My Observations

* Disclaimer *

These are my thoughts; though they may be public domain, please have enough respect and understand that they are mine and are not for the use of your own deviant agenda.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

VERY Bad Night Ė ďIím freezing; Iím cold, my eyes and head hurt from crying so much! Screw the Law of Attraction! What the hell did I do to attract this?! Iím angry and frustrated and drained physically, mentally and definitely emotionally!! Ö God my head is pounding. Iím so used to just crying at any given point Iíve given up on keeping my glasses cleanÖ. Why this? Why now? Is this just to test my reactions? Is this because the enemy tried to get to me with all the usual areas I struggle with but Iíve learned to address them correctly, so he hit a spot I wasnít expecting?... I sat there bawling because I never felt more alone, scared, abandoned and lost.Ē

The above are a few of the lines I wrote in my journal last night in the midst of a VERY BAD night. What may have caused these extreme emotions you may wonder? Part of me doesnít feel ready to share just yet. What an fíd up night!

Reading my emotions you would think the world came to an end. It felt like it at the time. The emotions I felt were real. I was on the edge but taking each of the difficult circumstances in stride. Then it was that *one* event, the one that pushed me beyond reason, the one where I lost it completely. Bent down near the front of my car on the side of the freeway, sobbing, wondering why the hell this was all happening to me, and what I had done to deserve it!

I didnít think Iíd be able to look back and laugh at all the crap I went through last night, but to some extent I am able to. So I guess I will share.

I had an appointment in Irvine last night. Well I guess I should start back to yesterday morning. Probably a few miles after I left my house I noticed that my cars temperature was a little higher then normal. So I decided to pull over to the gas station and check the levels before making my way down the hill to work. I checked my water, levels, I needed some water but my reserve was still full and so I just filled up my water and checked my oil. I will admit the oil levels were almost embarrassingly low so I put some oil in and called my dad to see if there was anything I should be worried about. He wanted me to drive over to his place and if it overheated again Iíd just barrow his car. Well my car was perfectly fine temperature-wise so we agreed that it was probably the oil and that I should keep an eye on it on my way to work. I drove to work and it was perfectly normal, no issues whatsoever. I felt relieved like I had just saved myself from a catastrophe.

So I get off work last night and head over to Irvine. I noted that the temp rose just above normal levels twice but would immediately go back down again. Went to my appointment and started my way back home. This is when the temperature seemed to act erratically. It would heat up and go back down, whether I used the heater or not it didnít seem to help. So I called my dad who said as long as the temp wasnít in the red I should be fine but to be careful. Then the heater seemed to not work anymore either. Almost immediately the temp rose close to the red. I pulled over, turned off the car and decided to call the nearest AutoZone to see if I could purchase a new thermostat which is what our guess was to be the problem. So I find out that the nearest AutoZone was maybe 4 miles away, problem was they wouldnít be able to do any of the work for me and I would have to be walked through by my dad on how to remove the thermostat. I was on the 91 freeway during semi-rush hour and was tired, it was cold and windy and I wanted to just make it home.

I had resigned myself to the fact that I would probably only get a mile of road in before I had to pull over and wait 20 minutes for the temp to go down and do it again until I got to AutoZone. This is where I take the circumstances in stride. I kept my dad on the line to just make sure everything was fine and that I wouldnít be doing any damage to my car. I made one trip of a mile, my car started to overheat and I pulled over, hazards on, car off. I decided to get out and open the hood just in case a Good Samaritan would happen to pull over and possibly have some water that I could put in my car. At this point we knew that the water was probably all used up. So I sat waiting for the temp to go down and because the freeway was so busy I didnít feel it wise to go out the driverís side. I crawled over to the passenger side door and had my dad on the cell with me. We were debating whether or not I should just get the car towed. I knew I didnít have that kind of money and actually had hoped he would just offer to come down to help me. I knew heíd be able to remove the thermostat and Iíd be able to drive home at least. I was getting a bit frustrated but understood it was a lot to ask so I didnít. I had been in and out of the passenger door. I checked my trunk for any water. No luck. Opened the hood and sat back in my car to stay warm.

Once I felt the car was cool enough I got out of the passenger side and this is the moment where I lost all ability to reason. I was busy talking to my dad on the phone and just locked the passenger door as I made my way to close the hood. It hit me the moment the door clicked. Why I had locked it this time and not any of the other times I do not know! I looked over to the driverís side door and it was locked! I had locked my keys in my car! I was on the side of the road, it was freezing, and I had no way of getting back into the car! I lost it at that point. I started crying, bawling even Ö I was alone on the side of the busy, LOUD freeway, my parents were up the hill an hour and a half away and I had no one closer to call! I felt so alone, scared and lostÖ.

It took a bit for me to regain composure to figure out what to do next. My dad had been spouting off all the obvious, expensive routes I would have to take. I felt so stupid! I was already having a rough time with the concept that I would only get to drive a mile then pull over but was actually proud of how well I handled it, but then I had to lock my keys in my car on top of everything else. This was 100 times worse!

My brother called because he had heard about everything and Iím guessing itís because heís my older brother and as soon as he asked how I was holding up I lost all composure again and just started crying explaining all the crap that had happened to me and how stupid I felt for locking the keys in the car. He was so sweet and tender. I knew he was wishing he knew what he could do to help.

The next half an hour to an hour was a blur. I was on the phone a lot and it was hard to hear with all the cars on the freeway and the wind on top of that. But they located my spare key where I told them it would be. It was decided that Mike was going to drive down with the spare key and at least pick me up and take me to the AutoZone where I could pick up the thermostat. Plans changed yet again and my dad called a local locksmith to come by and get me into my car for $55.00. Mike was still going to drive down though his concern was that he didnít know how to remove the thermostat but he would at least be there with me but then my dad decided that he and my mom were going to come down.

I had a few moments to think, sitting under the hood of my car trying to block the wind and keep warm. I couldnít understand how I could have ever attracted this event into my life. In fact I had been extremely thankful over the last couple of days so Iím still at a loss. I wondered what I was supposed to have learned from all this. It seemed like such a random occurrence. I could have accepted just the thermostat but why did the keys have to get locked into the car? Well because I left them thereÖ yeah yeah but it just felt odd, the whole thing. I looked at the passing cars and felt like no one cared. Yes I had my parents on their way, the locksmith would be there soon and yet I felt so alone, so abandoned on the side of the freeway, like I had no one. I cried out to God. I donít think I ever blamed Him, but I did ask whyÖ I still have yet to get that answer. Even now, a day later, Iím still not sure what it was about. But I have yet to finish the story.

The locksmith came and got my car unlocked. I had to sign some papers and as I climbed into his truck I saw that it started raining and was thankful and realized this situation could have been a lot worse! I could have not worn as warm as clothes as I had chosen to wear. I could have not taken my cell phone with me when I went to shut the hood of my car! I could have had to pull over on the toll roads that have horrible cell reception! Yes, as miserable as this situation was, it could have been worseÖ WAY WORSE!

I got into my car, knowing at this point it was definitely cooled down. I drove as far as my little car could take me. I decided the first priority was to get to a gas station and get some water in it! But less then 20 feet away from the closest gas station my car overheated and I had to stop yet againÖ I was so close I decided to walk over to the gas station and buy water. The guy at the gas station overheard my conversation with my brother on the phone and said that if I could get my car to the gas station he would let me fill up with as much water as I needed. So I went back to the car, waiting again for it to cool down, drove into the Mobile off of Maple/6th St in Corona and put water in. By this time, AutoZone had closed and I had no hope of picking up a thermostat that night. I sat in my car after filling it up with water and I was also on empty so I filled up with gas since I knew I had a good hour to wait for my parents. Still questioning why this had all happened.

My parents got to the mobile station sometime after 10pm. The quotes from my journal came from the time I sat waiting at the Mobile station. My dadís tools werenít working. He didnít have the right size socket. Again, little things did make this situation better then it could have been. The Mobil I happened to stop at was also a smog check place and had tools that they were willing to let my dad use! It took a while to get the thermostat off but once it was my dad chose to drive it home while I rode with my mom. It was midnight before this evening came to an end. I was exhausted and my head and eyes were completely sore. I was extremely thankful for my parents coming to my rescue.

I had another blog entry planned but I think this is long enough. I will share the other one another day. Today I took a personal day off from work. I had a dentist appointment in the morning and well my dad was willing to replace the thermostat for me so I decided that was something that I needed to do. Iíve run some errands but itís been a fairly uneventful day. Oh and so you all know the car seems to be running smoothly with the new thermostat.

Iím gonna go watch a movie nowÖ

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Its weeks like this that make me dislike being a commuter. I have spent the majority of my week stuck in traffic somewhere along the way or just on long drives more then normal. Sunday I drove down to Ontario to take my best friend out to dinner and a movie for her birthday last weekend. Monday I drove to Pasadena to drop my camera off at General Camera on Colorado Blvd. I did spend some time hanging out down there, and I'll explain more about that later. Tuesday I drove to work but had to leave work early to go back out to Pasadena to pick up my camera. Everyone told me if I was lucky it would be a 3 hour drive. Luckily it only took an hour and a half and I was home in 2 1/2 hours from the time I left work! I thought Wednesday was going to be a normal commute but turned out there was an accident with a big rig and a minivan and it took an extra 45 min to get up the hill! This morning I was driving into work and people didn't know how to drive in the fog. Mind you, it was pretty dense fog but it added another 45 min to my drive to work. All circumstantial situations and if each had happened one day out of a week of normal commuting it would have been fine. But all in one week leads me to dislike being a commuter. Hehe

Another thing I've realized is at certain moments I will get hit with a battle of my emotional mindset. Last night, possibly because of the stress of the drive, I found myself in a negative mood. It wasn't too bad but I could tell my focus and mindset was out of line. A bit emotional about things I shouldn't have been emotional about. Climbing into bed I took some time to read "The Secret" and again felt encouraged to change my focus. In the last few moments before going to bed my night changed for the better. I had been receiving text messages from a friend of mine that was making me smile. I fell asleep thinking on good things and woke up realizing that I shouldn't ever get too comfortable with my mindset. That it will always need to be 'in check'. But the amazing thing is how much more aware I am about my thoughts and how they are affecting my mood.

Well this is a quick update for now. I have lots of pics to share. I will soon!


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wanna see something trippy!?!?!

A Chairís Life Ė Version 1.0 (1998 Ė 1999)

I actually had a version prior to 1.0 but it would be considered Version 0.25 or something because it was just me playing with HTML. I tried to get it together to upload but Iím missing too much of links and stuff. Itís so close to Version 1.0 I think youíll get the idea. I was working at Integrity Online during the time of this site. It was in my gothic eraÖ Thatís why the NIN Perfect Drug theme on the Ďenterí page. Hehe

A Chairís Life Ė Version 2.0 (2000 Ė 2001)

Still working for Integrity and I still think some of the designs were pretty good considering it was early on in my learning process back in 2001Ö I was even playing with Macromedia Flash! Check out my Flash Intro HereÖ

A Chairís Life Ė Version 3.0 (2003 Ė present)

I may be revamping this page again. Weíll see what happens when I get my photography site up. I might have a new theme to connect them.

It was a trip revisiting these sites just because Iíve learned so much about web design and graphic arts.

Anyways, not sure how interesting this will be for everyone, other then the fact that going through the pictures of family and friends was a trip in itself! If you want to see old pictures of me you should enjoy those pages!


So I got home a little bit ago, 10:00pm to be exact! Gotta love holiday traffic! It took almost 2 hours to get home tonight! UghÖ

Today has been an interesting day. I am guessing that the holiday played itís part but there was something in the air at the officeÖ It was hard to concentrate. We were understaffed and though the phones werenít going off I found it hard to focus on my projects. I got a surprise visit from my friend Sandeep! He was driving home to Fresno from San Diego and decided to stop by. It was great to see him again! He has been a big supporter in me starting my own photography business. Heís just started a new business called SiliconScript, Inc. He believes his company can help get me some photography business. Iím looking forward to a trip up north to check out what he does and of course to take pictures! I have another friend whoís starting up a business who may also help get my photography out there but I donít have confirmation of the plans so Iím gonna hold off till I know for sure she wants to go that route. The rest of the day went smoothly. Most people were out of the office and then everyone left early and at about 3pm I was the only person left in my department. I attempted to get work done but after about 4:30 I was pretty much useless. Hehe

After work I saw how bad the freeway was so I decided to stop by Target to pick up a couple items and then went over to Barnes & Noble to browse through some books and I knew I wanted a new journal. My sister bought me one for Christmas but it is identical to the one I currently have. I decided I wanted to have a different style in between. I love my current journal though so it was hard to find a comparable one but I think I found it. I stopped by the photography section as I always do and happened to notice a couple ďhow to start a photography businessĒ books and thumbed through them to see if there was something I felt would be helpful. Sure enough there looked to be a lot of great information in them. Some focused on different areas. So I want to talk to Drew whoís helping me with my business plan and stuff and once I get an idea of what aspects heíll be able to help me with I can narrow down my selections. Though I think I want to buy two of the books no matter what.

I also stumbled across a book that I didnít know was even in book form, I had known it only as a movie. The Secret! For those of you who have no idea what Iím talking about, this is definitely a unique outlook and though it leans towards some Ďnew thoughtí rather then on biblical backing it still has a great biblical concept behind it! The movie was recommended to me by my friend Jason. I watched it and was rather impressed. Iíve wanted to watch the movie again and sure enough the moment I walk into Barnes & Noble I see it in the first rack I look at and I picked it up immediately. I read a few pages on my drive home (That should give you an idea of how bad the traffic was!). [Oh and Jason, you recommended that I should read ďthat oneĒ book and Iím going to have to say you were right! ;)]

I was driving home and frustrated about being stuck in traffic even after attempting to waste time in hopes that it would die down. I wasnít in the mood for my music which lately seems to be all that Iím into. I felt numb yet moody. Thatís when I chose to take out the Secret and start reading it. Immediately I was impacted by how my thoughts were affecting my mood. My focus was wrong. As I read I noticed slight changes in my attitude. The music was making me bouncy again, you know the kind that you have to tap your fingers or do a little dance in your seat? Hehe Well maybe you donít, but for me itís a good sign. Then I noticed before I knew it I was further along in the traffic and going faster. All the while my nose in a book glancing every few seconds to make sure I hadnít allowed too much space between me and the car in front of me.

I only got through 9 pages of the book when I got a call from my good friend AndieÖ She just bought a car! A 2000 VW beetle, mint green! Itís totally Andie! Iím really happy for her. But we talked about things going on in her life that arenít going so well. I am so proud of her though! Sheís so strong and doing so amazing with everything! It was so cool to catch up with herÖ I miss her.

I got home and started some laundry and put away some of the stuff I got; I still have a Target bag or two on my bed. Isnít it amazing how you suddenly have 10 items in your cart when you only went in for 2!?! It didnít help that I was trying to waste time, but I didnít get too carried away. The only splurge was a frame for one of my 8x10 prints. And I couldnít believe that they already had Easter stuff out. Crazy!

So now Iím listening to the Garden State soundtrack. Wanting to ramble and not wanting to move my mouth. Hehe I feel like Iím on a road to self discovery. Godís been revealing a lot to me about myself. Iíve been doing a lot of self evaluation and reading a lot of self help books (i.e. Approval Addiction by Joyce Meyer, 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell, Simple-ology by Mark Joyner, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink). I feel like in the last 6 months Iíve been on this upward journey. Prior to that it had been a downward spiral and I think I reached bottom around September and now Iím reaching upward again! I have my moments of standing still to catch my breath but then I keep reaching for more. Itís been hardÖ There have been a lot of things that I have seen in and about myself that were painful to accept at firstÖ But itís never so much that I canít handle it. God is so faithful to be tender about it all. The biggest surprise is that it was all to bring me to a ďtime such as thisĒ! Itís hard to imagine that Iím exactly where I need to be, but in fact I am! I know that all that I have been through has made me who I am and has brought me to where I am.

Anyways, itís late. I plan on sleeping in tomorrow but I do have a list of goals I would like to accomplishÖ Cleaning, uploading my first few versions of my website (crazy stuff!), putting the two pictures of mine that Iíve picked for my living room in frames and hanging them up, I would like to take a long walk, read some more from my Approval Addiction book and whatever else comes up along the way.



Friday, February 16, 2007

I have Monday off (have I mentioned I love working banker hours?). I have been contemplating what I should do with my free day. I was even thinking about taking a photography day. But sadly I need to get my camera cleaned because of the specs Iím seeing on my prints and I called around today and found a place in Pasadena that will clean it there rather then sending it out for 4-6 weeks and I can pick it up the next day! But that means I have to drop it off Monday. I will be camera-less on my day off! But I really donít mind, if it means getting those silly specs off of my prints! So now Iím not sure what to do with my day. I will already be down in Pasadena. Should I just take my little point and shoot Sony Cybershot and enjoy the day? I think I like that idea. Donít make any plans and let it just happen.

A Chair's Photography - Iím really excited about my photography business. Though I find it funny when I mention that Iím going to start a photography business people seem to assume that means Iíll be a wedding photographer! Not likelyÖ But I was even suggested to be a pet photographer, like an Anne Geddes but instead of babiesÖ pets! UmÖ no thank you. Hehe

So a week or so ago I wrote in my personal journal that I wanted proof that God is in this thing and itís not just something I want so badly that I have to make it happen. I know all faith requires action. So I wasnít just going to sit back and do nothing but I was feeling lost and overwhelmed and felt that it should just move forward naturally without too much effort if the timing is right. Soon after that it felt like everywhere I turned I had information given to me and people offering to help in the areas I felt most lost in! It was really quite amazing! I will keep you posted on my progress.

I took a couple of my more recent pictures and had them printed as 8x10ís and was really happy with how they turned out! I still need to test the highest scale but thatíll happen soon.

Weigh In - 2/10/07

I havenít really been talking about my weight because there really hasnít been a lot to share. All of December I was consistently the same weight, which was a good thing considering how many Christmas parties I went to and stuff. It was after Christmas that I fluctuated between my weight and an extra 10 pounds, only to end up plateauing on the heavier side of the 10 pounds. Well Iím glad to say that I have lost that weight and kept it off and am back down to my lowest weigh in. I looked at my driverís license and was happy to note that I am currently smaller then I was back in December 2003.

Well I wrote this throughout the day yesterday so Iím going to post this part for now. Maybe Iíll be able to update more this weekend. Bye for nowÖ

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

The weekend is winding down quickly and I'm not really ready to head into another work week. I have so much to share and so little time to share it all that I'm just not sure that I should even try. The thing is, for the first time in a long time I want to express feelings rather then just an update on what I am doing in my life.

It's amazing what you can see when you die to yourself. I have spent a couple of days giving up things that I felt I was in some way addicted to. It was amazing the realization of how addicted to these things I was once I made a decision to take them out of my life for a few days. But even more amazing is the timing of all of this. Last week I was already looking inward and I guess in a way it prepared me for what was revealed to me once I chose to die to myself... Giving up things that wasted my time and focusing on an internal evaluation. Whoa... Floodgates people! The floodgates were opened.

But ... it's late and I have to get up early... so hopefully I will sit down and write all that I have learned about myself this last week.


Saturday, February 03, 2007

I ended up having a productive day! And I still have a few more hours to go. After my walk this morning I went for my cup of coffee and drove to the bank and read a book while I waited for the bank to open. Once I took care of that I went back to the house and straightened my room (while watching Grosse Pointe Blank), went through the pictures of the morning, cleaned my bathroom, organized my online album for an approaching update, took a nap, input some of my tax info into TurboTax (which was a bit depressing), watched Man Vs. Wild while I ate dinner (which is a great show! But that guy drinks elephant dung! Eww/awesome! haha) and now Iím updating my blog. Itís been an awesome, relaxing day!

So updatesÖ short, sweet, to the pointÖ There is only one because I'm not really in the mood to write. hehe

Contacts Ė My optometrist told me not to give up on my contacts, which I pretty much had by the time I had my follow-up appointment. He decided to try a couple other types of contacts. And I put the one pair in and was blown away by the difference! I mean they still dry out but not nearly as bad and my eyes donít hurt! This current pair is what I expected getting used to wearing contacts would be! But there are still some issues and he gave me two types to try so this next week I plan on trying them.

And here are more picturesÖ But this time I put them in sets rather then chronological.

Sunrise set


Um... Not sure what to label these... Light and a Bush

Focus, lines, textures, etc.

I took an exploration walk on Christmas Day and saw some beauty in the desert. So I went back out January 15th and took the pics below.

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I just got back from my morning walk. I normally don't get up early for my walks on the weekend, but yesterday it was so beautiful I had hoped to capture it with my camera along with the sunrise. I also wanted to test out my new polarizing filter that I bought out in Colorado. I woke up at my normal time, 6:15 and got out the door by 6:30... I knew the sun rose at about 7:00 these days. I usually miss it because Iím already back inside getting ready for work. The morning was beautiful in its own way but not like yesterday. It was cold! In the 20's but I was all bundled up. I got some great shots, but not at all what I was expecting to get. Isnít it great that even though you have a plan sometimes things work out better!? I thought about continuing on to the place I explored last weekend but decided the morning sun was at the wrong angle for the pictures I had wanted to get. Iím sure it could have worked but I decided to hold off.

I think I am going to go to Starbucks and get a coffee. Maybe bring a book and read. I need to run to the bank when it opens and the rest of the day is free! I love weekends like this. No obligations, no prior engagements, totally open to do what I want to do! I am still debating on what that all is. Hehe I was gonna go back to bed after taking pictures but that doesnít seem likely. And now, on a weekend Iíve already been up and running since 6:30! This can be a productive day if I keep going like this!

Anyways, I will be posting pictures soon!

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