FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL…err coding bootcamp.

Blogging daily has been tough. Quick snapshot of the weekend: Hung out with Jeff on Friday, KBBQ and PC Bang with Chong on Saturday, and then sleep and coding all of Sunday in preparation for my first day of coding bootcamp on Monday.

I woke up at about 2:00 am in a fit of panic to finish up some jQuery-based assignments thinking I was extremely behind. It was pitch black outside. One thing that’s new to me is hearing what I think are coyotes? Nonetheless, night sounds quite different than in Horsham, where you can hear the hooting of the owl and the crickets chirping. It’s much calmer, but almost lackadaisical. That definitely helped calm my nerves.

That didn’t last long. I thought I’d been clever by leaving at 5 am to beat the traffic. Apparently, so did hundreds of others… How is there even traffic at 5 a.m.? Nonetheless, there was no way I would be late to bootcamp in Burbank, and traffic would be a nightmare by 7, so there was plenty to be grateful for. I got to Burbank around 6 and stopped by a little breakfast shack called Corner Cottage, which had the best breakfast burrito I have ever had. Looked like a hole in the wall, but the risk was worth.

Then I proceeded to look for parking everywhere, not realizing that the parking garages I was driving by were all FREE. This is new…(looking at you, Philly and NYC garages charging an arm, a leg, and your firstborn)
Anyway, finally realized this and parked in a garage. Then I went to Starbucks to finish up some more jQuery and git/terminal exercises (this was around 6:30 am). I got myself a caramel macchiatto to wake up and since it was a bit chilly this morning (it was low 60’s this morning :P). One thing I have noticed about California is how many more people are willing to talk to strangers. Everybody seems to not only greet each other, but multiple people asked about how my morning was going while waiting for their coffee and trying to spark conversation with everybody around them.

View from Starbucks:

Even as I left, multiple people on the street stopped to ask how my morning was going and sent me off with a “Hope you have a great day then!” This completely caught me off guard at first leaving me to stare back with a measured callousness, as was the usual in Philly. People like to mind their own business and don’t generally make eye contact with random people on the street. I’m not sure if this is normal, or people were just extra friendly this morning in Burbank. When I got to the site of the bootcamp, the attitude seemed to be the same. Everybody instantly just talked to me as fondly as if we had been friends for many years(most are from California with one from Hawaii). It was a very enjoyable first day, even though we just did basic HTML and CSS the first day (I panicked for no reason). I coded until about 8, grabbed dinner then coded some more before heading back to my Grandpa’s in Pomona. GOODNIGHT Y’ALL!

Bye Philly. Thnks Fr Th Mmrs!

Preparing myself to leave is harder than I imagined, especially considering that this will be a far longer time away from home. Nonetheless it’s comforting to know that I’ll back in November. Being sad to go to a new place is a completely new feeling for me. I don’t think I’ve even truly felt homesick until this year. I think a large part of that is due to the community I have at Temple. I’ll miss how weird we all were; motley doesn’t even begin to describe RCF. Temple RCF has always felt like a dysfunctional family to me, where we somehow really do always find ways to love each other even though sometimes our failures as humans were far too apparent. Even when it wasn’t fully shown, I realize now that we really do always love and care for one another despite not always showing it. RCF was really my second family in every single way. I think my homesickness and anxiety is deeply rooted in that everybody in RCF is so irreplaceable to me. There really is no group of people quite like you guys.

That said, I really am quite excited to be embarking on a new chapter in my life. I can’t wait to experience the other side of the country fully; I can’t wait to learn how to code awesome things. I’m so thankful for yet another chance to grow and find a new direction in life. The past year has been quite hard on me, mostly from neglecting my health, spirituality, and other obligations. Thank you to everybody who still supported me and wanted what was best for me. I’m eternally grateful and indebted to you all. The wisdom God has to constantly fill my life with the right people to steady and humble me constantly amazes me. I’ll keep you all updated on here whenever I can! 😀 Wish me luck! I’ll miss you all more than you can imagine.

Homesick

Santa Monica Sunset

So the past few days have been as follows:

Monday

  • Went to Kang-Ho-Dong BaekJong for KBBQ
  • Went to bubble tea at Half & Half in Monterey Park
  • Went to Little Tokyo Galleria and had Daikokuya ramen.

Tuesday

  • Visited downtown Burbank, the town where my coding bootcamp will be held.
  • Picked up some steaks at Sam’s Club and made them sous vide back in Lancaster with Jeff.

Wednesday

  • Went to Six Flags: Magic Mountain.
  • Lounged around Valencia Town Center.

Thursday

  • Drove to Santa Monica and caught the sunset and a lot of traffic for the Twilight Concert at the pier.
  • Reunited with Justin! Ate at Fritto Misto with him and Jeff.
  • Had Churros Calientes afterwards:

Friday & Saturday

  • Drove to Irvine through heavy traffic. Jeff almost ripped all his hair out.
  • Three and a half hours later, we get to UC: Irvine!
  • Ate curry at CoCo Ichibanya.

Sunday

  • Aunt and cousin who I haven’t seen in nearly 12 years pick me up from Irvine
  • Reunited with youngest uncle and recently wedded wife while eating at Spice City in San Gabriel.
  • Have Green Tea Ice Cream Boba at Tea Station.

Right now I’m settling in at my Grandpa’s house. I’ve been feeling pretty homesick. I miss all my people back home and have a small case of FOMO. Excited to head back to PA for a bit tomorrow!

Surviving Vegas

Just got to Lancaster, CA after spending the last two nights in Vegas. Flight felt extremely long with nobody to talk to and no internet. After landing, Jeff picked me and Felix up and we proceeded to Palms Place Resort, where I got a free upgrade to a larger suite. In short, ended up winning about $75 at a blackjack table from $30, but in typical Vegas fashion lost it all at slots immediately after. All in all, I lost 50, so not too bad I guess. I can see why some people would find gambling addictive. There’s that constant temptation to win everything back and seeing others win around you gives you a bit of hope that you can be just as lucky. Nonetheless, it was fun, and the highlight of the trip was probably all the food experiences I had. During my stay, I had In-N-Out, White Castle (after we all lost money and were hunting for free slot rewards for members), Bellagio Buffet, and Gordon Ramsay’s Burgr. The buffet was the definition of exorbitance; it served kobe beef, prime rib, king crab, fairly fresh sushi, and amazing rib of lamb. Burgr had amazing truffle parmesan fries and the best onion rings I’ve ever had. MMMM…

Before leaving on Sunday, I met up with my sister and her friends and we all ate at Gordon Ramsay’s Burgr, which was pretty great. While driving home, there was a huge traffic jam, so we stopped in Primm (dubbed “Fake Vegas” by Jeff) and bought matching Calvin Klein wallets at the outlets. Got to Jeff’s house late last night and passed out on the couch shortly after. Looking forward to going to LA tonight to explore and eat my heart out. Looks like the theme of this trip so far is good food; hope that continues!