Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Bill Henry

In memory of a great man, Bill Henry.  All I can think about when I try to remember him is how honest he was, how reliable and genuine, what a logical person.  I am grateful that I had the opportunity to meet him and work with him. He was one of the best managers I had and one of the greatest people I ever met.  His lively laughter was heard from anywhere on the floor and made you smile even when you didn't know the subject.
I keep thinking about our last conversation last week. How assured the gestured! How neglectful the moments!
He left us so very suddenly. Passed. From the same disease he had helped many with.  How bizarre the acts of the universe!
This was a reminder to me of how unexpected life is. Any talk can be the very last talk. Any visit the very last sight.
I understand that he was on vacation in a far away island. I wondered if he would live should he not be so remote. I wonder if it were an aneurysm rupture and if so how come he didn't know about it? He was an active and aware man.  But then I believe there is a time and place for everyone when and where one passes.  I like to think he passed on vacation in a beautiful venue and painlessly.
I will miss his presence in the office and in the meetings.  It was a relief every time he was around; you knew he would understand and support the good thoughts and worthy suggestions. You knew what he was saying was well based and trustworthy. You knew how he was saying it would settle the matters.
Now, no more emails from Bill Henry. No more unexpected visits to ones cubicle for a real and practical chat. No more stories about his days in Texas. No more funny comments about colleagues' Excel proficiency.
Bill Henry was a great man. He touched our lives from many angles and we are all better because of who he was and how he was.  He will be missed.  How nice to pass and people miss one and talk about one's memories and words positively. What a nice life!  I hope I pass like that!
I am sure he is in a very good place right now; yet I feel sad that I won’t see him again and I know I will miss him a lot. This loss is a reminder to me that life is not to be taken for granted.  I try to remember this.
O God! Please bless his soul and take care of him!


Sunday, February 23, 2014

Maps; Real Kind

Driving in 101 North from San Louis Obispo back home in San Jose, I wish for a map. We are looking at the car GPS but I wish for the real kind that are printed. I like to study it, finding my "you are here" myself, and pin where I want to go. Then map my path going from page to page where the page ends while the road still continues.
This reminds me of my days at Canspec, a consulting company in Oakville, Ontatio I was employed at in early 2005. My manager and I needed to visit clients around Ontario. He had a road atlas in his car and would give me the client's address.  We would find the location on the map and pan out a plan. I would then become his guide showing him the way while browsing the maps following the agreed upon plan. In return, he would map the lunch stops in his head. He knew the best soup places around Ontario, the best burger shops, the best German dineries. All inexpensive and a hole in the wall actually but indeed delicious dishes. Everywhere he went he ordered "the usual" and said hi to the mom and pop.  He taught me the ethiquette in eating soup the German way.  He was not very talkative but suddenly would blurt something facinating about a road we were on or a building we were passing by.  All the while, I had my head burried in the road atlas.  Soon after, I would request the address and find the direction via Google Map before departure. It was new at the time and more convenient to me than Map Quest.  I would then print the direction from our office to the client's and pin it to the inner side of their folder. J.Z., my boss, was impressed but we continued using the road atlas when traveling in his car.
We used to have a road atlas in my parents' car too.  We travelled around Iran using the book. I still remember the ragged red cover of the book and how it was exciting to me finding our way through its pages; where the pages ended and the roads continued.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Yes I Can!

Easy did it. After a few runs in the easy slope I found my groove and actually had fun. I even helped a lady hill who had fallen and couldn't stand up. Then in the last run a lady sitting by me on the lift pulled me down and I hit the ground from behind very sharply. I couldn't move for a while and eventually crawled out of the way. I was not sure if I could ski down but I made it.
I must give credit to M and friends for their support in pushing me to ski. Otherwise I was ready to leave at noon.
Now. I'm glad it all came back to me and I am grateful that it was an uneventful day for us all.

Contemplating on my Ski Abilities

Can I do it again?
The little angel just fell asleep and I brought her and the stroller flooded with stuff to the cafe. I am not sure where everybody is.
A is taking a ski lesson again; he is level 2 now. He seems to be interested in snow boarding and I would like us to support him with his interest. However, the lesson we have already purchased is for ski. I hope we can bring him up again for snow boarding lessons.
M is skiing this morning and the plan is for him to take m this afternoon so I can ski a few hours perhaps. But I haven't skied for four years and M won't be with me. Indeed he wasn't last time either so I'm not sure why the doubt in myself.
Ok, it is going to be a few hours of m and me. She shall be up any moment. She is such a light sleeper.  Meanwhile, I might browse the book I grabbed from the bookshelf in the cottage just as we were walking out the door.  The only reason for me grabbing it is the author: Steinbeck. Last I read one of his books, The Moon is Down, was when I was in high school. I remember I enjoyed reading it on a lazy new year holiday day.
Oh she is up. And crying. Of course.  No network here. To be continued.
Three hours later and I totally regret coming. This baby hates warm cloths and wants to be held all the time. My shoulders are aching and I'm tired already.
I must say I do not recommend Sierra at Tahoe for parents with babies. The washrooms are downstairs which is where you can nurse too. The cafe is in the middle storie and where you can have any reception to contact your spouse is yet another level up. And no elevator! So you are at mercy of passerbies to help you with the baby and the flooding stroller to move between any of these locations!!
Funny now that I'm tired I have less doubt in my ski abilities!! I rather go back to the house.
To be continued.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Celebrating Working Moms

All sorts of toys in the playroom and the livingroom, a few untidy blankets everywhere around the house, and undone dishes. This is how my house looks like at the end of a weekend day. My house! Me! Who used to clean her room continuously, dust her desk every day, and vaccuum her floor every week. Who used to be able to crawl her hands through her closets with closed eyes and find the exact thing she needed in two seconds.
Now, this untidy house is my house.  I am thankful for it.
I am thankful for the toys and the kids who played with it. I'm thankful for the undone dishes in which we had warm lunch earlier today. I'm grateful for the house that is warm and untidy.
I am thankful for other working moms and working women in my life. Those positive, encouraging women who are following their passions one way or the other. I am happy for your accomplishments.
I am grateful for my mom, the working mom of the past generation, who always says "you can do it if you set your mind on it".
I'm learning to be content with an untidy house. In the end, there is a difference between being perfect and being successful. I am learning to cherish my commitments and prioritize them, working to the best of my ability to make it work. I'm trying.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Few Hours Before Super Bowl

Super Bowl is a fantastically foreign event for us while it is an annual ritual for many. It is amusing how from the Friday night before the game the grocery stores are filled with people and emptied of snacks and junk food. Then on the day people are rushing to their Super Bowl party locations but during the game the highways are exceptionally empty.  I like how it is a ritual; family and friends gather  and share the adrenalin rush.
I must say I really enjoyed the game last year when the San Francisco 49rs where playing.  We were at our relatives' in Walnut Creek, cozied up around the coffee table covered with cheese and crackers and snacks.  I think the little angel inside me was pumped with excitement too.
Otherwise, this is a rather quiet day for me.  Perhaps even lonely on occasions.
A park visit is always fun though.