Archive for April, 2005


April 29, 2005

Yesterday was probably one of the most fun, unproductive days I’ve had at Lockheed yet, that didn’t involve stuffing my face. It was Young Minds At Work day, and lots of employees brought their kids in to look at the exhibits that other employees had prepared. I volunteered to help out with the display from our building, and it was pretty cool.

First, Matt and I had to get some liquid nitrogen. All we had were a couple of styrofoam containers, but we were told that would be enough. We got to the area where the stuff was stored, and the guy took us out back, gave us gloves and facemasks, told us to turn it on, then went back inside. Matt and I just looked at each other, wondering if the guy had actually let two untrained personnel handle Liquid N2 without supervision. Anyway, we finally figured out how to fill the containers, and carried them to Matt’s car. The building was a 4 min walk away, but we didn’t really want to walk there with steaming styrofoam boxes. We placed one box on the passenger seat floor (between my feet), and the other on the seat (between my thighs). Let’s just say that there were parts of my body that were WAAAAY too close to liquid nitrogen than they should have been. One bad turn or sudden stop on his part, and I would have had the equivalent of a permanent cold shower, if you get my drift.

Regardless, we made it in safely, albeit with lots of people staring at us and our steaming boxes. (That just sounds weird…) I’m ;pretty sure we violated about 10 different OSHA regulations, though. ;We had two ;activites ;that we demoed. We dipped flowers in the LN2, and then shattered them on the table, or crushed them in our hands like ;fine glass. Then we took small, inflated balloons and put them in the LN2. They’d shrink, and after we took the balloon out, ;they would expand again as the air inside expanded. We got lots of “Ooohh”s and “Whoa!”s. Overall, I think we were one of the cooler tables. ;We also had a laptop that was on the Google Maps website, and showed people how they could view satellite pictures of their neighbourhoods by searching for their home address, and clicking on the Satellite link in the upper right corner.

When we were done, Matt and I were taking some of the stuff back. We started throwing the remaining LN2 on the street and watching it boil off. We were like two little kids with a new toy. So much fun.

Also, there’s been a slight change of plans with the comedy show. girl had to cancel on me (and we decided to just be friends anyway), so I asked Shelley (cute Asian chick at work) to come, and we’re going for the 11pm show on Saturday. Should be cool.

Finally, I finished the Coldplay CD in my car, and I gotta say… I like it. I don’t want to express too strong an opinion, at least until I hear the CD a few more times, but I liked quite a few of the songs. I guess they’re one of those bands that kinda grow on you. I got the tickets for Coldplay and Oasis, and I plan to listen to their music a lot more between now and September. That way, there won’t be a repeat of the Stone Temple Pilots concert, where I was totally clueless because I hadn’t heard any of their songs before.



April 28, 2005

One of my most annoying quirks (to me anyway) is that I can be ;a very impatient guy when there’s something I want to do, and I know when I want to do it, but I don’t want to wait to do it.


April 28, 2005

I got an email yesterday from some lady at The Improv , who told me that I’d received a gift certificate for free tickets for me and 7 friends to go see the featured comic this weekend at the Improv in Brea, CA. Unfortunately, it would take a while for me and my 7 friends to drive down there. I emailed the lady back, asking if I could give it to someone else. Today, they said that since Brea is far from San Jose, I can get 2 free tickets to the San Jose Improv this weekend. I asked the girl (who I miniature golf-ed with 1 1/2 weeks ago), and we’re going this Saturday. Let’s see how that goes.

A couple of interesting things at work as well. Nothing major, just interesting. There’s a recent hire here named Shelley, who I’ve become friends with. I met her at the banquet for young engineers last December, where we discovered that she’d be coming to work in the same building. Anyway, she’s here now, and we’ve chatted a bit. Nothing major, but I’ve hung out at her cube a couple of times. She’s kinda cute, in a skinny, nerdy, Asian kinda way. I might be getting a few people to go see a movie this weekend, and I asked her if she wanted to go. She gave me her cell number, so we’ll see how it works out. I don’t think she’s interested in me, ;and I don’t think I’m really that interested in her, ;but she seems a pretty cool person to hang out with, even if she did suggest cutting patterns and designs in my beard.

The other interesting situation (well, to me anyway) is one of the administrative assistants (i.e. secretaries) here, named Lisa. ;Really pretty gal. We’ve been ;talking a little bit back and forth, including sending friendly emails. I wouldn’t classify it as flirting so much as just idle banter. All in good fun, nothing suspicious. What makes it funnier is that:
1) She’s dating someone else at work (even though he’s now been transferred across the country), and,
2) More importantly, she has a son. And she’s only 22.

Obviously, those two factors automatically take her out of the picture. Still, it did feel kinda odd when she suddenly started talking to me a little more recently. I mean, she was always friendly, but she just seems a little more talkative (including email) lately. It’s always professional, but still. I asked Sandra about it, who confirmed that Lisa still had the boyfriend (as far as she knew, anyway), and that it was probably some harmless flirting, and that I should take it for the little ego boost it is.

Which reminds me… Sandra rocks. She’s probably the best friend I’ve got in the Bay Area at the moment. Everytime things have happened these past few months, she’s the person I went to first. Of course, it helps that her office is just downstairs. ;I tell her about stuff, and she imparts her ;wisdom based on 15 more years of experience than I have (as well as two divorces and two children). And a lot of the time, her impressions (especially of me) have been surprisingly accurate. She was able to call me out on some of my decisions, and nailed down pretty well what I was thinking and what my real motivations were. I don’t agree with her 100% of the time, but I’m glad she’s there. A lot of the things she said yesterday really helped ;put ;the situation ;into a better perspective. Now let’s see if I can follow her advice properly.


April 27, 2005

There’s this Indian guy I run into at the gym here at work. Turns out he’s Samir’s cousin (Samir Ajmera was co-chair of the local YJA convention committee), and works on campus here. He was talking about this dance class he goes to every Friday night at 8, and I told him to send me the information. That should be a lot of fun. I remember enjoying the salsa lessons at Common Ground , the local gay bar in Ithaca. And before anyone looks shocked, the lessons were on Tuesday, which was Straight Night. ;Me and Mukhee used to have a blast. Hopefully, this will be cool too.

Random Thought Of The Day:
The first time I ever saw the Olympics was the Seoul games in ’88. I was 8 at the time, and we’d been in India for just over a year. And I remember watching the men’s gymnastics routines, ;and wondering what it would be like if there were an American male gymnast. I mean, I saw the East Asian and European gymnasts, but an American one? And the picture that formed in my mind was of a white guy on the rings wearing the typical gymnast leotard, kinda like this:

The main difference was that
1) The guy had a big moustache
2) The guy had this hat on, while he was doing the routine:

Yeah. He had on a ten-gallon hat while he was on the rings. I could never get that image out of my head, and to this day, it’s how I picture an American male gymnast. No offense to Paul Hamm, of course.

Ugh, I gotta get in some extra hours tomorrow and Thursday to make up for last week. And I’ll probably still have to work Friday. ;Have to force myself to get out of bed at 6am. I can usually wake up at 6. I just don’t get out of bed till 7:30.


April 27, 2005

I got this email today, and had to share it. The last line is what kills me.

One ;evening last week, my wife and I were getting into bed. Well, the passion starts to heat up, and she eventually says “I don’t feel like it, I just want you to hold me.”
I said “WHAT????!!! What was that?!”
So she says the words that every husband on the planet dreads to
hear…”You’re just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman
enough for me to satisfy your physical needs as a man.”
She responded to my puzzled look by saying, “Can’t you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in the bedroom?”
Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night I went to sleep.
The very next day I opted to take the day off of work to spend time with her. We went out to a nice lunch and then went shopping at a big, big
department store. I walked around with her while she tried on
several different very expensive outfits. She couldn’t decide which one to take so I told her we’ll just buy them all. She wanted new shoes to
compliment her new clothes, so I said let’s get a pair for each outfit. We went on to the jewelry department where she picked out a pair of diamond earrings.
Let me tell you…she was so excited. She must have thought I was one
wave short of a shipwreck. I started to think she was testing me because she asked for a tennis bracelet when she doesn’t even know how to play
tennis. I think I threw her for a loop when I said, “That’s fine, honey.” She was almost nearing sexual satisfaction from all of the excitement.
Smiling with excited anticipation she ;finally said, “I think this is all dear, Let’s go to the cashier”.
I could hardly contain myself when I blurted out, “No honey, I don’t
feel like it.”
Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with a baffled
I then said, “Really honey! I just want you to HOLD this stuff for
awhile.. You’re just not in touch with my financial needs as a man
enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman.”
And just when she had this look like she was going to kill me I added,
“Why can’t you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?”
Apparently I’m not having sex tonight either .


April 24, 2005

Well, it’s my last day in Houston. And an interesting weekend it’s
been. Some ups, some downs, and some drunkenness. It’s all good,
though. From what I’ve been told, nothing happened in my intoxicated
state that was unforgivable. In fact, I seem to have greater control
than I thought when it comes to the important stuff. Either way, I
definitely need to get my alcoholic tolerance up. It’s kinda
embarassing when someone half my size (literally) can not only
out-drink me, but still have enough presence of mind to drive us both
home, and remember more of our conversation than I do.

The biggest gains from this trip were the nice additions to my wardrobe
(and many thanks for that). I also fell in love with my 11 month old
niece, even though she starts to cry whenever I’m near her for more
than 10 seconds. I’ll win her over eventually, though. It might take
until she’s 5 years old, but it’ll happen.

I was in downtown Sugar Land yesterday evening with my sister and
cousins, and we were checking out the Sharper Image store. I spent a few
minutes in their new massage chair (God, it felt so good!!), and then
saw the last few minutes of Monsters, Inc.
on one of their portable DVD
players on display. The sound was off, but subtitles were on. And I
gotta tell ya, that movie is still my favourite Pixar film of all time.
It might no longer be the most visually impressive, but it still forms
the strongest emotional connection. The scenes that hit home the most

were (1) when he drops her off in her room at
the end,
knowing he’s never going to see her again. She’s running around giving
him all her toys, because she’s so excited that her friend is in her
world, and all he can think about is how he’s going to say goodbye,
until finally he just gives her a monster (no pun intended) hug. (2)
Also, when he opens the repaired door, and looks inside her room. He’s
unsure of what’s going to happen. He thinks about her constantly, but
does she even remember him? He calls out her name gently, and then
hears her call him by his nickname. The entire time, the camera (such
as it is) is focussed only on Sulley’s face, and the look of utter joy
when he sees that she did miss him damn near gave me goosebumps. I’m
definitely getting that one on DVD eventually.


April 21, 2005

The original plan was to work 12 hours today, to make up for the
time I will miss tomorrow. But I’ve decided that 11 hours is more than
enough, so I’m writing this instead. However, I intend to be completely
honest, and only claim 10.3 hours of work (the last 45 minutes was
spent talking to Nishma). I’ll make up the difference tomorrow and next

Well, this has certainly been a week of self-revelation, and it’s
not even half done! I spent a few minutes talking to Sandra, and we had
an interesting personal discussion. She told me a couple of things
about myself that I probably already knew, but never explored in much
detail, probably because I knew I wouldn’t be happy with the answers.
Her first claim was that I find it hard to ask my friends for help. I
was about to disagree with her, but then I realised she was right. Now,
whenever I’ve felt bad and wanted a friend to listen to me whine and
moan about one of the many girls I’d “loved and lost”, they were always
there. But I don’t remember the last time I actually asked one of them
for help . And I realised that I don’t want to ask my friends
to help, because I’m always afraid that I’ll be burdening them with my
problems. The reason that this is funny is because I’m always going out
of my way to help others, and letting my friends know that they can
rely on me, and that they are not burdening me. But I find it hard to
do the same and rely on them. Very hard.

That brings me to her second observation, which is ;related, but
harder to define. Like her, I hate losing control. I hate not being
able to do things on my own ;terms, to some extent. Maybe it’s
because the first time I completely gave away ;that control, I got
hurt. I don’t know. ;But that probably ties in a little bit with
why I don’t ask my friends for help. Because, by doing so, I am
inherently giving up that control, and trusting them to be there. And I
always worry, “what if they’re not there?”

The catch is, I want to be able to give up that control. I want to find that person with whom I know
I don’t need to worry. The one person who, come hell or high water,
will be there for me or die trying. I’m not saying that I don’t have
anyone that comes close (that asshole in Atlanta comes to mind), but no
one who makes me feel completely safe. I guess all that remains is to
see if I ever do meet that person.


April 20, 2005

I haven’t had the best luck romantically in my life. It hasn’t been
completely bad, but there’ve been more misses than hits, or so it
seems. But I’m starting to realise that I’ve been wearing that
misfortune as a badge of honour. I do move on in the sense that I’m not
feeling bad about the girls I’ve missed, but I ;seem to
take ;some sort of strange pride in telling people about how I
always try and fail. It’s kinda like I’m telling them, “As bad as you
think you got it, I’ve had it worse and survived”. In effect, that
itself is baggage that I’m carrying around, and I really need to learn
how to start truly letting go. ;Anyway, it took some surprisingly
wise words from Nishma to realise what a “douchebag” ;I was being.
Another thing for me to work on…

…which reminds me. Yesterday, my rotational group at work had
lunch with one of the directors. It’s a frequent thing we do, in an
effort to get to know management and hear some informal words of
wisdom. And what he had to say kinda shook me up. My main takeaway from
the lunch was something he said that his mentor had told him, way back
in the day. Namely, (and I’m paraphrasing) 98% of the people are going
to be unsatisfied and broke because they ask the question “How?” about
everything they do. The 2% who will be happy doing what they are doing
and will always be successful are the ones who ask “Why?” That led me
to start thinking about the career choices I’ve made. I’ve always
thought engineering was interesting, but I’ve never been particularly
good at it. I mean, I did well in the math and sciences, but not so
much when it came to the actual designing. I’ve always been good at
figuring stuff out and understanding things, but I guess I haven’t been
able to apply that to engineering as much as I would like.

Anyway, I needed to talk to my dad, to kinda figure things out. But
that had to wait till I got hom. Since I was at work, I needed to talk
to someone, anyone, if only to hear someone else’s voice. I
called ;”Sayani”, and her voice immediately made me feel better. ;It’s
not so much what she said, it’s just that she ;was there. She put
up with my weirdness, the way she has for the past 5 years (almost),
and even if she wasn’t able to help my with my problem, it still helped
calm me down a little bit. I should buy her another P.G.Wodehouse book
to thank her. ;Hehehe… sorry, inside joke.

Anyway, so I talked to dad, and he didn’t say anything new, per se.
He did say that it wasn’t unusual to want to change careers and try to
find a better fit. But his suggestion (and I should have expected it)
was that I should seriously consider an MBA program, starting sometime
in Fall 06. It would give me the exposure I need to find different
career options, and improve my marketability overall. I’m still not too
sure it’s the right idea for me, because how can I be sure I’ll be any
more motivated to work hard in business school than I was in my
undergrad and Masters? But it is something I’m willing to consider… I
guess I need to answer the question “Why?” first. Why would I want to
do it? To make more money? I don’t know if that’s a good enough
motivator for me yet. I guess we’ll just see. He and I will have a more
indepth discussion when they come here next month.


April 16, 2005

Yesterday was the best softball game of the season yet. It was actually a close game, and they made us earn it. We were the “visiting” team, so we batted first. We were leading 3-0 after the first, but tied 4-4 after the second. Scored 4 more in the third, and they scored 3 in the 5th to bring it to 8-7. We extended that to 9-7 in the 6th, and that was the final score at the end of the 7 innings. Oddly enough, we finished with 10 minutes to spare, which means the innings were really going by fast. Personally, I was walked ;to 2nd (me and the girl after me), but the innings ended before I could go home. My second at bat, I hit it straight to the shortstop. But we played a good game in the clutch and pulled it through. I was certainly a happy camper.

Met another girl on who seems pretty nice. In fact, it turns out that she lives about 1.5 miles away from me. I asked if we could meet sooner rather than later, so we could see if this was worth pursuing. She agreed, so we might be meeting up this weekend. In fact, she said I was the first person she’d talked to after joining the website, so that felt nice. ;Let’s see what happens.


April 13, 2005

Finished The Shield Season 1 last night, and I gotta tell ya, it makes for some pretty intense TV. Highly recommended. It’s a cop show, but it’s like no cop show you’ve ever seen. It’s like NYPD Blue on steroids and crack. Now, to balance it out, I wait for The Office Series 2 . Hehehe…

Phone call beckons. Will complete this later…