Banana Tree House

This is a blog on my incoherent thoughts and painstaking details of my life. Welcome and please consider this the disclaimer...

Friday, August 26, 2005

Bay Area Horror Experience

Alt Title to this post: The Rude Letter I Have Received from Google.

Job hunting in the bay area? Perhaps considering Google, the new Microsoft? Thinking what's the worse that could happen for applying for a job? Well, allow me to show you this a-tad-too-personal rejection letter that I have received from, presumably someone working at the HR dept at Google?

Hi Medical Records Clerk,

We would like to thank you for your interest in Google. After carefully reviewing your experience and qualifications, we have determined that we do not have an 'Engineering Project Manager - Mountain View' position available which is a strong match at this time.

Thanks again for considering Google. We wish you well in your endeavors
and hope you might consider us again in the future.

Google Staffing

Now, if you like my naive friend Mike, who failed to notice the demeaning tone in the email upon first glance and thought it's simply a software glitch (inserting wrong job titles etc.), allow me to clarify that Medical Records Clerk was the position I've held over 7 years ago while I was attending college, nor have I applied for the Engineering Project Manager position since my background was, well, not remotely related to engineering.

The art of "it's not what you say, it's how to say it" or even "if you have nothing better to say, don't say anthing" has obviously eluded Ms. Julieg at Google. The intention behind taking the time to write such a vile and unprofessional letter was beyond me. Is Google not keeping their employees busy enough, or happy enough that they have to take time to do cheap shots like that? Or perhaps this is even acceptable practice at Google!

So if you are considering applying for any positions (not just the Engineering Project Manager position), do make sure that you are, indeed, creme of the crop material. Then again, don't give up hope if all you can do is to sit around and write structurally iffy nasty letters. Even the best sceening system has its flaws, as evidence by their proud employee -- Julieg.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

House Hunting Part II

So after the Brentwood trip last week, hubby and I proceeded to browsing at older houses in the area on a website. Lo and behold, the woman who ran the website called and convinced my husband to go look at houses with her this weekend, in THIS area (the heart of Silicon Valley)! Well, at least I didn't feel bad about wasting her time since hubby explicitly told her we were just browsing and not yet seriously looking. Nonetheless, she said she'd still show us what we can afford in this area.

The agent, a Chinese lady (go figure), showed us 3 places. I suppose we can borderline afford something resembling decent (but far from my dream house) in this area, but here's what it came down to:

(1) we have to really squeeze to come up with the 20% downpayment and

(2) then we decide on

(i) a smaller unit which would potentially appreciate faster or

(ii) a unit of the ideal size for us but in an area that doesn't appreciate as
fast (we are talking about 10 years).

All of the above decisions make me wonder: was it worth it? All this just to have a house in the bay area, and neither hubby and I even like the area enough to want to stay here on a semi-permanant basis!

What prompted me to think more was the words of the real estate agent, she assumed I'm a typical Chinese. She said things like, "You know us Chinese, we work 7 days a week. We are always out there trying to make more money." She told us about her investment house in Hawaii. And she also assumed that we own some high profile dotcom stock (ebay, google), which we don't.

I don't really feel bad that she is obviously more wealthy than us, but I guess it makes me wonder if I really should be like her and spend every waking moment scrambling to make more money (I exaggerated, she said she tries to stop working at 5 PM every day, Mon - Sat. I guess many jobs work longer hours than that.)

She didn't understand why we are reluctant to sacrifice our lifestyle for a worthy investment (buying a house in the bay area), given that we are still young (and therefore can and should suffer a little, I guess). I sorta feel guilty about my reluctance to make such a sacrifice, but I also couldn't help but wonder.

Is it really necessarity to go above and beyond to make even more money? Sure, one can never have enough money. Isn't that why it is important to know where to draw that line? We already own a house, albeit not in the Silicon Valley. We have a decent income. And we do have reasonably retirement plan. Taking all those into consideration, should we really sacrifice more time and quality of living for more investment? I am going to have to say that's a personal choice.

Most I know don't know more than 1 house, that doesn't seem to have an impact on their quality of life. Others chose to have children, but we chose the lifestyle. We are comfortable without stretching our means, I think that is good enough.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Like It, Not Like It aka House Hunting Part I

Went house shopping at Brentwood with hubby today because house shopping is really a hobby of his. Brentwood is about 60 miles from where we work (a good hour drive assuming no traffic) but houses are, relatively, more affordable there. It's a pretty area, golf course, state parks, very green. We looked at a few model homes that's really at the top, TOP end of what we can afford, but I didn't exactly feel excited about any of them.

Interestingly enough, I was reading a manga a few days ago. In the story a married woman was telling to her three buddies about this house that she and her husband was looking at buying. It was a very good deal, all the criterias were met and exceeded, yet she just couldn't make up her mind. Whilst two of the friends were trying to convince her that it was too good a deal to pass up, the third one spoke, "Then don't buy it. For such a big purchase, what's the point if you don't like it like it, even though it met all your criterias. It will always bother you." So woman decided to talk to her husband about looking for a different place.

Afterward, one of the friends reflected to her boyfriend, "Yeah, I guess when you truly want something, no matter how many flaws you can find with it, you would still want it. That's when you know you really want it."

Back to my Brentwood, house-hunting story, although the new houses were nice, none of them really screamed us. Remember the one I posted that we saw in Seattle? Both husband and I turned and said to each other, "This is the one." as soon as we walked in the door. That's the kind of feeling I am looking for when we are purchasing our permanent resident.


I've discovered today that I get spam mails in three different languages: English, Japanese, and Chinese. How I get onto the Japanese spam mail list I have no idea. Not that anyone (I hope not) actually read them, but it'd really help if they try to sell me stuff in a language that I can understand. :D

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Marriage, Mine

They, the infamous they, say that the first two years of the marriage is the roughest. Frankly I think that's a load of bull. If you are having issues in the first two years of marriage when you really should be in your honeymoon period, buddy, you've married the wrong person. Marriage requires work, they say. Yes, perhaps at a later stage, and it's not suppose to be that much work work.

They (studies) also show that cross cultural or cross class or cross educational or cross religion marriage tend to be harder to maintain, the worse sort being the female having the higher educational level. As an Asian female with a bachelor's degree raised in a middle income family in Hong Kong who married a white boy from the midwest with a military background, Hubby and I has a surprisingly overlapping set of values and we see eye to eye in most every issues that we've encountered in our married life.

Ironically, whilst we sailed through the first two and a half years of our marriage like we just got married yesterday, 80% of our arguments stemmed from one of our common interest -- video gaming. No, I don't complaint about him playing video games too much -- which seems to be the problem of other guys -- we play many (okay, just two) games together. Both of us being very good at the games we play and also very competitive, I couldn't figure out why that was the main source of our arguments for the longest time and then it hit me. Hubby and I tend to make very conservative decisions in real life, espeically when it comes to financial decisions (we would probably never make it big in the stock market T.T). While hubby carried his conversative nature into his gaming environment, I tend to make more risk-taking decisions. It's simply more fun that way, in my opinion. And that had led to our biggest difference. XD Now if only hubby will adopt the proper way of enjoying our video gaming hobby.... :D


It's been a while since I've blogged. To those who actually checks my blog occasionally, that's because I am not liking my life in the bay area, as opposed to my liking my life in San Diego, which is when I started blogging roughly a year ago.

I've been bitter about my work situation and have decided that it's better to say nothing when I have nothing good to say. After all, who wants to read about painstaking details of how stupid my coworkers are. Seriously, if only I can draw and have a slightly better sense of humor, I could be creating a comic strip similar to that of Dilbert. But that'd be passe because Dilbert already exist and drawing comic strips takes persistency that I don't have. :D

I've further listend to Dr. D's (who has stopped blogging)advice and given up my addiction on the African Wildlife Rescue game, only to pick up a new addiction -- Puzzle Pirates, a MMORPG (massive multiple players role playing game). It had conumsed my entire life and became my escape from crappy real life. Now that that addiction is starting to fade away, and I am dealing better with my bitterness, I can finally return to blogging, my other hobby. :)

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Insight on Being a Temp (Temporary Worker)

Don't attempt to bond with the perm (permanent employees). Same reason why you don't name the farm animals you intend to consume one day.

Insight of the Day

There are two types of person in this world: the kind that I like, and the kind that I don't like.

(And if ye must ask, yes, the world do revolve around me, naturally.)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Pretty Woman. Happy Woman.

I am far from being the prettiest woman on earth, however, last Friday hubby made me arguably one of the happiest women on earth. :)) How? He bought me the prettiest flowers I have ever received. Here's a picture of them:

So here's the story. Hubby and I (mostly I) had decided that we should dine out every Friday night. So we've (again, mostly I) decided to go to Applebee's Restaurant. As soon as we walked in we saw this guy, Chris, making balloon flowers for this little girl, and I was hooked. He then proceeded from table to table making flowers and swords and hats and even alligators for all the kids and I was just pining for one.

I gave hubby puppy eyes but he insisted that it was for kids only. :( Whyyyyy? I'm still a kid at heart!! Finally he ran out of kids to sell balloons to so he started looking for older patrons and hubby finally slyly gestured him over to make me my flowers. ^_^

Hubby said all the women in the restaurant were looking at me and my flowers as we exited, but I didn't notice. :( But I did see this girl and her boyfriend walking toward the restaurant and she let out a cry of excitement when she saw my flowers and never once took her eyes off of them. :D I was sure her boyfriend was thinking, "Oh, no," at the time. :D

Let me tell you, the flowers and hubby and even Chris made me a very happy woman that day. :D (I shall attached balloon flower maker's URL on here later on; I am too lazy to get up and look for the name card right now. :D Check back in you are interested. They also do events. ^_^)

The beauty about these balloon flowers? Just like real flowers, they don't last. :) Anything fleeting is more beautiful than anything that's permanent. :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Game Score. Day 14

I haven't blogged (record) about my Africa Wildlife Game score in a few days. Many of you might have think that I have already given up on my Moby Dick (really, BM, how did the story end? :D), but I haven't. Do I really strike you as a quitter? (Actually, I am.) It's just been a constant struggle between keeping a chitty job and tending to my animals after the chitty job. How chitty is the job? Ugh. Don't even get me started. I've read that quite a few people have been let go because of blogging about their job, so I think I'll stay away from that subject at least till I get something better. :D Back to my scores:

Goal: 12,676,297

As of end of Tuesday: 213,545

Daily total: 6,965

Percentage: 1.68%

6,965. That is just pathetic. T.T Maybe I can talk hubby into letting me becoming a stay at home housewife again so I can tend to my cyber animals. :D