Tipping on the edge

“Was the service ok? How is the food?” our server asked as we were leaving, not having touched the bill tray yet.

It was about a $35 meal including tax—ordering about 4 sushi rolls. We responded obliviously, “Yeah, it was good…”

Somehow I sensed there was a different intention than a polite question. The server continued “You left only $3 which is not even 10%.”

“Well, did we make a mistake? Ok, we did make a mistake.” I broke in, realizing that there was some miscalculation on our part but feeling a growing sour taste. I pulled out two dollars from my wallet and handed it to the server. I paused for a second wondering if I should apologize, but instead I walked out of the restaurant.

And for some reason, the three of us felt like we wouldn’t return to the restaurant for awhile.

A single bathroom

At what point is there a need for more than one bathroom?

Two people and one bathroom works, but more than that, it becomes questionable. Unlike most people, I am a night showerer. And usually it works with most roommates. But sometimes when you gotta go, you really gotta go. In my last apartment in Berkeley, I always had a backup plan. The dorms were across the street. The campus was only a few blocks away.

While in New York, I share a hotel room with 7 girls. I went downstairs to the lobby regularly that week. A temporary solution perhaps.

Workless people

As I scheduled user studies last week for during the day, I wondered how most people made it. To a 11 am, a 1 pm, or a 3 pm user study. Did they work? Were they unemployed? Were they just students? Retired. Most of all, what are they doing that they have time to take a user study?

I don’t ask that question, but one guy did.

When I am 25…

A friend said that when he turned 25, he figured out who his true friends were. The ones who would stay for awhile.

Which is interesting.

Being a bit oversensitive, I have always struggled with this definition. With a history of burning bridges and ease of making new bridges, what is it then? A former friend once said she would be there for anyone if they asked for help. But in reality, most people are too humble to ask for help. I would rather flounder and drown than to ask for help even at my weakest. And perhaps then a friend has the responsibilty to sense the drowning and not assume all is ok when one says “I am fine” when there are sounds of gasps of air.

“Be there” from me comes out passively as “Can you come?” And despite the passive aggression, I just don’t want to intrude or be an inconvenience. Because in some sense, I don’t need you to be there. I just want you to be there. And in this society, we can’t make requests for wants.

Mr. Purple Jelly Monster

When I am running dual monitors from my powerbook, I have the external monitor set to a wallpaper of a purple jelly monster roaming a city of white stick people.

There were two job interviews where I presented accidentally displaying the purple jelly monster wallpaper on the projector when I plugged in my laptop. At one job interview, the people present were amused and laughed as I apologized for the wallpaper’s appearance. I got an offer. At the other job interview, nobody said anything and so I make a joke about how that wallpaper accidentally appeared. I didn’t get an offer.

Granted, there was probably more than the wallpaper that got me through the interview. But perhaps the purple jelly monster roaming the streets matched a whimiscal personality I seeked in my next opportunity. But ultimately, I still wonder if that one wallpaper determined my fate in those interviews. One for the better and one for the worse? First impressions.

Although I didn’t take that offer, I don’t think I would have been happy with a place that didn’t find a purple jelly monster incredibly amusing.

Quarter century oldness!

I am now no longer in my early twenties. They say it’s quite often an achievement to reach 25 years. After all, it’s a quarter of the century!

And now, I can actually rent a car without paying extra fees! Finally an extra age hurdle I can overcome!

Oh cancelled series

One popular cancelled series was Freaks and Geeks. I loved it…but not as much as the fairly undiscovered Boomtown.

When I first remet Chris mid last year, we both discovered that we liked the series. It barely had a second season and was cancelled midway through. At the time, Boomtown was my first cop/law show. I never had watched Law and Order. Never had seen a single episode of CSI or NYPD Blue. And the originality struck at me. Perspectives. And the great title show theme with scenes of the real world.

And moreover, it had the old NKOTB. Donnie Wahlberg, fresh from a stint in the Sixth Sense.

Chris gave me the first season on DVD for xmas and I only started watching it on my grand old projector with stereo sound.

Sanctioning B2B

I joined the blue hats, walked more than 7.5 miles, woke up at 7:30 am, sanctioned various people (especially the nude), got nearly run over several times by various trucks, wore nerd glasses, detected radiation, called the attorney general on my phone, and basically observed…but not interfered.

All today.

I thought thrift stores were for hipsters….

After my tea party for my upcoming birthday (mmmm…tea), I went to the local thrift store with Chris and he was overcome with serendipitous discoveries.

As we wandered the upstairs, we came across the toy area preparing for our costume for Bay to Breakers Then we came across the book section where Chris came across a mint copy of Harry Potter for less than a $1. Then the board games…and then the artwork, the photos, the furniture.

And about an hour later, we struggled downstairs with our load. Spending less than $30 (including tax) and waddled our way back to my apartment. It’s cheaper than spending money at a garage sale where things may be priced at $10. But at this particular thrift store, new things come in all the time. And most of it is often high quality and clean.

But besides the ugly sweaters I bought there for my holiday party last year, I still have yet to convince myself to peruse the clothing selection.

And then I always think, the dishes, the cups and the silverware…I am ok with using it at restaurants why am I reluctant to have the same in my home? The fact of the matter is…we know the owners and we have trouble dealing with something when the ownership is almost..unclear.