Escapist summer movies really get me. Despite my preference for \”elite\” movies, these kind of movies really appeal to me. On my list of favorite movies, I list Shawshank Redemption, Run Lola Run, Goodbye Lenin, American Beauty These are movies that explore the human psyche. But I don\’t include the movies that I don\’t mind watching over and over again…despite their plotholes. Namely, action thrillers like The Rock, Die Hard… and as of yesterday The Island. They\’re obviously markest-tested. Romance? Check. Hot popular stars? Check. Funny sidekick? Check. A failed attempt at a deep message? Check. Flat undeveloped bad guy? Check. Amazing special effects? Check. Heart-pounding music for action scenes? Check and check and check.

At least I am not a teeny bopper. Yet there are times you can\’t help but like some boy band music. It happens to the best of us.

There is this phrase:

Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.

Yet, how natural is it to really do that? Even though I have a desire to be fair and equal to everyone, there are a few people that get on my bad side. First, they do something that either insults or hurts me. Something that reveals a side of them that I don\’t like. Then afterwards, little characteristics of them start annoying and irritating me. Then I naturally start distancing myself from them. Do unto others as you would do unto them, right? In my ideal world, people who I don\’t like…it won\’t bother me. Yet at times, why does it so?

Just a thought, because one of the best birthday presents I have ever received is about to end in a week…

When I first moved to Pittsburgh, I was still in love with this organization called Rescomp. I don\’t know why. Toward the end of my job there, I felt like I had finally found my place. Working at rescomp was something that I had done completely from the ground up. I didn\’t know that much about computers entering college, but I was willing to learn. And so I did. I applied and obtained the internship. The following year I applied but was only given an alternate status. Then they asked me back again for an interview and I was finally accepted.

Recently, I found a former lead supervisor\’s presentation of the organization. There\’s a picture of me in it. And a highlight of the statistics of why the internship failed to meet its goal. Namely, lack of confidence (that\’s me), lack of speaking skills (again me), and lack of technical skills (me and me and me). Yet over the two years I worked there, I improved in all areas.

To this day, that entire experience speaks to my balance between humility and arrogance. Today, our tablet PC for the project was infected with a virus. So I hastily booted into safe mode and quickly removed the virus (cleaning the registry and removing it from the system32 folder). But the internet connection was disabled and I hurried over the helpdesk, where I declared that i had removed the virus and wanted to get my internet back. They didn\’t believe me and finally gave me a wide stare when I repeated that I removed it myself.

When is it ok to correct someone in front of others when you don\’t want to embarrass them?

I have this tendency to want to be always right. And to show that I know everything. During my obnoxious days, I used to correct someone openly previously. Yet because my social insecurity and social awareness has made me more careful. Embarrassment of someone is something you want to avoid. I don\’t like being disproved in public.

But for example, one of my clients called my teammate by the incorrect name. Is it necessary to correct if it happens once? Twice? Three times? Or is it better to let her realize on her own? One person I had met recently called me by the wrong name, but I decided not to correct him because I thought he would rather have figured it out on his own when other people called me by the right name. Yet a few days later (after I had sent him an e-mail about a discussion we had), he asked me why I didn\’t correct him.

Subtle personality changes? In Dale Carnegie\’s book How to influence people and make friends, he says to let people have their spotlight. If someone is displaying knowledge but it\’s incorrect, then don\’t correct them.

My powerbook has this bad habit of dying. It died again today. It\’s final puff was an attempt to check e-mail.

Ugh, I lost my bookmarks again.

Strangely enough, my windows desktop has lasted more than three years since I last reformatted. But that is entirely questionible since I definitely did not move my desktop around as much as I did with my powerbook.

Right now it\’s in the middle of a reformat (the third time in the last 4 months). Thank god I had the foresight this morning to backup everything on an external hard drive. I am so paranoid like that.

In life, there is nothing that can compare to a reformat. It is a process of loss but almost a process of gain. Like a haircut. Yet things like these are never permanent. You are not used to it at first. But as time passes by, it becomes who you are. It becomes everything that you are. And when it\’s time to restyle, you do it because of the need despite the sweet parting of familarity.

Speaking of which, my hair has been annoying me lately. Whenever I am doing anything \”atheletic\”, my hair despite being pulled back into a ponytail keeps getting into my face. I need a new style.

One of my favorite projects so far in the hci program is the music player design. Recently, Braden put up all the video sketches of our classmates. The project was to design a music player that would fit the target user\’s emotional needs. And of course, extend our creativity. Each video sketch demonstrates how the played will be used in its context as well as its features. I may have bugged a lot of people about seeing my group\’s iCube. But it\’s for a reason. It was absolutely fantastic. I still think our music selection is the best and matches the mood of our character in the video.

If you were wondering what HCI is all about, check that out.

On another note, I thought I had globus hystericus (as Freud would describe a lump in the throat caused by psychological distress) but it turned out to be only a ball of mucus. Doh.

Yesterday I went on an ice cream tour in the Pittsburgh metro (in honor of my sister entering her terrible twos). It was simply amazing. Somehow I concieved the idea more than a month ago when I stumbled upon best ice cream places in the Pittsburgh metro.

Like wine tasting. But ice cream tasting!

On the way to a frozen custard place, we serendipitiously discovered another ice cream place where we stopped at. Then a real dairy farm that had many creative flavors (I had Play Dough). Afterwards, we headed back to Pittsburgh where we stopped at Klavon\’s in the Strip District. By that point, we were totally…full and sugared out. Unfortunately. There were about four more places we could have gone. It was one of those experiences I won\’t regret. Even though I did need to roll home and almost passed out from ice cream exhaustation (ok i did have to take a 2 hour nap afterwards)…