Archive for June, 2005

Thursday, June 30th, 2005

I am proud of my little sister! Through her natural charisma, she was able to pluck up an \”internship\” in an optometry office–just out of blue air! Go lady!

She\’s coming in less than 2 weeks for the first time to Pittsburgh. Excited!!!

An initial plan of things to do while she is here:

  • visit Carnegie Museum of Art and Science
  • eat ice cream at Dave and Andy\’s
  • eat gelati at Rita\’s
  • visit Southside (and eat there?
  • show her my project room
  • meet all the awesome people in my program
  • have her make fun of Charles who has been excited to meet her for the last few months based on a picture
  • eat at Aladdin\’s
  • eat at Pamela\’s
  • walk through Squirrel Hill and Shadyside
  • go to the Strip
  • go to the festival in Schenley Park on Sunday
  • go for a run in the park (through the trail and to the Panther Hollow Lake
  • eat at that cafe at the Schenley Visitor\’s center
  • visit Phipps Conversatory
  • play with on demand on our tv
  • ride in Carol\’s car
  • go clubbing??? Matrix?
  • my sister cooks for me!
  • Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

    After going through my entire mini-library of books, I found Robert B. Cialdini\’s Influence hidden underneath dusty papers and notebooks. I had forgotten what a great bok this is. Of course, the memory of receiving it wasn\’t very…memorable. It was from a former potential who just…didn\’t…get…me. I told him that reading books was cool (along with a million other things I like to do) and he took that fact as a bookworm. But hey, the thought counts. He gave that book to me along with a hastily written card for Valentine\’s Day (note: i have always disliked letters that say i don\’t know what else to say here – LOOK SO MUCH BLANK SPACE. I digress.

    The book is awesome. It is more of a scientifally based version of Dale Carnegie\’s How to Make Friends and Influence People (which I also was blindly recommended by another former interest.) I remember carrying that around during my freshman year during my struggle to meet people. What irony.

    But I digress. Again.

    Reading the book reminds me how often I fall prey to salesperson\’s techniques. During my sophomore year, I accidentally signed up for SF Chronicle newspaper – a free trial for a month. Despite knowing that I wouldn\’t be able to have that much time to read it every day. I found myself rationalizing it. And other incidents where I have just been, as Cialdini describes it, a patsy.

    So making sure that I don\’t rely on my automatism (does anyone ever notice how I sometimes say good and you? even if I already asked you how are you?), I would like to tell people some of their tactics. In one instance (fully described here), I am accosted by a member of a campus bible fellowship known for their strong evangelical tactics. I attack back by slightly debating and dragging him for two blocks down Telegraph.

    Wednesday, June 29th, 2005

    A teammate brought cherries to our office today. Of course, being me, I ate and ate. It was so good, especially since now I miss California fruits in the summer. But now I am feeling the aftereffects of eating more than 50 cherries in one hour…

    doh…

    Tuesday, June 28th, 2005

    Today was one of those difficult days. Sometimes I can\’t believe that the clients for our project is just so stubborn and overly anxious. Optimistically, I usually say with my group members that having difficult clients will be like how it will be in the real world.

    But at this point, I don\’t think so. It\’s her. Our teams drafted up a protocol that we started more than 4 weeks ago and revised a number of times based on her suggestions. As part of the project, we are supposed to visit our target users in Norfolk. We were supposed to go in early June, but it kept getting postponed because our clients claimed that: (1) they weren\’t ready (2) the navy wasn\’t ready for us (3) the proctocol isn\’t ready (4) our prototype isn\’t ready.

    It just irks me that we have waited for so long especially when this particular client took off for Brazil (business trip), only notifying us the day before she left. Furthermore, do clients fall asleep while being spoken to? Today while I was conducting a dry run through our user study, she fell asleep. Not the first time either. There was one time when I was a describing a design when I was 2 feet away, talking to her face. Yet she still nodded off.

    She did bring Brazilian chocolates to our meeting today. They were really good, but that is no excuse for her inflexible and inappropriate behavior.

    One thing though. I wish I was more decisive…and bold, if those are the right words. Thank god for those people in the teams that can stand up to her and put down their foot.

    Monday, June 27th, 2005

    Should you blog your way to a job?

    What has worried me about jobs is that they would find my blog. This is why I rarely use my full name on my blog. To some though, a blog is a fantastic tool to showcase one\’s knowledge about a domain. Yet, I like to write about everything. Although I love HCI, I don\’t know how I could blog about it consistently. And even though there\’s me, I don\’t want to reveal too much or talk consistently about me.

    As part of the social experiment I conducted on xanga, it\’s not a surprise that most Xangans are accustomed to writing their entire lives down. Why is there such a big difference between younger people and older people who blog?

    Sunday, June 26th, 2005

    I watched Secret Window, a Stephen King movie, with Janette since it was on comcast on demand. Yet as the minutes rolled passed, we found ourselves being scared. I suppose I am not a good watcher of the horror genre. Every strange noises and suspenseful music made me want to curl up in a fetal position.

    Ok, maybe I am exaggerating. At the halfway point in the movie, Janette and I basically were so freaked out that we kept saying \”should we turn it off?\” I rationalized it outloud – \”do i really want to know the ending?\”

    But we finished it. Secret Window doesn\’t really fit in the horror genre but with the bumps that go on in the night and Phillip Glass\’ spooky soundtrack…sometimes you couldn\’t help but hide as the camera hides what is really beyond view.

    It was a well-crafted movie. I liked how the ending played out rather than playing toward an audience\’s satisfaction. The thing is, I could have been spared of the scary agony if I had paid attention to all the hints strewn throughout the movie.

    When I was Marine World a few years ago, I got on this amusement park ride that just went up and down. There was a young girl that got on. As the ride began, she started screaming and crying. At the top of her voice, she cried for Mommy. Then when the ride stopped, she got off and ran happily back in line to ride again. I guess that\’s why people love horror movies. Because of that addicting fear?

    I don\’t like it.

    Saturday, June 25th, 2005

    Nowadays, I have this tendency to eat a lot. Meaning, I would cook something little for myself. Just a little bit of satisfaction you know. Then I meet up with classmates, friends. And they suggest going out to eat. Unfortunately, I have trouble saying no.

    I. Must. Resist.

    The same way I am whenever my project team members bring in food to put on the snack table. I just can\’t stop. Yesterday Joon brought in six bananas. I ate three of them in a 24 hour period. Because hey nobody else was eating them!

    Friday, June 24th, 2005

    One of our clients brought salt water taffy for our project teams. Real salt water taffy from a beachtown in the East Coast! A whole box! In true jennism fashion, I became addicted. And possessive. Meaning you could find me eating taffy throughout the day. Or taking some taffy from the other team. Or rolling the taffy back and forth into little balls. Pulling it apart. Then swallowing it whole.

    I just love candy!

    Thursday, June 23rd, 2005

    Howard Dean\’s best comment on the Daily Show can be summarized as thus:

    news on the Daily Show and the Internet > news from Fox and NY Times

    So much of America allow themselves to be biased. No wonder people often know about Tom Cruise and Angelina Jolie than the things happening in Guantanamo Bay. It\’s just sad.

    Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005

    I saw a firefly for the first time today in my friend\’s house. I was so amazed. It lights up even with no power! Like a green led!