Sunday, September 11, 2005

to my dearest

I'm just laying back on the pillows on my bed, typing with the laptop on my... lap. Wow, I never put the two words together. Lap-Top. Makes sense now! The genius of the naming system. I also lit some incense (the purple stick on the taller dresser). It smells like an Indian merchandise store, but it's somehow relaxing.

It's only 10pm, but I'm reelin' and ready to go to sleep. I know it's too early for that, but all I can think of that I have the willingness and motivation to do are write to you in a coma-like state, read, or watch TV. The usual. I think maybe I need some structure in my free time. Some hobbies... then maybe I'd have more energy and more ideas?

Recently I've been feeling like my mind is on cruise control, my life is at a standstill. I know we've talked about this before, but somehow things don't change. I don't want to take any dance classes or yoga classes because they require payment. The gym is definitely cheaper, so it'll be good to see if signing up for one helps. :) I need one that I can get to without a car.

Maybe this is because I'm not taking time for myself. I'm not having enlightening thoughts that pull my life together, or give me a sense of where I'm going. I know you wouldn't mind, and would in fact encourage it. So, why don't I? Because I'm not thinking clearly, I'm not in control of my mind. I'm on cruise control and every pothole, I hit again and again, the victim. Every sign of warning or advice goes unnoticed and unheeded. Yes, I know that having an active mind is satisfying and control-enducing. But I dread it's powers over me. I dread /feeling/ high, bright emotions in fear of their opposite, crashing and disappointment. I cry way too easily anyway. Pent up emotions do no good for me.

Maybe I should go to a library to think. Or go to a park. I should look for some around here. Maybe even the Cambrige Commons is fine, after work, to just sit and stare and release. Should I bring a blanket in a backpack to lie down on? That would be nice.

Or even just walk into Harvard Square on one of the benches, buy a turkey sandwich with avocado, or a drink. Even just sit in one of the many churches on Garden Street, there's nothing wrong with that... unless there are homeless people in there too... damn it. I'm so sensitive to the smell is all. Plus, I can't help but wonder, until my brain reaches overload: how could they become like that, and be fine with that?

I suppose that's just one kind of ceiling. I guess there are many different ways you could "put up with" what life gives you. Like me, I'm just putting up with the fact that I'm not moving forward in my life, on a personal level. On a job-level, I'll learn and progress a lot if I try and be mentally intelligent, which I am definitely bordering on. But on a personal development level, I'm stagnant, and not conscious of what's happening, until a month passes and things are still the same.

It's aggravating as hell, in a passive way. Which is a silent killer of energy, which is what is happening to me. A cycle, as usual. Not doing anything kills energy which leads to doing less, which leads to killing more energy, which makes me feel like a limp piece of boiled bok choy, at the mercy of the next diner (ie, fate??).

But how can I change this? And that's another point of inner conflict, dissonance and debate. As much as I don't want to be in my situation, I'm also somehow confortable and don't want to put in the effort to improve my situation, as that makes me have to struggle first.

Always the struggle, and the first steps are the most foreign and heavy. But the first step... so evasive. So pursued. I hope I can achieve clarity...

Ah, time enough to go to sleep without feeling silly. 10:54...

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Seafood Delight

I need help, y'all. My new babies are being bad. My black molly was swimming around, minding its own business, but unfortunately, I was minding it; there was a long orange-ish pinkish trail of something following behind it. At first I was like, aww no way, not this one too... (I recently bought two Fancy (fantail) Guppies like this:

and they have been undergoing much bullying by the bigger, scarier fish called the Serpae Tetra). So needless to say, you can understand my reason for thinking that the foreign object trailing my blackie was a strand from one of the Fantails' fan tail.

Then it detatched, and was promptly eaten by the waiting fish below. Surely this could not be a fin. It slowly dawned on me, to my horror, that this lovely delicacy so sought by the neighbors was none other than the lovely leftovers from tonight's dinner. Real poopies!!!

This can't be natural. What is happening??

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Anger Management

There are certain common themes in a workplace. In this case, I am naming the emotion, Anger.

When I first started at my current company, International Press (IP), I had come off of working at AEFA as a financial advisor, which really just means "salesperson" from 8-8. Twelve (12) hours a day, including Saturday phone clinic and after-hour appointments with prospective and actual clients. Oftentimes working 70-hour weeks and receiving the draw/minimum wage/commissions. It was all about results, clients acquired and money invested. "How many set???" If you weren't producing, you weren't valuable. All the talk was about numbers, and if you didn't make the goal, you were chastised and treated like a child who didn't do her homework. How childish of me to assume that there might be "financial advising" involved.

There were bonuses, of course, to having any sort of challenging job. I learned the essence of time management, priority management, awareness of the fact that people do try to take advantage of you, how to feel comfortable talking to the common public, professionalism, accountability, image, and so-forth. It has definitely helped me in my role at IP.

First off when I entered the doors of IP as an employee, I played it the naiive, Zen way and believed, lightheartedly, that this was a nearly perfect job. After all, it was 9-5, with an hour break, small number of employees (3 of us onsite), where any ideas could possibly be put into action. I saw, and still do, see a lot of potential in the company, and my own job description. A place where I can interact with many different people from all over the world, of different professions, from highly regarded university professors of all backgrounds to outsource agents in India and across the world, to printers, to high school and college interns (interviewing is so fun, I just wish I could chit-chat forever), the list goes on.

What's more, my manager is a great guy, really laid back and down to earth. He acts very professional and has a good reasoning sense, so I think of him as a role model who doesn't jump down my throat for results and status checks.

However. Yes, the law of balances kicks in right about now. The second co-worker of mine is what I hadn't prepared myself for. We've all heard of the office "bully," the one person who seems to fit every category of "aggressively angry person," either in a sneaky way, or a blatant way. This woman fits both.

I won't go into the drab and excruciating details, but to come to a point, I have been seeking online advice on Search Google for "Anger Management coworker".

Web Results:

Bodhinatha Speaks on: Anger Management, an incredibly helpful article, despite the initial choke reflex. (you'll see what I mean).

Anger - Managing a Powerful Emotion, which gave me some questions to think about, that I am going to go through right now for you! Mwa-hahahahaha...

The most important thing one can do to manage anger is to get to know this emotion and know it well. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What triggers my anger?
  • Are there any themes in these triggers (for example, feeling condemned, feeling controlled by others, feeling rejected)?
  • What happens in my body when I'm angry?
  • What are my thoughts when I feel angry?
  • What action do I feel compelled to take?

When you know your anger, you have a more controlled response to it. This puts you into the position of having more choices in how you handle angry situations.

OK, here goes. What triggers my anger?
When this woman speaks to me.

Next. Are there any themes in these triggers?
I don't want to think about it.

What happens in my body when I'm angry?
Surges of warmth... :P

What are my thoughts when I feel angry?
I don't have thoughts. I feel like waves of black wash over my consciousness.

What action do I feel compelled to take?
Revenge by outdoing.

OK, so these are shitty-ass answers. I'll probably be more serious tomorrow. But I will leave with one inspiring and hopeful quote:

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

  - Eleanor Roosevelt

She is one smart lady.

Yours truly.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Bringin' back the good times! Come on, sing!

Why do good times mean bringing back things from the past?

Like singing. Just today, I auditioned for a choir, the Evensong Choir, at Christ Church Cambridge. Granted, I am not religious, but I needed to sing, and sing something close to what I had sung in the past, back during my high school and college days. Same exact way. SATB, a cappella, madrigal and renaissance pieces. And no dues.

Like writing. Also today, I created another blog, to post stories. Recalling the passion and time I had used back in college made me desire the same today.

I passed the audition, yes, and I started writing, yes, but it makes me wonder why I desire what has happened in the past? Perhaps it is a good thing, that these particular types of occurrences are something forever ingrained in my life. Perhaps I am thinking too much.

Two fish named Lisa

Some cool news, I bought some fish for my 39-gallon fishtank! The water is really cloudy right now, so it's hard to see them - Pete thinks the filter is too strong, so it's whipping up minibubbles...

But anyway, these are what I have.

4 Serpae Tetra (red minor) - I named one BabyQ because it's the smallest of the four and has a small, circular mole which makes it look like my dear sister, Q. Tonight, I also saw it break up a squabble between two of the other tetra by forcing itself into the path of an oncoming attack by one of them, deflecting the blow. Also a common, self-sacrificing trait, found in none other than Erica.

The Swordtail - 1 male (green), 1 female (black). The male has the cool swordlike appendage (err...). I'm almost close to naming the female Torpedo Poop because she's a dark brown, unflexible column that flies up and down the glass pane of one end of the tank. When she moves, she doesn't really swim, she floats/wiggles/sinks just like a poopie.

1 Black Molly - This one usually stays gracefully on the very top of the tank, skimming right below the surface of the water, fins flowing quietly with the current. Very smart - she gets first dibs on the food. Hmm, maybe I should name her Lisa for her intelligence.

I have no idea what these are, but they look like this Black Tetra pic, only they're yellow with red and blue flecks around the eyes. I have 1 male and 1 female. The female is already pregnant, so I bought "baby hideout" grass patches for her. The male is gentle and moves around slowly, but steadily, like there is nothing he can't handle. Sometimes I see the two of them swimming close to each other, so I might name them Peter and (Lisa - pregnancy).

I'm planning to get a few more fish next Tuesday (the fish specialist advised to wait a week until they all get adjusted), so I'm hoping to find really awesome, bigger ones. If you have any suggestions, definitely let me know. And hopefully I won't name any more of them Lisa! ;)


Thursday, July 07, 2005

A quiet, quiet night

Coming home at 8:30pm last night to my own place was... disquieting. It was just too quiet! All I want to do is say hi to my loved ones, when all I'm faced with is a half-unpacked studio (with a lovely bed) and empty kitchen.

There is definitely something scary when there's no food to be found and it's rainy and dark outside. Then again, I've lived a sheltered, carefree life, blowing from jeweled treelimb to jeweled treelimb. I had leftover miso ramen and it was pretty gross.

I went to bed thinking about sunshine.