I am a Moron

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So, it had become apparent to me last night that I had a certain sum of money waiting for me at paypal, an online banking system, that I had not utilized.  In other words, I have had a few friends and people in my close circle donate money to help fund my career as a writer (since before I left) and some money recently too, and I thought it automatically deposits into my bank account.  Well, it doesn’t!  You have to press a button to release the funds and transfer.  You got me!

Now, I have an extra cushion and have learned to be more resourceful with my money.  Maybe it was a good thing after all, but I can’t help feeling like an ignoramus when I half-starving at some points and conserving EVERY resource when I had money left over, however, knowing how I am, I probably would have ended up spending it on candy bars or something.  All worked out for the better.

So while I am waiting for the funds to transfer (my car got declined twice on Friday night), and I’m relatively stranded in Castroville (my commutes consist of parking lot movement, and to and fro Burger King and my parking spot at night) I bought myself an egg and cheese muffin for $1 at Bk this morning so I can bum off their internet.  Apparently, this worker could not wrap their brains around the fact that a sausage and cheese and egg muffin costs $1, but somehow an egg and cheese muffin rings up as $3!  That blows my mind, but after talking her through it about 4 times she finally got it.  In the meanwhile, some impatient person behind literally started honking: have people in this country become so impatient and hungry for BK that they have to rudely honk on an order?  You’ll get to stuff yourself with unhealthy food soon enough, in the meanwhile, be quiet have some manners!

Have a great day!

Pleasure and a Weekend

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The past three weeks have been quite a trip:  panic, desperation, hunger, and eventually some resolution.  So what did I learn?  The value of a dollar, the value of gas and how to save it, and the resourcefulness of the mind when pressed towards desperation yet not wanting to give in.  It has been a trip.

I have been selected for two jobs now: editing a novel and proofreading a resume.  However, I may not accept the first one due to logistical reasons.  Either way, performing this type of work is so soulful for and reminds me that it is worth the journey and pain and growth along the way.

I relaxed this weekend, because that is something I promised myself: weekends off even when I was job hunting.  The body and mind need the rest and productivity needs it in order to stay high.  This weekend I have only rested and practiced martial arts.  Life is good.
I am sitting in my car now outside a Burger King while my laptop is being charged from the cigarette converter – don’t worry, the battery won’t run out.  I have two tuperware containers full of clothes to my right, a cooler on the passenger side back seat and another tuperware container on the driver’s side back seat full of canned foods, and camping equipment.  My life is good.  I’m relaxed, and carefree and watching an Anime called Hajime No Ippo.

My life coach Ted has given me direction and now my daily schedule includes being in bed before 10pm and I somehow wake up around 5am or earlier (sometimes 3am, 3:30am, or 4am) and after some morning rituals I’m ready to go.  Be free to contact me if you are ever in a need of a life coach:  chingyinwriting@gmail.com  I totally recommend him.  He’s helping me make some changes in my life and the way I see myself and my situation.

Relaxing, watching my favorite anime, talking with friends online, eating Walmart brand pop tarts, and watching reruns of the Wonder Years and maybe playing chess is part of my little effort to be an Epicurean: living life as if pleasure were the main aim.  This doesn’t mean the pleasure of the senses nor a hedonistic or over the top existence, but merely a life of small pleasures, friendship, and enjoyment of what life has to offer and not being afraid to pursue them or enjoy them.

Have a great day!  I see a bright future, strength and clarity in my character, and vigilance against any sabotaging forces.  Let’s make this work!  😀

The Drought has Ended!

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I had moved to California for a month and 4 days today in order to pursue a career as a writer and editor.  After countless, sweaty hours searching for jobs in my sauna-of-a-car and continuing on in the dark without a promise in mind, I have finally earned my first official paid gig from http://www.elance.com as an editor/proofreader for someone’s novel.

I am so thankful.  As hungry and desperate as I am, I was willing to become five times hungrier and more desperate to make this effort work.  Of course, the deal has not been finalized yet, but if it is then it would mean living off of $2-5 a day and taking showers at a 7-11 twice a week will no longer be a reality . Granted, I am well-fed, happy, inspired, and living off of Central California grapefruits, artichokes, and avocados for an inexpensive fare – I have that to be thankful for.  Also, I am surrounded by three very sparsely populated beaches that have hawks, cranes, seals, and dolphins.  I cannot be luckier.

In a way, I will miss this hunger and desperation because the resourcefulness and work ethic I’ve acquired from this period of time has been deep, inspiring, and a great lesson of operating under panic and crisis situations.  While my way of life is not sustainable and I was soon ready to give up on: living in California, living on writing, or being homeless in general (last night, I thought that I identified myself as a person that happens to be homeless versus a homeless man, however, as I went to bed last night in my car… I couldn’t help to notice my sticky skin and apparent body odor in the car – I was more homeless than I thought and feeling more ‘homeless’ by the day).

I will try my best to ensure that my efforts, move and hunger has not been in vain.

Here are some quotes I made up:

It never rains in Southern California, but it does in Central California!  (it actually did sprinkle twice this week).

While one author (was it von Goethe?) said “Experience is simply the name we give to our failures”, I’d like to counter with “Failure is just the name we assign when we give up.”  Not succeeding is not failure, changing life directions is not failure, and not giving in to lack of success declines/denies the possibility of perceived failure or the emptiness of lack of success.

Lastly, the Medicine Buddha, and God is great.  I’d like to thank my mentors (especially Dr. Lee) and good friends for all their help (especially Frank, Alexandra, Zhibo, William, Wamble, Roland, Shao, my mechanic and mentor Minh of MQ Auto in MD, and  special shout out to Dennis O.).  I would also like to thank Mr. Bregman, Ms. Long, and Ted S. for their guidance.  Thank you to Mike S. and Mike L.  So very much obliged and thankful!  😀  Thank you to the strangers who have helped me along the way including Bart & Jacob of Pampa, TX, Robert S. of Riverside, CA, random man at Pilot who offered me a burrito, fruit, and water for no reason, Jose at Giant Aritchoke fruit stand in Castroville , CA, Jesus at Gonzalez Auto Repair at Castroville, CA,Joanna of Boost Mobile, and the manager at BK in Castroville, CA who helped photograph my ID.
Have a great day!  😀

9.12.14 – Another Day

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Today has been a humdrum day. I got up pretty early and made some strides on the website http://www.elance.com . That’s becoming my favorite website, although http://www.guru.com may be a competitor. I’m now a member elance and textbroker, but some of the assignments on textbroker are really hum drum and boring – also, why would I want to spend an hour of my life researching something I don’t care about for $3?

I’m indebted to some of the mechanics that have helped me out in the area. In fact, today as I was about to fix my headlight and headlamp, the mechanic said he doesn’t do body work. He referred me to EK Elite Auto Repair, and the guy helped me bang out the dented fender and fix the grill. He placed in the lamps and also he told me the lamps came with lights so that I should return the lights I bought to get extra money (bulb). He also refused a $5 tip – I like to give service men good tips especially when they do a great job. He told me to: “Save it for gas, bro.” I’m so touched.

Here’s a “hitlist” of pple I need to thank further in the future:

– Joanna at Boost Mobile in Arizona
– Gonzalez at Gonzalez auto repair
– Salvador at Precision Auto Repair for fixing my windows
– Hector at EK Elite Auto Repair for fixing my dented fender and headlights
– Robert A. S. of Riverside for giving me honey bun pasteries and talking to me about life, God, and his family – we met at Ventura Ranch California
– Random guy who gave me cantelopes and bottles of water at Pilot Gas Station

I’m at Moss Landing State Beach now. The seals are laying around the lake with their heads and tails above the water and the body submerged. They seem to be chilling and relaxing and basking in the carefreeness of nature. Also, they appear to have no natural predators in this environment; beautiful. Also, there’s something different about watching large animals (are seals mammals?) in the wild; they don’t care about humans and have a freedom and nonchalance about them that they don’t have in captvitiy (ie – at the zoo). Awesome stuff. Time to do some meditation and writing on the beach. This area is so nice, although the evenings are still so cold. Why are California evenings so cold?

So I meditated on the beach. After about 25 mins of sitting meditation I suddenly felt sleepy and rolled over and slept on the beach. Despite it being a windy and cloudy day, the beach sand was warmed from the sun from the summer season. It was warm, soft, and welcoming and I lay in it for 2-3 hours. When I woke up I did some standing meditation and some martial arts kicks and punches. Also, it was interesting that when I lied on the sand the wind blew right over me but didn’t make me cold. It was when I sat up and stood up that I felt the wind. There was a myriad of different species of birds around, and some were singing to me in different songs. Once I saw a seagull within 5 feet of me when I meditated a few days ago. I enjoyed watching the pelican like creatures flying in the airing and diving beak first into the water to catch fish. I also enjoyed watching the formations of flying birds – it was a perfect boomerang shape or “V”. They were flying only a foot or less over the water. So beautiful.

It also occurred to me just how surprising happy and healthy I’ve been feeling lately. Regardless of living in a car, having very little as far as money or material wealth, and having an uncertain future I look and feel vibrant, healthy, and full of life.
I’m working on getting an eBook published in the next month or two also. I’m writing it right now:
http://www.freedomwithwriting.com/freedom/uncategorized/how-to-write-and-publish-a-book-in-one-week/

This link was one of the inspiring factors of writing it. Of course I have to write about this trip at some point to because it has already changed my life forever and if I can create ripples to help others make better decisions and happier/healthier decisions in their lives so be it and that will really make me happy and joyful.  I think when you lead a life you’re supposed to, especially if it’s meaningful and helpful to life around you, you are given wings and angels look after you.
Have a great day!

New Blog Format and the Past Week

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Well, so much has happened in the past week I don’t know where to start.  First, I’m thinking I will start making smaller blog posts as some of them take so long to write (1-3 hours), and I’ve been feeling a bit burnt out on the inside while writing them and experiencing what I’m experiencing in life.

This week has seen a few changes; some were setbacks and some were big steps forward.  Against my will, my parents deposited money into my account because they were concerned.  However, honestly, I would do the same if I were a parent (most likely or being an educator I’d find a way to make the situation a lesson etc.).  It’s what they do.  I view my poverty and my life situation as my own problem and my problem to overcome.  However, it would be plain stupid to refuse money or to give it to others more in need as it can go towards constructive causes.

I fixed some of the things on my vehicle this week: fixed the hanging muffler pipe – welded it back to the base in the center (man does a detached muffler pipe make the car screech and groan and drive slowly!) and replaced the passenger side window.  Actually, the right head light still works, it was only the right blinker that did not work.  Somehow, in between the last time I checked and the present the headlight started working – the whole fear of the police was very much in my head.  How funny!

I’ve been moving from parking lot to parking lot, visiting a few beaches and meditating on them (namely Marina Beach and Moss Landing State Beach), and really trying to focus on my writing career (I’m now officially a member of two contracting sites where clients put assignments down and writers pick them up: textbroker and elance.  I also found a funny article on “how to live in a car” haha:

http://www.wikihow.com/Live-in-Your-Car

I’m having difficulty registering on iwriter).  I’m also figured on a schedule as I’m basically now entirely self-employed: the mornings go to job hunting and fixing my profile on my websites (I’ve also subscribed to hubpages and will subscribe to guru), the afternoons go to blogging (medium level task and medium level creativity), and evenings go to book writing (I’m co-authoring a fantasy novel and started writing an advice/self-help book).

I’m also figuring out WordPress formatting/site building on the side and reading up on how to write, publish, and sell ebooks.

That’s basically my whereabouts in a nutshell.

Very quickly:

Moss State Landing Beach: wow!  Very little to no people on it.  A bit windy, but clean and empty and beautiful and expansive.  They have vegetation in and around it that they fence off; there are also a few small lakes on the other side of the sane.  There were seals, wild SEALS in them laying around, playing, scartching themselves on logs etc.  AMazing, and also there were little pelican looking grey birds and a variety of other birds – so beautiful.  I’ve also seen groups of dolphins jumping out of the water and playing near the shore at Marina Beach and Moss State Landing Beach.

Lastly, 10 grapefruits for $1 and 7 mini-avocados (with smaller seeds so they almost have as much meat as a regular avocado) for $1 is a deal and a steal when you’re in Monterey/Santa Cruz.  There are so many farms.  Also, I think most Mexican Americans have been very friendly and very nice people to observe based on my experiences here.  Apparently, Castroville is the Artichoke Center of the World and I tried some deep fried artichokes at a produce market next to “The Giant Artichoke” restaurant (which apparently have terrible reviews on Yelp) – they sell 5 chicken nugget-sized deep-fried artichoke pieces for $1 !   I ate $3 worth the other day, it was so delicious and melted in my mouth while bieng perfectly crisp on the outside, and i had the worst food coma for 3 hours!  I could barely move.

Anyway, I’ve also had some sessions with this life  coach I met along the way in Grant, New Mexico.  His name is Ted and we talk once a week.  He’s helping me direct my energies toward the right path and helping me to undo some negative or tricky patterns in my everyday life.  He’s a great guy.

I’m thankful for all that I have.  I may have little, probably the least I’ve ever had in my life – but I’m so happy and blooming with energy and vitality and excitement.

I think I can really make this work.

Have a great day!  😀

Confidence

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 I understand that living off the grid, living off a measly salary, and moving from place to place sounds dangerous and even a bit crazy. I also know that family and friends are concerned for me. A few days ago, after traveling across the country and then drive from city to city in California, I finally realized that: my money was running out simply from using up gas and I had NOT written even 20 hours worth of work in a 3 week span. Free camp sites no longer exist in California and every damn campground costs $35 and up per night versus other states which usually start at $10 per night at a state campground. So what to do? My options were few, but I hit the panic button last Friday. I was hoping so miracle would happen, that I was doing God and Heaven’s work by doing what I felt I was meant to do; electricity flowing through my system and an almost flawless cross country trip had ensued. However, I was put in a corner and was hoping:

– A rich sponsor would appear out of the blue and fund my trip.

– I would stumble upon a free or very cheap campground as the last ones I found were: Royal Oaks County Park (only allows youth groups and boyscouts to camp), Mount Madonna (in Santa Clara County: $40 a night), and Veteran’s Memorial Park ($24 a night).

– Someone would take me or offer me residence

– A magic job would drop out of the sky

Instead, I had a panic attack in the parking lot and considered my options:

– Quit the trip, and drive home to Maryalnd with a nice story.

– Move to another, less expensive state like New Mexico or Arizona and find a roof there and perform my work there

– Keep looking for campgrounds (which I ended up doing for another hour and then ended up in the same place)

– Have a nervous breakdown and quit and do nothing

– Find work or part time work to support my writing

– Stay in the state, no matter what, and ham it the best way I can while living on very meager livings. This is what I chose to do: live in a car, use Wi-Fi hotspots to write and apply to jobs, buy a cigarette output converter so I can charge my laptop from my car, and then shower at Pilot Gas Stations every day or every other day. I would move place to place every day or two so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting hassled by cops, but I’ll still clean up and look presentable so I won’t attract any more attention than I need. I will make it, and make it my way no matter what.

Once I made my decision, I was greatly relieved as from Tues-Thurs I had driven from Mountain View to Gualala (north) to Independence/Albudeen and to Monterery/Santa Cruz. I had not slept much, I had done a lot of soul searching (a freakin’ lot), and I was tired and weary on the road. I was also pissed off that I had hardly written a word in that time period, that I had not found a landing spot, and my money was running out purely on gas money – I had not even camped from Tues-Thursday evening because I was so keen on finding camping spots. Apparently, the California State Park budget is not doing so well so killing free camping or jacking up prices might have been their solutions. Greed greed greed. Profit and money rule every decision; it’s horrible.

So here I am.

So why I did choose to do this? Because I have complete and utter confidence in my ability and potential. That I can crawl out of a space if given the chance and that starting from nothing and nowhere is a great place to start. There is a Ukrainian proverb I once read:

“A hungry wolf is stronger than a satisfied dog.”

I find this to be true and I’m going to work it out the best I can with all my ability and all my passion.
Also, a friend of my named Isis sent me this link which inspired me even more about a web developer in Japan who lived very poorly in a poor apartment district for about a year while getting mentoring from a former Yakuza (mob) member:

http://ignition.co/48

Also, I read: you know what pirates used to do when they docked on a shore?  They sunk their boat.  Why?  Because then they had no escape.  This is what I’m doing.  I understand the risks: it’s a calculated risk, I can accept failure, and I accept any responsibility for this not working out.   

Great story.

Have a great day!

Cop’s Paradise: Salina 5-0

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So I’ve escaped another near death experience.  Last night, after a pleasant day at the beach, I decided to hit the Wi-Fi in the area so I went to Burger King.  I ate there and used their Wi-Fi.  Afterward, I used their internet, but of course after a while I got the evil eye.  I decided to move on to Starbucks next door even though it was dark, and driving with one headlight at night is pretty scary around cop-infested waters!

The second I pulled into the parking lot there were 2-3 squad cars and the cops were chillin’ outside with coffees in their hands!  Not to mention my loud motor caused all of their heads to turn casually toward me.  As soon as I could I turned off my head lights a split second before pulling into spot: they saw everything: the right exposed window and zero headlight.  I was a dead man.  I panicked, so I casually slipped out into the store while two of the cars left and one left behind.  I could hear him waiitng.  While drinking my coffee, I decided I was just gonna fess’ us and go to him and tell him let’s save the trouble of you pulling me over, what are the consequences?  Here’s my license.  I also had the feeling that he might do the following:  check my MD tags for any criminal records and then leave.  However, the shop closed within 15 minutes of my entering!  The guy just needed to wait a few minutes and I was a dead man!  When I cam out of the parking lot, the man was gone!  Hallenujeh!  🙂

I decided I was going to visit the local library parking lot for some time before going to the motel parking lot to sleep:  I know, I’m grimey!  😀  So I get there and hang out about 1.5 hours to complete my profiles and qualifications for iWrter, Textbroker, and eLance.  ALL of the websites need some kind of verification process that just won’t pass for me: iWriter my Maryland address doesn’t work, Textbroker they need to judge one piece of my writing before ranking me and allowing me to accept jobs – I submitted it last Monday but then they required a proof of citizenship because they have a lot of foreign applicant trolls, and then eLance won’t accept my paypal E-maill account.  Fun stuff!

After about 45 minutes a cop pulled into the parking to check things out.  I just continued watching my movie and pretended nothing was up despite being the only car in the lot.  I got the search light, the flashlight from behind, and  of course the inevitable conversation: at least he speared the siren.  That thing scares me!  So intiimdating!  It was actually a nice Scottish or Irish man as he had a thick accent, but was very polite and said he was just checking things out.

He then asked me if I had any criminal record and said I can do what I had to do, that he let another cop know I was here so it was okay, but I couldn’t sleep here.  I told him I understood that and said thank you.  Then I worked for another hour and moved onto Castroville, which is between Salina and Marina.  Back to the beach later today because it is so nice!  My face is all tanned and sunburnt from yesterday’s beach nap.  Let’s not get another burn, as my skin will fall off!  No more skin on this ugly mug!  

Have a great day!