The Art of Dating Discrimination

Must Be This Tall To Ride

Image courtesy of Image courtesy of

I’ve only had three girlfriends ever make it past the get-to-know-you phase.

It’s because both my mom and dad had gone through divorce, and both preached “playing the field” and to not be in a hurry to get married.

Spend time with lots of different girls, they said. Figure out what you like. Figure out why.

Not every girl approved of my way of thinking, but I didn’t particularly care. The thinking was: As soon as you know there’s no chance of this ending in marriage, why be in a committed relationship with one another?

I didn’t believe in having a girlfriend simply for the sake of having one.

That was an easy choice to make back then. I was young. With a hard stomach. And constantly surrounded by young, single women.

I’m sure I wasn’t as honest as I should have been. But I also…

View original post 1,405 more words


The Things I Learned by Being Late

I should’ve been a watch repair man because I have always been pre-occupied with time.  When I was a kid, I knew that the Power Rangers were on at 4pm and that re-runs of Fresh Prince of Bel Air were at 7pm (new episodes were on Mondays at 8pm).  Since then, I have unwittingly lived life on a schedule.  I took college-prep classes in high school and went to a 4-year university.  I got jobs that revolved around numbers, time tables and deadlines.  I went to work every day, went to lunch, braved traffic and went home.  This past year, this schedule has proven to be unviable.

As I’ve sought to live life according to a schedule, the algebraic equations I had in my head did not balance out.

happiness equation

This equation obviously did not come to balance because of untimely events and variables that I didn’t even consider.  Inevitably, the failure of this equation may have contributed to me being late and sometimes completely absent to events that should’ve occurred.

I have a master’s degree, but I was late in discovering that education is not an entitlement to success.  It has become part of American lore that higher education is the primary – if not the sole – path to success in life.  Because of social media, I’ve been given a glimpse into the lives of friends from high school.  Some of these friends were not honor students and did not go to a reputable university.  But they have found fulfillment in a creative venture or other fulfilling occupation that goes beyond financial benefits and is not bound by formulaic expectations.  These people are living proof of the incompleteness of our educational system and that they are more than test scores and statistics.

I was late in discovering that love is not on a timer.  I was with a woman who hated the hour signal beep on my watch that sounded whenever we’d be out on a date.  I’d immediately note the time and betray a look of anxiety about the things I had to do at work the next day or whether we’d be locked inside a parking lot.  Ultimately, it meant that I valued those trivial things over her in the present.  She seemed to embody this mysterious idea of time’s simultaneous continuity and abruptness.  I later discovered that her name is an anagram for the Hebrew concept meaning “to pause and listen”.  Love, then, is a stopping of time.  It is no wonder that men and women have fallen in love in their teens and in the twilight of their brief lives.   When love enters our lives, it compels us to evaluate our path and glean some lesson from the rushing streams of busy-ness that pass by.  The pause gives weight to the present, clarity of the past and hopeful anticipation for the future.

Since love is not on a timer, it’s a little bit easier to be single when culture says that you should not.  I can notice the pauses more easily.  The silence of the pause builds the excitement of the melody that is to come.  The pause also allows me to see and hear things that can rush by others without notice.  It’s easier to value independence and the inward journeys brought on by unnoticed introversion.  Because of this, we value the person not because of some connection to someone else, but for their intrinsic worth that is not diminished by a connection or lack thereof.

I am late in finding purpose that pours into spiritual development.  I know that this is now out of my control but not outside of my responsibility.  I can find ways to discover the real things that give me fulfillment and tap into the abilities that others around me see but to which I am blind.  God, too, is not on our timer.  For some reason, he lets me know that something good will come out of my impatience, rigidity, and self-betraying decision-making.  Being late is not going to be the end of the world.

It’s strange to be writing about timeliness as a Filipino.  We are infamous for our perception of time, i.e., being late.  This different perception has allowed me to question our relation to time.  We don’t have to be bound by it.  Whether our notion of time was thrust upon us by Roman emperors or our personal expectations, we can pause.  If this causes us to be late, then that just means we will be welcomed by applause from those who came on time and who longed for us to join them.

Tempin’ ain’t easy

Yesterday, I had a interview for a temp job for a fire protection company in the commercial district in Irvine.  It seemed like a good job and I saw a lot of young people in the cubicles which looked like a good sign.  However, the assignment was only for a couple of weeks.  I’m probably going to end up turning the assignment down because it’s just too short.  

I’ve started playing music again, which is great.  I’v lost the daily routine of playing my guitar and learning songs throughout my time at my last job.  That’s how bad that job was – it seemed to sap the energy to do the thing I love to do.  

Check out my new Fender guitar amp:




Learning about Leo

Today, I went to the Fender Visitor Center in Corona, CA. This is where they assemble the American-made (higher end) Fender guitars. I had a great time seeing the intricate processes of making these beautiful guitars that I’ve been playing for more than 10 years. I remember when I first got my American Standard Fender Stratocaster (3-color sunburst) way back in 2004 after saving up for months.

It would be very cool if I got a job building these guitars that I love so much. The tour leader told stories of guys who started sanding bodies on the mill and eventually got to the level of master builder (constructing the Custom Shop guitars).  I could see myself being emotionally engaged in a job like this.  At least, I would feel like I’m contributing something to society as opposed to the financial sector jobs I’ve always had.

20140107_095540 20140107_095551 20140107_104228 20140107_104710 20140107_105606 20140107_105612 20140107_105735 20140107_110921 20140107_112436 20140107_112507 20140107_112724 20140107_113029 20140107_113117 20140107_115018

Movin’ on down


So WordPress would be great way to document my adventures in unemployment and finding out what I want to do in life. I expect this to be long and sometimes disheartening but I’m sure there will be some moments that will make me glad to be alive.

This is a pic of the beginning of the moving process. I’m headed to Placentia, CA to my parents’ house. Placentia: land of gated communities and lifted trucks. I should probably brush up on the “bro” lingo.

Bruce Wayne lotto tour

Here’s what I’d do if I won a $1 billion lotto:

  1. Create a Batsuit (Dark Knight Rises version) and buy the Bat-pod motorcycle.  Then, every Halloween, I’d ride around the streets of Los Angeles giving people bat-shaped shuriken.  
  2. Travel to Japan, Venice, and Eastern Europe. 
  3. Train to compete in archery in the next Olympics.
  4. Record an album of original songs with my musician friends.  
  5. Go through survival training and learn to be deadly with a knife so I can be like Benecio del Torro in The Hunted (minus the post-traumatic stress disorder).
  6. Pay off that bitch Sallie Mae.
  7. Pay off my parents’ mortgage so they don’t have worry anymore and they can retire.  They’re the hardest working people I know.
  8. Take a tour of where they make Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
  9. Build my dream analog audio system (turn table, tube integrated amp, tower speakers, etc)
  10. Buy an Eric Johnson Signature Fender Stratocaster and Swart AST amp.

I think that’s it.  Maybe.

Failure to Launch

On December 13 (Friday), I was laid off from my job at a title insurance company.  My job was, basically, to insure that Chase had first dibs to screw a borrower over when they defaulted on their loans.  Chase wanted to get to the borrowers first before the Department of Making Dead Beat Dads and/or the IRS got a chance to suck ’em dry.  It was a job that paid the bills and allowed me to buy and do some fun things this past year:

  • Went to Portland and Seattle and all the cool places in between with my good friend Janna
  • Bought a turn table system and a bunch of cool vinyl records (my favorites so far have been the new albums from Tedeschi Trucks Band, Lissie, White Denim, and John Mayer.  I also got some great classic albums from John Coltrane, Kenny Burrell, Ry Cooder, and The Gza)

To be honest, I was more relieved and then devastated after being laid off.  No more dreading the morning traffic to spend eight hours at a soul-destroying job that contributed nothing to society.  I met some fun people at work who made the day bearable:

  • N, who was so funny with his sarcastic one-liners during our pointless meetings with our supervisors.
  • S, a vivacious Latina who was funny and kind.
  • St, who was mysterious and quirky.  How did she have sparkles of grey in those brown eyes?
  • M, a gregarious guy who could get everyone to laugh.  He also had a heart of gold.
  • Ma, a tiny little thing with the great voice (I have a thing for voices), caramel eyes, and fury that was buried by our mutually-shared mediocrity.  It would sting me every time she brought up her boyfriend.

I’m not sure what I’m going to do.  I don’t even know if I still want to be a therapist – even though I now owe that bitch Sallie Mae over $180K.  I am trained to help alcoholics and drug addicts get their lives back together but I can’t even keep a job for more than two years.  I think there’s something wrong with that.  I can’t say that I’ve totally lost hope in starting my therapy career because maybe I’m moving this hope to something else.  Although, I slowly understanding that I don’t have to have my shit together to have some kind of meaningful impact on other people.  But for now, I’ve been watching a ton of movies (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty was a revelation, Pain and Gain sucked like no other), taking long walks and eating soup.  

Starting over is like playing Grand Theft Auto V and having the power go out without getting to save.  Oh yeah, and you didn’t have the auto-save option on.  I’ve had to do it before after failed relationships and failed attempts to get a job after finishing grad school.  I think it’s different this time.  My parents seem to be more intentional in showing me support, especially my mom.  She didn’t seem to be worried that I have no plan right now.  She didn’t even get upset when I told her that I don’t want to find a job right away.  I think we’re beginning to understand each other.  I’m helping her buy a tablet.  What is going on in the world?

I watched The Lifeguard shortly after being let go.  It’s such a relevant film.  Kristen Bell’s character goes home to her parents’ home after the end of an affair (she was involved with Dr. Suresh from Heroes) and quitting a dead-end job.  She went back home, wreaked some havoc, smoked weed, and then started to believe in something better than what she had.  I hope that a similar destination of self-discovery is in store for me.  I’ll try to be less lazy, less passive, and sign up for archery lessons.  

Chop it up

I like to learn things by breaking them down into sections and then repeating them.

When I first started learning “Reconsider” from Eric Clapton’s From The Cradle album, I started by chopping up the intricate licks into sections. There’s a section in the intro part that comes from Chuck Berry and his prophetic style of playing. I pracriced this part until my fingers were raw and had the callouses of a person who deserved to be called a guitar player. My hand had gotten used to the neck and my fingers accustomed to the strain. Then, it became like second nature. I gained so much confidence just through learning that small part.

It helps to chew things up until they become digestable. Then it becomes a part of you.

Tabula Rasa

This is a punch in the gut.

Sips of Jen and Tonic

quote, fear, success, failure, starting over, self-improvement, carl bard, inspirationalHave you ever felt like something (a thought, an idea, a situation) kept popping up all around you? I believe in the power of The Universe. I believe it’s always trying to guide us, and I believe in its infinite wisdom.

Recently I’ve been confronted with a series of situations and conversations centered around the idea of being undeserving. With one person it was being undeserving of success, with a few others it was being undeserving of happiness.

Tabula Rasa is a Latin phrase roughly translating to “blank slate.” It is the philosophical idea that humans are born with empty minds, and it is only through perception and experience that they gain knowledge. Basically, we’re all empty canvases when we’re born, and that canvas gets scribbled on throughout our lives.

View original post 435 more words