Bao's weblog


Meandering thoughts of a Bay Area college student… be prepared for some bipolar vocabulary

Merci beaucoup pour votre aide. A toast yeah?

Je voudrais remercier mes amis. Je vous aime beaucoup. Sante!

Martin, you’re one of my best friends. Your humourous approach at problems in life, your free rides, and your hedonist nature when it comes to good food, I wish I could be more like you.

Saurav, I don’t know how the hell you do it, but I wish I could cheer others up as well as you do. However, I’m most envious of how you can sneak off good grades without even trying. I’m really thankful for having you as a friend. Thanks for being cool about the curry jokes! And thanks a ton for helping me with my personal statement.

Hey Teresa, we haven’t been talking much until recently. I’m thankful for you because I’ve learned and rediscovered so many things when I’m in your company. For the past three years, you were just Martin’s cousin. But now you’re one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had.

Eddie, you’ve done wonders for my academic career and, more importantly, my character. The lessons you’ve brought to me I shall carry throughout my life. But of course, most importantly, thanks for being there as a friend.

Thanks Christine for being an unforgettable presence. Whenever I’m sad, you’re always there with a hug in hand. I’m one of the luckiest persons alive to have met you.

Hiya Van. I wish you were here with us still, but we’re lucky to have you come for carolling. Let’s raid Starbucks! Thanks for being there with me during my rough junior year, thank you for helping me out with chemistry, and thanks for being the friend you have been, and the friend you are now. My life would’ve been drastically different without you street brother.

Vikki, thanks a lot for introducing The Office. Thanks a ton for screwing up my MLK library visit with taking it with you The Office. Thanks for being a distraction for me during all of our library visits. BUT, [I’ll say this part with no sarcasm] thank you for existing and being an important part of my life.

Marcus, thanks for your company and your words of wisdom. You have a quality that grabs a person’s hope and just catapult it high into the stars. That, and your sense of humor… I’ll always laugh when I look back at you hanging out with us. Hoped you enjoyed our sushi lunch. Come with us more often!

Uhh, thanks… Thanh. Ummm… LOL. jk man. Thanks Thanh for your insults and jokes at me and everyone else. Thanks for helping me in my English video, and thanks for being part of the singing trio. We make quite a team. Thanks for always being with us whenever we go out and eat. Hell, just thank you Thanh for being there. ūüėÄ

Hey Vincent! Thank you for being born. You were my very first friend the day I set foot into Fremont, and still one of my best friends today. It’s awesome that Mrs. Brooks assigned us the same seats huh? I will always appreciate your company. Come by soon.

To Erik, thanks for being my very second friend, and inviting me to the first football game I’ve ever played.

Thanks Xi, you’re one of my best friends. It was through you that I’ve become closer to so many people, especially Andrew and Teresa.

Thanks Melanie, for giving me some of the best moments in my entire life. You’ll always have a special place in my heart.

Thank you Esther, for always giving me support while I was a scrawny kid in the 7th grade. I remember that you were caring and that you were one of the most amazing people I’ve met.

FInally, thank you to my family, for always pushing me hard. I appreciate all you’ve done for me.

Of course, if I didn’t mention you, then thanks for being a part of my life too. I mean, everyone that I talk to but aren’t too close to, you’re all still a part of my life. Love you all

Cheers, to everyone

Filed under: General

prompt 2

“Please have a seat. How are you?¬†How did you arrive? Why do you want to become a citizen? Where’s the exit? What color is your hair?”

As I sit there, testing a student’s English with seemingly odd questions during the mock citizenship interview, I feel like the world is as picturesque as the cover of a birthday card. However, a different case sits in front of me, less than three feet away. Not all is well with the Earth as the young Asian mother sits before me preparing for a pivotal climax in her life: a quickly approaching citizenship examination. Any naive thoughts quickly dissipate. Suddenly, my world is no longer an ideal sanctuary as she begins to stumble on birthdates and nationalities. But, by helping someone prepare and afterwards watching her return in the end with success etched in her smile makes me proud of that person, and ultimately, of myself.

On the other hand, this shining sense of satisfaction is more difficult to find¬†when you’re at a tutoring center, trying to teach¬†a rowdy bunch of fifth graders how to do¬†fractions.¬†But it shouldn’t matter to me whether the students are talking about long division or the latest news in “American Idol” because that’s just part of growing up. The underlying sense of satisfaction there is watching them pass a math test or walk up to you and give you a hug for being there.

But the greatest achievements of all¬†are when you finish the tasks you’re supposed to do. Every student that passes a math test and every student that walks back into the community room to say they’re now an American is a crowning achievement in my eyes. This is what makes me proud of them, and of myself.

I’ve always felt that so much effort and resources have been harvested and given to me and to so many others throughout the most important parts of our lives. An old and well¬†known African proverb says it takes a village to raise a child in today’s society. I had chosen this UC because I believe that he faculty and student life is my ideal environment, and UC Davis my ideal village. But I’ve come to realize that I am no longer a child, I must give back to my community, and I do so through teaching and helping others.

Word count: 388

Filed under: General

Something really really odd…

When I woke up today, I realized this trend that’s been going on for the past few years: The best sleep I ever have always ends up with the blankets crumpled and wild, the pillows thrown, the sheets ripped, and myself refreshed, yet disoriented. So one must ask… wtf happens to me during the best of sleeps!?



I’m really nervous right now. SAT IIs are in two weeks and I got math II and physics to worry about. Physics freshman year wasn’t the fondest of memories for me, but hopefully things will pick up. I’ve always wanted to go into the realms of aerospace because I love the concept, the logic, of how a piece of wood or metal could soar into the clouds. The math… not as much. The math is all that worries me as I plow blindly into a world… kind of like looking at a person. This person would have the perfect smile, the perfect eyes… the perfect face. But what about personality, the attitude beneath all of the superficial layers?

That’s aerospace engineering for me. So beautiful, complex, amazing. But would the math kill me? Math to this day still baffles the best of rocket scientists. The human race proves nearly everything through the means of science and mathematics. We use carbon dating to prove the age of dinosaurs and vases. We predict the path of¬†whole galaxies with Newton’s laws of physics. We can measure the accelaration of a space shuttle with calculus.¬†In fact, it’s¬†should be¬†possible through the field of theoretical physics to prove the existence of God. But why can’t we show how a bumblebee can stay aloft with a heavy body and a not so large wingspan?

I understand how it happens,¬†how the airplane flies, how to prove the age of a vase, how to prove the existence of God. But how much lift does the wing produce? What equation is used with the carbon-14? This is what scares me the most. And yet… at times, the logic isn’t at all logical in the work, the equations, on paper in the form of math. Probably not true, but for me, I find that logic makes more sense in the form of English rather than calculus or statistics. Ah crap, that reminds me I have a statistics test on Monday. I’ll have to study after I proofread a UC statement.


haha, this is soo cool. i’m blogging while sitting in bed! having a laptop does have its perks!

Filed under: General

Prompt 1

Sparks scattered euphorically as they swirled above the July 4th family¬†campfire, oblivous to the problems of the world and the challenges that school poses. My eyes followed an individual spark’s journey upwards, as it seperated from the rest, paved its own direction. It’s path… so chaotic, yet beautiful…¬†even as it extinguishes itself into the starry night sky. Its path reminded me a bit of my own life and the spiraling, dizzying journey it took. As I grew up, I was taught to appreciate the elegance in complexity, such as the brilliant intricacy of one spark’s path¬†traveling through¬†the vibrant night sky.¬†

Much like the spark, my life has been marked by sudden changes. Throughout the entire course of my life, I switched schools no less than¬†nine times and declared four houses my¬†“home” until I moved into my fifth and current¬†one here in San Jose, California. I’ve gone to school in three different cities and have gained and lost many friends in the process.¬†I’ve learned how to endure losses and embrace change. However, it was spending nearly two years in the competitive and the insensitive¬†heat of Fremont that had the most impact on me. I’ve learned that stumbling, tripping, and falling painfully on your back may not always make victory that much sweeter and more¬†worthwhile like everybody says. The world may not mourn for you. It’s just a process that you might have to go through to reach your destination, your light at the end of the tunnel. Your manner of arriving, no matter how spectacular or how awkward, may not matter to anybody but yourself.

But I’ve also learned through the hardships and heartbreaks that what drives you to survive the losses is passion. For me,¬†my passion was my solitary refuge from the harsh weathers of life.¬†What you’re passionate about is vastly significant¬†because it defines who you are and how you’re different from countless others.¬†Many find that their passion lies¬†in the¬†blood and sweat of a¬†sport. My passion lies with the¬†speed, the¬†agility, and the raw power you could only find if you looked at a sleek, high performance¬†fighter that would passionately claw its way to the skies above. My dream come true is¬†if they could fly higher and faster and¬†become smarter and safer!¬†In my eyes,¬†an aircraft is¬†the epitome of elegance in complexity in one of its truest forms, from its¬†amazing shape down to¬†the miles of wiring it hides.¬†I find it spectacular.

Living with my love for airplanes in a¬†community that longs to major in the medical field has¬†intensified my fervor for the field of aerospace. It’s exciting to stray off the worn path and pursue a different dream, like that solitary spark leaving the others for some unknown reason. But hopefully, I’ll be able to last at least a tad second longer than that spark.

word count: 485

Filed under: General

Juliet, Alfa, Romeo, Golf, Oscar, November [That spells jargon]

So I’m going to warn you guys ahead of time, this post will either bore you out of your mind, or confuse the crap out of you, or some mixture of both, like a brain leeching cocktail. If you pull through… Mazel tov.

Everyone says new experiences are always worthwhile, no matter how amazing, devastating, or bittersweet it may be. From down to the most minute activity you’ve tried for the first time in your life to your first time experiencing a death of someone very close to you.

A few days ago, I had my first taste of astronaut ice cream, Neapolitan flavored! Amazing!¬†That’s chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream all into one slice! That’s right! Slice! No need for it to be cold. Heck, it’s not even wet. Kind of crumbly and all. Just pop a piece into your mouth and saliva does the rest. I hope all of their food isn’t like this, b/c the ice cream gets unbearably dry and u’d wish u were smart enough to grab a cup of ice before opening it. But still… they eat this crap in space, and it’s healthy, convenient, and clean. I can see why the astronauts working in the ISS crave actual fruit.

I’ve always wanted to fly the shuttle. I don’t really give a damn about spacewalking in the space suit like many of the others in the profession. No, I want to actually have my hand on the joystick in the cockpit of the shuttle, sitting in front with the flight commander, giving coordinates such as oh-niner-five-five-niner, or saying something totally awesome like “Roger that control. This is Atlantis, go for OMS burn,” or “Copy control, we have¬†SRB seperation.”

And YOU guys… have no idea what I even said huh? ūüėȬ†Well, I actually know what it all means and I’ve heard the shuttle pilots say all of that… just shows my interest in this kind of thing. Hell, give the crewmembers on a 747 flight food poisoning and I’ll give u a 5:10 chance I’ll be able to land the bird (no pressure of course) or at least make one hell of a copilot for the emergency pilot. Well, maybe not… but maybe yes!

This means like… all of the jargon that pilots communicate with to ATC (air traffic controller)

SOCAL approach, this is Flight 01, type Boeing 747-400, with information Tango, inbound on ILS Runway 28 Right for emergency landing, 5 miles out.”¬† Though I have a feeling I left out something.

747The actual landing…

No speed breaks below¬†1000 AGL, Flaps 30 (40 if short runway), extend landing gear, speed at 137 IAS, power to 55%-60%. Aim 1,000ft pass runway threshold and make sure it stays stationary outside cockpit window. When main landing gear is 15 feet above runway, initiate a flare with nose up approximately 3 degrees, set thrust to idle, do not hold airplane up for soft landing, make sure main wheels don’t fall short of runway. When wheels hit ground, extend spoilers, engage reverse thrust, engage autobreaking… disengage reverse thrust when IAS < 60 kts. Apply breaks until plane rolls to a complete stop in front of the red fire engines and ambulances.

And voila, I just saved 500 lives. Haha, I should fly for the President of the United States!

Actually, the autopilot should be able to take care of everything! Just twist the knobs, flip some switches… ATC will guide you through everything haha.

Well, I can do this all day would love to do this all day, but I got mountains to climb, sharks to kill, and college apps to conquer.

Cheers! Call me a nerd ūüėÄ [Edit: If you actually understood those procedures and that ATC stuff, there’s a free lunch waiting for you]

And if you’re interested…

NASA takes regular ice cream and freeze-dry it (lyophilization) to remove the water from the ice cream. This works because it removes air pressure to a point where ice shifts from a solid to a gas (sublimation). So then the ice cream is placed in a vacuum chamber where the water crystallizes. Air pressure is lowered, creating a vacuum that forces air out of the chamber. Next heat is applied, vaporizing the ice. A freezing coil traps vaporized water. This continues for hours. And you’ll have your perfect ice cream… slice.

Filed under: General, , ,


Thank you everyone for coming to the party! It was you guys that made it such an amazing night.

Love you all.


Filed under: General

I’m different

After reading Marcus’s post, I’ve realized how much I’ve changed. Not how much I’ve changed throughout life, but how much I’ve changed this week. I’m an angrier person now. I have this drive to be better, faster, and more efficient then everyone else, even friends. I’ve felt like I’ve become sharper and, yet, more incompetent as the hours of the week passes. And then I see how far behind I am of everyone else and kick myself for it.

That facade of politeness that I always put up, that inpenetrable one. Well, for once, I’m glad it’s there. It’s what keeps me from lashing out and swearing at the entire city, threatening some kind of vengeance. More importantly, it keeps me sane, makes me realize that I still have friends and their immense value to me. “Friends make life worth living.”

So the way I see it, I should take advantage of this new trait I have. I hang out with really smart people. The ones that complain about their A-‘s and all. I’m lucky to be in such company because they always help me out through hard times. Maybe it’s an insane urge to somehow become better so I can one day return the favor. But I don’t think I’m like that.

And then, as I put this new trait to use in the upcoming French project, I discover what could only be described as a low grade OCD. In a nutshell, I expect nothing less than perfection.

And before I sign off, I want to thank Eddie for giving that small lecture on Saturday. I think somewhere, you flipped a switch inside me and gave me that urge to be more than I am. A small step as it is, I’m planning on being an unofficial leader in my group, something I’ve never done before. I’m willing to bet this laptop I’m typing with that if we replayed this scenario again, things would’ve been different.

Filed under: General

Think Jingle Bells when reading

Marcus’s birthday song


Crashing through the years
With a backpack and a bike
Oh what a blur it’s been…
Having friends and fights

Seemingly attractive
Facing the big one-eight
Oh how prepared for life you are
But that’s up for debate

‘Cause… it’s the day, the big one eight
You are now a man
Paying bills, having dates
Driving mini-vans… ANS

Having kids, losing jobs,
Making pension plaans
But all of that’s long from now

Today you are a man!!!!!!




Haha, hope I didn’t freak you out there. Happy 18th birthday Marcus! And to think you still feel the same and will wake up the next day with a woman who says she’s your wife. Ah well. Have a good eighteenth year of life my man.




Filed under: Birthday poems, General, , , ,


Looking at my stats, I found that my most recent post received 4 views yesterday. I’m pretty freaked out because the password was a random letter followed by 8 random numbers. How anybody got through is beyond me. So yeah, I changed it again. I hope none of my friends have seen it because they’re just too valuable to me. I ranted on some of them, but when I look back, I found out how weak I am and perhaps found a tinge of jealousy hiding in the corners of my mind. I feel like I should apologize to the people I’ve talked about in the protected post, but another part of me yells, “Fuck it. You’ve had a horrible day yourself. You don’t need to apologize.” It’s the same part that had me swearing today as I ran in the rain from Lunardi’s to EVHS, then back because of a miscommunication with my ride, who thought he was supposed to pick me up 15 minutes to 4, which left me standing in the rain for over close to an hour.

I post many of these posts to make me feel better, not to hurt you. After all, friends make my life worth living. That’s why I protect them. There’s this one part of me that becomes satisfied and tells me, “Alright, Bao. Great job, you’ve posted it and it’s out in the open. And they can’t even see it.” I felt really dark and actually felt to go as far as changing my design to something dark. Needless to say, I felt¬†even worse¬†when I found out that my password had been shattered. But how? If you knew the order in the first place, how’d you beat the 2600000000:1 chance?

Well I guess, friendships are more important than whatever. So just to be safe, I’m really sorry towards the people that I was angry with in the protected post and would like to thank the ones that brought me up from the dumps, especially the one that does it all the time. I can’t really appreciate that until now. And I sincerely hope with all my heart that you guys accept my apology.

But to make me feel better, if you’re the one that cracked the code, please IM me so we can talk. Because honestly, only the people closest to me are supposed to see that. And I haven’t even told them yet.

Filed under: General

Protected: Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo YOU!

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Filed under: General