The story of why I chose to attend UCLA instead of another school is an interesting one, but it's one I'm going to save. Come the end of the year, I'm sure I'll have some nostalgia posts to make, and that's a good one for then. BUT, there is one aspect of it that is relevant right now - one of the factors that pushed me toward UCLA was the fact that they had a football program, and a big sports rivalry.

And, as superficial of a reason it may be, this reason was validated on December 2, 2006, when the UCLA Bruins defeated the (then #2) USC Trojans. The final score was 13-9.

Here's a highlight-reel recap of the victory (in poor quality, sadly):

I remember watching as USC had the ball, driving downfield for what could have been a game-winning score. I remember standing ON my seat, 70 rows up, cheering with a mixture of both excitement that we were so close to winning, and fear that we were about to see it slip away.

Then, John David Booty drops back, and fires a pass to his left. It's tipped in the air by a UCLA linebacker, who then turns around and dives for it, intercepting the pass, and sealing the UCLA victory.

The stands exploded with cheers, UCLA players were running all over the place, everybody hugging and yelling and high-fiving. There was a sense of pride that washed through that stadium, and we all knew we'd witnessed something amazing.

And now, 3 years later, we have that moment again. The disparity between our teams is less than it was then, though we're still the underdogs. UCLA has all the momentum going in. And I'm going to be there, like I was 3 years ago. I'll be wearing my Bruin Blue, yelling and cheering for our team. And when we win, and that wave of euphoria washes over the small contingency of UCLA fans in attendance, I'll be proud to say that I witnessed it. Proud to be a Bruin.


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1 Second of Fame?


So, I might be in an episode of HEROES in a couple months! They were filming a scene on campus, and (thanks to a tip-off from Lauren) I went to go check it out. Walked alongside where the scene was being filmed, and there were some extras in my area so it's possible that I'll be in the back of the scene for a brief amount of time. Of course, that depends on how large the viewing window of the camera was, and if they even use that take, but it's a possibility at any rate.

Here's a picture of the scene, which involved Claire (Hayden Panettiere) running. She's the red arrow, I'm the blue arrow, and the camera is the orange arrow (it was moving on a cart parallel to me, shooting toward Hayden):

So, yeah, in Episode 16 of this season (called "Pass, Fail"), look for when Claire runs through a quad. If you see a guy in the background of the scene, walking the same way she's running, in blue jeans and a brown shirt, that's me! If it happens, and I can find it, I'll post a screenshot.

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Best. Tailgate. Ever.


(I know I recently launched a dedicated football blog, but this week is going to see a few football-related posts here too. It's Blue and Gold Week, with our big showdown against U$C next Saturday, and it's also my final year as a UCLA student, so I have a lot of memories and thoughts I want to share.)

Today marked my final tailgating experience as a college student. Spending my Saturdays at the Rose Bowl to cheer on the UCLA Football team has been a staple of my Fall quarter these last 4 years, so this last day meant a lot to me.

Drove up with Ariel, Natalie, and Tony, and we worked with sandwiches and beers as our tailgating "meal". Tony and I also went to hang out with Alex, Vicki, Carlos, Holly, and the rest of them for a bit. And when we got back to our site, the group next to us had kind of expanded to include us, so we hung out with them for a good while.

And who should show up as part of that group? Renae, who worked with me & Ariel a few years ago in Dykstra, and lived on my floor (with Tony). So that was a pleasant surprise!

Then, on our way into the game, Tony and I swing by to visit Katie, another former Dykstra RA. We joined them for a couple games of flip cup, and had a visit from Darth Vader during a game of beer pong. Ridiculous, and totally awesome.

Once in the Rose Bowl, it was just a great time. Saw a bunch of friends, UCLA won handily, and it was great to hear from some of the senior players afterwards. Then Coach Neuheisel came out to speak, getting us fired up for the game next week at U$C. And then came finally buying and eating a bacon-wrapped hot dog on the way out.

And while this may not SOUND especially different and exciting, it was just a perfect way to end it. I feel very at peace with everything.

Of course, there's still one more game. One last rivalry game. We won't be favored, but we do have a legitimate chance next week. And I can't wait. Go Bruins!

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Happy Birthday Dykstra!


Fifty years ago today, the first residence hall on what would become known as "The Hill" at UCLA was dedicated. Named for Clarence Addison Dykstra, a former Professor, Provost and Vice President at UCLA, Dykstra Hall would eventually become the first co-ed dorm in the country. Currently home to almost 1000 residents, as well as its 27-person student staff team, Dykstra Hall is known for its social and welcoming atmosphere, which has enticed many residents to return to the hall in their second and third years.

To celebrate Dykstra's 50th, the Student Leader team put on a giant party in the quad. With various games & activities, and lots of free food & giveaways, the party was a fantastic celebration of D-Luv, true to the culture that makes us love Dykstra.

Oh, and there was an opportunity to "pie" the RAs. Watch as Ariel, my friend and fellow Dykstra RA, takes a shot at me:

I can truly say that Dykstra is the greatest hall - there's a culture here that starts with the RAs and SLs, and moves down to all the residents, that just can't be matched anywhere else.

So Happy Birthday Dykstra! I can't imagine my UCLA career without you. Here's to 50 more years of D-Luv!

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Pointless Protest


So the UC Regents are meeting this week at UCLA, to discuss, amongst other things, a mid-year fee increase. Naturally, this has pissed a lot of people off. They don't want to pay more, and I can't blame them.

There have been some protests already, and more are planned for today. And though I have no desire to have higher fees, I don't see the point of these protests.

I'm not sure what the protesters think they're ACTUALLY going to accomplish. The Regents KNOW this won't be a well-liked decision, but guess what else they know? That you're STILL going to be here and pay it. Or, if not you, then somebody else gladly will.

The perceived value of a college education is SO high that your protest carries absolutely NO threat of not having people to pay the fee increase. When they invariably pass it, you'll continue to bitch and moan, only you'll be paying 15% more to do so.

This isn't the case with ALL protests, of course. But in this case, the protest is pointless. Unless your goal is to simply annoy the hell out of those of us who are trying to, you know, access what we're paying (too much, and soon to be more) for.

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Random Thought - Sliding Doors?


I was thinking about this just a moment ago... why do we still use hinged doors so prominently? I mean, just consider how often you have a door set next to a wide expanse of wall (I'm thinking of the Dykstra corridors right now)? Rather than having a door swing open, why not slide it into the wall? And I don't mean sliding glass doors, but imagine a nice, solid wood door that slides into the wall.

I mean, you might need to include a track of some sort, which might not be the most aesthetic option, but there might be a way around that. I don't know. I just had the idea. Maybe it's just that sliding doors remind me of secret passages, and that just sounds awesome to me.

Thoughts? Would you want sliding doors, rather than hinged ones, in your home?

[Edit: Just realized that it'd be harder to weatherproof sliding doors, so maybe the exterior ones would have to be hinged. Still, you could do it inside at least.]

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New Football Blog


So, I've been blogging a lot about football lately, and I realized that most people who read my blog probably don't care about football. And it doesn't really make sense to put those posts here, because they don't fit the general theme of my personal blog.

So, I made a new blog, just for my football thoughts. If you enjoyed reading my football posts here, then check it out. All my existing football posts have been moved over there. I haven't gotten around to making it look good yet though, so you'll have to deal with a very dull appearance for a little while.

2-Minute Warning

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A Lesson in (Dis)Respect - UPDATE


So I promised an update on my last post, and here it is - Infinity Ward pulled their "Fight Against Grenade Spam" video the other day. Kotaku posted a follow-up post on this, including some of the Twitter conversation that led up to it. You can see the whole thing, and that author's take, by reading their article. Here's what I consider to be the main points about this whole situation:

I've played a lot of Call of Duty online. I've been called a fag (as well as many other derogatory terms) while playing. The anonymity of the internet allows for little kids to feel "all grown up" by doing so. It's annoying, but there's no real way to stop it (though you can mute them, and ignore it - which I do). And while this isn't by any means the vast majority of the people I've played with, it does happen with some regularity. That's what, I believe, Infinity Ward was playing off.

I don't believe they're bigots. I don't believe they intended to offend the gay community. And while they never came right out and apologized, the comments by their PR guy seem to support this (keep in mind that he didn't create the video - though he did promote it. That is his job, after all):

I think it was more of a social commentary joke of that stereotype than it was a fist-bump of acceptance to it.

To which another person replied:
The problem is that it was so poorly handled/executed that it looks derogatory. It seems to enforce the asshole-ry.

The PR guy's final comment:
I agree. I think the core gag is great, the end is a bit too far from the intent of the joke & can appreciate the concerns. Pulled.

Not exactly the apology I was looking for (in that there was never a "sorry" aspect), but I'm ok with it. I agree that, without the FAGS part, it's a fine ad. It's relevant to their community of fans, and kinda funny. But the end result takes away from that, and he agreed. And he pulled the video (though other users have since reuploaded it, so it's still around). The fact is, he admitted that it wasn't ok, and took the necessary action. Besides, had they apologized, it probably would've been the standard PR apology, which would've included pretty much everything their PR guy said, but in a less personal way.

I'm a big believer in that what you should really judge people by is not the mistakes they make, but their responses to them. Everybody is going to screw up, and things like this are going to slip through the cracks. It wasn't intentionally offensive, and it was responded to acceptably and quickly. So I'm ok with that.

Now, back to being excited for this game!

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