On This Sunday…: Let’s Talk Turkey

Philadelphia Center City. One of the pictures I took Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Center City Philadelphia, Thanksgiving Day 2012.

On This Sunday, I’m gearing up for what will be another lonely Thanksgiving holiday this year.

I have no plans for Thanksgiving this year. It’s only the second time in 12 years where I am expected not to have any plans on this particular holiday — the last being in 2012, when I lived in Philadelphia. Much like two years ago in Philly, I do not have family in the Bay Area nor any close friends that I can spend the day with.

Although it will be another lonely affair, I don’t expect it to be all bad.

Two years ago, I took SEPTA around the city of Philadelphia with my camera to take pictures of the skyline and various landmarks, taking advantage of the low traffic in the city to embark on that endeavor safely and easily. For Thanksgiving dinner, I went to a McDonald’s near where I lived at the time as it was the only restaurant I could find that was open that day.

Not sure what I will do this Thursday. I’ll probably go see a movie or find any restaurants other than McDonald’s not closed on that holiday.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, America!

On This Sunday: Only one so far?

On This Sunday, I’m glad the midterm elections are finally behind us. The results were truly disappointing and I won’t miss any of that.

When it comes to the racial composition of congressional leaders, among the Asian-Pacific Americans that currently serve or have served in Congress, only one was Korean-American — Rep. Jay Kim, a Republican who represented a district in Diamond Bar, Los Angeles County from 1993 to 1999. Makes sense since Diamond Bar has a significant concentration of Korean-Americans along with the L.A. area being home to the largest Korean population outside the two Koreas.

Unless someone beats me to it within the next ten to twenty years, I hope to be the second Korean-American to serve in Congress as well as the first Democrat in the legislative body. It could likely be a district in California or some other state that I may find myself in down the line. Wherever it happens, I would be honored to make a difference on many levels.

Have a wonderful week, America.

On This Sunday…: From the Golden State to the Keystone State and Back

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Center City Philadelphia, from the Philadelphia Museum of Art

On This Sunday, I look back at a year ago Wednesday (Nov. 5) when I moved back to the Golden State after living in Philadelphia and the East Coast for more than a year.

I still miss living out there as it is different from anything I’m used to on the West Coast. My hope last year was to stay in those parts and position myself for opportunities in public relations and transportation, preferably in Washington, D.C. Who knows? It can still happen within the next few years. That whole experience taught me even long-shot possibilities are not that far off, after all. Regardless, it is good to be back in the Golden State, where life as I know it began and hopes still remain for a brighter future during my second incarnation here.

Have a wonderful week, America.

On This Sunday…: Month at a Glance

Clockwise from top left: San Jose State University, Mineta San Jose International Airport, San Jose City Hall, BART Silicon Valley ribbon-cutting event in Fremont on Friday, Downtown San Jose

Clockwise from top left: San Jose State University, Mineta San Jose International Airport, San Jose City Hall, BART Silicon Valley ribbon-cutting event in Fremont on Friday, Downtown San Jose

Also, join me in looking back at the month that was in my latest Reflections and Expectations.

Have a wonderful weekend, America.

Reflections and Expectations: Save Me, San Francisco

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Downtown San Jose, Mineta San Jose International Airport, San Jose State University and San Jose City Hall

Okay, not quite San Francisco. It’s difficult to find a song about the South Bay subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area.

As I’ll go more into shortly, I moved to the Bay Area from L.A. on Oct. 11 to seek a change of scenery while finding ways to keep my professional hopes alive. So far, it is slowly working although I’m still getting there.

I can only hope that the move is worth the gamble. It took a tremendous amount of risk and gutsiness — thank you, Jessica Lawlor, for the latter attribute — to make it all happen. Time will tell if that gamble pays off.

Let’s look back at the month that was and look ahead to an even more productive one this month.

October

Moving to the Bay Area – Last month, I made the move to the city of Campbell in Santa Clara County, located in the South Bay subregion of the San Francisco Bay Area.

This marked the second time in two years I relocated from Southern California — the last one being to Philadelphia in August 2012 before moving back to the Golden State around this time a year ago.

A big part of why I moved was that my career prospects remained dismal in Southern California — the part of the state I spent nearly my entire life in and where my career began — and that the Bay Area seems to hold hopes that I still have a fighting chance. I still remain in graduate school through San Jose State University thanks to the distance-learning nature of the program.

I adjusted surprisingly quickly and well during my first two weeks. I was able to secure housing in Campbell the day after I arrived in the Bay Area. I consider myself lucky in that regard as it was a difficult process to find the right place with the most reasonable monthly rent. That was a major hurdle I was glad to clear as quickly as I did.

Now, the focus is on finding any kind of work here for the time being while still pursuing something more permanent and relevant to my career goal. I’m close to finally settling that matter, hopefully sooner than later.

IMG_4120BART Silicon Valley event – As part of my efforts to connect with the transportation professionals in these parts, I attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 31 for the completion of a grade-separation project in Fremont as part of the larger BART Silicon Valley Extension project. A contact of mine at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) invited me to participate in the event.

I used to attend events like this during my two years as an intern at the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) from May 2010 to August 2012. Now, I’m looking to get back into the same kind of public affairs and community relations work I did for OCTA at any of its counterparts in the Bay Area — VTA, BART, SF Muni, AC Transit, consulting firms that work with transportation clients among others. It was great to connect with some of the professionals at the event. I hope this is the beginning of new and real opportunities ahead for I miss being in this line of work.

November

  • Job search – There’s a reason why I moved here to the Bay Area. There’s no turning back and that’s exactly how I want it to be.
  • Thanksgiving – I don’t expect to have any plans this time around. Unless someone in this region invites me over that day, this holiday could play out the same way as 2012 when I spent Thanksgiving alone in Philadelphia. Either way, I’ll make it productive and fun somehow. Hopefully, there will be more restaurants open that day and not just a McDonald’s like in Philly in 2012.

I’ll leave you this edition with the titular song.

On This Sunday…: In Good Company

On This Sunday, my career prospects appear to be slowly rebounding although I have yet to secure work anywhere just yet.

A big part of moving to the Bay Area from L.A. two weekends ago was due to the lack of opportunities in the part of the state I spent nearly my entire life in and where my career began. It is disheartening that no one in SoCal was willing to give me a chance to stay and continue my legacy and career, especially after moving back from Philadelphia last year. Fortunately, the good folks in the Bay Area seem more interested in giving me that chance. Being in graduate school at San Jose State also helps greatly in this process.

It’s a slow progression toward better days ahead. I hope you’ll continue to stay with me as I document this journey.

Have a wonderful week, America.

On This Sunday…: All in a week’s time

San Jose State University

San Jose State University

On This Sunday, I’m all settled in in the Bay Area…for the most part.

It’s been eight days since I made the move from L.A. to this region to pursue career opportunities while still attending graduate school. With stunning speed and success, I secured a place in Campbell, Santa Clara County the day after I moved here. That’s one big hurdle out of the way. The last major hurdle to clear is finding work of any kind for the time being. I am confident I am near that point.

Have a wonderful week, America.