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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Impostor Alert! (part 2)

More updates on my alter ego. My whip-wielding self is apparently living the good life out there in sunny California. I received an email today from a BMW dealer saying:
Mr. Ken,

BMW will cover warranty on wiper inserts for only 3 months. Will need to replace wiper insert’s. Labour will not be charged to you only cost of wiper inserts. BMW recommends changing wipers every 6 months. Your x5 will be ready at 10:45am.
This short email sounds just as fishy as the last one.
  • Why is a Brit working at a BMW dealer in SF? (Maybe he's an undercover MI6 agent)
  • Why is evil-ken asking about windshield wipers ? (killer laser wipers maybe)
  • Where does evil-ken get all that money to get an x5? (why isn't he environmentally friendly?)
I should really email back and tell the dealer to ship the x5 to jersey ...

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Who's got your back? (part 2)

Question: What happens when you write blog entries late at night?
Answer: You end up dreaming about them!

The combination of last night's entry and this video of a lawyer explaining why you should never ever talk to the cops (even if you're innocent) made me dream funny things last night.

I was sitting on a bench at a dimly lighted subway platform waiting for the train to come. For some bizarre reason, I had nothing with me but my laptop - no backpack, no case, just the laptop. Someone called me for help and so I left the laptop on the bench to see what was going on. When I got back a moment later, an old jenky machine sat in the place where my awesome laptop used to be. I was confused but examined the machine further and came to the obvious conclusion that it wasn't my laptop. Without a second thought, I ran up and down the station trying to find the perpetrator. It wasn't long before I saw someone sitting on a bench playing with a laptop that looked just like mine.

me: "hey that's my laptop."
guy: "no it isn't, I found it."
me: "you stole it, that's what you did."

He didn't budge and I was absolutely certain that it was my laptop - so I did what every person in their right mind would do - I punched him in the face twice, snatched the laptop from his hands, gave him back his old nasty machine, and walked away. In my head I was thinking, "If a cop stops me, I'm pleading the 5th. Not gonna say a darn thing."

the end.

p.s. - I'm not a violent person .... no really I'm not.

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Who's got your back?

I recently found out that one of my friends got beat up in broad daylight because he refused to let a mugger take his iphone. It's pretty amazing because he actually wound up keeping his iphone, but I'm more impressed with the fact that he had the guts and craziness to take a stand. If I were in the same situation, I wonder what I would do ...

This got me thinking ... if someone randomly attacked me on the street, which one of my friends would get my back? Which ones will act like a wimp and run away?

I'm going to keep girls out of the discussion because other than a few notable exceptions (like p & ricefire) , I can't imagine any of them getting in a fist fight. Clawing and scratching maybe ... but not a fist fight.

I was originally going to type out a list of names and what I think they would do in that situation - but something tells me that would be a bad idea. (If you really want to know what I think, we can discuss it in private). So you people out there reading this , you better get my back if I ever get into a fight. Be a MAN, do the right thing!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

the random and mindless

These two pictures made my day. A word of warning, the second picture is actually pretty disturbing ... but so hilarious. Here are more costume pictures from ComicCon.

People in HK wear some funky/funny shirts. I saw an obese woman wear a bright yellow shirt which had the word "elephant" printed in the front. I just wondered to myself ... why oh why would you do that to yourself? The mental picture is just too powerful.

The weather here has been terrible the past week, temperature is reaching the upper 90s with 100% humidity. It's basically a sauna outside, I can open my mouth and drink the sweat off the air.

I woke up yesterday morning to a heavy smog all over the city. I had originally thought that it was just a fog due to the humidity, but in actuality, it was smog! According the the papers:
On Monday, the city recorded its highest ever air pollution index (API) reading of 202 on a remote island for a brief period, while in Shatin, where the core Olympics events will be held, the level hit 173 with the general public advised to reduce physical exertion and outdoor activities.
While the air pollution is shortening my life and making my lungs black, I can confirm that smog makes prettier sunsets. It was simply gorgeous last night at dusk - the sky was purplish orange and the waves were making pretty shapes near the shore. I'm not sure if I want the smog to go away or not.

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the sad

I was feeling a bit under the weather the last couple days. Interestingly, the sudden fatigue and headaches coincided with my mom's arrival to the motherland (and a week of sleep of deprivation). My ancient body simply can’t handle sleeping only 5 hours a night anymore.

My mom and aunt flew back from the US to attend a Buddhist ritual for my late grandfather, who passed away in January at a ripe old age of 104. I had grieved for the loss of my grandpa already, so the reminder of his death didn’t upset me. What made me extremely frustrated and sad was the blatant idolatry and ancestor worship that took place. Since most of my extended family are not believers, there wasn’t much I can do about it – but even still, the whole thing was ridiculous.

1) They had to pay an insane amount of money to the temple to put my grandpa’s nameplate and photo in this room full of other people’s nameplates. The amount of your donation determines the placement of this nameplate. So you basically pay more to get better spots, though I’m not sure what it’ll do to your eternal destiny – maybe you can reach nirvana quicker, who knows.

2) To assist in the sendoff of the soul, a group of monks help the process with a full day’s worth of rituals. It includes chanting, bowing, kneeling, offering incense, offering food, worshipping the male Buddha, worshiping the female Buddha, more off-key chanting, burning of some fake paper money, more bowing and kneeling, more incense, more chanting (repeat x100).

3) The worst thing is that the people participating in the ritual, including my mom, had no idea what was going on. When the head monk told them to bow, they bowed, when he told them to sit, they sat, when he handed them the incense, they burned it … and during the endless chanting – half of them fell asleep because they didn’t understand what the monk were saying (the Buddhist scripture probably didn’t carry any meaning for them either). If they had thought through why they wanted to do the ritual and knew what each part symbolized, I would respect the whole thing a lot more. But their completely ignorance fueled my anger. My cousins even joked around saying that it was more like exercising (all the bowing and kneeling) than anything else.

I had refused to take part in any portion of the ritual, so I sat on the side to observe and pray (to Jesus, not the Buddha). When my cousins couldn’t take it anymore, they came over and we would chat – and thankfully we snuck out to get some ice-cream for an hour or so. If we hadn’t done that, I think I would’ve gone mad. The monks gave me some dirty looks when I kept refusing to take the incense. He definitely gave me the “what are you doing here-just take the incense and kneel down” look. Maybe that’s why I had the headaches and wanted to puke …

Do people just mindlessly worship idols? This is sad.

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The countdown

9 days until the Olympic Games begin
10 days until I hop on a plane and fly back to America.
11 days until I own an iPhone 3g
12 days until I party it up with my Cornell friends
13 days until I get to sleep in on a Monday morning

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Men are simple machines

My friend Matt posted a pretty interesting blog entry which got some thoughtful responses. When I'm not mellow, I tend to not write very thoughtful things ... and since I already made a somewhat sarcastic response, I'll hold off and just rant on this blog.

Honestly I've never heard the phrase "Don't let yourself go" in that context. When I read it I thought ... "go where? you shouldn't go where?" Is this a west coast thing or am I just totally removed from pop culture. Good thing I can figure things out from context. Anyway, all I really wanted to do when I started writing was to show this picture:

This is a great illustration of one of the most important truths in life: Men are simple beings. In fact, this is exactly why it's near impossible to ever make a female robot. There are just so many more intricacies about womankind that machines can never imitate.

Being a woman is hard, there are just too many knobs to turn.


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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Impostor Alert!

I come across a lot of strange characters as I unfold my plan for world domination, so I am usually not too surprised by strange emails or stalkers. But l was a little weirded out last week and I found out there's someone impersonating me in the Bay Area. Here's the strange email:

Hey Ken,
How's it going? Hope Italy was awesome. You getting settled in to your new gig now (you start this week right?). You left your whip here, so thought you may want us to send it to you or drop by and pick it up. Anyways, we miss you here.
Cheers, Nick

I can't really put my finger on it, but there's something fishy about this email. I don't want to alarm you, but you should be careful if you see someone walking around with a whip. And if he looks anything like me, you better run! I am guessing that this impostor probably looks like this (how many people do you know who actually carries a whip everywhere?):

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

a little bit of insanity

It's 2:40am and I'm still awake watching Federer and Nadal duke it out at the Wimbledon Finals. Federer already made an improbable comeback and it's a matter of time before we find out if he is really the tennis god everyone thinks he is. I'm dead tired right now so I really shouldn't be blogging, but since I'm up at this crazy hour of the night watching some incredible tennis, I might as well show you some insanity from this weekend.

As my friends and I were walking through the supermarket this weekend, we heard people screaming and yelling. Naturally, to satiate our curiosity, we walk toward the noise and the crowd. Apparently there was a big promotion that day - chicken drumsticks for 1 kuai (~.125 USD)! At first I didn't understand what the big deal was, but my friend Karen tells me that there's a drumstick shortage where she live - so people just fight for them whenever they are available. This is a scene of the drumstick fighting:

AHHHHH I HATE RAIN DELAYS!!! I can't believe I stayed up to 3am and won't get to finish watching the tennis match!

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

do you feel like a man?

One of my friends recently told me that he plays basketball not because he enjoys it, but he plays only because he wants to feel like a man. It's an interesting thought which deserves a deeper examination. I took a cursory survey from several female species and asked them what they think a man should act - here are the top results:
  • Have confidence
  • Be responsible and take ownership of mistakes
  • Know how to treat a woman
  • Have nice biceps
  • Open jars!
  • Not afraid of bugs
  • Not afraid to carry a girl's purse
In all seriousness, I think we fall prey to how the media portrays gender roles in our culture. This is quite dangerous because it can lead to unrealistic expectations which in turn lead to disappointment and insecurity. This is why I decided to defy gender roles this summer and sleep on this bed ...

Take note of the following characteristics:
  • Winnie the Pooh bed cover
  • Pink thin blanket
  • Buzz LightYear sheets
  • Mickey Mouse body pillow
  • Plush baby bottle doll
  • Pillow with hearts and flowers
(this is actually my cousin's son's bed - which I stole from him for the summer)

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