A Gift from God.

It has been awhile since I updated this blog. A lot has happen since, and what better place to update then being in the comfort of the University library. I’m going to try my best to summarize lately what has happened, so bare with me. Grammar police do your best, this blog will have many grammatical errors, since everything I write will be nothing but stream of consciousness–liberate from the constraints of grammar and other writing technicality.

Chapter 1: Finding Janet
During last Christmas, I was in my car alone, making a simple prayer to God asking him to heal me and wash away all my worthless anxiety. I asked him to allow me to focus on my passion, my goals, and most importantly myself. A couple of weeks later, I stumbled upon a girl name Janet on the internet, specifically Angry Asian Man. It was a video of her on youtube, in which she was at the hospital after her leukemia has relapse.

I became intrigued about her condition, and decided to follow up on her story. I found her blog and realized that she was a gifted writer from the Bay who just graduated from UCLA. The more I delve into her blog, the more I realized that the both of us share a lot of things in common. I felt that I knew her for a very long time, as if two old friends are finally back to rekindle their lost relationship.

However, weeks after discovering her–she posted a desperate plea video that deeply impacted me. At the time when I saw it, it only generated about 100 views. She was crying out to the world begging her supporters to sign up as potential marrow matches. When I saw it, the first thing that went through my head is “damn…this girl is really desperate. Desperate to a point that she is posting this video online. I mean no one on the internet is going to do anything about it since she doesn’t have much youtube subscribers. I have to do something about it.” I thought with the 670 subscribers that I have on youtube, I can help spread the word to my viewers by making a video response to Janet.  The video served as not only an announcement to my viewers but also a personal oath to myself. I only had one thing in my mind: to save Janet’s life.

That week, I had no idea what I was doing.  I wanted to host a bone marrow drive but I didn’t know how to even began.  I spent many hours that week phoning, and emailing other people on campus about how to host an event, granted I have never table for anything before in my life.  I was lost and helpless but through prayer, God was there to walk along side with me.  He push me through and gave me all the right signs to host a drive for Janet.  I phoned AADP and got the thumbs up.  The drive date was approved.  UC Davis will host two drives in honor of Janet.

Chapter 2: Spreading the word

Once that the drive was approved by AADP, I knew I needed to spread the word.  The hardest thing about “spreading the word” was that I was simply a “nobody” at UC Davis.  I didn’t have a lot of friends nor do I know a lot of organizations on campus.  I was just a simple student, a number in the University.

The first person I turned to was a friend of mine from the Asian American Association club.  I asked her to spread the word about the bone marrow drive that I was hosting.  However, I knew that wasn’t enough.  I needed to form a group, an entourage per se.  I needed muscle.  So I turned to Lambda, an asian fraternity.  The truth is, I really couldn’t relate to Frat (at the time of course).  However, I was desperate and I really wanted to save this girl’s life.  A stranger’s life.  So I gave Lambda a chance and phone them.

I contacted Cao, a member of Lambda, ask him if he would like to join me in my journey of spreading the word to many students about Janet’s story.  To my surprise, it turns out that Lambda was also in the process of hosting a drive too.  I suggested him that we should worked together; that we can get more work done if we were cohesive.  His frat brothers was going to take care of the flyers, I was going to take care of the publicity. They turned out to be very passionate and nice guys.  I pushed forward.

Within the course of three days, I covered around 5 major health and asian organizations about the drive.  I spent hours refining my presentation, my composure, and most importantly my state of mind.  This was God acting through me.  And this was me embracing his energy.

Words spread fast, and many social media wanted to interview me about my effort in saving this girl.  NPR, Enterprise, OneVietnam, DavisPatch, and many others reached out to me.  Not going to lie, I was excited about the media attention.  However, I prayed to God that day to not let this get over my head.  That may I continue to be humble and focus on my objective–to save Janet’s life and that’s it.

I was ready.

Chapter 3: Hosting the Drive on Davis
Draped in my green army overcoat, brown horn rim glasses, jeans, and pair of old converse–I was ready to do a little activism work.  Not going to lie, I was really nervous about the drive.  I was afraid that if no one shows up, all my effort of publicizing the event on campus was going to be for nothing.

I met Nittu that day, a member of AADP.  She went over with me about the logistics of today’s agenda.  We moved fast and began to grab as much people as we can.  Wednesday was a slow day, we’ve only managed to gathered 80 people that day.

Thursday was a different story.  After coming back from my NPR interview, I rushed over to the scene to see how the drive was happening on campus.  I was surprised.  There was a lot of people chanting, “Save Janet’s life, sign up!”  I spoke to some of the volunteers and they said that they’ve gotten quite a few to sign up.  I was happy.

Someone whispered into my ear, “hey…that’s Janet’s brother, Jeff.”  I was scared.  I wanted to talk to him but I was afraid of approaching him.  I knew he was going through a tough time and I didn’t want to be the kind of person who was all up his face about his reaction to his sister’s condition.  So instead, I approached him nonchalantly and introduced myself to him.

Everything went well.  Jeff and I talked for nearly an hour and I’ve learned a lot about him and his family.  He told me that everything that is happening on campus seems very surreal at the moment.  He doesn’t want to view as the “kid brother of a dying sister.”  I told him I understand.  I didn’t want to strain our conversation by talking about his sister, instead I switched our conversation about UC Davis instead.  “what classes are you taking? how do you like Davis? what do you do for fun?” You know, all that small talk stuff.

The drive was over and we bid our farewell.  I walked to my car, took a deep breath, and pat myself on the back.  “You did good Vincent.  You did good. Maybe one day you’ll meet Janet,” I said.

Chapter 4: The Calm after the Storm

After the drive, life at Davis return back to its original state.  As Ezra Pound once wrote, “the apparition of these faces on the crowd, petals on the wet, black bough.”  Everybody was everybody, nobody was nobody.  I, myself, was back in class reading unimportant books and listening to  lectures that has no real help for me after college.

With papers and midterms piling on my end, my thought about Janet became only stronger.  “How is she? What is she up to? Did she learn about my effort here at Davis?”  I was glad that I was able to help her out but I was a bit sadden that I wasn’t able to catch her attention.  I guess you can say that I was a little envious of Victor Kim, Wong Fu, and Kevjumba.  Janet took notice of them but not a small time youtuber like myself.  Oh wells, my effort was not in vain.  All I wanted was to help Janet.  I couldn’t help but wonder if these youtube celebrities are only helping Janet as a way of building their image.  Making them appear more than just entertainers but also a philantropist.  I know its wrong for me to think like that…but I couldn’t help it.

I was no longer seen as the “Vincent the Boy who Hosted the Drive” but rather “Vincent, your typical UC Davis Student”.  Life was back to normal and I was just living it through day by day.  I spent most nights hanging out with friends, hitting the bars and clubs.  I was just living up the single life, doing what guys normally do.  Getting drunk with the guys and hitting on mediocre attractive superficial college girls.  Though as fun as that may seem…I felt like something was still missing from me.  It was short-lived and I knew this wasn’t something God had planned for me.  So I took a break from it and declined any more short-lived fun.

Later that week, Bonnie contacted me seeing if I was interested in visiting Janet.  That moment, I had the biggest smile ever.  I was finally going to meet Janet! I couldn’t held it in.  I phoned up my friend and told her that I was going to meet Janet.  Its funny how I excited I was.  She was kind of a celebrity to me.  I told myself that I was going to keep my cool and not fangirl when I see her for the first time.  I put on my favorite clothing and drove over to Pleasanton.

Chapter 5: A Gift from God
Bonnie, Michael, and I rendezvous at Amador High School for another bone marrow drive.  It was the second drive that I’ve been a part of.  Being here at Janet’s High School was a step away from finally meeting her.  I was excited yet nervous at the same time.  I couldn’t help but think to myself, “this was Janet’s school.  This was where she lived, breathed, made friends, and studied.”  That day I met her teachers and her friends, and they all share stories about their experience with Janet.  Yet, I find it very funny that I have met everyone that was a part of Janet’s life but, yet, not Janet herself.

After the drive was done, I turned to Bonnie and looked at her.  She knew that I wanted to meet Janet in person.  I didn’t have to say anything to her.  My eager eyes was enough for anyone to read me.  I wanted to meet this girl.  I’ve done a lot in her honor.  The least that anyone can do is allow me to meet her.  Whether it be 5 minutes or 5 seconds…just let me say at least a good “hello” to her.

We waited by the high school for an hour, still no sign of Janet.  Janet hasn’t called Bonnie nor responded to her text.  Where is she? I began to lose hope.  I figured I might as well just packed and head back up to Davis.  Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

Bonnie received a phone call from Janet.  Lunch is confirmed.  We are going to have lunch with Janet and her friends.  I was overwhelmed with joy, yet, I concealed it.  “Let’s go,” Bonnie said.

We finally arrived at Janet’s place.  Her friend came out of her house one by one. Its as if God is teasing me with all these other people before finally revealing Janet to me. “Where is Janet?” I thought.

And there she was.  Standing at only 5’2”, petite, skinny, wearing a black cardigan, jeans, a beanie, and two little black boots.  I was nervous. I stood behind Michael’s towering 7’2” height and peeked from the corner.  She saw me, and smiled back.  I timidly wave at her.  “What should I say? Should I run up to her and give her a hug?” I thought.

We drove over to a a Mom and Pop mexican restaurant and had lunch there.  I sat next to Janet in hopes of getting to know her a little better.  Honestly, I didn’t know what to say her.  All I could think of was mentioning about stupid things like the decor of the restaurant or whether she prefers tacos or burritos.  It was dumb.  But an ice breaker nonetheless.

Bonnie and Michael left, and it was only Janet, her friends, and me.  We all went over to Chabot Lake and spent the afternoon walking around the beautiful route.  The whole time, I was cautious of whether Janet was going to faint.  I mean, I’ve never hung out with a leukemia patient before so I guess I was just concern that Janet was going to run out of breath during our walk.  However, little did I know…Janet was a much stronger woman than I anticipated.

The whole gang (including myself) went over to Tully’s coffee and spent the evening conversing over coffee and tea.  Here, I learned about Janet’s life at UCLA and her fun times with her roommate.  Out of all Janet’s gang, I thought Juan was the most hilarious guy I’ve met since.  His cold dark humor was something I’ve grown attracted to.  He was cynical but at the same time a down to earth kinda guy.

The gang left later that evening and it was only just us two, Janet and I.  We drove over to Berkeley and spent the night watching “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.  The whole time I thought, I can’t believe I’m spending time with this girl.  The girl who have caught so much attention on the internet.  The girl who was a celebrity in my book.  However, all that began to dissipate and to me…Janet was just a normal girl.  A normal, yet…kind spirited beautiful girl.

She rest her head on my shoulder and I rest mine against her.

After the movie, we spent the entire morning together sitting in the car and exchange stories.  We had our first kiss.  It was all happening so fast.  But it felt right.  I was falling for her and she was falling for me.

That date later turned into many date later that week.  Janet was no longer just a girl with leukemia.  Instead, Janet became much more than that.  She was my angel.  She was my guardian angel.  If anything, I needed her more than she needed me.  She was strength, my peace, and I have never felt so happy in the long time. I felt protected just being in her presence.

I know what I’m getting myself into.  Dating a girl with cancer is not easy.  There will be times when I will have to face the darkest hour with Janet.  There will be times when Janet will be sick and I will have to be there for her.  There are sacrifice to make, trials to be face, and pain to be endure.  But then again, what relationships don’t have these elements? Whether she has cancer or not, relationships require work in order for the two to mature.  To me, it was worth it.

Meeting Janet changed a lot of perspective in me.  I was done living the single life.  I am done going out to the clubs, and having meaningless relationships with other girls.  I wanted real moments with someone.  I wanted someone who I can be my comfortable self…without having to try hard to impress them.  I wanted to be love and love someone back.  Janet provides that.

I realized that ever since I met Janet, a part of me has matured dramatically.  I no longer care about how she looks, nor the superficiality that most guys are accustom to.  Instead, I was falling for Janet that can only be measure skin deep.  With my time with Janet, I have never laughed, cried, or argued so much within the short amount of time.  I have never fought so hard, nor pursue a girl as I do with Janet.  I have never been so confused yet so sure that she was the one.  Whatever the case may be.  I am at peace.  I am happy.  And most importantly, I am bless.  Janet is a Gift from God. Thank you.

“A woman’s heart should be so close to God’s that a man must seek Him to find her.” – Elisabeth Elliot

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Re-connecting with one’s inner love for Legend of Zelda

At the dawning age of 5, our family usually has weekly get together at my Uncle’s house in Southern California.  With the adults mingling out in the back porch, conversing among themselves over durian and balut, the kids are inside strategizing a mean game of hide and seek.  Unfortunately, I was often time appointed as the seeker.  And so as my stubby clumsy legs carried themselves through the vast mountains of carpets and couches of my Uncle’s house—I decided to boldly ventured into the forbidden cavern of my Uncle’s room, equipped with a plastic dollar sword from Chinatown and a little imagination—hoping to find the remaining hide-and-seek survivors.

As I hacked and slashed my way through dangling clothes and crumpled receipts, I fervently searched every corner of the room for the remaining players.  I looked underneath the bed, the closet, the bathroom, and curtains but still no luck.  I lost hope and grown weary of the game.  Just when I began to lost interest in my Uncle’s room, I noticed a small chest box in the corner, enamored in fine mahogany wood.  I was curious yet hesitant at the same time but was finally lured in by the chest box’s enchantment.  My body trembled with excitement as my fingers loosen up the latch on the chest.  “What could possibly be in this box?” “What is so secretive that my Uncle has to put a chest box at such an obscure location?”

And there it was, in its full glory.  It was my Uncle’s secret stash of an assortment of Nintendo video games.  From Super Mario to Castlevania, from Ninja Gaiden to Mega Man—the collection of Nintendo games were neatly stacked as if the games were an ancient artifact, untouched for many years.  My eyes quickly scanned through the collection but were finally stunned by the glistening golden cartridge that stood out among the bodies of gray masses, lying lifelessly in my Uncle’s chest box.  I picked up the golden treasure and read the words out loud to myself, curling my tongues into foreign shapes and cylinders, “Le…gend…of…Zel…da.”

I sprint towards my Uncle, confessed that I found his NES collection and plead him if I can borrow the game.  After 10 minutes of begging, following with what seems to be perpetual motion of circulating arms and legs in the air, my uncle finally caved in and allowed me to borrow his limited edition Legend of Zelda game.

I quickly grabbed my NES console and carefully inserted the game into the system.  I was unsure as to what magic this special golden cartridge holds.  Within seconds, I was greeted by what appears to be honey to my ears, fire to my heart, and the burning passion to explore uncharted lands.  My eyes were glued onto the TV, completely stunned by the heroic ballad theme, absorbing every intricate note that this 8-bit video game was able to elegantly produce.

From exploring dungeons, to secret passages, from venturing to woods and open fields—the music transitions unisonally with the movement of my thumb, as our hero Link explores the idyllic Kingdom of Hyrule fencing against armor clad orcs and lizards.

That was 20 years ago.

Even today, the sound of Zelda’s rudimentary beeps and blips still continue to fuel my love for this ongoing franchise.  If there is one thing that Koji Kondo does well, (the musical composer of Legend of Zelda) it is the ability to create a rich and magical environment through his scoring compositions—compiling one of the most well known melodies in video game history.

As Legend of Zelda continues to evolve over the years, technology has allow itself to cultivate and encompass a much more vibrant musical piece than its predecessors.  Musical scores no longer derived from midi file but instead blossomed into beautiful orchestral music.  As a result, music became equally important to both gameplay and graphics—in which all these elements are intertwined in order to generate this masterpiece.

As the years progressed and my old Nintendo console continues to collect dust—the memories of my Hyrule expedition sadly exist solely in my yesteryears.  The Dark Lord Ganon and his Gerudo cronies have probably by now recaptured Princess Zelda, spreading his seed of evil on the once tranquil land of Hyrule.  My inner Link calls for my assistance, but the softness of his whisper has been brush aside many times by the mundane trivialities of the real world.  Hyrule was under despair and all I did was nothing.

However, I’ve recently discovered that an orchestra symphony was going on a North America tour, dedicating to Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary.  I continue to read on, scanning any information relating to the symphony performance.  And then it hit me.  Collective memories of my Zelda adventures returned back.  The sweet melodic of Zelda’s theme song, the burning desire to explore new terrains, and the thrilling battles finally came to me.  The whisper of Link’s calling has finally roared itself into my heart.  The fulfillment that I experience then was reminiscent to the very first day I laid eyes on the gold cartridge 20 years ago.

I read on, “Symphony performs Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary on March 28 at San Francisco”.  My body melts into my chair.  I was delusional.  Everything around me suddenly transformed itself into Legend of Zelda’s paraphernalia.  My pillow suddenly hardened into a shield.  The clothes hanger on the floor curved its body into a boomerang.  My baseball bat transfigured into the Master Sword.  Everything green reminded me of Link.  Green towel, green carpet, green book, green jacket, all reminded me the forest green tunic that the hero drapes himself with before he ventures into the unknown.

Without a moment to spare, I press the “purchase” button and bought myself a ticket, back seat in the auditorium.  I didn’t care where I sat.  As long as both my heart and soul are present during this sacred performance, my body will become light with ethereal joy—dancing to familiar tune like Fairy Fountain and the sound of Gerudo Valley theme, in all its epic glory

So you see, my love for Zelda was not diminished.  It was perhaps buried, burrowed, bequeathed so deep within me that all it took was a quiet voice (perhaps my inner Navi) to bring me back to the world in which my childhood once love—a world of adventure and conquest.  Thank you Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony for refilling my love and heart meter for this magical game.

Limitless

If I wasn’t moving forward, I felt like I was going to explode.

Well, in order for a career to evolve, I’m gonna have to move on

I was blind, but now I see.

Dear K,

Dear K,

I don’t know why you want me to write you a letter all of a sudden.  I dont know what is your ulterior motive, cause frankly I don’t think you can be a huge help for me.  I appreciate you taking the initiative to want to figure out whats going on with my life but this spontaneous sentimentality is stirring up a lot of confusion.  In any case, the thing that is going on in my life is something I have to deal with alone.  But if you really must know than I’ll tell you.

Like I said it before and I’ll say it again my recent breakup with my ex has been eating me up a lot lately  We were together for 1 1/2 year, the longest I’ve ever been with anyone.  We were in love, she was my paramour.  She was my best friend.  Then life happens, she landed a full time job in SF, I was still in Davis.  She was meeting new people, making money, promoted to a higher job ranking and later became a manager for a software company.  Meanwhile, I was stuck in Davis, being a 25 year old undergraduate…constrain by this college limbo.  I felt useless, immobilize, and most importantly unsure of what the future holds.  Our relationship is a strange one, it was a constant on and off.  I won’t bore you with the details but long story short…I figured it was best that we break up.  I had to put my heart away and start thinking with my head.  However, even till this day…I question whether us breaking up was the right thing?  If the circumstances that was the only force that gotten in the way of our love, then why couldn’t I fix it?  The answer: I was lazy.  I was too comfortable of us and was not willing to fight for our relationship.  So we broke up.

That was last summer.  I figured, if I really love her, I must care about her future.  All the signs were pointing towards that direction, to let her move on with her life and discover herself in SF.  Do I miss her?  Of course, every single day.  Seeing pictures of her surrounded by guys, drinking, having fun gotten the best of me.  I can’t help but felt betrayed in a sense.  Its like a part of me is gone.  Half of me cease to exist.  Sometimes I let my imagination take the best of me, conjuring images of her with other men having sex, putting their hands on her.  It became an obsessive thought, consuming the best of me.. I was fueled by anger, jealousy, betrayal, and confusion.  I harbored that energy, feeding it, allowing it to sculpt into something useful.  I became hungry, wanting to use that energy and convert it into something productive.  As a result, I made films.  Lots of films.  Any idea that I can think of, I transformed it into visuals.  I wanted to show her that I was better.  That I don’t need her.  That the guy you’re hanging around can never be as good as me.  It became unhealthy.  It was a competition that served no purpose.  The end does not justify the mean.  Because in all honesty, she probably could care less of all the hidden signs I’m throwing at her.  I don’t blame her.  She has her own life to live.  And I have my own life to live as well.  That was November.

Last month, I asked myself everyday…”how can I better myself?”  I cannot go on living in the past, hoping that she will come back to me?  So I accepted it.  Everyday became a therapy.  Every little task, the remedial simple mundane activity took form of meditation.  I take long showers, look myself in the mirror, long walks…every thing slowly progress itself as therapeutic.  I go to to Arc, hit the bags to improve my fitness.  I read novels that I wouldn’t dare touch in the past, to improve myself intellectually.  I write in my blog everyday to better myself as a writer.  I eat by myself.  Go on long walks by myself, Run by myself.  Talk to myself.  Essentially did all these things by myself to remind myself that I need to be okay being alone.  That I need to learn to love myself and not give a fuck what she thinks.  Its a selfish thought but I needed it in order to survive mentally and emotionally.  And so lately I’ve become quite the introvert…while she is transforming herself into a person that I wouldn’t imagine.  The girl I use to love is forever now just a remnants of my yesteryear memories.

So you see Kim this is why you can’t understand the kind of pain I’m going through.  The heartbreak, the betrayal, the loss of trust, human companionship, best friend…all that.  You can’t understand.  Why?  Because you have never been in a relationship.  And I’m sorry to say but your 1 month relationship with P doesn’t count.  You can empathize with me that I’m sure but to emotionally know what I’m going through?  I fear not.  And so, I’ve grown to hate relationships.  Seeing the damage that it can potentially do to someone.  The heart is a fragile thing.  I don’t care how big or strong a person can be, but the fragility of this 1 pound pulsating tissue that takes form of what we call a “heart” is nothing more than sponge…waiting to soak in all that bitter, hate, and heart broken.

-V.

Arboretum Girl

They say the best thing to do to become a better writer is to write whichever first comes to mind.  Allow your stream of consciousness to flow from your synapses, fingertips, and finally onto the keyboard.  Do not edit, or delete anything prior to what is written down.  In this case, this is my attempt to write on the fly.  Here is a summary of my first day in this exciting yet unfamiliar new year.

On New Years Eve, I did not go out, get drunk, celebrate with friends, or do anything that many people normally do on the celebration of the last day of 2011.  Instead, I spent my night in solitude, meditation, and revered in silence with a nice cup of tea and a book.  I covered around 100 pages of Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being within a solid 3 hours of reading.  It was perfect night well spent and I very much enjoy it.  I suppose this year is going to be different from the last.  I’ve grown out of the whole party scene.  I figured it is not who I am.  Instead I crawl back into the introverted self that I respect mostly about myself.  Introverted in a sense that I am not a social outcast.  No, no.  Rather introverted in a such a way that I am spending my days in the arts, literature, and exploring new music.  2012 is a year when I revitalize the renaissance within me.  In any case, I didn’t stay up past midnight to do a little countdown to myself.  I figured January 1st is just like any ordinary day as the prior.  Perhaps the cold weather invokes one desire to harbor this energy of solitude and creativity.

Woke up around 8am and did a little more reading.  Walked out and saw Kevin sleeping on the couch.  We decided to have breakfast together at Black Bear Diner, catching up on our lives over grits and eggs.  We exchanged our News Year Resolution.

“I want to lose 20 lbs” I said.
“I’m trying to gain 20 lbs” He said
“No girl for me this year” I said.
“I’m trying to get on this girl” He said.

It was a constant exchange of opposite ideas.  The binary between the two splits across the breakfast table.  It was a good breakfast nonetheless.

I returned back home, head over to my room to continue my reading.  I can’t help but wonder how can a man like Tomas have multiple affairs with other women and claim that he still loves Tereza?  It just doesn’t really make much sense to me.  How can you give your whole heart to one girl but have multiple affairs?  I closed my book and decided to follow up with some light activity.  Its been awhile since I took a walk to the arboretum.  I grabbed my Pentax K1000 and decided to take some random shots on my film camera.

I drove over to Arboretum.  It was a beautiful afternoon, I say 50 degrees F.  Quite warm for Davis lately.  I took shots of the creek, children feeding ducks, old couples walking, orange autumn leaves on trees, and the list goes on.  It was beautiful, simplicity at its best.  Beauty in  small things.  I come to appreciate the small things in life that many of us normally takes for granted.  I’ve become a Grandpa in a sense.  I like using the phrase “in a sense.”  I’m getting off topic.

After a couple of shots, I notice a girl sitting on the bench reading to herself.  A road bike rest against the bench.  Her legs extends, resting on the bench.  Her body is composed.  Her eyes focused on each word.  I couldn’t help but admire the way she reads.  I wanted to talk to her, ask her what book she is reading and hopefully stir up a conversation with her.  A human to human interaction is all I want.  No expectations.  Just an interaction with another individual.  Companionship.  One lone wolf to another.

I walked around continuing to take pictures, mustering up the courage to walk up and talk to her–formulating topics to discuss in my head.  I got it.

“Hi! I’m doing a small portfolio project and been taking random pictures of people and things here at the arboretum.  I was wondering if I can take a picture of you if you don’t mind?” I said.
“Sure…though I’m not really photogenic though.” She said.
“Its okay, I’ll make it look good.” I smiled.
<<snap>>


“Got it.  Hopefully it turns out well.  Its on a film camera so I’ll find out later.” I said
“By the way, you look familiar.  I think I might have class with you.  Were you in my English 10C class with Addona?” I asked
“Yes, I think I may seen you in that class.” She said.
“Oh yeah, I think I sat behind you one day. I might’ve asked you if I can borrow a piece of paper. I’m Vincent”
“Hi, I’m S.”

We shook hands.  Spent the entire hour talking about ourselves in the quiet refreshing afternoon.  I learned that she was an english major, worked with autism kids in Sacramento, loves simplicity, minimalistic, Korean American, and enjoy spending alone time reading at the arboretum.  I was inspired.  I knew that I wasn’t the only person who enjoys spending quiet time by themselves.  In my surprise, I’ve grown attracted to her.

I didn’t want to extend my conversation any longer.  I didn’t want to take too much of her time.  We parted, exchange numbers, and return back to the solitudes of our lives.  A day well spent I’ll say.

My 2012 News Year Resolution

With the 2012 New Year just around the corner, I believe its time to make a resolution for myself…and by resolution I believe its best to set some realistic goals.  Here are the following:

1)  Finish Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina.  Though Russian literature may seem to be intimidating to many amateur readers like myself…I believe with a certain amount of integrity and willpower–I believe its feasible to finish this book.  I have always wanted to finish Tolstoy’s book but I’ve been putting it away many times.  By the end of 2012, I would finish this book.

2) Lose 15-20 lbs for my sister’s wedding (April 2012).  My weight has been fluctuating from 145 to 155 since and I think its time that I find myself a healthy median.  My goal is to drop around 135 lb, which I weighed in before transferring to UC Davis.  I believe with more home cook meal and more boxing at the gym, I can shed a couple of unnecessary weight.

3) No girlfriend.  Apparently, I am still going through a healing process from my last relationship and I strongly believe I need this time to really focus on my goals.  I need to regain my composure, momentum, and most importantly my passion.  I’m going to be fine with the idea of being single.  I need to learn to love myself more before I can invest with someone else.  Its selfish I know.

4) Following up with Tolstoy’s book, I’m going to promise myself to read more literature.  Whether its mystery, science fiction, romance, nonfiction, short stories…anything.  The point is I need to develop a repertoire of vocabularies, as well as a strong literary critical analysis.  This will help aid in my mastery of the English language.  So far, I’m finishing up Kundera’s Unbearable Lightness of Being

5) With reading, I’m sure it will enhance my writing skills.  I hope to find the time to write every single day.  Whether it be one sentence, one paragraph, one blog entry…whatever, the practice of jotting down words will help me become a better writer.

6) Regain my self-confidence.  This is self explanatory.  Essentially, I’m done putting on a mask.  I’m done being a “chameleon”, adapting and changing to every little scenario in order to please other people.  I need to not give a hoot and be comfortable in my own shell.  With a little self-improvement and confidence, I’ll be a better person.  Still the same person…but a more compose nonetheless.

7) Make the best use of my last quarter at UC Davis.  That means, go to office hours, engage more in class discussions, and don’t procrastinate.

8) Become a better boxer.  Eat healthier, more road work, more mitt works, more punching bag…more of everything.

9) Get at least one internship relating to journalism.

10) Be happy. Smile and enjoy the simplicity of life.  Life is beautiful.  I can’t find any other way to describe this without coming off as a hippie…but really, be happy.  Don’t indulge in hate, jealousy, or any other worthless anxiety.  I should just let nature takes its course and be happy.  I’ve lived a quarter of my life, so why should I invest the other half sulking and hating right? Right. So be happy.

This New Year is going to be an investment of self-improvement.  Hopefully by the end of 2012, I can revisit this blog entry and check every single one of them.  Happy New Year everyone.

35 mm Film

“A Writer’s Tale” (<—Watch it)
I am currently fumbling into my socks as I am writing this post for today.  I just found a 35 mm film camera for $60!  It’s a Pentax K1000, one of the longest producing camera in photography history.  Its a basic, all manual, and beautifully built camera.  I can’t wait to take some beautiful shots with this.  I suppose what inspired me to go out and shoot film was to learn the true mechanics of photography.  I felt a lot of people today are having DSLR and considering them photographers when in fact all they really do is just point and shoot.  In any case, time to venture out to Pleasanton (1 hour from where I’m sitting).  In the mean time.  I’ll leave you with this beautiful short film, its a stop motion that is shot with a 35 mm camera–you guessed it…the beautifully engineered Asahi Pentax K1000.