Help Me Help You

“I used to cycle through disbelief, shame, anger. Now I just show compassion and move on,” she added.

I’ve heard this happening myself while in the waiting room for my doctor. The person first didn’t want a nurse practitioner, but a doctor. She was presented with options. Then she wanted a doctor that went through a medical school in the US. More options were given. Then she wanted a doctor that wasn’t a woman. Finally she wanted a doctor that was white.

Color Me Rad

Confident before the run.
Confident before the run.

This past weekend, Farrah, Fina, Kristel, Kay, Chantel, and Marisa took part in the 5K Color Me Rad run. It was held at the Santa Clara Fairgrounds in San Jose. This particular run benefited the

Pacific Autism Center for Education (PACE). I was able to take a few photos at the event. It was a bit difficult avoiding the color powder that is used at the event. I saw several DSLR users have plastic bags over their cameras, similar to a rain bag I used on my Nikon D70 when we went to England. If they do this run again, I will need to make sure to bring a plastic bag with me.

Celebrating after the run!
Celebrating after the run!

Photos for this event are located under the Color Me Rad folder.


I feel I don’t have enough time during any given day. At least not enough to do what I want, when I want to do it. This is why my blogging has efforts have fallen by the wayside.

Wife. Kids. Work. Eat. Commute. Sleep. These are the priorities in order. Wife. Kids. Work. Eat. Commute. Sleep.

Sleep is nice if it can be had. When it is possible, it doesn’t come in consecutive hours, not since the kids were born. I’ve learned to function with chunks of sleep here and there, sneaking in a few extra minutes on the commute to-and-from work.

Commuting and working are dedicated blocks of time. The commute is not fixed in its length. It can take up to 2 1/2 hours a day. And if there is an incident on Caltrain, add another 90 minutes to that time. I try not to take my work home with me, but my job is easily accessible through any device.this makes it easy to read and answer work issues.

That leaves the time spent with the wife and kids. They are the center of my world, the reason I do what I do. During the week I don’t have the opportunity to spend much time with them. An hour or two in the morning while getting ready to leave for the day. A few hours at night at dinner time then bed time. At least we have the weekends together.

Eating is done between all of these times.

Setting aside time to write has been tough. I can steal a moment away here-and-there to jot down a thought I want to explore. Finding the time to think that thought through and writing it down can be difficult. But I believe I need that time, the time to use my brain and stretch my fingers. My writing may not be revelatory but it is mine. It is seething I wish to express, even if it is a trivial matter.

And so I’m making an effort to post more, to write more in this space. It may be a simple comment on a link or a long bitch fest about a day gone sideways. But it’ll be something I want to share. Whether you want to read it is up to you.

I hope you do.


About two weeks ago Farrah had an ultrasound to check the baby’s size. The ultrasound showed that the baby is a healthy sized baby girl. But she’s also breech.

It’s late in the pregnancy for the baby to turn on her own. The doctors say it could still happen, but most likely the baby will need to be helped. Tomorrow we’re going in for that help. It’s called version.

It seems like a straightforward procedure – so says the man not going through the procedure. We’re reading what we can, looking at videos, basically arming ourselves with as much information as possible. But it will still be a new anxiety filled experience.


228. 44.

Two numbers. Just numbers.

The first number is the highest it has been in my life. It has increased by leaps and bounds over the years. At the end of high school, it was 118. At the end of basic training, it topped out at 130. After a time overseas it climbed to 155. This was only a period of about six years! And now it is what it is.

I need to stop it from getting any larger.

The other number has been steadily climbing over the years. It’s a good thing, considering the alternative.

I know you’ve guessed right. The numbers are my current weight and age.

The weight thing has been a problem for awhile, something I’ve grown into (insert laugh). It not only affects my ability to fit into clothes, but it is messing with my blood sugar. I took a glucose test today to see how bad it is. We’ll see what the results are.

I’m not surprised. I’m a bit concerned. I only have myself to blame. I need to get back into shape, and soon.

The company picnic was last week. We broke up into several teams for soccer, a sport I enjoyed very much in my younger days. I played hard for three games, huffing and puffing up-and-down the field. I almost scored a few times. I also blocked a few scoring attempts. All I have to show for my efforts is my screwed up left knee and big toe on my right foot. Both are a bit strained from the sudden need to be extremely mobile, this a week-and-a-half after the picnic.

I’m not getting any younger. But next year, if I go to picnic again, I would like to not be in such bad shape.

I’m writing about this just to write, to know where I am at and where I need to go.

228. 44. I can’t do anything about the last number. But I sure as hell have control of the first. I need to get my act together.

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

You are waiting to hear news. It might be good news you are hoping to hear, something favorable to your future. Or, perhaps it’s bad news  you wish you could avoid, news that can prove to be an obstacle for some time. Either way, you just want to know what is going on, what is going to happen, so you can take the next step(s) to arrive at a conclusion. You are almost not concerned about the why, you simply want to know the what. But all you can do is wait.

Why do you have to wait?

Well, the decision, the next move to make things happen, may be out of your control. Or perhaps time is a necessity, it needs to pass in order for results to occur. But all you know is that it sucks. And you wait.

I’m in a situation like this now. I’m hoping for favorable news. If a ‘negative’ is given as a response, it won’t be the end of the world.  But it will be disappointing.

A friend of mine is waiting for news as well. It could be good or bad. Not sure what it will be, but I’m hoping for a positive outcome.

Waiting, in either case, is the only option.

She’s Having My Baby

Ultrasound of the Little Dude or Little Dudette

Farrah is pregnant!

[Note: Apologies to our shared friends on Facebook.  I know you’ve heard this announcement before, from Farrah’s wall posting last week. I just haven’t had time to make a blog post and post it on my Facebook wall as well.]

Not much to add.  Well, I guess we could throw in a few details.

 How far along are you?

At this point Farrah is at 14 weeks.

 When did you find out?

 The morning of November 1.  Farrah woke me up early that morning, showing me a photo on her iPhone of a home pregnancy test.  I had to ask who’s it was. She then smiled and said, “It’s mine!”  Later that day we took two other tests just to be sure.

 When is your due date?

July 11th.

 Do you know the sex of the baby?

Not yet. It’s too early. But we do want to find out when we can.

 How are you feeling?

Not too bad. Luckily Farrah hasn’t experienced a lot of morning sickness, though there were times where she did not feel like eating.  Her appetite returned last weekend with the beginning of the second trimester.

We hear that the second trimester is the best.  I can say, for both of us, that we’re extremely happy,  excited, and of course, nervous.  I take it all of those are natural responses. 

Last Monday, we heard the baby’s heartbeat for the first time.  At first it was difficult to distinguish it from the static coming from the Doppler Baby Heart Monitor’s – I think that’s what it’s called –  speaker.  After some maneuvering of the microphone by the doctor, a clearly identifiable strong heartbeat was coming through.  I have to say hearing the heartbeat was as cool as seeing the first ultrasound of the baby back in November. I honestly could have cried.  Yes, I did cry during a couple of the ultrasounds.

We can’t wait until July. 

My Year in Review Plus More or Less List

A belated Happy New Year to all!  Welcome to Twenty-Ten! This is the proper way to say it, right?

Again, I blame the Winter Break for not doing this post earlier.  But here I am, a little late to the party, trying to summarize blog postings and happenings from the last year:

  • Kayla started playing volleyball.  This prompted my sister to get into DSLR photography. She is doing great taking photos, and using the plenty of tips on photography from family and friends.
  • This past Christmas Eve we did our first Skype call with my sister and her family in Nebraska. I think it surprised my mom, who was happy to see them on screen even though she had just seen them in person less than a month earlier. Ah, technology.
  • Two new additions to the extended family this past year: Kaleb and Kaelin.
  • We did a few concerts this year: Paolo Nutini, Dane Cook, Rex Navarette, and Tori Amos.  Farrah also saw No Doubt at Shoreline.
  • We saw the King Tut exhibit and went to the California Academy of Sciences.  I didn’t blog about King Tut, but will probably do so in March.
  • We bought our first LCD TV and took the dive into blu-ray.
  • We, and everyone else bought the iPhone 3GS. It’s been a very good phone for us.
  • Once again, the state of this blog has fluctuated this year.  The blog has bounced from WordPress to to Tumblr to WordPress again. I also pointed the domain ( directly to my Smugmug account to start a new site And once again, with my manic web life, I’ve decided to shut down and blog back at Confusing, huh?  Even though everyone seems to be on Facebook, I believe I will continue to blog here. I want to avoid getting stuck in a walled garden.
  • My uncle passed away last year.  It was tough to take, even though I hadn’t seen him in so long.

Ok, now onto my New Year’s resolution list.  I know, you really don’t need to wait until a new year begins to make a list of goals. You should be able to do this any day of the week. But I suppose New Year’s Day is an apt occasion to think about what you’d like to change. Wait? Wasn’t New Year’s Day about a week ago?  Yes, it was, and I’ve listed “less procrastinating” as one of my goals.

I present here, in this blog post, my “More or Less List.” Should be a straightforward read.

In the coming year, I would like to do more:

  • Reading: I do plenty of online reading. I’d like to read more books. I started two books last year, American Gods and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. I got halfway through both books. I need to finish those first, then find other books of interest.
  • Writing: I’ve been trying to write an hour a day, write like a stream of consciousness. I’d like to continue this. I’m hoping this leads to better blog entries or at least more interesting entries.
  • Taking photos: As I’ve said in a previous post, I’d like to take more pictures and to be more creative.  My understand lighting and depth-of-field seem to be growing more, but I don’t think about it often on-the-fly. Also, following some of these resolutions would be good.
  • Watching movies: There was a time when I would devour movies.  But my ability to sit through a film waned a few years ago.  I’ve been able to watch a few movies the last several months.  I hope to continue the trend.
  • Exercising: I took a month or so off for the holidays.  I need to desperately jump back on this horse.
  • Cooking:  I need to bust out the pots and pans more this year.

I probably should do less of the following:

  • Dining out: Too many restaurants too often. But it does help with my Yelp reviews. I should be cooking more though.
  • Playing video games: I’ve already conquered the world (Sid Meier’s Civilization Revolution), won 15 Super Bowls (Madden 10), beat Arsenal to a pulp (FIFA 10), and saved the world – for the time being (Call fo Duty: Modern Warfare 2). Time to cut down the hours on the PS3.
  • Giving in to treats: I need to eat less chocolate, drink less soda, and cut down on my Starbucks Mocha consumption. Of course, if we receive a care package with chocolate in it, well, I’ll probably breakdown. I’ve been successful in cutting down on the mochas, so far.
  • Spend less time on Facebook, Tumblr, etc.: I’m thinking of just logging in once a week instead of the multiple times a day, onto these networks.  Just a thought.
  • Procrastinating: Yes, I just need to get things done!

How did I do compared to last year’s list? Considering that I have many repeats on this list, it seems I didn’t do well.   I probably should assess how I’m doing by the middle of the year.

Half A World Away

The last time I saw my uncle was thirty-three years ago when I went to the Philippines. It was the first and only time I had been to the homeland of my parents. I was young and bratty, traveling without my sisters for the first and only time. I’m not sure why my parents took me, but I went willingly.

At that age, I had two concerns going to the Philippines, (1) the lack of a tv, and (2) the lack of food I was accustomed to eating. I was a child comfortably familiar with fast food, enjoying McDonald’s and KFC more than any Filipino dishes.

To be even more honest, I was afraid that any meat I would eat on this trip would be a dog. I bought into this notion for some reason. Perhaps it was my sisters who sold me on the possibility, I’m not exactly sure, but it was ever present in my thoughts around meal time. I was still young enough to scream and cry if I didn’t get my way. But while in the Philippines I would often not get my way because I just couldn’t. For those occasions, I just did not eat.

But one day my Uncle David gave in. He had two dogs when I first met them. From what I recall the dogs were friendly and full grown. He traded his dogs to another person for chickens, chickens for me to eat. I thanked him, at my mom’s prompting, not fully grateful for his kind gesture. Only days later did it really sink in what he did for me.

I gravitated to my uncle as the days passed. He was the only other person I could talk to since he spoke English, the others talking very little. He would translate for me and talk to me about anything and everything. We spent as much time as we could knowing the days would pass by quickly.

My uncle was always there for me during our time in the Philippines. One day I was a complete idiot and hurt myself while hanging out with the cool adults. I managed to get my foot caught in the back spokes of a motorcycle as it was being pushed forward. He picked me in his arms and rushed me to the local hospital.

He did so much more for me now that I think about it, and I wish I could recall more, but the memories are fading.

I do remember the last day I saw him, the day we left. I hugged him and cried, not wanting to leave him behind. I told him I would write him every day when I got back home. He said, “Of course, you will, but you will forget in time to write.” He was right.

I wrote for the first several months when we got back. The months then turned to a letter once a year. Then it turned to no letters at all. When he would call my mom, and I would answer the phone, there was no longer a sense of connection when we talked. We had grown apart, time and distance creating a wedge I believe he know would exist.

Now he is gone, at rest. But he lived a full life, and I had a brief moment to remember him. I might have never met him if I didn’t go on that trip thirty-three years ago.