A Personal Touch – Donald Miller via Twitter

March 24, 2009

Not to toot Twitter‘s horn any more than necessary, but once again, Twitter has proven its use above and beyond my expectations.  Apart from the random updates from my flesh and blood friends (that I do value), Twitter enables me to connect with people way outside of my sphere of influence (i.e. Adam Savage of Mythbusters fame, Peter Sagal of NPR fame, John Mayer (no other introductions necessary), John Hodgman of Apple commercial fame and the list could go on forever).

For the most part, these bigwigs with thousands of followers could care less about what I have to say to them, and our “relationship” consists of me reading their random quips and updates and chuckling quietly to myself, but some of them have been known to purposefully connect with their fans on a regular basis.

Donald Miller Twitter Screen Grab

I’m a big fan of Donald Miller and his writing.  I feel like his writing is a refreshing and raw look at life and Christianity and can be used as a tool to touch and change a lot of people, regardless of religious affiliation or lack thereof.  By no means does he market himself to be a learned theologian, but that doesn’t mean God can’t give him good insight through his experiential understanding of Christ.  Plus, he’s not an idiot.  A lot of people attribute his writing to the emergent church movement, but all he really tries to do is put to words what God has shown him.  I have a lot of respect for him because his journey with God has led him so very far and he is fast becoming one of the most influential Christian authors alive, all at the tender age of 38.

In the above exchange, Donald had posited a question to the “twittersphere”.  He asked, “do non-introverts get lonely? i feel it about as often as i get a nosebleed…” and so forth.  I misunderstood his statement because I assumed he was saying that he is a non-introvert and he was wondering if other non-introverts ever got lonely, just so he doesn’t feel weird about that.  I thought about it for a little while and thought to myself, “Don’t extroverts, by definition, get lonely quicker?”, so I @ replied Don, asking him, “shouldn’t introverts be the ones that don’t get lonely? i’m perfectly content to be by myself.”, in which he replied via direct message, “exactly, i don’t think we do.”

Obviously, I was way off the mark.  He wasn’t asking if extroverts ever get lonely because he himself gets lonely and he was trying to validate this as an extroverted phenomenon.  He was saying that he, as an introvert, enjoys time by himself so much that he can’t really imagine an extrovert finding such simple solace a thing to be scorned.

In those few words, “exactly, i don’t think we do”, I felt such a sense of contentment, and not just because a famous person had singled me out to waste 28 keystrokes.  I had assumed Donald was an extrovert because of his track record.  He’s accomplished so much.  He’s written so many books and started so many life-changing projects.  He travels around the country speaking at conferences.  He even performed the closing prayer at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.  In reading his writing, I had already felt that personality-wise, we had a lot in common.  And now that I know we’re both introverts who enjoy our alone/recharging time and are hardpressed to feel loneliness, I’m going to purposefully un-fetter myself and see how far I can go.


5 Things I Really Like ATM

March 11, 2009

In no particular order, I’m just going to wax poetic about 5 things that I really like at the moment.

5. Twitter
The micro-blogging/status update supersite has been the buzz word as of late and for good reason.  There’s no real sense to it but the idea of updating your life and conversing with friends/e-buddies with a 140 character limiter has become an integral part of my online experience.  I choose to use Tweetdeck on my MBP and Tweetie on the iPhone.  The service is like a vacuum-packed social network – you can follow and interact with people that technically should be out of reach.  You can harass them, but more likely than not, they’re ignoring you.  There’s a veiled intimacy surrounding the experience of Twitter – technically, everything is easily accessible for the public, but there’s still an aspect of you privately going about doing your own business.  This micro-voyeurism is part of the allure.  With the integration of hashtags, you can meet tons of people with similar interests as you and through their Twitter accounts, chance upon their blogs and network beyond what was possible before.  Also, conciseness = quick reads = less headache!

4. RSS
If you’re surfing the internet in 2009, more likely than not, you’re making your way through tons and tons of blogs on a daily basis.  The ‘blogosphere’ has become a beast to be reckoned with, and making your way through these blogs on a daily basis can be a hassle, to say the least.  Insert RSS.  RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and most blogs have RSS feeds that you can subscribe to (even mine!).  The concept behind RSS is that all of the feeds from the blogs you read are aggregated in one reader and whenever they blogs are updated, the feeds push the content to the various RSS readers that in turn chronologically list the articles from all of the blogs you are subscribed to and can be read in a single window.  This is useful because you won’t spend your time constantly checking your favorite blogs & sites to see if they’ve recently updated.  And you can categorize.  I prefer Google reader.

3. Gmail
Not so much Gmail, which I’ve had for a long time, but the Google productivity tools that I’ve recently implemented in my Gmail hub.  Gmail by itself is already an impressive product – almost limitless space, threaded emails etc.  I had preferred to use Apple Mail before and barely touched the Gmail website before, but I’ve been convinced otherwise.  If you turn a bunch of the options available under Google labs on, you’ll get so much out of Gmail.  For example, I have Tasks, Advanced IMAP Controls, Multiple Inboxes, SMS in Chat, Google Calendar Gadget turned on at the moment, and I use each on a regular basis.  Tasks is an online to-do list that I can access in Gmail or my iPhone.  Advanced IMAP Controls allows me have more control over my email in Apple Mail and my iPhone.  Multiple Inboxes (1) partition my mail into separate mailboxes (nifty for multiple accounts and different labels).  SMS in Chat is quick text messaging to people on your contact list.  The Google Calendar Gadget (2) put a mini-Google calendar in your Google hub that allows for quick viewing and updating.  Also, I’ve implemented Google sync so my contacts (phone numbers, email addresses, profile pictures, physical addresses) and my Google calendar are all pushed onto my phone.  Life’s good with Google.  Ask me about if you have more questions and/or need help setting up stuff in your life.

2. WBC
I love the World Baseball Classic.  I don’t know why.  Maybe its because I’ve grown up playing baseball, but I just love watching it.  The upsets, the stacked teams, the national pride, the underdogs beating the big dogs (Netherlands over the big DR?).  I can’t get enough of it.  The fans are crazy and the atmosphere is so intense.  At the inaugural WBC in 2006, I went to a couple of different games (most notably South Korea vs. Japan) and that was probably one of the most intense atmospheres I’ve ever been in.  40,000 South Korean fans chanting in unison is a sight I won’t easily forget.  Superstars are born at the world level when national pride is on the line.  And this kid is pretty good.

1. Mia’s Idiosyncrasies
Mia is my 9-week old German Shepherd/Black Labrador puppy (she was born on 1/1/09).  She’s getting pretty big already, but I still have to remind myself that she’s still a puppy.  There are certain things about her that just tickle my fancy.  When I’ve scolded her for nipping me with her razorsharp puppy teeth, she always turns her snapping maw into a huge wolfish yawn as if hiding the fact that she was biting me moments before.  Or when I’m telling her to do something that she doesn’t want to do, she lowers her face to the floor and puts her oversized paw over the top of her head, as if trying to hide.  And she runs so goofy cos her legs are too big for her body.  So cute.

What are some of your favorite things at the moment?


Neo-Progresso Dinner Weekend – Welcome To Our World!

March 3, 2009

/WOTD/ acute \uh-KYOOT\, adjective: 1. acting keenly on the senses; sharp 2. quick in discernment; drawing fine distinctions 3. of an angle, less than 90 degrees 4. happening quickly, briefly, and severely

I once met a cute girl; she was quite acute.

Movie looks really eerie but I’m still interested.  Gondry never ceases to fascinate me.  It’s always awesome to see when people come up and get the respect they deserve.

I’m so friggin’ exhausted from this past weekend.  There was so, so much going on, and even though it was physically taxing, bodies can recover and it certainly was all worth it.

A bunch of us (@crystal_jean, @oogieoo, @imhenry, @hollyxann, @allanzzz, @jackiejlee, @jessecplee, @krispyapplebee, @ruthchu, @tiffrz to name a few of the tweeters) decided to put on a progressive dinner for the graduating college senior class at church (@g12eddie, @j0shhuang, @chesterhuang, @butterflikisses, @cheekz, @daving, @janeyou, @joobacca, @uhnivek – wow, tweeters be replicating!) to welcome them with open arms to the life we embrace post-college.  We divvied dinner up between three houses, progressing it slowly from appetizers to main courses to deserts, with drivers whisking each of the three groups away after the allotted thirty minute time period.

The day seemed to be one long held breath, at least for me.  First of all, we were a tad short-staffed.  One of the helpers became a driver, and another wanted to document the whole thing on video.  So we were down to three, and we set out to make the main course for 40+ people.

We slowly rolled through Costco (http://qik.com/video/1139239), whipped through Staters Brothers, and pretty soon it was go-time.  The whole preparation period had the feel of the latter half of an Iron Chef competition – time was ticking and the possibility of our imagined cuisine actually materializing diminishing.  With a focused attitude, I humbly began the first task at hand – grating a block of sharp cheddar to shreds.  Idiotically, I ended up grating off a sizable chunk of my thumb.  It ended up being kinda gross, but it was handled.  After that, I was relegated to chop duty, and even though that was the only relatively major hiccup during the whole process, time was still both our friend and foe.

Tick tock tick tock tick.  We finished on time but by the end of the preparation period, every member of the team was crippled in some way – Ruth’s ankle has been on the mend for a month now, Becca’s back had given out and she was perma-glued to the massage chair, and my wounded finger prevented me from being near any water for fear of infection (Score! No dishes!).

Relevant videos – 1 2 3 4

Cheers to a succesful night.

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Hawaii themed dinner – See no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil hula pigs in front of the kool-aid sprite cocktail.

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Everything was so colorful.

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Teriyaki pineapple meatballs.  So delicious.

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LOADED mac & cheese.  Alfredo, sharp cheddar, bacon bits, bread crumbs.  I’m getting hungry just looking at it.  I conquered it, but I suffered later, since I’ve developed a semi-lactose intolerance.

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The different meats you could skewer on to your kebab with their respective sauces.

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This has nothing to do with the progressive dinner.  I just took some shots at work, looking for a suitable header image for the work blog.

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Right outside the shop.  I liked the sky, the oncoming traffic and the church across the ways.