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(no subject) [Apr. 23rd, 2006|12:47 am]
Ben

This journal has been put 
on hiatus until further notice.

Thanks for visiting.

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Episode 127: 93 06 [Mar. 5th, 2006|07:26 pm]
Ben
[mood |determineddetermined]
[music |Dust in the Wind by Sarah Brightman]

December 24th, 1993.  I received a dark green bath robe from Target as a Christmas gift from my parents.  It started out being worn as a house coat to keep me warm when I got out of bed, but it eventually graduated to being utilized for what it was made to do - an after shower or bath cover-up.  March 5th, 2006.  Robinson's May is going out of business and everything is on sale.  A dark green bath robe hangs under a sign that says 60% off the original price.  I examine it, and notice the length of fabric.  The sentimental side of my brain kicks in...what about your robe at home?  It has been with you for over 12 years, and has done it's job well.  Yes, I've outgrown it physically, the color has faded, and the color and softness was no longer original.  But I could still use it.  But I had say goodbye.  It's weird to feel sad over something like a bath robe.  This bathrobe has been with me both through the completion of high school and college, all four different jobs since I began working, my long coming out process, seven Olympic games, and the birth of my two nephews.  I said goodbye to my old robe this evening.  And for all that I stated above, I think it deserved this eulogy.

I will be starting ice skating lessons soon.  I just ordered my figure skates, and they should be arriving by the end of this week.  Then I start my weekly basic lessons at the East West Ice Palace (home of Michelle Kwan), which I discovered is only a 15-20 minute drive on surface streets from my house.  I visited the rink last week and saw two Olympic skaters there (the American pair skaters Inuoe & Baldwin) that seem to just be finishing their morning practice for the World Championships in two weeks.  I will be watching that and cheering for Jeff Buttle of course!  But I am really excited about taking these lessons.  I will consider it an accomplishment to become comfortable with the ice.  My two visits to the Anaheim Ice Rink this past week showed me that I still have a long way to go before I become familiar with the ice.  I hope these upcoming lessons will do the trick.

CUTE!


SWOON!


Again, hit me before I start stalking.  :)

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More Canadians [Mar. 2nd, 2006|09:14 pm]
Ben
Say hello to my cousin Jennifer. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.  She is currently studying in London for Journalism, but we are planning on going to the Winter Olympics in 2010, which will be held in her hometown of Vancouver!  Her father is my mom's brother.  I have not seen her in person since we were 8, but we have been keeping in touch for years!  We are the same age, but I am nine months older (or more mature as I like to put it).  HA!  Here she is eating (as usual) mussels in London.  We are all about food, TV, and cute and charming guys! Any one care to ask her out? If you marry her, you'll get me as second cousin, which is obviously an added bonus!



And just because my last entry is not showing his picture, here is thrice the Buttle for your (actually my) enjoyment!  :)  Please hit me before I become a stalker. 

Photo




Loading Image...
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O Canada [Feb. 28th, 2006|08:30 pm]
Ben

A cuter picture of Jeffrey Buttle, Olympic Bronze Medalist.
What can I say?  I appreciate a nice smile and clean teeth. :)
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Episode 126: Lost & Delirious [Feb. 26th, 2006|10:48 pm]
Ben
[mood |melancholymelancholy]
[music |Don't Panic by Coldplay]

Someone once told me that if you start off the new year with a messy room, then for the rest of the year, your surroundings will be messy.  If that philosophy were true, then many of us would spend most of 2006 drunk.  But I can't help but wonder if that philosophy has some element of truth to it.  I started January 1st, 2006 by losing my debit card at a TGI Fridays.  I eventually found it, but by then, I had already cancelled the card to prevent fraudulent use.  I ended up having to wait over a week for my bank to reissue a new card for me.  

And then came Friday, February 24th.  After a long week of intense working and teaching, I was going to start off the well-deserved weekend with a night at Disneyland.  My friend Dave and I had dinner and then headed to the park to tour the Ferris Wheel, ride Mullholland Madness, and see Fantasmic.  But somewhere in between, my car keys which are attached to my car alarm beeper, fell out of my pocket.  In short, I had lost my car keys.  I panicked.  I could not enjoy Fantasmic.  The rest of the evening was spent in freezing lines at the Lost & Found and then in the parking lot waiting for my dad to come with the spare key & alarm.  Thank goodness for spare keys!   I'm thankful to have gotten home safe, but the rest of my weekend was tainted with repercussions to Friday night.  I was not even in the mood to go to West Hollywood to celebrate Paula's 26th.  As a precaution, I bought The Club for my car as an extra anti-theft device in case (I know the chances are slim) the person who found the key and alarm beeper somehow finds my car on his/her lucky day.  

Just like the debit card was found, I'm holding out for wishful thinking that the keys and alarm beeper will be found as well.

Tonight was a bittersweet ending to the 20th Winter Olympic Games in Torino.  Only 1,466 days (according to the news) until the 21st Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver!  I want to go!  I should go!  I've been wanting to visit Vancouver for years.  What better way than the Olympics?  My cousin and I can tour all the figure skating events!!!   And I get free room and bunk!  The closing ceremonies just ended.  Here are some of my favorite highlights from this games:


I was sad that Michelle Kwan withdrew due to a groin injury, but she did it with such elegance and grace.  She is awesome!

Photo
Jeffrey Buttle of Canada wins the Bronze in Men's Figure Skating.  He is so cute!  I'm all into him now like a giggly school girl.  I LOVE his smile!

Photo
Apollo Anton Ohno skates so fast in Speed Skating!  He wins several medals, including the gold! 

Photo
Shizuka Arakawa wins Japan's first gold medal in figure skating, and gets a hug from Sasha Cohen, the silver medalist.  This is what it's all about!


Joey Cheek wins medals in Speed Skating, and then donates his money winnings to a charity that helps youth who have little opportunities to train for the Olympics!  He got cuter when he did that! 



Colorful Closing and Opening Ceremonies!

I like the Unity in these games.  And although figure skating is my favorite one to watch, I will still enjoy watching the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.  It should be a nice experience to witness these games being played in the country of my native culture.

Not many people know this, but I got into figure skating because my mom and I always watched it on TV as I was growing up.  I think I remember seeing some of the Sarajevo Winter Olympics of 1984 when I was only 5 years old.  I think had my family had the money to hire a coach and buy skates, I would have been training to be a figure skater.  My mom and dad really wanted me to get healthy and active, and they knew I was all about figure skating.  Well, that never happened.  Yet, it's still interesting to wonder what would have been had we had the luxuary of those resources. Would I have gone to Lillehammer, Norway; Nagano Japan; Salt Lake City, USA; or Torino Italy? And what about all those annual World Championships?   I guess that's why I was really touched when Joey Cheek donated his earnings to that charity to help young Olympians achieve their dreams!  The Olympics will not happen for me, but I can still learn to ice skate.

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Episode 125: Strawberry Fields Forever [Feb. 19th, 2006|10:43 pm]
Ben
[mood |geekygeeky]
[music |I'm Feeling You by Michelle Branch]

It's strange to think that strawberries are in season in January and February, and they slowly fade out of season as summer approaches.  That's just one of the quirks of living in Southern California.  Our winters are bi-polar at times.  And during the expected frosted window seasons, we find ourselves enjoying a green basket of ripened, red strawberries just picked from the vine.  I've had quite a dozen helpings of them.  I wish they could be enjoyed in the summer as well.

My President's Day weekend can be themed as an Italian, Transgendered, Acetaminophen filled three days.  The headaches are still on and off.  I've eaten twice already at my favorite Fullerton Italian place, Angelo & Vinci's.  During the end of my illness, I was starting to crave this food again.  I've made up for some of it this weekend.  

I also saw the film "Transamerica" with Michelle and I really enjoyed it.  It was a good balance of drama and humor.  I hope Felicity Huffman gets the Oscar next month.  She gave a phenomenal performance!  The actor who plays her son in the movie is quite the "hottie."  If you've seen it, you'll know what I mean.  I was fortunate that this film was playing in Orange County.  In the theater, I noticed a lot of seniors watching this film.  And when the film was over, I heard some of their commentaries.  They appreciated Felicity's performance despite the uncomfortable moments in the movie.  What do you expect from Orange County Republicans?  At least they had an open-mind to spend 10 bucks to see it.  I hope it expanded their culture of knowledge.

Next weekend, I am going to West Hollywood for Paula's birthday celebration.  I have not been there in probably over a year or two.  There are parts to this upcoming trip that I am slightly dreading.  I know it's silly, but I just can't bring myself to finding any quality fun in West Hollywood these days.  Sometimes I see the city as needing a big baby-sitter and a reality check to see what is actually going on in this world.  I know food will be involved, and probably some dancing at a local club.  The company will at least be nice, and I hope the activities will be fun.
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Episode 124: Flowers for Algernon [Feb. 17th, 2006|11:33 pm]
Ben
[mood |coldcold]
[music |You're Beautiful by James Blunt]

The weather has been fickle, and it gives me headaches.  We had a brush fire last week, and a rain storm is pouring right now.  It was dry and warm, and now it's cold and damp.  Winter seems like she just cannot make up her mind.  When the weather takes a sudden turn from cold to hot, I tend to get headaches.  I had planned to attend "One Mic" tonight, but my headache kept me in bed.  It was probably a good thing because when I finally woke from my evening nap, it was cold and pouring.  My mom made some soothing won-ton noodle soup, and it was such a comfort to eat that.  I was reminded that I am lucky to have warm food and a roof over my head during the rain and cold.

The Winter Olympics in Torino are now in its' 7th day of competitions, and I'm loving it.  Apollo Anton Ohno is very good looking.  So is Joey Cheek, and just about every other male figure skater, especially the Canadian skater, Jeffrey Buttle.  Johnny Weir bugs me.  There's just something about his character that makes me see him as being a not-so-nice person.  The upsetting part of the games was Michelle Kwan's withdrawal from the games because of an injury.  I felt so sad for her, but admired her for doing what everyone should do first - take care of him/herself.
  I enjoy the unity in these International games.  The next Winter Olympics will be in 2010, and will be held at Vancouver, British Columbia.  My cousin lives there, and this may be the perfect reason to finally go and visit her.  Maybe we can catch some of the games and enjoy the Olympic atmosphere in town.

This week was also Valentine's Day.  To get in the spirit of things, I sent out some fun greeting cards.  Dawn also planned an outting.  She chose Hooters for our Valentine's celebration.  As always, Hooters is a place for those who enjoy the pretty ladies.  The food is secondary, if that.  But we still had fun.  It was a party of 6 (which included Collumba and Paula), and I was the only guy at our table.  Columba and Dawn even bought everyone flowers.  I got two yellow roses and a pink carnation.  One of the things that may probably don't know about me is that I love it when people give me flowers.  It's a simple, but effective gesture of kindness, affection, and appreciation.  And flowers are beautiful.

Work has been insanely busy since we have had so many staff changes.  My partner in crime moved to our Marketing department.  I'm so glad for her success, but it also means that I am alone running my program until they hire and train a new educator.  I have presentations up the wall from now until April.  It's going to be intense, but I secretly like to be busy from time to time.  January was just so boring and slow, so I'm looking forward to the challenge.  I have a presentation at Cal State Fullerton's LGBA this upcoming Thursday.  It should be nice to see some familiar faces again, as well as how the new "kids" are doing these days. 
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Episode 123: Something to Chew On [Feb. 5th, 2006|12:36 am]
Ben
[mood |sicksick]
[music |Talk by Coldplay]

Once upon a time, I was a student.  Being a student was usually filled with opportunities to go against the grain and be creative.  There were few limits.  I graduated and now have a full-time job.  And while it is personally fulfilling for me, I find myself trapped in situations where going against the grain is just not possible.  I have this theory that school allows you to play with limits.  In fact, it dares you to test them.  But once you are given your degree, you practically trade-in that option to explore your creative limits.  You become a machine fueled by corporations, and eventually that creativity is forgotten.  As I punch in my time card, the beeping sound reminds me of the satisfaction of getting paid, but also another hit to that dying creativity.  Please come back soon.

The good news is that I have sick pay.  The bad news is that I've practically used them all in just one week.  I became extremely sick last Friday, and it took until today (almost 8 days later) to finally get better (well almost better).  It had been such a long time since I have been that sick for that long.  In my attempt to heal, I did a little hibernation in my room.  When I was not sleeping, coughing, or throwing up, I was catching up on DVDs that I have bought, but never had the opportunity to watch.  On the bright side, I did not spend any money (other than medicine) the whole week.  Now there's a silver lining for being sick.

Unfortunately, I had to be sick during the Lunar New Year.  I wasn't alone.  My family and I had a quiet celebration.  We all practically lost our appetites from being sick.  What a lousy way to start the Year of the Dog.   It sure bit us in the ass!  I was hoping to get some home projects done before the new year.  A week before I got sick, Patty and I took her Dad's huge van down to IKEA so that I could buy the tall bookshelf I have been wanting to buy for years.  It's been assembled, but the organization has yet to begin.

A good friend of mine has met someone.  He tells me such wonderful things about his new man.  The only challenge is the distance.  They met online, but my friend lives about an 8 hour drive away (1 hour by plane).  My friend has already flown up to spend the weekend with him, and he plans to revisit more this month.  I'm very hesitant about this situation because of the distance (the age is another concern, but can be overlooked in this case), but I can't help but envy his bravery for just taking a chance.  If I was in his shoes, I would rule this out from the begining because of the distance.  I tend to play things on the safer side.  I can't help but.  It's been a part of my training.  I've been playing it safe for so long now.  I've grown up quite a bit since then.  I wonder how different things will be now if I decide to risk it.  Now there's something to chew on.

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Episode 122: Glory Hog [Jan. 5th, 2006|01:51 pm]
Ben
[mood |cheerfulcheerful]
[music |Amarantine by Enya]

The begining of the New Year brings unlimited possibilities, and I hope that they are all good ones.  I stopped making resolutions because they never have been proven to be an effective means of behavioral change.  Instead, I make gradual changes every now and then.  I'm starting with my finances... spending less on frivolous things this year and reducing the amount I spend on things like DVDs and clothes.  Eating will always be a frivolous part of my expenses.  I think it's good for the soul to indulge in the occassional, decadent meal.

The new year officially began with a cozy party of 9 people at Matt & Adam's place.  They prepared a nice, sit-down dinner followed by absolutely fun and creative games - 1980's themed.  Their neighborhood experienced a power outage around 9 pm, and we were all in the dark for roughly over an hour.  Luckily they were prepared with an abundant supply of candles.  As Paula perfectly put it, if we were in a straight man's apartment, we would be in the dark!  The power was restored within the 11 pm hour for us to ring in the new year with some apple cider.  I invited Khang, and he brought along his friend Timothy.  After knowing him for about 4 years, that night was the night I found out that I had been saying his name incorrectly.  It's actually pronounced "Kong" like King Kong.  I could not imagine letting someone mispronounce my name for that length of time.  Bottom line... it was a funny epiphany.

The first of the new year was spent sleeping-in while it rained outside.  I watched parts of several rebroadcasts of the Rose Parade, and I think this was the first time I actually saw it rain on the parade.  It was quite interesting.  After the rain cleared, I met up with some friends at TGIF's in Costa Mesa to exchange gifts, eat, and catch up.  I did not know this then, but I accidentally left my debit card with the bill.  I called to cancel the card, and now have to wait over one week for a new one to be issued.  That means I cannot pay for things with it, and cannot acccess an ATM.  I have to go into the bank during business hours (a challenge for me because of my work schedule), show my ID, and stand in line to talk to a teller.  Actually, it's not so bad.  It's refreshing to have a person provide this service to you instead of a machine, and it's probably also a blessing in disguise - no means to spend money on frivolous things for the next week and a half because I have no active debit card.  Of course, the credit cards are still there, but I have been really good at keeping them hidden away from my site in a secure place.

Yes, there is the annual post-holiday blues that I (and probably everyone) is experiencing.  My theory is that the holidays are like "ecstacy."  You get a big helping of it three months in a row, and then it's suddenly ripped away from you, leaving you left in a cold, dark winter otherwise known as January.  After all that excitement and happiness is fed to you, you suffer withdrawals once it's taken away.  Much like the "e" drug, you get your spurts of happiness, but you end up feeling quite miserable and depressed the day after when you suffer a similar withdrawal.  But I have a good amount to look forward to.  Being a Chinese-American, I am spoiled by two New Year celebrations.  The Lunar New Year is only about 3 weeks away, which means yummy Chinese food and red enevlopes with money.  Both are always welcomed!

In 2006, I hope for safety and peace.  I hope my good health continues to only get better.  I hope my dad finds some fun projects to do - he is retired as of today, and I'm glad to hear it.  I hope he is less tired and more energetic now that he can do what he enjoys, which includes visiting the Senior Community Center in Little Saigon.  I hope life gets more organized.  I hope that my financial situation continues to get better, and for opportunities to grow at work.  I'm still astonished at all that has been accomplised since I started my full time job (potentially a career) on August 31st, 2004.  I have gotten familiar with so many of the Orange County high school and college education departments, written two public health curriculums with a huge potential for publication, published two much more lengthier reproductive health articles in community LGBT magazines, and just expanded my own wealth of knowledge.  Sheesh... I'm just realizing that I'm probably being a glory hog now.  Oh well... I deserve it!  :)  

And finally, I hope 2006 is the year that I have the opportunity to open that chapter of my life where I get to experience a meaningful relationships with a good man.  It won't hurt if he is also cute.  :) 

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(no subject) [Dec. 19th, 2005|02:12 am]
Ben

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAKE!

Jake Gyllenhaal in Focus Features' Brokeback Mountain

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