Last weekend, I saw a man purse. My friend (a he) was carrying an Aeropostale navy green \”bag\”. In it, he carried his wallet, his (g5) ipod and other misc. items. It was intended as a gift for his former girlfriend, but she didn\’t want it (she had good taste, probably). He didn\’t want to waste it and started it using as a bag for his ipod. Because after all, an ipod can\’t fit into a pocket.

Right? When I sat next to him in the car, I pointed and shouted in my usual manner of excitement, \”You have a man purse!\”

Utter denial. My good friend in the front of the car squealed, \”Murse!\”

But seriously. Personally, I have never been fond of carrying bags, because it was something extra to remember. Something I couldn\’t have with me if I was say…running. Something that someone could take. Something that I had to set down if I was participating in a rigorous activity. But then came technology. Digital cameras. My ipod. My \”fat\” wallet stuffed with cash, coins, credit cards, gift cards, id cards, frequent buyer cards, library cards, exercise class cards, bart tickets. And then I of course needed a place to keep my business cards clean, so came the business card holder. Then cell phone. Then sunglasses and case. Then chapstick. Then headache medicine (you never know when stress will come). Then suddenly, the preparation of an impromptu oops-it\’s-too-late-now-to-go-home-impromptu-sleepover supplies. Oh and keys.

I might need a bigger bag. But at least I am not male. After all, I have…female issues.

In other news, I also have a tendency to not look normal in photos.

I always have had a nose for free food. But nothing is ever truly free, right?

Out of the much admiration of the geekdom in the Valley (I actually heard several people use that term today), I attend my first Lunch 2.0 today at EchoSign. Free food (bbq!). A nice networking event.

It was my first time to such a thing so I wasn\’t sure what to expect but it was rather interesting the type of people that attended. Most were after trying to network with other people — getting contacts, pushing their product and exchanging their business cards. I got use out of my special card holder, a graduation gift from Carnegie Mellon.

\”I admit that the reason I don\’t want to visit you is because as you get farther away from San Francisco on the BART, it gets whiter. I am afraid of white people.\” a friend said several years ago.

At the time, I was slighted. We were classmates in Berkeley. I drove to visit her in the city, out in the projects, where I got lost multiple times and was slightly fearful that someone would break into my car. She didn\’t want to take the BART out to the safer suburbs where I lived, where Caucasian people were dominant and Asians were not.

Looking back, perhaps, she was afraid that she was judged. But it wasn\’t that she wore clothes that weren\’t equivalent to clothes of people out here. Or she acted lesser than those in affluent suburbs. The demographics do change depending on the direction of the BART train. It\’s true that riding BART on the yellow line towards Pittsburg/Bay Point, the riders became more and more Caucasians. Usually business people avoiding the traffic from San Francisco. It wasn\’t people who didn\’t have a car or the elderly who didn\’t have shuttles. It was more about people who wanted to save the environment and bought discount passes from corporate employers.

Over the weekend, I met up with people from Rescomp – where I used to work while at Berkeley. I would say working for them was one of my greatest achievements in my undergrad, establishing a job network, knowing how to talk to people, and making money to create a bad spending habit.


On Thursday, I met two Rescomp young\’uns – a sysadmin and desktop admin. And my friend, a unit supervisor. They were geeky and nerdy. Awkward. And underage. They talked about the greatness of cellphone technology. And how someone should buy a 30\” apple plasma display. Some Harry Potter and Star Trek was thrown in. I bought them drinks at Starbucks after I had dragged them through Civic Center trying to find Citizen Cake. I felt old.


But then two days later, I went to Zeigeist in the Mission District and later sat on the rooftop of a new San Francisco condo building in the freezing night, right next to the freeway. I thought I was meeting Rescom people of my generation, but I met more than that. There were people from pre-2000. They talked about the glory times when the office used to be housed in a room in Unit 1. Where there were really no roles yet. No \”adults\”. It was more student-run than the way it is run nowadays. Nearly everyone offered their business card to me when I said I was job hunting. Talk about drama and the good times. I was apparently one of the youngest – the new one. I felt young and inexperienced.


And then on Sunday, I met up with some Rescomp people of my generation. We sat on the edge of Lake Merrit watching kids falling in love with rubbery duckies. Everyone really knew each other at Rescomp despite of the years difference. Six degrees was more like two degrees here. And we talked about downloading movies during our time. How we wanted to take the old computers — the old macs and the 19 in Sony crts for our own. And how much we wanted to get away with but didn\’t. We ate tacos from a truck while I struggled with the spiceness that was warning to turn my face red, further after I had spent the morning at the Pride Parade.

Tomorrow is yet another Spare the Air day. This time around, I want to ride the ferry. Somewhere. My parents are on my back because I am not usually home for dinner, but hey this is what I want to do.

Besides, I am getting my tax dollars back by riding the bus, subway, and ferries. And get to actually know the Bay Area, right?

The difference between driving in San Francisco and Pittsburgh?

In Pittsburgh, one street could turn into two, three or four different streets without warning. And yet somehow no matter what you do, you\’ll find a belt. The blue belt. The orange belt. The yellow belt. And besides you get a chance to see how different neighborhoods decorate their houses with yellow and black.

In San Francisco, sometimes you can\’t make left turns. Sometimes you are caught on an one-way street without the ability to turn left or right. You think, I\’ll get the next one, but that one turns out to be an one-way street going the opposite direction. You can never take shortcuts through neighborhoods. Always stick to the main streets.

Out of a sudden excitement for geekdom in the Bay Area, I signed up for barcamp. Yes, it\’s a camp. And a \”bar\”. But technically it\’s a fusion of Web 2.0 minds during a weekend where people will sleep in sleeping bags in the SF Microsoft office and have intense conversations about technology, ideas, and the future. There will be wireless Internet. A conference really for hipsters. Photos on flickr and blogging encouraged.

But then I realized, is this something I really want to be part of? Earlier, I had been enamored by talk of Lunch 2.0 and Sloshcon. Valleywag was fascinating. But should I let myself fall into a world of startups with tellytubby speak names?

Yes. I do. Although this weekend there\’s the rubber ducky derby and the SF Pride Parade I want to attend.

Today and tomorrow are Spare the Air days. So free BART. Free Caltrain and others.

To my horror (ok, I mean incredibly pleasant surprise – many thank yous to the NASA team and Safeway for knowing how I like spelling my nickname), my friends got me Cocktails by Jenn – four bottles of premixed cosmos and four pink straws packaged up in a pink tinted plastic carrying tote.

I have to love my friends for the fact that they immediately thought of me when they saw the name Jenn with two n\’s. And how they thought the creator\’s signature was just like mine. (Almost.) Impossibly thoughtful.

It must have been the oddest gift for me ever because they know I wouldn\’t drink. Hmm…then again, I need to find some friends to share this great gift with. It does have 17% alcohol by volume…

Remember that broken right hand I had earlier this year? The complaints that the world isn\’t made for one-handed people? And how I always had to ask for help opening bottles? It\’s more than 4 months later and this morning I found myself in a MRI machine due my mom\’s overzealous colleague who had ordered the scan. For one hour.

I laid there face-down, feeling sick from being still (\”DO NOT MOVE!\” the technician repeated over and over — ok, maybe he had a gentler tone). The tech had earlier asked me what music I wanted to listen to and going off my recent nostalgia streak, \”80s?\”

So this long summer morning, I pretended to be a log, resting in a forest. To no avail really. I felt a sneeze coming on, but knew it would be bad to sneeze knowing full well I would have to do the entire scan again. So instead, I kept it in, breathing into the hospital-like pillow, wishing I could be anywhere else besides that lighted tunnel.

The Art of Recruiting from Guy Kawasaki\’s blog

8. Sell all the decision makers. A candidate seldom makes a decision all by herself. There can be several other people contributing to the decision…with Asian Americans, it can even be parents because Asian Americans are perpetually trying to make their parents happy. In the interviews, simply ask, “Who is helping you make this decision?” And then see if you can make them happy too.

What caught my eye was how he addressed Asian Americans–the things recruiters should do to get Asian American candidates sold onto job opportunities. Now I don\’t like tauting that label around. When asked, I would awkwardly pause and say, \”I am American.\” Not that I am rejecting my Asian heritage. It\’s that I never think about it.

Yet it\’s true. In some way, I am trying to make my parents happy. Sure I decided to do a masters degree rather than the law degree or a medical degree. I did a professional masters rather than an academic one. And I chose the science that was not as grounded in reality.

So there\’s a part of me that wants to completely reject this entire set path of life and go off to be a penniless writer. But that\’s really not that asian…