:: What's New in the World ::
"I hate you."
In The Off Hours
Books :: None currently...
TV :: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, The 4400, Entourage
Anime :: Naruto, Bleach, Gundam SEED Destiny, Sousei no Aquarion
Music :: DHT - Listen to Your Heart
• Annoying Event Staff
• No More Work
• Night Pictures
• Winning at Poker
• No income
• Expensive gear
• Integrating flash and DBs
• Driving long distances
:: Thursday, October 31, 2002 ::
Don't Move Until You See It...
:: Monday, October 28, 2002 ::
Ten points to anyone who got that slightly obscure reference to "Searching for Bobby Fischer." My team lead and manager are away on travel, and I finished my deadline on Tuesday. What does that mean exactly? It means I spent most of yesterday bored out of my mind and eventually left early. So today I brought Chessmaster 9000 from home and installed it on my work PC. I spent the day going through the tutorials and now my head is filled with en pissants, pins, forks, discovered attacks, combination attacks, stalemates and checkmates. I hadn't realized how much I'd forgotten. Anyway, I better wrap this up cause I'm literally out the door. Josh Tran's waiting to take me to the airport then it's off to Bay Area I go. For those staying behind in SD and partying, play hard but safe. I'm kinda sad I'll be missing out, but then again I'll be up to my activities up north. See everyone when I get back. Bye.
:: posted by Z [4:36 PM]
Weekend Aftermath Report...
:: Thursday, October 24, 2002 ::
Sorry for the delay folks, but as some of you might have already guessed, I had quite the weekend and unfortunately am still not fully recovered from the entire experience. But it's already Monday evening and tired as I may be, the world hasn't stop spinning. So I better hurry up and get this report out before I lose consciousness again. Well I guess I should start with Friday, where the weekend officially begins; though Vu and Chester may argue otherwise. On Friday at noon, I had my first meeting with my new group at work, Embedded Systems, with my new manager. It was there I was presented with, to my mild surprise, a 5 year service award from my company (shown to the right). I hadn't realized it had been that long already but after a little research I discovered that I started working here back in October 1997, the beginning of my sophomore year. It's hard to grasp how five years just slipped by so quickly, but when I take a moment and recollect everything that I've done, everyone I've met and how much I've changed, I'm left dumbstrucked. I guess in some ways I'm surprised it's only been five years; at times it seems a lifetime ago.
I hadn't really made any definite plans for Friday and was content to just sit back and relax to a dvd or two, but even when I choose remain at home it seems I can't escape alcohol or trouble. My latest roommate, Thien, my brother's friend from Fresno, was having a small BBQ. Since I wasn't really up to much myself, I decided to join them in their festivities. Most of Thien's guests were at that barely 21 age and couldn't hold their liqour for squat. Long story short, there was an over abundance of alcohol, even a bottle of 151, the bane of my existence short of polish vodka, and a high shortage of tolerance and responsible drinking. Four of them, a guy named Tony, two girls named Twi and Dana, and Thien himself got super faded and ended up puking. Most of this was accomplished with the equivalent of three beers. Then to end the evening perfectly, the coup de gras, Twi, a very drunk 19 year old vietnamese girl, sat on the corner of our solid marble coffee table and broke it. It looks like the Cookie Monster took a bite of it (picture shown to the right). I finally kicked everyone out at around 4am and went to sleep exhausted. I have to thank my friend Jerry for helping me clean up a lot of the mess.
So now we come to Saturday, a day I both blame and thank Richard for, and the main reason behind the tardiness of this post. This is actually my third attempt at writing this recap but I was having a hard time concentrating earlier today. On top of that my jaw hurt, my throat was raw, my shoulders were sore, my knees were bruised, and I had the headache from hell which means I obviously went raving, my first time in two years. Once again I had no real intention of doing anything Saturday night, but Monster Massive was on the table as an option. Richard called me around 3:30 and informed me I had forty-five minutes to decide. I called him back, ready to decline the invitation, but got only his voicemail to which I left a page. I received a call back five minutes later in which he informed me to be at his house by 5PM and that he was already on the way to buy our tickets. When I asked him if he was dropping, he replied "Yes, and so are you," then hung up. I look back now and wonder when exactly I lost contol of the situation. *sigh* But despite all my reservations, Richard buying counterfeit tickets from some punk in front of Mileage, and the party being a massive in LA, we still managed to have a great time. Richard, Tim and I drove up from SD to meet up with Mat, Karen and her friends, Sherry, Carrie, Jack and Chris who were all dope people to party with. I had forgotten so much, the sensations, the sounds, the pain that follows in the wake of the morning sun, but I don't regret any of it. Now if I could only remember the car ride back.
Sunday unfortunately did not turn out to be the day of rest I had intended. I was called into work at noon for some emergency module integration on the application deadlined this Wednesday. I spent five hours trying to correct coding problems and integration complications while being cracked out, sleep deprived and starved. The only silver lining to the ordeal was that all five hours were overtime, which means I made time and half. On the way home I bought three DVDs as a small compensation for my suffering. I got "The Cell," which I had never seen before, and "The 13th Warrior" and "Mission to Mars," as a cheap two pack. Usually not the greatest fan of Micheal Crichton book-to-movie movies, I actually like this Antonio Banderas fantasy/action movie told as an almost Beowulf-style epic, though I have serious doubts about Nordic men being able to speak fluent Greek. As for "Mission to Mars," which stars Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins, two actors I respect, eh... it sucks but was basically $2. The movie was half-way decent until the Disney-like computer generated alien shows up at then end and starts crying. What were they thinking?? Oh well.
Monday was rough; no I mean really rough. I couldn't think, I felt nauseous, and whole slew of other physical and mental aliments mentioned above. Even after getting a cold Venti Caramel Frappacino, I still felt like shit. Finally I surrendered to the futility of it all, something I seem to do quite often these days, and went home early, approximately around 2:30. Immediately after leaving work, I felt instantly better. Maybe it was just the fact that I was on my way home, but I wouldn't be quick to discount the therapeutic effects of driving 90 MPH, both windows down, sun roof open, crisp clean San Diego autumn air blowing on your face, and singing loud and very off key to Avril Lavigne's Falling Down, a song that exemplifies youth, pain, and the ecstasy of making mistakes. When I got home I proceeded quickly in passing out. Which brings me finally to now, sitting here and hoping tomorrow will not be as dreadful. I don't think I'll be raving again for quite some time.
:: posted by Z [8:34 PM]
Naked and Nervous...
:: Monday, October 21, 2002 ::
I just thought I'd share a little embarassing episode that just transpired about ten minutes ago, but first I should explain the context of the situation. Last year, my family had the interior of our house repainted. Originally white, nearly 15 years of occupancy and abuse had rendered it a slightly yellow off-white color. Suffice it to say, it wasn't the most appealing domestic feature. During this time we also removed the doorknobs to each of the doors, but a problem arose when we replaced the doorknob back onto my bathroom door. There now existed a thin layer of paint between the doorknob's plates and the actual door, hence the doorknob was no longer flush with the surface of the door. This meant that from time to time, it tended to get tad stuck. Usually no large inconvenience, the problem was typically solved by a good tug.
This was not to be the case tonight as I finished drying off from my evening shower and prepared to return to my room to get dressed. I turned the knobed, pulled, and then pulled harder but it was firmly entrenched. After several futile efforts, I began to get worried. I called my brother and he tried to push the door open from opposite side to no avail. In total I spent about ten to fifteen minutes, an eternity if you're only wearing a towel and stuck in a bathroom, trying to get that door open. At one point I even thought to have him break down the door forcibly. Finally I found a small flathead screwdriver in the bathroom and was able to pry my way to freedom. *sigh* There's one experience I wouldn't want to relive and now I find that I am a slight bit apprehensive about using my own bathroom. This sucks.
:: posted by Z [10:06 PM]
Recap in Reverse...
:: Sunday, October 20, 2002 ::
I went out, despite my better judgement, to go see "The Ring" last night at Pac 14 in Clairemont and let me just say immediately, it is one distrubing movie. If you want problems sleeping at night, alone, in the dark, paranoid and terrified of what might be lurking in the shadows or simply when you close your eyes, go see this movie. I swear I'll never look at another VHS casette or TV static the same way again. Thank God for DVDs. Anyway, not only did I get home late, approximately 12:30 AM, I also couldn't fall straight asleep like I normally do. I had to read a little of my latest book, Tides of War, and watch some history channel, which as usual was playing some WWII special, to clear my mind of the 1 1/2 hrs of nightmare images I was just subjected to. Suffice it to say, my Monday morning was rougher than usual. I was almost willing to disregard my ritual Monday update but I guess even new habits die hard. Plus people were actually asking me why my site wasn't updated, though probably more from boredom than another reason. Well since I started with Sunday night, I might as well do the rest of the recap in reverse order.
Earlier that Sunday, was the massive, over 20 heads, and what at times felt like it would was never going to end, pho session. I felt like we were KCF and church just got out. We had 4 tables, and we were pushing capacity on most of them. We spent the afternoon chatting away, annoying the staff at Pho Hoa Cali and watching the Oakland / San Diego game, which I should point out SD won! w00h00. In your face Gordon! LOL. And even though we only spent an hour and half inside, an all time record for brevity, something we are often not characterized with; we more than compensated for our short stay with a 30 minute loiter fest in the parking lot. We did eventually manage to leave; Gordon, Laura and Annie drove home to the bay and Nela, who shocked us with a surprised appearance in SD, going home to Ontario to cram for her Monday morning test.
Saturday was a night of shopping at the Hustler Store and dancing at On Broadway. I got Laura an "I am a virgin" shirt; something I have no doubt other people will find just as hilarious as we did right when we saw it. They have a large collection of amusing T-shirts there if you're in the market for such apparel. My personal favorite was "When I talk dirty to a woman, it's sexual harassment. When a woman talks dirty to me, its $3.95 a minute!" Haha. Anyway, it had been a while since I've been to On Broadway, and even though the night started off dead, it steadily progressed into some thing a bit better than decent. The hip hop room, while still fairly hot and stuffy, was no where near the sauna it has been in the past. Right at the beginning, the bartender spilled a drink that partially splashed on Gordon. Consequently, we all got a free round of drinks. Can't ask for more than that.
Friday was the much anticipated night at the Aroma Wilshire Center. Unfortunately the crew throwing the event, Lux Entertainment, tried to jack our crew. Guys on our guestlist were suppose to pay $7 for cover, but ended up paying $10. What's especially wack is this event wouldn't even have been half way decent with out the guestlist Chester and Vu compiled. To top it off, the "bar," and I use the term extremely loosely, straight up sucked. None of the "bartenders," once again another very loose term, couldn't make shit. The only saving grace of the night were the DJs. Afterwards we went to a korean place in k-town. Unfortunately we still got home at 6 in the AM. Overall, probably not worth the drive.
Overall I'd have to admit it was actually a relatively calm weekend. No one got super faded, no one exposed themselves, and I maintained the entire time. Nothing scandalous happened as far as I know and to top it off, it was even affordable. Two nights of clubbing in a row might be too much for my body to handle now though. Anyway, I'm DONE!
:: posted by Z [9:31 PM]
:: Friday, October 18, 2002 ::
So I've been hearing these strange sounds all weekend. No not the kind in my head; an affliction which I know some of you out there suffer from. These sounds are coming from outside my window. They sound something like muffled thunder. A series of consecutive air concussions followed by a low rumble. It's almost like hearing distant thunder, but it's more staccato. Now that I think about it, it's probably what cannon fire would have sounded like from a few miles away. This baffled me for most of the weekend, because even though its quite overcast, these clouds aren't thunderheads and it's not raining. Then as I sat here, getting ready for the Sunday Pho Session, I finally realized what I've been hearing. It's the annual Mira Mar Airshow and those low booms were multiple jets breaking the sound barrier in rapid succession. I feel slightly retarded for not figuring it out sooner, considering I've not only been watching coverage of the airshow on TV but also saw the Blue Angels practicing all week over the 15 on my way home from work. But then again, I wasn't really thinking about it that much. Oh well, to pho I go.
:: posted by Z [12:42 PM]
Another City of Angels Adventure...
I am currently preparing myself, both physically and emotionally, for a party that will probably be one for the history books. Capacity 400. Vu's guestlist 310. WTF. It's like our own private party. Shit I'm skurred. I only hope I can remember most of tonight. But if I don't, *shrug*. It wouldn't be the first and it most definitely wouldn't be the last. Besides, that's what cameras and friends are for; to fill all those pesky holes in your memory. Or maybe that's just me. Anyway, I'm off!
:: posted by Z [5:45 PM]
The Blog Bandwagon...
:: Wednesday, October 16, 2002 ::
Well I just want to take a moment to point out the degree to which this blog mania has spread. We have two new members in our little web family. First up is Ted. Some will note that he already had a webpage (linkable from the column on the left) but one that consisted of mainly images and a few rare "lanisms." He's joined the rest of us now in keeping a web log. So if you want to keep up to date on the downpour of drama and distraught damsels that flood Ted's life daily, hourly, and by the minute, check out gyoza.blogspot.com. Next up is one of the least likely of people at least in my opinion. Our very own Jocelyn has begun a blog as well. You'll note they both choose the exact same template. Coincidence or perhaps it speaks of deeper underlying similarity. You decide. Hehe. Anyway, if you want to read some random ramblings not even the slightest bit remotely related to you (just kidding!), check out lilsatellite.blogspot.com.
:: posted by Z [5:34 PM]
Lists and Liabilities...
:: Monday, October 14, 2002 ::
I read somewhere once that most successful people have not only well formulated goals, but also write those goals down. This is where someone would normally spout of some randomly high yet entirely unsupported percentages, but instead I shall leave only my equally ambiguous and in some ways even more thoroughly imprecise previous statement. Being goal-oriented is a good thing, no one denies that. In fact, most people might be quick to point out that they are in fact so, but is this because it's true or is it simply the right thing to say. It's like asking someone if they're an organ donor. Who truly wants to say no and admit that even in death they can maintain the same level of selfishness and vanity they had in life. And no, I'm not a donor. I'm may be selfish, but I try to be honest. So how many people actually are goal-oriented? More to the point, am I goal-oriented? Unsurprisingly, I'd like to think I am, and have to admit, with a small amount of satisfaction, that the majority of the goals I set, I eventually accomplish. I say "eventually" because it often takes longer than the time I originally allotted. Enter an all too familiar friend named Procrastination.
It is the bane of my existence, if such a thing exists, and confirms the validity of the saying "You are your own worse enemy." Why am I so bound by the Law of Inertia, or at least the first half of it? An object at rest tends to stay at rest and I am too often at rest. While not a firm believer in progress, I do believe in change and this is something I want to change; though whether it's for the better remains to be seen. To bolster such efforts I have begun to write my goals down, both short and long term. The reason a written statement is required beyond a mere mental or even spoken acknowledgement is liability. It is easy to make lofty goals in a moment of strong emotional conviction, but how long after such emotions fade will the goals born from them remain? Memory is easily and conveniently forgotten, and words survive but for an instant after they are uttered. But something that is written remains before us, reminding us of a commitment we openly made to ourselves.
Beyond goals, time frames in which the goals should be completed in must also be written down. This is the area of greatest difficulty for me. The dates have a tendency to be pushed back to the last possible minute much like my alarm clock I snooze continuously until I am almost late for work in the morning. There are few things harder than trying to change yourself. Perhaps I should just continue to snooze; it isn't so bad when I think about it.
:: posted by Z [10:42 AM]
Updates and Upcomings...
:: Thursday, October 10, 2002 ::
It's just another manic Monday and that means it's time for another entry in my blog. Well for those paying attention or care for that matter, my performance evaluations last week went well. My manager was full of praise and compliments on my quantity and quality of work. He was even quick to pass over the small discrepancy I had a few months ago and stated that he truly hoped I would choose to stay with the company for some time. He also plans to get me assigned to an imbedded project to gain me more experience in VHDL. I was doled out a small raise and will receive a larger one in a month or so. Then in January I will be officially promoted from an Associate Software Engineer to a full Software Engineer, something that generally takes two to three years. There's not much difference between the two titles except perhaps in salary, but it simply means that the company feels I have proved myself competent and capable in the capacity that is required of me. Yay for me I guess. I suppose I will be here for a little while.
Now that work is out of the way, on to the web stuff. I've updated and heavily expanded the Nightlife section under the Opinion subpage. From a suggestion I got from Katie, I've included reviews and information about some of the clubs I've been to. Pros, cons, addresses, that sort of stuff. If nothing else, it gives you something to read if you're bored. I've also added a Playlist section under the Magnify subpage. This page is fairly self explanatory and simply has a list of the songs or CDs I'm currently listening to. Just another step in my never ending effort to expand this page and give you, my loyal web readership, more bang for your buck. This is especially true because it's free.
Now that the web stuff is out of the way, onto the events. Coming this Friday, Lux Entertainment and DJ Vu bring you a hiphop experience without parrallel at the Aroma Wilshire Center. Since Vu will be not only spinning but providing the sound and lighting as well, we, and when I saw we I mean me and all of you out there, will be on the guestlist and shall receive our admission for free. That's right! So if you're down to get crazy with us on October 18th, this Friday, email firstname.lastname@example.org or me with a list of the names of your guests. But remember, for every guy you bring, you must bring a cute and single girl to balance it out. This is non-negociable. Haha. Just kidding.. sorta. Anyway for more information such as times and dress code go to www.getinfected.com, which consequently is our new "merged" party site. So stay tuned on the web waves for more upcoming events from the crew at getinfected.com. I can't wait. By Friday, it will have been 3 whole weeks without any clubbing! I think I'm starting to fiend. Unfortunately for me, I have to get back to work now. *sigh*
:: posted by Z [10:21 AM]
Annual Performance Evaluations...
:: Monday, October 07, 2002 ::
Well in a little under an hour I have a meeting with my supervisor and manager, reminding me, as if I could forget, exactly how low down on the corporate ladder I actually am. While not exactly the bottom rung anymore, I'm not breathing clean mountain air either. This is where they review my performance over the last year and determine, though obviously beforehand, how much of a boost in income they will to dally out to me this year. Last year I did fairly well, and despite a few mishaps, I believe I should come out fairly well this year too. I'm still ahead of schedule and currently picking up slack for another coworker as we rapidly approach our all important November 1st deadline. While I'm sure there's more I could have done, when isn't there? I just hope they take those kinds of things into consideration. I'm just at the beginnings of my career but I can't help but gaze farther down the road and wonder exactly how long I will survive the corporate life. I'm not sure if it's a culture thing or an age thing, but the thought of spending 40+ years in this environment terrifies me. I wonder if my fellow coworkers, all over 40 and married with children, felt this way when they were my age or were they simply aware of the order of things and grimly accepted their fate? Maybe it's our generation or perhaps all young people are frightened by the prospect of doing the same thing day in and day out for several decades. *shudder* Oh well. I'll tell you in 40 years or so when I find out for myself.
:: posted by Z [8:39 AM]
A Brief Respite...
:: Friday, October 04, 2002 ::
There was no fallout. There were no blackouts. There wasn't even one drop of alcohol or that ringing in your ears after a night of subjecting yourself to hours of loud bass hitting hiphop. I spent the weekend sitting next to a bubbling autumn brook upon a vista overlooking San Diego in quiet contemplation and reflection. Actually I was at home bored out of my mind. Chester and I were slowly going stir crazy Friday night, with only the tenuous link through AIM for comfort. At the time I thought, So this is life without clubbing. Well I don't like it, not one bit! Luckily I have no shortage of books in, what at times seems never ending, my queue of things to read. Over the course of the weekend, I would start and finish the second book in the Memory, Sorrow and Thorn series by Tad Williams. 750 pages in 3 days: I think that's a bit excessive even for me. At one point I read so much I got a cramp in my hand and had to take a break. So I watched the remainder of season 1 (6 episodes) of Witch Hunter Robin and season 1 (13 episodes) of The Irresponsible Captain Tylor (anime). I have realized that normal television can no longer hold my attention. I sat in front of the box, tried to veg out like I use to, but found myself growing only insufferably bored and increasingly aggitated. Oh well.
On Saturday, Chester decided that a one night reprieve from clubbing was all he wished to endure and organized a trek down into San Diego's downtown district. I was on the verge of surrendering my last vestiges of willpower when my aunt and baby cousins came over for a visit. Though technically not babies anymore (they're 8 and 6 years old), I can't but still think of them as such. However, now I felt guilty because the last two times they had come over to visit, I was literally on my way out the door embarking on yet another sojourn to LA's nightlife. It was about time I spent some quality family time with them. So I spent the night conversing with Brian (age 8) about the pitfalls of 3rd grade life. He told me that the other students call him "shrimp" because he's small but also that they call him "brianiac" because he's one of the smartest kids in the class. He also relayed the fact that our other cousin Ngoc (age 12), whom they live with, tormented him and his brother constantly. Growing up with 3 older female cousins and an older sister, I know all I care to know about the tortures adolescent females perpetrate on their often smaller male counterparts. Kids can be so mean.
Christopher (age 6) after a brief inspection of my modest DVD collection declared "I've seen these. They all suck". Oh well. I have been trying lately to increase my selection of DVDs appropriate for kids. Luckily I had just bought Monsters Inc. and sat them down in front of it for a while. Christopher was also quite taken by my digital camera, which is why I have these pictures of them here, and asked constantly if he could have it. My sister was also down for the weekend and we had a chance to catch up. It was seriously a nice break from all the driving, dancing and just plain drunkeness that usually fills my weekends. But I think too many weeks at home my cause some type of irreparable damage, so it remains to be seen whether this a brief respite or the beginning of a trend. Anyway, ultimately it turned out to be a good weekend, and there were no lines, bouncers or $20 cover. Vu would say there weren't any hot chicks in bikinis, but then again, are there ever?
:: posted by Z [11:11 AM]
Comments Comeback Tour...
:: Wednesday, October 02, 2002 ::
Not sure if anyone recalls, but about a month ago, I was going crazy trying to get comments to work with this site. Then I found this nice site called netcomments from the UK that made it very easy. Unfortunately for me, about a week after I got everything up and running, they lost their webhost due to excessive server load. I wasn't exactly crushed, only heavily discouraged and likely to just abandon the entire endeavor. But since I had today off, I figured I might as well get something productive done. I actually found another site called enetation.co.uk which consequently is also in the UK. Gotta love those Brits I guess. So after great delay, I present to you my second attempt at this whole wacky commenting feature. Now if you like, you can post a comment in regards to a post I write instead of just tagging the tag-board which has a limited amount of text space and memory. Just go to the 'comments' link below each post and away you go. I'll also add the comments feature to the express and opinion pages. Happy posting!
:: posted by Z [10:23 AM]
A Change in Seasons...
:: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 ::
Last week it was scorching hot and now its raining. *snap* And just like that I find myself in Autumn. I was snuggled up in bed with a good book (I know, a girl would be nicer, but we play the hand we're dealt right?) but as I lay there reading, I could hear quite a ruckus coming from the room next to mine. Previously unoccuppied, it is now the temporary residence of my brother's friend, Tien, who moved in a over the weekend while I was off doing who knows what in LA and by the sounds of it, is still moving in. It's strange having another person in the house, especially one who is not only not family but one I hardly know. I let him and my brother fix up my old Ninja so he can get around easier. He currently doesn't have any other type of conveyance. Overall, he seems like a nice enough person and he even let me beat him 10 games to 1 in pool. You can't ask for much more than that I suppose. Heh. School has just started again and I still can't shake the weird feeling I should be attending classes instead of spending all day cooped up inside. Old habits die hard I suppose. Well as they say, change isn't only inevitable, it's necessary. And I've never had any lack of change in my life.
:: posted by Z [7:56 PM]
Have you ever realized clearly during the course of your actions the consequences of such actions and proceeded ahead despite of them? That was the situation I found myself in last night as I stubbornly stayed up till 2:30 in the morning reading my latest diversion. And now I sit here at my desk, in the early afternoon, in a kind of self inflicted torpor brought about by my own damnable inability to restrain myself. My eyes idly traverse the lines of letters and numbers before me, and I realize sharply this is how my work must seem to the common laymen. Nothing but a jumble of characters placed on predetermined indented lines enclosed within semicolons and brackets and amounting to little more than jibberish. A group of words not quite foreign but far from English. With proper rest and motivation, I would wander among the lines of code as one does a familiar forest trail, and they would reveal to me their secrets willingly. The answers and solutions I needed would spring forth in my mind like geyser streaming from the earth. But fatigue has dulled my senses and cinched the flow. I see now only darkness and hear now only silence. I cede to futility of it all. No amount of caffine will alleviate my condition. So I am forced, though with no great reluctance, to retire my day early. I will go now, to home and to bed.
:: posted by Z [2:38 PM]