Sunday, July 29, 2007

I had a feeling that it would be harder to update my blog when I start working because a lot of working friends also don't update their blogs as regularly as they used to. Maybe it's because work takes up a lot of time and thinking power or because there's nothing new to write about. An inhibitive blogging policy is understandable but it is also another reason.

July 27, 2007 - Welcome to the world Ira S.! I hope you grow up to be a beautiful, intelligent and above all good person. As your dad can personally attest, hard work pays off.

After work I went to Ateneo to join the Celadon HR and Externals night. Congrats Jasper, I'm really proud that you're handling the project overall now. You did a great job last year and I hope the next 3 nights turn out well.

Many managers and the visiting oldies invaded Shakey's afterwards. We were introduced to the game Jungle Speed, the objective of which is to get rid of all your cards while preventing others from getting rid of theirs (like Speed and Uno). It's fun and potentially violent but it requires concentration, alertness and speed. I had been awake since at least 5am that day so those weren't exactly my strong points. Apparently it's the other game aside from Mahjong that they currently play at the new C Room.

I gave up my seat at the game table so that the younger ones could play (one round was enough for me) and I transfered to the longer table - where most of the food was served and conversations were taking place. It's great to be back with college students. Made me feel younger!

Everyone has concerns that feel serious at the time but it's different when one looks back. Like a 4 year old can be concerned about not having a blue crayon (for the sky/clouds!) but an 8 year old knows that there are bigger problems to deal with. While it took some effort to adjust to college life, there were other people who were adjusting at the same time with me. Right now it's pretty much just me the newbie and, although there's a process, it's more learn-as-you-go. Better grow up, think quick and learn fast.

Saturday morning - Gawad Kalinga time. It was organized chaos. What else would you expect from 120+ kids? The day before was nutrition day for them so that fit in nicely with our healthy topics and activities. I had to rush home, shower and then go to Rockwell for the 2:50 Ratatouille showing. I arrived just in time (although they left my ticket at the cinema entrance already). We had fun - more fun because it was Vince's treat! It was great to hear about what everyone's been up to.

It's also becoming a tradition to call someone and put them on speaker phone. Last time we called Trina to greet her a happy birthday and Vince to bug him while he was at work. This time we called Za to greet her happy birthday in advance. I can't wait for our next get together. As I mentioned in my Multiply post, it takes some effort to coordinate schedules but it's really worth it to go through all the trouble. These things are planned at least a month in advance and even then, not everyone can make it.

I was asleep from 1-5pm today! Immersion's over so *maybe* I won't be so tired. Let's see... for all I know, working might be even more tiring. My calendar's already filling up. Hopefully I'll be in Henan, China in a few weeks from now. I just have to get my visa! This isn't for work so when I get back, I'll have to move fast to catch up. I'll be swamped... I just pray that my decision to pursue this isn't a foolish one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

I know I should be sleeping (really I should take my own advice sometimes) but I feel that I've neglected my blog. It's been 10 days since my last post (sounds too much like it's been x days since my last confession), not because there's nothing to write about but because none of the topics seemed to be motivation enough for me to actually stop and think. The flow of this entry will be runny and jumpy.

HP7 was great. While reading, I found myself remembering Jose Rizal, the Bible, and even some of my own life experiences. Thus for me the book is a strong mix of classic and personal. I'm happy to say that the ending did not disappoint me as I expected it would (the opposite of Animorphs). It's been a long time coming and HP has made its mark well in this world. Always nice when something exceeds expectations. So how does one balance setting high standards but not having unrealistic expectations?

Such as: don't expect me to look the same after my month-long immersion. I'll talk more about immersion next week. I've grown several shades darker because of it and because of yesterday's MILO marathon. I didn't actually run but I was part of the support group making sure that the runners had what they needed. Some new things I learned:
1) When buying running shoes, get one size larger than your real size.
2) Put petroleum jelly everywhere especially on body parts that rub against each other or against clothing.
3) Have extra socks.

Dare I join the marathon next year? Balk. It would be nice to run again though. How about 10k. Who am I talking to.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Did you know that today is Ernő Rubik's birthday? I heard that bit of trivia on the way home from work a while ago. He was the inventor of the frustrating cube that I've been trying to figure out for some time now. I was wondering why Facebook suddenly offered a Rubik's cube "gift" ... took me long enough to figure that one.

Anyway, since I mentioned it already, another toy I've been playing with is the popular social networking site Facebook. I stumbled upon its Wiki article (I'm not sure when/how/why since I frequently Wiki-hop from one topic to another) and decided to try it out. While Friendster focuses on testimonials and Multiply has a media-sharing approach, Facebook capitalizes on networks/groups. Sadly, Ateneo can't get a network since students don't get an ADMU email address. I guess faculty members can create a work network though. I like the events feature, complete with RSVP tracker. Can't wait for the first "Facebook" group movie outing tomorrow although only a little less than 10% of the people attending actually used the site. I wonder if/when the Ateneo orgs will start using it to promote projects. Last school year, we had discovered that publishing a list of attendees' names prior to the event can boost attendance (LDP participation increased by 40% compared to the previous year!). I'm hoping I can attend HR Night but that'll depend on what time we get back from Antipolo on that Friday.

We ended by 5:30pm today, which is normal. Thursday was a surprisingly light day - I was home in time to watch the 4pm ADMU-UP UAAP game (yey we won). I'll post pictures of my immersion experience next time, maybe at the end of the month. Suffice to say, my body clock had to adjust a lot. I have breakfast at 5:25am, have lunch at around 11:30 or 1:30 (depends). Dinner is at 7 if I'm lucky but I've had to wait until 9pm like last Wednesday when I decided to drop by the office after immersion for some important matters. Crazy. At the end of the day, I really feel happy to see Summer waiting for me by the front door. She's a lot bigger now but still very playful. Have to remember to buy her food.

Anyway, I'll go sleep now. Yey I don't have to wake up early.

Friday, July 6, 2007

What have I been up to? Work, of course. I've been coming home early these past few days (earlier than 6pm) but am more tired than usual. That's because I'm on immersion. This involves being at Pasig by 6am, riding a delivery truck to who knows where, checking stores, selling, getting orders and delivering products to sari-sari stores. It doesn't sound so bad but the heat makes it exponentially more difficult. Thank goodness it was cloudy today. Remember the Mary Poppins saying I love to quote? In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. Today I found the fun - pagbabasta! Plus, I made my very first sale without Kuya Ferds' help. It also feels great to meet/exceed the targets. Wahoo.

Ateneo ALTP? Immersion? Fiddlesticks haha This experience really taught me to respect blue-collared workers. I don't think I can complain about work ever again without feeling guilty. After all, this is something I'll be doing for only a month while they've been at it for 5-10 years! They work 6 days a week, 8-12 hours a day, starting at 6am. I'm glad that my IM isn't requiring me to work on Saturdays too. Types of communication? Psych persuasion techniques? They don't need a college degree to learn something best taught by experience. Kudos.

Three more weeks. I'm already looking forward to another round of pusit at the nipa hut carinderia we went to last Wednesday. This time though I'll remember to wait for the RC before I attack a viand bathed in chili (a.k.a. baby carrots) sauce.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

It was an exciting week. I met a lot of new people whose names and faces have blurred together. Pero wow I've learned so much in such a short time. Like how to bite an apple hanging by a string without the help of hands? That and a lot more. Playing what-does-that-acronym-stand-for with my mom when I was younger is a big help! Even the Transformers movie gives this sound piece of advice: Keep up with the acronyms.

Yesterday was the wedding of Winston and Stephanie. My cousins and I agree that this wedding felt different. Steph is just so much nearer to our age compared to our other married cousins (I hope they never read this). It was pretty much an all-day affair since I had to have my hair, makeup, and nails (I love my nails) done in the morning and then arrive at the church early because I was part of the entourage. Although the church had air conditioning, it was still a bit warm cause there was so many people. My parents' wedding was held at the same church 23 years ago.

Achi Sarah couldn't be the Matron of Honor because she just found out that she was pregnant. Superstition dictated that she couldn't participate in the wedding because the baby and the married couple would be fighting for good fortune. Ria took over the role of maid of honor. Rachel was complaining about having an itchy gown. I remember hating being a flower girl myself. Itchy gowns should be outlawed.

We had a short pictorial in front of the American cemetery and then proceeded to the reception at Crowne Plaza. Basically, I was at that hotel for more than half the week since I attended a convention there from Wednesday-Friday. There were around 100 tables and we had the usual Chinese menu. The noodles were too hard - Sam thinks they were undercooked. Jacob loved the three desserts - fruits, banana balls? and red beans.

David Pomeranz (Got to Believe in Magic, Born for You) attended the wedding and reception and sang a never-before-publicly-performed song for the newlyweds. That wasn't the only starstruck moment of the week though. Last Tuesday, Paeng Nepomuceno and Nadia Comaneci gave a talk to the company about how they managed to achieve so much. I super love Paeng! You can read more about him here. Wow. His speech really deserved a standing ovation. We got autographs from both star athletes and will be receiving a copy of our pictures with them. Also saw Richard Gutierrez at Max Brenner when we went to have dessert there a while ago.

Transformers was a great movie! It was funny, it had action, it didn't have a cheesy romance (although this is sometimes good), and it didn't require prior knowledge. I still remember the Optimus Prime toy that my cousin used to play with. I wonder where that is. Did you know that the voice actor for Optimus Prime also does the voice of Eeyore? haha Perhaps I liked it all the more because it didn't try to sell itself as a start of a trilogy although I hear that the next 2 films are being planned already. My brother and his best friend say it was clearly Chevrolet (Autobots) vs. Ford (Decepticons). Of course I didn't notice but I think it's another fun tidbit to add to this entry. Ah, I thought the Hoover Dam was boring when I went there many years ago on the way to the Grand Canyon.

I wonder when new movies of other rather old but missed shows will be made like Jem and the Holograms and G.I. Joe. Maybe even Rainbow Brite, He-Man and She-Ra, Shazzan and the Wacky Racers (and Penelope Pittstop). Speed Racer will be released next year according to IMDB.

Tomorrow will be the start of another week. It's also the start of what promises to be a tiring month for me. Wish me luck and pray it doesn't rain so much.