Wednesday, August 25, 2021

name that price

Talking recently to a longtime friend "Hanh".

Hanh: "I was asked to give a talk, and I need to tell them a speaker fee."

Me: "Ask for a good price! Don't undersell yourself. You're a world expert in your field."

Hanh: "The market rate is X, but I'm going to say one third of X."

Me: "Why?! Why not ask for market rate?"

Hanh: "I feel bad asking to make X dollars for a few hours of work. The price per hour seems absurd."

Me: "But that's the market rate! You know that white dudes less qualified than you will ask for double of X."

Hanh: "Yes, I know they do. And I've been working in this specific field for 10 years, to build up all the expertise I have now. But I still can't bring myself to ask for X."

Me: "Okay, the Olympics are happening now. You know how some Olympic athletes get an award of $500,000 from their government, if they win a gold medal?"

Hanh: "Yeah."

Me: "Some Olympic events are really short. The pole vault is like 30 seconds. So if an athlete does a pole vault and wins a gold medal, that doesn't mean their wage is now $1 million dollars per minute. It means they trained for their whole lives, and it culminates in this one moment."

Hanh: "Oh hm. That's true."

Me: "Hanh, this is your pole vault." 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Still life with fruits

Looking at a painting in a museum.

Aff: "What if there were a terrible accident and all the food tumbled down and was smashed on the floor? The dog would have to eat it all."

Me: "Yeah."

Aff: "That's what the dog is thinking."

Tuesday, August 03, 2021

A moveable feast

We visited my mom's friend L. My mom and L have known each other for more than 40 years. 

L cooked a feast! 

I said I would skip the garlic sauce to put on the soba. L said, "Without the garlic sauce, the soba will need to have several points deducted." I ate the garlic sauce. 

It is nice to see people who knew my mom in her youth.