Friday, September 26, 2008

conversations about Caltech

Today Megan had me do this exercise:

I was not as graceful as the woman depicted above.

Megan: "Shoulders over your wrists! Raise your leg! You're not raising your leg high enough! Are you listening to what I'm saying?"

Me: [struggling] "This is hard."

Megan: "I know you can figure this out! You went to Caltech."

Me: [out of breath] "We did not learn this at Caltech."


A better example of the Caltech lifestyle happened during a conversation last month with my college friend C3. He has always been an avid video game player, and would disappear for weeks after the release of a Blizzard title.

Me: "So do you play World of Warcraft?"

C3: "I stayed away from it, since I figured that would mark the end of my corporeal existence."

I told this later to Ono, who said while laughing, "Note how he says it's not the end of his entire existence, since he'll still have an existence through WoW."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


My friend made a very pretty room in Lively. It made me happy.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

telling someone they've gotten fat

I'm impressed by this spiel for telling your spouse that they've gotten fat.

I’ve been worried lately because my dad, mom, grandfather, other blood relative, coworker, long time friend or acquaintance… died from a heart attack (or has been ill). I’ve been really thinking about it a lot lately. And I have been trying to come to grips with that for some time. Not because they died (or are ill), but because I know it could have been prevented. They were (pick one or some) overweight, didn’t get any exercise, smoked, drank, were depressed… and I keep asking myself why they chose not to do anything about it? And then I took a hard look at us. I’m wondering if we’re falling into that same rut of complacency. I’ve been reading about the fact that positive lifestyle changes can add years to our lives together. And not just that, but add MEANINGFUL years to our lives.

I think we need to change some things about how we are living, and I’d like your help figuring out what changes we can make. I’ve got some ideas, if you’d be willing to listen: “I think we both need to change what we’re eating. The fast food is convenient, but it’s killing us slowly. I’m willing to do more around the house so that we can make time to eat healthier.” (Dietary habits are key to weight loss)

“I’d also like us to commit to getting in better shape. We both need to get out there. I’m not saying we have to join a gym or be muscle heads. But I know that if we just started walking or playing more that we’d feel better physically and emotionally.”

“I’d also like us to get rid of the junk food in the house and stop buying it. Cheetos, ice cream sandwiches and snack cakes are things I feel we eat too much of. I’m not saying that once in a while is bad, but I think we eat too much of that stuff right now. And if it’s there, I know I’ll go grab it because it’s convenient. Can we work on replacing the junk with healthier alternatives?”

Close by looking deep into their eyes lovingly, and placing your hand on the back of their neck, draw them closer to you. It helps cement communication. Say softly: “Honey, we’re a ‘we’. I depend on you so much for strength and support, and I don’t think I can make these changes without you. I need you in this with me and to be part of the solution for both of us. Can we do this together? I’ll help you and you can help me.”

What do you think, gentle readers? Would you rather hear this, or something straightforward?

Monday, September 15, 2008

hand soaps.

Online soap shopping is challenging! First, you must decide the texture:

  • moisturing
  • deep cleansing
  • gentle foam

and then the bombardment of aromas, without being able to smell them:

  • cherry blossom
  • japanese cherry blossom
  • orange ginger
  • wild honeysuckle
  • sweet pea
  • irresistible apple
  • eucalyptus spearmint
  • lavendar vanilla

But I had to get through it. I am having a soap issue.

I used Costco clear soap for four years. Then I visited a coworker's house, and it opened my eyes to how wonderful soap can be. I know now that soap doesn't have to be just a tool for fighting bacteria. It can be a source of joy and stress relief and energy, depending on the aroma.

Now it will be my turn to have great soap. My soaps will be so satisfying that when people need to go to the bathroom, they'll drive from their house to my house so that they can wash their hands with my soap afterwards.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

traffic spike

Over instant messenger.

niniane: did you wish sha-mayn happy bday?
alipé : yep
alipé : Facebook was down for a while early this morning.
alipé : probably due to the overwhelming volume of people wishing her happy birthday
niniane: lol

happy birthday Sha-mayn

The world is a better place with Sha-mayn.

not the first time someone got fired because of Steve Jobs

At a Mexican taqueria with my brother.

Me: "Did you hear about how Bloomberg accidentally published an obituary for Steve Jobs last week?"

Tom: "No!"

Me: "It was in the news. At a conference the other day, Steve Jobs said, 'The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.'"

Tom: "That's a good one. Oh, I bet that Bloomberg reporter got fired."

Me: "You think so? Yeah, heads probably rolled."

Tom: "Someone ran into his office and said, 'In thirty seconds, prepare to write your own obituary!'"

House Bunny mysteries

Recently I watched "The House Bunny" with my brother. It's an entertaining movie.

The premise is that a playboy bunny gets kicked out of Hef's mansion, and becomes house mother of a geeky sorority. She gives them makeovers, and they teach her to value her smarts.

Here is the before picture of the sorority girls:

and the after photo:

If the movie genre isn't clear, here's another hint: one of the previews featured Richard Gere.

I liked the movie. It reminded me of Caltech (sorry, Beavers). However, there were several mysteries that are disturbing my enjoyment of the film. If you can concoct a reasonable hypothesis for any of them, please leave a comment.

Believable explanations only! No elaborate tales. Also no useless comments like "it's a movie" or "it's all made up".

1. How come the geeky sorority girls have such nice figures? I realize they're in waterbras and heels, but they still have unnaturally good material to start from. Maybe because they're 19 with the youthful metabolisms.

2. Where did they get the money for the makeovers and parties? Manicure / pedicures cost around $50. Hair extensions cost upward of $200. Is this coming from the university sorority budget?

3. How come Oliver gives Shelley (the playboy bunny) another chance even though he wants a smart upstanding woman (plus she lied to him)?

4. After the epiphany about embracing their true selves, why does Natalie still go for this guy who noticed her most when she pretended to be less knowledgeable (about the Aztecs)?

I hope we can resolve these mysteries, so that the path will be paved for House Bunny 2.

Friday, September 05, 2008

For sale: one filing cabinet

Over brunch at University Cafe.

RB: "Did you get my card?"

Me: "Oh, I haven't gone through my mail in a month. It takes so long to file the papers into my filing cabinet."

RB: "Why don't you just dump them into a shoe box?"

Me: "I file them into individual folders for bills, insurance, mortgage, etc."

RB: "How often do you go back to look something up?"

Me: "Almost never. Maybe once a year."

RB: "So you do frequent writes, and infrequent lookups. Why would you choose to pay the cost on write? Just dump everything into a box and then sort through it if you ever need to look for a particular item! You would never design a software system this way."

Me: [stunned into epiphany]