The Literary Career

Jonathan Lethem wrote, “I was what I would be if I wasn’t a writer.” He had been a bookstore clerk before attaining literary fame. This idea made me stop and think about my own career trajectory and whether I wound up where I should be, and what I would or could have been.
After all, good friend Ken Ishikawa once told me, “You know Carl, you don’t really spend too much time in any one job.” This I thought, was being adventurous, trying out new paths, expanding one’s horizons and capabilities, and a way to stay excited about work, by keeping it varied and always new. Apparently it could also be misread as lazy, easily bored, and unable to hold down a job. Read more of this post

On Clocking In

There are some advantages to working in the office, in the same way that I think that there are advantages to having meetings. (I like small meetings, of at most five people or so, the kind where once you all stand up you’ve reached a consensus and there’s action that can be taken. Big meetings are a waste of time, and the bigger the meeting, the more of a waste it is. You invite people who are irrelevant, and you invite digressions, and you invite people who want to show off or work on their grudges or whatever, and a need to keep things democratic hinders the process of decision-making. Plus, a two to three hour meeting doesn’t take two to three hours, it takes two to three hours multiplied by the number of people in attendance. A meeting of ten people? That’s twenty, thirty work hours wasted.)

My favorite thing about offices: air-conditioning. I know that sounds terribly shallow. But seriously, can you imagine having to work through smoldering heat? I don’t have to imagine, because I did that for a few summers when I still couldn’t afford an air-conditioner. I’d be sitting in the living room which was hot as an oven, and I’d be sweating out, every single thought or word meant for the page preempted or blotted out by thoughts of heat, of wiping my brow, of wanting to move to some climate which wasn’t as severely affected by the heat brought on by global warming.  Read more of this post

I think I’m getting how to sell books (after the SanFo FilBookFest)

I did two kinds of selling this weekend at the FilBookFest. And both were pretty exciting, especially doing them in a totally different place (which was just wow, man, I mean San Francisco is such a beautiful city and I enjoyed wandering it the few hours I could get away from the sales booth). Thanks to the Literacy Initiatives International Foundation, the Asia Foundation, the Book Development Association, the good people in San Francisco, the people who put the event together (and put up with my incessant queries) like Gemma Nemenzo and Lirio Sandoval, and UP for helping to partially fund the trip. Also to my relatives, cousin Vinah who coordinated my SanFo trip, Ryan who scored a samurai sword on a walking trip, and their parents Tita Crys and Tito Jun, who were my very cool and fun companions from LA to SanFo and back. Right now to talk about that selling. Read more of this post

Telcos Angst

Been frustrated with my ultra-wonky sun broadband connection. it’ll connect then drop to 0, and seriously sun cellular, i’ve done my part as a consumer, paying my bill, you should deliver or give me a discount or something when you can’t deliver. You charge for a month of unlimited service and then you don’t give it, and it’s this terribly low and measly bandwidth, nowhere near your published rates (which of course have those little disclaimers about inconsistent service so that I can’t legally sue you for not delivering). Think about it, it’s like buying a pizza and the resto giving you a pizza with two slices missing because other people were ordering pizza too and they only have limited supply. anyways, here’s the letter I sent to the company, in the hopes that they would address the concern. Friends who used to use Sun’s broadband told me I should just quit, like they did, and get another provider, but I’m going to ride out this month I paid for and see if things improve:

Your internet for my broadband stick has been performing terribly today. i haven’t been able to do work or to work efficiently due to this inconsistent service. as a person who relies on the internet for his work, I found your service at present not much of a service but more a hindrance to productivity as i have to disconnect and reconnect over and over, breaking my work flow. If service does not improve in the next few days I am terminating my account, since I’ve already put up with this bad service for the requisite three month period. I do hope that your company can do the smart thing, do good business, and improve your services so that you provide the customers with the service that they are paying for. If you ask customers for money, promise them a service, and don’t provide it, what differentiates you from a scam? fine fine, you put in your ads UP TO XXXXXX mbps. but then you provide nowhere near that, and you block off certain things. it’s just not honest. it’s not lying, but it’s not honest either. I hope that things can change, that my concern will be addressed, that I get a reply, and that your service becomes the best that you can possibly deliver, that you aim for and provide customer satisfaction. I will be waiting for your reply. Thank you

Motivating People

I know that this new concern with motivations is sort of unusual and has the possibility of sounding a bit cheesy. But it is starting to become a big thing in my mind. Now working within in office setting (though I do spend a lot of time out) I am becoming more aware of how important it is to have good morale and trying to find out ways to develop that.  Read more of this post

Christmas Party Dress-Up

As I type this I am wearing my Green Lantern Power Ring and getting used to having the clunky plastic thing on my hand. It’d be easier not to wear it, but hey, it’s not every day that I get to wear a Power Ring and not be thought of as exceedingly weird (now only marginally).

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