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My Company Launched!

In another string of good news this month, the company I’m running had our first official product launch. Nine months of hard grueling work finally paid off and I’m exited for this new venture. I have high hopes and this quite possibly will be my ticket to greater fortunes and a new lifestyle. That’s fancy talk for: I’m going to fucking make a lot of money.

Speaking of money, I applied for a SBA grant. After hearing a friend of mines who runs his own business was approved for a cool $10K, I said fuck it and went for it. Worst that can happen is I get a fraction of that, but honestly — free fucking money. You know the saying the rich get richer? I see it now. I’ve officially gone full circle. Free money is the best shit there is.

There feels like a lot of bragging here but I deserve it. Anyone who doesn’t like it, well, tough luck. Or better yet as my ex would say: that’s too bad. As much I want it feel the pain the rest of America is feeling with BLM, police brutality, or whatever the typical Millennial or Gen Z-er is fighting for on the left these days, their priorities are not my priorities.

I can 100% say that anyone who is down on their luck in life should have the capacity to dig themselves out of the hole. Because every action lead them into that predicament, they should be the ones who get themselves out.

I’m on a fucking roll. Later world.

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I Passed on a Condo

A week or two ago, I got the chance to take a look at a condo for a cool $390,000. Honestly, it was nice property in a very desirable part of town where old money is prevalent and the streets are lined with trees. Was it enjoyable? Most definitely. Did I snatch it up? No. Unfortunately, it was underwhelming. This place was on the market for several months now and the price has dropped four other times according to Zillow.

The realtor seemed anxious — a bit desperate. I don’t blame them. It’s the wild wild west out here in Los Angeles and getting potential buyers in this climate is slim to none. People who have missed rent for the past few months will be met with mass evictions once July is over. Everyone is counting on a rent freeze or a second round of stimulus checks, but I highly doubt it. Online gossip is just that — fiction.

Doing the standard 20% down payment would mean I need just $78,000 liquidated from all my holdings to call it mine and not deal with the bullshit that comes with extra mortgage insurance. While I could have used the government’s first time home buyers program, honestly — it sucks. The interest rates are higher and the extra mortgage insurance does nothing for your equity. I can see why it’s attractive for many buyers. With as little as 3% down, you’re in. There’s always a catch though.

This in my opinion makes no sense. Putting down so little for a higher interest rate and insurance every month doesn’t give a lot of confidence you have all your finances together — or more bluntly — you can even afford a place. Take what you will of this, but it sounds like an awfully quick way to have yourself scrounging for money every month to make the payment.

Fuck that shit.

I digress. I’m in no rush and the real estate market here looks like it’s cooling off for once after several years of exponential gains. Patience is key. Timing is everything. I have a very large number of assets invested in a real estate in a trust. While risky, I’m certain the gains out weigh the potential for losses. The government tightened up requirements for home buyers, which makes a second real estate collapse the likes of 2008 very unlikely.

Until next time. Later world.

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I Want It (Now)

Anyone plan goals for the beginning and the middle of the month? I had one goal so far — run at least twice a day every Saturday and Sunday. I feels good to get in the miles and I have a new found appreciation for how well kept my local park is. It’s spotless. With the middle of the month approaching, I feel I’m at odds with myself. Simply put it, I’m out of ideas. Should I break a habit, take up a hobby, or reinvest for the bazillionth time?

Short term goals are somewhat easy in my opinion. It’s quick and relatively obtainable. More long term goals come and go. I have the full support of my friends on buying a house or condo, but it’s difficult to conceptualize once I have enough money saved. I want it now, but plans change and I can just as easily drop this idea if something else preoccupies my time.

It would be incredible to say I bought my own property at under 30 and not pay rent for some place I won’t ever own. I’m only worried if my idea from the start was for the right reason. There’s a lot of bragging rights and fame that comes with pulling this off. My friend’s mom brought this to my attention a while back. She asked one hard question: Why this city versus all the other ones? Perhaps she’s onto something. The surrounding areas aren’t as full of art, music and history. I could definitely get more for my money and have just of a good time staying put in my hometown seeing as how Main St has been commercialized heavily the past several years. It’s nice to see, but just as jarring. My town had not much to do for as long as I can remember and what felt like overnight, exploded with new buildings and restaurants.

Is it still home? Yes, of course. Do I want to stay put in the familiar confines of the city? No. The buildings are new, but the town is the same. It’s just not my cup of tea. It’s usually the thought I have when deciding where I want to buy in. If I’m going to drop $100,000 on a down payment on a place that’s close to half a million, I should have no hesitations about the neighborhood and the people.

I’m still actively looking at the housing marketing and saving as much of my income I can, but only time will tell if and when I pull the trigger. In the meanwhile, it’s back to the office with my otherworldly pursuits.

Later world.

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3 for 3: Try and Stop Me

I’ve had three goals in mind since starting this job which has now spiraled into a full career: the last one being purely for aesthetic reasons — fix my every so slightly crooked teeth. As of this week, I reached this goal. It’s fulfilling to say the least. Isn’t that what a large part of life is? Having goals and aspirations, then meeting them?

My friends seem impressed by the accomplishments thus far. Another big one was my recent trip to Washington, D.C to catch up with by best friend. You can say I’m on a roll and have no way of stopping the momentum. Most of my bills are paid off and all I have to worry about is this student loan which has since dwindled down more than 80% since my college years.

I read somewhere the average millennial has less than $1000 saved and carries $30,000 in student debt. It’s a frightening thought to be thrown into the real world and trying to make a name for yourself with the anxiety of owing money brings. Heck. Some just default and don’t pay back a dime. I had one friend who took it upon herself to ignore all the letters and notices she received and jump ship to South Korea of all places. That in my opinion was a stupid idea and just reeks of someone who isn’t willing to carry any real world responsibility. If you’re going to disappear, I guess why not leave the country.

She teaches English. We’re not friends anymore either, because fuck that shit.

Later world.

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Feeling Like a Million

All Well That Ends Well

It’s been a long awful week and month, but the end is near. In the eyes of my co-workers, I might not be human. I suppose if you’re the only one who routinely goes to work an hour earlier than everyone that says something. Yeah, it’s, “I’m fucking busy everyone.” I run up and down the stairs about thirty times a day when some of my co-workers dread a single step. C’mon. It’s just stairs. Sales are way up since the beginning of the year, which is a huge relief to everyone at the office. Trump is working on a trade deal with China finally, which hopefully means no more bullshit tariffs to fuck us over. Good news is rarely heard, but so satisfying when you need it.

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This is not a miracle. I call it busting ass so my company doesn’t go bankrupt.

When Life Gets in the Way

When I’m heavily stressed, two things are apparent immediately: I look terrible and I have no appetite. Both of which, makes life difficult. My social life was next to nothing, but that’s usually the case if you’re pulling two jobs. The past month, I cancelled on one of my friends — twice. I felt awful about that and apologized repeatedly. I’m glad she’s so forgiving and understanding. As they say, third times the charm. Note to self: make this happen.

Buy Low Sell High

I tend to find some silver lining to every bad month or week. Good things do happen. It’s just when you’re so caught up in the bustle of life, you overlook at the little things. I reinvested more than one-third of my assets into the stock market, bought some mutual funds, and ETFs. All things considered, the major sell off experienced in the beginning of the year is over and there’s no better time to invest than now. You’re essentially buying securities on sale. The only direction the markets are headed now into the year is up. I also opened up a high interest savings account at 2.22% to park my money, which barely misses out on beating the annual inflation of 3%.

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My friends ask me for advice on investing occasionally. Although, they tell me they’re looking to get into it, I rarely believe them. The same goes for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. I teach them everything I know, but they don’t follow through. I don’t think they have the motivation to stash away most of their paycheck every month into something other than a checking account — low risk or not.

6 Months of Waiting

The other day, I went and got my teeth scanned at SmileDirectClub. They offer clear teeth aligners for a fraction of the price you would pay for with Invisalign. We’re talking about $2000 vs. $6000. It’s a stupidly huge difference in price. Funny thing is, my dental insurance covers 80% of the cost of Invisalign, but would mean I would have to wait til next year to get that done. Fuck that. A quick 20 minute scan and I saw all my teeth displayed on the monitor, which was pretty cool actually.

They mail you the aligners in a few weeks and you switch to the next one in the time stated. Truthfully, I’m hyped as fuck to get them in the mail and I can’t wait to check this off my list of goals. They throw in freebies like an at home teeth whitening kit. I gave it a try the other night and it was really fucking dramatic. I dig this and I’m usually not one to get too excited for anything.

In the End

Things are looking up. I’m two for two. Fix eyes: check. Fix teeth: check. My confidence is even higher than before. My mood is back to my chippy self. For that, I’m thankful, grateful, and hope this continues for the rest of the year.

I do me and don’t give a fuck what anyone else thinks. Daniel is forever. Later world.

 

 

 

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I’m This Fucking Close

My week and month has been beyond hectic. But there’s always good news on the horizon. Sometimes, hammering out all day and night pays off for the better.

I GOT NAMED AS A COMPANY PARTNER. Now my duties are more along the lines of business development than e-commerce and marketing. I’m going to buy this fucking house or condo. I feel blessed, relieved, excited, hyped, anxious, etc.

My goals don’t seem so out of reach now. Later world. Danny, out.

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A Look Back at 2018

A Rough Start

Earlier this year I had a job I absolutely hated. Despised even. Not so much the workload or requirements, but the people I was surrounded with. I disliked every last one of them for their lame comments, constant misogyny towards women, and lack of focus on getting anywhere in life. Luckily, I got laid off. I was relieved and thankfully, something better came up.

Looking Up

Getting laid off wasn’t so bad. I went to three interviews in the area and got two offers. Heck, I even negotiated a higher starting salary at the place where I’m at now. I got to start fresh and flex my skills at a newly opened company where I was my own boss. My current job has allowed me to finish multiple goals this year and I’m thankful my life is going as well as it is. Everyone here seems genuine, sincere and someone I can call a friend. I think everybody is mildly impressed I’ve gotten them the number of sales we had in such a short amount of time. My general manager and I have long winded talks about our industry, investment opportunities, tech, and real estate — topics I’m passionate and interested in. My business card isn’t anything to brag about but it sure looks nice having your name under “director of e-commerce”.

Share in the Moment

I was delighted I got the opportunity to see my best friend walk across stage at the same school I did 3 years earlier. It was an incredible moment not just for him but everyone who came to support him. We laughed, we cheered, and he cried. It makes me smile knowing he finally did it and we witnessed the closing of this chapter of his life.

I was pleasantly shocked to hear his opinion of me he wrote to someone I was interested in. In all my years of being friends with him, I never thought he thought so highly of me or even listened. It amazes me the level of detail he has in describing me. Stay awesome, brother.

I wouldn’t count on him or anyone to send me any money. I would never ask even if I really needed it to get by. He was not on his feet yet and I quickly jumped to the rescue to save the day. What’s one plane ticket to me, honestly? Generosity is warranted, yet rarely seen.

Wise Men Say Only Fools Rush In

Normally, I have a few reservations about visiting Santa Barbara to go to a party. I can assume I won’t meet anyone I know there and the environment tends to revert me back to my old self. I had twisted my ankle just a day earlier which made walking unbearably painful. I guess you can say that was the best part. Had I not twisted my ankle I would have never sat down next to her and made small talk. Wouldn’t you know it, she lived around my area, went to the same community college, had the same major, liked writing, and also running. Simply too good to be true.

Naturally, I messaged her on Facebook and through forces unknown a la Garza, I had three dates with her. I remember the first time we met after the initial encounter in IV. As she walked out her door, I thought to myself, she was the most beautiful woman I had laid eyes on all year. I was absolutely smitten beyond words and looked in awe. “This woman is going out with me.”

Dating was fun and exciting. We went to nice restaurants where reservations were absolutely necessary and got to share a few candid stories and experiences together. There were far too many coincidences, which only made her more alluring. She was every bit interesting, sweet and kind, with a few welcome surprises — like downing an entire beer in front of me. That’s hot.

Unlike past dates, I felt completely captivated by everything she said. My ears listened intently hoping never to forget a word. Everyone and anyone can be beautiful, but intelligence is a thousand times more attractive. It’s not every day I meet some who’s like that. Even more so, to feel compelled to have flowers delivered to her door — and twice.

It makes me smile looking back on that time. Those couple months felt like an eternity and was the most fun I had in a long time. I have these fond memories to keep and that just feels great. I’m not out of surprises just yet.

Won’t You Pardon Me

I tend to believe all people are inherently good inside. It’s an optimistic outlook I carry and for good reason. As fate would have it, we hired a new sales manager at work. The same day, my car inexplicably broke down just as we made into the parking lot. She was nice enough to call AAA using her membership card as mine was missing from my wallet.

As I had no car to get to work, she even offered to drive me since she lived just minutes away from me the next city over. I chalk that up to luck more than anything. She was too kind and helped make a terrible day that much more bearable for me.

20/20

I never thought this would happen but I got laser eye surgery done. It feels like I’m rediscovering the world everyday just looking in awe and wonder. It’s incredible to see the world anew and from a different perspective. Was it worth it? Hell yeah.

Soul Searching

Much of my year was spent self-reflecting. My memories of that place I called home for two years are beginning to fade. Not that I want it to, but it’s for the better. I asked myself constantly “Who am I?” and “Where do I want to be?” I needed to know for some reason. I’ve been carrying feelings of guilt for what transpired, who I hurt, and who I became in the past. It’s hard to help yourself when you can’t let go. People change only under the most unusual circumstances and you can’t expect miracles. I realized my soul has always been with me and it was never left behind at that beach town of days past. Fuck everyone who didn’t know any better or who turned me into the monster everyone feared.

“Fuck who you know, where you from, my nigga?”

I let myself down those couple years and I’ll take all the blame for that. Lies cascade into one fantasy after another. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Fuck the old me. I partied, I was feared, and respected by those I could care less about. What do I have to show for it? It’s Daniel versus Danny since I left and a source of turmoil. Just revisiting the area made me realize it how awful the environment lends itself. I did a number of things I’m not proud of and won’t share specifics just yet. Call me a heartbreaker, an asshole, and dick. But in the end, I left with a drinking problem, a drug habit, and deep resenting anger towards the world.

Let go now and not later. Before you know it, you’ll never make a turn around and habits become permanently part of your character. Be a fucking human being and don’t hold back due to fear of the past or fear of rejection. The worst is and always will be what you don’t say that you regret the most. I love chasing, but not everyone is running. You came, you gone, and yet time and time again, your image is in my mind — perhaps like a ghost who comes with every season.

Sobriety

I can admit with great certainty, I had a drinking problem. Don’t get me wrong. One or two is perfectly fine, but I’m far from fine. It’s an escape and I can admit I was fighting a losing battle with bottle after bottle. Many people pressured me to drink throughout this year, not realizing the gravity of my situation. Honestly, how the fuck would they? Not many people are as open as I am about their vices, and I don’t expect the same from the next person over. I spent what amounts to thousands on alcohol and it wrecked me into a total mess. I needed to do this not to brag, but for myself. Goals are important and I always intend on following through with self improvement. I did it. I went one year without drinking a drop of alcohol and you know what? It feels like my biggest accomplishment yet to date.

Rx Necessary

Towards the end if the year, I felt off — a persistent state of melancholy. Work life / social life was skewed, as was my brain chemistry. Rather than keep quiet, I did something about it among the over 16 million Americans with clinical depression. Taking medication for your mental health is even the worst part. Not doing something about it is.

I’ve tried self-help books or blogs, read constantly about ways of managing my thoughts, and ran constantly. Ask me how I’m doing.

It was a great year full of ups and downs. I’m thankful for all the people who supported me throughout it all. They gave me hope and the strength to continue forward. Without their words of encouragement and advice, I couldn’t have gotten this far. We are imperfect beings living in an imperfect world. Knowing I’m surrounded by friends and family who have my back makes it all a little less difficult. That’s all I really need or am looking for at the most basic sense. All my relationships mean the world to me and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. The path less traveled doesn’t have to be alone — and alone I am not.

I can’t see what the future holds for me, but I’m certain it’ll remain bright and full of more successes. The skies may darken and the clouds may loom, but in the end, there will always be people who I can depend on. For that, I won’t ever stop trying. I’ll go to the ends of the Earth for each one of them and that’s something I can promise.

Goals are just hopes and dreams wanting to be fulfilled. It gives a sense of direction in the openendedness of life and a destination when there is none. It’s no so much about where you go, but who you go with.

Signing off. With love, Danny.

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Growing Discontentment

discontentment: lack of satisfaction with one’s possessions, status, or situation; lack of contentment.
a) a sense of grievance; dissatisfaction
the winter of our discontent —William Shakespeare
b) restless aspiration for improvement

I’ll call it byproduct of growing older, but nothing seems all that interesting — it’s a little disheartening. I should be excited about life, but I’m not. Discontent. Has abstaining from drugs and alcohol devoid me of any excitement? Shit. Maybe. I’m about to make this company somewhere between 1-3 million dollars a year and I get 3% commission from all online sales. It’s safe to say I’m stuck here for the forseeable future as e-commerce director. Who would complain with sales projections that high? Nada.

I should be thrilled my paycheck is growing in the coming months, but I’m indifferent. Remember what Biggie said, “More money mo’ problems.” Amen to that. It’s true though. The more money you make, the more problems you face. Life is infinitely more complex when there’s more money in the picture. It can only make you so much happiness before it loses its touch. Money stopped making me happy years ago. Now it’s just that number in the five digit range listed under “Savings”. At this rate, I’ll have my own condo in Pasadena in no time. It would be really sexy to tell someone I’m seeing, “Yeah, I bought this place.” That’s the whole idea in a nutshell. Do well enough and show it to someone who may be the future spouse. It’s convoluted, but a man can only go so far with dates and gifts. You’ll need that final push to really win her over — if there is such a thing.

That’s exciting to think about, but with all goals, it’s a bitter sweet feeling. It’s exciting for the anticipation, but bitter sweet having it come to an end. All goals are within reach and if you obsess over them long enough, you’ll find some way to make them reality. It’s not everyday you wake up suddenly and want to buy a condo or a nicer car and as a millennial. Do what makes you happy and full of purpose. Without the motivating drive in life, what is there to living? Self-achievement can’t be overlooked and we must all have our own self-driven goals in mind. Love comes naturally, but determination is self-taught.

Just this week, I’m prepared to spend to the tune of $5000 on laser eye surgery. To be honest, I wanted this done since before high school but never had the means to — until now. I’ve been told by past girl friends I look much better without glasses and I would have to agree. Looks aside, it’s convenient not having to look for them blind as a bat every morning. Is this convenience worth five grand? Maybe, but it’s a special treat for myself. And a permanent one at that. It’s life changing and I can’t wait to get it done next month.

There’s the question about fixing my teeth. My dentist said they’re not even that bad and he assured me he’s seen some bad teeth in his day. All I need is a few cavities fixed, two wisdom teeth pulled, a bleaching, and I’m all set for Invisalign or SmileDirectClub. Once I get them in, in just 6 months of mild discomfort, my teeth will be perfectly straight. It’s shocking to see insurance cover all of this. Just incredible. This will make me vain, but I could care less about someone else’s opinion. I’ll soon fix what made me self-conscious and with that, I’ll become gain a bit more confidence in my appearance. Worst case scenario, I morph into a (bigger) asshole and have my ego take over, but I’ll have my friends to stop me.

I do splurge and on big purchases — and this is somewhat a problem. You inevitably make money to spend money. It’s the lifestyle creep that money brings. I would consider this my downfall — or something I need to work on. Priorities. Did I really need a new fully spec’d out MacBook Pro for work? Arguably, no. Windows is terrible. The keyboard given to me in the office is just awful and makes too many typos. My productivity is at an all time high now and no one can complain about that. Price for better productivity is just a cool $2100. Designer case not included.

The worst part of my week so far is forgetting I already bought new clothes that are on the way and I went and bought another set. Fuck. Me. Did I really need 3 new shirts from J. Crew? Hell no. Did I really need a Kenzo sweater and a Yohji Yamamoto t-shirt? Fuck. No. I can almost hear my friends now, “Must be good being that baller.” Say what they will, I’m trying hard to have a better life for myself. If they only knew how awful it was growing up as poor as my family did. If they only could see the terrible living situation I endured as a kid. I’m getting closer every year — or every day, but so is my discontentment. It’s growing and I hate how I can’t just be content with myself. I have all the fruits of my labor and it’s all within reach. It’s a terrible feeling to know how fortunate you have it, but not feel satisfied. Perhaps there’s more to it and the void is sucking me in closer than I realize.

Later world.