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November 2006


November 30, 2006   

Originally uploaded by eingy.

I crossed the finish line one day early. I’ll probably have a long-assed post on soon, but not right now. I am completely beat. Totally. Both from the physical stamina standpoint and from the emotional exhaustion standpoint.

I am so glad to have written what I wrote this year.

US Accent Quiz

November 29, 2006   

I literally LOLed when I got the results.accent

What American accent do you have?

Gotta love ’em for having a specific one for Philly.


November 18, 2006   

Don’t worry. No spoilers.

Casino Royale. Best. Bond. EVER. In reference to both the guy and the movie. Go see it.

Dreamgirls. Holy sheeee-it! I am excited for this movie. I ::heart:: Motown and music influenced by Motown Records. I’ve never seen a performance of Dreamgirls before, but from what I’ve heard, it’s awesome. I’d like to see the live version at some point, but I’ll be more than happy to go see the movie version. Jennifer Hudson was one of my favorite singer on her season of Americand Idol, and I hear she steals the show, which makes me excited.

The very definition of a facist state

November 17, 2006   

Seriously, America, you don’t see that this is everything that we don’t want to be, that this is everything we are supposed to stand against?

A_B has good commentary on his blog, as well as links to other places with good commentary.

The biggest issues for me are:

  • Do people honestly think it was ‘necessary force’ to use a taser repeatedly on a guy who was already handcuffed and only physically resisting to the degree that he was lying down on the ground and didn’t get up? Did he pose a physical threat to the three or four cops that were there? They couldn’t just take him to the station? It appears from the video and the shouting that they tasered him NOT because he was a physical threat but because he didn’t stand when they said stand. The implications of this being ok in a non-police state is tremendous.
  • What were they arresting him for initially? He was leaving, as requested, by the time the cops arrived. If what he was in violation of was not leaving, and then he was leaving, isn’t that ok? Why *did* they put their hands on him? Do people believe you should be allowed to be physically contacted by police when you are not being arrested?

Frankly, maybe I wouldn’t have screamed the stuff the guy did if I were him. But let’s say my name was Mostafa and I had the “wrong” skin color for the times. Given the types of laws that have been passed and the kinds of stories about detainment I’ve heard recently, and that they seemed to want to arrest me solely for having forgotten my student ID when I really do go to the school, I’d be terrified of what could happen if I was taken somewhere with no witnesses. So maybe I would try to get the attention of the people around me.

After the first tasering, it would just be abject terror that was operating at that point.

The things we learn

November 14, 2006   

My dear friend Roopa (congrats on the new phase of your life!) and I chatted on the phone Sunday. When we talk, we talk about one thing, about a million different things; it’s all the same but different.

We cover pretty much all of life, let’s just say. 🙂

Something in our conversationt triggered a thought about the things we are taught by our parents in regards to interpersonal relationships and personal finance.

You know how we all (ok, our friends and family, not all of the world) understand the dangers of not having sex ed taught in school? The problem is that we can only teach what we know and if we never get formal education on it from knowledgeable sources, we end up having no real source of information and end up teaching nothing, or crap instead of facts. Then people end up pregnant and full of diseases. (Even with the best of education, this happens, but at least some knowledge can help.)

You know, all that good stuff.

I was thinking that that’s not too far from how we learn about personal finance and relationships. We learn what our parents tell us, but they only know so much, and some of them are barely stumbling around life themselves. We learn what we can from doing and observing, and sometimes reading and researching, talking to our peers, etc. They aren’t terrible ways to learn things, but wouldn’t you rather learn from a solid knowledgeable body?

Knowledge about relationships [side note: I made a typo and wrote “elationships” at first. What a nice idea, being elated in your relationship!] and finance, along with a clear concept of what social responsibility means, are some of the most important tools we can arm ourselves with in life. Yet a structured learning curriculum for these things are not considered the norm.

I feel like I’ve spent my life thinking about relationships. Who hasn’t, frankly? But we get tidbits of knowledge here and there, figure out a bunch of stuff on our own, and some with our friends and family. There some crap on tv that purports to give you solid advice about relationships, but that’s fluff that’s not worth paying attention to. Isn’t that how it is with sex ed when you don’t learn about it school? Heh.

I’ve spent the last couple of years, and the last few months in particular, learning about personal finance. I’ve been relieved to find that Seppo and I are on a decent track. What I’ve learned, and what I’ve learned that I do not yet know, can fill all of wikipedia and Ask Metafilter.

My parents didn’t have the advantage kind of knowledge I’ve been able to gather in the last few months and will undoubtedly continue to gather as I get older. If they had, they would have done their best to teach me.

I don’t really have a conclusion. I wonder why some of the most crucial tools are not only not taught in school, but not even considered to be the kinds of things you teach as a part of a general curriculum. I guess we have so many basic skills that we are having enough trouble teaching already that it would be difficult to squeeze in more “soft” skills.

Still, it would be nice if we could formalize some of the stuff I’ve been learning.


November 8, 2006   

I wish I had a party shirt to wear to work. Damn!

Go Dems!

A random smattering, like every other time

November 7, 2006   

Lately, I feel like all I do are summary posts, but I’m busy as hell.

Tonight, I went to dinner with Hoa. Which was awesome. I don’t know what it is, but it’s so easy to talk with her. She is defintely an active listener, which is something I really appreciate, but I also think we had some similar experiences growing up which gives us an easy rapport. Or so I think from my side of things, while she sits on her side of things wondering why she feels sorry enough for me to meet me occasionally. 😀

Uyen finished her half marathon at the astounding time of 2 hrs and 3 minutes! Holy crap! They both deserve to be mucho proud of themselves. Congraulations!!

We opened a savings account at at 5.5% APY. I had been looking into CDs with a CD ladder scheme in mind (ask me about CD ladders because I will be glad to answer), when I found that the highest non-credit union CD rate I could find for an amount we could afford topped out at 5.65% APY anyway.

Don’t be an idiot; vote. Don’t make excuses; vote. For the love of God, this is what makes a democracy. And if you see any funny business at your polling site, report it. I have no idea where. But I’m sure you’ll figure something out.

Both Seppo and I are making great progress. They both seem like they are telling stories, like they are really a part of a greater narrative. It’s very satisfying. This year is different because I’m not plagued with thoughts/fears of whether I can do it or not. The last two years have taught me that I can do it. So this year has been about the quality of the content. Caring about the quality has made this a much more all-consuming process. I feel so nervous when Seppo reads my words. Not that he will or won’t like them, but more that they will feel meaningless or trite and leave him feeling nothing. He’s my only audience so far, so all the pressure is on him. 😀

On the reading front, Colin lent me The Time Traveler’s Wife. I am only about a quarter way through it, and I love it already. It’s clever, but not self-important, interesting, and warmly written. It’s a little awkward when it’s called for. I have an awful feeling about something I am guessing will happen in the story, but I hope it doesn’t. But if it doesn’t, I’ll think the author will have wasted a really great opportunity. Oh, the conflict.

Still busy. Going pretty well.

Berkley Bowl.
Wow, I had never been to Berkley Bowl before. And we’ve lived in this area for more than five years. It was great! The vegetable selection was astounding. Two thumbs up.

Battlestar Galactica.
Wow. Times ten. I can’t believe the stuff that’s happening in the second half of the second season. Definitely give it a try, but it’s really best to start at the beginning.

TV Update

November 5, 2006   

Some of the comments reminded me that I wanted to list the stuff I’m watching lately.


  • Ugly Betty: Charming, sweet, only feels like “The Devil Wore Prada” for the first two episodes. Favorite new show for me.
  • 30 Rock: Hysterical. I laugh out loud at least three times each episode. Tina Fey & Alec Baldwin are unmitigatedly funny and Tracy Morgan reveals himself to be actually funny when not tied to terrible, terrible skits.


  • Prison Break: Started the season in high gear, but shifted down a bit for a few episodes. The episode that aired this week was the BEST of the season. Fantastic turn of events. Every episode, even the weaker ones, has me gasping and on the edge of my seat. My weak heart may not be able to take it for too long. Clever chracters, stressful situations. Moves along at a brisk pace.
  • House: I don’t even know how to describe why this is so good. It is. Trust me. Best to start from the first season.
  • Project Runway on reruns. Love the technical insight into what it takes to design, construct, and fit clothing. Some of these people are amazing.

I just watched the premier episode of Top Chef that I had sitting on the DVR from a few weeks ago. My feelings watching it as contrasted against watching Hell’s Kitchen were comparable to my feelings watching Rock Star: INXS for the first time after watching seasons of American Idol — the difference between people who have been honing their craft for years versus amateurs who are hoping to break into the business is HUGE.

Catch up

November 4, 2006   

On the friend front: My friend visited from out of town a couple of weeks ago. Ordinarily, when I say things like that, they are usually out here on business, or for a wedding, or for some family-related function, or even vacation.

This time, it was quite different.

Margo just finished biking across the US. HOLY MOLY! I saw her near the end of the trip and was completely floored by her amazing feat. It was so awesome to see her [link to her entry of the day we met for dinner]. I hadn’t seen her in years. I met her on either the first or second day of freshmen year in college. We even roomed together for a bit in sophormore year.

Actually, this reminds me of the fact that after Rush Week, we all had to figure out who we wanted to room with, and I remember she was one of the people I wanted to room with. She listed all the music I liked too! And she was so funny in an understated way. And dressed like the indie girl I wanted to dress like. AND to top it all off, she also read Sassy! Can you believe it? But my Evil Roommate guilt-tripped me and somehow convinced me that I had promised to room with her instead even though I had done no such thing. Sigh.


Margo. Awesome! I am so glad we are in touch again, so glad she called me up out of the blue.

Speaking of amazing stuff friends are up to, my friends (a couple married to each other) are running a half marathon tomorrow. Can you believe it? I am so proud of them! Go U & C! They have been working hard for this for months now, and I know they will push themselves to do their best.

I swear, I am the only slug in the group. H is busy as hell but trying to earn Presidential Champions awards. I can barely walk without huffing and puffing. I hope to get better at running eventually though. It’s a goalish thing. I probably haven’t improved much because I haven’t actually made it a goal yet. We’ll see when I get to the point where I want to make it a priority.

The novel writing endeavor is going surprisingly well. I mean, I don’t objectively know if it’s crap or greatness, but I’m putting more honesty and emotion into making the characters in this book than I had ever before. And it’s a little terrifying.

I had been working like a dog, pretty much rolling out of bed, going to work, coming home, breaking for dinner, working some more from home, going to bed, lather, rinse, and repeat, which is why I haven’t been blogging regularly lately, but I made a huge breakthrough Friday night in tweaking performance and reliability levels, so I feel less frantic this weekend. I am still doing some work this weekend, but I feel finally like I’m actually caught up.


All pistons firing!

Today, I watched the TiVoed Project Runway Season 1 marathon (just the second half), got the Roomba back in working order, did a load of laundry, unloaded & loaded the dishwasher, tidied up the kitchen counters and stove, chased my dog around the diningroom table, helped cook dinner, and wrote over 3000 words (approx. 12 8.5″ x 11″ pages of double-spaced in fixed-width font) for my book. I feel like I had a really full day. I’m so ready to go to sleep.