Just in time for Halloween

I had a wonderful time with my girlfriend this weekend! I had dinner with her family, had plenty of time to study, and even fit in time to finally take care of the “bouncing” issue my car had.

I do apologize for the lack of posts, I have been using a lot of time to work on my programming and I have done more work in two weeks than I could ever do in a semester in class. Needless to say, I have plenty of stories to tell.

I hope everyone has been enjoying life so far and thank you for your patience!

Two years

The big TWO. I have gotten to a point in my life where I realize that I am growing up. 

Backtrack to a younger me, I made plenty of mistakes and I am glad to have had those experience to learn and grow. My beautiful girlfriend entered into my life two years ago, on September 5th, 2015. It all started with an unintentional Skype video chat – I’ll get into details about that at a later time.

With the two years we have been together, I can our relationship is not perfect. We have had fights, unnecessary arguments, and tears shed. We have had wonderful dates, smiles all day, endless laughter, and unconditional love. What we have gone through, these past two year, have built us to where we are now. I have no regrets. I know that being with this girl is the one decision in my life that was right. How do I know? I can feel it in my gut.

Thank you for the wonderful two years, and for many more to come, my beautiful angel. 

Scooters

Having a great time with these 50cc scooters! For those of you that aren’t familiar to the cc measurement – it isn’t that fast of a scooter. However, it is very fun to ride! 

6 of us riding down to Fort Lauderdale and the view is amazing! I wish I stopped by a took a picture but we were on the move.

Best part, all 6 scooters costed less than $200 for the whole day! Groupon is GOAT.

As I lay here, FaceTiming the love of my life – I am missing home. And the fact that I have car parts waiting for me to install once I get back. Tomorrow will be a better day – my older brother’s is growing a year older and that means lots of food and fun! I guess I will say it early, but…. happy birthday big bro!

Family reunion

We made it! It’s not as sunny as we thought it would be. It’s raining. It’s pouring. More or less, there are old men snoring.

The beach house is wonderful, because we are near the shore and say hi to the people to boat down the strip. The best part to this vacation, is that our labradoodle is getting so much attention from tourists and locals. He loves it so much! Crazy enough, he has been spoiled a lot – with a $12 meal as the record so far. But, we love him. He’s family and we all eat good.

Today is a simple day – we travel down to south beach to have lunch with the whole family and take a boat tour of the city. The only thing that can top today, is if Bernice from South Beach Tow comes and we get her autograph!

Maki Ramen 

This is the first time I have eaten ramen, besides out of a styrofoam cup. It looked very close to what you would see in Naruto. Especially those Narutomaki, those fancy pink and white swirl pads,  it’s fish paste that takes pretty good.

A whole bowl of soup, ramen, mushrooms, half a boiled egg, bulgogi, and a strip of seaweed wrap. One must be crazy to not eat this delicacy.

Maki is quite small, the size of a boba shop, but with all the amazing flavors. This might be our designated ramen shop (I’m lying. I’m always willing to try other places).

If you are in the area, give it a try!

Lardarius Webb Charity Softball Game

Football players playing softball. Quite the show, but a very fun time indeed! The charity helps support family’s with low income/homeless and help with food, finding shelter, paying bills, etc.

It’s good to give. 

Thank you Baltimore Ravens for the awesome game and I hope the best for this upcoming season! All in all, I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend!

Credit card?

Okay. I keep getting questions from friends asking if getting a credit card is good or bad? First of all, before you google your favorite credit card, try to imagine how much money you can get, etc.  – understand that it is a simple concept that can make or break the way your credit will be.

Credit is “imaginary money” (don’t quote me on this) that has been provided to you to make any necessary purchases – given that any money you borrow, you must pay back. It’s like having miniature loans. You use the “credit” to purchase your items, which the credit company gives you about 1 month to pay off. Purchases made in the statement month (see the terms and conditions of what a statement month is for your credit card company) will be required for you to pay that following month.

What I would recommend starting off with, is applying for a joint credit card with your parent at your current bank. This would help with building up your credit (if you don’t already have any) and help you learn more about the card as you use it.

Those who already have good credit, I recommend to sign up for any cards that can offer rewards. If you can afford the yearly fee, more power to you. Free is always good for me, so I like to stick will those credit cards. Theoretically, you are going to spend the money anyways, why not get something back instead of just giving your money away by paying cash or debit?

Rewards can involve money back, gift cards, free plane tickets, discounts, or even vacations!

For those who have bad credit, don’t worry! There are credit cards that support applicants with bad credit. You can keep track of your credit by downloading the Credit Karma App (sorry no link, they can pay me to do all of that) and monitor the numbers. Start now by only spending what you have.

This brings me to my next point – DON’T SPEND THE MONEY YOU DONT HAVE. Yes, there are times where we may have to put a bill or two on the card where we might have to wait for the money next paycheck, which is fine. As long as you pay within the statement month, you are in the clear. Most companies will remind you when your next payment is so that you can schedule payments accordingly. There are times where I feel people will not have self control and will spend all of the credit they have – and that is abusing the credit card. That’s just like borrowing something and not being able to give it back.

Keep in mind, credit cards are not for everyone. Like I stated above, many people do not have self control. That is your decision. I’m merely stating the benefits of the credit card and how it can make your life a bit easier.

Be sure to pay it off in full every chance you get (to capitalize, spend only what you can afford) because this can build your credit to a very strong number. If you make the bare minimum payment, this is do little to nothing to those numbers. You might as well cancel the card after you pay it off because it tells you that you may not be financially responsible.

Be honest to yourself and figure out if you are ready for this type of responsibility. I knew at 18, I was going to get a card and start building up. This gave me many options for my future (present now) to purchase and car and a home.

You can say that credit can also a form of trust. A person (company) is trusting you with there money to use to pay for whichever you desire, hoping that you will pay them back. To continue with the imagery, this person will be nice and not charge you anything if you pay back in full, within the statement month span; however, they will charge interest every month you don’t pay and their trust for you will slowly decrease. The more trust you have and then better you start paying this person back, you slowly start to accumulate a reward for your efforts.

Build trust and Understand your limits.

Anymore questions? Feel free to reach out to me at anytime! I’m always willing to help and give advice.

Alone

Many times in life, I have moments of feeling alone. It could be on bad days, and even good days. Why do I let this happen to myself? The real question is, what can I do to make me happy?

As I stare at my phone, I begin to overthink about my life. Will I really make my parents proud, will I get to have a family, will I make a good living where I can support myself and my family, will I be happy? 

I see myself in the reflection of a bathroom mirror and I see hope. I see a guy that has gotten this far in life and that can continue to do more if he tries. I can see happiness. I just can’t feel it.

I have met many people who hide themselves from the fact that they are vulnerable – that they are really scared. I’m scared too. I’m scared of not having a better future. And that’s okay. 

I think back to history class in high school. King Leonidas and the fierce 300 in the Battle of Thermopylae. They faced much worse. The is no way in hell that they weren’t scared but they fought anyways because they knew the bigger picture. They have the future depending on them, Sparta depending on them, family depending on them. They fought till there was no more fight in them. 

I’m writing to say that I am scared, but I can fight through it. This is weak shit. I need to pick myself up and move forward once again. I will have to fight this feeling everyday but I know it’ll be worth it. I can work hard for my happiness. Best of all, I have a family and a group of amazing friends that I know will and has always supported me. I can be happy. A little faith can bring you a long way. 

You are never alone. It’s time to pick up the pace.

Stick to your true intentions

It’s sad to say that most people like to create negativity in their environment. I’m not talking about a couple of jokes from friends – I’m talking about bullying. Bullying can be a very broad term, often looked at as “being weak”, but it’s goes much further than just a word. 

You hear stories on the news that kids are commuting suicide because of classmates saying that they don’t like how the kid looked or how he spoke. The worst part, many parents decide to push the behavior aside. I’m not telling those people how to raise their kids, but if they are becoming such a nuisance and causing trouble, that should hopefully trigger your “parenting instinct” and help you take action. Many issues can be often avoided; unfortunately, It’s just that many people decide they have far better things to do in their life. Those being bullied, stay in there and keep your head up. You aren’t alone, and someone out their cares for you and loves you. 

Beside that, almost all of us are victims because we bully ourselves. We see other people with the $1000 jacket, or the yeezys, or Gucci flipflops – and we HAVE to buy them. Why? You want to look like you have a lot of money? Honestly, that is okay because those are your intentions – but please don’t regret your decisions. Pay your rent first, keep a roof over your head, put food on the table, etc. If your intentions are to get people to think you have money – than so be it, but do not act like a victim when you were given the opportunity to invest your money to a craft, to a charity, to your personal health, your future business, your art, etc. Let’s prevent this bullying to ourselves!

I can’t lie, at first, I wanted all of the clothes and shoes that celebrities wore. It was until I had to pay bills, when I first got a job at age 15, that took me to realize that it is a chore to want those things. I would have to work 40 hours a week, 8 hours a day, for at least 3-4 months, after paying my bills and taxes, to afford just one of those items if making $9 an hour). I also realized that if I did purchase said item, I would be back to $0. Broke. Done. Just because I tricked myself to thinking that if people saw what I wore, they would like me better. I’m blessed to have family members tell me that it would be the most idiotic decision to ever make. So I took their advice.

But don’t you buy car parts? What makes that any different? The thing is, I can afford them now. I can make these purchases, afford a home, own a car, and put food on the table. Aside from that, this is my art. I have always loved the ideas of how cars are just a sold canvas that needs a bit of modification to bring out it’s true colors. And if it can support the way my car can drive (because it is a daily car) than I will make the investment. 

In the end, that is my true intention. I want to build this car as if I am painting the modern Mona Lisa. This is my Mona.

Stick to your true intentions, for the betterment of yourself and others, and you’ll generate a life of happiness for yourself and possibly for those in your environment. 

My biggest fan

Mom.

I don’t believe there can be an end to show you how much I appreciate you. 

You brought me into this world 22 years ago. From what I have learned growing up, that, itself, was a very difficult task. Even before that, you faced the difficulties of learning the customs of a new country. A couple of dollars to your name and a goal, that’s all you needed. 

You escaped Vietnam several times and got your break. Unfortunately, it wasn’t easy to get settled in America with no work experience. You found a few jobs – many to which you didn’t enjoy, but you worked hard. You didn’t have time for us because you were trying to work to keep food on the table. We all understood.

Growing up and going to school had many weird moments. Kids would complain because they didn’t get the right juice in their lunch box or didn’t get a new set of clothes for school. I didn’t want to put that negativity in our lives, so I made the best of everything. Fast forward to when I got my first job. I must admit, it was pretty difficult to know that I had to pay bills at a young age. I never understood in the beginning; however, I kept reminding myself the times you took care of my brothers and I. I was even lucky enough to have friends that work and pay bills and understood where I was coming from. I received a lot of motivation in my life and I couldn’t let my mom down.

Most importantly, my older brother had been the person to push me and guide me to growing up at an early age. He tells me that everything will be okay and continues to motivate me to this day. In the end, I kept asking myself, If my mother and my older brother can do it, why can’t I?

In time, things did get better.

You have gone through a lot; From escaping communism, to adjusting to the customs of a new world, to learning the language, to taking care of 4 boys, to working three jobs to making ends meet, and now finally retired.

Don’t worry mom, you have done more than enough. It’s our turn. I love you so much and I am proud to say that I am your son. You have always been the perfect fan.