Just Me Against The World


Welcome To RikDaddy Fitness

October 10th, 2017

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally not some kind of health nut. If you see all the fried chicken and tacos I eat, calorie counting definitely isn’t my thing. I love to eat, but I also don’t want to weigh 400 lbs because of my lack of a proper diet. It’s not a good look for someone who is nearing 40 and standing at barely 5′ 7″. I’ll look more like an overstuffed dumpling and need to go back to wearing size XL and consider swimming with a t-shirt on. I actually started working out close to 10 years ago without any professional training (for obvious reasons that I’ll get into with another blog post). One of my yappy aunts is the reason I actually took fitness more seriously.

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Oh My Leezy

January 26th, 2017

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I don’t even know where to begin with this one because life seems really messed up to me right now. In the blink of an eye, our friend Jennifer Lee (Jenn LA) was stolen from us. Everything seems so unreal because just a few weeks ago we were talking about her wedding and now we are planning her funeral. Like I said, it’s just messed up. I was in China in the middle of a meeting and people know that when I’m in meetings, I don’t check my phone. But there happened to be a small break so I looked at my phone and there were a bunch of messages. A couple were from Ernie Alderete and couple from my sister followed by missed FaceTime calls. We actually got into an argument earlier and I thought she wanted to talk about that. I quickly glanced at Ernie’s text, but Jean’s messages read “Call me ASAP!” and “Call me!!” so I called her back. Her face was swollen with tears running down it. I could barely hear what she was saying because the internet was choppy. Read the rest of this entry »

Gone But Never Forgotten

January 13th, 2017

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The last two Januarys have been extremely tough for me and my heart hasn’t stopped hurting in this 12 month timespan. As the anniversary of my big bro Scott Bui’s passing is just around the corner, I lose another close friend Jenn Lee to a senseless act that I cannot comprehend. At age 38, I am learning that this type of thing never gets easier. The pain and hurt will never go away for any of us. We just learn to cope with it slowly. Day-by-day. Week-by-week. Month-by-month. Year-by-year. Read the rest of this entry »

Jamal The Great

July 8th, 2016

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Certain things in life are more important than simply being rich and famous. I know, it’s crazy concept, right? But money can only buy you so many things in life. Mostly stuff that you probably don’t even need. Then there’s fame. Fame will probably get you laid so I guess that’s not such a bad thing. But to me, being a great human being pays more dividends than any fat paycheck or quick hit ever will. Whoever said “never meet your heroes/idols” obviously didn’t have NBA star Jamal Crawford aka J Crossover  in mind. Rewind back to before Jamal signed with the LA Clippers four years ago. I always admired his game. He had and still has one of the deadliest crossovers in the business (hence the nickname J Crossover). But because he played for other teams, I didn’t get to watch him as much as I wanted to due to me being too cheap to pay for NBA League Pass. Once the Clips signed him, he quickly became one of my favorite players. Just as much off the court as on it. Read the rest of this entry »

The Legacy of Scott Bui aka #TheGun

January 21st, 2016

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At the time I started writing this entry it will be close to 36 hours since my dear friend, Scott Bui, was stolen from us. All of my thoughts are scattered right now and I’m an emotional wreck so this blog post will be forever incomplete and a jumbled mess because I will continue adding to it as wonderful memories of Scott pop into my head. I’ll never be finished with this entry and over time, it might become the length of a Harry Potter book. Since Sunday morning my heart hasn’t stopped hurting and I haven’t been able to stop the tears from running down my face. Does this type of pain ever go away? When does this supposed healing process begin? Read the rest of this entry »

Why I’m Not Married Yet

January 7th, 2016

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I was just talking to my friend about this last night because I hear this a lot. “You’re such a great guy, why aren’t you married yet?” Ok. Maybe they don’t say that I’m a great guy. I could’ve just added that part in, but the fact of the matter is that I just turned 37 and I’m the last single dude out of all of my friends. For real. Look at all of our group pics and I’m always the odd man out. 5th wheel. 7th wheel. 15th wheel. You name it and it’s me. Is there some kind of science to this? Probably not. I’d like to think that there was. I can only go by what I know, which obviously isn’t much. Read the rest of this entry »

Chronicles of the Undateable: Nobody Knows What They Want

February 26th, 2015

Lesson 1 – Like the title says here, nobody knows what they want. Don’t debate with me on this. You may think you know what you want, but when it boils down to it, you really don’t. Trust me. I’m the exact same way. You could list out your perfect girl (or guy) then when you meet her (or him), you’ll see a bunch of other flaws. I bet you want examples, so here we go.

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The Undateable: Intro

February 17th, 2015

I wouldn’t say that I’ve dated a lot of girls in my life, but there certainly has been a handful of them. A big handful. The fact that I’m still single only proves that I’m not much of a dating expert in any sense of the word. Yet for some reason, my friends come to me for dating advice all the time. And for the most part, I lead them in the right direction. Whether they choose to listen to me or not is 100{4b60d478b90bca18eeffbf8b1a93e65cc935dc2ffbf7c5beb7c0c95149b3d5c9} on them.

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Clippers Court of Dreams

January 21st, 2015

Some days you just want to play basketball. Other days you just want to rent out Staples Center to play basketball on the LA Clippers court. Well, maybe if you’re Scott Bui and me with aspirations of doing everything big. And I mean B-I-G. On Christmas Day, we decided that it’d be a great idea to grab a few homies and ball up on the Clippers hardwood before they battled the ever so hated Warriors in the evening. Not the typical way people spend Christmas, but that’s the life you live when you’re a die-hard Clippers fan.

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F’d By The Police

December 9th, 2014

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It seems like there’s a story about the police every day in the news and not the good kind. If they’re not killing someone, they’re beating or harassing them. Don’t get me wrong, I have a few cop friends and I do respect what they do. However, my dislike for the bad cops goes way back to my teenage years. These bad memories are why I have such a problem with cops and everything we are reading about in the news lately. Not that I’m trying to compare my experience to people losing their lives, but I just wanted to share something that has been weighing on my mind for two decades and this felt like the right time to do so.

I’ll cut straight to one of my worst experiences with law enforcement, which happened during my junior year in high school. My skater friends (Willie Merchan, Justin Martin, and Bob Cornwell) and I just got back from a session at Fullerton High, which was one of the top spots back in the day, and made a pit stop at Taco Bell in Placentia for some horrible food and sugary drinks. As we finished trying to self induce ourselves with diabetes, we all piled into Willie’s yellow Geo Storm to head to my parents’ house in Tustin. As we pulled out of the parking lot, I noticed that there was a squad car following us. Like typical punk kids, we just joked about it and kept on driving. It got a little stranger as more cop cars started following us and at the stop lights, they would stay in different lanes but remain behind Willie’s Geo even though there were no cars next to us. As we trekked through Placentia, they cops kept trailing us like it was a video game. We figured that since we were going past Placentia PD, they were just going back to their base.

Once we got to the station on the corner of Kraemer and Chapman, they didn’t pull into the driveway. Just stuck to their plan and stayed behind us…then to the left and right of us. I told my friends that if the car on the right runs the light after we cross the intersection then something is definitely up. Sure enough, as we get to the other side, about five squad cars light us up. We started freaking out and asking each other if someone had drugs or anything on them. I’m not a snitch, but I’m also not going down for some crap that I had nothing to do with. Along with the Geo, there were another four cars pulled over with us so there was a slight chance that we got caught up in nothing. Of course that wasn’t the case (this is why I don’t gamble). Over the loudspeaker, or whatever they used, the cops cleared each car to go using their color as designation. We waited for “yellow”, but “yellow” never came. By now, we were freaking out even more. All crammed in the back of a tiny Geo Storm with our stomachs full of wannabe Mexican food and gallons of soda.

The intersection was completely barricaded now so it was just us and the five cop cars that pulled us over. They had guns drawn like some new school – old school showdown only we didn’t have any weapons so it’d make for a very unfair battle. Oh, I forgot to mention that they had S.W.A.T teams stationed on the roofs of the surrounding office buildings and apartment complexes. Then there were the ever-so-cool helicopters circling above us as if we weren’t nervous enough. Even more cops and S.W.A.T vehicles got set up to take us down so you’d think that we just robbed the Taco Bell and set it on fire with a bunch of kids inside rather than just eat a questionable meal there. Again, we questioned each other because this was some bullshit.

On the bullhorn, the lead cop shouted for Willie to take his keys out of the ignition and throw them out of the car window. He told everyone in the car to hold their hands up and touch the head liner of the car so we did. Then he had Willie open the driver’s side door using the outside handle, which was a little difficult because of the Storm’s design, and get out slowly keeping his hands in the air. Obviously he complied and was ordered to walk backwards towards the cops aiming guns at us, hands up still, and then get on his knees in the middle of the street. Once he got there, they had him interlock his fingers behind his head then ran up and pushed him face down onto the asphalt, handcuffed him, and threw him into the back of a squad car. They repeated this wonderful procedure for everyone that was in the car and I think I was the last one because I was sitting in the back seat. I had a giant cup of soda in my lap this entire time and had to take a serious piss. The whole time I was wondering what I was supposed to do with this cup because my hands were still up. When it was my turn to get humiliated, I leaned my body out and used my left hand to put the cup on the floor. Oh my god! They cocked their guns and yelled “put your motherfucking hands in the air!” at me like the Taco Bell cup looked like a weapon to those idiots or something. Same thing for me. Walked backwards, got on my knees, interlocked my fingers, and was thrown face down so they could handcuff me like some criminal (skateboarding is not a crime!). Remember, even now we had no idea what they wanted or why they even pulled us over in the first place and that made everything seem so much more absurd to a bunch of teenagers.

I don’t recall being mirandized, but it could’ve happened during all the commotion. I do remember the cop asking me if there were more people in the car. Yeah, we crammed 10 dudes in a Geo Storm, genius. Then he asked if there was anything in the car that I didn’t want them to find. I told him I didn’t know what he was asking for (because I really didn’t) and he told me it was my last chance or else we would all go to jail after they search the car. What did they want?! Nobody knew. He threw me in the back of the cop car, still handcuffed, and I was sitting in there with Justin. People were staring at us through the window like we were some criminals so I started giving them dirty looks. Justin said people always look angry in the back of cop cars (obviously) so we decided to give them these really creepy smiles to freak them out more. I didn’t do drugs (and still don’t) so I was racking my brain trying to figure out what they were looking for. I mean, how much trouble can four guys in a yellow Geo Storm cause? I thought the whole point of driving a Geo Storm was to keep the cops off of your ass because they think you’re a group of hippies.

Honestly, I can’t remember how long this entire ordeal lasted, but it felt like an eternity. All I could see was snipers, cops, people, and more cops tearing through Willie’s car. Once they were done, the same cop that talked to me earlier opened the door to the squad car and let us out. All he said was, “You’re free to go. Stay out of trouble.” No explanation or anything about what the hell just happened so I had to ask him. “Someone called in with an anonymous tip that you guys had shotguns in your trunk.” What the hell?! Shotguns? We had a bunch of skateboards and that’s all. Those don’t even resemble shotguns unless you’re a complete moron, which everyone that day seemed to be. Plus he wasn’t going to tell us what happened until I actually asked. No apologies or anything either. Just “stay out of trouble” as if we weren’t doing that already until they rolled up on us. What a shitty way to spend your Sunday. They could’ve killed us in the middle of the street for having skateboards in the trunk. Skateboards! What the hell type of police work is that? Even though they didn’t kill us, we were humiliated being handcuffed in the street and thrown into the back of cop cars. I wonder how much money it cost to get all those squad cars, S.W.A.T, and the helicopters to come out to harass us for…skateboards. Even bank robbers don’t get this type of attention.

Every time I think of this, it pisses me off again. What makes it worse is that it’s not an isolated incident for my friends and me. Cops have been harassing us our entire lives. Why? Because we used to wear baggy clothes and backwards baseball caps? Because we drove lowered cars with loud exhausts and window decals? Because we looked “suspicious”? Just to be dicks? I guess I’ll never know the real answer, but I’m going with the last one just for the hell of it. If they don’t have to explain anything then why should I? Thinking back, we probably should’ve filed a lawsuit against the Placentia Police Department, but our mentality was that we were happy just to get out of that mess. Then again, we’d probably lose the trial anyway. With the way things are going now, they could’ve shot us dead in the street and walked away with no blood on their hands…literally. You always hear about police corruption in other countries, but I guess it’s better that they’re out in the open about it. In America we’re supposed to feel safe and protected by the police. Clearly that isn’t the case. Not now and maybe not ever. The people who are armed and paid to protect us from crimes have a green light to do whatever they want to us and get away with it. Doesn’t sit too well, does it?

Last, but definitely not least. Huge props to Derrick Rose for wearing this “I Can’t Breathe” shirt during warm ups to support the Eric Garner movement.

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