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December 20, 2006

Blog tag and five things you didn't know about me

Thanks to my colleague Peter Kim, I've been tagged so I have to respond with this post. What's going on? There's this viral thing going on called "Blog-Tag" where the blogger writes five things about themselves not widely known, and then "tags" five other people to continue the chain. This online tagging game was recently re-started by Jeff Pulver on December 10th. He charts how quickly it spread just after 24 hours as well. I especially liked Eric Kintz at HP's approach, where he tagged corporate bloggers from Dell and Lenovo.

What I love about this game is that it shows that very human side of blogs -- that we all have quirky things about us that make us people. And especially when it comes to corporate bloggers, this is all that more important as one of the key reasons to have a corporate blog is to show that human face.

So here are my five things:

1) I'm in love with logic puzzles. Be it Sudoku (I'm now workin 16x 16 grids), or those annoying metal puzzles where you have to extract a one piece I have yet to meet a logic puzzle I didn't want to dive into. One of my favorite companies to visit is Google -- not because of their fancy bathrooms or cool decor, but because they put logic puzzles in the lobby waiting areas. Unfortunately, they are all too prompt to retrieve me for scheduled interviews so I never get a chance to indulge in this passion. It's also the only thing I asked my husband for this Christmas!

2) I made the Harvard College varsity sailing team my freshman and sophomore year and competed in the NCAA championships the spring of my senior year. All of my dorm mates were jocks while I was a pre-med geek. So I decided to try something different and went out for the sailing team, thinking that at least it would be a sport that I could enjoy the rest of my life. I ended up getting addicted and even sailed one winter in the Marblehead Frostbite league (it's exactly as it sounds - sailing in the middle of a Boston winter in Marblehead harbor). The irony is I can sail only small craft now because I get incredibly sea sick on large boats, especially in San Francisco Bay!

3) I was once mistaken for the nanny of my own child. I'm Asian and married to a Caucasian French Canadian, so our children look, well, unique. I was on maternity leave with my first child in Boston and was pushing him down the sidewalk near my house. A woman came out and was admiring my son. She then asked me if I enjoyed being the baby's nanny.  I politely informed her that I was the mother. Horribly embarrassed, she apologized and ran back into her house. One of the major motivations we moved our family from Boston to the Bay Area five years ago was so that we could hopefully raise our kids in a community where their values -- not their education, wealth, or race -- defines who they are.

4) I love, love, love reality TV shows. Give me Survivor and The Amazing Race any day over the West Wing. Why? I have limited time to watch TV so if I'm going to relax, I want to watch something that's total escapism. West Wing and Studio 60 are great shows, but I have to think and concentrate too hard! [Updated warning: Survivor spoiler ahead if you've TiVo'd the finale or are watching it overseas.] The recent series on Survivor featured teams divided by race, which raised a huge din of protest. I loved it from the very beginning because 1) it gave us a reason to discuss race and stereo types; and 2) stacked the deck to have a non-white winner. I watched the series with my kids this time, and from the beginning we cheered for Yul Kwon because he's from San Mateo, our home town. We couldn't exactly choose an ethnic team because we're a mix of Asian and Caucasian. In the end, it was thrilling to watch Yul win -- I had kids bouncing all over the living room walls.

5) Ok, this is a little embarrassing -- I play Toontown, Disney's MMORPG. I started a few years ago when I was covering gaming for Forrester and got my kids hooked on it. I then got other family members on it as well. So while the kids have lost interest, my brother and I will go online together after the kids are in bed, and take over a few Mints or battle the VP before signing off and heading off to bed. It's not nearly as cool as World of Warcraft, but hey, I get to play it with my kids! (I'm also not that keen on violent games). For those of you who know Toontown, my toon's name is Cool Duchhes, my current LP meter is at 98, and I'm still working on maxing out on toon-up and drop. You can usually find me jumping for beans in Nutty River's Dreamland. Toons of the world unite!

Ok, enough about me. Now the tough part -- finding five other bloggers to tag who haven't already been tagged. In the spirit of diversifying the blogosphere, all of my tags are women that I admire and would love to learn more about.

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Eric Kintz


Happy you enjoyed my post and let's see if Dell responds, just like David did -btw you forgot to link to my post :)
I love the Toontown story!


Are you really from Asia?
Your english is very good and seems it is your mother language ! :)


Steven Lewis

Hi Charlene,

I really loved this post. You're right that it shows a human side to bloggin. Of course there's also an international side to it. Outside the US we're weeks behind in Survivor so a spoiler alert would have been nice :(

A fellow Survivor fan in Australia

Charlene Li

Thanks for all of the comments!
Eric: My bad! I've added a link to your post.

IGOLDC: I'm Asian American (mix of Taiwanese and Hong Kong Chinese to be exact) and was born in the US. So English is my native tongue, although I spoke mostly Mandarin for the first five years of my life.

Steven: I am SO SO SO sorry for spoiling Survivor for you! I had no idea so thanks for the heads up. I've added a spoiler warning.

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Well, blogging is one activity where you get so involved with the virtual reality, there is practically no time for humanistic acitivities. Indeed, this was a very good way to contribute to the real world.


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Hi Charlene! I am also Charlene and just wanted to stop in and say hello.

It's nice to read the personal side of business bloggers too.


We should create a reality tv support group. I mean, come on, sometimes it just gets so intence I tell you! :) And as for Toontown, that's kind sweet hehe

Good to see a human side appearing in some blogs. Happy new year!

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