Year in Review: Brawn, Burnout, Balls, Bills

We are going to ring in a new year in less than 3 hours.  2011 has been full of adventures, fun, and different kinds of emotions.  Not everything’s good but it’s just the way you look at it, right?  We’re still alive so that’s wonderful.

Credit for Tigger's image goes to http://www.tiggerman.com. Text and modifications are mine.

This year tested my strength and patience in many different ways.  The homefront is good as we speak but let’s just say there are “adult” issues that we have to go through at some point.  I handled it the way I knew how so I guess I’m ready for whatever curve balls will be thrown my way again.  I can’t say I’m totally strong and unbeatable but you know, I’m always ready.

Perhaps one outstanding memory of 2011 is my experience with Typhoon Pedring.  Flooding isn’t strange to me having lived in the Philippines my entire life.  However, I don’t wish to go through it again, in the same vein that I wish the devastation caused by flooding don’t happen in Milenyo/Ondoy/Pedring/Sendong magnitudes again.   Mahirap.

Speaking of hardship, is it just me or is 2011 a hard year, financial-wise?  I don’t know what happened.  However, above it all, I’m thankful that I’m still employed.  I receive a modest salary that pays my bills, takes care of my debts, puts food on the table, and allows me to enjoy little forms of luxuries.  I’m hoping that 2012 will be breezier!

A little of my money this year went to tuition fees for my Spanish classes.  I stopped at level 9 this month and I don’t know if i’m going back soon.  It’s been fun and even if I am not as sobre saliente as anyone in my course level is expected to be, I learned a lot already.  I have new friends beyond the halls of Instituto Cervantes.  And yeah, I think I can survive in Spain already if I go there.  IF. 🙂

Lastly, I got to say that I’m always thankful for new things I learned and dabbled into, and for 2011, it’s football.  I started totally clueless and yes, I will admit that for the most part, it’s boy-watching and getting dragged by hype.  However, games after games, I can say  that it is something that I love to watch and follow; play, maybe not anymore.  I may not be as hardcore as the others (many of whom are my friends now!), I may not dissect games as thoroughly as they do, but I understand it now.  They say it’s easy to be a backseat coach and more than 10 games later, more than half of which I’ve seen live, I can already give my two-cents’.  The most important of all is how it ignited more my pride for the Philippines.  I won’t go into “defending” the Philippine Azkals because it’s futile – haters will be haters, and I choose to stay in that sphere where the team is appreciated and just respect those who do not like what has happened to football in the Philippines.  Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that, homegrown or foreign-bred, when they play for the flag, whatever the outcome, it makes me very proud.

I can still vividly remember how amazing it was when Stephan Schrock scored our lone goal versus Kuwait in the World Cup qualifiers.  Or when Joshua Beloya scored 2 goals at the tailend of the game versus Laos in the SEA Games.  Our national team is still very young so it needs all the support it can get.  Of course I say the same for all sports.  As for me, when it’s game time, it’s not anymore personality-driven.  It’s the Philippine team.  What I mean is, (and I’m speaking as a terrible near-sighted person) when they go to the pitch, I no longer recognize who’s doing what.  I just see “follow” the color of the jersey and squeal and jump in delight when they play well, and react the same way when they don’t.   That’s just for the national team!  When we break them down, we get our professional football league , and that’s where more raw action can be found.  Most recent highlights I could think of were the UFL championships.  I was lucky enough to be there when Meralco Sparks rose from a 3-0 disadvantage to advance to the finals by snatching the win from Kaya FC with 3-5.  It was heartbreaking for Kaya fans and supporters (like me) but I couldn’t deny it was a fantastic game.  The championship game was notches higher in intensity with the win of Air Force Raiders versus Meralco Sparks.  They were both amazing teams but you got to hand it to the Air Force (all homegrown, mostly Ilonggos), their goal-keeper Tats Mercado, and perhaps, a stroke of good luck.  Each goal intercepted, each play formed, amazing.  We can only look at each other in awe.  My friend Christian was even teary towards the end and I couldn’t blame him for it.

I could go on and on about this.  I really might do this again for a new UFL season is kicking off in a few weeks.  For now, I can say it’s been a great year.  I wouldn’t trade my football-related experiences for anything (I mean, meeting LA Galaxy team captain Landon Donovan up close, for one, is something already).

Overall, 2011 has been a great one.  Is it the same with you?

Next: Year in Review: TV and Movies / Books / Races / Travels / My Lovelife (whether you like it or not :)) <– Kidding on this one.

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.

I could blow through the ceiling if I just turn and run

Today’s a particularly gloomy day saved by a few highlights.

by-deeper_well-in-ljI received a call from a former graduate school professor inviting me to a week-long intensive course next month about a subject matter I’m sort of passionate about (passionate, and I can’t bear to strike out ‘sort of’, hah!). I told him I’ll think about it mainly because the course fee is steep for my recession-affected purse (but I didn’t tell him that).  I have yet to check our leave calendar as well.  It will be given to a select few from different national agencies – I guess I was thought of as an “interested individual”, having no relevant exposure nor training remotely connected to the subject matter.  Anyway, I hope I get to decide on it soon. Say, before this week ends.  A little part of me says it will provide tremendous distraction for me, and what distraction could be more useful than something you can use later in padding your CV?

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HOUSE day.  I watched grainy parts during my lunch break.  It was shocking but a good episode.  I know I will think more of it had I steered clear of spoilers.  A cast member leaving the show to pursue another passion couldn’t be more house-is-cute-resvil1agreeable, even if I like the character so much.  The episode next week would provide answers to most of the issues left hanging in tonight’s show.  I refuse to expect too much from it because it’s just a TV show! I am shamelessly invested in it but I take everything it offers anyway. It’s not like I can influence it or anything. One thing I was kind of turned off yet amused at the same time was the online “memorial” for the character who left.  And I thought I’m already tacky and cheesy, eh? I will admit though that I particularly loved the “messages” by the late character’s co-workers, especially the ones left by Dr. Cuddy (who knew Kutner babysat Rachel? We only know he did it last season for Cole’s baby) and by Dr. Cameron (I agree, of the new ducklings, he’s House’s “favorite”…of the old ones, I sincerely believe House had more confidence in Foreman. It’s just me though).

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by-iconfluence-at-lj-31“It’s always better to have it out there” was my good friend PDG’s comment on my (annoying) habit of writing something and letting my guilt eat me 2 milliseconds after I hit the ‘Publish’ button.  It made sense, reinforcing the importance of standing for my honest thoughts regardless of who will read them.  However, it contrasted heavily with the cliche “Think before you speak” – or in this case, type.  It’s not because I am not honest, if anything, I actually reek of bluntness; thing is, everything’s only from my vantage point.  I decided to follow the latter for the sake of less controversy but let me just tell you, this is one of the results of choosing not to deal with me. Hahaha, spoiled brat talaga ano, do you even hear the phantom, “Humarap ka dito, pakinggan mo ang lahat ng sasabihin ko“? No wonder I am poised to grow old alone. Pusa lang ang makakatiyaga sa akin.

However, I will let days pass to make me see things clearly.  The sentiment will not change, I will just make sure that when I put them out there, I know I have a solid basis.  That’s enough for me to throw everything in the air.  Come on, I deserve this, don’t I?

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Lastly, is it odd reading Joe Hill (who happens to be Stephen King’s son!) during Holy Week? I asked because Heart-Shaped Box and 20th Century Ghosts prominently appeared on my nightstand, my wonderful reading companions before I sleep. I said before di ba, when reading becomes a duty rathen than for enjoyment, it’s time to think it over.  Wala namang rule against that ano? Meron ba? Say, because I’m supposedly Catholic?

X X X

course confusion

I want to study again but I do not know what course to take this time.

confusionFinishing graduate school is an idea that never died even if I had to move out of my previous program last year. It only means I did not lose interest in studying, my course then wasn’t just for me. I reached a point when I thought I was good for nothing and should just trash learning and being graded for it. Seriously though, it could not be the case. I’ve seen people who have made the rounds of colleges and universities because they cannot find the course they want. I am just the same. When I left, a professor asked me if the program was faulty because apparently a lot had left before me. I was surprised as all those times I thought it’s always been about my insufficient interest which led to incompetence which eventually led to missing deadlines and actual classes. Distance and schedule figured out prominently in the equation, too,  but at the end of it all, I just wanted out of it, I guess.

So, I’m browsing for courses again. Thing is, I still do not know what I want.  Is there a psych test I can take to determine where I am leaning towards? I’m afraid I would have to make my own trip around national grad schools, experience the courses, before I can identify what I really want. It’s kind of nuts but if left with no choice, I might do it.

Many courses are promising but somewhere in the midst of reading each of its core subjects, I find myself asking, “Do I want this? Can I endure this?” Because frankly, I am not one to endure something I do not like doing, and I almost never reconsider when I dislike something already. Anyway, I am also thinking if taking something related to what I do now would be the way to go, or something only a bit related but would present a different realm to me is more okay.

The more I explore, the more I cannot narrow down courses to one. Distance learning via our premier state university’s Open University is the best to go to if I don’t want weekly classroom activities.  Out of many offerings though, I only feel okay with Development Communication.

If I want classroom interaction somewhere very near my place of work (in my undergrad campus, much more in my mother college!), there’s Master of Arts in Health Policy Studies. The realm of Social Sciences is pretty interesting to me while the specific area of health studies is something that would never grow old. My only reservation here is that I bombed my Political Dynamics class before and from this course’s subject list, I might be going through the same round of stuff again.

If I want to endure the happy kind of stress of traveling all the way to Quezon City, I can try pursuing Master of Industrial Relations.  A little part of me also wants to try Master of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning even if I have no concrete idea what it is. =)

Most friends have asked me to go to business school but I don’t know if I can make something out of it later. The Ateneo-Regis MBA program sounds very good though, add the fact that it’s very near my place of residence.

Since we’re into proximity to place of residence and place of work, Master of Arts in Development Policy (interest in Social Sciences, remember?) and Master of Science in Psychology (Major in Indutrial & Organizational Psychology) offered by De La Salle are both very interesting.

What else, what else? Did you know that for a little while, I considered going into law school? I may like it but I don’t know if I can pull it through till the end.  I seem to be attracted (platonically) to lawyers though. Oh well, fine, law school is another option.

Or since I am also interested in Russia, European Studies sounds cool, too.

See, so many courses, so little willpower to decide which one is it. If universities will tailor a course to suit my top-of -mind interests, then they can start a course like Master of House MD, Major in House and Cuddy. =) Or all about Friends, since I discovered very recently, I can still win any Friends episode trivia contest by a long mile. What a life, right? =)

I hope to come up with something soon. Studying again may not be one of the changes I want to do (again?) this year but since I’m not as adventurous as other people and mobility is not a viable option at this time, it’s very high in my priority list. Operation:Awesomeness starts today, people.

Dear Loyal Lurkers,

I’m happy to have made it through another week of madness. There were unresolved issues and murder-inducing job stressors but hey, there’s always next week to resolve themselves naturally.

For some quick and painless rundown of my week, to add to the growing chapters of  my memoir, here’s what happened:

Tuesday. Madness at work. We were still picking up the remnants of our backlog and other shiznit due to being so busy the week before. Good thing it was a holiday in the US so we were spared A LITTLE from a deluge of incoming inquiries. The local inquirers weren’t as sympathetic though. After work, I saw that there was no movie worth watching so I killed time by eating fries and sipping watermelon shake from Naked Juice Bar while reading Twilight. I was home a little before 7 p.m. Nothing extraordinary happened today.

Wednesday. Forgettable day at work which basically means it was your usual flurry of many different things. I was stressed about something but chose to keep it to myself. I asked my girlfriend Laine to go with me somewhere. We ended up in…tadaaa…Yellow Cab Pizza just across the street from our office. Over hot wings and cheese pizza (that wasn’t good), we talked about Justin (I’m slowly getting rid of it him from my system, aren’t you proud of me?), being 26, Ben, birthdays and other girly stuff while waiting for Sandy. After that I walked to Robinson’s hoping to burn the calories from my early dinner. I also aimed to count my steps because Dina Bonnevie said in her Anlene Commercial that it’s recommended to take 10,000 steps a day. I lost count after 100. I should buy that gadget which can count the number of steps you make. 🙂 Anyway, when I passed by National Bookstore to the mall exit, I was pulled back by the “Sale” tags so I went out 30 minutes after with new books. Happiness. *cue colegiala shrieks*

Thursday. My work momentum has picked up, with a few downsides as identifed by my low self-esteem. Overall, it was okay though. Paid my credit card bill (finally). Had 7-11 hotdog sandwich for lunch. Trooped to UP at 3:30. Rode the same FX to Philcoa with Job but instead of chatting, we were asleep as soon as the vehicle doors slammed shut. Got to UP in time for the Cashier closing and a buzzer beater visit to the University Registrar. Headed to Gateway to have dinner with my office friends at Taco Bell (the only food chain we know in Gateway, would you friggin’ believe?). Wolfed down everything like mad. Went home with Sheila. Was just in time for the female contestants’ performance night in American Idol. I was satisfied that Ramiele Malubay did fine though I had to argue with mother dear that Kady Malloy’s version of Groovy Kind of Love was actually good to my ears. Well, I’m tone deaf, but I really thought the rendition was good. Mom said she sounded like a girly bar singer. Come on, now. I slept after the show. Slept, slept.

Friday. As I was going through my garbage bag, I discovered that I have to go back to UP to fix a mini-faux pas courtesy of yours truly. Was running a fever that won’t really go away. Nonetheless, I still had to work hard. Meetings, meetings, endless meetings. Had tea biscuits and water for lunch. Fever in the afternoon was worse. Was about to leave for UP when my deputy chief asked me to do something. It was a case connected to other inquirers so before I know it, it’s 10 minutes before 4 p.m. and that’s a sure sign in hell that I’m not going to make it to UP to catch the closing of the Registrar’s office at 5 pm. Plus there were rallies in many universities kicking off all at once. By the way, my non-appearance made me officially in AWOL status – I thought it’s not soo bad, granting that that’s what they asked me to do anyway to signify my intention not to pursue International Studies anymore. I had a little chat with my (former) graduate school classmate and she shared a rather similar sentiment for the program. Let’s see. I’ve been eyeing an MA in Communication or any graduate program from the School of Labor and Industrial Relations (SOLAIR in UP parlance, obviously). The latter is where some of my undergrad blockmates are. Then there’s also MA in Health Policy Studies offered by no less than my mother college, and better yet, my mother department back in college. It’s just in UP Manila!!! But I’ll weigh them all very carefully. Other than that, there’s still our Professional Development Center in the office. The prospects are endless. And wait, did I tell you I volunteered to be a back-up docent in our office’s historical tours? Talk about spreading my very thick self very thinly!

I also attended the opening of our basketball season over at the Seafront Compound. I promised to support our boys so even if I’m not feeling well, I went ahead with Laine. We were by the taxi loading station when JW waved at us and later on slowed down to give us a ride. When we’re in the car, we saw that BR was driving. So it was his car. Guess who got disoriented? My girlfriend Laine, of course. BR offered me a heart-shaped brownie which I gave to Laine, who was applying lip gloss. Weeha. BR was his usual conceited-in-a-non-annoying-way self, mimicking Pinoy drivers, talking fast, honking with his left elbow. Crazy. When we got to the venue, we took pictures. What else is new?

 

 

 

In the end, our boys won Best in Uniform, for the third time in a row. Based on the basketball skills of the other nine teams, our boys should marvel at the Best in Uniform award because that’s what they will ONLY get from this tournament. They suck at playing but well, they’re just there to have fun. But yeah, they still suck are probably not as good as the other players. Enough said.   

After the customary pic-taking and chit-chats, Laine, Rach and I trooped to MOA for dinner. Had chicken teriyaki don and agedashi tofu from Teriyaki Boy. Sharing and story-telling while standing outside the North Building, the insane cold wind slapping our mortal bodies. When Rach had to go to Glorietta to meet another friend, Laine and I decided to stay for dessert.

 

Headed to Iceberg’s; Laine had Mango Tango Split while I had Kahlua Chocolate Sundae. Just soooo wrong. For almost two hours, we talked about Ben (again), Justin (again), other men whose names will be withheld, having kids, birthdays, friends, pieces of clothing, and God knows what else. We separated at around 10:30 pm. It took a while to fill the sole FX taxi headed to my place. Traffic was also terrible at the CCP area. A block before my designated stop, I heard the FX driver mumble that he lives in my street (though the route destination is at the opposite end of my residence). Hmmm. Since he lives in my street, I decided to stay and let him drop off the other passengers at the last stop. On our way “back” (he’s going home already), I wasn’t speaking until he did actually turn right on my our street. In front of a three-door apartment, he said that I may need to alight the vehicle because that’s his garage already. I pointed to the second door of another three-door apartment right next to his apartment complex. That’s where I live, I said. He was amused! And since we’re into taxis already, I rode one this morning whose driver (he owns the cab too) offered to be my shuttle service to work everyday. For a slightly higher fare than my regular daily meter, I accepted his offer (see, I’m too easy). At least I’d be spared from competing with people I practically know by face every freakin’ morning. Although I always treat this morning rush as my playground for accepting subtle forms of rejection and betrayal (taxi drivers ignoring me because I’m obviously not in the route they WANT to take, fellow passengers getting the taxi I hailed, etc.), I can leave that during weekend taxi-hailing moments because my priority everyday is to get to work early (not on time, but early). Anyway, I’ll see how the “shuttle service” goes.

It’s past midnight. Tomorrow will be my borppy day – a day to do boring stuff that makes me so happy nevertheless. Waking up late, watching the last episodes of The West Wing (Season 7), watching any DVD from my to-watch queue, putting plastic on the covers of my books (better than partying in The Fort, I’m telling you, hahaha!!!), finishing TWO novels from my queue of half-reads, sleeping, sleeping, eating, sleeping. My simple forms of happiness, ladies and germs. See you around!

Love,

Judith

a quickie

Going to UP excites me. I really love being there. I love it so much that even fate sensed it so it wants me return there a few more times before I finally drop my classes FOR NOW.

I love the obscure book stalls, the fishball/squid ball/kikiam stand, the experience of walking the college halls while eating taho, killing time by reading a book on the steps of Palma Hall, listening in to different national situation discussions right on the college lobby,the smell of very old books in the university library, among many experiences.

I’m just so sleepy and tired with all the rushing and walking I did so I’m putting this off for tomorrow the weekend.

I may have had a brain-frying experience with Political Science but I’m definitely going back there and I’ll make sure that they’ll welcome me with open arms (the college I’m eyeing, not the Department of PoliSci). It’s one love-hate relationship I would never tire engrossing myself in over and over.

eat, pray, love

The title is like the popular book of Elizabeth Gilbert, which I haven’t read but I intend to. If only someone would buy it for me. Hint hint…9 days to go. 🙂

EAT

I am feeling guilt as of this moment. Because of the emotional turmoil brought by my constant whining, I lost the will to eat real food lately. Doritos and water are not good breakfast fixtures. Neither is Bread Pan (the green one), downed by Chuckie. I eat pretty decent lunch combos from the office cafeteria but their quantity doesn’t last me until dismissal time. So for about two weeks now, I’ve been a regular of The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at Robinson’s Midtown, and since I can only afford a drink and a simple pastry, they constituted my dinner for most evenings.

pastriesAnyway, I love The Coffee Bean now but taste-wise, Starbucks is still tops, if only for the reason that it’s what I’ve been used to. I guess I’m really geting older in that I cannot stand people flocking a small coffee house with incessant chatter filling the room. Back then, it’s my place to be, I mean, I can get lost in hundreds of pages of books with people talking around me. It’s not that The Coffee Bean doesn’t get flocked to; it does but I think it has to do with its space, something that gives you the feeling that you will not be suffocated anytime soon. Plus it has free wifi. Their hot and cold drinks, a few pesos more expensive than Starbucks and Figaro, and offer nothing really astonishing, are something you get used to eventually. And lately, I’ve been a Tropical Fruit chai latte addict! I don’t know how long I’d stay before jumping to UCC.

Okay, going back, I felt good about zipping pants without much effort, not having much of button-popping from blouses, after I observed the less eating drama. Until I ate heavily a while ago and I can feel putting back on, and more, the few pounds I managed to lose. Pizza, chicken, potatoes and tea are wrong in many ways.   

PRAY

I’ve been occupied by ranting that I forego praying hard lately. I am a pretty prayerful person, you know, and I’m proud of it. I may prefer not attending mass and celebrating that whole hour  but I do pray very hard and I know my messages always get across.

I am also someone who asks for signs a lot. I probably have confused the signs more often than not but they got me through. Going back to my issue, much to your irritation, about my studies, I asked for a sign – in the form of a chance – to determine if I should still go for it, granting that I say International Studies (and studying in general) isn’t cut out for me but I’m still here for the past year and a half, wasting my time and money. Yesterday was supposedly the make-or-break day but next thing I knew, the prof himself emailed that we won’t have class. That bought me another week which wouldn’t be sufficient to finish what I’m supposed to but at least that’s more time to think. And just when I thought of giving up the whole program, here comes LC telling me that she will face her fear (going back to school) and enroll for her graduate degree in Education by June. I sometimes think I can benefit from someone in the office understanding what I’m exactly talking about when I rant about school. Or maybe just someone to commute with, leaving at 3:30, traipsing the nonetheless boring stretch of Quezon Avenue.

I plan on dropping my PoliSci class, and not all three, because I’ve been struggling with all my PoliSci subjects anyway. Mommy said don’t just a few minutes ago, because I started it already, might as well finish it and just VERY CAREFULLY choose what to take next sem.

If ever I decide not to leave the program.arrrgh na talaga

If ever I decide not to drop the idea of studying altogether.

Ah, what do you know. I started this bitchin’ session again and with less prayers, I might shift to other decisions next week.

While I still give myself the leeway to do trial-and-error with the things I embark on, it is becoming scarier by the day that I’m no closer to KNOWING what I really want.

I asked LC if teaching is what she really wants to do.

I told her, what if everything that she’s doing now is taken away from her and the Lord told her that she has the freedom to choose what she’d like to do, what would that be?

She said she wants to teach kids. She said it has long been her dream but didn’t go for it because teachers get paid less and…most of the ones she knows ended up as old maids. Funny but at least she has something of a construct to come back to, whenever inspiration strikes.

I asked myself the same question, with the positive motivation that I get to choose ANYTHING I want to do with regard to my direction in life.

I CANNOT SEE MYSELF ANYWHERE.

Seriously.

I don’t see myself as a laywer, a nurse, a corporate person, an NGO personnel, a firefighter, a teacher, a stewardess, a writer. I even thought I wanted to be an actress, with all the glitz, glam and moral gore, but it’s not it. I have nothing in mind. I don’t want to be anyone. The closest would be a BUM forever. But how shameful would that be?

I guess I should pray harder…and more frequently.

I am not dropping hints but I will be 26 in a few days and it’s making me more scared than ever.

LOVE

I guess being confused with my life should not be peppered with wanting to have a relationship right now. They say that love…romance…comes like a thief in the night but I believe that you can plan it ultimately. Yes, I fancy someone right now, and even if he does not know me beyond my manly and chubby face that’s plastered in some random office wall, I still cannot say that this is the right time to be involved, if and only if I got lucky to be noticed by him.

I am being like Erwin who is, on his own admission, damaged jaded sa love(and beyond repair!). I don’t know if he is in a relationship right now but if he’s not, then it’s only because of unresolvable internal issues that make it hard for jaded people like us to find and be satisfied with a potential romantic partner – and it’s not that we haven’t tried looking.

Anyway, these long sentences and garbled words make up my very colorful life canvas. And it’s only the first month of the year, ugh.

Oh, what do you know, as I am almost done with this post, a friend messaged me about our greatness as a product of our university. What I was made into, the position I’m in now, the places I’ve been to, the opportunities I had, they all came flashing before me. I guess I’m not entirely damaged, I’m just emotionally battered and butchered because my human form is still in transition.

The wisdom of Peter and my friend STH

Twenty minutes into Office Space, which I’m happy to get from one of the obscure DVD stalls at Good Earth in Avenida, Peter Gibbons bolted me with this-

What would you do (if you have a million dollars, and don’t have to work)?

Nothing.

Nothing…?

(Yeah). I’d relax. I’d sit on my a** all day. I would do nothing.

Oh frogginsheet, pasok na pasok sa banga! I would not even need a million dollars to motivate me to do it. At best, a leave of absence one week before actually taking it would kick things off. The only issue is, until when? I only have less than a hundred hours of leave credits, man. So probably one million dollars would help after all.

By the way, I haven’t finished Office Space but I intend to very soon.

Probably after dropping my classes.

Shoot.

I can hear my mother now, “Nagsasayang ka ng pera!”

My own money. Which I will earn back in a few months. Kaya lang credibility and self-worth ang nakataya naman doon. My gosh, I have to submit a paper tomorrow and on Tuesday and wala pa ako ni isang letter na nagagawa. And look at me, I’m blogging.

Damn I can’t stop thinking of the new DVDs I bought. Patawarin ako ni Edu but I just have to watch/rewatch Dying Young, Chances Are, Snatch, Full Metal Jacket and Thelma & Louise very soon. Think about it, mas masarap ang buhay ko noong every Saturday, wala akong ginawa kundi manood ng VCDs na hiram sa Video City habang kumakain ng pepperoni pizza. Paulit-ulit lang yun linggo-linggo kahit nagka-boyfriend ako (as in movie marathon lang, promise). That was the same time when nakakabili din ako ng libro ng hindi galing sa Booksale o sa Buy The Book. Life was simpler then. Until I went back to school. So sinisisi ko talaga sya.

And as my friend STH told me via text kanina, “Whine ka ng whine, e di i-drop mo na lang!”

[Note, according to this, the last date of dropping of subjects is on February 18. Ladeeedaaaa….]

Amen.

Saturday, still not moving

They say that you ought to feel ill after a flu shot. I felt it 48 hours after a shot that didn’t take a nanosecond to enter my body, thanks to our office nurse’s sharpshooting skills.

I don’t want to think my sleeping at 5 in the morning pushed it to the edge. Anyway, I was too weak to carry on with life in general, and there, ahhhhI just made a dumb excuse as to why I haven’t moved a single cell of my body to do my school requirements. This is a series of school rants, if you haven’t noticed. My mother was actually mocking me a while ago, after she gave up on the calm one-on-one sessions, to see if I really wanted to do this after all.

Since I live with her, she’s witness to how I put academic stuff behind me and then cram, panic, lash out on everyone when it’s submission time. Masama nga namang ugali yun, when I could have been a sane adult and did what’s supposed to be done during the times I was supposed to be doing them.

If I was able to watch five consecutive episodes of The West Wing even if I’m terribly ill, I could probably have started my paper as well. Pero ang bottomline is pag gusto, may paraan, pag ayaw…ayaw talaga, wag na pilitin.

See, I take pleasure from watching a show about a presidential campaign, smack dab in the middle of the primaries in the US. That’s actually what one of my classes is all about, but when I relate it to the course, nawawalan ako ng gana.

I probably don’t like studying…anymore. I just thought I do. What I want, perhaps, is learning new things without doing it for someone who will grade me after all was said and done.

I am keeping these blog entries lately, securing copies in flash drives, printing them out…para lang in the future, I’ll see if yes, I’m right, I didn’t want it all along OR I will just smile as I look back, and say, the struggle I’d been through just to get a graduate degree!

As of this hour though, the overwhelming sentiment is that I like dabbling into serious stuff (as its opposites are, say, celebrity news, fandoms, green jokes, chismis sa office, usapang crushes at mga tungkol sa love – sheesh), but I don’t like being graded nor being given deadlines to prove that I understood everything I’m interested in. I like learning at my own pace. Let’s see if this will change later. Pinagdasal ko ito, I asked for motivation, pero in truth, hindi ko na kinakaya yung struggle. Paulit-ulit ako right? Kahit ako naiinis na sa sarili ko.

I am made of bum

I did not meet my own deadline – I still have 497 pages to read and understand, 2 papers to write, and a seminar paper proposal to start from scratch. And school resumes on Monday.

If things go very constricting, schedule-wise, I always blame my academics. It’s unfair, I know, especially since I dabbled into this with the ulterior goal of impressing people. Hah. I am pretty smart but with things not along the friggin’ lines of anything academic. My brain literally hurts from too much information and like a damaged fish net, the more I read, the more I retain nothing. Really. I’ve read about IR theories yet I cannot coherently differentiate them from one another, even those with the neo-shit prefixes.

If things get a bit busier in the office, I’m telling you, I’m one strand short of dropping these three subjects once more, and probably saying adieu to the program itself. What do I hope to achieve ba in taking my master’s degree in International Studies? What? A better qualification to posts in international organizations? Whaaaat? I don’t know, and I don’t have a plan. Seriously. Hindi pa ako lasing nyan.

See, instead of rushing to finish my readings as the effect of my large The Coffee Bean eXtreme frappucino is still very much kicking, I instead update this blog, download Gossip Girl episodes I missed, read on the U.S. election primaries (and get fan-crazed with primaries and caucuses schedules), and bloghop, bloghop, bloghop, bloghop.

I am a useless piece of trash showered with luck.

Anyway, regardless, I am happy to own a new “let’s get rid of plastic everytime we shop” bag from no other than…laking national ako!!!National Bookstore!!! I bought a pen and a small plastic envelope a while ago, and saw this bag for only P65 (you can get it free when you buy at least P1,000 in a single purchase). It’s net-like and even if it displays the store name, I don’t care, I’m Laking National after all!!! It’s very sturdy and I thought of giving my I Am Not Plastic cloth bag  a little rest while I use this to lug my thick photocopied readings to school. If I like it more in the days to come, I might buy one or two more. I’m crazy like that. In fact, you know the green shopping bags of SM? I hoard them! I think we have 12 of them already, and yes, we use it whenever we buy our groceries. May 2 SM Advantage points pa yun per bag everytime you use them. I just don’t know with this red bag (whose tag line of sorts states, Red is the new Green); I forgot to ask kung may dagdag Laking National points pa if you buy something from there and dala-dala mo ito. Hmmm, parang ang daya naman nun ano? And did you read about my using it to put in my school readings? Bakit kasama pa sa iyon sa mga plano ko? Does this mean I do not dislike studying? Bakit bili pa rin ako ng bili ng pens and highlighters? Damn this confusion.

I hope to accomplish something substantial tomorrow. I hope. In the meantime, let me just go and check my Facebook.

Define madness on the 4th day of the year

I was threatened of a slippery moral downfall by breaking one of my personal resolutions last night. On the third day of the year, ladies and germs.

My positive outlook is continuously challenged by madness that’s called work, school and relationships.

Flu shot. Very heavy Chinese lunch (so much for austerity). Happiness that all five of us are back doing things together, and enjoying them. Starbucks to study but ending up reading Vox instead – a bit of an intelligent erotica. Sophie’s Choice, too. iTunes and more.

Late for two hours. Work description dilemma affecting the morale of my staff – but as I said, we’re just that democratic in here. We voice out concerns but we all end up following anyway, and very diligently at that. Cross training. Staff management that entails more and more bright ideas that should be performed by yours truly, especially now that personal relationships are very A-ok once more.

Still drowned by school readings that because of work and its peripheries, I contemplated on dropping out once more so I can focus on it. Really, like what Mom VERY CALMLY asked me last week, Whoever asked me to do this anyway? Was I really sure this is what I want to do? That this is what I want to pursue? Maybe I really did just go on with this graduate school shit because people have done so and that it’s impressive to be a full-time employee and a graduate school student at the same time. Nobody dies of not doing both at the same time, you know. That’s something to think about…

…probably when I’m done with International Relations Theory by Kauppi and that other guy, and Man, The State and War.

A little space in my messy mind cradles my fantasy of a child, my child, that I should just HAVE to make some direction out of this life.

Happy weekend and cheers to Obama! One down, plentiful to go! And I really have to get to know that Huckabee guy. I’ve always thought it’s Giuliani and Romney casting in the GOP skit.

I typed this without reading back.

First day defunct

What’s a few more days to go till actual diligence and austerity measures are observed? After all, it is not traditional to start your work week on a Wednesday.

That, my friends, was our convenient excuse to justify our semi-existence as happy employees today. It’s not that we didn’t do work. We did and I even attended a supervisor’s meeting as if it’s the middle of a toxic week. The season’s air hasn’t worn off yet but we all promised that come Monday, it will be very different.

I also went with Mom to Baclaran today, after she realized that it’s not Monday after all; it’s Wednesday and the first one of the year at that. I cannot promise a novena devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help as I have Wednesday classes starting next week but it’s great having to pray today and sincerely mean it.

Anyway, my planner (here I am again) says I should read two chapters of The Twenty Years Crisis and seven chapters of Morgenthau’s Politics Among Nations. I don’t know if I can pull it off and wake up at 5 a.m. for a 6:30 a.m. start of official duty.

Besides, I’m still downloading the entire White Chalk album of PJ Harvey and some songs from Feist’s The Reminder. Whatever pushed me to listen to them tonight, I also don’t know. I guess I like these tunes playing in the background while reading theories of international relations that I will never retain for more than 24 hours anyway. Oh, someone also sent me an MP3 file of that song I love from Ikimono Gakari. Goodluck na lang kung masasabayan ko sya.

Overall, I still feel that this year will be so spankin’ good.

You gotta go after the things you want while you’re still in your prime*

I am taking advantage of being able to surf using MY computer again. So this is going to be long. This is most likely caused by the generous amount of caffeine I consumed today not because I need to be awake but to add stickers to friends’ Starbucks cards.

As said, I am blogging now using MY computer. Yes, this after getting confused, worked up, depressed, undecided and confused yet again if I will squeeze my money juicer anew to be able to afford a laptop before the year ends. A computer is a necessity for me so the need is very much justified. Anyway, most of whom I talked to suggested to invest on a Macbook instead especially now that the dollar exchange rate is getting lower each day. In passing, I talked to one of our IT guys, casually mentioned my computer’s current problem, and he meekly suggested something about fixing BIOS and other things that I didn’t understand.

So out of curiosity, when I got home, I turned the computer on, explored the setup menu and randomly tapped keys in each menu page that mentioned BIOS or even just the word BOOT. For some reason that I thank God for, I restarted it and voila! I’m back! Although I have to make the most out of this session because tomorrow, all these could be gone and everything’s gonna go haywire configuration-wise.

Now the dilemma is, do I still have to buy a laptop or give the idea a rest because this is working again? Decisions, decisions.

o0o

Next – the papaya dance. See, I’m known to be really shameless in the office in that I almost always say yes to performing. Frustrated artista tlaga! Anyway, it was our Christmas party today and while Manny Pacquiao didn’t matter much (tipong mag-boxing ka na lang because obviously you’re very good at it, tama na ang pagkanta…which also brings forth the fact that ewan ko ba, ang jologs ng opisina namin pag minsan!), Edu Manzano also dropped by and of course, led the Papaya-dancing. My team and I securedly sat in our “usual” seats which was near the stage to see the performances but was hidden partly by the bushes to prevent us from being volunteered or randomly picked in icebreaker activities. The big boss enjoyed dancing that she felt the need to go to the other employees by herself and ask them to dance with her. It was one side of the throng of employees and Edu took it as a cue to take on the other side of the audience and announce a “Who dances the papaya song better” fun game.

So it meant Edu asking all of us to stand up and who else but me would be one of the willing victims. To cut it short, people have texted me that I was very visible in Bandila, the late-night newscast, in my screaming red top, dancing to the papaya song. Uy this might be it. Nag-uumpisa na ang career ko. Hahahaha!!!

o0o

I watched Avenue Q with friends tonight, including the IT guy whom we’re setting up with a friend.

The show was very good, the cast was wonderful, and we all had a good laugh. Rachel Alejandro was particularly superb both as Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut.

The songs were all good and that’s the musicale-obsessed in me talking. I am a lyrics-before-melody kind of person so SC was laughing at me as I started to well up on Fantasies Come True and There’s A Fine, Fine Line. Why, I even teared on some parts of I Wish I Could Go Back To College and For Now!

This is what I mean, further.

Fantasies Come True

Who’d have thought
I would see the day
Where I’d hear you say
What I heard you say

And now I find
What was always in my mind was in your mind too
Who knew? Fantasies come true
And now I see
That what I always dreamed of was meant to be
You and me and you, fantasies come true

There’s A Fine, Fine Line

There’s a fine, fine line between a lover and a friend;
There’s a fine, fine line between reality and pretend;
And you never know ’til you reach the top if it was worth the uphill climb.
There’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of time.

There’s a fine, fine line between a fairy tale and a lie;
And there’s a fine, fine line between “You’re wonderful” and “Goodbye.”
I guess if someone doesn’t love you back it isn’t such a crime,
But there’s a fine, fine line between love
And a waste of your time.

*The title of this post is my favorite line in the song. Pasok sa banga!

For Now

Don’t stress, relax,
Let life roll off your backs
Except for death and paying taxes,
Everything in life is only for now!

I am glad to have made it to Avenue Q’s repeat, and on its first day pa. I was sort of interviewed for the production’s post-show video that will be put up in youtube. I said something stupid and short so I know it’s not going to make the cut. One exposure for the day is enough daw, hahaha!!! We all had a good laugh in Starbucks as we imitate Lucy the Slut – sabi nila ganun na lang daw dapat ginawa ko. Oh well, next time, if there’d be one.

Overall, the show was great. The songs were entertaining. The puppet sex scene was the highlight of the show. Hahaha, perv!

o0o

I was idly flipping channels last week when I came across Music Station on Animax. Parang TRL ata yun ng Japan. Whatever, I decided to stay on for one song. I chanced upon Ikimono-Gakari when they sang Akane Iro No Yakusoku. It was translated as Deep Red Sky. For some reason, it was very loosely translated via subtitles but I’m such a sucker for romance I loved it in an instant. Okay din naman ang melody. I looked for other songs by the group and they’re also good. Probably I could list down learning how to speak Japanese in my million things to do before I die.

Here’s the group’s performance on the show. See for yourselves –

o0o

I’m running low on cash because humility aside, I always love giving people anything on Christmas. Since my network has expanded, add to that the increased number of people who are really in need of something, I simplified all my gifts to accomodate my meager budget. Baka nga sa iba, hugs and kisses na lang maibigay ko- priceless naman yun, and I do it very very well. Hahaha!!! Anyway, napansin ko I haven’t decided what I want to get myself this Christmas. Though on second thought, all year round, I practically spoil myself with gifts so it won’t make a difference if I don’t get anything for myself this year.

But of course I’m only human and I also want badly. Assessing my real priorities, I discovered that the most precious gift of time would be awesome. Kaso malabo ata. I just want some time off na wala kang iniisip kundi pagca-catch up sa pagbabasa – yeah, dorkiness, I know. But seriously, that’s what I want. A two-week uninterrupted reading time. I do have time to read but for my acads, I read cables and literature related to work, and other responsibilities that I have to do because I’m apparently an adult now…dun ako napapagod at nagsasawa.

Anyway, in lieu of that gift, I would settle for the CD of Corinne Bailey Rae

The complete DVD collection of The West Wing. (uh, as of June 2008, I got season 1 and 7 already!)

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip DVD set. (Ahhh! Done! Got it three days before Christmas from Astrovision!!!)

A black Stella McCartney Microbounce Daha training shoes from Adidas.

That’s about it. Very attainable, aren’t they?

o0o

If you think that I’m almost in my vacation mode, it’s very wrong. I have regular full-time work next week (which, on the other hand, I should be very thankful for), an intensive report on power play and regime changes on Monday, a verbal critique of the realists on the concept of idealism on Tuesday, a book review on Wednesday, side-by-side with a term paper proposal on the increasing role of international non-profit democracy groups in electoral exercises. Nosebleed na naman nga. And I think in other orifice of my body baka duguin na rin ako dahil dito.

All of these and no one there to hug me and cheer me on. Talaga naman, oo.

Hysterical week!

 

I’m on a caffeine high because of my mother. Yes, of all people whom I can blame about this current state, it’s my mother.

This week has been hysterical! I find myself all over the place and I meant in a very unstable kind of way.

 Monday! All my start-of-the-week plans were ruined. I woke up close to being unable to walk. Seriously. See, two days before that, we had an office daytime affair and the rest of the afternoon found me and my friends walking around UP – and by walk around, I do mean WALK AROUND. I was wearing my super flat plastic sandals which was lightweight but it’s…super flat. As you know, I’m fat pleasantly plump, and I’ve been used to running around in my 3-4 inch heels, depending on the time of the week, so you can surmise how uncomfortable it must have felt at the end of the day.

Anyway, I felt it on Sunday but I busied myself with studying (oh yeah, I surprised myself there) that I didn’t realize the extent of it as compared to if I took my usual Sunday routine of going out with my mother dear. So Monday morning, I stood up from my bed and I literally wobbled and fell on the floor. It was so scary. Imagine, both legs giving up!

I was close to crying because I really thought I’d be invalid. May drama pa akong, Lord, marami pa po akong pangarap, wag naman po!!! Ang pathetic di ba? But the fear was very real.

I sought a physical therapist and was ultimately advised to use orthopedic sandals or shoes from now on. Forgive my bias and probably ignorance but when you speak to me of orthopedic sandals, I instantly think of sandals na pang-madre na nabibili sa Naturalizer at Aerosoles. Ang labo nung naka-attribute lang sa madre ano? I think I was not that exposed to wearing those kind so pardon my reference.

After some routine leg and feet exercises every morning, I’m feeling a bit better now. Hindi na obvious na pipilay-pilay. I haven’t bought an orthopedic footwear because the Aerosoles and Naturalizer branches in Robinson’s are yet to open. Plus I’m really banking on not resorting to it. I love them soft and light sandals but to wear them as a prescription? Parang ang hirap tanggapin.

Tuesday! I have to make up for all my lost time at work! It’s maddening! Ang ending, I had to skip my class, which bummed me out because I really love that class kahit feeling ko wala akong substantial na nai-co-contribute in our meetings. Actually, I don’t have to feel it; wala talaga akong naco-contribute na substantial, to be frank and specific. You can even ask the professor.

The highlight of my day was eating at the renovated TGIFriday’s while reading Power and Interdependence. Nosebleed na naman, right? Anyway, I was surprised that they no longer honor Bistro Gold Cards – sayang ‘yung 20% discount! Tsk. I was told that the replacement card was long overdue and when I asked if there’d be changes, they said that Outback will no longer be part of the card coverage. I was given a coupon of sorts that would still give me 20% off on my next visit but only after consuming items worth P1,500. Parang lugi naman ‘yun.

Wednesday! Another madness day! Worked in the morning! Brought my reports and other what-nots to my classmate in Supreme Court so she’ll hand it to the prof that night. Sobrang pagod sa katawan for someone who has just recovered from a traumatic lower limbs experience.

The theme of our party was Back To School and just when I mentioned my dilemma about showing up as either Ginny Weasley or Tracy Turnblad, everything went down the drain and I decided to come as a UP student daw. UP shirt, jeans, rubber sandals from Tribu. Okay na yun, nakaraos naman. This year’s party was semi-fun, and I really felt that the quality has dwindled since I first experienced it 4 years ago. My kapal-muks artista mode was also waning, as I noticed. But “performing” in front of people still didn’t faze me though – it’s just that the interest to think of ways to better those performances weren’t as enthusiatic as before.

I met with mommy dearest and 3 other Titas at Robinson’s after the party. I could have used the time off, as I left them midlifers to talk about their past, back when they were kids and were all looked down to, yadda yadda yadda…to read more about complex interdependence and the realist critique of idealism. Instead, I decided to grab a marked down copy of Lipstick Jungle and read it. I missed that kind of non-academic reading. I craved for a rather unintelligent, no-brain-cells frying read after a while. It was breezy. Getting to a hundred pages or so was effortless. And yes, I enjoyed it terribly.

For my second cup of espresso, upon my mother’s insistence because there’d still be more “topics” that she and my other Tita will talk about, I contemplated on flipping through my textbook but Lipstick Jungle quickly took the interest away. Really, between patterns of regime change and the travails of high-powered women in their midlives, it’s definitely easier to while away your time reading the latter.

We’re home by 11 p.m. and I didn’t feel an ounce of sleepiness, which started to worry me because there’s still work the next day. I spent my hours listening to mushappy (mushy and crappy) songs while weighing if the intense desire to have that one very meaningless casual sex fling would be better towards this guy and that other guy. My friends willingly founded Team T and Team G to express their support for these two guys, just so I could have a lovelife.

Lovelife. The term scares me as much as that loss of muscle control I had last Monday.

I’m here in the office very early today because of the transport strike. I asked our neighbor who owns a taxi to pick me up during his first trip. I didn’t know that he goes out on the road as early as 6 a.m. At least I got here very early, 45 minutes before my official start time. That’s a feat for me. Really. Especially when I barely had an hour of sleep!

I can’t believe it’s only Thursday. Madness! Madness! More of it is coming soon. If this is what having a colorful life means, then thank you.

 

Solo flight

Remember my two-student class every Monday?

My classmate didn’t show up today so it became a one-on-one session with me and the prof.

The bad thing was I didn’t read a lot because I knew my classmate was going to report. When it’s only you in a class of two, it only meant that you should answer all questions the prof would throw.

The good thing was this prof isn’t known to be the ask-y type. He did ask me a few times but those weren’t the let’s-see-if-you-know-this questions. Usually though, he would deliberately hang his sentence, expecting me to finish. Maybe it’s his gauge if I’m still with him. I was. All through 150 minutes of it.

It was a class on theories but the set-up was very good. Imagine, I usually don’t remember anything after a class, but tonight, I was finally able to reconcile the talking points in functionalism, neo-functionalism and international regimes. I felt like a real student tonight.

I hope this provides sufficient impetus to gradually bring back my sponge-like memory (which entails the capacity to actually understand, eh?) in terms of academic stuff. I used to be very good at it until I turned 14 years old and my academic interest diminished faster than I can spell pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis – meaning I didn’t deteriorate that fast but my interest did wane soon enough.

I can’t help but laugh at how this semester would take over my life, and it’s funnier because I engaged in other activities which would supposedly take a great chunk of my time as well. Quarterlife is really very messy. I imagine a watermelon ran over by a speeding jeepney.

My OC side made me buy three pens of different colors, which I’d use to write down the tasks for each of my subjects. That way I can see if I have to do something for a certain subject at a particular time. So that’s pink for my International Relations Theories class, green for my International Peace and Security class and purple for my Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Elections class. For P49.50, I managed to kick-off an organized semester. You should see my planner. It’s peppered with color…as aside from the three colors above, I use classic black for my regular errands and a maroon Stabilo Pen 68 for miscellaneous stuff that needs to be in the planner, too.

Don’t hate me because I’m weird. Embrace me instead. Come on. 🙂

fire, earthquake, awards, foiled coup, and other adventures

Fire –

I’ve been asleep for an hour when I felt something warm in my cheek. I thought it was odd because I was put to sleep by the very cold wind slapping my face – I sleep with all my windows open to save electricity, by the way. Seconds later my mother was shouting at me to get up because the house next door was on fire. It wasn’t really but the house at the back of it was.

It’s surreal having to see that giant of a flame very near me, and the direction of the wind even made it appear that it’s going to lick my bedroom window anytime soon. It’s a combination of red and yellow and the smell was chokingly terrible. I was tempted to get my camera to take even just one shot of it but sanity overcame me so I grabbed a small envelope of important documents, grabbed my office bag and marched downstairs where my mother and uncle were. All my neighbors frantically wrapped and shoved their things to the street and hosed all houses in the vicinity of the burning house to prevent fire from spreading.

I panicked for a while but there’s a part of me that said we won’t be harmed by the fire. However, the adrenaline rush outside was contagious so I went back upstairs, grabbed suitcases and dumped clothes in them, and my tons of reading materials for this semester. Surprisingly, I didn’t even grab a book. It was weird as I thought of it after. Not one book, I’m telling you. On my third flight upstairs, I remember pausing then telling God that I leave the fate of all my books to Him. And it’s not because I already have a cabinet-ful of them at the garage; most of the books that matter to me are in the room and at the shelves in the other room. What’s funny pa was that in one sweeping motion, I managed to put almost all my Tigger stuff in one suitcase (almost all because the big Tigger stuffed toy and all my Tigger pillows wouldn’t fit anymore). When they were putting back the things, my mother was shocked with the contents of that suitcase. I guess that’s an indication of my priority levels.

An hour later, the street was still busy with people putting things back to their partly wet homes. The firemen came on time and the spirit of neighborhood cooperation was very much alive. It was sad that one person died in the fire. God bless his soul.

I barely slept after the ordeal and went to the office as usual, then attended my 2-person class that afternoon. Life went on and it always will.

Earthquake –

I was halfway through my lunch when I felt the first shake. I always feel something like it because of my unstable sleeping patterns. The next one a few seconds after that confirmed that it wasn’t just me. KG announced that she felt it, too. By the third time, I told everyone to grab their things and go out of the building. I know that it wasn’t the drill we were taught in case of an earthquake but if your office is actually in a dungeon – the bottom-est one at that, you would rather risk the hallway roof falling on you than the weight of the whole building. Believe me.

We rushed to the side door that leads to the open grounds where a lot of employees flocked to as well. I was not really scared. If you came from an almost-fire 48 hours before that, your numbness-to-potential-disaster was still very much in place. A few minutes after that, we all rushed back to our workstations as if nothing happened. I finished my lunch and went back to responding to e-mail inquiries.

Awards –

I’m proud of my ladies. EO’s employee of the month for November, something that was long-overdue. SB and KG, hardworkers that they always have been, received Franklin Awards (for innovation). Then SC scored 96% in the consular exam we were all required to take. She’s been with us for only four months and she did it! And on her first take, mind you!

I’m very happy with my team even if a part of me is sad that the opportunities weren’t as available to our other officemates. I guess everything is wonderful in their own time. I didn’t get anything lately but seeing my staff get all these organization-wide recognitions make me very fulfilled. Even though it’s not at all accurate in our set-up (meaning they actually work harder than I do, I guess), everything positive accorded them reflects on me, too. If only for that, okay na ako. If they’re great, it follows I’m also great. Bwahahaha, evil!

A Ho-hum Drama –

As we were always clueless of the outside world when we’re in the office, PDG’s text about the court walkout didn’t hit home that easily.It said something like, “Trillanes walked out of hearing, he’s now walking with Lim, his guards and Dodong.”

Dodong? we asked. Yung boyfriend ni Inday?

A Google news search later, we had an idea of what was happening. We thought it’s going to last a long time. We’re nationalistic in our own little ways but what we thought then was, Will our dinner date with Ms. C in Cubao push through?

Oh, that and sana umabot ito hanggang next week para walang pasok!

We tuned in to news sites after that, and after a short meeting which ended at 3 p.m., we further awaited what’ll happen. Then there was an organization-wide notice that we’ll be let off early in anticipation of the heavy traffic brought by the Bonifacio Day activities the next day. Yeah, right.

We were hesitant to leave without knowing if our plan is still on or not. In fairness, it’s quite risky on most fronts especially that time when we didn’t know yet what will happen. By 4 p.m. we decided to cancel the date and eat somewhere near the office before going home. We were enjoying food sharing and maki-tripping when after dramatic blow-by-blow text accounts, pussy boy surrendered. I’m not at all privy to all the issues and arguments surrounding this debacle but I know enough to tell you sissypuss that it’s the second effin’ time, the best thing that you should’ve done was to blow your brains out, or let them do it, because your planning skills were obviously very poor, you pissed hordes of people instead of getting your point across. Hampering operations in the business district, stopping jobs of people who were paid per day, weren’t really good examples of convincing us to get this president out of her seat. I’ve always thought that their initial arguments against this government were valid but the means they employ to justify them weren’t as appealing. How then, you may ask. Go straight to the point, for instance. Kill her. Then hope that the person you put there wouldn’t be the same – although no assurances on that. And besides, people like them, wala naman silang nagustuhan kahit kailan. Meron ba?

“All communists are cute!”

I watched Dogeaters with Mom a while ago and that line was my favorite of all, uttered by Perlita Alacran (Pearl of the Orient!) played by the Jon Santos. It was gooood. It wasn’t really extraordinary but it’s very good. Some characters didn’t stir interest but the ensemble as a whole was amazing. I have to say Trini Gamboa (Chari Arespacochaga) was my favorite character mainly because I can relate to her very very well, hihihi! Andoy Ranay stole the show both as Imelda Marcos and Chiquiting Moreno. The powerhouse cast made my Saturday night. I had a terrible headache because of the cold temperature of the auditorium but it was well worth it. I also saw a colleague with whom I presume is his girlfirend but I didn’t get the chance to say hi. A lawyer-friend was there with her friends, too. Wrapping up the night with a hot peppermint mocha while downing my favorite painkiller was goood. 🙂

Other adventures –

Dad’s first death anniversay yesterday. It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a year. It was heartwarming, the way we remembered it. I will blog about it separately.

I missed two of my classes because of work. I felt guilty. Big time.

Because of peer pressure I am looking for a temporary boyfriend until February 15- so I will have someone this Christmas, the New Year celebration, my birthday and on Valentine’s Day. Now, because of the utterly selfish motive of this desire, I guess I’m not bound to find someone. And let me repeat, it’s only for a temporary period. A permanent set-up still freaks me to the core.

I received SkyCable’s letter informing the removal of Solar Channels from their line-up effective January 1, 2008. The shows of their replacement channels – Dirt, Dexter, CSI, Supernatural – only very few of them are interesting. The ones they preview are trash. I’m going to miss Studio 60 and Top Chef. And Ellen and the late-night shows. Prison Break, too. Change is never easy but I’ll see how they will fare. I think they will fare very poorly. Hmph.

I don’t like it when my mind asks me questions about what I want in my life and my heart cannot give a response. Hormones, hormones.

my bag of randomness part 2

I would like to write everything down because I don’t want to dig Clementine from my treasure chest anymore just to chronicle the things that happened.

Monday Worked and worked until 3:30 p.m. I got to the Faculty Center just in time for my class. It’s a class on IR theories so obviously it’s a requirement for IS students. That’s why it’s a total shock to discover that we’re only – hold your breath – TWO students in class. Yup, TWO. We actually were three on the first meeting but he dropped out after reading the requirements. I asked the prof if the class will be dissolved; he said the department allowed him to move on anyway.

Duuuuude, that’s three people in a small conference room for three hours. And we’ll be discussing theories. Goodluck talaga sa aming dalawa ni AM who is also a full-time employee. If it’s any consolation, the prof always makes you feel that you did the right thing in pursuing IS. It’s in the way he talks. Sabi nga ni MQ, a classmate-friend who took his class last year, when you hear him talk, feeling mo ipapasa mo ang compre ng ganun lang kadali.

Since we’re only two, my class responsibilities now include reporting on Fukuyama, Keohane and Nye, Lenin and Mitrany. Hoot. Sisiw.

Tuesday I totally forgot what I did in the office so it must be another round of routine correspondence to people all over the planet. The best part of this day was the e-mail from the our budget office asking me to claim my LONG OVERDUE allowance from my last outreach. Salamat, may pandagdag sa pambayad sa credit card bill!

Anyway, my Tuesday class was a blast – and I know it’s going to be that way the whole semester. Our prof’s the coolest. And if there’s one thing I validated, it really was obvious kung nambobola ka lang dahil you weren’t able to read the designated books. Good thing I was able to pull it off with minimal gore. I was even able to blurt a long-running angst on an undergrad prof for commenting that I have a very elitist view of (my topic). Di ba, I haven’t gotten over it. Good thing I was validated by the explanation that I shouldn’t be commented on for something that the details and variables presented to me. Eh sa iyon ang findings eh. Had it been the other way around, ano naman kaya ang masasabi nung prof na yon, hmm? Wow, adolescent angst. Ang tagal ng lifespan!

Wednesday Busy day, gusto ko nang magsisigaw! And it rained very hard. I was forced to tell my classmates I’m going to miss the meeting where I’m supposed to report on political parties. I got off from work with a decent time to still make it to class though I’ll probably be an hour late. Indecision, indecision. Until Sheila, Sandy and I crossed Roxas Boulevard and instead of hailing an FX to Taft Avenue, I dropped by Starbucks in Bayview for some hot mocha until I decided not to go anyway. I felt a bit guilty but I tried to make up for it by reading Robert Michel’s take on the oligarchical tendencies of political parties. Dorkiness.

When I got home, I received texts in succesion…from my classmates who were frustrated that the prof didn’t show up. Geez. It only meant my report’s still up next Wednesday (I offered to take on another topic on December 5 for I thought I’ll be missing out on the first one).

Thursday We were closed because of Thanksgiving. Before I thought of messing up my life this way, I initially intended to watch all nine Thanksgiving episodes of Friends (they didn’t have one in Season 2). So that roughly translates to four hours of viewing time. Of course I don’t have that kind of luxury time now so I tried whatever I can watch today. I was on the second Thanksgiving episode when my uncle called me and in a nutshell, it was about the Dogeaters and Avenue Q ticket reservations I made that can’t seem to be released due to some idiotic policy of this mall.

I was so mean on Thanksgiving, slamming the phone headset so hard just because I couldn’t take how absurd some policies were. Yeah, I took it out on the person but I’m sorry, I was really pissed that time and talking to someone who I presumed was listening, only to hear her answer another phone line without the temerity to tell me so, making me repeat everything I said while she was on the other line, totally blew my top.

In the end, I cut short my Friends Thanksgiving marathon and headed to Greenbelt where it took me a breezy five minutes to claim nine tickets.

To get to the Ayala MRT Station, I took the Landmark-Glorietta-SM route, my first since six weeks ago, which was ,yes, 2 weeks even before the unfortunate Glorietta blast. Glorietta didn’t look as sullen when I passed by but for a place teeming with people on a lunch hour, it was surprisingly the contrary.

Innocently, I peered at the area where G2 had been and it was now just a giant white board wall.

Anyway, I got to UP a little after 2 p.m., walked loooooong distances, researched anything I can for the period allowed, and had a new ID made. By the way, remember my semi-rant on my (lost) ID two weeks ago?

I don’t like my picture in that ID anyway. When I applied for it, I was wearing a sloppy shirt with a fishbone on it. It was too late when I realized that the photo guy may have found it cute so he included it in the shot. I didn’t like the outcome because it’s too distracting to see a graduate school ID whose photo has a blue fishbone contrasting heavily with the maroon background.

Well, well, well. I was wearing one of my comfort shirts – my canary yellow Tigger shirt when I went to the Registrar’s photo booth. I asked the photo guy to just take a shot of my face. I dont know what came to him that instead of only a blue fishbone in my graduate school ID before, I now have a photo ID with the words TIGGER blazing on it against a maroon backdrop. Darn.

To make myself feel better, and to wait for the ring bind jobs I placed in Blessings, I shopped for UP merchandise. Shirts, pins, lanyards, and a sweater. Nalibang masyado! I loved my purchases though.

I got home at 8 p.m. but I felt so tired I ate dinner and did a short blog update (see below) then drifted off to sleep. I woke up late today and it made me very miserable…for about three minutes.

Today, Friday, was a happy day. Sadly, I’m already too tired now. I hope to make time for a continuation tomorrow. I hope to do so in between making and organizing my Christmas-related lists, catching up on December’s Vanity Fair, ironing details for Dad’s 1st death anniversary next Friday, reading more on political parties to spice up (but not necessarily intellectualize) my report, more on international organizations and diplomatic laws, and E.H. Carr’s The Twenty-Year Crisis.

At best, I hope to be up by 9 a.m. tomorrow. Keeping my fingers crossed. Whew this week has been fun.

my bag of randomness part 1

Whew. I’m still here! Everything is happening so fast now.

Saturday – Sooo tired but you know what, I enjoy walking all the time in UP. As in even if I know I can always hail an Ikot, I prefer to just walk. I know most shortcuts by now. I got there after lunch and was rushing till closing time because of tons of books I borrowed/photocopied. And take note, they only covered two meetings, even less, I think, of my three classes. You’re equally pressed for air even if you’re studying part-time. Sh–.

Despite my very heavy bitbit, conveniently arranged in a starch bag from- get this- SM (the green one?), I went straight to Rockwell to claim my Belle de Jour planner. I decided to skip the bazaar because I want my mom to see it too (and when she’s with me, I can always borrow money). There were stalls outside the bazaar area and that’s where I splurged on (paper folders which has cost me P200 in all, all so worth it).

By the way, I bought an I Am Not Plastic eco-bag. Ms. C, I have one na! I’m planning to buy more kasi it’s so convenient. I can fit a lot of things in there, I love it. I recommend it to everyone, rather than buying an Anya Hindmarch knock-off sold for P250 at 168 Mall or P450 naman at Landmark. I don’t like it when a brand or a style gets so popular, and I know it’s mean but I can’t help but always judge if a person is carrying an original or a fake one. Unless it’s very obvious naman, like all the rich aristocratic ones na obvious na may pambili – but then again, how sure could we all be???

bag-for-blog.jpg


Here’s my bag. I carried it since I bought it until today. Very very useful. There are different eco-bags everywhere, so we can all take our pick. As for me, I can only take what is obvious that I can afford.

Anyway, here are my other cute finds, long and short folders and envelopes from Michelle Simone! They were all P10 each. And yep, the black one is my BDJ planner.

folders-bdj.jpg

The planner looked okay, and true to its ad, it’s a very feminine planner. It even has a period tracker! There are lots of discount coupons, too. Cool. And yeah, it’s mostly pink. I’m excited to use it but I’m also aiming for the Starbucks planner. I’m down to 11 stickers. Sariling sikap ang pagpupuno ko ng sticker card na yan. Damn. Btw, here are sample pages of the BDJ planner:

bdj-blog-2.jpg    bdj-blog-1.jpg 

I went home a little before mall closing. Mom was egging me to go home dahil may lutong special ulam ang uncle ko. I replied to Mom, “Dito muna ako. Masarap magbasa. Atsaka ang daming artista. Hahaha!!!” A little later, she replied, “Jologs ka talaga.” I didn’t text back. Then may follow up pala, “Kung dyan na lang kaya tayo manood bukas ng One More Chance?” Ahahaha!!!

Sunday – true to my promise to my Mom, I brought her to Powerplant para doon kami manood ng One More Chance. I’m not a fan of John Lloyd and Bea. Okay lang. But my Mom is. Anyway, we had lunch at Crustasia, went window shopping, dumaan sa bazaar but bought nothing because ang daming tao – which made me realize, a commotion is a commotion kahit mga well-off at uniformed maids ang nasa loob. Kairita ang daming tao! I was tempted to buy 2 dresses and a formal top but I had to fit them first. I got impatient waiting in line at the improvised dressing rooms. Anyway, the bazaar was good, overall.

So, One More Chance. For the longest time, SB and I were teasing each other of this one line sa movie. “Mahal na mahal kita. At ang sakit sakit na.” Kablag. Then the exchange that a lot of people would relate to, at one point.

Babae : Hanggang ngayon umaasa ako na sabihin mo sa akin na ako pa rin. Ako na lang. Ako na lang ulit.

Lalaki : She had me at my worst. You had me at my best. At binalewala mo lang lahat ‘yon.

Babae : I just had to make a choice.

Lalaki : You chose to break my heart.

Kumusta naman ‘yon????

The next days were all eventful. At least in my eventful-meter. Part 2 is coming.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!