Reflections and Expectations: Phrasing!

How fitting...almost. (Photo: MarinaAquamarina via Reddit)

How fitting…for the most part. (Photo: MarinaAquamarina via Reddit)

Most months since early 2014 have been relatively dull; some even more so than others. This past month has been uneventful due to a lack of any special plans or major developments.

Still, I’ll keep to the usual format. It’s hard to expand upon something so short (hence the subtitle of this month’s post). Let’s look back at the month that was and look ahead to a hopefully more eventful April — at least marginally, it should be.

March

Graduate school at SJSU – One class ended and another began. I passed my last one with flying colors as usual. One year in and I still got it.

Archer – I binge-watched all five seasons on Netflix as well as all the episodes of the current season on FX. The above subtitle, “Phrasing!”, is an oft-repeated line in the series. Overall, great use of my time during the weeklong break I had between my two classes in mid-March. Phrasing?

RailPAC – I wrote a couple of articles for the organization’s website. I still like writing in personal and professional spheres including on this space. I still hope to land a job soon where I can write on a daily basis once again.

April

  • Birthday – I’m turning 26 this Saturday. As with recent years, I have no special plans for this weekend. I might treat myself to a whole pie or cheesecake. Either of those sound good right about now.

How was your month of March? What are you looking forward to as spring kicks into high gear? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you.

On This Sunday: 6 days to 26

Birthdays generally don’t seem all that exciting for grown-ups.

The last birthday I recall that qualified as “exciting” by any measure was when I had a few friends surprise me at my dorm at Cal State Fullerton for my 21st birthday in 2010. Since then, birthdays have become largely uneventful occasions with no special plans or events of any kind. Each April 4th since 2011 my usual reaction is, “Oh, it’s April 4th. I turn another year old. What’s else is new?”

If I can predict what next weekend is like, I might simply get myself a whole pie or cheesecake for the occasion. Why didn’t I think of that instead of a regular cake sooner? Perhaps this week is that time.

We’ll see. Have a wonderful week, America!

On This Sunday: Dollars for Dollar

Creflo-Dollar-exiting-jet-How-to-spot-a-false-prophet-e1426585049244

Photo: Beginning and End

I’ve always been wary of megachurches, given their massive budgets and emphasis on style over substance. It’s particularly troubling when the head pastor of one megachurch asks his parishioners to pony up $65 million for a private jet.

Anyone in their right mind can realize how ridiculous such a request can be. For all that $65 million can do to make a difference in this world — fighting poverty, eradicating hunger, getting homeless veterans off the streets among many other causes — Creflo Dollar (yes, his affinity for wealth is even in his name) was destined to generate that kind of money for a Gulfstream G650, one of the most expensive jets in the world. Describe by Motley Fool as the “ultimate symbol of wealth,” even millionaires are subject to a four-year waiting list before they can finally get their hands on one.

Bottom line, leave your church if your pastor begins to make that kind of requests to parishioners like yourself. Instead, support your local community churches where they are truly focused on the good word and dedicated to helping others as opposed to enriching themselves. That way, you can hopefully remind people like Creflo Dollar what churches are really meant for…and that doesn’t include fundraising for a $65-million private plane.

On This Sunday: This Week in Dachshunds

Yes, wiener dogs have been making the rounds in the news this past week — a lot more than they usually do. Here is a roundup of all the dachshund-related stories I’ve gathered this week.

Not an article but it does involve a great friend of mine recently welcoming a second dachshund into her family. This little pup’s name is Lexi.

I finally got her to sit still for a picture! #puppy #love #instagood

A photo posted by Lauren Rose Loxterman (@laurenrosepr) on

On This Sunday: Hawk Strong

11018866_10153130227529127_2859657727111889474_n Last Monday was a difficult day for my alma mater El Dorado High School (EDHS) in Placentia, Calif. 31-year-old photography teacher Jillian Jacobson was found dead in a classroom that morning in an apparent suicide. KABC-TV has the full story.

I did not know Mrs. Jacobson. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly a tragic moment that affects students, faculty, staff and alumni alike. My thoughts are with her family, students and anyone else close to her.

This tragedy hits home for me as EDHS still holds a special place in my heart. I graduated from EDHS in June 2007. Some of the best years of my life were at EDHS. I made many great friends at EDHS, many of whom I still keep in touch with. With the exception of last year, I stopped by EDHS every December since I graduated to revisit the principal and teachers who still inspire me to this day. I hope to resume that tradition later this year.

I’ll leave you with this post from my good friend Bob Mooney, senior pastor at the Messiah Lutheran Church in Yorba Linda. Regardless of your faith, give it a read for he helps put this week’s tragedy into perspective.

Reflections and Expectations: I Did Good Tonight

It’s been a month filled with personal developments that I feel, as always, can best be shared in this space. Let’s look back at my month that was and look ahead to the month of March in this edition of Reflections and Expectations.

February

SoCal trip, part two – Last weekend, I was in Southern California for the second time since late January.

A few hours after I arrived in Orange County on Feb. 19, I met up with a few former colleagues of mine at the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) for lunch. I still keep in touch and maintain good relations with many of my former colleagues since I left my two-year internship with the agency back in August 2012. I rarely get to see them in person since I left so it is always a delight to have as much face time with anyone there as possible.

Following the lunch, I spent part of the remainder of the weekend with my aunt and uncle in Huntington Beach as well as my biological mother, who wrapped up her month-long visit to the United States from South Korea this week.

On Saturday and Sunday, I was in San Diego to see my cousin and his family, the same relatives I normally spend the holidays with since 2010. Last weekend’s visit made up for not being able to visit them myself over Thanksgiving and Christmas last year due to financial difficulties of my own.

My mother’s latest visit marks the fourth time since 2007 where I spent a significant amount of time with her. Yet, I still do not feel there is the kind of mother-son relationship between us that everyone is expecting. I remain emotionless toward my mother and we lack the kind of connection that I have with my relatives such as the ones in San Diego. Language barriers, cultural and personality differences and the great geographic distance that separates the two of us will continue to make progress a difficult one to achieve.

Regardless, I’m always grateful to have the family I have here in these United States of America. I have known them longer and better than my mother. At most, I can only hope my mother will be up there with the rest. Those chances are slim but who knows? She still has my respect as a human being, something that I have always maintained for her.

HPIM2801Stan Chambers (1923-2015) – In a week filled with major developments involving journalism legends and figures, there was one legend who passed on that I am honored to have met while he was alive.

On Feb. 15, 2008 I was at the KTLA studios in Los Angeles for a personal tour of the station. During that tour, I met Stan Chambers as he was strolling through the newsroom. He served as a reporter for the station from 1947 to 2010 — a 63-year span of covering all of the major news events in SoCal.

Our interaction that morning was brief but cordial throughout. He displayed the same warm and kind-hearted personality when I met him that day as he often does on air. It was a great honor to have met a legend who represented the Golden Age of Journalism in Los Angeles.

Stan Chambers passed away on Feb. 13, nearly seven years to the day since I met him at the KTLA studios. He was 91.

March

  • Graduate school – Stay on course, as always. I’m expected to enroll in a new class this month that will take me into the start of summer break in June.
  • Career developments – Finding more stable, relevant and permanent career opportunities continues to be a challenging but necessary goal. Redemption is long overdue and I hope it materializes soon.

How did February pan out for you? What are your expectations for the month of March? Share your thoughts below. I’d love to hear from you.

On This Sunday: Making Up for Lost Time

On This Sunday, I’m in San Diego for the weekend where I’m spending much-needed time with family.

This visit makes up for not being able to spend time with them over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays a few months ago. With the help of my mother who is visiting the United States from South Korea, she made it possible to make all this happen while I continue to financially recover and get my career back on track. I’m simply grateful for her help and for being able to see everyone I couldn’t see when I wanted to see them most.

Have a wonderful week, America!