Who can live without them? But I'm not going to introduce all of them to you (that would take just darn near forever), just the ones who wouldn't mind being mentioned, or the ones who already have home pages.
I have to start with my girlfriend, Lisa Wong. Anyone who can extract/rescue me from my perpetual state of single-hood has to be given due credit up front! Lisa is, among other things, someone who believes in animal ethics, a volunteer in children's education organizations. She sings, she dances, designs cell phones, and is also a friend of Totoro. (In fact, on our fourth date, I gave her a Totoro and she ran into her bedroom and came back with a Totoro who was obviously its mate) Lisa went to the same high school as Larry (see below), and indirectly knows Christina (see below). What a small world!
Meet Minh Dieu Thi Vu. What can you say about someone you've known since 1990 as a close friend? Minh is the dearest friend I have today, almost the oldest close friend I have in this country. We met in New Jersey when I was working at Bellcore, and she was working right across the hall from me. You were almost a little boy then, she said. Yes I was, wasn't I? I had a lot of growing up to do, and you had the patience to see me through it. It has been a long road, dear friend, and I am glad that this journey has no end in sight. Minh got married in 1997.
Then, there's Radek Aster. Radek and I met on the coldest day in Winter, in February 1993. I remember climbing Highway 9, Saratoga Gap, and getting close to the top when this bearded guy on a recumbent zipped down the same road, going something like 50 miles per hour. I got to the top and promptly realized that I was underdressed for the weather, so zipped back down, shivering in the cold. I stopped at the coffee shop in Saratoga. (If you know the area, you'll know which one) And there, bought a cup of hot chocolate and went out to stand in the sun, shivering. Radek noticed that I was shivering and offered me his seat in the sun. We talked about bikes and stuff, and never once did I stop shivering. It took us until 1994 before we took our first ride together. We’ve ridden together on and off ever since.
Christina Leung. Friend, college buddy, my personal image consultant, and someone I turn to for help when I need a second opinion on someone or something (she's got opinions to spare, you see). We've known each other for 10 years, and yet somehow, contrived never to be in the same state together for more than 6 months at a time. Is it a conspiracy? Christina got married Thanksgiving 1996.
Weila Quock. For the longest time, she was my second mom. I officially named her that when she started asking me questions like, "Are you hungry? Have you eaten yet?" After we officialized her position she went off and got herself married, so now she has too many things to take care of and don't need an extra kid. She thinks that I meet a lot of interesting people, but since I don't get a chance to let her meet them, she occasionally thinks that they're all figments of my imagination. (That includes most of the people mentioned on this page) Weila is surprisingly good at predicting what someone will do even without meeting them. Her favorite description of me is: "He's not stupid, just naive."
Mike Curry. Mike did me a great favor when we were both working at Pure Software. He inherited one of my desks, you see, and opened up the drawers to find one of my pay stubs. He stared at it in horror, and came to me and said, "Piaw, go ask for a raise. They're not paying you enough." I went and got myself a new job instead. You can imagine how miffed he was that I didn't put him on this page at first because I forgot his URL! (Ok, sorry excuse, I know)
Scarlet Tang, whom I met on the net in 1995. Scarlet's a cyclist, a sailor, a cross-country skiier, and an avid reader too. Of all my friends, Scarlet and I share the most in common, but with the kind of little twist in our approaches that we can’t quite put our finger on. She lives in Bellingham, WA, so we don't see each other often. Michael, who was only 300 miles away from her when she was in Seattle. A wonderful friend, a dependable sailor, and a strong cyclist. Add sarcastic wit, a sharp mind with deep insights, and a strong ability to empathize, and you can understand why she gets invited to any trip I care to organize, despite the consequences. Scarlet got married September 16th, 2000, the same day Alan Kawasaki (see Radek's web-site above) was born. I was the wedding photographer.
Lee Beng Beng. The only high school friend I have in this country. Kicks butt in many ways, incredibly silly in others. My favorite quote from him: "Experience is the best teacher. She gives the tests first and the lessons afterwards." Some people need her more than most, and unfortunately I'm one of them.
Larry Hosken, writer, sailor, author of the markov chain text page. The only person I've ever met who could make me laugh out loud giving me directions to his house. He lived just down the street from Christina (mentioned above) when they were in high school, and have had interesting indirect run-ins with her. If you’ve ever heard A Prarie Home Companion on NPR, you know what Larry sounds like when he’s telling a story.
Arlene has been a friend of Larry since high school. You definitely should visit her home page, because it’s quite funny. An avid photographer, an occasional cyclist and sailor, she used to run a lot of role playing games. Intelligent, insightful, and workaholic (which explains why I brought her to Mpath’s Christmas party), she’s the kind of companion you would want to have with you if you like laughing. Both she and Larry deny it, but I think their writing style is very much similar.
Marc Auerbach is the only marketing person I've ever met who's a cyclist. Most marketing persons I've met are well-dressed women in their thirties who look too damned dainty to ever ride a bike to work. Marc Auerbach actually rides his bike to work everyday, and not only is he competent in his work, but is also easy to work with and ride with, which makes him tops in my book. Marc spends too much time working on his house. I tease him about his nesting instinct taking over.
Then there are old schoolmates and buddies: Terence Chua, the oldest friend I have who has a web page. Oliver Juang, who went to Cal with me. Not that many old buddies of mine have made their home pages known to me (maybe they don't want to be associated with me). So if you want your home page listed here, mail me!
Cycling buddies like Grant Petersen are awesome. Grant only has an e-mail address, and I won't post it here, but visit his virtual WWW store, and check out his wares! Grant used to work as marketing director for Bridgestone, and now runs his own company. I wish him all the best.
There's nothing you need to know about Jessica Koeppel except that she once ordered a hundred pounds of Silly Putty. You have to respect someone who did that! But of course, if you Larry's report about the channel islands trip, you'll find that she's quite the heroine when it comes to untangling anchors.
Danielle is dead. She died after struggling for a year with cancer. Danielle was a game designer for Mpath. When I first started work at Mpath, one of the first things I did was to send e-mail to all of my friends telling them: "Did you know that I work for a company cool enough to employ Danielle Berry?" She designed some of the classic games that many people have played growing up: "Cartels & Cutthroats", MULE, "Seven Cities of Gold". She claimed the Sid Meyer stole the idea for "Civilization" from her.
I didn't think that she'd be a friend of mine. But despite our 20 year age gap, we had things to talk about. Damn, she knew what a Campagnolo Record group was. She loved games. And she bitched about not being able to get dates just like I did. And even though she was more successful than I was, she didn't rub it in. One time I caught her looking at a woman who was walking past us, "Danielle, you're looking at women?!" "For you, Piaw, for you."
I miss you, Danielle.
Miffed that I didn't mention you? Tell me!