December 30, 2003

Miami, FL "Just the Knicknacks"

Hi guys. I am alive and well in Miami. I am currently staying at a hostel (another name for dirt cheap hotel for travelers) on Miami Beach and at the public library using the internet. The bus trip was faster than I expected and I am doing very well. I have my health and, of course, the initial vigor that someone has when they are in a new city. Naturally, the weather is beautiful.

I have met three friends already. They are with me now at the library. Two Japanese, and one from Malaysia. I still have not hooked up a pager, so for the time being you can still leave me a message at the Austin number below, but I will not get it until I check my message box so pardon the delay. I am looking for work this week, so as soon as I hook that up (hopefully I'll get lucky) I will contact you again. Until then, bye bye comrades...(If I sent you this letter that means I love you)

December 26, 2003

East Coast Dreams

A short story of what I HOPE will happen for me traveling out East; a visualization exercise, so to speak:

anyhow...back to my blue...i know that i'll be in philly come whatever. i'm doing a bike tour...taking I-95 all the wall up for the 2nd quarter...spring...so wonderful..i think. beach life is the best of course...who doesn't like the beach...something about the ocean. i do searches...and from what i know spring is such a great time to bike...and then summer comes along and so you want to go up north, really really north, i was thinking new york for july aug and sept...pretty nice deal actually, and then getting outta there heading south again..haha...

I guess this living "freely" is really nice, it's a nice gig, so to speak. I'm saving up a lot of money. got 1200 from last i heard. Still it's small money...but still, it's money. i like showering my siblings with gifts...it makes me feel nice...stuff, i think they need of course and stuff that they need. so it's cool. so yea, it's a question of lifestyle. i know my pops doesn't like my lifestyle, but i do...like my lifestyle. it's great.. i'm learning alot about myself and about the world and how people live. i even am keeping a travelogue on xanga. things are not so bad. meeting alot of like minded people. Living very freely.

As far as safety. I have a van now. It's coo, i guess. except for when I move to another place..then i have to sell it. especially if it's overseas. well, then again, i can just leave it at my brother's seems like such a hassle sometimes. Then when to visit them is always a question. i always try to keep a relationship try my best a long distance one...it does involve skill and effort. I love them so much.. i wish the best for them. It's a good life. always learning. I like the challenge of adapting.

Well, i met someone. She is just really something special. I asked her if she'd like to come along with me. She says yes, but then her parents. Well, we decided to keep a long distance relationship, as friends...we're such good friends. I'd like to marry her someday, really. It turns out that i think about her more and more everyday. i mean, sure she's really special, and she thinks i'm special...and then these journeys are something else. I have all these different friends. but she stands out DEFINITELY

i want to see more of the world. south america for x-mas...i did it! it is just so wonderful! i had to buy a van and travel that way...my biking days wow...and so i keep on going this way...I keep on learning. When is enough enough dao? when do you want to "settle down" Ha. so funny. Not anytime soon, i don't believe. Alot of success...things are feeling good for me, a lot of new experiences...i am very safe...i take defense classes! haha. funny.

As it turns out...I am beginning to feel something. It's VERY special..of all the things that I like, as art...improvisation and traveling have become really key in my life and living freely. As it turns out...There is an opportunity for me to be a freelance photographer for national geographic. I've been taking all sorts of pictures...beginning to see why sage likes it so much...b/c i am getting better myself...and wrting has become SO much a center force...it's really something...and I've had some success with it!

My first book, being published, on living life alternatively...a travelogue more or less, a compilation...i've sold 60 copies so far! amazing! Things are looking up for me as a writer, reminds me of that time dad made a poke at my journal..haha, so funny how things work and that is the writing world. so I have become a writer and i'm gettting better and better. Ha, how funny, seriously.. I mean, it's boring and yet, i'm so good at it...it's really my love. and everything else, guitar, acting, all that..I write with harmony, I write with emotion, it leaps from the pages...I remember meeting writing at UT way back when, really beautiful stuff.

Now, in my life, it has taken precedence. I don't want to settle down with it just yet...i keep on continuing doing what i do. it's nice to be able to bring a pen with you. shit, i've been writing since high school and didn't even know it. Wonderful stories i write, wonderful books i have written. well, we will see how it all unfolds...as it turns out she wants to be with me regardless...wow, that's really wonderful, seriously, really wonderful. So now, a new spin on life, how can i do the two things I love, write and love Michelle? I can write wherever she goes. wisconsin? haha, how funny...how about miami? again? haha.

I love them all for different reasons...the best reason is family. the meaning of family, it took me four years. so she says, actually, my company may come with me to paris, france. Would you like to make a life in Paris? I dunno, about my family, my ma and pa, what about christmass and the sort? will we have money? it's always been about the money one way or another. Dun worry, we'll fly, no, i have too much pride about that stuff, i would like to be self sufficient. you will be lovely. I'm sorry. I can't. And so there and then the relationship falls apart...even something that I truly did love so damn much, and the writing is all we have left, of course that is the nature of love, we knew that from the beginning, self interest always outweighs benevolence, so there we are again, being self interested.

The pain brings about a new wave of writing like never before, we come out with the finest material. In search for meaing, more or less. the road less traveled. Wow, you know, I have found that I will always be traveling one way form or another, it will be my lifestyle. I celbrate my 24th birthday today, whoa...coming of age, i really feel like an independent man now...it is quite a nice feeling. and I celebrate it in miami.. damn, already? How interesting. and finally boston for the third quadrant, july aug sept, and then begin to take a greyhound back south, at this rate we are going, things are going well for us.

What a crazy adventure just because you heard someone else did it you wanted to try it. you never stick to anything like this in your life. It loses it's thrill does it not? Well the challenge is really the interesting part. The challenge never loses it's thrill because the challenge is stated: can you endure? of course it is an adventure in itself. Seriously? Do you mean it? you are going to do this? whoa. that is just pure madness. you leave early from miami on your birthday or so? and on your journey, whoa...and you don't get there until when?

what's the rush? there's no rush, it's a good, a very good lesson in life, you can do just abuot anything after you do a bike tour. And I can honestly say, that changed my life forever. what a beautiful story unraveling. yes, i can see it happening now. Not going to be easy. Lots and lots of challenges. of course, then we see it all unravel, all before our eyes. in Philadelphia for a little bit, in Hacketstown a little and then New York, lots and lots, it's all really close, really. Whoa, so you're actually traveling more in Florida than you had expected..to live in a town for no more than a month, our quadrants broken down by months, pick a town, and what about in transit?

All this traveling, what are we to make of it? what are we learning about ourselves? so much, and the occupation and financial progress, and social progress, and emotional progress. I learn that I don't want to bike all that much? really? well, I can approach it in a fun way, but, it's really a waste of time, to me anyhow, like, it's enough, the challenge is no longer there, the challenge now is how can I make money with my writing. So I decide to stay put in one place:San Diego. And I write. Who knows...follow your heart, I feel good about my long vision. Let's return to short term.

December 15, 2003

The Winding Road

Monday, December 15, 2003
Here are my current philosophies on life. I like to approach my life using analogies. Lately, I have been referencing my life to a roadtrip. It's funny, normally when you think of roadtrips, you are affected with excitement and a feelings of anticipation. However, lately i've been feelin' very reluctant to go anywhere. I don't know exactly what it is, but the motivation hasn't been with me lately. You know the feeling you get when you know you ought to get out of here but you don't exactly have any reason outside of the hope that once you get out you will encounter that reason.

California Dreamin'


Monday, December 15, 2003
I'm listening to Counting Crows "Long December" and doing research on life in California. I'm thinking about making a move out there by the ocean. I don't have any real reason to go: no job waiting for me, no long distance lover in L.A., no family in San Fran. Just the curiosity of how life would be experienced for me out there. It's terrible that I find myself writing my xanga's only when I am feeling out of whack. I actually don't feel this way the majority of the time, but is sure paves way for good, soulful writing. It's been difficult convincing myself that I will be leaving in a month's time. I know that I will be leaving but I do not know....?

October 16, 2003

Burning Man

October 16, 2006 - Monday

Jester Dormitory Austin, TX

My life i live in desperation. I place myself in desperate measures. Perhaps I need it, perhaps I seek it. I feel desperate for work right now. I fell desperate this morning. Analogous to my having to go pee and spurting from the 5th floor to the women's restroom, I smile. I think that I like this desperation. The reason why I am alone is because I do not with this on others. It's a hard life, in some regards, and an easy one in others. When others ask what my goals are, i spill them my dreams of adrenaline.

A goal so unspecified, I have no idea what I speak about. It's a Sunday morning and the worlds mostly still asleep here in Austin. I don't even have a decent pair of socks to wear. A life of temporary solutions. My life is an opportunity to figure out what works for me. I have been without work for 2 weeks now, finding work isn't difficult, finding the motivation is. I feel somewhat trapped in this work -- entrapment cycle. it will not end. I am beginning to believe that we work hard in hopes of retiring. God, what a life. How can you trick your mind into bearing that? The mind can do anything it wants to.

July 24, 2003

A Hippie Ethic

4:46 P.M Pharmacy Building Austin -- TX

God. It's a gorgeous day outside. I mean, truly picturesque. I feel very lucky to be alive and well here in Austin. Just got back fr9om volunteering at a soup kitchen downtown. Good thin I came hungry, too, because there was plenty of food. What perplexed me though was the mixed feelings I had about my experience. I guess poverty caused me to feel uneasy. I don't enfoy seeing others in poverty. It disturbs me.

All these questions pop up in my head about these homeless people. Where do they sleep at night? What became of their relationships with their siblings? Are they happy with their lives? Or is being poor really not that bad a gig? Right now, I guess what's so bothersome is that I don't see the distinction between their lives and my life. If i feel disgusted by their existence, feel pity, then is MY life to be pitied? Essentially I am without home.

Essentially. my relationship with my siblings has deteriorated and that disturbs me. Sure, wealthy people can feel out of place, rejected and sure, wealthy people can have fall-outs with their families too, but at least, the rich can put on an image of success. Perhaps I cannot answer for the homeless of Austin, but I can answer for myself what I think will be a successful 9outcome for me. Maybe being fed by youngsters when I am 40 is not my picture of success.

Perhaps volunteering and eating recycled foods despite being incredibly wealthy will, or riding a bicycle to work despite being incredibly wealthy is also. Pewrhaps it's about having power over oneself. "unlimited power" by Anthony Robbins, check it out at your local library. I do remember wanting to live in poverty out of choice and using my money for goodwill, goodwork, and activism.

July 01, 2003

"Piecing the Puzzle"

Jester Dorm -- Austin, TX

The day before I left for Austin, my youngest brother, Luong, and my darling baby sister, Jessica, worked on a jigsaw puzzle that had been strewn carelessly across the family game-room for months without progress. We got our gathered our talents and aimed to put this bad boy together. It was difficult at first. Actually, that is an understatement. It was daunting at first; pieces were organized yet no connections; many times promising leads turned eventually turned into dead ends.

We were frustrated, figity, and flatulous (well Jessica mostly), I called for a group break to analyze and reorganize our approach. Our second try proved slow, at first, then all of a sudden Luong called out, "Got one!" quickly followed by a "got one!" from Jessica. Shortly thereafter, I, myself, was piecing things together. We worked at this incredible rate for another 30 minutes; pieces seemingly connecting themselves and without difficulty.

I was feeling lonely just yesterday, as you read in the previous entry, so I decided to make it a point to contact my peeps. I called mother at work, and although rattling me out for having left Dallas, I felt a peculiar warmth of intimacy...the kind that annoys you but you appreciate nevertheless. Then I called and met up with an 'ol friend, John Tran.

We talk for a little bit and head out to a tea shop and there I run into another friend, Bee, who is getting married in two weeks. Then, as I am talking to Bee, another friend named Jeanie, who happens to work there, approached me and we did the whole "hi! wow haven't seen you...da da...the whole nine yards. She told me that in the shop were other people that I knew...I was just socially overwhelmed and didn't even bother to come over to say hello.

Point in case...sometimes you complain to yourself how lonely you feel, only to complain another day how you don't have any control when you're being bombarded with friends. This is Dao, signing out. Oh, again, if you know any musicians or any related contacts for musicians email me at dal_nguyen@yahoo.com

May 21, 2003

Life Unfiled


Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Richland College--Dallas, TX

A lot of my friends are graduating from UT Austin this week. I think of the choices that I have made and revisit the reasons why I have chose a different path. I left UT Austin two years ago, well, hehe..actually UT kicked me in the rear and said "you can leave now." Whichever, it doesn't matter to me. I reflect now where I stand.

My uncle asked me once why I do not go back and finish where I left off with school. I replied that I did not see the urgency nor the necessity. He told me that he understood, and that he had "once been where [I] was 20 years ago." I just feel that everyone has their own journey to make, no which way is better than the other.

I know that I am taking a similar path that my older brother took, a path a bit different from what is expected from a 23 year old asian: neither am I graduating with a bachelor's degree from a major university, nor the other extreme, gangbanging and selling narcotics. I am simply a guy trying to find out the answers to his life, and taking a detour in order to do it. Well...wish me luck, and I hope to see you further down the road. :)

May 02, 2003

Break The Cycle

Dallas, TX

I recently spoke to a friend online and she was counseling me on my non-existent relationship with my dad. You know, the ever-familiar problems we have with our stoic-every-so-ready-to-force-feed-you-his-opinion-when-he-wants-to-asian father. Yes. It frustrates me.

So I run into a complete stranger on at the rail station on my way to meet up with a friend. The stranger is a white man in his forties. He seems a nice man so I approach him with, "Pardon me, sir, may I ask you a question? Perhaps you could help answer a question I've been puzzling over today." I share with him the above and he first replies, "Well, first, I am sorry to hear that. It's quite a shame." And proceeds to dissect the way the last generation of fathers was raised.

It's quite possible that one of us will pass before we make the effort to know and forgive each other. Needless to say, it would be a shame. Despite the discord, we're both fundamentally good people. I can't imagine what that would be like, I have experienced missing somebody;but not like that. Not a permanent longing.

"Father. Hello. Who are you?" We don't talk. We don't call one another. There's so much to talk about, but it seems almost impossible to start that conversation. You celebrated your 47th Birthday last week. How do I wish someone a happy birthday I don't talk to. I have learned to shut you out; to make your words... your opinion of me... not matter. I am safe behind these walls. Or am I? Explain to me why we always cry when we talk? Can't it get better? When tears come for apparently no reason, I know the reason. It is that I wish things were different. That things did not play out as they did between us. Many of us long for things from our parents that they, frankly, don't know how to give.

There was a boy. There was his Father. The two did not speak to one another and did their best to avoid one another. What foolish games. One of the hardest things to do is to meet up with the source of our pain. Life seems easier when we can fill things up to act as a bandaid. I know because that's what I do.

I feel no shame here. There's no need to hide this. Sure, it has somewhat stained me. I hurt and still do. Not so much from the physical violence of my childhood experiences but moreso from the emotional instability that affects a person long after the quarrels, broken dishes, and sleepless school nights have passed.

I'm grown now and live apart from my folks. It is difficult each time I visit them. It becomes a revisitation of emotional places that both anger and sadden me. I think that domestic violence is a terrible, terrible thing. It stays with a person long after. You sometimes feel "weird". I wish I had some good advice I could share about all this. Here's a photo of my mom and dad in happier times.



March 31, 2003

Making Music...er...Noises

March 31, 2007 - Saturday

Music Theatre BackStage -- UT Austin, TX


I've been farting a lot today. Must be the chili cheese beans I had for dinner, which brings up the question, "have I been farting all day or just after dinner"?? It makes you wonder if the smelling of one's own fart entrances him to misthink that he's been farting more than he really has.

I so desperately want to practice on t guitar; if only I could fix it up. The guitar shop says that it will cost me 300.00. I'm thinking "bogus!" With 300.00 I could buy 3-4 of the same guitar. Dang, don't you hate it when you're trying t finish something only to feel exhausted or sleepy? That's how I fell now...so on behalf of...yawn...whooo, sorry...on behalf of Dao, cheers!