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

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Filed under: General

Rule of Friendship #6

#6

Know when your friend wants advice… and know what to say when they’re down. When a friend is down, he or she may be just asking for someone to listen. Someone to… maybe take their side. That’s the job of a friend. Know when to be honest, but know when to be all, “YES, I totally agree with you. That was total B.S.”

There are many ways to cheer up a friend. Saying “I know how you feel…” IS NOT ONE OF THEM. In my honest opinion, it is one of THE WORST things to say.

“Yeah I know how you feel. I remember one time when ____ happened to me, and I was…” Oh God, shut up! Last time I checked, this was about me. I’m the one that’s sad. Don’t tell me you know how I feel. Sure, I feel better when someone comments on a problem of mine by saying, “Duude, I’ve been through that before also. Hope you get better.” But… that’s different. That won’t fly when you’re talking to someone in person. It could work if they had a rough day, but not if they’re broken and in tears.

Sometimes, I think the best way to cheer someone up is to get their mind off of things. If they wanted to talk to you about it, they will. In the meantime, grab some frozen yogurt, or coffee, or invite them over for a mindless 3 hours of video games.

So, rule #6: know when and when not to give advice and for heaven’s sake, don’t say “I know how you feel.”

Filed under: General

Greetings weary traveler

You have indeed reached a most magical place called “The City.” It’s in The City that you find spectacles so odd you won’t be able to avert your eyes. Magical things such as giant towering structures of glass and metal beams where city-folk work, metal boxes on wheels that effortlessly go at speeds faster than your best pure-bred horse, and giant metal birds that can fly at unimaginable heights and make sounds louder than thunder itself, can make anyone take a step back to get it all in.

Everything in the city is fast-paced. Nobody takes a walk for the sake of taking a walk. Occasionally you have insane people who run for the sake of running, but we all avoid them. Rather, people need to be places. And The City caters to these people. The ground you’re standing on as you talk to me… it’s unnaturally smooth, is it not? It’s for our metal boxes. They don’t like rough roads.

And the people themselves. We never look where we’re going. We don’t even listen where we’re going. Does the city seem loud to you? It does, right? But take a look at that woman there. She’s not schizophrenic, but she has something in her ear that lets her talk to someone far away. Hard to believe? I can’t really explain it to someone as anachronistic as you, but you can picture it if you imagine really long telephone lines that go all the way into space, past the height our metal birds fly. There they stop at a man-made moon with metal wings, only a million times smaller. Then they come back and attach themselves to another person’s phone.

And yes, people never look wherever they go. They aren’t as amazed as you and me when they see one of these birds or when they go between the skyscrapers. To them, The City isn’t magical at all; it’s just another place to be. You’d be surprised, traveler, that these city-folk pay a lot of money and spend much effort to go to places that you yourself find mundane.

Well, traveler, I do much hope you enjoy your time here. This is where we part, for a calculus class awaits me. Before we part, a word of warning. The boxes on wheels… they’re blind. So are the people who operate them. I already told you before that nobody looks where they go. Tread with caution when you’re in The City. It’s as dangerous as it’s magical.

Filed under: General

The process

More and more drafts continue to gather dust as I basically perform the electronic equivalent of writing something down, read over it, crumple it up, and toss it into the bin. I type something up, read over it, and click save draft. And forget about it. Well, not really.

But that’s what’s convenient about blogging. Those ideas never go to waste. You don’t empty all of the contents into the recycling bin at the end of the day. Rather, they sit there. They sit there and stare at me like this. 0_0 Big, round, creepy eyes. And they keep telling me to finish them.

They’re all wonderful ideas, which is why I never throw them away. But I never use them either. Instead, I continue to live through my life, waiting for some kind of experience, epic or mundane, that emphasizes a particular idea, wonderment, or whatever the hell that inspires me. Then it gets posted. Unlike some of my other friends that blog, it bugs me if I can’t completely formulate a thought. It’s against my policy to be completely honest with myself. I’m happy to say that I’ve never posted something that I haven’t been 100% happy with. That is, the ones that aren’t password protected.

Unique password protected posts are basically the equivalent to, (using gaming terminology here), a sandbox. Which means I can just type whatever the hell I want. Organization and vocabulary are nonexistent. No one’s going to understand except me. That’s totally fine by the way.

And what I refer to as universal password protected ones are just for a few people close to me. It’s basically the same password and if it lets you in, then it’d be something I’d want just the few of you to see. Man alive, I’m feeling technical tonight! It sets me free…

(yes, I’m bound to go to some engineering/science field. )

Overall, this is the hardest part about blogging. Not the formation of ideas and notions. But building upon them. Strengthening and elaborating on each of them until they mean something to me.

And ever since I’ve decided to do that, this blog has become nothing short of spectacular in my two eyes. I don’t know, and frankly don’t care, if this blog impresses people or the opposite. It’s impressive to me 😀

I think that matters most.

…that being said, it’s pretty cool… the sheer number of people that visit this blog hahahaha! You guys are awesome.

Filed under: General

B.S.

Today I was trapped in the “enviable” position of taking a calculus midterm… enviable in this case being used sarcastically unless applied to someone like Eddie. (Oh yeah, he loves math so much I bet that if anyone left a calculus problem as a comment he won’t be able to rest until he solves it) It was most annoying not because I didn’t know how to tackle a problem but because I made all of these little errors that had to be found and corrected. Therefore, a simple two minute problem took as long as ten.

Then came problems I’ve never seen before.

I studied them for what seemed like eternity. Screw it. I guessed if I wrote some stuff down, I’d at least get partial credit. I began writing and b.s.-ing my way through the problems. Then.. wait! Does that actually work? I punched my b.s. into my calculator and out came the line perfectly tangent to the weirdest curve I’ve ever seen. Then I did it with the next problem. And the next. Fiddled some numbers around… time and time again my calculator happily displayed confirmation that my b.s. was, in fact, too epic.

Victory was fucking mine…

I hope.

The thing with b.s. is that when you leave the test, you know your answers make sense. But you don’t know if they’re 100% dead on. For now, however, my mind exults.

Another class that requires much b.s.-ing is my argumentative speech class. They basically teach you how to engage in parliamentary debate. It’s a difficult task because you can’t prepare your rebuttals since you can only guess how your opponents will defend or attack an issue. Therefore, you take quick notes and get your thoughts together because as soon as they finish, it’s your turn to counter. Any piece of pure and utter crap that comes out of your mouth can and will look hella good if you present it right.

And yes.

Perhaps 80% of the words that come out of your mouth during a parliamentary debate is b.s. in its finest form. We can’t claim to be experts in every field. So whether the topic for debate is Lady Gaga or foreign arms sales to former Warsaw Pact countries…(you also can’t pick whether you’re for or against a topic)  you have to be ready for anything.

Cheers.

Ooh, there may be some words that are unfamiliar to you.

B.S. – a slang. It means improvising or when telling a lie. Short for BullShit. Example?

Tom: I am awesome.
Jerry: That’s b.s.

Hella – it’s another slang. Means “really” or “very”. Originated from San Francisco. Example?

Tom: I am hella awesome.
Jerry: That’s hella b.s. right there.

Source: urbandictionary.com

Filed under: General

Authority

I should say that one of the most interesting social phenomenon is the advent of religion. It is interesting to see how religion and culture relate to one another because both are from the same basic idea.

Religion is grounded on authority. The basis of all religion is a series of omnipotent gods or supernatural phenomena and the facilitation of religion is through a highly complicated system of individuals who interpret what divine will truly is. The interpretations are not derived from any empirical or even any concrete evidence and is focused solely on faith/trust/belief in the person administering the sermons.

The truth of the matter is: nobody knows the divine will of God or any series of gods. The religious attempt to interpret their holy books as much as possible; but, as always, different interpretations shall always exist when too many individuals attempt to do so.

Note that I shall distinguish the spiritual from the religious. The spiritual are individuals who believe in their own system of beliefs relating to their God/gods and are set apart from organized religion. The spiritual are individuals who attempt to live their lives as best they can, taking into account the cultural and social factors that are prevalent in their lives.

The religious are individuals who follow their spiritual leaders as much as possible. In Christianity, the analogy of the shepherd and the sheep (God and his people) is often pointed out in contemporary culture. The analogy points out some very interesting implications. First of all, the sheep and the shepherd obviously cannot communicate with one another; any hope of attempting to learn about divinity or the origin of all life is thrown out. The shepherd will lead the sheep to a preordained location, but the sheep shall never know where they are headed and cannot hope to comprehend it even if the shepherd attempts to tell them. And so, the sheep have only one option and that is to faithfully follow the shepherd to wherever he decides to go, whether it is to a field of bountiful grass or a slaughterhouse.

Organized religion is divided into a vast system of authority-with the main god at the top of the ladder, which nobody understands but still attempts to do so anyways. We then have the pastors, the rabbis, the monks, and the “holy” people who are followed by a colossal amount of sheep.

Religion has no need for reason or logic. The existence of any kind of reasoning will undermine the iron grip that religion has on the masses. From the very beginning, the foundations of religion have never made any sense to begin with. The proclamation of a divine being without any empirical evidence, the supernatural explanations of phenomenon that have been disproved time and time again, and the insistence of veracity pertaining to their own respective religions despite common sense have made religion devoid of any semblance of logic in the first place.

Just as religion is founded on authority, the main aspects of racial culture are also dictated by the same string that pulls religion. Although there are some key exceptions (for pride and historical reasons), familiar culture is based entirely on authority. The diversity of the many cultures in existence in America may disprove my assertions, so I shall draw from my own experiences as a child growing up in an Asian family. I was always taught, as a child, that my parents were always correct and to never question them. In my culture, there is an implicit “rank” that is given to each member of the family and each person must act accordingly depending on their position in the family. Parents can be rude to their offspring and their children can do nothing but wave their arms in frustration, if that is even allowed.

My mother can do anything she wants and I can do nothing but be silent. She can be wrong, claim to be right and I can never do anything to correct her. She never needs to consider my feelings in anything because our culture allows her to. It is a culture that has been developed by her parents and their parents and so on in order to subjugate their children. It enforces an expectation of submission no matter what the situation may be. There is no room to object because objection shall bring about a cultural backlash. It is a system created by my elders so that control over their children can be enforced throughout all of the years of their own long lives.

Imagine how much easier it would be to raise your own children if there was a cultural expectation of filial piety in your family! There would be no need for good parents because the existence of these cultural “laws” shall govern the actions of how “good” children should behave. Despite the fact that the existence of these cultural norms have had a logical birth, it has evolved into an unchecked monstrosity. Children are no longer listening to their parents out of love, it is demanded of them. There is no need of independence or any kind of dissent as these children are culturally chained to their parents. Every decision must be checked and reviewed by their parents like a totalitarian government. These children have their lives planned out for them like some kind of a Role-Playing Game character.

A system that is based entirely on authority has no place in the new social era that we are entering. We may attempt to use authority in order to simplify our own lives, but at what cost? Authority is a system that characterizes a centrally-planned economy by a totalitarian government.

Authority undermines the existence, the diversity, and the freedom of individuals to live their lives as best they can. Is that a system that should be promoted in such a large, cultural framework?

-Eddie

Filed under: General

Friendship Rule #5

I don’t exactly know how many rules I’ll come up with. I think of new ones as I go through day after day. My 5th rule should be regarded more as a guideline, but I still strongly believe in it. Here it is:

Rule #5: Maintain at least periodic contact.

Contact involves anything except perhaps email. I’m talking about webcamming, instant messaging, phone, etc. Anything, basically, that allows one to have real-time conversation. Because like it or not, you may think your bonds are indestructible. A small percentage of you might be correct. But most of you aren’t. So unless you guys talk once in awhile, you’re bound to drift apart before realizing it. Then one day you’ll find yourself going through your buddy list and you see your friend is online, but you haven’t spoken to him or her for several years. Then it’ll be kind of awkward if you just chime in out of the blue… so you don’t do it. And that’s how you lose touch. So if one of you moved… phone each other. Webcam. Chat. Whatever. BUT! Absolutely NOTHING can replace a real face-to-face chat at a Starbucks. So don’t forget to plan a hangout every month or two!

Sometimes you shouldn’t try to fight it. The person wasn’t too close and you have other friends anyways. That’s fine; no sense to struggle with every person you know. Remember that these rules are meant for the best of friends.

Friends come and go. But make sure you go all out to keep the ones that are most precious.

Filed under: General

Rules of Friendship #1, 2, 3, and 4

I’m going to start something new. The title is pretty self-explanatory. But I’m going to make a list and it’ll slowly expand. (It has its own page by now). You don’t have to agree with my rules, for these are simply opinion. I won’t be offended if you break these rules if you do have a different opinion (some of them). Obviously I will find some things seriously messed up if you do break some of them.

I guess I’ll also need help since I might be susceptible to breaking these, too. I try hard and I don’t remember violating any of these before middle school. So I’m not a hypocrite if many of you are wondering.

Rule #1?

Loyalty.

What do I mean by that? Haha, I don’t know myself; it’s such a vague word. Loyalty to what extent? Obviously not to the point of being an accomplice in a murder. Be loyal to your friend when things are going great. Be loyal when things are going to hell. It doesn’t matter as long as you’re there for him or her to fall back. For example, if any of you guys called me at 3 in the morning because your car broke down, I WILL drive over… assuming I hear my phone ring. 0_0 Unfortunately there are limitations. If your car broke down in France and I’m in California… sorry. But you can still call me and I’ll use the internet and find phone numbers of roadside service for you.

Rule #2?

If you say you’re going to do something, DO it. If you told your friend you’ll buy something for him, you do it. If you tell him you’ll pick him or her up, you do it.

Rule #3?

Teresa, I think, put it best. Bros before hoes. I admit not answering my phone sometimes, but I WILL always call back. Ah damn, hypocrite status. Though it was only once.

Rule #4?

Friends keep each other’s secrets. There are obvious exceptions, such as confessions to planned suicide, murder, etc. Though even murder is questionable in my opinion.

I’ll have more later. My vocabulary hasn’t been as colorful because I tend to get technical when I write rules.

*****

On a completely unrelated topic, I added a new stats counter. After Audrey introduced it to me, I checked it out and I’m simply amazed by it. Now I can tell how many people do come and go and how many people DO return… to a certain extent. Obviously I can’t use this to track anybody down, but it’ll still be so amazing when there are more people so I can see which people from which countries have seen this blog. I only wish that Audrey had shown this to me sooner.

Cheers!

Filed under: General

40,000 marker

Sometime last night, this blog reached 40,000 views. I don’t exactly know when because when I signed on, I went 0_0 as the statistics showed 40,001 views. I think it’s pretty cool how many times this blog has been glanced at. I keep saying this again and again but I never expected this many people to even look at this blog.

I still wished I knew who just glances and leaves and who actually comes back for another peek.

But whatever. I’m very thankful for all of you who’s seen this blog even if it’s for a brief second. I know that there are a ton of blogs out there that don’t get too many views. Of course, many prefer that their thoughts and lives are private. Me too, to a certain degree. But even if I don’t share everything on here and broadcast it to the rest of the human population, I still talk about a lot of things. And it’s fine because most of you don’t even know who I am. And once in awhile, I get a “Yeah it sucks. I’m going through the same thing” comment and that just gives me hope. None recently, but I remember a few. Sometimes also, on a bad day, I come home feeling exhausted and in a terrible mood. I go on to rant and I notice a comment and it’s a compliment. Somehow it just brightens my day.

So to everyone out there who’s seen this blog, thanks. You make living through life a little more bearable.

Cheers!

Filed under: General

Jumping between themes

Whenever I’m blogging and have sudden changes in emotion, I suddenly feel spontaneous. Something has to become different. When I’m feeling joyous, sad, or angry, or any strange combination of raw emotion, I usually change the theme to this blog. This site must’ve had around ten or so changes in themes already. Although the changes are rare, they do happen more often than my friends’ blogs. Actually, as far as I know, this is the only blog amongst them that changes its theme.

So what happened this time? I don’t know, but I felt a sudden surge of frustration and unfairness. Actually I’m lying. I do know what’s going on, but I don’t have the heart to tell because I think I’m a decent human being with consideration towards most other people’s feelings. But it gets hard.

I see people who are angry or frustrated and take it out on their friends. It seems unfair. It is unfair. But it’s understandable. I just wish I had the ___ to do the same. What’s ____? I don’t know? guts? lack of control? decadence? Whatever it is… life does get a little too predictable and boring when I feel like I have to much control over my emotions. Because unless it’s my friends I’m angry at, I keep it all in. Again, “control” might not be 100% accurate. I can’t fucking control my emotions. But I can hide it and put a big fat smile over it. That reminds me of a quote I heard before and used once.

“Lying tears hurt others. Lying smiles hurts oneself.”

It’s a beautiful quote and it couldn’t be more true.

And I just realized I gave all you readers the cipher that determines whether my new themes indicate what I’m feeling… feeling good or feeling bad. I know I’m going to quickly forget about this post when I begin writing a new one, so my choices in themes based on my mood won’t change. But if YOU remember this post and see this blog’s theme change, you might be able to figure it out. Then you’ll either ask me what’s wrong or why am I so happy. And I’ll respond with utter shock and the quote, “How the hell did you know?!”

And again, actually that probably wouldn’t be me. I’ll mask it all up if I’m sad. But then you’ll know. I don’t hesitate to share good news. But when my mood is heartbreaking, like hell I’d tell anyone.

Cheers!

Filed under: General