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Random thoughts

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Taking A Breather

I've been so swamped at this new job and busy with trying to fit in Christmas shopping, the long commute to and from Pasadena, and my usual other activities (climbing, knitting, etc.) that I've completely neglected my blog. Whoops! But it's good to actually have more time in between posts so that each entry has more meat.

You'd think.

Well, here's what has happened to me in the last couple of weeks:

1. Finished my Christmas shopping
2. Helped my uncle finish his shopping
3. Successfully completed an indoor 5.11B toprope route without any takes (and it was a route Tad set, which makes it an even bigger accomplishment! Damn tricky Tad routes! :P)
4. Finally climbed the outdoor 5.10d that I had struggled with in Malibu
5. Had my first car accident - bumped into a parked Lexus
6. Watched Rent solo

I'm taking a breather now from work, where I've been unexpectedly thrown into a project as a solo programmer. My deadline is Thursday, and I'm feeling the pressure. Only a couple of days left, and I'm required to learn a new software and a new language, and then program the rest of the application - all by Thursday. I'm jumping for joy.

My relaxation time nowadays consists of extended hours at Rockreation or doing yoga at Marc's place while he sits outside and watches TV (hehe, poor Marc) or knitting before bed. Now, the first two things seem to be going well, but I am just failing miserably with my knitting. I've called Angela in a panic to ask her what I could be doing wrong. I have yet to try her other suggestions, but it's frustrating having to undo and redo this scarf I'm trying to make. Sigh!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Ants In My Pants

It's 10 minutes to the weekend! I'm counting down the minutes - it's been a long week and I know I've worked my butt off, so it's high time for some relaxation. This weekend will be busy as well, but at least it will have nothing to do with coding web applications. 40 hours of that is enough for me. Whew!

My list of things to do (hopefully I'm able to do all of them):
1. Christmas shopping
2. Pedicure (hey I have to be a girl too!)
3. A night hike
4. Climbing (of course)
5. Bake flans for Thanksgiving
6. Knit
7. Practice playing the piano (haven't touched it in awhile)
8. Watch Harry Potter

6 minutes to go!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Learning the Hard Way

I'm in mourning.

At the tail end of a great weekend (Joshua Tree, Christmas shopping, etc.), Marc and I went on a short hike in Malibu. Daisy had given me a guide to Southern California waterfalls, so we decided to visit one. Waterfalls. Water. There I was clicking away on my camera.

Then we came to the upper part of the waterfall and I had Marc stand on a boulder to pose. I squatted down on the boulder by the water, lost my balance, flailed my arms out, and there you go, the camera went flying through the air and into the water. I must have sat there for like five to ten seconds, unable to move, just staring in horror at the submerged gadget. Marc realized soon enough that I was immobile so he rescued the camera, and then I proceeded to cry.

So now, camera-less and depressed, Marc and I have to go about the business of either trying to get the camera resuscitated or getting a replacement. This sucks! I'm so angry at myself for being so careless. This is definitely one lesson I won't forget.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Road Rage

Before this week, my commute to work would take at the most 40 minutes. And my commute back would take less than an hour.

Then it rained.

No, it wasn't a torrential, Katrina-like downpour. No dramatic accidents on the freeways. But for the past two days, I would leave work at exactly 5pm, be on the road by 5:10 and get home at almost 7pm.

Now I know what they mean when they say Californians don't know how to drive on wet roads.

I've got the worst potty mouth when I get stuck in a traffic jam, especially when I'm a fourth of a mile away from my exit and everyone around me just seems to refuse to move. Every swear word - English and Tagalog - punches its way out of my mouth.

Today the roads are dry though, so I'm crossing my fingers that my experience will be much better. The weekend awaits! I have to start it right.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Good Day, Okay Night

I'm feeling pretty fulfilled right now, in terms of my new job. I was given an assignment that I started working on Monday of last week, and I pretty much finished the bulk of it today. All I need to do are little details that won't take that long to do. So whoopee! It could be beginner's luck, but I do hope that most of my work will be this fast. I've vowed to try harder and just take on the tasks, no matter how tedious or overwhelming they may be. I know sometimes that I suffer from inertia - when I get the impression that the next task is a big one, I can't seem to begin to start. But once I'm in there, I can zone out until I've found the solution. I just have to get the initial slow start.

Tonight was just alright though. I find that even though I try to get along with everyone, there are some people that I really would rather not spend so much time with. My problem now is that I've found out too late, so I feel obliged to hang out with this person. Sigh. I know it's bad. It's nothing personal, but I just get frustrated when I'm around him. There's no nice way to say, "See you later - or not.... Not! Not!"

Monday, November 07, 2005

Weekend Recap - Chilling Out and Working It

With Marc down with a bad cold and not feeling so great, we had to put off the Echo Cliffs trip to Sunday. So on Saturday, we decided to have a day of relaxation. We grabbed lunch from our favorite fast food chain, Popeye's, and then laid out under the sun at the park right by St. Monica's.

It wasn't long before a car pulled up with a familiar face at the wheel. I said, "I guess we're slacklining today!" It was Don, and his appearance at this particular park only meant that he was setting up a slackline.

After much pulling, we finally got the slackline tight enough so we could walk it. Rather, so Don could walk it, and I could attempt to at least stand up on it. Soon, Kelly was there, and then Charlie and Julie. It turned out to be a fun afternoon with friends.

Sunday: Cecile, Van, Marc and I met up early and drove out to Echo cliffs in Malibu. It was a good hike to the rock, and I was out of breath by the time we arrived. But it turned out to be more than worth it - the climbs were challenging, and the quality of the rock was great. I was able to lead a 5.10c without too much trouble, and I tried my luck on a 5.11a top-rope as well. Good fun!

On another note, I finally finished the scarf that I've been saying I simply needed to trim the ends of. It left much to be desired but I was pleasantly surprised when Marc got more than one compliment when he wore it, and I actually got a call from Julie, asking if we could sit down one night so I could teach her the stitch, and we could chat while knitting. I'm nowhere near as good as my friend Angela, but that's very encouraging, and now I'm starting to scrounge around for the time to sit down and start new projects.

Like Cecile said, I wish we had two weekends in a week. There's just so much out there that I'd like to do!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Well, camping and climbing while on the verge of having the flu has finally taken its toll. Although the flu never really set in, I feel weak and sickly, and unable to do the things I'm used to doing. The thing about climbing outdoors too is that you don't really have time to eat a really decent meal. You're out hiking the whole day, trying to find the way to the climbs, and then you get too caught up in climbing to even care. So I'm feeling pretty malnourished now.

In addition, since I'm not at John's anymore, I don't have the usual snacks at my fingertips. I know it's hard, but I still want to stay healthy even while working in an office. So I've been trying to resist the chocolates and muffins and pastries that people leave out for everyone to have, and contenting myself with carrots and apples. Not enough though. So today I loaded up on groceries from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. I might have bought too much, given that I was shopping on an empty-feeling stomach (I had dinner but still felt hungry - go figure).

I've reached a roadblock in this project that I'm on, can't seem to figure out the programming logic to solve the problem. I was distracted the whole day, couldn't sit still. I hope tomorrow will be a better day.

I'm glad though that I seem to be getting along well with the people I work with. Ray and Maritza have been especially friendly to me. A day never goes by without at least Ray checking up on me and sharing a joke or two. It's nice to feel welcome.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to the weekend - although we're staying local, we're still climbing at Echo Cliffs in Malibu. Sport climbing this time, which I seem to have forgotten how to do, given how I performed at the gym last night. Geez! But for some reason, it seems that crack climbing now is more intuitive for me. Hand jamming feels natural to me. I just need to build up the strength, I suppose, and get used to how it feels. I can't wait to try it again!