Monday, February 23, 2009

25 Random Things

This was kind of fun to write.  Probably because I'm really ego-centric.  Have fun!

1.  I used to play saxophone from 5th grade till high school (gave up in college).  So I used to be a huge jazz fan.  The first jazz piece I ever listened to was Cannonball Adderly's Dancing in the Dark.  The first four notes, where his fingers trill down the scale, just got me hooked.  I think I still remember all my fingerings and chords.  

2.  I manage my caffeine intake quite carefully - one cup of green tea in the morning around 8-9am, one cup of coffee consumed over 60 to 90 min starting around 1-2pm.  I also have a "caffeine" day off once a week to prevent addiction.  I am unsurprisingly useless and cranky on this day.

3.  Since I was ten years old, I've run for eight elections, and won seven of them, though two of those wins were uncontested.  My first election was in 5th grade.  My speech included borrowing a slogan from a beer commercial ("Why ask why?  Drink Bud Dry" -> "Why ask Y?  Vote for Yujin") and promising in my speech to have Coke come out of the water fountains while reducing homework loads.  To my chagrin, the silly tone worked perfectly.  The election I lost (for my HS presidency), I lost by one vote.  

4.  I love basketball - see previous posts on this subject.

5.  I am a confirmed Catholic who attends mass sporadically but is right between agnostic and apathetic.  Meaning and divinity are topics I constantly think about - see previous posts.

6.  I regularly have very vivid, almost frightening dreams.  I've sometimes thought they meant something paranormal but have come to realize they're just random brainwaves mashing together.

7.  I'm very momentum driven - when I start something, like basketball, running, or even work, I don't want to stop.  But if I stop, it's hard for me to get motivated again.  So my life tends to be streaks of success or failure.  It used to be annoying but now it's like riding a roller coaster ride and I try to enjoy the upswings and stay sober during the falls.  

8.  I've been hit on by a dude three times in my life; I've been hit on by a chick twice.  These are not great stats.  

9.  I can literally sleep on anything that moves - plane, train, bus, coach, etc.  One time in college I nearly missed my flight because I fell asleep on the bus to the airport.  This is probably a disorder but really, it's kind of fun.

10.  While I'm an extrovert, there are some things I don't like to do with people.  One is work out (I like going at my own pace, and listen to the crazy ideas my unconscious comes up with). 

11.  Most people think my name sounds like "Eugene" - that's okay.  Also, foreign speakers sometimes pronounce my name as "Yu-heen" with an "h" (Latins).  That's also ok.  When people write my name as "Yugin" or "Jujin" I get annoyed though.  One bad thing about my name - in Korean it's androgenous, like like Pat or Stacy, but generally I think more women have the name than dudes.  Yeah, that's awesome.  

12.  I don't look Korean at all.  Most people mistake me as Japanese or Chinese.  That's okay, because for all extensive purposes I'm American.

13.  My dad has a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and my mom was the first female Korean computer programmer.  Surprisingly, I am not a nerd (okay, I can hear your muffled laughter).  My dad always had the latest computers (I remember when we bought a 486 DX2 and we were so excited at how fast 50 MHZ was) and I grew up learning how to use DOS, Word, and Powerpoint in the grade school.   Another fun fact:  My father grew up in Pusan, a warmer, temperate climate, left for school to a colder region (Seoul) at 18, worked in a big city for a few years, then went to Cali for graduate studies around.  I grew up in Irvine, a warmer temperate climate, left for school to a colder region (Ithaca) at 18, worked in two big cities for a few years, and then went to Philly for graduate studies.  We also look almost exactly the same.

14.  My folks never really pushed me - you probably don't believe that but most of the time they wanted me to slow down and take it easy, especially in high school.  I think I got a few B's one time and my mom was actually smiling about it, in relief.  I have pretty awesome parents.

15.  I chose Cornell because my sister gave me this great article to read my senior year of high school about the founder of the Palmpilot, who was a '79 EE Cornell grad.  As crazy as it sounds, that article changed my life, because I had been thinking about doing politics / gov't as my major.

16.  I don't believe in heaven or hell - but I do think we go "somewhere" just not some absolute moralized playground with milk / honey or fire / boiling water.  Einstein mentioned once that energy can be neither destroyed nor created, only transferred, so he posited that we have to go somewhere.  At the same time, I think by the time I'm around 60 or 70, technology will enable us to transfer our consciousness to machines, making us effectively immortal.  I'm not crazy - it's called the singularity.  

17.  If you ever want a piece of gum, I likely have some to spare.  I chew gum constantly because I have acid reflux, and the gumchewing stimulates saliva production.  It works - I used to pop Tums all the time, now I just chew gum.  Additionally, my breath has a constant minty freshness.  Gavin's mother can attest to this. ;-)

18.  Where does Enderdoon come from?  I get this a lot so I'll tell the answer.  Both are from Orson Scott Card novels.  Ender is from Ender's Game and the character Ender Wiggin, the precocious boy who ends up annihiliating an alien race.  Doon comes from another Orson Scott Card novel called The Worthing Saga and the character Abner Doon, who ends up destroying the world (I actually forgot what the plot was about).  As you can tell, I was a typical high school student.  

19.  I used to teach SAT Math for my parent's business while in college.  This was both a terrifying yet great way to learn how to present and think on one's feet.

20.  As much as I believe in myself and ability, I attribute more than 60% of my good fortune to luck, in terms of time period being born, meeting the right people, and being directed in a favorable path.  I think acknowledging this little characteristic of the world has mellowed me out, as I used to think I could control everything.  This belief in luck also means I do not believe in miracles.

21.  I call my older sister about 2-3x a week, and IM her almost daily.  I believe that if I were in a horrible accident which left me disfigured and plum useless, she would take care of me for the rest of my life - an in reverse situations I would do the same.  While I do not believe in religion or miracles, if I had a guardian angel it would be her.

22.  Despite my apparent penchant of pursuing higher education (BS, MEng, MBA) I actually dislike learning in the classroom which is overly structured.  I still hate taking tests to the point where my stomach still sinks at the thought of entering an exam room.  So anything regarding independent study or projects work best for me.  

23.  I love speeches and speechwriting.  After Obama gave his inaugural, I read the text and watched the video at least four times.  Each.  Nothing is more satisfying than a crisp, nuanced sentence, a clever reference, or a powerful repetition.  A great speech can pierce through the lead shield of cyncism and doubt, and beyond the power of a real example, retains the ability to truly inspire.  

24.  This isn't that random about me but I use metaphors and similes A LOT.  I never like explaining something for what it is - rather, I need to compare it to a situation or model in a completely different context.  This explains the N in the ENFJ of my MBTI (goto if you haven't yet to take a free test).  

25.  As stupid as it may sound, I believe everything works out in the end and that the next day always becomes better.  Life, God, fate, or whatever you want to call it has been extremely good to me.  If it all ends tomorrow, I think I would be satisfied, but at the same time, tomorrow the story seems to get better.  I have few regrets (but I do have them) and I would rather ahead than behind.  

By the way, these notes get imported to my FB profile but there's more at my actual blog:  Also don't feel like you have to post 25 random things about you - I don't know why I did this but for some reason it felt like the right thing to do.  

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