Can you say...


I'm having a rather difficult day at work and can't deal with it at the moment. I'd give anything to be able to walk outside and have about 10 cigarettes, right now. But, I'm behaving... trying to keep my head up and eyes forward.

For the past two days, there's been some confusion in the office about a payment that I received from someone seeking an annulment. I received it in November of last year, wrote a receipt, signed my name to it, and placed it in the appropriate box. Now, eight months later, there's confusion as to where the payment went. The woman that it was supposed to go to, claims to have never received the money. I sure as heck didn't take it. So, that's $200 that has disappeared without a trace.

Today, things came to a head and this woman confronted me about it. I, being the person that I am, recounted everything that I could remember about the payment. What it came down to was her, a woman in the religious life, accusing me of taking the money. Now, here's where I don't see the logic. Why on earth would I take $200 from the church after I had clearly signed my name on the receipt of payment? DO I really look that stupid? No, really!

She has since apologized to me. One minute she was this mean old woman who I wanted to choke... the next, she was very sweet and sincere. It was like talking to two totally separate people who had no knowledge of the existence of the other. It brought back memories of something that I have been trying to forget. A life that I have tried to move on from.

But, I've come to the conclusion... Although I have accepted her apology and decided that it was all just silly and probably the result of both parties being under stress, I am going to be as careful as humanly possible when it concerns matters with said person. I'm trying to be as Christian as possible about this matter. To forgive and love in the presence of judgement and anger. It's hard. But, it's all part of my journey through faith.

As soon as this whole exchange was over, Ned called from Saipan. Hearing his voice brings back so many good memories that you can't help but to move on from bad thoughts. So, without his knowledge, he has brightened my day. God knew exactly what I needed to hear in order to help me through this afternoon. To help me through this experience. So, thank you! And, thanks Ned! See you in October :)


Whining Wednesday

So, if you don't to listen to me rant, I suggest you read no further. Go tune in to some reruns of the Michael Jackson memorial or play some bejeweled or something. Because, today is definitely a ranting day!

It seems as though I have done something to irritate one of my coworkers. Well, she's almost a coworker. She works for the Division of Pastoral Ministry. Anyways! For the past couple of weeks, I have been working on the Archdiocesan phone directory. I've been asking for updated information from all departments withing the Archdiocese of Agana. Some people have been very forthcoming with the information and these are the departments that I updated. Everyone else, psh... what I have is what's printed, fools!

I gave the first draft to three people to review and proof. A couple of them came back with some minor corrections. The corrections made, I started the first run of directories for the staff. More errors were found. People died, I left their names in(how am I supposed to know who died in the past year), promotions were made that I wasn't aware of and more names were left out... It was just a huge mess that should have been caught if people were willing to give me the information I needed!

But, that's not the issue with which I am peeved! Said coworker called me on Monday, complaining that I left a priest's email address out of the directory. If she had looked closely, I left all their email addresses out! Personal contact numbers, emails, hobbies, favorite foods, sleeping habits. Those are all left out of the directory. If the priest chooses to share this information or if someone have the dying need to know which side of the bed Fr. Wojciech sleeps on, they have to ask him. That is problem number one.

Today, while outside, she totally flips about a piece of trash I had disposed of in a trash bin! How dare I?! What the hell was I thinking?! Damn you, you eco-friendly, inconsiderate human being, for throwing a piece of trash where it belongs! What is the world coming to?

Just a half hour ago, I was trying to get a hold of Sr. Marian. She had passed me some information, albeit late, for my project. But, I needed to clear something up before I made the alterations. So, I call Sr. Marian's extension... no answer. I ring her secretary... again no answer. By process of elimination, I am able to tell that she's in the resource center. I ring the resource center... Coworker in question, answers!

Blessed be God! I ask for Sr. Marian, she refuses to put her on the phone and insists on taking the message. I dictate to her what I need. She then says, 'Hold on. I need to get a message pad.' WTF?! She comes back, I dictate again... and again... oh! Once more.. for good luck! After this interaction she says... 'The next time you need Sr. Marian, call her or Cathy. I'm not her secretary.' ARGH!!!!! Really? Do you think I'm that disconnected? That I don't pay any attention at all to these things?! And, who was it that insisted on taking the message after I said to have Sr. Marian call me back?

What it boils down to is this... This woman will find something wrong with everything I do. Even if I've done said project perfectly, there will be something that she will find that she dislikes. Whether it be the color of the background, the tilt of the font, the color of my eyes, the way I hold me head... I mean, this is the same woman who insists that I dress too skanky for work. Skanky isn't the word she uses. But, it's pretty damned close.

*sigh* Rant completed...



We have a problem!

Have you ever felt like your life is spiraling out of control? One minute, you feel in control of things. You know what you want for the future. You're 100% sure of your dreams and aspirations. You know that the man in your life is the one for whom you've been waiting all your life. Then, the next minute, you've lost it. You're no longer sure of your future. You question your motives for everything you do. That man you knew wasn't perfect, isn't looking like the right man, after all. But, you love him anyway... You feel like everything you've been planning is going to shit - excuse the language.

You see, today, this is how I feel. I haven't been feeling in control of my life for quite some time now. But, today, I felt it spiral out of control. I've been questioning why certain people have been put in to my life. Growing up a Christian (Catholic, to be exact), I've always been taught that people are sent to you for a reason. Be it to help you in your conversion to be a better person, to humble you to seek the assistance of a higher power(God), or for you to help them. But, no matter the reason, one should see the presence of the other as a blessing. A grace given to you by the Lord.

Lately, it's been hard to see the grace in the presence of some people. There has been one person in particular about whom I have been very confused. I believe I love him. Otherwise, thinking of a life without said person would not be painful or cause any confusion. I also know that there are many degrees of love. There's the love between a man and a woman, the love between friends, the love between a child and her parents, the love between siblings. The list goes on and on. My problem is this. I need to distinguish the type of love that I have for this man. Whether it be the type between a man and a woman(be it unrequited or what have you) or the love between friends.

What I do know is that if something were to happen to this person, I would be at a loss. I value the friendship and the honesty that we share(though, I have caught him in a lie a couple of times and called him on it). Being away from this person, not hearing from him for a few days, it makes me long for his presence again: to hear his voice, to sense his joy.

I can't help but chuckle, right now. Thinking of the people reading this. My friends. As they try to wrap their heads around this. Try to decipher things and figure out who I'm talking about, exactly. But, that will have to wait for another time. A time when I'm more willing to share that part of my life with everyone. I know... I know... Why bait and then release? I don't know. I suppose I just needed to release a little bit. To let a little steam off when it's bothering me the most. I have no idea why it's bothering me so much today, of all days.

All the other uncertainties that I have, God willing, will work themselves out in the next couple of weeks. I have changes to make and rather than sitting on these changes, as I have been for a couple of months now, I am taking steps towards making them. The plans I've made are all going haywire. But, I'm hoping that I can get things in perspective and start prioritizing the responsibilities I have on my plate.

So, Houston to ground control... This is Jess signing off for today.


The Choir of Angels has a New Pianist

This morning, at 915am, I read the news that the Lord had called a beautiful, talented, and spirited woman home. I was saddened as I read Pacific Daily News website. Reina Arce Leddy, was a gifted woman. One who always had a smile on her face that brightened when she saw a friend. The people of Guam and the community and congregation of Mangilao will feel the loss of the great woman.
Reina was the pianist for the 10am choir in the parish of Santa Teresita Church, in Mangilao. I remember serving mass and listening to the choir, wanting to be amongst them. You see, Reina, Dave, Bam, Tara, Ted, Auntie Bernie, Cat(if I were to list them all, this would go on forever)... they all had beautiful voices. When I was brave enough, I finally removed that server cassock and joined the ranks of the choir.

There were so many memories that came to mind this morning, as I read the article. The best memory I have is of the concert we put on back in 1996 or 1997. I don't remember the exact time. But, the preparation leading up to the concert... the many rehearsals that we held. None of it felt like work. It was tedious. Reina was always quick on her feet to get us smiling and laughing. It made the time go by faster... the rehearsals go by smoother.

Recently, after being away from Mangilao for about 12 years, I was blessed with the opportunity to attend mass there, again. Naturally, I went to what is now the 1030am mass. We were running a little late coming in. So, I didn't get a chance to say hi before the mass. But, there were stolen glimpses and smiles of recognition. As soon as mass was over, I went over to say hello and got the warm hugs that I'd always remembered.

So, while we are mourning here, the choirs of angels have a new pianist in their midst. She is an awesome addition! We shouldn't be sad for too long. While the death came as a shock and one that we must still overcome, we must remember that it was in God's plan from the beginning of time. Yes, we will miss her. But, she is there, praying for us as we pray for her. Until the day we meet again, Reina, we love you and we will miss you. As the song goes... "May the choirs of angels come to greet you, may the lead you to paradise. May the Lord enfold you in His mercy. May you find eternal life."


Contruction or Destruction?

For the past couple of weeks, there has been road 'construction' on my way to work. I have no idea exactly what they're doing. But, it has disrupted the traffic in the Hagåtña area. For example, the road leading up the hill by McDonald's(I have no clue what it's named). The access to this road has been blocked off on both ends, by orange cones. This confuses people, I think. I've been getting calls inquiring about how one is to get in to our complex, on a daily basis.

Yes, road construction has to be done. But, I believe that... A.) This kind of work should be done in the evening hours, when the businesses are closed for the day(granted, our office is the only one on the hill) and when there would be less traffic... i.e., less stupid people to confuse. And, B.) The access to our office should be made accessible to the public - It is only at one end of the road. If a corner were to be left open, people would be less confused.

It seems like there has been more 'destruction' going on, though. As soon as the work started, the sewage system in the office has been disrupted. Our bathrooms backed up for two days in a row and had to be dealt with. In an office run by a staff made up majorly of women, bathrooms are necessary! That was problem number one. Problem number two, a couple of days after they tore up the roads, a couple of our phone lines went down and had to be repaired.

Now, here's a major problem that I feel was handled incorrectly. Yesterday, at around 11:15am, a woman walked in to the office and asked what we were doing here. The obvious answer being, "We work here!" It turns out that, right at the bottom of the driveway, while digging up the road, the workers found, what was suspected to be, a WWII explosive device. A FREAKIN' BOMB! They found a bomb! Do you think they informed us? NO! Now, I'm no expert on explosives. But, it has been my experience(yes, there have been many) that when they find such a device, they evacuate the immediate area. Living on an island where such things are unearthed every time there is this sort of project, you come to recognize the procedure. What if the device was live and had exploded while we were in the office? Couldn't there be injuries? I mean, these things were made for maiming(if not killing) people! Come on people... what about the safety of those working around the area?

If that wasn't enough drama for the week.... Today, the same crew managed to hit a water pipe while digging around the same area that the bomb was found in. I mean... if said bomb was still there, maybe this would have helped. But, instead, it made our time before lunch, a bit miserable! Again, we are an office with a predominantly female staff. So, what you had today was a bunch of women, walking around, complaining to each other and the deacon(the only male in the office) that we needed to urinate.

Thank the Lord, the water came back on after lunch, the bomb was hulled away yesterday. But, really... What the heck is going on? Can we finish the drama, complete the work, and get back to normal?