Archive for the 'family story' Category

So, what are you doing on may 26, 2008?

Wednesday, August 8th, 2007

asked my brother of me . . .

New Addition

Monday, November 27th, 2006

We welcomed a new addition to the family this past week. The brother got married. Welcome to the family Audrey!

all in all, a good time. the ceremony was done at city hall on the 22nd. banquet was on the 25th. friends and family from all over the world gathered to celebrate.  particularly nice was the carmen visit. it seems that running around san francisco in november can be a lot of fun.

kitchen clean

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

jlee was in town last weekend. she came thursday afternoon and she had to fend for herself on friday cause i had work. when i got home that night, everything that used to be on the kitchen counter was gone. i have to admit that i panicked for a bit. jlee dropped a hint that she might do a little cleaning, but i thought it would be more  along the lines of, like, wiping down counter tops or something.

anyway, initial reaction was “gee, what did i use to have on the ktichen counter?” it took me several minutes to catalog what was important to me that was no longer there, and after some hunting a pecking i finally managed to find my bean grinder which made me happy. otherwise, kevin’s silverware was tucked away into drawers and some plastic bowls were stashed away into a corner. i made a note to myself to have jlee walk me through the new layout.

fast forward. jlee gets home a couple hours later and the best line from our ensuing conversation went something like:

jlee: well, i figured you were so used to having no say in things that i just went ahead and did it.

i had to laugh at that one, but a small part of me was crying on the inside.

a couple days later, i was talking to kevin about the new and improved kitchen and that went something along the lines of:

me: do you like the new kitchen? jlee went through and cleaned it up.
kevin: yeah. i was like “cool, everything is gone!”
me: really? i was like “uhhh . . . where did everything go?!?”

ah. microcosms are so illustrative sometimes.

driveway

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

i drove jlee to the airport sunday night and, upon return, found my brother had parked his car on the curb in front of our driveway preventing me from putting the bullet into the garage. consider me irked. nevermind that earlier in the day he had already washed my sheets with his bathroom floor mat and taken out the garbage without taking out the garbage. also nevermind that 20 feet behind him as a nice parking space he could have taken which would not have blocked my access to the driveway or the garage.

anyway, moving on. so kevin’s car is parked in front of our driveway, the garage door is completely open, and the garage lights are on, but no one’s actually in the garage. i’m a little more irked at this point because a couple weeks ago he called me up wondering why our electricity bill had gone up 66% last month and here he was wasting heat and electricity. deep sigh. i go find parking on the street, head into the garage and close the garage door behind me. i leave the lights on in case kevin was planning on doing another load of laundry.
the brother stayed for about an hour before leaving. we said our goodbyes and i decided to watch an episode of the daily show before i go out and drive the car into the garage. daily show ends. i’m in a bit of a better mood, grab my keys, head into the garage and . . . . the garage lights are still on. now, what the fuck? brother couldn’t turn off the garage lights on his way out? eessh.

incredibly obvious that i need to get out of this place for a little while.

garbage

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

Jlee was in town this past weekend so we went down to visit the chubury residence down in slo. we’re pulling into home on sunday night and i notice the garbage cans are out on the sidewalk. i think, “gee, how nice, kevin took the garbage cans out for tomorrow.” I happen to have an empty coffee cup on me cause i needed a jolt for the 230 mile drive home and so i take the cup with me down to the curb to toss it. I lift the lid and . . . the garbage can is empty. i blink in disbelief. he took the garbage out . . . without taking the garbage out!

I’m pretty incredulous at this and start swearing. jlee tells me i expect too much of people.

laundry

Wednesday, October 18th, 2006

monday early evening:

kevin: i’m going to wash the sheets in my room. do you need anything washed?

me: yeah, could you wash my sheets as well?

I get home, the washer finishes up and i start to put the load in the dryer. i pull a duvet out, a sheet, a pillow case or two and then . . . the bathroom floor mat. the bathroom floor mat? who washes their sheets with their floor mats?

darker

Monday, July 31st, 2006

Mom took my brother’s jetta to get a car wash earlier today. On her way back, she filled up the tank. it was nice of her. she decided to ignore the “premium fuel only” sticker, but i guess the gesture was nice. anyway, she gets back and asks me “Does the rearview mirror need to be pushed away from you?” I’m in the middle of getting our realtime feed back up and running, so i’m not really paying attention. She asks me a couple other questions to the effect of “what do you want for dinner?” while i type frantically on my laptop. it’s 12:30pm. finally, i can’t take it anymore, so i get up and move to another room.

Fast-forward to 6:00pm. We’re driving to dinner in my brother’s jetta. Mom points to the rearview mirror, “you see? there’s something wrong with this mirror. the color is darker . . . ”

For a second, i ponder a trial of bread crumbs, a subtle way to lay down the answer. ah, to hell with it. “mom, it’s because the back window is tinted.”

blah blah blah blah blah, dammit!

Wednesday, July 26th, 2006

So, i’ve been trying to communicate something to my family for a while now. Honestly, i’ll say that i haven’t been clear in this attempt to communicate with them. in fact unclear and incoherent is how i would describe it. And, it’s not that i lack what i consider to be good arguments, it’s that, by the time i try to relay these points, my blood is at such a high boil that i lose my ability to do anything but sputter utter nonsense.

I have to admit, I started this post with the intention of laying out my arguments and reasoning regarding this particular communiqué, but as i endeavor in this task, it appears i have reached a small island of clarity. Sitting here typing, reflecting upon memory and reviewing past family stories, it occurs to me that any and all attempts are completely futile. there is nothing i can say that will result in understanding. no clever analogies or stirring metaphors will carry this message in a bottle. in fact, subtlety is probably best avoided. no straight talk or heart to heart will cure this familial pandemic either. this barrier is time everlasting. immoble. inert. we might as well be called argon, xeon, and radon.

This is not a problem of words. The problem is best characterized as  a difference in principles and a lack of ability to comprehend a) what a principle is and b) what a difference is and c) who to accept differences in principles.

So where does this leave me? This battle cannot be won. However, I refuse to concede.  So, where do i go from here?

YAFS (Yet Another Family Story)

Thursday, July 13th, 2006

Since family stories seem to be the subject of conversation lately, a new category and another story:

Background: my aunt is old school.  old school in the sense that she prefers the typewritter to a computer. old school in that she thinks voicemail is more efficient than email. Actually, come to think of it, everyone in my family, save myself, believes voicemail is more efficient than email. I’ve often tried to convince them otherwise. Citing facts like one can read faster than one can speak or listen and an increased level of clarity in one’s message. there’s no chance of mixing c’s with d’s or v’s, no m’s vs. n’s, etc. Usually, these arguments are met with wide-eyed-you’re-a-crazy-tech-person look of fear.
Setting: My brother and i are having dinner when his phone rings.  He doesn’t pick up. Immediately after his phone stops ringing, mine starts to ring. That means’ one of two people: my mom or my aunt.  It’s the later. I pick up.

aunt: Jason, next year your cousin christopher goes to college. when do schools usually start?
me:  All schools are different, it depends. Schools on the semester system start around the beginning of september.  schools on the quarter system, usually a month later, but not all semester schools start on the same day, and not all quarter schools start on the same day.

I spend the next few minutes explaining the concept  of semester and quarter systems and that not all schools start on the same day. She’s frustrated. I’m not giving her a straight answer. Straight answer being yes or no. My family gets frustrated with me when i try to give them the truth.

me: for example, columbia traditionally starts the day after labor day.
aunt: so, semester schools start the day after labor day?
me: no, columbia starts the day after labor day. Other semester schools start around that date.
aunt: and schools on quarter systems start a month later? so, october 6th?
me: they start *around* a month later.

The conversation ends with me offering to look up the start dates of various schools and getting back to her on it.

So, the next day (the day before yesterday, actually) i check out various start dates for schools and call her up to relay the fruits of my research, y’know, cause i’m the only one in the family who knows how to use a search box. Anyway, she doesn’t pick up, so i leave a message.
Yesterday, i see my aunt as she’s picking up my cousin from my house. she says unto me:

aunt: Jason, the next time you leave a message, could you speak more slowly?  I had to replay your message three times before i finally understood you.

I sense opportunity.

me: ok. well, i could email it to you next time.

haha! point!

aunt: oh, no! i don’t read my emails

doh.

Navigating by the ads

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

conversation with mother:

mom: you guys don’t provide links to my scottrade anymore
me: huh?
mom: I used to go to yahoo finance and my scottrade was there in the upper right hand corner. it was really convenient. now, i have to type ‘www.scottrade’ to get to my scottrade.

So, it looks like for that one visit, mom got a different ad on the page. i wonder how many people have this use case in their models. does this fall into some category of click-fraud? Does our branded search pay us more if a user clicks on the ad or only based on impressions?