Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Swimming Pool

The building's white fluorescent lights glimmering from parking lot. The locker room filled with the warm moist. The echoing noises. The smell of chlorine.
The door to the pool opens and noise floods out. A happily runs to the segment of his class in the pool.  It is after school and toward the conclusion of a full day. Yet, he is all charged up and energetic still.  He jumps in the water and slides away.
Tons of happy and childish memories swell out of mu tired brain. I am tired tonight but happy to be here with A.
I like this smell.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Fantasy and Pain

With watery eyes she was breathing into her feast, laying her head on her hand, looking down at the table.  When would the tears roll down?  Who would witness?  Who would care?
The cafe was somewhat deserted.  There were two elderly ladies sitting by the window chatting in low voices over their still steaming cups of coffee.  There was a college boy at a middle table with his head buried in his mac book and white earpieces in ears, a half eaten sandwich by his papers, isolated from the world around him.  And a middle-aged guy in a table toward the back, close to where she was sitting, but deep in his papers, sipping his large cup of coffee.  Who would care she thought.
Her mocha was completely cold, steam-less, tasteless.
She had just come here to take refuge from her tiring and endless search.  She needed to just pause.
The night before she was walking around the house.  Searching.  Looking for all the signs.  Repeating all the memories.
The house was quiet except for the low noise of the TV from the other room.
There was no life to keep her excited, there was no talk except all that were in her head.
She sat down on the bed. Closed her eyes and decided to calm herself down.  But with every passing moment, with every deeper breath, a new image would pop up, like "an unexpected song"; then the image would get more clear, with all the details, all the colors, all the smells even; the whole idea got more real ... but with the next breath it become unreachable, painful.
She finally gave up on calm.  Lay down, and thankfully slept.  Dreamed.
She was now sitting in the cafe.  Breathing in her feast.  Deep in her fantasy.  As still as the steam-less mocha in front of her.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Unknown Element

There is an unknown element in the heart of each second.  Before it arrives there is the mystery of future, after it is passed there is the riddle of the real meaning.
I feel entangled within this unknown element.
I am not aware of what is to come, and I would relive the past if I could.  Not every seconds of it, not even most of the milestones; in fact I would repeat them all.  But there are moments I would like to relive and this time do them differently.
Looking at A growing in front of my eyes pushes the passing of time into my core being.  Just look!
I was thinking today that I have reached the age that I remember my mom at that age too.  Her being before my memory is just an image, but her thirties are pretty clear in my mind.  She was.  And I am.  And one day, if I am to live, I will have her age of today.  Then same applies to A.  It feels strange; unfair even.  I want my mom how she was.
Remorse, reassessment, remembrance; All familiar yet unfamiliar to me; may be I am just missing my mom and dad.  I miss them so dearly tonight.

Sunday, February 19, 2012


Vacation is a time for a pause. A pregnant pause that will start with a break from the daily thoughts and works, then will continue with reassessment of what was passed, and finally will end in plan forward. We are in Pacific Palasedes staying with M's aunt and uncle. It feels like a much needed break and a perfectly timed one right after a few very busy and mind occupying work weeks and before a new work year proceeds after the new goals are set through the global sales meetings. I've got the chance to chat with M's aunt who is a seasoned professional woman. I like talking with her; she is very passionate about her work and life style, even more than I am! And then at many occasions I pause just to reassess where I am spiritually; what my goals are and how I am pursuing it. Work is only one channel to practice it all. Remaining true to who I really am and seeking happiness within and being just and fair and free of judgement; all hard spiritual goals to attain but my aim. I am going to stay true to my values no matter the cost; won't gamble with my opportunities assuming they will always be present. I know I need to slow down and even cease some activities in order to make sure the main ones are completely focused on. I'm looking forward to meeting with friends tomorrow. Two more days of vacation remain; how fun!

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Award Speech

I was granted the Global Product Manager of the Year award last night at the conclusion of our Global Sales Meeting.  Gosh it feels good!
I was told about it an hour before the awards ceremony right before the reception.  I was told that I had to give a speech but I had to exercise brevity; 2 minutes was all the time I got.  
I was giddy and grateful, and a bit nervous.  How many seconds were in two minutes really?  How many words?  Which were the most important things I wanted to remember to say up there?
The night was flowing with all the quick conversations and dinner and talks but I hardly got to really slow down and think.
I had a rather rough week at the whole meeting because of several peripheral stuff happening.  But now I was excited, I knew something really good most didn't know and it was about me!
We had a stand-up comedian right after the dinner who got to announce the awards.  The award ceremony rolled along with Sales awards; people got on the stage and back down but none of them had a speech.  Until we got to the Marketing awards.  And finally, the Global Product Manager of The Year award ... my name on the board.  I was sitting on the furthest chair away from the podium.  So I had to walk the whole room to get up there.  And mind you I was wearing a very long dress I had to lift a bit to be able to walk and maneuvering my way from between people standing and chairs pulled back.  But I made it up there.
There was the President of our division, the Vice President of Marketing, and the Vice President of Sales greeting me up there.  It was a monumental moment in my career life indeed.
I got to the podium after receiving my plaque.  And the count down to 120 seconds started.  I was grateful and honored.  And that is the main thing I could manage saying to all my management and particularly my manager.  I was graciously nervous mainly to observe the brevity order.
Later I got many comments that my speech was sincere, unique, and moving.  Some colleagues even said they could cry hearing it all.
But I reran the whole scene in my head several times after that and thought if I had all the time I needed to talk, I would have delivered more in the below lines:
I am honored to have been granted this award particularly in presence of my senior colleagues who had done a great job in the whole course of the year last year.  I am grateful for the opportunity granted to me two years ago when I was a senior R&D engineer, bored and unmotivated after my beloved project at the time, which I was leading the technical developments of it, got halted.  I was told the next big thing was mine but there was no timeline defined for that.  At the same time a position opened and I thought this was the best time to make the move to marketing as I had planned to do at one point.  I already had my reputation in R&D, and I was OK accepting a demotion if needed to explore the marketing realm now better than when I was a principal R&D engineer.
I went to my interview sessions with nothing but my irrelevant graduate degree in engineering, my extensive product development experience but above all my determination to learn and execute the best I knew I could.
The interview sessions began and I got grilled!  I had never been in any interview before, as technical as they could be, and feel so challenged than how I felt in my marketing position interview!  I know they had their doubts but they decided to take a chance on me and more than that, they were determined to set me up for success.  I was determined to prove them right with their decision.
I started my role not knowing the very simple things like what ADDU was or what D-Chain was which was particularly important in my first assignment which was a backorder management.  Then here I am after less than two year in marketing winning the Global PM of the Year!  It was not possible so efficiently if it were not for all the mentorship I received from those whom they might not even know how impactful their words and comments have been for me.
After my first back order management done successfully in a matter of few months I received many congratulatory emails from senior management and many sales managers for a great job well-done.  There was a particular email though that got engraved in my career soul forever.  It was a congratulatory email from our president, M.P., I responded back thankfully with how I always was willing to do my very best.  Then he responded me again in these lines: always try your very best, and when you think you have, you will find that you have more gears to pull to propel you further than you may imagine!  This was a memorable aspiring advice that sank with my logic so well.
I am thankful for our VP of Marketing, B.R.; he is always occupied but he is never too busy for you, always there for you, and always supportive and having your back.  His whole team exemplifies his great leadership traits that are all very supportive and attentive and trusting.  I had many brief but motivational discussions with J.G. and S.H. for which I am ever grateful.
Then there is my dear K.C. who was a believer in me from day one, I could tell.  She was determined to coach me for success and taught me many aspects of my job; always there to counsel with me when I needed a couple minutes of her time.
And above all, I owe this to the single person who not only believed in me, he helped me see my unique strengths and encouraged me to double down on them; he believed in my strategic abilities way beyond my doubts; my manager G.S. who has been the best mentor and coach I have ever had.
I have worked in many different groups and I know how rare it is to be working for such supporting leaders in our management group.  I am blessed!
Also blessed with the professional peers I am working with.  We complement each other so harmoniously; it is an honor to be working with them.
And finally, my M and A who stood by me and all the life style shifts we had to all go through due to my career change; they were graciously supportive all the time.  I am so grateful and I owe it all to them.
I take responsibility for my results and thank God this is a positive one; I am enjoying this honor and am looking forward to a great year pulling more gears forward.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

An Honorary Note for A Product Manager Me

I am amazed at how articulately expressive some people can be!
We had a key opinion leader visit from Japan yesterday.  I had met with the physician one and a half years ago when he was here in Fremont and had collected his input and implemented them in the proposed marketing specifications.  I remember badgering R&D sometimes to push for a requirement here and there, which is the norm now for me, and rather easy to do as a previous R&D; I know what is doable and what is not.
In any case, the meeting commenced and the new concepts were demonstrated.  The physician was really pleased with what he evaluated.  We had some very nice discussions on the side about other products.  He eventually invited me to visit his center and observe some of his cases in the near future.
Note that I had found the Japanese physicians very precise, direct, and rather laconic in expressing their ideas.  And this meeting was no exception.
Then, this morning, I received a very lengthy and rather expressive email from the physician with many congratulatory words and approval notes pertinent to the concept he had evaluated and the discussions we had.  He had even called us part of his team now which I knew meant a great deal.
It was then that I remembered, from my little exposure to Japanese literature and cinema, that how literally expressive Japanese can be despite their seemingly insignificant facial expressions.
It was a fresh note!  And needless to say got me really pleased and happy to read all those encouraging and congratulatory words on this Saturday morning!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


There is a time for growth.  There is a time for idleness.
There is a time for joy.  There is a time for sorrow.
There is a time for love.  There is a time for remorse.  There is a time for ignorance.
There is a time to realize that there is a time for everything.  It is my expectations that makes me inpatient with the time.  There is no guarantee for our expectations.  There may even be no right for such expectations.  The universe is taking its own time.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Materialistic Joy

I got up this morning humming.  When I traced back the reason for this sweet happiness I figured it could be because of what I saw when I opened my eyes: my new black BCBG maxi dress hanging from the door.
I know, it is too materialistic.  But when I told my dear R.N. she analyzed it as just being a girl, a lively fun-loving girl.  May be it is alright to enjoy a piece of clothing, not to need it for enjoyment but then cherish it while you can.
M has bought us a new sound system and an elliptical machine, and he has them installed last week while I was away.  So we have other materialistic additions to the house.  A is for sure experimenting with them a lot, of course I think it is the newness effect too.
Back to my dress, I think I need to shop for a new shrug or jacket as the top now.  Can't wait to wear it ha ha

Friday, February 3, 2012


I met with Dr B. again yesterday and then had dinner with him and his colleagues and my colleague.  The discussions were flowing in many different directions, as usually is the case in such venues. It was one memorable discussion that got me thinking.  Dr B. started asking around the table about the duration of college studies.  Then he claimed his I.Q. was low (mind you, he is a neurointernevtionalist, what is above neurosurgery in medicine really?) but he had made up his mind since 4th grade elementary school that that was what he wanted to be.  So he had focused on it! And surely attained it.  And he is not just a neurosurgeon, he is one of the most admired and valued elites in the society.  It really got me contemplate; it is "focus" that makes you get what you want.
The whole evening with many talks flowing by reminded me of another philosophical view that Mr E. had once shared with us.  His main point was that in a gathering when one talks most of the talks the rest of the company wont feel belonging; it is in reciprocating discussion that all would enjoy the chats and company.  I had the chance to observe and examine this view too, which was neat to remember.