Lang Lang, Lloyd.

Posted in Personal on July 29th, 2004 by byronkho

I’m rooting for Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle: 87% on Rotten Tomatoes.com

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/25/movies/25SCOT.html

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0430/lim.php

Thanks to Grace and cellist from Philly Orch. friend, got to attend Lang Lang concert at the Mann for free. Orchestra seats too. Verdi’s Overture to I Vespri Siciliani was great – less impressed by Bloch’s Schelomo, though it has its pretty parts. It’s kind of like a week-long trip at the Wailing Wall. The wailing gets to you after a while. Soloist Bill Stokking was great (Grace was on hand to deliver some orchestra gossip….that I like to hear). Then Strauss’s Till Eulenspiegel… Apparently, this is Luis Biava’s last day as resident conductor, and he’s doing all his favorites, most of which he also did during his time at Temple (again, Grace). It didn’t rain hard, which was good, because otherwise it would have drowned out the fabulous playing of Lang Lang, who did the Rach 2 sublimely. His playing was melodious and his touch was light, yes, but I alreayd loved the piece beforehand. It has great haunting melodies in each movement, and there’s something almost (Russian-y) patriotic about the swelling chords that fill out the place.

Lloyd was around again today, and caused some trouble. I caught him stealing before, and he wouldn’t fess up. I just didn’t reimburse his tokens, and he complained. Waited for Tristan, who gave in. Now, I thought that was a mistake. And yes, it came back to bite him in the ass today. The Penn police were called in because someone else was causing an uncomfortable feeling in the lovely day time cashier, and Lloyd happened to be there. He got caught up in the mess – and well, all the old shit came back. Now, Lloyd has some specific grudges (he even came back 20 minutes later with a different police officer). See, now store policy says we can kick people out who aren’t Penn-related. God knows Lloyd isn’t. But I think it’s wrong to kick him out, since Video Vault sells to non-Penn-related people. And yes, he causes discomfort, but you’re a business. You watch, and make sure people aren’t stealing. You go heavyhanded on your policies when necessary, and never show fear to the customer. Which is what hasn’t really happened. If he really is a nuisance, catch him in something, write up an incident report. That way, you have a definite reason for kicking him out. No bad blood (for no reason) and you cover your ass in case you get sued for racial discrimination or whatnot. There’s fair business policy, and there’s practical business policy. And the way it is right now, it’s neither.

Tags:

Education, Movies.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 28th, 2004 by byronkho

Just a little correction here. My little 5 point discussion of why American students are not exactly crowding the sciences isn’t playa-hating. Nope. Too bad. These are general trends, as noted by commentators and journalists from the Chronicle of Higher Education to Atlantic Monthly to the New York Times. What should also be included is an urging to American institutions to provide more economic incentive to science graduates, American education to shape up in the sciences (if you can’t get literacy quite right, it’s kind of hard to move on), and American students to prove everybody wrong. Say yes, I am interested in furthering science. Not only being a doctor – everybody wants that – but being a researcher, a PhD candidate, somebody that will be part of the search for cures all over the country. Dems and Republicans bring up how America will lead the world, in respect to scientific research among other things. Stuff like AIDS cures, Parkinson’s treatments, better drugs that are easier to produce – these are global needs that can only come about with strong support from the home team. And if we prohibit foreign students from packing the home team, then the burden falls on…

There you go.

Some people want scary things: http://www.hansonfiction.com

A Kerry Democrat? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A16763-2004Jul26.html

Wow… administration labels group “not terrorist”: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/27/politics/27iran.html?th

“Doublecheck your vote”: http://www.technologyreview.com/articles/04/07/wo_hellweg072704.asp?trk=nl

Kerry says, “I will stand up and struggle, as others have, to try to get that right balance between violence, and sex, and things”: http://www.abcnews.go.com/sections/WNT/US/kerry_interview_040722-3.html

NY Times is liberal, says NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/25/weekinreview/25bott.html

Guy watches DVD and crashes: http://www.cnn.com/2004/LAW/07/27/dvd.traffic.death.ap/index.html

Western pop music in China: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5527248/

Eww, bog snorkeling: http://www.slate.com/id/2104258/

I tried to read this book, but the interview is much easier: http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200405u/int2004-05-20

Bush cuts in cancer treatments! http://www.salon.com/news/wire/2004/07/27/medicare/index.html

What a bitch: http://www.humaneventsonline.com/article.php?print=yes&id=4610

Four Frenchmen return from extended captivity at Guantanamo: http://www.iht.com/articles/531409.html

How to ruin tourism for yourself, and everybody else: http://www.usatoday.com/travel/news/2004-07-27-athens-gouging_x.htm

I’ve just eaten a bowl of watercress cooked with instant noodles, and a popsicle. On this crappy diet (except for the watercress), I think up ridiculous ideas on air tinged with monosodium glutamate and stupidity. I just watched Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen, and am shamefacedly admitting this fact. And funny enough, Lindsay Lohan wasn’t the hot one (now who ever said she was?). It was the bitch girl, similar to the bitch girl that was in Mean Girls. And yes, I did see that one too. It was only playing at UA Theaters up in Upper Darby, and Anthony and I went up one night to go see that one. In any case, they kinda made her look just a little worse than Lindsay except for in the first scene where you see her. Wow, stupid thoughts.

I was actually trying to call Brenna at the time. However, Chinn answered the phone, and Brenna wasn’t home. For someone that loves to be called, she is the hardest person to get a hold of. But I don’t blame her – I’m the same way. I go oh, somebody called. I’ll call them back in 10 minutes… no, too loud here, so another hour, when I get home… but it’s a bad time, like dinner, or going to a bar time, so later… but they’re going to bed now, so tomorrow… it’s lunch time, I can’t call… it’s dinner… when should I call? Oh, after said person goes to bed. Yay. No, I’ll call back some other time.

I was crazy enough to get two movies to watch tonite. The one I’m watching right now, while writing, so I’m not really paying too much attention to it: the Thin Red Line. Terrence Malik. Very hard-hitting movie. Released at the same time as Saving Private Ryan, so it kinda got dumped on. But it’s infinitely darker. Tells us war is bad, and for the bonds it makes and breaks among men, whose business is honor and survival. Mostly survival. Weird, John Travolta playing a quiet role, almost an extra. Jim Caviezel, John Cusack, John C. Reilly, George Clooney, Elias Koteas, Jared Leto, Tim Blake Nelson, Woody Harrelson, Adrien Brody, Sean Penn, all playing soldiers with dreams and hopes and who die with futility in their eyes, and loss you can feel. An almost nonsensical loss, winning a ridge that they will abandon immediately. Just before, Nick Nolte, the bastard captain refused to allow them to reconnoiter to the side to lower casualties and keep surprise on their side, while still winning the ridge. But there’s a don’t be a coward mentality that pervades. Act the hero, rush the enemy, damn the consequences, die with honor, be tough, don’t run from fights. And after huge losses, “these men… look at their spirit. They’re raring to go…” and then the admission, “I’ve been waiting my whole life for this moment, and I’m not gonna let it go…”

Are you righteous? Are you kind? Are you loved by all? Did you hold goodness? Truth?

- impromptu last rites for the buried soldier

PhDs, Widow for a Year.

Posted in Personal on July 26th, 2004 by byronkho

Why would American students shun Ph.D. programs?

1) Non-adequate returns: expected salary is $24,000 a year with no benefits; 10% chance of getting faculty positions; and little room for upward mobility. A BS in industry gets $40,000 without a problem.

2) Incredibly long amount of time to get Ph.D. with high workload.

3) Lower marketability as a Ph.D., than with a masters or bachelor’s degree.

4) General laziness on the part of Americans, as opposed to the rest of the world. We take it for granted that our opportunities come easier, so we are unwilling to move into fields with such a high level of work.

5) Unpreparedness for continuing education in science, due to inefficient education system.

Merely one aspect of the “foreign students in research” issue.

So I haven’t read John Irving’s Widow For A Year, but it seems intriguing now. Maybe it’s just the screenwriter doing a great job. In any case, I was extremely interested in the part of the young student that came to work with the writer, played by Jeff Bridges. While an outsider, he quickly comes to mean everything in the family relationship of the writer, his wife and his daughter. His wife believes the writer hired the kid to be his driver to his various affairs – women he would draw for his kids books which eventually turned to nude portraiture. In several funny moments, he turns from awe at his one female subject, Mrs. Vaughn, to degradation and then to shame. The pictures he draws of her nakedness he returns to her, and she then tries to kill him. It’s funny to see him running down the street, but while it’s funny, there’s a poignancy to the pointlessness of his life. It’s his method of coping with his part in the deaths of his two sons. He got drunk and didn’t wipe the snow off his car or drive, making his 17-year old son drive and get into an accident, killing him and his brother. The writer’s wife responds differently, and is transfixed by grief. She found her one son’s leg still attached to her shoe in the car accident, and it haunts her. In their new house, with a new life and a new kid (played by Dakota Fanning’s little sister), they try to heal. The writer has actually hired the kid to keep his grieving wife company, as he looks like one of the dead sons. They end up having an affair, which affects the daughter, as she is a witness to their relationship. The writer realizes this and thinks of his wife, whom he is separated from, as a bad mother. The daughter meanwhile is transfixed by the pictures in her house, a majority of which are her dead brothers. Her mom finally breaks and plans to run away, leaving everything behind. She says she’d rather be no mom than a bad mom, and takes away all the pictures, removing her daughter’s memories. The kid has to deal with all of this, and the growing discomfort he feels since he is working with the writer on a daily basis while banging his wife and driving him to his screw sessions. It’s really quite complicated, but the movie does a good job of making it easy to understand.

Kim Basinger: “….sex. All kids your age are interested in it, right?”

Kid: “Yeah. Before I die.”

Elle Fanning: “Your penis looks funny.”

Elle Fanning, on seeing kid and mother doing it doggy-style: “Aaaaah!!!!”

Kim Basinger: “It’s OK. It’s only us. Go back to bed.”

Elle, with shrug and smile: “Okay!”

I’m assuming John Irving has a lot to say about sex-related problems in the family. Because there’s lots of it.

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Science and Tech Beat at the DP… Ideas for stories?

Posted in Personal on July 25th, 2004 by byronkho

Today, I can proudly say that I did absolutely nothing. Ate popsicles. Paid my rent. Looked out the window. Played some games. Watched some TV. Talked on the phone a bit. Made plans for later. But all in all, I spent a majority of the afternoon watching Futurama and eating those devilishly good soft chocolate chip cookies from Chips Ahoy. So sweet, and so good. Oh, I also decided to go see Lang Lang on Wednesday; Bobby McFerrin on Thursday; Musiq on August 7; and Bebel Gilberto on August 14. Tickets for all four together will cost roughly 57 dollars. Do I want to spend that much money? Or, I could just not go and save up for more New York trips, which I dearly love.

What I did think about were ideas for articles during my beat. Yes, I do have the technology and research beat, but I feel it’s very limited in its scope, right now. The true science stories don’t get covered, especially because the “medical” beat mainly goes for infrastructure problem stories about the University Health system and the Hospital. What I want to do is yes, cover downloading-related stories, but curtail how much print is spent on that, since I feel we’ve had an overkill on that kind of thing in the past year. No one cares so much about Napster and other legally viable options for music downloads. What they do care about are ways around the system, an area that the DP cannot cover in true fashion without being held publicly accountable. My main point is that I will cover more Research-related topics – cutting to the heart of the science done at Penn.

One area in need of coverage are the technological innovations discovered at Penn. Frequently, these are assigned to GAs after the inventions or what have you have already become widely available, so the stories are less timely. What I want to do is get more of these things out under the beat so there is more educated coverage on time. I presume that many of these technologies will be from Penn Engineering, whether bio-engineering or normal engineering. This can include Penn work with nanotechnology (and how it deals with the McCain supported decision that prohibits federal funding to any nanotech research), virus creation (especially dealing with the newly created cellphone viruses, passed with Blackberry technology), flash memory cards, new incredibly fast disk drives using the principle of “extraordinary magnetoresistance”, robotics at Penn, SCO Group and the Linux controversy, video game development, identity protection protocols and technologies, and even Penn contributions to forensic science, which could be a very interesting subject.

There is also the more social-science based aspects of research. These will probably be reserved for longer articles and features, as they can’t be accurately captured in a short article. Actually, these would probably do better in a magazine format (like NYTimes Magazine). Sample issues include the effects of immigration policies on scientific research within the United States. This ties in with the gradual decrease in science and math literacy in the United States, the large foreign population manning the helm at research labs all across the country, and the “brain drain” from their home countries. This had a notable effect on Canada in the past few years. In particular, the move of health professionals across the border due to oppressive OHIP and blanket medical insurance programs has caused lots of trouble to an ailing system, and to research that needs to be continued at major universities there. This can include, or as a separate article, the effects of war-time immigration policies that constitute institutional xenophobia. As defensive measures to terrorism, limited immigration and draconian customs policies have decreased the manpower available for key scientific research. Many scientists (and even writers, for some strange reason) have been scared off by the oppressive rules governing access by student visa. Especially sensitive areas like vaccine creation and scientific countermeasures for bioterrorism have been hampered because there are no faculty available to work in those areas. A majority of the experts in those areas had been foreign, and current regulations prohibit nationals from certain countries from working on those areas, in fear of espionage and sabotage, etc. This points to a severe problem in science recruitment and education within America, as we do not have the manpower to facilitate our science labs, which are the best in the world.

Other issues include the effect of high-tech outsourcing on higher level science education in the United States. Also, American policy on AIDS treatments and distribution of drugs into the Third World, as necessary to combat the global crisis. Another interesting idea would track legal decisions involving science – a check to see if law is lagging behind scientific progress, and if this is bad for research as a whole. As a sidenote, I am particularly interested in gene patenting. Ever since it was allowed in the 1990s, there have been lawsuits concerning companies and foundations who hold patents for genes, and scientists from business and academia alike who seek to work on these genes without profit oversight. The Patent and Trademark Office reversed its old policy of not allowing live animals and genes that regulate life to be patented – this violated previous human concern of the ethics of business. But somehow, that was turned around in the groundbreaking Chakrabarty case and today, big drug companies own many of the genes that make us who we are. An Australian drug company owns much of the sequences of “junk DNA” in the human body, that are now being found to be extremely important. This has been the focus of many furious lawsuits. As some universities who hold or could potentially hold patents have been involved in some of these cases, science students at Penn should be concerned. It would also be interesting for the economic and ethical aspects to the struggle.

Other interesting social issues for the beat include: email bankruptcy (how do we deal with communication when email itself can be swamped and take too much time?); the myth of the paperless office (and how email causes an average 40% increase in paper consumption); the Small World phenomenon; how, with the widespread use of computers, reading is way down in America, as is going to museums, musical performances, doing volunteer work, and going to sporting events (another way of saying this is that people who don’t use computers go out more, and people who do tend to do nothing else but sit at their computers); Intelligent Design theory; problems for the coming election with paperless voting (voting by Internet); the radio frequency id chip (RFID) for use in supermarket products for streamlined shopping; sustainable design in architecture and house planning; profiles of recent Internet frauds and viruses; Kevin Fong’s research into treatment of intensive care patients with space conditions; what Dream Workshop (choose your own dream) will do to the sacred nature of the dream in the sleep state; and copyright renewals (National Library wanted to do a showcase on James Joyce, as they owned the works – but his grandson owned the copyright… the 50 year limitation on copyright had already ran out, but the founding of the EU extended these copyrights, such that the National Library would be in fact violating the copyright if they did a show which by all means should have been fine and legal) and what Ashcroft legislation will do to it (this has its technological and research aspect). Lastly, a review of what Gutmann plans to do with funding for research, like the coverage of J-Ro’s Agenda for Excellence.

Whew, it’s a lot of stuff I could cover. Productive think session. But now, it’s time to give it a rest and go veg out before work tomorrow.

Busy Weekend.

Posted in Uncategorized on July 24th, 2004 by byronkho

Sitting at home. Wondering what to do. Hearing Wes out the window. Hearing somebody say, “shut up, Wes!” Hearing Elvis in a remix of “A Little More Action” or whatever the song is called.

Arrgggh, it’s past midnight, and I’m wondering what to do. I could go out, but it’s kind of pointless since i’m all settled in and comfy at home. But then I ask myself, do I really need to go out? No! I’ve had the best day, and that’s that. It really has been great.
To recap. Went to see Bourne Supremacy with Rachel on Friday. Great movie. Uses shaky shots to establish feeling that we’re right there, and action is really tight. No wasted moves, like Ebert points out. The dialogue is sparse and to the point, and the feel is like what the spy world really is. OK, so maybe I wouldn’t know. But it’s a lot more sophisticated in its unpretentiousness. Other spy movies make it so overt and glamorous, while Bourne (Damon) seems to pay a heavy price, both in people he loses and how it changes his actions. A murder in the middle particularly affects me, and the audience. Unlike other movies, where guys simply get shot and no one cares, there is a feeling that a life is disappearing, right there, as Bourne chokes a fellow Treadstone agent to death with some fiber wire. All the action is tight, etc.

Rachel likes it, as far as I can tell. She’s applying for salesperson jobs, as well as stewardess positions with Southwest. Also in biology labs and other things around campus. She’s also looking for a place to stay, and I show her my place to help her get a feel for rooms in other areas around Penn. We go to her place, only a couple doors down from Molly. It’s really her sister’s, and she’s only staying while she’s in town. Until she gets another place, that is. It’s really hot, and we talk a long time about Asian perceptions of health and some other things which I liked to talk about. Yeah, I ramble sometimes. Anyway, it’s 2 AM and her sister walks in, like, WTF? Her sister works at Marathon during the day. Something like 7 an hour or so, as a hostess. Damn, that’s a lot of work. I get a little less at the Vault for doing jack.

Jen Malivuk was here this past weekend. Today, I went out with her for lunch at Marathon Grill. Howreya’s all around to Maribel (she remembers me after a year? i like to think i made a good first impression then.), Gizelle(y) and Amanda, who is still as ridiculous as the last time I saw her. Maybe back in December? It’s been a while, anyway. I figured out why I missed having Jenny around – probably because she’s so good at making her presence known when she is here. All of a sudden, when she’s gone, there’s nobody to manically say, “it’s ok” at the least sign of weariness. I get home from work and talk to her and she’s like, “it’s ok” automatically. I’m like, geez, almost like a broken record here. But comforting, I guess. So I pay the bill for lunch/brunch, yeah yeah, but I work and she don’t. She threatens to beat me up (like she did ALL last summer) and tries to force the money back. Her guilt trip is a big hug. Ha. I am impervious.

Brenna calls! I love hearing her messages. They’re so… giggly and unassuming. Really cute, if you ask me. Anyway, it’s kind of disconcerting to have her answering machine say “my…” which I assume is a cut-off of the actual message that’s supposed to play. Every time I call back I suspect it’s not her phone, but then she calls me later and says I got your message, etc. She wasn’t there. I am crushed. Hehe. Cause last time we played phone tag, I missed out on Coney Island and afternoon delite. Arr. I almost went down to New York this afternoon, but I held myself back. Stupid rent payments. And I think she had that one party? I dunno.

Went to see The Corporation this afternoon with Grace and friend Liz. The movie seemed biased – the corporation is a profit machine that kills everything in its path – but then again, it’s hard to portray any other side. An executive for the company would be hard-pressed to say that the company doesn’t put profits first, and actually believe it. More likely that they would agree. Knowing that, the movie uses Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, Michael Moore, Naomi Klein and others to put forth a distinctly liberal point of view. Even the right-wing opinions are centrist, as I’m sure it would be hard to find a fanatical right-winger that would vilify the corporation on the record. Typical arguments: corporations are killing the world. But even as they are typical, they are still engaging and worrisome. Especially the reminder that all our genes are being gradually patented. All of them. What happens when a corporation owns the right to all the things that make a person a person? Then what? We have a very bad track record on sharing things too. Wealth means hoarding for one’s own security. If that were to happen with ownership of gene “property”, that would be a very bad thing.

Dinner at Abner’s, then home for another round of XIII and updating the web page. Taking it easy, and looking up some stuff to use in my Nursing and Kerry-Edwards rally piece for this week.

Pimp Names, Politics.

Posted in Personal on July 23rd, 2004 by byronkho

Pimpification:

from Playerappreciate.com:

One of the things most hype about being an elevated player is having a name that mothafuckas respect. It’s that one thing that punks who don’t have your money always remember to yell while you’re beating them down. “No ! Please don’t beat me down ! I left my money in my other pants !” See what I mean?

Byron Kho becomes:

Sheik Kho G.

Deacon Dr. B. Gates

Diamondtrim Kho Squeeze

Tricktickler Byron Slither

Ice Master Byron Trump

Dopetastic B. Flex

Devious Honey Byron Ice

And various other people become :

Crazy Eyes B. Squeeze

Sweet Chocolate Mal Flava

Devious Kelly Smooth

Master Fly Petrilla Loco

And there are… hmm… tips on how to pimp-slap some little punkass, who don’t realize where his ice comin from, and to mess with these mothas don’t go down smooth with the j-loc.

feign interest (or disinterest); a nasty backhand; drink some champagne.

if you got soft skin, or they hurt like a mutha, you ain’t a pimp.

probably made by some silly white guy.

Some more politics:

I was reading a particularly informative article by Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post today (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7573-2004Jul22.html) about the positive spin ads that the Kerry campaign is putting out. Knowing that the Bush media campaign was mostly negative attacks on Kerry (up to 75%!!), it’s surprising that the Kerry campaign can still sit tight on it’s I’m-a-good-guy and don’t-listen-to-him message. Bush’s campaign says the negative spin is 1) effective in portraying him as a flip-flop and 2) Kerry can wax moralistic in this race because he has his little buddies MoveOn and the Media Fund to do the dirty work. Which is true, I guess. But here’s the kicker: Bush has everything to lose, while Kerry has nothing to lose. And who’s the one playing dirty?

A memorable quote from Kathleen Hall Jamieson, dean of the Annenberg Public Policy Center:

“They don’t have to attack the credibility of George Bush,” Jamieson said. “The news has effectively done that already.”

It also doesn’t help the Republican campaign that Kerry is raising his profile among black Americans (and other minorities) – who can swing the vote in his favor (and who blatantly supported Gore in those harrowing moments when Gore himself was presiding over the swearing-in of the president) – while Bush has downgraded or lost that ability completely by refusing to talk to the NAACP. He said he got made fun of once, he’s not going through it again. What was that quote, Mr. President? Fool me once… What we have here is a coward – no matter if he is one or not – he just really looks like it, when he’s preaching his “got backbone?” campaign rhetoric.

restaurants i need to chill at before i leave this town:

so making a list is probably a bad idea, because going out should be spontaneous. right? whatever. i have a list, and it’s gonna get updated as i go along.

tangerine. fork. the continental, for dinner. bleu martini. caribou cafe. jones. rx. buddakan. novelty. patou. susanna foo’s. magazine (again). loie. el vez. brasserie perrier (overpriced, but whatever). bistro st. tropez. alma de cuba. bar noir. beau monde. angelina. (edit: most of these places, done)

my fave area right now is the stretch of spruce heading down into old city. there’s some piano bar back there that i forget the name of, it’s pretty cool. there’s a bunch of nice bistro-y places, and dmitri’s and angelina’s are not too far away. plus, the houses are kinda cool.

Politics, old AIM convos, a longass post. Really long.

Posted in Personal on July 22nd, 2004 by byronkho

the political post:

brief word on rich eisenberg’s op-ed in this week’s DP: eisenberg outlines the bush camp policy of referring to kerry as a negative-slanted “liberal” and “flip-flop”. while it is marginally true that kerry did flip-flop – and miss out on 80% of voting sessions – there is less reason there to vote for bush than for kerry. after alll, what exactly is wrong with being liberal? does liberal signify wishy-washy and touchy-feely (all two-word hyphenated cute words that minimalize left-wing efforts to improve human welfare through governmental intervention)? but more importantly, does bush’s method of sticking to his roots and sticking to his guns bode well for our country? bush is a man who has set beliefs – he keeps faith with himself, his religion and his country. this is admirable in a man (though we might call him stupid, etc.). but who is to say that america needs stubbornness to this degree? yes, we need to present a firm face to the world. but being stubborn along the wrong path is a likely path to failure. pretending nothing is wrong with the ship while it sinks doesn’t do anything for the captain or crew; admitting a mistake but being firm about change is. kerry, while certainly irresponsible and in the best of times only a mediocre candidate, is a much better gauge of the american public today. he is more cautious – what we need to heal wounds after “winning” a war, though not what we need during said war – and more open to the various opinions making up his constituency, as evidenced by his large advisory team. so there we have it.

one more aspect of the presidential race issue: media campaigning. currently, scandals are much closer to the surface among bush’s compadres, while kerry’s campaign seems much more clean, and proabbly more bland. at the same time, the bush campaign has made this season the most expensive media campaigning season to date, with mostly out-of-pocket funds. both candidates have had no problem funding their campaigns this term, with no need to dig into the public coffers. the focus of the bush campaigns? negative spin on kerry’s character. comparatively, bush media ads, from their camp and from outside organizations, have been extremely vilifying in their rhetoric; kerry has spent more money on the issues. of course, it’s very hard to get proper issues explained in a 30-second soundbite, but at least the attempt is there. it’s strange about politics. they have to rise to two standards: the media, by selling their “product”, and the honor of the profession, by extolling their “purity.” kerry might just be holding his own campaign down (and poll popularity) by going the honorable path, while bush scores big points on the i’m-better-than-him media path. very soon, however, i’m sure we’ll see kerry jump back on the bandwagon, and pull out the big guns on bush.

ads this season: all about adolf. an entry into the liberal organization Move-On’s campaign-for-Kerry contest compared bush to hitler. this ad was never recognized by MoveOn or the Dem campaing after that, but a subsequent Republican ad ran something like this — Dems are playing dirty by comparing us to Hitler. So we’ll show you the ad that they didn’t actually support, by showing clips of it in our ad, and implicitly continue the vicious cycle.

yay for partisanship. continue the age-old tradition of rousing paranoid fears and anger and spreading that to the population, thereby creating polarization and increasingly interesting presidential races. news as it comes…

A somewhat paranoid yet persuasive review of the movie slash opinion piece on the political situation by this guy. If it counts at all, he’s from Pittsburgh.

“A conservative group asked [the FEC] to investigate whether television ads for director Michael Moore’s anti-Bush documentary “Fahrenheit 9/11” violate campaign finance law regulating when commercials may feature a presidential candidate…the group…contended that commercials for “Fahrenheit 9/11” fall under federal campaign finance law. Regulations prohibit the use of corporate money to air ads identifying a presidential candidate in the 30 days before his party’s nominating convention…they contend that “Fahrenheit 9/11” is propaganda and doesn’t qualify for the media exemption.” – Associated Press; June 24, 2004

Byron: more misguided conservative attempts to keep f9/11 out of the theater? yes. you’re just giving the left more firepower against you, and giving the film more buzz. time for some credible defense rather than pointless vengeful behavior.

Vik: Agreed. In my opinion, the best chance for conservatives to nullify the effect of this movie is to simply ignore it rather than condemn it. It is very difficult to attack the entertainment industry on moral grounds and succeed (in fact, criticism will probably only increase curiosity and viewership; look at The Passion of the Christ.) I, for one, plan to see Fahrenheit 911 on Saturday and support a message that will hopefully becoming a rallying cry for Democrats around the country. To the conservatives out there, all you can do is pray that the movie will suck.

Kneeland: Looks like my prayers have been answered. The movie is an utter embarassment to the Left. Did you know that Mr. Moore had to hire a giant team of lawyers to file libel suits against anyone who dares to question the accuracy of his movie?

Bruce: Whether or not you agree with Moore, you should acknowledge the blatant lying and viewer manipulation of his past films. For example, in “Bowling for Columbine” he spliced words from seven different places to form one sentence of a speech by Charlton Heston (he also spliced two rallies that were months apart, giving the impression that they were the same).

That is but a minor example of wave after wave of deceit in his Oscar-winning “documentary.” He also used inconsistent data and simply lied, later admitting his deception.

His next film will undoubtedly be the same. Why would you want to support a message that is baseless propaganda? If you want to vote against Bush, I have no problem with that. If you want to engage in debate, or get every Democrat in Philly to vote this fall, I’m cool with that too. But why perpetuate our culture’s naïve dependency on the media by supporting one of its worst offenders?

Byron: I must say I do find wrong in some of Moore’s tactics – some of which are in recent evidence. He displayed Disney as trying to destroy his film without advance warning, when he actually knew for an entire year and later admitted as much. I understand he twists and manipulates his viewers. But I am my own person. Though the guy in question be a lying bastard (both Moore and Bush could fall under that category, depending on who you talk to), I can hear what they say without naively believing that everything is true. Though some of the public are so-called “dumb”, I don’t believe most people will think it’s totally unbiased. At least most of the educated masses shouldn’t.

And yes – though it’s going to be full of some propaganda, it’s not “baseless propaganda”, because there are facts, and there are facts, and I’m sure he’s double and triple-checked all his words to make sure they’re right or he’ll be sued for libel, especially with the entire right-wing on his ass. This time around, I’m sure he’s worried about it.

You also address our culture’s “naïve dependency on the media”. Unfortunately, we have no other way of getting to the masses. I respect the fact that he is willing to put himself out on a limb despite all the criticism he has and undoubtedly will receive; it’s a freedom he is allowed, to express himself. (and god help us: that such “scum” be able to express himself? He’s not killing babies or advocating racial hatred for chrissake.) If you’re not willing to allow him this freedom, that’s not a good sign.

On the other hand, if one doesn’t like the messages being broadcast by Moore, then one should utilize this “naïve dependency on the media” against him and make a movie, or sound-bite, or best-selling book. Gather the right-wing opinionators together and use the media to right-wing advantage, not by attacking his person, catching him out on silly laws that will actually turn against the advocacy groups supporting the lawsuits, or denying the leftist schtick as a pack of lies. Undoubtedly there will be some lies said by the left (my side, pretty much), but one would be howling in the wind unless Republicans can gather an actual intellectual defense and a credible offense. Or they can play on Michael Moore’s field: get Rush Limbaugh to make his own movie. He is articulate and intelligent enough, and does a good job of rousing the conservative masses with his own version of fire-brand propaganda.

Mark Littmann (in the Summer Pennsylvanian): “So Moore was a winner, right? Unfortunately, his victory was, in disguise, a mockery of not just the current administration but also America as a whole.”

Byron: Now hold on there. I have to bring up another point brought up in the article – how he feels that Moore isn’t a proper representative for America. But when is the filmmaker, documentary person, interviewer, journalist… when are these guys supposed to be the representative of their entire America? Does he really expect it to be an entirely neutral documentary? Of course he will attack Bush and the current administration in the movie, because those are his politics, and people make movies according to their beliefs and politics (this script is great, i feel for the characters… i feel for the american people, etc.) He quotes Moore as stating that he is in the majority opinion. This could possibly be true, in a sketchy propagandist kind of way. Opinion polls show Bush’s approval to be nearly 50-50 between good and bad. Liberal, conservative. However, there are a significant amount of undecided and moderate conservatives that have seemed to back up from their support. Even among the old guard, there is a feeling of reversing course. It can’t be good that disaster after disaster has hit this administration (S&L, Halliburton, Texas oil, possible trouble with their number one Arab ally Saudi Arabia, lying in front of America).

Jack (a forum posting on Littman’s article): “Moore reminds me of his Republican counterpart: Rush Limbaugh. He does the same thing, saying things that are clearly biased. I guess the only difference would be the Rush actually knows what he’s talking about.”

Byron: Um, no.

Alum (a forum posting on Littman’s article): “By actually going to see the movie, one would, in fact, be supporting Michael Moore and all that he stands for (and probably helping him increase donations to all anti-Bush campaigns). I support the author in not going to see this. It’s truly a shame how uneducated the American public has become.”

Byron: Is it me, or is seeing the movie just that? Seeing? As in “seeing what the other side has to say”? Uneducated doesn’t mean ignoring the other side, even the propagandists. To fight and win, they say, you must know your enemy. Keeping yourself ignorant of the situation as understood by an influential liberal that can only spread his views to the Democratic-leaning populace (according to MSNBC and YahooNews and CNN, theaters are doing very well indeed off of this movie, even with the death threats and bribery and intense pressure put on by Republican organizations toward theater managers… why else would 3 national chains not show a movie that – by all standards – will be one of the highest-grossing movies ever?) is stupid indeed. Smart man, Sun Tzu. Know your enemy.

Sean Lee (a forum posting on Littman’s article): “President Bush is winning World War 3. He has given millions of people freedom from oppression in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Byron: We are not fighting World War III, however much you’d like to think so. And as for millions of people? We created the problems in Afghanistan and Iraq to begin with. Yes, I would say it was our responsibility to fix the mess. However, we didn’t do very well. We let up to 40,000 Afghans with their AK-47s return home when we pulled our Special Forces out of there to go fight in Iraq, before the cleanup job in Afghanistan was finished. We missed bin Laden, though we got many deputies, and the organization is still thriving. The Saudis, our close ally, supports some of these terrorist movements (follow the money). Iraq is no better now than it was under Saddam. Yes, he was bad to them, but at least there was an infrastructure, less hatred and peace. I must say that things ARE better for the Kurds, though. They are the only probable people to benefit. Now, we are hated for our occupation, infrastructure is going to hell, and we hire Iraqi to kill other Iraqis. Who shoot us because they hate.

And STOP lambasting France. It is NOT unpatriotic to support free choice, and it is NOT unsupportive of democracy, freedom, etc. to choose not to get involved with a war which has turned out to be all that the naysayers had hoped for. There were very good reasons for them to choose to do so, and to follow a suicidal course just because the United States said so is no reason to do anything. Remember, France gave us support for our experiment in democracy. Even as we think ourselves beacons of democracy, we should be aware that we don’t always appear so. We have lied and threatened other countries; we have meddled and caused millions of deaths by activity and inactivity in other countries; and we have stood in the way of peace (not paying dues to the UN?).

“In a BBC interview, Mr Powell said those who carried out the attacks were trying to torpedo the handover. ‘I think we underestimated the nature of the insurgency that we might face during this period,’ he said. ‘The insurgency that we’re looking at now has become a serious problem for us, but it’s a problem that we will deal with.’ But he said he hoped violence would tail off after the handover – once Iraqis saw that they had their own people in charge. ‘I’m absolutely sure that the world is a safer place with Saddam Hussein and that regime gone,’ he said. ‘Now, does that mean that everything has become peaceful and nice? No. We have a difficult situation in Iraq. And we will deal with that difficult situation. We will get security under control.’” – BBC; June 24, 2004

Here’s the war as I see it. We invaded Iraq on the pretext that we were fighting terrorism. So far, there has been no link to bin Laden and Al Qaeda within Saddam Hussein’s realm, and neither has there been any WMD’s for us to find. Thus, we are occupying the second most holy site in all of Islam (within Iraq) for reasons that are entirely moot. Not only that, but we control the other two holiest sites in Islam, albeit indirectly – Saudi Arabia is seen as an American lapdog, and Israel is in eternal cahoots with the West. The Muslim world cannot be happy about this, and so now, where Al-Qaeda hadn’t existed, they now do. From a country we were liberating, we now have a country that does not want to be liberated; peoples that kill our soldiers after they have been “saved”; and an enemy that grows more reckless every day. The executions only tell us that they are more resilient than we thought. So what are we to do? Are we to dally in a country where rule is breaking down and the enemy grows larger every day? I am a liberal, but I don’t vote for peace in this case. I feel like the military should use its capacity as the best army in the world, and crush the insurgents with all the military might they can muster. It’s a cruel world, but our position is gradually leaking away.

stuff that happens:

whew – haven’t posted in forever… but this gray shit’s gotta go. make it pretty and stuff. all in good time.

but here’s this week: emailed assad – saturday in ny – anchorman – guy at city hall park – asian pimp – r train rerouted to canal st. – ooh, brooklyn – ooh, brenna’s place, ring ring, ring – big house, gotta say – hot room – she’s all pretty and stuff, and we’re only goin to b-burg! – jazz – mex – middle east, mosquitoes and skirting around the main – sad, leaving – ishtar shteve – matchmaker with cousin hahaha – miserable shopping in rain – anthony in tulsa, too late – bad day for work – ooh, hot date for two? – b&j with grace – schmooze with article man – write, write – chill with wendy – de-lovely, anyone? – j-mal’s coming! ah-ha! – ooh, melody says – dave: haven’t cracked the covers – adam: (annoyed grunt) – molly and liz won’t let me be lazy, silly editors – late for work – oh, hey gizelle! you’re looking fine today – what? oh no, no, i said, you fine today. yeah. wait, damn. – sharma is the new jackass, and he’s got the older women thing. got my own back on this one hahaha – contemplating lunch – contemplating fun times with j-mal (j. fresh? nice.)

that’s it.

more old stuff that needs to stay up:

She: yeppers

bmk j a c k: haha, you say “yeppers” and “okey dokey”

bmk j a c k: you’re classic

She: thanks

bmk j a c k: call it like i see it

And now, foreign movies…

Him: just rented a movie titled “Ran” do you know that one?

Him: it’s one by Akira Kurosawa

bmk j a c k: no…actually, i realyl havent watched too much kurosawa at al

Him: i see

Him: he is a good director

Him: I recommend his works.

bmk j a c k: ill watch some time

bmk j a c k: i was gonna go to video library

bmk j a c k: but it was 1101

bmk j a c k: at the time…it jsut closed

Him: also there is a movie titled sea by see

Him: Regarde la mer (1997)

Him: that’s the title

Him: translated as “See the Sea”

Him: 55 min. long French horror movie.

Him: incredibly effective with camera angles

Him: no background music whatsoever, just the visuals to scare you

bmk j a c k: i know one of the video stores downtown has TONS of stuff

bmk j a c k: foreign stuff i mean

Him: Francois Ozon….an interesting French director

Him: See the Sea is definitely interesting.

Him: short and effective was my impression

bmk j a c k: oh ive heard of ozon actually

Him: he is the one who directed “Swimming Pool”

Him: which, I am sure, is being played in Ritz theaters

bmk j a c k: i heard his previous ones were much better

Him: really?

Him: 8 Femme?

Him: Under the Sand…etc etc

Him: they are all interesting

bmk j a c k: havent watched them…. i was trying to watch a lot of the better foreign films

bmk j a c k: but i could only keep that up until may

bmk j a c k: then i had less and less time

Him: yeah…well, it’s summer.

bmk j a c k: true – and i spend the time i have at the pool or the beach

bmk j a c k: haha

Him: good time to check out movies that are interesting

Him: hahaha

Him: although, my cinematic sensibilities may be different from yours

bmk j a c k: true – but i enjoy a lot of those foreign films

Him: I devour all types of cinema, but, I have a thing for foreign films

bmk j a c k: i watch a lot of dramas

Him: yeah..they are cool

bmk j a c k: and ive found the foreign dramas are usually a little better

Him: yeah

Him: Well, just to list a couple of movies I have seen over the years (foreign ones)

Him: Il Postino

bmk j a c k: good one

Him: A Taste of Cherry, by Abbas Kiarostami

Him: Cinema Paradiso, by Giuseppe Tornadore

bmk j a c k: oh i relaly want to see that last one

bmk j a c k: i saw it in video library last nite

Him: Breaking the Waves, by Lars Von Trier

bmk j a c k: and wanted to rent it

Him: yeah..that movie’s good

Him: one of the best foreign films

Him: Lola Rennt, by Tom Tykwer

Him: All About My Mother, Talk to Her, High Heels, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, by Pedro Almodovar

Him: and yes….

Him: Abre los ojos, by Alejandro Amenabar

bmk j a c k: i saw Talk to Her

Him: and Y Tu Mama Tambien, by Alfonso Cuaron

Him: yeah…Talk to her was somewhat disturbing

Him: kinda freaky, actually

bmk j a c k: it was kinda strange…after it was over, we just sat for 5 minutes in silence being like…what the hell?

bmk j a c k: i have to see y mama tu tambien some time

Him: it’s good

Him: the thing about foreign films is

Him: they are refreshingly free from stereotypes…of all kinds.

Him: very open spirit

Him: even when they portray stereotypes, they are not forced

bmk j a c k: and the things that happen aren’t Hollywood or even compromises witht eh Hollywood spirit

Him: most American films have set-formula

Him: yes

Him: I mean, for instance….think of ten movies that came out big on box office this year

Him: mostly super-hero movies, where the triumph of the good is a very likely outcome

Him: they are mostly eye candies…which I don’t mind, actually.

Him: since I see all kinds of films

bmk j a c k: when i want eye candy i go, expecting eye candy

Him: but….foreign films are different

bmk j a c k: yeah

Him: Finding Nemo was good, though.

Him: so was…..Matrix Reloaded?

Him: they better make that sequal and LOTR sequal good, because if they don’t

Him: I will be so angry

bmk j a c k: i KNOW

bmk j a c k: haha i was aware you like matrix reloaded a lot

Him: oh

Him: just curious to see what happens next, that’s all

bmk j a c k: im really interested too

Him: I believe in the layered virtual reality theory

bmk j a c k: LOTR was really good

Him: some people believe in simple super-hero theory, though

Him: so we will see what happens next.

Him: yes

Him: and it will get better

bmk j a c k: but it’s only a one time watch

Him: have you read the book?

bmk j a c k: i watched it again and lost allt he charm

bmk j a c k: yeah

Him: yeah…definitely

Him: I tried to watch Two Towers again..and

Him: I just couldn’t watch it

Him: several times it was ok

Him: but then after fifth time

bmk j a c k: haha 5th time?

Him: it started to be oddly uninteresting

Him: yes

Him: so..that would be more like 8th time

Him: because I watched it three times in theaters

Him: I mean..movies like Office Space or Big Lebowski

Him: you can watch it over and over and over again and still not be bored by them.

bmk j a c k: haha, yeah

bmk j a c k: i need to buy big lebowksi some time

Him: good movie

Him: “Do you like sex?”

Him: have you seen that one? Big Lebowski?

bmk j a c k: yeah ive seen it

bmk j a c k: its hilarious

bmk j a c k: but the last tiem was 8 months ago

Him: it’s oddly funny. not the best Cohen brothers movie…but

Him: it has that weird charm.

bmk j a c k: the weird lasting charm

Him: I miss having it on my comp. I erased it sometime ago.

Him: yes

Him: Cohen Brothers…they are awesome

Him: I haven’t seen their recent efforts, though…

Him: Barton Fink, Oh Brother Where Art Thou? Fargo…

bmk j a c k: fargo was great

bmk j a c k: but def not the same movie that big lebowski was

bmk j a c k: isnt it the Coen bros, not Cohen?

Him: yes

Him: Ethan and Joel

bmk j a c k: did you see the Man who Wasn’t There?

Him: oops…Coen. not Cohen.

Him: also Hudsucker Proxy and Raising Arizona

Him: their good works….I stopped watching their movies since Man Who Wasn’t There..which I thought was boring.

bmk j a c k: i liked that one actually

Him: oh

Him: yeah it was still a good movie

Him: but compared to other ones, little slow

bmk j a c k: it was, but im used to slow

bmk j a c k: dramas are always slow

Him: speaking of good directors..

Him: Francis Ford Coppola

Him: have you seen Apocalypse Now or the Conversation?

Him: the latter is not well-known to people, but…it’s a splendid movie.

Him: splendid was not a good word….excellent movie

bmk j a c k: back….my housemates came back, and now theyre goin out AGAIN

bmk j a c k: have seen first half of apocalypse now

bmk j a c k: it was pretty good

bmk j a c k: but havent got the energy to see the whole thing

bmk j a c k: but have not heard of or seen the Conversation

CD: That’s Every Word I Said

All-American Rejects – Swing Swing

Phantom Planet – Recently Distressed

Good Charlotte – Boys and Girls

Yellowcard – Cigarette

Better Than Ezra – I Do

Ataris – I’ll Remember You

Phantom Planet – Anthem

Verve Pipe – Never Let You Down

Count the Stars – Taking It All Back

Better Than Ezra – Misunderstood

Offspring – The Kids Ain’t Alright

All-American Rejects – Cigarette Song

Ataris – My So-Called Life

New Pornographers – The New Face of Zero and One

Phantom Planet – So I Fall Again

New Found Glory – Dressed to Kill

Eels – Saturday Morning

Yellowcard – Rough Draft

Matchbox 20 – Last Beautiful Girl

MXPX – Chick Magnet

Yellowcard – Star Struck

All-American Rejects – Last Song

Her: hey dude, i saw a funny license plate today, in a parking lot, as i was picking up my brother. it was a car goin realllly slow and it had a donut tire in the back, of course, and the license said “OY VAAAY”

bmk j a c k: haha thats great

bmk j a c k: stole my idea



bmk j a c k: than there was me, romantic mood lighting, soft crooning coming from my speakers and the sexy smiles on the anatomical models in my MCAT book

bmk j a c k: and why did barry white have to die

bmk j a c k: ?

Her: hahaha

Her: well it happens

Her: even the sexy die

goin to see jason mraz with liz phair and sondra lerche on the 12th…his song “the remedy (i won’t worry)”

Her: the remedy reminds of a somewhat black rapper

Her: and sleep all day is very jazzy

Her: don’t you think?

bmk j a c k: jazzy is not quite the right word

bmk j a c k: and your black rapper? um…



bmk j a c k: dld I Do

bmk j a c k: SO good

Her: okay

bmk j a c k: “someone out there’s listening to the same song, feeling the same way that I do….”

Her: okay listening to I Do now

bmk j a c k: and?

Her: oh I like this

Her: I like I like!

Her: make me a believer

Her: pick up the receiver

Her: tell me you feel just liek I d

Her: o

Her: I do

Her: lol

Her: z

another strange guy convo

Him: quick question about my bitch…

bmk j a c k: about your bitch…haha, ok, shoot



Him: i know guys and girls are oftentimes friends, but i’m not sure about this

bmk j a c k: yo’ bitch, she know you want some tight ass from her

advice better not taken

bmk j a c k: well….its in the grey unspoken area right now

Him: yeah i konw what you mean

Him: the only way is to nail her haha

Him: and if she is seeing other guys then then you know it’s a prob

Him: but seriously why not ask her

bmk j a c k: i guess i should…but ya know the feeling, you don’t really want to know the answer

bmk j a c k: tho im sure its a no im not

Him: yeah i think you should confirm it, better now than later



Him: yeah i think you’re ok

bmk j a c k: this is what happens when you go home early and have too much time to fucking think

Him: yeah you should be drunk or stoned

bmk j a c k: im neither

Him: haha

bmk j a c k: fuck it

bmk j a c k: ill go drain off the beam in the freezer

Him: yeah seroiusly no worries

you’re so toast – i mean it, you are!

bmk j a c k: the other day, i decided im doin peace corps after i graduate

Him: good plan

Him: i’ve thought about applying

Him: it’s a sure thing, you get to go somewhere, and it looks nice

bmk j a c k: hehe, to hell with owing 60k right away every year for the next 10 years…all with the pack up and go thing

Him: exactly

yeah. what she said.

Her: what kind of issues?

bmk j a c k: the head over heels issue – it’s complicated

bmk j a c k: damn this is so much harder to handle

Her: oh no

well, i keep on thinking too much. but i tell people once in a while instead of talking to myself all the way up walnut street.

so i started two conversations with exactly the same starter…

bmk j a c k: i realized that i was really sick of the pre-med attitude at penn, and i wanted to go out doing what i wanted to do – be the one actually helping people

bmk j a c k: you don’t know how much a happy face is worth until you’re actually responsible for it

Her: it’s good ya found this out now…

bmk j a c k: and then – it’s depressing knowing i have to work for at least another 10 years to be certified for doing it

Her: ya seemed so sure of it before though…

bmk j a c k: the goal is the same, just i’m really impatient of being a wallflower

bmk j a c k: which is what penn students like to be

bmk j a c k: actually most ivy league students

Her: vivien and susan were saying the same thing…think it would help to talk to them about how pre-med prevents ya from thinking straight sometimes?

bmk j a c k: what were they saying?

Her: how ya forget everything else with just the one goal of getting to med-school. even if it means not helping others to get there…

bmk j a c k: i was thinking a lot today

bmk j a c k: i went downtown for a long time by myself

bmk j a c k: i did some mcat stuff

bmk j a c k: but decided to stay awhile and just think about what i really wanted

Her: that’s important…and seems most pre-meds i know go through it…

bmk j a c k: go thru what?

bmk j a c k: hang out on their lonesome and howl at the moon

Her: well, have doubts if they really wanna be going to med school

bmk j a c k: no, i want to… but im sorting out my reasons

bmk j a c k: im separating my reasons from my “obligations”

Her: important step…

Her: think it would help if ya talked to other pre-meds…think ya’re not alone, although that path seems like such a lonely and independent one, yaknow?

bmk j a c k: yeah that would probably be a good idea…

bmk j a c k: i know its a lonely one

bmk j a c k: its hard pretending you always know who you are and what you want

Her: it doesn’t have to be…think peops are willing to open up if they see ya open up…

bmk j a c k: i’m slowly getting there

bmk j a c k: its one step at a time, ya know?

bmk j a c k: well – there’s a hole in my life i need to fill…peace corps would have done the trick

Her: wow. so you’re looking for a volunteering effort then…

bmk j a c k: i realized that i was really sick of the pre-med attitude at penn, and i wanted to go out doing what i wanted to do – be the one actually helping people

bmk j a c k: you don’t know how much a happy face is worth until you’re actually responsible for it

Her: Wow byron- that is really encouraging to hear. you’re right, the pre-med attitude can be just more about getting places and being the best, instead of actually helping somebody.

bmk j a c k: haha it means a lot to me – but i can just hear the admissions committee: “he really wants to help people? and so do all the
billion other ivy league students applying!”

bmk j a c k: its depressing knowing that so many people have set such a bad precedent

Her: yeah… well i think that hopefully if you or anyone continues with just a true heart for helping people, and keep that in mind, that you will be able to do just that.

arrrrr, ye be pirates…

Her: and whats the deal with this infamous jen?

bmk j a c k: infamous?

bmk j a c k: ahem…?

and then…

Her: do you think cartiledge piercings are played out?

bmk j a c k: eww

Her: eww?

bmk j a c k: i would say so

Her: hahahah

Her: i feel like all these people at camp have them

bmk j a c k: double triple quadruple eww

Her: haha why are you so weirded out by the idea?

bmk j a c k: i dunno… bc most people don’t really have a reason for it

bmk j a c k: like tattoos….if it reminds you of something dear to you, then sure

bmk j a c k: but dont get them bc you just want a tattoo

Her: yeah

bmk j a c k: they look godawful most of the time and it hurts

Her: the cartiledge?

Her: are we thinking of the same thing? top of the ear?

bmk j a c k: its cartilage

bmk j a c k: yeah i know

bmk j a c k: why do you need one up there?

Her: i think they look pretty good

bmk j a c k: ehh, that’s only on people that already look pretty good, who dont really need them.

Her: wait, you’re saying a cartilage piercing only looks good on someone who already looks good?

bmk j a c k: how about makeup? if you already look good, then it enhances your features. or… you end up like tammy bakker..

bmk j a c k: so yes, thats what im saying

Her: so can i get one?

bmk j a c k: haha

bmk j a c k: i think you look just fine right now

bmk j a c k: but if you feel you relaly need it…

bmk j a c k: then give in to the dark side

Her: lol

Her: my parents would probably not like it

bmk j a c k: most parents wouldnt

bmk j a c k: if my parents liked it, i would be SO weirded out

Her: LOL

Her: my mom’s like you’ll look like some tribe member

bmk j a c k: put on neck rings one day and see what she says

Her: lol

Her: zulu!

Bullshot!

bmk j a c k: haha i was looking at my bartending book

bmk j a c k: and theres this drink

bmk j a c k: that uses vodka and beef bouillon

bmk j a c k: =-O

Her: ew

Her: ew

Her: ew

bmk j a c k: haha

Her: disgusting…

Her: what’s it called?

bmk j a c k: haha….a Bullshot

Her: hehehe

and one last…

Her: so oh my gosh, you passed out from drinking?

bmk j a c k: haha…at least it seems that way

Her: where is this dahlak place? They don’t card there?

bmk j a c k: oh passed out?

bmk j a c k: well, you know, really tired

bmk j a c k: not fainting

Her: yeah, but I know what you mean…

bmk j a c k: dahlak is on baltimore

Her: sometimes too much drinks can get to ya

bmk j a c k: gojjos is up there too

bmk j a c k: they both dont card

bmk j a c k: and yeah…haha, twice this week already

bmk j a c k: and they almost made me go today

An Awesome Night.

Posted in Personal on July 17th, 2004 by byronkho

Now for the what have I done part – yesterday, after work (the usual crap there, but it’s still fun), I went out to dinner with Rachel downtown at Marathon Grill. Now right before that, I had a slight problem. I could not get a hold of John Mayer tickets and was very upset at the prospect of having to shop for Jen’s 21st birthday present the day before – or really, the day of, as we celebrated it that night at midnight. They were the perfect present; she had wanted to go with me for a long time, and I though it would be funny to give her both of the tickets and tell her, when she asked, that “I was hoping you’d ask me to go.” Oh well. I looked for tickets and online stores were selling them for 85 bucks cheapest. That is way too much. Well, back to the problem. I was thinking of shopping for the present that night, but I assumed that everything closed at 7 pm, which was true upon closer analysis. I went with Rachel downtown – we walked all the way – and then to Marathon Grill, where I saw Andy, my next door neighbor. We laughed a little about how I see him everywhere and it was either I was following him or he was following me. The restaurant turned out to be cheap and great – I have to go there more this year. I had some good grilled BBQ chicken with spicy fries, and a whole lot of salad and something else – what was it? I can’t remember, but it was great. Well, Kathy calls me while I am in the restaurant and so does Jen. Jen asked me if I was coming out with her to go celebrate; her friend Amy was in town from Pittsburgh.

Anyway, I felt really bad about having to call Kathy all the time when I was about to go out… Well, I put a hold on that and called Jen and laughed with her for a while, and said I was coming back. Rachel and I walked all the way back to campus – I also got a hold of Mike and asked him to come along, as this was her birthday thing. I called Kathy and talked to her for a while, but I had to go after Jen was like – we have to leave, like, right now and hurry up, and you’re talking to a girl, aren’t you. Haha…all these little mind games (oh, and that one is on the DL too).

Russell was there with Maya and so was her Penn boss and her brother, and me, Amy and Mike. I talked a lot with Amy and Mike and Jen’s boss’s brother, who is 22, works at Penn and lives in Center City. I was SO flirty…maybe it was the alcohol’s fault. We went down to Dahlak where I had a shot of bourbon and then a Mind Eraser and a Long island Iced Tea, which all went down pretty quickly. Mike had a beer; Jen, Amy and the brother had Long Island Iced Teas. Russell and Maya I think also had Long Island Iced Teas – which all ended up on my tab. Ouch. Well, I got really really drunk and ended up walking home with a lot of support from Jen and Amy. I was pretty up with it until they went upstairs and I already wished them good night. After that, I ran downstairs and gagged a little and then passed out. I woke up on time, but was drunk, so I ended up going back to bed and missing work altogether. I could have gone a little bit, but how was I to explain away being drunk? Better to miss the whole day and put it down as a sick day. Hehe, but that’s the way things go in the real world… everyone knows the truth but you can never come out and say it straight out.

Today I went out to a half lunch with Amy, who is a really interesting person – then I prepared the rest of my present to Jen. I made her two CDs that I think she really likes, a book named Jennifer Government which is really funny and also Goodnight Moon, the bestest kids book ever. I got her and Amy both single red roses, both in perfect bloom. The best part was that the whole thing – which she was so excited about – cost…oh, I better not say. But it is safe to assume that it definitely looked 10 times more than what I shelled out for it all. I went to silly MCAT class and got bored to death with orgo, and then came home where I worked and then talked to Jen and Amy for a while – they went out to Simsum and had a bottle of wine. Jen obviously was drunk or at least pretty tipsy, for she was swearing – which she doesn’t do when she’s sober. Cute quirk.

One night, I went to a party which she had said was jumping – her friend Martha’s party, who is in Empty the Shelters. This happened to be a kinda fundraising Empty the Shelters party which was kind of lame. It was never meant to be an actual party, I don’t think, and it was mostly “lame” because we didn’t know anyone. I ended up talking with Martha and Jen for most of it, and then Ash came, whereupon we basically headed back home. I talked to her a lot – sometimes we just walked in silence but she seemed to understand things even when I didn’t say them.

The one night when Ash’s cousin was around, I went out to a party at St. Elmo’s (earlier in the day, I went to a party at a house on Spruce with Assad and his friend) after we had pregamed at the house. I was doing really well there, and then Jen came down with Jen Pope…JP is kinda loopy, in a good way. I remember going out to Philly Diner with Alanna and seeing Leo, and Jen went down to this other party. She told me that she wanted to leave real soon, and when I got there, I figured out why. It was all dirty frat guys drinking bad beer and playing beer pong with no music, and a really nasty smell of manure or something else.

Some before events: opera in the park, Scoop de Ville, kiss at the Green Line. Sticking tongues out while entertaining parents – couldn’t help but laugh.