Mistaken Identity

“Here you go, Christine,” she said cheerily, showing the salad to me.

I paused, wondering if I should correct her, not wanting to ruin her usual optimistic way. Another guy looked over at my direction giving me a knowing look. Several people overheard, but nobody said anything.


But instead I said thanks and took a spoonful of salad onto my plate.

A few moments later when everyone had departed for the front of the room. I said in a low voice, “I didn’t want to embarrass you, but I am Jennifer.”

She looked a little embarrassed and apologized. Then she asked me to point out the names of other people around.

Well, mistaken identity. Being asian, because all asians look alike, I often have been called the wrong name. I would like to think I am unique with my features so clearly distinct as me. But in reality, that’s not so.

Should I have corrected her earlier at that moment or wait as long as I did? Or rather let her figure out herself?

On August 1st, I wrote a note

Today would mark approximately one year since I first stepped into your apartment. A thrill of the unknown and the chance to harness the power of creation. That’s what I felt when I first took a seat on the couch and listened the investor pitch that first day.

And so I remember toward the end of the first week, when we were sitting on the couch and you told me about your birthday party you were holding that Saturday. I was invited even though I barely knew the group. I was really included. I went to the party, knowing that I would know nobody, but I took that risk. The feeling that you believed in me. I won’t forget that first week.

I do miss the great view of the downtown and the bay bridge. The intensity yet laid back feeling of it all.

It is now one year later. And six months later. I believe we should live with little regrets. Because ultimately, we gained experience in our own mistakes and failures. And that itself brings us closer to our hopes and dreams.

It seems appropriate to share my thoughts now in this pseudo-anniversary. Thank you for the great experience and have a great birthday.

Upgrade the travel

At security, the adrenaline pumps as I worry endlessly that I might miss my flight. When I finally get to the security lines, I immediately grab about 4 bins. Sometimes to be annoyingly irritating to people in back of me and the security watching the x-ray machine. But sometimes, because I really have that much stuff. I put my shoes and jacket in one. Then my bag in another. Perhaps with my scarf and sunglasses. Then in the next one, my laptop. Then finally another bin for my laptop bag. Sometimes an extra bin for the clear plastic bag with my liquids in containers which are 3.5 oz or less. So my bins ride through the x-ray machine as the people behind me tap their foot impatiently.

After the screening, I put everything back together. Jacket on, sunglasses on head, things back in my pockets, bags strapped all over myself. I look ridiculous I know, but I stumble my way to my gate. And that’s the relief I have when I arrive is nice.

(There was one time I left a laptop at the security checkpoint. To this day, I don’t know how they ever figured out to announce my name over the loudspeaker. Probably because I had facebook open on the laptop, but still!)

After traveling fairly regularly during grad school and my short weekend trips, I would have thought I mastered the art of check-in. But apparently there’s more according upgradetravelbetter.com

Sinks and the dark holes

A few days ago, someone drained their mug of tea and left the bag sitting in the sink. Without thinking, I turned on the faucet and the tea bag went down the drain without so much a plop or stopping the flow of water.

Today, out of curiosity, I put my head closer to examine the drain. Where did it lead and where did the tea bag go?

I had seen the final destination trailer and knew better than to put my hand down the drain. Fortunately my curiosity expired right before a coworker walked into the kitchen. No explanation necessary.

The sinks just…somehow work magically. Somehow it’s engineered in the right way that all water flows down and doesn’t stop. But how would the blockage occur as it is doing in my bathroom sink? And that sucking noise that seems to make the drain stronger than just a hole in my ceramic?

And so I went back to my desk, thinking no more of the subject. But to a singular thought, it was as if I didn’t really need to know. Really I don’t.

A few days ago, someone was talking about this puzzle, a conundrum. The world is falling apart. You need to seek refuge and you find a farmer’s house, but of course the farmer is there and certainly the farmer won’t help you out. So you do what you have to do, kill the farmer in order to take control of the farm. But now that you’re there, do you know how to rotate the crops? Know how to seed? Know how to fertilize appropriately?

Watching these apocalyptic movies and tv shows makes me think about how much knowledge will disappear. The architects, the engineers. How do we get the energy out of rock? The ore? The iron? How do we create a building that has enough shelter, but can withstand earthquakes and other natural elements?

And how do I make a hole in a bowl so that it will drain out and never back in.

HELVETICA the movie

Compliments of work, I saw Helvetica the movie.

Yes, a movie about a font and how it has changed life.

That’s right. I rarely if ever use Helvetica by choice. It’s set by default. Or at work, we use a standard Helvetica Neue. I like 45 Light the most. It’s elegant, clean and simple.

But the font? It’s used by the majority of logos today. Apparently American Airlines has used it…and has never changed the logo. And so much more. Street signs. Plain print.

But the movie though is also about the type designers, never captured in film before. They are witty and incredibly tied to their work. Some are insane. Some probably have been trapped inside a room forever.

And oddly enough, it was a good well-made film. The editor of The Wire and the cinematographer of Borat. But an amateurish director that elongated the Q&A too long and reflected significant in his work.

Granted, it is the first film about a typeface.

A weekend in Seattle

It was a wonderful, beautiful wedding. And a rocking party. Like someone said, “I have never met such a tireless, do-it-all couple!”

Which is quite true for Alex and Sarah. After the reception was over (where nearly half of the guests left—along with the kids), we all went to the hotel bar to drink the rest of the night away…

That along with the grad school line…

Flower girl catch bubbles



Bouquet lands in the ceiling lamp

The best man, the groom, and me