Small Talk And Formality

My brain has trouble keeping up with my mouth. This is why whenever I prepare for an oral presentation or talk, I have to write down everything I’m going to say; not notes with bullet points, but every sentence and word, as if writing an essay. This is why I prefer talking online over face-to-face or phone conversations (go ahead and call me a coward; I don’t care). This is also why I suck at discussions and discourses where rapid speech is required (especially rapid intelligent speech). A lot of times mid-conversation I’ll get stumped on some words and end up speaking a few words of gibberish because I was trying to say something too fast. I guess to sum it up, I have trouble thinking and talking simultaneously, which causes some slight embarrassments and deficiencies when I talk with strangers and/or meet new people.

Example: getting acquainted with your friend’s friends. On more than one occasion I have been introduced to my friends’ friends. Politeness (and non-awkwardness) dictates that I tell them my name and ask them all what their names are. So like a well-mannered and semi-social person, I ask the new people individually what their names are and then pause to let all their names come in one ear and out the other. 5 minutes later I realize that I don’t know any of their names, as if I hadn’t asked them in the first place. So when I see any of them again I have to act apologetic and say “I’m really sorry, I forgot your name. Could you tell me again?” when the truth is I never really remembered it from the beginning. Usually I make the conscientious effort the second time around, especially if the other person remembered my name, which is hard after the first time.

Another example: After completing some transaction with any salesperson. Usually the salesperson will say “Have a nice day” and I will immediately and robotically say “You too!” without thinking. It’s like the whole “Hey how are you?” “Fine, and you?” thing. Anyways, why is this “Have a nice day” “You too” thing a problem? Because sometimes the salesperson doesn’t actually say “Have a nice day.”

Incident #1: Amsterdam airport. I was in a shop with Eugena and Phil during our layover before flying to Berlin. Eugena buys a shirt and the lady at the register starts making small talk (which is another awkward story on it’s own). After we’re done the lady says to us all “Have a nice flight!”

Almost involuntarily I blurt out: “You too!…………I mean…uh have a nice day!” Laughter ensues.

Incident #2: Getting gym membership at 24 Hour Fitness in California. It was like 8 pm. After I filled out all the paperwork and paid the membership fee, the salesperson said to me: “Have a good workout!”

And of course, my reflexes answer for me: “You too!…….I mean um..have a nice da- er – I mean evening….” after which I proceed to walk away really fast.

From now on, I will pay extra attention to what salespeople say to me so I don’t look like a shallow person whose social abilities consist only of formalities.

Transformers – Alternate Ending

One night I went out to dinner with my sister and some of her friends and we talked about the Transformers movie and why it was stupid. Don’t get me wrong I liked the movie but after this brief discussion, I have to admit that there are some things that are kind of stupid about it. For example, what was the helicopter gonna do after it got the cube? Below is my rendition of how Transformers would’ve ended if the kid successfully got the cube to the helicopter:

The Problem with Mailing Lists and a Bunch of Bored Interns

The following is a sequence of emails to the San Jose Interns at Cisco mailing list, from earliest to latest:

“Hi folks,

Apologies in advance for the wide distribution, please don’t reply to all. I’m currently living in a 3-bedroom apartment in Sunnyvale, and one of my roommates is moving out at the end of this month. We’re looking for one person to sublet the vacant room for the next 3 months (August 1st through November 1st). If you’re interested, drop me an email and we can arrange for a time for you to check out the place.




Sunnyvale, CA 94086

Further info:

- You’ll be getting the master bedroom, with your own bathroom.

- Parking situation available, details can be worked out.

- Contact me for rent details.

- Living room is fully furnished.

- Commute to Cisco is ~10 miles, 15 minute drive even during rush hour.

Again, contact me as soon as possible if you’re interested.”






(From someone named Ping)





Please be courteous and do not “reply all.” Thanks.


Maybe if everyone tells everyone not to reply all we can fill your mailbox. :)

mailing lists are for email.




Ping I thought your joke was funny, thank you.


Please quit replying to all..Thanks..


Please quit replying to all about replying to all. Thank you


please quit replying about people replying about people replying… geez.


I agree with the below

(or in this case, above)




Oh outlook rules, how I love thee let me count the replies…



I second tht…(referring to “I agree with the below”)


me too !






hello all,

there is a button that says “Reply” and there is button called “Reply to All,” and you all should be using the first one and reply only to who you need to talk to. Let’s take these conversations offline and out of everyone’s inboxes!

A little professionalism wouldn’t hurt kids.


~30 emails in 5 minutes, all about (not replying to)^n, where n = 1,2,3,4 ….

you guys are so funny :) and obviously your managers are not around ;)






“word”? Did you really just try to gangster talk all of us via email?




Since we’re all having a good conversation…

anyone else from UCLA?



Folks, please quit it. at least dont flood mailboxes with these attachments.

Some of us do have work.




I’m sorry, I hate to add to this mess, but I had to do it.

Paul :)





For every one you guys have, we have a better one ;).


Joe Bruin


Watching this happen in my cubicle was quite amusing, although that obnoxious beep sound that thinkpads make going off every 10 seconds was a little aggravating. Shortly afterwards, we all got an email from someone in charge of the intern “department” saying that we should stop and that this list is for professional use only, and that a number of managers are also on the mailing list because they want to see what kind of things the interns are saying….haha OOPS to those people who participated.

Waterfight gone bad, Singing cat, and Jedi Lightning

More dreams:

This one happened last week so I don’t remember too many details. I was at this summer camp with a bunch of friends, but for some reason I felt really bummed out and bitter. I woke up one day without my shirt on and walked to the open window cause I heard a lot of noise. I saw everyone running around with water guns having a waterfight. Some of my friends saw me and called me to come out, and they started squirting water at me. Then somehow I got my hands on a watergun and started shooting back, but they all just ran back so I couldn’t shoot far enough to hit them. It made me furious so I just stood there with a grimace. Then the waterfight came to an end and my friends were walking back towards the building in a group. In anger I threw my watergun down at them. It didn’t hit anyone but it bounced on the ground and got tangled with someone’s foot, which somehow caused them to trip into the air and land on their head. I was like “OH SHOOT!” and ran down as fast as I could. I ran over to them and was saying sorry like a bajillion times and seeing if he was okay. I felt really really guilty and mad at myself for being so bitter, which resulted in this accident.

Yeah that was depressing when I woke up. Good thing it was a only a dream.

In my next dream, I was laying on my mattress and I had just woken up. I saw Amadeus, one of my sister’s cats, walking near me so I motioned for him to come over. He walked onto my chest and settled there, and then he started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, with the voice of a little toddler boy, like the one in the commercial for getting rid of dog fleas (in the commercial a puppy is singing in a little boy’s voice “There are no more bugs on me!”).

And the most interesting dream I’ve had recently: I was in a classroom with Phil Chuang and there was something wrong with his eyes. He had brief trouble seeing so this old woman came in and held up her hand in front of his face asking “How many fingers am I holding up?” I didn’t really pay attention until I noticed Phil hesitated to answer. I was like how difficult can it be to count fingers so I looked over and couldn’t believe my eyes: All of her fingers were held up except for her thumb, but I counted five fingers! This woman had six fingers and Phil and I were like…no way. Then both of us were like, “What other crazy things can you do old lady?” And she told us she could give us electric shocks from her fingers and we were like “COOL!” Then she gave us both little shocks and I jokingly asked her, “Can you shoot lightning from your fingers?” Phil rolled his eyes and turned away but as soon as he did, the woman somehow became a middle-aged man who shot lighting from his fingers at the chalkboard. I was like “DANGGG!!!” and Phil turned around in shock. After a few moments of pure speechless shock, I took out my camera and timidly asked, “Could you do that again?” And he did, except this time he started running around the classroom shooting lighting at the center of the floor and I was running around trying to record it on my camera.

Yeah, that was pretty awesome.

Commercials: The Good And The Stupid, plus picture update!


Updated my site with some pictures of California. Here’s my favorite one!

Go to my site for more, and go to my imagestation for even more.

I’ve done a fair share of TV-watching since I started working here. My sister has cable but usually I just watch Law and Order and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and most recently, Wimbledon; and if none of those are on, I’ll watch Animal Planet. After watching these channels exclusively for a month, I’ve become pretty familiar with all the commercials that come on those channels. I’ve gotta say that some are just downright corny and stupid; they bother me enough to dedicate a portion of my blog to talking about why they’re so bad. I can only remember two off the top of my head right now, but I know there are many more.

Angelsoft toilet paper. Two guys goofily dressed up in angel costumes are changing a light bulb. One is standing on a stack of what apparently is folded toilet paper in attempt to reach the bulb. He says, “If only it were a little thicker, then I could change this bulb” or something like that. The other angel says, “Angelsoft toilet paper is now X times thicker than other toilet paper brands!” The stack of folded toilet paper magically becomes thicker and the angel standing on it successfully changes the light bulb. Then they’re walking down some hall and one says, “So THAT’s how many angels it takes to screw in a light bulb!” Then the commercial ends in the midst of their hysterical laughter.

Why is this commercial bad? Well first of all, the “plot” has absolutely nothing to do with toilet paper. The commercial doesn’t even SHOW toilet paper. The angel could’ve been standing on a white brick. It makes no mention of the benefits of thicker toilet paper (except that it makes it easier to change a light bulb if you’re idiotic enough to even use toilet paper as a stepping stool). Third of all, it’s just plain corny, especially the ending. Whoever came up with the idea (and whoever decided to go with it) really lacks some creativity and sense of what’s cheesy and what’s not.

The second commercial I can think of is ALL Orbitz gum commercials. They’re just really lame. The whole if- I- chew -orbitz -gum -then -my -teeth -will -be -so -white -and -clean -that -they’ll -make -a -nice -ding -sound just doesn’t work for me. If I want a good clean feeling in my mouth, I’d rather brush my teeth.

In conclusion, really cheesy commercials = BIG turnoff.

To be fair, there are also some commercials that I think are really good or that I just like because they’re funny, clever, and creative. I like the ING commercial where the cat is stuck in a tree and someone calls 911, the police come, the press comes, a lumberjack comes, and a politician starts giving a speech, all in attempt to get the cat down. Then the woman on the ING bench opens a can of tuna and the cat jumps down from the tree onto the bench. There’s also the ING commercial where a father is telling his young daughter a fairy tale, and it gets all complicated and elaborate, and at the end the daughter looks up and says, “So basically, the prince saves the princess?” (can be seen ING commercials are creative and effective in conveying their message; when it comes to finances and retirement, we will simplify everything for you.

Usually I think Hertz commercials are kind of corny, but recently they’ve come out with some funny ones, where the “local competitor” tries to keep up with the services Hertz offers. There’s one where the local competitor advertises “personal navigators in every car” and the scene switches to some people driving in the car with some Tibetan wizard in a purple robe sitting in the back with a map open. The driver starts making a turn and all of a sudden the wizard goes “NONONONONONO ayayayayaya!!!” (you get the gist) and the car is swerving everywhere. There’s another one (which can be viewed that is also really funny. Just watch it.

The last good commercial I must bring up is the Rolex/Wimbledon commercial. What makes their commercials so good is the music. The music is just awesome, as well as the slow motion shots that go with it. They’re so awesome that Rolex used the same commercials this Wimbledon as they did last year. And Federer is awesome; no doubt about it. Here are some links:,,


I thought I was pretty ridiculous when it came to killing bees inside my house (I would get out my supersoaker xp110 and ambush the bee, careful to avoid shooting at electrical appliances). But this, this is like 1000X more ridiculous and awesome:


I haven’t felt the urge to blog about anything even though some stuff has happened. My cousin whom I’ve never met got married in Malibu, I hung out with Lauren and Guilly in San Francisco Saturday afternoon/night, and went to a County Fair where I witnessed an Alaskan Pig Race and pigged out with a cheeseburger, cheesesteak, funnel cake, curly fries, and lemonade.

But I think blogging about things that I’ve done isn’t all that interesting, unless it’s something really unique (like getting into a communal pool with old naked people in a Japanese hotel). So I figured I could start writing about various dreams I have, which are usually interesting simply because they’re completely random.

So, the first dream in this “series”:

My dad and I were having a discussion/debate on something, and it turned into a heated argument. I got so angry I grabbed his glasses and twisted one of the ends sideways. Then we both turned silent and my dad just looked at me with an expression of calm shock. I immediately felt really bad about it and fidgeted my hands to try to fix the glasses.

Ok maybe that wasn’t particularly interesting either. Last weekend in Irvine I had a more interesting dream that involved Vin Deisel leading a massacre at an amusement park that me and my family were able to escape from. But when we found a neighboring apartment to hide in, my cell phone rang with a number I didn’t recognize and when I answered, the voice immediately said “Come!” Then I also heard my sister on the phone too so it was one of those 3-way phone calls. Anyways, the weirdest thing was that Vin was my sister’s ex-boyfriend and he was holding the amusement park hostage because he wanted to settle something with us.

More interesting, yah?