1. From the how-not-to-hit-on-a-geek-girl department...: 00:31 (2004.06.20#1)

Someone who signed himself '4.4BSDSystemsGuys' had this to say:

Sacha, you are one kind sweet witty geekette, and im a GNU-Hurd hacker who likes to play bits and packets, I think we could be a perfect match and make love under the monn and the stars watch. I run VI whem im lonely, and Emacs whem im moody but prefers PICO when im inspired by linux chicks like you.

Classic example of how _not_ to go after a geek girl. Whoever you are, get clued. ;)


A tongue-in-cheek guide to going after or making friends with Sacha Chua

Don't take this too seriously. =) But hey, might as well have some guidelines...



I previously said:

I don't have a boyfriend, and I don't plan to have one anytime soon. I have occasional crushes, though. =)

I officially have a boyfriend now, and it's highly unlikely that anyone's going to outgeek or outkarma him any time soon, so you might as well give up any romantic interest. ;) That doesn't mean I can't be friends, though, and you might find these tips helpful anyway.

Activity / date ideas

Objectives for dates:

 Familiar surroundingsChange of scene
  • Playing board games like Scrabble or chess
  • Watching a movie (thought-provoking, uplifting, funny, senti (but not cheesy))
  • Reading books and sharing ideas
  • Billiards
  • Meditating
  • Exploring art and culture (see below)
  • Walking around, preferably near water
  • Exploring art and culture
  • Window-shopping
  • Attending a lecture
  • Visiting friends
  • Picnicking
  • Golf
  • Badminton
  • Hack night
  • Goal sprint - pick a goal and work towards it
  • Table tennis
  • Foosball
  • Attending a tech event
  • Volunteering: canvassing, etc.
  • Rockclimbing
  • Tennis
  • Skating
  • Power-walking/running
  • Biking

Art and culture

Tips on gaining brownie points with me (and probably geek girls in general):

(order completely arbitrary)

- Smile a lot. Real smiles, mind you. Smiles that show me how happy you are to be around me. Or even better - how happy you are that you exist. The universe is great. =) Don't sweat the small stuff.

- Keep a web log or a journal. This allows us to have higher-quality conversations because we can catch up quickly. It also allows me to find out what and how you think without requiring you to do a braindump. =) My journal can be found in this wiki.

- Don't bluff. If you pretend to be authoritative when you're not, you may cause me or other people to make decisions based on inaccurate or incomplete information. If you don't know something, admit it. If it's important enough, find out. Searching skills are highly valued.

- Nifty displays of geekiness are impressive. Things like hacking the Linux kernel or knowing really arcane bits of trivia, that sort of thing. This is not limited to computer geekhood. However, don't try to one-up me in terms of computer history, programming languages, or other geek methods for establishing some kind of an intellectual pecking order. You might know more than I do, but driving the point in isn't going to make you any cooler. Make sure displays of geekiness are appropriate to the occasion.

- If you're a computer geek, use Linux or some other free and open source operating system. Demonstrate an eagerness to learn more about it. Tweak it as much as possible. People doing something nifty with it earn extra karma points. Mac OS X is way cool because it's UNIX inside, but Mac OS 9 below and all Microsoft Windows systems don't have enough of an open source community feeling to them (although people who contribute to open-source applications on Windows can salvage some karma). Actually, Windows people are fine, but you just won't be able to relate to my excited rambling about shell scripts and Emacs unless you install Cygwin and/or Emacs on Windows, but then what's the point of running Windows anyway? ;)

- Don't make small talk just to get to know me. Search the Web, subscribe to the mailing lists I participate in, visit the sites I like, and read my wiki. Make contact by referring to a specific incident, message or story, and add something I might find interesting. I don't really write people in order to be friends. I prefer to swap information, and then gradually learn more about other people when I find them interesting enough. Drop casual references to old blog entries into conversation. I'll be honored that you spent so much time reading.

- If you want me to want to get to know you, demonstrate some interests or aspects of geekiness that I'd like to know more about. I'm not going to ask more than perfunctory questions about your family and your interests until I feel like it, so you have to volunteer information. (Better yet, put the information on your website.) Keep to useful information until I change the level of conversation.

- Participate in mailing lists or newsgroup discussions. This gives me an idea of what you're interested in, increases your Google footprint, and earns you positive karma if you manage to help other people with their questions. Observe proper netiquette.

- Pay attention to your spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization. Attention to detail is a Good Thing.

- Don't forward me jokes, pictures or other 'cutesy' things. Don't send me virus warnings, Nigerian scams, chain letters or anything similar. If you're going to forward me anything, trim the message carefully. I don't want to wade through pages and pages of e-mail headers to get to the relevant parts.

- I'm into lateral thinking puzzles and word games. If you are similarly inclined, you may have more excuses to interact with me - over a friendly Scrabble or chess game, for example, or in a puzzle-swapping session.

- I care about teaching. Feedback, suggestions, and elegant examples I can use in class are very much appreciated.

- Don't take this so seriously. Read stuff like and laugh.

- Relate to me as an equal. I'd rather not be worshipped, thank you. ;) Find an area that I find somewhat interesting and in which you are as good as or better than me so that I can learn from you and you can earn karma points in the process.

- That said, a little worship from time to time makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Smile when you see me.

- Don't even think about trying to emotionally blackmail me into doing something. Verbal or physical abuse will not only mean a negative karma, but might get a lot of angry people going after you.

- I don't drink coffee, but I appreciate a good cup of hot chocolate - especially when I'm feeling particularly down (which is not often, so grab that chance when it comes up.)

- Read,

The favor of my family is essential. Although their approval will not guarantee friendship with me, their disapproval will quite probably end one.

Tips on gaining brownie points with my family:

- My mom greatly enjoys conversations with my friends. Don't be afraid to speak up and address her. You can call her Tita Harvey. She likes The Prophet. She plays Scrabble. My dad plays chess once in a blue moon.

- Fresh flowers are nice. A bouquet of roses is too incriminating, but a bunch can brighten my day. I like the scent of lilies. I also like brightly-colored flowers. If you are in the Philippines, potted plants are better than cut flowers, as long as they are low-maintenance flowers that will fit into our gardens and are guaranteed to withstand the ravages of a deranged lovebird and a psychotic cat. Potted roses are acceptable, too.

- Chivalry is excellent. My mom likes old-style manners. Open doors, offer to carry packages, stand up when a lady enters the room, and say "please" and "thank you". =)

- Chocolate is appreciated. Kathy likes Ferrero. I like dark chocolate. Chocolate is especially handy during coding sessions or when I'm in hermit mode.

- We prefer spicy chicken flavored instant yakisoba over the other flavors of instant yakisoba.

- My parents are quite concerned about my future, since unsuitable relationships could distract me from my plans. Reassure them by stating your exact intentions toward me, which should indicate your awareness of my plans and your acceptance of them. In particular, note that you are aware of my timeframe (no serious commitments until after I establish my career, which could be four or five years out) and are fully supportive of my passion for computer science.

Random thoughts on love and friendship

The probability of anyone getting into a romantic relationship with me right now (and possibly within the next few years) is extremely low. My commitment to computer science precludes any commitment to particular human persons, and committing to a romantic relationship now is highly unwise. I am 20, and there is much I have to do.

Now 21 and in a relationship. Keeping this section for historical interest and so that people can laugh at how other people change.

I don't like it when people go after me because then it's a little more difficult to deal with them. I don't want people to think their happiness depends on me. I don't want to have to worry about hurting people if I say the wrong thing or if I seem to be having more fun with other people. I don't want to be expected to love someone back. I don't want people making plans with me in them, assuming that I'll be a good little girlfriend/wife/whatever. I don't want to have to deal with other people's jealousy.

I am partial to certain people, but I will not allow myself to get into a romantic relationship with them because that might possibly impede their progress and growth. I feel that I may be of better use to them as a friend whom they can be themselves in front of without worrying about whether they "look good." This arrangement is also to my benefit.

I don't want people overanalyzing my smallest actions, wondering if I like them or not. I don't want people asking my friends what I think of them - I want people to ask me directly. If you're not sure what I mean, ask me.

I don't want to second-guess other people's motives, because I'll almost always be incorrect. I want people to tell me up front what they think and how they feel.

I don't become friends with people out of the blue. Generally my closest friends are those I have worked with over a long period of time. I don't see the need to develop more deep friendships right now, but I let whatever friendships grow out of my normal working relationships proceed naturally. In other words, it is hard for me to become friends "just because" - rather, I prefer to get to know people through work and then proceed to friendship when I've gained a healthy respect for them and their skills.

Don't expect me to write often about my day. If you want to learn about my personal life, browse my wiki. I rarely tell people about my day (the stories get repetitive after a while), so you can either be part of my day or you can read about it through e-mail. I tell interesting stories to a handful of people whom I think may be able to benefit from that information. It helps if you clearly identify yourself with a particular interest, so that I can pass any related news I have to you. Having stories of your own that you think I might find useful is also a good thing - information exchange is nice.

I will, however, listen to you if you need to talk to someone. I value that highly, and I am glad that my closest friends are there when I need to talk to someone as well. I want my friends to feel comfortable around me - so comfortable that they can go to pieces and they can talk about what angers them or makes them unhappy.

If you like me, don't go after me. Instead, try to better yourself - try to be of more use to humanity. Live for something greater than yourself and greater than me.

Flowers, stuffed toys, picture frames, and other gifts are discouraged. I'll be appreciative if you do actually give me those, but I prefer letters and information. =)

Have learned to appreciate flowers and stuffed toys. Thanks, Mom!

People who have linked to this node

-, who says

If you want a dose of comedy, check out Sacha's Random Thoughts On Love And Relationships. Good comedy material, I might have to say, although she was fairly serious about it when she was working on it. If you ever do follow the guide to the letter, and something good happens between you and any geeky girl (Not just Sach, as she did say.), let me know, and I might just start taking the guide MORE seriously (There's some merit in it as is, though.).

-, who says

First off, here's what Sacha wrote about how to court her (and presumably computer geeks like her). While it was written half-jokingly, it makes sense considering all the "admirers" Sacha has accumulated over the four years she's been in Ateneo. (Elbert is also joking [I hope he's joking] of writing a "how-to-court-Elbert" essay.)

Apparently, some people manage to find it funny.