A Summer Update

Having been more than two months since I last wrote a post, and with school starting for both Xavier and Andrea, I thought I might as well try and do a bit more writing. After promising myself, and any of you readers out there that I’d write more, I can safely say I’ve failed in that endeavor majorly. It’s been a whirlwind summer, and I’m ready to get back down to business.

Moving Houses in Kensington, San Diego, Part Deux!

While it was just under a year ago that we moved down to Kensington, I’m happy to say we’re moving again. This time, to a house that is a quick 4 minute walk away. Finding a 3rd bedroom after living in two bedrooms for a year was a top priority as we’ve had lots of visitors over the months and are in desperate need of a play area for X and Lex. The house we’re moving into definitely has it. Better yet, it’s on a canyon and has an awesome play area in the back yard! It’s seriously a cool house and we’ll be more than ready to host anyone who wants to come and visit.

So over the next few days, and hopefully not any longer, Andrea and I will be carting our things over to the new digs wagon load by wagon load. Our friends Shela and Danny will be by later on to help move our bigger things, but we’re hopeful that the move isn’t painful. I think we’re a lot more eager to move this time around because of the house itself.¬†Pictures to come ūüôā

School Starts

Along with moving houses, Andrea has been busy getting her classroom at San Diego Cooperative Charter School ready for the new year. I feel like every year, she tries to one-up herself in the preparation and decorations department. This year is no different. Between yards and yards of triangle banners, brand new furniture and a new carpet, she seems relatively calm and collected compared to years passed. Maybe it’s the new house that has her focused attention right now.

Xavier on the other hand has been ready for school for a month now. Coming home from Birch Bay after a month up with Grandma and Grandpa was a harsh dose of major boredom induced reality for the kid. The very idea of watching a TV show seemed torturous to him (which I suppose is a good thing). But between meeting up with some old friends, meeting Ms. Lindsey’s new dog, Star, and taking a quick weekend trip back to WA with dad to see Nana and Papa, I’d say he’s had a pretty stellar summer. Now to get him off his Disney Cruise kick.

The End of Summer

All in all, it’s been a pretty crazy summer. From a quick trip out to Phoenix to see some old friends, a month alone while Andrea and the boys enjoyed the Pacific Northwest and the craziness at work, I’m pretty stoked for whatever is in-store for us this fall. I’ll try my best to keep the blog updated as well. That might include a crazy makeover, which it’s due for. Who knows what it’ll be in a few months or a few weeks. Who knows where we’ll be, but we’ll hopefully be enjoying it to the fullest.

Last hint – Aloha!

P.S. I learned how to make balloon animals (and necklaces)!


A Whirlwind Wedding in Virginia

I am always up for an adventure. Whether we’re cruising on a Disney boat, visiting family up in Washington or just exploring a local joint we’ve never tried, getting up and out of the house and doing “stuff” is incredibly important to Andrea and I.

This past weekend, the two of us left the boys with our friend Shela and flew across the country to our cousin Hillary’s wedding in Leesburg, VA. While an amazing trip, it was a short one… all in all, SAN > SFO > IAD and then DCA > DEN > SAN – all in 48 hours. I felt like I was filming an episode “The Layover.”

The trip started Friday night with a flight up to San Francisco and then a red eye over to Washington Dulles arriving at the amazingly blurry hour of 6am. It wouldn’t have been that bad of a flight if it weren’t for the fact that we were flying with about 2 dozen 8th graders who were all enjoying their first few hours without mom or dad’s watchful eye. Lack of sleep due to seat back table shenanigans equates to much needed naps Saturday morning.

Leesburg, Virginia

Seeing Andrea’s family, including her brother Kevin (pictured above) was great. Banding together for lunch on Saturday, we tried the Wine Kitchen in historic downtown Leesburg; a recommendation straight from the bride. It was an amazing little restaurant w/ some awesome wines and crazy good food. Go check them out if you’re ever nearby.

The wedding overlooked a little pond tucked in close to a huge barn right off the Potomac River. The venue was awesome really, even though our allergies took a bit of hit. Hillary and her fiance AJ stole the show but coming in at a close second was the reception. Mingling in and amongst some horse stalls, the vibe of the whole place was killer. Combined w/ some live music, amazing food and beverages, the night was a total success only to be topped off with a dazzling array of lightning bugs buzzing around the fields near the barn. It took a minute for me to realize exactly what I was seeing, but once I did, I had to show everyone. A bit of a difficult task when all that everyone wants to do is dance and have fun. Make sure you stop and enjoy it once in a while!

The weekend came and went all too fast. By Sunday morning, we were back in traveling mode, packing our bags and headed for the airport for the final few legs of back-breaking flights. Xavier and Lexan would be waiting for us at home and we were quite ready to leave. Why do short trips feel so long sometimes?

Where are you guys off to this summer? Any weddings? Andrea and I will be back in wedding form for our friend Kristina’s wedding in July. We get to go home for that one though.

Blog Categories as Writing Barriers

I’ve come to a point in time where I’ve realized I need to reorganize the way this blog categorizes posts. What does this mean? In essence, I want to write about stuff that doesn’t necessarily align to the categories I have today. That doesn’t neglect the fact that I could jerry-rig a nifty tagging or nested category strategy. However, at the end of the day, it all comes down to the fact that I’ve started to figure out a direction for what I want to write more of. Thus, it’s time to tear down and rebuild.

One of the great things about WordPress is that you can organize and customize your navigation based off a number things including pages and categories. On top of that, many themes use drop downs within these elements to help identify child categories. As I’ve written (in a non-frequent manner) I’ve been letting a lot of my categories go unchanged for months on end. Things I’ve wanted to write about in the past, but haven’t include:

  • Videos
  • Ms. Andrea the Teacher
  • Xavier’s Corner
  • Lexan’s Lab

Yeah, I know that’s mostly topics around my family, but you have to keep in mind, when starting this little blog, I originally wanted Andrea, Xavier and someday Lex to publish their own posts. It was truly going to be our family blog. As Andrea got into her job and new school, we realized there was no real time to write posts. And there was no way I was going to ghost write for her… because I have all the time in the world.

On top of that, some posts that have performed pretty good over the past few months, are things that I could totally write more about, if given the right structure. Things like:

Now I’m not going to create these three categories based off of their one single post. Rather, finding the category that highlights the reason WHY I like those things, or why I think they may do well, will be my overarching strategy. Categories like “Projects” and “Adventures” are broad enough for me to put most of my posts in. While a new category “Digital Marketing” will be a place where I can talk about the stuff I do professionally. I haven’t done that a lot yet, but from a goal perspective, it’s definitely a direction I want to go.

The family will still be here, and I’ll still have my random updates on life. However, instead of the family being merely a “section” of the site, family will really be the overarching theme to the blog itself… without ever really saying it… besides right now.

Maybe identifying these categories as blog writing barriers will help me write more. Figuring out the categories, tags and themes I WANT to write more about will help me get up and hash out a post on a more regular basis. At the end of the day, I’m really just trying to build an environment where I can write about anything I so choose. Telling people about the things I love or care about,¬†in one way or another, will maybe help me inch just a little bit closer to being someone who loves WRITING¬†about the things I love or care about.

Xavier’s Birthday Week

6 years ago, Xavier’s 1st birthday was a crazy bash. Andrea and I went all out on trying to create our very own version of a Korean Doljanchi party complete with Hanbok, Dol towers, picking ceremony and tons more. It was a lot of fun minus the fact that it was 100 degrees out and we had over 30 people crammed inside of a small tent in our backyard.

Ever since, we’ve tried to tone down the birthday parties to a degree where they’re manageable from the planning perspective, but still a ton of fun. With someone like Andrea who loves laminating things and themes, we often forget this rule. The result, we’re left panicking, stressing and rushing right up through the very end of party day. This year was unfortunately no different.

1 Week Before the Party

Andrea and Xavier Tinkerbell10k

We spent the weekend before X’s birthday at our favorite place, Disneyland. The Tinkerbell Half Marathon (and Tinkerbell 10K which Andre ran) coincided with Xavier’s birthday weekend so we decided (about 8 months prior) to spend the two days at the parks. Andrea could do her run, but X could have a little birthday visit where he could pretty much run the show.

Andrea Tinkerbell10k

Now I’m not going to advocate and talk about how cool a RunDisney event is (I’ve already written a post about my Disneyland Half), but combining the run weekend with Xavier’s birthday was a huge success in that we got an awesome pool day at the Disneyland Hotel, but Xavier got to do a few cool new firsts as well:

1. Ride on Indiana Jones (finally tall enough – yay!)

2. Experience the Jedi Training- Trials of the Temple show where he battled the Seventh Sister.

Xavier vs. the Seventh Sister

Although he was a bit uneasy, I think in the end, he had a good time. Throughout the show, I was trying to think back to when I was his age and whether or not I would have been freaked out if I saw Darth Vader as a kid. Did I know it wasn’t real? or was there that inkling sensation in the realm of… “SHIT that is Darth Vader?!

The whole trip was so fun, and I can’t wait to go back. Hint: We’ll be back in September for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. Anyone else going to be around?

Disneyland Recovery Week

Monday was terrible. Honestly, with spending all day Sunday in the park and driving back that night, coming to work on Monday was a chore. I know you’ve been there, And sorry if I’m complaining about things I shouldn’t be complaining about, but Disneyland with a 2 year old is freaking hard! If I get around to it, I’ll try to compact my best tips and tricks for experiencing the park with a Tasmanian Devil.

Tuesday, we celebrated Xavier’s real birthday. With a trip to Korean BBQ an ice cream cake and a few gifts, he was completely happy. With the “friends” party coming just a few short days however, Andrea and I began to sweat a little. A party fit for something like 25 friends… it didn’t really sink in until a few days right before.

I have to give it up for Andrea. She’s pretty much able to conceptualize a party from the ground up and then put it together last minute. Granted, its a stressful last minute complete with breakdowns, wrong cake orders, miscommunication and me running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

The Party

Sunday morning, I was left staking our spot at the park, which I was totally okay doing. Let me just say this, having your party at a park can sometimes be annoyingly stressful especially if you have park neighbors claiming areas you thought you were supposed to be in. After arguing over permits, location names and everything else, we finally found our designated area. For me, the added stress of not having things like that clearly labeled made the morning way too difficult.

Once everything was sorted out, the party ended up being a ton of fun.

Xavier and Reef

The “built your own lightsaber” station was a hit along with the Star Wars bounce house. Really, we didn’t plan too many activities outside of just chililng and playing in the park which I think the kids didn’t mind. Too many organized activities can make your party, let alone your planning, a lot more stressful than it has to be. Most of all, Xavier had a ton of fun.

Birthday presents

Plus, look at these presents! Sure, X might only be 6 but the gifts he’s getting today are way more cool than gifts for 3-4 year olds. Sorry if that makes me a bad dad, but it’s true!

With that, the birthday week (and a day) was over. Burnt, a bit sore and tired; again, I have to give it up for Andrea. Without her, we’d probably be doing something a lot less fun. Fortunately, we get to do it all over again this Summer for Lexan’s 2nd birthday. Luckily, we’ll be back up in Birch Bay for the festitivites. We’ll probably just wait until 3 days before and plan it all out then.

Early Morning Writing

After chatting/messaging back and forth with my friend Alison, I’ve decided to try some early morning writing. Hello 5am! As if it wasn’t enough that I¬†thought Lex waking up at 5 was a good idea, now I’m doing too, just so I can do some work? I suppose it’s not fair to call it work though. I’ll be writing.

… and probably primarily in this blog. You know, the blog I hardly ever update? Between¬†the day job, mixed with being a dad, topped off with me just generally liking the feeling of a soft pillow to my face, I’ve really given myself hardly any time to write in Book Three. Hence, early morning writing.

Which now brings me to the question…

Should I Really Be Writing?

Alison asked me to think about the things that I enjoy doing. The things that to some, may feel more like work ¬†but for me, will be something I might do in my time off. Because I want to have an outlet where I can write (aka, the blog)… it seemed kinda natural. Really, it’s matter of creating content behind an idea I have¬†yet to find. I’m okay being very vague about that¬†idea though. Even though to those who might read or stumble across the blog, it may sound like I’m just rambling on and on about small piddly things. Ugh. To you guys, I apologize.

I’m the type of person that cannot invest a lot into things, be it physically and emotionally, until I feel fairly certain that it can survive. Like planting the seeds to our tiny¬†garden earlier this spring, it¬†wasn’t until we saw the seedlings that I¬†knew there was a chance we might be lucky enough to have beans and carrots by the summer. That is unless Xavi picks them all before they get big enough.

Carrots beginning to grow

So yes, maybe my early morning hobby will someday help in my overall blog focus, but until that time comes, I think I’m just going to try and enjoy the experience as a whole. You know, the reason why you do the things you do! I just need to make a habit out of waking up at 5am, along with Lex of course.

What to Write About

My biggest issue now is to not let this exercise turn into a daily journal where I don’t actually end up¬†posting anything; it’s not like I keep things hidden inside a Google Doc or something. Like I had mentioned, to me right now I’ve got a whole bunch of seeds that are bound to do anything. If the peppers take off for some reason, I’ll focus on those just so I can do at least one thing right.

In the past, I’ve written about Disney trips, Disney runs, moving to San Diego and everything else I think is worthy enough to write a few paragraphs about. I guess it makes sense to continue down that path, although I feel a little unorganized with that strategy. I’m the type of person who likes to over prepare for things because I have a perfect image in my head of what I want the end result to be. I’m pretty sure I cannot do that here. Instead, I guess you just get a whole bunch of seedlings.

Grow seedlings, grow!

Brittany Stinson, College Bound Star Student

There was a time where I felt the need to comment on every single article or post that shared a happy story but was tarnished in some way by moronic comments. If you didn’t already know, I hate internet comments.

Brittany Stinson, as Business Insider writes, is a high school senior who applied and was accepted into 5 Ivy League schools, as well as Stanford. Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s her grades, maybe it’s her extra-curricular activities, but in what the article is aimed at making your believe, it’s her essay.

“…While enjoying an obligatory hot dog, I did not find myself thinking about the ‚Äėall beef‚Äô goodness that Costco boasted. I instead considered finitudes and infinitudes, unimagined uses for tubs of sour cream, the projectile motion of said tub when launched from an eighty foot shelf or maybe when pushed from a speedy cart by a scrawny seventeen year old…” – Brittany Stinson

The essay, which you can read here, talks about young Brittany’s experiences of going to Costco with her mother and later herself. Whether it’s buying groceries or eating hot dogs, we’ve all been there, but Brittany’s story really revolves around her ability to think outside of the box, figuratively speaking. It is her explanation of exploratory what if’s¬†or how come’s that paint the picture of what she’s really trying to get at.

And yet, you get people that want to say this…

“As an alumnus of two Ivy League universities myself (undergraduate and law school), and I must say that this essay is absolutely dreadful. Written in artificially pompous and complicated language, it loses an sane and reasonable reader right after the first few sentences. If it is some attempt at creativity, it’s not a very successful one. As a lawyer, I am used to reading turgid writing, but this is as dense as it gets. It makes me wonder who edited this essay for her and who encouraged her to write like this. Unless the Ivies have gone completely mad (which is not out of the question either given some of the students we see there these days), I suspect that it’s not this essay that got her into those schools. There have been far better, more interesting and above all, more natural, essays written by successful candidates to the Ivies over the years. Yuck.” – Mark

or this…

“But she is a female, and they have far more tolerance for women in education than men. In fact, women have it easier all the way around.” – Andrew

Does this make anyone want to scream or yell?

To Mark, who from what I can tell is a very smart and successful lawyer who likes reading articles on Yahoo! (this is where his comment was posted) and then complain about the writing ability of a 15 or 16 year old girl, is there no way for you to just admire and acknowledge Brittany’s accomplishment? Are you really comparing her creative essay to the legal mumbo jumbo that crosses your¬†supposed¬†dual Ivy School degree earned gaze?

And don’t get me started on Andrew. Seriously, I don’t even want to go there.

People seem to forget that we were all once young; children, high schoolers or college students. For me, reading this essay by Brittany makes me believe she is incredibly creative, logical and inquisitive. It is smart as it aims to give hints into her educational passions, but ultimately circles back into a story of a little girl playing in the world of a Costco warehouse.

I have no recollection of what my college application essays were like, but I’m sure as hell not going to comment on them seeing as they were written about 16 years ago by a band geek/gamer who had no idea what he wanted to study let alone be as an adult.

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe internet comments are a whole new level of truth where everyone has everyone else’s best interests in mind. Creative criticism right?


That Time I Knitted a Headband for Andrea

It’s been almost a month since Christmas, and while I love the holiday season, getting a fresh start come January 1st is always a breath of fresh air. In an earlier post, I¬†mentioned a¬†quasi New Years resolution¬†which¬†I’ve set up for myself, but the other big thing I want to do more of this year revolves around hobbies. Whether that means I’m calling on¬†my inner Bob Ross and¬†painting some happy trees and clouds, learning to play the ukulele (which I totally plan on doing)¬†or¬†finally learning how to surf, my goal is to do¬†as much as possible.

This goal of mine was spurred right before Christmas when I decided to knit a headband for Andrea. As kind of an extra artsy gift, I thought she’d appreciate my craftsmanship. Plus, since I had a weekend to myself without any interruptions, I thought I could probably get it done. So started my YouTube search…

This girl’s video was pretty much my go-to resource¬†for making the headband.

After watching it all the way through one time, I went out to Michaels and got my knitting supplies… which by the way is an absolutely terrible idea a week before Christmas. Really, any kind of shopping is a terrible idea a week before Christmas.

Knitting the Headband

Now I’ve had a tiny amount of knitting experience thanks to my sister and my mother-in-law, but it’s never been anything more than: casting on, knit stitch and purl stitch. Never have I tried to make an actual ‘thing‘ before. Long story short, I spent pretty much all day Saturday re-learning how to knit. Granted, I got pretty far into the pattern, but then I’d make a mistake and¬†wouldn’t know how to fix it. I essentially started over 4 or 5 times. Can I just tell you how much I appreciate the convenience of Undo, Cut and Paste?

knitting video

I ended up starting over once again Sunday morning and was finally confident enough to just finish the damn pattern. Sure, I made a couple of mistakes, but somehow got better at fixing my miss-stitches. By the time I was half-way through the pattern, it was late enough for me to not even want to consider starting over. I wasn’t going to finish in time if that had been the case.

By the late afternoon, I had gotten through the cabling section and was home free as far as stitching was concerned. Finishing the pattern¬†was a little nerve-wracking since I was completely guessing at how big I needed to make the headband. Luckily, I knew that if it was tight on my head, it’d probably be okay for Andrea’s.

My completed headband –
knitted headband
I know it’s not a work of art, but for my very¬†first ever project, I’m happy with it. Plus, all of those terrible mis-stitches¬†get kinda lost once you put it on.
Opening her gift on Christmas was kind of fun in¬†the sense that she wasn’t expecting a headband (of all things)¬†and couldn’t believe I¬†had even made it.¬†I think she was pleasantly surprised. While I don’t see her wearing it all that often¬†now that we’re back down in San Diego, I think¬†the project as a whole has reignited¬†a desire to do new things. Sure, we can call them hobbies, some of which could one day be passions, but taking the time to learn something new is a trait I want X and Lex to admire. Not necessarily in me, but in life in general. “Never stop learning!” Right?

Go try something new this year! You know I will be.

Building the Lego Disney Magic Cruise Ship

So yesterday, someone over on Instagram spotted my little Lego Disney Magic I had created over a year ago. Originally, I thought it would’ve been an awesome Fish Extender idea. Instead,¬†we decided to do something different once¬†we realized that the hundred+ pieces (I’d have to have enough to build about 25 of these) wouldn’t arrive in time for our embarkation. Oh well. Might as well put it together any way, right?

Well, because we¬†didn’t use the idea, I never created directions on how to build the model. While I admit it’s a pretty simple model, creating and giving away¬†the¬†directions was going to be half the fun. So with that said, and in a response to an¬†Instagram users who wanted to use the model as a cruise reveal (awesome idea by the way),¬†here are the directions on how to create the Lego Disney Magic (small scale).

Lego Disney Magic (small scale)

Here is a small Lego Disney Magic cruise ship that you can build with a few parts. If you don’t have these parts laying around in and amongst¬†all your Lego sets, check out the Lego Pick a Brick store where you can get individual pieces. In total, with shipping and taxes, one model cost me about $22.


Description Qty Color Where it Goes
Brick 2×4
Detail ID: 3001
1 White Main Section
Brick 2×8
Detail ID: 93888
6 Black Bottom Section
Brick 2×6
Detail ID: 44237
2 Black Bottom Section
Round Plate 1×1
Detail ID: 6141
20 Yellow Life Boats
Plate 2×10
Detail ID: 3832
5 White Main Section
Roof Tile 2×2/45 Deg. Inv
Detail ID: 3660
4 Black Bottom Section
Roof Tile 2×2/45 Deg. Inv
Detail ID: 3660
2 White Front Main Section
Roof Tile 2×3/25 Deg.
Detail ID: 3298
6 White Main Section
Roof Tile 2×2/45 Deg.
Detail ID: 3039
1 Black “Duck Tail”
Plate 2×8
Detail ID: 3034
2 Red Bottom / Keel
Plate 4×6 3 Yellow Yellow Mid-Section
Brick 2×8
Detail ID: 93888
2 White Main Section
*Brick 16 W.Cross
Detail ID: 6143
*2 *Red *Stack

IMPORTANT! –¬†*After trying to come back and build my part list, I found that these pieces weren’t available in the Pick a Brick store. I’m not sure if I’m just not seeing them or they are just not available anymore.¬†Any ways, you can get around this by getting the following pieces: 6 Red 2×2 Plates, Detail ID: 4032. In the last step (below) instead of adding the two single piece stacks, put three of the plates together to create 1 stack. A total of 6 plates will create the two stacks shown.

In total there should be 56 pieces.

Putting it Together

Once you’ve got all the pieces together, building the model is pretty easy. While I’m no Lego engineer and don’t have the Lego Digital Designer tool handy, I put a few pictures up on how to build the ship. It’s a little tricky, but once you figure the flow out, putting it together should be pretty easy.

Step 1. Laying the keel.

1st step lego disney magic

2nd step lego disney magic

Step 2. Use the black pieces (shown above) to build the first layer of the hull. Remember, this layer uses the ‘Duck Tail’ on the very back.

3rd step lego disney magic

Step 3. Build the 2nd layer of the black hull.

4th step lego disney magic

Step 4. Make the “Gold Ring”

5th step lego disney magic

Step 5. Using the white pieces (above), build the 1st layer of the main body. You’ll use two 2×10 white plates in the middle which will house the lifeboat area.

6th step lego disney magic

Step 6. Add the lifeboats along the side and another 2×10 white plate in the middle.

7th step lego disney magic

Step 7. Finish the lifeboat section with the remaining 2×10 white plates.

8th step lego disney magic

Step 8. Finish the remaining ‘upper’ body section using the white pieces (above).

9th step lego disney magic

Step 9. Adding the 2 red stacks. Remember, if you can’t get the pieces (shown above) you can use the 6 plates to create the same effect.

last step lego disney magic

And that’s it!

It’s a small little guy, and nothing compared to this dude’s¬†Disney Cruise ship, but it could be a nice little addition to your desk or even be a Fish Extender gift… or in the case of the Instagram user who inspired this post.. a Disney Cruise reveal!? If you want your kids to put the model together without giving it away first, I’ve made some PDF instructions you can print out and use instead.

Printable Directions: Lego Disney Magic РNo Spoilers РDirections

What Can I Do More?

I’m sorry.

Sorry for the delay in publishing this post. Sorry for the delay in posting anything for that matter. With this entry¬†being¬†over a month in the making, it has seen approximately 7 iterations where I’ve scrapped and then rewritten the entire post.¬†Talk about a waste of time. Talk about a lack¬†of confidence in my blog writing convictions. Maybe it was the holiday season; Thanksgiving, Christmas and an old house with no heat that made writing at night feel like Bob Cratchit working under Scrooge. It wasn’t that bad, I promise. San Diego is not that cold. The heater thing is kinda upsetting though.

So yeah, I’m sorry. But with that¬†apology, I’m going to take¬†it upon myself to make up for it 100%. You might not get a blog post every day, but I’m sure going to try and do a lot better. Heck, it’s the new year!¬†Resolutions, goals and everything else we try and tell ourselves to do come January 1st, they’re all in abundance right now. So here’s to the future!

Understanding My Priorities

It took a Thanksgiving dinner, chats¬†with friends and family and then the birth of Mark Zuckerberg’s¬†daughter to help push me into a new focus for my life. Yeah, I know that’s a pretty big statement, but I think it’s going to stick. Here’s the gist…

Right after Thanksgiving, Mark and his wife Priscilla Chan announced the birth of their daughter Max via a not so subtle letter on Facebook. Prefacing everything with an attempt to describe the feeling of being a new parent, Mark then goes on to talk about the world where Max is going to be growing up in.

Like all parents, we want you to grow up in a world better than ours today.¬†While headlines often focus on what’s wrong, in many ways the world is getting better. Health is improving. Poverty is shrinking. Knowledge is growing. People are connecting. Technological progress in every field means your life should be dramatically better than ours today. —¬†Mark

You know, I never really did give it that much thought. The idea of cultivating¬†a world that¬†X and Lex would be inheriting. Maybe it was because I felt my role as a contributor was small. Maybe it was because I was more worried about paying the bills and supporting my family than caring about other people’s families. In the end, I knew that at some point it may become important, it just wasn’t a huge priority.

Mark, however struck a chord. He talks about education, equality, technology and the overall advancement and growth of a world any truly optimistic person could hope for. Sure, I may not have 99% of Facebook at my disposal to reinvest and put to good use, but I have to have something, right?

You can tell I’ve been thinking about this kind of stuff with the focus of this blog.¬†I’ve tried talking about my blogging focus¬†from a high level on one or two occasions, but I’ve always been in a different state of mind. It’s always been about the family¬†or my life. I’m not saying that it’s not going to be that, I just think that there’s some kind of ulterior¬†motive that’s going on. Which now brings me to the point of this post…

We will do our part to make this happen, not only because we love you, but also because we have a moral responsibility to all children in the next generation. – Mark

What Can I Do More?

I’m not talking about Mark and Priscilla donating their time and money to bettering the life of Max and everyone else on this planet for that matter. I’m talking about the things I can do by myself to allow¬†X and Lex¬†the opportunity to cultivate the same kind of understanding.

Father by example. Lead by example. The things that I show passion towards, will ultimately shape the things that my sons will covet. I think I have my own dad to thank for this. While he worked hard¬†at his job every single day, he never wavered in his commitment to supporting his family, and he never wavered in his trust of my mom and her ability to manage our family. At the same time,¬†he¬†was a strong advocate for pursuing your own passion. You want to do something? That’s awesome, go do it, so long as you… do it.

So what is it that I want X and Lex to understand? What is it that I am able to do for them that will help continue to grow their beautifully childish yet optimistic minds?

I think it’s about being more present. I’ve been telling people that this is my new year’s resolution, and it seems like it’s been a popular trend. You can take that however you want, but for me, it’s a combination of things like: being more available, taking part in more things, helping X learn to read (along with¬†Andrea who does that with her students every day) and at the end of the day, caring less about myself. Maybe caring less about what I think I want is the biggest way that I can do more. That makes a lot of sense, right?

Maybe¬†a marathon Lego building session on¬†Saturday morning or family jog along the California coast is better than sleeping in for 30 extra minutes. Maybe taking the family to a community service event on our free day is better than watching reruns of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Heck, maybe giving away freelance work is better than charging for it… more on that later ūüėČ Ultimately, I think it’s about being available. It’s about taking a courageous leap towards a path of greater presence. That’s it… that’s my charge.

Sounds a bit overwhelming? Maybe, but in the end, I think I’m just telling myself to enjoy life.

Happy New Year!

Throwback Post on Millennials

Have you ever taken the time to go back and look through your old photos? I’m not talking about #tbt style with Facebook photos or Instagram or whatever… I mean photos you took but¬†never did anything with. You might find stuff that is hilarious and insightful or you might find something horrible.

Today, with the aid of the trusty Wayback Machine, I was able to pull up some old blog posts from RyanJin.me. Don’t bother trying to go there – I turned off the site a few years ago. But while¬†a large majority of my final ¬†posts were inwardly focused, in an annoying way I might add, this one struck a chord for some reason.


Millennials and the Issue of NOW

After a meeting yesterday with some interesting intellectuals, the topic of Millennials (you know that buzz word) came up. Although the the actual topic doesn’t necessarily figure 100% into the millennial mindset, it does have a major influence on almost everyone today. I’m talking about the issue of Immediate Impact.

Think of Environmentalism, Volunteerism, etc. The thing people today want to see a lot of is impact. ‚ÄúImpact Change!‚ÄĚ I‚Äôm not quite sure what has brought this on, but people aren‚Äôt really motivated to stay at a job for 40 years, get a decent retirement, and then retire as a 100% consumer in today‚Äôs world. Millennials, and everyone else today, want to see how they can impact their community, their world, and their future‚Ķ why do you think the environment is so important? Its about not screwing it up for ourselves later! That‚Äôs a whole different issue though.

The issue of ‚ÄėChange Now‚Äô is a mindset that many people feel today, and why shouldn‚Äôt they? From entrepreneurs to religious missionaries or green buffs, people desire the knowledge and satisfaction that comes with doing something that they believe in. There may be monetary benefits, health benefits, or whatever, but still, it is the drug for self empowerment. I can totally understand this as I am constantly in search for something where I can be a part of the change. That is why I try to write in this blog! It might not be the end-result, but maybe it can one day chronicalize my search‚Ķ and when it is found.. will be kind of hilarious to read.

Do you feel like you need to do something where you can understand, see, or feel the impact ASAP? Maybe this is why entrepreneurs have such a hard time staying still. There is always something better and more exciting just around the corner right?

RyanJin.me РSeptember 2 , 2010 РSee the original Wayback Machine cache for this page


Some background – I was working at Sitewire at the time, so that makes a bit of sense with the subject matter. Also, I think I was at a point in my life where I was trying to weigh the pros and cons of doing things for money (like work) vs. doing things for… well, the hell of it. Xavier was only 4 months old, so I was at a prime stage in contemplating the importance of life beyond myself. Marriage doesn’t quite get you¬†there. It gets you close, but yeah.

The whole perspective on millennials and the issue of NOW is a little confusing though. Maybe that was my angle. A way to get to the point that I, myself want to do something that serves to produce an impact now. Like I had mentioned, I was pretty introspective during this time… much like how I am now. Ironic? No, not at all. I think I’m just using these blogs as a way to figure stuff out.