Monday, August 6, 2012

Injured again

Yes, yes I've been terrible at keeping this blog updated, but now is as good as time as any to update it, especially with so many friends leaving Taiwan recently.

To get people caught up since the last post, I've traveled to the Philippines for some scuba and beach time with friends in January, then to Texas to see friends and family for a wedding in February and March, before heading back in June/July for another wedding.

Right before my trip in February, I met a wonderful girl who I absolutely adore. It was an amazing 5 months, but sadly she headed back home to finish her degree in mid July. Even though it's only been 3 weeks, it's felt like forever. We're committed to each other and doing the long distance thing - something I don't think I could have done in the past without the technology we have today (Skype, FaceTime, iMessage, whatsapp). Although even without the technology, she's definitely worth waiting for.

Currently, I'm in a cab headed to the hospital to get my knee checked out. I was playing flag football yesterday, and when trying to go around the defeder to sack the qb, I planted my left leg to cut back inside and felt my knee give out and heard a pop. I immediately crumpled down in pain and lay on my back fearing the absolute worst. Strangely, it was no where near as painful as the 1st time I tore my ACL 9 years ago, yet I heard a definite pop. I went home and did the typical treatment of rest, icing, compressing and elevating the knee, and I think that may have helped a bit, as when I woke up this morning, it was not as painful to put pressure on it as the previous night. Through some friends, I went to a recommended orthopedic surgeon this morning, and am heading there right now for another evaluation. I'm thinking I have a partial ACL tear, but only an MRI will reveal that, so here's hoping!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Beginnings, endings and everything in between.

It's been a whirlwind two months since I last posted, filled with ups and downs. Some of the highlights include seeing my friends from Texas I haven't seen in over a year, having an amazing trip together in Hong Kong and Vietnam and meeting some truly awesome folks during my travels. Some lowlights include getting my iPhone pickpocketed and losing my brand new digital camera I had for all of 7 days (although I will contend that was stolen too).

I've never really had anything of significant value stolen from me (my childhood doesn't count) so when I discovered that my iPhone was nicked by some ladies of the night on our short walk from our friend's hotel to our hotel, I was pretty pissed. Most of my friends have never seen me upset, let alone angry. I'm usually a pretty even keeled guy. That night, I was angry. If I had found the people who had stolen it, I might still be stuck in Vietnam being held for assault. Trying to track down my phone the next day just made me more annoyed, especially since I wasted a day trying to get it back, but I eventually resolved that it was gone, and moved on, but sulked for a while before coming to the conclusion it could have been much, much worse. At least they didn't take my wallet and camera too. I didn't get stabbed or physically assaulted. I still have all my organs. Who knows what some of those people are capable of. In the bigger scope of things, it's just an item that's easily, albeit expensive, to replace.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

An exercise in happiness

For this exercise, you might find it helpful to write it down or type it out. I find that it's easier, plus it'll keep a record of things you have already stated in the past.

To start, think back to yesterday, and remember something that made you smile. For me, it was talking to some friends back in Texas, and one had remembered a favor I asked of him about 5 months ago. The favor had languished in my mind, as it was not really important and wouldn't be affecting me until I met up with him in November (next week!!!), but now I could get it on my own when I head back in February. Nonetheless, the sentiment was greatly appreciated.

Next, think back to last week and remember something that made you smile or happy. Thinking back, it had to be Saturday, where I got to witness my coworker get married, then attending a BBQ with friends, and introducing what true southern BBQ is supposed to be like.

Moving on, this time to last month (October). Hands down, the last minute visit from my brother before he moved back to the States. My brother, father and myself went driving through Taiwan and stayed a night on top of a mountain, where we conversed, ate and drank some delicious 18 year old scotch. It was a father/son bonding experience that was never there growing up, and one that I'll cherish forever.

Now we get to the hard part, and skip years. Last year (November, 2010). I finally started getting in to my groove with meeting new people, and was introduced to a fantastic group of people at a traditional Thanksgiving Dinner right in the heart of Taipei. The night and the view is something I'll never forget.

Even tougher now, last decade (November, 2000). At the time, college was in full swing and my life revolved around the Longhorn Band, as I was on the Big Bertha Crew and my girlfriend at the time was marching in the LHB. The annual football game with the Aggies was still played on Thanksgiving Day, where we beat them 43-17 that year (I had to look that one up) and went on to lose to the Oregon Ducks in the Holiday Bowl. Since my girlfriend was from out of state and I didn't want to drive down to Houston, we spent it with others who happened to not be with family that day. It was a great time and a great meal had by all the wonderful people that attended.

This exercise is meant to help us remind us of those memories that have settled to the bottoms of our brains, along with so many others. However, in raising these memories, we also disturb those around it, much like sand on the bottom of the ocean, that we can use for the exercise next time. If you try this exercise I'd love to read what happy memories you dig up!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The storm has passed...

And with it, a calm has settled here in the form of brilliant blue skies and an air of change lingering through the clouds. Yet winter looms. The time of year I both love and hate. Only time will tell how much change this year's passing season will bring, but hope springs eternal.

I meet up with my friends from home for a much needed vacation in a little over two weeks, and that Friday can't get here soon enough. I look forward to catching up with friends I haven't seen in a year, to hearing and sharing things I've missed in my absence. That's really the hardest thing for me, not being there for my friends when they need a pick me up and vice versa. New friends are made, but they will never replace the trusted confidants that have been developed over years of bonded happiness and sadness. I still search for that dance partner in life, but she eludes me. The game teases me. Mocks me even. But I hold my head up and keep moving forward. That's all I can do.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Memories of yesteryear

It's funny how the human mind works. Each sense can invoke a memory long dormant, stored in the recesses of our brain. The smell of a flower. The silhouette of an image. The hum of a song. The taste of something you forgot you once had. The familiar trace of fingers along your body.

Sometimes the good memories show up, and it brightens your entire day. Sometimes they'll bring a tear to your eye and shake you to your core.

Good or bad, the memories that burst through make who I am. What I am. And those experiences helped to shape my life to the point it's at now. My mother passed when she was 39, barely having seen a fraction of the wonders that my eyes have witnessed in the last four. Her death fractured our family apart, as she was the glue that held us intact. Only in the last few years have the pieces of my family been precariously placed back together. It's been slow going, but the difference is noticeably night and day. This bonding of father and son and the continuing life lessons are what helped me decide to remain in Taiwan for another year, though my heart yearns to be back home in Texas, where my friends are, where things are familiar.

Don't worry though, I'll be back for a while, and before you know it, I'll be back for good. Just try not to forget about me.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Random memory of the day

As I rode on the MRT to work today, I stared out the window and noticed some clothes being hung out to dry and saw some ladies
undergarments (read: granny panties). That reminded me of my trip to Shanghai last year when I was visiting my good friend Victor who was there for work. We were exploring the city, walking through various neighborhoods and enjoying the architecture, when I noticed some laundry hanging to dry and noticed a pair of granny panties. No big deal, except that there was a skid mark on the back side. And that folks, is my random memory of the day.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

I am...

I am a brother.
I am a son.
I am a friend.
I am a confidant.
I am Taiwanese.
I am Texan.
I am a Longhorn alum.
I am loyal.
I am fearful.
I am introspective.
I am hopeful.
I am filled with happiness.
I am empty.
I am tired.
I am imperfect.
I am human.
I am me.