Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Christmas in April

Yep weird title, I know. I actually thought of the title before I wrote this. Usually it's the other way around but while driving that beat up old nissan this afternoon, I suddenly had "Chestnuts, roasting on an open fire..." stuck in my head. I was humming to the tune when the realization that Christmas is far away suddenly stopped me.

Maybe it has to do with the planned new year outing in Palawan which I hadn't signed up for. (yet?) The smell of pine trees on the bus I rode this morning, or just the sight of raindrops as they slowly descended from the incandescent street lights overhead, bringing snowflakes to mind. Whatever it is, Christmas just doesn't have a reason to come popping into my mind all of a sudden. Was hanging out with Bless at High Street this afternoon and ended up talking about our 13th month pay. It was probably that which made my mind wander off 8 months ahead.

One thing that I am doing this time of the year is giving everything a "Bah humbug!", pretty Scrooge-like. Been trying to save some money to pay off some debts that I mysteriously accrued over the years which is why the usual Champ meal has been downgraded to the Yum with TLC, and the 3-piece wing sale to the large hotwings. Pathetic isn't it? After years of toiling, I'm finding myself creeping back closer to the days when all I ate were instant noodles and eggs. I could already imagine my version of Christmas dinner, eggs cooked 3 ways and instant noodles with carrots and beans.

So what will I be doing this Christmas? I've already told myself that the old tree has to go, taking it to my parents soon. Of course, going with it are the brightly colored lights, decors and that stupid snowman jingling his bell. One thing that I am contemplating is taking a long road trip, alone looks like it as everyone is booked to a flight to Palawan. Then again I could just as easily stay at home and watch reruns and series that I haven't watched yet.

What is sure is that I need to end this post, put Christmas in its rightful time and try to enjoy the months in between summer break and holiday break.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back to the Drawing Board

There’s a little experiment that I have been conducting for the past two months. So far, the results prove inconclusive yet point in the direction that I had not expected it to. The dismal results have so far discouraged me from continuing testing and call the whole thing off. However, as is the nature of experiments, one has to see it through to be able to draw a conclusion, one that is necessary to be able to make any use of the data that you have gathered.

So what is this experiment called? It’s called can I live without a second job or more aptly, “Mo’ money, mo’ problems”. My theory was that as my production increased, so does the expense, thus making earning more money to save more a bit moot. My thesis was that as production decreased, so does expense which would therefore permit me to decrease expenses by decreasing profits. My expectations were that I could arrive at a point wherein net gain would be at a maximum by slowly decreasing production which is not directly proportional to expense, making the whole experiment quite logical.

As you may have guessed, the rate of decrease in productivity was much higher in magnitude that the rate of decrease in expenditure. Illustrated by my current situation, maximum net gain could only be achieved by allowing the rate of decrease of expenditure to have a higher magnitude than that of productivity.

So what does this prove? Nothing so far. I have come to realize that the whole set-up was flawed from the beginning. There was no control, the environment was too unstable thanks to outside factors affecting the gain from the primary job, as well as a lack of a quantifiable progression. I’m probably the dumbest social scientist alive.

To arrest the uncontrollable downward spiral that I seem to be stuck in at the moment, I have decided to ensure that the whole system is properly logged and in place, establish a control, chart the progress of the experiment, and approach it from the opposite end, meaning increasing production rather than decreasing it. I’ll admit that this is less fun and more stressful, but to be able to salvage anything from it I would need to compromise. This would take a lot of time to be able to get up and running.

Oh well, the phrase “back to the drawing board” has just slapped me silly.

Thoughts on the MBA

Last week, after paying a client of mine a visit I decided to inquire about the MBA program that Ateneo had at their Laguna office. I was all interested until they got to the bottom line, how much it would cost. I don’t think I can afford it. So I smiled and said I’d think about it and spent an hour or so on the road doing so.

The pros and cons were simple enough:

1. Have enough time on my hands now that I’m not doing much outside of work
2. Learn a lot of things about how to run a business properly (as an employee
as well as a proprietor)
3. It’s only once a week, pretty convenient for myself
4. It’s a 15 minute drive from the office
5. Great way to network
6. Added self esteem with that MBA beside my name
7. Career advancement opportunities

1. No money for tuition

As far as I can tell, the PROS far outweigh the CONS in this instance. So why am I still thinking about it?

Money, of course is scarce nowadays. True I could probably wing it with some well placed loans and prioritization of expenses but that would entail making lifestyle changes which I am not comfortable with at the moment. Asking the company for money isn’t really my thing (stupid pride and all) and I fear that this would only plunge me deeper in debt in the short term.

Besides money, I am doubtful if I can round up all the requirements in time for the June enrollment period. My former college has been giving me trouble in securing my transcripts just because they claim I haven’t paid up the graduation dinner dues which I did not attend anyway. Since five years ago, I hadn’t attempted applying for it again and have no clue if they would still hold me accountable for such a minute detail.

A big part of this interest of mine in an MBA stems from Nolan and Trisha’s own applications to the UP MBA program where they both qualified. I would have preferred taking it up at the old alma mater but it is just too far away from where I work. Also, a lot of my other friends have also taken up this course and they attest that they have picked up a lot of practical information and training from it, ergo it would be greatly beneficial for me as well.

Frankly speaking, I never considered going back to school after spending the better part of a decade earning a degree. But the stupidity of people have somewhat forced me to reconsider lest I fall under the same trap as they have. Hopefully it all works out well, me having the means to put up my own tuition and finally getting all the requirements that I need to apply and qualify. Right now I am doing my best to straighten out my finances and condition myself to devoting time and effort to making an MBA a part of my CV. On the other hand, all this thinking about it is giving me a headache… sure hope that the Ateneo MBA program is well worth it.

Brotherhood of One (3rd title... need suggestions)

Have you ever experienced so much hate that you were compelled to do something about it? I consider myself a level-headed person, not too quickly given to violence which is why I still can't believe that I had it in me to do what I had done.

I still recall the feelings stirring up within when I saw Michael's car gas up at the corner station, across the road from where I was to meet our other friend. Jose was late as usual and I was alone waiting. Michael rarely brought his car to the office, and seeing his car only confirmed my suspicion that he was on his way to see Angela. I watched as he hurriedly sped away from the station, excited to see her again for sure.

Jose finally came, and saw me clutching the beer bottle loosely by the neck. He had a smile on his face as he apologized for his tardiness. I looked back to the gas station, confirmed to myself that Michael had already left. “So what’s up with you? Didn’t expect you to be in the mood to drink on a workday. Something must be up.” That silly smile never left his face.

“Just thought you’d want a beer or two to catch up.” I lied. We ordered more beers and chow before I laid it on him.
“Are you sure?”
“No. That’s the problem.”
“Well, I don’t see why he wouldn’t tell you if there was nothing to hide.”
“Exactly.” We drank in silence, interrupted only by the occasional question followed by a nod or that motion of the shoulders.

It started when I met Angela, her plain looks more than compensated by her bubbly personality and love of life. It was not hard to take a liking to her once the conversation starts and this was exactly what occurred. But I wasn’t sure of what I wanted, and thought it better she meet my friends. We hung out with friends I had since childhood, people whom I shared most of my life with and who knew me inside out. They were more than brothers to me and I valued their thoughts and views as much as my own. She was a hit, and this more than made up my mind about my intentions.

More and more often, we went out as a group. I couldn’t live without my friends and I wanted her to be comfortable with them. Then I started noticing it, that unmistakable look in their eyes, hushed conversations, an awkwardness whenever I spoke to either. But I wasn’t sure, and nobody would tell me, especially Michael.

Jose was the person in our group whom I knew Michael always turned to. If there was anything I needed to know, it was coming out of him. I learned more from his silence that from what emanated from his lips. That was enough to confirm it, to know the real story. Jose certainly was not blind, and suggesting doubt to the obvious proved that I was alone.

“Well, maybe I am imagining things. Heck what am I thinking anyway? Doubting my brother for a lousy lay?” I lied again. There was no smile on Jose’s face this time. He looked straight into the bottle and took a long gulp.

A couple of months passed since that night. I put the thought of Angela out of my head, replaced by the thought of brotherhood. These were the only people that I trusted, and she meant nothing to me. Michael and Angela got closer, as I got closer to Michael. Summertime drew near, and as usual the topic of the traditional group getaway was foremost on everyone’s mind. The beach, basking in the summer sun and forgetting everything else. It was just what I needed, and obsessed about it more than everyone, making lists, itineraries and making sure that we had everything that we needed.

The day of the trip finally came, and we were headed off to an island paradise far removed from the usual tourist destinations. “You seem like you need this trip the most, look at the size of your eyebags!” Michael laughed. Everyone looked in my direction as we boarded the bus.

“Too excited I guess.” I answered.
“Yeah, too bad though the girls couldn’t be here.” Michael frowned.
“What do you mean? This is one for the boys, no girls allowed!” Cheered Fred. “How many hours is this trip going to take?”
“Just shut up, will you. Didn’t you get the itinerary that I sent?” I admittedly was in a rotten mood. Four hours on the bus, an hour by boat and an hour’s trek. It was going to be a long day for sure.

We arrived on the island and were greeted by sand, sun and nothing much else. There was no one else on the island save for the boatmen who were to cast off soon and come back for us in the morning. We brought down the supplies that we had bought from the resort on the mainland, a lot of alcohol, food, water and our gear. We had prepared for almost anything.

We were all smiling, horsing around amidst the waves, shoving each other playing football and simply lazing around and talking about the good times past. The five of us knew that we were all that each had. Night came and the drama ensued. We gathered by the campfire, and it was then that Michael told me everything. I smiled, threw sand in his face then extended my hand. He cursed, took my arm and smiled back. It was all out in the open now and everyone smiled. A new bottle was opened, a glass offered to the gods of the sea and the merriment ensued. Conversations drifted about dreams, the best of times, parents and of course to girls.

As the bonfire slowly faded to embers, I sat outside my tent with a shot of whiskey in hand. The warmth engulfed my throat as I slowly let the vapors fill my nostrils. The soothing breeze of the sea passed through my hair as I lit the last of my cigarettes. Michael came and stood beside me, nudged me to move a little and sat down beside me on the sand. He had a bottle of wine in his hand from which he drank in large gulps. “Thanks for understanding, brother.” I looked at him and my glass clinked with the bottle of wine. No words were exchanged, just the presence of each other amid the glow of the coals and the light of the stars.

Morning came, everyone slowly came out of their tents, I was still seated in front of mine, whiskey long gone and eyes sunk deeper than ever. The smell of bacon wafted through the breeze and the aroma of brewed coffee foretold of a bitterness. We gathered all our gear, placed them together in a pile as we ate the last of our meager breakfast. We barely spoke as everyone still suffered a headiness from the festivities of last evening.

“Remember the time when we all first got together? Waiting by the parking lot for our ride home?” I asked. Everyone smiled as they recalled days when we were kids, and how we watched each other become the men we were today. “How I wish we were back in that parking lot.” All agreed.

The boat came back for us and we had packed the last of our bags. I took out my vest, strapping them tightly as I made my way up the boat. All of our gear was stowed underneath the boat, including a small box inside my bag carrying letters, pictures and other items that I kept as reminders of our friendship. I sat at the front of the boat, allowing the harsh sun to bear down upon my face. I kept looking at my watch for the right time to come. I looked back at the others, all kept to their own mostly, except for Michael who looked strangely at me, as if he knew. I glanced at my watch for the last time, and stood up at the fore. I dove to the side of the boat suddenly as everyone else watched in shock. With all my might I swam away, as far as my arms and legs could take me. And as I heard the shouts and cries of the others demanding to know what I was doing, the first explosion shattered my eardrums as they seared through the pictures, letters, my bag and the underside of the boat. I was thrown to one side as the second explosion tore the boat to pieces. I sank deeper into the water, floundered as I struggled to find which way was up and gasped a lungful of air as soon as my face came out of the water. Everything was silent. The shouts ceased and the drone of the engine was a distant memory.

I made my way back from the ceremony still clutching my eulogy. I took off my jacket and left my shoes by the door, making my way to the bedroom. I lay still on the bed as I looked at the ceiling still in disbelief. There was no hatred now, and I wondered if there ever had been.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Driving on Rainy Nights

One time, while driving along Quezon Avenue at night eons back when I just got my license and was driving my dad's crappy car, the rain blocked out all of my vision literally. Thanks to the defective wipers of that box-type Lancer SL, I almost had brake to a standstill and manually over-ride the wiper mechanism. Fortunately Leo was with me then and he had to "contact" the wipers to make them function. There was no airconditioning as well so all the windows fogged up and we had to wipe it off every five minutes of so just to see a couple of meters ahead.

Those were the days when I was stupid and reckless. The first instinct was to always floor the accelerator and drive with just one hand. (This was not steering-assisted, mind you) Each and every chance I got resulted in a race on EDSA with some random vehicle and the screams of passengers always made me feel so macho.

A totally different story from today when I know that I am probably the slowest driver among everyone else. I wouldn't take the risk of driving in the rain with a busted tail light nor speed on a slightly wet piece of asphalt. This has caused some amount of ridicule from my friends and a lot of wasted time on the road. And to think that I still get into accidents despite this defensive-minded approach.

Of course, the accidents are a result of the law of averages, number of hours or kilometers on the road as opposed to number of incidences occurring. But I can't imagine how stupid a driver I was back then. I had what is probably the oldest and least performing car but I always wanted to be ahead of everybody else.

This is what I see in other drivers who always seem to get one up over everybody else. With classic "taxi-driver maneuvering" and bolts of speed for even the shortest of distances. And not all of them are hormone-rich teenagers, too. But myself, too scared to challenge even a friggin' Picanto for a line. Maybe I'm just too cautious, mature, dimwitted or relaxed.

Whatever the case, in a few minutes I'll be driving in the rain again. And maybe I'll once again reminisce about those good old days when I was stupid, reckless and accelerator happy yet always cheated death.

Mystery and Fates

Seated alone at a table for six at KFC, I began pondering about the mysteries of fate. Having heard the familiar “…mystery of our faith…” line (or something like that) from a mass in Laguna, I mistook the last word and imagined it being spelled differently and so it stuck in my mind. Is there really such a thing as “fate”? Why is it so mysterious that we want to know what it has in store for us?

I know of 3 people who have their fortune’s read at least once a year. Two of my sisters do it on the week of their birthday and RJ does it when the year is almost over. All of them exclaim that it is solely for fun, and I have always doubted this. If you have been doing this every year for x number of years and at a significant point in your life (as opposed to having it read at a carnival you just happen to be in), then you are provoking yourself into believing it.

Of course, it goes without saying that I do not believe in fate. Rather I believe in the laws of physics, specifically the part where an action begets an opposite and equal reaction. This governs most of my subconscious decision-making processes as well as eggs me to understand why things are what they are. So far, it’s worked well and logically. Why don’t I have a high paying job of importance is because studying was not one of my priorities back in college. Why my car is dirty is because I didn’t clean it. Why I got into a fender bender recently is because the other guy was an idiot.

However, I’ll admit that there are some things that are seemingly outside of this phenomenon. A great illustration would be a poker game that I recently won. I won not because of my superior skills because going into the river card, I had the slimmest chances in hell of getting out of that sticky situation, but then luck intervened and gave me the very card (the last remaining one) that I needed in the end. So how do I explain this? Not luck, but by probabilities and statistics. I may not know exactly how and the prevailing formula at play, but I do know that given enough chances, you are bound to hit that jackpot.

Which brings me to my next topic, still conveniently applicable to the scene earlier today and that is the existence of (a) God. So I believe in a supreme being but also opine that all these humans have mucked up how we should regard it/him/her through the various religions that they have organized. Watching the “Ten Commandments” over the holy week, I can’t help but wonder why there is (a) God for the Israelites and yet another for the Egyptians. Of course, the Israelites (and succeeding Christian and Islamic religions) offer that there is just one of it/him/her but are quite clear that they seem to own that one being rather than share it with all the other religions.

No, will not delve into the details because I don’t care about religions. But don’t ask me about my own personal beliefs because I can’t explain it as well. This is the only thing that keeps me in check from calling myself an atheist, my non-comprehension of a lot of things. I leave myself that little detail which is the existence of a supreme and omniscient being. Let’s just say that it keeps me sane and prevents me from questioning everything around myself. (Example of which is defining why there is life on this rock and none anywhere else in the known reaches of the universe) 12 years of Catholic education and all that.

So let’s summarize, first I do not believe in fate. Second is my defiance of religions despite my acknowledgment of (a) God.

So again, I’ve bored you with all this gibberish. The effect of boredom, too much caffeine and a pack of cigarettes. I have neither the will to convince you nor the decency to offer my own explanation about my loose topic which makes this post a rant. Oh well, so sue me.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I smell a storm brewing

Rainy days are here again, it would seem. And what better way to celebrate it than to oversleep while curled up underneath a nice warm blanket? Well, that hasn't exactly happened yet. How I wish I can afford to, but the call of the office is just too urgent to ignore these days.

Take for example the next couple of days. Tomorrow I have to wake up pretty early and drive a couple of hundred kilometers to get to some clients up north. Then on Friday I need to run five kilometers for a "fun run" organized by a client of mine down south. Whew... just thinking about it makes me pine for the weekend with the utmost desperation.

The good thing is that things at the office seem to be taking a gentle turn for the better. Things are starting to go my way which is badly needed in these unfortunate times. It looks like all that effort in the past couple of months are paying off and I might just stave off unemployment in the meantime. Good news to all my creditors, I guess.

So how are things on the personal front? Well, steady as she blows. Small ripples here and there but nothing too serious and alarming. I have a new appreciation for my house, and I have acquired a new fascination with my dad's old camera. Just downloaded a ton of stuff about it and am planning to have it cleaned and try it out just to see if I can delve in a little photography of my own. Figure that it's a great way to relax and build self esteem. (Let's hope) The neat thing about the ancient camera is that I have so far been seeing great reviews about it performance wise. Great news now that I don't have to spend a ton of cash in buying a modern digital camera. (For the curious, the ancient camera is a Yashica Electro 35 GSN)

So far, I have enlisted the help of Nolan in getting the camera cleaned up and shooting. Just downloaded a modified instruction manual and sent it to him so that he could then teach me how to operate it. I know that this takes out a lot of fun in experimenting with it, but since it is a film camera and a roll of film plus developing isn't exactly cheap, I need to learn as fast as I could to sustain this planned hobby of mine.

So I guess I can't really complain about the coming of the rains. Let's just hope I get to spend a morning soon still tucked in bed and loving it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

So it's another birthday

So I got myself some cool gifts: An instructional guide book and a sheet of plastic cover. Real cheap! Hahaha! Of course, not having money is a real hassle. But somehow, I don't mind it much when I think of how many times I used to be so stressed out and in a bad mood.

So what is it about this day? To be honest, not much. Another day at work, hustling to get money and pay the rent. Birthdays aren't really that big a deal to me. So you're another year older and supposedly wiser. Is it really worth the time to look back at all the things that have happened in a year?

Sorry if I seem a little cynical, guess that's just my nature. Not to be an ingrate to those who wished me the best for today, but I treat today just as any other. I'm not special and the world doesn't stop revolving just because I (or anyone for that matter) popped into the world. Why should I make any demands that this day be exceptional?

But then again, maybe it would be great not to be a cynic for once. The roses would probably smell just a tad bit sweeter, my smile would be wider, chickenjoy would be juicier and cigarettes would not kill me. There's a lesson in "the little price" that has taught me the meaning of being special:

So there's this rose. It's a regular, red, run of the mill rose. Go to a rose garden and you'd see a multitude exactly like it. But this rose is special because a dumb little kid, a prince on an planet the size of a van, thinks it is. The kid would go through great lengths to care for this demanding, ungrateful red rose. But why? Simply because he has spent time with it. Gave it a part of its life, nurtured it and made sure it got everything it needed. Because of this, that rose was the most special in all the universe. (If you can't grasp this concept, try reading the book, buffoon!)

Well anyway, I guess that in a lot of ways today is special. Not because I was born, but because my friends have made it so. So thanks guys, and here's wishing that we all be as special as that little prince's rose.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

It's getting too hot for comfort

I guess it's fate. Got a wedding invitation that explicitly asks the gentlemen to wear suits. Just when I thought I've dodged this, it suddenly comes up again.

Maybe it's about time I got one. I never did own a suit and it might come in handy one of these days. Nolan had one tailor made a while back and I'm thinking of visiting his tailor for this purpose. Yes I will have to shell out some dough though I hope it will be worth it. And of course I also have to get new dress shoes as well, and a shirt plus a tie. Egad!


Ugh... the summer is here. I have active sweat glands so this season is hell for me. My electric bill skyrockets, I can't reuse my pants, a short walk leaves me all sweaty and I take too many baths a day. And yesterday I heard on the news that the other day was the hottest day recorded in recent Philippine history. Great.


Got into a fender bender yesterday. Dumb ass drove his SUV past me, hitting the bumper. This year, I've had quite a number of accidents with Kermit. I usually average just one per year but in the past 3.5 months have already been involved in 3. Been slipping, I guess.


Had to leave the office quite early today. Got into sort of an argument with a VP. Of course I can't argue with authority so I thought it best to split before I get tempted to. It's funny how some people presume that I'm supposed to be doing a lot of stuff beyond the JD. I mean, I don't mind as long as they cooperate but when they don't it just makes no sense to me.


Work has been all crap lately. Made me think back to what my sign said would be a great year for my career. Bullshit.


A friend of mine broke his ankle a few weeks ago. In the spirit of friendship, here's what I wrote for our yahoogroups:

"Mark M. Reyes broke his ankle in 2 places while skimboarding (astig pakinggan no? first time lang nun...lesson number one: do not skimboard while drunk. hahaha!) last March 27. He underwent surgery and is now recuperating at home while learning how to play with his organ. To show our support to our blockmate, I will accept donations in cash and kind (pwede pagkain, alak, yosi, babae, etc).

Kung interesado kayo, reply na lang sa email na ito. Tapos lahat ng proceeds will go to our next block party. Dun natin ipagdasal and mabilis na recovery ni mark kay san miguel. Yung mga out of the country, ipadala ko sa inyo bank account number ko... pwede nyo dun ideposit. May paypal din pala ako, so pede rin credit cards. hehehe."

Hopefully he will get well much sooner in his desire to kick my ass as soon as possible.

Life lectures over coffee and juice

Had a lunch date today... former officemate who is now taking her MA at Diliman. Just took a chance as I was in the area. Had coffee and juice at Choc Kiss. Anyway, it was great catching up. She is already engaged and can't wait till next year to tie the knot after finishing her studies. So she asked about when I will be doing so... pretty sure took too long to answer as she almost spat the mango juice in my face from her laughing fit.

Now this person, despite being younger than I is someone who I could easily identify to be my older sister. So she lectures me about the benefits of already planning for the future. Counting out the years till my gremlin spawns graduate, my parents' age, the high premiums on insurance, etc. Whew... enough to make my order another cup of brewed coffee. As if this was not enough, she lectures me on the value of going to church and thanking Him for all the blessings. Some sort of spiritual fulfillment crap.

Of course I appreciate it, just don't like being told the obvious. Then she recants and tells me that at this age, it's okay for a guy to be thirty-something and single. Nice... I guess she got the hint when I ordered my second cup. She volunteers to help me meet other single ladies from her church. I have my doubts if this were really to set me up with singles or get me to join her Church. hmm... I said yes anyway and she vows to text me this weekend. I'm not holding my breath, though.

All the running around

Fortunately, I ran behind Jundel during our jog a few hours ago. Had I jogged in front of him, maybe we would have stopped sooner at the 2km mark. Since he was in front, I just trailed along and was able to complete 3km tonight. Not bad considering that I just had a double shot of whiskey half an hour before. Problem is that I had set my goal at the 2km mark though I know I could do more than that (Yes, I can. Promise…)

Of late, I have been finding myself with an urge to jog. Last Easter Sunday I also jogged at UP. Though I should be preparing for the TNF run on May, I am not really the competitive type and should already be happy with being able to keep a respectable pace and not run the risk of quitting midway. I guess it is true that breaking a sweat for leisure is easy to get hooked on.

However, there is one ill effect that all this running around has brought me and that is finding an excuse to smoke more than I would have wanted. This past month alone, I have been finding myself visiting the neighborhood sari-sari store twice a day for a pack of Winston Lights. I have (wrongly?) justified all this physical exercise as a way to make up for this vile habit and am starting to lose control. The fact that I realize all this and yet do not make any attempt to limit myself is quite disturbing. I have promised myself to google if exercise does negate the obvious ill effects of smoking, but have not come around to doing it just yet. (Slow internet connection and all) After all, jogging is a great way to relieve some stress that I have been encountering at work lately and thinking of what I would be doing with all the hours I spend running would definitely involve a stick or two.

Remember that target of mine to shed off those pounds by this month? Well half of the month has passed and I am way below my target. Maybe I should run more, or eat a whole lot less. (I haven’t been eating carbs lately but that doesn’t seem to go anywhere anymore) Maybe I should have bought that work out contraption rather than the LaZboy. Maybe I should push myself to inquire about the rates and schedules of the gym around the corner. Well, whatever I do, I’m pretty sure that I have to be doing it soon if I want to reach that target. Sigh…

Monday, April 13, 2009

Heavy Thoughts from far away land

The distant shimmering lights atop the ridge of Tagaytay provides me with a great backdrop to my thoughts as I sit here enjoying my Coke light at Total on the South Luzon Expressway. They provide me with a bit of comfort as I slowly blacken my lungs with each puff on my cigarettes. Twilight is upon me, and the noise of conversations from afar blurs the ceaseless nagging of work in my head. I stretch my legs in the hope that it shakes off my Monday blues to no avail.

I stare mindlessly into the horizon, desperately looking for answers as once again I feel a numbing pain on my nape that could only be explained as stress. A lot to be done, and no time to do any of it but hope that the answers unravel themselves in the days to come. I clench my fists and grit my teeth, waiting for a clash that is unlikely to come. After all, I doubt that I could stand looking myself in the mirror and seeing someone obviously lacking and clueless.

This wasn't what I had in mind when I took on the job over half a decade ago. Now burdened with responsibility, insecurity sets in and pushes me to the limits of my waning sanity. But this was what I wanted, to be in control and significant. Is it just my imagination or has life played a cruel trick on me? Too late to back off now, there is much at stake.

So as I sit here pretending that everything is going alright, there is no answer still. All that's left is to take it one day at a time and wish that everything turns out for the best in time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Not finished...

Just when you think I've blogged enough, suddenly there's more! Bwahaha!


Got home to find Leo on the LaZboy... he conveniently filled up the ice cube tray (I defrosted yesterday) so I happily plunked some ice cubes into a glass and had my fill of Johnny. He had one as well, while watching Gothika on AXN (he watches while as of blog-time).

So what to write? I dunno... I just have this urge to turn on the computer and tip tap on the keyboard, hoping for something to come to mind to write about.


Watched Vicky Cristina Barcelona on pirated dvd today before I went to the office. The spanish guitar laden soundtrack was awesome. Wish I could play a tune instead of just vague sounding powerchords courtesy of the self-help songhits accompaniment that I used to learn guitar. So I was tempted to unravel my old six string but thought against it as I remembered that I have nothing to play from memory and certainly could not willow my way through a tune.

So instead, I daydreamed about spending a day lying in bed with both Penelope and Scarlett. That bastard! The other chick (Vicky, was it?) wasn't bad, either. She has this magnetic aura around her that seems deeper and more sensual than Scarlett. (Wait... are these words from me? What the hell am I talking about? I sound more like a gay movie critic than anything. Hmm... need to switch character...)

That bitch was ugly, but do-able. (There, that sounds better.)


I find myself in sort of a pickle. Suddenly I realize that lowering expectations, though healthy, leads to a lot of discontent as well. And this is what I find inconvenient about this whole ordeal of mine. By not really giving myself more of a chance (or opportunity, is it?), I end up thinking about it more. This sucks. The more you think about it, the more you want more but then you consciously try to haul your ass back to the ground because you told yourself so from the very beginning.

Case in point: that awful want for a home theater system. (well... yeah. This could work as a quasi-illustration) I've been telling myself that with how things are going for me at this point in my life, better try to get that out of your head until some mystic force of nature enables me to have a go at it. But the more that I tell myself that I can't afford it, the heavier my credit card seems to feel in my wallet. Solution? I rid my wallet of 2 of my credit cards. (Yeah right, that helps) So now, I find myself thinking what if I just bought the damn thing in the first place and leave the worrying till later? (Hmm, that doesn't make sense, does it?)

Well anyway, the point is that I haven't bought the damn thing but I want it now more than ever. So imagine the mental anguish. Having thought about something for so long but not being able to have it because of some stupid moratorium that you had enforced upon yourself.

Yes, I'm talking about carbs, sure.


Back in college, people used to say I had an alter ego named Jap. He was the evil, more obnoxious me. I can't imagine why they invented this personality but they did have a lot of laughs at my (or Jap's?) expense. This personality suddenly resurfaced over a conversation with Jundel and Nolan. Borne out of a discussion about having to write about a single topic over 500 times (yes, it is possible), they imagined myself having more than one (or two) personalities which is why I was able to pull the job off. Jap was one of them, allegedly.

So now, I am thinking (thanks to Johnny) about the repercussions (or benefits) of having more than one personality. Stephen King allegedly has a multiple personality disorder, which is probably why he can write about a bunch of different persons so well in one sitting, I can imagine. I grew up reading some of his earlier works and do find a depth of understanding he possesses writing about so many dysfunctional people. Hmm, am now beginning to doubt my sanity here.


I bought a dvd of Tropic Thunder a few months back. (I think I even blogged about it in the past) Well, the dvd still doesn't work. A waste of 50 bucks that sure was! But while buying a pack of cigarettes at our friendly, all day all night even on Good Friday neighborhood store earlier today, I spied a copy that they were renting out. Was awfully tempted to rent it but somehow I was able to resist the urge.

I'm a big fan of comedy, and from what I hear I am sure to love this flick. But why I am able to resist watching it is some sort of mystery to me. Maybe I've gone soft on my love for a great laugh, or maybe subconsciously (and with a dose of premonition) I know that it isn't as funny as some of my all time favorites.

I did make a promise to myself that I will definitely be watching Fast and Furious 4 in a movie house. This is personal history in the making. This will be the first time I will be watching a movie in a theater since Happy Feet. So far, I've not invited anyone as I feel that I want to watch it on my own... a sort of personal pilgrimage back to the movies. And yes, I plan to splurge! LaZboy seats, popcorn (Yes, carbs I know) and the best darn THX system known to man. It should, nay, it will be special! Hahaha! How pathetic I have become.

Either that or Monsters versus Aliens. There's still a chance, actually.


Hmm... watching some snippets of Gothika in between sentences has piqued my interest in the movie. I knew blogging was a waste of time!

Smelling Cinnamon and other stories out of empiricy (what?)

The table next to me seats 4 people, a sweet old couple with what seems to be their daughter and son-in-law. They are having a "soft" conversation, smiling and chuckling at what apparently transpired on their out-of-town adventure lately. Then the server comes out with three cinnamon buns. Three, yes. Three buns for four people. I found it odd. Maybe there was a mistake, maybe another cinnamon bun was on its way. I was trying to find out the mystery of the missing bun through my peripheral when the son-in-law asked the server for a knife. Hmm... strange. Why would you need a knife for a bun? A few seconds after and the server comes out with the said butter knife and hands it to the son-in-law. The son-in-law then cuts a cinnamon bun in half, hands one part to his wife and then leaves the other half for himself.

My thoughts? Either this young couple's excessively sweet or really really cheap!


A Pajero is parked in front of me. While it parked, already sounded funny to me. Something seems to be amiss. So the guy parks, his family steps out to the restrooms while he opens the hood and peers into the engine. He is obviously lost in the engine, trying to figure out what was wrong. He goes to the back, and returns with a flashlight in hand. He jiggles it around all over the engine and scratches his near-bald head with it. He goes around back into the driver's seat and starts the diesel. It starts alright, but then he tries to put it in drive (Obviously it was an automatic from Subic) and then I hear the gears try to tear themselves apart. The sound was terrible, but the guy still struggles with it. The engine stalls, the gears are probably stuck now. The family comes back and without any question goes back into the Pajero. The guy shakes his head, goes back out to close the hood and tries starting the engine anew. It starts, gurgles metal and stalls. He tries is again, I hear him putting the tranny in reverse and it seems to have done the trick. He backs out of the slot, and when he tries to put it in drive, it stalls again. He seems irritated now, and seems to have started it in drive. The Pajero jackrabbits to life and he sustains it, now they're running. Tsk tsk... hope he doesn't lose it on the expressway else traffic ensues and I'd be stuck behind it.


One advantage that I do love about the holy week on the expressway is the notable absence of trucks plying the SLEX. Of course, with most businesses closed, they have no destination. Being a sort of "expert" on the SLEX, I have noticed that come 8:30pm, the trucks come barging in on the highway, making life miserable for the relatively tiny cars that are racing home to the metro. These trucks are bulky, bumbling disasters waiting to happen on the road and many a time have I found myself clutching to the steering wheel for dear life when these monsters come swerving by.

Of course, the realization that these things are essential to our daily lives gives me some sort of consolation. How do you think the goods at 168 get there anyway? I have also had some experience in the past stuffing the containers that these trucks lug around, so I can't really say that they're all evil and a nuisance.

Thank God scooters aren't allowed on the SLEX.

Critters on the upside

How often have I been finding cockroaches lying belly up at home? Well, they've been everywhere lately. I used to be diligent in sweeping them up and throwing them away. Not for the past two weeks though. I've been observing the 3 or 4 cockroaches that I haven't swept up and this past week, I've noticed how strange it all is. First, they are still alive on the first day that I see them. Which is why I was apprehensive in getting rid of them at first. Figured that it was a ploy to get me to bend over. The next few days, they're dead. Cool, but I am still too lazy to do anything about it. After a week, they are reduced to their exoskeleton and wings. Their insides seem to have either dried up or consumed by other critters (ants, mites and the like).

But why do I care? I don't actually, but I do find it strange that this phenomenon seems to have an inversely proportional effect on the number of live cockroaches that I find crawling around the house. The maximum overturned cockroaches that I have counted is four. And then the toll stops and I don't see any live ones anymore. This has changed my whole attitude about dead bugs around the house. They don't bother me as much given the upsides that they bring.


WTF! I'm talking about bugs again! How more bored can I possibly get!

Good Friday Blues

Got really close to the office's photocopier today. Think I'm gonna be shooting blanks for a while. What I am doing at the office on a Good Friday is indeed something of a mystery. Why I didn't do all the stuff I had to do today previously is a result of many things. First was the Calaguas trip. Then a gazillion things that needed to be done at the office when I got back. Then I got super lazy the next weekend and before I knew it, here I am driving from the office to my favorite hang out along the northbound stretch of the SLEX.

It feels kinda strange, I'm the only one who came from work. The gas station is cramped with vacation goers, a whole lot of them kids who just puked their guts out after the long drive. I missed my favorite Chickenjoy dinner because Jollibee was full of people trying to get a snack for the drive home. Had to do with a hotdog sandwich from Bonjour for sustenance.

I wonder if I were Catholic, would I be as willing to travel the distance to the office on a Good Friday? Can't say really, maybe I still would for the convenience of being employed. My boss certainly didn't find it strange when I texted her that I would be going to the office. Can you spell slave-driver? Hahaha!


Leo is currently living at my house for the vacation. Why, I do not know. He does have his whole house to himself, so why he wants to crash at my place is strange, if not dysfunctional. So now I can't go on with my planned general clean up because he's there. I'd hate cleaning up and finding all of his shoe marks on the floor after just having mopped up. Arrgh! There are a lot of reasons why I chose to live alone, and having him crash over at my place is certainly not one of them. But what can you do?


Am convinced that all of my hard work at the office today is for naught. I dunno, just have this stinking feeling. I won't tell any details, but there is one part of this "project" that I have to rely on someone else to be able to complete it. And I don't think this person could possibly move heaven and earth, so I can say that it is a complete waste of time. So why am I still working through the holidays for this? Because 1) I've nothing better to do, 2) I want to prove a point at the office, 3) My boss told me to.


Warning: Emo comes up next...

I've been thinking a lot lately about why I don't just pack up and go back home to my parent's house. Been having a tough time trying to budget a lot of things that come with the territory of being independent, and I so miss the days when all I had to do was wait for my daily allowance. Lately, I found myself balancing a lot of my expenses and trying to figure out a way past them. This wasn't a problem when I was doing two jobs, but I gave one up to preserve my sanity and so here I am with another problem.

Well, I did come up with a lot of solutions, all of which I don't like. I could move to a cheaper apartment, get a housemate, get a loan (loan consolidation, that bull), or get back on the web review gig. But inertia keeps me from moving towards any of them.

Mom texted me this afternoon, informing me that she had cooked my favorite dish and was welcome to come home and partake of it. I didn't reply, I was then neck deep in paperwork and numbers that I got irritated at the thought of stopping in the middle of things to say thanks but no thanks. I've noticed that the both of them have been putting up ploys to get me to visit home of late. Reminds me of "Cats in the Cradle" a whole lot.

You see, ever since college I had sworn that I would leave the "nest" as soon as I found work. Seven years after and I have so far kept to that promise (save for a couple of months when I had no choice but to go back). And now, I am entertaining thoughts of coming back home? It's practical, it's convenient, it makes so much sense, but you know me always trying to prove myself to everyone.

So far, I think I'd still be able to keep up this lifestyle for a few more months before finding myself in dire need of tweaking my finances. Guess I'll be riding my luck as far as it would take me just because of my stupid pride. Hopefully a stroke of luck would come by and I wouldn't have to be too drastic. Till then, guess I just gotta keep paying the rent.


Boo! It's April. Not only is it the birthmonth, but there are a lot of things which I associate with this month.

First, it's also the month when I joined good 'ol BE. Bittersweet, but worth it definitely. Then, there's this thing that happened last year, shaking up the whole household (you can guess, but I'm not telling). April is also when most of my childhood vacations happened, Baguio, Pansol, Pansol again and again, Bicol, Batangas. The coincidence that it is a summer month means that a lot happens just around this time obviously. All of my break-ups occurred on this month too... weird.

So a third of the way through April, wonder what happens this year?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Aliens (or elves) have invaded my home!

Woke up at noon today. I came out of my room and noticed the house was still a mess. The aliens (or elves) still hadn't tidied up after themselves and are starting to irritate me. I am awfully tempted to go back to bed, giving the aliens (or elves) another shot at redemption, but I needed to go to the restroom and have my cigarette and coffee fix for this morning. Maybe tomorrow...


Went to another Calaruega wedding yesterday where I became unofficial cameraman for 2 of the bridesmaids. Of course I didn't do a very good job as I spent much time tinkering with the settings of both cameras and taking nonsense pictures. Hanging out with Nolan, I've learned a couple of things about photography so I thought I'd try it out with their point and shoots. Well, I did manage to take some pictures that looked cool but I have no idea if these qualified as good shots. Oh well, so I will still be postponing my purchase of a real point and shoot camera until I can actually afford it. Hahaha!


First time I've been to Sonya's Garden (the venue for the reception of said wedding). Didn't realize how big the place was, one could actually get lost roaming around the place. Wanted to buy something from their gift shop but there was nothing interesting there. But did buy some oatmeal cookies from their bread shop which also sold Mika'san chocolate crispies from Baguio. Strange.


Friday caught me unusually lazy. I just ended a meeting at Makati and did not have an appointment till the afternoon so I called up Rachel to see if she wanted to have lunch. Turns out she was also getting restless in the office so we headed out to Cafe Juanita because I was by then really curious what the fuss was about that place.

We ordered the bagnet salad and the chicken inasal and it was delicious! The restaurant slash antique shop's reputation is truly well deserved. Then Rachel's bosses called up and she invited them over. They too hadn't been to the restaurant yet and were also curious about the food. They also seemed to like what they ordered and now Rachel is worried that they would often be having lunch there and end up spending more than the usual amount of money for food. Good luck!


It's a Sunday, the laziest time of the week. I'm thinking of heading over to UP for a quick jog but the sun is threatening to sear my already sunburnt skin, so am waiting till late in the afternoon to don my cross trainers. In the meantime, I might start cleaning the house. Damn aliens (or elves)!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Italian Bugs

Hung out at a coffee shop in Makati this morning. Over my third cup of coffee, I overheard (not eavesdropped, mind you) 2 people talking…

“I’ve this new product, do you know royal jelly?” Says the salesman.
“Hai… yes. From bees?” Says the Japanese fellow.
“Yes, from bees. This product I have is 300 times more potent!”
“It was developed from Italian bees…”

At this point, I knew I had to turn and run. Italian bees? ITALIAN bees? My mind was playing tricks on me. In the first place, what do Italian bees have that other bees don’t? If you prick them, do they not bleed? If you tickle them, do they not have a “bee-laughing” fit? What if the hive was right on the Italian border with France, does this affect the general quality of the “royal jelly”? Did the pope bless them with holy water, thus creating a superior master bee-race? Vafancu…

So if you got Jollibee’s “royal jelly”, would it taste like secret sauce?


The whole day has been marked by laziness. Up till now, I can’t seem to bring myself to do anything productive. I should be doing a number of things instead of writing, but then my brain and muscles simply won’t budge.


Talked over the phone with my friend Mark. Surgery went well, he’s resting and recuperating in the hospital till Tuesday I think. Sounded kind of groggy, he just woke up and was still medicated. Managed to make him chuckle at an absurd remark, so I guess he’s alright.

Come to think of it, Mark was the person who has led me into a number of things that on my own I wouldn’t have done in the first place. Back in college, I was not really into the whole fraternity culture and was quite content being a “barbarian”. Mark was already decided on joining one and had asked me to go with it as well. Around that time, fratmen stopped courting me and so I assumed that I was no longer one of the select few. I told him I would consider it if they asked. True enough, someone did ask, not one of the many friends I had in this particular fraternity but a stranger. Yet, remembering Mark, I said yes. He on the other hand begged off due to family reasons, and so I went through it without him.

During a drinking session at his house, we talked about blogs. Neither one of us had one but we enjoyed reading stuff people wrote. He encouraged me to write one, he was planning the same. I wasn’t too hot on the idea then, but 4 years later, here I am bored to death and writing to stay sane. He still doesn’t have one, by the way.

During college again, we were always the loudmouths heckling the organization’s officers about an outing for the break. One day, the then chairman suddenly and without warning assigned us to organize it. We planned and planned over many bottles of beer, but the day prior suddenly realized that we had done nothing yet! Off we went to Los Banos, with my car’s battery kaput and with less than 24 hours before the outing to look for a resort. The house was great and while walking the surrounding areas, found a great little spot where the view was spectacular. We instantly made a pact to keep this spot secret and during the party discreetly lure our “partners” to the spot for some quality time. Getting there, after a few drinks and dinner, I made off to the secret spot, someone in tow. Mark was still at the party and did not seem to notice me heading off. As the crowd thinned out, he looked for me and asked someone where I was, to which the reply was that I went in that direction with “others”. Mark grew furious, thinking I gave away the spot. He called on everyone and charged there with the mob, only to find me not even seeing the pitch yet! He realized his mistake but it was too late. Blue balls had set in, and now everyone was there, no chance at privacy. Asswipe.

Well, there are a lot of other stories which comes naturally when you’re friends with someone over the years. Hope he gets well, still have to repay that debt I owe him high up in the mountains of Los Banos…

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Yagballs, Inflatable Rafts, Wobbly Ankles: Some notes on Calaguas

I still couldn't figure out how to best write about the Calaguas Island adventure. So I'm listing some thoughts that I have:


8 hours on the road, but there is a huge difference comparing the road north to Pagudpud and the southbound route to Bicol. One, the north road is generally flat, and not too many lefts and rights. Bicol, on the other hand, is like meandering through the small intestines from the rectum up. This drive gave me aches on my shoulders and neck as well. But lest you be mistaken, I love this road! It is a lot more interesting not being able to see the whole road ahead of you, and driving at night only wakens your senses, giving you a sort of tunnel vision. I feel somewhat guilty for hogging the whole drive to, but hopefully no one really minds.

Leo and I had a lot of "yagball" moments. We were texting each other on the trip, heckling each and every near death experience we had. Wish we were all crammed in a van so we could laugh and scream ridicule into each other's eardrums! hahaha!


We arrive at Leo's house at last. Their ancestral home is one of my favorites actually. I would love to go home to a place that is designed just like it. A lot of wide, open spaces and smartly designed to have an unfinished yet relaxing feel.


Ok, so I didn't mention that we... ahem... I got lost on the way to Leo's house. Thought I drove past the exit, turned out i wasn't there yet. Had to use the "bad" road and lost my bearings and directions. Of course, my "macho" side wouldn't ask for directions at first, until heckled to submission by my 3 backseat drivers. Sheesh!


I wanted to close my eyes and rest before the 2 hour long boat ride to the island. But no, Jundel volunteered me to go to the market. So the three little pigs (Myself, Leo and Nolan) went to the market, a sight unfamiliar to males in general. We couldn't decide on what to buy. There was no "Frank's" in sight, and the carenderia food didn't look too appetizing. So we bought the barest minimum of supplies and prayed to the gods that there was a 7-11 or a McDonald's on Calaguas Island. I'm sure the others were snoring back at the base. Crud!


The boat ride started out as an Amazon river safari, twisting and turning at a snail's pace before we hit the delta. Then started the open water towards a hazy speck of land on the horizon. Two hours of daydreaming... I couldn't let myself fall asleep for fear of being thrown overboard due to excessive noise. hehehe.


White sand... white sand... clear waters... more white sand... Land ho! We were ready to de-virginize Calaguas!


Unloading the boat with our stuff was tiresome. Expecting the worse, we brought everything from home, even the kitchen sink! And all in small parcels mind you. We had close to 30 pieces of "stuff" unloaded. It seemed as though we were part of a colonizing party, ready to spend the rest of our lives on the island. If only we were so lucky...


Seeing that we had arrived at lunchtime, the first order of business was food. Some made fire, others prepared and marinaded, others did nothing. Hahaha! Bunch of free loaders!


So lunch was over, we made our way to the beach. Fun! Until RJ called me out of the water and pointed at something out of a horror movie. Mark's foot was hanging loose at the tip of his leg. WTF! Maybe it would have been best to let him be and toss him onto a boat headed home. But we had to be reluctant (and useless) heroes. With all our might, we tried to put humpty dumpty together again to no avail. Oh well... wish you luck on surgery, tough guy!


So we all did our thing on the beach, the memory of Mark's dislocated foot fresh on our minds. Leo slept all of the afternoon, RJ and Lei donned their two piece and headed to the far end of the beach (pictures of which we are still waiting for, by the way), Frtiz and Maj took pictures with their automatic SLR's and made their mark on shore, Nolan and I had our bromance moments, Jundel and Soph had their quality time trying to beat each other on a cellphone game. Yes, there was no one else around... no one else. How cool was that!


We pitched camp on an elevated part of the beach. Fearing that high tide would come and wash us off. Good thing RJ had the foresight to bring her inflatable "raft" which oddly doubled as a bed.

No, it wasn't an inflatable bed... why would anyone bring an inflatable bed to the beach? That would be inviting ridicule... and pretty much announcing what a pansy you are. No, it was a raft, not a bed. But then RJ also brought large fluffy pillows... (?) And stuff toys?


So we made it til morning. RJ and Lei showing off how adept they were at cooking breakfast. Scrambled egg pancakes. I had my usual coffee and cigarettes. Then one by one, people started to come into the hut, awakened by the searing hot summer sun on the beach. Nolan missed the sunrise (I woke you up, bro) shots that he had wanted to take but didn't seem to mind too much.


So that was Calaguas Island. Hmm, reading what I wrote it didn't seem like much, did it? But you know what, if this post seemed a bit boring, it is probably because you weren't there.

Porti payb versus forty five

I am awfully tempted to learn the dialect here in Pampanga given the frequency of my visits to this once vast swampland. In fact, my confidence level on the NLEX has attained a level comparable to how used I am to the SLEX. I am even beginning to learn the accent of the people here.


Now speaking of accents, some people around me have pointed out my allegedly rude habit of mimicking the erstwhile "mistaken" way of pronouncing some words. An example is illustrated on the title, along with other favorites such as "bulebard", "abenyu", "isteyts". How it all started, I haven't the foggiest but I do admit that I am oblivious as to the alleged rudeness of this practice.

Nolan claims that it is a form of mockery, and the fact that I am aware of the proper pronunciation of the words puts malice when I malign it. I do not see it that way, but with the growing number of people who keep noticing it I guess that there may be some truth to it.

Hmm, but then the only people who notice it are those that know the proper pronunciation. Do the people I speak to in that way find me offensive? I guess one of the reasons that I do this is because I want to communicate with these people on their level, make them feel more at ease by demonstrating that I can be one of them. To be honest, I find myself feeling like such a poseur whenever I speak english to a Filipino, and the fact that there is no "f" or "v" sounds in Tagalog may be a factor why I switch to the nearest sounding syllable.

Well, maybe I am doing it wrong, and that the proper way of doing it would be to say "apat na raan at singkuwenta" instead of "por pipti". But that does sound even more patronizing.

I guess I can't guarantee that I can totally rid myself of this habit, maybe I could limit it but when you're so used to doing things one way it gets really difficult to start another way. So the next time you hear me mangle the english language in a patronizing way towards other Filipinos, feel free to correct me as I give you the finger.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Beware of April Fool's!

I should be writing about Calaguas Island, except that nothing comes to mind. I can't seem to form a coherent line of thought about it. So you have this gibberish instead.


Switched cars for most of the week. Am driving that old sentra that no one in the office uses. Personally, I like this car. Though it has none of the creature comforts and features of most modern cars, I like the feel and the more "organic" attitude that it has. No radio, no power windows, sluggish acceleration and a really large turning radius, it has the feel of my dad's car.

Thus, I'm quite excited about driving to Clark tomorrow. Sure it's slow and boring, but it does give me a lot of opportunities to just relax and think about things. The NLEX is just the place for that, no uphill winding roads and stoplights, just the road and your foot on the gas pedal for the better part of 2 hours.


So just what do I have to think of anyway? For starters, its my birthmonth. Yeah yeah, I'm getting older but I hardly notice that anymore. Sadly, with the current personal financial situation that I'm in right now, I don't think I can afford to treat my friends out. (ayan... wag na kayong umasa! hahaha!) But what I do want to do for this year is to try to have more time for work. Yep, you heard it right. I am convinced that this year has to be centered on my career. It is one thing that I know I have the most control over and with the current crisis, the timing is just perfect.

This is the reason that I have been going to work more regularly (no more bogus client calls and staying in bed until lunch). Though I do admit I still go to work 2 full hours late, the quality of work I've been churning out is quite respectable.


My house is a mess. I can't seem to find the time and energy to pick up after myself anymore. I'm thinking of getting someone to clean the house maybe twice a week but I'm still trying to figure out if I can afford it. I've probably a couple of day's clothes left, a stack of unread magazines to sort through, clutter all around and the last time I checked, I haven't been filling up my water bottles forcing me to drink water straight from the tap. Sigh...


The holy week is almost here, and yet I have made no plans at all. I find myself not really wanting to go anywhere, and maybe for a change I could just bum out at home and do nothing. Maybe I could catch up on my re-reading list, or write some more. Haven't figured out what to do yet but have a sneaking feeling that I'll be doing a lot of running around with my cross trainers.

I've a challenge with myself to lose 16 pounds in a month. It really should be around 20 but I figure that 16 is unrealistic as it is and should settle on that number. I've been doing some math on this, and the best that I could lose is about 8 pounds given an intensive work out and dieting. Well, need to calibrate that weighing scale once again and start buying up lots of tuna, I guess.


Trouble is brewing at the office... Somehow I've mismanaged some of my projects last year and now owe the company over 13,000 in unliquidated expenses. Though I know where all that money went, problem is I have no receipts to show for it as the people who are responsible for it claims that they lost them. A lesson for me I guess not to trust people who are not liable for their actions to be responsible with their accounting. There goes that mini-component.


Lately, I've been finding myself waking up pretty early, 6:00am on the dot. Strange that this has been happening only now. Yes, I do have my phone set to wake up at this hour, but I've had that set for over a couple of years now without actually waking up.

So does this mean that I get to the office on time? (8:00am) Nope. I spend the first full hour sipping coffee. Then random thoughts take over for another hour. Then I procrastinate a little before finally taking that shower.

Why do I do this? I have no idea... maybe my brain runs on diesel and have to start my day reeeaaalllyyy slow. Or the synapses are a little rusty. Maybe it takes that long for the morning wood to settle down. Well, at any rate, these things have taken their toll on my boss who has already sent me countless memos and warnings to be on time. She has filed enough memos to fire me four times over. Lately though, she has noted my "improvement" and commended me on not being "too" late. Great!


I've a mind to send a letter to the guys running Jollibee. The only thing on their menu that I thoroughly enjoy is the Champ. However, each time I order one, it always takes them around 20 minutes to bring it around. Now, being a fastfood joint, I think 20 minutes is a despicable amount of time to prepare a burger. It's just a piece of meat sandwiched between 2 buns. How complicated does it have to be that it takes 20 minutes to do this? Oh well, now my tummy is grumbling and I once again have to wait 20 minutes or so to chomp on a juicy slab of meat.


Almost everyone I meet who asks me how much I pay for rent have rolled their eyes out of its sockets exclaiming why I pay so much for it. It gets a little irritating. First of all, though I can't actually afford it, I like my home. It is the place where I can do all the stupid stuff I want. It gives me that subtle sense of independence, and it gives me an excuse to stay away from certain circles. ("uhm, I have to do my laundry... have to wash the dishes... and so on) True, it makes a heck of a lot of sense to relocate somewhere nearer the office, or get a housemate to share the rent with me, but then I disdain having to share my space with others, and being too near the office means I drive a lot less. (I love driving)

I have thought a lot about moving out, history and all that, but I just can't for the simple reason that I call it home. For the first time in my life, I have lived all by myself (and barely afford it, too) and am enjoying it. Also, with the amount of crap that I have done for the house (plumbing, decorating, bug-proofing) I am compelled to seek means to be able to afford single living.

So with all the effort that I have put into maintaining this artificial lifestyle of mine, try to pretend that its quite normal to be senseless about accommodations.


Something I remember about Calaguas was singing on the boat on the way back. My lack of an mp3 player plays a major factor in this activity, I am left to my own devices to be entertained on a 2-hour boat ride. My buddy Nolan, who did not have his ipod ready, sang with me. So we came to the song "Anna Begins" by the Counting Crows. We talked about the lyrics, and gosh darn it seemed like I had interpreted the song wrong all these years! How pathetic. How many other songs had I mangled the meanings to? "But then I start to think about the consequences/Because I dont get no sleep in a quiet room and this time/when kindness falls like rain/It washes me away and anna begins change my mind"