Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Today I said something I should be ashamed about as an Asian. You know that stereotype of driven, hard-working Asian? Okay, if you work for a decently sized company, you'd know about the evaluation two times a year - mid-year and year-end (or beginning of the year, depending on your perspective.) So beginning of the year, you set these "goals" of what you want to accomplish during the year, middle of the year you'll be evaluated to see if you are still on track, and end of the year you will be evaluated yet again and that will determine what size of a raise you get. You get the idea. But you know, some positions just simply don't have a path, so making up these "goals" every year is becoming quite a hassle. I knew I shouldn't but finally I had to ask my adviser, "So what if I say I am very happy where I am and don't go anywhere else (moving up)?" You know how there are things that you kind of know you are not suppose to say? Yeah, this is one of them, but I just have very bad self-control, so I asked. :P I fully expected a canned answer, "No, you should not say that, you should aim for something higher, etc., etc.," you get the idea, but NO! To my surprise, my adviser said, "That's great that you are happy!" LOL. I guess it's a lot less paper work for everyone involved. :P Next time I'll just say that when I don't feel like wasting my time on the evaluation. Goal: "Get my job done right." Aspiration: "Get my job done right." =D

Monday, January 25, 2010


So I had this following conversation with a fanatic:

Fanatic (after realized that I'm an agnostic): "What day do you celebrate evil's birthday?" [Dangerous statement that implies, well, stated that anyone not belonging to his religion denomination = evil-worshipper. At least I can follow the logic behind his intended insult instead of him just calling me a "fag" or "blonde."]

P: "I do not believe there is a God so naturally I do not believer there's an evil either."

Fanatic: "So you are saying that the planet just appeared out of nowhere?"

P: "Ultimately it's the same question. If you can believe that God was just there at the beginning, why not a planet? But that's not what I am saying, I am saying that I do not know and that it's not comprehensible with our current knowledge."

Then the conversation, as expected, took a dive and the logic which incredibly lasted as long as it did started to fall apart and I decided to extract myself from that conversation.

What I was trying to say was, that conversation really made me realize that I cannot state that I believe in the big bang theory, or that the beginning of life as we know it can be entirely explained by our current knowledge of science. I should elaborate more, I do not have the knowledge in physics to actually understand big bang theory, from a very simplistic point of view I do not understand how and why everything and anything exist, regardless of whether it's God, the universe, or a planet, or a tree, or an ant, you get the idea. I believe in the process of evolution because we have hard evidence of it. Unless you are hardcore fanatics who believe that fossil records are planted by God to test our faith (What is the point of that? Is he insecure or just cruel or seriously need a live after he created Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden?), you will have to believe in evolution, but the whole brown soup beginning of life? Ugh.

Let me introduce this very basic concept of entropy in physics. Entropy = randomness. To give an example that even a little kid can understand, entropy aka randomness always increases. Imagine a stack of paper in the middle of a room. You put a fan in there, paper will get all over the room. Life being created by chance = same probability this stack of paper will coincidentally arrange itself back into a neatly stacked pile of paper, in it's original order. I am not even going to honey coat it by saying that it's plausible but not possible. I am going to unscientifically say that the chance of that is none. So saying that earth was a big conglomerate of substances and with added energy from thunder these elements just by chance arrange themselves and form the first live.... I can't buy it. I can't buy it more than I can buy that there is God. Every time I say I find it harder to convince myself. If I believe that the Bible is like a Disney watered down version of how things should be, then the whole brown soup theory is about equally as Disney.

I have never said this before, it's not that I don't want to believe. Risking sounding like Fox Mulder, I want to believe, very much so. I just can't. I went to a Catholic kindergarten, primary, and secondary school. The viewpoint they teach was very simple: good people go to Heaven, bad people go to Hell. And quite frankly, most of us go through life without killing another person, so there really aren't that many bad people walking the earth. And, knowing what we know, that most serial killer are mentally ill and most of them abused as a child, can you really hold them accountable for their actions? For all eternity?

My one and only Mormon friend S has a very simplistic viewpoint of religion/life. Well, very similar to my Catholic background one. She believes that Heaven is easy to get into and most people, regardless of whether they are religious or not, will be able to enter Heaven. How I wish that is true. But the truth has nothing to do with what I wish for. I believe that the truth is absolute, regardless of what we want it to be, but being an agnostic, even that is questionable. Perhaps it will differ depending of what we believe... but the only fairness is life is perhaps none of us will know for certain (other than those who think they know for certain) until we've "crossed over," whatever that may be.

In the mean time, I will continue to subscribe to the theory that, "If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Movie Review: Final Destination 4

Not bad for a part 4. I will definitely watch Part 5, if there will ever be one! :) (And blu-ray at $19.99, it's a steal!)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Movie Review: Terminator Salvation (Is it possible to spoil this?)

I think I am only going to give it a 3 out of 5 on this one. Granted, it is already part IV, we should just be happy that it doesn't suck badly, right? Some of the computer scenes could be done better. And by computer scenes, I mean computer scenes literally, as in when the characters were using the computer in the movie. Not cgi. With $200 million budget, you would think they could at least spend a bit more time to make it looks less cliche, but nowadays seems every actors/actresses get paid in the millions, so maybe $200 million is not that much after all.

I have done some research on the budget and gross income of the four terminator movies, here goes:

Ref: wikipedia

Monday, January 18, 2010

Movie Review: Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li

Not a bad movie either, but as I always say you need to adjust your expectation according to the type of movies you are watching. Needless to say you will be disappointed going in there expecting this is going to be the next Hollywood blockbuster. Well, it's not, but it has hot chicks and fighting scenes. So there!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Movie Review: Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (Possible Spoiler)

Wow, this movie absolutely exceeded my expectation. I only picked it up because the title sounded funny, I barely remembered the trailer. So I sat there and the movie started, right. I thought, "Oh, great, it's another one of those -- struggling genius scientist, he invents, he fails, he invents, he failt, story drums up to this big climax and he experiences epic failure, the he finally succeeds in the grand finale." I was genuinely surprised when his invention worked from the beginning!! Thank GOD we could skip all the aggravation knowing the whole time that he WILL succeed in the end. The movie went a complete different direction and the incredible attention to details were amazing. Right down to the big banana knocking down the Columbia Picture woman statue at the beginning of the DVD. This is a must see!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Making of a Fanatic

Step 1: Identify a cause

Step 2: Convince self that cause is bigger than anything else in life, and sometimes life itself (be it themselves or others, especially others.) Irony is when pro-life peeps bomb abortion clinics or murder abortion doctors.

Step 3: Go far and wide and preach the said cause and make that your life.

Step 4: All malicious, violent acts stemming from the said cause are now justified.

What I don't understand is, having a cause should give one purpose not introduce anger, or are the bitter ones with lots of anger more inclined to becoming a fanatic?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Chicken Pox

Chicken pox is one of those disease that if you get it in your childhood, it's just a minor discomfort, and you are immune to it for the rest of your life; on the other hand, if you get it in your adulthood, the result can be much more serious, for example, infertility in women.

Many issues in life are like chicken pox. If you have to make the mistake once to learn the lesson and never repeat that error again, it's better to make that mistake when you are young and your actions bear no serious consequences. The price to pay for the same mistake will be much higher when made in your adulthood.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dream House

After all the house hunting, this is what I want in my dream house. I've made an illustrataion.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Movie Review: Paranormal Activity (Spoiler Alert)

Okay, my friend raved about this so I had to see it, risking not being able to sleep for a few nights, but it was definitely not as scary as I had expected. Of all the random movies out there ("Stuck," "Open Waters," to name a few), this is one of those movies that should be labeled as "based on a true story," however loosely. I went into the movie thinking that it's "based on a true story," and it had some scary scenes. Once my husband told me that it was entirely fictional, it took out the suspension of disbelief and the rest are just okay. Also, once it's established that this is fictional, it seemed there are room for improvement, specifically:-

(1) A better escalation. I would like to see the severity of it increase gradually. Or maybe I just prefer the Asian type of scariness -- intangibility. The door moving on its own was scary, but footprints and opened roof access etc. implied a physical body, took the joy out of it (at least for me).

(2) I really liked how the guy tried to systematically figured what was going on. The sprinkling of powder on the ground was ingenious, that definitely should have been the way it went. More systematic methods by the guy, internet research, and other paranormal fans/experts coming over.

And the ending just seemed abrupt, both the theatrical and original one, but I guess there's really only one way it can end. :(

Sunday, January 3, 2010


Do you think $1 million is a lot of money? I bet you do, because it sounds like a lot of money. That's why many game shows and reality TV shows set that to be the prize money. (Or should I say it's actually not a lot of money precisely for that reason?) $1 million might sound like a lot of money, or any amount using that as a unit thereof, e.g. "half a million ($500,000)," or "quarter of a million ($250,000)."

Well, let me tell you this: $1 million is NOT a lot of money, especially in the bay area. No, just because I say that doesn't mean I have a few millions lying around in the bank, so don't bother finding out who I am , where I live and try to rob me or kidnap my cats (catnap?). So why do I say that? Depression from house hunting.

You know what $250,000 (a quarter of a million) can get you in the bay area? Nothing. And I do mean nothing. Not even a shed in someone's backyard. What about $500K, you may ask. Now we are talking. Perhaps, perhaps a condo in a semi-decent (I do mean semi-decent) area, or a house in a questionable area. What is "questionable" area, you may ask. Well, bad neighborhood, brand new house next to the landfill, or across the street from the ghetto. Seriously, we have seen this road (a regular residential road, not even an expressway) dividing brand new houses from very bad neighborhood. Um, the bad elements can cross the street, you know? And, of course, houses/condos build on top of CA's famous naturally occurring abestos.

Well, what does a decent house in a decent neighborhood cost? You may ask. Think $1000 per square feet. So unless you have $1 mil or $2 mil to spare, don't even bother. But you said $1 mil is not a lot of money? $1 mil might be the price tag of a (1,000 sf) house, but let's not forget closing cost, property tax, and HOA. All in all, it's very depressing...

Saturday, January 2, 2010


So I take this annual trip to China, and I hate it. No offense to China, the time actually there wasn't too horrible, it's more getting there that I hate from the bottom of my heart. Regardless, I am not a big traveling person. Just... not my thing. So I had this conversation with a different friend (yeah, some friends I got, huh?)

"I'll be happy if I never leave this continent again for the rest of my life," I said.
"You are boring," she said.
"What's so good about traveling?" I asked.
"To learn different cultures."

Listen, lady, going to Europe or whatever destination you have for two weeks (hitting a few different locations) and going from touristy spot to touristy spot has nothing to do with learning the culture. In fact, you learned nothing about their culture. In your two weeks of travel, you probably seen more tourists than natives. Unless you are a mormon on a mission and live in a foreign place for two years and learn their language and eat their local cuisine, you can't tell me it's about the culture. It's more like following the tourist guide and hitting all the spots and taking pictures and bringing back souvenirs. :P

Friday, January 1, 2010


Evidently the type of movies I feel like watching varies with the time of the day!

AM :- almost never able to summon up enough attention span to start any movies
Mid Day:- Best time for block busters, the type that requires some concentration to appreciate
Evening:- B-line movies, the type that you can multitask (chat online, surf the web, etc.) and still be able to follow.