Sunday, August 31, 2008

Transitioning to New Moon

So I finished New Moon by Stephanie Meyer yesterday at 8 am, but didn't get to write about it much since I was busy as soon as I got off the bed. I found the second book..okay. I simply see it as a literary bridge to the assumed "more exciting" third book. This second installment centers at the emotional recovery of a teenager written in a female perspective. Well, I don't particularly find it fun and exciting to read some cheesy lovestruck chapters. I've had enough of that in highschool and college and as far as I can remember, we were really not that dramatic...or maybe it was just me. Often times I want to skip it like going straight to dessert.

Even in terms of the "kilig" factor, I liked the first book better. This second book is all about the "other" guy, the Paris version of Romeo and Juliet, who happens to be a werewolf. Incidentally he falls in love with the human lead girl Bella, which completes the whole love triangle story of a human, a vampire and a werewolf. Only that the grounding concept is that vampires and werewolves are mortal enemies, and both can easily kill the human. It just complicates things into another level, perfect. Love and Race in anyone's relationship is doomed to further complications, trials and eventual doom. That's a more interesting turn of events. As far as the kilig factor is concerned, It wasn't THAT kilig. In fact, it's traditionally cheesy. The kilig factor ultimately fizzles out when it's too sweet for comfort or when it's too damn obvious. Kilig should be an emotional cliffhanger and not an exaggeration. However, the story cannot simply concentrate on the Vampire-Human relationship struggles otherwise it would be endless and boring. It needs something else; and apparently a handsome, powerful werewolf the is the "else". Despite the danger of being dinner for her two potential lovers, the girl, the human is still lucky in love.

I put the book aside and looked at the third installment at the other desk waiting to be read. My mood didn't want me to cooperate that's why I decided to hold it off for later, or maybe for tonight. Seriously, I felt I didn't do anything extremely productive today. If uploading photos complete with captions and blogging are productive, then I guess I have points there. Even ideas that usually splash in my head seem to come to a halt. Probably it's the human calm after the glorious turmoil. Maybe I'm facing a transition to a better chapter, like how I found myself a New Moon.

A Party that Ended Well

This afternoon is all about the recounts of the wonderful party that happened last night in lieu of Mitch's birthday. All I can say is the party was great! It's exactly what I had imagined and hoped for. The service and place were fantastic and efficient. The crowd was steady. The company provided by the DT Photographers and Sun Valley Peeps was excellent. The food was plentiful and the drinks were just right.



I never believed I could pull this off actually. This may be the first time I'm hosting a simple birthday party. I had to stretch out my budget and exhaust my options. I had to pull a few strings, do some random computations and research in between work. I wanted everything to be organized and perfect to the detail, most especially I would want people to enjoy.

It also helped to know that I like parties, especially birthday ones, since I really don't get to experience that. My birthday falls on the very eve of Jesus' Birthday, which overwhelms everything. I had no qualms in that, that's why I invest all my energy to other people's celebrations. There's something special about birthday parties. You may either look at it in a more morbid perspective when you're a year older to your death, or you may look at it as a celebration of thanks that, despite what you have been doing or exposed to, you lasted this long. Sometimes we might inject the thought that birthday parties commemorate how important the person is to us. Thanking them that they have been born to this world. All of that mixed with a childlike sentimentality in a cauldron of ideas, this party eventually came to life.

I may like parties, but I've never been put to the helm of organizing it. It was stressful. You have to think of the food and get into a series of consultations with the people in terms of schedules and preferences. You have to consider everything including the parking and the coolness of the venue. It was a challenge and a project worth undertaking though. The best part of it, aside from giving Mitch a party, was actually enjoying myself and pulling it off. It's a different level of experience and learning.

But there are lots of people to thank for. I thank the impromptu photographers, the place, the servers and the guests. Almost everyone I invited came, except for AJ, who was sick at that time. I'd like to think they had fun, and I'm sure they did as long as there's good company, food and drinks. I guess in any party planning, those are the real things that you MUST consider, and everything else will simply fall into place. Just experienced it first hand.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

WHAT I would do Today until dinner at least is to calm down...

I've been to Fort and back and did a little unplanned shopping here and there. I need to recalculate my expenses and I need to calm down for tonight. I did what I could. I executed everything as planned and hopefully everything will fall into place. No...I rephrase. EVERYTHING WILL FALL INTO PLACE.

Cheers for later! Cannot divulge the details yet! I'll let one slip though.
Can't wait for that lechong macau!

Mood is on the borders of anxiety, excitement and madness.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

One Iron Hand For Me, Please

My fingers are itching to post something here. Just anything actually. For roughly three days of not touching this blog, I felt it aged big time. Work is not a valid excuse, at least for now, since I am not doing anything strenuous yet. Most of my activities come after work, which hold most of my time, money and stomach space. With all those dining out whether it was for emergencies or not, or having dinner at Mitch's home, I felt my stomach is slowly expanding. It was this week that I had to consider "dieting". I prefer the term "trimming down" food. Diet doesn't work for me even as a word. I cringe. As far as I'm concerned Diet is equals to Deprivation = Death.

I was lucky enough that I solicited a health buff colleague, Jim, to give me a strict "Food regimen." He inspired me with his story and vowed he lost weight following the less-carb, frequent meals scheme. It also helps that he is a regular gym goer and a disciplined person at heart. Everything I'm not, I'm afraid. He is the type who holds fitness magazines as his bible. Inspiring health sites as his regular web forums. And rice, together with chocolates and other bread, as food shit. A while ago at the office he gave, no I nagged him, to give me a copy of his wonder food regimen. He emailed a scheme to me and I pretty much managed every deprivation notes he added, but stuttered a violent reaction with regards to the ban in eating bananas. Apparently bananas are harder to digest, and so, apparently I had to cheat. Take rice off my diet, I might just whine, but take Bananas off..I might suffer. Food is a good tool to bribe me and a bad tool to make me cranky. But I was feeling the latter so off I went to Mercury drugstore to get a small Goya chocolate to prevent any psychological damage.

While I was savoring those little cube of white chocolate goodness, I figured that the only way I could possibly loose weight was to enter into a military facility. It might be the last straw. It's funny but I honestly want someone strong enough to scream at me and say nasty things to me to make dieting work. I've had a couple of instructors and friends who encourage me to go on a diet. They do their part. They scold me. They try to convince me to stay away from food. They even do manipulation and psychological warfare here and there, but I always manage to squirm around. I still justify the irrational. At the end they just give up and tell me it's always going to be my decision. I think I need an IRON HAND.

On most of my professional tasks and other personal activities, I always try to be the IRON HAND. But in activities that I need, but not necessary what I THINK I need or want, I go on reverse. I try to justify and challenge the system. If I get uncomfortable when food is concerned, I fight back. I get sensitive and I get the false Iron Hand. In this case the "ID" is at work. That's why I understand why some people hire professional trainers just to constantly scold and scream at them to be their food guard. Normally, it doesn't have to go to that extent, yet some people prefer it that way. I think I prefer it too. If people get on my nerves, I tend to love it. They pose as live targets. I don't like people screaming at me and ordering me around. I don't like people challenging me on my face becaise I just retaliate by proving them wrong. It's different if some people, especially a stranger, is doing that to me. I try to go beyond what's expected. Pride is at stake here. Listening to people "Babble" and try to inspire me seldom work. A stone-hearted fool needs a stone-hearted treatment sometimes. Piss on my face, I guarantee blacklist for you. When it comes to people, there's nothing better than thwarting them back. In this case food is not going to be the target here, but the people. Seeing them suffer in locked jaw pained with faces of defeat and disbelief is better than losing a point. But of course, a losing a pound is still nice, nothing personal here.

I know it's weird and a false way to look at it. They always say that it's all in the matter of disciplining yourself, which I do... except for food. I don't need people to inspire me. I need obnoxious and iron hand people as my target. I need someone to take away the focus on food so that I could focus on him/her instead. If I get on a roll, food may be ignored. Sounds psychologically harmful, but at this rate, I think there is no other way.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Beyond Building Tips

I think I might have said this a dozen times to friends and colleagues. If you want stress and if you want to rise above a self-challenge, build a house. The answer is that simple, but the task simply nerve-wracking. I've seen my father go through building his dream house, which we would like to coin, his mid-life crisis project. This future house, which is 90% done, may be our future home, but there is no denying that it is his. He invested his resources for it. He offered extensive time and effort into getting things done. He is hands on with everything and we only get to notice the progress the same time it's being built. I didn't know where my room was located or whatever details that go through making that house. I actually just found out about it when I saw piles of cement bags and wood planks being delivered at the vacant lot. You might even find it funny and weird when I tell you where that house is situated. (Just in front of ours). I must say, if you have a quirk...you have a quirk.

Anyways, he's been building that house now for a year, actually more than a year already. He started it last July 2007 and he has surpassed his target of Februrary 2008 and July 2008. The delay came from his trial and error moments, which account for wasted resources and added expenses. I've seen him go through a wild emotional ride, which even affected how he relates with his family. If something goes wrong with the house, he gets mad and it shows. It came to a point wherein he continuously stresses my mom out and he even stresses us out to participate in something we never even have a full background of. He felt alone, yet he works alone. It's crazy. I've seen a lot of arguments, petty or serious, that revolve around that house; and I wished a lot of times for that house to be over and done with.

Aside from the emotional hell ride, building a house requires a lot of monetary BUFFER. If you could be able to produce an equal amount of financial BUFFER to your original budget, so much the better. I had a conversation with my friend Bags last week who recently transfered to the village. Before transferring she initiated the apartment's renovation, much to her dismay. She changed essential things just to make sure that the apartment's habitable to her basic standards. She only fixed the electricity, plumbing, roof and did some paint jobs. She knew she was able to clearly budget for everything from materials to labor, yet she still went overboard, most importantly, she did get stressed. Just imagine that and magnify it ten times for my father.

It also doesn't help to know that this is not the perfect time to build a house. With the inflation and oil price hikes, materials would surely follow suit. Even if you did start earlier where the materials were still cheaper, you still couldn't predict the outcome of the market. This project would take months or even a year to be finished and the prices of materials change almost everyday. This explains why you have to have buffer, strong strategic thinking and patience.

Aside from the technical know-hows and teaming up with a comfortable and brilliant architect, here are the things that I think anyone should start considering when deciding to do a "project" with this magnitude. Setting aside the better materials and design or your competent budgeting skills. You should also think of...

1. GOOD FINANCIAL BUFFER

It's wonderful if you have the ample resources to make a house now, but do not rely on your budgeted resource. One major rule in any house project, there should be a considerable amount of buffer involved. The buffer will give you the flexibility amids market instability, natural causes and unforeseen events. Once you have the resources, work on the buffer. And no, buffer, on some other aspects' expenses let's say future health money or tuition fees, are not acceptable.

Got your money to build you a dream house? Good. Now, work on the acceptable buffer.

2. GOOD LABOR

Materials are fixed and they are often researched. Their quality do not waver and materials have consistent output. What you have to eye for are the trustworthy and competent workers. The speed and efficiency of those materials are in the hands of construction workers and you have to get to know them to a point of being confident with how they work. You may not be 100% hands on with the technical progress, but you have to be vigilant with the amount and quality of labor. Visit the site often and talk to their supervisors to get feedbacks. They might "just be the laborers," but being confident with their craft, you may get unsolicited advise and feedback from the materials or process.

3. GOOD SUPPORT SYSTEM

Since making a house is a load of stress, you really need to have a good support system may it be your friends, your family, your dog or any particular outlet/hobby. Sometimes you just have to rant and give the house a break. Like any job, you need a diversion sometimes when everything else gets too toxic. You have to take a step back and try to analyze calmly to appreciate the process. Do not let it get to you. The support system will usher you through the frustrations and disappointments. They might even provide a good perspective.

If you're planning to make a house, don't look now, but construction prices shoot up having the cement more affected.

....Believe me, based from experience, aside from your vision, technical support and know-how...these are the things that you really need. Prayers and luck will also do you well.


Ending to Today

Morning started rough, but everything fell into place eventually. Mitch and I went to Fort to accomplish our remaining errands as I happily ended up in a Japanese Home Store where almost everything costs 88 bucks. I got things that I really need, but eventually got amazed and started getting things that I THINK I need. Mitch noticed the wrappings beside the Lord Stow's egg tart and some knick knacks that I bought for him. He snickered. I didn't know it was actually "Japanese Junk," I'd prefer to call it surplus...workable and dignified surplus that are very cheap and usable. Nothing's wrong with that.

Anyways, after dropping off my bags where Mitch was busy doing his post processing, I quickly went to Fully Booked to get two copies of New Moon and Eclipse of the Twilight Series. I was dismayed at first when I saw that Fully Booked only has the New Moon copy on Hard Bound, which costs twice the price of the paperback copy. Being pragmatic even in books, I had second thoughts of getting it. But luckily, I saw one misplaced New Moon Paperback cover at the edge of the Eclipse section. It was waiting for me all along. But as some women and teens started to flock towards the displays, and one woman eyed me mischievously, I quickly grabbed the New Moon paper back copy, got an Eclipse copy and checked out. Mitch, upon seeing me with two copies, was dismayed and vowed to get the last one. Since I only needed two days maximum to read a book that highly interests me, I think he would be able to get me that copy on Saturday. Snicker here, Snicker there.



Ended up spending night with the boys at the SERNA household, with both SERNAs present. Had dinner at Sinangag Express, where I consumed a cup and half of rice. I know, right? For dinner, that's sinful. But the continuous walking and stressful morning burned all energy reservoir. Who says I'm done? Now, time to hit Tita Bautista's homemade apple cheese pie for midnight dessert. YUM...MMMYY.



*TO order this LUSCIOUS and very very YUMMY Homemade Apple Pie, you may visit Java Man or message me here. (Philippines only)

Weekend Reporting

My below average lack in posting accounts for the fact that I've maximized my weekend, in a sense that I did everything that I needed to do. It wasn't the type of long weekend filled with plain gimmicks and other forms of gallivanting. It's a weekend full of accomplishing necessary errands and treasuring recommended rest that could no longer be denied.

After having a quick dinner and coffee with friends last Friday night, I devoted my time to buying shoes on Saturday, which ended up with me having a badly bruised arm, sore feet and a badly bruised credit card. Even if I have to sacrifice other time and resources spent, it was a goal which was gracefully accomplished. I am proud.

Yesterday was a different and wacky story. My cousins from the north paid us a visit and it was nothing but food galore. I was able to rest and chill for the whole day as I began my task to research on what to do for Mitch's birthday. In the evening, there was quite a "text ruckus" with the Serna brothers (my fault, but understandable :)), but wonderfully SR stepped up and allowed to be tagged along to Makati. It was a fun experience and worth the chaos. At the end, I did what I had to do and ended the day cleared and organized.

Today would sum up a different story since it would be the last day of probably the last long weekend before Christmas break. Would you believe that Halloween for this year exactly falls on a weekend? It sucks, but that's the way the calendar rolls. This day should be well planned and maximized to the full extent. And if by maximized it means you HAVE/NEED to sleep the whole day, buy a book, watch a DVD marathon, then by all means do not wait for it to be justified. Just do it.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Prelude to the Long Weekend.

I felt like it was forever. I have internet connection at the office, but I just use it for research and info overhaul. Everything else falls into the non-business related category, at least I can read wiki.

I have lots of things to do this weekend. Well, aside from going along with Mitch's agenda, I have a couple of things to accomplish. I have to use my present funds to buy me new shoes. This might sound superficial, but I've had my good overused pairs of shoes since 2004. I've already maximized its lifespan. It shows and it feels like it's up for retirement (with my heavy feet?!). Actually my mom was the first one who noticed it and according to her, I should be ashamed for being a woman and not know when to say "Shoes, your journey ends here." A large bunk of my earnings DO NOT go to shopping expenses. I buy good quality products, regardless of the price once, and I could use it repeatedly until someone utters for me to give it a rest. And I don't just shop, I plan and schedule my psyche for it, and this weekend is an accommodating one. Four good shoes and mission accomplished.

Mitch also told me that this weekend he'll purchase all the Twilight saga for me. Skip the shoes, let's go to Fully Booked. Last night, we went to Powerbooks to check some Twilight copies since the establishment is on sale (which I have to visit also this weekend, I have a couple of titles to check). All they have left are reserved, expensive hardbound books, while Fort's Fully booked is overflowing with fresh "cheaper" copies, the last week we checked. At the end, we decided to get copies at Fort. Another Mission to be accomplished.

Another mission is to buy presents for my first god child Alejandro. He's having his first birthday this Sunday hosted by his wonderfully beautiful mom Dianne. I have 3 gifts behind to be exact. I was shamefully MIA for Christmas and at this rate I really have to make up. No more consultation with my mom. This time, I'm buying him a book. That's it.

Another mission to be accomplished in the near future is my conceptualized photo shoot. I will expound on this on the following entries. But for now, I just have to submit some concept for the photographers and make up artist. I dreamt about this and according to my dream, I really had fun. Since I'm not a photographer, a sketcher or a visual artist, I'd have to do this through a script. Fair enough.

What else? Am I missing something aside from the usual blogging, watching DVDs, relaxing, reading, dining and hanging out? I pretty much got everything covered, whatever mission it is, I have this long weekend. Consider it all done.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Long weekend officially starts now.

Happy weekend. Will post soon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For TWILIGHT Readers

I'm just posting this for spontaneous reference.

This is the cast of the movie, Twilight, adapted from the best selling novel of Stephanie Meyer. I must admit, I liked the casting. Some smell upcoming Jude law, but I smell Orlando Bloom in the making. And you see the lead girl (in the brown jacket), she caught me by surprise. Her face is so familiar, yet I could not pin point where I've seen her, until I relied on my brilliant movie-memory for which I googled for confirmation.

Yes, this girl, in the chest of the beautiful vampire Edward, is Bella, played by Kristen Stewart who I last saw in....

PANIC ROOM!!

Can you imagine?! She has bloomed magnificently! I could just remember that first time I saw PANIC ROOM and I asked myself if Jodie Foster's child was a he or a she to begin with?


For TWILIGHT Saga fans out there, I guess you have to wait till December 2008, for which I will happily join you har-har.


Pic sources
http://filmonic.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/05/twilight1.jpg
http://www.creativescreenwriting.com/csdaily/csdart/images/images/Panic_Room_cellphone.jpg

After Reading TWILIGHT

After reading Twilight, I must admit...I'll be reading NEW MOON shortly...

I never envisioned myself to be writing a post about Twilight because of my apprehensions in reading it. Even though I've been a passive witness to the rise of popularity of the book installments, I find the story so typical; and when it comes to vampires, I have very high standards. The only vampire character that I truly and madly accept is Bram Stoker's version, Dracula, where Gary Oldman brilliantly gave life to it. The other versions, unfortunately even Buffy, did not appeal to me. So it took me till the fourth book to go beyond mere glancing of its intriguing covers.



Last Monday, I decided to buy the first book just to see what it's all about. Since it was a freebie from Mitch, I was pretty encouraged to be loose with the selection process. If I wouldn't like the book, since a teenage romance-vampire concept is not my cup of tea, then I'd just be glad to get a chance to read it and no harm will be done since my saga would just evidently stop there.

But I was surprised to observe myself intensely hooked. I happened to finish the copy this morning, which forced me to read the blasted corporate manual instead. It is definitely a light read. The story is very fluid and the pace is very amusing, yet fast. But I think that's not the entire and only reason why it was able to anchor a certain level of popularity. I believe it has something to do with the main characters, the vampires in particular. Put a family of intensely good looking, skilled and powerful vampires, you got yourself a contender. But emphasize on the romantic plot of the two love-struck vampire-human characters, mixed with fast paced chases and subplots, and you got a bestseller.

The novel is a mixture of fantasy without losing its reality touch. It invokes mythical concepts with attempts of its own "vampirical" version. It integrates the thinking of vampires and humans candidly; not to mention the characters that would make you swoon in delight. It's RL Stine fused with Anne Rice and young Judith McNaught.

But do not expect the book to invoke an entirely different world like what JK Rowling created. Some might be looking for more in terms of detailed world difference. This is not entirely an escapist novel that takes you to another world. Usually, what you already know about vampires from hundreds of stories and versions, are just magnificently repeated and reminded in this book. Some information, which we all know about vampires, just rely on common sense. Usually, i wasn't shocked nor surprised about certain explanations of their kind. I'm sure most of it I've read and seen through the eyes of Anne Rice and Bram Stoker. If you've seen the movies Underworld, Interview with the Vampire, Queen of the Damned and Skinwalkers, you're probably going to get the same concept. If there's a variation, it would only be minimal (which I wouldn't spoil here). The rest of vampire attributes like strength, intensified senses, speed, beauty, immortality and morality are pretty much covered in this book. So it's really entirely not the plot in itself, but most probably it was how the characters were molded. The story takes a fast paced and interesting flow, which accounts for its light and voracious read.

Actually, I heard from a friend awhile ago that the movie is already in post production. This friend of mine, a Harry Potter follower, mentioned that Edward (the beautiful main character-vampire), will be played by the actor who played Cedric Diggory in the HP Goblet of Fire. I mused and immediately googled it down as soon as I got home. And pretty much, when I saw the cast, I was impressed. They almost got the characteristics 100%, especially Emmett who looked exactly as how I pictured him in my mind while reading the book. Good character development and casting for the movie, entail brighter promises.

I'm not considered a die-hard fan...yet, but I must admit I'll be buying the rest of the saga this weekend, just to save time covering the books; and banking on the momentum of literary high brought by these interesting characters. Yes, I admit I'm happily poisoned.


PIX:
http://blog.ugo.com/images/uploads/twilight_book_cover.jpg

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Video games could be neutral

Video games are not all bad according to psychologist Douglas Gentile of Iowa State University. It depends on the content of the game, how it's played and its frequency. Gamers improve a person's dexterity and logic, especially if the player is exposed to mystery type RPGs. Video games are part of our modern culture and are powerful educational tools. And believe it or not, it can create better performing Laparoscopic surgeons.

Although I firmly believe that super violent games like Grand Theft auto, if played without guidance and regulations, could really affect a person negatively compared to pro-social games like SIMS. But it depends on how SIMS is played though. If the player voluntarily locks up the character and enjoys watching it mimic human torture often, then that person's unfortunately sick in the head to begin with.

Read the interesting story here.

Rebels attack civilians for land

Blast those who created havoc in Mindanao. I hope for whatever it's worth, they have appeased themselves for killing civilians for their cause. Surely they do not expect to receive a certain respect after what they did. They do not set themselves apart from criminals.



A commuter bus on Lanao Del Sur on its way to Cagayan was ambushed in a rebel check point at 4:30 am. The rebels executed at least 14 civilians who begged for their lives. Rebels began occupying towns and creating terror. For what? So they can have the piece of ancestral-domain agreement signed? Muslim rebels have been burning villages down and identifying certain lands of Mindanao that belong to their "ancestral domains" the latest being is Lanao Del Norte. If they have to do this, and insist of getting what they want like kids in a land factory, why don't they just leave the civilians out of this? They are good at isolating themselves and isolated these so-called homelands, then why wield it through force, through lives of civilians? Is that what they're all about?

I'm sorry, but this method is not acceptable.

LIST OF IDENTIFIED ANCESTRAL DOMAINS of MUSLIM AUTONOMOUS REGION:

Basilan
Maguindanao
Lanao Del Norte
Marawi City
Sulu
Tawi Tawi
Areas in Zaboanga Peninsula
North Cotabato
Sultan Kudarat
Saranggani Provinces
Palawan Province

Torture orientations, made up of people you'd want to torture

It was my first day at my new work. Naturally, I was there earlier, at a time when probably the average number of morning rush professionals were still busy choosing the color of their underwear. It was that early, so I decided to grab a quick breakfast. I was pretty confident that I had all the diversion I needed in the form of the first installment of the Vampire-inspired Saga of Stephanie Meyer, so nothing to worry with the spare time. In fact, I enjoyed reading too much that an hour and half had already passed. I wasn't much in a hurry though, despite the need of putting up a good impression on first days. I knew I would just have to "suffer" the normal HR orientations anyways. It's not like the concept of corporate decorum and rephrased mission vision would still shock me. This would be my third official employment in a global organization; and my fourth if you would count the local job description I performed for a commercial bank for almost two years. So I pretty much have a clean and general grasp of topics to be discussed. At this rate with how I'm writing this, I might probably come off as a comfortable expert in orientations. But hold your thoughts right there, because the truth is, I simply dread it. It's something that always keeps my blood simmering and it always makes me want to go on fast forward.

I'm not the type who likes first days or orientations, not because of finally facing responsibilities, but because I have to face people that I'm forced to relate through small talk. I'm not good with small talks, which makes orientation such a pain. Unfortunately I was not equipped with the personality and art. I think no matter how many personality development class I take and force myself to be Miss Congeniality, I can't. It gets me into trouble most of the time, but it's always usually their issue and not mine. You can never say I didn't force myself to reconsider. I tried once, actually at that time I've proven that I could, but it drained a lot of energy in me. It's like with a person who has some mystical powers, if it's used, that person gets drained physically and emotionally. That happens to me. A true blooded introvert can be an extrovert at given times, especially if he or she needs to, but it drains a lot of energy because that's not his/her natural personality. I remember this Organizational Development class I took at AIM. This brilliant teacher told us that she was a natural born introvert, that's why it's always amazing for others to know that she could maintain a funny class, but she also admitted that in silent times she tries to recuperate. She recoils back into her old introverted self time to time because she needs to recharge. It's not in her nature to be upfront and manage a large class, much more be center of attention, so she just had to find ways to cope with it. Probably that's my problem, only that I become instantly nasty if forced to be open at a very early time, especially if I'm not comfortable. That's my sickness. I could only take so much. That's why I hate orientations.

I would often just sit at the corner with my book and try to get through the day. Submit whatever I have to submit, listen to the lecture and pray not to get bored. I don't go around prattling to people, sharing my resume vocally. I don't as much look at other people because I don't want people looking at me. I've had bad cases when people meddle at my own business. I once attended one of my earliest orientations and I was seated across this ultra feminine girl and she kept looking at me, most particularly at my good pair of shoes, then at me. What did I do? I stared back at her, emotionless. I knew that she was sizing me up. Maybe I repel her, but if she was ever going to size me up, she should've done it subtly. She just ruined my day. And no, we never became friends.

Probably I never initiate small talks like "Hi, what's your name? Where do you live?" not only because I don't feel like it, but also because I feel that I should just leave them alone and give them the space they deserve. I wouldn't know if they would be comfortable in these situations, and anyways if we're going to be friends then it should just happen naturally over time. And no, I don't necessarily use a person to just feel comfortable, which is sad for most people if they are faced with this dilemma. At every orientation, I maybe the only one or belonging to the minority, to wish it was over. If not for the free time and workload-free moments, I wouldn't be able to fully appreciate its benefits.

So, being able to live through orientations, I should be an expert to this. AT some extent I can say I am. I never get nervous or wary of anyone's presence. I just stand oblivious and mind my own business. Although there are lapses, which I can forgive, except for a particular group of people that really makes my blood boil. I've identified these people in college and I've been seeing a replica of them at work. They are the "overly loud, trying to be ha-ha funny, wanna be cool-leader group of the batch," who simply drowns people with their sheer stupidity masked in morbid friendliness and know-it-all-punches that want to suggest that they belong to the intellectual descendants of Einstein. And one other unbearable trait, they are oblivious to themselves. Somehow I got the lucky jackpot this morning to sit beside a perfect candidate who fits the exact qualifications. I'd like to call him Wonderboy. It was torture by the way.

You see, I have no qualms about people asking questions. It's every person's right, but you can just smell from specific people if these questions are really accounted for or they just wanted to have a false taste of the spotlight. Asking questions is totally fine, as long as it's done constructively and with timing. This guy, Wonderboy, who wore something high-waisted, with colorful striped polo, glasses and a freaking baller bracelet kept on asking questions without letting the facilitator finish. His timing was irritating. His tone was uncouth and his questions were close to being insidious demands that would make your eyes roll. The worst thing is he does it in a very slapstick way that garnered people's attention as he silently builds his followers with some clueless folks out there. What a pity.

Let me give you an example of his brilliant argument:

The organization roughly gave us a week or a month to prepare our requirements. I believe those requirements were well thought of by the HR body and they might need it for faster and more convenient processing time. That's why it just pains me to hear people whine and insist on doing it their way, when clearly there is a reason why it's called a "requirement."

The Case of ID PICTURE:

Facilitator: Make sure that you are able secure a 2x2, colored picture for your IDs and security file just as it was mentioned in the list of requirements. I saw some people whose pictures have white backgrounds, it just won't do with the CSR Department.
Wonderboy1: We can't pass any picture?
Facilitator: Well for HR purposes, I'll get the white picture, but with the CSR Department, they prefer the one with a colored background as it states on page 8.
Wonderboy1: Can't I just give this picture and just let him manipulate the background? He's going to scan it anyways.
Facilitator: (Annoyed) I'm not sure with the CSR Department, but for faster processing, they would really require you to submit a picture with a colored background.
Wonderboy1: Can't I just give them my USB instead? A soft copy?
Facilitator: Um, I'm not really sure about that. Why don't you just ask the CSR head if the would allow it.
Wonderboy1: Oh, nobody asked yet?
Facilitator: Nope.
Wonderboy1: Maybe they'd prefer it that way. Anyways, I don't like my picture here. The photo shop weren't able to edit it. (Laughs and was able to muster a few snicker)
Facilitator: Oh, so yo have naman pala.


That is just one of the arguments he pulled off, while I was part of the suffering audience. What a piece of jerk. In short, he had the requirements, it's just that he had to voice out another suggestion that really didn't concern him at all. And even if it did, why couldn't he just follow the requirements and do as he's told? It's always nice to challenge the status quo, but please...a requirement? You've got to be kidding me. If he's going to pull off a show, why didn't he just tackle the never ending questions about compensation. That would've been more fruitful. Actually he did. He even voiced it in a manner like he was some sort of AVP or something. Jerk with intensified arrogance, that was my seat mate. Good thing there weren't any pencils around. I had a temptation of doing Joker's trick and make the pencil disappear.

Unnecessary babbling might irritate some or amaze the dazzling few, but at the end it drags the time and ultimately destroys the supposed reputation for me. In orientations, I had to suffer being exposed to these people. They literally are the sarcastic joys of my orientations. And I find their kind scattered. Being as it may, I might rant however and whenever I want, but I cannot simply avoid them. I have to cope as I've learned to cope through orientations. If only they knew how silly they are. And luckily the orientation was not a department thing, so there's a great possibility of null association with Wonderboy, for all I know he might be situated in a far-away building...I hope.

But in a way I was thankful. I was spared with further small talks as the orientation ended at 12 pm. As usual I didn't make any friends yet and I certainly don't want to see Mr. Wonderboy's face again, but I doubt it when we have to see each other again tomorrow for another round. I wonder how long this orientation would last. If there's one coping mechanism I could do for the rest of the week is to change seats, and that I have to plan meticulously tomorrow.



Monday, August 18, 2008

Start of Twilight...reading

I'm down to Chapter 8, and I only started at 4 pm this afternoon.

I'll credit it for its light, intriguing flow. It's like I'm reading a new version of RL Stine all over again.

I decided to buy the first installment of the famed Stephenie Myer series to finally see what the fuss was all about. They're already in book 4, but I was never really a conformist even if I have to start late. I believe it's all in the timing. On my Multiply, I got an information that this August, the fourth installment, Breaking Dawn, had a huge party in Powerbooks and my curiosity was heightened. I thought that it was the perfect time to start the series. The story being, a vampire vagabond in a teenage highschool setting, seems to be pretty interesting enough. The concept might be expected and quite common, but the novel would now depend on the author's craft at storytelling and sequencing. I guess she scored an A in that department since it has a large pool of followers.



New season. New book and New job.


Although I doubt I would be sleeping very well tonight with my known book habits. Good luck waking up refreshed for my first day tomorrow.

Thanks Mitch for this book treat!

**I thought I would end the installment with Twilight, but I guess with the flow now, I might as well get a copy of New Moon.

Just one of those Wonderful Days

I woke up late, like at around 11 pm, just because I stayed till dawn to say goodbye to my dear friend Tracy Aquino who is Singapore bound. Me together with the usual Sun Valley group had a party and we definitely had fun. We exchanged a couple of conversations about certain people who should be there, but chose not to be there for the wrong reasons, but anyways that's reserved for the bullcrap post. This post should be wonderful like today.

I was expected to gear myself to spend my weekend on my own accord. Nothing really special, but I was missing Mitch for the entire week, and a quick dinner at Shakey's and a happy weekend party with lots of friends wouldn't suffice for a quality time. Not being so cheeky about it, but there has to be that extraordinary time no matter how it is spent. I knew Mitch had a shoot today, so I planned to do another round of cleaning and catching up with Susan Howatch's novel. But good thing Mitch canceled all his shoots to achieve that quality time and snatch me from that round of cleaning.

Although that quality time started rough when Mitch complained to the nutty Nokia-care center for his much-missed Kristine E61 phone, but seriously proud of him for not dwelling on the matter as we headed to Yummy Big Buddha for lunch. We ordered some yang chow, 99 pesos crispy noodles (their promo), crispy fish fillet and hakaw. We stuffed ourselves silly as we enjoyed a couple of bantering I truly missed when he was away for work. We kind of saw ourselves repeating the word "date" and gushing over how pathetically sentimental we are.



After lunch we checked a couple of stores, as an excuse to burn some calories away, only to find ourselves getting a pint of Sugar Free Strawberry ice cream at BTIC. While we were doing another round of window shopping, we consumed the whole thing before actually leaving for Fort. Amazing pair of consumers, we are.


Upon arrival at Fort, Mitch informed me that he'll buy me a book. I thought he was faking for he never really likes books and we usually treat each other with food. A couple of times he was able to buy a book for me were on the Christmas of 2006 wherein we had a Gift Exchange list, and a random trip to Greenhills to make up for loss time. Other than that, I could never let him visit a bookstore for more than 30 minutes and most definitely he was never the one to initiate me to buy a new book. So, I was pretty hesitant with this deal, but he was forever sweet and insisted to go with me to the whole selection process...without the time pressure.

So at around 3:00 we went to Fort and went straight to Fully Booked. As I was searching for titles, I knew he only had one book in mind. So not to push my luck, I was torn with two copies after endless searching, which forced me to allot some extra time to weigh the titles. Being Mitch, he has reached his record-breaking limit in bookstores and decided to see my developments in that dreary corner. So when he figured out I was torn with two books, he snatched the two copies and insisted I get both. He even went to the Stephanie Myer Section to pick a better copy of the book. I was stunned with the gesture and at the same time I was ecstatic. This reaction might seem ridiculous to some, but I never fail to illicit the same excitement when buying books, much more for someone I know who never appreciates books, buying it for me and going through that extra mile. If this is a sort of bribe, well I gladly accept. If this is some gift, well I would forever thank him as it goes to memory lane.



His happy face registered my message that I was happy. He was like a dad in Serendra with a kid almost embracing those two books that would mean more to me than ever. We went to Seattles and met with his DT friends Paolo and Pia, and for some reason I smelled the bribe. They were to play Diablo, but hey, I couldn't care less as I was excited to start the Stephenie Myer series, Twilight, to see what the fuss was all about.



Read I did, and it took me 2 hours to realize that it's dinner time already. We grabbed our dinner at Oliver's and since I was extra happy, I wanted to share it with my brother so I bought him cupcakes. While we were going home, I just thanked Mitch for giving me a wonderful day. It's not about the books (yeah right) well a part of it is about those books, but today was well planned and he made it all sweeter and memorable in terms of conversations and mood.

This might seem simple, crazy and ridiculous to some, but there was not a single thread of inconvenience nor weirdness for this day. It might be because I sorely missed Mitch or just being able to realize that I'm just damn lucky to be able to savor this last "bum" day with a loved one. This is a sweet ending for that month-long vacation, and I couldn't be able to thank Mitch more for that wonderful day straight to memory lane.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

He Said, She Said Drama

I was watching He Said, She Said yesterday after rewarding myself with hot chocolate and honey stars on the side. I've seen this movie when I was in highschool and I kind of gotten the grasp of the true relationship humor and debate between Lori Bryer and Dan Hanson, two power journalists who find themselves in a television success. But now I appreciate it even more. We all know that Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus crap, which means in terms of perceptions about life, love, relationships and even sex, we have a tendency to go against each other. This movie is perfect at telling everything. The script is smart and the actors are brilliant.

But the best and truest part of the movie is when Lori Bryer throws a mug at Dan Hanson, straight in the forehead ending with a loud MUG-THUD. It was hilarious! That incident briefly ended the relationship and started the whole flashback of the movie. It was hysterical because it's not something that we are expected to do. It's not a normal rebuttal process for people to throw things at each other or to simply let off steam or else society would be in a bloodbath. It is something we just imagine, but at a boiling point, could be actually done.



To tell you the truth I reserve a lot of understanding for Lori's actions. Throwing a mug and hitting it where it hurts, at some point, is unavoidable and saves time. It saves you the stress of explaining and going through monologues with a deaf audience. It even shakes up the logic in your object's brain. I'm sure it would bound to make people realize and feel better. I know. It's irrational and inappropriate? True. Necessary and tempting? Sometimes. Natural and Therapeutic? Yes.


Pix Source:
http://www.qwipster.net/hesaid.jpg

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Long weekend tasks = None really

Long weekend officially starts now.

This is one of the first two long weekends of August and people are getting hyped up of what to do. Hobbyists seek this opportunity to focus on their passions. Travelers maximize the cheap fares and road trips with friends and family. City dwellers even do a couple of traveling themselves, to the parlor, to the mall and to other places of rejuvenation. Others who have no specific budget in mind can go to extremes. They could either host a party or be simply unreachable by locking themselves in their home reading, eating and doing DVD marathons. There are so many things to do, it just depends on your mood.

Since everyone's busy with their own stuff, I'm looking forward to self-initiated events myself. The traveling might just come in next week. Besides, I have to secure my already depleting resources. This is not the time to be in a spending frenzy, yet.

1. READ and finish THE NOVEL I've been reading for the past 4 days. (Shame on me)
2. CLEAN my closet and do some arrangements for my impending work schedule.
3. MAKE a backup file of all my files and reformat my PC. (Reformatting will by done by my lovable IT guy, just to make things clear)
4. MAKE a few calls and finalizations on the "birthday" projects.
5. MAKE a video and documentary of the new house
6. MAKE a letter to the association office for that stolen landscape "paso".
7. SINK into DVD marathon haven
8. COOK (if I get that bored)
9. EAT
10. SLEEP

Got my long weekend simply pretty covered.

Friday Notes: New home and Airport Edition

Yesterday was pretty spontaneous and packed. I spent the whole day with my mom and brother mall hopping; and being able to display my weird traits to Mitch's parents, who saw me in the household section of a department store. After tiring myself out, I went home to get a quick nap, for about 30 minutes, and went to Bags' newly renovated house within the village.

Upon arrival, I saw a HUGE haul truck and their garage overflowing with stuff. I saw a typewriter, a couple of unused monitors, a couple of unused printers, sofa's, trophies, containers, shoes, clothes and other thingamajics (boxes full of stuff) that haven't been used for a very long time. As I ahem..helped...to unload a few stuff, I never really realized that unloading them, sifting through things, and possibly molding them to your new home, is a hard and stressful event. You want stress and instant exercise? Move to a new house. That's why there is a point to sell everything before moving. There is an actual point to this, especially if you're not a sentimental folk. It's harder to move things and force them to harmonize to the new surroundings compared to just using the money to buy new stuff. Others might want to hire professional help, but I don't think there's a certain agency that specializes in arranging appliances and household furniture. The closest thing you've got is the "Lipat-bahay" service to unload some stuff. But in terms of decorating, it's always going to be the resident's call anyways. The resident just has to be there, and a certain level of trust should be exemplary if you allow other people to help you with the process (usually with relatives and close friends). One major way for the resident to not worry about small things and actually be absent in the whole process, is what AJ suggested, to contact Extreme Makeover in Lifestyle channel. They destroy the house. They make it way better. And they provide appliances and furnitures for it. Wonderful. You can start your life all over again in a newly renovated and loaded house. Other than that, you face the stress.

Bags' condition was pretty evident at that time. She was close to hallucinating from being tired for thinking about where to put things, the other things that have yet to be fetched to their old home, their resources and money and most especially getting all the essentials settled. She swears she would eventually dispose stuff and initiate a garage sale. Hmm..I have a couple of things that I'm interested in already. I'm eyeing those boxes of books and that particular typewriter...well just because I'm feeling vintage.

After being the first official one to "hangout" in her new house, I drove to the airport to pick up Mitch who finally came home from a full week of jetsetting. I missed this guy very much and he knew I was in good hands with the Sun Valley people, being too "palaboy" for my taste, now my main agenda is back. Craving for pizza, we went to Shakeys and munched those mojo's and thin crust. A Wonderful end to a spontaneous night. This is a promising weekend.

Friday, August 15, 2008

EBAY and Scorned woman unite, except in underwears

A woman caught her husband cheating in their own house results to EBAY. She began selling her husband's things, even a Harley Davidson motorcycle, starting at 99 cents. She also tried to sell the paramour's oversized, used panties, which Ebay's officials forbid. Well, just because it's a used(possibly soiled) underwear. Who would want to buy that except for a couple of perverts? And perverts are not the type of buyers EBAY needs to attract, thank you very much.

Call this crazy and unusual, but it's very therapeutic for the girl. I don't blame her, really. Harley Davidson, a material thing no matter how expensive, is such a poor repayment for a broken marriage and dignity. At least she didn't result to the Carrie Underwood video where she smashes the vehicle to pieces. At this rate hate's subsided by practicality and redemption. She, in a way results to reasonable and practical thinking. Actually, the scumbag deserves more. Probably she should try to bid her husband's organs for donation, and this time she could do it for free.

Story of the wounded wife here. a>

Justice vs. Justice

Justices, who lack trust in the Judicial systems, seem odd.

No I rephrase.

Justices, who lack trust in the Judicial systems, seem scary and frustrating.

Justices bribing one another and attempting to be "heroes" (Without the need of a stenographer) falls short and creates a frustrating circus.

I cannot even untangle the issue. It's overclouded with accusations and denials.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Countdown to work Part 2

After my first post, I did sleep for four straight hours. Seeing the gloomy sky made it hard for me to do something strenuous, so I read a few chapters of a novel then went down to the living room and skimmed through DVD titles that I could watch. I picked Mike Nichols' 80's film starring Harrison Ford and Melanie Griffith, The Working Girls, possibly a way to give me a head start. I've always loved this movie and I find the fairytale nature of it done in cutthroat corporate arena very enticing. Classic, but that arena (Wallstreet) is in slumps now. So I think being in Tess McGill's shoes at a time like this seems very daunting. That's all I can say or expound on. I'm not supposed to think about work today, not yet, which leads me to the observation that writing isn't really coming naturally today. I know I have a few opinions building up, but I think I'll just reserve everything for tomorrow. As my friend AJ mentioned awhile ago while we were helping Bags to relocate to her new home, today is a rest day, well definitely even for writing.

Countdown to Work Part 1

I woke up early...again. I appreciate that my body clock is preparing me for work, but I really appreciate it if it could just allow me to get through 6 hours of sleep. This might be my last days of undeterred sleep wherein I wouldn't wake up faced with deadlines, traffic and time constraints. But my body wouldn't cooperate.

In my favorite pajamas, I got my hassle-hoff, hideously mountainous requirements and started to do some paperwork. I arranged salient documents that cover my professional existence and I was immersed at getting these things done before lunch. I got my pictures, glue, giant paper clips and heaps of folder I'm required to read and sign. My fingers hurt for filling up so many different forms while my eyes and mind are pretty much bored and exhausted by reading technical and uninteresting contracts that my position has to UNDERSTAND and COMPLY with. Sometimes it's kind of annoying that contracts think of every possible glitch they could write up to make you accountable. It's worse if you have a bigger chunk of responsibility. Double up the contracts for you.

For now, I'm not going to talk about my looming, exciting, rewarding and challenging work. As much as I'm excited and honored by my new position, I can't explain it still. I still have to see my ergo-chair first before actually writing about the vibe. 5 more days are what I have to relax and that means to not think about anything work related (I'd have more time for that soon) and just sleep, eat, sleep. Live a BUM's life in 5 DAYS? Easy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

When Nitwits do Exist Vol 1.

I'm feeling like Xtin right now, a friend who is a master at repelling these nasty feelings against certain members of humanity by ranting about it (Her funny Blog here). It's a worse case if I rant because I'm typically the type of person who has a high tolerance for weird, eccentric and annoying behaviors. I get annoyed, irritated and devilish, most of the times, that's true. But I don't go as far as RANT about it the whole day and to be totally pissed to make a post about it. I just usually leave the scene of the crime. But this time, I'm going to rant.

It helps if you're familiar of the setting and a couple of salient information:

PLACE OF IRRITATION: Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Greenbelt. Specifically the outdoor section, facing Gbelt 3, at the corner, nearest to the electric outlet.

TIME OF IRRITATION: 10ish - 11ish, quiet, gloomy morning.

CULPRITS OF IRRITATION: 2 Mid-20's or (probably late 20's) sosyalera girls.


REASON FOR IRRITATION: Didn't get to see the face...too irritated already with their VOICE. (To be expounded on later)



THE OFFICIAL RANT:

Usually when I'm having my alone time, I tend to look like I'm observing people. In fact I really do, but sometimes I am too consumed with my own world that for I moment I become deaf. I already have a lot of thoughts ringing in my head that I only tend to observe visually. I'm not used to eavesdropping nor hearing mindless chats because I form my own chats in my head (no matter how psycho that sounds). That's why I don't really get to eavesdrop unless you really..really want me to.

I was enjoying my "alone time" in this cozy corner as I saw most of the tables and chairs devoid of humans. Just how I like it, the feeling of isolation. I was jotting down a few ideas as I saw people come and go, not particularly digesting them in full detail. For all I know it, the person who occupied the nearest table from me (since I was the nearest to the socket and she was fumbling with her mac) already left. I noticed that fact when two obviously "sosyal" (Overly sophisticated) girls approached my area and chose to sit at the table beside me, which trapped my right side since I was seated at the corner. So just imagine if I had an LBM (Lose bowel Movement) attack, I would have to aggressively order them to move or eventually drag one of them down for me to get through (Depends on the case). I didn't mind them, still. At this time...they haven't spoken yet.

You see, I really don't mind if a group of people talks in highfaluting choice of words. I get annoyed, but fine I allow people to show off. I don't even mind if people TRY HARD for the wrong reasons. I even easily forgive locals who are too westernized in this eastern country. I have so many reasons to thank for anyways. This country is blessed with knowledgeable people who can or can try to speak English to the best of their abilities. That is our edge anyways, might as well capitalize on it. With the rise of call centers and westernized cultures and intonations, you have to get used to the English sound waves may be it good, passable, "barok" or "hideous slang." But what I don't like are MEGAMOUTH people who might think they're talking to deaf people who live an island apart, in a place of WANTED silence that can never be an obstacle to encourage private and discreet tone of conversation. Add the fact that they use bad case of sosyalerang TAGLISH. The worst kind of Taglish that's always accompanied by words like: "Parang, it's like, eh, whatever, oh my god, TEH-GAHLog" said in a way that would make Jose Rizal, if alive, hurl. They converse in megamouth volumes, with tones that's patterned like Kim Kardashians or Paris Hilton's, with a very bad TAGLISH sentence construction, with topics that revolve either in boys, fashion and parties. Combine those and you have a perfect bomb to piss me off.

Sample conversations:

Girl 1: "So when how long will he, like, be gone?
Girl 2: "Like mga 4 months."
Girl 1: "It's not like gonna be tagal naman pala"
Girl 2: "I know, right? I don't even know like why I'm acting this way. Most of my offi
cemates kinda make me puna na I'm like weird and affected."
Girl 1: "Pero you're going to fly to LA rin diba?"
Girl 2: "Yeah."
Girl 1: "LA lang or like with a side trip to Vegas or Sanfo?"
Girl 2: "With San fo. I'm going to meet his family there e."
Girl 1: "Oh my god.."
Girl 2: "I'm okay, with like families, but parang I like it better when he has like...brothers nalang. I'm not really good with girls e. I'm so mapili when it comes to girls."

Girl 1: "Oh yeah, Like I know how you feel. I'm such kind of bitchy with girls rin."
Girl 2: "Well not really like bitchy, pero parang like, I can talk to you but don't expect me to like be closey with you. I mean I could be like civil, parang okay lang tayo, but like you know."
Girl 1: "You're so right. I'm also like that e. I am girly, but I like relating with boys more."
Girl 2: "Yeah, parang like one of the boys!"
Girl 1: "Yeah, one of the boys e!"
Girl 1: "One of the boys, but not like tomboys or something."



Imagine a series of that, spoken in megamouth volume, with Paris-like shrieks, talking about boys, their fashion and other people (probably who talk like that as well), LIKE it's their mantra. If you're going to talk so loud for most people to hear, try to use sentences that are less painful to decipher. Tell it in either Tagalog or straight English. Speak in TAGLISH if you may, but not the Paris-Hilton taglish because it's just so annoying to hear. It just elevates you to the SOSYALERANG-TRYING -HARD-TO-BE-MASA-NA-PRETTY-POPULAR-KOLEHIYALA- TYPE. Geez,look what you made me do? Is that even a valid type?

I wasn't able to resume my activities and realized that crumpling paper is therapeutic. I got out my camera and started to take pictures of my table, hoping to steal a picture of those two nitwits, but the other girl kept starting at me as if I'm a spawn that gone mad. "Oh I'm so sorry for bothering you when I perfectly know you're not good with girls..especially irritated ones." I sarcastically said this to myself as I returned the stare. Just in time, my brother called to fetch me up, before I sizzled with delight. I fixed my things, grabbed my laptop bag and looked at the girl who blocked my way. She immediately moved her seat and tried to clear the other chair on her side. Well, she might be a nitwit, but good thing she still has an ounce of consideration in her veins, considering that I'm a girl and considering she fell silent, a little too late.


And you wonder why you see THEM everywhere

And I thought my years as a student were glimpses of hell. I swallowed the aches and anxieties that academic and parental expectations made me go through thinking I'm extraordinary while I suffered the worst lot. My father's one of a kind rage, on my-less-than-desired performance in Advanced Algebra and Chemistry, made me consider if my accumulated Christmas savings would be able to sustain me when I run away to Cebu. Right now, I even try to bash my parents for pressuring or what they would re-term as "encouraging" my brother to maintain his top 3 spot in his whole batch of 14 sections (although my brother is perfectly fine on the ego trip).

Being in school is not a walk in the park. Within school, we get first tastes of stress, failures and pressures. But that's how we learn and be better at life, right? But I think we're one of the few countries in Asia, or in the world, to have more lenient educational system and culture. Throw in the fact that our predominant religion, Roman Catholic/Christian, is one of the most lenient religions in the world. But we never really relied or encouraged society to develop "pressure-cooked students." We tend to value growth in different aspects, which fails sometimes to strike a balance through progress. We may encourage great performance from students, but we do not try to overly compromise their happiness, leisure and health above anything else. We value education as much as we value interaction with other people, spiritual growth and street smarts. We may invest in tutors, but not in "military-like" educational institutions. Parents in other countries sacrifice to the bone and as much as pressure their kids to get accepted in a good college, a really VERY GOOD college, as their guaranteed ticket to financial success and a secure future. They are right to some extent, but we somehow take it in different intensity and light. Like my friend once said, "We Filipinos really do not see MONEY as our everything. We don't see it as an entire measure of success. That's just how we are brought up. But unfortunately we take it to extremes sometimes that's why we're poor at MONEY."

Now, probably I have an idea of one of the REASONS why we see so many Korean students flocking the Philippine lands. I see them almost everywhere, and no they didn't come here to tour, not most of them. The Koreans who flock here, aside from tourists and expats, are students. They may find education here very cheap, the scenery very exciting, but they have other special reasons as well.

Now I know WHY.

Pressed for time and there was 711

I forgot to bring my feces sample to the clinic this morning and I had to get a medical exam done today.

They won't administer the test unless I give them what they're looking for, which is something I magnificently forgot at home.

Crisis.

But...

If there is a will. There is a way.

All you need is a quick trip to 7 11 and a 50 pesos cash.

Give yourself a few minutes and ounce of will power.


*If you can't find any Castor Oil or laxatives, find a nearby Mini Stop or 711. Buy a piece of banana, tissues, fastener that come in pairs (so you wouldn't buy the whole pack of popsickle sticks/fork/bbque sticks) and cold water. If you do smoke, 1 stick would do just fine.


*Get the white part of the fastener. Coil it and form it into a hook. Adjust it to your fingers accordingly.

Voila.

The apparatus worked for me magically. Hope this could be helpful to others in the future. Or better yet, hope the time never comes wherein you have to do it in a very compromising and disadvantageous situation like I did.

Horrors of Medical Examination

WARNING: This post is about things you wouldn't normally discuss while eating...or normally discuss at all . If you get the picture. Proceed and skip at your own accord. If not, well, one word...poop.


Undergoing a medical examination is not really a pain in the ass especially if you allot some time to it. It's just a general procedure that a person gets to do once in a blue moon, unless that person is job hopping. You do the normal registration, vital statistics measurement, eye exam, xray exam, blood sampling, and if your company requires you to strip down and expose your ass to the hapless doctor, then all of it could be done in a few hours time and hopefully in one clean sweep. I've always been trained to welcome needles ever since I was a kid, so it wasn't something horrendous for me. I am perfectly fine with getting my vital stats although I prefer that they immediately write it down than broadcast it to the nurse at the end of the hall, who happens to write down the records. No one needs to see you stuffed, with exact numbers stamped in your forehead. I'm even a-okay with the whole xray examination procedure, even if a "straight, fairly good looking guy" asks about your menstrual cycle and eventually requests to take your bra off. Heck, I'm totally fine to strip down for an intimate check up with a female doctor, although I can't say if the doctor was to be male. It never happened to me ever, and hopefully they've got good female to male ratio in these clinics. Otherwise, I would probably freak out as well.

So, everything else (for me) falls in the pleasant category except for two things. The Stool and Urine Sample. Stool and Urine, no matter how biological or natural it is, go straight to the toilet. I don't think about it and I don't intend to manage it in any way. It's quite uncomfortable and particularly annoying when you're trying to store your own, excuse the term, "poop" into some container. Of course before you can actually store it, you'd have to scoop, nip (whatever term you'd want) it first. After the deed is done, I'd usually feel pity. I'd immediately feel sorry for the container and stool apparatus no matter how lifeless they are. It's just plain disgusting, unnaturally done but very necessary, which makes it such a drag.

But stool is not as bad as urine. In stool, there's an ounce of preparation and the movement is often controlled, unless of course one is suffering from LBM, but getting a urine sample takes art and spatial calculation. The worst thing about it is, they have so many requirements in getting the urine. You'd have to wait a couple of seconds after the first flow and they'd ask you to fill the whole plastic bottle/cup. It's especially harder for women because the "passageway/source" of urine is less helpful than male species'. Expect the worst here; and by worst it means requiring you to bring lots of tissues, an alcogel or if you're diligent, some disposable gloves.

I have to give it up to those medical techs who have to face these specimens every single day. They search for meaningful findings in undesired human wastes. It requires special skills, knowledge, tough stomach and high tolerance for well...wastes of others. The visuals, smells and the dirt in it.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Half Day Accomplishment

I love it when I finish everything that I'm tasked to do before lunch. Everytime I do, I feel my days are longer and everything's brighter (despite the literal gloom). I'm more energetic and accommodating to people; and it makes me want to celebrate by cooking something, which I will do this afternoon. The only bad part of the whole process is waking up really really early and going through the whole morning routine when you're supposed to be at home, waking up at brunch. But after that, everything will be breezy as long as you keep a positive perspective.

I asked my dad to drop me off at BIR to fix certain papers as part of my requirements to my new employer. I have a deadline by Friday and I really wanted to get a head start on things. While going there I was preparing myself to face a hectic space cramped with people. I even internalized to wait for a few hours just to get a few things done. But when I arrived there at 7:05 AM, the Atrium was still pretty quiet and spotless. But when I reached the 5th floor, there were already BIR officers transacting with a couple of people. I figured they just start early. Looking for instructions where to proceed, there was a man who immediately approached me and offered his assistance. Insulting his goodwill in my mind (I thought he was a fixer), it turned out he was some sort of officer in BIR. Silly me. I explained my purpose as he checked my file in his computer. He already told me what to do and directed me to this very efficient and cheerful woman (cheerful at 7 am, bless her), to process my papers. By 7:45 I was out of the building.

I went out and tried to look for a taxi. The building guard offered his help and in a few minutes, got me one. I started to think of my good fortune as I went to Makati City Hall. I thought about bad things that could happen for the day since everything's going as planned. Not all days are good to me. I stopped and just realized that I was such a natural pessimist.

Upon arriving at Makati City Hall I was astonished to find that the building was so developed, modernized and better than any other Makati offices in the area. It was my first time there and I was very impressed. Comparing this city hall to other city halls in provinces just make you want to gag and transfer locations. People were friendly and accommodating, offices are very well air-conditioned, spacious and well-lighted. Computers/equipments are modern and updated (flat screens). But my transaction was pretty expensive (double ouch) with the community tax certificate and notary services. It nearly cost me a thousand bucks.

Nevertheless I was done with my morning tasks by 9 and felt my stomach hurling. I grabbed a taxi, again assisted by city hall guard, and asked to be dropped at Greenbelt. I went to Seattle's best, got the regular breakfast combo and decided to try their honey iced tea, which I now love. I read newspapers, magazines and inevitably got my notebook (a literal one) and started to jot down activities and ideas. I was sitting there, completely oblivious to the world and realized that I've been sitting there for more than an hour already, probably looking catatonic to some. But the best part of it is, I felt refreshed and at peace. After a productive early morning, a perfect alone time is what I needed (with a good and smashing breakfast). At around 10, I got a call from Mitch as he was on his way to Davao. It somehow jolted me back to reality. I then started to think of a devilish plan for this afternoon. I realized that I wanted to cook and possibly invite a few friends over. So, I grabbed my bag, met my brother and continued to maximize the remaining day. Peace after productivity is priceless, wouldn't mind doing few sets in one day.


**I'm finding myself to Seattle's for breakfast recently. I just love how they do "my eggs" (kinda sounds off hehe), here too stuffed to finish a piece of toast with my "literal notebook."


**Gloomy isolation. Can't blame me for loving this setting.


*Honey Iced tea...I love

Other countries' losses are other countries' gains

Do not be surprised if there's a hiring frenzy or various global corporations haggling for some office space in Makati, Alabang, Fort and Ortigas. Ironically, unlike some people who are migrating to the West for greener pastures; wealthy and powerful corporations from the west are seeing the East as their own version of greener pastures. Thanks to the continuous success of outsourcing through cheap and competitive labor, Eastern countries are now the answer to the needs of these corporations to recuperate from global economic crisis.

Big financial institutions such as Citigroup, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank (2003) have allocated their operating units in Asia, majority in India, Singapore and the Philippines, as their primary plan to cost cut and be financially smart about the eco situation.
I remember when I was still in Accenture, Deutsche Bank started to establish its operations here in the Philippines. Hiring was massive and processes were fast. It only took various trends and patterns for team leads and associates to be pirated by the new institution promising higher pay, benefits and growth. It was a tough playing situation for other 3rd party outsourcing companies to lose valuable resources to the migrating global corporations. It doesn't help that opportunities in Singapore and Dubai continue to flourish. I remember a rumor one time that some outsourcing companies requested Shell Shared services or Chevron to freeze hire candidates coming from their organizations to prevent massive pullout of resources. Everything from IT, Call Center posts, BPOs, Back office work and operations are slowly being migrated in Asia. I too have experienced and became a player of such. Admittedly it served me and most of my colleagues well for numerous opportunities in global corporations.

I hate to sound like Gary Cole in the play Avenue Q singing "Schadenfreude" (Taking enjoyment of someone else's misfortunes). But whatever fortune we may have now should be maximized and put to sustainable use, because when the time comes the West might think of pulling back or inevitably pulls back, we have now the capability to initiate our own gains.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The V-Shaped Masters

I was a regular swimmer, although not competitively. I did train for two summers and in-between school breaks like weekends. Whenever I went to Southwoods, I would always try to swim its Olympic size swimming pool in laps, but I only went as far as 2 and half...please reread the word "try", and that wasn't even in time constraint. Swimming, aside from you wouldn't feel stressed and would always feel refreshed, is a very hard sport. It could easily be life threatening and cramp inducing at the same time. Aside from having great respect for all athletes, I have a very special respect for athlete swimmers.

Respect in various forms and admiration to constant eye candies to some. But I say, who wouldn't recognize (salivate) at the V-shaped bodies of these swimmers as a result of endless trainings?


*See that passion, dedication and er...evidence??? That's Garrett Weber-Gale, left, and Michael Phelps after the United States won the 4x100 freestyle relay. Photo taken by NYTIMES.

Pix source:
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2008/08/11/sports/olympics/11relay05_650.jpg