Friday, April 29, 2011

Late for JA :(

Today I did the unthinkable... I overslept for my JA session :(. My alarm didn't go off (set it wrong), and I woke up half an hour later than I usually do... essentially missing 15 minutes in a 45 minute session.

But luckily, the awesome teacher I work with covered for me (goooo lesson plans), and me walking in late didn't look too bad.

I was a bit stumbly, but eventually did get back on track.

But this experience has shown me that... I need a new phone. Can't wait any longer.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Vegas Weekend Part IV: Back In

Took 45 minutes, and there was traffic, but the drive overall was alright.

On the plane, I passed in and out of consciousness on an aisle seat, so I must have freaked the guy in the middle out.

Coming back to Seattle and well immersed in the LA driving habits of tailgating + quick lane switches + bumper to bumper traffic, I almost got into an accident 3 times on 3 separate occasions.. Seattle drivers are horrible!

Arrived back to work in one piece by noon. Soldier trip complete!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Reflection: Vegas Reflection - What do I Want?

I had wavered on this Vegas trip for months... but 2 weeks before, I decided to take this vegas trip because lately, I have realized that I haven't really done all that much in the last year. Ever since school has started I have been sort of stuck and not really moving about. Also, I was actually nervous as I was planning this whole LA-LV trip... which is sort of weird because it is probably one of the saner trips I've been on.

While I did hit Yellowstone last year, I didn't get to go to Guatemala, and my random weekend trips have dwindled to become almost non existent. Throughout the non summer months I had to always save some time on the weekends for homework (last term was even more horrible where every week I lost one of the days). So it was good to get a breath of fresh air and just go on a break.

Being able to be alone for most of the trip in sunny Cali gave me some time to reflect on a few things... in particular - the question: What do I Want?

What do I Want? ... A very simple question. I think after this trip I am slightly closer to my answer of this, but then again, do I really need an answer right now?

I have them 3 goals for 30 that I want to achieve (though with each passing day the more it looks like I am getting farther and farther away from it), but there must be more to life than just goals right? Will obtaining these goals really make me happy, given achieving goals often leads to newer goals...

Everyone wants to be happy... but how.. and who actually are?
I would venture to say the happiest people are the ones who are most carefree... so for those people, what are their goals? It's almost contradictory though for carefree people to have a goal - because if they had a goal to be carefree, they wouldn't be carefree. Perhaps not thinking so much and just letting life flow its course is the path to happiness. Hakuna Matata?

Having said that...
- to inspire each other
- to know and be able to make the person who can make you happy happy
- the eyes that can make you believe that you can make the impossible possible
- the feeling of feeling comfortable
- the desire to always be improving and becoming better
I think all of the above will play a part.

So continue I ponder... .. .

Vegas Weekend Part III: Winding Down and Boston Market

Another late morning wakeup, lunch today was going to be In and Out - but that turned out to be closed since it's the holidays afterall. Good for me though I guess because I was never really into In and Out at all.. haha. So instead we went to this burger place in Venetian. After Venetian, it was just hanging out for an hour or so, and back to LA I drive.

The best thing about today though was prior to leaving the hotel, I charted a road to hit a Boston Market about 5 miles or so off from the hotel where I was staying at for the night, before my flight out from LAX in the morning. So driving back (and pulling over half an hour in to take a quick 5 minute power nap), I got stuck in traffic and it took alot longer than the drive to Vegas. It turns out there is some 'produce' booth check that cars had to slow down and drive through... which I think was one of the main causes of the congestion.

Racing against time - I had called Bostom Market in the morning, they had told me that even though they are suppose to close at 10pm, sometimes they close earlier - I made up time by driving faster :). The drive back was actually pretty fun and nice because there were these straight no lights roads, and it was pretty cool because the sun was starting to set, so I saw that nice sunset + clouds view as I was driving on these hick town highways going 70+... hahaha. After thinking I got lost like 3 times, I reached the city Santa Clarita, and finally, after years, reunited with Boston Market at 9:15pm and had the awesome chicken + 2 side combo. Ahh Boston Market.. if only there was one in

With my mission complete, I head towards the hotel/motel which turns out to be really close and was right off the highway, so it was perfect. The checkin process was quick, and while it wasn't a Hilton, it was definitely decent considering it was just $44 a night. (Originally, I had thought about just driving straight to the airport and crashing on some benches, but figure I baller it up and get a bed The bonus was I got to watch 'What happens in Vegas' (Ashton Krutcher and Cameron Diaz) on the small TV.

Pretty good way to end the weekend.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vegas Weekend Part II: Shopping Day!

The night before ended rather soberly, but while a few of the guys went for poker fun, I slept in, then woke up, and decided to go next door and shop.

I've been meaning to get some new clothes, so I figure, why not check out if there are any sales (and yes - you are still on Mson's blog right now...). So here I am, wandering about the mall, and I end up finding myself my long awaited blazer, and along the way, bought a couple other items. Also because of their great marketing, I finally singed up for a Macy's card... haha. I still remember the first year, they flat out rejected me for lack of credit - but that is no more! Welcome 20% discount!

Overall it was a pretty chillaxing day. At night we went for AYCE Brazillian BBQ. Had some pretty good Sangria there. Though I have to say, it just felt like going to Ipanema. Then tried this LAN gaming thing for the first time in my life (definitely not something for me)...

Again a pretty sober night...

Friday, April 22, 2011

Vegas Weekend Part I: En route to Las Vegas

After class last night, I was dragged out to have a quick drink before my weekend trip to LA-LV. Getting home at 3am, I woke up at 5am to catch my flight.

The plan was that of a classic solider weekend trip. Start off running on 2 hours of sleep, hop on a flight, drive 5 to 6 hours straight with the ever trusty printed google maps. With a feature phone that had no LCD, I would survive the weekend and red-eye it back to work on Monday morning...

I arrive bright and early in the morning (ok.. 9:30am) to the sunny land of Cali. As always, Cali is great. This trip had two objectives. One was to attend Casino Buddy's bachelors, the other was the main reason I flew into LA instead of LV... the Getty Museum! Finally after several missed attempts and years past, I finally get to visit the Getty Museum. For those who don't know what it is, it is essentially a reconstructed Roman villa in Malibu. The pictures on the website were really pretty. I was really lucky that it was a sunny day (I actually checked the weather report to see what it'd be like), so I got to walk around the entire villa.

On the driving... Driving along the coast was great. If I wasn't strapped on time and aiming to make it to Vegas by 6pm, I would have wanted to just park the car, go down to the beach, and surf or just sit by the beach for a few hours.

LA traffic is very congested at all times of the day. The good thing though is people actually know how to drive! So even though there was alot of volume, the car was actually moving.

Didn't really stop anywhere along the way, because I wanted to get out of the core of LA latest by 2ish, so I wouldn't be stuck in highway traffic. On the way though, I kept my eyes peeled for a Boston Market to no avail... eventually stopping by a roadside McDs instead. Fell asleep almost 3 times along the way, but soldier Mson marches forward!

I did reach Vegas before 6pm. Amazingly on just one tank of gas. Strangely Vegas felt very familiar... I just seemed to know where to go for some reason. The gambling part was horrible - so I won't say more than that. Though I did get to try the 'switch blackjack' that I've been hearing about. Pretty interesting rules and has some good interaction, though I am not quite sure what kind of odds it actually has (I would imagine it'd be lower than regular blackjack).

Dinner was buffet at the Wynn, where the food was pretty good. Though I have to say I think I might be getting too spoiled with seafood in The AYCE crab legs was nice, but the whole time I was thinking, the Safeway $8.99/lb alaskan king crab legs would be so much meatier and tastier.

And so the fun continues...

Friday, April 15, 2011

JA Day and Interesting Thoughts

So today marks another set of modules for Junior Achievement. It's definitely a fun program that I enjoy alot. Now if I didn't have to wake up at 7:00am for it, then it'd be even more awesome.

It was pretty cool because turns out there were a few of the kids from last year who I taught that were in this class. It's amazing what one year can do to these kids! Some of them are so much more grown up than the year before. Perhaps the even better thing I thought was that some of the (well, most of them that I taught) actually remembered me!

I have to say though I don't think I was as prepared as I like to be. This time around I did less prep work (since I've done this set of modules before), but I guess it's sorta the 'retaking a course syndrome', where I knew the material, but not really inside out. Also, I think I like trying out new things, but didn't get a chance to for this module. It was interesting though to think back on how different the dynamics of the class was compared to the one from 2 years ago. Same module, different students, way different dynamics. Pretty interesting I thought.

To add to it, today was even more intriguing because there was a substitute teacher during the session. My initial impression of him when I first walked in was that he was pretty sharp and very efficient type of person. He just had this different aura about him that I usually don't see in teachers.

Towards the end of the lesson, we chatted briefly and apparently he was actually an ex-MSftie who was on Windows Live even up to a few years ago, but then decided to just go 100% into teaching since he was spending more and more time in the area.

Pretty admirable I think - in the Alchemist, I guess he would be the crystal shop merchant who got up, and moved slowly the store and himself to Mecca, then eventually just left the shop and went to Mecca.

To trade away the things like he did, I wonder if that will one day I will walk down a similar path... .. . Or have I strayed too far already... .. .

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

94% Saved!

The fruits of Mson's bargain shopping. Wuhahaha!

Friday, April 08, 2011

Expedia Tour Guide Goes to Kenya...

So another year, today I find out another one leaves This time it's the Expedia Tour guide.

It's pretty cool that he's going to Kenya to volunteer for a few months before starting his MBA. I can't help but think that it must feel very rewarding and it would just be really fun.

Have a ton of respect for him... to be able to just get up and go and for such a good cause. Maybe one day I will do this as well. I've been meaning to want to do one for a few weeks - perhaps I should put it on my to-do list and make it official, and aim to do it next year.

Does make me think though - what is it that I want to experience in life... and am I doing what I should be doing right now...