Saturday, May 02, 2009

Updates, updates


It’s a windy Saturday afternoon. Two storms are supposed to be brewing in the south. Guess that signals summer's end in this part of the world. Global warming has raised mean daily temperatures that one can hardly tell anymore what time of the year it is. Near the window, Tracy Chapman’s Telling Stories playing from a stereo. Trying hard not to think about work. This neat stack of books at the edge of the table, waiting to be read. Then this thought about not being able to write anything in the blog these past months. And one or two people who visit it asking what its author has been up to recently. So, this idea of putting together another list. Existence in my own corner of Gaia:
  • Among the seven or eight titles in the stack is Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. Currently in that part where the author narrates how Bush Jr., Cheney and Rumsfeld practically passed on most of government’s core functions to private contractors in the aftermath of 9/11. And we thought clientelism and state capture are things that can only happen in less developed countries. Definitely an eye-opener.
  • I’m now wearing glasses. Thanks to all those long hours of staring at the computer without enough breaks. Or, maybe just a part of the natural aging process. Went to this eye doctor at the mall recently. Made me peer through a machine where I saw a blur that slowly sharpened into an image of what looked like a lone sunflower in a green field. And the findings: one eye is far-sighted, the other near-sighted.
  • Finally, internet connection at home. Or, wherever I may be in the country. Well, at least whenever there’s a strong signal from one of these local mobile phone companies. Comes in the form of this black USB stick that goes well with my new laptop (one perk from my new project). I just plug it in, and wallah. Drawback: you now can’t cite having no internet connection as reason for not submitting your work on time. One good thing about it though is that I can now blog anytime I want.
  • Got a new project at the School. It’s all about promoting the role of citizens in monitoring government performance. I’m supposed to be into training and capacity building. But I still get goosebumps whenever I’m asked to present all these concepts to people. And I’m not sure if my recent trainees learned anything from me. The pay is good though. I can opt to work at home. Plus I’m learning from my new boss.

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