Father’s Day 2017



Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

That is the best fathersday card I have ever seen.

I love you so much.



—–Original Message—–
From: Tabin
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2010 1:33 PM
Subject: Happy (Early) Father‘s Day

I made you a card!

Love you,

Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Caveats: NONE

The Story of My Flag

There has been a lot of media attention surrounding the United States flag due to Colin Kaepernick’s decision to sit during the national anthem. And while I may have differing views from him, this post isn’t a deconstruction of those views. Instead, it’s my story of my flag.

Ask any kid who grew up on a military base what happens at 5 o’clock in the afternoon and they’ll tell you – the flag is taken down. The call of retreat is played and everyone stops. Literally. Cars stop in the road, soldiers take off their cover and stand at attention, and kids stop playing. My father always made it a point to respect the flag going down (and probably when it was raised, while I was fast asleep). Although you didn’t have to get out of the car, my father did.

He never talked extensively about his military service, likely because he couldn’t. I would hear the occasional work gripes – usually about a computer issue. (At the time, I didn’t know that my father was more than just the IT guy of his unit because he did so much more.) But I know he was proud to serve and fight for his country. I remember a phone conversation I had with him.

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A(nother) Beginning


noun, the eighth month of the year

adjective, respected and impressive

It is not surprising that the month of my birth is a time of reflection. I have many more regrets than I care to admit and I’m sure many more accomplishments that I brush off too quickly. And this year, I find myself having difficulty putting my thoughts into words. Or maybe it is more that I am hesitant… because writing it makes it real and hard to avoid.

Turning 30 went good for me. Turning 31, not so much. Still working on how I’m handling turning 32.

Part of me still feels like I’m pretending to be an adult, just waiting for someone to call me out. Another part of me sees the age, slowing realizing that I can’t really make up for not being “young” enough when I had the chance. I can spend hours listing my regrets over the past few years. But as I titled this post, this is more about a beginning.

This year will be about making more good choices than bad, about making more of an effort to take care of me (finally). About growing up but staying young at heart. To be a little bit more fearless and open.

Because, August.



Farewell and Godspeed


My grandmother’s final song, at her request:

I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried.
I’ve had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say – not in a shy way,
” Oh no, oh no not me,
I did it my way”

Muscle Memory

I have decided that the best way to keep me honest about this “get healthier” routine is to post my accomplishments (and set backs) here. I never been one to post my daily food intake or the workouts I am doing. But obviously, that did not keep me in shape. Instead, I am setting up accountability, and more for my benefit than for your amusement.

To give a little background, I have started swimming again. I forgot how much I enjoyed it.

Some of my fondest memories of swimming was at the Schofield Barracks pool. My friends and I were part of the exclusive club (not really, just swim team) that got to swim past closing hours. Everyday, at 5 o’clock, the bugle would sound and the flag lowered, and we would take to the water for our practice. It was hard work, but filled with laughter.

We got to swim in the rain, which is nicer than it sounds. Got to swim long after the sun went down. And just swim and swim.

The pool I am using now is adequate, but definitely not the Olympic size pool of my youth. But it’s there and serves its purpose.

People tell me that swimming is a good way to relax and calm down. They have not seen me swim. I’m still in that mindset that I can be faster. I can be more streamline. I have to force myself to float down the lane in order to warm down. Otherwise, I’ll just keep going.

And here, the boring part of the post – my workouts for the week. I’m still building up. My goals are to increase my endurance and speed, and for longer duration overall. I want to be able to swim a mile by next year.

Without further ado…

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
4×50 Freestyle
2×50 Breaststroke
4×50 Kick – Scissor
4×50 Freestyle

Friday, December 7, 2012
4×50 Freestyle
4×50 Medley (Butterfly, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Freestyle)
4×50 Kick – Medley
2×50 Pulls – Freestyle
1×50 Pulls – Backstroke
1×50 Pulls – Choice
2×50 Warm Down
Total time: 34 minutes

Maybe Buddha was Right

It’s been 28 years of life and I think I am closer to what I have been looking for than ever. That constant search for whatever more was outside my window has died down.  I find myself looking more within, being more content with what I have rather than what I want. And it is quite peaceful.

This year has been filled with so many blessings that I don’t really know where to start. My friends and family have been wonderful and supportive. I love my job that was graciously bestowed upon me. It’s been great to finally reconnect with those who had to suffer me while in law school.

But most of all, I’ve come to terms with a lot of what I held inside. And I just let it go. Life is too short and too awesome to spend it thinking about things that don’t really matter in the greater scheme of things.

So, I’ll continue not wanting so much and being gracious for what I have. And be gracious of myself — giving more than taking. I turned out okay and I will be alright — for this, I am confident.

Happy birthday, me.

On the Other Side

It’s been four and a half days since I completed the California Bar Examination.  To say I haven’t done much is an understatement.  I think today was actually the first day where I went beyond a 5-mile radius from my room.  Most of the time has been spent watching seasons of The West Wing and ignoring the remnants of my studying.  I have pretty much avoided doing anything that required me to change out of my pajamas and into clothes I wear in public.

I was thinking about writing a contemplative post about what it was like taking this test, how I’m a better person because of it, et cetera.  But really, it was three days of law.  The first day was meh. The second day was better. The third day was good.  There were moments where I doubted myself, where I beat myself up for missing a few issues, where I would avoid thinking about it all together.  A few of my friends would talk around me, doing the same thing.  It would make me feel both better and worse.

It really is just one big psychological war game.

For two months, you’re studying, trying to cram 3 years of courses into your brain, trying to master the essays, the multiple choice, and the performance tests.  For the few weeks leading up to it, you’re anxious, scared, and on edge.  You repeat to yourself, “This is my future. If I fail, then OMGWTFBBQ!”  You chastise yourself for not studying every single waking moment of every single day.  For the week before, you’re going over each and every outline, trying to pick up the minute rules that may tip the scales in your favor.  For the night before, you try to keep the advice of not studying but fail miserably.

Then, you’re just there.  And you just mind-dump everything on the paper because, seriously, you just can’t take it anymore. (At least, that was me on the first day.)

One big psychological war game.  One that I think you can’t really prepare for, nor accurately describe to others.

I got my badge. And we’ll see in November if I was good enough.

Perfect Timing

While looking for blank paper to start another performance test, I happened to come across random writing to myself. It’s from a lifetime ago. Before I went to law school and in the midst of preparing to take the LSAT. I just have to laugh at the similarities.

Here it is:

Countdown: 6 Days

There’s this blog post going around the interwebs which details one person’s frustrations in connection with the California bar exam. Many of my fellow law school friends have re-posted it, relating to it’s general message. Which is: “Don’t tell me I am going to pass.”

I understand the sentiment. Three days ago, I said that I was afraid of letting people down. That stems from the fact that everyone does tell me I’m going to pass and if I don’t, then well, hello awkward conversation.

But I get it. We all need a chance to freak out and panic without more pressure plopped on us from the “you won’t fail” responses.

It’s comforting to know that I am not the only one panicking. Also a bit enlightening. In a “So that’s what I’m like” way.

I’ve tried to keep the crazy to a minimum, albeit I sometimes fail. Kay has been great about dealing with it all. Hopefully I’ve been better about expressly how much I appreciate the support of my friends, regardless of whatever imaginary pressure I place on my self, imputed to others.

(What? Where am I going with this? Oh right.)

I have given up worrying about whether I pass or fail because it is not my job to decide if I do. Whoever grades my exam gets to have that honor.

So what am I going to do? For the next six days, I’m going to do my darnedest to prepare and get my act together. Because I figure, whatever result I get in November is directly caused by what I do in the next 10 days. Seriously, what I deserve is what I get.

“There is no such thing as luck. There is only adequate or inadequate preparation to cope with a statistical universe.” – Robert Heinlein.

I’m done panicking.

Countdown: 9 Days

In the final lectures, we were told that our role is not to determine whether we will pass or fail the bar, but to show the minimum competency required to be a lawyer in the state of California. Ever since that impart, I’ve been trying to keep my mind off whether I am right or wrong, and concentrate on honing my skills.

Today, I took a practice performance test because I am aware that it is my weakest out of the three types of test I’ll be facing. I’ve heard horror stories about people failing the entire test because of this section. Now, I am caught between not worrying about failing and completely resigning myself to it. This equals a lot of frustration.

I was doing fine a couple days ago. I was so sure that I would be able to do this. But the fact that I freeze up whenever I am facing a performance test, it is disheartening.

So what are my options? In this type of situation, I usually try to avoid whatever bothers me until it goes away. That, obviously, won’t work in this situation. More practice? Only downside about that is a performance test requires three hours to do. Pressed for time, I won’t be able to practice too much. I still have substantive law to worry about. Also, basic essay writing.

In the back of my mind, I still have that nagging fear of failing. Remembering all the tests I have taken that have been the gateways to the next phase of my life (driving test, SATs, LSATs), I’ve always had to take them twice. I don’t want that to happen this time, but I’m afraid that it may just be in my nature.

And I’m afraid of letting people down. Although logically, I know that this test is for me, and that my friends and family won’t be disappointed. But illogically, the fear is still there and it matters to me.

I have less than nine days. And I feel disheartened. I know I can do this, it’s just … I needed to say this out loud without people trying to pep talk me.