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December 31, 2002

Currently playing: Primitive Radio Gods

Currently playing: Primitive Radio Gods - Standing Outside a Broken Phone Booth With Money in My Hand
Just increased the rice factor of my car by 50%. *sigh*

Fortunately, the change still looks stock, the way it should have come from the factory. It'll do. Anyway, party starts at 10pm... be there!

Posted by brian at 05:32 PM | Comments (0)

December 30, 2002

Currently playing: Depeche Mode -

Currently playing: Depeche Mode - People Are People
Well, I still have to mail out one Christmas present, and I'm still waiting for one more to arrive. I hate waiting for FedEx... *sigh*

Posted by brian at 01:56 PM | Comments (0)

December 29, 2002

Finally saw Star Trek: Nemesis

Finally saw Star Trek: Nemesis tonight. Just for good measure, saw Ice Age (on DVD) too. Met more people tonight, too... and a really cute puppy. (forgive the redundancy, I know most puppies are cute) Fortunately I'm quite rational, and will not be getting a dog anytime soon-- I can't imagine keeping a dog in an apartment!

Posted by brian at 04:32 AM | Comments (0)

December 28, 2002

Currently playing: Yaz - Situation

Currently playing: Yaz - Situation (Club 69 Future Phunk Mix)
I've concluded that Weather.com's reports are useless. They said light rain/rain on Thursday, light rain/showers/rain yesterday from 12noon onward (from Monterey to San Jose!). For Lake Tahoe/Truckee, they said snow Friday/Saturday, clearing today, SUN tomorrow...

Instead, it's still bloody snowing in Tahoe... here in the Bay Area, it didn't rain at all on Thursday, Friday rained for like 20 minutes. Sheesh. I'll stick to the NOAA instead. Hopefully the NOAA at least guesses better...

Posted by brian at 01:27 PM | Comments (0)

December 27, 2002

Currently playing: Information Society -

Currently playing: Information Society - Strength
High school reunion tonight... unofficial one for class of `98. 18+, maybe up to 25... not quite sure.

Names... Winston Liaw, Ricky Tam, Rikki Nunn, Dung Ngo (vincent), Kim Le, Karen , Holly Lee, Christine Lee, Jason _?_, Justin Lanska, Jimmie Bannister, Sweeny (unsure of name), Greg Huang, Nam _?_, uhhhhhhhhh... Peter _?_ (some kinda-buff asian dude), Frank (didn't go to IHS), Nellie (someone's GF, not an IHS grad)... myself... uhh... not 100% sure who else. I'm quite sure I'm missing people.

Pictures later... anyway people, I guess we should setup a mailing list or something. :-p Shoot me an e-mail and we'll set something up.

Posted by brian at 01:43 AM | Comments (0)

Currently playing: Garbage - Version

Currently playing: Garbage - Version 2.0
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr... *$_#*(!!! GPA... ever been in one of those borderline situations before? Mine's been really borderline, and now it's got a very slightly bigger dent in it than anticipated. The problem is, I'm running out of time to repair these little dents. It'll be the difference between a 3.50 and a 3.49. GRRRR!

Posted by brian at 12:21 AM | Comments (0)

December 24, 2002

Plenty going on, much of

Plenty going on, much of it low-key. Ski trip and New Year's Eve party are in the works... well hopefully New Year's Eve is in the works. We'll see what's up. Other things, too. Christmas cards just got finished, thankfully... Christmas shopping is done (the one or two gifts late are both expected late, phew...), class schedule is looking good for next quarter, grades are as expected so far (blah blah...), I could go on, but I'd bore you, and I'd probably start making some embarassing admissions while I'm at it, too. =

Going to be gone for a bit, so in case I miss it, Merry Christmas, everyone!

Posted by brian at 01:40 AM | Comments (0)

December 21, 2002

Ooof. Grades aren't looking too

Ooof. Grades aren't looking too good this quarter, and I'm already collecting sh*t from my parents about it. =( Maybe I should go back to them, and remind them that I could always switch from 18 units to 13 units... graduate later, but get better grades. I dunno. I'm busting my *ss with work, and honestly... I ended up borderline in two of my classes this quarter, A-/B+ range, and hell, my performance (or lackthereof) has been killing me. It's frustrating to know the material, but not know how to deliver consistent A/A+ work with it. I averaged something like 300 pages/week of reading this quarter, in addition to papers, homework, and projects-- honestly, too much work for me. =(

And of course, the one GE class I end up pulling an A in, I f*ck up too, and take it pass/no pass. By the time I realize "hey I've got a solid A" it's 10th week and all I can do is petition for grading status change, which I just checked and it's denied as expected. %*_*#_@#!!! So, looks like B+/B+/B/P this quarter, which is a pathetic 3.18 GPA. (I know. Engineering... 3.18 would have me estatic!) If I had taken that one last GE for letter grade, I'd have a less pathetic 3.41, which at least looks decent. 3.18 though... ack!

Oh well. The part that really pisses me off is that I expect my major GPA to slip below 3.5 because of ths quarter. That means next quarter, time to bust my *ss in my last major class. An A grade won't be mandatory, it'll be life or death with regard to grad school. *sigh*

(not that I'm planning on grad school, so my apologies for being dramatic... but that's just how I'm feeling right now. Parents are less than totally happy with me, I'm not exactly happy with my grades myself... it's not that bad. Things are actually going quite well. It's just that grades get to be a constant pain in the *ss this winter break.)

Posted by brian at 01:11 AM | Comments (0)

December 18, 2002

Rambling... talking to a friend

Rambling... talking to a friend who's attending grad school right now, and some things have occured to me... one, that most of my friends have learned a lot in college, be it at UCLA or other schools. It's amazing- randomly pick a half-dozen people of the dozens I know, and you'll probably go from math to political science to engineering to organic chemistry. That kind of breadth is impressive in itself, and to be truly knowledgeable is even more impressive.

Two, it's that a lot of us have no idea what to do with this knowledge. It's overwhelming. A few are working good jobs right now, a bunch are in-between, and (as good news) only a few seem to be blundering around totally lost. It's the in-between bunch that worries me, or will worry me in a few months, anyway. You can't hang in the grey area of unemployement/crap-job-almost-as-good-as-unemployed too long while you wait for grad school decisions to come back to you (or even while debating whether or not to go to grad school!), and I'd hope that in all your time at school, you figured out something about what you want to do with your life before you graduated. I know some who just pushed through their majors and didn't care about the major itself, so maybe they have an extra excuse to be in limbo, but it still pains me to see friends unemployed or making $10/hour with a college degree. I know as a former engineer myself, I was getting the sweet end of the salary stick (engineering major friends have started at more than $50k/year), but everyone else... $10/hour had better damned well be a temp job!

I understand it's hard to decide what to do... we all understand, I think (not too many gifted geniuses out there, although I do know a few...)... but for the rest of us ordinary people, don't stay in limbo too long, ok?

Posted by brian at 01:15 AM | Comments (0)

Back in NorCal... Lord of

Back in NorCal... Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, is the plan for tomorrow...

Posted by brian at 12:59 AM | Comments (0)

December 16, 2002

Currently playing: unity303 - Now

Currently playing: unity303 - Now Will Never Come Again
ONE. Shooting for the first time. Joel's had a good bit of previous experience. Kimber 1911, .45ACP, I think. Kick wasn't bad. I'm pleasantly surprised how easy it is and how "normal" it felt. Me 1. Me 2. Joel 1. Joel 2.

TWO. Old pics updated. Birthday pics- Joel's birthday and then May's birthday. Links page updated.

THREE. New pics. Party by Jenni/Theary/Tutram/Hannah, thanks to Thomas for arranging the invite!

Posted by brian at 04:36 AM | Comments (0)

December 13, 2002

Mac Addicts to the Rescue...

Mac Addicts to the Rescue... or "How I Caught a Counterfeiter with a Little Help from my Friends". Wow. Great story. Sadly, far too many people out there get nailed by counterfeiters and frauds, and not nearly enough of them get caught.

Anyway back to studying...

Posted by brian at 12:17 AM | Comments (0)

December 11, 2002

Currently playing: Paul Oakenfold -

Currently playing: Paul Oakenfold - Millenium Eve
Anti-ballistic missile rocket fails test flight. The whole "Star Wars" program sort of bothers me. Not many countries can throw ballistic missiles at us, or even theatre ballistic missiles (such as the Pershing-II, now retired... or Scud), and $7.8billion a year on TMD (theatre missile defense) just strikes me as a lot of money that could be better spent. I'd rather see it go towards the F-22A, F-35, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, or even more mundane little things like training and spare parts!

Oh yeah... Rock Wall at Wooden Center is closed for the rest of the year. Boo! Sophia and I showed up today, the Wooden staff said "oh it's open at 4pm" but I guess the message from the Rock Wall staff themselves never got to the Wooden staff. DOH! Grrrrrr. A power outage at Ackerman almost screwed up my Geography 140 study group plans, too. Thankfully that went very well, thanks everyone for showing up, even the leeches. And thanks Vicky for setting up an evite, even if I never got it. (freakin' evite... )

Oh, don't scream, fellow car enthusiasts. Laugh, point, and cry, maybe... that's one UGLY Accord...

Posted by brian at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2002

Currently playing: Ja Rule featuring

Currently playing: Ja Rule featuring Ashanti - Always On Time
Ugh. Scared for my GPA this quarter. Looks like a nice solid B in English 80... where's my 4.0 going? Looks like it never happened. =( Today's final holds some hope, but given the way my TA grades, I'm not counting on it...

On the good news front, we just fired Bob Toledo as head football coach. HOORAY! (and man, these last 4 years of losses to USC have been *sstastic!)

On the bad news front, rape in De Neve Plaza. In the middle of the afternoon. Ouch. =( We're going to have to work on security here, but I think the real thing is education-- people take a very lax approach to letting people in in the dorms. Start closing doors after you, people... Something I do find stupid, though: De Neve is built like Sunset and the suites: each building has individual entrances, there is no physical way to put in a central entrance desk. Yet people want to ask for one...? Hello, are you stupid? I honestly think they're better off with video cameras at each entrance, to record who comes in and out. With a distributed entrance system it's impossible to establish a proper security checkpoint, so video cameras would at least allow people to research tapes back to identify individuals as they enter and exit. Certainly not going to stop this from happening again, but it'd be an effective deterrent. Ultimately it rests on the residents of these halls themselves, not calls for more security. One thing most people don't realize is that security can't be there everywhere, all the time.

Posted by brian at 09:10 PM | Comments (0)

December 06, 2002

F'ing hell... looks like a

F'ing hell... looks like a nice solid B or B+ in my Geography 168 class. I want an A! Solid B's on the exams are what's killing me... bust my *ss for 10, 20, 30 hours on the project and it's only worth 20% of my grade? I really don't like the point distribution here...

Ok enough whining, back to work!

Posted by brian at 11:09 AM | Comments (0)

Currently playing: Global Underground 012

Currently playing: Global Underground 012 - Dave Seaman - Buenos Aires CD2
You'd never guess from this picture that today in Los Angeles was a balmy 75F, and was 70F by 10:00AM. Around 8:40PM it was around 60F. That tells you how mild the winters have been around here-- very mild. Even us Northern California people who have been going here for, uhh, five years now are starting to get soft.

Well, ok, some of us. I don't break out the jacket until it hits the 50's, which isn't bad for a Californian. =)

Anyway... one more essay to write... then it's just finals!! Hooray!!! ... The three essays, project, and final this week have almost been conquered. Even saw a counselor today and got some of those annoying Life Science GE requirements taken care of, which significantly eases the courseload in my last few quarters here... uhoh! Only six more hours to write the essay! Crap. Back to work... *sigh*

Posted by brian at 03:18 AM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2002

Currently playing: Paul Oakenfold -

Currently playing: Paul Oakenfold - Tranceport - Lost Tribe, Gamemaster
Ok, so 10th week is currently working my butt off. Let me turn political for a moment...

CNN: Uncle Sam Wants Your Kid It's an article bitching about how high schools are now required to turn over your child's contact information to the military for the purposes of recruiting. Hell, the Federal government already has all of your identification information anyway, right? They issue the social security numbers. I don't see anything wrong here. Okay, I don't really have a problem with this, although if people find it invasive, I agree. This is what pisses me off, as a parent says: "Parents are in the dark," Alterman said. "It freaked me out. I didn't sign up to support the military effort." To that I say, how ignorant can you be? The US military is a volunteer organization who has to actively seek out new members (recruits) just like any other organization. "military effort" my *ss, if the military can't make you (heaven forbid your child) aware of his or her right to serve in the US military, then are they allowed to even make you aware of the fact that they exist at all? Not everyone wants to serve their country, but the last time I checked, people usually honor those who have chose to serve their country... I hope? Or have people forgotten the real reason why we have Veterans' Day as well as an actived armed force, too?

At least the ALCU has their heads screwed on straight with this one. Executive director Donna Lieberman said that the opt-out provision is inadequate and that schools should be doing more to protect students' privacy. Underlining added. They're not bitching about it being an unfair Federal law or anything. *phew* It's good to know that some groups still have an iota of common sense somewhere.

Posted by brian at 02:55 AM | Comments (0)

December 01, 2002

Currently playing: Depeche Mode -

Currently playing: Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! =)

10th week at UCLA now. Finals week next week. I'm happy I ate all this food, because I'm thinking that I may not have time to eat for the next 2 weeks... let alone sleep. hahahaha... well, it won't be that bad-- and yes, eating too much food sucks-- but man, it's time to get busy. (the truly sad part is... I *have* been busy!)

Posted by brian at 10:19 PM | Comments (0)