Archive for May, 2006


Chinese Take-Out Loneliness

May 28, 2006

There is a great Chinese restaurant literally a two-minute walk from my apartment. And it is great. It is well reviewed and the prices are reasonable. The food is always hot, spicy, fresh and there is free tea while you wait. I always get my order to go and pay with my credit card. The first time I went in there, a little Chinese woman took my order of House Chow Mein and Fried Wantons and then I handed her my credit card. She looked at my card and said “Thank you, Nick.” I was happy. Because it has always been my goal to have my favorite restaurants know me by name. She then went on to say “There is hot tea for you Nick.” I poured myself some tea, grabbed a Seattle Weekly and sat smittenly until my food was ready.

She comes over and hands me my bag of food and asks “How many chopstick do you need Nick?” And I replied, just one. A few weeks pass and I have a craving for the House Chow Mein again. I go in and order it and hand her my credit card. She looks at it and goes “I remember you Nick, chopstick for one!” Defeated, I replied, “Yes chopstick for one.”

Every time I go in there she mentions that I only need chopstick for one. Utterly embarrassing. Now, I feel like I need to get a girlfriend not for my own well-being and happiness, but to tell her that I will have the House Chow Mein with chopstick for two.


Untitled – May 4, 2006

May 4, 2006

I am taking this race and economics course right now. It is pretty exciting – well actually, the class is boring. But the readings are very interesting. Many of the readings are about how researchers have used regression models to show relationships about race. For example, one economist looked at earnings potential and race to show that blacks are consistently underpaid. Another example showed an increase in segregation in schools in southern states since the civil rights act of 1964.

Well all of these statistics got me thinking about my life. I thought that maybe I could look at some event in my life to see if I could draw any conclusions if I looked at data statistically. Could I see visually when a relationship is over? Or could I see when I became addicted to coffee. Well that is what I have done. The first graph is my monthly mocha consumption at Tully’s since I started graduate school in 2004. These are based on my credit card receipts. It is clear from the graph that my coffee consumption dramatically increased in my second year of graduate school. I don’t know if it is because of Tully’s girl or me being addicted to coffee. You decide.

The second graph is the number of daily email communications from an ex-girlfriend over a period of 42 days. It is clear when the love was lost. By day 22, there was a change.

It is clear these findings are not as interesting as race and economics but maybe you will find them amusing.