Reflections and Expectations: Keeping It Local


“Temp”-ing fate, indulging the sweet tooth yet again and battling summer boredom. Join me in a look back at the last few months that was in the latest Reflections and Expectations.

July to September 2017

Anything Goes Summer – An unofficial tagline to describe my summer 2017.

I am still somewhat reeling from the fact that I am not a coach operator right about now. I always wonder how different things would have been had I become a bus driver for VTA. It’s difficult to tell how I would have fared and how long I truly would have lasted. Nevertheless, I learned to move on from this short-lived endeavor while not ruling out another try in the future.

Since then, I have taken on roles as a temp for a few tech companies in the Bay Area, doing administrative-level work. This is all temporary while I still look for full-time work back in a more administrative realm of transportation. I’m still figuring out a way back in to the industry, which includes exploring roles beyond marketing and public affairs for which I could theoretically be qualified to serve.

In addition to temping during the week, it was in late August when I began working on weekends as a tutor at a tutoring center in Cupertino. I specialize in writing and reading comprehension for grade school students. I was recruited into the role by a chance encounter with the director of the tutoring center earlier in the summer, where I successfully made the case that my academic and professional background that predominantly involves writing could be valuable in this role. So far, I’m enjoying this opportunity to lend my talents in a more educational setting. The students I work with are wonderful people, many who come in to the center with an eagerness to learn each Saturday and Sunday I’m there. For as long as it’ll last, I hope to achieve something great out of this experience.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival, Sept. 9 – For the third year in a row, I attended this annual chocolate-oriented event in San Francisco. I’ve been attending this event every year since I moved to the Bay Area in October 2014. There was a mix of new and returning vendors, many of whom served up some fantastic chocolate candies, pastries, ice cream, beverages among other delicacies. What makes this event even better is that proceeds from the admission fees always go toward Project Open Hand, a local San Francisco non-profit that serves meals to senior citizens and the disabled. Indulging in all sorts of treats and helping out a good cause at the same time? Sweet.

Anything Goes Summer, continued – Sadly, this will be the first year since 2009 without a major trip planned for anywhere and the first since that same year where I won’t be traveling out of state. In lieu of traveling, I’ve taken to exploring low- to no-cost alternatives closer to home including trying out new Mexican restaurants and ice cream parlors in the South Bay (all but one of the Mexican restaurants were worth revisiting). I’ve also taken to discovering new radio shows and podcasts.

I’ve been listening to Thom Hartmann on SiriusXM Progress since the spring. Even though I’m a liberal, I wasn’t all that into the historically less-dominant left-wing talk radio until after the current administration took effect in January. It’s probably indicative of a recent, broader trend among progressives turning to left-leaning media outlets in greater numbers as Democrats are currently out of power. I like Thom as he presents a more civil, intelligent and rational approach to talk radio that is absent in the dominant right-wing talk radio shows, which I still don’t and can’t listen.

I’ve also discovered a few new podcasts, a realm of the media that hasn’t truly resonated with me until recently.

  • The David Feldman Show injects politics and comedy into each episode. His show involves fascinating conversations with guests of all walks including comedians, politicians, academic figures among others.
  • The Phil Hendrie Show – I’ve been listening to Phil Hendrie on and off since 2002, when I was 13 and growing up in Los Angeles. Back then, Hendrie was in the syndicated terrestrial radio market before moving his operations over to the podcast realm in 2014. He is known for voicing all of the characters on his show, both in-studio and over the phone. Even its archival content seems less dated and is a gold mine for laughter when warranted.

October to December 2017

    • New horizons – I’m set to start a new job in early October. It’ll be a temporary one although it’s a role that guides me back to my roots in the marketing realm of the civil engineering business. I plan to make the most of the short time I’ll have there.
    • High-school reunion – 10 years since I graduated from El Dorado in Placentia. I’ll have to figure out how to condense a decade’s worth of life stories into about 30 seconds for that three-hour event in early November.
    • The holidays – I hope to cap off this interesting year with people I value most. The only notable highlight of 2017 is that I learned how to drive a transit bus for six weeks but that was all there was to it.

Let me hear your stories. How was your summer? Looking forward to the holidays ahead? Share your thoughts below in the comments. I would love to hear from you.