Archive for July, 2008

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spectaculathon.

July 25, 2008

Last night, I went to see the premier show of the Epic Theater Group – the Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon. In all honesty, I wasn’t expecting anything better than a high school play. However, I was quite happily surprised. The play was a spectacular medley of fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm. While the plot wasn’t very original and the acting was a bit over the top, the jokes made me laugh harder than I have in a long time. There were only a few actors, so they all played multiple characters with the only props being used to differentiate the various roles. They had a great turnout too for a Thursday night, and hopefully more people go tomorrow!

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dark knight.

July 21, 2008

As the movie that beat Spiderman 3’s opening weekend, that sold out midnight showings weeks early, that could deliver Heath Ledger a posthumous Oscar, that has pretty much been hyped since Batman Begins came out, The Dark Knight begs to get a blog post. So if you haven’t seen it, go see it; it’s worth the $10 dollars. But this is what I thought, and I’m going to try to keep it short.

Heath Ledger was incredible, playing The Joker in such a disturbed manner, he made me cringe more than once. He very clearly blew the rest of the cast out of the water. However, The Joker does have more character to show than anyone else in the movie, and Ledger had the pressure to live up to Jack Nicholson’s Joker. Either way, it was very original and definitely made the movie.

Christian Bale; there is just something that I don’t like about him. And I can’t figure out what it is because I love every movie I’ve seen with him (Batman Begins, Newsies, American Psycho, Equilibrium, I’m Not There). And the Bat-voice; as cool as I think it is that he can actually make his voice sound like that, it was very distracting. All I could think was, “I know Christian Bale doesn’t sound anything like that”.

As far as plot, there were a few things I disliked (I’m not going into detail because it would be too long). First, I never thought Bruce Wayne was so intent on giving Batman up and this part of the plot seemed unnecessary. Second, I really didn’t like the Rachel character, or that she seemed to be the driving reason behind everything Batman/Bruce did. In fact, I was pretty happy when Batman ended up saving Harvey Dent instead. Third, why did Batman crash into the truck after avoiding hitting The Joker? He should definitely be smoother than that, or at least smooth enough not to knock himself out while trying to fight a bad guy. Fourth, finding out where The Joker was through cellphones was a bit ridiculous. And now I’m torn between whether Lucius Fox resigned or not because it definitely felt like he was walking away for good when the machine was blowing up.

Since it’s easier to pick at things I disliked, I will finish with the fact that it was a very entertaining and enjoyable movie. I don’t believe it was the end all be all of movies. I don’t even think it was levels above Iron Man. But it was worth seeing and probably worth owning.

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hot yoga.

July 17, 2008

Last week I decided to try yoga. In general, it never really interested me much more than wanting to be able to sit in impressive poses. But the fact that it is suppose to be amazing for every part of you, combined with the fact that I felt in desperate need of physical activity, I decided to give it a go. Plus, the Inner Fire Yoga Center had an amazing introductory trial that was too good to pass up. So I’ve been doing an hour of hot yoga every day this week.

I started with an intro to Bikram Yoga, which was a lot of fun, but in the end, I am not ready to try a real class. Then I tried two Yin classes, but I don’t think it’s my thing. I just don’t like the meditation part of yoga nor do I have the patience to hold the poses for extended amounts of time. So I’ve pretty much settled on the Power Flow classes. It’s intense to say the least. 1 hour. 105 degrees. And continually moving up and down. Clearly I have never sweat so much in my entire life. But it feels great afterwards. Now I just need the movtivation to continue doing it every day.

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on your own.

July 10, 2008

Looking back, living in an apartment my senior year was one of the most helpful things I ever did for my future. It has definitely made the transition from college to life much simpler. I don’t feel like I’ve ever been clueless about how to live on my own, but there’s a huge difference between knowing and doing. Given I had a few years of having to rely on the parents for advice but not decisions, having Cornell as a safety net, and having friends who were in the same semi-independent position, finally moving out on my own was like walking down a hill rather than jumping off a cliff.

Having spent two years shopping for groceries and cooking dinner for myself, I have perfected my college cooking to the point that it provides full, quick, easy meals that I don’t feel bad about eating. I have also determined exactly how much I can eat, how much I need to cook, how often I need to shop, how much I should spend, and pretty much what I need to have in the kitchen. Actually having rented an apartment gave me a sense of what I wanted in a new place and how to go through the motions of actually signing the lease. I also finally got to pay bills, which is very exciting, and really started managing my money.

So now, I only had to figure out a few other basics. Acquiring furniture was probably the most difficult, if only because I tried to do it on a budget and without a truck/van. Negotiating and financing a car was another big step; finding decent insurance is even harder. Setting up utilities also proved a bit harder than I expected. And when you add in starting a new job, which means trying to work out all the benefits, I’m pretty glad that I can make dinner in ten minutes without too much hassle. And I’m pretty proud I did the majority of my move without my parents.

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day one.

July 7, 2008

What is there to say about the first day? Given the fact that I had to wake up earlier than I ever had for college and had to pay attention for almost nine hours straight, I’m pretty surprised I haven’t crashed yet. Maybe it’s excitement, maybe it’s just the fact that I haven’t had time to lie down yet. Overall, it was a surprisingly uneventful day. Clearly, there was a lot to absorb, but if I had to boil down what I did, it was mostly sitting and listening to people talk all day.

My mentor deserves heaps of thanks. He was amazing today helping me get settled in my office and having set up a bunch of my computer stuff, like email. Having him point things out from building to building has definitely helped me acquire a better (though still incredibly sparse) mental map of the campus. I hope it’ll come with time, or else I will be forever getting lost.

On a side note, given the increased amount of traffic I have gotten in the last two days, it seems that someone/thing must be keeping on top of the blogs at Epic. Hopefully not everyone will be one-time visitors who don’t even leave a comment. But since that might be an unattainable wish, maybe they will find one of my other sites more interesting (probably tumblr).

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last day.

July 6, 2008

Today is the last day before I start my first full-time job with Epic Systems in Madison, WI. My house still lacks a significant amount of furniture (mainly a couch), but at least I have a bed, dresser, desk, and shelves. I’ve also acquired a very nice kitchen table with matching chairs and lamps off of Craigslist. Even better, I worked out all my utilities, so I have hot water and Internet – both very important. It’s not home yet, but it’s getting there.

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privacy policy.

July 4, 2008

Google announced on their official blog and their public policy blog that they have finally added a privacy link to their search page. They say “We added this link both to our homepage and to our results page to make it easier for you to find information about our privacy principles”. Of course no mention of California’s Online Privacy Protection Act that requires commercial websites to “conspicuously post” a link to their privacy policies. Remember, it’s all about the users.

I’m not a huge fan of the link placement on the homepage. Placing the link next to the copyright, in the smallest text on the page, just doesn’t seem very “conspicuous”. Especially since it replaced the word “Google”, I can see how it will be overlooked. The link on the search results, where it is listed next to the “About Google”, is much better. Also, the fact that they are willing to give an easily comprehensible overview is clearly preferable to reading some heavy legal document. So while it annoys me that they can put a “we care about the users” spin on just about everything, the final result works. Now hopefully they work something out with giving Viacom Youtube data.