Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Early Christmas to Me

Finally got myself a Treo phone!!! I think I've been pining away for this thing for three years! I was up for a new phone and was especially anxious to get one because I dropped the old one and the screen's backlight busted. I could still see the screen but I had to shine a light on it. I lived with my ghetto phone for a month because I didn't have time to change it, I was so dang busy! Now that I submitted my last paper at 5pm yesterday, I treated myself to an early Christmas present. I'm soo gidddy, like a kid in a candy store. I still feel so posh everytime I use it.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Blame it on the Commute

I just discovered why I am always late in submitting my papers in graduate school. I had my eureka moment on the subway coming home. It's the travel time! When I was an undergrad at MHC, the walk time to my professor's office mailbox was easily calculated. No forseeable delay, no acts of God, no transportation to deal with, just my good old two legs. These days, I have to schlep on the train to drop off my paper and I'm blaming the NYC MTA, the slow walking peeps on the sidewalk especially since now's the season to tote incredibly large shopping bags, the traffic lights, you name it!

My train painstakingly took far longer to get into the city than usual as it crawled slowly through the tunnel underneath the East River. I arrived 2 minutes after 5pm at the NYU Anthro Department building and it was already locked. It's the Friday before Christmas -- who was I kidding that somebody would somehow still be there.

Nonetheless, I'm a free woman...for now. Went and had myself a Sapporo with my sushi at Enju after I dropped off my paper. MoJo has already gone home for the holidays. And my classmates, well, no one took me up on my offer to celebrate the handing in of our papers with drinks.

My focus now turns to Christmas and finally to Maui. But first, sleep.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Needed a Change

Blogger has moved away from their beta state and they are encouraging us to go from the old to the new. So I took it as a sign for improvement and change.

Hope you like the new blog color scheme. The black background was beginning to get me down; I felt like my energy was being sucked into the screen's black hole. Recently, I began to take a liking to blue and green hues that remind me of nature, like the ones you see in the background. Apparently, the color of "nature" green calms the nerves, relieves stress, replenishes energy, stimulates creativity, and enhances intellectualism. I'm all for that these days!

Drop a comment and let me know what you think!

There Always Has to Be that One


Arrived at work more than an hour late due to my train experiencing door problems. Eventually, we all evacuated the train because the door issue remained. As a mob stood on the platform, waiting for the now defunct train to pull out of the station, the doors briefly opened and closed and some IDIOT decides to jump on. His bag and his foot get caught in the doors, leaving them slightly ajar. What the hell was this guy thinking??? Not only did the train remain out of service but because of his stupid antic, he made us all wait longer before the train could pull out of the station. I think this is an instance when Gothamists are allowed to mockingly scorn and pelt things at idiots like him for doing the dumbest things.

People were all disgruntled but I loudly reminded them that this time last year, the trains went on strike and we had to either walk, bike, or carpool to work. I'd rather choose this incovenience over last year's (although walking the 6 miles to and from work wasn't so bad since I powerwalk that distance in Central Park). People realized that I was right and some even thanked me for reminding them. Oh how soon we forget.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The President's ONE RGI

In his 6 months of employment at The Foundation, The President lamented that he has yet to come up with one RGI [really good idea] until now (Of course, we all know that's not true). He has decided that The Foundation will be CLOSED next week. And even if we chose to come into the office, we can't. At least for 3 of the 5 days...the building is under total lock down. No after-hour security guard to let us in. Ha! He said for those of us who have our computers and crackberries, er...blackberries, attached to our central artery, we can still certainly work from home but we have been given permission to take the week off so that we can spend time with our families for the holidays.

How's that for a nice Xmas present?! And he has said that next year and all subsequent years, he will work out some time for the office to be closed depending on which days the holidays fall.

I think The President's idea is not just a really good one, it's a BRILLIANT one. Wow -- the office closed all next week and I'm going on vacation for the first two weeks of January. Three weeks off. God, thanks for looking out for me!

And Office Santa came around this afternoon, handing everyone their white envelope. In it were our annual letters from The President, informing us of our yearly salary increases. I opened up my letter, paused at the new amount and thought, "Huh...OK, I wasn't expecting that." I got a little more than the standard 3.5% annual increase. I worked a bit harder this year, asked for more responsibilities and was given them, and carried them out well. Thanks to the PBT [Powers that Be] for the extra little boost -- I feel recognized for the extra work that I did. I was allowed to invite MoJo and we celebrated at our annual holiday party of
Swedish glögg, smoked salmon, beef tenderloin encrusted with herbs, and all other sorts of goodies. Yum.

Today was a really nice day full of surprises and signs of appreciation by the PBT at work. I'm very thankful -- for a job with a great employer.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Red Pegasus Connection

Last night was the last class of my anthro course on comparative diasporas at NYU. It's been a great class and I must admit that I've taken a liking to my NYU classmates for than my Columbia ones. Don't get me wrong. I think Columbia students are totally fine but a bit more conservative than I care for. My NYU classmates had a bit more flare, a bit more hipness, a bit more of that "it" that makes one interesting. Two were doing film projects, while others had really cool former lives before graduate school. Of course, it may have a lot to do with the positionality of the universities themselves which affect the type of students it attracts.

Wouldn't you know after a semester of sitting with these folks, I chatted up with a woman who I find out went to Mount Holyoke! We couldn't believe our ears and stared at each other in amazement for several seconds (You see, I was such a big proponent always being cognizant of a gender analysis on all our assigned readings, which I attributed to my women's college background). She graduated in 2002, which meant that when I graduated in 1998, my class passed on to her class our color (red) and our animal (the pegasus). This tradition, like many at MHC, means to connect women of various classes and generations. And in this case, it did! It never ceases to amaze how MHC women are everywhere and how are varied backgrounds and interests get transcended by the mere fact that we all share a common experience of having attended MHC. A network of 33,000 women around the world is indeed a powerful thing!

Unable to linger after class, I had hopped in a cab and zipped down to SoHo for the holiday party hosted by the architectural firm that MoJo consults for. Giorgione Restaurant had your typical SoHo feel: loft-like with an industrial bent yet warm and most certainly hip. I finally got to meet the people that he talks about and I think his colleagues, particularly his boss, were quite curious about me. By the end of the night, I think we managed to both get to know each other a bit better. If by chance you go, the food there is very good. I had the seabass wrapped in parchment -- it was light, fresh, and delicious.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

First Paper IN

Managed to get that first paper on gifts and gift exchange handed in...and on time to boot!!! For some reason, ever since I started graduate school, I could never meet my deadlines. I always handed the paper hours after, and in one case, two days after it was due. Oh well. The world still turns. A special thank you to Mojo for printing the paper and actually walking it over and putting it in my prof's mailbox. Thank goodness he's been at Columbia the entire time I've been there. And I'm even more thankful that he's willing to wait around on days like today and act as my messenger. I couldn't have handed in all my papers in grad school without him. Thanks cutie!

I've learned to not worry about it so much. Grad school classwork deadlines are not the end of the world and professors don't seem much to mind. I think they've got their own shit to worry about. I've discovered that profs understand all too well the concept of being overwhelmed. I'm surrounded by former profs so I see upfront that, hey, they are human after all!

Came home and slept for five hours. My body was thankful. Totally forgot that I was supposed to help my mom see The Acupuncturist. Oops. She did fine without me. He told her to find some hobbies. I think that's a great idea -- I've been telling her to do that all along but she hasn't seemed to want to listen to me in the past. I'm just the daughter, you see. What do I know? Mom now sees though that I know a thing or two about life. :)

Now I'm wide awake and its 2:30 am. What to do? Maybe I'll go raid the fridge and fix myself a snack.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Better Countdown

In my exhaustion last time, I forgot the most important countdown of all (besides the one to Christmas of course).

It's the number of days left to Maui. That would be 18 days. 18 days!

Dec 31 we fly out with our polka dots on and all. We arrive in Kahului in the late afternoon -- rent a car with racks for the surfboard, get some inexpensive snorkeling gear at the nearby Walmart, rent the surfboard for 10 days -- and arrive at my family's home in time to freshen up, unpack, and celebrate the New Year on the island in serenity.

Aloha Maui!

I want to:

  • surf every morning -- just the idea of paddling out past the breakers makes me giddy!
  • watch the sunrise at Haleakala Crater
  • hike the trails or bike down Haleakala
  • snorkel
  • drive along Hana Highway
  • get a massage on the beach
  • practice yoga on the beach like that Rodney Yee
  • spend time with my uncle, aunt, and grown cousins I haven't seen in years
  • kayak -- it would be my first time but it seems like sooo much fun
  • eat sushi on the beach
I'm procrastinating. Now back to writing.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Countdown Begins

no, not to christmas.

5 days left to hand in my first paper. the topic is on gifts, gift exchange, and commodity consumption particularly for members in the filipino diaspora.

12 days left to hand in my second paper. for this one, i theorize on the filipino diaspora and argue that (im)migration is a process which causes a social death and re-birth for the (im)migrant.

these two papers will eventually be two sections of my MA thesis. this is my first stab at writing the thesis. i need to submit a first draft in march. "march madness" will have a whole new meaning for me in 2007.

i want to pomp & circumstance in may. no question about it. i'm tired of not having a life. i'm tired of sacrificing. i'm just plain tired.

how's that for honesty?