Christmas in India

Last Christmas, Viraj decided to get married on the other side of the world, so a few of us gave up time with our families to go to his stupid wedding.

Tonight, I finally went through my video from the trip and so now you too can see our Christmas in India…

Vines

Vine died a whiles back, but I was out of the blogging mood, so I never mentioned it, but I put my old archived vines here.

They’re nearly all of dogs and/or grumpy Orianas for who knows what reason…

President Fuckface

My intention is to not clutter up my blog with mention of President Fuckface news, but it seems disingenuous to completely ignore. This is a post I made on Facebook a few days before inauguration. I think it captures a lot of my thoughts on the topic without being just bursts of anger, so I’d like to keep it around here, if only to look back on someday (hopefully).

Growing up, I’ve always felt positively about the country I’ve lived in. There’s always corruption in the world, including here at home, but we were steadily moving in the right direction despite the stumbles along the way. In history class, we learned about slavery, the Nazis, world wars, dictators and presidents of the past. We’re told “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

I consider myself incredibly blessed to have the life I’ve had in the US. While I’ve faced mild racial mockery, mostly as a child, I’ve never felt being Asian has significantly limited me, and certainly not impacted my safety. I know that’s certainly not the case for everyone. You can blame the media, Trump putting on a show, or whatever, but this past election cycle shook something in me that I’ve never really had to deal with before.

I see the messages Trump sends. Either willingly, ignorantly, or whatever - it doesn’t matter. I see the creation of divisions between our neighbors and fellow Americans. I recall that as American kids, we take a pledge holding our hearts and state “with liberty and justice for all,” but not really too long ago, America fell into deep fear and rallied up thousands of Japanese based solely on their ethnicity and imprisoned them. I see Trump making broad statements on Muslims, on Hispanics, on women. I see him instigating China, a nation I have no association with other than my lineage, and for the first time in my life I’ve asked myself whether I’m still safe here.

I’m not trying to be alarmist. If I truely thought I was in significant danger here, I would not be typing this in my home in Austin. However, I felt the needle move in the wrong direction, even if minutely. The trust I had in us not repeating mistakes in the past I never thought were possible is now not quite as solid.

My hope is we as people continue to push forward and progress. However, I also see many warning signs with the incoming administration and they are difficult for me to ignore despite my temptation to be blissfully ignorant. Hopefully they are just warning signs, but if they are not, I will strive to be on the right side of history.

As such, I will be traveling to DC on Thursday to take part in inauguration protests. I plan on taking a lot of photos. I expect the day to at least be historic and I consider it no harm done in showing our government there are those who will resist should we turn our backs on the ideals we teach our children.

Happy MLK Day, everyone. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

The photos I took are in a FB album that starts here:

Unfortunately, I planned my trip before I knew about the Women’s March, so I was on a plane heading back to Austin during all of those. Would have loved to capture pics in either DC or Austin of that.

Overall, it was actually a pretty interesting experience and I’m glad I went. It made me realize that it’d be really cool to be present when we elect our first female President, especially if I felt positively about her.

New About Me

I decided to finally deprecate my old, dated about page and replaced it with a new one.

I messaged my sisters a few hours ago for suggestions on what to wear and they’ve yet to reply. So useless. What’s the point of having these siblings around when they ignore my very simple requests?

I mean, I even go out of my way to keep Oriana updated on the latest Tay Tay news.

Olivia’s very likeness holds a highly honorable location in my house, greeting everyone as they walk through the front door.

Perhaps someday they will not take me for granted.

The neighborhood food scene is exploding a bit! We’ve got Bao’d Up, Halcyon, and Stella as recent additions and not too far away Batch. Sadly, Bribery Bakery closed down and I’ll miss their pink decor, but I hear exciting rumors on what’ll be replacing it…

Hello, 2017

Hi, 2017! You sure are kinda terrible, but thankfully not entirely so. I figured I couldn’t let it go two years before I blogged… though maybe I should just let 2017 fly by… ;)

So I guess I’ve done quite a bit since I watched BvS, haha. I’m just not going to bother talking about it though cause that’s too much effort. =)

So onto recent news, I hit my two year anniversary at Stripe recently! Yay!

I got this sweet tattoo:

Companion cube!

It’s a companion cube from Portal in angel form. The design comes from the Preservation of Mass achievement icon which had the cube and the wings in black & white. I colored the heart in pink and then added the halo. When I showed my artist the design, she immediately said “oh cool! a portal cube!” so that was a good sign. =) I’ve wanted a tattoo for a while but didn’t come up with a design I really liked until recently. My ideal requirements were pink, nerdy and simple. I used to want to get a Kirby which mostly fits those requirements, but I’d be too much of a poser since I haven’t actually played any Kirby games (Smash doesn’t count). I spent some time coming up with more ideas and came up with this! I’m really pleased with the results.

In other news, I also just got back from The International in Seattle. I hadn’t played/watched Dota2 is years, so I was a bit worried I wouldn’t have any idea what was going on, but I actually quite enjoyed the games I watched. My favorite was whenever Earthshaker was chosen and shown on the augmented reality screen, the crowd would clap along with him. It’s so silly, I loved it every time.

Lol, people clapping with the earthshaker

A post shared by Oliver Wong (@owiber) on

Alright, I’m out! Maybe I’ll see you again in 2017, or maybe we’ll all be dead. ~ TOODLES ~

Batman v Superman

Batman v Superman wasn’t terrible, but it’s such a shame that so many golden opportunies were missed. It was a splattering of scenes with half-baked explanations to connect the dots between the scenes. We need stronger reasons for our heroes to be fighting than them just not being willing to talk to each other. Here’s how BvS could have been better:

Bad: weak reasons for Superman v Batman fight, lack of internal conflict.

They built up the courtroom scene pretty well as a way to blame Superman, but then immediately threw it away as news crews reported it was a suicide bomb. How do the taunting notes to Bruce even make sense here? Superman so quickly falling into the “kill Batman” plan is not very Superman. He can do whatever he wants, what makes him interesting is that he constantly has to limit himself because he has a moral compass to keep him in check. Making him so easily decide to trade Batman for Martha betrays the strength of Superman’s character and him being more than just muscle.

Better: Lex should build up much more animosity towards Superman, Superman shouldn’t simply decide to fight Batman.

Lex frames Superman for multiple attrocities and does major character assassination. Everyone thinks Superman is out of control and they’re scared. Someone needs to stop him. This fuels Batman’s rage (no need for the silly taunting checks which don’t even really make sense) and he begins his kryptonite battle plan. Superman struggles with his inability to save those that Lex is killing, everyone hating him, whether or not it’s all worth it. Should he just leave the humans be?

The courtroom scene happens and everyone thinks Superman killed everyone. Batman engages Superman at this point. They fight with crowds watching, news crews circling them in helicopters. Batman furiously attacks, Superman defends, trying to convince Batman he’s innocent. The crowds cheer on Batman, they hate Superman. Batman triggers a trap and shoots some kryptonite towards Superman, but there’s some collateral damage. Superman doesn’t sidestep the incoming kryptonite and instead saves the people put in harm’s way by Batman. The kryptonite pierces Superman’s lower abdomen and he drops to his knees. We see angry humans all around and watching on TV - they chant for Superman’s death. Batman lifts Superman by his neck, ready to stab him with the kryptonite spear with rage in his eyes as his gaze pans to the group Superman just saved. This group looks on with sadness knowing they would be dead had it not been for Superman. Batman hesitates, his grip loosens and Superman quickly repels himself away and vanishes into the sky. Lex is furious Batman didn’t finish the job.

Superman goes into isolation as he heals and decides that maybe he should just leave the humans be. Lex works on Doomsday, knowing that Superman is still out there. Batman starts hacking into LexCorp as he starts to suspect Lex is not what he seems. Perhaps some opportunity for corporate Wayne Enterprises vs LexCorp stuff here. Maybe have WW partner with Bruce here for her own motives, but then they both discover each other’s secret identities. Bruce tries to convince WW to help him take down Lex, but she decides to go back in hiding. Batman breaks into LexCorp (this fight scene replaces the saving Martha one), but he’s ultimately too late. Doomsday wakes up, almost kills Batman but WW had a change of heart and hops in and saves him. Much destruction, yadda yadda, Superman sees/hears and decides he can’t not help and joins the fight…

Bad: Doomsday fight was an unintelligent slugfest.

Our heroes haven’t worked together before and aren’t used to teaming with others, but they’re smart and should quickly adapt, although perhaps not perfectly. In the movie, this fight was basically just Batman running away, and Superman getting thrown around. Wonder Woman was mostly awesome, but they didn’t work together all that well or fight very intelligently.

Better: a preview of Justice League teamwork during Doomsday fight.

Have all the heroes struggle against Doomsday. They can barely touch him and he’s causing lots of death all around him. The heroes go into death prevention mode and try to save as many people as possible. Batman is using all his toys to try to distract Doomsday, WW and Superman are trying to slow him down as much as possible while also swooping up people and sending them to safety. They land some blows, but Doomsday doesn’t seem to be slowing down while they are gradually being beaten to death. Doomsday eye beams at a family running to safety but WW throws her shield to intercept it, leaving her vulnerable. Superman flies under a collapsing building and holds it up as Doomsday rushes towards him. Wonder Woman lassos one fist preventing a blow, but Doomsday pummels Superman with other as Batman is trying to evacuate the building. Superman holds but coughs up blood.

Batman yells out that the kryptonite spear is the only way to stop him. Superman and WW are barely holding their own together against Doomsday, but Batman can’t get to the spear quick enough. Superman tells WW to get the spear since he can’t for obvious reasons. There’s a brief hesitation from WW since she knows Superman is outmatched alone, but then a silent acknowledgement that this is their best shot. She flies off as Superman engages Doomsday one on one. He fights valiantly but is obviously losing. Doomsday smashes Superman into the ground, and turns to Batman who’s been rescuing other humans. With his full attention, Batman is eventually pinned and about to be killed when Superman rushes back into the fight and absorbs the killing blow. He latches onto Doomsday’s back trying to restrain him as WW returns with the spear. Doomsday starts to eye beam and it’s the end of MoS over again, but this time a disabled Batman is about to be in the beam’s path. WW has no clean shot, but Superman commands her to attack. She throws the spear and Superman twists, positioning Doomsday in the spear’s path. It pierces both of them, and Doomsday and Superman collapse…

Awkward Turtle 1

I’ve decided to start a series of “Awkward Turtle” posts where I discuss moments in time where young Oliver was perhaps not the really cool dude you all know today.

I recalled this particular memory in the shower this morning, somewhat randomly. When I was in middle school, I was fairly snappy in math class and would generally be the first to finish any assignments in class. Middle schoolers are the meanest, and like many others, I was looking for a way to fit in. I accepted the role of “nerdy little asian kid” and went with it. I was a decent school boy, so fitting this profile was something I could succeed at.

One day, a girl in class finished her assignment first and turned it in. Acting on impulse, perhaps worried of losing my adolescent identity, I blurted out “wow, you finished before me?!” I was immediately met with silence from the class and realized I had made an ass of myself. This is when I was given a lesson in smart not equating to likable.

Now, I chuckle at young Oliver since he deserved it and you get this first awkward turtle story.

On Presidents and Net Neutrality

I wouldn’t say I’m strongly affiliated with either political party, but I believe each party/candidate’s view on net neutrality (NN) can be a proxy as to what kind of leader they’d be.

While legit reasons exist, none of the top Republican candidates oppose NN for those reasons. They all give arguments that are either incredibly disingenuous or show a huge lack of understanding.

  • Trump: “Obama’s attack on the internet is another top down power grab. Net neutrality is the Fairness Doctrine. Will target the conservative media.”
  • Cruz: “In short, net neutrality is Obamacare for the Internet. It would put the government in charge of determining Internet pricing, terms of service and what types of products and services can be delivered, leading to fewer choices, fewer opportunities and higher prices.”
  • Carson: “We need to be exploring ways to allow people to do what they want to do. They’ve been doing it for years, so why should we now impose a layer of government control.”
  • Rubio: “It is one of our people’s greatest treasures, which is why it belongs in the hands of our people, not our government.”
  • Bush: “The idea of regulating access to the Internet with a 1934 law is one of the craziest ideas I’ve ever heard. … It’s not going to be good for consumers. It’s certainly not going to be good for innovation.”

Rubio is maybe close to a legit reason (or at least it’s pleasant rhetoric), but consumers have little power in markets with little choice and NN is meant to limit the abuse monopolistic ISPs may inflict.

Lying to push an agenda is terrible, but coming out in opposition of something without even understanding it is not an attribute I look for in my next president either. Most of the leading GOP candidates tout NN as anti-consumer and as some form of “big government trying to control the internet.” Since it’s actually pretty pro-consumer in that it prevents large ISPs from holding the internet hostage, I find the GOP spin incredibly deceitful. It’s even more depressingly ironic that many of these same candidates are pressing tech companies to provide backdoors into their encryption, which is far more “controlling of the internet.”

So, that makes the upcoming election relatively easy for me. I don’t want a president that has so apparently sold themselves out to Comcast or are foolish enough to believe their lies for free. That strikes out every Republican hopeful (though honestly reasons to do so are not otherwise lacking).

All that said, while I’m skeptical he’d be able to accomplish everything he’s pushing and I don’t know if I’m completely bought into all his ideas, I’d love to see what a Bernie Sanders could do in office.

Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

This year, everyone corralled in Austin and we gave each other terrible (awesome) gifts and played lots of Magic.

Magic:

Christmas 2015 - 005

Franklin’s brisket on the deck:

Christmas 2015 - 006

Hats:

Christmas 2015 - 034

Crazy onesies:

Christmas 2015 - 042

Trailer:

Some other notables:


  • Oriana loves Wonderful Christmastime and begged me to play nearly a dozen different covers of it in a row

  • To satisfy Oriana’s love of Taytay, I gave her a Saint Taylor Swift candle, a Taylor Swift blanket, and a Taylor Swift “haters gonna hate” mug. She loved them.

  • Mozilla thought the world was ending last night (NYE)

  • I’m quite fond of the new Star Wars. It has its flaws, but I just had a blast the entire time watching it.

Doing my big brother duties