July 17, 2006

Did my dishes, went to the circus festival

July 17, 2006 - Categories: life

Kathy would’ve loved the Toronto International Circus Festival. =D
Poisters, diabolists, jugglers, unicyclists, etc. Cool stuff!

Also, I managed to get all of my dishes done in record time. The usual
order – glassware, cutlery, saucers + bowls + plates – works perfectly
with a double sink and would probably have worked even better with the
triple sink like the one in Linux Caffe. =) Kudos to my mom for
teaching me how to wash dishes effectively. We had this entire
assembly line thing going with my sisters and me: prerinse, soap,
rinse. Prerinsing with a dishcloth totally works because then soaping
is ridiculously easy. Also, Corelle dishes dry practically
interesting. It is t3h c00l.

Random Japanese sentence: 彼女がドアを開けるやいなや猫が走り出た。 No sooner had she opened the door than a cat ran out.

Hot chocolate day

July 17, 2006 - Categories: emacs

It took me two hours to commute to work this morning. I needed to be
there because my planner only had “@1300-1330 CAS workshop” on it – no
details, no call-in number, nothing. I didn’t even know who might have

When I got to IBM, the sheer silence of CAS just descended on me. I
felt so isolated.

One of the reasons why I’m hardly ever in the Interactive Media Lab in
the University of Toronto is that it’s just so quiet. The room I work
in has a small window near the ceiling. John Chattoe works in the same
room, and Mark Chignell is of course in the next office. I feel okay
with interrupting Mark every so often when I need a social break from
my work, but still… Also, having to prepare lunch using a microwave
instead of cooking something quickly – not quite as much fun! <laugh>

The working environment at the Centre for Advanced Studies is similar,
although I feel even more isolated. The centre uses an open layout to
encourage students to interact with each other, but we hardly ever
talk. Maybe it’s because I missed the CAS party last time. Maybe it’s
because I haven’t joined any of the sports groups. I don’t know.

So there I was, tired from my commute, feeling rather oppressed by the
silence and lack of social interaction, really craving VPN (the
ability to connect from outside IBM), and going through blog posts
just to recapture that sense of IBM as a human organization.

And sniffling. Quietly. Over a cup of hot chocolate. (Fortunately, CAS
had restocked hot chocolate over the weekend. Hooray for small

I really appreciate how Quinn Fung joined me for lunch even though she
wasn’t particularly hungry, and how Laurie Dillon-Schalk called me up
to check on me when she found out I was having a hot chocloate day.

Today I realized a few more things:

  • Long commutes totally don’t work for me. This probably also rules
    out on-site consulting, which was one of the career options I had
    been considering.
  • I like social interaction. I don’t mind working longer hours if I
    can look up and talk to people, bounce ideas off them, celebrate
    something, gripe about something, whatever. It seems to be easier
    for me to keep on task when other people are around.

Made a few minor tweaks to my research proposal. So far, so good.
Getting closer.

Random Japanese sentence: 大まかに言って、犬は猫より忠実だ。 Broadly speaking, dogs are more faithful than cats.

Ten years hence

July 17, 2006 - Categories: life, reflection

Didith Rodrigo handled some of the classes of the Introduction to Ateneo Culture and Tradition – a frosh orientation thing in my undergrad university. Here’s what she blogged:

One of the activities we ask them to undertake is to envision themselves ten years hence and then plot a course to reach that vision. I read through the assignments. While many students sounded pretty grounded, others, well, let’s just say they need a reality check. Many were aspiring for large houses in exclusive subdivisions, luxury cars, and trips abroad. While there is nothing wrong with these dreams, I wonder whether they seriously contemplated the sort of professions they have to have in order to afford all of these. I also wonder if they asked themselves whether they will be qualified for this profession by the time they are 28.

How do I see myself ten years from now? Who do I want to be at 32 or 33?

Here’s how I want to see myself at 32:

My work engages both my technical and social sides and
helps me grow as a person. I write and speak about technology and how
people can make the most of it. I am just starting out then,
establishing myself in my field, but I show promise.

I set aside at least 20% of my work time for exploring new things and
ideas, like the way Think!Friday is encouraged within IBM and the way
Google has 20% time.

I am in an environment where I meet lots of interesting people and
where I feel safe and energized. If this is not in the Philippines, I
still maintain ties with the Philippines.

I am prepared for the next stage in my life because I have invested
time in finding some things I can do really well and through which I
can create a lot of value for others. I am beginning to prepare for
the other stages in my life by regularly investing money.

I am in a solid, committed relationship which is for mutual joy and
growth. Having met many people both in and out of relationships, I
feel that I might do well in one. (I don’t know exactly how that will
work out just yet.)

Step by step, step by step. Someday I’ll be all that, maybe even by 32.

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Random Japanese sentence: あいつ追いつめられたら何するか分からないぞ。窮鼠猫を噛むってこともあるからな。気を付けるに越したことはない。 I wouldn’t push him too far. You don’t know what he might do. I’d say you can’t be too careful. They say even a doomed mouse will bite a cat if he has no choice. [M]