Wednesday, January 26, 2005

more Boulder photos

pinay power!

after snowshoeing....

snow angels...

jhoiey snowboarding? yeah, right???

jhoiey snowboarding? yeah, right???

If you want to see more... click on...

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

corporate boundaries crossed

In all my previous jobs, I have managed to walk in my boss' office and ask for a raise more often than normal when I feel that I have exceeded what have been expected of me. Therefore giving me an upperhand in negotiating my salary. In one firm I was at, I did it every 3 months interval and was successful in exceeding the salary ceiling for unlicensed architects. In a matter of 7 years of my architecture career in the United States of America without a license or masters degree *and a minority at that* I have more than doubled what I started making twice over. Yes! That is a 400% increase from what I made my first job in architecture without counting the employment in the Philippines. That is pretty fucking amazing considering all the odds that are against me. See what I lack in my personal life, I over compensate in my career. I am ballsy and shameless. I say what I feel and think without worrying whose ego I hurt. I question everyones opinion while defending my own. I do it intelligently of course, I back up what I say with proper information and research.
All those assets have worked in small firms. I knew it was a different ballgame in the corporate world. I also started with a deminished self worth and confidence dwindling from personal troubles and medical deficiencies. But I am as hard working as always. I decided long before I started this job that I would lay low and not be so quick to try climbing the corporate ladder. Architecture is an old MAN's careerand so I know that I have plenty of time to try and get noticed. Besides, I have always been told that you are just one worker ant in a sea of many, there is no way to get noticed. WRONG!
For about 5 months now, I have been quiet, just doing my thang and yet I have broken records in terms of getting presentations approved by the BIG BOYS. Last week, we were informed that our Senior Project Designer will be moved to another project. This meant more responsibility for me.... I thought of asking for a raise like I usually do but then it was black and white in my offer letter that I am not eligible for a raise nor a bonus until January of 2006. Not getting what I want from a job will greatly turn me off resulting to zero motivation, so I opted to keep my peace and not ask. Specially I am above median of what architects my level make.
Today, I went to a showroom to get some material samples and then picked up some breakfast. I got in the office an hour later than our normal business hours. All the other designers always say that we are not priveledged to have flex time to visit showrooms and such but I always believe that a good designer should not be stuck on her desk because new ideas are being born as we speak. Regardless if I am breaking rules, I do what I do! As I got to my desk with quiche on one hand and coffee on the other, my boss approached me and called me in his office. My heart almost dropped because I thought I was going to get reprimanded by my rebellion to follow rules and office policies or maybe I had excessive reimbursements or that I cannot go to the convention I have been planning to go to next week. To my surprise, he called me in to inform me that he gave me a raise! He was apologetic that it was a small raise because I have only been there six months (not even) and that he said I shouldn't worry because he will take care of me next year with a better raise plus a bonus. I was so happy that I got a raise unexpectedly. Of course it REALLY meant more responsibilty, way more that the raise given but hey!!! I would gladly step up to it anyways bacause I have passion for what I do, no matter how insignificant it is in my opinion. I take pride of it and I own up to it.
I have deminished all my negative notions of corporations becasue I have officially broken a boundary I thought existed. Hardwork do pay-off... So imagine a sincere & passionate desire to produce exquisite design ideas at work... it does pay off!!!

reminiscing the past

a perfect boracay sunset

Yes, AnP... I have finally found time to scan our island hopping adventure photos!!!
This is the beauty of living alone. You can do whatever the heck you want at whatever time you desire... NO "come to bed now baby... it's getting late... you need to get pounded before going to sleep..." I do miss it but at the same time, I never have this opportunity to reminisce old memories. This photo was taken 24th of April 1995 at the coast of Boracay, Philippines. I was island hoping with Melissa, better known as AnP to the blogging world the summer before our last semester in architecture school. It was a research for our undergraduate thesis or at least that's what we told our unsuspecting parents who funded the whole month long trip. It was fun, exhausting and exhilirating and believe me, there were moments when we almost pulled each others hair but instead we walked in different directions at the beach. We bought a box of condom that we got to scared to use, but mind you --- there were plenty of opportunities!!!
I got this new high res scanner that also scan negatives and slides... I got really pumped up to open boxes of old photos and start digitizing them. After years of all the almost-hate e-mails from Melissa asking me to scan our photos, I finally did it and will be available for viewing very soon... I gotta ask her permission first of course.
So, Melissa... all I need to do now is crop and rename each one since I did a multi scan to finish scanning faster... a little more patience my friend!

Sunday, January 16, 2005

rock goddess wannabe in photos...

One of the reasons why I was so excited to meet Michelle in person was because I admire her rock goddess status and I have this fantasy that I could be one. She was kind enough to offer to help me go through my first real rock experience! She de-virginized me!!! And let me just say, I couldn't have done it without her patience and valuable instructions and a pull here and there. I believe that for a friendship to work and last, there needs to be a symbiosis between the people involve. She sure offers a benefit with her friendship, I hope I have something to offer her as well because I do want this friendship to last a lifetime.
Thank you my highness!

pajama party attendees: RS, jhoiey, host and rock goddess extraordinaire-Michelle & LM

oh no!!! how do i get pass this rock? Michelle, HELP!

trying to get over a hump of a rock!!

deep breath... one hard part over

almost there... getting valuable instructions from the "rock goddess" herself

perfect butt shot :-)

wow! i did it!

on the way down... that was a such a rush!!!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

NEW friends for LIFE!

I just got back from a long weekend with NEW found friends and I must say, it has caused a stir in my mental and physical agility.
Let's see... I started this blog when I started getting confused on my life and the choices I have made. When I am happy and content, friends and family usually don't hear from me. I share my happiness and contentment with just one person exclusively. I purposefully alienate myself from everybody because I didn't need to. However, when I am shaken, the whole world knows about it because I cannot seem to stop talking about it. I have in effect been more susceptible to getting affected by my environs more than usual. Last year was the worst year of my entire life. It was a very trying series of moments that made me question my whole belief system. I turned 30 and was in a 7 year itch. Question of career versus family and starting one lurks from one corner to the next. I began asking it as well. I am a naturally nurturing person and those who know me could either agree or dispute but I would make a great mother as I was a good wife, generally speaking. Having said that, I am also a very selfish person as I want everything to revolve around me and with all subtlety I manage to impose that on people. Life's greatest contradiction!
When I was growing up, I have had very few friends who I could call REAL. Most of them really just use me for whatever reason and I happily let them. Moving to Los Angeles as fake as most people perceive this place to be, I have found a niche were I belong and didn'e even have to try. It's got it's own set of disappointments and disillussionment but I could not think of any other place that would have accepted me the way L.A. did.
I have made decisions last year that I am AGAIN questioning and when this year started and I opened myself up to taking medications and going to therapy, I thought I would hate it but instead it has been keeping me focused on things that worth focusing on.
I am meeting new friends that supports whatever decisions I make and have been instrumental in my over-all well being.
I am probably going all over the place with this entry but what I am trying to make a point of is that... It's never too late to make new friends in all sorts of different ways without having to change who you really are or to try and fit in. Everyone is very unique and a variety of personalities could make up a really memorable weekend. I felt FOUND! I felt safe, I felt appreciated. I thank the initiator of the weekend pajama party.
MW--- A powerhouse of enigmatic grace. She opened her house to 2 strangers and an old friend. Have planned activities that enriched my soul. Accepted me for who I am, a half baked nothing in terms of my cultural identity. Offered a listening ears without judgement. Pushed FUN to the next level in a fourth grade moment of legality!!! THAT'S HOT!
LM--- One of the sweetest and funniest person I have met with one liners that could go down to history. She is so down to earth and yet exudes a self assurance that doesn't need backing up.
RS--- Well, what can I say about our ESCORT? He sure knows how to take a joke like a gentleman! I don't know of many men in this day and age who would have shown me that much respect after the way I spoke and acted. He is a keeper!!!
I believe I have met new friends who would be in my life significantly... I would have to discuss my other thoughts another time when I unjumble my head and post pictures as well...
MW, thanks again! I'll see you soon!

Monday, January 03, 2005

New Year Old ME

I have moved in to my new loft literally across the street from my work. With all the hardships I encounter in life, in relationships and healthwise... I am truly blessed and have alot to be thankful for.

I have yet to take pictures of my loft, waiting for the arrival of the Barcelona chair & ottoman I have purchased (no! I didn't pay that much, a small fraction of that... thanks to my designer sensibilities...) The loft have a huge cubic space but not so much floor area so I had to be my own client and rotate the furnitures about 10 million times to make it fit and function well. I am very happy on the way it is turning out. Although I brag about my handyman skills, I am quite upset that my arms are losing the strength it used to have, blame it on the 2 collapsed cervical disks. Anyway, I just have to know when to ask for help. My almost ex-husband and my might-be-brother-in-law have been very helpful. Having a place I feel at home at is the best feeling in the world. I haven't felt this way for awhile... since the gallery days...
A week of from work was mostly spent playing Mommy with my niece Dynn and being there of my Lola (Grandma). The whole family went to Las Vegas for New Year and I opted to stay. I wanted a quiet new year by myself. So, at 9 p.m. I served dessert to Lola and Dynn, played reggae music... they were both dancing with glee. They got tired eventually and fell asleep at at around 10:30 p.m. I just sat by the fire and contemplated on the past year and geared myself to a better year ahead. I got one call right after midnight from somebody I least expected to call. My intern at the gallery/design studio, he works at the restaurant where Gene is that night. I think he mostly feel sorry for me seeing Gene having a great time and probably wondering where I was. Mostly, he is just a nice guy who knows me and Gene very well... whatever that means...
Christmas was a blast. I got everyone (Mom, Aunt Jho, Chi & Jhosel) a Coach purse! I got a matchiong pj's and bootie from Mom, a new flirtatious tank top from Mom, a cool winter Aldo boots from Chi (which I would wear when I go to Boulder CO to meet Michelle), a candle and red lipstick from Aunt Jho and my favorite gift... a Tempu-pedic pillow from my almost ex-hubby Gene. After 7 years of teacing him what a good gift is, he learned! Never too late to learn. I got him limited edition matchbox cars (hey, he collects them!)... yes he is 40! We were at my Mom's house (not including Gene---he was with his current play girl of the moment...) and played Scene It! (that DVD board game) till midnight so we could start opening gifts after the clock strikes 12! It was fun but I can't help but be sad... I don't really have to say why...
New Year... same old psychotic ME! Let's see... Mellisa had this thing on her blog...
In 2004...
... I started blogging!
... I turned 30!
... I finally went to Europe! (London & Paris)
... I saw my college bestfriend again after a long 7 years of being in different parts of the globe, in Paris no less!
... I made a fool out of myself trying to speak French to a Parisian who thought I sounded funny and laughed their asses off.
... I was in the ER countless times to get morphine shots for chronic endometriosis pain.
... I filled for disability because there would be mornings I couldn't move my neck and my arm due to a degenerative disk disease I got from a car accident 4 years ago.
... I had most of my endometriosis tissue scraped off and my fibroids removed a.k.a. surgery!
... I went on an enduced menopause!
... I finally know what a real hot-flash is!
... I filed for divorce!
... I dated another man (oops! did I just openly admitted that!)
... I became homeless.
... I quit my job.
... I got a better job!
... I got a HOME.
... I didn't make turkey for TG
... I started taking anti-depressants.
... I started seeing a psycho-therapist.
... I bought my first designer chair!
... I started cooking again.
... I didn't send any Christmas card, even an electronic version! BAD!
I wonder what 2005 will bring to my doorway.
Oh, I was invited by a fellow blogger Michelle to spend the weekend with her and some other of her friends in their new home in Boulder, CO. Take note that I have not met her except in the obscure world wide web. How thrilling!