Friday, November 19, 2010
the rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge or conduct
Synonyms include: attitude, belief, ideology
"What pollutes the mind is our desire to get life to conform to our peculiar notion of how things should be, as opposed to how they really are. Why did this happen to me? What would make me feel better?...The thoughts themselves are not the problem; it's our desperate clinging to them and our resistance to what's actually happening that causes us so much anguish."
~ Phil Jackson, Sacred Hoops
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Synonyms include: haven, refuge retreat
I'm back on the road again. This time I'm in Phoenix for another conference. This is actually my THIRD time here; I remembered this morning. The first time was to support Tita Cecile and Fantone who ran a marathon, then I came back with a group of friends to watch Larnie graduate, and here I am again. Of all the places I thought I'd visit multiple times, Phoenix was not one of them. But it is very beautiful here, desert and all.
I flew Southwest, of course, because from Bob Hope Airport, the flight was 1 hour and 17 minutes! The plane wasn't crowded so I had a whole row to myself, which allowed me to move a seat further to get this shot =)
I LOVE seeing the geography from the air - the houses in straight or curvy lines and the patchwork of farmland of course. Such perfect squares and rectangles! I can barely draw a straight line by hand!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Friday, October 15, 2010
Friday, October 08, 2010
Oh this light. This dreaded light. When you see it aglow beside the odometer, it's never to tell you that your car is performing splendidly. It's lit up to tell you the exact opposite. "WARNING! WARNING!" it yells. "Something's wrong with your ride!"
I pulled into my driveway on Tuesday night and happened to glance at my gas guage to check if I could wait to load up until after work the next day, and there it was - the CHECK ENGINE indicator.
Since my commute is so demanding, I don’t take any chances when my car is even remotely in need of ANYTHING, even if it’s just a lightbulb. So after dinner, I drove my car to Glendale Toyota, where I have spent a great part of my car’s life. They’d have to run a diagnostic test in the morning, they said, so I stayed home from work the following day, checking office email all morning, trying to distract myself from worrying about what the next fixer was going to cost.
When Minsu, the rep from Toyota finally called, I braced myself. The catalytic converter needed to be replaced and it would cost…well, a lot. The cata-what? I Googled it before we got off the phone. Apparently it controls the toxicity of my car's emissions. Well, obviously I can’t not replace THAT! I ok’d the service and sulked…for awhile. ANOTHER maintenance expense?
Dad heard me on the phone and came in to talk me off the ledge. I seem to get unbelievably upset every time I have to invest such a huge chunk of my paycheck (or sometimes all of one) into something that doesn’t take me on vacation, buys me a new wardrobe or feeds me. "What pleasure do I get from spending so much on my car?!" I foolishly thought to myself.
“It’s a car,” Dad said in his very dad-like tone. “It needs to be taken care of all the time especially when it works so hard. It’s not meant to be new forever.” I knew that.
I left the house to get some air. It was raining that day, but I actually welcomed it, especially when I was already feeling so crappy. I visited Church and whined to God for an hour, then I went home.
I asked myself what I was upset about and then I asked myself what my other options were, really, for this situation. There really wasn't one. Either I left the old part in and figure out away to get to Thousand Oaks everyday, or get the car fixed and let it be the end. Of course I chose the latter, but it wasn't without reserve.
I did get some perks from being such a loyal customer there. I went back to Glendale Toyota that Wednesday evening to pick up my car and saw Minsu typing like a madman on his computer, punching code after code to give me as big of a discount as he could.
"I saw your maintenance history with us," he said. "Let's see what discounts we can give you."
It wasn't a huge dollar amount off, but it certainly helped. I drove off still feeling the financial blow, but thought about what Dad said. My little 2002 Rav4 does work hard. She's driven me to and from San Francisco, Las Vegas, San Diego and Palm Springs; she's taken me to work 400 miles/week for the last 4 1/2 years; she's played taxi to practically every member of my family; and on the side, she takes me to every birthday party, wedding, baby shower, housewarming, basketball game, etc on my calendar. How could I feel bad about taking care of something that's taken such good care of me?
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I wrote the song/poem below about two years ago upon a friend's request. He wanted to write a song and needed some lyrics. "What do you want it to be about?" I asked. "About ANYTHING," he said.
I used to write a lot of poetry back in the day. Mostly it was just venting exercised in the corniest and cheesiest of rhymes. I wrote about the usual topics in poetry; love (usually sad and angry verses) and life in general. With the advent of the blog and journal-writing, I never found any reason to want to write anything other than prose but sometimes you take advantage of inspiration when it arrives, as it doesn't arrive too often...
I had a teacher tell me once
That life, sometimes, is fair
That brings you joy is there
But sometimes, well, what can you say
Unfairness always makes its way
And there, you’re left
With nothing but
A load of shit to haul away
The weight – it doesn’t matter
Show yourself you’re better
Than the burdens
That your aching shoulders will recall
Take pride in all the crap
You have to haul
That silver lining – yes, it’s there
It’s hard, sometimes, to see
When all the dirt
From all the hurt
Is a cloud of pain’s debris
But you soldier on, because you know
There must be something waiting
That’s there for compensating
You hate this share of lessons learned
It’s never how you wanna learn it
But in the end
You smile, my friend
Because you know you fought to earn it