Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Remember that day it snowed?

When the world was turned upside-down because of the atmospheric miracle taking place?

Ah, I remember it like it was yesterday. I just looked at my snow pictures.

Everything takes on a Romantic quality. The world slows down, and we remember again that beauty is everywhere. Your car that you overlook, well with snow on it, you smile. You remember all the great places it has taken you. You know it's your gateway from point A to B and that it is a pleasure to have.

The ground. The concrete slab you walk on. That was hand-made. The sky. So mysterious. Sending the bountiful gifts of snow and rain. Everything has its purpose and its place in the natural order.

What else but things like snow, can bring such fun thought association? :)

No one can help but play outside, throw snowballs, make snowmen when it snows. It makes the world stop because it is a proponent of the things that we sometimes forget to do, and put on the back burner if things get too crazy. Snow is the great equilibrium. So are natural disasters. With those other deadlines rendered moot, what do you have to focus on?

What you focus on will expand. Life goes on. We don't need snow to anchor in these lessons at all. It's certainly fun to have. We can do things like volunteer, do the things we enjoy, and spend time with the people that make us whole. Every day it may snow if you allow it to in your mind.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I think about all the pain my father, mother, and step parents have been through.

I can only begin to imagine. To escape communism, political strife, to have no support save the promise of one's own ambition, and no reputation or foundation to give a boost -- to start. A world where thousands of things could go wrong. I'm driven by their focus on everything that could go right. When I think about the pain, I think about how they are still alive, and smiling. The past for my parents does not matter. I can see their flesh, blood in their veins, and bones even though I can only physically see their skin. I admire the people they are, after what the world has put them through, because I know just as easily as they can smile, they can be jaded, hardened, unaffected by the world around them.

I want to place my hand in theirs. A signal to say that everything in the past doesn't matter, and that everything in the present and future will be complete. It'll be okay. But sometimes the best can only be achieved if life's possibilities are realized and that one need not to look any further. Life is exactly how it should be. This is a huge source of inspiration for me.

Have you ever believed in something so much that you'd be willing to die for it? I believe in humanity.

Explosions in the Sky - Your Hand in Mine

Monday, March 29, 2010


I'm protecting my dreams because no one else has them.

I protect them like a mother hen over her eggs, waiting for her warmth to hatch them to life.

I know everyone else has them too. Everyone has their dreams, or this inclusiveness that encroaches on the lives of others. This is fine. It's interacting, it's being friends, it's spending time with those you love.

I know it's my time to be the gatekeeper of my dreams however. I know that I will make time for my loved ones. But I know my focus will be on pursuing my dreams and passions.

These include artistic hopes, meeting physical benchmarks, and professional/technical dreams.

I know the big obstacle with that is the sentiment "There is always time in the day for those you care about." This is definitely true, but at the same time, too much time has gone on where I have not gone on an adventure to pursue my dreams. I have a lot of make up time to catch up on. So as kinesthetic and people-oriented as I am, I am making a choice to do some independent projects.

In the scheme of things, I have to say yes to myself in order to truly say yes to others. And I hope those around me will understand that it doesn't mean a literal 'yes'. Often it will be a no. But it is the best decision I will ever make. This is for me; this is my now.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


How does one sort out the most important details from the unimportant? The truth from the lies?

I'm starting to understand that life is about sorting through the information overload.

Sorting in a way that becomes meaningful.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Inspiration in Tough Times.

I ask this to powerful people. I ask this to people who have persevered through tough times. I ask, "When you fall, and obstacles seem insurmountable, what gives you the courage to get back up again? How do you tough it out?"

I remember asking this to Mayor Parker although I don't quite remember her response. I've asked this to some of my mentors. It's a powerful question. I don't care about getting through the day-to-day. That's the easy part.

I ask what gives you confidence when in the face of everything else, it seems things can't get worse. How do you control your emotional happiness?

As a whole, I've heard a lot of things. And I think it really depends on the person to spark that strength that we all have. Every person is motivated by different things.

I know for myself it's taking lessons from people like Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, MLK, Rosa Parks and the like.

They have this quietness that is so powerful. It's almost intimidating. Their confidence and their spirit scream louder than the decibels of their voice.

I think about these individuals who dedicate themselves to conducting their behavior to be above the fray. Life is crazy and people get overworked and impulsive to forget their love for their fellow man to serve their own ends.

I think about the kind of strength it takes to not react emotively. I think about the practice and rituals to get someone to have such inner peace of mind, and the examples they've set, that my heart calms and my mind goes back to the basics questions.

So when I almost flip that switch to run around like a chicken with my head cut off, I check my conversation. What is really important? What am I focused on?

It never fails to keep my head on straight.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Woodlands.

To me, the Woodlands evokes my high school life and also, moments where the air was a bit cleaner, the ground wasn't as littered, and the stone that the buildings were made of were newer. I can't transcribe all that I feel about it, but there's layers to it.

The Woodlands is a beautiful place, but it's not a place where I'd love to live. I'd love to live in a place more fleshed out, and with ample character. The Woodlands has beautiful facets on every corner, and it's a great place for a day trip or a fun time to have at night, walking along the waterway.

But a post about Houston is coming on its way.

For now, I'm talking about the Woodlands. And how it never fails to bring a smile on my face because it's a great place to go. A bit short-lived in the activities you can do, but it's okay. Because that's the role it has in my life. Like High school, the 4 years it's been there, and the day trips I have there, it's not meant to be the center. Just very fun, memorable experiences.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pumped Up.

If I ever need to get pumped up, I'll play Lady Gaga's Poker Face. [I took out the repetitive choruses]

I wanna hold em' like they do in Texas please
Fold em' let em' hit me raise it baby stay with me
I love it
LoveGame intuition play the cards with Spades to start
And after he's been hooked I'll play the one that's on his heart

Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh
I'll get him hot, show him what I've got

I wanna roll with him a hard pair we will be
A little gambling is fun when you're with me I love it
Russian Roulette is not the same without a gun
And baby when it's love if its not rough it isn't fun, fun
Oh, oh, oh, oh, ohhhh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh
I'll get him hot, show him what I've got

I won't tell you that I love you
Kiss or hug you
Cause I'm bluffin' with my muffin
I'm not lying I'm just stunnin' with my love-glue-gunning
Just like a chick in the casino
Take your bank before I pay you out
I promise this, promise this
Check this hand cause I'm marvelous

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Dexter is such a fascinating TV character. Probably one of the most developed characters that I can't get enough of. Why? Well I'll attempt to pin it down here.

In a nutshell, he's a serial killer that lives by a moral code that sets parameters around who he murders. In a sense, the murders are justified as taking out the garbage that the law was remiss in carrying out. Quite simply, the law can't always be 100% effective in fighting crime.

It's the way he knows what emotional portrayal he needs to convey - whether it's the personal relationship he has with his sister Deb, or his girlfriend and eventually his wife Rita, her kids, or Doakes, who has huge suspicions about the real Dexter. Dexter is able to know what he needs to convey, recognizes that he'll need some external help in conveying it, and will deliver. He treats his social skills no differently than his knife of choice and his weapons. Whereas his murder weapons are always clean, sharp, and ready for its next use, his interpersonal skills are blunted, elementary, but that's his hardship. Most people would not recognize their shortcomings and work on them so assiduously. Dexter is ... different. But of course, sometimes he stumbles and falls short of delivering the emotional oomph required. He learns. As a blood spatter analyst, he's impeccable with details - so he will not make the same mistake again.

He is a master of psychology, but ironically, he can not apply it intuitively for his own relationships. It's a work in progress, and he always strives to feel more, to stretch himself, and to never let his barriers prevent him from living a life of 'meaning'. He spends his life believing he can learn meaning. :)

This show and his character is a perfect blend of a thriller and something raw. It's cutting edge because it always makes me feel alive - to ask the most fundamental questions and to evoke these inquiries brings me back to my humanity. Wow, the irony. A show about killing brings me to think about living. :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The freshness. Salmon is my favorite raw fish. Unagi is delicious. Yellow tail is delicate and clean as well. Shrimp tempura is always wonderful too.

Rice. My favorite carbohydrate of all time.

Avocado. Sushi has made me appreciate the avocado. It's creamy and a wonderful counterpart to the distinct tastes of salmon, shrimp, or other fishes. Avocado is the glue holding them together.

The spiciness of wasabi making the rush go to your head.

It's a complete experience. But it's a taste so clean, you can explain every component of the whole.

YUM. I love it too much.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Student Becomes the Teacher - Pt. 2.

There's someone I have admired for a long time.

I benchmarked myself against her, and took note of the qualities I endeared to have.

Her charm.
Her ability to remain calm in any situation.
Her humility and ability to speak and connect with anyone while remaining respected.
Her ability to get others to be engaged with her words alone.
Her humor.
Her ability to make it seem like everything was under control.

While I consider her a friend whom I greatly enjoy the company of, and someone I'll always be bound to because of the experiences we share, I no longer look at her with reverence. It's not good or bad, it just is. There is no shroud of mystique. It's the most absurd thing to say, because I know a year ago around this time, I was someone else completely.

Over the year, as I was put in her shoes, I began to realize that attaining these qualities above were only scratching the surface. As I planned my vision of leadership this semester, it dawned on me. Attaining those qualities listed above, felt like I looked at a partial map. The feeling is akin to going to Jack in the Box and being told the Angus Beef burger is made with the best quality of Angus Beef. Someone who has never tried other burgers will try it, and yes, it is a tasty burger. Thus it is the best quality of beef in the world. If one never tries other Angus Beef burgers from other locations, this perception remains intact. Back to my example, the only thing I knew was her leadership style. I thought it was flawless! For the longest duration of time, her leadership style was my measure of success. She was a peer, who was highly respected, liked, and at one point in time -- achieved great success with the organization.

But -- now the smoke is cleared. I realize that time changes things, likability is not correlated to achieving results, and true leaders lead by example.

There's so much more to leadership and today it was great to be able to see, without any resentment or emotion, the differences between her term and mine.

I see that while she projected many good qualities, she missed out on an opportunity to showcase more important qualities. Integrity. Attitude. Commitment. Teamwork. These words should have been at the forefront of my mind as I witnessed her over the past year. It is my commitment to pass these words on to the next administration of officers next year.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


The ability to bounce back is probably one of the most useful things I've acquired over the past few months. Like the lyrics in Incubus 'Make Yourself', I was like paper mache, "at a distance you're strong, until the wind comes, then you'll crumble and blow away."

From a very logical standpoint, the amount of time I've minimized by simply assessing the situation and pinpointing what I needed to do to move forward, and maintaining a positive attitude, has prevented the situation from spiraling out of control or stagnating. All that time I've saved, put together, has really increased the productivity I've had. I'm imagining all of the variables that pushes a situation off kilter. A bad attitude can cause someone else to completely shut down. I, myself, if I'm unable to control my emotions, could be shut down by these situational factors and lose any momentum I have and any momentum that others have, which are depending on MY actions. It's of immense importance. I can't emphasize it enough. Even letting a situation stagnate by needing such a large amount of time to cool off or to get your mind off of things is symptomatic of a much larger problem. It means my mind isn't right. It means instead of dealing with the situation at hand, I would have developed a quality in which people will say: "She gets frustrated really easily and she burns out a lot. You have to give her time to cool off, but she'll eventually get back with you. In the mean time, don't count on her because she needs her space." You see the issue. People are let down, and society allows this quality to exist for some strange reason. Why do we not get to the root of the issue? It's puzzling. In my opinion, extremely busy people are given a free pass to burn out. Burn out is the name for not handling thoughts in a productive manner. I firmly believe this. Love everything you do. Everything you touch, is what you should be doing. Don't back away from the commitments you make but be careful of the verbal contracts. Your words are the only things you own aside from your time. Be your own gatekeeper. Back to my primary point, resilience is such an amazing asset because it is the elasticity from coming back from negativity. That's what it is in a nutshell.

Obstacles are a form of negativity -- potentially. Really, they are opportunities to show your bones and to show fortitude, but a lot of these obstacles can be formidable. I know. Being resilient, and pushing forward when operating on little sleep, and little support, has to come from your character. Resilience is a part of it. This quality is often overlooked and I think it needs immense emphasis, similar to attitude and willpower. Allowing burn out to be the reason someone is unable to move forward falls under the category of "not good enough". For the sake of this individual, they must seek to understand what is the cause of this inability to manage one's life with a smile and go-getter attitude. When work, school, or whatever it may be ceases to become enjoyable or bearable, there's a problem. Too many commitments? When one priority takes more time than usual, something has to give. Is there any time for oneself, and friends, and family? These are potential root causes.

Work/life balance is an art. It is an art worth practicing and learning. It is not a bad thing to be at the brink where one has to re-evaluate and shuffle the pieces around to make things work. Rather, if one is never at the brink, how will one ever learn the capabilities and learn what one is made of? It's like a workout curve. One plateaus and needs to push oneself to the next echelon of fitness. The ultimate gain here is priceless: maximization of your pursuits, the pursuit of garnering the most amount of happiness!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I love doing school work.

I don't get to do it enough. I will get back into the swing of things.

You might call me crazy, go ahead, but I have a reverence for school and my classes.

I will invest more time in my studies in the last 5 weeks of school.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Bank Account.

So today, a bunch of obstacles decided to appear for me to put my name on the UNICEF bank account.

Sigh. :) Bring it.

So Alex, his girlfriend, and I hit our first roadblock. It was a physical barrier. The UC was closed. The metal gates were down on all sides, and therefore, the 51 University Drive Woodforest National Bank location was closed.

Before Alex said a word, I was making calls to another Woodforest Bank to see if they could handle the business we wanted to accomplish. The customer representative, I won't forget his name, Isaac, said 'Indeed.'

So off to another Woodforest we went.

I carpooled us all, and I inadvertently went on the highway instead of the feeder road off of Spur 5. It was a good thing because Alex forgot papers he needed. It was the ongoing joke of the day. Technology and circumstance always keeps Alex in check. :) So we make a complete circle, and off we finally depart to Woodforest!

We walk in and the teller gives us a litany of questions about our situation. We inform him that the other person on the account is not here, and she is unreachable. For a long time, he persists and determines we are unable to edit the account at all if all parties on the account are not present. We do NOT relent.

Alex communicates that he was able to be added on to the account without all members of the party present. He also adds, "if we can't add or delete people on the account, then our organization will never be able to access money next year, or the year after next, and our entire future."

This point, resonated with the teller. He talked with his supervisor. His supervisor was jovial and told him with vigor to add me to the account if I'm on the memorandum. The teller, equipped with more ammo, tells us we need our memorandum as proof that I'm a part of the organization. We whip it out, already prepared for that circumstance.

He plows forward again. He asks about Amnah. He asks about her presence. We say she is unable to be here. He says he cannot move forward without all members of the current memorandum. I inform him that it is only Alex and I that wish to be on the bank account. We are fine with only two people on the account. The teller gives us a wary eye, but our smiles I'm sure disarmed him.

Alex, his girlfriend, and I, made the best of an hour and a half standing at the bank counter getting caught up with each other, reminiscing about Pokemon, making jokes, and talking about his tasks for UNICEF. Instead of it being "I spent an hour and a half at the bank", it became comedy hour ... at the bank. Our teller for the most part was stoic for the good hour and a half, but by the end, we wore him down with our goofiness. I can't believe we provided a free show.

We walked away with my name on the account, finally. The data entry and the repeated trips back and forth with his supervisor led to a long wait time, but my focus is our clean and humor-laden victory.

As our teller put it, "How are your legs doing? Are they tired from standing?" Alex chimes in and says, "Nope, they feel great!" The teller continues, "So I should make you wait some more?" Alex quips, "Yep. We'll take another hour!"

:) Haha.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Where Is The Love.

Up until this weekend, I always changed the station or tuned out this song. I listened to it over the weekend because it was part of the playlist, and I absolutely love this song now.

Where is the Love - Black Eyed Peas

What's wrong with the world, mama
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
I think the whole world addicted to the drama
Only attracted to things that'll bring you trauma
Overseas, yeah, we try to stop terrorism
But we still got terrorists here livin'
In the USA, the big CIA
The Bloods and The Crips and the KKK
But if you only have love for your own race
Then you only leave space to discriminate

And to discriminate only generates hate
And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah
Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

It just ain't the same, always unchanged
New days are strange, is the world insane
If love and peace is so strong
Why are there pieces of love that don't belong
Nations droppin' bombs
Chemical gasses fillin' lungs of little ones
With ongoin' sufferin' as the youth die young
So ask yourself is the lovin' really gone
So I could ask myself really what is goin' wrong
In this world that we livin' in people keep on givin'
Makin' wrong decisions, only visions of them dividends
Not respectin' each other, deny thy brother
A war is goin' on but the reason's undercover
The truth is kept secret, it's swept under the rug
If you never know truth then you never know love
Where's the love, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the truth, y'all, come on (I don't know)
Where's the love, y'all

People killin', people dyin'
Children hurt and you hear them cryin'
Can you practice what you preach
And would you turn the other cheek

I feel the weight of the world on my shoulder
As I'm gettin' older, y'all, people gets colder
Most of us only care about money makin'
Selfishness got us followin' our wrong direction
Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema
Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness in equality
Instead in spreading love we spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading lives away from unity
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' under
That's the reason why sometimes I'm feelin' down
There's no wonder why sometimes I'm feelin' under
Gotta keep my faith alive till love is found

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I like the quiet spaces. The quiet corners where some of the deepest thoughts resonate.

But most of all I like the context of the artwork. Sure, artwork alone allows me to create my own context. Whatever inspires me, or whatever my eye catches, I'll create a story. Some artists allow you the creative freedom to piece together what you want. Other artists want to give the lovely gift of perspective. Along every exhibit there's a placard with a description of what the motifs and themes are and the questions they prodded and wrestled with. I love to first, scan the photos, and try to predict the themes. I piece together my own meaning based on the clues I see. Then, I read the placard, and understand what it is the artist wants me to see. I make a leap from where I stood, to where I should be. That journey is the best part.

Sometimes the placard is meritorious based on the words and concepts alone. And sometimes the work of art outshines any attempt to explain what it may mean. Most often, the art pieces have little life or heart until I understand the thoughts from which it flourished. Revisiting it is so powerful. That's when it becomes beautiful. It's the same way I feel when I look at someone's face, and let the thoughts and prejudgments come forth. I know that prejudgments aside, this is a human being with all the desires and goals that are equal amongst all human beings. It's amazing to see the heart after you get to know someone. The same with art. It screams, "Don't judge me, get to know me."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Take the Time to Be Inspired.

When inspiration knocks you off your feet, you can choose to anchor that energy and keep it going or let the thought end in the nerve endings of your brain. Newton knows what I'm talking about. His third law states that for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction.

So I stopped.

And let the rush of the cold ocean air envelop me. I've never seen the remnants of drving up close. It's sand-like. I would call it urban sand. The particles not of nature, but of man. This is plastic, rubber, wires, dirt, and steel.

It's a different kind of loud. A loud I never hear because I'm insulated from the outside in my car. Despite the noise, there is a quietness in my limbs. The harsh lights overhead lead the way forward, and I'm thankful for their guidance and dutiful service. I know I have a lifetime of warmth, thousands of drives in a car, being in a rush from pont A to B, so I stopped. I said WAIT. WAIT A MOMENT. I enjoyed the moments of being deliberately cold, to hear the fury of the winds and the 70MPH cars on the other side of the barricade, and to see without the block of a windshield the reflection of the ocean waters, and to look around without the usual blur that driving 70MPH will do. I saw with my own eyes, without the training wheels of the metal and glass surrounding me. I had to see it for myself. I came, I saw, I conquered.

What's next?

Monday, March 15, 2010


The Wave. I got to revisit the carnival ride of my dreams. It was actually eye-opening. I could see how it petrified my brother and I as children. I was located on the wrong side. I remembered I kept trying to sit in the seat normally meaning I kept scooting over towards the middle, but the centripetal force of the Wave prevented me from that. It was a workout, and for my 8 year old self, I was no match for it. Vivian and I had the best time. It had the best music and it was like a dance party at the Rodeo.

We had the best foods. Fried oreos. Crawfish etouffee. Roasted corn. Turkey leg. A bloomin' onion. Dip N Dots. And water. :) Every calorie was worth it.

The rodeo artwork was simply inspiring. I wish I took advantage of the days I had in middle and high school and developed my craft. It's not my goal or focus now, but I still have a soft spot for the arts. Anyone can draw, and with enough refinement and practice, you can be great. The talent of these kids really inspired me.

All of the vendors at the rodeo were really entertaining. I learned a lot. I learned how the rodeo works. LOL. I saw a show where cows were displayed. I saw children ride on sheep and try to hold on for as long as possible. I won a gift bag from Reliant for choosing the right key in a bowl of a dozen keys! I took a gag photo with a llama. I took a photo with Ms. Moo. I took a photo in a huge tractor; it was my first time in a tractor. I saw a beehive, and learned about bees. I saw an incubator with eggs and hatching chickens. That was magical. I got to pet rabbits in baskets. :) I saw the biggest rabbit I have ever seen. I have a newfound reverence for cows. Their skin is so soft, and they are so big, the ground shakes as they trot. They are so powerful and beautiful. They produce 2000 gallons of milk a year on average. Oh my goodness.

I learned so much and talked to different people. Cowboys have their charm. I admit it. :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

90's Dance Party.

I am surprised one of my favorite classes is SCM. A group of people have emerged to become friends of mine. We studied for our first exam together and we all garnered A's.

We all know how to have fun as well.

I went to Kat's dance party. Finding parking almost did me in. There were no spots open. I made me way around, U-turned, and planned on parking in a 30 minute only spot in front of another apartment complex, under the assumption that nothing will happen at this hour. I almost decided for it until I realized the amount of road to my left was not spacious enough to allow for another car to fit through. I felt like my car was begging to be towed.

I decided to try her apartment complex one more time. I called her to no response -- to try to get her advice, so I could only move forward with my plan. I met a vacated spot. I parked. Hooray!

I then met a locked apartment gate. I saw her apartment number with people socializing outside on the walkway. I politely but loudly asked for them to open the gate.

And that's when it started.

It's one of my life goals to be able to be with any group of people and be comfortable because I am a global citizen. I think one of the greatest things someone can give you is the gift of perspective. I widened it considerably that night. It was not the crowd I usually find myself with. So I came with a very open-mind, and the objective to have a great time, and just dance.

I did. It was very very enjoyable. Not all the music was from the 90s and that's when we yelled, "Anachronism" and "Inaccuracy!" Haha.

Some folks decided to stand outside and watch the parking lot instead. Their loss. We decided to bring the party by dancing up a storm. I had a great time, and that's the mentality I bring forth. I love watching other people dance as well, and to be inspired by their movements and expression. I admire. I emulate. I express. I think of the energies involved and I can't wait to do it all over again.

Dancing is great. Who cares who is watching?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Stars of Galveston.

At night, there's just something so amazing about seeing all the stars that are omitted by light and smoke pollution. I don't fault or focus on how unfair it is that the more rural parts of the world allows you to see the beauty above. I just treasure each location with its certain strengths. The urban centers have the beauty of man-made marvels. There's less of a focus on nature, but you can still find it if you seek it on a macro level.

Back to the stars in Galveston. :) You open your eyes wider, as if you wonder if your eyes have been bad your whole life, but it begins to make sense. These stars don't get their time of day if it must compete with other bright, albeit manmade, lights. We took a beach towel and gazed at the stars, and felt as if we were in another world. Our thoughts about the rotundity of the globe and about different constellations were verbalized. It was cold that night, but I could only believe that the blanket of stars warmed me. I was glad to be in my place, and to know that they were in theirs.

The Known Universe. An amazing video that's humbling. "The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe." Tell a quasar about the importance of oil and geopolitics on Earth and listen to it scoff. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dance Party.

We decided it'd be much better to have our dance party not at a club but at the beach house. Equipped with friends anew, and friends of old, high spirits, a boombox that connected to our iPods, loud speakers, ample space, and the cool Galveston air, we found audience with my poor neighbors who had to listen to our festivities during the wee hours of the night. :)

For 5 hours, we danced. For many periods of time, we would fall on the couch in exhaustion, and get back up again when a particular beat or song revived us. I was fueled by the crazy dance moves of my many partners and there was arm linking, and spinning in circles involved. It was an experimental ground and everything was accepted. The currency was our dance moves, and the crazier, the better.

My mind was anchored to the Discover Leadership program. I felt my body was tired time and time again, but I danced anyway because I was told to, and magically, my mind awakened. It's chemical. Just smile. Just dance for a few minutes with your heart and soul poured into it. I guarantee you'll reframe your mind. There's no magic. I anchored that energy and when my fatigue began to set in, I did it anyway, and plowed forward, and my energy thus was endless.

If that's a secret, then that is my secret.

That was the best dance party I've ever had. I know there's better ones to come, but the success of the dance party was the attitude of the 4 of us that decided to dance 100% full out. Two others decided to sleep, and they had a different account of that night completely. :) I felt such love, such respect, such adrenaline and energy that you can't match anywhere. There was no where I'd rather be.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Postwar Juncture.

So yesterday I described what a postwar juncture is. It's this pivotal moment to reshape a new order.

I could let it slip. I could do it the way I've always done, but I know that in my heart I'd be dissatisfied. How can I expect different results if I continue the same approach??

I stuck to my guns. And I expressed my truth.

I had conviction. I know that what I feel in my heart isn't wrong, and that the 20 years I've had on this Earth is just as powerful as someone else's experiences, no matter how traumatic. When it becomes a battle of "You don't understand, I've been through X, Y, and Z," there is already the expectation. It's in the language. What they feel is just as real as what you have felt. There is no Richter scale of emotions. It's all relative to your experience. But who am I, or anyone else to say that I've been through worse and thus, you are invalidated. No one has that ability. No one can take away anything you don't give. But all too often, we trust our friends, trust them enough to use their judgments for ours. Trust your heart. Trust your friends, but trust your heart more. In this situation I trusted mine.

I believe that the differences between people could be equally looked at as a strength or a weakness. I believe differences are expected. It is so expected that drawing attention to them is a waste. Using it as an excuse, is what society allows as common practice if you let it. I am aware that there are two camps. Differences are great, and differences are bad. I'm in the first camp. I choose to focus on the strength and the commonalities between others. Someone who is more different than you can show you places on your 'map' that you've never thought existed. You've just gotta be willing to 'travel' and recognize that everyone can teach you something about yourself and the world. If you think you've covered all of the territories on your map, it will probably highly annoy you to hear about things that you already have a set and determined opinion of. Saying to someone that you two are very different people, and leaving it at that is a poor man's way out. Something that's a source of pride, our differences, becomes the alibi against coming together and understanding. It takes a lot of work to reach a level of peace, love, and understanding. I don't believe in it as the final say. As a nail in the coffin.

I don't think I've lost a friend. I think I've stepped up my standards and am more vocal about who I am and what I stand for. I have a high standard of integrity, character, and trust. It's nothing I wouldn't expect from myself. Not everyone will agree with me but that's okay. I love them regardless, as human beings, and my brothers and sisters. One cannot be a leader in this life, without leading oneself. I've made the decision to have those qualities of character be my guiding principle. What I chose to do, is completely in accord with that. I was decisive, and if there is misunderstandings, I'll have to correct course later. But I'm glad I did what I did.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I'm going to get a little nerdy on you guys.

I took an exam today, and one of the concepts was about a postwar juncture. What's a postwar juncture you say? Well, put simply, it's a strategic moment in time where the climate allows leading nation-states to reshape a new international world order.

It sounds like a bunch of phooey but essentially, I think I'm about to experience a postwar juncture.

What war went on? Well, it wasn't particularly a war. It wasn't particularly even that huge when you look at how long it took to start and end. It really only took an hour. It started off with a simple text message asking a friend who I definitely admire, "How are you?"

I've noted with this person that I heavily admire, that he has his ups and downs. Sometimes communication is really top-notch and positive, and we're definitely on the same wave length. Sometimes communication seems depressing on his end and very self-doubting and self-interested. He lacks to see outside himself at these times.

Today, was one of those times.

We had a back and forth exchange and our focus were miles apart. We saw the same thing very differently. Spring break is this next week. I expressed excitement for it. He expressed his apathy because it'd be filled with endless assignments and school work. I so badly just wanted to cheer him up. It caused me physical pain to see him focus on that aspect.

I said you don't need to be physically away or free from responsibilities to have an awesome Spring Break. I added, and I wish you could see what I see.

The last statement meant so many things, but I knew he was mired in his own situation to see that my statement meant an abundance of things. It meant that I wish nothing but happiness for you. It meant that I used to be so negative and it hurts to see anyone live the way you do. It meant that I knew his audience was lost because he was so caught up in his situation. It meant that I wanted him to snap out of this state because it was hindering him from seeing the true beauty of the world in that present moment.

That was my approach. I don't regret it because I stuck to my principles and if there was unintended backlash, it's not my fault. So I get a lengthy, lengthy response back. Not quite "verbal invective" but there were so many things I read that caused me physical pain because it was just, our philosophies didn't mesh. To put it simply, he was someone I considered in a lot of ways compatible for me. This response showed another side I otherwise missed behind rose-colored glasses. I focus on the outcome, and I choose to surround myself with strong, beautiful souls.

I don't care about your titles, what your work obligations are, how stressed you are, because if you breach your character, that's what matters. Choose to live a life of integrity. Choose to live what you say.

Although I was initially a bit disappointed, I know it's fleeting, and I've already begun the path to move forward. As a friend, he cancelled a meeting with me, without even indicating to me that he did not require my presence. My time is not less valuable if I have less commitments, so I felt disrespected. As a business relationship, I lost trust, and as an emerging friend, he's chosen the path of acquaintanceship.

But it's good. He knows exactly that I mean what I say. My religion is positivity and if he wants to stand in the way and change my mind on something that I've seen before and after, I will choose the way I live over his any day of the week.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Calhoun Lofts.

I adore Calhoun Lofts.

It's swanky, it has study lounges on every floor, it's clean, and the terrace on the 9th floor is to die for. It has yoga classes only for residents there and cooking classes too! Its facilities are many and it has its own convenient store on the bottom floor. There are too many great things about it. Anyway, I stood looking out to downtown, the engineering buildings, the UH architecture building, and spur-5. It's not as beautiful as the view from the Hilton Americas, but it's a view that's gorgeous on its own.

My eyes were tearing up just looking outside. The really neat-o thing about the terrace is the lattice allows you to look out, and the open roof means you feel completely open to the outside at a high vantage point.

Imagine going home to that view every night. :) It makes you feel so small. Don't let life take you by without feeling the moments.

I love that this view is available to me, whenever I wish, and it's about a 15 minute walk, an open door, an elevator ride, and a short stroll to this magnificent view. Ever need inspiration? This is an automatic ticket.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Test Part 2.

So on his actual birthday, I received a text from the birthday boy.

It was an expression of longing, and finally I realized it for what it was. If I had an analogy for it, it's like seeing a circus performance as a child and believing it's magic. At that age, there's wonderment and an overwhelming sense that these people are GODS. You're at the mercy of this spectacular show and if these performers shook your hand, you would be speechless. Fast forward a decade. You have seen things like Cirque de Soleil, the Olympic Winter games (OMG they're amazing), and you watch the same Barnum and Bailey's circus show. Yes, you're still impressed because there's still a respectable level of athleticism and entertainment, but you know it for what it is. The layers are peeled away and there's no magic.

The same way goes to the text message. It's 7 months removed from messges just like it, but at the same time, I can really see what's going on. What made it hard to step away last time, seemed so clear to me now. I thanked my open eyes and experiences. I smiled. I saw a juncture. I could choose the same choices I always have, and find myself in the roundabout of confusion, but instead I knew what I had to do to prevent that outcome. I choose my outcome. I choose my path. I realized where I stood before. I allowed my focus to move away from what was important. My focus now is straight as a laser beam and powerful.

I didn't respond. I moved forward. :)

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I love the sounds of my neighbor's lawn mower cutting the grass. It's a familiar sound I associate with calming consistency. Grasses always grow and the long green blades need to be cut. There's a natural order and I like that cycle of life.

Birds chirp on my window sill.

The sun is bright but not overpowering like the summer sun. There's so much beauty.

Neighbors take their dogs for a walk.

There's much less hustle and bustle because it's a Sunday. The world moves at a much slower pace. Monday, the pace quickens, so it's nice to inhale this steady, slow pace of Sunday.

There's no rush. There's just familiarity. I appreciate these moments as much as those ones that give me the adrenaline rush of not knowing what to expect.


Saturday, March 6, 2010

True Test.

I'm really quite proud of myself.

I felt ready to open the door, because I want that to be my policy. That at any rate, I can be cordial and welcoming to anyone, without restriction. I agreed that it was never to late to choose to do the right thing, and for the betterment of my conscience and the relationships I had with mutual friends, I wanted to open a line of communication.

I had a great time laughing and getting to know people I otherwise don't talk to. After the eating and check splitting, the crowd congregated outside and I knew I had to take my leave, unable to attend the after-dinner festivities due to my age and due to my commitment to my 3 exams this next week. I said I had to leave, and said Happy Birthday, and departed. I felt pretty good for stepping out of my comfort zone to reciprocate a truce.

There were a series of texts and eventually a full-blown conversation that night about rebuilding our friendship.

I believe I handled it like a champ. We had a genuine conversation and I was open and honest about the way I felt. I feel like I've grown so much; I'm very happy and life could not be better. I'm open to being friends but to say that anything more is possible would be lying. I was firm. Explained my rationale. I have had a lot of maturity, but philosophically my past is my past, a past that I left behind for good reason. I only deal with my present.

We agreed to disagree. I felt very happy at the end of the conversation, because I felt that I stuck to my principles, and I had a responses for everything. I know who I am and what I want. I really am complete, and it's unfortunate that he does not feel the same, but his reaction may be telling to my strength and willpower.

I don't move backwards. I only move forward. :) Go me.

Friday, March 5, 2010


This day always resonates with me. A day I spent with kids. A day I spent teaching my philosophies of diversity and how it's a beautiful thing.

You want one leg, no legs, you've got it. You want a yellow lizard? A black dragonfly? Well, that's okay too. Things can be different and they should be.

I hope they remember this principle - and if I ever need a reminder, I only need to look around me at work or at school.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ice Cream and Swimming Pools.

I've begun to realize that when I was younger, I lived in a great neighborhood.

I had a lot of neighbors that loved to play games: red rover, hide and seek, tag, and a slew of mischievous things like go in our neighbors yard and go in their hot tub when they were away even though we couldn't turn it on. :)

They gave me the childhood that if I had to do all over again, I would choose.

They were the personality I never had. I was extremely shy, never wanting to confront a personality and to do anything that was remotely outgoing.

We had days where the ice cream truck would come around and we would flock to it like flies. My dad would always get us whatever we wanted. I didn't really care for ice cream but I got the Flintstones push-pops anyway.

We had an above ground pool and all of my neighbors loved going swimming and my brother too, and I did it just to be with friends. :) Now I love the pool. I love ice cream. I love life. I don't take it for granted, and I love what it has to offer me. It owes me nothing but it's given me my everything. What more could I want?!

I simply had the BEST childhood.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My School.

I bleed red for my school - the University of Houston.

It's an incredible turn-off when I meet someone that is apathetic about their alma mater.

Why not love everything you touch? Why not support something that you're a part of? Why not understand the implication of not caring? It doesn't just end with you - it infects the world around you. A world without pride is a world without passion.

Own your past. Take personal responsibility for the person you've become. Be proud of where you've come from. I am proud to be a Cougar. I am so proud to be going to a school that I consider to be the gem of Houston.

So if you cross my path as a fellow Cougar, and you aren't bleeding red for my school, I'll love you as a person, but wish you could open your eyes to something that has enriched you in so many ways that you really need to be grateful for the experience.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I'm Smitten.

I love it when I crush hard. :) And I am.

But before I jump into anything, I'm having the best time discovering and seeing the world and what it has to offer. I'm not going to lie, if I had to put a term for it: I'm in an open relationship with the entire world.

My love is FREE. I love everyone and I see their BEAUTY. People are gorgeous and magnificent and the most beautiful thing they can wear is their confidence.

Today one of my members said, "I woke up today, and decided I look good naked." The air was still and it was deemed an out of place comment, but immediately I thought it was awesome! Confidence is sexy. I don't care if everyone says you need to be aware that you can't wear certain things because it's too fitting and you're not in good shape for it -- if I see someone doing their thing and wearing what they want, a huge part of me focuses on the amount of CONFIDENCE that person has and the strength they have in approaching a very negative world.

Of course, even though I'm in an open relationship with the world and I love people and see them for who they are, I realize that I really like society's construct of being committed with someone. It means that mentally, the bond I have with this person is so strong, everyone else, I can love, but it becomes a different kind of love. The love is reshaped, recomposed if you will. I would say the love transforms into a different role. There's are two forces that have partial overlap with each other and I have to be decisive about which one meshes more with my values. It's truly a difficult circumstance. Friends are extremely important; they are your support system always. Your significant other is also very important; they are your other half and become intimately familiar with you in ways that good friends don't come close to. We've established that both are so important. But what's the focus? My values determine that my commitment is the most important. I make a commitment to my significant other to remain wholly respectful, kind, and considerate. I will keep the friendship of my friends, but I would do nothing to erode the trust and commitment I have. If that means that I need to stay within bounds of what society deems as acceptable with other friends while one has a boyfriend/girlfriend then so be it. My focus is on the trust. Any friend of mine would understand that shift in behavior. It's not even conscientious. For me, it's very much immediate and innate. So many forces shape it but it's natural to me.

I'm excited at what the future may bring. :)

Monday, March 1, 2010


Yesterday at graduation, I noticed my love just came out. What I mean is, my kinesthetic side came out, and nothing could ever harm me in those moments.

I forgot how it felt to just love EVERYONE. Unconditionally. For being human. For being themselves.

True love is accepting, non-judgmental, and it warms the soul.

I felt that way last night at the graduation and it's the way I truly want to be.

Keep the love alive.

I love my hippy spirit.