Monday, January 14, 2008

Party's over, back to the grind

Monday officially marked the beginning of 2008 for me. Everyone at work is back from vacation, the first full week. We had our first production install, the next one's migrated to testing, so is the one for the business release. Questions here and there. Countless emails and phone calls. The good news is that I survived it.

Monday was also the beginning of a five year plan and this plan is something I've been contemplating for a while now. I went to the main library on the weekend to pick up the books I requested online - Business School Confidential, Your MBA Gameplan, and MBA Jungle B-School Survival guide. I plan to finish reading them in the next two weeks. Sounds serious, doesn't it?

With the way the hitech industry is going these days, the job market for programmers and developers seem going into a slump, the Salvadoran and I decided that I should commence working on it before our skills become extinct. Instead of competing against cheaper hitech labor elsewhere, we should jump into the bandwagon of professionals going back to school to get a graduate degree.

Reading through the first five chapters of the MBA Jungle book made me feel a mixed sense of excitement, challenge, confidence and maybe a little bit of fear. Let's see how far I'll go in this. I'll find out soon whether this is right for me, or not. I am giving myself a year to prepare both mentally and financially. In the meantime, I enrolled in a non-credit Small Business evening course at the city college.

My plans to become proficient in French, Italian and photography will have to take a back seat for now.

(The photo above is the newly opened library branch in the Glen Park neighborhood of San Francisco.)

My brithday is still a couple of months away but here's a list of books in a newly created Amazon wishlist. (take a hint guys!) :)

If the link above does not work, please use this one.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

¡Qué relajo! in the city

¡Qué relajo! is an expression I hear from mijo* whenever I take over the kitchen on Monday evenings. It loosely translates to what a mess in English. First, this blog is not about this. This blog is about the storm that almost topple the pine tree in our backyard.Second, I only cook on Monday evenings because I work from home on Mondays and Fridays - but we seldom make dinner on Fridays. Third, I know that I don't owe anyone an explanation but let me do it anyway.

It is not that I am messy in the kitchen. As a matter of fact, I consider myself well organized when it comes to that. I just need room to move around when I cook, that's all. And the kitchen we have is a
city kitchen. No aisle, we only have one sink, a big enough counter space, etc. We have to live in 'burbs to have my dream kitchen. Besides, breakfast, desserts and hors d'œuvre are my cup of tea.

He has another expression when he's really being teritorial of his kitchen especially the last time I made focaccia bread...

¡Qué dispije!

And that's what it looks like outside after Northern California got walloped by a hurricane-like storm a couple of days ago. I've never seen anything like it in my ten years of living here. A tree a couple of doors down got toppled. Dead leaves, branches, empty plastic bottles, small junk everywhere. Three blocks down the street close to the BART station, another tree got uprooted and it ruined the sidewalk around it.

During the storm, the power went out before noon. It was on a Friday so I was working from home and I had to call in to tell everyone in the office that I am unable to continue working because of the power outage and will just resume when the power is back. Almost half a million homes didn't power that day.

Major cabin fever at home because it was cold, dark, damp, and there was nothing to do. No tv, no wi-fi so no internet, and no music so we headed to the malls, where it is warm and lit and dry, as soon as the winds died down. To our surprise, the mall was crowded. People must have thought the same thing we did. We ended up seeing a good movie called
The Orphanage. Later that day, I called our home phone and I got the phone's voicemail which means power is back in our neighborhood.

I'm just thankful that there wasn't a single damage in the house and our pine tree still stands. It was a fast moving storm so everything was quiet again after it left.

The city public works crew will have a busy time cleaning up the mess.


*In case you still don't know,
mijo is a contraction of mi hijo. You know spanish, they make a lot of things sound cute. :)

(The photo above is a scene in the city's sleepy neighborhood of Glen Park.)