Bao's weblog


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

Day 2 of my 20th year and I’m wishing I could kill myself…


Endless hours of studying yield no result. Math is still horrible.

My parents are constantly yelling at each other.

My schedule is infinitely busy.

My speech class just gives me a huge group project to do and I don’t have confidence in some members of my group.

I’m drowning in calculus problems. I can’t fucking tell what I’m doing wrong.

Physics is hard.

I don’t have a girlfriend anymore.

I’m thinking about switching majors. It’ll be difficult because throughout my whole teenage to current life, I’ve only had my eyes on aerospace. I don’t think I’ll be able to handle this glamorous field of engineering… or any field of engineering for that matter.

It’s getting closer and closer to the day Melanie was killed.


Everything is so overwhelming at the moment. When I blew out the candles tonight (yesterday night was too busy for me), I couldn’t care less that I was one year older than before. Life doesn’t seem worth living at the moment. I feel so powerless. I feel alone.

I don’t know why I write this only a few moments after I tell a friend that I hate it when people feel sorry for me. But it’s not sympathy I’m looking for. It’s not so someone will tell me that I’m okay because their shit is so much worse.

The only good thing I have going so far is that I think I aced a physics midterm. But I always feel that way for math and I’d end up with a low C or something.

My one and only birthday card for this year was spectacular. It was my Facebook wall. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I logged on near the end of the day and saw the notification. At least fifty people cared. I was incredibly touched. I really should reply back soon once this hell is over. Got some really long and personal messages. Got plenty of “Happy beedays, happy birthdays, have a good ones.” I really couldn’t believe it. It’s like the last shining star you see before the storm system covers it and tries to sink your boat.

Happy birthday, me…

P.S. Thanks Michelle for your happy birthday wish. And I hope I’ll be able to live a day as cool as your’s in the near future. Seems like you have some extraordinary friends, but I wouldn’t know since I’ve never met them. Haha, but don’t let them go anytime soon!

Filed under: General

A long awaited letter, finally

Dear… ******** **,

I’ve wanted to tell you this for the longest time, but I never could… or else I’d be telling you a lie. For what seemed like an eternity, you had captured my heart. I was ready to do anything for you, to go to hell and back for you. I had treated you better than my best friends, and you had repaid me in turn with your kindness. But your heart just wasn’t in the same place as mine’s.

But today, if we had spoken to each other, right now, I could honestly say that I’ve moved on. I’m both happy and sad that this phase is gone, but I’ll always have a special place for you in my heart.

So if you came up to me, emotionally shattered, and told me that you loved me… I would be so, so glad because I had felt the same way about you for an excruciatingly long time. But, for better or for worse, I’d ultimately decline. I hope for both our sakes that this never happens. It’d be the cruelest practical joke that fate will have ever played on us.

So, for the final time, I’d like to say that I love you. I mean it from all of my heart. But this is it. I hope we’ll forever remain the best of friends.



Filed under: General

9 lives (like a cat!)

Alright, so I don’t really have nine lives. I have around five. As the week progresses, I live several of them, one at a time. We all live more than one life.

If you think about it, one group of friends is like one life. You might act differently around them than compared to a different group. You could be a whole other person. But you’re still… you. You don’t usually talk to a group of friends about another group. For some reason, I think that’s kind of taboo. Each group has their own inside jokes, their own sense of humor… their own way of thinking. It requires you to be different in order to fit in. Everything is so contrasting if you compare the groups of friends, so it’s like you’re living another life because there’s a very small number of similarities.

At least, that’s how I view things. It makes it sound kind of exciting don’t you think? It’s all pretty interesting when two different worlds collide. Maybe you’re hanging out with a group at Santana Row and some people from your other group says “YO!” Then you introduce each other… and maybe they can interact, or maybe not. For example, my friends from Evergreen can be very cold towards other people. My friends from Fremont can be very accepting and social… most of the time. One group of friends from De Anza are friendly, but can seem self absorbed at first glance.

The fourth life I lead is a pretty lonely one. Maybe I’ve got two or three others to study with from time to time… but nevertheless… countless hours at the library, countless hours with a textbook… I’ve slowly begun to find out that I don’t need company to function. Sometimes I find the thought of being alone welcoming and I dread leaving it a lot.

And if I wanted to start anew, it’s not too difficult to make friends at a place like De Anza. It’s only the third meeting at our club, but I think I’ve already started to bond with people. We share jokes, laugh together, do things… yes, it’s quite refreshing, my fifth life. I guess I wanted to see how I would do when I begin from scratch. I had a hard time picking a club because I needed a place where I knew absolutely no one. I’m glad I made the choice =D It’s a small club, so hopefully I can form meaningful relationships with these people.

Ah damn, I wanted to put forth an interesting idea, but I think it’s been diluted by too many examples. Plus the fifth life I’m going through isn’t really considered one since I’m in it for about an hour a week haha.


Oh, and I encourage you to count the number of lives you’re leading =P. And think about it… are you happy with that number? Is it shallow to have too many friends? That’s what I thought at first, because I found it like the epitome of the popular high school kid that have a bunch of superficial relationships with everyone else. The more I meet people, the more I’m convinced that I was wrong. Conversely, are you considered too “closed off” for having a small group? I’m still quite confused, but I’m sure I’d be fine with either way. I prefer having a lot of friends though, since I can still have fun even if one group DITCHES me (twice!) in the cold (both times in the cold).

Filed under: General

Been studying

Sorry, I haven’t been posting for awhile due to the never ending torrent of calculus and physics. The horror…

I haven’t been in the best health lately either. I’ve lost 23 hours of sleep due to my studies. I’ve been so tired that sometimes I get dizzy if I turn my head too quickly. I have to think twice when doing simple math. I’ve forgotten what year it was sometimes.

What I hate is that I’m one of the few students that actually manage his time well, meaning I don’t procrastinate (if it’s not math or physics that is), and I study days before a quiz or a test. It just seems really unfair that I still do poorly compared to others nonetheless.

Oh, and a funny side note is that this blog tends to receive more views if I haven’t posted anything. Something for me to think about there.

Tired cheers!

Filed under: General

Technology is amazing

I saw some of the Chilean miners make it out alive in real time, live. The care and hugs made me want to cry. The cheering was incredible. I might have teared up a tiny bit.

To everyone involved… hell, to Chile, I’ve only got two things to say, and I mean it from the bottom of my heart: gg.

Gg guys.

Filed under: General

Got pensive… made a bucket list

Who doesn’t know what a bucket list is? Well, a bucket list is a list of things you do before you “kick the bucket,” which is an American expression for when you die. (Catering to some international readers here :D)

I made a new page. I fucking swear to myself that I’ll have an amazing life, something I can tell my kids and grandkids about. And this will be my guide.

Filed under: General

It seems to be…

that the world demands such an incredibly high standard… a standard that everyone seems to meet and exceed without a second thought… a standard that I fall so hopelessly below.

Standards in what? In life, academia, love…

Why is it that no matter how hard I try, I always fall short?

It’s difficult to describe how I feel about myself. Maybe… defective is the word. Or weak. Maybe the reason why I write all these stories is to put myself in another light where I’m not such an abject failure. But then that means I’m living in a fantasy. That’s true… I guess I often am. I daydream a lot.

Reading this over makes me feel so pathetic I kind of want to cry.

Filed under: General

Last heroes

January 30th, 2017.

Agent Delta. That reckless fool. He looked for trouble. He found it. Last time he radioed in, he was crouched behind a rock on a desert half a world away… a rock that was being slowly chiseled away by bullets into nonexistence. His ammo was nearly depleted. He was what you call a lone wolf, acting on his own, then fading into the shadows. But that didn’t go according to plan.

Terrorists. They were all over the damn place. Superfreak, Thunder, and I flew towards them at four times the speed of sound. When we arrived… damn. The sheer amount of gunfire from their automatic weapons was deafening and shockingly bright. Streams of them whistled past our plane. I decreased my speed until we were hovering, barely dodging a well aimed RPG. The rear of the plane opened. The pings from the bullets bouncing off the plane was irritating.

“Bring us closer!” yelled Thunder over the loud noise.

“I copy! Commencing suppressive fire,” I replied through the intercom. My guns opened up. Four angelic, kick ass gattling guns spun to life, popped out of the plane, and delivered 6000 rounds of burning pain per minute… per gun. The carnage was epic.

“Alright, clear! Rotating… 180 degrees!” I gave the plane full right rudder and she responded smartly. The back of the plane faced what’s left of the terrorists. But there were more. And the volume of gunfire seemed to increase.

“Dammit Lanner!” Superfreak yelled. “You can’t fucking aim and you call yourself the pilot!”

“It’s alright!” Thunder replied. “Superfreak! C.C.!” (Short for Combo-cannon)

“Don’t have to tell me twice!”

The enormous two ton behemoth jumped on Thunder’s arm… and she flung him faster than the speed of sound. He impacted with the Earth with an ear shattering boom, dispersing the terrorists and causing some nearby ruins to collapse. The giant stood up and lumbered towards Agent Delta’s hiding spot. Tracers flew all over, but the bullets had no effect on his hardened skin.

“You okay Delta?”

“Hey Superfreak!”

“Quiet!” he replied. He looked around. No blood. No bodies.

Everything suddenly was gone. I landed our plane and grabbed a gun from a closet. Thunder and I walked out into the blazing desert heat.

“Don’t tell me what we were shooting at were… illusions?” I asked.

“Indeed!!” That creepy, maniacal voice emanated from a nearby cave.

“I’d know that voice from anywhere,” sighed Agent Delta.




Based on order of appearance…

Agent Delta: Nam Nguyen

Lanner: Bao Pham

Thunder: Teresa Nguyen

Superfreak: Martin Nguyen

Marcus: Marcus Tu

Well, that’s enough for now. I should definitely be heading to bed.

(Edit: In retrospect, this post could’ve been much better if I hadn’t done it on the fly. I’m too lazy to make major edits though, so it’ll just have to stand on its own.)

I tried tailoring this post in a way that the language and imagery suggests that it came from a comic book or a Hollywood action movie… or some odd fusion of both.

Filed under: General

The tube went into the hole, fluids transferred…

and it was magical.

So far, I have about a 50% success rate. Half of the time I try I make it in. The other times… eh I crash and burn.

Nevertheless, I’m so proud of myself. Shall continue to strive for perfection until this becomes as easy as walking.

By the way, if anyone is curious, what I’m playing is Falcon 4.0 Allied Force. It is considered as the most accurate combat flight simulator for the F-16 in the history of gaming. Supposedly if you can operate the aircraft in this simulator, it won’t take much to transition into the real thing.



Filed under: General

A Conglomeration of Ideas

As we look at ourselves in the next several years and reflect upon the experiences that we have undergone, it’s not unnatural to realize that the sum of all of our achievements and our understanding in our unique disciplines are closely related to one another.

Let me explain.

While we all may be majoring in neurobiology, literature, or engineering, it is always true that there is some kind of an overlap between all of the disciplines (more so with the sciences). Something that seems entirely unrelated to mathematics is closer to it than one may think. Take philosophy. Philosophy is heavily centered on reasoning and logic which is strongly correlated with mathematics.

Nobody denies the influence and prevalence of mathematics in many of the major disciplines, especially engineering. Nobodies denies the tremendous contributions chemistry has to biological research.

What is true nowadays is that our specializations are growing ever more closely together and more quickly than we have come to realize. The modern engineer must now be adaptable and be ready to learn new trades and skills if that engineer wants to remain in the workforce. The research scientist must be ready to adopt new techniques from different disciplines in order to advance his own research and the ordinary bank teller must still need strong managerial skills and effective communication in order to advance up the ladder.

In an age where the changing workforce conditions require more than simply skilled specialists, the new entrants into the labor force must be ready to adopt a variety of related skills in order to make themselves more marketable. An extremely studious student may not have the effective communication skills necessary in order to advance any higher in a company.

However, there are always exceptions in any situation. Suppose that the doctor is content with helping treat patients without any regard to advancing his own position in a company. There is no need or any form of desire to improve one’s own standing.

Regardless, to be more effective in the ever-changing moments of life, the individual must be prepared to adopt and adapt the many ideas and skills needed to make one’s work more effective.

Alas, I have wasted too much time in my neurobiology class. I should go back to paying attention to the lecture 🙂


Filed under: General