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more memory business [23 May 2008|08:43am]
last monday was my comp lit graduation. not to rob the asian studies commencement of any of its magic, but this one was, like, real. and by 'real,' i mean like the type you see on t.v. the kind people prepare themselves for.

that said, i probably don't have to explain any of it; you know exactly what i'm referencing.

thanks everyone for coming. it was a reminder of grace to me in the form of friends.

now, i have to write one more paper for poli sci, and i'll be 1 semester away from done!
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graduation [18 May 2008|01:40am]
at the journalism school commencement (my friend's graduation, not mine), one of the student speakers talked a bit about understanding the role of local news staff abroad and then kind of veered off to address his fellow students, the faculty, and his girlfriend.

i don't have it down exactly, but here's the money quote:
when i came to america, my mother told me she cried everyday. and then she met you, and she told me she no longer cries now. i told her then that i would never make you [addressing his girlfriend] cry ... unless tears of happiness! i want to be with you forever. [audience applauds] no, wait, i'm not done! will you marry me?!
so there it was. kind of sweet, pretty cheesy, but enormously momentous.

my own graduation in chinese studies was something else entirely. all the cheesy tv show graduations and vitamin c songs never fully prepared me for this experience with absolutely no precedent. sure, 6th, 8th, and 12th grade all had their own things, but none were as tremendous as this, and none marked the beginning of a totally obscured future. after sixth grade is seventh; eighth, ninth; and twelfth, college. but then what?

then to make an awkward experience worse, the clothes. you don't know how stupid that ridiculous hat is until that day arrives. luckily, the graduation experience was a pretty positive one. i'd even say it was relaxing. anyway, all this is thanks to prof wade and the size of the graduating class (33, including masters degree people).

i also got to see a lot of friends before they head off to their respective new residences. i'm realizing now that none of them will be here later. one friend is going to beijing, another to yunnan, another to canada and then taiwan, another to latvia, and then another will be here but will likely be leaving in 3 years' time for china.

while a phrase like "c'est la vie" could probably close off this entry, it seems really stupid and dismissive for an occasion like this. my feelings toward this are somewhere in the space between elated and wistful, and until they come up with a word for that, i'll end writing on this matter here.

monday is my comparative literature graduation. come if you can to zellerbach at 1.
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frigidaire [17 May 2008|06:25pm]
hey, i just graduated. more on this later. 
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yo i'm jus' spitting the facts that in the stacks there be a girl sittin' here whose feet smell wack [05 May 2008|09:11pm]
Lately, my life has been cast with a stinky dramatis personnae. One dude in my class had b.o. so bad that I almost choked. A girl in my class had feet that made me feel like I was swimming in a creek of foot juice, and i seriously had to move my face several times to the side à la freestyle stroke in order to get some air. Some other girl's feet in the library -- mildly smelly, but the cumulative power of a long stretch of time has my lungs on the verge of collapse. (My nose is already beyond repair.)

Don't get me wrong; I'm sure all of these people are quite nice. But their feet...! Each one, by the way, was wearing flip-flops. Let it be known that I believe sandals to be a holey receptacle of stench, like a colander to water.
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let me make this perfectly clear [17 Apr 2008|02:18am]
[ mood | pacific-ish ]

My domicile is crawling with books. This is an infestation. And I am afraid to say that if you were to open my abdominal cavity, it would be no surprise if a couple of pages fluttered out.


In other news, I will soon be walking down that runway in that timeless black dress. Yes, folks, I'm graduating. Well, not really; I'm staying another semester. But I will be sporting that number with the new "lab coat" cut, so that is somewhat exciting. I heard it's the latest in today's fashion.

Anyway, I have been preparing for this moment from day one of the school year (juniors in university, imagine yourself in a graduation gown, and reality will cut you close. That's, uh, what I did), but I found that I hadn't quite habituated myself to the thought when I got an email from the Comp Lit department about a "wine and cheese party" and had to ask myself some questions*:
1) I'm graduating?
2) Since when am I old enough to drink wine?
3) A wine and cheese party -- is this out of undergrad and into pretension?

Suddenly, it hit me like a brick that it's almost over. And that I'm old.

1) Yes
2) Since late-December, but I frequently forget that I'm the big 2-1. I will not, however, be partaking in the wine half of the function.
3) Yes


What's new with you?

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albuquerque [02 Mar 2008|05:29pm]
hi. i am currently in albuquerque.

i had never been here before, and let's face it, it's not like albuquerque gets much attention. things i knew about albuquerque and new mexico before coming here: at one time, this was part of mexico, but at sometime it wasn't and it became 'new' mexico; freddie prinze, jr. grew up in new mexico; richardson is the governor here; one time i saw something on reading rainbow about a kid who brings a gila monster to -- i think -- albuquerque; the "buquerque" part of "albuquerque" reminds me of BBQ.

so with this handful of ideas, i expected to see an orangey brown landscape (BBQ), exploitation of being in a desert area (read: lots of cactus memorabilia, lots of snake souvenirs), brick ground, and a lot of barbequey food (being in the somewhat southwest).

i was right on every single thing. i mean, i was no merlin or anything; regionally and commercially, these things are to be expected. but still, it's been said that in this era, you can't even be anywhere new anymore. that is totally, unfortunately true.
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to sum it up [29 Feb 2008|03:15am]
[ mood | tired ]

i wandered
  a dark street
muttering to myself the whole way
and no one
was crazy

my favorite time of day
is 6am
when the birds sing
and plants awaken
and the last traces of twilight
are blanched by the warmth of the new morning sun

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china scholarship [12 Jan 2008|12:42am]
[ mood | amused ]

I read a lot of stuff on China, and these things have been bugging me for the past while. So, without any further ado, I present

If you're going to report on China, here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. First, do not overuse the color red. Please. That is so passé, so 1966.

    It's a nice color and all, and yeah, it carries a lot of symbolism. But the color spectrum in China ain't monochromatic, so uh, could be nice to branch out into different wavelengths.

  2. Second, use dragon images sparingly. I know, I know ... besides dragons, China only has tigers and phoenixes and dogs (and dogs are rare at that, since they're eaten all the time), but I think you might be able to find some other images if you look hard enough.

  3. Please refrain from starting off your articles with "in the land of Mao." Brotha is not with us anymore, so if you're going to use that awfully trite phrase, use it well or revamp it or something.

  4. Also, I know the literal meaning of 中国, but it seems unnecessary to use the phrase "the Middle Kingdom" as a substitute for using the term "China."

    With the exception of Japan ("land of the rising sun"), I don't know of any other country that gets commonly referred to by its actual meaning. I mean, I guess that's to be expected since no one is about to use "the Latinized feminine version of Amerigo" here, but still.

I'll save my ideas about written content for another day.
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all right, way overdue [10 Jan 2008|02:13am]
[ mood | blank ]

here's a survey. i forgot how to do lj-cuts, so i'm sorry.

hopefully i finish this within the next 12 minutes, because i want to sleep by 2:30.

so here goes.

1. What did you do in 2007 that you'd never done before?
i got a job, i became a real christian instead of a nominal one, i learned how to cook, i took the lsat not once -- but twice, switched from mac to pc, turned 21 and bought wine the next day (for risotto).

2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
i don't know what i made, but if i did, i probably failed. the new one for this year is to not procrastinate in replying to emails. you know, we do things like say 'let's not procrastinate, period.' but we never get around to it. if i start actually replying to emails on time, then that kind of behavior is going to spill over into other areas.

maybe i should start thinking of exercising in small steps...

...or not.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
yes, anita and jenny.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

5. What countries did you visit?
taiwan. although, that's not really a country...

6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
oh, i don't know. being punctual to work, probably. being more friendly.

7. What times from 2007 will remain etched in your memory, and why?
realizing God is love in january, wanting to gouge stuff out in taiwan during june, dallas freeways in july.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
not sure. probably getting an A in chinese politics, since i really liked that class.

9. What was your biggest failure?
flaking out on LSAT #1, wanting to gouge stuff out in taiwan. although, you know, 失败是成功之母 (failure is the mother of all success), so i don't really regard those as failures and am therefore hesitant to even answer this question.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
yeah, a cold. that's only memorable because i got it the week before my LSAT.

11. What was the best thing you bought?
probably the thinkpad, although vista is very much a pain.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
my dad.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
er, skip.

14. Where did most of your money go?
rent, probably.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
seeing yo-yo ma in concert. unfortunately, tickets sold out before a poor schmuck like me even had a chance to buy...this discovery resulted in my crumpling into a screaming heap in a public space.

16. What songs will always remind you of 2007?
you know, the great thing about being in school is that you can always look back and think, "well, this happened in 4th grade, so i was about 11 at the time." that is, when you refer to past memories, it has a date stamp. well, for right now -- it's 2:36 AM (i failed at this '12 minute' thing), i can't separate the school year division from the actual year division.

but i think that i will remember..
gospel music by shai linne and the 116 clique
shadowfeet by brooke fraser
gatekeeper by feist
blackbird by brad mehldau

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? happier
ii. thinner or fatter? probably about the same. i haven't really changed my weight since the 11th grade, which could be a bad thing considering i gained a lot of weight the summer before 10th grade.
iii. richer or poorer? richer

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?
reading, studying.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

20. How will you be spending Christmas?
i spent it with relatives from indonesia. my dad requested that my mom cook up these canned snails we got from a Korean restaurant. he then encouraged everyone to eat it, only telling them that it was korean food. at the end, he revealed that the mystery meat was snail. i don't know what was funniest -- seeing my cousin laugh, seeing my other cousin get upset, or seeing my aunt and uncle try to mask their displeasure by praising regional snail dishes.

22. Did you fall in love in 2007?
sure. his name is potato puff, and you can find him sitting in a hot bed of oil @ gregoire's on shattuck and vine.

23. How many one-night stands?

24. What was your favorite TV program?
i don't have a tv at berkeley, and i don't watch any here. i kind of forgot i had one.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

26. What was the best book you read?
the romance of the rose (or roman de la rose) for SURE.

27. What was/were your greatest musical discoveries?
oh, shoot. lecrae for christian hip-hop (no, really), and i was introduced to feist. but to tell you the truth, i'm only crazy about 4 of her songs, and then after that, she kind of bugs me.

28. What did you want and get?
i don't know. i kind of already have what i want. except for a dslr and an adobe package. but those things can certainly wait.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?
i watched raise the red lantern. it was filmed a while ago, but it's really good. really! as one person said, "yeah, it's a great movie, but now i feel hollow inside." so if you're into that, you know what movie to check out now.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
i turned 21, and i went to tan cang on las tunas in san gabriel. i went especially for the house lobster which was amazing in the past, but more lackluster what with its speedy arrival to our lazy susan. that's just wrong, you know. let the lobster take its time.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
probably getting a great LSAT score, but i'm probably just saying that because of a dream last night that said i was mediocre for getting that score.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
i needed a belt all year and finally got one a month ago. i wore fleece a lot. i like dark colors with bright accents.

34. What kept you sane?

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
hum. i don't know. i really liked jason bateman's acting in juno, but i saw that movie in 2008.

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
以法抗争, 依法抗争, and 捣乱. basically, civic disorder and rightful resistance in china. my interactions with my gsi and this dude named yu jianrong were defining.

37. Who did you miss?
when i am in southern california, i miss northern california, and vice versa.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
i quite like my co-workers, yes.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007:
He is the end of the law.

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:
pfft, i honestly hardly listened to music this year due to the computer loss and sheer busyness.

it's 3:02.

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finals, fall 2007 (v. etic?) [13 Dec 2007|03:09am]
Despite plaints and cries of “I’m going to die!” and “Kill me now!”, during finals time, the campus is alive. At this time, even twilight streets are filled with nervous students; frenetic energy rushing past them and around you. You hear it and feel it in the air, as the sky buzzes with the hum of productivity.

In front of you is a black horizon dotted with lights from desk lamps, from bright screens, from the open refrigerator as a hand moves towards its third Red Bull.

This season has changed the course of the sun. Typically dark and lonely at night, the library lights up with the appearance of her many visitors who arrive to confirm that, yes, their nights have become days, or that their days have become nights, or that their days and nights have no distinction at all.

Life has turned upside down as interests have been grabbed, twisted, and thoroughly contorted: minds that have never cared for Hegel and Kant have suddenly turned to it in seeming devotion, searching their pages for meaning. The sluggardly fellow breaks into a sprint as he dashes for what he hopes to be his [lecture] halls of glory. Your friend the neatnik has abandoned order for open books and strewn papers.

…lids slowly fall, pulses quicken, inspiration comes, bodies jolt, fingers pound, mouths grimace, doors open, inspiration leaves, they sit, they wait.
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shrug [14 Nov 2007|04:31pm]
what's up
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stupid policy [09 Jan 2007|10:02pm]
Hey, just now and a while ago, I removed a bunch of people from my friends list. I'll be the first to admit it -- I'm a bit neurotic when it comes to keeping that list small and in integers of 5 (right now it's at 62, which is kind of weird to me). But that is also a pretty stupid neurosis, so if you were perhaps offended (not likely given the quality of this journal and the frequency at which it is updated; this entry will probably get 0 comments), you should comment so I can re-add you.

spring '07 academic scheduleCollapse )
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cinema and a survey [30 Dec 2006|09:41am]
I decided that these are my favorite cinematic moments, in no particular order:

(1) "Dwayne has perfect vision!" plus the five minutes or so that follow in Little Miss Sunshine.
(2) The scene at the Odessa steps in Battleship Potemkin.
(3) When Poole exits the Discovery and the stuff that ensues in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Which are not to be confused with my favorite quotes:

(1) "The Swedish housewife needs no longer walk to Congo during a year of cooking. Now, northern Italy will suffice." (Kitchen Stories)
(2) 地球太危险了, 你快点回火星吧! "Earth is too dangerous...go back to Mars!" (Shaolin Soccer)

And here is a surveyCollapse )
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whazzup [16 Dec 2006|03:57am]
Hello from your favorite on-again, off-again blogger.

I was standing at the bathroom sink and had just started brushing my teeth when another girl flushed the toilet and left her stall. I was pretty embarrassed to be seen brushing my teeth. This is, of course, not because I have some kind of dirty reputation to keep up, but because I was seen making a very clear declaration that I, Paulina, am brushing my teeth at the library, which makes me pathetic, as most people brush their teeth in their own homes. I felt a little worse when I started washing my face.

Oh well, it is finals week, and I suppose this is just what students do and should not be ashamed. Unlike that girl in the bathroom. Who knows if she brushed her teeth or washed her face tonight. Filthy.

Being here makes me feel like a character in that Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler book. If you are unfamiliar with that book, it is the one about these two kids who hide in a museum and sleep there. Some other significant stuff happens, including some crud involving a Michaelangelo thing, but that is totally irrelevant to this entry.

I am not going to be sleeping in some queen's 17th century bed, but will be sleeping on hard wooden chairs. Nor am I surrounded by that rich musty scent that characterizes everything historical. I believe the smell that surrounds me is that of stressed students' B.O. But nevertheless, camping out in the Main Stacks during finals week can be kind of exciting, as I'm sure that night in the Met must have been for those two kids (who are fictional, but we can put our minds to work), making it well worth this blog entry.

And now, back to Corneille.
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for a quick synthesis, read the bold parts [20 Oct 2006|10:30pm]
I just ate the messiest quesadilla to have ever existed. There's really nothing like having sauce frequently dribble down your chin and onto your hands, especially when in a public place. It's not a recommended experience, just an interesting one.

I was too ashamed to look at the face of the stranger sitting across from me, but I'm sure it was one mixed with horror and disgust. Contrast this with my reaction to the chicken quesadilla, which was far from horror and disgust, being instead a nice balance between contentment and delight.

To complement this meal, Orangina. I don't think I appreciated it the first 3 times I drank it, but now I am quite enjoying it.

This was the most pointless entry in LJ history.

In related news, check your pant pockets before throwing your pants into the wash. I neglected to take chapstick out of my pocket, and the results were disastrous, leaving greasy-looking stains on my clothing. Unfortunately, I am wearing one of those shirts now, which is somewhat okay because it's been washed twice since that incident, but I'm sure these two small oil spots and that large quesadilla does not reflect well upon my eating habits or health in general.

Physical education at Berkeley affords wonderful opportunities to pick up new sports. I am thinking of taking golf, but one thing is nagging at me: were I to play basketball, I would not terribly mind getting hit by a basketball. Were I to play badminton, I would not terribly mind getting hit by a shuttlecock. But getting hit by a golf ball is absolutely frightening.
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i wandered lonely as a cal student [10 Oct 2006|10:03am]
At 2:00 AM, I exited from the insulating, isolatory cubicle and entered an empty hallway. Everyone had left level D of the Main Stacks, and I felt as if "One [Is the Loneliest Number]" was playing over the library's PA system.

Some notes:
-Nestea's Peach flavoured Green Tea is terrible.
-However much I would like to stop caring about school, I must admit that such a task is seemingly impossible; so far, I have utterly failed.
-A chaebol is a giant conglomerate in imitation of Japan's keiretsu. I will need to know this for tomorrow.
-I am not sure what is more satisfying: ramen with a soft-boiled egg on top, or curry over rice. My history teacher told us about this Japanese woman in Sweden who said she didn't really miss Japan. The interesting thing is that the tv crew had prepared a bowl of tonkatsu without her knowing, and then presented it to her. She had such a visceral reaction to it that she started sobbing. Anyway, my point is that these foods have that kind of quality. I don't know if I'd sob on seeing them, but I think I have a very tight-knit connection to them. Already I've consumed thousands of packages of ramen ...

I don't know why I'm telling you this. I've more important things to do.
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yo what's up homies [02 Oct 2006|10:50pm]
I have read pages upon pages of stuff for my research paper, only to find out on 4 different occasions that these articles really don't help my case because they have but a tangential relationship to my topic (although, one article may have some affect on my life philosophy)! This sucks, and life is hard. I hope I don't have an apoplectic fit writing this paper.

It is, however, possible.

In brighter news, the weather is getting grayer. I like this because gray weather is an indication that the holidays are coming up, which means that someday in the future, I will feast with friends and have generally warm feelings towards the world.

I realized that I am having more and more trouble remembering words.
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bloring [21 Sep 2006|02:38am]
I am writing out of fear that if I stop, my creativity will be shrivel up and die. As you can see, it is already in the process of shriveling up and dying, as creativity would never stoop so low as to use something so common as "shrivel up and die."

What other description, then? Well, imagine jello coming out of a mold and onto a plate. There it is, in its gellatinous glory, wiggling only if pushed by external forces. When the heat comes and days pass, the jello collapses. A pathetic sight.

Classes are pretty good. A seventeen unit load is doable, as I found out last year. However, with such a load, there's no escaping what I call "the chug-chug of life." With that in mind, this semester I chose to take 13 units worth of classes, and I can now afford the time to do things like ... rest, carefully prepare texts, have time for breakfast, etc.

Speaking of meals, yesterday I went to Brazil Café for lunch. It was an odd experience. There I was, Bossa Nova music blaring behind me (don't get me wrong -- I like Bossa Nova. Do you like Bossa Nova? I can give you some Bossa Nova music, if you'd like), paintings of what I assume is depicting some quotidian Sao Paolo scene, owner with a sort of tropical shirt buttoned too far down for anyone with that sort of chest hair, "Ordem E Progresso" flags -- basically, what I will now term as "Braziliana," all around me. (In regards to the second to last point, I think that the shirt recalls Brazil, not...whatever.)

Was the environment screaming "BRAZIL!!!!!" in order to drown out the sandwich's cry, "Inauthentic Brazilian food!"?

Maybe. Well, I'm no expert on Brazil, but somehow, I don't see people there eating tri-tip sandwiches. Tri-tip steak, yes. You know, chopped up and on long skewers. But not between two pieces of bread.

I'm not sure if Brazil Café gets away with this because the sandwich is pretty good, or because no one is familiar with typical Brazilian fare. If I opened "China Stand" and sold some Kung Pao Chicken Burritos, would I do well?

Hm, serving Chinese food somewhat removed from its cultural roots. Judging from the business model of Panda Express, it's quite possible that I would make lots of money.

speaking of pandas...Collapse )
That's all I feel like writing about for today.
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park, guitar [29 Aug 2006|10:30pm]
I think People's Park should be renamed "People's Forest." The word "forest" accurately describes how overgrown it is, and also gives it a more magical quality that evokes images of faeries, sorcery, dwarves, and other things you might find in a hallucinogenic-induced fantasy -- something not uncommon in this place currently known as "People's Park."

People's Park -- blech.
I picked up Soo's guitar, and having it immediately made me feel cooler. Currently, I do not know how to play anything, but when I get my act together, you may come, listen, and marvel. Thanks, Soo!
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food festivals [19 Aug 2006|12:49pm]
I was upset that I missed the LA Tofu Festival. True, it couldn't have been helped; I was probably in Wyoming at the time. But even if I had been in Los Angeles, I still would have missed it because I didn't know about it. Determined to never let this happen again, I did a Google search. And I found


This website provides information on food festivals and shows not only all over the US, but also all over the world. So check it out, and eat well.
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