Memorial Night

Sunshine at Heritage 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.

I love music.

I love jazz.

I love my friends.

I love photography.

Lauren and I were talking about her upcoming trip to Austrialia. She was melancholy about it, spending a month in Queensland a few miles outside of a small town in a remote location. I was telling her she should find it to be a vacation, a joy to have time off. She was free to ride bikes or motorcycles, paint, draw, take pictures, sleep, tan, read books, do whatever.

It then occurred to me that this is exactly what I will have time to do in Asia. It is exactly what I will have time to do after Friday when I have no job. It was an inspiring realization that the effort I’m going through to take this trip is actually for good reason. So much of this preparation has been going through the necessary motions, and I haven’t taken much time to anticipate the relaxing and awesome free time I will have. I think I’ve just removed myself from the reality and gone through the motions because it’s such a drastic life change, and the effect of that is that I’ve neglected much of the positive excitement that goes along with it.

Sure, after Friday I won’t have a job. Sure, after Friday I will be in a country where I don’t speak the primary language. Sure, after Friday I’ll be 5,000 miles away from the nearest familiar place. It’s still exciting, it’s still great, and it can still be very very very awesome. I sometimes just forget that aspect of this, as if it’s a chore.

Remembering the South Bay

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 exciting appeal of the South Bay. Like most lifestyles, it can be awesome if you know how it works and know how to find the joys in it. I also think that it’s easier to enjoy the South Bay when you are comfortable driving long distances to go to the places you know you will enjoy, and hence it will get better the more time you spend in the SFBA.

Tuesday in the Office

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 office to let me and Ray Sennewald review some pre-release gear. For compensation she hooked us both up with some logitech gear, and ga ve me a cool travel mouse that will be very handy while I’m out on the road. I also got a webcam that I’m not sure what to do with. It would’ve been great back at 4211 when John was always stalking us at night.

After work I met up with Chelsea. We had dinner at Erik’s and then tried out Beard Pappa’s, which was underwhelming. Then we went hiking and photographing up on Long Ridge. It was gorgeous, as it often is, and this time it was nice to have a beautiful girl to photograph, and of course it was good to have good company. We cruised back to Cupertino and had tea at a coffee shop up on Foothills where cyclists often meet before heading out into the hills.

Back at Gecko’s it was nice to have a cottage to come home to, quiet and homely. The Caltrain woke me up in the morning briefly, then sprinklers after that. Unfamiliar sounds. I should get used to that. It was nice to have a hot shower, which I sometimes have been going without lately, and it would’ve been really nice to have a hot bath but I couldn’t find anything to plug the tub. I endured the patience testing madness that is 101 traffic via car and stopped off at Cafe Dolce for breakfast for old time’s sake.

And now that I’ve finished my breakfast burrito and am sipping on a white mocha, I remember that I need to take my typhoid pills at least two hours after eating and at least one hour before. Hm. =/

Geeking out with Donna

White Gorilla Man 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 camera-less days. One thing I was thinking of taking is an instant-on voice recorder so I can just begin recording audio so I can dictate what I’m seeing. I suppose I could just get a video cam though… Hmm.

I came back to Sunset after How Weird and hit up Noriega Pizza with Donna to unwind. We hung out with Lauren in her new place for a few minutes before coming back to the couch and cozy chair at 4211 #1 to use laptops and do online things. I’m crashing here tonight.

I need to remember to get my typhoid inoculation from the doctor tomorrow.

Mother’s Day

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 of my remaining shit away, but after a nap I decided to just let it ride. I just have anxiety about owning things I have no immediate or even medium-term use for.

The Casting PoolsI cleaned Rob’s bathroom because it was the most disgusting bathroom I’d ever been in. Right as I was finishing that Karen showed up and we went geocaching in Golden Gate park. We found the casting ponds by the Anglers Lodge, really cool area. Hit up Shanghai Dumpling King afterwards, tried to catch the fireworks of the K-fog Kaboom after that, then stopped by a Tea Party at 4211 #1 for a while before heading back to Rob’s. Karen took one of my bean bag chairs and a large photograph, which was really helpful because that’s just less shizz for me to worry about.

Today is the How Weird Festival 2009, so I might head down there with Karen.

I almost totally forgot about Mother’s day, so the least I can do is call. I think G-funk is back in the flower business, maybe I’ll have him deliver something for me.

Planning to meet my brother

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 with My. Hopefully she can show me some cheap places to stay, or hook me up with a friend of hers or something. Maybe couchsurfing.com could help…

Gearing Up for Asia

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 since I’m quitting my job I won’t have money to play with.

That being said, I just got a GPS for my camera. This is so I can keep track of where I take photos without having to know exactly where I am, remember that and go back to manually geotag those photos. I think this is worth it because I want to be sure to remember the beautiful locations I find, and I expect to not exactly know where I am every moment of every day. It’ll also help with journaling my trip and figuring out where I sleep each night. All I have to do is take a photo before bed and be done with it.

The other big expense, and in turn logistical thing to figure out, is what pack to take in order to fit what I want to take with me, which brings up the question of what I want to take… That’s definitely been on my mind. I’m seeing Gecko tonight (for the first time in years) and I expect that she’ll be pretty insightful about that.

Location Update: 2009.05.07

Learning the Hills 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 ocean. It was all cloudy towards the ocean, so the clouds were washing up through the valleys over the forest. Gorgeous… So quiet, so fresh.

Location Updates

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.

Friday and Saturday nights I slept on the couch at 4211 Moraga #1.
Sunday I slept on Rob’s couch.
Monday I slept on the beanbag in my office.
Last night night I slept on Kyung and Kat’s spare futon in San Jose off Oakland and Rock.
Tonight I’m staying with Bernadette in Scott’s Valley.

In other news, my stuff is still partly in my car, partly in a storage unit, and partly in Lauren’s place across from 4211. I need to consolidate that shizz, sucks to have things spread around. I’d almost rather get rid of the stuff than have it scattered around.

It’s been cloudy and raining since Friday, but the sun was up this morning. Saturday I met up with Rob, Zach and Ben, hadn’t seen Z for a long time. We ate at a place called The Pork Room to spite the swine flu.

Afterwards, Rob had me come with him to cover the masturabate-a-thon for the blog. It was entirely underwhelming and not at all what I’d expected. It appears we went at one of the least active times, though I still wouldn’t have really wanted to go if it weren’t for a story.

That night I went out with Donna and Lily for dinner in Chinatown, then to Matt’s (Lily’s friend and old roomie) birthday party for a bit, then back to 4211.

Sunday was dull and wet. I went to REI to look at packs and buy some hot weather shirts that will travel well. Hacked teh linux with Rob late that night, trying to hook Boxee up to his TV.

Monday I went to dinner in San Jose with Reem, Julian and Dana and caught up a bit. Reem had just gotten back from Dubai. Dana and I talked about her travel dreams and a little about photography.

Last night I went to Trials and met Kyung, Kat, the other Kyung, Chris Bennett, Sadek, Julian and Martin.

Resuming the Journal

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 two three main things that are going on are:

• I’m quitting my job at SugarCRM. My last day is May 29th.
• I’m going to backpack around SE Asia for two months. I’m leaving on May 29th to Saigon via Tokyo.

• Oh yeah, and I’m homeless as of 4 days ago. I’m living out of my car and a storage unit in San Francisco.

Sooooo, rather than tweet succinct thoughts as they come to my mind I think I’ll speak more completely about what’s going on.

What is going on at this very moment is that I just fried a 750gb hard disk containing a backup of the iMac I had been using before I was homeless. Little things like this are preparing me for the potential pitfalls I may encounter on my journey.