ICQ not connecting

When I started getting on the net in 96 (or was it 1995?), one of the things I discovered after e-mail was online chatting.  I got into the WBS chat network through which I met so many others, one of whom introduced me to ICQ.  From the time I registered to this day, I have the same 6 digit Universal Identification Number (UIN) which has caused newer users to think I was mistyping my UIN whenever I gave it as 6 digits only.  (Current UINs are in the 8 or 10 digits if not 12, I believe.)

It helped me to touch base with friends overseas while I was in Manila, and when I got to New York, it was a major avenue for me to reach the folks back home.  It took Fe, my bestfriend, all of four years to discover ICQ and chatting, but we finally got the hang of it sometime last year. 

My company seems to have put up an additional firewall which has been preventing me from connecting this week and that has really been very frustrating for me, not being able to talk to Fe and all.  Eversince we became friends 20 years ago — boy, it has been two decades now! — we have been constantly in touch, burning the phonelines (even if it was a long distance call from Metro Manila to Bacoor, Cavite, writing letters we would hand each other the next time we see each other, and mailing letters to each other.  And that was despite the fact that we saw each other practically every day while in College, and rather regularly once we went to law school and went on our foray through the corporate world.

My homesickness during my first two to three years here were difficult to deal with because she had stopped writing saying it was difficult to write and miss me at the same time.  I think we finally got over it after I went home for a visit in 2002.  She was busy taking care of a sibling but we were able to squeeze in some time to be together.  After that, we were able to communicate once again by sending each other letters the length of notebooks.  (I have one I’m finishing for my sister to take home when she goes back to Manila.)

I have taken great comfort in seeing that window pop up on the lower right hand corner of my screen each morning, mostly close to my noon and her midnight.  No matter how short the conversations online were, they helped me to connect to one of the few people to whom I can bare my heart and soul without abandon.

Not even the java lite version will go through!  Woe is me!!!  *SIGH*  I will find a way around this no matter what — and I will make the connection to Manila again.

Small Steps

At the end of the day as I walk up to our upper level coop unit, I sneak a peak into Angel’s pen and see him look at anticipation at who might be emerging from the staircase as he hears the footsteps climbing up.  And when he finally sees it’s me, except when Elmo has his full attention, he visibly lights up and greets me with a heart melting smile.  That is the highlight of my day, next to actually holding him as he sleeps before I go to la-la land myself.

He is now almost 14 months old.  How time flies indeed!  We continue to childproof the house, and even the once safe dining area which didn’t hold much interest for him then now has to be barricaded with a childproof gate.  He wants to go everywhere and to think we have quite a small apartment as it is!  Our last trip to Macy’s was a little challenging as he wanted to go walk the length and breadth of the store — but with the traffic of people and the countless sharp edged shelves, not to mention the piles of merchandise he could pull and throw around, we had to scoop him up despite his protests.

We see him developing into his own person as he starts to show his moods and how he now grasps the concept of disagreeing with something I would prefer he do.  He already knows the concept of “No” and he even shakes his head from side to side as if to confirm NO means not doing something.  Soon we will hear him saying “No” himself — and then starts the argument between child and parent.

He has two favorite balls which are both colored purple.  He would go around crawling or walking holding one ball in his hand.  His current favorite book has as one of its characters, Tiny, a purple dinosaur.  Of course Barney’s a favorite — though Elmo takes the top spot.

Sometimes I vacillate between showing my displeasure and trying to talk him through a fit — I know he has the brain of a 14-month-old and can comprehend some of the things we talk about to him, and at the same time, we recognize that his world revolves around the dynamics of his little shell.  We all try our very best but there is no black and white in parenthood.  So as he takes those little steps as he is learning to walk, I hold his hand when he needs to but I let go to teach him to walk on his own. 

Even as he babbles as if in serious conversation, I know that his mind is reaching out and trying hard to mimmick the sounds that he hears from the adults around him.  Each day is a small step in seeing the unique person that he is unfold.  Before we know it, we will get from here to there — a little step at a time.