Donnie Darko and Guns, Germs, and Steel

Donnie Darko - fascinating movie. I liked it. Can't really recommend it though, since the movie would only suite those with the taste for sci fi. You can, however, see Jake Gyllenhaal of Brokeback fame in his first starting role (I believe). Destined to be a good actor, for sure. He's younger than me.

Guns, Germs, and Steel - I'm into Part 2, and it's a really really really good book. So far, I would rate it above the much more heralded Freakenomics. To be honest, I'm very intrigued by the assertions in the book... especially the preface about very "backward" people learning new technologies with relative ease. (i.e. anybody can do my job)

My life is being rocked these few days.


Alone vs. Lonely

I usually feel alone every now and then. Lately I've been feeling more lonely.

Feeling alone, to me, is a good thing. Time to look inside and see what is going on. Evaluate what's going on. Ask yourself questions. Wonder about the world. Care about the people you love. Think about life. Or just relax. It depends on the current mood. I control the moment. That's alone.

When the moment controls me, that's lonely. And I suddenly feel lonely. Last night and today.

This picture was taken in Limerick, Ireland. It is a tiny piece of sculpture stuck on the outside wall of the museum. If I hadn't looked out the window (due to bad ventilation - I needed some fresh air), I wouldn't have found him.

He. is. alone. Or so I think.

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Peaking... when!?

Interesting article thanks to the dirty canuck... I wonder if the same applies to businesses that require creativity.



Anyone seen the movie Signs, starring Mel Gibson and director M. Night Shyamalan (and the always under-appreciated Jaoquin Phoenix)? There are signs around me these days as July 23rd rolls around.

I dream a dream... I can't remember the details, but at some point I was hanging off some barb wire on some building. On the other end was Alan. I wasn't strong enough to hold on to him. I wasn't upset when I woke up or anything. It was a bit weird though.

Friday night went to Chris Poon and Vivian Tsang's wedding. After the wedding, I went to a club to meet up with some friends. There I met Francis, one of Alan's best friends at CMU. He told me he got kicked out of school and is now studying to finish his degree elsewhere. And he commented that Alan would have probably been kicked out too. =)

Saturday, I went to play ball with friends. It's more like helping my friend set up a basketball tournament business. Not sure if it's going to work. The logo certainly doesn't (don't ask, I don't know). But the business has potential. Anyway, at the court were a couple of Alan's classmate, one of them who used to be pretty good friends with Alan.

Signs. They are everywhere when you look for them. And they are nowhere when you are not. And they are everywhere when you try to avoid them.


More bathroom

Don't worry, Huckle Cat, this isn't another I poop you poop entry... but still pretty entertaining.

So, I was having dinner with my friend V at this Mexican restaurant in Central. Tacoloco was the ultra creative name. Food was pretty good - I had a Chili Verde Chicken buritto. The fresh lime juice was good until the last two sips - too much sugar left in the bottom.

Anyway, the key is the bathroom. V was answering a phone call, so I took the opportunity to use the bathroom. Typical small toilet door in Hong Kong. But this one was different. It didn't open all the way, cus the washing basin was in its way. Me being larger than most Hong Kong men, I had to slip into the bathroom sideways. Then the difficulty begins... I need to turn the other way sidways so I can close the door behind me. And so I did. The next thing I can't even put in words... but I will:

I fit myself into the... um... corner. There was no space really. My shoulders barely squeezed by the walls on both sides, I hit the washing basin on my back. By tilting a bit, I avoided the walls on both sides and was able to take good aim. Getting out of the bathroom was everything in reverse... turning the other way to slip through the door. What an experience.

TMI? I think not.


Good and Movie

Woohoo, a review!

Kiku (贺菊) in Landmark. Very good Japanese sushi place. We (Kaleen and I) had toro sushi so good that we thought it was beef tartar sushi. Also had thin sliced beef: the US imported beef was half the price of the Japanese import. It was pretty good, which made me quite intrigue at the difference between the two products given the price gap! Would recommend to go back there for Japanese food.

Apparently, we were sitting beside the richest family in Macau. I had no idea who they were, except that they were quite rude and classless. Thankfully, Kaleen recognized their faces.

Food in Hong Kong is awesome. We paid a price for the nice meal... but my lunch was a $1.5 noodle (沾仔记) that was also very good! I'm going to be a sad man when I go back to Chicago.

Saw Superman Returns after the meal. TGF says it's 行货. Boring. Don't go see it.


And another week gone by

I'm trying to comapre whether the GSB went by faster or the summer internship went by faster. I'm leaning towards to internship right now. I've been really busy and always find myself behind on personal (read: conference) stuff.

Blogging while working is not nearly as interesting. Nonetheless:

The keyboard situation is really frustrating. I use the standard Lenovo laptop at work. I use a Dell at home. At work, the F1 button is below the ESC button; At home, they are next to each other. This is VERY annoying because I keep accidentally hit the F1 (Help menu) button while at work. At home, Ctrl is right below the Shift button; at work, the Fn button is below the Shift and Ctrl is beside that. All the Ctrl+C/V/etc is delayed at work as I struggle to hit the right button. Ah, all those little things. With any luck (and PC), I will purchase a new computer to replace my 3 year old Dell soon.

I'll be having my midterm review soon. To be honest, I've been trying to gauge how I am doing and I really have no idea. The biggest question is that I don't know what the expectation for the summer intern is. Do they expect us to contribute like a new or fairly new consultant would? Or are they doing a personality and basic ability test? I don't know, so I can measure myself. Will seek help next week by talking to other consultants in the office.

I went to karaoke with my colleagues last night. All the way till 4am. I'm not 21 anymore, I know, I know... but hey, it was still fun!


You poop, I poop.

How weird is it that I bump into the same person in the bathroom 4 times in a day!?!? I finish my business and he walks in while I'm washing my hands. That happened 3 times. The forth was as I walked out of the stall... he enteres the adjacent stall!

We have the same peeing and pooping schedule, which is quite amazing...!

Anyway, it's quite busy at work. My case is about to end this week (yes, I've been here for about 3 weeks), and we'll see if it rolls - consultant jargon for continuing a case.

But I had to mention the poop schedule.


How to fix the world cup...

Actually, here's why I like watching the world cup more than any other sporting event.

1. Flow. Any sports game is most fun to watch when there is flow. One team attacks, attacks, attacks, looses the ball, back on defense, defense, defense. No annoying TV time outs, no instant replays, no TV ads in between CRUCIAL moments in the game... just a game that is free flowing according to the players. I love it that way. Why can't the NBA be like that? We shouldn't have to go through 15 minutes of ads for 1 minute of playing time, watching teams shoot free throws after free throws.

2. Passion. I'm watching the games in Hong Kong, where groups of strangers congregate in empty shopping malls (it is, after all, 3 am in the morning when the games start) and cheer for their respective teams. Nuff said.

3. Worldly. Of course the Red Sox can claim themselves as World Champions when teams from only one country (okay, we'll count Canada as a second one) can compete. Makes perfect sense. Hong Kong has no respectable football team; but that doesn't stop us from liking the sport. Aside from America, the sport is loved by all.

4. Simple. Goal in net. That's all. Otherwise, the most complicated rule is offsides, which I learned when I was 6 watching a Japanese comic.

Anyway... it hurts to see the 2006 World Cup be marred by inconsistent refereeing, boring PK shootouts (still nerve wrecking though), and constant diving. Here's how I would fix them... actually, just the last two points. I can't fix refs.

Diving: everytime a player goes down, the player has to be moved to the sidelines and then wait for 2 minutes (I'd prefer 5). Sort of like a penalty box for the injured. If you are truly injured, 2 minutes is good for recovery. If not, you stand there and wait. This should eliminate some diving. Other new rules I would consider:
a. you can only roll over 3 times (if you've witnessed Argentine players roll over 8 times after they are tackled, you'll know what I mean)
b. no holding your face and smiling under your hands (Italian specialty)
c. no stretcher - players have to carry their sweaty teammates out themselves.

As for PK shootouts, here's why it needs to be eliminated. Generally in sports, you want the best team to win. In PK, it's a coin flip (unless it's the English squad...). I want to know which team is the best team, not which won the coin flip. How to fix it? I don't know. Keep adding to OT while allowing one extra substtution? Make them play only seven players with free substitutions?

Alright. I'm officially intrigued now... but, before I go, I just want to point out that a pair of Chinese ladies have captured their second grand slam title (Australia and Wimbledon). It barely held any weight in even the Hong Kong news as World Cup craziness was on the same night. A big big step for Chinese tennis.


Boring entry...?

I'm sure you've heard about the Pepsi Coke secret debacle. Here's one look at it from the economists' (read: U of Chicago) point of view. Couldn't agree more.

Anyway, a little recap of my week. It’s been relatively busy at work, mostly because I’m trying to catch up to my team rather than piles of work or real urgency. Anyway, I made my first presentation to the client on Friday. It went smooth, though there were a few points I could improve on. I did feel like I was auditing for my own job… and that feeling was scary.

It’s hard to balance life between work and family. Given that I live right next to my office, it doesn’t make sense to go back to my parents and have dinner there. Also, my times are so unpredictable that I feel bad asking people to wait for me for dinner when I might eventually have to say no, sorry, I can’t come. It’s happened twice already. Hopefully I can settle into a rhythm (love this word for hangman) next week.

I haven’t had time to reply to all the emails I’ve been getting. Not that there’s a lot, but some of my HK friends are asking for me. I haven’t been real diligent in keeping them updated. Truth is, by the time I get back from work, I need to attend to some personal matters and no longer have enough time or energy to reply emails.

I promise I will change this next week and for the rest of the summer.

Last night, went to LKF with an old friend of mine. We had to line up for a club and the bouncer wouldn’t let us in because we had more than what was indicated on the guest list. This really reminds me of my old Boston clubbing days. Fed up, I went to get a cold beer at an adjacent bar. And then another (I was told that we can enter the club once “someone arrives”)… I had a good conversation with my old friend, putting life in a bit of perspective. I swear, this clubbing scene is not for me anymore. Most of the patrons of the aforementioned club are boys and girls in their late teens or early twenties. They flash their parents’ cash at all directions, speak in perfect American English and wear really tight shirts. Ugh.

I went home at 2:30am.


Picture from Ireland... and more

This is an interesting look at India. Amazing stuff.

Picture from Ireland... this is Cliffs of Moher on the west coast of Ireland. I have yet to update my website on my trip though. Life is quite busy...!

World Cup Baby! Posted by Picasa



Pay Check, mind you, not politically correct.

So what did I do with my first pay check in one year? Use it all on one item! Oh yes, you heard me. I bought my dad his TV just in time for world cup finals. Cost me a bit more than my first PC! haha! Well, not quite, since there's interest free monthly payments. Feels good to spend money on big ticket items though, even though it wasn't for myself. Compared to its predecessor, the 50-inch baby is almost twice as big and infinitely better. It'll be serving dad this weekend. And hopefully me too. hehe.

Can't wait till my second PC!