Thursday, December 22, 2005

As I'm Writing This I'm Gaining Weight

It's no secret that I love to eat, hence the weighing scale aversion. However, I would like to clarify that I just don't eat anything that comes my way. In fact, I can be picky. Except when it's 4 p.m. and I haven't got my first meal of the day, then even stale bread and tap water would be fine. Actually, scratch that, I'd rather just drink than eat stale bread.

When I do have the luxury of choosing though, I tend to be snooty. I used to be just a simple person when it comes to shoveling food into my mouth, but I've come a long way since then. You can probably blame Jepoy Baboy for initiating me in the finer points of eating.

From somebody who can compete with a refrigerator in terms of girth and food storage, I had no choice but to trust his judgments. He introduced me to shabu shabu, mongolian barbeque, sushi (I used to barf at raw food), and what to eat at which restaurant.

We used to spend hours at 8 Treasures, that Chinese eat-all-you-can hotpot place that's now closed, it was a part of the Triple V group of restaurants. The waiters at Mongolian Grill in Mile Long know him by name. He used to take me along on his dates just so we could sample a new restaurant together, to the dismay of his girlfriends. They all despised me, but whatever, I can't remember their names anyway.

We used to wolf down two orders of Angelizas and Fried Ice Cream at Angelino's (closed down years ago) and sparerib rice at Le Ching in Greenhills. surprisingly, I was sort of skinny during those times.

We'd go to Malate so we can eat sisig at a rundown place because he would swear it was the best. We would also go to those authentic chinese restaurants in Binondo and he would force me to taste crispy fried frog legs and a turtle dish. He would also eavesdrop on the conversations in Chinese around us and tell me what's it about. I don't know how he discovers those places, he seemed to have a sixth sense about food. If you saw Jepoy you'd know why.

Now Jepoy B. is in the States with his wife, and most of our favorite haunts are closed. But oh how I've learned to eat.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

This Jungle Has Better Lighting

As you may have noticed I haven't been writing much lately because of my recent relocation. It was a painless procedure, I didn't bawl (visibly) because of high embarrassment potential. I just waved goodbye and turned my back, grabbed my plant and saw myself out.

There were no fireworks -- after all, I was only there for three years. I didn't do the Monggay thing of going around the office saying my farewells to those I hold dear. Mainly because you can count the office people I hold dear in one hand, and if I went around doing that I might instead end up pushing certain people down the stairs.

I already miss the Junkyard, that sorry excuse for an office I've had since working there. It is a very apt nickname, as it was a junkyard before cubicles were put up, and still was when we moved in. Publications and old files were piled there, and we moved among filth, some of which are our own making. One good thing about it was there were no people traffic, we had our own cocoon where we can pretty much do whatever we want, and walk around with no shoes. I don't think everybody knew where the junkyard was, sometimes when they wander over by chance (read: lost) they're actually surprised that there are people working there.

Here it's still mostly bare, as if I'm just a transient visitor. As much as possible I want to keep it this way, I just can't stand clutter anymore after that major clean up when I moved. I can't believe how much bonfire fodder I accumulated during those years.

I don't have to worry about making friends, as the Gels are here. There's still not much to do, as everybody's mostly on Christmas leave. It's very fine with me, as I'm still discovering the filing system. Every office has one, and no matter how complicated, sooner or later the code will be broken.

Meanwhile I'm just here, contemplating how I don't have money for Christmas shopping. Neither office has paid me (!) and I'm terribly broke over the holidays.


PS: Who decided over at Philippine STAR that Celine Lopez deserves a column?

Friday, December 16, 2005

Surreal, But Nice

After five years I'm back. It's hard to be apathetic to this place, it's either you love it or you hate it. Funny, they say the same thing about New York. Not that I've ever been there, and why is it funny I'm not really sure.

I'm walking the same hallways, riding the same elevators, seeing the same people. It's a lucid dream, a living nostalgic trip.

My past has caught up with me.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Note to Self: Brain Cells Do Not Regenerate

So it's one jungle after another.

I'm now here in my new job, without a day off from my previous one. The previous day I was filing documents left and right and stuffing personal papers into bags so I could take them home. The next morning I was taking a different train to a different place.

I still don't exist in my new environment, as I still don't have a phone, a PC and much less email. But I've been doing some stuff already, like you know, stuff.

So anyway, there I was doing stuff and lo and behold (don't you just hate that expression), I made a mistake. I got the liquid paper thingie and was about to start painting, when I suddenly decided to write down something. I didn't screw on the cap as I will use it shortly. After writing down the thing I was supposed to write, I remembered the liquid paper thingie and STARTED TO SHAKE IT, because some idiot said that you should shake anything liquid before using it.

Next thing I knew I have white dots all over me. On my pants, blouse and hands. Now there are two kinds of liquid paper thingies, the one that is water soluble and the one that is like enamel paint. Guess which one splattered on me.

So I got the thinner that came with the thingie and dabbed it on the spots and on my hands. Yes, you read it right, on my bare skin. Suddenly my hands started to itch, and my dark pants are getting lighter on some spots. Uh oh, seems like I did something stupid.

I ran to bathroom to try and soap it out -- well, it wouldn't come off. I gave up and went back to my cube, and you'll never guess what happened next. I picked up the liquid paper thingie and unscrewed it THINKING IT WAS THE THINNER and poured it on my fingers. Yes, even though the thinner made it itch earlier.

So now I have white fingers. Which still wouldn't wash out with soap and water. And itches like hell.

Did I tell you I was the token Genius of the family?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

This Will Not Do

It's sad when it's midnight and I'm hungry but I can't get anything to eat because I already ate a strawberry sundae for dinner (a very unwise decision in hindsight) and if I give in to the demons of overeating I will one day resemble the Goodyear blimp, without the Goodyear sign. As it is, I am gaining back the weight I've so dramatically lost the past few months, and if this trend continues I might as well stitch up my throat so I can't swallow. A drastic measure, I admit, but when my mouth is possessed I can inhale a whole bag of Ruffles Sour Cream and Onion in one sitting. Other flavors takes me two to three sessions.

I think this is the effect of giving up the darned cigarettes. Good thing that I don't crave them anymore, I even turned into one of those irritating people (at least on the part of the smoker) who cover their noses when they smell cigarette smoke. It's now that I realized that it's really mabaho pala, pramis.

But it's sadder if I want to eat and there's nothing to demolish in the fridge or in my prized baul of goodies. I have lots of things in those two places now, because the SO loves to eat (appearances can be deceiving) and we cannot subsist on Grill Queen every day. Trust me, we've ordered every item on their menu. But imagine you are genuinely hungry and yet you don't have anything, even a three-day old half-eaten can of vienna sausages (yuck yuck) or tutong na kanin (eew eww).

That would be really sad.

That's why I pledge not to be sad or depressed or masungit if I can't eat. There's the lunch at Korean Village tomorrow anyway (bulgogi, yum yum). Hee.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Oh My Bloody Eye

Somebody just stab me in the eye, seems like I'm the only one left who hasn't seen Maxi in all his glory.

There's just too much to do right now, and I'm tired. I'm not complaining though, remember the sloth mode and how I was going to regret it? You're looking at it.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Conjugate the Verb "Die" in French

I've always wanted to learn a foreign language, and the first on my list is French. I don't what it is with French but I think anything you say in French will sound romantic. I know that's not true but still, French has its charms.

I could say "parles vouz Francais" and "Comment ca va" but it would get me nowhere when let loose in a French street. The natives could plan something evil to me under my nose and I would just grin stupidly at them because they might as well speak telepathically.

When my cousin, who's now based in UK and married a Brit, went home and brought her three year old daughter with her, I had a blast conversing with the kid. In a few days I was speaking English with a disgusting British accent. I got to say "today" as "to-die" and "no" as "neoai" or something like that.

But what really made my trip was when I overheard the British princess trying to make conversation with one of our Ilonggo-speaking, home-grown brats. They were swinging the gates, and Brit brat was asking the home-grown kid something, kid mumbled something, and Brit brat said in a voice loud enough for the whole clan to hear, "OH MY GOD, ARE YOU FRENCH?"

Turned out they once vacationed in Paris and she never understood a word said.

To close, I have one favorite French phrase, and it is:
"Ee c'est beaucoup pour salee?"

Haha. I know, it's an old joke, but when said properly and with conviction, can fool even a French instructor.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Closure

Sob. I'm moving on, and putting the final touches to another chapter of my life.

I hate goodbyes. Goodbyes generally connotes sadness, it's a rare occasion to be happy when saying goodbye. Especially when you're saying goodbye to people you've worked with.

I have had quite a number of jobs in the past, and it doesn't matter what the reason was, sooner or later I had to move on. My first job, where I stayed for a month trying to sell books, was a disaster. I never did manage to sell a single page, but oh man the people were FUN. I loved their jokes, their stories, their collective dynamo and positive outlook were contagious. I was half in love with every one of them, and those were the times I learned to light up (and stopped after 8 years). After four weeks of doing the selling stunt I didn't see any future for me selling anything at all so I gave up. It didn't matter that I was there for a month, all I knew was I was gonna miss those guys. I can't manage saying bye bye, I was too choked up with suppressed tears. I didn't want to cry because they might think I'm being overly dramatic.

My next jobs, well, I didn't really have to say farewell because technically, I didn't leave them. I was just shunted off to another place so there was no closure on that part. (Love that word, closure, even if it is the overstretched topic of Chicken Little, but that's another entry.)

Next job, I stayed on for 3 years, but I was more relieved than sad when I said no to another contract. I felt I was being suffocated there already, there was no room to grow. So I left, but stayed in touch with a lot of my friends there which eventually evolved into the aforementioned Adonis Gels.

If I felt was being suffocated there, in my next job I was being strangled. To Death. By mediocre people. Fortunately I have decided long ago that I am not going to be killed by people who have average IQ, for goodness' sake. I got out of that place before they could write Mediocrity as the cause of death in my post-mortem report. Look, I am not a judgmental person. I don't judge people just because they don't read Umberto Eco (fucking snob). But this is different, and I won't speak any further because it pains me to relive those dark moments of my working life. Let me just say I'd rather slide down razor blades to a pool of alcohol than have some pretentious jackass who don't even know what the word "amendment" means to assess my performance for the quarter. And to think they are the only one I've worked for that people don't recognize when you mention the company name.

Next two affairs workwise were short and fun. People were fun, work was ok, I didn't have to pay any taxes, I'm generally good. And it was great for my CV.

Then I had to move on again. I know, I move a lot, but what can I do? There was an opportunity and I took it. I ended up staying for 3 years. I have learned a lot here, honestly. I really thought some diseases didn't exist anymore, only to discover that they're still out there killing millions of people a year and mutating. Scary.

The people I work with are great, and I'm not saying this because they're reading this, they're not. I hope. Sometimes I make it like I hate the Monday meetings, but I think I'm gonna miss it. It's not everywhere you can banter jokes with your bosses, or actually say what you think of the current project.

It's normal that you get into a little snit with them from time to time, it's when you don't that you have to worry. I do, but often with the same person, and then I came to a point where I just chose to ignore the whole thing and wrote it off to receding estrogen levels, not mine. It worked, what do you know.

So in a few days I am leaving them, and we have all reached some kind of compromise over what should be done regarding work, and tomorrow we're all gonna party.

No, I'm not doing a farewell speech. I might just cry.