Bao's weblog


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

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Filed under: General

My car is such a playaaa…

Looking back at this year, I’ve realized that I’ve had a huge number of people sit in the front seat of my car. Only three of them… were guys (George, Benson, and Nam). The rest of my passengers, overwhelmingly, were girls! I had Teresa, Julie, Nam Mila, Cassandra, Lynn, plus a myriad of others that no one reading this blog would be familiar with. George have sat in this car once, Benson once, and Nam three times. Compared to that, for example, Julie = countless.

I think it’s special when you get a new car to have all your friends sit in it at least once. It’s sort of christening it I suppose. It’s sort of like a baptism on fire, though not unexpected. Hmm, how many people have been in my car?

Me, Saurav, Martin, Teresa, Eddie, Edwin, Vikki, Van, Cassandra, Kevin Hsieh, Kevin Ho, Lynn, Mila, Julie, Nam, Marcus, Christine, Jennifer, George, George’s friends, Flora (damn, I almost forgot!), James, Thanh (though I’ve never driven him), and Jenna… are the ones my friends are familiar with… and the ones I remembered. These people plus my parents, my grandparents, and my sister.

I’ve had many moments in the car. Lots of good ones, several nostalgic ones, and even more bad ones (it always sucks to drop a friend off and then end up driving alone).

…what a very special car.


Filed under: General

Pulled over for the first time.

Okay, the title isn’t entirely accurate. I wasn’t pulled over… I was already parked on the curb when the police cruiser came alongside, sirens flashing.

Benson and I were going for a quick dinner at around 4:30 in the evening. We got to my car and decided to fool around a little (Not like that you dirty bastards). Benson, suddenly curious, wanted to see how it felt to sit in the driver’s seat of my Mercedes. Alright, I guess my car is a tad different from most cars; you pull a lever with your hand to release the emergency brake, the window controls are in the center, the dashboard is a bit retro… After three minutes or so with Benson in the driver’s seat, we switched places.

I turned my keys in the ignition and the engine purred to life. Then I signaled, checked my side mirror, then did the over-the-shoulder check. Holy crap, the cruiser was already there and the officer was already stepping out of his car. He looked stern. What the hell? So I rolled down my window.

(…yeah, this is just dialogue)

“Hey officer! Did we do something wrong?”

“I don’t know. What are you guys doing here?”

“We were going to get something to eat,” said Benson.

“Why are you guys parked here?” he spoke in his cool, easy-going manner that seemed to hide a bit of suspicion. So again, Benson talked.

“We just came from a math study session.”

“Really? Okay, do you guys have any form of identification on you?” Shit! I fumbled for my wallet.

“Uhh, did we do anything wrong?!” I asked again.

“Calm down. Not all officers bite.”

“Sorry, it’s just this is my first time being pulled over.”


“Yeah. So what’d we do wrong!?”

“Relax guys, if you didn’t do anything wrong, you got nothing to be afraid of,” he said in a pretty stern voice. Then why was I so fucking scared? So the cop grabbed both of our driver licenses and walked around the car. He responded to the dispatcher with a number. Four-something. He came back to the side where Benson was sitting.

“You ever been arrested before?”


“Ever been pulled over before?”

“No.” (Maybe he asked those questions twice to see if I was lying?)

The officer then pointed to Benson’s bag lying at his feet.

“Mind handing me that bag?”

“Okay,” said Benson.

As the officer rummaged through his bag, he asked us those pretty scary questions that I’ve only heard them ask on Cops.

“You guys have any drugs in the car?”

“No.” 0_0

“Any illegal weapons like knives or firearms?”

“Um, no?”

“What’s this?” He pulled out a silver case from Benson. Dammit Benson, there better not be weed in there or something!

The officer flipped the case open and I let out a mental sigh of relief.

“Yeah, it’s my electronic dictionary.” replied Benson in his uber-thick Hong Kong accent.

“Ah.” He returned the bag then explained the reason for stopping.

“There’s been several vehicle thefts in this area lately and you guys are parked in an area where they’ve been known to park their stolen vehicles.” Just my fucking luck.

“Uh, would you like to see my registration?” I asked.

“Yes, that’d be good.” So I reached for it and I was pretty damn glad I know where all of this stuff is. I gave the registration to the officer and he walked off again. Benson whispered to me.

“Bao, what gun is that?”

I looked at the officer’s sidearm.

“Probably a Glock…”

“No, the one in his car.”

I looked. Holy crap, was that an M4!? Despite the circumstances, I was a bit fascinated and even more excited?

In a few minutes, he returned.

“So why are you guys parked here?” He seemed a little more relaxed and leaned like how officers lean so their head is a bit in the car. I think I saw a shadow of a smile.

“We just came back from a study session,” Benson and I stammered. His voice was still pretty stern.

“Alright. What subject?”

“Mathematics,” said Benson.

“Good stuff,” replied the officer, nodding. I had to laugh.

“No it isn’t!”

The officer laughed as well.

“Well, I’m sure it sucks now.” He looked at me. “So you’re up here from San Jose?”

“Yeah,” I breathed a bit easier. ” But I go to De Anza. Benson here goes to Foothill.”

We started talking about schools and I got to know the officer a little better, but we never got his name of all things. Turns out he also went to a community college before transferring to Arizona University. (‘It’s all different now then it was back then. Not as crowded,’ he declared with a little laugh). He gave us back our licenses and the car registration and was about leave with a “have a nice day.”

“Hey, I’m just curious,” I blurted out. He turned at me. “Is that an M4?” (Warning: this is normally the part where people like Teresa get bored and lost)


“In your car. Is that really an M4?”

He smiled a little. “No, it’s an AR-15. Pretty similar to the M4 but not quite.”

“Wow, did you ever have to use it?” asked Benson.

“We’ve shot it in training before. But fortunately this isn’t L.A. you know. And you gotta be very conscious when you shoot that thing. You have to realize that when you fire at the bad guy, the bullet will go through the suspect, through the car behind him,go  into the house 100 yards away, and maybe into someone in there.”


And with that we said our goodbyes and went along our seperate ways.

Filed under: General

Yeahh, I think I’m Protestant… or am I??

I’ve always wondered what the differences between Christianity and Catholicism were. For awhile, I thought Christians don’t accept the Pope and Catholics do. Okay, I was sort of wrong.

Catholics are Christian. Not all Christians are Catholic. So apparently, Catholicism is a branch of Christianity and I’ve been using the terminologies incorrectly the entire time. Absolutely baffled, I searched on the internet to find the differences.

Catholics believe that the Pope is Christ’s substitute while Protestants believe that no human can replace Christ. The Pope (the Church) tells us how to look at the Bible. I don’t know, but I believe that the Bible is free for individual interpretation. But then, the Bible says, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” So is the Helper the Pope? I’m kind of confused about that part. (This is John 14:16-17 btw) In this view, I’m Protestant unsure, but leaning towards Catholicism. I don’t agree with this concept, but the Bible says it!

Protestants and Catholics believe that if you go to Hell, you’re there like forEVER. (Eternity) However, Protestants believe that when you go to Heaven, you go there and it’s a nonstop flight. Catholics say that you don’t go straight to heaven, rather you pay for the sins you’ve commited before you make it to heaven. In this case, I’m Protestant.

Protestants believe that the Bible alone is sufficient enough for teaching (Sola Scriptura). Catholics believe that the Bible and Sacred Roman Traditions (no clue what these traditions are) In this view, I’m Protestant.

Catholics believe that faith alone isn’t enough. You also have to do good deeds and be active in church. Protestants believe that while works are important, faith alone is enough to bring us to Heaven. In this view, I’m Protestant.

Walking out of this, I’m probably some freaky Catholic/Protestant hybrid, though I’m sure people have felt this way before. I got no clue what to do.

I also heard that Protestants and Catholics despise each other. Apparently a bunch of Protestants were even murdered at the hands of Rome. Ouch.

Filed under: General

Chuc mung nam moi

Another blog post on the go.

I’m at my grandmother’s. Here’s another story that’ll go in my mental history book. Well, my parents are extremely reverent of my grandmother. (I am, too, but their reverence is like, almost religious). A favorite new year’s tradition for my grandmother is trying to cram me with as much food as humanly possible. This in itself presents a fundamental problem that my grandmother and my parents fail to realize. All of their food can make you full after you take a single bite. We have things such as Banh Chung, chicken, these beef cakes, and banh bao. Not to be disrespectful, but more to be humorous… have they ever heard of a goddamn salad?

Anyways, my parents’ respect for my grandmother is absolutely fricking insane. I’m sitting on a couch meant for two people. I’m sitting on the very edge. My parents literally yell, “Scoot over scoot over!” So now instead of taking the space of 3/4ths of a person (I’m pretty skinny), I’m cramming myself to the very edge even more, probably leaving room for another half a person to sit next to me.

And to combat my grandmother’s hobby of force feeding me with filling food, I tried taking around five minutes a bite just… chewing. My grandmother goes (translated from Vietnamese)

“Why does your son take so long to chew? Oh my God, you guys took him to all these dentists. Didn’t they take out eight of his teeth?”

My parents (a bit defensively) “Yes. The first four were for his braces. They were necessary. And the last four were for his wisdom teeth. Everyone in the U.S. does it!”

“At this rate, he won’t have anymore teeth when he gets older! When I was young, I never had to yank out any of my teeth. And now look! He has a hard time chewing now! Bao, open your mouth so I can see your teeth!”

I give her a blank stare, unsure of what I’ve heard. So then I turn to my parents.

My mom goes, “Bao show her your teeth!” My dad goes, “Open! Open up!”

I open my mouth and a loud and long “WTF” emanated in my mind… yet another wacky new year’s story to keep.

Filed under: General


Some crude math.

Blog started Jan. 1, 2008. 365 days times 2 = 730 days.

730 + 31 + 11 = 772 days = age of blog.

30,000/772 = approx. 39 views per day. Though this is really misleading, because I average around 15 views a day in the beginning, then it jumped a LOT… now it’s kind of rare to get any number less than 40.

…I don’t have 39 friends that read this blog once a day. I’d really like to meet the people who just stop by, browse, and leave, never to remember this blog again. I like to imagine where they’re from, how their day has been, and the local time when they viewed a post.

It always surprises me because I was pretty sure I’d get around two or three views a day from close friends. Oh well.

Cheers everyone and thanks a lot!

Filed under: General

“It’s Macross!” “What’s so damn special?” “…it’s MACROSS.”

This anime gets me high. It’s cheaper and safer than drugs. Its epic-ness is beyond comprehension.

Can you say eyecandy?!

No longer can I remember the start of the journey
By the time I realized it, i was already here.
The seasons tore apart, out come undiscovered infrared rays.
Sensing them, my eyes become lost.

I’ll probably lose them…
These fateful feelings…
I made love like I was fighting.
I stubbornly dug out my dreams,
I wanted to go down to that planet,
I wanted to fly in your sky…

If there’s no you, there’ll be no meaning.
I wish all the people would disappear.
If love goes away, I don’t need this heart either.
The whole world, just disappear!

I wanted to ask your heart…
I wanted to build rainbows with you.
Won’t someone gently hold me in the sentimentality of daybreak?
Deflected by the course of dreams, these tears of love just scattered into space.
And I don’t care if it’s naked pain.

Polaris is crying, summoned back by our destiny…
If we’re going to live through the labyrith anyway,
I want to die loving you until I’m totally spent!

Then it will begin,
A fateful ending.
I loved like I was fighting.
I kicked the dream to a pulp,
I wanted to meet my end on that planet,
I wanted to bloom in your sky…

Filed under: General

Azure ether

I’ll give you one of my names…
One I hold dear.
Give me one of your words…
But not “farewell.”

If light is a particle and a wave,
You are a bird and the universe.

You were always by my side, the memories have connected,
that day when everything harmonized as one,
I wanted to always be near you, but no matter how much I put into my voice,
It wouldn’t reach you…

Blue… blue… blue journey.

Not attacking,
Not defending,
A feeling somewhere in the middle.
Between radiance and despair,
A feeling  somewhere in the middle.

If the future is feather and lead,
I am water and fire.

I was always by your side, we were closer than love,
The day when everything was warm, together as one,
I wanted to be near you, but I couldn’t hear the music,
I’m drifting away from you.

Blue… blue… blue journey.

-マクロスF (フロンティア)

..I’ll see you next year

Filed under: General

Just a thought

I’ve realized how detached I am from my friends from high school.

Of course, I’m not completely detached from all of my friends. I miss them when I think about them; but, most of the time, they’re simply out of my mind. There are some friends I wish I can talk to again. The worst part about knowing people for a long time is that, if you made a mistake that hurt the friendship, they’ll never forget the things you did to hurt them.

They might say that it’s “okay” and “not to think about it”. But how can I not? I feel like the mistakes I’ve made have hurt the many friends I made in high school. It’s awkward to talk about them and, perhaps to them, I’m simply a footnote in their lives.

I got mad easily. I took out my irritation on other people. I was a dictator. I was awkward.

I no longer know what happens to my friends. Are we still friends? If so, why am I always forgotten? Perhaps it’s my personality, maybe I’m not the type to be remembered.

To be fair, I don’t sign on aim that often anymore. There’s no method of contact and no line of connection. It’s strange to only find out what’s happening in your friends lives through their blogs. I feel like a shadow, a figure enshrouded in darkness stalking these people that I no longer know. I want to re-establish the connections I had in high school. I don’t want to forget these wonderful memories or blow them off like they never happened.

It hurts when I know that my friends are suffering. I want to reach out to them, but I flinch. Am I the right person to help them? How can I just randomly appear out of nowhere and ask them about their problems when I haven’t said a word to them for half a year? I don’t even know if we’re close enough to do that anymore. And so I sit silently, waiting for the outcome, for better or worse.

What’s wrong with me? I think I’ll sign on aim more often.


Filed under: General

What matters in our lives?

Filed under: General