Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I'm Back

About a week before exams, I found out that my mother has stage 4 lung cancer. It’s not good stuff. At the time, I didn’t really know how to deal with it or talk about it outside of people I know at least pretty well. I also didn’t want to worry about other concerns, so I pretty much dropped everything when exams were over and flew home to DC to be with her for as long as I could.

She’s doing okay. Physically she is very weak from the chemo, but she has always been a mentally strong person and she has a lot of resolve and positive energy. It gave me energy and I try to stay positive and encouraging to give her energy. I have no greater role model in life than my mom, and that’s pretty much always been the case. She is such a wonderful person on so many levels.

A few things have struck me from this experience. First, there’s never a wrong time to let people around you know how much you care about them. Things happen suddenly, and some tragedies are more sudden than others. Being able to hug my mother and let her know how much I care about her every day over the past few weeks meant so much to me, and you never know when you won’t have an opportunity to do that again.

Second, it really has bolstered my feelings about protection of the environment. My mom has never been a smoker, and that’s the cause of the large percentage of people with lung cancer. But she has been in some very polluted areas, including growing up in a much dirtier Los Angeles than today and living in China where pollution is also really bad. She’s convinced that’s what led to this given she doesn’t smoke, and I tend to agree. Protecting our skies, water and other natural resources isn’t just an end in and of itself – it affects the lives of human beings as well.

A lot of other things have also transpired since I last posted. I graduated law school, so that’s done. I’m currently taking a bar review course, which is no fun at all. There’s an incredible amount of information you’re supposed to memorize, and I’ve never been good at memorizing things. Luckily the review course is really helpful in keeping me focused and teaching me the materials I need to know. I can’t imagine trying to pass the bar without one of those courses, particularly in California.

One other random note is I nearly got involuntarily bumped from my flight back to LA twice. I was scheduled to fly home on a Sunday, but United overbooked the flight massively and 15 people on the plane with "confirmed" tickets weren't allowed to board. I had my first bar review class the next morning so I wanted to get back. I tried to fly standby, but the two next flights to LA were also overbooked. So I just took the next flight I could get a "confirmed" flight on, which was the next evening. Went back to the airport, and it was again overbooked, and again I was waiting to see if I'd get on. This time I was literally the last person called and they closed the door behind me with another 20 or so people unable to leave. I've never experienced anything like this flying other airlines. So my recommendation in short: never fly United. One more time for emphasis: Never Fly United. They ought to be ashamed of themselves, making that sort of treatment of customers a regular policy.

I’ll return to writing about Raw on Monday. I thanked Justin Shapiro and Steve Khan for helping out while I was gone, and I’d like to do so again here. It was much appreciated. Also, I’ve got an exciting new opportunity writing for They are getting into MMA coverage, and I’ll have a lot of flexibility in covering events, as well as writing feature and opinion pieces. So look for articles on their website starting very soon. I will also start blogging again now at pretty much the same pace before I took a break.

Hope everyone is well.