The Year of Aaron

2015 is my year. I’m going to focus on myself this year. I’m going to work on being a stronger and more independent person. Life shouldn’t be so complicated. It should be easy, and I can make it easy by going with the flow. It should be exciting, and every day will be a new adventure. It’s ok to plan for the future, but it’s also ok when things don’t go as planned.

I will make my own decisions year. I will accept the decisions I make and not look back on them. I will be happy. I will appreciate everything I have, and not be envious of things I don’t have. I will love. I will love everything and spread love whenever and wherever I can.

This year I will bake a cake. It will consist only of ingredients that I love. I still need to figure out what those ingredients are. I will not let anyone else influence what I put into the cake. Once I’m done with the cake, I can invite others to try my cake. If they don’t like my cake, it will be ok because it just means they have a different taste. To me, it will be the best cake ever.

The 5 Love Languages – Quality Time

To spend quality time is to give each other your undivided attention.

Different Types of Quality Time:

  • Focused Attention: This means to give your partner your undivided attention. Being in the same room while the TV is on doesn’t count as focused attention. Focused attention means to do something together and to give each other your full attention.
  • Quality Conversation: This means sympathetic dialogue, where two individuals are sharing experiences, thoughts, feelings, and desires in an uninterrupted context. Quality conversation means to ask questions with a genuine desire to understand your thoughts, feelings, and hopes.
  • Learning to Talk: In each of life’s events, we have emotions, thoughts, desires, and eventually action. The expression of that process is called Self-revelation, or revealing your true self. A good exercise for learning how to talk is for each person to share 3 things that happened to them that day and talk about how they felt about it.
  • Quality Activities: This includes doing an activity in which one or both people have an interest in. The purpose is not the actual activity, but rather to experience something together.

How to be a good good listener:

  • Maintain eye contact when the other person is talking. This communicates that they have your full attention.
  • Give your undivided attention. If not, let the other person know that you’re interested in what they have to say but need to finish what you’re doing so you can give them your full attention. The other person will appreciate that.
  • Listen for feelings. What emotion are they experiencing? Confirm it by saying ‘It sounds to me like you’re feeling ________ because of _______’. This gives them a chance to clarify those feelings and communicates that you are listening intently to what they’re saying.
  • Observe body language. Sometimes body language speaks one message while words speak another. Ask for clarification to make sure you understand what they’re thinking and feeling.
  • Refuse to Interrupt. Your goal is to understand the other person, not correct or state your position.

The 5 Love Languages – Words of Affirmation

Words of affirmation are verbal compliments or words of appreciation, and they are powerful communicators of love.

Why is it Important: The deepest human need is the need to feel appreciated.

How to Practice it: Every time someone you love or care about does something good, give them a verbal compliment.

Types of Words of Affirmation:

  • Encouraging Words: To inspire courage. We all have areas in which we feel insecure. When you receive words of encouragement from someone you love, it gives you the courage to do accomplish the positive things you’re trying to do.
  • Kind Words: It’s not about the words that you say, but how you say them. Forgiveness is an expression of love. Forgiveness is a commitment. It is a choice to show mercy.
  • Humble Words: Love makes requests, not demands. To develop an intimate relationship, we need to know each other’s desires. When you make a request to your partner, you are validating their worth and abilities.

Accepting and Acknowledging Words of Affirmation: When you receive words of affirmation from your partner, simply respond with ‘Thank you for saying that’. Just by saying this, you are positively reinforcing your partner by telling them that it affects you in a positive way. This is important especially if it expressing love through words of affirmation doesn’t come naturally to you.

Game Changer

We had our second Pandora league game tonight, and it was one of the most ridiculous and amazing game of basketball I’ve ever played.

Before I get into the details, I wanted to say that we ordered team jerseys for this season. If we were going to lose, we wanted to at least look good while doing so. We got to design the jerseys ourselves, so in true Pandora fashion we chose our company colors, our nicknames and a thumbs up logo on the back of the jersey. They came out better than anyone could imagine, except they missed the minor detail of spelling my last name. What’s interesting is that they got everyone else’s right, including ones with special characters such as dollar signs and underscores, but they couldn’t spell my last name.


Ah yes, I forgot to mention that they got my name right on one jersey but wrong in the other. I guess attention to detail is not very important these days. For reference, my last name is spelled TORNG but people always pronounce it TRONG. I’m surprised at how many people make this mistake, including people that I have known for years. This has been such a big problem for my family that my parents had to change their last names. I’ll leave this story for another time..

Anyway, I played one of the craziest games of basketball today.

It all started with a 20 point deficit. About nine of us showed up and we clearly had more people than the other team, meaning that we could try to wear them out by playing hard and making constant substitutions. The score was 2 to 22, and the other team was scoring at will. It was pretty obvious that they were the better team, as we were turning the ball over left and right and throwing up a bunch of air balls. For a few minutes you could tell that morale was low and we were almost feeling embarrassed. Well I was at least..

Darren brought us back in the game by making three 3 pointers in three possessions, cutting their lead down to 11. We rallied a bit for the rest of the half, and only trailed 7 points going into half-time. In the second half, all of us played our asses off, and Ben kept us in the game with a bunch of layups. Him and Darren also made a couple 3 pointers. I was pretty useless because I sprained my pinky during Sunday’s game, but I did contribute here and there with some rebounds and tips.

With less than 5 minutes left the game got really exciting, as every possession either tied the game or put one of the teams in the lead. After a few buckets made from both sides, we were down to the final stretch. We were down by 2. Our possession. We miss a well contested seehot, and I tip the rebound to Darren, who was wide open for a 3. Bucket. Cheering and screaming coming from the bench. Adrenaline flowing from everyone in the gym, especially the players on the court. Next possession, their big posts up on me and makes an easy bucket. He’s tall. Earlier in the game, he was wide open under the basket and dunked on us.

18 seconds left on the clock. Time out. The goal was to take the last shot, with maybe some time left for an offensive rebound and a put back. The inbound pass goes to ben, and he begins to run down the clock. With 5 seconds left, he drives the ball right into the lane and attempts to go for a layup. He’s covered by his man, but my man (the big guy) also rotates as he anticipates this will be the last shot. Ben sees the big guy rotating and adjusts his shot, but it’s a little too strong and goes off the rim. I jump up for the rebound and tap the ball in, which puts us up by 1. The crowd goes wild. High fives all around. I can’t feel my right hand because of all the high fives.

Luckily, their inbound pass was deflected and they didn’t score at the buzzer. We came back from a 20 point deficit to come back and win it in the last few seconds of the ball game. Hands down, this was one of the best comebacks I’ve ever witnessed, and participated in.

Final Score: 50 – 49

What an unforgettable night.


It’s 1:14am on a Saturday night, and I am just browsing the internet in bed as I’m getting ready to call it a day. I came across an article on Facebook about the top 52 places to visit in 2014. I love looking through these articles because they’re usually accompanied by breathtaking pictures or because I want to see how many places I’ve actually been to on these lists, but I never have the intention to actually visit these places.

Anyway, so I’m looking through this list and of course see some places I want to visit and I come across number 50. Belize. I know nothing about Belize, and I’m not even sure whether the picture I’m looking at is referencing Belize or St. Petersburg, Florida. I may have heard about it before, but for some reason I decide to do a quick Google search on it.

I find out that it’s in Central America and a round trip flight from LA is roughly $600. That’s affordable. Next, I do a Google search for ‘things to do in Belize’ and I end up on a website for a volunteer conservation project called Blue Ventures. (This is starting to feel like a Google Search commercial, but I assure you I’m not getting paid for this.) Anyway, I’m looking around on their website and reading the testimonials from previous volunteers and it sounds amazing.

It just so happens that one of my new years resolutions is to take a week off to volunteer at a place that I’ve never been before. Suddenly, a light bulb goes off in my head. I decide to write this down to hold myself accountable, and also because I thought it was pretty interesting how one thing led to another, and here I am.

Ok, now back to the research. Fingers crossed..

Merry Christmas!

I read a really good article today. It talked about how many of us strive to work, work and work, but no amount of success is worth the loss of key relationships, especially your family and children. Although I don’t have children yet, I am definitely guilty of choosing work over family and friends. The advice the article gave was to accept the following.

1. Accept that it’s impossible to get everything done.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. There’s always something more that could be done, especially if you run your own company. Most people think they can fix this by working harder, but at the end of the day there’s always just ‘one more thing’. Once you can accept that it’s impossible to get everything done, you can start focusing on what’s important.

2. Put time on the calendar for your life.

The main point here was that we put so much priority over meetings on our calendars, so why not put some time on the calendar for our own life? Everything can be put on our calendars, such as dinner plans with friends, taking a yoga class or spending time with the family.

3. Time taken away from work should be time AWAY from work.

It shouldn’t be work away from work. Lots of people take much needed time off but they bring their work with them, which defeats the whole purpose of taking time off. The next time you agree to have dinner with a friend, make sure you keep your Blackberry in your pocket.



Eventful day today..

-Work ended early at 5pm today because our internet was shut down. It was shut down because we’re moving offices from the first floor into the third floor. At 5pm, everyone packed up their things into boxes so that the movers could move it into the new space by next week. Since we have no internet, everyone was instructed to work at home tomorrow which is great since it’s right before the holidays. A few of us might still go into the office and use our mobile hotspots because it’s a lot easier to work at the office.

-Had Robata Jinya ramen in Beverly Hills for dinner. This was the last event of the year for our Rameniacs PERG at Pandora. About 10 people made it out and we drove all the way out from Santa Monica to Beverly Hills during Thursday traffic, which is the worst day of the week. We ended up ordering lots of food before the ramen, including dishes like spicy tuna sticky rice, brussels sprout tempura and shrimp toast. I ordered the Tonkatsu Black Ramen which I thought was pretty good but not extraordinary. I personally felt that the non-ramen dishes we ordered were a lot more unique and tasty.

-Watched Fast Five. Turned on the TV when I got home to catch the last few minutes of the Warriors Spurs game, but Fast Five was playing on USA and I was never able to change the channel. A part of me was watching it to pay my respects to Paul Walker, but the movie is truly really exciting and action packed. Now I need to watch the 4th and 6th one.. Until next time..

Gone Fishing

I went fishing for the first time on Saturday. I’ve gone on the pier with my parents when I was a kid, but I don’t have any recollection of those experiences. Jon, Scott and I went fishing on a private lake in Mission Viejo, which is a city close to Irvine. We met at Scott’s parents’ place in Cypress at 9am in the morning and got to the lake at around 10am.

Since it was a private lake, we had to pick up a friend’s card in order to get in. When we got there, we rented a basic electric boat for $5 an hour and set forth onto the middle of the lake. The temperature was pretty warm. Probably somewhere around low to mid 70s. I anticipated it being freezing, so I wore two pairs of pants and two sweaters. It was supposed to be really windy that day, but surprisingly there was no wind at all. It ended up being a little to warm, but bearable.

I was really excited to catch something, but they told me that it wasn’t unusual to go home empty handed. It took about 30 minutes for us to get the fishing rods ready, as we had to knot the hooks, prepare the bait and other preliminary things. Since I had no experience, they helped me with all of this.

One of the most disturbing things we had to do was put the worms on the hooks. The whole thing was really disgusting, as the first step was cutting the worm in half. This step was actually the most bearable, because all you needed to do was use a knife. It only got worse from here. The next step was to put the worm on the hook. It’s hard to describe the feeling, but the feeling of something squirmy in your hands while you stick a hook through its body just didn’t feel right. This wasn’t even the bad part. Once you stuck the hook through the worm, you had to do it two more times to prevent the worm from falling off the hook. With each puncture, the worm squirmed more and more. It was terrible.

However, the absolute worst part was the last part. After you’re done putting the worm on, you have to take a syringe and pump air into the worm so that it gets fat and so that it floats. This almost made me throw up. If you pump too much air into the worm, you can hear the air leaking out. Last but not least, we dipped the worm in special bait and sprayed it with garlic. The garlic apparently draws the attention of the fish because of its pungent smell.

After all of this, you can finally get to the fun stuff. Fishing. Except, it’s not really that exciting because you spend most of your time waiting. We sat around for two hours without any action. Neither of us even had a bite, and it gets pretty demoralizing if you’re just sitting there for two hours without any action. We moved the boat around to different areas of the lake to try our luck, but to our disappointment there was still no action. We were getting close to calling it a day as we navigated back to the dock, but we decided to give it one more shot.

This time we anchored the boat pretty close to the dock and we just went through the motions. Put the bait on the hook, spray it with garlic, cast the line, and wait. After a few minutes of waiting, I started reeling in my line really slowly to prepare to throw it out again. However, I felt a little tug on my line. The tug was so subtle that I thought it was just seaweed again so I continued to reel the line in. Again, I felt a little tug. As I continued to reel the line in, I definitely felt some movement on the line, and not knowing what to do I quickly shouted ‘GUYS, I THINK I GOT ONE!!’. Jon took the rod from me and pulled the fishing rod straight up as he confirmed that we got one. He passed the rod back to me and directed me to keep the rod up as I reeled the fish in.

I was overwhelmed with excitement as we brought the fish onto the boat. My first time fishing and I caught the first one! They told me that I caught myself a trout. It was a pretty decent sized one, maybe around a foot long. Scott helped me remove the hook and we put a rope through its gills its mouth and threw it over the water to keep it fresh. My catch gave everyone hope, and we ended up getting really lucky because we caught three more over the next 30 minutes. I caught a blue gilled crappie, while Jon caught a crappie and a small bass. Scott wasn’t so lucky and he ended up going home empty handed. All in all, it was a great experienced and I look forward to going back out there and trying to catch something bigger.


-Watched Hunger Games: Catching Fire with co-workers after work today. It was a pretty good movie. Wish I read the book before I watched it though.

-Great day at work today. Had some productive meetings, including the one I prepped for last night. I continue to be really motivated at work.

-Allergies have been kicking in. I stopped taking the nasal spray after I started getting nose bleeds, so my allergies have been acting up recently. It was awesome for an entire month when I didn’t have to worry about allergies at all.

-Cindy comes back from Orlando tomorrow. She’s been there since Saturday for a pharmacy conference. It’s nice to have some alone time, but it will be nice to have her come home. Perfect timing!

-My Fantasy Bball team is doing better this week. I drafted a pretty good team but a lot of the players are underperforming, such as Danny Green, Amir Johnson and Kemba Walker. All three of them are doing much better this week and they should continue to put up more solid numbers. Fantasy Bball is similar to stocks, and it’s important to trust your research and hold on to your players, even when they’re underperforming. Don’t focus too much on the ups and downs as everything will even out eventually.


I have a work meeting tomorrow morning and figured that I should do some brainstorming here.

Purpose of the Meeting

To figure out the right process on how to work with our outsourced team. Specifically, what is the most efficient way to manage the workflow how can we scale it up to the entire client services department?


Theorem, our team in India, to handle some basic tasks such as taking screenshots, trafficking, pulling reports and pulling availability forecasts.

Utilize JIRA Ticketing system to manage Theorem’s queue. Benefits of using JIRA – Keep track of workload, submissions and easy to use dashboard. Once implemented, it should be easy to scale.

Insert JIRA button into SalesForce and build JIRA templates for each task mentioned below, similar to the current audio/design workflow.


1. In SalesForce, create a JIRA ticket in the AdOps Castles.
2. In JIRA, choose from a Theorem Template (Screenshots, Trafficking, Reporting, Avails, etc)
3. Fill out template for that specific task, and it gets added to Theorem’s queue/dashboard.

Ok. I’m ready.