Summer Musings 2005

It’s funny how summer always brings me to write these longer lists entries, but I guess I have more to ponder over the time.

-For sightseeing around unfamiliar cities, I am now going to fully recommend Easy Street Guidemaps. Not only are the maps nice looking, they list more than just monuments, but tips on what to see, and restaurants, municipal rail stops, along with banks and ATMs. Very handy.

-There are some nice places in DC. I’m, however, very disappointed in DC’s Chinatown. It’s nice looking an area and appeals to younger Americans, but it’s mostly a bunch of American businesses with Chinese characters placed on their signs. Plus, the very little that is Chinese doesn’t even serve dim sum, save like 1 (or two I’m not sure). Pathetic.

-I went to do more sight seeing with Shoshana and two of her roommates last Saturday. We went to the Smithsonian, or more specifically the American History Museum and the Air and Space Museum. Fun.

Sputnik
Sputnik

-If you’ve seen Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, remember that scene in the beginning of the movie when he asks “Why is it I always fall for someone who shows the slightest interest?” That’s how I feel way too often.

-Probably one of the most intelligent people I’ve talked to in DC was an auto mechanic I was randomly talking to while waiting on the subway. He apparently reads a ton of books on religion, all affirming his belief that the idea of God to most people is a false one. Agree with him or not, he came to this opinion through rational thought and examination. It was rather surprising to see this kind of thought from someone I (regrettably) assumed would not do. Just another proof that I shouldn’t make judgments on people without some examination of facts.

-Just to back track, my mom lectured my brother after he helped a family with their bags at a bus station we were at. She said about an old lady, her daughter, and two kids, “they maybe drug dealers.” Of course, my brother reacts logically “I thought I was going to get a ‘great job’, but I get a lecture about some crazy idea.” We both knew if it was a Chinese family (instead of whatever ethnicity the other family was-my guess is Indian), she would been “great job.”

-How do bad ideas stay in place? A lot of the times, it’s because it’s tradition or just the way things are down. Not knowing the history of things, thereby not understanding the tradition or why things were done that way, however, makes it pointless to insist on keeping it. And just because the thing was done that way before does not make it better or the way one should do things now. It seems obvious, but sometimes people don’t know what they’re thinking.

-A couple of my co-workers have Berkeley connections. I met one who went to Berkeley, one who transferred out of Berkeley (back when it was quarter school), and one who lived at Berkeley for a couple of summers working at Smart Alec’s (back when they were just starting). Kind of neat.

-So we finally had our intern lunch at US News. Kind of surprised at how different the reporters have it than me with the web team. I really felt the web team was trying to integrate me in, bringing me into lunch and all the meetings and stuff. Meanwhile, the writers are eating at their desks and working quietly in their cubicles. The reporters are still all nice though, but something contributes to this unsocial environment. It might come with age; the web team is a good deal younger and enjoy television (for some reason, they watch a lot of reality shows-particularly America’s Next Top Model) and other youthful things.

-Speaking of television, I watch a lot of public television when I’m on vacation. I was able to watch a whole lot more, thanks to my HD box at home. With that box, the local PBS stations sent out 3 channels of programming at once, giving me more choices on what to watch. Plus, much of their programming is available for free on the web. All of this is why I signed this petition to help stop Congress from cutting funding PBS and NPR. If you like public broadcasting, you should do the same.

Finally:
-Q. How many Cal students does it take to change a light bulb?
A. Seventy-eight. One to change the light bulb, fifty to protest the light bulb’s right not to change and of the fascist oppressors who made it change, twenty-five to organize a counter-protest, and two to drop acid and stare at all the pretty colors.

More jokes about the UCs from UCB Livejournal

It’s a lot to read I know. Until next time…