Jerome's incomprehensible but improving...
Monday, October 13, 2003
Had a nice talk with Sacha last Saturday. Went kind of serious but was a good reflection on knowing what being a friend is about. I still have some thoughts about that discussion that I SHOULD BE BLOGGING SOON (reminder).
I would just like to remember for posterity's sake how it's been so nice of Gladys to take me right to my doorstep whenever we go home. I try to give a little something back by way of good conversation, talking a little about myself, helping her review for ISO, and paying the Expressway toll.
Also her mom makes good sandwiches and quiches (kee-shes -- not pronounced like "quickie" or something like that =P).
Had dinner with Neil. Got to tell him about the hilarious BP discussions (ENGLISH ONLY and RUN FOREST RUN) and JITSE.
I texted Sanjay if he could come. He said he couldn't earlier. He texted later that he was free. Will check cellphone better next time. Good thing my new one has vibrate (I am such a late adopter with cellphones.)
Can't detail them too much here, but just some pointers for memory:
Late bird, early bird
Rat-tat-tat-tat... sa Gubat!
Ratratan (which is suitable Tagalog slang)
Fire in the Forest
Run Forest Run
Just tell me when and how you want the punchlines delivered. =)
Met with Fritz and Pollie on Wednesday. Got an update on where they are -- Fritz is still teaching, while Pollie is still on SAP project in P&G.
Got to hear a bit more about Fritz and her boyfriend in France (she's always running out of load on her prepaid cell.) and her experiences with teaching (her frustration with perpetually whiny students.)
Was nice to get in touch with them.
Have to say about this dinner: learned about Parokya ni Edgar's new album. Got a copy from Amil the next day. Also got to order food at The Grind for the first time. Milkshake was quite good. Have to practice chess in case I get challenged there.
Elita left Saturday. Anuja told us about her visit to the spa and her excursion to Megamall and Shangri-la (the imported stuff is more expensive here than in the US.)
More work of course. We had lunch with Bill and got to talk about this interesting product called SiteScape. Bill worked previously with DEC, and was extolling its virtues and its capacity to successfully run his beta products, coordinating discussions with customers and engineers efficiently with it.
Had a last dinner with Anuja and Bill (well Bill will be around till 15th.) Got to hear some stuff about TMCM and the AV-PM group, and how Anuja and Bill think about US IT.
Bye! Hope to come to US someday. =)
Of course we went down from work late. We just went in there for a while. They gave 2 free beers, so-so band playing, lots of barbecues and other pulutan food. A bit awkward sitting in with the rest of BP, drinking and offering Bill, Elita, and Anuja peanuts, chicharon and shredded beef.
Afterwards was told by Amil it got a bit wild in there. It rained, then later it rained again, this time beer being thrown here and there.
We went ahead to drive all the way to Intramuros to show around the tourists. Was frankly a disappointment. Of note was this rather obnoxious guy who "helped" us park. He wanted to take the umbrella Anuja was holding to help her. Then Anuja was shouting "No, no, no!" as if she (understandably) thought she was being accosted or mugged by someone behind her. Then the guy was making fun of her saying "No-no-no!" We eventually lost the guy after being forced to pay for the parking fee, but not after passing him by on the way out. Rather creepy.
Maureen was very kind to bring me all the way home, and then bring back Bill, Anuja and Elita (who had a morning flight) back to the hotel.
Results hadn't come out by Sept. 30. Amil made several follow-ups, each time the answering lady became more and more visibly irked. He called to be told that the results will come out tomorrow, and he called the next day and was told the results already came out in the Bulletin yesterday (Oct 2.)
Then I hear from Ho-young about me passing JITSE. And he said he may have seen Amil's name but was misspelled or something. Of course Amil was going AAAGHH! over this. Amil went to the Pasig public library and was able to verify our names were on the list. Yes his name was mispelled.
JITSE results finally appeared in the JITSE website on Monday. Too bad the listing's alphabetical...
As for XChallenge results, another thing dues on the 30th, Mark called and the MS guys told him that the results will be delayed by 2 weeks.
Good thing ADMU-DLSU game pushed through on the 30th. We won! (Though we lost against FEU eventually...)
This is way way backlog. I have to blog this before I forget the important stuff.
Anuja (our Intranet PM) and Elita (content owner) flew in to PH for our Intranet project. I helped set up the camp on Monday -- also officially moved out of the VE-CMS camp.
Camp in Manila I was real fun. Anuja brought chocolates which ran out pretty soon, but we bought groceries and so we had a lot of munchings like pistachios and fruits and junk food and stuff. Not to mention the box of Dewberry I bought.
Was kind of expensive food-wise. First 2 days I just bought sandwiches at Olver's. Then we took them to practically all the restaurants. We also had a dinner at Dencio's and we got Anuja to eat "sizzling sisig". She likes spicy foods and liked "Bicol Express" best. She really prefers vegetarian but she does eat meat (not much though.)
Anuja invited us on Wednesday (I think) for dinner at Discovery Suites (they throw something for the guests monthly). We had a nice discussion over "soul food" and got to meet Bill Kam from Lake Forest there.
Wanted to go out with them for Friday lunch, but had lunch out with ODTS group instead.
Hmm why do I keep talking about food? =) To be fair, we were really eating and eating a lot. Also we really just have the malls and food to show foreign guests, which is kind of sad.
ON WORK: Got to deliberate with Anuja on the scope, and organize the dev process with Gladys, Guido and Maureen. The camp was convenient for those quick questions which would normally have been done with email which I'd have to check for grammar etc. I could just speak out loud to Anuja and get the answer then and there.
ON TREND STUFF: Turns out that Trend is rather different globally. The Cupertino office is kind of boring, Anuja tells me. Not too good on the activity-organizing. Morale is kind of bad because of the recent lay-offs. Lots of people in Marketing.
Elita works with the Trend Foundation who organizes the Natural Born Programmer contests. The impression I got from her is that Taiwan office is rather big, with lots of RD and BP engineers. They have activities also like in PH, and they have yoga classes too!
Bill works with beta program management, among other things (not too clear). He's here not for the Intranet project but for virus training and interviewing for the new TSS unit here in PH. Lake Forest office as I hear from Bill is quite spacious, though not too many people -- the tech support staff will probably be growing here in PH instead, at least that's the impression I got.
ON PERSONAL AND CULTURAL STUFF: Some tidbits about them -- Anuja is married for 3 years. She got engaged with her husband before taking her masterals (that was her father's condition to her future husband!)
Elita does not have a boyfriend -- for the duration of her TW visit.
Bill is married. He lives very near the Lake Forest office. He plays tennis. His folks lives in Hawaii and has a number of stories about it, about the local milk tasting awful but the weather being hot and nice.
We shared some stuff about US, Taiwan, Indian and local culture. In the US people are rather wasteful with electricity etc., but they drive politely and almost never honk their horns (Anuja says Boston is kind of bad but that's it.) India is like the Philippines, with the traffic and the chaos etc.
In Taiwan, apparently walking from the Podium to Galleria is walking distance. Perhaps their public transport and sidewalks are better. Elita says that if in Taiwan people walk far, in Japan people walk farther and faster. She says this is the case when public transport is good; people get used to switching lines and the pedestrian infrastructure is also good.