Tuesday, December 30, 2003

recap of 2003

2003 looked so promising to turn out to be the best year of my life so far, but if you know me at all, it was quite the opposite. Beginning of th year, I was in the best shape I had ever been in my entire life. On top of that I was turning 25, which is commonly known to be the apex when it comes to being a male, both physically and mentally. I had conquered myself of smoking and an unhealthy lifestyle. My car was fully paid off, and the difficulties in life were a mere simple solution away from being solved. The plan of this year seemed simple. Bulk up till mid march, cut up till the beginning of summer, and bask in the rewards. The world was my oyster and I was ready to shuck it. So how did it all go wrong?


The year started off with a bang. I got to experience the Rose Parade for the first time with a good friend. Then a few days after, I went on a church retreat which turned out to be one of the most exciting experiences I've had in a long time. I also met someone who I quickly gained a lot of interest in. It all seemed to be going well, but it just wasn't in the cards. Other than that, it was quite an exciting month.


I kept busy this month. I was in and out the door a couple of times a day. One of the things did was go to Puerto Nuevo for some lobster and ATV'ing. When I could, I spent time catching up on TV shows and watching American Idol. One thing I did start this month was drinking coffee. I definitely wasn't getting enough sleep with all this extra activity added into my previous entertainment media and internet content rich lifestyle, so I was compensating sleep by drinking more java. This was abig mistake as I'll soon learn next month. I was also using caffine as a stimulant to give me that extra boost in the gym. That's double the trouble.

March to August

I missed church for the first time 2 weeks in a row since I started going. Then basically it hit the fan when I injured myself at work on the 11th. I still can't say what caused it. It might have been the row machine at the gym. Or it could have been the pilates. Or it could have been the fact that I wasn't getting enough sleep. Or it could have been the fact that I had existing back problems along with my problems with slouching and posture. Most likely it was all of that combined. At first, I didn't know how bad it was. I thought it was just a pinched nerve or something and I just had to get the kink out. Even though I did things that would improve symptoms for a short term, it just gradually got worse and worse. Days turned to weeks. Weeks turned to months. The doctor said it might take 3 to 6 months to heal. When I heard that, I was in denial. All my plans, and all the hard work I had put into at the gym was pretty much down the drain. Still, knowing what I was facing, I had to keep my spirits up and be optomistic. Within the next few months, I had tried everything known to man short from surgery. Chiropractor, acupuncture, BackPro CPM machine, lots of different prescriptions and medicine, physical therapy, changing to a tempurpedic matress, and steroid epidurals. All had some effect, but after about 3.5 months along, I knew this wasn't going to be fixed without surgery. Being injured for so long I gained a lot of respect for the terminally ill and crippled. The way that they can carry on in that condition is something not many people have thought about. Also being injured for so long, I grew cautiously pessimistic. I was unsure if I would ever be able to start walking normal again. We're so used to injuring ourself and then healing. When you injure yourself and don't heal even though you've tried everything people tell you, you get used to disappointment. As much it was painful (and believe me, I've gone through more pain than any human should in their life span), I would say this experience was emotionally draining more than it was physically. Unfortunately, the doctor that everyone recommended was off on vacation, so even after my decision, I had to wait anouther 1.5 months. For the whole month, I was in constant pain 247 ranging from 3 to 10. I spent the 5 months watching TV numbed out on painkillers...even though the painkillers only helped with the pain, and it never made it go away completely. I started working from home around mid June so that I wouldn't go horribly in debt. I had no idea how bad my injury was and decided not to file workers compensation. It is a mistake I won't be making again. Some days, the pain was so bad, I was just taking muscle relaxants along with anti-inflammatories so that I would just be sleeping the day through just to get by with the pain that I was experiencing. Luckily when I had the appointment with the surgeon, he saw the immediate need for surgery. It had turned out that I had been understating my pain to the doctor, and one shouldn't be in bed longer than 6 weeks in my condition. 10 days after my appointment with the surgeon (which was 5 months to the day, even maybe the hour since my injury) the surgeon performed a L4-L5 hemilaminectomy by microsurgery. The morning of surgery, I remember feeling relieved that the worst part of this was over, and everything from here was going to have a positive effect. It was a very quick and successful surgery. Unfortunately, the surgery wasn't the miracle surgery that I assumed it was going to be. I still had a lot of recovery ahead of me.

September to December

After about a month of dealing with pain from recovery and physical therapy I was finally well enough to make it worth while to go outside and finally break out of the bubble. 4 weeks after surgery, I returned to work after a 6 months absense, and I gradually returned to my normal routine over the next few months. It has been already 4.5 months, and I'm about 98% better. Looking back I'm amazed at myself how I was able to get through this devastating life experience with only few momentary bouts with frustration. One of the biggest things that has helped me get through this was from my experience in high school when my first love broke up with me. I was devastated and in a great deal of depression for 2 years. I always been a firm believer that all things happen for a good reason. Up until this latest experience, I always wondered what good my high school experience with a breakup would bring me. I know for certain if I hadn't suffered from such a devastating experience before, this injury would have been infinitely harder mentally. Life is funny that way. I would like to extend my thanks to God, Amora Kelly L. Ac., Yvonne Body PT, Dr. William Taylor (Surgeon), Ruishan Gao L. Ac., all my friends, and my dad for helping me get through this.

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm glad 2003 is over. This year has been tainted with war, accidents, injury, killer flu, mad cow, surgeries, fires, etc. etc. So what does 2004 bring? I'm happy to say that all my credit cards have been paid off, and I could finally start saving for a property which I'm starting next month. And if I really try, I can save up for a trip to Europe. Also, I'm finally well enough to get to the gym regularly, which I've already started. So I'm starting from ground zero. And that is mighty fine with me. Happy New Years everyone!

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

merry christmas everyone! i'll have a long recap of 2003 in a week.

Thursday, December 18, 2003

i'm gonna try to focus on the positives....

alright...starting first of january i'm gonna start working out again. even with some of the residual pain left, its safe to say i'm well enough to start working out regularly. why not sooner? maybe...i just feel lazy. i've just been in a downward spiral of unhealthy activities and diet. i actually look at cigarette ads, and they seem appealing. but i've been meaning to not fight the urge, even though one night, i had seriously considered it. its surprising that i can still get the urge to light up after 2 solid years of being completely smoke free. also, probably what i consume is still relatively healthy compared to the average american diet, but that's not saying much. isn't a large number of the population over weight? i'm going to start off slow on the machines at the IG gym then maybe after 2+ weeks, i'll sign up again at rimac.

i have definitely cut down on video games. been playing close to 3-4 hours a day to playing once or twice a week. i think its because of the lack of time. since i'm trying to make it to work relatively on time (no double digits), i find myself falling asleep around midnight. its quite not what i want to be doing, but i know its really good for me.

i'm done with christmas shopping! i shopped online for one gift. then just wrapped up my shopping for everyone else in one night. i got very thoughtful gifts too. shopping has been so easy cause i only decided to shop mainly for my immediate family this year.

still haven't decided what i'm going to do for christmas. i might even drive home....probably on christmas day. hmm...

Monday, December 15, 2003

man, i'm so out of shape....life is so cruel

Tuesday, December 9, 2003

stupid blogger. i lost a post....here's a summary.

been playing lots of video games.

rented manhunt. really bad disappointment. not violent or realistic. not worth the $7 rental.

bought super smash melee for $24 on black friday. it's the best fighting game i've ever played, and its 4 players.

got hot shots golf 3 and socom 2 through casey. been playing a lot of hot shots. haven't played socom yet. i'm really enjoying hot shots.

sold true crime, socom, and the getaway.

friend from high school got married. congrats to him. it was a total surprise though. he just went and did it at vegas last weekend. here it starts...

another high school friend is coming down this weekend so i'll probably chill with him saturday and sunday, and maybe grab some phils bbq.

Monday, December 1, 2003

thanksgiving was okay. we didn't have any korean food. and i kinda feel like i missed out and i should go get some turkey and mashed potatoes to eat. even though turkey in all reality isn't all that great. You can always eat a better, more flavored, crispier, better prepared chicken. what makes turkey so great is the experience of family and the holiday, not the turkey itself.

as always, my dad got on my nerves. he means well, but just doesn't have any sense of what is proper. i really think there is something wrong with him. has he always been this way?

so it looks like i may finally get my vioxx today. after like 2 weeks of waiting...maybe more. i really hope this will make 90% of all my symtoms go away and i'll be able to start working out and getting back in track.

yesterday at costco, i realized that had stopped reading nutritional facts. so i looked at the stuff in my cart, and decided to put a lot of things back...tameles....kielbasa... and i realized, damn, how was i ever do that math in my head. i was so mindlessly calculating calories, percentages by the hour. the motivation that i had when i got into the swing of things last year has been exhausted. i'm gonna need some help to get into the routine. i need to start eating like i was doing again. a lot of people have told me i've gained some weight. i'm pretty afraid to step on the scale.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

man, that american idol christmas was one big stinker. either they didn't have enough practice, or were too nervous. or maybe i'm too critical. but i've seen eric cartman sing "oh holy night" better than tamyra grey. not that she's a bad singer. she has an amazing voice. she was just not hitting it that night. and no one else was either. i think the program was actually one giant ad for the an american idol christmas CD, the american idol video game (i've heard its actually quite an entertaining game), and american idol 3. i was very surprised to see clay host it though, and not ryan seacrest. he did a great job, and i was very impressed. i wonder if there is any bad blood or hostility between clay and ruben. i kinda sense it, but it is probably just a my imagination.

i got mario kart double dash and mario party 5. 5 of us got together yesterday and played some double dash yesterday, and it was an absolute blast. the racing, the battles, the cooperative play, all very fun. i haven't got the opportunity to fully check out mario party 5 yet. at first, i was really disappointed with the game. the game boards wasn't designed for strategy in mind like mario party 4. and all the games seemed too easy, and the winner was just decided on chance way too often. then i found out that i did the story mode in Easy, and it only chooses the Easy games in that mode. I played party mode with the computer, and there were a lot of good games in there. as for the game board, there are definitely a lot of missing elements. first off, what is up with the "do you want this item or not" thing? of course you want it. it never hurts to pick up an item, so they were just not thinking this through. you should pay to at least get an item, or buy it like mario party 4. another thing is, if you wanted to use the item, you gotta enable it on a spot on the game piece so if you wanted to use it, you gotta use the item, then land on it. a 1 in 10 chance you get to use the item. and if you miss it, someone behind you might land on it. that's pretty lame. another thing is when you get the item, they appear as pearls and you have no idea what the other players are holding. i guess it doesn't matter if they can't use it directly on you. one thing i did realized that they improved from the last version was the difficulty in getting the stars. for example, you can play for an hour, and still wind up getting no stars, or a very few. then at the end, they hand out many stars making it appear that people have a random chance at winning. so at least they got something right. at least the mini-games (now that i know they aren't all simple and random) are cool. i'll have to play more of it to see if you can incorporate some strategies into the game.

i realized i'm spending too much money buying dvd's and now video games. the increase in the video game purchases are due to the fact that i have a subscription to EGM now. and since i've been reading it, i'm constantly updated on the new cool games that are coming out. like last week, i bought True Crime: streets of LA. man, that game was a big let down. i just couldn't get into it. just wasn't my cup of tea. too many elements of the game bothered me. the too frequently and long load times, the inability to control brightness and contrast within the game (impossible to see in dark missions even controlling it on my TV), and the driving was all analog. if ps2 analog controls were less stiff like gamecube or dreamcast, then it would be no problem. but its way too stiff. even in gran turismo, i could never drive with analog even though i would prefer to. i also want to buy 2 more games...man hunt and super smasho bros melee. but since i've been so disappointed with true crime, i decided to rent man hunt instead and check it out. unfortunately, the rentals are $7, so i'll probably just buy melee since it's only $30. and the reviews look great for the game. i don't like fighting games all that much, but according to ther reviews, you don't have to. what i should do is mod my ps2 and get a dvd burner. i can take a more drastic step, unsubscribe to the mags, and stop going to the theaters to save money. that way, i won't want what i don't know about.

thanksgiving is here. probably no turkey this year. my family is coming down. we'll probably have some korean bbq and other korean food. and if they are all up to it, i'll take them to the torrey pines hiking trail for a mild hike. they mentioned they might be staying over. maybe i'll get in a few games of mario kart, and maybe mario party with my bro. maybe i can get my sister to try mario party? hmmm...the last and only game i remember her playing is tetris on the nintendo.
man, that american idol christmas was one big stinker. either they didn't have enough practice, or were too nervous. or maybe i'm too critical. but i've seen eric cartman sing "oh holy night" better than tamyra grey. not that she's a bad singer. she has an amazing voice. she was just not hitting it that night. and no one else was either. i think the program was actually one giant ad for the an american idol christmas CD, the american idol video game (i've heard its actually quite an entertaining game), and american idol 3. i was very surprised to see clay host it though, and not ryan seacrest. he did a great job, and i was very impressed. i wonder if there is any bad blood or hostility between clay and ruben. i kinda sense it, but it is probably just a my imagination.

i got mario kart double dash and mario party 5. 5 of us got together yesterday and played some double dash yesterday, and it was an absolute blast. the racing, the battles, the cooperative play, all very fun. i haven't got the opportunity to fully check out mario party 5 yet. at first, i was really disappointed with the game. the game boards wasn't designed for strategy in mind like mario party 4. and all the games seemed too easy, and the winner was just decided on chance way too often. then i found out that i did the story mode in Easy, and it only chooses the Easy games in that mode. I played party mode with the computer, and there were a lot of good games in there. as for the game board, there are definitely a lot of missing elements. first off, what is up with the "do you want this item or not" thing? of course you want it. it never hurts to pick up an item, so they were just not thinking this through. you should pay to at least get an item, or buy it like mario party 4. another thing is, if you wanted to use the item, you gotta enable it on a spot on the game piece so if you wanted to use it, you gotta use the item, then land on it. a 1 in 10 chance you get to use the item. and if you miss it, someone behind you might land on it. that's pretty lame. another thing is when you get the item, they appear as pearls and you have no idea what the other players are holding. i guess it doesn't matter if they can't use it directly on you. one thing i did realized that they improved from the last version was the difficulty in getting the stars. for example, you can play for an hour, and still wind up getting no stars, or a very few. then at the end, they hand out many stars making it appear that people have a random chance at winning. so at least they got something right. at least the mini-games (now that i know they aren't all simple and random) are cool. i'll have to play more of it to see if you can incorporate some strategies into the game.

i realized i'm spending too much money buying dvd's and now video games. the increase in the video game purchases are due to the fact that i have a subscription to EGM now. and since i've been reading it, i'm constantly updated on the new cool games that are coming out. i think i'll be just as happy not knowing what i'm missing and spending less money. like last week, i bought True Crime: streets of LA. man, that game was a big let down. i just couldn't get into it. just wasn't my cup of tea. too many elements of the game bothered me. the too frequently and long load times, the inability to control brightness and contrast within the game (impossible to see in dark missions even controlling it on my TV), and the driving was all analog. if ps2 analog controls were less stiff like gamecube or dreamcast, then it would be no problem. but its way too stiff. even in gran turismo, i could never drive with analog even though i would prefer to.

Saturday, November 22, 2003

oops i did it again

thursday, being an uneventful day at work, i thought it was a good time to go to costco. i wasn't going to join the line of cars waiting on the right side, so i thought i'd go down la jolla colony a bit and make a u-turn somewhere. so as i'm making the small tight curve to get onto la jolla colony from genessee, i see a motorcycle cop flagging down this car in front of him to not stop, but the driver stops anyway. so i pass them, make my u-turn further down than usual (so i don't have to make an illegal one. so my mind slips a little bit and i'm doing 60-65 in a 45mph zone, directly towards the cop in the oppsite direction. i'm forgetting that i'm speeding, and driving a little spiritedly and i realize, hmm, i better slow down...the cop was around here. too late. he puts on his lights right when i see him. since he's going the other direction, i'm not entirey sure he's turned on his blues just for me...even though i didn't see anyone in front of him to pull over, so i check out my rear view mirror...still hasn't made a U yet...so i decide to gun it so that he'll lose sight of me at the curve back to genessee. even if he catches up to me, i'd figure i can just pull over when he's directly behind me and say i didn't realize he was trying to pull me over when he had the lights on from the opposite direction. him being a motorcycle cop, there was a good chance of this too. so at the end of the curve, instead of getting in line to get on 5S, i make a right to get on the 5N. i get off Nobel, keep a constant eye on my rear view mirror, and decide to go home later.

i think its the 3rd or 4th time i've done something similar. i gotta admit i've always had a fetish from running/hiding from figures of authority. nothing is sweeter than getting away from possibily getting a ticket. if at any of those times he was directly behind me i would have pulled over for sure. but since he wasn't, i wasn't going to make it any easy for him by slowing down or whatever.

other new things....i'm back on my original plan to not spend money during weekdays at lunch or dinner, except on birthdays, special occasions, or eating out with friends i don't see on a semi-daily basis.

i saw gothika yesterday. and as much as i would like to love it, i do not like scary movies. i don't like being scared. there is no thrill in it for me. it might all go back to the fact that i'm a very visual person. i get too involved in the story and remember the pictures too well.

acupuncture is going okay....the acupuncturist is really generous with her time and services. i'm glad i found her. the needels are okay except with the one she puts in my big toe. every time she needs to do it (2 times so far) it feels like she's put a nail through my toe....the feet, and it is because feet/toes have a big representation in the brain.

Monday, November 17, 2003

thursday went to the catamaran resort with a bunch of people. had 4 drinks...and basically was buzzin' all night....which was good. what's funny is that i refilled my prescription and it said i should limit alcohol usage because it might cause stomach bleeding. oops. i think the pharmacist was just trying to cover his ass anyway. first 3 times i filled that prescription, it didn't say that.

friday, i went to go get pho and boba with jeff, then we ended up at sycuan. him and i both went down $100 in like 5 minutes. but we came back, and then i ended up making $100. jeff sounded like he was going to die if i stayed there for much longer because of the smoke so i decided to call it a night.

saturday, tommy came down, so we went to go eat lunch at hawaiian bbq, then checked out digital cameras at circuit city, apple store, and ritz camera. then we met up with ray, jen, chris, casey, and remy, and got phils bbq. (yes, three weeks in a row now). then me and tommy went to watch matrix revolutions. one comment about the movie is that i think they overcomplicated the story line. it was like they were trying to sell you the star wars story, but toally missed the ball on making it believable, and more importantly, understandable. like most people, i didn't buy it, or understand it. too much room for interpretation.

on sunday, i went to jv's with tommy, then took a hike down blacks beach. the visibility was amazing. then we went to get some boba.

i'm gonna try some acupuncture again to help with the residual sciatic pain i still have left over. i figure needles every few months is better than daily meds.

i also am going to the dentist again...after about not going for a few years. this should be interesting. i know i have a bunch of cavities.

i learned an interesting thing about tomatoes this weekend. it turns out that the tomatoes that we buy in the market are actually picked when they are green and not ripe. they are gassed with ethylene to turn them red, but it does not ripen them at all. the reason being is that if they picked them when they are ripe, they would never survive the ride home from the farm. so the best place to get good tomatoes is at a farmer's market. another interesting thing is that when the tomatoes hit below 50 degrees, it loses a huge amount of flavor. so they should never be refridgerated, and be kept out of the sun.

Friday, November 14, 2003

i made this for erik today. theme is, prime rib restaurant menu on marble.

Monday, November 10, 2003

DVDs for sale. my dvd collection needs a diet so I'm getting rid of movies I no longer feel the urge to watch again.

All movies are widescreen unless it is indicated otherwise. All discs are in good condition. discs that are out of print are out of print because Special Editions have came out for them.

Best of the Chris Rock show

Amazon: $13.49


Saturday Night Live: The Best of Chris Rock

Amazon: $13.49


I'm Your Man (Interactive DVD Movie)

Amazon: $17.99


Sleepy Hollow

Amazon: $11.24


Shakespeare In Love

Amazon: Out of Print


8 Mile (Standard Full Screen 4:3, never watched it, bought wrong aspect ratio)

Amazon: $16.99


The Hunt for Red October

Amazon: Out of Print


Pretty Woman (10th Anniversary Edition)

Amazon: $14.99


Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Amazon: $17.98


12 Monkey's (Collector's Edition)

Amazon: $12.99


2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick Collection)

Amazon: Out of Stock


Ace Ventura Pet Detective

Amazon: $12.99


Basic Instinct

Amazon: Out of Print


Blade Runner: Director's Cut

Amazon: $13.99


Chaplin (1993, Robery Downey Jr.)

Amazon: 13.49



Amazon: 13.99


Clear and Present Danger

Amazon: Out of Print


The Fugitive (Promo bar code, but other than that, same disc as retail)

Amazon: Out of Print


Next Friday (New Line Platinum Series)

Amazon: 17.98



Amazon: 12.99


Eyes Wide Shut

Amazon: 14.99



Amazon: 16.99


Stargate (Two sided)

Amazon: Out of Print


Monty Pyton's Flying Circus Set 1 (Episodes 1-6)

Amazon: $35.96


Monty Pyton's Flying Circus Set 2 (Episodes 7-12)

Amazon: $35.96


Monty Pyton's And Now for something Completely Different

Amazon: $22.46


Planet of the Apes 2001 (2 Disc Special Edition, Bought used at blockbuster, No insert)

Amazon: $22.95


Friday, November 7, 2003

talked to my surgeon today. he said that the residual pain that i have now, i might have that forever. its too early to tell. but if i'm still slowly getting better, that is still good news. he also said that it would be fine for me to start going to the gym again at this point. my physical therapist thinks so too. just light weights for now and nothing that compresses my spine like shoulder press, leg press, or squats.

i think i'll start in december when rimac lets me get in a month before the next quarter.

nothing much else is going on. my bird has anxiety problems. every time i walk up the cage, i think its about to have a heart attack. i'll try taming it by letting it know that i'm the one who provides it with food. food doesn't magically just show up in its protective shell.

i bought meds through canadameds.com today. basically, it's like a lot cheaper than buying through the pharmacies here without insurance. my insurance won't pay for vioxx so that's what i had to do.

i bought the matrix reloaded and finding nemo dvd's from blockbuster for $12.95 each + 2 trade ins. i traded in The Insider and End of Days. I got both of the dvds for free. they won't be missed. watching the finding nemo dvd's, it looks like the creators of finding nemo get intimately involved in the dvd production process. something that almost no one else does. they try to be innovative, and just do their best to make the dvd as best as possible with the extras they put on there. if there was one company i'd like to put some money into, it would be pixar. i just don't have money to put into stocks right now... i can always just put some in there. i'll think about it.

i've picked out 30 dvd's that i want to get rid of in my collection. i think i'll list them once i get a chance. i can always sell it at half.com. or i could just sell them to the people on DVDTALK. i just don't want to be mailing them individually by boxing them and going to the post office frequently.

i've been getting the itch to gamble. i almost managed to make it to sycuan twice but something held me back. i guess if i had a gambling buddy i would have made it there already but i guess none of my friends here like going as frequently as i would like to go.

matrix revolutions is here. and reading many reviews, it seems like one disappointment after another. but i sympatize with the producers. you can't satisfy the audience if they themselves don't know what would make them happy. the audience want something what the first matrix offered. something new that no one has even imagined. but now that people even expect the unexpectable, you could give them more action, and people will be complaining of overkill action. and if you give them less, people will be complaining that they didn't deliver. and you can't always deliver a hair-raising eye opening experience when everyone out there has imagined every possibility or think they know what it should be. just by watching the actors talk about it, i think everyone poured their heart and soul into it, and matrix revolutions however good or bad it might be is the best that they can give us. so everyone just stop yer bitchin'. i'm sick of it.

maybe i'll see revolutions this weekend. i might go hiking in point loma tonight. i'm not sure if hiking in a state park after its closed is illegal but me ray and casey hiked at torrey pines state reserve from 11pm to 1pm. it was pretty cool. different. i always like sneaking around and doing something we might get caught for. we played with the long shutter in our camera and got some cool pictures. it would be great go sneak into the torrey pines golf course with camoflauge and just run around 18 holes. maybe if we really get bored one day.

Thursday, October 30, 2003

a snow day is much cooler than a fire day

on friday, i bought a parakeet. i still don't have a name for it yet. i almost got around to go clubbing, but everyone all of a sudden got the urge to just stay home and chill, which i had no problems with. so we ended up watching pirates of the carribean instead.

on saturday, me, ray, casey, stan, steve, mark, mark's friend, and trish decided to hiking at mission trails. it was a afternoon hike to watch the sunset, and a hike back after dark. i went on a last minute whim having been decided all day that i wasn't going to go because it would be a lengthy 4 mile hike (2.5 hours). but the day passed by rather fast, and having slept through the whole day, i just decided to go, and took some vicodin with me as insurance. before i went though, i asked ray how it compares to the very easy torrey pines trails. he said it was pretty similar, just not much to look at. boy was he wrong. long story short, if it was even 25% of the difficulty (and change in elevation) that it actually was, that would have been my threshold of what i would have agreed to. amazingly, i was able to complete the hike both ways, but i did take my time. at some points of the hike, i could only go about 30 feet and i would have to rest again. i amazed myself than more than anyone. and the amazing thing was i felt fine later that day, and the day after. my quads and hamstrings felt very sore for a day or two after that. i think the hardest thing wasn't the legs or the back that was killing me. about 75% of all that made it hard was the lack of any cardiovascular fitness.

so after exerting myself quite more than i do on a normal basis (at least the last 9 months), i got to sleep before midnight. sunday, i woke up around 7am to find something interesting up in the sky. half the sky was half blue half orange. naturally, i got out my camera and took some pictures. a few minutes later i started smelling it in my room. i first thought it was rather unusual for a fire at camp pendelton to make smoke in la jolla appear that thick. so i turned on my tv and realized there was a fire nearby.

i wasn't too surprised to find out that they would be closing the campus (and most of san diego) on monday. ray and i decided to go to mt soledad to get a better look at the fire. but mt soledad wasn't high enough, and even if it was, we'd still be in the middle of it. later that day, we found out that the mission trails we went to go hiking on the day before was going to be burned down.

school and work for me was closed again on tuesday and wednesday due to horrible and unbelievable air quality concerns. i decided to keep myself busy by doing what makes me feel comfortable during these uncertain times which meant pleanty of comfort food like (boba every day, 2 trips to bully's, greasy mexican food) and just hanging out with friends.

on tuesday, the air was so bad outside (note the time), i went in search for better air. i went to coronado bay and was disappointed to find out that the air still wasn't clean. i drove back to la jolla to find out that it was still about 100x better than the air we were getting in La Jolla, so Nguyen met up with me and i drove to coronado bay the second time with him. we just cruised around national city/chula vista afterwards, then came back. i don't know who brought it up but i had an itch to play some blackjack, and nguyen wanted to get some prime rib, so we decided to head out to a casino. viejas (power) and barona (fire) for sure were closed. pala casino had a crappy buffet. so our only choice was sycuan. we tried calling but their line was busy, and since it wasn't too far, we decided to just drive there. so we got off the 8 at El Cajon blvd. driving about 5 miles in, we noticed some nice houses. the roads were a little too quiet though. even at a crisis like this, there should be some gamblers on the road. so we keep on driving, and it is unusually dark. and we look around, and we are passing houses, but they all have their lights off. it didn't take much to realize the power was out. we kept on driving hoping for a miracle that the casino would still have power. but once we're about 200 yards from the casino, we see a small spray painted sign that says "casino closed". nguyen still feeling like getting some prime rib, we decided to go to bully's. that would be the 2nd day in a row i would be going there.

wednesday wasn't too eventful. i spent most of the day at home, preparing for the return to work after an unexpected, unplanned, uncertain, expensive, and bittersweet 5 day weekend.

this fire was something that no one was prepared for, especially san diego. even i for about a day felt threatened when the fire hit about 5 miles from us in 2 directions (clairemont mesa and miramar). i always assumed that if the apartment burned down, i'd be covered, but as the fire got closer, it dawned on me that that probably wasn't the case. i never had to think about it before. luckily the fire didn't advance further than those areas, but i will be getting renters insurance for sure. my boss erik wasn't as fortunate. his beautiful house on scripps is gone. but he has insurance that looks like they will take care of everything. hopefully everything will be just fine once he gets settled.

this surely will be a wake up call for all of san diego to be more prepared for something like this in the future.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

an embarassing night at pampas

the weekend didn't start out too well. i got stuck in traffic on the way home on friday. it took me 40 minutes to go 4 blocks on genessee. i got sun burnt (sans the sun) and i pretty much couldn't sleep at all. i took 20mg of vicodin within 4 hours to just make the night pass by. by saturday morning, i was running on fumes and in no mood to go to the air show. casey came over, and tommy came down from LA. we just chilled for a bit at home. then it was dinner time. friends from LA were getting out of the air show. 10 of us plus nguyen went to go have dinner at pampas. i must have done some pretty good convincing, and people must have been in the mood for some steak because 10 of us all got the same thing. the 12 oz filet mignon (bife de lomo especial). nguyen was the only one that got something else, a rib eye. the waitress after taking 5 of the same orders was kinda amused and asked us why we were all ordering the same thing and if someone told them that if the filet mignon was what was good there. naturaully, they all pointed the finger at me. if that wasn't embarassing enough, i had printed out coupons for all 11 of us for free empanadas. empanadas are basically hot pockets, just not as good. i was kinda annoyed when they mentioned that there is a 5 free empanada limit. she asked if we wanted to just order 5 or 6 more empanadas, and i promptly said "nah....". which a lot found funny, even though i felt terribly embarassed. still, as usual, the filet was top notch. people that could tell the difference all commented that the steak was amazing. i've been there about 8 times so far, and they have yet to disappoint. i really hope that the place is around for a long time.

after dinner, we all went to tapioca express. surprisingly, i met ray and jen there...they were supposed to meet us for dinner, but couldn't make it. we chilled there for a bit, and then just went back to my place and watched pirates of the carribean.

on sunday, andrew, jeff, kat, thomas and i went to go eat at potato shack. after making the mistake of ordering a sandwich there last time, i decided to get breakfast there. i got the combination with the top sirloin steak... even though i had pampas last night, the top sirloin they serve is really good quality, and i enjoyed every bite of it. i don't think i've ever seen anyone order the man hole sized pancakes, but the pancakes they serve with breakfast were friggin' huge. after brunch, i took the scenic drive home and relaxed the rest of that day.

supposedly, pat & oscars had a big e.coli problem, and a lot of people got sick. they lost about 75% of their business, and for the next couple of days, you can eat there for free. pizza, salad, bread sticks, and a drink. not bad. i'll be going there today. i hope they don't have crappy pizza there. it would suck to go there and find out they only are giving out cheese pizzas.

off the subject of food, everyday i'm starting to realize more and more that i'm not completely happy with what i'm doing with my career. i don't think i'm using my brain to the full potential. sure, a nice stable job is all fine and dandy, but i feel like i should be doing something more important and ground breaking. maybe i'll start looking into night school and get a second bachelors or a masters in computer science or engineering.

Thursday, October 16, 2003

my first real DMV experience

i've been to the DMV a few times, but it was years ago when I was getting my license. and the torrance DMV must be a good one because I don't remember waiting in line for more than 15 minutes the 3 times i've went. also, i was fortunate to qualify to not take the on the road testing at the DMV (i took it at the driving school). people always joke about how long you have to wait at the DMV. i always laughed with them kinda understanding what they are talking about.....but it wasn't until yesterday that i experienced all that is wrong with the DMV.

so i took wednesday off to get all my car things taken care of. my air bag (SRS) light was going off, low gas sensor was broken, i had 3 nails in my tires, and my car registration was expiring in october. so i make it to Cush Honda of San Diego off Mission Gorge...(I don't take it to Pacific Honda because they are all greaseballs there trying to replace something you don't need...air filter, brake pads, rotors way before you even need them replaced. and they don't even wash your car for you. Pacific Honda puts Honda to shame....but i'll save the ranting for another day.)

while my car is getting serviced at Cush, I walk around Home Depot (get stared down and approached by people looking to be picked up for temporary manual labor work...there's a thin line seperating these guys from prostitutes). then i wanted to get some breakfast...only place open? Taco Bell. every bite I felt like I was violating some rule as a resident of San Diego. Why eat here when you can eat at an authentic mexican place? So I had a 2 chalupas and a taco. At the end of my unfulfilling meal I get a call from Cush. Everything is done. No additional repair is necessary.

My next destination, Discount Tire Co. I pay them $16 to get the 3 nails removed and holes patched in my tires. i'm really convinced that there is some guy that gets paid by the tire company to throw out nails onto the road. its the perfect crime. They take a reasonable time to service my car and as I assumed they were going to do they underinflated my tires so that i would wear them a lot quicker so i'd need new tires sooner than later. did they think i wouldn't notice the difference having my tires change from 35 psi to 25 psi? they do honest work, but try to pull some scams at the end.

having 40 minutes to kill before my optometrist appointment, i decided to drive to the DMV that was around the corner. unfortunately i got lost for about 10 minutes trying to find it. I went in to peek and realized, there wasn't much of a line at all....even though there was an unusual amount of people standing outside the line for something. I was kinda suspicious, but I didn't want to be late for my optometrist appointment, so i decided i'll just come back later. went to costco to get my eyes checked, and also to get some tamales that everyone's been raving about. it wasn't to my suprise that they were sold out of tameles.

back to the DMV......oh...even less people in line...doesn't look to bad at all. I told them i needed the sticker for next year, so they gave me a number. hmmm....i look to my right.....all these people (about 100+) are waiting to be called. i sat for about 5 minutes and realized this was going to take a very long time.

so i gave myself about 45 minutes to roam around. luckily the DMV was right where El Cotixan, Hollywood video, and El Pollo loco was at, so it gave me something to do. Also, that plaza had a lot of small stores that I could check out. one of the stores was called TANNING... i walked by it, and being a novice to the whole thing, i was a bit hesitant to go in. not sure why it seemed like such a foreign thing to me. i felt though i was crossing some line, going against the rules i have set for myself. but i said what the hell, i'll just see whats involved since i got so much time to kill.

the girl at the counter was very knowledgable, and explained the whole process. basically, you put on some tan accelerating lotion, and you stay in the tanning be for about 10-20 minutes. basically you gotta establish a base tan after a few sessions, then you can tan however dark you want to be...then you gotta come back a few times a week to maintain it. it was a lot more work that i had originally assumed, but i thought it would be an interesting new thing to try so i gave it a go. all done. a few more sessions needed before i notice any changes. no big deal. not a bad experience. other than worrying the whole time about the girl setting my tanning bed for too long. next time i'll take my watch with me to make sure they are setting the clock correctly.

I left the tanning place, hurried back to the DMV to find out i'm only about 40% done on the waiting. I went back to that plaza to eat at El Pollo Loco, and this time I take my time to come back. When I get back, they are calling #168...being #172, I thought, whew...I got in just in time. I avoided all the frustration of waiting senselessly. I beat the system! Only a few more minutes to go. They call #170....then I read the sign "No credit cards or debit cards. Only cash and checks." FUCK!!!! What place doesn't take credit cards? This is San Diego, not the ghetto. even if I run to the liquor store, most likely I won't get back in time, and even if i could make it back, i won't be able to withdraw more than $300 (registration for this year is $326). Knowing it was going to be impossible for anything, I just went to the clerk and find out what they could do for me. she gave me something I can mail in with my check due Oct 20. Hopefully I'll get my sticker before November... What a day.

Friday, October 10, 2003

pain update

well, this week started off pretty bad. it was mostly due to the fact that i got used to the anti-inflammatories and the pain killers. i talked to my doctor and he said that i definitely could take more because i was just taking the bare minimum. so i started doing that on tuesday, and things have been a lot better.

i went to travis' birthday dinner at bucca di beppo in downtown san diego. that was a lot of fun. you can't not have fun when you meet up with a bunch of people to celebrate something.

i got 2 more birthdays this week. celebrating nik's tonight, and diem's tomorrow.

i found out about this game called simpsons hit and run. it is a fusion of GTA and the simpsons. the reviews say more than i have ever expected from a simpsons game. i'm gonna get it today. can't wait.

Friday, October 3, 2003

Jesus won't dump you.

i haven't been up to much....still dealing with a quite a bit of pain at times. mostly at night. walking around seems to be more comfortable...can't seem to sleep without taking just a little bit of vicodin. good thing i still got quite a bit left. i'm not taking much. probably the smallest dosage you can ever take of that stuff.

one of the things that sucked about the injury was that it happened at the favorite half of the year. i love the crispness of spring, and the long days of summer. now, its too damn cold it seems, and the sun goes down way before you have the chance to fully enjoy it. i went walking at torrey pines/blacks beach. i really want to go hiking/walking in that area as much as i can. its a shame i only discovered it just this year. but i hope to enjoy it from now on.

i've been eating a lot of pho and boba this week. my new tivo definitely isn't getting as much use as the one i was borrowing from casey. i think i'm gonna cut out the real forensic science shows. as much as i loved it, i got my fill. its all the same to me now. luminol, blood spatter, DNA, electrogas mass spectrometer. even the MO (method of operation) is all too familiar. people kill other people out of convienience, greed, or pleasure by people who see other people as pawns in their game of life. i've been still trying to keep up with the major shows, CSI, smallville, alias, nip/tuck, dead like me, etc.

not sure what i'm up to this weekend. i do want to do something big...go to vegas or NY....but would that be wise? i need a comfortable place to sleep. who knows, maybe i might just say fuck it, just do it and see how it goes. i'm not in that much pain.

Friday, September 26, 2003

There's never enough time to do all the nothing you want." ~Calvin

so i'm back at work now. and as it was expected, i'm back here and it feels like i haven't missed a beat. i've been getting to work around 8:30 which is a change for me. i'm still very not in sync with any kind of a normal sleep schedule. i take 2 long naps daily...anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours. then i sleep for about 2-4 hours at night. with the naps, i can't go to sleep any sooner than 3:30. heck, on monday, i just skipped sleeping at night all together because i wanted to get to work on time. i guess if i fell asleep around 4, i would if i had to choice sleep in till about noon. and that wouldn't work. my work has been nice to me where i feel that i owe them big. but then again, if i had to do it again, i would have had all the reason to file worker's comp. next time i'll know better. maybe i need to take a proactive approach. i got some vicodine left, and maybe if i can stick it out without any naps...or at least only one small one, i can try to force myself to fall asleep at 12:00 or so.

i think generally, except my case currently (pain messed up my sleep schedule), the reason we are always fighting that snooze button is that we are always trying to do more than we have time for. and if your question is, "well, what do you do during that time?" my response is nothing really...surf the web, watch stuff on tv. what seems like stuff we do to kill time has more worth than most of us assume. if i had endless amount of time, i would like to reserve about 4-6 hours every day to just do stuff like suring the web, watching tv, or stare at the wall even. this is something i don't have time for. sleep is what i should be doing. sleep affects your life in every way possible, and not enough value is placed on that either. if we had 30 hour days maybe, life would be good for me.

so i got my tivo...i now record these programs:

American Idol

Road Rules

Real World

World Poker Tour

World Series of Poker




CSI: Miami



Law & Order: SVU

South Park


Outer Limits (not the original series)

Tales from the Crypt

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

Date Patrol

Date Plate

Iron Chef

Tyler's Ultimate

A Cook's Tour

Good Eats

Forensic Files

Medical Detectives

Secrets of Forensic Science

New Detectives: A Case Study in Forensic Science

Cold Case Files

Myth Busters

I love Lucy

so a break down on stuff i watch are:



shows on major networks

alternate reality shows that have ended but i never got to see

self improvement/date shows


forensic science


even though its entirely possible that i'll watch all these shows, the thing about tivo is, its constantly saving whatever channel its tuned to anyway, even if i'm not going to watch it, it will always be tuned to something you'd rather be watching. so again, tivo manages your time better by letting you watch exactly what you want to and you'll never resort to channel surfing.

i also got 2 games through casey, now that he works at a division of Sony, he gets pretty awesome deals. i got socom with the head set, a PS2 network adapter, the getaway, and an extra dual shock controller 2 for an awesome deal. i only played socom just a little bit last night. i got creamed like i do in any FPS game that i'm not familiar with. i think i'm good with the controls, but it takes me a while to learn the maps...just like in real life. the network player will come in handy when gran turismo 4 comes out. oh yeah...can't wait for that. there are also 2 games coming out that is really interesting me. True Crime and Manhunt. True Crime is a game like grand theft auto...but i heard it's a big improvement from it. we'll have to wait and find out. but from GTA fans that have played it, they seem to be really impressed. Manhunt is the next revolutionary game from Rock Star...from the division that brought you Grand Theft Auto. what is interesting is that they are pretty close to the release date on this game but they haven't said anything about what this game is about. an interesting approach. i hope it doesn't disappoint like state of emergency. its kinda like how segway was marketted....it was a rumor that it was a single human transport that hovered on air. man, it was dissappointing to find out that it had wheels. according to wendy, it looks like for regular consumers, it is turning out to be only a recreational vehicle. speaking of segways:

segway recall

Friday, September 19, 2003

its official

i'm returning to work on monday. actually looking forward to it. the nurses were amazed at my progress, even though i'm still wondering why i'm in pain and taking pain killers. still got a bit of sciatic pain, but the nurse said that's normal and its gonna take a while. she hopes maybe in a month i'll be much better.
russian spam

how in the world did i get signed up for this? can't read a damn word so i what's the use? i have yet to see spanish spam. but russian spam?

met up with eric, travis at sushi ota yesterday. sushi was awesome. pricey but worth it. standing and waiting outside for 15 minutes was killer on my sciatic pain. can't really concentrate on any on going conversations when pain is at that level. after dinner eric and i made a detour to extrodinary deserts. desert was good. chairs kinda sucked. i think by the end of the night i hit my limit on what my body can handle at the moment. i had to take some vicodin eventually to calm it down. it felt pretty good getting out and soaking up some atmosphere and familiar smells. extrodinary deserts seemed like a great date place. but would i enjoy the experience?

i just realized something. one thing i don't like about going on dates is that things like going out to dinner and stuff like that feels so cliche and unoriginal. its just so in contrast of what i would like the other person to think of what i am about. i would like to be more original and creative if i could be. sure i like eating great food. i do want to get to know them better. maybe i'm just too self conscious of myself. and that prevents me from just letting go and having fun. i am 25 and i feel like i have so much to learn about life.

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

a few quick updates

i probably won't be putting together a thing to celebrate my recovery. for a few reasons. one being is that the recovery process is slow going and gradual. so it will be really hard to declare when i am fully recovered. i just know that i have a bit of recovery to do. but that doesn't mean i'm still stuck at home. i've been getting out and doing stuff almost every day. i gone to eat out a few times, boba a few times, and just hanging out at friend's houses. i'll probably just take time to see friends semi individually. there will always be next year.

i bought a 80 hour tivo for about $235 shipped (350 - 15% off - 30 coupon - $50 rebate, no tax/free shipping). i figure life is all about maximizing your time on doing what you want to do. with a tivo, i watch all the tv i really want to watch, watch none of the stuff i would just watch because its just being aired and i'm bored, and waste no time watching commercials. even if i end up watching a few hours more of tv per week, i still would have used that time more wisely than watching 3 less hours of tv and having only spent some of that time watching what you really wanted to watch.

i had one of those amazing dreams last night. somehow i was with this gourgeous long haired brunette girl with a perfect tan, my height, with a perfect body. and for some reason, she was naked and i was walking her to her work where she worked as a masseuse. it didn't really progress too much further than that but maybe now that the pain has died down, i can sleep deeper and have these vivid dreams. she was GBD. gold, brown, and delicious. ;)

man, i just realized they didn't card me for alcohol today! damn it! how can they tell? i don't look like i got any older... i bought a bottle of white wine to cook with...gonna stew these large mushrooms i got at costco in red pasta sauce, white wine, basil, bay leaves, and ground beef. was gonna use meatballs, but i didn't want to go to costco to buy them.

Saturday, September 13, 2003

its scary out there

since i've been living in pretty much a plastic bubble in the last 6 months, i've been pretty fortunate to only catch one cold (probably from a doctor's visit). but yesterday, i went to get boba with casey and today i woke up with a mild headache and some sinus irritation. maybe i'm just paranoid but i hope i'm not coming down with anything.

i finished the 2 websites i've been working on:

Active Directory

Exchange 2000 and BlackBerry

as with any new project, i learned a great deal. like how to pull multiple sources of html and its limitations so i can just worry about editing one menu bar, one pull down menu, etc. i learned how to use slices in photoshop, inline frames, how to remove the scroll bar. for example the Exchange 2000 page's real URL is http://win2k.ucsd.edu/new5. you wouldn't know it unless you look at the URL that doesn't change....and i can even hide that if i wanted to.

going to costco today to get new contacts and contact Rx. i was thinking of getting the laser eye surgery, but i think i'll just do one surgery at a time. plus i heard that you lose some clarity cause of the scar tissue. so i'm gonna have to do some research...maybe in a year or so.

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

one step at a time

i spent about 6 hours today trying to figure out why in the world after form tags an extra line appears. i was trying to circumvent the problem by using inline frames but i decided i wasn't going to compremise so i looked into the problem more. i turns out that it is a very nagging feature that a lot of people have come across. the solution is here.

i've been working for about a week on a new design of our new website. this time i finally decided to do the thing where the page pulls the html off other pages so that if i wanted to update the menu for example, i would only need to edit one html file, not every html file on the website.

new website template

after work (from home still), casey came over and we went to go eat tofu. it was probably the longest i had sat since my injury. about 40 minutes and it fel like i had done a few set of squats at the gym. after that, i decided to catch up on the dvd's i've been meaning to buy since my injury. so we went to best buy and i picked up simpsons season 3, family guy volume 2, harry potter 2, and dave chapelle's killing me softly. then the started setting in. so we needed to head back. at least the pain seems to come later and is just a little bit more bearable every 2 days.

i have a follow up on the 19th with my doctor. hopefully he'll see everything is up and up with me and will be able to sign the form that will let me return to work. so i'll hopefully be returning to work on the 22nd. I'll probably be putting together a get together on the 20th or the 27th to celebrate my recovery and missed birthday.

Monday, September 8, 2003

things are looking up and up

saturday, i woke up with very noticable improvement on the pain. for the first time in 6 months, i could stand straight up without any pain. tommy came by again this weekend so i ate out for the first time since my injury. we went to this thai place called saffron. i've been there twice previously. first time was an okay experience. second time was good. the third time (this weekend) was horrible. my spicy drunken noodles had this pungent smell of licorice (not a big fan) and the salad rolls (aka spring rolls everywhere else) were frozen on the inside. and the shrimp they gave us seemed like rehydrated mini shrimp you get in the cheap salad. basically i'm never going there again. awful.

sunday, to my surprise, i was even better than the day before, and finally decided to get a haircut. pic here. another thing i noticed when i woke up was that my skin was really good for some odd reason, so i thought it was a good sign to do some grooming.

the guy that cuts my hair was pretty shocked to hear that i hadn't cut my hair in 6 months, and even more surprised when he saw me in person. anyway, he is the hair stylist that i had to track down after he quit manivonne's hair design (fka benzhair). so he moved to fantastic sams a couple of blocks away. and he called me about 5 months ago saying that he had his own place now. even a bit further time time. it took about 25 minutes of sprited driving to get there. on my way back, i thought i'd stretch its legs and hit 100 for a little while. high speed driving will still take some getting used to.

after that, i went to JV's with tommy and got the surf and turf burriton. probably the biggest and best value burrito money can buy. but there is something weird about their ingredients because after i eat that burrito, it feels like i've taken some really good pain killers and i usually take a nice siesta for about an hour or so. after tommy left, i took a nap then went to ralphs...which i haven't done since the injury. and its just one of my things to do after hours shopping at ralphs. it feels like i am not limited to just getting items on the list. i enjoy cruising the halls and looking at and comparing the products. before i got injured i probably averaged going to ralphs 3 times a week, most of the times after midnight.

strangely, but as it was expected, when i do things that i missed doing, i don't find greater pleasure in it even though i still enjoy it. it's like the hair. i had the longest hair i've ever, and now that i've got rid of it, it has been 12 hours and it feels like that's all far off in the past. as much as i miss being at work, i think i'll get there and realize there wasn't not too much there for me to be missing. this whole mass social surrounding that we often feel so addicted to sometimes is really not there for me anymore. doesn't mean i'm not looking forward to some things, but i no longer feel like i need to be out just to change my social atmosphere. what i'm going to be looking for are more meaningful experiences and make the most out of my time. now what is that? beats me. maybe i'll put more focus on my future.

another thing that happened today was that the last of the stitch has fallen off and the incision looks like its healing nicely. i'm still having trouble walking, and trying to keep my spine straight. there is still definitely a lot of pain if i get in the right position. i definitely still have more healing to do. still can't celebrate yet because i still feel injured. things have improved enough to get me to schedule my next follow up so that they can sign the paper that will let me return to work and find out what's going on with my physical therapy appointments.

Thursday, September 4, 2003

i'm about 3+ weeks into post op, and i'd say things are slowly getting better. noticing some new pain so that's kinda concerning me, and less pain where there used to be pain. but today, i just had no urge to take the vicodine. i'm sure it would have been teensy bit better without it, but i really didn't feel like i needed it at all today which is quite different compared to how i felt every day since and before surgery. i'm still taking neurontin though. i don't think i have been walking around as much as i should be...turns out lying in bed all day just lengthens the recovery time. so i've been trying to get around a little bit. i actually made my first public outing on Sunday...went to Fry's with my dad. i was almost starting to limp while walking back to the car. i guess the pain had a lot to do with it, but i just wanted to get the stuff and get the hell out of there. i didn't regret or enjoy the trip.

on Monday, I actually decided to pick up the medication on my own, and i was able to do it without feeling like i was forcing myself and putting strain on my body when i could have had a friend pick it up for me.

today, i walked to vons, and wow, i guess i haven't used my legs in a while but my legs felt like i had done a few sets of squats at the gym by just walking about 2 blocks back and fourth.

the labor day weekend was okay. everyone pretty much came over for a good hour or two on my birthday. that was cool. my family came over...and to my surprise actually slept over. this was the first time my parents had closed for an entire day along with closing early on a non holiday ever since they owned a business....about 15 years maybe? i enjoyed their visit and all but my dad is so...what's the word inhospitable? well for one, he is a mirror image of homer simpson. he's loud, irrational, a slob, inconsiderate, egotistical reasoning, thinks he knows how to do everything when he actually can't seem to do anything right. the perfect example was when he was over this weekend, my brother poured my dad a glass of coke, and it was about 1/3 coke, 2/3 froth, and he tries to show us how a professional pours cokes into glasses using some kind of a pour trick where the bottle head is inserted into a glass upside down. long story short, he spilled coke everywhere and all of us had a good laugh for a minute or two (even though i was biting my tongue the whole time trying to not laugh because it hurt my back). another thing...in my apartment, with the door swung open, he decides to get comfortable and takes off his shirt and hangs around in his boxers. did i mention his physique is of homer as well? on top of my roommate being home this weekend, my apartment's door faces directly opposite of the stairs where everyone coming up to the third floor has a good chance to stare into the apartment while they walk up the stairs. i always thought my dad had a lot of wisdom but i'm not too sure anymore. maybe i just never listened too closely to his arguements when i was growing up, or maybe my dad is going senile, but his arguments are repetitive crap. he was trying to explain how to buy houses to make money and he just kept repeating what he was trying to get across over and over without giving anything more than circular reasoning. has he been like this all the time?

my brother is a loud snorer, but he's got nothing on my dad. according to my brother it sounded so loud that he thought my dad was faking it to wake people up. while he was sleeping, i could hear the snores from the living room to my bedroom. with the door closed. when i first heard it, i first though to my self, "noo...it couldn't be." gotta give it to my mom for being able to put up with that. i think i snore from time to time too, but i've been told it's not the type of snore that keeps people from being able to sleep. unless i'm having a hard time breating due to sinus congestion or something at that time. it would be a safe bet to say my mom is a lot like marge. she puts up with unimaginable crap, and does everything i would expect from a perfect mom. its a disrespectful thing to say but i think my mom could have done a lot better. anyways homer has his good qualities too just like my dad. he has sacrificed everything for his family and he's still giving his 100% for his family.

Thursday, August 28, 2003

decisions decisions...

my birthday is this saturday...but i'm not putting together the usual gathering. i figured i'd just celebrate later when i'm better, but a good number of people said they might be stopping by. if a party does break out, it would be better if its more organized by at letting people know that its my birthday this weekend at least. hmmm...but my apartment can't keep more than a handful of people occupied at once...oh well. i really don't know what expect. i'll just play it by ear.

as for my recovery, i'm still on pretty strong medications but i notice i'm on my feet a lot more, slowly returning to things i normally do one by one. i think i got a few weeks (maybe 2 to 4?) to go before i can get off the meds and return to work.

on a different subject, i've come to realize that it is no longer necessary to download and save movies in advance anymore. with kazaa lite, you can basically download any movie out there in about 1-3 hours. and that's just gonna get better and better. i gotta rethink this whole movie collection thing.

Monday, August 25, 2003

just came back from a moderately lengthy drive. went to savons then drove all the way to the end of miramar and got gas. driving felt really good. just hearing the engine rev while i mash the gas and feeling the acceleration was something i haven't done in a while. but i definitely have lost touch with driving. for the first time in my life, the speed limit seemed fast enough. far different from always driving 15-25mph above the speed limit and always feeling 100% in control of every bump and pebble on the road. i was kinda weaving out of lanes, having to pay a lot more attention to keeping the car centered in the lanes. i'm sure i'll get the hang of it in no time. but i'll definitely go driving more at night just to get my groove back as i get better.

on the subject, just last 2 days have been great. i finally seem to be able to wake up with no pain after the medication has worn out. it is a different story when i stand up but it's a sure sign of great improvement. life is starting to return to normal. people say that the symptoms are kinda like a roller coaster. it will be good one day, bad the next, etc. but if it isn't, i'd say i have about 2 weeks before i start making it out to the outside world. right now i'm just testing the waters. currently i cannot sit down for a long meal, or obligate myself to any social event without having the luxury to bail at any moment if the pain (caused by inflammation) sets in.

the last 3 months or so have been kinda weird. as much as i'd like to spend more time outside, i have started to not miss it as much and gotten more comfortable to staying home. and right now, if i were able to start making it out, i don't think i'd appreciate it as much as i would have appreciated it 6 months ago. i really don't know how to explain why it looks like its gonna feel this way, but if i were to return, i would expect that nothing has changed, everything would be just where i last saw it (not very exciting). still, it doesn't mean that i'm gonna pick up where i left off and not be changed in any way. not sure how it has subconsciously has affected me, but i'm going to try to appreciate more of what i have and appreciate more of all the good things that life has to offer. i'm also going to put more focus in: health (no more abusing the body one way or the other), family (put more effort in finding/meeting/developing the relationships with the right mate), career (care more and be proud of what i do to earn the $$). i wish i can subconsciously put religion as my number 1 priority but it wouldn't be an honest prioritization. and until i feel that way i know i'm just fooling myself if i put that up any higher. so until i feel that way, i'll make a concious effort in trying to prioritize that higher, but currently it's somewhere below the first three priorities. hopefully that will change.

another way that i'll be different is that my new motto will be "moderation is key". far different than "to the extreme". without cracking a vanilla ice joke, i'm saying that one of the reasons i injured myself this bad was because all the abuse i have done to my body the last 24 years has caught up with me. the 6 years of smoking, not sleeping enough sleep during jr high and high school year, sleeping the majority of my sophmore year on a couch, overstacking my pillow when i sleep, slouching all my life sitting at the computer for hours, eating beef jerky and microwave foods as my primary nutrition, not eating enough vegetables or protein until i was an adult, never getting all my vitamins or minerals, eating too much protein and no fat for an extended time, eating too much salt, sleeping flat on my back all my life, taking dangerous suppliments, going on massive food binges, going on excessive starve diets, not drinking enough water most of my life, working out too excessively, not listening to my body, never had a normal sleep schedule, etc. etc. the list goes on and on. why did i do this? well, for starters, i came from a pretty poor family who also didn't know jack about proper nutrition. second, i inherited my dad's stubborness, so whatever advice my mom gave me went in one ear and out the other. plus, i like doing things knowing i'm doing something longer, better, harder, and more excessively than anyone who has done it. all this is the why i'm lying in bed with an injury that people usually have in their 40s-60s. too late now but if i had the choice to do it all over again, i would definitely go for it. i'm surprised i didn't have a major injury sooner. all i can do is do my best from his point on to protect what i have and treat it the best way possible.

Friday, August 22, 2003

just shopped for groceries online for the virst time at vons.com. it was a pleasant experience. the site was done really well. they have a $10 off coupon and free shipping for $150 and up. also i don't think they charge tax for some reason. so i saved more than $30 today. not bad.

here is what i bought

Qty Description Total

1 Haagen Dazs Strawberry Ice Cream - Pint $3.99

1 Kelloggs Eggo Banana Bread Waffles - 12.3 Oz $2.59

1 Kellogg'S Eggo Blueberry Waffles - 12.3 Oz $2.59

1 Sausage & Pepperoni Pizza Lean Pockets - 2-4.5 Oz $2.00

1 Steak Fajita Lean Pockets - 2-4.5 Oz $2.00

1 Lean Pockets Turkey/Broccoli/Cheese - 9 Oz $2.00

1 Lean Pockets Philadelphia Steak With Cheese - 9 Oz $2.00

1 Knudsen Sweet Butter Halves - 8 Oz $2.99

1 VONS Large AA Eggs - 12 Count $2.39

1 Oroweat Bread 100% Whole Wheat - 24 Oz $2.39

1 VONS Jumbo Hot Dog Buns - 6 Count $1.59

2 Healthy Choice Chicken Breast Oven Roasted Thin - 6 Oz $3.32

2 Healthy Choice Turkey Brst Mesq - 6 Oz $3.32

2 Healthy Choice Turkey Smoked Honey Roasted Thin - $3.32

1 Hillshire Farms Polska Sausage Lite - 16 Oz $4.49

1 Johnsonville Beer N Bratwurst - 19.76 Oz $4.99

1 Mixed Apples. Pre-Packed - 5 Lb $3.99

1 Red Globe Seeded Grapes - Bulk $3.78

4 Broccoli - Bulk $1.29

1 Green Leaf Lettuce - 1 Each $1.29

1 Mushrooms White Sliced Pre-Packed - 8 Oz $1.99

1 Yellow Onions. Pre-Packed - 3 Lb $2.59

1 Tomatoes 6ct Pkg. Pre-Packed - 4 Count $2.99

1 Star Extra Light Olive Oil - 44 Fl. Oz. $11.49

8 Balance Bar Gold Chocolate Peanut Butter - 1.76 Oz $8.00

10 Balance Bar Gold Crunch Choc Choc - 1.76 Oz $10.00

10 Balance Bar Gold Crunch Smores - 1.76 Oz $10.00

10 Balance Bar Gold Triple Chocolate Chaos - 1.76 Oz $10.00

1 Best Foods Mayonnaise - 16 Fl. Oz. $2.49

3 Wolf P Ckn w/Roasted Potatoes & Garlic Soup - 14.5 Oz $4.47

3 Wolfgang Puck Soup Old Fashion Beef Pot Pie - 14.5 Oz $4.47

3 Wolfgang Puck Soup Beef Steak And Potato - 14.5 Oz $4.47

3 Wolfgang Puck Soup Chicken Pot Pie - 14.5 Oz $4.47

24 Starkist Tuna Chunk Light/Water - 6 Oz $12.00

1 Tostitos Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips - 20 Oz $2.50

1 Salsa Medium Deli Counter - 16 Oz $1.99

Ryori no Tetsujin (aka Iron Chef)

my new tv thing is Iron Chef. i think soon, i will have watched about 45 episodes of it...nearly all the internet has to offer. unfortunately that's not even half of the series, but they haven't even come out yet on TV (they are still working on dubbing the show in english). iron chef's learning curve is at the very experienced level so its really hard to pick up anything since they go so fast and their ingredients are so complicated. the other show i'm into is Good Eats, and the show is geared towards all the different learning curves, and every show, you learn a great deal in information (history, technique, important key points, and the reasons why you do some things). this show along with some other shows on the food network has inspired me to add one more goal in my list of things to accomplish in my lifetime.

Here are the extra goals besides the obvious (career, family, money):

Learn to play guitar at a professional level (40% there)

Learn to play piano at a professional level

Play blackjack at a professional level (75% there)

Become a certified personal trainer

Become a certified chef at a culinary institute

.....just occured to me that i put too much focus into these extra goals and not enough focus on the important stuff career, family, money. so from now on, for every effort i put into my extra goals, i'll put the same amount of effort for the more important things. thank you blogger for making me notice.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

its just a waiting game now

well, i had a post-op appointment with the surgeon today. and he said i'm just about where he expected me to be. not bad, but not great either. i asked him how long it was going to take for the swelling to go down and he said a while. he couldn't give me a straight answer. so i'm guessing from anywhere to a week to even a month or more? dang. this means that i won't be putting together the normal get-together on the day of my birthday. i'll probably just rest at home and let whoever remembers to come over. so whenever the swelling goes down and i can finally make it out for recreational activities, i'll throw a get together to thank everyone who has helped me out in a tough time, and also to celebrate my recovery and birthday.

so until then, i just have to wait for the swelling to go down. right now the swelling is big enough that it's causing me enough pain for me to not stand or sit comfortably.

is the toss salad man fake?

after a good amount of searching, i have concluded that there was no HBO America Undercover special about the Toss Salad Man. It does not come up on google, and HBO does not have it listed in their archives, so I guess it was something that Chris Rock made up. it's funny because some people are convinced that the special exists and some even think they've seen it. i guess after you've heard the Bring the pain skit so many times you start forming fake memories in the noggin'. same thing as Eyewitness Testimony, and how it should not be allowed in court, ever.


has anyone else heard of this? tiger woods is going around giving away a $35k buick SUV's to golfers who can land on the green closets to the pin. i'm sure he'll be criticized for giving away cars to people that don't need it. hey tiger, why not go to the homeless shelter and see who can kick the soda can closets to the wall and give that man some descent food? i think you'll be doing more good.

Saturday, August 16, 2003

just a little longer....? hopefully

i think recovery is going well. i really can't say anything definite until i go see the surgeon again next week and he gives me his opinion.

i'm just a little pessimistic because i'm back in bed in pretty much the same position. and i'm so used to getting injured and it not healing.

right now 2 things are bothernig me. the area where the operation was done (the muscle is really sore), and the incision area.

and the sciatica. i still have that because its gonna take at least a few weeks for that to settle down since my sciatic nerves were getting short circuited for 5 months straight. so if those 2 things heal up, i would say i'm about 95% recovered. the other 5 percent will be me going to physical therapy to get me walking completely straight and strengthen my core. this might actually take a few weeks to a few months.

other stuffs

today i downloaded finding nemo and xmen 2 on suprnova. i was surprised that the dvd's for these movies were out already since these encodes were obviously encoded from dvd. so i looked up the release dates no amazon, only to find out that the dvd's haven't even been announced yet. only thing on amazon are the movie showtimes. and the encodes are not screeners either. i'm starting to wonder where these guys are finding the souce of the movies.

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

back from the operating table

in short, surgery was like everything i expected, but the recovery was not.

so the night before surgery, i tried going to sleep at 1:30, but since i had been going to sleep far later than that, i just couldn't go to sleep especially without medicine. so before 6:30 am, i had only gotten an hour of sleep tops. so me and my mom got to the hospital on time at 7:15. and then got put in a gurney while i waited for surgery. not being medicated for the past 8 hours, i just kept tossing in discomfort and pain on the gurney until the surgery started after 3 hours of waiting. so they wheeled me over to anestheisa, they injected me with some stuff for anesthesia, and a second after they put the gas mask on me, i was out like a light bulb. i'm sure they asked me to count down from 10, or 1 to 10, but they didn't get a response. so i wake up and i feel distinct pain in 2 places...where they made my incision and for some reason my urethra....so that was the pain i kept pointing out, and they said it was the cathoder and they were gonna remove the thing that was causing the pain...i was too concerned about the pain to question why the hell they put that there.....so after they removed it (excruciating pain) half the pain was gone and i could now focus on the morphine i needed for the pain that was in my back. i kept telling them to shoot me some more morphine while i was in the recovery room. so by the time they were able to get my pain under control, they had given me 5-6 shots of morphine, and my pain was still about 2-3 on a scale of 1 to 10 if i didn't move. they were really surprised how much morphine they ended up giving me after the final count. i guess since i was on pain killers for so long, my tolerance for them was high and morphine didn't really feel like much. i thought it was supposed to be powerful stuff. but to me, it didn't feel like much at all. i thought what was going to happen was that i was going to wake up after surgery all drugged up and happy without feeling pain. but i actually woke up without any morphine and i had to request all that i needed. so after about an hour half in the recovery room

so they wheeled me off to my room meeting up with my mom in the waiting area, and moved me from the gurney to the bed in my room using this sliding plate to just push me off the gurney to my bed. and then they were coming in to give me more morphine, antibiotics, water...some breathing apparatus, take my bp, talk to me about the operation, etc. when i started drinking water, i started getting really nauseous. i was unbelievably thirsty so i was drinking a lot of water, but it really was just filling up in my stomach because i was at capacity, and just a few more sips would just make me unbeliebably nauseous. i realized that the water and just any movement of my arms, head, or just talking really made me nauseous. so they gave me pills and added stuff to my drip to deal with the nausea. wendy, ray, and casey stopped by when i was really sick, and i told them that i was really nauseous and speaking made it worse, so even though i wanted them there, i just kept my eyes shut, and didn't move. i also had another run in with the cathoder tube.....and this time i had to be awake for them to put it in and take it back out. i think this is as good as i can describe it. say that your manshaft is actually just a solid piece without a urethra and opening. well, imagine them sticking a nail all the way through, leaving it in there for a while, then taking it back out. the pain is unbelievable...like even with after waking up with surgery, the cathoder was the first thing i wanted to take care of. so after all this, there is definitely some damage and its super sensitive. you are going to be pissing fire for the next 2 days. they need a better way to do this....at least some local anesthetics or something.

so after about 8am the next day, i was finally over the nauseousness, and could finally start eating. so they ordered me a all liquid meal at breakfast. that came about 3.5 hours late...they requested it about 8 times cause it just wouldn't come, so they finally contacted the director of the meals dept, and they the meals after came really quickly...i probably got served first actually. we figured all the nauseousness was all gone since i was able to drink eat all the liquids just fine. so they decided i would get regular meals from now on. so a few minutes after i finished my breakfast, lunch came, and since i had eaten all liquid, that was not a problem. they served some roast turkey with gravy, stuffing, beef barley soup, and some other stuff. it was all pretty good. people kept asking me how bad the hospital food was but since i was staying in one of the best public hospitals in california, i was pretty well off. i had my own room which allowed visitors 24 hours a day. guests could sleep over (and they would make accomodations for them) if they wanted. had a nice huge window with sun light in my room. the wooden floors of course. my own bathroom with even a shower. so the hospital stay probably couldn't have been any more comfortable. when the doctor noticed that i was still taking morpine and both tablets of vicodin every 4 hours, along with the nausea, he said he said unless i was in a rush to get out, that i should stay till the next day.

physical therapists came over and took me out of my room for short walks and they said i was doing really well, and gave me a lot of pointers what i could do and definitely shouldn't do. wendy visited me again on the second day. she came over and chilled over for a good while. then erik came over with judy and stayed for a little bit. it turned out that our exchange server had suffered another hardware failure. yikes. they were working on it from 8pm to 7:30am. wow....i wonder what comments were made my way. hopefully they were sympathetic to my own pains during that hour. anyways, for dinner, i had lasagne (i'd give it a 8 out of 10), minestrone, and some pastry with peach on it. casey visited me around 11pm. after that i tried to go to sleep in between the times when the medication was working. woke up each time the medication wore off. i decided if they were going to discharge me, i figured they'd want me to at least stop getting the morphine, so i just decided to tough it out and just go with vicodine starting that evening. so my second day at the hospital was something i would have expected on the first day. i was just caught off guard with the pain and nauseousness the first day.

in the morning, i got breakfast just the way i ordered it, scrambled eggs, sasage, bacon, pancakes, and oj. after that the guy who did the actual operation came by. told me that the operation went really well, and when they went inside, the problem looked really clear, and they were happy with what they were able to accomplish. i still feel phantom pain, and they said i should be feeling that for a long while, at least a few weeks because i had been shortcircuiting those (sciatic) nerves for the last 5 months. i'm going in another week from now for an evaluation from the surgeon. and hopefully they'll be able to tell me that everything went well, and they'll be able to give me a referral for rehab so i can get completely straight (i'm almost straight now, but still a little crooked since i've been in that position for so long). and he said i should need quite a bit of physical therapy but that's no problem for me. i'm just glad that i'm on a sure track to 100% recovery now.

i can stand all i want but i'll be limited from sitting more than 15 minutes at a time at most 4 times a day. but after i get the evaluation that everything really worked out, and when i'll be expecting to sit more than 15 minutes, i'll write out a list of activites and places i've been craving to catch up on what i've been missing for the last 5 months. since i'm going to still need a day or to be able to feed myself, my mom will be here till tomorrow (thursday) to help me with that. i don't have too much pain walking around but since i've been in bed for 5 months, my core and blance is really not there (and no extension on the muscles), and i feel like i'm learning to walk again. i'm guessing i should be able to pick it up pretty quickly once i get going. just a little more time on my bed and in the apartment and i should finally be able to get out.

Monday, August 11, 2003

in less than 12 hours from now, i should be done with surgery.

as the hour draws near, i guess a little bit of nerves are finally starting to kick in. kinda like the feeling you get when you're waiting in line for your turn at the dentists office and you know he's gonna drill. i'm not really scared of drills or shots they give you at the dentists office. most of the times i make it out with some fillings without actually blinking in response to pain. i guess what i'm feeling now is anticipation. maybe in the last 24 hours it was a bad idea to watch a mock full open back spine surgery on a episode of tales from the crpt, and just now i just saw "anatomy of a shark bite" where the guy gets his calf on his left leg completely ripped off by a shark (all caught on tape.)

good thing for the anesthesia it has the ability to calm and knock you out. i guess why i'm not too nervous about this is because i know this is something that needs to be done, and worrying about it really does not effect its outcome. it's just a waste of energy. so why worry about something you have no control over? i'm just going to get there, fall asleep, and wake up with a small hole in my back where they had to go through to remove the herniated part of the disc. hopefully if all goes well, i should be getting to thornton by 7:00am, done with surgery at about noon on monday (technically today), and they'll be checking me out whenever the doctor is about to sign me out the next day. i'll be taking a small book to read just in case i can't find anything good to watch on tv. i'm planning to have my cell phone with me and AIM set up so i can use AIM through my phone (even though type is really painstakingly slow). i guess what would be nice would be to have a laptop if this surgery required me to stay a couple of days. i wonder what public hospital will be the first to have a computer terminal set up for each bed. i don't think we're too far away. but we're definitely not there yet.

my mom will be staying with me probably only through tuesday. hopefully she won't try to keep too busy and actually take some time to relax while she's actually taking 2 days off of work for the first time in ages. i wish i can hang out with my mom and show her around san diego a little bit while she's here but it probably won't be a great idea right after surgery. unfortunately it wasn't meant to be this time.

i'll start progressing from small walks to sitting for longer periods of time starting tuesday since they said i don't require any days of bed rest after i leave the hospital. i'll still probably spend most of my time in bed for the first few days taking it easy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2003

The surgery will be held at Thornton, Aug 11 Monday 9am. (Getting ther 2 hours early with my parents.)

I’ll be knocked out during surgery.

It’s a 2 hour operation. I do need to spend one night at the hospital. And I checked today, the floor is actually made of wood. : )

I won’t need any bed rest at home after surgery. I’ll probably still take that week off and take it easy.

I’ll start work from home the week after starting Monday Aug 18. I’ll probably switch off from my desk to my bed every half hour or so.

I shouldn't be sitting for long periods of time until the doctor gives me the OK, which is usually 4-6 weeks of surgery. An hour and two should be okay. So I'll probably need a desk where i can stand and work. I'm aiming to return to work about 2-3 weeks after surgery...I guess as soon as the desk gets there.

These days are passing by fast! the weekend will be here in no time, weekends go incredibly fast.
90% excitement 10% nerves

well, i got a call from neurosurgery today and was surprised to learn that they've scheduled me for surgery on Monday Aug 11 9am. that was quite a shocker since i was expecting late august at the very earliest. this gives me roughly 3 weeks after surgery to recover to celebrate my birthday so this is all good news. all i can hope for now is a successful operation and a quick recovery after surgery. i'm going to have a minimally invasive microsurgical discectomy. basically involves a small incision and removal of herniated part of the disc. a minor operation but then again, we're talking about the spine here. 90% chance of success, 1% chance of complication, 1% chance of infection. numbers look really good.

monday was an absolute shitty day for my group at work. i noticed that one of our servers stopped working right before midnight on sunday, and nguyen and erik had to be called out of a conference. here is the list of events. after the server crash, i just put my pain aside, drove and limped my ass to the machine room at around midnight to discover something was really serious. (when i was there, i wanted to take a quick peek at my desk, but i didn't really want to subject myself to anything i missed but couldn't do anything about)....anyways...nguyen and erik had car pooled and were at irvine, and nguyen had to drive back in erik's car shortly after midnight. nguyen continued to work on the server till 4pm, then erik came back by train. then i think they worked on it together from there, got it back up at 10:30pm. so it was down roughly 23 hours. much longer than we had ever thought it would be down. we probably weren't prepared for such a catastrophy, but i don't think we could have ever anticipated things going this bad severely. plus i was at home. but then again, if i wasn't at home, maybe i would have never detected the problem when it happened. only too late probably as late as the afternoon on monday. so who knows, me being injured could have cut the downtime significantly. i did all i could with my injury, but compared to what nguyen and erik had gone through, i only gave a fraction of effort. good thing i'll be returning to work in a few weeks. if all goes well, i should be returning to work some time around 25th of august. i'll probably not work the week right after surgery. then work from home for a week after that, check with my doctors, and getting the papers signed so that i can return to work. can't wait. hopefully it will be the best early birthday present ever.

casey was nice enough to lend me his tivo while he wasn't using for the summer. so i have it recording all the tv i have ever wanted to watch. and i have already picked up 2 shows: real world and road rules. for the stuff that road rules does, to me, there is nothing greater than what they do on the show. meet new friends and experiencing new things every day. billionaires don't have as much fun. unfortunately they've added a sick twist to it by voting people off, and have tained the show. plus the tasks that they assign them seem like they've been assigned to exploit the crew, not challenge them. for example, they'll be given a task where there is probably no way one person is going to be able to make it. that does bring 10x the drama (because they have to end up voting someone off), so you can't really blame the show creators for not doing their jobs, but i preferred it when no one was voted off and people did missions for adventure, not exploitation. well, now that i know my back really shouldn't be tested to its limits, i know that stuff like that in my future to that extreme is not that great for me. but then there is the real world. to me, that reminds me a lot of the college dorm life. i would love to go live in a house with a bunch of strangers as long as they've been screened by someone of course. even though i'm not perfect myself, i think i would be a good mediator in those situations, and it would be an excellent learning enviornment for everyone including myself. saying that, i wonder if there are any programs like that out there. sign up for some kind of off campus post college "the real world" kind of experience. if anyone knows, let me know. i'm seriously interested. i know i can easily find new roommates, but i'm looking for an actual program. because in these programs (if they do exist) in those enviroments, people are prepped to meet new people, and more open minded than they normally are, without having it seem like they're breaching out of their bubble when they try something new.