Paul's Blog

The Well-Grounded Yuppie


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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Decisions and Failures

I've had thoughts of hitting on three different women today, and I've only hit on one, and it was somewhat of a failure. Of course, I'd like to think the one I hit on at the end of the night had nothing to do with alcohol, but it just happens that the night one girl I hit on, was at the end of the night, where I had the most to drink. Coincidence, I hope.

It's about 2AM on a Saturday night, I'm home, buzzed, and thought I'd blog before passing out.

First: I was at 7-11 around 4PM, grabbing a quick snack (a banana, a slim-jim, and a slurpy) before taking care of some errands and hitting up this BBQ Battle festival in DC. There was a Hispanic lady in front of me, she was by herself, which makes her a great target (instead of approaching a group). She looked about early 30's, great figure, and wore a revealing dress. She went in line, asked for some Pepto Bismol, which is sold behind the cashier counter, but she spoke with an accent. The cashier (who also looks foreign) said "What?", and the Hispanic chick (my target) impatiently said "Pepto Bismol, over there" and pointed at it. She said that in a tone that was almost yelling at the cashier, wow, that was rude. The cashier, bless her heart (southern expression here), said "I'm sorry, I just did not understand you". My ex-target then said (also in a loud tone) "I also want some cigarettes, do you understand that?" My perception totally changed within 15 seconds. She used to be a girl I was considering hitting on, now she's just someone I hope would check out of the line and leave. After she left and the cashier was ringing me up, I smiled at the cashier and told her "You're doing a great job, please ignore the customer from before". The cashier smiled, and said "thank you", and I hope I made her day a little.

2nd: At the end of the night, I thought I'd grab a drink before going home. I was going through a neighborhood where it was dominated by Koreans, and I dropped by this place that had a sign "bar/restaurant". It was a really chilled out looking restaurant with a loungey looking bar. Dim lights, Korean pop music, nice environment. I asked for a Mojito, yeah, I know, semi-girly drink. The bartender seemed to know enough English to only understand the Mojito part. There was an Asian girl sitting by herself, but she obviously was with another person due to two glasses of drinks. Her friend, also a cute Asian girl in her mid-20's joined her. I thought about hitting on them both, but they were speaking in a language I didn't understand to each other and the bartender (which I assume is Korean), and I didn't know how much English they understood. It would've been totally awkward if they spoke bare English that they can only answer questions with "yes" and "no". Hitting on random girls (sober) is challenging enough, no need to add another layer of ambiguity to it, so I decided to skip this opportunity.

3rd: After my Mojito, I went down the street and hit up another restaurant/bar. It was the same type of atmosphere, but slightly more empty, and instead of playing Korean Pop music, they had a big screen TV showing Korean Pop music videos. Honestly, they really are pretty entertaining when you're buzzed. It was totally westernized, they way the videos are shot, they way they dressed, and the type of music they sang. The music videos seemed dance/club focused, where they were in clubs or on stages dancing really well. Reminded me of some Brittaney Spears or Black Eyed Peas stuff, from the way videos are shot to dancing moves to music beats. I asked the bartender what she recommended, and she recommended a tropical martini (also a girly drink). I told her "Tropical Martini" it is. She seemed to speak English semi-okay, and I carried on a conversation with her for about 15 minutes while sipping on my new girly drink. Her name's Grace, 22 yrs old, cute, and only been to USA for less than a year, and goes to college during the day. I seemed to communicated with her in English okay, because I'm more considerate and I've been there. I'd speak at a slightly slower pace, with less fluency between words so I'm pronouncing each word individually. And if I sense she doesn't understand something, I'd rephrase it using simpler words. Such as "I'm okay, would love some company though" "What?" "I'm doing good, but I would like someone to talk to". We seemed to get along well. I usually have a rule of "not hitting on service people", from bar tenders to waitresses, to cashiers, because I believe they're paid to be nice to me. I somehow broke my own rule tonight and got reminded why I have this rule. At the end of the night, I asked her "Are you single?" She said "Yes", and I said "In that case, I should take you out for a drink sometime, write down your number". She said "Well, I'm sorry, but I'm only free on Wednesdays". I should've picked that up as a hint, but the sem-buzzed Paul would have need a stronger hint than that. I told her "That's cool, I can take you out on a Wednesday then". She said "Well....uhhh......." I quickly interrupted her, knowing I made her uncomfortable, gave her a smile, and said "Don't worry about it, it's not a big deal, I understand". She said "I'm sorry, but this is the first time I met you". I said "I completely understand", but immediate had the thought, if I was to not ask her out, but go back for a drink here and there, and ask her out after the 3rd or 4th time I go, would the results have been different? Or was it just some random blow-off? That didn't stop me from tipping well, I tipped $2 on a $6.50 check (for one drink), so at least I don't feel guilty about things. When I was leaving, she said "I'm sorry" along with "bye", I gave her a smile, and said "Don't worry about it, have a good night". On the drive home, I was kicking myself for not writing down my # on the check or handed her a card, writing on it "in case you change your mind", as a low-percentage but no cost tactic, because I doubt I'd go back to the place anytime soon.

I've learned some things today:
  1. Women who look good who're complete bitches are totally unattractive in my eyes
  2. I have very little pick-up skills with women who don't or might not speak English
  3. Still, DON'T HIT ON SERVICE PEOPLE
  4. Instead of peanuts given out in American bars, Korean places give out free unflavored popcorn on a tray to their drinkers.
  5. Bad luck comes in streaks - after drinking, I was slightly hungry and arrived at my neighborhood McDonald's at 1:05AM, 5 minutes after they closed their drive through, and had to settle for frozen pizza.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Yahoo Changes CEO: So Long Terry Semel, Hello Jerry Yang

Yahoo CEO Change, Terry Semel and Jerry Yang
This probably isn't new to a lot of you guys out there, but Yahoo's CEO, Terry Semel just resigned. Jerry Yang, Yahoo's cofounder stepped into the position.

Semel led Yahoo for over 6 years. He helped Yahoo out of the dot-com bubble burst, and turned it into the media giant it is today. He accomplished many great things in the CEO position, but he goofed in one big category: Competition, especially Google.

During his six years in charge, Terry Semel let his primary competitor, Google, to grow from a project of 2 guys named Larry and Sergey at Stanford University to the search giant it is today. Even if nothing else was done on Semel's part to cut competition, the least he could've done was to make an offer when it counted. Yahoo could've bought Google for extremely cheap when it first started in 1998. But at the time, Yahoo founder's (David Filo) response was "When it's fully developed and scalable, let's talk again." Terry Semel could've corrected that mistake by making a better offer at 2002. He offered to buy Google for $3 billion, and it was worth at least $5 billion back then. Obviously Google didn't take that insulting offer, and it grew into the $147 billion company it is today.

Under Semel's rule, Yahoo came out with many things before Google, such as pay-per-click advertising, map services, Email. But when Google launched the same services, they did it better, more user friendly, and gave the users more flexibility, such as more user friendly pay-per-click programs, being able to click and drag maps around to "scroll” parts off-screen, and G-mail that can store many Megabytes of data.

Yahoo is due for a change. We solute you, Terry Semel, for all the great things you've done for Yahoo. Let's see what the young bloods can do, good luck Jerry Yang.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Chinese Culture - Redefining China's Family

Chinese Culture, Redefining China's FamilyToday’s homepage of WashingtonPost.com featured a package, "Redefining China’s Family". It has a collection of articles talking about the modern Chinese culture in addition to a few video clips.

The section mentioned changes in economy and "open door policy" brought changes in family structure. One topic is women being financially independent, leading to a dramatic increase in divorce rates in China over the past decade, because they are less willing to be in unhappy marriages. Another topic was teenagers having sex and sex education, in comparison to their parents’ generation, where holding hands in public is frowned upon.

It’s a shame that I wasn’t around to see changes in pop culture in the past 15 years, but hopefully I’ll be back to see the results of it sometime in the near future.

Overall, I'd recommend this package anyone who wants to know more about Chinese pop culture or recent changes.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Google Maps: DC Metro Stations

Google Maps Washington DC Metro Stations
Google Maps adds more data on subway stations everywhere, including the DC Metro.

A
while back, Google added subway stations as "landmarks" on their Google Maps, and now they're taking it one step further. Subway stations are now clickable and Google Maps will tell you what metro rail line it's on. For someone that goes into DC by metro, this addition of Google Maps is greatly appreciated.

Google, thanks again for all the free tools you've given to average web users.