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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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:: Monday, January 31, 2005 ::

And if You Were Wondering...

Yes, I am considering doing a Podcast myself. ^_^ I have a feeling it would be more of an audio blog... nothing much beyond my own musings. I think it would be cool for all of you guys that don't know me to have a chance to hear my voice. Even if it is through my crappy monitor mic. I even think I know what I would use as a theme song! ^_^

The reason I mention this is that two people have told me over AIM they were disappointed that I didn't set up an audio blog yet. Be patient--it's coming. ^_^

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 10:17 PM [+] ::
:: ... 0 comments | backtrack ::

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Podcast Crazy

If you want to get in on an awesome new technology on the ground floor, here's your chance.

What is it? The short answer is blogs on steriods. Podcasts, audio broadcasted via mp3s on the internet, can range from movie reviews to NPR shows (On the Media is the first) to couples discussing their sex life. Mp3s are posted to the net and made available with an RSS or ATOM feed, with the sound file as an enclosure. Get a program like iPodder to grab the mp3s as soon as they're posted and... ta-da! New content every day, just for you!

If you have an ipod, or any mp3 player for that matter, new files can be dumped onto it every time you sync up. Then you can go off to class or drive or whatever listening to your goodies.

I don't have an ipod or mp3 player (though I'm considering adding a mini ipod to my "oooo, shiny things to buy" list), but you can use Windows Media Player's autoplaylist function to keep up to date (I found the hack here--it works with my 9 series, so don't think you have to update to 10).

Okay, I realize all that was rambling and not exactly smooth... but I'm really excited about this technology and can't take the time to think this post out properly. :P One of the most popular podcasts out there is the Dawn and Drew Show, in which a married couple basically rambles for a half hour or more each night. I'm only halfway through one cast but it seems interesting... though I don't quite need all the stuff about sex. >_< iPodder. Set it up, finding feeds online through sites that list feeds (check the bottom of this awesome wikipedia article for linkage), and welcome the incoming media. ^_^

Sooo, are any of you into this already? Let me know what casts you love!

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 2:26 PM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::

Yes, yes. iPod minis are very shiny and must have one.
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:: Wednesday, January 26, 2005 ::

Second Week Critique

It's the second week (and only fifth day) of classes now, so I feel comfortable giving a real critique of my classes now. Without further ado...

Logic - The syllabus doesn't look too bad, and I'm not having any trouble with the class so far. The teacher is from Austria and sounds a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger. The accent doesn't make him hard to understand, and actually, it helps keep class interesting. He presents dry material dryly, and jumps ahead a bit, giving commentary on concepts he hasn't introduced yet. What I heard today from Jess scares me the most--her suitemate took the same class with the same prof, and the entire thing went to hell later in the course. Massive homework, hard stuff. I'm taking it for "fun" (and it is fun now), so I may just change it to S/U grading if it gets hard. I was hoping it would pad my average, but I don't want to risk it dragging my GPA down.

Japanese - The textbook is neat. The class is more of the same--learning straight from the book, reading stuff aloud, reading it with your partner, people getting picked on to read aloud, then a ditto sheet. The worst bit is when we have to correct her, a Ph.D. candidate, about stuff. She sighs with an embarrassed laugh and says, "Oh, Japanese is so difficult...". If it's difficult for her, it's going to be very challenging for us. >_<

Urban Design - Awesome class. Professor Pipkin is an amazing professor and teaches very well. The material is very interesting to boot. When you find a class where the readings are an absolute joy, major in it. ^_^ Apparently we'll have a zillion readings coming up in the semester, but for now it's not bad.
Side note--at the end of class yesterday I asked if he would feel comfortable writing a letter of reccomendation for my study abroad packet. He replied that he could get it done by next week.

"Oh, there's no real rush," I said, "It's due in three weeks..."

"It won't be a problem," he replied. "Some reccomendations are difficult to write, but this one won't take me very much time at all."

Woo! ^_^ Okay, back to the classes:

Journalism - The prof is such an interesting guy. He's a real newspaper man, he just looks
the part--tall and rail thin, he wears an olive overcoat on top of a business suit. The suit matches and all, but looks more like dress casual clothing with a tie just thrown on. The knot is never tight and the tie dangles from his neck.
On the first day of class he came in wearing a Boston Red Socks winter hat. I don't know if anyone sneered at the sight of it, but I'm guessing at least one person wanted to. On the second day of class, he wore a Yankee's winter hat. Needless to say all the sports fans were confused.

The prof is really good at setting "traps" that really make you think. Last class we interviewed a classmate and wrote up a 250 word blurb about the person. "Adam," (he doesn't wait for people to raise their hands, he pulls names off the class list), he said, looking over his paper, "how do you know these things about Vanessa?"

"...I asked her," Adam replied, and the class chuckled.

"But how do you know they are true? It says here that she's an English major... how do you know she's an English major?"

Aha! Awesome, I thought. What a kick in the pants--you know this whole article you wrote, guys? It could all be false, and you didn't think twice about it! It was a powerful message.

I'm really on my toes on this class because a) I don't want to look foolish and b) with these cool "traps" you have to be. Today he was asking questions around and got to my name.

"Karla, if you could interview anyone, who would it be?"

"That's a hard question to answer on the spot," I said while musing.

"One of your top ten, then."

"Well, the easy answer is... I guess I would have to say President Bush," I answered.

We were talking about objectivity at this point in the class. "Do you think you would be able to keep your bias out of the interview?", the professor asked.

"I would try, but I don't think I could completely."

"If you don't mind telling us, what is your bias?"

"Anti-war," I said.

The professor nodded. "If you could ask the President a question, what would it be?"

I thought about it, then haltingly answered, "I guess... I would ask him if he felt comfortable lying to the American people. From the facts I've seen he knew he was... I would probably ask him about that."

He looked impressed. "I'll get you the number of the White House Press Office."

The class laughed. I love it when stuff like that happens!

The professor isn't the smoothest in the classroom, but the way he makes us think rocks. He is a true teacher, I think. Some people are born for this thing, and not all of them end up in the front of a classroom. Mr. Richards, my high school Global Studies teacher did. So did Mr. Desharnais, my English teacher. This guy is a writer and editor for the AP, not an "educator" per ce. But he still is one of the best teachers I've had here.

...after a week, anyway. There's still a whole semester to go. ^_^

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 1:57 PM [+] ::
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:: Monday, January 24, 2005 ::

Good News!

Things have been going well today. Write a letter home well. ^_^ Started out the day in Logic class, which made perfect sense, which is always good. I then had an hour to enjoy a Samantha (Strawberry Vitamin C Monster), read for class, and memorize a conversation in Japanese.

In Japanese class I didn't make a fool out of myself.

Afterwards at work I did nothing, and when I went to Journalism I got the SKN I've been hoping for. The assignment he gave wasn't as hard as I feared.

When I got home Jen told me about how she got to cut locks today (!), and all the free stuff she got in the process. (All legal, a university staff member handed her the bolt cutter. ^_^) Now I'm just chilling out, schedule finally settled, feeling a bit more peaceful than yesterday.


:: Kazen @ Always Doing 1:55 PM [+] ::
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:: Friday, January 21, 2005 ::

Scale Woes

Getting on a scale can be real bad news. I thought Megan's scale was off because, gosh, I couldn't weigh that much... but no such luck. I'm taking advantage of the National Body Challenge being put on by the Discovery channel. Free stuff on e-diets, eight weeks membership at Bally's, all kinds of info. The websites say I should have 1200-1300 calories a day, which seems like so little to me. >_< I do awesome until dinner, when I go to the dining hall and there are no healthy options to be found. And it's hard to count calories when you only have three bites of something because it tastes so bad. :P

I'm working out, too! The Wellness Center has crappy hours this week, but I managed to get down there today for a half an hour split between the bike and the eliptical trainer. Coming out of the gym is the best part, as you've actually done something for yourself. Now I just have to keep it up.

The SKN drama continues. I'm hoping to get into the MW afternoon Journalism class, and have two more to try at as backups. I need this class to graduate, so wish me luck!

First week (two days! Ha!) of classes went well. My Urban Design class kicks major butt. And there's even a couple of people I know in it! Planning ringers and Brian, a Soc Ph.D. candidate. Awesomely cool fella. The reading for this class will be something else, but I'm interested in the material, so it shouldn't be too bad.

This is my last semester of college, and I'm going to shine! Gambarimasu!

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 7:39 PM [+] ::
:: ... 1 comments | backtrack ::

Hehe. I put myself on a reward system. When I work out, I set money aside for something I want to buy. Also keeps me from impluse buying a bunch of crap, which is another problem I have in addition to being lazy.
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:: Sunday, January 16, 2005 ::

Back with Randomness

It's my first post in a long while, don't expect me to do anything serious. -_^

First up, a little pet peeve. Yes, I've been watching too much poker for my own good. Enough to find another annoyance--when the World Poker Tour announcers do the play by play in the hushed tone of golf announcers! This is poker, not billards. These guys are rarely in the same room as the players. I think they can speak up now and then.

Second, first ep of Iron Chef America: The Series was tonight. I'm getting a little more serious about cooking (I made latkas over break, yea!), so Food Network is going up my list of favorite channels. The show was neat, and Bobby Flay was the iron chef up. I like him, seems like a cool guy. Very New York, hehe.

After that was a flare bartending competition. Those guys are crazy--flipping bottles, juggling four bottles at a time. There were four parts to the final competition--speed, accuracy, working flare, and presentation flare. Speed was just that, with seconds added to your time for forgetting an ingredient or spilling. For accuracy they measured time again, but you had to get your pours to within 1/8 of an ounce for the entire drink. O_o For working flare they got an order of five or six drinks and had three minutes to complete them, using flare as they went. Presentation flare is a seven minute routine with music pumping in the background. The whole thing was neat. Afterwards I made myself some tea and I found myself using a little extra oomph when pouring the sugar in. -_^

You know how you shouldn't put metal in microwaves? Have you ever wondered what you happen if you put a light bulb in there? Or a lit candle? Well, some guy had fun with all this stuff, and posted his findings at Unwise Microwave Oven Experiments. (Love the name. ^_^) Neato stuff.

Sooo... I'm back. Toronto was fun, but I didn't meet Fyre--I owe you an apology, hon! The number you gave me was out of service when I called, and I didn't get in town until 10 pm. -_- Fate was against it, I guess. I have a feeling I'll be in Toronto again, though, don't worry. ^_^

Viva la... school, I guess.

:: Kazen @ Always Doing 8:38 PM [+] ::
:: ... 3 comments | backtrack ::

Sooo... I'm back. Toronto was fun, but I didn't meet Fyre--I owe you an apology, hon! The number you gave me was out of service when I called, and I didn't get in town until 10 pm. -_- Fate was against it, I guess. I have a feeling I'll be in Toronto again, though, don't worry. ^_^Yeah, that's what the other people I was supposed to meet said. It's not your fault, though. On the other hand, apparently the people I was supposed to meet were in the SAME room as me and they missed me. Now that pisses me off. Turned me off YPP for a while. I'll get back into it eventually. Good to be home?
I like to put CDs in the microwave. Give them 10 seconds. Just make sure a) the room has a window you can open to let the smell out, b) you're watching when they do the cool thing they do, and c) you don't want the CD anymore.
Yes, CDs make KEWL coasters, no? well, glad to see you didn't drop off the face of the earth, K-chan.
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