Want my expert" opinion?

So recently I was on MTV for the Ultimate Video Game Countdown. The show was co-sponsored by my magazine, and we offered expert opinions on a bunch of games. Appearing on MTV was especially poignant for me because that was where I started out, my first "real" job.

The show premiered on Jan 2, 2004 and, in true MTV style, has rerun and rerun and rerun. I keep expecting it to be done, but then someone says they just saw it again. I'm sure it has to end soon though, since the show has a New Year's theme that isn't exactly evergreen.

Perhaps the oddest thing that's happened since I was on MTV is that, in the course of searching for myself on Google (admit it, you've done it too, or if you haven't, you should, 'cause it's fun!) I found a web page that said, "Don't be fooled by her name--she's a haole" (haole is hawaiian for a white person!)

For the record, I'm actually 50% Asian, which just goes to show that genetic patterns are nowhere near as simplistic as we were all taught in seventh grade. The way it really works is, you put these two people together:

and you get me!


What I Learned at Jury Duty

I have been summoned to jury duty twice before, but I always got dismissed over the phone without even having to appear at the court house. This week, I was not so lucky. Here's what I learned.

  • You can be late. I completely forgot to call the jury duty number until 8:43 a.m., at which time I found out I was expected at the court house at 8:30 a.m. Yet nobody seemed to mind when I showed up at 9 a.m. (Yes, I did get dressed in under 3 minutes. Luckily, the supposed "dress code" is very loose.)
  • You can work on a laptop in the waiting area. I'd always heard that they won't let you do other activities at jury duty, but when I arrived in the waiting room there were desks, power outlets, and even wireless/wired access points. The front desk had a handy sheet with all the instructions for logging on to the court house's network. Unfortunately, I'd brought none of the necessary equipment and was forced to read Under the Tuscan Sun, a book I hate more and more with each passing page.
  • You can make friends in the waiting room. When I realized my book was not going to sustain me, I switched to a seat near someone with a newspaper. He also had 3 printed crosswords (Washington Post Wed-Fri). He took pity on me and gave me the Thursday puzzle. Now he's my friendster.
  • It's really easy to get dismissed. Of the 75 or so people in our court room, the only people who didn't get dismissed were those 10-15 who expressed interest in serving on a six-week class-action banking trial. I guess one thing they don't tell you about that "jury of your peers" is that your peers are actually insane.
  • You should find out your job's jury duty policy before you get to the court house. You'll be asked to state what that policy is, and if, like me, you don't know the policy, the judge will tell you to go call and find out, reminding you (perhaps sensing your desire to just make something up) that you are UNDER OATH.
  • There a reason they don't show jury selection on TV. Because, despite all these fascinating facts I unearthed in the process, jury duty is indeed as boring as you've always heard it was.


Monkeys love hijinks!

It's Year of the Monkey. If you were born in this year you're supposed to be popular, intelligent, witty, carefree, and self-indulgent, which means lots of mental hijinks for everyone this year!

Frankly, I'm a little over the whole New Year's thing, since this lunar new year falls so close to the other new year, but alas... Let's hope for real prosperity and good fortune for all. I, in particular, could use some o' that!


Last night I said these words

Last night AK and I had our first band practice, and it was totally awesome, if I may say so myself. We practiced "Please Please Me," which sounds surprisingly different when you're only singing one part of the harmony. Obvious, right? Well, ripping apart the harmonies wasn't as intuitive as I thought it would be. Luckily, A. and I both have pretty good ears for music and we came up with a good arrangement. Next Beatles tune we're going to learn: "Dig a Pony"

I've never just "jammed" before with someone who's roughly at my level musically, but it's really satisfying and I can see why so many people prefer playing that type of music, as opposed to the stricter classical experience I've known thus far. I can't wait until we record our first song!


Learn to love me, assemble the ways

This weekend we went to Tahoe for a semi-last-minute trip to Kirkwood. It was a perfect combination of a bright, sunny day with fresh snow and not too many other people on the slopes. I felt in shape for perhaps the first “first day out” ever. Must be thanks to the lower-body-workout-obsessed ├╝ber-athlete who teaches the Tues-Thurs class at my gym. We also had a nice cabin that was walking distance from the slopes. I never want to stay anywhere else again! And E. and H. had gone grocery shopping so we had food and drink aplenty. Good company, good weather, good trip! The only thing missing was time to read, write, and play my guitar. Well, I had time to play, but we hadn’t had room in anyone’s car so I didn't actually have the guitar.

This week, I added the following songs to my repertoire:

  • “Shoplifters of the World Unite” by the Smiths
  • “Please Please Me” by the Beatles
It’s so fun to learn the chord breakdown of songs I’ve listened to so many years (decades, even) and never understood how simple/complex they are. I feel much closer to the people who’ve written those songs and hope to join their ranks soon enough.

If I’d had any time to pack for the trip, I’d have remembered to bring my camera and I’d have a picture to show! But since I don’t, I’ll just link to the upcoming bio picture in my magazine. N. took it one morning when we were both already running late for work. (I’d forgotten until then that it was the last day I could hand in my picture.) He was quite patient as I can be very demanding when it comes to my picture in the magazine (this one, sadly, took 20—count ’em, TWENTY—takes). I think he did a great job!