Archive for November, 2008

I don’t have to press submit now

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

I was assigned a task last week, but I needed to know what the committee thought.

I wrote a long post, providing full detail about three options. My pointer hovered over “post”. In a second, I was back reading about Chicken Feet Soup and imagining how good it would to taste it.

I dawdled.

I didn’t want to seem too confrontational. I didn’t want to appear obnoxious and controlling. Was I even supposed to suggest budget constraints in that forum? Was I supposed to email? But wait who are the main point people?

So then I looked at my post. I edited a line. I reworded a sentence.

I switched back to the Chicken Feet Soup recipe and thought about how I could easily buy chicken feet tomorrow. Not sure if I have black beans or red dates, but my mom used wintermelon last time. I could do the same right? Hmmm…salt.

Then I returned. I decided to let it be—my four paragraph explanation that would have stood out from the rest of the one to three line posts in the forum. I am not Joe Biden, am I?

I looked back at the recipe and decided to write in my blog instead.

What student makeup artists can do

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

A few weeks ago in a rampage of sudden free time, I dragged my sister to a Yelp Elite event where Yelp had gotten student makeup artists to perform their services for free.

It looked ok in the dark (and it looked ok on me—the one who rarely wears makeup), but in the bright lights, the eye makeup and lipstick didn’t seem to work. At least we got to do some crazy poses with some random people we met.

Next time I won’t wear a skirt.

Information is my life

Friday, November 28th, 2008

Today was the first Black Friday I haven’t gotten up at 5 am and scurried out to the stores. I didn’t need anything this year. I wasn’t looking to spend the money that was disappearing in my bank account. Nothing to upgrade.

Except.

For an external hard drive.

I have a Windows desktop that is in the process of being rebuilt. The hard drive has all my content as a college student. That computer failed once and I recovered it in 2001.

I have a Powerbook. It has a hard drive that I replaced in the summer of 2005 when the first one failed. It has all my work from graduate school and all my personal data I accumulated since including music and photos.

I have a 60 gig external hard drive with all my work from my last few jobs.

Sure there are several things online—my portfolio website, flickr stream, social networks. They are in the hands of people that I pay to (or read adverts) to take care of my data.

But what if something fails? What if something is ripped from my hands? Muggings, fires, earthquakes, accidental droppage/spillage?

Then I have nothing for a job search or to share with others.

So I am seeking an additional (LARGE) external hard drive. But over and over again, my frugal inner self reminds me that I have survived this long. But there’s the little angel me on my right shoulder that reminds me that when it does happen, I would be willing to shell out $1000 to recover data without a second thought.

Fast Pass Accounting October 2008

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Distracted because of recent events, I have finally compiled my numbers for my fast pass usage in October. Who says that I can’t save money?

A few months ago, Chris suggested that I track my Fast Pass usage since I paid $45 pre-tax for the monthly passed that allowed me to ride unlimited on BART within San Francisco, all Muni systems including buses, LRV, and the cable car.

Thus, my Fast Pass accounting for October 2008:

I used the Fast Pass 49 times in October including any transfers to another line. Each ride typically costs $1.50. A MUNI transfer to another line is free and lasts for 3 hours. However, it cannot be used on the BART.

Excluding the transfers (which probably occurred 8 times) and tax savings, I paid a grand total of…$0.92/ride

Granted, it was an unusual month since I was taking classes at Fort Mason and helping out people in Cole Valley, Noe Valley and North Beach.

The breakdown by route types indicate that I only go straight home form work half of the time. The other times, I may be attending classes, having dinner with a friend or some other activity. There was one Saturday in October when I went downtown and back to the Mission not once, not twice, but thrice within a 5 hour period. Now that was exhausting.

Feel safe in the Mission?

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

A man shot to death less than a block from my apartment..

Unless you are in a gang you shouldn’t worry about the mission. – a fellow Yelper

The first time I learned about the Mission was in my AP Spanish class. My teacher took us on a field trip here to be culturalized with the murals. I was fascinated with the different style of living in a city just across the bay.

The next time I was in the Mission was an interview at Ritual Roasters.

About 4 months later, I moved to the Mission. People not familiar with the Mission often ask why I chose this neighborhood. It’s not safe! I would shake my head, knowing that they haven’t experienced the gentrification—the growth of trendy restaurants that I even can’t afford to go to. Don’t walk around at night! But I do.

Recently a former coworker talked about how her sister was mugged in broad daylight at 10 am by some kids in…COLE VALLEY. Her sister was surprised, but angry. She ran after the kids, demanding that they give her the purse. The kids jumped into a car and she yanked the door. Surprised that she had opened the door, she stood there in shock, not having planned what to do next. Finally, she yelled to get her purse back and the kids drove off in a car with no license plate.

But what would she have done if there was a knife? A gun?

What would I have done? I am possessive about my stuff, knowing how long it will take to recover all the lost data, the identification and worldly possessions. Would I stupidly try to grab my stuff back? Would I have kneed him and gotten away safely? Would I have finally used my pepper spray…successfully…for the first time?

I wouldn’t move out because of rising crime in San Francisco. Crime increases because of unemployment? (hey person who still owes me $100…why haven’t you paid me back???)

But walking in the Mission. They say…karma’s a bitch.

You are the company you keep

Monday, November 24th, 2008

“Don’t you know that you are the company you keep?” Brent Bolthouse to Heidi when Spencer messed up her job again

It was one of the more insightful lines from a typically trashy “fake” reality show.

But yet, let’s consider…are we all the company that we choose to keep? The people we choose to befriend, the ones we choose to be close with, the ones we keep on our direct dial, the ones we are facebook friends or twitter friends…do they reflect who we are by their behavior, personalities and lifestyle?

If that is so, then I am:

  • super super super creative
  • often found passed out on someone’s bed on Friday nights
  • a big spender on clothes and alcohol
  • a true vegan
  • ultra conservative
  • loves to dance at a $20 cover club
  • tweets when i wake up
  • tweets when i go to sleep
  • loves riding motorcycles
  • prefers the surfer life
  • can be a pro at any spot within moments of first learning it
  • carry a survival kit for a monster kit, a fire, earthquake of everything necessary in a nonexistent car
  • drinks only diet soda
  • eat when upset
  • can seduce anyone I would like
  • JACK BAUER IS OFFICIALLY BACK

    Sunday, November 23rd, 2008

    24: Redemption officially…finally aired often almost 2 years of no 24.

    There were several clichéd moments. A shot of angry bad guys arguing with each other. The first family with the usual drama. Clash of politicians.

    And product placement! Cisco Telepresence! Nextel Direct Connect! I have to say in reality, we unknowingly use products that have such brand presence. I can’t wait to go to a room where the Cisco logo flashes in front of me.

    Jack and his special forces friend compromised the best moments of the 2 hour special. In some way, the moments in 24 where Jack exhibits his empathy and compassion are the best moments. Don’t leave the children behind!

    I first discovered 24 during college when I was scouring the servers at work. Considering this was back in the early days of full-on pirating, I discovered a directory of a full season of 24. It was the cool thing to watch among my coworkers then.

    Not willing to compromise my own computer at the time, I told myself I would watch it some day. The following Black Friday, I saw a special for 24: Season 1. Only $15 at a local Best Buy. I was in San Diego that year and promptly decided to buy it. And from there, my viral influence spread.

    But pink is not in my vocabulary

    Friday, November 21st, 2008

    “Girls like pink,” Lance of RockYou declared during a panel at the WebPlay conference. He described how he increased the conversion rate by switching an orange button to a pink button with glitter.

    Later, I found him and asked for clarification. I had been slightly offended coming from a background of user experience. A pink button is no more usable than an orange button. Preference doesn’t mean it is usable. People prefer complicated washing machines, but not because it’s very usable but because it reflected their personality, their lifestyle, that eliteness equaled complexity.

    “How did you know?” I asked, trying not to be insulted that a girl like myself would like pink.

    “A/B testing,” he responded.

    I pressed him further for insight. Perhaps a revelation that I wouldn’t have thought of. Pink represented the teenagers’ lives? Pink made an emotional connection to their identity. It was a form of self-expression?

    “No girls just like pink,” he responded flatly. “Believe me, they do.”

    Timely arrivals

    Thursday, November 20th, 2008

    “There is no such thing as early anymore,” a man said to his cellphone walking in the Financial District.

    This morning, after turning off my alarm at 8 am, I suddenly woke up (again) to a jolt at 8:45 am.

    I groaned in agony.

    Eight. Forty-Five. AM. I had an appointment at 9 am downtown.

    It burned in me. I hate being late. Handling time is one thing I can still control.

    At 8:55 am, I waved at two taxis. The first taxi was across the street going the wrong way, but another taxi—a van arrived. I climbed in and said, “I’ll give you a $20 if you can get me to the Starlight Room by 9 am.”

    The taxi driver must have scoffed silently because that was impossible. Then he lightened up, “Sir Francis Drake Hotel, eh? I’ll try my best”

    I knew that he thought I was heading to an engagement or something fancy. But at that moment, the street names of that intersection escaped me. All I could remember was that the Starlight Room was across the street and I wanted Chris to take me one day.

    “No just near the Starlight Room…ok, 9:05 then,” I mumbled and collapsed back silently trying to shake off my anxiety.

    It was impossible because there was a car looking for parking at 22nd, a car slowly turning right on O’Farrell and then another taxi that wanted to squeeze in our lane on Van Ness. The taxi driver honked as a responsible taxi would, cursing at cars.

    As time clicked by, I looked at my crumpled bills. How much would I pay for lost time? How much would I sacrifice myself to get something I wanted? I had just violated my no-taxi policy.

    “Oh, just right here,” I said.

    “I thought you’re going to Sir Francis Drake,” he responded.

    “No…just near it,” I said and tossed him the fare plus tip.

    “Do you need any change” he asked with slight guilt.

    “Thanks, but I know you tried your best,” I got out and sprinted across the street with cars honking at me.

    Bearing with the difficulties

    Saturday, November 15th, 2008

    I am not crazy. I am not vengeful. I am not an overused a commodity.

    But in the meantime, what do I do with all my business cards? I have always loved the business cards. It’s white text on top of a dark brown background on both sides. Simple carefully placed Helvetica typography.

    Now I think I’ll make some really cool origami models or cubes.