Bao's weblog


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

Friends mini-series (because I have nothing better to do in my life)

Hmm… let’s try 4 scenes…

When we last left, the friends have finally united after several years of seperation. Well, almost all the friends. One was simply pushed aside by Saurav’s addiction to caramel. And in only a few short minutes, one might be seperated again as a plane exploded a half a world away.

Damn, I suck at… I don’t even know what you call them. Conclusions? Briefings? Okay. This scene kicks off right after the last scene. I shouldn’t have ended scene there, but it got tiring, plus it made an excellent cliff hanger.

Scene 1.

Setting: CNN is blaring in the background. Starbucks employees are starting to close the cafe. Everyone’s ready to leave.

Bao: Sorry guys, I’m going back to work. I might be flying to Tokyo.

Saurav: Dude, what about dinner? You’re going to blow us off after six years of not seeing each other?

Teresa: Bao, the plane isn’t going anywhere at the moment. Will Boeing care if you’re gone another several hours?

Bao: (laughs) No. Actually, I’m not on the accident investigation board. But they–

Saurav: Shut the hell up. We’re going to eat! You know, after I get another caramel frap. (holds up empty cup)

Martin: (awestruck) Dude, it’s coffee. Not shots of alcohol.

Saurav: (in a like-it’s-the-most-obvious-thing-in-the-world tone) Dude, it’s me. Not someone else. (goes to the counter)

Teresa: Fosho.

Bao: You know, I parked a little far, so I’ll go fetch the car.

Martin: Let me go with you. Then we could ditch them for a strip joint.

They exit.

Nam: Hey Teresa, you want to… (voice trails off because Teresa hasn’t heard him and went to talk to Saurav by the counter instead. Looks down at his shoes.)

End scene.

Scene 2.

Bao and Martin are walking across the dark parking lot. There are still many cars, but barely any people. Someone walks up to them as they’re walking.

Bao: So I was thinking. When you design my house…

Martin: We talked about this so many times on AIM, but it’s still no!

Bao: Come on! Why won’t you design my house? You’re my best friend. You know… I love you.

Martin: (Smiles) Reeeaally?

(Nam, Teresa, and Saurav walks out and starts to catch up)

Bao: Holy crap. You really haven’t changed a bit. Dude… (holds out hand to stop Martin. They both stop walking. Bao squints at a person who’s walking to them) Dude, I think that kid is lost.

Martin: (frowns) Yeah. But something doesn’t feel right. (He walks to the person.) Hey kid.(softly) Come here… it’s okay, come to me… Everything’s gonna be okay.

Saurav: (to Bao) Oh my God, is Martin really going to do what I think he is?

Teresa: He wouldn’t. I’ll call the cops myself.

Bao: What? (confused, then realizes) Oh! No we think the kid is lost…

Teresa, Nam, Saurav: Ohhh.

Nam: Yeah, because we thought he was gonna–

(Teresa, Bao, Saurav all shush him. They all turn to watch Martin and the kid)

Martin: Do you need a phone?

Vikki: No, I just need some money so I can catch a bus.

Martin: Sure thing, honey. (Pulls out his wallet)

Vikki: Ohhh look. A cat! (points behind Martin)

Martin turns around and Vikki kicks him in the groin. He falls, releases a high pitched scream, and both of his hands instinctively cover the groin area. He drops the wallet in the process. Bao, Saurav, Nam, and Teresa looks at the scene with a mixed expression of horror and amusement. Vikki picks up the wallet and runs towards the street. She trips and falls onto some grass a few feet away from the street. Bao and Teresa head towards Vikki while Nam and Saurav runs to help Martin.

End scene 2.

Scene 3.

Saurav: (laughing) Dude, you just got raped!

Martin: Shut the F*** up! (knocks Saurav’s drink out of his hands)

Saurav: You b*tch…

Martin and Saurav start wrestling

Nam: (shouts) Guys, guys! Let’s not fight. Just think about it. Is this how it’s gonna be after finally seeing each other?

Saurav: (panting) Yeah, you’re right. (turns to Martin) You’re such a hypocrite man…

Martin: What!?

Saurav: You always tell us to protect our investments. I think that kid just–

Martin: Alright alright alright.

Saurav: I mean, DUDE. She just

Martin: Alright!! Come on, I’ll replace your drink…

(Nam laughs and the three of them walk back to Starbucks)

End scene 3.

Scene 4.

(Teresa and Bao pants as they finally reach Vikki, who is panting even harder and is in apparent pain)

Bao: Okay Vikki, just hand back the wallet…(coughs) and I won’t call the cops.

Teresa: What the hell, that’s Vikki?

Bao: You don’t recognize her?

Teresa: What is there to recognize?

Vikki: Guys?

Bao: I know there isn’t much, but you don’t recognize her voice?

Teresa: That doesn’t sound like Vikki.

Bao: Holy crap, she was your best friend.

Teresa: Was being the key word.

Vikki: Hey guys!

Bao: Okay, how about that kick?

Teresa: (hands to her hips, leaning in) What about it?

Bao: Vikki used to go to tae kwon do. That’s a classic front kick.

Teresa: (exasperated) It was a kick to the groin! So what?

Vikki: (Shouts) GUYS!

Teresa, Bao: (Shouts) WHAT!?

Vikki: (small voice) Could you help me up? I think I sprained my ankle.

End scene.

Filed under: The distant future...

Updating friends mini-series. 3 scenes.

Setting: Nam, Teresa, and Martin are talking inside the Starbucks. They’re seated facing away from the entrace. There are few customers and a large high definition TV is showing a heated tennis match. Two Starbucks employees are also quietly talking behind the counter.

Nam: So Teresa. You got hella tall!

Teresa: Thank you. For stating the obvious. (Nam laughs)

Martin: Haha, no she’s just messing with you. Her heels you see add like… only three inches what the F*** (voice gets progressively higher) happened to you!? (Hugs exchanged)

Nam: Wait, you guys haven’t seen each other?

Teresa: Yeah well… we met again haven’t we? I wonder where Saurav and Bao are…

End scene.

Scene 2.

Meanwhile, Saurav and Bao walks from parked car to Starbucks. Though there are plenty of cars, there are few people. Bao parked three rows away, so it’s a short walk to the cafe. A short woman is approaching them. She’s shabbily dressed and pushes a shopping cart full of belongings.

Vikki: Can you two spare some change please?

Bao: What the… (stares blankly)

Saurav: No sorry ma’am. C’mon, Bao. (pushes Bao)

Bao: DUDE! Don’t you recognize–

Saurav: Yes! Caramel!!! (speed walks to the entrance)


Saurav: CARAMEL!

(Bao gives up and seems to temporarily push matters away from his mind. Jogs to catch up to Saurav)

End scene 2.

Scene 3.

TV is showing a music video while Martin, Nam, and Teresa continue to talk.

Martin: Well, after college, I pretty muched stayed in L.A. for awhile. There’s so many businesses there. I helped design the building for the new ride at Universal Studios. (Bao and Saurav quietly enter) They liked it, so yeah. Hoping to do something for Disneyland next.

Nam: Dude, that’s hella cool.

Bao: SO ya never became Pope…

Teresa, Nam, Martin: GUYS! (hugs and handshakes all over)

Teresa: Alright! So everyone’s here and now we can go and eat. There’s this place in Cupertino–

Saurav: (interrupts) What the hell. Give me my caramel frap and we’ll talk. (Goes to counter and orders)

Martin: (To Bao) Man, you’re still as skinny as ever.

Bao: Yeah man. I’ve given up trying to gain weight. Too much work and in the end, the scale just goes back to where it’s always been. But look at you! You should be in a freaking Subway commercial.

(Martin laughs)

Bao: So Teresa, what’s up with you?

Teresa: I got taller!

Saurav: (walks over and looks at Teresa’s heels) Psh, whatever. Those heels really add like… (confused look)

(brief pause)

Nam: No one wants to know about me?

Saurav: Of course not. I’m kidding! (Hastily. Nam looked crestfallen)

Nam: Okay guess what? I finally–

(cellular phone rings)

Bao: Oh that’s me. Sorry Nam. (walks out the door while reaching for phone)

Nam: It’s okay! Anyways, I finally–

Man behind counter: (interrupts) Venti caramel frap is ready!

Saurav: Sorry Nam, tell me later.

Nam: Oh, okay… (turns to Martin and Teresa to find them conversing. Has a look to suggest that he feels left out)

Martin: Teresa. When you drove here, did someone ask you for money?

Teresa: No, why?

Martin: I don’t know. I have this feeling–

(Door opens and Bao rushes in breathless. He runs to the counter)

Bao: (half yells) CNN. Change it to CNN!

Man behind counter: (eyes wide open) Y-y-yes, sir. (Changes channel. The entire cafe quiets and watches. Television footage shows film captured by a cellphone)

Newswoman: Again, we have eyewitness reports that a plane has just crashed briefly after take off from Narita International Airport located in Tokyo. Experts confirm that the plane is the latest Boeing aircraft to have rolled off the line and eyewitnesses say that the wings disintegrated and the plane fell in flames. More on this story as it develops…

End scene 3.

Filed under: General, The distant future...

Feeling uncharacteristically sentimental… Starbucks

On Monday, my friends made a surprise visit to my house during the late afternoon. They rang the doorbell and I graciously left them there standing on the doorstep of my home. While they stood there chatting away, ignorant at any problems going on in the world, I went scrambling around the house looking for my wallet, keys, and GPS all the while telling my sister to go dress for martial arts practice. Martin, meanwhile, took my toy gun and began shooting plastic BBs into the street. Then all of us went to Choi’s to drop off my sister at TKD then drove to Starbucks.

Starbucks… a seemingly ordinary cafe on the side of the road will forever be a sentimental landmark for me. It was literally a second hang out, a place where our gales of laughter rang throughout the room. It’d be wonderful if we could still go there every once in awhile, maybe even years from now.

*Eight years from now…

Setting: A silver sedan is driving along Aborn road. It’s eight o’clock at night. Bao and Saurav are on their way to meet some old friends, who’ve arrived five minutes ago at the Starbucks. It’s August 9, 2017.

Saurav: Shiit, man. Thanks for picking me up from SFO. I’m soo tired. Did you know that in Moscow, there’s NO caramel frap. I came over there and I’m like ‘what the fuck.’ Man, I’ll eat beef for a caramel frap. And that plane trip made me want to hurl.

Bao: (a bit offended) Dude, shut the hell up. I helped MAKE that plane.

Saurav: Oh, right. (Smiles) What’d you make? That tiny little flap on the wing that does nothing, right?

Bao: Burn in hell! And no, I actually had a hand in designing the entire wing. NASA will rue the day they turned me down…

(Saurav and Bao pull onto the Starbucks parking lot)

Saurav: (squints) Dude, is that Martin?

Bao: (laughs) Ohh yeah man. You were in Moscow for forever, so I never really called you. Martin lost like 400 pounds while you were gone.

Saurav: And I guess it transferred to Teresa. (points to other person)

Bao: (leans on the wheel and squints) No man, that’s Nam. Looks like he grew a ponytail. (points to 3rd person) THAT is Teresa.

Saurav: (stares, then smiles) No way man. HAHA there’s no chance in hell that’s Teresa.

Bao: Why not?

Saurav: She’s hella tall. She’s taller than you!

Bao: Yeahh, the days are gone since you can pick up her pencil and lift it over her head. Let’s go in…

Saurav: Hey, you think Vikki is still short?

End scene.


Saurav was on a two month business trip to Moscow working on a joint project with NASA and the Russians. After earning a Ph.D in computer science and a Bachelor’s degree in Physics, he worked several years on virtual reality systems before getting picked up by NASA where he began making human interface systems for the cockpit of a new spacecraft. He’s returned to the States, but will have to return to Moscow in a week.

Bao, however, was rejected by NASA. He found work with Microsoft where (wtf am I doing) where “I” usually spent the day helping to develop the latest flight simulator program. I thought that was kinda dull though because of my coworkers and their jokes… so I found an opening with Boeing. With my largest project finished (wing design), I’ve had some free time on my hands before they assign me on another project.

…aaand that’s like… well it was really fun. So much fun that I want to write more whether you guys like it or not. 😀 I’m going to try and put every one of my friends into this thing. Haha, it’s gonna be like a new mini-series! Who knows what’ll happen? Does Saurav and Vikki have kids? Does Eddie actually join the Olympics? This and so many other questions that are killing me slowly as I type… only time shall tell…

Filed under: The distant future...