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December 2005

States I’ve been in

December 30, 2005   

Via Angry Chad:

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.


Note: I was too lazy to actually rescale the image so I just put width and height tags around the image, which is making it look ugly.

May the fours be with you

December 28, 2005   

I hate myself for my blog entry title. But I couldn’t help myself.

From A_B:

Four jobs you’ve had in your life: [senior] software engineer, web applications developer, private tutor, newspaper deliverer. I think that’s actually all my jobs, except florist assitant and billiard club drink deliverer/ball & table vacuumer/polisher.

Four movies you could watch over and over: Stand By Me, Grease, The Breakfast Club, The Sound of Music. I used to watch these movies every time they were on tv. And now that I own them, I watch them less. But I could probably sit through another twenty viewings each on them.

Four places you’ve lived: Bay Area (San Jose and Oakland), Boston Area (Cambridge and Boston), Philadelphia, and New York. The only places left are the 3-4 places I lived in Korea.

Four TV shows you love to watch: This list always changes. When I look at profiles for random websites (like friendster), I’m always surprised by what I had previously listed as my favorites at the time. But for all-time favorites, it would be Coupling, Seinfeld, Twin Peaks, and Hell’s Kitchen. This year’s go-to shows were/have been Hell’s Kitchen, Rock Star: INXS, What Not to Wear, and Desperate Housewives. Oh, and Prison Break. Hmm, and My Name is Earl. And Everybody Hates Chris. I keep violating the rule of four. Sorry Lost, but you fell off the list.

Four places you’ve been on vacation: Here is one I won’t violate. 😀 Let’s see… Korea. Er… I’ve visited family in Atlanta. And in Philadelphia. Oh, and I’ve been back to Boston. Sheesh. That’s it. That’s sad. Vietnam and even Canada were for work, so they don’t count.

Four websites you visit daily: The Gamers’ Forum, Google Reader, my “friends” link on Livejournal set up solely to track friends’ locked entries, one of the many travel sites I have bookmarked. I am cheating with Google Reader because that’s my aggregator. If I had to figure out what I hit the most within my aggregator, lately, it’s Seppo’s site, A_B’s site, AngryChad’s site, and Cute Overload, because they update the most frequently of people I know.

Four of your favorite foods: galbi, dwen jang jjigae with LOTS and LOTS of tofu (mmmmmmm tofu), odeng gook, dduk gook.

Four places you’d rather be: Any warm beach with white white sand with clear blue water, with my nieces, with my group of high school girlfriends, eating food with my best friend who does a little happy dance when she’s eating something truly tasty.

Four albums you can’t live without: Let’s not get dramatic here; I can certainly live without any specific album. But the ones I enjoy the most over time are Bon Jovi’s New Jersey, The Temptations’ Greatest Hits (cheat!), The Commitments’ soundtrack, and Jude’s Nobody Is Really Beautiful. I would have included something by New Order, but I sort of tired myself out on them in the first year of having my iPod. It’s my own fault. Plus, seeing them in concert really threw me off.

Merry Christmas Eve!

December 24, 2005   

Today, I got my first firestation tour! Seppo and I had just finished grocery shopping for tonight’s dinner with Seppo’s parents and on the way back, we stopped off at the firestation to pick up some sandbags. (I’m sure Seppo has or will blog about the need for sandbags.) While we were there, they gave us a little tour. It was so cool! The station near Telegraph and MacArthur is fairly new and very cosy. The firefighter who was showing us around assured us that the big tv and leather recliners were not provided by the city and that the firefighters themselves had chipped in to buy them. He said that some people get annoyed if they think that the city bought nice things for them. My attitude is that I don’t jump into fires in order to save people’s lives, so even if the city DID pay for it, I wouldn’t be annoyed. It’s sad that they were in a situation where they felt like they had to explain it to people so that they could avoid potential misgivings.

Can something be so cute that it’s a crime?

December 22, 2005   

Oh, mommy. It’s too cute.


December 20, 2005   

Most of the old web server content is now back up on the new server. However, I have to move over the old wiki data as well as the old message board stuff, and make sure all the directory access control points to the new directory structure. This should be all very straightforward, but I’m having a painful time with the phpBB migration, for some reason. I’m following every step down to the letter, but it screws up somehow. Boo.

Anyway, we now have a more reliable host for roughly $3.90 per month for two years. I won’t recommend them quite yet until we’ve been with them for at least a few months, but we are using, so if you want to sign up with them, please quite “eingy” as your referrer. 😀 Also, don’t forget to google for “promo codes dreamhost” before signing up so that you can get the >50% discount like we did.


December 19, 2005   

All the blogs (mine, seppo’s, the food one) will prob go out at some point in the next day or two for a while, depending on how long it takes me to migrate all our data over and when the nameservers switch over and do their thing. Just a warning.


December 19, 2005   

My sister IMed me with the wonderful, great, fantastic, long-awaited news that her house has finally sold! The new tenants will be ready to move in on February 15th. Now, all we have to wait for is for the factory to sell. Yay! I can’t wait until they move to the US. I will be able to visit [almost] everyone at the same time. I will get to see my nieces often enough that they know who I am. 🙂

Speaking of financial transactions and *cough* awkward segues, Seppo bought me a coat as a part of my Christmas presents (the other gift was flannel sheets which, with an electric blanket, equals sleep heaven). It’s the best fitting, most flattering coat I’ve every owned in my life. The size is perfect and I can’t wait to wear it. The only problem is that it’s black and Mobi is still white and fond of shedding.

Speaking of Mobi and *cold deadly stare* yet another awkward segue, Mobi may meet a new friend soon. Friday, we went to Alex & Tracy’s housewarming/holidy party in their new digs in Walnut Creek. They had just adopted a dog and picked her up from the vet that day! Her name is Audrey Maddie and she is quite the friendly frisky little thing. She weighs about the same as Mobi so I hope they can play well together.

I am getting on my own nerves

December 15, 2005   

When I am excited about something, I can’t shut up about it. I keep catching myself telling the same four (or so) people about my ongoing, very-slow-but-steady weight loss by watching my portion sizes. And it’s getting to the point that I’m getting on my own nerves. It must drive others insane.

So here is my update, then I’ll shut up until next year. 😀 Since 10/18, I’ve lost 5.5 lbs! And that’s with the T-day weekend, lots of friends suddenly visiting (which inevitably means eating out at delicious restaurants), and eating desserts and seconds — just in slightly smaller quantities from before. This just means that instead of two or three slices of deep dish pizza for dinner, I’ll just have one and a half. Or I’ll eat a truffle, but not three. Or I’ll get seconds, but my second plate is slightly smaller than usual. And I never leave a meal feeling less than pleasantly full, as opposed to more than disgustingly full as I used to.

The best thing is that I’m becoming more interested in what I taste now, with an emphasis on flavor and variety rather than quantity. Out at dinner the other day, instead of just an entree, I got a soup, a salad, and an appetizer-sized plate of pasta, plus had some dessert (I think). I’m really enjoying the idea of small plates and/or tapas. If only all restaurants were tapas or dimsum style… That would be so awesome.

I must really be an engineer

December 14, 2005   

I suppose there are only a certain number of years you can do something without it feeling like a part of you.

I was looking at myself in the bathroom mirror at work today, when I thought to myself, “Hmm, I don’t think I like this particular implementation of this design concept,” in reference to my PANTS.

Ok, so I must REALLY be an engineer now.

My friend Holly and I have had numerous talks on how we feel like we gonna get “caught” one day as software engineering frauds for various reasons:

  • Neither of us were programming majors and didn’t plan on landing where we have
  • We both wonder if we should be doing something else at times, something more related to things we value socially and societally
  • We feel like we are great with “systems” design and solving “big picture” problems, but are not super-duper experts of specific syntaxes of specific languages
  • Some other stuff too complicated to cover here 😀

But given how much my everyday engineering pervades my consciousness and thought processes, I must, to some degree, really BE an engineer. Hmm. It’s an interesting paradigm shift for me. If I start seeing myself as an engineer, then this might shift my long-term goals in a different direction. For instance, I have to contemplate things like:

  • Do I want to become a project leader?
  • Do I want to move on to management?
  • Do I want to become a director?
  • Do I want to stay in a senior engineering role?
  • Even if I change eventually to a different industry, do I want to carry over my “engineer-ness” to whatever I do? For instance, I have for a long time considered shifting eventually to a teaching or counseling role — perhaps not now, not even 10 years from now, but later in my life. But perhaps I could become a programming instructor in a community college instead? Perhaps I could work for the school district in some capacity, such as implementing/maintaining/upgrading computer networks throughout the schools or supervising computer-related education?

See?! I do everything in bullet points, even that last one that really shouldn’t be a bullet point. This is what mean.

I don’t know. I do feel like I can be sort of role model to offer to kids at the critical juncture between success in failure, which I think happens late in junior high or early high school. I came from a poor background with a violent home situation, overcoming language issues and racial and gender discrimination enough to get me to a well-paying white collar environment where people respect me and rarely question my judgment.

My path was such a straight line. I think about this constantly. For so many people, they don’t get to follow the straight line. Despite my few (but common) disadvantages, I still had and have a LOT of advantages going for me. I feel as though if I can somehow use what I’ve learned and achieved to get someone else to the same point, I’ll have accomplished something truly great and worthwhile.

Man, I know I do this same type of introspection over and over again and it’s boring to read about. But I feel like now, if I can accept that I am an engineer and this is the concrete thing I have to offer to society, I can start planning around using my assets to achieve my longterm goals, rather than floating from job to job, from day to day.

And to think, all this from pants.

Happy pre-grade school summer memory

December 9, 2005   

I hereby declare a common blog topic — I guess people call them “memes” (boo!) — for today. This was actually an idea that I think kerowack mentioned a long time ago, then Seppo brought up again recently, so I won’t claim credit for it.

For today, blog about a happy summer memory you have from before grade school.

When I was a wee little girl, perhaps a *cough* Wee-Nyung, I used to live in Seoul. It was a crowded, busy place, not without its charms. But every summer and winter break, my family used to go to the countryside, where my grandmas lived within a mile or two down the road from each other.

During those summers, my other cousins would also all be visiting at the same time. We used to roam around, all 5-10 of us, depending on who was there at the time, going to the stream to swim around or trekking to the quarry or helping my grandma’s duck-and-gooseherder herd around the snowy white ducks and geese. I was a favorite of the herding girl, so she used to take me on my own sometimes. The summers were as perfectly Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn as you could have on a completely different continent and in a completely different time.

I can’t quite remember any specific memories. There are vague memories of bursting into tears when my older boy cousin showed me a large, stunning spider web spanning across an wooded path, a rainbow of light sparking through the dew, then threw a rock through it. I remember when I went swimming without my mom’s permission and got in trouble because she was worried I was too small and would get hurt, but I couldn’t find it in myself to regret the experience. 🙂 I think I remember watching my grandma care for her bean sprouts, pouring water over them in their darkened & lidded clay jar. I think I remember my older brother or someone laying down another large rock between the others ones for me to cross over the low part of the stream because I was shorter than most of the other kids, who could hop between the further set stones. My memories are all very fragmented. I wish I could remember more. I just know I was as happy as any kid could be.

Oh, I also remember going “fishing” in the stream. We’d get a large towel or sheet and lay it across the streem, one person on each side, holding it vertically into the water so that the stream would filter through the material on its way downstream. The stream was so full of fish that we’d catch a couple of little things every time. I think once we brought them back to eat, but most of the times, we just let them go.

The other thing we used to do is go collect the special kind of snails that my grandma would cook up. We’d run out to the thorn bush outside her house and break off a large thorn for each person, so that we could use them to pick out the snails from their spiral shells (or whatever they are called). Ah, good times.