Monthly Archives: September 2010

拭目以待”The Social Network”如何砸Mark Zuckerberg 的场…

(从Puting同学那里接手了这篇文章,看着the social network这部片子马上就要上映的份上,帮忙翻译了一下,不过觉得原文写得好水啊… 翻来翻去都不知道这个作者到底要说什么… anyway 等周末去看了这部片子再说吧)

拭目以待”The Social Network”如何砸Mark Zuckerberg 的场…

新片The Social Network十月一号马上就要上映了。该片还未出,就已经引发了包括美国滚石杂志在内的大批媒体的吹捧。Rotten Tomatoes(美国一著名电影评分网站)更是打出了高达97%的评分,对于这一类题材的影片应该算是非常罕见的了。纽约邮报评论说:“这是纽约电影节多年以来最好的一部开幕影片”。该片剧本来自于Ben Mezrich的畅销书“The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook”(《意外的亿万富翁:Facebook发迹史》)。影片讲述的是天才Mark Zuckerberg一手创办Facebook的曲折故事。影片阵容云集了包括Jesse Eisenberg和Justin Timberlake等在内的颇具票房号召力的明星。Facebook并未对本片的拍摄,甚至是Ben Mezrich写书的过程提供任何的合作和帮助,但是Facebook的确是曾经给撰写The Facebook Effect《Facebook效应》的David Kirkpatrick提供过支持,并且也促成了该书籍的热销。现在,这部新的关于Facebook的电影的到来,伴随着媒体的炒作,是否会让Zuckerberg对他的公众形象和声誉产生担忧呢?

Zuckerberg已经毫无疑问跻身于美国富豪榜了。坐拥69亿身价的他已经稳坐福布斯富豪排行榜的第35位。对于有钱人,民众免不了要对其施加慈善的压力。最近,Zuckerberg就刚向纽瓦克和新泽西的公共教育系统捐赠了1亿美元,并且和新泽西州长和纽瓦克市长一起现身奥普拉脱口秀。捐款的实际正好于电影上映的日期恰和,此举是为了平复Social Network这部电影可能带给他的负面影响吗?我们不得而知。

笔者认为,这不过是一场失败的公众形象工程。首先,Zuckerberg和公共教育系统没有任何联系。即使要选择慈善捐款对象,他也应该选择一些与他更相近,他有兴趣,也更容易产生回报的行业。连奥普拉也在脱口秀中向他的捐款意图提出疑问。Zuckerberg无疑是关注其公众形象的,他的公关团队应该更慎重的选择捐款对象,并且在更合适的时机采取行动。

当起诉Zuckerberg的人比起诉Facebook的人更多的时候,人们便要开始真正质疑到底他是一个怎样的哈佛学生了,到底他有没有窃取别人的想法才创办了Facebook?整个电影让Zuckerberg的确看起来不太光彩,在片中,当他的朋友(想出Facebook网站创意的人)向他寻求编程帮助的时候,他顺手牵羊窃取了网站创意。一个星期后,等电影在全美大小影院上映后,Zuckerberg很有可能就从一个人们喜爱的年轻有为的亿万富翁成为一个自私自利窃取别人想法的阴谋家。

很多Facebook的忠实拥护者可能会觉得无所谓,只要他们喜欢Facebook的服务,并不在意创始人曾经有过什么劣迹,而另一些则可能会对Zuckerberg产生负面印象,特别是那些之前对他并没有特别关注的人们。在这一个受众层上,这部电影可能是他们所能了解到的Zuckerberg的最大信息来源。笔者预测该片一定会突破亿元票房大关,并且一定程度上影响到Zuckerberg的社会声誉。不过,话说回来,他是亿万富翁,而我们不是。他创办了一个我们每天都在用的工具,作为一个普通的Facebook用户,大多数人应该还是会心平气和的看待影片所陈述的“事实”。

为Zuckerberg说两句话,每天管理上千名的Facebook员工,上亿元的公司资金流动已经不是一件易事,他已经做到在他这个年纪所能做到的最好程度了。该片的评级时PG-13,决定了其受众的年轻化。对于那些从来没有接触过社交网络Facebook的人而言,影片中的Zuckerberg将毫无疑问成为他们脑海中的Zuckerberg。至于是褒是贬,我们拭目以待。

Worn out for a bit

Very tired, since… since last Friday, maybe.

Friday night, had too much meat, watched a too bloody movie, came back home too late… (the after effect of CHI deadline, apparently)

Then, what happened? Saturday morning, woke up too early as usual, and i kept telling myself… u need to get more sleep… so after i finished watching another episode of “MAD MAN”, i went back to my cozy bed again, and got one hour more sleep.

Woke up again, did some laundry and ran a few errands, realized i have this big CAR HUNTING issue i need to take care of.

Buying a car is tough,

and it’s even tougher when you don’t own a car yourself, so you’ll have to drag your friends into driving you everywhere

it’s even tougher when you don’t have enough money to buy a new car, not even a decent second-hand car

it’s even tougher when you want your car to be decent looking, in white color, certain brand, low mileage, clean owner…

Adding all those up, it’s not fun…

—————————————————

Saturday’s foggy and sunny.

The volunteer work at the wild animal association’s good. The smell of the sun-dried grass made me feel life should be this simple and easy again, reminding me of the scene in “MAD MAN”, Don was watching Sally’s teacher playing on the grass ground, and he tried to sit down for a bit, so he was able to touch the grass underneath his chair using his fingers for a bit, the moment he touched those grass, i am sure he felt a much stronger connection between him and his daughter, seeing is believing, but other senses, touch, smell, even the feeling of sun burnt, makes you feel the existence of things, and eventually, the existence of yourself, which is so essential for me.

On our way back, there was the beautiful beautiful half moon bay, don’t know Americans would appreciate the concept of “half moon” as well. i always thought leaving things blank (out)’s the specialty of Chinese culture.  M’s a very outdoor guy, he must be feeling home again seeing the beach and the ocean. Too bad that I grow up in inland, which explains my mixed love-afraid feeling to the ocean.

The day was pretty good before we got back to checking cars in a couple of dealer places… cause that dragged me back to reality again.

We checked out a few cars, mostly 10k+, some of them looked good, i felt good driving in it, it’s just i was not sure if i could make such a commitment when i am still struggling to really settle down.

Coming back home, was just so tired.

—————————————————

Monday, the plan was to keep checking craigslist, see if any good deals coming up. And this white mazda poped out. I thought i found the deal, so happy and nervous. M drove me to Fremont, just to give the car a test drive, and a mechanic check. The guy (claimed car owner) was pretty nice and genuine in the first two hours that i met him. However, after certain problems have been identified in the mechanic check, things just went down immediately. The rust underneath the car, the newly painted back bumper, the not-so-well maintained tires, everything just became somewhat contradicted to what he’s been saying.

I called it off, which made me very upset. I think M’s right, i need to figure out why i was so upset about it before i let the upset mood drag me down. It perhaps the accumulation of a lot of issues,

first, second-cars are problematic, well, of course, cause they are not new cars. Everybody prefers new things, but when it comes to cars, I thought i could accept used cars. However, when I actually found out how bad it could be, i really didn’t know what to say, maybe if i was only willing to pay that price, that’s exactly what i was supposed to get.

second, i hate people who have low trust in others, i don’t want to be one of them, but sometimes i have to pretend to be one of them, in order to be called “mature” and “cautious”, and essentially to protect myself, so i hate those people are dishonest even more… cause it’s them who make trust become so hard. Meeting someone like that, makes me feel sick.

third, i am pissed off by the fact that i am still poor.

and  i don’t wanna ask money from anyone, i want to get this on my own.

Sunny Sonoma

Redwood Shores两个小时向北便是北加两大winery valley之一, Sonoma(另一处是大名鼎鼎的napa valley)。没去过napa,据说sonoma是cozy,精致型的,不过和ithaca finger lakes的那些winery相比,加州的cozy也算是大气。

去了三家,tasting的部分都还是类似,照例是吧台后面的酒保按照酒窖排定的list,一杯一杯的倒来,客人一杯一杯的品。北美的白葡萄酒偏多,想在国内一提到葡萄酒便是红酒,少有白葡萄酒的,据说是国内的气候不宜种植和酿造白葡萄酒。我是觉得红酒味道稍涩,倒是白葡萄酒来得清润。酒窖的规模,相比东岸的,就大了很多,很像是私人庄园。与wine配套的”accessory“也很多,cheese, ham, turkey, cracker, chocolate, even BBQ buffet,  everything if you want to have a private party featuring wine…  如果结婚来这儿,也算是有情调的了。

YM姐选的时间很好,正是加州葡萄丰收的周末。下午三点北加终于放晴,走在葡萄架下,大家都忍不住直接taste紫红色的新鲜葡萄,感觉味道倒好像蓝莓,因为个头小,并且格外甜。有些部分被太阳晒得太干,倒成了新鲜的sun-dried rasin,口感有些酸,确是纯天然,完全没有sugar添加的 😛

顿觉一个星期“面朝显示器,蜗居cube” 一直到周末开车四个小时,换来的,也不过这转瞬即逝的十几分钟的灿烂阳光,果然人生即如是钱老笔下的,很“快”的“乐”一下。

这次经历的新鲜事物,是传说中的food and wine pairing。美国这边喝酒习惯讲究与cheese或是一些cocktail party dip food的配套。我们选的是一家叫MAYO的家庭酒庄(9200 Sonoma Highway – Kenwood – Sonoma Valley)。七杯葡萄酒配套的是七份精致的小食。

在网上找到menu,可以说每一个都很不错,当然,还是有肉那些小食比较讨喜,rabbit three-ways算是印象最深的:

2008 Sauvignon Blanc, Emma’s Vineyard, Napa Valley
Yuzu ginger lemongrass ceviche of Kampachi

2007 Viognier, Saralee’s Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Brillat-Savarin Chevre Parmesan and ripe seasonal fruit

2006 Pinot Noir, La Cruz Vineyard, Sonoma Coast
Petite filet of beef with Trumpet Royales on butter focaccia

2007 Zinfandel, Ricci Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Rabbit with carrot three way and pea shoots

2006 Cabernet Franc, Ridgeline Ranch, Alexander Valley
Gruyere custard with heirloom tomato salad olive oil foam

2005 Meritage, Rancho Salina Vineyard, Sonoma Valley
Duck confit on corn cake with Meritage bing cherry reduction

2006 Zinfandel Port, Ricci Vineyard, Russian River Valley
Blueberry creme fraiche and basil with blue pepper “crack”

厨师据说是CIA毕业的… Culinery Institute of America 😀

Goodbye, girl (7)

First winter, i went to Florida, and she went back to China for a while. Got back from Florida, I was busy preparing an interview and spent like 10 days alone at home. That ten days living in the house alone, without her being around, i can’t say it’s totally not a pleasant experience to have, but t’s just every night when you turn off the light and go to sleep, and you knew that you were the only person in this house, you conciously felt that, not exactly loneliness, more like a stronger sense of self-existence, I have to conciously stop thinking too much about the fact that I am alone in order to fall asleep, whereas having her around, going to bed and falling asleep is a simple and easy  process, i would imagine myself being in certain kind of entity, an entity within which with at least me and her, which made me feel safe and the concept of self can just easily fade out. Loneiness is there for everybody, think twice before you say “oh, i’d rather be alone”, cause when you say that, make sure you know what loneiness is completely.

A lot of life styles or hobbies we had in our 2807 Hasbrouck are actually new to us, i mean not in a way that i influenced her or her influenced me, it’s more of both of us acquired these new life styles together, like making espressos and fruit smoothie, having porriages, bagels or whatever for breakfast, going to gym and fitness classes, etc. Espresso’s purely due to my obsession with the espresso drinks at Mann Library’s Mann Cafe, it’s just so expensive to drink a 4-dollar magic espresso drink everyday (plus too much fat), then we got this Mr. Coffee Espresso machine which costed us 30+ dollar. Then we started to have the full set: milk (I drink non-fat and she drinks regular LOL), grounded coffee, various kinds of syrup we tried, whipped cream, etc.  Sometimes she would get up earlier and she would literally “shouted” on the first floor to the second floow: DO YOU WANT COFFEE? If I said yes, then you would immediately hear that loud and ungly sound of making a steamed milk from that cheap espresso machine, which I liked a lot. Sometimes I would get up early, I didn’t even bother to check, I would just go ahead and make two cups of coffee, with hers adding more syrup, cause she likes the sweet taste. I guess I am more disciplined than her in terms of taking in calories, perhaps due to I tend to put weight on my face more ;P

Also, the habit of going to gym, I guess we had that for almost two months, we would work out on those ellipse machine on the second floor of Helen Newman together. 30 minutes each time. Sometimes the fitness class. She preferes those cardiac courses, and I was more into knock-out. Remember that one time, when we had the biggest snow in Ithaca and t-cat has to cancel all its services on that day due to the terrible weather condition. It was already 8pm and we just finished that fitness class in Noyes. Before we walked out of the Noyes center, she insisted on having a cup of ice cream, right, that’s her, all her want to get out from the fitness class was to have this short enjoyable moment with her ice cream, so cute. And then we were waiting for the bus that’s never gonna come in such bad weather.  Taxi, all of our friends were not available at the moment, and we decided to walk back home… It took us 40 or 50 minutes? When we finally got home, instead of freezed, we were all sweated, cause it was all up hills and walking on thick snow and ice. We ran into this MBA guy on our way back actually. He lives in Hasbrouck too, and was doing his MBA degree in Johnsons school. Chen disliked him, apparently.

See, this is something that we are in common but we would treat differently. Both of us are not financial kind of people, we even don’t know how to split our expenses and checks sometimes at home (for god sake, who want to hire us in financial industry). I never hide my distance from the financial business and people who are in that business, it’s not necessarily I don’t like that, but more of I just couldn’t figure out that, doesn’t have a sense to it. Chen feels those people are too realistic and all about money, and more money. We both tried to distance ourselves from those seemingly “mundane” things, which again, i know…, proved how childish and how immature we are. But we are just two children that want to be in something more solid and visible. Even though, we know if we want to live a so-called better life, how money and all those mundane things means to us, but still, we wanted to see if there’s a way we would both keep an independent sole while enjoying the life as much as we can. The minute Chen heard that he’s a MBA student and the realistic and practical way he talks, Chen started to keep that 5 meters distance from him, and just tried not to talk much. I knew this guy’s totally different from us, I still tried to carry on the conversation. I am always more moderate to things that I dislike, and Chen would take a more clear attitude to it. Again, I don’t want to disappoint people, as much as I don’t want people to disappoint me. Chen’s slightly different, she knows better what exactly she wants.

Goodbye, girl (6)

And, right, we had a joint account…

Not sure who brought this idea first, but we somehow opened a joint account. Not too many real couples would do this nowadays. So each of us would save some money to the account at the beginning of the month, so we could just use the card without spliting the expenses when we go eat dinner or do grocery shopping together.  This REALLY bonds us together, not only financially. We make all those important decisions at home together, like… like do we eat bagels this week or muffins, do we eat beef or chicken this week, do we have have more kitchen towels or more toliet tissue this week… yeah, like really serious decisions. But you know what, when you are in your first two years of graduate school, when nobody takes you (the rookie) seriously, you need to start making your life serious by yourself. And Chen and I did, by making these real (food) decisions, making espresso coffee every morning, and trying to adopt healthie life styles (yeah… mostly from eating, at this point… )

Chen’s pretty good at details, like all those people who start slow. She quickly “mastered” all those details about food, which brand is the best, what particular kind of food do we need this week, so I mainly just followed her instructions. When I was little, the only criteria for making a new friend, is to get along well on the condition that we are similar. Growing up, it’s more and more difficult to actually find someone who are similar to you (like me and Xuan, this rare rare case LOL). However, eventually, you realize, you become really really good friends with people who are not that similar to you, like me and JIS, and now, me and Chen.  

Chen and I are different person in so many fundemental ways. She care about details, have good memories, independent, while I tend to ignore details a lot of times, bad memories, aweful sense of direction, seem to be independent but really, dependent in a lot of ways, and easy to be influenced. Nevertheless, we appreciate similar things, good friends, beautiful things in life and good food (even though she eats them after appreciating them LOL). It’s like we approach similar life goals via different routes. This might be the reason why we got along so well, we don’t simply just step into each other’s territory and try to make changes (i hate to admit growing up means you realize that it’s impossible to change someone’s essential personalities and life styles, you can only learn to accept and appreciate if you love this person), we understand those differences, and we make changes in ourselves to compensate each other. She learned to cook spicy food, i would play her favourite music using my loud speakers whenever possible, i would sometimes walk to school, just like her, spending 30 to 40 mins walking from home to c-town, she started purchasing and wearing more femanine clothes like i do.

And especially, when two people have gone through that friend zone, at least for me, they become part of my family (not sure what word to use here). I would consider Chen as part of my life, I won’t judge her anymore, things about her, good or bad, like it or not, i accept those, unconditionally, this is one of the people that i will forever cherish in my life, cause i know she will always be there for me, like i’ll always be there for her. I am actually very happy that i have been influenced by her. I am always pretty laid-back when it comes to these daily decisions, like what food to buy in the super market, which restaurant to go to, what stores to go to, as long as she likes it, i am OK with it and I want to see her happy smile (more like … langh).

Goodbye, girl (5)

Summer was always good times to hang out with our graduate buddies, especially when the mission now is to connect the two social circles that we built separately in our first year. I guess we both somehow had this emotional attachments to the group of friends we knew when we first came to the States. They are the core part of our friend circle here at Cornell, much closer than other aquaintances. She has heard so much about my friends and I have heard so much about her friends before the two friend circle got arossed. So it’s actually a pretty interesting scenario when we meet in person, people you have “known” for quite a bit.

Chen was not quite good at cooking, i have to say. She was slow in preparing the food, and always afraid the oil’s gonna spill on her LOL. Like everything else she does, she slowly picks on things, very slow, then she masters in it. Me, on the other hand, were always this brave and brutal girl in cooking, that I chopped meat like vegetables and always wanted bigger and bigger fire to quickly heat the food. I remember cooking bittern pig feet before her group of friends’ visit. That was literally in the middle night, and we need to chop this big chunk of pig feet that we bought in the super market earlier. I had this bigger knief that I bought with me so I took the lead, and started chopping it very forcibly… it was not easy at all and it caused A LOT of noise… not sure if we disturbed other neighbours or not (i am sure we did), but that was the moment, I really really wanted to do something for her friends, and eventually for her, like what she did when I invited my friends, when we prepared food and cooked straight for almost 3 hours. We tried hard to become real friends, by syncing our social circles together, which lead to the consequence that we had way more things to talk about (our chit chat’s always around these mutual friends that we had 🙂 ), and we got to spend our leisure time together hanging out with these friends. Now, our friends.

Ha~ not sure if this place’s still look the same now 😛

Our coffee machine and blender!

She’s on the left and I am on the right 😀

Summer’s never gonna stay still. It slipped away sooner before we students could get a grasp on it. So here came the new semester. We both were occupied by our TA/RA duty, but we tried hard to not be like those roommates who rarely see each other and always have to guess whether he/she’s at home, even if they live under the same roof. Yeah, a lot of roommates that I know of are like that… I would always shouted out her name when I arrived home, and she did the same. We tried to talk whenever we had time and both of us were OK to be disturbed, during cooking, eating, late night when we both got back from the school, on the bus, etc. about things we experienced, saw, or merely just felt or even guessed, sometimes even about our wierd dreams, which are not reality at all. The topic got deeper and deeper along with the time. I really believe that all stable relationships, no matter how noble it seems to be, have to be built on this little sneaky things. They are secrets that you would never share with other people (including your family, your boyfriend or girlfriend), it could be something/some people you really hate in life, or it could be some non-sense that you thought it would make you sound really silly when you say it, but with this very person, like me and Chen, it doesn’t matter, we are not afraid to be judged by each other, so we could literally say and share anything we want. I am glad that I have an outlet like this, cause really, even though I believe that keeping certain things away from certain people is one of the skills we need to have in general social interactions,  that’s not pure human nature, at least not mine. I’d like to be straightforward with people, be honest with them, but that’s not how I was taught to survice in this grown-up world. So in my life, I desperately need someone to be able to hear and understand us from every aspect, someone we could disclose to without any hesitation. I am so glad that I found Chen, someone I can talk to and not afraid of the fact that she’s carrying all my secrets around 😛

[为socialbeta译文] Twitter不(再)是社交网络?

【很久没给socialbeta交作业了,太不好意思了… 】

Twitter的商务和企业发展副总裁Kevin Thau在Nokia 2010峰会声称Twitter其实并不是一个真正意义上的社交网络(Social Network)。

“Twitter是属于新闻的,属于内容的,属于信息的”,Thau如是说。

对于在IT行业工作的人们而言,强调Twitter在新闻信息传播方面的作用而不是另一个社交网络,似乎有些多余。但这还是第一次从Twitter官方发布这样的消息,承认Twitter从社交网络的成功转型。可想而知真正的Twitter用户群的行为从Twitter成立至今发生了多大程度的变化。

Twitter是属于新闻的?

是的,Twitter从本质上改变着这个时代新闻的定义。记者们将他们的新闻发送到Twitter,甚至是直接在Twitter上发布。这个平台同时也提供给了更多普通人发现并且发布新闻的机会(译者注:所谓的草根记者“grass root journalist”或市民记者“citizen journalist”)

“那个第一时间看到一架飞机就在他窗外的(纽约)哈德逊河上坠落的人,不会将这件事写到电子邮件,发送出去,他tweeted这则爆炸性新闻” Thau说。(Thau引用的case来源于几个月前纽约的一架直升飞机失事事故,对于事故报道最早的新闻来源,就来自于这位Twitter用户的tweets)

Thau还鼓励那些觉得自己的信息量不够,或者写东西不够有意思的用户们也来拥有自己的Twitter account。Thau提醒仍持观望态度的人们,不要担心自己没有常常发送tweets,来这个平台上消费(别人发布的)内容就足矣。事实上,Twitter发展至今,访问数已超九亿,成为了全球第九大网站(Alexa)。

Thau一再强调,Twitter的存在,不仅仅是为其一亿四千五百万用户,更多的是为每天都会来这个平台上获取新闻,交流信息的人们。

除了实时新闻,人们在Twitter上也讨论政治,全球时事,娱乐,体育,趣闻,等等。

更重要的是,这个平台仍在不断发展壮大。在美国以外的市场,日本,印尼和巴西,Twitter业务的增长率均超过了60%。(当然借着Nokia2010的东风)Thau也不忘强调Twitter与Nokia的战略合作伙伴关系,以及Twitter希望大力发展其在移动平台上的应用。

Thau在Nokia峰会上的发言,正好契合了Nokia N8中新发布的社交widget功能。在N8上,用户可以通过该widget直接在主屏幕上查看各个社交网络中的信息更新,并发布自己的信息。

Goodbye, girl (4)

I know how boring this sentence sounds, but really, how time flies. While I am sitting here (in a plane to San Francisco)  recalling my apartment in Cornell, I am about to see my new apartment in San Mateo in less than 5 hrs!

The aparment in Maplewood was my home, but you know how the sense ownership gets divided by the number of people who live in it. Like I never would have thought of buying a frame to hang our photos in the living room, getting standing lamps to light up the place, buying a clock and all other funny/silly, necessary/unnecessary, cute/ugly decrorations Chen and I did for our living room.

If there’s one thing we had in common, that must be the passion and pursuit we had for a better and more enjoyable life. I always found myself to be too easy-going during most of the time. Easy-going in this context means I am probably too subjected to the influence brought by people surround me. If there’s someone who has deeply influenced me in the past year, then she must be the one. She happened to have this lighter that lighted my desire to do these silly little things to prove our existence in this place. I remember we spent a couple late nights in Walmart, Kohls and Wegmens looking for random things we imagined a perfect apartment should have. Coming back home and spent more time in figuring out how to fit those things in with our rooms (Gosh, I miss those hours we spent together putting up the artistic shaped clock she found in Kohls, printing, cutting and pinning all those silly photos into the frame, etc.) All these motivations and passions to life she gave me, which back then I always found a bit costy, now all becomes these precious memories that I had with her, and with my one year in Hasbrouck. Loved couples need to live together, which I now understand. Cause life just uses its invisible and invinsible power to tie you two together in so many different ways, so that it could actually hurt you when one of them has to leave at some point.

Goodbye, girl (3)

Our conversation got deeper in our “first night together.” I had to catch an early morning bus in baker flag pole, and she let me stay in her place which was within walkin distance to the bus stop. I guess i talked too much over the dinner (since I learned later on that the only thing she was really into was eating during meals). We chatted for like 3 hrs, childhood, boyfriends, parents, grand parents, her summer travel plan and the fact that she would be soon running out of money. I don’t think we enjoyed spending time together because we found so many things in common, instead, we were sharing our own stories, different stories which reflects our different experience and perspectives on life.

Even though only with a sleeping bag on the ground, I slept quite well in her place, not only because i started to like this girl, but also I didn’t notice her snoozing at all (i guess i would rethink the idea letting her be my roommate if I knew that earlier, muhaha).

“How about looking for an apartment together?” I was the person who bought up the idea, and she responded really quick “yes.”

I don’t think either of us realized how much commitment we bought into this when we agreed to look for an apartment together.  People started to grow more and more into their own particular shape, or in other words, more nad more stubborn when they grow old, especially among people like us, oversea Chinese graduate students with a big ego whether we admit it or not. Being friends, hanging out once in a while might be easy, but living under a same roof might be difficult. I’ve seen too many friends who ended up not really talking to each other that much when they become roommates.

Nevertheless, we bravely did it. She wanted save money, and I wanted a bigger bedroom. That’s it. We just clicked.

Goodbye, girl (2)

First winter I spent in Cornell, I had this chorus concert performance coming up in Sage Chapel. I remember getting at least 10 tickets from the chorus manager and I was so sure a lot of people would be interested in going. However, it turned out, not too many people wanted to spare the effort walking uphill for 20 minutes and spending two hours watching/listening to a group of girls wearing black dresses (the kind that covers everything and you don’t even get a chance to know how their feet look like). Growing up, things like this just keep coming, they crash down your hopes, lower your expectations, make you become a “stronger” person,  and thus live a happier life.

But she was one of them, people who once in a while give you that kind of hope, even though that might not be a lot, it’ll still make you believe someone’s out there supporting you. She bought one ticket from me. That was the second or the third time we actually met individually on campus, in front of the engineering library.

It was raining as hell on that day of the concert. A lot of people changed their mind, but I knew she was there. I was so busy changing after the performance, didn’t even get a chance to say hi.

Are you, somewhere out there in the audience? 😛

A month later was my birthday. Like my dad, I was so into this big group gathering thing (which always ends up as a mess with too many people and too little space). As I recall it, the “blast” birthday party involved too much food, drinking and too many dishes to wash. Honestly, I don’t think we were that close back then, but she seriously came in two hours earlier to help me set up things. Compared to the chaos later that night, that was probably the best two hours I had on my 23rd birthday, preparing food and casually chatting with her. We started to talk about our relationships and our boyfriends, which was like a big step forward in girls’ friendship (or if you call it a relationship LOL).

Goodbye, girl (1)

i thought i’d have a less dramatic leaving from the east coast, but all of a sudden, the sunny NYC started to rain. Hopefully it’ll not be too heavy so I can get to Memphis in time for my next flight.

This summer has finally come to an end and it was both short and long, in some way.

It was short, like any other summer vacations that I had in my life as being a student, especially a grad student. Every day just repeats itself, you go to your office, do (or at least pretend doing) some kind of work, and then dinner, movie and other leisure stuff for the night, and then comes the more relaxing weekends, trying out new restaurants in Ithaca until we actually run out of our options, and then we pick our favourite ones and try them all again…

Long in a way that I actually had a whole summer to say goodbye to my Ithaca, Cornell and all those dear dear Cornellians that I have acquainted, friended and shared great memories with.  When you started count down your days in this place and this kind of life style, suddenly everything you did seemed to be more precious, cause there might not be a next time.

So many things are like this, things that I’ll probably never get a chance to experience once again in my life. Things like, having a roommate that I were so close to.

Chen’s definitely this “tiny little” thing that I’ll miss when I start my life in California (especially when I’ll be sharing a house with two other male roommates with whom I doubt if we’ll ever have conversations…). Chen and I were different, in a lot of ways, preference to food, life style, clothes, and yeah, men LOL

I remember first seeing her in Beijing airport, when I was busy taking out things from my check-in luggage, just to avoid paying the extra check-in fee, and she was there with her parents, wearing a “manly” T-shirt , like she always does. Yeah, we could say we were flying together from Beijing to the States, except for there was an aisle between our seats, and I was reading and chatting with my friends all the way while she was sleeping straight for … i bet more than 10 hrs!

Arriving in Ithaca, we both started our explorations to this new country on our own. While I have my little Peggy and Wendy, she had her crazy Geology buddies that she could hang out with. We were not close, both geographically (she lived in Stewart ave and I lived in maple) and academically (she studys rocks, well…  i guess i can say i study everything except for rocks… ), but somehow when I think of female Chinese friend in Cornell, she’s always the first one pops out in my mind, even though I barely knew this “crazy” girl back then.

Do you still remember when and where this was?

And this is the first photo we’ve ever taken together… correct me if I am wrong, since you know that i have a bad memory 😛

又是eye tracking

临时带我的老板今天回家过Jewish新年了,我也懒洋洋的9点40才晃到办公室,想不通那些老板都work from home的同事哪来的动力每天去办公室啊?…

因为之前的CHI paper还在写,今天又没什么事,基本上又做回了一天grad students,拿着公司的电脑,喝着公司的饮料,写自己的paper。JB兄把苏珊大妈加到co-author上来,一开始我还觉得… 哥们,反正你是二作,你也不嫌人多啊,后来看到苏珊大妈利用周末休息时间笔耕不辍的修改我们的文章,而且由于此人实在强悍,一举化解了当时我和JB兄很多百思不得其解的问题。现在回头看看,JB兄果然还是在道上混的年数不够,道行还不够深…

不过因为工作的原因,没有了大块大块的时间,所以感觉写东西进度还是挺慢的

手头上正在做的这个东西,搞来搞去又还是eye tracking,当时在CHI看得口水直流的tobii系统,现在终于在oracle一睹真容,calibaration和当初在Cornell用的ASL那的确是一个天上一个地底下好几百米,数据记录方面也完善很多。带我做这个的Joe高登伯格大叔,也是学术搞到一半,半路下海,跟JB兄同出UMich,在Penn State做了十几年的教授,下海屈就来Oracle搞个research scientist,不过看他年过四十,才刚抱第一个儿子的架势,可见在工业界也不是那么好混的。

看到他做的实验,会觉得我在Cornell做的那些eye tracking都是小儿科,唯一可取的只是idea而已,论实验design,手法,数据分析,跟他这没得比,跟着跟着分析下数据,也算是有得提高。学校大抵是这样,有牛人,环境就越来越牛,没有牛人,也没人来帮你甄选鉴别,至少在grad students level,想混还不是一件难事,但是在industry,想混也有一定的标准,得过了这个标准才能混…

唯一让我很不爽的是,你做实验就大大方方的去recruit participants啊,老让我一个才来三周的帮你recruit干啥啊,高登伯格大爷果然是在学术界当甩手掌柜当惯了,就好像JB兄和苏珊大妈是绝对不会亲力亲为去揪本科生来做实验的,干脏活的都是grad students,居然我到了公司还是干“脏活”的命,连刚认识没几周的学姐也被我揪来做了半小时的eye tracking,我也只有感激涕零,跟学姐发巧克力以示感谢的份了。

晚上回家好想吃black bean啊,虽然都炒了菜,煮了饭了,又把周末买的罐头翻出来,加热了一些beans…

至于吃多了beans的后果,在这里就不一一详述了…

A lot of updates

Haven’t been writting anything here for months (well, more like 2 months), and I do have tons of things to update here.

First, moved from the east coast to the west coast, settled down, had a new home and have been getting use to the new “boring” life here LOL Not too many friends at the beginning, as I expected, gradually getting to know people and the new environment around me, more time for retrospection and thinking.

Second, have been writing something to cherish my pieces of memory at Cornell, still doing it, hopefully can spare time to finish it soon. Suddently realize everyday work is the most effective thing to destroy any long-term plan you’ve got outside of your work. Since more of the time, you get off work, get back home, cook dinner, and then, you want to do nothing but watch several TV episodes or a movie, then go to sleep.

Three, watched quite a bunch of good movies over the summer, “inception”, “the prestige”, “Amadeus”, just to name a few, want to be able to write something down, about my feelings, thoughts and comments. Something that I need to be motivated to accomplish. Recently, got interested in watching “mad man” series, partly due to the one episode that I watched in Chris and Shreyes’ home, partly because its lasting popularity in the emmy award, just finished the first season, three more seasons to go. The fall TV season’s about to begin, glee, weeds, House and DH are all on the list.

Fourth, yesterday morning, heard the news that the former HP CEO Mark Hurd is hired by Larry to be the CEO of Oracle. Hmm… interesting, the CEO of the company’s … in one sense, more “junior” than I am. Haven’t heard Mark Hurd before, only knew he was fired partly due to some sexual harrassment scandal (Larry’s not gonna be surprised about that, i guess). One colleague shared a video which featured Mark’s speech in Berkerly in 2009. Watched it with HY later today. The speech was pretty good: clear, precise, solid and convincing. He’s a great speaker, story teller and data interpreter, and knows how to win people’s trust and confidence. Overall, he made himself sounds like a good CEO. Whether he’ll be a good fit for Oracle, let’s wait and see.

More stuff, both trivial ones and important ones that will probably shape my perspectives of life, i’ll have to remind myself to come here, to at least write something down every couple of days.