Saturday, December 29, 2001

some more random thoughts...

what is the deal with the georgetown hoyas? a nationally ranked team with decades of tradition and history this team, known for their toughness and steel will, is now wearing baby blue-ish uniforms. i hope patrick ewing and john thompson weren't watching the hoyas getting creamed by ucla in their putrid unis....

who doesn't love macy gray? with a song titled, "give me all your loving, or i will kill you" she brings her artistry to new heights. *smile*

lastly, i was reading an issue of asian week earlier this month and i noticed a girl who looked familiar on the cover. (the cover story was about asian american sex providers/strippers) i finally realized that the girl on the cover was one of my floormates in the dorms. i thought she was a bit funky back then but the article reinforced my impresssions. it appears that she just quit working at the local strip club, crazy horse. i guess life takes all of us on different paths, eh?

piano stylings

i don't know about you guys but alicia keys' debut album sort of puts me to sleep... don't look now but she doesn't have the piano prodigy title to claim solely anymore... check out Vanessa Carlton, who reminds me a little of Michelle Branch. Her piano stylings are pretty refreshing though... and she's a classically trained ballet dancer.

makes me wish i had mtv2 all of the time...

Thursday, December 27, 2001

hey peeps... happy holidays to everybody. i guess i'm a little late in warning all of you about the movie, ali. i don't think that the movie is going to suck or anything-- and i'm a big fan of ali... but i'm a big "will smith hater". remember, if you purchase his cds or go to see his movies you are just reinforcing his overinflated perception of himself. before you know it will smith will be president of the united states (or so he believes). anyways, i'll get on my will smith rant one of these days... trust me... it would get ugly too!

anyways, just wanted to pop on this bad boy to say goodbye to dick schaap, who was the bomb, and to wish you guys a safe new year. let's hope that i have a chance to update this before next tuesday!

more about my xmas gifts later! whoo hoo...

Thursday, December 20, 2001

talk about a total tragedy... this is a sad story any way you look at it....

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

from the why didn't i think of that category...

Man allegedly impersonated Jeter, Nomar
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- A con man impersonated baseball stars Derek Jeter and Nomar Garciaparra in e-mails to get bats with their names, and then sold them for thousands of dollars to unsuspecting collectors on eBay, federal prosecutors alleged Tuesday.

Herbert John Derungs of San Francisco was indicted on six counts of mail and wire fraud and one count of sending threatening e-mails, charges that collectively carry up to 32 years in prison. He was being held without bail pending a court hearing Wednesday.

Derungs claimed to be Jeter and Garciaparra in e-mails to the Original Maple Bat Co. of Ottawa, according to a detailed affidavit filed by a postal inspector.

"I am interested in your product, due to the fact that Jose Canseco let me use it last year, and I liked it, although it was too heavy," read one e-mail in 2000 from "," according to the affidavit.

"I will place an order for 50-60 for the 2001 season, because my contract with Louisville Slugger is up, and I am trying to get a feel of what's out there before I decide what bats to use next year. The sooner the better. Thanks Derek."

After those e-mails -- and follow-up phone calls purportedly from representatives of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox shortstops -- Original Maple sent 60 bats worth $3,319 to addresses in Lakewood, Wash., and Brisbane, Calif., the inspector said. The company never got any money for the bats, prosecutors allege.

Using multiple screen names, Derungs offered the bats on eBay and claimed they had been used in games by the players, prosecutors said. One victim allegedly traded $6,000, a Mark McGwire bat and a Rogers Hornsby bat for 15 of the Jeter and Garciaparra bats.

Derungs also allegedly sent threatening e-mails to a San Francisco Giants employee who turned down his application to be a tour guide at Pacific Bell Park because the position already was filled.

A phone call to Derungs' home for comment Tuesday afternoon was not returned.

Tuesday, December 18, 2001

just when i thought that i was getting the hang of this job... i get fired. nah, just joking. i am getting tested everyday though. yesterday i was in fremont trying to make some contact among the arab community and that was rough going. today i had a chance to meet with a taiwanese government agency and that was pretty difficult too.

i have a conversation partner in mandarin but i guess i'm not really well equipped to discuss business in chinese. i need to improve in a hurry though. it isn't that bad when you are speaking with someone who "prefers" to speak in chinese face-to-face because you can sort of fudge the stuff you don't understand or ask for an english translation.

but its a lot harder when you are on the phone with someone and they don't speak english at all. i just had one of those conversations and it was pretty rough. urgh. time to enroll in a chinese for business people course. i think i'm going to have a seminar at the next cable television conference-- key cable terms in chinese.... at least my officemates weren't around to hear me gagging on my chinese.

Monday, December 17, 2001

hey blog... i think i almost forgot that you existed. employed life is definitely different than unemployed life. all that time i had for watching dvds, updating this blog and visiting the library has suddenly disappeared. (don't even mention going to the gym). but i digress.

i tried to update this bad boy yesterday (after the niners, raiders and steelers all won... again) but blogger was down. oh well, i think that any attempt to blog yesterday would have been a miserable one in comparison to today's-- if for no other reason than i have a couple of libations in my system. i just got back from bimbo's 365 club where i had a pair of red ales while watching the one and only robin williams perform.

now, i've been known to get lucky with tickets and performances but i was very very fortunate to catch this show. it appears that my friend wyman had an extra ticket it had my name on it. (yeah, i know... i owe him one). anyway, williams was in his top form-- with lots of new material that was just tremendously funny. i have a poor habit of not laughing at comedians-- almost making them "work" to earn my laughter but with robin the laughs flow so easily. his trademark physical humor and presence is magnified when you are in the same room with him so the performance was remarkable.

i think my gut still hurts from laughing. the rest of the week should be pretty hectic too.... going to see teatro zinzanni again on tuesday. al flies home on wednesday. i've got a bunch of things i'm forgetting this weekend... =p and of course, i can't forget to update this dang blogger....

Sunday, December 09, 2001

alright, so now that you've read about the physical accommodations of my trip-- let me tell you about the fun that me and my cohorts had in colorado springs. i had heard that these kids knew how to party but i didn't really have any idea about it. now, remember, this was a national sales meeting so we had folks from new york, chicago, denver, and los angeles all stuck in colorado springs for training and FUN.

i don't know about the people that you guys work with but i almost seemed like hanging out with this crew took me back in time-- back to college where every night was a big fraternity party. (and i'm not talking an APO party either). after the first night of cocktails, dinner and a ceremonial roast, where every member of the sales team "roasted" their secret roast partner, we hit an old-time bar within the broadmoor. i'm not sure who usually frequents this establishment but it was pretty clear when we arrived that the old-timers read: rednecks who were in the bar would be no competition to us.

the unique thing about this bar was that it wasn't your ordinary dispensary of libations-- it was an ragtime piano bar. what did this mean? essentially we were in an old-school karoake bar with lyric books and a piano man playing tunes. our group, loosening up by the minute, jumped into various songs ranging from new york, new york to brown eyed girl to my personal favorite, baby got back. it got so ugly at one point that two senior sales directors started dancing as if they were in "A Chorus Line" with full on kicking.

oh... for your information-- the name of the bar was the golden bee and the waitresses have little bee stickers that they toss onto patrons. i probably didn't have to explain this but lots of bees ended up being placed on strategic parts of various bods.

before you knew it, the piano guy had abandoned his station and i was helping belt out bon jovi lyrics. (for some reason, i don't think i'm going to have a difficult time fitting in with this crowd). after shutting down the joint, we piled into the shuttle bus and safely returned to the hotel. my damage for the evening? 1 jack/coke and beer during cocktails. 1 beer and 2 glasses of wine at dinner. 3 beers at the ragtime bar. and this was only day 1.

after getting to bed at about 2:30 i was hating life when i had to be up for a 7:30 meeting. (this is why i was complaining). i'm going to jump to the fun stuff because the work stuff was pretty much mundane training information that you don't want to read about. we finished up our meetings at about 6 o'clock and we were giving a homework project that would have to be presented the next morning at 7:30-- no problem, right? well, it was a slight problem because we still had a couple of things on our agenda-- cocktails, a dinner show and sleep-- if that one could be fit in!

the dinner theater was a total disaster. again, another event held within the confines of the broadmoor, the winter holiday show seemed to have the makings of a fun time. maybe some dancers, maybe some caroling... the ticket was $50 so it had to be good, right? the performance was the most godawful thing that i have ever had the unfortunate luck to sit though. we're talking worse than a 2 hour session with a dentist. completely and utterly brutal. essentially what it was was this-- a collection of the whitest people on the fast of the earth but together together in a corny skit straight out of the '50's with christmas music and themes mixed throughout.

ok, so i admit it-- maybe this show wasn't made for our group of multicultural, internationally trained professional staff. maybe it didn't seem completely odd to have a person in a snowman's outfit dancing on stage during "Frosty the Snowman." all i know is that no one in the audience was clapping loudly during any part of the presentation. personally, i took great joy in the continued reaction of my coworkers, one of whom walked out halfway though and another pair who simply tried to sarcastically enjoy the show.

me? i kept pouring the wine and trading comments with the senior vice president of the group. i think it was safe to say that he was mortified by the performance as well-- here's hoping that we got a chance to bond that evening! =p

anyways, after the show was over we all shared lots of good laughs about how brutal it was and we adjourned to a more social setting-- the bar adjacent our hotel, named Stars! now this place seemed to be pretty happening when we got in it with its swanky tile floors and jazz band in the corner. as we started to settle in though we noticed something a bit peculiar-- the high number of bluehairs who were frequenting the place.

our group started to get pretty active on the dance floor with various members of our team strutting their skills to various swing tunes. we were all doing just fine with the dancing and our drinks until this other bar guest (read old ass geezer invited one of the admins to dance). now this was a classic moment... a guy who was about 85 dancing with a woman no older than 40. what a hoot. there was another guy who entered the bar with a mobile respirator until-- i wish i was joking about that. although we had a couple of girls who wanted to dance with him, we figured we didn't have the insurance for such an incident and left well enough alone.

anyways, the international channel team was in full force, shaking tail feathers, drinking cosmos and smoking stogies... i'm not sure you can have much more fun than that and still remain on the good side of the law. i turned in for the night relatively early-- about 1 in the morning because i still had to complete my homework-- and pack up my room, and get online for the first time in 3 days. my damage for the evening? 1 pre-dinner jack/coke, 3+ glasses of wine during the dinner theater, 2 cosmos and a jack/coke during dancing. oh, i don't think my liver could take much more of this.
ok ok ok.. maybe i shouldn't have been complaining so much about my trip to colorado. seeing as how this was my first formal training meeting ever-- i guess i should have been expecting long days and busy evenings. but i wasn't. i guess a part of me wanted to just relax in the gorgeous resort that i was staying at.

the broadmoor was definitely no joke. the place had a huge man-made lake which sat in the center of its facilities and had golf and tennis facilities as far as the eye could see. the rooms weren't bad either as they were fully furnished with all of the amenities and an outside balcony. the sad part about my trip was that i probably spent a grand total of 3 waking hours within my room-- all of the time necessary to wake up and get dressed-- and go to bed and watch the late night edition of sportscenter. among the other perks the hotel had to offer... room service prepares your room in the evening (they turn down your bed, add some mood music and prepare some chocolates), some sweet robes in the closet and items you could take away as gifts (the hats were $22 and the polo shirt was $55-- a bit pricey for me). i have to admit... the king sized bed was might comfortable... but i digress.

ok... i'll stop spouting about the resort-- but i wanted to make sure that all of you guys who were curious about the broadmoor got your fill. our company got a great deal for the rooms... we paid $99 a night for rooms that normally price out at $400 a pop. i'm sure the rate that we got was based on the fact that the hotel was basically empty without us.

Wednesday, December 05, 2001

the broadmoor has been awesome and last night was a blast with lots of drinking, singing and hanging out with my cool new coworkers. today has been filled with meetings and i'm soooo busy.

i guess this is why they call it work. =(

Friday, November 30, 2001

hey everybody... if you don't hear from me for a couple of days next week.... it will be because i'm maxxing and relaxing at the following resort.... the broadmoor.

yeah, boy. too bad its freezing in colorado right now... and that i'll have work training the whole time!

Thursday, November 29, 2001

today was the first day all week that i wasn't stuck in traffic for hours. my new job is going pretty well but i'm still a little weary of the commute to san ramon. if anyone has any advice on how to avoid the traffic to san ramon-- i am all ears. yesterday was particularily tough because of the rainfall and because my boss and i were in the car all day driving from appointment to appointment.

today was much more mellow as i was able to work on some projects from home. about two plus weeks into my new job, my comfort level is starting to plateau. i've had a chance to meet most of my important contacts and i think that i'm getting a pretty good handle on the cable television and ethnic marketing industries. after another training in denver next week i'm going to be on my own to rock and roll... whoo hoo!

i finally remembered what i wanted to write about on the 26th... i had been digging through some old letters and cards and it made me reflect on all of the friends from college that i had lost touch with. i guess with the holiday season rolling around i better buy an extra pack of holiday cards.

saw a couple of movies that were pretty horrible... snoop dogg's vehicle bones is one to stay away from. tomb raider is pretty braindead but has some redeemable qualities.

here's a news article to scare the living bejeebers out of you... better call your credit card company to make sure that no one opens a credit card under your name.

Monday, November 26, 2001

sheesh... i had some things to write hear-- i swear i did. i think i've forgotten them all. damnit. more later-- if i can jog my memory.

Sunday, November 25, 2001

Bears ruin perfect season.. thankfully

ah... the niners win again! whoo hoo... days like this i wish i was still at ticketweb. among my coworkers there were three hardcore football fans: brian, danielle and me. as improbable as it may seem all of our teams have 8-2 records... brian loves the steelers, danni is a hardcore raiders fan and of course my allegiance is with the niners.

i predict a pittsburgh.niners super bowl. =p (sorry danni)

sign up for milesource.... earn free stuff. =p

oh... i almost forgot-- the BEARS won!!!!! we beat rutgers for our lone victory of the football season! long live the 2001 football bears!

Thursday, November 22, 2001

has it been a whole week since i updated this bad boy? i must apologize to all you loyal readers-- 7 days is much too long to wait for an update!

i guess part of the reason why i've been so busy is that i'm employed again. =p i spent monday and tuesay of this week in los angeles training with one of our regional offices and that kept me pretty busy. the flight down to la was my first post 9-11 trip and i thought that the newly instituted airport security was well done. i didn't have to wait in line on either flight and that was pretty cool.

the best part of flying down to la was running into my college friend mike, who has been commuting from berkeley to la for work every week. we were able to catch up before the flight and that was a bunch of fun. training and work in los angeles was a positive experience. my coworkers were pretty cool and i sort of wish that i was going to be working with them in los angeles. although the training was a bit overwhelming i'm sure that i'll be able to apply my newfound knowledge more effectively as time goes on.

the only problem that popped up during my los angeles trip was the fact that my new laptop had a busted period key that i couldn't get fixed until yesterday. i actually went with out with mike on monday evening to see the harry potter film. it wasn't a bad movie but the best part was that i got to see it at mann's chinese theater. it was a totally cool movie house with an awesome sound system. the difference between the theater business in la and sf was quite noticable when they showed 8 previews before the film. (among them... lord of the rings, the britney spears vehicle, the mandy moore movie and of course, the extended star wars, episode 2 preview).

oh, for whatever reason, before i got to mann's chinese theater, they allowed martin lawrence to put his hands in cement. one hopes that they move that block to the back entrance of the theater.

had a great dinner yesterday with old friends who i won't mention here because of their incessant worries about their privacy. dinner was yummy and the conversation was unforgettable. don't you love nights like that? i followed that up by losing my shirt in a poker game with some other buddies. i swear that i was born under a bad sign when it comes to cards. oh well.

more later my friends.... hope everyone had a happy and healthy thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2001

i'm in a good mood today.. =) i woke up early and visited the new krispy kreme donut shop in daly city! i have to admit that waiting in line for 30 minutes wasn't that cool but the donuts were worth it! =)

more good news... star wars, episode ii (i'm not going to refer to it by its stupid name) is being released on may 16th next year... whoo hoo! i don't think i'm that interested in seeing the harry potter movie (too much hype) but its going to have the trailer so i might have to buy a ticket for the movie.

alright... time to decide whether i want to see u2 tonight...
boy did i miss my yoga class. =) i went for the first time since my china trip today and had such a difficult time. =ppp for some reason the class that i attend at 24 hour fitness was really packed today. i hadn't been there for about 3 months but i had a difficult time finding some free space. i think i'm going to try to add the wednesday evening class back into my schedule.

i had a chance to watch the dvd of the documentary and it was really fascinating to watch the growth and demise of the company at the center of the film. as you can probably imagine-- there were lots of scenes in the film which made me reflect back to my time at ticketweb. i'm sure we were more disfunctional though. =p

just wanted to let you all know that i had a blast this weekend. it was great to hang out with my old 'apimp' friends and we were able to enjoy a long night of stories, reflections and updates. it seemed that all of us were suggesting jobs or potential dates for one another. heh heh heh... its great to have friends.

alright... just a short update for now. hopefully more for you all soon.

Friday, November 09, 2001

the weekend is here! i can't seem to find a happy balance when it comes to my weekend schedules. recently, my weekends have either fallen into one of two categories, relaxed and free of major committments-- or packed to the hilt with reunions and friends.

this is one of those weekends where almost all of my time will be allocated to one activity or another. it should be a great deal of fun though as i haven't had the chance to spend time with these friends in several months. don't expect any blogs until monday-- if i'm done recovering by then.

for those of you who were wondering about my employment status-- i have accepted the offer to become the bay area marketing rep for the international channel, a cable network dedicated to televising material from around the world. my first day is next friday and i'll probably be spending most of november on the road with training and meetings.

it should be fun to have a full time job again. i'm itching to start-- but i've got another week to wait. =(

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

today is election day... all you true patriots out there... demonstrate your american right and VOTE. if you are reading this and live in san francisco... vote for phil ting for MUD board! (sf voters can find their poll places stamp that i'll be sending my holiday cards with. (i'll probably have to pick up a couple of this cute stamp too...

Sunday, November 04, 2001

what a great day for a sports fan. i spent most of this evening with my fingers attached to my remote control following all of the action and for the most part-- the evening went perfectly for me. my day started with the niners/lions game at candlestick park. the weather was perfect for a football game and although the niners did not have a perfect game-- the results were good enough for me. they beat the winless lions! =) although i often enjoy watching sports on television more than i do live-- i have the tendency to see plays develop before they do (i love calling an alley-oop before the pass is thrown) and it happened today when jeff garcia tossed a touchdown pass to terrell owens. seeing a play develop before your eyes is a cool feeling.

as for tonight's television coverage-- i had my choice of the world series, warriors basketball, or the saints vs. the jets. the warriors looked great in beating the blazers and i spent most of my time watching hoops. (if you have a chance you should check out the mean facial that troy murphy gave dale davis today-- man, the rookie proved his mettle by taking the ball strong to the hoop!)

the jets won when the saints self-destructed tonight and that was also good news for us niner fans. =) last but not least, the diamondbacks and the yanks played a classic baseball game and although i was hoping htat the yanks would pull it out-- it was a terrific game. besides, now that the diamondbacks won, the poor korean relief pitcher who gave up two game losing home-runs in earlier games. hopefully he can put this horrible series behind him.... he's got a real promising career ahead of him.

oh yeah.... one last piece of good news---- cal football coach tom holmoe officially resigned effective at the end of the season. definite good news.

Wednesday, October 31, 2001

oh... i forgot..happy halloween!

ps: i know you're out there... leave a comment dangit!
i am a self-professed geek. if you didn't know that tidbit about me before today i'm going to endeavor to prove it to you in this little exercise. during my torturous bus ride home last night (i couldn't go three weeks of taking the n judah without a serious disruption in service, could i?) i started to think about all of the email addresses that i've had over the years.

now i know that most people get email accounts with their college id cards from their jobs but it looks like i've taken acquiring email accounts to a whole new level. in fact, somewhere in the sudan there are ten people starving without email accounts because i hogged them all.

now i have to admit, i started emailing earlier than a lot of other people. i got my first account when i was a senior in high school and i think the address was it was provided by some educational group and i remember emailing my buddy who had just gotten into berkeley about this "cool" new technology. i followed that up with a free email account on ( this account was cool because had a free dial-up number that i could use to access my mail from anywhere. i think ended up giving this account to my friend howard so that he could check email from home.

then i got to college. stand back... there are going to be a lot of email addresses flying at you from this period. because i was originally enrolled in uc berkeley's extension program-- i couldn't get a traditional uclink account. to make up for this i signed up with the fine folks over at ocf and got when they finally let us get uclink accounts-- they made us sign up with uclink2-- and we then got

in order to be cool like my other friends-- i went by the computer science undergraduate assocation (csua) and got extracurricular groups at cal were able to get hosting space from a free server on campus so after i became president of alpha phi omega i got so that we could move our website to their server. (that never fully happened). yeah, i know this is getting boring...
so i'll just list out a couple of more addresses. (yes, i fooled them into giving me an account-- they killed it shortly thereafter) (for my webmaster job for the dept of geology) (asian pacific mentorship program) (my "permanent" alumni account)

admittedly, signing up for the csua and ocf accounts was pretty smart because i still have files hosted on their computers.

i'm sure i was assigned others but i can't seem to remember them... they were probably all issued from classes like ids anyways-- so no big deal....

then there were the accounts that i got from my isp's...,,,

then there were the accounts from the free webmail services. at first i just wanted to check out which ones had the best user interfaces and the best tools but they soon became a good way to filter/segegrate my email.... (now,,,, (i can't believe i didn't get, etc. etc.

of course i shouldn't forget the email addresses that i use for my personal,,,

i think that the bulk of the email messages that i've read in my life would still fall under my old work email, i have a feeling that the email address on my new (ok, i haven't signed anything yet) business card will be (how corporate) and i think that may be the end of my email binge for a while.

i'm just glad that i've never had an following my name....

oh. i'm not a geek because i've had a lot of email addresses--- i'm a geek because i could actually remember most of them-- and because i wrote this stupid blog about the addresses....

Friday, October 26, 2001

hey... have you guys noticed that you can now comment on my blogs? look for the little comment button underneath my musings.....

i finally got the job offer that i was waiting for today. i guess that is good news but it means that i'd probably have to put china on the backburner for a while....
urgh... a million things to express but i'm too tired to compose it in electrons right now.

some things to consider: how are the commodores and a typical law firm similar? what do you need to do legally to change your name? if you were going to be a rock star, which one would you be? why do girls wear pants that are so low that you can see the straps of their underwear? (ok... some of these questions are easier than others....)

all these answers in due time...

Sunday, October 21, 2001

sunday afternoon and there's no forty-niner football to watch. =p i've always been a die-hard niner fan but i've done my best not to be hardcore. unless it was a critically important game i've always tried to live life first-- and enjoy football second. i think that i would enjoy a game today simply because of the dreary weather and lack of things to do-- but i guess i'll have to improvise.

as for my the blog that i wrote on friday... my mom was hospitalized for a couple of days with a bleeding ulcer. she is doing well now and has been released from the hospital but no one in my family has been hospitalized for anything for a long, long time. hearing over the phone that she was in the emergency room on friday put me in a somber mood but thankfully i think everything is going to be just fine. you can never underestimate the importance of the people around you--- i don't know how many tragedies and losses we have to endure before we all truly understand this.

yesterday i was reading the wonderful collection of profiles that the new york times was publishing detailing the lives of those lost in the september 11th tragedy. a pair of sisters who recently started working together missing... a pair of jennifer wongs who both worked at the same company lost... people who had just met the loves of their lives gone. every day the times is sharing a few of these lives with its readers-- and i don't know if any stories were ever more fit for print.

Friday, October 19, 2001

life has a strange way of turning everything upside down. as i was eating my lunch on market street today i smiled broadly at what i thought was the cutest sight. a muni bus stopped and a pair of kids got out from the front entrance. they were talking to the bus driver and i could hear them say "bye mama."

the children, who couldn't have been over 9 years old had been dropped off by their mother while she was on duty. these two children, like children their age have done for decades, almost crossed the street without the light-- but the mom honked her horn to warn them-- freezing them in their tracks. she finally started her bus again, this time with the door open-- issuing a warning about when to proceed across the street.

i couldn't have imagined a more perfect exchange. something happened tonight that i won't discuss yet but it makes that one moment resonate stronger within me.

Thursday, October 18, 2001

ok... mini blog for everyone!

regarding the anthrax scare...don't let the terrorists mess with your head. demonstrations of fear by us means victory for them. the moment that we live our lives in fear-- is the time at which we no longer live. live is short... don't let anyone else drive your life.

Saturday, October 13, 2001

dang... i forgot how tiring working can be-- i haven't had any time to write any blogs for you guys... shame on me! i guess being busy is better than being bored. what a glorious day it is today in the bay area. beautiful blue skies with few clouds to be seen. i hope the weather holds up as i'm going to be going to the a's/yankees playoff game. the a's have a two games to zip lead so this could be the end of the yankees' dynasty. history in the making... just how i like it.

i met a new mandarin conversation partner today. it was nice to practice my chinese again. i don't think that i'm rusty from my china trip but practicing is always helpful. my conversation partner doesn't speak too quickly thankfully, so we were able to carry on a good discussion. hopefully, my chinese skills will continue to expand.

of course, scheduling to meet her this morning was a totally "gilbert" idea as i knew that i would be out all night at cal basketball's midnight madness event. this year's event was ok but seemed to pale in comparison to ones in the past. for one there were no free t-shirts!!!!!!!!!!!! i don't know about you, but the midnight madness shirt was a regular staple in my collegiate wardrobe... i guess i was bummed out that they didn't hand out shirts to all of the attendees. aside from the giveaway appeal, i always thought that it was a good way of building spirit and marketing the team throughout the campus.

(editor's note: the writer was able to acquire this year's putrid t-shirt by rebounding a shirt that had been thrown into the audience. for those who don't know... rebounding may be the author's only redeemable basketball skill)

as for the festivities of the event... the audience slam dunk contest (lowered rims) and three point showing display were pretty standard fare (aside from the asian guy who jumped over a chair to dunk the ball). [ed. note 2: i personally would have done a reverse windmill dunk with a couple of pump moves but i wanted to save that move for the lowell courts.]
the scrimmages that the men's and women's teams ran were pretty sloppy-- filled with lots of hotdogging and goofing off. i'm not sure but i was very unimpressed. maybe because i've got such high hopes and i wanted to be impressed. the sight of highly regarded jamal sampson running layup drills and missing all of them with lazy shots was very poor. hopefully, ben braun will get them in shape-- we can't afford for the basketball team to follow the football team down the tubes.

anyways, last night was a terrific way to end my week... it was a week filled with lots of stories that i will have to share with you all a little later. until then...

Thursday, October 11, 2001

i had a bunch of good ideas to write about this morning as i was taking the bus to work. sadly their all gone now. must have been all those delusions that i got from working my ass off and going to see janet jackson instead of getting my body's daily required amount of rest.

hopefully i'll have something to share with you tomorrow morning before i sell my soul to corporate america again. =p

Tuesday, October 09, 2001

hey kids... sorry for not writing recently. i guess the schedule that i'm keeping with my temp job has sort of screwed up my writing schedule. i don't have a problem with getting into work at 11:30 but after getting home from a full day of mindless work the last thing i want to do is document my day on this log. i think that my work engagement should be over after friday so i think i can handle a couple more days of duty.

the thing that sucked about getting this job last week was that i totally missed barry bonds breaking history. because i was at work until 8 on both thursday and friday i didn't get a chance to even watch his historic homers via tv... oh well. oh yeah, props to barry for breaking the record. i'll give him some credit-- i gained more respect for him-- not as he hit more and more home runs but rather as he continued to be more respectful and humble with those around him. congrats barry...

unfortunately, the giants didn't make the playoffs. which sucks double time because i was able to get tickets for both game one and game two... but the are of no use to me now. (not to beat a dead horse... but did you notice how many "solo" home runs bonds hit-- and how many of them came in giant losses... now that is just plain sad.)

this weekend was also pretty mellow. aside from renting some dvds and playing basketball i had a pretty slow weekend. my back has been acting up since basketball so i've been trying to take it easy. alright, that is it for now. hope to update this real soon-- you guys deserve all the blogs that you can get.

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

i just got a call from a temporary firm that i'm working with about a potential assignment that they have for me... the job's pay ($14) and duration (3 weeks) aren't bad but I'm not totally excited about it. (Ok.. those of you who are saying to yourselves, "that gil is one lazzzzy ass"-- go direct to jail). The problem with the job would be the hours (11:30-8:00) and the tedious nature of the work. (too mundane to tell you all.=)

i've accepted the assignment and i'm awaiting confirmation on when i start. the way i see it-- i can use the money and a part of me thinks that i want to work as a temp until the end of the year-- when i might move to china. i need the time to look for work out there and i really don't want to move before the end of the year.

plus, having a job that starts at 11:30 will give me a chance to have interviews and to return calls from would be employers. all in all a decent situation-- but it looks like i'm going to have to skip the janet jackson concert that i had planned to go to next week...=( at this point-- any money that i can add to my coffers would be great.
urrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh. i'm so frustrated. my computer was acting funny yesterday and i found out that there was a virus on my machine. doh! although i've run multiple virus scans and followed the instructions on how to repair my machine, my computer is still acting goofy. i can think of a million ways to better spend my day. currently, i'm using another slow, tiny-screened laptop to write this log and it is only adding to the frustration. urrgh.

hopefully, i'll have good news later....

Sunday, September 30, 2001

i'm not sure if i've ever been less productive on a single day. even as an infant i'm sure i spent time studying the intricate furniture around me or the cute little mickey mouse patterns on my blanket. but today i just feel like an unshaven sloth-- and let me tell you, its no fun.

i think that my inability to get out of my pajamas today is probably related to my unending saturday. i woke up at six o'clock saturday morning and didn't get back to my comfortable bed until 4:30 this morning. it has been a long time since i pulled an all nighter and i am definitely too old for them.

the plan for saturday morning was to get up early and drive to oakland-- with the explicit goal of purchasing the warriors single game tickets that were going on sale at 9:30. now in most years, the warriors releasing tickets to the public would be probably be draw a crowd smaller than most high school football games around this country but this is no ordinary year. with michael jordan's immanent return to the nba, i would not be alone in my desire to see his airness again. when i arrived at the oakland arena at 7 am there was already a collection of 40+ cars parked in front of the closed parking lot. yes, there were cars that had parked on the 880 off ramp and joined them-- stopping my car in the middle of the street leading to the arena.

now this was an extremely unusual sight to me but i've heard that raiders fans will often park their cars in this fashion before starting their tailgate parties within the lot. fearing i would fall asleep and miss the onsale, i started reading and was able to an hour of time before the gates were opened. what happened next was very surreal-- as the gates were opened it was as if i was transported into a demented biathlon. all of the cars that had been parked outside were now racing to the box office, driving through the parking lot gates at speeds exceeding 60mph. car after car parked ahead of me and i could see drivers and passengers making a mad dash to the ticket office to queue.

after grabbing my cell phone (and locking my door) i raced up the hill towards the box office. (ok, racing is a relative term-- I'm much faster when i'm not running UPHILL). as i reached the box office i was slightly disappointed to see that i was probably the 150th person in line.... but as i looked back i noticed that about 400 people were now behind me in line-- and the box office wasn't scheduled to open for another hour and a half. as i looked around i saw three different acquaintances from college who were also in line. larry, a friend from taiwan was actually five spots behind me in line but had been waiting in line since 4:30 in the morning. i guess i just had a faster 'biathlon" time despite starting behind him in the pack. =p

i called my friend, wyman, to detail the madness and he said that he was on his way to join me in our attempt for tickets. misery loves company you know. as we waited the warriors began to distribute materials describing their mini game plans, packages with popular games that are marketed to help increase attendance "with value". as i looked them over i noticed that each package now included the washington wizards when they hadn't previously. uh oh. this was the perfect opportunity for the warriors to sell more mini plans (often with 7 or 13 games) because it was a guaranteed way for fans to watch jordan. i had even bought a plan 3 years ago from the warriors (during jordan's last season) to see him live before he retired. it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure this out-- the warriors were going to hoard the tickets and force people to buy mini plans.

i just hoped that they would release enough tickets so that i could get some-- i didn't wake up at 6 am for nothing, did i?

after wyman arrived i explained my theory to him and then we ran into morris, an old high school/college buddy who i haven't seen in a year. (yes, i let both morris and wyman cut in line-- the people behind me didn't raise a stink, so i couldn't NOT let them in line, right?) we were able to catch up and i truly enjoyed the opportunity to hang out with him again.

shortly thereafter, the moment that we were all looking forward to was upon us.... the box office was officially open. before you knew it rumors were abound-- there were only 30 wizards tickets available. the maximum number you could purchase wasn't 4 but rather 2... there are only a couple of tickets left. as the line moved slowly i seriously doubted that i was going to be turned away unhappy. they're going to sell at least 600 tickets right? they aren't going to let the 1500 people who had woken up early to get in line walk away unhappy are they?

a friend of mine, tim, was 50 spots ahead of me in line and had offered to buy me some lakers tickets because he had only planned to buy the tix for the wiz. i graciously declined but was severely disappointed when he returned from the ticket window to tell us that he was only allowed to buy 1 ticket for the game. not only had they sold out the wizards tickets but he couldn't even take a friend to the game with him. that sucks ass! he was bummed out but understood his relative good fortune-- the rest of us wouldn't even be able to watch jordan alone-- unless, of course, it was from the comfort of our living rooms. i purchased a couple of sets of tickets for the lakers and was only mildly disappointed. i guess i'll have to schedule a road trip to go see jordan now. =p

after running a couple of errands, i drove into berkeley and had lunch with an old coworker at la note, a french eatery that was attached to a jazz school. i think during the afternoons one can enjoy a cup of coffee and musicians practicing at the same time. that's a pretty cool concept. the food wasn't bad and it was great to catch up with yet another friend. i had some eggs, home fries and some chicken apple sausages... yum yum yum.

as i drove to wyman's place for a housewarming bbq/party i let out a vicious yawn... this was going to be a looooong day. wyman's abode, which he was sharing with some high school friends was a pretty cool place filled with tons of video games and dvds. and i thought that i had a lot of media. aside from having some tasty food and drinks the big goal for me was to get wyman's entire apartment wired to the internet. although i failed miserably i think that he appreciated my attempt at reconfiguring their computers and dsl routers. (editor's note: could i help it that his dsl provider configuration system was different than mine, rendering all of my accumulated knowledge useless?) i as left wyman's party humbled by his network, it was 8pm. boy, i could use a nap.

but rest was not in the cards... i drove to pick up ian (an avid reader of this humble blog) for his birthday dinner at the house of prime rib. we arrived at the restaurant early on time for our 9pm reservation but it appeared from the busy waiting area that they were very behind in seating guests. although i was still a bit full from the collection of desserts at wyman's i was able to enjoy a delicious english cut of prime rib with a terrific wine. (editors note 2: i don't really know how to evaluate wine but i'll assert that any wine over $75 is a fine wine until i learn otherwise.)

after a dinner and a lengthy chat we took our small gathering over to jeff's where we decided to play poker. i don't know about you but i've never been lucky enough to play poker with the "guys" so my grasp of the different permutations and games was pretty lacking. we played hand after hand of different games from the traditional seven card stud to strikeout and heaven & hell but one thing was pretty constant. i wasn't winning. =) thankfully we were only playing for nickels and dimes so my damage wasn't too bad.

we finished up at about 4 o'clock in the morning and i finally got into bed at 4:30. even after getting a good 5 hours of sleep this morning most of my day was spent in naps... i think i earned a day off though. =)

Thursday, September 27, 2001

talk about a great story.... homeless couple wins million dollar contest from mcdonalds... moves from cardboard box to beachside home... but not everyone always lives happily ever after

Wednesday, September 26, 2001

yet another beautiful day in san francisco... i spent most of my day today downtown at moscone center where the annual Seybold conference was being held. the theme of the show was 'designbuildcommunicate' at it was focused towards folks in new media. although i don't really fall into that group i went to go check it out anyways. at the very least hopefuly i'd learn some new things about web design/graphics or get some cool t-shirts, right? =p
the show itself was pretty plain. there weren't really any cool gizmos or software packages that i was particularily fascinated by. adobe was offering some free workshops, which i thought was pretty cool-- but in general too much of the show was dedicated to things like oversized color printers and digital rights management. talk about booooooooring. i guess i'm going to have to find a way to go to comdex or linuxworld-- where the true computer geeks hang out. then i'll get to rub elbows with the true dorks-- not these artsy-fartsy folks.
i guess that it for now. hmm... i think i need to finish my journal of my china adventure... i can feel my memory chip starting to fade...

Tuesday, September 25, 2001

i don't think i'll ever understand san francisco's weather. after waiting for the sun all day sunday (during the alice now and zen concert) to no avail-- scattered applause broke out when the sun finally broke through the clouds, I was surprised as hell when we were hit by a lightning storm yesterday. in fact, just to be extra secure, i turned off my computer and prayed that my surge protectors would keep my modest computer alive.

and today? not a single cloud in the sky... a gorgeous day of awesome proportions. makes me want to quit job hunting permanently and just sit outside in the nice weather and panhandle. which makes me wonder why there are so many homeless folks in my neighborhood, the sunset. i've noticed during my daily strolls that there are probably 5 people residing on irving street now. i think that the city government's downtown clean-up efforts have just pushed the homeless into the neighborhoods. i don't think anyone is benefiting from that.

giants playoff tickets go onsale tomorrow. although i hate to admit that i'm wrong it looks like barry bonds is going to break mcgwire's single season home run record. although my contempt for bonds has decreased with his class handling of his record pursuit-- i can't help but feel for mcgwire. NOT. mac is as big of a prick as anyone and his "about face" when he became america's sweetheart was a total sham. ah, if only i could get away with having the ego of a athlete. =)

not feeling very chatty today... maybe i'll write more later.

Saturday, September 22, 2001

wassup folks... i don't usually reflect or reread these entries after i've written them but i think that i should step back a little on a position that i expressed during the last blogs. i think that the outpouring of support and nationalism that has been shown by our country is an outstanding tribute to america. i only hope that these feelings and the mobilization of volunteer and charitable efforts is sustained. i hope that people continue to treat each other with respect and charity long after the wounds of september eleventh have healed. otherwise we will have lost one of the few gifts that we have found during this crisis.

some links for you to consider:
passengers being removed from their flights because of their nationalities.
greek soccer fans booing during a moment of silence and burning american flags
the federal government's increasing interest in monitoring all email and websites used by its citizens.

some things to keep in mind....

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

i just found this article on osama bin laden... if he's behind the attacks on nyc and dc we may be in for a serious battle...
i got my new driver's license today... with brand new holograms and double-picture protection. I feel so secure now... you can read more about the license here and here.

i have to admit that i tend to be emotionally and philosophically swayed by what i read in "alternative" media. i guess this feeling of distrust of was first taught to me by my middle school teacher, frank foreman, who would constantly encourage us to "question authority". i always took authority to mean the government, big business and the traditional media powers. hammer, my journalism teacher didn't necessarily teach us to think like revolutionaries but rather as journalists, constantly evaluating the world's events and the media's coverage of important issues.

i guess when i had arrived at college i had a good understanding of the importance of critical thinking and i think my focus on economics, business and asian american studies had a profound influence on how i see the world today. this long winded introduction wasn't meant to bore you but rather provide a preface to my reaction as i read this week's issue of the san francisco bay guardian.

the articles inside this issue dealt heavily with the horrific events of september eleventh but with a different, scary angle-- fear of escalation and knowledge that in at least some way-- we've brought these horrific events upon ourselves. from the funded training of terrorist groups to the mismanagement of middle east and international policies-- we can't bear to acknowledge that others around the world hate us for our policies and for our blatant disregard for the international community. (take a look at the chinese after the spy plane incident or america's refusal to pay its united nations dues) i am not saying that we deserve to be attacked but each of us has to look closely at our nation's behaviors and understand the perspective of our enemies.

i know that a wave of nationalism and unity has come over our country but i think that lots of people forget that patriotism isn't measured by the number of flags that you have on your lawn or the candles that you light after a tragedy. i couldn't help but shake my head as i read a full page ad in the paper from the ceo of boys toys, a strip club, who wanted to express his sorrow to the victims and their families. i'm sorry but i think that is a bit much- i like my purveyors of skin and sex to stay silent on most political topics (larry flint is excused, of course).

patriotism isn't something that develops overnight. patriots make it their business to stay informed, to vote and in almost all cases, patriots question authority and encourage debate. now, i'm no revolutionary but i would be hesitant to grant george w. bush-- full authority to declare war on any entity that he deems responsible for this horrific act. this is how wars like vietnam are started-- when the president no longer has to answer to congress or to the will of the country.

the afghan people are used to the brutality and horror of war. although many americans have blood lust-- i doubt they fully understand the costs that we may be forced to pay should we enter a war. we need to find the groups responsible for the bombings and bring them to justice-- but we need to all brace for the rocky road that looms ahead.

Monday, September 17, 2001

its almost been a week since the attacks on our country and it looks like the country is starting to regain some sense of normalcy. the stock market opened today to a predicted drop and network television has moved back to its regularly scheduled collection of commercials and worthless television.

this weekend was probably a challenge for everyone-- each of us trying to remind our brains that smiles are a beautiful part of life and that all happy thoughts don't need to be filtered. i spent saturday evening with a group of college friends and it was difficult for us to think about the lives that we had known before tuesday, september 11th. we had dinner at a popular italian place called buca di beppo's, which is known for its lively atmosphere and family style dining. although it felt awkward at first, the frequent choruses of happy birthday and going to the chapel that surrounded us as we ate were strangely therapeutic. as a group we had an opportunity to embrace and to reflect on the blessings that we shared. the bonds of brotherhood and friendship forged over the past 7+ years meant a great deal to all of us, especially in these vulnerable times.

i've gotten a lot of email about the attacks but none of them have been as important to me as the ones from my friends in the new york area. their well-written reflections and observations of the contrasting chaos and solidarity that they have lived through has been very insightful. i know that each of them has grown in character during the past week. i salute their efforts and their strength during this difficult period.

yesterday, i took the written entrance examination for the san francisco fire department. i have heard that approximately 5000 people took the exam yesterday and their seemed to be an underlying silence as we waited in registration lines for 45 minutes. clearly, the sacrifices made by the fallen new york firefighters had an impact on the applicants that had assembled on this foggy san francisco sunday. personally, i don't think that the world trade center deaths have affected my interest in firefighting negatively or positively but it was clear from yesterday's silence that all of the prospective firefighters had new york's finest in their minds and in their hearts.

i don't know if you can measure someone's heroic potential from the personality inventory tests that we were given yesterday-- or if those tests were even necessary after last week's events.

Friday, September 14, 2001

hey kids. i just donated $10 bucks to the red cross relief efforts at my local bank-- courtesy of my unemployment check. how fitting.

i hate cover letters. i'm stuck on one and i can't seem to get over my writer's block. i can't imaging how the working world is dealing with this crisis-- having to do _your_ job and deal with the tragedy seems a bit much to me.

the american flags have started to sprout on my block. my folks even bought a small one from the neighborhood walgreens yesterday. i can't say that i've ever seen them buy a flag before. its interesting to see the solidarity and support that a tragedy can bring.

i've been getting a bunch of emails asking for me to turn on my headlights or to hang a flag outside my house. despite the cause, i can't help but cringe whenever i get one of these "support the cause" emails-- because they seem to accompany everything from gas prices to protesting the winner of survivor. i'll show my support for america and for our great people in my own way, thanks.

i've got a red-white-blue planet hollywood jersey that is perfect for this occasion. as i play a long lost trey lorenz album, i am remembering happy, innocent days and looking forward to restoring that joy in better days to come.

Thursday, September 13, 2001

it seems like the following events are etched in my mind whenever i think of the world trade center tragedy:

i was traveling to a business meeting and had to take the PATH train to new jersey. as i got off the subway to transfer underneath the world trade center i couldn't help but be overwhelmed with the hordes of business people around me-- walking to their offices, entering their trains-- people everywhere. i would later comment to my coworker that it seemed like i was in the center of a different world. standing still while the world just past by me-- people moving in every single direction, moving with efficiency to their destinations.

between 1999 and 2000, i had been to new york about 4 times and it seemed like during each trip i found myself at the wtc or the neighborhood directly outside the buildings. whether it was walking though the snow to get into one of the tower buildings or cooling off by the courtyard's fountain-- it occurs to me that my new york experiences are tied closely to the twin towers. tuesday's blast has only galvanized those memories. looking over new york from the top of the tallest building in america-- fighting hard to stop from being blown over by tremendous winds... hanging out at the windows of the world bar-- spending $8 for a corona, teasing albert about the friends that he had made in the city...sitting alone in the plaza after purchasing half-priced broadway tickets eating a 6 pack of krispy kreme donuts-- then embarrassingly greeting my cousin, who just happened to be returning to her office after lunch.

now i'll never have to worry about forgetting about those moments.

my mind is also drawn to the late nineties movie with denzel washington and bruce willis called, the siege. an otherwise unexceptional movie, the film deals with a new york that has fallen victim to terrorist attacks. the plot deals with the manhunt for the responsible parties but also deals with the loss of america's civil liberties. i can't help but notice the similarities.

for an exceptional first hand account of tuesday's events check out this log.

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

we all have different ways of healing.

right now all i want to do is move on with my life and try to put the horrible events in new york and washington behind me. not that i will not mourn our collective losses or that i will ever forget the terrible events but i need to think about something other than the tragedy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001

i cannot remember ever waking up more scared. as i had been sleeping the voice inside my radio alarm had been talking about something but the words did not shake me from my slumber. the words, "plane crash and world trade center" didn't seem to make any sense. only after i got a call on my cell phone did i fully comprehend what had happened this morning-- a terrorist group had hijacked multiple planes crashing them into the world trade center and the pentagon.

my thoughts immediately went to my cousin, patricia, who i had ran into outside her workplace randomly last summer, outside the world trade center. shocked and stunned, i didn't even want to call her home to ask if she was ok. i didn't want to have to ask my aunt if she was safe-- she had to be safe, right? things like this don't hurt those that we love. as i started to watch the television coverage i started to think about all of my friends who had moved to new york. certainly they would not be involved-- they didn't work in that district, right?

but you can never be sure about how cruel fate can be. one by one i received calls from friends asking about other friends-- asking for phone numbers, sharing good news-- it appears that my friends were safe. my dad raised up the courage to call my cousin's home and we were ecstatic to hear her voice. she had the good fortune of being on vacation this week. i haven't felt so lucky in a long, long time.

emails from former coworkers and friends depict scary stories of chaos and damage that are unbelievable. for some reason i don't find myself consumed in anger-- instead i find myself filled with concern and with shock. almost like a child in disbelief. i have been on 7 different airplane flights in 3 weeks-- i could have been on one of those flights. i don't know if things will ever be the same for me again. this really places things in perspective.

Monday, September 10, 2001

hey kids... hope you all had a great weekend. for those of you who haven't seen my first photo album yet-- here is a link to my pictures from shanghai. i've got about 250 pictures from my trip that i've split into different albums. i think that i'll release one or two albums every week just so i don't overwhelm you with my collection of crooked pictures!

this weekend i was lucky enough to have dinner with a bunch of college and high school friends who i haven't seen in about 3 years. it was a total treat to hang out and to catch up with the different folks. after dinner at tai pan on market street we went to a korean bar in japantown. i can't say that my first time trying soju was that awesome but i guess the yogurt/flavoring is an interesting way of masking the alcohol taste.

props to kev and nancy on their good news!

i installed a second hard drive in my computer today and have been making the most of my new storage space by downloading illegal movies.... hmm-- maybe its time for me to start looking for work again. =)

alright... i've got to start working on filling in my china journal. madonna was terrific, bonds is a home run hitting bastard, and i'll write another entry before you know it.

Thursday, September 06, 2001

ah... i'm finally home! i've spent most of the day attending to errands... getting a new driver's license, visiting the bank and the library, unpacking, etc. so much junk mail has piled up over the past three weeks. i uploaded a bunch of my pics to ofoto yesterday but i don't think that I'll be able to attach a generic link to the photos from my site.

to ensure that you get to see my photo albums-- send me an email so that i can send you an invite to my various albums. tonight is the big night... madonna is in town. i've heard good response from the folks who went yesterday so i'm even more excited. totally cool!

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

almost home... i've spent the last few days in vancouver, canada... quite a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of hong kong... have spent the last 24 hours freaking out about the computer problems my uncle is having... home can't come quickly enough....

i guess i should postdate this entry...

reports of my departure from asia seem to be premature... as i type this i am sitting in the brand new hong kong airport at a eatery that has free internet. (was this an important factor in my choosing the spot-- you know it) i've got about another hour to burn before my flight even boards so i need all of the time killers i can get.

i don't even know if i will be able to get on this flight. chances are that i won't be able to get on the plane standby and i'll have to drag my butt back on the airport shuttle in the rain. today there was an 'amber storm' warning which means that schoolchildren don't have to go to school. again, i always seem to bring bad weather to hk. the other night when i visited a family friend alone-- we had a 'black rain' storm which means it was raining like there was no tomorrow. i had to walk though a couple of intersections which were completely flooded-- no fun there. waiting at the bus stop while getting wet from oncoming traffic for 20 minutes was no fun either. i could of took a taxi but then the stories that i would have of the hong kong rain experience would be pretty lame.

i think i took care of all of my gift and postcards finally... steve, you'll have to wait for your postcard-- i forgot to write your address in my notebook. sorry, holmes. the coolest thing about this new airport is the airport express train that delivers you from hong kong island in 23 minutes flat. the best part is that business travelers and passengers can actually check in at the train facility before they get to the airport. that way you don't have to drag all of your bags around the train terminal and you can even drop off your bags early--- imagine going straight from your meeting to the airport-- with nothing to carry. very cool stuff.

in news that is not so cool. the cal bears football team lost its opening game. in other bad news the hoops team's star recruit doens't seem to be academically eligible. honestly, the current state of cal sports may help my decision to move abroad! =p

i really hope i catch this plane. i don't want to have to deal with the whole airport customs stuff again. it is the one part of traveling that bothers me most. i guess that is it for now. with some luck you'll see some pictures the next time i update this log-- pictures and a more complete recap and journal of my china trip.

or i could have to carry my bags home in the rain. =((((((((((((((

Friday, August 31, 2001

sorry for the lack of updates. my cousin aaron is 12 now and into online games-- so i have to sneak in some internet time when he is away-- so far hong kong has been nice. the weather hasn't been too bad (although, i seem to have a streak of bringing typhoons with me) and i've gotten some much needed relaxation in.

i was able to meet with a business contact on thursday and that turned out to be a very fulfilling evening. we talked at length about working in asia and the different opportunities that might be open to me should i decide to move. it was cool to hear it from a person who was an expatriate and who enjoyed the lifestyle. after dinner we hit a local bar, which sort of catered to the high-tech, internet crowd. jah. the bar was cool enough with lots of need design and materials that were used to construct it.

it just happened to be by chance but we stumbled across a networking session. the business card distribution was fast and furious-- with me, the lone job hunting american, in the middle. although i didn't walk away with a job-- i did have a great time and got to meet some great folks.

sorry for slacking on the beijing stories-- but you'll probably have to wait until i get home for those. i think that i am going to be leaving hong kong early next week and i should be home in my own bed by the middle of next week--- just in time to watch the material girl herself, madonna!

*writer says a couple of quick prayers to no one in particular in the hopes that airplane delays or oversleeping will not cause him to miss the all-important concert*

alright kids... more coming soon. thanks for reading-- thanks for the great comments. thanks for the terrific emails-- and of course, thanks for being great friends!

Wednesday, August 29, 2001

i've arrived in hong kong after a busy day of traveling but something seems distinctly missing. maybe it is the travel companions long departed or the dimly-lit hotel rooms that i'm used to frequenting now. my family's home in hong kong is truly impressive with two dynamic views of hong kong island-- but hong kong seems to be completely different world from china.

not better, not worse... just different. spending time with my family here will be a lot of fun but this phase of my trip should prove to be very different from the "independent" activities of the past two weeks.

stay tuned for some good stories from my trip today and my interesting last evening in beijing. i'll try not to let you down with my stories. oh, we just finished watching the hong kong version of the weakest link. pretty funny watching the chinese folks constanly giving "eagerness" as their reason for screwing up answers. ok... more updates soon-- with no smoky residue or second hand smoke!

Monday, August 27, 2001

oh goodness... i just heard that aaliyah died in a plane crash. what a tragedy.... she was just starting to reach the upper level of music and film superstardom. she will be missed.
oh, if anybody wants a postcard... better send me your address NOW! =p
hey kids... my last full day in beijing! last night was another mixed bag as we failed to get tickets for the Chinese National Team's basketball game during the World University Games. we ended up walking around Beijing University for a couple of hours just checking out the campus. it was totally neat to walk though a typical university campus but to be surrounded by buildings that were distinictively chinese. very cool indeed. we ended up getting tickets for a basketball game for tonight but for a pair of countries that we've never heard of-- it appears the Chinese and American games have been sold out months in advance.

we actually ended up catching a recorded version of last night's china game with canada after we had arrived home last night. although the chinese team has got some talent and a lot of size they are missing that killer instinct and at times some basketball fundementals. i should teach them that 'wedge your butt' move that i've mastered over the past 26 years....

anyways, today is my last day in beijing and my prime opportunity to pick up gifts and trinkets from china. i exchanged a little bit of money yesterday just in case i go overboard. i have to admit that i really haven't been spending much time looking around for gifts. so i have an excuse for all of you who are going to be pissed off with me when i come back with coins for you. =p hey, just think-- this log is a gift that keeps on giving!

yesterday i also had a meeting with the folks from they were working on a cool merge of city guide and ticketing for beijing and shanghai. sort of reminded me of someplace i used to work. then again-- they only had 2 phone agents and practically all of their tickets are sold on a COD basis. ticketing in china is definitely different...

alright that is the end of this log entry. time to go and fend off all of the silk pajama dealers and all of the little old ladies selling maps and "pissing boy ceramics". time to bargain hard for t-shirts and hats-- hopefully, i won't have to make any merchants cry over the haggling. until hong kong everyone....

Sunday, August 26, 2001

good morning to you from beijing. i just purchased my plane ticket to hong kong for wednesday so it looks like my days in china are numbered. yesterday was a good day spent relaxing and checking out some of the finer things in beijing. we went to the temple of heaven in the morning which was the location where the emperor would go to open the winter and spring seasons. the temple was the location where he prayed to heaven to make sure the harvests were fruitful. very cool stuff. because the area was smaller than the imperial palace or the great wall-- the tourist trap nature of the place was a bit more evident.

in the evening we attended a decent dance performance called 'heaven & earth'. although the show wasn't great it was fun to see the beijing social scene come out to support its own event. we got a free upgrade to our seats-- to the 7th row, center... so that was kind of nice.

today, i've got a meeting with a web ticketing company out here. i think it will be very interesting to see how they run their operation. hopefully both i and the company will be able to learn from one another. alright. hope everybody stateside had a great weekend! talk with you all soon.

Saturday, August 25, 2001

back in beijing... and thanks to all of you loyal readers who send me emails! (arv, jt, ian, jeanny, mon-- you guys rock!) today and yesterday were a mixed bag in china. some things were very very cool like seeing the terra cotta warriors in xi'an and washing my own laundry by hand... others weren't as cool--- most notably losing my wallet on a bus. =( doh!

for those of you who don't know me that well... i hate to lose things. i often obsess over a misplaced set of keys or a pen that i am trying to find. i had realized that my wallet slipped out of my shorts probably 5 minutes after departing the bus. thankfully, i never keep any money in my wallet-- so the only damage that was done is that i'll not have access to my credit cards until i get home. that and i'll probably have to stand in line at the dmv to get a new driver's license. it could have been much much worse. i usually keep my passport and money on me-- or in my backpack so i wasn't too upset about the loss.

today was a much better day. we flew in from xi'an this morning and relaxed for a bit in our hotel room in beijing before checking out some of the neat shopping districts. i'm still working on my 'chinese' bargaining skills but hopefully i'll be able to get some good deals before i return home. so far i've spent about 600 bucks in 12 days in china including a pair of plane tickets and a pair of train tickets. not too shabby but i've still got to pick up all of those gifts!

i think tomorrow we are going to a theatre performance in beijing which should be very cool. hopefully we'll also get to attend some of the world university games that are also taking place in town. i can't think of anything better than seeing yao ming and the rest of the chinese national team in person.

alright... that is it for now. still have lots of emails to write and its after midnight in a smokey internet cafe. oh, just an fyi-- i'm not married yet and i haven't really talked to any cute natives. sorry for letting you all down. the closest that i've gotten to a wife were the prostitutes in xi'an that were constantly calling our hotel room. it got so 'bad' that i had to unplug the room phone. =) see ya.

Thursday, August 23, 2001

another day, another internet cafe. not that i'm getting many emails of note from my stateside friends. =(. thanks iv & mon for your emails! my travel companion, hammer, is going to be in china for about a year so he gets a lot of email. while all i get is spam and notes from my mom! =p

today was a travel day as we arrived in the city of xi'an. known for its terracotta warriors, the city isn't really a big hub like shanghai or beijing. as we walked around the city walls today (a huge wall surrounding the entire city) we got a lot of looks from the locals. thankfully, our hotel is on a major street and i should be able to buy some fresh clothes today. (there are nooooo washing machines in this country it seems-- and at this point i've refused to wash my socks or underwear by hand.)

no, i haven't been recycling-- i've just been making due. if i don't buy some new garments i might have to take the problem-- and the bar soap into my own hands. doh! tonight we had dinner at a muslim chinese joint. i really don't know much about muslims in china but there seems to be a pretty significant population. tomorrow we'll see the warriors and we'll return to the capital city of beijing on saturday morning.

although i've been missing my friends and family, this trip overseas has allowed me to see the beauty and differences between the us and china. on our train ride to xi'an we had a chinese native in our cabin and we spent most of the night discussing politics, economics, and our respective countries. although our ability to communicate was impaired, it was an insightful and educational evening. (for the sake of record, darryl's sentence structure was better than mine... but my vocabulary tended to be better than his---- hammer just asked all the difficult questions, while d & i tried to translate them into chinese.)

i'm not saying that i want to move to china but my eyes have been opened to a whole new world that i had little to no understanding of previously. ok.... that is as good a place to end this log as there is going to be. hope all of you have a great thursday! mine's is all done!

Wednesday, August 22, 2001

ok, so the computers in this computer center are still totally crap. i'm off to another town today though so i don't know when i'll have internet access again. today was a killer day. me and my friends woke up early and got on a bus ride to the great wall and the ming tombs. although the bus was packed to the gills and we were all really sleepy-- the thrill of visiting the great wall clearly had us excited.

now the wall was a site to be seen. we visited the 'tourist-friendly' baidaling site which is technically the closest to beijing. although it was overrun by tourists and merchants we were able to get away from the crowd with our ascent up the wall. the magnificence of the wall cannot be overstated. the steep stairs and severe grades were a challenge to walk along but made the journey to the 'end' of our section very worthwhile. there is something about visiting a monument like the great wall that reinstitates your faith in man and his abilities.

now don't get me wrong-- lots of people died to build the wall and fortunes may have been blown to create the structure-- but it was so truly awesome. trust me, if you are thinking about a place to spend your next vacation---the wall is worth the airfare.

tonight i'm going to be taking another all night train to Xi'an home of the terra-cotta warriors. should be lots of fun. more updates soon. oh, forgot to mention it yesterday. had scorpions along with my duck for dinner. yum yum!

Tuesday, August 21, 2001

urgh... this computer is soooo slow. ok, so this internet cafe is a bit cheaper.. and it is half a block from our hotel but this web connection is awful! today was a rough day in beijing compared with yesterday's trip to the forbidden city. our goal today was to take care of the travel arrangements for our trip to Xi'an and we tried to get to the train station first thing so that we could enjoy the Summer Palace and another temple.

the problem was that all of us needed to exchange some USD for some Chinese yuan. sounds easy enough, right? we thought it did too. we spent all morning trying to find a bank that would do the currency exchange for us. what a total hassle. unlike shanghai where you could exchange money on each and every block on certain banks in beijing would help us. by the time we took care of that and got our tickets it was about 1:30. after a decent lunch we decided to try to visit the palace still. we took a looooooooooooong walk in the steaming hot china sun and finally made our way to a boat tour that travels to the palace.

which meant more walking. after spending a good 3 hours checking out a marvelous palace we decided to be decadent and have our peking duck at the famous peking duck house in town (they have pics of george #1 and barb eating here as well as fidel-- but not together!) but the bus ride that took place afterwards was the bus ride from hell. literally i stood on the bus for about 30 minutes completely packed together like sardines. now i wonder why my legs are throbbing! thankfully dinner was wonderful. the duck was sooooooooooo tasty that it was to die for but it was pretty expensive. we ended up paying about $125 US for three people. i think the meal was worth it but there was some squabbling among people on how/how much we were going to order. not good.

oh well. my half an hour of internet time is almost up. got an early start tomorrow morning-- got to head the great wall. now that should be exciting! take care and talk with you all soon.

Monday, August 20, 2001

sorry... got to keep this post short. the half and hour that me and darryl are sharing at the web cafe is almost up. made it alive to beijing where the taxis are safer and the streets are safe for pedestrians. not quite as exciting or fashionable as shanghai though. went to visit the forbidden city today... very exciting to witness the palace of the chinese dynasties.

gotta run... feeling much better thankfully... more updates soon!

Saturday, August 18, 2001

hey kids... another update from shanghai. ok, first things first... my streak of not using the squat toilet in china is officially over. i bit the bullet and used one at a bookstore yesterday. our time in shanghai has been very fruitful so far. we've had a chance to check out all of the major districts and we've been exploring things outside of the guidebook too. the people here are generally very friendly and the town seems to be under constant construction. every street is covered with people arm to arm and the bicycles and taxis are everywhere. (a scooter almost hit me yesterday--- i think that traffic lights are a completely optional tool here for drivers)

the hotel that we are staying in is very nice. it seems to be very popular among the foriegn crown and it is very very livable. we have cable tv and i've been watching the seattle mariners play every morning. it looks like we get the japanese channel that covers ichiro's every move. i've also been watching some basketall with the chinese national team in the asian championships. yao ming and wang zhi-zhi are looking solid. i guess the television has made the transition easier so far. we have hbo in english and i've been catching up on my music videos.

the funny thing about shanghai (and beijing) is that both cities are literally covered in advertising. there is a main street here in which every lightpost is covered with pepsi signs. there are also huge billboards with faye wong selling pepsi too. i don't mind that at all. if anybody knowing this knows faye-- send me an email and i'll send you my address and my eternal thanks! =p

otherwise things are pretty good in china. i've caught a bit of a stomach bug but i should be ok. my inability to order has sort of been a hassle but we've been hitting a lot of food courts which has made things a bit easier. today i visited the second tallest building in the world and saw a new aaron kwok movie. after i get off this computer i'll probably get a bite to eat and check out a music club. the excitement never seems to end in shanghai. that and the constant construction. i'd imagine that if i visited this place next week things would look vastly different.

the weather has become more tolerable. my dry skin is nowhere to be seen and i think that one girl (at a hair salon) thought i was cute. either that or she thought i was a completely dumb looking gringo. =) alright kids... that it for now. see you all soon! when i talk with you all next i should be in beijing, china-- home of the 2008 olympic games!

Thursday, August 16, 2001

yo.. yo... yo.... i'm in china! i am sitting specifically in an internet cafe in shanghai spending about 75 cents for an hour of internet access. (in order to be accurate... i had to look for this place for about an hour and a half so it isn't that big of a bargain!)

the trip is going excellently so far. although the weather in shanghai has been around the 90's i haven't wilted yet. there are so many people here that it is pretty awe-inspiring. (the funny thing is that they are all chinese... i probably don't need to mention that there is lots of spitting into the streets and no one knows how to follow traffic regulations but i will)

so far i haven't gone shopping yet but there seem to be lots of values to be had in china. most meals are costing me less than $2-- so i should have lots of money left over for stylish chinese threads-- either that or maybe i can get some knock-off gear for home! =p thankfully, my mandarin is coming back to me. although my brain needs some time to process what i'm hearing around me-- i think i'm picking things up faster and faster. most of the people who i'm speaking with understand my "gil-bonics" version of mandarin and that is comforting. i actually had a water vendor think i was a native. dude... are you telling me that i'm looking that bunk in these clothes? =p

so far the traveling hasn't been too rough. didn't get much sleep on the flight to beijing but i made up for it on a sleeper train to shanghai. i think that the residual jet lag effects are gone now too. so far i've been able to see lots of the shanghai sites--- this place is like new york-- all the lights... all the people.. all the fashion... all the commerce. its pretty wild stuff.

this is my third night in china and i haven't had to use a squat toliet yet.... will wonders never cease? alright, that is it for now. miss all of you guys lots-- hope everyone is doing well back home. send me a note if you want. if you want a postcard you better email me soon! until next time....

Sunday, August 12, 2001

ok.. well this is my first time to china but i just wanted to sound like the notorious big....
this is it kids.... i'm going going back back to china china...

heh heh heh. keep checking for updates. =)

Wednesday, August 08, 2001

hey kids. so its settled... i am leaving for china and hong kong on sunday. have i packed yet, no way jose! i have been busy getting ready though-- if turning off all of my email subscriptions and reading my guidebooks counts. made some massive changes to my resume today which i am quite happy with. that is some positive news.

my emails to different contacts in asia have been well received. i might actually find myself in a meeting or two while in asia. for those of you who i haven't told, i'm probably going to be visiting beijing, shanghai and hong kong during my 3+ week stay in asia. i have a friend who is currently living in beijing and another friend who will be arriving a couple of days later than me. my uncle and aunt live in hong kong so that will be the part of the trip where i get to visit posh places and live like a king. =)

i'm hoping to be able to update this log from the road. i guess i'll apologize in advance to my friends for being so impersonal with responses but hey-- why send a telegram when you can post it to the bulletin board. if anyone has any tips for visiting china or friends that i should call on let me know.

alright... that is enough for now. i'm going to see a sneak preview of american pie 2 tonight... my money says that the sequel is going to pale in comparison... talk with you more soon!

Monday, August 06, 2001

enjoy this blog while you can folks... i think i'm going to be heading off on a vacation and putting this blog on hold for a little while. if everything goes as scheduled, i'll probably be heading to beijing and hong kong for a couple of weeks. now don't start jumping out of the window... this trip isn't a permanent move... yet...

i guess i'm heading to asia to enjoy my summer vacation...and to see whether i could work in asia for a couple of years. (dealing with the weather, homesickness, lack of hbo, etc.) does anybody need me to pick up anything for them in china? better send me a note now to place your orders!

Sunday, August 05, 2001

ok... thanks for your patience. i think i need to stop sleeping in. is it me or does everybody have a hard time getting to bed after staying out late? i never used to have a problem falling asleep after a long night of clubbing but recently i can't seem to get to sleep which is very bad news if you are getting home after 2 o'clock or so.

this was definitely the case last night. (btw, thanks to gwen for a great housewarming party yesterday.) i got home at about 3 after getting a bite to eat with arvin and understanding that i wouldn't fall asleep right away i sent some emails and was online for a bit. when i got to bed at 4... i ended up up for another hour. this, my friends, is a definite problem.

i think i need to start shutting down my mental processes earlier. i'm not sure of the effect of the alcohol on my sleep but i know that my brain isn't shutting itself off in a hurry. i ran into a bunch of people that i knew in high school and folks i met in college. these were totally random meetings because they didn't even know gwen, who was throwing the party. makes you think about the funny ways that the world works.

alright. i think i'm going to go and grab more zzzz's. next time i'll fill you guys in on my big trip!
hey kids... i just added an archive to the site so now you can read my older rantings.... let me know what you think!
testing one... two... three...

Thursday, August 02, 2001

two words to start of today's blog: yoga sucks. yes, i have trying my hand at yoga. (you can continue to choke on your poppy-seed bagel now). do you guys remember the yoga show that used to be on pbs early in the mornings? well, it never looked as hard on tv as it does in real life. *smile*

most of the stretching exercises aren't too bad-- but there are a couple of modified "push-up" positions that are truly brutal. i guess my upper body isn't all that developed but i'm having a lot of problems when it comes to those moves. thankfully, i'm taking the course at 24 hr fitness so the other people aren't experts in yoga, either. i think it has been good for me though-- i've been able to increase my flexibility and also learn some handy meditation skills. (hey, if nba players can do it-- its good enough for me!)

went to see the new movie, made, yesterday. not as good as swingers... what a shame. alright-- more for you later.

Monday, July 30, 2001

greetings and salutations. i get a little excited on the log and the number of hits to the site doubles. well, i'll keep giving you guys what you want! =p (say, can the folks reading this site from ucla let me know who you are? i'm very curious....)

ok... before i get started on my slam man story (can you feel the anticipation in the air?), i need to file a public service announcement. does anyone know any cool, genuine guys in their 30's who are single and available? i've got a glut of single female friends in their early thirties who need companions (ahem, notice how i have very few single, available women in _my_ age bracket). =( anyways, if you have cousins, uncles, neighbors who are GOOD guys (no freaks or weirdoes please) drop me a note and let me know.

ok.. enough of that chuck woolery bullshit. back to the scheduled program. do any of you remember the slam man infomercials? it was an exercise product/self defense system that integrated aspects of punching bag with the "hit the mole" carnival game. =) anyways, i had always wanted to get one but never pulled the trigger. (it was $300 and i'm committed to never buying workout equipment-- i've seen enough of those products hauled to the curb that i'm never buying anything on tv)

anyways, i was reading though craig's list and i found a guy who was giving his slam man away! i guess he was moving away and was giving away all of his television-purchased exercise equipment away (ahem, my point, exactly!) he said that i could have the slam man if i picked it up. he warned me in advance that it probably weighed about 200 lbs as he had filled the bottom with sand to keep it from falling when punched.

200 lbs... no problem! i dragged my dad along with me and we were on our way to pick up the slam man. yeah baby... score!

(this blog was interrupted by 10 minutes with the slam man in which i threw 663 punches)

now i've been doing a bit of working out but this freaking slam man was sooooo freaking heavy. because all of the weight was at the bottom of the unit the weight was completely unbalanced. we started dumping sand from the unit into plastic bags in the hopes that we could move the bad boy. after 4 bags of sand (after which we weren't able to dump any more because we could tilt the body any higher) we tried without luck to lift the bottom into our truck.

30 minutes of sweating and straining and the slam man was still smiling at the passing cars and neighbors. in many ways i bet he was smiling at my foolish ass for trying to move him without a full bekins moving crew. my father is starting to complain at this point using the word "garbage" more than was helping the situation.

we finally used a beach towel to give us the leverage and the grip to move the slam man into the truck (which had its shocks tested when we dropped it into the cabin). upon arriving home i had to hear more comments about picking up other people's garbage etc. (I should have charged the guy $500 for removing it from his apartment.)

anyways, now the problem has arisen that the slam man scares the bejesus of anyone who walks into the garage with his imposing stature. my brother, arriving home late one night was rudely welcomed by a solitary, silent guest--the new slam man. =) the two are now best friends though... as my brother is able to release his volatile temper on the receptive slam man.

just a warning... mess with me or my people... and you'll have to face the new jabs and combinations that i've been working on... =)
tomorrow... the slam man cometh...
geez louise... i was going to rant and rave about something that was pissing me off but i just checked my web logs and you won't believe the most current results. it looks like my site has been coming up on google for the following searches, "zhang ziyi wet t-shirt" and "sheer wet t-shirt". gee willikers. i hope the folks who are visiting my site in hopes of getting a glimpse of ms. zhang aren't too frustrated when they find me. =p

[just a fun fact... for those of you who have the crouching tiger, hidden dragon dvd... go to the finale scene when zhang ziyi is in the wet t-shirt... you'll notice that later in the film her shirt is completely dry. big lack of continuity there]

ok.. back to the regularly scheduled rant... i can't stand people who blow other people off. i don't know about you but my philosophy on people is this--- friends and associates don't cost anything. you never know when you'll need a hand and hopefully the people who you've touched in life will be there for you. now i'm not one to make enemies--- there are very few people in the world that i can say i hate--- but i never forget when i'm slighted.

to those who show disrespect-- one day you'll get yours. to those who take credit for other people's work-- everyone can see though the shadows and the bullshit. to those who leave other people hanging-- you've got no one to blame but yourself.

ok... before you guys think that i'm off my rocker--- i'm just trying to make a point. if someone applies for a job-- is it too much to let them know that you've found someone else? is it too much to let them know where they stand? it seems like simple courtesy to me. maybe i'm from a different generation where your word is your bond and where simple manners are the foundation of society. if someone calls you or emails you and you aren't interested in talking with them, shouldn't you communicate that? hey, a simple email with, "i'm not really interested in talking with you" takes about 30 seconds. i don't think that people owe others anything but common courtesy. i try to practice it and unfortunately i'm disappointed that more folks don't.

so... for all those ladies who are trying to impress me... you best be reading up on your emily post etiquette books. =) if you need one let me know. i got one as a gift about 9 years ago. =) its still pretty much unread. *wink*

props out to jennhew for starting work tomorrow. happy birthday wishes to jarvis and viv. until next time peoples....