Archive for January, 2006

Grand Central Station (26 Jan 2006)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Gand Central Station (26 Jan 2006), originally uploaded by J Y.

At Grand Central Station, NYC on our way to Hamden, CT.

From left: Colby, Sam, Alan, me

I’m quite sad about having lost the scarf pictured here…  I simply left it in a subway station when the train arrived just as I was shuffling my various coats around.  *sniff*  I probably won’t be able to replace it.  The only consolation is that I bought two very similar wool scarves last year, so I still have one in red/gold tones rather than the earth/gold version I lost.

Tomorrow, another start

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

I’m glad to be back in my room, which smells of apple candy and cranberries.  *happy*


I hope I find classes I like as much as the ones I took last semester.



As promised, I’ve posted that second essay I wrote for Justice that my TF liked a lot, which was very gratifying.  It’s an essay about racial profiling as an anti-terrorism police strategy.  My thesis is that racial profiling is not wrong on prima facie grounds (ie the idea itself is not unjust), but rather that it is the actual mechanics and execution of racial profiling that determine whether the policy is morally acceptable or otherwise.  Read it here.

At McSorley’s Old Ale House (31 Jan 2006)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

At McSorley’s Old Ale House (31 Jan 2006), originally uploaded by J Y.

One of the oldest Irish pubs in New York City, and pretty good beer too. They only serve two kinds–light and dark–but both were very good 🙂

From left: Jon, Sam, me, Ricardo

Intercession was fun, though not terribly relaxing. I brought six books along, and read about 60 pages of one of them. I brought three netflix DVDs and saw none of them. I made a shortlist of about a dozen stores I wanted to visit and made it to about five of them. So overall I didn’t get to do quite a number of the things I wanted to do.

On the other hand, the Dins got to sing at three concerts and had about seven hours of rehearsal. We also saw two spectacular shows (Sweeny Todd and Altarboyz) which must be seen to be believed. All of us got to spend lots of time together in apartments, museums, bars, restaurants and on the street, which I enjoyed a lot. It was nice to get to know the other Dins better, all great guys in their own way.

Stop, Pause. Rewind.

Wednesday, January 25th, 2006

I’m done!

My research paper was just a little past the deadline (hopefully the professor won’t notice), and shorter than I’d expected (about 30ish pages of text), but it’s done, and I enjoyed writing it.  Perhaps I’ll post it at some point when I get the paper back.

The Justice final went ok as well.  It was reassuring to think that my TF (*heart*) would be grading my paper rather than some random person who doesn’t know me at all.  So thus ends another semester.

In a couple of hours I will be off to New York for the week.  The Dins are spending intercession in the city, rehearsing, singing gigs, the usual.  I’ll update when I can.  If not, Happy Chinese New Year!!  (29th January this year, I think).  I’ll try and be in Chinatown at some point.  Hey, it’s the best I can do.

Family, I miss you.  Happy Chinese New Year to the Chews in Nevada City too. *waves* 
I  miss you guys, Malcolm and Forrest!

See you in February 🙂

Terse by necessity

Sunday, January 22nd, 2006

Lots of news, lots to say, lots to do.  No time.

Last three days of finals…  and I’m desperately trying to finish my Ec research paper, and study for Justice at the same time.

Good news: (a) got a good second paper grade for Justice.  Will post essay at some point.  (b) got extension for research paper till Jan 24.  Which explains why I’m still writing.

Less-good news: (a) mournfully unsatisfactory paper/final grade from MIT class.  Am saddened and rather shocked.  I thought she liked me/my work – she offered me a research assistant position! (b) overall grades (ie gpa) very mediocre and essentially unsalvageable.  Worse, my concentration gpa is considerably lower than my overall average. Grrrr.  (c) am scared for rest of final grades for this semester.  If there is no correlation between effort/ability and grades, then how am I going to do?  *anxious*  (d) not enough time to finish writing aforementioned research paper due on 24th.  (e) not enough time to study for final exam on morning of 24th.  Aaaah!

Am pretty communitarian.  Would like to type block quote from Sandel that really resonates with me, but must get back to studying.  Now.

Advance Style Notes F/W 2006

Tuesday, January 17th, 2006

How annoying.  Right when I really need to be completely focused on schoolwork, the F/W 2006 menswear collections are being shown, starting with Milan Men’s Fashion Week.

Purple is the new black.  Camel is a close second.  Otherwise the dusky pallette of the mid 90s is coming back.  (The colors inspired by smoke and shadow, glass and steel that Janine and I called “contemporary” at the time.)

I was right about large lapels.  Next fall we’ll see them in fur.  Maybe even on cropped jackets.

Skinny ties and loosely fitted pants continue their revival.  You won’t see me in any of the newly volumous pleated pants, of course.

Subtle military-officer accents are everywhere.  Think 19th century Prussian cavalry or 1930s air force.

The vest is definitely back.

Raf Simons for Jil Sander votes for the dropped shoulder.  I vote no.

I was right about the large carryall.

Back to International Law.

Monday morning once more

Monday, January 16th, 2006

Today is a busy day for me, in the tradition of Fall semester Mondays.

It is now nearly 9am.  I have spent the last four hours writing about the principle of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CDR) in international law.  Technically I’ve been working on this paper since before midnight, but I’ve only really been focused since about 4am.  The only good thing about working through the night (which is the new daytime for me) is that although you work incredibly slowly, it all seems very normal and very peaceful.  The downside is that I eat tons of junk food (slice of cheesecake – 250KCal; the remains of a pack of spicy trail mix – 350 KCal; an entire pack of sour mentos – 240KCal), and my complexion tends to suffer (although this might be more from the junk food than from the screwy sleep cycle).

Time to get dressed and go to breakfast.

At least both my French papers are complete – final editing after breakfast and they get turned in at 5.30pm, a day early.  I’m also pretty close to finishing my Gov paper; I foresee the real challenge being the inevitable struggle to fit three more big ideas and a conclusion into one page.

PS: It turned bitterly cold yesterday.  In fact, a whole bunch of condensation froze on the inside surface of my closed window the night before.  And the forecast says that today will be even colder.  *brrr*

PPS: Last night I ended up watching DH in the Quincy gym while seated uselessly (and not very comfily) on the rowing machine.  Why?  Because there were Quincyites watching tennis on the JCR bigscreen and others watching the 24 season opening (2 hours!) at the Grille.

I’ve got sunshine

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Such a beautiful day outside.  Such a beautiful week, weatherwise.  Right now it’s warmer in Cambridge (52F) than it is in San Francisco (48F), which makes me happy.  Especially compared to two winters ago, when at times in January it was colder in Cambridge than at the North Pole.

I need to get back to work.  Or rather, start work for the day.  Eek.

Caution: Academic-in-training

Monday, January 9th, 2006

Unbelievable.  I’m actually done with my French paper.  Right on schedule.  And about a week before the deadline.  Can you believe it??  LOL.  And it’s even slightly less anaemic than I thought it would be – I wrote about six and a half pages for the 6-8 page guideline.  You have to understand that at one point I was worried enough to resort to inserting three full pages of pictures to try and bulk the paper out (this reminds me a bit of the City paper I wrote for the same professor last year, and that ended up being pretty long on its own anyway).  Fortunately the pictures actually gave me inspiration for more stuff to say (mainly because I had to justify their existence and make them seem relevant).  So now the paper is about nine pages with pictures 🙂

The bad news is that I am not one bit closer to fixing my totally out-of-whack sleep cycle (thrown into disarray by going to California and taking random naps all the time there).  Each day since I’ve been back I have gone to bed at progressively later and later (read: more and more perposterous) times.  A couple of days ago it was 4.30am.  Yesterday it was 6.30am.  Right now it’s almost 7am, and I’m thinking I should just go to breakfast…  mmmn.  Breakfast.

Presently I’m really excited about this idea I have for an independent Reading/Research class I want to design for myself.  The inspiration is mainly from an article I happened to come across in some copy of the Annual Review of Anthropology while I was doing work for my research assistant job.  The abstract caught my eye because the article (“The Anthropology of Tourism”) seemed both relevant to the French paper I was working on (the one I just finished writing), as well as just very appealing on a personal level.  I’ve always been fascinated by marketing and tourism and the environment (hey, I’m studying ESPP and I’m a college tourguide!).  So when I read through the article it really made me tingle with excitement (which is always such a good feeling) and motivation to learn more.  In short, since the college somehow doesn’t have any real course offerings on the subject (apparently it’s quite a new field of study), I’m going to try and put together my own class exploring the anthropology of tourism, based on some of the many syllabi I manged to download from other colleges.  *tingle*  (Apologies to the various people who’ve heard me prattle on about how exciting this is to me – Supinda, Andrew, Woj, Doug, XW…)

In other really geeky academic news, I’m really happy with the reading I’m doing for the research paper I’ve decided to write for my Libertarian economics class.  In the past twelve hours I’ve read possibly fifty articles from a huge variety of sources – the Economist, PubMed, JStor, National Geographic Magazine, UNAIDS, the WHO, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, Malaria…  so very exciting!  I hope this paper turns out well, at the very least in honor of all this extra research and reading I’m doing.

Ok, it’s past 7am now.  I should start getting dressed, and by the time I’m done the breakfast grill will be open.  Omelette time!  🙂

Style notes, S/S 2006

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

I’ve gotten a couple of requests since the last time I did this, and so having (miraculously) completed my very-low self-imposed workload for the day (two pages of French), I’ve written up a couple of my random thoughts about the style and fashion outlook for men.  Enjoy.

Everyone knows that the big fashion news for Spring/Summer 2006 is that black is back.  But no one’s quite ready for a return to early 90s austerity, so darker shades will be contrasted with livelier accents, like how Hedi Slimane sent Dior Homme models down the runway in all-black ensembles with electric-hued ties and razor-thin suspenders (which I think are just impractical enough to be incredibly fashionable and infinitely desirable).  Personally it seems really quite obvious and intuitive that having been introduced to vibrant colors, men are not quite ready to abandon the freedom to wear lime green and light pink.  Putting their bets on more serious colors are designers like Miuccia Prada, Christopher Bailey for Burberry Prorsum, and even the traditionally color-fabulous Dolce and Gabbana.  But my favorite designers are those who are bucking the somber trend, which seems particularly sensible since the Spring/Summer is typically characterized by lighter, brighter clothes anyway.  Menswear highlights include Tomas Mier’s energetic work for Bottega Venetta, the ever-reliable house of Missoni, and even V