Zero to Nothing

I learned how to have very low expectations of everything and everyone.  I guess it’s working well.  It’s a better-working buffer.

Anyway, my very latest attempt to step out of my comfort zone is still in the air.  I applied for a job within my organization, and unlike before, I am keeping my expectations to a minimum.  I do not want to be too confident even though sometimes I feel I have the right to feel that way.  Some say it is an anti-thesis of wanting something so bad, you have to claim it.  I subscribe to that on some level but really, my most prominent philosophy is if it’s yours, it’s yours, and everything will fall into place.

Next month I will mark my first decade in this job.  My very first.  I can say that everything I know about management (and other sh*t) I learned here, because really, I have not been elsewhere.  I was once advised to try applying for jobs every two years to test my market value.  So far, I’ve done it twice this year, and I wasn’t fit for either.  It’s a little disappointing but I’m okay.  Well, I’m not like someone I know who agency-hops and has a 100% success rate with every job application.  (Lucky bastard, you. LOL. I love you!)

It will be hypocritical to say it’s entirely okay if I don’t get the job.  Of course, I will feel bad.  It’s something close to my heart.  Books and libraries are two key characters of the job so what’s not to want, right?  But anyway, if and when I get short-listed, I will do my best and let’s take it from there.  Frankly, when I pray to God, not just for this, but for all other things I want, I always tell HIM to will what’s best for me.  They say you have to be specific in asking HIM for what you want, but really, God’s “specific” plan for me will always be way way better.  Smile if you agree! 😉

My deputy confessed, after much hesitation, that she prayed for me, but in a way that “bargains” with God not to let me get the job if I’m not a real fit.  I laughed.  Well, her reason was personal— because she doesn’t want me to leave.  I told her not to worry because, as I said, zero to nothing expectation, right?  Let’s not get our hopes too high.

At any rate, here’s to waiting if I will be in a new job in 2013.  If not, I can always find other things to do…and other job vacancies to ram myself in. 😉

Lay it down, flip it, and reverse it.

Each year, we experience a season of comings and goings, hellos and goodbyes, and in some cases, an opportunity to mingle with colleagues who make you want to seriously rethink where you are and what you have been doing with your life.

I believe that when you think of change, no matter how mundane the thoughts are, you have to listen to what it tells you; you must stop, consider, and then decide.  It takes a hell of courage to take that first brave step out the door.  It’s simple but it’s not easy.

With the activities I spend my time on: be it books, TV shows, hours of internet surfing, football, and more books, some may opine that I just thought I want to do something else but in truth, it’s just a passing fad.  Because I am really wired to gain happiness and contentment from [insert the activities an interests I mentioned early this paragraph].


Let us lay it down, flip it, and reverse it.

What if the very reasons I have been doing [insert activities and interests I mentioned way above] are brought by what I do now?  What if change would actually push me to stand up, walk, run, stride…do stuff?  You know, to be alive.

Anyway, long story short, I do not do these because I am preternaturally this; in fact, I do these because now, I only do this.  

Subjecting one’s self to change is always a chance to learn something new.  However, good timing heavily comes with it.  I have to work on the latter.  Almost 3 feet of my size 7 left strider is already out the door.  I will keep you posted.

My Pedring Adventure

Like many people in metropolitan Manila, I braved typhoon Pedring (Nesat) yesterday.  I’m happy to be safe and dry at home but the entire day was crazy! This is what I remembered from yesterday <time stamps are my closest approximations!>:

5:30 a.m. – I logged on to Twitter and Facebook for real-time updates.  I was up since 4:30 a.m., hoping for a mass text message from the office regarding closure.  Nothing came so I’m assuming it’s a go.

6:55 a.m. – I’m on the road with a good-natured cab driver. As in naaaliw sya na baha na at nung natanaw nya na ang laki ng lumalampas na alon from the seawall, he’s like watching a wrestling match.  There’s rain and mildly strong winds when I left San Andres but I noticed it’s gotten stronger after Quirino Avenue corner Taft Avenue.

7:25 a.m. – Stuck in Mabini Street.  Note that cab driver tried San Andres Street but had to turn back after Malate Church because it’s crazy flooded in Aristocrat.  Tried Quintos Street near LandBank Building…zap!  Too many cars coming from Roxas Boulevard.  Tried Pedro Gil service road…zilch.  Mas malalim.  Finally tried Padre Faura but the rush of water from the bay is scary.  Even I saw the flood beside the building 1322.  Manong politely asked me if I can just take a padyak (pedicab) because he doesn’t want to brave the waters.  He’s been so nice to me I didn’t argue anymore.  (In hindsight, I should have just asked him to bring me back home!)

This is what welcomed me just when I was crossing the street to get to work. Malalim yan ha. Ga-hita.

7:35 a.m. – Stuck again but this time in front of my office in Roxas Boulevard.  The pedestrian lane in front of the main gate’s flooded, mga knee-deep, so I walked to the front of the former Annex Building where there’s no water yet.  I crossed the street when the rush of water came with the wind.  Murky water with garbage!  Gross…and you know me, I’m not easily grossed out.  Anyway, the guard told me not to go to the office because everyone’s asked to go home anyway.  My mobile phone beeped and I got the message from the office that we’re closed for business today.  How late could you be, text message?

8:00 a.m. – I’m still standing by the fence of Bayview Hotel fronting Roxas Boulevard.  I’ve been there since I decided to cross the street and go back home.  See, it’s probably the same period where heavy rains really poured and the wind knocked whatever it is that’s on its way.  I’m just holding on to a pole next to a man who stayed put for fear that his motocycle will be swept away by all the ravaging going on.  I swear, whatever level of alertness I had, I lost at this time.  Talaga palang pag ganun kabilis ang pangyayari and when disaster is in front of you, it’s possible to stand still in the middle of nowhere, clueless with that to do.

I know I should have waded the water so I could go back to Faura and take a jeep home.  When I realized it, the water’s almost waist-deep.  I didn’t risk it because I was recovering from fever the day before…a good decision but not necessarily helpful since I’m being slapped with nasty winds and heavy downpour, even with my durable raincoat.

8:10 a.m. – I decided to let it simmer, even if it seems it’s not letting up anytime soon, so I headed to Starbucks – Bayview.  The place is full.  I left and tried walking to Plaza Ferguson again, hoping to have the courage to walk to Faura.

8:15 a.m. – Too windy.  No, it’s not windy.  It’s freakin’ stormy.  I’m fat and strong but nature is 1 million times stronger than me.  I went to Bayview Hotel to try checking in for the day.

8:20 a.m. – Too many people at the hotel’s concierge.  Maybe I’ll just head over to Starbucks again.

8:25 a.m. – Confused why they’re closing Starbucks even with people inside.  Turns out the place already has water inside.  Uh, okay.

8:27 a.m. – Back to Bayview.  More people at the front desk.  I actually saw the first rush of water from outside enter the lobby.

8:30 a.m. – It all happened so fast.  More water’s coming in.  People eating breakfast starting to complain and also panicking.  A power outlet on the floor exploded.

8:45 a.m. – There are only two receptionists, and one of them is freaking out because of the busted outlet.  It’s dark, people are demanding to be serviced for check out and check in, it’s still howling outside.  I decided to go out of the hotel.  Heck, I’m just going home.

8:50 a.m. – Stuck behind a giant plantbox with a Bayview guard.  The current’s stronger than 30 minutes ago.  Rainwater’s also splashing my face like crazy.  I don’t know if it’s just me but the water’s salty.

9:00 a.m. – Back to Bayview.  Note that the struggle to let me out and let me in was scary.  Floor’s slippery, the wind can knock you off your feet.  Kudos to the helpful security people assisting undecided people like me go in and out of the establishment.

9:30 a.m. – Finally checked in.  Together with 3 other people, we convinced the receptionist to waive the early check-in fee because this is an extraordinary circumstance, in case she didn’t notice.  She relented.  Note that we’re transacting with the aid of one working flashlight.

10:00 a.m. – Washed myself off all the dirt, particularly from my waist down.  The hotel’s running on generator so only the bathroom and porch lights are working along with the AC.  Fine.  Better than nothing.

11:30 a.m. – The lights and AC have been intermittently going off every 15 minutes but this time it must be busted entirely.  Clad in my still-wet long-sleeved blouse and the hotel’s towel, I went out of the room and boy, it’s dark!  For some reason, the hotel windows must be sound proof because I can see from the window that the rain’s ongoing, the flood is getting higher but there were no scary sounds to tell me that it’s still almost doomsday outside!  I asked a staff what’s happening with the generator.  He said it’s busted already.  With a flashlight, he offered to bring me to the second floor (one floor down from where I am).  I grabbed my bag and went out of the room.

A grainy shot of a flooded lobby of Bayview Hotel. It happened so fast!

12:00 noon – The second floor, which is constructed like a mezzanine, is where they transferred the front desk, sales office, and restaurant.  From the terrace, you can see that the lobby is severely flooded.  Waist-deep flood inside the lobby!  Plus the area is poorly lighted.  Most of the illumination are from flashlights of the staff going back and forth and whatever light that daytime provides.  This is crazy.  I’m starting to get scared.  They gave away free cinammon buns and bagels and butter so we just ate. Lunch packs (rice, viand, dessert, water) are available as well but I lost my appetite for a real meal.  As I said, this is starting to creep me out.

1:00 p.m. – We were shephered in one of their board rooms, still at the second floor, because it has wall to wall windows.  So yeah, it’s brighter but with the storm outside, I feel like they’re going to smash anytime soon.  The hotel has almost full occupancy because of two big contingents  – I heard they’re from the Inter-Country Adoption Board and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts – plus factor in individual/family guests, transients, and additional guests, mostly applicants of the US Embassy.  I realized it’s not helpful to be scared and it’s counter-productive to whine, so I just read a book.

2:00 p.m. – I’m happy to have helped three people today.  One, a Japanese guy who approached me and asked if he can use my phone to call a relative.  He showed me that his phone is powered by Globe and we all know Globe has been wonky since 9 am!  I let him  use my phone.  Next, a Korean guest asked me if I can listen to Cebu Pacific’s hotline recording because he wants to know about his flight to Incheon later.  He has a hard time understanding the recording.  After him, one Korean lady asked for help to load credits to her mobile phone.  It feels good to help, really.

4:30 p.m. – Time to go down to the make-shift front desk to ask for their plans.  It’s getting darker and thankfully, it’s not raining hard and it’s not windy anymore.  I spent the last hour and a half reading a book (goodluck to my already-bad eyesight) and exchanging text messages with friends billeted in Manila Hotel.  One’s asking me to transfer hotels and sleep with them.  I looked outside; the flood subsided a little so I’d only have to walk on knee-deep water.  However, if I have to wade through that, I can wade in the opposite direction — and go home.

This is the view from my room around 1 pm. That's UN Avenue and Roxas Boulevard.

4:45 p.m. – Checking out.  I was caught in the middle of a heated discussion between most of the front line personnel and disappointed guests.  They were asking for contingency plans which admittedly, the hotel appears to have none.  If they do, it’s not obvious.  I can relate with their sentiments; it’s getting dark and it’s gonna be pitch black in about an hour.  As it is, the hallways and most rooms are dark.  Most floors are slippery.  There’s no option to transfer guests in a shuttle to another hotel or to the airport, which is what many of them have been clamoring for.  I decided not to join the fray.  The lack of generator power did it to me; I’d rather risk going home than stay.  I insisted that they work out my check out details.  I paid a considerably less amount than their published rate.  It’s good enough for me.

5:00 p.m. – Walking out of the hotel.  The lobby is still flooded but it’s only ankle-deep.  The entire floor’s very dirty though.  When I got out, of course, knee-deep murky water greeted me hello.  Desperate people wanting to go home cannot be choosers!  I decided to walk on the narrow elevated stretch of Roxas Boulevard’s sidewalk  which lasted until the front of Emerald Garden in Arquiza Street.  From there, it’s wade in water or stay put forever.  I sought the help of a man going to the Pagcor Building for guidance.  See, I cannot see what I’m walking on, I’m terribly bad in “feeling” the ground, and I have a penchant for falling into manholes (as this old post would prove).  I made it to Faura Street after a while.

It’s great to see actual roads again!  However, the last stretch proved to be daunting:  the short walk between 1322 and Faura corner del Pilar Streets.  Not to be snooty but even on regular rainy days, that area is flooded and on sunny days, it’s just plain dirty.  I’m talking of cigarette butts-candy wrappers-diapers-giant rodents filthy.  I took a deep breath and walked through knee-deep of impending infection.  So relieved when I made it and I happily hailed a jeepney going to Bukid.  I’m finally going home!

6:00 p.m. – I’m home, have showered, and eating Mom’s corn soup.  I was told that our area didn’t experience any power cutoff.  Only our cable TV was out but it came back a little before I got home.  No flooding, too.  This is one of the reasons why even with its lower middle class location, outrageous neighbors, and overall “I could do better than this” feelings, I cannot part with Chromium Street.   We’ve gone through Milenyo in 2007 and Ondoy in 2009 and the worst we experienced were power interruptions and tangled electric wires.  It just feels good to be home.  It’s awesome to be home.  Whew, what a day.

Regular awesome day

In order to stay true to my pledge of daily posts for one month for NaBloPoMo, I will share the randomness – and greatness – of this day.

I have to admit that I’m not in my element this week.  Can you blame me?  The weather warranted a stay in bed the whole time, yesterday we were asked to go home early on a rather dry day…valid momentum-killers, I’m telling you.  However, as an adult, I don’t have much leisure to complain, so I’m just enjoying it.

If you think about it, my plate’s pretty full.  I’m back to a 3-day backlog, website management demands more attention than usual, my employee association board-ship (I know it isn’t a term, sshhh) is almost up but duties still abound, my reading phase is moving a bit faster than usual, I booked appointments with different sets of friends the entire week…whew.

I also returned to Zumba class today after 3 straight weeks of no workout at all.  I’m not surprised that my lower limbs are in pain as I type.

If you’re following me on Twitter, it’s hard to miss my fascination, albeit late, for the national football team of the Philippines.

I also took a liking for a 19-year old midfielder of the national team, Manuel Ott. I originally liked Angel Guirado (another midfielder) and I still do, but after seeing him (Manu) in Rockwell last Friday, meek and mild, and hardly knowing how to handle his newfound fame, I was enamored.  I will never go far with this, unless I want to be the youngest cougar/sugar mommy.  Anyway, yeah, I just really like him and Angel.  They’re not just half-bred Filipinos; they really know how to play football.  Don’t get me started on Stephan Schrock, too. Yay.

So in the midst of my feelings for a man 18 years my senior, I found a young man ten years my junior.  I like it.  The age gap, by itself, made the feeling more fun.

A funny highlight of my day, perhaps, would be when I asked the Clinique lady in Essenses to try on my face their new cleansing products.   I haven’t done that ever.  So there I was, after a long day at work and a heavy workout, getting free applications of Clinique cleansing scrub, clarifying toner, moisturizer, and anti-blemish cream.  It’s like a free facial.

They shouldn’t be disappointed because I bought a clarifying toner;  that’s what I really came there for.

It’s 10:05 pm and I couldn’t believe it’s August already.  Four months to go until the new year.  Three months until my first trip to Boracay  (well, I can go earlier, yes?)…and four days to go until his birthday. 🙂


Boss: What did you give up for Lent?
Me: (softly) Pork.
Boss: (long pause) Oh, pork! I thought you said ‘work‘! That’s not gonna work out well for you!

I know that, of course.

After two months, the possible effect of an imminent federal government shut down has hit me. With the way things unfold here in my post, there’s no reason to feel anxious at all – brand new facility, people still get sent to training and workshops abroad – but a part of me still cannot help but feel bothered.

Furlough has been a strange concept to us until now. At the end of the day, I am hoping the US congress will reach a decent agreement so furlough is no longer an option. Meanwhile, if push comes to shove, it is better than having no work at all. At this rate, even if we stop working, if they will do the same thing as in the mid-nineties, a three-week break would mean a vacation for us, the pay we skipped would be received, and everything will be back to normal.

Of course, the more ideal thing is to continue working as usual.

Indeed, I have had bouts of jumping off the edge, trying out something new, seeking out other pastures, but now is the only time I feel the most powerful push of motivation.

I look at the sky, it is still clear and blue, and I know that my life is still doing okay.

2011 Resolutions

I spent the last day of 2010 until the first day of 2011 sick in bed.  It wasn’t anything serious; it’s just that when my immune system is in the mood to bring me down, it does so for days.  While waiting to get better, I thought of my resolutions for this new year, for this new decade.  Let’s go back to this at the end of 12 months to know how I fared.

  1. Sleep more.  I admit that most of my illnesses were triggered by not sleeping enough.  If you trace majority of my sick leaves, two to three days prior were days with less than 5 hours of sleep.  This year, I will sleep for 6 hours at the least, 8 hours or more on weekends.  I realized that I’m not getting any younger and I don’t want to be sickly in the future.  I still want to raise a family, you know.
  2. Go out less on weeknights.  I mean going out, either alone or with friends (well, mostly alone), directly after office hours.  I don’t know anymore why I still do this.  It doesn’t mean I’m going to decline invites but since most of them happen on Fridays anyway, I’ll just go straight home after office or after class.  I very rarely, if never, do nor stumble upon great moments while I’m out on weeknights; it’s usually just dinner at a restaurant, reading time at a coffee shop, or window shopping – activities I can very well do without, or I still can do but within the confines of home.
  3. Read more books.  I used to hit 50-60 books a year and it’s a shame I cannot do it anymore.  I hoard books like a madwoman and it’s a shame that I cannot find time to read them.  Seriously, this shouldn’t even be here.  Reading to me is like eating or breathing.  Well, at least, it used to…and I terribly miss it.
  4. Less “drama”.  Oh, someone will be very happy if I can stay true to this.  Our loyal female friends may not get tired of this but if you have male friends, they would tell you pointblank that something is wrong with you.  I can still blame hormones but I guess they can be managed.  I pride myself to be very easily distracted (ADHD, anyone?) so it’s ironic that I can’t control my raging emotions.  To do it well is part of maturity, I guess.  That, and the fact that as we get older, we must learn to give importance to things that are, well, important to us.  Ang mag-drama sa 2011, pasasagasaan sa pison beyond recognition.  Deal?
  5. Go out on dates.  I remember turning down what could have been my first date for 2010 because the guy very recently broke up with a long-time girlfriend.  My rejection was valid but as what my other friends said, nag-feeling naman ako di ba? A date is a chance to get to know more people and to expand my network.  I didn’t have many offers but I did turn down invites last year.  I didn’t regret them even though a part of me thinks they could have been fun.  More importantly, I didn’t want to go out then because I wanted a date from a specific person.  It’s what Einstein said about stupidity – doing the same things over and over expecting a different result each time.  I can say I have exhausted that option so I’m ready to mingle again.  So to my friends, I’m open to dates again.  You know what I like! Bawal ang _______ Hahaha!
  6. Save money.  I’m lucky to have a stable job with a satisfactory salary to pay for my necessities every other Thursday.  I feel ashamed asking God for more money when in fact, He has provided me avenues to get them, to have them, I was not just managing it well.  I will do away with unnecessary expenses.  I’m nearing my thirties and I don’t have any assets to boast of, for God’s sake.  I can start by doing #2 well.  Little steps.
  7. Don’t be late.  …in all instances where the concept of time is involved! For one, my boss giving me a faux vintage necklace with a timepiece should be a big hint to me already, hahaha! Filipino time is on time!
  8. Get a part-time job.  I plan on doing this for extra money and for other forms of brain activity aside from my day job and my Spanish class.  I still don’t know what type of job I’m going to get but I’ll explore options soon.  Wish me luck!
  9. Listen to my mother.  My mom and I reached a point in our relationship where we’re almost equals.  Contrary to what other people still think, we’re living different lives now.  I don’t ask permission anymore, I merely do an FYI (which is a respectable thing to do).  Anyway, there were many times when I believed I knew enough, whether it’s about my lovelife, my health, my finances, even dressing up, and then I failed. We may have grown up in different generations but children, it took me as early as the age of 28 to realize that hey, mothers are almost always right!  Aside from her constant nagging to give her a grandchild or shooing me away to work abroad, Mom and I are good, and I thank God for it.
  10. Work harder.  Emphasis on –er.  Enough said.

There are things I could have included; things that if you know me well, you would also expect to be included in my short list above.  Consider them a given, like it’s almost done.  We’re not talking about them here, are we? 🙂

What about you, what are your resolutions for 2011?

Reverb10: Beyond Avoidance

The prompt for today, December 20, is beyond avoidance, suggested by Jake Nickell.

What should you have done this year but didn’t because you were too scared, worried, unsure, busy or otherwise deterred from doing? (Bonus: Will you do it?)

I took mini-leaps of faith this year.  However, the biggest of them that I didn’t pursue fully was applying for a new job.  It’s something that’s been in my plate for two years now.  I had a chance when I was interviewed for a position one level higher than where I am now, still within the same organization.  I thought they didn’t want me, and ultimately, they probably didn’t, but after my interview, the position was re-advertised and was downgraded to the same grade level as I am.  I decided not to re-lodge my application because practically speaking, I’d rather stay where I am than go for a new kind of work for the same pay.

That was my thought then.  I didn’t think it would haunt me a few weeks later because I have to admit, I’m feeling so burned out, having done this job for almost 8 years.  This is my first job so I haven’t really seen much.  Plus, not all plans to move out of something are motivated by negative feelings.  I realized I am ready to leave this job if and when I feel something will work better for me, and I can only say goodbye with sadness because I’m leaving something great.  I can proudly say that generally speaking, my workplace is enjoying a very high level of morale.  Changes and transitions happen before my very eyes, too.  What else is there to complain about?  See, if a tiny part of you feels you will still pack and leave despite all of this, maybe it’s worth listening to.  More importantly, the person who got the re-advertised position was a very good fit for the job and he has become a good friend.  I easily accepted that it really wasn’t cut out for me.

Anyway, will I do it again if a great chance presents itself?

Yes, I definitely will.  I applied for interesting vacancies here and abroad as well but I guess I was about 70/30 sure so it didn’t come to fruition.  Next year, I plan to live by embracing change and getting out of my comfort zone.  Besides, I’m still young, at least by workplace standards, so this is a good time to explore other options.  Change is never easy yet I’m gearing myself for jumping off the edge (you know, the harmless kind of edge, for starters) because until I go there, I wouldn’t know.  Let’s see.

painless rundown

A watered-down version of the interesting week that was.

Monday was a choice between my make-up class in Spanish and the final bowling game between my agency and Public Affairs (aka mi amore’s team :)). It was an easy choice – I went to my Spanish class. Yes, I am very fascinated with that guy but I only want to be friends with him now. It’s very seldom that I see sociable + intelligent + good-looking rolled in one; I usually find men with, at best, two of these qualities, very rarely all three. So I like to associate myself with people like that, not really for romantic purposes. Unlike lovestruck girls, my ego would much rather enjoy being known as a friend of someone who many people like or look up to. Why? Because if you’re only friends, people will like you, too, but if you’re a romantic interest, even only as a ‘potential’ special someone, or one of those who harbors special affection for said popular person, they will surely hate you. See, it’s my sociopath mindset at work. Hahaha! But tell me where I’m wrong there!

Anyway, the make-up class was a review of everything we studied in the past 13 weeks. Found myself asking what it was that I put myself into. Again.

Tuesday, once more, was about Spanish class and bowling. And once again, I chose my Spanish class because it’s our diagnostic exam. I filed for leave in the afternoon so I can study. I killed time in a Starbucks near the office with Fiona Apple playing in the background. I twitted (or tweeted?) it and Fiona Apple replied. Hah. Anyway, our exam will determine if I can move on to level 4. I was confident on a few items but the listening section of the exam was a dumbass moment for me. A little similar to it was the 5-minute oral exposition. The first thing I thought of after the exam was…total surrender. It’s over and done with. Fin. 🙂

I had plenty of time to proceed to the bowling hall, at least to catch up with the awarding ceremony. I decided not to because a classmate/friend asked us to have dinner at this great shabu-shabu place in T.M. Kalaw. It was 50% off the menu prices after 9 pm. Who am I to let that opportunity pass? 🙂 I can now say I’m a shabu-shabu virgin no more.

Wednesday, a rainy day. Skipped my tango practice because my partner wasn’t here in Manila anyway. Book-shopped (three books for 105 pesos, not bad at all) and had dinner with a friend I haven’t been with in a long time. Conversations with him are always fun and very varied but there’s one topic we always go back to and for purposes of not exhausting all the wonderful potentials of that topic, I will not speak of it again the next time we go out. My friend paid for dinner so I guess that’s a good thing to add to this day.

Thursday was a holiday for us in commemoration of Veteran’s Day. If you know me well enough, it’s not strange anymore when I say I can watch TV shows for hours on end, pausing only to relieve myself. I did it again on this day. It’s great to catch up on most US TV shows I regularly follow. My best discovery was the hilarious new comedy Raising Hope. Also, The Walking Dead is the new shiznit, I’m telling you. Only two episodes have aired so it’s not too late to catch up. Zombies are love.

Friday, it was my bad, I arrived in the office an hour late. This was a VERY stressful day. Operation-wise, it’s aaack; I mean to the point that we had to ask ourselves, in between instruction-giving, what we were talking about – was it this update or this press release? This infosheet revision or this script? It was draining but as I said in my FB status, the masochist in me’s smiling the whole time.

Add to that were the collective concern and action to our colleague’s medical predicament, silently watching a ping-pong of sarcasm about some holiday party, potential exciting news for a friend on my birth month, and a docent session with international students from DLSU (something that I forgot I said yes to so I was so underdressed. Come on, it’s Friday!).

After work, I battled the prototype of hell known as “LRT1 and MRT on rush hour Friday”. I got to Megamall with all my organs and my dignity still intact.

Had dinner with my circle of Mean Girls which lasted a little after midnight. They also brought me to the flagship store of Forever21 and of course, I shopped because I’m such an easy person like that. It was fun, as usual.

Two more exciting days and this week is over. I should enjoy my days more so I don’t have to think of other things too much.




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Biggest Loser, dungeon edition

Two weeks ago, my team and I started our Biggest (Weight) Loser contest.  It will run for three months.  No rules nor prescribed regimen.  Even medical procedure is allowed and we only included it because we know no one can afford to do it anyway. 🙂

We had our initial weigh-in and whoever loses the least number of pounds (not necessarily who’s the heaviest) after 3 months will treat the team for lunch or dinner and must spend a certain dear amount (meaning no Jollibee nor Yellow Cab and the like).  If someone gained weight after the initial weigh-in, the treat should cost a little higher. It’s a pretty inexpensive bet but it’s money nonetheless.

We had to take this drastic measure because we all gained weight horribly and it’s not funny anymore. I have always liked my curvy self, but I joined this ‘contest’ for health reasons. One of the many wonderful things my late father passed to all of us, his children, is rheumatism and on occasion, gout; my latest check up told me I’m almost there unless I change my lifestyle. Our family doctor told me I gained 34 pounds in four years. That’s a lot, and something must be done about it. As for my teammates, it’s a classic case of lack of control. Plus we noticed that as we got older, it really became harder to shed unwanted pounds.

I cannot speak for all of us but I don’t know why I, in particular, gained a lot this year. I observed that 4 years ago, humility aside, I was more financially liquid. So it means I was eating out a lot more, I was consuming more utterly sinful, preservative-filled, and calorie-bursting foods, yet my weight didn’t shoot up this high in the scale. Do you think they have a long “gestation” period that only after several years would they show up in your body? It seems like it.

What’s more odd is that I got bigger after I started running. It could be about overcompensation — like, after running 5k, my mind would tell me to eat a lot because I’m hungry from all the running. Yes, I should eat, but not exactly devour food like a vulture. Although I don’t know how much more I’ve been eating. I’d like to think I am eating the same amount as I do when I’m not in my post-running state, and I mostly eat within an hour after running — they say it’s still acceptable for the body is still burning fats. So I’m still pretty lost there.

Anyway, the game is on and I don’t know how I’m faring. I don’t aim to lose a lot of pounds. In fact, my ideal weight is 120 pounds but I view it as skinny. I would like to retain some flesh, little flabs here and there. Narcissistically speaking, I don’t want to be “just right” or “skinny” because I feel most people are like it, and I cannot stand out that way. Admit it, I’m easier to describe because I’m on the heavy side. Plus real women have curves. And we’re more fun to hug! 🙂

Come November, I will update you on the result of our contest. Some said I can easily spare the money needed from my year-end bonus so as not to stress myself, but frankly, I know I will not lose 🙂

P.S. Why dungeon edition? Well, if you know where my office is located, you would know. If you’re a fan of The West Wing, think of the office of Ainsley Hayes and Joe Quincy, although probably not that geographically deep from the entire office building. 🙂


The end of 2009 saw me trying out new things and exploring other options.  I am expecting something, yes, but I am always open to whatever it brings. Let’s just say I will lose nothing by doing it.  Isn’t it the best kind of risk?

Anyway, since the year started I was met with little doubts if I should do it at all.  Typical form of doubt, I guess.  I may be doing a lot of activities, dabbling into many new stuff, but in a larger scheme of things, I have not made as big a move as the one I TRIED going into.

Whatever happens to my latest endeavor, I will gladly accept it.  It will be fantastic to get a favorable result, no matter how remote the possibility is for me.  I used to have very high hopes, and really, the apparent advantages are staring me in the face, but it’s not only me and about me. It’s a competition.

I hope this would not affect anything all but I’m having jitters about this move.  It’s like getting married soon and having bouts of cold feet, or getting engaged and suddenly being more attractive to the opposite sex than you have ever been.  They all want to implicitly ask, “Are you sure you want to do it? It’s good in here.  Maybe even better.” Sometimes, I have the exact sentiment.  There are tons of wonderful opportunities and phases that are very worthy looking into at exactly where I am now.  They somehow gently tapped my shoulder so I can take a look and for once, decide if I should really jump out of the nest.

At any rate, I am just thinking that God has the upper hand here, as He has always been.  Maybe this confusion, or fear with an unknown origin, is here to squeeze the truth out of me; somehow I need to tell the universe that, “Yes, this is what I really want.  I know the alternatives.  I am choosing this.” The problem is I have not figured out what variables I am choosing.  Yet.

Hence the name.

It is the second day of a new year! Happy to still be alive and well.

My desire to blog has not fully returned.  I feel I have said too much in the past five years.  I am more on the reading end now.  I’m enjoying it!  But if there’s sufficient reason (or agitation – hahaha, kidding!) to do so, I probably would.  My keyboard needs more action, after all.

So far, I’m only dabbling in reading challenges.  Yes, I’m joining again but I significantly lowered the bar on myself.  I am not counting magazines and scholarly journals in the reading challenges even if they do figure out in my reading time.  So yeah, just plain books.  Those paper products that give me a euphoric feeling whenever I smell the pages.  Yes, yes.

I will be back to work in a day!  In one of our last meetings in 2009,  it was announced that MANY changes, both procedural and operational, will happen this year.  So yay for them!  I am, in truth, ecstatic to be part of these changes.  I have a business trip on the week before my birthday, too! Will extend until my special day but I still have no plans.  As I told some people, I may need to hook up with the locals to show me around or at least point me to the interesting corners of the island.

Speaking of my birthday, I will be 28 in sixteen days.  No fuss about it anymore.  There are days when I still can’t believe I’m nearing my thirties (for one, when I look at my mother,  I can’t help but think that I was already five years old when she’s 28) but I get over it easily.  More people are older than me! And no matter how much they say it’s fun to be young, hell, it’s more fun to be older!

It’s stuck in some secret corner of my 2010 plans but going back to school – yes, again – is another consideration.  I know it’s not AT ALL a measure of who you are but I want to have a graduate degree or two under my belt, not remain with an undergraduate degree forever.  It’s just me, okay?

With regard to my other favorite thing to do – watch TV, that is – I’m almost fully updated with my favorite shows.  The Christmas hiatus helped me finish them off.  It also helped that I watched some of them on the day they aired and I got some of them from Laieesha‘s DVR during my visit! (Thanks, babe!)  I also started following hockey and football games but admittedly, since I’m again away from people who can actually explain related stuff to me, my knowledge is slowly dwindling.  I’m still very interested, though.  I love learning new things.

So, I think that’s about it.  No drama anymore.  I still can do it and all but it’s not worth anything, if you ask me.

Whatever happens this year,  I know it’s going to be fantastic, awesome, badass, kickass for me.

Kiddie Size Update

O hai there!

I was on my way home one warm Thursday night when I thought of blogging again. I think it’s partially inspired by what Julie Powell did.  I put it off for today but the interest fizzled.  I ended up writing 6 full pages in my journal though.  Maybe my “major online disclosure” phase has ended, and I already detest typing lengthily on my rest days.  You can catch me a lot on Twitter though (see my sidebar right there? —>).

Overall, I’m doing well.  I’ve been occupied by wearing two hats particularly since Ondoy hit the country. I truly appreciate all the activities that came my way because I love the break from my work routine.  I got to expand my network in the office, too.  It’s mostly unanimous acts but seeing that I, as part of a group, made a small difference in the lives of our workmates, it’s really a great feeling. 

Aside from the (sometimes stressful) break from my office routine, I fortunately had an inspiration to up my game everyday. It’s still vague at best but I’m loving the feeling. If only for the momentum to make the most out of my eight hours at work, I’m going to thank this current feeling no matter how it will end in the future. Aja! *heart-shaped confetti falling*

I still hear talks, from different people, in regards to ECG. Honestly, I don’t care anymore. About the issue, at least.  I wish people would let everyone live in peace.  As expected, these talks are from people who are not privy at all to what happened and what did not happen between us.  I learned to shrug them all off because it’s like feeding the gossip mill.  I charged it to living in a democracy.  I cannot control what people choose to think and say about me.  Both of us are happy now, hopefully.  I used to feel slightly vindicated after sending my last email hurrah of sorts after what he did to me but now, I just laugh at it, mainly because my message has grammatical errors! Nakakaloka. Hahaha!  Anyway, it’s been a very quiet two months and I believe it did us good, and it will continue bringing us peace. We will be okay soon. 

If there’s one thing I feel bad about, it’s my sluggish reading phase.  It’s plain mediocre.  I have not finished a book in one month! I read some pages of various books I recently bought but I did not have the energy to stay on one.  Hell, I know it will come back.  I’m just occupied with too many stuff in real life and equally too many stuff in my TV fangirl life.  Reading is my one great love. I’ll have time for it, I say that with certainty.

I guess that’s about it.  Aside from my increasing anecdotes as a commuter, my semi-interesting life is moving along well. How about you?

Friday and the CAPS LOCK Anomaly

I’m sure I’m like most metro dwellers who woke up at 5 am, expected to go to work. It’s easier to sleep longer but responsibility tugged harder. If not for my two VERY IMPORTANT MEETINGS, I was very tempted to stay at home. Anyway, I didn’t, went to the office, ate taho and drank irish nut latte because I WAS VERY SLEEPY AROUND 10 AM, BIGTIME.

My two important meetings were with the group I recently became part of. I successfully goaded my colleagues into putting me in there. LOL. I was tasked to do what is potentially the most exhausting role in the group. And it will be for TWO YEARS. It’s very daunting, slightly frightening even but hey, I’m just going to look at it positively.  I was looking for ways to keep me stimulated and I may not get it thru the form I wanted, this stint is STILL a good way to do it. I may need to brush up MORE on my organizational and speaking skills because real important issues are involved.

Happy to finally be friends with colleagues from other agencies, too.

The rest of my day was great, and why wouldn’t it be, we were dismissed early! I planned to go home and sleep but since I was too easy, I wasn’t able to resist Rach and Raft3r when they agreed by themselves to drop us off in Greenbelt. LOL. KFC’S FAMOUS BOWL= WIN.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince= semi win. See, SEVERUS SNAPE IS THE SHIZNIT. DRACO MALFOY IS HOT. BELLATRIX IS MY IDOL. I WANT TO DRESS LIKE LUNA LOVEGOOD IN FUTURE PARTIES. I didn’t care about how good or bad it was compared to previous ones. I’m not a hardcore fan, I was happy learning LUMOS MAXIMA and hoping to use it when lights in the office automatically turn off due to lame detection of movement. It’s a minor complaint I carry with me, the major one being I HAVE NO FUCKING WINDOW.

Anyway, before Harry Potter, I was swayed by my money-burning friends to buy the 4th season box set of House because it was on sale. It was even tagged lower than my “Sale” budget. So I did. I only realized now that the set does not have the special features. THE FUCKING SPECIAL FEATURES. Do you have any idea how much they mean to me, the audio commentaries, the cast interview, and more?! My geek fangirl side is very mad. Hmph. Should I blame Fox for this? *looks at the DVD box* Hmm. DAMN YOU, UNIVERSAL. It’s not that I’m unhappy at all with it. Of course, I am happy. The TV lover inside this poor big girl only invests in original shows I love (i.e. FRIENDS, ALL OF AARON SORKIN’S TV SHOWS, HOUSE). So I’m also happy, in one way.

Taking off from that, sige na nga, it’s been a while since I saw episodes from my SECOND FAVORITE season of House. I just watched HOUSE’S HEAD and WILSON’S HEART and it still left me awed…and happy (can you be awed AND sad, ano ba?). This weekend, I can watch again the Survivor-type selection of House’s new fellows, HIS EVALUATION OF CUDDY, SWEETSAUCE, CUDDY LETTING HOUSE RUN IN THE HOSPITAL “LIKE A MONKEY IN A BANANA FACTORY”, CATE MILTON, and many more.

My mother might be disappointed because she thought yesterday I am going to have my The West Wing marathon WHEN SHE LEAVES ME ONCE AGAIN TO WATCH THE HOUSE…not knowing I WILL DO SO AND I WILL WATCH HOUSE, TOO. Hahahaha, corny. God, I just hope there would be enough food for me for two days.

The tall cup of coffee with Irish nut syrup is still kicking my full-size aortic pump.


Still, the tall cup of coffee with Irish nut syrup is kicking my full-size aortic pump. Happy weekend, fellow goddesses, and also to the rest of you, mere mortals.

It’s how the big boys do it.

We have, at our disposal, a captive audience of schoolchildren. Some of them don’t go to the blackboard and raise their hand ‘cause they think they’re gonna be wrong. I think you should say to these kids you think you get it wrong sometimes, you should come down here and see how the big boys do it. I think you should tell them you haven’t given up hope, and that it may turn up, but in the meantime, you want NASA to put its best people in the room, and you want them to start building Galileo VI. Some of them will laugh, and most of them won’t care, but for some, they might honestly see that it’s about going to the blackboard and raising your hand.

Press Secretary CJ Cregg to President Jed Bartlett, on the eve of meeting with selected school children in time for the supposed Mars probe of US spacecraft Galileo V which went missing 11 minutes before its landing on the red planet.*

by-deeper_well-in-ljI am not simply quoting from the show.  When I heard it, it made me think about making the most out of going to the blackboard and raising my hand.  Frankly, I’ve done lots of those in my career already. I realized that it’s not about the frequency but the appropriate opportunity of going in front and raising  my hand that matters in the end.  Timing, timing is everything.  In short, I should take more risks because I may be actively moving but it’s still within the safe confines of my cocoon.  At this rate, if and when I fail, I have practically nothing to lose because I am in a good place.  See, checking out barns still within the same farm isn’t too bad a prospect.  Nothing wrong with moving on. That is, if I can successfully prove I deserve to move forward. I have to find that one out. 

*From The West Wing Season 2 Episode 9, “Galileo:, teleplay by Aaron Sorkin and Kevin Falls

While I was out…

I feel like I was knocked out of this world for weeks.  Turned out it was only two agonizing days.  I did not have H1N1, contrary to rumors, and I will not even dignify it by a clarification.  All I know is I’m happy to be back.  I have not changed, unfortunately for my “success and determination gene” that was in action via my brain as I was waiting for my high fever to go away completely.

I'm back by iiicon at LJI’ve had time to think of a lot of things, including where I am now and what I plan to do with this “now”. Eh, when you’re cured, it’s very seldom that you totally change your outlook especially when your normally screwed up self has been happy with little moments.

I felt a little bad missing work since I have been riled up since Monday because of this momentum whose origin I cannot place. I wish it would still be there when I return on Monday. 🙂 I missed this month’s Game Night, too. 😦 So, what has occupied me in the last 48 or so hours? Here are some of them.  Note that half of the time, I was feverish:

  1. Before death snatches me away, I wish to read my almost-a-thousand books I laboriously (!!!) hoarded since I started receiving a paycheck. 
  2. The reason my unread book pile was only gradually decreasing was my habit of starting a book and not finishing it.  I once told myself reading should not be something I am forced to do just because someone has read this book or that graphic novel already. It does not mean I will not return to those I started reading, I just need to regain the interest to go back and finish it. 
  3. The reason above is also why my extensive bookmark collection does not look close to “extensive”. Well, they are serving their purpose, hopefully they’re happy inserted in between pages of lots of my books.
  4. Jai Ho. My mother discovered she likes Jai Ho. Only now.
  5. The West Wing.  When you are losing confidence in the quality of network television shows, watch any season of this show and it will restore your faith.  It’s compelling, stimulating, just awesome.
  6. Only four people have sent me text messages in two days.  One of them was a reply from my boss acknowledging my request for days off.  The other three were from my office friends asking for updates about my condition.  One even inserted seeing man/boy in the lobby; I wasn’t surprised, she’s always been his biggest fan and I didn’t want to burst her bubble by saying something back, so I didn’t. Hahaha.
  7. No, I wasn’t disappointed that I only got few text messages.  I was happy with what I got and besides, had it been too plenty, I doubt if I would respond to all. Hehe. Remember my twisted reaction to attention?
  8. I developed a girl-crush on Kim Kardashian.
  9. I should not be but I am bothered by the person whom Lisa Edelstein is dating.
  10. I tweeted about it and I’m going to repeat, when I forget why I get lusty over John Mayer, I just watch something like this, and it all comes back to me. Douchebag, douchebag, yeah yeah yeah, but I really really like him.
  11. My geeky phase is not going anywhere.  Half the time I was in sickbay, I kept on thinking how much I was missing: my LJ friends, Twitter, FP updates (yes, yes), Salon updates, and my favorite House fan forum (agreeing to disagree, in complete sentences, not adlgtjebsdjgkhl!!!1). 
  12. Abbey Bartlet, the fictional First Lady. I once said how I like watching people like them.  I am not hotwired to be a kind of “Super Woman” but I am always in awe of their kind. Maybe it’s the way the character was written, or it’s Stockard Channing, but I’ve not seen dead-pan so loving and composed.  If I can only be half as great as women like those fictional ones, I would be happy.  Here’s one of plenty calm and composed Abbey Bartlet scenes I love:

ABBEY [to Josh, then running the campaign team]: You can say it, you know. It’s not like I haven’t heard it before.

JOSH: Your husband’s a real son of a bitch, Mrs. Bartlet.

ABBEY: He doesn’t like being handled.

JOSH: Well, I think that if he looked around, he’d see that nobody’s handling him.

ABBEY: He’s not ready yet, Josh. He’s terrified (of being nominated to the Democrat primary).

JOSH: Well, is he going to be ready?

ABBEY: (smiles) You bet your ass he will. In the meantime, you want to kick something, kick me.

There.  Two signs I’m really feeling okay now: I’m still up at 2:45 in the morning and I blogged with almost 800 words. If they still don’t tell you I’m back, tell me what will. Hay, na-miss ko kayo, payakap nga! Hahaha 🙂


I’ve looked at life that way

{My unoriginality has not left me so I’m still sticking with lines from Both Sides Now. Not that you’re interested to know.}

Yes, I changed my blog skin again. Whoever thought I would stick with my last one, anyway? A very few number of loyal readers have seen plenty of blog skin changes since I started blabbing about my life in 2004.

I have many things going on in my life, good and (some are) not-s0-good, but one of them, I simply have to be happy about. I met one more House fan inside our office compound. I have Raft3r to thank for it because he let me tag along with him and his officemates for lunch and that’s where I knew EC is into House, too (and ALONE is his favorite episode to date, ahahaha!).

Very soon, I wish to bring back whatever online gibberish I am capable of doing. I know you’re dying for updates. Just watch out for the things I will spill, Kill Bill. 

Outside this medium, I think I have never written this much in my journal. Ganyan ako kadaming sentiments, that sometimes I wish to make known, but I decided against the idea because no one is ever too precious to read my thoughts. Ako lang. Judith, FTW. Hahaha!

Jai guru deva om.

when real life takes over

– I cannot be more glad that this week has tons in store for me, work-wise.  I love being busy.  I refuse to obsess on neither my performance nor my speed in finishing tasks.  Sometimes, being slow works for me. Anyway…

– I am excited to see House 5X22.  It makes me want to rush home tomorrow to watch it. Lately I like to be away from the house as often as possible. Drama, I know. Oh well…

– I cannot bear looking at the progress of my list of books read.  It’s just mediocre.  I am slowly restarting my “Russia” phase if only to get rid of the Russia-set books piling up on my bedside table.

– I am re-hooked on Facebook.  But not to post on walls and comment on photos; I always look forward to go there to play games as Olivia, as Osang, as Sydney Wade, as Claudia Jean.  I am thinking it must be brought by my lack of interest in computer games in my younger years…I am only discovering how addictive they are now. At 27, people, at 27.

–  I expressed interest to take a long break soon.  I’m praying I would be allowed by the boss. It hit me last weekend that I really need it.

– The new Starbucks across the office is my new favorite reading place.  It appears that most students feel the same.  I love how it’s almost always full but everyone is enjoying the silence, save for the occasionally loud jazz music which can always be requested to be toned down.

– I am tempted to change the skin of this blog. Again.  I switched back to my old livejournal template and I liked it so much…size 8 Verdana is once again knocking on my wooden heart. Let’s see. It’s not as if you expect that this current blog template will stay for good, ne?

– Real life is here, I better pay attention.