It has been nearly three months since I decided to put myself out there and pursue a work opportunity, and tonight I got a call past 10pm from my company informing me that I won the contract. I feel truly blessed and promise to pay it forward and being opportunities to other people.
Category: On Me
I’ve been reading a lot about artificial intelligence and I decided to explore a little for myself and have a little fun.
I prompted the artificial intelligence to write the following:
Write a 500-600 word short story as if Jesus had been a part of the Rebel Alliance and standing up to the Empire.
And the AI came back with this:
In a galaxy far, far away, the Rebel Alliance was fighting a seemingly hopeless battle against the oppressive rule of the Galactic Empire. The Empire had vast resources, an endless supply of stormtroopers, and advanced weaponry. The rebels were outnumbered and outgunned, but they refused to give up.
Among the rebels was a man named Jesus. He had joined the Alliance after witnessing the Empire’s brutal treatment of the poor and marginalized. Jesus believed that every being, no matter their species or background, deserved love and respect. He saw the Empire’s actions as a direct violation of this belief.
Jesus quickly became a respected member of the rebel leadership. He was a natural leader, with a calming presence and unwavering dedication to the cause. His teachings of peace, love, and forgiveness inspired the rebels to fight not just for their own freedom, but for the freedom of all beings in the galaxy.
One day, the Empire launched a surprise attack on the rebel base. The battle was fierce, with blaster fire and explosions rocking the base. The rebels fought valiantly, but they were quickly overwhelmed by the Empire’s superior forces.
In the chaos of the battle, Jesus found himself face-to-face with a group of stormtroopers. They raised their blasters, ready to take him out. But Jesus simply stood there, unafraid.
“You do not have to do this,” he said calmly. “There is still time to choose a different path.”
The stormtroopers hesitated. They had been trained to follow orders without question, but there was something about Jesus that made them pause.
“Come with me,” Jesus continued. “Join the rebellion. Fight for something greater than the orders of a corrupt government.”
One of the stormtroopers stepped forward. “But what about our mission? What about our duty to the Empire?”
Jesus smiled. “Your duty is to your fellow beings. To stand up against oppression and injustice. That is the true calling of any soldier.”
The stormtrooper looked at his comrades, who were still unsure. But then he turned back to Jesus and nodded.
“I will join you,” he said. “I will fight for something greater than myself.”
The other stormtroopers looked at him incredulously, but then, one by one, they began to lower their weapons and join the rebellion.
In the end, the rebels emerged victorious from the battle. They had gained new allies, and the Empire had suffered a significant blow. Jesus knew that the fight was far from over, but he also knew that they had taken an important step towards a better future.
As he looked out over the ruins of the base, Jesus thought about the teachings he had spread throughout the galaxy. He knew that they had helped to bring about this moment of hope, and he felt a sense of peace.
For Jesus, the fight against the Empire was not just about military victories or political power. It was about standing up for what was right and just, and spreading a message of love and hope to all beings in the galaxy. In that sense, he knew that the rebellion would never truly be defeated, as long as there were those willing to stand up and fight for what was right.
We were visiting different farms today looking for fresh a seasonal fruits and vegetables. After what seems like months of rain and even an extremely rare snowfall in the Los Angeles area, I’m starting to see signs of Spring. On one of the farms I saw these almond blossoms and immediately thought of my favorite place, Japan. Specifically, I was thinking about Kyoto and the blossoms I was remembering where cherry ones.
I longed for Kyoto and desired to pack some bags and go spend a month there entirely by myself as a form of short sabbatical. A month of no electronic communication with anyone. I won’t deny that it is fascinating to have the ability to broadcast your travel adventures in realtime and be a spectator in someone else’s. However, there is a certain romance and appeal of travel in the mid twentieth century where a trip meant your only means of communication back home were through postcards or chorded telephone at your hotel. Documenting your travels meant writing in a journal and photographing on film. Sharing your adventures had to be done in person and involved some storytelling.
To quench my wanderlust, I was watching some videos on YouTube–the only social media platform I’m allowing myself during Lent. I was struck by one video in particular where the YouTuber was going to the Fushimi Inari shrine at night after having been there over a dozen times during the day. It brought back wonderful memories of my first visit to Kyoto when I was by myself and reached Fushimi Inari far later than I had planned. Determined to explore the shrine despite the late hour I made my way up the mountain guided in the darkness and solitude under thousands or torii gates. After about an hour and a half I gave up on reaching the top of the mountain as the a light rain continued to fall and crows cawed from the pitch black forest flanking the path.
Well, I took an unplanned break from writing on here. I guess I’m in desperate need of adding more structure to my life. I’ve been functioning on autopilot lately and haven’t really been living with intention. I’ve deleted Twitter and Facebook from my phone recently to cut back on the distractions. I’ve only allowed myself Instagram lately. I’m inclined to give up all social media for this upcoming Lent. I did it a few years ago and I relished the experience. It was liberating and it allowed me to shift my focus to more meaningful tasks.
My preliminary Lenten objectives:
- Wake up earlier
- Read more
- Play piano more
- Pay more attention to health
- Reconnect with old friends
- Organize my spaces (physical and virtual)
I was pulling into my garage right at 7pm and the SoCal Sunday Night program was starting on KUSC–the classical music station in Los Angeles that happens to also be run by my university. The started talking about a composer’s final symphony and building up the suspense, but I heard the just a handful of notes in the background and immediately knew they were talking about Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. Had I not been at home, I would have been trapped in my car for over an hour. I rushed into my office and put it on KUSC. They continued talking and I could hear the audience chatter in the background. I quickly made some coffee and sat down just as the concert was about to begin.
I came very close to seeing a live performance of Mahler’s Ninth at Walt Disney Concert Hall a few weeks ago. Under any other circumstance I would have been there for sure, but my father had not yet been buried, and the last time I was at a performance of one of Mahler’s symphonies, I was with my dad. It’s already a symphony that deeply affects me emotionally, and I couldn’t bear to go. Even tonight, my heart ached while listening to the performance of Mahler on the radio. My mom and I were talking about how my dad’s the reason we both love classical music. We both used to say how boring KUSC was when I was very little. Fast forward to now, and both my mom and I have each been to over five hundred performances, and we’d tear up during the pandemic when there were no performances.
So thank you, dad, for leaving my mom and me this wonderful passion to remember you by for the rest of our lives until we meet again.
I was thinking about the Netflix series “The Good Place” earlier today and wondering if we in fact are stuck in The Bad Place. Exhibit 1: Love. We invariably classify it as one of the good emotions to feel, perhaps the supreme emotion among the good ones. Yet, this beautiful emotion is the one that causes the most harm. We’re all hurt at one point or another by someone we love, or we’re hurt by their loss. The clearest example for me at the moment is the loss of my father. The love I have for my father made his passing excruciatingly painful. How can something so beautiful cause so much pain? It’s as if you’re between a thick concrete wall and a giant pendulum. It’s weight swings away from you the more you love, but it will one day swing back toward you and you’ll be tied to that wall. The more you love the higher the pendulum will be pulled back and the harder it will crush you.
However, even after knowing how much it hurts, how much torture it is…I still choose love.
I want to read before going to bed and go to sleep a little earlier because I’m going to an LA Phil rehearsal in the morning. So I want to get a good night’s sleep. 🙂
I stepped outside a few moments ago to take out the trash and I was greeted by a cold silence pierced only by own footsteps. Not a naked branch stirred as if all—living and non-living— huddled inward to protect against the cold. I looked north in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the green comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), but I think it was too early and not likely to be visible from Los Angeles due to the light pollution. Perhaps I’ll try again 50,000 years from now. 50,000 years. It’s one of those random facts I loved to tell my dad about because he was nerdy about these things as well. I sighed and wondered where in all that eternity could he be. I dropped my gaze a little and saw the white mountain peaks eerily lit by the moonlight. Their majestic daytime beauty now looked ominous. Journeying up their slopes at this hour was sure to be treacherous. I felt forlorn looking at the moonlit mountains. I felt lonely and like I would never feel complete again. Like I could never be 100% happy ever again.
A friend and colleague of mine is leaving the construction program I work on and I’ve decided to pursue his soon-to-be former position. It has a much higher pay, more responsibilities, and more prestige than my current position. It is highly unlike me to be writing about this on here, but I’m long past the person who keeps his head down and doesn’t want to share his goals and dreams.
I love my job, and the worst thing that could happen is for me to remain in my current position. So I really have nothing to lose. So I stopped making my usually cost/benefit analysis and decided to just bite the bullet and send my company and email that this opportunity is coming up and that I’d like for them to propose me to the client for the new position.
So I’m going for it and I’m putting it out there.
One of the reasons winter is my favorite season is that the skies are always much more dramatic and beautiful. Today, for example, it was thrilling to be driving towards the mountains on my way home as seeing that peaks had been hidden by clouds. Even though it’s dangerous, I thought of how beautiful it would be to drive up into the mountains while it was snowing. It’s like another world up there. Centuries ago, there weren’t large populations on either side of these mountains, but I wonder myths might have arisen had there been a need to routinely cross over these mountains. What if there were a city-state on either side of these mountains and the passage between them were a sort of treacherous no-man’s-land. What type of sorcery could be protecting the secrets in these mountains? What monsters would be encountered on the journey through the mountains?