Saturday, May 21, 2011

New Blog

After much deliberation, I have decided to transfer this blog over to Wordpress. It has more functionality and in particular it has a WP7 app. The new blog will also be linked to my Tumblr, where I'll be uploading pictures (since it has unlimited picture storage). I feel like I'm making this very complicated, but I guess that's what I do best. Thanks for reading/viewing. :D

Friday, May 20, 2011

May 20, 2011

I’m going to be experimenting with my camera a lot throughout the summer. I can’t decide if I should post them here or on my new Tumblr. (Thoughts on Tumblr as a photo blog? Any other websites I should consider using? I am trying to establish a photo blog for when I go to Hong Kong and want it to be easily accessible, nicely organized, etc.)

Anywhere, here are a couple from today. The original and then a filtered version.

2011-05-20 Flowers 0032011-05-20 Flowers 003 (Filtered)


2011-05-20 Flowers 0162011-05-20 Flowers 016 (Filtered)

(Click for full size)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Another Year Gone By...

Two years ago, we were still staring down those cramped hallways of PHHS trying to figure out where the hell life is taking us. It's pretty crazy how quickly time has passed as I can now say that I am halfway through my college experience, the proclaimed "best time of your life." These last two years have, to put it in a very clich├ęd manner, passed by in the blink of an eye. Yet, it amazes me every time I think about my growth as an individual. Change happens, but I think the change in my outlook on life and how I go about achieving my goals is well beyond what I could have expected.

I always say that going into college, I was certain that I wanted to be a finance major and working financial services. To be perfectly honest, however, I did not know nearly enough about anything going on in the world coming out of high school to be so certain. I think it was always just about putting myself in a position where I have to work hard to achieve a potential high reward. That and the fact that working with money meant working with numbers. I was so naive to think that understanding these two things meant I would put myself on a path to success and happiness. False. The path to success, for me at least, is to maintain curious and apply what I learn to understand how everything in the world fits in together. Being curious pushes me to look beyond the surface and learn the theory behind why or how something happens. I think that is going to be key to whether I succeed or fail. If I were in the position to offer anyone advice right now, I believe that I would say to read the newspaper every day to see what is going on around the world and find a specific sector that you find particularly interesting. Then analyze how other events throughout the world impact what you're interested in and tie everything together.

Beyond having this better understanding of what I am pursuing, I have found that my relationship with myself and with other people have changed significantly. While it is something I need to continue to work on, I undoubtedly feel more confident about myself. I think this again stems from better understanding the things that are happening around the world, but simply practicing to more assertive and carrying myself in a confident manner has carried me a long way. At the end of the day, having that confidence to feel like you know what you're talking about and that you will not screw up the task at hand is so important. This is something I did not have at all just barely two years ago. One thing in particular I really do need to work on still is to be able to formulate strong opinions about things. It takes me a little while to put together the facts and present an opinion. That's going to have to change as I start working and need to make an input.

And then there's the whole deal of my relationship with other people. College has brought out the independent, self-sustaining part of me. I was never one to rely on other people, but I was always very hesitant to do things without other people's approval. I've grown into the mentality of if I have the ability to do this myself, who gives a shit what other people think. There are many things that are nice to do in groups, but my new mantra is that the ability to work in teams will get you nowhere if you cannot work with yourself.

As I grew into myself and understood better who I am, my relationship with BC got better as well. For the better part of the last two years, I found myself picking apart every flaw of that institution and the people. At some point this year, something clicked and I made peace with it. I found a routine for myself if and when I didn't want to be bothered. For one thing, I have concluded that taking classes with friends is a bad idea. It becomes a burden and a distraction. Most importantly, I figured out a way to live with a large group of people. It's not preferable, but I can deal with it. And being able to deal with it, in addition to them realizing that I just like to do my own thing, made my relationship with my suitemates significantly better as the year came to a close. After a tumultuous relationship with Vincenzo during the first semester this year, I think we ended up even closer by the end of the year. It's funny how relationships progress, and I'm glad that mine with BC and the people there is better now.

It's funny how throughout everything I just wrote, I have been trying to talk a little bit about personal life (i.e. life outside of school and work) and it just hasn't worked. I guess that's the mode that I'm stuck in at this point. I think that this is a time to be working hard and setting myself up for a successful future, and that that success will naturally lead to a happy personal life. Anyway, I decided that there is no point for me to be dealing with people beyond what is necessary. It's really about keeping myself productive and not having distractions get in my way. I simply have one less thing to worry about compared to those who are so involved in others' businesses. I really don't care about who is hooking up with who and all the drama that is going on between certain people. It just isn't productive information and does not benefit me in anyway, so I just stay away from it. On a similar note, throughout high school and entering college, I felt so certain that if I had a girl friend, it would make life just so much better, happier. Over the past year or so, a lot of people around me have been pairing up and it's made me realized how much of a burden it seems to be. Why would I want to waste my time feeling obligated to someone else when that time could just as easily be spent on myself? I don't want to have to deal with pleasing someone or fitting myself around someone else's. It's just not what I need at this point. So please, please, please stop telling me to find a girlfriend. It's getting incredibly annoying and people need to understand my perspective. Thank you.

Bringing my sophomore year of college to a close, I came to realize that my life is pretty damn good. I have this tendency to drag myself down so that I can pull myself back up. Life does not come easily for me but when it's all said and done, I always find myself in a good place. After cleaning out my room for the past few days and suffering through bouts of nostalgia, I recalled all the times when I thought my life was going to shit. Yet, here I am doing pretty well for myself. I have a great internship for the summer doing exactly what I want to be doing on Wall St. I will be spending my fall semester in Hong Kong. I have money. I am in the best shape of my life. I have people around me who I want to have around. Things are going pretty well.

So, life, hit me with all you can. I will take you on. And I will win.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

30 Day Song Challenge

Let’s give this a try…

day 01 - your favorite song
day 02 - your least favorite song
day 03 - a song that makes you happy
day 04 - a song that makes you sad
day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere
day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
day 09 - a song that you can dance to
day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
day 11 - a song from your favorite band
day 12 - a song from a band you hate
day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
day 15 - a song that describes you
day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
day 19 - a song from your favorite album
day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
day 29 - a song from your childhood
day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Movies to Watch this Summer

This summer’s list of movies is so insanely impressive. I cannot wait!

  1. Thor
  2. Kung Fu Panda 2
  3. The Tree of Life
  4. X-Men: First Class
  5. Cars 2
  6. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  8. Captain America
  9. Cowboys & Aliens
  10. Moneyball

What’s the likelihood I actually watch all of these? I still have movies on this past year’s movie list that I haven’t had time to watch yet. Sad.

Oh, if anyone has any interest in watching a very very very good documentary, watch Inside Job. It was amazing.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


All my interviewing and applying for jobs and scholarships and whatnot has made me such an expert bullshitter. It’s quite useful…

Kim Kao: so im writing an essay to apply for a scholarship
Kim Kao: for studying abroad
Kim Kao: and i have to write why im applying fo rth efunds
Kim Kao: and idk what to write
Kim Kao: likee
Kim Kao: uh...i want $$
Kim Kao: should i mention how my brother studied abroad
Kim Kao: so it would help my parents financially?
Kim Kao: ;x
Vincent: probably not
Kim Kao: guh
Kim Kao: idk waht else to sayyyyyyy
Vincent: having the additional funding will allow you to take greater advantage of your experience there. it opens up the opportunity to explore the country more and, in doing so, allows you to be more assimilated into the culture and gain a better understanding of the people.
Kim Kao: you. are. aewsome.
Vincent: LOL
Vincent: (clearly i've done a few too many applications like this)

Kim Kao: i totally just copied that
Kim Kao: :P
Vincent: hahaha
Vincent: you didn't even elaborate on it?
Kim Kao: NOPE
Kim Kao: sounds perfect to me :D

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8, 2011

The day college started, I began believing that once I achieve happiness in my career and am fulfilled in that sense, everything else should fall into place. Sticking to the “plan” has been nothing less than a grueling effort. I took some time away from it last year, hoping to give the “fun” stuff of college a shot, and came away unsatisfied. Through it all, I have yet to find out where I belong. Trying to be a college student just felt like a sad effort and terribly hypocritical as I criticize those who fall into that lifestyle. Yet, sitting here today, I continue to question myself if pushing myself to the max is worth it.

Putting myself through this has left me feeling disconnected to the world. I don’t give a shit about the people around me for the most part and the things they do with their lives would be a major distraction for me to pay any attention to. Strangely, I’ve found myself to be more of a free spirit. I want to do everything on my own, and not have to be held back by another person. I am obligated to care about only my own well-being. Even worse, I don’t feel happy spending time with most people anymore. It almost always seems like a waste of time. I don’t gain any marginal value from it, so why bother?

So anyway, back to the point of this rambling. My thoughts are that a fruitful, happy career will lead to good things in all other aspects. The people I mesh best with are those who have similar interests and have similar goals in mind as I do. It would behoove me to get myself into my desired position (investment banking analyst for me) and be around these people basically around the clock. And in turn, being around these people would result in being happy elsewhere.

It all comes down to this. When analyzing an investment, you have to look at your horizons; how long down the line do you expect this investment to be earning a return. In this case, I am working towards a successful future 20-, 30-, 60- or more years down the line in all aspects of life. This requires putting down the work and making this sacrifice.

I think this makes sense.

Just another explanation about why I do why I do. I get questioned about this a lot by pretty much everyone.