December 12, 2004

Survivor: Vanuatu

The initial tribal council tonight was pretty cut and dry. With Chris' immunity victory, it was only logical that he would vote out Eliza over Scout or Twila. Chris is thinking ahead - Scout and Twila have enough enemies that he'd rather be in the final two with either of them over Eliza. Chris would likely get the guys' vote, and the women would probably be split along gender/loyalty lines.

However, I don't like what Chris has been doing these past couple episodes. He seems to be copping a bit of an attitude, as well as lying unnecessarily best online trading platform and making potential enemies on the jury...this could come back to bite him in the ass. But I've been rooting for him since he got stuck struggling against Ami's Estrogen Alliance after the merger, so good luck to him.

Now onto the next phase...

A pretty cool final immunity challenge. An interesting take on the endurance challenge (which seems to be the usual type for the final challenges), both in its difficulty and aesthetic appeal. The three contestants standing in the Foxwoods Indian-like warrior pose atop wooden stumps on a beach on some Godforsaken isle - not bad television, CBS.

Scout dropped out pretty early, which wasn't a surprise at all. The banter between Chris and Twila was pretty good, too, as they were trying to get each other to drop out. Twila actually put up a solid effort, but now it's up to Chris to decide who gets to go with him to the final two, and it's actually up in the air at the moment...

So Chris took Twila. I was leaning towards his doing this, although he seemed pretty unsure leading up to Tribal Council. Breaking down the votes on the jury, it seems that Chris definitely has an advantage over Twila, barring any irrational emotion or poor judgement on the part of the jurors. Sarge and Chad will be in Chris' corner (testicular solidarity), as will I think Ami, Leann and Eliza (dislike of Twila for a) breaking up the Estrogen Alliance in the first place and b) for being a flat out bitch for a lot of the endgame). Julie is something of a wild card...she'll be mad at Chris for lying to her the night she got jacked, but she seems level-headed enough to judge between the merits of Chris and Twila. I think Scout will go with Twila, but who knows.

Wow. A lot of emtional sparks flying at Tribal Council tonight. I hope Chris doesn't suffer from the BS and lies he pulled - which were completely unnecessary! I believe that anything goes within the game, because that is an implicit part of the game. Things like honesty and integrity are priceless in the real world, but lose a lot of value in the game. I think that a fair judgement of a player's ability has to include the practical value of his winning the game based on any lies/deceit he may have used. But anyway...

What was with that liplock between Scout and Chris? Shocking.

Chris took it home. Congrats to him, I think he played the game very well - stuck in the "old men" alliance early on, managed to escape getting voted off after the merger, took advantage of the strife among the women and won immunity when it mattered most.

Probst is the man. His entrance to the reunion this season was pretty impressive, with the machete-chopping through the jungle to the plane, the skydiving into the desert, and the hopping onto a hog and riding that thing all the way to Tinseltown! This guy has a great gig - he puts in a few hours of work every six months, gets to poke fun at and incite half-crazed contestants on his game show, and sits back and collects obscenely fat checks.

This show has remained the great "reality TV" show after several seasons because you cannot script this sort of drama. The show's premise couldn't be any more contrived - 18 people stuck in some exotic locale for 39 days, denied all the comforts of civilization, all but the most meager of subsistence, forced to participate in intricate physical and mental challenges, then forced to vote out one of their own based on any criteria - but it's nevertheless "real" in the sense that these participants are Joes and Janes off the street, not actors in a 30-minute sitcom or hour-long melodrama with canned dialogue and overdone plotlines.

Granted, we see only 13 or so hours of cleverly edited footage from these peoples' stay in the wild. But when these people are left without all the trappings of society, their true character shows through. Interaction is reduced to bickering over menial tasks at camp or discussing game strategy; real world concerns are left by the wayside - or at least marginalized. The social hierarchy that develops is fascinating to watch, and the smallest incidents and comments cause such melodramatic denunciations and soapbox tirades that it is simply captivating television.

Here's to next season.

Posted by MRhe at 09:31 PM | Comments (0)

"He has a real nose for football!"

Stupid NFL commentators.

Interesting game today. The Pats' defense looked pretty bad, interceptions (including one returned for a TD) notwithstanding. They gave up nearly a million yards and more to the point, 28 pts. To the Bungles! Yeesh. They were able to get the W, thankfully, although it wasn't very pretty.

The game had a strange feel to it. Early on the 7-7 tie had all the makings of a struggle, and then the Pats scored 14 points. The game entered a comfortable zone for the first half, then the Bungles' D became more effective and the Pats continued to yield ground and points to Cincy. In the fourth quarter it was 35-28 all of a sudden, and I started worrying about the fact that it was now a one TD game.

The good thing is that the offense did actually look very pretty. Brady was airing it out quite a bit, and managed to somehow complete a pass while lying on his back. I expected Dillon to have a much bigger game, but as long as the Pats can exploit their opponents' secondary like they did today then the air attack will remain a deadly weapon.

Now does this mean I actually have to root for the Jets to beat Pittsburgh? How distasteful. I don't care; just bring on the games. Might as well start the playoffs up next weekend given the Pats' remaining schedule...

Posted by MRhe at 06:56 PM | Comments (0)

December 09, 2004

Rebuilding


I decided to try to make my page pretty - got to choose from some templates and so I chose "Squash" - but everything is oddly centered now and I don't particularly like that. I don't know enough about this thing to know how to fix that though, either.

For now it will stay because I like both the color and the name "squash" and that's reason enough for me.

Posted by rollergirl at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

Ciao Baby

So I've never had a blog of any sort before - but seeing as I'm looking for exciting ways to procrastinate (and my standard for exciting is fairly low right now), I thought I'd set it up. It might be a while before I'm inspired as to how to atually use it though.

About the author: young (I think I still count as young for a little while at least) alumna living in NYC in grad school (hence the procrastinating - it's finals you know) - I think that makes me fairly undistinguished from quite a few other people who could be posting here. And that's just fabulous with me.

I'm going to look around a little more at what I can do with this and hopefully a month from now I might have actually posted something else. Let's see, shall we?

Posted by rollergirl at 12:25 AM | Comments (0)

December 08, 2004

Poetry

Reading works by Charles Baudelaire, which I just found out is a favorite of my mentor's. Of course, he insists that the poems as they were written in French, though.

Right...

While I work on that (Oh, I wish I were fluent in French!), here is one of my favorite Rainer Maria Rilke pieces. Translated into English.

Love Song How can I keep my soul in me, so that

it doesn't touch your soul? How can I raise

it high enough, past you, to other things?

I would like to shelter it, among remote

lost objects, in some dark and silent place

that doesn't resonate when your depths resound.

Yet everything that touches us, me and you,

takes us together like a violin's bow,

which draws *one* voice out of two separate strings.

Upon what instrument are we two spanned?

And what musician holds us in his hand?

Oh sweetest song.


& one by Pablo Neruda --

XVII I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz, or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off. I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.


Posted by LisaChau at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

Visit These Sites!

Alice in Wonderland Interactive.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation -- Punctuation Game.
I'm ashamed to say that I only scored 83%.

I missed -- "Four yards worth" & "Stop or I'll scream".

Posted by LisaChau at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

Being the Person You Wanted to Become

Jennifer Garrett writes on Tuesday, November 30 --

So the days float through my eyes

...I've been melancholy since the holiday, and I'm not sure why. I've just had this overwhelming sense of ... youth. And not in a good way. I feel like I'm still that insecure 12-year-old girl, afraid to doing anything for fear of doing it wrong. I haven't changed much at all. I've learned to gloss over things, to remove or distance myself from situations that threaten this composure. My birthday is fast approaching, and I look at 29 with serious trepidation. Not so much the age itself, but what it represents. When I say I thought I'd be somewhere else by now, I don't mean a physical place. I'm not thinking in terms of my career. I mean I thought I'd be different, that I would have discarded by now some of the fears and worries that I've been carting around since I was old enough to worry. I thought I would be more satisfied. I can look back on what I've done and all I see is who I am. And it's who I've always been. When they say people don't change, I always thought they meant other people.

I've also been thinking along the same themes recently...

Unlike Jennifer, I've been melancholy since the beginning of the holiday season due to an overwhelming sense of aging. The concept of getting older never bothered me as much as others, if I knew I would be wiser, too. But I don't feel any wiser, just older. I haven't been happy for the past year, & all I've learned is that our society's values are misprioritized. Maybe this wasn't exactly a lesson -- I've known this for awhile, but this year, the point was really driven home.

Being a responsible adult leaves one a lot less options for escapism.
Bill collectors don't care if you're having an existential crisis.

In fact, sometimes it feels like no one cares.
& you wonder why you care.

As long as you can surround yourself with ostentatious materialism, what is the problem?

The problem is that materialism doesn't satisfy me.
I need more.

I've been accused of "thinking too much".
What kind of statement is that??

I'm not sorry that I'm not a content worker bee.
A quiet cog in your machinery.

I used to be a firm believer that people can make a difference in their own lives, & the lives of others.
(I did grow up in the land of the American Dream*, you know.)

* My dream might be a little different from yours, though.

I still believe that people can make a difference -- That they can alter their journey through life, if not their ultimate destiny.
How easy this change comes about is another matter -- It may involve a lot of blood, sweat & tears. & time. Lots & lots of time.

At least for those of us not born with silver spoons in our mouths.
Have they upgraded to platinum, yet?

Maybe my views are simply a little more realistic, more practical as time passes.
Maybe I've found that my choices seem more limited, based on personal circumstances, as I get older.

I'm not trying to paint myself as a victim.
I've put in my share of blood, sweat & tears.

Maybe it's not my time, yet.
I hope not -- I'm still in the fight, even if I'm downtrodden at the moment.

I recognize the advantages & disadvantages I've had growing up.
I try to focus on the former, & figure out ways to overcome the latter.
I admit that I've felt both immense gratitude & envy -- I'm human.

I've grown up over the years --
I am both the person I used to be, & the person I never expected to be.

I know who I don't want to be.

I never imagined myself being as open as I am being now.
Most of my good friends will not have heard me saying the things I am writing now.

Yet, I am going to post this in a most public of forums.

Why? Because I am hoping this will help others examine different facets of themselves.

Why? Because I am hoping that others who have reached this point in their own lives might advise me by drawing from their own experiences.

Birches by Robert Frost

WHEN I see birches bend to left and right

Across the lines of straighter darker trees,

I like to think some boy’s been swinging them.

But swinging doesn’t bend them down to stay.

Ice-storms do that. Often you must have seen them

Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning

After a rain. They click upon themselves

As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored

As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.

Soon the sun’s warmth makes them shed crystal shells

Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—

Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away

You’d think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.

They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,

And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed

So low for long, they never right themselves:

You may see their trunks arching in the woods

Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground

Posted by LisaChau at 09:37 PM | Comments (3)

Reach Out Because You Can

& read a book!

Libraries Reach Out, Online
By TIM GNATEK
New York Times
Published: December 9, 2004

THE newest books in the New York Public Library don't take up any shelf space.

They are electronic books - 3,000 titles' worth - and the library's 1.8 million cardholders can point and click through the collection at www.nypl.org, choosing from among best sellers, nonfiction, romance novels and self-help guides. Patrons borrow them for set periods, downloading them for reading on a computer, a hand-held organizer or other device using free reader software. When they are due, the files are automatically locked out - no matter what hardware they are on - and returned to circulation, eliminating late fees.

I just added myself to the waiting list for --

Because He Could
by Dick Morris & Eileen McGann

Editorial Reviews

No one better understands the inner Bill Clinton, that creature of endless and vexing contradiction, than Dick Morris. From the Arkansas governor's races through the planning of the triumphant 1996 reelection, Morris was Clinton's most valued political adviser. Now, in the wake of Clinton's million-selling memoir My Life, Morris and his wife, Eileen McGann, set the record straight with Because He Could, a frank and perceptive deconstruction of the story Clinton tells -- and the many more revealing stories he leaves untold.

With the same keen insight they brought to Hillary Clinton's life in their recent bestseller Rewriting History, Morris and McGann uncover the hidden sides of the complicated and sometimes dysfunctional former president. Whereas Hillary is anxious to mask who she really is, they show, Bill Clinton inadvertently reveals himself at every turn -- as both brilliant and undisciplined, charming yet often filled with rage, willing to take wild risks in his personal life but deeply reluctant to use the military to protect our national security. The Bill Clinton who emerges is familiar -- reflexively blaming every problem on right-wing persecutors or naïve advisers -- but also surprising: passive, reactive, working desperately to solve a laundry list of social problems yet never truly grasping the real thrust of his own presidency. And while he courted danger in his personal life, the authors argue that Clinton's downfall has far less to do with his private demons than with his fear of the one person who controlled his future: his own first lady.


Posted by LisaChau at 09:37 PM | Comments (0)

Where is my Mind?

Andrew and I saw the Pixies last night at Constitution Hall in DC. It was a great show. If you live in NYC and have the opportunity, definitely go see them. Both Black Francis/Frank Black (?) and Kim Deal's voices seemed a bit worse for wear, but that fact was more than made up for by great instrumental playing. They played all of their classics, and, watching them, it became apparent to me just how many great songs the Pixies produced over the course of their career. Highlights included a feedback- and noise- rich version of "Vamos", and an excellent rendition of "Cactus". The only song that I thought fell flat was their dolorous rendition of "Nimrod's Son", which sounded like a record being played much too slowly, and dragged on for too long. My only major complaint was that they didn't play "I've been Tired" from Come on Pilgrim, but it hardly made a difference. All in all, I had a great time and, judging by the amount of dancing and singing along, so did a lot of other people. If you're considering going, definitely go (if you can find tickets).

Posted by angst at 09:48 AM | Comments (0)

December 07, 2004

Under Pressure

& I don't mean diamonds in formation.

One harsh lady --

...[Diamonds] also exude a glamorous mystique that appeals to criminals, investors and status-conscious women.

One bidder, who would give only his first name, Marlon, because he was skipping work to attend the auction, said he was there under pressure from his fiancée.

"She's not happy with the prior engagement ring," he said. "She liked it initially, but as her tastes grew more sophisticated and more expensive, and as my career grew, she found it beneath her."

When Marlon secured a set of .75-carat diamonds for $4,000, he called his fiancée, but she wanted at least a one-carat diamond. Exasperated, he said, "The diamond industry has done a good job of manipulating women's minds."

...amateurs, their diamond expertise gleaned from the Internet, were eager to snatch up the smaller stones. Shaun Haacke, 29, flew in from San Jose, Calif., to buy a diamond to be mounted in an engagement ring for his girlfriend. He calculated that the $370 he paid for air fare and a hotel room would be worth it if he could buy a diamond for just over wholesale price. Mr. Haacke had identified two diamonds for which he was willing to pay $4,500 and $6,500 - prices that were admittedly a stretch for a man who makes his living as a heating, ventilation and air-conditioning specialist.

"I'm spending more than I can afford because I love her that much, and she deserves it," Mr. Haacke said.

Source -- Behind These Diamond Deals, a Real Steal
By JENNIFER 8. LEE
New York Times
Published: December 9, 2004

Posted by LisaChau at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

Causing Scenes Everywhere

I've always wanted to participate in stunts like these --

Undercover Missions.

Improv Everywhere.

Why do you do this?

Improv Everywhere is, at its core, about having fun. We're big believers in "organized fun". In the process we bring excitement to otherwise unexciting locales and give strangers a story they can tell for the rest of their lives. We're out to prove that a prank doesn't have to involve humiliation or embarrassment; it can simply be about making someone smile.

Young comedians stage scenes on subways, streets for unsuspecting audience
By SARA KUGLER
Associated Press Writer
June 9, 2003
NEW YORK (AP)

...New Yorkers who rarely stop and smile at anything can't help but steal a look and grin at these "only in New York" moments. Remember, this city is home to oddballs from subway preachers to the Naked Cowboy, the man who wears only white briefs while playing guitar in Times Square.

What bystanders don't know is that they've just seen a performance of Improv Everywhere, a group of young comedians who use the city as their stage.

"New Yorkers are so jaded, particularly on the subways where we perform a lot, and I think it's just great to give somebody a happy story," said Charlie Todd, the group's 24-year-old founder. "I like to break people out of their routines, just to take a second to say, 'Wow that's really funny and unusual,' you know, just stop the rat race."

Posted by LisaChau at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

Who Do I Touch?

From: televisionary@comcast.net
Subject: Rob Brezsny's Astrology Newsletter
Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 23:11:32 -0500 (EST)

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): It's always a smart idea to be kind, but especially so right now. Your benevolent acts are desperately needed by the people whose lives you touch. Being generous is also important for the sake of your own selfish needs; you won't meet your appointed date with destiny unless you're unrestrained in doling out blessings. By the way, kindness is much more than doing nice, polite deeds. It's also about stirring up surprising acts of beauty, imaginative eruptions of love, catalytic breakthroughs of justice, and artful expressions of liberation.
Posted by LisaChau at 09:33 PM | Comments (0)

November 30, 2004

Bringing Puffy Lips to a Whole New Level

So many lips pumped full of collagen @ Awful Plastic Surgery -- the good, bad, and ugly of celebrity plastic surgery -- I can't just pick one.

Note to self: Just say No to collagen, silicone & Botox.

(...At least for now?)

Posted by LisaChau at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

On the First Night

Of Hanukah, my love gave to me:

A Tui Na massage at Acqua Beauty Bar.

A modified version of a traditional method of Chinese massage that is invigorating and reenergizing. Qi is forced along the meridians by using a deeper form of acupressure to release blocked energy and to promote health and vitality.

& white ginger jasmine Kapalua AromaSoy Candle from Bluewick.

Posted by LisaChau at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)

They're So Large, So Firm, So Shapely

Yes, they are! & oh so tasty!

My new favorite snack: Olives from Citarella --

IMPORTED GREEN CERIGNOLA OLIVES The world largest olive. A crisp, meaty olive with a sweet flavor! Originating from Apulia, Italy. It is also known as Barese olives.

A LA CATALANE OLIVES
Large green olives from the Mediterranean spiced to be hot.

Must try --

ARTICHOKE BOTTOMS Grilled with garlic, rosemary & flavorful olive oil, savor these meaty bottoms on their own or filled with ratatouille, caponata, red pepper hummus or a wild mushroom pâté.

Now you know what to bring if I ever invite you over for a dinner party.

(I'm not a wine drinker.)

Posted by LisaChau at 09:53 PM | Comments (0)