2 Weeks Old… Now what?

The New Year is already 2 weeks old and so much has already happened. The economy has been the worst since the Great Depression. Unemployment numbers are at the highest since World War II.  Our Nation faces insurmountable challenges here and abroad.  As homeowners helplessly watch their home values go down, millions face the trauma of foreclosures.  Budgets deficits from State and Local Governments would force these entities to cut services to millions of Americans who are in great need of these services. Meanwhile employees are facing the insecurity of their job security that in return decreases productivity and profits for employers.  Consumer spending has dropped considerably while consumer debt increased into new heights. 

 

While our domestic troubles seem to grow with each day, international crises come from all angles that would make anyone feel hopeless.  With two wars that seem to have no end and the escalating violence at the Gaza Strip our Nation faces difficult political and economic decisions that one would not wish upon their enemies.

 

One must ponder: where or when did everything go wrong?  More importantly, how can we resolve these issues?  At the dawn of the new administration, Americans and people from the world over are setting their eyes upon the new President with a mixture of fear and hope, a sense of anxiety and relief, a cautious optimism of a better day. 

 

While President-elect Barack Obama’s inspiring story is about to open a new chapter, we as citizens of the world have our own story to write.  Would we lose the lessons learned from the past and repeat our follies in the future? On the other hand, would we finally start being accountable to ourselves and living our lives a renewed sense of personal and national responsibility?  This is the challenge of our time.  Our response to the challenge would determine whether we could afford healthcare, college, cost of living and a decent retirement.  Now is the time for us to stop pointing fingers and instead join hands in unity to face our problems head on until we find a more agreeable solution.  This is the time when our actions would reflect the future of our lives, our children and our humanity and we can only hope that our actions today would make us reflect with a proud sense of accomplishment as we share our story to our grandchildren.

 

 

A NEW YEAR BEGINS

HOPES, DREAMS, CHALLENGES TO FACE

TIME TO MAKE A CHANGE

 

 

Year-end post… (if I’m that lazy in the next few days)

Whew! 2008 is finally over.  It has been a tough rough and tumble year for me personally (more on that later). However, I had some bright spots during the year that I would call the TOP 10 BEST MOMENTS of 2008!

 

 

10. I noticed a drop of telemarketing calls for refinancing and loans. (Yehey!)

9.  My best friend Chubax visited me on my birthday. (and I got to visit him and Jong in Vegas on August 2008 – plus a Zappos Tour) Zappos!

8.  I discovered Twitter! (and social networking is never the same… for me at least) what are you doing?

7.  I lost 15 lbs so far from the lifetime high of 240 lbs (more on the weight gain)

6.  I read more books this year than the books I read from 2003-2006 combined.

5.  Comic book movies did not suck (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Dark Knight, etc)

4.  I paid off my credit card bills (and I have over $10k in the bank)

3. My financial misery of 2007 was over

2. Barack Obama won the US Presidential elections

1. My personal and love life survived a year’s worth of ups and downs.

 

I’m sure I left out tons of great moments but what is a list if it is not exclusive?  Perhaps I will tackle more of that as soon as I remember them.  Now, with every New Year, most people tend to make New Year’s resolutions.  I’d rather make New Year goals.  At least with goals, I’ll fight harder to achieve them than resolutions.  In addition, having a deadline can add more pressure to complete these goals.

 

TOP 10 GOALS for 2009:

 

 1) Pay Off Car Loan – I’ll be done by Feb 2009

 2) Open a ROTH IRA account – I should do this before 2008 ends

 3) Increase emergency savings to at least $20,000 by 12/31/2009

 4) Clean up and organize my feeds, links and bookmarks by June 2009

 5) Read 20 new books by 12/31/2009

 6) Organize photos, videos and music files by 06/01/2009

 7) Save for an iMac (yeah, I already have 2 linux pcs and 2 windows pcs but an iMac would complete the circle)

 8) Weigh 200 lbs by 04/01/2009 – and be healthier

 9) Organize and clean up the Apartment once and for all – get rid of boxes and junk

 10) Make major life changes by 12/31/2009 – Academic, professional and personal

 

These are my best moments of 2008 and goals for 2009.  It may not be as grand and challenging as President-elect Barack Obama but personally, I have a huge challenge on my hands come 2009.

 

Stay tuned for updates.

Barack vs. the NEW Special Intersts

I’m back… after weeks of non-stop Sisyphus-like tasks, I am back to update my blog.  Well as for current events, lots of Political scandals that rocked our Nation.  One particular issue that really got my attention (no.. not Blagojevich.. I’ll get the facts first before really giving my 2 cents) is the flak President-elect Barack Obama is getting from some of his supporters. 

I got finally fed up with the talk and somehow I got the guts to write to a local newspaper to give my opinion (will they publish it? i’ll wait and see…).  so here’s the letter I sent to the local newspaper to be (hopefully) published on the From the readers section of the San Francisco Examiner:

Barack vs. the New Special Interests

 

As a strong Barack Obama supporter, I am dismayed that some of his supporters are miffed about his choices.  From women’s groups complaining about not having enough women in the cabinet to the gay, lesbian groups fuming over Obama’s invitation of Rick Warren to give the invocation on Inauguration day.  Honestly, I am beginning to think that these groups are acting like the Special Interests of the past. Whenever I hear one spokesperson talking about how they helped Barack win the election and that he “owed” them is just insulting to the American people.  Obama supporters should remember the President-elect’s promise of not giving in to special interests.  We need qualified, intelligent and effective candidates in the Obama Administration not Affirmative Action-influenced picks.  The Rick Warren invite would be Barack’s example on how he would reach out across ideological lines to help make our Country into a “more perfect Union.”

obama1

 

So there… that’s my 2 cents for now… will see in a few days what would happen.

 

Stay tuned.

Friday Relief

Tis Friday at last
A week’s worth of working late
Ends with me in bed
 
TGIF.
 
The letters above stand for Thank God It’s Friday.  It is more than just a restaurant chain’s logo and caption. It’s a prayer of millions of office drones, blue collar ants and scholarly creatures the world over.  It is a sigh of relief for people who managed to survive another week of dodge office politics, the occasional backstabbing, the bruising of already weak egos and mindless routine tasks that would rival a nearby bee hive.
 
Although one couldn’t complain much because of the global economic crisis adding the official coming out of the economy from the recession closet.  So, with looming lay offs and bankruptcy filings, the regular Joe Six-Pack who still earns a living should be thankful.  However, are the still employed any better off than the depressed unemployed?
 
Unlike the depressing reality of the unemployed facing starvation, eviction and humiliation (wow, they rhyme..), the survivors face far bleaker future in their current position.  Some survivors experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the stress of waiting for the dreaded “pink” slip (are they still Pink?) and the pain of watching fellow co-workers pack up their personal belongings.  After PTSD, the drones switch to Paranoia.  They fear that one false step would be the death of their professional career.  Although some of their fears are exaggerated, the current trend the past couple of decades have given these worker bees enough basis and precedence for their fears. 
 
Given these possibilities, one could imagine the state of mind of the person who coined TGIF (who did?).  Did the person experience a jobless? Did he/she survive downsizing? Was he/she forced to closed down his/her business?  God only knows.
 
So the next time you stop by the local TGIF on Friday night (Which should be their Happy hour/night right?), be thankful that you a job/biz that stresses you out to say: TGIF.

De-cluttering the clutter in my very cluttered apartment

I was compelled to do some clean-up yesterday.  It’s one of those rare days when I woke up early on a Sunday and then just went to work.  Maybe it was the need to find my old Gameboy Advance SP and some games. Or maybe it was about time to do some cleaning.  You see, my gf and I moved in our current apartment over a year ago.  13 months is enough time to finish unpacking… not really.  I blame this on simple laziness.  Also, since we have an extra room (which functions as her office), we never really had the urgency to organize our (mainly my) stuff.
 
However, last Friday (Black Friday), I bought a new Nintendo DS.  The gf kinda wants one too and I figured if I could trade in my old GBA SP, I could get the DS a little cheaper.  So the search began.  I ended up, organizing and moving her books (which were scattered and buried under piles of paper) to their new home on our hallway console.  I was able to clear out empty paper and plastic bags (which we plan to recycle) and added more stuff in our “clothes to give away” bin. 
 
Here are a list of things I  “recovered”:
  • Exercise Ball air pump
  • Canon Powershot Camera (Which my gf “lost” a year ago)
  • GBA SP and games
  • My old class pictures (High school)
  • Some really old important mail
Although I’m not exactly done.  I was impressed with the items I found.  Most important of all, some space to walk on…
 
more to come… :P

My first pic (w/ Haiku)

Me as a baby...

Me as a baby...

Innocence of Youth

Laid flat on my bed
Wide-eyed and rosy red cheeks
Calmness from the past ™

Yeah, that’s me. I think I was two when that photo was taken.

Just wanted to try the upload phot feature of wordpress.

Seems only fitting that my first photo is an image taken from my childhood.

Proof that I’m young enough to be born during the age of colored photos. :P

More to come. :P

 

Work Haiku

A great wind passes

Brushing through my dusty desk

Boredom arises

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