Month: October, 2012

OK in OK?

This past Saturday I heard this one question at least 30 times: Hows Oklahoma?!  Don’t worry, this is not a rant about how annoyed I was or how horrible Oklahoma is.  Nope – that’s not me!  Instead, I am very grateful to have friends and family that care for my well-being, and I am enjoying this once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Oklahoma for the next couple of months for free (kind of).  Long story short: I’m a-okay!


Luckily, my colleagues are pretty awesome, and the project is interesting.  I don’t want to continue too much on this topic, but my general schedule will be working from 8:15 am to 5:30 pm.  Last week, I kept waking up at 5:55 am, which I’ll be trying to avoid this week.  I’ll probably not be on the phone or online until 6:30 pm or later.

Lawton, Oklahoma

The people are very friendly.  I saw my first oil drills.  The land is fairly flat with more green and gold surfaces than one would imagine.  There are diners and dives that are featured on the television show Diners and Dives: Meers.  I am definitely one of the few and if only Chinese person in the area.  It is common to see people drink and drive openly.  A majority of people drive either trucks or sport cars.  The Chick-fila’s and Cracker Barrel’s replace McDonalds.  The burger places are plentiful, and Long Horn is the most popular meat.  Braun’s is equivalent to Baskin Robbins.  Casinos are the local hangouts.  The community and businesses exist mainly to serve Fort Sill.


This is a lifestyle.  I’m not completely sure how I feel about it, but I doubt I would maintain a schedule like this for more than two years.  It can be draining on your existing relationships and difficult to make other relationships.  Every sword is double-edged though, so it’s also a great way to make professional relationships and turn them into personal friendships.  The quality is yet to be determined.  Travelling with four to seven guys means I have to make an effort to be conscious about what I am eating and how to schedule in exercises.  I am getting some good reading time with all the travel time.

Here are some of the pictures I took with the Samsug Galaxy S3:

Mount Scott in the Wildlife Refuge

I spy windmill farm!

Climbing on the mountain boulders

Bison on the Refuge

Refuge at Night

Around the Post Playground

Do Not Ram Without Projectile

Geronimo’s Grave



I’ve spent a minimum of 40 hours of research (online articles, online and current user reviews from CNET to torture tests, in-store visits, and even personal experience!) on deciding between the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy S3.  Here’s my limited comparison table on various (pros and cons) aspects:


Petite Pear

Buying jeans as a woman can either be a nightmare or a joy.  When I was younger I lived in jeans, near the end of high school I started to detest searching for the “right” jean.  It got so bad that for a period in college I refused to wear jeans, and for the past 3 years I refused to purchase a single pair of jeans.  It’s not that I dislike them; my tastes and preferences started to change, plus my body started to develop in ways that made jean shopping tiresome.

Back in the day, my mom dressed me in Unionbay and other affordable lines, then progressed to American Eagle and cumulated to me paying a good chuck of change (even with my friend’s discount) for two pairs of Lucky jeans.  As many know, jeans can range from $10 to over $500.  Surprisingly, Google searches were not the best for “are expensive jeans worth it?”  Thus, I have found a few links and tips to let help guide you in your jean search.

Keep the following in mind:

–          You should only wash jeans after every 5-7 wears (unless it’s completely soiled)

–          Women often own more jeans than they actually wear

–          Buy jeans one size smaller than a regular fit

–          Skinny (or too tight) jeans could cause nerve damage

–          If your jeans are 3 years old, re-evaluate their fit because of the wear and change in your own body shape

–          Don’t necessarily buy according to trends, instead find the fit that flatters you

–          You pay for quality (for the most part)

Most of those suggestions are also endorsed by consumer report.  There’s a general chart that consumer report released as well.  You probably guessed it already, but the pricing depends on everything from the brand marketing, “accessories”, stitching, etc.

If you’d like the opinion of a blogger about her comprehensive experiences with a variety of brands, look here.  Here’s another good article on quality and the respective prices.  Finally, there’s a checklist that you can use to judge whether or not you believe you’re getting what you’re paying for.

Part of shopping for jeans is learning to recognize and accept your body type, which is often very difficult for women.  Currently, my figure has turned into a petite pear.  Whether I want it to be this shape or not, I realize that skinny jeans are not the most flattering.  Instead I should probably go for something with more of a boot.  Still after two days of shopping at the mall, I’m not 100% satisfied with my purchase (for many reasons and might return), so the jean journey continues.  Hopefully, this helps you better understand jeans as you search!


In case you’re not aware, there’s a pretty big debate in the culinary world regarding when pasta is “done”.  Bottom line: it’s your preference.

Of course, if you’re a renown Italian chef (or my mother), you will argue until you’ve lost your voice that your state of pasta is the proper one.  Italian chef = al dente vs. My mother = soft.  If you want to cook pasta al dente, then you MUST be attentive and taste test as you cook!

Either way, I will not be making al dente for my mother again since she claims dinner was inedible.

At least Shaobing liked my pasta!

p.s. If you’re trying to figure out how to take a still frame from a movie clip (which is what I did here, then linked it to YouTube), this is the best online tutorial for Mac users with a newer version of iMovie.  Just remember that you right click on “Reveal in Finder” then save the imagine where you wish.

Online Dating

A colleague asked me: “What’s the stigma with meeting people online?”  My concise honest response would be: “Because people don’t want to admit that their loneliness led them to take a chance in finding a relationship via the cold-hearted technology.”

However, we all know there’s more to it than that.  So long as our generation continues to let technology be intertwined with every action in our daily lives, we will continue to read and hear stories about how either online dating led to a happily-ever after or an epic fail.  Remember though, people usually only share stories when something “bad” happens, so usually we are already jaded by those stories of the Craig’s List Killer, etc.

Along those lines, my female cousin (and her roommates) tried and blogged about how many “creepers” contacted her.  My childhood female friend made a Match account too because she relocated Northeast for a job and wanted to meet more people.  While she didn’t gain a boyfriend out of it, she did meet a few guys.  Nothing romantic came about, but one of the two stories I can clearly recall was when one guy stood her up.

On the other hand, my stellar male Yale alum lawyer friend once jokingly asked if I was thinking about Okcupid.  My facial reaction must have answered his question because he responded with “I’ve gone on a few dates with girls.  Some of my female friends tell me that they clean up well on that site.”  With that in mind, I seriously contemplated joining the community for a bit, especially since it’s a free (pros & cons) service.  When I told my close “perfect-husband material” male cousin that I was thinking about this, he admitted that him and a bunch of guys had made accounts in college.  I was stunned.  Not because I never thought he would turn to online dating, but because this was the second male that I view as solid relationship material to tell me that they were on an online dating site.  He wasn’t active on the site, so he let me gain access to get a feel for the setup before I created one.  I wasn’t particularly impressed and never opened my own.

How do you find that fairy-tale prince/ss with online dating?  First, don’t do what my female cousin did.  If you’re going to do online dating, you need to dive in with a positive mind-set hoping that there will be a positive outcome(even if it’s just a friendship).  Second, be understanding and smart.  Realize that there are a range of people on the dating site; not everyone will be a winner but also don’t be shallow.  Third, ignore the “stigma” that my friend asked me about, which in turn prompted this post.

Based on my experiences, my male gay new to the area colleague should have more luck than someone like me because I’m already slightly tainted.  When I complaining about how I needed someone I could “force” to spend time with me was when a few of my friends suggested going online.  My immediate reaction was “I must be desperate.”  For some reason that another characteristic placed upon online dating.  It might be because these advertisements run clips that say “Oh after 12 years of unsuccessful dating, I finally found the love of my life.”  You also hear personal accounts of a supervisor saying that she was a workaholic until about 10 years ago and then went online and is now happily married.  It makes you instantly think, these people must not have had lives and been “forced” to turn to online dating.  However, this isn’t usually the case.  Sometimes people don’t realize that they aren’t actually “trying” to find a relationship the correct way.  Whether they simply weren’t in the right mindset to be seeking out someone else or that they weren’t going to social places to meet others because they were simply unavailable, but then when they commit to online dating, they are ready and determined to “find love”, which is what they accomplish through online dating.  Other times we become so consumed with what is happening in the moment that we often forget about how to plan for the future.  If this is the case, then online dating could be your tool.

For me, I am going to actively avoid trying to use online dating because I don’t want to “force” anyone to hangout with me.  Rather, I am going to make a conscientious effort to put myself in situations where I can meet people.  Not because it’s a last resort, but because I recognize that there is a very real possibility of me finding someone that way.