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Monday, October 24, 2005

I Can't Think of a Title for This Post ...

It has been exactly a week and a day since my last post. Things have been unbelievably crazy the last few days. There have been (and still are) so many things going on. But since I don’t want to disappoint my ever growing number of blog readers, let me give you a brief rundown of some of the things that have been taking up my time.

First of all there was the BIG office move. That finally happened last Sunday (Oct. 16th). We are still located in the Mid-Wilshire District (just 5 blocks east of our old office). The move was very tiring for all of us. And even if we’ve been in our new office for over a week, we are still living amidst moving boxes that have yet to be unpacked. I cannot begin to tell you how frustrating it is to search for a client’s file amidst boxes and boxes of old files - some dating back to 1988! I’m finding out the hard way that my boss is a big believer of NOT throwing anything out. The plus side is I now get my own office (all 72 square feet of it – with a view – you can actually see the Hollywood sign on a clear day). This is certainly a pleasant change from my former 36 square foot workstation facing a wall, next to our ancient photocopier.

Then there is helping my hubby with his job search. My hubby has been handling it well but in all honesty it’s been tough. I guess the IT market is not as robust as we thought it would be. My hubby has been on several interviews in the last few weeks. But there always seems to be a hitch one way or the other. Either it’s a pay issue, a schedule conflict, being overqualified, etc, etc. We are waiting to hear back from one company though (fingers are crossed) … I’d say more but I don’t want to jinx it.

Then there’s a host of several other little things. My job, my clients, running a household, being an adult, getting our property tax appealed, managing bills, having people over, getting my car serviced, adjusting to married life, planning vacations, having some semblance of a social life, finding time to relax - all the things that make up life. No complaints, just stating facts.

I’ve also been trying to keep up my “learning-for-reading” promise (I posted a blog about this a while back). It’s been a struggle. I started a book called “The Rise and Fall of Organizational Democracy” a few weeks ago. And it has literally taken me a week to get past and really understand the first 3 chapters. So despite my pact with myself to get through a “For learning book” before reading a “For fun” one, I thought I’d cut myself some slack and indulge myself. I started reading “Little Altars Everywhere” by Rebecca Wells. I loved it so much and got so hooked on it, I couldn’t help myself and just had to read the second book in the series (“The Divine Secrets of the Ya-ya Sisterhood”). It was just as good – if not better. I can not get enough of these women – and am now in the middle of the third (and last of the series),“Ya-yas in Bloom”. So in one week, I have exceeded my self-imposed limit for “For fun” books. I am trying to justify this by the fact that I have been under a lot of stress and need some type of diversion. And the fact that the books are a series and actually came as a boxed set – so if one really wants to get technical, this is just one very thick book with three extremely long chapters. :) That works for me!

One more interesting thing that happened lately. Last night, thanks to my SIL having an extra ticket for a benefit concert at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, I (together with 2 of my SILs and my BIL) got to watch, Tony Award winner and Broadway singer/actress, Lea Salonga perform. The concert was sponsored, among others, by A3M (Asians for Miracle Marrow Matches), an organization that does great work increasing awareness for and working with donors and recipients needing bone marrow transplants. I enjoy shows at the Cerritos Center because of the level of intimacy the theater creates. It was a perfect setting for last night's show. Ms. Salonga gave a performance that was beyond words. But I'm not surprised, I’ve loved her ever since I first saw her play Annie at the Repertory Philippines’ old Insular Building theater. I’ve followed her career from doing local movies and variety tv shows back home, to her Broadway debut as Kim in Ms. Saigon, all the way to her doing the singing voice for Disney’s Jasmine and Mulan. I’ve seen her as Les Miz’s Eponine, as Eliza Dolittle in My Fair Lady and even as “Hopelessly Devoted” Sandy in Grease. Last night, seeing her in concert and hearing her sing “On My Own” from Les Miz, and “Love, Look Away” from Flower Drum Song was an awesome experience. She also sang her version of a local Filipino song ("Anak" by Freddy Aguilar), which she did so poignantly that it gave me goosebumps, and strangely it made me quite proud to be Filipino myself.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Happy Birthday to two very special people.

First, to one of my bestest friends, Jeff, who is turning 30 today! Finally. Now you can't make a big deal about how much "older" I am. We've been thru a lot - from Theology immersion adventures, surviving fire hazards, countless all night phone conversations, getting thru countles bad movies (we did have an awful lot of bad luck when it came to picking movies), to getting lost in Long Beach (with Les) the night before my wedding! I am very grateful for your patience in putting up with me and for the friendship we've shared over the last 16 years. You are one of the few who truly know me and who I know I can count on till the end. I hope you know I am here for you too.

Second, to my ninang (godmother) Julie. I'm not sure how old you are turning today. But age is irrelevant - to me you will always be my cool aunt who wins all the ICA/Xavier fun runs :) I am grateful you have been here to visit every year (in the last 4 years) that I have lived away from home. By the way, 2005 (my 5th year here!) is coming to an end -- any plans of coming over this year???

I hope today is special for the both of you and that you get to celebrate it with family & friends, doing things you absolutely love to do.

Best wishes always.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

My baby sister

My blog entries have been mainly about myself and my daily ups and downs. I do have a couple of entries about my folks, my hubby and my job. Still, there are so many other people or parts of my life that I have yet to write about. Much as I would want to - there is just never enough time! But I will ... eventually.

Anyway, last night, my baby sister called me and asked me to draft a write-up for her yearbook entry. I was happy to oblige. After coming up with a rough draft, I thought that what I came up with would be a great post on my blog too. That way my avid readers (yes, all 3 of you!) would get to know one more member of my lovely family and it would be a wonderful testament to my baby sister, who incidentally is one of my best friends as well.

This write up is how I see her, although believe me, she is so much, much more.

College is a meeting ground for multiple personalities. Some we forget after a year or two, others create a more lasting impression. And then there are people like Joy, simply unforgettable. Joy is the epitome of confidence, class and charisma. Definitely a lady in the truest sense of the word. You can count on her to brighten up a room with her disarming smile, turn heads with her classic sense of style, win over a group of friends with her charming personality, and impress professors with her intelligence and wit. And who can forget her exceptional presentation skills? Never one to settle for mediocrity, Joy strives to be good at everything she does – and that includes being a friend, a student, a team member, a leader and an overall class act.

Always remember, Cubs, I'm proud of you, I miss you and I love you.

Now, since I know my sister, I know I've embarassed the hell out of her :) Sorry. At least I didn't mention any of the really embarassing things we've gotten ourselves into! (that's for a whole different blog). But really, with a sister as great as her -- how could I not post this entry? And by the way, I'm doubly lucky cause I have one more equally awesome sister (and two brothers too!) - more on them next time.

Yes, I believe in equal opportunity embarassment - you'll all get your turn :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Pusoy

These days my life is one big pusoy (Pinoy version of Poker) game. There are days when I’m handed winning cards – royal flushes all the way! Can’t go wrong, everything is easy and success comes naturally. Then there are days when my cards are tougher to put together and a straight (if I’m lucky) is the best I can come up with. So, I put that down on the table and hope for the best. These are times I have to think hard, be smart, and sweat it out a bit. It’s never certain - and the thrill of winning (if it happens at all) is much more hard earned. And still there are the days when I have a set of cards that does not present any possible combination whatsoever. Singles and a couple of low pairs – extremely slim to no chance of winning the game. Times like these call for giving it your best shot, but at the same time graciously accepting reality, learning from the outcome of the game, and moving on without remorse.

Yes, life is like a game of cards. It’s all chance – you never know which cards you’ll be handed and it’s up to you to play them to the best of your ability. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and other times it ends in a draw -- it’s all part of the game. After all, life wouldn’t be as interesting if you won all the time. It would be great in the beginning – but I am sure it would be less and less thrilling if it came too easy. Of course I don’t have to expound on why it wouldn’t be great if you lost all the time. We all know that sucks.

These days I’ve had to really play my cards well. Think hard, be smart and sweat it out a bit. There’s just a lot going on. Things are very, very hectic at work and to top it off we’re moving to a new office by the end of the week. So on top of the usual load, there’s a lot of packing and last minute things that need to be done. And as if I weren’t busy enough, guess who’s been delegated to coordinate between our old and new vendors, as well as, our old and new building contractors? Then there’s my hubby (currently down with a very bad cold - that I am trying very hard not to catch!) who is going thru a major career transition and is seriously looking for a better professional opportunity. I’ve been helping him out with his resume and networking and all the little details that one goes thru with job searching. That in addition to trying to run a home and get a good dinner on the table at a reasonable hour – guess you can’t count instant ramen noodles and Spam as a good dinner.

And then there’s the morning I’ve been having, I’ve tied up a good number of hours trying to get a hold of the LA county assessor, recorder, a host of other government agencies, my realtor, and my escrow officer trying to contest part of our Property Tax Bill (we were penalized for paperwork that my escrow agent should have apparently done). I have a to-do list that does not seem to be getting shorter and a sales call in two hours that I am not yet ready for. I have to take pictures of the furniture that we’re not taking with us to the new office (about 20 pieces or so). The pictures have to be emailed today to this Used Furniture Store. I’ve set up my hubby’s digital camera and after taking the first picture, the camera battery goes dead (now of all times!). Just great. My lunch break will now consist of eating a sandwich while in line at Sav-On getting new batteries. I can’t believe it’s only 11:30. I’m just about ready to call it a day! And how can it be only Tuesday? I am so ready for the weekend!

I don’t want to sound like such a whiny complainer. I’m honestly not. I have so much to be thankful for and I’m not about to forget that. I guess I’m just griping about the cards I’ve been handed today. Really a quite challenging set to say the least. And so here I am doing my best. Dealing with it the best way I know how. Thinking hard, being smart and sweating it out. Hoping that tomorrow will be a royal flush kind of day!

Monday, October 03, 2005

You know what’s funny …

... Every weekday morning I have the hardest time waking up. Hearing our alarm go off at 6:30 is pure torture for me and I always bargain with my hubby for an extra 5 or 10 minutes of sleep. But on weekends, I’m up by 7 and no matter how hard I try to go back to sleep my mind is racing and I’m wide awake.

... Every night while I’m on our exercise machine, I find myself watching Food Network shows on television. Seems like the culinary masterpieces whipped up by the likes of Emeril Lagasse and the Iron Chef America cast are motivators for my workout.

... Every time I ask my hubby what he wants for dinner, he’ll say “kahit ano” (whatever is there) or "ikaw bahala" (it's up to you), and then when I tell him what I plan to make, it never seems to be what he wants.
Side note: the great thing about him is he’ll eat whatever I end up making and tell me it’s the best thing ever any way.

... Yesterday was the first time I ever played BINGO and one of my cards (although my hubby was playing it) won the grand prize.

... I started this list with a number of things to write and I'm now drawing a blank. Well, maybe this last one's not really that funny. Just one of the reasons why I LOVE MONDAYS. Sigh.