Archive for May, 2006

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

Today at 11 am, I moved out of my house at 5560 Forbes. A townhouse with 4 rooms, living room, dining room, a basement, and 2.5 bath for $1800/month. I never liked the management. I learned what true girl drama meant in that house, how to live with thirtysomethings, all about HCI, how to cook and so much more…a place of history that I couldn\’t say it compared to my experience in Berkeley.

One year and ten months ago, I arrived there with two large suitcases, a big box, a bag of blankets/pillows, a pc desktop and a backpack. Now I leave with two large suitcases, a big box, a bag of blankets/pillows/towels, three canvas bags full of junk, a backpack with my speakers, and my laptop bag. Not bad. But I didn\’t mention how I already gave a box of books, three large suitcases, and a partially filled duffel bag to my parents

This morning at 7 am, I looked at my room. A deep long look. Empty. Nearly void of dust. You could see the imprints from my bed and desk, now gone, taken away from shoppers on craigslist. No more posters on the walls. Empty. I gave it a final wave as I went down the stairs, my steps echoing the walls.

People love free stuff. I posted an on craigslist saying that I was giving away a lot of free stuff. Glass cups, shot glasses, wine glasses, silverware, plates, frames, paintings, my old roommates\’ clothes, a Brookstone massager, 2 toasters, 4 mirrors, beanbag, pillows, blankets, spices, bakeware, a round table, hangers, bath mats, ice cream, jams, knives, chairs, trash cans, 4 vases, welcome mats, coffee tables… Amazingly, so many people came. Two of my friends now have apartments that are Jennified. Most people that came had just bought a house or just arrived from out of town and wanted free things. A German couple came to buy a bed and negotiated the price down to $30 from $35. When I offered them free stuff, they gave me $40 for everything. Then a woman came by from a ministry for charity to get clothes, which was great. All I know is that I still can\’t let go of anything to waste. And I am never doing this again–ending the lease of a house where I was not a tenant from the beginning.

Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

\”Uh huh. Mhmmmmbye.\”

A Pittsburgh native thing. Especially female. At the end of a phone call as we\’re discussing the last details to meet or whatever issue, I notice that Pittsburgh natives tend to add a mmm before saying \”bye\”. I have never heard it anywhere else.

Of course, I have only heard it on the phone. So is it me or is it Pittsburgh?

Monday, May 29th, 2006

stalkerati.com, a new tool for stalkers like me.

Searching for the two common variations of my full name barely bring up any results. Sure my portfolio and my blog on the web search. But the blog search doesn\’t do it right at all. And I am number 4 on friendster and even nonexistant on myspace (probably because I have only 4 friends on myspace). And the photo search?

Definitely still in beta. At least I got a small ego boost to know that I am making an impact in the world. With my name.

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

From this great anagram site, sternestmeanings.com (the interface created by a CMU hci phd student and powered by anagramgenius.com) – currently at digg!

It takes phrases and responds with an anagram. Usually in irony and humor. Maybe that\’s what English is all about! The word big isn\’t just used for things of size anymore.

webuser: stolen kiss
sternest: To skinless.

webuser: sex and the city
sternest: Next day ethics.

webuser: a fling thing
sternest: Gang in filth.

webuser: carnegie mellon university
sternest: Lingerie connives maturely.

webuser: human computer interaction
sternest: Unheroic, mutant importance.

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

Attraction is almost like brain damage.

Similarly, when the matter is sex-another situation on which survival depends-we also react without even a neural nod to the neocortex. Instead, the flirtational operating system appears to kick in without conscious consent. If, at the moment they had met, Dick and Liz had stopped to consider all the possible outcomes of a relationship, they both would have been old before they got close enough to speak.

The moment of attraction, in fact, mimics a kind of brain damage. At the University of Iowa, where he is professor and head of neurology, Antonio Damasio, M.D., has found that people with damage to the connection between their limbic structures and the higher brain are smart and rational-but unable to make decisions. They bring commitment phobia to a whole new level. In attraction, we don\’t stop and think, we react, operating on a \”gut\” feeling, with butterflies, giddiness, sweaty palms and flushed faces brought on by the reactivity of the emotional brain. We suspend intellect at least long enough to propel us to the next step in the mating game-flirtation.

I consider myself a rational being…most of the time, right?

Sunday, May 28th, 2006

Sadly, two of the ice cream places we attempted to attend during the ice cream tour…were nonexistant. One had already closed down. Another had changed into only catering.

Screaming for ice cream? Some lessons. Eat salty foods before. Call ahead. Make sure they exist and are open for service.

Saturday, May 27th, 2006

Physical pain? To me, sometimes I believe it\’s all in the mind. Sometimes I can wish it away, dream it away, wish it away, and it does go away. The act of taking medicine almost seems like a placebo effect.

But emotional pain? The metaphorical cuts and the tearing are almost difficult. It\’s living in a place that I have endured so much bad and good. And the acts seem to bitter and acrid. I\’ll miss it. In some ways, these were the best 2 years of my life, if not the greatest era of self-discovery.

Thursday, May 25th, 2006

A few days ago, I dropped by a friend\’s office. We ended up chatting for almost an hour, especially about my move from Pittsburgh and my reluctance to let go. For me, I find it easy to keep in touch with people, until the moment it\’s not reciprocal. I believe I have made every effort to stay connected with those that matter. I always send the cards, remember the birthdays, all just to be in touch. People fade, sure.

Yet one thing, my friend mentioned is that if he did that, he wouldn\’t have time for himself. That friends relish in their friends\’ success even if they don\’t keep in touch. That friends will be happier if you succeed. That presence doesn\’t matter in friendship.

I never liked the idea that there are people who are friends simply because of proximity and that once distance sets in, it\’s nothing really more until the next time you meet. But change always happens. We always move on.

Like any female on this planet, I destress by connecting with others. The \”tend and befriend\” effect. To be without seems unsteady and imbalanced. I cannot hole up by myself staring at the screen. I need the connection and the presence. That\’s really who I am.

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

One piece of advice that a phd student gave me today. In summary…

Get yourself into their focus and then everything will come easily.

Life is all about fitting someone\’s needs right at that moment. Convincing them is a skill. Be it a job. A relationship. A friendship. A store. A car. Business.

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

The only piece of furniture I really own are my Japanese Shoji screens that are currently sitting in my parents\’ garage. Something that I can call mine. I don\’t really have a bed or a table. They\’re things given to me by my parents. I certainly don\’t intend to keep a twin bed and an ikea desk for the rest of my life. In a few years, I want to own a dining table with chairs as well as a nice bed. I want to own a sofa and a coffee table. So that I could actually point to the furniture and proudly say, \”That\’s mine.\”

If I am relocated for a job, I want to be able to be the one that says I want to move it with me rather than what I am doing now–leaving with only eight boxes of clothes, electronics and personal items. It makes me feel like a nomad.

A few years ago, I wrote about not having a home. I still don\’t. Every place I have lived in so far after high school has been temporary. I don\’t buy expensive furniture for the purpose of keeping it. Everything is resellable. I decided not to get curtains because I am leaving soon. I don\’t live in boxes, but I live temporarily.

So soon, I hope, will I have a home…

Yesterday\’s 24th birthday was awesome. It\’s still so surprising how many people I know back then and now that have impacted my life in any which so ever way. Goal for this year: reconnect. Never forget those connections. Ironic for me, but it\’s about time. I am officially in my mid-twenties!

And…thank you guys! One day, I shall meet you all!