31 October 2004

Going out in NYC last weekend (with the new haircut). Not a great picture... took it with my camera phone.

I heard from my mom today - she just arrived back from Holland. Tomorrow she and dad will be jetting off to Hawaii on a golf trip. Apparently my opa's operation didn't go smoothly and he almost died. It looks like he'll live, but he hasn't been released from the hospital yet. Meanwhile my oma is getting more and more demented. She can't take care of herself and with opa sick... she's undergoing an assesment now and hopefully she'll be provided a home care assistant. It seems like everytime I get news about any of my 4 grandparents it's always a little worse than last time. I don't know how much longer they'll be around.
Work has been it's own set of ups and downs with some long hours last week. With so many people on the team now you'd think there would be more time for project work, but there isn't really. Worst thing is that it's needed more than ever: our group is in some hot water and we need to really step up NOW. And that doesn't even go into the politics there, which I have managed to get completely screwed up in. I have got to learn to KEEP MY MOUTH SHUT.
Then there's Saturday night...it was such a blast, and yet, I know I'm in for a bruising. S---- apparently thought I wanted to go home with him, when I really just want to be friends. I managed to find a guy I can actually see myself committing to, A--- but he doesn't have time for a girl. I have no idea if that's true or a line because he wouldn't want me. It hardly matters though, same outcome. I've never felt that comfortable with a guy before. I've never felt that much chemistry before but clearly it's one-sided. It's not passionate, it's relaxed, content, easy - I love it. And I can't have it.

23 October 2004

Have you ever had that sense that someone really needed you? I just got back from my first tutoring session at the International Center where I tutor ESL and I had a converstation with this really interesting Taiwanese woman. She lived in Japan, wanted to become a make-up artist, and quit school to help her family when her parents died. She's been married to an American Taiwanese man for one year and has a 6 month old child... as our conversation developed I got the sense that she just really needed to talk to someone. I don't know if she feels alone or unhappy or trapped exactly - but something in her world is definately less than optimal. I don't think she's in a very good marriage and she has so many practical obstacles in front of her before she can finish her education and become what she clearly has been trying to be for years. I'm sure I don't really have a clue what's really going on but it felt like she was desperate for someone to lean on, to support her and encourage her.
I have never cared before that I didn't have a New York phone number until today. She either has to call CT, PA, or email - but she doesn't want to share her husband's account (understandble). I just wish there was something more that I could do. Honestly, correcting her verb tense seems so insignificant when I think about what it seems like she's going through.

20 October 2004

Ouch, I just saw my spelling of serendipitous in that last entry. Maybe I should take some remedial spelling classes...

19 October 2004

I always say I'm going to go to bed on time and I never do. *sigh* No wonder I feel tired the second half of the week. Paul is meeting me on the train tomorrow morning, which should be interesting as I am not exactly a morning person. Day 1 of project No Chocolate is coming to a close and I must be honest and admit to eating a handful of semi sweet chocolate chips after work. Damn. *sigh* New day tomorrow, new start, and a new chance to defy expectations and actually not sucummb. Did I spell that right?
I read an article this morning in the Wall Street Journal about graduates cleaning up their speech when they join the work force. More precisely that they don't, but should. I completely agree - it was serindipitous timing because I was noticing how slangish I have let my speech become. I frequently use "he was like" in place of "he said" and I have even caught myself calling my colleagues "dude"! To my defense, they are all under 30 and we have a particularly collegiate atmosphere - nevertheless - dress (or speak) like the job you want. If I want to be successful, powerful, productive, and a repected, effective leader then I need to look, act, speak, and behave like one. I'm almost certain the CEO's, heads of desks, etc do not call eachother "dude".
I have a meeting with my mentor tomorrow - I'm hoping for her advice on starting a development journal so I can track my soft-skill improvements and be sure to have a pulse on what I'm doing well and what my weaknesses are. I'm hoping to find a mentor within operations before the end of the month - Melissa is helping me with that.
Shoot - speaking of Melissa.. I owe CO Melissa an email at absolute minimum. I have become somehow better and worse (at the same time) at keeping in touch with people! I still owe 2 Australians birthday packages (half finished) - and Priya too. And now Paul's birthday is Monday...*sigh* I'm not just playing catch up at work. Of course, if I just stopped avoiding all my everyday administration it wouldn't pile up like this. Why doesn't that lesson ever seem to sink in?
Right, I need some sleep - I need to get up for an early shower before the train.

17 October 2004

Wonderful weekend, but I didn't really live in reality. Odd thing to say, but hear me out... Firstly, I spent most of it with a guy who seems to think quite highly of me. In fact, dare I say this, I think he might be going for the title of boyfriend! Not a frequent occurance for me and we'll see if I manage to pull this one off without completely screwing things up. I also got hit on by a musician (I never get randomly hit on just walking down the street!) and I was asked to be a hair model! I would have done that last one but I have work (drat). I guess my new haircut is a hit then - layers in a classic bob with some face framing angles. I also went to the Met (long overdue) and actually looked quite decent in knee high boots and a skirt on Sat night... lots of uncommonly good things basically...
Coupled with... a complete lack of anything productive. I managed to balance my checkbook incorrectly and timed a money transfer wrong by 24hrs, consequently incurring some rather sucky overdraft fees (not so clever). For the second weekend in a row I forgot to return the shirts to Brooks brothers AND I have yet to mail birthday packages owed to three people (some a month old)!
Lastly, a lot of really pleasant, long overdue phone conversations from good friends I miss a lot. Priya, James, Swati, Yan, Wil... I especially miss my girlfriends as I seem to be surrounded by boys 24/7. For a city that is majority female there is a lot of testosterone around!
Oh - did I mention flights home are booked? Yay! LA for Dec 11-18... Next on the list - plan the Thanksgiving par tay. Who's in town?

16 October 2004

Right, so I've had a very relaxing good day, got my hair cut, and now I'm listening to the basement Jaxx while writing. It doesn't get much better. I've got plans and backup plans for tonight and I had a really good chat with my flatmate (infrequent but usually enjoyable). Basically, this is a long winded way of saying I'm in a good mood - oh - I also had a good chat with my brother (who is doing really well right now) and planned a trip to Cali to see the folks. I'm smiling in a very genuine way and it feels... content. Dare I say, optimistic?
I think this is the way I am generally, I just let ---- get the better of me. I get so caught up in it that I forget all the wonderful things in my life that should make me happy, optimistic, and confident. I need to keep that confidence, I'm no good when I get insecure.
I've discovered that I need to learn to deal with stress better. It makes me work better and work smarter, but it also had lots of detrimental effects that I never thought about before. It causes me to eat more, I sleep worse, I have elevated heart levels for long periods, and I lose some of the creative, lateral thinking that is sometimes my best asset. I need to learn to channel and manage that stress though, not necessarily eliminate it. I think maybe meditation and yoga - yeah try it before you laugh - and also being more mindful about it. Now that I'm aware of it, I can learn to make it an advantage rather than a liability.
On a slightly self-centred, egotistic note: I think in general I'm a little more self-aware than most people my age. I think I have an accurate idea of my strengths and weaknesses and I'm constantly trying to levrage that - improve things and work my assets. I went to an analytical college because I knew logical thinking was my weaker process, and it's paid off. Now it's about subtley - when to apply which skill and to what degree? For example, should I be aggressive and take the lead on something or should I try and influence others and let them step up a bit?
I have gotten a few really amazing compliments recently, and they are the kind that really stick with you. In Eksdale one of the UBS people told me that I was a really great leader and that I would go far, I was exactly what the company needed. Wow. Then Douglas, a train buddy (also at UBS) told me I have a luminecent personality - the kind that reaches out and grabs people. Double wow. I just hope I can live up to it - to their (and my) expectations. It's really arrogant, but I've always thought I would be great someday - not great like Alexander or Steve Jobs or something, but magnetic. The kind of person you just want on your team (friends wise or work wise). I think when I'm not trying to hard, I have moments when I am that person - I love this process of becomming the woman you have in your head. I love and appreciate the fact that when I look at myself, despite everything, I have a life I can be proud of. I have so many beautiful friends and I hope they can see they are the same - wonderful magnetic people who I'm glad I got to meet.

11 October 2004

Right so I'm back from Europe (training in London) and the trip was fantastic. The people I met were really chill and fun to be around and overall the trip was really good for my morale. I think I was a bit exhausted from the effort it takes to make new friends when you move to a new city - especially when you spend 15 hrs a day working and commuting. It was nice to have two weeks with chill people, drinking wine and goofing off. Now that I'm back I realise my friendships here are getting slowly tighter and I'm a bit less afraid that I'm imposing when I called people up out of the blue. If there's one thing missing though, I still don't really have any good girlfriends here and as much as I love all the guys... sometimes a girl just needs a girltalk you know?
Interestingly enough about the London guys... Ian was very cute, but it was Karl I've ended up missing. He was really smart and completely eccentric so he was always a blast to be around.
Performace reviews are starting at work and my boss cornered me and told me she heard from other people I'm looking to leave ops. Crap. It's true and it's not. I am looking to leave, but not while it's still challenging and interesting... in any event, I don't want her of all people questioning my commitment! If I don't get above average on my PMM's I'm going to be more than a tad disgruntled. Watch me leave for front office then!
I know what else has been making me feel upset a lot and it's bad that it still has so much power over me. Will I be haunted by this for my whole life? Wow that sounds cryptic, but I'm not really opening this one up.
Can't end on that note... I need some new music, any recommendations?