Tuesday, December 30, 2008

feeling that didn't make sense

Driving at night and listening to the radio usually gets me into a ponderous mood. Tonight as I came to the end of my (short) drive home, I started getting this feeling. It was kind of like anxiously excited, anticipating something that I was nervous about but wanted. I can probably blame the music for being in my mind at the moment, but this feeling was tinted with the thought of being close with a guy. Not really one guy in particular though... There were probably about three in my mind, each in some way. I know I wasn't going to be with any of them (being close, I mean), not tonight and more than likely not soon, and maybe never. A part of it, I figure, was an infusion of missing someone, and somehow being excited as if I was looking forward to being with him. It's like the night inspired this excitement, but there was nothing actually for which to be excited, and so... I stayed in the car, in the driveway, finishing up listening to that song. Then I was left with the feeling, letting it be whatever it was, because that's all there could be to it.


When your only friends are hotel rooms
Hands are distant lullabies
If I could turn around I would tonight

These roads never seemed so long
Since your paper heart stopped beating leaving me suddenly alone
Will daybreak ever come?

Who's gonna call on Sunday morning?
Who's gonna drive you home?
I just want one more chance
To put my arms in fragile hands

I thought you said forever
Over and over
A sleepless night becomes bitter oblivion

These thoughts run through my head
Over and over
Complaints of violins become my only friends

August evenings
Bring solemn warnings
To remember to kiss the ones you love goodnight

You never know what temporal days may bring
Laugh, love, live free and sing
When life is in discord
Praise ye the lord

Who's gonna call on Sunday morning?
Who's gonna drive you home?
I just want one more chance
To put my arms in fragile hands

I thought you said forever
Over and over
The sleepless night becomes bitter oblivion

These thoughts run through my head
Over and over
Complaints of violins become my only friends

I thought you said forever
over and over
The sleepless night becomes bitter oblivion

These thoughts run through my head
over and over
Complaints of violins become my only friends

I thought you said forever
over and over
These thoughts run through my head


Monday, December 29, 2008

flirting... via texting

Actually for a long time I hadn't really been sure what flirting is. Maybe I should say "haven't", cuz I'm still not sure if I know what it is now... except I think I've done it. Sometimes I think that's what I'm doing with some of the guys at dance, ones I'm kinda friends with to various levels - either that, or I'm confusing it with the ridiculously happy mood that I'm usually in at the social lessons, and how that makes me all over-enthusiastic and bubbly. (At any rate, I don't really care; I think some of them have girlfriends, and I'm just happy anyway to be dancing, and they're nice guys so I like dancing with them and maybe running into them on Locust Walk, etc.) There is this one time that I did a damn good job of flirting, and okay, I am proud of it, haha. (It all came so easily, and was such fun, in such a devious-feeling way...)

But oh yeah, texting... I've often thought it an interesting method of communication, in terms of the potential for flirting. Clearly you are not face to face, which is both good and bad - it removes the pressure of having to respond right away, but you also lose the entire element of physical communication - the expressions, the movements, the little hints with the eyes, and all of those can be key (in their own subtle ways). By texting back and forth you can have a kind of "conversation", but it's easy and acceptable to let a bit of time pass in between responses. Then you can take a little time to figure out the response you want to give - much easier to keep the "going at it" going, if you want. I've also found it easier to throw in serious bits of conversation, if I want, without worrying much about awkwardness. Quite the dynamic, and hey, I enjoy it.


Looking out my window at some girl as I'm writing this
And I watch her eat a peach, the way she's biting it, biting it
And I probably shouldn't stare, but I am fighting it, fighting it
And I think that she's aware and kind of liking it, liking it

Hot girls, they can break me, break me
Hot girls, you know what you're doing
Now, hot girls, come and break me, break me
Hot girls, take me where you are going

On her motorbike, the way she's riding it, riding it
And she says it feels so good but she is hiding it, hiding it
Wet lips to cigarette and now she's striking it, lighting it
As she looks me in the eye, hell, she must know she's inviting it

Hot girls, they can break me, break me
Hot girls, you know what you're doing
Now, hot girls, come and break me, break me
Hot girls, take me where you are going

I've got nothing to prove, ain't got nothing to lose
If you need someone to use, I can take the abuse

holding up some paper to her window, she's writing her name
and number and I'm laughing as I'm dialing it, dialing it

I've got nothing to prove, ain't got nothing to lose
If you need someone to use, I can take the abuse

Hot girls, they can break me, break me
Hot girls, you know what you're doing
Now, hot girls, come and break me, break me
Hot girls, take me where you are going

Hot girls, they can break me, break me
Hot girls, you know what you're doing
Now, hot girls, come and break me, break me
Hot girls, take me where you are going

Hot girls, hot girls, hot girls, hot girls


Sunday, December 28, 2008

I love this song every time

Take a listen through the window
Take a lover on the radio
Ask her if she's got an answer
Do you know

Time enough to get a good one
Though they never seem to get done
I am standing for a reason
Do you know

'Cause I don't know how
And I don't know where
We are we are

And I don't know why
I don't know if
We are we are

Seven days and not a return
Seven lives and not a thing learned
Take a lover on the highway
Do you know?

'Cause I am sleeping on a time bomb
And I am waiting for the light to come
You and I could get away now
Do you know


I get up sometimes
Like somebody else
Am I just wasting time
For somebody else

Take a listen through the window
Another lover on the radio
Ask her if she's got an answer
Do you know?



Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hahaha I'm a gudgeon

Thanks to Koosh for sending out this "word of the day" to Oxymoron (the Penn Band's random-discussion email listserve). The second definition is "a gullible person". O:-) Not always the best trait to have, but it does make for some funny moments. :D

"makin' me high"

It's the fallin' in love that's makin' me high
It's the being in love that makes me cry cry
You've got me fallin' in love

You're not like anybody I ever knew
But that don't mean that I don't know where we are
And though I find myself attracted to you
This time I'm trying not to go too far, cause

No matter how it starts it ends the same
Someone's always doing someone more
Trading in the passion for that taste of pain
It's only gonna happen again

It's the fallin' in love that's makin' me high
It's the being in love that makes me cry cry cry
It's the fallin' in love that's makin' me high
It's the being in love that makes me cry cry cry
All night... all night

And though I'm trying not to look in your eyes
Each time I do they kind of burn right through me
Don't want to lay down in a bed full of lies
And yet my heart is saying come and do me

Now we're just a web of mystery
A possibility of more to come
I'd rather leave the fantasy of what might be
But here I go fallin' again

It's the fallin' in love that's makin' me high
It's the being in love that makes me cry cry cry
It's the fallin' in love that's makin' me high
It's the being in love that makes me cry cry cry cry cry
It's the fallin' in love
(You got me falling in love, got me falling in love)


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas(-tree-decorating) music

A few CDs my family listens to around Christmastime...

Christmas Country Rock is apparently obscure enough that I can't even find the cover image online. It is from 1990 (according to Amazon), but still, makes me wonder where my parents got it in the first place, haha. We've listened to this CD for years and years, as in, when my brothers and I were little, we'd run around our (then-much-smaller) living room and play on the plastic rocking horse or sit-n-spin to these songs. And we probably skipped most of the "slow songs" in the middle of the album. "Jingle Bell Rock" was definitely one of my favorites back then, and I was always excited when we finally made it to that song, cuz it was the last one on the album. (Did I not know about shuffle, or something?) Yet only yesterday did I find it slightly ironic that it's "Jingle Bell Rock" on a country album... When I was little I also loved "Blue Christmas" and hey, I still do. It was probably a number of years though before I began to appreciate the great jazz(?)-like piano playing on the song, though. The album may feel a little worn out - we've been listening to it for like 17 years - but it's kinda like a pair of slippers with a hole in them that you don't want to get rid of and actually still really like because they are familiar and comfy.

Vanessa Williams's Star Bright is just an awesome Christmas album. The three customer reviews on the Amazon page describe this feeling very well. The songs are based on traditional and well-known melodies, but are rearranged to be upbeat and new and just really fun to listen to (and musically well-done, in my opinion). And I agree with one reviewer who said the music is still reverent - to me, (some of) these songs sound like they are really celebrating the birth of Jesus. (I say "some of" because some are secular.) I love her voice as well; she can sing both powerfully and ponderingly (ok I made that word up), whichever a song calls for. I'm not sure how long my family has had this album (Amazon says it came out in 1996 which is earlier than I had thought), but it's definitely one I know I'm going to enjoy every year. :)

Hmm... trying to think of other Christmas albums that have become "classic" in my house. We have one of Kenny G's Christmas albums (I've discovered, thanks to Ruckus, that there are quite a few of them) and an acoustic guitar album, both of which are collections of relaxing renditions of well-known songs. Of course there's the Nutcracker, the brilliance of which I fully realized a few years ago - part of broadening musical taste, I'd like to say. And speaking of broader taste, while decorating the tree yesterday evening, our CD player shuffled to a Christmas album by Chicago, which someone gave to someone in our family as a gift. Nearly everyone else in my family proceeded to state how Chicago and Christmas songs just don't mix at all, blah blah... I didn't think it was quite that bad, but after a song and a half or so, I think we did put on something else.

I've just come back from Christmas Eve Mass, which included quite a lot of music. Most of it was very traditional songs, sung by the choir and accompanied by piano, sometimes with handbells. The readings were interspersed with song verses, and the priest sang all the prayers that precede Eucharist. This abundance of music made me notice a few things. One's that I was able to pay much better attention if I had the hymnal out in front of me and followed the words of the current song - i.e. this mitigated quite a lot of my focusing problem. And though I've heard these songs many times, by focusing I found myself trying to find new meaning in them. Or at least I tried to immerse myself in the scene of the night of the birth of Christ - the stable, the gentle mother Mary, the curiosity of the shepherds, the angels, and above all, the joy to be found in the love embodied in the gift of God's Son. (I also started imagining scenes I could draw, including one of Mary, well, rocking out, and baby Jesus raising an eyebrow. Then I thought maybe this wasn't the best idea, haha.)

Anyway, taking a step back, music seems to be an integral part of praise and worship. I noticed that I was missing playing clarinet with the choir and even imagined adding in some accompaniment parts to the songs - I wish I had the compositional ability to do so; though, I haven't tried, so maybe.... But when I start getting caught up in enjoying playing with the choir, something always nags me: I feel like I may be forgetting the point of the music and enjoying the music as its own entity. The music is supposed to be a gift of praise, maybe even considered "using our gifts" (talents) as we are often told to do in various places in the Bible. Technically/physically I don't think I'm doing anything wrong, but mentally, again I think my focus could be out of place. I would guess that enjoying the music is fine, and good, assuming that God wants us to enjoy our gift back to Him. But I think I should also have my mind on the thanking, praising, and sharing of God, as these are (some of) the purposes of the music. Maybe when I go back to Penn and start playing clarinet with the choir again, I can try to reflect on the message of the song (or the readings of that Mass, or whatever) while playing. That would be a start, I think.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

relaxation moment

shuffling through: all songs i've categorized with the genres "soft rock" or "medium rock"
listening to: "True" by Ryan Cabrera
sitting: at my laptop, in the study at home, with legs crunched and folded but somehow it's comfy
doing: rolling head around gently, letting hair fall across face as it will
enjoying: the music and the softness of my hair and the pulls of neck muscles
thinking: of how nice it'd be to have one of those back massages given by someone particularly good at it

Friday, December 19, 2008

Kenny G's "Esther", Photos, and Memories

It's after 3am. I'm at home, on my computer, wrapped in a blanket in our study. Back in high school I made a number of photo collages as gifts for friends. For Christmas a couple or three years ago, I made one for my grandmother composed of pictures of our family, mainly of me and my brothers. I suppose my aunt really liked it, and this year she requested one. So I copied about 3.5 gigs of photos from our family digital camera onto my flash drive and went through them, selecting good pictures of our family (way too many of them) to hopefully squash into this collage...

I downloaded a bunch of Kenny G albums since I went to see him in concert last night (absolutely amazing, but for another post..), and have been listening through them while going through all these pictures. Eventually I came to this song (embedded above) and it really moved me, and I thought how beautiful these family pictures are... People smiling, with family, with friends, silliness, enjoyment, graduations, milestone dances (8th grade dance, junior prom), birthdays, awards, vacations, Christmas, just so many special moments. And how damn good we look when we just smile. And how these pictures have captured these moments in time forever, and we can't go back, but we can look, and we can feel.. and I am touched, and happy we can hold on to the memories this way.


Yeah yeah I FINALLY updated to FF3. I was holding off for awhile cuz it kept telling me "these 5 add-ons of yours aren't going to work in FF3" and I am pretty attached to most of my add-ons, didn't want to lose them... But hey now it's winter break, I'm just realizing I don't have to worry about work anymore and I have time to do stuff I want to do, and I thought you know, I'll go through my add-ons and individually check out their compatibility. Turns out nearly all of them are good to go with FF3 and the ones that aren't I can do without. So at last I upgraded!! Immediately I loved it, cuz it even RELOADED ALL MY TABS!!! I'm so impressed it preserved that across version installation haha. It also upgraded my add-ons :D (except for two, which I did "manually", and it was fine). It also saved my settings as well as (I think) my add-ons' settings. Oh and I'm kind of excited for the add-ons manager thing, since now supposedly I can search for and find add-ons right within it... The new interface (icons, mostly) are pretty, though I think I might look into themes, which I've never done before, but as a DMD major, I don't think I should be blamed for being curious, haha. The only con I've felt so far is that I am a little overwhelmed by the new features....honestly I probably won't make use of all of them, considering how far I scrolled to read the whole feature description page. The tagging thing and the uncategorized bookmarks are both dangerous for me, since I already hyper-over-organize my bookmarks. This dual tag/folder organization reminds me of my considerations on Thunderbird vs. Gmail, since Thunderbird is folders-based (and I have... SO ... many) and Gmail is all about the tags (makes me nervous, but intrigued); I'm afraid that having both systems might make me crazy, and I'm already feeling a tendency to avoid the tags completely. Plus what will I do about all my existing bookmarks; I really don't think I want to go back and tag them ... that would take forever, seriously... :P

Saturday, December 6, 2008

what it's like, missing him

walked through my lobby, and saw two girls sitting on one of the couches, talking.

walked by the philly diner.

looked through those pictures, from that night, and still thought they were funny.

laughed over a few dirty jokes with a friend, and felt that twinge of sadness.

listened to a song i came to really like because of him; tried to make the lyrics mean something different in my head.

saw a facebook friend's profile picture in which she was kissing a guy.

read another facebook friend's status: "[so and so] loves him."

imagined myself going to that starbucks sometime, by myself, up to the second floor, sitting down at a table...

amidst a stack of papers on my desk, saw a couple of programs from the night we went to two shows together, and remembered how he tried to make me keep his ticket stub too, "to remember him by".

listened to a song i like which has repeating lyrics that say "baby you're, in my arms" and knew that wasn't gonna happen anymore.

asked my roommate if she minded if a guy friend of mine came over for a bit, kinda late at night, the way i used to ask when he was going to come.. but this time it wasn't him.

walked over to wawa and bought coffee and a pretzel, around 11:30pm, by myself...

talked with him online a little and felt a bit strained, if not a little scared... even got brave enough to mention a normal topic, and he said something funny, and i laughed but it hurt because that's the kind of enjoyment i'm now missing.

remembered that time when i ran into him unexpectedly in my lobby and how good it felt to see him and be with him for just those five minutes.

listened to his voice on the phone, listened to the way he talked, and wanted to cry because i probably wouldn't be having those good conversations with him much anymore, if at all.

a daft punk song came on to remind me that all they played at the alley was daft punk remixes, that time we went bowling together.

thought of all the things i had wanted to do with him.

remembered how when he met him, my good friend said he seemed like a really good guy.

thought of when he wanted me to go out of my way, walking with him through the cold, so he could spend more time with me. i felt special and wanted.

curled up in bed at night, put my face into my round fuzzy squishy pillow that he liked, and inhaled, but it only faintly smelled like him. (and maybe i was wishing that faint scent into existence.)

went to the place that used to be called bucks county coffee with a friend, and remembered paying for his coffee the time we went there.

saw someone signing in a friend at the desk, and thought about how the guest logs suddenly won't have his name in it all the time anymore.


the interesting thing is this. i am able to think of other things, and not about him. and then, it doesn't hurt (obviously). this is a good thing, cuz i have so much work and it does require thinking and concentration. but... i want to hurt for him. i want to think about him and miss him and yeah sometimes, i want to cry for not being able to be with him anymore. it's bittersweet... and i think that's the reason why i want the hurt.

Friday, December 5, 2008

I love this.

I love it when I write something, code something, or design/create some kind of art, and then go back after some time has passed (enough that I don't really remember what it looks like or says), and realize hey, this is pretty good - and oh yeah, I made this!

This tells me I don't have enough confidence in my work in the first place, when I'm making it. So maybe the finished products tend to turn out better than I realize? Feels pretty good ... :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

where might this train of thought lead?

i walked out from the lobby of the other high rise, passing a couple fellow dmders along the way, and stepped out into the night where people, who were probably heading to or from parties, were out minimally populating the walkways. the night was chilly and he was on my mind cuz i'd been in touch with him, just a little bit, in the past couple of hours. and i'd gained a flickering hope of something to look forward to, maybe some little way i could help... if not that, maybe i could at least continue to understand him better.

but my mind as always pushes onward with imagination and paths faster than i can restrain it with reality. i miss him, i want to see him... i want to take a walk with him out in the beauty of the night, when the weather is clear and feels so good, and i want to talk with him, seriously.. and even though i'm almost sure it can't happen, if that little sliver could appear which might be the only time i could dive in for that chance, although it would be fairly awful of me to do so, for his sake, ... i want to kiss him.

it's a bit weird the way that thought keeps coming to mind, at fairly random times, these days. i know where it came from though, the point that possibly reawakened something i've been ignoring for so long that it's become so routinely embedded; i'm not even aware i'm doing it. that night i found out three things within probably just two minutes of time. with that, it began, though i'm not sure if i fully realized the impact yet. the night went on just fine, and came to an end with a very enjoyable time. i got back, and sat down, and suddenly it hit me like.. i don't even know what. but i froze, as this realization hit me and monopolized my mind. thoughts flew around and it was like all these little things came together and made sense. i couldn't do anything else; i spent time delving into memories and putting more things in place. yet, even as all of this was coming together, i was scared. i didn't want to be sure of this. would it make everything different? and then i started wondering if it would even last till morning. was this all something crazy that was happening as a product of one night on which these things happened? if i was so good at not thinking about it, such that i never even considered bringing it to mind, maybe that procedure would be automatically invoked and i would go back to normal, and this would be a fleeting story.

it happened, somewhat. i woke up and i wasn't frozen. my mind was freed from the hold by the thoughts that had come the night before. i've gone on and lived each day and things are normal. i bet i am as good as i think, about not thinking about it. i don't even have to try, really.

except for now and then, it'll come back. maybe it's a moment, but i always recognize it. sometimes i think of it at night, and it seems like all this pain, because i am almost trapped, i can't take action without so much risk and the possibility of inflicting hurt or stress and the chance of loss. and i have respect for him, and care for him, and i don't want to make it more difficult than it already is. even so, i reason to myself, there are some fundamental things that could cause problems. usually that argument fails to deter me though; it doesn't stop how much the laughter, the comfort, the experiences, and the glimpses of who he is that i've been so lucky to see all mean to me.

as much time and mental energy as i've put into trying to understand love, and formulate a personal concept of it that is right as far as i can determine, this situation probably confuses me more than anything else. sometimes i think i am going to lose what might be something that makes more sense to me than many other possibilities or situations i've come across; but i don't even have a real chance, so is it my fault if i don't ever attempt a humble and respectful try? but what about how it only hits me at times...and for the rest of the time i can leave it in some deep recess of my mind (heart?) and just be as i've been for so long? right now, that starts to look like i'm trying to push away something that i know is true, but... fine, i know i'm indecisive. probably the bigger cause here though is that i'm scared. i don't want to break things and i don't want to cause hurt. i'll sacrifice myself, because hey, i am good at it; i have accumulated so much practice in it that it's become basically okay by now. i still have what i do have, and whatever happens, anything at all, i know i do not want to lose that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

resolutions and goals for the year

I was planning on making this list kind of before the semester started (lol) but unsurprisingly I didn't get around to it O:-) . Nonetheless, by writing it towards the end of the first month of the semester allows me to see how I'm doing so far. Overall I'd say I'm definitely accomplishing some things, but failing on others, haha..

  • be more organized with email (as in...try to read it when it arrives, put events on calendar right away, respond in a more timely fashion, and delete more things that I probably don't need)
  • reduce dependence on dining plan and cook more
  • actually go to the gym???? (I haven't gone once, all the time I've attended Penn)...or at least play some DDR...
  • perform at a Third Thursday (composing would be even cooler, but definitely more difficult)
  • sleep [more] (this is really important and so far I am doing badly. I should ask people to remind me to go to bed or something.)
  • respond to people on facebook in a reasonable amount of time lest they start wondering if I hate them
  • danceeeee :D
  • balance work with hanging out/fun stuff
  • do some art (I really want to improve, as I feel it is my lacking side in DMD)
  • program things I want to, not for any class
  • talk, hang out, keep in touch with people
  • and meet new people :)
  • do something crazy enough to tell Matt about (..??)
  • keep in touch with family (especially brothers) more
  • take more pictures!
  • keep desk a little messy (as opposed to very messy, haha, it feels too pristine if there are no papers on it or anything)
  • play clarinet with choir at Mass
  • stay on top of work/studying ... ...
  • make my seas website. I mean really. haha.
  • get a cool internship/job for the summer.. (don't know what, though)
  • watch a little bit of tv :)
  • expand musical tastes even further

yup. Plenty to work on!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New stuff I did

It seems like even though this year at Penn is just getting going, I've already done a bunch of new things that I've never done before. Therefore I'm going to start a record (in approximately chronological order lol) and update it as I go along.

  • August - purchased a bunch of appliances for my room which I didn't have last year - toaster ($12), microwave ($35 I think?), coffee maker (like $20). They are all turning out to be useful so far. The toaster is surprisingly popular :)
  • August - purchased a set of pots/pans, which came with a bonus collection of spices, with rack, which I'll probably never use...
  • August something - really practiced bass clarinet. It's awesome, but hard to "get" the sound above the break; really hard to get good tone on that. And it needs SO much air!
  • Again, towards the end of summer - I wanted some tea, and Dad drinks it all the time, so I asked him to make a cup for me. He gave me chai, and I ended up really liking it. (Ok, so it's not my first time ever drinking tea, but my first time trying chai.) I got a box of chai to bring to Penn.
  • 8/31 - watched Anchorman with Rebecca, Becca, Eamonn, and Ben. Part of an initiative to see movies that apparently everybody except me has seen. Opinion: it's not my kind of humor, definitely. I guess some moments were funny, but it just often feels ridiculously overdone. (Obviously this is the point, though..)
  • 9/3 - Saw Dan for the first time this year and was totally shocked by his new much shorter haircut (also not parted in the middle anymore) and switch from glasses to contacts (!!!!!)
  • 9/3 - Purchased food from food carts/trucks. Last year John got me a sausage-egg-and-cheese from Bui's but this was the first time I ever bought anything myself. Dan and I went to Hemo's for lunch; I got a grilled chicken pita. For dinner Simone, Tatini and I tried to go to Magic Carpet but it was already gone, so we went to The Real Le Anh (Le Anh is across the street haha), and I got cashew chicken. Two discoveries: it's really good, and really cheap!!
  • 9/3 - I guess a couple of FNAR courses I've taken have been cross-listed as grad courses, but CIS 460 (Computer Graphics) is definitely the first CSE/CIS course I've taken that's cross-listed. It was a bit intimidating, realizing all these quiet students were probably graduates... hence the invention of the DMD Undergraduate Row :D
  • 9/4 - First class where I don't have cell phone service (I think). This is because it's CIS 262 down in the basement of Skirkanich (kinda like a dungeon hahaha). Probably all for the best - I should seriously pay attention in that class.
  • 9/4 - First ever class I'm taking on databases. woooot
  • 9/4 - First class in which I might be the only student who's not a music major. A little intimidating. =/
  • 9/5 - Cooked a dinner dish by myself! It was meatloaf, and it was good! yayyy
  • 9/5 - Attended Rodin bingo, and actually won a round! I got a gift card to Gap. Yay shopping!!
  • 9/6(?) - FREE LAUNDRY!!!!! Most unfortunately I had to go up 2 floors to the 14th floor since the machines on my floor were all occupied.
  • 9/7 - Discovered I did not make wind ensemble on bass clarinet... first year at Penn that I won't be in it, but that also means I can go to the music program's Third Thursdays now :)
  • 9/7 - Played DDR (via Stepmania) with my own pad in my room at school. (I actually had the pad with me last year in Stouffer but never took time to play.)
  • 9/8 - Taking a class in Linux :D
  • 9/8 - Taking a class being taught entirely (as far as I can tell) by a computer science student in my own grade - the aforementioned Linux half-credit class. I feel like I should be feeling extremely inferior or something, but I don't. Zach's friendly and a good lecturer and definitely knows a LOT. Which is awesome :) . I think he was even in my 260 class haha...
  • 9/8 - First job at Penn: mentor for CIS 110. We had our first meeting and it was a friendly gathering. We even talked about who had which lab shifts and office hours, as I was rushing out for band, lol.
  • 9/9 - Met Danny's sister Laura - she's awesome! The three of us went to Cosi for dinner :)
  • 9/9 - Salsa lesson at the Penn Latin and Ballroom Dance info session. It was sooo embarrassing but SO MUCH FUN!!! I decided I was definitely going to the lessons and began trying to convince friends to come...
  • 9/9 - Tried iscribble for the first time, with John. I actually plugged in my mouse (finally) cuz there's no way I was gonna draw with the touchpad.
  • 9/10 - First lab as a 110 mentor, with Ryan as the TA. I have to get there late, cuz it starts at 2:30 but I have 460 till 3. Luckily I made it in time for introductions and I even answered a bunch of questions which made me useful, yay!
  • 9/11 - Played ping pong with Danny and Carlin in the lower level of Harrison - good times!!
  • 9/12 (technically) - went to Allegro's around 1am with Carlin and Danny and had .. chicken and broccoli pizza? Or something like that. It was good, lol.
  • 9/13 (or late night 9/12) - Installed Linux (Ubuntu) on a virtual machine on my computer!! Now I really want to install it "for real" (on a partition on my hard drive)
  • 9/13 - Went out to dinner with Menghan and ate Thai food! I had drunken noodles hahah but it was really good AND I have leftovers!
  • 9/13 - Went to Penn PM karaoke event with Erica, held on the Stouffer patio. Thanks to Erica I actually went up to sing; we did Beat It together. Michael Jackson's voice is way too high for my range (whatever limited range I might have), so next time I'll definitely be picking something else :P
  • 9/13 - Uploaded pictures using Google's Picasa. It's got captions and some kind of tagging of people and reordering, and I was even able to include videos (though I had to actually download Picasa for that, rather than just using the web service). However, it seems that unless you upload through the Picasa client program, you can only upload 5 photos at a time..? This seems kinda ridiculous, especially considering how on Facebook you can upload a bunch all at once - I think it's a Java application actually.
  • 9/14 - Played clarinet at church for the 10am Mass. This went pretty well, considering I got the music last minute. I had to skip a couple things, but overall it sounded good!! (And this is despite my clarinet not playing very easily, which is a fluctuating thing.)
  • 9/14 - Right after Mass I went to the "hospitality" thing - like "Doughnut Sunday" at home, but on a much smaller scale.
  • 9/14 - PLBD social lessons!!! Salsa and tango. SOOO MUCH FUN hahaha I cannot wait to go back :D (this really probably deserves a full post to itself)
  • 9/14 - Lost my band pants (somehow by mixing them up with a pile of laundry on top of a machine) -> realized this, hours later -> panicked while trying to do my Graceland assignment for music 150 -> emailed Neil, who included my plea in his email to the floor -> received my pants from someone who found them mixed among his laundry by accident -> I've never been so glad to see those pants hahaha
  • 9/15 - Ate a cookie and a brownie from Cosi (at cis 1xx grading system learning session); they were so good that I took another cookie for the way out haha.
  • 9/15 - Used Dreamweaver in the Rodin computer lab - the version was old enough that it was still Macromedia... (2002 or 03-ish? I wonder why it's not updated.)
  • probably September - Web design (9am-12 on Tues/Thurs) finished early enough for Grace and I to go to Wawa before 262. I got Wawa coffee for the first time and it is AMAZING. (Also much cheaper than Starbucks...I should keep this in mind and shift some of my coffee habits to Wawa...)
  • 11/24 - arrived late to a clarinet social gathering which included watching Zoolander. I've never seen it before since it's not the type of movie I would typically like. (I usually don't find that kind of humor funny.) For some reason I was intrigued by it though, and although I didn't plan on staying long, I ended up interested enough in the movie that I stayed for the whole rest of it, to find out how it ended. I didn't love it and still thought it was pretty silly, but liked it enough to surprise myself.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

geek-out moment :D

i'm up at 4:42am and for once it's not just because of facebook or other things (seriously i don't even know what i'm doing when i stay up late on the computer...). for my linux class the first thing we have to do is get access to linux somehow, either eniac or install on our own computers. well it'd be even more awesome if i could repartition my hard drive and actually install linux, but i think i'll save that for later. (i did actually spend a bunch of hours one time researching this possibility but was a bit nervous about actually doing such things to my hard drive.) so instead i'm using virtualbox to run a virtual machine on my laptop and install ubuntu on it. so basically i dl'd ubuntu as an iso image and mounted it into the virtual machine's cd-rom drive, then "installed" linux to a virtual hard drive on my machine (the "host" machine..gotta have my terminology down :P ). while it was installing i even did some online banking, downloaded music (REO Speedwagon... John mentioned some lyrics to me and I listened to one song on playlist.com and decided to download some and check it out), and started renewing my ruckus licenses. woot for multitasking!

after it finished installing, i mounted the iso for the "guest additions" thing from virtual box (which adds a bunch of ease-of-use features, like increased virtual box screen resolution and options for "capturing" the mouse on the guest vs. the host) and ran my first ever linux installation via commands in the terminal!!! i wish i'd taken a screenshot, however.... i did save it as a text file (gedit is the text editor) ANDDD since i have the guest additions installed, i can now copy and paste to and from the guest and host!! so here it is!!

To run a command as administrator (user "root"), use "sudo ".
See "man sudo_root" for details.

tory@tory-vmlinux:~$ ls
Desktop  Documents  Examples  Music  Pictures  Public  Templates  Videos
tory@tory-vmlinux:~$ cd ..
tory@tory-vmlinux:/home$ cd ..
tory@tory-vmlinux:/$ ls
bin   cdrom  etc   initrd      lib         media  opt   root  srv  tmp  var
boot  dev    home  initrd.img  lost+found  mnt    proc  sbin  sys  usr  vmlinuz
tory@tory-vmlinux:/$ cdrom
bash: cdrom: command not found
tory@tory-vmlinux:/$ cd cdrom
tory@tory-vmlinux:/cdrom$ sudo sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run
[sudo] password for tory:
Verifying archive integrity... All good.
Uncompressing VirtualBox 2.0.2 Guest Additions for Linux installation............
VirtualBox 2.0.2 Guest Additions installation
Building the VirtualBox Guest Additions kernel module...
Building the shared folder support kernel module...
Installing the VirtualBox Guest Additions...

Successfully installed the VirtualBox Guest Additions.
You must restart your guest system in order to complete the installation.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Double Take

--> first and second takes on my classes this semester.

Note: This is an exercise in speed blogging, to be performed as practice in writing something of value but without taking forever. We'll see if this works.

Ok so here are my impressions of my classes from the first and second sessions of each (except for the 399, since it's a half credit and only meets Mondays). Btw these are in order of occurrence of the first session of each class.

CIS 460: Computer Graphics
[first class] Well we all gathered in Wu & Chen (aka Levine 101) where I took CIS 110, haha... There were a bunch of grad students, which was minorly intimidating for a sec, but made sense after I remembered it's cross-listed as CIS 560 and probably they're CGGT (Computer Graphics and Game Technology) students. Grace and I instated the "DMD Undergraduate Row" - I can't remember exactly but I know Ted, John, Carlin, Brynn, Nirav, and Ryan (a sophomore who was in 277 with us) are all in the class. The class began with Nirav asking if the slides could be printed in black and white and Dr. Badler explaining how the trio of himself, PowerPoint, and the printer do not get along. Then Dr. Badler introduced the field of computer graphics by describing a number of its applications. The class felt really comfortable and familiar, obviously because it's the class which 277 was specifically designed to precede (and taught by the same professor). As it's my only class on Wednesdays, I had a pretty good first day of class! :P
[second class] This turned out to be hilarious for a good 20 minutes or so when PowerPoint was being strange and YouTube was just not cooperating for Dr. Badler, and then neither was the DVD at first - and all he wanted to do was show a couple of videos! At one point, for the DVD, we had video but no sound, and then we had sound but no video! I was crying laughing...which I felt kinda bad about... The rest of lecture was pretty chill; I followed along in my $25 coursepack of the lecture slide printouts, just purchased from the SEAS copy center. We're definitely gonna be reviewing some material from 277, but for sure that can't hurt! (And it'll probably move fast.) So my outlook is lectures will be cool... Homeworks? Not sure how intense they'll be, yet. Definitely expecting to be coding a lotttt. We don't have lab, which is a little nervewracking, because clearly they won't be going over OpenGL and C++ stuff with us anymore. (We are supposed to remember it all from 277. lol..) We do, however, have Skiz as a TA, so that should be awesome. :D Maybe I will go to some office hours for once...

FNAR 234: Web Design

[first class] First off, the instructor seems good - he's cool but he knows his stuff. He comes from the design side, which I like, because I think that's the side I need more instruction/work on. (Also, he and the TA are friends and make a good pair. Kinda like Jeff and Sunita...hahaha.) From a code standpoint, I'll be relearning some html, and probably some css, though I definitely know there's a LOT I can still learn re: css. More importantly I hope I learn design and usability, which if the book he asked us to get and the first/ongoing project are any indication, it should be a focus. We are doing the html/css in Dreamweaver, so that should be interesting, and I might feel a little cheap not coding it all straight by hand. Also he keeps calling html and css "programming languages", which to me doesn't seem quite right, because I've always thought that programming languages DO something, whereas straight html and css don't perform any kind of actions on their own. Still...a good first impression, and I'm hoping not too stressful. Also Grace is in the class so that's cool.
[second class] We went over web terminology, complete with examples. So, yay I learned what some things mean! I don't care if it's elementary, because that might be where I am with some of this stuff. Then he demoed how to set up a blog and then we basically had an hour to start the blogging assignment. :) If not previously evident, I'll mention now that I like the TA, Erin, as well.

CIS 262: Automata, Computability, and Complexity
Ok this course deserves a precursor. Ever since at least the end of last year, when I really tried reading the course title during registration, I was pretty petrified of this class. The fact that Evan used to say he hated it while he took it (along with a few glances at his notebook) only added to this sentiment...
class] On the bright side Dan will be suffering through this class alongside me, as well as Grace, Jay, Carlin, John, and..? Anyway at the beginning of class Dan informed me that "automata" is pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable; hence I'd been saying it wrong every time I listed my classes for someone and explained that I was scared of this one. Oh well. We are in Berger Auditorium in the Skirkanich basement, which is chilly and Dan and I both have no service. (This bothers Dan more than it does me.) The professor has something of an accent though not too horrible, I just have to listen a little harder. We spent like 10 minutes on syllabus stuff and then launched immediately into notes. Thus far I've followed what's going on, but I don't think I can trust that as an indicator that the rest of the class won't get plenty harder...
class] Well actually we have a "recitation" for this class - only one section of it, so basically it's an hour long and taught by the professor rather than a TA. It's my only class in DRL this semester - I was so close to not being there at all! At least A8 is a nicer room, despite its prior association as my Math 114 room haha. Anyway, we started going over proofs by induction, which is not a topic I enjoy but nonetheless familiar from 260.
class] This was the second lecture. It was pretty much more of the same, and luckily I am still understanding like 95-100% of the notes. People are already falling asleep in that class though, haha. It's probably gonna be a long semester. I miss Benjamin C. Pierce (260 prof) cuz...he was more engaging and pretty much all-around awesome.

CIS 330: Design Principles of Info Systems
(I basically translate this course title into "Databases".)
class] Well Dan and I get to walk from 262 and chill in this class too, so that's cool... Class began with the course webpage mysteriously being inaccessible, and other oddities. But once we got into the lecture, I'm glad it's starting pretty much from the bottom-up level of databases. I'm not exactly sure how the course is going to progress, either content-wise (she kept emphasizing that we're not gonna come out of it as Oracle programmer whizzes) or difficulty-and-effort-wise (we may not have even learned enough to do the first homework yet).
class] This time we all introduced ourselves and holy crap, Chin, our 121 TA who managed our final project, is in the class!! Nirav and I were laughing haha... (Am I really up to par enough to be in the same class as Chin??) At least I found that most people had only a bit of database experience so I should be okay. We continued through the lecture and it all seems reasonable so far. I'm really hoping I learn a lot through this class. I'm so eager to collect knowledge and ability in something really different from everything I know so far.

Music 150: Introduction to Global Music
Talk about a change from computer science...
class] Well, the class is almost entirely music majors - maybe one person who's not (as she wasn't even there at the second lecture), and then me, an attempting minor. So that's a little intimidating, because they have a lot of background knowledge to draw on and they know how to write and speak about music. Well the professor is very into it all, integrating both organized writing and stream of consciousness writing with listening to the music and especially exposing ourselves to music with which we're uncomfortable. There is to be lots of discussion and class interaction, etc. So I was pretty scared the first day, since I thought this was gonna be like jazz history where I listened to lectures and caught up on textbook reading, wrote one simple paper at the end and a couple of jazz performance reviews...yeah. Not this class. It's gonna be pretty intense, and I'll have to dredge up writing skills I haven't touched since freshman first semester. So much for an easy class...
[second class] We shared our "exotic" music selections and I found that I could participate in this collaborative discussion without sounding like a total idiot. I probably accomplished that though when I did not have much of a way to explain why my Praful song was "exotic". Oh well, hopefully that moment can be forgotten. For some reason I felt slightly less scared of the impending syllabus (though probably not because she kept saying we would be nervous but it would turn out okay) - with the major exception of this partner-project thing, which I'll worry about until I see how the partner issue pans out (ugh). I'll also have to see how well I can get myself going with these writing assignments.

CIS 399: Special Topics: Linux/Unix in the 21st Century
[first and only class so far] Jean Griffin, who teaches 110, is listed as the instructor for this, so I guess maybe "officially"
Zachary Goldberg is a TA, but as of the first day, he appears to be essentially teaching the course. I mean, his name is on the slides so I assume he made them. He's a good speaker - already more naturally engaging (or I thought so anyway) than Ryan, who taught our Python course. (Don't worry, I like Ryan in his own way.) The funny part is he's in my grade (so Dan told me, and once we got to class, I recognized him, and I think he was even in 260 with us haha), but that's ok cuz supposedly he knows this stuff really well, and I don't think that's an exaggeration. He's starting with the very basics of Linux, which is awesome because that's what I need! I'm really excited for this class, cuz like databases, I'm gonna learn something that I know almost nothing about beforehand...except Linux is just kinda cooler than databases from the start. :P Also I noticed I am one of like three total girls in the class; all the rest is guys. Oh well haha.

The semester is gonna be crazy, I bet. 262 alone could drown me in painful work. I am hoping databases and Linux won't be bad, and hopefully interesting!! Web design should be good too, maybe my only semi-respite from the rest. I can see 460 being really intense, because if 277 was really intense and it was just the "intro" to this class, then we all must be really in for it. And music, well, it'll be its own kind of crazy, I'm afraid. I really did think I was pretty much done with writing. I guess it's a good skill to prune every once in awhile, at least (hahaha). Very different from last semester and even last year - no psych, music is back, digging 260-type of thinking out for 262, and totally ground-level new subjects. At the very least, it will be interesting. Here we goooo! (This good mood I've been in recently must be in part because I have done almost no work yet...possibly due to the fact I am lacking some key textbooks... I will need to beginning devoting time and energy to work-mode soon.)

Results: speed blogging? Kind of failed. Partly by distraction of thinking of Jeff and Sunita, which led to emailing Jeff, and also by a bit of chatting with Carlin. I'll try harder in the future.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

[something about this night just feels so good]

so i was walking a bit outside tonight, just over to beijing and then to starbucks and then back to rodin... and the air felt so amazing. i was wearing shorts and a t-shirt, and it was probably around 75 degrees out. the air felt clean and clear, just playing along the border of chilly - enough to be thoroughly refreshing. i felt open and comfortable just letting this perfect night air soak into my skin.

then i got up to my room, and.. most of my view is just the radian, but even so, it looks better at night, and to the right is more of the city. the large windows let the beautiful night expand into the space of my room and i just lay on my bed looking out on it all. i couldn't even turn on lights for awhile; i didn't want to lose the special feeling.

but whenever i have these moments of night rapture, they also bring up a little longing. the way it all feels, it just seems like i should have somebody special with me. someone to walk with, lay down with, and gaze with. to share the feeling with. the strange part is this: i can't seem to figure out who exactly i want that person to be. my thoughts jump around, somewhat at random, from one somebody to another, but never landing on one that feels completely right. so i avoid the pain of specific loneliness, yet feel the frustration of not being able to focus energy.

just listened to a hed kandi song, from the summer 2008 mix album, called "be with you"...
kinda feels right.

this post is labeled with the time i had these thoughts, though written hours later.

First few days back at Penn

Junior year at Penn, AHHH!! But I really have been enjoying these first days back. :)

~ Thursday (Aug 28)

Ok I wasn't quite at Penn on Thursday. Instead I was still home and after a few days of laziness I had to start getting ready to go back. So what did I do? I started organizing papers and other stuff I'd never really put away from last year, haha. And also went through papers on my desk, most of which were definitely older than last year. I think my mom started gathering up things and adding to the collection of things I just stored in the basement from last year.

~Friday (Aug 29)

For some reason I continued said paper organization while my mom went through multiple lists of "college stuff" that I happened to come across and asked me to find some things. Eventually I endured the process of selecting which clothes to bring and which to leave home - very difficult for me, considering how indecisive I am. ("ummm....I might want to wear this....?" haha.) For as much as Mom recommended I should try to bring fewer clothes, I have to give her credit for firstly managing to pack clothes very space-efficiently, AND to fit in a number of extra things I decided that I wanted after all, last minute.

That night, I was tired, even though Mom seriously did probably 98% of the actual packing (and by the way, my clothes took up my 3 nesting suitcases along with a large duffel bag that contained mostly just my sweatshirts haha). So I spent some time playing Guitar Hero with Greg. Being as it was my last night at home, I attempted the songs on "hard" level, and hahaha I was really bad now that the orange 5th key was added :P . Anyway it was fun :) so maybe I can find someone at Penn to play it with.

At night I got a strange yet familiar feeling that was a mix of perhaps loneliness and homesickness - even though I had not left home yet, and have never really been homesick while at college. I just kinda realized I was leaving home, and would be making the switch "back to" the Penn routine, except all new again this time with the start of a new year.

~Saturday (Aug 30)

The big truck-loading day, aka MOVE-IN! My stuff covered approximately half of one vehicle's worth of space in my garage which I found funny almost every time I looked at it. My dad organized stuff in the bed of his Ford F150 pickup with Peter's help and Mom and I put stuff into 2.5 of the 3 seats of space in the back of the quad cab. This I again found hilarious as my mom repeated that I had too much stuff. Somehow we fit everything (well...I did want to bring a carpet piece for our common room, but there was no room for this) and covered the back with a tarp secured by bungee cords. I fit into the small space that remained in the backseat and Mom, Dad, and Peter sat in front. Greg had work so he didn't come with us, but I did get to say goodbye to him before he left :) .

We got to campus around 12:15 and got a space to park on Locust Walk. I am in 1209 in Rodin, and it's my first year that I have to take an elevator to get to my room. (Freshman year was first floor in Rodin, so I always took stairs. Sophomore year was second floor in Stouffer, so...that was just a bunch of stairs, both outdoors and indoors, haha.) It took 3 cartloads to move everything to my room, which I didn't think was too bad, especially after I heard that someone needed 7 cartloads. O:-)

Simone, Tatini, and I are rooming together in a triple, with three bedrooms, bathroom (a sink inside and another outside), a kitchenette (including oven and full-size refrigerator), and a common room. The far bedroom on the end is quite a bit bigger than the other two, though, so I figured we should decide ahead of time who would get which room. For whatever reasons of their own, Simone and Tatini both assured me it was fine if I had the big room, so I began moving into it. It's larger than any room I've lived in before at Penn, and certainly more spacious than my Stouffer 253E from last year (a point my mom was kind of glorying in...really, I didn't think Stouffer was so bad!). Half my window-wall is a ceiling-to-floor window, most of which are covered by my blue curtains. (I pull the blinds down enough to cover the top part when need be.) The other half is a ceiling-to-a/c-and-heat-unit window. I just use the blinds for this one. My view, by the way, is of the lovely - oh wait, actually it's pretty ugly from the outside - and expensive just-off-campus apartment building, the Radian. It's dark gray and kind of looks like corrugated metal. If I look to the right I can see some of the city, but...I know some other rooms have much prettier views. Ah well. One thing that is a bit annoying, I've learned, is that having such large windows also means I've got a lot of blinds and curtains to close if I don't want Radian residents watching me change clothes...

Anyway, my family was VERY helpful of course. After eating lunch that Mom packed :), we began... we got stuff out of boxes (so they could take empty boxes back home); Mom set up my bed; we moved my chest of drawers and the desk drawers (put the printer on top of those); and though it took like ten minutes and we almost thought something was wrong with it, Dad and Peter finally got my new green "sphere" chair from Target to open up. It's really comfortable... I was not very helpful, actually, because while I was setting things up, Tatini arrived. Simone was already here and had met our GA, Neil, so she went with me and Tatini to go visit him. He's really friendly and definitely into music, and has an awesome British accent!! (since that's where he's from.) When I got back it wasn't long till the basic room setup was done, express-style. We said goodbyes, then walked over to Starbucks in Commons for some drinks, and then Mom, Dad, and Peter got into the truck and headed home. Here goes the year...

So I think then JoAnna stopped by and we all talked, which was fun. I knew her a little bit through Tatini but hopefully now since we're living on the same floor I'll get to know her better. Amidst this, I was trying to figure out if I'd be going to the NSO art museum thing with Danny, since he'd asked me a few days before move-in if maybe I'd like to go. As an RA I guess he was supposed to go to supervise or something. At any rate he managed to borrow an NSO bracelet for me, so we pretended I was a freshman and took the bus over to the museum. The food was pretty good actually (and free, which is always important), so we ate and conversed a bit, of course having to speak loudly over the music. We did stroll through some rooms with art but then since I'd never gone outside to the back(?) side of the building, we headed out there. There's a large fountain out on what feels large enough to be like a plaza, sort of, and then a lot of stairs that I think take you all the way down to the street. The city was beautiful with all its lights at night, so we chatted and enjoyed the view.

After taking the bus back to campus, since it was such gorgeous weather, we headed over to the Stouffer patio. Of course it felt all just like last year, walking the Spruce Street sidewalk past Wawa, the salad places, Savory, and Beijing, then swiping in at the guard booth and up all those stairs... ah Stouffer :). Well the hammock was occupied so we sat on one of the tables till it was free, then moved to it. We talked for awhile, though it felt more like I was talking about a bunch of perhaps random topics and opinions, possibly relating to my life, that I'm not really sure whether Danny was interested in hearing about or not. Also while we were on the hammock, gg aim-texted me (ok so I'm inventing that phrase lol) and asked if I'd moved in and would we be able to talk? I said yeah (to moving in), and sorry, my computer wasn't set up, and he said to just enjoy the night, so of course I thought this was sweet as always.

Finally we decided maybe we should get going (I think it was 11-something) and then on the way back I asked if I could see his room, so then we went up there and being me I said I'd hang out for a bit, so then we talked some more (or I went on about whatever, some more)...eventually it almost started feeling like the whole night had been some kind of date, and I think around 12:45 I finally headed back to my room. Then I had to stop and chat with Simone, which was nice, but after that it was even later! At last I took a shower, and Simone was right, it felt reallyyy good. I did discover though that our water is "wired" backwards, as in pointing the shower handle to cold or turning on the right-hand sink handle gives you hot water instead, and the reverse. I've considered reporting this to Facilities, but I doubt it would be easily fixed. So I think I can live with it, except when I go back home I'm gonna be all mixed up.

Oh and by the way, funny story. While arranging furniture etc. I decided to plug in the provided lamp to a different outlet. I tested it and it worked. Then in the evening it wouldn't turn on! I was afraid something was wrong with the outlet so I tried plugging in something else, and it didn't work either. So I wired the lamp all the way back to my own power strip and knew that this was really not going to work as a long-term solution but I really didn't want to have to get Facilities to fix an outlet.... Some hours later I looked again at the lamp, and then saw the lightswitch on the wall...and it was turned off. Soooo I finally figured it out and was so thankful that my outlet works. hahahaha.

~Sunday (Aug 31)

In the morning was the Penn Traditions event for NSO, at which the band was supposed to play a few things. Originally I seriously considered skipping this and going to Mass at 10, which is when I like to go, but it was the first band event I was around for, and I could go to Mass later. So I decided to go to the band thing, also expecting we were getting food. Many of my clothes were still packed haha but I found jeans. When I got to the band room I got my new band shirt, YAY - blue and red striped rugby shirt (really thick..) and it fits, which is definitely much more awesome than our old (and fairly worn-out looking) polos. Becca is no longer the drum major and for her last semester here, is now back with the clarinets, yay! The event, by the way, consisted of lots of waiting around (getting hungrier), then us playing a few Penn songs. At the end we finally got something to eat but there was not much left, so when I got back to my room I decided now was as good a time as ever to make my first waffles of the year. (This idea was also supported by the fact that I had not shopped for any food yet and the waffle mix requires only water and oil.) Unfortunately, even though it really did usually work last year, the batter stuck really badly to the iron and I must've spent 10 or 15 minutes scraping it out. This was rather frustrating and I promised myself to ask Mom what to do about this before next time. The waffles, though in many many pieces, definitely tasted good. Even with the cheapest syrup ever, which I bought last year.

Well after that at least I wasn't so hungry anymore, and worked on some unpacking. I really like my room... Even though I maintain that I'm fine with a small space and actually it'll get a bit messy and then feels cozy, I guess before this room I hadn't really had a more spacious abode, but now that I do, the open space kind of feels good somehow. Also I have plenty of room for the sphere chair, not that I've spent any time sitting in it as of yet lol. The only thing I might like is some kind of carpet for the floor space. I also like my really large windows, even if they do look out on the Radian. At least at night the Radian looks a little better; there are large lit areas towards the bottom of it and you can't really see the weird metal-looking siding or whatever it is.

Since I'd gone to the thing in the morning with band, I went to the 5pm Mass at St. AJ's. Fr. Zlock said the Mass and he's a pretty strong speaker and it kinda felt good to be back. One of the women in the choir announced that if anyone wanted to join a choir that would be great since people had graduated. I've wanted since last year to play clarinet with the choir at church so this was my calling to go ask about it. When I talked to them, they said they had a Bb book and would love to have me in their group; I explained though that I preferred 10am as my Mass time, but one man took my email and I'll have to look into how their rehearsal times will fit into my schedule. I'm hoping this will be a good way to play my clarinet since I won't be doing it in wind ensemble this year, weird as that may or may not be, lol. (By the way, when I got back to my room, for some reason I was too tired or lazy to do any more unpacking work so I sat around for an hour.)

Ooh so that night, Tatini and her parents took me, Simone, and JoAnna out to dinner at Marathon! We sat outside since it was nice out again. Or maybe because they didn't have tables inside, but whatever. Unfortunately they were so busy that they had actually run out of a bunch of foods, and after the waitress read off the list of those foods, I found a dish I really wanted (something with roasted turkey I think it was) that I'd never had before. But alas, instead I had the whole wheat ravioli which I had had another time. Anyway it was still pretty good and we all had a nice talk, even if it was about classes, haha. Tatini's parents treated us, which was reallyyy nice of them. Afterwards we went to Ben & Jerry's and I think I got Cake Batter..? Anyway it was good, though the small cup was still too much so I recruited Simone to eat some of it.

That night I went over to Rebecca's. She has a single over in Harnwell, which is a pretty nice setup - lots of space. So we had coffee and chocolate and talked, and then Ben and Eamonn and Becca joined us and then we all watched Anchorman as part of a goal for me to watch movies that everybody but me has seen. It isn't my typical kind of comedy but at least some of it was funny, as long as I kept in mind that it's all designed to be ridiculous. And maybe if I remember them, I'll understand when people reference it now.. It was fun with everybody there though :)

~Monday (Sept 1)

Yeah...so I must have stayed up forever the night before, and I slept in till like 1:15pm. When I got up, I ate cereal, because no matter the time of day at which I finally get out of bed, I like to eat breakfast food first. Once dressed and all that, I went to the poster sale outside the bookstore, and despite paging through a number of books full of posters in the sweat-inducing heat, I could not find any that really struck me. So for now I will populate my walls with whatever I have from previous years, including a Pirates of the Caribbean poster, a drawing project I made in my high school art class (subject: Orlando Bloom), and a large printout of a design I made in Digital Design Foundations, first semester of freshman year. I've considered looking for another poster online, though of what I'm not sure...

I guess I kind of did some more unpacking that afternoon, then at 6pm Simone brought me along to a bowling event/info session for the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. Simone and I met a sophomore transfer student named Colin and the three of us shared a lane for bowling. It was a lot of fun; I think all of us got some spares and strikes at some point, even though the computer sometimes posted them as only 8 pins down (haha), and I took some pictures of the scoreboard. In between our turns we chatted with Colin and got dinner. When we stopped so they could explain the various programs run by the CCP, I felt there were maybe one or two of them that I might be interested in, but with so many other things I'm trying to get into this semester, I don't know if I'd have time in the week for them. Then I felt kind of bad for going to this free bowling and free food event if I'm probably not going to be involved =/ .

After the event Simone and I stopped at the bookstore. I found a textbook called Types and Programming Languages written by Benjamin C. Pierce, my CSE 260 professor, so that was cool. It seems like he really knows his stuff out there. He was pretty interesting as a professor, too. I found my books for 262 and 330 but they were both like $90 or $100 for a used copy, not that there were any. (So I didn't get them.) I didn't find any other books for classes I'm actually taking, but I did find the books for the popular music class and the cognitive neuroscience class - both are at the same time slot as databases (330), so I mourned over the sadness of these lost opportunities yet again while glancing at the books.

On the way home Simone needed to stop over at Yi Li's place, so I got to see an apartment in Chestnut Hall (off campus housing, on 39th I believe). It's definitely nice; perhaps most noticeably just from the carpeting...but my instinct is that I'll still be in campus housing for my last year. It still seems more convenient and there's less real-world stuff to worry about (utility bills or something), though that would probably be a good thing to learn about.

Most likely I was up late again that night, maybe talking to a couple people, which does nothing in terms of productivity, but in some way, feels important and valuable to me nonetheless.

~Tuesday (Sept 2)

It was the last day before classes began and I did not even wake up till after 1. When I woke up I heard people talking in the common room and realized Nick was visiting. I really wanted to go see him but was still in pajamas haha. Finally I just put on another shirt and went out to say hi. It was a lot of fun talking with Nick and Tatini and I also met his friend Caitlin who just transferred here. I then walked down the hall to see Nick's room. (He's in a triple with Ben and a sophomore; I think his name is Chris.)

After this Tatini and Nick were planning to meet somewhere with Marcela but I suddenly realized it was Tuesday and Convocation was that night, at which I had to play with the band. I decided to make the most of the short time I had left in the afternoon. I quickly took inventory of the groceries my mom and I had gotten back home, then looked through the recipes she gave me and sorta scribbled out a grocery list. I must say I think I made a very efficient Fresh Grocer shopping trip, especially considering I don't know where some things are in that store. (Still, when I later really took stock of what I got and the recipes, it turned out I could only make a few things. But it's a start!)

When I got back and stashed away groceries, I dressed in full band attire - much improved by the new striped rugby shirts but still not-so-hot with the khakis. Now that I have to take an elevator up and down in Rodin every day, I get to experience the minor awkwardness of being in it with the band outfit...but, haha, it's okay. At the band room we convened and maybe played something, then went over to Logan Hall (which is renamed to Claudia Cohen Hall or something) and got to eat dinner along with the other volunteers for Convocation. It was catered and it was really good (yay!). The band split up to lead freshman processions to College Green and my contingent started at the high rises. Once we got there, there was more waiting, so we played Land of 1000 Dances which was soo much fun, then I guess some other stuff and a Penn song or something. The speeches... Some people said some cliche kinds of things, and now that I'm halfway through, I could probably say that it's not quite as amazing an experience as they might make it out to be, but then again, that could be particular to me. Anyhow, afterwards was the famous dessert reception, which was crazy of course. I ate two things and felt like I couldn't eat any more (they're big...), but it felt like a waste to not experience more of them, even if they're mostly or all the same as previous years. So I took a large chocolate frosted cupcake (with a red and blue P on top) back to my room with me.

Back in my room I took a shower (which felt really nice) and then I really wanted to see Dan since I'd been back already a few days and had yet to see him. However I talked to him online and he was busy working (ITA case), so I joked that I was upset since I missed him and he'd actually said he missed me, so we sorta planned we could do lunch the next day :) . And even though classes were starting the next day, I didn't worry that I was staying up late that night since my one and only class was not till 1:30pm.

I can definitely say I'm having a good return to Penn :D. It's been a lot of fun seeing everybody; I kinda didn't realize I was missing them till I've been able to talk with them now. It's probably good for me being with roommates again too (especially Tatini and Simone!). I'm so glad I'm enjoying it all and am happy. I just hope it can last into the year, when the real work gets going.

Friday, July 25, 2008

To do list for life

Things I want to do sometime in my life, in whatever order I come up with them. To be appended to whenever I think of more. :) ...recommendations welcome too.

  • go jetskiing
  • learn php
  • kiss in the rain
  • go somewhere tropical
  • learn to play guitar
  • go skinnydipping
  • go to a west coast beach (compare to east coast)
  • ride on the back of a motorcycle
  • code a facebook app
  • learn to play piano
  • go skydiving (assuming I don't die or something)
  • attend a Hed Kandi party
  • compose something [good]... maybe for clarinet, maybe for concert band
  • create artwork, some digital and some not, that I am happy with
  • (from Cindy:) attend a college party (so far, I "sort of" have...)
  • stop being so shy/be more outgoing
  • do something "crazy" enough to be worthy of telling Matt about. (what should it be??)
  • have a long phone conversation sometime in the middle of the night

Ok so it's a work in progress.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I am going to explode

It has been 7 hours since I last ate something but I've already been home for an hour and haven't eaten anything. That's about how much this is consuming my mind. And when I say "this", I mean "he".

It's a complicated situation, really; before I got into it, I imagined that if I got into it, it would be difficult. Of course in the first place there is me to deal with. How many times have I been right next to him, our time together going on, supposedly what I look forward to so much, but I get so tied up with all my worry and fear that it all just strangles me? Thinking about it now, outside the moment, I can't even understand what I'm so afraid of. Maybe this is one reason it might be a stupid endeavor. I just want to be comfortable. I just want to be me, because if I want him to like me and like being around me, I don't want to be holding things back.

Sometimes, sometimes, it works. I'm telling him some story and I know he's listening cuz he has that look, interested and right in the moment with me. Or some little thing or other happens, and I make a little joke about it, which starts us laughing, and then one of us makes another joke off of that, and we just laugh even harder on top of it all. Then I relax a little because we shared something fun, something that feels good.

I think there's only been one time we've stepped past the line of little jokes and related funny stories to have a little bit more of a serious conversation. I think it took me slightly by surprise when he started it with a question, but it felt good... And I love laughing, I really really do, but I want this so much too. I want to just talk about what we think... But it seems so hard. I don't know a whole lot, but my life and his (and he and I) are so different. My knowledge, my experiences must encompass only a small fraction of his. I feel restricted and he looks free to me. How can my life be of interest to talk about? How can I be of interest? Well if I can't talk about things I do, I'd like to talk about things I think about... I want to try to give who I am, since I guess that's all I really have.

And then... there are these most dangerous little moments: we touch. It's happenstance. I'm laughing, we're going up the stairs, and he doesn't want me to fall, and he kind of has his arm there in case, and it brushes mine a few times. He reaches across my arm to get to the keyboard. My earring falls out and he puts it back in for me. His puts his hand on my knee, for a second.
Then my mind takes over, turns life into a movie. I trip over my shoes and the fall lands me halfway into his arms, and I get to stay there a little longer... Or our hands touch, and catch, and stay together. Or we're laughing really hard, then while we're recovering, I lean over and just kiss him. Okay yeah, basically every scenario leads to kissing, because somehow I can't stop them from coming to mind. I say "movie" because these things would be much more likely to happen in a movie than in my real life.

And just to make it all 10 times worse, the situation that I'm in draws its no-cross line exactly at the line whose crossing would indicate an interest between us... So I go on every day, wondering if he might want to cross that line, if the situation were different. Wishing I was free to cross it, if I could ever get the courage. Trying, if the chances arise, to step just a little closer, and see what happens, how he reacts. Attempting to discern if possibly he's on the other side of this barrier wanting the same thing, not that I could really think well enough of myself to assume it.

The worst thing is... I'm not sure why I want it all so much. Is it just this enticing game, something with which I can try to push the limits, this little bit of excitement I can hold onto and let it make me crazy? In the beginning, it seemed that we could talk easily, but now there are plenty of times it seems neither of us can think of anything to say. That's always awkward for me. Conversing easily and eventually meaningfully is one of the things I value most in a relationship with somebody (I mean any kind of relationship, friends as well); for sure, I want that with him, but it's not exactly happening naturally. Still, it bothers me every time I feel like I've regressed. But to get back to the point, if talking doesn't really flow with him, then why do I still "want" him so much? (..whatever "want" entails.) Is it a combination of just wanting to kiss someone and being attracted to him? ..I don't like thinking I'm caught up in such a shallow level of feelings, but I suppose I am human which makes it totally possible.

Okay...where have I gotten with all of this? I want and don't really know why but can't have anyway. Things happen every day, my mood soars or dives accordingly. I analyze and worry and wonder and regret and hope and act giddy and basically, go crazy. And I don't exactly want to rush my summer past, but I want so badly to know what might happen in a certain future moment that could be my only chance to find out some answers to all this wondering..

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I guess I have several of what I might classify as "major" regrets, which I've been collecting since at least as far back as 8th grade. Stuff I did and said that I wish I had just held back. Stuff I didn't do because I made the decision too fast, and then the moment was over, and it was too late when I figured out that I'd picked the wrong option. Stuff I couldn't make myself say because I was too scared. And then, when I come to my senses, I start worrying, because worrying is what I do. Perhaps the worst thing about regrets is that in some cases, the effects of the decision made at one time can stretch far into the future. I'll never know how that day, the next few months, that summer would have played out, if I'd made the decision as I wished I had.

The past is one thing that cannot be changed, though. So there are two questions that remain. One is pretty obvious, I guess: how do you avoid doing things you're going to regret? I doubt there's a foolproof tactic... however, I think there are a couple of useful steps: Take an extra moment to think before deciding something meaningful or critical, if the decision is being made on the spot. Maybe even more importantly, don't be afraid to go for something you really want. The second question is, what to do to "remedy" a regret? By habit I always go off analyzing the possible outcomes of whatever I did, but usually I don't get anywhere, I just end up driving myself nuts and thinking up bad results (which I hope don't actually happen). As I lamented to him about this regret issue today, Ryan told me: "A missed opportunity is a waste if you dwell and don't learn to correct how it makes you feel because of what you wanted." Well, first lesson is not to dwell, so I can definitely work on that, haha. Second lesson is to look ahead for another open door, or even try to create one, so this time you know the way you want to go about things. Of course this will all be much more difficult in real life than it is here in words...

And even though I've just thought through all of this reasonably and positively, it's definitely gonna take me some mental work to put it all into practice.

Top moments of Tuesday

So there were a few funny moments at work yesterday that I wouldn't mind recording for future enjoyment haha...

- Matt comes in with the new iPhone and demonstrates the light saber app - you literally brandish the phone and it makes saber-swinging noises.
- Matt and I compare both our experiences with this guy who's also interning and seems interested in me in some way or another... (Matt had interviewed him for the commerce group)
- I'm returning to the rectangle from lunch with my water in one hand and coffee in the other, totally not expecting anything, and Jeff fakes like he's gonna throw his frisbee at me, and I'm like "ahhh!" and cringe away because I don't have any hands available to catch it.
- Sunita compares relative maturity levels of boys and girls...or maybe just me and Matt?

I really do enjoy being around these people. I'm glad that the kinda random chain of events by which I ended up here happened the way it did. I guess when you're an adult working in the "real world", the people you work with end up becoming your social circle (or at least one of them), and now I see how I can like it. For sure, I'm not as old as them and probably don't have a lot in common, but they're still interesting people and plenty of funny things happen in the rectangle... :)

Monday, July 14, 2008

unhappy things


I miss talking with somebody on a regular basis, telling stories/news and sharing thoughts and being open. Leaving messages back and forth online and laughing. Knowing that someone's thinking about you (and you think of them) and looking forward to both funny lighthearted conversations and serious conversations. Okay...so I've got an experience from last summer on my mind. Not to say I haven't talked to anyone this summer, I have talked with several people, and had the occasional meaningful conversation, and even kept in somewhat regular touch with a couple. But (sorry for the annoying cliché) it's just not the same. I guess I had something special, which means of course I'm not going to truly appreciate it till I no longer have it...seems to be a rule of my life or something. And I think this kind of friendship is one that may elude you if you seek it on purpose; it'll find you when you are neither trying to find it nor expecting it. This just makes it all the better: "I don't know how it happened, but I'm so happy it did."

So based on all that, I suppose the best I can do is not worry about it too much, huh? Just wait and see what happens. I only hope something does.


This is far less meaningful to me, and has nothing to do with the above (except maybe social emailing, but I haven't done that for real in...six years? Though, there is something to be said for it. Another time.). Anyway, so I've gotten really extremely lazy with my email. My old "home" email, instated in 7th grade, doesn't get much these days aside of ads for online shopping (which I may or may not have really signed up for), so I don't usually bother with it anyway... And with my school email, not gonna lie, there are certain listserves I pay more attention to and some I only glance at for the most part. But usually during the school year I try to read the important stuff and respond to it. And even though it's the summer now, I'm still getting some important stuff (especially about Koosh's band camp at Penn that I'm gonna be a counselor for) that I really really should be keeping up to date on...but I'm just not. I check my email and then I don't make myself read them. I dunno why this laziness is so compelling. It exists in other realms of my life; seems to be generally that I can't get started on doing some kind of project or other, even something I think I want to work on. But really, reading emails? Not so hard. Yeah, I should really start pulling myself back onto track. Might as well try to get into a habit of being organized with email (at the least) before going back for next year.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


I would say in general I'm a pretty serious person. Apparently it's a deep-seated trait, because in 4th grade two of my friends launched a campaign to make me laugh more. (I'm not sure how effective it was.) This doesn't mean I don't enjoy joking and laughing, because I thoroughly do. I like serious conversation because it enlightens me about the person with whom I'm conversing; it's interesting to hear their opinions, advice, thoughts, perspectives, etc etc. But of course I also enjoy cracking up together (even possibly in the middle of a serious conversation); it makes me feel comfortable and a little closer to that person because we're sharing something that just feels good ("natural high" and all that - it's probably true). As for just goofing off, it's not something that comes naturally. Watching my brothers or whoever being pointlessly/ridiculously silly is usually uninteresting if not mildly annoying to me. And same goes for that kind of comedy in movies. However...sometimes I click into the silly mode. It works best when my brothers are goofing off. Then silly faces and gestures ensue, and almost everything one of us says is probably a little ridiculous and cause for more laughing. None of it is actually that funny except because for the time being, everything is funny. The best part is letting go of everything and bonding and just having crazy fun that doesn't make much sense... Haha if any guy can get me into silly mode and spend an hour or something with me like that, I'd probably be on my way to falling in love. (Well...at least falling in "like"..."love" is a powerful word and I still can't quite figure it out.)

Bottom line? I really need to do more of this, and with more people. :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

All in a day's work.


7:00am - Wake up. Obviously wish I could go back to sleep for like 5 more hours.

7:00-7:10am - Lie in bed trying to rest for a little extra time without falling asleep (cuz I don't think I have any more alarms set to rescue me if I did that).

7:15am - Realize Mom has just turned on the water for a shower so I can't start mine.

7:15-7:25am - Eat cereal, turn on computer, start it running a backup cuz I'm obsessive like that.

7:25-7:35am - Return to bedroom and begin debating what to wear.

7:35-7:55am - Shower.

7:55-8:05am - Finish debating what to wear, and get dressed. Put hair in clip and hope it dries okay, put on earrings and shoes.

8:05-8:20am - Eat rest of breakfast (fruit), brush teeth, etc/get ready to go.

8:20-9:10am - Drive to work. Notice van's gas tank is only 1/4 full, decide not to be ridiculous and maybe I'll stop and fill it on the way home. Listen to clips of ridiculous country versions of popular songs...since when was Elvis Duran (sp?) on Q102? Wasn't he always on Z100? Classify cars I see on the road: ugly or not (haha).

9:20am - Sit down at my desk at work.

9:20-9:30am - Write/respond to emails re: intern stuff.

9:30-10:40am - Begin getting cold and possibly thinking about Matt's sweatshirt. Would it be weird if I borrowed it when he wasn't even there yet?
Fix issue of scrollbars appearing in Firefox when a link was focused by moving overflow:auto to the form instead of an enclosing div, and thus still beating the FF invisible cursor bug!
Begin playing around with positioning to see if I can get relatively good agreement of appearance between IE/FF.
Get distracted when I hear Jeff, Chandra**, and Sunita start talking about Thunderbird vs. Yahoo vs. Outlook vs. whatever other email options there are; chime in that Thunderbird is a standalone application.
Chat with the three of them about email, texting ("Why don't you just call? I don't get it" says Jeff, just like my parents, and of course I can't come up with a convincing explanation...haha), rotary phones ("You had one? No way!" - Jeff again), area codes (yes, you really do have to dial it now; that's been in place for years!)...
Listen to the Jeff/Steve movie debate.

11:15am - Turn back to my work, wonder if Matt's even coming in today, assume that since it's past the latest arrival time I knew of (10:30 or so), assume he isn't showing up.

11:30am - Hear Matt talking, saying he has come in for the training at 1pm... Decide that since that means I can't go to lunch with him anyway, I'll go from 1:30-2 and make up for some of that time I spent talking with the others.

11:30am-1:30pm - Fix up some of the positioning stuff and another minor unexpected behavior that popped up. Painstakingly decide that maybe I'm done with this stuff and wonder if I should bother Matt to tell him (and ask if I should do any more on the positioning); decide not to, and begin looking into the html source of the next thing Matt had told me to work on.

12:57pm - Matt leaves for his training and I'm pretty much alone in the rectangle.

1:30-1:55pm - Eat lunch; read some articles in WSJ; continue being cold in the cafeteria.

1:55-2:05pm - Go outside because I'm really looking forward to warming up in the sun. Sit down in the courtyard and begin reading the WSJ page I stole (it's the Technology page and has both Alcatel-Lucent and DreamWorks on it!); get visited by curious little worm-like bugs crawling up my legs and attempt to flick them all off.

2:05-5:10pm - Return to my desk. Start getting cold right away and really want Matt's sweatshirt; consider emailing him (hoping he gets it on his iPhone and could respond); decide this is a little pathetic and don't do it.
Matt shows up for a second; feel too awkward and I don't ask for his sweatshirt after all.
Continue setting up this new thing I'm working on. Look over some of Matt's code and admire its structure as usual. Decide to rework a section of my code for like the 3rd time.

4:40pm - Receive email from Matt that I'm probably going to have to "talk" at this pizza lunch thing on Thursday. Wonder if he means I'll have to give some kind of presentation, or if he's telling me not to be shy, haha.

5:10-5:20pm - "Register" for intern lunch thing tomorrow. Input my hours for the past week online.

5:20pm - Before leaving, ask Matt about the email; he says I might just have to say a little something about what I'm doing as an intern. Laugh and tell him it would've been legit if he'd been referring to me being shy :P

5:25pm - Step outside and relax into the warmth as I walk through the parking lot, a little walk which always brings back a hint of a crazy little memory...

*all times are approximate.
**I really hope I'm spelling his name right.