WordPress can be a bit strange especially with comments. Anytime someone responds to my comment, their response shows up in my reader. But if the blog is restricted, I never get notified. So sometimes I’ll have to remember to check. When I see it in my reader, it’ll have the number of comments. But sometimes it’s wrong.
I actually have to click on the comments to see how many comments were left there and if anyone responded to my comment. Argh… I know it’s a small thing but I wish I could figure this out.
So those of you that have restricted blogs and wonder why I keep clicking on your blogs – well this is why. I’m not really stalking you guys. Honest.
So my Christmas dinner came and went on the 26th. It was better than I expected. It was with my brother’s extended family. They are all nice folks… but it’s not like I hang out with them all the time. My brother is great with 2 of the kids and treats them like they were his sons. I asked the hostess if she needed any help. She was trying to be polite and shooed me away.
But eventually I helped reheat some of the food in the oven (pot luck Xmas dinner), kept the gravy stirred and warm, stirred the soup, checked the potatoes, helped plate the soup… etc. She tried to get me to agree to teach her how to cook Chinese. I made a lame joke. “First you take a Chinese guy. Then you season him and put him in a pot…” *groan*
Dinner was delicious. The turkeys (2) were moist. It was simply roasted in a BBQ with basic salt, pepper and covered with bacon. All the drippings went to the gravy pot. I skipped desserts but nibbled at a lot of appetizers. I was so stuffed that I didn’t even try to get seconds. The kids already had their Christmas gifts from their parents. Tonight was round 2 for them. There was the usual noise, parents disciplining a few for being too rowdy, 3 yr old boy apologizing with mom “coaching”, kids stealing candies, kids staring at large dogs, dogs sniffing kids, and kids crying (serves them right for leaving Lego toys all over and then stepping on them afterwards).
I left a bit early to head to J’s family dinner. I just sat around and enjoyed the post dinner conversation and laughs. The kids grow up so fast. I gave J a quick foot rub because he was standing all day cooking. We watched a bit of TV and then I left to head home.
So another Christmas gone. I wonder about my parents. When I was younger I wondered what Christmas would be like without them. Lately my mind has been clouded from the dark winter days and a variety of health related issues. I’m also more conscious of the value of time. After watching my parents pass and being in the hospital earlier in the year, I made a lot of promises to myself. It’s sad, those ones are the easiest to break.
And so the journey continues. I’m older and hopefully a bit wiser.
I’m having some really strange dreams lately.
In one dream, I’m running around trying to prepare background material for Hillary Clinton. She was going to meet Winston Churchill and my job was to prep her for the meeting. I remember thinking – how would I get all of this info into PowerPoint?
In another one, I was back at my first job in a restaurant. In real life, I worked there as a dish washer and kitchen help. The restaurant used to be a very dark lit place. The staff joked this was to hide the dirt. This time, I’m a waiter and the place is well lit. It was an uneventful dream, the owner in real life was a nice guy but he drank and swore a lot. This time he was a mild mannered nice guy.
In this morning’s dream, I found myself sitting in on a meeting. The person was talking about evaluating and testing this new mainframe. I was asking some good questions on how well it handled relational databases vs hierarchical databases, how it handled massive sort routines etc… (in real life, I’m not a technical person). Then I was going back to my desk in another building. But I had to walk through a public place first. Except I wasn’t walking. I was sitting on a skateboard and guiding it through the crowd There were people walking around shopping, families with kids and then a naked guy who was doing yoga and stretches. And then there was another naked guy walking around. Except none of them had any genitals. Then a third guy started to undress but chickened out and quickly got dressed.
I don’t even want to interpret the last dream.
I don’t like this time of the year. It’s dark when I wake up and it’s dark before I even finish work. Lately it’s been overcast and cloudy. The gloomy days intensifies the feeling of doom. Work continues to stress me out. A couple of weeks ago, I was up at night watching the clock slowly moving after 2 AM. I took a pill to help me sleep. It’s the first time I’ve done this in a weekday. But I knew I would have probably stayed up till 4. I did the same thing the next night.
There aren’t a lot of other decent opportunities internally. What I’ve heard, is that my job is being phased out. It’s already happened in other divisions. We’re not even sure what, if any, severance pay we may be getting. It would be nice to have a bit more of a cushion as job hunting isn’t the greatest right now.
Yesterday, I was asked to help out with another project. I found out the team meets every morning (conference call) at 5 AM. They picked this time so people could get on the call for an hour and then go to work or drive their kids to school. They also wanted to make sure those people who work directly with the customers can continue to do so uninterrupted. But sanity prevailed and they switched back to a better time (8AM) just I joined the team.
There’s goodness in all of this. I’m convinced of it. It’s the only thing that’s keeping my hopes up.
Lee Child is the author of the very popular Jack Reacher novels and one of my favourite authors. I read these 2 articles a few weeks ago at New York Times website about him and it was just fascinating. As Lee Child was writing his latest novel, another writer was shadowing him and writing about how Lee Child writes.
The Professor on Lee Child’s Shoulder
The Annotated Reacher
After reading these, I felt a mixture of discouragement and inspiration. I know I have a lot to learn about writing. But I under estimated how much more. But I really shouldn’t let this discourage me. Although I wished I had paid a lot more attention at my English classes in school. I did start to look at writing classes again. I wished they weren’t so expensive. But there’s also the part where students have to read their stories to the class. I think that’s making me a lot more nervous. But it’s a good idea to push myself… I think.
I came across this video from the New York Times some time ago and it struck a chord with me. It’s about a neurologist who gave up his practice and does nothing more than rollerblade up and down the Pacific Beach boardwalk in San Diego. He just lives with the bare essentials. I have no idea what it was in the story that really appealed to me. Was it the idea of getting away from life? Was it the freedom to do what you want? Maybe it was just living simply and being in tuned with yourself and the rhythm of life. It’s probably all of the above.
Maybe I can just sell everything and move to a small town somewhere. Or a small cottage up north. But I can’t even start a fire or chop wood or fix anything. Or maybe I could just travel and live out of a backpack. It would have to be a big backpack (laptop, my big honking dslr, chargers, lenses plus clothes and stuff, wok, rice cooker…)
Then I remember it’s not that simple to walk away from life. I still need some type of income. I don’t have his income and certainly couldn’t afford a house on the coast. Some people look at that ex doctor and say what a waste of talent. What do you think?
Here’s the background of the video from the film maker Josh Izenberg.
I saw a link to this video on someone’s Instagram. The photographer is Kai Elmer Sotto. He was just one of many Intagrammers that I follow and I just know him as someone who takes some really nice pictures. I checked out a link in his profile the other day and it was this video below.
It turns out Mr. Sotto is one of the many partners of a foundation called PhilDev (Philippine Development Foundation). If you have time, please check them out. There are so many different ways to support them. I’m glad in this crazy and often greedy world, there are still people who want to make it a better place.