:: Pedantic Platitudes ::

Greetings! My name is Sam J and I am a student at Harvard University. Perhaps this blog will present a little look into the mundane yet unique events that make up my life.
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:: Thursday, November 03, 2005 ::

Long post including stuff I should have posted a long time ago! Here's an update about the last three weeks... an epic tale with a cast of thousands and four musical numbers!

Halloween weekend was filled with fun, activity, but it was followed by an intense yet extremely productive week.

I ended up having four costumes over the course of Halloween weekend. Previously, I was hoping to come up with a great costume idea, and I thought I had until Oct. 31 to come up with a costume. However, I had forgotten that all the parties were the weekend before, since Halloween was on a Monday this year. Thus, when my friend invited me to a get-together on Friday night, I was caught without a costume. I ended up wearing my cowboy hat from last year and some random plaid shirt and went as a not-so-convincing cowboy. It was the best I could do after being invited moments after seeing the drag show at Adams House, an annual tradition for the house. I had to see it, since this is my last year here.

After that first get-together, we were going to a Halloween dance party called "Sweet and Nasty," so I had another chance to get a new costume. I copied my friend's idea and went as a surf bum, wearing my board shorts and a surf t-shirt. Still uncreative, I know, but better than before. I had such a great time at the dance. It was fun to see what costumes everyone was wearing, and there was just so much energy in the hall.

Musical number #1!

High pitched voices: "They did the mash!"
Creepy disembodied voice: "They did the MONSTER mash!!!"

Saturday evening, there was another Halloween party at a different house from where I live, so I could go as a Mormon missionary for my costume. Backstory: Last year I was kind of disappointed with my costume, so I vowed that I would plan ahead and come up with a better costume. A couple months later, I saw a movie about some Mormon missionaries, and I thought, that's it! I'm going to be a Mormon missionary for Halloween. I would wear a short-sleeved collared button-up white shirt with a thin black tie, slacks, and a black nametag with white lettering saying "Elder Lin - Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints." I would also wear a bicycle helmet, since the missionaries often travel via bike, as well as carry around a Book of Mormon.

I was so excited about this costume until this school year, when I found out that five Mormons, who left at the end of our freshman year in college, just came back from a two-year mission, were resuming their studies as sophomores, and were living not only in my house but also on the floor directly below mine. Of course, I didn't want to be offensive to members of my residential hall's community, so I realized I couldn't do my costume, even though I don't think it's intentionally offensive... (it would be if I had claimed to have multiple wives or was proselytizing all over the place, but I digress).

However, on Saturday, the Halloween party was in a different residential house/hall, so I figured it'd be safer to wear my costume. Thus, my third costume of the weekend was the Mormon costume. Hilariously, the theme of the party we went to was "Heaven and Hell." There were two rooms for the party, one on the basement floor that had red lights and a horror movie playing on the wall, and another on an upper floor with white lights and softcore porn of women dressed as angels. I spent a considerable amount of time in the "heaven" room - not surprising, considering my costume. One girl, after having been explained what I was supposed to be, remarked that my costume was the most offensive costume she had see all evening. Really? More offensive than the Jewish rabbi costume with the giant prosthetic nose, or the cheerleader costume that barely concealed the wearer's lady parts?

Anyways, the dance was way too overcrowded (score another point for Harvard's pathetic social scene - there are often so few parties on campus that the ones that are held quickly become overcrowded), so my friends and I went and got some pizza and then later went to socialize while eating chips and ice cream and Swedish fish. Yum.

On Monday, the actual day of Halloween, our house master had an open house with great snacks, and people weren't really expected to go in costume, but I wanted to get in the spirit, so I came up with another last-minute costume. I dressed up as a Mickey Mouse fan going to Disneyland, wearing my Mickey Mouse shirt with my Disneyland nametag, my Mickey Mouse hat decorated with Disney theme park pins, and my Mickey Mouse stuffed animal (which, incidentally, I got for free from The Walt Disney Company at their booth at our career fair earlier this year). Let's see if I can find a picture... oh yeah... here.

Anyways, that was the long convoluted saga of my four costumes this Halloween season. I had a lot of fun, but the crazy weekend was followed by an intense week.

I had an 8-page paper due on Monday (it ended up being 9 pages), a 4-page paper due on Tuesday (it ended up being 5 pages), and a 90-minute midterm on Thursday. I probably got less sleep that week than ever before. But it was OK... I felt more productive than ever before.

At the end of the busy week, I had to unwind, so Friday, after tutoring high school kids in the morning and then working the psychology lab, I went to our house's twice-a-year 80s dance! It was so much fun to rock out to such classics as "Livin' on a Prayer," "Like a Virgin," and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" Oh, the 80s. Everyone wore headbands and short shorts and those side ponytails! It was really crowded, and as soon as you walked into the room you could feel a blast of sweat and hot air on your skin.

Musical Number #2!

Toni Basil: "Oh, Mickey, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind! Hey, Mickey! ... Oh, Mickey, what a pity you dont understand. You take me by the heart
when you take me by the hand. Oh, Mickey, you're so pretty. Can't you understand?
It's guys like you Mickey. Oh what you do Mickey, do Mickey, don't break my heart, Mickey!"

That Saturday, after working in the psychology lab and dealing with high drama involving my crazy British acquaintance (ask me about him if you haven't heard this story 20,000 times already), I visited my friend in Mather House and watched a bit of Ocean's 11.

I then went with another friend to the highly anticipated Glowell party at Lowell house. The theme was that of a glowstick rave, minus the ear-splitting techno music and rampant drug use. I've been longing to go to a rave since forever (high school friends, this is your cue to start reminiscing about how I used to talk all the time about my desire to go to a rave, my obsession having been worsened following a screening of the film Groove on DVD), so I was really excited to go to the party.

However, I was really disappointed by the dance. While the glowsticks they handed out were colorful and fun (especially under the blacklights), the music wasn't loud enough and even worse the DJ alternated between techno-pop (yay!) and bad hip-hop (boo!). While I can understand that not everyone wants to dance to techno the entire evening, it really kills the flow when you play one techno song then one hip-hop song then another techno song and then a hiphop song. The DJ should have played a series of three or four techno songs, then three or four hip-hop songs. That way, people can get into the music and not have to transition between two different types of dancing so frequently. Also, the fog machine at the party wasn't working, so my dream of the ideal "rave" experience didn't really manifest itself at Glowell. Oh well.

So my friends and I decided to go to another dance party, this one was smaller and more intimate, but I felt like I had more fun because it was more my kind of crowd!

They played a bunch of fun songs, including "Ray of Light" by Madonna.

Musical number #3!

Madonna: "Zephyr in the sky at night I wonder, do my tears of mourning sink beneath the sun? She's got herself a universe gone quickly, for the call of thunder threatens everyone... And I feel, like I just got home... Quicker than a ray of light, quicker than a ray of light, quicker than a ray of liiiiiiigggggghhhhhhht!"

After the dance, my friends and I went to the Kong, a Chinese restaurant popular with the late night crowd, and ordered some tasty appetizers. 'Twas the end to a great relaxing weekend after a busy week.

This past week, I decided to catch up on a bunch of films I've missed for my two film classes, so I watched a lot of them at the library. I really liked the films I've seen in my Chinese cinema course. I really recommend "Farewell, My Concubine," which I saw recently, as well as "Suzhou River" and "Not One Less." For my Art of Film class, I also screened the famous film "M" by German director Fritz Lang and "Ballet Mecanique," an avant-garde surrealist experimental film that offered striking social commentary by juxtopositioning moving, almost dancing, machines and inanimate objects with human bodies and parts.

Finally, tonight, Friday night, a couple of my friends and I decided to rent some movies, so we watched them. We watched the special edition of Pocahontas with the deleted song "If I Never Knew You."

Musical Number #4!

Pocahontas: "Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? Or ask the grinning bobcat why he grinned? Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain? Can you paint with all the colors of the wind? Can you paint with all the colors of the wind!?!"

We also watched the new Family Guy DVD: "Stewie Griffin, the Untold Story," which was hilarious and even better than the TV series because it was a full-length film but with the same absurdly offensive humor. Oh, I think I'm going to have to buy that film and the entire Family Guy series on DVD now... My wallet is hurting already.

Ah well.

See? I told you it was a tale with a cast of thousands and four musical numbers!

Quotes of the Day: "I can't believe you thought I was a lesbian! That's so homonormative!"

"Quick! I need a man or someone with a penis to back me up about this!"

"Pocahontas: 'London? What's London like? Is there shopping? Can I get my gorgeous hair done?'"

:: SL 10:46 AM [+] ::

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