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:: My Urban Eyes ::

All that I see, and then some.
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[::..about me..::]
Learning curve, commence.
"Everything in life
is only for now."

-Avenue Q
book - none
japanese - kanji
crochet - scrap squares
knitting - lace
sounds - iron & wine
podcast - yomiuri
food - hummus
[::..cool stuff..::]
:: Adbusters [>]
:: Spacing [>]
:: They Might Be Giants [>]
:: Transom [>]
:: PRX [>]
:: Third Coast [>]
:: Marketplace [>]
:: On the Media [>]
:: This American Life [>]
:: Chromasia [>]
:: Constant Camera [>]
:: Cornershots [>]
:: Daily Dose of Imagery [>]
:: Express Train [>]
:: Joe's NYC [>]
[::..current gape..::]
[::..site feed..::]

blog, democracy, japan, life, media, photos, radio, random, rants, san francisco, videos, work
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:: Tuesday, November 30, 2004 ::

Three Point Five Hours Later

My body decided that the being awake thing was going too far and kicked me right into my bed. Three and a half hours and a little puddle of drool later and I feel wonderful.

Yesterday and today I've been thinking about radio. Public radio to be more exact. Wouldn't it be really cool to come up with This American Life-esque stories? The great thing about TAL (soon to be added at left) is that you don't need to be established to get on. If you have a good story, they will air it. I've been trying to think of story ideas today, but never get too far. I hope that if I stew on it enough something will pop into my head. It would just be too cool to do.

This may just be a phase, but I don't care. ^_^

I'm starting to become very busy with all of the final projects I've put off. That combined with a want to listen to as many TAL eps as possible and play as much spades and distilling on YPP as possible and you have a very unhealthy brew.

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 6:35 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, November 22, 2004 ::

It Doesn't Ring Right

From today's New York Times:

The National Basketball Association imposed its stiffest collective penalties ever yesterday, suspending the Indiana Pacers' Ron Artest for the remaining 72 games of the season and suspending his teammates Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal for a combined 55 games for fighting with fans Friday night.

n a sequence replayed repeatedly on television in the past 48 hours, Pacers players charged into the stands at the Palace of Auburn Hills in Michigan in perhaps the worst brawl in pro basketball history....

In a 40-minute news conference before last night's Knicks-Cavaliers game at Madison Square Garden, N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern condemned the players' actions and emphasized the need for greater fan control and arena security. He said the league would redefine acceptable fan behavior and would discuss curtailing beer sales. Stern said fans who did not meet the new standard would be barred permanently, although he did not elaborate on how that could be accomplished. The league is also planning to re-examine security at all 29 arenas.

"We have to make the point that there are boundaries in our games," he said, "and that one of those boundaries, which has always been immutable, is the boundary that separates the fans from the court. And players cannot lose control and go into the stands. As a corollary, we have to hold fans responsible for their antisocial behavior as well."

I must admit, I haven't seen the videotape. But it says here in the article that the players charged into the stands, and the Commissioner is blaming the fans? First of all, talk about alienating your fan base--the beer nazi. "You called the players names. No beer for you!"

It sounds like the Commissioner is trying to come off blameless. "My players lost control and charged into the stands because they couldn't take a little name calling (or whatever was going on)... we gotta stop that name calling. My player's tempers? What about 'em?"

These are pro sports, people. Nasty things get said in the stands. It's a fact. They can't put a two year old kid in every other row to keep the loudmouths civil, if that would even work. At the NBA level players should be used to this.

Remember when Tie Domi jumped the glass in the penalty box to go after a fan? He was suspended. Was the fan saying nasty things? Well no duh. (If I remember correctly, I think the line was like, "Yes the fan was saying nasty things, but this is hockey. He should be used to it.") Did that mean Domi had a right to beat him up? Of course not.

Once again I have to say, I haven't seen the tape. But even without seeing it, I think the Comm.'s comments were not a good move. When players lose control, the last thing you should do is blame the fans.

edit: Okay, so I found a bit more information on this. Turns out that a beer cup was thrown at the basketball player. According to this ESPN writer, the player didn't even go after the right guy! He had no clue who threw it. He was just attacking innocent fans. Not cool.

And I remembered more stuff about the Domi incident. Now that I think about it... didn't someone drop their drink on top of his head in the penalty box? More similar than I remembered.

Sooo... yah.

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 4:36 AM [+] ::
:: ... 2 comments | backtrack ::


The cnn.com story.
The players were severely punished, and the two that went into the stands throwing punches were punished the worst by far. They will both be suspended without pay for quite some time - one of them will be losing nearly $5 million. They should never have gone into the stands. The fans should not have thrown anything at them, nor punched them after they entered the stands. They should never have been brawling on the court in the first place. Overall, nine players were banned for a combined 143 games. I do feel that the fans should share in the responsibility as well, in some form. It's sort of like kicking an angry bulldog...you shouldn't be suprised when it bites your ankle. I'm not defending the players at all, and I think the NBA's comments were poorly worded. However, they did more than adequately punish the players, and they have no such control over the fans.
I really like that story, Aaron. It adequately worded what I was going for, but didn't realize, I think. ^_^
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:: Saturday, November 20, 2004 ::

Stop the Sickness

There's been a perfectly good reason why I haven't been updating this week--well, two. Reason number one--icky paper due. Boo papers! Reason number two--I'm sick. Booo sickness!

The health center gave me pills... but I think I went one day too early. Bhairavi has bronchitis, see, so I went when my cough got slightly worse to make sure I don't have it. Nope, just a cold, they said. Gave me some pills. The next day, though, ka-boom. At least the pills still help. ^_^

Nothing much else going on, just wanted to check in to let you guys know I'm alive. Interesting stories are coming later, really! ^_^

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 11:37 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, November 16, 2004 ::


I revamped the sidebar to more accurately reflect my current taste, including links. Added a new category--blogosphere! A run down of the new links I added:

Adbusters--I found their mag a week or two ago at Barnes and Noble... it's very hard to describe. Ad-free and free-form, it's filled with amazing poetry, photography, and odds and ends. They have some really neat ideas (Black Friday being Buy Nothing Day), and I'm a huge fan of the mag.

WNYC--New York City's public radio. I thought WAMC was good, but I'm growing to like this station more. It's actually two stations in one, with different things on each most of the day. I love the choice and the political discussion that goes on most of the day. Sunday music rocks as well, as do the usual favorites of This American Life, Prarie Home Companion, and Selected Shorts.

Daily Kos--One of the leading left-leaning blogs out there. They post all the stuff I want to know about, but don't have the time to filter through thirty zillion news sites to find.

Gaping Void--He draws pictures on the back of business cards. Often witty, thought provoking, funny, and engaging. I've saved a ton on my comp... at one point I was thinking of using one a day as graphics on my blog, but my current layout seems to be working out, so I probably won't. He goes on a lot about business and advertising, which you may or may not like... but at least stop by and look at the cards.

I think that's it for today's links... hopefully more to come! I need to get back into hunting down photoblogs. I'm keeping up with the cool ones I love, but I've kind of abandoned the search for more.

And oh, I should do my homework! Right.

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 6:43 AM [+] ::
:: ... 4 comments | backtrack ::

Homework is for sissies. Pillage.
Hiya Kazen!

Adbusters - awesome magazine. They do really crazy things with their issues too.. One of the past one had a hole throughout the whole magazine, and like they do odd shapes, and etc. It's a great magazine!
would you believe that down here, no one had any idea what i meant when i said "black friday"?
even my manager down town.
the closest thing i got to an answer was "wasn't that the day the stock market crashed?"
I didn't know what it was either. I think it must be a regional term. I looked it up, so I know what it means now.
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:: Monday, November 15, 2004 ::

If Only I Had My Camera

I've been finding myself saying this a lot lately. Campus can be downright beautiful sometimes. Today I was walking back to my dorm from work just after four o'clock--early dusk. The sky was blue for the most part, but a golden hue found its way behind the glass dome above the small fountain in front of the Campus Center. When I stood in just the right place, the dome seemed to glow from within, bouncing light off the contrails above. Those who say Albany can't be pretty are crazy.

(Picture stolen from UAlbany's site... I'll probably be stealing more as time goes on. Some are just so gorgeous!)

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 8:21 PM [+] ::
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:: Saturday, November 13, 2004 ::

And a Studio Cut!

Earlier I wrote about the They Might Be Giants concert I went to, and the venue song, Albany (The Egg). Well, the Johns have now posted a studio edit, and you can partake! Just go to this site, using tmbg as the account name and thespinesurfs as the password. I really like it... part of that may be because I also love the Egg, but that's valid! ^_^ What the Johns have to say about the Egg:

The Egg was built as part of Nelson Rockefeller's dream to reinvent Albany as New York's state capital. It was designed by Wallace Harrison and contains virtually no straight lines or corners. Construction began in 1966 and finished in 1978. The Egg's performance center continues to flourish and is They Might Be Giants' home away from home, in Albany. The friendly Egg is nestled among Albany's state buildings, which are perhaps the harshest example of modernist brutalism on permanent display.

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 2:43 PM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::

Someone was telling me he had problems getting to the song. Click on the link, then click on _Albany_ right near the top. The password prompt should appear. ^_^
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Comments, Questions, Ideas?

If anyone here gets that reference, we need to talk. :P

Someone pointed out that they wanted to leave comments on my blog, but it required a log in. To solve that I created a dummy account that you guys can use--goodness knows I want the comments! ^_^ Use iamsohip with a psswd of the same. It will say that your comments were "posted by a hipster", which you all know you are. :)

Open House today... waking up at 7:30 on a Saturday is a crime. I only had to give two tours, both duds--ask questions, people!

Time for conkage, I think. ^_^

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 10:52 AM [+] ::
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Ack, I can't remember if it's "imsohip" or "iamsohip". >_< Try the other if one doesn't work.
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:: Friday, November 12, 2004 ::

Advisors and Profs are There to Help, You'd Think

It's long been known that the English department's chair is an awful person. I just went up to her advisement office, where you could see proof on the door (from memory):

If you arrive within in the last 15 minutes before the office closes we will be unable to help you. Don't come in even with "one quick question", see us again on another day. Think of us like a banking instituion, with set hours that we are open.

Advisors exist to help students. At Advisement Services (a catch all for freshmen and others without majors) I've seen advisors stay extra hours, work weekends, and do everything in their power to help their students. English Advisement can't even seem to stay open on Friday.

But that's not the main reason I'm mad today. I am one semester away from graduation, and I still need to complete my upper level writing intensive requirement. My two majors do not offer writing intensive classes in this upcoming semester, as both departments are very small. Even the theatre department is not offering an upper level writing intensive.

Friends have told me that the English department holds seats for people like me who need this Gen Ed to graduate. I asked a friend if he could ask one of his favorite profs if taking her class was an option. She said to come and see her myself.

Today I did. It went like this--I said who I was, and that I wanted to be in her class. I mentioned how I needed this class to graduate, and so forth. She was like, " First thing, you have to come get the SKN yourself, not ask your friend to do it for you." Um, I asked him to ask about the possibility. I don't know if he did, but I wasn't expecting him to come to me with an SKN in hand. I was thinking more along the lines of, "Oh, you're gonna need a writing sample and her office hours are 10-2 on Monday." Or whatever. (That's another thing--she doesn't have set office hours. She is available a lot, it seems, but never at a set time. The University requires that a student be able to find a prof at a set time at least once a week. Doesn't seem unreasonable.)

And then she's like, "Oh, you need to speak with Advisement." I know everyone in Advisement, so I'm thinking I'm in. But oh no, I need to see the devils in English Advisement. Fine.

"Do I just tell them that you gave me your okay?"

"Are you an English major?"


"Well, this class is required for majors. IF there are any seats open after all the majors sign up, then maybe you can get in."

"Well, I need this class to graduate."

"You can take a 300Z course in your major."

"None are offered."

"What is your major?"

"Urban Planning and Japanese."

"Well, that's their fault. They are putting you on welfare, not offering these courses for you. They are driving you to come to us and take up seats in classes that WE pay money for."

"They are pretty small departments."

"Well, that may have something to do with it."

"I need this class to graduate. What do I do if I can't get in your class?"

"You can take any 300Z class in the University."

"Trouble is, I need the pre-reqs for those classes."

"Take it up with your major departments." I.e. not my problem, I owe you nothing, leave me.

English department, if you do not want at-large students taking your classes then make them for majors only. Or at least put a pre-req on it (this class has none). I can understand holding seats for majors (the East Asian Studies class does this). This way you assure that majors aren't shut out, which is your goal, and at the same time letting at-large students register on the computerized system. I need to have my schedule set for next semester by the end of this one. I need this class to graduate. I do not have the luxury of waiting until the first day of classes to find out if Iif there's an empty seat for me. Please make half an effort to understand that, instead of shoving me off into the newly fallen snow.

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 10:37 AM [+] ::
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Okay, now it's not letting me comment with the name/PW you made up, but WILL let me do it anonymously? Blogger wa BAKA da.

Anyway, that is TERRIBLE. >O I can't believe the nerve of some of the higher ups at this school. I think graduating in four years is one of those dreams that gets further and further away with time. Like, you know, becoming a famous J-pop singer with a legion of mindless fans who will buy anything with your name on it, including floss, despite the fact that you're not even sure what an octave is, let alone whether or not you're singing in the right one. Although I WILL make that happen. >O

...this is Ri (Takarai) btw. XD
is albany history and architecture open? it's a history class, and upper level writing.
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:: Thursday, November 11, 2004 ::

A Pretty Okay Photoblog

Not spectacular, but still worth a link--Grace. The photographer is in Tokyo, Japan. He doesn't take many pics of people, and some of his building shots get repetitive, but now and then something really stands out. One I like in particular:

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 10:13 PM [+] ::
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:: Tuesday, November 09, 2004 ::

Messing With Da Code

I finally figured out how to do the blockquotes! Turned out that blogger was defining each and every entry as a blockquote, which led to all kinds of problems. It's fixed now, though, thanks to the help of Jabeau and Tomar. You guys rock!

So what do you think of the changes? In addition to the blockquote I added a border to the pics. Like? No like? Tomatoes? -_^

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 5:35 PM [+] ::
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"The World is Going to Hell" Seems to Be a Recurring Theme

Read this. Be mad. Very mad. (Many thanks to Elizabeth for the link! Find her at left. ^_^)


The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill.


Some advocates for women's reproductive rights are worried that such actions by pharmacists and legislatures are gaining momentum.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a provision in September that would block federal funds from local, state and federal authorities if they make health care workers perform, pay for or make referrals for abortions.

"We have always understood that the battles about abortion were just the tip of a larger ideological iceberg, and that it's really birth control that they're after also," says Gloria Feldt, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Running to dinner now, maybe some ranting later.

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 2:48 PM [+] ::
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Hrm. This is part of the grand plan to populate the entire world with Americans, you know.
No problem for the link. The office was just us women that day, so you can imagine the annoyances we felt. A brief run down of the thought process is in my blog...
ps-y'all can get to my blo from K's side bar
Elizabeth, you just said "y'all"! I have to come to the South and save you myself! ;)
yes! yes! please come down and visit. seriously, if you (and b) want to, over winter break, the airport in knoxville isn't too far away. justin's getting a flight in and out for 80$ each way. about the same as our train tix to toronto!

so... er...
yup, y'all take care now. i'ma gonna go ayand find me some arrrrheads 'n'not muss m'self in that thar mud...
y'all y'all y'all

perfectly good word. Much better than 'yous guys' or 'yous' or 'you guys'
/me nods.
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This Makes No Sense, But...

...why am I the number one search result for "satan nasy" on Yahoo?!?

I know writing it again probably only solidified it... but what the who wha huh? Oh, and why did someone search that and come to my site? Especially if you were going for "nasty". I just don't get it.

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 5:44 AM [+] ::
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Some May Choose to Flee

Sure, things are bad. One guy even killed himself, apparently out of dispair over the recent presidential election. Some people are seeing Canada as a viable option. A couple of articles in Slate outline the hows of emmigration. Wondering how you would fare? Take the immigration test to see if you have what it takes to be Canadian.

Now, I love Canada. I have many Canadian friends (including my new blog stalker Fyre, yea!) and have enjoyed my visits to Toronto, Montreal, and Niagara Falls. At the same time, ducking and running permanantly because of the election doesn't quite ring right with me. Leaving for a few years, though, or even dodging a draft, aren't so bad, I think. (Heaven knows I don't want to be sent off to fight in this war.)

Anywho. The rest of my life is going okay, but very busy. I really wish the schoolwork would end so I could get some sleep in. ^_^

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 5:14 AM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::

You have to be careful of those French Canadians... Very scareaux!
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:: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 ::

So That's It

I feel like our country is taking a road to ruin. I could go into a huge rant on how we're all gonna lose our civil liberties now and abortion will be made illegal again and all these things... but I'll refrain for the time being.

I'm seething, though.

I found this article in the sfgate interesting... maybe we have to go to hell completely before we get a chance to come back from it. Any little bit of rationale is appealing to me right now. A quote for you all:

Look at it this way: If Kerry wins now, the nation won't have suffered enough, won't have traveled far enough down the road of right-wing egotism and misogyny and homophobia and religious self-righteousness and deficit mauling and sanctimonious ideology and mangled grammar to really learn anything indelible, nothing that will affect a permanent sea change in our worldview, and we will just continue to limp along, never really healing and never really refocusing our intention and never fully understanding the depths of our dark side.

And, furthermore, if Kerry wins, history might not be as fully and inevitably antagonistic toward BushCo as his short, dreadful despotism deserves. Our national memory is frightfully short. Everyone will think, oh well, it's all over now and the damage has been done and it wasn't all that bad, really, was it?

I mean (they will say), sure Bush is widely regarded as the most politically inept and ethically dangerous and environmentally hostile president in American history, and sure women's rights were hammered and civil rights were shriveled and every single major ally we have in the world now either disrespects us or mistrusts us or openly abhors us like an Olsen twin shuns direct sunlight.

And sure Dubya's sanctimonious and violent warmongering actions in the Middle East have done far, far more to inflame anti-U.S. hatred and have amplified the threat of terrorism against us a thousandfold, but hey, the Texas schlub only lasted four years and now we can move on, right?

Wrong. Call it the fatalist maxim: The only way the national soul can really change is through serious crisis, through near-death apocalypse, through things getting so dire and tormented and swollen that something finally has to give, the psycho-spiritual levee at last has to break. And it won't be the slightest bit pretty. But it will be mandatory. And in the long (long, long) run, ultimately healthy. Sort of like finally purging a massive cancerous lump from your colon. Only not as much fun.

I'm thinking I'll put more links to the left, just have to slog through the template to do it.

Nothing else major going on today... trying to catch up on sleep is enough homework. ^_^

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 7:28 PM [+] ::
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Down to the Wire is an Understatement

I can't believe this--while no news network has called the election and the result of Ohio's vote won't be known for ten days due to provisional ballets, Bush has still declared a victory. I think that's just cheating and deceiving the American people. Please have the common sense and grace to not say you're the winner before you win, Mr. President. You're just trying to continue your administration of spin. Respect the minds of the American people and the judgement of every single US news organization.

The headline this morning will be "Bush Camp Declares Victory"... I hope that the news orgs follow up with "But He Hasn't Won Yet".

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 2:54 AM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::

The claim was that the Republicans didn't think that enough of the provisional ballots would be valid to make up the huge (it was a small percent, but a large number) difference in votes.

The Democrats said that there would be more than enough provisional ballots, and that a high percentage of them would be for Kerry.

After the provisional ballots were actually counted (not the votes counted, just the number of ballots), then the Kerry campaign decided to concede.

I'm not saying that either party did right in this. It would have been much better for both parties to preface their statements with 'in our opinion' and follow them with their reasoning. The news media (or at least some of the news media) was quick to ask these questions and qualify the statements with them.

It doesn't really matter what was said, as all polls were closed already. I still think that Bush has stocked his campaign with morons, to make himself feel smarter. But that's beside the point, I suppose. I should move to Ohio. My vote might matter there.
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:: Tuesday, November 02, 2004 ::

Crrrrrrrrick: The Sweet Sound of Democracy

Be sure to go out and vote today! I think I'm one of the luckiest Americans--my polling place is 20 feet down the hall from me, in my own building. I voted in my pajamas. Yea for Democracy in action!!!

Going to watch the returns tonight with everyone... I have a feeling it may be an occasion for a drink. -_^ I hope that things end cleanly tonight, but I know that won't happen. Bring on the court battles. Or, as the Daily Show is advertised tonight: "Election 2004: Prelude to a Recount".

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 6:49 AM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::

I voted early. I'm glad I did, as it was 80+ the day I voted and we've had several inches of snow today.
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:: Monday, November 01, 2004 ::

Boom, Baby, You're in My Dreams

I had the weirdest short dream--Boomqueesha (the person, though, not the PP character) was in my room, sitting on my bed, telling me that my symptoms were of a nasty virus. The sore scratchy throat, the fatigue, the red itchy spots all pointed to it. He said it would be awful for seven days. I had this feeling that I should go to the health center and get a doctor's note so I could skip Japanese and Theatre, which in my dream I had already missed.

Boom, why were you the bearer of this news? I don't get it.

I hate anxious dreams. They mean I'm nervous or, golly, anxious about something, but I already know that.

I didn't sleep all that well, by design almost, tonight/last night. The sun breaking over the last of the autumn leaves was a beautiful sight to see and worth any sleepyness today, though.

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 3:29 AM [+] ::
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