Search me

A couple of days ago, the New York Police Department started conducting random searches of people entering the subway.  With the bombings in London, it was quite understandable that the authorities would start employing new ways and means to counteract terrorist attempts to sow terror in the big apple once again.  Not everyone is being searched, though, perhaps owing to the traffic of people going into the various subway stations of New York.  There is also the matter of controlling the ingress and egress of people, being searched or not, from the turnstiles.

As someone who lived in Manila until June 2000, I’m used to entering buildings with my bags being checked.  It had become such part and parcel of our everyday lives that we’ve come to expect it, opening our bags as we enter malls, hotels, and other public places.  So when I saw them starting to implement a similar security measure here, I welcomed it as it made me feel more secure.  After all, as a regular commuter on the subway, I think about something untoward happening in the subway at least once during the days when I take the 7 train to and from work.

There has been some public outcry against the searches because of the aversion to profiling here, but to aver that there is no profiling taking place would be a lie since not all bags are being searched.  And in the war on terrorism, we cannot help but target specific ethnicities — more so when we come to the subject matter of suicide bombers.  Profiling has been a very big issue here in New York.  There was an outcry against the profiling of African Americans who were singled out in random searches.  After 9/11, Middle Easterners were singled out and the main protest against the random searches is the possibility of more profiling.

Yet when you look at the nature of the threat, you cannot help but be inclined to indulge in some profiling of people you would suspect of being possible perpetrators if a threat were carried out.  My response to this new move of the police here in New York is simple — it’s long overdue and much needed during this day and time when bombs are exploding in the UK, and the threats continue unabated.

So go search me!


12 Pennies on the Subway

I rode the 7 Express train yesterday on my way home and as was wont to happen as the train nears its last stop on Main Street, the cars slowly empty until at last, one finds a seat.  I was lucky to have been seated the moment I stopped on the train, and two stops before the end of the ride — only one or two passengers were seated.  The straphangers standing through the ride had drifted nearer the doors if not to the seats that eventually emptied.  It was then that I noticed that there as a bunch of pennies sitting in the middle of the rear end of the subway — in plain view of everyone.  It looked as though someone had spilled them, but someone else had taken the time to put them all together in one spot.  Yet no one was picking them up.

I knew the man seated across from where I was eyeing the coins knew what I was looking at.  Still, everyone nonchallantly went about their business as if those pennies weren’t there.  I find that strange considering pennies are still part and parcel of trade and commerce here.  They are still what we would call legal tender, unlike the mamera of old back in Manila which the stores doled out as change yet refused to accept saying it was without value.  We even have change machines which will enable you to convert your buckets of pennies or other loose change into hard cash for a minimal fee, with the option of donating the proceeds to a favorite charity.

I waited for the train to stop and then stooped down and picked up the pennies, counting twelve in all.  I didn’t care who saw me or what they thought — why were they leaving the money on the floor?  Was it because it was just pennies?  Were they ashamed to stoop down and pick it up?  They were not swimming in filth or what — just lying on the floor.

I often stop to pick up a penny, a nickel or a dime which lies on the street in plain sight, but with nobody bothering to stoop down and pick it up.  I figure if I can find a penny for each day of the week, at the end of the year, I will have close to $3.65.. LOL.. I call them my lucky pennies..

I wonder if the other passengers who saw the pennies lying around were waiting for a panhandler to come and pick them up?  Sometimes such small things can really make one wonder about what goes on in other people’s minds. 

Posting Blind – Offline til the 1st of August

Might as well.. might as well.  What am I doing writing here when I know the blog is offline?  Because I know I will get to access it soon enough.  Just a week to go!  I am still torn about either transferring or upgrading, but I have bene told an upgrade won’t be automatic — so what’s the use?  I guess I’ll just keep my cyberpresence as best I can.

It was a beautiful and restful weekend — Alan and I spent a lot of quality time with Angel.  (Father and son are buddies again today with Alan working from home.)  Meanwhile, New York City is muggy and rain is threatening on the horizon.  I think it’s falling on part of the city — I have a fantastic view of the skyline from our new perch here on the upper part of the building my company owns in Long Island City.  Beautiful! 

I guess I can’t complain about how my week has begun.. been working most of the morning and thought I’d start posting to get my thoughts rolling..

Off on her way home

Down to the last minute when she was finally aboard the plane that will take her home to Manila, my sister and I were texting.  (She through her Globe phone which was on roaming, and I thru Chikka on my PC.)  I feel sad that she’s finally off, but at the same time relieved that she has decided to go home first before taking a chance on the job offer here.

It throws Alan and I full blast into taking care of Angel hands on, but that’s nothing new.  The house will be a little quieter without my sister or my mom there, but I am looking forward to having Mom back.  That keeps me hopeful…

In the meantime, we need to get by in the next couple of weeks on our own.  It is actually something that Alan and I look forward to because it enables us to enjoy Angel at this stage in his life.  We personally take care of everything and we feel closer as a couple because we work on it as a partnership.

It’s gotten pretty hot here in New York with summer on at full blast.  The poor boy is usually sticky by the end of the day but still smells like the baby that he is.  Meanwhile, I’ve taken to wearing light weight clothing, keeping away from layering as best I can.  (No suits or jackets please! — well, except when it rains.) 

Almost 4PM and counting the minutes til it’s time to go.  Father and son are waiting for me.  I’m in no mood to whip up a feast but I have some chicken popcorn in the fridge and some fries I can bake for my little boy.  My sister lands in Narita tomorrow afternoon and she will be in Manila by their evening — our AM here.  At least she made it.. and hopefully, she’ll be back soon.

Countdown to Nothingness Again

If my bandwidth count is right, I’m just more than a meg away from disappearing into oblivion until the bandwidth is refreshed come August 1.

That’s a week and a half of not being present online, so I guess I’ll just have to grin and bear it.  It’s not a very happy thought, and it makes me wonder if I ought to stop posting here or wait for the blog to be back online again.  Then again, when did not being read ever stop me?  After all, I started this blog with the thought in mind of keeping an online journal for my benefit.  If others read it and find amusement or pick up a thing or two from it, then that’s good — otherwise, as long as I am able to post my thoughts down, then go back to them later, then I’ll be fine.

It’s muggy and cloudy outside and the view of the Manhattan Skyline on the way to the city was a blurred and hazy landscape.  Could be partly smog and partly the humidity — they said it might rain later.  I had to take the express bus to the city with my sister. 

Yes, we took a 9AM express bus to the city which saw her getting off at 10AM to do an interview for a possible job opening on 47th Street — all this despite the fact she needed to be at JFK International Airport by 12NN to board a 2:05 PM flight to Manila.  So she’ll probably be scampering up to our co-op at 12NN and they will be raising to the airport with a still groggy Angel (who just fell asleep accoridng to his Dad) — and the chocolates and all the pasalubong will be in Manila by tomorrow.

My sister’s ambivalence about returning to Manila reminds me of this same roundabout in December of last year when she was vacillating between going home and staying in LA last year.  I told her today she ought to have a plan — it is difficult to just trust one’s fate to destiny, because it can take a shape or form we cannot see because we refuse to see it.

She’s always been pretty lucky in finding a job — but her ultimate goal is to take the Nutrition licensure here in the US and work legitimately here.  I keep telling her that takes some planning — and she has to have not just A plan but a series of plans to make it work.

I just heaved a sigh remembering how sad I am that she is going now.  I cannot wait until my Mom is back.  I am asking her to make sure that Mom is ready soon — and maybe if she is really decided on trying her luck out here, then she can bring Mom back to New York in as soon as 3 or 4 weeks.

Having no family around (Family being my blood relatives) outside of the family Alan and I have built makes me feel so alone.  I envy him because he has all the family he needs with his Mom and his sister’s family just walking distance from where we live.  I have been spoiled the last 14 months, 12 of which saw Mom helping me care for Angel.  But more than the help with his care, I got the chance to have family around again.  Can’t wait for Mom to be back!


Another after midnight post on a Saturday

It seems that these days, I only have the energy to keep going beyond midnight on a Saturday night, knowing fully well I can sleep later than usual the next day. 

I’m typing away on the laptop as father and son snore beside me and the only light that helps me to see the keys I’m striking is coming from a mini book lamp.  I know I ought to hit the sack myself, having had a long but very productive day — but I feel a need to post here.

I have to choose which topic to write about, though, because the laptop battery is now 50% and it might go into standby mode if I go on and on and on here.

Offie, my sister, is finally booked to leave for Manila this Tuesday.  So we’re busy trying to prepare all the “pasalubong” for the folks back home.  Part of me wishes part of me could go home with her.  (Just can’t leave NY totally, so only a part of me can go.)  And like before, I wish I could send more but there’s the baggage limitation to consider.  (Thank God! LOL)

I think we’ve got our alternative routine down pat as far as taking care of Angel is concerned.. just that Alan has a business trip towards the end of the week, so we are exercising our first option with the back up childcare facility provided by my company.  My sister is teasing me about taking Angel home with her.. definitely not!  I keep telling her we will probably go nuts missing the little tyke and might end up going to Manila to get him.

He has grown so much sometimes I can’t believe I gave birth just a year ago.  The wonders of life indeed.



Giving myself 24 minutes to write a blog post

It has been a very hectic Friday as I struggle with the move.  Meanwhile, I’m trying to organize things here for Tuesday when the boss returns.  It’s been a productive day but I need another 12 hours to do everything I want to do by the end of the day.

Alan and I visited the back-up childcare facility we are going to put Angel into by next Friday.  It seems to be a place any child will truly enjoy, and he will probably be put in with the other toddlers who can already walk.  Alan and I had lunch afterwards and discussed how we will manage in the next couple of weeks until Mom gets here.

Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to an easy weekend preparing Offie to leave and head back home to Manila.  There’s a part of me that’s sad again because it means I will be alone without family here until Mom returns, and part of me wants to go home with her.  I am truly grateful for the sacrifice my sister has made to help me out in this time of great need, more so because she has helped me to keep Angel surrounded by a loving family instead of being forced to put him in daycare this early.

Part of me is stressed out in a major way because it breaks my heart that I will have to put Angel through the agony of being surrounded by people he doesn’t know.  Then again, that’s a fact of life here in the US.  He has been lucky to have been cared for personally by family this long, and as a consolation, we have Mom’s coming back to look forward to.



Feedback Roll

Some recent postings on my blog posts:

Feedback on GREETING A NEW WEEK AHEAD from A. Helper:

Remember God is also where the snot mixes with dirt, and it is by His Grace dirt and snot should mix.

My response: AMEN.

There are a few things which I consider very personal and one of them is my personal Faith.  What else can I say?  So true.. so true..

Feedback on CHOICES from Demi:

Alam mo, mahal na mahal talaga kita =)

My response:  At alam mong mahal na mahal talaga kita, Demi.  Your friendship is one of the true blessings I have received in this life.  Come hell or high water, we have weathered our personal storms and whatever differences we may have encountered as friends have served to strengthen this friendship.  I have great faith in you, Demi, just trust your heart.

One thing I truly like about blogging is that it has enabled me to maintain online conversations like this one with my friend.  At the same time, it enables me to express what’s in my heart and mind and share it with others out there.. like the next feedback.

Feedback on  PINOYTALK: A FILIPINA IN NEW YORK from Jonathan Vitug:

I enjoyed reading your blog. I was there last March 2005. I stayed with relatives in New Jersey (East Windsor, near Princeton) and I would take the NJ Trans to Manhattan. I watched broadway shows like Mamma Mia and All Shooked Up. I wish I could go back there to work (I only have a tourist visa). I’m glad to hear that you subscribe to TFC and you watch soap operas like Hiram. My current favorite is Kampanerang Kuba.

Hope to read more of your blogs and regards to Alan and your son.


My response: Jonathan, thank you for your comment, and unfortunately, my subscription is only to ABS CBN Now (which allows me to download and watch their shows on my laptop) as TFC is much too prohibitive a cost, considering we don’t watch Filipino shows 24/7 — maybe if I win the lotto and by some luck end up staying at home!

You are fortunate to have had a taste of New York — I am sure you will agree that it is a truly dynamic city which can lay claim to being the greatest city in the world.  (Though some may disagree.)

As for working here, I would recommend it if you can pull it off, but only if you can work in the corporate world where you will see the difference in terms of the culture and the work ethic.  (Now, I don’t want to start ranting and raving here for one side or against the other..)  It is something I would hope our new graduates could get the chance to do so that they can have a better perspective of going about their careers there back home.  There are a lot of trade offs, though.  But to sum it all up, it’s a different world here. 

Again, thanks for the comment, and I do hope you’ll come back.. hopefully before I consume my monthly bandwidth limit again..

Lost in Space

I am trying to move my cubicle and my boss’s office from the 5th floor to the 10th.  Our Facilities Dept. hasn’t been very helpful because they are swamped and I am on my own until they can give me a hand.  So in the meantime, I’m trying to do it bit by bit on my own with the help of a trolley.

Last night was not a good evening for me.  I slept and woke up with a heavy heart.  Sometimes lines just get crossed and you feel like wanting to say a hundred and one things, but then you know that no matter how you say it, it will come out wrong or will be received wrongly.  That’s the dilemma.

So I just hugged my baby close and nursed him to sleep, and when he finally broke away deep in slumber, I buried my face in the cavity of his neck and breathed his essence in to comfort my weary heart.  It did not help that it was the time of the month and my sinews were aching.  I just wanted to sleep and drift away.

This morning I went about my routine as always — I dragged myself out of the house. On the bus and the subway I tried to keep myself preoccupied with the book I was reading.  Queen Noor’s narration of her life in Jordan had me captivated and distracted me for the better part of an hour, but here I am again, lost in space.