After the many weird events of Wednesday I was glad to go to bed. At around 2 AM I was suddenly awakened by the shaking motion of my bed. At first I though ohhh fuck my house must be haunted! But then I realized of shit its an earthquake! I was a bit scared but when it stopped shaking sleep took over my body and back to dreamland. When I woke up this morning I recalled the incident, but I honestly didn't know if it had been real or just a dream. Then I turned on the tv and turns out it had been real, a 7.1 quake! This is huge for Honduras, I dont know if it had ever happened (at least not in my lifetime).
In all seriousness Im glad the consequences havent been as bad as they could have, given that we are poor country and many people have inadequate housing, but Im saddened by the few who did loose their lives.
Last I heard we are tsunami alert now, which is always scary, lets hope for the best!
The night is finally beginning to feel cooler after a quick rain shower, the city has quieted down and just the odd person is wondering the streets at this hour. I am sitting in the floor of my house’s corridor with a lot on my mind and a sense of relief that Wednesday is finally over. Today was quite an odd day for me! The day started pretty much in the same way as always: I’ve woken up 10 minutes too late and I’m rushing to get ready. I finally make it out of the door and into my car, so begins my maniacal drive to work.
Things started to get weird once I stepped out of the car when I realized one of my heels broke off. So I had to spend the rest of the morning limping all over the office till finally at noon I went home for a quick shoe change. Another thing that got to me today was the fact that other than an email here and there I had absolutely nothing to do all day at work! Over and over again I searched in my mind for things to do, and over and over again I confirmed I had turned everything in! So the hours went by painfully slow, I think I checked my email around 50 times, I read every gossip site imaginable, and to top things off none of my messenger buddies were online today! These are the days when I feel like such a fraud! All day I pretended to look busy and a couple of times I got up to print something so people would think I was hard at work. I felt like I was being such a bad employee and even contemplated asking my boss for something to do, but then I quickly discarded the idea because it could backfire so badly!
Anyways I finally made to the end of the workday, so I get in my car and as I was driving home I suddenly hear a loud thump in my side window….someone for some reason threw something at me, and I am almost sure it was a cup of coffee! My window was covered in a latte colored liquid…I mean who the hell does that!?
My favorite book is Breakfast of Champions by the great Kurt Vonnegut. It is a raw and darkly funny view of life in America and the dehumanization of modern life, among other things. I will share with you my favorite part of the story; I find it striking how Vonnegut describes that immaterial core that lives within each one of us. This is the moment in the story when Karabekian, a stuck up artist from NY is having drinks in a bar in Midland City, Ohio. The town’s center for the arts has just bought his painting “The Temptation of Saint Anthony” which consists of one single vertical band of Day-Glo orange reflecting tape over an avocado green background. They paid $50,000 for it and the whole town is outraged. The waitress serving him was fed up with his mocking attitude, and exploded when the artist made fun of the town’s best female swimmer: “You don’t think much of Mary Alice Miller?” she said. “Well, we don’t think much of your painting. I’ve seen better pictures done by a five-year-old.” Karabekian slid off his barstool so he could face all those enemies standing up. He certainly surprised me. I expected him to retreat in a hail of olives, maraschino cherries and lemon rinds. But he was majestic up there “Listen—” he said so calmly, “I have read the editorial against my painting in your wonderful newspaper. I have read every word of the hate mail you have been thoughtful enough to send to New York.” This embarrassed people some. “The painting did not exist until I made it,” Karabekian went on. “Now that it does exist, nothing would make me happier than to have it reproduced again and again, and vastly improved upon, by all the five year-olds in town. I would love for your children to find pleasantly and playfully what it took me many angry years to find. “I now give you my word of honor,” he went on, “that the picture your city owns shows everything about life which truly matters, with nothing left out. It is a picture of the awareness of every animal. It is the immaterial core of every animal—the ‘I am’ to which all messages are sent. It is all that is alive in any of us—in a mouse, in a deer, in a cocktail waitress. It is unwavering and pure, no matter what preposterous adventure may befall us. A sacred picture of Saint Anthony alone is one vertical, unwavering band of light. If a cockroach were near him, or a cocktail waitress, the picture would show two such bands of light. Our awareness is all that is alive and maybe sacred in any of us. Everything else about us is dead machinery.
“I have just heard from this cocktail waitress here, this vertical band of light, a story about her husband and an idiot who was about to be executed at Shepherdstown. Very well—let a five-year-old paint a sacred interpretation of that encounter. Let that five-year-old strip away the idiocy, the bars, the waiting electric chair, the uniform of the guard, the gun of the guard, the bones and meat of the guard. What is that perfect picture which any five-year-old can paint? Two unwavering bands of light.”
Ecstasy bloomed on the barbaric face of Rabo Karabekian. “Citizens of Midland City, I salute you,” he said. “You have given a home to a masterpiece!”
Guess what?...Its Monday, it’s time to do it all over again! So what else is left but to reminisce about the weekend that so quickly went away. For me it was a bit of everything kind of weekend. Nothing life changing happened but I passed the time taking part in a series of random activities. Let’s see…well on Friday I went for drinks with my co-workers and I must say that I was pleasantly surprised to discover that they are genuinely fun people. On Saturday I went for Thai food with my mom, kudos to her for trying something new! (she’s not the most adventurous when it comes to culinary matters).
That evening I went to a friend’s birthday and this time I was disappointed to see that my solid group of single friends is no longer the same. The whole evening had a weird vibe to it! First of all I was in shock as I realized it was a bit of a couple’s night. Coupled people outnumbered the singles; this was a first in my crew. The situation was aggravated by the exaggerated public displays of affection of one of the couples, as well as by the couple-y conversation topics such as the best restaurants for romantic dinners, grand romantic gestures….mushy stuff galore!
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people being in relationships, I understand that it’s normal, but in reality sometimes when your friends begin relationships things do change and the friendship suffers! Perhaps I had gotten to cozy in my group of friends and perhaps took for granted that we’d all be single indefinitely and keep going out for nights of excessive boozing. I guess I have to come to terms with the fact that some of them now prefer a romantic mellow night out.
Sunday was quite chill, I spend a good part of the morning poolside and later went home for an evening in front of the TV. Everything was going quite well, when all of a sudden my mind began to play tricks on me! I began to feel anxious and paranoid about the things to come. The reason for my distress is work, there are a lot of changes coming in the next weeks. It’s funny how my mind operates, for months now I’ve been complaining that nothing exciting ever happens at the office, and now that I have the opportunity to do something different and exciting I’m semi freaking out? I guess lately I’m having issues with change…but hopefully all shall pass, I just have to conquer my own demons, which in this case is insecurity.
A few months ago I saw the acclaimed German movie Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others). The movie is set in 1980s communist East Germany, and the plot revolves around the life of a writer and his fellow artists and how the secret police had surveillance on them, in order to detect any behavior or thought that went against the socialist ideology of the state, and consequently “re-educate” the offender. The movie does a wonderful job in capturing the oppressive atmosphere of the era and how many artists felt the regime had slowly killed their souls. A key element in the storyline is a piece of sheet music given as a gift to the main character by a fellow artist, it is entitled “Sonata for a Good Man”. To make a long story short the main character discovers, once the socialist regime is over, that the agent assigned to spy on him saved his life by not informing the police of his “deviant activities”. He goes on to write a book about his ordeal with the secret police and the anonymous man that saved him. The book is appropriately titled “Sonata for a Good Man”.
I don’t intend to write a movie review, there are plenty of those online. I simply bring up this film because for months now I’ve been wanting to write a piece on a good man that touched my own life, my father. So here it goes, here is my own Sonata for a good man: The world doesn’t know it, but on March 8, 1948 a truly remarkable human being was born. He did not fight in any wars, he didn’t become an international leader, and no he didn’t inspire the masses with his message of hope and freedom. Actually he was more of the quiet kind, existing modestly, discretely and perhaps even anonymously. Very few noticed, but inside of him beat a heart capable of love and selflessness. Inside his body lived a sensitive soul, at times saddened by the realities of life, but also capable of appreciating the sensibilities of art, literature and music. Inside his head, there lay a highly critical brain capable of seeing the reality even through the nonsense. It constantly demanded that the truth be told and the foolishness of humanity be reprimanded.
It is my humble opinion that the remarkable qualities of this man shined more intensely as a father. His priority became to provide for his family and ensure a prosperous future for his children. I truly appreciate this, but what I value most is his many hugs filled with love, his words filled with wisdom, his sophisticated humor that resulted in endless laughs, and countless little gestures that showed how much he cared. These are the things that have endured inside of me; these are the things that have made me who I am.
The world doesn’t know it but on November 28, 2008 the world lost a remarkable man, a beacon of light that gave so much to those he loved. Sometimes it saddens me as I think that my father may have been already forgotten by some and that many didn’t know the extraordinary beauty that lay beneath his quiet surface. But on the other hand I feel so damn lucky that I was one of the few who were in contact of the full splendor of this man’s soul, and for that I am eternally grateful!
Here’s to all those day to day heroes who give so much without expecting any glory or compensation in return. Thank you to all those anonymous angels that make this crazy thing called life a little more bearable for the rest of us.
After a week spent in Miami, I returned home to a couple of angry cats and some sad looking plants, so this weekend I went out and got myself new ones. I think its essential to surround yourself with beauty, it brings a little joy to your everyday life.
Tegucigalpa is often dismissed by many as an ugly, disorganized and chaotic city. It’s true, our city has very little urban planning, and perfectly straight avenues with streets stretching perpendicularly are a rare occurrence. But it is precisely this chaos that gives Tegucigalpa its soul. It is the many winding narrow roads that make navigating through our city unique and perhaps even whimsical, and the rugged and uneven landscape gives way to beautiful views from atop its many hills. Most of us “capitalinos” have a love-hate affair with this city, we complain about the traffic and the questionable driving skills of its inhabitants, and the many potholes in the streets. But at the end of the day we love to inhabit this wonderfully chaotic universe that is Tegucigalpa.
On Friday I went out with my girlfriends, we had a last minute girls night out. For some reason or another (probably the alcohol) we got to talking about how many guys we had kissed, throughout our dating careers. So we all grabbed a napkin and starting making the infamous list. Guess who's was longer?...yes mine! Turns out that during my 10 years of dating I have kissed 35 guys! At first my friends were teasing me...like you "slutty Mcslut", so I had to come up with a defense....after a few seconds a blurted out: "Hey Ive kissed 35 guys in the span of 10 years, for which most of them I have been single, its comes up to about 3.5 guys per year, not bad!"
I know this whole conversation was silly and very high schoo-ish but none the less fun. It forced me to remember all of those guys burried in my past, some of them intended never to be revisited, and some of them did bring back fond memories. It brought back memories of what it felt like to have butterflies in your stomach, to agonize next to the phone waiting for his call, and the joy of the perfect kiss at the perfect moment. Eventhough I moved on to sex and more mature romantic experiences nothing beats the feeling of floating in the air in your crush's arms as the world stop for that brief moment. I guess what Im trying to say is that i miss that ingenuity that came with teenage romance!
As i sit in my desk waiting for the work week to end my mind drifts to the lazy beach town of Tela, Atlantida...Its one of my favorite places. I can just feel the hot sun on my skin and the warm carribean waters inviting me for a swim...
Its been a while since i posted...guess a lot has happened...life has happened. Im no longer a college student, I actually work for a living now! Though as I stare at my co-workers I can help it but think that i just pretend to work here, cause in the back of my mind im still that clueless girl rushing to Managerial Accounting class. I still can't believe that somebody entrusted me with some sort of responsibility and i get payed for it, but my account balance says i do. I no longer struggle to pay my bills at the end of the month, i dont have to survive on pasta cause i don't have money for groceries....i can now afford a nice meal once in a while and it feels nice!
I know its been just over 2 years since I joined the work force, but once in a while a new college graduate asks me for advice on starting your career. I tell them first of all: you will go through a lot of annoying, humiliating, awkward interviews, and most of them will be for nothing cause you will not have been chosen. Secondly, your first salary will be crap and you will be expected to work the hardest...you will be at the bottom of the corporate food chain...deal with it! Thirdly, and this is perhaps the most valuable piece of advice: be friendly with the secretaries! They are the ones that control the flow of information, they are the gatekeepers, hell they run the joint! Finally if you are a girl you will encounter sleezy male co-workers, they will say innapropriate things but most of the times they are harmless...so sometimes is best to simply ignore them and give them a polite smile once in a while...