Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Accutane Day 236

It's been a long time since my last Accutane blog update. My dermatologist made me wait six weeks for today's appointment because my Accutane supply was greater than 30 days. Mon Sep 28's appointment was routine. There is a big acne on my lower forehead above my left eye. The acne has been on my face at least 10 days. And blackheads continue to appear on my nose *sniff, sniff* My dermatologist said Accutane shrinks the oil glands. Acne and blackheads still appear on my face at a much lesser degree. I have bad genetics. I have big oil glands and I still have acne and blackheads.

I have an option to double the strength from 20mg a day to 40mg a day. My dermatologist talked me against doubling; however, I have the choice to double. The reason I should stay at 20mg is because I had bad eczema and dry face skin during the summer. I remain patient and take the 20mg. There is no timeline when I stop taking Accutane.

I went to Costco to receive my next 30 day supply of Accutane. I thought about my bad genetics and my big oil glands. I said to myself, "I rather have big oil glands than a bad back. A handsome actor's face doesn't save me from running from a fire in a building, lol." I waited for my prescription by shopping for lunch and dinner. I walked up to the pharmacy cash register to get my prescription. There was a problem. I asked for information what is the problem. The pharmacy manager explained the process how Costco Pharmacy gets reimbursed from the insurance company. My insurance company isn't paying for my Accutane. He said my problem is "not unusual." Costco Pharmacy submitted a request to my insurance company to investigate why I'm not getting my drug coverage. I contact Costco Pharmacy on Wed Sep 30. The pharmacist also said drug prices change daily.

I post an update to the drug problem.

I'm growing up Finding Raymond Mar

Friday, September 25, 2009

De Anza Week Sept 21, 2009

Mon Sep 21, 2009

The first day of school. I'm taking Financial Accounting 1A 3:30pm-5:40pm and Social Dance 24A 7:00pm-8:40pm Mondays and Wednesdays. I'm taking accounting because accounting may be my second major. I plan to transfer to San Jose State majoring in accounting (or something else). I'm taking dancing because dancing is one of my favorite and newest hobbies thanks to my sister.

I arrived at 2:30pm to secure parking. Plenty of parking. I parked in the garage to keep the car cool. The weather was hot! I walked around the lecture buildings to find my room. No problem. I walked to Campus Center to stay cool. The main areas were packed with students. I found an open bench downstairs and rested. I saw a list of clubs in De Anza. There was an anime club listed; unfortunately, there were no meetings. Even if there was a meeting, I doubt I join. I check out the De Anza clubs. The website is http://www.deanza.edu/clubs.

I walked to accounting at 3:25pm. I entered the room and sat in the front row. I wore my driving glasses to see the white board and projector clearer. The instructor has been teaching part time for 10 years. He works part time and has an MBA. Homework is turned in online or hard copy. It's the first time I complete homework online. Times have changed.

After class, I walked to my car and I reparked closer to the bookstore and the Visual Arts Center where the dancing class is taught. I kept my laptop in the trunk because backpacks were prohibited inside the bookstore. The accounting textbook is actually papers that needed a binder to keep together. The cost is $65 $-( I walked out of the bookstore after waiting a long time in line I saw Chun. I was surprised to see him because I thought he attended De Anza Tues and Thur. I got his scheduled confused. We chatted a bit and he told me about his classes.

Chun went to his night class and I walked back to my car to put my accounting book in the trunk. I saw Phong walking out of a classroom. Phong tried to add a night class. No go. We hung out for the rest of the six o'clock hour. We both walked back to my car. I dropped off my accounting book and I picked up my laptop.

Phong and I split up at 6:55pm. I had my dance class at 7pm. I saw three classmates from my Spring '09 class. The instructor and her assistants were back. We are learning the Nite Club Two Step. In Spring '09, there was no dance lesson on the first day. Tonight, there was. I also saw a classmate from my Japanese class in Spring '09. She said about half of the students dropped. And there was a student who spoke Japanese. Coincidentally, they were next to each other as the ladies switch partners.

One requirement was to attend a dance show. The ticket was $17. I paid my $17 and a few classmates and I purchased tickets for the Fri Oct 2 show. Finally, I signed up for the Wed class via the add code. I attend both Mon and Wed night dance classes. My sister approved!

Wed Sep 23, 2009

Man, what's with the cars! I drive surface streets to De Anza from my house. The freeway takes longer. I arrived at class five minutes late and just in time for the quiz. The quiz was lighthearted and a great way to take attendance. Teachers, take note of another way to take attendance.

The class voted on Mon for no breaks. I voted for a break. The class starts at 3:30pm and ends at 5:25pm instead of 5:40pm. Today's class I almost went out. I went out just in time when the lecture was almost over. The instructor finished lecturing Chapter 1 on the introduction of accounting including what is accounting and the basic accounting principle.

I always sit in the Campus Center between accounting and dance classes. I work on my blogs and surf the web. I purchase food if I'm hungry that actually happened =( I'm trying to save money $-) I bring snacks from home. Usually, I repark my car closer to the Visual Arts Center. Today, I keep my car in the parking garage because of the hot weather.

The dance class we are learning the cha cha cha—again, at least for me and a few classmates from Spring '09. It's good ^^ Great to review and to improve my cha cha cha. There were a few students from Mon's class taking the Wed's class. I recognized a few. Next week's dance class I wear my dancing shoes.

Side note: If I find a job, I drop my accounting class.

I'm growing up Finding Raymond Mar

Friday, September 18, 2009

I Remember That Guy

This blog entry is delicate and fragile. I do my best to write without offending anyone. If I do, I apologize in advanced. I'm going to type as is without proofreading.

I was at Costco on Thur Sep 17 buying dinner. I paid for the groceries and walked to the exit. I pass by the food court on my right. I saw a group of mentally and physically handicapped people. I recognized one of the people in the group. He went to my junior high and high school.

I thought about how he's living life today. He lives his life fully dependent 24/7. Comparing my life with other people is a no-no, yet I still do it when I converse with people. My life is good compared with him. I bet he rather be laid off, little money, and going back to school than living mentally and physically handicapped. I saw him alone everytime I walked around campus. He talked with himself, shook his body, and needed a walker. He must be with other people for mental, physical, emotional, financial, and probably spiritual needs. He's not going to get a job. It's highly likely he's going to get married. He can't drive a car. He can't even travel to a foreign country on vacation assuming he can't ride an airplane.

Yeah, something to think about.

I'm growing up Finding Raymond Mar

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What Is The Number One Problem Possibly Throughout The World?

I ask the question to hundreds of people and I get a variety of answers. Some answers are poverty, hunger, the economy, AIDS, health care, global warming, over-population, illiteracy, depletion of natural resources, and education.

Those are good answers. My answer is loneliness. There are plenty of lonely people. If you feel you're the only lonely person in the world, then you're wrong.

We experience the lonely feeling. Many of us deny loneliness because it's powerful that pauses our lives, makes us depress, lose interest in our daily lives, and we want to be alone even though we want to be with our friends and family. How ironic.

It's normal to experience the lonely feeling. I experience the lonely feeling at least two times a month, and I have family and friends. The lonely feeling is temporarily. The feeling disappears. I keep myself busy and remember my family and friends.

It's impossible to live life alone. I never understand how hermits live. I must have human interaction. I must have people in my life. My success, my experiences, my adventures, and my growth depend on people.

Everywhere I walk, everywhere I visit, every place I shop, sometimes I feel like I'm the only person alone. I see other people with other people together. I feel I'm the only person alone in the world is false. I have bad luck meeting people like me—wanting to meet new people and make new friends. There are millions of lonely people who want to make new friends. I have my family, and many people think I have lots of friends. I actually don't. I just want to meet new people and make more friends. Everyone must have that attitude and thinking. I believe there is no such thing as having too many friends.

What is the solution to not be lonely anymore? It's not simple; otherwise, loneliness doesn't exist. The solution takes time and can take money. Common solutions are volunteer, find a group with a common interest or a common hobby and join their club or association, and attend an outdoor event such as a festival. Those solutions are good assuming you're a person who gets along well with others, a good conversationalist, sincere, true to yourself, a person in good company, and not a jerk, creep, weirdo, idiot, faker, and/or bitch.

If you experience the lonely feeling constantly like the feeling happens daily or is chronic, then chances are you need significant changes in your life (or it's a medical condition?). You must ask serious questions. Need new clothes? Lose weight? Read books? Watch too much TV? Spend little time keeping up with the current events? Learn a new skill? Lack adventures?

For me, I continue to meet new people and make new friends. I continue to improve myself socially to attract people and be a "there he is person." I continue to be a better person on the outside such as being in good health and working out, and dressing well. I continue to be a better person on the inside such as reading books, staying informed, and learning new skills.

We live in the information age where it's easier to communicate including email, cell phones, blogs, instant messaging, and social network sties. However, nothing replaces the need, the want, the desire, the necessity for human physical interaction, human face to face contact, and the human touch. Being with humans is a must to live our lives to the fullest and to assure ourselves we live our life for other people and they live our lives for us. We are not alone. All is one and one is all.

I'm growing up Finding Raymond Mar

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Recession Can Be Good

Times have changed. Money isn't everything. Take John McAfee, founder of McAfee, Inc., the anti-virus software company and pioneered instant messaging. He learned a lesson that took him 65 years.


Source of YouTube video: Nightline Sep 2, 2009. Video time is 7:24.

I'm growing up Finding Raymond Mar

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The New Japanese Prime Minister or Which Office Is More Accessible?

Thank you Guy for sharing his experience:

I called Taro Aso's office about 12 midnight my time, 4 pm Japan time. I talked to one lady who ten transferred me to another lady. I was not sure if I reached his office. I asked if I reached Taro Aso's office. The lady answered he's not in. I told her I wanted to leave a message: Congratulations. She burst out laughing. I told her I was just learning Japanese. I said [i]omedeto gozaimasu[/i] (formal for "Congraulations"). I think she was a bit amused. She did get my name.

After that I got on the computer and saw a news story on Taro Aso's election to prime minister which was dated "one hour ago." My guess was I called shortly after he was formally elected prime minister. When I told a Japanese lady about this she thought it was interesting I could get two live people. She remarked that in America you get a computer or recorded message. To be fair, maybe I just called at the right time. I guess I was surprised how easy it was to get through to his office and that there were people who spoke English. I can't remember if I called after I read his got the prime minister's office or before. The one hour ago story came afterwards. But perhaps I read another story which said he was elected prime minister. I knew that after he got the presidency of the majority party (LDP) the vote for the prime minister was a bit of a formality.

Well if he lasts, perhaps we may see an increase in anime and manga viewing worldwide. When he campaigned for the presidency of the LDP in 2006, he said he wanted to promote the three J's: Japanese Fashion, Japanese manga or Japanese comic books (and anime), and Japanese pop music. He is known to be a big manga fan.

I'm growing up Finding Raymond Mar

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Top Ten Moments Wearing My Braces

I wore my braces from Jan 24, 2007 to Aug 17, 2009, a total of 936 days. I experienced new experiences, tried new activities, seek new adventures, growing up, made new friends, and seeing what my world really is. I continue to experience new experiences, try anything new, search for new adventures, grow up, meet new people, and finding what the world is to me and my surroundings. Life changes daily. I never stop changing because I always improve and innovate my life. I want to be great person.

My last top ten list was the top ten moments since I graduated San Jose State University (SJSU). View the list here. The dates were Dec 1997 to Dec 2007. My lists are getting better, stronger, and more influential affecting my life in a shorter time range. The top ten SJSU was 10 years. The top ten braces is 2.6 years. In other words, I have more choices to make the top ten braces within less time compared to SJSU. I must be doing something correct.

Here are the top ten moments when I wore my braces:

10. Working at Cisco (Mar 19, 2007). The timing was perfect I found a job in a tech company. Nothing beats Cisco. Free bottle water, free soda, flexible hours, Cisco networks, choice to work at home, and more. I waited nine years to work in a tech company. Colliers International continued to go downhill and the last months were hell!

I learned a lot in the 18 months as a contractor. I learned about politics, departments fighting for funds from the executives, teamwork, networking, keeping secrets, fidgeting the numbers, PowerPoint, keeping an eye on yourself while portraying yourself a dependable person, and much more. Nobody is 100% honest. Nobody. Hard work alone only goes so far. I've seen workers doing half-ass jobs still having a job.

Do I want to go back to Cisco? Absolutely! My second tour at Cisco I'm grown up, more knowledgeable, and more experienced.

Side note: I saw CEO John Chambers twice and SVP Rob Lowe. I worked at their building for three months before my contract was terminated.

9. Facebook (Mar 23, 2009). Facebook is my first social networking site. I never created a LiveJournal and MySpace. Social networking is a good way to keep in touch with family and friends.

Everyone uses Facebook for different reasons. I use Facebook to keep my family and friends informed the latest and greatest in my life. I ignore the all quizzes, all games, and most applications.

8. The New Me On The Outside (Oct 4, 2008-Aug 17, 2009). From the top of my head wearing a new hat to the bottom of my feet wearing new shoes, it's time for a new me on the outside. Before Oct 2008, I had been wearing the same clothes for a long, long time. I wore some of those clothes for 10 years. Retarded!

I continue to buy new clothes and accessories. Out with the old and in with the new and upgrade my lifestyle.

7. Accutane (Feb 5, 2009). I applied two topical creams to control my acne since 2005. The topical creams were expensive. Time's up! I requested my dermatologist to take Accutane. He approved.

Accutane is a powerful drug to treat acne. The drug removed the warts. My common side effects are dry skin, dermatitis, and eczema. The dry summer days make my eczema worse. I continue the treatment to achieve zero acne on my face. It's time to be handsome!

6. Back To School (Apr 6, 2009). The economy continues in a recession. I have extra time. A friend of mine suggested I take Japanese. Great idea! I signed up for Beginning Japanese, Strength Development, and Social Dance for Spring Quarter '09.

Strength Development was a good class. I used the class to learn a new workout plan. The last day of class my maximum bench press is 200lbs. Not too shabby for a geek. And Social Dance was a good class, too. My favorite dance was the Waltz. My sister who dances competitively said I learned intermediate Waltz. It seems my favorite dances are the Smooth dances. I explain Beginning Japanese soon.

Going back to school opens another option while being unemployed that is earning a second degree. I'm taking Social Dance and Financial Accounting I for Fall Quarter '09.

5. My First Car (May 12, 2007). My neighbor and his wife moved to Virginia to be close with their family. They sold me their second car, a 2005 Toyota Camry V6. Great car!

I drove two road trips that were Anime Expo'07 in Long Beach and Anime Expo'09 in Los Angeles. I visited new places including places to hike, Charles M. Schulz museum, and new places in Santa Cruz. I'm looking forward to future adventure and to visit new sites. Life is a highway!

4. Add The Little Things And I Have Something Big (Dates Vary). Eating a Cinnabon for the first time, hiking, dancing, Finding Raymond Mar blog, shaving with a razor, listening to classic jazz, bodybuilding.com, family's new PC, Yelp, Team Fortress 2, sleeping on a new mattress, reading fiction books, texting, AIM, new laptop, and reorganizing my room. Add those little things and many more and I have something big, something amazingly huge!

3. Washington Canada '08 Trip (Nov 15-20, 2008). The timing was perfect to visit my friend in Washington. My contract at Cisco was terminated and I was lost, my life was lost. I didn't know what I was doing.

The trip was relaxing and lots of fun! We visited Victoria, British Columbia, Canada; Hurricane Ridge; Rock 'n Roll museum; casino, Downtown Seattle, and book stores. We watched movies and played board games. Great times!

2. Dropping Japanese (Apr 23, 2009). I mentioned in moment number 6 I went back to school. One class was Beginning Japanese I. I dropped the class on the third week because the sensei went too fast. She required all the students to learn Hiragana and Katakana in three weeks. Too fast! I told my friends who took Japanese and all agreed I made the correct decision to drop.

If I didn't drop Japanese, there was so much I couldn't do; for example, my Haku cosplay, Anime Expo'09, and hiking.

I'm no psychologist. I read about an area in the brain responsible for critical decision making. Maybe my critical decision making remained underdeveloped. I believed if my critical decision remained underdeveloped, then I made a serious mistake continuing Japanese and struggling.

Side note: I never dropped a class while I was at San Jose State University.

1. It's Time To Grow Up (Oct 4, 2008). None of the moments above and none of the moments in past top lists comes close to match this number one moment as of today. None! Nada! Zip! My number one moment is the day I realized I must grow up.

I was in Los Altos, CA. A friend and I played board games at a board games event in the Los Altos Library. We played in the morning because he had an afternoon appointment. I saw an arts and crafts festival across the street. I walked around the festival, listened to live music, and ate lunch. Throughout my walk, I paid attention to the families especially young families with their grade school aged kids. I realized I must grow up when I walked back to my car.


*Six of the ten moments took place Oct 4, 2008 and later. These six moments demonstrate I'm growing up and I'm catching up what I missed earlier in my life.

*There is one moment that took place between May 13, 2007 and Oct 3, 2008, a span of 509 days or 1.39 years. That moment was number 4 "Add The Little Things . . . ." Examples included playing Team Fortress 2, my first game I played online; my second laptop, an HP; and cosplaying on Halloween.

*My Top 30 Most Memorable Moments was created when I turned 30 years old in Aug 2004. View the list here. I didn't have a number 1 moment. My Top 40 Most Memorable Moments is going to have two number 1 moments; in other words, Top 40 plus 1. The growing up moment has high potential to be one of the two number 1 moments. Obviously between now and when I turn 40 anything can happen to top the growing up moment. As of today, I doubt it because if it wasn't for me growing up, I'm not who I am today, the relaxed and mature Raymond Mar. Damn, I must continue to watch my tone because sometimes I talk too loud `__^

I'm growing up Finding Raymond Mar