Who am I?

S vintage star
S filipina now living in california
S obsessive-compulsive... make that compulsive-obsessive... no, obsessive-compulsive
S cold all the time (literally)

current terror alert level
Terror Alert Level

Why is Life Cold?

i actually have a very happy life. i just saw this graphic one day and got an inspiration for another blog. why not write about the stuff that makes life cold? from the huge, catastrophic, life-altering events to the seemingly trivial, little incidents that rub you the wrong way. it doesn't have to be a personal experience, it can be something observed.

on writing these down, my intent is to learn to appreciate life more and have a better handle on things when life throws you a curve ball. i want whoever will read this to contemplate, not get depressed. hopefully, you'll share with me your experiences as well so we can learn from each other.

p.s. it doesn't always have to be cold

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Where I Go When I Feel Life Getting Cold

S Memento
S Jo's Forum
S Shai Coggins
S pinayexpat
S joyceline
S piehole (a very funny girl)
S Din's World
S pinayhekmi chronicles
S Linnor
S Tin
S kwentong tambay
S deja brew
S denden
S mushings
S Junkville (never fails)


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The Paper Guy

Every morning on my way to work, I pass by this man who sells the San Jose Mercury News right on the side of the street before I get on I280.  There has always been a newspaper vendor there but somehow, this guy has caught my attention right from the start.

Before I go on let me say something about myself.  I don't know why but I easily get affected with people who are alone, or who have menial, but honorable jobs.  I hate seeing people engaging in social things alone, whether eating, shopping, seeing a movie, etc.  I feel sorry for them, even though they may be the happiest person on earth.  As for those who work menial jobs, it's not that I feel sorry for them but I feel so proud that they chose their line of work instead of beg or steal.  They could be a rich dot-comer who's just in-between jobs but actually has a bigger house than I do, but it doesn't matter.  I can't help but feel like I have to help the busboy clean up or buy something I don't need from the street vendor.

Which leads me back to the paper guy.  Before he came along, there was this big African-American guy selling the newspaper at the same spot.  More out of pity than a need to catch up with current events, I bought a paper from this guy, handing him a $5 bill.  Although I fully intended to give the whole $5 for a 35-cent paper, I was appalled when he pocketed the money, flashed me a wide smile, said "Thank you" and then willed for the green light to come on so he could get rid of me.  He robbed me of the chance to be able to say "Keep the change" and feel good about myself for the rest of the day.  This totally turned me off and I never bought from him again.  I suspect that other customers have had the same experience because this vendor was gone soon after. 

Fast forward to the current guy.  I think what caught my attention was seeing him in a Kansas City jacket one chilly morning.  I have a deep affinity with Kansas City, having lived there for about a year back in the early '90s.  Even then, I ignored this vendor for several weeks, having been burned by the previous one.  As the days rolled on I was impressed with his work ethic, running from car to car to peddle his paper and being there every single day (the previous vendor wasn't).  So one day I decided to buy a paper from him.  I gave him a dollar.  He hurriedly shuffles in the oversized pocket of his vendor vest for my change.  I told him to not worry about it and drove off.  I felt good that day.

Of course from then on he would approach me daily to try to sell me paper.  I like the way he does this discreetly, just looking at me hopefully from afar and moving on to the next car when I don't look his way.  He does not get in my face or awkwardly waits next to my car whenever I'm stopped at the light.  I don't read the papers, so I only buy from him once or twice a week.  Once in a while I'll give him a $5 bill.  I'm thinking that's a better use of money that my fattening chai creme frappucino from Starbucks.  Many times I've been tempted to ask him about Kansas City, but everytime I stop myself, afraid that may be being overfriendly.  I'm content with our vendor - vendee relationship, and I also don't want to be misconstrued, which happens quite a bit.

Do you have a stranger you have this strange, non-relationship relationship with?

Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 7.29.2004 11:58 AM. |

Another One Bites the Dust

Today is the last day of a girlfriend from work. Even though she is not a close friend, I am saddened by this. I have a lot in common with her. She is my age, we both graduated with our MBA's from Santa Clara University last December 2000 (although we never met in school), she is half-Filipino and she loves to engage in fun activities. She put together our company's team that participated in the 2-day Providian Relay a couple of years ago where I had a blast.

She quit because she was no longer being challenged by her job. I half-joked that that didn't stop me! She is joining a start-up firm that will surely get her more excited and give her less heartaches. We have had a significantly high turnover lately. Although our company has always struggled and has never really taken off, beset with all the corporate woes you can think of, its employees have generally been happy and genuinely liked one another. Recently I have been seeing a lot of new faces though. It feels like a different place, with a different vibe and governed by different rules. That's why I'm not surprised to see her go. And I expect more to follow.

As for me, my job is too comfortable for me to look for the proverbial greener pasture. Having read Stephen Covey's First Things First, I have learned to discern what's important from what's urgent. The nature of my job screams urgency all over, but being challenged at work is not that important to me.

What's important to you?

half of our team members after the exhilirating providian relay

Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 7.23.2004 10:15 PM. |

A Vintage Star

A few weeks back I chanced upon the photoblog of a good friend from high school. He's actually the one who inspired me to start blogging again and start a photoblog of my own (coming soon!). He's one of the funniest people I know, the makes-you-think funny as opposed to just-plain-silly funny. He is very smart and creative and his photoblog just confirms this fact. Even when we were little, I have always known that he's bound for great things. But now, I see that his spiritual growth and the love of a wonderful family have beautifully complemented his great intellect, molding him into a brilliantly outstanding human being. And he's still funny.

As I got back in touch with him and caught up on things, I suddenly find myself reminiscing the good old times (and yes, no matter how unpopular or angst-ridden you were, those were the good old times) and thinking about my old friends. I'm talking about the friends I made in school, and some during the early days of my career. I've made the realization a few years ago that these friends are whom I consider my closest and greatest friends, the ones I have been most joyful with. It could be attributed to my youth, or the fact that I moved to a different country with a different culture, but I just can't seem to have the same quality of friendships that I used to have growing up. I probably have more friends I regularly see now than before, but I would give a year's salary to spend quality time with the Seven Dwarfs (or Dwarves, we never did settle that argument), the Ongers, Senior-E, TTT, GWOSA, the Cybernet posse, and the CyberGumps. Yes, I was always with a group that was so cheesy it had a name. We probably won't have a banner with our name on it but we will still have the best time.

When I went back to the Philippines last January, I did have a reunion with most of Senior-E and that was one of the best times I've had in a long time. I don't remember the last time I've laughed so hard I peed my pants a little. Of course everyone had grown-up, most have their own families, but in my eyes they were still the same girls I giggled with, the same boys who copied my homework. Parting with them, I just reassure myself with the fact that technology has indeed made this world smaller and that they are just an email or text message away.

So I come back home to my current friends - a few neighbors, the wives of my husband's friends, friends from work whom I lunch with, the moms of my stepson's friends. And then there's my husband, who, despite not growing up with me, not being there in my formative years, and not being familiar with the culture I've assimilated in, has taken on the role of my best friend. Maybe I already have all the deep friendship I need...

Do you find yourself missing your old friends and wishing you could be with them again?

Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 7.17.2004 7:55 PM. |

I Lost a Friend Today

No, he didn't die. He just decided to stop speaking to me. This belies once more the "honesty is the best policy" crap you learn growing up, because my only fault was to be completely honest with him. And our relationship is one that I foolishly thought breeds this honesty.

We have been friends for over a decade. When we met, there was attraction on both sides, but I had a boyfriend then, even though the latter was a thousand miles away. So we settled on a friendship that involved a lot of profound conversations and hanging out. Although we flirted constantly, I never fell in love with him. I moved away but strangely, our friendship got stronger. We saw each other occasionally over the years, and we always easily picked up where we left off. Recently, we've been seeing more of each other, because he went for a vacation here and I there. Because of that, we also have been spending a considerable amount of time talking.

When I came back from my vacation, we still kept in touch, thanks to text messaging. One thing that we constantly marvel on is how our relationship is so unique, even deeper than that of Harry and Sally (before they hooked up). While talking to him earlier on the phone, I told him one of my realizations about us. He tried to dispel it, but I said I didn't believe him. He then said he had to go and hung up. And I know I'll never hear from him again. I've never felt so cold since six years ago, when I got dumped by a guy I was terribly in love with.

Have you ever said anything that hurt someone so badly, you'll give anything to take it back, even though you believe it's true?

Vangie Fuhrman got cold on 7.12.2004 9:40 PM. |