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Archive for March, 2012

Hairpin turn

With the exception of life crises, most bad events are short-lived and do nothing more than ruin an otherwise good day. But do they have to do even that? When misfortune knocks at your door uninvited, many people are quick to label it as “just another bad day.” Chalk up another one to the devil’s own luck and wait to see what tomorrow has in store, am I right? I sometimes tell myself that because something bad happened, I deserve to just relax and recuperate until the next day.

But hang on a second. Is the day over already? If your day is abysmal so far, can’t you do something to make it at least acceptable? And if your day is already good, isn’t there something you could do to make it groovy?

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A lion licking his lips

I love big cities. The pep, the punch, the sap, the snap. The liveliness, the sprightliness, the animation. The inspiration, even frustration. Then perspiration, and at last, hard-won jubilation. It’s the kind of thing that makes a person feel alive.

If you ever feel like your life is boring, even meaningless, it’s because you’re too sane. You need to be a little insane to really enjoy life. How to do that? Simple.

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A dance club

I sometimes enjoy going to night clubs for the freedom it provides. Heart-thumping, pulse-racing, anonymous freedom. Unlike a house party or a work-sponsored event, most people at a club don’t know each other. There’s no host that will introduce you to everybody, no manager to orient you to your new environment. There are typically just small groups of 2-5 people waiting for something to happen. Will Debbie meet a charming stranger tonight? Will Donna get smashed and make a fool of herself again? Will Kirk finally get over his ex-girlfriend once he sees all the hotties?

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Dress shoes and a tie

I’m not sure if it’s because I used to be ruefully shy, or if it’s because I’m obsessed with perfection, but I somehow have an appetite for pushing social limits–mostly to see if there’s something I’m missing that I can still learn, but occasionally just out of ennui. One social convention that defies my ability to flout it, is dressing for the occasion.

When I first graduated from school, I applied to several optical stores, optometric practices, and laser surgical centers by just walking around my neighborhood. Sometimes I would wear a dress shirt, tie, and slacks as appropriate for my profession; sometimes I would just waltz into the place in a t-shirt and jeans, or even my gym clothes after a workout!

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With my move from New York to California, and now from Orange County to Los Angeles, my finances have been very tight.  However, a few months back my friend and I made a $50 bet that in 10 weeks I would get a 6-pack (which I’ve never had) and she would lose 15 pounds (which she’s been really wanting to do).  To prevent ourselves from sabotaging each other with “random” gifts of cupcakes and beer, we agreed that the $50 wager would go to a charity of our choice.  Needless to say, we both lost.

With the subsequent chaos in my life during this period, I forgot about the bet until tonight while I was reading the news.  One year ago on March 11th, 2011, Japan suffered a devastating earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear crisis.  The World Bank estimates damages of $235 billion dollars, making it the most expensive natural disaster in history.  My $50 donation has gone to the Save the Children Federation, earmarked for the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami.  I chose this charity because hey, it’s for the kiddies.  And unlike the American Red Cross (for example), they have made a commitment to use the designated funds for what I have chosen only, rather than whatever they deem to be  important.

If you want to contribute also, but want it to be quick and painless, you can go through Network for Good by using this link here.

Love

A. T. Bui

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Snow-capped mountain

“Lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don’t confuse them with mountains.”
-Shakira

I heard this on the radio today and it made me smile. It somehow reminded me of how I used to be self-conscious of my small, girly hands. That changed in high school when I took a career placement test that partly consisted of drawing lines to connect a series of diamonds. Apparently, my small hands and manual dexterity were well-suited for a career as a surgeon. I was never really interested in surgery since I don’t particularly relish the sight of blood. But upon seeing my results, my friend commented that I had a doctor’s hands. After that, I couldn’t help but look at my hands without thinking, “These are the hands of a doctor!”

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An old couple embracing

“Tận nhân lực mới tri thiên mệnh.”
“Only when you have put in your best effort, will you know your true fate.”
-Vietnamese proverb

You see it in the movies all the time. You very seldomly see it in real life. But when you do, it is a charming vision to behold. What I’m talking about is the sight of an old woman and an old man, maybe in their mid-80’s, walking hand-in-hand in the park. It is a rare occurrence, and becoming even rarer.

Wouldn’t that be nice, to find someone with whom you can grow old together? With the divorce rate skyrocketing all over the world, the prospect of loving someone “til death do you part” seems all the more elusive.

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