Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Be True To Yourself

Warning!!! The blog entry contains swearing—lots of bullshit ;)) How many times do we bullshit? Admit it. Be honest and no bullshit. We have bullshitted in our lives. I bullshitted. I bullshitted a final I took at night I crammed on the day of the final. I bullshitted a few reports at my current job. I bullshitted many times in 8th grade which I didn’t know bullshit when I was 13 years old =P 8th grade was an exception because I was young and an idiot, LOL

Bullshitting work, exams, homework, reports, presentations, speeches, deadlines, lectures, and sales are nothing. If nobody catches your bullshit or somebody keeps quiet, then the bullshitter has no worries. One bullshit I despise is bullshitting one’s own soul. I hate fakers. I hate people in social situations who bullshit to get attention or meet new people. Fakers are nobodies :<

Be honest. If you’re in an argument with a special someone, be honest. Honesty strengthens a relationship and strengthens the forgiveness. Likewise in work situations between co-workers and co-worker and manager. And likewise in family conflicts. Everyone be honest, be true, and the family grow stronger and be closer together. Conflicts can be positive at the end when everyone works together, be honest, solve the conflict, and bring closure. Be true to yourself is no bullshit XD

Addendum: There are people who think I'm a faker. I want to know why some people think I'm a faker, a nobody. I want to know their thoughts and I consider whether they speak the truth and I find ways to correct my fakeness or whether they speak bullshit and are cowards toward me.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Monday, September 29, 2008

2008-2009 Goals

On Monday August 4, 2008 I evaluated my 2007-2008 goals. I evaluate my goals yearly on my birthday August 3. I’m expressing disappointment because I forgot some of the goals resulting in failure. Another disappointment is I have four goals for 2008-2009. The goals are learn mahjong, read three books, maintain a consistent exercise schedule going three days a week, and build a PC. Having goals is better than no goals; however, the four goals are easy to complete. The last goal is supposed to be completed in 2007-2008; however, a blessing in disguise as I expect bargain prices for PC hardware with the slowdown in the economy.

I can include Meet Another 100 People goal which I exclude because I’m at the level where it’s easy for me to meet new people in many social situations. Looking forward 2009 might be a bad year since 2004. Perhaps, I include goal number 5 which is Find Who I Am. I’m still lost and I don’t know what to do. Finding who I am takes more than one year to accomplish. Perhaps a five year goal? *sigh* Where’s my courage?

I digress. 2008 is the “Year I Prepare For The Big Break Part II.” So far, the preparation is satisfactory. I’m thinking 2009 is the “Year With Everything To Gain And Nothing To Lose.” 2009 is the year to take risks, expand my experiences, and no fear to make mistakes. For the record, 2009 is not an excuse to take drugs or drink alcohol. Today, I have been taking a few small risks.

Review your goals regularly at consistent times such as once every two or three months. Add, remove, and/or revise goals. Keep your focus. Use your goals to become a better person. Goals help a lost soul move forward. Innovate infinitely. Never stop innovating life.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Meme Post

I got the post suggestion from Punkbuster. It seems some already play the game. First time I heard the game. I spread the game. If you know me and read my Blogs which are probably the few of you out there, LOL, I answer the questions about you below ^__^ Email me webmaster@innovateinfinitely.com with subject header "Meme Post"

Comment and I'll

a) Tell you why I friended you.

b) Associate you with something -- a fandom, song, color, photo, etc.

c) Tell you something I like about you.

d) Tell you a memory I have of you.

e) Ask you something I've wanted to know about you

f) Tell you my favorite userpic from your (LJ) list [or any pic I know]

g) In return, you need to post this on your own

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Mood After Labor Day 2008

I posted a blog entry earlier about September being the beginning of the end of a year. Here is another blog on September.

My observation since Labor Day is many people are bitter and whatever. The mood is so-so meh, wanting to be alone, fatigue, avoiding responsibilities, forgetting (which has been me), doing sub-par work, being a jerk or bitch, worrying about the short-term future, and/or pessimistic. I remember seeing cars running red lights, co-workers submitting reports late, too much optimism with the current economy and financial crisis, people arguing in public or in a retail store, and people treating each other bad.

The recent current events with elections, economy, new TV season, and schools and colleges starting another year many people are still adjusting. The Olympics are over. Have the courage to keep smiling, treat others with respect, avoid arguments, move forward, and be optimistic the current problems eventually are solved. If a bad event or moment is happening, make lemonade out of sour lemons.

The current mood reminded me of January 2005. 2005 turned out to be a great year for many of us. I see the end of 2008 brings good momentum for 2009 regardless of who the next President is and whether we are in a recession or not. We are in a recession now even though the economic definition says we are not ~~

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Tip To Kill Insects

Here’s a tip to kill insects such as bugs, flies, and mosquitoes if you don’t have a fly swatter or don’t want to use your hand. Hold a stack of paper, magazines, or section of the newspapers with two hands. Keep the stack together and unfolded. Why? The reason is you drop the stack on top of the insect. When the insect lands on a solid surface such as a table and you have no objects near the insect, you drop the stack on top and smash the insect like a plane dropping a bomb. You are going to have a dead mark on the stack `__* The good news is the insect is dead XD

To repeat, hold a stack of papers with two hands and drop the stack on top of the insect when it’s on a surface. Don’t roll the stack into a cylinder shape like a baseball bat. Keep the stack unfolded to maximize the area to smash the insect. The stack must have weight to be an effective drop and smash ^^

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Back Up Your Files

You don’t need to be a techie or geek to know the importance of backing up your computer files. Buy an external hard drive or flash memory. Use rewriteable CDs or DVDs. Install a second hard drive. Partition your primary hard drive. Any suggestion works well from small files to big files. Memory is getting cheaper. Back up your files before you turn off your computer. Back up your files after you’re finished with your session for those who keep their computers on activate the stand by or hibernate mode.

At work, I backup my files using CD rewriteables. I have five CD rewriteables, one for each working day. I overwrite some files every seven days. If my laptop crashes, then I have my backup files and I’m ready to go the next working day. My co-worker’s laptop crashed twice; fortunately, her files were recoverable.

At home, I use flash memory and external hard drives. My Dell laptop and HP laptop have not crashed. Lucky so far. My home PC crashed. The PC files were backed up using flash memory and a second hard drive. The family lost no important files.

There is no excuse to avoid backing up your files. Back up your files constantly.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Friday, September 19, 2008

Best Way To Feel Happy

What is the best way to be happy? What is the best way to be in a state of happiness? The answer is people. My number one value is always meet new people. Anytime a person feels sad, lonely, and despair, there are people who help the person feel happy, wanted, and the feeling of hope. Everyone wants to be wanted and needed. Charming, darling, and sincere people want to be with charming, darling, and sincere people.

One common theme in the Innovate Common Knowledge Blog is always meet new people. I continue to repeat and to promote never stop meeting new people. People are happy by knowing people. People are happy by being with people. If you can’t find new people or new friends, then keep trying. If you know people and have a good amount of friends, then continue to meet more new people and increase your number of friends. I believe there is never a set amount of friends one can have. In any social situation, there is a 97% chance you meet new people and there is a 3% chance you become at least acquaintances or friends or maybe beyond friends. The 3% is huge when successful.

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Thursday, September 18, 2008

September, The Beginning of the End

September begins the end of a year. Football season begins. The World Series is one month away and baseball teams with playoff hopes are playing their best. School begins for all grade levels and college. Autumn season begins September 21. Many family and friends vacations ended. And for those who commute to work in urban and suburban areas, traffic is back -__-

I think September as, “It’s September. Time for the second beginning of the year.” (Personally, New Year’s Day is just another day and not a new beginning. I mean the second beginning as the second beginning of the calendar year.) In October, there’s Halloween. In November, there’s Thanksgiving Day. In December, there’s Christmas. There is also time zone back to standard time, bringing the extra blanket from the closet, basketball and hockey seasons begin, and Christmas shopping. Cooler temperatures are coming back. Remember for adjusting clocks, spring forward, fall back DX

September 2008 is unique because the Beijing Olympics was held in August 2008. It’s like the Olympics was held yesterday. The race for the next President of the USA begins with Democratic Barack Obama and Republican John McCain. The election is historic because we either have the first black president or the first woman vice-president. Registered voters please vote because the election is going to be close. The uncertainty of the economy continues. People at work and around me have been bitter. I’m confident the bitterness is temporary. And, for me, I have been making too many mistakes and feeling depressed. For instance, I’m going through a personal identity crisis =( I’m confident I beat the crisis and become a better person and know more about me =)

I get personal at my personal blog Finding Raymond Mar

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2008 Nor Cal Vacation Epilogue

The weekend trip contained lots of firsts for each of us. For Punkbuster, it’s the first time she visited many places in San Francisco. Earlier in 2008, she visited Alcatraz only with a group of friends and some of them wanted to visit more places. And she visited an aquarium for the first time. For me, it’s the first time I spent a weekend going to so many places north and south of San Jose and spending time with a girl one on one.

I realized living in Northern California I’m spoiled. There are many activities and places to. Some places require money and some places require no money. Regardless, there is no excuse for staying indoors 100% of the time. There are plenty to see including parks, museums, downtowns shopping, camp yards, and historical sites. Just walking in Pier 39 and enjoying the San Francisco Bay Area is worth the walk with people. Likewise with Santa Cruz walking in the beaches. And I have never visited the Napa area north of San Francisco.

However, there is a difference between sightseeing and random walking. I realized the difference in Downtown Santa Cruz. It was good timing to cut the Downtown Santa Cruz walk short because it was getting boring. My intention was Punkbuster might have liked walking in downtown and visiting any shops she might be interested. Downtown Santa Cruz had a variety of shops. We realized and I agreed walking in Downtown Santa Cruz was more random walking than sightseeing. Think about next time you and your group of friends choose to visit Downtown or even a mall. Is it random walking to waste time or to visit stores and shop for particular goods? If random walking, perhaps it’s better to save money and gas staying at a friend’s house and chat randomly.

The 2008 Nor Cal Vacation is one of my top highlights for the 2008 year. I had a wonderful time. The vacation was like an anime convention such that we did lots of stuff, had fun, got tired, and we ate little food LOL Seriously, it’s a bad idea to skip meals XD Despite the many activities, we never rushed. No rushing. We took our time. We cancelled visiting the Santa Cruz Pier and shorten the Downtown Santa Cruz visit on Sunday which turned out to be huge so we could take our time at the aquarium. We got tired at the aquarium; regardless, we enjoyed the exhibits and our company. Punkbuster, I should have insisted I purchase a meal for you. You never ate anything after the Boardwalk T__T I apologize.

Thank you very much for the weekend vacation. I hope you had a great time and the road trip was worth the vacation in the Northern California Bay Area. We had lots of bright moments ^__^

Notes

* Here’s the song reference for the “Monterey, Monterey, It’s The California Livin’ . . .” from Animaniacs http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=-isXelPoN9M

*Punkbuster and I were on the road for 7 hours and 41 minutes

*If you want to visit an aquarium and have time in the Bay Area, go to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and skip the aquarium in Pier 39

*I’m thinking about visiting Downtown Monterey before the end of the year. I anticipate it’s sightseeing because I never visited before; afterwards, I anticipate future visits are random walking *hee, hee*

*Some activities and entertainment we do alone. I mention in the notes because I forgot when we talked about the topic. We agreed sometimes doing activities and entertainment alone is good. There is nothing wrong being alone, and sometimes it’s beneficial to oneself. No fear being alone. (Just make sure you bring a cell phone and tell someone for emergencies.)

*I have been eating smaller meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner since the stomach ache in San Francisco

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

2008 Nor Cal Vacation Day Three

In The Warm California Sun

I woke up at 9:00am to prepare for Day Three activities. I got the sunscreen, ate Saturday’s breakfast, and copied Friday and Saturday pics on a CD. I brought my laptop, change of clothes, and water. I thought about getting gas; unfortunately, I was Asian Late.

I arrived at Punkbuster’s hotel room at 10:15am. Punkbuster texted me checking if I’m OK. Punkbuster choose to wear glasses instead of contacts. Cool 8-) We took off at 11:00am to Santa Cruz. During the drive, Punkbuster told me there are very few green trees and plants in her home town and the area is mostly flat with a few hills here and there. She shared a story I vaguely remember about her friend driving on a hill and the road is so close to the edge she almost got in an accident or something. Regardless, I was scared hearing the story. And she told me the story how roads were built on hills in her home area with residential expansion. Great, residential expansion in today’s residential real estate market. Smart =p We also talked about our longest day of our lives. My longest day took place in August 2004 when my brother and his wife’s family got into a car accident in Barstow, CA going home from Las Vegas. I forgot Punkbuster’s longest day ~~ I told Punkbuster Santa Cruz has a city ban on big named retail stores. The only brand name stores in Santa Cruz as far as I’m concerned are Borders, Longs Drugs, and Circuit City. There are no Wal-Mart and Costco.

We arrived at Downtown Santa Cruz at 11:30am. We found parking in about 5 minutes. The parking garage we went was full and most of the street parking was full, too. We visited Borders, two comic book shops, and a game shop. Downtown Santa Cruz is like Downtown San Francisco. The difference is Downtown Santa Cruz is much smaller and much cleaner. Punkbuster saw a coffee shop Bad Ass Coffee and she took a picture. We walked half of Downtown and Punkbuster suggested we skip the other half of Downtown and go to the Boardwalk. Good call. We skipped the rest of Downtown and drove to the boardwalk.

Yay, Boardwalk

I drove around the other half of Downtown to complete the tour. We arrived at the boardwalk at 12:45pm. We parked across the arcade. Punkbuster saw In the Groove 2 and played one game. Punkbuster commented the games in the Bay Area are expensive to play. Punkbuster’s arcades are much cheaper.

We walked to Neptune’s arcade to play air hockey at 1:00pm. Bad news for me. I hit the puck really hard and the puck hit her left middle finger. Ouch! I was shocked and I immediately apologized. Punkbuster needed ice to reduce the swelling and I got the ice from the nearby food stand. I’m so sorry for hitting you.

After the accident, we took a walk around the Boardwalk. Punkbuster told me about the arcade hours. I said the arcade opened 24/7. Oops. Wrong answer. *takes a deep breath* The correct answer is the arcades are open year around and the rides are open seasonal. I must have been hungry =__= I asked Punkbuster if she wanted to walk on the beach. She said she hates sand. Oops. I misinterpreted her. I thought she wanted to visit the beach. I showed her the Giant Dipper, the roller coaster we planned to ride on later and the Cyclone ride which had an accident a few weeks ago. The weather was really warm, too warm. I expected cooler temperatures. I was sweating.

We ate lunch at 2:00pm with a coupon for a free corn dog with a combo purchase. Punkbuster likes corn dogs. I ordered the chicken sandwich combo. I forgot to tell the cashier to hold the mayonnaise. I asked Punkbuster to split the sandwich for fear my stomach acted up again. She said OK. When I opened my wallet to put the receipt in my wallet, I realized my Hitsugaya keychain broke. *cries* I’m happy I caught the keychain and I put the keychain in my bag.

I told Punkbuster one of my weaknesses is my guilty consciousness; however, I know when somebody takes advantage of my guilty consciousness. And it explained the continuous apologies for hitting her finger with the puck. I apologized too many times throughout our time in the Boardwalk. I realized later I should have shut up because it made me look worst saying sorry too many times ^^

At 2:50pm, we arrived at the Giant Dipper roller coaster. The ride requires six tickets or $4.50 per person. We waited about 15 minutes. Not too bad. We applied lip balm just before we seated. Then we rode the roller coaster. Full of fun. We saw our pictures at the end of the roller coaster. We looked funny, happy, and thrilly =)

Monterey, Monterey, It’s The California Livin’ . . .

We took off Santa Cruz and headed to Monterey to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium at 3:00pm. The first discussion was our physical turn-ons and a person’s outside is important as a person’s inside. For example, you met a person’s inside is adventurous; however, if the person’s outside doesn’t brush his or her teeth, why do you still want to pursue a relationship? The inside is more important than the outside is full of crap. We continued to talk about what size city we want to live. Santa Cruz population is around 52,000 and the size is suitable for me for a small city. We also talked about fate. Does each of us believe in fate? And are there different levels of fate from individual fate to world fate to universal fate? We also said that everyone has bright moments and that crap happens. Tell me about the crap happens ;) The weather was warm in Santa Cruz the air condition was on throughout most of the drive. Punkbuster took a nap towards the end of the trip. Punkbuster got a headache after The Giant Dipper roller coaster. She told me she gets headaches when she rides on a roller coaster ;__;

We arrived at the Monterey Bay Aquarium at 4:20pm after parking in one of the parking garages at Cannery Row. There was a good amount of people. The first exhibit we saw was watching the anchovies swimming in a circle shaped aquarium on the second floor.

At 4:30pm, we visited the jellyfish exhibits. Jellyfish is Punkbuster’s favorite sea animal which explains why she knew lots about jellyfishes. I said the Black Sea Nettle is not a jellyfish and Punkbuster corrected me. Black Sea Nettle is a jellyfish.

Then we visited The Outer Bay containing sea turtles, tunas, sharks, and barracudas. There was an upper section with seating to relax and enjoy the view from the top. I tried to take pictures from the upper section; unfortunately, there were too many people along the bottom for a good wide shot. We walked to the first floor and entered The Jellies: Living Art exhibit. There were more jellyfish and jellyfish art. I received information the Living Art exhibit is in its last year. Lucky! The Warty Comb Jelly aquarium inside the exhibit looked like space and the Warty Comb Jelly were floating aliens, LOL.

We went to the cafeteria at 5:40pm. I was kinda hungry from the light lunch at the Boardwalk. I ordered a hot dog, fries, and soda combo. The catering company providing the food is the same company at my workplace. Punkbuster patiently waited for me to finish eating and she took a rest. Both of us feel crappy when we are hungry. It’s never good to be crappy because misunderstands, miscommunications, and misbehaviors are prone to happen. I felt better and not tired. Energize :-)

The aquarium closed at 8:00pm. We had two hours. Plenty of time. We continued walking around and headed to the Kelp Forest. We stayed briefly and then walked outside and saw the wave exhibit. Then we went to the Touch Pools. We first didn’t want to touch the sea animals. We actually did. I forgot what Punkbuster touched. I touched a manta. Very smooth and slimly like.

The Monterey Bay Habitats and the Octopus were the next exhibits. I noticed a few families were behaving inappropriately. One family the son was cranky. He was tired. And another family the parents were arguing. They were tired and they embarrassed themselves. And then we went back to the Kelp Forest. The Coastal Birds exhibit was closed. I remember the bird exhibit in my 1998 visit. It’s really good. At 7:00pm, we walked to the second floor and visited the penguins and the children’s Splash Zone. The aquarium was almost empty during the last hour. Punkbuster and I saw each other through the display window at the penguins exhibit, LOL We took the stairs to the third floor where there’s nothing. We saw the top of the Kelp Forest exhibit where there’s lighting and the water pumps. We got pictures of the fish from Finding Nemo movie as we exited the children’s Splash Zone.

The last exhibit was watching the Sea Otters. The time was 7:30pm. We talked about skipping dinner because it was getting late and we were getting tired (-,-) Punkbuster had leftovers from dinner at my cousin’s Japanese restaurant. We shopped in the gift shop for souvenirs. I suggested purchasing a stuffed dolphin for Dragonzyez. Dragonzyez favorite sea animal is the dolphin. Punkbuster texted Dragonzyez and she said a stuffed dolphin is cool. I purchased a penguin magnet for the family.

Time To Go Home

Punkbuster and I met at the exit at 8:00pm and we walked back to the parking garage. We took individual pictures of the Monterey Bay near The Fish Hopper restaurant. We arrived at the parking garage and we were looking for the pay ticket machine. We could not find the machine and we walked back to the car. I looked at the map to find Highway 1 from the parking garage. The cashier is located at the exit. I paid the ticket and we headed back to Highway 1. We didn’t get lost *__* I made a comment there was no Monterey Police or Monterey Sheriff cars for me to take pictures. Punkbuster made a joke she take pictures of police cars in her home town.

We entered the freeway entrance approximately 8:15pm. We talked about our driving habits including why people slow down and look at accidents. Coincidently, there was a minor traffic accident on Highway 17 slowing down traffic. We asked each other if we wanted to move out of our home towns. We planned to stay where we live.

We continued talking about different topics. Another topic was how people have personal bubbles and some people stay in their bubbles for security. (Days after the vacation, I thought about my personal bubble. I believe we all have bubbles. Some people have bigger bubbles meaning more secure and personal and some have small bubbles meaning less secure and outgoing. Hmmm, another blog topic here.) One way to meet new people is become interested in others. Ask questions to the other person and learn who he or she is including school or career, hobbies, and favorite food. We talked about our young ages and what we want to do with our lives. Our current careers are not long-term. We asked ourselves what we wanted to do, and we have continued to ask ourselves what we wanted to do. We have time to think about our lives, yet we continue to say we have time to think about what we wanted to do with our lives. *sigh*

We talked about cost of living increasing and raising families are getting more expensive. How can families today raise their children; in particular, lower and middle class families? Oil prices currently are dropping; however, expect prices to go back up. We shared our opinions why oil prices were record highs in late June and early July. I told Punkbuster I enjoyed her music selections she gave me and I told her the times I listen to her CDs. Punkbuster told me about the slang “junk in trunk.” Punkbuster LOL when I thought junk in trunk meant too much junk in a car’s trunk. Wrong. It meant something else which I’m not going to mention *__*

The last topic we talked about was why some drivers ride the breaks when they drive down hills. You’re not supposed to. We made the drive funny on Highway 17 as we drove down the hills. If I braked, we said break, break, break, . . . . If I coasted, we said no break, no break, no break, . . . . If I accelerated, we said gas, gas, gas, . . . . I downshifted to 4th gear or 3rd gear when going downhill. Traffic was heavy on Highway 17. If there was little traffic, I coasted all the way downhill and downshifted when there was a sharp curve ahead.

Good Bye

Punkbuster and I arrived at her hotel room at 10:00pm. I stayed for 20 minutes copying today’s pictures to CD. We were exhausted, yet we had a ton of fun. We said good bye to each other and we thank each other for a fun and wonderful weekend.

Punkbuster drove back home around 10:30am on Monday and arrived home safely around 9:00pm.

Monday, September 08, 2008

2008 Nor Cal Vacation Day Two

*Yawn* Crabby Sleep (-.-)

I went to sleep at 2:00am. I woke up at 5:45am Saturday morning. I could not go back to sleep. At 6:30am, I woke up fully. I checked the car including the oil and tire pressure. I took my time to avoid arriving at 8:00am and to give Punkbuster additional time to sleep and get ready. I got gas and washed the front windows, rear windows, and headlights at 7:45am. Never neglect keeping the headlines clean >__>

I arrived at the hotel at 8:00am. I said to myself there is no problem because Punkbuster is an early person `__* Oops. Punkbuster was not ready at 8:00am and she expected me at 8:15am. She was surprised and she was OK I arrived early nevertheless. Punkbuster had trouble falling asleep. We headed downstairs at 8:35am for the continental breakfast. Punkbuster saw the line and said forget it. She hated to wait.

I suggested we eat at Stacks in Campbell. She said OK. We talked about comic book stores including a comic book store Punkbuster used to shop where she received discounts because she knew the owner. We arrived at Stacks at 8:50am. The restaurant was full inside and the hostess gave us the option to eat outdoors. We said yes. I ordered the sausage and mushroom skillet and Punkbuster ordered the banana waffle with a side of eggs overeasy. Punkbuster got along with the waitress easily and she initiated small talk from our first orders to getting a take out box :) We talked about the ups and down of our families including our siblings. Most of our families either live in our home state or in nearby cities. Each of us has one family member and their family living out of state. We also talked about our past jobs. One job Punkbuster lasted two weeks because she was trained for a job and was given a different position. And we talked about college.

The breakfast was delicious. I ate half my breakfast because I was not hungry. I don’t know why. Punkbuster ate most of her breakfast.

WTH? No Tickets to Alcatraz

We drove from Campbell to San Francisco at 9:40am. I showed Punkbuster the nearby cities where I live and all the cities minutes away on a map. We arrived at San Francisco Pier 39 parking garage at 10:45am. We missed the parking garage closer to Fisherman’s Warf which has the early bird $10.00 all day parking special. Oh, well. I told Punkbuster the story how my two uncle’s family on my Mom’s side visited my house every Saturday when my Grandfather on my Mom’s side was in a care home. My Mom picked my Grandfather up and he, my family, and my two Uncle’s families spend Saturday evening at my house to keep Grandfather company. We did the Saturday visit from February 2005 to December 2006. I hung out with my cousins watching anime, playing video games, or playing board games. Punkbuster told me about Bug Love :3

The Alcatraz tickets and boat docking are located at Pier 36. We walked to the pier to get tickets. All tickets were sold out today, Sunday, and Monday. No fricken way :< We felt sorry for the foreigners who didn’t know they could purchase advanced tickets on the website. We knew the advanced tickets which we didn’t purchase because of the surcharge and we were not sure what day we visited Alcatraz. The extra time allowed us to visit more places.

We walked back to Pier 39. Punkbuster wanted to visit Candy Baron to purchase candy for her co-workers and friends back home. I noted the Lefty Store along the way. Punkbuster is left handed. I adore left handed people =) We stopped at Hollywood USA briefly to check out any Family Guy memorabilia. There was none. I wanted to see Brian memorabilia. The next stop was Candy Baron. Punkbuster purchased a variety of candy including salt-water. She paid with a credit card and her signature she wrote “See Photo ID.” The cashier looked at her photo ID. Smart :D Candy Baron was at the end of Pier 39. We walked to the end of the pier and took pictures of us with Alcatraz on the background. Then we walked to the left side of the pier to watch the Sea Lions.

We walked to Fisherman’s Warf at 12:15pm. We were not hungry for lunch. We passed by the sourdough bread restaurant. Punkbuster likes sourdough bread and I like the regular or sweet bread. We talked about the Wax Museum a waste of money. All we see are famous people made out of wax. We saw a shinny guy available for pictures taking. Shinny, shinny, shinny XD I made a comment after the picture how could he survive in the sun and the warmer than usual San Francisco temperature. Punkbuster said he smelled :O LOL

We arrived at Musee Mechanique, an arcade museum at the edge of Fisherman’s Warf by the San Francisco Bay. Admission is free. There are classic arcade games from the early 1900s to today including pinball, fortune telling machines, and watching short movies. Punkbuster played the Indian a Jones pinball game. We played Metal Slug 3 together. We needed cheats ~~ And each of us played the old baseball games where you hit a ball at specific areas for either a hit or an out. We tied each other two out of three baseball games we played scoring two runs each on the ties. Punkbuster played softball when she was a kid.

The next place to visit was Ghirardelli Square. We first stopped at Majestic Collection, a store with expensive fine art collections, decorations, and gallery for the home. Does anyone want to pay $56,000 for a monkey statue? We shared our thoughts what if we are rich and do we want to buy these expensive antiques. We also joked what if we became art smugglers. Punkbuster eyed the chandeliers which explains why she likes shinny objects @__@ Next, we found a store selling knock off sunglasses. Punkbuster wore a big frame, white color sunglasses. The sunglasses reminded me of Sir Elton John. Punkbuster likes to make funny faces and she made plenty of funny faces. Funny! We saw the Segway tours, a place to ride Segways and tour San Francisco with a tour guide.

Better Be The Best Damn $3.00 Cupcake

Punkbuster knew a store at Ghirardelli Square selling $3.00 cupcakes. The store is Kara’s Cupcakes. The size of the cupcake is the same size as a supermarket cupcake. Punkbuster ordered the raspberry and I ordered the vanilla. We ate the cupcakes and it was good. My thoughts are the $3.00 is paying for the overhyped, rich frosting and the cake itself tasted like a supermarket cupcake. Punkbuster’s raspberry is really sweet. Both of us can say, “We ate a $3.00 cupcake.” Halfway eating our cupcakes, a bird flew in the store and was trapped. A customer took some napkins to protect her hand, grabbed the bird, and placed the bird on the outside of the store. There’s a hero.

We visited the Ghirardelli Square store where we ate a sample chocolate and peanut better square. Delicious. I purchased a 25 pack of milk chocolate. Most of Ghirardelli Square is being renovated and most of the stores we didn’t care for. We did a quick walk on the other side of the square and then walk back to Pier 39 parking garage. I realized I lost my jacket. We backtracked to Kara’s Cupcakes and Ghirardelli Square store. No luck. No worries. The jacket was an inexpensive wind breaker. We took a break from walking and we settled at Aquatic Park overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge for about 10 minutes. Punkbuster applied more sun screen which she applied several times throughout the day. We saw an old ship from the colonel days.

The time is 2:35pm and we arrived back at Pier 39 parking garage. The next destination is Japantown. Anime and manga FTW. We saw the famous Lombard Street, the most crooked street in the world. We talked about apartment rents in San Francisco. I didn’t know the rent range in San Francisco. I know it’s expensive likely at least $1,000 a month. We also talked about what type of city or country we want to live at. Do we want to live in downtown such as San Francisco, suburb such as Tempe, big city such as Los Angeles, or a small country? We passed by the hotel Punkbuster and her friends stayed at when they visited San Francisco earlier in 2008. And more bug love.

Konnichiwa Japantown

We arrived at Japantown at 3pm. The crowd was average for a quiet and uneventful Saturday. The first shop we visited was I think the name is Japantown Collectibles at the Kinokuniya Building. The toy and hobby shop sold anime figurines, models, board games, and plushies. We were looking for a gift to give to Dragonzyez from me. We found a potential gift which was a Super Mario Brothers 1Up green mushroom. Dragonzyez likes 1Up mushrooms.

Second store we visited was Kinokuniya Bookstore. We continued to look for Dragonzyez’s gift. We found a Naruto art book. Dragonzyez is a Naruto fan. I found a Spirited Away art and story book. We saw the Full Metal Alchemist manga Volume 20 officially announcing there is another TV season. We choose the buy the Naruto art book and Spirited Away books last. We walked to Sophie’s Crepes. I ordered the strawberry and French Vanilla crepe. After eating the crepe, I got a stomach ache. Not good T__T

I went to the car to change my shirt from my polo to a white t-shirt. The weather was unseasonably warm and Japantown was hot inside. Then we crossed the Webster Street Bridge and walked through the Kintetsu building. I showed Punkbuster the 2008 Cherry Blossom Pictures at Japan Video. We saw Lisu in the pictures. I showed her the grand prize winning cosplayers and they won six out of the last seven contests. We arrived at Peace Plaza and we took a brief rest at the Pagoda. I showed Punkbuster the location my first cosplay action pose during Japantown Anime Faire II in September 2004. The rest of the walking around Japantown took five minutes because there was nothing at Buchanan Mall and we took a brief walk through Ichiban Store.

I wanted Punkbuster to try Calpico. We went to Nijiya Market at 4:45pm to purchase a strawberry Calpico. The line was long. Calpico has no carbonation. Punkbuster is sensitive to soda carbonation. Punkbuster wanted me to try Mexican Soda which I never heard of before. Unfortunately, she forgot to bring a can. Next time ^__^ We went back to Kinokuniya Bookstore to purchase the Naruto art book and Spirited Away art and story book. Punkbuster contacted Dragonzyez and she didn’t have the Naruto art book.

The Metreon

We had extra time before dinner and because we didn’t go to Alcatraz, we visited The Metreon. We entered The Metreon at 5:30pm. The place was dead. The first store we entered was the Playstation store. There were lots of Playstation 3 demos and PSP demos. One of the workers said no photography. No big deal *__* Next, we went to the second floor and entered the arcade. Along the way we saw the games making the “walk of fame” including Starcraft and The Legend of Zelda. Punkbuster played two DDR games while I went to the restroom. Damn tummy ache w__w I returned and saw her patiently waiting for me. She said the two DDR games she played were broken.

We walked around the third floor which was the IMAX movie theatres. I saw a classic Aliens shooting game. I played one game. It was hard to see with the glare. My friends are correct. Go to the Metreon to watch IMAX movie theatres only.

Brrrrr . . .

The last stop before dinner was Treasure Island. We arrived at 6:30pm. We visited the location where the Nor Cal Cosplay Picnic took place in June. I told Punkbuster people who live on Treasure Island their utilities are free—at least gas is free because there are no meters. There is a decommissioned naval base. We stayed briefly because it was cold and windy. The weather was my favorite conditions and not Punkbuster’s favorite conditions. We took some good pictures of San Francisco as the background. Brrrr @__@

Finally Real Food

We ate dinner at my cousin’s restaurant Happy Sashimi in Pinole. My cousin is a co-owner and a sushi-chef. First, we stopped at Trader Joe’s to purchase JoeJoe’s and ginger snaps cookies for the T-Shirt gathering later in the evening.

At 7:15pm, we entered Happy Sashimi. We seated at the sushi bar. My cousin in-law came out minutes later and she met Punkbuster. Then we ordered our meals. Punkbuster ordered the Yaki Soba. I ordered the ramen and gyoza appetizer. I ordered the ramen because of my tummy ache. After we ordered, my cousin came out and talked with us. The gyoza arrived minutes later. Punkbuster and my cousin talked about the restaurant business and dumb customers including how waiters and waitresses must work during peak times. My cousin said restaurants have no reason to screw a customer’s meal and give poor service. Punkbuster agreed. Restaurants depend on repeat customers to stay in business. We also talked about broken bones and with the sushi chef, too. Punkbuster was nice to give me the fifth and last piece. Our dinners arrived. Punkbuster enjoyed her Yaki Soba including the good portions of seafood. The ramen was perfect for me and my stomach ache. I saw Punkbuster hold the chopsticks with her left hand. It’s awesome. Punkbuster had trouble with the chopsticks twice. Not awesome. The sushi chef and our waitress joked asking her if she needed a fork.

My cousin didn’t charge me for the soda and the bowl of rice. I added extra on the tip to pay for the soda and the bowl of rice. Punkbuster needed to take her Yaki Soba home. We drove off my cousin’s restaurant and headed to the T-Shirt gathering in San Jose.

T-Shirt Gathering

We arrived at Jerry’s place for the T-Shirt gathering at 9:15pm. Punkbuster had a blast meeting more new people including Felicity, Loktera, Edendreams, kandybar, Steve.Young, Amelia Seyrunn, and the sugars ^__^ She played Scategories and Battle of the Sexes. Battle of the Sexes is biased and favored for the girls to win. Punkbuster did make a t-shirt. She didn’t finish and Jerry offered to mail the shirt to her. She declined. I took a nap and participate in no events and no games. I didn’t make a t-shirt. Sorry, Felicity =(

Punkbuster and I took off at 12:45am. We talked about the time we meet for Santa Cruz and Monterey. We agreed 10:00am. Lesson learned for the day: Never skip a meal on a vacation.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

2008 Nor Cal Vacation Day One

R for Red and R for Robin

I arrived at Punkbuster’s hotel at 6pm. We were happy to see each other. We exchanged birthday gifts. I gave her a set of DragonBallZ figures and Punkbuster gave me the card game Pit and The Best of Bathroom Reader book. Awesome XD Punkbuster’s friend Dragonzyez gave me a box decorated with Edward Elric from Full Metal Alchemist and Toushiro Hitsugaya from Bleach. Inside the box contained an Edward plushie, Winry Rockbell from Full Metal Alchemist plushie, Toushiro plushie, and Toushiro pins. Dragonzyez also gave me a Full Metal Alchemist art book. The box looked great I want to keep in the closet to prevent damage. I must give Dragonzyez a gift in return.

The next exchange was CDs containing music. Punkbuster gave me her all-time favorite music which included video games, dance, and electric. I gave her my all-time favorite J-Pop and J-Rock music which included songs from my cousin. We listened to the CDs on the road. I also gave her DVDs containing the anime series Lucky Star, Special-A and Beck, J-Drama Crying Out Love In The Center of the World, anime music videos, and more J-Pop and J-Rock music. The time was too early for dinner and we watched Simpsons’ Treehouse of Horror III episode which contained “Dial Z For Zombies.” Punkbuster had something with zombies because she had a few zombie dreams and she played the video game Resident Evil.

We took off at 7pm to Red Robin. Red Robin is a restaurant specializing in burgers and all-you-can-eat fries. I parked next to Punkbuster’s car and joke she can’t park. Bad move because she is an effective driver for better or for worse ~n I showed Punkbuster my gym, a middle school which competed with my middle school, AMC theatre, Mervyns department store which is currently in bankruptcy, lots of Japanese restaurants nearby, and lots of trees along the way to Red Robin.

We were seated at Red Robin at 7:35pm after waiting 20 minutes. Punkbuster said my Red Robin, one of her favorite restaurants, is smaller compared to her restaurant in her home town. I forgot what Punkbuster ordered. I asked her and she forgot, too :] I ordered the Chicken. The fries were big and tasted good. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish the second batch =( What a waste. Wasting food is one of my pet peeves.

The conversations we talked during our wait for our orders included condiments, glasses, sci-fi movies on TV including Firefly, state license plates, whitening teeth, sports, and burgers. Both of us agreed state license plates looks good with a picture or mentioning the state nickname compared to California which says “California” only. Punkbuster has the charisma to chat with waiters and waitresses XD It must be related to her job. I like her charisma and it’s something I must develop.

My Friday Hangouts

I invited Punkbuster to visit Tapioca Express or Tap-X for short in Milpitas. Every Friday, my friends and I hang out at Tap-X. Visiting Tap-X gave Punkbuster an opportunity to meet some of my friends and see how I spend my Fridays. I pointed the minimum security prison and the Great Mall shopping center along Interstate 880. We arrived at 9:15pm and I introduced her to some of my friends. She met mDuo13, Tsubasa, LastExlir, Spiritsnare, Devereaux, Lisu, and Ryuhayabasa who arrived late. Devereaux made a joke towards me how funny I was telling Punkbuster everyone’s biography. Everyone else followed the joke and wanted me to hear my introductions to everyone. In particular, I introduced Tsubasa as someone who liked Final Fantasy which he really wasn’t much of a fan. Devereaux’s joke broke my thought process. It’s OK -__- We talked about Twinkies and hair styles.

Punkbuster and I settled down at an empty table nearby. I purchased my laptop and we watched YouTube videos and viewed past Fanime gathering pics. I ordered my usual Vanilla Snowbubble. Punkbuster saw the best damn commercial ever. (Do a YouTube search for best damn commercial and you see the best damn commercial ever.)

Everyone else went to get dinner around 10:15pm. It took everyone 5 minutes to figure out where to go, LOL. Punkbuster and I stayed at Tap-X to hang out. We left Tap-X at 11:00pm. I got a call minutes later saying everyone was hanging out at Jerry’s home.

We arrived at Jerry’s home at 11:30pm. Punkbuster met Jerry and DemonLordZabusa (DLZ). mDuo13, Tsubasa, LastExlir, and Devereaux played Mahjong. Spiritsnare was on his laptop. Lisu, Jerry, and DLZ were watching TV. Punkbuster and I watched clips of Comic Con 2008. There was talk of playing Rock Band. Spiritsnare went to get Rock Band. The night plan was I play Mahjong and Punkbuster play Rock Band. Jerry showed Punkbuster his room also know as “The Store.” Jerry’s room contained anime and video game figurines and posters decorated throughout his room. DLZ shared his sword props.

Punkbuster and I left Jerry’s home at 12:50am. Spiritsnare never came back with Rock Band. I planned to arrive between 8:00am-8:15am. I told her Asians tend to be late for many appointments and timelines also known as Asian Late =\, and expect me at 8:15am.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

2008 Nor Cal Vacation Prologue

Friday August 22 to Sunday August 24 Punkbuster visited me for the weekend Nor Cal Vacation. I named the trip the Nor Cal Vacation, short for Northern California Vacation. She wanted to visit her friend in Fresno and choose to make her vacation a big California road trip. Punkbuster visited Fresno earlier in the week. I wanted to make her vacation full of excitement and visiting some places for the first time. In addition, she met lots of new people.

The timing was favorable in terms of weather and gas prices. The weather was warmer than usual in San Francisco, Santa Cruz, and Monterey. The morning overcast disappeared in the late morning. Punkbuster is cold sensitive. I’m hot sensitive. Both of us are sun sensitive. Lower gas prices helped lower our expenses $-)

We met Friday night after I got off work and hung around San Jose. We traveled from San Jose to San Francisco on Saturday and from San Jose to Santa Cruz and Monterey on Sunday. We tried new foods and visited places which were either new or never visited in a long time. Punkbuster and I met at Fanime Con 2008 in May 2008.

The photos, receipts, and pamphlets assisted me in remembering what we did and helped me typed the Nor Cal Vacation blog just like my blog trips and anime conventions.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Desire

My fourth cosplay was completed close to Fanime Con 2008. The cosplay is Chrono Harlaown from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. The fourth cosplay was completed by my Mom and I. My Mom taught me how to sew. We started in late 2007 with a goal to finish before the 2008 Cherry Blossom Festival in late April 2008. Delays such as my Mom injuring her finger, fumigating the house, and family events resulted in the cosplay completed just in time before Fanime Con 2008.

I learned what desire meant with the Chrono cosplay. No matter what happened I wanted to finish the cosplay. No matter what. I find time to have my Mom teach me sewing and keep my Mom motivated to teach me sewing and finish ~~

What’s my next desire? I don’t know. Really, I don’t. My desire in me wakes up when I find what I want to do with my life. I’m looking forward to the true desire experience to accomplish my new life, to raise my expectations, and to seek new adventures I’m proud to write home about.