When a new year comes around, people often reflect on the previous year.  They then make new goals or New Year resolutions for the current year.  My motto is why wait.  When you think about it, how many people ever accomplish their New Year resolutions.  Most likely a simple date change doesn’t really change much of anything.  I’ve come to the conclusion that people do it because of hope.  Hope that with more time, we’ll less likely to screw things up or with more time we can recover or fix whatever.  It’s a nice thought, but usually with more time, people just procrastinate.  This is why people made deadlines.

My New Year wasn’t so great.  I received news that a friend had passed away right on New Year’s day.  He had been struggling with leukemia for a couple years now.  Part of me hoped that he would of beaten the odds since he was on experimental drugs and was starting to look better.  He passed away at the age of 30.    I do really feel like when his light gone out, the world is a bit of a darker place.  It’s just a loss that can be felt.  It didn’t hurt that he was easy on the eyes, had high morales, nice, and is an overachiever.  What I feel is actually guilt.  Guilt that someone like him has such a short time on this Earth and here I am.  Somehow because I’m able to be here that I have to make it count.  Guilt that I didn’t learn from last time.  See he’s not the only friend that I ever lost.  In 2000,  I lost a friend who passed at the age of 18.  Although, this friend passed because of bad choices he made.  It was a shame because he was gifted with natural talents.  Now I know you can’t change a person, but I knew I could remove him from the situation that day.  Maybe it would of only delay the inevitable, but the fact that I didn’t try will always stay with me.  That I somehow talked myself out of it due to pride, logic etc when my gut told me differently.  It always costs me when I don’t listen to my gut.  12 years later I not only got my gut, but the obvious fact that yea he does have this sickness.  Part of me said I’m respecting his space since he never really talked about being sick with anyone and the other part just doesn’t care.  Maybe it work out just the way he planned because even though his wake was broadcast at 10:30am, it somehow worked out that the casket was closed at like 10:00am so many didn’t get to see him.  My cousin had said at least we’ll have a pretty memory of him.  It does seem like something he would want to preserve.

This guilt is a fleeting feeling because I know it’s in the past and the past is done with.  It does stay with me as an invisible tattoo to others, but a clear memory to me so that I may deal with the present.  I now can embrace being me.  There were some things I think I deny to myself because of outside influence and my own mind playing with me, but when you keep things simple then I believe you can be true.  Sometime we just look for answers and explainations right then and there, but if we had all the answers then there is nothing to learn.  I might not be able to explain a complex idea like is there a God, but I can notice certain things happening and what works.  This is what always lead us to answers that we do not yet know.  We begin with an observation and then we connect the dots.  It then lead us on a whole new adventure.


languages and so forth

This morning I had a nice chat with a friend who is currently living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.  He is from Taiwan and informed me that foreigners tend to hang out at Bobby Brewers coffee shop.  I guess it is like our Starbucks. You can check it out at http://www.bobbybrewers.com/index.phpHe finds Vietnamese to be harder than English which I thought was a bit odd.  However, he did learn English ever since he was 12.  Speaking of languages let me give my ten cents worth on some of the more popular programs out there.  With all  the horns and whistles that came with Rosetta Stone, I find that it takes a lot longer to be able to converse.  It tries to teach you like a child, but studying or learning works differently with adults. I definitely remember a lot more with Pimsleur.  I do think I will remember more of their information than what I learn in a classroom.  It does get you conversing quickly, but I’m not sure I agree with not writing anything down.  It only uses one of your senses and that is audio.  Fluenz has a nice combination.  Although, I wish they taught the chinese characters along with pinyin for Mandarin.  I always prefer to listen to native speakers because while other speakers are quite good they can also be a little off.  People tend to be off a little with new accents/pronunciation to begin with so that makes it even worse. Some people look at me oddly or don’t see the point of me learning a new language.  The answer is simple the world includes other people, and I like to break simple barriers.  Not to mention some of the information I seek are only available in other languages or I prefer to know from the source. At the very least I like to understand even if I don’t converse.  My Hong Kong friend told me that there has been a lot of Vietnamese people working in Yunan during the day and going back at night.  Also, recently more of them has been working in Hong Kong.  They make more money just with housekeeping jobs.  Although, my friend is from Hong Kong, he currently lives in Japan.  We were talking about certain Japanese horror movies where Hollywood has borrow/copy ideas from such as The Ring or The Grudge.  He said that his major or specialty is in comedy and horror stories.  This is when I told him how in some Japanese horror movies people seem quite happy at some instances that might be odd to American viewers.  He reacted with how he finds it is more scary because it is so out of the ordinary.  I hope nothing got lost in translation while we were communicating.  Japanese culture seem so polite as they show appreciation when they talk as well as apologizing a lot.  My friend said sorry every time he has to go to work or get offline which I don’t feel is necessary, but it was sweet.  He is taking the Toeic soon which is an English test.  I find it very interesting that there is no pass or fail score, but it goes up to 900 I believe.  He told me that the master program varies and can take anywhere from 8 to 9 years to complete.  He has a paper to write which I guess equals to our Thesis paper, but it is more of a pass or fail situation, but I think he is offer a chance to rewrite it if the professor does not like it.  Interesting….

Thoughts for Today

I woke up this morning at 4am, a little earlier than normal.  It was funny to find out that my cell was pretty much dead, displaying only  black on the screen when I was having a similar dream on the subject a moment earlier .  I took it as a good sign because I use my cellphone as an alarm because somehow all my old alarm clocks tend to be down for the count as well.  I figured  no problem because I can always use the alarm on the tv.  When I had turned it on to set it up, all I saw was white due to no signal.  It wouldn’t of been so bad if there were at least white noise since I’m a light sleeper and my cell tend to be on vibrate anyhow.  I didn’t even have that.  I stood there debating whether to stay awake or not because usually if one falls back to sleep a second time the chance to oversleep is much greater.  I was tired so I chose the later risking not waking up.  I figured if I’m lucky of not being in such a deep sleep, then when the tv turns on there should be one to two sec of sound, a louder noise followed by a lighter noise.  The gamble worked and that was all it took.   I figure technology was not my friend when I encounter two motion detector paper towel rollers that did not work  for me this morning to be added to the list.  I’m happy to say it is working now because I was beginning to wonder.

Sleep is such a touchy subject.  Some people are not that nice to be around when they first wake up.  According, to my friends it never sound like I was asleep to begin with when they call .  As a result, sometime at odd hours my phone became a counseling hotline with other miscellaneous thrown in for good measure.  Although, the responsibility of waking someone up is even filled with more trials and tribulations.  Somehow I always get nominated for such a task.  I guess it’s because I’m punctual and I don’t like to rush and therefore I always give myself enough time to do what I need to do.  Once, I’m with my buddy or whatever, I’m calm in the midst of the storm.  Back to this waking others up ordeal.  It would of been nice if they let you know beforehand certain important details.  For example, they don’t like being poke.  Almost got slaughter over that one.  They just need some music or the tv to be on something interesting.  I mean that would be nice to know before you put all the effort to wrestling the blanket from their deadly grips or kicking them off the bed.

Anyway, I made it to my usual routine.  Waking up at the magickal hour before the sun rose and dark enough to sometime see the stars.  Yes, I meant to spell it this way.  Park my car  to see when the first ray of light from the sun makes it way across the sky.  I don’t know it just give me some sense of peace.  Then I would be greeted by the person parking beside me with a good wave and wonderful smile.  She wasn’t there until the last month or so, but I’m glad she is now.  I wonder if she was the person I helped that one fall evening.  Being a stickler for details, I couldn’t help noticing a giant crystal hanging from her car.  Not the cute sort of fake swarovski looking ones, but more of a pendulum.  The incident reminded me of a teenage girl that I don’t know randomly saying hey and asking how I was at the mall.  That wasn’t so strange, but the looks in her eyes were very friendly.  It reminded of the one about five years old at the time hugging me at the market, another stranger.  Her mom had to tear her away from me, but she would of been about the same age now.  Interestingly enough, in the wee morning hours, I find the janitor and cleaning lady to also be quite jolly.  Anyway, I know stargazing is more popular.  A great place to look at stars from my experience would be near a city name Nevers in France.  Thus far, I never seen a place filled with so many stars when I looked up at the night sky like I’m in some fairy tale.  So for you astronomy lovers out there keep that in mind when you get the chance.

I thought I check the library out because buying all the books I ever felt the urge to read would just clutter my place too quickly.  It’s funny how I came in for Dan Brown and came out with Roland Merullo.  Actually, I came for something more specific of scientific pursuit.  This lead me to the basement which was way creepy.  All, I could think of was what a great scene for a horror movie.  The typical dark, dreary, and trap feeling.  I did find a lot of amazing topics in the basement in psychology and health, but at the moment came out empty handed.  It was funny how they kept the Dan Brown books hostage behind the help desk and you have to request each one, and they didn’t have the ones I wanted anyhow.  This made me want to have access to a certain someone’s collection so badly.  Anyhow, at the turn of events this is how I came by Roland Merullo, Breakfast with Buddha in the current literature section. I remember a friend recommending it and also coming across this same book once.  At the time the title made me hesitant.  This time it just sticked out and out the door I went with it.  On my way to the car, a bird landed as I walked by and I also saw a grasshopper falling to the ground.  It reminded me of something on national geographic, there I was witnessing the circle of life for what came next.  When I was home I knew I had to finish that book in one day because I have so many other things to take care of or look into.  I love the humor and sometime sarcasm that is true and refreshing.  It was the pick-me up book that I needed at the moment versus Dan Brown’s book which would of been more intense and problem-solving.  So life works out in these strange ways just like when you’re meant to make butter German cookies and yet ended up with muffins.  Muffins that your brother gladly ate and love.  I don’t mind giving things a try just like I didn’t mind giving White Collar a try because I felt somewhat obligated since someone I respect requested it.  Sadly, to say I missed out on the beginning, but I believe it to have potential.  Not sure if it’s one that I absolutely must watch, but a potentially good show.

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