Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Being Part of History

It was a hot day, perfect for lounging around the house and sleeping to your heart’s content. On days like these I wake up at noon, watch a few episodes of the latest series I’m into, then have my first meal of the day. But this particular afternoon I dragged my ass off the bed and rode the train to a certain Starbucks branch to wait for Hessica, still negotiating her way through the Marikina traffic.

When she finally got there we jumped on a cab to go to South Harbor, and got off way too far from our destination. While we walked in the sweltering sun, I was surprised I was getting goosebumps from the anticipation. I was a true geek indeed, the thought of getting on a ship full of books makes me giddy. It’s not all that though, the said ship is oldest sailing vessel in the world, just a couple of years younger than Titanic. If the ship could talk, imagine the stories it could tell.

The ship came to view, and so did the line. It was a very long line, people of all ages lined up like us to get on the ship and be geeky. There were many children lining up, and to entertain them some of the ship’s crew dressed up as clowns did some tricks.

Meanwhile, we didn’t appreciate getting burned by the sun while lining up, and it’s not a fast moving line. But we still wanted to take our picture.

Several things entertained us while standing there, including seeing the place where all cars go to die.

The pitiful Coast Guard boat. Apparently they have their own pantry.

But best of all was this cute kid wearing his authentic wooden yellow clogs.

Finally, it was our turn. We bought tickets and went up the plank to start our Doulos adventure. The ship was jampacked with people, we were thirsty and hungry but decided we’ll just get to the Greenwich stall later. This was the first stop, a regular bookstore with regular prices filled with regular people.

But the real bargain was with the hardbound books section, you get three books for 300 bucks. I got two workbooks on French Level Two, and a National Geographic anatomy book. It was all very heavy, but also a very good bargain. Finally it was time to leave the ship.

I don't know when M/V Doulos will be able to come back here, but for now I was part of its history.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Welcome to the Family

Newest addition to the family!

Pinag-iisipan ko pa kung aampunin ko din sya...

The Philippines: A Review by a Little English Miss, Age 8

On seeing buses stopping anywhere:
"This is a free country so there are no rules. Is that right?"

On fried ice cream:
"This place has fried ice cream? This country is AWESOME!"

Traversing EDSA at midnight:
"Believe it or not, this looks just like England."

Studying the Ortigas skyline:
"I think I saw the Twin Towers."

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday's Feast 128

If you could take lessons to learn any musical instrument, which would you want to learn?
Violin and piano. Either of the two will do, although I did take violin lessons before. My teacher refunded my payment because it was already quite a while and all I knew was "Twinkle, Twinkle". I guess I insulted his teaching capabilities. He told me to come back when I'm serious about learning.

Have you ever mistaken a person for someone else?
Lots of times. There was this one time I shouted at someone because he was somebody I know. Of course, he wasn't and I ran away quick.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?
Eight. I'm proud of this talent of mine. I can keep a secret till the day I die. Exceptions would be if it endangers somebody's life.

Main Course
What's the closest you've ever been to a dangerous animal?
I once touched a tiger, and I was keeping myself from screaming for my life. He was rather tame. It also helped that he was chained. I also played with a baby tiger but he was caged.

When was the last time you lost your patience?
Everytime I talk to people who hawk credit cards. They're so fucking persistent. I almost told one to get another job, one that is not so much annoying and would pay them more. Actually, the way they talk (fake English accents and less than perfect grammar) contributes to the ick factor. Just talk in dialect, wouldn't hurt.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Conversations from the Twilight Zone

“What time is your flight tomorrow?”
“At half eight, I think.”

“If he were an Apple product, what’s it called?”
“That is so mean. With an exclamation point?”
“I am mean. Yes, with an exclamation point.”
“And that’s politically incorrect.”
“I am politically incorrect.”
“Think of something else that is not so mean and politically-incorrect.”
“iDontThink. Only a period this time.”

“Ate, ang ganda mo dyan ah.”
“Kamukha mo si Kitchen.”
“Sinong Kitchen?”
“Yung kumanta ng Majika, si Kitchen Nadal.”
True story, I swear.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Punishment for the Weak

If you’re planning on getting sick anytime soon, make sure you have a comfortable bed, a bathroom on the same floor, cable TV, bobo books, a DVD player and a whole shelf of DVD titles. Otherwise, the will to live vanishes before you can say your little prayer.

While my insides turned to mush, my brain was doing the same thing. Trips to the bathroom tired me out, and I just decided to camp out in the living room. For entertainment, I had a choice of ordering yaya around, play Snake on my cellphone, or watch the lone channel we had on free TV. When I ran out of orders to give yaya, and my fingers were stiff from playing Snake, I finally turned on the TV.

Eat Bulaga is fine, I could always ignore the dancing girls in the background and focus on Vic Sotto. He’s still cute, even at that age when he’s bordering on being a senior citizen. I pretend I’m a contestant and compete with street vendors in answering questions like “What can you buy for two pesos and get three of it?” (Answer: Keyndi.) I cringed when the grandmothers struggled with Guess the Price or something along that line. Given a range of 7,000 to 8,000 pesos, they wrote amounts like 485, 550, 6999 and 79,000. I cheered the Globe contestant on, I really hoped he would win the car just because he’s so cheerful and is not reduced to a giggling fit while doing the Taktak Mo dance step. I laughed at Bulagaan, mainly because an audience member said “kawntri music” and used it in a Knock-knock joke.

Yes, Eat Bulaga is fine when taken semi-monthly.

It was the shows after Eat Bulaga that can be considered a punishment for being a weakling, that my body wasn’t able to fight bacteria and I allowed it to eat my strong cells. Daisy Syete is something that can be used for torturing people, watch more than one episode and you’re ready to admit to anything. Why do they make those girls act? It’s bad enough that they sing songs that are a ginormous injustice to the society. And why do they have to say everything in unison? Just make them do what they do best, and that is dancing.

But here they are, bawling and trying their best to look violated and hysterical, and all I want to do is slap them silly. The furniture on their set actually acts better than these girls. The commercials are more interesting; it’s like taking a break from being clubbed on the head. Thing is, I don’t have the strength to get up from the couch and turn it off. I mean, I could order yaya, but there is a kind of perverse curiosity in me that makes me want to know what’s going to happen next. I finish the show, and concluded finally that all it was is an exercise in futility.

I think I’ll just camp out in the bathroom.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Fastfood Fiction

It is a truth universally acknowledged that just when you’re sweaty, greasy, just a little drunk with your makeup smearing down your shiny cheeks, and in the middle of picking a fight with your stupid guy friends because they can’t find their stupid car in the parking lot, your ex, the one you haven’t seen for the longest time and you thought now existed in the twilight zone, comes driving by.

Of course he will stop and look at you for the longest time too, while the cogs inside your brain slowly turn to process the sight of him looking at you like that. You wonder what does the sight of you look like, you’re sure that if you look at a mirror you will scare even yourself.

Then he gets out of the car while you mouth “No. Please don’t go near me, I stink.” But he misconstrues that as flustering and smiles that same smile from half a lifetime ago.

“Hey there. It’s been a long time. How have you been?”

No words will come out of your mouth in the next 5 years, so you just show your teeth at him in an effort to smile.

“Night out?”

Finally you remember where you are, and you manage a nonchalant “Uh-huh”.

Then your stupid guy friends shout at you that they finally found the stupid car. You signal at them to shut it. But your friends are really, really classy that way; you might have to shoot them in the future.

“Boyfriend?” He’s pointing at the direction of your stupid, classy friends.

“Oh God, no. Please, definitely not. Hey, I have to go now.”

“Ok. Do you have the same number?”

“Oh no, I gave that number up a long time ago.” You’re not really sure which number he is talking about, but whichever number that is, it’s definitely gone because you have died since then and has been resurrected many times over.

“Can I get your new one then?”

“Sure.” You blab numbers that, surprisingly, you hope is the right one. “So, I really have to go now.”

“I’ll call you. Have coffee sometime?”

“Sure. Whatever. Bye.”

Then you smile and walk away, feeling a little less greasy.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

You're It, or Else I Sue

I'm extremely bored and tired with all the technology assessment talk. I'm tagging people, but me first.

Describe your favorite movie scene. You know, the one that just gets to you every time you watch it.

That ferry scene from My Best Friend's Wedding. You know, where they danced to The Way You Look Tonight and about how you should say I love you when you feel like it, because the moment passes. That really gets me, every single time.

Another is that scene from I Am Sam where the mentally-challenged bunch tries to buy Dakota some shoes. It kills me.

So now it's Bridget, Jher, Dylan, Tiffany, Katz, and whoever feels like being tagged.

A Step Towards Enlightenment

I have always assumed that discussing TM with co-reviewees would be extremely boring and unnatural. Professors are usually the ones talking, and we just sit there looking interested. Last night's review session went rather well, if I may say so.

I have discovered that I did manage to retain some things from three years ago (was it that long?) and it was of some use for this dreaded thing. I also learned new things from the others, like how the creation of wealth doesn't only mean increase of sales, but also reducing costs. Man. I wouldn't have come up with it by myself.

Getting over the hurdle of the first session, I realized it couldn't be that bad. I have some stock knowledge, and together with the input of other people, would hopefully mean I have some sort of a chance to overcome this thing.

Meanwhile, there are papers to finish and presentations to be done. I'll just take off my dunce cap first so I can make some progress.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

World Pyro Olympics 2007

A few shots from my FILM camera. More at Multiply. Cropping and framing is shot because people's heads were showing and they're not good looking so I have to take them out.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My Nose Bleeds from the Seriousness of It All

D-Day is fast approaching and soon, before I know it, it will be so close I could just lean in and bite its nose. Everytime I think about it my heart beats a little faster, and if I'm in bed already I can't sleep obsessing about it.

But obsessing is no good, it just increases my fear of the unknown. Yes, I am afraid. I don't know what it will bring me. I know it's not a matter of life and death, nor will it be some kind of a measurement of how I am as a person, but the thought of it being used as a measurement of how I think fills me dread.

Because I am afraid, I refuse to face it. I distract myself with other things. I am having fun now, but my heart is gripped with a cold, cold hand and I am freezing inside.

I know the only way to make the cold hand disappear is to face it and deal with it NOW. As with anything in life, just because we ignore certain stuff doesn't mean it will go away.

And I just wasted five minutes writing this. Gaaaad.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Friday's Feast 126

What comes to mind when you see the color orange?
Summer and traveling. The kind of summer when I'm everywhere, always going someplace to have fun in the sun. There were summers that I was in a different place every weekend, always out there with friends. It didn't matter where, as long as we're going someplace we'd never gone before. And I had so many orange shirts and accessories, even my backpack is screaming orange. It also reminds me of lifevests when we go snorkling. Damn, when was the last time I did that? There are only a few places in the Philippines that I haven't been to. Yet.

Did you ever get in trouble while you were in school? If so, what was it for?
I am not a perennial troublemaker, hardly, but there were times I was told to shut it. In Grade 1, I pushed somebody over the ledge and she fell into the flowerbed. I got a necklace of bermuda grass to wear for the rest of the day. In Grade 5, I didn't do my homework and the teacher sent me outside to stand in the hot sun for 20 minutes. In high school, I was too lazy to copy notes from the blackboard and instead read my latest Lawrence Sanders. My teacher caught me and pinched my ear and humiliated me in front of the whole class. Thus my aversion to World History. In freshman year in college inside Rizal class, I couldn't stop giggling at a joke my classmate made, so my professor made me share the joke with the classroom. It wasn't so funny anymore. The curse doesn't stop there. In Financial Analysis, Ojie and I were laughing so hard because Habs was late again (long story), the professor made us explain what part of the DuPont analysis did we not understand.

Which topping(s) make up your perfect pizza?
Any leftover in the fridge. Actually, it would be bacon, ham, onions, bell pepper and lotsa cheese. And the crust should be thin.

Main Course
Do you believe in UFOs/aliens/etc.? Why or why not?
If we go by the reasoning that it is a vast universe, then most probably there are other lifeforms out there. It just has to have the right combination of gases in the atmosphere and heat, and if you think only Earth has the right soup mix then you're horribly deluded.

What color is your bedspread/comforter/quilt?
Mint green. It's cool to the eyes and I always feel sleepy just by looking at it.

UPDATE: Reading the Soup section again, how the hell did I manage to be consistently on the Honors list, or get the grades I had in graduate school (until now I can never explain DuPont analysis)? That's why I'm so afraid to take the compre thing, everybody will know the grades are all an illusion.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Life Can Be Good Sometimes

While injustices are a constant and idiots abound, there are still some good things to look forward to, like watching a beautiful sunset with good friends. And ogling the owner of the cafe next door.

Meanwhile, here is my MOST decent digital shot of the World Pyro Olympics (can you imagine what the others look like?). Taken with a Canon Powershot A95, handheld. That's because my tripod was taken hostage by my SLR and I was budgeting my shots since film only has 36 exposures at the most and I am too slow and lazy to change films while the spectacular show is exploding above me. I can't even find ISO400 anymore. Is film becoming a lost art? I'll post some of the shots from the film once I get it to the lab.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Waxing Lyrical

This is the benefit of reading everything, you get the bigger picture. When I was currently taking the individual subjects, my eyes had a tendency to glaze over and my pupils to dilate. I tune out during lectures and just jolt myself awake for very important occasions, e.g. presentations and final exams.

As I go through the Khalil epic, every five minutes I mutter "Oh, that's why" and "Oh, of course" as the realization of what I have tuned out for two years comes back to me in full force.

See, there is a reason for everything. If I hadn't foolishly signed up for this course I wouldn't have known that management, to some extent, is a technology. Or what is the link between science and technology. Or what the hey is a long-wave cycle and what causes financial depressions.

In earlier times I couldn't have cared less, but now, now I am forced to care because the vein in my forehead (the one that bleeds, if you remember) has developed a mind of its own and is suddenly forming opinions. The vein says I have to care what Noori, 1990, said about the economies of scale as compared to economies of scope and integration.

My life was peaceful when I didn't know all about these things. I had gone on living my supercalifragilisticexpialodocious life without ever knowing the concept of core competence. I had less spots on my face, and definitely only one layer of eyebags. I pulled all-nighters without ever going near a book or a laptop. I am too old for staying up all night. I swear this zit wasn't here 2 hours ago, and it has February 11 engraved on top. But then again, my brain was also smaller before.

Darn, I miss my ignorance.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Hello, Kitty?

Me: di ba sa Japan pinanganak si hello kitty?
whengkay: oo
whengkay: taga dun si hello kitty...she was born in japan on oct 25, 1975
Me: kaedaran lang pala natin si hello kitty
Me: trentahin na ang bruha
whengkay: uu nga 30 na naka ribbon pa ang haliparot

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Barbie, Decapitated

I was supposed to wax lyrical about the benefits of reading through the Khalil epic, and of staying up all night, but maybe I'll do that tomorrow because something very freaky is distracting me.

Think crime scene, only with no blood, but complete with the messy hair and glassy stare. Only this time, the victim is smiling and she has some seriously long eyelashes. There's a decapitated Barbie head on the top of the CPU and I think its smiling at me in particular.

My baby sister is 15 years old, so I don't know why would she behead her dolls and then leave it around. I would take a picture of the said crime scene, but it would only make it more permanent in my head. I bet it will somehow figure into my dreams, as I have been dreaming quite frequently these days.

I hope in my dream it befriends me and whisper all winning Lotto combinations. So eventhough I am shocked and frightened beyond my wits, I will be rich. There would always be tradeoffs in life, learn to live with it.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Loot

Every girl has a stash. At least, every self-respecting girl who doesn't want to look like a labandera everytime she goes to work. You have to at least put powder on or lipgloss so your skintone would be even and you have a bit of color. It doesn't matter whether this girl uses Shu Uemura or Nichido, every girl has a loot bag.

This is my stash:

Actually it's not everything I have, at the office I have the Body Shop Shimmer Cubes, my lone Shu Uemura blush, Body Shop Lip Gloss, and several odds and ends of kakikayan. I didn't even know I had that many lip products, I'm so lazy that some days I hardly put on anything.

Some of my favorite brands are Body Shop, L'Oreal, Maybelline, Revlon, and Avon. I don't buy the high end brands (that Shu Uemura was a gift) because one, it's so expensive, and two, I can't afford it.

Then, someone gave me this fabulous toolbox from Sephora. (Well, he asked me what do I want from New York, so I said anything from Sephora. On 5th, because that's their biggest branch, I think.) I love love love it, I don't have to make everything fit in an undersized kikay kit from Divisoria. It came in a red velvet bag, which I plan to use as...a red velvet bag.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Field of Dreams

This new year, I want a lot of things. They are placed in the three-tiered goal placements, also known as Realistic, Well-Maybe-If-I-Worked-Really-Hard, and the What-the-Fuck-Are-You-High? So, in line with that field of dreams b.s. (although it's not so much b.s. if you really think about it) I am preparing myself and my life for the realization of these goals.

One, I refuse all kinds of shit from other people. I refuse to have excess baggage, I have more than enough already. It's time for an uncluttered and simple life, because that compre thing I have is cluttering my mind and complicates things. (Who made me sign up for a higher degree? Who? I am bleeding from the vein on my forehead now.)

Another thing, I got my driver's license already. I worked hard for that one because they made me wait for almost two hours for a small piece of paper that says I am legally allowed to plough through EDSA. I don't know why LTO gave me one because it's so obvious I will one day hit a cripple crossing the street. That was a joke and I will not get hit by a lightning.

I also got the Starbucks Christmas Tradition sticker card, so that for once in my life, I will legitimately redeem a promotional item without it being given to me. Just four more stickers, baby! Shortcuts are good for emergencies, but doing them all the time leaves you in a rut. I will not get to exercise my tiny, tiny brain if I always do it the easy way. Although what kind of exercise a brain gets from shelling out 125 bucks on a short Peppermint Mocha is beyond me. I think I'll make it a metaphor.

I will also not look down my nose when doing menial things, things that I think insult my intelligence because obviously there are people more suited to this kind of work. In my world, that person is me. After all, I didn't go to Harvard or Yale or any of those Ivy League schools.

I will also stop -- ok, minimize -- laughing at wrong spellings and wrong grammar even if the person who wrote it graduated from college. Nobody's perfect and maybe that person was having a bad day. Or maybe, that person was busy staring out the window when the teacher was discussing subject-verb agreement or the correct spelling of Christmas. (For crying out loud, it's just Christmas! C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S! No extra S!)

I also want to read more, but none of those chick lit and bobo books. Anyway, I'm done with the requisite Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes titles. I hope I can read more of Tarek Khalil without wanting to stab myself in the eyes just to keep from falling asleep.

I am also gathering up the courage to box my DVD player and bury it in a faraway place. I can't do anything else but watch. In the last two months I have gone through the following: Grey's Anatomy Seasons 1 & 2, House Season 3, Six Feet Under Seasons 1 to 5, Sex and the City Seasons 1 to 7, and about five of those 8-in-1 movie DVDs. I don't know how I did it, I really don't. All I know is Derek and House and Nate and Big are hot hot hot, and I am actually Claire Fisher without Carrie's shoes.

We will see how I did at the end of the year, if my planting the seeds would come to a bountiful harvest. Wish me luck with all my delusions.

Penshoppe Models

Baby sister and baby cousin. Baby sister made the graphics.
Happy New Year to everyone!