Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Convoluted View of Selfless Paradox

Like the episode of Friends when Phoebe tries to prove that selfless acts are possible, I fail miserably in my endeavor of trying to be a more humble person. Phoebe let's herself get stung by a bee to show that she was behaving without motives. She felt successful until she learned the bee died stinging her.

I am caught in a battle of semantics when I choose the words, "I can't" over "I don't want to." I convince myself that I have a fear when I merely have a disinterest. I define myself as opponent of exploiting my friends when I don't even offer to chip in for parking, gas... because I figure it will all come back to you in the end. But has it? Will it? I have convinced myself that I am poor so that I can avoid paying for a good time, a snack, or giving an extra dollar for tip so that no one else has to. I feel like a child when I drive myself to tears because I am caught in a place I don't want to be. I make myself believe that I recognize gifts by telling others that I owe them drinks when I haven't even initiated to first round. I focus on giving, but I don't hesitate to take, but when I refuse a gift from my parents, I am agitated when others recognize that they are spoiled and do nothing about it. Because I believe that I am better than them and by merely believing that.... I am not being very humble.

While making generous gestures, selfish explanations convince me that I have succeeded.

And recognizing failure does little to prove that selfless acts exist. But changing my personality and my behavior by "growing up" and "trying harder" is again, another way of convincing myself that I am trying to be better, but really... I am not.


The Early Morning Comb over

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July Recap

Many eventful things happened in July and good thing Aaron had a camera!

Failed Attempt at the Mystery Spot Leads to Successful Bear Pong and Kings Night.
Rule: Only British Accents. My dad calls me up and I obeyed the rule, contagious laughter followed.

Aaron stayed at his sister's temporary Condo. That means free access to a pool!

I have a projector and decided to project Maragaret Cho on my garage door while having Margaritas! It was brilliant!

There was a lot of Karaoke in K-town. But I was upset because they didn't make the CD they promised! But never will be as fun as the Karaoke with Dina, Michelle and Gabe!

We had Vietnamese Sandwiches on the Foothills before Alysia left.
There are many memories on that hill.

Six Flags Road Trip: Amazing Rollarcoasters that for the first time made me feel like I was flying.

Santa Cruz Beach Board Walk
Alyisa scraped her heal and we all chipped in a quarter so that Diana can ride one more rollarcoaster with us. Hehe.

....and of course, a Hairchive

Hairchive: The FOB

So many mistakes, so little time.

I was shopping with Alysia and I heard this song at American Eagle.
It's fun, reminds me of Diana music.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Empty Handed

Yesterday, I was awaken by a phone call from the company I applied for, a small manufacturing firm in Santa Clara for a Sales Associate (Business to Business) job. They asked me if I was available for a phone interview at four in the afternoon. I agreed.

My dad asks me if I wanted to go to the Egyptian Museum with him and I said yes because I never spend time with him. As we took pictures and explored the artifacts that were probably stolen from Egypt by American Archaeologist, I remembered how much my dad LOVES Egypt. He has a couple of pieces decorating the house. It was his birthday the next day and I wanted to find something, but he bought what he wanted from the museum store.

He drove me home for my interview and I prepared myself. Though, I didn't prepare myself too well because I really wanted the CNET job in Project Management over this, but regardless, I NEEDED A JOB. After getting a glass of water, I had my answers ready and locked the office door behind me. They did not call me until an hour later and by then I had gotten really anxious.

When they had finally called, I discovered that I should have prepared better. I was a bit too modest and my answers were shaky. They asked for my GPA, I lied and said 3.2 and immediately gave an excuse about wanting to experience more than just studying all day. The lady on the other end sensed my embarrassment and reassured me that a 3.2 at Berkeley was nothing to be uncertain about. Great, the interview was already going horrible. Then I heard a beeping noise. My dad was trying to call me and I couldn't shut it off. I became distracted and flustered and it probably showed. My answers were all wrong and they didn't cater to the position. Failing to pick up, my dad calls the house phone. It rings off the hook next to me! I become agitated. After only 15 minutes the the recruiters did not need to hear any more from me and told me they'll contact me. I felt like I failed. I yelled to anyone who could hear me. WHY!?! God you knew I had an interview! I probably didn't even make it to the next stage.

My dad came home and asked how my interview went. I said horribly because there was an incessent beeping noise in the background. He nonchalantly said sorry, but made an excuse: no one was picking up their phones and he had figured I had already finished interviewing. He asked me back, isn't there a way to turn it off? I sneered at him, "NO! there isn't!" He said nothing more. No encouraging words to make me feel better. No other words of apology. I did not sense a feeling of remorse. I got more angry that he didn't even care that he fucked up my interview. But in actually I was just blaming him because I probably fucked up regardless of the distraction.

I told my mom that he didn't even feel bad that he ruined my interview and that pissed me off. She reassured me that he felt really bad; she could tell by the way he's moving. She explained that his family was not doing too well. Cancer, divorce, loss... his support from his brothers and sisters was falling apart and I fell into shame because I was so selfish that I didn't pause to think about all the shit that he has to deal with on a regular basis, and tomorrow (now today) is still his birthday and like usual, I am empty handed.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

My Cousin

This morning I helped my cousin put things into boxes. I enjoy talking to her and seeing her; she reminds me to humble myself. As I put her memories away, I notice her treasures from Vietnam and Cuba. I compliment the art on her walls and she tells me stories of her personal relationship with the artist. I ask her about the jobs that she's had in her life and she tells me that her favorite place to work was at a pizza place in San Francisco. She encourages me to visit her because she really isn't doing much at home and we can go hiking. She found a diary of hers when she was 16 and red aloud her personal entries about a crush that she had in high school and how he left her at Winter Ball because his uncle had passed away. Later on, he became a fireman and passed away too.

She gave me books to borrow because she found them interesting and I proudly took them off her hands. She made me sandwiches from focaccia bread, pastrami, Dijon, and some green leaf. It tasted organic. She talked about her future plans away from the bay area. She let me take a piece of her life with me with every question that I asked her and told me that you cant depend on others if you want to do something. She tells me about how she listens to music in the park by herself because it's too difficult to coordinate with others, but she sits and enjoys where she's at. She tells me that bad grades are something you can live with, but finding a passion is very important in life even if it takes a long time.

She tells me that she wants to get a tattoo to remind herself that she is worth everything she deserves. And she says this while petting her obedient dog who has peed on every inch of carpet she owns and that's why she needs to replace the floor. As she talks to me, I notice how beautiful she is and how she looks latino even though she's not. She tells me how she donated bone marrow and wonders what the ethnicity of her donor-ee was, but never found out because they had passed away despite her gift to them. I found an old Metro which is a weekly entertainment guide for Silicon Valley. She told me she kept it because it lists the best Vietnamese restaurants in the south bay. She gave me a warm hug when I had to go and her dog followed me out the door until she called for him.

My cousin is beautiful.


I told a good friend of mine that I have a lot of superficial friends. Frustrated he says, "A friend to you is Ignia, *SCOFF*" He continues to define me, "YOUR definition of a friend is different from 75% of what everyone else thinks." He later explains that he was frustrated because he believes that I don't give my friends at Berkeley enough credit.

Maybe I don't. But is it so wrong of me keep my distance when no one tries to get close? And when they DO get close enough for me to consider them my good friend, there's always a chance that they'll back away because it's no longer convenient or worthwhile for them to continue.

My close friends from home are in a group called Ignia. They define respect, regard, and trust. So, I am offended when I am scoffed at for putting them above everyone else.

I have close friends at Berkeley who have been there for me, who I trust and respect and care about, but they're rare and even some of them come in and out of my life. Even though only 25% of everyone agrees with me, I will always believe that a good friend is hard to come by. BUT if people invite me, communicate with me and try to get close to me, I am more than happy to be obliged, but it takes more than that to consider them a good friend.


Hairspray is the gayest movie ever.
But it was fun... because gays are fun.
OH, and Hairspray explains how America became a "colorblind society."
It's so simple!

Hairchive: The Gay

Friday, July 20, 2007

Musical Talent

God... people with musical talent are so sexy.
I was talking to my friend who has a really nice singing voice and I was amazed when he sent me a recording that he made literally only a couple of minutes before sending it to me. And I preceded to swoon. Then I sang along with his recording and noticed the vocal differences in his voice and mine. *TeaRs* He sounds so good. He sent me other clips worthy of note.

Check out this version of Umbrella by Scott Simons that actual has a taste of vocal skill.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Diana's Husband

Diana is going to marry this guy so that she can have an Indian wedding:

So You Think You Can Dance? Dom & Sabra

I don't know why, but I am obsessed with this couple.
And I find Dom very attractive, maybe because he looks like a cat.
I am told I like people who look like cats. And Sabra is hot! I love how her hair is explicitly different every week. This piece made me like PCD's Stickwitu. Before, it was just a crappy song with a weirdly spelled title, now I'm getting a 6th Sense every time I hear it.

And you should be impressed because Dom has never had any training before, in fact, he's a break dancer. God, that's sexy. I wish I danced more in college. My cousin competes in salsa because she got into it when she was in her undergrad. I think I could do this, I have the hips.

It's funny because the judges really like this couple too, but have difficulty describing how beautiful they are because they are ethnic. Poor Sabra, she's been called a beautiful creature and some sort of elegant pixie. God, just because she's not completely white the judges don't know how to describe her.

I also like Hok, cuz he represents. Check out this breath-taking jazz number:

Hairchive II

Why Not?
God, I didn't realize how often I had bad hair.

1. The Mistake

2. The Rectangle

3. The Greasy

4. The Duck

5. The Mowgli (From Jungle Book)

Hairchive I

Let's go through time to view the best and worst hair styles of my life!

Feel free to vote on your favorite!

1. The Porcupine!
2. The Confused Ethnicity

3. The Unfashionable

4. The Japanese Pop Star

5. The Cheesy!
6. The Butt Crack
7. The Wet Butt Crack
8. The Wannabe

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Everyone wants to have it, but the question is: do they want to have it with you...
That's what everyone is trying to figure out. Only those who are brave enough to make the first move actually get some. People don't mind doing it with someone they're not attracted to, after all, it's just for fun. But NO one wants to do with with someone who doesn't even try to make moves.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone who is even slightly interested in messing around with you had an arrow above their head to notify you of their interest? The world would be less stressful, but less would get done that's for sure. The fact is, no one tells you they're into you to your face, so why would they tell you that they wouldn't mind dancing horizontally with you? They don't. There are millions of attractive people who don't know how attractive they are physically, but being shy prevents them from getting any ass (preferable ass in moderation). But you should be able to read signs: eye contact, gestures, clues in the conversation. It's a part of survival to read signs. And it's also survival not to be hesitant.

I told myself that if I saw someone I thought was cute, I wouldn't hesitate to focus my stare until they noticed me. The goal was to get a smile from them. Easier said than done. It was my last semester anyway and there was nothing to lose. If I was wrong about their orientation, straight guys love getting attention from anything, so nothing is lost. Plus all of them are curious to some extent. But its just hard to make those moves. But it's more fun with a "straight guy."

But what is for sure is Sex with someone you care about is always better than something casual. Though I said it before, it's all just for fun.

And why am I talking about Sex? Because Aaron and Diana made me watch Sex in the City. It's a show about 4 sluts and their mom.

My Favorite Stuffed Animal

His name is Monkmonk


I am an amazing pack rat. From gift wrap to post-it notes; if it has a memory attached to it, I probably kept it.

Under my bed I found doodles from a pictionary game from winter break.

It was there that my group of friends established a school of learning & what each of us would be teaching (I added a couple of new ones) .

Alysia: Cooking & Cancer Research
Aaron: Gadgets & Human Rights
Sandy: Ceramics & Accounting
Diana: French & Education
Janelle: Drawing & Special Eating
Caitlin: Gymnasty & Physical Therapy
Smyr: Biology & Hormones
Chris: Manipulation & Marketing

Monday, July 16, 2007

Transform your Photos into a Mosaic

Obon 2007

For the first time Diana and I participated in Obon dancing in San Jose Japantown! We picked our favorite dances and decided that our children will have the opportunity to partake in multiple cultural festivals.

We got shaved ice, Diana bought a beautiful blanket for really cheap, and SJ Taiko was amazing!


A couple of years back I had my friends from high school come over for casual drinking. It was safe and we got pretty messed up. I remember one of my friends coming up to me warning me, "chris, I dropped your toothbrushes on the floor! Do not use them! I am so sorry and I left a post-it not to remind you." I couldn't stop laughing for days.

"Chris etc. do not use your toothbrushes because I put them on the floor on accident. I am sorry."

That was the same night we recorded Farm Christmas.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Now Playing

The Soup - "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" (Don't ask... Don't Spell!)

At last... the Gay Cure - The Daily Show


Everyone is a little OCD.

My dad told me that he had to arrange the dinning table in a certain way even when people have already sat down, but then when he had guests over he accidentally knocked wine into their lap when he tried to rearrange the table set to his liking. After that, he controlled it.

My friend does things in fours, but his favorite number is three (I think). He knocks four times after seeing something and claims to be a patterned channel surfer. I don't notice it. He also doesn't like bad grammar, I mean poor grammar, wait.. bad? Anyway, it'll bug him until he corrects you. Which is great for me because I want to speak and write properly, but may be bad for you because you think it's condescending. Well, maybe because he says it in a way that makes you feel beneath him. Yeah, my friend should work on that.

My other friend is scared of esculators, dirty feet, and contaminated food. She must sit in the middle and slugbug. She was able to control it before, or maybe I was too oblivious to notice it to begin with. But now that she's been seeing a therapist and openly discusses with me, her habits are really noticable. But it's hard because her "symptoms" are inconsistent. Maybe because she trying to control them. That's good. Lately, I noticed a lot of restraining on her part. She's trying really hard to not let it consume her life. And even though she's great to tease, I'm really proud of her. For now she's just silly, which a lot better than crazy.

I'm OCD when I read lists I start from the last thing and work my way up. On the facebook, I read my feeds backwards. When I read blogs, I go the first entry and go from there. And when I read, sometimes I go to the end to see how much more I have left. Maybe because I am impatient. But that doesn't matter because the point is, I don't let it consume my life, I try to control it. OCD is NOT an excuse, its just a part of your character that you should try to control rather than live with forcing others to tolerate your habits, (unless they don't mind).

OCD is NOT an excuse, control it and move on. Or at least try.

Skin Deep

If you know me, you know that I've been suffering from acne for 6 years. From mild to severe, it seems like my face will always be damaged. And if you know me, you know I obsess about it a lot. It's just hard because it's disease on my face that has become a part of my description of myself: short, funny, big hair, bad skin. I just wish it wasn't true. I am on medication, but I'm not on accutane. That shit ruins your liver and makes you go depressed. I'm not that concerned, I do face the public, but I don't want to encounter people from my past. Reunions and casual meetings with people from my high school or people I've dated are terrifying to me because I don't think I look suitable to be seen. And I untag pictures because some cameras aren't very nice to me, but most are.

You may be thinking that I am so conceited that I am only concerned with my looks. Well, I know your eyes wander and fixate on my latest scar. Children remind me the most of my appearance. I was at Smyr's graduation party and his godson or cousin or whatever sitting next to me declared, "I'm going to call you Dotman! Because of all the dots on your face!" Lovely.

I visited an acclaimed Vietnamese Dermatologist that turned out to be just another rude "skin doctor" prescribing me DoxySomething and benzaclin. It seems to be working. I love hearing, "your skin's getting better." A lot. My mood soars to the highest mountain because it's a great compliment to me. It's funny though, I've been on this pill and only lately did I learn that I was not supposed to take with with antacid or supplements containing zinc, calcium, or magnesium. TOO BAD I've been taking multivitamins in the morning with the pill and TUMS to help my tummy ache at night, which is an antacid. Brilliant.

Saturday, July 14, 2007


How Not to Use Power Point

Creative presentations?

Don McMillan gives a short comedy sketch (in the video above) around powerpoint presentations and the common mistakes that people make.

10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life

I forgot how much the internet had to offer.
Facebook took over so much that I forgot about online shopping and blogs in general!

Look what I found:

10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life
Stop taking so much notice of how you feel. How you feel is how you feel. It’ll pass soon. What you’re thinking is what you’re thinking. It’ll go too. Tell yourself that whatever you feel, you feel; whatever you think, you think. Since you can’t stop yourself thinking, or prevent emotions from arising in your mind, it makes no sense to be proud or ashamed of either. You didn’t cause them. Only your actions are directly under your control. They’re the only proper cause of pleasure or shame.

Let go of worrying. It often makes things worse. The more you think about something bad, the more likely it is to happen. When you’re hair-trigger primed to notice the first sign of trouble, you’ll surely find something close enough to convince yourself it’s come.
Ease up on the internal life commentary. If you want to be happy, stop telling yourself you’re miserable. People are always telling themselves how they feel, what they’re thinking, what others feel about them, what this or that event really means. Most of it’s imagination. The rest is equal parts lies and misunderstandings. You have only the most limited understanding of what others feel about you. Usually they’re no better informed on the subject; and they care about it far less than you do. You have no way of knowing what this or that event really means. Whatever you tell yourself will be make-believe.

Take no notice of your inner critic. Judging yourself is pointless. Judging others is half-witted. Whatever you achieve, someone else will always do better. However bad you are, others are worse. Since you can tell neither what’s best nor what’s worst, how can you place yourself correctly between them? Judging others is foolish since you cannot know all the facts, cannot create a reliable or objective scale, have no means of knowing whether your criteria match anyone else’s, and cannot have more than a limited and extremely partial view of the other person. Who cares about your opinion anyway?

Give up on feeling guilty. Guilt changes nothing. It may make you feel you’re accepting responsibility, but it can’t produce anything new in your life. If you feel guilty about something you’ve done, either do something to put it right or accept you screwed up and try not to do so again. Then let it go. If you’re feeling guilty about what someone else did, see a psychiatrist. That’s insane.

Stop being concerned what the rest of the world says about you. Nasty people can’t make you mad. Nice people can’t make you happy. Events or people are simply events or people. They can’t make you anything. You have to do that for yourself. Whatever emotions arise in you as a result of external events, they’re powerless until you pick them up and decide to act on them. Besides, most people are far too busy thinking about themselves (and worry what you are are thinking and saying about them) to be concerned about you.

Stop keeping score. Numbers are just numbers. They don’t have mystical powers. Because something is expressed as a number, a ratio or any other numerical pattern doesn’t mean it’s true. Plenty of lovingly calculated business indicators are irrelevant, gibberish, nonsensical, or just plain wrong. If you don’t understand it, or it’s telling you something bizarre, ignore it. There’s nothing scientific about relying on false data. Nor anything useful about charting your life by numbers that were silly in the first place.

Don’t be concerned that your life and career aren’t working out the way you planned. The closer you stick to any plan, the quicker you’ll go wrong. The world changes constantly. However carefully you analyzed the situation when you made the plan, if it’s more than a few days old, things will already be different. After a month, they’ll be very different. After a year, virtually nothing will be the same as it was when you started. Planning is only useful as a discipline to force people to think carefully about what they know and what they don’t. Once you start, throw the plan away and keep your eyes on reality.

Don’t let others use you to avoid being responsible for their own decisions. To hold yourself responsible for someone else’s success and happiness demeans them and proves you’ve lost the plot. It’s their life. They have to live it. You can’t do it for them; nor can you stop them from messing it up if they’re determined to do so. The job of a supervisor is to help and supervise. Only control-freaks and some others with a less serious mental disability fail to understand this.

Don’t worry about about your personality. You don’t really have one. Personality, like ego, is a concept invented by your mind. It doesn’t exist in the real world. Personality is a word for the general impression that you give through your words and actions. If your personality isn’t likeable today, don’t worry. You can always change it, so long as you allow yourself to do so. What fixes someone’s personality in one place is a determined effort on their part—usually through continually telling themselves they’re this or that kind of person and acting on what they say. If you don’t like the way you are, make yourself different. You’re the only person who’s standing in your way.

Now to actually heed the advice...

Quick Pictures

Snorkling at Catalina Island

Aaron's sister's Wedding

River Rafting

Manic Monday