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2017: Reflecting on another year

Another year has flown by, and I'm scrambling to organize my thoughts on it. Hate to sound jaded and aged, but it feels like once you pass a certain age, time flies and keeping track of your life becomes overwhelming. Days start to blend, life recesses into a routine, new becomes old, and keeping track and adding meanings to events becomes a burden. And with that, excuses not to write (like me, unfortunately) keep piling.

that wasn't the point of firing up a post. I really want to reflect on my 2017.

Overall, 2017 had a lot of ups and downs. In the grander scheme of things, I had a good year in my personal life, while the more disappointing downside was career related.


It was POURING in LA for almost every day in January.

Started off the year by flying into LAX back from my Europe trip.
The company I work for has 'holiday shutdowns' on good fiscal years, so most of December just melts away with minimal work. We get a free week off from X-mas to New Year, so I took the opportunity to swing by some countries in Europe. I hardly take vacation days to travel, so I came back in a pretty good mood.
Immediately after my return, I was on a flight to Las Vegas to attend CES for 3 days.

crazy screen tunnel at the LG booth.

Of all the products, smart brush and food fertilizer were the two things that interested me the most (and by far, the furthest away from my actual job category :p)

- This is the Zera food fertilizer (waiting for mass production!)
- And above is the smart brush

Soon after returning to LA I crashed my car into 3 trees before it stopped spinning and ended up on the other side of the road. It was a really busy street during the morning commute, and thankfully nobody was hurt.  The only bummer was that my car was a new car (not even 3 months old) and it was totaled. It was my first EV and I was really enjoying how much gas money I was saving on going back and forth to work. :( But that was a short-lived goodness.

Feeling bad about the electric car and one of the fallen trees :(
In the background is my gas-drinking, not-so-eco-friendly car I would have to drive again. 


Most of February was commuting to work via Uber. Uber was doing this crazy promotion where a single ride within Los Angeles County was $1.99 or $2.99. I live 22 miles away from work, but my commute is on the horrid 405 Freeway - so despite the short distance, I would spend 70-90 mins one way on the freeway. As mentioned above, I crashed my EV, so I had to go back to driving my gas car. I use up 19 gallons in 5 days, it usually was $50+ dollars to top out with premium gas, so utilizing this Uber promotion made so much financial sense.

I was still recovering from the car accident, so a lot of time was sent at the chiropractor during most weekends.


A lot of career disappointments, where I felt like I shouldn't be in a position where I'm blindsided like how I was. I had my work blatantly stolen in front of my eyes and presented by a co-worker who didn't even know much of the content of the project. Adding insult to injury, it was in a big meeting where I was present too.

I did a lot of long-lunches and went up and down the Culver City Stairs a lot during this time to blow off steam.

From the top of the stairs

Culver City Stairs seen from my work. It's really steep! 3/4 of the way up I have to gasp for air and stop to take a break (or I dunno, maybe I'm just really out of shape :p)

I also had family visit - my parents and my sister-in-law and her two kids visited me in LA. My brother didn't make it out here, but it was actually my first time meeting his wife and kids.
The SIL and kids were sweet and there wasn't any drama about the visit.

Started and finished A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara (more deets in another post regarding my 2017 reads)


More frustration at work, more going up and down the stairs to meditate
Started to dip my toes in the film camera world.


Weird twitching nerve in my chin.
I had this uncontrollable twitch where it got really embarrassing while I was at work.  Sometime it'll come slow, like thud.. thud.. thud... and sometimes it'll be all hyper crazy and twitch rapidly. I could see people talking seriously and their eyes slowly moving down towards my chin.

Chewie also went hormonal and aggressive. I think he wants to nest and have a mate. He tore up pretty much anything and everything in sight, where there isn't a single t-shirt left without any chewed up holes.

Mom came to stay with me while dad had to go to Korea to conduct some business.


It wasn't planned, but I saw a house I instantly fell in love with and made an offer. It was in a neighborhood I've always liked, and I could picture myself and my birds living there. The view from the back deck is a million dollar view, all green, a small creek with water running

a view from the deck

Falling in love with the place was the easy part. The process of putting in offers and dealing with the seller's agent was an unpleasant experience! The emotional rollercoaster I went through the month was pretty intense.


Final papers signed on the first day of the month! I'm finally a homeowner! Yay!
Funny how Los Angeles has become my first rooted place - I would've never thought of myself settling in LA, but here I am as an LA homeowner :D woohoo!

Went crazy over Woo Do Hwan and the thriller drama 'Save Me (구해줘)'

The first part of the show was interesting, and then it started to get really depressing, and then regained a bit of traction towards the end. I watched the show mostly to watch Woo.

The story is basically based on a webtoon, where a family of four from Seoul moves to the boonies. Dad, mom, twin brother and sister. The story revolves around three groups of people. One is the girl's family from Seoul, another is a group of four guys, and the last one is the cult people. Anyway, dad gets involved in the cult, brother has a limp and is bullied, brother jumps off the school roof, mom goes crazy, dad takes her into an institution run by the cult church, daughter gets dragged in, etc.

It's an intense story where the four guys try to save the girl from the cult church. (end spoiler)

Got another EV!! yay!
I actually got a lease transfer from someone from my company. He only had 22 months left, which worked out perfect for me. I just need an EV to put me in the HOV lane and get me to and from work.


Started the month with a 3-day team bonding, up in Cupertino rawr-rawr trip.
Also went to Kendrick Lamar's concert as a team-bonding trip

We had the eclipse on the 21st!
I had solar sunglasses, so my coworkers and I went up to the parking garage to watch it.

Started watching High School King of Savvy (고교처세왕)
This show had a much brighter beat to it.
I wasn't a huge fan of Seo In-gook, I thought he was too over-acting and had a violent tendency (which I really hate about a lot of Korean dramas, the guys are wayyyy too violent and aggressive).


Read Kurt Vonnegut's Breakfast of Champions.
Book review and details to be talked about in a separate post.

There's a stray cat in the neighborhood!
I started leaving food under the car so the cat could eat it. I wish the cat would warm up to me and let me stare at it from afar.

Finally got my kindle fired up and loaded. I've had it for awhile, and it took me the longest time to actually take it out of the box and use it.
This is probably the best thing that happened to me! I absolutely LOVED the reading expereince and the kindle brought out the bookworm in me again.

The first book I read was The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. Loved loved it! But like all other books, I'll review this in another post.


First visit to the Austin offices opened the month. The buildings are so identical and sterile. The craziest thing about the place was the advanced app technology used in the cafeteria.

Other than that, just a lot of reading. 6 books for the month!

So much traveling for the month.
My company's HQ is in the San Jose area, so day trips are frequent from the LA office. Feels like a waste, but most of the time we have to fly up and down just to attend 1-2 meetings.

Anyway, other than the short trips, I had another first visit to the London office on Hanover street.
Every location is different, and the 4 days I was in the London was pretty awesome. Really wouldn't mind going there more often.

Cheers! Everything is so 'London'

OMG so good! Burger & Lobster. I usually don't eat lobster, but had to cheat this one time. It was so delicious!!
Artesian bar at The Langham. Apparently, this was the world's best bar?! The experience was pretty good here. 

Dante had a health scare when I came back from London. His feathers were falling off and I had to rush him to his vet. Dante had an opportunity to come to my office and meet a couple of my co-workers. Anyway, after bloodwork and examinations, it turns out that Dante had some sort of muscle trauma, but other than that he has recovered nicely. 

stay healthy baby!


So we're back to December!
December was fully dedicated to home improvements. In the beginning of the month, we had some crazy wildfires breaking out all over in Los Angeles, so I worked from home for a few days. During my stay at home, I decided to start some DIY projects on my house.
First things first: the WALLS.

I've lived in 3 apartments since I moved to LA and they were all old apartments. The biggest eyesore, in my opinion, of these older places, was the orange peel textured walls. The house I bought also has these textured walls, so I decided to skim coat and get rid of all of the textured walls.

So I've taken on this project and have slowly but surely skimmed every.single.wall in my house for at least 3 - 5 coats. That's 3 rooms, living and dining rooms with 15' ceilings, staircase side walls, and so many other small walls I didn't even know existed.

(Before/After photos and progress to be put into another post)

Oh, I forgot - I did make a move about my frustration with my career and lack of direction at work. I don't know if it was a good decision or not, but I can't just sit and wait for someone to fix my problems. We'll see how things roll out in the new year.

So much crammed into a single post: 2017 was an eventful year.
Anyway, like every year, in 2018 I would like to be a little bit thinner than I am and be healthier. And hopefully, I can feel like I'm moving forward with my career again (not backwards!).

Thanks 2017, you were good to me! :)
Happy New Year everyone!


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