Sunday, September 25, 2005

From Dee's Log

Sandi tagged me. I think the game goes like this: Find your 23rd entry then note the fifth sentence in it. 

Link here to read it.

The fifth sentence is: I like being mysterious. I still do.

The entry was about being the Editor's pick. Needless to say, I did not send them a picture so I was not featured. I was too young of a blogger to be comfortable with the limelight then. I think one of my blogger friends nominated me as a lark.

Today is Vince's birthday. He is my favorite blogging poet. For some unknown reason, he is keeping this a secret to the blogging world. Please stop by and wish him a happy birthday.

Had a busy week again. Most of it was spent at the local Red Cross office. I am going to spare you with depressing news from that front because I know you are being bombarded by the new devastation from Hurricane Rita. The center is still processing about 2,000 cases a day and we've seen a few from Texas already.

Hubby was home for the weekend. I just dropped him off at the airport. He will be in Charleston, SC for the next two weeks so if  I do not update next week, do not worry, chances are I packed my bags and went on a road trip to SC because I miss him.

I had a really nice weekend. I went to the local Seafood Festival and had my fill of grilled mahi mahi, calamari, and seafood alfredo. The place was also packed with crafters and artists booths. I spent my money on a basket of bromeliads and I took a card from a local artist so I can visit her studio and buy some of her lovely flower watercolors.

I also spent a lazy evening with hubby watching movies. He watched my indie films and I sat through his macho films. Case in point, I rented "Broken Wings" and "Before Sunset" while he had "Sahara" and "Hostage."

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

End Transmission.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Count Your Blessings

Visage de la Paix -Picasso

Life is never boring at the Red Cross Office. The case management supervisor from Washington, DC left a couple of days ago and she asked me to take over her job. It’s not a hard job. I supervise between 30-50 volunteer caseworkers and review their finished casework before I send it to the headquarters. The management team lavishly praised me for putting together a system that gives an up to the minute report of number of cases processed. The FEMA guys want these numbers and they are relieved that they do not have to wait till the end of the day to get the report.


Somehow, I am glad I am out of the firing line. The face to face encounter with the hurricane victims was getting the best of me. I had to take a long break one day after an interview so I can hide and cry. I interviewed an 85 year old woman from New Orleans who was originally from Germany and has no living relatives that she knows of in the US or in Germany. Her neighbors took her with them to evacuate to our hometown when water started rising in their neighborhood. She said she watched her car float away from her garage. Her husband died last year and left her a home and a car.  They did not have any insurance on the home nor the car because they were on fixed income. I started getting teary eyed when she said, “I am 85 years old and I lost everything I have. I am too old to start all over again. Who would hire me at my age? Where am I going to live now?" I hugged her and reassured her that I will do everything in my power to help her. I processed her case and gave her some referral to other community services and gave her my name and contact number so I can help her further if the other agencies fail to assist her. I kept my dignity and did not bawl while she was there but I did a quick getaway to the restroom as soon as she left so I can cry. And cry, I did. 


On the lighter note, I would like to share my all time favorite poem. I stumbled in it when I was in highschool and it helped me form some of my present convictions. I also love the tittle. It sounds so exotic and mysterious.



Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Dee, Reporting for Duty!

I am alive, well and still living in Hurricane Alley. Life had been a little busy. I am spending a lot of my time at the local Red Cross office doing disaster relief case management and outreach. I was on the six o'clock news on the local channel yesterday. Channel 3 came and videotaped our training session. I was not compelled to watch the news just to see myself so I did not tune in. I stopped watching TV a week ago because it saddens me to see the hurricane devastation.

Disaster relief work is emotionally taxing but intrinsically rewarding. I get teary eyed . I hear the victims' sad stories and I hugged and will be hugging a lot of them. I always try to portray a professional but compassionate demeanor so I have yet to bawl infront of my clients. I usually take a break when I start feeling emotionally overwhelmed.

In other news... emeraldcalf tagged me via e-mail. Here's my contribution to the new blog craze:

7 Things I Plan To Do Before I Die:
1. Travel in at least one country in all the continents. I've been to three and I traveled all over North America. Four down, three more to go. Hello, South America; Antartica; and Africa!!!
2. Join the Peace Corps and help people in the third world countries for 2-5 years after my retirement. Yes, I am an egalitarian.
3. Take courses in Quantum Physics to indulge the mad scientist in me. "Quantum foam, makes you roam."
4. Finish post-graduate school just because. I do not wish to join the ivory tower team.
5. Compile a book of my essays and poetries for my children. I want to leave them something simple but priceless, a piece of me.
6. Buy a Harley and hit the road with hubby in the backseat. Nope, he will not be allowed to ride it by himself.
7. Learn to play violin and rock like Vanessa Mae with it. I'll be Granny Mae!

7 Things I Can Do:
1. I can speed read and remember most of what I read.
2. I can understand mathematical concepts.
3. I can crunch numbers like a seasoned accountant.
4. I can bake anything and everything with love.
5. I can sew, crochet, landscape and whip up a themed dinner.
6. I can travel anywhere in the world with confidence.
7. I can be generous with my time, money and other resources to people I love and causes I believe in.

7 Things That Attract Me To The Opposite Sex:
1. Smiling face and eyes.
2. Brains and techie persuasion.
3. Sense of humor. I enjoy a banter with the witty and sarcastic.
4. Taste in food, arts and culture.
5. Loves to travel.
6. Generous and loving heart.
7. Open and honest communication style.

7 Things I Say Most Often:
1. I love you, kid!
2. Have you eaten?
3. Do you want cookies?
4. Goodnight!
5. Good morning, sunshine!
6. Thank you.
7. Yes, sir!/ Yes, Ma'am!

7 Celebrity Crushes:
1. Harrison Ford
2. Kurt Cobain
3. The Ramones (Yes, all of them!)
4. Thomas Dylan
5. David Bowie
6. Albert Einstein
7. Bob Dylan

Friday, September 2, 2005

Dark Clouds

We survived the wrath of Katrina in the Florida Panhandle but our neighbors in Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi did not. I am thankful that we were spared but my heart breaks for all those who lost everything they got. I stopped watching the news and reading the newspaper because I can't contain my emotions. I wish I did not set eyes on those Atlantis-like cities and those people with sheer desperation in their eyes. I am so distraught, it seems like everything and anything sets my tears to fall. I wrote a check to American Red Cross and volunteered my services as a Case Manager to assists those who found refuge in our city. I wish I could do more. Please help if you can. 

Another thing that complicates my present emotional state is that two of my favorite people decided to part ways. I wish they tried to work it out or will try to work it out. I doubt they will but I can still wish, right? To both of them, I would like to say: I love you both. I understand that sometimes, relationships do not work out right. I hope as time passes, you will both heal and find friendship viable because you are both wonderful and good for each other.  

I would like to thank those who sent their prayers and good vibes while we were waiting for Katrina to hit or miss us here on the Florida-Alabama border. We have minor damages and inconveniences but they pale in comparison to those suffered by the neighboring states. Please pray and send those vibes to the people of the three states that were devastated by the hurricane.  

I do not mean to depress everyone. I just want to get this out of my system by writing it down. I find writing down my thoughts to be therapeutic. This is my mental health therapy.