When you know every single song that\’s played, you will have a great night.

That was my roommate yesterday at 80s night at the Upstage. I know only 20% of the songs, sadly. A smattering of Duran Duran to B-52s to Michael Jackson. But the thing about the 80s is that there is no bad dancing (except for the guy that kept following my roommate the entire night trying to impress her with his drunken dance moves). There\’s jumping, there\’s swaying back and forth, there\’s conservative tap foot to foot, and there\’s just rocking out.

I suck at any coordinated dancing. When my friend tried to spin me, our attempt failed with me tripping over his feet and stumbling. At least I never have to be lead.

While browsing some web 2.0 companies (based on a collection of web 2.0 logos, my thoughts:

  • what is Squishr.com??? Why is it online if there\’s no description of what it is? Google can\’t tell me either.
  • Flagr.com fulfils my dreams of telling people where all my favorite places are in Pittsburgh. Note to self: do this before leaving in May
  • I would really like to tell off the person who decided Safari was a no go at riya.com. Sometimes it\’s annoying that websites don\’t support me. In fact, very annoying.
  • I know the guys of frappr. When he first showed me the site several months ago, I thought…this sucks, but a novel idea. Web 2.0 never crossed my mind, but hey!
  • I egosurfED today. Using the right combination of my first and last name with the word \”cmu\”, I got 4436 points, stroking my ego. Superficial inflation!
  • Why is everything like oddpost and upcoming purchased by Yahoo nowadays?
  • I remember seeing noodly awhile ago. I don\’t get its current message, but maybe I am just slow.
  • Flock, quite naturally.

The (most significant) times I fell (not tripped, but actually fall where at least the result is where I am sprawled on the ground) in Pittsburgh

  1. A month ago. In my house. I fell down the stairs, trying to get to the car waiting for me outside. In the dark. Result: broke my shoe.
  2. 2 months ago. in Seven Springs ski resort. During my first run, I thought I would take my final turn on the (bunny) slope a little faster. I promptly lost my balance and fell flat on my face. It was the only fall I had that day. Result: factured hand, some superficial cuts and end of skiing of that day
  3. August 2005 On East Carson in the Southside. The sidewalk was not well-paved. I tripped on some broken concrete and fell flat on my face. Result: several bleeding cuts and a scratched up brand-new Canon Powershot digicam
  4. December 2004 Along the way to the waterfront. I was jogging and decided to catch the bus rather than run the extra 2 miles where I was going. I tripped going up the stairs of the bus. The driver asked, \”Are you ok?\” I lifted up my head to answer and hit my head on the bar, going down again. Result: embarrassment and a slightly twisted ankle, leading to limping for about a few days
  5. mid fall 2004 In my basement. The floor is not entirely flat and I lost my balance, throwing my laundry all over the place. I remember making a smack as I hit the concrete floor. Result: approximately a few hours of limping and another clothes cleaning
  6. early fall 2004 Coming out of the old student center at CMU. There is an unexpected stair exiting the stairway from the OSC. I was rushing to a meeting and lost my balance. One person saw me fall, but basically watched me groan and try to get up. Result: twisted ankle ending up in limping for about a month

As why I am posting this around 4 am, the answer is: insomnia. And isn\’t it interesting to chronicle my many misadventures in balance?

I find it rather interesting how no matter how we want to be different from our parents, we are almost like them. The definition of who we are today is often a reflection of how we grew up. And most likely, our parents play a major role in our childhood.

My childhood often defines my values and beliefs for the long term. And then what happens in between is highly influenced by the environment and people we surround ourselves with.

And yet, I would say college is often the most defining point of our identity. It is when we figure out what we want, how to treat people right, and how to achieve happiness.

Recently, I reconnected with someone who I hadn\’t spoken with for almost 3 years. We went different paths in life. When we first met, we both were naive, a bit innocent, a bit ignorant, but ready to take on the world. To me, he became more serious, less light-hearted and…more religious perhaps. I have become more easygoing, more light-hearted and more open-minded. And surprisingly, more tolerant.

At what point, can you say that how you see the world has changed so much that you can\’t relate with the people you used to know? A friend I know can\’t relate easily with his elementary school friends–they have become more materialistic and more yuppie. As a poor graduate student, he can only appreciate them for who they used to be–of that early, precious connection. But even then, I remember meeting up with a friend I knew from elementary school–someone I hadn\’t seen for more than 10 years. We reminiscienced a little about how it used to be. And then we were like strangers again.

For me, people define my life. How they influence decisions, how they interact. It\’s not that I am dependent. It\’s more that I look at them for inspiration.

Had a chat with Ebay today. Go Ebay! Even if it\’s in San Jose, California.

For me, it\’s rather strange to be interviewed by friends. To have discussed everything in our lives (from our frustrations/successes with clients, the classes we dislike, the food we love, bleeding nipples, shoes, and if-i-ate-half-of-this-cookie-will-you-eat-the-other-half) but never really discussed how well we work or what we want in an ideal job. They know how I work and what I have done. So, it was rather interesting.

But I have to admit this. The thing I really enjoy when companies come to recruit is…the great food. (Read: free food.)

By the way, I never knew…but if you eat food quickly, there may be increased flatulence. Never thought about it that way. I guess I better watch my hurried i-love-this-food style of eating.

With my new STM bag, I was sent a StuffBak label to be attached to an item of value. If the item is found, they can go to the website and find the owner\’s contact information as well as the reward.

The owner needs to pay for the recovery fee (the S&H from stuffbak.com).

The labels are given primarily for free, but I am impressed with the business model. No money is made from making and distributing the labels. The primary profits come from the recovery phase. And at that point, any owner would fork over a large amount of money to retrieve something of value. That latter phase can be worth…a lot, because the value proposition is incredibly different from going into a store and purchasing something. Impressive.

I have the label on my digital camera. Last year, I lost my powershot s30 somewhere at CMU. I never did find it despite leaving my name and number with several front desks. Would a reward for finding a lost item be motivating enough for people to return the item?

And why not just affix my own contact information to the item?

I visited the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Museum of Art for the 4th time my time Pittsburgh today with Karen and Michelle.

And strangely enough, it always seems completely different and new each time I go. What is interesting is that I go to the museums with different people each time. First time with someone I just met. Second time with people I met in the last year in my program. Third time with my sister. And fourth time today. The dinosaurs exhibits are consistently the same. The bones in the same place. The same interactive (broken) exhibits. That one painting that represents the UN, with abstractly painted flags and flashes of color. But for some reason, I discover something new with every visit.

Just like a good movie, right?

I have free admission to all the Carnegie museums as a CMU student. But it\’s not enough yet.