction. Alcohol causes an irritation of the lining of the stomach. One possible theory that may explain the effects of famotidine (and similar classed drugs) on the skin erythema or redness secondary to alcohol consumption is because the drugs are H2-antagonists or H2 antihistamines, which are used to treat peptic/gastric ulcers. In essence, if the "Asian flush" is an allergic reaction to the alcohol, then the mechanism of action of H2-antagonists can explain its effects on curtailing or decreasing the redness.

I don't really know what that means, but I don't think it matters. All you need to know, my fellow Asian brethren, is that if you turn red when drinking, then Pepcid AC is your new best friend.

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Rumor of the Day



One of your favorite hang out spots in Fort Lee - Borders - might be gone as soon as the next year. Rumor has it that the bookstore has been showing sluggish sales numbers and that the overhead is becoming too much to handle. It's also rumored that a Japanese restaurant could be possibly taking its place

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Celebrity Sighting: Stephen T. Colbert

Spotted: Stephen Colbert, Time Warner Center, NY, 12:10PM.

On my way to the gym during lunch, I bumped into the one and only Stephen Colbert. In real life he looks just like he does on TV, except he was more smiley. Actually he looked simultaneously happy and confused (like he didn't really know where he was going), and the ever-so-cool I totally smirked at him. SMIRKED! I make eye contact with him, and I don't smile at him or say a friendly hello, but I smirk. I was simultaneously geeking out and trying to look cool at the same time, as well as trying to mouth 'OMG I LOVE YOU SO MUCH.' And so my face got confused and it was all happening so fast, and that's the look I gave him. I might have drooled a little too? I don't know. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

I could've done so many things, like yell out "Truthiness!" or "You're my favorite Korean pop star!" or "Bears are godless killing machines!" or requested a dance-off. UGH, so many things, too little time!!! Stephen, if you're reading this, I LOVE YOU. AND YOU LOOKED UBER HANDSOME AND SMART IN YOUR KHAKIS AND TAN JACKET. AND I'M NOT CREEPY, I SWEAR!

edited to add (4:28PM): I'm currently item #2 on Gawker Stalker!

Here are some interesting Colbert facts, and reasons why I LURVE him:

* was a member of the famed Second City improv group in Chicago while attending Northwestern, along with castmates Steve Carell and Amy Sedaris (my faves)
* lives in Montclair, New Jersey (holla back, neighbor!) with his wife and 3 kids
* is a Sunday school teacher at his Catholic church
* co-wrote the #1 NY Times bestseller, I Am America (And So Can You!)
* is a self-described Democrat in real life, stating that he has "no problems with Republicans, just Republican policies."

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Comic of the Day

(from xkcd.com)

Oh man, now I'm actually looking forward to Chinese takeout days for lunch in the office.

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Monday, May 19, 2008

[Feature] Moving Out


After graduating from college, it’s understandable that a graduate may miss various aspects of college. Friends from different states, the local campus eateries, taking courses that you actually were interested in…the list can go on. But the one thing that all graduates can say they miss the most is living away from home.

It’s a bit of a bittersweet feeling, actually. The prospect of no longer having to study ever again seems like sweet victory (unless you’ve got plans to head straight away to grad school, law school, or any other variation of further education), but after living away for a good majority of the past four years, the idea of being home for more than the usual stay of summer break is torturous for many. Think of it as Harry Potter, having to move out from Hogwarts, and back to live with his crazy, restrictive guardians FOREVER (or so it seems). Hm. Probably a bit of a stretch for an analogy, but what I'm trying to get to is that being back home for more than three months can strain relationships back at home.

For those who are fortunate to have a decent paying job and their finances in order (this includes having the means to pay off your student loans, credit card bills, etc.), moving out might be the next logical step into adulthood. But before you do go searching for your own humble abode, recognize that living at home for at least the first year is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (seriously, ask people who are living on their own, and besides the whole freedom aspect, they’ll most likely tell you that living at home is always an overlooked privilege). If you are serious about eventually moving out, SAVE SAVE SAVE while you are living at home. A recommended tip would be to put aside whatever amount of money you think you’d be paying in rent [for each month living at home] into your savings account. Try working around this so-called “rent” and manage your budget accordingly.

For those who are gung-ho about the big move, here are some pointers for finding a place:

Where To Search
Whether it’s in NYC or Bergen County, location is a pretty big deal when it comes to finding a place of your own. The best ways to find a good deal is either through friends and acquaintances you could trust, or better yet, a realtor. Sure, a realtor may have fees they want you to cough up for their services, but you might as well be legit, with someone who knows what to look, for doing the dirty for you. An alternative is searching for a place yourself, whether it is by driving around town, looking for those “For Rent” signs, or checking out apartments on Craigslist. However, remember that Craigslist is a breeding ground for scammers, so make sure that the listing you are inquiring for is legit.

What Questions To Ask
After an initial phone call, it’s no big surprise that you must go check out the place yourself. Besides your first impression of the place (such as seeing whether or not if it’s pretty, clean, or livable), make sure to have a list of questions in mind to ask the landlord. Top questions that I’ve asked include the following: are utilities included with the rent, and if so which? / what are the lease terms? / why did the last person move out? / are pets allowed? / how strict are you with noise volume? / [if utilities are not included] about how much is the gas, electric, water bill on average per month? / are you going to be doing any improvements or adjustments to the physical condition of the place itself before someone moves in?
Also, especially if you do like the place, make sure to make an amiable impression!

Roommates or Living Alone
If you think you can afford living it out alone, both financially and socially, go for it. But for those looking to take the big move out in baby steps, you should consider having a roommate. A friend made a good point that not only would it be easier for you in a financial sense, but it’ll be a good transition, especially living with someone who would be dealing with the same things as you. Yes, misery does love company!

Besides all of that jazz, the one thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t expect a gleaming palace at a great price, especially for your first place. Sure, there are some great deals here and there, but ultimately, you should keep your priorities in check when it comes to finding a place of your own. If location is a higher priority than bedroom size, and if you are on a tight budget, be prepared to make some sacrifices.

Happy Huntings!

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Friday, May 16, 2008

What are you doing this weekend?

Forecast
Fri: 58°/48°, Rain
Sat: 72°/52°, Night Showers
Sun: 68°/50°, Mostly Cloudy

See
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (Starring Peter Dinklage, Anna Popplewell, Ben Barnes)

(That's the only major movie coming out this weekend. My suggestion: rewatch Iron Man!)







Events

Zootopia's Free Pre-Show
You don't have to have tickets to go enjoy Z100's Zootopia. Tomorrow from noon to six, they're doing a free show in the parking lot of the Izod Center. Metro Station, Flyleaf, Sarah Bareilles and Push Play will all be performing.

Freecycle Freemeet in Park Slope

Everyone's doing their spring cleaning and finding things they no longer need. If you go to JJ Byrne Park tomorrow from noon to four, you can participate in the Freecycle Freemeet, where you can either give away things you no longer need or grab treasure (aka, someone else's trash).

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Republican Flip Flop


"As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: 'Lord, if only I could have talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided.' We have an obligation to call this what it is: the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history," he said while speaking to Israel's parliament, the Knesset. He called it a "foolish delusion" to think the U.S. can negotiate with terrorists."

That's right. We do not negotiate with terrorist! Unless it's North Korea or the insurgence in Iraq. Dare I say? Is George Bush turning into a flip flopper? Luckily for the prez, he's not alone. John McCain has joined in on the action, criticizing Barrack Obama as being the Hamas candidate and ridiculing Obama's foreign policy. Slight problem, John. You recorded a video interview two years ago in which you said you were willing to negotiate with Hamas. Doh!

Kids. The lesson here is simple. Negotiate first, kick ass later, but do not try to question our intelligence.

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Free music sites

I like listening to music at work, but I don't have iTunes here, I don't have a connector thing that connects my iPod to my computer, and I don't usually have CDs on me. So I have to rely on different sites to get my daily dose of music. Here are the ones I like, and the pros & cons of each. Yes, this is what I do at work.

Imeem - This is probably the one I use the most. Imeem allows users to share all kinds of media- audio, video, blogs, photos. I use it because I can just search for playlists that people have already created, like "Coldplay Parachutes album" or "Amy Winehouse tracks."
Pros: Great song/video selection. You can create/save multiple playlists.
Cons: You have to register and create an account to use. Also, the loading time for songs has been pretty slow as of late.

Seeqpod - You can say it's the google for searching music and videos.
Pros: No login necessary, just search for music you want and play.
Cons: While the company touts that it reportedly has an index of 8 million songs, I've found that it doesn't have as big of a song selection as you would think. Searching can be frustrating at times.

Pandora - Internet radio/music recommendation service. You get a mix of artists familiar and new, based on your likes.
Pros: Discovering new artists who sound similar to artists you already like. Ability to vote on the songs you hear, which kind of influences Pandora's music recommendation service for other users.
Cons: Sometimes you're not in the mood to listen to new artists. And sometimes they can be very off in the 'if you like this artist, you'll enjoy this one..." feature. Also, Pandora's service is not available in non-US countries due to copyright issues.

Mixwit- Harks back to the mixtapes we all used to make before times of CDs and stuff. Cute cute cute.
Pros: You actually design a tape and you can get creative with the design/colors; it's a cool concept. Also, you can share your mixtapes with people.
Cons: The site gets its music from seeqpod, so see: seeqpod. You also have the option of searching from skreemr, which I do not like at all.

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Review: Palisades Park Bakery

Restaurant Bakery Name: Palisades Park Bakery
Cuisine: Desserts, baked goods
Location: Palisades Park, NJ
Price Range: $0.25 - $25
Info:
325 Broad Ave
Palisades Park, NJ 07650
(201) 944-3192

Living in Palisades Park, a town highly populated by Koreans and Korean businesses, I kind of forgot the concept of a small-town bakery. It wasn't until I went to the long-standing Palisades Park Bakery that I saw how much I had really been missing.

While Korean bakeries are fine, they have two major differences compared to American bakeries -- they are generally expensive ($3 for a small pastry) and their pastry style is a Korean/European hybrid.

The Palisades Park Bakery is the exact opposite. They offer cheap, Italian/American style baked goods that are delicious....

The first thing that stood out to me about Palisades Park Bakery was their amazing cakes. Their chocolate cake is the epitome of classic chocolate cake. It consists of 4 layers of yellow cake with chocolate pudding frosting between, all wrapped up in a chocolate outside. It is seriously one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had. And at $8 for a small cake, it's an unbelievably good deal.

Their cupcakes are good too. They tend to pile on their very sweet frosting -- which is too much for me -- but the cake part is sweet and decently moist. Oh, and at less than a dollar a cupcake, it's hard to not like it.

Along with these two bakery staples, the Palisades Park Bakery has a wide range of other desserts. Everything from cookies, cannoli, eclairs, and apple turnovers (Julia's favorite) can be had there. They even make a pretty decent flan for $9.50. It isn't as sweet and creamy as Latin flan, but it's better than many others I've tasted.

There is very little to complain about the Palisades Park Bakery and I would say it's one of the best bakeries that I've ever gone to.

Palisades Park Bakery has been around for a very long time. And for good reason too -- they continuously make delicious desserts for delicious prices. I haven't tried everything they have to offer, but considering the experience I've had with them so far, you can bet I will.

Atmosphere: NA
Food: A
Service: B+
Overall Rating: A

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Song of the Day: Coldplay - Viva La Vida

Coldplay's first single off of their upcoming album was not exactly my favorite song ever. However, they've recently released another song from the album which is much better.

Viva La Vida's title track is a good song. It's catchy and focuses on Chris Martin's vocals (unlike Violet Hill). This song gets me excited about the album's release. Let's hope the rest of the album sounds like this.

Don't just take my word for it, though. Listen to the song below:

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

People I Hate: Top Chef Edition


I'm not really one for reality shows, but the one show that I HAVE TO SEE is Bravo's Top Chef. I've never really watched any of the past seasons as religiously as I have for the current one .. but damn, they've got me good with this one.

Anyway, so the premise of this reality competition show is to have chefs from around the country to compete for a prize of $100,000 to start up a restaurant of their own (along with an editorial feature in Food & Wine Magazine, an appearance at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, and a culinary tour of the French Alps). Seems pretty much like Food Network's Next Food Network Star .. but yowsa, DRAMA-RAMA!

So last night's episode just pretty much exemplified how much I absolutely abhor Season 4 contestant Lisa. Augh, she's such a mofo. I really don't understand why she's still on (well, probably because she causes so much conflict with others and the fact that people are probably dying to see her get kicked off so they could laugh victoriously). But yeah, whether or not Andrew got kicked off last night because of her last minute attempt to salvage herself by ratting him out, it showed what sort of dirty pirate whore she really is.

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Freebies of the Day


McDonald's : Free Southern Style Chicken Biscuit Sandwich (in the morning) or Southern Style Chicken Sandwich (lunch-dinner) with a purchase of any medium/large drink.

Dunkin Donuts: Free 16.oz iced coffee from 10am-10pm. No purchase necessary.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Things That I've Learned Through The Internet


The internet is full of information -- useless, fake, information. For example, can you really make Mountain Dew glow with peroxide and baking soda? No, it's impossible.

However, if you look around, you can find some useful and real tips online. Here are a couple of things that I read online, tried, and found that work:

You can make your own t-shirts with freezer paper and t-shirt paint
My Little Mochi has a great tutorial on how to make your own shirts. All you do is get some freezer paper (found at your local supermarket), cut it out into a stencil, iron it onto a shirt and paint. Let it dry and then you have your own shirt.

Not only did I make some shirts, but 3/4 of the Life in Boxes editors made a small summer business out of it. I <3 PP FOREVER!

Get rid of hiccups in less then a minute

Growing Happiness has a great article that suggests getting rid of hiccups by drinking warm water. Here's how they explain it:

"hiccups are caused by the spasming of the diaphragm, a sheet of muscle located across the bottom the ribcage. And what do you do when a you get a muscle cramp? You apply heat."

I was skeptical at first, but the other day, my cousin was hiccuping for about 5 minutes. I made him drink some warm water and 20 seconds later, he was hiccup free.


Make cheap steak delicious
Steamy Kitchen has this interesting article saying that you can make steaks taste better by dousing it in salt 30 minutes to an hour before preparing.

I am a huge fan of steaks, so I tried this method and found the steak to be very tender and perfectly seasoned. This is definitely something I'll continue to do when I make steaks.

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Adieu Justine



Suddenly and shockingly, Justine Henin (25), the number one ranked female tennis player, retired from tennis less than two weeks away from the French Open. "I gave the sport all I have and took everything it could give me" said Henin during her press conference in Belgium. Henin retires having won 41 career titles including 7 Grand Slam singles titles. The only Grand Slam title to elude the 5'5'' Belgian was Wimbledon where she finished as the runner up in both 2001 and 2006.

Henin was one of my favorite players to watch. Despite her small and slender frame, she was able to strike a powerful one handed backhand and dash around the court with the tenacity of a bulldog. The tennis world will miss one hell of a competitor.

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Show of the Day: American Idol


The American Idol voting results are revealed tonight. Favorites David Archuleta and David Cook look to hold off Syesha Mercado. Can Syesha do it? Probably not. The producers of the show seem to be drooling at the idea of a David vs David final.

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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Scrubs Is Officially Moving To ABC!


Scrubs is the one hospital-themed show that I can safely say I enjoy, amongst all those other shows such as ER, House, and Grey's Anatomy. I would gladly take a bit of JD, Turk, Dr. Cox, Janitor, and Dr. Kelso over Dr. McDreamy, any day.

So of course, when I initially heard that Scrubs would be in its final season, a little bit of me started to die inside. But to have the "finale" end as a fairytale last week seemed a bit .. abrupt.

But the rumors about Scrubs switching networks (from NBC to ABC) have been officially confirmed by none other than Zach Braff (via MySpace bulletin):

Many of you have been understandably confused by the Fairy Tale episode of Scrubs serving as the series finale. It was not. I was not allowed to say it until today, but Scrubs will be moving to ABC for its final season. We are currently filming the 8th and final season. The true finale of the show will air on ABC in the fall. NBC merely promoted the Fairy Tale episode as the finale, as it was the last episode they owned.

Hopefully the real "final season" of Scrubs will be just as awesome as the rest.

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Song of the Day: "The World Has Its Shine" - Cobra Starship



A few months ago, I wrote up a review for Cobra Starship's ¡Viva la Cobra! After a few listens, songs have grown old and have eventually been kicked off of my more recent songs in rotation, but "The World Has Its Shine (But I Would Drop It On a Dime)" has survived the cut. Unfortunately, there aren't any good quality videos of the song online, so here's a cheesy video accompanied by the CD version of the song. Enjoy your song of the day, courtesy of my iPod, jPod (not to be confused with the book!).

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Monday, May 12, 2008

[Feature] Korean High Schools: The Korean Parents' Guide to Avoid Spending Time with Their Teenage Children


Its 10PM. Do you know where your children are? I think all of us know this pop culture reference, yeah? The interesting thing is, if you were to ask parents of American high schoolers, youre probably going to get a lot of varied answers. But I can guarantee that youll get an across-the-board, single answer from the parents of Korean high-schoolers: My child is at school. In a country where 15-hour (minimum) school days are the norm for all students, there is little to wonder about what your 16 year-old is doing on a Monday, Thursday, Saturday, or any other night for that matter.

High school education in Korea is a science in of itself, a perfected formula of determination, perseverance, and self-sacrifice that leads to the ultimate desired goal- entrance into the college of ones choice, preferably one of the top ranked universities. To achieve this, all students must put in hours of classroom learning (usually from 7am-5pm) in addition to self-taught study sessions/marathons (usually from 5pm-10pm), in addition to extra hours at private, after-school academies known as hagwons (usually from 10pm-1am). Repeat, everyday. And its not a matter of choice, the education system is set up this way, so that almost every single school and student partake in this rigorous tradition.

But why is it this way? Koreans have a long history of placing the utmost importance on education. Although it is not the case so much anymore, it used to be that where you attended college would be the most important factor in determining your lifes outcome. In theory, this idea is outdated. In reality, not much in the current education system suggests that there has been a change, or that going to college is not important.

Everything in the Korean society caters to this idea of education and going to college- parents spending large proportions of their salaries on their kids' private tutoring, recreational facilities closing early on nights before exams to encourage studying, and even the Korean Air Force suspending flights on exam days to prevent disturbance. And add the growing number of Korean students applying to and attending American colleges (103,000 Korean students study at American schools, more than from any other country), and you get no relief from the intense academic pressures the country has instilled in its young citizens.

In my quest to get into college, I was told to be a well-rounded student. That meant participating in extracurricular activities and volunteering in addition to getting good grades and scoring high on college entrance exams. In other words, life didnt have to revolve around studies in order for me to get into the schools of my choice. That is not the case in Korea, obviously. With only so many hours in the day to memorize pages of facts for the next exam, there is hardly time for play or anything else.

The Korean school system has been credited for producing hard work ethic and dedicated workers, which in turn helps the countrys economic success. It also has produced some major bragging rights: 97% of the country's young adults complete high school, the highest percentage of any country in the world. But the system has also been criticized for being too harsh. More than 8 out of every 100,000 students aged between 15-19 committed suicide in 2003, making suicide the second most common cause of death after traffic accidents in that age group. That is a lot of young people succumbing to the societal pressures placed on them by taking their own lives.

I recently received an email from my 15 year old cousin, who just started freshmen year of high school in Korea. It was 11 at night, she had just returned home from school, and was writing me a quick hello in the little precious free time she had before turning in for the night. I was pretty excited to get an email from her, cause I havent seen or talked to her in a long time. I replied right away, in my very broken Korean, telling her to reply back the next time she had a free moment. I havent heard from her yet, and Im not expecting to anytime soon. Its just the way it is, and shes long accepted it, and I guess I should too.


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Friday, May 9, 2008

What are you doing this weekend?

Forecast
Fri: 54°/47°, Rain
Sat: 66°/48°, Few Morning Showers
Sun: 71°/50°, Mostly Cloudy

See
Speed Racer (Starring Emile Hirsch, Christina Ricci, Susan Sarandon)
I'm letting you know about it but I don't recommend it.

What Happens in Vegas (Starring Cameron Diaz, Ashton Kutcher)
Ditto for this one.

Redbelt (Starring Chjweter Ejiofor, Tim Allen, Rodrigo Santoro)
Probably your best bet.




Events

My Chemical Romance Concert At Madison Square Garden
When: Friday 8PM
Price:37.50


Mother's Day


Opentable.com lists a variety of places in a variety of locations that offer Mother's Day deals.

FTD Flowers offers Mother's Day deals and same day delivery.

Because dinner and card doesn't cut it anymore, Gifts.com offers plenty of gift ideas.

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The Dreaded Mother's Day: Last Minute Gifts

Mothers. They've carried us in their wombs for 9 heavy months. They've birthed us. They've changed our diapers, bandaged our wounds, and made sure we were well-fed and clean. All of this for the glorious one day of the month where they could be appreciated in the form of a gift (well, besides her birthday).

Now that most of us are no longer in elementary school (or at least I hope!), we can no longer rely on those Mother's Day plant sales at school, purchasing African violets with the money that our moms tucked into our pockets, along with our lunch money.

For those who have yet to get dear ole' Mom something, here are some last minute pointers:

Bag/wallet from a known designer
-Since I'm on a budget, I've skipped over the Louis Vuitton store and opted for a safe choice in Coach. It's not as expensive as LV, but modestly priced for your mom to appreciate it. Just head over to a nearby Coach store (there's one at GSP) and get it within minutes.

Jewelry
-Instead of having your mom brag to her friends about how great and better you are compared to her friends' kids (maybe it's an Asian thing, but my mom LOVES to brag about me, even if there's not much to say -_-), get her something sparkly that'll speak for itself. A nice, simple necklace does wonders.

Flowers/balloons/stuffed animals/Hand-written card
-Any combination of the above is a safe bet since that's what Mother's Day has become. Personally, my mom loves getting a card written by me [in Korean]. I suspect she enjoys showing it off to her friends about how horrible my Korean grammar is. And getting flowers delivered is a PLUS. Who wouldn't like getting surprised with a bouquet of flowers?

Brunch/dinner, but preferably a nice one
-Take the family out for brunch/dinner, but your treat. Tons of restaurants have Sunday brunches or dinners at prix fixe costs. If you can't afford it, then try making Mom some dinner at home .. including her favorite dessert!

For other gift ideas ..
Check out Popgadget. It's for women (or in this case, moms) who are a bit more tech-savvy and in tune with the times.

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To Keep or Not to Keep Old Schoolwork

I recently had to take all my old boxes out of my basement. My goal was to look through all my stuff and find things I could throw out or sell at a garage sale.

As I went through all my useless junk I had amassed through the years, I saw that I kept a lot of old notes and tests. I have notebooks, study guides, and tests that go from senior year of high school and all the way through college.

I know that I will probably never actually look at any of these papers again. What's more, I have a lot of my old essays on file in my computer. But for some reason, I can't seem to get myself to throw out all of these old papers and notebooks. I feel like I'm going to regret it. Like, for some reason, years from now, I'm going to think back and say, "Man, I wish I had my old college notebook full of sloppy notes and drawings."

Unlikely, yes. But still a feeling I can't shake.

So, fellow readers, have you kept your old college notes and tests? Should I stop being crazy and just throw it all away?

I'm curious to see if I'm normal or just a nerdy packrat.

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Thursday, May 8, 2008

How you can help Myanmar


Living in an area where the severest weather is like a mild thunderstorm, sometimes I can't get my head around the fact that natural disasters can be deadly. On May 3rd, Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar (also known as Burma), the geographically largest country in Southeast Asia, and a country with a really rich and tragic history. In the days following, the death toll from Cyclone Nargis has skyrocketed from an initial number of 22,000, to 50,000, to an estimated 100,000 as of today, May 8. In addition, over 95% of the buildings in the delta region struck by the cyclone were destroyed, over one million people are now homeless, and nearly 2,000 square miles of Myanmar is still left underwater.

There are a lot of complications preventing quick aid to Myanmar, in particular the fact that its military junta has yet to approve travel visas to disaster assessment teams and international relief workers for entry into the country. Needless to say, with the death toll rising, the sheer number of displaced people struggling to survive without food and shelter, and the conditions left behind by the cyclone and decomposing bodies, things are looking grim.

I know most of us reading this live far, far away from Myanmar. But the devastation there is too great for us to not do something about it. 100,000. That is a good chunk of the world population that were killed in one day. There are organizations already in Myanmar providing aid as best as they can, and the international community is pledging money and resources (including the US's pledge of $3 mil). While we can't physically be there helping out, we can do our part by donating to the organizations that are doing work in Myanmar and in so many other countries in the world. CNN has put together a really neat page with all the different resources you can peruse and donate to.

Here are the big ones:
International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)

World Food Programme

Doctors without Borders

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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Sports Recap: Playoffs Part Deux

Second round of the playoffs has begun. I went 6-2 in the first round. I clearly underestimated the speed and tenacity of the New Orleans Hornets and the stupidity of the Phoenix Suns. How many times can you get beat by the pick and roll! No worries.

Hornets Over Spurs in 7
Yes the series is already 2-0 Hornets but I honestly picked this before they started. I'm clearly not a fan of the Spurs this year. I think they're team was too slow for the Suns and I think they're too slow for the Hornets. That being said they could very well come out and win the next four in a row and make me look stupid.
Hornets win because: Chris Paul is not only good offensively, he reeks havoc on the defensive side of the ball. The Spurs won't have such an easy time executing the pick and roll.

Lakers Over Jazz in 6
The Jazz have a little bit of everything you would like in a team. Unfortunately, what they don't have, and no one else on this planet for that matter, is someone who can guard Kobe Bryant. I know no one has been able to guard Kobe for a while but this year his team is considerably better.
Lakers win because: Phil Jackson is the master of dictating tempo and of course Kobe.

Detroit Over Orlando in 6
In the most boring series left in the playoffs the Pistons will once again mind numbingly drill their style of play into their opponent. I feel sorry for the Magic. Not because they'll get beat but because they'll probably be comatose by the time they're done.
Pistons win because: Detroit has plenty of bigs to frustrate Dwight Howard while Tayshaun Prince is long enough to bother Hedo Turkoglu.

Celtics Over Cavs in 5
Game one was an exciting 76-72 game. Yikes. This foreshadows a defensive, beat down series ala Knicks vs Heat. If Lebron was complaining about the fouls during the Wizards series, he might as well put on a cast and get on a wheel chair right now.
Celtics win because: Lebron will have to single handedly win four games and because Kevin Garnett will not allow Ben Wallace to stop him.

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Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dirt Cookies = No Good

A lot of times, it's very easy to get caught up in your own world. Things like high gas prices and a bad economy make you forget that, while you're in a bad situation, there are people way worse off.

Take, for example, the people of Haiti. Within the last year, food prices there have gone 50 to 100 percent, which in turn has caused rioting on the streets.

With 4/5th's of the country having to survive on $2 a day, it is little surprise that people are angry. What's worse is that because of high food prices, the people of Haiti are resorting to drastic measures to fill their stomachs.

The lack of proper food has become so bad, many are relying heavily on eating "dirt cookies" to survive. Basically, a dirt cookie consists of dirt strained of rocks and clumps, mixed with shortening and salt, and then set to dry out in the sun.

The 5 cent cookies are a bargain compared to the 30 cent cups of rice, so they become the main food sources for many poor families. Obviously, this is a dangerous trend. Beyond the risks of parasites and toxins in the dirt, a person eating solely dirt cookies as a food source runs a serious risk of malnutrition.

Such horrible living conditions puts into perspective the complaints we have about our daily lives. Let's hope that the situation in Haiti improves quickly.

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Moving Out Series: Ready To Leave

It's been about a year since I graduated from college..and something seems off. Get a job? Check. Save money? Check. Learn how to be independent? Ch--oh wait, my mom is calling me to go run out for some quick groceries. Hm? Yeah, I still live at home. Why? I don't know. What else would I do? What else can I do?

Yes, I've threatened to move out. And for the most part, a lot of you probably have done so, too. Typically after a big fight with the parental units. And usually after becoming fed up with the whole "if you live under my roof, you must obey my rules" shtick. But let's face it, even deep down inside your yearning heart, you knew that it wouldn't be the defining reason for you to move out. Making the big decision to move out should be for something more worthwhile, rather than just a temporary fix.

After living four glorious years of freedom away from traditional Asian parents, I developed a taste for freedom. It was refreshing to be out as late as I wanted to be, without having to notify either parent about my whereabouts. But of course, being able to stay away at school meant working my ass off to make sure I didn't get kicked out. Fortunately, I learned when to work and when to play. Lesson learned: living out on your own meant being responsible for yourself. Your parents didn't have to see the grades, but you had to deal with them on your own terms. And the prospect of living under a different roof from parents' and their rules was so refreshing.

I want to say that I am ready to move out. I've got a steady job with a good paycheck to support me. And I like to think that I have a good head upon my shoulders. And no, I don't want to move out to be away from my parents, as crazy as they may drive me. Rather, I can safely say that I want to move out because I feel like I am ready. It feels like the next step for me.

Now that I've pretty much survived a full year of living back at home (hey, it may seem like a small victory on my part, but even my older sister couldn't last a year and now lives in Korea!), I feel like I need to go back out there on my own. And unlike living away at the dorms with an "emergencies-only" credit card, this time I'm armed with my own own paycheck, along with the burden of personal bills and student loans to pay.

Will I survive?

Who knows. To each their own, but the idea of responsibility for my own self no longer seems to be a scary thought. Yeah, I know that a lot of people are moving back in with their parents, thanks to our glorious economic situation in this country. But you know what, I want this. And finally, instead of being hesitant to jump into the pond, I welcome the challenge of being one step closer to becoming a so-called adult.

Stay tuned as one 20-something girl tries to find herself a new place to call home, and ultimately, her own..

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