James Tang

Love

Love. You can learn all the math in the ‘Verse, but you take a boat in the air that you don’t love, she’ll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps her in the air when she oughta fall down, tells you she’s hurtin’ ‘fore she keens. Makes her a home.
– Capt. Malcolm Reynolds

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Death

She asked me how I wanted my body prepared. I didn’t have an answer. Here’s hers:

“I want my body to be cremated. Have my ashes brought to the cliff side and thrown into the air where they’ll scattered among the earth and water.”

“Have you ever seen a dead butterfly? They know when their time is ending and find a quiet place for themselves of their choosing and lay their until they pass.”

Decisions in life, including death, should be made consciously. I believe that life isn’t measured in time, it’s measured in meaning.¬†

Definition of Life

Biology describes life as irritable. Meaning that it reacts to the environment. Implicit in this is a decision being made by life. The bigger and more frequent the decisions, the more life is being lived. The smaller and fewer of the decisions means the closer you are to death.

To be a man…

…you must first kill the boy.

I’m 25 on the outside, but realistically, my maturity is far below. I’m still a little boy inside. I still cling to all these habits and defense mechanisms I developed as a kid that I need to stop.

In the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, Covey talks about the different levels a person can be at. Dependent -> Independent -> Interdependent.

I was in such a comfortable state for so long I had forgotten what it was like to have to fight. I became dependent in my comfort. I need to get to the independent stage again.

It’s a kid’s game to think the world owes you something. That simply being alive entitles you to all these great things and they will just come. That used to be true when your parents and school took care of you. You’re on your own now.

You want money? You have to earn it by delivering value. You want more money? You have to deliver more value or sell it better. You want that girl? She’s not going to come up to you, you’ve got to go to her.

A mature, independent man is the pillar of strength that the world can revolve around and trust.

Forget dealing with the world and it’s problems for now, that’s an interdependent man’s problem, first fix yourself.

To be trustworthy, you need to be able to trust yourself. If you commit yourself to doing something, and you don’t follow through, you’re lowering your own trust in yourself.

 

Free

Broken_Handcuffs

 

For the first time in my life. I have no real obligations.

On one hand, it’s sad. No girl, no job, no school, no house. Basically, nothing to lean back on except for myself.

On the other, it’s extremely liberating. I’m free to do as I please. I dreamed of this for years.

It’s a golden window of opportunity and I’m currently failing to use it because I’m getting too caught up in the sad parts.

Here’s a list of things I can only do now and for that reason I’d be hurting myself if I don’t.

  • Travel extensively.
  • Work full time on passion projects.
  • Getting in supreme shape.
  • Meeting new friends on a massive scale.

Now’s not the time to play it safe. It’s time to grow.

Ideal Room

Image

I¬†realized how much distraction occurs in an office space. I think the Google culture of allowing non-work related things makes for a very fun and enjoyable work-life balance environment, but ultimately gets in the way of completing the task to perfection. The concentration gets scattered across all these different stimuli. This makes sense because if people had to actually focus on what they were doing in these types of places, they’d probably leave. No one is working on their life’s mission.

An image a production studio popped in my head. Dim lights, nothing but the equipment and the producer. This is where the master works uninterrupted for hours on end.

Pledging

Why?

I had always wanted to be more involved on campus, but the farthest that I ever got was a semester on Historian Committee in AAA. It was simply easier for me to stay at home and do a controlled activity like movies, TV, or books. I realized this was the wrong mentality. It came from a feeling of procrastination and guilt (should not go out because I still have homework undone). Also, I had always been kept inside as a kid and always felt a bit overwhelmed in social situations. Being surrounded daily by engineers didn’t help. Fortunately, my resolve has changed. By pledging, I feel that I’ll have an extrinsic motivator and can help me get through something that I know will ultimately make me more satisfied.

Is it a bit strange for me, having just celebrated my 22nd birthday, to be in a pledge class comprised mostly of underclassmen? The first reactions are always cute since they try to hide their shock. However, I also feel a certain amount of respect given and from there, we build our friendships. Though I do feel a slight distance in our perspectives, it’s simply another exercise in empathy and viewpoint sharing. I have to say though, I will probably never get over sophomore girls calling me their little.

Perhaps the biggest thing I have to gain from Alpha Phi Omega is the different perspectives. For the first time, I’ve gotten to know people who aren’t engineers, scientists, mathematicians, or businessmen. Another thing is management of large groups of people. How do you set an environment conducive to bonding? How can you entertain people you don’t know? What activities are popular?

It has definitely been a positive experience and I’m looking forward to the rest of the semester.

Friendship

If a friend does something you consider severely wrong, can you still be friends with that person? Does friendship trump personal values? The saying goes that your friends are a reflection of yourself. To me that implies that if you can accept a person for who he/she is, you must be accepting of the values that person has. Otherwise, you should either drop this person as a friend or actively try to change this person. However, don’t fool yourself into thinking you can control their actions with reason or guilt. If they do not genuinely believe themselves as flawed, it’s time to move on.

New Resolutions

– Write down all dreams. Hopefully lucid dreaming won’t be too far away.

– No TV alone. Watching with others is fine because then it’s a social bonding activity. Read books, write blogs, or work otherwise when tempted.

– Default to “yes” when it comes to activities or opportunities. Thankfully, I’m in a position where money is (relatively) not an issue, nor is time. I even have the friends and the organizations. No excuses, get out Jimmy.

– Actually stick to the workout schedule.

Monday: Ultimate

Tuesday: Weights

Wednesday: BJJ

Thursday: BJJ

Friday: Weights

Saturday: Crossfit

Sub any missed days with 15-14-13-..-3-2-1 sets of burpees (120 total) for time or 7-5-3-1 sets of 3x pull-ups 3x ring-dip 3x ab-slide for time. I’m allowed one free miss a week.

Ultimate Frisbee

We just had our 2nd IM game today. We played the other EECS grad team and rocked them pretty hard 11-2. Who would have thought that Team B would win?

I see this sport as being less running than soccer, yet more than football. The reason being that in soccer you are always moving regardless of whether or not you have the ball. In football, you stop running once a pass has been made. In ultimate, you’re always moving unless you have the frisbee (1/7 players). In short, the game is light hearted, tiring, and fun. Good game guys.