AP Photo

( First off– isn’t it lovely to see a black-turtlenecked Steve Jobs doing keynotes again? Seriously, before we all start bitching and moaning we need to take a moment to appreciate these little things in life. )

I admit that I am a little disappointed.  I went into this product announcement hoping for something I would buy off the shelf, like an OSX netbook or at the very least a Macbook Touch. In fact, I’ve held off for the past YEAR on getting an eee pc because deep down I wanted Apple to come through for me in this category, and was actually willing to pay a considerable price premium for it.

However, while I myself will not be lining up to pick up the iPad on launch day, I don’t think it is the irrelevant / useless / failure of a product that many seem to accuse it of being, and Daniel Tenner pretty much articulates my perspective on why here.  The iPad is priced low enough to appeal to a certain segment (+ the usual fanbase) of early adopters.  It will be interesting to see how the stories and experiences of how these users interact with the device motivates or demotivates the general public to catch on, perhaps in a later iteration.  There may also be key apps coming that really define the iPad experience, making its usefulness a little more discrete from the stuff people can currently do with their iPhones/iTouches (for example–something Slingbox-like would be awesome!) .

When the first generation iPhone came out, it had a fair number of disappointed detractors as well, and it was not something that I wanted to buy. However, I subsequently bought the next generation after playing with it in person, listening to stories from happy owners, and of course after Apple lowered the price and improved the overall functionality.  I could definitely see myself buying an iPad at some point down the line for these same reasons, and would be extra compelled to do so for a household instead of a student / single professional.

Here are some features that I would love to see in iPad version x :

– multitasking / flash — sigh.
– front-facing camera (this + skype + coffeetable could definitely replace the family landline and really help VOIP take off as the household standard)
projection keyboard
– tv! (not itunes tv )
– sleek pop-out stand on the back
– some kind of stylus and integration with your laptop so it can be used like a Wacom tablet (not likely given the Apple vs. Adobe feud)

As-is, I think the iPad is going to cut considerably into the Kindle market already. Yeah there are a few die-hard “e-ink” fans, but if I were in the market for a Kindle before I would definitely now reconsider.

But maybe Steve is saying that I should just go ahead and order that netbook.

Also, Steve, you’re running out of vowels!

One of the things I did when I went to Florida a few weeks ago was visit my old elementary school. I went to this school until 5th grade (when my family moved to CA) so it brings back tons of memories.

Use a 12″ voice–I think I was generally a pretty good kid, but this is the rule that I broke the most often. My second grade teacher called me her little talking bug because I always chatted during class instead of working. Oops. (Though perhaps not much has changed)

On school property sans uniform! We had to wear khaki / forest greenish ensembles. They were cute, but it made us look like little forest rangers. There are really awesome wetland-marshy places near the school though, so was somewhat appropriate. Once in awhile a panther would roam onto campus and all the classrooms would have to be locked down. Only in Florida.

My fourth grade class worked with an architecture firm to recreate one of the University of Tampa minarets completely out of non-perishable cans (part of this really cool food drive called Canstruction). We got to help design the blueprints, figure out which kinds of cans we would need + how many, and then collect them from the community. It was so fun! Do elementary schools still get to do this kind of stuff, or is everyone focused on state standards now?

I do feel like Florida schools are way better funded and overall more interesting/innovative with their curricula than CA schools, despite wayy higher property + state taxes in CA.  However, for some reason in Florida we always had to line up for things in height order. I was very short and thus miffed by this policy.

I love Jon Stewart. So after getting very last-minute tickets to the January 18th taping of the Daily Show,  I had no choice but to make an impromptu trip to NYC to take advantage of the opportunity. Traveling around the Northeast is not blue skies and sunshine during this time of the year,  but it was sooo worth it.

Their studio is on the way west-side of Manhattan, definitely on the humble and unassuming side compared to other studios I’ve been to in the past.  We languished in line for awhile–they overbook the studio audiences, so it’s important to get there early-ish–I think the people at the end of the line usually don’t make it in.

We got lucky and were seated in the very front row of the audience.  A warm-up comedian came out and made us practice cheering and clapping and being noisy. After the audience was sufficiently noisy, the warm-up guy walked around and talked to a few people.  I guess because we were sitting in the front, my friend and I got picked on for a long time about… some fairly uncomfortable things.

THEN THEN! Jon Stewart came out and I nearly fainted (I still get to be a silly schoolgirl for one more semester!). He looked…well, a lot like he does on TV.  He spoke to the audience / answered questions for awhile before they started taping, and flashed a few of those famous blue-steel looks.

Best part–I got to ask him a question (!!), inspired by Snively, about what one unit of Jon Stewart would measure.

He paused and equated himself to 1 Knish (let this be reflected on the official record).  He also talked about the business-like atmosphere at the show everyday before they do the taping — there are lots of meetings in the morning where they review stories, tapes, the scripts, etc.

The opening segment was all about the crazy Massachusetts election, so very relevant for Boston-area denizens. He gave the Democrats a stern-talking-to that is already considered one of his best segments ever.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Some stuff noticed about how the show is put together:
– He does a use teleprompter, except during the interview
– Even the show isn’t live, it totally could be because everything is basically filmed straight-through, no do-overs
– During commercial breaks he convenes with his staff / camera people about… something.
– Jon likes to do this drumming thing on the desk + laughs to himself during segments the show cuts away from him

Anyway, totally recommend that people do this! And college is the time–when else will you get to take the day off at a moment’s notice.

tl; dr – Jon Stewart talked to me, and I feel floaty.

Remember when store-bought cupcakes meant one of those clear plastic containers from the supermarket? It was either chocolate or vanilla, with a mountain of mooshy rainbow – frosting and maybe a little plastic insert on top cheerfully wishing you a “happy birthday!” or “congratulations!”. They would generally make an appearance in class on somebody’s birthday, although the parents who really cared would bring in trays of homemade ones with the yummy homemade frosting that you could eat without feeling slightly queasy afterwards (luckily for my parents, I have a summer birthday).

A store-bought cupcake implies something much trendier now, with exotic flavors like “thai tea” or “margarita loco”, and hails from delicate counters in shops that look like something straight out of the pages of an Anthropologie catalogue. Despite all this they don’t taste much better (sometimes, much worse) but gosh aren’t they so pretty just sitting there?  Like artifacts from a cartoony parallel universe where unicorns and smurfs poop out frosting and fondant in perfect little dollops?  Surely that, and the take-home boxes made from eco-friendly cardboard and minimalist typography makes it perfectly acceptable to drop $4 a pop on a store-bought cupcake nowadays.

Oh, if i could have $4 back for every time i’ve unwittingly walked past into Sweet over the past two years.

(visit other cupcake pact posts — a whim inspired by the kickass  cupcakes from kickass cupcakes from christine‘s birthday)

This is one of the more clever ads I’ve seen in awhile — both the original scheme and the subsequent viral video that they turned it into.

On another note, I remember eating a lot of unnecessary fries back in the day, trying to get that third yellow property (something like 1 in 300,000…but when you already have two of them, it just feels so close!).

We made llama mini-burgers for CC Winter Cotillion (potluck edition):

Llama patties freshly sourced from Savenor’s

Speedy: < 10 minutes to cook on a stove-top

Optional: Garnish with a flourish of fluff! (materials: pipe cleaners, pom poms, cotton balls)

Our llama stable waiting patiently for their turns

ta-da!

I confirm that llamas are as tasty as they are cute.

ps – an innovative way to make circular cheese 🙂

unexpected gift today: united elite status. thank you united!
(though maybe it’s not anything to get too excited about)

(jarrod lim rocking horse)

so that’s what would happen if you crossed a marshmallow with a horse

“You know, some people say life is short and that you could get hit by a bus at any moment and that you have to live each day like it’s your last. Bullshit. Life is long. You’re probably not gonna get hit by a bus. And you’re gonna have to live with the choices you make for the next fifty years.”

Chris Rock

Take a writing class at some point that focuses on writing about yourself, a class that helps you develop a personal voice.  Despite all of our HASS-Ds and CI-Hs and CI-Ms, most people’s journeys through MIT completely avoid this kind of writing, yet it is one of the most important and rewarding types of written work that we can produce (or am I just too addicted to the “My Turn” and “Modern Love” columns in Newsweek and the NYT?).  At the very least, your future scholarship apps / grad school apps / self-published memoir will thank you.

Potential classes at MIT:
21W.731 Writing and Experience

21W.740 Writing Autobiography and Biography

My ability in this arena has completely withered away over the past four years, and my thoughts feel terribly lost because of it.