What Blood Moon?

When I was driving home last night, I managed to see the moon glowing brightly in the eastern sky.  There’s a spot near my place with a clear sight of the sky.  There were already a few people watching the moon.  Some had cameras and tripod set up already.  When I was a kid, my grandmother would tell us about the moon goddess.  She would point at the picture in the tin box of mooncakes.  It was always a beautiful woman with long flowing robes hovering in the sky.

Chang'e_Flying_to_the_Moon_(Ren_Shuai_Ying)

source:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chang’e

We listened to her while munching away on our moon cakes during the mid autumn festival.  We would dutifully sit and stare at the moon awaiting her appearance.  Of course with our short attention span, we would walk away or do something else.  That’s when our grandmother would tell us we missed her appearance.  We would have to wait another year because we were too impatient.

That’s what it felt like last night.  I went to the spot, there was a handful of people there.  It grew to about 20.  All of us were waiting for the clouds to part so we could see the blood moon.  I waited and waited.  I checked my app to make sure I was looking at the right spot.  I was sure the clouds would part.  After about 45 minutes of waiting,  I was the only one left.  The eclipse had already happened.   I slowly walked home and enjoyed a bit of the night air.  Maybe next year… oh wait, it’s going to be 2033 or something like that.

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Creak, groan, crack…

I feel like my body is starting to fall apart.  My back is not quite 100% yet.  I have another treatment this week.  The chiropractor told me to follow a regimen of exercises for my core and stretching.  I have to visit my podiatrist again.  One of my toes is giving me problems.  I already replaced my orthotics which decreased the pain but has not eliminated it.  My dentist and hygienist has drilled into my head about the need to brush, floss and waterpick every day.  My doctor warned me about high blood pressure and the need to practice a healthier lifestyle.

There are days when I feel like I should plan my own funeral because the end is just around the corner.  But I procrastinate so I never do get around to plan my own funeral.

I also need to read and write more.

This Entry Has 425 Words

It’s a stressful getting ready for vacation.  There’s a ton of stuff at work I have to finish and/or turnover.  No one likes to take on additional workload especially when our team is so small.  But no one complains.  My sis will be looking after my place (at least I hope she will).  So I want to clean up my mess before she comes over.  I have a lot of lights that don’t work, the plumbing needs to be fixed and a few things that I want to get rid off.  Last year I asked her to come by every 5 days or so to water the plants and to pick up my mail.  She cleaned my fridge, my pantry shelves, made a list of all the food stuff in my fridge that was going to expire and organized my rubbermaid containers.  She remains puzzled why I have so many containers without lids and vice versa.  I tell her if she can find my missing socks, she’ll find those missing containers and lids.

I’ve also started a LinkedIn account. The first one I set up matched a bunch of people as potential connections.  I let LinkedIn go through my list of contacts.  But I didn’t realize there were so many people that I don’t want to connect to.  So I deleted that and set up a new one.  But the other day, an ex colleague found me.  Now when I check on “People You May Know”, it’s showing colleagues, relatives, ex colleagues, friends etc…  It’s strange because I used a brand new email id.  I have no idea how LinkedIn matched all these people to my account.  I’m sure some of you will eventually find me there.  I have to spend some quality time on my resume and my LinkedIn.

To top it off, I wrenched my back on Monday.  I think it started last Saturday when I missed a step.  But I saw a chiropractor who stretched, pulled and adjusted me.  My spine didn’t pop though when he adjusted it.  I thought it would because I haven’t cracked my back for a few days.  I also received my first acupuncture treatment too.  I have to go back in a couple of days for another session.

But despite these problems, I’m still fortunate and have it better than a lot of people.  I am still healthy enough to travel.  Even if I lose my job, I have a bit of savings to survive on.  But most of all, I can still write to keep me sane.

Vacation planning

J and I are trying to finalize our travel plans for our vacation.  We enjoyed Taiwan so much last time we’re going to go back again.  I have some points on my credit card that I will use to offset some of the hotel bills.  We’re not staying at top of the line hotels (maybe someday).  We’re going to fly EVA air again – it was quite nice last time.  We’ll go on Elite class (Premium Economy).  It’s a long flight and it doesn’t leave until the wee hours of the morning.  The odd thing is they stuff you with food after takeoff.  I don’t know if it’s better to skip the dinner and sleep or just try to stay awake for awhile.

We’ll go back to some of the places we liked and explore others we didn’t get a chance to see.  It should be fun.  I still don’t know any Mandarin (aside from how are you and thank you).  But I don’t think that will be a huge problem.  The only thing I still worry about is getting sick or if something happens at home.   And my biggest fear is still the squat toilet.   There’s also the usual stress of getting my work cleared and properly transitioned.  We just have a small team and whenever one of us goes on vacation, it’s a burden for everyone else.

So I’ll be in Taiwan in a few short weeks if our plans fall in place.

No Strippers

J and I had a nice but tiring weekend.  A friend invited us to his bachelor party (no strippers or anything like that).  He had a wide circle of friends that don’t often intersect.  It was the first time I met any of them.   We pigged out on some food and then went to a sports bar.  The baseball game was on a big screen so we watched that, talked about cars, drank beer, laughed at each other’s corny jokes, shared stuff on our phones, talked about planes, carrier plans and just did what guys do.  For a bunch of straight guys, there wasn’t any crude jokes.  There were a few quiet moments and everyone sort of retreated to their phones or watched the game.

Before we went to this, J asked me if I have ever been to a bachelor party / stag before.  I told him I did.  The worse was one large party at this condo by the waterfront.  The neighbours called the cops because it got too loud.  There was just booze everywhere and 2 strippers.  The food was just some cut veggies and cold sandwiches.  Gross… the only thing I enjoyed was the waterfront view.

I guess I’m a bit too clean cut.  Or maybe that’s the image I want to portray here to fool all of you.

Wordsmithing

Every so often (almost every day), I get to review proposals and contracts.  My English and grammar isn’t the best.  Don’t ask me what a past participle or a reflexive pronoun is.  You’ll just my famous blank look.  I give the same blank look when I’m in deep thought, day dreaming or in the throes of an orgasm.  But that’s for another entry.

What really surprises me is how sloppy some of my peers can be with customer documents.  They rely on Word to capture typos and spelling mistakes.  Sometimes I’ll see a rather dense paragraph of a long running sentence.  If I read it out loud, I’ll need to pause several times to catch my breath.  I tell the sales guy to rewrite it.  Often it will be basic things like advice vs advise or iit’s vs its.  What also drives me nuts is the lack of basic editing.  If you can say it in one sentence, then do it.  I think the sales staff in my company just spews out words.  Size matters but inversely.

For example, “The design phase or Phase 1 is a prerequisite for all the other phases.  It is important to complete this before we can begin Phase 2, 3 and 4 of the project.”  I told the sales guy that you don’t need the second sentence because in the first sentence you stated Phase 1 is a prerequisite.  Ugh.

Sometimes I’ll be stumped by a sentence or a paragraph. Something will catch my eye and it won’t sound right or doesn’t look right.  I usually go back to the Elements of Style by Strunk and White or On Writing Well by William Zinsser as basic guides.  The English language is full of twist and turns.  I’m still a student.  Over time I’ve come to appreciate the art and craft of writing well.  I understand why we need to be precise and concise.  I think my English teachers will roll their eyes and breath a sigh of relief – “Geez, it took him long enough.”

Anyways… back to my proposal review on a sunny Sunday afternoon.