An outtake of sorts from a Christmas card shoot I did for Debbie, Neil, and Alys. The snowman sweater was a gift from them. Little Bear hated every second she had to wear it.
Archive for the ‘General’ Category
As most of you know, my sister got married last Friday (hooray!) For those of you who are curious, here is my maid of honor toast. I will be posting up some pictures soon, but none of the ceremony, unfortunately. Although I have been Officiagrapher (Jan & Yar), Witnessographer (Naomi & Reza), we decided that MaidOfOgrapher would have been pushing it. Anyway, without further ado:
So I’m younger by 2 ½ years, and now that I think about it, I’ve spent most of my life chasing Mae Mae. When she played violin, I had to play violin. When she joined the swim team, I did too. When she got a crazy mushroom haircut in elementary school, so did I. (And we have the horrible school pictures to prove it.) In fact, our Mom told me that my first words were “me too.” And I wouldn’t have admitted it at the time, but I did all these things not to be annoying (although I was,) but because of how much I admired Mae Mae and everything that she did.
After I stopped trying to be Mae Mae, I realized what a good friend she could be to me. When she left for college, I didn’t realize how much I would miss her, and not just because my parents suddenly remembered that they still had a 3rd kid at home, and redirected all of their parental attentions to me. There is nobody who understands me, tolerates me, and can make me laugh the way that Mae Mae can, and when we’re not trying to kill each other, she is the best sister I could ask for. And she’s also the only person in the whole world who really understands what ‘woogy’ means.
Now as most of you probably know, Gino is one of Arthur’s best friends from college, so I’ve sort of been aware of his existence for a long time. But when he started dating Mae Mae 5 years ago, I started to get to know more about him. The first thing I found out was that he is really smart. Like, really. Two of the smartest people I know, both of whom happen to be in this room, my brother and Adrian Longland, (who is the first engineer I ever worked with at EA,) have both independently told me over the years that Gino is the smartest person *they* know. The only thing that disappoints me about this is that Mae Mae and Gino’s kids are going to make my kids look really, really dumb. Hopefully my kids will at least be taller.
But as smart as Gino is, I know that married life can be tough, especially when you’re marrying into the Chu family, so I thought I’d give him a head start by giving him some tips about life with Mae Mae that I’ve personally gathered over the last 30 years.
1) If you poop in the bathtub, don’t lie about it and say you didn’t. When you get up to reach for the soap, she’ll know.
2) If you ever get really sick and have to stay in the hospital for a week, our Mom will make her do your homework for you. Don’t abuse this privilege.
3) If you find a wild turtle in the front yard, don’t let Mae Mae prove to you how strong its shell is by dropping a massive rock on it. It doesn’t end well, especially for the turtle.
4) If you’re snorkeling in the Caribbean together, no matter how hilarious the idea seems, don’t cover up her snorkel with your hand. That one won’t end well for you.
Finally, even if things get bad, all you have to do is love her as completely as I know she loves you, and everything will turn out all right.
So congratulations to the two of you, and Gino, welcome to the family!
I’m going to break tradition this year and not do my usual birthday song, because let’s be honest here: what rhymes with ’30′ besides ‘dirty’?
I think 30 is one of those birthdays were you are supposed to get all introspective and angsty, but I’ve never been one of those people who makes the ‘do X by age Y’ goals, so I’ll just say this: I make video games for a living, I have an awesome apartment in a beautiful neighborhood in San Francisco, my puppy is crazy cute, and I’m surrounded by people I love. Also, I have a Tauntaun sleeping bag. In my office.
Life is pretty darn good.
I learned from the most recent Stanford Magazine that Karla Lemon, my conductor at Stanford, passed away a few months ago due to complications from a surgery. I know that some people had their differences with her, but I always liked her, and she actually made made me co-concertmaster as a freshman, including on our tour to Italy. I also realized that Karla was the last conductor I ever played under, which is personally significant, given how much I love playing in symphonies, and how much music used to dominate my life. With how few women conductors there are in the world, her loss is that much more significant. My thoughts go out to her friends and family.
Today is the one-year anniversary of Enzo’s death. To mark the occasion, we met Bob, his dog walker / favorite person in the whole world at Eagle Park in Mountain View to scatter some of his ashes. After walking around a bit, we decided on a large tree in Enzo’s favorite corner of the park, and scattered a few handfuls of ashes at its roots.
Even after getting Little Bear, not a day goes by that I don’t think about that dumb dog; I’m just glad I got to be a part of his life.
We miss you, Enzo.
Today was Peter’s 29th birthday party in Hoover Park in Palo Alto. Since Peter and Crystal just got a new doggy, they decided to make it a Puppy Party, too! I finally got to meet Swarles Barkley, Kasha, and Pillu, (Little Bear couldn’t join because she’s not completely vaccinated) and Duncan had a great time running around with them. I took a special shining to Kasha not only because she was so sweet, but because she looks a lot like my dog Thunder I had when I was a kid, who was also a Chow Chow mix. There was also pizza and cake, so mix in puppies with that, and it was basically an awesome afternoon. Happy Birthday, Peter!
How was your Thanksgiving? I had a great Thanksgiving dinner at Naomi’s parents’ house and we were even able to bring Little Bear! She had a good time running around and pooping and peeing where she wasn’t supposed to… Friday we went on a picnic/walk at Inspiration Point in Berkeley which was really nice until it started pouring rain, and then it was still pretty nice, just very wet. The decision to not bring rain jackets was not a wise one. Saturday morning, Domi and Larry came over for brunch, and then I joined them at the Dickens Fair which was…interesting. There were lots of crafts and stuff, but the more fascinating part were the number of people who not only came in costume, but were also in-character the entire time. For example, at one point Larry sneezed, and a woman in costume told him “Bless you.” Then she turned to her companion and remarked that he might have The Plague. All with a British accent, of course. Later we met Yar, Jan, and Cliff for dinner at Mandalay, and I ate waaaay too much, which was pretty much the theme of the weekend. Sunday I went to a Crab Party at Helen’s house where she and Walter got a ridiculous amount of food from The Boiling Crab, which was delicious. Peter and Crystal also brought Duncan/Indy and I brought Little Bear, so she had her first playdate! At first she was a little scared of Duncan, but after we let them off leash they played really well together. It was basically a cute asplosion. You can see pics here.
Other than Thanksgiving break funtimes, not too much is going on. Little Bear has basically been taking up most of my time and energy, as expected. I enrolled her in a Puppy Kindergarten class which hopefully will help her be less crazy, and we’re taking her to a Puppy Playgroup on Sunday, which I’m looking forward to. Puppies everywhere!
I have been insured with State Farm for about 8 years in the Bay Area. In those 8 years, I have received 1 ticket, which I took traffic school for. I have filed 1 claim, for a cracked windshield, which costs around $250. Conservatively, let’s say I’ve paid $10,000 in car insurance over the past 8 years. So they’ve collected $9,750 free and clear from me, and this doesn’t even include the renter’s insurance policy I have with them.
Yet just now, when I called to file a claim about my pole vs. car parking incident, I find out my premium will be raised by about $300/year for this $1600 claim. Not only that, but as I am taking my car to a ‘non-preferred’ shop, I have to wait some indeterminate amount of time to get a call from the insurance adjuster (the woman said she doesn’t know when he’ll call me back), who then has to come inspect the car, and make his own BS estimate. If his estimate is lower than the body shop’s estimate, I am responsible for the difference. All the while, the woman is telling me how if I get a ticket or file another claim within 3 years, I’ll lose my good driver discount, and my premium will go up 20%, etc.
Urge to punch someone…rising…
Yesterday, Yar and I were discussing the Kanye West/Taylor Swift debacle, and Yar suggested I actually watch Taylor Swift’s winning video. Here is a transcription of our conversation (with some slight editing for content and format):
Yar: did you hear about the VMAs
Me: kanye west?
Yar: i thought he acted like a total douche
Yar: but then I saw the taylor swift video
Me: i think that one is maybe voted on by people
Yar: seriously it’s like something we would have come up with on IM
Me: but with less loling?
Yar: i’m pretty sure if we had come up with this there would have been a lot of loling
Yar: you should watch it
Me: what is the song called
Yar: you belong with me
Me: nice big glasses
Yar: it gets waaay better
Me: I L–…
Me: CURTAINS CLOSED
Yar: you ain’t seen nothing yet
Me: oh man
Me: shiny red corvette!
Me: is that her in a brown wig?
Me: band nerd!
Me: studying instead of prom!!
Yar: i like the mournful look at the i love you sign
Me: LOOK AT ME WEN I TOOK OF MY GLASES I WUZ PRETY
Me: omg he wrote a sign too!!
Me: that was so good
Yar: wasn’t that epic
Me: pretty much
Yar: the sad thing is
Yar: he probably wrote the sign for the other girl
Yar: and then called an audible
Yar: after the first “i love you” sign appearance I was lolling to jan about the sign
Yar: and she was like man you have no idea what’s coming up
Me: i think my favorite part is the I L—-
Me: OH DAYUM HE CLOSED THE KURTINS
Yar: i think the end message is that if you’re hot then boys will like you
Me: well, yeah
Me: the bigger the glasses the better
Me: because then the change will be more dramatic
Yar: those glasses are EPICALLY huge
Yar: do you think at prom she was bumping into shit
Me: yeah that’s what i would have been doing
Me: at the end, it shows her perspective
Me: making out with some dude
Me: and it’s like a lamp post
Yar: show the “i love you” sign
Yar: pan out, she’s facing the wrong way
Me: intention ==?
Me: or she thinks the sign the other guy is holding says ‘i love you’
Me: but it’s actually ‘your dress is tucked into your panties’