Tuesday, December 25, 2007

A Merry Xmas

It has definitely been a really great year... just today... on xmas eve, my really good friend Mariko got engaged!!! - yes, let's add another one to the list this year!
Congrats to her!

I certainly feel honored since she wants me to be part of her big day and take on this project! So, i guess it will be a fun way to start the year.

Anyhow, Cheers! and a very merry xmas to all!

May everyone's wishes come true, and may everyone enjoy a very healthy, wealthy holiday filled with love.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Nothing but Good News

It's been a really long time... - so much for a Cecilia "Today" page eh?

so, where have I been in the past 6 months? Busy, really busy.

The good thing is that I have nothing but good news. Good news all over the place! Let's see, Cass, Judy, Mitch, Darius, and Angie got engaged, Michelle and Katie both got married, Amy, Jennifer, Michelle and Andrea had babies, Angela had twins, Chavez didnt win, Danny and Vic both got a place, Chung's business is growing, my website sales increased by 20% after we changed it, the database application is getting stronger, i'm about to launch a new security application, i'm currently launching a new phone system - literally NOW (i'm in the office finalizing things to launch it tomorrow at 7:30am), my sister is growing stronger, my parents visited for a while and pampered us with good food, I found tons of long lost friends through facebook who are doing incredibly well, and everybody else around me seem to be doing very well.
let's see... I also got a car, - (if you saw my earlier post this year about my 4 x 4... well no more of that - i'll tell you that, cos this time i got a real 4 x 4!)

Every time something good happened i "thought" of updating you with some news... obviously it never happened. The good thing is i've summarized everything today - just in time to start our New Year's resolution and Thank God for everything we learned this year.

well, i guess my break is over - back to work.

Talk to you soon!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

We Did It!

I can't tell you how relieved i am! The project went as smooth as I could ever imagined.

Thank you, thank you thank you.... to my guardian angel for watching over me!

and of course, thank you to those who helped me go through this project. I couldn't have done it without you!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Today is D Day

So, i've worked and worked and worked over the past year to see this moment. Today I am opening my website to the public!

Based on past experience, as bad as the previous website used to be, people would get ready to shop online as if it was a horse race. With this new website and the advertising that has been done, i'm assuming it will be ever more of a horse race with tons of espectators.

I've pushed my team to get this going and they have all come through. We've all worked hard. But it wasnt until yesterday, around 4pm. when i finally had my heart drop to my stomach because that's when i finally realized we are almost there! luckly, my anxiety only lasted a second. I was able to keep going afterwards. It was the last day, and we still had 2 major issues to fix before the site opened.

As ready as we could be, we all went home... or at least some did. I went to the local bar next to my job, and enjoyed as much as i could without getting too drunk for the next day, a few drinks.
The next morning, TODAY, i woke up at 5:30am. (so much for being afraid to not be able to wake up!) and suddenly, i had this rush in my tummy... everything seemed to turn...

SHUT!!!! A FEW MORE HOURS! it is the moment of truth.... today is the day we see if our hard work paid off!

(Deep breath).... Wish me Good Luck!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Work and work

I have spent the last 20 days working about 12 - 13 hrs a day with no break in a little tiny office where i have somehow managed to fit about 4 people at times, and where there are no windows, fresh air, tons of papers growing by the minute and little mouse droppings that appear every morning.

before the intense 20 days, about a month ago I launched my first website. Though it was many months, days and hours of brain damage, it was very rewarding in the end. I got very nice comments overall and business automatically picked up the next day! We sold about 5 packages right off the website and many catalog requests!

The website though was not the last thing in my mind. I still had an inhouse application to build. So right after the website launched i went back to the application brain mode. Too many nights staying late in the office, eating pizza, and drinking coffee.
Yesterday was the deadline, we had to rush everything to make sure things were working according to the business. which by the way - this is a heck of a business. If building an application for 2000 people who does the same routine is difficult, building an application for 150 people who has about 30 different business process per department is even worst!
On top of that, we had to do all the manuals - application processes for dummy - like and prepare for the training sessions and the planning involved.
that alone was 10 different manuals, depending on the department, what they sold, and their business rules.

In the end, after many nights bonding with my computer, getting crossed eyed and developing a secretary rear end, I am finally there... We are launching on Monday.

Needless to say, i am terrified. We have done this entire process with only 2 people inhouse. I wonder what has been left in the hole and what kind of problems will derive from it. All i can ask for is a lot of LUCK and the strength to go on.

As if 2 major changes in the business is not enough, we are also undergoing a renovation - which is why i get little presents in my office from my little Mickey friends. Renovation means that I also have to worry about this, and plan every single outlet, cable, infrastructure that the place is going to have. while planning already is a big deal, moving people around during work hours while we renovate different areas, making sure they can still work and still handle a new website and a new inhouse application makes it even BIGGER!

I really don't know how i have been able to cope with all these things and still be sane...
Though, my perception of being sane is just relative to what i see and i what i know.
Just last night, after we managed to get everything ready for Monday's launch, i told my crew to go home "early" which was about 8pm, and get a good rest. Then, i took a walk down the streets of little Italy, and i was a bit lost. I thought, i must have been so out of touch with the world, that seeing so many people on the streets was a bit weird to me.
Again this morning, i was on the streets. I couldn't explain to you how happy i was just to be able to walk under the sun, breath air and see people around... it really makes me wonder if i am still sane.

Well, here i am. Finally at home, resting one entire day - or rather doing the laundry i had not done in weeks and cleaning my place and my yard. It felt good.

So... this is it for now... Wish me Good Luck!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

I miss you my friend...

useless poems and long paragraphs. None can fulfill my one simple and real need - Just to say how much a miss you.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

A Great weekend getaway and a Diamond day to remember!

This weekend I went snowboarding at Hunter and had an awesome time.

The people I met were great (all characters!), the weather was a bit cold but tolerable, and the mountain had good snow.
Half of the people that went were first time snowboarders, so we stayed on the easy green trails until the very end when M and I decided to end the day with some fun. We decided to go up one level and do the Blue - more difficult.
One of the guys, G, decided to come along... it was his first time going on a blue trail, and a shocking experience for all of us.
Just going up the lift, he got so nervous that he sat on my spot and i had nowhere to go. His board was stuck with mine and the lift was coming onto me while i was at that point facing the lift. I saw my leg amputated at that point!!!
Then, somehow, i fell under the lift, M tried to help me and fell on top of me, and then the lift went over our heads! It was crazy!!!!!
Thank goodness for that angel that was by my side protecting us.

On the second day, we decided to keep everyone at their level.
Hells yeah! I was not planning to go though that scary moment again!
So, 5 of us went up to do our usual Blue, until the 2 experts convinced us to do the diamond...!!!
Of course, right after we finished the diamond, those 2 experts convinced us that we could do the double diamond... and 3 of us Blue goers ended up doing Double Diamonds!!!!
We were soooooo proud that we did it!!! - definitely a day to remember.

Of course, we had to end the trip with a bang and had an awesome dinner in flushing with some good old inexpensive real Chinese food!

It was definitely an awesome weekend!

Now... let's bare the pain... I am so sore that i can even lift my leg.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Not Just 3BT... but Many Beautiful Things

Today I saw many beautiful things crossing in front of my eyes...

I saw two little girls on the train, probably 2 years apart. One was probably 3 and the other 5.
They both smiled at each other, played with each other, caressed each other, leaned on each other. It was beautiful. It was sweet. It was Innocent. It was true.
I immediately thought of my sister and wanted to hug her and tell her how much I love her.

Then I went to a bday dinner. at the dinner table there were many people. tons of couples.
in each couple i saw a silent union. It was invisible but very strong. I saw how much one cared for the other. I saw connection. I saw love and affection. It was the right hand talking to the left. Silly conversations, silly touches, silly comments, silly "oh do you know what happened today on my way to work?", silly "touch my hand, is soft, why is your hand so rough? it must be the cold"
silly laughs, silly "do you remember what happened on our trip?", silly "I'm so full, should I eat one more piece?", silly "sure go ahead". silly "I can't smoke, she doesn't like it", silly "We are going on vacation next week, i'm so excited", silly "is late, we have to go. We have to do things tomorrow", silly "Do you want to go to your mom's house after this?", silly people walking down holding hands.
It was beautiful. I miss feeling silly.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Whining people drive me NUTS!

What is it with whining people?

Although I am usually very patience, calm and understanding with people's problems, this Friday I almost lost it. The light, the space, the equipment, the neighbors, the music, the chair, the people. Everything seemed to bother this person.

After complaining for God knows 7 hrs? this person knocks on my door, opens the door and interrupts a meeting despite my nice "I'm in a meeting" quick reaction. This person's response? "oh, yes i know, but... Do you know...?"
OH MY GOODNESS! this person drove me bonkers!

What do these people have in their heads???

Pheww I feel so much better!

Spares!, Hobbies and Subways

1) Acknowledging that I am horrible at bowling, but still concentrating very hard so that I can control the motion of my hand and finally hit a spare! 3 games, first score 78, second 79, thirds something low again and final score 141!

2) When you know you are trying to get things work

3) Stepping into a new subway car, admiring the new screens that they have integrated and realizing that I have a big open mouth smile!

WD50 - An interesting taste of Science cuisine.

A while back a friend of mine and I went to a restaurant where I found beautifully designed dishes, creative use and mix of ingredients and still deliciously prepared.

Chef Wylie takes me through a fascinating tasting menu that is well paired with glasses of wine.

First I had the coconut carrot sunny side up

The egg white is made out of very light coconut jelly-like. The egg yolk is made from carrot juice. What is most interesting is that the carrot juice is wrapped in a very thin film of jelly, making it jiggle like a real sunny side up!

The sea salt sprinkled over the "egg", the soft texture of the coconut and the motion of the carrot jelly makes it freakingly similar to a real egg. Clever!

As for the taste, both carrot and coconut flavors were mild. Presentation definitely impressed me a lot more on this dish.

Then I had Foie gras with a touch of candied olives, green peas powder and beet juice

The best way to enjoy this dish is to cut the Foie gras perpendicular to it. This way, you can see the beet juice flowing out of it. It was beautiful!

The green peas powder had an interesting grainy texture and a salty flavor. I didn't know what it was until I asked. The salty mix enhanced the taste of the Foie gras

Both presentation and taste were great, but a bit too rich. I had 2 glasses of wine for this dish.

My friend had a different version of the Foie gras. Since he's been to WD50 a couple of times, Wylie made something different to taste.

The hot version of Foie gras combined with cold watermelon

I enjoyed this dish more. The Foie gras was not as heavy. the bite was airy like kidney or duck blood, but the texture was soft and moist. The cold watermelon with the hot piece was a playful sensation on the tongue.

Excellent dish!

Skipping through some dishes... Then there was the clarified Miso

The clarified Miso was good but nothing i have not seen or tasted before. But the soy paste in the tube made this dish fun.

After squeezing the paste into the soup, the soy turned into airy strings of noodles.

It was exciting!

Skipping through other dishes, then we got to the dessert.
Pine, Apple and Pineapple

A delicate ice cream that taste like apple at first and as you taste through your palate it begins tasting like pineapple?

No, I'm not talking about a two flavor scoop or a swirl of ice cream where the flavors are mixed.
I'm talking about one single bite, and one flavor flourishing after the other vanishes.

How? what? huh?

The pineapple sauce to the side was a nice touch but oh MY...

My overall experience was delightful. I enjoyed every dish, and although some ingredients are of no exciting surprise because I am Asian and I know where is coming from or how it is made, i thought it was brilliant the way he put it all together.

Definitely two thumbs up!

To end this dinner with a BANG, Wylie gave us a tour in his kitchen.
What an awesome meal, place and chef!
Check it out http://www.wd-50.com/

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy Surprise Bday!

What a treat!

Last Friday my coworkers surprised me with an early cake...
turns out they got the wrong Friday and the wrong cake. Nevertheless, it was a sweet happy moment to live.

Today, my sister and D surprised me again. After going to the movies to watch a scary movie (yiack!) we head to dinner. Since nothing was planned, I just kept walking looking around for places to eat.
Strange thought #1: As I am walking, I get a quick strange feeling because we were walking as if we had a direction when we have not discussed where to eat yet. Oh well... I keep walking.
Of course, D says that there is a restaurant around the area that he found online.
strange thought #2: Researching for a place to eat is not precisely his biggest hobby. He just doesnt enjoy to eat.
strange thought #3: We arrive to the rest. As soon as i open the door, a nice seafood aroma travels through my nose... ahhhh.... it smells delicious... I never realized when D began to improve on his food skills... impressive!

As I am walking in and asking for a table, d pushes me to a crowd and everyone screams SURPRISE!!!!

what a nice Birthday... definitely 3BT

Good Company, Good Times, and Good Food!

Good Bye 2006, Welcome 2007!

Once again is that time of the year, those very last moments waiting for the ball drop, or as we would say it back home - the 12 "campanasos" (the count down of the 12 Bells).
I'm getting ready to cheer with friends and loved ones with a glass of champagne. Everyone is counting down loudly and with a big smile. At the sound of the last bell, we all scream Happy New Year! Hugs, smiles and cheers.

Suddenly, as if I was part of a cartoon, I feel like my body separates from the crowd. I close my eyes, just for a blink, and there I was taking myself back to the whole year.
I open my eyes and feel them watering... it was at that moment that I, for the first time, felt from the bottom of my heart that this passing year was the most difficult year yet and that I was just so glad it had ended.
A silent sigh, a discrete tear and a thought - I made it through!

So many things, so many lessons that make me who I am today. I am just so glad that 06 is over and i am just so eager to start a new beginning...

Cheers to 2007!