..:: Kellog ::..


Friday, February 28, 2003

My mp3 folder that I offhandedly titled "Chill" has 147 random songs I thought just fit that word. I have Stan Getz, The Roots, Air (French Band), Antonio Carlos Jobim, Bjork, Faithless/Dido, Les Nubians, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Everything But the Girl, Chet Baker, Morcheeba, DJ dB, Nat King Cole, St. Germain, Looper, Elle Fitzgerald, just to name a few.

I'm winamping it on 'shuffle' and 'cross-fade' (if anything, the only reason to download winamp3) modes now. And in some weird wonderful way, even as smoooooth Stan Getz fades into head-boppin' The Roots, they all still blend beautifully together, as if they belonged to the same genre. How lovely.

My mp3 files are clogging up memory space on my nearly 3 year-old (but oh-so-reliable) Acer laptop. Help! I know I need to get rid of some of them. But everytime I scroll through my mp3 files, I just can't bear to get rid of any. Sure, I can burn them on a cd, but I want all of them accessibly there anytime I want them. If I feel like the Beatles, or Linkin Park, or Paul Van Dyk, or The Roots, or Natelie Merchant, or cheesy Disney/Broadway sing-a-long songs, or Sasha & Digweed, or Michael Jackson, or Underworld, I want to just scroll down my playlist and click, no no none of that extra step of digging up a cd first (which cd? this one? that one? where is that song? this one? that one?...btw, I do have enough songs to fill up a few cds), and waiting for it to load up. It sounds unreasonable, but that extra minute would just kill the experience. I'm a child of instant gratification.

But my greediness knows no bounds. I keep stuffing 'em in, pretending to be oblivious to how chocked my poor ol' laptop is. Not only songs (Tall Paul's being sucked into my world now), but whole 90 minute DJ sets (Tiesto, Tiesto, anything Tiesto), and friggin' whole albums (recently the '8 Mile' soundtrack. Don't. Laugh. I liked that movie ok?), and I'm starting to Musicmatch-convert whole cds into folders of mp3s (recent one Woob's Emit: 0094. aweeeeesome shit) so I can have them just right there, accessible, convenient, instantaneously when I want them. Lord help me! Technology's too sinfully gloriously wonderful. It's making my life so...easy! I feel guilty. Should I spank myself to atone for all my accessible pleasures? Although that could be a sin in itself as well.
kellykelly, 2/28/2003 06:12:00 pm | link | 2 comments |

Thursday, February 27, 2003


Finally put that li'll comment ditty for my log. Now you can click on 'comment' at the end of every entry and comment. May I comment that although I expect next to nil comments frequently (I'll be fine...I'll be fine...), I look forward to hearing your comments. Even if you don't have a comment, a "Hi, but I don't have a comment" would be just as lovely. When you type a word, for example "comment", many times, it starts to look really weird and ceases to be what the simple word "comment" used to be in your mind's eye.
kellykelly, 2/27/2003 03:24:00 am | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, February 26, 2003

'Sex on Tuesday' leaves me dry

Every Tuesday, Berkeley's 'Daily Cal' runs a sex column, that has apparently been a source of much controversy, and has "titillated, disgusted, and intrigued". They flatter themselves. The column pretends to be an educational medium pretending to be shocking. 'Sex on Tuesday' is uninformative and unentertaining. There is thus no more justification for it to continue being the useless perpetuator of triteness that it is.

First: Well, anything that begins with a vapid implication of that 'female empowerment' thing ("In this enlightened age of women's rights, let us not ignore the sexual forefront of this movement, where more equality actually exists than some people realize".") would get into my bad books right away.
Second: Nothing that has been written a normal college student with normal levels of exposure to popular media and human interaction would not have already heard/read/experienced. Ok, that might be a little harsh. After all, the newspaper is one medium of information transfer...
Third: But the information is lumped with myths--common myths over-exposed by popular magazines (hey, I read them too...hell! I subscribe to (too many of) them!) that should be read as entertainment not source of facts--presented as facts. The inaccuracy and untruths are misleading. (My lack of specificity is deliberate).
Fourth: Worst of all, the information is presented as a pathetic part of that 'world of feelgood' genre that has been exploding.
"There's no recipe for what good sex or a good orgasm is supposed to be like. Keeping an open mind and allowing for the possibility of an unconventional experience will help your confidence and your sexual expression".
How completely useless were those 2 sentences? Toss 'em out with the letters, words, passages of 'Tuesdays With Morrie', the Body Shop website (whose insipidity is wonderfully exposed by eyespy), Dr Phil, and 'Chicken Soup for the Soul'.
Fifth: Which is a derivation of all of the above...this is just weak, boring, uninspired writing. Period.

'Sex on Tuesdays' has had various writers. I've read 2 (including current one) in my 2 1/2 years of Berkeley, and both were/are guilty of points 1-through-5. Berkeley can and should do better.

We need less bullshit in our writing, in our culture, in our media. We need more exposures, of myths, of self-deception. At the root of it is pure sensibility. Insipid individuals will be the believers and perpetuators of bullshit. People who don't take that find glorious salvation in people who don't take that and are brilliant enough to bestow us with alternatives. You already get that in every wonderful classic novelist (Tolstoy! George Eliot! but of course!). But popular culture is (thank god!) filled with 'em too. Dave Eggers, for one, pounds this point over and over in 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius' (would love to put up examples, but don't have book with me right now) Dr Drew & Adam Carolla whose radio show Loveline is a great disseminator of information, while constantly exposing bullshit (love the way Adam goes "Come onnnnnnn..."), while being wildly funny and popular. See, it can be done.
kellykelly, 2/26/2003 02:16:00 pm | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, February 25, 2003

ooohh...*rubbing hands in glee*. I've found the 3rd remix version of 'Silence' (Sarah MacLachlan). Had the Tiesto and Delirium versions. Now I kazaaed a fucky "Delirium Breakbeat" version. And I realized that I had 2 versions of Everything But The Girl's 'Before Today': one from dB's 'The Secret Art of Science', and the other from The Saint soundtrack. And they both sound so lovely. And, and, and, I discovered that Tiesto made a remix of 'The Space Between' by Dave Matthews (whom I love). How interesting is that? I never thought that song could be remixed. Dave Matthews as far from techno as I'd imagine. But it actually sounds good. That's the cute thing about the dance music genre. You get all these different versions of same songs that people just have fun with. Yay.
kellykelly, 2/25/2003 07:11:00 pm | link | 0 comments |
Do yourself a favor:
Download this song called 'Battleship Grey' by DJ Tiesto (even if you don't like 'techno' in general (why on earth, I wouldn't know), you'll like this very mild form. Really. It's a pretty ballad.)
Turn off all the lights in your room.
Turn on your coool red lava lamp (if you don't have one, you're so not cool), or ok, light a candle
Play the song. Loud.
Close your eyes.
Concentrate on every layer of sound that you hear.
Enjoy the goosebumps.

Your life will feel just that much more beautiful, even perfect, if only for that five minutes.
kellykelly, 2/25/2003 06:49:00 pm | link | 0 comments |
Oh, I'm thinking of adding one of those comment boxes that pops out from a link at the end of every entry. Does anyone know how I can add one? Any help would be appreciated. Please email me.
kellykelly, 2/25/2003 12:42:00 pm | link | 0 comments |
Enough (for now) with dead foreign writers writing with scary but beautiful precision what I feel.

How about a fellow Singaporean from my junior college (that's high school to you Americans) who is my age writing with scary but beautiful precision what I feel? Eyespy has been a consistent hub of brilliant shit ("an elegant oxymoron" he says) that's been such a joy to read. I just had to post a comment on this entry.

Then I just realized that there are people I know from Raffles Junior College (my high school) that are reading this. And that scares me. Because they scared me then with their astounding intellect that I could never quite catch up to. "I tail the intelligent and gather the flakes of brilliance that they carelessly shed like autumn leaves." (Eyespy) That's how I got my As in the GCEs. Je suis a fraud. That feeling of utter mediocrity returns. Be forgiving, you fucking brilliant people.

Frivolity will make me feel better: I got a haircut today! After a year of letting it grow into a long hay-y mess. And it fuckin' rocks! It took my hairstylist 3 hours (she had tiny fingers. Really.), just to cut it. There were no treatments, no perms or whatever weird shit chicks do. Just snipping hair. 3 hours. Everytime I looked up, she'd be snipping off 1/8 of an inch off 2 strands of hair with this look of intense concentration. I got a little worried. She was a student, that's why the cut cost only 15 bucks. But the result was awesome. It's shoulder length (my longest old hair could reach my waist), layered like crazy so I get awesome volume that I lurve, parting's move to the left so it looks funky. I've never loved my haircut so much before. I'll put a picture up. I'm never letting my hair grow out into a horror-zone of split ends again. I feel happy and vain now. Ooohhh...let these people be smart and clever. At least I have a cute haircut. Frivolity will make me feel better.
kellykelly, 2/25/2003 12:36:00 pm | link | 0 comments |
Books--ya gotta love 'em!

Dave Egger's 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius' is a heartbreaking work of staggering genius. I found a (what I believe to be) rare edition of the book that includes 50 glorious extra pages of an afterword by Eggers. I read that, and the first few chapters and I'm hooked once again.

Now, I hardly re-read novels. Some I pick up again and again to read passages I loved and marked out (multiple pick-up novels include The Mill on the Floss (Eliot), Emma (Austen), Microserfs (Douglas Coupland; don't ask me why), Fever Pitch (Nick Hornby; his best, and he never topped that thereafter sadly. Refer to last paragraph.), Anna Karenina (Tolstoy; new multiple pick-up novel that I foresee will be picked-up over and over)). But I hardly ever re-read the whole thing (unless I did it for a class). For the mistaken belief that there's just so much awesome shit out there for me to read, I can't 'waste time' re-reading one that I've already read.

Stupid belief, really. I remember re-reading my favorite Enid Blyton books over and over and over and over again when I was a kid, before I fell into that intellectual greediness of wanting to read as many books as possible. Oh my god! Those boarding school series: Malory Towers and St. Claire's. If you thought Harry Potter was fun (I thought so too), these are the originals. And Noddy! And the Faraway Tree! And the Naughtiest Girl! And that chair with magic wings! Oh wow! I'm experiencing an intense wave of nostalgia. That was my Childhood right there. That's what it was all about. Then puberty saw an onslaught of Judy Blume books: Fudge (oh that crazy kid!), Are You There God, It's Me, Margeret (classic scene of teenage girls at a slumber party doing an arm-swing exercise, chanting "I must, I must, I must increase my bust!" ahahahahhahaha!!!! That still cracks me up!), Forever (which is your kid's first graphic-detail glimpse into *gasp*...s-e-x. And pre-marital too. *gasp*.)

God, I fell into that nostalgic zone right there, thinking about all my wonderful childhood books. I still have them back in Singapore. I want them with me forever.

But back to my main point, I think Dave Eggers is just wonderful. I think his office is based in San Francisco. Maybe I'll become his stalker. He's got an unassuming cute factor going on too, no?

I'm afraid to read his 2nd novel "You Shall Know Our Velocity". I fear disappointment. I read the first chapter at the bookstore last week. And stopped. Not that it was bad. It just wasn't...that...good. I didn't want to read on for fear of confirming that disappointment. Nick Hornby (who caused Kelly-Hornby love with his 'High Fidelity' and 'Fever Pitch') did that with his piece of shit novel 'How to be Good'. Douglas Coupland (who induced Kelly-Coupland obsession with 'Microserfs' and 'Generation X') killed it with pretty much any of his other novels. Zadie Smith (who created Kelly-Smith awe with 'White Teeth') failed miserably in 'Autograph Man'. I really should just be happy in that illusion that Eggers is perfect.
kellykelly, 2/25/2003 04:07:00 am | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, February 23, 2003

Friday, Saturday...

I think my Friday sucked all the excitement out from my Saturday.

I went to my first studio-viewing session. Ended up chatting with super nice Cal student part-timing at the realty office who showed me a studio right in the heart of Berkeley (Shattuck/University). Honestly, for $875/mth, I wasn't too impressed at all. He ended up convincing me that Jimmie's room for $480 was steal. And it is. I called Jimmie to ask if the room was already taken. Twas not. I'd probably have to overlap my rents for March but really, $480 is a freakin' steal for a place on Fulton/Oxford. Guess I've found my new home. One burden off my mind.

Found out that I won 4 (of the "100 to be won") tickets to Telepopmusik's gig (those 'Breathe' people in the Mitsubishi ad) at Ruby Skye. Schemey bait-and-lure scheme! Douglas and I took a cab down to Ruby Skye (my first time in an SF taxi, I realized!! Whoohoo!) to meet up with Ian, Clarice and Yingping. I guess all 100 free tickets holders were there. And there was no line for the paying people. So the people wayyyy at the back of the "winners" line (that went round the block) would have had to pay to get in on time to watch the concert, and since they were already dressed and there...oh, those shrewd club promoters. We were ahead in line, so after 1/2 hour, we got in fine (yay). Angela McCluskey is just one of those awesome natural performers. The moment she stood on stage, she just shined. She worked the crowd, boy oh boy she did...for 1/2 hour, when their gig was over and the house DJs spun. It was weird, when I later thought about it. They headlined the night, and they played for 1/2 (3 songs!) of the 6 hours that the club was open.

It was a great night of sober substance-free (for me!) dancing though. I've discovered that house music just doesn't do it for me as much as trance. Never really did differentiate them till last night where there was a significant switch in genre, and I just smiled and nodded "yep, this is it, this is what I love." Trance puts this silly grin on my face and makes me do stupid things with my body, trying hard to grab at and embrace and cuddle every single layer of sound.

Weird shit started to happen after 2am. Ruby Skye turned into some kinda swingers club. Sleazy Exhibitionist Couple started to literally rub up to Other Sleazy Exhibitionist Couple. Suddenly, the 2 chicks were fondling and fingering each other right in the middle of the dance floor with their 2 (really unattractive even in dim club lights that are supposed to make people look better) men sandwiching them. Interesting to later observe whose hands reach over where and whose hands try to push whose hands away behind whose back. On seperate occasions, there were other girls were blatantly coming on to guys who already had dance partners. It was a what-the-fuck-is-going-on-in-here moment. Those girls probably had really fucked up childhoods. Thank god for the vast normal majority that stuck to the regular fun dance-ass-off routine.

Post-clubbing was spent on Douglas' roof-top playing with super strong torchlights and shining it down on 330am club-goers/leavers. I love the city. There's never silence. When you stand on a roof-top at Harrison/11th Street, you hear the occasional sirens, the muffled beats of DNA Lounge next door, that hum from cars swooshing on the highway near you, Costco's here, Best Buy's there, Bank of America glows in the distance, we catch a glimpse of the gold of the civic center building, the Transamerica building tip peaks out, the Bay Bridge stretches out, post-club people talking, laughing, walking, club flyers stuck on cars and littered across the grimey street. I love the city, dirt, noise and all.

430am, I could barely keep my eyes open. Sugar-rush from orange/banana snacks crashed me on the couch while Douglas jammed on his keyboard. I was groggily stirred by this whisper "Kelly's asleep on the couch" with techno music humming in the background. The whisper repeated over and over. I was in that trippy half-asleep zone. "Wha...?" While I was asleep on the couch, Douglas' random jam session evolved into a song called "Kelly's asleep on the couch", which he recorded down and was repeating on the computer as I finally woke up, which he later burned into an audio cd. What a freak! How fuckin' cool is that? I made a clip of it here. It goes on for almost 6 minutes. Trippy shit! I love technology!

Saturday afternoon was just deliciously hot...>70F weather, cloudless sky...I couldn't stay in. Felt like an energizer bunny. Ran out to the gym. Tried out on the Precor Elliptical trainer for the first time. It was weird. It went on this semi-circle which is supposed to "stimulate natural movement", but I felt like I was going to be thrown off a horse. I felt as stupid as I've always thought people looked prancing on that thing. But boy was it a tough workout. Maybe I'll try it again. Splish-splash in the pool after that. Glorrrrious water under warm sun after a good sweat. Hit 50 laps. Didn't feel like stopping. But sun was setting. Brrr...

I'm returning to my natural state of nerd-hood and staying in, curled up with Eliot's 'Middlemarch' tonight...

This is how weekends are meant to be spent.
kellykelly, 2/23/2003 02:06:00 pm | link | 0 comments |

Friday, February 21, 2003

Uh oh...I find myself falling into another obsession. I picked up George Eliot's 'Middlemarch', read the prelude, and now I'm hooked. Classics never fail. And now, I'm gonna spend everyday neglecting what I'm supposed to do for school to read that bloody novel. Damn you, genius writers! Thank you, genius writers!

Of course, it was Mr Purvis and his literature classes on Eliot's 'The Mill on the Floss' that sparked that consciousness that awoke and thereafter will never cease to fascinate nor frustrate me.

Speaking of frustration, I've to move out of my lovely abode (damn you, Jane!)...I will thus be burdened for the next month or so with constant cost-benefit analyses: my own room is a minimum must. Now, do I even want to share a place? I'm dying for my own place...a studio, a one bedroom, my own room, my own kitchen, my own bathroom...MY OWN PLACE...ohhh...just the thought of it...glorious narcissistic selfish solitude...you can strut around butt-naked all day...it's gonna cost me about 200 bucks more per month. But droooollll...p-r-i-v-a-c-y...how much is it worth? sighhhh...
kellykelly, 2/21/2003 05:22:00 pm | link | 0 comments |
The internet's just the funnest thing ever.

Imbued with post-midterm delusion that I've alot of free time in my hands (I do not), I spent all of last night burning my thighs on the stairmaster, attempting to sculpt my abs with a new move that would apparently give me unearthly abs like those hot chicks in Shape magazine, doing my laundry (oohh...nothing beats wearing flannel pyjamas fresh from the dryer! And clean socks, clean socks, finally! And non-icky jeans, non-icky jeans, hurrah!), and doing that thing called "surfing the net":

Gleefully realized that Dave Barry's blog is a delicious hub of randomness.
Discovered that it's a "very Kelly thing" to contract "I have" to "I've" even when that "have" is a verb (as in (quoth Douglas) "I've three horses" (unusual) [Or refer to 1st sentence "...I've alot of free time"] as compared to "I've had dinner" (usual).)
Got a sick belated 'Valentine's Day' PickleParty card (will not tell which one) from Douglas, sent a kiss-my-ass rebuttal (oh that's so witty) one back and spent the next 1/2 guffawing through the rest of their sick-ass cards.
Watched Tenacious D's 'Tribute' video and loved Jack Black ever more.
Decided that it will be necessary for me to one day get high in some way or other and watch the Moon Song again.

The internet was made for these.
kellykelly, 2/21/2003 05:13:00 am | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Deep Dish completely lived up to expectations on Saturday night.
Which meant that I left the club groaning but grinning at 7am.
Which meant that I spent all of Sunday sleeping.
Which meant that I didn't get any studying done.
Which means that I'm effectively screwed for my Econ midterm tomorrow.
kellykelly, 2/18/2003 01:34:00 pm | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, February 15, 2003

It's getting on my nerves trying to keep up with current events. The cacophony of information tossed in your face is just ridiculous. I'm getting sick of it.

And of course, with my current obsession with Tolstoy, I just have to toss more of what he has to say about this. Actually, I remembered this passage from 'Anna Karenina' when I was reading stuff on The Drudge Report. He was writing about the Serbian war going on at that time (not sure about the historical facts about that one, but there was a war). Substitute Iraq/US in when necessary.

"In the circle to which Sergey Ivanovitch belonged, nothing was talked of or written about just now but the Servian War. Everything that the idle crowd usually does to kill time was done now for the benefit of the Slavonic States. Balls, concerts, dinners, matchboxes, ladies' dresses, beer, restaurants -- everything testified to sympathy with the Slavonic peoples.

From much of what was spoken and written on the subject, Sergey Ivanovitch differed on various points. He saw that the Slavonic question had become one of those fashionable distractions which succeed one another in providing society with an object and an occupation. He saw, too, that a great many people were taking up the subject from motives of self-interest and self-advertisement.
[**Refer to Madonna making an anti-war video**] He recognized that the newspapers published a great deal that was superfluous and exaggerated, with the sole aim of attracting attention and outbidding one another...He saw that there was a great deal in it that was frivolous and absurd."
kellykelly, 2/15/2003 06:30:00 am | link | 0 comments |

Friday, February 14, 2003

I guess I should say something about Valentine's Day, since it makes its presence known everywhere. You can't avoid it.

So this is a lovely li'll piece:

"I already love in you your beauty, but I am only beginning to love in you that which is eternal and ever precious - your heart, your soul. Beauty one could get to know and fall in love with in one hour and cease to love it as speedily; but the soul one must learn to know. Believe me, nothing on earth is given without labour, even love, the most beautiful and natural of feelings."

Leo Tolstoy to Valeria Arsenev, his fiance. (November 2, 1856)

See, Tolstoy ain't all that bitter about love. On the contrary. It takes the practical, the intelligent, the aware person to feel joys and frustrations and contradictions and power of what can then truly be called pure emotions.

Hmm...so it's a lovely passage...I'm wondering about it though. Sure I want my soul to be "learnt". But as Tolstoy himself says in 'Family Happiness', "Each time of life has its own kind of love." It's a love that expects and requires responsibility and "labour", one I neither expect nor require. Now.

But the hopeless romantic in me would probably ask for it at age 35...when I wake up butt-naked next to a butt-naked (and still hot and sexy even at age 40) Colin Farrell, who has in 13 years somehow acquired a Tolstoy-level intellect. Uh huh. Baby, I'll show you what labour is then.
kellykelly, 2/14/2003 05:11:00 pm | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Singaporeans Gettin' It On!

Singapore will apparently be the first country to approve Cialis, a drug like Viagra used to treat male impotence. "It has been nicknamed the 'weekend pill' because its effects last 36 hours." Ooooohhh boy! 36 hours! Ouch! (But actually, I think you can turn it on and off whenever you want...I hope.) Gives new meaning to our (now classic) national jingle "Stand Up for Singapore".

But good lord, I'm going to avoid this Cupid's arrow like a fuckin' plague. So my dear government sets up social agencies to try to matchmake people:

"her biggest challenge was getting members to come out of their shells. To lick this problem, she introduced new etiquette and grooming courses."

"the only thing standing in the way of more singles joining seems to be the perception that the SDS and SDU are for the desperate."
Gee, I wonder why they feel we think that.

But the sickest thing of it all is their BLATANT creation of 2 separate agencies for graduates and non-graduates. Chalk it up for Lee Kuan Yew's belief that graduate dad + graduate mom = graduate kid. Eugenics without even trying to hide it. I guess since I'm all about Tolstoy-esque cutting away of self-deception and bullshit, I should be praising their unabashed attempts to control us. But I'm not.

I do love my country. I've become far more interested in it since I left it. I want to understand it more. And understand how it came to be. I have deliberately tailored my economics and political science studes to give me tools of analysis to understand it better.
But I don't know how enthusiastic I'd feel about understanding it after I go back into it.

kellykelly, 2/13/2003 04:45:00 am | link | 0 comments |

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

Tolstoy is God.

This is powerful writing, goddammit. This is the reason for writing, reading. How, how, how did this Russian dude in 1863 write such awesome shit about a Russian dude that constantly strikes such a chord in this li'll average 21 year-old Singaporean chick in 2003?

Jane Austen writes in 'Northanger Abbey' about girls reading "to supply their memories with those quotations which are so serviceable and so soothing in the vicissitudes of their eventful lives." Yep. No doubt.

But there's something more to it that I can't descibe. Maybe the introduction in my Signet Classic puts it best: "Combining detailed physical description with perceptive psychological insight, Leo Tolstoy realistically sweeps aside the sham of surface appearances to lay bare man's intimate gestures, acts, and thoughts...(he) dissects the basic drives, emotions, and motives of average people searching for self-knowledge and spiritual perfection." In a word, he tosses out all the bullshit that people cover themselves with and lays it out for you as a tool to discover yourself and therefore improve, feel, live, love, fulfill.

So what's this passage that impassioned me so (and I know this is so inappropriate, but the climatic thumping base from Eminem's 'Lose Yourself' blasting from my speakers as I'm reading is making this an orgasmic experience. Threesome-ing with Tolstoy and Eminem. Something to write home to Mama about...)?

It's from 'The Cossacks':

At the age of eighteen he was free...Neither physical nor moral fetters of any kind existed for him; he could do as he liked, lacking nothing and bound by nothing. Neither relatives, nor fatherland, nor religion, nor wants, existed for him. He believed in nothing and admitted nothing. But although he believed in nothing he was not a morose or blase young man, nor self-opinionated, but on the contrary continually let himself be carried away. He had come to the conclusion that there is no such thing as love, yet his heart always overflowed in the presence of any young and attractive woman. He had long been aware that honours and position were nonsense, yet involuntarily he felt pleased when at a ball Prince Sergius came up and spoke to him affably. But he yielded to his impulses only in so far as they did not limit his freedom. As soon as he had yielded to any influence and became conscious of its leading on to labour and struggle, he instinctively hastened to free himself from the feeling or activity into which he was being drawn and to regain his freedom. In this way he experimented with society-life, the civil service, farming, music--to which at one time he intended to devote his life--and even with the love of women in which he did not believe. He meditated on the use to which he should devote that power of youth which is granted to man only once in a lifetime [**Literary academia will KILL me for this. But I'm still listening to Eminem and this is so funny. He raps: "He better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him/
You better lose yourself in the music/ the moment you own it, you better never let it go/ You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow/ This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo"
**]: that force which gives a man the power of making himself, or even--as it seemed to him--of making the universe, into anything he wishes: should it be to art, to science, to love of woman, or to practical activities? It is true that some people are devoid of this impulse, and on entering life at once place their necks under the first yoke that offers itself and honestly labour under it for the rest of their lives. But Olenin was too strongly conscious of the presence of that all-powerful God of Youth--of that capacity to be entirely transformed into an aspiration or idea--the capacity to wish and to do--to throw oneself headlong into a bottomless abyss without knowing why or wherefore. He bore this consciousness within himself, was proud of it and, without knowing it, was happy in that consciousness. Up to that time he had loved only himself, and could not help loving himself, for he expected nothing but good of himself and had not yet had time to be disillusioned. On leaving Moscow he was in that happy state of mind in which a young man, conscious of past mistakes, suddenly says to himself, 'That was not the real thing.' All that had gone before was accidental and unimportant. Till then he had not really tried to live, but now with his departure from Moscow a new life was beginning--a life in which there would be no mistakes, no remorse, and certainly nothing but happiness.

Geez...he has descibed all my (our) ideals and perceptions of my (our) youth with scary precision, yet exposing that youthful delusion, warning me, making me acutely aware of its illusion, WHILE allowing me to accept my behaviour as it is, for it could not be otherwise. The alternative, being "devoid of this impulse" is (to me) the bigger tragedy.

Brilliant Bastard!!!!!

My dream Valentine has just gotten more impossible: Leo Tolstoy's mind-blowing intellect in Colin Farrell's hot body (a part of which I'd not mind blowing).
kellykelly, 2/12/2003 02:10:00 pm | link | 0 comments |

Monday, February 10, 2003

My body feels like it's truly rebelling against rational productivity. It pushes me to do everything except what I am supposed to do...which is to complete Book I of Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations' and complete 3 journal entries by Monday. And finish grading my Statistics class. Simple job. But noooo...I just had to let my weekend turn into a complete bust pertaining to work.

Friday, I go to Brewed Awakening, staunchly determined to fulfil my Adam Smith duty. When I open my backpack, Leo Tolstoy peaks out at me next to Adam Smith. Awwww...dammit! My mind begins to calculate the utility that is to be derived from Adam or Leo. Adam says we're all rational economic beings, only self-interestedly striving to maximize our utility (and are able to measure it out as such). Leo explains why we all live in "that abyss of error", where passion and irrationality govern our actions. I choose Leo, a consciously irrational decision. I know I'd gain much utility from completing Adam and accomplishing my task. Leo will give me much joy, but the frustration (with life, emotions) + the opportunity cost of not finishing my work must result in a diminished utility, no? Who says we're all rational economic beings? Although I indulge in self-deception thinking that I can fully maximize utility by spending no more than 1/2 hour on a Tolstoy fix then read Mr. Smith, passion rules: I spend the next 4 hours absorbed into 'The Kreutzer Sonata', a story about a husband killing his wife. Why did he do it? The simple immediate answer to a reader just reading for plot's sake will be jealousy: he thought his wife's music teacher was screwing her behind his back. But Tolstoy sets it out deliberately that it is their self-deception that had been killing them ever since they got married.

Check out why I think Tolstoy is cool:

First, a cool logical twist: ""First you say that marriage is based on love, and when I express a doubt as to the existence of a love other than sensual, you prove the existence of love by the fact that marriages exist."

Then, his cool warning against self-deception: "To live like that would have been awful had we understood our position; but we neither understood nor saw it. Both salvation and punishment for man lie in the fact that if he lives wrongly he can befog himself so as not to see the misery of his position...Thus we lived in a perpetual fog, not seeing the codition we were in...I should have gone on living so to old age and should have thought, when dying, that I had led a good life. I should not have realized the abyss of misery and the horrible falsehood in which I wallowed." Very Dr. Phil, innit?

Then his cool view of marriages: "But marriages in our days are mere deception!...Among us (he meant non-religious people), people marry regarding marriage as nothing but copulation, and the result is either deception or coercion. When it is deception it is easier to bear. The husband and wife merely deceive people by pretending to be monogamists, while living polygamously. That is bad, but still bearable. But when, as most frequently happens, the husband and wife have undertaken the external duty of living together all their lives, and begin to hate each other after a month, and wish to part but still continue to live together, it leads to that terrible hell which makes people take to drink, shoot themselves, or kill or poison themselves or one another,"

God he's morbid! I love him! So it's an exaggerated generalization. Because remember, the words aren't representative of Tolstoy himself, but the character who ended up killing his wife. Yet I'm sure it's true too often. ("...ninety-nine per cent of married people live in a similar hell to the one I was in and that it cannot be otherwise.")

How can I stop? I end up reading 2 pages of Smith later before folding up my attempt and heading for the gym again.

Saturday, I leave my Tolstoy at home, lest he entices me again. I actually manage through some (read: minimal) work: 1 journal entry done. Gym again (whooboy! I love sweating like a mofo!), before heading for a night out with friends. After The Velvet Lounge fiasco (perfect example of why I hate going out in big groups of people), some of us head over to 1015 at 1am for a wierd DJ session 'Valerie and the Vibe Tribe', complete with chicks in the weirdest garb spinning fire poles. The techno is a little too 'tribal' for me. I go home earlier than I expect...at about 4am.

Sunday then becomes the do-nothing day. Frustrating attempts to study is distracted by snacking, The Economist, emails, yakking on the phone, more snacking, and fatigue above all. It's 9:50pm and my 2 journal entries and stack of ungraded homeworks are still incomplete.

I'm fucked
and I suck.
kellykelly, 2/10/2003 01:50:00 pm | link | 0 comments |

Friday, February 07, 2003

~~Overheard Quote of the day:

(at Milano's. 2 dudes starting to play chess)
"You're black."
"Well I noticed. I've been black all my life!"
(if you didn't get it, one of these guys is black)

~~Ego Booster of the Day:

Me passing familiar looking TA in Statistics dept: "Hi. I think I was in your stats class 2 years ago."
Him: "Yeaaahh I remember you. You were the one that got the ridiculously high score that semester. Just ridiculous. I think you got the highest score in the class. Don't be so smart. It's really annoying."
Me: "Why thank you." (I never knew my actual grade for that class other than the letter grade)

~~Ego Deflator of the Day (and almost every day):

Reading Tolstoy's "Family Happiness", loving every page, and realizing that I'd never even sniff the depths of such brilliance. I mean, it's one thing being anal enough to do every single practice problem in my stats textbook to get an A. It's another to be a fucking genius.

~~Stupid Sight of the Day:

At the gym. Girl next to me on the stairmaster, wearing jeans (?), skiving through a pathetic level 1 (what's the point?), speaking on her cellphone with her headset and holding the microphone that you are supposed to just let dangle near your neck area on her lips and yelling into it.

~~Stupid Pick-up Line of the Day:

After the gym. Passing two guys. One of them: "My, my, ko-ni-chi-WOW."

~~Online Headline of the Day:

Love makes peace with Virgin

~~News Quote of the Day:

"Perhaps Virgin's new slogan should be that 'Rock stars swear by us' "

~~Song of the Day:

James Holden 'Nothing'
kellykelly, 2/07/2003 02:50:00 pm | link | 0 comments |

Thursday, February 06, 2003

I feel like such a lesser being.

This dude from Berkeley wins the Rhodes Scholarship. Justly so, I believe. He majored in the 3 toughest majors there is in Berkeley (Engineering, Computer Science and Business Administration) with a freakin' 4.0 GPA. Grades may not be everything, but that is an achievement alright? Hats off to him.

How do some people just get so up there?
kellykelly, 2/06/2003 01:14:00 am | link | 0 comments |

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

I'm back in groove. I hope.

I finally got my lazy ass off to the gym for the first time this semester, and I realized that I actually missed it. Ok, I see how people can feel completely disaffected by that whole gym culture. You go in and see all these people prancing around on machines like monkeys. And half of them look like they're in complete agony. After a mere 6 minutes on the stair-master, not having worked out in a long time, I was wondering why the hell I was monkeying in agony too.

But it's all worth it once I pass that initial inertia, and I get warmed up, and I start panting, and sweating like a mofo, and X-Dream is banging awesome techno in my ear. It's all worth it when I step off the machine and the ground feels too stable, too still and I feel like I am floating on it. It's all worth it when I warm down in the stretching room, affording me half an hour of much-needed zen-time as I stretch and do some crunches/floor exercises leisurely. It's all worth it when I go home with that (probably imaginary) spring in my step and flush on my face. It's all worth it when I have a renewed adrenaline about starting to work out like I used to again.

I just have to remember how much it's worth the next time I slack.

So yep, I'm a gym monkey...

But Lord save me from this in 10 years...I don't have faith in myself...
kellykelly, 2/04/2003 03:06:00 pm | link | 0 comments |

Monday, February 03, 2003

I just watched 'The Recruit'. It was a good movie. Action, tension, classic Al Pacino (gotta love the classic Al!)

...but what did it for me was Colin Farrell. I so have the hots for this m-m-man. I don't know what it is about him. He's certainly doesn't have that perfect Pitt look, but he's got that special something (that Robert Downey Jr nonchalent but bad boy vibe with a hint of leftover boyishness, and drippingly sexy charisma) that gets my hormones raging. I want him. I need a cold shower.
kellykelly, 2/03/2003 06:12:00 pm | link | 0 comments |

Sunday, February 02, 2003

Kelly's Empirical Analysis--How it is logically possible that I spent an entire (as in a 9-3am kind of entire) day just staying in my room

It was unintended. I was supposed to go out to study at some cafe and meet up with Alex. I was supposed to have finished Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations Chapter 1-6 of book one, and fill in my Econ 105 journal entry for it. I was supposed to have finished grading the Statistics 21 homework. I was supposed to have read a little bit of Tolstoy to recharge my soul. All these plans for productivity as I ate my breakfast at 9am.

Then that scary thing occurs: time takes a quantum leap the moment I decide to sit in front of my laptop with the innocent intention of finally finishing up arranging and captioning my Europe trip photos once and for all and put them up online. Shouldn't take more than a couple of hours, I scoff.
Then internet time takes over (and you know it moves 8 times faster than normal time) and the day passes me by. Aside from the Snapfish photos still waiting to be captioned, my laptop has 4 other IE windows open, surfing the randomest websites: one google results for 'Sirens of Titans by Kurt Vonnegud that my friend recommended, another the Economist website, another the Drudgereport, another on Surf and Sip results on a list of Bay Area cafes (they have a greatest yet simplest listings, with one exterior and one interior picture plus a map of each cafe).
My Tolstoy is half-open half-read; I periodically pick it up to read while waiting for the photos to upload.
Friskyradio is blasting just the most awesome techno all day.
I'm chatting on MSN with my brother in Menlo Park, Sam in Ohio and Jane in Bordeaux; on ICQ with my best friend Marie in Singapore; on AIM with Renee in Japan. In between, Jeff calls and we chat about nothing in general for an hour.
The sun sets in a hurry. Hmm...am I going out? There's the option of 1015 to see Behrouz spinning a must-be-awesome set with Saeed and Palash; or Ruby Skye to watch Tall Paul. My stomach growls. I've forgotten my lunch. Fuck. I grab some cereal.
I ask Ian on ICQ if he wants to go clubbing. He's meeting another friend tonight, sorry. I call Hans. He's doesn't mind, if others are going. If not, he's just gonna go watch 'The Recruit' with his friend. Do I want to come along? Hmm, I'm not sure. Alvin calls. Is anyone going out tonight? I don't know, lemme call Ilyas. Ilyas is sitting on the fence. Then our conversation drifts to nothing in particular for an hour. At the end of it, Ilyas realizes he's got tons of schoolwork to do. Ok. When everyone's sitting on the fence and one tilts over to the non-clubbing side, we all fall on the same direction. Help me call Alvin. Thanks. Hans calls. Movie's at 1015pm, do I wanna go? Hmm...I don't really want to spend 10 bucks on a Hollywood flick that has an 85% chance of being a waste of my time and money. Nah, thanks for calling anyway.
I call Alex. Just to say hi. He's finished scrubbing his bathroom floor. We plan to hopefully meet up tomorrow. Friskyradio techno thumps on; the idea of going to 1015 by myself tempts me. No need to arrange with this or that, I'm gonna be sober, I'm always drifting away from my group of friends whenever I'm there anyway, I know the place well, why not? Alex tells me to be careful. Ilyas tells me to give him a call before and after if I decide to go solo, just to know. Don't worry, I'm not even sure if I'd do it. I'd need a nap before that, and a nap is a commitment to go out. My reasoning being if I nap now, I wouldn't be able to sleep early anyway, so I'd have to go out. If I don't wanna go out, I'd want a nice normal night's sleep and not nap now. I start downloading Tall Paul and Saeed & Palash music on Kazaa to see who's better. Because of that, I don't fall asleep.
My brother comes online again. We chat somemore. Renee comes online. Girl talk. Big time. More narcissistic, what Renee calls "pop psychoanalysis" of self. More mind fucks. More telling girlfriend of current personal frustrations, melancholia and problems. More chick sharing with someone who knows me -so- well. More self-revelations. More giggles and laughs. It edges past midnight. I guess I'm not going out. It's cool. I've got great music thumping from my speakers anyway.

So I've somehow allowed time to slip to 3am. I've done everything and nothing; spoken to everyone everywhere and met no one nowhere.

How did it happen? Now you know.

Tomorrow, I will go out to study at some cafe and meet up with Alex. I will finish Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations Chapter 1-6 of book one, and fill in my Econ 105 journal entry for it. I will finish grading the Statistics 21 homework. I will read a little bit of Tolstoy to recharge my soul. All these plans for productivity that I intend to fulfill, tomorrow.
kellykelly, 2/02/2003 07:15:00 pm | link | 0 comments |

Saturday, February 01, 2003

Explaining the Tiny Cures for the Unexplainable Big Bad Funk

One of those days, where I fall into my unexplainable, unreasonable funk. Attempts to be productive at Brewed Awakenings cafe fails miserably. My eyes glazes over my polisci reader--fucking words just would not, could not sink in. Screw it, I think. I'll just take a mindless stroll down Telegraph Ave. A street stuffed with bums and hippies must make me feel better (that I'm not one of them).

Driving to the southside of campus, Bjork's 'Post' blasts. Weird-ass brilliant music. Even for 2 minutes. I feel better already.

Parking the car, my brother calls. A 10 minute mindless chat. But oh-so-good to hear a dear familiar familial voice at the time when I felt like I did not want to be alone, yet did not want to meet anyone even more. Another boost for my spirit.

I instinctively walk into Moe's bookstore. They have the best selection of second-hand books at the best prices. I scan through the Tolstoy section. One of the 'War and Peace' used books has this scribbled in the back of the front cover: "Dear Christine, I read this when I was fifteen and really enjoyed it. I hope you will too. Happy reading. Love, Mom." The book is old (yellowed), but the spine is unbroken, and the pages smoothly un-dogeared. It has never been read before. What a shame, Christine. How much did you get for this book? Couldn't have been more than 2 bucks because I'm can buy it for $5.40. I choose not to get the book (I somehow don't like the Penguin Classics translations). But I pick up 'The Death of Ivan Ilych' and Dostoevsky's 'Crime and Punishment'. After about half an hour picking out the best of the used, I make my purchase: two great classics, tons of hours of glorious words to be read, tons of insights to be learnt, for $3.50 and $2.75 respectively. Oh joy! Price is certainly not a measure of utility.

I plop myself down at Cafe Milano's and begin 'The Death of Ivan Ilych'. Glorious genius! Chock-full of underlinable lines I would love to read over and over again. Dammit! I don't have a pen with me. But who should walk in but dear Alex, who is meeting another friend here. Hey Alex, have a pen I could borrow? Yeah. Here you go. Thanks! And thereafter almost 2 hours of pure fun reading and frantically marking out Tolstoy's hilariously sardonic observations and heart-wrenching description of Ivan Ilych's life. "Ivan Ilych's life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible."

Close to 5pm. I decide to leave. Chinese New Year reunion dinner tonight with friends and brother. Alex at the next table decides to take off as well. In our 5 minute walk, we stroll and talk about nothing and everything as we usually do. I stop by his place for 10 minutes to check out the new arrangement he made to his room before I drive back home.

Jeff calls to say hi. "Who's that singing in the background? Sounds Icelandic." "No fucking way. It -is- Icelandic. It's Bjork. How did you know?" "I don't know. Just sounds Icelandic." He's pulling my leg. But I laugh just as well. Our conversation is cut short by Ilyas calling to confirm plans for the dinner tonight. 2 tiny conversations in 2 minutes.

There you go. My tiny cures for funk: 2 minutes of music, 10 minutes of brotherly voice, 30 minutes of old dusty books (2 sneezes), 120 minutes of experiencing genius, 15 minutes with a close friend who knows me, 2 minutes of casual conversation. Piece of cake.
kellykelly, 2/01/2003 10:57:00 am | link | 0 comments |
I'm going to be an unabashedly proud chink today in my red cheongsam top.

Happy Chinese New Year, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Wan Shi Ru Yi, and all the good stuff! =)
kellykelly, 2/01/2003 01:00:00 am | link | 0 comments |