Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website

Wow, I’ve been at school for a week now – went by fast. Some highlights of the week perhaps?
  • Sick! Not a positive highlight, but I suppose an important thing that happened nonetheless.
  • Meeting with STS Director of Undergraduate Studies – I felt like it was a good meeting, and the S&TS issues he talked about really attracted my interest. Also feel better about planning the next 2.5 years of classes, and possible paths I may go down.
  • Tons of homework – hundreds of pages of reading, problem sets – and it’s only been 3 days of classes!
  • Liking the house system – Flora Rose is nice. Quieter than last year’s dorm, but it’s alright. I love my ceiling fan! Makes things great. The computer lab, library area, and dining hall downstairs are all wonderful. Makes meeting up for breakfast convenient, even if it’s just continental breakfast. I just wish the food pantry had more food in stock than coffee, honey, and half a bowl of raisin bran!
  • Peer Advising – nice to meet freshmen, I spoke a little about this last time – it was a great experience!
  • Work! – Working on the Santana Website – and had our first TA meeting for Info 1300, will be doing more work on that this week and the rest of the semester!
  • Interesting classes – even with all the reading, there’s a lot of interesting material to look at – Facebook and Twitter in international relations, in Networks, evolution (and how testicles provide evidence for it…), where food comes from. Some interesting stuff!
  • Casino Night – Made $1100 off of blackjack (even though they gave us $800 or so to start with). Got some raffle tickets, but don’t think I won anything…but it was 2 hours of fun (was only going to stay for 1 hour) – fun with some guys at the blackjack table. I feel pretty good that I got that far ahead, since I was down to very very little for a while.
Bill Nye '77 (feel like I'm the Daily Sun, with the year numbers) shows his humor in his slideshow as well.
  • Bill Nye (the science guy! Bill! Bill! Bill! Bill!) – who was here for the dedication of a solar clock that he designed (class of ’77!). Besides being a regular clock, it measures solar noon (the time of day when the sun is highest in the sky) – he gave a lecture about sun dials – they’re COOL!! (as he would say. I have some pics on Facebook if you’re able to see them.) Stories about his father (captured in WWII), mother (who worked on the Enigma codebreaking! – CTY Cryptography and IB 20th Century IA topics!!!!). He’s just as great in real life as he is on tv – very humorous – dare I say it, he’s an icon of our generation. Very touching at the end as the University Choir came in singing the Alma Matter, and you could see him singing along with the chorus!
  • Badminton – Went to Noyes to play badminton, had some fun – I’m out of shape! Sore arms…but that will be something nice to look forward to for an hour or two on weekends.
  • Hurricane! – Been watching a lot of cable news coverage (of course it’s smart to stand in the ocean up to your chest where flood waters and high tides have come up.) Always interesting to watch them out and about (I guess it spikes ratings?) – Got our email here telling us to shut our windows tomorrow for wind gusts. Hope everyone in the path of Irene stays safe. We’ll see the situation on the ground (especially NYC) tomorrow. Suppose it’s a good thing I’m going to school relatively far inland (though it’d be more exciting if I were somewhere like Columbia I suppose).
But it’s been quite an eventful week! Can’t wait to see what the rest of the semester brings!
It’s back to school time, oh what fun! My mom and I flew in to Philadelphia on Friday and drove up to Ithaca from there all night, about 7 hours or so (including stops) – starting around 1am up until 8. Though at LAX, the gate we were at seemed like it was out of 1998 – complete with low ceilings, and old fashioned TVs! And I realized in St Louis (where we got delayed because of east coast weather problems) we were in the same terminal where the tornado hit and people took video of what happened. I was standing right there too. Powerful moment.
exact same place. You can't see it, but the Dunkin Donuts and Burger King from the video are just on the right out of frame
On the drive, we stopped at some of the same rest areas as last year! Including the New York welcome center (checked my email on their wireless!) It’s a good thing I brought my speaker cable to hook it up to my iPod, which helped keep me awake! Got in around 8am, and took the opportunity to run to the bookstore and grab my books before the big rush. It felt pretty good to be back.

Moving in went well, my room is nice, maybe a bit small, but with a few furnishings, it’s warm and cozy (visually not just physically!) It took a while to unpack everything, and for a while it looked crazy, like a hurricane or giant earthquake (by the way, hope everyone is safe after the Virginia earthquake that was felt all the way up the east coast) had come through and threw everything everywhere – but it looks much better now!

Did some shopping at Target during move in weekend – it was crazy! Mostly first year parents, but parents of kids from all years, as well as older students with their own cars – the parking lot was crowded, there were lines (but they went quickly – every Target checkstand was full!) and many things were out of stock, like my much needed blue tape! Though it’s like Christmas for the businesses. Bed Bath & Beyond and Kohls were quite crowded as well.

Spent a day with family friends on one of the other finger lakes. I hadn’t been there since last year, but we haven’t been there for a substantial amount of time for a few years. I had time to swim in the lake, and swam out past the raft (for what I think was the first time ever for me!). Enjoyed swimming through the waves created by power boats, and playing on the rock beach. Also got to use a mask and saw quite a number of fish, which I haven’t seen before – I never realized there were that many fish there. As we ate dinner outside, we thought there’d be a nice sunset, but it suddenly got foggy. Soon we saw it, an approaching storm! That was really something! I had never seen anything like it! A storm coming up the lake valley, you could see the wind come across the lake, and the rain behind it. With about 4 minutes and counting, everyone jumped up to move everything inside the house and secure the beach. It was amazing how fast everyone worked! Then a few of us stood out on the beach watching the approaching storm – almost like in a movie! Like one of those digital visual effects shots where the group is watching the approaching storm…except it was for real! So we experienced a real summer storm, complete with high winds, thunder, and lightning! But we also stayed inside and played some board games at night. I can really appreciate being disconnected from technology, internet, and cell service – it was a great mini vacation before school started! And we spent the night at a bed and breakfast which was nice as well.
This doesn't really give the storm justice - it's one of those things where you have to be there. But look at the horizontal wind sock to get an idea of the wind speed...
I’ve been able to catch up with some people here – meals with Han, Barrett, and Stephen. Had a run in with a lot of people – John, Yusnier, Alex, Ariel, Zach, Han Hee, and an impromptu Target trip with Kirat. I feel like I’m running into a lot more people compared to last year – not sure if it’s because we’re living in different places, because there are no classes, other things, or a combination of those…

Peer advising was a fun experience. We had a big information and orientation session with all the peer advisors (and free shirts!), and they were all a nice group of people, I suppose all with the shared experience of having gone through the freshmen experience. In my group, not everyone showed up, but I had a good time with the ones who were there – tried to be relaxing, helpful, covering some of the drier material and answer their own questions. It’s hard to know though – going into something like this hoping to make an impact, but all you can do is hope that you can make some type of impact or difference in the hour you spend with them. I want to be there to help them, to help give back and what not, I want them to ask me questions so it doesn’t turn into me lecturing them. It’s hard to do. But some of them were pretty engaged and had some good questions, which I really appreciate. I hope they got something good out of the session! And hopefully I’ll hear back from a couple of them. Any freshmen reading this who have upperclassmen advisor type figures, take advantage of their experience as much as you can! We’re here to help you! (well most of us at least).

Also had my CU Winds audition which was alright, nice to be back in Lincoln. It’s also nice to be back on campus, but a bit strange – almost started walking to north instead of west one time! But now I know my way around, talked a while to a freshman in the Ivy Room.

Today was also the big TA meeting for the Intro Web Design & Programming Course – it was nice to see some old faces and meet some new ones – I’m looking forward to the work we’re going to be doing this semester!

Been running the gamut in the last week doing everything! Seeing people, going places, packing and cleaning. Anyways, had a great past week (though if you count a while before that, there was a lunch at Rowland Garden Café which I may or may not have mentioned before) – partial IB reunion last week – low turnout – wish more people were able to come! Saw people up in San Francisco, going away to college party when I came back – wonderful to see old friends and meet some new people – a lunch at Red Robin, and bowling night that turned into a somewhat chaotic (but still fun!) night that went through various stops and sit downs settling down at Guppy, and ending with a breakfast adventure La Mirada. It’s been nice to catch up with a few people – wish I had time to see more and spend more time with people! Ah well, only 4 more months to go!

Meanwhile, I’m starting to work at my new school site as webmaster. I was on site yesterday to help out at an inservice – nice to see Victor and some other people that I knew. Cool to see teachers and their tablets! Also stayed a while to help out setting up a couple computers and looking for some equipment – along with a crazy hilarious adventure with 3 guys and a flashlight looking for a box in what we thought was a closet which turned out to be a hallway into a darkroom. Complete with its own creepy closets. Like a crime procedural. Or horror movie. It was quite an adventure!

So last weekend, my family made a family vacation up to NorCal – family together time! It was a lot of fun, and I had a great time! On the way up, we stopped at Winchester House in San Jose - where there are stairs to nowhere, doors that open to 8 foot drops, in a house that was constantly being built and rebuilt. Quite an interesting tour. We drove up Thursday afternoon and got to our hotel room. We walked around the area a little bit, and decided to eat dinner at Squat and Gobble – a little café and crepe place (though we didn’t eat any crepes – but tried their dinner special menu) – and it was quite good food!
Friday was fun – spent most of it with Katie on a whirlwind tour of San Francisco. (Which means doing all the tourist things that locals never do!) Started off at Market and Powell, and took a cable car to Lombard Street. Instead of waiting by the turntable, we walked up the hill to the next stop, to catch it there, getting standing positions, hanging off the side of the cable car! Which was fun (not to mention the arm exercise) – though I’m not sure how safe that is! A bit exhilarating ride!
Lombard Street!
Sea lions at Pier 39!
BIG Westfield Mall!
We got to Lombard Street, and after some pictures, walked down the hill to the water over to Fishermans Wharf and Pier 39. We got to see the sea lions, walked through some of the shops (including the Lefty’s shop – for left handed people! Special pens, notebooks, cups, scissors, can openers, and more!), and grabbed crepes. We then completed the long (and somewhat arduous) walk up to Coit Tower, and waited in line for the long elevator ride up – in an old fashioned elevator! Beautiful views of San Francisco (though next time, I’m not sure I’d do it again – one of those onetime things that are great to do the first time perhaps). From there, we walked down to the Embarcadero and took the F tram (like real street cars – old trams!) back to Market to meet up with Benson for lunch – at Taco’s Sandwiches. For sandwiches, not tacos. Good pork sandwiches though! From there, we spent some time around Market Street, in and out of the Westfield mall before calling it a day. Afterwards, did a walkthrough of Chinatown with my parents before a looong walk back to the hotel.
Inside where the farmers market is
Railway Museum - model of a cable car!
Golden Gate Bridge!
The next day I was with my family again – we made a stop by the Levi’s Plaza, before going down to the Farmers’ Market, which was quite busy, and in a nice location next to the waterfront. We made a quick stop in the San Francisco Railway Museum too, which had some nice exhibits about the history of street cars in San Francisco. From there, we went over to the Golden Gate Bridge (where I left my National Parks passport in the car and forgot to get it stamped!) and walked around underneath the bridge for a while. After that, we drove across the bridge and stopped in Muir Woods National Monument (I did bring my passport for the National Parks this time!). We went on the main trail in a little circle to look at the redwood trees! Wow, they were huge! It was really a breathtaking trip, looking at trees hundreds of years old. Though some of the tourists didn’t exactly contribute to the natural ambience at some parts in the trail (I suppose that’s why real nature seekers take the real trails out into the woods), I had a great time there! (We were pretty lucky to find a parking space too!)
Beautiful scenery in Muir Woods
Amazing redwoods!
After that, we headed across the water (after going the long way back to the freeway), over to Berkeley, and stopped there for a while – took a little bit to look around the Berkeley campus, realizing I had no idea what I was looking at! And stopped to get some sandwiches for lunch.
Hello Berkeley
After that we were on our way southbound – I drove for a couple hours down, and we stopped in Fresno for a few hours to see some family friends, and then back down to SoCal through the rest of the night!
Ah, Sunset Boulevard – how I will miss travelling down it – past the medical center and Ralph’s, Hollywood Senior High School, the Sunset Gower Studios, offices of various guilds, Guitar Center and Sam Ash, past Mexican restaurants, and plenty of tourist buses and vans. (I’ll miss Union Station too, but that’s downtown). Few more quick thoughts for tonight – since I really am not going to get much sleep tonight!

Today was the last day of my internship – and while I can look forward to being able to sleep in (for a few days, anyways, before I head back) – I am sad to be leaving. I had a great time at my internship, at a large independent production company. Much thanks to the Cornell in Hollywood Program for providing this opportunity. I loved being in the environment – sometimes it’s still surreal when you hear people in the office talking about past shows, current shows, various talent, shows being pitched (oh my, real pitches!), marketing strategies online and with different networks (and their websites) – the list goes on and on. It was a wonderful place to be, and I’m so glad that I have been able to do that, and to meet and work with the people there, it has been a great experience, and a great summer.

Quick rundown of the day since I need to sleep soon!

On the bus to work this morning, one of the little paper sleeves/ads that are on the ceiling was loose, swinging around a bit. When it hit a bump, it floated down and hit one passenger on the head – but there was a nice little shared moment with the rest of the passengers on the bus as it put a little smile on everyone’s face.

Working on that research for the tv pilot, started on a new topic today though. Got taken out to lunch by my supervisor (I guess that’s what I’d call him?) along with some of the other office staff – nice little walk and conversation – tomato and basil pizza is pretty good too. I just love being in the environment – being able to hear about people’s projects, or other shows in development or being produced (once in a while I’ll hear a reference to a show I’ve heard on tv!) – and their knowledge of the tv industry here, it’s an amazing environment to be in and to be exposed to.

Meanwhile tonight, besides being glued to images of UK Riots (not so much London now, but Birmingham I believe), as well as the Wisconsin recall elections seeing what happens – I always enjoy election nights! Especially because of this!

For a date of 8-8, it didn’t seem that lucky (Chinese culture likes 8s right?) Well I suppose work went well, so for me it was alright. I was continuing the research from last week, looking up material for the tv pilot. Also took the time to go to lunch across the street with some of my coworkers (though I suppose it’s not exactly “co” since I’m an intern and not an employee? Maybe?) – had a pretty good tuna sandwich, the food was pretty good, though the service was only alright… But it was great to sit down with the others and talk with them in a more informal matter. 

Today’s stock market. Yikes. Had a tab open on my computer, and would refresh the page every so often – down a few hundred already when the president made his speech, though it didn’t seem to be much better.  630 points down. That’s unbelievable – I thought going down over 500 last week was crazy, I don’t even know what to think about today. Though I suppose things will get better with time, it’s just a question of how long we’re going to take to get out…and so far, the downgrade of our credit rating hasn’t seemed to motivate the political parties in publicly taking steps together…time will tell.

And the riots in London. Hits close to home now. It’s scary really, recognizing the places they mention on BBC News, which I’ve been streaming for a good portion of the day, hearing about places we were mere weeks ago. I’ve been glued to my screen with the incredible riveting images of the rioting, fires, people smashing buses with food, what seems like chaos in the streets, police down the streets (or lack of them) – unbelievable images coming out of there. Seen riot police in old news footage (from a long time ago), or in movies, but seeing them now is a frightening indicator of the situation. I found out about the events over the weekend by chance, looking at some UK news sites – I haven’t heard any mainstream US media coverage until today. Though I would rather read the UK coverage, to get the location and other details (which aren’t really needed in the US reports, besides saying “around London”). Though I do feel that if similar things were happening in certain places in the US, news helicopters would have more of a presence in multiple locales, while it seems like there is less helicopter access in London (at least for BBC) – though they do fly in circles more there, while US helicopters seems to hover more – makes for some interesting camera angles and pans. Interesting to see some pictures on the BBC streaming online video, of the calm of the police/government officials on one side of a splitscreen juxtaposed with live pictures of the violence going on outside.  Though I’d be interested to know more about the root causes – just youth and criminals looking for something to do, or if this is representative of deeper problems…  But it was quite unsettling to see the videos of Clapham Junction being looted – especially considering how often we were going through there. Also looking at the National Rail twitter feed, updating every few minutes about station closures – and recognizing stations – a surreal experience.  The Debenhams – I have a picture of the department store, we were right across the street from there. We walked right past the costume store being burned. Imagining what it would be like if we were there right now (though from this infographic, there haven’t been events out by where we were in Roehampton/Putney). Scary and surreal. Hope everyone we know there is safe. I’m tempted to stay up a few more hours to get morning news coverage from London, but I should sleep soon…I’ll get updates tomorrow.

This was Debenhams in Clapham Junction a few weeks ago when we were there...below are videos from tonight in the same area. The building on fire in one of the videos is just a little ways to the left from where I'm standing taking the photo.
I guess I need to write, here’s day 51…but fair warning, blog entries are likely to get shorter (though maybe that’s more of a good thing for the reader? Up to you to decide…)

A little bit about today. Got up this morning, and didn’t have a big schedule.  But I went looking around at new backpacks – I really like the one I have, but I don’t want to be scrambling around to find one when my current one breaks – and took my nephew around to look at a few stores so we weren’t sitting inside all day. Took him on a little tour too – showed him some of the hills in the area, and the Back to the Future site at the mall! Awesome place!

Also spent some time swimming today – with Lego/Rokenbok sets in the pool as boats/aqua bases/oil rigs – and proceeded to bombard them with tennis balls. I wish I had thought of that myself before! It was quite fun, and a great way to spend an afternoon.

Tonight watched Ty Pennington in Britain, helping a community renovate their public pool. He said something about 911 when they brought in fire trucks and I thought “they don’t use 911 in Britain though!” – and there was rain every single day he was there – welcome to England, Ty!

Not much besides that today – last week of interning is coming up, and need to get ready for school again!

Alright, I wasn’t going to blog tonight, but I realized that if I did, it would make 50 consecutive days of blogging! And then I’m going to stop after tonight. Well not stop completely, but try to go back to once a week or being more sporadic. Possibly. But probably not every night – especially once school starts. Besides, blog entries are somewhat like homemade popcorn. If there’s not a whole lot to write about/pop, then it’s not really worth it as much to turn on the stove and make it. Likewise, the more often you make it, the less value the popcorn making/blog writing process becomes.

Possibly. Again, we’ll see how I feel – if I miss it terribly, I may just continue doing another 50 consecutive days.

Anyways, today was the wrap up session at the Farmers Market for Cornell in Hollywood – though I’ve still got another 3 days of interning before I’m done. After that, my family went to Philippe’s for French dip sandwiches (the original!) which were pretty good. Coming back we stopped at Costco (ran into Sharon and Jessica), and Sam Ash (reeds!). Tonight took my nephew to see Harry Potter, along with the guys, (saw other Sharon afterwards) along with a quick trip into Toys R Us. Good day overall! Very tired tonight though. Got excited during the trailers to see the War Horse trailer again – beautiful music in there, I’d bet that it’s John Williams’ music in the soundtrack (he’s scoring the movie, which is Spielberg’s of course). And during Harry Potter, I was yet again excited by the music (not squealing like last time though), and was able to catch on some things I didn’t see the first time (magical hand sanitizer?) and re-enjoy some parts I loved last time. And annoyed with some of the same parts too! But I
was glad to see it again (and would be willing to see it a third! Just saying…)

So again, good day today. Until I decide to pop again…

Today, we went out to Loyola Marymount University to pick up my nephew from a summer program. It’s been quite a while since I’ve been there – much of it still looks the same! Though there are parts that are new – either newly built or renovated. Listened to some podcasts on the way there (and took a nap), and there was a lot of traffic on the way back. Also got trained this morning on how to use the website admin backend for the website I’m going to be working on.

Not much else news today, time for some #worldslongestmarathon, a reflection on my senior year of high school –

  •  #worldslongestmarathon day 70 - lots of homework. ALOT of homework
    This was coming after our championship weekend (5th for another year…), and the week before winter break – a lot of homework! If I remember correctly, we had our IB History IA’s due, there may have been a Math IA, and was it possible that we had to do our TOK essays? (or was that second semester? Time kind of meshes together…)
  •  #worldslongestmarathon 71 - my british accent isn't that great. and analyzing 10 quotes in 50 minutes makes my hand hurt!!!!
    There were several times in English class when I would try reading things aloud in a “British” accent (only to the people around me in our little corner, not the whole class) – I know when I was in London this summer, I realized how wayyy off I was in senior year – I guess I realized it a bit then too. And we had to do quote analysis that day as well – that much writing can sure hurt a hand (though 2 hours to do 9 quotes, 1 long essay, and 2 short essays in a college final hurts more!)
  •  #worldslongestmarathon 72 -homeroom class makes a "santa doesn't do drugs" poster for class competition....
    For our door decorating contest for Christmas, our IB class continued our red ribbon week poster theme to a “Santa Doesn’t Do Drugs” poster…I suppose what’s better than a Christmas poster with a message? While we didn’t win, it was an entertaining poster to make, full of IB inside jokes…
  •  #worldslongestmarathon day 73 - woah, what a strange english essay! and i had a headache...i think i need to sleep more
    Self explanatory – not sure what the essay was, might have been a story, or poetry. I have a feeling it was “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Heale Hurston.  Yes, I could sleep, but there’s only 1 more day until winter break!

  •  #worldslongestmarathon day 74 - gave mr alvo his gift - i think he was surprised! i like surprise gifts =) history quiz, english potluck!
    Ah, surprise gifts. As Mr. Alvo had been talking about how cold it had been in his office, we arranged the gifts to look like a blanket roll and a space heater. And when he unwrapped it, you could see it wasn’t quite what he was expecting. Though after urging him to open the box, he was surprised to find a game – and threw the blanket behind him into the pit. (I imagine that I had a rather shocked face with that) as I said something akin to you really don’t want to throw away the blanket – rolled inside was a gift card to accompany it. Better than a snuggie I suppose.

  •  I think i may reintroduce the dates to the #worldslongestmarathon - or ib senior year. day 74 is 12.11.09. no more updates until january!
    Good bye, 2009, see you in 2010!