“That burst pipe was flowing… an inch away from …the electrical box”

(NOTE: SOME LANGUAGE HAS BEEN EDITED OUT OF THE TRANSCRIPT THAT IS NOT EDITED OUT IN THE AUDIO.) Is there a time when a house you were living in flooded? Yes. Twice! Uh, well, three times, I guess. No, just twice. I did have my water heater break in my house  I own now, but it didn't – flood like well it flooded the basement but there was nothing to be worried about. Um, but, there was another time, my parents were on vacation. Honestly, like, I hope this wasn't my fault. Don't tell them if it was, but they were gone for like two weeks in the winter and they left their heat on at like 74 or something outrageous like that. So I turned it down to like, you know, 60. Um, but, yeah, one of their pipes ended up freezing down in the basement that was right along the exterior wall and it burst. And, it had been flooding for like a long -- like a day and a half probably. My brother and I stopped over there to feed the cats and we were, like, in the kitchen,I’m like, “What's that noise? Do you hear that?” And, oh my God, I can't believe he did this, he's so crazy, but he went down the basement and like went to go turn off the power at the electrical box, but he had to wade through the water, and it was, like, over waist deep like it was it was full. And our basement was uh huge. The basement itself was, um, could have been its own apartment, had a doorway to go to it and there was one, two, three, four, five rooms down there. Um, yeah, ‘cause there was, like, the main like Game Room living room area, there was a bedroom, a bathroom, a little, like, middle area where the water heater and stuff was and, like, a workbench and then there's the laundry room and then another storage room and then there was like under the stairs storage as well. Yeah, and then there was stairs that went up to the kitchen as well as stairs that went up to the attached garage. Um, but yeah, he, like, waded -- and I just remember being like, “You're gonna f***ing electrocute yourself and die. Like, what are you doing?” I can't believe he actually went…

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“My sister grabbing my hand, the ocean pulling me by my feet…”

(CONTENT WARNING: DROWNING) I really resonated with the question in the email: “Have you ever been swimming in the ocean and gotten pulled under by a wave?” Um I was actually just thinking about this last night. Um I have when I was, I think I was like four, um one set of my grandparents lives in Florida and we were visiting. And me, my sister and my parents were walking on the beach. Like, in the evening, and the ocean was relatively calm and uh my sister and I were closer to the water and then my parents were like, the same level as us, but, like, further back, not as close to the water. And this totally, just, rogue wave out of nowhere just swept up and grabbed me off the beach and, you know, knocked me off my feet and pulled me out. And I was closest to the water so it was me, not my sister and – and when my mom tells the story she's like, you know, we saw it happen. And there's another couple walking on the beach and they saw it happen and like all four of us just went running. Um but like they were a little ways away, you know. And the crazy thing is that, like, somehow my sister,  who's only two years older than me, so if I was four she would have been six, like, was able to grab me and hold on to me and I remember this obviously from my point of view. Not not, the stuff that they're describing but I have a very strong memory of being underwater, you know like my feet towards the ocean. You know off – having been swept off my feet and just like the pull of the ocean and like the roar of being underwater, you know, seems so loud. Um and it felt like forever, it felt like I was forever suspended, you know, my sister grabbing my hand the ocean pulling me by my feet. And just like not sure who is going to win that tug of war. And the – I think the most bizarre part of it is like how could my sister have won it you know, she's – she was six and I just remember how hard the – the water was pulling on me that tide, you know, and…

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“I passed out and hit my head on the floor”

(NOTE: SOME LANGUAGE HAS BEEN EDITED OUT OF THE TRANSCRIPT THAT IS NOT EDITED OUT IN THE AUDIO.) So a couple years ago, I was making muffins in my friend's kitchen and I passed out. Like, I walked -- I didn't -- my stomach, like, felt weird and then I was like, "Okay, I'm just gonna walk to the bathroom." And I got, like, two paces or, like, three feet from  the door and I, like passed out and hit my head on the floor. And the best part of the story is that my sister, my little sister, was in the living room with her friend because my friend and her sister are friends -- our sisters are friends. And so my friend was in the kitchen making brownies, or, making muffins. Banana muffins. And my -- our sisters were sitting in the living room. And I, like, just passed out, and my head hit the floor. And they just sat there and watched, um, because they thought I had, just, like, tripped and fell or something, or, I, like, was faking. I don't know, they, like, didn't move. And then, to make things even better, I had just spilled banana batter on my foot. And you know how dogs are supposed to be, like, caretakers or whatever and they, like, help people? Well, my friend's dog just came in and licked the batter off of my foot. She didn't even, like -- there was no helping. She just licked it off my foot and then left. She didn't do anything else. And my friend's mom comes, like, sprinting upstairs, and was like, "The f*** was that?" And I was, like, "Yeah." At this point, I regained consciousness because it was just a minor -- minor lapse, um, to where I was unconscious. Um, but, um, at that point, I was kind of just laying there. She's like, "Dude, what the f*** happened and why did nobody do anything?!" I was like, "I don't know! Don't ask me! Ask the people who just sat there!" Anyway, so that's kind of funny. It's -- I don't really know if I was dehydrated but that could have -- that most likely led to it because what happened, what I think happened is we'd just gotten out of the hot tub that my friend has and I hadn't really eaten anything or…

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“The first time I ever experienced a daylight saving was in high-school”

This entry is from our very own team member, Cherilyn Wang. See the "Meet the Team" page for more information. As an international student, I've never heard of it, even before I came here. So, I think the first time I've ever experienced a Daylight Saving was when I was in high school, when I first came here, it was 2016. I remember a night. I still remember that night. Me and my friends, we were like watching stranger things, I'm pretty sure and then we had school the other day so we couldn't like stay up too late, but the show was so good. So, we kept watching for like, like six hours straight and then we suddenly realized that it was like 4 o’clock in the morning. And I said, "why is it so late?" I didn't feel like that late. Cuz I felt like I was just so like, I paid so much attention to the show. I didn't, like, look at the clock at all, so I didn't know that it was Daylight Saving. So, I asked my friend like “why is it so late?” Cuz it felt like 2:00 something and it is four, and then she told me that it was a Daylight Saving. I asked why, and then asked “what’s the reason behind all this? What’s the history and everything?” That was pretty cool. I thought that, it was the first time I've ever heard of it. So, it was really interesting. And it took me a while to get back to my schedule. Cuz even though it was just an hour, it kind of affected my life quite a bit because, well, I lost like an hour of sleep. And the next day, I was like, I couldn't pay attention in class and everything, and yeah. And I think it’s more interesting when it switches from fall to winter, because we get an extra hour. So, every time I get really excited because I get an extra hour to like play games or watch a movie or something. It feels so precious. But yeah, you still need to pay off because like half a year later, you still need to give an extra hour. So yeah, I think it's really interesting, especially as a foreigner.

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“Maybe I’m Kissimmee in Florida.”

If you were a personification of a US city, what city do you think you would exemplify? Hm. Well, I'm not as cool as the big, like the big ones, like New York City, or San Francisco, or Chicago. I'm not that trendy. I'm not a partier, so I'm not Miami, or Reno, or Vegas. Maybe I'm Kissimmee in Florida. I'm sweet. I think. Most people continue to say I'm a very kind person and I like to have fun but it's usually wholesome fun, but I do have a side that can be a little snarky or a little bit like make jokes, and I feel like Disney movies, there's totally jokes we get now as adults that we did not get as kids. So maybe, maybe I could personify like Kissimmee.

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“He’s too busy being a floppy cat.”

Yeah, and I'm grateful for my pet's health, as well. My cat Zhang Zhao is now officially a senior cat. He went into the vet to get his routine shots and vaccinations. And yeah, he's crushing it. His teeth look great. His one eye he has left looks great. His coat is healthy. He's put on a little bit of weight, but, um, still within the good range. So yeah, he's doing a darn good job. So I'm happy. Let me see if I can get him to talk. Right, kitty? You tell me. Oh, no, he's too busy being a floppy cat. He doesn't care. He just rolled over.

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“I have often been told that I sound like our former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.”

Just for your information, I think you are all Northerners and you probably don't know very much about Southern accents, but there's not just one Southern accent. And I did not actually discover that until James Earl Carter Jr. was elected President of the United States in 1976. There was an article in a Newsweek Magazine edition shortly after his election talking about Southern accents. This article quoted an expert linguist who has spent a lot of time studying Southern United States accents, and the linguist concluded that the state of Georgia actually has four different types of Southern accent. I do not remember which one it said that President Jimmy Carter speaks, but I do remember that one of the four Southern Accents in Georgia is called Gulf Coastal Plains. And that means it stretches from somewhere in the central area of Georgia, where I live and was born, and goes all the way down through Southwest Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico. I believe that the accent that you're hearing in this recording is a Gulf Coastal Plains accent. I have often been told that I sound like our former First Lady Rosalynn Carter.

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“I’ve never felt more empowered in my life.”

My brother recommended that we go to New York City and I agreed. And then before I know it, after all these years, thirteen years at that point of deciding I was never going to go to New York City and it never really came to mind, uh, we found ourselves in a car going to New York City one day later. And I'm not sure if I've ever felt more empowered in my life. I'd been on certain trips in my life. I had flown to the Bahamas and I had been to Texas and gone on a road trip with a friend to South Carolina and, you know, these like things that just seem like there's these reasons for going. There's family there or there's friends or you have a main attraction that you want to go see. I had done that type of traveling, but never in my life had I tapped into this revelation that, if there's a place I wanted to go, technically I could go there whenever I wanted so long as I had a day off and a car that worked. And so I went from thinking I'd never had a reason to go New York City. I didn't know anyone in particular there that would pull me into that region. I went from just being like, "Okay, yeah. I'll never go because why would I and plus who knows what could happen?" to suddenly like "All right, well. We're ten hours away, and let's make it happen. Let's drive straight to Midtown Manhattan." And so that's what we did.

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“I don’t like people who are nice-nasty.”

Something I've always said, I like people who – I can't say I like them, but I prefer people who are just rude and mean, and are just really flat out about it, rather than people who try to hide behind it or hide behind the pretense of being nice or being honest or anything like that. Of course, I don't like rude or mean people, but I’d rather you just outwardly be, like, a rude person rather than – I like to call it nice-nasty. I didn't make up that term, but people – I don't like people who are nice-nasty. Like, if you've ever seen Mean Girls – I love how I'm saying “you” as if, you know, this is just a random person who's just talking, but like if you've ever seen Mean Girls, the way Regina George goes, Regina George is pretty nice-nasty a lot of the times. Like, when Regina George is like, “I like your skirt,” and then ((the girl's)) like, “Oh my God, thanks,” and she walks away. And then she goes, “That's the ugliest effing skirt I’ve ever seen.” I hate that. Like, what, like? Or like in middle school, the mean girl who isn't ever, like, outwardly mean or rude, but just like does little off-the-wall little mean stuff and like, goes, “Wow, like, I love your pants. Where'd you get those? Oh, wow, they’re sure, like, unique I guess, hahaha.” And then they go and, like, giggle with their friends and like, “Hahaha, oh my God, Gretchen, look at her pants. Those are so cute, hahaha.” And it's, like, just hearing the words you say, “Oh, that's not – that's not rude.” But, like, you know, you know you're being mean. Like, you know, you're trying to, like, make fun of them. I hate that.

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“And so what I took away from that is just be extremely patient.”

I did learn once that -- I was on a team that was working with a team in India. Programmers. And I didn't experience this personally, but I had like a training module for business communication internationally, that it's more customary in India for them to like, have a short personal conversation before getting down to business. Like, "Hey, how's it going? How's your day going?" Or even getting to know you, like, "What is your hobby?" or something before starting work. Which in my experience in the United States, that is not as common. It's just like, "let's get on this call. Let's go through the agenda. Let's do what we're here to do." And the message was that if you do that, some people in India might perceive that as rude. Just goes to show that it's a subjective thing. Tough, tough thing to navigate. And so, what I took away from that is just be extremely patient. It'd be valuable to be generally aware of what's considered rude or not. Cuz you know, the goal is to not be rude. It's not constructive to a relationship usually. So yeah, you sometimes gotta -- sometimes instead of saying, "We got a problem," sometimes you gotta frame it as a challenge or an opportunity and that's just part of collaborating with people, I think.

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