Long-form blog posts and editorials. Topics cover both personal and the world at large. 

Sandy bottom of Puget Sound - 10 things I think


1. There remains nothing quite like the joy and adventure of traveling. A few weeks back I made the impulse action of making a trip up Highway 5 towards Seattle, and I have to say I’m very glad I listened to my inner spontaneity. It’s a huge world out there after all, and we owe it to ourselves to see as much of it as we can, while we still can.

Seattle is an immensely lovely city, and in fact it’s quite similar to San Francisco. However, up in the Pacific North West, the pace of it all is much more relaxed compared to the hustle and grind of my own 7x7 city. I felt right at home in Seattle, and actually prefer the slower lifestyle of the Emerald City. It forces you to take your moments and enjoy everything that’s around you, which isn’t so terrible at all when the scenery in Seattle is so incredible.

I don’t suppose I’ll make it back up there anytime soon, as there are other places I haven’t yet seen. That said, some day way into the future, I would love to retire somewhere within the Pacific North West region, if not Seattle itself.  

2. Not in my lifetime did I think the great FIFA empire would be struck down by outside forces. It’s an open secret that FIFA is one of the most corrupt organizations in the world, but nobody does anything about it because one, the game itself is still brilliant, and second, no one’s got the power. Enter the United States of America.

For a country whose populace couldn’t care less about football (we idiotically call it soccer), who would have thought it would be the American government that finally did the unthinkable. Granted, it had nothing to do with football and everything about taxes. America will bludgeon you to the depths of Guantanamo if you don’t pay or evade your taxes, no matter how large or evil your organization is.

Sepp Blatter is no longer the president of FIFA. I can’t believe I just typed that sentence.

Suffice it to say, the United States will not be getting the opportunity to host another World Cup every again. Further more, every tournament henceforth will see us grouped into the proverbial group-of-death. It’s all in good sport, really.

3. Much congratulations to the Golden State Warriors for ascending to the NBA Finals. It’s incredible to see the team meet and exceed the expectations of greatness that everyone has put on them. Now it’s time for them to finish the job, and I have no reasons to doubt the Warriors wouldn’t defeat LeBron’s Cavaliers, especially with no Kevin Love and a hobbled Kyrie Irving. The Dubs in six, I’d wager.

I can’t wait for the Thursday evening to arrive for the start of game one. The Bay Area has waited far too long for this.

4. I’ve found that I dislike driving people to the airport, because inevitably there will come a moment where melancholy will set in. The sadness stems from the fact I myself isn’t the one whose traveling somewhere. The pangs of wanderlust, and tinges of jealously towards the person leaving, are very strong indeed. Call me selfish, but hey, my friends can simply call an Uber to get to the airport. It’s a more desirable alternative than me holding a grudge towards you the entire time because you’re heading off to some other place without me.

5. Lewis Hamilton should not have pitted under the safety-car; end of discussion. Mercedes must’ve have momentarily forgotten just what track they were on. It’s bloody Monaco! Track position is absolutely critical in the streets of the principality. A car could be many seconds faster than the one in front and still wouldn’t make any impressions of an overtake maneuver. Jarno Trulli won the only Grand Prix in his career by holding up the field in the 2004 Monaco race (giving birth to the ever popular Trulli Train moniker).

The thought of pitting Lewis’ car at that stage of the race should have never entered the minds of Mercedes race engineers. Have they forgotten that Nico Rosberg himself won the 2013 race while being slower than the cars behind him? Lewis should go ballistic if at season’s end he were to lose the championship to Nico by fewer than 10 points. Team Mercedes royally screwed him over in Monte Carlo.

6. Reviews of the new 2016 Mazda Miata in American specification have come out this week, and it’s a massive mistake that I’ve read them all. In the famous of words of Spongebob, I NEED IT. The car is everything that’s right about driving purity, where the only number that matter on the spec-sheet is how lightweight it is. Sure, compare to my current car it’s the polar opposite in terms of practicality, but the again, I don’t much like driving people and carrying round lots of stuff anyways.

Not since my WRX STI have I wanted a car so badly (realistically speaking, of course), though I think my wallet will have the final say. Unfortunately, in the specification I’d prefer, the ND Miata would cost around $32K - the same price I paid for the STI a bit over two years ago. It means I’d have to put a considerable sum on top of the STI in order to procure the car, and to be honest, I’d much rather spend that money towards traveling.


7. A group is banding together to sue Harvard University for instituting quota caps on Asian student enrollment, and I think it’s about damn time. In the application process, all students should be judge on merit, without any biases towards the color of their skin. So what if doing so would render the top universities predominantly White and Asian? That’s simply the reality of the education system. I’d be supremely indignant if I didn’t get accepted and someone with a lower metric got in simply because they weren’t Asian.

And you’re naïve if you think this type of discrimination only happens at Harvard. Heck, my own high school unofficially had the same policies. It needs to end.

8. I think 12 hours is just about the longest duration I can drive in one day. Being in a car for that long definitely does weird things to you mentally, even if physically you can still do more mileage (proper seat adjustment is very important.)

That said, a good car, lovely tunes, and the open road is an absolutely sublime combination. It’s why I take a long road trip at least once every year since I’ve started working (ergo earning money to do so.)

9. It pains me greatly to see Emma Stone, one of my favorite actresses, play a quarter-Asian (she’s fully white) in the massively whitewashed Aloha movie. As others have pointed out, how are they going to have a film set in Hawaii but then go on with cast that’s entirely white? Half of the population on the island is Asian! That fact the producers failed miserably to cast a mixed Asian actress (Chloe Bennet, anyone?) to play the quarter-Asian female lead is practically criminal.

10. I think I really should get a move on and finish playing through Grand Theft Auto Five…