Tuesday, November 29, 2005

study fun!

Today was a good day of user studies! We were at our first participant early today, so we got to go hang out down in Chinatown for a bit. I got one of those awesome bean paste cookies that I loved so much in Beijing :) I need to get down to Chinatown more often!

Oh, and I forgot the find of the weekend! It's this store called Teavana!! And they sell all sorts of different loose leaf teas...so so so so so many good teas! They are at Water Tower Place right now with a new store opening at Northbrook Court soonish! I have a feeling I'll be a frequent visitor. Yay for tea!


Monday, November 28, 2005

yay for the city!

It's been a good few days! Yesterday was a wonderful day down in the city with Stacie! The windows at Fields were wonderful as always! It was Cinderella this year, although there were a few typos on the signs with the story which was rather unsettling. And then it was off to the German Christmas market in the Daley Plaza and then off to PF Chang's and Michigan Ave :) Yay!! I totally love the city so much - Especially around Christmas time! :)

And then tonight I was back downtown for work. It's been a crazy long day...at work by 7 and home around 10:30. But it's all fun! Yay for user studies!!

Oh, and Thursday's at Emmett's is on again this week! 8pm as always!!


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Rent!!! and UPS

You have to go see Rent (the movie)!!! It's so good!

And I'm back on my I hate UPS kick again. Hmm, am I ever off of it? I ordered some transflash cards for a study we're doing starting on Monday, and they promised me I'd have them either Friday or Saturday (next day priority shipping on Wednesday) and guess what, they're not here. I called UPS yesterday at 4 and was like, when do you trucks stop delivering. And the guy was like, 3pm on Saturdays. And I'm like, hmm, cause my package hasn't come. He's like, well then it won't! Grrrr, I hate them. I think they have yet to deliver a package to me yet on time in the 7 months I've lived here.

Oh well, I'll just go listen to music from Rent and try to forget all about UPS :) And I'm going to see windows at Fields today which will totally make me happy!! :) :)


Saturday, November 26, 2005


Does anyone want to go downtown with me tomorrow and look at the windows at Fields?? This may be the last year since it'll be Macy*s next year! :(


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

happy thanksgiving everyone!

It's been a crazy long day! And a long evening of cooking :) But it's all good and I have everything all ready for tomorrow!! A vegan lasagna, a banana bread, and a pumpkin pie! It should be a good day tomorrow! I'm heading down to my cousin's house in Worth as usual.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!


Tuesday, November 22, 2005

more small worldness...

So I was at my chinese class tonight, and was talking to one of the other guys in the class, and it turns out that he was an English teacher at WHS up until 1994. So we ended up talking about the T's and and WHS and how it's changed over the years. Such a totally small world! And then what plays on the radio when I get back into my car?? Breakfast at Tiffanys, the song we used to listen to on the way to debate tournaments back in 1997! :)

I can't believe that the chinese class is over. I'm totally getting it now and just want to learn more and more. It's so much fun! On the way out of class everyone was saying what a good job I was doing! That was cool to hear :)

Oh, so if you ever have a flat tire, never ever ever go to the Firestone in Arlington Heights. They totally sucked. So when I went there last night, they were closing in like 25 minutes and the guy was like, we're closing, we can't patch your tire. So I left it overnight and then went to pick it up today and I asked if they had time to mount it. Now this is while two guys were eating sandwiches next to him. So I'm like, well I guess I'll have to go change it in your parking lot. And he was like, ok, go for it. So I'm sure it looked great to all the people driving by to see a guy changing his own tire in the parking lot of a tire place with like one car in the garage. Oh well, but at least now I'm really good at changing tires!!


Monday, November 21, 2005

long day...

So the day started with walking downstairs and finding a flat tire. Not the best way to start a monday...especially when I had all intentions of getting into work early today and actually getting stuff done for this upcoming study. Oh well, I changed it and made it in just on time for a presentation at 9:15.

So then I take the tire over to firestone after work, and they're like, we're closing in 15 minutes, we can't fix the tire tonight. So I guess I have to wait until tomorrow to get it back. Good thing work is close. I hate driving on spare tires.

Not much else new. Just getting ready for thanksgiving. Wednesday night will be a lot of cooking! I have my last Chinese class tomorrow night too...I can't believe it's been 10 weeks!! Where did all the time go???


Friday, November 18, 2005


Originally uploaded by bentley79.
I was just down at this awesome opening down at Inspire Fine Arts downtown! They had an exhibit on photography this month which was just amazing. They had this photographer Ted Preuss who puts photographs onto dried bodhi leaves using platinum. The one I bought was this woman who is meditating with a candle between her hands and it's on the bodhi leaf which is considered sacred in buddhist culture. And the leaf is mounted on velvet. So amazing!!


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

fortune cookie...

I got a fortune cookie today...and I knew the word on it!! :) Not only that, I could break down the word and know what the parts meant! Maybe this Chinese class is working! One thing that's unfortunate though is that they don't put the tones on the "learn chinese" section of the fortune cookie. Anyway, for those wondering the word was Delicious, which is Hao Chi. Really Hao (3) Chi (1) where the Chi is pronounced like "cheh" Anyway it means "good" "eat" Yay!

Not much else new...sorry for lack of posting lately, but it's been a busy week. I'm trying to get a rebuttal together for the CHI paper we wrote and also working on lots of other things. Still on for Emmett's for tomorrow though! And we can talk about going to a different place next week if people are still interested in that...


Monday, November 14, 2005


I can't believe this...don't be surprised if disaster strikes?? what!!??

"Conservative Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson told citizens of a Pennsylvania town that they had rejected God by voting their school board out of office for supporting "intelligent design" and warned them Thursday not to be surprised if disaster struck."

From cnn.


Sunday, November 13, 2005


I was at the mall yesterday, and it was all decorated for Christmas. Now I know that some people have started shopping already, but I mean come on. It's not even 1/2 way through November yet! Last week they were playing Christmas music in Borders too.

I'm thinking of having a Christmas party this year. Lots of you still haven't seen my new place! More details to follow. :)


Saturday, November 12, 2005

silk nog!

Yes!!! Silk Nog is once again at Dominicks!!! It's a happy day!! :) It's the best drink ever!


Friday, November 11, 2005


Yay for Numb3rs tonight talking about GPS on cell phones :) And I love the little GPS tracking java app they had running on the i860! :) :)


say what?

Wow...someone in the Bush administration said something that made sense about DRM and technology :) "Stewart Baker, the Department of Homeland Security's policy czar warned would-be DRM makers: 'It's very important to remember that it's your intellectual property -- it's not your computer. And in the pursuit of protection of intellectual property, it's important not to defeat or undermine the security measures that people need to adopt in these days.'" from /.


Wednesday, November 09, 2005

another thursday...

Today was a busy but good day...full of interviewing! Two interviews for Motorola, and two for MIT :) It was fun...I drove out to IMSA tonight and interviewed two kids for MIT. Both had done some pretty amazing things, one had even published a paper at an IEEE conference! It's always amazing to me to talk to these high school students and see how they have totally made the most out of their environments. And IMSA sounds like a really amazing place with all the opportunities students have there. I always wonder what I would have done if I had gone to a place like that.

So...tomorrow is thursday! Which means I'll be at Emmett's at 8pm again for those in the area who want to stop by for a drink!! :)


Monday, November 07, 2005

random thoughts from the train

1) the city is just beautiful at night, especially when it's 65 degrees outside in november...reminded me of walking around palo alto in february...except it's a big city..but the weather was the same. I highly recommend walking slowly up wacker to michigan with all the buildings lit up and it almost warm enough not to need a jacket
2) i love short stories...like really short stories like dave eggers writes that are like a page and a half and leave you thinking longer than the longest novel. sort of like a good TML play :)
3) the phrase 'frontage road' makes me smile - old inside jokes are fun
4) indian food downtown with a friend is a great way to spend a monday night
5) they need to run more express trains...i'm not even at park ridge yet :)


Sunday, November 06, 2005


Making cinnamon rolls makes me happy :)


Friday, November 04, 2005

Thursday Nights...

The first Thursday night at Emmett's was a success! Yay! Next week, same time, same place if you're in the area :)

And a bit of sad yet interesting news. It appears that the USPTO gave provisional filing to a patent for a storyline. Now of course this is bad bad bad news (could lead to the banning of books, etc.), but it's a story about a kid that applies to MIT which is amusing :)


Wednesday, November 02, 2005


I just got back from a cool lecture downtown by MIT Prof. Adam Berinsk! It was a talk on opinion polling in politics. A history of bad polls, how you get a random sample, how people like me who don't have home phones can alter poll outcomes (still not by a lot since it's only 5% of the population), and how poll aggregates help overcome bias in sampling (how do you identify people who "intend" to vote), question ordering, or question wording. Pretty interesting, and we got him to go into a lot of the particulars in the Q and A. I love being in a room with a bunch of MIT people! :)

So it's interesting how they ensure a random sample of phone owners for polls. They have these auto dialers that identify all the blocks of phone numbers that have been assigned in the US (things like (abc)def-g***). Then they pick a number of these at random and choose random numbers within these, eliminating ones in databases of businesses or cell phones (it's illegal in a lot of states for pollsters to call cells since people have to pay for incoming calls). So you don't really get random because blocks may not be completely assigned and some blocks may have a higher percentage of businesses thus giving higher probability to numbers in that block. Anyway, all of these factors aren't even considered in their margin of error. They assume perfect random selection. Interesting...


Tuesday, November 01, 2005

quiet evening...

It's been a nice quiet week so far which has been nice. Although the rest of the week is going to be a bit busy! Speaking of which, Thursday night @ Emmett's is totally on! 8pm is the plan!

I'm going to an interesting lecture tomorrow: Adam Berinsky from MIT talking about public opinion and political representation in America. Should be a good talk!!