Feedback: on Lighthouses from a Fellow Pinoy

On October 19, Tonee wrote:

I am a Filipino, too, and likes lighthouses. I went to MAine before to see it’s four lighthouses but the one I liked was the Nubble Lighthouse. I love to blog and share it with people around the world. It’s just my outlet to shy away from boredom. Anyway, good blogs here. Keep it up. Hope you a more happy days to come for your family. Ciao!

And to Tonee I say — Maraming salamat, Tonee.  I’m familiar with the Nubble Lighthouse from my collection.  Unfortunately, I haven’t had the chance to go as far as Maine, but one of my “dream trips” with Alan is to drive through the coast and visit a few lighthouses over a period of time. It can be tricky because there are just so many of them and they are usually far from each other.  Thanks for the well wishes!

Wishing I could extend the weekend

Alan and I are sitting next to each other on the sofa with our respective laptops.  I’m dead tired and ready to hit the sack but I wanted to be able to write something here.

Where did the weekend go?  I must say it was fruitful and productive for me but still I find myself caught up with a hundred and one things to do.  (I have a pair of slacks I need to repair here tonight but I don’t think I have the energy to do that anymore.)

I have two comments I must respond to on this blog and I will have to do that tomorrow.  It’s Halloween!  I’m busy trying to cook up an excuse to leave the office early but I have to go because my boss to be will be there.  So many things to do, I tell you, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed I have a free play in one of my lotto tickets.


A Passion for Lighthouses

Cross posted on Pinay New Yorker on Friendster

Montauklighthouse_2 I can’t really remember when it was that I started to develop a fascination for lighthouses.  I’ve been a postcard collector for 2 decades now and I guess it started from the lighthouse postcards that I received.  Back in the beginning, I collected anything and everything from outside the Philippines.  I regret now that I never paid enough attention to the Philippine postcards not knowing I would eventually leave Manila to live in another part of the world.  Isn’t it ironic that I am now collecting Philippine postcards?  — even you’re everyday run-of-the-mill postcard found in National Bookstore

When I finally settled down in New York in 2000, I set about expanding my postcard collection and found myself concentrating on maps and lighthouses.

In the five years I’ve been here, I’ve confined my collecting interest so far as US postcards are concerned to the two — and I’ve built a sizeable collection from the 50 states, although not all have their lighthouses.  (Only coastal states of course have the benefit of having lighthouses dotting their coastlines.)  I have been trying to put them all in one website but have almost given up on doing that due to the size of the collection.  I’ve been collecting off and on but have always had a fascination for them.

One particular favorite of mine is the Montauk Lighthouse located in the nothernmost tip of Long Island, a 2 hour drive away from New York City.  I first visited Montauk in April 2003 after my second miscarraige and after I got laid off work when my CFO was let go due to job elimination.  It was Alan’s way of trying to cheer me up — and we had a lovely time although it was still chilly in the beginning of spring.  Since then, I’ve been back only once but it’s just a drive away.

Alan has given me lighthouse calendars and friends who know sometime surprise me with something lighthouse related.  Whenever we visit a place with a lighthouse, we try to make it a point to go and visit even just the grounds if the lighthouse is not available for viewing.

Montauk is a lighthouse collector’s delight because it has been converted into a museum and the grounds are just breathtaking.  Imagine yourself standing on a cliff at the edge of New York and all you see beyond is the blue sea.  It’s also one of the more popular lighthouses amongst lighthouse postcard collectors and is much sought after to complete collections.

And here’s a bit of trivia for lighthouse afficionados out there: did you know that the Statue of Liberty is actually a lighthouse?  I learned that from an old friend from postcard collecting, Wes Babko ko shared this bit of trivia with me a few years back.

There’s certain magic for me when I think about lighthouses.  Today is a good day to think of magic and favorite things.  I remember standing inside the Montauk lighthouse and looking out into the horizon.  It’s not just breath-taking, it’s awe inspiring.  That’s me and my fascination for lighthouses.

Those Tiny Sewing Kits

Alan and I do our fair share of travelling, and one thing I always make sure I get from the hotel rooms is the sewing kit that the bigger hotels furnish their rooms with.  I find them handy and a real life saver, like yesterday when a button popped out of my pants just as I was about to leave the house.  I make sure to try and keep one in my desk drawer at work, and if I have a big enough bag, one in its pockets, and tucked somewhere in my wallet if I am carrying one.  (These days, I carry a small red purse in my bigger tote.)

So the Pinay New Yorker urges you to grab that the next time you find it in the toiletries supplied by the hotel.  Forget about the shampoo and conditioner or lotion unless it’s a special brand or you collect them — if you want to be always ready, this is the perfect first aid kit for clothing mishaps.

Just plain tired

It’s 6:13 and I’m still here.  Just to show you how terribly busy I’ve been, this is the first blog post I’ve done all day.  I’ve been running all over the place interviewing, talking to people, trying to do the things I normally do for the current boss (yes, I still work for her, unfortunately), and then trying to set things up for THE move.

I got a job offer (yipee!) — actually got the informal offer the other day, the formal offer last night, and the follow up (“Just making sure you got the note..”) call from the boss-to-be this morning, and yes, I’m all set.  I’m actually VERY excited by it, and I just can’t wait to move out of here and move into my new space.  (Talk about a big sigh of relief!)

But I’m all pooped and wishing the boss would get up to leave.  Not anytime soon it seems.  She’s still in her office in a meeting.  At least she’s out tomorrow so that gives me time to get things done.  I’m just going through the motions before we bid our final farewell.  I could walk out now as it’s past 6:15 but I want to be able to tell her in person about the offer I have already accepted.  I know she will be relieved to hear that because she’s almost done replacing me — and what a pityful sight I would be if I were still desperately scrambling for work by the time the new person is on board.

I knew it was all a matter of time.. and I knew I’d get the right person.  This is actually Boss to be No.3 who interviewed me a week ago and has been screening actively since.  I guess either he’s pretty desperate for an assistant (the last one had left more than a week ago) or he just didn’t want to lose out on the pool of candidates who were all actively interviewing.  He had sought the opinion of someone I’m working with right now and who had obviously said something to the effect that he ought to probe on my organization skills, but despite that, he chose me. 

I give him credit for his zeal in trying to get this right.  I wasn’t even uncomfortable closing out the other opportunities — two of who have made me wait for three weeks now.  Despite the fact that they are still screening, I can only imagine that they didn’t find me satisfactory enough to have closed the deal after seeing one or two more afterwards.  I understand.  It’s open season right now, so they would go with whoever they thought was a good fit.

So tomorrow I will write them and tell them I’ve found a new boss.. now, if only I could find the opportunity to tell this one the news, then I can proclaim it to all and sundry.


The Job Hunt

Last Friday, I headed out to Grand Central for another job interview.  This is my fourth already.  I thought I’d start writing about it to help flesh out my options.  None have come back with a response yet.  I’m continuing to look for other opportunities but I think responses will start getting back to me.  One or two will probably pass up on me, but at least one will say yes.  My dilemma is if more than one does and I end up having to make a choice.  Right now, though, I don’t have a clear picture of where I’m headed.

Meanwhile, the boss has been screening applicants for my replacement and has actually zeroed in on a top candidate.  (I’m actually meeting with her later today.)  She is now concerned that she might find a replacement before I can actually find a new opportunity.  Although it seems like there is much uncertainty on my end at this point, I’m confident something will turn up.  In fact I’m still interviewing, with one hopefully happening tomorrow, and another taking place on Wednesday.

Should I be panicking?  I’m trying not to.  There are so many things happening around me I don’t think I have the luxury of indulging in that.  So where am I at?

Possible Boss #1 is a new Vice President for Human Resources in the company essentially now handling the job that used to be assigned to two vice-presidents.  Type A personality, seemingly pleasant, carrying the burden of learning the business, the industry and his new world, I think he sees value in my two year and four months tenure here.  He has also seen my mind at work as he told me that he had gotten a temp upon my advice, since he and I have gotten acquainted from his interview to his hiring.

Possible Boss #2 is a numbers guy who works in the Marketing field.  He is a laid back and very mild mannered man who is essentially the second in command of a firebrand of an officer (the same level as the current boss).  Sort of the yin to the boss’s yang, I wouldn’t mind working for this gentleman but there’s overflow expected from the big boss.  Not that I mind — their location also appeals to me because they are in Manhattan.  I did see him a week after we interviewed and have not heard back so I am thinking that like #1, perhaps they have decided otherwise.

Possible Boss #3 is a guy who’s out of the office more than he’s here — and who interviewed me with the Chief of Staff of his direct boss who will be working with his assistant when he’s not around.  The business environment was appealing because I have some old colleagues from HR who had moved to this line of business, and his reputation is that he’s a very easy going person.  I heard he has already asked about me and while I would’ve preferred he asked someone else, I don’t think what has been said would be damaging to my chances of working with him.

Possible Bosses #4a & 4b had an opening for a position that was advertised as supporting a group of people in a new department in the same line of business my boss and I are currently in.  They seem to be a dynamic group, more laid back, and they got my attention when they said that they expected the group assistant to help them with a lot of powerpoint presentations.  (A favorite software I have worked with to do magic in a previous life!)

I do have a few more openings to explore.  Someone in Legal is interested to talk to me and there’s a longstanding opening for Assistant to the Corporate Secretary.  I’ve been holding off on that due to “stories” about how tough a job it is, but my boss has encouraged me to go for that one.  The endorsement of the Chief of Staff of the company COO likewise gave me pause to reconsider it.  So yes, I’m scheduled to interview.

It’s been a long wait.  My first interview was three weeks ago and I haven’t heard anything from the two gentlemen I’ve spoken with despite my thank you note.  The third and fourth interviews took place last week.  My boss is beginning to worry I might not find a job to slide into after she finds a replacement and she has already short listed.

Just have to wait and see..


Sleepy head

It’s just 9:45 PM and it feels as thought it’s past midnight.  I guess it’s because some mishap with Mom’s trip to New York kept me up until practically 2AM.  As a result, I am actually contemplating on taking on this major international airline who gave my Mom grief.  I am saving the details for the letter I intend to write their administration. 

I had to wake up the usual time to get Angel ready for daycare.. hopefully his last day.  He stays at home with his Dad tomorrow.  MOM IS FINALLY ARRIVING!  Her arrival time is a little tricky, though, because although we would’ve preferred she arrive at night, the last minute change in her travel plans will have her coming in towards noon.  Big problem — but fortunately, the boss is working from home tomorrow. 

Meanwhile, father and son are in the living room.  I’m done with the chores — or whatever of it I chose to do tonight.  (Those that can wait will have to wait for until tomorrow.)  I will be getting ready to literally hit the sack soon.  I want to be fresh for tomorrow’s interview.

With my boss’s search for a replacement for me progressing rather well, I think people are worried about me… more worried about my situation than I am worried about it.  It’s not complacency or overconfidence — I guess I’m just not stressing out over it because I know I’ll be taken cared of.  While some of the choices I went through seem to have not panned out, I know that in time, something will come.  I am just afraid that it might even come to a point that I would have to make a choice between conflicting offers.  Which way will I go?  I’ll cross the bridge when I get there.  (I have been meaning to write a blogpost about the various choices that I might find myself faced with.  Perhaps writing about it will help me see the opportunities more objectively.)

Time to sleep. Nite nite!



I can’t believe I haven’t written in ages!

Okay, enough of the screaming.. LOL.. it’s been a crazy past few days.  It’s getting crazier and crazier actually.  But I thought I’d sneak a post before I “disappeared” again with just 2.5 mg of bandwidth left.  =(

It’s been a crazy week.  I’m interviewing, thinking of taking a major airline to court, wondering what I will draw on some Soaring Words blankets I’m taking home for the weekend, trying to decide if I will do a PTO tomorrow or what not.  Decisions, decisions.  Sometimes I just want to freeze the frame and just lay still for a while.  No such thing, though.

Preparing for the week ahead

I think this weekend was very productive.  I still have a pile of stuff to take care of in the bedroom, but I was able to take care of a lot of things in the kitchen and accomplished much in terms of taking care of supplies.  (I still need Alan to get some milk and bread, though.)  We usually do our groceries during the weekend but today was just so windy I didn’t have the energy to do it.

So instead I dealt with getting some chores done. 

Garlic for my instant sinangag.  One thing my mother-in-law taught me soon after I arrived here was how to make sinangag pronto, even if I were just making a cup for Alan.  Using freshly cooked or freshly heated rice from the rice cooker, I use 2 tablespoons of garlic in oil and then season with salt and pepper.  It actually works.  I usually have a cupful of this mixture, chopped garlic sauteed in cooking oil, steeping until I need it. I had run out and just had enough time to do a batch late Saturday night.

Ginisang Manok with Sotanghon.  Angel loves this if not nilagang baka.  Since we had enough beef last week, I thought I’d give him chicken this coming week.  I needed the sotanghon last night because my stomach was grumbling from the seafood I had in the antipasto, but I usually keep 2-3 days worth of ulam in the fridge.  We’re having chicken teriyaki tonight so I deboned the chicken leg quarters then boiled the bones with the leftover chicken meat and cut that up for later.  I set aside the sotanghon in the broth because my Mom taught me it literally absorbs the liquid it is in if you leave it with the soup.

We had pizza for lunch and the chicken teriyaki and leftover dumplings for dinner.  Angel was a littel difficult to coax to wind down but he’s now snoring beside me.  What I’d give to just enjoy a weekend without having to worry about doing the house chores myself.

It’s almost 9:30 and I have to start getting ready for tomorrow.  (Have to prepare the coffeemaker, get Angel’s stuff for daycare ready, get MY stuff for work ready, try to determine what to wear on a warm and windy day tomorrow, try to wash one shawl at least, and try to do the finishing stitches on my long delayed craft project — all in the next 2 hours… PHEW!)