Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Things I want to write...

"In your garden of dreams many things will blossom" ~ Fortune Cookie (that I got twice ... from separate chinese food places)

Title of this blog post suggested by my cousin... cuz I couldn't think of anything. I'm not even sure what I want to write really. It's been a hectic two days of sightseeing, wedding organising and emotional family drama. I'm still confused with the time/dates (it is Tuesday right?)... and I'm tired yet relaxed... lol...

California - or Orange County, California - is pretty... apparently I brought a warm spell with me cuz it's been rainy/gloomy here till I got here - good thing for me cuz otherwise I'd have frozen. I've been sightseeing a [little] bit... Been down to CDM? Costa del Mar I believe - beach beach baby. I've been to Dana Point (and am going there tomorrow as well) - freezing cold sea water... pretty beach front. I've been to Rogers Gardens (which can totally be compared to any of those garden places seen on HGTV!) and seen flowers and plants and water features. I'm so not into the whole movie-star hunting, Hollywood-visiting tourist thing. I like nature places... and luckily there are a lot here. Californians take care of their spaces. I also visited a memorial park - it's not very far from where I'm staying (my aunt went to exercise - needs to shed a pound or two to fit into the dress she's planning on wearing to the wedding). Apart from this... I now know where the local stores (Target...Marshalls....Michaels...Joanne's... food places) are. 

Wedding organising is ... interesting? Hectic - there are a lot of little things to get done in a little space of time. My dress (I'm a bridesmaid!) has been carried to a guy to get altered (hemmed - I'm short... *sigh*) - am sure it will be done well - it's a cute old asian guy that's gonna be doing it. I got a new pair of shoes as well... tall-ish... very stable (would not do to wobble or worse during the procession). I got a pedicure with my aunt :) We've also been getting decorations/wedding favours/bridesmaid & groomsmen stuff... weddings are a lot of work. 

Have been thinking about that - my cousin has been waffling - wedding is on - then off - then on. There's a lot of stuff going on that I'm not getting into. It has made me think about my own perspective on marriage and .. mates. I don't think people should get married unless they're sure that they'll be supported and can provide support to their partners. I also think people need to know themselves before they're ready to share themselves with others. Am not sure how many people do this though. It's perhaps why I'm not partnered up with anyone at this time. I like being on my own... and I haven't met anyone that I think will understand/support me in the way that I want. I'm also not sure that I can handle sharing my life at this time either.

I think just being here and involved with this bit of family drama is making me re-evaluate myself - my thoughts on relationships and partnerships. It's perhaps a bit more than expected on this trip but I'm taking it as a learning experience. 

Highlights of trip so far:
  • Walking along the beach and freezing my toes in the waters of the Pacific
  • Total amazement at the size and awesomeness of Rogers Gardens
  • Jacuzzi - need I say more?
  • Finding the same fortune - message from the Universe? (playing the numbers in the lottery)
  • Finding a memorial to a guy younger than me :S
  • Baby yarn :)
  • Perfect pair of shoes
  • Tiny Asian guy calling me short
peace,
Ren

Monday, January 17, 2011

Travelling Karma - Holy mother I am in California!

"The way is not in the sky, the way is in the heart. For the traveler who knows his direction, there is always a favorable wind." ~Stuart Avery Gold

I have no idea what time it is... while I can look at the clock here and it says it's 9:39 my body clock is off. I'm still working on Trini time (it's 1:39am - already Monday there). 

Travelling is an adventure and I like it :) It may be tiring but it's never frustrating to me... it's a bit of an adrenaline rush. I'm also lucky that I have really good travelling karma... and by that I mean that things flow smoothly for me... I've never had any kinda drama with flight delays or immigration. In fact, when I'm travelling locally (home sweet home) it's fairly easy for me to get taxis or buses or reach where I need to reach on time. I am blessed. Thank you Universe for the gift of good travelling karma. 

Without this gift, I'm not sure how smoothly my trip to California would have been. I was up at 4 am. Left home at 5 am (ok.. really that was the intent - left home at 5.15). Left Trinidad at 7.30 am. After that time got messed up for me. I think Miami is an hour behind due to daylight savings time? Anyway. Miami International Airport? Seriously huge. Whoever built that or is responsible for it needs to figure out a way to move people around quickly. It's a good thing I'm friendly - I made friends with a woman in the seat next to me (I know that she was born in Tobago but has been living in Florida for the past 16 years - this was her first visit back to T&T in that time - I don't however know the woman's name - somehow did not get  around to finding that out). Thank you Lady-Whatever-Your-Name-Was. Not only did she give me a book to read on my other flights (free book!!!) but she helped me figure out the complete craziness that is Miami International Airport. International visitors are required to clear customs and collect baggage and then recheck baggage before getting the connecting flight - this would be easy if the places to do this were within a few feet of each other. Unfortunately, they are miles apart (I swear - MILES). I only had a one hour window to do this as between landing time and boarding time for the next flight was one hour (I think?) ... Thankfully unknown lady helped me figure out where customs was ... where d baggage claim was... that I'd need to race towards my departing gate. Also, thankfully, I had a nice immigrations/customs person who was not in any way disturbed by my frantic bubbly-ness (frantic cuz I wasn't sure about the timing...bubbly-ness cuz he asked what was my purpose for being in the US and I excitedly started talking about wedding & being a bridesmaid & etc... ergh)... anyway luckily this all went smoothly. Where I nearly missed my connecting flight? MIA gates are MILES away from each other. I arrived at my departure gate (huffing and out-of-breath) just as final boarding was being called. Yay. 

Dallas/Fort Worth airport was much easier to handle. Had enough time to get from arrival gate to place with food to departure gate. Santa Ana/John Wayne airport? Even easier! Like I told my mom - MIA=XXX (huge) DFW=XX (not so huge= medium-sized) SNA=X (small - time taken from departing plane to getting baggage and ready to leave airport? 10 mins max). 

The flights themselves? Pretty good... Flying is ok (and pretty - I like looking out of the windows and seeing the clouds below). Taking off and Landing? Not so ok... but manageable. 

Today my aunt took me down to the beach for a brief walk (we were on our way to church)... amazingly beautiful and there'll be pics to prove it on my flick account sometime in the future. Was surprised to find out that it's a pretty serious church-going area (today is Sunday - a lot of people were at different churches we passed along the way). Also went down to Chinatown in LA - didn't find what we were looking for really but it was good sight seeing... I like that the US is so huge... strange? idk... it seems like everything goes on forever.

We've been ole-talking too. In a way it's like being with my mom (I'm staying with my mom's youngest sister - her daughter's getting married!!!)... and in a way it isn't. It's when I'm away that I realise just how close I am to my immediate family (mom/dad/brother) cuz I'll find something I want to show/tell them and they're not here to share with. Ah well. 

So. I'm in California... It's amazing so far. :) 

Highlights of trip to date:


  • Racing through MIA towards departure gate - comfortable shoes ftw! (stopping to ask airport personnel for help and having them go 'oh u're a trini! yes i'm sure we can get u through the lines faster! bless them cuz otherwise i'd never have made it)
  • Broccoli-cheese soup and a fruit plate from TGIF in DFW (cuz of course I must mention food)
  • Getting to SNA and realising that from getting off plane to getting baggage = < 10 mins
  • Bridesmaid dress that fits like a dream (except that it needs hemming - I be short)
  • View of the Pacific ... Oh wow!
  • Serene peacefulness in a Mormon church
  • Smelling soap at Marshall's
  • Dragons painted on the road as crosswalks in Chinatown
  • Talking with girl cousin about wedding plans
I totally encourage travelling - even if you have to just cross the road and visit a neighbour - do it. 

peace,
Ren

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kinda.. sorta.. in-between?

"A traveler am I, and a navigator, and every day I discover a new region within my soul." ~Kahlil Gibran

I'm feeling a bit .. hazy. Not quite sure how to describe it. Tomorrow I leave for California - it's an all-day travelling experience from Piarco to Miami to Dallas to Santa Ana. It takes me back 4 hours in time... California is apparently 4 hours behind us. Am excited/thrilled/happy to be travelling and going somewhere new and meeting up with people... at the same time I'm anxious/tired/stressed cuz I'm wondering what's gonna happen here with my family and tired cuz it's been very hectic getting tickets (which increase in price constantly) and organising funds and arranging for leave and stressed cuz it's new... yes I do like meeting new ppl and old ppl that are new cuz I haven't seen them in so long but it's still somewhat stressful to me.

Yesterday was the anniversary of my grandma's death (on my mom's side) - I'd never have remembered if my brother hadn't been grumbling that my mom had been moody all day and then she grumped that well it was the day of her mom's death so she was allowed to be grumpy. I don't remember death days. Birthdays -yes... anniversaries - sometimes... death days? barely. It feels kinda strange to be going to a wedding now of my cousin who was close to my grandparents and not have them be there. Time passes and we forget yet remember.

It's also the 60th anniversary of my secondary school... Holy Faith Convent (Couva) was the first secondary school in Central Trinidad... my mom, her sisters, my cousins and I have gone there... Last night on the news they were showing clips of the school and students and etc. I remember what it was like to go there, the classes and the uniforms and the friendships. I had, I think, a pretty calm school life... very little drama, lots of fun days... When you're in them you think of what's ahead and it's only when it's gone that you wish you'd taken the time to treasure it more.

I'm in a mood. Nostalgic? Hmm.. maybe. Saving up the energy to fully enjoy and appreciate the next two weeks away from work and home. The thing about it is that I would enjoy it just as much if my home ppl were going too. Ah well.

I'm gonna be a bridesmaid ;)

peace,
Ren

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ramblings of a tired person - a tale of crying... California... and being cut.

"Here is the test to find whether or not your mission on earth is finished: If you are alive, it isn’t." ~Richard Bach 

It's 12:26 am and I'm blogging. Why? Because I've got ideas of blog posts floating around in my head and the longer I leave it the longer the eventual post will be. As it is now I'll try to keep it short due to the late hour and the fact that I have to be up early to organise breakfast & lunch and [try to] get to work on time.  

I'm coming off of a dark weekend - in the sense that there was a lot of stress and crying and emotional drama - not necessarily all mine though I still felt drawn into it. While experiencing Friday night ,in particular, I kept thinking of the term 'dark night of the soul' - some searching can get you a better idea of what that is if you're curious. My mama was most unwell. If you've been following this blog you'll know she's been doing chemo, if you haven't been - my mom's doing chemo. Cancer sucks people.. as do the side-effects brought on by treatment. If you're healthy now, then really, do your best to stay that way. My mom is a random case - we're vegetarian, she doesn't smoke or do alcohol, she exercises [somewhat] - I guess it's just karma...which in this case is a bitch. Or maybe there's some reason for her having to experience these experiences... whatever it is we don't know. What I do know is that it's hard being a cancer co-survivor (the term given to people that support cancer survivors) though I'm sure it's much harder being a cancer survivor. It is hard to see someone you love in pain and not be able to do something about it.. besides provide what comfort you're capable of. Sometimes just being there is not enough when the person you're being-there-for is crying and in pain and questioning life and what it's about. Add that to the fact that I was *still* working on the dissertation (down-to-the-wire with that - though I've handed it in I'm still not sure it makes sense) and Friday night - seriously energy-draining.

Saturday and Sunday? Not so bad. Though I did have some issues with my dad - am actually not quite sure what's happening with us as we usually get along/understand each other fairly well - it's just that he's aggravating the cheerfulness out of me. Idk what's going on there.

On a happy note though... I'm going to be a bridesmaid! My cousin's getting married! and perhaps it's the fact that I'm female that the thought of a wedding instantly cheers me up some? I've had to wrangle with my supervisor and the HR department (sometimes HR is evil) to get my vacation leave (which is legally mine! not sure why there was wrangling needed in the first place! hmph). I do have leave though.. and so I'm off to California next week. Wedding! It's so much more exciting to find out about flights and transportation and where we'll stay (two of my other cousins are going as well) and what we'll be doing and what we'll wear than to do normal stuff... like work. Though I am trying to do the cleaning of my room thing as part of a yay-I'm-going-to-California! type thing. 

My only anxiety about this event? Strapless bridesmaid dress. I have no muscles. Not even a hint. I distinctly  remember back in 2009 having fabulously defined [but not too defined] muscles. Then...2010...a year filled with office work + working towards an MBA. Can a person get cut in 5 days? Can a person get a hint of muscle tone? *Sigh* I am flab. I shall be the pocket-sized flabby bridesmaid. Ergh. Oh wait..I shall be the pocket-sized flabby bridesmaid with goosebumps... apparently it's about 12 degrees celsius there... 12... I start losing functionality at 17... *sigh* Anyway... I shall be packing clothes for layering - because really...Wedding! In California! With family I haven't seen in ages! - it's funny how you can go without seeing people for years and then when you do you fall back in as if you'd seen them yesterday...

So. Hello adventure! Goodbye drama! I know there'll be some another time again but it's ok... and if you're reading this mom - seriously nothing to be sorry about - I love you. 

peace,
Ren

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Interesting Read: New beginnings: 01012011

"Numerology is the study of the symbolism of numbers. It is used to determine a person’s personality, strengths and talents, obstacles, inner needs, emotional reactions and ways of dealing with others." - Astrology.com 

 

  1. A New Beginning With 1/1/11   

  2. 1/11/11: The Missing Piece

  3. Repeating Numbers

cuz the date's interesting is all...


peace,

Ren

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Interesting Read: Things babies born in 2011 will never know...

I know of three babies that are gonna be born in 2011. They will never know these things... it boggles the mind. I remember when there was no internet and there were huge boxy cell phones - technology moving at faster and faster paces I think. What will it be like ten, twenty, thirty years from now? 

It's an interesting article: Things babies born in 2011 will never know

peace,
Ren

Happy New Year!!!

"Begin today. Declare outloud to the universe that you are willing to let go of struggle and eager to learn through joy." ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

Happy New Year! Many blessings to you and yours - health, happiness, hope and all good things :)

I did say that I'd do a happy new year's post when I was feeling better. Whilst I'm still not at 100 % (I'm on antibiotics - I still have to hand in this dissertation)... I feel somewhat lighter. This may be because I've cut my hair or the changing of the moon (new moon was Tuesday) or because I bought a new pair of shoes. Whatever it is... I'm not grumpy. Yay!

What does the new year mean for you? Is it a time of change? Of promise? Of letting go or planning? I'm just letting things be for a while. Was kinda crazy with the being-sick-and-fed-up-of-school-and-work... just waiting to see how things are at the moment. I'm not making resolutions but I am making a to-do list... Not the same thing really... If I don't get things done then there's always another time - no guilt at breaking anything or stopping or such. Things shall happen in their own time.

And so, here's my to-do list for this year 2011 (not in any particular order):
  1. Practice patience - with people, animals, events, myself
  2. Blog, blog, blog - cuz writing helps keep me from getting too into my head
  3. Photo-take, photo-take, photo-take - cuz it brings me joy - in fact you can see how my new year's day went here: New Year!
  4. Travel (travel, travel) - cuz it's exciting and fun... so travel - far & wide
  5. Win the lotto
  6. Find a job that is more fulfilling, creative and easy on the eyes (say no to 8hrs at the computer)
  7. Clean my room.. regularly.. get rid of stuff that I don't need / have not used in some time
  8. Pay more attention to my health: physical, mental, spiritual
  9. Give love to my family & friends
  10. Practice spontaneity... live in the moment 
I hope you have a fabulous year ahead :) all the best for 2011!

love,
Ren

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bitch. Moan. Sigh. Breathe.

"You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, I release the need for this in my life."  ~
Wayne Dyer

This is probably not the best way to start the new year. But. I feel the need to scream. Except that if I tried then I'd be unsuccessful - screaming isn't exactly something one does when one has the flu/cold/virus - mucus: not one's friend. I ache all over. Should've stayed in bed today but I'm trying to be a good employee and turn up for the first day of the work-year (I'm applying for 2 weeks off at the end of January - if I'm here now then there shouldn't be any problem with letting me leave then... right?). I realise that I'm the ONLY one in my MBA class to think so though. No one has gone to work today. Why? Dissertation due in tomorrow. Even those rare persons that are finished are at home making sure all be well with it. Ergh. I'm not done. It is currently the bane of my existence. Seriously. Bane. B.A.N.E. Such a bad word - makes you wonder about those parents that name their children that. My head hurts. Does anyone really care about epistemology and ontology and the like? How many persons know what that is? Does knowing what it is make me a better person in any way? Meh. Bad morning kinda. Yes, dad, I am aware that this happens everytime I have a major assignment to hand in. Perhaps I'm not the person to be doing assignments that need to be handed in? Last night I had a flash back to Form 5 ... I seem to remember doing my Principles of Accounts SBA in three days before the due date. Oy. My eyes hurt. Why is the sun so bright today? or is it that I'm constantly on the computer or reading or such? My ears hurt. Why does the dog bark so loud? why does he not remember which gate he has gone out from? Yes, mom, I know he's just an animal. Just an animal does not cut it this morning. Tears in my oatmeal - I think perhaps I should suggest to theoatmeal to do a comic on the stresses of getting a dissertation/thesis/paper/anything done when you don't really give a hoot. I should give a hoot... ? Maybe. Perhaps I should suggest it to hyperbole and a half as well. I'd really just like to go back to bed. My insides hurt. Because of course now is the time when I should feel like there are tiny people carving out my insides with pickaxes or cutlasses or whatever. Yay world.

*sigh*

*SIGH*

So I'll write a happy Happy New Year! post sometime later this week. When I feel somewhat alive - and happy.

peace,
Ren