My relatives and their conspicuous consumptions

When I went back to China in the early 2000s, it was important to bring gifts or whatever from the US, which would include stuff that the relatives in China couldn’t buy (western ginseng) or stuff that was outside of their price range (digital cameras, camcorders when both were still expensive), or in general nice stuff that they don’t see a lot of in China, and the fact that the packaging would be entirely in English was desirable (expensive chocolate, EVOO, etc).

Given China’s high growth (and resulting high inflation) much of the middle class is afraid that their money won’t be worth anything in just a few years, so they want to buy stuff now. Apparently it’s cheaper in the US because China has VATs or something. So my dad is supposed to buy a Macbook Pro, another laptop, two iPhones, maybe an iPad, and a DSLR with a zoom lens. They tell my dad that he will be reimbursed for these purchases.

I think that it’s conspicuous consumption, but my dad says that it’s a logical response to inflation. Like, I don’t even have that stuff and I’ve been stereotypically wanting a DSLR for like years.

In other news the midwest has a lot of thunderstorms and my window has this annoying little leak in it.


Normal vs Abnormal

I was chatting online with Aspie, and he was chatting online with this weird Asian dude who quit school after the first semester to deal with some family stuff. Aspie informed me of this conversation, and asked if I had any life updates I wished to share. So I instructed Aspie to say the following:

I came to dance

I  hit the floor cause that’s my plans

I’m wearing all my favrit brands

gimmie some space for all my hands

it goes on and on and on

I throw my hands up in the the air sometimes

saying ehoh

baby let’s go

Aspie says that I’m weird, but then I respond that it’s totally normal because it’s Top 40. He copy/pastes a little portion of his chat and weird asian guy can be seen saying “has he… normalized?” What a little fucker. Implying that normal is better and who’s he to judge because he’s fucking weird.

In other news I’m going to be back in California 5/26-7/16ish.

Don’t be a bad TA

I had this awful TA this semester. She gave everyone horrible grades for not conforming to her arbitrary standards (which were different from the previous standards we’d been given) and all the students hated her. I said that she had pre-cankles and another student said that she looked like a chihuahua. Everyone gave her awful evaluations.

So the moral of that story is that if you’re a dick to your students, they’ll say incredibly insulting things behind your back about your precankles and chihuahuaface. Also she kind of reminds me of Jabba the Hutt. Some girls are undesirable because they’re fat, but she’s fat AND ugly like separately so yeah.

Kids are all grown up!

My last semester at undergrad, I did research with the economics department, and my partner was a bio/econ double major who’s both smart and hardworking, meaning that she was high honors, wrote two theses, and interviewed at a bunch of Ivy League grad schools to settle for Harvard.

She posted a picture on Facebook of I could barely make out the title of her econ thesis — “Cultural Determinants of Economic Development: A Cultural Explication Using Genetic Markers”. Which is the project that we had, but then I graduated and I suppose she stayed on and I heard that the professor got six more people to scour the literature for what he wanted. IMO it’s a really interesting project but not one that I would predict has a good chance of success unless researchers were able to collect a large pile of genomes of various ethnicities and stockpile them somewhere accessible to everyone. And they kind of have something like that but it’s SNPs instead of genomes, and also the existing tools that have similar functionality don’t have enough data across ethnicities.

But it’s an impressive idea and she’s megaimpressive as well, and it turns out econ professors at the top of their field pick up genetics really quickly.

Another Derp

Quinine!: dude
Quinine!: funny story
Quinine!: [Dacia] just asked for my help;
Quinine!: so I go up to her room
Quinine!: and she shows me her computer
Quinine!: and then she opens up mcafee antivirus
Quinine!: and it says real time scanning: off (your computer is at risk)
Quinine!: and she’s freaking out
Quinine!: and I can’t turn it back on
Quinine!: so I asked her if this was something she bought
Quinine!: she said yes
Quinine!: she went to officemax
Quinine!: and paid $250 for them to install it
Quinine!: I had a nice grin on my face.


I’m glad she’s leaving for the summer.