Random thoughts that I’d like to get out in text so I can go back to studying

1. Haircut – If you didn’t know, I got a haircut recently. The new style is a side-swept comb over with a part on my left (your right). I tried this half-heartedly last December-February, but this time, I decided really train my hair. Recently, some people have noticed and mentioned to me, “Oh Derek, you got a haircut.” My first response will be, “Oh Thank you.” Obviously, that’s an awkward situation. I think the ‘thank you’ comes as a reflex. I don’t think I’m expecting a compliment as much as I am anticipating it. I’m not sure if I’m seeking a compliment or want people to notice (I’m sure part of me does), but this same dialogue has occurred a handful of times already. Haha, its just been awkward, maybe more so for me than for the other person. Maybe not.

2. Girlfriend – Random thought, but I do want a girlfriend who can dress me. I don’t think my fashion sense is terrible, but I don’t think it’s very good either. Up until maybe this past summer, I was consistently a khaki shorts/black basketball shorts sort of guy, and suddenly, I became self aware (for better or for worse). I don’t want to invest an exorbitant amount into fashion, but I believe there’s value in presentation. Back to the girlfriend thing – haha, generally speaking, a girlfriend who can help me out in this area would be great. Lately, I’ve envisioned myself living out of a Jcrew/Levis/AmericanApparel magazine, but I certainly don’t have the means to afford it. I would put all my pride aside even if she treats me like Ygrette treats John Snow.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pkyy57iMaB0

3. Regifting – Tis the season of Christmas which means it’s the season of gifts. Part of that implies more secret santa and white elephant gift exchanges. The other part of that implies re-gifting past christmas gifts that have been stowed away and gone unused. And finally, these gifts can be given new life through a new white elephant gift exchange. I’m mainly writing about it because this christmas, I’m taking part in both a Secret Santa and a White Elephant gift exchange, and I’ve been frantically trying to pick the right gifts, while trying to divy up the remaining “unused” gifts for other people who I actually think they’d be appropriate for. I do love giving gifts, but re-gifting just doesn’t feel the same. It’s okay though. Whether you have much wealth or simply meager means, a gift is still a gift, and I find value in the person who dedicates their time to finding a gift for me. I just hope some of my recipients feel the same way.


Glasses or Contacts?

Ironic, since this post is coming from someone who is in optometry school haha

About a month ago, I went in for an appointment at the university eye institute at UHCO (where I go to school), and the attending mentioned, “I wonder why Derek doesn’t wear contacts more often?” To give you a minor background, I have rarely worn contacts since sophomore year of college. It has just been easier (or lazier) to throw on a pair of glasses. I’ll generally wear contacts only when I exercise or play sports, so I have been ordering daily one time use contacts for about half a decade now.

Whether it is now intentional or not, I’ve suddenly found myself favoring contacts over glasses. Perhaps it was what the attending said — seems to imply that contacts are generally more attractive/common/normal/acceptable than glasses are. The implications are endless, and I never got around to asking him why he said it. Of course, I’m not offended either. The attending is someone I’m on a first name basis with and someone I respect. Either way, I’ve worn contacts for half of this week, and I even feel like I’ve gotten a confidence boost out of it.

What he said (why doesn’t he wear contacts) will probably stick with me for a long time. Long ago, my friend Cathy and I decided to define this as a subtle nuance – something small, possibly negligible to the conscious mind, but will stick with you for a long time and affect your decision making. The difficult part is realizing that it is a subtle nuance and trying to isolate it. So for those of you who are just following my blog, that’s what a #subtlenuance is.

Photo Tags, Instagram, Cell Phone Cameras, and Memories

I was perusing my Facebook photo tags earlier this morning, and I realized something odd – I have less photos than normal. It took only a moment for me to realize close to 400 photos were missing because I blocked someone recently, and their photo tags went with them. But, that’s not the point of this post.

What really caught my attention was a lack of photo-tags in general. I don’t know what it is, but ever since the invention of smart phones, I’ve found that there are less and less photos being taken. The once doted Canon Elph cameras that every  “cam-whore” wanted to hold in their purses are simply expensive paper weights that sit on shelves. Cameras, real cameras, only really see the light when people go on vacations, and even then, people choose to use their smart phones. The only growing market for cameras are for DSLRs; sadly, the average consumer doesn’t know how to use them. Good photography have been overshadowed by instagram filters and photogridding. And worst of all, people take photos to share with their friends what they’re doing at that moment rather than to commemorate something stupendous that happened today that you can look back on in the future. 

It’s really cultural. It’s what all my friends do, and I’m not in a position to criticize them for doing it. I have an instagram too, but I hardly use it. My facebook is flooded with tags to low quality grainy instagram photos that just nag at me. I just miss the days where photo taking was something you did for yourself, and not for others. I miss good pictures where the flash actually brightened the photo instead of highlighting dark spots with a flash-light-like flash. I wonder how many people would still record moments in their lives with their camera phones if facebook/instagram immediate sharing didn’t exist. Life was simpler even two years ago. 

I really respect one of my friends for her 365 day photo challenge. I can’t remember why she decided to start it, but I actually see life when I look through all of these posts. There is purpose, and purpose demands respect. Check it out: http://synergism.wordpress.com/tag/366-photo-challenge/

10 things about you

Doing it again. This one was with the help of Josh and Stephen. 

1. I like to think that I’m capable of doing anything. It isn’t meant to be boastful, but instead I feel like nothing is impossible. 

2. I prefer never paying money to watch animated movies in movie theaters. I feel like it’s a waste of money because there isn’t any real acting potential to be seen in an animated theater. 

3. I understand the value of being prompt, but I also understand the value of understanding culture. Therefore, I will never show up any earlier than late because asian time dictates that it is preferable, however disrespectful, to show up on time. 

4. I highly respect engineers, science majors, and architecture majors. I won’t say anything about the rest. 

5. I’ve been totally hooked on the 12-5am buy fries and drink and get free burger deals at mcdonalds for the past semester.  I’ve probably spent 100 dollars there this semester. 

6. I broke my phone with my aggie ring. 

7. I have difficulty giving criticism because the holy spirit works in me. I have difficulty giving constructive criticism because He doesn’t work in me enough

8. If I feel like I can’t become moderately competent at something, most of the time (without solid encouragement), I won’t partake in it. 

9.  At this point, there’s only one thing in my college career where I made a decision that I could take back.

10. I like to make lists. 

associating independence with maturity

ryan’s a genius. I ever really noticed it before, but this is something I do. Or at least, this is something I believe. Generally speaking, I associate people who are independent as people who have mature, even referring to their spiritual maturity. As a result, people who are less independent and seek more encouragement from others are less mature in my eyes. 

I tend to respect the latter less. Ryan says it can be a good or a bad thing. hmm


If I use this word to describe you or someone else, I mean it not to ridicule your character, but describe how childish or naïve you are. Naturally, you would probably take offense to this anyway, but it is the best way to describe how most of us are. An immature person is someone who clearly isn’t exhibiting adult-like mature behavior. It’s really interesting how this word has evolved over the past month since Jonathan first defined the word “immature” without all the associated judgements of immature people.

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three weeks ago

I was at anthology.

Each year, God adds another volume of my life to the collection. This year, He would tug at my heartstrings about the issue dearest to me. Here are several take home messages that I got from Anthology. If you’re reading this blog, then chances are, I told you about this blog. If I told you about this blog, then chances are I care deeply about you and consider you a speed-dial friend (yeah, I said it).

  • Choosing to answer the painful questions. Choosing to engage in the pain is choosing to engage in God. “Tell it truthfully, tell it honestly.” – TJ Poon
  • TO GUYS: “In us is also a good and healthy ache for women. How has sexual sin affected our lives? Lust is pleasure without commitment.”
  • There is no freedom from sexual sin except through christian community and confession.
  • Bad Theology = something bad happens, and we say God has a purpose for this.
  • “Forgiveness is a long process, and it sells grievances short when we forgive too quickly.” – Tommy Dyo
  • “It’s impossible to know why, so I started focusing on what. ‘What is God trying to tell you?'” – TJ Poon

If you were there, then you you’ll probably get these messages inside and out. If you know me, you would understand very clearly why each of these bullets is a bullet. But, if you are neither of these, then I welcome you to ask me! 🙂

God never ceases to amaze me.

God, continue to teach me to love the way you love.