Saturday, April 28, 2007

From Then to Now

Back in my very first blogging days (over four years ago!), I intentionally treated my Xanga blog like a diary, detailing events that occurred each day and what my thoughts were on those different things that happened. It became a way of "getting my thoughts straight" everyday and recalling memories with more ease whenever I look back.

A lot to things have changed. Life has been busy. It's been hard finding time to pause, reflect and put the metaphorical pen to paper.

I try to be as candid as possible but I have to be honest: it's hard here. I might attribute it to the blinding lights of Blogger and my close-knit community that is both a blessing and a curse. Here I find something of an audience, but at times I know I must hold back. Maybe that's okay.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


It feels good to pass through one. You get a chance to stop for a bit, take stock, and get a feel for how far you've gone on your journey. I guess after walking out of your very last class in grad school (hence, my MIA status for the past couple weeks), it seems to be that time.

In a nutshell: I'm just glad it's all over and done.

Don't get me wrong, it was a big plus to be working with other graduate civil engineers possessing different skills and abilities. Most of them are also working too, so we shared the fatigue that comes from walking into an evening class after a full day's work. Also, I understood more that when you learn together, you also tend to learn about one another and how to play off each other's strengths and weaknesses to accomplish goals. They help the work feel anything but that.

But after 18 years straight of academic classes, it's clearly time to move on. I can't wait to see the next best thing. =)

"The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson." ~ Tom Bodett

Let the tests begin.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fantasy B-Ball Feedback

After a break of four years, I joined Fantasy Basketball once more with 9 other CEFC buddies and it was definitely worth the wait while it lasted. With less schoolwork pressure and more time to check the news, I dug my way back into the rigors of pro-basketball and went through the weekly roller coaster-like progress of the NBA. I made some decent moves early in the season and slowly took top spot...only to drop halfway down the ranks when nearly half of my team was injured. :-[ But a monster trade and a couple pickups helped me go back up the rankings. Unfortunately, a bad first round playoff match-up as well as injuries to my key players left a dud ending for my season. But that's life.

Below is a brief summary of some picks from my team:

Best Move: Adding Monta Ellis to the roster when he was starting in place of Baron Davis. BOO-YA!

Worst Move: Dropping Baron Davis. The injury-prone swingman only had a handful of absences this season, and I fell for it. I'll never hear the end of it from my boys.

Biggest Surprise: Al Jefferson. Became my personal double-double factory and kept my blocks in the game.

Biggest Bust: Mark Blount. Did well in the beginning, but became less aggressive to point where I can score more points than him in pickup basketball games (and that is not much either...)

Blockbuster Trade: Giving away Yao Ming and Chris Bosh for Andris Biedrins, Ricky Davis, and Michael Redd. Some thought it was fair, others thought it was stupid. Nevertheless, it did mixed things up and made life interesting for everyone!

Players to keep in mind next season: Kevin Garnett, Yao Ming/Chris Bosh, Steve Nash, Shawn Marion, Kobe Bryant (duh)

Despite an early exit, it was good to have a bunch of guys do something together, whip out the discussions each time we met, and joke around. Lots of fun for all. =) Now onto baseball!

Friday, April 6, 2007

True Love

While sitting in Good Friday service tonight and listening to The Last Seven Words of Jesus Christ, I felt something different than previous services of this occasion. Instead of joining the rest of the three congregations in the sorrowful remembrance for the death of our Savior for our sins, I was really somewhere else this time. I was in a state of awe.

Flash back to the last Sunday of March. AOW was invited to perform a sketch on the notion of false love to introduce the sermon in front of the entire English congregation for the first time. After the sketch (which, by the way, went really well after much hard work in writing, acting, and praying), Pastor Rich delivered on his message of the difference between true love and false love. In a nutshell, false love is self-seeking whereas true love is self-giving and furthermore, self-sacrificing. He drew an illustration of an aged man whose wife has just past away. After burying her, the man turned to his two sons and took them in his arms. He said:

"Boys, it was a good 54 years and it ended just the way I wanted it to end: your mother went first. You see when two people love other as much as your mother and I loved each other, each wants the other to go first. I did not want her to have to go through the pain of having to put me in the grave. If anybody was going to suffer, I wanted it to be me. It ended just the way I wanted it to end: your mother went first."

It was one of the best examples of true love I have ever heard. And Jesus Christ did even more than that - he wanted to suffer the pain and go to the grave first so we wouldn't go through it. So we may live and be free.

When I looked upon the cross that night, I couldn't bring myself to mourn my Lord. I could only look on, with wonder for this amazing grace - the ultimate act of true love by the Son of Man.

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends." ~ John 15:13

Sunday, April 1, 2007


I got up before dawn yesterday morning to run my first 10K in Agoura Hills. I went with my discipler Marvin and his family and met with Jesse, Tammy, Wing, and Eunice at the event location. Despite a cold morning and a moderately long drive to get there, it was, well, a great race. The cold morning gave way to clear skies and 75-degree weather. There were several volunteers as well as many families and friends to cheer on all racers and not just people they knew. I can't quite imagine a really supportive group of strangers and there isn't another day where their cheering would be most appreciated by all.

As Marvin and Jesse went to run their half-marathon, Tammy and I took our places at the start line on top of a hill with some running friends Joe and Edgar. The gun went off at 8:35am and we took off down the hill and went through the tree-lined streets that run alongside Old Agoura. It was a challenging course, with a few trails and a STEEP hill in the last third of the race (funniest part: rounding the corners only to come face-to-face with the hills and hearing certain interjections from other runners...). But there was a downhill finish that brought me to cheering friends and free post-race food. Pancakes, sausage, eggs, El Pollo Loco burritos, fruits of all sorts, fresh coffee, energy drinks, and a plethora of Dole samples more than made up for our famishment. With most of the group being Asian and having freebee bags as well as empty water bottle boxes lying around the place, let's say that we were sure to make the best of the opportunities at hand....=)

All in all, I finished with a time of 56:41, which is decent given the elevation conditions, but I hope to finish faster if I ever do another race with a flatter profile. I'm glad I felt good before and after the race with no injuries, and really just thankful God made it a great race, indeed. =)