Archive for May, 2009

Nightmares define who we are

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

I am distracted whether by a social function or something. The kind of thing that occupies my full attention. That I forget to take the final. That I forget to turn in an assignment. That I forget to take responsibility. Or forgetting to attend something I said I would attend.

It’s horrifying, because I pride myself in being reliable. Often, I wake up in sweat, relieved that it was only a dream.

But others have other types of dreams, which struck me recently. Do dreams define our personalities…or most of all our anxieties?

Chris often have dreams of people accusing him of something that he did not do. Especially the kind of thing where he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Or worse of all, friends who he thought he trusted would turn against him and blame him for some wrong.

I once had a dream…perhaps it wasn’t a nightmare, but more of a possible scenario in a dream…where I lived in a world where the population had grown to its capacity. In order to address the issue, the government randomly sent letters to a selection of people. Completely random—no selection by age, career, race, or class. In the dream, I received one. As part of my civil duty, I went to the indicated location without much protest. I believed in duty. There in a large room, the selected ones would stand on a scale-like device. Then it would count down. At zero, we would vanish as if we were never there.

Bay to Breakers 2009 Summary

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Delayed of course due to my insane schedule of jobby, commute, laziness, and slow computer.

What did I do for Bay to Breakers this year? Although there was much talk about the crackdown on alcohol, I was still adamant on attending. Despite the fact that in the last year that I have willingly stepped away from my former love of flash mobs and SF pranks (See valentine’s day pillow fight and bring your own big wheel), I wouldn’t give up Bay to Breakers. For the longest time (realize that I am a Bay Area native), I thought Bay to Breakers was some dull race in San Francisco where people rallied together in happiness and tears to run across the Bay Bridge. Actually I was completely wrong. Besides, why would you run across the Bay Bridge when you could do the Golden Gate?

So Chris brought me to my first one (or actually my friends at the time did) in 2007. Ever since then, I was hooked…mostly because it was a place to see creativity. To see excitement. To see…true community.

Although I am not exactly a huge fan of drinking, I think everyone should behave responsibly. There’s a sliding scale of having fun. The kind where your fun is infectious and as a result everyone else has a great time as you. Then there’s the kind where the fun infringes on others’ personal space and pursuit of happiness.

But regardless…this year for Bay to Breakers 2009, Chris and I woke up late due to my miracle berry party and the sudden unexpected heat wave.

Anyway, Chris dressed up as the ultimate gamer. The kind that plays games all day in boxers. Has a holster for his game controllers…and Guitar Hero guitar. Oh wait, that’s Chris!

And I dressed up as Faith from Mirror’s Edge. Many did not know who I was. But on the muni, an asian guy that I recognized from various events spotted me and as he was departing the train, he said nonchalantly that I nearly did not notice, “Nice Faith.”

Hardcore Gamer with Faith

This year near the entrance of Golden Gate Park, I saw a twentysomething guy suddenly run wildly being chased by two (real) police officers. He ran in circles around the crowd. People gave him space to run. I saw several people try to block the officers. Eventually, someone chest bumped the guy slowing him down and the officers tackled the guy to the ground. Yelling at him while they cuffed him, they hoisted him to a nearby car. The officer yelled in heavily accented English, “I saw you take the bottle from your friend!”

And like everyone else, I walked away, not sure exactly what I was supposed do. Moments later, I was back in my character trying to free run up obstacles but realizing that I am not as agile and strong as Faith.

And now photos of LA!

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

(I promise to post something about miracle berry quite soon!)

Presenting Dr. Ng!
Dr. Ng with just now regular people

Toad, me and Winnie the Pooh
With Winnie the Pooh

Upon Mr. Toad’s wild ride!
Mr. Toad, Toad and CRAZY CHRIS

Save me!
Here is some crazy people

And the stint at Astro Blasters
Astro Blasters

Things I did in LA

Monday, May 25th, 2009
  • Watched my sister receive her doctor of optometry!
  • Eat a quick meal at Surya BBQ
  • Go to Disneyland at 4 pm!
  • Experience the most dizzy ride ever on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cup thanks to Chris
  • Had a great time on Mr. Toad’s wild ride
  • Go through It’s a Small World during the fireworks
  • Ride Splash Mountain at 10:30 pm
  • Ride Space Mountain at 11:00 pm
  • Ride Indiana Jones at midnight after the ride broke down repeatedly during the day
  • Shoot aliens in Astro Blasters
  • Picked up by parents at 12:30 am so that we didn’t have to pay for parking
  • Slept on the worst sofa bed ever
  • But still was not woken up at 2:30 am by my sister returning from the LA clubs
  • Ate a lunch at Renaissance bistro with a baby shower and another graduate
  • Visiting the Echo Park Time Travel Store as part of 826 LA
  • Finally eating ice cream at Scoops
  • Failing to find LA street carts
  • Eat at Shabu Shabu house in Little Tokyo
  • Waiting for more than an hour to eat at Shabu Shabu house
  • Buying mochi for only a $1 each
  • Finding Calbi BBQ even though their twitter hasn’t been updated for a month and eating a korean taco!
  • Eating yet another Japanese dessert
  • Getting to know a friend of Chris’ in Monterey Park
  • Watching more Wheel of Fortune than I ever have before
  • Given a creepy stare in the dark when I walked into the wrong driveway with all my luggage
  • Driving in LA
  • Eating at a Taiwanese cafe where no English is spoken nor written
  • Driving in LA II
  • Circling around downtown LA when the GPS sent me on a wild goose chase
  • Eating ebelskivers at the Hollywood Farmer’s Market
  • Finding authentic mini Thai coconut pancakes
  • Visiting the Grove…again
  • Eat an ice cream sandwich at Milk
  • Matzo ball soup at Canter’s
  • Have some cookies and milk at Diddy Reese, checking off an item on the list
  • Listening to the entire Phantom of Opera original cast recording all the way back to the Bay Area
  • Forgotten passwords

    Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

    Some people say that the most important passwords are the passwords you keep for your financial services. But to me, they aren’t the most important. They are tangible with possible face-to-face transactions. I can walk to my bank and talk them into resolving my issue. Forgotten password? Easy.

    But my websites. My multiple domains. Those are the ones that I keep dear to my heart. Those are the ones that digitally support my reputation…and in the years since I first got them, they are…part of me. jennism.com, unoccupied.org and think-ng.com

    Those are the ones where I come up with truly random characters and have to generate a memorable sentence. Those are the ones where I memorize the passwords. And would never keep a record of it. Anywhere.

    And what if I did forget a password?

    Well the joke is on me.

    What to do in LA what to do…

    Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

    Wacko
    Supposedly interesting shop with interesting stuff. However, it just seems like yet another Therapy-like store with funny stuff, hip stuff, and expensive stuff. We’ll see!
    4633 Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood

    Hollywood Farmer’s Market
    Serving Thai coconut pancakes. I bet they’re more expensive here than in the streets of Bangkok.
    Ivar & Selma Ave Between Hollywood and Sunset Blvd in LA

    826 LA – Echo Park Time Travel Store
    I have been to the pirate store, the boring store…and stood outside the superhero store. Now to visit the time travel store.
    1714 Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles

    Sunset Hills area
    Because that’s where Entourage took place. Mostly. And also the people from the Game.

    He graded quickly

    Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

    He was an older man. Older than the other passengers on the train…distinct from the twentysomethings and thirtysomethings of the usual commute up and down the peninsula.

    I spotted an empty seat from him.

    Mirror’s Edge at B2B

    Sunday, May 17th, 2009

    “It’s not news. It’s propaganda.” Faith said to her sister.

    Faith! Wanted in the world of Mirror’s Edge.

    The Wanted poster (by EA)

    The real Faith

    Faith at Bay to Breakers! (And tiredly waiting for the N.)
    Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

    And another Faith:

    Miracle Flava Trippin’ Party concerns abated

    Saturday, May 16th, 2009

    My 27th miracle berry flava trippin’ party actually went without a hitch! With over 25 people showing up…from all various points in my life—high school, college, grad school, yelp elite events,

    Fortunately, none of my major concerns causing anxiety happened.

  • The miracle berries (all the way from Florida) arrived on time despite dry ice issues and shipping times
  • Enough food for flavor tripping
  • Not too many repeats of the same food item
  • Nobody sent to the hospital for ingesting too much Tabasco
  • Just enough berries for everyone and no tablets needed to be used
  • Happy guests all around (I hope)
  • I can’t help but plan…

    Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

    There was a class I took recently…one where I was rather timid and shy. During the class, I awkwardly talked to people. Sometimes I succeeded in making pleasant conversation. Other times, I crashed and burned. I knew everyone thought I was very quiet with my reserved demeanor and cautious decision-making.

    At the end of the class, everyone said their goodbyes. Hugs abound. People enjoyed everyone’s company and someone suggested having a get-together. Perhaps a reunion. An email thread started, but I could tell that nobody was making the initial move to stake a place.

    So I did. I proposed a time and a location. I suggested an itinerary, gathering nearby places for dinner and suggesting potential transportation. Without thinking, I had organized the event…outspoken in my event planning and proposal.

    When we did have the reunion, I was back to my timid self, suddenly almost dreading having to socialize. But I tried to suck away my anxiety and…then it was ok. When people thanked me for organizing the event, I shyly replied, “Ohhh..no problem…” Almost wanting them not to have really noticed me.