Bao's weblog


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

Friendship rule #7

7. Don’t take your close friendships for granted. You’ll feel pretty sorry when you lose it. But if you’ve done your best and taken that friendship as far as it could’ve gone… then I’d say that was a pretty fruitful relationship.

However, this one French poet would beg to differ.

“A friendship that can be ended didn’t ever start.” – Mellin de Saint Gellais.

Je suis désolé, Monsieur Mellin de Saint Gellais. I don’t believe that. I’ve met many people who I’ve grown close to over the years, then we slowly drift away. But then again, how can I know if those friendships have ever ended? If I contact them and invite them for coffee and we can pick off right where we left off without missing a beat, does that mean our friendship was never over? Or does that mean it’s been renewed?

But no matter what your opinion is, I’d say it’s difficult to contest the fact that our lives aren’t on the same tracks and we’ll always lose people at each fork in the road…

…which is why you should never take any one of your close friendships for granted.


Filed under: General

Let’s start with a walk

It’s hot and dry. Everything suddenly seems incredibly lazy; even the trees seemed too tired to sway with the breeze.

It was a bit like May 26, 2010.

It was a spectacular day for a walk. The sky was just the perfect shade of blue. There were clouds everywhere. Gorgeous. There didn’t seem to be anything wrong with the world on this 26th of May. A friend and I drove to her orthodontist for an appointment. Then, out of sheer spontaneity, we decided to take a walk. We drove to a random neighborhood up in the hills and parked.

This particular neighborhood reminded me of Europe. Not that I’ve been there before, but it reminded me of the Europes I’ve seen out of Hollywood films. The walkways were tight. They wove. The houses were so close to each other you could play the telephone game where you take two tin cans and attach them by string.

It was a load of fun just to get lost in these windy places.

“Wanna make a left or a right?”

“Umm, I dunno. Left looks sort of mysterious…”

“Then let’s go left!”

Sure the neighborhoods were sort of small. We tried our damned hardest to get lost. We saw fountains, palm trees, birds of paradise… it was pretty neat to have someone to enjoy it with. Kudos to the landscape architect(s) that made this place. Plus, it was quiet. The only reason the sound of silence wasn’t so haunting that day was because it was continuously punctuated by the sounds of our conversation, laughter, and the occasional muffled bark of a dog trapped in it’s owner’s house.

We also looked for house number “666,” for the hell of it… Come to think of it I’ve yet to ever seen a house with the devil’s number. Maybe it’s like how tall buildings don’t have a 13th floor. As a God-fearing Christian, God probably wanted to shield me from such a date with that place. My friend seemed a little disappointed, but kind of unsurprised, that we never found house number 666.

Defeated and resigned (by God!), the beast and I decided to recuperate at the park nearby. We got ourselves “un-lost” and hung out at the see-saw. We walked by a tower that seemed elegant from afar…

…but damned butt-ugly up close. The camera doesn’t really show it well.

After the see-saw, the day was over and I drove her back in time for dinner. Despite her being one of my closest friends, it’s an odd relationship we have considering that this was only our second or third outing on our own after… two or three years of knowing each other. If I had to describe her in three words, it’ll be “hell with a ( plus one more) pen.”

And thus, this exercise is over. And haha, I just realized how much I hate deadlines, especially the ones I set for myself.

Filed under: General

I wonder how long our blogs will last

I’ve asked this question many times with my friends, but not once have I mentioned this in the form of a post… at least not once I can remember. Then Michelle’s post reminded me and got me wondering: how long will we be blogging? For me it’s not looking good. Every week I struggle trying to find something meaningful to put into words. I mean, it’s tough blogging about the mundane; what’s the point? In the end I have to resort to mind exercises and pondering the what if’s and meaning of life stuff.

Thankfully, it’s not at all difficult to imagine a world with flying cars, talking houses, space tourism, and myself blogging. And then, this thought pretty much excited me: I can totally imagine myself with my laptop typing away while floating in a space hotel. Damn, that’d be something! Then I’ll look back through my previous entries and find this one. How freaky would that be!? I’ll take this opportunity to say hi to the future-me-in-space if he exists.

Yeah, I tend to get excited over the little things. I get excited over things that most people probably don’t even care about. It could be a spontaneous decision to eat Mongolian instead of Mexican. It could be the plane trip to vacation rather than the actual vacation.

Anyways, I bet if we keep blogging and keep track of each other, we’ll never be too far off. It’s just a feeling I have. Maybe it’ll be because we’ll never become too unfamiliar with each other. Maybe it’ll be because we’ll have something to talk about to break the ice. Maybe it’ll be because we’ll never seem too far away.

I’ve also been feeling bad about neglecting blogging about my trips and outings with my friends. I know the specifics will slowly vanish. After all, mere photographs of our trips only capture moments in time and what they appear to be on the surface, not our thoughts or our feelings. For me, that’s the one thing that’ll be forever lost if I’m just too lazy to post about the beach trip or the water rafting trip, or the countless ventures to the local milk tea store or Starbucks.

I’ll begin now. I know I’ll regret it if I don’t.

So… expect something two to three days from now.

Filed under: General

Possibly my shortest post ever… in about a year

My fingers have that metallic smell as I check on my car and get her ready for that two hour drive to the beach tomorrow. Checked my tire pressure, filled up the oil, stopped by Costco for gasoline, and letting the engine cool before I refill her coolant with one part antifreeze coolant and one part water.

Also spent most of the day at a friend’s house making Hawaiian and teriyaki kabobs. Forget just going to the beach, simply preparing can just psych you out.

Just need to fill up on coolant and clean the trunk and interior of the car before I pick everyone up at 7:45-8:00ish tomorrow… unless I’m forgetting anything? Oh right, marshmallow rods. I only have two though =[

Filed under: General


Have you seen that show? It’s so inspiring. It’s so awesome. J.D.’s epiphanies and rants awe me. And at the end of every episode, he’d narrate with such groundbreaking, yet such obvious, things in life that make you go on and on without giving up. There seems to be so much emotion in his lines, but his voice never changes! It almost sounds passive.

I just wish I could write like that. There’s something about my style of writing that I kind of dislike. I don’t know, I think it’s the tone. Yeah, I think I’ve mentioned tone before in a recent post. I can never inject the right personality or mood into a post. It’s never as scared as I want it to be, or happy, or serious… I think my way of writing may be too neutral for me.

Believe it or not, us guys are just as emotional as girls. Actually, I don’t know! When I say “us guys” I’m mostly referring to myself. It’s always difficult to make a broad generalization, which is why I’m struggling with the rules of friendship list.

Anyways, back to… emotion! (Maybe I should use more exclamation marks!) Here’s something about me that I already know, but it can’t hurt to emphasize. I don’t show much emotion on the outside, because when something is wrong then people inquire. Yes, I have pretty amazing friends that I could just talk to almost whenever I want and will never quit bothering me if they knew something was wrong. And, as one of them says, it doesn’t show weakness to have to talk to someone. For a really long time, I’ve known she was right. After all, I certainly don’t see my friends as “weak” whenever they talk to me about stuff.

But I think with me, I… can’t(!). I think it’s a matter of pride. I just like to deal with my problems on my own. I know what some of you might be thinking. If that was true, why the hell do you talk about your problems on here you damn hypocrite!

And I’m drawing a blank. But hey, do you find me weak? (Ehh, don’t answer that) I guess I just have a different outlet of dealing with the stress from the rest of my group of friends. (The blog) Which… is weird, because a lot of them keep track of this blog, so they find out about my crap anyways.

Haha, I just realized that I’m slowly backing myself into a corner. You guys all know how much I hate hypocrites. Maybe I should open up to my friends more. I also feel kind of guilty how I open up to random strangers more than my friends (hence this blog). And I mean serious stuff, not just sit down next to Kevin and whine, “Ahhh, that girl rejected me I’m hellla sad! Hold me!”

I guess in the end, you always realize that no matter how distant your friends seem to be, whether they’re distant as in another country, or distant as in they’re busy with their boyfriends or girlfriends and have no time for you, you can always go up and talk to them. And they’ll probably listen in the end. Why? Because if they didn’t, then you wouldn’t call them friends right? I probably haven’t realized it much because I’ve never exercised that option. The more I think back, the more I realize that they’ve always been ready to tackle anyone’s problems, including mine’s. And I’m overwhelmingly lucky that I have so many shoulders I can lean on in the end.

…ah damn, definitely not J.D. material, but it’ll have to do =P


Filed under: General

Getting Old

You know you’re getting old when something changes quite incessantly and you don’t really know how to handle all of the changes that are happening.

That’s how I feel about WordPress changing its format every 6 months or so. I just noticed that the tabs looked different when I signed onto my account. When did I start blogging again? Ah that’s right, about three years ago. That feels like a lifetime on the internet.

So I’m sitting here procrastinating on homework (so bad so bad) and listening to random country music videos. I really want to say more but my mind is blank right now, I guess all I wanted to say was I disliked the changes to wordpress.


Filed under: General

A Discourse on the Method of Friendship

I know that I completely ripped off the title from some other, perhaps insignificant, author to you all and modified it to fill the missing gap at the top of my post. As Einstein once said, “The secret to creativity is hiding your sources”. Now isn’t that a scary idea? Just imagine, I could have randomly blurted out some quote and potentially be praised for it if nobody found out.

So forget what you just read, okay?

I was browsing through the blog the other day and noticed friendship rule #6. While I agree that it may be valid in certain instances, I do not believe that it is general enough to deserve to be in the Rules of Friendship.

Here’s why.

Suppose that there a is a certain person that is very lonely and in dire peril (for whatever reason, you decide). That person may be reaching out towards somebody else who may have been in the same situation beforehand as to relieve a part of the burden that said person is going through. Suppose then that I am not allowed say “I know how you feel”, well how is that person ever to know that there is somebody else that understands the situation that they are in?

The person that rejects that kind of emphasizing will most likely have too much pride in one’s self. If the situation is trivial, then why can’t the friend attempt to emphasize and share their experiences with said person?

Now, to add more clarity to the rule, I propose that the rule should be modified to the extent that a true friend should not say a statement that does not hold water. In other words, do not make a superficial statement that does not help another person at all. Baseless claims and comments will only make the person feel worse because it gives off the vibe that the supposed “true friend” does not truly emphasize with their plight.

On the same note, I spent the day packing up boxes and moving around merchandise from my store. Why? To put it simply, it’s over. For the 15+ years that my family has been in the party craft industry, it is finally over. Does anybody understand what it’s like to put away the same store that they’ve built from the ground up since they were a child? I doubt that anybody in my circle would truly understand the emotional turbulence swirling around in my mind, but that shouldn’t stop anybody from trying to comfort me if I needed it (which I don’t guys, thanks for thinking it though).

Life is unfair. It’s an overplayed truism; but it clearly describes the situations that we all must face at some point in our lives, whether we like it or not.

Regardless of the unfairness and strife that everybody faces, the single, most important idea that you all must take with you is that we must remain positive even in trying times. Do not be foolishly hopeful and optimistic for events that may never occur. Remember to stay realistic, not negative (the two are often mixed up).

There are few events that we can truly mold in our lives. While we maintain that we all have free will and decide the paths we take throughout our lives, nobody can guarantee an outcome with absolute certainty. The only true influence in the course of our lives is to remain positive. Being positive will open a transition into a better future, while being negative for all events will do the exact opposite.

To keep things short: stay positive guys, good things will happen as well as bad things and we must learn to cope with all events.


Filed under: General

My eyes flew open

0_0. A quick glance at my clock says it’s 5:57 a.m.

Still… so freaking tired… 3 more min– CRAP I GOT NO FOOD! (Notice how my vocabulary is directly proportional to the number of minutes that have passed during the day)

Another glance at my alarm clock. Yes, it’s 5:57, meaning only forty five minutes until Marcus picks me up for the day’s water rafting trip. And I got no lunch! In a flurry of blankets and clothes I half-tripped out of the house and jumped ungracefully into my car.


Shit! What’s open? I’ll check Starbucks first. And yes, Starbucks was amazingly open and the people inside were definitely more awake than I was. I ordered a scone and a croissant and then drove back to the house. 6:20. Hell yes! I found my sandals, grabbed my pack I prepared last night and bagged my pastries. I grabbed a water bottle and waited in the garage.


Marcus came over. We picked up Cassi and we were on our way. It was a very fun and scenic drive as we drove through the country to Stanislaus River. The fact that we WERE in the country hit us urbanites harder than a bullet train.

“HOLY CRAP that guy is smoking a pipe!”

“Daamn that place sells hay?”

“Look at all of the corn!”

“I’m getting kinda worried. When was the last time any of you guys saw a gas station?”

The longer we drove, the less buildings we saw. By the time we were 3 miles from our destination it was just a road, the clear blue sky, and tall grass that swayed in the wind. It was peaceful.


My obsessive planning down to the exact detail paid off. I told everyone the rafting trip began at 9. They never knew it actually began at 9:30. Nevertheless, we arrived 5 minutes before. Little did we know that we would have to wait another hour.


We hit the rapids. We got soaked, but through no fault of our own and to the entire fault of the other rafts loaded to the teeth with water guns. They’re like pirates only with the weaponry and none of the greed. They shouldn’t fire on unarmed and peaceful vessels! My friend got so pissed that he jumped off the raft, swam his way across the current, and latched onto their boat. I felt kind of bad whenever I see how scared their faces were.

When lunch came around, we weren’t too eager to eat with the rest of the group. We had a better idea. We ate somewhere else! That was genius. And who said we had to eat ashore? We tied the boat onto some trees and ate on the water. It was great.

I felt like we bonded a lot as we floated down that river.

Boats were returned before 5 o’clock and we spent the rest of the day driving home and eating sushi. I gave a small astronomy lesson as we waited for my friend’s parents to come home and let her into the house.

Can’t wait to do it again.

Filed under: General

Comment allez-vous?

So will I continue planning event after event in the valiant effort to distract myself from the fact that my life is empty? The short answer is yes. For now. While drowning in math problems and searching fruitlessly for problems with Bay Area transit, I’ve become increasingly negative.

There’s. NOTHING. Going on in my life.

I believe I’ve exhausted most of my options, milked every ounce of pleasure that’s humanly possible out of my life… You know how they say to enjoy the little things? Well, I have. I find great pleasure in deciding where to eat at the spur of the moment. I find tiny fireworks of ecstasy at each perfect paper or test I get back. Yes, I’m the fucking master at enjoying the little things. I have plenty of practice.


When will something big happen to me? An acceptance letter? A girlfriend? Some kind of major victory in life? …Anything? I mean come on, life, throw me a freaking bone why dontcha?

In the meantime, I’ll continue planning events in an attempt to make my life that much fuller. This weekend was water rafting. It was fun and it worked wonders. But the problem is back: my fucking empty life. Yes, I know what I’m doing wrong. I’m not treating this problem directly. Rather, I’m dealing with its symptoms. Ask me how I’ll fix this and I’ll say “I don’t know.” Because I don’t know what the exact problem is.

Maybe it’s in the way I think. Maybe it’s because even though I’m surrounded by people who care about me, I still feel alone in this world. Maybe it’s because I haven’t properly dealt with my depression issues just yet. Whatever the issue may be, I’m sure I’m not helping by trying to spend most of my summer not wallowing in despair in front of my computer screen. But hopefully, it’s a start.

This weekend was water rafting. (It was fun by the way and, for the most part, an organizational success) Next weekend… the beach. Week after that? Not sure. I’m thinking of a biking trip or a hiking trip.

I’m just trying really hard to keep my head above the water.

… Ça va mal.

Filed under: General