Category Archives: Personal

Dream Merger: A Silicon Valley Engagement

During our trip to his hometown during the July 4th weekend, my boyfriend, Troy, proposed to me. I was so shocked and speechless that I only managed to come up with a one word reply: yes! You can read more about the proposal from his blog post, Dream Merger. I know¬†commitment¬†can seem to be a scary thing for a lot of people, but being engaged to Troy has truly been a wonderful and fun experience. I just wished that the wedding planning was not so daunting. Fortunately, with Troy’s help and support I am less inclined to skip the preparations and elope. :D

Being the Silicon Valley geeks that we are, one of the first decisions we made after the engagement was not the when and where of the wedding, but what domain name to get. Since we wanted to use Google Apps to help us with our planning and organizing, we needed a domain name to associate with our accounts. After much discussion, we chose Because the companies we each work at have been considered a dream merger by bloggers, we often joked about how our dating was like a corporate merger. When we got engaged, Troy’s dad described us as a marriage made in Silicon Valley heaven.

I do not know right now the when and where of the wedding. I have a vague idea of when I want it, and that is dependent on the venue, which is dependent on our budget. Sometimes I want to skip all the planning and get married at city hall. However, wedding planning is a great chance for us to work as a team to collaborate, budget, compromise, and be creative and resourceful. Of course, we have fun, too, which will hopefully be reflected in the celebration so that our guests will have a great time.

25 Things About Me

There’s a Facebook equivalent of a chain letter making the rounds, where people are asked to write 25 things and then tag 25 friends who are asked to repeat the process. As a personal policy I do not pass on things that require me to “pass it on” to X people. However, I enjoyed reading and learning 25 things about my friends so I thought it’s only fair to share 25 things about me, too. Plus, it’s another post to add to my lacking-in-frequent-updates blog.

  1. I trained my cats to: sit, sit up, shake, high-five, gimme-five, gimme-ten, stand, say hello, say goodbye, wave, salute (my boyfriend helped with the last two)
  2. My first home in America was in Colorado
  3. I won two spelling bees in elementary school
  4. I got to attend my dream university and was accepted via early action admission
  5. I’m working at my dream company and had to apply at least two times
  6. One of my first memories is of Las Vegas lights at night
  7. I have a multinational family: I was born in Vietnam; my sister in Hong Kong (then under British rule); my brother in America
  8. I need to have music when I’m driving or working out
  9. I prefer donating money to animal causes because they get euthanized if there aren’t enough resources, and humans domesticated them for our needs/wants so we owe them
  10. I generally have a very strong aversion toward cheesy chick flicks but once in a while reassure my boyfriend that I’m feminine enough to like a good girly movie
  11. I’m a democrat but want the republicans to keep the hardcore liberals in check
  12. I am proud to be a blood donor and cried when I was turned down when my blood iron level was too low one time
  13. I prefer beautiful weather over seasons
  14. I fell out of the raft in the rapids and survived to tell about it, with photographic evidence
  15. I like taking photos
  16. I like helping other people share their photos by volunteering for Coppermine Photo Gallery
  17. Superman is my favorite hero
  18. I’ve been a cradle robber a few times but not on purpose
  19. I find negative people to be emotionally and mentally draining
  20. I didn’t like roller coasters until I was peer pressured into riding one in junior high
  21. I have not and will not do drugs but think people should be able to use them if they want
  22. I love gadgets and I like to name them
  23. Three of my favorite sounds are: the happy purr of a cat, the uncontrollable giggle of a young child, and the loving heartbeat of my boyfriend
  24. I started college as a fuzzy (non techy) but ended up loving the natural and computer sciences thanks to awesome professors
  25. I feel extremely fortunate and thankful for the people, cats, and comforts that I have in my life

In Memory of My Grandmother

My paternal grandmother passed away two days ago. :( While her health has been declining for the past few years, and she was in critical condition with pneumonia for the past few weeks, it was still a shock to learn of her death. It’s like when you can see the fist coming toward you but it’s still a jarring and painful blow when it is delivered.

This is not the first time someone I knew died, but it is the first time losing someone who is so dear to me. I’ve known only two of my grandparents and she was by far the closest to me. She was a substitute parent to me when I was growing up. She and my uncle took me to the United States from Hong Kong, where my parents stayed behind for a few months due to the birth of my little sister. I was too young to remember that, but I do remember her taking care of me in elementary school while my parents were working or going to school.

At almost 90 years old, she has lived a very long life, leaving behind 4 children and 8 grandchildren. Her husband died when my father was 5 years old, and she remained a single mother–in Vietnam. She made and sold food for a living. I got to enjoy her cooking expertise when I was growing up. One of my regrets for not knowing Vietnamese well was I had trouble speaking to her since she didn’t understand English. Fortunately I was able to understand spoken Vietnamese still.

When I spoke to my father about her death, he reassured me that this really was for the best. She was in the hospital from the pneumonia, and her kidney had failed, causing fluid retention. There was an option to put her on dialysis but it was merely postponing the inevitable. Even before that, she had trouble recognizing family members, even my father who would regularly visit her in nursing home. She had no idea who I was but that was understandable since I would visit my family and her in Southern California a few times a year.

Despite my personal pain of losing my beloved grandmother, there is solace in knowing that she can now rest in peace.