Thursday, October 27, 2005

chinese students lipsync

these 2 chinese kids lipsyncing back street boys is classic. reminds me of q :)

(got this from nikhil's away message)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


sorry it's been a while. i've been really busy since last weekend.

last weekend leslie and i threw a pumpkin carving bash. friends were invited to bring pumpkins, and we supplied food, drink, wine, and tools (not to mention beautiful weather and a great garden carving setting). the results were fantastic. some photos below.


some of the scary/funny/interesting pumpkins carved at the party Posted by Picasa

here the pumpkins have their favorite hats on. a little more lighting too Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 20, 2005

donating blood

there was a blood drive in my building today, so i decided to give. i should really give more -- i have O- blood (if that's wrong, then the main point is that i have the universal donor blood) which is always needed.

i thought this would be easy, and things were going smoothly until the needle went in. after they got a bit of blood, the nurse noticed that the flow had slowed (or stopped) and so she fiddled a bit with the needle. at that point, blood exploded out of my arm, going everywhere. as you can imagine, i was really freaked out, and she was asking for help, so that didn't sound good either.

the result: they got very little blood from me, and quite a bit more went in the garbage. i guess i'll try again next time.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

encountering famous (?) people

yesterday while i was crawling the litcrawl (see my previous post) i walked past josh kornbluth. he's a pretty well-known monologist (sp?) and now talk-showish host on kqed tv. i started tivoing his show after i heard a great kqed forum podcast with him (you can find the mp3 here).

as i was walking past, i wanted to give him a quick hello and tell him i liked his show, and hope he would stick with it and keep chatting with interesting guests. i also wanted to tell him that i like his starting dialogues in the show, but his hands move so much that i get distracted.

however! i didn't say any of this because i became a little fearful. isn't that odd? maybe he'll read this post one day.. :)

sf litcrawl

neha, grant and i did the last leg of the litcrawl (like a pub crawl, but you go to bars where people are reading books!) organized by the litquake conference. we heard a lot of interesting excerpts from books by some bay area authors, and some more worldly authors. one i particularly remember is a reading of a graphic novel. for those of you not in the know, a graphic novel is essentially a comic book dealing with more adultish issues (that's a big generalization, and what does adultish mean, but let's go with that).

anyway, at this bar there were 4 readers, each representing a character in the graphic novel. the novel was about the immediate after-effects of the dropping of an atomic bomb in japan. a couple's house was on fire, and their children were hurt. the couple was trying to decide whether to wait or stay with a trapped child. one of the characters, the mother i think, was acted-out really well by the reader -- she was super-engaged, and bawling and screaming. very convincing. the father, on the other hand, sounded straight out of a dubbed chinese movie. i remember he said "you fool" a few times to the mother, and his words were so stilted and monotone: "you" .. "fool" ... anyway i couldn't help laughing out loud, and i got some looks from the audience members.. very insensitve, i.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Murder Mystery!

niniane arranged a murder down in santa clara this past weekend. you can find her post about it here. we all had a lot of fun!

the gist of the idea was that the twelve of us each played a character who had incentive to kill our wealthy employer/lover/friend/business partner. the goal of the murder mystery was to figure out who the killer was. to do this, we each learned about the various characters as they introduced themselves, and we gained more clues about motives as the night progressed. at one point, we divided into teams and performed a scavenger hunt where our discoveries gave us clues as to who couldn't have done it. via a process of elimination, we were able to determine the likely killer (thank god the justice system doesn't work this way -- well, i guess sometimes it does -- and that's scary).

in any case, i had a lot of fun, but i'd like to log here some of the things that i think we could change next time to help improve the game. one of the biggest problems was that there was really no incentive to stay in character, and most of us weren't very good at staying in character. one reason for this is because we all knew each other, and as such it was hard to dismiss the other life.

however, the game itself didn't really try to push us to stay in character. i think a better model might require that people learn their character, and particular features, that can be revealed upon questioning as the night moves along. it'd be nice to have a facilitator in the game that could help lead discussion in the "right" direction, ie the direction that puts more information out there.

hmm that's just one thing i was thinking, but i'd like to say i had a blast and would do it again! great work niniane!

Here's a picture of almost the entire murder mystery group. As you can see, it's quite a mix. Posted by Picasa

I played Stormie Steele in the murder mystery -- a sunglasses wearing, hawaiian shirt loving irresponsible pool-boy. i tried doing some sort of accent, but i never made up my mind as to which one, so i came off sort of stupidly. but that's ok, my character wasn't supposed to be the brightest bulb! Posted by Picasa

franz ferdinand concert

neha and i went to the franz ferdinand concert a week ago at the bill graham auditorium in san francisco. the place had a lot of people, but it wasn't super-packed, as i expected it would be. i guess franz ferdinand isn't THAT popular.

anyway, i liked the lighting effects and their presentation, but i didn't like the songs. i like the first franz ferdinand CD so much, and how they do it on the CD is just sooo good, that i couldn't really dig their variations in the concert. maybe the acoustics weren't the greatest either. but i wanted better from them! as for their news songs, they sounded interesting, but nothing was too compelling. however, i think i need to listen to the studio-recorded stuff because of the vibe i got with songs that i really liked already.

i wish franz ferdinand, and more bands in general, would let their shows go on the internet archive.

neha and i also sat in the handicap/old people area because of neha's injured ankle, which might've played a role in my feelings.

but i did have fun, i just wanted more!

Friday, October 07, 2005

ummni's visit

my cousin ummni visited me last weekend. she was here for a conference on film. she's actually a phd student in law in toronto, but her interests are eclectic.

it was a whirlwind trip so we didn't have much time together, but we did manage to do a few things.

on thursday, we went to the skiing and snowboading on fillmore street event. for those of you not in the know, fillmore street is very, very steep in certain places. some people got the idea of filling a few blocks of the street with snow, and having excellent boarders and skiers do jumps.

pretty good idea, eh? what was even better was that it was over 90 degrees that day (30ish celsius or so) and it was super hot in the sun! snow + hot hot weather is a fascinating experience.

here is a flickr link to pics, and a few of my own pics are below.

anyway we saw some great jumps, and one scary diagonal jump that landed the snowboarder in the crowd. luckily, no one was badly hurt.

we also went out to dinner at tsunami and attended a party. ummni and i also had a few chances to do some good talking, which was nice.

me taking a picture of myself Posted by Picasa

Cousin Ummni looking slightly out of it on the hot, skiing day Posted by Picasa

skier coming over the ramp (see the small black dot ;) ) Posted by Picasa