Monday, December 31, 2007

Adios 2007

Another year has gone fleeting by. Wow. I remember vividly the uproar for the millennium -- 8 years ago! Doesn't it scare you how time flies? It petrifies me.

Anyway, bottom line is that there is nothing we can do about that but realize it and make sure we are making the most of our time.

2007 has been a very eventful year for me:
- I moved to Madrid
- I got my TEFL certification
- I taught English
- I passed the intermediate DELE (official Spanish language exam)
- I blogged and vlogged
- I started writing for Vagablogging, Gadling, Written Road, European Vibe and Map Magazine
- My blogging contract for Gridskipper ended
- I presented a video for a Jon Spencer concert
- I went to Galicia (Northern Spain), Barcelona, Valencia, Granada,Paris (twice!), Malmo (Sweden), Copenhagen, and Rome.
- I joined a writer's group and a Vipassana (meditation) group -- both I made a point of staying in contact with
- I worked on the European Radio Awards in Barcelona
- I did some web consultancy for an online marketing strategy firm
- I was interviewed on Write-to-Travel blog
- I was featured in a travel e-book
- I salsa'd A LOT and started to (well, tried to) learn Tango
- I went through 4 pairs of dancing shoes
- I got mugged of 20 Euros
- My parents visited, and so did 3 of my close friends
- I dated a Spanish boy, and started dating an American one
- I watched the Rocky Horror Show
- I learnt how to make curry! (Yeeeeeeeeehaa!)
- I pierced my nose (TODAY!)
- I became an aunt
- My brother moved to Texas
- My grandmother died of lung cancer
- My grandfather's second wife died of a heart attack

What does this all mean? How do I feel? How have I changed? What is in store for 2008? Bugs Bunny knows.

Resolutions for 2008? I'm still letting 2007 sink in for the moment.

Thank you and cheers to all those people who have been reading my blog. I hope you stick around in 2008!

Happy New Year.

Friday, December 28, 2007

It's OK, it's the festive season

If there is anyone out there who is not pigging out this festive season, still exercising and therefore still looking great in tight jeans, how do you do it!? How do you resist indulging in sweet and savory delights put in front of you, begging to be eaten? Answer: you don't.

This week (and I presume the next one too) has seen me relieving my year's nonsensical preoccupations (what am I doing with my life, why am I in Spain, I have a white hair (!), when am I going to clean the cobwebs in my room, etc etc) by eating full-fat food and dessert, nonstop. No exercise. No real work. Lots of sleep. Lots movies. Lots of unproductive thinking. Lots of nothing.

It's great to have these days but it's hard to really enjoy them when you don't have a proper job. I feel guilty; like I have no right to take time off. Of course that's not true. Everyone has the right to take time off. Even if they don't have any concrete achievements to justify hours of absolute lethargy.

Much needed conclusive note: Come January and it's going to be crazy again, so sit down and enjoy every morsel of that molten-chocolate-whipped-cream cake.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Winter Smells

Has anyone realized how good people smell in winter? I'm a sucker for people who smell good. There is nothing more momentarily pleasurable than someone walk past you and you get a fresh whiff of perfume, cologne, soap, cream, or even hair gel.

I have an 8:30am class to teach every morning. When I get into the metro, I'm so busy identifying smells I can't concentrate on the newspaper I have to read. Palmolive honey, Pleasures for men, Davidoff Cool Waters, Loreal Wet Look Moose, Johnson's Baby Cologne, Axe for men and sometimes I even smell the peppermint freshness of mouthwash! (Yes, I have a super sensitive nose). I identify the smell and all of a sudden I see him/her doing his/her morning getting dressed routine and all of a sudden I feel like I know them. Is that sick?

People stink in summer. They sweat and they stink. Winter has that perpetual morning freshness. The temperature is cool, the wind is cold and minty. Everyone seems clean. Everyone smells great. This might be the only reason I don't mind winter.

Happy winter!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I feel ugly

Ever had one of those days where you wake up, look in the mirror, and go "ugh"? You feel worn and exhausted. All your facial imperfections seem magnified. You see countless blackheads and scars on your skin that has never seemed drier. Your lips are chapped and blood-red from the wine you drank the night before. Your eyes are puffy, you have dark circles -half from being tired, half from the black-eyeliner that you never take off properly; your hair seems listless, your nail-polish is chipped, you feel fat.

Today is one of those days for me. It's been a long time since I had one of these days. I'm not depressed or anything, it's a day that resonates how you cannot afford to stop exercising, you should not drink every night, passive smoking is as bad as smoking yourself, you need 8-hours of sleep -- at least a few times a week, you cannot live on Chinese food and coffee, and that you are totally responsible for your physical and mental well-being.

Lately, I have been working hard and partying harder. I have been having a great time but today when I woke up I was momentarily disturbed as I looked in the mirror and asked myself, was it worth it!?

I think I need to balance things out a bit. Sometimes you don't have to seize every moment, most of the time there is tomorrow, so you just need to chill more often than not.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saying goodbye and moving on

Some thoughts that have been looming in my mind lately -- subject of my latest post on Vagablogging.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Quote from the Jay-Z of blogging

"I always believed that those of us who were creating personal media online would win. I still hold out hope that when we do so, it's not because we were willing to fight dirtier (or work cheaper) than the media that inspired us, but rather because we could do a better job of making media than the legacy media does today. Congratulations to everybody involved for being willing to indulge in a little bit of the most positive sort of creative destruction." -- Anil Dash, Vice President at Six Apart (makers of Typepad, Moveable Type, LiveJournal and Vox)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Some friends you just can't do without!

M: So will you miss my wisdom when I move to the US?
Me: Why, you won't have electricity or a computer?
M: Yes, but our time will be so different.
Me: It's super cheap for me to call the States.
M: OK, you can reach me on my 1800-GODS-GIFT-TO-WOMEN Number

Hahahah. What would I do without you!? :D

Question of the day

How personal should your blog be?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Dating: The Three-Month Twitch

I have been in the "dating" sphere for the last 10-years, and I have not been able to keep a man in my life for more than 3-months at a stretch -- a consistent end post the damned if you do, damned if you don't theory.

Various reasons for this, all bullshit, but reasons nonetheless -- or excuses rather. For example:
-"You are too good to be with a jerk like me." (huh?)
-"I respect you too much to be dating you casually." (did I say I wanted a serious relationship!??)
-"You are the type I would take home to my mum, and right now I just want to get laid." (dude, I don't want to meet your mum!)
-"How can you want to date me knowing it's not going to last? What is the point?" (Urrr...nothing lasts forever, and whatever happened to enjoying the present?)
-"I am scared of commitment." (I don't want to marry you!)
-"It's not you, it's me." (My all time favourite cliche :)

I've had the odd "I'm really still in love with my ex" thing, which is fine and acceptable -- but the boys have not had the balls to tell me that whilst breaking-up. The odd mutual break-up "we like each other but not enough to keep dating" shpeal has been the cleanest cut-out.

However, what might be interesting to note (as I choose to humiliate myself publicly on this blog) is that all these guys went on to have serious relationships after me. I don't know what to think of that, and I rather not. I do wish they would have told me the truth though. I've been half-tempted to ring them all and ask them "what did I not do right?"

Maybe I was too easy. Maybe I should've played those stupid games that everyone plays. Maybe I gave too much too soon. Maybe I didn't give enough. Maybe we shouldn't have gotten involved in the first place. Fuck knows.

Anyway, so I'm currently involved in something. I don't want to tag it, there is no point. (Oh, I also recently learnt that "dating" is different from a "relationship" -- I didn't know that. Yeah, I'm pretty clueless when it comes to men. And I'm sick of trying to figure this whole being with someone concept. It's overrated and it gives me a headache.)

So post my confidence being shattered a million times and my therefore assumed vulnerability, my dating mind frame has evolved into this: I date someone because I'm enjoying myself. The minute it's more painful than fun, you get out.

Coming back to my point: it has been 3-months since I have been with someone now and that momentary realization (that I don't want to dwell on which is why I'm ranting it on this blog) has made me think about my past hook-ups and how pass this duration and within a week it's over.

I know it's not fair to compare your relationships. Each one is completely different, they have nothing to do with each other. But, when the pattern repeats itself on numerous occasions, you can't help but wonder.

It's like the guys had a timer that started beeping come the 3-month mark and were afraid that what they are involved in is nothing but a bomb waiting to explode.

It's not like I'm consciously counting days, but it's hard not to be aware of this possibly apocalyptic phase of my dating life.

I don't know what that says about me. Did I just compare myself to a bomb waiting to explode? I really don't know what that says about me. Sigh.

Anyway, there are a few thoughts that help me deal with stuff like this:
- You can't make anyone do anything they don't want to: if someone doesn't want to be with you there is no convincing him into it.
- It's all about personal growth: whether in or out of an involvement with someone, as long as you've grown in some way (together or apart), it was worth it.
- Nobody dies of a broken heart: you fall, you get up, you dust off, you move on.
- Everything happens for a reason.

Someone once told me that you attract what you are ready for. Maybe subconsciously this is all I have ever been ready for? Or, all I am ready for at the moment?

Is this normal or is there something seriously wrong with me? Do I need to see a psychiatrist?

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Parents Check In Madrid

Every time I swear that I need to blog here at least once a day, something happens and I land up not blogging for days.

Normally, I don't have a good excuse: tired, not inspired, too much blogging other places, hungover...but this time I have a very valid excuse: my parents were here!

Yes, they came to see what on earth I am doing with my life here in Spain. We spent 5 action-packed days in Madrid, together at all waking hours and we didn't want to tear out each others eyes. :)

I don't think I have spent so much time with my parents in the whole 5 years I lived at home in Dubai. It was superb.

Although their million dollar question of where will what I'm doing right now take me later wasn't answered, they appreciated the way I live and understand why I don't want to change my life yet.

Was sad to see them leave, only because I don't know when I will see them again.
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