Adieu

I’ve decided to depart from xanga. This started March 2004. And I guess today’s Nov 2012. It’s been a good run.

WordPress is where I’ve switched my allegiances to. Seems cleaner, and their settings are more user friendly, or at least that’s how it seems to me.
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38-28.

UCLA beats USC. And not just by a fluke. But by leading the entire game. Boomshakalaka.

46 tweets today during the game. I apologize for the spammage. But it just couldn’t be helped. Hehz.
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Not sure why, but I just finished the entire 1st season of Friends. Well, I guess I do know, but that’s besides the point. But for the first time since, ever, I’m actually unhappy about having a holiday/a day off from class. So ridic.

Rachel: all I know is that I cannot wait a week until I see him. I mean, this is just too big. Y’know, I just, I’ve just gotta talk to him.
How have I never watched Friends in all this time? But. How the hell can they end season 1 like that!? Goddamn.
I’m gonna be okay. Maybe.
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Reprise.

This is take two. Because fking xanga has no way to monitor progress and save any WIPs. This may or may not cause me to seek better alternatives. (I know, whatttt.)

I hate crying. Showing tears. Anything like that, in a sign of weakness. But at the same time, this act shows how greatly something means to you, how much it affects you. That moment of vulnerability, which is not something I necessarily enjoy showing, I guess helps add a layer of communicability. 
We just had two tests this past Wednesday. A lecture exam in the morning and a lab practical in the afternoon (Early results from lecture exam say I got a 99; not bad). But I mean, having two tests on the same day was really a whatever issue. Although, it didn’t help that the night before was election night, and I love to stay up to date/current on results as they were rolling in across the nation. But having the gap that we did between exams was really nice, and most people in our class took advantage of that.
After the morning lec exam, I ended up hanging out in the resource room, where eventually about 2/3s of our lab showed up. I usually despise putting myself in an environment where others are working/studying the same thing as I, because usually the background noise and chitter chatter throws me off. Regardless, I found myself there this afternoon, which was actually kinda nice, because no one really studies the entire duration of our gap time. There were occasional tangents onto other topics, starting w/ my favorite, zomg, what kind of facial cream is she using!? (I was the only guy present w/ a table of 5 other girls. ridic). But in seriousness, the conversation eventually did steer over to what everyone was taking the class for and the like. For me, this was a pretty cool experience because I think, this is the first time that I’ve been able to hang out and talk to classmates about non-class related items.
One thing that surprised me was the fact that my being 22 wasn’t necessarily the oldest person there. I mean, I guess one of the sterotypical thought process is that cc’s have kids that come straight out of hs and older folks who’re changing careers and whatnot. Well, it seemed this class was more skewed towards the other end, with people being 24, 26, or even 29. (Not to mention an older gal who really is really annoying. Yes, I’m aware I used “really” twice.) And not to belittle the efforts of everyone here (I’m in the same boat myself), but it was nice to see that, I guess, we sorta missed the first jump, the ideal path of getting straight out of college w/ a Bachelor’s and being able to jump into grad school or a career that we wanted. And that we’re here, at a cc, trying to launch ourselves off to that point that we just couldn’t reach from where we were at prior to this point.
I was talking to the madre tonight during dinner. And I sorta broke down. In thinking about the above sentiment, in thinking about where I was, where I am, and where I’ll be, I just was distraught about the situation that I seem to have found myself in. I hate to sound like a broken record, but with all the potential and possibilities I had coming out of HS top 10 in my class, attending a prestigious university like UCLA; I s’pose theoretically, the sky was the limit. And where am I now, 5 years out of HS? At this middle ground of community college, taking extra classes, and feeling not too sure about where I’ll be next year, 3 years, 5 years down the road. I mean, yeah, I’m currently acing things here, but there’s this small little shackle around my foot called a low GPA, coupled with the other chain ball of no experience/reccomendations and whatnot. This isn’t an world ending handicap, but at the same time, having these plans be potentially delayed by the likelihood of my having to go get a PTA degree instead of being about to jump into a DPT program; it feels like a complete failure and waste of everything I’ve done the past 8 years of HS/college. I’m immensely grateful that the mother understands my frustrations, but I still feel that I’m letting the parents down, the grandparents, and ultimately myself with unfulfilled potential.
This isn’t a new thought; if you’ve read all the way down here, I’m sure you may or may not be familiar w/ other previous posts hitting on the same topic. I think I have accepted the fact that, should I eventually be able to get the stupid DPT degree, I’ll prolly be 30. Which isn’t something I envisioned coming out of HS; that I’d finally be able to start my career around that age. It’s a little slower than the average bear, but at least I guess, there is a defined path that lies ahead of me; it just isn’t necessarily happening as soon as I’d like it. And there’s also the fact that I’m still making absolutely no money while living at home and still bumming off the parentals. It’s not an ideal situation for them or myself, and it’s something I’d love to rectify sooner than later. 
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Feels like I lack ambition at times. Was at dinner with lab partners tonight. One just got into her program in the East coast. Is currently working with a position that will help further her in her career.Another lab partner, with sights set on the next application cycle, just passed her EMT license exam, is interning, tutoring, and taking classes aimed towards getting her to her next step. She’s even got her Letters of Recs planned as well.And as for me. I uh, well, I’m taking classes, sorta trying to fulfill program prerequisites. Don’t really have LoR lined up, don’t documentation for my observation hours, and don’t have any current ongoing experiences that fall inline with what I’m aiming for down the road. Damn. Derek, you gotta pick yourself up. Preferably sooner than later.

I’m glad xanga was just temporarily offline and not completely gone. Not sure how I would’ve handled that.

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Vincente and Sandy

Warning before I get into this entry; this post may come off as inhumane, insensitive, careless or whatnot, but I thought this was pretty interesting/noteworthy, yet wasn’t really getting much press time.

This past summer, I was fortunate enough to be able to visit HK and all my relatives and the like. I had mentioned in an entry before I left, that the area had been battered by typhoons recently, to such an extent that July 2012 saw one of the worst typhoons in over a decade, forcing the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) to raise its highest warning signal for storms (T10). Typhoon Vincente, as the stormed was named, hit HK with sustained winds of 140km/h (87 mph) and in its wake, left a path of debris and uprooted trees everywhere. Other sites recorded Vincente to have had (220km/h) 140mph winds (1-min sustained) or 150km/h sustained winds (90 mph) (10-min). Regardless, I think the point can be made that that was a pretty intense storm that hit the island and corresponding territories, and that this natural phenomenon was not something to be taken lightly.
You know what the aftermath of Vincente was, at least for HK? No fatalities reported. At least 129 people were injured. A quick wiki search shows that HK, as of the 2010 census had a population of just over 7 million people. There were reports of 1000 uprooted trees and some minor structural damage in Central. Essentially, HK just hunkered down, rode out the storm, and things were pretty much back to normal within a few days time (obvs, taking into account the cleanup/minor repairs required). Beijing, in comparison, was hit pretty bad, and people were pointing at HK to wonder how HK made out relatively unscathed, relative to the scale of Vincente. This subscription-firewalled site headline says that dmg costs could rise as high as $300 million. Not that such an amount is anything to scoff at, but keep that number in mind. Here is the official HKO report on Typhoon Vincente.
(A quick tangent. I flew into HK riding the winds of Typhoon Kai-tak, also another strong force storm this past summer. Here’s the official HKO report on Typhoon Kai-tak).
The current hullabaloo going on in the US is the imminent arrival of Hurricane Sandy on the Eastern Seaboard (nicknamed the frankenstorm). One article says that those in Sandy’s path can expect sustained winds of 40-60 mph. Meterologists predict the damages resulting from Sandy to be upwards of $1 billion. Now granted, I understand it’s not just the issues of hurricane force winds, but also the magnitude of this storm covering a huge swath of land, and also the potential water surges that’ll arise as a result, but I mean, HK had to deal with the same weather issues. And I’m not making out to belittle the situation by comparing it to HK (one argument is that HK is such a small place of just 426 sq miles, whereas Sandy could wreck havoc over 800 sq miles of the US), yet I can’t help but wonder why these yearly occurrences continue to cause so much damage and devastation. Many buildings in HK are 30/40/50 stories tall, on average, and at that height, you can be sure the winds are noticeable. Yet if you remember from above, the damage was pretty damn minor, and no fatalities were reported. You can assume that no buildings were uprooted as a result of this. But here in the US, we have to mobilize all the emergency organizations, put in widespread evacuation notices, and prepare for the worst. I mean, I s’pose you could blame nature for bring this upon people, but it’s not like this is the first time we’ve seen hurricane force storms.
Don’t get me wrong. I feel bad for those in the storms path, for those needing to prepare for emergency situations and those who may potentially have their lives forever changed pending the actions of Hurricane Sandy. But I can’t help but wonder, how can Hong Kong merely “bunker down” for the storm’s duration, and then have everyone poke their heads back out once its passed and resume living as it nothing had happened, whereas the US is actively aware of the devastating and epic proportions that may occur, and be “prepared” for it, yet still come out of it with so many reports of damages, casualties, and the like? Food for thought?
(And at the closing of this entry, I’m aware how bad this entry may look in hindsight, if in a week’s time, when all’s said and done, that Hurricane Sandy wrecks damage along the likes of Hurricane Katrina.) I’m not out to downplay how bad the situation is, but I do openly question the stark differences in the resulting consequences from a natural phenomenon between two different locations (the HK and US, for those who weren’t paying attn).
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