24 mai 2006

changes afoot

wow, it's really been a long time since i've made a post...

i could've posted, but i really had nothing to talk about. my life has been progressively gotten lamer and lamer. i guess it's because of lack of friends and the fact that i live at home. But even if this weren't the case, I'd still have gotten lame. i'm just more interested in saving money for paying off my student loan and funding the retirement account.

GOD.

What happened to me??? As soon as I left France, I've become an "adult".

It's not like i can revert to being carefree and going by the "live for today" mentality. I've already learned my lessons. I just don't want to be a lame old fogey. I'm still cool, dammit!

Well, some good news. I got a promotion! It's still unofficial (meaning, I haven't gotten the offer on paper yet), but it's certain. I'll now be with the company and no longer with the staffing agency. This is a good step for me, I can finally get some semblance of job security that I desperately need right now. I really want to start laying down the foundation for the rest of my life. (LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAME!!!!!)

Now I can take advantage of the company benefits like health/dental/life/disability insurance and TUITION REIMBURSEMENT!! Yee-haw! Perhaps now I can really not worry about having to pay for law school. And there's this thing called flex-spending account. All this new terminology. It reminds me of when I first came to university and had no idea what a "course credit" or how the numbering system for classes worked.

So, I'll be working in Jersey City now, instead of Manhattan. No more gorgeous central park view. Now i'll have a gorgeous panoramic view of the NYC skyline, the Hudson river, AND the Statue of Liberty. (Yes, the view is that much better). Plus, I'll still be getting free lunch.

I'll be going to France this September to visit my Baptiste...we're planning to take a trip to Barcelona, so I can search for my roots. Apparently one of my great great grandfathers was a friar from Barcelona. I'd love to try and trace some family over there and freak them out...

everything's going so well, and frankly it's about time. I really want to work hard and do even better.

14 mars 2006

So...either it WILL or it WON'T.

"There is a 50-50 chance the avian flu could mutate to become easily transmissble to humans"

It's like...a COIN toss!!!

Better stock up on the duct tape and plastic sheeting tuna fish...3 cans for only $1.49 at your local grocer's!

08 mars 2006

damn that james blunt...

his songs make me cry ;_;

03 mars 2006

coming of up

Ok, ok ok...it's been a really long time since i've posted. I apologize for the lack of communication, but for the past few months I've felt that I didn't really have anything of note to share. My life of late can be summed up in a French expression consisting of 3 words: Metro, Boulot, Dodo. Essentially, "Commute, Job, Sleep".

My holiday was fine, Baptiste came to my house for a week and we had Christmas, Filipino style. It was really nice to walk around New York City during Christmas time with him...we saw all the gorgeous decorations (Rockefeller Christmas Tree, Swarovski star on 5th avenue, etc etc). Ate at Rolf's for Christmas dinner...the main draw of this place is that they decorate every square inch of the restaurant with Christmasy kitsch...I remember reading one review which summarized the atmosphere of the restaurant as if "The ghost of Christmas Present puked all over the place". Despite this cynical review of Rolf's, it was actually quite nice. Food wasn't spectacular. Afterwards, went ice skating at Bryant Park...walked down 5th to Rockefeller Center...We were witnesses to a marriage proposal that happened at the skating rink! (Security clears the rink of skaters...guy and his girlfriend are abnormally slow about exiting the rink..."You're just too good to be true" playing softly in the background...guy takes his girl back to the center of the rink, drops down on one knee...proposes...girl starts crying and saying "oh my god"...she accepts...it was just way too cute). Went to St. Ignatius of Loyola for Midnight Mass, and it was absolutely gorgeous. The music was perfect, and played by professionals. It was cool to rub shoulders with New York's Park avenue elite...

Spent New Year's at Baptiste's cousin's place. I was in a bad mood, didn't want to be in the city, and the party was a flop. Nuff said.

December through January I applied for a job at the embassy. You all know which one. Suffice to say I didn't get the post, despite my having spent $500+ on the "Hire Carmel" campaign. The suit, the 2 round-trip train tickets...all for naught. I'm a little bitter...I really thought I was a shoo-in for the post. It went to this other guy who i know...and he clearly wasn't the best person for the job. I was really upset and bitter when I got the "We regret to inform you..." email, but I got over it relatively quickly. I still have a job, right? And I'm really thankful for that.

After the rejection, I took some time to really think hard about what I want out of life career-wise. To really think about what would make me happy, and fulfilled. What kind of work I enjoy doing vs. what kind of work I do well (but don't necessarily enjoy). What kind of work stimulates me and work that is more along my personality type. Thinking about all of this for the past few weeks was cathartic. I had gone to school for 16 years of my life so I could prepare to get a good job. Unfortunately, I didn't think of those years as time to prepare for a career. This was mainly due to the "I don't know what to do with my life" mentality. And who could blame us to think this way. Growing up, we were told we could be anything we wanted to be, as long as you did well in school. Plus, how many people have told you that you have "plenty of time to figure out what you wanted to do"? Well...I took both of these points to heart. I procrastinated, cuz I had plenty of time to think about what I want to do with my life career wise. And, I focused my time in school to get good grades. And where has it taken me?

Well, I guess I can give myself a little credit. I taught English in France for almost a year, which was perhaps one of the best decisions I ever made. (Hey, I got a hot French boyfriend out of it!). But once I returned, I had the question of my the rest of my life stare me in my face, and the direction of my so-called "career" breathing down my neck. And right now, since july 2005, this is where I've been. A dead end...a stalemate.

Don't get me wrong, I have a really good thing going on right now and I'm very lucky. I work at a great company, and i live at home with my parents (which isn't as bad as I thought it would be! I actually like it!). But, I am not content with where I am right now. For a while, I thought how pursuing a career would affect the rest of my life. How it would affect my personal life, more specifically. I know that I want to have children and raise a family. But I began to question whether pursuing a career was worth it. I read articles about women who pursue careers, only to give it up once they had children. I know a doctor who decided to be a stay at home mom once she had her baby. All that training for a career, and in the end they give it up. Part of me thinks it's such a waste...that doctor took on a spot in her medical school (eventually giving up her career to raise her family) when someone else really wanting to get in that school and motivated to practice medicine got rejected instead. I was afraid of this. What if when I have children, I decide to give up my career? How would I pay all my student loans? And is it necessarily a bad thing to be a stay-at-home mom? I could save myself all the trouble of schooling and loans if I just take a mediocre job, get married, raise a family, and be...well...a mom.

Of course, being a mother is nothing to look down upon. It is hard work, and takes as much dedication and devotion as any other career. But I wasn't raised to pursue domesticity. I was raised like most any other asian kid, under the "Be a Doctor or you're worthless" mentality. Unfortunately, this thinking has stuck with me to this day. I feel guilty where I am now, in addition to my feelings of discontent. I could be more, I could do more, and I really don't have an excuse for not trying harder. Plus most importantly...I want more.

I realized that I love to write, that I want a career that involves writing and research. I thought of maybe pursuing a career in journalism or public relations, since I enjoyed the kind of work I did during my internship at the embassy. Unfortunately for me, i don't have any real training or experience in either field, aside from the internship. But, a 4 month internship isn't enough for any employer to look at you seriously, especially if you're starting to edge toward the expiration of the "recent graduate" title. I thought of how cool it would be to get in the fashion magazine industry...but again, no experience on my end. And after additional thought on the subject, I realized I would hate this industry. I realized I really hate working under people and being told what to do. (Hey, I'm the firstborn in my family! I'm used to being the boss!). I thought I could get my foot in the door at a publishing house, and work my way up. Then again, I think I would grow resentful of working in the magazine industry and hate writing. I don't want this to happen at all. I considered teaching, which I have some experience in. I do enjoy helping people. But, the experiences I've had teaching weren't particularly enjoyable for me. It was nice work, and good work. But, I came to realize it's not what I want to do. I don't have the patience for this profession. As for music, forget it. I love playing oboe, but not as a career.

So, my thoughts went back to law school, as they are wont to do when I start thinking of where I'm going to go next in terms of my career when everything else seems impossible or undesirable. But I was always afraid of this option. Law school is expensive (I could be looking at a student loan debt $150,000). And, the LSAT is damn hard. It all just seemed intimidating and impossible. Plus, my famous self-doubt. I didn't have faith that I could actually get into law school.

But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the right way for me to go. Law involves a lot of writing and research, which I want to do. I started looking at my LSAT books for fun, to see if I can take a crack at the dreaded logic games. And the funny thing is, I enjoyed doing them! As for the student loan debt question...well, I guess it's the price. But I could look into going to Rutgers which is a lot cheaper, and I could live at home. My dream though, would be to go back to AU and go to law school there. They have a fantastic program where you can study at AU for 2 years, then study at a French law school for 2 years...ultimately I could get a JD and the equivalent degree in France. I've always wanted to come back to France and study (and of course, have a chance to be closer to Baptiste). But, I think this career path would also fall along the lines of what I did in school (International relations) and my recent work experience has allowed me to become fluent in French. It just seems that everything I have done so far has been leading towards this path, but I've always chosen to stall myself or take a detour.

I recently read my dear friend Evan's post. A little excerpt:

"The buck stops here, and if I don't find a way to make myself, to create myself in a world this large, then I alone am responsible. Self-creation takes time. It takes a while for people to realize that they are apart from the world that begat them and pave their own way.".

Evan is absolutely correct. I feel a little bit sad, though, that it's taken me this long to realize that I am now responsible for myself and what comes next in my life. I feel like that I will have about a year of wasted time between my graduating from AU and starting law school. But, maybe it isn't wasted. I need this time to make sure this is what I want, and so far, it is. I'm famous for giving up thing sthat I start, but I can't afford to give this dream up. It's now or never. I've finished taking detours and stalling. I'm already 24 years old, and I have no one to blame, not even my parents. They've done all they could for me. I can't blame the "system", I can't blame AU, I can't blame my current job...NOTHING. It's now all on me. And I'm ready to take it.

Bring it on, bitch!

23 décembre 2005

Politesse

You'd think that educated and successful people would have some level of class and familiarity with social grace. It's really not that hard to say "Good Morning/Evening" back when someone greets you. It's also not difficult to utter "Thank you" after a service, no matter how menial, has been done. And is it really so hard to add "Please" when making a request?

I mourn the death of politesse. I remember when I was a child, I would be complimented for being polite. Now it seems that no matter how polite you are to people, it's not a guarantee that they will return the favor in kind. They don't feel obliged to. Nor do they acknowledge the fact that someone had the courtesy to be polite to them.

It's especially prevalent in the service industry. If you hold a non-professional job, it's like you're not worthy enough for common etiquette. People just look through you, like you don't exist. They don't even take the time to wish you a Happy Holiday when they leave work. They assume it's your job to be the one to wish it to them, because they're that much more important.

I always thought that civility and social grace were what separated us from the animals. It just goes to show that no matter how prestigious your job is, or how many millions of dollars you earn, it can't buy you class.

18 décembre 2005

i'm feelin' the faint!

i've been in a music slump for a while...don't know exactly why this came about, but I guess I kinda felt tired of keeping up with the indie jones's...(ha! no time for love, Dr. jones)...more accurately, i got tired of keeping up with the indie music scene and dealing with poseurs. you know...the hipster guy who always talks about this new band in that kinda bland college student accent...like nails on a chalkboard to me.

BUT. I gots me a load of The Faint, and their "Wet from Birth" album is jaw droppingly good. fo' real man. wow.

08 décembre 2005

umm...ok

so i get this call from a rather frazzled young lady, asking if someone can go to the bathroom to clean it up, because "someone had an unpleasant experience in the bathroom stall...it smells gross and it's just disgusting". While cleaning the bathroom isn't exactly in my job description, I figured I would be a trooper and see if I could earn a brownie point (no pun intended) for the endeavor.

I braced myself for the worst. What could it be? Diarrhea? Explosive diarrhea? Vomit? An aborted fetus?

I walked in, and checked each stall as I approached it. First one was fine. Next two weren't completely flushed, but only showed signs of disintegrating toilet paper. The fourth was clean. And then there was the fifth...the culprit!

There was only a dollop of feces clinging for dear life inside the bowl, still underwater. It smelled like someone had just deposited it...about as bad as it would smell if one had left their fresh droppings. Normally if one would smell this horrendousness while going to a public restroom with your friends, you'd be polite enough to not make any commentary about it because, duh, it's a bathroom.

But I figured this one was the disgusting "unpleasant experience". I flushed the toilet a few times, little by little, it began to disengage itself from the bowl. The bathroom began to smell less, and I was satisfied that it had returned to its normal state.

I was surprised that she made such a big deal over nothing. Doesn't her shit stink too? Doesn't everyone's? Why she gotta be dissin' on someone else's bodily functions when she does the same? And who said pooping was an unpleasant experience? Last time I checked, if you don't poop, you can DIE. No, scratch that. You will DIE!

I'll bet you anything it was her. Like that old adage, "Whoever smelt it, dealt it!"

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: No I am not bitter!

the other receptionist got promoted. I was here 2 weeks before she was!

I know, it's petty, and I shouldn't feel bitter. She's actually my friend, and she was at the right place at the right time. But still. I feel like I've been left behind.

I know I should be happy...I'm really lucky to have this job. I could be unemployed, but I'm not. I want to move ahead, to advance, be promoted, do better...

It just sucks to have to smile through it all when you feel like crap inside.