Doan Chung-Hernandez

The blog about the life of Doan

Archive for the ‘ Reminiscing ’ Category

In March of 2006 Ray and I moved to Oakland California from Vacaville. We had only lived in Vacaville for 3 months before we realized the commute was killing us. I would drop him off at work, drive back home and then drive back to the bay area and pick him up, a total of a 4 hour commute, without traffic each day. Anyhow, while looking for a place to live in the bay area we stumbled upon this building. It was an old warehouse that use to be a French Fry Factory. I would of never, ever, ever, even considered living in here, but Ray, well, lets just say he has more vision than I most do. At first I thought it was asinine, I mean have you guys seen the photo above? But I have always been one to just go with the flow, and Ray is what I like to call a hopeless visionary.

But you got to admit, it totally has potential. Even I could admit that. But again, did you see the photo above? It was taken through a hole in the front door. The building was 8000 sq ft. Uh, no that’s not a misprint, there was not an extra 0 put in by accident. Yes, we lived, worked, renovated, bled, sweat, cried and even threw a few parties in an 8000 sq ft building for an entire year. Crazy kids, I’m sure that’s what everyone was thinking.

The pile of trash we had hauled away almost reached the second floor.

It even had two walk in refrigerators, one of which I was planning on turning into my walk in closet.

We flew dad down because there was no way we could of done all this work without him.

We put a lot of work into this building. In the beginning it was scary, but I got over it and soon it was as though the Universe had answered our dreams, but with a little sacrifice and hard work on our part. Ray had always dreamed of renting out a huge warehouse that had a urinal from a rich old man that gave him a super cheap deal and turning it into his modern urban living dream. Yes, our warehouse even had a urinal. And I had always wanted to have my own massage business, with 4 rooms, one for myself and the other 3 I would hire or rent out to other massage therapist. The front of the building on the second floor had 4 rooms. The more we thought about it the more uncanny and perfect it seemed.

But soon, life just took a toll. Ray detested work and the more he saw his boss the more he loathed him. I was getting burnt out on massage. What once was filled with passion and energy fizzled and soon I felt like a well paid slave. Ray and I decided to call it quits and tackle yet another dream of mine, to live in Hawaii. Somehow, this dream seemed so much less painful and stressful. We had a 3 year lease so we took on the role as property managers and sublet the building for the remainder 2 years of our lease and for over twice what we paid, split the rent with Mel, the nice old man Ray dreamt to life, every month and started a new chapter of our lives in Oahu Hawaii.

Hawaii was a totally awesome experience. Every month we used the money we made from the building to pay off the debt we put into it. I’d like to say it was easy but it wasn’t. I can say it was a huge learning experience. This last trip to California was to find a way to come to an agreement with Kevin, the man we rented the building out to. He ended up subletting the building to Raphael, a total pathetic douche bag that couldn’t pay rent on time to save his life and couldn’t move out when asked to leave. But our main concern for coming out to Cali was to make sure we uphold our contract with Mel and leave on good terms with him. When we got to the building it was in shambles. All the hard work, blood, sweat, tears, and money we put into it seemed wasted. Did I mentioned that Raphael had secretly turned the building into an illegal club/bar he called the Radiance Factory. Just a word of advice for Raphael, it’s not smart to advertise an illegal club. Fucking retard.

Here’s a before us and after us photo.

And after then after we did more work and started to settled in. In the very back behind the glass windows is where where the 4 massage rooms laid.

From the opposite direction. Ray loved his pool table.

A closer look further back. To the left was our bed room, middle was Ray’s desk and to the far right was our closet.

A better view of our closet. I had a lot more shoes back then.

Our living room in it’s earlier stage.

The kitchen area and dining area. Ray and I built that wobbly table one night when we had nothing better to do. He swears one day he’ll redeem himself.

Here’s what the building looked like on our last visit.

Looks like they built a kitchen room.

We turned this room into my workout/yoga room.

This is what it looks like by the time we were done with it.

And this is how it looks now.

This was suppose to eventually be a massage room #4, but in the mean time we just made it a guest room and it was also Chris Miller’s room when he stayed with us.

And this is how it looks now.

A before and after of Massage Room #3.

Same room, present day.

Before and after of Massage Room #2.

Massage Room #2 today.

My Massage Room before.

My beautiful massage room after. I actually worked countless hours in this room. It was the perfect massage room.

And this is how it looks like now.

A few before and afters of the lobby we fixed up. We were planning on getting more furniture to fill it up but I think we did a pretty spectacular job.

And here it is today. Animals.

We took back our blinds.

A before and after of the mens restroom. Behind the wall next to the sink was where the men’s urinal was. I forgot to take an aftermath photo but it’s probably for the best because it was bad.

They badly built what looks like lounge rooms downstairs. But the whole are downstairs area was pretty muck a junk yard.

Oh, our mistletoe was still hanging up. I bet it launched a lot of kisses.

I’ll never forget the day we lifted the super industrial air condition unit up on the rooftop. It was insanely crazy and scary. We had to set it on top of a shit ton of pallets in order for Ray and his dad to reach it. Ray had originally wanted to tie the heavy unit to a rope and pull it up. That made no fucking sense to me so I walked over to the Chinese produce factory and asked if they would help us out with their fork lift. It took some per swaying but my charm won in the end.

There were more pallets than what you see here. Trust me, people came out of their buildings to watch. It was totally wobbly and insanely scary.

Oh course it wasn’t only us that sweat for this building,

we put our loved ones to work too.


Kola did a lot of supervising.

Of course it wasn’t all hard work. I miss our parties


Drinking wine on the rooftop.

Having friends over to play pool. Hell, I miss having friends.

I even miss the skaters.

It was definitely an experience. But I gotta tell ya, I’m so glad it’s over.

The End.

Now that 2009 is here I want to take some time to reflect on 2008. I always knew 2008 was going to be a good year. I remember looking forward to it because it was 08 and 8 is just a good fucking number. It was only a year ago Ray and I were living the good o life in the rainbow state, Honolulu Hawaii.

It was almost a year ago that I started my first post on this blog, January 9th 2008. Since then I’ve written 121 post. I don’t really know who’s all reading it, but it sure has made my hand written journaling take back seat.

I cut my hair super short for the first time ever. It was kinda cute wasn’t it?

Ray got a new iPhone.

Ray and I ran in The Annual Great Aloha Run, just a little over 8 miles, and we all know eight is a good number to start with.

We voted for our first time for the Democratic Party. But just for the record, once Hillary was out of the election Ray and I voted again for our first time for President for Obama of course.

Ray bought me my first brand new computer. Mac 4 life baby!

MyBabyOurBaby Launched.

We finally found the dock where Lost, our favorite television series, was filmed at. We searched the island for it forever.

We went camping at Melekahana, our first time camping in Hawaii and Ray’s first time ever. He’s not a fan.

Rocked out at the Kokua Festival, a festival Jack Johnson puts on every year in Hawaii.

CheapPlacesToEatInOahuHawaii.com, my blog had become a major hit and one of Hawaii’s most popular food blog websites.

I called some lady a cunt on my last day of work, because she was.

We got to swim with dolphins.

We moved back to the main land, California first.

Ray got to meet some of my extended family.

Tried wake boarding for the first time.

Got to ride dirk bikes again.

Moved to Austin

Where we met the Semmlers, Shane’s older brother and his family and now mine.

Kidnapped Kuya Ben’s dogs.

Found the Agave Homes and fell in love.

Ray introduced me to Marcos. He works for NASA.

Went to our first roller derby.

Spent Bachelorette week in Florida with my best bud Jack Mother Fucking Dogg with a double G.

Got married, 080808.

Got my first tattoo with my old crew from V-Town.

Traveled to New York, but just for a couple of months.

I stopped eating meat.

Met Guav Mom and the Roses and I have to tell you I’m a fan. Hope we get to see them again soon.

I got to freelanced at Jimmy Z’s, thanks to Bea.

We got to be extras in Friday Night Lights.

I almost died from pneumonia.

I met the Semmler’s, the rest of Shane’s family, and now mine as well and went to my first professional basketball game. Go Mavericks!

As you can see I love recording my life and 2008 was a year worth recording. There was a lot of cherry popping going on and I got to meet a lot of people that will be in my life for the long haul. We also moved around a lot, Hawaii, California, Austin, New York, Dallas. Things are just never boring with us. I’m looking forward to a healthy, happy and prosperous year for 2009. I know great things are to come.

Bea, Me and Marci. Photo taken on the rooftop of Marci’s old apartment in April of last year.

Photo stolen by Bea the Playa

Bea found some old photos while unpacking.  These were taken back in 2006, I think.  We’re still just as cute.

A photo of my first apartment on my own. It was cute wasn’t it? If you’ve never lived on your own, I highly recommend it.  Some of the best moments of my life were spent in complete solitude.

Today Ray and I are going camping at Melekahana. I’m super excited because it’s been awhile since I’ve been camping. We’re going for one night with a few of our friends, Ona, Jen, Holly and Mark. Shane didn’t want to go for some reason. And we’re actually camping, with tents n shit, not cabins. I love it. Ray’s never been big on camping so I think camping for one night with a few close friends is a nice way to ease him into it. He likes being clean and civilized and I don’t. I love everything about camping, hiking, sleeping outside, camp food, being super drunk with a bunch of friends and having no worries, smores, camp fire, roasted marshmellows, pissing and shitting outside, no showers, being super dirty, having my dog with me, getting wasted, it’s all good. If I had my way, I would love to spend a good five days out there in the wild, just as long as I have a full bottle of bug spray. After day 5 I start to smell believe it or not. Anyhow all this talk about camping made me think about my last real camping trip.

Becky, Mike, Me and Kola

Sammy, Christina, Me, Becky

Me and my son

Me, Kola, Heather, and Christina

So after the first night we got kicked out of the camp grounds. I don’t remember exactly why, but it sounds about right. We packed up our shit and moved the party to the next camp ground. It ended up being an even better location. Score.

What a view.

Christina getting the party started.  She was always very good at that.

I miss Heather

Kola and I took off and had some mother and son quality time.

Heather and Becky.

Kola, Heather, Becky, and Me.

Snow angels.

The thing I loved most about this camping trip was that we got to see the snow, the hot sun and cool nights. Crazy is a serious  understatement if I had to describe this trip to anyone.  At the time, I thought I would of stayed close to most of these guys till I grew old but the Universe has a different plan.  Currently, Becky and I are still super close and I still talk to Heather every now and then.  If we had a bottle of wine and all night Becky and I could go on and on laughing all night about this trip.