A Glimpse Inside

an experiment in expression, slight vanity and extreme boredom...
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:: What's New in the World ::

"I hate you."
-Event Staff

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

happiness is...
• Annoying Event Staff
• No More Work
• Night Pictures
• Winning at Poker
unhappiness is...
• No income
• Expensive gear
• Integrating flash and DBs
• Driving long distances

:: Thursday, January 29, 2004 ::
Published by Poetry.com…
I got a letter today from poetry.com, one of many letters telling me that one of my poems had been selected for some anthology they were publishing. I personally think, and I’m not the first one to do so, that it’s all really a scam. Well perhaps scam is too harsh a word. Their “business model” is as such; provide aspiring or amateur poets a place to post their works online, select a chosen few to be published in a collection of poems, and then offer the authors these books at a discounted price. You can see where this is leading. These books are not sold in regular bookstores, so far as I know, and are only offered through poetry.com. Basically you pay to have your work in print and no one else but other members of poetry.com who also buy the books will ever see them. While I have never bought an anthology from them, I have given my permission each time they requested one of my submitted pieces be used. I guess I figure regardless of the way it’s distributed, it’s still a way to get my work exposed to other people. And if just one person reads something I wrote and can relate, is moved or is inspired, then it was worth it cause ultimately I write not only for myself but to be read.

:: posted by Z [11:36 AM] ::

:: Wednesday, January 28, 2004 ::
The Second Time Around…
I’m currently re-watching an anime I first saw years ago. If you think about the time required to do this, 26 episodes times approximately 20 minutes each, it comes out to nearly nine hours. Some people probably wonder why I would invest so much time into seeing something I’ve already seen. I guess I’ve never had a problem with things like this. I love rereading my favorite books or seeing my favorite movies again for the umpteenth time of which my vast DVD collection is a testament to. There’s something comforting I suppose in knowing the outcome. It’s like an old friend who never changes, though of course old friends always change. Life is never so obliging; forcing us to live through the moment in order to discover its outcome. Seeing something the second time around is a nice break from that.

:: posted by Z [11:13 PM] ::

:: Tuesday, January 27, 2004 ::
Conversations at Quiznos…
Even though I didn’t do much this past weekend, I did manage to get out on Sunday evening to meet up with Si who was down visiting and to support Khan on the grand opening of his Quiznos in Mira Mesa. I hadn’t seen either for a good amount of time, and it was a nice way of just chilling on a Sunday night. While there we caught up and talked about a lot of things including Si moving to New York, potentially taking a trip to Vietnam in September and the still active prospect of me going abroad for a large chunk of 2005 and 2006.

During our long conversation, I realized, or rather began to see more clearly, that not everyone can walk the same path. I mean look at Khan, instead of just getting a corporate job like the ones Si and I have, he struck out on his own and opened a fast food store. Maybe the path I’ve been forcing myself to walk isn’t meant for me. I admit that things never have quite felt like they fit exactly. So with that in mind, I decided to go with Chris on his trip, though for only a year instead of the two he plans to be tromping around. If there is something else for me out there, I won’t find it sitting in one place.

:: posted by Z [9:58 AM] ::

:: Monday, January 26, 2004 ::
The Trouble with Teens...
I went running today during lunch with Chris and due to improper footwear, of which I of course accept total responsibility for, I hurt my left foot. So after work, when I would normally go to the gym followed by JKD class, I was stuck at home, sidelined by a self-inflicted injury. With nothing to do really, and in no mood to write or read, I opted to channel surf, something I unfortunately seem to be doing more and more of lately. I ended up watching an episode of Oprah, of all things.

The topic of the day was teen behavior, more specifically teen bullies, teasing and violence. The show started off by taking two known bullies and placing them in a new school for a day where every student had instructions to bully them. It was actually quite disturbing and I admit somewhat justifying to watch these two supposedly self confident teens, one boy and one girl, begin to break down under the type of punishment they inflict daily upon others at their own school. Afterwards, they were introduced to a girl who was paralyzed during a school shooting resulting from a student acting out against bullies. The whole thing honestly caught me off guard. It’s been a while since high school and my memories of it have faded a bit, but I don’t remember those years being so rough. I suppose my own unique experiences aren’t necessarily reflective of the whole or of the situation that exists currently. I do remember that kids can be cruel, especially so when they are in a group.

It’s really quite tragic, but then I started to think does it really ever get any better? No matter how old I get there are still idiots out there who pick on those weaker than themselves or those they feel superior to. People have this tendency to lash out their anger and pain upon others around them in a twisted version of sharing the wealth. I know I’ve been guilty of it a time or two, though never in quite so malicious a nature as these kids. Will we ever outgrow this insecure and immature behavior? One can only hope I suppose. In the bigger picture there is, I admit, greater issues to ponder on and great truths to seek, but if we can’t treat other at least with some degree civility and respect, what would be the point?

:: posted by Z [8:37 PM] ::

:: Friday, January 23, 2004 ::
Hardwired for Mornings…
You know it doesn’t matter when I sleep, I know already that I’ll wakeup between 8 and 9:30. Even if I go to sleep at 4am, like I did last night, I’ll still wake up bright, early, and in this case, exhausted. Working for the last several years has conditioned my body to wake up between certain hours so even when I can sleep in, I can’t. I guess the neural pathways in my brain have reached a point where my sleep cycle is pretty much hardwired in. It’s a cruel type of punishment, a way in which work can reach out and torture me even on my off days. I’ve long ago resigned myself to this fate but on some days, like today, where I have a lot of errands and chores to do and I must suffer through them in a sleep deprived delirium, it really annoys me. When I’m tired, I never feel quite in sync with the world, like I always half a second behind. *sigh* Oh well. Thank god for afternoon naps.

:: posted by Z [1:22 PM] ::

:: Wednesday, January 21, 2004 ::
Remembering Simpler Days…
For those non-Asians out there, and I can’t imagine there are too many of you if you’re reading this site, tomorrow is Chinese (or Vietnamese) New Years. For a good majority of Chinese, Vietnamese and I’m sure other Asians, today, the eve before the Chinese calendar year begins anew is a time of celebration. Traditionally there would be a family party with food and music where married adults give little red envelopes full of money to children, unmarried relatives and unmarried friends. I remember back to the days of my youth where this day was a massive affair. Droves of relatives would turn out, most wearing red, and dozens of cousins would be over at our house in Mira Mesa. We would get to stay up late, even though the next day was usually a school night, socializing and eating. My memory is filled with images of smiling faces, rows of catered Vietnamese food, music blaring in the garage which had been converted to a makeshift dance floor, and of course receiving little red envelopes for Lai See. My siblings and I use to make out like bandits often raking in well over $500 each. I have a ton of aunts and uncles, each unwilling to be outdone by the next.

Now times are very different. We’re all grown up and I spent tonight watching Smallville then going to the gym. Honestly it saddens me a little bit and makes me long for simpler days. My sister has been thinking about this kind of thing a lot, it must be the whole engagement thing. I suppose she sees our childhoods as rich and alive with an extended family that have since all drifted well apart from each other. But now she has some notion of pulling it all everyone back together so her kids, to be begotten somewhere down the line, will get an opportunity to have that same extended family experience. It’s a lofty goal to be sure but probably one that is worthwhile. Anyway, I’ll end this post with a Happy New Years shoutout to everyone out there!

:: posted by Z [10:25 PM] ::

:: Tuesday, January 20, 2004 ::
Chemically Dependent…
Tuesday… still tired and still sick. Maybe it’s because I pushed myself yesterday even though I wasn’t 100%, going to both the gym and Jeet Kune Do where I got the crap beat out of me as usual. I honestly don’t know but I woke up this morning feeling like I had just gotten flatten by a steamroller despite snatching almost eight hours of sleep. I lay there in bed, paralyzed, my wailing alarm cutting through my consciousness like a scythe as I struggled to tear down cobwebs with the tensile strength of steel from my mind. Finally and reluctantly, I climbed from my bed, like a lich rising from his tomb, and stumbled forward into my day.

Once at work, I popped two DayQuil to get rid of some of the symptoms but the perpetual mental fog that enveloped my higher cognitive processes remained. I decided a swift injection of caffeine into the bloodstream was exactly what the situation called for but when I got to the vending machine, the only one in the entire building, it was out of order. I swear sometimes the world must be conspiring against me. So now I’m stranded high and dry, without a drop of coffee to sooth away my fatigue-caused angst. In situations like this, I’ve grown accustomed to caffeine rescuing me. Its sweet artificially induced energy and awareness coursing through my veins, reining me back in and away from sleep’s silent urgings and unproductiveness. Hmm… maybe I’ll walk across the parking lot to the other building and slake my chemical dependence.

:: posted by Z [12:42 PM] ::

:: Monday, January 19, 2004 ::
Monday Weekend Report...
It seems that everyone has been sick lately and I suppose I am no exception, though my own illness, if one would call it that, has been mild if not still inconvenient in nature. That coupled with the fact that I’ve been burning too much gas lately on the arduous drive to LA and back kept me grounded in SD for once. On Friday I was on the verge of acquiescing to my lethargy and laziness urging me to stay in but Thuy was having her first night at her new job at Starbar. So I decided I might as well venture out and support her new employment. Besides, I had doubts about getting out any other night that weekend. There, I ran into Tommy, Sherri and Debbie, of all people, who was down visiting from the bay. It was good talking about old times with old friends and catching up. It brought back memories of my 5th year which like most of my years at UCSD was a great year for the most part.

For rest of the weekend unfortunately, my motivation was effectively nullified and I spent the better part of it in front of the TV watching the various sports games on Saturday and Sunday or reading in bed. I intend to do much better this week to make up for my lackluster effort the previous week, but already I feel the claws of fatigue and sleep deprivation sinking into my backside, dragging me down into the molasses of inert inactivity. Hopefully the cup of coffee I just drank will aid me in that department but it’s only noon and there are so many hours left in the day.

:: posted by Z [12:08 PM] ::

:: Thursday, January 15, 2004 ::
Word Hunting…
There are words used to describe things relating to each of our five senses and for the longest time I only knew four them. They were audial for hearing, visual for sight, tactile for touch and olfactory for smell. But what I could never figure out or find was the word pertaining to the sense of taste. It’s something I’ve thought about periodically since college and that has eluded all my efforts to grasp it, until today that is. I hadn’t checked my Words of the Day in quite some time, 29 days to be exact, but this morning I perused all 29 new words and lo and behold, the fourth word down was gustatory – of or relating to the sense of taste. w00h00. I wonder if anyone else thinks about this kind of stuff, probably not. I know I have this unique relationship with the written word, bordering on obsession but isn’t all art that way? Or maybe I’m just a weirdo. Oh well. Someone really needs to invent a search engine where you type in the definition and get the word back, reversedictionary.com or something. Or if it's already been done, someone needs to give me the link so I won't waste more time on these frivolous word hunts.

So I goggled reverse dictionary and got this site OneLook.com. I guess if I had just given the slightest tad of effort, my years of searching would have come quickly to an end. Well you know what they say about the journey and not the destination.

:: posted by Z [10:19 AM] ::

:: Wednesday, January 14, 2004 ::
The World Beckons…
Well I thought Ted and I were going to New York but it seems that a flight to Japan wouldn’t be that much more expensive, so Tokyo is now back in the running. But first we have to find out if we have a place we can crash in Tokyo before we pack our bags.

On another note, Chris is planning a two year adventure around the world and he’s asked me to go with him. At first I brushed off the idea without giving it any real consideration but the more I think about, the more appealing the prospect becomes. I mean honestly there isn’t really that much tying me down to SD or the states besides my family. There’s my job and I guess my career but that will still be here when I return. I don’t think I’d have a hard time finding a job. There are of course my friends to consider but friendships can survive long spans without seeing each other. I told him it’s a huge decision, maybe one of the biggest I’ve made in my life. He said it wasn’t, that it was actually simple and I was just scared. We’re probably both right. So the world calls, but how will I answer?

:: posted by Z [8:20 PM] ::

:: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 ::
Personal Statements and Sad Poetry...
For some reason I can’t explain I’ve been tired and irritable for the last two days. Coincidently I’ve also spent the last two days helping Ted edit his law school personal statement. I don’t think the two incidents are related but I guess you never know. In the course of helping him, I’ve come to realize that I am not a very good editor. While I consider myself a fairly capable writer, editing has never been a strong point. I read something and know instinctively how I would rewrite it in my own words but making these minuscule corrections is frustrating. It’s like taking a tiny cog from a machine, changing it, and trying to shove it back into place. Of course it doesn’t fit anymore and there’s a good chance the machine no longer works properly. One would have to change the entire machine to match. Plus our styles are radically different and often clash. Oh well, I hope I did more help than harm.

Also, Lan says I need to stop writing depressing poems and should try my hand at happier pieces. But who writes about things like that and who would want to read it? People love expressing and sharing pain. When you're happy, you generally show it through laughter and smiles with your friends and family. When you're sad, you generally brood and shun other people's company. All that pent up emotion has to come out somewhere right? Though I guess that argument doesn't work in my case because I usually don't write about my own pain. Hmm... maybe she's right but it's not like everything I write is negative, just the majority of it is.

:: posted by Z [10:22 PM] ::

:: Monday, January 12, 2004 ::
Monday Weekend Report...
Let’s see what I did this weekend. I saw My Baby’s Daddy on Friday night with Lan and Julie. It wasn’t exactly filled with Oscar worthy performances but not a stinker either. I wanted a mindless action or comedy and it certainly fit the bill. Afterwards I went to O Sushi with Mat, Carrie and Sherry. Mat’s friend was spinning and got us in for free, so thanks to him and to Mat for the hook up. As I drove by and saw the droves of Asian clubbers wearing black, and looked down to my khakis and sky blue shirt, I was amused, don’t ask me why. Lord knows I’ve gone to many a club decked out in black. The night was fun, despite Carrie critiquing my hip hop / rave dance moves, Mat c-walking into a group of angry girls (or at least they were angry after the fact), a ton of people yacking in the bathrooms, one over zealous birthday girl passing out on the dance floor, and the club ending early due to a fight a literal minute after we bought some drinks.

On Saturday, it was an afternoon of pool at Q’s in Old Town Pasadena with Ted followed by Nela’s birthday party. Despite being 1½ hours late, Ted and I were still relatively ahead of schedule. The party started off slow, but after Vu arrived with the “BBQ” a.k.a. Popeye’s and we were all sufficiently intoxicated, it was the best bonfire of 2001 I’ve ever been to. Ok that statement I just made probably made absolutely no sense to those who weren’t there. Oh well. Some memorable parts of the night was the play of Ted’s unreleased Japanese singles, Vu and Ted’s serenading of every girl who left including one Ted sang to Carolyn that left everyone confused, and of course the brownie snicker cheesecake I made though it left everyone clamoring for a glass of milk of which none was available. I’ll put pictures up probably tomorrow after I get some pics from a few other people, so stay tuned. I’d write more but I’m honestly in no mood to write after staying up late watching Smallville Season 2 on DVD.

:: posted by Z [12:29 PM] ::

:: Thursday, January 08, 2004 ::
Employee Performance Evaluations…
Every year, my corporation as I’m sure most other corporations, subjects their employees to a review of their past year’s performance called the Employee Performance Evaluation. For most, this is a relatively painless experience followed immediately by receiving our annual raises. As you can imagine, I associate positive feelings toward my evaluations. Though I have to truthfully admit there is always that sinking feeling of doubt in the back of my mind for a split second that they’ve somehow stumbled on every misdeed I committed over the last year, like stealing stationary supplies and taking fieldtrips to Fry’s every Tuesday to buy DVDs. But after six years, that doubt has receded and now I’m firmly under the belief that my corporation has absolutely no idea what I am doing 99% of the time.

For others however, it holds an entirely different meaning. I’m talking about the individuals whose inability to do their job is so blatant and obvious it cannot escape the notice of even a casual glance. Every company has people like this. Their coworkers secretly wonder how they got their job and how long they can possibly keep it. A man in a sinking ship with only a bucket that leaks can only bale water for so long. And with that thought in mind, my friend sent me this email of snippets from actual employee evaluations and what can I say, I found it perversely amusing. So I’ve appended it here for your viewing pleasure.

"Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has started to dig."
"His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity."
"I would not allow this employee to breed."
"This employee is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely-won’t-be."
"Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat."
"When she opens her mouth it seems that it is only to change feet."
"He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle."
"This young lady has delusions of adequacy."
"This employee is depriving some village somewhere of an idiot."
"This employee should go far, and the sooner he starts the better."
"Got a full 6-pack but lacks the plastic thing that holds it all together."
"A gross ignoramus, 144 times worse than a normal ignoramus."
"He certainly takes a long time to make his pointless."
"He doesn’t have ulcers, but he’s a carrier."
"I would like to go hunting with him sometime."
"He has a knack of making strangers immediately."
"He brings a lot of joy whenever he leaves the room."
"When his IQ reaches 50, he should sell."
"If you see two people talking and one looks bored, he’s the other one."
"A prime candidate for natural deselection."
"It’s hard to believe that he beat out 1,000,000 other sperm."
"One neuron short of a synapse."
"Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, he only gargled."

and finally... "The wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead."

:: posted by Z [10:00 AM] ::

:: Wednesday, January 07, 2004 ::
Poetic Imagery Project 2004…
For the longest time I’ve wanted to take my words and overlay them over images. I think that if you associate something visual with prose, it greatly increases its overall impact. In the closest thing to a new year’s resolution, I finally decided to stop procrastinating and start this new creative project. Currently only five poems have been redone but more are already in progress. So if you haven’t checked out the express section in a while, take a gander and check out the new visual pieces of poetic imagery as well as a few new pieces of prose.

:: posted by Z [1:32 PM] ::

:: Tuesday, January 06, 2004 ::
Free Ticket to Somewhere…
I doubt if anyone recalls, but almost a year ago while Ted and I were waiting for our return flight to Tokyo in Bangkok Airport, our airline informed us that they had overbooked the flight. Now I’m not exactly sure how this kind of thing happens because I thought all ticket sales were computerized but supposedly it occurs quite often. Anyway, I digress. So they offered us vouchers worth $500 if we were willing to take a flight 3 hours later. Considering it was already 6am, and $500 for 3 hours of waiting is good anyway you look at it, we took them up on their offer. It turns out that those vouchers expire Feb 27th which means, you guessed it, it’s time for another abroad adventure. The only problem remaining is of course selecting the destination. So far the options on the table are Japan, New York and Ted has just suggested going back to Thailand. It’s just unfortunate that Ted and I have different concerns when traveling. I am limited by the amount of time I can take off of work and he is limited by the amount of money he has or doesn’t have as it were. I would rather go somewhere new and he would rather go somewhere cheap. What to do, what to do? I’m sure we’ll sort it out eventually but we better make it quick so we can start making plans. Aren’t my problems just tragic?

:: posted by Z [1:06 PM] ::

:: Monday, January 05, 2004 ::
AGlimpseInside 2K4…
Well it’s the first day back and I can say without a doubt that I have absolutely none, zero, nil, zip, nada, and zilch (notice how all those words either started with an ‘n’ or a ‘z’ weird huh?) motivation to work which works out because it coincides with the amount of work I actually have right now. So what does one do when they have nothing to do or want to do at work? Luckily this is a question I have some experience answering and I have grown quite adept at it if I do say so myself, and I do.

Given the choice between receiving bad news or good news first, I prefer the bad, my reasoning being that at least I’ll have something to look forward in the aftermath of said bad news. So with that logic in mind, I proceeded to pay my bills for the month of December and my bank account is still reeling. This is the first month since I graduated college that I spent more money than I made, a feat that is actually fairly hard to do. I hope this isn’t a beginning of a trend. Afterwards I cleaned my desk. I think somehow I feel that the organization of my immediate surroundings, that being my desk at work and my room at home, somehow translates directly to the metaphoric organization of my life. It’s probably not true but now that I don’t have homework to procrastinate, I need some other driving force to keep my personal space tidy and neat.

And now that the chores are out of the way, I have time for contemplation, reflection and of course to update this website which was sadly neglected over the break, but I already apologized for that in my previous post. What is a year really? I mean New Years just passed. 2003 ended and 2004 has now begun but does it really mean anything? Do I feel different now that it’s 2K4? Honestly I didn’t think I would, but I do. I’m not sure if that has more to do with the new year or just an culmination of changes that started way back in September with my 25th birthday. I’ve had some questions I needed answers to, and over break I felt I found them, in some cases without really even having to ask the question. They weren’t all the answers I expected or hoped for but I think they were all ones I think I can live with.

:: posted by Z [10:24 AM] ::

:: Thursday, January 01, 2004 ::
Happy New Year...
Dang I haven't updated this site in a while and for that I apologize but what can I say, I've been trying to make the most out of my break as I can. Just some quick updates. Tahoe was absolutely perfect. We had about 6 inches to a foot of powder the day before we got up there and it was cold enough that it held together for both of the days we were on the mountain. Sierra was surprisingly empty which was sick. On some runs, I was the only soul on the slope. Definitely worth the 10 hour drive to get there. Thanks Polo for keeping me company for the whole long trip.

Oh yeah, it's New Years isn't it? And you know that we know who to ring in the new year. Vu and Casey had their joint birthday celebration and it seemed everyone came out of the woodwork to help them celebrate it and ring in the new year in force. Though there was some drama towards the end of the night with the owner of the establishment, it all pretty much worked out. I managed to remember everything (always a good thing) which is more than I can say for Thuy, oh well huh Thuy? Though I did end up on the ground once, it wasn't from being drunk. It was from one slippery ass floor.

Anyway, I had this whole idea to write a post about resolutions and how no one every sticks to them, but *shrug* I'm just too lazy right now. I've been lazy this whole break, hence the no updates. Gonna going boarding tomorrow with the crew, so I better stop here and get to bed. Oh yeah for those who have been complaining about the 4 month gap in pictures, within the next week there will be new pictures from Ivar, the Mayan and the New Years Eve Bash, and Stace's upcoming birthday dinner, so stay tuned!

:: posted by Z [9:36 PM] ::

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