Thursday, January 25, 2007

Day 33: Face or Mask?

I'm really sad because only one of my blog acquaintances shared a happy post with me. Now I'm gonna try a sad post, just to check if it's more popular.

Tons of ink have run discussing human nature, how deffective, treacherus and low it is, and sadly I must say I have found no better. There are exceptions of course, but most of the times I only get to see the worst of how bad we can be, because evil is not only in crime or war, but in the little small devilish things we do to each other day by day. I can live with that, though, since life has not always been kind to me, but what I really can´t stand, what drives me crazy about people is when they pretend to be otherwise, when they actually believe they are the good guys while they're metaphorically executing you.

Just picture this: there's a co-worker, allright?, who is related to one of the company's owners. She believes she's a very nice, good and cooperative person, and that she holds no grudge against anybody. So far so good, right? The scary part began when she casually let slip that she had told 'anecdotically' to her relative that a third co-worker had done some wrong to her, in the belief that the relative would just laugh and let the matter pass due to her nice and wide criterion. I was frozen dead when I heard that. I couldn't help but wonder if this girl was just naive, plainly stupid or machiavelously vicious. Was she really expecting me to buy that idea, or it was another a small part of a bigger plot? The creepy thing is that she seemed absolutely sincere about her statement, as if she believed it was something without any possible consequence for the third co-worker involved.

And that is what makes me sick: if we are gonna be mean, we should at least be honest with ourselves and admit we are mean. I guess that part of the devilry consists in not telling others, to gain their confidence and then destroy them. I'm O.K. with that! But how can someone, anyone, live their lives being so cruel but thinking they're real angels of mercy? How deranged should you be to act like that?

In conclusion, I must say that hypocrisy and lack of honesty really make me mad. If you don't know who you are, then, what do you really know? Do you wear your face, or just a mask?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Day 32: To be happy when there are no Holidays

I just read a question from one of the visitors (Thanks a lot, pal!!), asking about favorite toys. I think that now we have no holidays to celebrate (until Candlemas in Mexico, at least), talking about toys is a good topic to keep the spirits high.

Actually, I must confess I have no favorite toy. If I was told I had to select one to save from a fire or so, I would cry, because all of them have become like my little children (agh, that sounds terrible) to me, but I would select in this order:

1. My little pink pony: he was the one I started my collection with, and he belongs to the first generation, when they used to be less stylized. I've kept him for more than 12 years, so he would be the first one to save.

2. "The Fabulous Fred": probably you don't remember this one. It's sort of the grandfather of portable electronic toys, and I spent half of my life trying to get it from Santa or the Wise King. At last, I ended up buying it myself. I'm pretty good at the memory game, and my best friend was such a good sport to play along with me. Oh, those are good memories.

3. Lion Pillow: I bought this one last year. It's a pillow designed for kids, in the shape of a lion, mane, tail and all. It's absolutely adorable, and pretty comfortable to watch TV with.

4. "The Crow" Movie Maniacs Collection action figure: probably this guy would have to share the first place as well, since I'm a hardcore fan, but he got down here, anyway. Highly collectible.

5. "Destreza" from Lodela: I don't remember the name in English right away, but you all know it: this mechanic board on which you have to place the pieces in order before it "jumps" throwing them around. Noisy, messy and challenging. The dream of any child. On the other hand, I still keep the Original (the Original!) intact.

6. My stuffed pony: originally, I bought it because it resembles Spirit, from the movie. It's a giant (around 3 feet long) stuffed horse, with Spirits marks on it. Absolutely lovely!

7. Teacher Barbie: I decided to buy it just because her uniform looked like the one I used to wear in my old good teaching days, not because I precisely like Barbies.

8. Sakura Card Captors Card Set and doll: O.K, I'm cheating here, but since I got the two card sets and the doll almost at the same time, and they are not available in Mexico anymore, I place them among my favorites.

9. "Darkness" Movie Maniacs Collection action figure: he's not a hero, but he looks absolutely cool. And very, very, very hard to find nowadays.

10. Kim Possible dolls (the 7 I own): They were presents from my family who finally understood my obsession with toys. And again, it's impossible to find them now in Mexico.

I do hope you can share your favorites with me, and I wish we all could go out to play together.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Day 31: The difference between the man and the boy...

... Is the price of the toy.

When I was an English student, this was one of the first ‘sayings’ I learned, and it became one of my favorites because it states a big truth.

Bearing in mind the fits I’ve been throwing due to the fact I wasn’t able to get my Wii Console neither for Christmas nor Epiphany I started thinking about why we collect toys in the adulthood.

The first reason that comes to my mind is that, when I was I child, I only got toys during Winter Holidays and Birthdays. My family was not exactly poor, but we weren’t rich either. Therefore, the election of a toy was something that required a thoughtful consideration. I was able to receive most of the toys I asked Santa and the 3 Wise Kings for, but I still saw that some of my more fortunate cousins or neighbors got more toys or more expensive ones. Who happens to remember how that felt? Consequently, the ability to buy any toy I want nowadays not only represents a relief to my childhood traumas, but a vindication of my adult capacity to be independent and provide to myself.

My second reason is that I was never willing to give up my inner childhood. I still like to sing when I’m happy, make funny faces when I’m angry or hop around the office when I think no one’s looking. Some of my contemporaries consider this childish, of course, but I have never forgotten the feeling of awe and joy regarding the little matters of life. Up to the present day, opening a gift represents an enormous pleasure to me. Discovering how something works, either a computer program or a new toy, continuous to be a source of intellectual joy, very difficult to describe to people who have learnt the usual indifference of adulthood, when the only surprises left are the unpleasant ones. Even in grown-up classes, the value of intake through play has been reassessed as one of the most important learning tools; so, why not play with your toys?

On the other hand, I want to convince myself that my third reason is more adult (jajajaja). When I was a child, let’s be honest, I used to be a real monster. I was totally incapable of taking care of things. You can picture it easily. All my toys got really dirty and so did my books. Many of my toys got lost while moving in and out until my family bought a house of our own, and also many of them were discarded past their life time. (I did play with them, you see?) You can imagine how sad I have been because of that. So nowadays I’m giving myself another chance to be more careful with my toys. I keep them in their original boxes and all of them are as neatly organized as possible, to help them last.

In conclusion, I want to say we shouldn’t be embarrassed if we want to play. If we don’t make an effort to find the time for amusement in this horrible, competitive and merciless working world, we are very likely to lose our sanity as well as our good spirits. Would you like to come out and play?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Day 30: For days gone by...

Is it just me, or the spirit of New Year is already rottening away into the past?

We call it the January Cliff: when the time to pay for all your happily given presents dues... When the holes in your belt seem to have moved backwards... When the credit card bills pile up on your desk while your check account balance plummets to the basement... When you are about to join the long line of people at the "Monte de Piedad" to pawn the Blue Ray DVD Player or the iPod you got for Christmas...

Somehow we look gloomy and depressed. Maybe because the first payday of the year has come and gone... without even saying hello to our wallet. Or it may be the realization of holiday being finally over, with another whole year of work ahead. Personally, I must say the main reason is my exhaustion. After a whole month of weekend parties, I haven't been able to recover my sleep hours yet while, on the other hand, things are getting tougher at work, with people going bananas about overlapping appointments, lack of communication among the same department, total havok at the storing area and my boss grumbling at everybody for no clear reason.

Well... Enough complaints for a day. Some good things I get out of all this mess are that I still keep my ability to laugh at the face of danger, find myself something to do to cover I'm doing nothing (like writing this blog), rebuke wittingly to any bad remark and still keep a smile.
Let's keep fighting!!! =)

Monday, January 08, 2007

Day 29: Epiphany, the time of enlightment

OK, now Epiphany has come and gone. I'm ravenously mad 'cause the 3 Wise Kings, with all their might and power, were unable to get me my Wii Console. Cheaters! I'll have to wait for the next release. (grunt)

Besides that, Epiphany, celebrated in Mexico as the 'Día de Reyes' (The Wise Kings' Day) was plenty of nice things, with mugs filled to the brim with hot cocoa and the most delicious 'rosca', which is a special yeast cake in the form of a ring, decorated with sugar and cristalized fruit. Inside it you may (or may not) find a little plastic representation of Baby Jesus. If you bite your piece and find it, you become obligued to buy the tamales on February the 2nd, 'Día de la Candelaria' (Candlemas day), when Baby Jesus is taken from his crib to church.

And guess what. This year, I got the baby at the office's rosca cutting. I laugh with one eye and shed tears with the other, since many people believe that getting the 'mono' (doll) is a sign of future blessings and prosperity, but I can't avoid thinking about the bleeding tamales will represent to my budget.

So, the time of enlightment was here, with a lot of revelations about people and family. You really get to learn a lot about them during these annual get-togethers. Be calm and quiet, observe and listen, and you'll be surprised with the things you can learn about your relatives, even things you never thought about before.

Happy 'Día de Reyes' (DEE-ah-deh-REH-jehs)!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Day 28: The tough taste of life

I've just read one of the comments I got (THANK YOU!), which made me reflect upon my goal setting for this year. I do believe that we should set ourselves to one difficult task a year at least, not only to prove ourselves, but to keep our skills keen and sharp.

Challenges are a part of life, and most of the times we are faced with them, without the slightest possibility of choice, which makes most people try to run away from them, I think. I'm pretty sure most of us would gladly decline all pain and suffering and sweat that usually accompany such situations.

But, where would the beauty be? What about the swelling feeling of conquer and strength that comes from defeating the storms of life? I think it feels better when I choose my challenges, rather than just wait for life to set them in front of me, especially when, as Terry Pratchett states, the cowards never come one by one, but all at the same time.

Guillermo Prieto said: "The abyss doesn't scare me. Falling water is far more beautiful".

That's why I look forward to selecting my challenges. To prove myself I'm still tough and skilled.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Day 27: Now that the party is over...

OK. Now that the party is over, I think it's the moment to get serious and talk about the New Year's Resolutions. In my country, resolutions are just something you boast about for a week and forget for 12 months. Since I try not to swim with the current, I've set my 12 personal goals for this year, and here they are:

1. Start my diet: for serious health reasons, and being tired of never finding fitting clothes, next Saturday I'm going to the nutriologist, to get a professional meal plan, 'rosca de reyes' or no 'rosca de reyes' (that is, Epiphany cake or not).

2. Stick to it: I've started and dropped several times. I know I can do it, so this time, I'm doing it again, with Nazi discipline.

3. Learn to drive: it really scares the s**t out of me, since I'm afraid of car accidents, but I want to overcome fear in order to gain freedom.

4. Balance my budget: I've never been too good at it, but this year I really want to know where the hell my money goes.

5. Save money: no, this is not a resolution; it's a must. When I was at Citibank, they taught me 'Save your first dollar'. Well, now it's the right moment.

6. No more major purchases: once I get my Wii Console, I won't spent another single penny on things I really don't need. (I'll be too busy paying my car, so this one will be easy).

7. Discard all crazy stuff: it's not the best way to spend weekends or holidays, but you'd be amazed of the amount of crap I've collected through the years. It's time for it to go.

8. Organize my personal papers: again, the amount of papers I've been filing would amaze the FBI. Could you believe I can't find my Citizen ID number? That was the last straw.

9. Get my passport: I'm not sure I'm really gonna need it, but it's pretty useful in case you get your personal ID robbed, as was my case.

10. Regularly visit the doctor and the dentist: as you can see, this time I'm freaked for good, so I'm starting to take good care of myself.

11. Try to reduce the smoking: I won't quit until I wanna do so or because they say so, but I'm definitely starting training for that day.

12. Wash the cat: as stupid as it may seem, you certainly haven't tried to do it yourself at home's shower, with all the buffing and scratching. This time, I'm paying to get it done, so she will stop shedding enough hair to stuff another cat.

So, I've set myself to realistic, achievable and planned goals. Let's see if I'm as good as I think of myself to achieve them all. I'll report on them throughout the year. May God bless you, grant all your wishes and allows you to have a very Happy, Nice and Full-of-Love New Year.