January 23rd, 2014
If you haven’t seen “Her”, you should definitely check it out. It’s thought provoking and I identified with a lot of it. It’s not like I have deep conversations with my computer or anything. But I have had a lot of conversations with people on the computer, which has a lot of the same sense of connection without physicality that the film explores.
This is kind of a different topic altogether, but technology has had a profound effect on the way I interact with people. I have a number of friends that I don’t get to see much, but I still keep in touch through chat or email. That’s great, but it’s also strange to think that some of my relationships have become almost entirely virtual. I have lots more to say on that topic, but this was supposed to be a post about a silly video inspired by an interesting movie.
I liked “Her” a lot and I found Scarlett Johansson to be particularly effective in that role. But I’m a heterosexual male and the film sort of caters to that. So I started thinking about what it’d be like with a different “voice”. Hence, the silly video.
Also, a funny bit of trivia: my dad actually went to high school with George Takei.
January 20th, 2014
During the week, I spend about 3 to 4 hours a day on a bus and I used to feel pretty queasy by the end of it. I tried a few different things like making sure I don’t have an empty or full stomach, sitting on the bottom deck, looking out the window, etc. But the most effective thing for me was ginger.
There are probably a bunch of different ways to use it but I just opted for buying a big jar of the pickled version that they usually have with sushi. Somehow, the tangy sharpness of it really settles my stomach. I suck on on a piece or two for a while and then just bite down on it when I start to feel a bit queasy and that usually takes care of it.
So if you’re prone to motion sickness like I am (apparently, motion sickness is more common among Asians), give it a try!
January 13th, 2014
Every once in a while, I get a brilliant idea for a video. Something transcendent that will alter the very way people will — ok, maybe not. Mostly, I get really dumb ideas like this.
January 8th, 2014
Ever since it was announced that Google was buying robotics companies, some people have been freaking out with the comparisons to Terminator 2. I wanted to lay those fears to rest so I made this totally reassuring video.
A couple of notes:
- Intentionally blinking while talking is really hard.
- I hope this doesn’t get me fired…
January 2nd, 2014
My web host recently migrated the server my blog was hosted on and as a result, my blog wasn’t available for a couple days. Fortunately, I don’t think anyone but me noticed.
Anyways, it got me thinking about the infrequency of my blog posts as of late. Then I was curious to see how much of an impact it makes on viewership and iPhone app sales so I made a graph. Some observations:
- Blog viewership seems uncorrelated to iPhone app sales.
- Blogs should probably have at least a post or two a week to maintain an audience.
- If you want to do either a blog or iPhone apps, try to do it before you have a kid!
December 29th, 2013
I started to write that this year was one of big change what with the new job and all that that entails (completely different job, entirely different people, super long commute). But looking back on it, it seems like every year or two has had a big change: moving to the Bay Area, starting a blog, writing iPhone apps, having a kid, etc.
One thing that I have noticed, though, is how quickly we become accustomed to change. This applies to both the good and the bad. A decade ago, my wife was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, which has significant implications for the rest of our lives. At the time, I wondered how we would ever adjust to it. But we did.
And this is how I know I’ll eventually get accustomed to commuting for 4-5 hours a day. If nothing else, it’ll give me a chance to practice my French.
December 23rd, 2013
Every year, I think we should do a nice Christmas card or something. Everybody else with kids somehow manage to do it. I have no idea how, though. For one thing, it’s rare when we’re all awake together. And when we are, someone is often bawling in tears. Usually, it’s the kid.
But this year, I came up with the brilliant idea of making a video of singing a Christmas carol with the boy. There were a few minor details that I did not count on:
- Dyson does not know these songs very well.
- Neither do I.
- He is more interested in taking funny pictures with the computer than he is in singing.
December 15th, 2013
I recently saw a great article by a woman who found herself constantly asked, “Is that your baby?” As another parent of a biracial kid, it’s also something I’ve heard a lot. And I felt a lot of the same frustrations that she did. But one thing that’s different is that there’s no underlying connotation that I might be the nanny, since nannies don’t tend to be male.
It got me thinking about context, though. The same thing can be said to two different people, but it might have a much different impact based on their past experiences. I recently saw an article about the stigma about dating asian men (especially if they’re short) that really hit home because I certainly have a lot of insecurities related to that.
I wondered, though, how much of it is just based on how I interpret things? I try to judge each interaction on its own merits but I’ve got to say, it’s hard to ignore a lifetime of patterns.
December 1st, 2013
The other day, someone came up to me and said, “You look like a girl.” I considered taking the opportunity to launch into a lecture on the speaker’s gender-normative assumptions but it seemed a bit excessive considering that she was a ten year-old girl. So I just said, “Some boys have pink hair.” And she replied, “It’s not just the hair.” Ah, youth…
Still, it got me thinking. I’ve heard similar comments often enough and mostly, I think it’s funny. But I’ve related those comments to other people and some think it’s insulting. To me, it only seems insulting if you think that women are somehow inferior to men. Although, I’m sure a lot of women would also feel insulted if they were mistaken for a woman. So maybe there’s more to it than that.
In any case, there are definitely expectations on what it is to be male or female. And sometimes, I wish I fit that a little bit better. But mostly, I think it’s funny.
November 28th, 2013
I have a lot to be thankful for this year. A great new job, a loving family, and wonderful friends. I’m particularly thankful for how much Dyson has grown up. He’s learned to count, he can kind of make peanut butter jelly sandwiches, and he’s starting to read and write.
All of this means that he’s becoming more and more independent, which is fantastic. But the thing I’m most thankful for this year? He can get up on his own to go pee in the morning.