Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wedding Maddnes


What a crazy last few days it has been! More about it in detail later... just needed to get this out of my system so I can focus on work, or at least attempt to. 

This is what the last few days has looked like:

Friday: 
7:00 am - 5:30 pm  
Work

5:30 pm - 5:30 am 
Tessa's bachelorette party

Saturday:
7:00 am - 3:00 pm 
Work

3:00 pm - 9:00 pm 
Tessa's bridal shower

Sunday:
9:30 pm - 1:30 pm 
SLEEP (yes my friends.. i was dead asleep for 14 hours)

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm 
Errands for the upcoming weddings; check in at the Sofitel

6:00 pm - 10:00 pm    
Tessa's Despidida de Soltera & Rehearsal dinner; 

Monday:
7:00 am - 8:00 am 
Work

8:00 am - 9:30 am 
Sofitel breakfast buffet (had to make room for this. hehehe)

9:30 am - 3:00 pm  
Getting ready for Tessa's wedding

3:00 pm - 2:00 am 
Tessa & Phil wedding ceremony and reception

Tuesday:
4:00 am - 7:00 am      
Flight to Davao

7:30 am - 12:00 pm 
Check in and SLEEP

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm      
Catch boat to Pearl Farm

3:00 pm - 11:00 pm 
Joe & May Ann's wedding ceremony and reception

Wednesday:
12:00 am - 2:00 am    
SLEEP!

6:00 am - 9:30 am 
Catch flight back to Manila

10:00 am                      
Back at work


So here I am, back at work.. still a little drunk but happy from the love and excitement I witnessed over the last few days. Outside of the fuzzy warm feelings, I gotta say.. I'm exhausted! Trying to focus on the number of tasks that need to be accomplished for work really takes a gargantuan effort when your tired. 

The minute I arrived, I met with my boss to touch base on the things that needed to be done and surprised myself by still making sense - who knew I could switch from thinking about wedding gifts to the price of astroturf at the drop of a hat?!

I think the most stressful part of the last few days were the moments where I was physically in one place (at the bridal shower), but thinking/doing something else at the same time (coordinating for work). The most peaceful time was when I was by traveling to the wedding in Davao, particularly on the 45-min boat ride to and from Pearl Farm. It felt like the first time in a long time I had the opportunity to just sit and be with myself.. without thinking about everything else. 

Few more days and Christmas will be upon us. Almost there.. crawling to the finish line.. but almost there!

(photos c/o Rica Facundo)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

(Diet) Blessings 121610

I've fought a long war with my weight. I've been at it again recently and so far, have a number of mini successes:

1. 11 pounds lost! 5 more pounds and i'll be at the weight I was before Tor's wedding. Speaking of Tor's wedding...

2. Fitting into an old dress! My maid of honor dress from Tor's wedding to be exact. Still breathing, no impersonations of a stuffed green suman and able to zip it up myself! 

3. Fitting into a new dress! A bridesmaid dress for a wedding next week to be exact. I took a big risk by giving measurements slightly smaller than I currently was at the time. Was worried I wouldn't be able to fit into it, so was quite anxious about the fitting. Thankfully, I did :) 

4. Fitting better into my clothes! Those who have been on a diet, understand this feeling. When your clothes hang on you better, when your muffin top is slightly smaller. Great feeling.

5. Real hunger vs. emotional hunger! I often still feel the urge to stuff my face with cake or cookies, but I've now experienced the difference between needing to nourish my body and fueling procrastination. Hoping to keep level headed enough to control control control.

6. Avoided (avoiding!) holiday temptation! Whether at holiday parties, at home (our house has become a 24/7 bakeshop) or at meetings wherein I'm placed inbetween two boxes of freshly baked donuts or chocnut cheesecake... opportunities to gorge on the yummiest of goodies has been plentiful. Definitely thought about cheating (SO.FREAKING.HARD)... but happy that I haven't given in.

7. Better moods! It's irritating when clothes don't fit you right, or when you diet and you don't see results. I'm extremely grateful that this hasn't been the case recently.

Hopefully this marks a great start to what I hope will be a continuous and final journey down this road. Go go go 2011!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Glorious Sunday

Today was the kind of Sunday I wish I could always have.

I woke up willingly at 9:30 am, very much well rested. It wasn't so early that I felt I was dragging myself out of bed, nor was it so late that I had felt I had no more time left in the day.

Outside of catchup paperwork and a couple of work related things I had to attend to, there were no meeting I had to run off to, rehearsals to attend or errands to get done.

I spent the day leisurely reading, napping, & working.

I had dinner with my entire family and attended mass with my mom & sister.

Nothing really out of the ordinary happened today, but because they are so rare, this glorious Sunday was extraordinary.

I don't even remember the last time I had a day like this. When I realized I didn't have rehearsals today I almost cried with joy. Sounds a little OA, but seriously true.

As I anticipate a busy week ahead, I am grateful for the opportunity to recharge and to just be still.

Here's to more frequent glorious Sundays in the near future!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Lessons from (lack of) Sleep

Another overwhelming stressful week has prompted me to look at what's not working in my life and a basic necessity that I've had a very complicated relationship with for a long long time: sleep 

Here are some of the lessons culled from experience: 
  1. Your body wants what it wants - I got home from work past midnight a few days ago. With still a number of things to do, I decided to take a nap to combat my drowsiness - as who can think straight while drowsy right? Past experience has taught me that when I nap given this tired mental and physical state - I never end up getting up. Because I'm stubborn, I've tried different tactics to succeed in this area. That particular evening I tried sleeping on the floor, in hopes that I would be uncomfortable enough to wake up when my (several) alarm(s) go(es) off.  Pretty sad when I think about it in retrospect but totally necessary in my mind at the time. Did I succeed? Not at all. Here's a run down of all my other "wake-up-from-napping" tactics: 
    • Setting my alarm clock. FAIL. It's difficult to wake up as it is when I intentionally got to sleep for the night.
    • Having someone physically wake me or try calling me on my mobile. FAIL. I don't even remember the attempt of the wake up.
    • Putting my alarm clock very far away from me so I'll get up. SEMI FAIL. This selectively works.. I think it depends on how tired I am. 
    • Setting several alarm clock clocks spaced apart at 15 intervals. FAIL. HA!
    • Setting my alarm clock and having the lights fully on so as not to fall into a deep sleep. FAIL. Double ha!
    • Drinking coffee and/or soda before sleeping thinking it'll allow me a light sleep. See all above explanations.
  2. No such thing as sleep compensation - 4 sleep one day, 2 hours another day, 3 hours the next day.. then when I get the opportunity to, I'll sleep in as much as I can when I can to compensate for little to no sleep the days before. This unfortunately only leads to more stress as I end up staying up late the next day compensating for work I could've done while I was asleep. So I'm tired all over again. It's a vicious cycle I tell you!
  3. Running on no sleep? Think again - I am not Wonder Woman.. well rather, I am no longer 16 years old anymore. My mind may still think like a teenager in this regard, but my body is quick to slap me back into reality with a day of irritability, tiredness and sometimes, delirium.
  4. Your body remembers - 5 years after college I ran a business with two friends where I was sleep deprived as well. The year after that was a lot more relaxed due to the freelance work I was doing so I regularly got 8 hours of sleep. Now that I'm back in a high-stress environment, I can't seem to find my way to running on little to no-sleep. It's like my body FINALLY got to experience life with enough hours of sleep and has since then, been refusing to have it any other way! Either that, or my age is starting to show. Hehe.
Because of so many years of unhealthy living, I made a choice last year that I would start living a healthier (and thus happier) life. Recently I haven't been keeping any of my promises. I lack sleep, I don't exercise, I hardly have time to myself to just sit and spend how I please. And I've been paying the price: I'm gaining weight, I'm tired all the time, I'm irritable, and unfocused.. all of which feed mental demons I've been fighting for a long time. 

While my current situation makes it near impossible to get 8-hours of sleep, I would like to think I can start making changes in the way I spend my waking hours and the number of commitments I have on my plate to hopefully clock in a steady and constant number hours of sleep and exercise daily. No more saying yes to anything and everything. If it makes any sense, I must learn to be more selfish, in order to be more selfless. 






Monday, November 29, 2010

Blessings 112910

1. Holiday! Which not only means an opportunity to rest, but an opportunity to run errands too!

2. Me-time: finally having the time for a foot spa (after 6 mos!) and derma (after 2 mos!)

3. Finding books that I've wanted to buy on sale (20% off!)

4. Surviving Day 1 of no sugar & no carbs - which means, I managed not to eat the box of doughnuts at rehearsals or go crazy walking through the mall

5. Leisurely commute. Commute are hardly ever leisurely anymore due to always being pressed for time as well as it being the holiday season.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blessings 112810

1) Learning I achieved a first in company history: size of bonus vs duration in the company.

2) Looking, finding and delivering pasalubong items on time! And being happy with what I purchased too! Phew!

3) Silver lining: waking up suddenly with an anxiety attack thinking I was late to a meeting. But it's a blessing because I was able to go back to sleep knowing I had a few hours of nothingness ahead of me before my next meeting. WOOHOO!

4) Still maintaining friendships with people I've known for a really long time.

5) Silver lining: Seriously worrying about spending too much recently. But it's a blessing because it's a reminder that I've come a long way from last year where my financial worries were not about spending too much, but rather, about finding enough.

Chocolate Oranges

What's this?

Hmmmmm...

*BAAAM*

Nom nom nom...

Thank you Dani for my orange-infused (& orange-formed!) chocolates from Terry's & Thorton's. Delish!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Blessings 112510

1. Learned that a few of us will be receiving a surprise treat at the end of the month.  My second since I started! Grateful that my hardwork is being appreciated at all levels, and am excited to bring it to the next level.

2. Client forwarding an email exchange between their company's 2 marketing groups, sharing between themselves how excited they were about the material we were going to produce and exclaiming how much they enjoyed working with us. Grateful to be part of a team who does inspiring work and to work with people who appreciate what we do.

3. Silver Lining Moment: thrown off (put off rather) by an exchange with someone. Blessed as it helped me recognize that I shouldn't allow anyone's actions to drag me down, dictate how I feel or set the tone for the rest of my day.

4. Coming home early. While I brought work home, glad to have the opportunity to come home and see my family still awake.

5. Expecting to only find purchases I had agreed to having purchased, blessed to have a Mom who bought me something extra anyway

Stalone's New Playmate

Mom called me about a month ago asking me if I wanted to avail of this promo that was being offered to her - some Blackberry Mobile model for some amount paid over so many months with no interest. I did my research and it was a pretty good deal -  the minimum amount wasn't so bad, and the phone itself was getting a lot of good reviews from friends who had the same phone. I began daydreaming about how it would help boost work productivity and really began considering availing of it.

Then a few days later, for no apparent reason at all, I decided I didn't need it: the money could go somewhere else, and I would survive at work w/o one.

A few weeks later I saw that a friend was selling a QWRTY nokia phone. Ever since I had left my E71i in a cab years ago, I had always dreamed I'd get one again someday. Could this day be it? The phone was hardly used, it was a great model and the price was pretty good!

Few days later,  for no apparent reason at all, I decided I didn't it: my phone was perfectly fine. 

Then about 2 weeks my phone started acting up. With too many messages it wouldn't register the person's name in the inbox and every once in a while, reception would get incredibly wonky. Not so good for someone who communicates for a living. 

Didn't stress about it too much though as I figured the phone would last. 

Then a week ago, my tito called me. His office had given him a new phone as a secondary line and for one reason or another, he preferred not to use it. He called asking if I wanted to switch phones with him. 

So now I find myself in possession of this pretty white thing, and couldn't be anymore grateful :) Meet Jean-Claude. Isn't he purty?! 


Always so amazed at how the Universe works. Never ceases to amaze me. 

photo credit: http://nokiae72whiteedition.com/index.php





Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blessings 112310

Despite a number of things I needed to accomplish today, I spent most of the day in a daze. Not the floating-on-clouds-daydreaming type of daze.. but rather, the zoned-out-zombie kind of stupor.

I can think of a number of of reasons for the low energy:

  • Got home from work at 3:30 am, only to be up a few hours later
  • Pagod carried over from a few hours of sleep the night before that
  • Exhaustion settling in after the adrenalin of meeting a deadline and delivering a big project 
  • Overwhelmed with work and not knowing where or how to start
On top of being an unproductive day, I dampened my mood even more by beating myself up for having "wasted" what could have been a more productive day.

Then I got thinking about perspective. That eventually led to a light-bulb moment, wherein you are able to take universal nuggets of wisdom and suddenly apply it to your own life. 

So I saw the silver the lining. And saw that negative experiences can be as potent a blessing as a great one. So let me rewind and recount my day of unexpected blessings:

"Got home from work at 3:30 am, only to be up a few hours later" 
is a blessing because 
it means I am dedicated and passionate about my goals

"Pagod carried over from a few hours of sleep the night before that
is a blessing because 
in exchange for precious rest hours, I glorified God through song 
and spent quality time with my siblings

"Exhaustion settling in after the adrenalin 
of meeting a deadline and delivering a big project" 
is a blessing because
it means I had the opportunity to pour energy 
into a something that would affect people positively

"Overwhelmed with work and not knowing where or how to start"
is a blessing because
it means I am being trusted with more work 
and now have more opportunities to learn and grow

 And yes, while I have generally been tired, I am grateful to have a body that warns me when I'm pushing myself too much. So yes, while I may have had an opportunity to be more productive today, I am grateful for a stress-free day and the chance to breathe in-between big deadlines.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Blessings: 24 Oct - 20 Nov (Part 1)

While waiting for my work files to upload, I decided to finish updating my facebook albums.

Now while THOSE are uploading, thought I'd post something new here. Had no idea a MONTH had already past since I last did this exercise!

Anyway, here are a few I noted the week of after I got back from my trip to Vietnam / Cambodia, as well as a few more from the last week:

Trip related:

1. 
Lower forex and thus spending less than what I expected to spend when I had to buy a flight last minute.

2.
 Getting to Cambodia safely despite several bus breakdowns. 

3. 
Despite initially wanting to bus back, glad we ended up staying an extra day in Siem Reap where we spent the whole morning just recharging and lounging around the hotel. Didn't realize how exhausted I had been till I had the opportunity to sleep for more than 4 hours! lol


4. 
Exploring sites and sounds of Siem Reap & Ho Chi Minh. 



5.
Special mention goes out to seeing the amazing temples around  Siem Reap such as 
Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and Bayon


6. 
Having lucked out with all our hotel and food choices. 

simple serendipity: crunchy chocolate milk


I used to mix up powdered milk with Milo and snack on that dry. But as powdered milk is no longer a food staple at home, Milo is now taken by itself.

Other chocolate milk mixes like Swiss Miss I love hot.. but Milo? Milo I take cold. I love how the Milo clumps on top and leaves a layer of crunch for you to spoon up or catch while your jugging it down.

Try it! It's good stuff I tell you.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

2:00 am Update

  • It's nearly 2 in the morning and I'm still in the office with 3 colleagues
  • There are 4 accounts being worked on in parallel this evening (ehm.. morning): 2 books that are at different stages but both of which need to go to print this week, crisis management for 1 cinema ad that needs to go out this Friday and an AVP & brochure concept that is being presented on Friday.
  • I have a signage and wayfinding presentation tomorrow that I haven't studied for yet.
  • To officially end my work day, I have emails I need to respond to and project statuses to update and time tables to generate. Not to mention that non-work commitments I need to attend to. 
  • My eyes are so painful I feel like pulling them out. 
In other news, I did see a number of Facebook status' this morning that talked about being grateful, etc, etc.. so yes, while I may sound like I'm complaining, I'm very grateful for the opportunities to push myself, learn and grow. 

Just thought I'd blow off some steam before diving back into work.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Blessings: 17 Oct - 23 Oct

If I can't keep it up daily anymore, let me see if I can at least recap weekly a few of many instances to be grateful for.

(1) First time for family to sit down COMPLETE for a meal, with homemade Hainanese Chicken Rice no less

(2) Potential shoot problems working their way out such as knowing organizer of one location & wonderful weather


(3) Surviving & celebrating the craziness of this week


(4) New places: Legaspi Market, Filipinas Heritage Library, top of Makati Stock Exchange & empty Tower One




(5) Learning to put my foot down & picking up lessons for future like-experiences

(6) Kiddie games + adult vices = a good time



(7) Jogging.. even if only for 2 nights this week


(8) Seeing the magic of production crew at work & appreciating genius behind capturing a moving picture


(9) Holiday = sleeping in + finishing a book

(10) Acknowledgment for work accomplished this week

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Emails Galore!

I got up at 8 am this morning to dove into my work hoping to clean THIS up:


But 12 hours later, thanks to a rush shoot we are preparing for tomorrow, I have not only NOT started going through my mail, but the number of messages in my inbox has grown!

I like starting the day out with a clean inbox so before the day ends, I like to have gone through, responded to and filed away all of my email. You can imagine how much it bugs me to have that many messages sitting idly in my inbox - both unread and unsorted. 

Because I did get to relax a bit today, I'm in the right frame of mind to say that despite the nutty week, it was a lot of fun and can definitely say I picked up on a lot of new things. I think if you had asked me earlier this week,  I would have just responded by bursting into tears. Hehe. Thankfully, I haven't smashed and obliterated any of the balls I'm juggling for work, though I don't think I can say much about the balls outside of work. But that's a different story.

Anyone have tips to help my work move faster and STILL afford me some sleep in the evening and  balance in my life? 






Sunday, October 17, 2010

On Friends & Nothingness


Saw a good friend recently. Over lunch I began fielding calls from work and then over dessert, she took out some papers to do some number crunching for work while I flipped through a magazine. 

It was an afternoon of catch-up, the deepest-of-the-deep kind of conversation, insubstantial chatter and many moments of nothingness.  

When you aren't compelled to put on a song a dance because each other's company is entertainment enough, when you can truly be comfortable doing nothing and still feel like you had the best time in the world.. then you know you are in the company of a true friend. And I am reminded, time and again, of how lucky I am to be blessed with people like this in my life. 

Work Load II

Ok - so deep down, I'm freaking out about my workload.

(1) Three of my current accounts are rush projects, while I also have a few other projects that are drawing near completion these next few weeks. As much as we'd all like work to be evenly paced and well planned out, some thing about finally seeing that deadline at the horizon brings about all these strangely unforeseeable things that all of a sudden, need to get done in order for the project to finish. So..

Near completion = heightened stress.

(2) My co design manager went on maternity leave last Friday and the person that we were supposed to hire as a reliver.. backed out last Thursday. So guess who's taking over her accounts in the meantime?

(3) Must.keep.life.balanced!!!

On the flipside, I'm kinda excited about taking on more work. More work means more experience under my belt, and also means more opportunities to learn - and as I'm trying to focus and fast track all these learnings for the near future I'm preparing for, this opportunity is as good as any. On the flipside, I shouldn't be too worried because I'm working with a great team, so the projects WILL move along and the support will be there.

6th month in and I did say I wanted to dive in 200% right?!

But ya.. i'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm freaking out.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Neat Freak


I love things that are uniform and organized. Nothing thrills me more than seeing books neatly stacked and arranged by height and color. Or spools of ribbon organized from darkest to lightest. Or pails over-flowing with taffy, split up by color. Or clear boxes each full of one particular button shape. Groupings of similar items or.. things organized in rows.. or.. or.. or... ya.. shut me up before I froth at the mouth.


I have absolutely no idea why I am so amused and delighted and absolutely tickled by this. Thought it was a strange fixation. Turns out, I'm not alone.

A friend reblogged a photo from a a tumblr site called: thingsneatlyorganized.tumblr.com.

As a friend said when she saw it, porn for the obsessive compulsive... orgasmic organization. Check it out and tell me.. are you not writhing with so much giddiness that you don't know what to do with yourself?!?!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Email Etiquette

One big part of being a design manager is liaising with clients - so I spend a lot of time fielding calls and emails. Sometimes I find myself staring at my screen for hours (ok.. exag.. maybe an hour at most) writing emails.

The most challenging ones are those where you have to relay a negative message, but still packaged professionally, and in a way that doesn't piss off your client (too much). It's not just about stringing words together, or punching out a email - its about crafting messages targeted at certain personalities that effectively communicate your objectives.

My boss is EXCELLENT at composing these types of emails. In fact, she's so good at it, that her emails sound like the clients are hearing what they think they want to be hearing - even though in reality, it's what my boss wants them to hear. Lol. Then again, I do work in an industry where communications is supposed to be our expertise, so I guess I shouldn't expect anything less from my boss.

Point of my post? I guess to share my amazement (amusement?) that something as seemingly simple as email writing is actually a potent communication tool.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Fishing Lesson

“Give a man a fish; you have fed him for today.  Teach a man to fish; and you have fed him for a lifetime”

Had the opportunity to this twice this month- one was a writing gig for a foundation that works with public schools to promote and build a love for reading in children, and another was for my own organization which I originally wrote about here. 

What I love about these events is that even if I'm part of the support team and not a participant, I am always inspired. I find myself learning a little bit more about myself and the world and its realities.


The writing gig was awesome as I've never given much though to pre-school education before; had no idea that there was so much science and philosophy behind it! It was also really great seeing the public school teachers acknowledged and seeing their excited about learning something that they wanted to apply in their classrooms immediately.


The work I do with my organization has been a challenge recently. It's always a bit of chore getting a project off the ground, and it can get some what cumbersome if you have a day job to worry. But that always changes the minute the schools come together and you see them happily mingling, while getting some great renovation work done at the school.

My dream at one point was to work for a big developmental-type organization, but while that hasn't happened yet, I'll keep myself busy with these types of projects in the meantime.

Friday, September 24, 2010

5 Weddings and a Camera


My level of desire rises and falls depending on what's currently going on in my life, but the deep seeded obsession longing is always there. It's been an unhealthy fixation I must admit.

This post obviously means that I am nearing neurosis... once again.

I'm still mulling over whether or not I want to start with a great point and shoot or a dslr. Lumix or canon?! Canon or Nikon?! Quiapo, Hong Kong or Singapore?

Parallel to that.. when (and where!) do I squeeze it into my financials? Can I even free up some money in my budget?

Speaking of budget , to date I have 5 weddings within the next 365 days that I'd like to attend, all in different pockets of the world.

Now would be a good time to find me a pot of gold.

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Masochist AE

So I don't work in an advertising agency exactly, nor am I an AE by title.

Technicalities and nuances aside though, being an AE in an advertising agency is very close to what I do and where I work.

I was forwarded the below from a co-worker. Found it amusing because it very closely describes my experiences with work so far. After my initial amusement, I found it a little scary that I could relate to this (me?! A masochist?!). Overall though, it was light-heartening to know that while at times you feel alone in what you do.. you are reminded that you are never really alone in your experiences.

_______

THE MASOCHIST AE

I truly believe that people who enter the esoteric (read: misunderstood, misconstrued, or in layman's terms, because most people don't really know what it is exactly) world of advertising are the
truly insane.

Those who leave the industry have VERY good common sense and a sound sense of self- worth; those who leave and come back are certified nuts; and those who stay forever (and do not even entertain the
thought of shifting into another field) -- or for a long, long time, at least -- are the ones who love to suffer.

But the inherent, unarguably 100% purebred masochists are the ones advertising people call the AEs. They are the Account Executives, the so- called unsung heroes of product launches and successful market performances since time immemorial, or, to quote a recent essay on a similar subject, the quintessential advertising person.

The AE has a thousand definitions to his name, but allow me to narrow them down into five:

1. Your parents do not understand your job description. 


Excerpt from a real-life dialogue between an AE and her mother:

AE: Hey, that's my TVC!
Mom: Really? You mean ikaw ang nag-isip ng idea for that commercial?
AE: Uh, not exactly.
Mom: But you did write the script, didn't you, anak? Idea mo lahat 'yon diba?
AE: Erm...well, it was more like I orchestrated the entire production, Ma.
Mom: Honey, I don't understand. Ano ba talaga ang ginagawa mo?

In a nutshell, parents don't understand that advertising is more than just being a creative.

2. You are the sounding board of everyone. (Euphemism: Everyone yells at you.) 

Your client yells at you. Your creative yells at you. Your boss yells at you. Hell, kulang na lang that even the company driver yells at you for making him drive all the way to Bicutan and then to Marikina, AND THEN back to Makati.

In actuality, they all yell at you because you are their connecting vein. You are the DNA of the system. You are the air trafficker who decides which plane goes in which direction to avoid an airborne accident. Take heart: Without you, all of them can't function properly. (Shempre kailangan ng JO!)

3. You are supposed to exercise your (I quote) considerable powers of PR (Read: kaplastikan). 

No matter how much you hate your support groups, you'll always have to be nice to them even if your insides are producing enough acid to burn your digestive system. This is because you need them (and they, in turn, need you -- though they refuse to acknowledge such. After all, without you, where else would they get their salaries --through sidelines?).

4. You are a VERY high-paid maid of Clients. 

The common perception of other advertising people is that the AE is a Client's yes-man. "The customer is always right," goes the saying after all. This is because creatives see AEs as the Clients' sidekicks when in the agency. I've actually heard one co-AE say despairingly, "Prostitutes are better off. They can say no if they're tired and want to call it a night." Not the AE. Even though you're having a bad hair day, experiencing extremely painful menstrual cramps, not to mention having to deal with spoiled creatives, you have to make sure your Client gets his deliverables, which were needed "yesterday." (Sounds familiar?)

But, in defense of the AE, they do not say yes to Client all the time: it just seems that way. The AE, in relation to her kaplastikan prowess as discussed in point #3, has to do a lot of verbal ballroom dancing in order to make the Client see his or her view. In fact, the general rule among AEs is (paraphrased though): You cannot just say no just because.

In line with the advertising motto that all campaigns must have a strategy, so do the AE when it comes to dealing with Clients. As most Clients are sensitive about being brutally rebuffed, AEs have to massage their egos if they disagree with them. And on that note, notice how, in advertising, the word "client" is spelled as "Client?" With a capital C? Isn't that equating "Client" with "God?"

God forbid.

5. You are...McGyver. 

Resourcefulness is your middle name. Advertising urban legends claim that AEs have gone through hell to make sure both Clients and creatives (and to a lesser degree, your other support groups) are appeased: sitting in the broom closet until the creatives finish the compre for a print ad, hiring a kalesa's horse to ride through traffic in order to present a storyboard to Client, even bribing a DTI representative to give you a DTI number for a promo poster.

These are not myths. They have actually happened.

In the same vein, AEs learn how to be jacks-of-all-trades and masters of disguise and deception, because they know that at the end of the day, managing to deliver (and deliver right) is what matters. The AE is a celebrated case study for borderline personality or schizophrenia because all sorts of persuasion and coercion methods have been exercised by him or her: the use of charm, tears, and cleavage exposure are patented trademarks of an AE who knows how to get what she wants.

It may sound as if the AE is a person to be pitied, but no. Because while AEs love to whine about their dismal existence, they know, in the deepest recesses of their beings, that they feel like comic superheroes at the immense agony they have gone through and will be going through.

If you listen carefully enough, you'll hear the pride between the angst, the complaints, the sighs. They know they are strong people and while not a lot may be able to understand and appreciate that, they have each other to turn to for a metaphysical sense of empathy.

And, even if, an advertisement will merit awards for the creatives and the brand manager gets a raise for a product's market performance, the AE knows that she (or he) was the one who did it all.

And that unspoken truth is the reason why the AE is deemed a masochist.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Unplanned plans


A friend texted as I was commuting home from class.  My route home would pass his high rise so we decided to meet up.  Coincidentally, just as I finished making those plans, I got a call from another friend who was going to be in the area and wanted to know if I was free to meet up.


Three friends found themselves getting together for a quiet unplanned evening of random chatter and catch up.


If both had called and texted any later, I would've been home and the evening would not have happened.

I'm all for planning, in fact, I'm all about planning. One thing I never thought it would make me realize is that it definitely makes me appreciate serendipitous moments like these.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Weight Frustrate

After gaining back 20 of the 30 pounds i lost last year, I find myself here again. The same spot I have found myself at for the last 20-something years. Sometimes it takes me a few weeks to find myself back on track, sometimes months. Point is, I'm here. Again. For the last time. Again. This is it! Again.

It's that point when I've finally convinced myself that I am ready yet again, to FINALLY beat the bulge.

I've done the usual round of preparations: figured out the permutation of steps I'll take this time around to get me to that magic number, mentally plotted how the next few months should unfold, day-dreamed about the shopping trip I'll reward myself with as inspiration.

So I'm feeling physically and mentally ready. I'm feeling confident, almost cocky that things will go smoothly these next few months. But really, that feeling isn't so new. It's the same cycle of emotions I go through on this crazy ride I've been. But I'm glad I'm finally here again.

So here's the plan:
It took me a little over half a year to loose the 30 pounds last year. I'm hoping to accomplish the same thing in half the time. 30 pounds by December 20 is Phase 1. Going crazy and going for gold.

Will this time be different? I'd always like to think so. So wish me luck yet again as I traverse down this well-trodden road hopefully for the last time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Urge


Wow.. kamusta naman ang deluge ng posts diba? I guess I wanna get it out (into Cyberspace!) before I cycle again and it gets buried behind work and what not.

I work in an office with ALOT of smokers - infact, my cubicle is right behind the pantry - where all the smoking happens. Seeing ashtrays and being in cigarette smoke has become so common place again that I'm scared I will one day just subconsciously pick me up a stick and light up. 

I actually have nightmares about smoking. I'll be smoking in my dream and it'll be so real. It's a nightmare because I really REALLY do not want to start smoking again, nor do I have any plans on doing so. Temptation admittedly is there sometimes, and really gotta to consciously hold out so as not to give in and start up again. 

*shudder* 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

In Other News...

I just realized when texting with a friend that in the last round of payments I made this morning,  I FINISHED PAYING OFF MY SECOND PHASE DEBT.

Oh happy day!

I have a last and final round of debt to take care of. While the debt pseudo exists (ie: it's so in the past that I think my lender has already called it even), I think it would be nice if I paid it. I think my lender will be pleasantly surprised with me too.

Now.. where do I fit it in? Before the two big purchases I want to do between now and the end of next year? In between or after? Hmm..

This.. ehm.. situation I've had with my finances over the last so many years has gotten me so crazy about my finances that I watch everything like a hawk now. I spend when I want to spend but everything is budgeted, tracked and accounted for. I guess that's a good thing huh? Not that I want to admit it but I do get a bit of a nerdish thrill when I open up my excel document to account for and study my finances. Hee.

Weddings & Whatnot


Coordinated my first solo wedding recently and it totally served me a huge chunk of anxiety that I never thought I could have.

I remember rushing to the chapel to set up by myself and already feeling pretty harassed. As I started distributing the printed misalettes onto the benches, the fans that were on kept blowing them away. I remember feeling very alone at this point, with nothing but my own shoulder to cry on. Yes, very dramatic of me I know, lol..  but seriously, this is exactly how I was feeling.

Then I remember getting ready to pin the corsages on the ninongs / ninangs and learning that the corsages from the florist DID NOT COME WITH PINS. It was one of those smaller details I never thought to ask about.. I always assumed corsages would come with pins?!

I remember trying to round up the ninongs / ninangs with the bridal entourage. It was a little nuts- half of the party wasn't there, those that were there kept milling about, it was looking to rain already and I was being asked a million and one questions. I remember wanting to just curl up into a fetal position and rock myself to sleep.

Then in the middle of the ceremony, it started to rain... hard. I had no idea how on earth I was going to move the party from the ceremony to the reception. Eeeeeeep.

So there were a bunch of these episodes that occurred prior to and during the wedding. Regardless of how I felt, I needed to smile, push forward and concentrate on getting the job done well.. or at least to the best of my abilities.

While I'm griping about all these small details that made my experience, well.. interesting.. in the greater scheme of things, things went relatively smoothly. The family has been very generous with their appreciation so at the end of the day, if they're happy, then I'm happy too.  Some moments that seemed pretty horrific at the time will probably (hopefully) be remembered with great fondness over the years. Shortly after the wedding I remember reminiscing already with some members of the family and erupting into a fit of giggles as we recalled the "voice of God" (ie: the laptop that was hooked up to the sound system) announcing the time in middle of the rites of marriage.

Times like these.. it's so easy to get lost in the details. Greater effort is required from your end to remember why you agreed to do something like this in the first place. During these trying times, you realize just how annoying useless others can be but in the same regard, you really REALLY appreciate the people who do their job well, and those who go out of their way to help you, even if its not their job to do so.

What's up Weekend


Checked out the first public school my foundation first did a renovation projects at years ago. We want to do a number of projects at one school, take a few years off.. then come back and work with them again, just to keep the relationship going.

The school has changed lots since we were there - they've gone from twenty something classrooms to thirty something instructional rooms - bringing down their classroom population from 120 to 90 kids. I was happy to hear that subjects are now 1 hour long - but it makes me wonder about the teachers and administrators who have to cover two shifts- one from 5:45 - 2, then from 2 - 9.  Experiences like this never fall short of helping me realize just how lucky I am.

Speaking of lucky, I spent the weekend "sick" - with a pounding earache discharging all sorts of grossness and newly diagnosed Seborrhoeic dermatits.  TMI perhaps but why lucky you ask? Having gotten sick a few times over the last month reminds me that I'm I really need to stop abusing my body and must take better care of myself. I could've gotten sick with something worse diba? Must traverse down this road to health faster!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Can't Wait

  • Facial
  • Manicure / pedicure
  • Massage
  • Haircut
  • Jogging
  • Spacing out & winding down before bed
Not necessarily in that order, but will definitely make time for that SOON. My frazzled hair and bad skin are calling out for some R&R. 


Thursday, August 5, 2010

what the: nickname

I have one of those names that can shortened / abbreviated, which is actually amusing because I have a really short name to begin with.

My shortened nickname is probably my most common nickname.  I didn't give myself the nickname, nor do I introduce myself using that name. People who call me by this nickname are people whom I've known long enough to be comfortable around them.

Thats why I'm always really thrown off when I meet someone new and they immediately start calling me by my nickname.

May tawag dyan.... :) 

Unsolicited


Multiple deadlines looming near - some planned, some out of no where. Necessary errands building up, loitering dangerously near D-day(s). Calls, emails, commitments threatening to spill out my ears and over my head. Every hour and minute necessarily accounted for. Heart's picking up its pace. Shallow breathing...then bam! A meeting is cancelled, a rendezvous postponed. Unplanned, achingly welcomed pocket of free time that snaps open into your rigid schedule. Light and air breath into day as you're hit with a free pass to address the eternal whiny lament of: THERE ISN'T ENOUGH TIIIIMMMMMMEEEEE. You breathe...

So what do you do with this free time? A smart choice would probably be to reshuffle your tasks for the day, stretch out the pile of of things you originally had to accomplish in so many hours, into a time frame that makes you more hopeful that you'll actually finish everything you had set out to do for the day.

Or you procrastinate relax. Breathe. Take a nap. Play. Drink a cup of coffee.

What would you do?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Smart Snack


You gotta agree - this is absolutely genius, having all your favorite chips mixed together in one snack pack?! Genius I tell you, absolutely genius. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Parquetry


This type of flooring reminds me of summer months spent with my grandparents. They have floors like this in their home and I would purposefully look for the pieces you could lift up so I could hide little "treasures" in them.

Fast forward twenty something year later. Same flooring, different experience.  Loose bumpy parquet flooring + roller office chairs = pain in the patootie.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Notebook Itch

Whether its an affordable Corona / Green Apple, pricey Moleskine or anything in between, I am always REALLY excited to start writing in a new notebook.

Unfortunately, this also means that after I start writing in one, I am always excited to finish so I can start a new one. I feel like one of those brats who sit with crayon in hand, going through a pile of books by scribbling only on the first few pages of one before getting bored and starting on a new one.

I'm in the middle of one now and I REALLY want to finish it but am sooooo far awwaaaaaayyy from the end. I have a number of other notebooks at home waiting to be doodled in, and variety of other notebooks that are waiting to be purchased.. so I can also doodle in them too. Grrrr.

Book Buys


I may have mentioned in the past that I've always been an avid reader. Growing up, I was lucky to attend a school that had libraries filled with thousands of books and regularly invited authors and illustrators to visit and read to us (like Tomie dePaola and Lois Lowry). Grades 1 to 8 are chockfull of memories of reading and re-reading books by Beverly Cleary (Ramona!), Judy Blume (Fudge!) and Roahl Dahl (Charlie!), photocopying books I couldn't get enough of (like the thick books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, hehehe), teasing Hermana 2 about book characters she resembled in personality (Amelia Bedelia) and hobbies (Angelina the Ballerina). Shell Silverstein, Where the Red Fern Grows, Sweet Valley (kids, twins and high thank you very much!), Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, Madeline L'Engle, The Dark is Rising, Berenstain Bears, Babar, Mercy Mayer, Where the Wild Things Are.. I could really go on and on and on.

I guess you could stay I have a soft spot for children's and young adult's literature.

So with a recent book store sale, I indulged and bought myself a few titles. There are a few more books that I want to go back and purchase before the sale ends.

While I was planning on getting some work done this weekend- reading reading and reading has been a delightful way to procrastinate weekend alternative.  My Rick Riordan buys were read tucked in bed after a long day and hot shower while Michael Scott is now being enjoyed on a lazy rainy Sunday. Ah, bliss :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two Months In



Two months in and the accounts I have on my plate include:


  • Environmental graphics & signage and wayfinding for 2 retails establishments and a hotel group
  • Coffee table book
  • Branding requirements, marketing campaign and environmental graphics for a new property development
  • Name & logo development and brand application for a hotel group and private corporation
  • Christmas installations for two districts
And have finished, or in the process of finishing:
  • Collaterals for a foreign expo 
  • A museum exhibit
  • A book
  • An AVP for the first pseudo-public event for a new property
Busy months? Yes. Unnaturally so. Boring months? Not at all. 

All sorts of projects ranging in an array of complexities, in an assortment of industries where I get to meet all sorts of people. Realizing how the familiar was very unfamiliar 60 days ago is also always pleasantly surprising. Recognizing the miles of progress I'd like to make on a number of different facets is really exciting. 

Entering a new month, my third month. Going to pick up the pace on all fronts. Let's do this! 

Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Look


As Hermana #2 is typically the book buyer in the family, many of the books I've read over the past years usually come from her shelf.

Now Hermana #2's book are very special - there is a special way in which they are covered (in plastic with scotch tape NOT touching the book), special way in which they are branded (date and name in front, price and where it was purchased at the back - in a purple pen nonetheless) and a special way they are arranged on her bookshelf (you take one out, or move it around, she'll know).

Naturally - when I purchase books, I want them to be special too. So Hermana #2 very nicely covers them for me, and I too mark them in my own special way.

Recently though - I borrowed a book to read from Hermana #3. Now Hermana #2 would FREAK if her books looked anything like that of Hermana #3s. No special cover save that of an extremely creased book spine, no special branding save that of corners upon corners of folded pages.

Worn and torn.. and yet.. still special.

There was something very liberating about reading a book I could simply ENJOY. It was relaxing paging through a book I could put down for two second by leaving it open face down on a table without fear of Hermana #2 yelling bloody murder from upstairs (I swear.. I think she posses her books sometimes). No metaphysical unease knowing I could toss the book into my bag and not have to worry about rubber-banding it together for fear it being mauled and torn apart by the chaos that is my bag.

So this blog entry is in no way a means to thumb my nose at Hermana #2's ways.. goodness knows she would have had a really violent reaction to reading a book like that of Hermana #3's. Different strokes for different folks right?

In a world and life where there has been a need for me to be organized to the point of OC-ness to get my sh*t done efficiently and effectively, I sometimes forget about the inner chaos that comes so naturally to me.

This being said, I actually don't know if I could still leave my books in the state of "specialness" Hermana #3 does. But it surely has reminded me not have such a rigid stick up my bum every time one of my books is used. Hmm.. or maybe I should just convince Hermana #3 to buy more books instead :)

What do your books look like?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hoisting


Yeap-- I'm back here again, wanting to find myself back on track with my health (and thus, my diet & lifestyle).

Obviously, before I chug full speed ahead down this path, I need to get back on it.. thus the hoisting. Lol.

So I've been waiting for my schedule to regularize before I went down this path.. but I figure, why wait? May as well push and mold it to become "regular".

With age, hypothyroid, oral fixation and a weakness for anything edible working AGAINST me, I can't waste anymore time just putzing around.

While I'm in an office full of smokers, I'm glad I haven't careened down that trail again. But food glorious food.. why can't I just quit you?!

So today was Day 1 with exercise and conscious food intake. Can't wait for it to be Day 1001 to roll around. Hopefully, I won't be rolling around with it.

(pictures above - brother's burger's lamb burger with feta cheese & pesto. sigh.. on hold ka muna for a while k?) 

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

First Day of School


This week is the start of the school year for kids in elementary and high school. Over lunch, a colleague shared both his excitement and anxiousness for his four-year-old's first day of school EVER.

This led to an animated conversation about kids and school- how school corridors are lined with yayas and moms reading or crocheting because their kids won't allow them to leave, how traffic builds up because of the ceremonies that happen once kids get out of their cars (baby powder + hair combed + words of wisdom & encouragement + hug + hatid; you wonder why a lot of this couldn't happen as the car was approaching the drop off point right?).

Made me remember mom's birthday letter to me last year, where she recounted a number of memories that flashed before her as she sat down to write me my card. One of which was on my first day of pre-school: "I remember I was the one having separation anxiety because you just waved at me and went marching right into your classroom".

Anyhu, makes me wonder.. do you know how your first day of school was?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Finger Gestures



I was covering a conference with a colleague recently. He looked over at me jabbing away at Stalone and asked: you think with your fingers too?!

Lol, apparently, my hands mimic my train of thought. When I stop typing to ponder on something in the middle of writing, my index finger points and extends.

Take heed next time you write, and let me know if you think with your fingers as well :)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

let's get physical

must.want.should.need to exerrrrciiiiissseeeeee

nownownownownownownownow naaaaaa

2 months have past. the first month i was just lazy. this month i've just been up to my widow's peak in work and commitments.

remind me to start taking the stairs to our floor, starting churning out my work faster and getting my sleep schedule regularized so i can squeeze in some cardio at dusk or twilight.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Work Load

One month in and I feel like I've been with the group forever.

My current priorities, plus all the "smaller" priorities I'm finishing up for the year are keeping me busy, busier than I've been in a while. I find myself incredibly spent at the end of the day.

Some days I wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew and long for consecutive days where I can stay up all night, sleep in all day, roll around, slow down my days and dilly dally all I want. I don't know how others manage to squeeze in the world, and then some. I'll get to that point someday soon I hope!

Most days I'm very happy with where I'm at. I'm happy to be moving forward, to be committing 200% to something and pushing myself to grow.

I'm anxious to get to that point where work happily balances out with my personal life and I don't feel like I've thrown myself under a bus every time I wake up in the morning. In the meantime, I'm having a good time trying to balance it out.

I'm eager to learn and excited about the projects I'm handling, the people I'm working with and the characters I'm meeting. I'm excited about growing in my new role and becoming real good at what I'm doing.

And while it ain't the kind of green I was hoping to be earning at this point, I'm grateful for a steady paycheck and the wisdom that comes with having run amuck with your finances at one point in your life.

So yes, tired bliss is where I'm at at the moment, and where I'll probably nest and make my home in for the next year.

But I haven't forgotten about my other plans! And don't forget about them too. They're still there. On hiatus for the moment and waiting to be revisted at some point next year.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Return of Stalone

I was Stalone-less for the last few days.

I made the decision to use office equipment so as not to bog down Stalone with heavy graphic files. At the same time, I "gave up" Stalone for a few days to have him looked at.

During the morning of my transition at work, I transfered to an old laptop, and after about another hour, I moved to a desk top. At home I puttered around a PC.

While I enjoyed not having to lug him around everywhere, I did miss the comfort of familiarity & speed with him.

Slaves to technology we have become noh?  Withdrawals from the very things are no fun at all.

Stalone is now back and I couldn't be happier.

Monday, May 24, 2010

what the: Airplane Decorum


And since we are on the subject of airplanes.. I'd like to take up a teeny bit of cyberspace to note down a few rants I have about airplane etiquette:

  • 90% of the waiting lounge run up and board anyway when FA's call for the boarding of "mothers with children" first. 
  • Noisy people on the airplane. Though admittedly, I've probably been one of the noise makers in the past.
  • 90% of airport passengers getting up BEFORE the seatbelt sign is switched off and making a dash for their stowed luggage while the plane is taxing to a stop.
  • Celphones not being turned off & being used while in flight. And for those that do turn it off, rush to turn it on the minute you land (ok.. i do the latter sometimes too. lol
I'm sure if you give me some more time, I could probably list a few more. But the above? Ya..  it pulls my "uhg" chain every time I travel. 

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Window Seat

The novelty of sitting by the window wore off when I was a kid. My preference now a day, especially during long-hauls, are aisle seats as it is quicker access to the bathroom.

Thanks to a crazy schedule back in the day where I'd be running on an average of 3 - 4 hours of sleep a day, I used to always be dead asleep the minute I hit the chair.

I chanced on getting a window seat on a recent trip out and was awake during take off. It was late in the evening, and I glanced outside as we pulled away from the Philippines.

What I saw was pretty darn amazing! I forgot just how awesome that parting view can be and just how breathtaking a network of twinkling lights can look from up above.

Hmmm... may need to give some thought to seat preference next time I fly