Tweeter: jonizzle


Wednesday, December 27, 2006 by Jon

I ran/walked for over 8 miles yesterday, 5.5 of it running. Surprisingly, my legs arent too sore.

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Sunday, December 17, 2006 by Jon

I've posted before about Plato's quote, "Time is the moving image of eternity," before. I am never good at explaining this, but in a nutshell, the Universe/Time can be considered a series of events, which when viewed as singular instances, are "frozen in time," and therefore eternal (because they have no past, no future, just 'are'). And when one recognizes this as it happens, it's like seeing perfection, because in a roundabout way, things eternal can be considered perfect (just go with me here).

So a very few amount of times in life, I feel like I've witnessed this. Today laid claim to one of those times.

I was standing in line at a store, waiting to make an exchange. Staring into space, I could all of a sudden feel everything in the room in a slow motion. I saw the expression on each face, felt the ground beneath my feet, heard the intro to Frou Frou's Let Go play on the store speakers. It was there and gone in an instant. But I saw it. And it was beautiful.

And it's kind of funny you know? Because watching people holiday shop while you're standing in a long line with aching feet shouldn't be something to be thrilled about. But it was. And I'll always be happy when I can truly witness all that there is in a single moment in time.

After that happened, I thought about what it was that I did see. We all know the argument about the commercialization of Christmas, as well as my attempt to not be a victim of the consumer culture, but hey. Buying a gift for someone can be an attempt to show you care. That you've taken the time to think about them for a little bit. So seeing all of these people give into commercialism, but perhaps doing it because they love their friends and family, well, that might be ok. Frou Frou was a nice touch on the moment too. It felt like I was in Garden State.

Lastly, I was standing in line to exchange some jeans that I shouldn't have been able to because a) I had no receipt b) no tags were on the jeans c) the jeans had been washed once and the manager could tell, BUT I was very very nice about it. I completely understood the manager not allowing me to exchange it and I told her that. As I was leaving, she walked to the front of the store and called me out and said she would do the exchange for me this one time, because I had been so nice. So kids, it pays to be nice and understanding.

Afterall, were one big human nation. What else can/should/could we do than help each other out? A little love and compassion, empathy and beauty.

Happy Holidays.

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Saturday, December 09, 2006 by Jon

Today is December 9th. I have been here since September 20th. Today, it rained for the first time since I have been here.

This past week was busy. I helped produce four commercials, two for Publix, a major supermarket in Georgia and Florida, and two for Bubblicious. One of the Publix one's featured the little girl from the DLP HDTV commercials, the one who says, "it's the mirrors". I think she's awesome. It's not often you see a commercial and think someone is talented. (I'm trying to make complimenting a 9-year old girl sound as un-sketch as possible).need some of those.

Tuesday, we filmed in Pacific Palisades. This was the view from the crew parking lot that I took with my cell phone.

Yup. I had to wait in the parking lot for about 10 minutes during one stretch of the day. And it was pretty awesome. I read later on that Baywatch was filmed at that stretch of the beach. Hasselhoff.

Andrew came home from Northwestern today for winter break. On the way to the airport, I took a picture of Mei Mei with, again, my cell phone:

She's cute. And also very emasculating when holding her in public. Aunt Lily bought a balloon saying "Welcome Home!" for Andrew. But apparently, Mei Mei has had emotionally scarring experiences with balloons in the past, and the moment she saw the balloon in Andrew's room, she ran away and started hiding from us (which she never does). We brought her back into the room to show her to not be scared of the balloon, but she ended up trying to run away. I scooped her up and brought her into my room, but then I noticed the fear in her eyes. She kept looking up at the ceiling to make sure no balloons had infiltrated the area. Im sure it was traumatic for her, but all of us humans had a good laugh.

My thoughts change a lot, on life and on the future and on what I am doing now. So I find it easier to not really say anything about it yet.

Creative outlets. I could use some of those.

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Saturday, November 25, 2006 by Jon

Further evidence of Scrabbles signifigance in my life:

1) I came back to Vince's house, and I found my guitar tuner which I had lost last winter. Vince and Ming had looked for it for me back then, but no luck. And where did I find the guitar tuner eleven months later? In the Scrabble box.

2) I'm posting this while Vince and Alex (team #1) and Ming and Helena (team #2) try to complete their Speed Scrabbles after I (team #3) finished first.


I haven't made fun of Karen in awhile...

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Monday, November 20, 2006 by Jon

I have been back in Illinois since 5am central time at O'Hare International, and I am now sitting in my bedroom at home in Springfield.

And all I can think about is how freaking cold I am right now.

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Sunday, November 19, 2006 by Jon

Alfonso Soriano! With Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez for the next four years! Yea yea yea! Oh and to point out something, the Cubs handily defeated the Cardinals head to head last year, thus backing up my fact that the Cubs are the BEST TEAM IN THE WORLDDDD.

Go Cubbies!

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Friday, November 17, 2006 by Jon

I listend to USC visiting USC for a basketball game tonight. As in, the University of South Carolina vs. the University of Southern California. Both of the schools happen have a maroon/goldenrod logo. I've also held this belief for years that there is some jokester conspiracy between the nicknames of the schools. Southern Cal is popularly known as the Trojans, while Southern Carolina baseball caps were popular years ago because their mascot is the Gamecock, and on hats, it was simply "COCKS".

So we have two teams, with the same abbreviation, same jersey colors, and one team is called the Trojans and the other the Cocks. Right...

South Carolina won in overtime though, so in regards to the spread, the Trojans were unable to cover.

Here's a photo of the sandwich I mentioned yesterday.

Know that I took a few bites out of the sandwich before remembering to photograph it. What you see is about 2/3rds of 1/2. Yes, picture the sandwich a little bit bigger, TIMES TWO, and that was what I was given for lunch. It was large.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006 by Jon

Some days this job can be very easy. For instance, a day like today. My only actual "job" activities or assignments included: walking the hundred steps to pick up the mail, walking the two hundred steps to drop off Fedex, ordering and picking up lunch, organizing some books on a shelf, and keeping the office kitchen tidy.

The rest of the time was spent: playing literati, filling out the LA Times crossword, writing on multiple facebook walls somewhat randomly, making plans with Marg Yoo next week, trying to see how many times Karen could call me retarded/stupid in a day (3!), researching for my fantasy sports teams, and eating a humongous sandwich for lunch, in which I could only finish half. If Jon Lee can only eat half of a sandwich, it must be big. I'll post a picture of it when I get home if I remember to, before I eat it for dinner.

I would love to spend time complaining about the insurance company that I have been dealing with, but it is only a waste of time. If I could get someone on the phone, it would feel SOOOO good to yell at them. But alas I can only contact phone operators, which doesn't help.

I fly back to the Midwest Monday.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006 by Jon

my aunt and uncle have a guava tree in the backyard. i also have been having amazingly huge and tough (physically) poops lately.

and conclusively:
"Guava leaves are used for medicinal purposes, as a remedy for diarrhea[citation needed], and for their supposed antimicrobial properties. The same anti-diarrheal substances which are useful in folk medicine may also cause constipation in the case of consumption of large amounts of guava fruits."

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Sunday, November 12, 2006 by Jon

Cndncrippler1 signed on at 6:24:00 PM.
thendxcrd: this is oooouuuurrrr country
Cndncrippler1: no
Cndncrippler1: dont do that

Ahem. Following up my last post, I went to church today, and leading worship was Tim Hughes. And if I hadn't gone to church today and had my rental car, I would have been working on The Shins music video. So, yea, famous people everywhere. And I'm sharing this with you like its relatively important news. Yeup.

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Saturday, November 11, 2006 by Jon

I wonder what it must be like to grow up in Los Angeles, California. With my Midwestern eyes, I feel like it would be somewhat surreal. Film, television, and music are arguably the most accessible global entities, being consumed across the United States and the world twenty four hours a day, 365 days a year. The vast majority of it starts and finishes here in Los Angeles. I could argue that this is the center of the world for many people who idolize movie stars and Gwen Stefani. So in your daily life, you're bound to cross paths with famous people who, in my Midwestern mind far removed from growing up in the sunny shores and bright lights of Socal, seem to be larger than life. It's like those sidewalk interviews you see on Jay Leno, where people know who Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are, but couldn't recognize Allen Greenspan or Tony Blair, aka people who probably have had a MUCH greater impact nationally and internationally on people’s lives than Bennifer would have ever had.

As I sit down and watch TV, it's completely different to watch "The OC back" in Champaign, Illinois, than to watch it here. I now recognize where they're filming. I used to wonder why all the characters on the show wore sweaters and jackets with them living in the famed sunny Cali climate, but then I realized that yea, its cold at night. You start to notice little things like that. It makes it a little more real and less real at the same time. Instead of The OC being in "California", it’s just at a place I was walking around yesterday. "Arrested Development" takes place in Orange County too, and in one episode their oddball lawyer goes to the City of Industry to pick up a hooker (for comedies sake). And um...the City of Industry is oh, just north of me. I could ride my bike there and listen to “Konstantine” only once. Anyways, one of my first thoughts was, "I wonder if they just chose to say that the male prostitute was in the City of Industry because the rest of the nation wouldn't know better and it sounds like a city where there would be male prostitues." Because really, the 340 million other non-LA citizens of the United States would have no idea right? (Although there really could be a place like that in the CoI, I wouldn’t know.) And actually, my first thought after seeing "City of Industry" on the bottom of the screen was figuring what freeways he took to drive there from Newport (the 57 North to 60 West probably).

I was filming last weekend near the Santa Monica Pier, which is close to 8th & Ocean. I didn't even realize it till a few days after I was there. When you see it, it is not "8th & Ocean", it’s apartment building. I was reminded of this as I was looking at apartments online. In a few years I could be living at say, 4th & Ocean. I bet Jeff would be too happy to hear that and ask me to go find the twin models for him. This also brought the song “Ocean Avenue” into mind by Yellowcard. This Californication (another song) is everywhere. I am proud to say that I haven't listed to Phantom Planet while driving to work on the 101 yet. Cuz you know, "driving down the one-oh-one" is not as glamorous as it seems in between the hours of 600-930am and 330-630pm. Traffic is never fun.

There is just so much of the entertainment industry here. I have yet to be really star struck, and I hope I don't because in reality they're just people, and you should figure that out quick when you're here because you shop at the same places and drink the same coffee they do. But the fact is people do get star struck and a little delusional (ex: all of the bad singers who go on American Idol and think they’re legitimately good).

In the wikipedia article for Hollywood, it says this:
"Every year, hundreds of runaway adolescents leave their homes across North America and flock to Hollywood hoping to become movie stars, as portrayed by the lyrics of the 1960s Burt Bacharach song "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" whose lyrics include the words: "All the stars / That never were / Are parking cars / And pumping gas." Such individuals soon discover that they have extremely slim chances of competing against professionally trained actors. Many of them end up sinking into homelessness, which is a problem in Hollywood for adults as well as youth."

It is however, fun to tell to people who aren't here, because usually we all get a kick out of it. But why is it so hard to make it out here? Is it really THAT hard to get into the entertainment industry? Perhaps it's because my chosen path so far has been production...but schmoozing with famous people doesn't seem too far off down the road. It would just be part of my job. I give credit to my fortune of having a normal childhood and an education, family and friends who are supportive, and who don’t get swept up in all this shiny Hollywood shtick.

Ryan noted months ago that he liked the song "Boston" because unlike many songs you hear (and film you see) that "make love to California," "Boston" was the antithesis to that. But then again, the song is still largely about California. And when I listen to it I feel like, sure, some snow would be nice, but really...75 degrees in November with no humidity and watching the Sun set off the Pacific Ocean is pretty hard to beat. My point though is that you gain all these real ties to the mass media. Their world is your world.
(I bet “Entourage” can really screw with peoples heads. It is a fictional story set in a factual industry with factual people making cameos as themselves who work to create a fictional world for us in the real world to consume.)

You sit in the same traffic and breathe in the same air, watch the same sunset and walk on the same sand. You shop at the same places and eat at the same restaurants. "Hello Jim Edmonds, Bobby Lee, and Jamie Kennedy, welcome to Yardhouse!" Grace would have to say...minus their names, while I sit in the corner and eat my buffalo wings. Reality and surreality collide. (Wow, that’s not a real word, but it should be.)

So this is my best guess as to why we keep making love to California. For those of us outside of LA, were drawn to it by all this glitz and glamour and the hopes of becoming rich and famous. And for those that are here, the reality that you formed in your own mind about life is now blurred by film, television, and music once you arrive. Your world is seen and heard around the world through media. Your world is the center. And so you feel a little more important. A little more like a big shot. We give celebrities way too much time and credit than we should. My guess is that if we can claim a connection to someone famous, it makes us all feel a little more famous too. Fame is power and acceptance, and maybe that’s a deep human desire acting out in all of us.

So, LA isn't all that its cracked up to be. But sometimes, it is. Some people really just come out here for the weather or job opportunities. It's certainly good enough for both. Just don’t get too caught up in all the Californication.

(Yes, it is ironic that I tell people not to get too caught up in loving California while quoting from a song about California.)

Oh and for Howard and Karen (and the StL kids for fun), Jim Edmonds should be BHC #3. It's a freaking cinder block on his shoulders.

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Tuesday, November 07, 2006 by Jon

I broke 400 in Literati for (I think) the first time tonight.

In a nice coincidence, I had hot pot tonight for dinner, which is my favorite partly because of huo guo's association with using sah-tsah sauce. In said Literati game, I used the English spelling for sah-tsah, SATAY. What gloriousness this day has brought forth.

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by Jon

Well, today was not the best of days.

First, as we were wrapping up set location last Saturday for the music video I was helping Karen produce, an unfortunate accident involving (not) my car's trunk and the driveway gate of the house we filmed at occured. It was one of those things were there was nothing more I could have done to be cautious, but I still end up with a $1100 estimate for damage.

Fast forward to today, where I had the chance to witness a little VW Beetle drive into the side of my door, and watch glass shatter past me into the car. I'm okay, physically and mentally. It is quite a unique two-second process to go through however; see car, see driver of car looking other way, see driver step on gas and turn right into you in the middle of an intersection, and see glass shatter everywhere. It was actually pretty intense.(And hopefully the other driver's insurance covers everything, since it is very much her fault.)

And so, unlike Howard's two accidents in the span of 15 minutes, I had two accidents in the span of three days. Add Marci getting backed into on Saturday also, and Jules getting into a pretty bad accident last week...I'd say DRIVE SAFE to you all right now. Or don't drive at all, which is what I plan to do voluntarily (I don't want to risk any more on my current streak of bad driving luck) and involuntarily (since well, there is no window on my car).

So yes. This is currently my reality here in California, which makes this day not so great. Oddly, last night I had the premonition of getting into an accident with an attractive girl, as the girl who actually did hit me was a 5'10" white version of Jamie. But let me tell you, it's no fun meeting models when they just hit your car.

It was 94 degrees out today too.

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Friday, November 03, 2006 by Jon

Since no one watches it anymore, here's a play-by-play summation of tonight's The OC.

thendxcrd: the oc has gone downhill right.
Mahoney575: i didnt even dvr it tonight
thendxcrd: yeup.
thendxcrd: i didnt realize it was on.
Mahoney575: thats how little interest i have in it anymore
thendxcrd: im watching it for old times sake.
thendxcrd: its kinda like watching a car accident ya know? so bad, but you cant turn away.
Mahoney575: ha
thendxcrd: ohmyGod.
thendxcrd: lukes 2 little twin brothers are characters on the show now
thendxcrd: its so bad.
Mahoney575: thats awful
thendxcrd: one of the possibly developing storylines in this episode
thendxcrd: is that ryan and marissa's mom are having an affair
Mahoney575: gross
thendxcrd: or at least theyre alluding to that
thendxcrd: hahaha
Mahoney575: lets hope not
thendxcrd: yea
thendxcrd: everyones cheating on everyone
thendxcrd: at least they still have cool music
Mahoney575: thats one thing
thendxcrd: summer aged
thendxcrd: oh wait ok
thendxcrd: ryan and marissas mom arent having an affair
thendxcrd: thats good.
thendxcrd: theyre meeting to kill volchek.
thendxcrd: hahahaha
Mahoney575: makes much more sense
thendxcrd: yea
thendxcrd: ryans brooding as ever.
thendxcrd: he doesnt care about anything!
thendxcrd: he didnt go to marissas funeral!
Mahoney575: youre a nerd
thendxcrd: im giving you play by play on the show.
thendxcrd: i bet youre laughing.
Mahoney575: just a bit
Mahoney575: ha

Sigh. Season 1 was so great. I am contemplating buying it just to cherish a season of great writing and storytelling. Season 2 had it's moments (like the Spiderman re-enactment). Anyways.

I don't have anything else pertinent to say now.

Except you all should watch Arrested Development, which has now been cancelled, and you should all watch Friday Night Lights, so that it won't be cancelled.

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Friday, October 27, 2006 by Jon

- This morning I woke up to Mei Mei barking outside, for a long time, without my Aunt reprimanding her. I was confused. But when I woke up for real and came downstairs, my Aunt told me when she let Mei Mei out to the backyard, another dog was hiding in there and came out and tried to take a bite out of Mei Mei. It turned out that the other "dog" was actually a coyote. But Mei Mei is ok. Whew.

- One of the directors at Uber Content (Aaron Reull) filmed the opening sequence for Napoleon Dynamite. I thought that was pretty awesome. But then I was reading an article around the office, and it said Aaron Reull also played Kip Dynamite, aka, Napoleon's brother. I couldn't believe it, since I see him at the office all the time. But yes, it was him. I think him not having that mustache threw me off.

- I was calling camera truck companies today in search of one for our next commercial (a Public Service Announcement for the American Lung Assoc). I called one guy, and his response was, "Oh! Sorry, all of my trucks are out filming Die Hard 4!" Haha, that's a pretty unique response for me to hear. I didn't even know Die Hard 4 was being made. That felt like an Entourage moment.

- Marci is in LA too! Marcindaaaaa!!!!

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006 by Jon

Random niblets that have been floating around my mind to blog about (I started this earlier in the week):

- In my 27 days since arriving in Los Angeles, I have refeuled the Jetta five times, for a total of $168.47.

- It should come as no surpise then that on working days, I spend at the minimum three hours a day in the car. That means on a good day, about 12.5% of my day is spent in traffic.

- Because of this high percentage of car time, I have developed an appreciation for sports radio (710 ESPN here in SoCal). I think people who call into radio shows are oftentimes similar to those who post on message boards; they're delusional idiots.

- As mentioned previously, MadTV is filmed in a stage next to my office. On the opposite side of my office is the stage for the Suite Life of Zach and Cody, and That's So Raven. I haven't sighted any of them yet, but I do see a lot of other child actors/extra's walking around. Yesterday I saw a kid wearing a bright pink shirt that said, "Real Men Wear Pink". He walked past me, looked up, and smirked real big at me, all Hollywood like. Needless to say, I laughed out loud once he was past me.

- Is no one else's interest piqued by the phenomenon of John Mayer and the Killers having two songs with nearly the same exact chorus? Has this happened before in music, where three fairly unique words (fire, wire, higher) are used the exact same way?!?! I mean seriously, it kinda creeps me out.

- The Bears game Sunday night. I see or hear a few Bears fans talk about how "THAT WAS THE GREATEST BEARS GAME EVER OMIGAAAHHH!!! Well, I wouldnt be too proud of your "greatest game" being a come from behind victory against a perpetually crappy team with one playoff win since 1947 starting a rookie at quarterback. That just doesnt seem like it should be the pinnacle of a franchise. Do you really want your greatest game to be against the Arizona Cardinals? THE ARIZONA CARDINALS?!?! I don't think so. The vaunted Chicago team should never have been in that position. I've also been having humongous poops the size of peoples forearms. Its like giving birth analy. (Just trying to sneak that information into this post. And that giving birth analy description I just made up sounds HORRIBLE...but its true in my case.)

- I am pretty confident that I could make a very comfortable living in this industry being a producer of sorts. Is that cocky? A little too confident? A little too naive that I can climb this supposed ladder quickly? Doing a job seems like doing TAF, except it is a new job every one or two weeks and on a professional level. Instead of counselors you have camera crew, grip crew, lighting, etc, instead of ILT you have Production Assistants, and instead of campers you have actors and talent agencies.

- I spelled OUTSWIMS for a 143 point score last night in Literati. It was my highest word score ever. The T was open on the board, the O went on a 2x word score, the W (which is 4 points alone) on a 3x letter score, and the end S on a 3x word score. The 2x and 3x makes it a 6x word score, which is pretty sweet. So it came out to be (in OUTSWIMS ORDER) 1+1+1+1+12+0+1+1=18 (my I was a blank) * 6 = 108 + 35 for a Bingo Bonus = 143. I'm a nerd for writing all that out, but it was pretty awesome. I finished the game at 380 points.

- 99% of the people that I have met in the commercial film production world have been extremely nice and friendly. From my superiors who always say thank you to me, to the guys on set who are always open to giving advice and also saying thank you, to the guys at the film supply stores who offer you coffee or cookies when you're waiting for your order. It is very refreshing to feel that day in and day out in and around work.

- Moving on from that, one of my bosses asked me to bring them a coke the other day and to wash the ice for her. Yea. Wash the ice. So I did just that, and I washed the ice before I poured her coke into a glass. Haha...

- It's SOOOO COLD HERE! Like 51 degrees. CHILLY!

- We eat ridiculously well in this industry. There is food galore. Like mentioned earlier, coffee or snacks are offered while you wait to get equipment. There is a kitchen in my office stocked with all kinds of snacks and beverages. On film days, I have had grilled salmon, bbq ribs or chicken, etc etc, for a meal. They serve hot breakfast too. And everyday we order lunch (which is paid for by the company) and my meal usually costs around 10+ dollars from a fancy shmancy Hollywood cafe. I think thats why I don't mind work so much. You feed me, I stay happy, and therefore I work better for you.

- I need to run. This industry is making me gain weight.

- Continuing with food, we filmed our commercial last Thursday at a home in LA. The nanny took the kid of the house out for dinner, since we were filming in their kitched. My Production Manager Tracey said sure, no problem, we would pay for it and call it a location fee since it was logical. But then the nanny came back from dinner and handed Tracey a receipt for $143 dollars. Uh...WHAT?! You took an 8-year old kid out for a $143 dollar sushi dinner?!?! WHO DOES THAT ON SOMEONE ELSES DIME?! You are a bad bad person.

- I like to add pictures to spruce things up visually sometimes. So here is a photo of what happens to Mei Mei when she does something bad and needs to be punished.

We make her stand up for a few minutes and make her think about what she's done. As you can see, Father Lo is making sure she understands to never run off from the house and chase rabbits in the night and get herself all dirty. Bad Mei Mei.

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Monday, October 09, 2006 by Jon

Just to get this off my chest.

Chien Ming Wang.

Good pitcher. Taiwanese. Great. But you know what? I was a Cubs fan since I was six years old. Being a Cubs fan was part of my identity before anything else. That includes calling myself Taiwanese American. I have embraced my Cubs a full decade longer than I have embrace Taiwan. So, this is why despite being very proud of my Taiwanese heritage, I do not cheer for Chien Ming Wang.

Or maybe I am just tired of the Yankees. I'm starting to respect Jeter a lot, and I hope A-Rod gets traded to the Cubs. But it's still the Yankees. I'm tired of them. Whatever.

Go Cubs.

And you know what? Wang really is the pride of Taiwan right now. Eeeeverybody loves him. Even my mom wants to watch him pitch and cheer for him and the Yankees. You see how me, being a serious baseball fan with real loyalty to one team, finds that disturbing? All y'all xanga-ing about Wang, blah blah blah. Leave me alone.

And you know whats worse? Since he IS the pride of Taiwan, everyone in Taiwan is a Yankee fan. This just gives the Yankees more revenue! I mean, think about it. Taiwan has the 17th largest GDP in the World. THE SEVENTEENTH LARGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD FULLY SUPPORTS THIS ONE PITCHER AND HIS TEAM! That's horrible for the rest of baseball. Perhaps incredibly shrewd on the part of Brian Cashman, but oh man. That is just more money for the richest. If they marketed well enough in Taiwan, the Yankees could sign Zito, keep A-Rod on the bench as a $20 million pinch hitter, draft a standing army, and purchase the Dominican Republic (much cheaper at 69th in GDP) and then own every baseball player to come out of that island for the next twelve generations.

Damn Yankees.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006 by Jon

"music acts as a total catalyst for pleasant introspection and quiet musings... not unlike night time driving on a deserted road lined with backlit trees, fond memories of love, childhood, or past epiphanies swelling, and the urge to either relish in the aloneness or to hold someone's hand.
-explosions in the sky"

Also, the pilot for Friday Night Lights, which, like the film, features Explosions in the Sky on the soundtrack, was intense. Y'all.

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Saturday, October 07, 2006 by Jon

Friday's are great when you work. I am finished with my first week in the film production world, and despite little sleep and lots of driving, I enjoyed it. I will continue working with Uber Content throughout the next week as we film a commercial for Honeybaked Ham; just in time for the holidays!

I went to a dinner with the TAP, Taiwanese American Professionals, tonight near UCLA. Met some new T-peeps. One of them looked like Melody and another like Tinya. I'm really seeing resemblences of siblings aren't I? And then another girl looked like Christine from U of I. So that's an Asian girl looking just like a White girl. The TAP's president is Ben Ling, who went to TAF from 93-97. All in Youth, choreographed a swing choir, etc. He looks like Tim Huang.

After dinner, I drove back from Santa Monica to Rowland Heights in 34 minutes. That happened due to driving as high as 90mph (often) and many lane changes. I think I changed one lane to another at least, say, 42 times. And then I did about 12 double lane changes, and maybe even throw in 3 triple lane changes. I am a freakin rebel. And I think something is strange about LA drivers. While the traffic sucks, a lot of them just cruise at 55-60mph on the freeway, IN THE FAST (LEFT) LANE?! Why? What gives man.

Here are the choruses off a song from the new John Mayer album (Vultures) and a new song off The Killers album (Bling). Tell me if you notice anything (cuz I did while I sat in traffic in my car):

John Mayer:
"Down to the wire
I wanted water but
I'll walk through the fire
If this is what it takes
To take me even higher
Then I'll come through
Like I do"

The Killers:
"Higher and higher,
We're gonna take it,
Down to the wire,
We're gonna make it,
Out of the fire,
Higher and higher."

Meeeeh...maybe they're friends and write stuff together...?

It is now Saturday, and I can sleep in. HECKA YEA-YUH. This weekend I plan on:

-Mailing Roger stuff.
-Mailing Karen stuff.
-Playing FIFA 07.
-Watching the Friday Night Lights pilot.
-Organize my mp3 library.
-Continue to read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime.
-Watch football on Sunday for the first time this season.
-Alter some jeans.
-Do nothing else.

Man this was an exciting post.

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006 by Jon

Work has been great so far. I'm an intern at Uber Content, which is mainly a commercial house, ie: they make commercials. The past two days have been busy, prepping everything for our shoot tomorrow for a Microsoft internet commercial. It feels a lot like prepping for TAF or ITASA, like the final frantic and busy few days before (although it isnt so much that for TAF, since you know, the staff is awesome and prepared weeks in advance!). But yea, I like that busy atmosphere where I can do lots of little jobs here and there to make something run successfully. My Production Manager Tracey is my boss, and shes cool. Learning a lot, and feeling pretty hopeful and comfortable after only two days. I even was able to get hired with them for their next project, and get pizzaid too! Yay for TAF giving me the skills to function in this professional world while not ever doing anything while in college. Hah!

Oh, that reminds me. At church on Sunday I was filling out a new person card, and it asked:

Are you a:
A) College Student
B) Single Adult
C) Married


But yea. Work is looking good. Hopefully it stays that way. The office is located in the Hollywood Center Studios, which was the former home of The Lucy Show and current home of shows like Mind of Mencia, Mad TV, and the SUITE LIFE OF ZACH AND CODY. If I meet that one asian girl on the show, I am going to taunt Justin Yang. Hah.

But yea so Mad TV. I saw some of their people milling about yesterday. That Asian guy (bobby lee?) from Wild n Out with Nick Cannon and he was also the nerdy guy at Princeton turned wild party boy in Harold and Kumar. And then the girl who played the housekeeper for Chandler and Monica in Friends, who got freaked out because Monica thought she was stealing her clothing and made Chandler check her out.

But my most important sighting of all happened while I was on the phone, walking back from running an errand, and I heard someone say, "JON?!". I looked up and it was...REGAN! Hah! He works for Mad TV! I forgot! So we work next door to each other. Let me say this with caps lock on to make sure you retain this nugget of information:


Haha. Isnt that great. Yay TAFers!

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Monday, October 02, 2006 by Jon

I saw Mischa Barton and Ken Oak today.

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Friday, September 29, 2006 by Jon

Later today (a bit before 10am) I will arrive in Hollywood, CA and start my first stint with a film production company. It's not that big of a job, I'm only an intern, but it is also only till next Wednesday. My boss on this project says after this, I can get paid, which in all reality is quite quick. I don't think it is often that recent college grads with no experience in film come out to LA, hang out for a week, intern for four days, and then get paid to do it pretty soon after that. I'm pretty damn lucky either way. But anyways, today perhaps will be my first day where I begin a career in the film/film production world for perhaps...the rest of my life. That's very weird to think about, but so it goes.

And so it begins.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 by Jon

Let's see. Today I:

- Woke up to the neighboors dogs barking (which they always always do).
- Drove to a neighborhood up the hill called Vantage Point on a street called Vantage Point Lane. I had a hunch that it had a good view of the valley. I was right, and then I took some photos.
- Played Konstantine on the piano and FIFA on the playstation.
- Drafted an all-white fantasy NBA team. Haha this was funny.
- Started reading Life of Pi.
- Ate a good dinner.
- Watched Heroes on NBC. Perhaps this shall be a good show.
- Went back to Vantage Point to take pictures at night. See above.

So that's a good day all in all. I'd just like to do more. Here's to hoping for work!

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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 by Jon

Click on the video link. In my Media Studies curriculum, we are always warned about Fox News for their non-journalistic practices and having a clear slant and agenda. Here, as many say, is FOX trying to sandbag Clinton about it being his fault for Bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks. Apparently that is what the Bush Administration is trying to do (revert blame to Clinton's Administration).

I was only an uninformed teenager during Clinton's time, yet I easily remember the name Bin Laden and the bombings that Clinton permitted onto Bin Laden's bases, ie: Clinton actually realized the threat Bin Laden was and tried to do something about it. So for FOX or Bush or people in the conservative core to revert blame onto Clinton, well that's just silly. Most likely, the blame is shared across multiple presidential administrations of the US. But like Clinton said, he's being attacked heavily when it seems he tried the hardest.

Ok this wasnt supposed to be a rant. Just watch the video to see a smug FOX reporter get owned by a former President of the United States. It's just funny in that context.

Anyways. Did you hear about the FOX Faith movie studio? Geared to make Christian films in the wake of the financial success of Passion of the Christ. I think it would be cooler if a) it wasnt FOX trying to make money and b) if FOX wasnt also the same company that makes shows like Nip/Tuck. Not that I dislike Nip/Tuck, it's actually quite good. But I hope you know what I mean.


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Monday, September 25, 2006 by Jon

I went to church with Grace today. The event was funny to me, because the church was in Costa Mesa, which borders Newport, aka the home of Ryan and Seth and Karen/Summer etc on The OC.

I secretly hoped I would see the characters there, but, you know, that makes absolutley no sense at all (mainly because the characters aren't real people). But regardless, the church was very good. I usually lose focus during messages, but not this one. And seeing all these rich and good looking people of the real OC is funny in itself. The church is also predominantly white, much like my home church/youth group in Springfield. So this is what I know (while it's totally different for Grace). This has been my only white interaction so far in California as well. That makes me chuckle.


A TAF reunion at Portillo's a few weeks ago.

Us Taiwanese folk. We're good-lookin' kids.

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Sunday, September 24, 2006 by Jon

- Little Miss Sunshine...totally a great movie.
- I'm going to a church near Newport Beach tomorrow. It's like I'm in The OC! Except I guess it would The OC with something like Seventh Heaven. Ok that was pointless.
- People on messageboards are idiots. Because the love to pick fights with each other on very irrelevant things. Oy.
- Little Miss Sunshine...yup, still can't get over it. Fantastic.
- I almost put up an away message tonight that said, "Howa must be happy now." because MSU was killing Notre Dame. And then I turned off the game near the start of the 4th quarter because I thought it was over. Let this be a lesson or reminder to all of you out there (especially many girls I know, and Brian too) to never say a game is over until the clock says 0:00 or the last out is made.
- I thought about Justin today. I was also peeing at the time.
- If you want to laugh and smile, go see Little Miss Sunshine.

And that is all.

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Friday, September 22, 2006 by Jon

I really enjoy reading Bill Simmon's articles on Page 2 at He makes great commentary on the sports world, where I oftentimes find myself lauging out loud. You should read his rants about Art Shell and the Raiders in not one, but two, recent entries.

But I like this article not because of the humor, but because of his own reflection on society, with the hint of a hopeful vision to change the future for the better.

I want to watch The Wire now. And perhaps Bill Simmons is a personal hero too.

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by Jon

thendxcrd: did you watch it tonight
LittleBonnieFuFu: yea
LittleBonnieFuFu: of course
thendxcrd: hehe
thendxcrd: yea
thendxcrd: you and every other girl on my buddy list
LittleBonnieFuFu: haha

That Grey's Anatomy. You crazy. Including the fact that you also make every girl on my buddy list love love love Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol. Not that it's a bad song. In fact its the first song I liked on their album. I guess this is just the legacy of people not wanting their music to be consumed by the popular mass because they dont really know. Or something. Shrug. Why I be so snobby, yo.

Anyways, as I was watching non-ESPN television for the first time in a LONG while, I noticed three commercials in a row.

1. Ad for some make-up so that women can have smoother skin and the appearance they always wanted.
2. Ad for soup that has only 100 calories, with a variety of women talking about how easy it is to diet now because of said soup.
3. Ad for a new tv show, with the preview having dialogue of one character talking to Calista Flockhart and saying, "You're fat".

Right. Three commercials in a row that reenforce a standard for women, right? You gotta have good skin. You gotta diet all the time. And if you end up the size of Calista Flockhart, guys will still call you fat (even if it's a joke, which it probably was in the show, but not evident in the context of the preview).

That's just great.

This however, is my favorite commercial right now:

It almost makes me want to shed a tear. And its multicultural too!

So advertisements. Funny enough, this is what filmmaker Karen Lin (who is a blessing) mentioned I could get involved with out here in LA. And I do remember having dreams of wanting to make them when I was younger. And I wrote to McDonalds once with a commercial idea...but they never got back to me :(. And perhaps more importantly, my final paper in college that helped me graduate was titled Asian Americans in Advertising and I studied the effects of Asian Americans in television commercials. So, I feel that commercials can be important as reflections on society and have an impact, which is what I want to do overall in life...kinda like that commercial.

Elements of full circle and coincidence. But according to V for Vendetta, there is no coincidence. Only God. Interesting indeed.

Other than that, California is great. The Aunt and Uncle feed me (too) well. The weather is almost too nice. Andrew's little sister Lo Mei Mei is too cute. I'll post a picture of her up later. She's small with white hair and likes chasing squirrels in the backyard. And she can't keep up with me when I go running.

The time difference however, is weird to get used to. Coming back from dinner with the sun still bright out and turning on ESPN to see the night game at Fenway already over is different. So far away from the East Coast. Cell phone minutes don't start till 11pm Central time too!

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Tuesday, September 19, 2006 by Jon

I was going to take a picture of my luggage, but the camera cords are packed up so I wouldn't be able to show you anyways. So since this cannot be a "pictures say a thousand words" moment, I'll just tell you the bags are packed.

But am I ready to go? Good question. People keep asking me if I am excited or nervous, and I don't have an answer for them. I haven't thought about this enough to have an answer.

Perhaps it is because whenever I think about these next few months in LA, if things go "well", as in find work that I enjoy, then most likely, this would be my very last night calling Springfield and the Midwest "home". That could be an overwhelming thought, but to prevent that from happening, I stop thinking about it. And therefore I do not have an answer to the excited/nervous question.

So I could stop thinking about it now, and then not have anymore to say until later. Or I can think, and you'll have more to read. My answer will be stated by whatever follows this paragraph.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006 by Jon

I just got off the phone with another United ticketing agent to confirm my tickets. She asked me if I was going into the radio broadcasting business, because "with a voice like yours, you should."

This isn't the first time I have been told this either actually. So maybe I shall consider doing it, or doing voiceovers. Coincidently, is owned by a guy who does the commercial voiceovers for a wide array of products. Funny.

Off to the casino soon.
Northwestern helping Andrew move in Monday.
Wrigley for a Cubs-Dodgers game Tuesday.
Hopefully I can fit in a meal with the Eddie and the April and the others?

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by Jon

I'm going to the casino tomorrow for the first time!

...with my Mom.

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Friday, September 08, 2006 by Jon

1. ^Springfield, Illinois! The capital of fun!

2. I was booking my plane tickets to LA tonight. I had the sales agent forward my itinerary to my email address.

"Yea, it's j-o-n-i-z-z-l-e at gmail dot com"
"Oh okay so its..."
"'s pronounced...'jonizzle'..."

She couldn't stop laughing the rest of the time I was on the phone.

3. Courtesy of Errrn:

"Facing the future, we treasure the past,
for without history,
we have no roots.
And without roots,
we have no future. "

-Cheng-Hua TSANG


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Tuesday, September 05, 2006 by Jon

I woke up after falling asleep for about an hour and a half. Annoying. But I woke up to see that Facebook has gotten even crazier and more stalker-friendly, and finding more ways for us users to spend time on it, as if 90% of college students didn't already spend enough time on it.

I want to rant a lot more on it, but I feel like I would be giving it more attention than it deserves. I googled "social anthropology and facebook" hoping to find some academic articles on the phenomenon of facebook and its social effects, pros and cons, etc. But no luck.

Anyways. I have not booked my LA ticket yet, but I shall soon. The more I think, the more I ponder, the more I feel the need to get out and get away. It's a little sad to resign yourself to that.

On a brighter note, I have hopes for this winter trip:
1. LA to Taiwan
2. Taiwan to Korea, visit Jamie and Marg
3. Korea to Shanghai, visit Justin and Erin.
4. Shanghai back to Korea (you can't fly from Taiwan directly to the Mainland anyways).
5. Korea to Taiwan, with the Jamie and the Marg in tow.

That would make me happy.

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Sunday, September 03, 2006 by Jon

I remember seeing some quote somewhere sometime recently that I wish I would have written down. Maybe one of you knows it, and it goes something like,

"Our history is rooted in the past, and with out roots, we can't grow for the future."

Ok, it is defintly NOT that because that does not sound eloquent at all. But, that is the meaning I took from it.

In relation, I'm looking at my sister's TAF '91 yearbook. It's fun seeing all these people loving TAF a full fifteen years ago, even if I don't know many people unless they're in the Juniors or JH program or are older staff now like the Hoch, Bob, Dan, Jason, and Dave Chiou. I like getting a taste of the activities they did, the friendships they made, the different places they came from...I guess this is what a yearbook is for, right? A summation of the week's experiences as best we can in a collection of photographs and words on paper.

- Roger. Hahahahahha. Those glasses are awesome.
- Juliana (who must be the youngest camper there) already looks like trouble.
- Patty Shay looks so unhappy in her group photo. Maybe that's why she didnt come back to TAF :(
- I like how this generation of TAF had earlier version of our current people. Looking through the name listings I see a Tiffany Sun, an Andrew Kuo, a Calvin Chen (from UIUC also), a "Brian Leu," and a Margaret Chen.
- They had a TAF Video in 1991. Thats a long time ago people. Probably before everyone had VCR's, just VC players. Which begs the question, if they could have a TAF video in 1991, why can't we have one in 2005 or 2006. Which brings me to a point Christine Shay brought up. JUST THROW SOME VIDEO FOOTAGE TOGETHER ON SOME DVDS! IT DOESNT HAVE TO BE FANCY SHMANCY! I JUST WANT TO SEE FOOTAGE AND HAVE A RECORD OF WHAT WE DID.
- "Friends at TAF are like allergies. They may go away for awhile, but you know they'll be with you for life." aaaawwww....
- Youth had 17 small groups. SEVENTEEN. Thats a lot of freaking small groups. And a lot of freaking staff.
- The yearbook had a special section for college addresses. Twenty-two had addresses listed in Urbana-Champaign. TWENTY-TWO. Thats a whole freaking lot of tafCrush alumni yo. All these 1991 TAFers living in Allen Hall and Babcock and Townsend and on Green St. and Chalmers, it's crazy. Why don't we have that now...

...Which brings up other thoughts. About our future. It's bright, yes. But could it be brighter...? I can we all strengthen the Taiwanese-American community?

- I saw a commercial today for Cheez-Its. I left five minutes later to Meijer just to get them.
- I also have a lot of hair on top of my head and on my face. Like Karen, it's out of control.
- Erin and Justin should be arriving in Shanghai soon. It's not like they were close anyways, and even if they were in the U.S. I would be moving farther away from them by going to LA, but regardless, I am sad that an ocean seperates us now.

thendxcrd: youre not bringing your green taiwan shirt right
jayelchew: hahahhh
jayelchew: no way
jayelchew: im not brinign any of my taiwan shirts
jayelchew: hahah on my resume -- it used to list taf
jayelchew: now it just says
jayelchew: summer conference
jayelchew: hahaha

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Friday, September 01, 2006 by Jon

Oh yes yes, about LA.

So I'm going to be heading out to LA in about 3 weeks, and I will be living with me aunt and uncle (Andrew's parents), and hopefully, I will be interning/PA-ing for Karen Lin (GO TAF!) on any projects she has, or for any other people that she knows "in the business." I guess I will be there indefinitly, and basically I am just going to get some experience and see if I like the world of film production.

While out there, I could dabble in writing my screenplay (I always say this and I hope I do) and at the least I will be a productive member of society, which you know, helps my self-confidence. Being a bum in Champaign or Springfield...not so good.

So yes! I get Andrew's stuff now that he will be at Northwestern (suckaaa!!!), including his room, his drums and guitars, and his car (muahahah!). Ok not really. But sort of really.

So yea! If you ever travel out to LA in the next few months, hopefully I will be there, and be working, but be able to see you, even though it takes two hours to drive 20 miles because of traffic (which I hate).

This will be the first time I'll not call "home" somewhere in the Midwest. It'll be weird, but getting away (Ari Hest - Aberdeen) is something I've wanted to try. Not that I don't love my people here. Just you know, new places new experiences all that. For those of you who pray, pray that I'll be productive and happy out in LA working for film peoples, and yea, all y'all come visit when it's cold here in Illinois. Puaha!

And if im not busy with work, Asia in the winter? WHOS GONNA BE IN TAIWANNNNN. Or visit Dave in Japan? Or Justin and Erin in Shanghai? AND JAMIE AND MARG IN KOREA!!!

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by Jon

I went to the mall today and got hit on by a group of trashy 15 year old girls.

I was looking into Hallmark to see if Adrienne was working, and I overheard, "Ooh look at him, I think hes Chinese or Mexican." I turned around to walk back because Adrienne was not working, and then I looked up and saw five faces smiling at me and whispers of, "oh say something to him!" I smiled and walked past quickly as our names were exchanged. ::insert awkward turtle here::

Mexican? What?

Ah White Oaks Mall in Springfield. How wonderful you are.


My mom is funny. She told me a story about a South Asian mother and daughter who came to our ice cream shop. As my mom says, the daughter first complained about the size of the cup, and after my mom changed it, the daughter again complained again about the cup. And then the daughter complained about the spoon being too flimsy, and it turned into her asking for new ice cream.

So my mom takes the ice cream, and uses said flimsy spoon, and just stands there and starts eating the ice cream in front of the customer and doesn't pay attention to them. The mother and daughter customers get angry and say something about how rude my mom is. Mom's friend, another Taiwanese lady with a stand close by comes by, and they start speaking. The South Asian daughter then complains about my mom and her friend talking "in Chinese" as she says. But then my mom turns and stares and says in that cold motherly stare, "excuse me, it's Taiwanese."

At this point, the customers storm off next door to the Cookie Factory. My mom however, can still here them complaining. So she yells from behind the ice cream counter at them. And then the daughter maybe says something back. And so, my mom goes into the Cookie Factory and basically, challenges her to some sort of evil glare contest. I guess that scared the daughter, so in defeat she says, "Go back to your own country," which well, is kind of messed up since she herself is the daughter of immigrant parents most likely being South Asian and all. But whatever. The point is that my mom is an intimidating badass. It's great fun being her son.

In a seperate story, whenever kids get ice cream but don't end up having enough money, my mom says, "Ok, I'll give you this ice cream if you say 'Taiwan is number 1!'."


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Thursday, August 31, 2006 by Jon

From the Hoch:

Looking for your TAF Stories...
Hello TAF friends!

Summer is coming to an end for most of you... how sad... But before it does, and the memories of another exciting and inspiring TAF start to take a backseat to school activities, I'd like to ask a favor of you!

So, one of our TAF consultant projects is to collect YOUR STORIES & TESTIMONIALS of your TAF EXPERIENCE. Why? Well, for one, we just think it's important to keep an archive of your stories for history's sake. But secondly, we are hoping to use some of your quotes and stories to help us out when we put together our new TAF website. Additionally, we will also have new marketing media, like brochures and CD's, to advertise our incredible TAF programs more widely to the world. We believe that your stories say it all, and you are, of course, the reason we have TAF! Consider this your way of helping us grow TAF for future generations to come...

Keep in mind, I don't expect you to be a great writer, so ANYONE who has been to TAF can do this - even if you're in grade school, even if you're on staff, doesn't matter...

This is what I'm asking, if you're interested in contributing to our archive:

1) Think for a moment about why TAF is special to you, how the experiences were meaningful or impacted your life, or if you have a unique story you'd like to share...
2) Write either a QUOTE, PARAGRAPH or an ESSAY of well-thought out sentences that describe how you feel or any subject pertaining to your TAF experiences.
2a) Proofread. Caps. Punctuation.
3) At the bottom, write your NAME, AGE, most recent PROGRAM, and # OF YEARS at TAF.
4) If you don't want your name credited with the quote, say so. This may be used publicly. I will assume it is OK if you don't tell me otherwise.
5) Send it to me at

Miss you all. Even the TAFers that are new or that I haven't quite gotten to know well yet. The one thing I've learned over the past 10-15 years is that we will get to know each other at some point, and maybe even cross paths in the distant future... I'm looking forward to that day...

And I'm looking forward to all the wonderful things you will be sharing about TAF. You are our TAF Ambassadors serving the world you live in.

Ho Chie

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Sunday, August 27, 2006 by Jon

To all of those who attended TAF2006, thank you for a wonderful week. To me, TAF2006 another blur. A swirl of memories and moments that I hope were captured enough in my mind or on film to remember and reflect upon. A lot of other people dear to me have already shared feelings and thoughts about the week and many have said things better than I could say, or have remembered to mention things that I would only hope to recall. I feel all of my thoughts and memories are somewhat disjointed; chopped up and blended in with logistical issues, camper names, programming ideas, small group cheers, choir lyrics, things to do next year, and sketchy sketchy sa po po moves. I have no fluid and continual thoughts, just many disjointed areas of reflection. And I share.


I hope that everyone in JH really embraced the idea of keeping a journal. One of my personal goals for the week was to keep a journal of thoughts for myself at least once or twice throughout TAF, but that never accumulated into anything, and I regret that. I do however take serious joy in the fact that all of the campers, and hopefully the staff, kept their own logs of the week, thoughts they had, etc etc. My hope is that you kept them, either as a TAF souveneir to look back on the week and remember the good times and what you learned, or even moreso, that you keep using and writing in them, and when you run out of pages, you get another journal and keep on going. I find something very classically nostalgic about humans keeping journals and recording our thoughts and experiences. Hopefully you do to.

Speaking of "The Journals", I would love to hear feedback about what y'all wrote. I know its personal, and of course I don't expect people to tell me or Alex or their counselors what they wrote, but...I would love to hear it, haha. Just to get feedback and to hear what you guys in JH thought about topics we discuessed and workshops we ran. And to a deeper extent, what was going through your mind during the taflove workshop.

Body Image.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. During TAF, this issue's relevence became very apparent during the girls part of the Gender Dialogue. And then a week after TAF, I was a small group leader at the Life Creek Church's summer youth group retreat. The majority of girls in my small group also shared that they, just like my beloved young women in JH, felt pressures about body image that led to varying degrees of considering or actually having eating disorders.

Where do these pressures or thoughts to be extremely thin come from? Media? Society? Boys? The fear of being alone? Calls for attention? Being able to have control over something because you feel like you cannot control other areas of your life?

But then I learned that these are the questions that YOU should be asking yourself. Ask yourself, "Why? Why do I do these things to be skinnier than I naturally am?" That is the first step. The second step is to realize that you need to be true to yourself, like Karen and Cat said. Be true to yourself! Don't let anyone else or anything else, especially boys, dictate who you are. This leads me to my last thoughts on this topic.

I believe we are all in this together. Not just the girls, but the guys too. The reasons may be different, but as men, boys, guys, whichever you prefer, perhaps we give off this impression that we are overwhelmingly attracted to extremely skinny girls. I assume the vast majority of boys are actually turned off or worry about girls who are waif thin. So what can I, and other guys do? concern? Show that we notice how unhealthy it looks? To keep saying, "be true to yourself, be true to yourself!"?

Girls' don't let us boys dictate how you live and how your health is. Be true to yourself. That you as an individual, especially a young one, have so much promise and potential to look forward to, and therein lies all the beauty in the world. Do not risk it all that. You will not always be judged by your appearance. This will happen a lot sooner than you think.

"Love is the only rational act"

I mentioned this quote during our taflove session. And in the midst of it all I felt like it made a lot of sense in terms of the four rotating TAF themes. I jotted these down in my notebook to say. Ethics and Values - to know what is right and wrong, and to know what true love really is then. Communication - to tell it and share it with others. Identity - to show how you'll share it, if you will express it, what love is to you. Leadership - to be proactive, to share love when others won't, to show others how to do it."

"Open up your heart and you'll find love love love love loooooove," - jmraz. (yea plate dance!)

So yea. I feel that this (love) is all the purpose of TAF. The higher goal. Make profound impacts on society in unique and compassionate ways. ie: with love in your heart, tingling in your fingers and bones, and opening up to let it out. I'm not trying to be cheesy or cliche. If I had more time, I would try to figure out a much better way to say it, and a new way that would catch you eye, but...this satisfies me for now. Love is the only rational act. Just make sure you're letting the love be as real as you can.

The Past is in the Future
This came to mind during the week, or maybe it was after TAF. Either way I can't put my finger on it. But maybe it was also during the taflove session that I thought about this, where I was sharing how a full decade ago at TAF1996, I was playing with Amy, Michelle, Juliana, Howard, etc. How we were the JH campers, and how Alice and Alanna Lin were our pd's. How we have been friends and known each other for so long. I then said to my TAF2006 campers that I wished to see them at TAF in ten years at TAF2016. Hopefully then they will be the PD's and counselors for the new kids. My point is, Alice and Alanna made immense impacts on me in my time in JH. I hope I have done the same for my kids from 2001-2006 (and luckily, I believe I have). And with what I imparted to them, a lot of it comes from what Alanna and Alice imparted to me (I didn't know what 'unconditional love' meant until I met them). The first TAFers are still making impressions on the future TAFers. We are forever touched by those who came before us. I like that a lot. And I'm hopeful to see what the future holds.


- On the lighter side of impacts, I remember Eric Chang at TAF1999 talking about after he graduated college, he just slept on Morris's couch and was a 'professional bum'. And so, I am now sleeping on my friends couch and being a professional bum here in Champaign for the weekend, and for possibly many more weekends throughout the year. Hopefully not...but hey, it's not bad. Thanks Eric for being an inspiration!

- I have one bag of small group letters that I forgot to deliver. I cannot even remember who gave them to me. I will go look in my luggage and find out who's it is, and perhaps deliver it to the Youthers who should have gotten them. My bad.

- I really liked the TAF Night acts this year. I love you JH! I also want to give props to Melody and Tinya. And more props to whoever can post the Youth Swing Choir online first.

Last but not tafcrush?

Okay no, not really. I got your attention though, didn't I? I will however talk about a special young lady that I admire from afar. I call this a feeling of extreme gratitude and snaps for awesomeness to you, Christine Wang of the College Program. I love you. I really do. Thank you for Pteradactyl and the Awkward Turtle. And I don't know if you remember, but I will always recall the time when we were standing around with a group of people this year in the Great Room or in the cafeteria, and we made eye contact for a solid second or two, and didn't say anything but just stared back at each other, even though we both know who each other is. Fittingly, it was awkward.

Shout out to the LCC Retreat - Ahn Yan Hah Say Oohhhh!!!

The week after TAF, I got to spend another four sleepless nights as a small group leader for Youth Pastor Roger's church's summer youth group retreat around Milwaukee. It was great. Shout out to my small group of five lovely ladies (Go X-squared!!!) and everyone else that was there. It was a blessing, and I am glad to have grown from it. It was difficult at first because I have never led a small group in the Christian sense, but word yo, like my dear littlefufu says, "The difficulties of life are intended to make us better, not bitter."

Oh, and the church is a Korean. Am I making you jealous, my Taiwanese people?

Heart heart heart.

This is a link.

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006 by Jon

Holy nugget cakes you can read my blog from my facebook profile now. This is insane.

Anyways, this is interesting.

I don't know what to think. On one hand, its seems pretty confrontational to draw clear lines between races. On the other hand, it's just reality TV. And then even more, its the Asian-American tribe (tribe? hah!) rather than Asian tribe.


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Saturday, August 05, 2006 by Jon

Off to North Manchester for the week. A little place called TAF. See you later.

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Thursday, August 03, 2006 by Jon

Someone once said,

"My self esteem was at its lowest point in middle school. I didn’t think I was good academically, physically, or socially. I was convinced that I was just a bad person, and that there was no way to change it.

I carried this belief with me even when I went to TAF. When my small group counselor would praise me or spend time with me, I told myself that it was his job to like me, and that his actions weren’t sincere. I thought that he took pity on me and only said nice things because he was my counselor and he had to.

One night, I was randomly taken out of my bed after curfew by one of the other JH counselors. She wasn’t my small group counselor that year, but she had been my counselor the year before. At first, I thought I was in trouble because everyone had been asleep for a while now and I was the only one taken out of my suite. It was actually kind of creepy…

She ended up taking me to a late night small group meeting in her bedroom. It was strange because her entire small group was there and I was the only one that was in a different small group. I kept asking myself, “Why am I here? Why did she pick me? I’m not even in her group!” I didn’t feel worthy. I was shocked that she even remembered who I was, let alone wanting me to be included in her group.

After a while, I started to realize something. She had picked ME. She had thought of ME. Even though she was no longer my counselor, and technically didn’t have to have anything to do with me, she saw something special in me and cared enough to include her in her group. She didn’t have to include me, but she did. She really cared about me, which meant that I was worth caring for.

We ended up spending hours in that room having a really personal small group discussion. People were crying and saying things that they couldn’t say to anyone else. I was amazed that those campers, who had been in small group together all week, all accepted me into their discussion and reached out to me. Some of them had never talked to me before, and yet they completely trusted me with their deepest thoughts and feelings. They accepted me.

I’ll never forget that night because that was when I truly experienced TAF love. I learned about unconditional love and in turn, I learned to love myself. But most importantly, I’ll never forget that night because of the special connections that I made with that small group. I learned the power of acceptance and have tried to be accepting of others and their ideas ever since that night.

For this reason, I have chosen to serve at TAF to affirm campers so that they learn to see the greatness that lies within them and to encourage them to be tolerant of others and their ideas."

See you soon.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 by Jon

Someone once said,

"When I first came to TAF in August of 2001, I was a pessimistic, shy child. Just a few months before, my parents told me I should go to TAF to learn about my Taiwanese heritage. By these words, I hated the camp even before I got there, since I did not think that it was important to learn about Taiwan, when I lived in America. Besides, I always had the same overnight camp experience. People would already know each other, and exclude me out of everything. But something different happened when I stepped inside the doors of Oakwood Hall that first day. I actually felt welcome. When I got to my room, and found out that I actually had a letter already waiting for me inside my mailbox. It really made me feel good to know that someone was there to help me through the week.

That week, not only did I learn about my culture, I also learned how to be more outgoing and optimistic. At first, I thought that the only time we were really learning anything of importance was during speaker sessions, but I soon learned that everything I did in TAF tied together. Having a big sib to look up to, working together to do swing choir, doing different types of things in cultural workshops…they all helped me apply the lessons that I learned from the speaker sessions to real activities. Follow the good examples of elders, work together, appreciate your culture…all were things that I’d heard from my parents before, but they did not really make sense to me until I came to TAF.
It was a cram-packed week; so crammed that I forgot all about missing my parents. When they came on Friday to visit, all I could do was act cheery on the outside, but on the inside, I knew their visit meant that I would soon have to leave my beloved TAF behind.

My counselor that year was terrific. She was always happy, and always smiling. Late on the night that my parents came, she came into my room and asked me if I wanted a slice of pizza. I said no, I wasn’t hungry, and she left for what I thought would be the rest of the night. But instead, she came back a couple minutes later and asked me what was wrong, as if she could sense my feelings just by the way I was acting. I told her that I did not want to go home, and leave everyone at TAF. What she said next stayed with me throughout the years, and really helped shape up my life. Her words were such:
All this week, you’ve been learning about where you came from. About how to avoid fights, look on the brighter side, and just be an all around better person. When you get back home, try to use this new knowledge and really apply it to your every day life. Remember, it’s what’s on the inside that really matters. It’s better to be ugly but nice, than pretty but scornful.

After she said this, she noticed I was crying, and leaned over and hugged me. I was shocked. I had never in my life been given a hug before, not even by my parents. It was then that I learned yet another lesson. That even a simple gesture like a hug can leave you with a lasting impression for years to come. I loved my counselor unconditionally. She let me know that there would always be someone by my side, and she really cared about how I felt. Even though that was a long time ago, my love for her still lingers. It is unconditional.

I love being at TAF. You don’t feel like a little kid, or like you’re being treated like a kid you’re not ready to be. Everyone is accepted here. From the counselors to the campers to the activities, everything is just perfect. And I hope you think that your TAF experience has been perfect too."

In a week.

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Friday, July 28, 2006 by Jon

Thanks for the birthday wishes, text messages, calls, emails, etc! And...this.

facebook. the newest expression of love.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006 by Jon

My room looks sad. All of the pictures are taken down and moved out. I have 56 picture frames by the way. That's a lot of money. I haven't purchased anything other than food and gas in awhile though. Yea! And I don't plan on it cuz you know, I have too much crap.

Augustana and The Fray on Friday. Hoorah.

Lots of packing and cleaning and planning for TAF. Im excurted! IMMA GET TO PLAN SMALL GROUPS AND ROOM ASSIGNMENTS WITH ALEX TONIGHT!!! (thats no sarcasm, it really is quite a thrill to do)

Aww schucks, youre making me blush!
"Happy Birthday from the Facebook team!"


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Tuesday, July 18, 2006 by Jon

Too much. Almost. But what else can ya do? So I smile.

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by Jon

hahaha. fun with little people!

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Monday, July 17, 2006 by Jon

After arriving at O'Hare, one of the first things Roger told me was that there was a massive heat wave in Chicago. It was on the front page of the newspaper and people were encouraged to stay hydrated and watch the elderly.

Now, it was 93 degrees yesterday in Chicago, 100 with the heat index. Last week in Taiwan, it had been up to 115 degrees. And of course, it was just normal, no massive heat index and the Taiwanese were still wearing long sleeves. Furthermore, when it dipped down to 100 degrees, I too honored the cooler temperature by wearing jeans instead of shorts.

Funny, isn't it?

Taipei: 1
Chicago: 0

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Thursday, July 13, 2006 by Jon

flying through a typhoon. oohh boy...

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Saturday, July 08, 2006 by Jon

On a flight from Shanghai to Beijing last week:

my dad: Oh! Hey Yao!
Yao Ming: Hello.
my dad: (pats Yao on back)

end of story.

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by Jon

Today I went to lunch with some family. I got to meet my cousin's son (nephew then? or anything?) Darren. He's 2.5 years old and like most kids, loads of fun. He's bilingual! But still a kid, so random words sometimes, but he really is quite smart for his age.

My cousin, his dad, was asking him if he rememembered the time he was goofing around at the dinner table and rocked back and forth so hard that he flew forward and banged his forehead on the table. He did and he re-enacted the scene for the family. He rocked forward, banged his head on the table lightly, said "and then I cried", and started fake crying, and then said "I was stupid!". Oh man, he should go into acting if he can do it already at 2 years old.

One time, we asked him if he knew my name, and even though we had told him it was Jonathan earlier, he kept calling me Alex over and over again.

"You is Alex, me is zebra! YOU ALEX, ME ZEBRA!" "Alex?" "Alex! Lion! ROOOOOOAAARRR!" We then realized he was saying I am Alex the Lion from the movie Madagascar and he is the Eddie Murphy Zebra.

Ok enough talking about cute baby cousin.

I've decided I'm going to try to be uber-Taiwanese and wear my jeans outside before I leave, regardless of how hot it is. This is part of my trifecta of being like a "real" native to the TW, the criterium being:

1) Developing a liking for stinky tofu (check).
2) Having soup instead of some other drink to quench your thirst during a meal (check).
3) Wearing long clothing in the summer (still to do).

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Wednesday, July 05, 2006 by Jon

the trip so far:

Berkeley dinner.

People on the OCAC trip.

Hooters Taipei for the novelty of it all.

Fun with e-cards at a museum.

Mom's side except for an aunt and a few cousins.

Very pretty cousins! Second from left looks like Emily Huang. I deduced the one on the right is an example of what I would look like if I was a girl. Like how I just called myself pretty? She also looks like Nancy Chen. I think that's why I love Nancy so much.

Batting cages with Joyce.

And finally, I was taking this picture of a guy on the MRT who looked ridiculously metro, and I thought it was funny. The hat, the doorag, the khaki overalls with one pantleg rolled up and one shoulder undone. And of course, the huge purse to top it all off. He had the stereotypical gay lisp too though. It applies across races! But then, the girl to the left in the picture asked him for his number as I was taking the photo. You can see her getting her address book out.

Other highlights include hanging out with my dad's side, a Taiwan league baseball game, and a foot massage.

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Saturday, July 01, 2006 by Jon

ill post some pictures up soon.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006 by Jon

Went to Hooter Taipei last night for the novelty experience with some of the OCAC people. It was recommended to us by Lynn Kuo (who some of you know from TAF). She is on the OCAC trip with us. Hooters in Taipei is...interesting as you might imagine. Yea.

The OCAC trip by the way is...marginal. I have a feeling it was much better in previous years. I have the urge to apply to the OCAC and work with them on making this trip a whole lot better. I'll break it down more later.

Going to I-lan tomorrow. Yay for free trip to hot springs! And perhaps a Taiwanese baseball game this weekend. Looking forward to seeing some people too. Hooray!

Hot and humid in the TW. mmmmmmmmmm!

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Monday, June 26, 2006 by Jon

In the T-dub. The T-dub is hot when wearing a suit. My cell # is 09 8919 8087. Hit me up homeskillets.

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Friday, June 16, 2006 by Jon

There is the huge empty lot near my apartment. As Erin and I drove by it, I mentioned how I should buy it and build a huge high-rise apartment on the lot with stores underneath.

I'm watching the local news right now, and indeed, the lead story was how construction on the lot has been delayed. The plans for the lot include an 18-story high rise with a supermarket and other stores underneath.


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Monday, June 12, 2006 by Jon

Summer trip itinerary:

June 22 - 24: San Francisco, CA
June 24 - July 13: Taiwan
June 25 - July 1: OCAC Tour. I'll be in Taipei for a few of the first days, but only available to play at night. Then off to other parts of the island till the 1st, and then I can play till the 13th.
July 13 - July 15: Los Angeles, CA. This means you Grace.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006 by Jon

Thanks to for leading me to the Steve Lin Commercial Collection

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Sunday, May 28, 2006 by Jon

This was the Oh Sh*t moment of the weekend:

May 28, 2006, 1:44:28 AM

As you can see, there is no hamster in the hamster ball. Oh Sh*t. Twenty-two hours later, said hamster was discovered in Brian's room. A brief battle of wits between man and rodent, and man won.

I BLAME THE BALL THE BALL LID JUST CAME OFF askdja;kj2pd2k92jdpokjaw;ldkadl;k.


thendxcrd: HI ERIN
thendxcrd: so
thendxcrd: um
thendxcrd: haha
thendxcrd: when you asked me earlier if the mouse was a live, and i said yes....i was only assuming...BECAUSE HE ESCAPED FROM HIS BALL LAST NIGHT...BUT I JUST FOUND HIM AND HES OK IN HIS CAGE NOW SORRY HAHAHAHA....
thendxcrd: ....
thendxcrd: BUT I FOUND HIM
thendxcrd: SO HES ALIVE
thendxcrd: ALL IS OKAY
thendxcrd: NOW WE CAN LAUGH AT IT.
thendxcrd: but hes ok
thendxcrd: so...haha you can laugh
thendxcrd: I KNOW IM SORRY
thendxcrd: i actually dont know.
thendxcrd: I WOULD HAVE BOUGHT YOU A SECOND ONE...and maybe have told you...
thendxcrd: ...

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Saturday, May 27, 2006 by Jon

Nicho is visiting and staying with Brian and I here in Champaign. They reminisced about old times, and then remembered this very funny story that they never told me.

Nick has a small lake in his backyard and sometimes we'd go out on his paddleboat. One time when they were about sixteen, they had two other kids on the boat with them, paddleboated them to an island in the lake, and left them there. At this point, Brian was crying with laughter telling me the story. And then he noted that the kids, who were about ten years old, were crying with tears yelling at them to come back, while Nick and Brian were crying with laughter paddling away.

Brian and Nick are obviously nice people, and they did it because these ten year olds kept throwing rocks at them on the boat. So they somehow tricked them to go on a paddleboat ride and somehow tricked them to get off the boat onto the island, hahaha.

Brian: "He was completely helpless and stranded hahahahah!"


Wikipedia fun:

"There is also another legend that the surname Li is actually a branch from the Lee surname due to a rebellion. There is evidence of a once great war, located in the outlying Lee villages. Weapons and armour can be found lying scattered across the fertile rice fields. Upon these items is the emblem of 'Lee' and 'Li'. The local villagers say that according to folklore, the Li were inevitably crushed by the superior skills and numbers of the Lee."

Lee (and Li, Lai, Le, etc) is also the most common surname in the world. Wheeeee.

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Friday, May 26, 2006 by Jon

Barring any major turn of events, I will be in Taiwan starting June 25th. The return date however, is subject to change. It will be at least till say, July 7th, but I'm thinking July 15th instead, based on the arrivals of Anna and Erin.

Tell me when you're going to be there if you have not already. I am fairly certain these people will be there when I'm there.

Tiffany S

Go buy a ticket Roger. And then let's bring our guitars and play in the MRT for spare change (oh how I love the MRT).

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Monday, May 22, 2006 by Jon

For those keeping score at home, the above photo was take by Anna Wu, Copyright May 2006.

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Sunday, May 21, 2006 by Jon

Congratulations to Christina Shay and Jeffrey Tang, 05/20/06!

The TAF representation

A thousand words.

(for the last picture, it's kinda like that Pearl Jam song "Janie's got a gun..." but replace Janie with Anna and gun with good eye for nice photos.)

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Friday, May 19, 2006 by Jon

Northwest Airlines isn't very good apparently. Margaret's flight got cancelled (two bad trips in a row for her on NWA), and mine is delayed 30-some minutes.

But, they have wireless at the airport. This is sweet.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006 by Jon


jayelchew: is it weird that im midly attracted to my apparent "twin"
thendxcrd: no
thendxcrd: i mean
thendxcrd: you are pretty

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006 by Jon

I bought The Cutting Edge today for seven dollars. It's a great movie. Toepick! It's a form of nostalgia for me, reminding me of my weekend nights watching it with my sister growing up (it was her favorite movie).

Tina called me a bit ago, telling me that somehow, one of Albert's steak knives got into her carry-on luggage. Airport security found it and went through her stuff, leading to her missing her flight. But she managed to take the next flight at no extra cost, so feel free to laugh.

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Monday, May 15, 2006 by Jon

- I am amused by the above. Maybe I should actually phase out this whole Jonizzle deal, since you know, I'm old. I think potential employers down the road might be thrown off by the "" address, unless I'm in entertainment, which is possible.

- I didn't go to graduation today. I didn't walk. I wasn't awake. I didn't really care. I hope I dont regret it though.

People think its funny or odd that I didn't go (Tiffany, I didn't trip because I didn't go). But I've been wondering why I don't seem to care. Personally, as far as I can tell, it goes back to college being about the people. While I am happy and fortunate to have gotten a degree and an education, it doesn't seem like a big deal (because I've always expected to graduate?). My dad wasn't coming (I told him not to since he's in Taiwan) and I told my mom and sister not to (because it would be a long day, tiring, they might have had to work, and long periods of time with Mom usually end up in fights), and some very beloved Illinois friends were already gone (boo). So if many of my loved ones aren't here to share in it plus the fact that I do not seem to care, then whatever. It's just a simple ceremony. I'm already thinking about bigger things down the road?

- I added some new links, got rid of some. Sorry Justin. hopefully you xanga subscribe koalawayne?

Free fonts! I LIKE FREE FONTS!

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Friday, May 12, 2006 by Jon

I finished college today at 2:08pm. That's cool. I don't care much for most of my classes here at college.

But the people.

Makes it bittersweet.

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Monday, May 08, 2006 by Jon

Let me preface this post by pointing out that in exactly 3 months at
this time, I will most likely be home in the second floor lounge of
Oakwood Hall at Manchester College in North Manchester, Indiana
surrounded by a wonderful staff of Junior High counselors while we
discuss the events of the first Sunday of TAF 2006 and laugh loopy
laughs about whatever it is we laugh about at 3am. In honor of my
recognition of this future event, I give you all a gift.

But before I go on, let me preface this paragraph by saying that I felt
like an idiot when I realized what I could do. I was sitting in the
library writing a paper for finals when I had this epiphany. And yes,
this idea came about while I was trying to be studious (aka
daydreaming). Go figure. Why did it take me so long to realize this
though! Sillyness! And then I left the library to come home just to do

So yes, I signed up for YouTube so I could fulfill my idea. Before I
move on, I want to preface that while trying to sign up to do this, I
discovered the identification names "jonizzle", "taf", and "wuhawuha"
were all taken. Kidding I am not.

But I eventually settled on a name and uploaded the video for viewing
pleasure. Let me preface the viewing of this video by noting that it is
not of the highest quality, because the white balance is off, the
camera is slightly tilted, and Stage Right is cut off for the most
part. But thank you Elliot for this.

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, the TAF 2005 Junior High Swing Choir, "Wuha":

To the young men and women of JH, please send this out to all the other
JHers and make sure that everyone gets to see it. Post it on your
xanga's or myspace's or whatever the new internet thing is these days.
And be proud of this! You all came together and learned all these moves
in only a total of seven or eight hours to make one of the best swing
choirs EVER. I am so thrilled everytime I watch this.

Hopefully I will get to see all of you this summer. To those who I know aren't
coming, Eddie, Eric, Matt and everyone else who I don't know about, you
ma boys...and girls. Come back when you can. Don't forget about us.

And to everyone else, LOOK AT MA BABIES DANCIN'!!!

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Thursday, May 04, 2006 by Jon

I'm at Grainger working on my paper. I wrote a paragraph really fast, so I feel that this merits a blog. Two things:

I was on the Quad walking to my first final, and I noticed a big white tent and the blue and white Isreali flags, with music playing and people dancing all around. It looked like a big party outside and a good time, yay for cultural/ethnic pride, ya know? And then I kept walking, and then I turned my head away from the Israel tent, and I saw these big black signs, with people standing around them milling about. I read the signs and they said, "FREE PALESTINE. ANTI-ISRAEL = ANTI-TERRORISM."

And I though, uh-oh, this is kind of awkward. I don't have a real opinion on the Middle East Peace issues, but this was...weird. And it felt very microcosmic. I found it interesting that the Isreali side looked happy and joyful and white was their dominant, "clean", color, while the Palestinian side had crude spraypainted signs. I think this analogy works, because Israel is seen as having more money and being richer, while the Palestinians who were evicted are living relatively poorly. Big white tent vs. small crude signs. But that's just what I saw.

I guess it is of note that the two groups couldn't really make peace here on this campus, in the United States of America. I'm sure there is a reason why they both chose today to gather on the Quad (too bad I dont know why), but I guess, it just looked very divisive.

I was making a sandwich before I came to Grainger, and Real World was on. I heard one of the guys talking to this other guy, and the dialogue went something like this,

Dude 1: Dude, you gotta do something different with this girl, you're like the dad.
Dude 2: Oh no man, I'm the dad!
Dude 1: Yea, you're the dad. Girls want the dad to teach them about life, not go out with them.
Dude 2: This sucks!

And then I realized, I'm the dad. Actually I said it more like, "HEY I'M THE DAD!" And Brian said, "Yea, you are, that's not good."

I was making the sandwich for Jamie too. Who I had called earlier about coming to Grainger. And when she picked up the phone, she said, "Hi Dad." And she sounded tired so I asked her if she wanted a sandwich (cuz food wakes people up? That's why I eat a lot at TAF). I AM SUCH A DAD PUAHAHAHAHAHA.

ok time to change to find a girlfriend.



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Tuesday, May 02, 2006 by Jon

1) I watched a movie called Casa de los Babys for one of my classes. It's about transnational adoptions. It's pretty good. In the film six caucasian women are waiting in a Latin American country to adopt a child to take back to the US. The film touches on lots of political issues involved, including this being a form of First World countries taking from Third World countries. It is the continuation of cultural imperialism, where a commodity (which is unfortunately babies in this case) are being taken away from the poor and given to the rich. My teacher pointed out that Russian babies are also popular for adoption now. So basically, I can adopt a Russian kid.

So I'm going to raise a white kid some day. It'll be out of love of course, but it would also be an interesting portrayal of racial dynamics.

2) I watched Field of Dreams while doing homework tonight. I love this movie. I think it's the man version of a chick flick. Baseball. Fathers and sons. Tradition. Nostalgia. Rites of passage. It makes me want to cry. It is quite magical. It's a dream.

I have a vivid memory of being 12 years old, playing catch with my dad in our front yard, the sun setting, the nighttime chill setting in. And still just tossing the ball back and forth. Back and forth.

Mmm. I wish I wish.

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Thursday, April 27, 2006 by Jon

I got my cell phone bill for this past month. I didn't go over my minutes thanks to my cell phone purge last week. My purge was caused by ITASA though.

From March 26th to April 2nd, which was the Monday before ITASA up until the days of the conference itself ending on Sunday, I sent or received 572 phone calls. That is correct. Five hundred and seventy-two phone calls in only seven days.

- On Friday the 31st, there were 145 phone calls.
- On Saturday the 1st, there were 109 phone calls.
- Thursday and Sunday were both at about 80-90 phone calls.

And during that whole bus to the barndance fiasco, I made 31 phone calls totalling an airtime of 53 minutes in a little over an hour from 10:20 to 11:30. Good job Verizon. Thanks for making ITASA work.

I went to Biaggi's tonight with Keelin, Tina, and Brian.

Don't we look like a close-knit and loving group?

Later in the evening I was enjoying the nice weather outside on my balcony and doing my reading for an Asian American Studies class. As I was halfway through one of the articles, the author noted that she was a 2nd generation Taiwanese American. I thought to myself, "that would be funny if I knew the person," so I looked up at the name. And lo and behold, I read "Juliana Wu, Viewpoints, U of C Maroon, 2004". Like, whoa. TAFers are everywhere. At school, on Broadway, in television, in commercials, and even in your homework.

Small, crazy, world.


Justin posted about Augustana. Now my turn, whee. Augustana on NPR (includes live performances).

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Monday, April 24, 2006 by Jon

TAF Program Director Retreat this weekend in Michigan. It was good. There is one specific thing I want to share.

I don't know if I have ever blogged about a Plato quote that says, "time is the moving image of eternity," but I love that quote. My knowledge of the quote and insight into what it means is from reading a conversation between a friend and one of her friends years ago. I guess I will try to break it down for you rather quickly from what I think.

- "Time is the moving image of eternity."
- Eternity is devoid of "time", because eternity has no future and has no past, only that one moment. Time is therefore a sequence of "eternities". Think of Eternity as a slide in a movie film, and then that film put together in motion is the motion picture that we call Time.
- Because eternity is in essence just that one moment with nothing to change it (no future and no past, just this moment), it is pure and unadulterated.
- And because of that, it is perfect (they call Heaven eternal, and they call it perfect too). I find this to be reminiscent of that quote from the film Troy, if you know what I am talking about.
- So discovering and recognizing an instance as just an instance, as a moment in the moving image called Time, is to recognize Eternity, and therefore recognize perfection.

I had a moment like this in Michigan.

On Saturday the PD's, tafbrats, and howard, went to a ropes course to do some games and exercises. After we finished our five hour romp in the woods, leaving us physically tired, we all sat down in a circle and had a discussion led by the two wonderful facilitators that Christine had found.

As I sat in the circle and looked around and heard what people were saying, a sudden feeling of seeing everything clearly for a split second hit me, and everything was perfect as it was. I saw the beauty in what this moment was.

Sixteen relatively young people and our two facilitators. From all across the United States. Separated by space, yet united by shared time in the past. Sitting in a circle surrounded by nature in Michigan, bouncing thoughts and ideas about communication and teamwork. Hearing the praises of working together so well and completing our difficult tasks in impressive times.

The circumstances that led to us being there in that moment are amazing. Where did we all learn to work together so well? How did we all learn to work together so well? How did we all manage to travel to and wake up at 8am? I'm sure I could answer that in a way, but my point is not to answer, but to say that the moment was recognized.

It was a moment of perfection.

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