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January « 2010 « Jocelyn Wong's Blog

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Archive for January, 2010

bike box 2.0 sneak peek

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Best date so far:  the one with my inner MacGyver.  Duct tape fixes everything!

Hello Kitty edition

Hello Kitty edition

Off season project:  completely custom bike box for my 54cm Cervelo P2C.

Materials used:  5mm foam board, hot pink and silver duct tape, some white glue, and Hello Kitty wall stickers.  Straps re-used from last year’s.

theres no bike in here.

there's no bike in here.

Not quite finished yet but I have a few days :)

Oh and notice the ingenious pattern of the duct tape and unique octagonal structure.  It’s an optical illusion to make the box look smaller than it actually is.  Did it work??

Stepping up to International Triathlon Superstar

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010
playing Im king of the world! with First Mate in Cozumel

playing "I'm king of the world!" with First Mate in Cozumel

It’s 22 days into the new decade so hey, why not do a recap of the last decade?

It was after all, my first decade in triathlon.  I wonder how many more decades will I still be doing this insanity?

2000:  Freshman year of college: watched my first triathlon, Ironman California!  Did my first sprint triathlon.  Signed up for my first Ironman.

2001:  Got my tonsils removed instead of doing my first ironman.

2002:  Did my first Ironman!  Also made sure to do my first Olympic (Wildflower) and my first half-ironman (before they were called “70.3″‘s) during the build-up.

2003:  Graduated from college.  Did my 2nd Ironman.

2004:  Took a short break from Ironmans.  Went to grad school and rowed for the crew team instead.

2005:  Decided I missed Ironman…and did Ironman #3.  Broke 13 hours for the first time.

2006:  Graduated from grad school and then did Ironman #4 in my first time outside the USA (Canada, does it really count?)

2007:  Got accepted onto teamTBB as a development athlete.

2008:  Ironman #5 in China!  First stamp on the passport.  Broke 5 hours in a half-ironman for the first time.

2009:  Ironman #6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11.  ”Went pro.”  Broke 12 hours.  then broke 10 hours.  Also had to get more pages added to my passport.

For the new decade, I’ve decided to step it up.  Since I’ve been told that I’ve already achieved Asian Triathlon Superstar status (debatable and highly controversial, oh yeah!), then it is high time to raise the bar.  Now I want to be an international triathlon superstar.  Coach told me from the beginning to shoot for the moon, and even if I miss I’ll land among the stars.

Believe it or not, my star status has risen so much that I actually get the occasional hatemail or have trolls arguing on internet forums whether I am a superstar or not, or that I’m not technically Asian, and have been called naughty words my mother wouldn’t approve of.

dealing with the tabloids.  again.

dealing with the tabloids. again.

Well sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me.  To tell you the truth, I am quite amused and kind of flattered to be getting such hatemail because why should anyone care anyway?  I was a complete nobody a year ago and I still don’t see what the big deal is.  Clearly this is proof that I really am I big deal, no?  ;)

The fans out there far outweigh the number of haters so it was high time to rally up the fans.  My sister has been on me to start up a fan page on Facebook to help build up the Wongstar brand since many of my FB “friends” are actually fans I’ve never met.  So here you have it…

How to become an International Triathlon Superstar, Step #1:  Start up your own official fan club. Yes, it’s called “I <3 The Wongstar”.  Click here to join or on the screenshot below!

You can stay up-to-date on where I am and what I’m doing in the world, know when there is a new blog post, suggest ideas for this blog or what you want me to write more about (the dating shenanigans seem pretty popular), and when I’ll be coming to a city near you.  Like “Meet the Wongstar” night in KL (Feb 1st!).  In the near future there will be official fan club stickers for your car/bike box/etc., a way to order custom autographed photos and magic running sticks; someone has even suggested T-shirts.

And yes, there is an official logo in the works!  Being famous is hard work, but never fear, a superstar like myself can handle it.

The Interview Process for Mr. Right, Stage 1

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

I think I would make a fascinating reality TV show.

Some of my readers have been understandably confused with the whole idea of online dating.  No, we don’t go into internet chat rooms and have virtual dates with each other’s cartoon avatars.  I like to think of it as being set up on blind dates (yes, real ones, face-to-face) through a mutual friend.  The mutual friend being the internet.

First you set up a profile and upload a couple of photos.  Not unlike the teamTBB athlete profiles, where you put up a small summary of yourself, what you like to do, favorite music and movies etc., only without your real name.  There’s the basic stats like your age, location, height (hooray), ethnicity, education, religion, and income level (which I conveniently left blank).  No where on my profile does it mention I’m a professional triathlete (or triathlete at all).  I am keeping my triathlon superstar alter-ego in check for the first stage of the screening process.  The last thing I want is a bunch of messages from trigeek boys.  Although I did find it a bit difficult to nail down some good photos of me where I am NOT racing or in a sporty outfit!

Then you start checking out other people’s profiles.  If you are “browsing openly” you can see who is “checking you out” (i.e. visiting your profile) and they will know when you are “checking them out.”  You can send each other “winks” and also messages.  The winks are more like harmless flirting, and messages are more like pick-up lines.  In either case, the objective is to get someone to check out your profile, and if they like what they see, you either initiate or continue the conversation.  If they are gross, you just ignore them.

Not too unlike picking up someone at a bar right?  Only I find it much more efficient.  You already know their education level, age, interests…and can just get a good initial vibe of if they are worth pursuing.

My brother is convinced that I’ll only meet freaks and weirdos.  While there are in fact freaks and weirdos out there, they usually don’t pass my initial screening process.  Let’s put an example here.  So I mentioned in my profile that I was amused at the parallels between online dating and online shopping.  I mean, you can narrow down your search parameters (e.g. single guys between the ages of 27 and 34 who have at least a bachelor’s degree and are 5’11″ or taller, living within 25 miles of me).  And as you are looking at one guy’s profile, there’s a panel on the right side of screen with suggestions for 5 other guys similar to this one I might like.  Just like when you buy something online, you get “Customers who bought this item also purchased these items.”

Well, so one fellow I’ll call “K” wrote me a 3-page essay to me as his first message.  Here are some very entertaining excerpts:

Subject: online dating like online shopping?

“For me it feels more like a job interview than shopping…”

“I have no problem with saying “no, I don’t think we’re a fit” if we’re not a fit. Some people are turned off by the bluntness, and are always surprised when I ask point blank what the situation is. Last night I asked a girl whether she thought I was gay or not (in the bar scenario), and it cleared things up real fast… apparently she thought I was, and so therefore wasn’t really chatting with me to chat me up. Oh well.”

I’m not sure how telling a girl that other girls think you come off as gay is even remotely attractive when looking for a straight male to date.  Unless you are applying to be my gay best friend, which clearly you’re not…

“I am not nearly as athletic as you… nor as tall. Would that be a problem for you?”

Actually, K, that is a problem.  I’m fine with guys who are not as athletic as I am (that would be 99% of the world right?) but unfortunately I’m a height snob.  I know this sucks, but I am getting better…I mean, I lowered my minimum height from 6’2″ all the way down to 5’11″, anyone that knows me knows that is progress!!

Although the real deal-breaker was not your lack of height but maybe the next paragraph…

“And I’m one of those people that do the transition between crush-target and friend rather smoothly; many of my female friends I met through this site, including my best friend, for which I’ll probably be second-in-line to be the Maid of Honor. She’s told me that she’s not going to make me wear a dress, though…”

Again…I’m not looking for a gay best friend.  I already have a couple of them who are *NOT* in the closet.

And seriously, where on my profile did I say “please write a 3-page essay if you’re interested,” never mind “please write a 3-page essay on the many reasons I should NOT date you”???  Please, stick to short pick-up lines.  The content of the first message is mostly irrelevant as you just check out their profile anyway before deciding if you want to talk to them.

I felt bad that he seemed to have put in some time to write such a long first message.  Then I wondered if this was his sneaky way to guilt-trip me into responding to him.  Well I ignored it for a week, then felt compelled to respond.  At first I thought of just being blunt like he claimed to be and saying “No, I don’t think we’re a fit” as clearly we were not a fit.  Then my sister had a better idea.  He was the one that said it was like a job interview!

“Dear K:

We interviewed a number of candidates for the position, and we have determined that another candidate is the most qualified for the requirements of our opening. This letter is to let you know that you have not been selected for the position.

Thank you for taking the time to come to meet our interview team. The team enjoyed meeting you and our discussions.”

Now before you say “damn Wongstar, you’re a harsh b*tch,” I did in fact get one last message back from him:

“I usually don’t respond to rejection letters but I have to say that your message was uber awesome. Best wishes with your search!

-k”

Yes, “uber awesome” is my middle name.  It is both my blessing and my curse.

The next installment will elaborate on the guys who have successfully made the first cut, and have progressed to the face-to-face interviews.  Yes, the real dates.

Snow Baby Hits the California Snow

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

True facts about The Wongstar:

  1. The Wongstar’s Chinese name means “Snow Baby.”
  2. If you say it really fast in Mandarin, “Wong Xue Er”, it almost sounds like “WongSTAR”!
  3. The number of times the Wongstar has actually been in the snow can be counted on one of her hands.
  4. The Wongstar rather enjoys referring to herself in the third person.
the sisters show the Wongstar how its done

the Chow sisters show the Wongstar how it's done

This weekend I headed east with Amy and her sister Tammy, in search of the mythical California snow.  The two of them grew up in upstate New York and are used to much colder below-freezing temps; it would be my first cross country skiing expedition.  I have only downhill skiied once and snowboarded once back in college.

the limited edition Avia Nordic skiing jacket

the limited edition Avia Nordic skiing jacket

So if you go east toward the Nevada border in the winter, you start to see snow!  It is only about a 3-hour drive from my house but I haven’t ever done one of these Tahoe trips that everyone talks about.  We ended up at Royal Gorge in Soda Springs, which is the biggest xc ski resort in all of North America.

Tammy attacks the hill

Tammy attacks the hill

I ate the snow quite a bit.  Ok more than a few times.  Several times?  Make that “a few” x “several”.  I didn’t think it was possible to fall over so many times while cross country skiing…I was under the impression that this would be easier!  Amy encouraged me to try gliding more.  ”Just like in swimming.”  Oh, right.  I need to work on that in my swimming too.  Good thing there was lots of fresh powder to cushion my tumbles.

Brrrr!  who knew California could get so cold?

Brrrr! who knew California could get so cold?

It started snowing more and more while we were out there, and I kept declaring “It’s like Christmas!”  Or at least, how one imagines Christmas would be like according to Christmas cards.  I can’t say I’ve ever had a white Christmas…

the car was covered when we finished playing!

the car was covered when we finished playing!

And yes even though Christmas was 3 weeks ago, I suddenly had all these Christmas carols in my head.  ”Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow” and “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.”  BUT I was a good friend and successfully restrained myself from singing them out loud.  AHAHA!

proof that it indeed snows in California

proof that it indeed snows in California

In conclusion, I think I was named “Snow Baby” not because I was born in winter, but because I am inept at these snow sports.  I have a whole new appreciation for the upcoming Winter Olympians.  I think I will stick with triathlon!  I might not be so talented at tris either, but at least I can train hard and race in warmer climates…

the drive back home, singing Winter Wonderland in my head...

the drive back home, "Look at all those Christmas trees!!"

Project Online Dating

Monday, January 11th, 2010

So like everyone else, I can write about how my training is going during the off season, New Year’s resolutions and all that, but who wants to read about the same old stuff?  No, what blog readers really want to hear about is a different kind of “social project.”  Why are trashy celebrity magazines so popular?  Because we want to know everything about our favorite superstars.  Especially who’s dating who.  Or, who’s dumping who!

Yes, your favorite single pro triathlete girl is putting herself out there.  After an unpleasant experience over the summer at training camp, I was subjected to endless gems of dating advice from our dear Coach.  All very much appreciated (because he loves and cares about us!) although I couldn’t get one thing he said out of my head.  He said I was trying way too hard.  I wasn’t sure I agreed with this because I am such a busy triathlon superstar that I go on dates pretty rarely.  So it occurred to me that maybe because I date so sporadically, when I do date, maybe I try too hard?  Surely the solution must be more than the standard explanation that I just seem to attract douchebags and jerks.

To remedy this problem, I figured the obvious solution would be to date more often.  But where do people meet potential dates when they don’t frequent bars and night clubs, and are no longer in school?  At the grocery store?  (But Mom gets all the groceries, thanks Mom.)  At the gym?  On group rides?  (Where the men are all old and married with kids?)  I train on my own at least 95% of the time I’m at home.  I also thought it might be nice to date a non-triathlete for once.  When triathlon consumes most of your day (and life), it could be a pleasant change to not talk about triathlon in all your spare time too!

So after reassuring myself that meeting people online is now quite normal (the movie “You’ve Got Mail” came out in 1998 after all), I signed up for a free online dating site.  Being a broke pro, I wasn’t about to shell out $30+/month (!!!) for some of the paid dating sites.  WTF, you can buy a new pair of jeans for $30.  (Or two pairs at Walmart.)  And yes, this has provided me (and in turn, you) a very high level of entertainment to no end.

Well, time for a run, but next time I’ll get into the parallels of online dating to online shopping… and the implications of being semi-famous when trying to meet new people on the internet.  Yes, I realize that long before this foray into online dating, I have already sold my soul to the internet and have a pretty sizable web presence.  Fantastic for sponsors and essential for self-promotional marketing purposes.  But I’m finding it a bit tricky to stay anonymous!

as seen in Star Magazine...damn paparazzi!

as seen in Star Magazine...damn paparazzi!