Monday, November 30, 2009

Coffee Talk

Getting high off strong a cup of Vietnamese coffee turning me into a deeper movie thinker than my usual self. It was Star Wars marathon playing since before midnight two nights ago. In the middle of trying to put myself to sleep, which I know was kinda futile from the amount of caffeine consumed, I turned the Star Wars watching experience into something more philosophical.

  • Starwars vs. Startrek, both are placing humanity as center of the stories. The history of humanity was applied heavily on their plots. However, Starwars universe feels real compared to Startrek's hygienic.
  • The fuse of military ranks in Starwars such as the use of admiral and general, captain and commander, applied to the same body of armed force, which thoroughly confuses me.
  • First time movie goer can figure out that the way to defeat the giant four legged robots during the scene of rebellion generator being bombarded is through its legs. The Imperial Troops should come up with something more suitable. It is heavy and it does not exactly have precise weaponry.
  • Princess Leia is the epitome of a woman I want to be. Smart, sexy, and ambitious.
  • The character of the highest Jedi master is played by a muppet instead of by a real person. What does it mean? God and the universe. I am so used to think of just life here on earth.
  • The anthropomorphizing of things such as R2D2 and C3PO as companions as opposed to just machines makes it romantic.
  • That the illogical side of man, the gungho attitude, is what separate us from being too calculated. But then there is a very thin line of that and simply being a fool.
  • I can see how Scifi jumped up technology. I always want to be in the forefront of this.

Late caveat, the above points are no means deep to most of you, just my coffee talking.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Couple Hours in Oakland

We served early dinner for some fifty senior citizens in a center in Oakland today. Some of them are homeless, some are not. The seniors must be registered with the center and then they would be eligible for dollar meal. Today it was green peas, corns, baked ham and dinner rolls, and due to our lack of information on legwork, no desserts.

As we were preparing for the dinner, they gathered at the tables and chatted with fellow tablemates. Coffee and tea were self-served and free. Occasionally, some of them came to us and asked for sugar, some asked for cookies to go with the coffee or tea. I brought out the sugar and moved the cookie jar to serving area. These proven to be illegal, as the receptionist, being a street smart, told us reasons why we are not supposed to leave those things out. Everything needed to be served because otherwise they will leave with the whole container for themselves. I paused not really understanding how one should behave wisely to somebody with a hard street life while preserving that person's dignity.

Some of us adults had reservation to actually interact with the people we served. "They smell," said one, the word "bum" came a lot from her. The Catholic school children who volunteers for their social hours seem to not minding anything though. Their parents taught them well. As for me, I volunteered the dish washing. The industrial dishwasher worked well as far as water and temperature go. The degreaser and bleach, on the other hand, seemed to be not properly sucked into the machine via the plastic tubes. We dried the dishes, mopped the floor, took out trash and left the center cleaner than we got in. An excellent team work with no unnecessary drama.

Afterward, some of us went together to feed ourselves dinner at a nearby Chinatown noodle place. What was sad about this is that we do not at all mind spending money for our meals, an amount that is nothing compared to what we get from our wages. That whole dollar the seniors spent on their meal this afternoon might be a big portion of what they have for the day's work. This also digresses me to contemplate about giving-- giving being the opposite of saving and spending. When we, the "haves", give, we tend to give from our abundance. That one story from the Bible about the poor widow that put her whole possession into collection basket tells us what might happen on the other side of the spectrum.

Speaking of Oakland, it is of course not the safest and cleanest city in the Bay Area. In fact, it is a whole different world from manicured community where my apartment and office are located. The sky is blue in my 'hood, the kids are playing in the park, people walk their dogs, and we put things on recycle bins. As I called my friend for direction--I was lost exiting a highway--I can clearly heard the sound of siren in the background. Another friend of mine was greeted with the view of a cop handcuffing a person as he exited the same highway.

All in all, I am glad for centers like this. We need to support people in need. A little of something, being time or money, goes further in this part of the world.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Love My New Mane

I woke up today and felt a sudden urge to change my hair style, as in urgent, I need some sugar, my blood sugar is low. I am not planning to drastically making it to a short style as Bibi will have quite a fit on it, but I need to have some layers cut in order to give more volume to my rapidly balding hair.

I did look up the interweb two nights ago for possible styles for a wavy hair like mine. This was my inspiration.

Here is after a quick trip to a nearby chain hair salon. This is my best hair cut to date. I love the bangs, I love the layers, and that the hairdresser managed to only take an inch off. I wouldn't be able to achieve this look sans flat iron though. It's okay, I have found new frizz control shampoo and conditioner that work wonder. They are "over the counter" (as opposed to expensive salon) products.

What can I say, I love it and Bibi does too as evidenced on his text reply to my mms "Hi you look cute! and clever..."

Is he on a hang over on Thanksgiving food? I mean I do look cute(r), but I dont think the new mane radiates enough cleverity. LoL.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

I said before and I said again. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Partly, because it is celebrating life, friends, and family and also because everybody celebrates it. The celebration transpires beyond age, religion, gender, race, ethnicity, and [insert other other socio-economic, socio-politics attributes we use to classify ourselves].

This Thanksgiving I am celebrating it away from family, and sadly, Fiance. But I got a nice wake up phone call from the dude. It is like cuddling but on the phone--sorry, can't help to give out a TMI. Anyway, he woke me up to assist me on making a cornbread oyster dressing.

Bibi made this dressing for his church group dinner last Sunday. I just had an idea to bring it over to a potluck dinner tonight. Baking and cooking are perfect channeling of inner domestic goddess in me and of course I have a hidden agenda to show him off thru his recipe to the folks at dinner.

"Oyster? On cornbread as dressing?"

"It is a southern thing. Paula Deen makes it," he said on the phone.

I just couldn't believe myself for not knowing the existence of such dressing despite of electing my as an honorary Southerner. Also why are we calling it dressing instead of stuffing again? A little bit of education here. Compendium of people in the internet say that what the northern people call dressing, the southerner stuffing. However, the correct answer is that stuffing is when the bread mixture is stuffed inside the turkey, while dressing is when it is baked separately like casserole .

Two batches of dressing are done now and ready for the dinner tonight. Suffice it to say that it is rank up there on the list of meals I can eat everyday. I also made a pecan pie (with store bought pie shell) and green beans casserole (this one is totally from scratch) for the dinner. Both are using recipes from Cook's Illustrated that are spread illegally over the internet. I am thinking to subscribe for the magazine. Their recipes never fail to amaze me and it is such a joy to read it with all the illustrations.

I am going to have a mini work out in preparation of all the food before me tonight. And then I am going my way to drop off all the food at the host's before fleeting away to San Francisco for a 1 hour A&M-T-sip football game watching with fellow Aggies. It is gonna be a busy Thanksgiving but I am hoping I am experiencing a memorable one, my first one in California.

I am thankful for this year that are just filled with abundant blessings. For Fiance, family, friends, job, state of mind, health, adventure and chance to develop into a better human being.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 16, 2009


On the phone the other day...

X: Bibi, I have just learned a new word, miscogeny, ah, miscegeny, do you say it? *getting frustrated with my pronunciation, as usual*

Bibi: Is that what you are going to do to me?

X: Hi hi hi...yeah! I am going to be a proud miscegenator.

Bibi: Hi hi hi...

A Saturday in November

To have myself content with life is always simple.

A fall cleaning on Saturday with classical music playing in the background resulted in a better organized closet and mopped kitchen and bathroom floors. It gave me a chance to enhance some musical sense as I've never listened to Vivaldi's Four Seasons as a whole before. I feel completed to experience the progress and movement from one season to another and found them therapeutic.

Back at the closet, tops in hangers are now organized by colors. Folded tops, exercise clothes, house clothes, jeans and shorts are consolidated in one closet and refolded. Pants are hanging in one end of the second closet, skirts next to them, and dresses on the other end. What small amounts of towels and linens I have are placed on the farther side. This way, NY and Mama will have space for their clothes once they get here in January.

With the re-org (ha, eat that, company!) I get to see that I have too many clothes, yet I wonder why I never get satisfied. This was after gathering two full bags of throw away as they are just not passing for donation.

Mopped kitchen and bathroom floors attribute to a renewal feeling of the space. I always leave the blind open to display the beautiful autumn view from trees and falling leaves outside and also of the pots of Rosemary, Snapdragon and Marigold on the patio that somehow survive my so called green thumb. The soft lights from the lamp on the corner of the dining area enhances this comfortable ambiance. I am a homebody at heart.

As I was enjoying this serenity while munching on procured tacos from a nearby joint, I found out that gametime for one of the almamater's most anticipated games was an hour earlier than what I had thought it would be. I had to race myself to a sportsbar 15 miles away to watch it with fellow Aggies--an always amazing lot of over-educated people. It is not too over the top when Fiance pronounced this place Nerd Heaven.

After the game, which was unfortunately a sad one, I managed to gather the ingredients for a yummy toffee-almond-crackers concoction, recipe courtesy of a certain lady with unquestionable fascination towards pre-historic creatures. It had caused a bad case of toffeenza since.

This afternoon, I decided to plastic bag about 10 of them and put a silver ribbon as embellishment on each bag. Some lucky group of people will have them distributed to tomorrow night. As for myself, I cannot be left with these sweet concoction alone. This was what was left from my personal size pan within three hours of making.

I rest my case.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thoughts about Work and Life

As we grow older, we gather life experiences. We categorize them, the good, the bad, and the everything in between. I have come to realize that in the end it is how we react to these trials and tribulations that matters. I think it is only wise to procure this kind of attitude in order to make sense of mystery of life.

Latest reminder of the epiphany is that I was getting mad at the news at work this week. It is official that job security is an egg perching on top of a rapidly breaking wall. I sheepishly thought that my whole future and happiness depend on having this job with its conducive environment and the chance to work on my exact field of study. To be losing all of these is unfathomable.

At this phase of the game, I blamed the greedy economy and most importantly, I started to question the decisions I made on life, the what ifs and what nots, and also on myself as a person. I am glad I bounced back to reality in record keeping time. So, as you are my witness, I have decided that I will fight for this life, come what may, with the Father, his Son and the Ghost on my side. And, you know what, I will have Bibi with me soon and together we are going to make it through.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

And It's Only Monday

I usually practice safe interweb browsing maneuver during office hour. But today the big boss decided to stop by my cube to personally confirm my attending a very important meeting this Friday. I had no guard whatsoever and this was what he saw on my screen...

trying to salvage the situation, I ALT+TAB the windows and arrived at this...

Sudah jatuh, ketimpa tangga...LoL!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Love

Since when this becomes a fashion blog?

Eh, eh, personal stylist, Dian Zoe, tried to hook me up with various budget friendly pretty shoes online. I was in the market for pretty, pointy, flat shoes. DSW, Ross, and Macy's showed me no love. And then I hit Marshall's two nights before I flew to Texas.

I scored the flat version of these for 20 bucks. They are not pointy, but still pretty, and were parts of limited edition collection of the now defunct Te Casan shoe lines.

I wore them the whole trip (Thursday-Monday morning) except Friday afternoon when NY and I running about CS hitting the mall, cafe, and ULTA.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Hollandaise Sauce and Eggs

Egg has always been my favorite food item. As such, it is naturally that I am drawn to Hollandaise sauce.

A couple of favorite Hollandaise ladden meal (to be fair, I've only tasted these five so far, and they all made into the list):
  1. IHOP's Spinach and Mushroom Omelette
  2. Atlantis Hotel brunch buffet's egg benedict
  3. Cafe Amelia's Salmon Omelette (Bibi and my favorite)
  4. Some fish (forget the species) we baked for dinner one time
  5. Denny's Slam Burger (hmmm...not sure if it was cheese sauce or Hollandaise)
Last night, after a dream of munching on #3 with Bibi, I gave up and made my own Hollandaise sauce and recreated #2 sans muffin (and ham). Instead, I pan-toasted Trader Joe's sliced wheat bread. I poached an egg succesfully in my opinion, considering it was my first time poaching eggs.

Here is the Tyler Florence Hollandaise Sauce recipe I used. Half cup of butter, you said? I know! But it is worth it.

I had a microwaved egg with hollandaise and herb mix salad with cranberries and balsamic vinaigrette for lunch today. Uhhm, yummy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Constant Vigilant

Woohoo! I'm high. I just finished sending an Invention Alert (a preliminary step for a patent) to our internal patent office. The process is rolling and might take a few...years? LoL. I'll be really happy and grateful if it is really awarded, heck, I am happy and grateful now.

It's been quite an experience and a solid teamwork for us to come with the idea (with solid evidence and some more claims in the making). To make it even bombastic, the bosses put me as the primary inventor. Back in grad school, the equivalent of this euphoria is getting a paper accepted to a prestigious journal (read: significant Impact Factor, > 1? LoL), even as a second author.

Thank you, God, and keep me blessed with a constant drive at work.

Friday, September 25, 2009

All Sales Are Final

It's been two days since your 30-day no question ask return policy expired...I guess I pass my probation period? LoL.

yeah you pass lol

Happy belated engagement lunaversary, Fiance.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A Portrait of the Gander as a Young Goose

I finally had the first painting of me commissioned. The artist was a borderline genius in style but had not enough self-esteem on his capability as a painter. "Koko masih kecil," he said when I asked him. Can you see the resemblance between the painting and the model? LoL...

Friday, September 18, 2009

Zydeco Mix

I finished up burning the mix CD for Il Divo two days ago. At first all the songs sounds alike to each other. I did a little research on most reputable artists of the genre and went on from there to pick songs I like. It was like finding needle in a haystack, but it was enriching. Here is the playlist.

I went kinda crazy and had so much fun on making accompanying booklet of lyrics last night and this morning. The accuracy of the lyrics are questionable, though. I can't even totally catch the English part much less the Cajun French thrown in freely on some of the songs. It's an interesting genre of music, this Zydeco. I can't help to be thrown into experiencing the life of the Cajun/New Orleans people from the way of their music, playful and free-forming.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Oh my, a couple of deadlines coming really close:
1. October-December bulletin--need to start up this baby like right now.
2. Zydeco CD mix for Il Divo--need to actually find a safer downloading source (PC might have just gotten infected with lsas virus). Lucky, I have connection to installing XP, forgot to bring CD from CS.
3. Costumes making for All Saints' Day, I'm in charge of embelishment

I am questoning my ability on time management these days. There were an extended period of time when I played Sudoku till 4 in the morning. And now these deadlines are haunting me (not to forget the wedding related thingie!).

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wedding Prep

So we took the plunge. We are doing this!

I took a moment and a deep breath and promise myself that I am not going to be obsessed with having too high an expectation on having a grandeur wedding reception, it should be simple and intimate. Planning for the reception should not be something that takes away sleeping time and creates yet another monster. Ultimately, I want us to focus more on the marriage preparation (and ceremony).

So to kick off, I have done a couple of preliminary things.

-Date and place

I have just emailed an old friend at St. Mary's with a picture of fiance and I to announce our engagement. She is the secretary. She then directed me to contact the new associate pastor. I drafted an introductory email to him. I am having a good vibe with the Father after reading his bio. My first choice for a wedding mass celebrant was Fr. Mike Sis, but it seems that arranging all of our schedules together will be leaning towards the impossible.

We are leaning toward a March-April 2010 timeline. Of course, it all depends on the church.

Edited to add: We might change city venue to San Antonio, TX instead of College Station, TX. This seems to be a good solution to help us with planning and for the convenience of flying in out-of-town guests. My sister and brother won't be living in CS anymore when we will have our wedding, which takes out convenience out of planning. Bibi's sister and mother live in San Antonio and thus we will be able to ask for their assistance with the wedding.

Finally, check out our wedding planning blog for an idea of how far we are in preparation.


My sister called with a good news on Sunday. I have just consulted a certain tax estimator today. What I found from both is that we might have more chunk for our wedding budget. Bibi and I need to talk more about the whole thing.

-Support (emotional and otherwise)

I am pledging the full support of the fantastic Andas, Bu Didi, Donna and Megan. So girls, help me organizing this budget friendly wedding. I love you all.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Hello, Fiance...

I feel happy every time I see this picture. I placed the original color print on my cubicle right by the laptop. It feels as if Bibi greets me every time I return to the cube and I find my self saying hi to him.

It was taken by a film SLR of Bibi's colleague, a certain Dr. K. He and his wife were one of the first ones who witness our early going out back in December 2007. We were attending some kind of St. Mary's pipe organ Christmas recital.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Utterly Happy

Remember Pollo Desperado?

I made Bibi that for dinner just after he landed. Bibi carved the chicken fresh out of the oven. He had salad for a side dish while I had soup. I also made some baked potato with rosemary from my pot garden. We opened a bottle of wine I had handy for a sitdown dinner like this.

We had elaborate plan for Saturday to visit the Santa Cruz mountain, drive the 17-Mile Drive at Monterey, and then hike somewhere in Point Lobos. As for me, I had always wanted to cross two things of my Bibi list: taking a long walk at the beach and watching sunset, and it was not just any beach, it has to be at Carmel by the Beach.

Due to some mismanagement of time and also on getting a bit lost, it was already 5 PM when we drove the 17-Mile Drive. The cloudy sky put a stop on our hiking plan as we cruised thru the next 12 points of interests and off to Carmel.

That long walk on the beach was a God sent. I pointed to an older couple who were walking a few feet in front and to the side of us who were pausing for a kiss. "It's like one of those De Beers diamond commercial," I told Bibi. And then he dragged me to the very spot and did the same to me.

I took out the beach towel when we decided to take a rest. We had a mini health-conscious picnic with some baked multigrain chips, trailmix bars and plain water. Bibi regretted the lack of wine. I should've picked up clues by this time, but I didn't. I asked him for his camera and started taking pictures of us.

Before long when I was still playing with the camera, he took out a dark blue paper box out of his backpack without me knowing and proceeded to say, "you have crossed things off your list today, now you will be able to cross one more thing." He put the box on his lap.

I still didn't catch that it was a proposal. "Opened it, " he said. I opened the paper box and inside there was an oval box to what looks like something that houses a ring. Inside was the most beautiful diamond ring a girl like me has ever seen.

Bibi made a speech of proposal, which honestly I forgot the details of except for few bits about how I made him feel special and then..."H****** N*********, will you marry me?" I shouted a big yes and planted him a big kiss. I put the ring on my left ring finger. Maybe in that order.

I still can't believe that I am engaged to a beautiful, caring, intelligent person!

We stayed at the beach for another hour or two just talking and talking. I totally forgot all about the sunset. We then had a celebration dinner at maybe the best gourmet type of restaurant I've ever been in. It serves Asian-European fused food, properly symbolizing our future venture together. We were hesitant at first to dine at such place donning only our very casual beach get ups. But, ah, what the heck.

It was a really nice ring. I know what I felt about diamond before. But it does make a girl feel a tad more special.

Thank you God. Thank you, Baby. I love you and I can't wait to start a life with you.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


In light of the so-called drama, I couldn't resist to post the following excellent eye-opening piece up here. It is applicable to the situation, as we, in a sense, are geeks, religious geeks. LoL. Come to think of it, it could be applied on any social groups, circles, etc. As for me, I am a GSF1 &GSF5 carrier, so people beware.

Taken from here via Facebook. © 2003 Michael Suileabhain-Wilson.

Five Geek Social Fallacies

Within the constellation of allied hobbies and subcultures collectively known as geekdom, one finds many social groups bent under a crushing burden of dysfunction, social drama, and general interpersonal wack-ness. It is my opinion that many of these never-ending crises are sparked off by an assortment of pernicious social fallacies -- ideas about human interaction which spur their holders to do terrible and stupid things to themselves and to each other.

Social fallacies are particularly insidious because they tend to be exaggerated versions of notions that are themselves entirely reasonable and unobjectionable. It's difficult to debunk the pathological fallacy without seeming to argue against its reasonable form; therefore, once it establishes itself, a social fallacy is extremely difficult to dislodge. It's my hope that drawing attention to some of them may be a step in the right direction.

I want to note that I'm not trying to say that every geek subscribes to every one of the fallacies I outline here; every individual subscribes to a different set of ideas, and adheres to any given idea with a different amount of zeal.

In any event, here are five geek social fallacies I've identified. There are likely more.

Geek Social Fallacy #1: Ostracizers Are Evil

GSF1 is one of the most common fallacies, and one of the most deeply held. Many geeks have had horrible, humiliating, and formative experiences with ostracism, and the notion of being on the other side of the transaction is repugnant to them.

In its non-pathological form, GSF1 is benign, and even commendable: it is long past time we all grew up and stopped with the junior high popularity games. However, in its pathological form, GSF1 prevents its carrier from participating in -- or tolerating -- the exclusion of anyone from anything, be it a party, a comic book store, or a web forum, and no matter how obnoxious, offensive, or aromatic the prospective excludee may be.

As a result, nearly every geek social group of significant size has at least one member that 80% of the members hate, and the remaining 20% merely tolerate. If GSF1 exists in sufficient concentration -- and it usually does -- it is impossible to expel a person who actively detracts from every social event. GSF1 protocol permits you not to invite someone you don't like to a given event, but if someone spills the beans and our hypothetical Cat Piss Man invites himself, there is no recourse. You must put up with him, or you will be an Evil Ostracizer and might as well go out for the football team.

This phenomenon has a number of unpleasant consequences. For one thing, it actively hinders the wider acceptance of geek-related activities: I don't know that RPGs and comics would be more popular if there were fewer trolls who smell of cheese hassling the new blood, but I'm sure it couldn't hurt. For another, when nothing smacking of social selectiveness can be discussed in public, people inevitably begin to organize activities in secret. These conspiracies often lead to more problems down the line, and the end result is as juvenile as anything a seventh-grader ever dreamed of.

Geek Social Fallacy #2: Friends Accept Me As I Am

The origins of GSF2 are closely allied to the origins of GSF1. After being victimized by social exclusion, many geeks experience their "tribe" as a non-judgmental haven where they can take refuge from the cruel world outside.

This seems straightforward and reasonable. It's important for people to have a space where they feel safe and accepted. Ideally, everyone's social group would be a safe haven. When people who rely too heavily upon that refuge feel insecure in that haven, however, a commendable ideal mutates into its pathological form, GSF2.

Carriers of GSF2 believe that since a friend accepts them as they are, anyone who criticizes them is not their friend. Thus, they can't take criticism from friends -- criticism is experienced as a treacherous betrayal of the friendship, no matter how inappropriate the criticized behavior may be.

Conversely, most carriers will never criticize a friend under any circumstances; the duty to be supportive trumps any impulse to point out unacceptable behavior.

GSF2 has extensive consequences within a group. Its presence in substantial quantity within a social group vastly increases the group's conflict-averseness. People spend hours debating how to deal with conflicts, because they know (or sometimes merely fear) that the other person involved is a GSF2 carrier, and any attempt to confront them directly will only make things worse. As a result, people let grudges brew much longer than is healthy, and they spend absurd amounts of time deconstructing their interpersonal dramas in search of a back way out of a dilemma.

Ironically, GSF2 carriers often take criticism from coworkers, supervisors, and mentors quite well; those individuals aren't friends, and aren't expected to accept the carrier unconditionally.

Geek Social Fallacy #3: Friendship Before All

Valuing friendships is a fine and worthy thing. When taken to an unhealthy extreme, however, GSF3 can manifest itself.

Like GSF2, GSF3 is a "friendship test" fallacy: in this case, the carrier believes that any failure by a friend to put the interests of the friendship above all else means that they aren't really a friend at all. It should be obvious that there are a million ways that this can be a problem for the carrier's friends, but the most common one is a situation where friends' interests conflict -- if, for example, one friend asks you to keep a secret from another friend. If both friends are GSF3 carriers, you're screwed -- the first one will feel betrayed if you reveal the secret, and the other will feel betrayed if you don't. Your only hope is to keep the second friend from finding out, which is difficult if the secret in question was a party that a lot of people went to.

GSF3 can be costly for the carrier as well. They often sacrifice work, family, and romantic obligations at the altar of friendship. In the end, the carrier has a great circle of friends, but not a lot else to show for their life. This is one reason why so many geek circles include people whose sole redeeming quality is loyalty: it's hard not to honor someone who goes to such lengths to be there for a friend, however destructive they may be in other respects.

Individual carriers sometimes have exceptions to GSF3, which allow friends to place a certain protected class of people or things above friendship in a pinch: "significant others" is a common protected class, as is "work".

Geek Social Fallacy #4: Friendship Is Transitive

Every carrier of GSF4 has, at some point, said:

"Wouldn't it be great to get all my groups of friends into one place for one big happy party?!"

If you groaned at that last paragraph, you may be a recovering GSF4 carrier.

GSF4 is the belief that any two of your friends ought to be friends with each other, and if they're not, something is Very Wrong.

The milder form of GSF4 merely prevents the carrier from perceiving evidence to contradict it; a carrier will refuse to comprehend that two of their friends (or two groups of friends) don't much care for each other, and will continue to try to bring them together at social events. They may even maintain that a full-scale vendetta is just a misunderstanding between friends that could easily be resolved if the principals would just sit down to talk it out.

A more serious form of GSF4 becomes another "friendship test" fallacy: if you have a friend A, and a friend B, but A & B are not friends, then one of them must not really be your friend at all. It is surprisingly common for a carrier, when faced with two friends who don't get along, to simply drop one of them.

On the other side of the equation, a carrier who doesn't like a friend of a friend will often get very passive-aggressive and covertly hostile to the friend of a friend, while vigorously maintaining that we're one big happy family and everyone is friends.

GSF4 can also lead carriers to make inappropriate requests of people they barely know -- asking a friend's roommate's ex if they can crash on their couch, asking a college acquaintance from eight years ago for a letter of recommendation at their workplace, and so on. If something is appropriate to ask of a friend, it's appropriate to ask of a friend of a friend.

Arguably, Friendster was designed by a GSF4 carrier.

Geek Social Fallacy #5: Friends Do Everything Together

GSF5, put simply, maintains that every friend in a circle should be included in every activity to the full extent possible. This is subtly different from GSF1; GSF1 requires that no one, friend or not, be excluded, while GSF5 requires that every friend be invited. This means that to a GSF5 carrier, not being invited to something is intrinsically a snub, and will be responded to as such.

This is perhaps the least destructive of the five, being at worst inconvenient. In a small circle, this is incestuous but basically harmless. In larger groups, it can make certain social events very difficult: parties which are way too large for their spaces and restaurant expeditions that include twenty people and no reservation are far from unusual.

When everyone in a group is a GSF5 carrier, this isn't really a problem. If, however, there are members who aren't carriers, they may want occasionally to have smaller outings, and these can be hard to arrange without causing hurt feelings and social drama. It's hard to explain to a GSF5 carrier that just because you only wanted to have dinner with five other people tonight, it doesn't mean that your friendship is in terrible danger.

For some reason, many GSF5 carriers are willing to make an exception for gender-segregated events. I don't know why.


Each fallacy has its own set of unfortunate consequences, but frequently they become worse in interaction. GSF4 often develops into its more extreme form when paired with GSF5; if everyone does everything together, it's much harder to maintain two friends who don't get along. One will usually fall by the wayside.

Similarly, GSF1 and GSF5 can combine regrettably: when a failure to invite someone is equivalent to excluding them, you can't even get away with not inviting Captain Halitosis along on the road trip. GSF3 can combine disastrously with the other "friendship test" fallacies; carriers may insist that their friends join them in snubbing someone who fails the test, which occasionally leads to a chain reaction which causes the carrier to eventually reject all of their friends. This is not healthy; fortunately, severe versions of GSF3 are rare.


Dealing with the effects of social fallacies is an essential part of managing one's social life among geeks, and this is much easier when one is aware of them and can identify which of your friends carry which fallacies. In the absence of this kind of awareness, three situations tend to arise when people come into contact with fallacies they don't hold themselves.

Most common is simple conflict and hurt feelings. It's hard for people to talk through these conflicts because they usually stem from fairly primal value clashes; a GSF3 carrier may not even be able to articulate why it was such a big deal that their non-carrier friend blew off their movie night.

Alternately, people often take on fallacies that are dominant in their social circle. If you join a group of GSF5 carriers, doing everything together is going to become a habit; if you spend enough time around GSF1 carriers, putting up with trolls is going to seem normal.

Less commonly, people form a sort of counter-fallacy which I call "Your Feelings, Your Problem". YFYP carriers deal with other people's fallacies by ignoring them entirely, in the process acquiring a reputation for being charmingly tactless. Carriers tend to receive a sort of exemption from the usual standards: "that's just Dana", and so on. YFYP has its own problems, but if you would rather be an asshole than angstful, it may be the way to go. It's also remarkably easy to pull off in a GSF1-rich environment.

What Can I Do?

As I've said, I think that the best way to deal with social fallacies is to be aware of them, in yourself and in others. In yourself, you can try to deal with them; in others, understanding their behavior usually makes it less aggravating.

Social fallacies don't make someone a bad person; on the contrary, they usually spring from the purest motives. But I believe they are worth deconstructing; in the long run, social fallacies cost a lot of stress and drama, to no real benefit. You can be tolerant without being indiscriminate, and you can be loyal to friends without being compulsive about it.

Hey, Are You Talking About Me?
If I know you, yeah, probably I am. It doesn't mean I don't love you; most of us carry a few fallacies. Myself, I struggle with GSF 1 and 2, and I used to have a bad case of 4 until a series of disastrous parties dispelled it.

I haven't used any examples that refer to specific situations, if it has you worried. Any resemblances to geeks living or dead are coincidental.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pollo Desperado

I had heard about a recipe that somehow results in many boyfriends' proposals to their respective girlfriends. So after taking the idea into the pensive, I decided to give it a try, just to see how it tastes like.

The recipe calls for a 3-lb chicken, two lemons, salt and pepper. I, of course, modified it with more seasonings for the outside part of the chicken and some onion. I added significant baking time as the bird was a almost a 5-lb one. It tasted so good, I probably will marry myself, I told Bibi on the phone.

One day, he asked if I am ever going to make him the Engagement Chicken. "Are we going to be part of statistic?" I texted him back. "It could be fun," he replied. So yeah, I decided to cook him that--with some other side dishes yet to be determined--for his upcoming visit.

I made another tryout two days ago. This time with a smaller bird since I found a mere 3-lb stew hen on a local Asian grocery store. It tasted even better this second time around. Although, I regretted my foolish decision to cook a stew hen for baking. The meat is rubber-like. Also the feathers weren't plucked properly. Ah, well, you couldn't expect much from an Asian grocery store. You do get what you paid for.

So will this result in a proposal? We will see. Bibi did ask for my ring size last week.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Much Ado About Nothing

One day on a meeting with the many groups and commissions at church back in CS, a favorite priest commented on my name, "it's Latin for the one who is nominated," he said. I smiled, mildly disagree. I have nothing in me that spells out L-E-A-D-E-R-S-H-I-P. I am good working with myself and from time to time can bring into reality some degree of successful fashion things that interest me. Working with others while assuming a leadership role need a whole other level of vigority, spontaneity, planning, and genuine believe in human beings, all that are incompatible with the silent side, anti-social me.

Despite the self assurance that I posses no leadership skills whatsoever, the namesake might, once again, be put in line what with the current politics at a certain non-profit, non-political, religious organization I am involved with. In an abridge version, a simple power overthrowing is on its way towards producing tragic consequence to the state of the organization. I am thinking in term of the ridiculousness of the situation, it is similar to the statue of Saddam Husein fatally befallen the masses around it.

In order to avoid the kind of doomsday everyone afraid of, some of the officers voicing their support for yours truly to man one of the key positions, that is as an interim President or a Vice President. I want to add a sexist point of view here, since none of the men is man enough to assume such positions (they are the ones that created the drama in the first place), why not make it an all women roles (although this can be dangerous also, we do not want to foster "feline belligerence" down the line). Anyway, back to being nominated, my take on the matter is that in addition to the lack of leadership ability, I simply don't have the virtue for such a heavy responsibility, not to mention this anxiety --that is well on its way to become a disorder-- I am suffering over the comeuppance of a certain proposal (BF, beware! Although, I doubt you read far down to this line. LoL!).

Let me work with myself to support the group. Let the drama dry out and all will be well again.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Monday, August 03, 2009

Back Log: July 18

Another volunteering chance served us on the 18th of July at MedShare, a fine institution formed in 1998 delivering surplus medical supplies from the US of A to all over the world.

The many types of medical supplies handled at this Northern California location.

The ready-to-be-shipped supplies in the background. Terry Monday is the Medshare person in charge on managing all volunteers.

We diligently sorted needles into pools of gauge size, type, and expiration dates.

The whole group posed customarily at the end of the event.

It was a lovely experience. We hope to come back.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hey You, Up There...

It would have been your 57th birthday, Papa. Mama went to your grave in the morning and texted me afterward. I didn't do anything but composing this post for you tonight, with not enough tears in my eyes. I didn't write anything last year, I am sure you would understand. It was still painful and it will still be like that until we meet again. I miss you.

Oh, with all that I've done wrong I must have done something right
To deserve your love every morning and butterfly kisses
I couldn't ask God for more, man, this is what love is

Butterfly Kisses, Bob Carlisle

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rant of the Week

I should've used a better judgment yesterday when my lazy body lulled my mind for a nap. I never take a so-called power nap--a few precious minutes and one will rise up energetically--it is always a long two-three hours one.

I woke up too early by my Sunday standard for a first showing of Harry Potter at 10:15 AM with the girls. After the nap, there was a momentous decision to go to the last Mass of the day or to replenish food supply. The end of Mass and the closing time of Trader Joe's are sadly congruent. Since I don't have the magical ability to disapparate right after communion, TJ's righteously won. And then the devil took my soul.

In a self I-told-you-so moment, I stayed awake till maybe 5:30 in the morning today. It successfully threw my plan to start the week with a bang at gym. I woke up 10 minutes past 11, just enough time to take a shower, wash and dry my hair (no flat ironing today), and lunch.

It's been closer to four months since I requested and underwent an alternative working hours. At first it worked perfectly fine, judging with the many progress I made over the first two months. The potency of the arrangement, however, is dimmer by the day, as machines are kept occupied until 7 at night. Leaving yours truly to many wasted productive hours spent on blogging, browsing the world wide web, and tending to fax machine(more on this later). Of course, those times are spent after gloriously finishing all the mundane clerical type of tasks. It seems that a graveyard shift will be more effective at this phase, research-wise.

As I finished sending out sample, I received an email from the International Students Service at school explaining the difficulty of faxing an important document to my company's fax machine. This document, I must note, has been gracefully and promptly finished on my request last week, a very good job, indeed. I gave the person another fax number as the hour ticks to 5 PM Texas time. She emailed me to let me know that this time the fax went through. She also asked to let her know if I successfully retrieved it. However, the fax line on our end didn't agree with the arrangement, prompting an error of end of job. I spent 20 minutes on the hotline to fix this problem to no avail. Apparently, the IT people had a problem with their phone line. Whoever it is that Murhpy guy. I salute you. I probably will find my luck to a copy a book written by Nick T. Spark, not to be confused with Nicholas Sparks.

Definitely not a good start of the week.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Some Updates

Too many backlogs. I don't think I can provide good accounts on them. I am not really keen with writing when I have no decent pictures to accompany the post. Hey, I really need to get a camera!

Here is a brief summary for you, that is if you can handle the annoyance of too many parenthesized words and exclamation.

Sunday, June 28th
I went to SF for Gay Pride Parade and hunting French macaron. I also went to some little boutiques along the way. I went with BART in order to be able to stroll downtown SF without having to find where to park and to avoid driving on those scary hills.

The three French macaron places in the Hayes Valley were practically next to each other, they are Paullete, La Boulange, and Miette. I decided I am not a fan of macarons aside from the pricey nature. I cannot tell the difference of the macarons among the three places. Here is probably a better review.

As for the parade, I was expecting something really vulgar coming my way. Instead, it was pretty decent, just a bunch of happy people. So, no useful review from my part again.

July 2nd-5th
The good people of WKICU asked me to come along on their 4th of July long weekend camping trip. We, the five adults and the 2 under 5-year-olds, stayed at a two-bedroom timeshare in Angels Camp on the first night before proceeding with some camping at New Melones Lake.

We spent our days visiting the the little towns and state parks around the areas. The weather in this central valley region was more than 10 degrees higher than the Bay Area weather we are accustomed to, not to mention that our camping ground could've used more shady trees. Nights were spent playing cards, eating corns, gossiping, etc.

We visited in no chronological order:
  • San Andreas (Calaveras County Museum, was a jail and still a function courthouse, took some crazy pictures here too! Oh, and guest what, one episode of Little House on the Praire was shoot in here. That's quite a long ride from their Simi Valley location.)
  • Columbia State Park (for some Gold Rush experience!)
  • Railtown State Park in Jamestown (for satisfying the inner Thomas and we managed to slip in some wine tasting too!)
  • Big Trees State Park (for some giant redwoods, I mean giant!)
  • California Cavern (to cross one item from the list of things I've never been to, a cave is one of them!)

Overall, it was a long weekend time well spent (and cheap too!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

First Published Non-Semiconductor Related Work, LOL!

A little summary on Indonesian Catholic community around Bay Area I wrote for St. Justin's, Santa Clara. The church is where we celebrate second Sunday Masses in Bahasa Indonesia.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Briarwood Apartments College Station Review

As posted on July 14th, 2009, on

The apartment unit that I and my two other roommates lived in at Briarwood was great. It was very clean and the carpet was spotless. The maintenance people were reliable so that we never have problems with AC, cable and internet, water leaks, etc. The neighbors were relatively quite, even on the weekend. Also, we always had ample parking space for our second car.

The problems--or should I say nightmares--we had were always with the management, upper and staff levels alike.

1. They went out of their way to change legal document
A few weeks after we moved in June 2008, we received a notice that we still owed them a few hundred dollars for moving in which need to be paid BTOB the next day. We found out that one of their office people managed to change a date on an original paper we all signed for moving in (not a contract, but still it is illegal) to show us that we had money due. That matters got resolved, though, but not until we threatened to bring it to school attorney.

2. They were not consistent on their policy towards money, i.e., be prepared to fight or pay.
Still, toward the end of the contract, my two roommates wanted to stay for convenience, as they are going to graduate soon. My roommates inquired about the money they had to pay in order to move to a 2-bedroom unit. There was a complication since we were staying at a 3-bedroom unit and we had paid that half month rent in advance when we signed the contract for the 3-bedroom. They kept changing their answer day-to-day. But no matter what the answer was, it would cost my roommates a fortune to stay. After a lot of “fightings” with the office people (manager kept leaving office hour right on the dot at 4 PM), my roommates decided to not renewing the contract. FYI, by this time, Briarwood was under yet another new management. But they still treat the tenants like bottom feeders. They claimed that my roommates were not granted renewal because my roommates were one step away from committing violence.

3. They, in short, are hustlers
My roommates had final statement after they moved out to the tune of yet another couple hundred dollars, for paintings, cleaning, and changing drip pans. Not so funny thing is one of my roommate had changed the drip pans (she lost the receipt though, but she still had the fifth of the drip plan set that was not used). My roommate went to dispute the charge about the drip plan with the office, they showed her a picture of a dirty cook stove/oven. My roommate was in disbelief and told them she personally cleaned that cook stove/ oven. Also, they refused to tell here when the picture was taken--it can be easily seen from the picture property as it was taken from a digital camera. Personally, we believe they are hustlers, since they only charged 200 something dollars for painting the whole apartment--it probably cost them more than that. They just wanted to have these easy 200 dollars from us and to get back to us from what happened at point # 2 above.

We are bringing these matters to the College Station’s Better Business Bureau and Texas A&M’s Off-Campus Housing office. We will let everyone know the progress of the “case.” In the mean time, caveat emptor for future renters, you should really think about moving in unless you have unlimited amount of money and willing to part from it. We are mostly students here. In my roommates and I case, we are international graduate students. So that might be why we got hustled in the first place.

Former Tenant, June-August 2008, # 383

Channeling My Inner Serena Williams

We were playing tennis at an officer picnic for WKICU sometime in June. I teamed up with the president. We obviously won.

I am thinking I need to start playing tennis again. I am entertaining an idea of an all-girl tennis match at my apartment complex on one of the weekend days followed by bbq/picnic and hot-tubbing. Hmm...

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Little Vain

you were hottt
in the purple dress
i demand a clearer pic

iya hot as in kepanasan, tan banget,

iya darker ya?
but it created a gorgeous backdrop for that jewel tone of the dress

:D thank you thank you you made my day
You did look thinner, and your complexion is clearer, what did you do?
Ah, it's only because I told you I've lost some pounds
As for the face, I don't know, it's probably the make up, LOL.

Aw, you all are so pretty. Green, brown...[he was referring to my friend's dress and my skirt and top ensemble]
Us: Thank you.
Did you straightened your hair?
Oh, you look so pretty...
[to her sister-in-law's girlfriend] Doesn't she?
Thank you..
Did you change your hair style?
Oh, you look good!
Thank you, I just straightened it.
Yeah..*nodding in approval*

Sunday, July 12, 2009


(Alternative) Examination of conscience for the act of contrition.

On one's relationship with:

  • God

  • Those nearest

  • Everyone else

  • God's other creatures

  • Oneself

In which I must conclude by borrowing the words of the Coldplay folks, I know Saint Peter won't call my name.


Thursday, July 09, 2009

Black Hole/Mothership

13:33 -- Hi! (the usual start of text message ritual, no reply from moi)

17:54 -- The Governor want to see you...(referring to his post on the workout blog, still no reply from moi)

20:58 -- Are you ok? (Sorry, Babe, I misplaced my cellphone at home and didn't see your text messages until midnight.)

I am thinking there is some sort of a black hole at the apartment. I was sure that the cellphone is still at the house because unlike these past two days I woke up precisely when the Wake Up Alarm on my cellphone went off. Before leaving for work, I searched all around to no avail. I even sent a text message through the computer but apparently it arrived thirty minutes after I sent it. Throughout the workday, I actively checked my account on the provider. First to see if the phone didn't land on somebody else's and got abused. Second, to see if I missed any important phonecalls and how many text messages got in. All is well. When I got home at midnight, I heard the phone beeping somewhere in the living room. It turned out it sucessfully fell to my newest mothership by the "sofa" possibly when I hit the silence button. Bibi must get a kick out of this mothership/black hole subject. LoL.

Back Log: June 18-24

Let's see, too many things to recount. Caveat for the readers, the following rambles are mainly for self-notes. I should have been more persistent on picture taking. It just escaped me.

Texas Trip
What follows is my account on what happened on this trip after the hilarity that was on the last post. But before we began, I wanted to state that I forgot how 100 degrees weather feels like. Tank tops, shorts, skirts, and summer dresses, SPF 50, minimal to no make-up are fashion staples I anticipated for this trip. I am glad NY has a lot of cute things to borrow to maximize my inner fashionista wannabe. As for the trip, I did what I came for: Bibi's prelim, a friend's wedding, and visiting the siblings.

Bibi practiced the slides for his presentation a couple of times that Thursday night and then once in the morning. "There's a lot of shit going on in this slide," we were hoping he can preface the last of his four topics.

The day of the prelim, Bibi refused to dress up in a suit/jacket, and instead don on his nice dress pants and shirt. He still looked smart nevertheless, LOL. We walked to school around noon. I played a good caterer and media tech while Bibi preparing his paperwork and whatnot.

When he was fighting at the frontline, I spent some time to exchange news and weather with my friends in the department. I excused myself two hours later to think that he must be finished by then. The waiting can be described as parallel to husbands waiting outside for wives delivering their first baby. Bibi finally came out of the room looking a bit worried and relieved at the same time. A minute later, his advisor when out to call him in. He passed!

I am so proud of him having to deal with such a tough and respectable research subject. Biology used to be my forte, I am glad I have somebody who possesses a better understanding on living objects--and most importantly, has good ideas on how to manipulate them.

We celebrated the prelim at O'Bannon's and a dinner at nearby Mexican place. Speaking of viva la comida, I also made panada and pastel from scratch for everybody's snacks on two different days. They got NY's seal of approval. I didn't realize that using rolling pin to make something is a good abs exercise.

The following Saturday, we had a wedding to attend. We arrived at the ceremony thirty minute late due to a planning mishap, i.e., no map. Who doesn't know the way to Waco? Only Bibi and yours truly apparently. Good thing my friend wasn't pronounced a Mrs yet. I am sure Bibi realize the ulterior motive of dragging him to the wedding, that is an exposure to Catholic wedding mass. The reception following the ceremony was in the mixed style of Mexican fiesta (the Mariachi and the food, groom was of Mexican decent) and the usual wedding party activity (the open floor with DJ, the bouquet throwing). Everybody had fun.

On Sunday, Bibi, the siblings and I went to Texas Road House to satisfy everyone's crave for a good steak and for a little bonding time. Then I went to St. Mary's 7 PM mass. Later that night, Bibi and I went to Northgate for his Sunday night poker league.

All in all, it was a good and compact visiting week. I did manage, though, to throw a breakdown tantrum on Bibi two days before leaving CS. That morning, Bibi and I went to the Rec Center together. I went to St. Mary's afterward with mi amiga G to get some ideas of things I need to prepare for a Catholic nuptial. It was an overwhelming experience to realize that my timeline (for a December wedding *gasps* Bibi needs to propose first, no?) is ambitious and has already passed its expiration. I am putting my--I mean, our--plan all on God's hand. Maybe sometime next year is best for everyone. I can spend some time with Mom, we all can have a better planning, and not to mention, it will be more feasible on the financial side. I am hoping NY get a job here, I can't do this without my dearest sister.

I flew back to SCLA on Wednesday ready for the last three days of working that week. The next week was another shutdown week.

--to be continued

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Texas Here I Come (Again)

Travel Notes, Day 1

I can never get a good night sleep before a trip to see Bibi (LOL, Bibi!). I watched TV and filled in New York magazine crosswords last night after a final packing and general grooming. Past midnight, I watched TLC including the new season of The Gosselins saga and one from the old seasons. TLC successfully markets their contrast. Total sleeping hours: about three. Total TV hours: hmm, about five hours.

I packed two bags: a backpack and a laptop/mothership bag. Good weight exercise as I had to walk about a mile to catch VTA and another mile traveling airport in-site. Food to clothes ratio roughly equals 1:3. I scavenged Trader Joe's for a little something for people back home.

I didn't remember any of the US airports I'd been before to offer a free wifi and was glad to find that DEN offers one. Airport past time triumphantly spent on Facebook, Bloglines, Flickrs and blogs. Plane rides, on the other hand, spent on manual sudoku, crosswords and the good old sleep! As we were flying west, I had to put down the window as I realize the higher altitude makes the UV damage more vicious. What do you call a plane equivalent of a driver's tan. LOL!

Interesting views as we landed in DEN. I doubt that it was The Broncos home stadium that I saw (no branding whatsoever). Also patches of green acres (not of trees) around the city that seems to serve no purpose. Better research more on this.

NY and I are going to find our way to County Line BBQ. I seem to can never eat enough meat in CA. So meat is the first thing I am looking for when I am in TX. It was Saltlick with Bibi and brother last trip.

I am boarding Austin flight in fifty minutes.

Updates from AUS:
Landed safely at 4:52 PM local time. Unfortunately my chaffeur/sister was kinda lost.

After much consulting with Bibi and Information guys and of course, NY, we all finally figured out where she was and the new route she could use to arrive at AUS to pick me up. Here's a diagram of the situation.

Poor girl. We need drinks, correction, she needs it more than me.

Anyway, there is a free wifi here at AUS. Although, it wasn't supposed to be free, I suppose. I am posting with it. KYH might be arriving in half hour or so.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Back Log: May 30th

As part of Memorial Day long weekend, I enjoyed the company of this adorable couple for a light hiking trip around the South Bay area.

A detour for a to-go of tummy filling Vietnamese rice platters and yummy durian creme puff treats to South San Jose's Vietnamtown (thank God for GPS) could almost christened this trip a Culinary Adventure instead.

We were supposed to see chain of seven waterfalls on Uvas Canyon Park in Morgan Hill. But we were keeping our hopes low since foliages and waterholes at ground elevation were dry. Up a 1000 ft later (we drove ourselves up), a lush of evergreen suddenly greeted us.

If you are thinking of a great wonder of a waterfall that is Niagara, this Upper Falls is of course a no match. As you can see, the fall's height only reaches 25 ft and the width was about 15 ft. Still, the serenity of the walking and the giggles of babies playing in the water flush away the hectic world not much far from this heaven.

These last two pictures only satisfied the narcissus in me. Also in succesfully keeping the envy of a DSLR alive.

Photo credit