Of COURSE my life’s movie will be an indie hit about childbirth.


When Zach Braff was writing the movie Garden State, the soundtrack was one of the first things he figured out. So I hope you have Spotify, because I accidentally had mine ready (NSFW Language!).

I am the culmination of everything that has happened to me, as I will be 10 years from now. So any movie about me isn’t just about me doing things, it’s the story of how I met your mother I got to be that person. That being said, so many experiences are universally relatable- people respond to flashbacks because they have their own version of those memories. Anyways, this movie is about childbirth.

Specifically, it’s about Future Me in the days leading up to the birth of my first kid. As I think about the fact that this is a major landmark in my life, I immediately think about the fact that all through college, I separated my history into two parts: before and after my brother was born (I was 9 or 10). I think back to when I shouted on a plane that I wanted a brother, when I first held him, and when I accidentally helped him take his first steps. For so long, there was no dividing line bigger than his arrival, and yet here’s another one coming up. I’m terrified that I’m gonna screw things up somehow, I’m excited for snuggles, and at that point, I probably even don’t realize just how sick of diapers I’m about to get.

10 years from now, I’m working a desk job in the city, and I volunteer at a radio station (I couldn’t give it up!). I didn’t meet my wife there, but she thinks it’s awesome that I have that- she listens and texts me whenever I play a song that she loves/hates. So in these couple of days, I try for life as normal, all the while anticipating. Since I was young, it was my main “life goal” to be a great husband and father…

Flash back to a long montage of when I was a little kid. It alternates between joyous and depressing. Childhood was great sometimes, and awful others. I don’t want to think about me as a little kid trying to cope with my crazy and dysfunctional biological family, but with that are great memories with my adoptive mom. As many different versions of me across the years explain, family is what you make it, not what you’re born into.

It’ll flash back to all of the romances in my life, up through my wife. This starts with Kindergarten, when I got “married” to the teachers daughter(!), includes all that high school awkwardness, and lots of complaining about my city’s dating scene.

One night, I’ll have trouble sleeping. From here we see the development of my narcolepsy (in high school), and all the tests I went through before we figured out what it was. Emphasis on my stubborn refusal to accept that there may actually be something medically wrong, and it’s something that better self-control won’t actually fix. The movie goes back in time when I realize this is just like when I was convinced that there was no way in hell that I needed glasses.

At work, I have a great idea for an equation to fix the predictive model I’ve been trying to make work, and I catch myself almost getting too involved in that and losing track of everything else (like my pregnant  wife!). Flash back to last-minute overhauls of projects in elementary school, endless tinkering through high school, and the sleepless nights spent in the radio station in college. Continue on to a huge fight with my wife because I got lost in my work again. Back to the Future/Present where I save and close.

…And so on and so forth. This movie will really hit all of the highlights, up and down. Decorating nurseries, getting my grandfather’s tools, making dinner and remembering little smartass me “making egg drop soup” by dropping eggs, the whole shebang. My first encounters with life, death, love, and sorrow: the point is, it’s the highlights of my life, as they tie into these nerve-wracking couple of days. 

Anyways, before people get too bored of reminiscing, “Echoes of Mine” from the above playlist starts playing (SERIOUSLY PLAY IT NOW), and I’m rushing into/through the hospital and I’m there with my wife because it’s about that damn time. Here there are lots of disjointed clips of Future-Present me, and lots of the highlights of what we’ve just sat through, at least one clip from every major part of my life. Then, I have the baby and the entire focus is on right now. Everything has led to this moment, and that’s what there is to focus on.

Life moves on, though, and the Every-Award-winning ending shows it. As I’m standing there with our new baby, the circle of life happens, and I instantly picture him growing up, in [some] of those same scenes that I was remembering me in. The future is coming, and Future Me is trying to picture what it’ll be like for the next in line.

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Better Life in 2023


Dear Diary,

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It is now April 23, 2023. Time Flies. I still remember the day I sat in Bertrand Library to imagine ten years later. After a whole day working in PricewaterhouseCoopers in Philadelphia, finally I am laying in my bed in Beijing. When I was in college, I was thinking if I could invent a magic door in Doraemon. It is a door that able to bring you to any places you want within a second. I could study or work in United States and go back home after finishing a day. Luckily, the door has already been invented and allows me to go back home everyday. This is the most exciting invention among these ten years.

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When I was in college, I hoped that people could utilize technology to benefit lives without damage the environment. I also hope that globalization could be developed based on social justice and human rights. Now in 2023, clean energies are widely used. For example, my car is powered by electricity instead of fossil fuel. The roof of my house is covered half by solar panel and half by my cute roof garden. Besides the solar panel on the roof, the community I am living is powered by wind power. Wind power was more popular in developed countries in Europe and United States but within recent ten years, the wind power is getting popular in China. Wind turbines are settled in the farmlands or near the beach. Farmers can still use the farmlands with wind turbines stand in their lands. Government subsidizes the use of wind power in order to fulfill the sustainable development around the country. However, the use of wind power is limited geographically. For example, wind turbine could generate more power in Beijing than in Yangzhou, where my parents are living.

 

Furthermore, when I took a class called “Business, Society, Government” in Bucknell ten years ago, I wrote a paper about the dark sides of food industry, especially the food safety problems behind the meat industry. I hope people could have more organic foods instead of industrialized foods. Today, in both United States and China, governments start to subsidize the organic foods, like vegetables and fruits. The meat industry is also controlled strictly by government.  Schools start to educate the idea of healthy diet and the disadvantages of junk foods to kids. The rate of obesity has dropped more than 30% among these ten years.

 

Finally, the uneven development brought by globalization is getting prohibited with frequent social movements that occurred. Apple has settled complete supply chain that allow workers in China to corporate with robots. In this case, the workloads are much smaller than before. The banana industries in Costa Rica are focusing more about the rights of local residents. For example, American companies offer fair payments and subsidies to employees and local communities in Costa Rica. At the same time, those multi-national corporations are more focusing on sustainable development in other countries. There are less irrational exploration of natural resources and more sustainable energy use occur.

 

 

Cry Me a River


Fuck, this post goes against everything I stand for. I don’t know where I am going to be in 10 years, or 5 years, or even next year. I DON’T WANT TO KNOW EITHER. I don’t want to think about life goals and accomplishments. My goal is to go with the flow, be spontaneous, and take advantage of every opportunity that comes my way and sounds interesting. Hence why I CURRENTLY HAVE SIX DIFFERENT JOBS/INTERNSHIPS while finishing this semester. Am I crazy? ABSOLUTELY. Do I love what I am doing? ABSOLUTELY. Do I have any idea where it will get me in 10 years? HELL NO.

One of my bosses that I have worked for on campus the last two years recently told me one of my best qualities is that I’m unpredictable and always on the go. She even said that she has no idea where I could possibly end up in just 5 years; something she can picture for just about all the students she interacts with. And she’s right! Cookie-cutter careers and lives don’t fit on me; I blaze my own trail!

I would love to go to a fortune teller or psychic to hear what they might say about my future and just laugh at the possibilities, but where’s the fun in actually knowing the future? That would take the adventure out of life. I can see myself having about 20 different jobs that diverge and converge in some general direction, forming the sort of career path that looks like this braided river system:

My Path ~ Braided River

I’ll probably be in some kind of sports/entertainment/events/management career in my early thirties, married at least once, chasing a couple of kids involved in a thousand activities like I always have been, and living in my sixth or seventh state or province (Canada would be nice). I’ll probably still be reffing hockey, seeing as that’s about the most consistent thing in my life thus far (going on seven years!) and still have an extremely short attention span and a love for country music and hatred for technology dependence.

Foggy River at Sunrise

Even though my future is about as clear as a river in the early
morning, I can tell you for sure what I won’t be doing in 10 years:

1. Rowing competitively

2. Regularly working 9-5

3. Living at home

4. Acting like I’m still in college

5. Doing anything creative

Imagination was never my strong suit. I learn the rules of the game and play them unconventionally well, but I’m not about to make up my own. I’ll find my own way to “success” and I’ll be happier than you. Guaranteed.

Dilemmas of a Professor, 2023


As I wave my ID at the door to the Dondero building, a curiously eclectic structure of super-cool swooshing doors embedded in the hegemonic red brick of the campus, my handheld bings in its Obi-Wan Kenobi voice, a little hack my ex-student Alex gave me.  The university requires us to have on our handhelds the mess-comm systems so that whenever we enter any building, priority level 4 mess-comms are pushed through whatever filters or such we have.  When the master summons…  Sir Alec Guinesses’ voice intones: “You have an urgent mess-comm.  Please report to the Provost’s suite ASAP.”

Shit.  Like I need to cross paths again with Calindra Soares again.  She is still fuming at me for sharing the memos on health care costs with the student bloggers.  Continue reading