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The connoisseur to my summer:

Near the beginning of this summer, I was beckoned to challenge myself. I was told to venture out and learn new things, experience new wonders, and uphold my oath of expanding my mind. This Sunday marks the end of August. Summer is coming to an end, especially because I am now in week three of school.

So, what is it I have done this summer? What feats have I accomplished? What tasks have I traversed? What sufferings have I survived?

– Went to Mexico for 12 days. I flew down to the tip of Baja California and sailed back up to Long Beach. During these two weeks, I have seen and experienced things that many people will never see in two lifetimes. I also gave death the middle finger. Twice.

– Went on a 3 day road trip to San Francisco / San Jose. I was exposed to Frisco life once more.

– Learned Polynesian dancing and performed at a show. I have learned the New Zealand Haka, the Conch, the Slap Dance, and a Tahitian number. I’ve also learned how to use the native drums.

– Started playing basketball again.

– Faced a new opponent in tennis. For the past year, I have only faced my father. He introduced me to his friend, whom I defeated 6-2 and 7-5.

– Learned how to boogie board at Corona Del Mar. The waves later became 12 feet high and, once again, I gave death the middle finger. The lifeguard thought I died.

– Started teaching boxing again. One of my students/peers Steven Huang has completely transformed from a novice into a great sparring partner.

– Discovered & widened my educational/career goals.

– Re-teaching myself Chinese. My other major requires me to possess bilingual skills.

– Drove down Pacific Coast Highway at midnight. I’ve always enjoyed late night drives and have wanted to do this for a year. The total tally marked 95 miles.

– Went camping at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in San Diego County for a day.

Ended my summer diet and ate out at will. I’ve also drank more alcohol this summer than the entire Fall ‘09 and Spring ’10 semesters combined.

– Picked up a hitchhiker at 10:30pm in the evening.

– Talked to a homeless person for one minute.

– Got myself lost in LA for fun. I drove around Compton, Gardena, and Hawthorne for an hour and enjoyed myself.

– Went tandem biking in Newport Beach.

– Went to the tide pools in Dana Point.

– Went to Balboa Island and ate at the downtown strip.

– Started blogging my daily thoughts and experiences on Tumblr.

Read 4 novels for leisure/pleasure.

– Completely fixed one friend’s laptop, and built a new computer for another.

– Played water polo twice. I was completely annihilated by an All American player. The last time prior to those two occasions was in high school.

– Went to see live stand-up comedy at the Laugh Factory in West Hollywood.

– Went to the Orange County Indoor Shooting in Brea. Fired a gun for the first time in my life, a 9mm standard military.

– Went to the Fullerton Pooch Park for the first time and played with mankind’s best friend.

– Discovered that my 11 year old Altima could travel at 95 mph with a passenger and lots of luggage inside.

Tipped every single cashier at every quick restaurant that I went to $1. By quick, I mean frozen yogurt, Subways, and so on.

– Familiarized myself with many cities and counties of Los Angeles. This includes West Covina, Covina, Temple City, San Marino, Pasadena, Altadena, El Monte, and Alhambra.

– At the end of May, my car’s mileage was at 100,000. It is now at 102678. I have driven 2678 miles this summer.

– Revolutionized my music choice and iPod playlist. Props to many who introduced me to those songs.

Met and befriended amazing people. Became even closer with current friends. Each one has taught me new things. Each one has given me new insights. None are driven by drama.

The connoisseur to my summer is… me. And I give myself an epic rating for an epic summer. I passed the challenge, and I look forward to upcoming ones.

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