Monday, June 30, 2003

The "What The Fuck?" List

  • Those lights on the hoods of cars where the windshield fluid comes out.
  • Huge white T-Shirts within 1 inch of the knees in length.
  • Gucci, Louis Vuitton or any type of trendy overpriced material on customized sneakers or clothing.
  • Talking on cellphones at the movie theatre.
  • Crystal Pepsi
  • Oliver on "The Brady Bunch"

    The Ballsy Truth

    During a field trip to the zoo in 7th grade, a group of friends and I couldn't help but laugh uncontrolably when we walked up to the exhibit of the blue-scrotumed monkey. Almost with perfect comedic timing, my algebra teacher commented "Your balls would be blue too if you sat on rocks all day."


  • Sunday, June 22, 2003


    Life is nothing more than a series of detours. Growing up in a middle class family with parents who have lived in the worst of a 3rd world country, the path to academic and career success was always laid out for me. My parents constantly drilled into my head that there was only one way to be happy and succeed in life: graduate from high school so I can go to an excellent university and start a career before starting a family. It wasn’t just one of many paths to success. It was the only acceptable path in my parents’ eyes. So I went along with it and went on to attend the University of California at Davis to continue on my path to success. Unfortunately, my I came upon one of many detours on this path to success, which was my academic disqualification from the University.

    The day I received the notice from the University of California that I had been academically disqualified from attending school at their Davis campus was the first detour I encountered on my way to happiness and success. Up until that time I was just going with the flow. Life before that day was simple. Before my stint at Davis, I overachieved academically and athletically with little or no effort. I had always been a prodigy and words like “potential” and “promising” were always used to describe me by both my parents and instructors. As a teenage athlete, I was blessed with a lot of talent that took me to the highest levels of play for my age. Succeeding came easy. That was though, before I finally started attending college.

    Coming out of high school, I was not even ready for college. I was living on values I developed in high school. Things like being popular and instant gratification took precedence over academics and responsibility. I had the grades to get into an excellent university, so I almost felt as if everything would take care of itself. I didn’t even arrange my classes for the first quarter of my freshman year until one month before classes started, almost 2 months after all of my friends. I spend most of my time outside of class socializing and partying. The values I held in high school carried over to college, and my grades suffered because of it. Even after my first quarter of university education and flunking two of my three classes, the flaws in my approach to education went on unnoticed. I had other priorities at the time. I spent time coaching volleyball at my former high school and the local junior high school. I had a girlfriend that went to school 100 miles away in San Francisco and spent more time driving to and from San Francisco than I did studying. Everything that was conducive to my education was neglected and I was slowly veering off course. Little did I know about the huge roadblock I would encounter on this road to success just on the horizon.

    I was so blind to that fact that even after my 3 quarter of being in academic probation with the university, my disqualification still came as a surprise. I was in complete disbelief and refused to take responsibility for my actions. I found ever excuse to explain to my parents why this happened. I pointed my finger to them for not allowing me to live in Davis and forcing me to commute an hour to and an hour from school. I was mad at them because I was forced to work to make extra spending money. I complained about all this and never once acknowledged the $7000 my parents saved up for my college education that I happen to waste on eating out and buying clothes instead of tuition and books. My father even gave me $10 every day for gas and lunch. But still, it was their fault. I never once looked at myself and held myself accountable for my actions. I didn’t see that I am ultimately responsible for my actions and that my screwed up priorities were to blame. The disqualification letter came and plopped itself directly in the center of my road to success. I was crushed and disoriented. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life. There was, though, a change in road conditions in the near future.

    At the time the only “silver lining” I could see in my disqualification from UC Davis was that my friends and I went ahead and signed a lease for an apartment in Davis during our Spring semester, so instead of staying at home with my parents who couldn’t pass up any opportunity to remind me how I blew it at UCD, I could finally be on my own to live my own life. I was tired of having to answer to my parents and I couldn’t wait to live on my own for the first time. So I packed up all my belongings and moved to Davis. When we first moved in, my roommates and I were overwhelmed by the unbelievable amount of freedom we had. I enjoyed each day by doing everything that wasn’t seen as acceptable when living at home. The move away from home seemed like an opportunity to start all over. It was like I was given a new windshield for my car that accumulated dirt and bugs on the rough road to success.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t prepared for the responsibilities of living on my own. The skill of money management still avoided me and I struggled to make rent on a monthly basis. At the time, I was working at the Foot Locker at a local mall for a shade over minimum wage and barely had enough to cover all my expenses. I had a new girlfriend I depended on credit cards to buy what we needed and a lot of the time I used my credit cards to buy what we didn’t need. The lack of money management skills and expense accounting eventually led to my seemingly insurmountable credit card debt. On top of that, the freedom that I experienced also led me to continue blowing off my education. I was attending classes at a junior college, not taking the classes that I needed to get back to a four-year university but classes I thought would be easy to complete. I was stopped on my road to success.

    Although I did have successful semesters at the junior college, I switched my major two times from physics to psychology and on to speech. I obviously did not learn for my past mistakes and it didn’t seem like I’d find myself back in the same direction.
    After about 6 months of living away from home another change of lifestyle came around when my girlfriend was kicked out of her house. Having no place to stay, she moved up to Davis with me and my roommates. We were two people in our late teens still struggling to find out who we were. We had constant arguments and I understood that it wasn’t because we had lost feelings for each other, but that we didn’t know how to compromise and empathize with each other. I can remember wanting to runaway from our problems and even kicking her out of the apartment on two occasions. I thought back then that it was because we were no longer incompatible and that living together had showed us that. But it had less to do with our feelings for each other and more about how we perceived each other as individuals. We saw ourselves as an inseparable couple and not as two individuals who are different yet complement each other’s shortcomings. I couldn’t recognize this and we crashed and burned I look back and I understand that we learned the hard way about understanding our relationship. Little did we know that we had a larger roadblock ahead of us that would change our lives. We learned that she was pregnant.

    I can remember vividly the day I decided that we would not have an abortion and go ahead and have the baby. It was odd, because for the first time without the help of anybody but myself, I decided to be accountable for our actions and take responsibility for this baby we created. I came upon another detour on my road to success and I decided to take it. I know that at the time I didn’t fully understand the responsibility I was taking on in being a father, but I made the decision that I felt was right for my future. For the first time, I didn’t look to anyone but myself to determine what was good for me. It was also the first decision I made that wasn’t selfish and based on instant gratification like my decision to move out of my house and numerous less important decisions before it. I understood that I was young and ill equipped for fatherhood and that it takes a lot of effort and hard work to make our family work.

    My son was born in July of 2000 and I was so grateful that he was healthy. The first few days being home with my son and his mom was pretty easy because my girlfriend’s mom took time off of work to help us out. After she went back to work, there was a period where I began to really doubt if I had what it took to be a father. There would be nights after work where I would stay up to 6 in the morning taking care of my son so his mom could get a full night’s worth of sleep. During those nights I would get this feeling that I got myself into something I couldn’t get out of. I was responsible for another person’s life. It was a responsibility that my 20-year-old self didn’t think I could handle. I wasn’t even halfway down the road of success and I already had a child to take care of. Just when I thought I was doing what I thought was right by taking responsibility for my son, I realized that I was taking another detour on my road to success.

    The birth of my son did put a lot of things in better perspective. For one, I was forced to manage my money more efficiently. Not only were the expenses of having a child demanding, but it also put itself in front of my own needs. I could go another month without a new pair of shoes, but my son would need new diapers, formula and clothes on a regular basis. I even went as far as to start saving money just in case something would happen to me and I would not be able to work. I also gained a huge appreciation for my parents and their ability to raise 3 children. Just taking care of my son was hard work, and both of my parents worked full time jobs. Parenting takes a certain level of selflessness, and it wasn’t only until I was a parent myself when I realized that parents would do anything possible to meet their children’s needs. With that in mind, I reflected on all the sacrifices my mother and father took to allow me and my sisters to live comfortably. I new then that I had to be proactive in bettering the future of not only myself but also my family. And I knew it would take numerous sacrifices.

    My son’s mother and I were doing much better handling our money, but we were still in a load of credit card debt. In order to relieve our financial strain, we decided to move back home to Vallejo with our respective parents until we could become more financially stable. We were willing to swallow our pride and look out for the good of our family and our future as a family. I was aware of the many things I would sacrifice by moving by like giving up some privacy, chores and spending time with my parents. What I didn’t expect was how coming back home would change the way I look at my parents and my family and make me more appreciative of them in my life.

    Moving back home was initially rough. For the first time in two years I was living away from my girlfriend. On top of that, it was the first time I was away from my son. But what really was hard getting used to was being in somebody else’s home. Everything I wanted to escape I was willing to live with again. My parents, though, were surprisingly understanding of my situation. They didn’t hold me to the same limits I had before I moved away. My mother even told me during lunch one day that I could do whatever I had to do, just as long as I put the needs of my son and my family first. I was happy that my parents were actually happy I was home for the first time in two years. I began to appreciate having such understanding and supportive parents. My mom would even go as far as to offer me money to help with some of my son’s expenses. It was a pleasant surprise, but completely expected at the same time.

    My parents have always been so generous. They have given me everything I could ever want and the least I could do is show them respect and appreciation. I looked back at how I completely blamed them for my disqualification from Davis and was ashamed because only then did I notice that it was my entire fault. My parents did everything in their power to allow me too succeed. They showed me a way to get to my goals and I chose to take my own route. It is from their example where I model my methods of parenting. Not just because of imitation, but because I have seen their methods at work and I am impressed with the results. My parents did tell me that I had to get back to school and get something done quickly to start supporting my family.

    Being pressed to get back to school to find a way to support me and my new family, I attended Heald College in an attempt to break into the field of computer technology. Not fully thinking out this decision and recognizing the declining money and jobs in the computer technology field, I was still out of a job after graduation. So there I was with two Associate degrees in computer technology and several Microsoft professional certifications with no job to show for it. It turned out that what I thought was a fast lane on this different road to success was another detour to the wrong place.

    After 4 months of waiting for the economy to get better and waiting for something to just fall into my lap, I decided to take control of my life. One of my instructors from Heald told me about an extended learning program with St. Mary’s and informed me that the program is well worth the time. I looked into the program and realized that this will be the perfect opportunity to hop back on the road I started on way back when I graduated high school. For the first time, I could see the end of the road. The destination was within my grasp and it was completely up to me to take the opportunity I have been waiting for.

    After 4 years of looking around for the correct path, I realized that it was totally up to me to determine where my destination would be. I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to attain a Bachelor’s degree, but I was only aware of one road to get there. All this time all I could think about how many detours I have been forced to take on my road to success. I would look back at what I saw as mistakes and constantly ask myself “what if?” But now I look back on my life and I see that there never was an exact road I was supposed to take. There were never detours on my road at all. All the hardships and difficult decisions, whether if they were wrong or right, were part of the journey that led me to my current self. I think about my very first detour when I received the disqualification notice from UC Davis and I see that as not a detour, but as an actual part of my journey to success.

    We focus so much on the end result of our bad decisions that we never stop to notice how we learn from our mistakes. These mistakes build character and make us who we are. Although they may be negative in nature, we must choose to learn from these life experiences if we want to better our character and ourselves. So many people perceive me being a young and unmarried father of a 2-year-old boy as an unfortunate situation. Others will see my disqualification from UC Davis and my hasty decision to attend Heald College amidst a technological recession as another unfortunate situation. I look back on those events as learning experiences that have helped me understand what I want to do with my future and the future of my family. They have helped me learn more about life than any textbook or psychologist could ever tell me.

    Taking detours on your road to success can be painful. I have taken many detours in my life only to learn from them. Reflecting on these detours has taught me that we are all ultimately responsible for the roads we take, and if we choose to learn from our mistakes we will eventually end up exactly where we wanted to be in the first place. Am I where I want to be? Not quite. I still have a long way to go. But from learning from past detours in the form of life experiences, I am more than confident that I will eventually encounter the success and happiness I desire.

    Tuesday, June 17, 2003

    Okay, I'm going to assume that everybody that reads my blog knows about the entire Moxie situation because the only two people that read my shit (Leah, who told me about it, and Kool Keith, who blogged about it) already know about it to some extent. (I know you read me sometimes, Sahalie, but for some reason I don't think you concern yourself with such things.) But anyway, my normal reaction to not have one. I only have general idea of what happened, but my overall opinion is that it may be one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of on the 'net.

    It was a fuckin' Internet catfight. An e-tussle. A key-style battle. Over what? "Moxie". Well, I hate to break it to you, but that shit sounds like laundry detergent.

    "I'm going to pick up some Moxie, I got a cranberry stain on my collar."

    "Moxie is great at getting my husband's shit stains out of his tighty whities."

    How coincidental is it that at the same time Spike Lee is taking legal action against Viacom to stop them from changing TNN to "Spike TV" because of it's likeness to Spike's name? Well, both are fuckin' rediculous and we're all dumber after spending time just talking about it.

    There's this slang term that I've been using a lot and I think it fits well here:


    People's heads are so filled with gas that they have a demented perception of reality. And just in case one of them reads this, this is reality:

    And for all of you fuckin' Moxie Ovary Riders that are on a smear campaign, you get nothing but the dick. Go back to jackin' off to the thought of reading your blog...

    Monday, June 16, 2003

    My blogging has been the shittiest in the past few weeks due to homework consuming not all of my time but all of my writing chi. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my hard work and determination had gained my a "Fie" spot over at Ultrablognetic. Thanks Kool Keith, you're worth your weight in Amethyst.

    I've been ducking work as much as I can. I'm only scheduled to work every Monday night from 5-9:15, but the 1 hour drive up there and 1 hour back have been taking it's toll on me. Especially with all my writing assignments due on Tuesdays. It would be a good idea if I didn't procrastinate until the last few days before the assignments were due, but oh well. That's what I get for wanting to keep my discount.

    I'm really hooked on this thing. Today I e-united with my 100th friend. I've done a good job of trying to keep my group of friends people who I've actually seen in person, but there are maybe 2 or 3 exceptions including Leah, somebody that HAD the chance to meet me in person, but thought otherwise. This was maybe 4 years ago (and 75 lbs lighter on my part) and I was CRAZY cute back then. I have no idea why she balked at the chance. But I'm not bitter.

    Or am I?

    Today's enlightening download of the day goes to Ras Kass' "Nature of The Threat". Go download it and tell me what you think, specifically the content of the lyrics.

    Sunday, June 15, 2003

    It's Been A Long Time

    A decade of instruction enhanced by the arts
    a 4 element conglomerate a sum of the parts
    i took each part and studied them
    a student of the sciences
    hooked up with the lifers and put together the aliances
    we’re bonded together not with blood or relation
    we’re bonded by ideology and self-preservation
    music as a tool is in the embryonic stages
    Hip Hop is suffering but this shit is for the ages

    Wednesday, June 11, 2003

    You can call me "Placebo". I'm for all the emcees that think they're sick.
    I've been killin' myself writing paper after paper. Maybe it would help if I would stop procrastinating for once and get the papers done more than a day before they are due. I received a complement from my instructor about my writing. I think I suck. He thinks I am decent. See!! Set your goals low and you get pleasantly suprised!

    One of my classmates, Mark, is an older 40 something man that has had every job that I wish I could do for a week or two. He's an Elvis impersonator and has spend good time as a stand up comedian. He came up to me yesterday to tell me that he really thinks that I have what it takes to be a stand up comedian. I looked at him crazy, because although I may have my moments, I am far from being a really funny person. He let me know that I have this knack for telling stories and that I have a presence about me. It's a damn shame I can't articulate myself in writing the way I convey myself interpersonally. It's true. I do love talking. I love talking about things that are important to me. I love talking about myself. I think all good speakers have a vanity about them because you have to love the way you sound if you speak so well.

    I have 10 days to type a 10 page autobiographical paper. I promise, when I'm done I'll post it here so you all can laugh at me.

    Beauty is everywhere. Some people need to be a little more introspective to find what everybody else sees as beautiful.

    Friday, June 06, 2003

    The following is a post I made in response to someone calling me a "traitor" for saying "I am Pilipino, but it does not define me."

    Sure, I can say that I'm Pilipino. But what does that say about my character? What does that say about me as an individual.

    Absolutely nothing.

    Am I proud of being Pilipino? Yes. I am well educated about the stuggles of my people and I acknowedge and respect that fact. But ethnicity and/or nationality does little to fairly describe anybody as an individual. For every hard working and determined Pinoy, there's another Pinoy beating his wife and kids. I am more than just "Pinoy".

    My point is that you are not defined by your ethnicity, nor are you defined by the way you dress etc. You are defined by your character, your morals and ethics, and your actions.

    There is so much "empowerment" talk going on in our society, both by ethnicity andgender. The fact is that all of this "empowerment" means nothing if you are not "empowered" as an individual, regardless of gender and/or ethnicity.

    Empower yourself. Define yourself.

    Tuesday, June 03, 2003

    Sometimes I want to make out with the Moon to make the Sun jealous.

    Monday, June 02, 2003

    The following are posts I made in response to artist Eminem, his appearance and his skills.

    In regards to his lack of skill as in emcee:

    LIke what? Breath control? Cadence? Use of alliteration and unique rhyme patterns? Proven freestyle ability? If there is anything that Em does have going for him, it is his all around technical emcee skills.

    I seriously think that Eminem will always have an uphill battle. Some people love him just because he's white and buy into the image and the hype rather than the actual music. Some people hate him for the same exact reason. Give respect where respect is due. There is no denying his strengths as a battle emcee, as a technically sound emcee, and as a skilled emcee. If you don't agree with the content, then that's fine. If you don't like his image, I can respect that. But when it comes down to his overall skill as an emcee, there is no denying that.

    Eminem is like the Biggies and the 2Pacs of the world because they crossed over HEAVILY over to the typically non-Hip Hop crowd. People somehow forget how Biggie put out one radio friendly song after another to cater to non-Hip Hop fans for the sole intent of going X times platinum. Jay-Z gets more love in suburban America than anyone not named Eminem. What do you think they're playing at a 7th grade sock hop in the middle of Montana. I dont' know either, but I'll bet that they played "In The Club" 3 or 4 times so all the little kids could try to Harlem Shake or C-Walk to it (probably looking like a room full of epileptics). So look how easy it was for 50 to cross over.

    My point is that you can hate him for crossing over. You can hate him for getting more love from White America. But you can't deny the fact that the "greats" that came before them are responsible for someone like Eminem. Em didn't write the blueprint of how to be successful in Hip Hop. It was there already. Biggie went multi-platinum why? Because he crossed over. Jay-Z went multi-platinum why? Becase he crossed over. So if Em getting love from White America is somewhat unfair "because he's already White", why have all the past greats done the same exact thing?

    No one hated Eminem until he became rich. When he was broke, we all saw him as a talented emcee who was unique and funny. No one cared that he was white. He was looked at for his skill, not his appearance. It's funny how people can start to nitpick once someone gets rich.

    Don't get it twisted. Em isn't exactly my favorite emcee in the world. I have known of Em since '97, just after he competed at Scribble Jam. I see him for what he is as an emcee, not for his image, his hype or anything else.

    In regards to the mentioning of 2Pac as a "global icon" similar to Elvis, and Eminem as "just another rapper"..

    Funny that you'd bring up Elvis.

    More parallels can be drawn from the career and popularity of Elvin and EMINEM than between Pac and Elvis. Eminem and Elvis both are white men doing what is considered "black" music and doing it successfuly. Before Elvis came out and eventually being the "King Of Rock N' Roll", Rock N' Roll was predominantly considered "black music".

    Sound a little familliar?

    As far as "Em not being on that level", you're sadly mistaken. Eminem is the most popular,not the greatest nor the best, but the most popular rapper in the world while Hip Hop music is an an all-time high level of worldwide popularity. In short, he is sitting on top of the Rap mountain that is bigger than it has ever been as far as worldwide popularity.

    "Not on that level?" Hip Hop is international folks. We got b-boys in Korea, Graf writers in Paris and dj's from the Philippines competing at the DMC world championships. Eminem is currently the most talked about emcee on the planet. Period.

    Who's the greatest emcee? Who knows? Hip Hop is only a little more than 29 year's old and we've come a long way since DJ Kool Herc threw that first party at 1520 Sedgewick Ave. in the Bronx. I think the "G.O.A.T." will keep getting trumped as Hip Hop continues to grow. It'll be different every 5 years because Hip Hop will continue to grow and innovate. Stop trying to make yourselves feel better about what you listen to by saying "X Emcee is the best". What's the point? Look at the bigger picture for once.

    Not That Anyone Would Care

    If you folks have been wondering where I've been, I've been here. It's quite addicting and I'm glad to say that I've touched based with at least 10 people that I haven't spoken to in about 5 years. I suggest that you register and fill everything out. It's pretty fun and it's nice to see how everybody you haven't seen in a while is doing.