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Random thoughts

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

On My Tippy Toes

Early morning again today at work - yesterday was definitely not a good day for me. Yesterday was supposed to be a sort of career milestone for me - something I had worked on by myself (although the system was already existing) was going live. I came to work and was met with so many issues, that I just got overwhelmed. Barely had any lunch. Did not even step out of my cubicle for so many hours just to get the application to work. Whew!

So today I decided to come in early to test the fixes I had made and voila! the application works! I felt so much lighter, and I could breathe easier, that I allowed myself a few minutes to just sit back and relax. This feels good now.

To relieve my stress, I had a pretty decent climbing session last night. Marc and I have decided that we would set specific goals for each day at the gym, and last night we had these goals:

  • 10 routes

  • a couple of boulder problems

  • a couple of tries on the campus board

  • at least three pull-ups


Marc did pretty well, although we both got so tired towards the end that we couldn't even do the climbs properly anymore. Me? Well, I choked on the pull-ups. I can lower myself off of the bar, but I couldn't for the life of me pull myself up past my chin, so Marc had to help me up. Hopefully this new program we've set for ourselves will make me stronger. I'm very happy though that I was able to do Tad's newest route - a 5.11a/b. That felt great.

So anyway, today is definitely a better day. I'm no longer as stressed out, and I can be more relaxed with my work. There's still a lot to do, but at least some of the pressure is off for now.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Early Bird Day

After being given a deadline that left me only two days to work out some issues for a system that I hadn't looked at in awhile, I panicked and decided to come in early to work today. So at 7:15AM, I was pecking away at my keyboard, in a programming frenzy mainly made possible by a full cup of strong coffee gulped down in less than a minute.

But come to think of it, I think coming in this early is actually better for me. I skip all the morning traffic, get to work early when it's nice and quiet and there aren't too many people around, I can take a little bit of a break for lunch without sacrificing my goal of leaving before 5pm, so that I skip most of the evening traffic.

The only problem is actually getting my butt off the bed, especially with the weather the way it is in the morning, when all I want to do is stay in the warmth of my duvet. It usually takes me half an hour to finally drag myself out of bed. And it takes me the whole ride to work to actually wake up and get psyched about the day.

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Well, it's after lunch and it's almost like it was this morning - everyone's out to lunch, so it's nice and quiet, and I can relax. It's a good motivator to know that I'm only going to be here about three more hours. Not that I hate work, but I always breathe a little easier at the end of each day. There's nothing like coming home after a full day. I always look forward to my evening activities, even if it's just getting a workout in at Bally's or Rockreation, or browsing the used CDs and DVDs at Second Spin.

My mother is coming to visit sometime in February though, and that will mean a break from my usual routine. Sometimes I get stressed out about this because I still like keeping some parts of my schedule as is, which means coming home late at least twice a week. But I so rarely get to spend time with her that it's kind of refreshing to be subjected to this kind of change once in awhile. I'm also looking forward to her visit because then I can probably go house- or apartment-huting with her while she's here.

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Well, it's the end of my day. A little stressful, but I think I accomplished a lot. It's time to go home - I can tell that I'm going to have an early night tonight - my eyes are feeling a little tired and my body is telling me it's time to go home.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Open House Hopping

Armed with an offer of support from my parents, and with two of my best advisors by my side, I braved the real estate market yesterday and went to several open houses to see what my options are. Mind you, I just recently started looking, so I don't really know yet what I'm looking for.

The prices seemed pretty reasonable at first, but when I got home and started computing monthlies with my uncle, I had to shake my head several times. It's amazing how much money you have to shell out; no wonder my uncle always has a pained look on his face when he writes checks out for mortgage and insurance payments.

I'm not discouraged though, because I know I'll find something when it's time. Even a fixer-upper wouldn't be bad, because then I can apply my own design ideas to it and end up happier. It also helps that Marc can help me remodel, if I need to. :) I was salivating though when we went to Barnes and Noble after the open houses, and looked through interior design books. This is a sure sign that I'm getting old - getting excited about paint colors and couch-and-table combinations. Haha!

I have to be patient and just wait for the market to go down a little bit, according to most people I talk to. I'm hoping that I get a similar deal to what Tito Gary found a few year's back, when the market went down - $78,000 for a 2-BR apartment, that looked really nice. Anytime now! :)

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bad Karma, Make Your Move

I made a note to myself that I would try as hard as I can not to post bad thoughts on my blog, but today is an exception - I need to vent.

Disclaimer: I know I'm not perfect. I've probably hurt a lot of people along the way. I know I'm capable of being careless, thoughtless, inconsiderate, etc., etc.

But what the hell is up with these people who make it their mission to bring people down and try their hardest to make it difficult to live with them? Geez! I am thinking of one particular person, who hasn't really done anything to me directly, but has repeatedly crossed the line with someone that I happen to care very, very deeply for. This makes it difficult because, although I want so much to speak up and start screaming at this guy, it really isn't my place.

I stayed up most of the night last night amusing myself with scenarios where I could return the favor and make his life miserable too. I know though that stooping down to the level of this a$$h^$^ isn't a good idea. Let him fester on his own, and let bad karma get him in its own time. But it certainly felt good to imagine all the things I could do to him if only I would let myself.

No wonder he's always sick. No wonder he's always running into trouble. No wonder he can never get up from the hole he dug himself. No wonder he has to rent a PO Box and hide from people he owes money from. Hey, you reap what you sow. And with the way he's going right now, he's bound to run into more problems.

There's one month left where I have to risk bumping into him, but I don't think he's even worth a hello, not even a nod. He shows no respect and consideration, so he's not getting mine.

I'm thrilled that this moron is finally going to be out of our lives. I hope he gets the life that he deserves.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Couldn't resist

I think it's too big of a milestone for me to pass up the opportunity to recap my New York trip. If you're rolling your eyes, thinking, "Geez, how pathetic", then you don't understand. I have wanted to go to New York for years. Even before I moved here for good, I had been trying to make it out there, but things just kept coming up, and I've always had to postpone.

I remember where I was when I heard about what happened to the Twin Towers. I actually caught the breaking news because I was in my car, listening to the news on the radio. I was sitting in the car at the parking lot of CIS (my very first employer - this was back in the Philippines too), chatting with someone, half-listening to the radio. And when the full report came through, I was so affected that all other thoughts flew out of my head, and I drove home like mad, parked myself in front of the TV, and watched as they played and replayed the video of the Twin Towers collapsing.

I was scheduled to leave ten days after for the states. And what was on my list of places to visit? Yup, you guessed it. Thwarted again.

So I started working here in the US a few months after, and it turned out that Clark, who went to the same university as I did, got hired by the same guy who was hiring me. Before we started working full-time though, Clark said he had tickets to New York. And that his grandmother was no longer going. I was jumping at the chance.

Clark called the ticketing office to have the name changed....

....And because of 9/11, they weren't allowing name changes on tickets anymore. Whoopee.

The year after, I had no one to go with.

The year after, I was about to make plans to go, and those had to be abandoned, for personal reasons.

So you can imagine the buildup I've had to go through before this trip. If I could have skipped into the plane that Thursday without looking like an escaped mental patient, I would have. It was finally happening.

I flew into Newark just because it was easier, and the flight was cheaper. It was actually closer to Kia's place than JFK so that worked out well. The original plan was for Marc to meet me at the airport, but since it was just so damn easy to get on the bus that would take me to Port Authority, we decided that we'd just meet there.

That first night, since I was tired from the flight, Marc and I just grabbed some pizza at the corner of his sister's block, and then we went back home to rest.

The next day was beautiful. The sun was out, and it didn't rain a single drop - at least not from the time we woke up, which was pretty late. We grabbed some breakfast and then headed out to the Met. There weren't too many people there when we went in, but as time flew by, the crowds came. We finally finished our rounds of the paintings and decided to see the Van Gogh sketches but when we went out into the lobby to line up for it, the line snaked around so crazily that we decided it wasn't worth it (gasp! I hope Van Gogh's not turning in his grave!).

And then this is where everything turns hazy. I suppose we just crammed everything into the few days we were both there that I can't remember where we went on what day. I just know that we went running in Central Park, we walked around in the West Village, went shopping in Canal Street, visited the galleries in SoHo, went to the Empire State Building but decided that waiting three hours in line wasn't worth it (come to think of it, this was the first day because we were saying how perfect the weather was for looking out from the top of the Empire State). We ate at Mas, Marc's friend Thomas' hip French restaurant, went to Times Square, went to see the site of the World Trade Center ruins, went shopping (or tried to - the crowds were crazy) at Century 21, went on the Staten Island Ferry to get closer to the Statue of Liberty, went running along the Hudson River (and brought back some bagels from H&H).

We also ran into Marnie, a girl that went to the same university I did. We knew each other from the fencing team, although we weren't really friends. But when we saw each other and then belatedly realized that we knew each other, there was a forged warmth and we hugged and tried to catch up a little bit before moving on. It really was crazy how it happened - Marc and I just ducked into a coffee shop and voila! There she was. She was speaking in rapid French so I hesitated; I didn't remember her speaking French so fluently back then, and I figured it was just someone who looked like her but who actually grew up in France. I'm really glad that I took a chance anyway and spoke up.

Marc's sister and her family wasn't there for the first few days but they got back from France New Year's Day. It was great to finally meet them, although we never really got a chance to hang out, because they went right back to work the next day. What happened though was that when they got back, they picked up their cute little bulldog to bring home as well.

I like dogs, and Mugsy wasn't any different. So of course I played with him, petted him, scratched his belly. Less than an hour later, the sniffles came. A few minutes more, and my left eye started to water and swell up. Marc and I had to leave the apartment and walk around to let the swelling go down. I took some anti-allergy medicine and that helped a lot. Whew! So like I told Marc, that settles the question of whether I should get a dog or not.

I was sad to leave New York, as I always am at the tail-end of any vacation. There's the feeling of wanting to experience so much more of the place. Aside from that, when I take a break from work, I always have the inevitable daydream of what I really want to be doing. I really can't figure out the exact thing, but I know it's not sitting at a desk pecking away at a keyboard. Marc and I have come up with ideas, but there's so much more I have to accomplish before I can even begin to work towards achieving these goals. At least though, we've identified the potential and can start researching about it.

Anyway, I don't know if I can really live in New York, with the weather being like that. But what a fun, fun city. Maybe a year or two there wouldn't be so bad, but I don't think I can live there for the rest of my life. I'd either freeze to death or get depressed with the amount of rain they get.

On the plane to and from New York, I worked on my uncle's scarf. It wasn't finished by the time I got back because I'm pretty slow with needles, but I worked on it every night until I finally finished it. Now I'm working on a dark green scarf. I know I said I'd start the orange scarf - and I did - but I realized that I can't work with just that one yarn; I have to knit it with another yarn to make it look great. I'm almost done with this new scarf though, so I'll be moving on again soon.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Okay, Never Mind



I've been trying to hold out on posting for the longest time because I wanted to post some pictures along with the new post. But I haven't gotten around to touching the pictures I wanted to share, so I guess this will have to do for now. This is me and Marc in New York (brrr!), where I had the greatest time. We took the subway to all the different neighborhoods, and walked our feet sore. The memories are all jumbled up in my mind now, and an accurate recount of the events might be beyond me, but all in all, it was just great. I ran into an old acquaintance at this random cafe close to Canal Street too, which was crazy because 1. I hadn't seen her since college in Manila, 2. We weren't close then but she actually still remembered me, and 3. What were the odds of running into her on this particular cafe at that exact time? Geez!

Anyway, it was hard getting back to work, I had to wean myself slowly off the vacation high. Jetlag wasn't so bad - we went to bed late every night and slept late in the morning, so it was like operating on West Coast time. We were pretty pooped by the time we got back though, because our flight was delayed, and we were both restless and not in the best of moods. It was a great blessing to have my uncle pick us up instead of having to wait for a cab or a bus. Whew!

I'll post a picture from New York next time with me wearing the blue scarf I knitted. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. I am about to finish a replica of it in an off-white shade for my uncle - estimated time of accomplishment: tonight. Then the next one is a frilly narrow scarf in a deliciously outrageous orange shade. Yum!