Wednesday, June 30, 2010

R-rated octopus joke

At Azer's birthday dinner tonight, at Garçon in the Mission district.

Flora: "I heard a joke yesterday from my nephew.  What did the male octopus say to the female octopus?"

Me: "I want to see your Octopussy."

Flora: "No.  He said, 'I want to hold your hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand, hand.'"

Me: "Mine's better.  Or alternatively, he said, 'I eight her out last night.'"

Flora: "My nephew is 5.  I'm not telling him these."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

life stages

At CM's birthday brunch on Sunday, five of us were talking on his patio. Henry gave an update on his ex-girlfriend who emotionally cheated on him, and is now in a long-distance relationship with another guy but still talks intensely to him. Rostam told us about his amazing first date with a woman last week, but the sparks are fading because she's too busy to hang out.

Me: "What's going to happen when we're all married and there's nothing juicy to talk about any more?"

Rostam: "There's always things to talk about at any stage: buying a house, having a kid, the kid going to school, parents' health problems, financial investments."

Me: "Those all sound incredibly boring to talk about."

Michael: "I'm with Niniane. Everything you just said sounds boring."

Lillers: [reassuringly] "Don't worry. I'm sure we won't all go into that stage at the same time."

Henry: "So you're saying that some of us will never find anyone to be with."

Lillers: "No, no."

Henry: "Then you're saying that by the time some of us are getting married, others of us will be getting divorced."

Me: [laughing really hard]

Henry: "I'm just making the implications explicit."

Friday, June 25, 2010

Sunfire office warming photos

The Sunfire office warming was last night.

People listening to introductions.

View from one of the windows.

Something funny happened to the side of the camera, which everyone is looking and laughing at.

Me with Sangeeta.

Action shot, with Elaine in foreground, and Yishan in the space to her right.

My favorite quote was at the entrance, when an attendee said cheerfully to me: "Sorry I'm late! I had to delay 30 minutes to sell my company to Playdom."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

photos from Europe wedding trip

Here are some photos from traveling in the countries near Monaco right before the wedding. My friend Megan went on the trip with me. She has been my personal trainer for three years, and we are also friends.

Megan posing with her French hat.

Me in a newly purchased French hat!

The dress, shoes, and purse in this photo are also purchased in France. I usually dislike shopping, but Megan forcefully taught me to appreciate it on this trip.

She described ten rules of shopping: always show your friend what you tried on, go into many stores (not just a few), be super-nice to the sales clerk, and some others I forget. When I told this to my brother, he said, "You only remember three of the ten? That's only 30% retention rate!"

Megan mid-shopping.

Megan right before going for a run.

A cool art display in our hotel lobby.

A church. I always find it calming to sit inside a church during a busy day. You are assured of a quiet, respectful environment. No one will pester you, or try to sell you tourist junk, or get into a loud argument next to you.

The architecture itself is majestic and inspiring. I wonder how much of people's religious faith is influenced by how good it feels to go inside a church.

Vernazza, a little coastal town in Italy.

A multi-tier display of coconut, sold at a street vendor.

Monday, June 21, 2010

definition of a hipster

I've had difficulty understanding what a hipster is. People just describe attributes, like "hipsters wear tight jeans" or "hipsters look anorexic" or "hipsters are unhappy even in expensive homes".

It s like trying to understand what a Jewish person is like, when you only get surface descriptions such as "some of them have large noses" or "they have a ceremony called a Bar Mitzvah".

Anyway, today a new friend Renee was kind enough to define it for me:
I'd define a hipster as a cultural early adopter (as opposed to an early adopter of technology or fashions, though a hipster might be those too): someone who takes a certain delight in getting there first, whether there is a neighborhood, a restaurant, a hobby, a band, or whatever.

Do people agree?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

funny things my dad says

Happy Father's Day to my dad!

I think these are more entertaining in Mandarin, so the Chinese speakers will appreciate it more.

"有人一生象 sin(x),从零开始,到一。 还有人象 cos(x),从一开始,到零。 反正从零到 2 * pi 积分,最后都是零。“
("Some people's lives are like sin(x): starts from zero and then increases to one. Others are like cos(x): starts at one and then goes to zero. Regardless, when you integrate from zero to two pi, it all ends up being zero in the end.")

"十件事里,有七八件顺利就满足了。 如果好处全让你们家得着了,那别人还活不活了?"
("Out of ten things, be content if seven or eight of them go well. If all the advantages in life accrue to your family, are other people going to keep on living?")

"我昨天跟你妈说:你这次去法国参加婚礼,幸亏你没养猪。 你说:把猪搁哪儿? 你说说看猪能搁哪儿。"
("Yesterday I was telling your mom: this time you went to Europe for a wedding, thank God you never got a pet pig. Tell me: where would you put the pig? Let's hear where you could put the pig while you're gone.")


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Elaine's wedding

Last week I went to my dear friend Elaine's wedding in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

The wedding was held at Hotel Hermitage. The day started off overcast, but thankfully cleared up in time for the ceremony.

Elaine's entrance was breathtaking. She looked so picturesque! Everyone gasped.

Cute. :)

The wedding cake was made of maccaroons.

Me with Victoria, another friend of the bride.

Hor d'oeuvres!

A pretty ornamental piece made of an orchid and candle in water.

The bride and groom were so relaxed throughout the evening. They both did brief Texan accents during their wedding vows (they are from Texas). Later we did a bunch of goofy dances on the dancefloor. They are such a silly and happy couple together. It was really sweet to see.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sunfire furniture hilarity

Sunfire Offices doesn't have a coffee table yet. We ordered an ottoman online, but it hasn't arrived yet. Yesterday I came in and someone had constructed a coffee table out of empty furniture boxes.

The cardboard flower and vase were made by "Tao", one of the engineers in the office. It is even more adorable in person. The texture of the cardboard looks flower-like.

The real roses were brought by ex-Googler "Ava" in appreciation for the office space. It's really nice having flowers around.

On Tuesday, six office members went to IKEA to buy more desks and chairs, since all of our initial furniture is now in use. I was out of town during the trip. On my return, I asked "Vishnu" (ex-Google research scientist) how the trip went.

Vishnu: "The desks come in two parts: the glass surface and the four legs. Since we were getting eight desks, we needed 32 legs. After we put them into the cart, I counted the legs and there were only 31. I asked Yishan to count. He counted 33."

Me: [laughing]

Vishnu: "We had the four other people count, and each of them ended up getting a slightly different number. So we decided, like engineers, that we would just go to the checkout, and they would scan in the bar codes and tell us whether we have 32."

Me: "Oh, good idea."

Vishnu: "At the checkout, two different cashiers scanned it, and got two different counts. Finally, we spread them out on the floor and made bundles of four. We made a bundle of four, and then next to it, another bundle to make eight, then twelve, and so forth."

Me: [laughing harder than before]

Vishnu: "There ended up being 36 legs."

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

pork buns

Cute pork buns! (Photo courtesy of my friend Victoria)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Power overwhelming!

Tom: Check out my new license plate.

Me: Oh. My. God. That is awesome.

Tom: Maybe my license plate will attract hot girls who are also 'for aiur'.

Me: As you drive, there will be girls throwing their phone numbers into your open window.

Me: Or, I guess, their usernames.

Friday, June 04, 2010

the book "Travels"

I recently read the book "Travels" by Michael Crichton.

What a marvelous book!

The author is very self-aware about his psychological state. In one scene, he went camping, and became anxious about wild animals entering his camp. He couldn't sleep. Eventually he heard crashing sounds and was terrified. He looked outside to see a huge elephant. He panicked. Then he realized the worst has happened, and there's nothing he can do, and he went to bed and felt promptly asleep.

I found this a fascinating rendition of how the anticipation is usually worse than the outcome.

He also wrote candidly about his romantic relationships, how his second marriage ended during a hilltop conversation when the two of them spoke of their future plans and realized they were making individual plans, not plans as a couple. Then they talked about being hungry and wondering what's for dinner, and went down the hill to their camp.

He talked about another relationship coming to a close during a trip to Hawaii when his girlfriend was miserable, and he spent all his energy maintaining a cheerful mood no matter what she did.

It was much more satisfying than Jack Welch's autobiography, which describes the end of his 23-year marriage in a single sentence with no actual explanation.

Good writers create such amazing autobiographies!