Much has happened since last time I wrote. I'm currently living at 425 Green Street on Telegraph Hill, but will be returning to Vietnam to be with Tien in two weeks. Before I get into the present and future, I should probably dive into what's been going on since I got back to America.
When I got back from Vietnam in Nov , I spent a few days here in America, had Thanksgiving with my friends Rob and Nicki, then drove to Colorado. The drive was tough because I was of weather and because I was pretty tired. I even slept for several hours in my car at the side of the road, but that didn't help much. I finally arrived in Silverthorne Colorado where my sister was spending the holiday weekend with her husband's side of the family. We went sledding and ate leftovers and I got to talk to a lot of people I had never met or hadn't seen in a long time, like Tom Tonelli, Tom Burns, and Holly. I spent the night there and left the next afternoon to continue on to Colorado Springs.
I got pulled over for speeding by the police in South Park. The officer was really nice and let me go even though my California plates were expired and I had no proof of insurance. This was an extra nice gesture since most police were on edge this day due to an event that had happened earlier where a man walked into a coffee shop in Washington State and opened fire on some police officers.
I spent the next month in Colorado with friends and family. I caught up with Jake and Rachel, who had just bought a new house, my brother, who was now back from Iraq and out of the Army, Aimee Rich, who I hadn't seen almost since high school, and a whole bunch of other folks from Colorado Springs. I spent several days in Littleton with my sister and nieces, which was great because it seems like I don't often spend long periods of time staying with them. While I was in Littleton I finally met up Bridgepix, a fantastic photographer and master of HDR.
I went to Aurora and stayed with Dan and Cass at their place for a few days. They took me out to a nice dinner and then to a The Clocktower Cabaret burlesque show that was really entertaining and fun. They also had a little get together and my good buddy Nathan showed up and we all played the new Super Mario Wii game, which is highly addicting. After that I met up with an old friend Helen who is a fellow world traveler and another person who I hadn't seen in years.
On December 2nd my dad called from the hospital and said he had a tiny accident. Actually, he had had a pretty big accident involving ice, a stairwell with no handrail, a rock shaped like a pyramid and his head. It ended up with 100 stitches and him high as a kite on pain killers. I went to get Jeff in my car to pick up my dad's truck from where he left it before being carted off in an ambulance, but on my way to pick up Jeff my car window rolled down and wouldn't roll back up. Cold weather and stupid cars be damned. Luckily Jeff Foster's room mate Jeff Chamberlain is a car mechanic and was available for an hour or so to whip my window back into somewhat working shape.
On December 15th my brother and I got his car stuck in the snow by The Crags and had to shovel snow with the police for like 8 hours, well into the night.
Since my family usually celebrates Christmas late because it's easier to schedule, my brother and I have a tradition of going hiking on Christmas day. We continued this tradition, meeting up with Gerald and his girlfriend Loridna and her dog Misty.
I actually had way too much free time on my trip. The weather was terrible and I had continual schedule conflicts with people. I worked on some projects like the christmas light wine bottle lamps for gifts and some whitebox product style photography. Christmas was fun. Tien joined my family over Skype from Vietnam since she was still in Vietnam.
On the 28th I headed out of town for that long drive back to San Francisco. It's funny how the details of such a long drive can disappear completely. I do remember sleeping in my car in the middle of a snow storm in the middle of nowhere. I also remember getting to Donner Pass and being refused passage because I had no snow tires or chains, so I had to wait for a few hours for the weather to get better.
When I got back to San Francisco I headed to BLT's place and met up with Donna, who happened to be in town. I spent the next month and a half there, subletting a room from Brianna who was trying to save money. Blake's buddy Scotty was in from Denver and we hung out for most of New Years Eve, but I ended up retiring early this year.
I spent most of January trying to figure out how to get my photography rolling on a serious, profitable path. I did some marketing work for Tara at GroundWork, but other than that it was all charity work and portfolio building with Terresina.
For the second half of Feb Lila and Wil let me stay with them, which is always wonderful. I was running short on cash and needed to make some money quickly. I hadn't had a steady job in 9 months. On top of that, I had some car repairs that needed to be done. My mechanics was right next to Julian and Sadek's place, so I took the opportunity to stay with them for a few days and catch up. It was good times like when we all used to work together.
At the beginning of March Tara referred me to an IT position at her company. It fit my schedule perfectly, and I managed to land that and get my current sublet on Telegraph Hill for the same amount of time within a day of each other, so for the past month and a half I've been back to the daily grind of 9-5 IT work, catching up on finances and patiently waiting for immigration to contact Tien about when she will get her K-1 visa interview.
I've had some good social times in there, but no traveling. In fact, I don't even drive my car anymore except to move it from one street cleaning zone to another every week or so. My friend Dan Lopez hired me to photograph him for some media stuff he had coming up with Linux.com. I finally met up with Hanik, a local house DJ that my friend Jonathan knows. SugarCon was this week, so I caught up with some old friends there, and also happened to run into Chris Nojima on Market Street.
A few days ago my good friend Rob got hired on at Boxee and will be moving to New York, so that will surely be a trip I will be taking in the next year.
I bought an iPad after a lot of back and forth and waiting a few weeks from its release. I've always loved the tech, and always wanted a tablet, but aside from that I think it will be very useful on my trip. It fits my travel needs, which are pretty lightweight compared to what I do with my laptop, and I can probably sell it in Vietnam for a profit since they aren't for sale there yet.
At the beginning of the month I had called USCIS about the status of Tien's visa, and they referred me to the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. I contacted them via e-mail, their preferred method, but never heard back. I called them after a week and a half, but they said they couldn't answer questions over the phone. Luckily Tien is living in Saigon now, so a few days ago she went down there and discovered that they had sent her interview letter in February, but it just hadn't arrived. This was both good and bad. It sucks that we've wasted two months, but also in that time I've been able to make some money and some good business contacts.
Today I began shifting back into traveler mode, focusing on what technology I need to bring on my trip, how to go about packing my day-to-day things back up, and things of that nature. I have exactly two weeks to finish my job and move out of my apartment.
My plan is to travel to Vietnam and see my fiancé who I haven't touched in 144 days. We'll travel north to Hanoi and Ha Long, and hopefully hit Danang and Hue on the way back south, then return to her home town to see her family. I'm thinking we may go to Ha Tien beach, and maybe to the island of Phu Quoc that we had considered going to last time.
That being said, now that we're back in touch with NVC things could change, especially if Tien gets her visa interview soon. Either way, I'm planning to return to my where my girl is and live happily ever after with her by my side, not 8,000 miles away in a country on the other side of the planet.
By the time Monday morning rolled around I had slept away over half of my weekend while doped up on NyQuil and Imodium. I was finally starting to feel better on Monday, so much so that I decided I was well enough to drive to CO. I think I may ...Continue reading …
Friday I woke up sick as a dog in Rob's place. I had full on flu symptoms on top of the ongoing digestive problems and was not a happy camper. I slept well though, amazingly. I took a shower and played online a little while Rob kept sleeping. I ...Continue reading …
Thursday morning I woke up above the Pacific Ocean somewhere off the coast of Japan. I knew this because right after I saw the clouds and ocean below I looked at the helpful map showing where we were on the planet. I was given breakfast and the loudspeaker announced that ...Continue reading …
I am currently sitting in the check-in area of SFO's international area, waiting. I'm a little underwhelmed by having to wait in this boring section of the airport, but Lisa may come visit me before I pass through security so I have to wait out here.
I managed ...Continue reading …
Liquids are in the TSA standard 3-1-1 fashion in the top-front pocket where they are easily reachable at the ...Continue reading …
It's the night of Memorial Day, the Memorial Night. I'm sitting in 4211 #1 having finished a bottle of Bogle 2006 Old Vine Zinfandel with Lauren. I was just developing photos from a day out with Donna and listening to jazz as Brianna got dressed for a date ...Continue reading …
Today I headed out from work up to Lila's house to drop off some photos and pick up some stuff I had left up there. On the way up to SF to meet Rob and Donna for dinner I stopped to take some photos of the clouds spilling over ...Continue reading …
Every morning I wake up and think "What do I need to do before I leave?" Buy a backpack. Get a shot. Sell my car. Find a place for my bicycle. Port my phone number onto a pay-as-you-go phone ...Continue reading …
Every Wednesday my friend Bernadette goes sailing with friends in Santa Cruz, so yesterday Blake and I headed down there to enjoy some time on the water. This was going to be Blake's first time sailing. It was a small group, just 9 of us. The weather was beautiful ...Continue reading …
After getting back from Santa Cruz, Brianna was the only one home at 4211. Shannon and Lily were already well into their evening somewhere out in the city and I was pretty late meeting up with them. Brianna decided to go out, so we got in the car and headed ...Continue reading …
*sigh* I forgot some paperwork at the office that I need in order to get my Visas for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. It's funny how my mind works, I get so much good thinking done when I should be in deep sleep. And by "funny" I mean "kinda lame ...Continue reading …
Just arrived at Gecko's place after dinner and drinks with Kyung at Kat at 99 Chickens in Santa Clara. Driving towards 101 on Great America Parkway with Kaskade on, anticipating the freeway with that electronic music pouring in my ears and filling my veins, I recalled some of the ...Continue reading …
Today I am rebranding and redesigning my website. In the near future this is where you can keep up with me and what’s happening in my probably to be mostly off the grid life as I backpack around SE Asia.Continue reading …
I slept on Gecko and Brian's memory foam bed last night! It was interesting, I've never slept on memory foam before. They are letting me stay in their Menlo Park cottage while they attend a wedding in Arizona.
A girl named Megan Lau from Logitech came to my ...Continue reading …
Went to How Weird with Karen today and had an awesome time. Afterwards I realized I probably would've had a more exciting time if I hadn't had my camera on me. I'll have to keep that in mind while I'm over in Asia... remember to have ...Continue reading …
Crashed at Rob's place again last night. Just got back from picking him up at the airport.
Yesterday I taught Donna how to drive stick and moved some more stuff out of Lauren's place. I kinda freaked out about having too much stuff and nearly just threw most ...Continue reading …
I'm crashing at Rob's house to night. Right now I'm on his couch chatting with my brother in Baghdad. He's planning to meet me in Bankok on July 30 and we're working out the details right now. I'll probably arrive early and meet up ...Continue reading …
Last night I crashed out on Rob's couch. He's out of town until Sunday and I'm staying at his place.
I may go to Angel Island tomorrow with Sara and her BF. Really though I ought to be moving my shizz out of Lauren's apartment. Meh ...Continue reading …
I'm trying to not gear up too much for Asia. That is, I don't want to spend a ton of money on this trip, I want to make it cheap. Reason one is so there's less liability for lost, damaged or stolen gear. Reason two is that ...Continue reading …
So much for keeping track of where I will be staying. I ended up crashing at Lila's place instead of B's because of some work stuff that was going on. Lila's house is on top of a mountain range looking out over the forest down to the ...Continue reading …
I suppose I should keep track of where I go. I'm looking for a way to embed some kind of map about my journey, it will be great to have a geographically aware journal with geotagged images. For now I'll just log it.
A lot has happened since I last updated this journal, and now I feel like resuming this introspective personal outlet for my own benefit. I'm going through some changes in life right now and would like to keep track of the thoughts that are developing in my mind. The ...Continue reading …