Sunday, May 29, 2005
I guess I can say that Revenge of the Sith was better than the first two prequel movies. Then again, that's like saying an elephant is bigger than a mouse. The dialogue was definitely an improvement over Attack of the Clones, but the movie had too many soap opera-esque moments for my taste. I'm talking about all of those "No, he couldn't! You're lying!" moments and overly dramatic facial expressions.
Halfway through the movie, I came to the conclusion that Darth Vader isn't that scary. He's an astonishingly stupid little boy whose arrogance allowed him to become little more than a puppet. I will never view Episodes 4-6 the same way.
The saving grace of the movie? That would definitely be R2-D2, Yoda, and Obi-Wan Kenobi. I also liked seeing the beginnings of the X-wing and the tie fighter. It helps bridge Episode 3 and Episode 4, especially since a lot of people had beef with the technological superiority/prettiness of Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.
And John Williams hasn't lost his touch after all this time.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Since we hadn't had breakfast, we went to Cosi's to grab an early lunch. Josh got a sandwich while I got a Greek salad. When I looked at my fourth forkful of salad, I noticed that I had speared a bug.
This wasn't a teeny, tiny bug, but at least it wasn't humongous. I went to the salad bar with my fork and bug and showed it to the girl, who quickly asked if I'd like to see the manager. Of course, I said yes, and when the manager came out, he apologized. He asked if I wanted another salad and I declined, saying that I'd lost my appetite. He offered to refund my meal, so I went to get my receipt. I noticed that Josh had stopped eating his sandwich, so I asked for it to be refunded as well, which was no problem. After all was said and done, Josh had half a sandwich, an iced tea, and I had been grossed out for free.
Last night, we were coming back from Chinatown and were waiting for a subway in the smelliest station I've ever been in. I think there was a rat carcass somewhere on the track. Just as I stated that possibility, I saw a huge rat on the track and it was not alone. All together, I saws three rats walking around the tracks.
The salad bug was grosser though. I won't be able to eat salad without inspecting each bite for a very long time.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
Before Jessica left, we went to brunch at Zoë and then visited Kate's Paperie of SoHo. Jessica and I looked at some wedding invitations for no particular reason. We reasoned that since Jessica is planning on being engaged by the end of the year, it's good to have some ideas and touch the details we've seen in wedding magazines.
There were the usual weekend knockoff bag sellers by WTC today. They laid out their wares on the sidewalk and we had to walk by all of them to get to the subway station. Jessica was tempted by the Kate Spade knockoffs, but for once, I was a good cousin and told her six bags is enough for one week.
After having dinner with Josh's parents (for Josh's little brother's birthday), I did my long overdue laundry. I don't think I finished until 12:30.
Yay! Clean underwear!
Saturday, May 21, 2005
This time, we followed a little lady to the stash of bags. This time, the location of the bags was the shadiest although the quality was the best we'd seen yet. Each time it gets better, and that might explain why we keep going back (three times in one week for us).
They were using a tiny bakery as a front for the operation.
Friday, May 20, 2005
Mmm... chocolate brain freeze
Yesterday, Jessica and I went to lunch with her parents and our grandmother in Chinatown (again). After that, we went uptown with Josh for dessert at Serendipity 3. I had a frozen hot chocolate (as seen in the movie, Serendipity). It was even yummier than I expected.
We went to Trump Tower (as seen in The Apprentice) after dessert. We popped into Tiffany's next door and then walked through Central Park before going home.
For once, I got to make dinner for Jessica. I said I was going to make a meal, but family dinners and lunches tied us up with neverending leftovers.
Today, we'll be going to Union Square Cafe for lunch and Lombardi's for dinner.
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
On Monday, we were truly exposed to the shady underground network of knockoff purse sellers in Chinatown. Jessica's friend was visiting for the day and she knew how to find these sellers. This man led us up a set of stairs in a dingy office building where we went to a locked room that was filled with knockoff bags. Jessica and I were a bit wary and never would have gone with the guy if her friend hadn't been telling us it was okay. I was scared that we were going to be kidnapped and shipped back to China for marriage (I read a scary article about that).
After the knockoff bag adventure, we went to the Chinatown jewelry district. I don't think I could ever be a jewelry salesperson in Chinatown. Aside from my lack of expert proficiency in the Chinese language, I'm horrible at math. You see, there's a tag price on the piece of jewelry, but that's never the actual price. When I ask the salesperson how much the piece is, she whips out a calculator and punches in a bunch of numbers. At the end, she furtively slips the calculator over to show you the actual price of the jewelry, which is at least half off the tag price. This value does not account for haggling. Jessica wanted to buy me a pair of earrings since she was buying a ring, hoping to have more sway because she was buying two pieces. The tag said the earrings were $190 and they were offered to us for $68. Jessica said it was too expensive, and the woman lowered the price to $65. Jessica said the only price she would pay was $50. When the woman wouldn't lower the price any further, I whispered to Jessica, "Say you don't want them anymore." Jessica said so and the price dropped to $55, and in the end, we got them for $50.
We also went to TKTS today to buy tickets for a Broadway show. Jessica has visited NYC so many times before, but has never had the opportunity to see a show since we're always bound in family obligations. That hasn't changed much, but we're only bound about half of the time in family stuff. It helps that we're not all staying together in the same place. This morning, we showed up at the South Street Seaport TKTS location fifteen minutes before opening. There were about twenty people in front of us, but the line moved very quickly. We got our first choice of "The Producers" and got awesome orchestra seats at half price to boot!
We were so excited to see the show. When we were seated, we flipped through the playbill and were ecstatic to find that Richard Kind and Roger Bart were playing the lead roles. Actually, we don't refer to Roger Bart by his name. We refer to him as "George," his character on Desperate Housewives. Jessica has a little beef with the character because she feels he gives pharmacists a bad name. Everything's all right now, as we love "George" because he's adorable and sings wonderfully.
Anyways, "The Producers" did not disappoint, what with all the great things everyone says about it. How could I not enjoy a show that described Adolf Hitler as the "German Ethel Merman?" I had a great time and enjoyed the show despite the Eric Estrada-esque guy who would not sit still for the entire performance.
Monday, May 16, 2005
On Sunday, Jessica and I went to church in Chinatown, followed by lunch with our other cousins at Pho Bang. Strangely, we had just eaten at Pho Bang with our grandma and Jessica's parents two days previously. That evening, we had to attend a 35th anniversary dinner for my other aunt and uncle in Chinatown. Originally, we were told that we should be at the restaurant at 5:30. At 4:40, we got a call from Jessica's mom that we had to be at the restaurant at 5:00 because our uncle wanted dinner to get started earlier. Jessica's mom told us to be there by 5:15 the latest. Jessica and I caught a cab after changing and were at the restaurant on time only to find that THERE WAS NOBODY THERE. Really, there was nobody there... not even Jessica's mom or the uncle who wanted to start earlier. He was the first person to show up after us, but we've learned not to listen to Jessica's mom again about time. We didn't start eating until past 6:00.
There were three babies at our two tables. At one point there was so much noise from all the grown-ups talking (anyone who has Asian parents can understand the exponential growth of noise at family gatherings) and the babies squalling that someone walking through the restaurant's front door would walk right out, thinking the place was a nursery. After dinner, Jessica and I went to Chinatown Ice Cream Factory for some red bean and almond cookie ice cream (two separate flavors). This was a weekend of food - lots of food.
Actually, there's more food in store for us this week. Today, Jessica and I are going to Blue Water Grill for lunch. Later this week, we'll be going to Union Square Cafe for dinner if I can get a reservation, otherwise, we'll settle for lunch. We're supposed to see our cousins again with their babies tomorrow, and they're foodies, so it'll be another day of food and fun.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Yesterday, she and I went out to an early lunch with her parents and our grandmother at Green Bo in Chinatown. We followed that up with pedicures at Acqua Beauty Bar. It was by far, the most expensive pedicure I've ever gotten (as I've never gone to a spa for one), but it was the best one I've ever had. Right after that, we went to our grandmother's apartment by the Williamsburg Bridge to pick up some food she had for us. Apparently, she thinks that I won't be able to feed Jessica sufficiently on my own. After we got back to my apartment, we joined Josh and taught him how to say "I like roast pork buns very much" in Chinese so he could tell our grandmother.
In no time at all, we were out the door again and back in Chinatown to have dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant with Jessica's parents and our grandmother. I haven't eaten Vietnamese food in years, so it was fun. I think I could drink the fish sauce and be content. Jessica and I were driving Josh nuts because we kept urging him to tell Grandma the new phrase he'd learned. Several months ago, after dim sum, Josh told Grandma, "Bao-le!" (I'm full!) and she was so happy to hear him learn just a bit of Chinese. Josh told us both that he refused to say it to Grandma if we were going to order him to do so. When Jessica got up to pay for dinner, Josh went and said it to Grandma, and she was so happy and impressed. Now she wants Josh to learn how to call him Grandma in Chinese. Jessica was less than pleased to find out that Josh had his big moment while she was away from the table, but Josh said he did that on purpose.
After dinner, Josh, Jessica, and I went to Ferrara's for hot chocolate (the best Jessica and I have ever had) and pastries. Josh and I also bought another one of those monster boxes of petit fours. This time, it was less expensive since we had a $20 off coupon. After gorging ourselves on lots of food, it was time to go home so I could give Jessica a french manicure to match her pedicure while we watched National Treasure.
Today, we have a family wedding, but we have to figure out what to do before that... if anyone wakes up eventually.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
The contracts final was... to briefly described: oh so very wrong. I wanted to crack up in hysterical laughter when the proctor handed out this huge packet of paper, which turned out to be our supplementary documents. This sheaf of papers was so thick, I think I could have killed a classmate with it. When I opened the essay questions, I wanted to use the supplementary documents to kill myself.
I've learned that I can survive moot court even being unsure of myself and doubting everything I've prepared. I've learned that it's true absolute assholes or rather, ass-kissers abound in law school, more than I'd ever seen in previous educational experiences. I've learned that the proctors treat you like you're five years-old no matter how many tests you've taken. I've also learned that the proctors think we pay $30,000 in tuition, which is the figure I wish we were paying. I've learned that I break out in hives if under hideous stress.
In the end, I'm not sure if I learned much about the law this year. I think I forgot a lot of what I learned first semester.
I believe that I, as a post 1L/pre 2L student, can be described best in Homestar Runner's words:
"Slightly used and mostly confused!"
In about an hour, I'll be skipping off to school blithely despite being woefully underprepared. At least this means I'm actually done with this particular professor forever and I'll be done for the year.
I see in my near future (post-exam): potent potables tonight, lots of cleaning tomorrow before my cousin arrives, and the spa on Friday. Also, there's a street fair downtown on Friday. Candy apples/strawberries, funnel cake, and gyros galore!
So it's okay if I can't answer 37 of the 38 multiple choice questions.... because I'm going to have a candied apple this week.
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
By this time tomorrow, I will be done with my first year of law school, the infamous 1L.
At this time, I'm trying to study for contracts, but I'm still tired despite having had eight hours of sleep last night. I only got about three hours the night before my criminal law exam because I couldn't fall asleep. I think my body's tired of this whole law school thing. I think it's in depression because it's gorgeous outside and I have to waste the day inside, studying a subject that I'm probably going to do poorly in (again).
Last semester, we had one essay for our contracts final and now I've found out that we had three essays (one with two parts) to finish in an hour and forty-five minutes followed by the multiple choice section that I absolutely bombed last semester. Yikes!
In the words of Peter Griffin, "This is going to be more intense than the time I forgot how to sit down."
Friday, May 06, 2005
Ha! Scoff! I scoff on that idea!
That's right. I had a hanger steak after my Property final. To pound the nails into my coffin, I had ketchup with my fries! After that, I went on to break a few more rules. I'm still drinking those chocolate strawberry iced lattes from Dunkin Donuts and having clam chowder for lunch.
The hives haven't come back. The way they appeared, coinciding with certain stressful events lately lend more to a stress cause than a food allergy cause.
Yup, I also like to live dangerously (three days before another final).
Thursday, May 05, 2005
We were seated immediately at a large table across from an older Chinese couple that was just finishing their meal. Soon after we sat down, a middle aged white guy sat next to Josh. We were polite, and the guy made a couple funny comments about people not wanting to sit down at our table anymore because he wasn't dressed well enough.
As we began eating, we continued to make polite conversation with the guy. Apparently, he was a bit of an amateur gourmet and told us about his latest creation of squid ink pasta served with scallops, shrimp, and squid topped with tomato curry. A few minutes after that, a French family walked in and he noticed they had a French map, so he spoke a few words to them. The mother from the family later came over and asked the guy for help in ordering their meal. I heard him ask her if she spoke Italian because he was better with that language, but she didn't, so he muddled along as best as he could. Later, he and Josh got into a political discussion. I usually don't like it when Josh gets into political discussions with his friends or family because it feels like he's trying to be antagonizing. I know it's because no matter what the discussion topic, Josh likes to play devil's advocate and argue the opposite side even if he doesn't feel that way himself. I was especially against Josh doing his usual "I was a political science major and now must flaunt my expertise" routine during lunch with a stranger. Thankfully, the Clinton-Bush thread was short.
We also learned that this guy was a brother-in-law to one of the professors at our law school. It turns out his entire family was a bunch of lawyers, only he was the black sheep and freelancing in some type of non-lawyerly work. He told us not to mention we ever met him if we ever had this particular professor because she'd probably drop his grade (I checked this particular professor's rating on Ratemyprofessors.com when I came home and found out that she's an awful woman, so I'll make sure to steer clear of her). We soon discovered that the party of three who were now sharing our table was also a bunch of lawyers fresh from the courthouse a few blocks away. On a side note, the three lawyers had each, uninterestingly, ordered the same dish.
Yeesh, I can't have soup dumplings without tripping over some lawyers. I'm sure this isn't a healthy attitude as a future attorney.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Lo and behold, my USB print server can't add it. At first I thought it was because I couldn't find the driver, but when I went to the HP site to download one directly, I found out that the printer does not support wireless technology. I called technical support anyway, in case they didn't mean that it was incompatible with a print server. It's not like I was asking for Bluetooth technology in my $99 printer.
Right now, I'm on hold to speak with a manager for the second time (the first time I was disconnected because my battery died). The tech support guy told me that I should search for a wireless printer if that's what I want, but I don't see why I should have to do that when my old HP from 5 years ago didn't even gasp in protest at being hooked up to a print server for wireless compatability.
I told the guy that I was outraged that a printer I purchased in 2005 can't hook up to a print server when my old printer that was made when wireless technology wasn't widespread like it is today. I told him that the HP site, as well as other retail sites don't say that the printer is not compatible with print servers. Apparently, the HP Shopping website says that it has no networking capability although the regular HP site makes no comment about this. I complained for a while that I was angry that I wasn't informed that it wasn't network capable. I guess I'm demanding too much for HP to have the same information on all its sites.
Son of a bitch! I just got disconnected after 10 minutes of "transfer time" to speak to a manager! Fresh anger is flowing through my veins.
5 minutes later...
I just got connected to my third tech support person of the day who wanted me to state my story all over again and I told her to stop asking me and just get me the supervisor. This time, it worked. Apparently, there's some moronic way of making the printer work with a print server, and that's to apply the generic driver for the HP 560C model, which is half the printer of my old one, the 895cse. I asked the guy if using the driver would compromise the quality of the printing, and of course, it would. I'd get 300 dpi, which was half the dpi of my old printer.
In the end, I'm keeping both printers. For $80 I'll deal with the fact that I can't print wirelessly and keep my old printer, which works wirelessly, until all the ink runs out. Throughout this whole 2 1/2 hour ordeal of being constantly angry, I think Josh was amused to see me angry at somebody other than him.
Sunday, May 01, 2005
Also the next problem: where was I going to find a dermatologist on a Sunday morning?
Of course - Chinatown, the magical place where doctors work on weekends.
I visited a dermatologist I'd seen once before and paid my $80 fee at 11:30 when I got there. After about 15 minutes, I got to see the doctor, who promptly told me that the sudden outbreak of hives was probably due to a food that I normally eat, but have suddenly developed an allergy for. He told me to restrict my diet to chicken, pork, rice, and vegetables (excluding tomatoes and corn in any form). After he said that, I was afraid that I just spent $80 to hear something I already knew.
It turned out all right in the end, as I walked out of the office with a stockpile of Zyrtec and Alavert samples. I was in and out in less than 45 minutes.
Hopefully, I won't be itching my way through the Property exam tomorrow.