Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer Updates

I just remembered that I have a blog and even more shocking is that, dear goodness, it has been more than a month since I have made an entry. I don't know if I should be disapponted with myself or impressed that I actually seem to have a semblance of a life that I have no time to write. Either way, it seems surprising because I have never had such big gaps between entries til now.

So what have I been up?

I returned to my old office at the start of May after a temporary assignment doing something different for 5 months. I came back to the Capital Master Plan, my home base at the UN since August 2004 to help with relocation. It is a new job with bigger responsibilities that reverts me to an old pay which I cannot really call a demotion but financially, yes, it does create a crater.

Initially it was tough coming back because I loved what I was doing in the temporary assignment. I handled multiple responsibilities and it was a totally different industry (financial management) and there was so much to learn. And having a boyfriend who is in the same friend, suddenly we had something else in common. I call my adjustment to coming back "tough" because there was already that residual resentment that I was losing money to go back but also because it was frustrating catching up with what I had missed for 5 months and literally being on my own to catch up on the information and resources. The advantage was that the crew have literally remained the same so I knew who to come up to for information. There were still challenges of course and for about two weeks it felt like the world was going in fast forward and I was moving in slow motion. I was taking in current information which researching the background on it so that the exhaustive exercise left me only questioning the rationale behind this "great return".

A month and half later, I can say I am more confident as I walk into meetings and deal with our clients and interact with consultants. My days are a whirlwind of meetings, though and most evenings find me logging onto my Citrix mobile office to catch up with emails and reports that have deadlines. It is a life that the United Nations try not to encourage because I would like to think that the organization respects their staff members' personal time. But if I limited my life to a 9-to-5 schedule then I would have a lot of backlog. But that is also me being me. I love working and the dignity and respect that it brings. I may rant a lot sometimes when the stress gets overwhelming and it feels like the walls are caving in but I do love that I have a job I love.

My name is Mavic and yes, I am a Facebook addict.

I am not making work as an excuse for my absenteeism online. I am a regular on Facebook which seem to have replaced all my email accounts. Seriously, I get more relevant emails on my Facebook mailbox than any of my personal email accounts which usually supply my daily dose of junkmail. I think the only reason I keep my Blackberry is because I have Facebook there. I poke and email and post updates from the Blackberry more often than the computer. In between emails and during commutes, I am on my phone's Facebook, connecting with friends. And the funny thing about Facebook is that I have found so many friends from all over the world who I thought I have lost forever.

I have also become absorbed in a new hobby: photography. Last weekend, I finally sold my recently bought DSLR camera, a Canon XSi. I have posted it twice on craigslist and twice after agreeing with an interested buyer on the price I ended up not being able to make the meet-up and exchange because I was caught in meetings. My Phoenix-based photographer friend was in town to do an engagement shoot and introduced me to a friend who is just getting interested on an upgrade from a point and shoot and so I got cash for my glass.

I have rediscovered photography after being a point-and-shoot person for about 20 years. I did photography in college and shortly after, when I had a beautiful baby daughter. My daughter literally grew up with my film camera and she loved being photographed so much that as soon as she would see me holding my camera she would do a quick head tilt and give mommie a toothy smile. This was the age of film and I may have used hundreds of rolls on her. On special events like her birthdays and trips, I remember bringing about 4 to 5 rolls of film for developing.

I had a very trepidacious return to the new old hobby, concerned that I have forgotten the fundamentals. I attended many free photography trainings at New York City's ultimate photographer's heaven, B&H Photo and Video store. I met Scout Tufankjian, a Brooklyn based photographer who followed and captured great moments during President's election campaign. She was in the same panel as other women who have made a name for themselves in the field: Arlene Collins , Barbara Bordnick , Jill Enfield , Kate Engelbrecht , Michelle Bogre. I also met Paul Mobley who talked about portraiture and thereafter corresponded with him regarding recommendations on equipment. I guess I am lucky to be in a city where all of these resources are availble literally for free.

So like I said, I sold the entry-level camera and now I am looking into upgrading into another camera and being more educated with the different lenses I have an idea of my equipment set-up. I need to save for it though so I am currently without a camera (except for the Blackberry) for the first time in my life since I was 12. Yes, I got my first camera when I was 12 when I inherited my grandfather's trusty Minolta.

So what else...it is the summer, I have friends sifting in and out of New York City and so my social life has picked up. What about you, my dears, what have you been up to?

I leave you with more photographs from an excursion at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens a few weeks ago.