Thursday, October 25, 2007

Two Ships

Eventually, they said, it would be easier to deal with it. For me, ‘eventually’ took two months. It is not the easiest thing to talk about still but yeah, I’ve dealt with it.

Relationships are hard. Two people with each their own emotional baggage, coming from different cultures, faith and upbringing getting together and trying to merge is often more like a chemistry experiment. If it works out then fantastic. If it doesn’t then you have simultaneous combustion. Not pretty.

Sometimes, like in our case, it works out for a bit and then it gets better and then the chemistry begins to cook itself. It was no big drama. I guess at a certain age that is no longer expected, or even appreciated. The symptoms that began to manifest are all too familiar. We were two pros when it comes to relationships – we’ve both gone through some. We went into denial, pushed for it some more, strained it further instead reached breaking point and then realization: nothing good lasts forever.

The thing is, we have been through this road before. This is not our first break-up and we have had a long record of break-ups and make-ups. When he moved out we met up and had dinner the evening after. Maybe we are truly the freaks that we have thought ourselves to be but it was great to know that we could sit and talk through our loss without loading the blame on the bread basket and pushing it across the table. Probably because we knew we both gave it one hell of a try. Through the many hurdles that we had to go through, we agreed that if it takes two to tango, it also takes two to entangle. It had been good while it lasted. And then you deal with the truths – of failure, for one thing. We then immersed into our ‘healing’. A long few months of 'solitary confinement'.

Life picks up from where we once left off. Resumed the life of the single un-coupled social being in the midst of a metropolitan social scene where everyone is seeking to be loved. Friends offer the same solutions - blind dates, match-ups and voila, the novelty of online dating, which by the way hasn't worked for me. I know it works great for other people but to me, it is just too weird to pay a website to find me a man. Not yet anyway.

Today the gutsier one between us had enough guts to nudge the other for a little 'hello'. And then we reeled into the familiar innocuous exchange about life in general. Eventually it can get easier. Not totally healed but getting there. We still have a friendship. And it was good.

In the end I gained 4 pillows and a bigger bed. Really, not bad at all.

“The ships that pass in the night, one seeking light and the other seeking night; They started out from the same distant shore, each taking their own voyage and now, together no more….”

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Making Strides 2007

For the 6th year in a row, I joined the American Cancer Society (ACS) in their 15th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. On a gorgeous crisp autumn morning, 7 miles is nothing but a walk in the park.

Walking with my friend Wally, we set off before the rest of our team showed up, eager to get an early start so we could also find time to enjoy a great Cuban lunch on the West Side.

Thank you to all those who have donated through my page. Unfortunately, I have been able to give this year's fundraising the same attention as I have in the previous years. Blame it again, on the work which got in the way of life. But in case you still want to contribute, you may go straight to my participant site and donate directly to the American Cancer Society. Hmm, maybe help me reach my fund goal (which, last year, by the way was over-achieved!).

I'm rich! I'm rich!

Got this on the email today:

Dearest, (???!!!???)

I got your contact during my search for a reliable, honest and a trust worth person to entrust this huge transfer project with. My name is Mr Amakwe James, Branch manager of a financial institution here in Ghana. I am a Ghanaian married with two kids.

I am writing to solicit your assistance in the transfer of $ 4,550.000.00 Million United States dollars only. This fund is the excess of what my branch in which am the manager made as profit during the 2005 financial year. I have already submitted annual report for that year to my head office here in Accra as I have watched with keen interest as they will never know of this excess. I have since, placed this amount of $ 4,550.000.00 Million United States dollars only to an Escrow Coded account without a beneficiary (anonymous) to avoid trace. As an officer of the bank, I cannot be directly connected to this money thus I am impelled to request for your assistance to receive this money into your bank account on my behalf. I intend to part 30% of this fund to you while 70% shall be for me. I do need to stress that there are practically no risk involved in this. It's going to be a bank-to-bank transfer. All I need from you is to stand as the original depositor of this fund so that the fund can be transferred to your account.

If you accept this offer, I will appreciate your timely response urgently.

With Regards,

Mr Amakwe James
Accra, Ghana


Saturday, October 20, 2007

Union Square Fresh Market


DSW is my mecca, Whole Foods, Blue Water Grill, Saigon Grill, Republic, and of course, the fresh market on Saturdays. Today, it was all about the pumpkins. With halloween less than 2 weeks away, this is the closest we have to a pumpkin patch - a mini pumpkin patch!

The fresh market has everything - from venison, to wool for knitting, potted plants, even kittens and dogs for adoption (!?!). And then of course there are the crates of apples, tomatoes, onions, herbs, and this time of the year - pumpkins of all sizes. I adore these small ones, of course because I have NO space anywhere in my life for a major full size pumpkin!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Bionic Wednesday

It is embarrassing to note that yes, I did get to see the original bionic series. My only salvation would be that I watched it from Manila where the series aired about two to three years after they started airing in the US.

I was a big fan of the Six Million Dollar Man. The intro spiel? "Steve Austin, astronaut. A man barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world's first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster...." segue to theme song.

The original Bionic Woman series? Shall I even mention I have forever pretended to be Jaime Sommers? I can even replicate that slow motion run she makes when she is in bionic mode. That, by the way is the only thing I appreciate about the new Bionic Woman series - when she runs bionic speed, she zooms and zaps across the TV screen. The 70's version had them running in slow motion.

Anyway, tonight albeit the work that beckons, I am on bionic Wednesday mode. Come remote control, come to mama....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


BEFORE: I would upload pictures on a photo site and then switch to my email account to send my friends the link. I would upload my videos to another website and then go to my email account and paste the link to a note to my friends so they watch it. I would Twitter and if my friends remember to check then they can follow me. I blog and if they have time they can check to see if I have new updates. Or, add both in an Atom or RSS reader such as Google Reader so you don’t have to jump from site to site.

The precursor to the now popular social networking sites must have been Yahoo Groups and I have ownership of three e-groups, two which are work-related and another one for grade school classmates. In many ways, I have proven that the e-group is a highly efficient and cheap online tool to stay connected with friends. It relies however pretty much on hands-on management and administration of each e-group, reason why I have chosen to annihilate some of my less active e-groups in the past. Setting up birthday reminders, registration of email addresses of users and ensuring it stays active can be extremely tedious.

Funny that until I had Friendster exercise its option to spam all my contacts, I thought all social network sites were all the same. OK, enough DUH’s from you dear readers! So I was stuck with Friendster for a while…. like four years. I thought I had all that I needed there – my 50+ friends and the new feature to share or limit access to the limited number of pictures I was allowed to upload to my site. I opened an account with and wasn’t impressed. MySpace freaked me out. And then…enter Facebook.

I opened an account with Facebook after an invite a year ago and then forgot about it. Exploring other options after falling out of love with Friendster, I decided to update Facebook and was quite impressed with its easy but powerful interface. What? I have unlimited number of picture albums that I can upload on the site itself? And did you say that for each album I can control privacy settings? And really quick upload of videos? Straight to the site did you say, with the same privacy settings? Yeah, I know – DUH. And because each user registers their own birthdays and other information, the reminders to connected friends become automatic without effort. And so Facebook it was. Goodbye Friendster and farewell to my contacts who I hoped would follow me to my migrated site. Unfortunately Friendster, of course, remains the more preferred social network site in the Philippines.

The good thing about Facebook is that it also integrates into its platform my Twitter updates, creates a badge of my Flickr pictures and if I wanted to, choose from the more than 5, 500 other applications relevant and not to make my page as unique as I am. Some of my New York friends and some other friends from far and beyond have joined my friends list on the site. Whenever I send an invite they always respond to me to join them instead in their own social network.

I really believe to make it worth its two clicks people can belong to different social networks but still be able to interact with each other virtually. What I think would make it perfect is when everyone’s separate social networks could link up to each other to create one huge community of internet denizens. Yeah, sort of like a United Nations sort of an online world but with less of the controversy and the politics.

In a perfect world, anything and everything is of course a possibility. For the meantime, I wish those I left behind in Friendster can reconsider and join me at Facebook!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

My Alibi

I am, I am, I am HERE!!! I swear I am! Now and then I am reminded of my various responsibilities such as updating this blog but work always gets in the way of life.

Dang it if I will be expected to complain. I love what I do regardless how you might read about it in the vignettes I share in my twits. Seriously. When what you do to pay the rent also happens to be something you are glad to wake up for everyday then you know that life is good.

I have been working too hard lately though - on my desk at 8:00 AM and finding myself still there until past 6PM. The lingering lunches at the communal table are but long-lost memories while I hardly have time to chow down my turkey avocado club and work on those powerpoints.

Thanking the gods who invented Twitter which limits my blogs to 140 characters.

I am starting to feel unhinged. This week I have had two crappy days so far and it is only Tuesday. I have been making major errors that people assure me should be expected because I am only human (gasp! what?). In a moment of certainty I swear I saw boss' eyes glare at me and wanting to throw me out of an open window. But he laughs it off and assures me that everything is working out fine and that I shouldn't worry. What I do not share is that these are days when I want to get scolded at, screamed at and just be sent back to where I belong - a desk on the south end!

Don't get lost... it is all a private joke. These will all sound cryptic unless you work within the exclusive group of freaks (used as a term of endearment) I belong to and who I love with all my heart.

Until then, work and the usual other minute stuff (twitter, facebook and my egroups) will keep me in touch with the rest of the world outside of my bubble. Add me, follow me and know what a hardcore party life I enjoy (yeah, right!).

That is my excuse for not updating my blog. What is yours?