★ The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien

January 22nd marked the end of Conan O’Brien’s short run of host of The Tonight Show. The entire NBC debacle made a lot of noise in the media and I’m not going to add to it here. This is just to merely share something that Conan fans may not have seen.

Conan O’Brien gave the commencement speech in 2000 at his alma mater, Harvard. The quality of the video isn’t great, but he talks about his years at Harvard, his early years in LA and gives the graduates overall great advice.

And this 3rd clip shows Conan backstage during a show rehearsal. It looks like they’re in between segments and it seems like they’re going over some bit they plan to do on a show but I don’t know if he knows he’s being filmed. I like this clip because it shows Conan in a natural setting. Enjoy.

The earliest we’ll see him back is September of 2010. As a fan of his since The Simpsons, I can’t wait.

★ Twenty Six Miles

Running a marathon has always been a personal goal of mine. This past Christmas, my cousins and I talked about running the San Diego Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon this year on June 6th. I like to think I’m in good shape and every so often, I’ll run a couple of miles to get cardio into my workout. The longest I have run in one workout was 6 miles. I know with proper training, I’m confident I can complete the 26.2 miles in a marathon.

While I was researching on how to properly train for a marathon, I ran into The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training. TNT is the world’s first, largest and best charity sports program. They provide very structured marathon preparation and expert training all for free. In exchange for this, I have agreed to raise funds for LLS.

My personal goal is to raise $2,620, (a marathon is 26.2 miles, $100 per mile) by March 12th. When I decided to run this marathon, I was doing it to fulfill a personal goal of mine. But now that I’m involved with TNT, I’m running to help thousands of people who are suffering from leukemia or other forms of cancer and to raise funds for blood cancer research and patient aid. I am also running in honor of my Mom, who is a breast cancer survivor and in memory of her sister, my Auntie Alice Jamero. You can help me in this cause by donating to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

The EASIEST way to donate is through my fundraising website. My SDRNR Fundraising Page is set up to make it easy to make your tax-deductible donation. I have also added a badge in the sidebar showing my progress and it also includes a link to my fundraising site. Once you click “Donate Now” you’ll receive email confirmation and a tax receipt.

Thanks for visiting my blog and reading this post. It’s not often that I reach out and ask for this type of feedback and support on my blog, but this is something that I truly believe in. There is no minimum to donate, you can donate whatever you’re comfortable with. If you can’t, no worries. I know times are tough but they can’t be any more difficult than what people who are suffering from these diseases are going through. If you have questions, you can leave a comment or email me at jaytorres at gmail dot com.

Thank you all for your support.

★ Year in Review: 2009

If you would’ve told me at the beginning of the year that everything about my life would be completely different by the end of the year, I would have a hard time believing you.

Two weeks into 2009, I was laid off.  I invested four and a half years into a job where I worked my way up from an afterthought hire to an inside sales assistant to a fully commissioned outside sales engineer.  I completely remember the events of that day.

I got an email from my boss asking if I was going to be around after our weekly Friday sales meeting saying that he had some things to discuss.  My boss NEVER asks to speak with me.  He pretty much let me do my own thing and occassionally he’d stick his head into my office making sure I WASN’T there and I was out visiting clients.  So when I got his email, along with rumors of layoffs, I couldn’t help but freak out.

After talking to a coworker, I grew the balls to go in and ask him if we could talk about it immediately as I couldn’t stand to obsess over what he needed to talk to me about overnight.  As soon as I walked in and brought up the email, he quickly said, “No, it’ll have to wait until tomorrow.”  I even asked if he could tell me what it was about.  At this point my voice was quivering and I was breaking into a sweat.  Again I got, “Nope.  We’ll talk about it tomorrow.”  What. The. Fuck.

By now, I pretty much knew what all this meant.  Later that day at around 4pm, he stopped by my office as he usually does but instead of just checking in, he came inside and closed the door behind him.  He ended up doing the decent thing by letting me know I was getting laid off since he knew that I wasn’t stupid and that I probably figured out what was going on.  So he gave me all my papers the day before and spared me the humiliation of having to clean out my office the next day in front of all my coworkers.  In the end, being laid off wasn’t so bad.  I got unemployment, I was able to find a new job quickly and with the time off I was able to take a “vacation”.

Shortly after starting my new job, I took the leap and decided to move into an apartment on my own.  No longer would I be living in a frathouse-style living arrangement.  I’d be paying the rent and the utilities all by myself.  I found a great move in special in the Artists Village area in Downtown Santa Ana.  In retrospect, it was totally an impulse move and if I sat down longer to think about it, I wouldn’t have done it, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.  I enjoy having an entire space to myself and the bars and restaurants that are within walking distance are about as unique as you’ll find in Orange County.

Those were the two biggest changes for me in 2009 but a lot of other things happened as well.  I snowboarded for the first time in Mammoth.  I had my own housewarming party.  I attended two weddings this year.  My good friend, and old coworker, Christian got married in August.  And my friend Van literally had her dream wedding in Washington, D.C. in September.  Two more of my close friends got engaged in 2009 so that’s at least two weddings to look forward to in 2010.  Throw in a Vegas trip, a camping trip, and multiple drives down to San Diego and that pretty much describes how I spent 2009.

I found out first hand that A LOT can change in one year.  Here’s to looking forward to all the changes and events I’ll encounter in the next year.