Sunday, April 30, 2006

i love this game

I can't believe I witnessed what I witnessed today. Smush making the biggest 3-pt shot and defensive play of his career. Lamar making clutch free throws down the stretch. Nash uncharacteristically turning the ball over (twice) and losing the jump ball to Luke. And Kobe being himself by making a ridiculous floater that sent the game into overtime.. AND finishing the job with a fadeaway jumper at the buzzer to win the game:

What a display of true team basketball led by the true MVP. GO LAKERS!!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

song of the week #5

James Blunt - High

No, it's not about getting high off the Mary Jane. It simply describes his relationship with an incredible person. And it's her presence from which he gets high.. and loves the fact that he is. Run wild, free spirit.

What a suitable song to involve the xylophone. Hear it?

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Thursday, April 20, 2006

the longest commute in america

Dave Givens drives 370 miles to work and back everyday, from Mariposa to San Jose. That's about seven hours in the car, every single day. He spends around $185/week in gasoline. And he apparently has enough job satisfaction to keep doing this.

Even if I absolutely loved my job, I would never be crazy enough to drive that far. He must get paid in gold bullions or something.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

song of the week #4

Anna Nalick reminds me of Jewel. How their tones and vibratos are strangely similar. How their lyrics are really left open to interpretation to the listener. But what's even cooler (from what I read in her bio) is that she's strongly influenced by John Mayer's lyrical arrangements and considers Stevie Ray Vaughan as "the guy she plans to marry when she gets to heaven." Kind of a weird statement, but I got excited when I saw that she's an SRV-follower. Definitely one of the first female artists I've heard of who's influenced by those two fellows.

She's more known for her breakout song, "Breathe (2 AM)," which I'm not so fond of. When I heard that song for the very first time, I scratched my head in confusion because I swear it sounded like this other song. It drove me nuts to the point that I went through my entire mp3 list only to come up empty-handed. Am I the only one who thinks this? Someone please alleviate this nagging inconvenience and tell me I'm right.

this week's song: Anna Nalick - Catalyst.

catalyst: something that speeds up a reaction without itself being consumed or transformed in the process. We all have one. Maybe you're lucky enough (or unlucky for that matter) to have already found yours.

Sunday, April 16, 2006


  • I had one of those really rare dreams that left me happy when I woke up. No, nothing extraordinary happened.. the sequence of events was really trivial and didn't even make sense. But it was the feeling I got when I heard this particular statement. I woke up. Reality hit for a brief sad second, so I hurried back to sleep to catch the end of the happy show that was my dream.
  • After two-and-a-half years, Emery and I finally got on talking terms. Well, more like hand-signaling terms. Example: I pretended to cry, she noticed, and on impulse, she grabbed the nearest thing to her (an easter egg basket) and handed it to me. I wondered what would happen if I continued to cry, so I did. Perplexed, she wiggled her finger at me as if she was saying hey, don't do that! and, to my surprise, began to cry herself. I felt like such a jerk. Dangit, I love this girl!
  • "There is no defeat big enough for you to lose hope. There is no suffering without a purpose."
  • I love it when the song you're listening to ends right when you pull up into the driveway. What a perfect way to end the trip from wherever you were coming from. I wonder if anyone feels the same way.


And I woke up this morning and realized that Jesus is not a portrait.
Or stained glass windows or hymns or all the traditions that surrounds us.
And I thought it would be hard to believe in
But it's not hard at all
To believe I've sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.

And He's not asking me to change in my joy for martyrdom
He's asking to take my place.
To stand in the gap that I have formed
With His real, and His sweet, and His real amazing grace.
And it's not just a sign or a sacrament
It's not just a metaphor for love
The blood is real and it's not just a symbol of your faith.

So leave out the Thee's and Thou's and speak now.

-Sara Groves, Awakening

Thursday, April 13, 2006

astro pic of the day


Star Cluster Dreams
Montage Credit & Copyright: Jose Suro

Explanation: Located some 7,000 light-years away toward the constellation Perseus, this pair of open or galactic star clusters really is visible to the unaided eye and was cataloged in 130 BC by Greek astronomer Hipparchus. Now known as h and chi Persei (NGC 869/884), the clusters themselves are separated by a few hundred light-years and contain stars much younger, and hotter than the Sun. But what if this famous double star cluster were closer, say only 700 light-years distant from our fair solar system, crowding our sky with stars? Astrophotographer Jose Suro also imagines a clear, moonless, dark night sky on a warm evening near tranquil waters. The foreground is illuminated by starlight in his composited dreamlike image of the cluster pair. He notes that while the solar system is not in the vicinity of such rich clusters of stars, dark night skies and warm evenings can still be inspiring on planet Earth.

Monday, April 10, 2006

song of the week #3

And so my publicity of Korean singer-songwriters continues. Here's Susie Suh (pronounced "soo"). I'm glad I was introduced to her.

I checked out her gig in Hollywood yesterday night with the Pok. Very cool, mellow, sip-your-beer-and-tap-your-foot-to-the-music kind of night. Many would characterize her voice as "hauntingly-beautiful." I agree. I left with a tremendous amount of respect for her ability to perform at a studio-recording level and yet make it seem so effortless. I think that's the absolute test of true talent.. performing well in an environment where you can't depend on the take-two's.

She used a really cool effects pedal that would harmonize to a third above and a third below the note that's sung which, of course, gives the effect of background singers joining her in the chorus. I've got to check out one of those!

It did seem like she rushed through her set a little bit (seven songs in thirty-five minutes). I had hoped that she would tell a story behind the song before playing it, or at least explain what it's about because I'm always interested in how songs came to be. But we got nothing more than, "here's a song about my mom" and one-line explanations like that. But hey, it's her show, she's signed with Sony, and she can do whatever she wants. But after chatting with her a couple minutes afterwards, she really is a cool person.

Susie Suh - Light On My Shoulder

This song is about being dependent on someone for the right reasons.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

my mocha latte

Me and Christine at Bon Vivant. That was fun.

Friday, April 07, 2006

b-ball freestyle

This came out around six years ago, but it's still the best Nike commercial ever.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

costco conundrum

As I left work around 5:30 today, it felt very odd to see the sun still shining so brightly. Dang daylight savings. All this extra sunlight gave me the urge to grab a $1.50 Costco hot dog, and so I went.

Decided to peruse around Costco before claiming my prize. I remember how I used to be such a bookworm as a little kid and indulge myself in the books section while my parents shopped for groceries and bottled water. It's been a while since I picked up a book to read for pure leisure.. maybe I'll start again. Any suggestions? Anyways, I inhaled a couple mashed potatoes samples, then checked out with some eggs and a bag of spicy beef jerky.

Now, I've always wondered about those two employees who stand by the exit and ask you for your receipt before you leave the building. They take one look at the receipt, quickly eyeball the things in the shopping cart, glance at the receipt again, pull out a highlighter and finally mark across it. This entire process takes about five seconds per customer, regardless of the amount of stuff they bought at Costco that day.

So I think to myself, what exactly are they doing? I understand that they try to check for items that aren't listed on the receipt in case the cashier forgot to charge something. But c'mon, how accurately can you verify what's in the shopping cart versus what the receipt says within that amount of time?! What about the guy behind me who has two jam-packed shopping carts? Do they randomly choose one or two items from the receipt and check for those items only? Why not the other items? What if some guy hid some stolen dvd's between the frozen pizza and the toilet paper? You expect these guys to do anything more than mark receipts??

This frustrating mystery quickly left me as I remembered to get my hot dog and soda.. for only a $1.50. You can't beat that anywhere!

Monday, April 03, 2006

song of the week #2

I generally don't listen to rhythm & blues music. In fact, I could count on one hand of the number of R&B songs that I even like. And Mister Brian McKnight takes four of the five (you can guess the last one). From his latest album that never really took off, "Everytime You Go Away" is this week's song of the week. While it has the typical R&B elements like the syncopated bass line and synthesizer, the foundation of this song is built on a simple piano riff. Strings add a nice touch, but surprise.. electric guitar interlude in an R&B song? Very impressive Brian, especially since he produced this song by himself.

What really amazes me about him is his ability to sing the way he does while playing the piano or guitar. I've come to the conclusion that he has two biological metronomes ticking in his head. We know him by his amazing vocal skills, but geez, he plays a mean piano. You can see him on the keys here. His guitar-playing is very polished. He apparently plays trumpet too.

I did a random YouTube search and found a "One Last Cry" duet performance with Brian McKnight and Kim Jo Han. Kim Jo Han did a pretty good job hiding his accent as he sang, but he should have left the stage once Brian started singing. He showed Korean Boy how it was done. Near the end of the song, the Korean guy was so blown away by Brian that he laughs in disbelief.

"Everytime" is about missing someone so much that even the promise of returning home isn't enough.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

daylight savings

It's that time of year again. I still don't think the following explanation justifies losing an hour of precious sleep.

One of the biggest reasons we change our clocks to Daylight Saving Time (DST) is that it saves energy. Energy use and the demand for electricity for lighting our homes is directly connected to when we go to bed and when we get up. Bedtime for most of us is late evening through the year. When we go to bed, we turn off the lights and TV.

In the average home, 25 percent of all the electricity we use is for lighting and small appliances, such as TVs, VCRs and stereos. A good percentage of energy consumed by lighting and appliances occurs in the evening when families are home. By moving the clock ahead one hour, we can cut the amount of electricity we consume each day.

Studies done in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that we trim the entire country's electricity usage by about one percent EACH DAY with Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time "makes" the sun "set" one hour later and therefore reduces the period between sunset and bedtime by one hour. This means that less electricity would be used for lighting and appliances late in the day.

We also use less electricity because we are home fewer hours during the "longer" days of spring and summer. Most people plan outdoor activities in the extra daylight hours. When we are not at home, we don't turn on the appliances and lights. A poll done by the U.S. Department of Transportation indicated that Americans liked Daylight Saving Time because "there is more light in the evenings / can do more in the evenings."

While the amounts of energy saved per household are small...added up they can be very large.

In the winter, the afternoon Daylight Saving Time advantage is offset by the morning's need for more lighting. In spring and fall, the advantage is less than one hour. So, Daylight Saving Time saves energy for lighting in all seasons of the year except for the four darkest months of the year (November, December, January and February) when the afternoon advantage is offset by the need for lighting because of late sunrise.