Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Goodbye

I've decided to close this blog and open a new one. A fresh start. Hope to see you all there!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Mid-Month post and Moving On post

Funny how my 1st July post is about my last day at work. I could write paragraphs and paragraphs about it all but the best way to describe how I fell right now is through these lyrics:

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

I think I can make it now, the pain is gone
All of the bad feelings have disappeared
Here is the rainbow I’ve been praying for
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.

Look all around, there’s nothing but blue skies
Look straight ahead, nothing but blue skies

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone,
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)
Sun-Shiny day.


Although this is the first time I have left a job without a safety net...ever, I don't regret the decision. I am slightly afraid about the future but a friend told me not too long ago to be happy and not to worry too much bout the tomorrows lest I forget to enjoy today. SO that's what I am doing.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Numi's Tag about Home

This is a super delayed tag from Numi. In fact, I only remembered it when I checked Livi's blog a few minutes ago. So am taking my cue from Livi and I am going to list down things we always have at home.

1. Chicken and soup- 2 food groups the kids are SURE to eat.
2. Drinking water- we don't have soft drinks at home so this is a must.
3. Cleaning implements- I am obsessed with this. I know, this is not healthy.
4. Spices- the best thing to have when you are stuck in a rut as to what to cook.
5. Cigarettes- these are always in the Master's bedroom or in my bag. I have a few vices, I know.
6. Alcohol and hand sanitizer- speaks for itself.
7. Toys and all things kid-related- a must.
8. Rice- this probably should have been listed as # 2 but it just came to mind now.

pretty decent list, huh?

Decisions, Decisions

Funny how the universe works. Since last year, I've been trying to be conscious of the messages of the universe. I've been trying to learn the lesson lest the test be given again. I though, work-wise, I had gotten it. Lately though, I am thinking I probably haven't. So I've come to a decision. A major one for me. I think I'm going to cut back on work hours, try to come up with a business instead of going to an office, and spend more time at home, with the kids, and the hubby, an myself. At least for a while. This was a tough decision to come to. Anyone who knows me well would understand. But I am thinking that maybe this is the way to go for now. Maybe the reason I've been encountering only roadblocks is because I chose the wrong road. I am nt sure how this will play out. It's different from any course I've ever considered. But I am hoping for new, better, good changes. So I'm struggling to the finish line (for this period of my life anyway), counting the minutes and the seconds before I am "free". Wish me luck all!

Friday, June 12, 2009

We've Come a Long Way

At least this result is better than the last quiz!




Both of You Wear the Pants



You and your guy seem to have stuck the perfect power balance.

It's not that you don't disagree - it's just that you've learned how to compromise well.

You're both mature enough to know that you can't always get your way...

And usually, you're both adult enough to reach an agreement - even if that sometimes means giving in a little.

I'm in Trouble




You Are 36% Likely to Survive Another Great Depression



Your habits are pretty on par with the average person.

Unfortunately, this means your chances aren't good in another Great Depression.



Start saving your money now. Living in debt isn't doing you any favors.

Also figure out how to live a little more cheaply. Every little bit you can trim will help.



Darn it! And I thought I was doing so well!

Rain or Snow?




You Are Rain



You are dark and dramatic. You tend to be a bit over the top.

You have strong emotions and they can change quickly. You are tempestuous.



You are wild and unpredictable. You tend to overwhelm and surprise people.

While you are aggressive, you are also a homebody. You don't really care for physical activities.



I like both...but this result is interesting.

Running on Fumes

I've been hesitant about writing a work-related post of late because I don't want to appear like the whinny, ungrateful type. But I think I am fast-approaching the tip of my patience iceberg.
I've said many times that I am up for the challenge of an operations position. It's been something I've always wanted to do, to get some experience in, to learn from. But I think the saying "be careful what you wish for" could not be more apt to my situation right now.
My account is a production account. When I first heard that I thought, OK, numbers. But I never dreamed it would be the white collar equivalent to a blue collar job. I can count the weeks since March when I didn't render more than 1 hour overtime. I don't mind but almost every week for almost 4 months now? I think it's too much. I rarely get to see my kids because I get home super tired and wake up late, just in time to go to work. Half of the weekend is spent recovering from the exhausting week. I've tried to comfort myself by saying that's the way it is with an operations start-up account, but almost everyone I've asked has said this is abnormal and too much. I am stretched. And even if it isn't because of disillusionment, lack of appreciation, being maligned, it is still exhausting and I am getting fed up.
Will I ever find a job I can love? I don't expect perfection, just a balance of work fulfillment and a personal life. Is that too much to ask for?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

30 Doesn't Feel Any Different

I've thought about turning 30 for a good 5 years now. As the day fast approached, I found myself constantly torn over the excitement of starting a new decade, hopefully, wiser, and fear over getting old. Somehow, my childhood dreams and fantasies never extended past my 20's. So, I think it's understandable that as my 30th birthday fast approached, I was filled with this feeling of not know what to do, how to react, and what to expect. My friend, Kaye, told me that the 30's is so much better than the 20's. You know more, you've seen more, you have a better idea of who you are and what you want. Great! Except I wasn't sure that I knew more, had seen enough, or that I knew myself and what I wanted. I knew that the beginning of this year marked the beginning of a new journey of self-discovery. But I felt 5 months wasn't enough to have even a glimmer of a sure thought about myself. Suffice it to say, I was scared.

3 days after turning the big 3-0 and...nothing feels different. There are some things I expect and can foresee. I expect that my metabolism will slow down even further (especially since I haven't gotten my exercise regimen back and since I almost always skip breakfast). I foresee that my years to complete my MA and PhD are numbered. I know that I have to get my career on track. I am certain I love my husband and kids above anything (OK, the same amount as God?). That's it. I have to say the expression "Houston, we're in trouble" popped into my head almost immediately after typing these last words. Ha!

Well, at the risk of sounding like Oprah (I am definitely not her although I often wish I were), there are some more things I find I know for sure. I know for sure that I am excited to find out what this decade has in store for me. Excited to get back into shape, to go places at work and outside, to be young and beautiful inside and out, and to be the best wife and mom I can be. It doesn't sound like much but I actually think it's quite a lot. Relief, I tell you. I am not lost after all. I can smile now. Isn't that a great way to start the decade? Happy Birthday to me!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Does Anyone Know a Good Shrink?




There's a 61% Chance That You Need Therapy



You almost certainly need therapy. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Lately life has not been easy for you. Why not let a therapist help you sort things out?



Somehow I had a feeling the result would be like this. I don't think I am surprised. I am not sure if I should be worried though. Hmm...

I Thought So!




You Are 64% Open Minded



You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.

Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.

But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.

You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

Interesting Question...

...so I thought I would take the quiz and, perhaps, gain some insight.




You Need Friends to Be Happy



You are a friendly, social person. You seek out connections and relationships.

Being close to others is very important to you, and you don't like discord.



You feel great when you're cooperating and working with others. You enjoy belonging to a group.

Nothing makes you feel worse that feeling alone or alienated. You want to be liked by those around you.



I am not sure I agree with the result. For those who know me personally, what do you think?

Belated Greetings to all Moms!



Because I haven't had steady Internet access this month, this greeting is coming quite late. Nevertheless, it comes from the heart.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY TO ALL MOMS!

Friday, May 15, 2009

I Can Feel It...

...the moment when I have to choose between one or the other role I play is fast approaching. Which should I choose? And, more importantly, what should I remembrance to include when negotiating for that change?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another Job Update

I haven't been able to blog for a loing time!! I've been really busy. I guess this is better than being really bored. Things have been 50/50 at work. Ok, more 60/40. I got some good news from the client last week. It looks like they might want me to focus on training and doing some alley big things for them. This is great since I prefer that part of my job. I'll miss my team of course. The operations aspect is also good training ground so that I will miss as well. I would really like to focus on training though. It's a lot more fun. It hasn't been confirmed but I am keeping my fingers crossed. I'll let you all know!

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Darling Buds of May


I should be enjoying this month. I like to think of it as 'MY' month- since it's my birth month. The past years, I would create any excuse to lengthen my birthday celebration. From extending a day to a week to include a weekend celebration, to just saying that the whole month was mine. Suffice it so say, I love to love May.
This year, though, I was a bit anxious about May. Considering it's been quite a tumultuous first quarter, I wasn't sure how I would feel or what mood I would be in come the first day of May. Well, I know now.
I'm kind of tired. Operations is challenging but also a bit boring. There is frustration that comes with dealing with people who have mostly their numbers and point of view only in sight. There is also a certain sense of powerlessness, a lack of control over your time, the amount of effort you put in, and your say in general, even in middle management. At the end of the day, it is about following the higher-ups. And until I am one of those higher-ups, my operations life will be a form of endless dictation, hours, and running to meet expectations. I am not sure if all operations experiences is like this. This is my first time to hold this kind of position after all. But, from what I gathered through informal conversations with friends who have been doing this kind of work for a while, well, this is it.
So, I am again leaning more towards the training aspect of my job. I've discovered that the learning, the interaction, the positivity are all more appealing and more satisfying to me than managing a team of people. I am also hoping that, in time, through effort and passion, I will be able to manage a team again but a team of trainers. I am seriously thinking about how to make this a reality now or in the near future.
Today is the 1st of May, Labor Day. I have a long work day tonight. I have a heavy load to manage and complete before the weekend. Next week, the clients and board of directors are going to be here to observe and decide if we are doing a good job and if they will keep their business with us. I am not liking the beginning of May much, at this point. But I am hopeful things will start to look up soon.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stuck Between A Rock and A Hard Place

There are times when logic ad emotion really war with each other and this is one of those times for me.
Background: For the past 2.5-3 weeks, we have been given way more work that our capacity. And this is not a measly 20% spillage. Try 93% over! So, understandably, my new Olivia, myself, and the other TL were very upset. This meant extended hours for the whole team, and hours exceeding 3 past log out time, everyday. The team was tired and reaching burn out- so close from the live date. So, my new Olivia brought it up with management and was told, in a nutshell, to handle stress better.
Now: I will be having a meeting with the team and the OM in a couple of hours and I'm stuck in a rut. One side of me really doesn't like what has been happening. That side of me constantly screams, if you let them do it to you once, they will keep doing it to you. If you show them you can do more than what you can actually do, regardless if this is a one-time thing, they will assume that this is the norm. Past experiences taught me this. The other side of me was screaming, CALM DOWN. Remember logic and reason always work best. From past experiences again, no one likes an emotional, angry outburst in a meeting.
Dilemma: My new Olivia wants me to be adamant and exuberant about my feelings and opinions during the meeting. To her, this is showing them that she wasn't over-reacting. Anything short of this would be "folding". But, I don't want to be this person. In private conversations, sure. That's why they're expressed there- because they are private. But not to the rest of the management team. I think it's bad form. So, how to strike a balance between showing my new Olivia that I do agree with her about what has been happening, at the same time, not alienate the OM and the rest of upper management?

Waaaah! My politicking skills are really bad at that! Keep your fingers crossed for me, y'all! Will update soon.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

You Can't Have It All

Remember me raving about how fulfilled I was with my new job. Well, that remains so in some parts but in others...these parts leave much to be desired, to say the least. This has cemented my belief in the saying "you can't have it all." This is true. But, at the same time as suffering through the slip side of an otherwise great coin, I have also come to realize that I do like training so much more than other areas of production. Does this mean that that area is my specific calling? i don't know. I still think I need some polishing in that respect but I am excited about the prospect of a new training course I am giving in a couple of weeks. I am excited about this more than my daily tasks, to be quite honest. So I guess the next and natural step would be to look for something in the line of training, coaching, and communication. Funny how things work out and what you realize as life progresses.

I am hoping the operations side of my job will improve. If not, well, 10 more months. Keep your fingers crossed for me guys.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Stick Family

Stick Figure Family at FreeFlashToys.com

Make your Stick Figure Family at FreeFlashToys.com



I got this from Livi's blog and thought it was cute.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Barack Really Rocks!

As I was reading President Obama's statement on Taxes online I was almost brought to tears. I can say that the only thing that held the dam in was the realization that I am not American and so I will not be enjoying the fruits of these promises. Here are some excerpts that struck me:

This tax cut also keeps a fundamental promise: that Americans who work hard should be able to make a decent living. It lifts more than 2 million Americans out of poverty. And together with the child tax credit, it ensures that a working parent will be able to support their family.

Fourth, we are helping more Americans purchase homes that they can afford. Just as we must put an end to the irresponsible lending and borrowing that created the housing bubble, we must restore the home as a source of stability and an anchor of the American Dream. That's why we're providing a tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time home buyers, which will put a home within reach for hardworking Americans who are playing by the rules and making responsible choices. And by the way, there are at least a couple of folks here who have already used that $8,000 credit, and I think it's wonderful to see that this is already prompting some willingness for people to go ahead and make that first-time purchase where they thought maybe it was out of reach before.

Fifth, we know that tax relief must be joined with fiscal discipline. Americans are making hard choices in their budgets, and we've got to tighten our belts in Washington, as well. And that's why we've already identified $2 trillion in deficit reductions over the next decade. And that's why we're cutting programs that don't work, contracts that aren't fair, and spending that we don't need.

For too long, we've seen taxes used as a wedge to scare people into supporting policies that actually increased the burden on working people instead of helping them live their dreams. That has to change, and that's the work that we've begun. We've passed tax cuts that will help our economy grow. We've made a clear promise that families that earn less than $250,000 a year will not see their taxes increase by a single dime. And we have kept to those promises that were made during the campaign. We've given tax relief to the Americans who need it and the workers who have earned it. And we're helping more Americans move towards their American Dream by going to school, owning a home, keeping their business and raising their family.


God, what must we do to have a President like Obama, who not only promises but sees thse promises through, who is eloquent and inspirational, realistic and idealistic, empathetic and strong? Who is not corrupt, obsessed with hoarding wealth and power, who puts everyone else last. Dammit! Every working Filipino knows the weight of taxes taken every month. And, I am fairly ceratin, most grumble about where these amounts are going. No wonder we are seeing a renewed wave of desire from yuppies, fresh grads, and college students to migrate to other countries. What will it take? When will it happen? Sigh.

For Obama's entire statement, click here.

I Want to Dance

As I was listening to my mp4 player while working, I came across a song I've loved for a few years now. Some American Idol auditions included this song. Affie even wrote about it in her blog. I think it's very underrated. The title is "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. Anyway, listening to it again after a while brought back all the old feelings of wanting to chuck it all in and just do the things I REALLY want to do (that don't earn for s*@!) and not think about all my responsibilities. For a minute I felt these feelings all again. And in that moment I envied Affie and her courage. Leaving stability and what people say is the right way to go job-wise took a lot of guts. And the thing I admire most is her strength to just followher dream without looking back. I wonder when I will, if I ever will, have the guts to do that.

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Living might mean taking chances
But they're worth taking
Lovin' might be a mistake
But it's worth making
Don't let some hell bent heart
Leave you bitter
When you come close to selling out
Reconsider
Give the heavens above
More than just a passing glance

And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance
I hope you dance


I want to dance, too.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Job Update

We're well into doing 100% production in my team now. I must say, it's harder in reality than it looks on paper. I don't know if I am doing a good job managing. I don't have too much experience with this. Plus, I've believed for a while now that I am not that great with people. So it's a real change for me. So far, my team seem to be enjoying themselves despite the load. There are always ready smiles and stories to share over ciggie break. I hope this keeps up. I must say the training aspect of my job is easier. Perhaps it's because I've had more experience with that. I have to remember everything I learned from my previous company! Lessons learned must always be kept and used. Universe, oh universe. Funnily enough, as a little side note, I thought I would veer away from jobs that had me doing a whole lot- some of this from scratch even, without much organization, with little support and little leeway. I did stumble on something with more support, a lot more leeway, certainly a lot more trust and belief in my abilities, but still with that lack of organization and doing things from scratch. Funny indeed. What was it about being attracted to certain things? Hmmm.. something to think about again.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Thoughts Before Easter

Live A Life That Matters

Ready or not, someday it will come to an end.

There will be no more sunrises, no minutes, hours or days.

All the things you collected, whether treasured or forgotten, will pass to someone else.

Your wealth, fame and temporal power will shrivel to irrelevance.

It will not matter what you owned, or what you were owed.

Your grudges, resentments, frustrations, and jealousies will disappear.

So, too, your hopes, ambitions, plans, and to-do lists will expire.

The wins and losses that once seemed so important will fade away.

It won’t matter where you came from, or what side of the tracks you lived, at the end.

It won’t matter whether you were beautiful or brilliant;

Even your gender or your skin color will be irrelevant.

So what will matter?

How will the value of your days be measured?

What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built;

Not what you got, but what you gave.

What will matter is not your success but your significance.

What will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught.

What will matter is your every act of integrity, compassion, courage, or sacrifice that enriched, empowered or encouraged others — to emulate your example.

What will matter is not your competence, but your character.

What will matter is not how many people you knew,

But how many people will feel a lasting loss when you’re gone.

What will matter is not your memories,

But the memories that live in those who loved you.

What will matter is how long you will be remembered, by whom, and for what.

Living a life that matters doesn’t happen by accident.

It’s not a matter of circumstance, but of choice.

Choose to live a life that matters.


I got this from a Yahoo news article. Some things to ponder on this Lenten season. And at all times, I guess.

A Little Bubble

Mommy guilt has plagued me since the birth of my first child. Anyone who's ever had more than a 5-minute chat with me about work and my kids knows this. But I have managed to get it under control quite a bit, especially since leaving my last job. I think it was the month off that I got to spend with my kids that left me feeling less guilty about the time I had taken away from them for work. Lately though, I've been feeling the guilt start to heat up again, creating little bubbles as if soup coming to a boil. I am trying to place where the source of the heat is coming from. I haven't found it. I am not dissatisfied with my job, not unhappy, and stress-wise, not as stressed as I had been in my previous job. So this recurring feeling really puzzles me. I know though, no matter what the situation, I will always have that niggling feeling in the pit of my stomach that ends with a whispered prayer of hope that my kids will, someday, understand the hours away and the work.

Anyway, whether or not I find the source of these bubbles remains to be seen. I am hoping it is not yet another hidden lesson I am supposed to learn. Sending out positive vibes to the Universe here.

Shoulds from Livi's Blog

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE…

enough money within her control to move out,
rent a place of her own,
even if she never wants to or needs to… –> this was always my orientation, but it didn't quite turn out that way.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
something perfect to wear whether the employer,
or date of her dreams wants to see her in an hour… –> I need to shop.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
a past juicy enough that she’s looking forward to
re-telling it in her old age…. –> Must I? Really?

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
one friend who always makes her laugh…and one who lets her cry… –> yup, yup. In one and in many.

A WOMAN SHOULD HAVE …
eight matching plates, wine glasses with stems,
and a recipe for a meal,
that will make her guests feel honored… –> Shoot! I only have 6's. Does this mean I have to buy an entirely new set?

A WOMEN SHOULD HAVE…
a feeling of control over her destiny…. –> Sometimes.

…and

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to fall in love without losing herself… –> Always had problems with this. Funny, huh?

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to quit a job, –> done this
break up with a lover, –> done this as well (badly all times)
and confront a friend without;
ruining the friendship… –> done this with better results than the previous 'should'

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
when to try harder…and WHEN TO WALK AWAY… –> I think I understand this and can do this a lot better now.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
that she can’t change the length of her calves,
the width of her hips, or the nature of her parents.. –> I've accepted that I will always be short and slightly hippy (as in hips not the 60's movement), but the parents thing I realized a bit late in life.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
that her childhood may not have been perfect…but its over… –> no, no, no. I want to be forever young.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
what she would and wouldn’t do for love or more… –> Ok, this is hard.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
how to live alone…even if she doesn’t like it… –> This I can handle.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW..
whom she can trust, whom she can’t, –> Hmm, quite the opposite of Livi. I don't trust very easily.
and why she shouldn’t take it personally… –> Why not?

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW…
where to go..
be it to her best friend’s kitchen table…
or a charming inn in the woods…
when her soul needs soothing… –> Ok, I need to work on this one.

EVERY WOMAN SHOULD KNOW.. .
what she can and can’t accomplish in a day…
a month…and a year… –> Does any woman really ever figure this out? I mean, seriously.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Last Quiz for the Day...




You Are Cute-Sexy!



You are definitely attractive, and you have an interesting mix of sexiness and cuteness.

You are both hot and quirky. Gorgeous and silly. Charming and natural.



You are not so in-your-face sexy that you're unapproachable. You tone things down a bit.

More than anything else, you are real and genuine. And that makes you truly captivating.



This is just too funny to say anything beyond it is too funny!

Meow? OK, Catwoman Then.




You Are: 40% Dog, 60% Cat



You and cats have a lot in common.

You're both smart and in charge - with a good amount of attitude.

However, you do have a very playful side that occasionally comes out!



And I detest cats!! Hmm...I wonder. Affie would love this quiz.

Thought I'd Give it a Try...




Your Workspace Says You Work Best With Others



You are generally fairly organized, but you have occasional slip ups. You find keeping organized challenging.



You tend to work at your own pace. If this means things don't



You feel like you neglect your family and friends when you're working. You may work a bit too much.




Rules don't allow me to have much of anything on my desk right now so I thought I would take this quiz with my former work space in mind. Ok results. I am not too sure about the last part though.
You are still trying to figure out your ideal career. You could quit your current job on any given day.



At work, you tend to be an extrovert. You enjoy working with other people and drawing people into your work space.

Blast From the Past?




You Were the Slacker Kid



High school was a place you showed up occasionally, but you didn't really leave a mark.



You hated rules, authority, and structure. In fact, you still do.



This quiz made me think about high school. To be honest, it wasn't the best chunk of time for me, academically speaking. But I did make my best friends in high school. Thinking about this period, (X) number of years ago now, it is amazing who I've turned out to be. I am actually quite proud. I am not exactly the person I thought I would be, but in a lot of ways I think I am better. So, snaps!!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Fool No More

I brought the car to work yesterday so I decided to wait the couple of hours it would take after shift for the bank to open so I could finally complete my salary loan transaction. I entered the branch, tired from the whole work day but armed with a copy of my receipt indicating that I had paid for most of my loan. I still had a tiny bit left to pay off and since it was 5 figures I thought I would chop it up into two or three just to make it lighter to pay, generally-speaking. As I spoke with the teller though, she started telling me about all that I would need to do to be able to pay that last bit in parts. Plus, she told me that there would be even more interest added to those payments because we were chopping it up further. I decided then and there to pay the whole thing off and to just really scrimp until the next pay period. This way, I would be loan-free.

So, now I am loan-free, nearly broke, but feeling lighter with THAT off my shoulders. It was funny that that foolish decision was brought to a close on April Fool's Day. I also realized, after paying everything off, that had I lengthened the payment, it would be like getting a small part of the brick from that major loan and using it to hammer myself. Fool again if ever, but fool no more.

I am free of that! I feel good! One down, some more to go. It's a start, at least.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

End of Month # 1

OK, this has been a month of adjustments for me. As some might know, I have a new job that involves 2 roles- one in Operations and one in Training. I must say, now that I have been immersed in both, that I enjoy the Training role more. Maybe it's too soon to tell. Maybe it's the transition period. I don't know. Well, you can't have it all I suppose. And this IS good experience for me. I wish I had the ladies around though. It would be good to vent or even just talk over some things with them. Those conversations were always therapeutic. I haven't had access to the Net for a week or so which is why I feel kind of disconnected. I really have to do something about that. Anyway, fingers crossed guys that month 2 goes well.

From Affie

I have been told often enugh that I am all about "ME" at times so I decided to take the blogthings quiz on Affie's blog. Here are my results:





You Are Occasionally a Narcissist



While you have healthy self esteem, you're really not that full of yourself.

Compared to most people, you're quite humble!



Though occasionally, you can't help and reflect on how great you are.

There's nothing wrong with being proud of yourself - as long as you don't let it go to your head!



Ha! See!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

After Training

I just gave my first, full training session...and I think it was a success! A big THANK YOU to Meg, Anya, Avril, and Liv for helping me out. It would not have happened without your help, Ladies.

It was scary and exciting both at the same time. I had been waiting for a chance to prove that I am not all air for the longest time, and here it was. The feeling was indescribable. As the days progressed, I found myself looking with wonder at these people who were looking back at me with 100% trust and positive expectation. The participants were lively, humorous, participative, and energetic. They asked good questions, listened attentively, were always on time, and expressed regret at the end of the session that the whole thing had come to a close. Feedback forms have been nothing but positive. I am truly overwhelmed. I mentioned to Livi today how this could all be not too good for my narcissism rehabilitation, but honestly, I am looking at it with awe and appreciation and I am holding the whole thing with care and taking none of it for granted. So, I think the vanity in me is safely, and will be safely, contained.

For the first time in a long time, I feel satisfied and fulfilled. I feel that I ended three tiring but full and productive days, with work done that mattered to people other than myself. When Meg said, "You are the culture they will be borne into", I trembled with fear. Now, I am thinking, that might not be so bad after all.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Say It Isn't So

My best friend has been going through a lot of upheaval lately. needless to say, she's been feeling very depressed. She mentioned that this is turning out to be a really bad year for her. As a form of comfort, I told her that, according to Chinese horoscopes, this is going to be a tough year for everybody. Then I realized that everybody could include me. That stopped me in my tracks. Looking back, I could say that the year did not start out so well. Inf act, from an outsiders point of view, it started out pretty badly. But so far, things are getting back on track. So I am hoping this continues. According to The Secret, the more you think about negativity, the more you attract it. I am doing my best not to be negative. Even if my horoscope has a lot of scary predictions. So there. Be with me in being positive people!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Advice and Sunscreen

I have been looking for a copy of this 'poem' since the beginning of february, during my last crossroads of sorts. I actually heard this way back in high school ( I think) but it didn't make as much sense to me then as it does now. I think, once you've gone over it, you will understand why. Anyway, here it is. i am so happy I have a copy of it now. Thanks Ren!

WEAR SUNSCREEN

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, never mind.
You will not understand the power
and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of
yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much
possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are not as fat as you imagine.---> oh yes.

Don't worry about the future.
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as
trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things
that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that
blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.---> or a Friday, in my case.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.---> trying.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you're ahead,
sometimes you're behind.
The race is long and, in the end,
it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive.
Forget the insults.
If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters.
Throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know
what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at
22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some
of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.---> ok, I feel better now. Maybe directionless isn't so bad after all.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees.
You'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't.
Maybe you'll divorce at 40,
maybe you'll dance the funky
chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself
too much, or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance.---> so true! pray for signs. They help. Seriously.
So are everybody else's.

Enjoy your body.
Use it every way you can.
Don't be afraid of it or of what other people think of it.---> uhm...
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance,
even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions,
even if you don't follow them.

Do not read beauty magazines.
They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents.
You never know when they'll be gone for good.---> this is easier when you become a parent yourself, in my opinion.

Be nice to your siblings.
They're your best link to your past and the people
most likely to stick with you in the future.---> yup

Understand that friends come and go,
but with a precious few you should hold on.---> definitely
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle,
because the older you get, the more you need the
people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it
makes you hard. Live in Northern California
once, but leave before it makes you soft.---> Europe baby.

Travel.---> YES!

Accept certain inalienable truths:
Prices will rise.
Politicians will philander.
You, too, will get old.
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you
were young, prices were reasonable, politicians
were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you.---> I've always tried to live by this. TOUGH.
Maybe you have a trust fund.
Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse.
But you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair or by the
time you're 40 it will look 85.---> HAHAHAHAHAHA!!

Be careful whose advice you buy,
but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia.
Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal,
wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts
and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.


I love how the lines really speak to me now. I really think I am getting older. But I am also beginning to think that this might not be so bad or scary.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Recipes

It's been ages since I posted about recipes although I haven't stopped in my quest to collect a cookbook full of easy, yummy, kid-friendly recipes. I decided to do a little research at the end of my working day and I came upon two promising dishes. Here they are.

FABULOUS FRIED RICE

Ingredients

* 2 tbsp. (30 mL) vegetable oil
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 2 cups (500 mL) diced raw or cooked vegetables (see suggestions, below)
* 2 cups (500 mL) diced cooked meat or fish (or vegetarian meat substitute)
* 3 cups (750 mL) cold leftover cooked rice
* 2 tbsp. (30 mL) soy sauce
* 1 tsp. (5 mL) sesame oil
* 4 green onions, sliced
* Fried rice veggie ideas:
* Sliced, diced or shredded, raw or cooked celery, green or red pepper, mushrooms, carrots, bean sprouts, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, peas or snow peas, cabbage (regular or Chinese)

Cooking Instructions

1. In a wok or a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp. (15 mL) of the oil over high heat. Add egg and cook, stirring, until egg is scrambled. Remove scrambled egg to a plate.
2. Pour the remaining oil into the wok. When it is very hot, add chopped onion and garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 or 3 minutes or just until onion is softened. Add raw vegetables first, followed by cooked vegetables (the first ones into the pan should be the veggies that take longest to cook, like raw carrots). Already-cooked veggies should be added last. Now add cooked meat, stirring to mix well and heat through.
3. Finally, add rice, stirring constantly to break up the lumps of rice, mix it with the other ingredients and heat thoroughly. Add soy sauce and sesame oil and cook, stirring and tossing, for 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in scrambled eggs and green onions and stir-fry for one more minute. Remove from heat and serve immediately.

BAKED BREADED TILAPIA FILLETS

Ingredients

* 1 cup (250 mL) bread crumbs
* 1 tbsp. (15 mL) grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 tsp. (5 mL) oregano or Italian seasoning
* 1/2 tsp. (2 mL) salt
* 1/4 tsp. (1 mL) black pepper
* 2-3 tbsp. (30-45 mL) vegetable oil
* 1-1/2 lbs. (750 g) tilapia fillets (or other white fish fillets, such as sole, cod or haddock)

Cooking Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Lightly oil a baking sheet.
2. In a plastic or paper bag combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, oregano (or Italian seasoning), salt and pepper. Hold the top of the bag shut and shake to mix everything together.
3. Pour vegetable oil into a small bowl. Working with one fillet at a time, brush both sides with a little of the oil, then drop into the bag with the bread crumb mixture and shake to coat well. Remove from bag and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining fillets.
4. Bake for 10 minutes, turn fillets over and continue to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until the fish flakes when you poke into it with a fork.


The reasons I picked these two dishes is because they require the least amount of canned ingredients but are still easy to prepare, they are filling, and my hubby and kids love both rice and tilapia. It was really easy to decide to try these out. I am looking forward to making them over the weekend. I hope the family likes them!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Expectations

A friend of mine told me some time ago that my expectations are too high. He told me that it was impossible to live up to them, and anyone who tried ended up feeling like crap after because they would surely fall short. This friend told me this more than 10 years ago now and since then I have been on this continuous quest to make my expectations reachable. Of late though, I've been wondering if they are getting too low and if it is worth it to even have expectations when they are close to scraping the bottom of a moss-covered sea bed.

I don't really think it is too much to ask to expect a certain sense of loyalty and priority from people you consider your friends, even those not of the closest degree. Oh well, I guess it is too much to ask from some.

Obviously, I am annoyed.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Traveling Feet

My sister-in-law finally left for New Zealand just this past Saturday. I can say it was an emotional couple of days for my in-laws. I will miss her, for sure, but there was one feeling and thought that kept surfacing as we were waiting for her to board- I miss traveling. I miss packing, lining up to check-in, riding the plane, looking out the window at the receding shores of the Philippine Islands, preparing to get off and step on foreign soil. I miss the sights, smells, sounds, and feeling of visiting another country. I want to do it all again. I want to bring the hubby and my two kids and I want to see the wonder and excitement on their faces when they experience it all for the first time.

My traveling feet are itching again. What do I do?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New Beginnings

So, the past few days have been super hectic for me. I thought I would be free for a longer period but I was wrong. Happily, I have found new, interesting employment a stone's throw away from my previous work place. I didn't stray too far. But this wasn't intentional. If I were a superstitious person, I would say that the little city where I've been working for the past 4 years now is actually a lucky one for me opportunity-wise. Isn't it great? I do miss me free time, especially since I was able to do so much with my kids. But I think the turn of events is beneficial to all. I am keeping all fingers and toes crossed that this will be exactly that.

The new job is a challenge. It is actually a combination of what I've been doing for the past 3 or so years plus more. I am excited and afraid at the same time. All my old insecurities and defenses are fighting to break free from the tight reign I have over them. But, as I told Livi last week, I am determined to start this new chapter in a positive way, thinking and feeling positive. She said my career from now on will be exactly how I make it. A scary and exhilarating thought at the same time. New people, new tasks, no impressions, no judgments, no prejudices, but a lot of expectation. I am looking forward to this next year's journey.

Another thing that pleases me immensely is that I will still be able to meet with the Ladies frequently. It won't be the same, granted, but it will be closer than if I were working in Makati. I think these meetings will help keep me grounded and will help me remember that I CAN do whatever I need to do. I didn't realize how much strength I took from these women until they weren't around anymore. Plus, nobody likes food as much in my new work place which is super sad for me.

So, wish me luck all! I want to make this next year, at least, a great one!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tests and Lessons Learned

Livi texted me a quote from Paolo Coelho a few days ago that really struck a chord. It went "Just before a dream is fulfilled, the Soul of the World decides to test everything that was learned on the journey." This got me thinking, hard. Of course, it didn't help that I consider this time in my life as a crossroads of sorts. And I wanted to pass the test, to know the lessons in the experiences, because, honest to God, I don't want to be tested on this again!!!

So, here's what I came up with:

1. I guess I AM Idealistic. But not without seeing things as they are as well. Therefore, a job in monitoring or training really fits my personality. I suppose I should focus on this. And I guess this is sort of me knowing what I want to do. Finally. Well, work-wise at least.
2. Loans (unless they are made for medical or educational emergencies) are EVIL! I am actually glad I was able to get a substantial amount as severance pay. Because of this, my loan, which would have been payable for 1.5 more years, is now almost fully paid. I am happy that I can really and truly start to save sooner than I thought.
3. The road to hell is paved with good intentions. Cliche but true. I really ought to stop trying to do everything and just delegate. This way appreciation, experience, and accountability is learned. To be fair, no one forced me to act that way. I just thought and decided that it was the best way. But I have since then learned that it cannot just be ME, even when it actually can. Does this make sense at all?
4. At the same time, I must look out for me. I must not take anything for granted, enjoy the enjoyable, be wary of the dangerous. No one else can do this.
5. I relish my free time- with my kids, my hubby, and myself.
6. |True friends are hard to find. So when you find them, do your best to keep them.

I am sure there are more lessons there but nothing comes to mind now. I wonder when the deadline for realizing these things is. I hope this isn't soon because I really don't want to be tested again. Seriously.

Monday, February 23, 2009

This is a Sweet Award




I have bever thought of myself as the "best mom". Not by a long shot. I do the best I can, yes, and I hope for the best after that. But that's as far as I've gone using taht word. So it was sweet to receive this award from Ceemee.

Here are the rules:
1. Show the award logo in your post.
2. Pick a picture you have with your kiddo/s.
3. Post should include your best experience as a Mom.
4. Nominate other blogger moms out there that you consider the best mom, like yourself.

Now, I don't have one best experience as a mom. I think the whole journey is one big experience with a whole bunch of stars to emphasize great moments. I love it when my kids jump with joy when they see me, or clamor to get a hug and a kiss, or ar so excited when we go uot, even if it's just to the 7-11 around the corner. I love it when they ask me to read to them and when they gurgle with joy when I tickle them. I love when they say 'yummy' to the simple dishes I prepare, or smack their lips over a goody I've baked. I love bathing them, tucking them into bed, dressing them up. Who would have thought that I would love all these things? If you had asked me or any of my friends 10 years ago, we all would have said 'Impossible!'. Now, it's impossible not to have that reality.

I don't post pictures of myself and my kids so I'm gonna have to skip that rule.

I am passing this awatrd to:
1. Livi of Beauty and Madness
2. Ree of Slice of Pie
3. Anya of New Leaf

Have fun mommies!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

This is Me now?




You Are A Thoughtful Idealist



You are scared of new experiences. It's hard for you to break outside of your comfort zone.



You like to think that people see you as dramatic and fascinating. You do your best to seem mysterious.



You are a very romantic person. You can't help but see the world as it should be.



Right now, stress occasionally makes you feel trapped in your life. You usually have a clear perspective on things though!



Overall, your life is calm and steady. Not much stirs you, and each day is full of joy.



You are extremely optimistic about the future. You feel like things are always getting better.



Interesting way to see things at this point huh?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Re-adjustments

So, now I am finding out how prolonged distance from fast Internet is detrimental to my health. I was used to 2, maybe 3 days in a row, but more than a week is getting tough. I think I really need to figure out how to get my Internet connection and my PC up and running at home again. Sigh.

The job hunt thing is tiring too. I think it's because I still am not too clear about what I want to do. It is kind of reminding me of high school graduation, when I had to decide what course to put down on my college application. Except I didn't have the 4 years to think it over. AAArrrggghhh!

Finally, the heat is sweltering! I thought summer would begin at the end of next month. I was waiting for the 2nd wave of that previous cold front but I guess it decided to skip the P.I. altogether. I can't stand heat!!

Breathe Vicki.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Chapter 2

I packed up yesterday and now my days are relatively free. I am trying to enjoy them. I've been groaning for free time for the longest time and now I have it, so I suppose I should make the most out of it before I have to go to work again.

I've been spending more time with my kids and I love it. It's tiring. A different kind of tiring from office work but I love being able to see them all the time and to watch them experience new things and to have them be able to tell me about them almost immediately. I am actually thinking of looking for something flexible work-wise. I am really trying to think out how to make this so. Maybe this realization is a blessing from this whole experience, a blessing I've been waiting to see. Who knows?

So, in line with my new, free schedule, here are some things I want to do asap:

1. Play with my kids more. Have meals with them.
2. Sign up for the gym.
3. Bake new recipes.
4. See old friends I haven't been able to see because of my previous work schedule.
5. READ!!!

I think I am seeing a few more good things as I go along.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Every New Beginning Comes From Some Other Beginning's End"

It's been quite a turbulent past few days for me. So many things happened that made me question EVERYTHING I had been living by for the past 4 years. I was ready to exercise that age-old description of me being "strong" and "bold" yet at the same time I often found myself scared to the point of cadaver-like coldness and the icky feeling of wanting to throw up. I questioned motives, reasons, promises, what I'd been told, friends, colleagues, strangers. I can safely say, these are too many things for any one person to think about all at once. I wouldn't recommend it. But I found myself in this very predicament last week.

It's all over now, in a bittersweet way. I've loved my place of work for so long. I think of the people in my department as sisters. I have shared a lot of my life with them. It is painful to have that all end. Last week, I felt as if I had just been told that you no longer have a room in your house and therefore would need to pack up. There was hardly any time to adjust, to think, but there was a lot of time to feel. And I felt bad 99% of the time. I felt disposed of, thrown away, tossed aside. Today, after discussions, I am relieved that there was no war, no fights, no recriminations; that things were resolved amicably, much like a divorce, without the acrimony.

So now I am left with sadness and happiness- two completely opposite feelings present in my head and heart at the same time. What to do? Anyone who knows me knows I hate goodbyes. It's so hard for me to let anything close to the heart go. And now I have to let a whole lot go. I can hear the cracks. At the same time, I am happy to be rid of the uncertainty, the shadows, feelings of inadequacy and lack of appreciation. It's a strange mix. I am looking forward to moving on but I am apprehensive about saying goodbye. Sigh. Another difficulty of life.

To all my ladies, you know who you are, don't lose touch! Remember ME, ME, ME! And smile.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I am Sober

I loved this song around 6-7 years ago. I don't think a young person now would even know it. But today, I remembered it.

Girl meets boy, girl goes crazy
Boy looks away, she gets her heart broken
No words are spoken
Boy comes back and acts
As if everything is cool
Soon she's got him back on a pedestal
She only sees what she wants to see
Love is blind, love is so misleading

(CHORUS)
I see the light, oh what a light
And I am sober
All that you served to me
No longer will I drink it in
I took the time to think it over
I see the you that I never knew
Now it's finally sinking in
I am sober

Girl wakes up and smells the coffee one day
Realizes she's on her own again
All alone again
Boy takes every opportunity
To play on every insecurity
Get her back on track
She's in a daze, back in the fire
But will she cave into her old desires

It holds entirely new meaning for me today. I don't think it will ever mean anything else.

How tiring to be disappointed.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Color Quiz

I seem to be addicted to these online tests. The result of this one was pretty interesting.




ColorQuiz.comvicki took the free ColorQuiz.com personality test!

"Takes easily and quickly to anything which provide..."


Click here to read the rest of the results.




I don't agree with everything but there are a lot of pretty accurate comments as well. I won't divulge percentages. That would really be an over-share.

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

From My Lips to God's Ears

Please let it be ok.
No, please let it be more than ok.
Please let it be great!
Please don't let it be a replay of years ago.
Please let it be a path to somewhere new and better.
Please, please, please God. Don't let me make a stupid ass out of myself.
Thank you in advance.
Amen.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Great Pick Me Up

OK, weight has always been an issue for me. More so now that I am surrounded by people who love food and eating as much, or even more, than me. Well, Numi saw this quiz and passed the link to everyone in QA. I was so surprised by the result.

Here it is:





You Are Destined to Be Thin



Even if you aren't thin right now, you have great habits that will ensure you're thin for most of your life.

You have a great relationship with food and eating. Don't change a thing.



I was thinking, if I stare at it long enough, even post it here, the Universe will definitely notice and conspire to make it so. Right?

I am claiming it!! Hahahahaha!

Gattaca was on CNN last night.

I was watching CNN last night and there was a report on how technology in the medical field is advancing so much so that pretty soon we will be able to make our offspring taller, faster, etc. I am sure this was not the point of the study, and I have been trying to find a copy of that report online but I just suck at researching these things. Anyway, the fact that future parents may be able to choose the genetic make-up of their kids could be a very real effect of this advance in technology.

What is the point of my near ramble?

Well, this reminded me of the movie Gattaca, with Ethan Hawke, Jude Law, and Uma Thurman. Not a lot of people liked this movie because, they said, it was a whole lot of talk. I happen to love talk movies. And the premise of the movie, being that one could choose which traits to give to their kids, was fascinating to me. I have to say, I loved the movie but I finished the it feeling more than a tad bit alarmed. I mean, don't get me wrong. I love sci-fi. I am a trekkie and Star Wars lover. But the idea that one could choose everything about their kids and then to have those who fell below 'perfect' standards be less, well, that bothered me. I am all for genetics making it possible to eliminate the chances of developing Parkinson's or Alzheimer's or Down Syndrome even, but to go so far as to specify the athletic ability, the height, the shape, the color of eyes- this was too much for me to swallow. It seemed to me like a different form of segregation and discrimination- the implications in the movie were very reminiscent of the days when African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans, and women, could only use certain rooms, sit in designated seats, attend only a certain type of school, be eligible for only certain kinds of jobs. It left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
Ok, I was slightly comforted by the fact that the advances in the movie seemed far removed (this was 1997) or at least would take another quarter of a century to pull off. I thought to myself, this would be enough time for mankind to think about past decisions, to learn how to treat each other, and to accept that we are all equal.
Well, 8 years down the road and here we are. Ready to leap into these advances and yet war rages around us, genocide is happening in different parts of Africa and Asia, and we, collectively, are still so far from learning our lesson. With such advances happening, will we realize this time, where to draw the line? Will the quest for perfection yet again bring down so many? Will it take another half a century or more before we see understanding in the form of another Barrack Obama?
I think I better stick to the fluff movies and Idol for a while.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What would Dante Alighieri Think?

My officemate, Jonette, shared a link about the New 7 Deadly Sins on Plurk and, naturally, my interest was piqued. I've often said that I believe I am more spiritual than religious and that I am a lover of literature. So this seeming new take on the Bible/Dante combination really intrigued me. I checked out the site and I found, what is arguably, the best summary of our generations possible pitfalls. If Dante really listed the 7 Deadly Sins in his Divine Comedy with the purpose of keeping the people in the 1300's "in line and on the right path", then this site does a good job in creating a list, warning 'co-21st century-ers' to stay focused and to remember what is important.

Here's the list with snippets from the site:

1. Waiting to be happy

One of the biggest misconceptions ever is that once you’re successful, once you own a house, when you have a lot of money, or once you’re retired, you’ll finally be happy.

But the truth is, you need happiness to achieve all of that in the first place.

Remember, the longer you wait to be happy the less time you’ll actually have to be happy.

2. Achieving success without helping others

If you truly want to be successful then you can’t focus your entire efforts on yourself. You must help other people achieve their goals and their own success.

There’s an old saying that the road to success is lonely, but it won’t be when you help others.

3. Belittling the dreams of others

Your dreams aren’t superior to any other person’s dreams.

4. Complacency

It’s one thing to be satisfied with what you have, but it’s another story when you’ve completely settled.

When you settle and don’t create any new dreams to go after, you’ve basically given up.

5. Not questioning

One of the greatest things we can do for ourselves is to question our lives and things in it as much as possible.

Questions like:

- Why me?

- Why not me?

- Do I really love what I’m doing?

We don’t need to have the answers right away, but we must keep thinking.

6. No attempt to change the world

Changing the world is not as hard as it may seem. Even if you change the community and world around you, you’re doing a lot. Simple acts can create drastic change.

7. Fearing

The whole point of the original seven deadly sins was to instill fear in people. But living in fear isn’t living.

Even if you’ve committed some of these sins don’t fear; acknowledging you’ve done so is all the forgiveness you need.

Now isn't this list something to really sit and think about. And I can tell you I've been guilty of a helluva lot of the things listed here. I am sure if they create a new Internet test to tell me which new ring of hell I fall in, I would be in deeper than even Numi (y'all can ask her what ring she's supposed to be in, in Dante's hell. Hahaha!).

What do you guys think?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Are Kids Ever Safe Enough?

Child safety has been on my mind a lot these days. Ok, it's always on my mind but more so lately. Maybe it's all the movies with children getting kidnapped or hurt, or the blogs of tragedies, or just the reality that I am a mom now and so I just think about everything and anything that might cause them harm.
Anyway, I've always considered myself to be a careful mom but I found this list of questions to know if you are protecting your child from unwanted dangers and it sent me into a mild panic.

  • Is your child properly restrained when riding in your car?- yes.
  • Do you use door knob covers and door locks so that your child can not get out of the house or into rooms that aren't childproofed?- yes, in a sense.
  • Do you have smoke alarms on every level of your house and near bedrooms? Do you check them regularly to make sure they are still working?- no smoke alarms but I check outlets and things plugged regularly.
  • Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home that has gas or oil heat or with attached garages? - no, I didn't know these existed.
  • Does your child wear a helmet when riding his bike?- no, but he has a toddler bike still, which he can't pedal consistently, so I figured this wasn't necessary yet.
  • If you have a pool, is it protected with a fence and a self-closing and self-latching gate?- I do, and no. Oh no!
  • Do you have a child under 6 years in the top bunk of a bunk bed?- no bunk bed.
  • Have you set the temperature of your hot water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit?- not water heater.
  • Do you have a gun in the house that is loaded and unlocked?- no way!
  • Do you have covers on electrical outlets?- not really. They remove them. I have yet to find a brand that stays on.
  • Do you have a fire extinguisher?- yes.
  • Do you keep medicines, poisons and household cleaners completely out of reach of your children?- definitely.
  • Do you have wall anchors on your stove and large pieces of furniture that may tip over?- no, but I don't have too many large pieces of furniture.
  • Have you checked your house for recalled toys and household products?- there aren't a whole lot of toys either.
  • Do you keep toys with small parts out of the reach of your younger children?- yes.
  • Do you smoke?- yes, but not in the house.
  • Have you protected the sharp edges of furniture and fireplaces with corner and edge bumpers?- my furniture all have rounded edges.
  • Do you put sunscreen on your child when necessary?- yes.
  • If you live in an older house, has your child been screened for lead poisoning?- we don't live in an older house.
  • Do you have matches or lighters easily accessible in your house?- no.
  • Do you have window guards installed on your windows?- yes.
  • Does your family have an escape plan in case there is a fire?- yes, but it's in my head.
  • Do you have a list of emergency numbers by the phone?- no phone but I have a list on the fridge door.
  • Do you let your kids play with fireworks?- no!
  • Do you wash fruits and vegetables before letting your children eat them?- yes.
  • Are your kids safe when they visit the homes of friends or family members? Have they childproofed their homes?- they are safe and half of the homes are childproof. We try to teach them what to touch and what not to touch, e.g. what is a toy and what is glass.
  • Do you use the back burners when cooking and turn pot handles toward the back of the stove?- no but I don't allow my kids near the stove.
  • Do you use an appliance latch to lock your refrigerator?- no.
  • Do you let your younger child play outside by himself?-no.
  • Do you leave buckets around the house with water in them?- no.
  • Do you leave your younger child in the bathtub alone?-no.
  • Do you let your child stand up in shopping carts?- no.
  • Do you use a harness when your child is in his high chair?-yes.
  • Have you warned your children not to play near moving water, such as a canal or creek?- no, no moving water near us and we haven't taken them to the beach. Does the pool count? If so, yes they are always warned not to play near the pool.
  • Do you let your kids ride in the back of a pickup truck?-no!
  • Do you encourage your children to wear safety equipment when playing sports?- well, floaters when swimming. What are the safety equipment for basketball and football (soccer)?
more info here

Judging from my answers I think I am on the right track. I think a lot of the question made me think about other things too. Like, locking doors, swimming lessons, breakables, etc. I am sure I will be able to come up with an entirely new list of dangers to avoid on my own but, for now, I am satisfied with this list. How did you guys fare?

Monday, January 26, 2009

Alone

It's funny how little things can remind you both of who is there for you and who isn't. I've been trying my best not to get bothered by details that I have no control over but I can't help but feel that my friends and loved ones should at least think of me in the same general level as I think of them. After all, relationships are two-way right? You get what you give, right?
Maybe it's the narcissist in me again feeling left-out and not very counted. I don't like this feeling at all and I'm thinking that perhaps the best way is to limit the number of people whom I consider important, to limit them according to the depth of our relationship, and to only be bothered by things said and done by the people in this group. But wouldn't that be making my world so, so small?
Sigh. I think I just care too much what other people think or say. I don't want to be not counted, not considered, unimportant. In reality though, aren't we really alone anyway so why should it matter?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Butterfly Tag



Oooooh! This is my first ever blog "award". Super exciting. As a lot of my friends know, I have a streak of narcissism I am trying to do away with. But moments like this do not make it easy at all. Hehe. Perhaps I am making too big a deal out of it but, who cares? As I said, narcissism.

So I am supposed to tag 10 other cool blogs. I hope I have 10 to tag! Here goes.

Mai da PayPay
This is a really fantastic food blog that advocates the use of all-natural ingredients and homegrown products. Plus, her recipes are mouth watering!

Marion Silver
The thoughts, ideas, and experiences of a nature-loving, knowledge-seeking vegetarian.

Slice of Pizza Pie
Hilarious, heartwarming, true stories from a funny mom about a loving husband and dad, and a cute little girl!

Into the Wardrobe
This is a blog of a person who loves, loves, loves literature- especially kids literature. You can find reviews for different children's books as well as interviews with their authors.

Contextualized
A blog with the musings, ideas, and thoughts of an intelligent, deep, insightful friend. There are also a lot of cool clips.

Argh, I only have 5. Well, I am sure there will be more tags from these great blogs. Don't forget the rules guys: you have to pass the tag and leave a message on the blog of that person to let them know that you've tagged them.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Explanations from Paolo

Paolo Coelho said in his Plurk "It is not explanations that carry us forward, but our will to go on." For someone who loves explanations and to explain- this is hard. But after thinking about it long and hard I find it actually makes sense. There are so many situations that have explanations that are unacceptable and are sometimes wrong and yet are the only ones that fit. There are also so many situations that have no explanation and yet still are. And despite these situations, we can continue to exist and to move on and to have a life. So is it really a matter of will power? Makes sense. Someone told me once that you can try to talk yourself into and out of decisions, situations, etc but if the will to do and to be is gone, it won't work. Wow Paolo. So many things to think about again.

Monday, January 19, 2009

I am not Half and Half

You know how some people really like half and half (for those who don't know, this is half-milk and half-cream usually) with their Starbucks or Seattle's Best coffee? I'm not one of them. See, I like whole cream or whole milk. I think half of one and the other is odd- somehow incomplete even if they make one whole liquid. I find myself thinking the same way about myself. I can't be half something and half the other. I think this is where my problem with sugarcoating and being not-so-transparent lies. I also know that I cannot have friendships or relationships or connections, however you want to call it, where only the parts of me that fit what is wanted or needed, is accepted. It makes me feel unimportant and unappreciated because, for me, it seems like I am not wanted for every part of me, thus, who I am as a person, and only wanted for those things that are the current focus. Even those traits lose their value because they can be changed and exchanged depending on the need and the mood. It is fascinating to me how others can treat people like half and half, and even more fascinating how others are comfortable receiving this treatment. I know I would be stuck seriously questioning my worth to the other person, if it were me. An observation I thought was worth pondering.