Good News and Bad News

Why do these get paired up frequently?

I’ll start with the bad.

Four weeks ago I had a terrible cold, and I was so sick that I took a day off of work, which I don’t ever do. Because of the terrible cold, I called my assigned doctor’s office to set up my very first appointment ever with Dr. Vasquez. His earliest workable timeslot was three weeks later. Needless to say, my cold was a moot point by then, so Dr. Vasquez just gave me a routine physical.

A week earlier, at my aunt’s house in Tracy, she checked my blood pressure (three times out of shock), and it was a whopping 155/110.

Alarmed, I made sure to bring it up to Dr. Vasquez, so he took my blood pressure, and was also shocked at the 156/108 that he got. He said that a normal guy my age wouldn’t get higher than a 130/90. I asked him what the implications were, and he said that high blood pressure could lead to strokes, heart failure, kidney failure, and other unpleasant things. And because both of my parents have high blood pressure, I probably have it too solely from genetics, and the only thing I can do is take blood pressure controlling medication for the rest of my life.

I don’t like pills, and the thought of taking a pill every day for the rest of my life starting at the young age of 24 is…stressful.

The doctor and I came up with a “compromise” because I insisted that I did not want to take pills for the rest of my life, and that it may be a dietary issue or something else. I have to take out sodium from my diet as much as I can, and he would re-check my blood pressure in three weeks. If my blood pressure is still high, then I have high blood pressure caused by genetics. If my blood pressure is lower, then the good Lord is watching over me and my blood.

Wish me and my blood some luck…

Now the good news.

Despite the bad news, and my odd current health condition, I had decided earlier in the year that I was going to run across the Golden Gate Bridge. So on Sunday afternoon, after a delightfully relaxing day of sleep and cleaning, I drove with Jed to Golden Gate. He came along to take scenic pictures, and provide moral support.

Rey & Jed at the Golden Gate Bridge

The day was sunny and gorgeous with plenty of tourists around, and the run across the bridge didn’t seem that long, especially with stunning views of the Marin headlands, Alcatraz, SF bay on the first leg, and beautiful scenes of the Presidio, Chrissy field, SF cityscape on my way back across. During my run and after my run, I couldn’t help but feel lucky to be living in such a beautiful and friendly city.

I ran 3 miles

Remember how I made a New Year’s goal to run across the Golden Gate Bridge? Well it’s almost the end of the year, and I have not done that yet.

In preparation for the run, I decided I would run a little bit here and there, and today I ran a whole 3 miles!!! This is big! I’d never run 3 miles in succession before, and you know what? It wasn’t that hard.

So now I feel like I’m ready to run across the Golden Gate (it’s approximately 3 miles long), and will probably run it either this weekend or next… weather permitting, of course.

It’s that time of year again

College Summit time!!! I’m headed to the University of the Pacific in Stockton, which is about 1-2 hours away from San Francisco.

And this time I am a Writing Coach Coordinator, instead of a Writing Coach. Yes, the student has become the teacher. Well, no, not really. The teacher has become the teacher of the teachers, which should be an interesting new role for me.

Slowly I’m transferring my teaching to the adults in the work that I do. Here’s a sneak peak at the epiphany I had with BUILD and our need to change “business models.” I’m titling it: “Building high-touch into the BUILD community.”

In the past, only a few staff members were given the responsibility to build strong relationships with the students. That coupled with the small amount of students, and the small staff to student ratio, meant that high touch was a natural effect and model to follow.

As we grow in the number of students we serve in the Incubator and start to consider the scalability of our Youth Business Incubator model, we cannot continue to serve the students with the same “high-touch� model. I propose that we build the high touch model into the BUILD community.

Building high touch into the BUILD community would mobilize and equip students and mentors to work better with each other and use each other as resources. Staff would be involved in a more management and facilitation capacity. Not only is this model more scalable, it is a necessary shift in logic for the Incubator program to work with the amount of students that we are aiming to successfully serve.

Deep, I know. I’m creating a whole presentation and “lesson” for my staff on it. Facts and data are on their way!

Off to Stockton tomorrow! Peace

Midyear Check-in

I cannot believe half of 2006 is over.

I was revisiting my New Years Goals tonight just to check in and see where I was at in accomplishing my goals.

2. Go camping in a national park

I’m going to strike out the “national” and put “state.”

5. Meet new people
7. Mend past half-relationships
8. Go on more quality dates with quality people

Yes, yes and yes. It’s true.

In Progress:
1. Do something outdoorsy at least once a month

February – Hiking at Montebello Open Space Preseve
March – NYC (that counts! I did a lot of walking…haha)
June – Surfing
July – Camping at Sonoma Coast State Beach
January, April and May – I swear I did something, but I just didn’t do a good job of keeping track. Or maybe I didn’t do anything outdoorsy? haha

6. Read at least 10 new books in 2006

I’ve read 3 so far: Middlesex, Letters to Montgomery Clift, All Marketers are Liars

9. Play at least one sport per month

I’ve been pretty good about this by playing tennis with Sal, surfing, snowboarding, and hiking.

11. Find a hobby

Surfing might just have to be it. It was so dang fun.

12. Love more

I think I’ve been doing a good job of showing love. 😉

3. Run across the Golden Gate Bridge

The bridge is only 1.5 miles long, 3 miles roundtrip… I’ll do it soon.

4. Cuss less

I don’t think this one’s going to work out this year. Haha.

10. Finish Part 2 of my book, The Prediction

Again, I might have to table this…

So far so good. 6 more months till completion.

I like goals.

Who knew there were beaches near Sonoma?

Francis Sleeping on Sonoma Coast Beach

I didn’t.

Until the very last minute before 4th of July weekend. Sonoma Coast State Beach was literally the LAST available California campsite on

The last!

Everything else had been booked days, weeks, probably months in advance. Of course. I should have known not to last-minute plan for this camping trip.

[Note to self: Plan ahead. Make reservations further in advance.]

Alas, busy lives lead to procrastination, and there I was on Thursday, June 29, franctically searching for an open spot that wasn’t designated for handicap access.

Yes, it was spontaneous, and surprisingly it turned out really well. My brother came along, and Karla was supposed to, but uncharacteristically, she flaked the day that we left. Spontaneously, again, I had invited my tita Cecille, tito Roly, and cousins from Tracy the day before–I had a feeling Karla would flake. And in the very last minute, they also decided to come, so they met me and my brother at the campsite the evening of.

Check it out:
Tide pooling at Bodega Head
“Tide pooling” at Bodega Head with Carlo. Did you know that “tide pooling” is an officially sanctioned fun activity by the California State Parks Department?

Francis taking a picture at Bodega Head
Francis taking a picture at Bodega Head

A camping trip would not be complete without vienna sausages and spam
A camping trip would not be complete without vienna sausages and spam

Family Pic at Armstrong Redwood Grove
Family Pic at Armstrong Redwood Grove. The redwoods were only about 15 miles east of the beach, so we had to take a trip to hike through them.

Cousins at Armstrong Redwood Grove

Eating lunch at Garden Grill in Guerneville

The redwoods are over 300 years old...

We found a flat rock and sat

"Tide pooling"

Third World Inspired

1 : influenced, moved, or guided by Third World country immigrant behavior
2 : Affected by cultural stylings or nuances from developing countries

That big wooden spoon and fork on your wall is so Third World Inspired

Why don’t your parents like using the postal service?
Oh because they’re Third World Inspired.