Thursday, October 27, 2005

Trying to look smart?

It turns out that one in three consumers polled in London admit that they bought books "to look intelligent." And that few actually read the books they buy.

When did reading become a matter of social appearance rather than a wonderfully enjoyable escape?

And what does it say about me that I was seen by dozens of people yesterday when I was reading Poetry Magazine?

Jessa Crispin uses this information to give guys advice on what to be seen reading. Funny stuff.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

a little bit of a rant

I did hope not to use this blog as a forum for ranting, but sometimes you just have to let it out.

As an Asian-American, I'm subjected to a lot of stereotypes. Now, while the actual number of comments has diminished through the years, the fact that I still hear them remains a source of a lot of incredulity. Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks this. James Yeh has this hilarious little commentary on stupid things people say to Asian-looking folks. And while you're at it, check out his blog. Good stuff.

I have had three proposals from complete strangers. Hello!? We aren't all mail-order brides looking for a way to stay in the country. Some of us were born here and actually speak without accents. Imagine that.

Advice: We (Asian-Americans) know that we look "exotic" and sometimes your curiousity is ovewhelming. Go ahead and ask what our background is, but please don't ask, "What are you?" My standard reply is "Human," or "Female."

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Literature for the mind

A friend (whose opinion means a lot to me) recently recommended I read The Brothers Karamazov. I was never that interested in Russian literature and maybe slogging my way through War and Peace didn't help.

I stumbled across this marvelous article about Apostolos Gerasoulis, the mathematician behind the search engine "Ask Jeeves." It tells a great deal about the creation of and ideas behind the search engine, but the one part that stood out for me was the following quote:

"At first, he was a pretty bad student, until he discovered the principle of abstraction in the stories by Dostoyevsky."

A nice thing to hear about for those of us with a mathematical and literary bent.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

New gadget!

I'm not usually much for gadgets, but I recently received an iPod nano for my birthday. (Yes, it wasn't long ago.)

Heh. No wonder the Apple users are such fanatics. This gadget is easy to use and great for my walks and workouts. Plus, I get the added benefit of seeing people eye it with envy. (I want an Apple computer, too, but that will be years away...)

I've already loaded 117 songs on the thing, and am deciding what part of my large CD collection I want to add. Heh. It seems I can never have too much Steely Dan.


Friday, October 07, 2005

We pause for this baseball note...

It's not easy being a National League fan. Neal Pollack thinks so, too.

"I'm an old-fashioned National League purist. I stand firmly against the designated hitter and believe that NL games are more sophisticated and interesting. Even during the prime juice years of McGwire, Sosa, and Bonds, there was still a pitcher hitting ninth; baseball isn't baseball without the double switch."

Monday, October 03, 2005

Needed a laugh...

And I got one.

I couldn't stop laughing at Gene Weingarten's article...


Sunday, October 02, 2005

A Cask of Whine

Busy busy times for me -- pardon the hiatus. A few notes:
  • My baby brother turned 40 yesterday. Happy birthday, David! We'll be the same age for a couple weeks now.
  • I confess I could NOT finish A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. I read so many rave reviews and had friends recommend it. Heck, even the gal at the bookstore waxed rhapsodic when she saw me buying it. But I'm sorry. I found it extremely self-absorbed and so full of self-congratulatory cleverness and Gen-X-brand angst, that, after 100 pages and many derisive snorts and rolling of the eyes, I just gave up. I didn't even find the writing particularly catchy. Sorry. I just couldn't do it...
  • The Giants are out of the playoffs.
  • And maybe I'm just having a bad week, but does anyone else actually find this funny? (Really... I am easily amused, usually.)