Tuesday, October 12, 2010


"A guy who makes a new chair doesn't owe money to everyone who ever built a chair."
- Mark Zuckerberg in Social Network (not sure if he really said it or just made up for the movie)

So, I saw the new Social Network film and it really struck me in several ways. The dark genius of Mark Zuckerberg in both an entrepeneurial and computer sense was displayed in all its splendid form that only David Fincher could have portrayed. The appearance of Microsoft's founder in one scene seemed to raise a question in my mind. Were they trying to make a parallel between Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg? Both of whom are former students of Harvard (neither graduated) and went on to develop billion dollar ideas in the computer world under controversial circumstances.

More importantly, I wanted to write this post because of something one of the characters in The Social Network said. I truly believe in the education system wholeheartedly but there are deep distinctions between the top schools (looking at you Ivy Leagues) and the rest of the schools in the nation. He said something to the effect that "Harvard men do not go to school to get a job, they go to school to create one." Something about that self made man is really lost in our country these days. That quote ties into the Waiting for Superman film I mentioned in an earlier post.

It is an election year and I understand the importance of Waiting for Superman as a tool to enact political change. The subject matter of the film could really make an impact in swaying people's voting this November. The whole idea behind the title of Waiting for Superman is in the fact that people are sitting around hoping, praying and waiting for Superman to come along and save us. I personally believe that the education system might bring about another person with the kind of grand vision, enterpeneurial spirit and the will to make another billion idea happen like Facebook or Microsoft. Those are the kind of people that I hope will be able to make it through the horrible state of the education system that the film portrays. Though the film has yet to receive (and probably never will) a wide release date; Paramount is making waves where it matters with their production. President Obama has visited with the children of the film showing that the film is resonating with the people in positions of power. Click here to view the photos.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


"This is John...whatever."

Owen Wilson as John Beckwith in Wedding Crashers

Usually I have some vaguely original or witty way of tying in my epigraphs to the blog post I leave but I think this is going to be a tough one. I guess the random nature of that quote more than anything is going to exemplify this post. There has been a lot going on the last couple of months and I feel like I should update my friends and family just what it has that has my mind racing all over the place.

Nhu and some of my family at Pike Place Market
My lovely cousin My (but for the sake of avoiding confusion I will use her legal name of Nhu) came to visit for several weeks during August and September. That was quite a fun and exciting two weeks I got to spend with her and my family. Of course when the parents get involved the stuff we did in Seattle was extremely tame and cliche. We took her to Pike Place Market and to Kerry Park in Queen Anne District. Both gave a pretty good taste of Seattle character. We also went on an Argosy Cruise around Lake Union and Lake Washington to experience a few more sights as well as learn a little more about Seattle's history.

My cousin at the top of Rockefeller Center
A few days after arriving in Seattle, Nhu's US tour continued onto its DC-NYC leg. Our first stop was DC where we were greeted by my mom's cousin as he drove us to his humble abode out in the suburbs of Virigina near our nation's capital. I really envy this part of our country, there is so, so, so much brick! I swear that at least seventy percent of the buildings were made of brick. We went on a hasty whirldwind tour walking thru/by: Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, WWII Memorial, Vietnam War Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Library of Congress, The U.S. Capitol, Constitution Gardens and the White House in a matter of four to five hours. To say that I was beat by the end of the day would be an understatement.

Bethesda Terrace at Central Park
The next day was spent at a far more comfortable pace. We went to the old town Alexanadria in Virginia and the Smithsonian Institute, ate some food and then sped off for our bus to one of the most beautiful cities on the planet - New York City.

The last time I was in New York City I was all of maybe two or three years old. I hardly remember a thing. This was quite the eye opening experience. I knew going into it that New York City is one of the biggest metropolises in the world but to be able to be physically there in the thick of the Manhattan was an enlightening experience. I like to consider Seattle as city but if NYC were the measuring stick for cities, it definitely made Seattle feel like a shanty town in comparison. All of the buildings in Manhattan were huge and there was so little green space in the city. However, when it came to Central Park it was kind of eerie. You would be walking along for blocks and blocks and blocks of seemingly endless skyscrapers but then low and behold you had a forest nestling up against all of these amazing buildings.

Coq au Vin from Brasserie Les Halles
I would have to say my most enjoyable period of time spent in New York would have to be at Brasserie Les Halles. If you do not know what this place is, it is a swanky little establishment that once had the good fortune of having none other than Anthony Bourdain as its executive chef. It was while he was working at this restaurant that he wrote his book Kitchen Confidential as well as A Cook's Tour. The restaurant specializes in French cooking and does their job well. A friendly woman from Texas served us and that had to have been one of the best meals of my life. Awesome venue, near Wall Street, friendly folks and delicious food...I could not have asked for more.

These random moments are what I live for. To be continued in a later post...

Less than two months two go before I can have that first drink post-medication...