Monday, August 31, 2009

Same Time, Next Year

Had a conversation with a friend of mine some days back. It was the type of talk that usually amounted to nothing, like talking about space travel, tarot reading and time warps, stuff like that. Well, I suddenly found myself in a sort of of déjà vu, like I had already thought about this conversation eons ago. Anyway, it turns out that I’ve already watched a movie that was about the topic. I’m surprised that I even remembered it at all, given that I was never really moved by that particular movie back when I watched it in the early 80’s.The movie was “Same Time, Next Year”.

Hmm, wouldn’t be surprised if you, dear reader, had never come upon this particular film. I googled it up and it was released way back in 1978, I only got to watch this when my dad rented it on betamax, one of those boring films adults watched. It got lodged in my subconscious somehow and resurfaced when the particular discussion took place.

So firstly, what was the film about? Well it was a love story, between two strangers having a chance meeting at some secluded resort. These two strangers played by Alan Alda and Elen Burstyn, were already in separate relationships and yet, they had connected, as if counterparts in two parallel universes, soulmates I believe the term is. They fit. Of course, both realized that they could simply not leave their whole lives behind, and agreed that they would meet at that same place, at that same time next year and each year after that. Year after year, they met and continued a love story that albeit periodic, would survive everything that they experienced throughout the years of their lives.

Great story, though it took me over 2 decades to realize it.

Doesn’t it seem that people have been conditioned to look for that one person that “gets” them and end up happily in a relationship with them? Blame it on all the movies, books and stories that have surrounded us our entire lives. However, how many people do we know that have actually found this person? The reality that this other person may be non-existent is now knocking at our door, though sometimes we reject this thought and continue our search.

Wait, am I guilty of this? Probably, though I haven’t really given it that much thought. How many times have I heard people call me “choosy”? I give the last sentence a good thinking about and I couldn’t figure it out. I am not choosy, there just isn’t anything to choose from. That’s another story.

Anyway, the conversation got me thinking about that person, my counterpart in a parallel universe. Could it be that I’ve already met that person but have disregarded all the signs and discarded them as mere friends or acquaintances? Thus, rejecting the possibility, I have conditioned myself to conclude that that person isn’t it and continue the search? On the other hand, what if it’s all bullshit anyway, and that there isn’t any parallel universe, no soulmate and that life is only as good as we make it to be? Right now, the second statement is much more appealing and logical. After all, parallel lines never do intersect, do they?

Going back to the movie, the brilliant thing about it is that it has liberated people from their lifelong search for “the one”, by suggesting that maybe our cross-dimensional counterparts should be just that, and if ever any of us is lucky enough to find them, then find comfort in their mere existence and that at one point in time the stars aligned and your paths crossed. You’d be luckier than most, that’s for sure.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Riddle Me This... (3 Haikus)

1. I push your button
Your scream ripples out
I grip you tightly through curves

2. I look up at you
My hand unfurling
Eternity in a box

3. Blue yellow then red
Then colors vanish
Give way for stars to shine

Pondering on the chains that bind

Last night, I finally got myself to do some cleaning around the house. Apparently, there are some chores which I need to take care of. The first would probably be re-soling my brown shoes. I don't have a lot of shoes, so this should be my first priority. Then there's the matter of having my wristwatch fixed. The rubber band that holds the strap in place was broken. I've tried fixing it with some super glue but 10 minutes later it snapped. The best solution seems to be replacing the whole strap. Then there's my empty fridge, time to do the groceries.

As I listed down the chores that I'm to do for the weekend, I suddenly missed home. The home where I grew up in, with my parents and my bratty sisters. Time was that I'd simply (matter-of-factly even) just mention that my shoes needed mending and when I came back from wherever it was that I went to my shoes were fixed as if by magic. That goes for the shirts that needed sewing and almost every other little detail that needed working on. I remember just dunking my shirts and pants in the wash bin and they re-appeared a couple of days later in my closet, ready for me to wear to school once again.

Indeed, independence has its downsides.

In the first place, why did I even seek this so-called freedom out? Obviously, the inconvenience that it has brought to my once carefree lifestyle has tied me down and given me less time to do other things that I find more interesting. Now instead of waking up really late on weekends, I'd have to get up to do some laundry or get something fixed at the repair shop. Even the ultimate symbol of my freedom, which is the car, has suddenly become the proverbial ball and chain. Spending hours reading magazines while having the car serviced on Saturdays could have been better spent on the couch while browsing through whatever is on the television. Don't even get me started about the washing and waxing bit.

About two weeks ago, a friend of mine remarked that each time she asked me what I was doing, I would almost always reply that I was doing the laundry. I didn't think much of it back then but the thought lingered like a bad omen.

I've thought about some counter-measures to these time-consuming errands in the past but have never bothered following up on any of them. Laundromats, getting a maid on weekends, buying pre-prepared food and of course, going back to the old folks place, but none stuck. Almost all of them would somehow belie the so-called independence that I promised myself. Yeah yeah...


As an afterthought, I tried to remember if this was the life that I thought I would have upon deciding to go my own ways. Come to think of it, I really had no idea what was in store. No one told me that budgeting was a big part of independence, or that it cost a lot of money to keep the fridge stocked. In fact, how the heck did I even imagine living life without a refrigerator?

Maybe if I had lived in a dorm back in college it would've cushioned the reality that I initially faced. I admit, I did live a sort of sheltered life. I didn't even do the dishes nor clean my room.

To answer my question, nope, this isn't what I thought my life would be. It's even better.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Slaying the Piggy Bank

The ATM was out of order, and being the lone ATM at this particular gas station, I was forced to go rummaging through my car to look for some spare change. Luckily, I don't clean the car as often as other people do (once a month is a stretch, actually) and managed to find some larger denomination coins littered all over the carpet and seats. I just found enough to buy my usual coffee though the toll fee going back home is going to be quite the challenge assuming that all the other ATM that line the expressway are out of order as well.

The wisdom of buying this cup of coffee is now put into question, not only do I sacrifice my means of getting home unnecessarily since I do not have to buy coffee to avail of the free internet, but this could also mean skipping dinner as well.

It's all moot, of course now that I am sipping my coffee and the last of my money is safely tucked under the counter. So I resolve to put the matter to rest until the next ATM goes kaput.


Someone in my facebook network proudly posted that she has finally registered to vote for the upcoming elections. I was tempted to lambast her online... but thought better of it. She's in her late 20's, meaning she didn't bother to vote in a lot of previous elections. What a waste.

It's pretty funny how some of the youth feel compelled to rant and make complaints against government and all that but then don't even find the time to vote for someone who they think would do a better job. Dumb much.


Been keeping myself busy with work these past days. I just came from a vacation and upon getting back to the office on Monday realized that there was so much that I had to fix. So I've been working my ass off the past couple of days and have neglected this blog. Not that anyone's been missing it, I guess, but if only to keep a semblance of a journal. And speaking of work, I've better go crunch some numbers... *groan*

Monday, August 17, 2009

Poverty issues

Here at the gas station, the harsh flood lamps reveal the rain, descending ever so slowly down back to earth, mist-like. As each tiny droplet lands on my car's windshield, it joins up with the other drops to form ugly blotches, looks very much like boils, actually.


I've been kinda stumped the past weeks, no thanks to the bad timing of the bills arriving through the mail. There seems to be no other solution to it than to eliminate it once and for all with the help of a personal loan that I've been trying to put off for the longest time. Then it happened, I received one of those spam text messages, offering the best terms on their banks loan facility. Surely this must be a sign from on-high.

I replied, and then they informed me that all the information that I would need was already sent to be by email. I checked 5 minutes later and there it was, all the requirements. All I needed to do was collect all of these and send it to them either by scanning and emailing it back to them or faxing everything to a hassle-free dedicated fax number. So simple... and yet I put it off til after the weekend.

Guess what, the weekend has passed and still no sign of an email nor fax from my end. Great.

Bullshit happens

There's this thing called bullshit... it certainly isn't pretty. This I realized in all it's glory while hiking up some mountain in Batangas over the weekend. Yes, me the sloth went on a hike, and the trail certainly provided a lot of bullshit for me to sink into. When you're tired and thirsty and tired all over again, bullshit seems to be everywhere, and there is no getting around it, certainly not when the trail has narrowed down.

So I stomped on more than a couple of mounds of bullshit. My trail shoes, having crossed rivers, mud, rock and gravel, didn't stand a chance against the almost magnetic pull of the stuff. Dry, wet and moist bullshit, all the same I've stomped through it. No time to clear my shoes of the stinky stuff though, there was more bullshit to be had.

Well, come to think of it, I never expected the hike to be a walk in the park. I knew there would be a lot of pitfalls along the way, but the bullshit? that is certainly not something that I thought about encountering along the way. Snakes yes, thirst definitely, exhaustion of course, bullshit, now where did that come from? Obviously, bullshit comes from a bull. Hmm, a cow yes that too. For something that produces the juiciest hamburgers, their excrement certainly is filthy.

There's an expression that if God gives you lemons, make lemonade... so what the heck does one do with bullshit?

But wait, there's more! After the climb, there's the descent. And guess what awaits? More bullshit, of course! Fresher ones, made extra moist by the morning dew. And because of the forces of gravity at work, you let yourself fall, yes, fall more times on bullshit than you did going up.

So the moral of the story is, when you think you're about to embark on a challenging quest, always remind yourself that along the way, there's going to be a lot of bullshit. Bullshit happens.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Come out and play!

Was lying still on my bed for two whole hours before I finally called it quits. Seems I won't be able to get much sleep tonight. I got up out of bed and then the song "Come out and play" by Offspring suddenly got caught in my mind. I was humming to the tune while flipping the television channels when a puppet suddenly emerged onscreen. Then the song in my head changed, it became Sesame Street's "Somebody come and play".

I can't figure out how the appearance of a puppet gave my mind a quick jolt, thus its sudden shift to memories of my childhood. It's fascinating though, that of all the memories of Sesame Street that I have, it focused on this particular song in all probability because of its similarity to Offspring's song title. So now the Sesame Street song fills my head and am reminded of the last lines of the song which goes something like:

"...Somebody come and be my friend, and watch the sun until it rains again..."

So what happens if it does rain? Do the bonds of friendship apply only on sunnier moments? Maybe because we live in a tropical country, but there was simply nothing better than a full blown typhoon or the monsoon season to bring the gang together in my younger years. Heavy rains meant no classes, no electricity at times, and nothing to do at home. So "we" (kids, my neighbors aged around 10 years old) found ourselves out of the house, ready for action even if it means getting drenched by the rains as well as the overflowing sewer lines.

Well anyway, if you do remember the song, enlighten me if there were any instruments on the track. I can't for the life of me remember, all that I'm stuck with is the voice of the little girl (or muppet) singing the song in their innocent voice with the occasional crackling of the record. (yes, it was an LP, those shiny black disk precursors of the cassette tape) There are some songs that you'd never want Sonic Youth or any other band to cover, and this is one of them. Leave the little monster muppet alone!

How sad must this kid be to sing that song out aloud... those days, kids placed great value on having someone to play with, interact with. These days all a kid needs is a television and a console to be happy. No, they don't need friends anymore, just the latest games and the tv guide. The upside of course is that the population is sure to shrink if this keeps up. You'd have teens with no social skills whatsoever, as well as the occasional online loser, cleaning his baby armalite gun, while thinking about a score he has to settle with the world.

Anyway, back to singing along...

Somebody Come and Play - The Muppets (I think)

Somebody come and play.
Somebody come and play today!
Somebody come and smile the smiles,
And sing the songs,
It won't take long.
Somebody come and play today.

Somebody come and play.
Somebody come and play my way!
Somebody come and rhyme the rhymes,
And laugh the laughs,
It won't take time.
Somebody come and play today.

Somebody come with me and see the pleasure in the wind.
Somebody come before it gets too late to begin.

Somebody come and play.
Somebody come and play today!
Somebody come and be my friend,
And watch the sun til it rains again.
Somebody come and play today.

Somebody come and play.
Somebody come and play today!
Somebody come and smile the smiles,
And sing the songs,
It won't take long.

La, La, La, La, La, La,
La, La, La, La, La, La.

Somebody come with me and see the pleasure in the wind.
Somebody come before it gets too late to begin.

Somebody come and play.
Somebody come and play today!
Somebody come and be my friend,
And watch the sun til it rains again.
Somebody come and play today.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Climbing up to hell

In true surf and turf fashion, I'm going from the seas of La Union last weekend to the mountains of Batangas this weekend. I've tagged along a mountaineering club and found myself packing my bag for a hike and camping 500 or so meters above sea level. Doesn't sound too imposing, I know, but given my lack of any endurance training whatsoever this past month, I'm quite sure I'm in for a very tiring couple of days.

Unlike hanging out at the beach resorts up north, this particular adventure is devoid of running water, electricity and a soft bed. It also means that I would probably the dumbest person alive should I decide to bring along my laptop to tap in some words while resting inside my tent. Not only does it weigh a ton... but with a battery life of just inside two hours, I don't foresee the next great novel coming. So time to sharpen a few pencils and learn how to write by hand again, I guess.


In case you've been guessing, this is only the second time that I will climb a mountain. The first one was eons ago, and that really sapped the life out of me. And it wasn't even that challenging for the rest of the group, Archie for instance merely hopped around and found himself overlooking civilization. I on the other hand had to crawl, curse and sweat myself to the top. What was supposed to be a 2 hour trek lasted the entirety of the afternoon. Fond, fond memories, yes.


Anyway, one thing that I am pretty confident about is that I am not lacking in the equipment department. Thanks to Jundel and Nolan's obsessive procurement of outdoor essentials, I am pretty sure that I'll live to tell the tale of my second climb. A tent above my head, light to keep me from stumbling all over myself in the dark, fire to cook whatever would pass for a meal, and pots and pans to cook with. I should be able to last at least 2 days before I get eaten alive by rabbits and sparrows.

If I remember correctly, though, all that stuff weighs a lot. And the fact that I'll have to carry them over my two pathetic shoulders, in a daring attempt to defy gravity poses a lot of doubts about my uncertain survival.

Happy thoughts, happy thought, I won't die this weekend.


It's past ten and I find myself still at the gas station, enjoying the free internet connection. How pathetic a person must I be if I favor this to home? Back at home, I can already see the laundry, impatient in their wait to be cleansed. The plates and utensils in the sink, the dust overburdening the couch, television and basically everything that is sitting still inside the house. The only things that do get a lot of action at home is the food, in fact. And the toilet water, of course.

Unlike some people who dash to the nearest form of transportation to get themselves home physically, I prefer to take my time. Back in high school and college, I'd favor the bus that goes through all the long stops and trudges at a snail's pace. I just don't like rushing home, and then doing what? Being miserably engulfed in either boredom of hard labor. Where's the fun in that?

Ahh, but then again I remember a time when I couldn't wait to get home... another story, that is.


It's August, usually the time when typhoons come raging by. And yet this afternoon I found myself not being able to bear more than 5 minutes outside the air conditioned confines of the office. This climate change thing sure is a bit of a hassle. Last week, I couldn't find an umbrella large enough to avoid being drenched. This week, it's my own sweat that I'm drenched in.

There's still hope, though. Forecasts have another "low-pressure" area slithering towards the nation's area of responsibility. Low pressure, pretty much the best adjective for my ego, it seems. Not much there to elicit any major shake up of my daily habits and expectations.

Now this is where it gets tricky... the rains are scheduled to fall right around the time when I'm supposed to be hiking for dear life. No, not when I'm just lazing around, playing scrabble at the gas station, it has to be right when I'm risking my life. Talk about selling the drama.

Girls, Boys and Beer

One thing that I have learned to appreciate over the years is that everyone looks at the same thing differently. A lot could be learned simply by taking time to figure out the context of one's viewpoint or paradigm. This is why I usually read books from cover to cover, including the introductions and prefaces, boring as it may be sometimes.

There was a time when I would be dismissive of any "wayward" opinion by some other person, meaning that if they don't subscribe to the same line of thought or outlook as mine, then they must be stupid. Of course, now that I've realized that one must take these things into consideration, I've come to believe that I'm the dumber person on occasion.


Let's take the book I'm currently reading as an example. I can't recall the title exactly, but it has something to do with the rise and eventual wane of the trade routes and economy of the Sulu archipelago during the 17th to the 19th centuries. It was written by an Australian scholar, published in the 1980's and commits itself to the recognition of the Sulu peoples' valuable role in the Sino-European trade during that period.

Frankly, I find that it fails to catch any particular interest on my part but then again, having roots within this part of the world, I feel compelled to at least know a little about the going-ons of "my" people. So anyway...

Unless the author was an Australian aborigine, which from the picture he has at the back of the book has been adamantly disproved of to say the least, he is essentially a European. Thus, he places great emphasis on the role of Europe in the nature of the trading of the Sulu peoples. It would seem from his standpoint that the markets of the Asian region back them was dominated by a European (particularly British) taste for tea, which can be procured in large quantities in China, if only the Chinese would let them. And since there was no other commodity that the British East India Company possessed that interested China except silver, the Sulu archipelago, together with the rest of South East Asia, became a vital cog in all trade with China.

Okay, I got lost there... anyway, the point is that rather than finding a more ethno-centric study on the Sulu peoples themselves, I am presented with a story of these people who by virtue of their strategically unique political and geographical situation then favorable to Europe, found themselves "lucky" to be on the map. On this point, I'd like to differ, owing to the fact that trade with China and the rest of the region was healthy even without the European interests in the mix, and the existence of these people did not rely solely on the colonial advances of Europe.

But rather than writing an angry letter to the author for taking some measure of pride from my ancestors, I'd have to accept that this is one man's opinion, and he has a right to it.


On to more illustrative and personal, albeit superficial examples, Nolan, RJ and I were having drinks just last night (mine, non-alcoholic, of course) and were neck-deep in a discussion about what was deemed "right" and "wrong" in terms of how we each viewed the dynamics of a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. No condemnation took place, as we all found ourselves understanding a bit more about ourselves. Turns out that RJ is not really a girl, Nolan is not really a man and I am probably gay for not drinking beer. Drats.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hector's Fall

Detective Lozano took another long gulp at his coffee, he preferred it sweet, usually, but tonight being one of those wherein he just needed an extra kick, took it black. The photos he took of the dead body lay on the table in front of him. Though in the circumstances of Mr. Deocalma Hector’s death, most people had ruled it an accident, his instincts told him that there was a murder that took place.

He took the large Manila envelope containing all the accounts of the people with him on that fateful trip, he was sure to find something there, probably something that he missed after scanning them rapidly the day before. First was the statement of his best friend, someone that the deceased had known from boyhood:

“…Deo didn’t seem to have any problems, in fact it was he who had arranged the road trip… I was on the second floor with my girlfriend, we had retired early… There was the cleaning lady who saw the both of us making out on the stairwell just before we got into the room, that was around ten perhaps, you could ask her…” The story checked out when he asked the cleaning lady. They never left the room until that morning, else she would have seen them, surely. He took out another sheet, to read what the house’s owner had to say:

“…Deo usually asks that we reserve the F room on the fourth floor, he loves the penthouse and usually takes a lot of pictures from there… No I just came back from Manila that morning when I saw the police cars in front of the house… had some business to attend to… He had called me the week before to make the reservation but was already out of town when they checked in… yes they were regulars, he and Steph even joked that they wanted to get married here in my house.” The alibi was ironclad.

Det. Lozano gazed at the pictures of the house, it was a four-storey residence that the owner, Dr. Mendez constructed three years ago as a retirement home slash business. During the surfing season, she rented out six of the eight rooms to surfers, mostly weekend warriors, young professionals who came in season after season. “…I never had problems with Deo… he has been coming here every weekend either alone or with Steph or friends during the season, maybe three or four years now…” Dr. Mendez’s statement read further.

He read through the other statements of everyone in the house, he couldn’t find anyone with a motive and every alibi was rock solid, maybe it was, an accident. He held Stephanie Carmelo’s statement, the one he took in between her sobs, and with a marker highlighted a sentence: “…he shouldn’t have been so reckless, with the wedding all planned out in two months…” A suicide perhaps? But rarely has he seen someone jump off a ledge willingly and yet leave every evidence of a struggle.

He read from his own unfinished report, Mr. Deocalma Hector presumably went outside his room to the terrace and smoked a cigarette, one he didn’t finish but managed to hold on to and mangle terribly in the fall. He sat on the rail, where he fell backwards from and fell the four storeys to the waiting concrete floor at the bottom. He had been tempted to dismiss it as an accident when he gathered all the evidence, but just couldn’t take his mind off the tell-tale marks around his neck, the fluid lining it and the collar of his shirt. Somehow, if there was any foul play involved this was the only link that there was. He’d have to wait until the laboratory would give him the analysis of the fluid in the morning.

He tidied his desk, his body was commanding him to get some rest for the night. He neatly squared off all the paperwork and the photographs and slid them back into the envelope. He turned off the lights and went upstairs, to his sleeping wife and the child in the crib beside her. He carefully tiptoed into the room, took a loving glance at his son, then climbed into bed, planting a kiss on his wife’s forehead before closing his eyes to a troubled sleep.

He was at his desk at the station when the clerk handed him the results from the lab. He was tired, only having a couple of hours sleep in him. Again he sipped his coffee, black and strong. He stared at the envelope containing the last piece of evidence that he held. Hopefully this would once and for all solve the case.

The first report was from a blood analysis, there was no trace of alcohol or drugs found. So Deo did quit drinking and was not high at the time. The next one was the analysis for the fluid found on his neck and shirt collar, the last piece of the puzzle and hopefully give him a conclusion to the case. He read it, and then reread it. He sat back on his chair and pondered deeply on the case. He straightened out in his chair and reached for the phone. He dialed the number of the laboratory which gave him the report and spoke to the manager. He waited a time to absorb the confirmation, then thanked the person on the other end of the line before he hung up. He would have to make another call it would seem on a hunch, this time to Steph.

Detective Lozano finished his report, the case was officially solved right after he put the phone down. Officially it was an accident, Hector fell off the ledge. He printed his report, signed it and placed it in his outbox. It was already noon and he was dead tired. He opened his desk, slid the results of the second laboratory analysis that he got and locked it. He decided to take the rest of the day off, he wanted to go home and be with his wife and carry his child.

Stephanie was on her way home when she got the call from the detective. She was with her parents who made the trip to the resort to fetch her. She was a wreck, having cried practically the whole time since Deo died and still hasn’t slept. She was startled as the detective had asked her a question that seemed rather unexpected and she took a while to answer. “What? What does that have to do with anything? I don’t understand how you could ask me such a question… yes, yes I did… we did. Around 2 years ago. Why? No, why are you asking? Why…” She cried horribly once more after putting the phone down. Her parents did their best to console her, her mother beside her as she hugged her tightly and without words, only sobs. She hated the detective, wishing she never took her call. Why would he ask about the abortion… how would he have known?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Phrases I hate too...

I've been following this blog for months now... this is my favorite post so far. Just thought I'd share it.

Happy Birthday in September

Arrgh! I've been waiting 3 hours for a power outlet to be available and when it finally did, my computer goes bonkers and can't play my favorite scrabble game! This sucks...


I made up an imaginary birthday for myself, September 31. I posted it in the office and people have been teasing me to treat them out on that day. Of course I said I would... they could mark it down on their calendars. Apparently, no one did, otherwise they would have come back at me for obvious reasons.

It started when I woke up and looked at my calendar at home, I forgot to flip the page to August, so I did and went off to do my morning rituals. As I was leaving for work, I looked back to the calendar and found that I had flipped it too far and September was staring right back at me. I realized that September didn't have a 31, and suddenly I thought why not make one. Just to make it more intriguing, why not set an imaginary birthday then?

With my birthday coming up next month, there's the weird feeling of anticipation hanging in the air. I keep thinking who'd remember and greet me? (Well, no one I guess but I pretend not to realize that) I decide that I should celebrate on that day, get myself a cool gift as well. I keep imagining how cool it is to celebrate my birthday without anyone knowing what day it was, it would be my little secret that no one knows about.

After lunch today, I kept on thinking about what gift I should get for myself. That stereo sure makes a cool gift, or should I get myself a pair of running shoes? Hmm, it falls on a "ber"-month, perhaps a water heater would be fitting? So hard to decide, so many things that I want... what should I get? And then there's the party... now how would I celebrate? Should it be a nice quiet evening with my closest friends? Or should I party like a rock star, get heavy with the alcohol and turn up those speakers? Wait, an out of town adventure would be great, wouldn't it?

Everything got ruined later that afternoon when my boss walked by, looked at my calendar, specifically the box marked "September 31: My Birthday!". "There's no 31 in September.", he says matter-of-factly. Hmm... no, kidding?


Another reason that the end of September turned a switch in my head: 100 days of absolutely no alcohol happens to fall around that time. I'm excited all over again!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Crappy moments

It's Tuesday, another post for Tova's Totally Awkward Tuesdays:

Back in college, it seemed so cool to be able to consume large quantities of alcohol and not get drunk all too quickly. Well, this was sort of the idea I had when I went drinking with some strangers at someone's house.

Now this 'someone' just happens to be a huge crush of mine back then. She invited me over to her house after our class together to celebrate her birthday with some of her friends. I was naturally excited, and wanted to show off how "cool" I was by being able to guzzle down beers, some shots of rum, whiskey and even gin without flinching. Well, for a moment I found myself basking in some sort of stupid glory, that was until my tummy grumbled. I had to use the toilet, but the nearest one was full of puke and guts spilled over. My crush walked towards me and asked if something was wrong. I asked if they had another comfort room that I could use, for number one, of course. She told me to go upstairs and use the one nearest her room. I excused myself and ran up that flight of stairs flat out, lest I poop all over my pants.

It was a wonderful feeling, being able to let it all out, right until I tried to flush and nothing happened. Uh oh...

In panic, I tried to flush it manually with a bucket but there was no water from the tap, either. A water shortage meant that the water supply to their neighborhood was rationed, and not another drop would come until dawn. CRAP! There was nothing to do but cover the deed with about half a roll of tissue paper and "confess" my crime. I was somewhat relieved when my crush didn't even let out a giggle or lash out at me and calmly told me not to worry, it would all be taken care of in the morning. Whew! And so the merriment continued, me being relieved of a terrible burden both ways and even had the gall to warn the strangers at the party not to use the upstairs toilet. It went well until we were all stopped cold by the sight of my crush's dad charging down from upstairs, inquiring "Who the **** crapped in the upstairs toilet?!" That question echoed throughout the house, and everybody stood motionless, except for my crush who explained. Now imagine me, in the center of the living room, all my senses tingling as eyes turned ever so slowly in my direction. Ice cubes started to trickle down my face. The "five minute" grace period I had imposed on myself came as an eternity before I meekly excused myself from the party and went in search of a high enough bridge from which to jump from...

Smoking in the Corridor

Stupid rule that I’ve made. For the past couple of months, I swore off smoking inside the house to avoid the smell of cigarettes filling up every room. It was also intended to control my notorious appetite for nicotine. The first few weeks it worked pretty well, but lately I’ve been finding myself setting up a chair just outside the door to my home and watching television while smoking a stick or two (or three). My neighbors have begun to notice this and are looking at me like a weirdo. Why would I smoke outside when there is no one else inside at home to be bugged by my cigarettes? To make matters worse, some have been giving me these “looks”, the kind that says “stop making the building smell like cigarettes!”.

So what now? Well, I haven’t really figured that out yet but I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t involve me quitting smoking. One option is to smoke from the small utility area at the back of my pad. But then I won’t be able to watch television with the current set up. I’d have to do a lot of moving and be at the mercy of the occasional cockroach that flies by overhead


I’m planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next month. More of the ‘soul-searching’ crap that I usually enjoy (and sulk in). So far, it’s just an idea but I do need to scurry up all the details before I can think up an itinerary.

For one, there’s the matter of my so-far non-existent passport. I still haven’t been able to bring myself to get one, limiting my traveling to domestic destinations. Since this is an entirely new country, I’ve got to hustle to get one before I even think of booking a flight, I guess.

My lack of a passport isn’t really for lack of trying, I did make the effort in the past to line up for hours at the foreign affairs office. All that didn’t count as upon reaching the final window, they rejected my application because of one measly signature. No, it wasn’t even a whole signature, just an initial of the person who was supposed to certify my birth certificate. That meant I had to do everything all over again. Bummer.


A few days ago, I just came back from the queen city of the south… Cebu. I’ve been there probably more than half a dozen times but it was mostly for work and haven’t had time to take in the sights. A by-product of laziness and having no one to take a tour with. Taking the trip alone doesn’t bother me, it’s the additional costs that come with it. Renting a boat for one is quite expensive, as well as getting a room for two when I’m all alone. That goes for taxicabs and meals as well.

This time though, I did manage to squeak in a little fun in my itinerary, and that meant playing poker at the local poker club. I know, I know, that doesn’t sound nearly as touristy as one might expect, but it did afford me some insights as well as a great way to unwind after a couple of days of hard work.

The downside is that I lost, but then losing a grand after 4 hours of solid play is not a total loss. It was my first time to play amidst strangers, and the ‘professional’ feel of it all is something that I will really look forward to in the future. It brought back the fun of the game, something that is lost with the usual home games that I play where poker takes a step back to all the chit-chat and loose talk that come with playing with buddies. Can’t wait to play there again next month…


It’s am impromptu weekend, with a holiday being declared on the occasion of former President Aquino’s funeral. Can’t complain, I do need somewhat of a break from the hustle and bustle of work. It also creates a great opportunity to finish (and start) some of my projects.

First up, there’s the matter of my unfinished paint job at home. Then there’s setting up the curtains, getting an oil change, buying some pieces of hardwood for the bed I’m dreaming up and of course, my long overdue workout. Hmm, sounds like too much to do for one day, at least getting half of these things done will really be an achievement for my person.


I (as you might have as well) noticed that I have been writing less and reading more. Lately there has not been too much effort on my part owing to my lack of internet connection and work. Two weekends ago it was a road trip to Baguio, last weekend my business trip to Cebu, this coming weekend another long road trip and the weekend after still another. Seems like such a busy schedule, I can’t imagine where I’ll be able to muster the money to support it all. Hopefully it will all fall into place, it always seems to in the past anyway, hopefully my luck doesn’t change yet.


My favorite gasoline station has disappointed me tonight, there’s some trouble with the Wifi connection, I can’t seem to get online. I’m writing all this down on Word whereas I would’ve done it straight on the blogger while playing scrabble or stalking people on Facebook. It isn’t so bad, though, I did manage to put a lot of thoughts onto this post while cursing the Wifi connection. Hopefully it’s going to be an entirely different story on Thursday…