It\’s funny how I was able to \”rewrite\” memories of things. Today, I was supposed to go work at Foothill CC to set up the center, but Pat didn\’t call me until 9 pm. So I spent the entire time with Karen, Thomas and Linda. Surprisingly, the spontaneity worked for me. And best of all, I rewrote those memories of Tanner.

We went to Emeryville to watch a movie (Kill Bill Vol 2 – perhaps rewriting the memory of seeing the movie with Seth) and also have ice cream at coldstone. We also ate at pasta pomodoro (rewriting the formal checkin with James) where we shared all the pasta plates. This is a redo of the day spent with Tanner at Bay Street. Where we had watched Monster and had ice cream at coldstone. This time there were no tears. There was only laughter and an incident of Thomas running away, only to discover that he found an…archway. There was no heath bar crunch mixed with sweet cream, but cheesecake fantasy. And a young African American man who seemed on drugs because his hands kept shaking like he had parkinson\’s. There was no easy parking, but a parking space that i squeezed the acura legend in…probably almost scratching the car. There was no nervous is-this-right feeling, but it was only that comfortable feeling that I enjoyed spending time with people. No social anxiety…just myself.

On the way to lunch with the TC staff, we saw a sight that can only be seen in Berkeley. How I shall miss thee!

It looked like a homeless man strapped with a monitor on his back. I had the unfortunate luck of having a camera and being persauded by the staff to take a picture. I was the one who took the above picture–I felt a bit bad for gawking and especially taking a picture, but it was WEIRD! But the questions arose: how did he get the monitor on his back? did he have someone tie it to him? did he lie flat on the ground and through the magic of yoga was able to tie the monitor on himself? if he\’s homeless, why would he need a monitor? did he find the monitor on the curbside (a possibility since a lot of people moved out at the end of the semester). was transporting a monitor by bike on his back his last resort?

Yesterday I went to buy an internal PCI modem for my computer (since there is no such thing as broadband back at my parents\’ house–my poor desktop doesn\’t want to go three months without the Internet.) At OfficeMax as I was walking toward the hardware section, an employee perked up and asked, \”Do you need any help?\”

Normally in my socially anxious mode, I would have mumbled \”no thanks, i am just looking\” and sulked away. But instead, I felt a bit self-righteous and asked where the internal pci modems were. The guy strolled out in front of me leading me to an aisle of hardware cards. He looked at the rack for a bit and pointed, \”There…and there.\”

I thanked him and he left. I stared at the boxes, trying to find that modem card. Anger rose in my throat. He had pointed to a wireless ethernet pci card. what does he think I am, an illiterate computer user? I walked around the aisle for 5 more minutes, thinking that some employee would come over and ask whether I needed any help. I wanted to fume. Did I not say MODEM? Perhaps, the guy thought I was illiterate and assumed I was talking about LAN cards. Then I started wondering what would happen if an illiterate female computer user did come and ask for a modem…and got directed to a wireless card. Would she blindly purchase it and then for the next few months (if she was even able to install it) try to figure out why it wasn\’t working? I recalled memories of residents who told me their computer wasn\’t connecting to the internet and it turned out they had a phone cord jammed into their ethernet port.

I searched the aisle again and found the modem cards in the corner. It wasn\’t free after rebate, so I walked out of the store.

I have always wondered. Is an insult or a sense of closure to pay off your \”ex-boyfriend\” for all the money he wasted during the relationship? Sort of like a pre-nup, but not. Something like \”here is a $300 check for the money you accidentally wasted on something that didn\’t work out.\”

EDIT: I mean, what if this is more of a test. If he respects me, he would never cash the check. If he disrespects me, he would cash the check. :D I tried this once before. I gave a former bf a $20 check for something I owed him and he never cashed it.

And finally, my grad pictures!

And the truth of it all. Even when I try my best, I always ended up with a B. I have only gotten one C in Berkeley (and that wasn\’t because of my academics–the professor accused a friend and me of cheating, thus we failed the final…otherwise I would have gotten of course…a B). Berkeley is for B. In high school, I thought a B equaled bad. But worst of all is when you hear a graduate admission official say, \”An A at Hayward State [one of the lesser schools in California] is better than a B at Berkeley.\” And no matter how hard you try, you end up with a B.

My parents finally bought a new car today with their hard negoitation tactics and ended up paying $14900 before taxes, etc. A Toyota Corolla LE. My dad had to leave the buying earlier and left the rest with my mom. We were to say no to any of the extras. But somehow the guy was able to convince my mom and me that we just had to get the alarm system. He was able to evoke my memories of my friends\’ stolen cars in Berkeley…that I said that I would pay an extra $100. My mom had wanted to just pay $100, which was supposed to turn the salesman away. And somehow he relented (possibly fake) and we found ourselves with an alarm system which we paid for $350. The problem was, later, I realized that my parents are technologically illiterate. And the random honks annoyed them. Not to mention, I didn\’t know if they could figure out how to turn the system off temporarily for the mechanics or valet.


The car is meant for me…after I return from Carnegie Mellon. That would be either 1-2 years from now. But then…who knows?

By the way, I have a gmail account (pimpin it up). DO YOU HAVE ONE?!

In particular…
(thanks lele and the special gmail-users only orkut community):

I have attended a total of five long graduation ceremonies. Today was the last one–my friend\’s Math department commencement. My mom was being all motherly in the morning and forced me to eat something before I went, which made me very late. But I got to Zellerbach Hall just as they were starting the handing out of the scrolls. Surprisingly, the dean not only called out the graduate\’s name but also the graduate\’s plan for the future. It was something personal, but probably something possible since math is so small.

In high school, I put \”drummer in LA\” as my intended profession. But probably now in my own desire to be the best, I would put the truth. The irony, right? Pursuing a masters degree in human computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University One girl put, learn how to drive a stick shift.

My parents plan to buy a car soon since the 88 Acura Legend isn\’t faring that well. They\’re thinking of a Toyota Corolla. Model LE. Their plan is that when I return from Pittsburgh (if I ever return to California which is my plan…but we all know how our plans can change so suddenly on us) that…the Toyota will be my car. Who knows. And yet a few years ago, I was trapped in the paradox of i can\’t get a job without a car. I can\’t get a car without a job. What if the economy is still the same in 2 years?

\”How does it feel to be graduated? How does it feel to be 22?\”

For the paxt few days, I couldn\’t really answer appropriately, because I was busy with so many other things. Trying to organize people in the right place. Cleaning and moving out of my apartment. Waving my sister goodbye (she flew up to the Bay Area just for this weekend for me!)

And now the excitement has gone. Perhaps it is replaced by a feeling of nostalgia. Yesterday at the engineering commencement, I was reminded of how many people I neglected not to get to know. As I saw my friend Karen bound from friend to friend (I basically played photographer the entire time), I realized how little people I really knew in my major. The day of my commencement, I went directly to the reception. I didn\’t see anybody I really knew…and left shortly afterwards with my family and a few non-cogsci friends to a restaurant. Where were my pictures of large groups of people in graduating gowns? Where?

My 22nd birthday was spent attending the engineering commencement starting at 8:30 am. Somehow I had caught a cold and during the entire ceremony, my head was swimming (not to mention that I had only 5 hours of sleep). I watched the grad student I researched with (he\’s also going to be a professor at cmu!) during the year get hooded by his advisor. The ceremony was sooo long. It didn\’t really end until 1 pm. Congratulations to Jason, Anderson, Karen, Seth, Thomas I, Thomas II, Jimmy, Kun, James, Chris…!

Then I ate at my favorite restuarant, chow for my birthday. Then I tried to go to a dessert place, but apparently the East Bay has nothing like Extraordinary Desserts like that of San Diego. Instead, we got gelato from Downtown Berkeley with my sister and Kathy. MMMm!

Closing note: it has been 4 years since I arrognantly stepped on the Berkeley campus. Despite being a fall extension freshman, I knew there was a huge change for me. Everything that I was stuck with in high school would be redone with college. I would have good friends–people who would do the weird things I liked to do. I would get over my social anxiety. I would have a graduation with people who really was there for me. I would have my first serious relationship. I would have a part-time job. I achieved almost all, lost some and gained some. I don\’t think I would be the same person now if I had gone somewhere else. If UCLA had accepted me, I don\’t think I would have fit there. If I went to Davis, I wouldn\’t be as proud of myself as I am now.

And for now, I am going to Carnegie Mellon starting this fall! :D

MY 22ND BIRTHDAY BEGINS NOW! I am turning 22 on the 22nd of May! :D Once in a lifetime event!

(see wishlist – it\’s better late than never!)

And like any other year (although I didn\’t make a big deal as last years…or at least I didn\’t plan anything–seems like the 22nd is the move-out day for a lot of people as well as commencements), I list the presents:

  • Chris\’ rendition of Happy Birthday–not bad, but I was cleaning
  • bag of sour candy from my sissy
  • double chocolate homemade cookies (probably from a mix) made by my sissy
  • a plush microbe
  • Lele\’s blog post
  • bag of mixed candy from Kathy
  • gelato from Kathy!
  • photo frame from my sister
  • dinner @ Chow from parents
  • a virus that gave me a cold
  • cheesecake from my mom
  • hugs and everything!
  • greetings from almost everyone!