Eagerly Unanticipated

Thursday, May 01, 2008


After looking at my front page one time too many, I'm sick of the same look I had all the way back on study abroad. Also, I think whatever website I had hosting my free hit counter thingy stopped working. So I said, to heck with it, let's pack this puppy up and try out a new look.

Look! It's like this page, but new!

I was going to announce it earlier, but I was in China last week, and it turns out wordpress doesn't work in China. Not that I ended up writing anything for blogger (anything that got past the Chinese internet censors, lolz), but, you know, it didn't seem right to steer people to something I couldn't myself see.

Anyway, the new page should have imported all my old posts from 2005 to the present, although I don't remember whether it saved the comments or not *cough leave more cough*, and I need to fix the style sheet to clear up the font resizing that seems to happen after the first paragraph of each archived post. But that should happen soon.

I'll keep this domain, maybe to tear the template down and start from scratch, but in the meantime, I just wanted something different that was on a technical level I could deal with. Hope to see the all 4 (or more) current readers make the jump with me!

Monday, April 14, 2008


Clutter (room-, desk-, and otherwise-) is like arterial plaque in the coronary vessels of my productivity.

... and that tells you the mental sharpness with which I'm operating right now. I don't know what the problem is exactly.

Friday, April 11, 2008

brief interview:

Q: When did Hong Kong start to feel like home?

A: When I stopped running to the front row of the second deck of the bus every time I got on.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

change, then a rant about basketball (UPDATED)

and by that, I mean "seasonal change". Though according to KMT Bus TV, it's still spring, I've had to run my A/C at night to clear some of the humidity out of the air in my room. Which means it's only a matter of time before I have to run the A/C at night because it's not only humid but also hot.

That means that I've now been here for all of the seasons of HK: air conditioning, pleasant, heater (may be omitted some years, apparently), dehumidifier. Meanwhile, apparently Denver is due for eight inches of snow today -- they've already had to close Loveland Pass. So perfectly normal spring weather back home, too (perfect for the baseball season, which has started).

Even just listening to the Nuggets on internet radio is driving me crazy. The sane part of me is thankful I'm not in the US to watch the games, because it would probably result in me becoming either completely listless with disillusionment or completely volatile with frustration. Such awful, predictable (except maybe the sacto one, even a fan-cynic like me couldn't have seen that one coming) wrenching losses to generally not-that-good teams. I'd like to call it inexplicable, but it's hard to grow up watching the 1990s incarnation of the team without developing a streak of basketball fatalism, and so in some sense, it's completely explicable. I'm not completely ready to count us out of the playoffs yet, although tonight/tmrw-morning-my-time's game against the Warriors should determine that rather neatly. But even if we do make the playoffs, I expect we'll manage to add another 1-4 first-round loss to Melo's already stellar 4-16 playoff record (including at least three years of taking game 1 on the road only to lose four straight).

On the other hand, if we miss the playoffs (since we won't win a championship this year anyway), we should be more motivated next year, maybe lead to a personnel shakeup, and certainly we'll have a shot the draft lottery and an ok pick. Now, granted, other than 110%-sure-thing-Melo in 2003, our draft history is pretty awful all the way back to Antonio McDyess (who, I just looked up, was actually part of a draft-day trade). So maybe since Dikembe, back in 1991. The last few years have been characterized by drafting promising guards and then trading them away immediately, and then failing to sign any of the veteran guards we target during free agency. Huh. ((examples: Jameer Nelson, Jarrett Jack))

Meanwhile, the bandwagon post-Iverson nuggets fans (even the post-Melo fans) will demand stupid trades that aren't possible under the collective bargaining agreement / make the team worse. And lambaste the Kenyon Martin sign-and-trade from summer 2004. Which means they don't remember the emotional roller coaster of that summer. The team had come off a season of dramatic improvement, Melo barely losing out to LeBron for rookie of the year, and a first round playoff exit against the peaking T-wolves, in KG's one good year there. The Nuggets had a lot of cap room, but, guess what, when the team is awful for a decade and trades big-name players on a revolving door basis, free agents had no interest in coming to Denver, much-heralded rookie or no. We pursued Ginobili, who looked for a while like he might sign (he eventually took less money to stay with the Spurs). We pursued Brent Barry, coming off a statistically unremarkable but clearly team-chemistry-relevant season in Seattle, and I'd even talked myself into being happy about signing him instead of Ginobili, but he also signed with the Spurs (for less, I believe, than we were offering, again). So it was a summer of frustration: in a sport with a tightly-controlled salary cap, we had money to spend and nobody wanted it.

Then, the K-Mart signing. An All-Star! A real power forward (allowing Melo to play more outside)! A former number-one pick, former consensus College Player of the Year! A guy people hadn't even thought could possibly be available, a guy the reigning Eastern Conference Finalist Nets were loathe to even consider parting with! Stolen because their owner Bruce Ratner wasn't willing to frontload the money in the contract the way we were! I was ecstatic: it was a chance to contend, immediately. So admittedly, since then, K-Mart had two microfracture surgeries and is only now playing at the level he was at when we signed him. This was not something anybody could have forseen. Nor could we have seen the way K-Mart's swag twisted around unhealthily and caused him to rush back too soon, to feud with his coach, etc. Hey, it happened to Gil Arenas too. Anyway, it was a good signing when it happened, and I think the team has to look in the offseason to fill in the holes with NBADL/CBA/undrafted euroleague players, rather than with a splashy trade or big signing. And hope that some personnel consistency next year leads to a team with defensive energy and offensive consistency (no iso, please, for all of our sakes).


EDIT: so we made the playoffs. with a lot of help from the Warriors, I gotta admit, and, pending this first round series, we'll see how meaningful of an appearance it is. I remain skeptical about our postseason success.

ALSO: we also drafted Leon Powe, who has turned into a reasonably good backup PF for the NBA-best Celtics.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

a spring semester going by even faster than senior year?

Indeed, that's the truth of it. Our schedules were light in january, since the primary school hadn't finished their winter break and other activities started slow. February was Chinese new year (one week) and a "reading week" (which meant students didn't show up to anything). March was a two-week easter break. April began with a long weekend for Qingming festival (tomb-sweeping, from which I was exempt inasmuch as I have no idea where the tombs I'm obligated to sweep would even be), and then we have a ten-day teaching exchange in China starting mid-month (I'm going to Nanjing). And then it's May, and apparently a lot of students will be leaving already. My reaction is "?" There's been no semblance of routine or normalcy in my life of late, due to the traveling around all over the place, wrecking what had been a perfectly reasonable sleep schedule, etc.

But if I start to think about how there's not that much time for me before May, things start to cascade:

Then, I think, oh, jeez, taxes are due soon. Which means I gotta dig out all that paperwork, not to mention figure out how to report my overseas income (the US is one of the few countries which taxes all citizens regardless of where they live/work) in a verifiable manner.

And then, I think, taxes can be extended, but, oh JEEZ, I gotta look for a job! Which would be easier, I think, if I had a decent idea of how/where to start looking.

And then, I think, and when are those library books due again? I haven't read even half of them yet! Or watched those VCDs that I bought. Aiyah!

And then, I think, maybe I'm not doing enough to improve myself. Flossing habits have improved, but I'm still not as frequent as I ought to be. Same with reading math stuff. Same with the html and whatnot.

And maybe I should start to window-shop for a new camera...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

only somewhat about recent travel

But I will get around to that. In a sentence per each trip:
Taiwan was amazing, and they love baseball, democracy, and turnip cakes fried with lard in a way that I found touching and wonderful and delicious.
China makes no sense, and I was inordinately bothered by their neglect of maps.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank everyone for the birthday wishes! Basically, between easter break travel and going to Cambodia for Qingming weekend with friends, this birthday was a do-nothing sleep-in be-lazy day, and this week actually a do-laundry air-out-the-room recovery week. Which has been abetted by weather that is pretty awful for doing just about anything, albeit pretty to look at sometimes. There's a lot of water in the air, and I mean a LOT, so in the evenings (and sometimes during the day, too) the low clouds become mist becomes misty rain. I opened my umbrella walking around today only to discover that it doesn't actually *do* anything in this kind of weather, because the water is not so much falling as it is condensing on your skin. I'm running the A/C in my room, not because it's hot, but because otherwise I can't get things to dry.

I passed someone today who was wearing a t-shirt that said "Sorry I'm Late!"

Our campus 7-11 now has slurpees, and even slurpee lids for the cups, but no special straws.

I have somehow accumulated about two dozen library books, even as I do my best to read on trains, before bed, when traveling, etc. and returning them as soon as I finish them. I also have a list on my mobile phone of library call numbers of things I haven't even checked out yet.

I re-viewed my old Chinese 1 textbooks while I was in China, and the memories came flooding back.