Thursday, December 24, 2009

Awesome Vacation Day 2

Most of the time the eight of us have been driving around California in a Honda Pilot, which Charles says is a clown car. But it's really fun because we're all together :)

On day 2 we went to my favorite park because it has a giant farmer's market and on Saturday mornings there are tons of little kids playing flag football and it's super cute. We ran a few laps around the park and then did some lifting and throwing:

and then we bought food at the farmer's market. We shared a giant bag of kettle corn (sooo yummy...)

Then we took a picture with Santa because Charles said it didn't feel like Christmas. What a creepy Santa:

Then we to get dim sum with my parents and they were really amused at how we roshamed all the leftovers. Eugene lost (won) a lot:

Then we drove to Griffith Observatory where we could see the Hollywood sign:

Then we actually went into the observatory and watched the Foucault Pendulum:

And Keith played with the heat sensor:

And Eugene tried being an astronaut:

This is us in front of the Griffith:

And us with a view of Los Angeles:

Then we went to Yogurtland! Which is this awesome frozen yogurt place with both sweet and tart frozen yogurts. You serve yourself and there are like 14 different flavors you can try. And here we are concentrating very hard on eating our frozen yogurt:

And the spoons are biodegradable and made out of corn! So of course the boys (minus Charles) had to try and eat the spoons while Charles stood there and judged:

Then we went to Beverly Hills Rodeo Drive:

And then drove around Beverly Hills and saw Michael Jackson's House and the Greystone Mansion and the playboy mansion and other things. But it was really dark and everything was gated so we really didn't see anything. =P

Then we drove back to Torrance and went to Sue's kitchen for dinner... yummy beef noodle soup!!

Then we went back to my place and my brother and his friends challenged us to Cranium so of course we had to accept:

And of course we won :)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What an awesome vacation... (Day 1)

A bunch of friends came to California to stay with me for the best vacation EVER...

Day 0
Bryan, Keith, Charles, and I flew from Boston to California on a Virgin America flight. If you've never flown Virgin before, it's totally worth it. The four of us sat in a row and played around with the tv functions, including seat-to-seat chat and ordering your beverage from your seat, and tv! We also all watched Jersey Shore together =P My dad picked us up, then we picked up Wuisiew who was waiting for us in another terminal

On our flight to California:

Day 1
After picking up Clare and Eugene, we made our way to Hollywood, where we saw the Walk of Fame, the Chinese Mann Theater, and some wax statues:

Bryan and Keith? Who's Brian Keith?

Bryan meets his idol

It's kinda creepy how real the wax statues look...

Harry Potter!!

Then we had lunch at In-N-Out. Bryan doesn't like In-N-Out so he ate at Carls Jr... =P

Then we drove west to the Getty Museum which is the awesome beautiful place with amazing architecture. And of course we have to take pictures like this:

Then we stayed at the Getty to watch the sunset:

Then we drove south along the coast to Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade which is a street with a bunch of shopping. And they had these dinosaur bushes that had shoot water:

Then we went to El Cholo for dinner and had the most amazing Mexican food:

Then we made our way back to my house where we cleaned our pores with nose and face strips from CVS. Keith won... (I won't show you the disgusting picture of the blackheads)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Don't do this to me again

This morning I was just about to shut off my computer and head out for lab, when I got a phone call from a very groggy Keith. He asked, "Hey... did you leave yet?" And I told him I was just about to, when Doris's name popped up on my gchat and she asked "Hey... are you leaving soon?" I told her the same thing.

Then both Keith (on the phone) and Doris (through gchat) at the same time, start telling me how Doris left her wallet and phone at home and she was wondering whether I could bring it to Keith so he could pass it off to Doris at work. I was like, "ahhh too many modes of communication at once, and, ok."

So I go over to Doris' room and grab her purse which has her wallet and her phone inside (I checked). Then this is the rest of the conversation:

D: thanks so much... my wallet is in my white purse on my dresser and my phone is probably on my bed/desk
me: your phone is in your purse
D: no, my phone is probably on my bed
me: your phone is in your purse!!!

At this point, I had to stop and think, "Wait, what does she mean by purse?" Because Doris has one of those tiny tiny purses that can fit maybe 3 credit cards and some people call that a "clutch." (I don't really know, I only own one "purse" in my lifetime and I got it in grad school...) And I opened her "purse/clutch" and took out her cell phone and purposely thought, "This is definitely a cell phone, HER cell phone..." then decided Doris was crazy and I'll just give her the entire thing. Thanks for making me question my sanity this morning, Doris.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I ran into one of Eugene's friends today at Grad Women's Lunch. She had come out to a summer league game to check it out so that's how I met her. So we start talking about Eugene because he's our common denominator and spent the next 10 minutes talking about how Eugene's sole purpose is to get through grad school without paying for food. Haha

Eugene! - don't get upset, we still love you and all your food-mooching ways. :D

I ran for the #1 bus today...

I had seen it coming down Mass Ave so I ran for the next stop and I made it! As when I got on, still gasping for air, the bus driver said, "You ran so fast you ran past a bus stop!"

me: ::gasp:: ::gasp:: huh?
BD: Did you know you ran past a bus stop?
me: No...
BD: Well, now you know, you ran too far. You could've stopped a few blocks ago.
me: Oh... well, now I know =P

Also, I learned that my new backpack (The North Face "Recon") has a whistle! It's built into the torso buckle or whatever that's called. Genius!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

First frisbee experience at MIT

This story involves frisbee and Bryan and it might be entertaining for you and was definitely painful for me.

It was the second Saturday of my first year at MIT (Sept. 2006 - wow, more than 3 years ago!) and all the first years in my program (course 3) were going to George's Island for some quality departmental bonding time. It was a beautiful fall Boston day and everything in my life was awesome! I didn't have to worry about finding an advisor yet, I didn't have horrible roommate problems yet (not Smeri or Doris, OTHER roommate problems...) I didn't have to worry about research or quals yet. Yep, it was a beautiful fall Boston day for me. :)

We took the ferry to George's Island and I chatted with people in my program, people who eventually became my best friends at MIT. When we got there, the group of students coordinating the outing were setting up lunch on picnic tables and most of us were just waiting around, so I got out my disc (of course I brought one with me!) and start throwing with some guys in my department, including Bryan and some other people.

After a while, one of the guys (not Bryan - just thought he would want me to point that out) threw a backhand that I had to run for. And so I ran for it. And it was a little high so I jumped for it and tried grabbing it with my right hand. And next thing I know, I felt like I got punched SUPER hard in my stomach and got the wind knocked out of me. As I was going down, I heard, "Karen!!! GRILL!!!" (What???)

I blacked out for a few seconds and when I came to, I realized I was sitting next to a BBQ grill:

Yep, I had run straight into a BBQ grill.

When I came to, I was like, "Why didn't anyone say anything?!" to the small crowd that had gathered. Bryan was like, "I did!... I said, 'Karen!!! GRILL!!!'" Great thanks, just a little too late, don't you think? =P

Anyway, for the next two weeks, I had a huge welt on my right arm where I had crashed into the top of the BBQ grill, and huge welt on my left thigh where I crashed into the bottom of the BBQ grill. (I hadn't learned to jump with the same-side knee and arm yet.)

For the next year, my course 3 friends would tell the story of how a BBQ grill attacked me while I was playing frisbee. For my birthday a few months later, they would even cite that as a reason from "Top 10 reasons why we love Karen."

The following year when I became part of the Graduate Materials Council and helped organize the first-years' trip to George's Island, I returned to the site of my humiliation and made amends with the BBQ grill by giving it a reconciliatory hug.

I had a point to this story... Oh yeah, I wanted to tell a story involving frisbee and Bryan and MIT and to tell everyone that Bryan and I are engaged! :) I guess I should tell the story of our engagement in the next post. =P

Monday, November 30, 2009

Turkey Bowl - The Illustrated Version!!!

By guest artist Ewu (click for larger image):

I miss Thanksgiving... last night I made an apple pie and a pumpkin pie to fill the Thanksgiving-shaped hole in my heart. Mmm... pie :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Bowl!

On Friday afternoon a bunch of us went to the park on Broadway and Norfolk to play two-hand-touch football! Team Awesome: Charles, me, Clare, John Joo, and Eugene. Team Not-So-Awesome: NG, Chris Wai, Rich Wong, and Keith. It had just rained so there were giant mud puddles everywhere on the field. A couple people didn't wear cleats so they were slipping and sliding everywhere. Even the people who did have cleats didn't have much traction either. =P

The first half an hour was pretty uneventful with no scores and a lot of dropped passes. I scored the first touchdown when Charles threw to me when I was just standing in the endzone. Eugene scored another because everyone on the other team was too busy pushing Charles into a mud puddle. Team Awesome went on to score two more touchdowns and Team NSA only scored one. But towards the end people lost interest in the game and just focused on pushing Charles into the mud. The end result:

Hahaha the game was a lot of fun. Everyone should stick around for Thanksgiving dinner and football next year :D

Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Run!

On Thursday morning a bunch of us went to Davis Square to participate in the Gobble x 3 Turkey Run! It was 4 miles around Davis Square. This is Keith, Rich Wong (this turkey run was his idea in the first place =P ) and Bryan.

I had been feeling sick since last Wednesday but I figured I'd give it a try since Bryan had already paid my registration fee. =P

It turned out to be really fun. I don't remember the last time I ran 4 miles... I think it was senior year of Northwestern when the frisbee team went on a "conditioning run." Now that I think about it, I think that's the only other time I ran 4 miles =P

Anyway, I ran the whole thing with Bryan. Keith, Rich Wong, Charles, John Joo, Clare, and Anna had run up ahead and were way ahead of us. After the third mile, we passed Charles who was walking because his knee was hurting. And then towards the end of it, Bryan was like, "let's sprint to the finish line!" and I was like, "noooo" and he says, "It'll be like a track workout!" Gah, that doesn't make me want to sprint to the finish line =P Anyway, he ran off, so I sprinted after him for the last 400. Right when I cross the finish line, this random guy came up to me and said, "Are you under 18?!?!" And I shake my head because I still didn't have the breath to say anything. And he was like, "What? Really?" And I just give him this exasperated look and walked away to find the rest of the people. What the heck was that?

Clare and Anna on the T ride back to Central:

Afterwards we go back to Antrim to prepare for our thanksgiving feast. Charles had prepared a 30-lb turkey, we also made cranberry relish, green beans (omg my favorite!!!), mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, gravy, pumpkin pie, and pecan pie. Rich Wong made bacon wrapped shrimp and stuffed mushroom caps. Everyone drew hand turkeys and wrote what they were thankful for on the fingers. I was thankful for Bryan, puppies, pandas, green beans, and my friends :D Bryan was thankful for me, Arnold Schwarzenegger, crayons, and 30-lb turkeys. Eugene is thankful for ninjas, santas, robots, and monsters. =P

More thanksgiving stories to come :)

Happy Turkey Day everyone!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Scrimmage against Harvard

Two Fridays ago sMITe went to Harvard for a scrimmage. We started around 3:30pm and conditions were very windy and COLD. Harvard played a lot of zone defense on us, using a large 3-man cup where the off-point poached off and tried taking away the other handler. It was largely effective because it's always scary throwing to someone when there's a defender so close to them, but faking and pivoting always does the trick. I think we won the first point with awesome zone offensive flow. Then things got more hairy (harry?) as the game went on.

sMITe mixed up our defense, playing zone D, clam, and man. I think all three of our defenses were average. Our zone D worked well because we have a fast cup that stayed together for the most part, but we needed better communication and switching between the wings and short deep. Our clam worked well with the two defenders on the open side passing people off to each other but we got stuck many times with the disc flowing down the break side. Our man D could be a lot better - staying on the open side, dictating, and backpedaling.

Halfway through the scrimmage, the lights went out! It was pitch-black for about 10-15 minutes so we played some "WAH" to keep warm (not really - it was still ridiculously cold). Then the lights came back on and we were able to resume our game. =P

There were a few points were it was so windy that Meri, who was playing wing on zone O, couldn't grip the disc tight enough to wind up to throw the swing. She kept faking me out by almost throwing it and then deciding to keep holding on to the disc because she didn't have a good enough grip to throw. I also threw a lot of turnovers just from the cold, poor decision making, etc... it was not a good game for me.

The season is winding down and we're having a goals meeting tomorrow and an end-of-season dinner after Thanksgiving. Then Christmas and then IAP and then spring season!

Friday, November 13, 2009

We have a new play called Bob! Heh heh...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Throwing low!!

Because it allows you to get around your mark, throw more consistently in the wind, and it's fun!

  • Faking makes your mark move and thus gives you more time and more space to throw. Fake hard one way and throw the other. For example, step around to fake a backhand and then come back to throw a low flick. I've tried faking high and throwing low but it doesn't really work for me. Other fakes that work well: shoulder fake or high release backhand fake over the mark's shoulder.
  • Don't fake too fast. Remember to fake hard, not fast. You need to give your mark time to bite on the fake and shift over so that you have time to throw what you really want to throw.
  • Fakes are much more believable when you flick your wrist like you're actually going to release the disc. I know it's obvious, but good fakes are throws that don't actually go off. As a beginner frisbee player, one of the hardest things about faking is changing your grip between a flick and backhand. Walk to class with a disc in your hand and just practice changing your grip over and over again. You'll look awesome and become a pro in no time :D
  • Faking is really fun when you can fake out your mark and they start walking away thinking you've thrown the disc when it's actually still in your hand :)
  • The word "fake" looks really weird now that I've written it and repeated it in my brain a bunch of times. =P
Watch were you step:
  • I'm a pretty non-confrontational thrower, meaning when I throw, I'll step out to the side, even slightly backwards so that I don't have to get involved with the mark. Work on stepping out in various places when you throw to mix it up. For example, practicing stepping forward through your mark, and out to the side, slightly behind, and all the angles in between.
  • Being tall with long limbs helps so much with getting around your mark. Most of the time I can't really see around my mark when i forget to fake, and I'll be honest, a lot of times I'm throwing blindly at a receiver I saw cutting in and hope she's still cutting in. =P Yes I know I have to fake more.
  • Bend your knees when you throw low. It makes you more stable and helps you get low.
  • Personally I need to work on stepping forward, through my mark on both my backhand and flick, but especially on my backhands. I think I get fouled a lot and I don't even know it. =P
Angle of the disc:
  • Because you're releasing from low point, you need to tip the front edge of the disc up so that the disc will travel upwards to your receiver's chest. Discs flying 4 inches above the ground are really hard to catch.
Practice a lot! Start throwing at knee-level, then work towards shin-level, then ankle-level, then you can work on what Shuangy does, which is dig a disc-sized hole in the ground, throw beneath ground-level, and then cover the hole back up. =P One of your butt-cheeks will be really sore from trying to throw that low, but that's okay, it's a mark of a good thrower :D

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Talking about my friend Steph who's visiting this weekend:

Me: She's in residency now. I wonder if her life is like Grey's Anatomy. I bet she's sleeping with her attending. And that he's hot.

Bryan: Probably, but probably not as hot as those ex-materials science gone consulting who wants to leave consulting types. Those people are extremely hot.


Coffee Cup (Oct. 31 - Nov. 1)

sMITe had 11 players on Saturday and 8 on Sunday for the first ever 2-day Coffee Cup tournament at Yale. Conditions on Saturday were the windiest I've ever played in, where there was strong winds going in the direction of the field with occasional gusts.

We started off playing Dartmouth where we switched off playing vertical and ho-stack depending on which direction the wind was blowing. Zone points didn't start happening until the second half. We traded points for a while and I think Dartmouth got one upwind break, final score 7-10.

Our second game was against Brown and the winds picked up even more during this game. Both teams played a lot of zone and our poppers including Cindy, Clare, Lydia, and Sluts did a great job on getting open through the cup. Scoring downwind was also really difficult and we had a lot of points with ample turnovers 5 yards from the endzone line because neither team could throw more than 2 passes without turning it. We had one upwind break from amazing zone offensive flow, final score 6-4. We didn't even reach half!

Our last game was against Yale-X. I don't remember much from this game but I think both teams got upwind breaks and we ended up losing a close game 9-11.

Saturday's games ended at 2pm, which was dumb in terms of scheduling on Yale's part. We ended up wandering around Yale's campus looking for showers since we couldn't get a hold of our contact who was supposed to show us where we're staying for the night. When she eventually called us back at 8pm, we found out that we're supposed to stay in this music room that didn't have a bathroom, smelled like musty grossness and had damp dusty carpeting. Needless to say, we went to look for other accommodations. We found Wellesley who was staying in one of the newer dorms in the lounge / game room so we stayed in a room adjoining theirs. Even though we couldn't turn off the lights completely and there was a hip hop dance class right next door (who practices at 11pm on a Sat night anyway???) and hardwood floors, it was still much better than the original room we were assigned.

Sunday's conditions were colder but a lot less windy and we started off playing Harvard. I don't know why but it took us SO LONG to get our heads in the game. We lost the first half 0-7 in like 15 minutes. We kept getting beat to the open side, letting our girls go deep on us, and not running through the disc. Everyone was really quiet on the field and there was just no motivation at all. Finally when it was 0-10, we started scoring some and trading points with Harvard but it was way too late. Final score 3-13.

Our second game was against Brown again but it seemed like a completely new team and turns out that they had too many people so they sent down two teams, one for Sat and one for Sun. We were like, "They tell people NOT to come to tournaments???" Anyway, we started off the game much more alert and focused than the last game. We played a lot of zone which was fun and started getting our legs moving more on defense. Final score 11-9.

Our chumpionship game was against Wellesley. We played zone for a number of passes and then switched to man to work on transitioning between defenses and also to not tire the cup out since we only had 8 people. Amy had an amazing layout grab for a dump pass that had gone a little too far. Full extension and everything! There was a lot of good offensive flow in zone where the deep would cut in for a popper's throw, which is something I hadn't seen too much in sMITe. Halfway through the game we were pretty exhausted, especially the cutters. With visions of food and going back home, we pushed through. We thought we had won at 13-3 but somehow Wellesley convinced us that we can't do math and the score was actually 12-3. Fine, another point, or two. Final score 13-4. We cheered "Good game Wellesley, thanks for letting us sleep with you!" which they all cheered at. =P

Some pictures from this weekend:

Sluts played as a hot dog for a couple points. Later that night we saw another hot dog walking the streets of New Haven. Like a match made in heaven...

Our game against Brown

Sluts wearing Amy's angler fish costume

Hahaha so cute!!

"The dodo's downfall was brought about by its fearlessness and flightlessness, as it would inquisitively approach strangers (and predators). Unfortunately for the dodo, it was also very tasty..." Hahaha poor flightless Dodo. :(

Friday, October 16, 2009

Pics from Club Regionals

Thanks to Keith and Bryan who were our photographers for the weekend!

I think one of the cutters threw it to me as a bail-out dump cut. I almost missed the disc. The firetruck in the background was one of the many emergency vehicles that were called to the fields to take care of Morgan. (Btw, nothing is broken, just a bad sprain and she'll be in an aircast for a while.)

Nell, one of our D-line handlers

Jenny catching the disc, not sure what her defender is doing but it looks like she's falling backwards in terror =P

Full extension Smeri!

Brie, another one of our D-line handlers using her full 5'10"-ness (I actually don't know exactly how tall she is but she's pretty tall =P)

The only way I can get around big marks =P (I like Jin's expression in the back, like she's thinking, "OMG Karen's going to turf it!")

Me looking extremely proud of myself hahah

Not really sure what's going on here but I think Jin's setting a bad example of being a good SIDELINE

See, now Daphne and Doris are doing it too...

Smeri has having contact issues

Brie's flick. Bad mark. Don't mark like that please. Bend your knees more, feet farther apart, keep your arms down unless you're preventing a huck for a few stall counts, but otherwise, you should never look like this when you're marking.

Becky's so talllll...

and always so happy :)

Becky was trying to teach something called "Body Traversing" where you flip someone (hopefully someone smaller) over your shoulders and pull them out from between your legs.

They were trying to race but really Kate just dropped Kelly a bunch of times. There are videos in my picasa (username: midlifekaren). Apparently Becky and one of her college friends can do it in 4 seconds.

Yay friends :) Except during the college season THEY WON'T BE! (j/k) Far left is Kquan aka Butterball who plays on BC and Michelle plays for Northeastern and I still have one more year left on sMITe. :)