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April 9th, 2015

06:20 am - I still have a LiveJournal?
A lull in work turned into an attempt to find an old Photobucket account containing pictures of Germany, which turned into an excuse to reminisce about by early 20s via LiveJournal. Sure. What else am I going to do at 3 am (besides, y'know, work)?

I feel like I spent much of my early 20s (we're talking, right when I started working at TSA) spinning my wheels and lacking perspective/experience. I let life happen to me, instead of directing where I wanted life to go. I probably am no different now, although the combination of real jobs, grad school, fatherhood, and marriage have all set about subtle personal changes. For one, I think I'm over the near-constant procrastination I used to read about circa 2004–2006 (although this might just be because I don't have school to worry about). I also think I care less about my day-to-day experiences than before. Maybe it's because Facebook and Twitter are much worse for emotional exploration than an LJ; maybe I'm just getting old and stopped giving a shit.

I'm glad this account still exists, since it serves as a bit of a time capsule for me. Hell if I'd know what I was feeling 10 years ago otherwise! Let's see if I still have it in me to ruminate on current events.

Right now, I have 11 (!!!) people at my house. This number includes (sums will not add up to 11 due to category overlaps):

  • 5 actual visitors (Kim + kids, Kaitlyn's mom Keri, and Tyler's great-aunt Kerry (sp?).

  • 3 refugees (Eileen, Kaitlyn + Summer)

  • 3 actual residents (Me, Christina, Mira)

  • 2 children with predilections towards yelling at me (I have dubbed them "Screeching Beauty" and "President Omama")

Strangely, things are somewhat better financially having 11 people here than 6. Other people pay for food besides Christina and me! The standard of "men" in Shingletown is bad enough that, even though I have spent the last several days hiding in my corner playing CIv V, I still come off as accepting and laid back, and I'm not actually asked to do anything. Compare this to "normal," when there are 6 people here: I pay for everything, clean dishes nonstop, and cook for 5 (while Christina's at work).

Theft is a problem. After coming back from seeing my dad (who just came back from driving around Central Europe), I found an empty bottle that once housed the homemade BBQ sause I was saving. Something about the callousness of not asking me to use it, my resignation that it was probably wasted, and the shittiness of not being able to taste my creation or see how everybody else enjoyed it pissed me off like a motherfucker.

Yesterday, we had a birthday party at Boomtown for Meece (who just turned 6). I think the best quotation I've heard on the subject involves the best thing about a kid birthday party: the fact that it's 364 days until the next one. We had some neighbor kids there (Makayla, Katie, Trevor), who all seemed pretty stoked to go there for the first time, until Trevor kept hitting me up for money to attempt stupid claw games. I sort of melted down in front of them as Christina was urging me loan out my car to her mom/Kaitlyn so that we could go directly to my dad's.

Theft. That's what it feels like to be expected to loan out my car, for which I worked my ass off to pay, so that an ungrateful mother-in-law or somebody I've never driven with can take my car and use my gas. Never mind that Eileen had been drinking and that I had yelled at her not to drive my car after drinking a week before (she had taken my car to drop Kaitlyn at a bar for a bartending gig and taken a shot/had a few beers). Christina threw a fit because her car is more expensive and isn't paid off, never mind the fact that she actually trusts the two of them driving and didn't have to loan her car out and be stranded for 5 fucking months.

Man, this is coming off as petty, which I think is what an LJ is for.

Future me: what are you interested in, regarding me now? For purely positional purposes (so I can figure out what else was going on in my life at this point):

  • Work's pretty meh. I'm good at editing but the pay is not wonderful and people are occasionally fired in really shitty ways (via e-mail, for example). But, nobody wants to hire me. i was too overqualified to be a legal assistant at Brandt's firm, for example.

  • I still don't have a clearly defined path and still sort of just let life happen to me, although I at least have what I think is a decent awareness of my flaws and features.

  • Mira's 5. She's currently being kind of an ass to 2-year-old summer and to Meece (to be fair, Meece probably deserves it. Most of his reactions to things are callous enough that I want to smack the shit out of him most days.)

Let's end with a Meece anecdote! So, Meece was filling a cup of water this afternoon. He fills it near the top.

"Meece, that's probably good."

He keeps filling it.

"Meece, Meece, you're overflowing! That's enough!"

Water's spilling all over the edges of the cup and dribbling down the front of the fridge. Meece pulls the cup to him and spills half of the cup all over his arm and onto the fucking floor. Then, Meece starts to fill the cup up more.

"What are you doing? You have enough water!"

Meece takes the cup at an angle and clumsily sets it atop the kitchen counter, while managing to spill another third of the cup in an arc around his body. I sigh. Dumb, clumsy fucking child.
Current Location: Home.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Random Coheed and Cambria

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February 8th, 2012

12:48 pm - Adventures in Lifestyle Design, Part 1
It's official - I am now free of the clutches of TSA. The main goal now is to figure out how life should look for me now. This is important because if I don't plan out my goals and desired endgame, I'll probably just fall into something that I'm not particularly crazy about just to pay the bills - the end result (i.e. letting life go on autopilot) will probably not make me happier than I was at TSA - and that's the whole reason why I got out of TSA, right?

Some questions for me to ponder over the next month or so (i.e. when I'm in Asia starting next week):
  • Do I work for myself or for someone else? I think either route has its advantages.  The difference is what I focus on over these next few months. Do I work on my resume, interview strategies, and job skills? Or do I focus on figuring out my marketable skills and start getting myself out there?
  • What am I passionate about? Ideally, I need to work in something that I actually care about - it'll be better for me and for my impact on society in the long run.
  • What skills do I have that others don't? I shouldn't make the job hunt hard on myself - I have to figure out what I'm already good at that people will pay for.
  • What are my priorities in life? How can I make a life that supports my priorities? I think my main complaint against TSA is that it didn't represent me or my priorities very well - it was shitty work at shitty times of the day for pretty okay pay.  The work-life balance was never very good, and I need to address that before I jump into anything new.
Although this obviously won't happen when I go to Hong Kong/Thailand/Vietnam next week, I eventually will carve out 8+ hours a day to work on myself.  I'll need to split my time between:
  • Finishing my degree. Specifically, researching for and working on my thesis.  I'm so close to getting my Master's - I just need to get my ass in gear.
  • Self improvement.  I need to work on my job skills and on my soft skills.  I have been seriously considering learning SQL (a database/programming language) to complement my statistics skills so that I could potentially freelance as a statistician in the future.  I've been devouring blogs and articles on how to sustainably live a more authentic, unconventional lifestyle. Stuff like that.
  • Finding a new job, whether this means job searching and sending out my resume, or working on implementing business ideas.
  • Making money.  At some point, I'll be getting all the clutter out of my life and eBaying/craigslisting/yard selling all the stuff I have that I don't use/need/want.  I'm not beyond doing some side jobs either.
Beyond that, I have to get my life back in order.  This includes:
  • Cleaning the post-hurricane-esque horror that is my house.  It's amazing how messy a two year old can make things.  My own neglect doesn't help.
  • Attempting to be a better dad. Mira watches a shit-ton of TV right now.
  • Reconnecting with hobbies.  I have a bass part to record for a friend, for example.
  • Fixing my bike and riding it more. Also, driving less and phasing out my gym membership.
  • Connecting better with friends and family.  My natural tendency is to be a hermit and shut myself in - this is probably not a good thing, especially now that I'm not going to be around a couple dozen coworkers on a daily basis anymore.
This is all really tiring to even think about.   Yet, when I look at my blog entries for the past 3+ years, it's pretty clear that I have always been wanting to be in almost exactly the same position that I'm finding myself in now.  So - let's do this.

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January 21st, 2012

09:11 pm
I have not contemplated my life nearly enough lately. As fascinating as I find my journal entries after the fact, I don't think it's crossed my mind more than a couple times to reflect and write my thoughts down. Hell, I haven't even reflected on any of 2011 nor have I made anything resembling a New Year's resolution. New Years feels like ages ago.

A quick look back makes it pretty clear that not a whole lot has changed in a year and a half. Actually, that's not true. If before I was persistently unhappy with the direction my life was going, now I at least have come to terms with things and learned to be content with the blessings in my life now. Not ecstatic. Not excited. Content. It'll do for now. My big fear is that complacency will eventually turn into a lifetime of stagnation. And there's big shit I want to do. "Bigger," anyway.

Work is fine. What I like is adding value to people's lives, whether it's for my coworkers busting their asses for me and vice versa or for passengers. I still hide when I see somebody I know from outside work. This is not a job to be proud of. But it's a job, and it keeps a roof over me and Mira's head while I bide my time till my great escape.

Skyrim is taking over my life. In 3 weeks of owning it, I've put in like 110 hours. That time could have been a part time job. Or time spent bettering myself, working diligently on the side on my next breakthrough. It's still pretty bitchin'.

Mira turned 2. She's crazy smart - she's starting to talk in sentences and can count reasonably accurately. Potty training is sort of lousy though - now, when she throws a big fit, she also pisses all over the floor, thanks to a lack of diaperage.

School starts soon after a semester-long, bureaucracy induced hiatus. It's slightly intimidating that I'll actually have to get a thesis done for once. What's more intimidating, though, is trying to figure out where the hell I go after I graduate.

Just got a phone call from Christina and now my mind is wandering. Until next year.

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September 30th, 2010

10:32 pm
All in all, today was a pretty good day, considering I didn't see much of Mira at all and class started late.

-Two supervisor spots opening up at work = potential job advancement? Holy crap.
-Found out Silver State Fair Housing is a paid volunteer gig in the best possible way.
-Went to a seminar, which ended up with me on PBS babbling about the economy and bank regulation.
-Came to the conclusion that I'd probably hang out with 90% of my fellow grad students outside of class.
-Regretted that I actually am passing up hanging out with them at a Political Science party with some random punk band playing...
-...because Andrew's birthday is coming up. Hello Ichiban.

The next few weeks will be hectic. I get to do an hour long presentation on neorealism followed by an hour long discussion and a 15 page paper, plus a couple of midterms. Sweet.
Current Mood: awakeawake

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August 24th, 2010

09:23 pm
I imagine the cosmos are trying to give me a clean start this month. On one hand, Brandt and Sydney both moved away and they're off to start their latest chapters of their lives too (also, RIP Joe Ramirez). I think that as more and more people progress and move on with their lives, and as the ties that bound me to the past begin to fade away, I am given more permission to progress with mine.

Anyway. I have this terrible habit of burning the candle at both ends and spreading myself too thin. At the moment, I'm volunteering both for Silver State Fair Housing (making sure renters aren't bigots) and for the Harry Reid campaign (I called 130 numbers the other day, 25 of which actually picked up). And I've started grad school legitimately (the UNR Financial Aid department forced me into 3 classes instead of 2 and still fucked me over on my grant - this will be a future rant). Plus the day job and parenting Mira. Occasionally sleep is involved.

You know what though? I feel more productive than I have in years. I'm starting to pursue my dreams and live a life that speaks to my passions and values, step by step. And this is progress. I sort of forgot what that felt like for a while.

Mira's been crawling for a couple weeks. I expect her to be walking around a table within a month.

Christina's best friend and her mom spent the weekend here. Good times (especilly since I went to sushi but not drinking with them).
Current Mood: groggygroggy

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July 22nd, 2010

09:04 pm
Woo adventures.

At some point during the last 2 weeks or so, I:
-Went to San Francisco. Had both a horrible and an overpriced/underwhelming Chinese food experience plus froze my ass off and had way too much caffeine the first night. Had actually good dim sum, drenched Mira with a huge wave at Ocean Beach, had overpriced tea at the Japanese Tea Garden, and drove through an hour of rush hour traffic to get to 7 pound sandwiches in a liquor store in the Mission the second day. Mira does not travel terribly well. Anthony Bourdain fans: the salt and pepper crab at R&G Lounge is not worth $38; the Cuban sandwich at That's It lives up to the hype.

-Bought a used baby bike trailer and tried it out at Squaw Valley. It sort of sucks when the front tire of the bike you're riding has a leak and you didn't bring a spare tube. The river was nice, except for the really touristy places by the raft/tube rental spots.

-Got a really dumb traffic ticket for running a stop sign. The policewoman said that I was white, had a red car, and that there was medium traffic (for the record, I'm Asian, with a gray car, and it was 3 PM on a Saturday in the suburbs, ie not busy at all). Totally going to fight it.

Today, I:
-Joined a union. That people get treated so badly so consistently is ridiculous. And the "other union" seems content giving out free lunchboxes and calling things good. And this got validated when I...
-Got disciplined at work because my travel bill (for last month's jaunt to SLC) was sent to the wrong house, which made my slightly late paying. Said discipline will be put in my folder for 2 years, before it gets put into some unmentionable other file to dangle over our heads indefinitely. Which made me all the more pumped up for a...
-Job interview! I think I did pretty well. It's for a second job with the Washoe County Court system. The idea is that I'd interview arrested people and see if they should be released until their trial. We'll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, Mira:
-Said her first word: "mama." I guess it should be a consolation that she only says it when she's pissed off.
-Decided verbally that fancy restaurants were not for her.
-Got shots. And subsequently got a fever. It may be my imagination, but I think she got fever dreams that made her freaked out about staying sleep for the next couple days.
-Is days away from crawling. Her legs have always been buff, but her arms haven't been able to hold her up until now. All she has to do is get a little arm-leg coordination and the baby-proofing headache will begin.

The one thing that will always be a constant in my life is that I will never get enough sleep as I want or need.
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic

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May 31st, 2010

10:19 pm - RIP Suthin Pranprom (1953-2010)
My uncle died of liver cancer this morning around 4 AM. He actually found out that he had cancer only about 2 or 3 months ago, though it had been affecting him for a little less than a year. He probably didn't remember much about his last week - he was in and out of the emergency room and, for the last few days, had hospice people give him regular doses of morphine to ease his final days. At the very least, he died peacefully in his sleep.

He came to the States something like 7 years ago looking for a better life. He worked for 2 years in Portland before his paperwork for a Green Card finally came through so he could send for his family. He went through the trouble of getting American citizenship last year, on the cusp of chieving the American dream. He's basically the reason that I started thinking about getting into immigration law. And the reason that I want health care reform to succeed - he put off seeing a doctor for months because he had no insurance and racked up easily 6 figures in hospital bills these past few months. Medications alone would have cost a few thousand a month - which was mercifully donated to him by some drug company.

I'm still trying to figure out something that I can do for him. My mom and aunts aren't really planning much more than a wake for him. I was thinking of getting a memorial service going, or maybe at least writing out an obituary. In any case, he's getting cremated on Wednesday or so. A friend of his came over from Thailand to bring him back there basically to die and have a proper funeral. Instead he's going to bring his ashes back to Grandma.

Two funerals in the course of a week. Dammit. I figure it's the circle of life going on - when one person comes into the world, another leaves. Mira replaced her great grandmother and granduncle, apparently.

It's official - Memorial Day has been ruined for me.
Current Mood: tiredtired

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May 28th, 2010

10:55 pm
Hello LiveJournal. How have you been?

I got today off of work so that I could go to Christina's grandmother's funeral. More specifically, I got to drive about 150 miles through Carson (for the memorial), Ferntucky (to see the grave), home, and to Christina's dad's for the memorial. I only got to meet Kay a handful of times. Based on the past few days, though, it seems like I missed out on a lot since I never got to know her better.

Speaking of death. My uncle Suthin has been actively battling liver cancer for a couple months now. It's been there for maybe a year or more but, because he has no health insurance, he never got it checked out until it was too late. Now the cancer's basically untreatable. He's been in and out of the emergency room all week. He's back at my aunt's house, but apparently it's not looking so good - he's getting periodic morphine shots that are making him go in and out of consciousness. A friend of his flew in from Thailand to bring him back to Thailand to have a (cheaper) doctor care for him and basically provide hospice care. Also, he can get proper Thai burial rites there. He's only in his mid 50's. Awesome.

What makes it lousier is that my grandpa on my dad's side died a year before I was born from liver cancer too. He was 60. Genetics are awesome: the guys in my families die young, the women live forever. Great Grandma on Mom's side lived till she was 102, Great Grandma on Dad's side lived till she was 98. At least Mira lucks out.

Not that I plan on it any time soon, but if I am to die, here are my final wishes (assuming I don't update this down the road):
-You got 3 choices for the sermon: Unitarian Universalist, Buddhist, non-sectarian. If any mention of Jesus or salvation come up, I'm coming back as a ghost and haunting your ass.
-As low of a carbon footprint as possible. Cremation is a good option. A green burial would be cool too (ie biodegradable coffin so I can turn into awesome compost). A fancy metal/hardwood coffin is a no-no. An open casket (and the pounds of formalehyde and other chemicals pumped into me) will make me come back in another life and stab you.
-If I get cremated, here's what to do with my ashes: bury half and plant a tree over the ashes (assuming this meets all local health standards). That way, my ashes will turn into compost and feed the tree. The tree would actually contain me in it. Weird.
-Assuming cremation again, spread the rest of my ashes far, far away. Hungary or Argentina or Tibet or wherever. I want whoever has to spread me around to go on a trip to somewhere they normally would never go. Feel free to use whatever money I have left from my life insurance, savings, etc. to help with the costs (assuming Mira's needs are being met).
-Please make an effort to play music during the ceremony that I would actually, plausibly listen to. Try going through my MP3 playlists or something. I do not want cliche funeral music playing. I do want a sense that at least one of you out there knows me well enough to not play "Amazing Grace" or "Memories" from Cats.
-If I die on a holiday, you are hereby ordered to pretend that I died a day afterwards. I do not want anybody associating, for example, Christmas with my death.

The plus side about not having to work today was that I got to recover from watching Minus the Bear play last night. It was pretty sweet, though all the reverb they use on their albums does not necessarily translate well into a live situation. What I as about to do was go see them, come directly home, and crash for 3 hours before work. Not having to do that was good.
Current Mood: mischievousmorose

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April 26th, 2010

08:12 pm
In an effort to take the clutter out of my life, I think I'm going to start eBaying away parts of my childhood. My comic books and, more traumatically, my Magic cards are probably going to be on the chopping block soon. Eventually my excess furniture and some books will follow, and then I'll donate a crapload of clothes to Goodwill. Less stuff = less shit to haul around and hold me down, less clutter, more simplicity. That's the theory, anyway. I figure that if I can go to Europe for 2 weeks with 17 pounds of stuff in a backpack (which included 5 pounds of books), I can live without a garage full of stuff.

Kim stayed 3 nights instead of one. Suffice it to say that she has helped me to see many good qualities about myself.

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April 20th, 2010

08:31 pm
In the past few days, I have:
-Eaten way too many ribs. And there's more to make in the fridge.
-Signed up for weekly baskets of tasty, fresh, local, organic vegetables and eggs.
-Paid off my student loans for studying abroad (somehow, that took me 4 years to do).
-Been accepted into grad school.

Nice. Life is improving. Baby steps are still steps.

Also, I want to get my money out of Bank of America because I'm sort of pissed about the bank bailouts/CEO bonuses and their general assitude. Instead, I want to join a local credit union so that my money goes towards development around here, and to my neighbors instead of anonymous shareholders, overpaid executives, and questionable political donations. The one thing stopping me? I have a car loan and credit cards through Bank of America and I think I'm too lazy to transfer money between 2 banks to pay bills.

Anybody else going to Sublime (well, 2/3 of Sublime) this Saturday?
Current Music: Mira's yelling in the background.

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