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Petals to the Wind

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:: 2004 22 January :: 11.29 pm

Happy Chinese New Year!

Angela's Ashes is one hell of a depressing book.

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:: 2004 22 January :: 12.40 am

So I'm pretty sure no one watches the Apprentice. I'm blogging about it anyway. The Weasel got kicked off! Yay!!! But now I have no one to hate on the men's side. I hope the women start losing now, to rid some annoying personalities on that side.

The Apprentice is the new Donald Trump show that featured 16 contestants, 8 men and 8 women, competing for a one year contract as president of one of Donald's (aka the Hair) companies for a quarter of a million dollars. For now, the group is split into 2 teams, guys against girls, and assigned identical tasks each week. The winning team gets a small reward, like visiting Hair's apartment (bleh, very tacky) or dining at a super swank restaurant. Thus far, they have had to operate a lemonade stand, and construct a marketing ad for an airline service. This week, they had to barter for specific items all over the city. Interesting tasks that will increase in complexity and actual skill eventually, but for now, the contestants just have to show sound common sense and judgment. Good study of group dynamics and power plays with a bunch of type A personalities, worth sticking around for.

It's fun watching reality shows with a group of people. American Idol, the Bachelorette, the Apprentice, Survivor...

Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan
Forrest Gump
Ever After
Sweet Home Alabama

American Pie Wedding!!
Someone like You

Currently reading: Angela's Ashes

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:: 2004 18 January :: 9.53 pm

The honeymoon is over with Alias. It's generally a bad sign when I'm contemplating if the last act of the show was good enough to justify sitting through yet another 5 minute commercial break. I no longer hold high expectations for this show, with last week's episode burning the last speck of hope.

The "big" reveal of Lauren being an evil bitch was an obvious attempt by the writers to save a failed character from the get-go. NO seeds were planted to subtly telegraph this plot advance. When the writers realized that the fans were not embracing this character, partly because she was Vaughn's wife and partly because she's not the LEAST bit intriguing as a character or commanding as an actress, they decided to do an about-face to somehow justify her presence. This was a poorly executed pile of stinking shit.

The other revelation of Sydney's lost years, that she was a double agent with Kendall, was boring. Really, really boring. This showed used to be about shocking surprises and thrilling developments, but what was lacking here, and from this third season in general, is scope and depth. This Alias-verse used to resonate much more warmly on so many more levels; there was a feeling that characters lived and plots were in the works off-screen as well as on. Now, the pace stutters scene to scene, and when one scene is flat, the momentum just dies. I attribute this to the lack of complex protagonists and antagonists. Sloane, the most brilliant villian in the history of television, is not doing anything these days. His presence has diminished. Irina's gone. Will and Francie are gone. Sydney's life, which used to have SO many powerful forces, is now focused solely on the CIA and this damn annoying 2 year lapse. There is little at stake, and frankly, I just don't care anymore about what happens next. There are so many jewels planted in the first two seasons waiting to be unearthed, but the writers are choosing stupidly to focus their efforts on contrived, useless plotlines instead. There is no texture to the show anymore. The dialogue and action feel so thin.

So, after deciding last week to downgrade this show from diehard to consistent viewing and severely lowering my critical standards, this episode was an improvement. A vast improvement. One of the best of the season, but that's really not saying much. I think watching this show without commercials will lower my annoyance significantly. I liked the Syd-Vaughn interaction, although the writers will never recapture the tension of season 1, which was what they were aiming for with this whole trite marriage plot. This romance is a sinking ship, and they are doing everything they can to save it. If only their efforts were more subtle. "You are my life" is hitting me over the head with a frying pan.

Lauren. I would feel for you if you had any credibility as a character whatsoever. But you don't. The writers obviously want to work the wife-as-traitor, marriage is a sham parallel, but you're not conflicted like Irina, and you're not strong or attractive like Irina. And I don't mean physically beautiful, but in presence. Lena/Irina emitted this magnetic pull everytime she was onscreen. So commanding, powerful, enigmatic, and fascinating. Lauren is such a lightweight, a feather that wouldn't dent the fresh snow outside my window. Out this bitch, get her openly working for the enemy, because this restrained double agent thing doesn't work for such a weak character. It did for Syd, not for you. A complete, utter failure.

I like Isabella Rossellini's Katya. I like the actress' delivery, and presence. She can stay. The thought of her being a love interest is a bit squicky (is Jack going to work his way through all three sisters eventually?), and she's no Lena Olin, but she adds drama, potential, and interest to the plot, things I desperately, desperately need. She needs to come back before I stop investing.

Jack. Has a potential storyline! Cheers, Jack! I didn't detect sizzling chemistry between him and Katya, but I can swayed. Great. Now that I like her, the writers are going to dump her forever. The last scene was cute. Excellent, really. She needs to come back later.

Sark's crotch. Is a character all by itself. Heh. Heh. Heh. I wonder how David Anders feels about a camera shot devoted solely to this part of his anatomy. But me.... I had almost given up on this character. Sark, that is. Not the crotch. American accent is cute. I know GBK won't approve. ;) For the love of god, please do something with this character. I can't believe there is no fallout from losing Allison. Isn't he mad? Sad? Anything?

Bomani needs to return. What was the point in introducing him? Sloane needs to do something interesting. His arc has lost momentum. Vaughn's still useless and pussy-whipped. Dixon who?

In other TV news, the Apprentice ROCKS. We've got a Weasel, a Bitch, Assorama, and a couple of likable contestants, including Kwame, the Harvard MBA cutie. Anyone watch that show? It's a businessperson's wet dream.

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:: 2004 12 January :: 6.16 pm

I'm feeling extremely happy right now, so I thought I'd blog about it before it went away. Happiness is quite rare around here. It's not like I'm depressed or unhappy, necessarily, but there are moments when I am acutely lonely, discontent with the lack of intellectual company in academic and social environments, and they occur more often than I would like. So, since I'm in a good mood, I'll record this for future reference.

A large reason for my improved mood is my marketing report mark. My assignment was returned today, and I knew that beforehand, so naturally, I was tense the entire day because I didn't know exactly how it was being evaluated. It was based on such an unstructured, ambiguous case from which very little could be extrapolated to compose that report, but I tried the best I could, and the 85 was highly satisfying. Remember that this Business 020, the only course I care remotely about that is also perceived as one of the toughest on campus. (It's not that tough at all.) Relative to my other marks, Business will be the lowest by far, but that 85, along with the identical mark from my finance exam, is the proudest accomplishment to date. I was truly expecting something horrendous, like a 70 or even 65, but was extremely pleased with my mark. Like usual, I procrastinated to the day of to write this report having worked out all my content the night before, so I was rather panicked heading into my class today. It turned out well, but I'll make an effort to improve on my habits this semester. Really, I'll try.

I started reading LOTR today, finally, and the act of picking up a book, my first since the holidays, also gave me great satisfaction. I was trying to relax before my Biz class, so I thought the Shire would be a good place to visit. I'm also headed to the library downtown tomorrow, and I have a massive book list to plough through. Reading can also be taken as intellectual company, and I'm turning to it increasingly as a major hobby, to stimulate my mind when the university is not.

I'm not as uptight about marks this year, for the first time in 6 years. This university environment is not like that of high school. where every fraction of a percent matters. I still calculate maximum possible final grade after I receive each grade, but in my mind, anything over a 90 is gravy. Sure, I want the distinction of being top in the class statistics, and I finally know what that feels like, but I know that law school will really only pay attention to my Ivey marks, and that these two years are a qualifier for that program. So really, anything over an 80 is truly a bonus. It's nice to finally not have to worry about every last percent. Sure, I was pissed that the 88 in MIT meant a loss of my 4.0, but it's not going to matter to grad school once I enroll into Ivey. It's a nice security blanket to have.

I was unhappy at the end of the break to return, simply because I could truly receive a better education though film and literature, and intelligent discussion with friends. I griped to my parents, and anyone else who would listen, answered in the negative anytime family friends asked about my studies. On campus, I get incredibly lonely sometimes, very restless, questioning the purpose of being here, and complaining about the lack of value of class. Sometimes, I'll see someone walking on campus who looks like one of my high school friends from a distance, and I'll get sad that they're not here. Calculus at 8am 4 days week and MIT 025 at 9am 3 times a week make me dream up inventive ways of killing myself or the prof to end the agony. I simply don't need to attend these classes, but my parents didn't pay 12,000 dollars for me to skip class. I'm sure they didn't pay for me to relearn everything I've been taught at an inferior level, either, but for the purposes of this discussion, we'll set the value of attending class over that of sleeping in, ok? ;)

I realize that despite my perpetual griping, I'm incredibly lucky that I even get the chance to receive a sound education. Here I am, complaining about how I'm too good for class and the general student body (yes, I realize I sound like an enormous asshole when I write that), when my mom never had a proper grade/high school education because of the Communist revolution in her youth, and that my dad went to work after high school in order to support his four sisters' education. Despite that, he managed to build a highly successful company, save up enough to retire early and move his family to Canada, AND support my education and travel opportunities wherever I decide to attend.

I'm complaining about an overabundance of free time, and the fact that I can basically ace a test by studying the day of. Isn't this what I've always wanted through high school? The time to actively pursue any whim or passion without effect on school work? To not continually feel inadequate and chase after the perfection I'll never attain? These two years are going to be the last time I'll be regularly relaxed and unoccupied, free to study extracurricularly, sleep over 8 hours a day, and not stress over anything related to school work. With this thought, I present my 2004 resolutions:

Attend most of my classes (heh, most, NOT all)
Read (history, philosophy, classical and modern literature, become less ignorant)
Study English grammar (it's interesting, really, and it'll separate me from my peers in the quality of my language and image)
Study for my LSATs (head start on my peers)
Read ahead in Business, study career options
Improve my French
Exercise weekly

There have been so many times when I would feel down, despite knowing that people are truly suffering in this world, and my main goal this year to become more appreciative of what I have and be a happier person.

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:: 2004 5 January :: 6.56 pm

you are seagreen

Your dominant hues are cyan and green. Although you definately strive to be logical you care about people and know there's a time and place for thinking emotionally. Your head rules most things but your heart rules others, and getting them to meet in the middle takes a lot of your energy some days.

Your saturation level is higher than average - You know what you want, but sometimes know not to tell everyone. You value accomplishments and know you can get the job done, so don't be afraid to run out and make things happen.

Your outlook on life can be bright or dark, depending on the situation. You are flexible and see things objectively.
the html color quiz

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:: 2003 27 December :: 4.10 pm

I think I've fallen in love. Yes, I know the writer's a woman. At this particular moment, I do not care.

Read it, learn it, love it.

I did not know all the rules she mentioned, but I do now. Bless her.

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:: 2003 20 December :: 4.40 pm

Oh my goodness, ROTFLMAO:

Of course a full review of the movie is coming soon, but let me watch it a few more times to be able to sum up my feelings coherently. I'm planning a viewing on Sunday, tomorrow, at Richmond Hill Silvercity. AND, sometime over these two weeks, I need to go to an IMAX screening. Anyone one know where? Thanks.

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:: 2003 30 November :: 9.50 pm

Good ep.

So, tmx is now a tailor, DA is a first wife. HAHA. I'll let you decide if that's a step up. Bravo on the Season 1 recall, and correcting me on my grammar. I mistakenly thought it was conditional. Perhaps I, too, need to read this Coles book. :)

So, good Alias ep, but in the end, very very little was revealed, only that Lazarey is not dead (yay for SarkDaddy! Family confrontation should be explosive) and something funky in that room. Sigh. Nice moments, with the assassination request, random 60s room, and St. Aidan cake, but seriously? I'm ready for some spectacular reveals if you are, writers.

Very intriguing to watch. I LOVED the process, but again, the payoff is very small. You make us wait an entire ep to open that room, and then you DON'T show us what's inside? Talk about a letdown! I really miss the eps that were just jampacked with kickass stuff. We've had very few of those lately. Where's the mind numbing adrenaline rush? Explosive secrets revealed? Drumming my fingers here...

The previews made the Lauren thing more intriguing than it really was. Too bad. I had hoped she was evil. I guess I'll just have to settle for Lindsey's evil, then. Very interesting seeds they've planted, with the "I know your endgame, Sloane" and whatever Syd's got on Lindsey, but for fuck's sake, would someone just tell us something already?! But great dilemma for Sloane; I'd like to see how he deals with this.

Nice Jack/Vaughn scene on the airplane. "I used to think you were spineless." "Has that opinion changed?" "No." And then Jack smiles!! Ahhhhh!!! Jack smiled!!! Jack smiled!! The eyes crinkled and the lips curved up!! WHOOOOOO-HOOOOO!! Virgin expression for Jack Bristow!! I really like this little relationship. I hope we continue getting these moments.

I loved Syd's smack on Lauren. Good girl!

No Sarkie! I think I'm going to cry...

Dixon got something to do! Sort of...He's got some gorgeous kids, though.

I LOVED the random segues. Fantastic transitions, so creative and surprising, awesome wicked job writers. Sydney had so many hairstyle changes. I loved that this ep was so free to go anywhere, and that the journey was twisted, foreign, and so unclear. We're not likely to get an abstract like this again anytime soon, so I really enjoyed the tangent from the usual missions. Applause! HOWEVER, I wanted more reveal, dammit. NOW!!!

Loved the Syd kissing sequences. Heart breaking. And hot damn, was Vaughn looking good or what? Although I wonder, how did he find time to shave this episode?

So, good ep, not great, and I'm still waiting...

Next week: WILL!!! OMG, WILL!!!! HI, WILL! Will and Syd get their freak on. Oh, and some sniper thing, too....

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:: 2003 30 November :: 12.51 am

So I haven't gotten around to reviewing the episode. I'm doing it now. I know y'all have been waiting with burning anticipation. Snerk. The business with the stalker should be over. I do think he's fully aware and perhaps wary of my distaste and disdain, and will cease his attempts to contact me in any form, save for the perfunctory passing "hi." Son Of a Bitch.

Onto a happier note. I think I'm now part of a sisterhood that will never, never break. I didn't think, being the shy and emotionally distant person that I am, that I would make connections with people here, much less pseudo sisters in such a short period. We've exchanged the I love yous, braided each others' hair, bitched about boys, and invented a chant. I'm very happy here, in my suite, with my girls. Thank goodness I love my home, because with the incredibly easy and useless classes, crappy quality of the general populace, and my constant thought of "Why am I even bothering?" at least I have something to be grateful for. So yay! :)

So Alias. I didn't post immediately after episode because I spoke with two of you, and because I felt that this hour was bascially filler. They threw Syd in jail to break her out, and avoid forwarding the plot ANY. That said, it was well made, well written filler, with some great moments, and hence I will put in the effort. Besides, I believe people have some ladder climbing still to do. :)

Things I liked (thought I'd maybe switch the order, heh):
- the 3 stooges mission. Syd's men out to save her ass. Funky music, very Ocean's Eleven, and Jack's grudging re-acceptance of Vaughn. "You're starting to like me again." Hee! That was cute.
- Sloane. Deserves a new dash because of his hilarious attempt to mindfuck with Vaughn in the underground power-whatever. AND, for being the best written villian with the most complex human layers EVER. I SO want to believe in his salvation/redemption speech, it's nuts. Maybe he's got a heart of gold! Deep, deep, deep, deep down.
- Just like Sark! Heh, maybe not. Speaking of Boyfriend, he was absent! What's the shit about Sarkie-poo being in ALL the episodes this season? It's WRONG. That's already TWO absences, not to mention a number of just cameo appearance. Sigh.
- The prison mate. Oh, evil. I LOVED it. Nice bit of continuity from FIRST SEASON. I love you, writers. Remember? Trivia: When was this first mentioned? Syd's tendency to empathize with fellow capturees? FIRST SEASON. Which I think we've ALL seen by now. And, what was the prisoner's son's name? Trivia: Talk about the prisoner's alias and occupation. Fantastic actor. I believed him, against my better judgment.
- Jack. Dude, I wish he were MY SpyDaddy. Trivia: what grammar tense did I use in that sentence? Who knew he had such a stash? So brutally efficient. LOVE.
- The use of Marshall. Sparingly is not a bad way to use him, because too much, and he grates on my nerves a bit.

Things I disliked:
- I'd like to advance the plot now, please. Seriously, we're 8 episodes in, and all we've learned about the 2 years is Sark's daddy was killed by Julia, and Simon and Julia had some hot sex. And Julia had the sweetest hardwood floor in a gorgeous apartment in Rome. And freaky tubing dreams. Faster, now.
- Dixon. Trivia: how many lines did Dixon have this episode?
- Lindsey. Is an ass. Fine, at least he's evil. Maybe that'll make him interesting.
- Lauren. Snore. A generally ill-conceived character who takes up valuable time.
- SARK. Baby, where are you?

Not too much to complain about. Now for TONs of trivia.

Syd's electroshock. When was this last used on her?

Jack and Sloane's exchange: "I told you, Jack, that someday we'd be working together again." Paraphrase. When did Sloane tell Jack? During Season 2, describe exchange.

How did Emily die again?

When was the first time Vaughn and Jack worked together to save Sydney? Season 1.

That's enough. I also got my Business exam back, finally, and I received an 85, which is apparently a very high mark, so I won't gripe about that 8 as the tens digit. Sigh.

It's technically Sunday, so happy Alias Day!

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:: 2003 23 November :: 1.09 pm

I'm very very bored. Happy Alias Day!

tmx - seamstress
DA - apothecary

(1) name - Jennifer Garner. I wish.
(2) piercings - none.
(3) tattoos - none
(4) height - 5'2"
(5) shoe size - 6
(6) hair color - black
(7) length - long
(8) siblings - none

(9) movie you rented - I dled Pulp Fiction
(10) movie you bought - Two Towers (yay!)
(11) song you listened to - Fatboy Slim Check it Out Now
(12) song that was stuck in your head - Dido White Flag
(13) cd you bought - don't remember
(14) cd you listened to - Corrs
(15) person you've called - My mother
(16) person that's called you - mother
(17) tv show you've watched - Queer Eye
(18) person you were thinking of - friends in general

(19) you have a bf or gf - no
(20) you have a crush on someone - not really
(21) you wish you could live somewhere else - yes as in away from Western, no as in if I had to be here, then this is the best
(22) you think about suicide - yes, I've wondered, I think most people have. Doesn't mean I'm remotely suicidal, doesn't mean I've contemplated it :) I'm a happy person! I swear!
(23) you believe in online dating - NO
(24) others find you attractive - yes
(25) you want more piercings - yeah, I think I'm ready for earrings :)
(26) you drink - no
(27) you do drugs - no
(28) you smoke - no
(29) you like cleaning - yes, I really do. Suitemate's influence. It's therapeutic, and a good way to procrastinate
(30) you like roller coasters - never been, don't want to
(31) you write in cursive or print - both, mainly print
(32) you carry a donor card - no

(33) long distance relationships - for, if it;s worth it
(34) using someone - no
(35) killing people - against
(36) teenage smoking - against
(37) premarital sex - I'm not necessarily for, but I'm not against
(38) driving drunk - um, what kind of question is this?
(39) gay/lesbian relationship - for
(40) soap operas - against

(41) food - asian, Italian
(42) song - Possession, Sarah McLachlan
(43) thing to do - movies, hang out, work, good conversation
(44) thing to talk about - nothing, anything, everything
(45) sport - figure skating
(46) drink - Smirnoff Ice. Kidding! Hot chocolate
(47) clothes - pjs, all day, everyday
(48) movie - Good Will Hunting, LOTR, Jerry Maguire, Life is Beautiful, Finding Nemo, too many!
(49) band/singer - Sarah McLachlan
(50) holiday - this year it's Christmas - longest vacation

(51) ever cried over a guy/girl - no
(52) ever lied to someone - most definitely
(53) ever been in a fist fight - no
(54) ever been arrested - yes. Triple homicide, but I got off due to a legal technicality. Or, you know, NO.

(55) of times I have been in love? none
(56) of times I have had my heart broken? none
(57) of hearts I have broken? Hm. It's not zero, amazingly enough.
(59) of boys I have kissed? none
(60) of drugs taken illegally? Crack, ecstasy, pot. Or, maybe, none of those!
(61) of people I would classify as true, could trust with my life friends? I couldn't really answer that. Several.
(62) of people I consider my enemies? none.
(63) of times my name has appeared in the newspaper? Probably none.
(64) of scars on my body? Many small ones.
(65) of things in my past that I regret? I couldn't count them all. Not too many, but a good number of small, small things.

This Alias had better be good. As good as the OC was on Wednesday.

I tried to teach some people bridge yesterday. Um, one person seemed to get it pretty well, the other two? Not so much. Sigh. My search for smart people continues. At least I know 3. That's enough for a table.

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:: 2003 18 November :: 10.04 am

So, it was time for my MIT 026 course evaluation today. I had a bit of fun.

"A complete waste of my time."

"I did not arrive at university expecting to revert to juvenile, 8th grade research projects, but it seems I was mistaken."

"My spent time in this course has prompted me to intensely dislike MIT and change majors next semester."

Short of fuck you, and bite me, I think I got my displeasure across.

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:: 2003 17 November :: 10.41 pm

Best. Episode. Of the OC. EVER.


I love Seth. I love him. He's AWESOME!! Adam Brody? He's AWESOMER!!! That was the funniest episode ever. That was such a well written episode. Better than some of the crap we've had on Alias this season. My goodness. Fox. A prime-time soap. Who knew?! This is some good crack.

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:: 2003 16 November :: 12.53 am

I've just come back from likely the most boring semiformal EVER. NO ONE I knew was going, and everyone who did go knew everyone else extremely well, because it was basically only the AEO floor that went. BORING boring boring. I've never missed my friends more. EVER.

The residence one on Thursday and the CAISA one (the Asian club) had better be AWESOME.

Speaking of AWESOME, the OC this week was AWESOME. And, Seth....Ooof! Seth's getting some action. TWO girlfriends, dude. But everyone knows he's my husband. Hear that, Summer and Anna?

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:: 2003 11 November :: 3.17 pm

Roses are red. Violets are blue. I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.

Hee! Cracked me up terribly today. Sorry, I know you don't understand. That's ok. I got it off a link.

Forgot to blog that we're learning about blogs in MIT 026: The Most Boring and Useless Class on the Entire Fucking Planet, and Oh, Also Known As Introduction to Information Retrieval. We're learning. In class. About. Blogs.

I saw Princess Bride over the weekend. FINALLY. gbk, I think you mentioned that last year as a rec? It's GOOD. I put all my cynicism and sarcasm into a nice little drawer when I watch kid movies by Pixar or stuff like the Princess Bride. Awesome. I'm so in love with this movie. It's got everything: action, humour, magic, mystery, romance, evil and good. Yay! I think I would have adored this movie as a kid, but better late than never.

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:: 2003 11 November :: 12.00 pm

gbk, dude, I LOVE the OC. It sucks in a very very good way; that it's got cringeworthy sometimes, and the plot is all about dating and shit, and its. SO. GOOD. Seth. *lovesick sigh* He's getting some action nowadays, hee! It's nice have 2 completely different shows to obsess over: heavy, angsty, full of subtext Alias, and fun, light, campy OC. Except that OC still has layers and breathing characters. I like the parents a, lot too. And the actors (with the exception of MarissaBot) are very good in their roles. I even like Summer! And Julie rocks as the uberbitch. And Adam Brody just rocks. Ben Mckenzie's very good, too. As long as you don't have high expectations, it's addictive.

I think Lyon's Den is getting cancelled. It's at death's door. I agree with what the critics have been saying though, as I voiced my opinion to my mom during the second episode: too much courtroom case drama. The different, and good aspect to this particular show is the sexy intrigue within the firm: the partners' secrets, the "suicide" and the mystery with that conglomerate tech company. L&O, the Practice, and even Judging Amy more than cover the courtroom stuff. Sigh. Too bad.

I finished my layout, finally. It's been sent off to the printers. I have yet to rewatch Sunday's ep, but will do so now.


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