Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dinner joint player

I'm restless. I dunno if it's the humidity, pressure at the office, hunger, poverty, or the fact that we're all out of coffee. In any case, it sucks. I've tried bouncing my little red ball off the wall for about 5 minutes but it keeps bouncing off my hands and I have to bend over and pick it up off the floor or under the couch. So I stop, it's just not working out.

Ok fine, I thought, I should just try to sit still, stare at a wall and do nothing. Sounds simple enough, maybe even watch moss grow on my discarded coffee grounds collection. But then my mind screams at me to do something, anything at all to break the monotony. It doesn't appreciate that the rest of my body is motionless while it continues to be tortured with boredom. I think of porn, but I wasn't in the mood. (Yes, I never imagined porn could be boring in a million years! I must be sick...) So I play with my lighter, click-clack-click-clack, but that gets old real soon as well. WHAT THE HECK DO I WANT TO DO, ANYWAY?!!

*****

There's this particular area in Surigao City, a street by the docks that are lined with canteens. Every evening, just as dusk settles on this strip, the charcoals are lit, and the city's biggest barbeque-fest ensues. Yes, every evening.

I like going there, everybody in the city seems to go there as well. People walking, riding in on big ass SUV's, alighting trikes and scooters. Maybe it's the cheap food, one could buy half a chicken and a cup of rice there for the price of a McDonald's happy meal. And it doesn't taste bad at all. I frequent one of the larger ones right in the middle of the block, they have airconditioning which not only keeps you from sweating all that chicken oil while you eat it, but also insulates you from the smog that 50 or so charcoal-fired grills make.

One night, while walking to the strip from my hotel, (well, it's actually just a cheap pension house, but I find that calling it a 'hotel' kinda bumps up my stature) I decide that I'm not eating at the same place I usually do, just because I was feeling a bit adventurous.

So I settle into a quaint joint not too far from the usual, they had set tables on the sidewalk and I thought I'd try eating dinner al fresco, and order the usual chicken meal. I must admit, their chicken is tastier that what I'm used to, but in slightly smaller portions. I dig in with gusto, and even order some of their pork barbeque, just to try it out. Just as I was about to let out an after dinner burp of satisfaction, the waitress from the other joint walks up to me from the street and says hi. I stifle my burp, and say hi back. Then she walks to my current waitress and they talk. Apparently, they don't appreciate it when the other establishments 'steal' their regulars.

I try to listen in, straining to understand the dialect with my limited vocabulary. I could only make out that the next time they see me eat there again, they were going to 'steal' their regulars as well.

Now this strikes me as strange. I don't consider myself a regular at the other joint because I'm not from anywhere near this city and only spend 3 or 4 days at a time there in a span of 4 months or so. But apparently, eating dinner 2 nights in a row qualifies me as a regular, and was seduced by this particular whore of a diner. Was I guilty of canteen-adultery?

So my 'ex'-waitress walks back to me and tells me that I should eat back at their place the next time and they'd give me a discount. I just smile and nod my head, because if there's one thing I've learned in dealing with girls (probably the only thing I've ever figured out about them, actually) is that you never ever get in the middle of a catfight. It just gets messier when you do.

A good 5 minutes or so after my 'ex'-waitress had left, I ask for the bill. My current waitress hands it to me, and tells me that I shouldn't be intimidated by my 'ex'-waitress and feel free to come back whenever I liked. Thanks, I say, and settle the matter of the bill, leaving a nice little tip.

I took a trike to Jollibee for dinner the next night.

Oh, and I explicitly told the girl behind the counter this time that I'm just trying things out for myself, I don't think I'm ready to be 'mutually exclusive' with their joint just yet but we should enjoy our time together when we could and see how it goes from there.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Consolation Prize

So I had a late night yesterday, got home past 3am and woke up way beyond when I should have. When I did wake up, all I could do was bitch about how late I was for my meeting, which was scheduled to have started an hour ago. So I run down to the garage, and I find my car's splash-guard (or whatever that stupid plastic cover underneath the bumper is called) hanging loose and on the concrete. A stupid cat had this great idea to crawl up my car's engine and wreck the darn thing. Someone shoot me now, please?

*****

It's not a total loss, though. The events leading up to me getting home so 'early' was a real eye-opener. (No, I didn't go to a strip club last night...) Turns out, underneath all that tough-as-rusty-nine-inch-friggin'-nails attitude, lesbians are, essentially, just as vulnerable and whiny and bitchy as your regular straight girls.

I bet I had you at lesbian.

*****

So my lesbian friend texted me early yesterday evening for drinks. Sure, I said, what's up? Her girlfriend just dumped her sorry ass. This was gonna be exciting, I thought.

You see, this friend of mine, if she were a straight female, would actually score pretty decent marks on the "hottie-meter", and her ex wasn't too bad either. A few months ago, I went out drinking with the both of them and, well, I kept feeding them alcohol in hopes of watching some real-live girl-on-girl action.

Easy now fellas, no kiss and tell on this post. (I've got another blog for those. *wink wink*. Nah... just kidding.)

*****

I get to the bar first, and order up some light beer (because I was trying to trim down) and tofu. She storms in about 10 minutes later, calls out the waiter, and asks for a man-sized, 'this-ain't-no-sissy-little-lite-beer' brew (Only because moonshine wasn't available, I'm guessing) and a whole batch of bad-ass, deep-fried pork belly.

You could probably surmise that the only reason I'm still on her friend list is because she thinks I'm gay too. Anyway...

So she starts yapping and spewing all sorts of cuss words at her recent ex, her mouth glistening with pork fat and chugging her ice-cold beer in the process. I feign interest, waiting for the opportune time to tell her I'm totally on her side and ask for said ex's number, you know, to give her a piece of my mind, of course. (Am I not such a swell friend?) She goes on, declaring that she didn't need her, that she could walk off the face of the earth for all she cares. She could do better, and will!

She calms down after the fifth beer or so. And we go back to our usual topics, the 'babes', a new piercing she had done last week, this cheapo sleazy bar she discovered, the wisdom within dialectic materialism and such. We got bored, and after some more beers, moved to this cheapo, sleazy bar that she had talked about for some videoke. It was a blast at first, we practically had the mic to ourselves the whole night, and we sang every song we could think up.

Until she chose the song 'Everybody Hurts' as sung by The Corrs, and it all went downhill from there.

Right smack in the middle of the song, around the part where Andrea croons "If you're all alone/in this life...", my lesbian friend had her breakdown. She stutters and sobs how unfair it is that she's all alone, while still holding the mic to her mouth. I would've given a thousand bucks for a video camera right around then.

The next hour was a really long one as you might have guessed:

Her: "She left me, how could she do that to me when I gave her everything?!"
Me: "Let her go, if she comes back, then you'll know it was meant to be."
Her: "But she won't! She said so."
Me: "Don't worry, there are plenty of fish in the ocean."
Her: "But she was the one! I loved her!"
Me: "When God closes a door, He opens a window..."
Her: "I'm gonna get old and be alone and it will be terrible!"
Me: "Every cloud has a silver lining."
Her: "Dude, is that your hand on my ass?!"
Me: "Huh? Of course not. You're probably just a bit drunk."
Her: "Dammit, I wish I never met her! Now I'm such a mess."
Me: "Aww..."
Her: "Dude, what the f**k are you doing?"
Me: "Uh, nothing?...I just thought you could use a hug."
Her: "And your hand just happened to cup a feel?"
Me: "Uh... an accident, I swear..."
Her: "I'll show you an accident!"
Me: "NOT THE FACE, NOT THE FACE!! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD NOOOOO!!!"

*****

Despite the 'accidental' black eye, we're still friends of course. I drove her to her apartment and wished her luck. She thanked me for the company, she'd been wanting to punch someone in the face for days, apparently. Told you I'm such a swell friend.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Pre-departure blues

A few days back, I found myself at the airport again, at the smoking lounge again, sipping over-priced coffee again, wishing I didn't have to get on that flying tin can again. It's a sad, sad situation. (Getting more and more absurd?) Consolation was that I'm not alone in finding myself trapped in such a dreary predicament. The lounge was filled with frequent flyers, salesmen, businessmen and the like. Some working feverishly on their laptops reading or composing emails, others busy talking to clients and bosses on their mobile phones, and others, myself included, just staring into the bottom of our coffee cups, zombie-fied.

I was still recovering from lack of sleep, and about to light another cigarette, when all of a sudden a couple of fellow travelers enter the lounge, boisterously declaring how excited they were to go on vacation. They looked like they were off to some beach, clad in shorts, flip-flops and designer sunglasses. They sat down, ordered some fancy coffee-based concoction, and started taking pictures of themselves. They looked so happy, I hated them. Well, everyone seemed to hate them as well in the lounge. Everybody stopped what they were doing and took a long hard look at the spectacle these lucky bastards had become.

At that very instant, everyone hated their jobs just that tiny bit more.

*****

Still at the airport's smoking lounge, I bumped in to a classmate of mine back in college. He's waiting for his flight as well, so we both grabbed our second cup of coffee and talked shop until boarding time. The first five minutes of the conversation, I kinda realized this might not be a great way to boost my ego. Apparently, he's one of those few lucky ones who managed to make use of whatever he learned in college for his current profession. He's even taking up further studies, ensuring the perfect synergy of education and on the job experience.

Midway through one of his stories, I zone out and try to figure out if my job and degree have anything to do with one another, as expected, zilch.

Now, this presents a valuable insight, did I really need my degree to do my job well? In some minute way, it probably made some tasks a bit easier, but in general, I could've probably dropped out of high school and still be doing the same thing I'm doing today. But what if I chose a job that was related to my education, will that guarantee success in such chosen career? From what I'm hearing out of this guy, the answer seems to be a resounding yes. More options, more opportunities, and a chance to really stand out.

Maybe this guy picked up on my thought bubbles, because the next question I hear from him was if I found it difficult working in a job that was totally unrelated to what we finished in college. So I thought about it, and said no. I wasn't sure if I was lying, but in the first place, I never really worked in a field that was somehow related to what I studied for.

During the flight, I thought about the topic a bit more, and looked to how some of my friends were doing. Apparently, only a small percentage of my friends got into careers that was somehow related to the degrees that they received, but despite it, most of them, if not all of them, were doing alright. I now grow suspicious if college was indeed a waste of time.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Getting my free lunch

I've made a bet with my boss, I realize this might not be the smartest move... ever, but well, it's already in place. Yes, it has to do with my career, but hey, people have to take risks to move forward. Sure there's this possibility that I'll fall flat on my face and lose the bet, rot in the office or maybe even get fired, but at least it's sort of a change.

Because I need to make some changes.

And it's not only in my career, everything seems to be at a standstill. It's getting boring and monotonous and idle and moot and darn boring all over again. Arrgh! I am sloth, and envy, and damn stubborn.

So maybe responsibility isn't my strong suit, stability not exactly a quality normally attributed to my person, and ingenuity a word outside my 1,000 word vocabulary, so why am I making a bet that I could be all of these with my boss no less? I have no idea, but I think these qualities are supposed to make a better person out of me, probably make me amount to 'something'. To make me believe that all those years of being drunk, spontaneous and clueless in college (and some years after) don't go to waste. (Oh, I was pretty wasted in college, wasn't I?)

What's the bet, you ask? Well, it's quite simple, by the end of the year, it's either I get promoted or get fired. Yep, pretty simple, isn't it? Either way, there's gonna be a lot of changes, for sure.

Now that the bet has been made, what's step 1? I have no idea. This is where the bet get's risky, because I can't think of anything that will save my ass for the next 6 months that I haven't tried in the past 2 years. And sadly, blogging about my predicament sure ain't gonna help me get anywhere near where I need to be, that's for sure. So I need to be all 3 traits I've mentioned earlier to at least get a shot at not being fired, all of which are so out of character for me. I've consulted my imaginary life-coach, and she (Yes, my imaginary life-coach is a woman, with big boobs) tells me that change always comes in oneself first. What a load of bull that is. She further adds that all aspects of my life are connected, so to better my career, I need to better my personal life as well, and get some 'structure', whatever that is. I would have ignored her, if not for her boobs.

Oh, and by coincidence, I've been holding myself to a deadline to resign from work by the first day of next year. Pretty neat, huh?

Well, lots of luck, and even more work for myself, I guess. Because there are no free lunches in life, unless you make it yourself.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The French Fry Kid

I sat quietly in a corner booth at McDonald's, that one which I pass almost every day on the way to work by the expressway. I had already consumed the Fillet-O-Fish, and was debating the merits of gorging on the french fries, sparklingly golden, undoubtedly unhealthy. As usual, the devil had won, and I began squirting out the red catsup that they provided in those small plastic sachets onto the paper mat on the tray. I held up the first fry, dunked it on the red goop, when suddenly a kid stood on the aisle beside me, looking at me with mouth agape. Selfishly, I quickly put the fry in my mouth and gobbled it up hurriedly, making sure she saw that she was to have none of it. The kid, chubby red cheeks, pig-tailed and wide-eyed, closed her mouth too, seemingly in shock. I let out a squeak of laughter, amused at such innocent honesty.

I looked around, wary of any parent or guardian who would not take my bullying lightly. There was none, which I found rather strange. The child was maybe 3 or 4, too young to be allowed to wander off without supervision.

Without notice, the child started to climb up the seat opposite me. It took her about 10 whole seconds, without any help from me, being afraid people might find my help creepy to say the least. She then props up on her seat and eyes the rest of the fries. "Do you want some?" I ask the obvious. She then extends her pudgy arms towards the crispy golden potato sticks, and picks up a long one. Clumsily, she puts them in her mouth and bites, half of the fry ends up on her lap.

This now poses a dilemma of sorts for me, lest I be construed as a kid-napper, I should take action on the matter, saving the rest of my french fries while I'm at it. I waive to a passing busboy, and ask if someone was looking for their chubby kid who has gone missing. He says none so far, but he'll ask the other staff. I do hope they find the irresponsible parents, I don't think I'd wanna take this kid home with me, she'd starve to death for sure. The busboy scurries off to his comrades, in search of the missing parents.

By this time, the kid is on her third fry, and she still looks hungry. I try to make conversation, hoping to buy some time enough to save some of my food for myself. "What's your name?" She looks up at me, but the fourth french fry was still well on its way to her mouth anyway. This is going to be a bit tricky.

The busboy returns, with the manager in tow. "Hi sir, so she's not yours?" she asks. I pan my face left to right to left, she was on to something, I hope. "Hi little girl, where's your mommy and daddy?" The kid looks at her, then suddenly realizes that she's with strangers, and looks around in a frenzy in search of the familiar. I was expecting her to cry just about then, but I have to give it to her, she's one tough cookie.

The little girl then climbs down from her seat, and goes on in search of what is presumably her mommy and daddy, with the two McDonald's employees tailing her. My fries are safe at last!

Of course, I don't touch my food just yet, not wanting to risk catching anything, like say, cooties. I'd want to take a look at the parents first before I resume my meal, that's for sure. I watch as the trio walk out of the joint and disappear around the corner. Good luck kiddo!

The busboy returns a couple of minutes later, to give me an update on the pint-sized offender. Apparently, the mother went to the restroom then stopped by the convenience store for some items, the dad was still in the van with the rest of the family, and both of them thought the toddler was with the other. Mystery solved, great, I can finish my meal now. As I took control of what remained of my fries, I look at the now empty seat in front of me and wonder, where the heck did my drink go?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Jogging thoughts

I'm waiting for my jogging buddy, here at home. Most of the chores around the house are done, even the tent has been sunned and aerated, rid of sand and neatly tucked into its carrying bag. I didn't even wait for the little sister to come home and take out the garbage. That's right, everything is neatly back in its proper order.

Well, almost everything.

There's still the issue of whether I should continue the rent on my house for another year, I'm still undecided about what to do with it. On one hand, in light of my new goal to maximize my income and achieve my goal of renovating my parent's house within the next two years, I figure I can no longer afford it and should look for a cheaper house. On the other hand, I like it here. Sure, sounds simple enough, move to another house (or back to my parents even) and learn to like it as well, but I have some reservations about it.

Jogging buddy's here... no time to think! Gotta run!

*****

And am back. It's midnight. No, we didn't jog until midnight. Yes we ate dinner after the 6pm jog. No, alcohol was not involved. Yes, some cigarettes. No, not immediately after the jog, but after dinner. No, we didn't go to some sleazy bar after dinner. Yes, that would've been fun, though. No, we really didn't. No, I didn't suggest that we go to a sleazy bar. No, I didn't think he suggested it either. Yes, if he asked I would have given it some thought. No, 'giving it some thought' is not a yes. (Shut up! You're not Mom!)

*****

So while I was jogging, some girl in full racing attire (including the requisite iPod strapped on her bicep) managed to overtake me. (Easily, yes, she overtook me easily. I should probably have added that.) I didn't mind at first, of course, but while I was admiring her 'build', her cellular phone rang. (Yes, she had her cell phone strapped on her somewhere) She answers, and proceeded to have a 3 minute conversation over her phone, WHILE JOGGING. Darn! I'm sorry I couldn't tell you anything about the conversation because while she was talking over the phone, I couldn't catch what she was talking about over the sound of myself choking on her dust. Despite holding a full conversation, I she was still pulling away from me pretty easily. Wow... how pathetic is that?

If that was me talking on the phone while jogging, I'd probably sound really sleazy, breathing heavily on the mouthpiece with my voice sounding rasp and creepy.

To preserve any dignity that I had left, I was tempted to stop, look for a rock, lob it straight at her phone and run away in the opposite direction. But I was scared, she could definitely outrun me, and am also pretty sure she'd be able to beat me up. Well, it probably wouldn't have mattered anyway, I was so out of breath and weak at that point that the rock would probably slip through my fingers and fall down on my foot, killing all my toenails in the process.

Could I still jog with dead toenails?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Playing with fire

A friend gave me a lighter, a Zippo knock-off, same dimensions, same mechanism, same click-clack sound, and even the weight is pretty close. It's awesome! I woke up this morning and instantly fiddled with it, filled it up with lighter fluid and gave it a go. It friggin' works! Woohoo!

I think Zippo lighters are just bad-ass. It's the Harley-Davidson of lighters, masculine, shiny and noisy. No, they're not the most efficient, not exactly convenient to use and refill, and is a step back in terms of technological wonders. But there's this sense of nostalgia that comes with it, plus it looks cool, to boot. No wonder the bad guys we see in movies always seem to use one, must be why they get all the slutty chicks. I bet Chuck Norris has one.

So ok, mine isn't exactly a Zippo. It's a cheap knock-off, with the rust on the inside of the supposedly stainless steel case to prove it. When it finally conks out, when the screw on the underside of the chamber gives in to its eventual rusty demise, there may not be a chance to revive it, but who cares? It's free, and it's mine!

Prior to this new toy of mine, I've actually been contemplating on getting an actual Zippo for myself. Each time I'd pass by a Zippo store or one of those Lighter's Galore kiosks, I find myself gravitating towards the shiny, heavy stainless-steel ones, my nose and forehead smudging the glass viewing case in awe. There's also those matte finished ones, which are kinda nice to the touch. I'm pretty sure one could have their names or monograms or whatever symbol etched on either side of one, now that would just be so classy. Unfortunately, it costs an arm and a leg, even the really plain-looking ones, and given the lackluster state of my personal finances, an unwise purchase.

I'd probably have to mention that this isn't the first Zippo (or knock-off) that I've owned. In a previous life, two exes had given me one each. Too bad though that I had promptly returned both (I think) back after the break-ups. I've also had a cheap knock-off once or twice, but these were grossly inferior to the one I now have.

So the question becomes, does this new toy of mine satisfy my craving for the genuine article? Fortunately yes, for now. Up until the time, at least, when this faux version becomes kaput or I stumble upon a really really good bargain. Or perhaps I might altogether quit smoking and render the "need" for such an item moot. In the meantime, I'll be that irritating jackass making all that click-clack ruckus with his cheap knock-off Zippo.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bye-bye FB!

After weeks of agonizing about it, tonight I have finally mustered enough resolve to do it. I quit facebook.

But wait... what is this? So many questions to deactivate my own account? Well okay, I'll play along...

Holy cow! Security check?! Fine fine...

There. Now let's try if it worked... logging in...

Motherfather!!! I activated my account again by just logging in? Isn't there a deactivated permanently button here somewhere??

Okay, let's do the deactivation thing one more time...

So okay, I'm deactivated... again. Now let's ask someone if they can still see my account...

Crap! I'm still on facebook?! You have gotta be kidding me!!!

*****

First of all, the reason I wanted to quit facebook? Because it's eating up a large chunk of my already pathetic, quasi-existent life. You get the email notifications that someone tagged a photo of you, so you check your account and then the whole album. After that, you automatically look to see the status messages of your friends, then you scroll down... then click on the "see other comments" button. Then you scroll down some more, see more comments, then click on "Older posts". But you're not satisfied and check out other people's albums, their trips to wherever the heck they went to and even expand to other links on youtube, flickr, imgur, collegehumor and what-have-yous. Before you know it, it's past your bed time and you wake up late, skipping breakfast and rush your reports for that 9am meeting you hadn't prepared for because you opened facebook as soon as you opened your computer. Thanks Zuckerberg, or whatever the heck your name is.

Then there's the alleged privacy thing. Well, I guess I don't really think it's a problem for me personally, not really being too big on the conspiracy theories. But of course, there are certain rights to privacy that I believe in (which make stalking all the more fun, mind you), so I'm not a big fan of "internet rape" either.

The biggest reason, I suppose, would be that I want to take my life back. There was a time when I wanted to go out to see the world, or my neighborhood, at least. Hang out at a friend's house, see things for myself and make memories that I would cherish for a lifetime. These darn social networking sites have somehow taken the luster out of such discoveries. I see people posting new restaurants, beaches and resorts and I want to go there as well, following the herd. I keep forgetting that some of my favorite places were clumsily stumbled upon, because I got lost or just wandered aimlessly to nowhere.

*****

Okay okay, I can hear your protestations from here. Fine, it's all me, my fault, my bad. I could still do all those things I miss despite facebook, I get it. Still, imagine yourself bored at home, and you flip open your computer and log on to facebook, what do you see? You see what other people have posted, then you think to yourself, that might be fun. And you go out and do it, or reconnect with friends and feel good and think what a productive time you had. Sure I could think of it that way, but I prefer to be so bored and frustrated that I am forced to act on it by actually going out of the house and try to do something on my own. For me (yes me, the selfish prick that I am), that's how life happens, is supposed to happen, serendipitously.

As a pre-deactivation experiment, I vowed not to open facebook for more than an hour a day. I could be bored and doing nothing but I wouldn't touch the computer on this long weekend. So let's recap...

Friday: Work, then went out to whack some balls at the driving range. Then had a couple (okay, more) of beers with a friend and his girlfriend and her sister at some bar that I used to frequent but haven't been to in 7 years.

Saturday: Went for a jog, had lunch at this quaint little Persian joint, did some groceries, then played school bus and fetched people to go to a friend's place for some poker and lots of beer.

Sunday: Did a myriad of chores around the house, arranged the furniture, made a proper lunch, started cleaning my golf clubs, went out for a jog with a friend, stopped by the friend's place to chow on dimsum and watch a DVD.

Monday: Caught up with my reading, made another proper lunch, continued cleaning the golf clubs, went out with some friends for some "girl talk" and dinner, watched a little television then deactivated all my social networking accounts.

Okay, so it wasn't that exciting of a weekend. But the alternate itinerary would look something like this:

Friday: Facebook at work, then get some take out, then facebook at home.

Saturday: Facebook, fry some chow, facebook while woofing down the oily food, facebook some more, then play poker and drink.

Sunday: Facebook, fry some chow, facebook while woofing dawn some more oily food, maybe jog, then facebook.

Monday: Can you guess what I'm doing today?

A little exaggerated, granted, but you kinda get the point, don't you? No? Well, the point is, I get to do more stuff without facebook around as a default activity. Sure, I might spend the whole afternoon just going to the park or a coffee shop, but at least I got out of the house, where I open myself to the opportunity of something, anything out of the ordinary to happen. Even when I'm just at home, freeing myself from the shackles of facebook fun made me give an effort to chores and getting creative with lunch.

The fact is, the hours I've been spending on facebook has been increasing to the point of being an addiction. The most pathetic point of which is the "challenge" to think up a snazzy new status message, or get a great photo to post for others to see, or post links of that great "discovery" you found about a talking dog.

So I guess I lose touch with the hundreds of contacts I had, a tenth (or less) of which I have any actual interactions with. The price of independence, I guess.

High treason

I'm feeling a little sentimental. Why? Was it because I watched the movie "Kick Ass" a few minutes ago? Or jogging in the rain a few hours ago? Maybe because I rearranged the furniture at home? Hmm... really I've no idea. Anyway, to celebrate this current mood of mine, I click on youtube.com and search for Jewel's "Foolish Games". Ahh... a brandy right about now would be super.

But of course I won't be drinking. I just about swore off alcohol on Sundays, as well as most of the week. Only Fridays and Saturdays are decreed as legal alcohol-drinking days. Yes, it kinda sucks, but it's the healthy choice. With my buddies felled one by one by the curse of a fat liver, the convenience of not having to undergo any medication is tantamount to my personal financial freedom.

So maybe that's it, I miss alcohol. I realize I have to move on, but how do you move on from something that has been there for you each significant moment, whether in sadness or joy? Sounds a bit like high treason if you ask me. Here I am, turning my back on the one thing that has always been there for me, asking not for much, but giving its all in return. I can only hide my face in shame.

No, it doesn't stop there. My weaknesses as a person has brought me to previously unheard of lows in my quest for a cheap fling to fill in for a beloved. While my alcoholic lover agonizes in a frustrating wait, here I am, whiling away my time with coffee. Yes, I am having an affair with coffee, that cheap slut of a beverage that does not even have the pedigree of having being carefully fermented in the perfect proportions for centuries by scientists, monks and priests alike. Even Jesus must have known this, else why would he have turned water into wine rather than water into coffee? (or tea for that matter)

So why coffee, of all the other possible concoctions and brews available? Well, because it's cheap, for one. And it's unbelievably easy, no frills, just "slam-bang-thank-you-ma'am", doing away with all the drama and the usual pre-requisites. It's always a done deal, and there's no 3-date (bottle) waiting period for you to have your way with it. Just a couple of sips and you get what you came for.

Yes, I do feel bad about it. But I am human after all, with needs, a whole lot of them. Who knows, in time I might realize how much of a mistake parting ways, albeit temporarily, with alcohol is. At the moment, though, I've made my bed with coffee and intend to sleep with it. (Or more likely, NOT sleep with it.)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

This is why I'm drinking brandy at 5 in the morning...

I dreamt that my building was on fire. Outside of my window, I could see the glow of the yellow-red flames licking the glass. I tried the door, but somehow the heat had deformed it, so that it stuck itself to the frame. I leaned into it, but the door was getting hotter, and I couldn't touch it without risking second-degree burns. Uh-oh. Then I remember the fire escape, which is really the first thing you ought to be thinking about in case of fire. And hooray, I was in the relative safety of the outside world.

And you would've thought I'd woken up at this point? Fortunately not.

Glancing around, I saw a couple of "friends", Lili and Cheche, sisters, barely in their twenties, and they were smiling at me. Apparently, I lost my shirt somehow, and the fire had made me sweat like a pig. I was ashamed, my man-boobs and pot belly would likely turn them off. But they were still smiling at me, and "checking me out". I looked down at myself and... whaddyaknow, rock hard pecs and abs were on me, glistening in my sweat and bronzed by the heat of the fire! (At this point I had a sneaky suspicion that this was indeed a dream, but who's complaining!?)

So I engaged in some chit-chat, making sure I'd tense my abs and biceps every once in a while, impressing them. (actually, I was more impressed with myself that they were) After about 5 minutes of talking about what a coincidence all this was, I prevailed upon them, yes both of them, to check out my crib, which by now was magically restored to its old, lackluster condition prior to the fire.

Now, lounging around at my pad, we were enjoying some white wine while munching on grapes (funny, I've never had grapes in the pad before), laughing at the most mundane things, like how I was fat just yesterday, and how they were wearing pajamas all of a sudden. We were in the middle of a discussion about Leo Tolstoi's 'War and Peace', my contribution to which was all bullshit as I haven't read the damn book yet, when Lili cracked the slightest of yawns. Go time.

I asked them if they would like to sleep over, seeing as how they were already in their jammies and all. They looked at each other, smiled and nodded their approval. (Don't you dare wake up, don't you dare!!!) I led them to my bedroom, which was somehow decked in black and red leather, and announced that I was sleeping on the couch. Of course they objected, and said (in unison) that I was welcome to join them... leaving a small space sandwiched between them for me. (I thank you Lord, for these thy gifts...)

Of course at this point... I woke up, in the real world, all alone in bed, all man-boobs and pot belly. I forced my eyes shut, but only darkness greeted me. This sucks bigtime.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The disapperance of the flower pot

Things are starting to get a bit hectic lately that I've resorted to jotting stuff down on that ancient daily organizer of mine. The workload is starting to wear me down, with absolutely no help from my newly-implemented diet regimen. Welcome to the mid-year!

*****

Someone stole my ashtray today. On the third floor of our building, right outside on the front deck, there's this empty terra-cota flower pot that I use as an ashtray. The former resident, a leafy, thorny plant, had succumbed to the intense heat of this summer and had wilted and died a slow, agonizing death. It was then that I discovered a new use for it's home, and made cigarette breaks a bit more convenient, doing away with the need to flick my extinguished cigarette butts as far as I could, over the 12-foot wall, down to the asphalt on the street.

For over a month, that little pot had been a good friend to me, swallowing my excesses without so much as a peep out of it. The soil within it had disappeared under a sea of gold-banded white filter-tips, with the occasional half-consumed hard candy or gum. Some days, I made a game out of flicking my still glowering roach into it, waiting to see if it will ignite the other filters into a smoky inferno. On other days, I'd take aim with my empty crumpled soft-pack and try a 15-foot jumper, deliberately "boarding" against the wall behind it.

This morning however, as I lit up and took my first few drags, the pot was gone. I scanned around the deck, hoping it was some improbable game of hide-and-seek, but it was nowhere. I walked around, interrogating the other pots and the plants they harbored, but no one would admit having anything to do with nor having a clue about the pot-napping. I kicked over the spiny cactus (or is it cacti?), hoping to strike fear into the other plants, but still, no one budged. This came at a time when my cancer stick was down to its last couple of millimeters, and I could feel a panic coming to my person.

Alas, I dragged the last breath out of the cigarette, and stubbed out the remaining embers underneath my left shoe. Now what?

Dejected, I let loose a couple of curses before turning around and opened the door back into the building. As soon as I got in, I closed the door, and chucked the cigarette carcass into the garbage bin behind it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Post No. 200

...

Playing 501's

I went to a friend's house on account of an overdue loan. Didn't really expect to linger long, the whole business was in-and-out. For some reason, though, they offered me coffee on a hot and balmy evening, so I stayed. Then, it hit me, they had a dart board in the garage, complete with scoreboard. Interesting...

Now, darts is another game familiar to me only because my dad used to play it. We had a dartboard at home, in fact, though through the years, it has been reduced to a mere artifact to provide color to an otherwise bland wall. Tragic as that may sound, it was entirely my fault. In college, I sold off my dad's darts in pursuit of beer and gin money. So without the darts, there was little use for the board, as you can imagine.

Back to my friend's place, the allure of the dartboard had me staring at it, literally at the bull's eye, which was in pristine, virginal condition. In a flash (which at my leisurely pace is anywhere from 2-5 minutes), I had my fingers pulling out the darts, which were scattered across the board (the last player was a really poor mark, I'm guessing). I walked past the black line on the floor and surveyed the distance between me and the red triple-20, spent time finding my best footing without leaning too much across the line, and let the first dart fly. I missed by a centimeter, I still had it, great! The next two darts found themselves hurled in a nice little array, precise, but a little off on the accuracy. I needed practice, obviously, but not bad after a long lay-off.

So it's an omen.

You see, the past 3 weeks, I've been spotting this bar at the Home Depot Center which features dart tournaments every other night. I didn't fancy joining it, of course, but was mildly amused that there was a place these 'darters' could still play. I was watching one of the players fiddle around with his darts, interchanging shafts and flights, trying get the right balance. Sure, he probably could have spent all that time doing other more productive things, but he looked like he was having a fairly good amount of fun.

Now my mind's all made up, I'm going to the folk's place and stealing that dartboard (conveniently, the folks are on vacation). Then I'm buying darts, maybe a set of cheap tungsten ones, then get about 3 sets of flights and shafts to play around with.

Hmm, the problem now is, where do I set up the board?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

"It's for your own good" and other classic lies


Sure, they're older, wiser and you owe them a lot, but dads sure have a lot of explaining to do once we wise up to the blatant lies that they've been selling us growing up. When you're a kid, you think your dad is nothing short of super, and you get into fights because the other kid tells you that his dad is better than your dad. Then you become a teenager and suddenly "super-dad" becomes "the-old-geezer-who-wouldn't-let-you-go-out-with-the-cool-kids". This is when the afternoon long lectures become a daily routine around the house. Well, it's time to expose the lies...

1. "I didn't smoke nor drink until I had a job to buy it myself!"

Yeah yeah... so you keep saying. But seriously, you didn't think we kids would find out about those old college pictures? Particularly the one where you're guzzling down a beer bong while holding a stick of cigarette? Wait, that'a not even a cigarette?!

2. "When I was your age, I never gave your grandpa any reason for him to hit me!"

Then I wonder why everytime grandpa unfastens his belt, you seem to break out a cold sweat and stop whatever your doing? It's also kinda odd that when grandpa was shouting at the referee on television about a bad call, you suddenly bolted out of the living room like a rocket and hid behind the sofa.

3. "I only hit you because I love you"

Fat chance any teen-aged boy ever fell for that one, bub. Let's face facts, there are probably a gazillion reasons that dads hit their sons when they're in their teens, from letting the car run out of gas to using his electric razor to trim hairs from "other" regions. Love simply isn't ever going to be one of them.

4. "After you're done cleaning the car, THEN I'll think about letting you use it."

Some things, you just have to learn the hard way, I guess.

5. "If you tell me the truth, I won't get mad."

Now, let's take a second to really think about this statement. There is just no way you're ever going to get away from this one, right? On one hand, you don't tell him the fact that your bike accidentally (of course) scratched the finish of his precious car, and he'll assume it was you anyway, and is extra pissed that you tried to hide it and get your whipping, as usual. On the other, you go all George Washington and confess, driving him nuts 9 different ways until he can't stand it and take it out on your ass anyway because....

6. "It's for your own good."

Okay, we get the point, our bad. We even tell them we'll never (consciously) do it again, and mean it, too. Can we move on and forget about it? Of course, not! Humiliation and pain are the best ways to educate sons, according to most fathers. It builds character and all that crap, and character is great way to get to "good-ness" apparently. The only "good" I can gather from this experience is that our daddies get to release their pent up stress. Makes you wish he took up a hobby or a sport, instead.

7. "I never lied when I was a kid."

Are you serious? You have got to be kidding me. I've got to give grandpa a call sometime.

8. "The guy at the store says that's the most popular shoe they've got!"

No dad, this dorky 'Dragonfly' isn't the most popular basketball shoe since, well, ever. And no, Michael Jordan didn't wear these here shoes to win any championships, you cheap bastard.

9. "It's the same thing!"

In what parallel universe is a Sony Playstation the same thing as that brick-game?

10. "When I was your age, I had 10 girlfriends!"

Now that's just unfair if it were true. That has to be a lie!