Sunday, September 15, 2013

A missed opportunity?

"Hi, sorry, excuse me, my car ran out of gas.  Can you give me a ride over there to the gas station?"  The man breathlessly pointed towards the off-ramp of a busy expressway where he had flagged me down from the middle island at a red light.

As my wife continued to shush our frantically crying baby, I rolled down the window and quickly replied, "Sorry man, we're kind of in a hurry.  There's also a policeman right behind us," as the light turned green and I begin to pull away.  I was trying to get our family to Mass for which we were 10 minutes late and as a result, forgot to bring the pacifier to keep our son calm on the ride.

Immediately, my thoughts bounced from super orthodox priests who have called out congregants for arriving after the Gospel reading telling them that they arrived too late to fulfill their Sunday obligation to the priest and Levite passing the injured man by.  Did the fact that there was a policeman right behind me give me a free pass?  Or did I miss an opportunity to serve Jesus?

Thursday, June 20, 2013

You know what's awkward? 2

Congregants at a Protestant service or gathering where the Apostles' Creed is being said.  When you get to "I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church," lots of people trail off.   It's like, "the holy ca-wait, what?" and then cue any personal anti-Catholic triggers.  Lower-c catholic, people, but thanks.

Monday, June 17, 2013

You know what's awkward?

An over-exuberant, celebratory man picking up a not-expecting-to-be-picked-up woman.  Whether she's wearing a dress, skirt, or pants, all I end up seeing is the woman trying to keep her bottom covered up/whale-tail from showing while trying not to ruin the moment.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Example of Love's Infinity

"A mother loves the baby she has yet to bear — not the abstract idea of a baby, mind you, but her particular, future baby, shrouded in the mystery of who, precisely, he will be, but nevertheless loved as himself and no other."

          ~ Marc Barnes, How Not to Know God

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

I don't like him, but I love him

"I've actually heard some Christian friends say something like, "I mean, OK, I love him because I have to, but I totally do not like him at all!" I've never really understood this idea. It just seems like a way to satisfy both divine mandate and personal resentment with slippery semantics.

When I finally came to terms with being gay, I questioned if God loved me. I came to the conclusion that of course God loved me because he was God and he had to, but probably he was disappointed in me, and therefore didn't really like me."

          ~ (Being Gay at Jerry Falwell's University)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

One Example of Code-Switching

The recently started NPR Code Switch blog has caught my attention.  Though the definition of code switching seems to be broad, it hits home for me in many ways ranging from my use of two languages, having a "work mode" tone when I troubleshoot problems, a ministry voice, and a casual mode that is made up of Bay Area, Asian Pride, hip-hop laced slang.

There are lots of potentially meaningful examples of code switching in my life, but here's an inane one.  During the exchanging of the Sign of Peace during Mass, there are some guys where our sign of peace is a bro-hug.  There are some women where our sign of peace is a hug.  And there is the select one where the sign of peace is a kiss (hi babe!).  Everyone else is a strong, firm handshake and either, "Peace be with you," or "Zhu ni pin yan," which in itself is a code-switch within a code-switch.  

But one of the most awkward situations is when I bro-hug one of my bro's or a particular high schooler I'm fond of and then when reaching to make a normal handshake with the next guy, they assume the bro-hug too and it degenerates into an awkward mess of accidentally interlocking fingers and a half-hearted hug.

Good thing the gif below didn't happen the other way around.  It could have gotten pretty weird with the white guy.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Ministry Idea

Every now and then I get a bit of inspiration with some aspect of my youth ministry.  Working with a team of young adults that are all volunteers can sometimes be tricky particularly when it comes to defining their commitments.  I often wonder how I can continue to renew and strengthen their hearts for working with the youth. 

After reading the article below about Adam Grant, a Wharton professor, I was inspired to ask some of the more emotionally intelligent high school students to see if they would be willing to write a letter or a record a video that expresses what they observe the young adult volunteers do for them and what they have meant to them.  At our monthly staff meeting, I shared the letters and videos with the young adults and held a casual discussion about their reactions.  It was interesting to see that by default, Chinese American young adults don't always know how to receive affirmation.  However, after some probing, I could tell it meant a lot to them.

Organizational psychology has long concerned itself with how to design work so that people will enjoy it and want to keep doing it. Traditionally the thinking has been that employers should appeal to workers' more obvious forms of self-interest: financial incentives, yes, but also work that is inherently interesting or offers the possibility for career advancement...The greatest untapped source of motivation, he argues, is a sense of service to others; focusing on the contribution of our work to other peoples' lives has the potential to make us more productive than thinking about helping ourselves.

Call centers, even on college campuses, are notoriously unsatisfying places to work. The job is repetitive and can be emotionally taxing, as callers absorb verbal abuse while also facing rejection (the rejection rate at that call center was about 93 percent)...Now, at the call center, Grant proposed a simple, low-cost experiment: given that one of the center's primary purposes was funding scholarships, Grant brought in a student who had benefited from that fund-raising. The callers took a 10-minute break as the young man told them how much the scholarship had changed his life and how excited he now was to work as a teacher with Teach for America...The results were surprising even to Grant. A month after the testimonial, the workers were spending 142 percent more time on the phone and bringing in 171 percent more revenue, even though they were using the same script.

When Grant went back and talked to the callers about their improvement, many actively discounted the possibility that the brief encounter with a scholarship student helped...Eventually, having replicated the test five times, Grant was confident that he had eliminated other explanations. It was almost as if the good feelings had bypassed the callers' conscious cognitive processes and gone straight to a more subconscious source of motivation. They were more driven to succeed, even if they could not pinpoint the trigger for that drive.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Neal Mohan

Entire article:

The second reason Frankel hired Mohan was he found him to be a "rare" combination — an "insatiable technologist" who also had enough business savvy to interact with NetGravity's enterprise customers on a strategic level.

"When he worked with a customer, he didn't just help them solve their problems," Frankel said."He helped customers figure out how to better use our technology. That turned into a lot more business for NetGravity."

"In a typical meeting with Neal, he asks questions non-stop. He really wants to understand what you're discussing: some new segment, some new company, some customer problem. He wants to understand it — and he can really absorb and digest all the facts that he's getting hit with."

Many people believe the reason Mohan has done so well at Google is that he is able to talk to engineers about advertising and media in a way they understand.

"At a company like Google, one that really thrives on intellectual discourse, he was able to come into most senior rooms and describe the whole strategy that drove the acquisition and explain it incredibly coherently," one colleague says.

"Generally people are able to either go wide or go deep. He manages to do both, which I'm impressed with anytime I'm in the room with him at the most senior levels."

The other big reason for Mohan's success at Google has been that Wojcicki and senior management have given him lots of money to spend on acquisitions, and he has spent it very well.

  • "He's not a screamer or a big table-banger."
  • "You don't waste a lot of time in meetings with Neal, that's for sure."
  • "If I escalate something to him, I know that he will return a response."
  • "He gives you a lot of autonomy, but believes in defining big, specific, and strategic goals."
  • "Every three months, he makes sure there is not a lot of redundancy in his product line, which is critical because in ad tech, everything has to sync."
  • "He doesn't bullshit. If our numbers were going bad, I heard from him."
  • "I never had to talk to him unless I needed to. It was awesome."
  • "He is the quiet assassin. He's not a big show-boater." 
  • "He listens to his partners. He invests time in understanding what they need."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Holy Thursday

Is it bad that when looking up Holy Thursday Mass times at various local parishes, I found myself judging the vibrancy of the parish based on the length of Adoration following Mass?

7PM with Adoration until 9AM?  Hm....

7PM with Adoration until midnight?  Okay....a little better

7PM with Perpetual Adoration?  Ding!  Ding!  Ding!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Dad Confession 11

One interesting thing for me about being a Dad is that I'm becoming a bit more aware of my genetics. Genetic disease is an obvious way one can become aware of non-nurturable traits, but I'm talking something a little more subtle. 

The other day, my wife and I were laughing at the way my daughter was eating blueberries when my wife said in an accusatory manner, "Hm... I wonder where she gets that from?"  It made me momentarily pause as I realized that I eat them exactly the same way.  Well, I don't so much eat berries as I do inhale them.  As soon as one berry gets popped into my mouth, my hand is already reaching for the next one.  I'm also particularly adept at choosing the biggest, plumpest, and juiciest ones at that speed.  What can I say, it's a talent and it's to the point where my wife only puts out so many berries at a time in order to ration them.

It wasn't until I got married before I became self-aware of my berry eating technique (or habit).  My wife stared at me wide eyed in disbelief and said, "Uh...dude, save some for me."  I had no idea where I got it from and it makes me feel just a bit vindicated that my daughter is the exact same way.  I guess it was genetic all along.  Either that or I never grew out of my childhood ego-centrism.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Lyric of the Moment 20

"Since the day I met you /
And after all we've been through /
I'm a dick, I'm addicted to you /
I think you know that it's true /
I'd run a thousand miles to get you"

          ~ Simple Plan, Addicted

Not particularly deep, just like the aural word play in the third line.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Dad Confession 10

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My Dad, like many other Asian parents, sometimes has questionable etiquette when it comes to picking up his cell phone during certain social settings.  There must be something about Asian culture or being old where answering a ringing cell phone hunched over with an almost non-whispered, "Hello??" is equivalent to side-buttoning yo ass.

However, as I've gotten older and become a Dad myself, I've realized that one of the things I've most appreciated about my Dad was that he'd just about pick up the phone every time I would call.  Growing up, it never even occurred to me that he might be busy at work when I called his office number from the yes, land-line, simply because perhaps I was proud of myself for memorizing his work number and for the finger strength it took to dial a '9' on the rotary.  Even in recent years when I had to call his cell phone for whatever reason during the day and he would pick up in a hushed whisper, only after hanging up would it cross my mind that hm...he's one of the top executives at his company and so any meeting he'd be at is likely really important.  Then I'd get an image of him in a meeting with fellow executives hunched over almost under the table answering the phone.  "What a dork!  Don't pick up then," I'd think, but my sub-conscious knows that the story of my life is that my Dad always tried to make himself available to me.

I hope that I can always be available to my children even at the expense of "social etiquette" if necessary.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Breaking Lenten Fasts

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Well, that was fast.  Not only was it fast, but of the three Lenten commitments that were applicable today, I broke two of them and nearly broke the third.  Here's how it happened.

My company is going through the worst layoffs in recent memory and there are a few in my group that were affected. One of them is a good friend who also served as a mentor for me when I first started.  In order to say goodbye and maybe also boost morale, our whole department went out to lunch.  

My wife and I started a tradition last Lent where we gave up eating out and take the money from the "eating out" portion of our budget and donate it to a charitable organization.  For those of you who have ever tried to give up eating out, while it's definitely tough, we enjoy the defined nature of it (in terms of length of time), that it is easily quantifiable (if there's no budget, how do you know when you would have eaten out and how much you would have spent?), and that we get to exercise the discipline of living simply while being generous (not easy in Silicon Valley suburbia).  One unexpected thing from keeping this fast last year was how much we began to notice every restaurant, even the crappy ones.  We'd drive down the main street and be like, "Whoa, I didn't even know there was a restaurant there."

When I got the invitation to the goodbye lunch, I was torn.  I was well aware of my Lenten commitment of not eating out, but at the same time, I wanted to be able to say goodbye to my good friend and to be with my department.  There was also the possibility of the lunch being sponsored by the department which seemed like a reasonable loophole.  I suppose I could have just gone to the restaurant, but not ordered anything, but since I had a meeting before the lunch and I was going to be late arriving to the restaurant, it just seemed odd (yes, yes, #highexpectationschristian says "would you rather offend God or please man?").  Ultimately, I made peace with it reasoning that I would rather show solidarity with a friend than be legalistic, which I can be. I was gonna order something simple anyways. 

Rushing to the restaurant after having parked far away, I arrived just after a huge crowd.  I see some of my co-workers picking up their food at the front of the line so I walk over to them.  Not sure if we were being comped or if they had all ordered together or separate, I started asking them if I needed to get to the back of the line.  Just then, a co-worker standing next to me told me to order on his ticket and the cashier was asking me what I wanted.  Still adjusting to the setting (I get a bit overwhelmed when I drop into a huge crowd quickly), I was drawing a blank.  I hadn't seen a menu and didn't see one anywhere.  I sort of hemmed and hawed a bit when my supervisor who was also standing next to me piped in and said, "How about the house burger?"  Whew, that was basic and sounded great.  When asked what I wanted to drink, my auto-pilot kicked in seeing the nice micro-brew selection on tap.  Were we ordering pitchers of beer?  No, everyone ordered their own?  Okay, then I'll get a pint.

Shoot.  While giving up eating out was a family sacrifice for Lent, my personal sacrifice this year is giving up alcohol.  Alcohol has always been something I enjoyed and with what I like to think of as wholesome fun.  I was the Christian that didn't drink until he was 21 and once I became of age, I really enjoyed the social nature of it (in moderation) in addition to the exploration of various genres (currently a huge scotch fan).  Still, I had felt a tugging in my heart since last year to perhaps consider a fast so this Lent was my opportunity.

I remember my sacrifice right as I'm about to order a beer and at the last second, I veer off and simply ask for a glass of water.  The bartender, who already has a pint glass in his hand, gives me a funny look and swaps it for a plastic water cup.  "Phew," I think, "Almost blew that one."

I settle into the banter of the department and soon after, my order was ready.  I was hungry and it looked like a nice, solid burger.  The fixings were DIY and as I stood there pumping my ketchup, a wave of horror washed over me.

Shit.  Today is Friday.  I'm not supposed to eat meat. 

What do I do now?  My mind goes into damage control mode.  Do I take a stand for Jesus and say even if I have to look like a total idiot, I will waste this food to not break His commandments?  Or do I still eat it and depend on God's grace that His love for me is greater than a moment of human forgetfulness.  Since reading about food shortages in developing countries and what people eat in order to survive, I've tried to waste less food than I normally waste.  So in this case, the latter won out.

I feel slightly bad reporting that the burger was amazeballs.  Thinking back on this, there is probably a lot to unpack here with my heart condition as I carry out these Lenten commitments.  There are probably also issues of grace with myself for making mistakes and not believing that I am lovable and that God's mercy is greater than uh, accidentally ordered, rationalized-ly eaten burgers (and other worse-er things).  Still, I tend towards the legalistic side of following commitments and Church teaching acknowledging the importance of actually following them.  Sheesh, kind of a rough day.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How To Build a Basic Picket Fence

In early December 2012, a storm knocked over about 40 feet of 50 year old fence between our house and the neighbor's.  The insurance estimate was about $500 for the shared cost so with a $500 deductible, it didn't make sense to go through insurance.  As a result, I worked out an agreement with the neighbors that in exchange for them covering all the supplies, I would build the fence.

I decided to build the just-as-basic-as-you-can-get six foot picket fence seeing as the old fence was basically a rustic version with thinner pickets and because I work in tech, not construction.  The new fence was literally going to be, drop the fence posts into the ground, cement them in, put 2x4's between the posts and nail or screw the pickets to the 2x4's.  That easy.  For the most part, if basic tools don't scare you.  If that's the fence you want to build, hopefully this should be fairly comprehensive.

These were the basic steps I took (materials/tools list with links at the bottom) starting with Day 1:
  1. String out mason's line to demarcate where the fence will stand
    • Since I had posts to mark the ends of my fence in place, I simply put in a nail 3/4 of the way in about 1-2 feet off the ground on one post, wrapped the line around the nail, pulled it taut to the other post, slipped the line level on, put in the nail where the line was level and wrapped the line around the nail.
    • It's handy if the mason's line is at the preferred height of the bottom 2x4 for the fence

  2. Mark where the posts should go in, about 8ft apart

  3. Using a post-hole digger (and digging bar, if it helps), dig a hole for each post about two feet deep; the holes can be fine tuned once all the holes are finished

  4. Once all the holes are dug, place the posts into each hole and determine the preferred height of the post; for posts that are too tall, dig some more and for posts that are too short, throw in some rocks or dirt you've dug up 
    • At this point, some tutorials suggest putting rocks at the bottom of the hole which give moisture a place to run off into, if that means anything to you
    • The precision of the height of the posts need only be as precise as you can visually stand

  5. Now that the posts are in and at the right height, use the post level to make sure the fence posts are level bracing the posts in place by screwing in extra wood on multiple sides
    • Make sure the posts are rotated so that they are square with the mason's line
    • I ended up using the pickets from the old fence (about five feet long) as the braces and ended up using three pickets per post, two in opposite directions and one perpendicular
    • Because the pickets were thin enough, I used the 1 1/4in screws to temporarily attach them to the post at a height that created a good angle which braced the other end against the ground
    • Theoretically, you could use the new pickets as the temporary braces if you don't have any extra wood lying around and don't mind mind a little more wear and tear on them and an extra screw hole
    • Once the braces are in, you can use a mallet, hammer, or your fist re-level the posts if anything shifted

  6. With the posts level, open a bag of concrete and begin pouring in the dry mix into the hole, about a quarter of the bag; add water, mix with a stick; repeat until entire bag is empty with appropriate amount of water or the hole is filled; repeat for each post
    • The amount of water doesn't have to be precise as extra water will be absorbed in the ground
    • The consistency of the cement should be thick and viscous, but if it's more watery, it will simply take longer to dry
    • Feel free to check the level and rotation of the posts as the cement is incrementally added; the more cement that is in the hole, the harder it is to re-level or re-orient
That's about all I could really do for day 1 as I had to wait for the cement to dry.  I also wasn't even comfortable measuring the distance between posts for cutting the 2x4's because of the potential for the posts to move while the cement was drying.  These were my steps for Day 2:
  1. Using the level mason's line at the height of the preferred height of the bottom 2x4 frame, mark the posts where the 2x4 should be, measure the distances between the posts, cut the 2x4 to size, and screw them to the posts using the 3in screws.
    • In general, one measurement to one side of the post should be fine, but for more precision work, both sides of the post could be measured to account for any post deformity
    • Screwing the 2x4 to the posts can actually be done with one person by using an extra, appropriately long 2x4, wedging it into the ground and up against the post at the right height on one side, fitting the cut 2x4 between the post, resting it on the propped 2x4, manually holding it up on the other side, and screwing it in
    • Screwing the 2x4 to the post means screwing the screw in at an angle
    • I screwed each side of the 2x4 to the post from the bottom and the top; for the top screw, I screwed at an angle closer to the side of the 2x4 the picket was going to be attached to in order to hide the head of the screw a bit more

  2. Once all the bottom 2x4's are in, reset the mason's line at the preferred height of the top 2x4s.  
    • Because one of my existing posts was much shorter, the height of my top post could be no taller than that shortest post - I was fine with the look of the posts standing a bit taller than the top 2x4

  3. Repeat step 1, installing the top 2x4's

  4. Now that the basic structure of the fence is in place, the pickets can be installed; choosing which side of the fence the pickets should be attached to, using the 1 1/4in screws, screw the pickets to the frame into the 2x4's; repeat until the pickets cover the length of the fence
    • For each picket, I used a standard level along the side of the picket to make sure the picket was vertically level
    • Depending on what kind of pickets are being used, one way to make sure the height of the fence stays uniform is to make sure the height from the top of the top 2x4 to the top of the picket stays the same
    • For each picket, I used two screws for the top 2x4 and two screws for the bottom 2x4
    • Screwing into the top 2x4 is pretty easy to eyeball, but the bottom 2x4 is more taxing because it is lower to the ground making it harder to eyeball screw into it; for slightly easier screwing for the bottom, a rafter square can be used against the side of the picket squared to the bottom 2x4 to easily see the correct line
    • Making sure each picket is completely flush with the previous picket was sort of a losing battle because cheaper pickets are not so precisely cut; the wood also expands and contracts with moisture so if more privacy is desire, overlap the pickets (but this means more of them)
    • Save the pickets that are more deformed or have knot holes in them for places where the imperfections can be more hidden (like towards the back of the yard if applicable)
It wasn't all smooth sailing for me as there were a couple issues I ran into:
  • There were posts on either end of the 40 ft negative space which meant I should have only needed four posts in-between. The post on the far side of the yard was pretty new and in good shape, but the post on the near side of the yard was pretty rotted through.  I didn't feel comfortable using it for load-bearing so I needed to figure out where to put another post.
  • This ended solving itself because as I measured out where to put the posts, I discovered that the cement bases of the previous posts were already there.  Not wanting to dig out the existing cement bases (because it seemed like a ton of work), I decided to offset the posts by a foot which allowed me to also place a new post about a foot away from the rotted one for extra support in that section of the fence.  This meant that there would be one section of 2x4's that would be a bit shorter and the trimmed pieces of wood were long enough to be further trimmed to fit between the old post and the new post about a foot away. 
  • I had a tree on my neighbor's property with branches that came onto ours at a height lower than the fence.  To solve this, I made a general measurement per picket that would allow the branch through and used a handsaw to cut out the appropriate pieces.  Ultimately, I only needed to cut a piece out of one picket and shorten another entire picket to make the appropriate opening for this branch.

Finally, here is a list of materials and tools I used for 40 feet of fence:
Hopefully the extra info is more helpful than not.  Good luck!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Idolizing Virginity

The Christian/Women/Mommy part of the blogosphere seems to be trending with the discussion of idolizing virginity.

The current discussion centers around the shared stories of women who were sexually active before marriage and experienced feelings of guilt and shame when told that they were "damaged goods" by whoever the purveyor of their Christian experience was.  These women are sharing the resulting fallout and/or redemption that they have experienced in their lives.  It also seems to have sparked a lot of feelings of affirmation for women with similar experiences as well as reactions to the Christian sub-culture of purity rings, pledges, and other potentially manichaeist-ish movements.

Is it too overly simplistic or dismissive to opine that the approach to this issue (and probably any other) requires both Grace and Truth?  I guess the hard part is finding the right balance?  Or perhaps it is one of those hypostatic union thingies.

Ram Sridharan at Urbana 12 gave one of the most rousing expressions of God's grace I have heard in recent memory using the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  He says, "There is nothing you can do or will do that the lavish grace of God cannot outweigh, surpass, outmatch, and outrun you on."

It is a message that cannot be over-marinated in, but it doesn't mean that there aren't consequences for our actions right?  There is the grace Jesus shows to the woman caught in adultery, but there is also St. Paul's exhortation that we reap what we sow (and plenty of other examples).  Even if they are not always completely conscious or visible, there are actual physical and emotional consequences to sex that God (probably) isn't micro-managing as we understand it.  Experienced prior to marriage, they aren't necessarily instant marriage wreckers, but they sure don't make what is already a tough commitment any easier.

Sexy time(TM) is such a weird(ly intimate) thing with all kinds of layers that anyone who has had at least one awkward or disappointing experience for whatever reason can attest to the potential mental rabbit hole it can create.  Sometimes I go down them.  Sometimes I don't.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Confessions of an ABC 1

I've always had an aversion to ordering tacos at any Mexican joint. It's not because I don't think that  Mexican tacos aren't delicious though. Growing up, I wasn't exposed to much Mexican food, but I had a lot of Taco Bell (tells you a lot about me, probably) (also notice how I didn't group Taco Bell with Mexican food; looking at you, Panda Express).  After only having their "tacos" for the majority of my life, you can imagine my disappointment when I discovered how dinky (read: how little food) real tacos were. That disappointment has stuck with me to the point where my first reaction now to the possibility of ordering tacos is how many I will have to get in order to get enough to eat.  I'll take the super burrito the size of my head, please.  kthxbai.  #firstworldproblems

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I'm going Kuku-a

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This must be what it's like to be high.  Though in full disclosure, the closest I ever came was after spending a couple minutes in my freshman dorm room after my roommate had finished up his business and feeling a strong craving for Doritos.  The same roommate who upon walking in on him watching porn turned back to me to exclaim frat boy style, "Yeah, bro.  Porn!" and proceeded to give me a thumbs up with his free hand.  At least that's how I remembered it.  For whatever reason, we got along really well for the one semester we lived together.

But I digress.  I'm referring to how I felt after reading the Deadspin article on Manti Te'o dead girlfriend hoax

There's no shortage of speculation into what actually happened so I'm not even going to try.  These are simply some of my slightly interpretative observations as I follow the reactions.
  • After watching and hearing a bunch of talking heads, I've noticed that the more times an anchor or reporter says the name, "Lennay Kukua," the more ridiculous it seems to them to keep saying the name of someone who doesn't exist.  The more the name is said over a short period of time, the more ridiculous the name sounds.  Sort of like looking at a word until it seems spelled wrong.

  • The woman whose picture was used to impersonate "Lennay Kukua" is attractive enough that her real identity is probably going to come out at some point.  She might possibly Katherine Webb that action.

  • The name "Lennay Kukua" will become a cultural catch-phrase to describe something related to whatever the final generally accepted explanation is.  So far, the memes are mainly descriptive like Dos Equis and Clint Eastwood.

  • When watching coverage, I'm impressed at all the impeccably pronounced (or confidently mispronounced) Pacific Islander (read: Samoan) names.  They sure are unique like all those "D" apostrophe names.

  • Too bad for Oprah who waited a day too long to air her Lance Armstrong interview.  She can go home and cry to her billions.

  • What's with Reagan Maui'a coming out of left field saying he met Lennay Kukua?  Right now, he feels like the bumbling idiot who accidentally walks into a situation and tries to fix it while all the people that were already there are like, "WTF are you doing?"  Still, given the current explanation for how the hoax came to light was the girl calling Te'o wanting to restart the relationship, there seems to be a real live girl on the other end of this.

  • This story is so bizarre that there seem to be holes everywhere you turn.  It does seems that the collective subconscious is trying to resolve the story in a binary fashion.  Either Manti Te'o was a completely naive and trusting individual (who will never trust the same way again - Notre Dame's angle via Jack Swarbrick) or he was in on it carefully plotting every word in every interview (more or less Deadspin's angle).  This is not going to resolve cleanly.  Te'o doesn't have to be THE victim or THE perpetrator.  Culpability remains to be seen.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Surprisingly adequate summary of at least part of my vocation

"The fellow-pupil can help more than the master because he knows less."

          ~ C.S. Lewis, Reflections on the Psalms