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» Hatrack River Forum » Archives » Landmark Threads » My landmark

   
Author Topic: My landmark
NdRa
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I told myself at 500 posts that I would write a landmark as it takes forever for me to build my post count. I'm really only at 939 even though having been here for years. I'm home from work, smoking too many cigarettes trying to figure out what I want to do with myself right now. Then it struck me. A landmark thread.

So the rated PG version of my story...

I feel as though I've lived a pretty intense life, and have experienced much in the short 25 years I've been alive. Being awake is another story. This feels like a perpetual dreamstate to me.

My whitey father was a civil engineer who was sent to Korea to help develop the freeway system about 30 years ago. He met my mother who also worked for the same company he was contracted out to. They hit it off, got hitched, and moved to San Diego. Then moms got knocked up shortly before my fathers job transfered them to Hong Kong where I was born. My sister followed suit shortly. We are half-Korean, half-caucasians made in Hong Kong. Made things pretty interesting for us culturally. I can safely say my sister and I were born with indentity crisis.

Until I hit the 5th grade, my family moved back and forth between Hong Kong and Korea every couple years. We had drivers, nannies, tutors, piano teachers, tennis instructors, language coaches, vacations, the newest toys, the prettiest dresses, and never many friends. I'm not whining here as I know life was pretty good apart from the drinking problem my father brought home. My sister and I had stuff coming out our ears that made every other kid in town (well, those that weren't a part of our yacht club anyway) piping with jealousy.

Then 5th grade comes around, and my parents inform us that we are moving to California! Finally, we would fit in with our own kind. We grabbed our "California Girl" Barbie dolls and envisioned our own lives as not-so-blond yet oh-so-American California girls. At this point, even the yacht club kids were jealous.

Parents were going through some marital trouble due to the madness my father brought to our home with his drinking and such, so my sister my mother and I moved to the states first. We visited with my mothers parents in Seattle while they decided whether they wanted to continue the marriage. The decision, thank goodness, was to keep the family together.

We moved to West Los Angeles, where my sister and I were tossed into the public school system without the backbone of our tutors, nannies, and other protectors, only to be treated as the FOB (fresh off the boat) asians. Life in California wasn't going as expected for my sister and I, along with my parents. The economy fell. The firm my father worked for collapsed.

While my father made a lot of money, we also spent a lot of it. Savings didn't support our lifestyle for too much longer. My mom got her business broker license, and my father found another engineering gig taking a huge pay cut. We didn't live as comfortably, but our lives adjusted.

Our family found God when I hit the junior high school years. Our whole family became born again Christians. The band of people at church were not doing it for me, so I decided to look elsewhere.

I remember the central focus of my prayers consisted of turning my drunk-ass abusive Christian father into a sober good Christian man. I was tired of having to gather my things and stay at a hotel room overnight with my mother and sister, and I was tired of missing school having been up the night before due to drama. Being the only one with any balls in the family, I would tell my father exactly what I thought about his parenting and what he should do with his ugly drunken face. That never went over too well. He didn't really listen anyway. God didn't listen, and he was getting to be quite a bore.

I entered freshman year with all honors and as a varsity cheerleader. I played piano for the worship team, and attended church services pretty regularly. Long story short (too late to say that huh?) I met a few tough Asian kids who took a liking to me, and me to them. I got jumped into an asian gang the tail-end of my freshman year in high school, and ran away from home.

My "homegirls" took me in, and in return, I just hung out and helped them do various girl gangster things such as sell Marijuana, and hide guns when entering dance clubs for our male gang members. The girls wearing skimpy outfits were oddly never patted down.

I started heavily doing harder drugs and became a non-functioning person. My parents found me, forced me to come home, but couldn't force me to go to school or quit doing the drugs. I was very strung-out at this point.

My parents checked me into an in-house rehabilitation center which only made me angrier and just about ready to kill. Whether it was them or myself, I don't know. All I saw was red. The very nice counselors at the rehab had no effect on me. I followed the rules, and pretended to heal, only to come out 10 times angrier than before.

I dropped out of the continuation school that I was enrolled in, and continued to wreak havoc. My parents turned to church, my dad sobered up and my parents told me to start being normal, or I was out. Being out of the gangs, and having sold many things to buy drugs, the thought of being kicked out was terrifying. I remeber the instant I made the decision to survive.

I caught up 1.5 semesters in 6 months, got my diploma, and found Martial Arts. I focused all my energy in tournament fighting, and in the process found a job as a web designer (during the whole time I was doing my drug/gang thing, I also used the computer to escape.) Gang-banging and playing muds is a weird combo. People relentlessly made fun of me at the time. Thank goodness I had a niche in computers, cause I had no desire to go to college.

So while I am now a less angrier person, my personality hasn't changed too much. I'm not a very grounded person, but I do enough to get by. I've been at my job where i've been promoted twice in four years, and have just purchased my own home. I am doing more than just getting by in the financial department, but lifestyle-wise, I still don't make the wisest decisions. I am still escaping whether through computer/video games or books, or the bottle of wine I go through every night, but I am not too worried.

I've overcome enough things that have held me back in life that I know whatever my vices are today, I'll make it through. I don't have any goals in life other than to be comfortable and somewhat content. This goal has always been hard enough for me to conquer without adding any lifestyle goals.

Thanks for reading this long-winded post. While I don't post here much, I do know many of you very well. I lurk like nobodies business. [Smile] Thank you for being the community that you are.

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Zevlag
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I am so glad you posted this while I was online!

It's been great talking and getting to know you.

Thanks for being around Hatrack; great place, great people.

I would have more to say, but I gotta get offline momentarily, but we need to catch up sometime; and I will be back with more to say.

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Danzig
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Sandy, you have been an inspiration to me for most of the time I have been at Hatrack. Congratulations on beating the odds, and best of luck in all your goals.
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Synesthesia
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That was extremely interesting! [Hat]

unrelated-Whoa.. over 2000....

[ August 11, 2004, 09:06 PM: Message edited by: Synesthesia ]

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Noemon
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So am I CT. NdRa, I really never would have guessed even a single significant detail of that. I'm with CT--I didn't know you at all. I'm happy to know you a little better now though. It's true that you don't post all that often, but you're definitely one of us, and I'm glad of it.
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Space Opera
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I am always amazed at the people here, and you are definately one of them! Though you've had to struggle, it sounds like you are very aware of the person you are, and I believe that self-knowledge is priceless. You've made so many forward strides, and I hope that you continue to do so.

space opera

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beverly
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NdRa, it was fun talking to you about your dating frustrations. It is good to know you better, understand some of the really difficult things you have had to go through. Anyway, I have enjoyed your input on Hatrack! [Smile]
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Eduardo_Sauron
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*Is thrully amazed too!

[Hat]

lots of respect for you!

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rivka
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(((((Ndra))))) We need to do lunch again! [Smile]
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BannaOj
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Wow. We have some very cool women here at hatrack. NdRa is one of them.

AJ

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Lalo
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Damn, dude, I had no idea you ran with a gang once. While it doesn't make you cooler in my eyes (if only cuz you can't really rise any higher), damn, next time I get in a fight and lose, I'll tell him I'm gonna send my ladyfriend Sandy after him if my big brother's unavailable.

But all terrible jokes aside, really, you're one of the very few people I genuinely like -- even if you're too much a weenie to go get coffee with me. Or wait, was that me? I know it's one of us. And now that I think about it, between us, you're the one with the shifty eyes...

You're an impressive cookie, girlfriend. If you ever need a boy toy or a friend (though, really, give some thought to the boy toy idea), you know I got your back.

Aw yeah.

4 rills. Ain't easy being a thug, but wit hos like me wit you, I know you can pull it off and be da top G dawg of da street! Sheeyit. Y'know.

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Bob the Lawyer
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There really isn't anything I can say to that. But I'm happy to have you with us.

*raises glass*

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Kwea
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I am glad that you seem to be on a healthier track now. Be careful, and stay as safe as you can.

It is a pleasure to hear some more about you...although you don't just lurk as you claim...I have seen your posts a few times lately.... [Big Grin]

Kwea

[ August 11, 2004, 11:30 PM: Message edited by: Kwea ]

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skillery
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quote:
whitey father...got hitched...moms got knocked up
Sounds pretty angry to me.

How did your mom's parents end up in Seattle ahead of you? It doesn't sound at all like your typical "American man abroad marries little native girl" story. Sounds more like your mom's family was primed to be Americanized. How many of your mom's family are here now? Are your mom's folks happy to be here?

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Lalo
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Thank god you were here to correct her, Skillery.

By the way, you never did answer me -- are you fallow? I still remember you casually mentioning how you disturb your wife's sleep with your late-night uncontrollable laughter at reading his no doubt high-larious posts.

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ak
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Wow, Sandy! That's amazing! Here's to continuing the journey, finding our way closer and ever closer to the light. You are a fighter. You will find your way.
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Beren One Hand
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Cool post Sandy. I always thought you were one of the cooler people here, even though you probably jacked my Integra sign during your gangbanging years. [Smile]

I think you and Ladydove were the first people to say hi to me on Hatrack (I think I was vwiggin or bruinlawyer back then). So I totally blame you for my Hatrack addiction.

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Derrell
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Amazing landmark. [Hat] (((NdRa))) You are one of the cool ones.
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skillery
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Lalo, I'm not nearly as brilliant as Fallow.

Sandy's mom and grandparents seem really mobile and flexible to me, and I want to hear more about them.

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Primal Curve
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I met Sandy when I first went into Hatrack Chat on AIM. Ralphie, Sandy and I stayed up late chatting. 'Twas good times. The good old days to me, anyways. Hatrack chat just hasn't been the same since.

You're still awesome, Sandy.

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Ralphie
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Those were good times, Glynn.

Sandy - Thank you. [Smile]

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Jeni
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Thanks for sharing your story, Sandy. Anne Kate is right -- you're definitely a fighter. I'm so very glad you made it through. I also want to say thanks for spending late nights listening to my whining during a time when I was pretty silly.

Here's to hoping for many more Sandy posts to come.

kik and all that. [Smile]

[ August 12, 2004, 04:26 AM: Message edited by: Jeni ]

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Primal Curve
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I still don't get why people think you're so cool, Toni. I mean, you are certainly fun to talk to (when you're not grumpy), but some people on this board worship the very virtual ground you walk on. I just don't get it. You suck. [Razz]
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Lalo
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Shall I have the blasphemer's tongue, mistress? Or his heart?
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Zalmoxis
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Thanks for this, dRa.

Be comfortable. Be content.

And, yeah, I'm jealous of your status as a homeowner -- at age 25 no less.

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katharina
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Sandy, I had no idea. What a story! I'm incredibly glad you're at Hatrack.
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NdRa
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Thank you everyone. I always feel the weight of what is said here at hatrack.

Skillery - My mothers parents immigrated to the states a few years before my family moved here, and they are indeed happy. My mother also has a brother and sister living here. She earned her citizenship in 1981, so not only is she Americanized, she is an American. She is very flexible and mobile, you should see her do the splits while walking on her hands.

It's funny. I've never written down what happened in my past, and it's surreal to me. It reminded me of many incidents that were left out of the story. "Crap, did I really experience that?" Thanks again for letting me share.

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NdRa
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I was thinking a little about the praise I've been getting in this thread. People telling me how strong I am and the "you go girl!" are all appreciated. I just don't understand how any of this makes me "stronger" than any of you.

I am constantly fighting the urge to not be a total and utter f*ck up. Living a somewhat normal lifestyle is pretty easy for most of you as in, you don't have any desires to snort up, and fling around guns.

While I recognize that you may just be impressed with the fact that I'm still alive and not strung-out, I wish it didn't have to seem so impressive. I wasn't raised in some hood, and the dysfunction in my family life wasn't any more dramatic than many of yours.

The reality is, I am a reformed scumbag. Weakness is what got me there, and basic survival instincts are what got me here. I am amazed at the strength of everyone around me to be able to function "properly" in society.

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TomDavidson
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"Living a somewhat normal lifestyle is pretty easy for most of you as in, you don't have any desires to snort up, and fling around guns."

Well, BEFORE you said anything, I didn't. But now I do. So thank you very much, missy.

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mackillian
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Jeez, Dra. [Smile]
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NdRa
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Is there no longer a landmark section that archives these threads?
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Theca
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Landmarks don't get moved over to the archive for awhile, because once it gets moved over, there can't be any more posts added. http://www.hatrack.com/ubb/cgi/ultimatebb.cgi
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fallow
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who own's a good sewing machine?
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NdRa
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I see, thanks Theca.
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fallow
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[This post, written by fallow, has been deleted for general obnoxiousness.]

[ August 16, 2004, 08:06 AM: Message edited by: KathrynHJanitor ]

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NdRa
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What the crap?! What is your deal weirdo? You've zero'd in on me several times today, and I have no idea why. To be honest with you, I never even knew you existed until you felt the need to attack me.

Fallow, bite me.

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fallow
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If I had half the time for you 2 devote to me, what I've wasted on your petty diatribes!

[Wall Bash]

fallow

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Lalo
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Heh, Sandy, you go, girl.

As a long-overdue answer to your above question, people are complimenting you for your strength not because they're taking pity on the poor gangsta girl from LA, nor, I think, cuz they're worshipping her. They're just giving you some measure of the respect you deserve -- while you may believe your life hasn't proven you stronger than any of us, it at least proves you have strength. Most of us, especially me in my white-boy ways, remain relatively untested and our mettle unproven.

Also, I don't know what the hell you're talking about. You went from gangbanging to the damn successful hot chick you are today -- you don't think that's going to impress people? I'll admit, your past gives you some extra respect in my eyes in particular, if only because you lived the life I got to bypass altogether by attending white schools; but I don't think that holds true for most others, here. They just give your history the respect a rags-to-riches (or riches-to-rags-to-riches) success story deserves -- and they give the person living that history respect, albeit it far less than she deserves.

So shuddup. I dig you, and you're not about to change that NO MATTER HOW OFTEN YOU CHANGE YOUR PHONE NUMBER OR MOVE I'M ALWAYS WATCHING CUZ IT'S NOT OVER OUR LOVE'S ETERNAL BABY BREATH BREATH BREATH BREATH BREATH

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NdRa
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Oy vey, you make no sense. Is english your first language buddy?

I like to think of myself as a reasonable girl. For example, if someone randomly starts ripping into me on an internet thread for no apparant reason, I initially ask them what their deal is hoping that they will offer me a reason, even if it's not apparant.

What really baffles me is how you point out that I am devoted to you, when I clearly never paid you any attention utnil you felt the need to respond to my responses to OTHERS with spite.

You know, going back and reading some of your posts, I find them truly brilliant. So freaking random and stupid, it's brilliant. It's like the guys that say they practice tiger-style kungfu at that studio down the street. You try to fight them with a real fighting style, and they are waving their hands in front of your face in such an erratic way you are stunned. It makes no sense, and the fat balding sweaty dudes defenitly look morononic twisting their fists in interesting patterns...but it's brilliant in it's ability to stun.

Way to go jackass.

[ August 16, 2004, 03:26 AM: Message edited by: NdRa ]

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fallow
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Lalo [Kiss]
NdRa: [Kiss]

fallow me where I go...

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Dagonee
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I missed this one, and am so glad it got bumped to the first page again. Just more proof that Hatrack attracts the most interesting people. And you are clearly a very strong person. Way to take your life back!

Dagonee

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Storm Saxon
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ndra, I loved reading your life story. You are one sexy beast. [Smile]
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Jenny Gardener
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Sandy, I'm glad we've got you in the Hatrack 'hood. [Smile]

You are a fierce woman, and I'm glad that you have turned that ferocity toward keeping yourself strong and growing. I always wish I could be fiercer than I really am, so I sit at your feet and bask in your power. Thank you for sharing yourself with me and the others.

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Rakeesh
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Thanks for sharing, Sandy [Smile]
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ludosti
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Wow, what a lot of muck to wade through to get where you are today!

Trying to be a "normal person", I think, is pretty hard for everyone. Congrats on trying, like the rest of us, to be normal... [Wink]

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eslaine
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Lurk on!
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