March 31, 2009

Spellcheck

Hello blogosphere! I feel annoyed, and because of this, I'm going to post.
Something that annoys me today is Microsoft Word's spell check. It includes virtually no scientific terms, and I find it highly annoying. Those squiggly red lines are an incredible pain on my poor vision. Some apparently incorrect words from last week's science notes:
  • immunoblotting
  • bisulphite
  • methylated
  • unmethylated
  • cotranslation
  • nucleofactor
  • electroporation
  • neurogenin
  • hepatocyte
  • heterogenous
  • kinase
  • haematopoietic
Interestingly, the built-in apple spell checker only thinks that 5 of these are incorrectly transcribed. If only Microsoft Word was more compatible with my computer...

In other news, I made a plagiarism report today. Vicky, who is in a different History class than I am, noticed that Phil Chen had copied a girl's notes and reflections from two years ago. To make matters worse, he had done a bad job of the plagiarizing, leaving her name up for days before remembering to remove it, and reflecting on units that we hadn't even studies. However, Vicky wasn't sure whether to tell a teacher, so she figured that the best route would be to tell a bunch of fellow students in hopes that word reached the teacher.
In the end, my friend Gretchen (no relation to Phil) and I decided to tell the teacher, because she felt that it was unfair, and I considered it my moral obligation to do something. She said it was okay to tell, that it happens sometimes, and we handed in a piece of paper divulging the details. She said she'd keep my part anonymous, which is good in some senses, but also somewhat annoying, as I really want to know what happens to Phil.

- a side note: a frequently retold joke around school is that Gretchen should marry Phil and change her name, so that she becomes Gretchen Chen. It's Gretchen's all-time least favorite joke.

March 30, 2009

Slang

          In this article in the New York Times, a particular slang term was introduced that is, all in all, entirely new to me. Apparently, "to O.D., these days, means to overdo it, not to overdose on drugs." Now, I don't know about everyone else in the world, but I am, in my personal opinion, and extremely hip teenager, and I have never heard O.D. used in that way. It could be an example of city-slang vs. suburban slang, but even then, NY is the closest major metropolitan area, so we tend to use very similar terms.
          Clearly, the New York Times needs to update its slang dictionary. In other, equally exciting news, Drivers Ed. starts today. I am one step closer to achieving full road access, and that, my friends, is an example of true achievement, no semi- or over- about it.

March 29, 2009

Catering

Only I would spend my Saturday night on my feet, passing out spring rolls and heart attacks (breadsticks wrapped in sugar-coated bacon), for absolutely no pay.
         Now, I will acknowledge that it was volunteer work, so I was contributing to the the money raising efforts of a good cause, but I did think it was extremely fun. For some reason, I really enjoy smiling at creepy old guys as they reach for another auderve ("just one more..."). I mostly just enjoyed feeling useful. It's the same as my Saturday class really, where even though I spend just as much time in transportation vehicles as I do in class, I just feel so much more productive than I do after an morning in bed.

Speaking of transportation, I have a question about the English language. I ride in a car or cab. I ride on the bus, train, and aeroplane. If I said I was riding on a car, people would tell me that I shouldn't be on the roof. Why is this?


On a side note about the catering, it really was just like in Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever. I honestly don't care how many times I read that book- it always makes catering sound phenomenally fun.

March 26, 2009

Birthdays!

I turned 16 today, which mainly involved a lot of my friends saying "happy birthday!" and me squealing "thanks!" and enveloping them in high-velocity hugs. These high velocity hugs pose a bit of an issue, as my lack of kinesthetic awareness leaves me rather accident prone. I managed to shoulder Red in the neck, and when I hugged Avon, my long, ungainly arms managed to knock into the blonde boy behind her. He gave us a very pissed off look. It was, all in all, rather comical.
The other thing I wanted to address today was a silly exercise in probability brought up by Kahuna, a boy in my United States History class. He claimed that if you have a 1/3 chance of being hit by a car, and a 1/3 chance of thinking about the car, then you should think about the car, because the chance of both thinking and being hit is only one ninth. I said that probability said so, but that didn't mean it would make a difference. Jeremy calmly informed us both that they were independent events with independent probabilities.
However, this still let me somewhat confused. Well before I was born, my father was in a plane crash. He was in a little airplane in Alaska, and since he had a pilot's license, he was sitting in the cockpit with the captain, who was showing off. Well, the showoff of a captain ended up crashing the plane into a mountain, breaking some bone in my father's girlfriend's back (she blamed my Dad, and immediately broke-up with him). However, the probability of him being in more than one plane accident is extremely small. Therefor, it makes sense for me to travel on airplanes with him, because the chance of a crash is reduced.

Clearly, probability is screwed.

March 22, 2009

My little life in six words

Experiments: should I kill the rats?

March 16, 2009

Gamer Girl


Another week, another book review.
Last night, I read the book pictured at left. It was fun, but I doubt I'll even remember it after a few weeks. It was well written, with internet slang effortlessly incorporated, which is always nice to see. Also, the protagonist, Maddy, has a strong voice and ideas. As I read, I couldn't just shove myself into her shoes; she and her problems were completely separate from my own.
On the downside, however, was the horrifically predictable plot. I've been spending the past few weeks untangling various forshadowings in A Tale of Two Cities for English, and after that, the barely-hidden hints of this book were somewhat boring. The minimal plot twists were easily unknotted, and when Maddy nabbed her requisite guy, I was left devoid of warm, fuzzy tingles.
So, I'd recommend Gamer Girl to anyone who wants a fun read, or who gets a kick out of MMORPG romance. If you want the moralizing, sans story, check out this link for the author's musings on bullying.

I'll do the connecting the book to my life part tomorrow. I have two essays to write.
XOX, Tea

March 3, 2009

bloggone public

Today, one of my friends, the fabulous Vicky, said to me, "Oh! I saw you had a blog," and I went "How'd you know that?" I was rather freaked out, until she explained where I had lost my anonymity (this is a process similar to the losing of virginity, but (or so I've heard), less painful) 

Basically, I've been making some very non-anonymous comments for my U.S. History (Oh, Howard Zinn, your words are the breath of God! and whatnot), and when my name was clicked on above this thing, it directed you to my profile, which in turn directed you to my blog.

Oh. My. Blog.

I'm trying to decide whether I should be upset or happy if anyone's read this. I think I'll go with upset, unless it's Vicky (that's not actually her name, but I'm sure she'll figure it out), in which case.... whazzup?

March 2, 2009

Moving On

Sturken has a date today, and I am totally and completely chill.
Well, mostly chill. Not so chill that I'm not going to write about him here.

Basically, I had a crush on him from whenever I first started liking boys up until last month- which isn't to say that I wasn't into other boys. But, always, in the back of my mind, there was always a little thought of Sturken, and little pondering that "if I love him so much, is it really fair for me to pretend to love someone else?"

Yes, I said love. I can verify it with a lot of entries in my diary from the Fall of 9th grade in which I wrote just that. He's a family friend, a nice jewish boy who I've known since infancy. In middle school, back when he was shorter than me, he was nerdy, but he moved to Europe after 8th grade, and he seems to have turned into a bit of a jock. Well, he is addicted to those football video games on the X-box, and last time we visited him, he spent the entire time betting me that he could do a slam-dunk jump (not that he could actually slam dunk) and touch high objects (I, of course, dutifully pretended that he couldn't).

All in all though, I was somewhat obsessed. I currently view him as my first love, even if it wasn't reciprocated. Seriously, though, I had it bad. Read this:

We shivered as we waited in line, chattering about school and the meaningless information that, if anyone else were explaining, I would discard immediately. Our sisters, my two and his one, stood a bit behind us, huddled together, giggling between high-pitched whispers. We continued our talk, moving on to our friends. He poked fun at the names of mine, over pronouncing every consonant, I laughed, allowing the sound to bubble out, now that the darkness prevented him from seeing my blush. I retaliated, teasing him for his association with a boy who had acquired a mullet over the summer. He laughed too, creases forming around his eyes. I carefully approached the question of when he would return home. We were only family friends, I wasn’t supposed to miss him, yet the question pushed at the edge of my consciousness even when I had gone months without seeing him. “Soon, I hope," he told me, and I wondered at his words. Was it because he wanted to see me? Or was he simply tired of this land of rain and foreign accents? I wished that he, and not his parents, who debated a move to Singapore, was right. I wanted to be able too see him, hear his voice turn deep and slow when he tried to seem manly, then speed up, changing to its ordinary tenor when he was distracted. I wanted to remember every detail of him, to learn more of him than I ever could in a few short days every year. I watched his face carefully, searching for any hidden meaning, but why would he have let one show? I kept my thoughts just as tucked away.
We reached the front, and received our crêpes, thin pancakes filled with melted chocolate, almost too hot, compared to the cold air. We settled around a small table, the little sisters sitting, and us two standing, watching over them, just as we always had. The sisters were talking about him. “His nose is crooked,” his sister said, “isn’t it crooked?” She looked at me. I gazed at his face, head tilted. “It’s,” I paused. Beautiful? Perfect? Attractive? While he’d love to hear those, they revealed more of my thoughts than I cared to share. It fit his face perfectly, slightly large, with the softened angles of a young teenager, but “it fits your face” sounds like an insult to the rest of him. The pause was dragging out, and it was sounding like I truly believed his nose crooked. I finally managed a strangled “fine,” a tiny, meaningless word, good or bad, a placeholder, like everything else I said to him. I took another bite of the warm chocolate and gazed at him, trusting the darkness to hide me. It didn’t make sense to risk telling him, not when we only had two days together, and any potential payoff would be marginal. Two days of platonic joking far outweighed two days of what I feared would be pain. I watched him as he smiled, fighting to remember each and every image so that when I was home, I could imagine that I still had him, the crêpes, and the night.

I wrote that last year, back when the obsession thing was in full swing. Last month, though, it abruptly disintegrated. I remember biking around during Christmas break, praying that my next push of the pedals would be enough to push all the need for him out, and, miraculously, it was. It's almost enough to make me believe in God.

Anyways, Sturken has a date, and my only thought was a hope that he has a nice time. No jealousy, no nothing.

I'm cured.

March 1, 2009

There's gonna be snow tomorrow, and I, for one, am psyched. 8-14" should definitely be enough for a snowday, no?
Well, I'm blowing off my US history homework, so it'd better be. If it's not, I'll take it up with the management in the morning.
In other news, I wanted to comment on a product (red) commercial I saw the other day on American Idol (go Adam!, btw).

Usually, I love product red. They picked a shade of red that is one of my all-time favorite colors, and I love the fact that my penchant for consumerism is helping to shape a better world. However, I found this add incredibly aggravating. Basically, this guy carries around a red laptop, and everyone thinks that he's so amazing that they spank/kiss/mob him. Now, personally, if a weird police officer type guy slapped my ass, I would immediately freak out over the horrific state of authority figures these days.
I think this may primarily be a difference in the male vs. female perspective of things. Guys don't think of that sort of thing as rape or sexual harassment, so they should be happy with the attention. Sounds like a boatload of shit to me, considering I'm fairly certain that the male gender is often in possession of a personal space bubble.
On the bright side, though, when I pointed out to my sisters how weird it would be if that was a girl instead of a guy, the 13-year-old sister, who I will cleverly refer to as Genovia, said "wow, that's really sexist" and I was like "yes it is" and it just made me happy to think I was opening another person's eyes to sexism in advertising.
In conclusion, here's the commercial:

Peace out, y'allsies.