January 15, 2007

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What people don’t know about me

Toronto uber-girl-friend Quinn has just tagged me with the “5 things people don’t know about you” meme. Ordinarily I’d stick that into my blogging backlog and get around to it eventually (hi Rob! I promise I’ll post about favorite movies someday…), but… well… =)

So. Five things people probably don’t know about me, or often forget:

  1. My name isn’t Sacha Chua. Sacha’s my nickname. My formal name is Sandra Jean Valentino Chua. I might legally change my name to Sacha Chua or Sacha V. Chua someday.
  2. I don’t blog everything. It may be hard to remember this sometimes when you read about all sorts of crazy things going on in my life. Sometimes I’m too busy to blog, but not blogging because of lack of time makes me feel guilty (unexamined life and all of that). Sometimes it’s because the moment has passed. Sometimes it’s because it’s about other people’s lives. Sometimes it’s because, well, I haven’t figured out how to write about it yet. But yeah, I don’t blog everything, and I often forget the unblogged stuff too…
  3. I’ve had and still have hangups about relationships. First there was the “Don’t have a boyfriend until you have a PhD because that will just distract you” thing that I let myself grow up with before I realized that love can be a Good Thing. Then there was *also* dealing with the fact that I attracted a fair bit of attention as a cute, cheerful girl into technology and darned good at it. Best friend and co-conspirator Diane puts the official count at more than 50 people shot down before I graduated from college. I thought I was done with that already, but have lately realized that I’ve been avoiding making lots of new friends closer to my age because I was worried about possibly having to reject people, which is a silly reason not to be friends with people.
  4. I don’t really eat a lot of chocolate. At least not by myself. Or at least I try not to. Chocolate is my treat of choice for all of life’s occasions, particularly the sad ones, but I prefer to have it in company because eating by myself is kinda sad and having chocolate with others will probably get me good conversation and/or a hug. I keep emergency chocolate around, but I tend to have a chocolate surplus because people who give me chocolate rarely stay around to enjoy all of it. Next time, stay.
  5. Hobbies you might not have thought I had: Acting (attended children’s theater workshop), writing (had a poem published), drawing (pastel published in book with poem, art classes as a kid, and still the occasional rough sketch these days), chess, ballroom dancing (swing, chacha, boogie, tango), firespinning (I have poi videos somewhere), T-shirt surgery and other ways to hacking clothes, beaded jewelry-making (or at least I’m trying to get into this), crocheting (couldn’t stop me from crocheting during class in grade school), sculpting clay or sand (totally informally; think Playdoh, think the beach), walking around with strange objects on my head (product of an all-girls grade school education), piano, badminton, skateboarding (or at least getting from point A to point B without killing myself), baking (cookies) and *trying* to cook (operative word *trying*), balancing my accounts (seriously), playing samba, playing the recorder (everyone goes through that phase), knitting, origami, taking care of stray cats…
  6. <stretch> There. Happy? ;)

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Returning to chess

I’ve missed playing chess. The chess books I’ve had since grade school
are still on the bookshelves, waiting to be dusted off and re-read.
I’m a little embarrassed about taking chess up again. I used to be on
the varsity team (not a difficult thing if you’re female) until
training for programming competitions left me with no time to train
for chess competitions. I’m rusty now, though, and embarrassed about

But maybe I should get back into chess. Not the memorize-playbooks
kind of chess that people often play, but chess for the sheer heck of
it. Chess for the joy of anticipating another person’s moves.

Ah. Hmm. But I didn’t like the confrontational nature of it before…

I don’t know. Maybe I’ll take up Scrabble instead. =)

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My sister’s in love!

Synchronized movie dates, daily webcam chats, endless retellings of
favorite moments—my sister’s in love, and distance is not a problem!
They’re really so sweet, which should come as a bit of a surprise to
anyone who knows my sister. I don’t know if I could let myself have
something that intense right now (or if our parents could put up with
*two* lovesick girls without going into diabetic shock). Still, it’s
wonderful… =)

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On the road to growing up

I’ve signed up for 10 hours of driving lessons, starting at 8 AM
tomorrow. It’ll be a refresher course—almost a complete beginner’s
course, as I really hadn’t driven at all since I got my license. I’m
looking forward to getting the hang of driving. I think it’ll be a
very useful skill.

I figured that I’d get as much practice as I can in the Philippines.
When I go back, I’ll take the written test and apply for a Canadian
driver’s license. I’ll also need to set aside money to rent cars maybe
every weekend? every other? so that I can gain experience and

Now, must find out which of my friends will trust me with their
life… ;)

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BBDB: Print birthdates

This snippet goes through all the records in my Big Brother Database,
prints out birthdate and a link to the record, and then sorts the

(defun sacha/bbdb-insert-birthdates ()
  "Insert a list of birthdates, sorted by month.
For best effect, dates should be of the form yyyy.mm.dd."
      (lambda (rec)
        (when (bbdb-record-getprop rec 'birthdate)
           (if (string-match "..\\...$" (bbdb-record-getprop rec 'birthdate))
               (match-string 0 (bbdb-record-getprop rec 'birthdate))
             (bbdb-record-getprop rec 'birthdate))
           " | "
            (concat "bbdb://"
                     " " "." (bbdb-record-name rec)))
            (bbdb-record-name rec))
     (sort-lines nil (point-min) (point-max))

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Salesdogs: I’m a Chihuahua!

Are you turned off sales because you think everyone has to be a pit
bull? When most people think of sales, they think of in-your-face
salespeople who just won’t take no for an answer. I have to confess
that even *I* have a hard time remembering that I don’t have to be
like that in order to enjoy and do well at sales.

I’ve read a lot about sales, but books tend to be generic sales tips
that try to apply to everyone. How to start. How to ask questions. How
to close. How to build relationships.
was the first book I read that talked about personalities. Salesdogs describes five “breeds”.

  • Pit Bulls: will always go for the jugular
  • Golden Retrievers: love customer service and will do anything for clients
  • Poodles: intellectual, classy, appearance-oriented, but a little high-strung
  • Chihuahuas: combine passion with product knowledge; tends to yip if overexcited
  • Basset hounds: loyal to the end, great at building relationships

I’m a Chihuahua through and through. (No, not just because I’m small!)
I *love* absorbing vast quantities of information, and ferreting it
out myself if I must. Learning the product inside and out? Combing the
Web for testimonials in order to find differentiating points? Getting
inside people’s heads? That sounds exciting! I’m always reading,
always trying things out, because I love knowing that one obscure
little thing that’ll get someone hooked. My weakness is that when I
get really excited, I tend to overwhelm people… <laugh>

Pick up the book and find out what kind of salesdog you are. Better
yet, find out how you can improve your performance and that of other
people around you. Don’t have time or can’t stand cheesy metaphors?
Coral.net.au has a great summary of the
different Salesdogs breeds,
including tips for managing them.

You don’t have to be a pit bull. Figure out your personality, play
to your strengths, and cross-train.

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