Standardized

Things happened and they were many. Of them all, one stood out to me recently.

It was a very random afternoon at work, and I don’t know what led us (I mean me, one of my teammates and our acting admin assistant) to talk about relationships and starting a family. My lack of it prompted one to tell me:

Para kasing ang taas ng standard mo.

Kung binaba mo na dito (motions to the level of the table)

Ibaba mo pa dito (motions lower, almost floor-level).

Panigurado, may makikita ka na.

~ * ~

I long stopped explaining how and why I believe standards don’t exist because romantic feelings come as if a switch was powered on.

And as much as I am grateful that people see me as someone who must be lived up to, I still cannot see how it works in my favor.

~ * ~

I smiled and turned away from the conversation. I needed to pee.

Okay.

Sometimes in life, things said or actions done would offend us. As time passes, we will feel that we didn’t necessarily forget them, and chances are we really won’t, but they will be easier to bear. Easier to shrug them off and push them somewhere not near us. It’s still there, still valid, but we choose not to dwell on it anymore.

Because when things start going back to whatever kind of normal there was, when we find ourselves smiling again, we will find it easier to go through each day.

It’s just pride. Sometimes we hold on so much to a conviction that we end up depriving ourselves of whatever little form of happiness we could get. Again, letting it go and flow does not cancel out our feeling bad. We just chose to be on the happier side.

Someday, probably soon, I may still tell him I really got offended. But when things are starting to go back to being okay, it won’t work to my advantage, happiness-wise, if I still dwell and squeeze an apology because of something that even someone important to me said my self-esteem “should have handled like a boss.”

Nothing is still happening and with all likelihood nothing ever will [plus it’s not as if I’m not used to this kind of crazy ‘stagnation’ – lol] but right now, it’s going back to being good enough for now. And it’s okay.

March Demarche

The first quarter of 2014 is over, you guys. However, unlike previous first quarters, this one, at least for me, felt full and the pace was just right.

Everything’s peachy on the work front, save for small moments of whoopsies and wake up calls which were remedied by getting Foreign Affairs Manual refreshers (nothing too complicated though), and of course, the three letter word which entails an amount with a f*****g lot of f*****g zeroes (inevitable, next to death). Most of my mornings were spent checking what happened to the Malaysia Airlines plane that went missing, until I got bored. So yeah, same old, same old.

I am happy with my reading pace. My book-buying rate is relatively the same, although times are harder so when I say I have to choose between food and books, now it’s true — back then, when I was more liquid, it’s books versus letting go of second lunches or third cups of coffee for the day; now it’s buy this or have dinner. It’s worse because I discovered the awesomeness of graphic novels, which are relatively more expensive tomes, darnit. Oh well, someday, I’m going to look back at this part of my life and simply laugh while sitting on my golden throne surrounded by my beloved books.

As for my couch potato self, it’s time to re-focus on each of my regularly-watched TV shows because the season is wrapping up, which means reflect on surprise!deaths! and possible season finale plots before the Spring and Summer shows begin. I learned to drop shows (Bitten, The 100, Agents of Shield, Rake) and limit my comfort zone. I figured I could always go back to whatever I missed.

My heart was a little broken a few days ago and I brushed it off and charged it to experience, because that’s what Liz Lemon would do.

Nonetheless, let me say, there are bazillions of wittier ways to deflect a joke, but what I got was a painful zing that boomeranged in my face very fast. Open mics are fun yet dangerous traps, and reactions could go either way, but dude, plenty of classy, funny ways to deflect. I only said a name then went right on to a very boring invite to a basketball game intended for everyone in the room. I tried hard to discredit my pride because I’m almost always too narcissistic but as the day progressed, and even the day after, people were commenting on the uncoolness of it, so I realized, OH SHIT. So yeah, that hurt because it came from someone I really really like. If it’s just a random person I would have just punched him/her in the face IN MY HEAD-repeat-IN MY HEAD – then move on. But no.  Anyway, Milky Way….

Suffice to say, I had fun with the last three months; overall, it’s a cool one. Not perfect because nothing is. For now, I’m looking forward to more laughter-filled days, ways to learn how to save, eat less (yeah right, Judie, you’re funny), and walk more, and not die in this heat. I still live in the same apartment where the summer sun’s ray of death is aimed at my room, directly at my airconditioning unit, from 10 am to 3 pm. So yeah, goodbye daytime coolness. I hope with proper hydration, I’d actually lose weight from sweating and I would just be standing in place. That’s the hope.

I wish you rainbows and cold summer nights, my friends. Hugs and more hugs.

p.s. I actually do not have a point in using demarche on the title. I just needed something to rhyme with March. Yo boi.

Humor me.

My Facebook newsfeed last night was rife with the survey saying most people prefer humor over good looks. I am not one to believe in surveys but I would also choose the same if asked. My penchant for self-deprecation aside, life has shown me that really, at the end of the road, it’s your personality that matters. Sometimes it’s just fun poking holes at these truths because once a month you get hormonal and your self-esteem hits an all-time low.

Anyway, it brings to mind the book I just finished reading, CarlJoe Javier’s The Kobayashi Maru of Love. It’s not a sci-fi romance as I thought it was. It’s simply a chunk of life of the author pre, during, and post one romantic relationship which really affected him. The Star Trek reference was because the author’s a self-proclaimed geek which he got to tie around the narrative anyway. It’s seldom for me to read about a man’s POV about these things so I got curious. I learned that males and females share the same feelings about being in a relationship, breaking up, and dating, and really, I saw myself in some of the situations he got himself into, particularly this:

WP_20140212_001

See, not a few have told me I am funny and bubbly. I personally believe it, too. I am quiet at first but when I feel enough comfort to peel that layer off, I’d be noisy and I can be pretty much a talker. I’m wired that way. However, sometimes, I fail to keep my words and tone in check that I come off condescending and rude.

There’s this guy I really like who is talkative, smart, and funny as hell so you know, I always feel the need to keep conversations going even when I was just a blathering idiot sometimes. I pull it off naman but sometimes I think in an effort to be funny, to counter a banter, I sound condescending. I know he may or may not be serious when he commented, in jest, that some things I said were racist but I know they were. I knew it the moment they escaped my lips. Thing is, it’s never my intention. There are jokes na naitatawid mo in Tagalog which sound funny and not hurtful. Should I factor in my nervousness because, taking it from the image above, I only wanted to be liked? Maybe. Maybe not. What I am afraid to find out is what if I am really like that pala ano?

Anyway, I am happy with the way things are going in my life, save for this intermittent craziness and insecurities which, I assure, are very short-lived. As short-lived as after getting milk tea, it goes away. But seriously, this facade of snapping easily, of showing I can perfectly hold it on my own, while true, are vibes I give off  cemented by years of being alone. No one has been there to tell me it’s okay to not be in charge all the time. Wala eh. I once wrote in my journal that a future boyfriend only has to spare 30 hours a week, give or take, being in a relationship with me. This is to argue against comments that being in a relationship takes a lot of your time. Remind me to show you my silly computation. My other point there probably is sometimes, my needs are as simple as cuddling when you can spare me some time (hugs are the best, admit it). A passionate kiss. A great meal. A hearty laugh over a conversation. Amazing sex, if not too much to ask. That basic, for I have things to do, too. Kaya lang, wala eh. Nyehehe. 😛

My friend R always comes across romantic relationships in her work and sometimes we would question how come some women barely did anything (well, is flashing men on webcams a thing?) yet they have something we are still working so hard to get. Life is unfair, that’s a fact. Sometimes, the waiting part is unbearable and the “the best is yet to come” consolation is a bullshit ploy to keep you from questioning the universe. Don’t get me wrong, I am fine now than in my twenties with this singlehood thing but the longing does not go away, it only gets easier to handle. All the trying, all the putting yourself on the chopping block of pain, they only get manageable through time — they have the same result anyway. I’ve been unsuccessful a lot of times that really, I once told someone when a guy reciprocates romantic feelings, I wouldn’t know what to do and would even say, “Wait, wait, this is not normal!” Lately, I learned how to laugh at myself for all my flubs and blunders. They are good sitcom material, I’m telling you.

So see, this might explain more of my blabbering like Honey Boo Boo on a double sugar rush when I’m with someone I like. I wish I could put a sign on my back that says, “I’m nicer and more normal when I go beyond this kilig phase.” Tao lang.

Anyhoo, enjoy tomorrow! It’s Friday. And to some, it’s payday. Right? 🙂

January Wrap Up

One month down, eleven to go!

The first month of the year swished just like that. It was fun though. And fast.

Let’s see, what was I up to last month?

January holds a soft spot for me mainly because of my birthday. Cash-strapped but adventurous, I managed to enjoy my 32nd birthday up at a mountain in Benguet. The first two weeks of January were actually spent scrimping and buying [yes, that’s possible], and mostly preparing for the Mt. Pulag trip. Not so much, physically…to the detriment of my legs. But I survived. My separate blog update is still in the works so I will link it up when it’s done [hopefully, within this century].

One hour into the trek, we saw this. This does not do the place justice. It's majestic, magnificent, and when we went, insanely cold.

One hour into the trek, we saw this. This photo does not do the place justice. It’s majestic, magnificent, and when we went, insanely cold.

I started the year on staycation because of forfeitable leave credits from last year. I cut it short by two days, much to our office timekeeper’s cute annoyance, because I got bored. Yes. I got bored. Plus it was crazy hot that week. Had it been this semi-chilly, I would not even think about the office.

My book haul is at a modest six — five bought, one received as a gift. I think it was conservatively countered by my Kindle. I don’t want to speak prematurely though. As I said, we have eleven months to go.

Four out of six books hauled in January. I picked up MIDWIVES to add to my Chris Bohjalian pile, WEAVEWORLD to add to my Clive Barker I-will-see-you-in-my-horror-reading-month pile, FAR NORTH by Marcel Theroux because it's dystopian that's less mainstream, and WICKETT'S REMEDY because I need something to pair with Midwives to avail the Buy One, Take One sale. Not in photo are JOYLAND by Stephen King [gift] and THE ANTHOLOGIST by Nicholson Baker.

Four out of six books hauled in January. I picked up MIDWIVES to add to my Chris Bohjalian pile, WEAVEWORLD to add to my Clive Barker I-will-see-you-in-my-horror-reading-month pile, FAR NORTH by Marcel Theroux because it’s dystopian that’s less mainstream, and WICKETT’S REMEDY because I need something to pair with Midwives to avail the Buy One, Take One sale. Not in photo are JOYLAND by Stephen King [gift] and THE ANTHOLOGIST by Nicholson Baker.

As for books read last month, I book-ended it with 7 books. That’s just right for my 75-book challenge this year. I try to keep a sane balance between e-books [a swooning post about S. Eloise, my Paperwhite, is in the works, too] and printed books so as not to start a jealous fit. Yes, my thick, thin, page-foxing books have feelings!

One highlight of the last month was the first book session of my book club at The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. I loved it! I also cannot forget the yumminess of 9 Spoons’ tokwa’t bagnet. It’s a take on tokwa’t baboy but they substituted, obviously, bagnet, but more than that, the vinegary spice made a huge difference. The flavor seeps through the bagnet strips and tokwa cubes. Oh man, I’m drooling just typing about it. Will definitely come back. You can actually order off the 9 Spoons menu even when you are at the SkyDeck. It made the experience more interesting. Hint to my future date! Although it probably wouldn’t be wise to ravage tokwa’t bagnet on a first date. 🙂

Taken from the Skydeck of The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. I love my city!

Taken from the Skydeck of The Bayleaf Hotel in Intramuros. I love my city!

On the work front, I marked my 11th year in the office. There are days when I think it’s time to move on, move forward. I don’t know; it comes and goes. I’ll see. As always, I will actively seek and wait for the chance to present itself. I also welcomed a new staff so if only for this new addition, this change, there’s something fresh to look forward to. Plus yummy friend is going back to the building in a two weeks! My lunchmate will be back.

Speaking of people, someone makes me smile everyday, more often lately.  Meh, I’m just going to enjoy it. And of course if I’m doing anything else about it, I will not tell you. Well, that is, assuming you are interested.

So, how have you been?

Thank you, 2013.

Happy New Year! When I did a rundown of the first half of my 2013, it was quite eventful and hopeful. The last half of the year was pretty much the same. Of course, there’s still the “Another year has passed, what now?” vibe  by December 31.

ON TRAVELS

tigger-picnic-03October saw me, and friends Rach and Carms in Bacolod for Rach’s birthday. The Peace Cup was also the same time so a live football game of the Azkals was a bonus. We went there for a gastronomic fix – Manokan Country, Calea, Pendy’s, Felicia’s – we tried them all. And they’re all good. Plus even when we were only three, the thrill of surprising a birthday celebrant when the clock strikes 12 will always be fun for me.

December brought me to Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. It was a sudden training opportunity which gave me the chance to meet colleagues from the East Asia Pacific bureau, catch up with friends, and be with family. Cramped, short, but very fun. Walking around downtown San Francisco (well, the stretch of Market Street and its environs, at least) is the most memorable for me.

ON READING

I gave my reading report for the year and I tried to forget all about it. All I can say is I’m going to do better this year. Itaga mo yan sa matigas na bato. 😉

ON FINANCES

Turbulent and messy! The income tax spectacle started this. I also do not know what happened except that I spent a lot. And just when I thought I’m the only one, I hear people who are in the same boat, and frankly, it makes me feel a little bit better. Hahaha! I told my friend it’s a problem I brought to myself anyway. I could blame the government, I could blame the economy, but ultimately, I’m to blame. During the last quarter, my ledger’s a mess. It’s not attractive for a thirty-something to ask money from her mother yet I have done it last year many times. In one of my holiday dinners, I asked one of my best friends to pay for half of my dinner. That’s how terrible it was…is. Though really, it is annoying to complain about having very little money [compared to past Christmases, at least] when many people do not have anything left at all, right? But selfishly speaking, it’s really a tough time, and if you are a relative or a godchild from a distance, you would have felt it. 2014 will be spent restructuring my finances, or whatever’s there to salvage.  It’s just in the way you look at it, Judie.

ON ATTEMPTS TO BE A PRODUCTIVE MEMBER OF SOCIETY

tigger-alphablock-03I opened my year with a reading day at a public school, courtesy of my bestfriend, on my birthday. I also dabbled into a teaching session with kids living in Manila North Cemetery with the help of the people from ATD Fourth World (thanks, Laine, for this). Of course, everyone has heard of the terrible Yolanda/Haiyan devastation and at least for two sweaty days I got to assist in repacking goods for the casualties within the week after it happened. I also worked with organizations in collecting monetary donations for the victims. It’s an ongoing project and with that is the desire to be there until everything slowly rebuilds.

ON MY LOVE FOR TV SHOWS

What kept me glued: The Newsroom Season 2, big Sherlock re-watch before season 3, Scandal, The Blacklist (aha, my daddy issues — Lizzie IS Raymond Reddington’s daughter, dagnabbit), The Goldbergs, regained love for Mike & Molly. Plenty more kept me entertained. If you noticed, Homeland is conveniently missing. It was pushed back in my to-watch list until season 3 ended without me noticing. This year I plan to go back to it. Save money, watch TV! LOL.

ON ROMANCE

tigger-sleephearts-01Hahaha! Anong meron? 2013 actually started off fun then it became not fun and I admit it’s my fault and I was genuinely sorry. See, when there’s someone you think is available, then it turns out he’s no longer available, the next logical course is to stop. I did not. I had fun provoking and posting stuff because I know the girl was reading until it became a bit messy. Was it right? No. Was it fun? Yes, to an extent, THAT TIME. The “it’s never gonna happen” part was clear to me so I wasn’t provoking because of that; it’s that if you know me, at times I do not like the appearance of losing, or in this case, being caught off-guard and embarrassed like that. [What a vindictive bitch.] I did not regret what happened afterwards between the guy and me even if it’s just a bibliophile kind of friendship because we like very different things. Oh well, I just laugh at it now. I’m not doing it again though. I promise. Life is short to be spent doing things like that.

I may be shallow (and vindictive) at times but really, I also get pleased very easily and gets satisfied with small amounts of affection. That’s why simply acknowledging I was always there, as small a gesture as “favoriting” my tweets, always appreciating anything I do, it warms my heart. But it’s not meant to flourish anyway and there was never any indication it will. He’s back in Sweden and if he thinks it’s for the best, I believe it.

Right now, it’s simple but promising (and a tad funny in a giggling fit kind of way), this romantic landscape. I said it before and it’s still the same. I’m happy with whatever is there. I do not take myself seriously the way I did in my twenties; too much insecurity back then because of my weight and overall appearance, too much apprehension because of my supposed image — all deserves a “WTF was that?” right this moment and a shower of yucks.  If nothing’s going to happen, well, I have ways to make myself happy, hehe (I have my books and pirated TV shows, ano ba, get your mind off the gutter). 🙂 Plus I have my own problems to sort and maybe a man will just be a distraction this year (see plan of action in ON FINANCES, above). Let’s see. All I want to do this year is to have fun in everything I do. Nakakapangit ang stress.

ON WORK AND MY CAREER IN GENERAL

I tried applying for another job early in the year but was turned down. I took it as a sign to stay put and possibly do something more to polish my brand. I don’t know if it worked. Hahaha! I was sent for training so even if there’s nothing in print about having to stay, I still feel the need to be more productive to be worthy of the training I got, no matter how short it was. Ten years, man. I may feel lacking and ignorant and clueless at times but I also cannot deny my institutional knowledge and how useful I am in my organization. A decade. Wow. Of course, if a better opportunity comes along, I will definitely consider. “Better” is strictly relative and even when I’m in dire need, taking a job with a higher pay but is obviously not a good fit for me or it’s in a bit of a messy environment, I will pass. Happiness is more important. Yay, where did that come from? 🙂

ONWARD, UPWARD, FORWARD

tigger-confetti-01I plan to work harder (emphasis on -er, LOL) and just be happy each day. I will be out of the calendar, as a popular Pinoy joke goes, in a few days, and frankly, I do not feel any different. If anything, I feel more confident and secure than when I turned, say, 22 — that was the age when I said I’ll take my life more seriously — be it in my romances and hooking up, school activities, work plans — and look where it got me. Only the “work” part paid itself nicely. Gah. 🙂

2013, overall, you were good. Emotional, freaky, fun. Thank you.

On to a new year with hopefully better prospects, more hugs, more books, and more bacon. And French fries. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

All is good.

for now

Screencapped from a .gif made by Mandy of http://always100coffees.tumblr.com/

Alexis: Does she make you happy?
Castle: Yeah, she does.
Alexis: Is it enough?
Castle: It’s enough for now.

Before Castle and Beckett officially became a couple, this was one of my favorite scenes of Rick Castle expressing feelings for her. But let’s forget about that for a while.

Two months ago, I posted this on tumblr and said that this is exactly what my romantic life is, just interchange pronouns here and there. It still is. I don’t know how it evolved, how quickly it progressed, how it even started, but I’m not bothering myself with the details. Nothing is happening and I don’t know if something, anything will happen, but like Castle said, whatever is here, whatever we have, for me it’s enough for now.

When our dynamics change, proximity-wise, in six weeks, let us see. I am prepared with all the possibilities but not favoring one. Let us wait and see.

HALFTIME REPORT

Half of the year is over.  If you think it went too fast, I say it’s just about right.  It’s been an eventful ride.

Bouncing TiggerHighlights?

You may have read about THE pox.  The rollercoaster of emotions involving my one true love: reading books.  I also climbed Mt. Batulao.  Helped in a bay cleanup in celebration of Earth Day.  Went to Hongkong with friends.  Watched  a live improv show which stirred my theater performer tendencies.  I also passively took part in a monthly office project which enforced the Mackenzie McHale in me [I love the adrenaline rush – I’m that easy].  AND PLENTY MORE INTERESTING, HEARTWARMING, DEPRESSING, SHOCKING, MOSTLY FUNNY EVENTS:

If there’s one thing I want to leave, it’s the growing rumor especially in my family that I am not single anymore.  I guess it’s because of some Facebook photos, and hunches — which when passed on to others became varying versions of the “truth”.  While I appreciate people looking out for me, or curious about what’s happening to me, I just laugh at them instead of defensively parrying questions one by one.  Some people imply it, some are blunt enough to drop names, and very recently, one was opinionated enough to let me know there’s something uncomfortable in “going out with someone prettier than me”.  Wow. Gah. I understand where said person was coming from [uhm, I tried].  See, the guy in question is your usual dapper and dandy type, and yeah, I probably look like a taong grasa beside him. LOL.  Anyway, there’s nothing to it.  We were in several pictures together in and out of the office, we always talk, and maybe to a degree, I like being with him because he’s filling the gap left by someone who was with me for a while [still not a romantic partner, mind you].  There were also other men I decently posed with in several events, and I said, parrying the matchmaking attempts is futile.  I bet if I posed beside a giant balete tree, they will still start speculations.  In some twisted way, I appreciate their endless support to see me be happy with someone.  This, not knowing that serious, major romantic developments unfold in my life without people knowing.  It’s not that I’m not proud of it, it’s just that my innate introversion comes alive because I take my relationships seriously. [Take that LOLWHUT face out, please.]

Speaking of major developments, one of the best parts of the first half of the year is seeing one of my bestfriends N get married.  It was a very intimate event where all of us had roles.  I haven’t cried in a wedding before that event.  It’s a very significant milestone for all of us.  No one’s going to follow suit soon, that I’m sure.

StarStarStar

One of my bestfriends M [we’re six in the group, okay, haha] paved the way for me to fulfill one of my dreams: read to schoolkids and share my love for books [and learning in general].  We did it on my birthday which made it doubly special.  M, during her spare time, organizes reading programs targeting far flung public schools in our hometown of Imus [with the help of our other bestfriend L as photographer].  It’s not big in magnitude but what makes me so proud about doing it with her is that we did everything ourselves, sans huge tarpaulins, VIP speakers, commercial donations.  We may not have given a lot, but I know we made a difference even just for a day.  I promised I will do it with her again soon.

One of my college friends T also gave me a chance to speak in front of university students [her students, pursuing the same major as ours] and speak about my life after graduation.  It made me look back and assess where I am now.  Not bad, I thought.  Not bad.  More importantly, after that visit to our mother college, it made me realize it’s important to give back.

One of the ways I gave back is by helping once again my book club to mount a fundraiser so we can assist UP students in need.  With our busy schedules, a movie screening is our tested project to generate scholarship funds.  Planning started a bit late for us so we took IRON MAN 3 off the table.  We were left with STAR TREK and FAST & FURIOUS 6; “sellability” and planning time considered, we chose the latter.  Long story short, we were able to assist six students this semester.  We’re looking at CATCHING FIRE this November to carry them through the next semester.  Let’s see. Most of you, my readers, are my ticket buyers, too.  Yes, I know!  And I’m forever grateful. Winking smile

StarStarStar

My job is still the same but I can say I’m happier now after the workspace reorganization.  Live action and constant chatter and activity did good to me.  I tried venturing out once more but was again turned down.  It’s cool, it’s fine.  I didn’t lose anything.

If anything, I even learned a lot by not moving out.  The past months had me digesting legalese after legalese, I swear I could work for the international tax division when there’s a chance.  I love the “senior” roles thrown my way, too.  So far, so good.

I also started going out with some of my foreigner-colleagues for lunch and some night-time activities.  It’s been fun.  I hope they feel the same, though I haven’t felt anything at all to make me feel otherwise.  I don’t know why I, or many of us local employees, haven’t done – or stopped doing – this.  I am learning a lot.  Sometimes I may look creepy just listening in but I like it more.  I speak when I want to.  WE’RE BUILDING BRIDGES!  [There’s a not-so private joke about this in the office complete with a funky dance move.]

StarStarStar

Tigger with open armsI started football training for my workout.  I  don’t know yet if I’m going to continue but the Saturdays when I played, I really felt energized.  Oddly, two of my vampyre disease attacks occurred during outdoor football events [February and May].  Maybe I’m made for indoor football.  Should I start learning futsal instead?

Oh, many more things happened from January to June.  That’s how fruitful it was.  They all made me very excited for the second half of the year.

What about you, what happened to you in the past six months???

Bearable Lightness

It was a sweet and steady Saturday.  I love every bit of it.

As you know, I share a small apartment with my mother and last month, I decided to camp downstairs and make the ground floor my studio-type place of sorts.  Well, it really is like a studio-type apartment because I have the small kitchen, T&B, tiny dining room, and living room — which magically transforms into my sleeping area at night — to myself.  I love the solitude, not that I didn’t have it before, as Mom and I hardly saw each other anyway.  My point is, I feel that I’m living by myself more lately.  It’s hard, especially the cooking/ feeding myself part, and the cleaning aspect, but I’m getting by.

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Anyway, today’s a delightful one because I accomplished a lot.  My errands and to-do lists do not measure up to world-changing advocacies other people have but I’m happy, so I guess that’s the more important thing.  TV stuff here, clean up there, a semi-successful cooking attempt here [you will hardly go wrong with ‘cheesy scrambled eggs’ from Google, hey], mangling of some shirts there, and bam, my morning’s done.

This afternoon saw me at the newly-relocated Filipinas Heritage Library in Ayala Museum.  Isn’t it awesome that they put two of my favorite places in one building?  Anyway, staying inside the library on the 6th floor was a great refuge from the weather outside.  I was one of four library visitors and it was clear I was the only non-researcher.  Still, feel na feel ko pa din.  Three topics were on top of my head as I strode over to their online catalog: migration of Filipinos to the US [more like anecdotes and all those diaspora stories], gender and women studies topics, and Philippine folklore and mythology.  I ended up browsing more of the first, and ultimately asked the librarian for two resources.

First was Hope Sabanpan-Yu’s Bridging Cultures: The Migrant Philippine Woman in the Works of Jessica Hagedorn, Fatima Lim-Wilson, and Sophia Romero.  It’s a short, fluid read about the topic, clearly gleaned from the title.  I deliberately skipped many items because Ms. Yu fleshed out three works of the authors named above, and I will be spoiled by reading her critique.  After this, let’s just say I will look for  Romero’s Always Hiding, Lim-Wilson’s Crossing the Snow Bridge, and finally read Hagedorn’s The Gangster of Love [I have a sinking feeling I left my copy in Taipei because I haven’t seen it since but I’m not willing it].

The second one I borrowed was Leche by R. Zamora Linmark.  Because it was closing time, I only got as far as the 75th page but I can say it’s hilariously spot-on.  If I don’t find it in bookstores, I will go back to FHL and borrow it again.  In addition, and I know the direction isn’t the same, but it made me mentally note of  Alex Gilvarry’s From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant.

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I also bought stuff for a day climb in Batangas this Bataan Day holiday.  It’s been a while since I did this kind of physical activity but I know I’m in much better condition than previous treks.  I also debated whether to get a new trail footwear or not.  I don’t own hiking shoes but in my past climbs and treks I used my trusty Chaski sandals from Columbia.  It looks flimsy but it’s very durable.  Think Sumaguing cave in Sagada and long walks in Bohol; not once did it fail me and now it still looks okay.  Let’s see.  We have a particularly dry weather [hopefully on Tuesday, too] so I may not need stronger, newer sole grips.  My funny concern, in fact, is tripping on flat surfaces.  I have a natural talent for it.

This half-day climb will be for my Dad, as my birthday tradition for him this year.  Will probably expound more on that after the event. If I may confess, I’m also looking forward a lot to our bulalo foodfest, post-climb.  It’s only a day of break so we have to make it count.

I skipped an exhibit opening in favor of a convincing tug to dine alone and read.  The only downside of sorts is that I seem to have an addiction to Starbucks’ Asian dolce latte.  I just tell myself by May it will be pulled out from the menu so let me enjoy it until then. I believe it was a productive reading time [winging it, following XP‘s advice] because before I knew it, it’s almost midnight.  Lest you’re still lost, this is what makes me tick every.single.time.

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I say it’s bearable lightness because it may appear aimless, fluffy, a let-it-flow whichever way kind of day but I enjoyed it: not out of obligation, out of necessity, out of responsibility [well, some were necessary to survive, but you get what I mean].  However, tapping a hidden part of me, there’s still that tiny thought that this may be happier, more delightful, more bearable, if there’s someone asking how it has been.  I highly recommend me times but at the end of a long day, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone waiting? ♥

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining.  My introvert self wouldn’t trade this Saturday for anything [except for a steamy moment with George Clooney inside a library, but what are the odds of that?].  I am just wondering.  So for now, I’m just going to ignore it.  I had fun.  I hope you did, too.

Let’s Pause and Talk About This.

Before last year ended I wrote, Going back to other nice things — I once wrote it in my journal, about one day looking at someone and it’s like a switch was turned on and you’re looking at that person differently.  I am prepared to shrug it off knowing how gossip in the workplace goes around, but why, why do I have to know he loves to read and he’s journaling?

It gets better.  He prefers trade copies or paperbacks than hardbacks, his books are more likely full of marginalia, he can spend his vacation days inside a bookstore, he reads books thematically, and on the non-bookish side, his former career is the same one I’ve been eyeing for years.   He’s almost the male me!  If you think I should have freaked out, I didn’t,  when I discovered what he likes to read.  He’s a non-fiction person and reads mostly very different materials from what I read.  Nice balance, see?  Ugh, universe.  One more case of finding the right person at the wrong time.  However, mind you, I’m ready to hit that nerd anytime.  Sheer torture, really.

I cannot and am definitely not going to say what will happen in the coming days but one of the things that prevents me from going for it is…let me just say, in finding something about him, someone found me instead.

Nonetheless, let me just enjoy each day until 2014.  If you know me and this crazy episode, yes, I know and actually believe the nasty rumors, and I seriously don’t give a bookworm’s ass, mainly because it’s none of my business.  It even all the more proved to me he’s a normal guy.

I wrote this while under heavy medication, by the way.

So, how was your long weekend? 🙂

It’s A Date.

Gratuitous shot taken from the 2007 Valentine's Day blog post.

Gratuitous shot taken from the 2007 Valentine’s Day blog post.

This year, I will go on dates again.  I’m single and when I say it’s not for lack of trying!, it’s kind of a lie.  I didn’t really try because I was so fixated with whoever was my love of the…season.  That could be endearing in the long run; you know, the whole loyalty crap, but since the past five experiences since my last relationship have been one-way (ultimately, kasi yung iba kahit naman very tiny, umusad), time to change strategies.  Kumilos-kilos daw.  Probably venture out of the [stinky] stretch of Manila Bay, for heaven’s sake.

Apparently, I have this bar that men need to clear, or a set of standards that makes it hard for my friends to find guys to set me up with.  Two male friends told me that just recently.  As in I saw in their faces this look of wonder thinking who else may be good enough to go out with me.  Flattering, yes, but it made me want to scream, No! I’m practically the easiest, kaladkarin single lady around!  I’m nice and very tolerant!  I’m not even that smart.*  I honestly do not believe the “You’re intimidating” bit.  It’s a load of BS.  He’s just not into me, that’s all.  Helloooo. 

I believe I am pretty much open to anything.  That’s from my point of view ha.  I mean, you know me, I don’t get developed.  One day, I will look at you and feel that tingling feeling in my gut, then bamyun na, crush na kita.  Flaws and all.  Kahit di mo ako gusto.  One emotional day four years ago, I told someone maybe I go for men I cannot have or will never like me back because subconsciously, I never want anyone anyway.  For one, if you’ve been reading me the past nine years, you can see I really love myself too much.  It’s not bad but kind of a potential romance-killer, methinks.  But of course, I don’t want to believe that. 

Anyway, I’m going to play it cool from now on.  In hindsight, maybe I do have a mental criteria but I’m still not buying it.  Contrary to rumors, you don’t have to love reading for me to like you.  As my friend said, he doesn’t have to love reading, his antenna doesn’t have to pick up all the channels (shucks, I’m so mean, right?) — for sure he will have other endearing qualities that will trample items in my “you-should-be” list — if ever I have one.  If he’s one or both things, bonus na lang yun.  

Plus, as I said, when I feel something for someone, it’s instantaneous.  I don’t have time to tick items off my checklist!  Identify the men I liked in the past seven years and tell me if there’s a pattern.  Well, I want to say damaged, cranky, unpopular, obsessive-compulsive, needs saving — but that will be very judgmental.  So let’s stick with there is no pattern.  Hahaha.

Wait, akala mo naman ang ganda ganda ko di ba?

At any rate, I’m not looking for a relationship if the timing is not right.  Let’s not force it.  I’m just saying I will expand my network by going out more.  Who knows, a future date may not be it but someone he knows. No big expectations.  At sabi nga, don’t feel bad if the one you like doesn’t feel the same way because there are guys who like you but you don’t like them back.  It’s an even playing field.  Been there, done that.

Also, I can develop my professional network that way.  Lahat naman may pinatutunguhan, and it could be better than the one I am hoping for (New job? Let’s save that for another post.  Hahaha).

To sum up this post, it’s time to have more fun.  Let me know if you want to join me. 🙂

*When I think I am simply trying to hold a conversation with someone I like, sometimes it comes as if I’m trying to compete in a “I also know that!” kind of way.  Sometimes daw, I have to just nod and go with it, and maybe even pretend it’s brand new information even if it’s not.  So you’re saying I have to appear clueless sometimes?  Dumb it down and just flash him?  Well, I can do that!  It seemed to work for others.  Oh well, ladies and gents, let’s discuss. 😉

Judayski’s Best of 2012 (And A Few Unfortunate Events)

The year is about to end so what better way to bookend it than a list of great, wonderful things I experienced this year.  I may have had setbacks which I took really seriously but overall, it’s a very blessed year for yours truly.

best of lifeBest Event: Turning 30.  It’s just a number, yes, but it’s a big one for me.  I threw the  imaginary blueprint I formed in my twenties and created a new one in my head.  It didn’t feel much differently, save for new emotional depths I now have (I swear, hahaha).

Best Work-Related Event: More stability within my team, compounded by the addition of a new member.  I suffered a great loss toward the end of 2011 but five months later, I knew I made the right choice, considering all aspects surrounding  the dynamics of my immediate workplace.  Ah, basta.

Most Wasted Opportunity: I wasn’t able to sustain my social media volunteer work with Visayan Forum Foundation.  I thought it’s going to be breezy and handy but it didn’t come easy.  Maybe it’s the subject matter; maybe I chose an advocacy that while very timely and worthy, isn’t necessarily my cup of tea.  Sayang.  But now I know, and I can cross it off my list.

Best Azkals/Local Football Moments:  (1) Advancing to the semi-finals of the Suzuki Cup  (2) Global FC’s UFL championship game vs. Loyola Meralco Sparks last June — oh, my emotions that night, (3)  winning the Peace Cup.

Terrible Football Moments: (1) Loss to Singapore in the semi-finals stage of Suzuki Cup.  If we were trampled early on, it would have been easier to accept.  But I know everyone did everything they can.  (2) The sexual harassment case against Angel Guirado and Lexton Moy.  Come on, I’m a woman who will fight you to the death if you offend me, but I can also see what’s overreaction when I see one.  Enough said., (3) Global FC’s loss to Stallion FC in the United Football Cup championship.

Best Outcome of Football Fangirling: My football core group.  We dearly call ourselves Fandesals, the meaning of which will be kept to ourselves. 🙂 I love the friendship we formed that transcended football (o, Rach, transcend!).  I love all the games we watched together but the better part of it is our “debriefing” sessions.  I love you all, guys.

best of futbolBest TV show discovery:  The Newsroom.  Consider this: Aaron Sorkin.  News.  I don’t need to say more.  Runners up : Suits, seasons 1 and 2.  The Walking Dead season 3, after a crapfest called season 2.

Best (and Worst!) Physical Activity I Participated In:  Merrell Trail Run on June 2, 2012.  I thought my Corregidor experience was it but no!  For this one, we braved 10 kilometers of extremely muddy, mountainous trail in  Timberland Heights.  For four freakin’ hours.  It’s like a military bootcamp.  Immediately after that, I can barely feel my lower extremities.  When I got home after the event, I slept for 14 hours straight.  But the best part? The experience with my friends.  I will do it again, if the chance presents itself.  Seriously.

Best Out of Town Trip: Bacolod, last June.  Sure, it was for football, but it was also a chance to explore that interesting city.  We had an amazing host who brought us to most of the worthy spots.  The best part was the food trip.  I think I gained the size of a toddler after that trip.  Runner Up : Baguio in March with my Mom.  We stayed inside the Embassy compound.  The fact that Baguio is my second favorite city in the Philippines is why it’s great to begin with.  No ghosts, contrary to rumors, so it’s cool.

Best It’s-Long-Overdue Action:  I had glasses fitted.  I no longer squint just to read all my correspondence!

Best Charity Work Out of Just Using My Big Mouth: Sending five scholars to UP from the proceeds of our The Avengers screening.  I just sold tickets to a movie people wanted to watch anyway.  I’m so proud of my book club, Ex Libris Philippines, for staging this project.  Next year ulit!

Best Achievement:  Successfully going through a six-month book-buying ban.  I’m so proud of myself.  I didn’t die!  However…

Tiny Bibliophile-Related Setback:  I was allowed to buy books on July 1 so between that time and this writing, I amassed 77 books already.  That number excludes the books generously given to me by my former boss, I won on giveaways, and given by friends as gifts.  I don’t know what to say.  This is my eternal love, in case you just met me today.

Worst Losses: Deaths of an uncle and an aunt who loved me dearly.  My familial setup is not your boring and conventional kind so growing up, having people who care for you genuinely is one of the best coping mechanisms. One of my bestfriends also lost her mother and as I said, this kind of loss for us is a different league of its own.  My mentor’s husband, with whom I shared the same birthday and never failed to make me remember it, also passed on.  A consolation in my heart is that I know, they are with my father now in heaven.  They can swap stories up there.

Worst Abandonment Experience: Denoy leaving for a new job over at the other compound — five kilometers away.  I know, abandonment is over the top, but what do you want me to use?  I was left behind?  Okay, that will do.  Seriously, when he left in July, I thought it’s going to be easy.  My friend got a job he actually wanted to do!  But hey, it wasn’t easy.  Imagine losing the most constant, everyday fixture in your life for five years.  It helped that I avoided going to the 2nd floor since he moved.  For a time I was at a loss, even if I know he’s just a phone call away.  It sounds corny, but even if we annoy each other most of the time, he’s like a gum under my shoe that just won’t go away.  I still miss him especially when there’s something — serious or shallow — I want to tell, a guy problem I want his opinion on…and then I’ll realize he’s not there anymore, available by 11:30 a.m.  I have other male friends but they can never replace him.  Anyway, lately, I think I have accepted it fully.

Best Full-Size Aortic Pump Moment: I have moved on from SG.  After a year.  He’s not coming back and even if he does, it’s better this way.  I never regretted the last seven years (especially since not every single day of those seven years was just about him — I had diversions, LOL).  But seriously, it’s fine now.  I know that the lines will always be open, and he constantly proved that to me, so I take comfort in that and I’m ready to face the other direction.  Time to find a new one.  Pwede na. Bigyan nyo na ako ng listahan ng pagpipilian.🙂 I have short-listed names.  Hahaha.

Super Duper Bestest Part of 2012:  I’M STILL ALIVE.  Healthy, employed, loved.  Nothing can beat that.

So, how’s your 2012?

Temporary Fizzle

I admit that I have been on a roll in terms of “feeling” whatever there is (well, nothing is still something, I guess) in connection with my romantic life.  I knew this point is coming after two weeks of intense thinking, feeling, daydreaming about it — I am now at that temporary disinterest because I exhausted the quota of emotions about it.  The culmination probably was encapsulated in this lengthy blog post.  I’m not saying it’s gone for good; it’s really just temporary, I’m telling you.  What do you know, maybe a sight of him, a short conversation, any anecdote related to him, might spring it back altogether.

For now, I’m content with not feeling it as intense as I did days ago.  I’m happy that I am capable of this because it only means I am not one-track minded.  I appreciate a breath of fresh air, a break from what is or what is not here.  I wish this attitude will not change even when my priorities change in life.  You may view it as instability, of fickle-mindedness, but on my part, I see it as the right attitude to go away from it all when needed, so that I won’t have to surprise other people of my breaking point, of a one-time big time surrender, or leaving without notice because I cannot take it anymore.

Word vomit, there you are again.

Go away.

I told someone I will not post anything about this topic because I learned a hard lesson in the past.  However, I always break my promises to him so not doing this will be so out of character.  This is probably nothing anyway.

So, I’ve been occupied with thoughts and renewed feelings for someone (the dormant kind, lulubog lilitaw, for five years) and frankly, I enjoyed little moments thrown my way.  I once again laid out a path and pushed my moves a teeny tiny bit further because I only have until December as he’s leaving the country for good.  Note that this is about the one person (let’s call him G1) who can make me blush.  I don’t know what’s the anatomical explanation for such but it’s true; I’ve had crushes and people I sorta fell in love with yet I very rarely blushed then.  Anyway, I digress.  A bit.

What puzzles me (note the verb…not confuses nor gets me reconsidering) is why, of all moments, one person (G2) still popped in my dream — twice — even to only comment, “Your smile is so fake; are you okay?” while playing poker (it’s a dream, hey).  In the other dream, he appeared behind me as I was about to cry — because G1 confessed his love to someone else through a song (in an Elliot Yamin voice, wtf) — and, a beer bottle in hand, told everyone, “She’s fine.  She just needs to cry this one out.”

I refuse to overthink things because I have lots in my hands right now but I’m still a little puzzled.  I haven’t seen this person in weeks and we have not really communicated in a while, save for a few e-mails.

Anyway, maybe this is a loyalty check of sorts which my smug subconscious is doing to me.  I am still for G1 at the moment and I’m riding it until it lasts, until it is still making sense.  I just wanted to let it out aaaand here it is.

This is my Valentine’s post :)

As everyone prepares to celebrate the day of love (as cliché as it sounds, shouldn’t everyday be Valentine’s Day?), I just want to share a feel-good experience that I had recently.

After almost five years, I saw the guy I had a crazy crush on.  Crush because looking at it from this angle, at this point in time, it only lasted 7 short months.  I just laugh at how crazy I was with that guy.

I saw him again at a fun party I attended last Friday.  I met his lovely wife, too.  He married the same girl he fell in love with at the same time I had my silly crush on him.  Long story short, it was a happy reunion.  One friend said it is the best form of an ex-crush reunion scenario, and I totally agreed.  He and I  became closer after he knew and the way he “handled” the situation became my barometer of how an ideal “I don’t feel the same way” situation must be managed.  I was wrong in thinking all men would do the same thing.  He was awesome enough to be there.  He made sure I knew what was happening so I can get the real picture, so I can realize for myself why it’s really not going to happen.  He made it in a way that was never cruel.  During that time (I was only 23, okay), I never once felt that not reciprocating your feelings is an embarrassing thing. I won’t go into the minute details* but it was so well-done, I got over him -it – so easily.  As I said, it was what I expected other men would do but they didn’t.  So in that way, he’s extraordinary.

We had been talking in little amounts even after all my crazy, juvenile crush.  He was one of the first people who sent heartwarming thoughts when my dad died.  We swapped Mar Roxas stories from time to time (none of which was off the record, thanks to Kris Aquino and Korina Sanchez).  It’s not the sole reason, but her sister is one of my bestfriends in the office now.

When we hugged to greet each other, it felt great because it’s like I was welcoming an old friend.  I am hoping for his happiness.  I guess I have always done it since the very first morning I woke up and felt nothing of the romantic fluff anymore.

* For some crazy reason, I found this old post laughable in a cheesy kind of way.  See, I was a drama queen even before 2008, Raft3r!

^  ^  ^

I’m wishing all of you a happy day of hearts!  Be happy that you are with someone and be happy that you are without.  It’s just in the way you look at it, and frankly, in this era of separations, violent relationships, short-lived romances and the like, at the end of the day, be thankful that you are spared from any form of hurt.  I guess I’m past the stage of thinking that not having a boyfriend is a sad thing.  It’s better than having one just for the sake of having one (lalo na yung ginagastusan mo pa kahit ikaw yung babae, sorry, hahaha).  After all, you can just do MOMOL and SeSeL naman.  Friends with benefits, anyone?  🙂

But no, seriously, don’t listen to me.  As my favorite line from Practical Magic goes, “Always throw spilled salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavendar for luck, and fall in love whenever you can.”

Happy Valentine’s Day!

MOMOL – Make out, make out lang

SeSeL – Sex-sex lang (I totally just made this up)

 

Shift

Edited on 12/3/2010 at 3:05 pm: A male friend and I touched this silly matter over lunch. In between bites of his cheesy pizza, his only reply was, “Babae lang yata nakakaramdam ng ganyan.”  Then he continued eating. Natawa na lang ako. Actually, not all females in general. Possibly just those who live off on drama and theatrics. Parang ako minsan. Minsan lang naman, pagbigyan na. 😀

Last night, while I was finding it hard to sleep because of too much caffeine, I ended up spiraling yet again to a little melancholic mood because *hold your pretty horses* I’m not in a relationship. It happens frequently though I’m quick to squish the thoughts once I heaved a sigh or teared a little. I know I make valid arguments, valid questions, in ‘contesting’ my status. I am a woman deeply in touch with her feelings after all.

Then came a busy workday, plenty of things to accomplish, curricular activities in the periphery, a short validation of confidence from my boss for a job well done. I also attended my language class and afterwards went out with fun, smart, fearless women.

What I’m trying to say is that my feelings last night completely shifted. However, it doesn’t make them any less true. At this point in the day though, my vision is clearer. Ultimately, I am grateful for the capability to overcome self-esteem issues (particularly those about not being someone’s partner) and be secure with myself at a flip of a coin, at the slightest twitch of my nose. Sometimes I love to stay this way forever.

And there goes a new round of drama queen ramblings.

This is my first time to blog from my mobile phone.

So, how are you?

Keso.

To those who think I’m jaded so much after reading my last post, I want to let you know that I am still cheesy.  I had a long conversation about this with one of my bestest girlfriends all the way from Stuttgart, and I’m glad the conversation ended with none of us choking up this time because we’re too far away from each other.

Photo credit goes to Thinker Girl.

Love yourself.

Someone said you can never love someone unless you love yourself first.

See, I think I love myself too much. My top priority is myself.

It may explain why a romantic partner remains elusive to me now.  I love myself so much that the universe feels I am giving twice the amount of love I deserve in this lifetime.

Makes sense, doesn’t it?

Anyway, I have to be honest now.  Yes, I feel sad sometimes and yes, I question why others find it so easy to have a relationship, or relationships, but sometimes, I just pretend I feel affected by it because conventionally, single women in their late twenties normally gripe about it.  In truth, there are times I don’t give a rat’s ass.

I guess there is a big part of me that remains unquenched and no, not a romantic life can sate it.  It’s so big that it comprises most of my daydreams. It’s never an obligation to share your secret fantasies but for the sake of having something to contribute, I just tell people I also think of a man and all the fairy tale-y stuff that usually comes with it. Don’t get me wrong.  I do think about someone, or a few people (depending on my mood, hahaha!), but give me a slice of other priorities, even as shallow as TV shows or salacious celebrity gossip, and all the romantic fantasies go away.  I get distracted easily.

So what do I really think about, you may ask.

My mother accidentally read a journal where I wrote down my name beside fictitious (for now, at least?) job titles, names of international organizations, and addresses both here and abroad.  I do them to entertain myself.  She said if it’s what I really want, nothing’s stopping me.  That statement has a slew of subordinate issues and I won’t discuss them here because they’re not related to the point I’m making anyway.

So, really, I want to experience leaving. I want to explore.  I want to be one of those women who lives on one suitcase after another, hops from one destination to another, runs on office hallways on heels, complains that 24 hours are not enough.  I don’t aspire to be a superwoman, I don’t have world dominatix plans in my head.  I just want be up and about, I want to be more mobile.

You may say, you can have both. I mean, the kind of woman I want myself to be may also have a partner.  It’s not like you can only have one at a time. Yeah, I do believe that, and I totally support it.  But this is where my extreme self-love comes into play.  I don’t know what to do if one arrives in my doorstep while the main one is there.  And lest I didn’t make it clear, my “main” one is what I want to happen in my life, not a partner.

Of course, I still wish to be loved, to have a partner, to be married, to be a mother. But not now.  I may get hurt by experiences in that department but I get over it easily.  If there were lingering reactions, it’s not anymore about what happened or what did not happen.  It’s more about my pride because as I said, I love myself too much.  I don’t want the appearance of losing.  It’s bad in some levels but for a narcissist, it’s practically a way of life.

This kind of attitude may turn you off; hell, it even turns me off sometimes but I just think it’s not a forever kind of phase of my personality.  It’s perhaps because I was brought up in a very sheltered existence.  In between being freed from the pod I was in while growing up and being, as convention dictates, a wife and a mother, I want to be on my own. As in just me. No peripheries.  Although I don’t wish to lose myself even when I do get married and have my own children.  It’s healthy to still have a YOU, and not be some label that society frames people with.

I rarely share this sentiment because I once tried and I was told I was just being bitter.  I was not.  I am not.  I guess trying to make people understand what you want and need is not easy, if not impossible.  This is why I don’t do it to people, too.  Whatever floats their boats.  I have myself to mind after all, and if you know me, I’m already a handful.

[What a comeback post, ‘no?]