Day Seventeen: A Map as Your Muse

Today, let a map be your muse. Select an area anywhere in the world on Google Maps (or your preferred online map tool), or a section on a paper map, and use this as inspiration for your post.

For this post I wanted to use my hometown of Fremont, CA. Particularly, this is the area where I grew up for most of my life until I graduated from high school.


I’ve numbered the map using Snapchat as an image editor, haha πŸ˜‚ #resourcefulness 

  1. This is where I went to Elementary school at Warm Springs Elementary. I also lived with my stepdad, grandparents, and some aunts and uncles in the house. We lived here until about mid-elementary school.
  2. We moved to this small apartment in an older part of Fremont on Thornton Ave. I remember taking a couple of hours after school to take the public bus home. I would take one bus to the BART station then transfer to the line that took me home. At this point, my CD player filled with my anime OST was my best friend haha. I listened to music a lot.
  3. From middle school to high school, we moved in with this guy my mom married to an apartment closer to school. During high school after my little brother Jacob was born, we moved to this house across the street from my high school, Irvington HS. It was super convenient being able to walk to school in 5 minutes πŸ‘πŸΌ
  4. When I left to Irvine for college, my mom moved out of David’s house after they were separated and moved to Mission Blvd into a small apartment with my sister. When I came home for breaks, I would stay there with them. My brother would also be with my mom for a couple hours until his dad picked him up.
  5. From mid college until I moved back home, my sister moved into an apartment on Automall (which I consider the center of Fremont as I know it). I would stay with my dad when I came back and also moved in with them for the year after I graduated college. I would go to work in SJ, workout with my dad at the gym down the street, and sleep on the living room couch. I did this for almost a year until I paid off all my student loans.

Since then, I’ve been in SoCal for two years, my mom moved back in with Jacob’s dad, my sister took over my dads apartment and lives with roommates, and my dad and step mom and brother Daniel live in Santa Clara. 

All in all, the Bay Area has always been my home and I can’t see that changing, no matter how far I live or where I travel 🌎❀️🏑

Thanks for reading! If you have any questions, comments, personal insights, or even feedback, I’d love to hear them in the comments! I read and respond to every comment πŸ™‚

Day Sixteen: Mine Your Own Material

We spend a lot of our time online, so what we see in places like Facebook and Twitter can lead to a deeper exploration on our own blogs. Today, dig through your online treasures as inspiration for a new post.

Here’s a gem that’s more of a remnant of what seems like a past life, haha πŸ˜…

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Back in the latter years of high school and my entire college career, dance was a huge part of my life.

In high school, I started dancing a bit my freshman year mostly because of my sister. She was always way more popular than I was, and I attributed a large part of that to her innate dance ability. 

So if dance = friends, something I had very little of, then why not learn? πŸ˜…

I wasn’t terrible, but it did feel pretty natural to learn choreography and perform onstage.

Sophomore and junior years, my dance growth was put to the side as I focused on a new hobby of mine: tricking.
Senior year, my sister and I joined a brand new dance company, Academy of Villains. It was an exciting endeavor being around so many high level freestyles and big names in choreography.

One of my biggest mentors and role models was CJ “Pharside,” the director. In terms of choreography, he was still up and coming. As for freestyle, he was in a league of his own.

For college, I went down to UCI for two primary reasons.

  1. I wanted to be away from home and in a new environment. I figured I would grow more outside my comfort zone and become more self sufficient.
  2. I knew SoCal’s dance community was distinct from NorCal but still very prominent. I wanted to learn and be immersed in it so I could bring it back to NorCal.

Four years later, I’ve gained so many invaluable dance experience with some of the most inspiring teams and dancers in Orange County.

Every team, project, and dance group had a different vibe and energy, but I’m extremely grateful for the experiences.

The groups I want to give a shout out to include: KASA Danceoff, Kaba Modern, Urban Motus, Project Groovement, KKAP, The Heist, Dreams Legacy, BBoys Anonymous, Seaside dancers, and Kaba Modern Legacy.

Although I’m not officially dancing with any groups or practicing on a consistent basis at the moment, I can’t say for sure that my dance career is over.

 I have some ideas and dance-related projects bouncing around in my head, so we’ll see if any of them manifest in future endeavors 😏

Thanks for reading! As usual, I’d love to hear from my readers. Any questions, thoughts, feedback, or comments in general. I read and respond to all comments 😊

Day Fifteen: Day Fifteen: Take a Cue from Your Reader

Today’s prompt:

β€œWe read to know we’re not alone.”
β€” William Nicholson, Shadowlands

Tell us about a book that opened your eyes when you were young.

Describe a life-changing experience with a book.

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My Instagram post pretty much sums up my first encounter with personal development and self-directed learning.

I was working at a government agency in DC right out of college for a summer. While wandering around, I came across a Barnes and Noble and decided to kill time by browsing books.

In a moment of serendipity, I stumbled upon a featured book on a bookshelf about eye-level. It had a bright red cover and a catchy title.

The book was “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.

I picked up the book and started to skim a chapter or two. I remember thinking as I opened the book that I might be able to learn a some useful tactics I could apply to my career.

Two hours later, I was so immersed into the book and gained so much value out of the principles. It gave me so many “ah-ha!” moments about human psychology and people-skills.

Long story short I left the bookstore with two things:

  1. The idea that people skills, once sufficiently developed, practiced, and mastered, is one of the most useful and highest paying skills across many inustries.
  2. My own personal copy of the book πŸ˜πŸ“•

Since then, I’ve recommended the book to many of my closest friends and family, I’ve become addicted to daily self-education, and the practice has led me to have the most intellectual conversations with other people.

To this day, I’m still a huge advocate of reading and personal development. I believe that as this blog develops, it’ll start to incorporate personal development into its core. I am very passionate about helping people grow and learn to achieve what they believe is important to them. 

Thank you for reading! As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. I read and respond to every comment 😁

Day Fourteen: Recreate a Single Day

Today’s prompt:

Write a post that takes place during a single day. Start at any point! The story can begin when you woke up, the middle of the day, or the end of the day.

  • Structure your post as a play-by-play (or hour-by-hour) account, complete with time markers.
  • Limit yourself even more: tell a story about one hour of your chosen day.
  • Talk about how one particular day changed your life.

Dont I look like im having a blast? πŸ˜…

A couple weekends ago, my girlfriend and I went rock climbing / bouldering at Sender One gym. We had purchased a Groupon for two for an hour-long beginner class that included all-day access to the gym.

Needless to say, we were excited. Neither of us had ever been but it was always on a list of activities we wanted to do together.

The check-in process wasn’t as smooth as I would’ve expected. We gave one associate our Groupon to scan, only to have another worker ask for it again. Diana had to go back to the car to retrieve it a second time.

As it got closer to our class time, probably 2 minutes before, we noticed everyone else had their harnesses and shoes on while nobody gave us ours. We hurriedly asked and finally got an attendant to assist us.

The lady asked for our shoe sizes, disappeared into the back room, and then reappeared with our gear. She said the climbing shoes ran small so we got one size higher. Even then, my shoes were painfully small.

We go to one of the training areas and began to learn how to tie a double figure-8 knot (I forgot the name), and then a fisherman’s knot. Both relatively easy to learn.

After that, we learned the correct form to belay with our partner. Not too much of a challenge.

At this point, the knuckle on my toes were in so much pain I had to go back to the front desk and get a size higher. Better, but still a bit too tight for my liking.

Next, we alternated climbing and belaying. Diana went first, I went second.

When I was up, I jokingly asked Diana if she could keep up with me πŸ˜‰ As soon as we got the signal to start, I began racing up as fast as I could.

Halfway to the top, I noticed there was a lot of slack on my rope. I glanced down and saw our instructor helping her out with her form. I guess she was having some trouble since she was still getting used to the form.

At that moment, I remembered that I’m actually pretty afraid of heights. I committed to not looking down and kept at a slow pace. 

When I finally reached the top, I had anxiety about letting go and rappelling back down. Eventually, I made it down safely. However, I decided I would stick to bouldering the rest of the time πŸ˜….

Overall, it was a fun experience and I wouldn’t be surprised if we went to a climbing gym again! 😁

Thanks for reading! As always, feel free to leave comments as I read and respond to all of them πŸ™‚

Day Thirteen: Play with Word Count

Today’s prompt

Sometimes you can find inspiration by changing things up! Today, write a post that experiments with word count.

Some ideas include a 50-word story, 100-word story, a haiku, choosing an existing post to cut down, or an existing post to extend.

Let’s do a few haikus 😏

~~~

I am so hungry.

Saturday’s are my cheat days.

It’s only Tuesday 😦

~~~

Gotta catch ’em all

Pokemon Go takeover,

Look! A poke-stop!

~~~

Veggies and protein,

One hour of cardio,

Watch some Naruto.

~~~

Reading all these books

While driving and working out

I feel productive πŸ™‚

~~~

Disneyland tickets

Won them on the radio

But I can’t get them πŸ˜“

~~~

Donuts and ice cream

Count blessings, not calories.

Plump, round, and happy πŸ˜‹

###

Day Twelve: Critique a Piece of Work

image credit: Diana Thai
Today’s prompt:

Today, express your opinion on a topic or a piece of work. This is your opportunity to comment on something you’re passionate about, or review a piece of art or entertainment that you love or despise.

So I saw this particular video show up on my Facebook newsfeed a few months back and it reignited some strong opinions I’ve had for a long time regarding this topic.

In a nutshell: “who should pay on a date, the guy or the girl?”

I don’t know who this guy is, but I completely agree with his reasonings. Here’s some of his main points and why I agree:

  • If the guy should always pay, but the girl isn’t held to anything on her end, this sets up a dangerous double standard.

This type of unequal relationship doesn’t lay a good foundation for the relationship. In the past, it was normal for a woman to be the home caretaker  and the man to be the financial provider. This uneven relationship that might have made sense back then, but it put the man in a more dominant position.

Today, women fight to be perceived and treated as equals to their male counterparts. Unfortunately, I think the push to keep the “chivalry” of the old days maintains the status quo and the old paradigms about men and women.

  • If a guy should pay for a girls time, it sets up the relationship as unfair for the guy

Again, this reinforces the idea that the two parties aren’t equal. 

  • If she doesn’t offer to pay her share, she wasn’t taught right. If he doesn’t offer to pay his share, he wasn’t taught right.

Manners. It’s not because you’re a man or because you’re a woman. It should be because you’re a generous and thoughtful person. What does it say about the person who unfairly takes advantage of the other person’s generosity?

  • If I were dating a girl and she never offered to pay, I wouldn’t date her. You should treat your partner like your best friend.

100% yes. Let’s remove male and female “standards” and cultural normals (which greatly vary across different cultures and across different time periods) and just treat the person we want to be with like our best friend. If you treat your partner as someone to be used, what kind of long term relationship are you really cultivating?

  • What matters most is trying. If your partner doesn’t feel like you’re trying to contribute to the relationship, that’s when he’ll feel used.

This is basically true in any relationship. Although we shouldn’t approach any relationship as only giving so you can get, it is important to evaluate if they value you as much as you value them.

If chivalry is dead, good. I’m glad it is.

I was raised to believe that although boys and girls are different, one isn’t superior than the other. By that sense, they are equal. I fully support being kind and courteous to others because you have class, regardless if you’re a boy or girl.

By those standards, I could never support the double standard of chivalry.

Thank you for reading! If you have any thoughts you would like to add, I would love to hear. I read and respond to every comment πŸ™‚

ο»ΏDay Eleven: A Cup of Coffee

Today’s prompt:

Write today’s post as if you were having a virtual coffee date, catching up with an old friend. You can share any details you’d like and include as many as you want, as long as you begin each with “If we were having coffee right now …”

Funny because today we’re actually in a Starbucks about to work on a side project, so it’s an ideal environment for this post.

I just so happened to use my free reward I’ve saved up 😁 (The article I wrote shows how I turned $7 into $19).

Venti “Green Master Jedi” frap (everything tastes better when its free 😏)

If we were having coffee right now, I would talk about the current book I’m reading, The Everything Store. It’s a very detailed account of Jeff Bezos and the origin story of Amazon. I’m hardly halfway through but it’s phenomenal so far.

I always love reading biographies of amazing and accomplished people. The biggest value I get from their narratives is not how they shaped the world around them but taking a look into their mindΒ and how they think. I believe that if you can learn how to think like they do, you can pick up some of the valuable essences of what makes them stand out.

What’s crazy about Jeff is that he has such a clear vision of what he wants. It seems like people around him knew he was gifted at an early age. The author and Jeff himself also point to the nurturing environment that his parents provided him; they always encouraged and supported his creativity early on.

He’s also very smart and analytical in who he works with. Even if he has to let go some of he people he started the company with, he knows it’s for the better of he company.

I think it takes a special type of person to be able to handle such a huge company. When someone like that makes waves in the marketplace, I feel it takes a strong leader who can deal with the “sky and the dirt,” as Gary Vaynerchuk says.

It’s always fun to learn about the back stories and behind the scenes, details that outsiders like myself had no idea was going on as it happens. For example, the shift that Amazon made to incorporate 3rd party sellers and a “related products” search in the marketplace. Also, all of the business meetings with other companies like Walmart and eBay that never went anywhere but we’re still a part of the Amazon story.

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you about how I’m starting to get back into tricking with some college friends. A couple days ago after work, we had a productive park session:

When the cameraman tries a moving action shot, but trips and drops the camera πŸƒπŸΌπŸŽ₯πŸ’₯πŸ˜…

A video posted by J.R. “Pulse” Yonocruz (@yolocruz) on Aug 12, 2016 at 11:21pm PDT

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I’m hoping to be able to session once a week. I want to add more variety to my physical activity as well as gain new skills. It’s addicting when you accomplish your goals.

If we were having coffee, I’d also tell you about how I’m stepping up my workout game with my workout buddy Michael and progressing towards higher level calisthenics. We’re using Hugh Jackman as our war cry to push harder than we think we can, haha.

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That’s pretty much it! I’ll be sure to keep you updated. Let’s do this again soon πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you liked best, and I always appreciate any insight or advice from my readers. I read and respond to every comment πŸ™‚

Day Ten: Let the Scene Write Itself

Today’s prompt:

Find a spot where you can sit and observe for at least 20 minutes: a bench at a park, shopping mall, or museum; from inside your car in a parking lot; or even a place close to home, like your front porch. Ideally, it’s a location where you can watch action and interaction unfold (whether it involves people, wildlife, the weather, etc.).

Right now I’m with my girlfriend at Afters Ice Cream at Diamond Jamboree. I’ve had this craving all week for ice cream and donuts so might as well get both, right?

Meet the “milky bun,” ice cream inside a donut:

Diabetes with diabetes inside

But that’s not why I’m writing this haha. I made the mistake of coming to this location which I forgot is almost always crowded on a Saturday night.

While waiting in this long line is excruciating for my craving, it’s a perfect scenario for this prompt 😁

From my vantage point, people are waiting in line. The store definitely seems understaffed for this crowd, but I commend them for their effort.

Outside there are a dozen or so guys in formal attire around a table. They must be coming from from an organization’s event.

Fancy guys and their fancy attire

Definitely a crowded night. We decided to go to Newport Beach to walk around near the beach. Apparently, the area we call “seaside” after a popular donut shop people fraud my late at night, has been overtaken since the release of Pokemon Go. My girlfriend wanted to go to the Pokemon stop where she can get items and catch new Pokemon.

“Seaside” named after Seaside Bakery

As expected, hundreds of people walking around at 11pm at night with their faces in their phones. Probably 80% of them were playing Pokemon. It was pretty hilarious and amazing at the same time. 

Although it’s weird people are coming out in droves to play a mobile game, it’s still pretty crazy that everyone is out walking around.

Good or bad, we’ll see if it’s just a fad or if it will last a while. I think it also depends on how  long the developers can keep innovating the fame before people become bored.

lifeguard memorial statue