Sunday, May 1, 2016

Toxic Parents (well, mom)

IMPORTANT: Since I have only recently shared this in bits and pieces, I sincerely believe letting it all out would be therapeutic. However, since my dad was a writer and I am very close to having my works published (albeit as a hobby, not a career), forgive me for being long-winded and spilling my life story. *EDIT* I have kinda condensed it.

So, about 4 months ago (that's how busy I've been, but thanks to a layoff I finally found the time to finish this memoir of sorts), I had I found this article my friend who has an NMom posted on Facebook, and I'm trying my hardest not to cry, even though I'm 30 years old (at the time of writing in May 2016) and more hardened than reinforced titanium by all the bullcrap I had to put up with in my life, only because everything is SO frickin' true it hurts to even read it...

5 Reasons You Shouldn't Feel Bad About Not Talking To Toxic Parents | Bustle

Well, where do I begin? The details of my life are quite inconsequential... My childhood was quite typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we made meat helmets, and at the age of 14 my nards were ritually shaven by a Zoroastrian named Vilma -- Crap, I'm paraphrasing Dr. Evil.

Anyway, aside from the lame attempt at dispelling the tension of this post with a joke, here is all the main nuances, and the sole reasons I am posting this are:
  1. I am sick of running this story top to bottom every time someone wants me to reunite with my mom since it hurts to recount it (and sometimes they are STILL convinced I should still make an effort to be close to her or ignore everything I said and share my contact information with her... Thank God for Google Voice and 2 GMail accounts (so that I can change my number "for free"), and
  2. I am NEITHER inviting myself to trolling, flaming, or negative attention, NOR positive reinforcement. I am just simply writing an open blog post (and /r/raisedbynarcissists on Reddit) about narcissistic parenting at its finest. Or worst. Whatever. However, it is kinda therapy for me to rant about it too... But when I can't help but feel worried whenever she is near me, or having to be suspicious of her motives whenever she does something nice for me, I KNOW there's a problem, and I can't be the only one that feels this way. I mean, I'm sure there is, but still.
If you still aren't convinced, my mom does EVERY SINGLE THING in this article, ESPECIALLY points 1 (she even compared me to my aunt's dog), 2 (MANY examples below), 5 (I've been fixing computers since I was 15 and had a successful business, yet still call Geek Squad), 6, 7 (see XX below), 8, 14, and 23.
  1. Even starting with my dad (who my grandmother claimed he has been less resilient ever since marrying my mom), my mom manipulated him into marrying her early. He's a strong man for the most part, but my mom knew how to exploit him AND have me in order to keep him. My mom is an evil genius; my IQ is 132 and hers is [anecdotally speaking] probably higher; I swear if she put her wits to help people instead of being able to connive people and stay 10 steps ahead of them, I swear, she'd be a millionaire.
  2. The previously well-hidden Cluster B side starts to emerge. When I was still a toddler, my mom was arguing about something unrelated to me and slit my wrist and neck, then blackmailed my dad (her 2nd favorite trick) into not telling the authorities, but further reinforced it by scratching her own chest and saying that my grandmother tried to come after her and had her detained for a few days.
  3. How inattentive was she? I had a seizure when I was 5 or so, but she told me to "quit squirming". My dad was in the car (or how I knew was that he recounted it to me) and said it looked like a seizure and to take me to the hospital, but she was adamant about not going.
  4. When I was about 6 or 7, my dad got so upset with my mom, he was saying his final goodbyes and getting ready to commit suicide, and given a bunch of other mini-stories, I'm surprised he made it this long. However, his friend encouraged him to take my mom to see a psychologist (a big name in San Francisco... My dad showed me the papers but I have no idea where he stashed it or even if he kept it), but arranged it all to look like marriage counseling.

    His official diagnosis to my dad was: "Mr W_______: Through my 30 years of performing marriage counseling, my job is to keep couples together. However, as your wife is highly antisocial and has the worst case of passive-aggressiveness I've ever seen, this is a rare case where I think that divorce should do you a lot of good." and proceeded to tell him that she even threw silent treatments (her trademark move) at him.
  5. At around that divorce, my mom argued with my dad daily and blamed him for everything, even things beyond his control (such as the failure of her restaurant... My dad was employed as a jeweler and made no business decisions). I raised myself on Top Ramen and a water boiler since neither parent cooked when they were pissed.

    The arguments got so bad, my dad actually slept in my room and locked the door; I didn't learn until I was 16 that it was supposed to be my own room. Why? my mom actually tried to kill him in his sleep and he didn't feel safe on the couch or sleeping next to her. The divorce was finalized around March 1993, where I was taken to Taiwan to "visit" my grandparents and "would be back soon", along with many false promises.
  6. That "visit" turned into 4.5 years, where I enrolled in the local schools (instead of a school for expatriates) and started a few months in kindergarten [at 7 years old] for several months to grasp Mandarin phonetics, then skipping my way through elementary school until I was at the grade I needed to be; K-6 in 4.5 years. Of course, since I have Caucasian heritage, I was picked on. A LOT. I was even almost raped by a broomstick. Worst of all, if I wasn't wearing synthetic school uniform where I'm sweating like a pig all day, she buys the cheapest clothes possible, even if it looked gaudy (I even had a pair of pants that looked like it was for girls since it had a cartooned fox and letters embroidered down the legs).

    I still suffer self-esteem issues even despite having attended therapy, though not as bad; I used to only have 7 friends at 25 years old, but still haven't so much as had my first kiss until I was 27.

    Anyway, I was still abused by her; never mind the fact that corporal punishment was fully legal in Taiwan at the time, and I would get beat or silent-treated for the most ridiculous reasons, like for things as small as concentrating on my homework when the trash needed to get taken out to not finding the operating hours of a theme park attraction when it was a safety disclaimer (even after her friend verified it, she still didn't talk to me for a week).
  7. Fast forward to around 20 years old: My mom visited on VERY short notice (she called on Friday demanding I pick her up from the airport Monday... Long story short, the boss didn't believe me and I got fired). I was renting my friend's room for $400 a month (in suburban LA, that's dirt cheap, but she thought it was "ridiculously exorbitant"; all similar rooms with a private bath were EASILY $600 a month).

    So, she learns the hard way that rooms ARE that expensive, but she'd rather be right than rational and still rents a room that is actually slightly worse for $550 a month; the landlord was a cheapskate that refused to fix anything. Then she blackmails me into moving there, stole my phone, and had her friend pull up with a U-Haul when I didn't comply. Then eluding common sense, she demands to go back to the old house to see what I need for the new house (which was immediately apparent was a "compliance check" since her method didn't make any sense). This time, she starts an argument when I even raised ONE objection, and I eventually started driving there in dead silence...

    She then pulls the door open on a leftward curve (which almost ripped the door off due to centrifugal force... Remember, she's a smart one) on the freeway and tries to jump out; had I never swung towards the shoulder and even broke the window's glass since it slammed shut so hard, she would've died. She didn't even want to buy a replacement window for the car and blamed ME for getting HER upset!
  8. Eventually, I decided to go back to school, but I did computer consulting on the side AND took a job at a logistics company, or the busiest time in my life.

    Guess what? My mom decides to make another surprise visit dead in the middle of March (when I JUST finished filing my taxes), and insisted on staying with me again! YAY!

    So, she has a habit of trying to clean stuff, but she likes to put it in a completely different location so that you can't find anything, of course she doesn't know what it is that you're trying to look for when you try to find it, and worst of all, she arbitrarily decides what's worth keeping, what's not and even what to steal (yes, she does steal from me), such as a gift your dead friend gives you, the key to your first car, and most frustratingly, a good handful of my consulting receipts and contracts... ALL WITHOUT ASKING ME, AND I specifically told her to leave my home office's paperwork alone!

    Even more fun? a few days later, she tells me she's getting groceries while I was still asleep, so I didn't think to ask her for the work's gate key, then I had to play hell jumping the gate since the boss didn't have a spare key... It's an entertaining story; feel free to ask how it all went down.

    Worst of all, later that year? I got sued for a client's gross negligence (which if I could find the contract and waiver, I can prove I warned him about the water damage and his signature releasing my liability) AND I got audited, and I'm willing to bet all $21,000 in judgments and tax penalties that the missing receipts and contract could've saved me every penny. My mom had $250K in the bank and another huge retirement fund, but did she bother to lift a finger to at least partially help with my losses or even apologize for draining my life savings? HELL NO. "It's your fault for not filing everything"... I almost bought a plane ticket solely for the pleasure of strangling her.
  9. So, my life recovers more than well enough in 2010, mostly spent in non-contact, but giving the occasional call at the wost time: Sunday morning at 7AM when I was often out until 3AM, and despite suggesting Sunday afternoon when it's her late morning and my time afternoon when I'm not doing anything, she doesn't go for it, so I'm having to spend half an hour on the phone half-asleep ... After spending thousands in what is classified as high-intensity therapy where I've expelled my inner demons and learned leadership skills, my business went from scraping to SOARING... I can finally afford everything I wanted, even starting to date after having self-confidence issues, life was awesome... Or so I thought.

    At the peak of everything, she waited an entire month before telling me she came back to the US, despite having the phone number and addresses of both my new house (for a housewarming gift she never got me) and business... Her friend's mom had Alzheimer's and they hired her to help with household duties and helping their mom around...

    However, despite clearing out my ONLY day off for her, she still thought it was not enough. When she got let go since her patient became vegetative, she didn't let me know... She not only "forgot I had an alarm" (after I armed/disarmed the house every time she came over), part of it is my fault: I forgot to tell her my buddy left his Rottweiler with me since he had go out of town for 2 weeks... Had I not been rounding the corner, my mom would've gotten arrested since the police came shortly after. If she didn't run back outside after tripping the alarm, she would've become Harley's dinner. Mother is smart when she needs to be, but incredibly naive otherwise.

    Anyway, after becoming a reluctant host to my mom and now spending almost ALL my free time with her, is that still enough? Apparently not... One of my friends started falling for me... But then my mom suddenly decides to time trips just right to come between us... San Francisco one day, Vegas the other, then suddenly buying a plane ticket to Taiwan (and expecting me to tag along without telling me so that I can make business arrangements) and wanting to take the entire day for her errands and forbidding me from contacting who could've been my girlfriend or the taker of my first kiss.

    Then when I finally make it home, momma sees me on the front porch and comes chasing her away with a knife, saying that "I've spent too much time with her" then corners her and waves it in her face... "Listen you c**t, I don't want you around my son anymore. If I find you with him one more time, I'm going to kill you, are we clear?"

    So I storm my car out of the garage without even closing it (and it was still open when I got back after she was confirmed to be on the plane), then a whole host of friends and my dad warned me against going to Taiwan; my best friend called my dad crying, and even a psychic friend who knew nothing about the trip suddenly called me and warned me of impending danger... Then she called everything off up since she was scared for her life even though we're not BF/GF yet, but she can't imagine what it'll be like having her as a MIL. Then after my mom leaves, I discover a 24K gold heirloom ring, my watch and a bunch of things missing. Thanks, mom.
  10. After that, I went no-contact for another 4 years. Instead of calling, emailing or anything, she decides to work her way back into my life in early 2013... By adding random people on my Facebook friends list, including my wealthiest friend and trying to seduce him (eww... Plus he's married and has a daughter) instead of talking to me directly...

    But after learning from past failures, I informed him of what's going on and he blocked her right away, then I decided to reluctantly open communications by getting a Google Voice line and a forwarding address in case she wants an address, but thankfully she isn't coming to the US any time soon.

    My dad was also battling severe depression; mostly due to flashbacks of him and my mom, as well as his current situation (he didn't plan his retirement at all plus medical problems), so he took his life on June 15, 2013. When my mom started trying to become a family member again, suddenly me taking my .45 and joining my dad seemed like a good idea (sarcasm)... But in all seriousness, my dad's death hit me pretty hard, so I fell into depression and didn't work until March 2014, but things were worsened by the fact that the first couple of jobs I got either severely underpaid me or had a good start that eventually ended in I.O.U.'s.

    Then in mid-2015, she wants me to come to Taiwan to take care of paperwork, or the same reason she tried to pull me from my business in 2011, but this time around I couldn't make it since I was living paycheck-to-paycheck and couldn't afford it; I even sent her a snapshot of my account balance of $250 at the time and instead of taking her generously-sized wallet out, she insisted that since I didn't go with her to Taiwan the last time [again, last minute at the worst timing], that I pay for it and she'll reimburse me, and to borrow from my friends for airfare (which most were either equally broke or didn't want to lend that big an amount).

    Instead of just taking my word for it when I can't get the money, she viciously insulted me in a family group chat, and I actually had to clear the air and re-block her. She wasn't happy that I dared to defy her, so we haven't talked since August 2015... Of course, she never shared her phone number or address, so the only way we used to talk was through LINE or Facebook, but she has blocked me on both.
I have almost no family left, and getting married and having children is my last hope for anything resembling an immediate family... My dad passed away, both my dad and I are only children so I have no aunts, uncles, brothers or sisters; only 2 grandaunts and 3rd cousins... The relatives I have in Taiwan almost never talk to me, so it's me against the world...

Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Starts, New Lady

Hello all...

I know it's been a long while since I last posted, but it's been one depressing debacle after the other (you may read about it here, but you DO NOT have to donate anymore; I'm financially stable now and this is merely information I don't feel like typing again... You get the point)... But, things are looking good; every single problem on the dear-ol' Bimmer is now fixed, I'm going to be moving back to Orange County soon not just for my own sake since I miss it out there so much, but also since I do have a high-paying position out there and commuting 1.5 hours and leaving at 6:00 AM, then another 1.5 hours to come back to this place I lay my head down at (I don't even want to call it "home", but that's another story for another time) is getting old. FAST.

Anyway, per popular(?) request (so far it's about 5 people in my car forums), I've decided to do a play-by-play.

So, a girl named Nicole has popped into my life. Not just someone I recently met, but someone that I chit-chatted with about 4 years ago while visiting my dad in Portland, but never exchanged info.

Anyway, [cue Calvin Harris], when I met [her] in the summer... Of 2011, my dad was working at a vintage eyeglass dispensary in Pioneer Square (Erstwhile Opticians on SW Yamhill and 6th), I decided to chat with her while I was waiting for coffee at the nearby Starbucks (I know, I know; I'm a connoisseur, but I wanted an iced coffee RITE NAO!)... She was a student at PSU, or about 1/2 mile up the street, and we bonded over the fact that she was Asian and wore a Led Zeppelin shirt NOT because it was something she got from the thrift store...

Now mind you, almost all Asian girls I've met usually listen to Pop, Top 40 and Alt Rock like Maroon 5 or Panic at the most, and only 2-3 of my friends my age [that I know of] actually listens to classic rock, so imagine my surprise, eh? She officially became the coolest Asian girl EVAR. If it was today and she cooks decent meals, knows how to drive manual transmission and keeps a well-maintained car, I think I'd look like this:

I didn't consider exchanging numbers (dumb move), since I figured with a long-distance relationship that I really wanted for it to work out (but didn't), I'd avoid the headaches of LDRs and swore off dating anyone that lives beyond 30 miles from me ever again.

Fast forward to last Tuesday, ironically we meet at Starbucks again--this time in my neck of the woods; words cannot describe how surprised we both were!

And it goes a little something like this [HIT IT]...
Me: Excuse me, but you seem kinda familiar...
Her: Actually, you do too. I wanna say I've met you, but it was far away.
Me: Hmm, that's where it... [long pause] Wait... Have you been to Portland?
Her: Wow! I never thought I'd meet anybody from Oregon here!
Me: Hold up [pause]... HOLY SMOKES, you're that girl with the Led Zep shirt at Pioneer Square!
Her: [gasp] Oh my God, yes! [squeals and hugs me] how have you been?

...Then after some catching up, she agreed to a date! So excited!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Android, you disgust me sometimes.

Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays. I say it generically to not start a war with all the non-religious people, so there's that.

WARNING: This is going to be a bunch of geek talk that I will not stop and explain, much unlike my previous blog post about FB Messenger. If you don't know what I'm talking about, Google is your friend. If you STILL don't know what I'm talking about, please steer away from this blog.

Anyway, I STILL don't get what the big deal with rooting is. People pay top dollars for phones, either getting stuck in a 2-year contract or paying $500+ for a hunk of metal, plastic, silicone and glass that lets you do all sorts of things... Except unlock your phone's true capabilities? Isn't blocking root going against the whole purpose of Linux, which is founded as an open-source operating system? Isn't that what Linus Torvalds wanted?

Also for the sake of example (I have none of these things, I swear... OK, minus having Linux and a VM of Mac once), if I can put a Corvette engine and solder a dragon's head onto my BMW 3-Series, put a fake dead hooker on my lawn and paint an [insert offensive organization's name] symbol on the side of my house, put Macintosh or (wait for it) Linux on my laptop and have the glowing HP logo superimposed to look like the Bat-Signal, why is it that the most I'm able to customize my most frequently used device is the wallpaper and perhaps a limited array of cheapy decorative shells from the mall?

Here's another example: Why is it that I can have an alarm, immobilizer and BMW Assist recovery tracking on my car that's hardwired into the car's computer system, ADT at my house that's hardwired into the household wiring and either have cops swarming the house or you'd have to pull some pretty hardcore ninja stuff to bypass the alarm, have a hidden theft recovery tracker AND have Intel Anti-Theft embedded into BIOS on my laptop... BUT NOT have a security solution that'll survive a factory reset? NOTE: I have no clue if there are any solutions without root, but I've been using Avast Anti-Theft, and Android Device Manager failed me the last time.

Why do I say this? I still have a Motorola DROID RAZR Maxx HD. Yes, it's from October 2012, 2 years and 2 months old as of Dec 26 or simply... Old as hell in Android terms since they seem to rapidly evolve (just for scale, my previous laptop was still able to keep up despite for 4 years, but I hope phone evolution stabilizes after I get the newer phones); I get it. I got it as an emergency, but the DROID Maxx was announced the very. Next. Month.

Even worse? I can't upgrade this thing since it's amazing that Verizon is willing to give me a loyalty bonus of doubling my data plan, but they can't just give me an early upgrade, meaning I have to wait until June 27, 2015 (2nd year to the day) to upgrade... And since I had an identity theft issue, I'm sure that further screwed up the credit that I was desperately trying to repair... And possibly any chances of upgrading via EDGE or early MORE plan. So I'm stuck unless I'm willing to drop $599.99 on a new phone.

Anyway, back to the main point. Why do I want root? It's simple... There's more enhanced battery managers (Greenify), I can get rid of the bloatware instead of simply disabling it, and most importantly since I got my tablet stolen from a [so-called] friend's car (he even showed me the police report and busted lock so it's legit)... He's being a weasel about replacing it and it's severely putting a hamper in my business since it comes in REALLY handy, and there are times where losing $2,000 of revenue is a very modest estimate, or GREATLY simplifying another task I had at hand... But anyway, that VERY important function is retaining anti-theft tracking after factory reset. Since the anti-theft is written into /system, it'll be harder for Mr. Thief to get away with stealing my stuff forever. I understand that someone can simply re-image my tablet, but will the average crook know this? Not too likely.

Also, why was it not until 4.2 (November 2012) that Android thought of multi-user on tablets? Because when I let my so-called friend, I forgot that I was lending a tablet that only came with 4.1.2 borrow it, and he happens to be the most paranoid person I've ever met. He's the same person that inspired me to write my previous FB Messenger debunkment blog post, and also a person that not only turns off all track requests for his phone (no GPS, no triangulation), but also has a sticker over the front-facing camera, and knowing his paranoia, probably disabled everything that makes theft recovery worthwhile on my tablet, and the Motorola Xyboard didn't have root options at all. Before you can say iPhone/iOS... Wait. It's ALMOST worth considering... ALMOST. Now their phones aren't as tiny and cutesy, plus their features are pretty much on the same league as Android. But not quite enough, sorry.

Now, what prompted me to post this, you ask? Well, it's pretty hard to mask the disappointment when your phone WAS rooted and survived a minor upgrade that closed the loophole that enabled root. Following bad advice, not knowing that this particular phone is no longer able to be rooted from scratch, I tried resetting the phone to install Lollipop since if Android and Motorola can't decide on whether or not to put Lollipop on this thing (or even 4.4.4 to at least fix the battery drain and Heartbleed issue), since I REALLY wanted to at least have ART on it since Dalvik was hanging a lot (my main hangup with keeping this phone, otherwise I'd use it into the next year, really), but ART almost made it worse (hence another reason I reset the phone)... Plus the enhanced security, multiple user/guest mode, Project Volta battery management, updated Material Design look-and-feel... In that order, but all stuff I want.

Anyway, hope some Google and/or Motorola exec sees this post and at least has a butterfly effect that'll say... Please don't bogart our right to root. Don't let Apple win the entire war with iCloud.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

More on the Unnecessary Paranoia over Facebook Messenger

Seriously... If I had a dollar for every post I've seen bashing Facebook Messenger, or for every post telling people "I won't be able to check my messages because of FBM's policies, I have deleted it" and the supposed FBI/NSA/CIA/BLT involvement (which minus a BLT, I'm sure that they'd have other ways of accessing your information and already doing so... But that's another story), I wouldn't need any other source of income.
Facebook and Facebook Messenger
Permissions side-by-side
Comparison of FB, FBM, Hangouts, BBM and WeChat

First, Facebook's official app needs even more permissions, but I don't see anyone complaining about that. Other popular messengers including BBM, WeChat and Google Hangouts need about the same amount of permissions, and I don't see anybody complaining about that. I haven't included other major messengers/social networking services (e.g. Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp, LINE, etc.), but I'm sure it needs about the same amount of permissions.
Facebook has also been advertising Facebook Messenger for a long time to have enhanced features that supersedes just having the app alone, but only recently made it mandatory... Not to mention lots of other services have made their apps and messengers separate, like, China's Tencent has Qzone, similar to Facebook, QQ -AND- WeChat, BOTH messengers made by the same company... Doesn't make a lick of sense to me, but is anyone complaining en masse to Tencent or catching flights to China to protest this matter? Foursquare just spun off Swarm, but I don't see anybody making conspiracy theories, Google+ and Hangouts are separate (although let's face it, the user base isn't the same).
So folks, please put away the tinfoil hats. What if it was your own sibling/child/SO/BFF stuck somewhere with no cell service and only Wi-Fi, or your ghetto friend who doesn't believe in paying for cell service and your paranoia is so deeply encompassing that you don't get an important message until you turn your computer on (which for me is every 2 days)? What if that same message was his/her last words and your arrogance let him/her die in vain? Now THAT is the right kind of paranoia instead of worrying about something that FB has been doing and using all along!
Keep in mind a few things:
1. I am not playing devil's advocate; this is a neutral standpoint. I am writing this on my own observations and free will, not paid, endorsed or coerced by any company to do so.
2. The screenshots are UNMODIFIED from my own phone (Motorola XT926, 4.4.2, unrooted/unmodified OS. The ONLY PSing I did was stitch the screenshots together, change the contrast since there was a gradient effect and erased useless data such as total space occupied, clear cache button, etc.), using latest versions of each app available at time of writing (Aug 31, 2014 7:25 PDT). NO permissions have been added or removed.
3. All trademarks, logos and copyrights mentioned and implied are copyrights of their respective holders, and used for educational purposes. All rights reserved. Please don't sue me.
Please pass the word along if you're so inclined.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Now I'm officially convinced my girlfriend is an idiot!

So... Earlier in the week, my girlfriend's coworker decided that since I knew my way around guns, I owned a gun before and took other people shooting, he decides that the shooting range would be a cool place to do his photography class project and invited me.

The "fun" begins even before we leave the house, and she seemingly made it a point to be defiant today... I tell everybody, including her, to wear something comfortable that they don't mind dirtying, and with working in a warehouse, I figured that'd be easy.

What does she wear? An elegant pink and white dress. I ask her, "are you watching or are you shooting?" she says she's going to shoot. "Do you mind if that gets dirty?" she hesitates and says, "Yeah, I do mind". "Then go change it!" "No, I want to look pretty for the pictures!" and proceeds to spend another 5 minutes putting on makeup, perfecting her hair and even asking me what earrings to wear, then I respond: "You DO know that you're wearing hideous-looking goggles and earmuffs, right? Let's go!" She ignores me.

Then, in front of 5 coworkers waiting in the living room, she puts on a set of heels, and everybody is rolling their eyes, on top of saying the same thing I tried to talk to her about for the past half hour. Not me, but a coworker that has never touched a gun in his life before says "guns have recoil and will knock you on your ass, don't you have flats or tennis shoes?" I proceed to fetch a set of tennis shoes that actually are white and pink, but a little bit dirty. "But they're dirty!" "Who cares? You're shooting a gun, not entering a beauty pageant, even my wife and Dolly [another coworker that is going] are bumming it!". She tosses it in a corner saying "Everybody has been waiting enough, let's go!" and at this point I am thoroughly disappointed and embarrassed, but decide to have fun anyway.

So, we get there, and she's the only one in the ENTIRE range dressed to the 9s. I should be proud, but that's only if she's a spectator... Even 2 clerks gave the "you have got to be kidding me" look. We're signing waivers and picking guns; I get the Heckler & Koch USP .45 since that was my last gun before I sold it, and I let everybody else handle a Beretta 92FS 9mm, and then just as easily as I can be mean by getting her to shoot my USP, or even getting a Redhawk .454 Casull, rifle or shotgun to get spoiled stiletto-wearing princess to eat some recoil-served humble pie, I decided to let her off easy with a .22 revolver (which was such a weak sister I didn't even bother to remember what it was).

Then, before the clerk can get an instructor, I was already going over the basic instructions with 1-2 people, even going as far as asking them for snap caps (or "dummy bullets"). Since they don't even use fake guns or even how to clear a stovepipe (like I was demonstrating), the clerk was impressed enough to ask about my background (which I detail that I've been shooting guns for 10 years and even my first time was there at LA Gun Club under a security academy my dad worked for, which I pointed out another clerk that recognized me), so he takes down my phone number and offers me a job since they have lots of Asian tourists but nobody that can speak Mandarin to go over safety training.

Guess what? Now the heat is on; He's watching me train people to ensure I'm not just doing it right, but now as a potential employee, so my reputation is on the line, so I gather everybody, tell them that he's planning on hiring me, so I wanted the best of out everybody. So I start with the 4 Rules, proper way to hold and aim a gun (especially a semi-auto)... The important stuff.

What is she doing? Staring at her phone and checking out the pictures taken so far. I stop halfway through Rule 2 and sternly say, "This is important. Will you get off the phone, please?"... "I'm listening". So, before getting into the visual part of learning, she's sending a voice message to someone... At this time I've lost my patience, so I snatch the phone from her and say, "HEY, IDIOT! We're dealing with LIVE ammunition (picks up the box of ammo on the counter and shakes it in front of her face) with the same REAL guns (I pull up my USP and aim it at the ceiling) that can kill people, not toys! You can talk with your little friends later, but if you want to die, please do so at your own terms; you'll not only get us kicked out, I'll be out a job before I'm even hired!"

Then instead of learning her lesson, she starts causing a scene and tries to dig her phone out of my pocket, much to the chagrin of other employees and starts arguing. I then say "just fucking listen, I'll be done in 2 minutes", but she snatches it back and continues to focus on her phone. Believe me, I was so tempted to just let her feel the wind of a flying bullet. So, I remind everybody else of the safety tips, finish up aiming tips, and proceed to remind everybody to put on their eye and ear protection... Even at this point everybody is in disbelief and even one girl said right next to her that she is deathly afraid of shooting next to her due to her negligence. Then what's the VERY next thing that happens?

I just finished telling everybody to point their gun down range or at the wall, she tells someone to take a picture... With the gun aimed at the lobby. Me and 2 clerks are shouting at her, plus a couple people in the lobby were even ducking, then she says "what's everybody scared of?!?" *SIGH*. What's Rule 1? "I don't know". I repeat "treat every gun like it's loaded, even when empty". Then I turn around to apologize to the clerk, and she points the gun at the wall, but at the cameraman. Bitch, what did I just say ONE SECOND AGO? At this point the clerk was laughing, but I still didn't want to look like an idiot in front of the very person that is recommending a Safety Instructor job position. Not cashier, not the guy that rakes spent casings, SAFETY INSTRUCTOR!!

As you can see above, I am NOT bluffing when I say that I was offered a job, money for my license fees and all.

So by the time I get over there, she's in the next pose and vaguely pointing the gun at her head. I HAD to yell, "if you were fucking listening, I told you NOT to point the gun at ANYBODY, including yourself unless you want it dead or destroyed, especially since it has its slides forward and you're scaring people. DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!?!?" Things got really somber and silent and everybody is staring at me, and another clerk said "if that lady slips up one more time I'm going to ask her to leave.", which I then say to her "You hear that? You are this close (gestures hand) to getting kicked out!" which at this point, she finally understands the seriousness of the situation and nods, but not before one last slip-up... She heads beyond the doors into the range without her earpiece, and at this point someone in stall #10 (We have #11-13) is firing off a large caliber gun, and she is freaking out and complaining about her ears ringing. Umm... Did you hear ANYTHING in my instructions AT ALL?

Then comes the ultimate test: I finish blasting my rounds and now it's her turn. Everybody else is going along just fine; the biggest problem I've encountered was forgetting to turn the safety off. For her? Now she's beginning to realize she should've paid attention; she's scared as hell and wants to watch me fire off the first few rounds, so I did. Almost no recoil whatsoever = yawn to me. She then reluctantly handles it and how is it held? Clasping her hands together! At this point, I exasperatedly teach her again, then she fires off about 5 shots and cowers back towards the back wall (with the gun pointed at me and her finger curled on the trigger no less), so I ended the day with a silly deuce-deuce and I was doing my best not to yell at her again.

Still had a good time, but I'm still getting silent treatment even 2 days later saying that I embarrassed her in front of her coworkers and called her an idiot. Umm... For one, you looked like an idiot on more than 1 occasion, so it's you who embarrassed yourself. Second, it's heat of the moment when you chose not to listen the first time and almost got us kicked out, so calling you out is justified, and even though I can be the bigger man and apologize, this is one thing I'm not sorry for, and people who know their way around guns will agree. Third, what does the sign with second-largest font in the lobby say?
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, who are here to oversee my girlfriend's manslaughter case, I rest my case.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Worst. Interview. Ever.

OK, I know it's taboo to badmouth a prospective employer, especially if I haven't been hired or rejected, but at this point I don't even care anymore. So, like I said in the previous post, my girlfriend drained my bank account just for a frickin' purse, so I have no backup funds as it is.

I should've listened to my instances of Murphy's Law that was starting to unravel and not waste my time with them. On Sunday, I took my trusty debit card to get gas... The pump won't work, and further attempts were getting declined since I later learned the issuer decided to put an authorization hold on the card in $100 chunks... Using the wrong ZIP code which was also making said declines pointless. So, I just roughed it through the day with a little over 1/4 tank (about 110mi) of gas. If you know Deutschwagens, E means 0 since the screen says "Fuel reserve!" at around 50 miles, not "OK, the needle is on E but you have about 30 miles."

Then, after struggling to go to sleep, I get out of bed at 3:30 AM for this ripoff telemarketing job selling low quality toners that most customers complain about at an extreme high price (the shift starts at 6 AM to catch East Coast business owners at 9 AM)... But act as if they're getting the deal of the century for Rolls Royce quality. Anyway,  I had lunch packed but forgot to bring it, forgot my TAP pass with a month's worth of bus fare on it, had zero money for lunch, then just when I thought I was making good time, I realized I forgot to shave when I was putting on my tie in the parking lot.

I rush home in Baldwin Park to shave, then my heart jumps out of my chest when my GPS tells me I am 10 minutes behind. Not good, but glad I called the hiring agency, despite the fact that once I hopped on the 5 it shaved 12 minutes off my ETA and would've been pointless. Anyway, the lady calls me back as I am only about 5 miles out to Irvine saying the owner had an emergency and had to go to Alhambra.

At this point, I already was thinking that I wasted all this time and gas money going 80 miles round trip out of my way, but whatever. I was so sick of waking up at 3:30 AM to rip off businesses for minimum wage that I decided to roll with it. So, again, I'm rounding the corner at 3 miles, and *RINNNG*. AppleOne again? Glad to know that she's asking about my arrival. Nope, like a game of Gingerbread Man, now the fool wants to meet in El Monte. Had I lived anywhere else I'd say bugger off, but he lived en route to home so I give this guy one last chance.

This time instead of relying on directions, I call the dude, and interestingly enough, HE asks ME how to get there. Now I figure this gingerbread man routine was probably some sort of test and I'll be rewarded with a $50 gas card and a pat on the shoulder telling me I'm hired, right? Nope, the dude genuinely sounded confused. So, after finally arriving in El Monte, he asks me to wait in the car as he's wrapping something up and "it'll only be 5 minutes". So I'm sitting there for half an hour, and then asks me what's nearby, so I rattle off a series of decent restaurants, but he settles on Del Taco. Oh-kay... Del Taco it is.

So, most of the "interview" is him staring at his computer and asking me questions, and everything he is asking me to do is mundane and a piece of cake. Sure, I haven't worked in the travel industry since 2007, but I'm very good at Excel, which was a strong prerequisite. Then he stares at his computer some more, and asks about Word and all that. I'm thinking: If you read my resume, I'm an IT Tech. I've even used OpenOffice, MS Works and ClarisWorks. So, he asks me about travel arrangements, and I've even mentioned since I have friends that don't speak English or are computer illiterate, I do this kind of thing all the time and have earned a Silver membership with Expedia; just 2 weeks prior I helped a friend book a flight to Denver, CO and last month I reserved a hotel in Vegas using reward miles!

For this one I was just about to flip my lid: "Do you personally know any tour guides?" I'm thinking, OK. I can do it myself; it's just telling a driver to go to tourist destinations, probably say 1 or 2 blurbs about it, and figure out some entertainment on a long ride. Of course, the last time I worked in the travel industry was 2007 and I've lost contact with a lot of people when my GMail got hacked and wiped out my contacts 4 years ago, and working at a wholesaler that relied on local guides or contracted from other companies, I never had their contact information, so I say no and explain it.

This is the hilarious part... "Well, I'll be honest, I need someone with more recent experience." REALLY?? I just used Excel, I just booked flights and hotels, who cares about my job experience? If you wanted someone who just quit, got fired or even searching for work from a current travel company, please don't waste my time from the get go!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Should I stay or should I go?

Dear Readers:
As you may have noticed, I mostly tend to blog when there are big decisions troubling me... There were a few posts I've made during significant events, as well as some that I honestly This time is no exception.

So far, I am faced with a tough decision: To stay with the one I'm with, or to find someone more compatible. For other life events, I will brief you in once I get the chance, but so far...
Not too long after the incident with "Jill", a family friend introduced me to someone that seemed compatible with me on many levels and I even left another girl that seemed very nice to be with her, but now I am starting to realize some of the levels are a bit too compatible or similar, and there are some levels that I am slowly losing patience for despite having some of these traits myself, which I guess serves as a hard lesson for me to change my act.

"Like it always happens", the first couple of months is when both people are on their best behavior, and you're seeing each other with rose-colored glasses, and "like it always happens" again, you can think you know someone until you move in together. So, we met towards the end of September, then we decided to become official on October 19. At the time, I was just happy to not be single anymore, especially since I had a lot of personal demons after my dad's death. Now, I am seeing a paradigm shift.

Despite the fact that I am usually reluctant to believe fortune tellers, they have revealed some truths with a certain degree of accuracy, like one approaching me and informing me that "someone very close to me may die next month"... Even though it took until 6 months when my dad passed, it was still very bizarre. With that, even though another psychic told me my future significant other may have no Asian genes, be blond-haired and blue-eyed (this will come in as a key later), and have a rough past in terms of relationships that will share lots in common. That has yet to be seen, but them Haoles seem cuter and more relatable by the minute.

Well, the latter proved itself very true... Her ex-husband was a performer known for being an extreme flop on national TV, a momma's boy and a 2-pump-chump in the sack, and her first boyfriend was always high on ecstasy and wasn't able to satisfy her, so that sounded bad enough for me... Anyway, at first, she was very affectionate and we seemed to have a lot in common, and I have learned a lot from her, including what has become my favorite way to fall asleep ;-), cooks, and even got me some income when I needed it the most. However, that is where the positives have ended so far.

The bad and first on my list? She is EXTREMELY lazy. I have thought I've met lazy (AKA me and my family), she takes the cake. Today, for example: We came home and slept at 11:30 PM, both woke up around 9:30 AM. She went out and got groceries, but then instead of following the GPS coordinates I punched in for Ralphs, she headed towards the 99 Cents Store; thank God she didn't buy food there... She went to Smart & Final instead. Reason? "It was closer". OK, like a quarter mile. So, I'm expecting an almost monstrous amount of groceries, with S&F being a smaller version of Costco after all... Nope, a box of Cup Noodles, corn oil (which most corn is GMO, which I'm an organic-if-possible person), a loaf of Texas Toast (or thicker-sliced bread), and jelly (the squeeze bottle to top it all off).

So, we ate, but then she didn't want to do the dishes, and since I was busy, neither could I. I had an important errand and had to leave in half an hour, then was prepared to come home, but not before she made me stop at the store for a few accouterments, so then I came home about 8:00 PM... After vegging out for a couple of hours, where I also learned that she took a nap for a while as well. After all that sleep, she should have enough power to move mountains right? Wrong. What's for dinner? Leftovers that I eventually had to throw in the microwave for the both of us. Any dishes done? Nope, so I had to take care of 70% of the dishes we had. Then, she was still hungry and wanted Cup Noodles. After cooking it, guess what? She fell asleep PROMPTLY and is snoring next to me as I am typing this. Funny, I had a reputation of being lazy, but if I can be up since 9:30 AM and only feel mildly tired at 11:00 PM, what does that make her?

Speaking of cooking, it was cool at first but now I can't stand it... She loves spicy foods. Don't get me wrong, my family is from Hunan, China and I therefore may have a gene that predisposes me towards spicy foods, but this takes the cake... Despite that, I eat fairly mild compared to that. In fact, I have had the same bottle of Sriracha since April, and a small jar of Lao Gan Ma lasted me 5 months before she devoured the last 1/4 jar in ONE WEEK, which would've served me until now (almost a year). In other words, I eat hot for the taste, not trying to win some competition... For the few things she knows how to cook, every meal she makes is 3 peppers away from becoming a challenge at a restaurant (e.g. the Orochon or Buffalo Blazin' Wings), and I don't remember when was the last time I ate a meal with her unadorned with a crapload of hot sauce. That, and she ONLY eats Chinese food; the most foreign food I've seen her eat was McDonald's and some salmon I've made (but you've guessed it, with 2 tablespoons of hot sauce).

Also, she is about as romantic as a bag of rocks. Not some red, lacey bag of polished stones. Just a dirt-covered plastic bag filed with jagged rocks. How so? She constantly jokes about having an affair or having me find someone else, but NYE came the ultimate test of patience: I had a bit of a financial miscalculation that only knocked me off course by $200, and then she tells me that she wants to sell her body to the streets. At first, I figured it was a lame joke and played along, but then it stopped being funny 8 minutes in and with the preceding in mind, I thought "holy crap, you can't be serious"... So then, she nonchalantly lets it escalate for another 15 minutes, or until I am absolutely convinced that she will be leaving for Las Vegas next week, livid and threw a mug on the floor yelling "IF YOU BECOME A BITCH, DON'T EVER SEE ME AGAIN FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE OR I WILL SLAP YOU LIKE A PIMP, UNDERSTAND?", then we argue for about 15 minutes, then I'm sitting on the couch after downing an entire (small, portable sized, not the 750ml) bottle of wine in 20 seconds and furiously puffing on an e-cig that I only touch when I'm extremely stressed out (and keep in mind I haven't touched it since August) before she reveals that it was a joke.

So then, we somehow make up, but she leaves to go to a church for NYE, forfeiting another event I wanted to attend with her. So, instead of drinks and dancing, I finally pull up when I've sobered up and cleaned up at 11:30 PM, but it was a boring PowerPoint about what their church did over the past year, a few hymns and showing videos of countdowns around the world... Then they have the count down at 12:04 AM. WTF??? Also, with the fact that I've even hinted at it while visiting her at work where I told a factoid of kissing strangers not being illegal on NYE (not sure if it's true or not, just heard it somewhere), me having a short discussion the moment I arrived and even trying to "bribe" her $20 to forget about any conservative notions, I've always wanted to experience a new year's kiss. So, I'm trying to hold her at 11:59:40 PM, and she's squirming. Then I plead with her and lean in closer, then at the stroke of midnight, she's screaming as if I'm about to fucking rape her, and didn't even get a child's peck, and I've even pointed at the TV, which happens to show a couple making out on NBfuckingC TV.

Then of course, the superstition about not getting kissed kicks in... So not only does she not try to straighten it out, she still nonchalantly suggested I go kiss someone else. I got SO livid I just left... Then my friend takes me somewhere and completely runs out of gas... In a PRIUS!! For the average person, a blinking fuel light means "give me some gas, NOW!!", but for him, he has a bad habit of keeping his car barely above fumes every time. With that, we had to call for AAA. TWICE. First time, after waiting 45 minutes, the tow truck allegedly added 2 gallons, but the manual stated it needed 1.6 gallons to start, and the driver left before we can tell him we needed more. Since he left, we were told to make another request. Another half an hour by the side of the road before the hybrid system enabled the starter and the car finally started, and that's where I finally make it home at 4:30 AM.

Then, I realize after finally making it home that I lost my house keys, whereby I ironically took them off my chain with the intent of making a copy in case I lost them. Great. I had to climb up the side of the house and in through the patio since she didn't answer the door. After being drunk, stressed and even a little fearful of my life = MEGA fucking tired, she INSISTS on talking about the issue until 6:30 in the morning and every time we had spare time for the next 3 days, centered around breaking up.

Also, bad in bed (specifics withheld), hates kisses (only gives childish pecks on the cheek, pecks on the lip are rare and Frenching? Fuhgeddaboudit! Only once in a blue moon and even then it sucks!), REFUSES to take English-learning seriously and has ZERO initiative to learn, and like all Mainland Chinese in my opinion, a gold-digger.

So, since she has been obsessed with breaking up but not wanting to leave, this is almost becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. At first, even though I was THIS close to breaking up with her on the spot at the church and even went as far as changing my FB pic and felt lonely as she went about her day on 1/1, now her constant talks and now jokes about splitting up has got me thinking...

I'm serious that after what seems like a lifetime of desiring an Asian woman, I suddenly woke up wanting to date an American-Born Chinese or even White girl. Either way, I'm very torn right now, since what my girlfriend is doing now may set the tone for the future... If she is laying in bed and wanting me to do everything now, what will happen when we have kids?

Oh God... I can picture it now (EDIT: I even had a very similar nightmare 2 weeks later, but ends with dying of exhaustion and her attending my funeral via Skype since she can't be bothered to get out of bed). After eating the same frickin' things for 6 years in a row, I am exhausted from trying to keep our kids in check and getting them ready in the morning, while their mom, of course, became a housewife that does nothing and is still asleep despite my daughter having a tantrum and wanting mommy to do her hair, but mommy moans it off and my daughter starts screaming, and my son doing everything except get ready and she is still not willing to tag-team. So, I do the best I can, but still looks like a bird's nest, and looking at the time, I'm running late! So, I drop them off, scramble off to my grind and come home to her taking a nap. Dinner time comes around with her barely waking up to serve a bowl of noodles with half a ton of hot sauce for us, and bread and jelly for them since they can't take hot foods, while I'm on the verge of collapsing from a peptic ulcer from eating too much hot foods and 4 hours of sleep per night since the mom doesn't want to do anything and I'm left cleaning up after 3 people.

Even more? My ideal was to find a woman who can become a running mate of sorts, where I can have her co-manage a business. The business needs someone diligent and good at English, not someone who doesn't understand the word "text" when I say "我明天text給他" ("I'll text him tomorrow"), I have a personal preference towards speaking English and dislike translating stuff in general, and well... I've proven the lazy point many times. I love kissing, she hates kissing. I appreciate all foods, she likes Chinese only. I like rock music, she doesn't. However, she's my first true love and it still hurts to leave.

Your thoughts?