:: 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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:: Monday, May 29, 2006 ::

Today, my friend set up her annual "Advice Table" in bustling Harvard Square. It was a nice day, so it was a good time to do it. We put up a sign that said "Free Advice From Harvard Students" as an ironic statement about how everyone thinks that we know everything just because we go to Harvard, and we dispensed free advice.

When we first started out two years ago, we charged 25 cents, but that was against the rules of the square, so we started doing it for free. Questions today ranged from the mudane ("What restaurant should I eat at tonight?") to the mind-bogglingly complex ("I'm in an arranged marriage and have a baby daughter, but I'm totally in love with another woman, who is in an arranged marriage with another man; what should I do?"). I had to leave for a bit in the middle, but apparently during that time, political activists confronted the advice table and tried to get our vote, and a middle-aged man threatened to take off his pants. Oh, the crazies of Harvard Square...

That guy with the marital problem gave us $30 for listening to his story and giving advice (he seemed rich and enjoyed throwing money around, according to the things he said, such as financing other couples' weddings and paying to relocate people he liked to live closer to him...), so afterwards we walked to Inman Square again and got Indian food at Punjabi Dhaba. This time I had the chicken tikka masala, which was excellent. We also went to Christina's ice cream again, where I got a scoop of mango ice cream and another scoop of carrot cake ice cream. We all got ice cream with the $30. Yay, free ice cream! When I get home I'm so going to buy myself an ice cream machine to make my own cool creations. I'm sure there are recipes online...

Tonight, I spent some time online and then went to visit some friends. I chatted with my friend Kayt, and then headed back to my room to sort through all the clothes in my room and do laundry.

Quote(s) of the Day: "I have to go do my laundry, and that's not a racial joke." "Well, I have to go pick cotton, and that's not a racial joke, either."

"Oh, I love fish so much. When I go to an aquarium, I get so hungry!"

"This is what [name redacted] gets when he's drunk." "An erection?"

"Yes, friends and sex... That's what makes the world go 'round."

:: SL 11:03 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, May 28, 2006 ::
Major update!!!

So a lot has happened in the last few weeks... I hadn't been posting because after classes ended I had a 15-20 minute presentation, a 10 page paper, then a 5 page paper, then another 10 page paper. It was pretty intense, and even worse it's senior spring, so it's hard to get motivated to do anything academic. I still managed to have some fun, though... I ate some good food, went on some dates, and had a generally good time...

The Leverett Spring Formal a few weeks ago was dreadful, despite being held at the posh Faculty Club. The food ran out early, and while the music was decent, I was upset at the quality of the drinks, the lack of snacks, and its early ending time. I was able to salvage the evening, however, by crashing the Mather formal and hanging out with my friends there. Their formal went an hour later and they still had a ton of food (including strawberries and a chocolate fondue) until the end.

I had papers due right up until my first exam, and then another exam was two days later. My last exam was this past Wednesday, and while I studied hard and watched lecture videos online at a barely intelligible 2.5x speed, I don't think I did too well on my very last exam at Harvard. Alas. I filled in what I didn't know with other things I did know, and perhaps extra points will be awarded.

But oh, how good it feels to be all done.

On Thursday, I visited my friends, and we watched a terrible b horror film from the 50s with scary subliminal images (they weren't actually subliminal because we could see them, but the images were pretty scary). We also chatted and ate snacks.

Friday, my friends and I went to see X3. It was a good movie, better than the reviews had made it out to be, but it's true there were too many characters to develop any of them very well. It also had a surprising number of sad moments. I still really liked the movie and its social commentary. That night, I went to three different parties (since it was the last day of exams), and general craziness ensued...

No comment.

On Saturday, I went to lunch, chatted with friends, and also said goodbye to some non-senior friends. We graduating seniors get to stay until graduation, but everyone else has to move out. In the afternoon, I chatted with a friend and we walked around the courtyard. I noticed that in the donation bin someone had left cabbage seeds, and down the path someone had thrown away a clay pot. I made the executive decision that no homeless person would need cabbage seeds, so I planted them in one of the pots. If they germinate, I'll have to have one of the tutors here take care of the plant, since I certainly cannot fly it back to California. My potted plant from the end of last year barely made it to Philadelphia on the train, let alone a 6-hour plane ride.

In the evening, we friends met up and walked to Inman Square to enjoy Indian food at Punjabi Dhaba, which is supposed to serve the best Indian food in the area. It was really great. I had the chicken saagwala, which is chicken in a spinach sauce. It was great with rice. We had to go out for food because the dining hall, now that school is over, only serves breakfast and lunch. Too bad no dinner, but it does prompt us to get out and try some of these local (but very overpriced) restaurants. After our Indian food, we went to Christina's Ice Cream, famous for its exotic flavors. They had all sorts of regular flavors, as well as the more... interesting, including corn, avocado, white asparagus, and celery. I test-tasted the avocado, and it wasn't bad. For my order, though, I got a scoop of carrot cake ice cream and a scoop of green tea ice cream. All in a waffle cone. Yummm. The carrot cake ice cream was amazing. And the total cost was still the same as a small cup of Coldstone Creamery ice cream. Yay, (cheap) ice cream.

These past few days have been exceptionally nice, weather-wise. Very humid in the morning and early afternoon, but just right in the later afternoon and evening. Today, after lunch, I went with my friends Kayt and Rachel to say goodbye to our mutual friend, who is a junior and is leaving. We played one last round of the board game Settlers of Catan (one of our favorite pasttimes). Then we watched the second half of Mulan, which we started a few days ago. So much drag... so much commentary on socialized gender roles. For dinner, my friends and I all got our own food and brought it to a picnic along the picturesque Charles River. It was so warm and pretty outside on the grass along the river, with ivy-covered brick buildings nearby. Ah, Harvard... I shall miss thee. Sort of. I'll definitely miss all my friends here, with whom I've been hanging out since we finally have free time and have nothing else to do besides socialize. We sat there by the river, chatting, enjoying the atmosphere, and reminiscing about good times.

Tonight, I went to a friend's birthday party, and then managed some business. Tomorrow should be fun, as senior week and parties galore continue!

Quote(s) of the Day: "He must have sent me a picture of when he was 150 pounds lighter... the guy was a fucking manatee!!!"

"I just don't think the physical limitations of the lower intestine should be challenged in such a way..."

"Why do we need goldfish? Why don't you get something with more meat on it? We have a carp in the freezer!"

"I want to be a Brahman!!! Are you one of those Untouchables??? Stay away!!!"

"Her wonderment over those simple concepts is like being amazed that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius." "No, it's more like, Wow, water boils!"

"My breasts are a war zone!!!"

"Are you calling me a sensitive slutty herpetic whale?!?"

:: SL 6:40 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, May 26, 2006 ::
Ahhh! "I Have To Deal With Something Racial Every Day"

I had my pants rolled up a bit because it had been raining nonstop outside for the past week, and I didn't want my pants to get wet.

This girl notices my legs and tells me, "You're the first Asian guy I've ever seen with hair on his legs..."

Ahhh! Apparently I'm some freak of nature...

Either that, or that girl's never seen an Asian guy.

:: SL 5:25 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 24, 2006 ::
Yay!!! I'm all done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I just had my last final this afternoon.

Graduation is two weeks from tomorrow!!!

:: SL 5:14 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, May 21, 2006 ::
Exchange of the Day:

Alex: meditate every morning
Me: yes, i'll have to do that
Alex: and remember to breathe
Me: oh, i forgot to...
Me: no wonder my face was turning blue
Alex: haha

Look, Alex, you made it onto my blog!

:: SL 7:50 AM [+] ::
Yay, two exams down, one more to go!!! Sooo close.

All the stores in the square already have "Congratulations!" and "Graduation!" banners up, and they are getting ready to set up commencement tents in the yard already. It all looks so festive...

:: SL 2:39 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 17, 2006 ::
Yay, I just finished my very last paper of college!!! Woo!!!

Yet, CRISIS! Exam, tomorrow morning!!!

:: SL 3:08 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, May 15, 2006 ::
Late last night, my friends and I did the "Tragedy" dance in the dining hall, while random people watched confusedly, and it was one of the best moments ever.

:: SL 5:32 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, May 13, 2006 ::
Oh my goodness... I can't believe I never wrote about this part of our Disney World trip: Asia Bagus!

In the shopping complex across the street from the youth hostel in which we stayed there was a restaurant called "Asia Bagus." When I saw it, I was like, "What the fuck's an Asia Bagus?!?"

So apparently it's an Indonesian/sushi restaurant, but Asia Bagus sounds like some obscure body part... Like, Help me - my Asia Bagus is inflamed! Or, I need surgery on my Asia Bagus. Or, Your Asia Bagus is showing...

"Honey, how is your Asia Bagus?"
"Oh, it's has gotten better; the green tea and the daily spleen massages have been quite calming for my Asia Bagus condition."

"My Asia Bagus is aflame with longing... I hope yours is the same!"

Maybe Asia Bagus is pronounced something different... like ahhzeeeya bahgooogh. Haha.

Would you like some Ahhzeeeya Bahgooogh with your caviar???

OK, I'll stop now...

:: SL 6:36 AM [+] ::
Wow, there were cinnamon rolls this morning at breakfast, and tonight there's going to be make your own sushi night... Yay for delicious foods; they make me so happy. Today totally makes my entire life!

:: SL 6:07 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, May 09, 2006 ::
Ahhh! My friend is such a tease! A recent conversation with her online:

Friend: I am about to have an affair!
Me: gasp!
Me: a love affair???
Friend: Yes...with two...not one...
Me: like, cheating on one person with two others???
Friend: like...getting with two others at the same time...so really a threesome
Me: wow.
Me: that's intense... do tell me more
Friend: there going to take me to a euphoria like I have never believed.
Friend: help me loose weight by keeping me active and wanting more
Me: wow... really?
Me: for reals?
Me: a threesome?
Friend: yea.
Friend: Iam really excited.
Friend: and were going to watch a romantic movie while were together
Me: aww
Friend: wanna know who it is? Iam sure you know em
Me: ooh, sure.
Me: Is it _____?
Me: lol.
Friend: haha no its two men
Me: oh
Friend: slightly middle aged
Me: hot Australian guy?
Friend: No...there american
Me: haha
Me: so who are they?
Friend: Ben...and Jerry
Friend: hehe

:: SL 10:30 PM [+] ::
W00t! Seth MacFarlane, the creator of Family Guy and the voice of the hilarious Stewie (as well as other characters), is going to be our class day speaker! I love that show!

:: SL 9:13 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, May 08, 2006 ::
"I Have To Deal With Something Racial Every Day"

Friend 1: "I'm sorry you feel marginalized."
Me: "It's OK... I'm used to it."
Friend 2: "It's because you're Asian."

:: SL 11:30 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, May 05, 2006 ::
So my often-surly sister visited in the middle of this week because the touring production of the musical Wicked is currently in Boston, and she wanted to see it. However, it's been sold out forever, and we weren't able to get tickets, even trying out the pre-show cheap ticket giveaway lottery two days in a row. My sister is only a 13 dollar train ride away from New York City, anyways, so it's not so hard for her to go catch a matinee performance of the actual thing on Broadway.

My sister visited on Tuesday, and we chatted a bit before I had to go out to a senior event. She was actually really pleasant this visit. It was nice to hang out. On Wednesday, I had to go to the hospital to try to get some prescription cough medication for my "condition," which I like to call "tuberculosis," (cough! cough! Look at me, I'm a terribly pale Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge... I'm dying of consumption!!! Help me! Cough cough! Blood on napkin!), offensive as that may be... ("How dare you?!? My grandmother died from tuberculosis!!!"). It's really not that bad... it's just a bad cold with lots of coughing. However, after waiting forever to finally see a nurse, she took some vital signs and then said with a serious look and ominous tone, "We have to get you to a doctor."

So I waited an hour longer until a doctor was free to see me, and then she started doing all these tests on me to see if I had asthma or pneumonia, and I was thinking, I know I don't have asthma... I can breathe; I just cough a lot. The doctor then said, "OK, don't worry. You don't have pneumonia or asthma... it's just a cold with a cough. That's all." And I'm thinking, I know!!! I just want prescription cough medicine!!! There must have been some miscommunication between the nurse and the doctor, and she must have thought I was freaking out about having asthma or something serious. Alas.

So I said, "Yeah, that's what I thought... nothing serious. So, can I have a prescription for cough medicine?" And she says, "Well, I don't think cough medicine does anything at all; I would recommend lots of hot water, honey, and vitamin C." Ahh! That's what I've been taking, but clearly it's not enough since I'm still coughing like crazy every night, preventing me from sleeping at night and waking up all my roommates! So I said, "Well, I've been doing that, but it hasn't been working... I'll keep on drinking hot water, but can I just have a prescription just in case it doesn't get better?" And the doctor grudgingly complied. Augh. Health care. Well, I am grateful for actually being able to receive health care. I appreciate that I can get treatment for my "condition." Yay for merit-finding.

So after spending the morning in the hospital, I wanted to take my sister out to lunch, since she was visiting, and we went to Legal Seafoods, well, because it seemed like the Boston thing to do. I ordered that day's special: the Romano soft-shell crab dish. I've heard about soft-shelled crab but have never tried it, and it was exciting to finally try it. I'll try any food at least once. The concept of eating an entire crab, shell and all because it had just shed its old shell and now has a soft shell, sounds unappealing, but it was actually pretty good. My sister, being ever-so unadventurous, had fish and chips, but I got the butterfish appetizer just to get her to try something new... The remarkably tender butterfish, marinated in a ginger soy sauce, was served with white rice, a seaweed salad, and this delightful sweet wasabi sauce. It was a great lunch.

We then went on the Freedom Trail in Boston, which is a trail that takes you around all the historical sites in the downtown area. My sister was particularly excited about the Old North Church, home of Paul Revere's "one if by land, two if by sea" lanterns, because of high school history teacher Mr. Nerelli's tale of sneaking up into the church's steeple and holding up the lanterns. How he snuck up there to see the lanterns remains a mystery to me, as there were dour attendants watching everyone suspiciously on the main floor and glaring at anyone who walked anywhere near the back corner with the roped-off stairs leading up to the steeple.

We then made it back to downtown, and we waited outside the box office of the theater where Wicked was playing to try to get tickets, but nobody had any extras (we thought for sure there would be cancellations because it was such a terribly rainy day), so we went back to the campus, and after getting some snacks at Brain Break, we went to Finale, the dessert restaurant, and enjoyed desserts there because my sister wanted to try some. She got the signature Molten Chocolate dessert, which is a chocolate cake with a warm gooey center of melted chocolate, and I got the Caramel Apple Cheesecake, which was this wonderful cheesecake with an applesauce base and decorated with butterscotch sauce and a shaped pecan brittle. This was paired with a soft pineapple upside down cake and a caramel sauce. We then watched the hilarious movie Eurotrip, which reminded me of my fun/disturbing European adventure last summer. Oh, Europeans.

Thursday was such a nice day! Friday, too. The sun was out, and the temperature was above 70! Yesterday, I had lunch and then walked to work. I enjoyed walking through Harvard Yard, taking in the sun and warmth, looking at the pretty flowers on the newly green trees, and watching people playing around on the last day of classes. I had some extra Board Plus money from our dining plan, so I got a dark chocolate-covered vanilla ice cream bar and it tasted so good in the outdoors. I stopped by an a capella concert, and it was all so perfect and happiness-inducing.

Indeed, yesterday was a good day.

Quote(s) of the Day: "I've always wanted to go to a rave..." "Um... don't they do a lot of drugs at raves?"

"My friend's a ho, so he asks me for my advice."

"She leaves you wanting more, but then all you get is sex."

"Bangkok is totally the Netherlands of the far East."

:: SL 12:19 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, May 04, 2006 ::
I just got out of the last class of my undergraduate experience! It was fun... we had a pizza and ice cream party, and it was a great, low-key first ending to this school year and college experience! Now, I just have three papers (totalling to more than 25 pages) all due next week and three finals, and then it's officially the end of the school year and time for graduation!!! How quickly time flies.

:: SL 5:22 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, May 01, 2006 ::
So on Thursday, after finishing a paper and becoming generally exhausted from the week's events, I continued my time travel adventure (having already gone through the 90s and the 80s) by going to a 70s roller skating party!

However, the potentially good time was marred by the worst idea EVARRR: A huge pregame with alcohol right before Roller Disco. Heavy drinking and roller skating are two terrible things to bring together! People were falling down left and right, and apparently one girl even broke her arm. When skating, I just had to avoid all the stupid people who drank too much and then skated dangerously into other people or fell down and created a floor hazard. I think I did a pretty good job... no falls, although there were a number of close calls when people nearly crashed into me.

Despite the obnoxious 30-minute bus ride where crazy drunken college students were singing at the top of their lungs inside the metal school bus, creating a headache-inducing and deafening echo chamber, the skating itself was fun. I was hanging out with my friends Marion and Jordan, and it was nice to just skate around...

It reminded me of my childhood in my small hometown, where roller skating was one of the few social activities to do. We'd always have roller skating birthday parties there, and we took field trips there for elementary school parties. Oh, memories. That's one of the reasons why I decided to go to this roller skating trip.

On Friday, my friend Marion and I went to a fun party in the Quad, and we danced and engaged in general mischief. Saturday, there was the annual foam party, but alas I missed it because I was starting to feel sick and was very tired from not having slept very much the night before. It was my last chance to go to this annual event, and I missed it! Too bad. I remember being in high school and always joking about wanting to go to raves and foam parties. Oh, foam. On Sunday, I said goodbye to a friend who was going back home, having just graduated in February.

This week is the calm before the storm, as exams and major paper due dates are coming up. I should use this time to get a head start on these upcoming projects! But alas, right now, I'm at The Crimson, where happiness goes to die... Aughhhh...

Quote of the Day: "What if they're sexually incompatible?!? You don't buy a car without taking it out for a test drive!!!!!"

"Masturbation is the opiate of the masses!!!"

:: SL 7:31 AM [+] ::

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