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Blog Archive: October 2003
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October 27, 2003 - the weekend,  a new conclusion
-9:18 pm: the weekend was quite relaxing... a little too relaxing in fact. didn't do anything even remotely close to school work, and didn't suffer the usual guilt that comes with such irresponsible laziness. Oh well... me feel guilty now, i'm taking a break from my super fun and exciting me104 hwk. Saturday, me and Leon did in fact go shopping for food. First we went to the farmer's market and checked out over priced organic produce. SHIET... the free samples were good, but buying the stuff would have put quite the big hole in my already shrinking budget. So instead we halled ass to Safeway, walking in the warm Santa Ana induced dry air. Nice being in a grocery store for the first time in about a month.
-After Safeway and lunch, we took BART to El Cerrito Plaza to go to Trader Joe's. I love that store with all its cheap "weird" food.  Even their produce is cheaper than chain grocery stores which is quite odd. After Trader Joe's did a bunch of nothing until we somehow decided to go see Kill Bill with Ana and Adam. Quite the adventure to Emeryville taking the F bus back and forth. The movie itself was quite crazy and a definite original. It is by far the most violent movie i've ever seen. I was wondering why it was shown so limitedly.. but that question was answered fairly easily by the violence. Despite the violence, the movie is pretty interesting and refreshing, maybe cuz i've never seen a movie done with that kinda of style. I find myself looking forward to the second installment with the same anticipation as LotR: Return of the King.
-yesterday went to the TBP-HKN semesterly bball game.... EEEE all the semester without physical activity showed up. The heat and dry air didn't help much either. We played a total of 4 games, with HKN winning 3 and us only 1... BOOOO.  This is loser talk but...at least we won one game... after the games i returned home to do a lot of nothing (mostly tv and cooking).
-i have picked up watching a new anime series from Yeh's recommendation of Fullmetal Alchemist. It doesn't take much to get me to watch an anime series... This one's has a pretty interesting premise of two teenage alchemist searching for something to help them in their alchemy. Apparently they tried to use alchemy to revive their dead mother but the "transmutation" messed up, costing one of them a leg and the other an entire body. They now seek something called the "Philosopher's Stone" (aka the Sorcerer's Stone ala Harry Potter) to help them get back their bodies to their original state. WEE WEE!
-I've been observing a lot of ppl around me taking care of what they will do after college is up next semester. Med school interviews, job interviews, fellowship applications, grad school applications etc etc.. ME? i haven't done any of it. My plan was to apply to grad school.. but that's looking more and more unlikely. I really don't think i'll get in anywhere i would want to go to, mostly cuz i've messed throughout college by not finding research. With only 5 months of solid research experience, i fully expect to be turned down by most places. Sure i have the stupid GPA and decent GRE scores, but beyond that pretty much nothing, and i think grad schools put more emphasis on letters than i would like. So i don't have 3 letters and i don't have a clue who i should ask.... My research position right now isn't even in the right field! Everything seems wrong about applying right now, i'm looking at it as a waste of money. I think i'm going to shift my plans to finding a job, even if it's a shitty lab rat position and try again in a year, when perhaps i have appropriate background in the field and more knowledge (and obviously better letters).My primary justification is since i haven't done any research in the bioengineering field, i'm not really sure if i should be pursuing a graduate degree in it.
-i'm not going to give up on pursuing that PhD... i just don't think i'm ready to try for it yet. Looking back on my days here at UC Berkeley, i fully regret not looking for those research positions earlier with more fervor. I did try to get them, but was turned down just about everywhere. I was almost turned down for what i did the summer. This thing is one thing i truly wish i could turn back the clock on.


October 25, 2003 - more board games... a plain saturday for once
-1:12 am: end of the week is always nice... hwk is all done and looking forward to weekend activities. Yeh came over last night with several of his board games and we played a game of WizWar and one game of Bohnanza. Pretty much got whooped in both games. Today we played one game of  A Game of Thrones and then Karen Lee came over and we played another game of A Game of Thrones and a game of Bohnanza (i think for a total time of maybe 5 hours of games). Games are so much fun and are pretty relaxing... especially after the long weeks of school and painful homework assignments (CE130 and ME104 were both pretty painful this week). Speaking of work, I have nothing that i have to do this weekend, after turning in the PH142A hwk a week early. I've been doing TBP stuff the past like 3 Saturdays and had the GRE week before them, so  I think i shall be spending Saturday simply at home studying and doing such fun household chores as cleaning (eeeeeeee the bathroom hasn't been cleaned in a month... becoming really gross).
-looking ahead: midterms on nov6,7 as well as TBP CM#3 on nov6. That week is shaping up to be a true bitch. Halloween next week... still deciding whether i actually want to do anything... I've never done anything for halloween the whole time up here... seems sorta wrong. I was thinking of carving a pumpkin. It's something i always did... even up to senior year of high school. The hard part will be getting the actual pumpkin; they're pretty large and heavy suckers and without a car maybe not a good idea. I wonder though if they sell them at the farmer's market? Perhaps i should check it out tomorrow....


October 22, 2003 - too long on campus
-10:27 pm: this is a simple note for my records... was on campus today from 7:50 am til 9:20 pm... i think it's a record for me, but i'm not sure. Heck not even that impressive, i'm sure EECS ppl have spent much much longer in Cory and/or Soda... oh well.


October 20, 2003 - how irritating... (CONTAINS A LOT OF CURSING)
-11:03 pm: FUCK ALL THIS... i'm so pissed off about everything and i'm really not sure why or why the stuff is really pissing me off that much. It's these damn classes,  scheduling problems, and other BS all compounding on each other causing great irritation. So basically, prof from bioe118 emails our group and says our topic was taken... OMG why didn't he say that when we talked about the project before we turned in the outline.... WORST CASE SCENARIO, which knowing my fucking luck will happen, is that we have to start all fucking over from fucking scratch. I really hope i don't explode tomorrow, otherwise people are going to see that nasty side of me and it won't go away for a while.
-i hate living in this fucking expensive ass POS apt... I pay $800 a month to share a tiny ass room in a building that seems to always be fucking under construction. Damn today they were drilling and hammering away at shit while i was trying to fucking study....... EEEEEEE i want to hurt /destroy something really badly.
-Tele-bears advising was pretty much a bomb.... few ppl showed up, and all we had were some annoying whiny candidates who just wanted to get out of there.... People were supposed to stay until 9pm, but by 8:30 there was basically no one left.  FUCKING GREAT huge success we have!!! aren't we special!?
-Walking home i really really wanted to like kick something or knock something over... pretty much spread the rage.... is this some serious problem? I think the stress of this semester is getting to me. I used to think college was fun... it was fun last semester, it's definitely not fun now. It's not fun when every little thing makes you angry...... OMG i need a punching bag or someone willing to let me beat the shit out of them....


October 19, 2003 - neck deep in sand, frigid NorCal waters, 6 hrs of board games
-1:00 am.: damn this was one damn crazy saturday. Did two things today that i would have never done a few years ago and in fact i still can't believe i did them. So saturday was TBP's semesterly beach clean up event, another service event that's pretty damn fun as well. After removing tons of litter from the beach and rocks around (there seemed to be a lot more this time than last semester), we all enjoyed our packed lunches. Except for me since i didn't bring one, although Germaine gave me some her pretty good "experimental" potato salad :).  I was digging a pretty deep hole during lunch... It ended up being about 2.5 feet deep. I dug one of the walls down to fashion the hole into a seat of some sort, then sat down. Everyone wanted to bury me... so i started the collapsing the walls in. Soon everyone joined in to help bury me, and eventually i was literally neck deep in the sand.  Wow... the weight of the sand actually made it hard to breath; i was taking pretty damn small breaths while the others finished their work. We got a group photo with everyone standing 'round and a bottle on the top of my head.
-Running into and swimming in sub 60 degree water was definitely a lot crazier. I came prepared for it and so i really didn't mind, plus i had to get that sand off. It was a little scary because the waves were pretty high (~5-6 feet). We (Amar, candidate Greg and me) ran into a receding wave and then another came up. It started draggin me away from the coast so i had to literally swim in order to avoid being pulled out to sea. Wednesday night i wanted to die, but not then...  Needless to say, running willingly into and almost drowning in that cold water was definitely one the crazier things i've done in life.
-After pictures and the like, we played a little game of Ultimate Frisbee (i guess to practice for upcoming EJC tournament). Our game was interrupted when Amar and Greg managed to force poor Cindy into the water too. Haha,,, one girl definitely had to go in.  We left the pretty beach (Montara State Beach) after the ultimate frisbee game.
-Returned to Berkeley and watched the tail end of Cal-UCLA game... BOOO we lost damnit... Oh well, can't really expect much from the football team. The USC upset was sweet enough already.
-After the game, Leon and I headed to Yeh's to play a couple of board games. We played one game, The Game of Thrones, for 4 hours. It's a game based on a long novel, taking place during medieval kingdom era. Basically each player was in charge of a kingdom, with the goal of capturing 7 cities or having the most cities at the end of 10 turns. Fairly straightforward game, that only takes long because of the great deal of thinking that has to go into each turn and the long time it takes to resolve everything. I came in tied for 2nd with Leon, with Yeh winning of course. After that game, we played the "bean-game" (Bohnanza) which is far less thinking and involves much more luck and negotiating skills. I think i came in last place both times... but the game is fun enough for it not to matter... I really enjoy the negotiations part of the game, just cuz it gets ppl talking and engaging.
-That saturday will be pretty hard to beat in terms of fun. It was definitely a nice break from all the chaos of school work, and was sorely needed. It's just too bad that reality must return on monday...


October 18, 2003 - week's end vers 2.0
-12:09 am: deep into the semester, i think we all find ourselves deep in crap. Damn last week was too crazy. Two midterms, two particularly hard homework sets and a TBP candidate meeting made the week pretty hellish. Surprisingly all of them went well, given the fact that they all took something away from each of the others.
-The PH142A midterm was, as expected, one retarded POS. Damn that "test" was so easy that the average was like 93.8. I've never heard of an average that high before. If he were to grade on a normal curve, it wouldn't be possible to get an A. After that test, i spent monday afternoon trying to complete my ME104 hwk, which was much harder than it normally is. I guess systems of particles are really not my thing
-tuesday: Bent polishing, lab, TBP officer meeting, CE130 hwk, bioe studying.... one VERY crammed day. -wednesday: bioe bioe bioe
-thursday: MSE/BioE118 test was not as hard as expected, but still pretty hard. I really don't know what to expect in terms of score. They graded the homework sets pretty harshly, so i'm assuming that the tests will be graded equally hard, if not harder. I came out of the test in some sorta of weird relieved but worried feeling. After the test was done, the week was pretty much over in terms of school. CM#2 for TBP went very well, although i'm not so hot about having to recycle the mini scavenger hunt from last year. If i didn't have those midterms, i think we could've come up with stuff that was more interesting. OH well. Overall the meeting was pretty good. It was kinda short, but many candidates stuck around and socialized; we even got a couple of nice performance challenges. We've definitely got a bunch of aggressive candidates this semester and it's great to see. I definitely would not accept a performance challenge....
-friday: fridays are always good... only two hours of class, not much to stress about. After the both of those, took a nap to recover then went bowling at 4:00 with Leon, Dave, Daniel, Ana and Adam. As usual i sucked :)  (bowled under 90 in both games)
-i just got back from TBP fun activity "poker night." Didn't play much poker.. i was too wussy to play with actual money :p. Pretty fun watching other ppl play though. I thought that the game night was much more fun, mainly cuz we got everyone to play together instead of splitting up. Also, it was just too bad that only 3 candidates showed up today.... we've already got a few candidates who are in trouble in terms of event attendance.
-looking ahead to the weekend: Beach clean up tomorrow!!! yay!! another community service event that is a lot of fun. Unfortunately, not many candidates are signed up to go... i think we're definitely going to run into problems with the service requirement. For sunday, I'm debating whether or not to go to the E-futures session... i technically didn't sign up, so maybe not a good idea to just show up. Last semester it was that event though where i got to get to know a lot of the candidates from last semester. What's holding me back is that it's E-futures , i've already been to that particular module, and that it lasts from 1:30-5:30... 4 hours of precious sunday homework time...
-as promised at the beginning of this semester, this blog has become very sparsely populated with entries. My life is as chaotic as it sounds and thus i give this thing pretty low priority. It only gets updates either when: 1) i miraculously have some free time (rare) or 2) i'm avoiding something else. In fact right now, i should be doing some kinda homework but obviously i'm not.... SIGH it's only going to create more stress for next week.


October 12, 2003 - weekend's end...
-11:18 pm: damnit the weekend's over. it was a good one though, well at least yesterday. Had a lot of fun selling soda and stuff at the Blue Angels show in SF yesterday with the TBP peeps. I did the same exact thing as last year; i was in charge of putting the drinks in the ice water to cool, freezing my hands to death in the process. It is surprisingly fun work for being so repetititve and mindless, but i would definitely hate it if i had to do it everyday. After we were all done it was time to head back to the reality of berkeley and like last year, it took us quite a long time to get back. Unlike last year, however, we got back with a bit of daylight left. We enjoyed pho for dinner, then i headed to apt where i've been stuck since about 7:45 pm last night. Pretty much on and off studying of biostats ever since (of course with a large 9 hr sleep break lol). Sigh i should get back to studying, especially with that buttload of bioe118 to read...


October 11, 2003 - week's end...
-12:33 am: another crazy week in my life ended yay. Last week was definitely not as bad as the week before but it definitely had its fair share of high stress points. Friday was a particular pain courtesy of the Engineering Alumni Society. They decided to hold their november 4th board meeting in the Wozniak lounge during our scheduled 3rd candidate meeting. Of course, we can't like say no to the Dean.. so i spent today searching for a room replacement. i tried bechtel first, but didn't realized how much of a pain it actually is to reserve. We ended up not only having to move the date but also moving the room. At least it's all settled.... i really hope no other society tries to steal anymore dates and or rooms.
-i spent quite a bit of time sitting in 220 Bechtel by myself doing my biostats hwk waiting for lagger candidates to turn in packet... WEEEEEE... at least it was somewhat productive. In the end 4 more candidates turned in stuff in time to bring the candidate total to 67.
-Tomorrow get to volunteer at the Blue Angels air show in SF!!! yay! it was like my favorite activity from pledging TBP last fall. Selling drinks while watching the blue and gold jet fighters is pretty hard to beat.
-Next week promises to rival the hell from last week. Two midterms, candidate meeting, and the full complement of ME104/CE130 hwk to deal with.  Really sucks that stressful weeks end only to give rise to other stressful weeks. I am so taking it easy next semester damnit....


October 8, 2003 - random entry; closure on the California Special Recall election
-11:01 pm: there is perhaps nothing better about the blog than it being an excuse from having to do your real work... Actually i have most of my hwk for the week done (except for statistics) so truth be told i'm really just bored.  monday and tuesday were ok i suppose. Monday got the CE130 midterm back did pretty nicely (1.8 standard deviations above mean). That was good and was pretty much expected. Got back ME104 midterm on tuesday and that was bad.... scored about average on the test, which is pretty much failure in terms of my standards. I seriously blame being sick that day which caused me to not think so clearly. Bleh. I have my work cut out for me to salvage the grade in that class. About the only good news from the class was the professor accepting that homework i forgot to turn in on friday.
-two midterms next week. PH142A ought to be easy, but i've learned not to underestimate any midterm... (oi that being said i should probably study for it). MSE/BioE118 looks to be like the much much harder midterm and i have a feeling the whole class will probably get raped by it. Seems like few have really kept up in the class (i certainly haven't). Class is too boring and people seem generally dissatisfied.
-now on to this joke of a state known as California. Unless, you live under a rock (which of course means you probably aren't reading this since there isn't internet access under rocks...) Mr. Schwarzenegger was elected governor of the "great" state of California by a surprisingly large margin. It is very discouraging to see that so many Californians seriously believe he could possibly do a better job than Davis. But perhaps they see something that neither I or the vast majority of the Bay Area see. Examination of voting by county revealed that the Bay Area counties overwhelmingly rejected the recall while Los Angeles County narrowly rejected it. The election was swung by the other Southern California counties, in particular Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, Orange and San Diego counties. All of those counties were in substantial majority for recall. While i'm pissed that we have such a political amateur at the helm who probably has no idea what shit he's in for, i do have some hope. Maybe, just maybe, this whole recall bullshit will finally bring California out of its funk, and the state will be restored to its long passed glory. Called this reserved optimism i guess.
-The bright side of the election was seeing that so many people turned out to vote!  I believe the turnout was somewhere around 65%, which is extraordinarily high for an American election, especially a non-presidential one. I just hope the numbers stay up for next year's important presidential election.
-Final Election Results: (source: California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley's office)
Recall: Yes - 55.4%, No - 44.6%. Replacements: A. Schwarzenegger - 48.7%, C. Bustamante - 31.7%, T. McClintock - 13.4%, P. Camejo - 2.8%. Proposition 53 (infrastructure spending): Yes - 36.1%, No - 63.9 %. Proposition 54 (racial privacy initiative): Yes - 36.1%, No - 63.9%. Approximately 8 million votes cast.


October 4, 2003 - Tilden Park BBQ, the perks of being a registered Republican, Bball Tix
-2:27 pm: The BBQ went pretty well today, except for the fact that my desparate plea for drivers was unnecessary. We had about 8 no-shows which gave us a big excess of rides instead of a deficit. Yikes. 22 candidates showed up, which means that there should be what 40 at the pancake breakfast!? That seems like trouble waiting to happen... The BBQ itself was pretty good; Brian got escape his role as the usual BBQer as another officer (the very motivated indrel chair James) and a candidate (named Peter BTW) did most of the BBQing. The highlight of the BBQ was seeing how many people were mesmerized by burning lighter fluid on the ground. James attempted to make a bent shape, but was stopped by Brian. There was this big old circle of 20 young Cal Engineers surrounding the incomplete flambeau of the bent, staring as if they've just discovered fire (WHAT THE HELL WERE WE BBQing WITH?!?!) WOW... pretty telling indicator of what we engineers and engineer-wannabees (read: bioengineers) consider exciting stuff. I was pretty disappointed at the end when everyone just seemed to leave... we were only there for about 2 hours. We kinda started a football game, but once people started leaving, everyone decided to. Oh well, i'm pretty bad about controlling large crowds (can i even control anyone!?). I console myself with people wanting to go to the football game, although i don't think many actually were.
-now on to the perks of being a registered Republican voter. I got a call from Arnold!!! LOL, although a freakin recording. Pretty weird to hear the voice of the Terminator on your answering machine, pleading with you to follow your convenient Republican voter guide and vote for him. Looks like he's gonna win at this point, barring some miracle out of  Sacramento. I think this state is in for an interesting ride, most likely disastrous. Schwarzenegger's campaign slogan is "Let's Bring California Back." Seems like a reasonable promise, if we're going back to the stone age or something.... If anyone is interested, they could come over and listen to the message hehehe.
-W00t! 2003-2004 Cal Men's Basketball tickets went on sale today!! I got mine already!!! I can't wait to go crazy in Haas Pavilion. It'll be the first athletic events i'll have ever gone to, so i'm really excited. I need to find ppl to go with though (TBP ppl no?)


October 3, 2003 - the week ends at last!!!
-8:49 pm: what was one of the most hectic weeks in my life has finally ended!! It more or less went well except for a couple things. Being generally negative let's start with those:
-messed up a bit speaking at the first candidate meeting: see prior entry
-screwed up one problem on ME104 midterm
-forgot to turn in ME104 hwk!!! FUCK THIS PISSES ME OFF THE MOST

-CE130 was not as difficult as expected... although i probably shouldn't talk before getting it back graded
-62 TBP candidates and counting!! YAY good turn out with candidates today. Perhaps a few more laggers though.
-BBQ tomorrow! I hope we don't run into problems with the football game at 2.... Hopefully they won't close the roads and stuff until after we leave HMC
-during packet turn-in, cleared up something about ground-hogging actually being prairie dogging...
-non-academic stuff: It's looking more and more like Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the governor of this lovely state by the end of next week.... AM I EXCITED OR WHAT!!!!!! FUCK NO, what an embarrassment to the state that has become the laughing stock of the country. People in foreign countries probably think we're weird too (aren't we...)
-Short entry cuz i'm pretty tired now, and i want to either sleep or watch anime....


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