Friday, November 26, 2010

Scary mean asian girl

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving! I flew back to Chapel Hill on Tuesday night and am here for an entire week. Seriously, "not really working but still kinda working but still making the same money but being able to live in yoga pants" rocks. Really hard.

So let me talk about something I've mentioned on a previous post. I call it my scary mean asian girl factor. Now once I get to know people I'm fine and normal (I think), but I'm not someone who is overly friendly or warm or welcoming to those I don't know. Some people just go out into the world with this friendly, open vibe. I don't. I've been this way for as long as I can remember.

Back in college one of my best friends started out as a suitemate in our dorm. Before we got to know each other and she got to know my high awesomeness factor, folks kinda referred to me as the scary mean asian girl. I don't know... unlike some of my friends, my friendliness factor is quite low, especially with strangers.

This also makes it damn near impossible for guys to approach me on the street. I've had random guys tell me that I should smile more, a comment which I usually end up returning with a sideways look sorta like this: <.< Or when it does happen, I'm so caught off guard that I respond with this half shocked half defensive look on my face that isn't very warm or welcoming.

I'm torn between just accepting that this is how I am as opposed to trying to change or improve it. I mean I'd like to be a little more open and friendly. But then I wouldn't be able to relate so well to the cute little angry asian girl in the Angry Little Girls comics by Lela Lee.

Too cute, too cute.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Judgy McJudgy Pants

I haven't completely jumped back into the online dating pool yet since I'm not sure where I'll be living in a couple months. But I have done some general searching around on just to see what was out there.

Online dating is a weird thing. Well, I guess dating is a weird thing to begin with, but then you add the whole online component and it gets even weirder. The whole aspect of looking at profiles and yes, pictures (come on, lets just be real here) to "decide" whether you are interested in someone...

Anyways, it was interesting to look through a bunch of profiles. And yes, I was totally Judgy McJudgypants. But not in the way you may think. I think I'm less into physical appearances than I was perhaps 5 years ago. In all honesty, I'm probably going to be less trusting of a good looking guy anymore.

So on Match you can see someone's profile where they talk about certain key characteristics about themselves, but then they also designate what they are looking for. Ok so on to good part, the judging!

First, there are the guys who are my age, meaning early to mid 30s. But if you are a 35 year old man and you say that the age range of women that you are willing to date is 18 to 34, hell yeah I'm going to judge you. Eighteen? EIGHTEEN?!?!? Are you f'in kidding me? Next.

Next, Match has the option to say what your salary is, as well as the salary ranges of your dates you are looking for. First of all, yes I'm going to judge you a bit if you list what your salary is. I don't know, it just seems tacky and like you're using that as some measure of your date-ability.

But worse for me were the guys who said that they make $100-$125k, but when it came to the women they were looking for, they specifically listed the salary ranges that were less than theirs. So for example, they were looking for women who make $50-$75k, or $75-$100k.

Let me get this straight. Not only do you not want to date women who make more money than you, but you don't want to date women who are in the SAME salary bracket as yours? YOU have to be the one making more? Give me a f'in break. WTF!!!

I wonder if I need to try to be less judgy and more trusting to make this work...

Friday, November 19, 2010

US maps according to Movies and TV

Just a quick post this morning with two amusing maps from Geekologie, the US map according to movies as well as TV. Click on pics or follow links to make them readable.

Yay maps!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


A beautiful and thought provoking postcard from one of my absolutely favorite sites, PostSecret. What does it really mean to be happy? I've had some recent conversations with friends around this topic recently. It seems like an inexpicably simple question with an inexpicably difficult and complicated answer.

My original thought around this question was that even being able to consider our own happiness is a luxury of the rich. Many people throughout history, as well as many living today, struggle so hard every single day just to survive. I don't think they have the time to even consider whether they are happy.

I think you hear so much in our society about people striving, or wanting to be happy. Like the postsecret card says above, maybe it's not something you strive towards. Maybe its something you just actively decide that you are... accepting who you are, where you are in life? Maybe a more Buddhist or Taoist view of happiness?

In job update news, the Chicago firm thinks that I may be a better fit for another group within their provider space. I'm not completely disappointed to not get an offer from the group that I interviewed with because I found the managing director kind of intimidating and potentially stressful to work for.

I'm surprised though that they even recommended me for this other practice, because I didn't think the interview went that great. This other practice is a much more analytical area though, doing pricing and reimbursement strategy type work. I'm not quite sure if I want to do a ton of analytics and financial models anymore but I guess I'll follow through with the phone interviews because you never know.

The firm with the Atlanta office is looking at all the people they interviewed over the last two weeks and are looking at who they want to add to their healthcare group on a national level. They say that they hope to make final decisions early next week. It'd be great to know before Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A question of fate

I'm still waiting to hear about my interviews. The one in Chicago didn't go so great, but I think the one in Atlanta went pretty well. We'll wait to see what happens, but whatever happens I do believe that it is what was meant to happen.

When I once asked a friend about fate, he responded that he doesn't believe in fate. He believes in luck and effort. No fate. But I'm a pretty big believer in fate. But I wonder if this strong belief in fate prevents me from taking more action, instead blindly just believing that things will turn out how they're supposed to.

While I do believe in fate, I do also believe that the actions and choices you make today can alter your future fate. I think sometimes I need to remember this, and not just blindly believe that things will turn out how they're supposed to. Kinda like making decisions and performing actions that will help realize the future that I want? There's some balance there that I haven't quite figured out.

But when I look back to the larger events and decision points in my life, when things didn't turn out the way I might have wanted at the time, I can see now why my life took that turn. And often that turn was for the better. It just took me a while to see why. So whatever happens with these two job interviews, I do kind of believe that it will take me to where I'm supposed to be.

Speaking of fate, on a much grander level, I caught an incredible two hour show on the History Channel this weekend on the story of the 16 (of 45) Uruguayan survivors of the crash in the Andes. I had heard about this story before, but this was a much more personal view into the amazing story.

It was incredible to see actual photos taken by the survivors during their 72 day ordeal. Their website shows a lot of the incredible photos.

Seeing their story definitely makes you wonder what you would or could have done. Those who have previously heard of this story probably remember the part where the survivors ended up having to eat their fellow passengers who had already died. After 10 days of starvation, I'm guessing that most of us would have made the same incredibly difficult choice to survive.

The show also highlighted some of the men who clearly stepped up into leadership positions. I think leadership of this sort is intrinsic. It's not learned. You either have it or you don't. But I also think its ok if you don't have it. Everyone is who they are, and each would have their roles in a situation like this. The interesting thing about the leader in this story, Fernando Parrado, is that I think he became the leader because his will to live was the greatest.

Now if only we could clearly understand exactly who we are... who we are at our deepest core, without facing some incredible life or death type tragedy.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


I spent an extended weekend in San Diego with two girlfriends, which was pretty awesome. It was fun to reminisce about how we were over 10 years ago as undergrads, as well as wonder where we'll be in 10 years when we are in our 40s. We did plenty of talking about our lives today as well.

We talked a little bit about how to live in the present. I guess it's common, but I find it especially difficult. I think I spend a lot of time rehashing the past or rehearsing the future. How do you live in the present? Is it by appreciating the little things? Being grateful for what you have? I'm not sure.

Anyways, I have a crazy week coming up as I am interviewing with a firm Thursday morning, then hopping on a flight Thursday afternoon for Atlanta. I'll be interviewing with this Atlanta firm on Friday. I can't imagine moving to Atlanta. It'd be a huge change.

I think I decided to just do my best with both interviews and see what happens. The theme for our weekend was, 'Whatever happens, happens'. Even if that is to stay with my current firm.

The potential of moving to Atlanta does make me wonder whether I should even start my online dating escapes here in Chicago. I don't know. Strangely enough, I actually met my ex in NYC when I already knew I would be moving to Chicago. So hmmm... whatever happens, happens? Yay for overusing catch phrases!

No, but seriously, we'll see. A friend of mine in San Diego has her own recent experiences with online dating. Talking to her about it and discussing what I'd be looking for was kind of amusing. Mmmmm maybe after I get back from Atlanta this Friday we'll see how I feel.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

From the interwebbies

Two cute things I came across on the interwebbies this week.

First, a very interesting look at breakups based on facebook status updates. Hmmm, looks like we're in a phase where breakups start ramping up in November to rise to a peak two weeks before Christmas.

Secondly, you know how you hear about these crazy romantic ways that some couples meet? Check out this story from the NYTimes wedding section. Let me copy a part of the announcement:

"The couple met on a flight to Los Angeles in June 2008. Ms. Cho was unaware that, before boarding, Mr. Hires had noticed her as she was changing her shoes in a line adjacent to his at Dulles International Airport in Washington.

“She kept getting farther and farther away,” Mr. Hires said. “I was thinking of being both frustrated at the slow line, and that I missed a magic opportunity.”

He was soon glad to discover that they were both on the same flight, to Los Angeles, and noted her seat number as he walked past.

Ms. Cho, who was living in Los Angeles then, had found herself next to a very chatty fellow. An hour later, she couldn’t believe her eyes when a message popped up on the seat back monitor in front of her. “Seat 19C would like to initiate a chat,” she recalled its saying. “I was in seat 17F. I turned around, and he was looking at me and smiled.”

Mr. Hires, who had never engaged in a seat-to-seat chat before, recalled having a glass of wine — or two — to summon the courage to send the note. “My opener was, ‘How are your feet feeling?’ ” he said.

Messages zipped back and forth from screen to screen. During a lull in their conversation, a flight attendant, figuring that Ms. Cho had heard enough from the man next to her, asked if she wanted to change seats, and she found an empty one next to Mr. Hires. They spoke for the rest of the flight.

Before they landed, Mr. Hires, who was going to his brother’s college graduation that weekend, took Ms. Cho’s telephone number."

It looks like this seat to seat chat that was mentioned was a service that Virgin Atlantic offered at the time (I don't think they have it anymore). You could choose people and seats to chat with using the screen on the seat back in front of you.

But can I just say, what the heck?!?! Given all the flying I've done for work over the past three years, how come I've never met anyone on a flight?

Sigh. Just sigh.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where I've been and where I'm going

Where I've been

I think about where I've been on multiple fronts. Career wise I am very lucky to be doing exactly what I want to be doing. I really can't imagine another job for myself now other than being a healthcare consultant. Even if getting to this point brought along with it a mountain load of student loans that I will be paying off forever, I feel incredibly lucky to have had the education that I've had, and the career opportunities that come along with it.

On the personal front, I've been in one serious relationship that lasted almost 5 years. It was quite a roller coaster type relationship with incredible highs and incredible lows. The relationship ended amidst a ton of made for TV movie type drama that I would never have believed could have happened to me. This relationship ended almost 3 years ago now, and I recognize that I've spent the last 3 years recovering and hiding at the same time.

Where I'm going

I am in the process of looking at switching consulting firms. One job would keep me here in Chicago, while the other would require me to eventually move to Atlanta. I had a second phone interview with the Atlanta firm this morning, which I think went really well. The prospect of moving to Atlanta frightens me a bit, as it would be a huge change and I would have to figure out what to do with this condo in Chicago that I bought a year ago. But perhaps a huge change is what I need in my life. It would also get me to within driving distance of my parents in Chapel Hill, which is something I've wanted for a while.

In terms of where I'm going on a personal front? Well, I've known for a while that I need to get myself back out there. Since I don't have much luck meeting guys in my everyday life (probably has to do with my angry mean asian girl face, a topic I shall blog about another time), a reasonable option for me would be to get back into the world of online dating. I've done online dating before, way back in 2002 when it was new and crazy and friends were concerned for my sanity and safety. It's actually how I met my ex, so I know it can work.

However, I'm having a hard time taking the jump back in that pool. Given that I've gone through this song and dance before, I kind of know what I can expect. It's going to be painful. It's going to suck. Part of the reason I've started this personal blog is to be able to blog through this pain of online dating. At least when I'm sitting there on a bad date and wanting to poke my eyes out with my silverware, I can think about how funny it will be to blog about. Blog through the pain! With humor!

I'm not sure where I'm going to be living in 3 months. I'm not sure who I'll be working for. I'm not sure where my future lies in terms of relationships and if or when I will ever get married. But you know what? In a way that not knowing part, while incredibly scary is also kind of exhilarating. It's like I have this blank slate, a whole future that I can write and create for myself.

So you know what? I'm not really sure where I'm going other than going forwards and see where the road takes me. That's all I can do, right?

Amazing picture is of Stelvio Pass, an amazing paved road in Italy's Eastern Alps.

Monday, November 1, 2010

New blog, first post!

So... as the title aptly describes, this is the first post of my new blog.

I've blogged before, having kept a blog for over three years. I also have a longer history with journaling for about ten years. So I think this blog will be a combination of the two where I can continue to share random thoughts and things I find funny like I did on my old blog, but also get into some more personal thoughts and every day happenings like when I kept a daily journal.

I find that the process of writing things down, seeing your thoughts and words in print is pretty therapeutic. Trying to make sense of things and spelling those things out can help you see and understand how you really feel about things, and thus help you work through them. So why don't I just go back to journaling instead of doing something more public like blogging? Well for me, I've learned that blogging publicly also brings about some sense of accountability, not only in keeping up with the blog, but also in being more accountable to what you say you want to do.

I feel like it's a good time to be starting this new blog, as I feel like I'm at a stage of new beginnings. I feel like I've been through several phases in my life over the last couple of years. And while it's definitely hard to appreciate the crap that you go through, I do think it helps you appreciate and approach your future in a different way. I think this approach influenced the title of this blog a bit.

For those who know me, the carolina blue bit is obvious, as I grew up in Chapel Hill and graduated from Carolina. (And yes, we do own the color. It is carolina blue). But I combined that with the dreams part to remind me to look towards the future and all the dreams that I have. I think a carolina blue sky with puffs of clouds lends itself well to dreaming.