On the first night in Pittsburgh…

we went to have a good evening chat with some friends in the backyard. It was nice and humid. We dimmed the lights to enjoy the summer evening outside serving rum freshly purchase from Costa Rica and champagne leftover from our friends’ wedding (we got to the last bottle!)

But unbeknownst to me, I was bitten multiple times by bugs who love sweet flesh. The following day, I moaned and groaned around Pittsburgh with a big swollen bite on the top of my right foot and one on my right calf.

I also wore a miniskirt because it was unbearably hot.

Missing mail

It hurts a lot when it’s uncontrolled and not within your reach.

When you look at tracking and it says that it was delivered.

But you never received it.

And you were waiting all day for it.

And you are almost in sheer nausea because you paid so much for it, but it never arrived.

“Oh no. So that’s what I forgot.”

The guy next to me. Asian. With a ghetto haircut and reflective sunglasses. Around my age. T-shirt and jeans. And some camouflage backpack.

I saw him get on in Mountain View and I struggled my way back…deciding to take the seat next to him since unlike other passengers, he wasn’t spilling his stuff in the next seat.

The conductor entered the car once we departed from Palo Alto. I struggled a bit to get my ticket from under all my stuff. Then I heard a mumble next to me, “Oh no, that’s what I forgot.”

I closed my eyes, not wanting to be in the presence of the inevitable. I waved my ticket and the conductor nodded, confirming my pass.

“You didn’t validate it,” the conductor said to the Asian guy next to me.

He innocently replied, “Oh man. How much is the ticket?”

“The courts decide. Can I please have your ID?”

And fortunately it was peaceful although the guy did swear underneath his breath.

My question is…can you really ticket a person? Although I assume if you claim you don’t have identification, the conductor could basically kick you off the train.

I wrote a story about stars and illustrated it

There was a star once. A he-star who loved looking upon the world. He knew everything and everyone. For many years, he was satisfied because he helped the world by glowing brightly and granting as many wishes as he could.

But he started feeling lonely high up in the sky. He once had a companion, but they always were attracted to the freewheeling meteors and shooting stars. Sometimes he wanted to give it all up.

But then he realized if he left, who could take his place of glowing brightly high in the night sky?

Over time, he grew icy to protect himself.

One day, a she-star passed by and looked out at the star. She closed her eyes and made a wish. The wish flew up to the he-star. The words gleaming the he-star read, “I wish that I could find a way to light the darkness, to whisk the loneliness far far away.”

He looked down at her, her hopefulness and earnesty melting his ice. She didn’t care how awkward he was. The star in lonely part of the sky. She didn’t even look away when shooting stars blasted across the sky. She carefully had chosen him, the steady light that never diminished every night.

To fulfil her wish, he shone as he normally did, but more brightly for her. Lighting the darkness that was night. As nights passed, his icy exterior melted with the girl’s stories carried up to him. Of the love of music. Of the great adventures she wanted to take. He too shared his love of movies, gadgets, and travel.

And so they chose each other to look together over the world.

He still became distant when he was upset. She was sad that he didn’t want to talk during those times, but was always patient. He wanted to change for her.

She had trouble organizing things and often lost many things. But he too had the incredible patience that nobody had for her.

As time passed, their orbit became closer and closer. Until they became a supernova, brightening the universe for many years.

I am 26 today!


I was a sad little kid. Once I remember back when I didn’t have any friends, I went up to my favorite teacher (who didn’t know she was my favorite teacher) and said when everyone was playing, “It’s my birthday today.”

She looked at me, the good little student who never said anything. “Oh! Happy Birthday!” she smiled. And for some reason, it was enough of a validation.

It was the only birthday greeting I got that year aside from my parents, grandparents and sister. And the obligatory birthday cookie card from Safeway.

Your Happiness > My Happiness

“I waited until I was 39 to get married, because it took me that long to find someone where her happiness was more important than mine.”

Like all CMU alumni (and everyone on the Internet), his words are so insightful, especially this last line of a speech at the recent CMU commencement ceremony.

I would like to think that’s how relationships are—where the other person’s happiness is more valuable than your own. And so that’s what I will focus on. And when a person’s own goal in life is the pursuit of happiness…doesn’t it become I am happy because you are happy?

Recently after an all-day event, a friend asked me what I was planning to do for the rest of the day. She seemed eager to hang out a bit more.

“I am thinking of some frozen yogurt,” I responded, imagining licking the spoon and the calmness I would have after. Some sugary goodness, perhaps? She always loved these things. A short drive from here to there.

She was immediately excited and tugged on her boyfriend’s arm, “Ooh! Let’s go!”

He had a solemn expression and simply said that there was only store that he would go to…a gelato place but it changed management and went downhill. Instantaneously, my friend’s facial expression changed to match his.

I agreed conversationally, saying that yes that gelato store wasn’t that good and that the good gelato places weren’t here. But, frozen yogurt, I exclaimed. He maintained the same expression as my friend decreased her own excitement.

“Ok…,” I said hesitantly. “Give me a call if you can make it.”

But she and her boyfriend never did.

To this day, I always wonder if the boyfriend didn’t want his girlfriend to be subjected to poor quality frozen yogurt or because he wanted to spend time alone with her. Or whether simply, he was thinking of his own happiness first.

Do I know you?

It was slightly awkward. I was having a business lunch and was trying hard to make a good impression. When a girl noticed me and I noticed her. Without thinking, I smiled lightly and waved. Then I turned to continue the conversation with my lunch partner about the greater design of good and user experience is changing (or not at all) in our times.

I realized in the back of my head that I couldn’t remember where I knew her from. I felt a little bit of guilt creep to the back of my throat, but I ignored it diving into the conversation.

But then the girl walked up to me and interrupted my intense stream of thought, “Do I know you? What’s your name again?”

I paused stepping in front of my lunch partner to greet her, “My name is Jenn.”

She said her name, but I couldn’t catch it. Then she said, “I met you at Jacqueline’s party.”

“Oh yes,” I nodded and smiled. I felt guilty suddenly because I couldn’t remember… don’t know a Jacqueline…couldn’t continue the conversation with her because I was in an intense conversation with the lunch partner. But I shook the thought out.

Later, I found out that I met her at a dinner party and that she kept saying how we probably would run into each other at lunch since we worked so close together. She seemed excited and I was excited too. Except that 2 months had passed and I had forgotten all about it.

But I won’t let it happen 4 times.

Three reasons for discomfort today

1. My middle finger on my right hand was bitten (by some mysterious something) and swelled up — it’s painful, but I am relishing the joy of having a fat middle finger
2. It’s hot. Hot in San Francisco. Did I ever say that I typically love the weather in San Francisco? Not today I love.
3. Allergies. After visiting my mom in Lafayette, my nose is horribly runny and sneezing is abound.

One and two I can deal with. Three makes me just want to go to the dentist’s office because that was the last place where I felt the air was filtered and it oddly enough soothed my allergies.

Oh there goes the drippy faucet again!