:: 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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:: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 ::

Sigh. I just got back from another soul-sapping experience at The Crimson, where happiness goes to die. Alas.

Well, at least I'll see my name in the paper tomorrow... hopefully they'll get my name right this time...

:: SL 8:38 PM [+] ::
I don't know why I have an irrational dislike of argyle.

:: SL 2:22 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, February 23, 2006 ::
Haha... "I Have To Deal With Something Racial Every Day"

Harvard Greets Visiting Asian Students

Also, sadly the system automatically puts a period after the J in my byline, even though there isn't one after my middle name.

EDIT: Sadly, some editors still put a period after the J in my name in the print edition of The Crimson despite my writing "No period after the J" right after my name. BOOO.

:: SL 2:39 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, February 22, 2006 ::

Ah, The Harvard Crimson. Today, I went in and wrote a story for them. I spent 9 hours total on interviwing, writing, and being edited/waiting to be edited. If I were working for a real newspaper, I could have made a full day's salary. Alas. It was my first time there in like a year and a half. I gotta start writing for them again.

It was a story about this cultural exchange program between Harvard students and students at various Asian universities (haha, I Have To Deal With Something Racial Every Day (c)2006). I interviewed these cultural ambassadors and got to hear what they had to say about America and Harvard, which apparently is highly regarded in Asia.

Alas, writing for The Crimson is always a grind. The place is absurdly loud and not conducive to good writing. That, and it confirms my worst insecurities about being a terrible writer. Well, I guess I'll leave my critics to do the judging when my article is (hopefully) published tomorrow...

Now I must stay up and do work that is due tomorrow. Oh, school.

:: SL 6:52 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 21, 2006 ::
Ah, time is rushing by quickly. I had forgotten how quickly the spring semester ramps up compared to fall semester. Midterms and projects are just a couple weeks away, and soon it will be spring break.

My friend and I have decided to go to Walt Disney World in Florida for our big senior year spring break blowout! It should be an amazing time; I'm looking forward to experiencing Expedition Everest, the new roller coaster at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

So my sister visited me this past weekend. It was the first time she had ever been to Boston (or a major east coast city, for that matter; she's only an hour away from New York City and she still hasn't been there!). She arrived late Thursday night, and we joined my friends Kayt and Mischa for a game of Settlers of Catan, quickly becoming one of my favorite board games ("What was that fun game we played last night? Gattaca?" "You mean Settlers of Catan???").

On Friday, we went and did some sightseeing around Harvard and Harvard Square. We had lunch with my friends, and then my sister wanted to go shopping at the Cambridgeside Galleria mall, so we spent the afternoon there. Then, we went downtown and looked at Newbury Street and the Copley Square Mall. We then went to see the musical Les Miserables, which I had seen a couple years ago the last time it was in Boston. This time, I actually knew the storyline and songs, so it was much more powerful. The first time I had seen it, I got confused because the entire thing is sung through and the faulty sound system (and my seat location in the theater) ensured that I couldn't catch everything. We finished the day stopping by my friend's birthday party. My sister was tired, so I took her back to my room, but then I later went out to socialize some more with friends in Mather.

On Saturday, we had lunch and then went out to Boston Common to go ice skating! It was only the second time I've ever ice skated; the first time was freshman year. Despite this unseasonably warm winter, this day turned out to be the coldest day so far of the season, with wind chill making it feel like it's in the minus degrees. Thus, we were freezing, and after two hours of skating, I couldn't feel my fingers or my chin anymore. My fingers were so cold that I couldn't untie the laces on my ice skates. Ah. We took the T back to campus, had dinner with my friends, and then we saw the movie I [heart] Huckabees on DVD. Afterwards, we went and got some food from the Kong. My sister loves crab rangoon, and, well, the Kong has some damn good crab rangoon. After that, my sister said she was tired, so she went to sleep. I still wanted to party, so after she went to bed, I went out to Currier where I met up with a couple of friends and had a great time.

Early Sunday morning, I took my sister to the Greyhound bus station downtown so she could go back to Yale. I then slept for the day, but after dinner I went with a few friends and we went to Grendel's and the Kong. I had sesame chicken, which was fairly good, but not as good as the sesame chicken at my hometown Chinese buffet. We then went back to my friend's room, socialized some more, watched some amazing/hilarious film clips, and had an amazing time.

Monday, I did work and tried to be productive. I also had a visitor over and we chatted for a bit. Today, I'm watching the Olympics and celebrating my friend's 22nd birthday!

Quote of the Day: "Is everyone's spam as fucked up as mine?: Subject: (fwd) Cat takes hard anal drilling and cumshot" "I always thought it was curiosity that killed the cat. Guess I was mistaken."

:: SL 5:15 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 14, 2006 ::
Well, Valentine's Day is just another day to me. However, I did wear my nice new red and chocolate polo shirt to mark the occasion.

Yesterday was fun. After getting up early, going to classes, and working, I went to a screening of the classic thriller Jaws for my contemporary Hollywood cinema course. Lots of tense moments!

Later, I said goodbye to a great friend who was going back home having just graduated after finishing the fall semester. We celebrated by going to the Kong and had lots of Chinese food. Aw, good times.

Tonight, I watched some of the Olympics! I haven't seen much of the competition after the opening ceremonies, so it was cool... literally. There was some skiing and some ice skating. Even though I had already read online who had won, it was still exciting to see everything.

Quote(s) of the Day: "I would consider his personality a chronic illness."

"I try to facilitate rimming whenever I can." (With regard to rimming sugar for glassware for fancy alcoholic drinks.)

"He died as he lived, laughing at a tampon joke and eating an orange rind."

:: SL 8:49 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, February 13, 2006 ::
To all my friends and acquaintances, I'd like to extend a warm invitation for you to visit me here at Harvard! I am graduating this spring, and this is your last chance to come visit the beautiful campus, enjoy the fun city of Boston, and see what I've been up to the past four years!

E-mail me to make arrangements.... I will accommodate you anytime up until June 8 when Harvard evicts me with graduation!

Oh, and I never posted a picture of my fauxhawk:

:: SL 10:15 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, February 12, 2006 ::
I came upon a CD-quality version of the soundtrack to Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams (the new 50th anniversary parade at Disneyland) and I am FREAKING OUT!!! I've been wanting something like this since I first heard the music when the parade officially premiered at the Disneyland press event on May 4, 2005, and now that I have it I am listening to it nonstop.

Last weekend was nice. I went into Boston and saw celebrity magician David Copperfield's latest touring production, which was in town. I've enjoyed David Copperfield's television specials since I was very young. His illusions are incredible, despite the objectification of women in some of his routines/jokes (however tongue-in-cheek they are).

I was downtown to buy tickets for an upcoming show (Spamalot, the musical based on the cult classic Monty Python and the Holy Grail) when I found out there were still student tickets for the Copperfield show, so I got one a couple minutes before the show started. I got a seat pretty close to the front, but very far to the side, which still was a great view. I liked this seat because I could see everything, but the unique angle allowed me to better figure out how he did some of his illusions.

The show was cool, though the illusions weren't exactly as flashy as some of his earlier ones with fiery explosions or life-threatening stunts. I really liked how he tied his illusions together with the theme of making dreams come true (winning the lottery, buying a car, reuniting with a loved one, going on vacation, etc.). It made the show much more enjoyable. After a long introductory film with clips about the awards he's won and references about him in pop culture, he appeared suddenly with a motorcycle in a previously empty box. In the next illusion, he passed through a sheet of solid steel.

Other illusions included getting a deadly scorpion to pick a previously selected card out of a deck of cards, predicting a string of lottery numbers selected randomly by audience members, making a live duck appear and disappear, levitating a large group of audience members and then making them disappear and reappear, transporting an audience member with him to Hawaii and back, making a Chevy convertible appear in the middle of the stage with audience members surrounding the whole thing, and disappearing from a platform outstretched over the audience. The show was really interactive, and he got the audience to really participate in everything. He also made a lot of funny jokes, although some I've heard before in his TV specials ("It's Copperfield, not cop-a-feel," he quips after a woman touches him onstage).

This past week, I enjoyed going to new classes as shopping period came to a close and the spring semester officially began. It's senior spring! On Monday, I screened the film The Exorcist for the contemporary Hollywood cinema course I'm auditing. I'm generally not shocked by little girls saying profane things, but even this film made me shudder, particularly in a gruesome scene involving masturbation with a crucifix. Yikes.

Since classes are just getting started and I have more free time, I have been working more hours at my job. It's pretty nice and all. I enjoy helping people with websites and computer programs.

Thursday night, my friend Kayt and I were going to go to senior bar, but when we saw how crowded it was, we turned back and made our own fun. Good times!

Friday night, my friend Marion and I watched the Opening Ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Torino. Yay for pageantry and fireworks! I thought this opening production was better than the one in Athens, but not as good as the ones in Atlanta or Sydney. Those were summer games, though. This opening ceremony was at the least better than the one in Nagano, which was held in the daytime and was not interesting at all.

On Saturday, I had lunch and then went with Kayt and her visiting friend to downtown Boston where we did some sightseeing and shopping before the big storm hit. Later in the evening, I watched some of the Olympics and then visited my friend who was hosting a 20's-style speakeasy style party. Good times. We laughed, we told stories, we made merry. Later, I went to the Kong and had delightful Chinese food! Yay.

Today, I have been remarkably unproductive, having spent the entire afternoon in the dining hall chatting from brunch to the beginning of dinner. It's OK, though... there is so much snow outside that it's not worth going outside at all.

I am sad that Michelle Kwan can't compete in the Olympics, but it's really weird reading articles in the press that are like career obituaries.

Quote of the Day: "One should always be careful when discussing the sensitive subject of race." "Around Alex?!?"

"That's ridiculous! That's like putting on a condom to eat out pussy."

:: SL 11:32 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, February 10, 2006 ::
Intriguing article about costuming at Disneyland: Reality Shapes Disney Garb.

Haha, I laughed when I read this paragraph: "But that doesn't mean Disneyland should change its motto to "the heftiest place on Earth." An influx of Asian employees in recent years prompted the park to add smaller sizes too, Disney officials said."

In other news, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, Walt Disney's cartoon creation who preceded Mickey Mouse but was taken away from him in a rights dispute, is finally back home with the Walt Disney Company! Story.

:: SL 11:28 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, February 07, 2006 ::
"I Have To Deal With Something Racial Every Day"

"How do you say your name, ethnically?"

Quote of the Day: "I want someone who will just tolerate my Asianness, not glorify it..."

:: SL 9:54 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, February 02, 2006 ::
A few nights ago I joined a couple of friends and watched the movie The Day After Tomorrow. I missed the big-budget disaster film when it was in the theaters, so it was nice to finally see it on DVD. My friends are quite knowledgeable in the realm of science, so they pointed out the scientific inaccuracies in the film. We also made snarky comments at the numerous awkward moments in the movie. Ah, good times.

This past week, I worked at my job and enjoyed the last days of Intersession, hanging out with friends and doing fun things. Classes started again yesterday, and we get a week to "shop" classes and pick which ones we will ultimately choose to take. I'm looking at a variety of exciting classes since it is my last semester here and my last chance to take classes at Harvard (unless I come back for grad school or something...). I get three or four electives and one last required core class. Yay.

Last night, my friends and I watched the documentary The Aristocrats, which about a very very dirty joke that can be told in infinitely different ways. It was funny, but not as funny as I thought it would be. Still a shockingly good time, though.

Quote of the Day: "You were dating someone?!?! Why do you not tell me these things?!?!" "Um, because we suffer together in our singledom?"

:: SL 9:27 AM [+] ::

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