December 31, 2004

Parent's House - Sachse, TX "Last Minute Minutes"

Yea, so, it's new year's eve, cool beans. A day to prepare to make resolutions. I am writing this very hastily,. I rediscovered today that if you do things hastily, it can be quite invigorating. I enjoy doing things fast. You can make seemingly mundane events passionate. Hoo. Hmm. I don't know about that, Dao. Well, anyhow, I might spend New Year's Eve at home with my little brother and sister.

A quick synopsis of what went on the month of December. I decided to head back to Texas from Nevada. Got lonely to say the least. I miss the familiarities of home, food, and friends. Thought I might make a life in Austin, but it seems my parents, particularly my dad need my assistance in Dallas, so I think I will make a life here in Sachse, cow town, USA. I do think that this time around things will both be different and the same with my dad. I think that I might actually make bundles of money in my dad's established business. There's definitely potential, so I will tell you if I get rich. Then I'll have all the friends in the world, which, at the present moment, I think that I could use more of. Well, I'm thinking of signing off. Take care all, and happy new years 2005.

Parent's House - Sachse, TX "Hustling"

Well, I went with my little brother over to my older brother's house to help him break in his new house up in Denton, TX. On the way there, we had to take the tollway. In the name of Jefferson Thomas of Nantucket, it costs 75 cents at each toll collector and then there are four toll booths along the way to Denton. So brother and I scheme to play along with the system. We take mother's van, and mother, too, and pulled off the Great American Tollway Robbery.

This is how it works if you are interested in making easy cash. What you do is one of you plays the driver while the other plays the "hustler". The hustler stays in the back with next to the sliding van door and readies himself to hustle. As the driver pulls up and approaches to pay the 75 cent toll, the hustler slides the van door, preparing to pull of the "great heist". As the van makes a near-complete stop at the toll-collection unit, the "hustler" pulls the van door open and, at that time, makes a visial inspection of all the loose change that rookie coin tossers mis-manage to make it in the toll basket. You'd be surprised! It's like a goldmine! There's so much loose change, you can swim in it. Watered in emotion, I brought in 15 cents at our first stop. I could have gotten more, but was inhibited by my embarrassment, there was a car behind us.

All in all, I made almost 55 cents. Dude! Imagine the possibilities if one were to apply oneself. Now this is between you and me. If the authorities catch on to this scheme, we could be in big trouble.

December 26, 2004

Prodigal Son Returns

Parent's House - Sachse, TX "Prodigal Son Returns"

Bo: "So, Dao, have you decided if you will stay and help me with my business?"
Dao: "Bo, of course I want to help you any way that I can. And that is what I am uncertain about my abilities. I know that I am capable of being a good salesperson for you, to get you work, I believe that there is always a demand for woodwork, you have a very good industry. One, it is, compared to other industry, very rare, Secondly, your skill is exceptional, no argument.

I have two things to consider in order to succeed with working with you. Number one, I know there will be days where you are not feeling good, maybe mom is causing your stress or one of the family, or your feeling the pressure, I understand, maybe not exactly because Ihave never had the responsibility of raising 6 kids but what I am saying is that you need to learn how to release your stress in better methods than become negative and critical at work. Nobody will want to stay, you have experienced that with many of your workers.

Number two, is for me. You are right about my lack of motivation. Through my experience working Ilearn that I have motivation to continue as long as the process is fun. My mind does not work with the far vision. You are right. That is one of my faults. Of course work cannot always be fun, I accept that but I have found methods to make working enjoyable for me. One is variety of work. Money does not work. Escape works most days. Taking lots of breaks/naps. Competition works. Specific time goals works. Some days, NOTHING works, and I just need to relax and sleep for a few hours, take a complete break for a couple of days, then I am good and ready again. THAT IS MY EXPERIENCE. Do not ask me to change overnight, it will not happen i guarantee you it. So here is what Iam asking as a work agreement, if you can work with it then we are in business. Sign here. :)

November 27, 2004

Friend Profile: Jaime (From Wheatsville - Austin, TX)

Park Austin, TX
The following is a brief biographical sketch of a new friend.
Name: Jaime Age: 30For Money: Wheatsville Co-op, a community-oriented/owned health/politically concious grocery storeBirth Town/Hometown: Raleigh/North Carolina -- Anywhere, USADoB: August 9Title: Conversation and Conservation
Jaime believes in preserving/conserving our natural resources. For example, on another FnB* Wednesday public feeding, I smell something offensive, and at first thought I hoped it was not my asshole, for I was squatting in the traditional chinese horse stance, but as it turns out, it's fresh dog shit that has been smeard on the wet green grass of Republic Park. Worse yet, i get some of it on my hands and so does Jaime.
Naturally I run to the public faucet and wash it off good with soap becasue I was about to eat myself passing the bar of soap to my new friend Jaime only to look up and be perplexed as to why Jaime was choosing to rub the dog shit off with a patch of clean, green albany grass. Smeared the goondiewhopper all over his hand. I give him an inquisitive look, pause, and think to myself, "Hey, buttbrain, what do you think you're doing?" but I'm genuinely curious about this guy...he's otherworldly, so to speak, and ask him, "Jaime, why....why do you do things the way you do things?"
He smiles at me and asks...well, Dao, why do you think I do the things I do? "Is it because you like to do things differently?" I ask...He replies, "no." "Is it because you like to conserve water?" He replies with the same answer but with a chuckle. Still perplexed, I randomly throw out, "Is it because you're gay?" "Nope, that's not it either, but you're close.
The reason is that I figure dogshit contains, like most mammalian fecal matter, a high and healthy concentration of vitamins, minerals, and other essentials to aid in the accelarated propogation of plant matter...and I have absolutely no freakin' idea what I just said...but I thought it would make me sound cool...did I sound cool? I replied with nothing but a blank stare...whoa, I'm speechless...I have hit the oasis of the eccentrics amidst the desert of commoners. Austin. My love. My present home.
* FnB is an acronym for a volunteer organization I participated in here in Austin called "Food not Bombs."

October 05, 2004

Burning Man

Been feeling down all day. Tried to shake it off with a morning jog. Didn't work. It's about needing someone to hold. I've been yearning for affection all this year. Finally met a nice girl, Carly, in Colorado Springs. We had something nice there I believed. I did something and now she doesn't want me anymore. Romance can be so good, then incredibly disappointing. Well, I won't choose to hold on. I just need somebody to hold. It's never about the girl, and always about the relationship. My stupid mouth. Tonight, I hold myself.

October 04, 2004

One Way or Another

I owe A LOT of money. In response to my predicament, I have been pulling weeds at a lady's house to make extra cash and pay back my creditors. So it's Sunday and I've been breaking my back since the crack of dawn. Around 4 P.M. she decides to go over grandma's for dinner, counting on me to continue the yard work. That translates as trust and makes me feel good. Right after she leaves, however, I start getting the runs. And I mean REAL BAD.

I've felt the need "to go" before but, this time, it is serious shit. You know, the conversation to crap where your sphincter calls for your attention but all you want is for it to shut the shit-shutter. I pray on a limb that she left the back door open. No luck. Plan B is to make a miraculous drive to the nearest gas station or grocery store before the shit hits the fan, or (in this case) my pants. In the process of taking a step, my a#shole, (we'll nickname him "Fiesty" to keep it PG) interrupts my intention.

Me: "Whoa. Wait a moment, “Fiesty”. It's not time for you to talk yet." But, you see, at this moment "Fiesty" doesn't seem to care what I think. With each step, Fiesty insists on spilling his guts out, literally. I figure out real soon that this was going to be his conversation. My Vietnamese instincts immediately kick in. I know what I need to "do-do". There was no arguing with “Fiesty”. He would have his way with me regardless of how I felt about hearing what he had to say.

In the jungle land we are taught the "communist squat" at a young age.  We become experts before we learn to walk. HOW TO DO THE COMMUNIST SQUAT. 1. Get in a horse stance position. 2. Squat, with authority. 3. Stay flatfooted in perfect balance. 4. Let her rip. And boy, did Fiesty have things to say. Never had I experienced a one-way conversation with such ferocity. On a related subject matter. I called my mother and had a heart-felt conversation letting out all my anguish and frustration over a rotten childhood. Boohoo me. One way or another, it always comes out.

September 23, 2004

"Big Words"

Things I learned today at...
L. Work: Fort Carson, Co Military Base
1. In the BEL (Big Engineering Leagues), if I want to pass as a competent colleague, I must catch on to the onslaught of acronyms and abbreviations. I have to remember that when my boss says that I am working for SES, he is referring to the umbrella company that this project in under: Sempra Energy Solutions and not that I am a man-whore. When, in mid-sentence, he asks me to hand him that "spec", that means a specification report, and not the little mark I accidentally made on the wall.
2. The engineering career ladder is full of fascinating opportunities to which I am not the least bit fascinated. Meet Wally the Welder. He's a nice guy, you know, but it's a challenge relating to him. He's actually sitting right next to me on his lunch break, sharing his world of welding with me as I am typing this. I don't have the heart to tell him to stop, he reminds me of Bubba in "Forest Gump" describing all the wonderful dishes you can make with shrimp. "I inspect all kinds of welds. Pipe welds, structural steel welds, joint welds." For taking his job seriously, I give him the sincerest respect. At this time, I would like to make a toast. "Here's to Wally. For a job weld done."
3. When I use Microsoft Word, I prefer to turn off the automatic spell check. It's not that I mind being told that I'm wrong, but can't it just wait til I'm done completing my sentence? Its lyke beeing intearrrupeted wile your trieng to mak a points.

August 03, 2004

University North Texas Denton, TX - "Bumworker"

I have this "thing". This "thing" creates a lot of trouble for me in the working world but, on the other hand, also provides for some very interesting life episodes. The "thing" is my allergy to work. My friend Lan once told me that she has never met anyone so reluctant to get a "real" job...I told her that I would take that as a compliment.

The truth is I don't mind working hard, taking it for the team, breaking a sweat, whatever words you want to use for labor. The labor just has to continue to provide interesting experiences. Try feeding that "excuse" to the average boss. And I know that I am not alone on this matter. I'm just the type that would rather eat crackers and potted meat and live freely than enjoy a steak dinner provided by earnings via reluctance. I've been generously called "free-spirited" by some but sometimes feel like a complete bum. Then again, I cannot be accurately labeled a bum for I am largely self-sufficient with the occasional filler met by my awesome big brother, Sage, but by and large, I am self reliant, therefore I register, by class, in the nebulous land between the working class and the bum --- the bumworker. No, not a working bum. A working bum is one who hustles people of their hard-earned money. I am a bumworker. I work just enough to cover my ass.

July 06, 2004

University Towers -- Austin, TX

Well, I made it down here in one piece. I am grateful to have this chance to pursue a dream, a dream I cannot exactly define, but it borders along the lines of making money as a music performer. Just now I ran into a celebrity impersonator/vocalist named Mark Danube. See, what he does is use his voice to mimic Elvis, Madonna...yes, Madonna (he's got a 7-octave voice apparently). I think that's pretty neat. I bet he gets a kick out of doing his job.

Before I left from Dallas, my older brother, Dzung, sat down and said that he was not convinced that going down to Austin is the best choice amongst my choices. I tell him that I did not make the decision to move down here rashly; that I have thought about this a lot and, most importantly, that I am following my heart. He asked me one question I will try not to forget. It was, "How long will it take for you to get really good (at your craft)?" I respond, "my entire life." He says, "good, that is the answer that I am looking for."

What we were talking about here is not the likelihood of me succeeding in music, rather, how long it will take. I assured him that I am past my nai$B!/(Jve days of believing that success comes overnight. We reiterated my need for self-discipline and for a mentor; one who has "hit the ropes" so to speak. If you know anybody: a friend, an uncle, a co-worker, who is pursuing music as a career, please let me know. Perhaps, I could benefit from knowing what it takes to succeed at this game. Well, comrades, it's time for me to go to bed. I will catch you, again. Laters.

May 21, 2004

On Romance

Richland College--Dallas, TX

So where does the story go? What a fun question to ask ourselves regarding our lives. Man! I have been without a "girlfriend" for a year and a half. And a stud like me? Hehe. Well, I do have someone I think about a lot, but I gave up on romance a long time ago. I mean, sure, romance is GREAT in books, on film, and in songs. But, who are you kidding? Romance between two people. Such things are not meant to last.

NO! I am not a bitter humbug who got dropped by his ex-girlfriend. Who me? haha. Nah, it's actually how I felt about romance before I got involved. Friendship, now that's something different. Friendships can last. But the nature of romance will come and go. I am trying to find love in the arts: music, narration, nature. Why? I have one experience I hold near and dear to my heart. There was a pleasant summer day last year I spent by the lake at Richland College.

A friend and I spotted a very attractive girl sitting by herself on a bench by the lake talking on her cell phone. We both could not help but oggle at how the sun shined on her. However, something inside me told me to pay attention to the bench that she was sitting on. Yes, the bench. So I spent the next 10 minutes zoning in on the bench underneath her. Sure enough and shortly after, the girl left, still on her cell phone.

My friend's gaze followed her direction while my eyes where glued on the bench. Then and there I found true appreciation. You see, the girl comes and goes...but the, my. The bench remains; sturdy, dependable, functional. Imagine being sat on by an incredible number of asses of all shapes, sizes, and (most unfortunately) smells, yet, remaining true to one's purpose: to provide a basic necessity. I admire that bench and I still do. Whenever I stride by it, not only do I sit on it, but I meditate, talk to, and even pet it (at times). Well, that's all friends. This is Dao signing out. Until we meet again. :)*

March 10, 2004

Surge Cafe University of Miami

On Saturday I woke up feeling know, it's a disturbing ache somewhere in you but you don't know exactly what or where it is to fix it. I was expecting a pretty bland weekend. There's a t.v. lounge here on campus and lately the N.C.A.A. (College Basketball for those unfamiliar) Championships have preoccupied me. I don't particularly follow one team. In fact, I don't even watch any sport on television until it gets down to the nit and grit of The End...the playoffs (basketball), cup play (tennis), world series (baseball), supremium bowl (pronounced with an Indian accent ...the finals for the sport of "cricket") I am not making that up...alright...I am, but I am sure there is such a thing as championship cricket, just dunno the name.

Anyhoo, there I am, kicking back with some munchies, my feet propped on a coffee table in front of me staring at the tube. I must have stared too hard, because out of nowhere a strange image appeared before me. It was a picture of a full-grown, 300 lb. Korean, female sumo wrestler showcasing, from each outstretched arm a sprawling, gawky, Japanese 8-year old. I was thinking, "What the heckeroo?" After a second to gather my senses, I look to my side and realize that the homeless-looking gentleman sitting to my right was volunteering my eyes (by placing in front of me) to a photo he had taken at the Asian World Summit. Strange things happen when you're not at home.

January 05, 2004

All That You Can't Leave Behind

Monday Jan. 05-'04! 6:45A.M. Miami Beach, FL

The air is so nice here, fresh, naturally, a hint of salt from the sea, calm and steady. I come here today for hope and what better a symbol for it than morning sunrise. Last night I had a vivid dream. It involved two people who really affect me, one I hat to love and the other I hate to hate. My once girlfriend turned "dissacciate" is the one I hate to love. Naturally we still have feelings for one another but she'll deny it and has moved on to new relationships. So I love her, but I hate that I do.

The dream last night starts with me chasing after her down a huigh school hallway, longing for affection to be returned. Her body language communicates that she would rather let time erase what was between us. I think to myself, "women. so typical" After relentless pursit, she finally agrees to talk to me. I have a seductive affect on her and she me, so we kiss passionately and all things are back to good. [Interruption of thought: the sun just rose over the water's horizon. It is beautiful, awe-full, and so, so transient; if you blink you just might miss it.] So we find ourselves happy and embraced in each others arms in my mothers sewing room watching television. Things are so perfect, too perfect, I feel something bothersome coming, and sure enough, it is my father, who scorns and yells at me to be more productive.

Always intimidated by him, I don't bother verbalizing what utters in my head, "Look around pops, there's really nothing left to be done." But in my dream, my father can read my mind and he says, angrily, "Oh, yea? Well I got something for you to do. You can put finish on the wooden drawers in your room." I want to think, "Oh brother, how necessary" but I don't b/c I know he can read my mind. I wake up to the repetitive back and forth motion of my paintbrush on wood. Interpretations, anybody?
Dancin' Dao (dancin' thru life)