31 January 2008
The New Semester and Yes I'm Still Alive
It keeps my brain young and limber to write like this anyway. I spend so much of my day writing lame stuff like, "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs."
I am taking an economic demography class. Now I've used this punchline a million times before but I'm still refining it for maximum hilarity. This could take years. In this class they really like to talk about demographics of our industrialized nations and how our more industrialized nations have aging populations and that eventually that population will slowly decrease in size because of plunging fertility rates. Now I'm a pretty normal guy (or so the voices in my head always like to insist) but every time I leave lecture I can't help but feel this need to go and reproduce. Like if I'm being compelled to have hundreds and hundreds of Asian babies to replace all the ones in Japan not being born. If it turns out that there are no Asians in Asia anymore, then it's my fault for not popping out 2.1 babies to keep replacing the population. Sigh.
If you are reading this then you are bored. No question about it. Why don't you cheer yourself up by heading over to UC Berkeley's Wikipedia page and feel awesome at going to such an stupefyingly awesome school? I do it all the time.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:14 | Permalink
07 January 2008
Letters from Winter Vacation
Being on semester schedule is unusual. All my other UC friends are on the quarter schedule so their classes start today. This essentially leaves me with more reading and eating time. I wonder if this semester thing is a plot from Berkeley to deliberately isolate itself and its students from the rest of the system. The chess club in my high school did this too and it lead to two things: 1) Unparalleled chess genius-ry - I mean seriously. They'll win even if they give you their queen and let you continually beat them over the head with it. and 2) They danced with only themselves during the school dances.
My search for peace, purpose and good TV reception on CBS continues. I HAVE to watch the Patriots game on Saturday even if it means me wrapping myself in aluminum and sticking my arms out of a 2nd story window.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 6:18 | Permalink
18 December 2007
I am Done
So how am I going to spend the last few days of absolute freedom? No clue. I feel like going out and traveling somewhere but that costs money and if you know me, I try to keep my overhead costs low. My room is literally nothing more than a box, a mattress on the ground, and a computer. Like I said, low marginal costs of living. I don't even like to keep the lights on for very long.
Suggestions for the continued procrastination of my life: Go get a girlfriend (yeah right). Go out to Walnut Creek and enjoy just walking around for a while (It's great until you have to use the restroom and you realize that you're in a suburb where all the restrooms are in the homes - unaccessible to you). Eat (As if I need to get any fatter). YouTube (There are so many kitty videos you can watch before you start feeling fuzzy). I guess all that is left right now is to go and play video games until my brains start to turn to mush ... or maybe even read a bit (Pfft and angels will start flying out of my nose).
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 3:53 | Permalink
14 December 2007
Live From Office Hours, It's Friday Morning
I am currently procrastinating from actually doing econ work but since I am in Office Hours, I am actually doing econ work. Did you get that? I hope you did. It's some weird contradiction but my hope right now is that I am gaining econ knowledge simply through osmosis. As my econ final edges closer and closer I am getting more and more polarized into two parts of Jonathan. There is procrastinating Jonathan who does a crap load of procrastination and then there's studying cramming Jonathan who crams for hours at a time.
It is almost like I am bipolar. These two parts of me would clash whenever I am working on Econ. Oh great. I just asked my GSI a question and he just told me that he had no idea. This is how hard economics is. I want to cry ...
Continuing from Econ office hours, Jonathan Yu.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:52 | Permalink
10 December 2007
The Procrastination Continues
I introduced her to a game I played called Typing of the Dead, which is essentially a game that allows you to procrastinate as much time as possible by killing zombies by typing the words they represent underneath. I am better at this game than most average people. My friend is a typing God.
There is a particular drill that has you typing words and you have to do it without a single error for as long as possible. Eventually it gets you and I can't get any further than like 39. No wait, 39 in a row is my record. I have yet to get any further. I am stuck more than a turkey on Thanksgiving. But my friend starts and keeps going ... for a while. Soon enough she's hitting 100+ and she's thinking to herself and laughing cause she wonders if she's going to be up all night typing. She eventually gets to 136. Remember, my previous high score is 39. She smashed the record like Bob Beamon smashes the long jump record by 2 meters (Something that took the rest of the world 23 years to catch up to). I suspect that it will take 23 years for me to catch up with her.
I can blab for hours my travails with typing of the dead (because my typing has improvedf so much frmo typing ... it raelly wurks!) but I have econ to study. My procrastination ten minutes is over. Time to go back to supply and demands. You know, I suspect that this knowledge will be useful someday because you never know what girl gets turned on by indifference curves, general equilibrium and utility functions.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:23 | Permalink
08 December 2007
Totally unrelated but my mom is a gamer. She plays Counterstrike and there was no moment more classic than when I was playing CS in a public room, got killed and heard my mom downstairs cheering while I was shouting in anger. God that was terrible.
Final studying: Progression: 13% completed. I calculated this by taking the number of slides I still need to review, divided them by 400 and then added the number of tears I sobbed when I looked at my last midterm grade. To me, this is more accurate than a lot of presidential opinion polls out there.
My procrastination continues. Ideal ways to procrastinate your day away: Wikipedia, YouTube, hanging out with friends, calling a girl to flirt with her, finding a frog to try to kiss, kicking rocks, cutting your nails, rewriting your resume, cleaning out your computer desktop, watching anime and then trying to expand your eyes as big as the characters, thinking about Guitar Hero, eating buttered crackers upside down to see if it tastes better, and lastly: 35 push ups.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 8:34 | Permalink
07 December 2007
The Art of Studying for Finals
I prefer to study in a double pronged way. The first way is to cram like there is no tomorrow and then worry so much that you end up learning ten times more than you need to know ... with the exception of one problem that by way of God knows what, somehow shoes up on the final and then beats your butt like guacamole.
I despise that part of the final. But hopefully it will not matter as much because everyone knows that GPA's are made to go down. I've been on a wild streak for the last couple semesters and I'm due for a B SOMETIME. Though in my case it's kind of like income taxes, I just hope to delay for a little while longer.
I shall continue to update on how my final studying is going a long. Whenever I am posting, I am really procrastinating but in the end, the social benefit is the same ... unless Marginal Benefit is not equal to Marginal Cost. Econ is the death of me.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 9:00 | Permalink
02 December 2007
So You Want Pictures ... Too Bad!
I use the BART alot if you haven't noticed. Yesterday I was coming back from San Francisco when the guy announcer somewhere tells me that somehow the rails were all messed up somewhere in Pittsburg and therefore we can expect no trains for the next hour. I was not pleased but thank the Lord that I bought french fries at McDonalds before heading out there (Why does my word processor think French is a misspelled word?).
So I wait for a long time. A long time passed with nothing happened ... which continued for a little while longer. On the other side of the platform suddenly a train shows and stops and the doors open. It waits too with me. I was like, this is how all the horror movies start. Nothing is happening but the air is rife with anticipation. But of what?!
Suddenly, I see it. The train comes in THE WRONG WAY!!! What ... the ... It was the first time I had ever seen something like it! It was going backwards! The doors open and I go inside and ... the entire thing is empty. Has I ever seen anything like this? Nuh uh. It was like I boarded the weird train on the first stop to Creepsville. (As you can see, my life is bleak and empty of REAL things to talk about).
The train eventually reversed itself and I went back home ... 40 minutes late. Then I went to Target today and the same thing happened again. Apparently someone had caused an accident on the train tracks and now every train is late for like the rest of all the time in the Universe. I was not happy.
BUT! Here's a cat to distract you from how lame this entry is:
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 4:03 | Permalink
29 November 2007
Not only that I have a 10 page essay in Economics due today and I have to do research for it too. I have been driving myself insane writing it. I would crash in the Moffett Library and just ignore everyone except my essay. While I was writing I realized that I was getting more and more tired and I was getting more and more insane. My hair just got all ugly and I was real Unabomber, Tree People status. I need to take a shower and just return to normalcy. Unfortunately that will not happen for a while.
I still have a final and several essays to complete for my other classes. Sweet jumping squirrels! Sometimes I wonder just why I didn't just drop out of school and repair elevators.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 0:17 | Permalink
04 October 2007
What is my life like? I know you all want to know. You want to know what is it like to be Jonathan. I know that in your dreams you walk down a lonely beach and look down to the horizon all the dolphins and crying seagulls and you ask yourself in the very bottom of your heart, You know what, I wish I knew what Jonathan's life is like. Well your greatest dreams are about to be fulfilled! You are about to know what my life is like.
So in the morning I wake up for my 8 o'clock class at around 7:45. I somehow manage to change into some decent clothes and then I stumble out onto campus like that squirrel who got into the bottle of Jack Daniels. Then I go to class. I listen to the lecture and then I go home. I eat. I sleep again. I do homework and I study.
So I bet you are asking yourself, so Jonathan what do you do that makes you happy? Your life seems so bleak! Well let me explain to you what makes me happy. It's the little things that makes me happy. I like it when I go home and I see that someone's taken out the trash. I like it when I catch the street lights going my way. I like it when I meet someone and they're already waiting for me instead of me waiting for them. I LOVE it when I walk down the street in socks I just washed. I think I enjoy all the little things in life but my friends say I'm just easy to please.
What are my plans for this semester? This semester I am applying to Haas. Then maybe next year I shall study abroad. Haha. My friend said that once and it realized to me something funny. Study ... a ... broad! I thought it was hilarious. My friend thought I was a weirdo. Aish, maybe I am kinda out of there. Ah! Poppycock! Alright. Jonathan has class. Jonathan will talk and write again down the line. Jonathan knows that y'all will wait for Jonathan right? Jonathan happy.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 2:03 | Permalink
26 September 2007
Riding to San Francisco
So what's been up with my life? I took an internship in San Francisco. This means that every Monday and Friday I have to take the BART to SF. This usually takes 22 minutes and usually I end up just staring out the window because the people inside glare back at me and they aren't anything to really look at anyways. If I were sitting in a trainful of America's Next Top Models, maybe I can think differently. Until then, yeah not really.
What bothers me about riding to San Francisco all the time? First the cost. It costs me 3.25 one way between the great City and Berkeley. It adds up, dude. I can go buy an iPod Touch with that cash and I do want an iPod Touch sooo badly. Also, what bothers me is that the world seems to take the train at the same time so there are never any seats. This bothers me less because standing burns calories but my legs are old and my butt never misses a chance to plant its face somewhere.
How is class? Somewhat fun. I am taking an interesting addition this semester: Play writing. This means that I have to write a whole bunch of plays and submit them to criticism from 15 people, including my instructor - Mel Gordon - who is a funny guy but he pulls no punches. I haven't written my first script to be presented as of yet, so I have no idea what's coming. I hope ...
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 0:57 | Permalink
10 September 2007
Jonathan Hath Returned; Bow Beforeth He
The voices in my head tell me that I am fine but I think I should resort to a second opinion.
So how is my year so far? I have started an internship in San Francisco recently and I commute there every Monday and Friday and work there from 9 to 4. The hours seem to be a bit overkill but let's see how they work out first. I got some nice stamina so let's see if I hold up. If I don't write here for a couple weeks, it's not cause I don't care about all two of you who read my syphilic rantings, but it is because I am coming straight home and then straight to bed. Exhaustion is my new wife and I sleep with her all of the night.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:35 | Permalink
12 August 2007
No Need for Spinach. I got Enough Irony in my Veins.
In the same way I began my two weeks at Berkeley summer session, so thus I end my Berkeley summer session - with nobody living in the dorms. Everyone seemed to be Session D or something like that and they all filed out on Friday. This means that I can now walk around the place in a bathrobe with alot less apprehension, but unfortunately I still cannot find the light switch for the fixtures in the halls. They make for terrible shocks in early morning "draining the lizard" runs.
I have a week left before I take my Chinese final and then move out of the dorms right into the apartment that I have been slowly moving things into for the past three weeks. I won't be home for Welcome Week - as Lilo from Lilo and Stich always says, "Ohana means family." So I will be Ohaning for a well deserved week. I pray to everyone and everything necessary to get through this course with an A.
This coming semester is going to be a beauty. I have no class on Monday or Friday. Whatsoever. Isn't that amazing? I have 17 units (pending URAP) and yet no class on Monday/Friday and not on a single wait list. Life is good.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:35 | Permalink
31 July 2007
I Was Attacked By a Squirrel Masquerading as a Paper Bag
Living in the Berkeley dorms has its perks. You get the security, you get the swipes for the dining commons and you get the joy of seeing the same people over and over again everyday (the third is frequently cited as a perk but I doubt it so.) However, there are some awkward moments. For example I was in the restroom and after draining the lizard I washed my hands in a vibrant and vigorous manner. A guy comes out of the stall next to me and ... he walks ... right ... by ... me out ... the .... door. Oh my bejeweled chin fat flaps. What in the world did this guy just do in front of me?! Oh no he didn't. He just used the restroom without washing his hands. Now if I see him again, I will never shake his hand. Trust me.
While I was walking to the BART I was hugging the side of the road particulary close because of bikers' tendencies to swerve the same direction I do. One time especially I swerved left and he swerved right and we juked each other out four or five times before he finally jack-knifed and nearly hit the ground. Luckily I finally just jumped off the road entirely and into the bushes. Anyways, back to the story. I was hugging the side of the road very carefully when suddenly I saw a sudden movement to my right! I leapt like a girl and almost ran out of there. It was very embarrassing when a person told me I was running from a paper bag blowing in the wind. Unfortunately my next line did not clarify things any further (though it made perfect sense in my own mind):
"I thought it was a squirrel attacking me."
O I have a quick quiz tomorrow. I am going to ace it. And by ace I mean fail and by it I mean miserably.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:32 | Permalink
21 July 2007
My Clash With Death Leaves Us Both Walking Funny
Anyways, the earthquake shook my building a bit and I thought the whole thing was going to go down like a stale piece of bread on a football field. The building I am in does not lend itself to confidence in the seismology department. I swear it has to be around 50 years old. Oh the wonders of living in a public institution. Great prices ... public bathrooms.
- My sister yesterday asked me who was this Harry Potter fellow she kept hearing about on the media and why he is so deathly hollow. I could not stop laughing.
- I have a friend who wants to go into the new Stanley Biosciences building and be the first to pee in the urinals. On Friday, I beat him to it. Muhaha!
- My good friend Elizabeth texted me before a test going, I can has cheezburger?! I thought about it during the test and started laughing.
Moral: College is fun when you know where the fun is.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:54 | Permalink
14 July 2007
A Little Nostalgia
I went back in and got a box of tissues. Then I walked back down the hallway, put them on the ground and gently pushed them in her direction. She grabbed 5 at a time (God! Be economical!) and then honkily snorted in them while large, thick reams of Korean language peeled into the receiver.
Now I don't know a lick of Korean other than that immortal line from that movie that every Asian girl has ever watched, My Sassy Girl ("Chugule?") and that line wasn't really appropriate to use in that context. (It means do you want to die?") So what could I do? I just let her keep using my tissues and stood there, watching her. It reminded me of the time when I first came out here to Berkeley and I saw my dad drive away at the McDonalds. I couldn't stop crying then too and I walked back through campus in tears.
I had nobody then. I didn't want that girl to go through the same.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:07 | Permalink
05 July 2007
The Late Night at Google
"Hi. What's up?"
"I'm headed to Google. Wanna come?"
"Okay, meet me at the BART at 5:13."
"Wait a second. It's 5:03. Should I take the bus?"
"I'm already on the bus."
This was as the movies call it, an "oh-god-no" moment. I threw on some clothes, rushed down the elevator and somehow managed to run to the BART from Unit 2 in 9 minutes. If you are even slightly familiar with the Berkeley campus, I know you are applauding right now. Carl Lewis couldn't have made it any better.
Google was great. No words to mash about. It feels just like another Berkeley - alot of casual wear and a lot of relaxed environments. Gotta love it. Gotta want to go there. I liked especially how my friend's friend's friend kept saying stuff like, "yeah these people are all really nerdy" and "Look, these are people who were beat up in their high school." Gotta love how the green eyed monster makes her appearance.
Oh by the way, the huge numbers of elementary kids are a bit on the short side for me. Considering what they feed these kids nowadays, and my own puny size. I am waiting for the day they will swarm me in a back alley and take all my food/money/possessions. Kids in packs are dangerous, yo!
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 2:01 | Permalink
29 June 2007
The Greatness of Summer
Interesting thing about living in the dorms. I went to costco recently and bought a gazebo's worth of canned food. Unfortunately I had no can opener. I thought this was a no problem until I went to the nearest Wal-Greens and tried to purchase a can opener for myself. There was none. I went to many stores since then and have yet to find a single can opener. I was not unpissed. I had to have my can opener mailed in from home. Doesn't that very idea kind of makes you laugh? I had my can opener sent in from Anaheim, it's as if the can opener was some sort of mystical savior device that can feed and redeem you in a single twist. Which of course that it is.
I am taking Chinese 1 which is essentially a 10 week accelerated language course. It's the best one of its type in the world. I cannot think of any other university that offers a one year course in two and a half months. Harvard don't do that and Yale don't do that and Stanford ESPECIALLY don't do that. Nuh uh!
My classmates hail from far and wide. There's a guy from Tufts and a guy from Upenn and a guy from Stanford. Gotta admire the mixing pot. Give the mixing pot props.
I got a trillion stories to tell (most of them highly illegal) but I'm going to have to leave you with just the infamous Can Opener one only. Ha! Keep checking the blogs, mistah!
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 7:47 | Permalink
12 June 2007
Been a While
I am taking a full plate here at Berkeley. I am taking Chinese 1, which is a combination of Chinese 1A and 1B. Brutal set of courses. As we speak I am repeating line after line of chinese characters. I doubt I will get an A in the class. I am honestly freaked out.
And as if my life could not get any harder, I piled on Math 54 and summer URAP research on with that too. Sigh. Woe is me.
I am going to try and keep my lives up with y'all. After all, you read me before, I bet y'all are really interested in what I have been doing right?
Day1: Character writing, pronounciation repeating, chinese
Day2: rinse and repeat
Day3: rinse and repeat
Oh don't worry there are more interesting things around that I am sure will make for wonderful bloggerfluff.
Jonathan ... signing out. May the Fours be with you.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 9:28 | Permalink
21 May 2007
Yes It Has Been a While...
The problem with blogging during days of relaxation: relaxing is boring. People don't really want to hear from a blog that keeps on saying stuff like, "Yeah my name is Jonathan and all I did today was play video games and meet with friends or watch korean dramas." What can I say? I'm a quiet type of guy. I don't go to Puerto Rico for vacation and I don't have parties.
But alas, the window on the horizon! Hope holds much for the blog! I am returning to Berkeley in June to resume summer studies ... because you can only relax so much before it turns into work and you need to do real work for once. I will be studying Chinese and Math. Plug your excitement and bear with me!
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:39 | Permalink
29 April 2007
So this morning at around 6 or 7, I heard some bird starting to go outside my window. It went something like this, EEP. EEEP. EEEP. EEP. I woke up and I was like That *&*%%&^ bird. That #%@$^ Bird. TFB. I leaned as far out as I could out the window and shouted "Shut the !@%# up you #@%%^^ bird!" I was furious as hell and no bird on earth is going to go ruin my beauty sleep.
The bird went on for the rest of the morning. I feel like an overused salt lick in a cow field.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 2:14 | Permalink
21 April 2007
Had the best day ever trying to convince them to go to Berkeley. Essentially they were deciding between here, USC, or in Amy's case, Duke. I was like heck yeah go to Berkeley. I guided them to my very sly and smooth friend, Jenny, and she put on her spiel and that was great.
I took them from Doe Library to Unit 3 to Unit 1 to ... well around the freaking school. My legs feel like grass jelly.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:34 | Permalink
17 April 2007
My Suitemate is an Evil Curve Destroying Robot
Today he got back the scores for the midterms.
Adam, who I see more often than not playing video games and sleeping and playing poker, got a 100/100 on his Math 53 midterm. Then he got a 96 in the Physics Midterm when the average was 60. That's just inhuman. Therefore, my conclusion. ADAM IS A ROBOT.
After I took my Stats 21 midterm on Friday (97/100), I was standing outside and watching the kids go into lecture, which was the comp sci class that Adam took. I remember two of the kids talking about how the average in the midterm was 30 but some geniuses got 90 and totally screwed the curve over. I asked Adam what he got.
"90." He says.
Ergo. Adam. Curve destroying poker playing 10AM waking noodle eating robot.
On a totally serious note, though, the shootings at Virginia Tech. I don't often like to say things in reference to events that I had no part in and I cannot influence but I just want to ask people to pray for the victims in the disaster. Pray or say some words or even if you're not religious, just keep them in mind. That's all.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 9:22 | Permalink
12 April 2007
Midnight in the Garden of Sleep and Study
Maybe I am somewhat different from regular people. But of course you all know that but when it comes to social stuff, I am not that great. I did all the club tire kickings and took a look but that kind of stuff just isn't for me. Alot of people gathered into some spot tends to get me uneasy. My ancestors must have been mice.
I spend a majority of my time studying and working on my URAP project. It's pretty exciting stuff, URAP. I will not hesitate to say that it is one of the most fulfilling experiences anybody can have.
I tell you enough about my study habits. Let's talk about what I do with URAP. There is a class in the graduate sector that is called, New Product Development and essentially it gathers together a bunch of grad students from many different disciplines and tells them to make a brand new product and deliever a prototype. They actually have to go and build the thing!
Now what I and my Ph.D student do is go through this data and find out how these teams eventually decide on what they do. What kinds of tools they might use and what sorts of thoughts they may use. Results are very encouraging and we've come up with plenty of great models. A paper will probably be written down the line and there was even talk of a book (yeah right) but yeah this URAP thing has been great for me (even though it's only 2 units and wayy too low of an estimate.)
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:40 | Permalink
31 March 2007
Pirates of the Berkeley: Dead Man's Finals
But it's all good now. I have gone home, totally forgotten everything I have learned in the past weeks, and then recharged my batteries for the upcoming stretch run to finals. I didn't do much really, just sat around, watched movies, managed to find a decent bed to sleep in and get to have time to sleep in actually. Loved every second of it.
Of course this delicate balance of peace and sleep will be disrupted the second I return to Berkeley. Oh, the life I live to pursue infinite fortune!
On a tiny side note, I read other people's entries and I feel bad because it always seems like they're writing so much more interesting stuff than I am. The dude who put up the picture of the chihuahua and managed to make it work is a deity blogger.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 4:35 | Permalink
20 March 2007
I love walking through the CNR campus. One of my classes last semester, PMB 39A, was in the Warren building and every MWF, I had to run from Etcheverry down through the CNR campus to take my one hour seminar. Quite a dash and the first time I was late by ten minutes but afterwards, I had the day to myself. I just remember walking through a pretty campus that reminds me alot of home. It's just so unlike the other Berkeley buildings.
The buildings are clean and nice to look at, especially the GPB and its wonderful cafe. It's not like Sproul and such with the thousands of people passing through like every hour or so. It's calm and serene. The right kind of place to sit and just figure a plan for your life.
I remember a time when things weren't going well for me and after class instead of marching off back to the dorm and sitting in the dark typing at the computer, I decided to feed the squirrels and take in the nature. While sitting on the curb and watching the squirrels eat the peanuts I give them, I got my mind off academics for a while. And well ... I don't know ... I felt so much better afterwards. Things turned out okay. Yesterday is different today ... but I want to have that feeling ... calm ... again. I wonder where I had left it that time I sat on a grassy hill behind Warren watching the wind stroke the treetops.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 8:34 | Permalink
12 March 2007
The Thin Dark Line
Tiny cracks of a fearful light peek at me from behind fat folds of polyester curtain. They spider into tiny flacks of magenta and emerald, cutting my room into fourths. This morning is going to be a bad one. I could smell it in the sky. It was one of those mornings that tell you in advance the beating they're going to fist out on your face, like one of those bad oafs that screw up your day by snatching you off the streets, giving you a good crack up of the molars, and then set you up back on the corner like so much any piece of four day old newspaper rolled fly flavored fish.
God I hate midterms.
The door slams open and the morning day flicks my eyes. Damn! They started early today! I reached for my good friend, Mr. Alarm Clock. He's a real ball buster, all bust. No ball. He's a digital clock and damn proud of it. And he's real prouding me with his little announcement. His breath is reek with plastic and cold with reality. It's 9:45, and you got a test in fifteen minutes. I suggest you move your warm little fanny.
I give myself five seconds to compile my thoughts. No time for a Windows boot up. You gotta go Mac. The carpet is warm under the soles of my feet. I don't get it. What's wrong with this picture? Quickly I robe myself with the closest pair of pants and shirts I can find. Can't register the cold now. I leave embroiled in a swirl of body flavored profanities.
The sun is hot. And strong. Damn this thermo. I can't take it anymore. I thought I was through this by heading up North. Can't think. A brown furry squirrel slits down the tree beside me. Bad squirrel. Didn't Momma BushTail tell you not take your chores too seriously? I give it a sideways kick while on my way down the stairs. No time for cookies, Mr. Nature. I got a midterm to take.
The Auditorium is fifteen minutes away. Fifteen tiny ticks on the clock flicked away by that unstopping arm of the thin dark line. Move it, legs. My heart starts to pick up the pace as it shakes off the morning eye dust with a Mexican Tango. The stomachy pit in the cull of my belly ripples with the grip of a hungry pain. Damn you, he says. That time we got tripped up down South in the California bayou of a city? I got you through that. Feed me. No time I say. I got a midterm to take.
I push my vein encrusted hands through an oak brown, axe carved recepticle. The air brushes my sleep sculpted hair. I hate bed hair. My sandals are ill fit for the environment. It's like trying to ride a motorcyle with a monkey hanging from your jaw. It's just not right at this time. They all send a tiny citation of notice to my brain.
I tell them all to shut up. It's time to take the test.
I delegate my gravity onto a nylon encased chair. It squeals like a slit pig on Hannukah. Or doesn't. Not sure about that metaphor. I shake the sleep from my eyes and its metal taste off my tongue. I don't got a problem at all. My hand darts into my right pocket. It wants something and if it wants something. It gets it. Then it hits me like a locomotive barrelling down an ungreased aluminum track at fifty kilos a second.
I'd forgotten my pencil.
My molars are starting to hurt.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 3:03 | Permalink
01 March 2007
I Want to Wrestle a Wild Elephant Seal
Totally unrelated note but I saw Marshawn Lynch at a party once and I felt the urge to tackle him. Run right across the entire lawn and take him down so I can say I tackled Lynch. Yeah didn't do it. Luckily enough for him. Muhaha.
I did fairly well on my midterms. I have said enough.
I feel that teachers must get really nervous up in front of everyone. Or at the very least they get hot. Conclusion: Deoderant.
My last entry I got a comment. I don't know how to activate comment usage but if I could get comments, I would do it. I used to want comments all the time when I wrote in my Xanga. Comments are nice. Unless they're bad comments. Then you destroy them.
My random thoughts are over. Back to work. Maybe next time I'll be able to assemble enough thoughts to give you a coherent story. Cross your fingers!
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 5:02 | Permalink
18 February 2007
I Am Not Maximizing My Production Possibilities Frontier
I was eating dinner at the DC when I saw across the room, a pretty girl sitting at the table. Eating alone. While shoveling corn into my mouth I wondered why she was sitting alone. She wasn't stunning or anything but she was certainly good looking enough not to warrant a companion.
I switched off the corn and then moved on to the beef lasagna (some Italian ditty started playing in my head at the same time). I asked myself first, why didn't this girl get take out if she was going to dine alone? She wasn't reading anything or looking at anything just other than her food. She was staring at her food and eating it.
Maybe, she was going to meet up with someone but that someone stood her up and now she is sitting sadly staring at her food and unable to lift her sad head up from underneath the sagging weight of her sadness. Maybe this guy was her best friend since like elementary school and they finally fell for each other during junior year of high school during prom and they planned their colleges together and decided to pick Berkeley so that they can go get an awesome education and become rich so they can buy a small cabin up in San Luis Obispo where he would teach students in security analysis.
I like to think up stories for people that I see. Especially the weird ones. Then the story got even weirder. She smiled. Randomly. Wasn't listening to anything or looking at anything other than her dessert of a lonely pineapple (ugh that fruit sucks) slice. Just smiled. I was like what in holy pigeon pooping marginal benefit tarnation was that about?
I revised my story. She's just like that guy in A Beautiful Mind and is talking to people who are not really there. Then she'll go back to her dorm and scribble genius equations on the board marrying the male version of Jennifer Connelly once she gets out of college and find before long a book written about her. A smile, I wondered to myself, what the heck was THAT about?
She left soon after and I never got to talk to her and figure out the true story but most of the time the stories that I get from people are never as entertaining as the ones I make up in my head. And who knows maybe I get right once and a while?
Next week's fun fun fun topic, poker chips that are made of clay and not plastic.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 3:45 | Permalink
11 February 2007
Ooo I Hear Laughter In the Rain
Laughter in the Rain by Neil Sedaka. That would be the theme song of yesterday. Well, except the laughter was in my head. To myself. Cause just randomly laughing in the rain kinda would make people cross to the other side of the road you know?
I want to say I went out yesterday to go walk and lose myself in the wonderful campus of Berkeley but that's not true. I had to go to the bank (all the way at the BART) and I will rather walk three and a half blocks than incur a processing charge at an ATM machine. I refuse to give money to the institution.
I pulled out a bunch of dollars and then while standing at the crosswalk, thought about the following things. First thing, I am calcuating the opportunity cost of the time I'm taking to go to the bank (is it greater than the monetary cost deducted by a nearby ATM?). Second thing, where the heck am I going to eat for lunch? I answered that in a jiffy by going, "Chinese."
Third thing was the route I am going to take. I wanted to go and stop by the gigantic VLSB building but I decided to take the route I used to take last semester. I call it the Route of Memories. Oh the old days last semester ... I want to cry. Give me a Kleenex. Sniff sniff.
The fourth thing was whether to go buy a croissant to feed the squirrels. Hey, it was a long wait for a green light.
While I was about halfway through the crosswalk the rain went from a puny drizzle into a bad-momma-jomma downpour. Good Lord, I wish I stole an umbrella from my suitemate.
Since I was lord soaking wet anyways, I went down to Strawberry Creek in one of the most isolated parts of campus and sat with my sandaled feet in the running water (definitely scrubbing those piggies later) and just hummed songs to myself. Then I laid down on the soil and watched the rain fall down around me. Could have took a nap had not the rushing water pushed me down a couple feet and I was afraid of where I would wake up.
Notch one more moment into "the College Experience."
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:40 | Permalink
07 February 2007
I Live at Foothill
I live at Foothill, that merry merry Foothill,
Listen to me rhaposdize all about it you will,
It is built on a slope, a stable one I hope,
You carry stuff up to it, water, drinks and soap,
Your legs and knees will take a beating,
You lose everything you've been eating,
Your stomach line gets a litter thinner,
You are free to eat bigger dinners,
Once you move in to the Hill,
Life ain't so run of the mill,
You wanted your life to be love and peace,
Well, you'll definitely get the latter at least,
At Foothill, we all love each other,
You are all on a single ship (it's got a frozen rudder),
The fog is dense, the air is cool,
Up here, the squirrels and pigeons rule,
I saw a cute little blue bird fly around,
It made a really hawking sound,
That's all the wild life that I've found,
Well, all the ones I've seen around.
Yes. At least I know that if my Berkeley education doesn't work out, I can always moonlight as a soulful rapper/songwriter.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 1:37 | Permalink
20 January 2007
Back From The Writhing Clutches of Old Man Winter? Not Really.
To tell you what I did over the break would be to advertise unspeakable acts our University can never sanction. You know, things like reading and stuff.
To those who want to go to Berkeley, get a rolly luggage thing if you don't want to lug 30 pounds of luggage through treacherous locales such as Oakland. I totally utterly forgot how arduous and lactose-infused the feat was. And even in that case I had that rolling luggage. Earlier occasions I had a strap-on-shoulder-ruin-your-pitching-career-forever bag. I give myself full credit and admiration for my Herculean triumph.
Last year I took science classes such as Math 1B and Chem 1A. I really admire the geniuses who are moving on to Chem 3A and Math 53. Good Lord knows I sneezed through on sheer, goggle eyed luck. This semester I am taking something outside of the standard science/engineering criteria my electrical engineer father suggested: stuff like film and economics.
Totally unrelated and random but I'll tie it into Cal life so I won't get deleted off this blog: I told Google Finance to keep real time track of certain stocks I bought earlier this year and lately - because class is still starting and calm-before-storm kind of thing - I have taken to wasting the huge amount of spare time I have to draw out my own stock charts. On paper. With a pen. Like good old J. P. Morgan used to do it. My roomie thinks he's rooming with a crazy American-Psycho Jason Bateman or whatever now. More power to me. Least he doesn't bring in visitors anymore.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 0:20 | Permalink
23 December 2006
What am I doing now that I am back home? First thing I did was visit my old high school. Even sat in for a couple classes. My english teacher is applying to law schools and Berkeley is a potential choice. Awkward does not describe the situation well enough.
Also, I met with my friends. I don't have a lot of them so that didn't last for very long.
Mostly though, I try to keep myself in shape. I run on the treadmill and do the basketball thing whenever I can. Haven't played basketball (or any sport) in a long time so getting out there and breathing oxygen helps you forget how badly you did on your finals. Bearfacts is definitely on my quick link taskbar. I check every morning at 8:01. Then I find that nothing has changed and I sit around for the next couple hours, waiting for the rest of the world to wake up from their slumber. Definitely needing something to do.
I so wish I had a car.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 2:49 | Permalink
06 December 2006
Long Time No See
Case in point. This blog. It's not easy to keep up with stuff when so many other things demand your attention. Last time I blogged, I thought that I would be able to find time for at least an entry every week or so. Turns out, that's what my midterms thought too. So for the next oh ... four or five weeks I had at least one midterm per week. So when the smoke cleared and I finally staggered out of my last one (Math 1B), I had taken a staggering 10. What would I have written about in my blog? "I have another midterm next week. I gotta study for it. Work hard and you get good results." I might as well been copying and pasting.
Then it was over and I rushed off to Thanksgiving. Now I am back and time to study for finals! Is this how it's always going to be at Berkeley?
I have a couple friends at UCLA and they get tired of me telling them I am studying for another test whenever they ask me what is up. (They never, however, get tired of telling me where they were when UCLA beat the Trojans - and how the Bears lost to USC by like "a trillion and one points") Life is repetitive.
Luckily! This won't happen next semester. Realizing the blindingly obvious, I have decided not to take three science courses next semester and instead try for only ... none.
Oh yeah. Telebears. What's with the name anyway? I've yet to see a real bear on campus. It should be called TelePigeon. The name also fits because all the classes fly away before your very eyes. Six spots open one morning and then 100 on the waiting list the next. Enough to make you gouge your eyes out.
I've started studying for finals so things will be few and far between for the next week or so. Whenever I start to procrastinate I keep getting into my head the image of my father telling me about his life story, "When I was a little boy I had to carry grains of sand from one beach to the other. And they only allowed us to take one grain at a time! But I did it because I didn't procrastinate. That's why you don't procrastinate!"
Ridiculous story, Dad. Thanks for giving me a lame way to end this entry.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 0:18 | Permalink
05 October 2006
X-Lab ... Free Money? Or Vicious Amazon Jungle?
Seriously though, it's a good way to make a couple bucks. You get at least 5 dollars for your trouble - if you really really suck at probability games and are really unlucky. Unfortunately it seems like you need to have a little knowledge of game theory before you start making the big bucks ($20!). Today's x-lab was a little thing about "Would you rather have someone in your group get 2 dollars and you 9? Or would you rather it be 6 both?" I told this to my roommate and he started spouting some nerd talk about Nash Equilibrium. DIdn't Nash win MVP last year? Or is he talking about Russell Crowe?
Try X-Lab. I'm serious, it's really fun. You get paid for playing a game (it's almost like being a professional game athlete) and you get to help other researchers at Haas. I feel like I'm helping the world over, and that feeling is classic.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 2:34 | Permalink
25 September 2006
When Midterms Attack
Did I tell you what it's like to take a midterm? The word itself denotes fear into college students with the same magnitude with which "alka seltzer" spells to pigeons. You sit in a huge room with very little writing space and then try to bang out this test, this incredibly hard test, with only your wits and a pencil. C'mon, how many times in your real work are you going to find yourself judged only with two such tools? I propose that Berkeley makes its tests more like real world tests ... and allow us to bring in Internet.
Did I tell you I live in Foothill? The Fifth floor on Foothill? Goodness squiggly squirrels. I have to climb the essential height of Sather Tower just to get where I live. I am surprised I haven't suffered from the high climate yet. It has become an art - figuring out how long it takes to get to class and timing it just right so that you can make it without having to sit around bored. Don't do this on your midterm. That is my goodwill advice of the day. My conscience is satiated.
Chem has devastated my social skills, especially with girls. After one unforunate encounter I asked my friend why my latest potential turned me down. My friend replied, "The scientific community has proven, with reasonable evidence and confidence, that pick up lines that include the phrases 'electron' 'ionic bonds' and 'effective charge' bear little impact on a lady's conception of you." I then sophiscatedly told my friend to shove it.
My laundry is done. I'd be worried someone would steal something but for the fact it is worth nothing.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 5:57 | Permalink
17 September 2006
Berkeley After a Football Game
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 0:09 | Permalink
11 September 2006
My name is Jonathan Stanford Yu. My friends back home call me Jon. The ones here call me Stanford. This never pleases me. No I did not apply to Stanford. I don't want to get a rejected letter from my academic namesake. And no, nobody has beaten me up yet. I don't expect you to find me either so I feel free to divest myself of my middle name. I am currently an undecided major here at Berkeley. My classes are Chem 1A, Math 1B, Integrative Biology, and umm I think it was Plant and Microbiology. All are fun and challenging classes. Yes. Very much so.
Posted by Jonathan Yu at 8:21 | Permalink