Friday, December 01, 2006

End of an era...

21 days with no posts, that's way too long and I even complain about some of my lazy friends (and Mark too) who don't blog very often... Shame on me! Well, I did not have time, or rather, any will to sit down and write. Some stressful weeks I had...

And the apocalyptic title of this post refers to my last day in SITA, which was yesterday. As I mentioned on a previous post the Dublin office has closed down and most people were made redundant (including myself). As such, it's the end of an era alright: VTI, then Eland Technologies and, lastly, SITA. I was there for 6 and a half years. So, it was strange seeing the office being dismantled, and a bit sad.

Most people were happy though (not everybody, I must say). And most people have new jobs already, which is great. I don't, but this is because I will have a sabbatic year, as Mark and I have decided when we had the news of the imminent redundancy some months ago. Having this career break will be very good for me, for I finally will be able to try and get some control over my health by going to the gym in an attempt to improve my condition (fatigue, and unfitness of course!). If the medications did not work, this would be my last resource, according to the doctors. Abandon the sedentary life and have a go to a more active lifestyle etc...

So, we were in the office yesterday signing the papers and then we all went for lunch in the Purty Kitchen, our local pub-restaurant. It was good. I really enjoyed myself and almost, almost cried. My colleague Ian surprised me with a nice present: a Lord Of The Rings/Royal Mail promotional watch, very pretty. I thought it was very nice of him. And I had funny chats with the guys. Then we all left and said goodbye, although of course we will be keeping in touch. Or so I hope!

It was raining, they went to the Monkstown dart station and I headed home. On the way, I stopped at the little Purty Emporium and they were playing Coldplay's Yellow. Then some tears came to my eyes, and a nostalgic sensation invaded me of a sudden. Somehow this song always touches me, and the situation was, I must say, a bit sad. I don't know. Yes, the end of something, and as people say, the "1st day of the rest of our lives".

That was it. I stopped at the convenience store and had a long chat with the Indian manager (the system was down and I could not buy anything). This has cheered me up, we laughed and talked about India, Brasil and Ireland as real expats do! It was interesting and it also made me stop thinking about "the past", my still very recent past.

That's it. That was it. I am here, and free to start something anew.

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 7:34 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Little things (and changes)

Here are some little things I love:

- The murmur of the wind through the trees (not tempest-woooooooohhhh but rather nice-afternoon-tsch-tsch-tsch, which means rather "breeze" than "wind" maybe!);
- Sunset lights;
- Cool temperatures (16-17 degrees);
- Wind chimes (goes well with the nice-afternoon-tsch-tsch-tsch, like a complimetary pling-pling-pling) ;
- Ramen noodles;
- Summer snails, always being very careful not to thread on the little things, since they look so cute and, ehr, relaxed!

(It 's being like this today! Had noodles at lunch time - and the other stuff!)

Today there was the official announcement in SITA that our office in Dublin will close. We will be made redundant. Last day is November 30th. I must say I feel quite relieved that they actually (and finally) announced it in a proper way, because we knew - non-officially - for some weeks already and oh boy, that was torture!

I must also say that I don't like changes and risks, but in some case a big shake may be very welcome - as a way of not remaining stagnated, accommodated, or frozen in a space and time cocoon.

In my case I must think about what I really want to do, since I am not very sure yet of that! I have been working for these companies for quite some time and never really stopped very much to think if that's what I really wanted: Pan American (2 years), American Express (9 and 1/2 years), SITA (6 years). And there you have 18 years of my life, gone without me being sure if that was worth the effort.

Some things I would like to do:

- Maybe work as a contractor;
- Have time to do some courses on Graphic design applications;
- Definitely go to a good HTML course;
- XML maybe (as well);
- Japanese course maybe (very tempting);
- Sit down and re-start drawing;
- Finally get/renew my Gym membership and start exercising again to see if I get more energetic and bring some movement to these limbs;
- Read, read, read;
- Start selling stuff on EBay as well.

The breeze is still "breezing". I feel relaxed.


posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 7:05 PM 3 comments

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Barbie Barbarism

I found some infamous pictures of my childhood some weeks ago, while in Rio. When I was young (maybe until I was 6 or 7, something like that), I had the worrying habit of destroying my dolls. Most especially, Barbie dolls.

I used to be very cruel to them. Cutting their hair with scissors, bending their legs until the wires showed off, taking their head off and throwing it to our Alsatian dog, Ziggy - who loved to chew on them.

My parents were horrified and thought I was a little psycho. Of course they brought me to the doctor, a child's psychiatrist. But I was "normal", in the end. This kind of behaviour was (or is) more common than one could imagine. When I grew older though, around 11 or 12, I had a Barbie with lots of clothes and shoes. I really liked that when I was a bit more grown-up. And never threw her to any dogs. But gave her away eventually, to some little girl, when I became too "adolescent" for barbie dolls. I especially liked those little shoes!

Anyways... Whenever I committed those "barbicide" acts, my Father used to say that he would never get me another Barbie, ever again. But then, the next week or so, I would come to him and say: "Dad, I want another Barbie". He would of course say no, reminding what I have done last. Then I would say: "I promise, I will not do it again. I swear!", and weep a bit. He would not resist and naturally would get me another one that same day! And guess what??? Yeah... The same crime would repeat itself. That's what my Mom told me. I don't remember all that, of course. But that's how things were. I was very spoiled. My Dad would fall for anything. Not my Mom though!

Mom can't remember very well what the Doctor said, but it was something like (me) testing how far they would go in their love for me. They would buy me a Barbie, I would destroy it and ask for a new one. And this was a cycle. Other dolls would suffer the same destiny, including the Italian baby twins that Betinha gave to me once. It seems these were gorgeous, my Mom and Betinha still remember them. They were hiding in a wardrobe, I found them, and did the same old nasty trick.

I never did that to my stuffed toys (animal toys) though. If I had a kid and if that kid were into this kind of stuff, I would be very worried, of course. Would do the same as my parents did (bring him or her to a specialist nonetheless). But it did not last for very long. I redeemed myself later on!

Well, I found the pics from that time. You can say I was planning something nasty by the look on my face and the way I hold the doll! In the 1st picture, I also have a little Japanese doll wearing a Kimono - that one was not destroyed!

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posted by Andrea Leite Marques at 9:00 PM 2 comments