Monthly Archive for August, 2007

Why we should not do potlucks at my company.

One of our co-workers is deserting us starting a new job soon. I was going to plan a farewell lunch (paid for by the company between 3 different business units), but since I was out of the office last week, I didn’t have a chance to do it before someone else sent a mass email out suggesting a potluck. While I am grateful that this lovely person took charge to coordinate this, this person has not been at the company very long and does not know that WE ARE NOT A POTLUCKING GROUP.

Not that we are opposed to potlucks; it’s just that people don’t know what to bring… or worse yet, don’t bring anything and then show up. Like most people, I imagine, our group is good at showing up when free food is placed in front of them. Not so good at providing food first, then eating.

Anyway, on Wednesday, I asked the coordinator what I could bring to the potluck; what everyone else was bringing, etc. She said that a number of people were set to bring all kinds of things, so maybe I could bring a side dish. I asked for a suggestion. She first said “fruit salad” but then changed it to “chips,” knowing that I’m pretty busy. (What?! You don’t think I can make a fruit salad? Ok, I can, but I didn’t really want to.)

So ok, chips it was.

I planned to swing by the store on the way to work and was thrilled to find Doritos of all flavors on sale. I bought 3 massive bags in 3 different flavors.

At noontime (the announced start of the potluck), I brought my assigned bags of chips to the large conference room. There was a guy downstairs who said he was waiting for food. VULTURE! WHERE IS YOUR FOOD!? (I found out later that he meant for a delivery guy coming for food. Oops.)

Other than that, the conference room was empty. I left my lonely bags of chips at the serving area and then decided to pitch in by setting up plates, napkins, utensils and drinks, even though that was clearly not something I was responsible for.

After about 5 minutes, one guy showed up with a giant bowl of guacamole. Another guy, a consultant, showed up with a smallish container of pasta salad. Another guy showed up with pita, hummus, and babaganoush (however you spell that). I had heard that one of the 3 business units was pitching in empanadas, another one was going to provide cake. At 12:15, the person organizing the potluck showed up with about 5 dozen empanadas (she was assigned to go pick them up from Empanada’s Place waaaay out on the Westside).

As you can see, by the time people started converging in the conference room, the potluck consisted of carbs (chips & pita), carbs (pasta salad), carbs (cake), and fried carbs (empanadas).

And aside from the THREE people who brought non-company provided food (chips, guac, pita), NO ONE ELSE BROUGHT ANYTHING. There were roughly 2 dozen folks standing inside the conference room, waiting for food.

As I mentioned, there was more food coming. 5 of our CONSULTANTS (not employees) who happened to be from Indian pitched in to order a huge pan of chicken tandoori. Unfortunately, it didn’t arrive until 12:40, after we had all had round one of CARBMANIA. So we all had to go back for round 2 for some chicken. Thank goodness for some real food.

To recap: 3 employees brought food + 5 consultants ordered food + 1 consultant brought food + company provided deep fried empanadas, cake, and soda + over a dozen “freeloaders” = tummy ache for Friday.

P.S. – I should also note that I was not told to bring tortilla chips/Doritos. I could have opted to bring potato chips, which would have gone oh-so-wonderfully with the guac.

Joz’s Picks for (Famous) Sexiest Asian Males

I was asked to give two picks at 8asians.com for the “Top 15 Sexiest Asian Males, As Rated By the Women of 8A” list. I assumed that I was supposed to choose famous people, as opposed to people I just knew in real life.

So here are my picks from the list:

Russell Wong

Russell Wong. He’s not full-Asian, but I’m going to go with old skool: Russell Wong in his heyday. Russell’s looking a little older and Clooney-esque lately, but I love Clooney too, so it’s no surprise he tops my list.

Takeshi Kaneshiro

Takeshi Kaneshiro. And for a nice Japanese-Taiwanese hybrid, I vote for Takeshi Kaneshiro. I especially liked him with long hair and shooting arrows in House of Flying Daggers… kind of an Asian Legolas, but hotter than Orlando Bloom…

Joz’s Honorable Mentions: I had a hard time narrowing down to two. Honorable mentions votes go to Daniel Henney, Yul Kwon, Rick Yune, Donnie Yen, Randall (Randy) Park, and Wong Lee Hom. Not in that order. Also, in the interest of full disclosure, Randy and I know each other from our UCLA days, so it’s kind of weird since I know him in real life. But I’ve always had a mini-crush on Randy, more so because he is so freakin’ talented and charismatic. Of course, he’s pretty easy on the eyes, too.

See the whole list here.

Class tonight

So I’ve now officially finished my first week of classes, but I still have one more class that doesn’t meet until two weeks from now. This is going to be a busy trimester school-wise… not like I’ve had any that weren’t busy.

Most of the people I started the program with are graduating come this December. As I had planned, I will finish in April 2008.

Not that I ever really got into the guts of any of my classes on my blog (boring), but I probably won’t be talking that much about what I’m doing except in broad, broad terms. My Monday night class is Information Process & Systems and my Wednesday night class is Marketing Consulting (E2B). E2B stands for Education to Business, which basically means we are one of those annoying groups of business school students who go into a real business to (try to) solve (or at least address) a real business problem for the company. I could probably mention the company that we are working with, but that woulD be about It. So doN‘t Even, You know, ask me. Because I had to sign an NDA and seriously, no joke, I can’t talk about it online, not even privately.

I think it was funny that we were specifically asked to not go and blog any confidential or advance information we receive… not that I would start doing that after so many years of blogging.

But anyway.

Lots of work to come.

Wish me luck… but don’t mention the company!

My Uncle Peter called this morning…

…to give me some good news about something my Dad had been working on before he passed away.

(Sigh.) I miss my Dad.

Favorite phrase actually used in class (not by me)

“You can give a monkey some nunchucks but that doesn’t mean he’s going to be able to use them well.”

Used during a discussion about the appropriate use of IT systems.

Heh.

This is what happens when I go on vacation…

…everything goes *KABOOM!* while I am away.

Excuse me while I try to fix everything that broke while I was gone.

*grumble*

My vacation is officially over

Tomorrow (Monday), I go back to work. I only got two days off of work, but since I was in Tampa at the beginning of last week, I haven’t been in the office for over a week.

I also start classes again. I have classes Mondays and Wednesday nights, plus another class that happens over the course of two weekends.

Yikes!

Tonight, I loaded in my assignments and class meetings, etc into my calendar. Very depressing to see my calendar get loaded up with all kinds of school related things.

I feel the stress starting already…

So much fun…

…to sleep in…

…eat a huge breakfast…

…watch funny videos on youtube…

…take a nap…

…go out and eat a huge BBQ dinner…

…come back and watch a movie until 2am…

…and go to bed late because I want to; not because I was up doing stuff all day and all night.

Hooray for a great Friday off in Vegas!!!

Tampa wasn’t vacation.

Vegas is barely a vacation.

But it’s better than nothing, so I’ll take it.

In Vegas

Yay for vacation days!

Tired beyond words.

I can barely keep my eyes open but I’ve got to get through a number of tasks before I turn in.

Blogging about Tampa is not on the list.

But I am home now.

I’m wiped out.

My internal clock is all whacked out since I haven’t been sleeping well… or practically not sleeping at all.

Have lots to blog about but I should try to take advantage of the crazy upgrade I got at the hotel we moved to tonight. The one we were supposed to stay in was overbooked… so they sent us next door to the Marriott Residence Inn to get upgraded rooms.

They put me into an insanely large TWO BEDROOM SUITE with a living room/sitting area, kitchen and small dining area.

It’s too bad all this space is wasted on lil’ ol’ me. And we’re checking out before 8am to get to meetings early, too.

So I decided to put all my stuff in one room and sleep in the other room, just so one room wouldn’t feel more lonely than the other.

Now to shut down the laptop and get some rest.

I’m in Tampa!

My flight arrived 10 minutes early.

It was a smooth flight but I didn’t get much sleep on the plane since the lady next to me was Ms Snoring and the guy sitting behind me was Mr Kicking My Seat. And I can usually sleep on planes, no prob. I’m probably wound up about this training since I’m not sure what to expect.

Getting to the airport last night was snappy. I called two cab companies to come pick me up, but neither could confirm that the driver would be there on time, or would get me there on time so I ended calling a car service. I hope the company doesn’t give me crap for that because technically, it’s within policy.

Anyway, I got picked up at the house at 7pm and arrived by some miracle at LAX at 7:30. I credit the driver for taking surface streets and avoiding the freeway. Yay!

Since I’d already checked in online, all I had to do was get through security. For some reason there was no one in line and I got through in a snap. They didn’t even need to check my baggie of liquids/gels! I was free to roam the terminal by 7:45! The guy who checked my boarding pass told me I was in the wrong terminal but that there was a tunnel underground that would take me to the other terminal. No worries, I had more than 2 hours to blow before take off.

I went down to the tunnel as directed and a guy in a golf cart asked me if he could give me a ride to the other terminal. I was going to walk since I had so much time, but he insisted that I let him drive me. That was a good call because I didn’t realize that it’s a loooooooong way to the other terminal. (I should have known it, but I just wasn’t thinking about it.) The ride in the golf cart saved me at least 20 minutes of walking.

When I got to the right terminal, I checked where my gate was and then I had a bite to eat. I got myself a snack for the morning (cinnamon roll; just ate half of it). And then tried to log on using my laptop and the T-Mobile hotspot. Who knew this would be the first snag I’d run into…

(to be continued… time to go!)

Wish me luck

In a few minutes, a car is going to pick me up and whisk me away to the airport.

I’m taking a red-eye to Tampa which will arrive around 6am (3am my time). I’ll have just enough time to check in, shower, maybe nap & get ready to go to a training session at 9am (6am my time). I’ll be in training for two days, and then I’ll change hotels Tuesday night.

On Wednesday morning, I’ll have an early meeting; leaving for the airport at 10am to catch a noonish flight back to L.A.

I don’t think I’m going to have much time to do anything on my own time, but I have my fingers crossed that I might get to meet Luka.

Business trips suck, but wish me happy traveling.

A Hollywood Moment

Guy clips his toenails in front of Rite-AId

Observe the man in the middle of the picture.

He is clipping his toenails. In public, in front of Rite-Aid at Gower Gulch.

When I walked by him after lunch yesterday, I heard the distinctive *click-click-click* noise of someone cutting their nails. I turned to see him unabashedly clipping his toenails.

I got all the way across the street before I asked my lunchmate: Did you see that guy clipping his toenails?

My friend looked at me like I was crazy, so then turned around and pointed. The guy was still clipping. So I took a picture.

Am I the only one who thinks this is sick and wrong?

Photo taken by jozjozjoz

Eye am so glad everything is ok.

Eyelid.  Before.
Photo of my eyeball + contact courtesy of me, March 31, 2005

So for a couple of months now, I’ve been having minor vision problems.

Specifically, I had something floating in my line of vision (looks like a black speck) since June. At first I always thought there were gnats flying around my head; I was constantly swatting at imaginary flying things in front of my face. After a little while, I figured out it was my eyes. I thought it was due to lack of sleep, but since the spot didn’t go away after a few days, I made an appointment with my ophthalmologist to make sure it wasn’t anything scary like a retina detachment.

Since it was just one floater, I wasn’t too worried and when I went into see my eye doctor, I got seen by a visiting doctor who looked all over and thankfully couldn’t find a retinal tear or, worse yet, a retinal detachment; just the floater. He said that due to my extreme myopia (nearsightedness), this wasn’t too uncommon and that the floater was in my vitreous humor and that more likely than not it would settle over time. I was to return for a follow up in six weeks, but of course, if I experienced any symptoms of a retinal detachment, to call right away.

Six weeks passed and thankfully, no major changes except I saw some occasional flashes and the floater got bigger (but blurrier). But it didn’t settle. So I went back for my follow up, as directed.

Since I figured they would dilate my pupils again, this time I got smart and got Yoshi to come with me so I wouldn’t have to drive home with blurry vision.

This time, the regular ophthalmologist (not a visiting doctor) saw me and right away she said, “Oh look, I see your floater.” But then she got really upset because she saw some something else and some “elevation” which would typically indicate a retinal tear or detachment. She asked me, “Did I see you last time? No way I would have missed this. Did (the other regular doctor see you)?”

“No!” I said, not wanting the other regular doctor to get in trouble. “The visiting doctor saw me and said everything was ok.” (Incidentally, it was the other doctor’s birthday that day and she had just received a huge arrangement of flowers from her boyfriend. Wouldn’t have been nice for her to get in trouble on her birthday.)

Now I was getting a little panicked and she said she was going to put a giant contact lens thing in my eye to get a closer look. She was extremely thorough and kept looking and looking for a tear because, as she reminded me, “if it’s a tear, I can zap you right now. I have a laser in the other room.” Yikes! Eye zapping?!??!

After 25 minutes of looking for the tear, she started to wonder if I’d had a tear or detachment and then (lucky break for me) my eye started healing itself on its own. She said she couldn’t see anything wrong and chances were everything was fine now, but she wanted me to get a second opinion. She called over to the retina specialist doctor she personally went to and got me an appointment for “as soon as you can get there in Friday traffic.” She started yelling at Yoshi “Get directions! I’m getting on the phone so that Joz gets seen today!”

And out we ran to head over to the L.A. office of Retina-Vitreous Associates Medical Group. (Nice name, eh?)

So now I’m a little freaked out, even though my doctor had said everything was probably fine. Both my eyes were dilated and I had to wear those ugly “instant sunglasses” (they’re called “slip-in myds”) when we exited the building and headed toward downtown. In my hand, I had a referral form with my information filled out at the top and the reason for the referral: RETINAL DETACHMENT. Zoiks! (I was slightly comforted that my eye doctor said that she was going to write that to “make it sound more dramatic so that I could get seen right away.” But still.)

When we got to the Retina-Vitreous office, I filled out the paperwork even though I had a hard time seeing. I asked what my appointment time was and the lady behind the counter said, “Your appointment is for ‘As soon as you get here.'” Yikes!

I waited for a short while and then I had to go for a little intake session. The guy made me do some vision tests (Can you see this?). (I we seeing 20/20 out of my right eye and 20/25 out of my left eye). Then he gave me some numbing drops (which burned) and then took my eye pressure by poking me in the eye with a tonometry device (similar to this Tono-Pen). Surprisingly, getting poked on the eye with this thing didn’t hurt (maybe it was the numbing drops), but then he had to dilate my pupils AGAIN, even though I’d already had them done at my first doctor’s office.

After sitting around for a while, I got moved to the doctor’s office (I asked Yoshi to wait with me) and Dr Boyer peered into my eyes with a bright light (via the slit lamp). He agreed that my doctor was right to have me come over; he could see the elevation that she saw and said that it was understandable why she thought I might possibly have a detached retina. He said what I had was white-with-pressure (WWP) and white without pressure (WWOP), not a retinal tear or detachment.

According to Page 83 of Clinical Pathways in Vitreoretinal Disease By Scott M. Steidl, Mary Elizabeth Hartnett:

White With Pressure, White Without Pressure
These terms describe geographic areas of whitening in the midperipheral, equatorial, and peripheral retina. During indirect ophthalmoscopy without scleral depression, these areas are described as white without pressure. When a white reflex is detected with scleral depression, it is termed white with pressure.

All this means that my retina is OK, but I’m still at higher risk for a Giant Retinal Tear, but that as of now, things are ok. I just have to keep my eyes peeled (no pun intended) for any symptoms.

Thanks to Yoshi for being my chauffeur across town, and also for taking me out to dinner in Little Tokyo afterwards. Thanks also for feeding me guava gelato from Mikawaya. Yum.

This post was brought to you via Google.

A bunch of randomness to keep one day differentiated from the next

-Had lunch with EB today at 1:30 at Fabiolus; twas nice to finally sit and chat with him. We found out a few weeks ago that we are connected from high school. Small world.

-Found out that I am getting sent to Tampa for two days of training next week. My coworker who is traveling with me keeps updating me on the two hurricanes in the vicinity. Hooray. [/sarcasm]

-I am really really really bad at bowling. One game at Lucky Strike tonight after work: I had the record setting low score of 46. I consoled myself with an root beer float + a fresh baked cookie topped with vanilla ice cream.

-After I already filled my tummy with dessert, Yoshi and I had a late dinner with (former) Bossguy.

-EB is getting over a bug. I am now trying to overdose on Airborne. I CANNOT get sick before I travel on Sunday night.

Day of doing nothing.

Well, not exactly nothing.

But mostly nothing.

I blame the ucky feeling tummy.

I got dressed to go to work and then stood at the front door, staring into space, debating if I should go in or not.

Guess what I decided to do…

Ratatouille : Rat-a-too-ee

Ever since we saw the teaser trailer for Ratatouille at ShoWest in 2006, we’ve been waiting to see this movie.

Ratatouille

Unfortunately, even though the movie has been out for a while this summer, I was so busy with school/work/etc, that last night was the first chance we had to go see a summer movie (that wasn’t Harry Potter, anyway).

Anyway, as I predicted, I LOVED the movie. It was so cute and had a lot of laugh out loud moments. My favorite voice (not character) was Anton Ego, voiced by Peter O’Toole.

Even though I knew where the movie was going to end up, I enjoyed the journey… and really isn’t that the point?

Thai food + the Prof

Professor Eric and his beau called up while driving back from Vegas asking if Yoshi and I were free for dinner. Even though we’d made a date to go see a movie, we knew that Eric was going to be traveling for a few weeks, so we decided to go out to dinner with the boys instead.

Anyway, we had a lot of yummy Thai food at Palms Thai and since Thai Elvis was off for the night, we could actually have dinner conversation.

The topic turned to crazy things we’ve seen on YouTube, so then Eric came back to our place so we could show each other the videos we’d been talking about.

(WATCH IN ORDER BELOW; you’ll need about 35-40 minutes to watch all of them in their entirety)

Of course, there’s the oft-watched Filipino Prisoner “Thriller”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMnk7lh9M3o

Then there’s the Algorithm March (with NINJA!) by Pythagoras Switch
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDSGmx8c2AM

Now that you know what the Algorithm March is, let’s go back to the prisoners in Cebu who will do the WORLD RECORD Algorithm March with almost 1000 inmates:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjMd2Vabcv8

What is this Pythagoras Switch thing anyway? It’s a Japanese educational television program. Rube Goldberg devices appear during the beginning, ending, and between each segment and are called Pythagorean Device (ピタゴラ装置, Pitagora Sōchi) in the program. Here is a good compilation of such devices:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxs6qGVVyng

Of course, Eric had mentioned a Daft Punk concert he attended, so we had to share the Daft Hands – Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2cYWfq–Nw

Eric topped that by showing a crazy video called the Battle at Kruger, the wonder of nature at its very best:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU8DDYz68kM

I topped that with a video about an inappropriate office gesture:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cI4uVqDiA0U (Ewwwwwwww! Boys are gross!)

We ended the night with a Japanese Nike Commercial:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ry41RIkqHA

So anyway, if you’ve watched all that, thanks. And watch out for the people in colored jumpsuits running after you.

Cousin’s reunion

My cousin S and her hubby A hosted a small (immediate) cousin’s gathering at their home on Sunday afternoon. We’d been talking about getting us all together to play like when we were kids, except with better toys and no parents and we finally did it.

It was supposed to be a Wii/Poker party, but then one of the cousins brought his PS3 Guitar Hero so we did that + Wii Sports + poker + blackjack + spoons, etc. And we ate a ton of food, too.

We also got together and took a cousin’s photo but were missing two of our first cousins, so I guess we’ll have to do this again to try and get a complete cousin’s photo. Maybe we’ll also be able to expand to include our extended family and include second cousin’s like the Superha, etc, too.

Thanks, cousins!

Hooray hooray!

The never-ending project has ended!

Thanks to Yoshi for doing so so so so so so much on it.

Thanks also to my Bro for showing up in the afternoon and helping me finish the things I couldn’t finish.

It took me all day today (from 8:30am until close to 10pm), but I’m glad it was all wrapped up today.

Now I must shower because I am covered in a layer of dirt. Ewwwwww…

Hugs for Ed…

A couple of days ago, I read the awful news that my blog pal Ed Padgett received shocking and horrifying news about his son Bryan… in his words “a parent’s worst nightmare.”

Bryan was killed in a car accident the other night; he was involved in a street race in his black Mustang. Ed posted a few snapshots of the crash scene and also Bryan’s smashed car and my heart aches for Ed and his family to lose Bryan so suddenly and at such a young age.

Services have been arranged and will be happening early next week.

Ed has many friends on the blogosphere, but if you want to send some love his way, you can do so at his blog.

My heartfelt condolences go out to Bryan’s family, friends, and loved ones.

What’s a little ignorance between friends?

My friend sent me a link to racewire for a post on this topic.

Adrienne Maree Brown asks:

Do any of y’all maintain relationships where one person, who has more privilege and is white, regularly says things that are remarkably ignorant? But you know they ‘mean well’?

What do you do about that? I want the Racewire readers to offer up wisdom from a perspective of awareness…do you keep such people in your life?

I sat over drinks with some friends Sunday night, we all went to college together, and they were talking about a few white folks we went to school with who have uttered an unusually high number of offensive things recently.

Now me personally, I don’t stay close to repeat offenders.

But I have some friends who do and I’m at a loss at what to advice them when they lay this burden on my shoulder.

Thoughts?

Guess who locked herself out of the house this morning?

Guess who was running late to work at the time?

Guess who is still locked out of the house because she didn’t have time to bug the neighbors before dashing off to work?

Yoshi is out of town as of yesterday, so when I get home, I’m going to have to bug the neighbors who have an extra key to open the door for me.

I feel like such a doofus…

UPDATE: I was able to call my neighbors and they had an extra set of keys to let me in the house. I got in about 7:45pm…




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