Thursday, March 25, 2010

Drama Queen (You've been warned)

Finally found what that song was I was listening to one stupid night at Ascott...

Possession (Piano Version) - Sarah Mclachlan


Half-awake, half asleep, fully drunk... I was in an unfamiliar suite. The beer on the table beside me already lukewarm. The unrefined taste on my lips reminds me, brings me back to this stark reality I'm living in. I light another cigarette, as raindrops glide down the window.

On the other side of the glass, city lights shone like little bulbs on a Christmas tree. The drops of rain as ether, the lights give everything a faint glow to them, emphasizing the drama. I close my eyes, as a woman's voice in a smooth alto sings a sad song on the radio. I fall asleep again just as her voice fades and the hammering of the piano intensifies.

The rain had stopped when I finally lifted my eyelids, and static wafted through the suite. I lifted the bottle of beer beside me, it was too light. I lit another cigarette as I stood and walked to get myself another bottle. The incandescent glow of the refrigerator's light blinds me momentarily, struggling to make out what there was in store. I grab another beer, and the loud ping of the crown dropping to the counter sounded so comforting with the pop and fizzle. I took a huge gulp, the cold numbed my mouth to the bitterness.

I spied the car keys on the mantle, Noel was still asleep in the room and it was a little past one o'clock. I could make it, I thought. The keys felt cold in my hand as I put them in my pocket. I counted how much money I still had, there was still enough left over to buy company. I closed the door behind me and went in the elevator.


The place was almost empty tonight, the crowd usually came in on the weekends. The blaring music and bright lights were nauseating, making it almost impossible to focus on the stage. An aging, balding lady sits beside me, her lips moved but I barely made out a sound.

"I said do you want company?"
"Maybe later, I just came to watch."
"Ok, just call me. I'm over there." She points to a small corner where waiters in white shirts and bow-ties converged. "Ask for Linda." I nod agreement and went back to the show.

It was the same song and dance as any other night. White bodies, slow rock songs and high heels. This stirred nothing in me so far. A few of the ladies were seated with a couple of men, the usual groping and holding and teasing. From this distance, the pale sliver of skin on their fingers were evident, and I looked at mine and there wasn't. Maybe if I hadn't waited too long.

The room goes dark again, and when it went back on a new face was on-stage. I almost dropped my bottle when for a second, I thought it was her. No, it wasn't. Suddenly I was aware of everything around me, trying to regain a sense of where I was. The girl on stage looked right at me, smiled, then looked away. She finished her routine, then went upstairs out of sight.

I scanned the corner of the room to look for Linda. I raised my hand to be noticed, and a waiter tapped her on the shoulder and pointed in my direction. She finished off her laugh with the waiters and went to me. "Yes sir?"
"What's her name? The girl who was just on-stage?"
"Irish? Wait, I'll let you meet her."
"Thank you."
It took a couple of minutes for Irish to re-emerge, dragged by Linda through empty tables and chairs. She propped down on the vacant seat beside me and flicked her hair to get a better look at me.
"Irish, you take care of him, yeah?"
"Yes, Mommy Linda." Linda took a seat on the table behind us.
"Hi sir, what's your name?"
"Abel. Is Irish your real name?"
"Of course it is." She put her hand on mine, just as the waiter brought her drink.


After Irish had a couple more drinks, we found ourselves alone, in a dark, cramped space, lit only by the lighted stage on the other side of the heavily tinted glass. I was apparently too drunk, good enough to only watch as Irish tried in vain to get things going.

"Stop it, it's no use." Spitefully she looked up at me, frustrated apparently.
"What's wrong with you?"
"A lot, I guess." I took another gulp of beer.
"Stop drinking! Look at you, you're a mess!"
"So what if I'm a mess? I'm paying you!"
"What do you think I am?!"
"What do you think I think you are?! You're working here, right?!"

She stood up, now looking down on me, and slapped my face hard. I looked up straight at her, stood up myself and moved closer to her.

"Want to hit me? Alright, hit me again!" Without flinching, she let her hand fly once more. I heard a ringing in my ear, and my face now warm and throbbing. "Another!" There was another, then a few more unprovoked. I caught her arm as she was about to hit me for the nth time, twisted it behind her back, and pushed her face down hard against the couch.


"I'm sorry about your face." Irish said as she patted it with a wet towel.
"It's alright, it doesn't hurt too much." I started counting out a couple of bills from my wallet, and put them in her palm.
"That's too much."
"No, it's fine." She kissed me slowly on my reddened cheek, and wiped away the lipstick it left.
"Do you want my number?" She jotted it down on a receipt and gave it to me.
"Who's Susan?"
"That's my real name."
"I thought you were Irish?"
"Here, yes, outside I'm Susan." I folded the receipt and put it in my pocket. "I still think you're a mess."
"I'm a little better now, I think. Thanks." She accompanied me out of the room, and to the exit.
"Just send me a message. I'm not working on Sunday."
"I'll keep that in mind." Linda re-emerged with our waiter to see us off. I gave them each a tip and went outside.


It was light when I got back to the suite. I took a shower and went to the refrigerator. There was only beer.

Noel entered the living room, newly wakened. "Beer this early? Alcoholic scum! And why is the friggin' sofa facing the friggin' window? Stop your friggin' drama, bitch!"


" ...And I would be the one,
to hold you down,
kiss you so hard.
I'll take your breath away,
and after I'd, wipe away the tears.
Just close your eyes, dear... "

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Morbidly Yummy Delights

I stopped watching "Idol", it's making me a bad person. It's been two weeks now, but the bad habits I picked up from it are still manifesting themselves.

Before that darn television show, I didn't really think much about music. The fact that I rarely turn on the car's radio and my lack of an mp3 player (well, unless you count my phone, that is) should indicate my lack of interest in it. But then came "Idol", and now each time I hear some song being sung, I instantly become critical of how it is sung instead of what he or she is singing. It's like judging a book by how glossy its pages are, or the font it is written with, rather than what it is trying to say. And in the rare instances when I feel like goofing off in traffic by singing some song playing in my head (tonight it's 'Secret Garden' by the Boss), I felt bad because I couldn't sing it "right". That kinda takes all the fun away.


After the attack of the winged-ants last January to February, now the house is infested by flies. My little sister counted, and as of last night, there were 3 of them buzzing about. I blamed the 3 day old trash that was waiting to be thrown out, so little sister did the deed that same minute. But they still happily buzzed here and there to our anguish.

Finally, we decided to take matters into our own hands. A few months ago we had invested in a fly swatter to combat the winged-ants. Now, it has transformed into a real fly swatter... and thus the battle began. This morning it was 3-0, three for us and 0 for them. We're now bracing ourselves for the obvious retaliation, hopefully these buggers haven't bought their own people-swatters yet.


Talking about flies... I recall a question in philosophy (or is it taxonomy or something?) that a friend suggested: If you clip the wings off a fly, do you call it a walk? Stupid I know, right up there with 'Do expired poisons become medicine?' and 'Do worms get eaten by worms when they die?'.

Sorry, been too stressed lately to make any sense. (or be the least bit amusing)


I've been thinking up a list of foods that I love the most. Somehow, I had this thought that if I were to be on death row, what would I want to eat for my 'last meal'. If you really think about it, it is kinda hard to decide, that being your last memory of sustenance in this life. I already have enough trouble deciding what two side-dishes to get at Kenny Roger's, now I have to trim it to just one?

For me to at least have an inkling for when "that time" comes (hopefully it doesn't, must remember to ask for ID's), I'm making a top-ten list of my favorites. The only thing worse than not being able to decide what you want the most is knowing what you want then having the warden asking you to pick another because the guy before you took the last one, so I'm coming prepared:

10. A burrito, one hot cheesy bad boy bursting with all that sweet burrito goodness!

9. A Jollibee Champ. The one thing that I love about it is that it is impossible to eat without making a mess of your burger. Yum sarap, indeed!

8. The Baconator, the must-try Wendy's delight!

7. One bucket of original KFC chicken. Not the bucket meal, the one stuffed with and only with chicken.

6. Thin crust Shakey's Manager's Choice family size pizza. I can almost feel the piping hot mozzarella searing the top of my mouth.

5. Cebu Lechon. The fat and oil coating my teeth with all that foul cholesterol!

4. McDonald's Double Cheeseburger. The most "sensible" burger I've had so far.

3. Crispy Pata. The ultimate in deep-fried food!

2. Chicken Satay in Sambal and pandan cooked rice. Tasted the authentic recipe only once in my life... been looking for it ever since.

1. And last, Lumpiang Toge dipped in Sinamak. Funny how the healthiest of all the foods on this list lands at the top spot, isn't it?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Can the photocopier really make you impotent?

Got home from the office a quarter past midnight, had to finish off a proposal that was due in a few hours. This might be the latest that I stayed at the office to actually work, I can hear the applause already. Hopefully I do get the project, that would be sweet!

The whole time I was making copies of this and that and going through the files and referencing them on the proposal and comparing references and extrapolating actual and overhead costs, I was cursing myself for having been too lazy to prepare well ahead of time. I had two full weeks to actually do all the prep work, ended up doing it at the very last minute. And it wasn't because I was busy doing more important things, most of the time, I was just at home, pondering mundane thoughts and just taking my time flicking the remote. Why do I subject myself to this brand of torture?


I was talking to Jean over coffee this weekend, basically I just bitched about being out of sorts, unable to motivate myself to work or get a hobby or even do my laundry. The past month has just been strange, I even found myself too lazy to go out to grab a beer. Can you believe I turned down beer?! If it wasn't Archie's birthday, I wouldn't even taste a drop of alcohol all this past weekend. Something's definitely wrong with me.

The early entry of the summer must have been the cause. The sweltering heat has short circuited my brain, rendering me as useless as a recalled Toyota. At one point, I was even entertaining the idea of ditching this project altogether... no one would know anyway. I'd just say I lost the bid and that's that. Who cares if it's worth millions and could potentially get me that promotion and the all-important raise?! If it interferes with me lying on the couch scratching God-knows-what while surfing through all the channels of my illegal cable connection, then it's worth crap.


So you might be wondering how I finally got over the rut and managed to work my ass off a full 14 hours today? Well, at around 9:00 o'clock, the big boss came in, heavily tanned from his week long golf break after his son's wedding. He casually walked over to my desk, and asked if I was too busy to give him a walking tour of what was happening all around the office. I presume his two week layoff had totally deleted his memory of what he was paying us for, so I obliged.

We walked through every nook and cranny of the building and its exterior. I briefed him about how the installation of the spanking new Aurora Spectrometer was playing out, the transfer of equipment to the newly renovated Bacteriological section, the conversion of the incubators and hot plates to a three-phase circuit, and the repairs being done to the service vehicle. He asked about how the 4-day work week was going so I rounded out the new shifting schedule for the Mineral Section. Going up the third floor, he was pleased that the exhaust vents were finally installed on the fume hood, and the recently organized Consumer Goods Section were a week away from it's first dry run. I even showed him the drying patch of faux peanut grass that needed some watering, and the disappearance of the dog, Pappy.

We went back to his desk, and just as I turned to go to my own station, I felt his ever-elusive pat on the shoulder. "Hap, you just keep looking into what goes on here. One day, you might have to be more involved in the business." Whoa... did he just say what I think he said? Oh crap.

Hey, don't take it the wrong way, sure I'd love to go further up that ladder, but that means my days of being a lazy sloth are numbered. That statement my boss just made, there's a silent subtext that you may not have heard... 'From now on, I'm gonna watch you closely and be harder on you than you're used to, because that builds character, and you need a lot of it to stay in this business.'

With that, I was compelled to work my ass off today. Now, I need this project to keep him from breathing down my neck and whipping me through the flaming rings of corporate hell. Oh well, time to earn my keep, I guess.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Where's the carrot?

Every now and then, you get to tell yourself that you're doing a swell job. You got that extra swagger in your step, eat at your favorite restaurant, smile at strangers and help the elderly cross the street. Well, this is one of the many, many days that aren't. The realization that these "ordinary" days greatly outnumber the good ones is a tremendous opportunity to look back and bitch about your crappy life.

Just a thought while lying in bed, saddled with a mild hangover from last night's drinking. I can't shake off the feeling that it isn't the weekend yet, that maybe I am waking up late for work. I double checked my calendar just to confirm this, but somehow there's this nagging urge to get to work.


There was a particular year, however, when the good days outnumbered the bad ones. This was freshman year college, a time when I was enlisted in the compulsory military training course. Now this is a classic case of relativity, having to endure hell each Saturday, each benign day thereafter spent in purgatory seemed heavenly. Strange, isn't it? It takes a day in tortuous conditions for me to appreciate all the things that are otherwise insignificant.

Fast forward to today, the dreary spartan lifestyle all working people encounter on a daily basis is painfully highlighted by a weekend of revelry or sloth. Now that's just 2 (or in some cases, just one) days for yourself versus the 5 (or 6) spent in chains for "the man".

I think about it a bit more, and start doing it by the numbers. Maybe 5 days is grossly inaccurate if we do this by the hours... a working day is roughly 9 hours, leaving 15 more hours in a day for myself. Add that to the 48 hour weekend and now this puts a different perspective to how I should view the week. Emphasis on the word "should", cause it certainly doesn't "feel" that way.

Okay, maybe I'm just a cynic. Maybe I dwell too much on the negative side of things rather than focus on the positive facets. Maybe if I learn to appreciate the big picture I wouldn't mind the tiny thorny details at all. Maybe I should get a shrink?

Now this might be a good reason for myself to take up a hobby. Something that I can focus on so I don't get weighed down by my slavery too much. But what? I've tried a number of things out in the past, but my ADD just won't allow me to stick to anything. That and then there's my laziness, of course. Plus poverty.


There's this illustration my dad used in the past on how to manage people, to make them move forward and do good on their work. He compares people to donkeys (or jackasses, whichever visual you prefer), leave it on its own, and it doesn't really do anything. To make it get up and go somewhere, a manager might do one of two things, whip it or use the old carrot-and-stick.

Excuse me, gotta get out of bed and start looking for that darn carrot.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Waiting for the "Ding" (a repost)

(Credit for this post is due to the last scene of the 1989 movie “Say Anything”)

Ever got on an airplane? Well, as standard procedure, they make you put your hand carried luggage either in the compartments above you or underneath your seat, strap in your seatbelt, pull up your foot rest and food trays, open the window shades then brief you on proper emergency protocols just in case anything goes wrong during your flight. After that’s wrapped up, they roll onto the runway and propel the tin can with wings as fast as it could until the tires lift off the ground. And then you wait for the ding.

What ding, you ask? Well, as part of their safety precautions, they have the “No Smoking” and “Fasten seatbelt” signs lit during the most dangerous parts of the whole flight, specifically the take off and landings. When everything seems secure and safe enough, the pilot (or maybe the co-pilot) turns off these lights, that action usually accompanied by a “ding”. That’s when you can breathe a little easier, as most accidents purpotedly happen during the first and last 5 minutes of the flight.


In a way, most of us live our lives terrified that the ding will never come. We hold our breath and watch the lights, wondering why it’s taking too long. In that same span of time, everything is on hold. You can’t unstrap yourself to pee, open a book or plug in your earphones. Funny how such a silly sound creates that big of an impact. As if we need to hear that ding to know that everything’s gonna be alright from then on.

The truth is, all that ding does is hold us back from living our lives the way we would have if we were unconscious of the ding in the first place.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Uh-oh, the world is wrong-side-up!

"Help!" Jeremy shouted into the void. His new upside-down view of the room disoriented him, rendering him helpless. The sensation of the breeze running through his underside was alarming, and he struggled to get upright by flailing all his six limbs in all directions. It was useless.

Then suddenly, he heard the soft thundering of rubber flip-flops on the hard tiled floor. Instinctively, he froze, suddenly humiliated to be caught in such a precarious situation. The footfalls stop, mere inches from where he was.

"No, you don't see a cockroach on the floor. Move along." Jeremy prayed that the Jedi mind trick would work.

"Hey, a cockroach." The giant bellowed.

"Crap, so much for that trick." He was debating the advantages of staying frozen versus flailing about. He remembered a trick that his buddy, Zoren had talked about while they were foraging through the garbage last night. The best thing to do was stay absolutely still, then when the human tries to nudge you to see if you're alive or dead, use that slight momentum to get upright and flap your wings as fast and hard as you could to freedom. "Yes, that's the way to do it. It's going to work, it has to...".

It was an awkward moment, everything stood still for about 5 seconds. Then the human moved. "This is it!", Jeremy thought. He could see the slight twitch of the foot, it lifted upwards, then a hand took off the sandal. "Uh-oh". It seems this human figured it out. Jeremy then followed the sandal, rising up in the air then stop, it was about to descend upon him. He flailed about desperately, it was his last hope.


The force of the impact reverberated through Jeremy's exoskeleton, instantly crushing his abdomen, crippling his limbs and deafening him. He could feel his guts oozing out, and the involuntary twitching of his antennae gave out his last telepathic scream of agony. "Well, that's all folks...". Jeremy died, a millisecond before the second impact of the heavy rubber sandal.


Don't you just hate having to scrape off cockroach guts off the floor?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Don't ask, don't tell

My pet and I had a conversation recently, the thing crawled up the table and was in the mood to blabber on about her supposed love-life.

"I can't believe that reptile could just stand there and say that to me!"

"What exactly did supposed-loser-reptile say?"

"That were friends."

"Okay, I don't get it."

"After all 'the signs' he says were just friends?!"

"Uhm, what signs?"

"Eating lunch together everyday, constant texting, asking if I got home safe, blah blah blah..."

"Wait, what was the question?"

"What question?"

"The question before he replied the you're 'friends'?"

"I asked him 'What am I to you?'"

Whoa... I drew up a mental picture and was just appalled by it. Imagine a girl asking a guy straight up what she was to him? These things only happen in the movies, unheard of in real life unless you're Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp. Wait, maybe I'm still thinking like a teenager... maybe this is how adults go about this situation.

"What!? You asked that!?"

"Yeah. How would I know if I didn't?"

"You could wait?"

"Why wait? It's just such a waste of time! At least now I know and I can get on with my stupid dreary loser existence"

Hmm, she does have a point. She is stupid and a loser. But besides that, this 'being forward' and 'honest' thing might be a good idea.


Of course, leave it to the menfolk to never ask questions. Quite ironic then that us men have the "Y" chromosome. Men don't ask, they know, or at least pretend to know. Little wonder that Frost (a man) wrote that particular poem about taking the road less traveled by. I bet he was just lost, not wanting to ask for directions and wound up in that sorry neck of the woods. When he finally made it out and was asked why he took that path, he made up that ridiculous excuse, making him look all macho and shit. Really now, Bobby?


I don't get why women celebrate "Women's Day". I mean, I haven't heard of a "Men's Day", have you? Doesn't that kinda imply that all the other days of the year are for the men, leaving just that one particular day for the women? If such, then women should actually abhor "Women's Day" as just another male device to bring down the other sex.

I'm gonna shut up now... better not stir up the hornet's nest.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Shut up, nerd!

Oh yes, summer's here. It's pretty easy to tell, all I have to do is take a little cigarette break outdoors and when I'm sweating like a pig halfway, then it's probably summer already. The heat is just unbearable, and cracking a car's window just a little bit in the midday sun is sure to induce a massive heatstroke. Guess it's time to give in and sleep with the air conditioning on tonight, releasing a few CFC's in the process and converting goodie-two-shoes CO3 into evil CO2. (That's ozone and carbon dioxide, a little refresher in chemistry)

Yeah, yeah, we've heard it all before, about how each and every summer seems to be getting hotter and hotter. Well, I can never recall a summer that was "cooler", so forgive my skepticism. Hey, I do my share saving the environment, it's just that we seem to be pre-conditioned to scream "the sky is falling!" at the top of our lungs whenever we break a sweat.


I'm no scientist, but creating an example out of melting glaciers seem to be a tad deceiving. Ice melts, a well known fact. Also a fact is that these glaciers have been melting for a couple of eons now. If we talk about the rate by which these glaciers are melting, I picture an ice cube in my glass of scotch, the smaller the ice cubes get, the faster it melts. So why create all this hullabaloo about it?

So I sat down with my scotch on the rocks and thought about it a bit. Do scientists mean that the ideal environmental situation is to have these glaciers melt during summers and gain more mass during winter? Could be, but so far I haven't heard anything about it from all those documentaries. How I wish I could have listened more during my thermodynamics class, I seem to recall a topic about entropy, how it couldn't be reversed so when you increase the thermal energy of a system, there's no way within that frame of reference to decrease it unless you apply "work" on it, transferring it elsewhere but nevertheless creating additional thermal energy in the process anyway. Hmm... I'm not even sure that makes sense. Anyway, the point I wanted to make was that you could never fully recover the mass lost from the glacier during the summer in winter, hence year after year the net effect would still be that the glaciers are melting, just as the ice cubes in my scotch have melted away as well.

Okay my mind just shot itself to bits... enough nerdy talk. I'll simply accept what Al Gore is talking about and plant a tree. Well, I don't have a yard, so maybe I'll grow tomatoes in a tin can instead.


Time out: a quick shoutout to my friend Ria. Hi Ria! You know that blog you talked about over at The one that is gathering 100 comments to submit to Sarah Palin? I clicked on it and I think I'm comment-er number 99. Haven't checked up on it again but I hope someone else dropped a line to make it an even hundred. Keep it up!


I was over at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources yesterday and found myself reading up on some panels illustrating work being done preserving a river system in Mindanao. Apparently, Lake Lanao is responsible for feeding the island with over 1000 megawatts of electricity through several hydroelectric plants downstream. However, critical water levels at the lake as well as the destruction of watersheds along the river's path has compromised this system. Just too bad, to think that if this eco-friendly power supply falls short, coal-fired power plants are ready and eager to fill in the gap.

Wait, am I being a hypocrite? Aren't coal power plants our top clients? Well, yeah... but before you take that pitchfork out of the barn, our business is to help these coal plants be more environment-friendly. But okay, I'll shut up now before I start finding my foot in my mouth.

Monday, March 8, 2010

This little piggy got hacked with a friggin' plate!

Couldn't sleep. No, not the usual kind... this time, my mind is willing, but the body just ain't ready yet. I've got half a suckling pig in my belly and a whole mouthful of paella to digest before I even think of hitting the sack.

Must say, though, I didn't think I'd have the appetite to eat the roasted piggy. I was washing my hands in the restroom, me and some friends (and a friend's mom) were having a nice quiet meal at a quaint little restaurant when I heard an awful ruckus outside. When I got out, I was a bit horrified to see the waiter whacking the poor piglet with of all things, a dinner plate! Whoa... easy there, fella, that pig's dead. I don't think it's oinking it's way anywhere else. When the banging stopped, I could almost hear the applause of the Roman Colloseum, shouting praises to a gladiator for finishing off a terrible monster

So I sat down again and thought of the horror that I just witnessed. The waiter that finished off the piglet put its dismembered pieces on two large plates. There was no need to be reminded of the cruel way that this pig died it's second death... so I grabbed a sizable piece and helped erase all memory of it, bite by glorious bite.


Can't help but feel a bit cruel for the way I spoke to a friend last night. She asked for a little bit of advice but I think I was way too frank on her. Maybe I could have handled it a bit differently, such as speaking in metaphors rather than giving real life examples that were all just too real. Now I'm wondering if somehow I crossed some imaginary line between being helpful and being just mean. Of course, I gave the get-out-of-jail-free phrase... "No offense...". This is a device that is quite similar to the hugely popular "With all due respect..." but is not that obvious. But as everyone who has been on the receiving end of these phrases, it's all just a bunch of bull anyway and the person saying it is still a big prick for saying what they said.

So if you're reading this, I meant everything I said with all due respect. (Oops, I did it again! Ain't I a dick?)


I realize that pretty soon my number is up. I've moved from being Earvin "Magic" Johnson to Larry Bird. I seems like only yesterday when I was a young Michael Jordan, now the reality of becoming the Michael Jordan post/pre-retirement is looming ever so close.

If you don't understand what the hell the above paragraph is about, well, you're probably a girl.


A few months back, Nolan and I were discussing how phony all those elementary textbooks were depicting the men and women of the PI dressed up in the oh-so-popular "baro't saya" and "camiso chino" while planting rice or tending to everyday chores. I think I've mentioned this on a previous post, but I'm just too lazy to post the link to where it is.

Well anyway, scouring the pages of facebook, an elder brod of mine posted what seemed to be turn of the century (well, the other century at least) photos of such scenes. Whoa... so maybe it is true.!/album.php?aid=10468&id=100000524337743&ref=mf

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sleeping in the janitor's closet

Back at the airport, enjoying the free albeit limited wifi that the terminal offers those temporarily seeking shelter before getting on that winged-tin can that'll shuttle them on to another part of the globe. Apparently, the smoking lounge here at Mactan has gone through some minor alterations, most notable of which is the "holding area" and the absence of the couch which I used to love so much. Well, that's all right, I guess. Not too many airports with smoking lounges that I've been in.


Having been advised by the big boss to seek accommodations that somewhat reflect my position in his company, I've moved up from the shabby quarters that I used to occupy at our Mandaue City office and booked myself in a hotel in Cebu. However, my stingy nature still managed to resurface and I got the cheapest room they had available. Sure, it was to be paid for by the company, but I guess I'm just comfortable occupying meager lodgings. Force of habit, probably.

The girl manning the front desk at the hotel asked me to reconsider. Their studio unit was small, she says and I might be more comfortable in their standard rooms. Immediately, I presumed that this was a required upselling strategy and declined. She insisted I at least take a look first before deciding, a fair offer, but I was tired and wanted to settle in as soon as possible so I told her there was no need. She took my credit card, booked me, and told me that should I want to upgrade she'd gladly take care of it.

I took the elevator up to the seventh floor and looked for my room. I wandered the whole floor, but couldn't find room 711. I circled the floor again and wondered if she was mistaken about the room number. I looked down at my keys and indeed, it did say 711. Maybe they had another wing? I was about to take the service elevator back down to the lobby to straighten this out, and while waiting glanced at the emergency stairwell right beside it. Lo and behold, through the clear glass door leading to the stairs, I spotted a green door with the number 711 on it. Hmm, seems suspicious. Apparently, last year's renovation had been an opportunity to add another room to the hotel. I went through the emergency exit, put my key on the keyhole and there it was, my room. It was small, alright, but had all the basic amenities I asked for, airconditioning, cable television, toilet and bath and a window. They even put a single seater sofa in it. I plopped down on the bed and instantly snoozed my tires away.

I woke up just past ten in the evening, and only then got the chance to look around. Surveying the really big electrical panel behind the door, I suspect that this space used to be the electrical room. The main switch was rated at 100 amperes, big enough for a three bedroom house. Immediately I checked my balls to see if they were fried from electromagnetic pulses that this panel probably generated, one two, they seemed intact to me, not yet hard boiled but we can never be sure, can we? The toilet and bath was confined in a small space that if you took a shower you'd have a hard time contorting your body to get to those hard to reach places without bumping into the toilet bowl, and the hot shower took ten minutes to kick in, just in time to thaw you out from impending hypothermia. Alas the view from the window was spectacular! You just have to peer past four or five condensing units and the large ducts that impeded it. Well, at least you still had a peephole of a view to enjoy at least, more than I can say for the other ratholes I've encountered. So it wasn't the Shangri-La, but it was livable at least. (Just not sure if my sperm cells agreed, though)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Murder by the Masses

This morning, I went up to the third floor of our office building (it's a three storey structure) for my usual 10:00 o'clock cigarette break. There was the usual view from the top, the vacant field behind the building, the mammoth warehouse bordering it, and the expressway. The vacant field holds the most interest for me, always changing as the seasons come and go, and holding a few surprises every so often that I look. This time, the sight of a four foot long lizard amazed me, I named it Dragon.

Dragon was about to become "The Dragon", from a living, breathing monster to a mere reference in my memory. The reason? Mr. Goatherd. Who the heck is Mr. Goatherd? Well, he is the person seemingly assigned to look after the vacant field. I dubbed him so because, well, he has a herd of goats who gnaw and trample over the field of high grasses and brushes as they please. Mr. Goatherd had Dragon (soon to be The Dragon) hanging upside down by the tail, about ready to gut it open and presumably cook it. Poor Dragon was flailing and menacingly flicking its tongue at Mr. Goatherd in an apparent attempt at longevity, doubt if Mr. Goatherd would budge though. Just as Mr. Goatherd was about to literally stick it to Dragon, I extinguished my cigarette, flicked it and turned away. Bye bye Dragon.


Now that got me thinking, sure I've killed lizards, but nothing that big. In fact, if a lizard that big were charging right at me while I was holding a baseball bat or a five iron, I'd more likely run away than take a swing at it. What a pussy!

Apparently, the larger they are, the harder it is to muster the courage to kill it. Personally, I've no problem killing off ants, flies, caterpillars and most likely anything smaller than a cockroach. Bigger animals, ranging in size from a mouse or a lizard to a full grown rat or giant toad, takes a bit more out of me. I'd have to draw my personal limit at animals the size of cats. Beyond that, I'd have to be in a really desperate situation to even contemplate such an act.


Then, in a vulgar display of cowardice, I ate a hamburger for lunch. Something whose feature ingredient was formerly a mammal the size and weight of a compact car. A creature, given the above criteria for the limit of my capacity to kill, I can never slaughter on my own. Shame then, that I'm now enjoying a derivative of this creature, even having the gall to upsize to a double cheeseburger.

Guess in the old days, this would automatically disqualify me as a hunter and be relegated by the tribe to being a gatherer, huh? "Hey, you! Put down that spear and let that five-year old girl teach you how to gather berries, pussy!" If I had a farm, you'd probably see with a bunch of chickens, because all I can slaughter are their eggs. A new born chick, maybe, for really special occasions.


In my defense, civilization and countless technological innovations over the centuries have molded me into the pansy I am today. What used to be a spear had been replaced by a can opener, and the knowledge and skill used to gut livestock displaced by reading instructions on the back of a box of chicken nuggets. Even the chore of cleaning market-bought fish has now taken a back seat to defrosting creamy dory fillets from the supermarket.

Mr. Goatherd has taught me a valuable lesson today, that's for sure. If I can't learn to kill and gut my own food, then I'd better make sure that I work my ass off getting rich enough to afford paying someone else do all that for me! That or I learn how to grow pick berries.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hot Siberian Sex!

One day I passed by a pet shop while on a quest to find some shoes. I ignored the tropical fishes, whining dogs and the seemingly dead siamese and went straight for the hamsters. Wasn't going to buy one yet, though, just wanted a mental (and nasal) picture of what I was getting myself into in the future. There they were, in all their stinking glory. Oversized cotton balls with beady eyes and small incisors. Then as I was scanning the cage for the cost of taking one of the furballs home, the name of their particular specie struck me: "Siberian Hamsters".

Now, I may never have (nor will) been to Siberia, but the name invokes a sense of dread. A vast frozen wilderness where whole mammoths had been mummified underneath meters of pack ice. Home of the harshest and cruelest Soviet prisons and slave labor camps, where escape meant a cold death in mere hours. Only the hardiest beasts, trees and bushes could survive this godless terrain, and yet I am to believe that these pathetic little hamsters roamed wild and free alongside Siberian tigers?

Okay, this can't be real, can it? Surely it's just a fancy name given it to compliment its thick white fur. So I google it, and just can't believe they do come from Siberia! If there was any argument that could easily turn the tide against Darwinists, this is it, for sure.


Wait, maybe I'm being too harsh on these vermin. Maybe they do have some special qualities that allow them to survive in such terrible conditions. Sure, it's a cold cold COLD place, where vegetation is scarce and predators plenty, but if they still aren't extinct, then I guess they've been doing something right all these years. Lemme think about this a bit.


Maybe it's... nah!

Or could it be because of... can't be!

Nope, not that either.

How about... wait, no, impossible as well.

Well, after much thought, there seems to be only one logical explanation to the continued survival of these rodents, and it's because of sex. Yep, you heard me, S-E-X. If there's anything these furry things are good at, it's humping the living daylights out of each other. It keeps them warm, keeps their population in record numbers and the agony of having to watch two rodents going at it is enough of a god-awful sight to keep predators at bay. As for food, have you ever met anyone who would pass up good old sex for a friggin' blade of grass? Didn't think so.

There, mystery solved.


Wow, it sure seems great being a hamster. Cold? Sex. Hungry? Sex. Big Bad Wolf? Sex. Holy shit a polar bear just came by and ate a million of our species, thereby decimating the population!? Sex. I'm beginning to think that if there were really such a thing as reincarnation, the best deal you could get is to come back as a cute and cuddly little hamster. None of the neediness and spiritual fulfillment crap that we often ramble and complain about. All that you need to be concerned with is hitting that and this and that and that other one and making sure that hamster-kind goes on to outlive these pathetic humans, just as they probably did the dinosaurs.

Who the heck needs opposable thumbs!?