Monthly Archives: July 2011

My Wife is Baking a Cake and I…

May have just finished the first half of summer school. I say “may have” because I am in the middle of a project, which I submitted yesterday, but had to edit it again today. If the professor likes this last edit, I may be actually allowed to say that I’m free from school for at least 5 days- pretty sad, I know.

I took my final yesterday and I haven’t got a clue of what grade I will get in the class. It breaks my heart that I don’t know. I used to be an A student. But then you get married, and you have a job, and you’re tired all the time, and then you’re just not an A student anymore. Is it worth it still? You betcha! Did I not mention my wife is baking a cake?

But what happens when that one coworker who’s always chatty and friendly sees us kissing the other day when I dropped off my wife at school? Apparently more than I thought it would. She saw us Tuesday. Today, I happened to work with her. Let’s call her Stacey.

I am very selective as to who I come out to at work. Not because I’m not “out and proud,” but because I live in L.A., and you never know who has some hatred in them ready to be triggered. It also has something to do with the fact that I work closely with different people. If there’s something not working well between me and a coworker, it disrupts the pace and makes me miserable.

When I was told I would work with her, I thought it would be okay. I still remember how big her eyes widened when she saw us. Since I was in the car, I could pretend I didn’t see her. Which I did. I still thought that maybe, it would all be okay- Except that… today, she wasn’t chatty. Or friendly. Or anything. She was short, didn’t look me in the eyes, and avoided contact with me, when she could. I really wanted to tell her that I’m not contagious, but I refrained.

It’s only been one day and she could have been having a long/awful day- after all, I don’t (always) think that the world spins around me. But I sure hope that what I think is happening isn’t happening. It would really put a lot more stress at work and that is not what I need right now.

-MTO

P.S.: And in case you were wondering, it is a chocolate strawberry cake.


Test Coming Up

Ok boys and girls, ladies and gents, I have my final tomorrow. That means today I will pretty much be stuck to my computer and some textbooks all day long- sounds fun, doesn’t it?

I requested the day off from work to study. We woke up at 9:20am this morning (as opposed to the usual 5:30am), and I’m feeling like a princess. I really should find a new job that doesn’t require me to work so early. Waking this late feels amazing… Though I know once I work on my career job, that won’t happen. Perhaps I will have to wake up even earlier so I can commute to the city. But that’s still far away. Actually, even for law school, I will have to commute from Santa Monica (where we want to live) to downtown. So maybe not far away. Traffic, I have not missed you.

I must go before I keep procrastinating. Wish me luck!


A Character in the Making

I’m closer and closer to crossing the halfway point in the story I’m currently writing. I’m itching to start typing it out, but I’m afraid it might be too early still (this is a handwritten project so far). The story has a mix of real events and fiction. So far so good.

The lead, Susie, is seven years old. She is the narrator, and daughter of an impossible family. The story begins when the family decides to relocate, which is a decision almost always taken by adults- kids don’t get an opinion. After all, families are not democracies, but rather dictatorships. Although Susie had come to terms with the move, the dream she had the night before the day they’re supposed to move changes things for her. The dream was clear in announcing that something bad will happen and her family was in danger. But when she tried to warn her family about it, it was to no avail- no one would listen to a 7 year old.

I would tell you more but that would ruin the suspense, wouldn’t it? Needless to say I’m super excited about this. I am also reading some books about writing to guide me a bit with this process- because it can’t hurt to listen to those who’ve done it already. And I am lucky to have a stupid daytime job that allows me some time to write. A job I may lose if I don’t go back to it right now (I’m in my lunch break).

-MTO


It’s All About the World

I used to hear stories about how you should be nice to others because everything affects everyone. None of that made more sense until today.

Truth is that there’s a lot of stuff going on in the world that isn’t right, and we do little about it. Why? Usually because we’re not aware of it. But what happens when we do become aware? I’ve been feeling so guilty about food and resource waste that though I’m very thirsty right now, I can’t bring myself to buy a bottle of water. “That won’t last long” you may say, and you may be right, but I truly hope you’re not.

Growing up, when my grandma wanted to coerce me to eat ALL my food, she’d say something like “there are children who don’t even eat in one day half of what you’re eating right now. They were pretty good in guilting me to eat. But how about teaching me or giving me resources to help those who don’t eat in a day half of what I’m eating right now?

I still remember when my mother, in her ignorance, asked me why I do community service (her question was: why are you working for free?). Sure I’m broke, and sure she’s worse, but it’ll never kill anyone to provide some help to others, instead of say… watching TV. Those habits have changed, I will admit, but it is because I am currently more overworked than I was before and all the little free time I have goes to some rest (which is truly less than 4 hours of sleep each night).

But back to the original problem- what to do now? People are hungry, women get raped (children do too), people live without civil liberties, people can’t afford a car, or a laptop- heck, that was me not too long ago! So how CAN we fix the world? I don’t know- or at least not yet. Yes, we all ponder on this question. But this is particularly important today because I can’t bring myself to buy a bottle of water.

Confused,

-MTO


Blogging From a Semi-Crowded Classroom: Is Your Job Taking Over?

My class was supposed to start 5 minutes ago- the professors is late. I will not complain.

I was told last night by one of our closest friend that I’ve become very negative. She’s known me for close to four years, and she feels I’ve changed since then. I told her that my current job was the reason (which is in customer service). She told me that it couldn’t be that, and it had to be my own projection onto the world. Then I told her stories about my job. She didn’t close her mouth for once second, and she finally agreed with me that it was my job. So I asked my coworkers about their behavior too. They all feel they’re more snappy, short-tempered, and somewhat depressed since they’ve been working there.

Then my question is: Has your job taken over you yet? And furthermore, do you feel you’ve changed since you started your current job?

-MTO


Mission: Live Life Properly

I am three months away from the LSATs- scary, I know? So why is it that it is now that I get a proposal to do something else? Okay it wasn’t quite a direct proposal, but it sounded very much like one. Remember that one professor who I recently wrote a letter to? Well, that same professor told me yesterday that I was going to be extremely successful in this program, and that he will help me find funding for my dissertation. I’m not even planning to take the GRE!!!

For someone who’s family always complains about her going to college, having some reinforcement from a successful adult is a cool thing, but this didn’t happen to come at the right time. My wife tells me that I should think about it. She says that I’m stressed now about getting into law school, I will be stressed once in law school, and then I’ll be stressed after it! (aka my whole life). Truth is I’ve been pretty depressed lately (pretty much since UCLA became a disappointment- until now), and all this pressure I have over me is the reason why. But if I weren’t to go to law school… I don’t know what would happen.

The thing is that I’ve been so concerned about dodging family expectations and trying to find a compromise, that I don’t even know what I really wanted in the first place! So here is a new mission, trying to make sure that what I said I wanted is really what I truly wanted/want. Too bad the clock is ticking.

-MTO


Why Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 is My Favorite One of All

Note: Since this movie came out so recently, I will not have spoilers here. This might be at times a difficult task, specially since most people who have not seen the movie, but are planning to, probably have read the book already.

It was 11:35pm. We had come to the theater after dinner with some of my wife’s colleagues. We had been waiting to see the Harry Potter movie since we were teased with Part 1 last year. The theater was crowded. There were even people fighting for a front row seat. I wondered how the premiere night must have been. I almost felt wise for waiting another night to see it.

Via Seat42f.com

I don’t know about you, but I grew up reading Harry Potter. I couldn’t buy the first four books, but one of my friends, Charlie, let me borrow his. I usually read them overnight, holding a flashlight, under the blankets.

I was in love with the magical world. Perhaps it is impossible for a kid not to want to be able to do magic. Just think of all the things I could have done! I could have make dinner appear one night so grandma would have had a break from cooking. I could have given my brother that one soccer ball he really wanted. I could have made the perfect man appear for my mom (who probably would have been the exact opposite of my dad). And I could have made my grandpa go away, so he would stop beating grandma for no reason; no questions asked. I could have made more books appear for myself. Perhaps this way I could have owned the Harry Potter books myself, instead of waiting for Charlie to bring me the next one.

I was never a fan of the movies though. Not because they weren’t great, but because they never did the books justice. I always felt betrayed when my favorite part in a book wasn’t shown in the movie. But Deathly Hallows Pt. 2 was different. This wasn’t another of the movies. This was THE movie. The last one. The ending one.

As I warned earlier, I will not talk about the plot. But if I’m allowed to share why I loved this one so much, let me tell you that it had a lot to do with me wanting them to succeed. I cried when they suffer; I smiled when they did something right. I knew this time I couldn’t wonder if the next movie was going to be better. This was as good as it was ever going to get. Though I hate that this is the end, it is difficult not to love it the most. This is the last memory of it that I will ever have. At least until the remakes come in twenty years or so.

-MTO

 


Dear Professor

I find your class extremely interesting and I feel I’m learning a great deal. I love the readings, and though I dread coming to your lectures because I am currently overworked, I still enjoy participating and getting to learn from you.

Which is why I was so disappointed when I failed my midterm. You specifically said that we could not go over 4 sentences on our short answers, but then I didn’t get enough points because I didn’t say enough in 4 sentences. Though, arrogantly, you declared that EVERYONE in the class needs to start doing the readings and paying attention to class because we, overall, didn’t do well in the midterm, I would have hoped you could see the stark contrast of my grade in the multiple choice part of the exam. If I didn’t read or pay attention, I would not have been able to perform so well in multiple choice questions- unless you truly believe that I can get lucky 21 times in a row, guessing the right answer.

I’m not a professor, but it seems clear to me that your test was testing my ability to compress information into a restricted amount of space, rather than testing my knowledge of the material. I know that this is the summer and all, but I don’t see why I (and other students) should suffer because you don’t want to spend more time reading everyone’s actual answer, regardless of length. It saddens me, that even though you provide the right tools to learn, you fail at providing the right tools to test the knowledge learned. These two things go together- one cannot work well without the other. It is unfortunate that you are giving us the knowledge, yet you don’t let us proof such knowledge on paper.

Sincerely,

-MTO


Time to Reveal My Identity?

I don’t really remember much about why we decided to blog anonymously. I do know it had something to do with the idea that our story could be anyone else’s (as far as LGBT rights go), but even if unconsciously, it probably had something to do with protecting our safety too (see: Hate Crimes).

If you don’t know it already, my biggest dream ever has been to write a book (well, really more than one). This is the case because I was a bookworm when I was little (and even still today). I didn’t have the sweetest childhood (though my mother and grandmother’s were worse than mine), and books were my only window to some sort of freedom. I knew then that I wanted to write stories for other people too.

Via thewashingtonnote.com

Now the tricky thing is that even though being a writer would be a great thing, it isn’t the only thing I would want to do- hence why I don’t pursue it as a full-time thing. Rather I’d like it to be my outlet from something else… in my case, lawyering. Anyhow I did set up this ridiculous goal when I was little to write a novel by the time I graduated from high school. That didn’t happen, of course.

I have been writing things every now and then but nothing ever becomes something. I did write a screenplay a few years ago but after my third draft, I realized I didn’t like it anymore, and put it aside. Now with school and work, I hardly have time for anything. So I haven’t tried any writing in a while.

Today though, for no reason, I began to write a story on receipt paper. After using two long strips of it, I moved on to a notebook. And then somehow I had my story going. I realized that my problem was having unrealistic goals. This time I haven’t any. I am only writing, and maybe shooting for a short story. If anything else comes out of it, then I will take it- and if not, I’ll just keep trying.

However, I will tell you this. If something (as I really do think in my heart that this is something) comes out of this, and I get published (even self-published), I will have no other choice than to reveal the real name of the author behind these words to my lovely readers. After all, how else will I advertise myself?

-MTO


Hanging by a Moment

Today my work hours were cut. Starting this week, I will be 250 dollars short per month. I was given no prior notice, and in fact, I wasn’t even told that it had happened. I felt my stomach sink.

I have probably mentioned already how this summer we’re really tight on money- this won’t make it any better. I didn’t look for another job before the summer started because my boss told me I was going to be able to work close to full-time over the summer. Then, all of sudden, management changed their mind.

Because I am a “working student,” they feel it is okay to do this. But it really isn’t. This is my life they’re playing with. I may be a student, but I’m also a student who has bills to pay and needs money to buy food. They’ll get away with it though, because I’m disposable and they can just fire me- if they feel like it.

I looked into other jobs already but I’m not sure that I’ll be able to get anything better. It is the middle of the summer after all, so finding a summer job might not be so easy at this time. If only I would have been told differently before, I could have had another job and not worry about how we’ll make it through now. People wonder why we have lawyers, but it is for moments like this one. Too bad I cannot afford one right now, and no one would probably take me that seriously on this. I still insist this is my life they’ve messed up with.

My break is about to be over and I will be off sometime this afternoon. Then the Mrs. and I will be able to sit down and talk about this. After all, we’re a team (thankfully) and I don’t have to deal with this all by myself. I just wish we didn’t have to deal with it at all. Though not to the same degree, I feel for the people who get laid off- I wonder if employers have the slightest clue of how much they can impact, in a negative way, someone else’s life.

-MTO


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