Thursday, September 30, 2010


I was just thinking... about my weekend on Cougar Ranch.

One of the best weekends of my life. So life-changing. And I CAN'T FORGET THIS.

I can't forget the people that were there with me. I can't forget the things I felt.

I remember walking arm in arm with people. Being SO KINESTHETIC. I remember having so much adrenaline going through my veins because for once in my life, I was doing something that mattered to me because I put my HEART, BODY, and SOUL into it.

I never had this. And I had it all. Soaking my feet in the bathtub, conquering huge life issues with my brilliant roommate. We were all BRILLIANT. We all were on the same page, and I was inspired by them all.

I remember the scavenger hunt we did, and being blindfolded, and having to perform the obstacle course. That was amazing. I trusted my teammates with all of my heart. And I was in great hands. My hands were on the rope, and I didn't know how far away the next one would be. But I listened. I just trusted and went with it, not knowing all of the facts, and everything ended up okay.

This weekend was a great new beginning. It taught me how to fall in love with the world. I don't ever want to forget. Never. I can never be the person I used to be. This is my now.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Interview 3.

The third interview of the Fall semester is done. :)

It was with ExxonMobil. The largest publicly traded oil company in the world.

As I met with my Project Management team today, I couldn't help but have that in the back of my mind the entire time. I completed our Gantt chart with our full work breakdown structure and it was as beautiful as it was going to look with so many sub-points.

I left midway through 12 and had a quick lunch, straightened my hair, and did my makeup. The clothes are important but the face is too. :)

I read up more about the company on its website, and the About Us tab showed me everything I needed to know. The only downside of an interview is, the information is presented both ways in a rosy lens that does not optimally showcase the truth. If you're looking for great answers, you get them with a friend or an acquaintance, in a casual place like a restaurant or a bar. It's fun, it's laid back, and it's honest.

But I understood I was in the University Career Services area. ^_^ I was asked a large amount of behavioral questions. All of it was, and none of them asked about my failures. I was asked a lot about team work, my favorite class, my least favorite class, when I had to take initiative in a team, my proudest accomplishment in college, when I realized something was wrong in a project and what I did, my greatest strength (tough question), what my responsibilities in Chevron were, what my role in MISSO as Communications Officer was, what I liked most at Chevron, what I liked least there, and some more. I then asked questions about the way IT was structured at XOM and closed off the interview. It was good! :) I definitely felt infinitely more confident about how this interview went compared to last year's controversial one. I felt very at ease with my interviewer as well.

Very accomplished day.

*Did the Gantt chart for the team!
*Apologized to my classmate for missing a one-on-one appointment to help him out; in my haste to leave TP2 on Monday, we didn't exchange contact info so I couldn't notify him about the cancellation.
*I'm in love with the Social Network soundtrack collaboration between Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It is so ominous and brooding. Wonderful ambient music.
*Revised my MANA essay. This is how essay writing is supposed to be in college! Time to revise!
*Got to catch up with Nicole. :) We talked about life and I sincerely hope she can handle all of that stress in her life. I learned last year that stress can control you. It's not becoming, and you feel one step away from jumping in a pool and screaming underwater. But if you balance it out with things that keep you happy and whole without feeling guilty, that's the key.
*Paid attention in my TP2 class! :D
*Appreciated the beauty of the scenery as I walked to school.
*Enjoyed a chocolate bar that I bought at Shasta's.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


On a whim, I was trying to find a particular book that was recommended to me. I looked it up in the UH Library system and I couldn't find it. So, I impulsively tried to look it up on the Houston Public Library. Eureka. There was one I could put on hold, and it would notify me when it came into the 500 McKinney location! A day and a half later, I got an email notifying me! I couldn't wait to go pick it up.

Today was the day! I walked in the nice facility. It was state of the art. So I asked for help, found my book on hold, and then with the use of the machines, I scanned it and was done! The whole process was efficient and seamless. I've read reviews and apparently our library system is one to really pride ourselves on. :D It makes me really proud of Houston.

I can't wait to read a lot of books. I basically finished the book I was reading. It was about female sexuality which I find to be a fascinating topic. The book was called Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire. Firstly, there is significantly more research on men's sexuality, so I wanted to find a book based in research about the findings on female sexuality. I remember reading a synopsis, and I had to get my hands on it. Essentially I was reeled in by the thought that females described a phenomenon of being attracted to the person, and not the gender. The author calls it sexual fluidity, and it has many anecdotes about women that have been heterosexual their whole lives and fall for a woman, or vice versa, or a strange blend of the two. I also read about a case where it brought into question one's gender identity and consequently her gender was changed to match the inner feelings. It opened up a whole pandora's box of questions for me, and it allowed me to question the assumptions I've made about attraction. So this book is a great foundation for some wonderful discussions.

Here are some other highlights of Tuesday!

*The weather was certainly beautiful I have to note.
*Talked with my step mom about visiting her and my dad. It was great to hear the happiness in her voice when she talked to me. I'm very grateful to have 4 parents. Also, I appreciated the food they packed for me on Saturday. Very sweet. :)
*I got to watch TV for a few minutes with my brother.
*I talked on the phone with my best friend for 30 minutes and made lots of fun jokes. I get to see him in 2 weeks! Hooray!
*I finished my 5 page essay. It's actually 7 pages. :D I'm so proud of myself.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Interview 2.

Second interview of the Fall also went well! I felt much more confident and I think I did a great job conveying my skills and experiences. I wove my way through my resume when asked about myself, and then she asked about a huge obstacle I faced, and I smiled and talked about one of my proudest UNICEF achievements. I interviewed with a retail company looking for an executive trainee in IT. They have a 10 week rotation program where I will spend my time in every piece of the puzzle, meaning the distribution center, a store shadowing a manager, etc, so I can best understand the company. The salary was a bit under what I'm expecting, I must admit. I asked what projects I would be signing on to if I am eventually hired. She mentioned an E-commerce project and a POS project. I let her know of my exposure to both, which I think is something she'll highly remember. She also asked about my plans after graduation, and if I intend to work in a non-profit. I said, no, it may be something I'll come back to, but for now, I want to work in industry where I can focus and learn better by having a limited scope. It's far too common to wear a dozen hats and to be spread thin. I definitely will contribute financially to the social causes I believe in, knowing how much of an impact it has. She was very personable and I had a great time talking to my HR interviewer. I left the room at 10:39am.

Some other additional happy moments today were definitely:
*Giving my team mate an appreciation gift of Ferrero Rocher chocolates.
*Getting some Facebook love from people I just met. That birthday party paid a lot of dividends in brightening my week.
*Getting a breakfast taco invite from my buddy Jayvin. We went to Tacos a Go-Go after a long day of school, and I got to take photos inside (satiated my photo taking fix) and the bacon/egg/potato taco really hit the spot. WOW!
*Supportive texts from my friends Alan, Jeremy, and Catherine. They are like my cheerleaders.
*Excitement about food with my new friend Adam.
*Catching the first episode of the new season of Dexter!
*Hilarious text exchange with my best friend, Kyle, about the Mil lab. :)

Good day. I intend to follow on my promises to do TP2 practicing! Hopefully Dreamweaver will make my life easier! ^_^

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Viv's Birthday.

Fantastic night filled with old friends, new friends, lots of love, singing, dancing, and bottles and bottles of apple sake.

From 11-4am we sang songs of old and new. The highlights: Telephone, My Humps, Burn, Larger than Life, As Long as You Love Me, Toxic, Hollaback Girl, My Heart Will Go On, Coming Clean, Complicated, Girlfriend, and RIDIN' SOLO!

I forgot some of these amazing and beautiful songs. I even got my dancing fix fulfilled. :)

A quote I like says, "Nothing can make you feel something as quickly as music."

I sincerely hope Vivian had a great birthday. Everyone's 21 should be magical. Mine certainly was. The venue was very cute too! The room we booked was huge and stylish, it even played the actual music video in the background most of the time. There were stars that lit up in the ceiling, and the bar outside had very trendy design. The bar lit up and changed colors and was made out of white plastic and plexiglass. Very modern.

I met a lot of new people, and I really just had a great time. I needed this night, after a very tough day thinking about the dynamic I'm going to eventually settle into with my parents. I don't like how last week panned out, so there's a lot to think about.

But I take it one day at a time, and hope to spread feelings of joy to people I am surrounded by.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


As of late, I've been utterly bombarded with compliments on how great I look and how professional I appear.

:) Of course it makes me feel good.

But really, it's an extension of some smaller goals I've been setting. It's all part of my master plan of Project GYST.

These smaller plans included taking the time to do the little things, like putting away my clothes every day so it's much easier to find (so simple but effective), clearing my closet of clothes I don't wear anymore, and getting in the habit of taking care of my clothes better. No matter the amount I spent on my clothes (sometimes a heck of a lot), in my haste to get from one task to the next, it may have been forgotten for ages in a pile. On that note, I'll make my 2nd trip to Goodwill soon to donate some of my clothes.

In addition, I love looking clean and professional. Everyone deserves to look like a million bucks, and I've heard some people say, "I just don't like the way it strips you of that individuality, you know, the uniformity of business attire." To that I would say, business attire can constrict you if you let it, but there are many many ways to be creative, fun, playful, classy, and professional, all in one.

And that's the beauty of it. To maybe have a ruffled black blouse and a pencil skirt with a silk scarf to make it really fun and chic. Or having statement shoes to distinguish an outfit. Or accessories such as jewelry can make all of the difference, while the clothes can be supplementary. Also, with clothes, the universe opens up to so many possibilities when you consider texture, fabric, length, cut, the fitting, tailoring options, layering, etc.

Fashion is not homogenous. This is my style, and it may have been influenced by the fact that I am a business major and I've worked in a corporate environment, but there's nothing quite like having a skirt suit on with fabulous heels and feeling this electric power in your veins. Of course, one would never wear an outfit like this without proper hair and makeup, so when you project yourself into the world, how can anything bring you down? The answer: nothing.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Career Fair.

The day was outrageously productive.

I'm always proud when I go to these events, because you are essentially putting yourself on the line and trying to achieve real results. With a conversation, it could turn into an application that stands out, to a successful interview, to your foot in the door of a company you could stay at for ages.

That's one of the dreams.

I've been to more than 5 career/internship fairs over the course of my stay at UH and I must say, it's definitely something I have a handle on now. I feel like a pro, and I'm confident that I have my workflow down. Blouse, skirt/slacks, and professional jacket, check. Heels, check. At least 20 copies of my resume and my portfolio with a notepad to write down notes as I go, check. And lastly, in my brain, do I have an idea of what I want to ask each company I talk to? Check.

So with this focus in mind, I talked to over 10 companies this Friday.

Some were great prospects, some were not, but I felt that I achieved a great milestone in the grand scheme of things.

*Cameron - apply online and look at information on the USB.
*Williams - potential internship possibilities - full-time too, and great laid-back culture.
*Access Sciences Corporation - 25th year doing business - they will get back to me - consulting with information management which I find interesting - they worked on GIL3!
*Chevron - Charron explained the re-org and I feel much more comforted. I feel like I have a huge advantage if anyone does get back on with IT. I'll have to wait a few more weeks.
*ConocoPhillips - Not looking for IT but Jessica will speak with me about Protiviti soon.
*ExxonMobil - talked with Aaron who told me about their push from Lotus Notes to Exchange. They still use 2003 office. Conservative culture, but centralization means there's a process for everything. My exposure with SharePoint will serve me well.
*Quorum - spoke with Barry who says the hours can be insane, but says he's learned a lot. They hire from a large variety of majors to get a wider perspective.
*Sequent Energy - Parks directed me to mention the CIOs name, so hopefully, I can hear something back.
*Hitachi - I was asked why I want to work with Hitachi and some other probing questions that caught me off guard. Hopefully it reflected well.

Not to mention, my resume is on the MISSO CD so all of my efforts will be showcased SOMEHOW. :)

Talking to Charron in particular has done a great deal in easing my mind. I hugged her and she explained that the ROM just finished and the next few weeks will be wrapping up the structure reorganization. Then I should hear back to see if there's a place for me. I'm really hopeful knowing that there's not a deadlock but really, there's a process going on and I'm a part of it. I know the timeline, and it really puts my mind at ease. She grabbed my arms at one point and said if we offer you something, I WANT YOU TO TAKE IT! I said, trust me, I want to take it. :)

It was a great day, that ended with me catching up with Barry, and we had a long discussion on impermanence and giving people a chance. Maybe I'll take that advice. I have high standards and I know it. If there is anyone I'm interested in, I'll give it the shot it deserves. Also, regarding impermanence, I believe in eternal love, but I also believe that things change. You should simply treat every expression of commitment as a commitment. If the person within that commitment decides to break it, then so be it. But if one is married or in a relationship, I vow to operate in a way that respects that integrity.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


A few major things happened this Thursday.

I studied for my Management exam, and felt I did pretty solid despite a few minor mistakes I made. I feel even better knowing I can ace the next exam now that I know the structure of his tests. :) I walked out happy as a clam with Tim.

I went to Economics of Globalization and had a jolly old time listening to the lecture. I felt I absorbed more when there wasn't any pressure to take notes and have to regurgitate my knowledge for the exam.

I caught up with my good friend, Z, since we agreed to meet, the week after I gave him some tidbits for his discussion with Chevron.

We talked about time management and how it seems to easily fall through my hands like sand. He mentioned the ability to say 'No' is key, and I feel like although it's been hard, it's something you ultimately own and no one can guilt you into anything.

There were other gems that we connected on very well. The concept of knowing when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em. With friends, you just have to know when to stand up for something and when not to. However, with family it's much harder since they will always be there, and the rules are bent. It's tough to strike the balance sometimes.

I went to the Bauer Honors Fall Mixer and reconnected with many friends like Sa, Catherine, Brittany, Alex, and more, which was great because I don't often get to see them in a purely social atmosphere. There was great food like crab cakes, beef wellington, boiled shrimp (SO GOOD), and more. I was impressed. It was a great turnout and I had a fun time.

Lastly, I ventured off to the MISSO meeting to talk to Sungard. Consulting firms are still of interest to me so it'd be good to talk to more and more people. I ended up talking to ... hmm.. the name escapes me, but we spoke for about half an hour. He didn't try to glamorize anything, so I appreciated it. I think the workaholic in me would come out, but it'd be something good for me to experience, so I can finally say, NO REGRETS.

Insanely productive day that required some recharging at the night's end. I slept, and the next day I focused on the outcome: Being successful at Career Fair!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Interview 1.

I turned on the charm.

I got a bit nervous for the Logic Exam, but as I worked through it, I figured out that I knew the answer to every question which boosted my confidence. :)

Around the walls in the interviewing room, there were Chevron posters all around. I smiled and laughed at the irony. Who knows which company I'll be working at next summer.

It was an hour and fifteen minute interview, including the whole logic test. I was asked questions about my experience with Chevron and UNICEF, and I even got to mention my work with the Honors College in recruiting.

I was asked questions about the Hunger Banquet, what I did at Chevron, the obvious opener, 'Tell me about yourself', how did I demonstrate customer service skills, what were the key takeaways from my summer internship, what did I know about the heavy construction industry, how well do I know all of the languages on my resume, how well do I know SQL server, why did I choose MIS, why did I switch my major from Psychology, was it difficult to create something new when you were an intern for only 3 months in a large company and how did you address it, how was it to manage a team of officers, what were the challenges I faced, etc. It was a good discussion!

I basically talked about everything on my resume, and he's another person that mentioned it was pretty impressive (another confidence booster!)

The company impressed me more than I ever would have thought. Of course, nothing compares to being on-site and one's website and the personnel brought to talk about a company are obviously going to slant towards the side of romanticizing the company, but still. The work environment seems so nice! Free snacks, drinks, a jogging trail, physical activities, everyone knows one another, etc. It seems great.

I should be getting a call in a few days to talk about coming on-site for yet another logic test.

This interview was a great experience even though I dreaded taking time away from studying for my exam tomorrow, and an exam the day after tomorrow.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Outlet Mall.

This is where I get the mother of all deals. The Cypress Outlet Mall!

I scored some pretty awesome clothes last week.

*Black dress with button detail. Very versatile.
*Blue button up that fits like a dream.
*Blue BCBG skirt that is very beautiful and classy.
*Marc Jacobs brown aviator sunglasses on sale!
*green tunic shirt with beads
*black denim skirt

I just like indulging in my sense of creativity sometimes. Although I'm not out there making these clothing designs, I feel like I'm an artist, weaving together the masterpiece of every outfit I wear. :) It's magical to think of it that way.

I appreciate that my best friend is a great shopping buddy. He does not mind waiting while I go try on clothes, and will go in with me to the girliest of stores. I have an amazing best friend.

To top off the night, we saw Resident Evil 4 and it was amazing. Drinking Shiner, seeing these awesome 3D visuals, and hearing A Perfect Circle's The Outsider remix finally get its SPOTLIGHT was amazing. I had the best time.

On our way back, our inability to call it a night sank in, and we invited ourselves to a 21st birthday party of an old high school chum. Immediately we were greeted with drinks, and we found the birthday boy already done celebrating. I met his beautiful german shepherd, which made me fall in love and want a pet of my own. I talked to his mom, and we bonded a bit. Outside, we all danced to "Win" and "DJs Got Us Falling in Love". It was so funny. Amanda gave me her praises and I missed this suburban high school scene. It really brought my back to my days where Spring was the set of the scene. :) There was some pretty interesting discussions, but overall I remember how connected I felt to my best friend and the people I just met.

Good times.

Monday, September 20, 2010


This post is about the chaotic weekend in Austin, TX.

There were a lot of issues with logistics. And I think in the future, I'll be apt to handle my own logistics and keep a great attitude, focusing on pushing things forward. I'll give more of myself, but I'll put boundaries around myself too.

I'm glad my best friends came in the clutch for me.

Kyle deserves an R&A for bailing me out on several occasions. First, from the variety show to go party at Jesse's 21st birthday, then the next day to lunch at Kirbey Lane, then the next day from Gordough's so we could watch Nip Tuck and Arrested Development so I could make fun of it and sleep. :)

Sally was amazing as well, for letting me have a place to stay and for catching up with me. It's been far too long. We always have such fun and laughs together. So that was great. She dropped me off at the apartments so Viv and Kevin and myself could go back to Houston.

Best friends ever, for saving my sanity and being there when I needed them most. I embraced the vulnerability and I found, I can definitely depend on them.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Breakfast Tacos.






Salsa to dip in.

The carbohydrate goodness of a flour tortilla.

Everything wrapped to make HEAVEN!

It's really delicioso. I prayed to make it in on time at work this summer sometimes and have enough time to go downstairs and grab a breakfast taco. That made my morning and gave me the energy and happiness to make it an especially great day!

I crave it often.

It's one of the many things in life that make me give off a million-dollar smile. Le sigh. Breakfast tacos FTW.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


I remember why I love yoga so much, when I went to the group ex class the other day.

The intensity was slowly rising, like a well-orchestrated date.

It certainly wasn't vinyasa where my body strains and in a sense, fights, against the demons of the moment to become stronger.

Staring at the ceiling, feeling my muscles tighten, and embracing the strength I was building within myself MADE that morning for me.

It was euphoric. It was so calming. It is what I need every week. I need to cleanse. My instructor talks me through it. This almost religious experience.

So I won't take it when someone says, "this yoga is not intense". It's not supposed to be. Shaking serves no purpose. You aren't supposed to fight. This is where you surrender to your body. This is where the evenness of your mind and your body coalesce.

These are my moments.

Friday, September 17, 2010


Mario asked me for help as I walked past him and his lovely girlfriend Rolla. She asked for help too, regarding strategy for Bauer Women's Society. That's still something I'm finding hard to chew on. How do you market something that clearly has so many competitors and find true loyalty? What's your brand? What's your niche without alienating people?

I tackled something I could handle more readily. Mario asked if I could give website recommendations to his Engineering Professor. I looked at it, and it was simple, and it wasn't god awful, but it was pretty outdated and terrible.

I let him know that it's about having someone technical that can put his vision on the web. Wordpress would be great for maintenance and it has the sleekness and professionalism of a real legitimate site. Moving past the coding, adding content is simple for people who have no idea about the technical side of making a website. It's ideal. I felt good for helping him out.

Also, Zabdiel ran into me and let me know he was going to a Supply Chain Career Mixer later on, and talking to a bunch of oil and gas companies. I put in a good word for Chevron and he asked if I could email him some tips. I did, and I blew myself away with how much I knew, and I would have KILLED for that inside knowledge walking into the Chevron interview. But it just goes to show that it's okay not to know it all. I believe they saw my heart and fittingly, everything fell into place like I knew it would.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Meet Pat.

I am patting myself on the back for the strides I've made today.

There's so much momentum, I'm so excited!

I'm all in. No more slight feet dragging. I'm looking for a job and I've started off with putting my contacts into HighRise, a contact management system that I firmly feel will work for me.

Today's just been a day of battling with adversity. I've been knocking all of these challenges down!

For starters, I have had my desktop computer back for a few months now, but I never use it much because I couldn't get the wireless internet to connect or even show on the computer. After much research on the internet in forums, and a USB device, I figured out the Wireless adapter I had, needed a driver that I had to install from the internet, which wasn't on my desktop. Oh the Catch 22 kills me. I need the internet to install a driver which will allow my internet to work. :) After some sweat, I got it done, and it felt very good to see some websites on a big screen and hear music through some great speakers.

Secondly, I have been meaning to schedule an appointment with my Honors advisor. Completely forgot about it until I saw an email about Fall 2010 Graduation Orientation. The next obstacle I met was with Peoplesoft. I forgot my password. I had the password sent. I click the link to schedule an appointment and some fatal error message appears on the browser. I would ordinarily stop right there and call it a night at 3:30am. But I didn't. I knew this was the only time I would consciously think about advising for the next month or so. So I trudged through, found my advisor's email (she's new) and sent her an email. Success!

With all of this progress, I feel infinitely more happy. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


He has a knack for popping in my life and brightening my day sometimes. :) I like it.

So, JB texted an inside joke and it made me smile.

We began to text back and forth and he mentioned our Alabama hangout will be sure to lighten things up soon. I agreed and referenced a conversation we had long ago about losing our summer 'happy' weight.

I think I've lost about 5. My body has recomposed itself but in a better way I think.

He told me playfully to shut up, and that I don't need to lose any weight.

It's something I know of course, but it's something a girl ALWAYS loves to hear.

Thanks JB. You give me hope.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Houston Arboretum.

Excursion # 2 consisted of going to the Houston Arboretum.

I had never been, and even though I hadn't explored the functions and studied up on techniques on my new DSLR - this is life - there's no dress rehearsal. YOU JUST HAVE TO GO AND DO IT sometimes.

I had such an amazing time. My body appreciated all of the walking. I put on sunblock so I didn't get eaten alive by the mosquitoes like my buddy did.

My friend mentioned snakes and alligators being in the area, so I needed to be vigilant. Being in an area like that, just in the elements, pure and open, brought out the Bear Grylls in me. :)

I took some really great shots that I'll be post-processing through Photoshop. The one in the beginning is a sneak preview.

Seeing the beautiful pond, with these purple flowers filling the entire meadow was absolutely gorgeous. Seeing the sun through the canopy was amazing, and just the smell of the trees was so pure. It was a great way to end the school day. Nature doesn't have any secrets - it speaks to the world - you can only gain the wisdom of the earth if you quiet yourself and listen.

Photography is one of the many things that gets me genuinely excited. Time can fly by when I'm envisioning the picture in my mind, thinking of how it should be composed, and seeing that vision come to fruition with the eye of the artist and the passion of refining the art piece.

Also, going to eat sushi at Taiko's was a perfect way to end the day. We met with Justin and for the amount of salmon we had, it was so CHEAP. Must get more salmon next time. ^_^ I definitely like dining out as it is such a fun experience. Great conversation, great friends, and great food. The day was an example of heaven on earth.

Next week we should be venturing out on Allen Parkway to take some great downtown sunset shots.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Back On Track.

I've been thinking about this for a while now. It's been to the point where I gave it a Project name. Project GYST. There's no need to spell it out, the essence of Project GYST is to pull myself together, and truly have all of the things I really want. It starts with the little things. One's life can easily derail if the routines aren't upheld and rough edges start to show.

I've been telling myself for months that every thing I want in this world is MINE. The world IS MINE, and it's been available to me for 21 years, and counting; this project is to put myself behind a game plan of success. I have the right mentality and drive, but this plan needs structure. It needed legs to move. It needed mechanisms in place, like the projects I witnessed at Chevron this summer. Why would there be so much more rigor over these major capital projects that employees dedicated a third of their lives over, but no rigor around the major project of life that consumes two thirds of an individuals life?

Rhetorical questions aside, I realize I've been doing good. If my life were a bar chart, I've been handling school, family, and friends pretty well and the balance is getting better as I progress through my last year in college. But good enough is not what I aim for. I declared myself Beyond Excellent last December, and I need to hold myself to that standard.

One major thing that I believe will be utterly integral to my success only cost me $6.99. I already feel like I'll be saying this is the best $6.99 I've ever spent in a few months. Thanks to the Apple iTunes Apps store, this productivity application called Habits is already making a huge difference on Day 1. I am checking off the daily tasks that I need to do and I know when I come to the weekly and monthly tasks I need to do, I'll be reminded, which is the biggest reason why I won't get around to it. One-time tasks I'm superb with, it's those routine tasks that I defer to the point of inaction. Also, because this app is on my phone, I know it's on the forefront of my life at all times. Google Calendar has been another great addition I've been using as well as BaseCamp, but going online to access BaseCamp has really been a huge prevention to checking it and tracking progress. This Habit application will allow me to track and see metrics (percentage and bar charts!) which, knowing myself, I really really like. :) So, leveraging the technology of this app, Google Calendar, Post It's, and my MindMap, there is NO reason I won't succeed. Each tool has a different function - and I'm excited to see the synergy between these resources.

I'm excited to manage my life, and I think this is making all the difference. I want to change. I want to put everything I've been preparing for all my life, and put it together and do it all at once.

This project is a Go.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I'm thankful I'm able to type words. To speak. To wake up every morning.

I caught a late night segment of Joel Osteen, mentioning his belief that it is easy to get caught up in routine.

The next time you think about complaining, he said, turn it around and be grateful for what you have.

Right now I'm recruiting for a full-time job. It is certainly an exercise in patience, diligence, and persistence, and I am thankful I have the resources of my University to use to help me in these efforts. We have scheduled career fairs, on-site campus interviews, and organizational meetings where the recruiting comes to us.

I feel a bit thicker than when I first started college. Of course, I think to myself, it could be worse! :) But also, I think, this summer I met a lot of friends and fittingly, I seized the day and got acquainted with many bars and pubs around Houston and got to know them and we created priceless memories. Also, I have been making some strides, physically. Last weekend, I danced for ~5 hours straight and also, I've been making mental budgets for what I've been eating. It's the small battles that win the big ones. I'm in it for the long haul. And I'm glad I didn't get the Freshman 15. It's only been.. the College 10. :) So, I'm very grateful. My battle isn't as tough as it could have been, had I completely let go at any point.

So, the next time I start to lament in my head and create a conversation, I will begin with.. how can I turn this around?

I only need to think about the children I advocate for. It's the answer to any lamentations I can fathom.

Good night. Tomorrow is a brand new spankin' day!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


This day is very personal to me.

It marks the day in my eyes where the USA had a threat manifested into tangible reality.

A reality changing the lives of every American forever.

I sat in first period as an aid to the Special Education class. Ms. Ford brought in the TV and I saw the towers fall.

I couldn't believe it. That day I heard for the first time, the word hijacker. I heard what the word meant defined, because I hadn't heard it before.

The America in my eyes could never be shaken, could never waver, and that day, I learned that anything is fallible. It's not good or bad. I haven't lost faith.

I have just learned to expand my map.

Today, I pay tribute to the many Americans who lost their life in unwavering belief in this country. I think about the fear they felt as the seconds counted down and all they wanted to do was to hug and kiss their friends and family one final goodbye. Your fear was not in vain I want to tell them.

No one's fear that morning will be in vain. The truth of the matter is, we have rebuilt the nation, and that is the best outcome we could dream for. This is what I focus on. Let us not forget.

Friday, September 10, 2010

HB Dad.

Today is my dad's birthday. I came home with gifts in tow. Hallmark plaque and a picture frame with a photo of dad and me. I'm very proud of accomplishing the achievement at CVS by the way. I'm so thankful of having the correct file to print from (original size and not exactly 3x3) and also when cutting my picture I'm glad it naturally was about 3x3 when I shaved away the background.

It was great to be with my dad.

When I encountered my first work crisis earlier this year, he helped me navigate that by putting up a server with Microsoft SharePoint by the end of the weekend so I could play on it and be ready to go by that Monday morning to build out a site in approximately 3 hours. I am so proud of this achievement, but I have to give an R&A to my dad for coming in the clutch and doing this for me as I went to Austin, TX to have fun for a while.

Only my dad.

My dad who cooks meals for me every week. The dad who bought me a bad ass Canon 7D. Love you dad.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Career Mixer.

I knew this obstacle was coming. I felt the apprehension creep in. What I ought to have thought didn't match what I actually did think, and I knew I needed support. I called my good friend, Javier, and asked for his assistance. I didn't spill all the details, but I said, could you walk with me inside Bauer? After all, when you can't, you must.

Sounds so climactic, but really, it took me more than 25 minutes to find parking to walk inside together. :P

When we did walk inside together, due to my PayPal suspension, the laptop I was working on not working, and a litany of other reasons, I was pushed back another 10 minutes.

We finally started to talk to companies. I talked to Reynolds and Reynolds, Protiviti, Shell, Deloitte, The Rand Group, Williams, and Marathon Oil.

Bookmarked in my mind are ExxonMobil and Hitachi.

Of course I saw my ex, and I needed to regroup, but for the most part, the night was great. I got a couple of glowing compliments on my resume from Williams, Shell, Protiviti, and Deloitte. That made me a very happy gal.

Thanks to Javier, Jesus, and Fabiola for the support. I knew this was an event I couldn't miss, and the worst thing I could do was to have my ex affect my life by changing the way I live.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Entrepreneurial Idea.


With my ex, he always had ideas of having his own business and working for himself. I shared his fervor and those values within entrepreneurship but I couldn't say I had structure to making it happen.

When you think of an entrepreneur, you think of American individualism, a great seller, someone with excellent communication skills, is charismatic, intelligent and a jack of all trades. I think of myself as all of those things.

The major problem was, in my head, I didn't have any innovative ideas that could make me a huge chunk of change. Until now.

I can't reveal it all away, but for once in my life, I feel like I have something that isn't already in the market (after all the Google searching I did), and it could be something that everyone that wants to create better relationships with people and companies can do. After all, life is not about the material things, it's about the relationships. So this to me, is a lifestyle tool.

Whether or not this idea gets off the ground after more and more research doesn't matter, what means most to me in this present moment is having this excitement and belief in myself that I am destined to do great things. The moment this idea hit me, I didn't push it away and embrace skepticism. What I did instead was push the idea further and further, and when it still held up in my mind, I was excited. I was excited at the idea that I could be this person that could change the lives of so many people by making it easier to manage relationships. Not in an address book or complicated CRM but something more practical.

Today was the day that the entrepreneurial world and my life touched base and it made sense. It all makes sense. I am an entrepreneur whether I have my own business or whether I work for the corporate world because the way I think. What an epiphany.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

I'm Back!

August is gone, and September is here. :)

Back in Houston after a weekend trip in Austin. There will be posts about that of course.

Swept downstairs, the stairs, and my room. I unpacked all of my things and I dealt with all of the aftermath of this weekend's festivities.

Clothes in the laundry.
Shoes polished as best as I could've managed.
Belt has been through a scrub down, but will need more elbow grease to get the neon paint off.
Everything back in its proper place.

There's been on and off thunder, lightning, and rain all day on this beautiful Labor Day.

I feel it's fitting for how I feel. Shedding off a new skin, re-prioritizing certain things, and moving forward.

There are few things better than listening to A Perfect Circle on great speakers, laying in a nice clean bed, and floors clear of things.

Welcome September.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Nocturnal Fest.

What a blessed night.

On the way there, there were hip hop songs galore and some trance (fittingly) in the mix, and it was great to have the music on loud to prepare us for the dancing frenzy to come.

After a few snafu's trying to find the grounds and waiting in line, we got inside, taught Viv and Karen how to rave, and went to this epically lit apparatus where you wore 3D glasses to experience this extremely cool psychedelic feeling.

We finally went back to the headlining stages and got to do what we drove to Austin, and then Rockdale to do! LISTEN TO AMAZING DJ'S AND DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY! We caught Above and Beyond and Armin Van Buren that night. Both were fantastic, but Armin took the cake, for making me cry during Communication. Such heaven, being able to just DANCE until 4AM. Sometimes my rhythm comes out, and my dance moves are on fire. This was definitely one of those nights.

Of course, we got to the front of the stage for Armin, and I remember most the way I felt. I felt like it was surreal. I saw these beautiful dancers in front of me dancing with fire, and I was with my friends, and I could see Armin in the DJ box above me, and there were visualizations playing behind the dancers at the same time. The music played into the night sky and it was heavenly. I felt so at peace although the sweat, wild gesticulations, and the frenetic atmosphere around me betrayed that. And it was a-okay. :)

I loved moving towards the back of the pit so we could have ROOM to dance. There I got to full express myself and it felt so cathartic. It definitely definitely exceeded my expectations. I recall walking into Nocturnal Fest, and seeing all of the BRIGHT LIGHTS and the wonderful SOUNDS and thinking, oh my goodness. I've never seen ANYTHING like this in my life.

We were home at 7AM, and on the way back, Kevin was singing songs and had energy like no other. It was wonderful to not have the energy die down! I laid my wonderful head to rest, after a long shower, cleansing the body paint off but not the memories of that crazy night.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Tony Robbins has a wonderful show on NBC called Breakthrough.

It takes you inside the lives of people and you can see the stagnation there. Sometimes it's a couple that has lost sight of compassion and communication with each other, and as a result, their marriage and their children are suffering. Or it could be a traumatic incident that has left someone emotionally and mentally paralyzed. Tony is there to jumpstart them and ask the probing questions and push them to their mental limits to get them to change their lives for good.

He says something time and time again that resonates with me. Whenever someone on the show says "I can't" out of defeat, Tony immediately replies, "If you can't, you must."

This is my favorite line.


Anything that can bring you to your knees - for you to conjure that pesky word 'can't', is ABSOLUTELY something that needs to be dealt with NOW. Long conversations of denial aside, if the word 'can't' is in the conversation, then that's an alarm. It's going off loudly, and before you let yourself believe it's a false alarm, knowingly create a habit of commitment. Out of all the people in the world, make the commitment to yourself the strongest.

So when you start to say "I can't" after looking deep in your heart and you find it's something you have wrote off reflexively, excavate for the root cause. Why did I say I can't? Uproot those fears, and ... do the one thing you just said you can't do.

Picture it: You're up against a mental wall. You just admitted defeat in one of the ugliest acceptable words of all mankind. Your nervous system is screaming for you to choose the 'flight' response, and the resources left in your body are fulfilling the only request you have room for. To not think, but just to do, do the thing that scares you. Pushing through the fear, the nervousness, the cracked voice, the shaking in the limbs, and the justifications that would make any public relations guru jealous, you exert the mental strength to do it. It's done. And you start to think about what just happened. How incredibly sexy is it when you can be your own hero? Sexy does not have to be "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound". It is when you can recognize your Kryptonite, and do it anyway.

Imagine that kind of liberation. Believe in your ability to 'WOW' and no one stands a chance to push you off the pedestal that is yours. If you can wow yourself, you can wow the world.

If you weren't yourself, would you be challenged by what you saw? If you can't surprise yourself, how do you expect others to be surprised by what they see?

Saturday, September 4, 2010

High School Reunion.

Friday night, my first night in town in ATX. I'm super excited, you have no idea.

Logistics aside, I told myself, "I'm moving forward and I'm going to have a good time I tell ya!"

Kyle had made a proposition earlier. Go to Jessie's bday gig since he's in town from his collegiate city, Chicago, to celebrate his 21st birthday. I'm excited since I haven't seen this fella since High School, and subsequently, have not communicated except sporadic, from the hip, quips about his photo updates or statuses.

Vivian decided to come along, and after Kyle picked us up at Dobie with our things, we departed to go to Justin's apartment, where the first leg of the party was being held.

It was like a blast from the past when I walked in, and others continued to filter in. Derek! Sam. Sonny. Justin. Jessie. :) There were a few others that were new to me, but we owned the party.

Conversations flourished. I felt right at home. I laughed so much. Shots were taken, pedaled by a very enthusiastic male.

I was surprised at how I reconnected with one of my old high school buddies. We had last spoken probably sometime senior year. He's someone I have always had a good opinion of. Someone everyone knew and someone funny, genuine, sometimes a bit aloof and impossible to crack, but definitely someone everyone liked. :)

One of the first things I said to him was a compliment. I commended him on the campaign he ran for the SEC position, that he unfortunately didn't win. Of course I said he should have won, and I didn't understand how it couldn't have happened, and also, that I thought it was the best, most humble concession message I had ever read. I meant it, and I think that's what set things in motion later on.

He asked me what I've been up to. I made a joke about Kyle stealing my major, MIS, and that I'm a humanitarian and I save the world. I talked about how last year was the toughest - being president and leading changes to fundraise, educate, and advocate better.

We took a photo together and we threw up our school signs. He then wanted to dip me and take a photo, and as I held my pose, I pulled myself up and laughed in his arms.

Long story short, later that night, first starting off at a club where it was 18+, we danced our butts off, and then traveled on 6th to show Jessie around to some legit bars. It ended up being me, him, and Kyle, and we went in the infamous club where half-naked women danced along the periphery of the club. They sanctioned off the top level because of the people limits and so we found ourselves at an bar with an upstairs patio. Kyle went off to get drinks, and I found myself at the balcony railing, being pensive and looking off into the Austin night sky.

I brought up any topic I could, but there wasn't enough to stave what was impending. My words trailed off. I asked the question, and addressed the awkwardness.

"You know why it feels awkward" he said. I smiled. He showed his hand. Time slowed. We kissed. Twice. I couldn't believe it any more than the cosmos could. We fetched Kyle before he could stumble upon us, and throughout the night, we held hands, we had our own glances, and he harassed a hobo for me. As we dropped Kyle off, Kyle's inebriated and inquisitive intrusion prevented us from 'looking' at a car decal that was interesting to both of us. It was a really great night, that I won't forget.

As I left his car to go to Victoria's to sleep, I gave him my number, and got one of the sweetest text messages ever. He's a sweetheart. If I tested the men in my life, he passed every one of them. He texted me throughout the weekend and he's someone that is so considerate and caring.

Moral of the story: Romance happens when you least expect it, you just have to be open to it. Impressions may not always hold up against the test of time, and it's what someone does in front of and behind the scenes that make the person. For now, for the purposes of my life goals, it's a cherished memory, but I must shift my focus back to Houston. Goodbye ATX and all things in it. :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

First UNICEF Meeting.

Started at 4:15. Ended about 4:45.

There was a short mention of the history of UNICEF and what it was all about. The most touching thing was the video of the Believe in Zero campaign.

The room was jam-packed though. People had to stand or sit on the floor. That's wonderful!

There was something lost though, and it's easy to pin down.

There was no heart.

The officer elections speeches that occurred that day in April were more impactful than the 1st general meeting where everyone didn't want to hold the floor for more than a few dozen seconds.

My constructive criticisms could fill a book, but Alex next to me said, just don't. Just relax.

I did. I pushed away the heart attack. I must say though, despite the things I hear, they are staying on track with the basic things. There are cracks that are showing for sure, such as the website not working, email correspondences not being sent out, and duplicate facebook events happening, but with certain successes like their bake sale making nearly $500, and full-attendance, it gives me hope. It really gives me renewed hope that this torch will light on after Miko, and this administration. Even if it doesn't go as well as I hope, it may inspire someone to make an assessment and say, I can make this BETTER. And do it.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Photoshoot 1.

It's something that serendipitously happened, and those are the best kinds of things.

After getting the ball rolling in motion with my new DSLR camera, I reconciled with a friend of mine, and now we're going to have weekly photo excursions.

It's a good habit to have. :)

So for our first excursion, we went downtown at night.

I met Justin, his friend, and went to his apartment. We made our way through the industrial looking elevator and we talked about wide-angle lenses, HDR, photo stitching panoramas, and other things. We looked at each other's gear, and I found myself laughing a whole lot about him attempting to steal my camera, me admitting I used to collect Pokemon cards, getting caught off guard by that's what she said jokes, and more.

I had a really fun time, and his roommate treated us to turkey/beef burgers he made and a really poorly executed horror movie.

Shooting on the balcony towards the downtown skyline was priceless. He lives a few blocks away from Chevron, my former work home. The wide angle lens changes everything. It's spectacular.

Justin couldn't come for the night portion of our shoot, so we went off, along the theater district, by the Aquarium, Jones Hall, Angelika (the day before it closed!), and more. I really enjoyed how I had decent photos despite being in the dark. :) It's something new, usually the noise just throws it off completely.

Downtown is one of the most beautiful places I know. There's a certain photo of a scaffold I took, and it's one of my favorite of the night.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Zero Inbox.

Clutter tries to exist in our lives if we don't manage it.

I read my Project Management textbook and it explained the 3 major eras in information management. There used to be a single person designated as the DP who took care of a central processor that contained all of the records and information in a company. These mainframes were very expensive, and normally there was only one per company. Costs declined and the micro era cropped up. Microprocessors could be purchased and would bypass these DPs, so with that, redudancies occurred and problems surfaced with data integrity, security, and so much more. Then Chief Information Officers existed in companies to manage this information, understanding that many many hands and eyes would be peering over this information and attempted to create a process to manage this rising complexity.

Now. As I become more and more ambitious, I relied solely on my memory (poor thing) and although I remember nearly everything, it's when that memory hits that I simply can't rely on it anymore. Even writing things down, who knows when I'll look at that post-in note in my purse again to notify me?

It came to a head. My Hotmail inbox was flooded. Even my barely used gmail account had emails in it. In addition, there were text messages I didn't respond to and my Facebook account Wall and Messages were another repository of missed messages. The written notes on my desk and the mental notes in my brain couldn't compete.

I was overwhelmed.

So I took action to program some of these habits into my iPhone app, the Habit Factor. It's helping immensely with my workflow.

Sometimes emails are time-sensitive and I can't be continuously forgetting to respond to things.

I'm happy my Gmail inbox is ZERO.

I'm happy my Hotmail inbox is at 4. And I've noticed an attitude shift within me. I think of emails in terms of, what information do I need to take away from this, and if I have all of the information I need, have I plugged in some action items on my calendar, can I place it in a folder for safekeeping, or do I need to flag it and look to it later? I don't use my inbox as a place for safekeeping.

I repudiate a plethora of emails in my inbox, and that certainly is different. :)

I believe in zero.