Ask for what you want

Yesterday I asked my piano teacher to teach me what I wanted to learn. It wasn’t his fault, it was mine. All this time I’ve sitting quietly and letting him dictate what I wanted to learn.
I was putting him in a difficult position as he wasn’t aware of what I wanted to get out of the lessons.

So I had a great lesson, and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Easy to Love – Cole Porter

D-7 | G-7 | D-7 | G7

C+7 | F+7 | E-7 |1. F7

D-7 | G7 | C+7 | A-7

D-7 | G7 | E-7 | A7 :||

2. A7 | D-7 | F-6 | C+7 | E7 Eb0

D-7 | G7 | C6 ~|~ |

Why doesn’t Teller speak?

He does. I’ve heard it.
I went to the Penn & Teller show at the Rio on Sunday, Apr 24th. Forget those big productions with large African mammals and performers with European accents, this is the magic show to see when you are in Las Vegas.

Teller is a soft spoken, affable guy. He patiently took photos with all the fans and signed the programs. Before the show I picked up a clear Starbucks cup. When I presented it for him to sign, he smiled when he recognized that I am a big fan of the Penn & Teller version of the cups and balls trick.

This classic trick is simple to do, but it takes years to master. And the P&T version of this trick turns it on its ears. They used a clear plastic cup and showed how complex yet effortlessly they performed this trick. This trick symbolizes everything about Penn & Teller. Their brand of magic is not about producing a miracle. They are entertainers. Sometimes part of the entertainment is to let the audience in on the secret.

The show ticket had a coupon which was redeemable for a 30 page glossy guide written by Penn and Teller. It briefly chronicled the history of P&T and of the partners from the other’s perspective. There was also an article in which Teller wrote that one day he will be looking at the stage for the last time. But not tomorrow.

Teller does speak, and when he does, he will blow your socks off.


Today I Thank:

Penn & Teller, TJ, Sylvia, LB

Urban Golf

Not a bad shot!

Played a round of urban golf with Patrick. Check him out on my 100 people project.

That was a lot of fun. I love my new project. It was a beautiful day, spent with great people.

This was one of those spectacular days that you can’t wait to tell your friends about. I called up Patrick and we met at 2pm on his usual corner. When I got there I met Ben, who wanted to record Patrick for a radio show.

Patrick was not quite ready to start the game as he was still setting up his street photo gallery. Ben and I spent some time getting to know each other. He’ll be on soon.

Patrick dragged a NYC garbage can from the corner down to the end of the lot. We emptied the plastic bag of milk containers and grabbed the clubs stashed behind a wall and were ready to start.

Patrick went first, showing me a few key pointers for proper street golf form. Then it was time for me to hit a few. I kept my head down as instructed and paid attention to the “ball”. After a few minutes of hitting, I shifted my gaze and noticed that a huge crowd of people have assembled to watch. People showed up with cameras to capture the moment, and each time I hit a ball well, the crowd cheered. Some even offered analysis of my swing.

When I was done, Ben joined in to also hit a bag of cartons. Forget journalistic objectivity, this is street golf dammit!

A few kids in the audience asked to play and joined us. The first kid came in and on his third shot, made the basket.

The. Crowd. Went. Wild.

People were calling their friends about the incredible shot, and for a moment this was a big as a hole-in-one at the US Open. Dozens of people shared a joyous moment on a street corner in New York City.

I needed to pinch myself to make sure this wasn’t all a dream.

Today I thank: Patrick, Ben, Terri, WW, LB’s mom


Where's Chuck?

Some time ago I traveled to Spain with Bomee and Laura. We called ourselves The Wandering Fools and made some business cards using a printing kiosk. There wasn’t much of a plan, only to see Spain, to taste the food and to listen to the music.

Our first stop was Sevilla. We rented a small apartment from an agency in a location I would never be able to find on a map today. Each morning I woke up early to explore the city while Bomee and Laura slept in. I didn’t venture too far and each time I would pick one direction and retrace my steps. I would return after a couple of hours just in time to share the bounty I picked up during my morning trek.

Toward the end of our week in Sevilla, I decided to take an extended walk. I didn’t have a map, didn’t speak the language but this time I was determined to venture past my comfort zone. I tried to remember the path, 2 blocks, then right, then 3 block, then a left, then 10 blocks, then, then, I was lost.

Instead of feeling panicked, I felt free. I walked around heading towards whatever looked promising, whatever sounded wonderful and anything that smelled good. I wandered aimlessly and for many hours until all of the sudden, I found myself back in front of the apartment.

Today I finally went to take a walk out of my comfort zone. I got lost. But it felt good. Then I found my way home.

Today I thank: Wonder Woman, Bomee, Laura, Anthony, Jason

View from Chart House, Weehawken, NJ

Got my ball and fish. I drew the Blue Devil once before in a pictogram challenge.

Birthday presents. The Blue Devil returns.
Pavlo, Tom, Ian, Jeff, Jack, David, Darlene, Anthony, Chuck, Brandon, Duke, Keith, Janice, Farook, Rich, TJ, Scott, Ryan, JKim, Mike, Doreen, Louis, Lisette

Distance is only geographical

Albert and me in Petra, Jordan. 1997

Skyped with Albert tonight. He and I were roommates in college. We got each other through some rough times and we had some of the happiest times in my life.

I haven’t seen Albert in a long time, both of us lead busy lives. The distance between us is only a geographical limitation. When I speak to him on the phone or via the internet, it is as if we’re still roommates. He’s getting married this year I am so happy it is as if was my wedding.

I can’t wait to tell him what has happened in the last 10 years. I want to hear all that’s happened to him. Thank you Albert, for being a part of me, for teaching me humor, and for teaching me how to be assertive.

So today I thank:

Albert – my brother

Dave – my brother

Jack – my brother

Scott – my brother

Anthony – my brother

Matt – my brother
BG: 119 @ 2:16am EST

Writer’s block

Metaphor: Tree of Utah. November 2008

It’s been a while since I wrote something meaningful on this blog. I sat down with the intention of writing something profound, but nothing comes to mind. So I just start typing. It’s a trick from Finding Forrester,  and On Writing by Stephen King. Click click click click. Something is bound to come.

I can talk about the social research found on OKCupid’s blog, which shows how Asian men have virtually no shot on a dating site, but that might seem to self absorbed. I can write about how Asian women prefer white and black men over Asian men, but that might seem to bitter.

So instead, I’m going to write about one beautiful day in Utah.

David Ewing told me about this place. A giant sculpture in the middle of nowhere at the border between Utah and Nevada. “You can’t miss it”, he says. I drove out of Salt Lake City with absolutely no idea where its located, but I have faith.

It was a crisp day, but inside the Mini I can only hear the wind whipping across, nudging the car off the road. It seemed like I could see a hundred miles ahead, with no landmarks to mark the passing of the terrain. I stopped a few times to take in the incredibly barren landscape, setting up my tripod each time so I can snap a quick photo.

After what seemed like an entire day of driving, I finally see the tree in the distance. From a distance, it looked like a bean sprout.  As I get closer, there are signs along the road telling motorists not to stop at the sculpture. An empty threat of a traffic ticket for non-emergency stops was posted where I pulled off the road. I can see forever in both directions and for now, the fuzz is nowhere in sight.

I drove along the dirt path to the gates surrounding the sculpture. There is no raison d’être, which made its situation in the desert more apropos. I set up my tripod once again to take some photos. I have found something that wasn’t lost, that had no purpose, in the middle of nowhere and I can’t remember why its so important for me to come. It’s beautiful.

Mini next to Metaphor

Today I thank:

Jill – Great to see her again

Dr. Laser – Jason is one of the funniest, smartest person I know

Jason from work – Thanks for trying to keep my spirits up

Reefkey – I’m glad he points out the stupidy

Jesse – A good guy and my lawyer


Rewind, catchup. Sometimes a blog is only a journal of what happened…


1) Monday launch

2) Thursday Percona training, took Morgan Tocker to Hill Country BBQ for dinner.

Roast baby goat

3) Friday John Mayer concert with LB, Margaux, Christina, Adam, Kimmo, Mike

Me, Christina, Margaux, LB at John Mayer concert
Me, LB

4) Saturday worked on Joyce’s website

5) Sunday dinner with Margaux and LB. Played guitar

Next post will be more meaningful.