another political debate

While surfing the television tonight, I decided to stop fiddling with my remote when I reached CSPAN2. I don’t watch CSPAN2 very often, but somehow seeing a fatter, older former Vice President Al Gore caught my attention. Who knows why, but I decided to tune in. I kept watching and suddenly it shifted over to old presidential candidate Bob Dole. Al Gore and Bob Dole in one room? Well, I obviously stayed tuned to see why. Then, a few minutes later, I saw that this lecture was taking place at none other than Southern Methodist University (SMU), the first university I attended!

I transfered from that university after only three semesters for many reasons which I won’t go into. Despite, one of the most cherishable things that I somewhat miss is SMU’s offering to its students of the Tate Lecture Series. This is a regular series of lectures/debates that offers students a personal chance to meet some of the most high profile people such as former presidents, genius scientists, and other high profile people. During my stay at SMU, I went to see David Gergen moderating Bill Bradley and Jack Kemp as well as Barbara Bush and Professor Stephen Hawking. Professor Hawking looked me straight in the eyes as he passed me on his wheelchair. I think I enjoyed his lecture more than the others even though I couldn’t tell you one thing he said to this day. In fact, I don’t remember what any of those people were talking about when I try to sit down and think about it. I have such a bad memory.

Anyway, I was only able to watch the last 30 minutes of the debate, but the arguments made by both people were very well thought out. I was surprised at what Al Gore said at times but it was interesting to hear both of their takes on today’s issues. If you have cable and have CSPAN2, try to see if you can find the lecture because if you’re interested in the issues they offer a good source of information from both sides of the tracks.

For more information on the Bush and Kerry’s views on some of the issues, check out www.issues2000.org. Yes, it’s current.

travel hungry

I love to travel. Thus, me want now!

Hometown Houston

I moved to Houston in 1990 when I was only 11 years old. Thinking back, I really can’t believe it was that long ago and that I was so young. My world was about 12 inches larger at that time and Houston was a BIG city to me. Heck, it’s a big city to me even now, but living here in LA has really given the meaning to big city a huge perspective…

Anyway, since we moved there in 1990, Houston has really been my home. I lived there nonstop from 1990 through 1997 until August of 1997. At that time, I moved to Dallas for my first few years of college at SMU. But in 1999, I decided that SMU just wasn’t where I needed to be and went back home to Houston.

After two years of living it up and having a nice time off and on, I decided to finally move away from home again. This time to Lubbock, then to Denver for my last two years of college. Denver was a vacation, the whole time I was there was so chill and I loved it!

Suddenly like a lightning bolt, graduation appeared and I didn’t have any prospective for jobs at all. In fact, I had no reason to really even stay in Denver. So where did I end up? That’s right, right back to Houston again. Right back to where my comfort zone was, to where all the familiar people I knew were. Right back home.

Over the years, my family gradually made their way out of Houston. First my brother, then my mom, then me, then my younger brother, I then came back, and then my dad left. But during all that time, I always went right back to that bayou city for retreat, recharge, and re-energizing. I just couldn’t escape the draw of my history with the city.

Finally, this past February came what could possibly be my last trip from my home in Houston. I moved here to LA… and I’m still here. And I’ll probably be here through Christmas. And I’ll hopefully be here for a while longer. I mean, I really can’t put any time tables. I’m trying to make what amounts to my dreams come true here. And that’s really important to me right now. Maybe in a few months or years it won’t be, but right now I believe this is what I need to be doing, no matter how much I struggle.

Just a few days ago, during my daily visit to Alison’s website, I read a couple of posts about her life as well as someone’s feelings about Houston. She linked to someone’s personal goodbye letter to Houston and all the honest, somewhat liberal views of that city. Although I don’t agree with everything said, I do understand this person’s feelings trying to be emoted.

Then in the comments section, someone posted a link to Houston’s new ad campaign which I had absolutely no idea about. Funny thing is, and I didn’t realize this until two weekends ago, this website was mentioned in an article featured in the LA Times article (which I can’t seem to find anywhere) praising the city for various things. Nonetheless, when the heck did Houston decide to launch an ad campaign to draw more people to the city?? I haven’t been gone THAT long.

Houston is no LA, it’s no NYC, and I doubt it’ll ever reach the social status that both cities hold. However, Houston is a major commercial development right now especially with the eastern side of downtown being overhauled in light of two major stadiums for baseball, basketball, and hockey teams to play year round. Once city council, city leaders, and voting Houstonians learn how to spend their money correctly, Houston should become a huge favorite. But until then, I think they’ll remain an anonymous, non-pretentious city with no image except that of cowboys with 10 gallon bucket hats working in high rise, downtown skyscrapers which oil built. Trust me, people who have never been don’t have much of an impression but I’ve gotten the whole “You’re a Texan” bit from many people here in LA.

I have not left Houston for good. Nor do I have plans to return anytime soon. But I will always know that I’m going home when I travel back to Houston.

nice, cool day

I couldn’t believe it, but I actually slept until 12:30pm today. This marks the first time in months that I’ve slept so late. I mean, I literally have been having a lot of trouble staying asleep past 10am on days which I am not working. But somehow this morning, I woke up for about 15-20 minutes before I feel back asleep. I usually stay awake when I wake up but I felt like I could possibly fall back asleep that time, and I did! I’m proud of myself. So, in turn, I’ve been feeling really good all day. I cleaned my room a little and washed clothes.

The other reason this day was pretty cool was because it was literally pretty cool. Probably didn’t get much above 80 degrees if that high at all! I woke up and I was cold! I cannot wait until this is the norm everyday.

Then I went to Office Depot tonight to make a few copies. Yes, you can go to Office Depot to make copies if you want. It’s 7 cents a copy for a black and white copy of whatever you want. Not horrible, not wonderful. Anyway, when I was checking out I saw a deal for some CD-Rs that I could not pass up! You should call your local store to see if they have the same deal if you’re interested! It was buy one, get one free for a 50 pack of Maxell 48x CD-Rs. That’s a really good deal because Maxell are considered top of the line for their quality.

Oh, one more thing. Many of you who read this probably have e-mail addresses with hotmail, yahoo, aol, or even possibly the new gmail from google. While it’s really convenient to be able to check it from anywhere using any browser at any location, there is a way for you to use your computer’s Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, Microsoft Outlook, Eudora, Opera, Foxmail, and other mail clients to check your hotmail, yahoo, gmail, aol, and other internet based e-mail systems that require you to access them with Internet Explorer or another browser.
So what am I trying to tell you?? You don’t have to open up Internet Explorer anymore to check your e-mail if you don’t want to. Seriously! If you wanna know how, just let me know and I’ll hook you up.

SPAM – TWO jokes I received over 6 years ago

A scientist cloned himself but the experiment created a duplicate who used very foul language. As the clone cursed and swore, the scientist finally pushed it out the window, and it fell to its death. Later the scientist was arrested for making an obscene clone fall.

Two men went into a diner and sat down at the counter. They ordered two sodas, took sandwiches out of their packs and started to eat them. The owner saw what was going on and approached the men. “You can’t eat your own sandwiches in here,” he complained. The two men stopped, looked at each other, and then swapped their sandwiches.

what did I do this weekend?

…well, take a look for yourself!

surrounded by hot ladies

This was a photo taken outside of Universal Studios theme park. We ate dinner on the citywalk and went to this fountain to take advantage of this photo opportunity. It was a very eventful day for these ladies.

Who you see in the photo above you, besides myself, is five ladies who flew from Houston to compete on a game show. Their weekend vacation started Saturday morning when they flew into LAX and ended Monday afternoon, however the main event took place Sunday afternoon as they competed on the Family Feud.

I really don’t want to give any details away, whether they won or not, or what happened on the show. I feel its best for you to watch them compete starting October 18 on the PAX channel. Check your local listings for the usual time that this show airs. The only thing I will disclose is that you will enjoy the episode as they really put on a great show for everyone to watch.

The Family Feud set is located in the Tribune Studios, which the same location which local station KTLA (channel 5, WB) resides. The studios are located on the same sound stage as Judge Judy and Judge Joe Brown, which coincedentally both shows supposedly use the same exact set. Just around the corner in another sound stage from Family Feud, the new version of the Partridge Family is being filmed.

If you ever have a chance to be in the studio audience and have a curiousity about bringing a camera, well technically you can bring it. But they advise you to not take any photographs. However, I’m a big stupid and decided to not listen to them.

Family Feud set as they prepare for the next show

This was taken in between shows. You can see the Barnetts preparing for the next show, talking about what they wanted to do, pumping each other up for a great show. You could tell that they were all enjoying themselves and Richard Karn, the same actor who played Al Borland from Home Improvement, was very happy to have them on the show! He seemed like a nice guy and was very nice to the audience.

As with just about every game show ever made, this one is pretty scripted and totally hollywood. I mean it’s totally hollywood because the announcer coached us briefly on the proper way to clap for the contestants, he showed us the proper way to show pity and excitement for good and bad answers, and he tried his hardest to pump us up.

Tune in next month for the results and be prepared to enjoy yourself!

a life worth living… 9/11

More often than not, I get really caught up in the dramas of my life. I don’t realize that there are others out there who feel the same or worse. But during those moments, it really doesn’t matter to me what is happening to anyone else. I just wanna get through my own problems the best I can.

I don’t know how I came across this website, but it’s the more or less the last testimony of his life. As selfish as taking your life can be, there’s some comfort to be found in at least an explanation of why someone wants to end his life.

While reading what he wrote, it was somewhat difficult to grasp how much pain and suffering this guy had to be in, but in another sense, I could identify with his struggle to find peace in his life, to be happy. I have dealt with depression and happiness stuggles at different times and it’s never been fun. Luckily, when I start to feel this sad, I try to make myself realize how fortunate I am. I have a great family, many wonderful friends, and a whole lot of people who care about me. If I ever decided that I was about to kill myself, I feel like there are at least 5-10 people, probably more, that I could immediately consult with about the way I feel. I may not live around most of my friends and family right now, but I know there’s a strong presence of people in my life for support and love.

Then there’s today, the 3rd anniversary of 9/11. To have your life taken from you without your permission. I can’t believe it’s already been 3 years. What a tragedy.

I guess that I will take this moment to thank each and everyone who is there for me. Thank you!

Life is a blessing; cherish the moments you spend with your friends and family.

the imagination is a powerful tool

Sometimes, I wish I were 9 or 10 years old again. At that time, my family was living in the town of Groves, a somewhat rural community encompassed inside Port Arthur just south of Beaumont, Texas. It wasn’t an exceptionally small town but small enough for you to know a lot of people around town.

I feel like I lived the best years of my childhood in that town. I had lots of school friends, plenty of church friends, and some close neighborhood friends. Across the street from our house lived probably some of my closest friends Chris and Ben. Chris is two years younger than me and Ben is about four years younger. Despite our age differences, I would almost always go over there to play with them when I wasn’t at school or scout meetings or any of the other many activities in which I was involved.

Chris and I were always looking for an excuse to play make believe. Some of our favorite little imaginative characters to play were Robocop and Supercop. I made up Supercop because Robocop was already so cool that he needed a sidekick that sounded just as cool. Once we gathered our guns and equipment, we’d go out on our adventure through his yard or my yard looking for bad guys. And I mean, we’d be playing die hard like there were villians all over the place. Shooting them, having to help each other get past some difficulties, strategizing ways to victory.

Our homebase was usually located in this one tree in the front of his yard to the right side of the driveway. I absolutely loved climbing that tree because it was so easy to get up there. Once we fought our way to homebase, we could recharge and get back out there to save the day.

I can vividly remember imaginging and creating our missions and with someone of them, we actually followed everything threw and beat the bad guys from beginning to end. I would often bring over some of my toys to supplement whatever toys Chris used. These adventures were sorta like a make believe video game that we both played in our head. We ran around the grass, jumped over the fenses, crouched up against the side of the house, shot our guns at the enemies, used rope to help each other out of traps, just about anything of which you can think.

I sometimes miss, sometimes reminisce about those days because I believe I was at my peak in terms of a creative imagination. I really let it run freely and often during those times because it was so much fun to be pretending to be someone else with those powers. I knew that I could accomplish whatever I wanted to because I could imagine it. There were no boundaries too far, no obstacles too demanding, nothing standing in my way.

Sometimes it’s difficult to realize that today I can make anything happen just by imagining it. I have so many boundaries that seem to be impossible to cross. There are many more obstacles standing in my way that I cannot get past. It seems so often like life is standing in my way. But maybe a lot of these things are in my mind?

I think it’s important to share that certain times can be rough because it shows how human we all are. This phase of my life is a huge transition, sometimes sorta difficult, because I’m trying to figure out how to accomplish my goals and dreams and continue to be happy at the same time. I am not certain how long this transition will last but I hope that sometime in the near future I can figure things out.

I guess in some aspect, this is my personal pursuit for the meaning of life. The meaning of my personal life, not everyone’s life. The meaning of life, in my opinion, is so subjective. Whatever is meaningful to me isn’t necessarily meaningful to others. If I could recapture that imaginative spirit I once had, retool it for my life today, I believe life could really begin to pick up. I’m not necessarily in a funk or stalemate; I think I’m just trying to create a outlet for a new meaning, a new spirit that will carry me through this next phase of life. I can only hope that when I reach that time in my life where I’ve got more figured out that I haven’t passed other great opportunities by. And I hope that I will eventually learn how to recapture that imaginative spirit I had when I was 10 years old.

Go Astros!

Sometimes, I miss being in Houston. The Astros have won 12 straight and now lead the chase for the Wild Card (the extra playoff spot). I wish I could see them play.

EDIT 9/10/04

Obviously, the day after I type this, the Astros lose. Oh well. Here’s to them making the playoffs anyway!

need work

I grabbed your boobs, you peppersprayed me. Are you my soulmate?

All of a sudden, I’m out of an internship. In fact, I only have one job now and it’s the one job I was hoping to quit back in like May or June. I called up the people at my newest internship and it turns out that they don’t need my help. In fact, they can’t use my help. I finished their project they gave me and it was completed way before anyone expected. Thus, they don’t have anything for me.

This is bad. This means I all of a sudden have a lot more free time on my hands. This means I need to find something soon; an internship, work, anything really. I was hoping that maybe, possibly, working at this place would have helped me but it seems to have just kept me busy. Now, I’m pretty much back to where I was when I moved out here.

Am I being punished for breaking those mirrors 10 years ago? It sure would seem like it.