Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Happy (lunar) New Year!
It's officially the year of the horse!
Meigh all things go your way ;)

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lunar New Years Eve

When I called home to wish my parents happy new year, my mom says:
We're eating lots of good food. Why aren't you here?
Oh Chinese moms! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On the Bachelor and geography

Call me pedestrian, but when I go home and watch tv I want to turn my brain off because I'm off duty now. What better way to become a mindless zombie than by watching the Bachelor!

Best quote ever: 
"Korea? I don't even have a kimono!"
Now kiddos can you tell me where Iraq is?

Monday, January 27, 2014

It didn't get the memo

Apparently this turkey did not get the memo to make itself scarce during Thanksgiving and is still lurking around my company. It's actually quite big and started to approach me while I tried to snap a picture of it. I bolted like the wind!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

A productive winter weekend

You know you've been productive when you:
+ Made homemade lasagna and wolfed down a quarter of it because you were starving
+ Gathered the courage to tell a colleague from a professional organization that he drunken antics are not professional
+ Went on a second date and got a taste of your own medicine: yes you are there to vet future potential with the guy but don't treat it like an interview! It was no fun to be eyeballed for compatibility, stability, and fertility the second time you meet someone. While I appreciate the seriousness, I keep thinking "Where is the fun? How can I be with someone I'm not enjoying some fun time with?"
+ Went on a bowling date and proceed to flatter your date by losing horribly at bowling, unintentional of course
+ Saw the Bachelor "live" wedding, which reduce you to sniffles around the romantic occasion

All in all a good weekend!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Online dating -- Do I judge you when:

- Your online profile has horrible pictures
- You do not use proper punctuation or capitalization on your profile/communication. Do not even get me started on grammar!
- Offer sexual proposition
- Expect a hook up on the first date
- You drop off mid-communication. Note that this can occur when the guy has even got my phone number!
- The guy who takes the prize was from eharmony (Who would think has "serious" seekers!) We proceeded to text where he would sporadically invite me to last minute events. (Hate to disappoint you guys but women don't just sit around with bated breath for your communication. We have to live life!) He then proceed to drop off and then recontacted 2 months later (My theory is that he was dating someone else and it didn't work out so instead of starting fresh he just backtracked.) Upon refreshing my memory of who he is, when I pointed out his sporadic communication he became quite nasty over text... then I can see why it may not have worked out with the other person.
- We finally meet and you don't even buy me coffee. Note that when you offer dinner or drinks previously, I decline but opted for coffee, tea, or gelato because I don't want to waste your money because it can be quite expensive meeting so many women via online dating! The coffee costs about $3, surely you can spare that!
- The absolute worse time was when I was in an air cast due to a badly sprained ankle, not only did the guy did not offer to get me coffee, but when I mentioned that I am getting water he DID NOT even offer to get it. For Pete's sake I am in a freaking air cast! That's the least you can do for another injured human being that went all the way to the coffee shop to see you!
- Wear a blue hoodie with a pink clown on it. Not sure what sort of message you want to send...
- Keep interrupting me while I am speaking. I have patiently listened to your life story and made small talk, the least you can do is return the courtesy.

So the answer to all these scenarios is: Yes.

Friday, January 24, 2014

It's a hoot

One can only hope to be as colorful and wise as an owl as we travel down this journey of life.

Bought during Grand Teton and Yellowstone trip.
Artist: Deborah Fox

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Sometimes I feel like I have 3 jobs:

+ My regular day job
+ The progressing-Asian-American-women program in an Asian American professional organization job
+ Online dating job -- developing compulsive twitching "wink" on, swiping right on Tinder, and saying "like" on Coffee Meets Bagels

Man this is exhausting! And two of my jobs don't even pay me!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Is it cheating when...

I state that my New Year's resolution is to "+ Update blog everyday, even if it is something small or a just a random thought." ...only to not do it...despite having MLK day off AND 2 work from home days due to yet another polar vortex snowstorm?

Nah, that is what retro-posting (thanks technology!) is for. Now I can secretly timestamp the posts to my hearts content and still make it seem I am posting everyday.

That is unless my loyal fans (one silly college friend and my imaginary Golden Doodle who can access the internet with his smart phone, on come on we ALL have smart phones now!) are checking in everyday because they are just amazing.

Shame on me. I will post everyday now...for realz!

Monday, January 20, 2014

The first cup moistens my lips and throat. The second cup breaks my loneliness. The third cup searches my barren entrails but to find therein some thousand volumes of odd ideographs. The fourth cup raises a slight perspiration - all the wrongs of life pass out through my pores. At the fifth cup I am purified. The sixth cup calls me to the realms of the immortals. The seventh cup - ah, but I could take no more! I only feel the breath of the cool wind that raises in my sleeves. Where is Elysium? Let me ride on this sweet breeze and waft away thither. 
- Lu Tung, poet

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Dreams of cherry blossoms

As winter continues to drag on with the teasing snowstorms and cruel winds, dreams of spring cherry blossom reminds me that spring will come!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

First impressions -- the online dating profile picture

I get it: online dating is neither easy for the male nor female ego with the whole sifting through mountains of pictures, getting the courage to reach out with a wink/message/ice breaker/swipe right, not getting a response; or getting a response but then the person flakes out or drops off mid-communication with no signs; or *gasps* getting to actually dating but then the person may not respond or break off things without warning.

So to make the process a bit easier, you think that people would start off on the good foot. Coming from a female perspective who has been on multiple online dating platforms: men are pretty bad about their first impressions -- the profile picture. (And please do not tell me I am shallow because ALL people judge others on physical looks upon first meeting. Plus this is a two way street: both men and women do it!). In looking at 100s of profile pictures the ones that are NOT good first impressions are:

- Naked without a shirt guy -- This guy has a great body and he knows it with his six pack abs, bulging flexed arms, shaven/waxed chest, and bronzed body. He probably expects that is enough to do the trick with the ladies along because that's what he's been using his good looks since birth to do his bidding as a cute baby. He not only survived puberty in one unscarred piece but came out of it even hotter with broad shoulder, chiseled cheekbones, and other manly assets. He is most probably looking to physical stuff ASAP and probably doesn't want a relationship, however a great hookup if you are into these things. Although I would be wary of STDs...

 - Guy with a gun -- This guy has membership to NRA or wants to appear manly in order to compensate for something. I don't understand how holding firearm is supposed to appeal to the general female population unless the females are looking for Dick Cheney-esque partners, are avid hunters themselves, or think that fire power equates to man power. If someone is actually a skilled hunter who is conscientious about consuming the animal that is eaten then that's fine but if you have no idea what do with the gun except look cool, that is not cool and you can accidentally blow off someone's face or hurt Bambi's mom.

- Guy standing in the crowd of guy friends -- First of all who is the actual guy? He's embedded with all his friends perhaps he thinks that there is safety in number. I agree: if you want to look younger then hang with older people, if you want to look prettier then hang out with less good looking people, and if you want to look smarter then don some glasses and read a book. However this does not help the female distinguish who the heck he is without panning 5 photos later. Also what's up with the insecurity of not just presenting yourself as is?

- Guy with an attractive female -- If the guy already has attractive friendly females in his life then why is he on an online dating site? What type of message is he trying to send: my friend/sister/cousin/ex-girlfriend is super hot so I have really high standards? If you are a single guy then portray yourself as a single guy or at least click a few buttons via Microsoft Paint (comes free with every Microsoft Windows) and crop her out!

- Guy with baby/small child -- If the guy actually has a child then it is incredibly sweet that he includes his child in the photo because the kid is important enough in his life to show right away. However the issue is that there are a lot of younger 20 something year old holding a kid and then putting caption such as: "Not my kid but my niece/nephew/neighbor's kid" so why bother? Clearly they were asked enough times by some messaging female. Good bait if she is into kids but total false advertisement

- Guy with really unflattering angle -- Dude, taking a picture is not that hard! If you have a friend then ask them to help you out. If you do not have a friend nearby then snap a selfie which is not only free but redoable in different conditions. Because that picture of you with double chin and/or cocked eyebrow and/or bulging stomache and/or cocky smirk and/or receding hairline is not that flattering. I am not say to hide these things but a picture is worth a thousand words so make them count!

- Guy doing a really cool activity (like surfing, riding a motorcycle, or bungee jumping) but is so small you can't see anything -- I get it: you are super cool and adventurous but I can't see what you look like! So before you post the super duper cool picture can you just post a more normal picture. Because between you and the "guy standing in a crowd of guy friend" guy I am sick of flipping through 6 pictures to see what you look like.

- Guy with sunglasses/hat/novelty glasses/hand obstructing his face -- By now it's the end of the day after work, I'm slightly hangry during my train ride back because I haven't eater dinner yet, ran home just in time to stuff my face so that I don't pass out from low blood sugar, and am watching the Bachelor on tv while simultaneously paging through at least 10 profiles, please don't make me work this hard to flip to your n-th picture to see what you really look like.

So in the end what am I, or most females presumably, looking for in a profile picture:
+ Your face? What do you look like?!?!

We don't expect a super model and beauty is in the eye of the beholder but at least put a somewhat normal picture that represents you as a person. Extra points if you look attractive, kind, and not mean. Of course a great picture is not going to make up for a bad personality but put your best foot forward so that it makes it easier for us ladies to go through this process and I hope that the ladies are doing the same.

Or maybe I am just too boring and don't want a good looking male model holding a gun with tons of male friends while sky diving alongside his sexy ex-girlfriend and his kid and simultaneously taking a selfie at an unflattering angle with a helmet hiding his face.

Friday, January 17, 2014

One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the word's end somewhere, and holds fast to the days, as to fortune or fame.
- Willa Cather; writer, "Le Lavandou" 1902

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Keep on going, and the chances are you will stumble on something, perhaps when you are least expecting it. I have never heard of anyone stumbling on something sitting down. 

- Charles Kettering; inventor, engineer, and businessman

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Brussel sprout obsession

I don't know where I get my obsession with brussel sprouts from considering my parents never made them. I especially love it when there are "fried" brussel sprout on a restaurant menu, usually meaning a mass of semi-fried green balls dressed with a delicious combination of tangy, salty, and spicy sauce.

For my at-home fix I just oven bake brussel sprout halves drizzled with olive oil, salt, and pepper. It really brings out the natural sweetness and nuttiness of this vegetable.

Monday, January 13, 2014

That's the one nice thing about being a dork about men: you can sometimes play it off as restrained and classy.
- Mindy Kaling, actor and comedian, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lessons learned from repeated "reorgs"

It's been quite a peculiar year work-wise last year, actually the last 3 years. Somehow I've gone from bright eyed and bushy tailed, newly minted B-school graduate to experiencing multiple "reorgs/reorganizations" (corporate speak for layoffs). It's almost the end of the year and since the company is not making it's top line due to unsuccessful product launches, it is resorting to decreasing costs to meet the bottom line. The positive is that the stock prices is going up however the negative is that this is the umpteenth "reorg" we have experienced this year.

Looking back I have learned so much: who I am as a person under stress, what defines my "worth," how companies treats people, how I would like to be treated, and in turn how I should treat others.

My first sense of this began when a layoff was announced 3 months in advance, I was unbearably stressed to the point where I was losing sleep and on an emotional seesaw. It was almost psychological torture: why take 3 months to announce a layoff!?!? Why not just rip the band aid off cleanly? (On the other hand I could have also circumvent some of it by applying for jobs (another story for another time).) My sigh of relief was short lived when I:
1- found out that I was "safe"
2- went on unanticipated postponed vacation a few days after the pronouncement 3- came back from vacation to see company announcement of X% layoff of workforce by 20XX!

It was funny, replete with all the ironic glory, and made me realize this: I take pride in my work but it doesn't define me as a person. If I knew ahead of time that I wasn't "safe" I wouldn't have been so stressed during the first round! Change is continually happening. With this competitive global market that is not necessarily growing at the rate that supplies new graduates opportunities, the trend will most likely continue. My environment, team, and role has changed 3 times in 1 year. I am grateful for all the experiences, place, and people my work has brought to me however there is no "safe." In the end it's important to be proud of what I do and the value of my work because if I don't value myself, most probably others will be less likely to value me. Same goes for any relationship. The trick is that you need to show someone your value and make them value your values. Now say that 10 times faster!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

An the valuation is...0

It's amazing the amount of money I've spent on clothes over the year and how quickly the clothes devalue. On a recent post-closet cleaning trip I've decided to give the local the consignment store dibs on the clothes before I donate it. It's surprising and sad to hear that the clothes are not worth much if anything, especially shoes. It reminds me of cars: losing half their value when they leave the dealership parking lot.

That teaches me a lesson in buying clothes.  

Friday, January 10, 2014

Best sushi ever (at least best sushi in NYC!)!

The ultimate splurge for my 30th birthday, Christmas, New Years, and Valentines present to self: a lunch at Sushi Yasuda!!!

The best sushi was definitely the toro tuna and especially the uni (sea urchin roe). I'm usually not a fan of uni since it can be very briny and fishy smelling however this uni was simply so fresh that it had no such scent, simply just melting in the mouth and coating it with this unctuous creaminess... mmmm I can still taste it in my dreams.

Although this is not Jiro's sushi, it is the best sushi I've ever had!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

We are all a little weird and life is a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.

- Dr. Seuss, writer, cartoonist, and poet

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Life is like a game of Jenga

You never know which block will totally undo all your hard work and black manipulation, but if you don't try then you will never know high you can go!

Also when it falls down you just start all over and try again.

Monday, January 6, 2014

New Years resolution/to-do list to date

+ Be kinder to myself and others so I can be a little less impatient, more compassionate, and more loving.
+ Get on resident email contact list of my condo to avoid future accidental cold showers in the winter when there is no hot water!
+ Maintain health and fitness despite bummed ankle, which has been twisted one too many times! Walk 10,000 steps at least 3 times a week.
+ Update blog everyday, even if it is something small or a just a random thought.
+ Become a network monster!: connect with at least one person/professional either in current or new industry via email per week. Talk or meet a person/professional for information interviews once a month. Apply to at least one job a month.
+ Travel to Vancouver and/or Spain.
+ Figure one aspect of life out: location (Where should I live longer term?), work (Should I stay or should I go?), and love (Find and keep it!).

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Charming morning tea

Delightful tea service at Hi-Collar, a Japanese tea parlor by day and sake joint at night, in NYC. Darjeeling on the left and English Breakfast tea on the right.

What makes this place so appealing is its 1980's Japanese vibe -- with a brass high top bar style seating, light jazzy music wafting in the background, and awesome restroom.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

This is the difference between dating and marriage right? I mean you go out on a date with a guy and he picks his nose, you don't go out on another date. You're married to a guy and hi picks his nose..."You know he has a heart of gold, don't touch the fruitcake!" Right? You find a way to be happy with what's happened.

- Dan Gilbert, professor of psychology, author of Stumbling on Happiness, The Surprising Science of Happiness