Tuesday, October 21, 2008

How I Feel..

Sometimes I feel like this:

But today, I feel like that:

Friday, August 15, 2008

Pins & Needles.

It's kind of ironic how for the next two weeks, while the best athletes in the world congregate to perform some of the most amazing displays of physicality known to man, I, on the other hand, will remain perfectly stationary while glued to the telly. Every night, I come home from work, plant myself atop my yellow couch, only to get up 5 hours later, dabbing the mist from the corners of my eyes and waiting for my legs to awaken from their slumber. And the following day, the routine continues. I'm kind of addicted.

This is the first Olympics where I am watching with a critical eye. Not of the athletes, but rather, the media. NBC's nightly coverage of the XXIX Olympiad has been something like this:

Costas. Phelps's goggle controversy from the night before! Synchro diving. Phelps cheering during relay! Comcast Wii commercial. Beach volleyball. Phelps's diet! Kerri Walsh's wedding ring. Women's team gymnastics. Phelps vs. Spitz! Swimming prelims. Phelps's mom! Morgan Freeman's voice. Swimming medley finals. Phelps's dog snores! Gymnastics final rotation. Costas showing Bela Karolyi screaming at LCD. And last but not least, just in case your boy wonder quota is just shy of being met.. PHELPS!!

And I like the guy. I really do, and I wish him well in his quest for 8 golds. But media, enough already! There are other Olympians too! ie. Lezar. I've half the mind to turn off primetime in favor of internet/non-obnoxious American coverage. May-Treanor/Walsh are great, but throw some badminton and archery my way. I want to see some Koreans dominate.

It's 3am now, and frankly, until closing ceremonies, sleep is the least of my concerns. I think I'll be taking the late shuttle into work.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Fortune Cookie Chronicles.

I'm mildly obsessed with fortunes. I think this is due to the fact that I'm mildly obsessed with being told how my life will unfold. Only in positive tidbits of my choosing, however, as stark reality in large doses is likely to leave me feeling momentarily dismayed.

I went to the SF Fortune Cookie Company when my parents last visited, and I've been slowly plodding through the cookie jar. Once I get started, I'll eat cookie after cookie. Usually, this is due to the sugar factor, however, fortune cookies are the outlier. I've developed a taste for these crisp wafers, but really, what I eat them for are the folded slips of paper. It used to be that I would eat just one or two before attaining desired outcome. An evolution of Choose Your Own Adventure! without the earmarked pages and the dead ends. 

I can't help but notice that the quality of fortunes has seriously declined over the years. Statements such as Opportunity knocks on your door every day - answer it can at best be described as cliche.  And in case I didn't sense the urgency the first time around, there was: Opportunity is knocking on your door - answer it tomorrow

But that's not to say that fortune cookie heirs and heiresses are not trying. It seems that these companies have begun to take into consideration the marketplace success stories. There is the Disney approach: May all of the 365 dreams you have this year come true. And the business sensibility: Your short term goal will soon be realized.  And then there is the previously unmarked territory of punctuation: The world will look a little better with some love given by you! An exclamation point for emphasis!

There are the descriptions: You are expressive and positive in words, act and feeling. And then the adages: Trust is the secret to finding the answer you're looking for. The horoscopes: A romantic mystery will soon add interest to your life. And the imperatives: You have a charming way with words. Write a letter this week. Not to mention the self-help: Your choices at the moment will be good ones. Trust yourself.

And they say variety is the spice of life.

My life, according to fortunes, is to unfold as follows:
You will make many changes before settling satisfactorily.
An interesting sports opportunity is in your near future. 
You will attend an unusual party and meet someone important.
You will soon bring joy to someone.
It's not quite the five or ten year plan, but it'll have to do. 

As my cookie supply runs down to the remaining three, I can't help but wonder what will be next. I've brushed my teeth for the night, so the future will have to wait till tomorrow. Until then, I'll just have to remember: Now is the best time for you to be spontaneous. Serendipity!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust.

I walked by this bookstore the other day, and jarringly found myself face-to-face with this:

It's a sad thing when independent bookstores close. I used to love this bookstore. While not Kramerbooks & Afterwords (my most favorite bookstore ever) or even Green Apple, this neighborhood storefront held a special place in my Cole Valley-nestled heart. After any trip down Irving, I'd more often than not stop by, get lost in the selection of both new and lovingly used tomes, the lithographs.. and eventually wander out emptyhanded. Most often, it was the simple matter of not having my wallet handy, having just returned from a jog. Other times, it was due to the jotting down of mental notes - mental notes to later purchase the books on Amazon, discounted, I confess. 

I'm the reason these stores are closing. 

Black Oak Books, may you rest in peace. I loved you; I only wish I had showed it at the time.

Monday, June 23, 2008

People I'm Convinced Are INFPs.

* Ben Gibbard
* David Sedaris
* Amelie Poulain
* Chris Martin

Monday, June 9, 2008

Four Letter Words.

About a year ago, I became infatuated with all things Myers-Brigg. Having taken an inventory online, I was presented with a four letter acronym and an explanation of what makes me tick. And as I began to read through that personality profile, I was amazed. Who knew that such an accurate description existed in four simple letters: I, N, F, and P?

The first paragraph was a general description. I had read somewhere that in a focus group where a personality test was administered to a classroom of high school students, the same rose-colored assessment was given to each member of the class. Each student was pleasantly surprised with their results, nodding in agreement, thinking the results had been tailored exclusively to them when really, the same blurb seemed to apply to everyone. Smart in their own way. Potential to do great things. Key themes that could read true for every student in the room. People like to see themselves in the brightest of lights.

But as I read on, so many of the questions I had, things that driven me crazy about myself over the years were instantly illuminated. How was it that I couldn't answer a simple black and white question, but instead see a full spectrum of gray? Could this be reverse autism, where I was unable to take anything literally? And where was this test 10 years ago during my adolescent angst?

More important was the following: could there be others out there?

And that's when I noticed the list. In addition to shedding light on why you are the way you are, Ms. Myers and her mother Briggs had thoughtfully included a list of notable counterparts. Although not many in number, there were others like me, only famous!

As I perused that list, I breathed a breath of fresh air.

With the existence of other fellow INFPs such as Jackie O (I always liked that pillbox hat), young Drew Barrymore's pal E.T., and Mary, mother of Jesus, suddenly, my shades of gray world became technicolor.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Spoonful of Sugar.

It began with an ambulance, a hospital, and a shot of morphine. Well actually, it began with some Chinese herbal medicine. Talked into taking herbal supplements by my mum over Mother's Day weekend, I ingested my morning dosage of han yak (Chinese herbal medicine) and carried on with my day. I consumed my daily serving of Special K mixed with Smart Start, tossed and turned in my chair, raided my co-worker's box of Mint Cookies & Cream Frangos, sent an email, and then contemplated and caved into another Frango. The usual.

A couple hours later, I feel a wave of nausea and lightheaded-ness. This is not good.

I stop by my meeting, long enough to blurt out "IfeellikethrowingupI'llseeyoulater!" and make a beeline for the onsite doctor. After confirming that I'm not pregnant, the medical aide shows me into a room with a giant beanbag. Sink and trash can? Check and check. I can rest assured. I then fall into a 30 minute nap, waking up just in time to throw up in the sink. Upon realizing what time it is, I clean up the mess and limp over to my creative writing class.

"I'msosorrybutIcan'tstayI'mfeelingreallysickbuthere'stheassignmentcansomeonegetmybag?" Tom, the instructor, looks concerned and asks a fellow student to journey to another building to grab my belongings.

As I'm stumbling over to the building lobby, where my friend Grace is waiting for me, I collapse on the sofa to take a breather. And that's when it begins. The sequence went something like this: receptionist calls over security guard who calls security guards plural who call the emergency response team who notify the Mountain View Fire Dept (onsite doctors are gone for the day) who call the paramedics who strap me into a gurney, roll me across main campus, into an ambulance and cart me off to the hospital.

"Where are you?" Google.
"What time is it?" 5:30ish. My mental capacities are in tact.
"We're going to check your blood sugar level." Do I have diabetes?! I knew I shouldn't have killed off my co-worker's box of Frangos!
"No, just standard procedure, ma'am."

This is the second time I've ridden in an ambulance, and the sirens did not sound.

At the hospital, there is no wait. I'm rolled into the corner bed, change into a dressing gown that ties in the back and am wristbanded. So this is what it feels like. Certified patient now.

Here's what I learned: explaining the concept of han yak to non-Asian medical caregivers is no easy feat.

"Did you eat anything today, miss?" Well... there's this eastern medicine thing that I took this morning..
"What's it for?" Erm.. general good health? It's not exactly like how Tylenol is for headaches.
"What is it, exactly?" I have the bottle here, but there's no label, and no, wait.. don't open it.. it smells really bad.. I warned you..

By now, I'm rather dehydrated. Continually tossing and turning in pain, I ask where Grace is. The waiting room, they tell me. The nurses hook me up to an IV.

Will this make me throw up again? "No, this will go straight to your veins."

I feel something surge through me, and I'm hurting like I've never hurt before. I saw an episode of Grey's Anatomy where Karev miscalculates the amount of fluids to give and the patient dies. This is what's running through my head as I'm writhing in pain.

Why are you torturing me, nurse? We've only just met.
A shot of morphine later.. I love you, nurse.

Grace is finally brought in. She's studying for tomorrow's exam, while I'm catching up on half a day's work email on my phone. Such a wonderful friend. :)

A drunk patient from two beds over wanders by and mouths something that I'm squinting to make out. "I'll pray for you," he says, convinced I'm terminal. Grace and I giggle, while the drunk guy wanders back to his area.

I'm discharged later that night, once my blood tests check out, and my roommates pick me up. I unfold a hastily scribbled prescription, which simply reads: STOP TAKING CHINESE MEDICINE!

And so begins my birthday week.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Happiest Place on Earth.

With the Superbowl now over, what was I going to do next? Go to Disneyland, naturally.

Last week, I got to traipse around the happiest place on earth with the happiest company on earth, as part of our annual company trip. Google flew its west coast employees down to sunny LA, put us up in Anaheim and Disneyland hotels, and granted us free passes to both Disneyland and California Adventures for the day. At night, they reserved the entire park for us, set up bars, DJs, and dance floors, not to mention the most awesome fireworks display I've ever seen.

Scenes from Disneyland:

Outside California Adventures. I love this photo for its washed out, 70's family vacation quality.

Entering Main Street. The colors and vibrancy make it a perfect subject for Lomos. The developed photos actually came out like this, with the black borders. I cropped out the borders on the other pictures, but thought this one looked cool. I don't think I loaded the film properly, but it's a cool effect.

Mickey & Tink! The first thing you see when you enter the Disneyland turnstiles.

You can see Matterhorn peeking out from off in the distance.

The enchanted castle. Not sure why this turned out so washed out.. a bit more than I would have liked. Anyone know how to avoid the glare? Perhaps the shutter was held down too long.

Tommorrowland. I got to ride Space Mountain with the lights on at 1 in the morning!

Teacups. I never get sick of this ride. I get giddy everytime I spin the wheel.

During the trip, I ran into two girls from my high school. It really is a small world after all..

In front of the Haunted Mansion. There was this glare that ruined a bunch of shots on this roll, but it works for this one. Maybe it's an apparition. :)

A barbershop quartet at a store on Main Street. Still trying to figure out the best camera settings for indoor and evening shots, but I like how the stripes came out.

I'm naturally terrible about taking photos, but now that I have my new Diana+ made by those folks over at Lomography, photography is fun again.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008