Ramblings and Purgings

Friday, October 29, 2004

Weekend is near!

So, yesterday I worked from 9am until close to 1am this morning. Yes, it was a long day.
I feel a little tired now but I have managed to wrangle an early mark from my boss so that I can shop for Oyvind's birthday present (birthday is on Tuesday - Melbourne Cup Day).
I saw this nice top from FCUK the other day that I think will suit him very well. I love buying him clothes and 'dolling' him up. Is it just me?
He is such a lucky boy, can wear the brightest colours and look great. And he has one of those physiques for which clothes do not really need fixing. Me on the other hand, well, I am guaranteed to have my pants taken up! Hehehe Well, when you are as short as me (I think 5f 2 at last count but hopeful that every day I will wake up 4 inches taller) that's just the way things are.
I am hoping that this weekend will be a relaxed one. Next week sees me conducting systems training with the new troops. Luckily, they are a bright bunch so that makes my life a lot easier.
On a very happy note, today marks 3 weeks until I leave for my holiday. I cannot wait to see my family again. I really look forward to meeting and spending quality time with them.
I hope all you thousands (I wish) out there have an amazing weekend and keep smiling...it makes you look prettier/more handsome;-)

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Where have I been?

Just looked at the date - it has been 5 days since I wrote!
Where have I been? Well, here's the lowdown.

Saturday - work and wrapping up the last bits of training. Getting quite nervous because realised that I had not trained in almost 2 years - did I still have the touch?
Saturday night - went to a Serbian restaurant for dinner. Too much food but very yummy. This restaurant is called "The Village Restaurant" and is located in Double Bay, a very swanky suburb of Sydney. Yes, lots of very rich people live there. Actually, being there it felt like I was in another world. Had to go back home to the ghetto that evening though ;-)

Sunday - slept in for the first time in yonks! It was great to wake up, eat and then go back to sleep. Went to my mum's friend's place for dinner where we ate lovely pupusas. Traditional Salvadorean food which are like tortillas (made of maize flour) and filled with either refried beans, cheese or ground pork crackling, or mixed. They are soooo good! They are served with pickled cabbage, onions and carrots (Curtido) and salsa.


Yum-o Posted by Hello

Had such a great time reminiscing about El Salvador and I am in disbelief that I will be there again in just a little over 3 weeks :-)

Monday to Wednesday: Training of our new call centre staff. Have had a great time but had forgotten how tiring training can be. Maintaining everyone's spirits high is not easy.

Tomorrow, Thursday, I get a little break from training. However Friday is back to training again. Next week will be full of systems' training. JOY! And by the end of next week I have 2 weeks left until I go on holidays - and boy do I need it!

Friday, October 22, 2004

It is printed!!

Ok, so Week 1 of training is now printed and organised.

Cannot believe that I'll be training again on Monday. It has been close to 2 years since I last trained but I am really looking forward to it.

I'll be coming into the office tomorrow (Saturday) to set up a few things but at least I can breathe a sigh of relief.

Oh and another thing - at this time in exactly 4 weeks (28 days), I will be flying somewhere over the Pacific on my way to El Salvador.
The first time I will be going since we migrated to Australia in 1988 - I kno, it has been a long time.

Can't wait to catch up with old friends and family, hang out at the beautiful beaches and eat the yummy food.

Can it be really happening?

We're famous!...err, sort of

So, last saturday night when we were out celebrating Ellen's birthday, we were snapped by one of the club photographers. And lo and behold, here is the photo.


What the? Posted by Hello

Somehow, people look a lot better when you are under the influence of alcohol. Or maybe it is just me but i could swear that I looked a total fox on the night ;-) Hehehe I am so full of it.

I need some sleep!

Thursday, October 21, 2004

So little time

I need to take a deep, deep breath.

Do you ever get days when you think of all the things you want to do and realise that you have so little time available, chances are you won't get around to doing half of these?

This morning has been one of those for me.

First of all, there is work - I need to complete a training course by the end of today. I will be delivering this training course over the next couple of weeks. I have not had a day off since sometime in September and my body (and mind) are starting to complain...

I was planning on doing my own taxes this year but with deadline of October 31st looming ever so rapidly, I think my tax agent's job is secure for another year :-)

I must also find time to shop for presents for my family in El Salvador and the US and also take into account that my boy's birthday is in less than 2 weeks...

I want to start regular yoga practice, samba classes, salsa classes, and just generally have more time to catch up with old friends. YIKES - I am one busy chickadee.

I think I made progress yesterday though - I have now organised two outings with the lovely Pipstar.

Hey, you have to start somewhere, right?

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Yoga...


Om Posted by Hello

At the moment I am trying to get into a good exercise routine. So far this week I have been pretty good, then agan, it is only Wednesday!

One thing I really do want to incorporate into my life is doing yoga regularly, that is 3 times a week. For the longest time I preferred to do Yoga in the evenings because my body was much warmer and it was the only time I could spare - so I thought.

Last Friday though, I decided to do Yoga before breakfast, that is at around 5.30am. I have a video that goes for almost 1 hour and I have been doing Yoga to it for a couple of years now. I love it! Maybe one day I will be able to 'graduate' to an intermediate version though because I am still doing the beginners one. You see, the thing with me and yoga is that I have done it in the past but I have beeen too erratic in my approach.

I am hoping to change all that now.

Anyway, last Friday morning was amazing. Everything was still quiet, the sun was starting to rise and the birds were starting to sing too. It was so peaceful and calm and I felt like the only person around for miles.

To begin with I was a bit grumpy - I was very stiff and it took me around 10 minutes to get into it. When I was done though, I felt the best I had in a long, long time.
So, I thought this is not such a bad idea..hmmmm.

I did it again yesterday morning and felt so energised! I really look forward to doing it again tomorrow and who knows, perhaps my dream of becoming an instructor will become a reality one day...

Monday, October 18, 2004

Ahhhh...Arnica

It is another Monday in Sydney.
Not that it makes a difference to me - I had no weekend to speak of really.
When I came into work this morning I did not feel so great. I was very sleepy and my shoulders and neck were killing me.
That's what happens when you don't have much of a weekend, are overworked and full of stress...However, I do get to work with some cool people, so it is not all bad :-)
In fact, one of my colleagues suggested I use some 'Arnica' to treat my aching neck and shoulders. Normally I use dencorub, but it is just too stinky to wear out. At night, the toxic fumes put me to sleep so it is not so bad.

So, at lunch I went for a walk in search of 'Arnica'. Found it at a health food shop, and here it is...

Ahhhh...Arnica Posted by Hello

Turns out that Arnica is "also commonly called leopard's bane. The arnica plant has a bright yellow, daisy-like flower that blooms around July. Preparations made from the flowering heads have been used in homeopathic medicine for hundreds of years. It is popular in Germany and over 100 drug preparations are made from the plant. Arnica is a perennial that is protected in parts of Europe. The active components in arnica are sesquiterpene lactones, which are known to reduce inflammation and decrease pain."
Source: http://www.kcweb.com/herb/arnica.htm

The important this is though - it seems to be working and has virtually no smell. Ahhh, I am happy as a clam. Now, if only I could find a cream/ ointment to complete the creation of my training course...

Sunday, October 17, 2004

Last Night...

So, I am back at the office after a very fun night out.
Trying to concentrate but after working over 14 days straight, it is getting a little difficult.

Instead, I'll talk about last night :-)

It started at Spanish Terrazas, a really fun restaurant that combines great food and some good Latin music to get you up and moving. There were 14 of us and 12 were women - yeah, it was fun. My friend Berta was there, whom I have not seen since before she went on holidays in May! It was great fun to catch up with her and we have agreed that we are to party some more on her birthday, a little less than a month away.
The food was yummy! Had some lovely tapas and paella and meat platters. Mmmm, wayyy too much food.

Naturally, after that pigout we had to get up and dance in order to make room for dessert! I have not danced in a long time so it took me a little while to get going. You know, it's funny. As a Latina, I do have rhythm I suppose but I freak out when I have to dance with a partner. I just cannot do it very well unless the guy is a strong dancer. I always tend to lead! I seriously need some lessons and my better half and I have agreed that once I come back from holidays, we will sign up to some serious classes. Don't want to make fools of ourselves at the wedding! YIKES!

Anyway, we danced a bit of everything - cumbia, salsa and merengue (my favourite!). After breaking a sweat, it was time to recover with some delish cake. The whole restaurant sang Happy Birthday to Ellen, which was loads of fun. The cake was gone in about half an hour, not a bad effort that.

Later, some of us decided to continue the night by going out to a club. Ended up at the Shelbourne (or Altitude as it is known). Had a really great time dancing to some hip-hopish RnB stuff. Later, we made our way to the Retro level where we could really shake our thang - can't go wrong with some classic pop :-) I was on fire after a couple of vodka and redbull drinks, so I had loads of energy. Unfortunately, my companions were a bit tired so we had to call it a night a little before 2. Must remember to party like that when I am overseas...hmmmm.

Oh yeah, got talking to a sweet young boy there - he must have been around 19! Hahaha, I am such an old bag. Luckily, my boy came to 'rescue' me ;-)

Spent the night at Ellen's and woke up early so that I could come in to work - blegh! And here I am. Hmmm, better knuckle down and start on the remaining sections of the training manual...

Saturday, October 16, 2004

Ellen's birthday

Today is my friend Ellen's birthday. She turns 28! (She'll also probably kill me for divulging her age).
I think 28 is a nice age. I hated it when I turned 25 earlier this year - it was a bit of a shock when completing surveys and questionnaires I had to move to the '25 and over' option and tick that!
By now though, I have had over 8 months to get used to my age and it is not so bad anymore. Still feel a bit funny about being called 'lady' by little kids though. Makes me feel like saying - 'Hey, I'm still a kid at heart!".

Anyway, this year I have decided to buy Ellen her birthday cake as her birthday present. I'll be picking up her Fraisier cake from La Renaissance Patisserie at 4 o'clock this afternoon. At the moment I am at work trying to complete a section of the induction training manual on Medicines and Pricing. Thrilling stuff. Nevertheless, I must complete it today because I am running out of time. Training begins in about 1 week and I have not yet completed everything. I hope I don't fall asleep when I run the training session!
And so, to the strains of track number 9 of the 'Amelie' soundtrack, I bid you Adieu.

PS Will be going out to celebrate Elle's birthday tonight but cannot get too tipsy - have to come into the office again tomorrow :-(

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Salvadorean Women


Consuelo Posted by Hello

The Little Prince is one of my favourite books of all time. I love its simplicity and it is a story that never fails to move me. Imagine my surprise then, to find out that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's wife was born in El Salvador! Not only that but she was also the inspiration for The Rose, an important character in the book.
Consuelo Suncin met Antione in Buenos Aires in 1930, she was already twice widowed. Theirs was a passionate and turbulent marriage that was terminated when Antoine's plane disappeared in 1944.

A year after his disappearance, Consuelo wrote the book "The Tale of the Rose : The Love Story Behind The Little Prince" It was not published until 2000. I have not yet read it but I am sure it would be an intriguing story.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Day After Before Sunset

Work is very busy and so as of last weekend, I will be working every weekend day until training begins. Guess I have not mentioned this before, but I work as a training manager. At the moment, I am creating some training manuals for training that will start in 14 days...yeah, I will be needing every single one of those days - gulp!

Anyway, yesterday afternoon found a very tired trooper in need of some distraction. At the moment, Sydney is experiencing a glorious Spring. Mild days, rain here and there...
And so I decided to take myself to the movies - one of my favourite past-times
I walked along beautiful circular quay to the Dendy cinemas near the Opera House.
A movie I have been waiting for almost 9 years was playing - Before Sunset

I settled in my comfy seat and let myself go...What a lovely movie. Paris looked so attractive. Julie Delpy (Celine) was great as was Ethan Hawke(Jesse). He has aged not so well though, needs to eat more...Hmmm

Now this movie is the sequel to Before Sunrise. This movie stirred my desire to travel and do spontaneous things such as spend a romantic day with a handsome stranger (instead I have had the chance to spend over 5 years with a lovely and handsome 'stranger'...) I think this movie is what inspired me to get together with my boy all those years ago in San Francisco when we were both young students barely out of our teens. I honestly felt that had I not taken the opportunty I may have faced a fate similar to that of Celine and Jesse. What if?...

I really enjoyed this film and found it to be a sweet sequel to the original. The music was great, had no idea Julie Delpy could sing, and I cannot wait to see what happens next. Hope I don't have to wait another 9 years though.

Dreamily...

Why - I'm flattered

So at around lunchtime I made my way to Martin Place to check out the Soccerroos and to see whether I could score some freebies. Managed to see a couple of our players and also managed to get some passes to the movie 'Taxi' which is being released in early November. Have heard the movie is rubbish though and that Gisele Bundchen (Leo DiCaprio's supermodel girlfriend) is crap in it to. She speaks Portuguese (born in Brazil) but for some reason her Portuguese is unintelligible. Reminds me of when I watched the movie 'Bedazzled' and there was a scene in which Brendan Fraser is playing a Colombian druglord. He speaks Spanish throughout and although he started well, by the end of the scene I had to read the subtitles. I had no idea what he was saying! :-)

Anyway, back to my story.

So I was there trying to see Harry Kewell over everybody else's heads. This proved quite impossible from where I was so I decided to move to another area. Now, whilst there I had noticed that there were many people and there was this young (my age or so) guy with a girl. I looked at them but did not stare, you know how it is.

As I started to make my way around to a better spot I noticed out of the corner of my eye, this guy running after me. At first I thought I had dropped something but no. He came up to me and said:
H - Hi, what's your name?
Me - Ummm, Ivonne...why?
H - Oh, I am sure I've seen you around before. Do you work around here?
Me - Well I work at Wynyard.
H - Oh ok. Ummm so, do you want to meet up next week sometime?
Me - Ahhh well, actually I am engaged. Sorry.
H - (Visibly disappointed of course ;-) Oh, ok. I'm sorry, have a nice day.
Me - Thank you, bye.

What the?
this little episode made me realise a couple of things:
a) apparently I am still attractive to guys other than my gatillo
b) there are some nice-looking guys out there who are willing to take a chance
c) not all single guys are sleazy and his friendly approach impressed me
d) it feels nice to be approached by complete strangers in the middle of Sydney when you are having a non-glamorous day.

Hmm, maybe I should start getting out of the office a bit more...

Hehehe

Friday, October 08, 2004

Aimee Mann


Love this album Posted by Hello

I was so chuffed about picking up this gem of an album in downtown Sydney for $10!
I have no idea how I stumbled upon Aimee Mann but one of her songs "Driving Sideways" has been a favourite of mine for a couple of years. She is right up there with Duncan Sheik and Fernando Olvera (Mana) for me as a most excellent singer-songwriter. Must admit that I am quite partial to such artists because I figure that their music has that little bit extra soul. Having stated this though, I am still very partial to Ol'd blue eyes Frank Sinatra, even though he never penned a song...Hmmm

To me, singer-songwriters are like painters or sculptors in that you can experience the fruits of their labour but the origins of such fruits are still quite unknown.

If you have not had a chance to listen to her music, I recommend it highly. She did the soundtrack to the film "Magnolia" and her rendition of the Beatles classic "one" is very good.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Long weekends - Part 1: Caves


The Imperial Cave Posted by Hello

Well dear little blog, I am sorry I have neglected you but after the long weekend I had, I needed to stay away from technology :-)

So, our friend Martin came to stay with us on Friday night. He is a sweet and overworked Dane currently living in OZ who is a colleague of gatillo. On Friday night we had yummy pizza and beer and did not party too hard because we had an early start on Saturday.

Saturday
We left home at 8.30am to make our way to the Jenolan Caves. Gatillo had rented a nice little Corolla from Bayswater car rental for the weekend and it is such a nice little car! I want one NOW.

Anyway, I was a little nervous at the prospect of rain in th emountains as I had heard that the road to the caves could be quite treachorous. Luckily for us, despite the thunderstorms of the days before, the road was relatively dry and by the time we got over the Blue Mountains, the weather was fantastic.
We stopped at a tiny village on our way to the caves for some petrol. It was a place owned by an old German man who was quite a character. His wife was lovely and I bought 3 slices of peach/pear cake from her. Possibly some of the most delicious cake I have had in along time - moist enough and very tasty...yum!

So, we stopped a few times before arriving at the caves to admire the beauty of nature. Gentle green rolling hills, the mountains in the background and the smell of fresh unpolluted air surrounded us. Could life get any better?

The road to the caves was narrow and winding but so picturesque. However, once we go to the bottom of the hill, we were left breathless! What an entrance - wow. Absolutely beautiful and we could not wait to get started. Unfortunately we arrived too late to join the Pool of Cerberus cave tour so we went for another tour - The Imperial Cave.

This cave was a nice introduction to the caves. It was a tour that lasted 1 hour and was not too physically demanding. The rock formations and crystals, stalagtites and stalagmites are just amazing. We were all on a high after that and i don't think it was due to the lack of oxygen :-)

We had a quick lunch, pipstar you were right food is nothing much to write about.

We then prepared ourselves for the River Cave. This cave was spectacular! The colour of the river was just unreal and the columns and formations we saw - wow! The tour ran for about 2 hours and it is excellent. The guides were very knowledgeable and the pace was good. It was a little more physically demanding than the Imperial cave but not bad at all.


The River Cave Posted by Hello

At the end of this tour we chatted with the guide for a little. He got us all excited about doing adventure caving so I think that will be on the agenda for next time. Can't wait to try it. In addition, there are also bushwalking tracks so I'll be keen on that. If you are in Sydney and you get taken out on touristy things, be sure to check the caves out, they really are beautiful!