October 31, 2005

Parachute

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


I'm currently reading What Color Is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles. It's pretty good so far...I'm still waiting to learn how to do a life-changing job-hunt. At the end of chapter 6, he says: 'You only have one life here on this earth, and that life is yours to say how it will be spent, or not spent. Parents, well-meaning friends, etc. get no vote. Just you.'

My parents aren't exactly thrilled about me being here, but right now I love my life. I love living in London, there are always things to do/see and it's super convenient for travelling. It's expensive and I wouldn't live here forever, but it's good for now. K my job is not ideal BUT I can come in whenever I want in the morning, as long as it's before 9:30; I take my lunch break whenever I want, I can even go over and no one is around to keep track anymore; I get to prioritise my own day; and my salary though measly pays for my travels. Speaking of travels I am SO stoked about my plans for the next few months.

December: Christmas Markets in Cologne...it's going to be SO amazing. There are four Christmas markets in the city and we are staying at Wasserturm (popularity index of 3 on tripadvisor!). That's right...a 5 star ex-water tower. Woohoo!

Christmas/New Years: Egypt! We finally booked our tour and flight, I was getting a bit worried! We're going to Cairo, Luxor and Aswan...see the great Pyramids, Abu Simbel, the temple of Horus...take a donkey ride to the Valley of the Kings, a horse-drawn carriage ride to the Karnak Temple, and 3 days cruising down the nile. It's going to be awesome!

February/March: 2.5 weeks in Italy and Greece! We're flying out on my birthday actually, and land smack in the middle of the Venice Carnival! We plan to travel around Italy and then take the ferry over to Greece...check out Athens and a couple of the Greek Islands.

I love having things to look forward to.

Happy Halloween!

No trick or treaters yet...phew! I wouldn't want the dodgy kids in my neighbourhood knocking on my door. Earlier this year I was robbed of my ipod mini only minutes from my house by some stupid kid on a bike. Scenarios such as this are also not uncommon:

Little Toddler - (sitting on a ledge) Give me some money.
Me - (look of disbelief)
Little Toddler - Give me some money!
Me - No!
Little Toddler - (holding up a rock) I'll throw this at you.
Me - (walking away at a brisk pace)

Little monsters they are...hmph

October 18, 2005

And...let there be light!

This morning I reached to turn on my light, there was a flash and then all went dark. The lightbulb's burnt out, I'll just replace it, easy 30 second job. Mais non! I could not remove my lightbulb for some strange reason until finally I pulled it out along with the metal thing that holds the bulb. Lightbulbs are not just screwed in here. I fiddled with it for 1/2 hour and could not for the life of me get it back in. Frustrated and late, I left for work.

Work was ok today. My colleague and I have taken over most of the project management duties. We had our first look at the project plan only a week ago (I know, ridiculous ain't it) and not only was it unkept, it was inaccurate. I had Microsoft Project installed on my PC and I'm currently going through and updating the plan. It looks like the finish date is going to slip some more, but we can't be blamed for the previous mismanagement of the project. Looking at the work that's been handed over, I have to shake my head. I knew my team leader had not been doing much, but I had no idea how LITTLE she actually did. We're currently training a new team member and I have to say, it is taking up a lot of time. I think I expected her to pick things up a little quicker; maybe I just don't realise how much there is to learn and know. Anyway I have decided that I hate my company and I'm leaving them. I just have to find a new job first.

Had lunch with Chris today at Leather Lane. Yummy, yummy curry...seriously the best green curry I have ever had. I decided to add celery to my usual cup of fresh juice. I think I like it without, and a bit less ginger too. After work I stopped by Sarah's to visit. The poor girl, in one month she has had a kidney infection followed by a knee dislocation. Her work contract is ending in a week and a half; but she's now in a cast and can't go in.

So I finally made it back home around 8. My wonderful, wonderful flatmate 'borrowed' the lightbulb metal thing from somewhere in the house and now I have light in my room again. :)

October 15, 2005

Lost My Iron Ring

I've lost my iron ring. Sadness!! Today I went on a daytrip to Rye with Sarah. When we got there, we stopped by the information centre and that is when I looked down and saw my right hand sans my iron ring! There was nothing on my right pinky, where my iron ring had been for the past 1.5 years. I never EVER take it off, but I play with it a lot and have found it off my finger a number of times. Once when I was at work, I left my desk for a bit and when I came back, I saw my iron ring on my desk. I didn't even remember taking it off. Scary eh? I didn't remember taking it off my finger yesterday or today. Sigh...now I have nothing to show for my 4 years of hard work. My right hand feels so very naked.

October 14, 2005

Musicals!

I am musical-struck...in the past little while I have seen...

Guys and Dolls
This was fantabulous! Front row seats, though off to the side, the view was amazing. We could see the beads of sweat on Ewan McGregor's face. Jane Krakowski was Adelaide, and she was awesome. I remember her mostly from Ally McBeal. She was really cute, and she really sounded like she had a cold! Douglas Hodge played Nathan Detroit and he was really good as well, absolutely hilarious.

Woman in White
This is an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and it totally reminded me of Phantom of the Opera. I really enjoyed it, both the music and storyline were good. For some reason I knew the song I Believe My Heart, must have heard it somewhere.

Fame
This was a fun musical, loved the dancing! It was funny to see some of the actors trying to put on a North American accent. Some were good, but some couldn't get rid of their Liverpool accent (that's right I can distinguish between some British accents now).

Next on my list: Billy Elliot, The Producers, Mary Poppins..I wouldn't mind seeing Les Mis again.

Next month I'm going to see Richard II at the Old Vic Theatre. This will be the third play with Kevin Spacey I'll have seen! Please note: I am not a huge Kevin Spacey fan or anything. I liked him in The Negotiator and um that's about it.

October 05, 2005

Painting Calms Me

I painted for the first time today since elementary school! It was fun. The theme was summertime and we used acrylic paint on canvas. I liked mixing colours, pushing the globs of paint around, blending and creating different shades of blue, green, orange.. My painting was inspired by the night photo I took in the Cotswolds. I used a beautiful dark blue...then I tried to add stars but they didn't look too good so I turned them into clouds. It's not done yet, I'll continue with it next week.

Today was my team leader's last day! We got her some pretty good leaving gifts, my colleague had to make the speech because I really could not think of anything (nice) to say. I mean these few days have been better, and maybe who knows, we may keep in touch. But I had been unhappy for so long.

Tomorrow a new starter joins our team. I helped interview her and basically gave my approval because a) she's keen and b) these positions need to be filled as soon as possible so I can make my escape. This lady has 27 years of working experience...that is more than my current age.

My team leader's parting words to me were that the manager was considering promoting one of us (me or my colleague) to her old position. He hadn't in the past, because he thought someone was coming in to replace her. I'd like to put my CV forward, but I'm kinda scared. I now have the most experience on the project and I can lead a team, but I don't know about managing people. I have been talking to my colleague but I'm not sure exactly how interested she is in the role. And if we both apply for it, then it might change our relationship...or maybe it won't...but it'll be direct competition! Sigh, I've decided that I have been in my position for almost a year now (my anniversary is a week today!) and I'm ready for new challenges, whether that means moving up or moving somewhere else to another team.

October 03, 2005

I need a new mobile!

So I had my eye on the Sony Ericsson W800i. It's got a 2 megapixel camera, an MP3 player which comes with 512 MB of memory and an FM radio which I can use when I commute! That is the main appeal of the phone...so I won't have to get a separate mp3 player!

Then I started to consider the Sony Ericsson K750i which is practically the same phone but cheaper. However it doesn't come with that much memory which I'd have to upgrade, and it doesn't have a one touch button which takes you directly to the mp3 player but I have been told it can be programmed. On the good side, it's black (which I like) and similar to the W800i in that it has a 2 megapixel camera and FM radio.

THEN I saw the Samsung D600 which is just so cute! It has a 2 megapixel camera, however no radio or large memory. But it looks so good! And I think I can get a decent contract.

THEN I saw the Sony Ericsson W550 which is even cuter! Well maybe...it's definitely a strong contender. It's only got a 1.3 megapixel camera but I have my digi if I want to take nice photos anyway. This is a swivel phone and only comes with 256 MB of memory, but I can always upgrade and it comes with FM radio too. It's not out yet, so I'd have to wait a little while longer. I recently cancelled my current contract (hurray) and have about twenty days to transfer my number.

Came across a funny article on How Steve Jobs snookered the entire cell phone industry.

October 01, 2005

Busy Week

It's been an expensive couple of days. People leaving means cards, collections, lunches, dinners, drinks etc. Yesterday my colleague had her baby shower, which was a lot of fun. Apparently it's a North American thing, people here don't really baby showers. My colleague had some of her school and uni friends there; it reminded me of my own girlfriends back home. They were all very nice...my team leader oh my goodness. I don't like being at social events with her, cos she embarrasses me! Without trying to...or maybe trying to. Meh. Anyway, everyone there was in their thirties except for me. I read in the paper the other day that women now are not getting married or even having children til really late in life, if at all. And I definitely see that. One of my colleagues said that you're only as young as the person you date haha...

On Thursday, my team went out to Dion, a champagne bar near St. Paul's for lunch. The food was ok, I had prawn skewers and curly fries. We had champagne, which was 10 quid a glass, but sigh it was very lovely. Then my team leader had her leaving do. I had originally planned on going for an hour or two max, but ended up staying til the end. I was chatting with people I used to work with, a lot of whom have moved on now. I was kinda mixing my drinks...had a smirnoff ice, then some cider, then bacardi and coke...then cranberry juice but an ex-colleague poured champagne into it without me knowing. It was a good time. And I felt surprisingly well the next morning.

On Wednesday I went to the Alumni's Night at Canada House. Lots of Canadian grads...I talked to people from other universities, even this professor at Imperial College who went to York. But the Queen's grads who were there...they were kinda blah. There was a guy who had just flown in from his ten year reunion. I asked him how it was...his response: I was drunk...yah...happily drunk at AJs... I don't know...those events seem like such good ideas at the time. But I rarely find people I really connect with.

Tuesday was the No Fit circus down by Tower Bridge. It was really neat...artsy I'd say, not traditional at all. You could basically stand anywhere you wanted, and all the acts/shows went on around and above you. I had not been to anything like that before, so I thought it was pretty interesting. The popcorn there was good too haha.

I managed to drag myself out of bed this morning around 10ish and did some laundry. I'm going to meet up with Rach down in Angel a little later, and do some shopping. Then tonight I'm checking out China White! Apparently it's got a bit of a reputation...I haven't gone out in a while so it should be fun hehe.