Thursday, December 9, 2010

Riding the backseat of a black Mercedes Benz

It's almost 2am, and I just dove into bed, eagerly anticipating part 2 of that dream wherein me and Kate Beckinsale had just gotten into a big fight. Then my phone rings, crap. Who the heck could it be at this late (or is 'this early') time? Oh, it's a friend of mine. Ignoring the call was my first thought, but then my conscience hit me on the head with a rubber mallet.

"Could you pick me up?", she slurs.
"Don't you have a car?"
"Yeah, but I'm too drunk." 10 minutes later, I'm hailing a cab.

I got there, my friend, being propped up by her equally drunk boss, was beside her car while she fumbled through her purse for the keys. As soon as she saw me, she throws the purse in my face, commanding me to fetch her keys. I dive into the bag, fingers sorting through wallets, beauty products and whatever the heck was in that bag. No keys.

"But it's there!" She screams.
"Uhm, no it's not."
"Where is it?!" I was trying to decipher if the question was rhetorical, when her boss sets me aside and hands me a set of keys.
"Here they are, but they don't seem to work", big boss man states matter-of-factly. I look at the keys, and no wonder they aren't of any assistance, they're house keys. "You give it a try." He slurs.
"These aren't car keys."
"But they her keys." Yeah, I know they're her keys, unless you also happen to have the same Hello Kitty keychain. "C'mon, try them." I feign an effort, but before I fake putting in the second key, he snatches the set from my hands and tries each one of the 8 keys himself. "It's gotta be one of these keys." Good luck, Bub.

While they were making a scene with the wrong set of keys, I search the grounds for the right set. I ask the parking staff it they've seen it, as well as the waiters at the watering hole they've just been to. No luck.

"I'll take her home in my car." Big boss man bellows when I got back to them.
"Ok." I say, mentally making inventory of how much change I have for cab fare.
"But I can't find the keys of my car! I can't go home!" She protests. Tragically, this would've made such an entertaining scene, watching 2 drunk people talk, if I were not friends with either of them.
"Huh? Where are your keys?" The boss asks. This is gonna be a long night, isn't it?

Eventually, it was decided by these two drunkards that boss man will take drunken friend home. It was also decided that they would drop me off at my house as well. This was swell, if they both weren't so damn drunk. I offer to drive, but refused. I offer again, citing extreme drunkenness on both their parts, but was refused again. Then we get to his car and I didn't offer to drive again. It was a bad-ass Mercedes Benz CLK black coupe, and you simply don't drive another man's penis extension, no matter what the situation.

"You get in the back, I don't wanna sit in the back." my friend slurs. I take a peek at the back seat, what passed for a back seat anyway. This car was seemingly intended to seat only 2 people up front, a despicably rich old dude and a hot young chick. The back seat was a cleverly disguised, Italian leather-appointed storage space, or a subtle hint to tell any other passenger that he wasn't welcome.

"Maybe I'll just take a cab..."
"No! We'll bring you home." Crap.

I cramp myself in the backseat while they got in, enjoying the spacious legroom that this German import afforded. Doors close, and the boss man puts the thing in drive. The car crawls forward, which was a bad thing considering that the driveway was to the rear of the car.

"Sir, we should be in reverse. SIR, REVERSE!" He finally gets it, after hitting the 6 foot tall signpost in front of the car.
"Oh, that was drive." No shit, Einstein! Did I mention that this was going to be a long night?

The whole scenario was just cruel, me sitting behind a drunk driver, without even having the good sense to be drunk as well, if only to numb the impact of any impending wreck. The short 2 kilometer drive was horrendous, he was either flooring it or hitting the brakes. I could feel my nuts making their way to my throat each time the wheels screeched to a halt or spun forward. I was hoarse screaming directions for my dear life. (Stop light's red! No, don't go over the curb! Don't hit the homeless guy! Slow down on the intersection, for the love of God!!!) As soon as we got to my building, I jumped out and gave thanks to the gods. As I lean in to buss a goodbye to my friend, she says "Hey, follow me to my house, please?".

On one hand, this may be construed as an invitation to do any number of naughty things. Things that would totally justify standing up Kate Beckinsale back in dreamland. But could it? Was this alcohol talking? Has the cosmos finally realized its crimes against my person and are handing me my share nirvana? Would my right-handedness no longer be painfully apparent in the morning?

"Sure." I answer as cooly as I possibly can. As soon as the black CLK drove off, I jumped into my clunky Honda (this 'clunkiness' being apparent after my short ride in the CLK) and make my way over to her place in record time.


Monday, December 6, 2010

Maybe I can put it off for 5 more minutes...

Whoa... it's December already? I still can't get over how this month just all of a sudden crept up on me. Well, guess I should accept this peculiar fact, and learn to live with it.


Took a jog around my old alma mater tonight, a ritual I had forsaken too many times, of late. I really should pay more attention to my weight, what with the holidays just around the corner. The last thing I need is to explode into a ball of lard by New Year's and start off 2011 with another battle of the bulge.

I started off pretty ambitiously, promising myself 5 laps around the 2.2 kilometer academic oval. Then, reality set in, heavily on my ankles. This wasn't a good sign. I resigned myself to only 3 laps, of brisk walking. I figure I need to lose 10 pounds before I start doing any actual jogging. Could I shave it off in a week? Hmm, that shouldn't be too difficult, seeing that I'm pretty much out of cash. No more fastfood breakfast and lunches from now on, I guess.


Obviously, I haven't been writing much lately. Am I too busy? In a way, yeah. I'm too busy sitting on my ass, doing nothing.

But wait, can't I sit on my ass while writing? Yeah, writing stuff does usually imply that I'm sitting down, I'll admit. But I can't write and do nothing both at the same time, can I? No, if there's one thing that nobody can do while doing something, anything, it's doing nothing. The only one thing that you can't multi-task, I guess.

So why am I doing a lot of nothing, lately? Well for starters, traffic has been getting to me. On more than one occasion, I've been stuck over 3 hours in it. This isn't good for my sanity. As such, these days I choose to do nothing while I wait for the usual rush hour traffic to subside to more bearable levels. So far, it's working. I'm still sane, though a lot lazier. And I've been getting better at being lazy that it's been affecting my work and, to some extent, my social life.


Have I told you that as I'm writing this, I'm procrastinating on doing a powerpoint presentation? In a few hours, I've got this big deal meeting with a potential client who flew in all the way from the States to make the rounds with potential partners. Guess how many slides I've finished... nada. My boss is gonna love me, for sure.

Don't worry, I've no intention of being fired later. As soon as I'm finished with this senseless monologue of mine, I'm seriously going to get started. Let's see, a 15 minute presentation should amount to something like 10 slides or so... yeah, I think I'll have enough time, if I don't sleep tonight, that is. If I want to make a really good presentation with all the animation and research and pictures, I'd need a couple of days or so. But since my goal is to simply do enough not to get fired, it shouldn't take more than a couple of hours.

Ironically enough, I suggested we prepare this presentation, just to make things more fun for our guests. How was I to know that I would be tasked in making one? Obviously, I hadn't thought my suggestion through, which is really the story of my life. If you need ideas that are half thought-out and borderline whimsical, I'm the guy to turn to. It's a wonder how my mental vomit is suddenly picked up as a productive thought.


Well, I guess I've really got to make that presentation. Let me just take in a "5-minute" nap... zzz.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

One more reason I'm going to hell

Yesterday was a blast! The 32 kilometer drive from the office was a breeze, taking only 20 minutes or so, cruising along the expressway. Then, the "blast" ended, and I got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic for the next 4 kilometers, for the whole of 3 hours. I tell you, it wasn't fun.

At first I thought, Hey, I'm close enough, what's a little crawl through the city? Then the first 30 minutes pass (or 200 meters, whichever you prefer), and I'm drowning in the irony of it all. I roll down my window and light up. After the first few puffs, the sky opened up and the rain fell, so much for a cigarette break.

Finally, I see the on-ramp to the main avenue which was the shortest distance to home. There should have been relief, this was after all a 5-lane highway, right? Of course, nothing was going to be easy, as the usually 2 lane on-ramp was suddenly transformed into a 3-lane parking lot. So I go the longer route, taking on an extra 3 kilometers, which took me another couple of hours to navigate.

Needless to say, the minute I got home, the bottle of whisky looked mighty fine.


As proof of my being a self-absorbed jackass, I texted a friend of mine about my miserable 3-hour ordeal that night, and when I learned that my friend was also stuck in traffic for the same amount of time through the same distance, I felt all the more bitter about it. No, this wasn't empathy, this was a case of feeling miserable for not being "the guy" who had the unique experience of suffering great odds and made it.

A bit vague? Well, let me put it this way, I'm the guy who would have felt miserable for not being the only hero honored with the Purple Heart. Yes, that is just how much of a sick, attention-seeking prick I am.

Here's how my twisted mind thought things would go: I'd text about what horrible injustices had just been done on my person by this evil, evil world, and my friend would feel terrible about it and heap praises upon me for putting up such a valiant fight and succeeding in the end. Facebook status updates would be put up on my behalf, the poets would draw inspiration from my victorious march into battle, and editorials would be written demanding that justice be given me for having to endure all this pain and suffering. They'd probably even rename the North Star for me, or maybe the Moon? Sailors from all across the oceans would look up in the sky and be guided by my name. Yes, all that ran through my psychotic little head as I fingered in that fateful text message.

Now that's vanity for you.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A day in my non-working work trip

So here I am, at the summer capital, the city atop a plateau, freezing my nuts off in my hotel room. I'm supposed to be working, but whenever I'm here, I just lose it and go into vacation mode. I know, I should really be earning my keep especially since the company is paying for all my expenses while I'm here, but I just can't bring myself to function.

One thing that I've been doing plenty of since I got here, though, is watching the television. They've got the Discovery Channel, the one channel that has got me glued for hours on my ass while I'm watching it. (Of course, if there were a Playboy Channel here, then that would be an entirely different story) I've just watched an hour long special on World War 2 in Europe, and then another full hour on the Pacific Theater. After that, the guys from Mythbusters come along and before I know it, I missed a whole networking affair that I'm supposed to tag along to.

I wonder what my boss will say when and if he finds out?


It's a Friday night, I'm alone in a city teeming with bars and cheap beer, I've got a hotel room all to myself, and yet, I'm here writing this blog. Why? From my hotel room window, I can count 8 bars, in varying levels of sleaziness/classiness and my pick of alternative, pop, house, r&b, country (think John Denver) or classical music. (Classical is how I define the works of Elton John, Barry Manilow, Air Supply, et al)

Well, my first excuse is that I'm trying to detox myself from cigarettes and alcohol. I've only had like 5 sticks of cigarettes for the day and only 2 bottles of beer since Wednesday. Plus, those two bottles were half-heartedly drank because they were offered to me by my boss, a 73 year old man who could probably out-drink me. The second excuse is that the last time I went out drinking all by myself in this city, I ended up painting the town red with another dude who I had sort of picked up in a bar. Not gonna happen again, I hope. My last excuse, which is my least favorite, really, is that I need to lose a few dozen pounds.


This afternoon, after having watched too much television and realizing that I missed out on the cocktail party at the country club, I decided to don my running shoes and go for a walk. I didn't really know where I wanted to go, but thought that I just needed to get out of my hotel room for an hour or two.

It started out nicely, there's a little downward slope from the hotel to the park, which was a breeze. Then I tracked the jeepneys to the flea market and decided to take a look-see there. The whole building was occupied by these stalls of second hand or knock-off bags, shoes, jackets, shirts and various other stuff. I went around the market, then on to the second floor, then to the third, and was surprised that there was even a fourth floor! Of course, by the time I went up the third floor I had already decided that there was no way the city engineer would declare this building to be structurally sound and safe so I dared not go up another step.

So I went out and thought of going up the main avenue of the city.

Did I mention that the city was built on top of a mountain, and that all roads were either going up or down... steeply?

So I went up the main avenue, and found myself cramping up midway. This was just how badly out of shape I was. I tried to walk it off briskly, but it was really tightening up uncomfortably now that I had to stop and stretch out. This was when I realized that I had walked some distance and was now sweating. I had to make a decision, whether to go back or continue on to some random destination. I figured I might as well check out the mall, which was maybe a quarter of a kilometer ahead.

I limped up the slope and finally made it to the mall's entrance, where I felt the irony of craving for an ice cream when in the midst of the cool mountain air and while consciously trying to get my weight down. So I didn't get a cone, nor did I buy a smoothie which was the next best thing. I did grudgingly buy some bottled water and lit a cigarette.


The walk back to the hotel was quite surprising, now that I was finally able to sort of gauge how far I walked. It was probably a good 12 kilometers to and fro, not bad for an afternoon walk, without the ice cream. Of course, as soon as I got into my hotel room, I quickly slid into the familiar grooves on the bed and lovingly handled the remote control.

Some days, you just wish would never end.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Fade to Black

Who remembers the movie "Airheads"?


I was scanning through the channels when the news came on, reporting that the end was nigh for DWNU-107, "The home of Nu Rock". That's just sad. A flurry of flashbacks suddenly swept over me, the earliest of which was being pressured by a neighborhood friend to listen to this rock and roll station because they were going to play some new wave music. Not really being much of a fan of rock music back then, (wow, the term 'rock and roll' just seems awkward, doesn't it?) I dismissed it as some trivial matter that was just there, in existence, with nothing to do with me.

Back then, I was listening to Elton John, Barry Manilow, Air Supply and the likes. Gay, I know. I was like 10, gimme a break.

Then, I discovered Nirvana. You know, Cobain and the other two guys. I could proudly say that I knew of them before anyone else in the country. This, I was fairly certain of because I was probably the only 14 year old who looked forward to getting his geeky hands on a copy of Newsweek magazine. There was this article, about a band in Seattle who was making a lot of noise (literally) and taking over the airwaves in American colleges and very possibly, drug dens. They even featured a photo of their album cover, a baby swimming toward a dollar bill. Cute. I wondered how they sounded like?

I was to know just under a year later, when I chanced on NU107 and serendipitously heard "Smells Like Teen Spirit", and freaked out our dog in the process. This led to my awareness of this angry new genre, something very different from Manilow, Introvoys, and a slew of bubblegum pop music and shoulder-pad clad boys that had been a staple of my sister's collection. I had found myself soaking in all this new music, provided by NU107 all day, and even back-tracked to acts like Metallica, Megadeth, Guns and Roses, Rage against the Machine, Skid Row, Led Zeppelin and ultimately the Beatles. Fights erupted, when my sister found that her precious Spandau Ballet albums had been recorded over with this "noise", directly laid down from the station's playlist. I'm pretty sure I was not the only kid who braved calling the station to request an Ugly Kid Joe song then patiently waited, with one finger on the record button, for them to play it 12 songs later so he could record it, complete with the DJ's intro and outro.

College came, and that particular station became some sort of anthem. There was this new found freedom, after all. To go to parties, get drunk until you got sick, skip class, smoke pot, hit on girls (which rarely went anywhere, though), and live life to the fullest. This was the time of our lives, and we all wanted to think that we were different, that we knew the secret to life, and that we were invincible. Wasn't this what rock music was all about? Going against the grain, being your own person, questioning the norm and rising above all those who listened to losers like the Backstreet Boys, N'sync and Westlife? NU107 wouldn't have any of these wimps, and neither were we. (Uhm, okay, so I did personally enjoy some of these wimpy songs as well. They're catchy, yeah?)

Then I hit the brick wall known as the real world, when the parents were no longer obligated to finance my penchant for alcohol, cigarettes, loose women, Top 40 t-shirts and acid washed jeans. I grudgingly took a job at minimum wage, and kept blaming "the man" for all my troubles. I went home to my tiny apartment, and found comfort in instant noodles and the words of the great philosophers: Coldplay, Parokya ni Edgar and Incubus at the temple of NU107. I was now part of the working class, struggling to survive and yearning for justice. Starbucks was a capitalist device to rid us of our birthright to cheap, honest coffee, and Apple was out to create mindless zombies with their iPods and other shiny gizmos.

Years pass, and I'm wearing leather shoes and chinos. Traffic is bad, so I pull over to a Starbucks to pass the time. I pull out my smartphone and check the news to see how far traffic is backed up. Then I hear the familiar call letters on the radio, it's NU107! I slouch further, relaxing while the aroma of a rich Amerikano wafts in the air. Wait, this song is familiar, it's one of those old Elton John and Barry Manilow songs from yore... only with harder riffs and a deeper bass. Then I realize, it's an "emo" song, being played by the "Home of Nu Rock". Then it's followed by another, and another, until I'm pretty sure the vocalist should have somehow killed himself already with all this tragedy.

Back in "the day", rock songs were about standing up to authority, sex, the odyssey of a hard life, poverty and injustice, and loads of sex. Now, some punk bawls and gouges his eyes out because his girlfriend didn't text him when she got home. Tsk tsk tsk. (Inside joke there, sorry dude, just couldn't resist! hehe) Compared to these guys, the Backstreet Boys looked pretty badass.

But who am I to pass judgement? I've sold out, and hardly listen to the radio these days. I'm back to playing Burt Bacharach and other standards, leaving all that rage and anger behind. Heck, I'd even go watch a Britney Spears or Kylie Minogue concert if they ever do come here, (not for the music, though) and I can sit through an episode of Glee! without having to squirm once. So I guess if I've changed, then the "Home of Nu Rock" would, too.


As I was driving to work today, I switched the radio to Channel 1 (yes, it has always been the first option when I do turn on the radio) out of curiosity. Faint static, all that's left of an era. Fade to black...

Is the sky falling?

Lately, there's this feeling of impending doom hanging over my head. Have you ever had that feeling? I mean, there's this pretty heavy chip on your shoulder but you can't put a finger on what it is, only that the shit is about ready to hit the fan anytime soon?

Right now, I'm officially attributing this ominous feeling to the "ber-months". There's just this inclination to make these times of the year the annual highlight that it actually gnaws at your being, pressuring you to make the most out of it. Don't get me wrong, it could very well be the case, if you're 8. The thought of your relatives handing you those big shiny coins (which are of no value at this day and age, by the way)and the adrenalin rush thinking about all those presents and toys you're about to get. But at this age, what's all the fuss about?

Then again, maybe it isn't about the holidays at all. Perhaps it's simply a case of bitterness.

What's to be bitter about, you ask? Well, recently I've installed this rad game in my PC. It works great, and I love it, but it keeps dying on me, the computer, not the game. My apartment's been having some electrical surges for a long time now, only this month, it seems to be getting way worse. It actually fluctuates so intensely that my computer reboots itself and all the lights go out for a second or two. That kind of intensity hasn't happened in the past, which makes me worried about the state of my electrical circuits for one, but more importantly, it's pretty frustrating when you have to save your game every 2 minutes.

Geeky huh?


Also lately, I've been thinking about getting into shape. Thinking about it, being the operative word, I haven't quite gotten around to doing anything about it. Things just keep getting in the way, like pizza and burgers and all sorts of sodium-filled, fatty, greasy food. The nicotine sticks aren't helping either. I'm all thinking about going for a jog when I get this urge to light up, so I do, and the next thing I know I'm reaching out for the whisky and plopping myself in front of this computer or the idiot box. It gets worse when there's something interesting on the boob tube, then the thought of breaking a sweat seems like a distant memory, almost a laughable suggestion by the few healthy cells I've left.


So my sister in Taipei has extended an invitation for me to crash over at her place if I'm indeed going there. This saves me a big pile of money for a trip there, money better spent in pursuit of cool electronic doodads which I hear are abundant and cheap in that city. So here I am, booked and scheduling an appointment at the embassy for a tourist visa.

If you'd recall, I'm scheduled for a trip to Hong Kong for the new year festivities. Then a month after, I'm set for another trip overseas. This is uncanny, as I've never even thought of getting a passport until 6 months ago. I wonder if 2011 will be the year of my attempt at circumnavigating the globe? Ok ok, I do realize that Hong Kong and Taipei are relatively within spitting distance when you say "circumnavigating the globe". Both trips don't even constitute a change in time zones! But you know, the farthest journey starts out with just one step, so I'm saying I'm on my way to actually going places.


Before you go on with your oohs and aahs... may I just say that I'm terrified of going out of the country. There's just this nagging feeling that I'm bound to make a mess of things and I might end up finding the bread crumbs all pecked away by crows. There's this special on National Geographic about being imprisoned abroad and it definitely isn't something that I should be watching when I'm about to go crossing borders for the first time in my life.

And another thing that's been on my mind, what the heck do I wear? Living in the tropics, all I've got is rain gear, at best. I've absolutely nothing for temperatures below 20 degrees Celsius, and traveling during winter might not bode well for me. I'm afraid of freezing to death, and then there's also the fear of bringing too much insulation. Fortunately, I've an opportunity to buy myself some really cheap pre-owned winter coats when I go up to Baguio in two weeks. I might as well snag myself some boots (with the fur) and a nice warm jacket. I wonder if ear muffs and gloves are necessary?

Monday, November 1, 2010

The universe is against me

It's almost an hour before I go out for a walk. Yes, walk. Sounds like something you take your dog out for on a lazy Monday afternoon, only during my walk, no one has to pick up after myself. This is the walk of a man who knows he's drunk too much alcohol and inhaled an awful lot of tar and nicotine. A feeble attempt to at least salvage an ounce of health.

Of course, I thought eating junk food and helping myself to some cigarettes before my walk is called for. Stupid, I know.


My walking buddy hasn't called or texted me yet if indeed, the walk is on. Maybe he's still asleep, after all he did consume as much alcohol and nicotine as I had this weekend. Or maybe he's just too lazy to. I know I would. I'm secretly hoping that he'd call the whole thing off, so he'd bear the guilt of reneging on our health deal. Then I could open a bottle of scotch and buy another half-pack of ciggies.


Hmm, in a serendipitous twist of fate, it rains. Surely this is a sign from on high that it's okay to cancel the walk. Somehow, it's all going to be okay so just lie down on the soft sofa, watch the idiot box and relax. There's nothing like the pitter-patter of raindrops to lull myself to sleep, and the sweet smell of the earth rises and blends in with the cool gentle breeze.

I'm pretty certain as to the walk's non-existence that I lay down in bed and snooze.


Now I'm all eaten up and guilty, because I promised myself a stupid walk and I couldn't keep it. I didn't even ask myself to jog because I know it'd be harder to keep, but back out from a walk? This is just pathetic, how lower could I possibly go?

And then I go call delivery. I guess it does go worse.

Well at least go for something healthy and all that, how about a salad? On the other hand, I'll bet it'll be all soggy and gooey by the time it gets here. Burgers? Pizza? Noodles? There just isn't enough healthy choices around here. Maybe I should just make myself some soup? However, I just realized how much preservative there must be in a pack of instant soup.

And in a stalemate, I text my sister to rustle me up some grub from the convenience store at the corner. She should be on her way home in an hour or so, might as well ask her to get a hotdog sandwich, hmm, maybe some dimsum while she's at it? That'd just be great with instant noodle soup.

Wait, why don't I walk over to the 7-11 myself? That's sort of a walk, all 50 paces of it, isn't it? Then I could also get my fill, right? It's just perfect, and a great way to multi-task! I'm just so smart!


If you guessed that I still didn't move, you'd be correct. I was going to, even made an effort to change my moth-eaten shirt, but the laws of inertia are just too hard to overcome, that's just how the laws of physics work. Who am I to go against the universe, right? So I texted my sister to just bring my food on her way back from work. And here I am, still in front of the computer, browsing through the fantastic collection they keep over at youporn.

Monday, October 25, 2010

5 (or 6) things

About 6 months ago, my boss gave me a pep talk. The kind wherein he gives "life advice" that he learned over the better part of the century. There were 6 trivial items that he had outlined and gave specific examples of, namely:

1. Wake up with a start.
2. Accomplish one small feat to start your day.
3. Think of the end, first.
4. Make a regimen and stick with it.
5. Reward yourself.

Yeah, I know that's just 5. I'm keeping the last one for myself, sort of our little secret. Maybe when I'm in the mood I'd finally be able to focus my attention for more than an hour and actually write a book about all these, so understandably I'll need to hold back that 6th item just so the 3 people actually reading this blog would be compelled to buy it. Heck, just look at what Stephen Covey did, holding back that "8th" habit for an entirely new book after his previous 7 ones became a best-seller. Then again, what sort of chance do my 6 habits have against his 8, right? Some smart-ass bookstore clerk would probably put my book beside Covey's and people would look at the both of them and say "Hey, I'm getting my buck's worth with 7 (or 8) habits more than the six this loser is trying to sell." So I guess that shoots down any chance of my book selling for a profit.


Lately I've been running out of nonsense to talk about for this blog. Not that I'm making a lot of sense these days, but there has been nothing occupying my noggin'. Take note that there is a huge difference between thinking up nonsense and not having anything to think of, sensible or otherwise. To remedy that I've bought some books, but as soon as I close them, the thoughts fly right out of my head. Really convenient.

So I opened up my notebook, the one I use for work-stuff and found my notes about that meeting I had with my boss. That was interesting... serendipitous, even. Now, not only do I have something to write about, but I've got 5 (maybe six, *wink*) topics that would keep this blog in circulation among my 3 readers. That'll at least assure you that I haven't been hit by a bus or a speeding bicycle lately.

Here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to write 5 posts to explain the 5 (or 6) items enumerated above for my succeeding posts. I can't give you a schedule of when these posts are going to come out because, well you know me, I just can't plan that far ahead, can I?

Oh, and a disclaimer, I said I'd discuss these items as my boss had done, but in no way does that imply that I follow these items personally, nor that these actually work. It's just something tossed out there, for the entire world to take up or disregard. Sort of like someone asking you for some spare change, it's not really required or anything, is it? Unless of course, that person has a gun pointed straight at your balls, which is kinda hard to ignore. If it was trained at your heart or your head, some of you might get smart thinking they're bluffing or you're likely not to feel anything if they did shoot. But at your testicles? You're not likely to die from a gunshot wound there, but kinda makes life a heck of a lot lonelier and miserable, doesn't it?


You could stop here, I guess. The next paragraphs are kinda out of topic, effects of my short attention span. If you'll notice how the first part ended, you'll correctly guess that were diving straight into testicles, where all my focus has conveniently shifted to. You could salvage your taste buds now and leave, I'll understand. Probably, you could go back to the succeeding parts after a short break. At least then you'd have already eaten. If you're bulimic, it is highly recommended that you do this. (Bulimia is a bad thing, by the way. But then again, so was that Baconator Mexican Melt I ate a few minutes ago at Wendy's for breakfast. So who am I to judge?)


I recently found out that some friends of mine had their pet cat "fixed".


Yeah, that was an awfully short paragraph, wasn't it? I intentionally left that statement on it's own so that you'd realize how big and massive (I was gonna say weighty, but had doubts if that was in fact a real word) that felt for me. No, I don't have some special kinship with that particular feline, nor to felines in general. Just that the act of c*stration seems so medieval to me. I couldn't even spell that word out in its entirety. From hereon, if I really have to, I'm referring to it as the "Sad C". (The 'Big C' was already taken)

My first actual realization that there was such a practice came with farm animals. Here was a little baby boy-pig, held upside-down by someone wielding a sharp razor blade. I felt my legs give way from under me. I almost gave up eating pork, then I heard that they did this to bulls as well. If they could, I'm sure they'd also apply this practice to fish and chickens. So I swallowed my pride and went on cooking bacon and steaks. God help me if I were to turn vegan.

Still, that doesn't mean I'm okay with it. Of course, this is a practice done since early times up until today, I'll admit. Eunuchs had their packages "cut off" to ward off temptation as they bathed and served the emperor's harem, and there are lots of males voluntarily having their johnsons cut off to this day. But then that's voluntary, they wanted it. I'm fairly certain that this isn't the sentiment of the majority of males, human or otherwise. If I were a cat or dog, I'd more likely volunteer for behavior modification via electrocution or drugs than be spaded.

Obviously, I've spent an awful lot of time in thought about this topic, knee-weakening as it is. I owe it to all those who've undergone the Sad-C. I start off with the idea of a person's definition, do johnsons define being males? Their individuality? Probably not. So why are men all sentimental about it?

A friend of mine tells me that his grandfather had undergone the Sad-C. He had the Big-C, Prostate. It was painful as hell, as he grimaced and at times lost it due to the pain. His children (my friends father and his siblings) had signed the waiver for them to do the Sad-C. When gramps woke up, without his willie, he was devastated, and set out to hunt the children who had this done to him. My friend found his dad and uncles hiding under the bed and the dining room table, scared to death.

Imagine yourself locked up in prison, hard labor in Siberia or the South Pole, for 300 or so lifetimes. Obviously there's no going back to the real world in this case. But what if, the warden comes up to you and tells you he's gonna cut your sentence to just 10 days if you subject yourself to the Sad-C? Will you take it? Personally, I'd rather take my chances in the biting cold and hard labor. (And the occasional ass-rape, which is why if I'm gonna end up in prison for the rest of my life I'm gonna want to contract some form of contagious but non-lethal leprosy)

Friday, October 22, 2010

From coffee to coconuts

I was doing nothing in particular last night, enjoying a cup of coffee and some smokes, just letting rush hour traffic pass before I drive home. A van stops in front of me, and a bunch of high schoolers get out. They were exiting the van and finding themselves rushing the gauntlet between a 7-11 and a Starbucks. I hastily made a bet with myself, promising a round of beer should I guess correctly which of these two establishments would get the most traffic. Almost reflexively, I exclaimed that the winner would be the 7-11. Cheap beer and liquor always trumps expensive coffee.

Well, I lost. (Which also means that another side of me won, I guess) Almost everyone went to Starbucks and bought the biggest ass size of the most expensive cold beverage they had with all the extras. Well, a couple of them (they were about 10, in all) did go to the 7-11, and left with some bottled water.

What the heck happened here? High school kids prefer coffee to good old beer? This must be a mistake, maybe they were so wasted already that they needed a coffee to pick them up. That's probably the only reason I'd take in coffee when I was in 4th year high school. Always better to have your breath smell of coffee than of bile and vomit. But these kids looked fresh as a daisy, and yet, here they were, sipping coffees?

And expensive coffees, mind you. Back in the day, my daily allowance was exactly how much it cost to drink a couple of shots of tequila at the DC Diner. These kids spent on coffee what I shelled out for breakfast and lunch today. I'm beginning to hate the younger generation.

Who needs a drink?


Maybe it's because they're not poor as I am. I bet their parents didn't drink beers back in high school too, which is why they went off to do well in college, bag a promising career after graduating, and assured themselves of a great future. I, on the other hand, came from a long line of good-for-nothing, alcohol guzzling forefathers. They had come from backward little islands in the Sulu sea, where getting an education meant living to be 18 years old without getting killed, hit on the head by a falling coconut, eaten by a shark or a giant turtle, or losing a limb as their neighbor (whose daughter they peeked at while showering) hacked them with a kris.

That all ended with my dad. He was the type who knew that there was a bigger world beyond the powdery white shores and pristine sapphire waters of his tiny little island. The island life wasn't for him, he thought. So he went out of his way to do well in school. He worked and studied from the first grade until he graduated from high school, earning cents and pennies from carrying groceries, hawking rice cakes, peddling soup and other odd jobs he could find around the marketplace just so he could buy books and pencils and shoes. While all his friends were off at the beach, torturing sea turtles, knocking down coconut crabs, hitching boat rides to other islands and climbing trees, he was burning his eyebrows reading textbooks with the help of his little oil lamp and bludgeoning his feet walking and running around the market all day.

It all paid off when he got a scholarship to study college in the big city. Of course, the shock to his system was difficult. Here where people spoke in a different dialect from his own, wore nice shoes, didn't have to wear the same shirt for a week, and didn't have to brew their own beers or roll their own cigarettes at home. He also discovered that while he was a friggin' genius in his little island, the standards of education was a heck of a lot higher in these here parts. He had to study twice as hard and long as everybody else, and yet also had to get some money for food and pomade and beers.

He managed it somehow, and through the years was able to crawl his way up beyond the poverty line. He raised a family and eventually became a part of the "barely sub-middle-class", which is where we kids found ourselves growing up as.


Ironically, his children, myself in particular, dreams of living out my life in a tiny little island, surrounded by powdery white sand beaches and pristine sapphire waters. Pestering sea turtles, cooking coconut crabs in some coconut milk, and waiting for the coconut water to ferment into wine. I'm not too sure he's proud.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blink blink blink

I can't write. So here I am, writing about it. It's no fun, having some specie of writer's block creep up on you just when you've a lot of things on your mind. The trouble starts when I think of something, then write a whole paragraph about it. Then the mind goes blank, makes a weird whirring sound, beeps twice then shuts down without auto-saving.


That cursor keeps on blinking, taunting me to do something with it. I hate it. It's the same feeling I get when I sit down in someone else's house and there's a dirty magazine just laying around. There's that quality about a pornographic magazine that makes you long to pick it up and browse through it, even when you've seen it a dozen or so times. This cursor is just longing to be violated, to be pushed around the panel from left to right, bullied by the letters which suddenly emerge out of what I imagine to be it's asshole. STOP BLINKING!!!

Well, unless my computer suddenly stalls on me, I guess the cursor will continue to give me a digital version of the Chinese Water Torture. The good news is that with advancements in technology and desktop publishing, the cursor has gone on a diet and has gone from a ugly and irritatingly bright green block on my monochrome computer screen to a less-obstrusive twinkling black sliver on my cooler-on-the-eyes LCD screen. Still is giving me bad "blinks", though.

When I think about it, (yeah, the blinking cursor demands a lot of thought) these cursors are insanely important. Can you imagine typing away, then shifting your focus to taking a long drag out of that Marlboro cancer stick, and suddenly you're lost. 'Where is the cursor? It's supposed to tell me where I am.' There lies the dilemma that most humans who have to face a computer for a living, have no choice but to live through, the fact that something so irritating is so important and essential to your sanity.

To take the irritation a bit further, imagine the cursor blinking right in front of you, with sound. Now that would surely result in a lot of laptops and computer monitors being tossed out of frustration. Beep beep beep beep... blinking and beeping away every second. And instead of a small, thin stick figure, we replace it with the image of a stick of dynamite. Now that's one way to keep someone off-balance.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Buds, anyone?

I bought a heap of cotton buds lately. Yes, I'm pretty sure I'm stocked up until the second coming. That's when I realized that cotton buds were pretty expensive. You could just imagine me lined up at the cashier's table, with a sack full of cotton buds, then realizing that I didn't have enough money to pay for it so I brought out the plastic.

Wait, have I told you why I felt compelled to stock up on a lifetime supply of buds? It was one of those really life or death situations. You're watching television, then your ear itches. So you try sticking your finger in your ear and wiggling, maybe the earwax would be jarred loose. 9 out of 10 times this doesn't work, of course, and 5 out of 10 times you make it worse. So you go to your supply cabinet to get some cotton buds and baby oil. Guess what? You're all out.

So you tell yourself, don't panic. I've still got some cotton balls, and a box of toothpicks. I'll be fine. Over the years, my dad has demonstrated remarkable skill and resourcefulness by crafting his own home-made cotton buds. This is some real, old-school ear-javelin we've got here. So I try it, but the cotton keeps falling off the toothpick. So I try putting some spit into it (literally) so the cotton would hang on a bit more securely, but as soon as I let it go the cotton unwinds itself and breaks free.

At this point, all hell breaks loose.

I did the next best thing for relief that I could think of. I went to the sink and drowned my ear under the faucet. Didn't help, now I've got an itchy, wet and cold ear. Irritated is an understatement to what I'm feeling, I wanted to take a screwdriver, punch it into my ear and turn a few loose screws out. This is just torture.

Of course, I figured the screwdriver would probably be a bad idea, considering how much I shelled out just to buy 'em babies. Stainless, tempered Japanese stainless steel, magnetized tip and sturdy rubber grip. I wasn't about to bloody these by sticking them into my brain matter.

So anyway I went into my sister's room, and looked for a hairpin. Yes, you heard (or read) me, a standard issue looped hairpin. This was a trick my mom used when we were kids. My mom hated cotton buds. To her, they were evil little things, out to infect your ears with bacteria and puncture your eardrum. But hairpins, which were invented and designed for an altogether different purpose, was apparently perfectly suited to ear cleaning. I'll bet my mom thinks they should be called ear-cleaning pins. I found a bunch of hairpins... but there was either a butterly, or a star, or Hello Kitty glued to it. Even if I did manage to fit them into my ear, I guess the thought of me going to the ER to have Hello Kitty extracted from my ear canal wouldn't exactly be a boost to my erstwhile non-existent street cred.

So all I could do was sleep on it. When I woke up, the itch had somewhat subsided enough that I could walk a straight line to the store and buy me cotton buds to last me 2 lifetimes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I'd ask Kate for directions, for sure

I found myself driving all over town today. Got to go downtown, through the university belt, Chinatown, the docks and even visited my old neighborhood. Nice, huh? If only I had driven through all those on purpose, though.

You see, I was supposed to go to the docks this morning. So I woke up, thought up my route, and got there with time to spare. Breezed through my business, then I was a free man. Which presented me with a dilemma, since I forgot to plan for the rest of the day.

Of course, my first impulse was to go to the office. (Yeah, really) So my brain engaged into auto-pilot mode and headed south. But then, I thought: 'Hey, it's lunchtime, maybe I'll make a short detour for a sandwich or something.' So I began thinking of what to eat, where to eat, how much time to I have to eat, where will I park, does the restaurant have parking, should I text for company, do my shoes match with my belt, etcetera. Before I knew it, my brain short-circuited, and my internal compass got shot to hell. Where the heck am I going?

There I was, clueless and floating amidst the tide of compact sedans, motorcycles, container trucks and delivery vehicles. I had little idea of where I'm supposed to be headed, and wherever I was going wasn't it. Here, I made a little map of how it went:

I started from the pentagon on the east side of the map, the black line indicates how I got to my destination, marked by the other pentagon on the western extreme. Then the red line marks my return path. Obviously, it was the scenic route, through downtown before sensibly getting back on track.


Let me make this clear, I did not get lost. I knew where I was at all times, just that I didn't really intend to be there. I had a plan, keep driving until I get to someplace familiar to me where I could easily make my way to where I was headed. It was a good plan, a sound and rational plan, sure maybe a tad stupid and egotistical, but there was at no point any real need to ask for directions from some stranger who thinks he knows better than I would how to get back home.

Of course, there was also never a need to go the scenic route in the first place. But hey, you don't always have to know where you're going and how you're getting there, right? That would be boring. Frankly, you can't always wait for surprises to come your way, sometimes you've got to just make your own surprises, like hitting that stray dog just this morning.

(Kidding, there wasn't any dog. Just a bunch of rags which I thought was a dog, or a puppy, which I had accidentally rolled over of. If it really was a dog, I probably wouldn't be putting it in this blog for fear of my life. If it was a penguin or a kangaroo or some other exotic animal roaming the city streets in a bid for global domination, however, I'd likely have my picture taken beside the roadkill.)


Bought myself some second hand books this afternoon. Figured I would need something to read during my personal time at the coffee shop while waiting for the rush hour traffic to subside. So I got "A Thousand Splendid Suns", "Love in the Time of Cholera" and some light reading, the title of which escapes me at the moment. Actually, I wanted to get the Archie Double Digest, but for a second hand comic book, found it ridiculously expensive.

I'm particularly interested in the Garcia-Marquez book. It's an important element of the movie "Serendipity", which I've probably watched over a dozen times with the ex. (And a few other times just on my own. Gay, I know, but Kate Beckinsale's just too hot, specially with that accent.)

I've read his other book, Ten Thousand Years of Solitude. Yes, wrong title, but that's exactly how I found reading that book... a century feels like a minute compared to how that story dragged on and on for me. (But then again, I don't read the articles in Playboy, nor Penthouse Forum. Yes I'll admit that much.) So I guess that's how hot I think Kate Beckinsale is. I'd actually buy a book whose author I don't particularly find interesting just because of a movie she was in where she had a copy.

So allow me to say, that I think schools and books would be immensely appreciated by students if they were associated or endorsed by supermodels and sexy actresses. If Kate Beckinsale approached me in a tiny bikini and asked me to read my Thermodynamics textbook back in college, I would probably have already invented a perpetual-motion machine, and received multiple Nobel prizes by now. Then you'd all be kissing my backside, won't you? Instead of ridiculing my disdain for asking directions.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dirty Old Harry took my game away

I went into a strange office today, a parallel universe of sorts from the one I'm used to. For one thing, it was... ugh... clean! There was glass everywhere, which kinda fooled me cause I couldn't see a thing. That was how impeccably clean it was. And you know those office chairs, those on plastic wheels that swivel and spin? The wheels actually turned and it went wherever you wanted it to go. Not a single ball bearing out of place. Then the people actually occupying these offices came in, and let me just say, I was tempted to run away in terror, seeing that every square inch of fabric was ironed to a crisp. Even the hair on top of their heads seemed to be ironed down as well.

Now I'm not exactly a hobo, but I was feeling as insecure as a lizard missing it's tail. Suddenly every unsightly crease, every piece of lint, every strand of hair out of place stood out for everyone to glare at. Why was I here?

Well, I'm actually in this office for an interview. Yeah that's right, somehow I have brought all this upon myself, I have convinced myself that I wanted to go to the King's grand ball, and I'm waiting for my bad-ass godfather to show up and put me in an Italian suit and crocodile skin shoes, lighting up a Cuban while I'm at it.

I guess you can tell I'm having some serious second thoughts. I hate changes. I don't even change bedsheets and pillowcases until I really really...really have to. Changing offices, is one thing, but having to shed my old threads for those crispy numbers may be a bit more than I bargained for. I was willing my legs to stand up and start running, but while waiting, they fell asleep and I was kinda stuck there, wide-eyed and scared shitless.


I haven't been to many interviews, but I could imagine it to be as close a feeling as a bunch of inmates waiting for their "moment of truth" on death row. There you are, along with a bunch of well-dressed strangers, waiting for some guy in a suit to ask you a bunch of questions to which you have no idea what the right answers are.

So I was there, by myself, letting my legs go to sleep, when a hot chick in a really nifty blazer sits beside me. I smile of course, and start a light conversation. You know, the typical "It's kinda cold here, isn't it?" and "Boy, what about this weather, huh?". Before I could make the transition to one of my killer lines, ("Nice shoes, wanna..."), this stately dude comes into the room.

Stately, by the way, is a word I use which I don't know the exact meaning to. The word just came to my mind all of a sudden at the sight of him. White hairs growing underneath the fading dyed strands, hardened face and hands plus a fair amount of age freckles. Kinda Clint Eastwood-like.

So this dude sits on the chair beside the chick-in-blazer and then chats her up. Apparently, his lines were a heck of a lot smoother than mine, and so I'm left starting into the back of her head the whole time while waiting for the hour of judgment. So there I sat, twiddling my thumbs and committing every word he says to memory. God he was good, I sure hope we weren't going for the same spot, else he'd totally cream me.


By the way, I'd like to give a big shout-out to all the poker gods up there! Thank you, guys... I'm friggin' back!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

My own little red army

I've rid myself of the idiot box... yes, I don't watch it anymore. However, that doesn't mean I don't get bothered anymore. As luck would have it, my sister lives with me now, occupying the other room in my two-bedroom apartment. And she's here constantly. And guess what she does the whole day? Yep... she's a couch potato, either surfing the net or watching television.

With her watching television the whole day, I'm getting almost nothing done. I may not watch the shows with her, but I could hear it, which is pretty much enough to distract me from whatever it is I'm supposed to be doing. Sometimes, I go into isolation mode, locking myself up in my room, but my apartment is tiny so I still hear the television or her laughing her ass off in the living room. It's getting to me.

Take right now for example, I should be updating my CV, coming up with new material for our brochure, planning out my day tomorrow, but with this reality show blaring into my ears, I can't think straight. Thanks to the boob tube, I've been reduced to... well, an idiot. I usually start off fine, but my brain turns to mush when I hear some stupid remark or catch some cleavage (or a pair of really long legs) on television. The train of thought suddenly gets derailed and I'd have to walk all the way back to the terminal and catch another one.

It gets worse when the shows go into commercial breaks. Commercials are 30-second ads, meaning they have to catch your attention in that short span of time so they can tell you to buy something. Well, they're doing a fantastic job, and I end up watching more commercials than getting anything else done.

I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating this is.


Since I couldn't get any work done, I went to my default mode, which is to go daydreaming my time away. It went well for a while, until a single tiny red ant bit my big toe. It was still there, chomping down when I lifted my foot up to inspect the bug and when I picked it off my skin, it had a quizzed look, kinda like asking me what the heck I was doing. I mercifully threw him to the floor, and it walked off to the nearest object of nutrition it could find. Me again. Just like the ingrate that it was, it proceeded to climb onto my flip-flops and was about to have another biteful just as I picked it up again (it still had that "what's the big idea?" look on it). This time, I squished it's tiny brain out of its red little head.


As you may have guessed, where there's one red ant taking a bite off you, there are bound to be thousands, maybe even millions of others, all waiting for their turn. The multitude were in between the concrete walls of my house, where they've set up their headquarters. If only I've been a bit more pro-active, I would get some industrial strength pesticide, drill a hole into their nest, and zap the critters. Fortunately for them, I'm too lazy to put that plan into action.

So now, my apartment has become their playground. They're everywhere, always busy getting in line and making a mad dash to the garbage can, or the sink, or to where I've spilled some sugar and cream while making coffee. For the most part, they don't really bother me too much, unless they're making a meal of my big toe or some other part of my anatomy. In fact, their presence gives a bit of motivation for me to take out the trash, tidy up after meals and wash the dishes religiously. At times, they're even helping me clean up, such as the time I saw them making off with a dead lizard. No, I didn't kill the reptile, it died, probably of old age underneath the sofa, where the ants found its carcass and thought they'd better "clean" it up lest it rot and fester there creating a stink. Thanks guys.

Just imagine how dirty my apartment would be without those guys. I'm thankful I haven't obliterated them with pest spray in the past. Saved a ton on pesticide, too.

Now, if I could only train these guys to go after cockroaches...

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Camera shy

I've been flying for work a lot the past couple of years. Usually I don't mind sitting wherever, it's usually just a one hour flight anyway, I'm getting off the plane before my seat even begins to warm up. But there was this one incident where the guy sitting by the window kept getting up and going to the restroom or procuring something from his bag in the overhead bin that made me hate any seat but by the window. So now, I usually make the effort to check in early to assure myself of the prized exit-row, window seat.

Sitting by the window while on a day flight has its advantages, I'll say. My country being an archipelago, I get to see plenty of beaches along the way. It's become some sort of hobby of mine to try and memorize some distinct feature down below of some peculiar coastline and then go look it up on Google Earth when I touch down. I'd make some sort of promise to myself that I'd make my way over there someday and check out the view from on the ground.

I remember one particular stretch of road by a lake. It's a circumferential road hugging the lakeside on Manila's eastern side. I remembered looking down the window and wondering when I'd be able to drive through that deserted yet conspicuous road. I've looked it up online and basically I have an idea of how to get there, but haven't had the opportunity to try it out. Just last week, I got to do just that.

As I was coming from a client, I knew I was near enough to that road and that it would take me in the general direction of where I was to go to next. So I buckled down and explored a bit. From an industrial zone, I had to weave through a small community of informal settlers, then a short dirt road through some rice paddies, then a steep and winding on-ramp made of mud and gravel. I know, why go through all that effort, right? A number of times, I've almost thought of turning around and abandoning the quest. But when at long last I got on the highway, I was giddy as a school girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

Well, the lakeside view I imagined wasn't there. There was a tall dike separating the highway from the lake in case the water level rose, so you had to get down from your car and walk up the dike to see the brown lake. (Which I did) I would have liked to post some pictures, but I didn't own a camera. (Which reminds me that I should get one someday) The drive was great however, as there were only about a couple of vehicles I saw throughout the whole stretch. I was kinda sad when it ended, a 15-minute drive on a really long and gentle left-hand curve.


Okay, reading back, I couldn't figure out how to end it. Plus, it wasn't an interesting read at all, in dire need of pictures, a screen shot of a Google Map and a view from the plane's window. If you ever get to read this, do know that it was a hard decision to press the "Publish Post" button and that more than once, thoughts on a prolonged tap at the "Delete" button were brought up.

I've thought of posting more pictures and visuals to make my blog a tad more interesting, but I've been consciously resisting. One reason is the lack of a digital camera. Second is that for as long as I could remember, I've been too lazy to bring a camera and actually take photographs. Then there's the laziness in uploading pictures to my computer to think about, and sorting through them to pick out the best ones. Still another reason (excuse?) is that some of my best reads don't involve pictures at all. Novels, books in general, newspaper opinion articles, essays, short stories and other such examples don't have any pictures to guide the reader through the text, and because I'd like to one day be writing such stuff myself, I'm trying to veer away from posting photos. If only I possessed some talent to be able to do away with pictures entirely!

Oh well, at any rate the fact that I need to get myself a camera is still out there. I'm getting old, and my recollection of some things are being compromised. (Though most of my memory problems have a lot more to do with alcohol than anything else) I promise that when I do get a camera, I'm gonna post more pictures with the text. At least that would probably give a lot of people (myself included) some sort of idea what the heck I was talking about.

Until then, well, you're just gonna have to do with more of my sucky texts.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Whatever Happened To... Freddie Prinze, Jr.?!

First of all, apologies to Chris over at for the title. He has a continuing "Whatever Happened To..." series which is just hilarious! In my defense (just in case he sues me or anything...), the succeeding post is not in the mold of these biographies of his. For starters, the title is in the form of a... well, whatever it is you call that. And, well, it's not nearly as funny as any of Chris' tales. If that's not enough to stop a lawsuit, I'm going to run around the block butt-naked in a bit and report myself for indecent exposure, a side-effect of my current, temporary insanity.


It was the year 2002, I was still in college. (and by "still in college", I meant that I was STILL IN COLLEGE after 8 friggin' years!) Like all college losers, I had a crush on a particular girl in my class. Let's call her Rachel Leigh Cook. (Obviously not her real name, but since this is my blog, I'll call her whatever the hell I want to) We hung out often, chatted on the phone for hours and seemed on the way to a deeper relationship. That is, until Freddie Prinze, Jr. showed up.

No, Freddie wasn't in our class. I didn't even know the guy, and neither did she. Freddie was an ocean away, living his glamorous life filled with hot girls, fast cars and even more hot girls. I was in the third-world, more concerned about where the next beer was coming from, and constantly on the alert for some new, innovative ways to cheat on my exams.

Now, some afternoons when I'm stumped and bored, I invite myself over at Rachel's place and we just hang out. This was not only something that women contrive of as being "sweet", but the fact that it costs next to nothing and you might even get a free meal and beverage out of it made it a really popular thing with me. Usually we'd just babble about stuff, talk about whatever was going on in class and all that girly crap, but then one afternoon, she made a proposition that sounded like a good idea. She had a copy of "She's All That" on VCD, a movie starring Freddie, and asked if I would like to watch it with her.

Apparently, I just said yes to what was to be a rotten lifetime ahead.

It was the usual girl-boy high school plot, the type where the girl-hates-the-guy-then-the-guy-does-something-nice-and-suddenly-she's-madly-in-love-with-him type of movie. What's unusual is that the guy in this movie is not of the typical loser-to-winner mold. He's Zach Siler, captain of the soccer varsity, 4th highest GPA in class, heading off to the Ivy League school of his choice. He's got a really cool jeep, great hair, his girlfriend is the hottest chick in school, and of course, a shoo-in for prom king. He's no Lloyd Dobbler, and I hate him.

Unfortunately, my feelings for this Zack Siler guy is quite the opposite to what Rachel Leigh Cook's is. Also unfortunate, that I am obviously no Zack Siler.

The years pass by, and I eventually graduate. Freddie Prinze, Jr.'s star dims somewhat, but I remember Zack Siler as if it were yesterday. Life was unfair, and Zach Siler was the most glaring proof of it. Whenever something disheartening befell me, I immediately place the blame on this guy. He was the reason why I'm unhappy at work, why poor little children all around the world were starving, responsible for the existence of ignorance and discrimination, and ultimately, the cause of male-pattern baldness and impotence. A neighbor of mine once asked me what they should name their soon-to-be-born baby boy. I suggested 'Zack Siler', and spent a whole afternoon dreaming up all the ways I would torture the little guy throughout his miserable lifetime.

Then a few weeks back, I experienced something really terrible. They ran out of sesame seed buns for a Big Mac during my lunch break. I settled for some regular buns... it just wasn't the same. I didn't have to look far to know who the culprit was, there was only one suspect, my old nemesis, Zack Siler. I figured it was about time that I settled the score with this pretty boy, to put fairness and the law of averages back in the world and stop persecution, war, famine and most importantly an outbreak of ugly babies.

I figured that the best way to track this guy down was to contact him through the man who played him in the movie, suddenly Freddie Prinze, Jr. comes into the picture. I googled him, looked up his twitter account, and put down an unflattering entry on him on wikipedia. Then I opened up, and saw the most baffling sight: There was Freddie, up on the ring at the WWE, as a guest announcer. He gained a bit of weight, hairline receding, and was pretty much unknown to a good number of the underage bunch of delinquents that made up the audience. He had been busying himself with the WWE instead of making movies and television shows. Now here he is, engaging Randy Orton in a verbal tussle. Talk about low.

But before I could make any sense of the whole situation, Randy Orton kicked his ass, HARD. He instantly fell to the canvass, quivering like a leaf, worst acting job I've ever seen even by fake-wrestling standards.

It's insanely frustrating when the one thing that you've always known as fact, the only absolute truth, that one constant in the universe, suddenly comes into question and gets ass-kicked to pieces. This Freddie Prinze, Jr. guy, the embodiment of Zach Siler, the root of all that is evil and wrong in the world, beaten up and publicly humiliated by someone who wears Spandex for a living? Now all my beliefs, the structure and ideals in my life that was carefully and painstakingly crafted out of a deep-rooted hate for this character Zack Siler, have come crumbling down.

So riddle me this: whatever the hell happened to Freddie Prinze, Jr.?!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Thoughts while sitting in a bus for 7 hours

Life sucks, a reality that has made itself known to me periodically. In this recent reminder, there seems to be no escaping this rut my career has gotten itself into for the past few months. I am beginning to get to the peak of my cyclical disdain for work, and this has dragged my life in general to the pits.


As I’ve just a few days ago found a large chunk of time while sitting on a bus for 7 hours, I decided to conduct a closer analysis of my soon-to-be-doomed [knock on wood] career. I made a few simulations based on three particular scenarios. The first scenario involved maintaining the status quo, on the premise that my current job involves a cyclical pattern of success and failure. The second assumes that I resign and take another job (in more or less the same field) while the third has me quitting my job altogether and starting up my own business.

It may be of interest for you readers (it was for me) to note that a few other options, such as marrying into money, going back to the folks and sponging off them for years, and fulfilling my life-long dream of being a successful porn star, also popped up, but let’s limit these to the previous three to keep whatever semblance of rationality and sense within this post intact. I’ll get to those other options in future posts, definitely.

So okay, getting to the first option, maintaining the status quo and assuming that with a bit more perseverance and elbow grease, it all works out. Although this seems to be simple and reasonable enough, the fact that this cycle has been going on for the better part of the decade does not sit well with me. Also, such a sinusoidal pattern doesn’t seem to be taking me anywhere, the high points being tempered by the lows on an annual basis.

This is what’s (theoretically) going to happen: things start looking up for the remainder of the year and after all’s said and done, I come up with satisfactory results. But come evaluation time, that time of the year when bosses start to dig up dirt on you to justify the bare minimum increase for the next year, the office gods deem that the low periods deserve more weight that the highs, and I’m left grumbling at what crumbs they throw my way. Give this pattern another 5 years or so and you’ll find me a miserable man, always chasing that stupid rainbow’s end to strangle the life out of a leprechaun.

Obviously, that simulation doesn’t end well. Bit did the others fare any better?

On to the next scenario, and we find me lining up interviews and donning that tie and wing-tipped shoes. Wait, I suddenly realize that I don’t have either one. Hmm… well, let’s take time to assume that I went to a mall and got myself both items for use on these interviews… there, that’s better.

I got the job, and am now happily doodling away in my little cubicle and making sales calls to new clients and new companies. The pay’s a little better, the benefits nicer, and because I made sure that my next place of employment is in the city, the officemates are infinitely hotter. Sounds like heaven, right? So one year then another passes by, and suddenly I find myself getting sick of the office, hating my clients and no longer interested in the hotties at the office.

Ahem… back up, maybe I’d still be interested in the hotties. No, I’m sure I’d still be interested. I’d bet my left nut I’d still be interested. Throw in the other nut as well. Let’s scratch that bit about not liking the hotties altogether.

Anyway, besides the chicks at the office who loves to show off their cleavages and makes sure everyone knows that they just waxed their legs, I find myself in a familiar situation, a miserable idiot who does nothing but chase skirts and sales day after day for an eternity.

Now on to the last one, I quit my job. Hooray! Then just as sudden as my decision to quit, I remember that I don’t have a cent in savings and haven’t a clue how to start a business, even less in running one. Crud.


Now, obviously the second scenario seems to be the best one at least in the short term. But that is exactly what’s wrong with my analysis, I was only looking for instant gratification. (Kinda like all men in general, I guess) If I wanted to get a clearer picture of what I really wanted to do with my career (and life in general), I have to think further ahead in the future.

The truth is, all three scenarios represent what I want out of my career. To start off with one company and learn as much as I contribute, then move to another one to expose myself to a broader perspective of running a business as well as gain a bit more monetary compensation in the mid-term for future investments. Then finally, armed with what I’ve learned and the few investments I’ve made, start up a business, first concurrently with my job, then devoting myself to it full-time if it shows true promise.

I was going to expound on this train of thought, maybe come up with an action plan of some type and design a structure into my daily routine to cultivate it, before something happened. A hot chick happened to hop on the bus and sit beside me. Suddenly my mind wandered off to thoughts of being a famous porn star with money to burn and a harem waiting for me when (and if) I came home to my multi-million dollar beach-front mansion. Life was good again.

The bus then made a final stop, and I was back to reality. Damn.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Deep fried Wednesday

I found myself on a streetcorner this afternoon, hungry, tired and longing to get back home and lounge on the couch for hours. It's a Wednesday, my least favorite day of the week. It sticks out right smack in the middle of the week, like a a big red pimple. You're kinda stuck between weekends, halfway between relishing the weekend past and looking forward to the one ahead. It's just awkward.

As I was about to get on a bus for that short ride home, I realized that I didn't have any change for the fare. So I decided to grab a bite, being hungry anyway. In my search for a quick meal, I spied an old favorite of mine, fried spring rolls. My feet were excitedly shuffling towards the stall and I got myself a bunch of them to take home with me. Just then, the girl on the stall beside the one with the spring rolls brought out a tray full of little brown paper bags, blots of oil dotting the exterior of each. I inquired what they were, and before the girl could answer, she brought out a sign announcing that deep-fried chicken skins were waiting in each small bag. I bought a couple of the suckers as well. My thoughts were now filled with crunchy, deep-friend delights to be dunked in spiced vinegar.

Just as I was to board a bus, the scent of burning garlic wafted into my nostrils and I froze in half-step. I turned around and another stall was busy with a boy making a batch of deep fried garlic peanuts. I fished out some more change and bought a small pouch of the newly cooked batch. At this point, I almost ran to the nearest bus to get away from the lure of other goodies that might catch my fancy.

I got home and promptly gorged on the small feast I got myself. I could almost feel the oil oozing out of each pore of my face with each bite, but I couldn't stop eating and listening to the crunch it made in my mouth. As soon as it was over, the dining table was a mess of flimsy plastic bags and oil blotted brown paper. I just sat there, wondering if there was a small morsel or two that I could have missed.

Before I could stand up and clean the table, the front door swung open and in came my sister, take-out bag in hand. She asked if I was hungry, if I wanted to eat the remains of her lunch. She laid the bag on the table and brought out a piece of deep fried chicken. It disappeared in the next 10 seconds.

I sat on the couch, satiated, sleepy and smiling.

Wednesdays aren't that bad after all.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sorry Jesus...

I was watching something online (not porn) when a pop-up window suddenly, well, popped-up. Now, usually I'd be irritated and say a cuss word or two (or three) and close that nasty pop-up. But this time, as the last syllable of the first (of three) cuss words was leaving the tip of my tongue, the ad suddenly registered in my head... it was a pop-up window telling me that I needed to seek Jesus right then. Oh crap, did I just commit blasphemy? How could I be rude to Jesus?

How does the first line of the prayer for contrition go?


Now, I'm not really a religious person, but I do keep in mind some things that may be construed as sort of superstitious. I know these may be illogical and sometimes silly, but I've been brainwashed by a lot of people (starting with my mother, of course) to at least take precautions due to these. Just last weekend, I cautioned a friend about buying rice in the evening because I remembered this odd superstition that you were not supposed to do that. That also goes for buying nails, knives, wooden stakes and other pointy objects.

One of my favorites, which I still practice to this day, is to warn the imaginary elves, gnomes and other earth spirits to step aside because I'm gonna pee. Folklore tells us that if you do not give fair warning and accidentally pee on these guys, they're not going to take it lightly and will curse you ill. One variation goes on to say that they're gonna make your little one-eyed buddy fall off. This is primarily why I've always remembered it, I guess.

There are a lot of others, half of which I've already forgotten or dismissed as just plain stupid. One of them is that you can't clip your nails at night. This I don't get, but I assume that this was formulated during the time before electricity and Thomas Edison. Back then, of course, it was pretty idiotic to do that anyway because you were likely to cut off more than your nails in pitch dark.


One thing I'm worried about is my bed. When I was a kid, I used to watch the Twilight Zone and there was this episode about having monsters under the bed. I was scared shitless after that and couldn't help looking under the bed every so often to check if there were any under mine.

My dad kinda figured this little fear of mine and had a remedy, he put a machete under my bed, which was supposedly an old trick to fend off the spirits from visiting you in your sleep. This disturbed me a whole lot, though. It seemed to my mind that my dad was coaxing the monsters to kill me, even providing the weapon. Thanks, dad.

Present day, though, I do put a machete under the bed whenever I can as I've come to undo my fear of monsters and developed a greater fear of being broken into and killed in my bed. However, I've recently discarded my creaky cheap bed frame and decided to plop the mattress directly on the floor instead, leaving me no place to hide the knife under. So now I've decided that I've got to get myself a new bed frame, though whether I'm gonna build one myself or buy one off the store is still up in the air.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Kid's stuff

I was taking in breakfast at the gas station this morning, wait, not really breakfast. It was just the coffee and cigarettes, no food. Yeah, pretty healthy start to the morning, I know. Okay, let's start over a bit more accurately:

I was having coffee and cigarettes at the gas station this morning, passing the time before I hit the office and start another dreary day. Like many other days, I was not looking forward to what lay in the hours ahead, this was just another dot in the path from one point to the next in my so-called life. So I just sit there looking bad-ass, or at least trying to be as bad-ass as I could possibly look like. You know the drill, try to look cool and aloof yet secretly ogle at every chick that walks past you. Of course we want them to notice us, were doing all this sitting around being bad-ass bit for the sake of them noticing us, but we don't want them to know that we notice them, because, well, that seems desperate. (Which in reality, we are) Obviously, this never really leads anywhere, but we do it just because it's inherently programmed into our hard drives, like those male lions who never really do any hunting but just sit there looking really rad and regal and important.

Yes, I'll admit it, men are idiots. But somehow I have this sneaking suspicion that I didn't need to tell you that...


Now, moving on to a smaller version of men, today was a Friday, which means whole legions of third graders are out on field trips. Why they do this, I've no idea. No one ever learns from these things anyway. All I remember from past field trips is that time when I threw out perfectly good Kool Aid from my jug to fill it up with free Coke.

Anyway, back to these little gremlins, a bunch of them (approximately 500 of the pip squeaks) were laying siege to the gas station convenience store. They were from my alma mater, a catholic boy's school who try to pack in as many students as they can into tiny classrooms with tiny chairs and tiny tables. They were friggin' everywhere, sorta like the cockroach infestation that I have at my apartment. I probably stomped on a dozen of the little buggers while walking to the counter to pay for my coffee. They were running, walking, hopping, slithering and turning somersaults all around without a care in the world that you couldn't turn a corner without bumping into one of them.

Walking to my table, I couldn't help but be irritated by the squeaks their huge, oversized basketball shoes made on the ceramic tiled floor. You see, it is a fact of life that parents will always buy their kid a shoe at least 2 sizes bigger than their actual foot size. This gives these parents the false hope that the shoe they purchased will last at least a year or two before their kid outgrows them. This also gives fair warning with each noisy footfall that the little runt is in the area and is undoubtedly up to no good. Unfortunately for parents though, it is a fact of life that little boys love having shiny new basketball shoes, preferably a knock-off from the latest season of the NBA. So their one goal upon getting their gigantic new pair of shoes is to wear them out and wreck them as soon as they possibly could, so their parents would be forced to buy a new pair for the next NBA season. You could just imagine the amount of whining, groveling, begging, tantrums, shouting and bargaining that happens whenever Kobe Bryant decides on a whim that he likes another style of basketball shoes better.

Then a hot teacher walks by. Young, vibrant, eager and full of life. You know, the kind that just started her career in educating these kids. She was surrounded by a phalanx of pre-pubescent boys, every one of them trying to get her attention by giving her candy or asking the dumbest questions (Teacher, why is that perv who's smoking and drinking coffee over there staring at your ass?) Wait, my mistake, not really everyone. The whole lot of them were merely distractions, while one of them was designated to try a grope on some ass or boob then tell everyone in class what it felt like. Lucky bastard.

Sitting there, watching the dynamics of the swarm, I couldn't help but look back at that time of my life. It was an odd time, the concept of the "future" wasn't there yet. All I could think of was that all this school crap was interfering with my career at playing marbles, or reading comics, or preparing for my impending smackdown with the Ultimate Warrior.

The good thing about being in a class of 500 is that you seldom get noticed unless you're either at the top of the class or dead last (or get caught trying to look down your teacher's cleavage). The relative anonimity that one gets is just perfect so that you could get a feel of what is to be the future, when a heck of a lot of us become drones and lose whatever feeling of being special our parents have imposed on us. Unlike the schools which offer extra attention to the kids by maintaining small classes and more supervision, my old school doesn't hand out awards and consolation prizes to everyone. That's the crap kids already get at home, at school you find your real place in society, which is something right out of a "Where's Wally" comic. Let's face is, high self-esteem is overrated anyway. No one ever gets what they think they deserve, only what they do.


Some of the kids gathered round a table, and took out their tops. Wait, I don't think they call it a 'top' anymore... Bey blades, I think is the in-thing. They've got this fancy plastic launcher and plastic spinning tops with blunted metal edges. Basically it's the same game only with different equipment.

I miss the old tops, those made out of hardwood spheres with a rusty nail sticking out the bottom. They didn't have any fancy spring-type launchers, though, only a meter-long piece of string with a bottlecap on one end. You wrung the string throughout the circumference of the top and use this whipping motion to let her loose. It wasn't easy, it took lots of practice and skill to pull off the perfect 1-minute spin. With more practice, you could launch the top in mid-air and catch it on the palm of your hand. It was a neat trick, though like all cool things, the 'chicks' never did appreciate it.

I owned only one top in my day, a rather heavy one made out of a dark mahogany. I used it for years and won a lot of 'money' (we used discarded cigarette packs as currency) with it. One time, though, one of the bigger kids joined our play and challenged us for our tops. This was a common wager then, he won't really take your top, but he'd be allowed to disfigure it with his own by taking a whack at it. There were 4 of us and 1 of him, we figured this was a fair opportunity to earn some street cred, so we obliged. One by one, the older kid beat us at every game, no thanks to his superior throwing technique which thrust his top at a spin that our puny little 10-year old arms couldn't match. After the humiliation, the punishment came. He lined up our tops, burying each into the ground so that only the tops stuck out. Then he tied his top securely to the string, and whacked away. Our tops were so disfigured that they never spun right after that.

So there we were, 4 kids desperately trying to fix our tops. When we realized that they were now worthless, we took them back home and cried over them.

That's right about the time we started playing with marbles.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reading up on the care bears

I find myself once again in Pagudpud, northermost point of Luzon island. In the same stretch of beach by the same resort where I spent a new year's celebration nearly two years ago. The weather has been intermittent from sunny to overcast, and I try to spend as much time as I can lounging around doing nothing.

The best thing about beach resorts would probably be how one can justifiably chug down beer in the mid-morning, while reading a book or writing this post. Life is good.


I'm finding myself in unfamiliar territory, reading not one but two romance novels. Yikes, I know. How could a man (a wimpy one, but a man nontheless) veer away from the biographies, historical epics and action novels, turning to the genre which he finds to be fantastic, pathetic and girly to say the least? Though a bit more "classier" than the Twilight series, these are still undeniably romance bits.

The first book, loaned to me by a friend, is a 4-inch western where cowboys roamed the plains and herded cattle, horses and jackasses. No, it's not Brokeback Mountain, just to set the record straight. It was a tough read at first, not being familiar with American history and having no idea what "mesquite" or "chapparal" are, but it kinda got interesting with the appearance of a lone whore in the only saloon in town. (I browsed through the book in search of racy scenes, so far found none) So now, I'm probably through a fourth of the book and have adopted it for bedside reading.

The second book came by accident, when I scoured through my humble library for a good read on a plane. Turns out the 4-inch monstrosity I've been reading won't fit in my backpack, so I needed a more travel-friendly alternative. My interest was piqued by a novel that I swiped off my sister a year ago but haven't gotten around to reading. It was a familiar title, having been critically acclaimed and all that, but I hadn't done any research on what it was all about. When I opened the cover 32,000 feet above the air, I was shocked to find that it was actually a romance novel. Crap. Good thing I wasn't in an exit row, otherwise the prospect of opening the emergency exit and chucking the book off the plane (along with myself and most of the passengers, though) might have been such a tempting course of action.

So now I'm reading two romance novels, one at home and the other for travel. So far, no signs of me transforming into a sappy, love-lorn little bitch has emerged yet, so that's a good sign. Maybe this care-bear fest isn't all too bad, and I might learn a bit or two about being "sensitive" to women and their "feelings" (yes, quote marks necessary).

Just to be on the safe side, though, I bought a hard-core Puzo-esque book recently, to shake off any residual "touchy-feely" emotions I might pick up. Heaven help me if those two books make me want to watch Twilight. (I swear, I haven't even as much as glanced at the trailer!)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tell them I tried...

Awful day today... and I'm waiting till midnight to see if it can possibly get any worse.

First off, my phone's useless no thanks to a glitch in it's display. Everytime I slide the thing open, the display just conks out. So I'm either guessing who the heck is calling or have to plug it onto my computer to read the messages I've been getting. Sure, this has been going on and off for at least a week now, but today has been just impossible. I've switched to my sister's old phone temporarily, until I can gather enough beans to buy a replacement, that is. And from previous experience, the beans don't really come all that often.

Then my department has been downsized. No, not in terms of personnel (Whew! Odds are I would have been the first to go!) but in terms of the space we occupy at the office. To extract as much savings as we possibly could out of our electricity bill, we've been ordered to transfer from our 3rd floor offices to a tinier room on the first floor. The move starts by next week, 4 people and a ton of office furniture and equipment occupying a 3x4 meter space. By the way, the space we're moving into used to be the janitor's closet.

The highlight of the day, of course, was that fax I got informing me that we missed out on the career-saving project that I've been hoping and praying for all year. Perfect, now I'm an incommunicado sinking down to the lowest caste of the company structure. I wonder how much it would cost to rush that waiting period on a .45?


Of course I promptly informed my boss about the loss of the project. Had to put on a bit of an act to seem devastated at the turn of events, hopefully that would pare down the screaming that I was sure to get. The boss calmly looks me in the eye and tells me not to fret, "When God closes a door, He opens a window..." then looks out the window. Panicked for a moment when I saw him stare out in the open, I thought he actually meant I should take my sorry ass out the window and onto the hard pavement 3 storeys below. Wait, did he?


Before you go ahead feeling sorry for me and all that, don't. I'm a big boy now, I don't need your pity or that consolation ribbon that they give to everyone who did not win the science contest in the second grade so they feel like they actually accomplished something. In life, there are winners and there are losers, and right at this moment, I'm the latter. No big deal, someone has to lose. I don't consider myself a whiner, because it never helps any situation. Sure I've moped around and had fits and stuff, but only to blow off steam. Life is unfair in that you won't always get something for trying, the more you get used to this idea, the better off you'd be in the long run.

My dad and my boss belong to a generation of people who never believed in "trying". It's was either you did or didn't. If my dad asked if I'd cleaned my room, it was a strictly yes or no question. Whenever I tried to explain that I had finished with the drawers but left the sweeping til tomorrow, that was a clear No. If my boss asks if I got the sale, I'd better come up with a signed contract or a check before I can say yes. Just saying that we start the work tomorrow and they'd send me the check in a week would never fly by him. Sure, this seems a bit harsh, but guess what, the world is a tough place to live in.

So I didn't get the project, that means I'm responsible for the ripple effect that that particular non-event has set into motion. The sales quota would not be met, meaning there would be a deficit in the annual budget. To make ends meet, the company has a lot of belt tightening to do, which might cause some employees to be let go. This puts an end to their regular wages, and their families starve. Eventually the men are forced to a life of crime, their mothers endure slavery while their daughters become prostitutes.

The next time some of you go whoring, do tell them that I tried my best.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The man who saved Mondays

I succumbed to ice cream tonight. Yes, a moment of weakness that'll take months to correct. I came to the crossroad, one path leading to a healthy tofu dinner, the other straight to rocky road hell. I tell you, the road to obesity is lined with soft gooey marshmallows.

And the thing about temptation is that you can never stop at the first step. First, you look. Then you smell sugary, chocolatey creaminess. Then you touch it, and let the sinfully sweet syrup drip town your fingertips, until it threatens to drip to the ground. You save it with your tongue, and you taste it. Pandora's box ensues, and you're left with that lost expression on your face, unbelieving that you ate the whole damn tub. And you just know that was good, but it could be better.

You're in for it now, as you declare whatever day it is to be your official "sin-day".

So now I'm gorging on potato chips and a non-diet soda, having been released from guilt on this unofficial holiday.


The office was a dangerous place today. Snipers were eying my every move, not even bothering to camouflage themselves. To everyone, I was the evil tyrant out to undermine everyone's happiness. My calls never got to me, my emails ignored, and I've had to repeat myself every time I opened my mouth as no one cared to listen.

All because I was the guy who brought back Mondays.

You see, during the start of the year there was this big town-hall type meeting. Costs were skyrocketing, specifically electricity and fuel. Everyone was invited to share their ideas on managing the impending crisis. Proposals from decreasing the number of fluorescent bulbs in use to switching to daylight saving time were thrown around, the pros and cons discussed and weighed. Then one person called for canceling Mondays. He/she got the proverbial pat on the back from everyone, a hero was found!

What was my suggestion? None. At the time, I wasn't in the office. I wasn't even on the same altitude. I was 32,000 kilometers high up in the air en route to a business meeting 500 miles away.

Back at the office, everyone was high-fiving everyone else. Mondays were non-existent at the office starting the next week. Rather, office hours were scheduled from Tuesdays to Fridays, with 10 hour days. Everyone would come in half an hour earlier and leave an hour and a half later. The plan was that they would save a full hour of electricity (applying the DST rationale) as well as transportation expenses via the company shuttle service. Not only that, each person would also save on laundry, fare, lunch and get an automatic 3-day weekend. Classic win-win situation, it would seem.

But I disagreed. Yeah, such an ass, huh?

Because I was on the selling side of the business, naturally one less day kinda seemed ridiculous. I tried to have the scheme derailed, but the euphoria was at a high that it drowned out any protest that I made. So I made up for it with the only thing that was in my control, and had myself and one of my staff come in on Mondays. She hated me for it, of course, so we reached a compromise that she could take Fridays off instead.

The scheme ran for 4 months, in several variations depending on what work needed to be done. It dawned on them that Mondays were a busy day for most (if not all) the other firms we did business with. They tried working with a skeletal force on a rotating basis on Mondays, but this kinda defeated the savings that 4-day workweeks aimed to deliver. But by this time, they had grown accustomed to the schedule and were trying to get around the kinks to save it. There were vacations booked, dates planned and the thought of a 3-day weekend every week was just too fabulous to give up. It didn't help that the decision was made via consensus of everyone, because let's face it, people are idiots.

This marked my first serious attempt to have the scheme abolished, sensing a weakness. I pointed out the downsides of not having work on Mondays, the inconvenience we were causing clients, as well as to myself. Personally, I was irritated that things didn't get done on time. The half hour in the mornings seemed to be dedicated to eating their breakfasts (as the clients didn't come in before 8am anyway) and the hour and a half extension saw most people milling around the water cooler, doing nothing as work wasn't coming in after 5. I questioned how people were handling the workload, and how little work was getting done despite the extended hours. I got shot down of course, savings were still the priority, and whatever gripes I had could be worked out with a more effective system, they argued. The scheme lived on for another 3 months with more variations and fixes.

Today, I saved Mondays.

In the past 6 months, sales exhibited a downward trend. It had grown to an alarming rate that the big boss had me do a lot of explaining. A WHOLE LOT. I crunched the numbers, made forecasts, plotted charts, extracted whatever analysis I could out of what I had. Things weren't looking rosy however I looked at it. This didn't please my boss, I wasn't looking at the numbers hard enough, close enough. So I dug deeper, and meticulously combed each single account of the 600 regular clients we had. Each single one, dammit!

Then the answer jumped out from the numbers. We weren't losing clients, we were working slower. Thus, sales were turned around slower, creating an increasing rate of backlogs which are choking off sales. On the other end of the business spectrum, we were losing the opportunity to get to new clients "faster", too. So this clearly didn't help either.

Yesterday, I pitched this 'excuse' to the big boss. He sat back, thought for a moment and reached out for his phone. He called up our accountant to ask how much we were saving each month with the 4-hour workweek. The answer wasn't encouraging: P12,000. That was like half a drop in the ocean of our monthly expenses. Then came the dreaded words: "Are you sure about your analysis?". It was now my competence on the line.

The announcement was made this morning, to a groaning audience. People were in panic, offering other alternatives and fixes. When these were shot down, they pointed out the savings that we would be losing out on. Since this was now clearly negligible, pleas for a stay for at least a month were proposed. Sorry chumps, no cigar.

Of course, it was not lost on the other bosses to point out that it was due to poor sales that the scheme had been scrapped, and that I suggested it. Their tone reeked of a sabotage on my part. Crap. No one wanted to take the hit, so guess who the lucky goat is?

So if you're reading this, Monday, you better be friggin' grateful!