Mar 28, 2015

Quick Post

Tomorrow I'm flying to Hungary, and today... well, today, right now, it's quite late. I had thought about writing some about scarves and hell weeks, but truth to be told, I'm kinda tired and I'm not really in the mood to write about that. It's a great topic, but not for right now. Maybe tomorrow, is the connection at the airport(s) is good enough, I'll tell you about it.

I'm traveling quite light. As a matter of fact, I'm basically carrying nothing but the luggage I'll fill up with stuff and a sachet with my documents, filofax, phones, laptop and cables. No, really, that's all I'm carrying. The process is starting: I'm moving my life back to Costa Rica, where I hope to build a home with gables... because I'm not giving up on my gables.

Two weeks, I wonder already what will these two weeks bring along. Curious? Well, stay tuned! ^_^

Mar 17, 2015

I'm Not My Gender!

St. Patrick's Day, one of my favorite holidays, even if it's not a holiday observed here. Well, my favorite holiday of all is Halloween, and that's not observed here either, but that has never stopped me, has it? I'd be delighted to write to you about St. Patrick's Day and how much I love it, and how I like to prepare for it (except that this year I realized only after I was in the car, on the way to the office, clad all in maroon, not in green. I did change later on to green, so not all was lost!), but what drives me to the keyboard of my netbook is something else entirely. Today I felt insulted by a sexist comment.

It all happened during lunch time. At the office we have a microwave for our area, in which all of us heat our food, and then proceed to go wherever we choose to go to eat. I normally don't eat with my coworkers because when I eat with someone is a friend of mine from days past, and when I'm not, I take the opportunity to have some moments with a book. I'm currently reading "Chesapeake 1880", which has great parts and others rather poorly done. Anyway, as sometimes happen, when I went to heat my meal someone's meal was already in the microwave. No biggie, I put my food in the queue and then went to the bathroom, expecting for the microwave to be free when I was done. Indeed the program had ended when I came back, but the owner of the food contained had not removed the food. I opened the oven to remove it and place it on top of the microwave, but the damned thing was too hot to hold. I did try but it was too hot and I knew I wouldn't be able to touch it. So I asked who the owner of the container was, so that person would remove the scalding container. The owner wasn't far from there - could have actually removed the container in time, since he was in distance to hear the beep.

"Here," he said handing me some paper napkins "take it out."
"No," I said moving out of the way "it's too hot for me to touch."

And here comes The Comment. My coworker actually said: "Too hot? You are a woman! You should be used to! I bet your mother-"

I didn't let him continue.

"I'm a person like anyone else, and I resist heat just like any other person."
"You are a woman," he insisted "what kind of woman are you? Sure your mother could handle that!" (He has never seen my mother, nor has ever heard of her, mind you.)

Honestly, I found the comment insulting, the sheer idea that just because I'm a woman I should be trained for the kitchen, unlike my male counterparts, who need not to deal with any kitchen task, nor need to be trained to endure heat on the hands. I did tell him that his comment was sexist and I found it insulting, with those words, the words "sexist" and "insulting" included in the message, and he simply insisted, as if he were right in his assertion and my being insulted were nothing but some stupid words from an ignorant woman who forgets where is her place in society. I deigned him not to any more of my attention.

Now, I'd like to make something clear: I'm not being picky or delicate, my not being fighty or radical-feminist, I'm being honest, and I am entitled to feel insulted when someone thinks that just because I happen to have been born female I'm less or different by default from my male counterparts regarding anything other than my particular function in the reproductive scheme. First and foremost, I'm a person. The 4% of my chromosomes do not define me entirely. The fact that - reproductively speaking, I'm a "life carrier" instead of a "life impregnator" do not define me. I'm a person, a mind, a soul a spirit, and my body, its shape, its form, its age, its gender are but the vessel my mind uses to move around the world. Yes, quite a great vessel, which I love, and comes with a lot of perks, like senses and sensations and all sorts of things to experiment with, but neither of those qualities are what makes me, me. I'm not automatically happier because I'm a brunet, I'm not automatically a sharp shooter because my eyes are dark. I'm not smarter because I'm not too tall, I'm not automatically temperamental because my skin is Creole or I'm half Latin. I don't automatically know how to handle babies because I'm a woman. I do not automatically know how to cook because I'm a woman. No, I'm who and what I am because I'm a person and I've grown into who I am through a sequence of choices based on what I've lived and what I've learned from my experiences. Not because I'm a woman, or Christian, or half-Hungarian or 5-foot-4.

I'm no different from any other person of the world. We are all different, but neither of us is this way or that way "because we have been born this or that". We are who we are because of our decisions, not because the fatalistic view some still ascribe to because for them it's much easier to imagine all the same, treat them the same, ignore them the same, instead of taking the time to know each person for whom they are, and understand that you can't box people up because of whatever a given chromosome has made them to be.

Let's stop generalizing, let's start knowing each other. Let's stop insulting, let's start understanding. We are not our chromosomes, we are not our ethnicity, we are not our religion, we are who we have chosen to be, and I've chosen to be a Person. Treat me so.

Mar 11, 2015

Scarves

Day 4 of Hell Week and all I'm thinking of is pizza. Damned, this stupid diet makes you hungry! So I'll talk to you about something else: scarves.

Scarves, scarves, scarves, a simple (or not so simple) piece of fabric that can do wonders for your attire. And about which many conceptions exist. I've friends who love them and pretty much can't go out of their home without one, like Trish, and others who can't resist anything constraining their necks, like Sonja. Others have a "meh" attitude: good if you have it, good if you don't. However, if you are like me, you are the kind of person that has "scarf seasons" and ... whatever other season that strikes your fancy when one strikes you. I've had my on and off with scarves for a while now - except in winter, in Hungary where I'm not crazy enough to leave home without a scarf, mind you - and recently I decided that it was about time to bring back in full force the scarf season.

Source: From Google
The first thing that's great about scarves is the scarves themselves. Their different lenghts their colors and textures, their flow, it's all just marvelous! Some months ago I went out with a friend of mine, Noha, and ended up in a store where I was ultimately seduced by a bright yellow, soft, cotton infinity scarf. Have used it since, of course, but it was more a matter of having that thing of beauty than actually thinking of how can I wear it or whether I've anything to wear it with.

A small drawer in an IKEA sectioned closet organizer houses all of my scarves, which admitedly isn't much space (I really need a whole house for my own to deal with the amount of things I have. My mom is right in there.) and among them I have rather simple pieces, souvenir scarves from trips, some old synthetic shalws that still keep their beauty, many, many pashminas (and those are not all of my pashminas, mind you. I had a "pashmina season" some years ago), and some quite special pieces, like a purple silk scarf I've got on Finnair, which is beautiful and deceivingly warm.

Source: Google
I have never been much about the scarves and how to wear them, as I usually just wrap them around and try not to choke myself on them, but this time around, since I have some problematic pieces that are hard to wrap around properly without them taking over my head, I decided to check out a few tutorials on how to wear a scarf. Wow. There are so many ways! And there are ways for all of the types of scarves I have... except for my exceedingly long pashminas --- I have to keep investigating on that area.

Anyway, I decided that, since I have the scarves and the will to wear them, now armed with the knowledge to do so, I'll go into a scarf season and see how it goes. The weather isn't too hot ot humid here to make the wearing of a contraption around your neck uncomfortable, and today I've been feeling so awesome with one of my most difficult pieces so nicely set around my neck ^_^ ...except for the dark cloud of stupid Hell Week. Oh well, that's all for alleged health and getting a nice weight. I plan on pigging out with pizza the day after, just as an act of revenge, but other than that, yay! Scarves!

Mar 8, 2015

Hell Week

After a month with shake-days, February was my "go back to food with vengeance" month, which ended up making me gain some weight. Not too much, but enough to make my nutritionist decide to put me on a special diet program, which I call "hell week". And hell week starts today.

Hell Week is about a whole week of planned meals, and by "planned" I mean specifically planned. Not like so far where I only had general directions like "2 carbs, 2 proteins, 2 veggies" and so on, but a specific composition of things, such as 60 grs of chicken and 1 cup of tomato salad. It's not really - so far - a diet that makes me hungry, but what I don't like very much is the fact that I can't eat whatever I want, but I have to eat specific stuff. For a whole week. Hn... I wonder how will this end up. Oh well, we will see in a week.

Mar 1, 2015

A Heavy Week

This week has been... a little bit of a mess, so this entry will be short. Short. It can't really say that my week was busy or full, but it has been full of stuff and... things. I've been running after some stupid copier guy who was supposed to get my a text xeroxed by Tuesday but had it by Friday, and did some damage on the original text. Work hasn't been the satisfying thing it had been in the past, and the strain of fighting to keep my position on certain things drains me quite some. I've been waking up late and tired everyday, and have been going to bed beaten up and wishing for vacations. What had happened this week???? It's like there have been a bull sitting on me all week long. It got me quite down, truth to be told. Can only hope this week that begins will be much lighter for me than the one I just left behind myself.

I did have a little of fun too, so don't worry. Carrie, Kate and I met at Carrie's and watched some episodes of Love Stage, Binan Koukou Chikyuu Bouei-Bu Love and Vikings. We had fun chatting, eating and sharing stories. I was surprised that Carrie's younger sister took time to talk to me. As far as I knew it, she didn't like me much, but yesterday she talked a lot to me about a lot of social topics, including some painful things of her personal life. Wow. I must say, I was quite taken aback by her. Was that for real? All of it? Kate made it, but got there rather late. We are all worried about her.

Oh well, this is it. I've some work, some projects, but all I want to do is read some. I need some rest.

Feb 22, 2015

Time in and out of the Office

It's getting close to 10 pm and I find myself fixing the legs of my cord pants for tomorrow. This is one of those things when you are glad you know how to sew, and that your mom (or someoone else) taught you how to sew hems. It's a last minute fixing that you need to make things easier the next day. And it's Sunday, tomorrow is Monday, first day of work of the week, and I'm spending my already last hours of weekend preparing for work. Shall I say, already working?

This week has been quite some piece of work. From stressful meetings, and expectations, to some incredible procrastination about my own projects, it has all been upside down. I must make sure to get back on track this week, regarding both my studies as well as my tracking of my spending, and setting my files up to date. My letters are also starting to accumulate, so I have to find the time to fit those in my schedule as well. Sometimes it's all a matter of not being in the right mood to do things, but for some things, well, you don't need a "right mood", you just need to do things, and so I'll do my best to do things and get them going. Nothing better for the soul than a well working, oiled life machinery. Oh, how steampunkish of me!

The thing with life is that, sometimes, the different spheres of your life seem to collide. Not so much like your job gets into your social life or something, that your coworkers are also your friends or that your social life takes a toll on your family life or love life, but more like there's a part of your life that overwhelms you so much you can't let it go for a second and thus it starts affecting all other spheres of your life. This year I realized, among other things, that my work life consumes a great part of all the other spheres of my life. Thus, as a project (along with blogging more and trying to journal more), I decided to use my Witches' Datebook as a work-free journal of sorts. Not a journal like a diary, but maybe more like a calendar or almanac... I really have no idea how to properly name it, but it's my "record book", where week after week I write down the appointments I have that are not work related, or the plans I have about my friends, or exercise, studies. I don't write much about them, and make sure to use lots of colors to make it fun hand pretty. The point of it isn't to use it as a planner, but since I usually consult the datebook daily for all sorts of funny information (Pagan festivities, color correspondences, moon phases, astrological information, etc.), I also get to check a planner on daily basis that helps to remind me that my life is more than the hours I clock at the office.

Sometimes we are so sucked up by one sphere of our life, that we forget we are complex creatures, souls with many faces and many lives, and so, when things are hard in one sphere, it's not all of our life what pends on that one thread, because we still have many other spheres where we might be strong, that might remind us how great we are doing, how many blessings we have. Shall we remember that and keep that in mind? My Witches' Datebook is the one doing the soul magick for me.

Feb 13, 2015

Thinking of a New Planner

I love Filofax. I do. Filofax is like... everything that's good and beautiful in the world, made into a six ring planner. I've had regular planners before. I had one small ring planner back in the past millenium, when I was at the university, which was a cheap, Garfield planner I loved, and which I've got because what I really wanted was a filofax. Like any kid in those days, I had cheap but playful planners full of drawings and whatnots. Plain planners were dreadful, and sometimes those were the only ones you've got, but you always wanted something pretty for your school appointments, and actually never checked it. From the University I went to work and there I needed a planner even more. I was checking it more frequently, specially when I had to call clients or keep tabs on this or that. Then after sometime I went digital with a PDA. No, not "Public Display of Affection", but "Personal Digital Assistant". I had a Palm Pilot. I felt I need something that wouldn't take that much space in my bag, for by then I was using A5 PPD (pages per day) planners, and that only added to the bulk, not to mention that I couldn't fit them in all of my bags. A Palm was as small as the palm of my hand (and actual "palm"), and held in everything I needed.

The passing from paper to digital was interesting, exciting, full of new possibilities (wow! You no longer have to re-write all the birthdays every year! And you can make cyclic appointments and reminders with just a click, not to mention that it chimes to remind you of your appointments! You'll never again have to worry about forgetting to check your planner because the planner check up with you!), and their particular setbacks (no use of creative color codes, no fun lettering, no writing in different directions, no stickers, no drawings, no handmade maps, AND you must watch to make sure it has battery life, or all your records would get erased), but it was easy to settle in it and live with it. When my PDA died - because all electronics die at one point or the other - I think I went on with my phone's calendar, and then, at one point (2010, to be correct) for some reason a small, WO2P (week on two pages) paper planner got to my hand. I think I used that and had fun with it, but probably I was using my phone quite a lot too for my appointments. If I recall correctly, I was thorn because I wanted a new PDA but by then the PDA industry had died out, and you had your phone or nothing.

For 2012 I've got a beautiful planner with guilded pages. A friend of mine, who works at a bank, got it for me. It was an A5 PPD type. At first I was adamant about going to paper after having lead my life digitally, but once I've got back to it I realized I loved it. Of course, a PPD layout gave me loads of space for me to go crazy, and crazy I went. I noted everything on it. If I was considering going to the movies, I wrote down all the movies that interested me, all the hours and all the movie theathers where they were being shown. Thus I decided how, where and when would I see what. (I wasn't working at that time, and I love movies, so watching two to three movies in a day was absolutely normal for me.) If I went somewhere by train, I wrote down all the scheduled departings and arrivals of the trains I might need. When I blogged (and that year I blogged every day), I wrote the title of the post and the blog in which I blogged (yes, I have more than one blog, and the other one is in Hungarian, so...), if I made a purchase on Amazon or ordered something from a store, I wrote down every single detail of it. One year and I was hooked back on paper.

By October (or something like that) I knew I would need paper for the rest of my life, and so started the search for the ringed planner that would be my forever companion. It was a work of weeks and weeks comparing Day Planner, Frankling Covey and Filofax binders until I decided to stay with Filofax, and within it, finally, with a Personal sized Sketch in chocolate color. One of the first things I knew I wanted and needed from a planner was a size such that gave me room to ramble, but was small enough to fit in any of my bags (or most of them). I made a template of the sizes on a piece of paper and then tried them out with my bags. A5 was automatically ruled out because I knew that wouldn't fit. The Pocket size was too small, and so the decision fell on the Personal size. I loved that planner. Ordered more inserts that what I needed, got disappointed when I realized I can't really use the PPD inserts because it wouldn't fit in my planner along with all the rest that I wanted in it, so I had to make do with the WO2P it came with.

Before the year was over, however, the clasp of my planner broke, so I had to order my second planner, a Personal sized Identity planner. This one was love at first sight as I've got it. Unlike the Sketch, it has two elasticized penloops and the clasp is firmly attached to the back, so no chance of it ripping off. The planner itself feels thicker because of the cushiony characteristic of the cover, but it's still quite sturdy. It quickly got the lower corners bent, and now the lining is separating right above the rings. It did last two years so far, but I'm spending quite some money for something I expect to hold together for at least ten years if not... sixty. Sure I can and will glue back the lining, but that's not the point. Today is the lining, what if tomorrow something else goes wrong? So I've decided that the time has come to think on the real long term, and get myself a planner that will stay with me until the day I die. For that, I'll need a leather planner. And I mean leather as in real leather, like an animal had to be killed and the hide pulled off, treated, cut and made into a planner. I mean true, real, DNA tested leather. I need something that can take damage, that can get worn without getting destroyed, without the fake stuffing of cardboard and synthetic foams spilling out like in the case of a teddy bear murder.

The prices will go up and I'll have to give up my double elasticized penloops, but I think the time has come for me to make this step. For 2016, mind you. I'll have  perhaps eight months to research, compare, watch videos of the planners I select as candidates, and make my decision.