Monthly Archives: August 2011

Do I Have to Finish One Thing at the Time?

If I had a clone, I would make her existence solely about reading what I never have time to read. I know that sounds awful. You’d think I’d want her to have her own life, with the only condition that she’d play substitute for me at work from time to time, of course. But where’s this coming from?

Here are the Wall Street Journal (Saturday edition) and the LA Times (Sunday edition). Today is Sunday, and I’m still trying to finish the Journal. I’ll probably not finish the Times until Monday- if I’m lucky. I mean, I do have to play housewife while I try to finish my homework before the week starts all over again.

This is one of the biggest problems I have though- I am unable to read one thing at the time. Call it whatever it is, but I have a hard time in concentrating on one thing only (We’re watching Glee as I write this). But this isn’t only about my life at home, this is usually what my work desk looks like:

From left to right: Agenda, Essentials of Screenwriting, Ultimate Book of Words, and Global Youth

This is usually how it works, I get to work and I pull out three or four books from my backpack. Then I start reading, and changing books from chapter to chapter. Is this bad? I keep trying to figure out if this is a sign that I have a problem with finishing things. Or if maybe I am just a bookworm after all.

-MTO

P.S. Yes, I do actually work while I’m at work. I still have time to read though.

 


Procrastination? Again?

I have a midterm tomorrow, and a paper the day after. I just drank some coffee, Mad Men is on, and all I seem to do is browsing with StumbleUpon. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I am at my peak of procrastination. I work before my midterm tomorrow so I either study tonight, or I study tonight- yet I can’t seem to do either.

What do you do to keep from procrastinating? I don’t even have a Facebook anymore, so I’m in trouble here.


The F Word

We went to the Glendon Bar & Kitchen this morning to grab some brunch- courtesy of my wife’s aunt. Summer hasn’t been the best financially, and having an opportunity to get a free brunch is something we treasure greatly. I always tell my wife she’s been really lucky to have relatives who care deeply about her (us, really) the way they do.

This was our first time going there, even though it’s within walking distance. The place was getting crowded when we arrived… around noon. And for some reason it was hotter inside than outside. We were seated right away (we did have a reservation), and it didn’t take us long to get drinks either.

There were four students to our right, and the table to our left was taken after a few minutes of us being there. Perhaps at the same time the college boys left. A man, a woman (Both mid thirties), and older woman sat there. For the longest time I though the man and woman were a couple, taking grandma out to brunch- but my wife says that they may have been brother and sister. Whatever their relation, I envied them.

I live very far from my own family, and I don’t get to see them as often as I would like to. I ran away from their judgement, and that’s on me- but now that the judgement is somewhat gone, I wish I could have more contact with them. I certainly wish we could take my grandma out for brunch sometime.

She would smile all the time, happy to see us. And she would probably tell very embarrassing stories about me as I choke on my cup of coffee (my wife and grandma have not met so these stories have not been shared yet). She’d probably say how proud she is of us, and I would have to keep myself from wanting to hug her all the time.┬áMy grandma raised me… so she’s more than just a grandma to me. We hope we can see her for graduation- that would complete my day then.

As we got our food, I tried to push the sad thoughts away from my mind. I had the Steak & Eggs- which were to die for. Sourdough at the bottom, Ribeye steak, then sunny side up eggs on top. There was a “salsa” on the side, which was more like just roma tomatoes… but taking a bite of all four things combined made this dish worth every penny (even if I were actually paying for it myself!) The Mrs. had the Curry Waldorf sandwich- which was also pretty good (and this is a lot coming from me because I’m not crazy about curry. This one had chicken, yellow curry, granny smith apples, roasted cashews and dried cranberries on raisin pecan bread- and a side of garlic fries. Though I had been thinking I wouldn’t come back to the place because of how hot it was… the food was too good to ignore.

We will come back for sure. Perhaps I can take grandma there for brunch after commencement is over. A dreamer can dream, right?

-MTO


Bus Rides to Different Worlds

I don’t know how much you know about UCLA… other than the fact that our football team still sucks. Despite the fact that this isn’t our brightest hour (see: Education cuts in California), there are some things that still amaze me about this school.

UCLA is indeed a multicultural school. If you walk on campus on any given day, you will probably hear at least three different languages spoken- and after 10 steps in any direction, you may have probably crossed the paths of at least two students that come from a very different place than yours.

Sometimes, when my wife’s break from class and my lunch break from work coincide, and when I’m more than happy to give up my lunch readings to see her, I take the University Shuttle to campus and meet her at the cafeteria behind the law school. Since she only gets thirty minutes, we eat quickly, but I treasure every minute as if it were an hour. Once our meal is over I hurry back to the bus stop. And then I wait impatiently for the shuttle, as I alternate looking at my watch and the corner where the shuttle turns my way.

Once in the bus, a ride to different worlds begin. Last week’s in particular, there were three groups around me. I sat right next to the back exit, because unlike most of the people around me, my trip wasn’t as long. There were two girls sitting across from me. They were speaking Russian. I had heard my wife enough to know which language, but not enough to know what they were saying. They caught me staring, and I smiled shyly, wishing I could have asked where they came from and what classes they were taking.

The guys in front of me, three of them, were speaking French. They were talking about the beach, I knew that much- “Plage.” But their words were too quick for my slow brain, and I couldn’t ever catch more than a word or two- but never full sentences.

A couple behind me, speaking Japanese, seemed to be arguing about something. I didn’t catch anything they said because I have never had any contact with the language… Perhaps something I could correct in the future. Whatever it was, he talked more than she did. Before I knew it, my stop was sneaking upon me.

I stepped outside the bus and I thought of all these people I’ll never meet. I’ll never know their stories, or their classes- yet we were still sharing a ride, a space together, for about 15 minutes…

-MTO


I’ll Admit it- I’m Addicted to This!

What do you do during your lunch break?

I eat sometimes, but my favorite thing to do is to read. Mostly I read for school, but lately I’ve been able to do some more readings-

But what I’ve actually been liking about my lunchtime readings is that I’ve found myself some interesting company:

I named it Rick.

Okay, now seriously. The book I’m reading, Global Youth, has been one of the most interesting books I’ve read it a while. I’ve learned so much about youth in other places… like immigrants to the UK and Australia, French Canadians, Japanese technology-lovers, and Muslim youth in Indonesia. And I’m barely halfway through this book.

It amazes me how sheltered I grew up and how little I know about the world. Cultures are so amazing to me… we’re all so different, but that’s something I enjoy. But not a lot of people feel this way- hence discrimination and all.

But that’s silly, isn’t it? Think about it- would you want to wear the same shirt everyday? Wouldn’t you want to try something different?

Anyway, want a read an addicting book that will also teach you something valuable? Add this one to your reading list then!

-MTO


Summer Love

American Graffiti is on, I’m drinking coffee, and I’m craving a burger- you can blame that last one on American’s Graffiti’s publicity of Mel’s Drive-In. School’s load is increasing by the minute, but I’m finally loving it. So much that I’m trying hard not to think and dread the minute this love goes away.

There are a few reasons why I’ve started to love summer:

First, I’m taking a class with my favorite professor. He’s such a geek about politics that he makes me a geek about politics. Even today when he warned us that today’s lecture, about the Constitution, wouldn’t be as interesting as the past ones, I smiled to myself because I actually love the Constitution.

Second, my other class is truly picking my creative bug. I’m a little resentful that I haven’t been able to continue my own writing because of everything that is going on right now. But since I’m working on a screenplay for this class, then it is ultimately not so bad. Besides, I’m learning to write better, and I’m liking the challenging nature of this class.

Third, I’ve actually been able to do some “pleasure” reading. I have a gym bag full of books I got from the Research Library a few weeks back. I’m currently on my third book, and I really love being able to choose what I read.

Fourth, my wife and I have been able to spend more time together than we usually would during the academic year. Even though the difference isn’t all that significant, I still take what I can get.

Fifth, because it is summer after all…

-MTO


After the Storm Comes the…

Coffee!

I sprained my ankle today. It happened almost in slow motion, and since it was a public place, I pretended nothing had happened until I was back in the safety of my car. But something had happened. It’s not terrible pain and I can step on it. But it’s uncomfortable and I do have intermittent shooting pain. That one does hurt. But enough of my ankle!

I write to you today/tonight from a happier place (disregarding the ankle pain). I like my classes better, and work hasn’t been terrible these past couple of days. Do I think it’s weird? Sure I do. It’s like everything is going wrong, including the economy, and then everything becomes good again! (Except for the economy). I mean, am I the only one these things happen to? Please make me feel like this is more normal than I think it is.

One of my classes is a screenwriting class. I love it so far. I know it sounds fun and easy, but it’s more technical than it sounds like; but yes, it is fun… not sure about the easy part though. One of the things that I love about it is that we get to watch certain movies I probably wouldn’t have otherwise- like Kramer vs. Kramer (an excellent film by the way). So while I ice my ankle tonight we will be watching tonight’s movie: Tootsie.

-MTO


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