Maybe Next Time, Marathon.

In a few hours the class of 2017 of The Bull Runner University will officially run their first (or second) marathon and a small part of me (yes, there is a small part of me) is sad that I won’t be a part of it.

I signed up for the TBR Dream Marathon back in August. The motivation was laughable and shallow, although I don’t include it in my reasons why I’m not joining the event. I was wait-listed and then got in in a space of two days, paid the fee the next day, and the week after that, I started going to the office gym. It was a very good start.

The next weeks saw me in my regular running routine. Pikit-mata, I invested in a Garmin and in more decent workout clothes — before that, my “workout” clothes were the free singlets from the races I joined in years ago. I read on techniques and training schedules. Like many first-timers, I worked on my stability and endurance and planned on my speed next. I did not get to the focusing on my speed this time! part because, well, my routine started crumbling down.

Before it did, I managed to run one 16km and one 22km. Slow but nonetheless successful. My biggest achievement there was not feeling overly exhausted — hey, I was sllooooowww) and was able to go to work the next day as if nothing happened.

On the first week of December, I got acute gastroenteritis (that SM Aura restaurant and their lousy handling of greens was my culprit, haha) and was unable to train for a week. After that, the holiday season was in full swing and it was also a busier time at work, so I didn’t go back to training. In hindsight, they were all excuses. Then January came. I could have gone full blast in training to make up for it, hey I even found a shortened training calendar leading up to February 19, but the momentum came crashing down. It was disheartening but it was a battle I was sure I already lost.

I paid for runs to cover long distance training for January and February, but had to sell them. Good thing I was able to! Sayang din yun pera, ha.

Then just when I thought I was just extremely undertrained, and perhaps, I can still go and run on marathon day (the cutoff was 9 hours after all!), I was faced with a more serious medical emergency that totally put my marathon plans off the table. I was even scheduled sana to join a mountain hike so as not to feel bad for missing the marathon but even that was prohibited. My take is I am really not meant to do any physical activities during this period.

Anyway, I know it’s not going to be the only opportunity to run 42km. If the chance presents itself, I know I’m not going to be a total noob anymore. I did not regret the time and money I spent in the past months, even with a whisper in some hidden space in my heart that I won’t be able to do it anyway. In fact, one of  the things I miss is the great feeling after working out. I thought that sluggishness was endemic in my system but apparently it’s not! Hahaha! If only for that as a basic motivation, it might be great to poke the territory again.

For now I can only wish that all the marathon dreamers finish strong and safe. I was witness to the amount of hardwork and dedication they had. The friendship they formed is also something to be proud of. Perhaps someday, I’ll meet them, and it would be nice if it’s at a marathon route. Let’s see!

Where I Ate: Bacolod’s RIBSHACK and LORD BYRON’S

I recently went to Bacolod and one of the highlights of my trip was indulging in the back ribs craze of the city. I love meat and a big bonus in Bacolod is that their food there is relatively cheaper. And it’s not as if they scrimp on size and taste because oh boy, they don’t.

I scoured food blogs about Bacolod and back ribs were popular posts. I tried two of the more popular ones and was so impressed.

First, Ribshack. I read it’s originally from Cebu and opened its first branch in the city in SM Bacolod. The one I tried is in the 2nd floor Food Court of 888 Chinatown Mall which is very near the inn I stayed at. Ribshack also offers other grilled foods like chicken and fish, but ribs are, of course, their specialty. My Instagram post said it all.

The next day I specifically hunted Lord Byron’s newest branch nearer the city proper. Lord Byron’s original and bigger one is in Homesite which is a place I haven’t gone to, but a jeepney destination anyway (which is one of the best things in Bacolod, imho, mobility-wise — almost all places can be reached via jeepney!).

I went to pray at the Redemptorist Church and walked a few minutes and found its location in San Agustin Street (basically an extension of the street opposite Colegio San Agustin – so if you see the school, turn right and you’re near the restaurant). A bigger landmark — Riverside Hospital. The restaurant is beside other dessert places which are also very popular in the city.

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Another shot of my Lord Byron’s plate. Partnered it with cold Pepsi Max for good measure. This ribs meal plate is 159 pesos only.   

More than sumptuous chicken dishes, Bacolod is also strong in the backribs restaurant game. 🙂

 

 

 

Lunch Joke

I hardly regret the amount I spend on food and books. My taste in food is also very easy to please unless onions are involved. However there are days that will get you. See, I paid 100 pesos for this plate of food. You can tell how the serving is as I put a bill beside it. Hindi talaga makatarungan minsan. And it’s not as if it’s melt in your mouth liempo. 

Some say when I complain about how much something costs it just means I am not its target market. I agree with that but this joke of a lunch is to me a clear exception. 😂

Tolerance is not Indifference

I would like to think I am tolerant but not indifferent.

These are two different traits which are prone to be muddled when you are perceived to not care about, well, many things. I do care, it’s just that it’s a personal preference to let people live their own lives. When you apply it to family and close friends, it can very well be misconstrued as indifference. Deadma. Kebs. Walang pakialam, walang puso, to an extent, walang utang na loob. Hurtful, in a way.

I can give my thoughts on issues and situations but I deliberately make it a point to leave the last decision or conclusion to whoever I am talking to. How to move on from a breakup? Here are my thoughts based on what I know about your situation BUT up to you. Do you think I can do this? I think I do, BUT ikaw, you decide if you really want to. I read a blood relation on a warpath in social media — I ask if he/she is okay and perhaps may wanna tone it down BUT then again, bahala ka kung anong gusto mong gawin.

I may be crazy chatty and noisy and jokingly condescending but my closest friends know it’s all for fun. I personally do not feel comfortable having a say on someone’s life other than my own. At the end of the day, buhay mo yan. That’s just my reason for my being perceived as walang pakialam when the jokes are over. Maybe sometimes I overdo it that they think I just choose to forget. Well, minsan (lol), but I notice things, I hear laments, I read about situations — so my conscious and subconscious do know, I just choose not to react. The bahala ka sa buhay mo in a good way, you know what I mean? Of course, it’s common sense that when danger or a threat is looming, that becomes a different story.

More importantly, and this is where it becomes “complicated” allegedly, I simply do not want the same done to me. Tricky, as many will say (had said!) akala mo kung sino na ako na hindi na pwedeng sabihan. THAT’S NOT IT. Iba ‘yon. You have the freedom to speak to me, but to take them in, ako na ‘yon.

Life isn’t supposed to be a quid pro quo stance all the time. But I don’t opine on your life so I respectfully request you not give unsolicited advice and pass them off as what’s best for me.

I have a very limited number of people whom I allowed to have a clout in my life. My mother tops this list. Even then, it’s not completely true — because I only ultimately decide what I want, when I want to do it, and why. It’s really very simple. Harmlessly simple.

The Plague of the Vague

img_33761One good thing with our social media accounts is how we can post something, anything, that can be for someone without actually naming that someone. We are all treated to this everyday, and let’s admit it, there are times when the angry ones are the juicier ones, the more that catches our attention. On the other end, when you post something non-warfreakish with a person in mind, we carefully craft it albeit vaguely, but it reeks of ‘This is for you, hope you get it” undertones. If the person is dense or uninterested, your message will just be liked by equally clueless friends (because that’s what they’re there for, minsan kahit hindi nabasa, like lang agad — nasa friendship code ba yan?!), and will be drowned by more pressing posts. In short, mapapanis. :-p Lucky for you if the intended recipient read it yet didn’t do anything. Luckier if the intended read it, got it, and sprang into action. Ang haba ng buhok mo, girl. Ang pogi mo, boy.

On the other hand,  your “vaguely crafted” message will also be read by people other than the intended recipient, unless you restrict it to just the two of you (which will beg the question, hello, how psycho can you get?!). If it is a declaration of feelings, a pronouncement of whatever bubbling up inside, a subtle invite – lahat yan will be open to interpretation, and you have to be prepared for these, erm, possibilities. Particularly with regard to invites, we can be so engrossed hitting our target, tapos iba ang tinamaan. A different one took you up on it. That will be so awkward to decline. Sige nga, ngayon ka magmaganda.

This blog post is a big obvious example of such vagueness. (Sana nga na-gets mo.)

This is exactly what I thought as one of the downsides of being vague. There, the very lazy word sana.

Life is too short and the cyberspace is so vast to not be specific. The vagueness protects us from putting down all our cards on the table, it allows us to guard our heart, but at what cost?

 

Just Write Just Right

This begins a series of short posts that may or may not be for long. There is still the disconnect. I have said this over and over again.

Anyway, there is still comfort – not guilt – in running close to 7 kilometers, then going home and having panaderia-bought Spanish bread and Finetti (aka upper middle class Nutella) for dinner. And a glass of cold cranberry juice. Whatever makes you happy, you eat it.

Drawing for a Cause

bitmoji183224066No, I’m not making some art for charity, although I wish I am that talented to pull it off.

By “drawing”, I meant not doing tasks and not going to events I expressed interest in. Different factors are in play: priorities, finances, on some level the genuine interest, and tons of excuses. 🙂 HistoryCon? Pop Comicon? Reader’s Fest? Book yardsale? Cinemalaya/Cinematheque/Cinema76? Give me my drawing board, hahaha!

The tiny tinge of regret does not overpower the reason why I put them off — okay lang talaga. I can catch up in some other way. I am not busy busy with other things. Very minimal activities lang — reading (still), organizing my online storage (I mean, ebook cataloguing and album sorting are therapeutic activities), and believe it or not, working out.

Yes, working out. I only started last week, and despite raised brows and carino brutal chides, I still don’t have plans of stopping. Knowing my lameduck (pwede bang lamepig, hahaha) self, sweating it out and stretching my body parts were very strange concepts. I plan to change that. My friend Raft3r sent a stolen shot of me at the treadmill and mygahd, medyo unacceptable na. I’ve always liked my chubby self pero minsan it comes to you na hmm, hindi na bagay, pretty self! Time to work on it, and again, not aiming for the media-obsessed, plump-is-no-beautiful frame of mind. Iproportion lang.

bitmoji-454067576Working out is hard, moreso for people like me who barely stretched. There is something fulfilling in completing a guided workout though. Sweating profusely is another thing. Endorphinssss! But I still have to get myself checked because even if I no longer eat after a workout, I noticed I grew larger after a few days. I may be doing something wrong if nothing is wrong with me. Seriously, one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy workout before was because I gained more weight when I started going to the gym or running in races. Food portion control does not work on me as fast also. Tumatanda na talaga.

Really, why am I doing this , you may ask. It’s for something I dabbled into with zero, with nil, with no realistic sign that I am up to it. I am praying for it because it’s more the mindset for everything to fall into place. Will definitely share once it’s finally happening. In the meantime, I will continue working out. Hindi man matuloy, hindi man pumayat, kahit lumakas na lang. Tipong I won’t see silver stars and feel like I’m dying after going up a footbridge, mga ganoon.

This is part of something I learned from a talk I attended: do something new each month. It does not have to be large scale, just something you have not done before. Thank you, The Better Story project for the inspiration. Hopefully, in getting into this groove, I won’t be drawing as much as I do.

Not Helping

I’m on my fifth day of a non-restrictive detox cleanse. I don’t think it helps in managing my moods! I said it previously about snapping easily, but the other end of that spectrum is the silly bout of emotions ranging from self-pity to helplessness. I hate them both — see, hate is a strong word which I avoid using as much as I can.

Ang hirap i-manage ng hormonal imbalance, friends and countrymen. No wonder drugs were created to assist people in dealing with it. I thank God for having something to do, actually plenty of things to do, because otherwise, I’d be pulling my hair out of my head one strand at a time.

It’s not all sadness and depression though. My shallowness is better than ever. Kung benta ang slapstick jokes sa akin before, mas tawang tawa ako sa sobrang corny na jokes ngayon. Hahaha 🙂 Medyo baliw-baliwan ang aura natin lately.

My detox cleanse ends in 30 days. I’ll tell you more about it, particularly if it works. Right now, natatawa lang ako because one of the fiber drinks is supposed to make me feel full. I am not feeling it! Kinakain ko pa din lahat ng makita ko. Ang husay.

It Comes and Goes, Don’t Trust It

imageMy fuse has been shorter than usual lately. I don’t deny that there are times when my anger management reflects poorly on my personality and I’ve atoned for them many times over. Lately, I can only blame hormones for it.

Someone asked me recently if I don’t get tired being angry. I guess I didn’t comprehend the question that much for I answered no — I took it in the context of letting the anger linger which I don’t do. If you know me long enough, you may have witnessed how I flare up in one big burst and then it dies down immediately. What the questioner probably meant was with the frequency, does it ever take a toll on me. Now that my moods are very erratic, I should have answered yes, I do. Because it does get very tiring and more so when you cannot do anything about it.

I am suffering from PCOS and most literature points to hormonal imbalance as one of its effects. My acne breakout of epic proportions early this year was a red waving flag. I still refuse to get medication though because, and this may seem very misguided, I don’t want medications to supposedly fix my reproductive system. I just don’t want to mess it up by introducing drugs. Very misguided, I know. Let us discuss that later.

The outlet that social media provides is healthy. There’s the TMI vs. form of release schools of thought on this, but if you are one to get relief, no matter how momentary, from spilling it out in lieu of an actual person to vent to, then I am totally for it.

For every Twitter meltdown I did, guilt came right after. And the embarrassment of how bipolar I may appear to some because after the end of whiny posts, I will RT or QT something totally upbeat and silly. Hormones, I guess?  Yeah, hormones.

Right now I am thankful to have friends tolerating my cyclical rants. They can be my personal psychologists, too, but with the underlying acceptance that at the end of the day, I will do my own thing anyway.

They say that happiness is an attitude. I find it hard to pivot my feelings to that direction lately. One of my bestfriends said I wasn’t like this for months now — distraction was key, perhaps. I know I can always do other things and distract myself from my routine. It really does work, you know. My struggle now is that I cannot find the will to make that one crucial step towards fighting it. I am not sure why and why for, but I do get pissed very easily lately. And the worse part is, now, I’m not even sorry.

Let me check back on this again in the next few weeks. I hope I have not made many enemies and burned bridges by then.

#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy

Agosto na naman and dahil buwan ng wika ito, what better time to promote and encourage Pinoy readers to engage in a readathon of Pinoy-authored books! (Ironic ba, ang lakas maka-Taglish?)

Ginawa ko na ito three years ago. Matapos ito, local books have peppered my reading progress. All-year round naman dapat ang appreciation na ito although aminin din natin, with the barrage of reading materials from abroad, minsan nababackseat mo sila.

Feeling ko I did pretty well sa unang Pinoy readathon ko. Siguro mas magandang approach ang looking from the inside, palabas. Kumbaga, priority talaga dapat ang mula dito, ang nalikha at naisulat dito, bago tumalon sa iba.

Mula sa isa sa hinahangaan kong Pinoy na manunulat na si Edgar Samar, narito ang mga exciting na pwedeng gawin upang umahok sa kampanyang ito sa #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy:

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Halina at makilahok! Kung hindi mo bet sa ngayon ang akdang Pinoy, ito ang magandang panahon para lawakan ang iyong horizon at i-explore ang Pinoy literature. Magugulat ka sa makikita mo. Isang buwan ito, so kitakits sa kanya-kanyang cyberspace updates!

Rethink

Someone told me that in order to exorcise someone from your system, try to set aside the romantic aspect of your feelings and think of him as a friend. I mean, ask yourself, “If I am not romantically attracted to this person, would I be friends with him?”

Applying it to my case, the answer is I don’t know. Really. Because I knew him and it was built around the perceived him which was thankfully substantiated by what he showed me and how he treated me.

All great relationships are rooted in great friendships. I believe that. You need not be friends for a long time though. Maybe it’s something that you develop as you go along. So I hope I didn’t scare him enough to not want to even be friends with me. Masaya akong kasama, sabi ng iba, so feeling ko carrybells naman ako maging friend. Hahaha!

If at some point this takes a turn for the better, well and good. If it doesn’t, which looking at it parang ganoon na nga, at least I can look at him in the future and tell him, “Remember that time na gusto kita at inaya pa kita mag-date?” And then we’ll both laugh.

But I’m not there yet. A friend texted today, “Delay is not denial, so keep on praying.” I’m still at it. In the meantime, magbabasa na lang muna ako ng libro as I wait for it. Whatever that IT is.

Review: CRUSHINGLY CLOSE

The blog tour for Stella Torres’ latest book makes a stop here in Citizen Judie!

Crushingly Close - CoverCrushingly Close
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Get the book: Amazon // Goodreads

I got an ARC from the author. This in no way affects my honest review of the book.

About the Book: At twenty-four years old, Agnes Escueta has risen from the ranks to become a producer for Sports Tonight. No one can touch her, it seems—not even crush-worthy anchorman Daniel Ferrer, who she gets to work with every single day. When a road trip to Indonesia throws Agnes and Daniel together, they find themselves working in close quarters. It doesn’t take long before Agnes finds herself being charmed by Daniel, and her defenses start to melt with his touch. With deadlines looming and a big game coming, Agnes must figure out how to let Daniel into her life without risking her professional reputation—and without breaking her own heart.

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When I read the synopsis of CRUSHINGLY CLOSE, I immediately thought, This is just what I need. It interested me because I’ve been missing The Newsroom lately (it has touches of Sports Night, too, right?) and my Timehop is rife with my Azkals adventures in recent years, so imagine how much I can relate to the story even before starting it.

What I liked about CRUSHINGLY CLOSE is that it’s very straightforward. Sometimes you really need not have too much issues and drama to weave a romantic story. The character-building may be short but the people turned out to be likable and more importantly, very relatable.

The attraction between Agnes and Daniel was simply laid out. No crazy long build up and back and forth, and when it happened, it was at the right moment. I liked the element of special things happening when you’re away from your comfort zone (or simply, home). It added to the satisfaction which turned to a momentary confusion when they got back and one of them thought, “What now?”

That, that chunk of time in the story was my favorite part. Things unfolding while away, where even the very few people who knew you there weren’t privy to it, that’s what got me. It may have happened too soon, but to me it was just the right time. The characters are human, and in giving in to emotions, in putting down the barrier, I saw that they’re perfectly normal (and again, human).

I liked how Agnes and Daniel were written. They’re both independent and vulnerable in their own ways and letting their guard down, especially for Agnes, wasn’t something done in an over the top way. Agnes knew what she’s in for and only needed a short time to sort things out and decide what she wanted in her life. In hindsight it did justice to her independent nature as a character. Daniel, on the other hand, was consistent. And we all like our men to be consistent, especially when it’s about going after you and staying true to their feelings for you. Naks.

When I liked a story, after finishing the last page, there’s a sappy me needing a sequel. As for Agnes and Daniel, I would love to read about their new adventures in the newsroom! More banter! More affection! More steamy editing room scenes! Maka-demand naman di ba? 🙂

This is my first book written by Stella Torres and I’m happy I signed up for this blog tour and got to read CRUSHINGLY CLOSE earlier. Off to read her other stories!

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SMT_AuthorPhoto2About the Author:

Stella Torres is the author of Save the Cake and the short story “Be Creative” from Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy (Vol. 1)). She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and worked briefly in public relations, but has chosen to pursue her post-graduate studies in the field of education. She loves dark chocolate, hates flyaways, and is constantly in search of comfortable shoes.

Connect with the author:

Blog: http://thegreatbigjump.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/StellaTorresAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheStellaTorres
Instagram: http://instagram.com/stella_meimei