Don't Shake the Flask

Because you don't know if it'll explode

Month: February, 2002

Look what I got from Yahoo! Geocities in my inbox:

Beginning April 2, 2002, we will no longer provide FTP access as part of our free home page service.

I don’t want to pay their $5/month fee. This means that I will be moving this blog to gamalei.net in the next few days, just when I changed the layout too! So update your bookmarks, if you have any.

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What is the appeal of television shows like Friends? I hear people talk about the characters’ lives like gossip. They can’t wait until the show comes on; they have to watch it or their whole world would collapse. Perhaps people are voyeurs. They would rather watch imaginary people squabbling among themselves than tackle their own personal problems.

Maybe a more accurate anology would be life trying to imitate art. The executives planning the show probaby think that it reflects how hip people are currently living. In reality, people are trying to imitate the hip people on television. It must be part of the reason why they’re so obsessed with shopping for the perfect clothes or with their own relationships.

If an association with these characters was viewed more as fantasy than reality, we wouldn’t be stuck with growing superficiality. People would stop anguishing about how other people perceive them. And I would stop rolling my eyes in exasperation.

Sleepy References:
Dream Central’s Online Dream Dictionary
Prophetic Dream Dictionary
Dream Dictionary: The Meaning of Dreams
Oxygen Dream Dictionary

Three-year-olds have all the fun. They get coddled by grown-ups, taken to interesting outings, and goggled over by strangers who think their innocent antics are cute. They don’t have to go to school or work. They don’t have to worry what to do with the rest of their lives.

Toddlers also don’t have to put up with people’s irritating quirks. They can say, “Your breath smells bad”, and get away with it. Tantrum throwing is also tolerated and rewarded with a sparkly or tasty treat.

I wish I could revisit those toddler days when I could ignore pesky things like lunch table taunts and complaints about the weather. Everything would be less ambiguous. I wouldn’t have to struggle with understanding the hidden meanings behind jeering subterfuge.

Amusing:
Romantic Chinese Spook Test. It’s actually more like The Exorcist than a quiz.
Eisenhower White House Claimed Phobos was Artificial Structure. I wouldn’t be surprised if the current administration believes the same thing.
Which Gashlycrumb Tiny Death is yours? I am most like Kate who got struck by an axe.

The new version 1.3 is my Ruysch layout. I could have kept the astrolabe but decided that Frederik Ruysch was a better metaphor for this site and blogging in general. While Ruysch breathed life into his specimens with wax, I try doing the same thing to my thoughts and experiences with words.

I should have learned from earlier experience that large doses of caffeine would unapologetically wreak havoc on my system. Feeling a bit warm, I ordered a brain freeze (a cold coffee drink) from the local café. Instead of reveling in a buzzy headache, I started getting really tired. Maybe next time I should stick to the ice water.

Linkage:
Google Bombing. Nice to know there’s a way to influence search results without paying the company.
What Pattern Are You? I am tie-dyed.

There’s a meme going around. I’m not going to perpetuate it. See the top of this post. Is it an expression of post-modern nihilism? A silly prank? I’m still trying to figure out what it means although I’m suspecting it may mean nothing at all. The area code, though, is for San Francisco if anyone cares.

I’ve also been noticing how everyone is using the word snarky. At first I thought it was one of those new made-up words like wazzup, but apparently, it’s been around since 1906. Its frequent use is driving me up the wall. Once is okay, but if it’s used once every paragraph or more, the adjective loses its edge. The writing begins to sound like a diatribe from a slimy Jack Nicholson look-a-like.

On a sunny day like today (February has no business pretending to be June), I get the malicious desire to see something fall apart. I don’t want to see something catastrophic like the degeneration of a culture in Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart; I only want to see the little things that would be irritating. Take for instance the guy riding his bicycle and walking his dog at the same time who I saw this afternoon. It would have amused me to no end if the leash got tangled up in the spokes causing the bike to suddenly jam. The rider would then be thrown, scraping legs and elbows and stopping numerous go-carts that never had a real destination to begin with anyway. The dog would be unhurt, but sensing the ensuing confusing, would take the chance of chasing a passing cat into one of those grassy areas that have signs that say “No Dogs Allowed”.

Last night, I found that this site was ranked highly on Blogdex and Daypop: Hoopty-Loops. I took a look and was confused at why it was suddenly so popular. Maybe it was that picture on the right that scrambled my brain for a few minutes because of sheer horror. Yep, it’s the guy with the dorky glasses who looks like he has a fetish with licking peanut butter off phone recievers. He reminded me of the crazy dean (deemed “on crack” by the student population)–only about thirty years younger.

Why is the dean crazy? He’s been observed on more than one occasion to jump off the deep end. In his crackly French accent, he’s ranted about seeing flying fish and dolphins when there’s obviously none in sight. He’s been known to pretend to be an elephant. Once, he rambled incoherently on about the pleasures of alcohol when another professor was giving a lecture. I think it’s an act to win undergraduate affection. I personally find him intimidating and mean. Whenever I have to meet with him, he chews me up like a rabid chihuahua on a naked neck.

Interesting links:
Observations from a Weblogger. This already has too much coverage. Shall we turn this navel gazing into a scored sport? 8.9, 8.7, 9.0, 8.9, 5.0!
What Sex Toy Are You?
I’m a hot dog (a.k.a. prude).
Art Gallery Online. I love modern art. Even junk has the potential to be a masterpiece.
Digital Clendening: Rare Text Images. You have to love those torture devices they call surgical instruments.

If you have e-mail, you know your enemy. Spam. Deleting it is like shooting an annoying person with a super-soaker. Satisfying, yet ineffective. Car loans, horse riding, toner cartridges, porn, sweepsticks, jokes, cellphones, airplane tickets–you name it, they have spam for it. I should have some sort of filter for all this junk, but I’m too lazy to configure it. Besides, it’s much more fun watching “You’ve won $1 million!” getting flushed down the virtual toilet.

Imagine my surprise when I found a note from The Real Diary Critic (another gratuitous link is located in the links section) telling me I got reviewed. Wowie, I’m going to get bashed! My initial glee was dampened by the fact that I got an 8 out of 10. However, the grade was redeemed by a math error (I had too many annoying writing habits and I wasn’t unique enough making it a 7 out of 10!)

The Real Diary Critic is (in)famous for being “bitchy” and downright “honest” in her critiques of diary sites. Personally, I like that. There’s no better way to spur someone on to improvement if you’re not brutal in your assessment. If you can’t take harsh criticism, then The Real Diary Critic isn’t for you. Well, I figured a little review would be small change compared to the masochistic academic environment I’m mired in now, so what have I got to lose?

So the following is a response to the review. I’d like to point out a few things since I think reviewing is a two-way street; I’m sure no reviewer likes talking to a mute void.

This is an interesting title, which I think must be a name, but why is the SYA underneath it?

Both Syaffolee and SYA are my aliases. It’s explained under for those statistics-obsessed in the about me section.

My kind of layout, but what is wrong with making things a little bit easier to read by enlarging it somewhat?

You also forgot to point out that tiny fonts will make people squint thus destroying their vision. I don’t want to be a cause of someone getting laser eye surgery down the road so I’ll take the advice.

Why is there a link for the blog on the blog? Just curious.

It’s for a consistent layout. Actually, I was too lazy to customize every page like what I did for a previous layout.

Are her paragraphs too long or are they just squished into the small table?

They’re too long. I have yet to break the nasty, nasty habit of writing seven sentences for each paragraph (instilled in me by my corpse-like fifth grade teacher).

She tricked me by not using them on the current page, but I found loads of ellipses in the archives.

Ah, the notorious archives. I think I’ll keep it around as an example of atrocious writing. You’d think I spent my previous years super-glued to the period key.

I also found slang words like sorta, and cause as well.

Slang isn’t that bad, especially if you’re trying to convey to the reader how you speak.

I almost feel bad about saying this, but I think that the author needs to write out her entries in word format first so that she can use spell check. I found 3 spelling errors just in the quotes I choose from the blog alone. Sheesh.

Isn’t it supposed to be “chose” instead of “choose”? But who am I to judge? I miserably failed a spelling bee in third grade because I misspelled “gray” as “grey”. (Yes, both spellings are acceptable if you look it up in the dictionary, but the teachers were having none of this wishy-washy alternate spelling stuff.)

Oh no, I’m not mad about this at all, I actually have the spell-checker disabled. I have two excuses: a prof (also a former New Yorker editor) who says it’s better to look things up in a hardcopy dictionary (obviously, I’ve overlooked quite a few words), and spell-checker is a damn annoyance when you’re writing science papers and it’s auto-correcting every other word. Maybe I just need to insert “kinase”, “dimerization”, “nucleosomal”, “oligosaccharide”, and other scientific jargon into the Word lexicon.

I can honestly say I was not bored by this diary, not in the least. I loved her writing style. I even liked how it has evolved from a “daily rant” style, to more of a diary.

I’m all over evolution. No deity would have the courage, let alone the balls, in admitting it created this obviously human drivel.

I’m fed up with people questioning me about the race or ethnicity of my friends and acquaintences. Why does it matter to them whether they are White, Black, Hispanic, or Asian? And if they are of mixed origins, what particular line are they derived from? It’s like determining the lineage of a certain breed of dog to assess the animal’s temperament. Humans are not dogs and should not be treated as such.

I despise classification. That’s probably why I don’t disclose my own ethnicity, gender, or religion on applications if it’s not required.

Sort of related:
Is Metafilter a Boyzone?
Male Answer Syndrome

I’m tired of being dragged into dreams that are more like bad film classes than actually feeling like I got any rest. Either I need to do something different or take some sleeping pills.

Take for instance the dreams I had last night. One was in third person. The characters were preppy high schoolers. A guy was assigned with a girl to work on a project. He’s clueless and a bit naive and doesn’t understand why the girl was snubbing him. (I don’t even understand why, and I’m supposed to be the omniscient viewer!) Two jealous guys trick the protagonist to go to a park that looks very similar to the one where Charlie Sheen confronts Michael Douglas at the ending of Wall Street. They beat the crap out of him and call the cops to haul him to jail. People inform him that there’s no way he can prove himself innocent of charges that he assaulted the girl (even though there’s no evidence against him).

In another dream, I had ten kids. I kept wondering: Who was the father? How was it possible that I had two sets of quintuplets? How can I take care of them even though I’m a student? Needless to say, this was a scary dream because of the implied responsibility. Yeah, there are people my age who already have kids going to preschool and maybe ten years from now I might decide to have children, but right now I don’t even want to think about having mini-me’s running around.

Links with commentary:
Judge-it – It’s the reviewer’s version of meta-metablogs!
What Muppet Are You? I am Kermit.
What Color Yoshi Are You? I’m orange.
Stupid goldfish. (via Daypop) I was pretty suspicious. I thought it was some sort of script at first, but then I realized that the links were to plain html pages and soon figured the whole puzzel out. Hint: memorize all the cards, not just one.

Alpha Girl. I had the luck of being buffered from most of the superficial cattiness that “alpha girls” would have inflicted on me by my loner tendencies. It was easier to avoid the problem altogether. Also, I mostly associated with band geeks (if I associated with anyone at all) who were more concerned with getting homework done and the next band competition than the social faux pas that so-and-so did the previous Saturday.

Of course, it’s not so different in college either. People just happen to be smart enough to be a little more covert. I don’t hang out with the band geeks anymore–practically everyone I know now knows how to play an instrument–but I do hang out with chemistry geeks. But why chemistry geeks and not biology geeks? A lot of biology geeks exude a subtle snobbish air that implies that they’re better than others. It doesn’t help that half of them are going to med school. Maybe that’s why other science majors make fun of biology majors: they spend their time blowing a lot of hot air while everyone else is busy working.

Links:
The Alphabet Synthesis Machine
What Movie Classification Are You?
What Disney Princess Are You?