Thursday, September 30, 2004

don't you know how garlic butter smells like?

somehow, i've manage to survive the UP dorm system my entire college life and half of my law school life. while i've learned to live with communal bathrooms, the lack of running hot water, incessant chattering day and night, and beady eyes checking out how my current boyfriend looks like, i cannot have a difficult time accepting the fact that cheap - and relatively acceptable accommodations - come with hormonally challenged old ladies who do nothing but exchange gossip and throw away garlic butter that does not belong to them.

you might find me cheap, pathetic even, to be ranting about someone throwing away my garlic butter. but when you used your last money to buy it one day from pan de manila, and was terribly looking forward to eating it with hot steaming pan de sal after a particularly long day, you can't helped but be ticked off upon finding that someone has thrown away your dinner, or what would have been a big part of your dinner.

still believing in the good nature of people in the dorm, i actually spent almost five minutes looking for it in the overcrowded refrigerator. among other things, i found a bottle of gin, a paper cup of what was probably soda ten weeks ago from wendy's, and eggs that seem to have grown into chicks already in the ref but not my garlic butter. a middle-aged lady approached me, asking what i was looking for, and i said, well, i couldn't find my garlic butter.

apparently, someone cleaned out the ref over the weekend (clearly missing the mutated soda, hrmph!) and upon smelling the contents, probably thought that since my butter smelled unlike any butter she has seen inhaled before, threw my butter along with other not-so-right-smelling things that were infesting our wing's refrigerator.

i couldn't help it. i whined. "maybe she didn't know garlic butter was supposed to smell that way. she shouldn't have messed with it in the first place."

two days later, i was actually over it, payday having arrived and the possibility of buying another tub of garlic butter has presented itself once more. however, this morning, my roommate (wilma, you ALL know her, right?) told me that some people were chatting about my garlic butter last night. apparently, they were saying that if it were garlic butter i should have labeled it (clearly they don't know how to read the label on the container, duh.) and written "do not touch" across the cover (last time i checked my ms. manners, no one was supposed to touch what clearly did not belong to you.)

oh well. i've got another semester to go in that place. i don't know where they'll be next year, or five years after that but i know where i'll be:

i'll be where garlic butter tubs don't disappear from refrigerators.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

handcuffs and the color yellow

i get a natural high when appearing in court while wearing a suit and stilettos, with my hair neatly pulled back in a low ponytail and my power bag slung carelessly over my shoulder. call it my ally mcbeal complex. something about being all dressed-up in a world where mostly male lawyers dominate gives me a kick that no shopping trip can ever give.

no matter how hot that courtroom is, you'd feel like breezing in. you tend to sit up straighter, and smiles are somewhat brighter than usual. you approach the clerk of court, introduce yourself, and ask if the opposing counsel is present already. you sit and wait for the roll call, where you stand and blurt out, "law intern rosa xxxxxxxxxx, for the defendant, appearing under the direct control and supervision of the up college of law office of legal aid and my supervising lawyer atty. roque, we are ready, your honor."

in family court, you usually get lucky. the room is filled with overpaid lawyers in barongs or suits, who opt for postponements, owing to one reason or another. their clients are generally pretty, sweet-smelling, and quite young ladies in their 30s or 40s, or handsome, rich powerbrokers, who want nothing but an annulment. sometimes, you come across custody battles, still between rich, beautiful people. more often than not, you're the one with the client who's most shabbily dressed, the client who had to scrimp and save to make it to the hearing that day.

today, however, i had to venture out of my 2 favorite courtrooms, rtc 106 and 84 in qc, and found myself in rtc 124, caloocan. while the building was new, the atmosphere really was the same. and unlike before where i pretty much dealt with people who just want out of a bad marriage, today's case was a criminal case for libel.

in my best, most unlegalistic tagalog, i was trying to explain something to my witness when a horde of people started coming in. i made nothing of the policeman who entered, probably cause i wasn't driving and so my license would be, for the meantime, be safe in my wallet, but then the first two rows began being filled up with men in yellow.

forget what they show on television where prisoners are men whose heads are shaved wearing orange with a big P at the bag. in the philippines, they wear bright yellow shirts, and they are handcuffed to one another.

at first, i tried to make nothing of it. if i want to be in litigation, men in yellow and handcuffs shouldn't intimidate me, right? however, having gone through the revised penal code only the night before, crimes began running through my head.

and not your ordinary crimes, mind you, the heinous ones.

did that guy murder someone? is the one he's cuffed to a rapist? what about that other guy?

it was not long before i had to get out of that room. quickly.

forget poise. forget confidence and charm and appeal. ally mcbeal never had to sit five inches away from a probable murderer.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

school snob

gary and i are friends.
gary and i get along. sometimes.
gary and i have the greatest conversations which means that we sometimes spend an inordinate amount of time chatting over the phone or over potato fritters at the tent.

gary and i generally agree, and i'd like to think that since he likes hanging out with me so much (he!he!) that he actually loves my company like anything, but the moment i begin to say anything about schools, colleges, universities, and diplomas in general, he looks at me weirdly and begins to shake his head in that weird way of his. his voice becomes high-pitched, and he cannot help but squint at me.

he believes i'm pretty illogical.

see, i've always been a school snob. my "checklist" even includes an item indicating where i prefer my future husband to have graduated from. and no matter how crappy the educational system sometimes get, i still believe in the power of the diploma.

come on. no matter what you say, with all things being equal, you would hire a UP law graduate over, say, a graduate from the harvardian school of laguna, right?

so i think gary's a bit scared. i'm watching the la salle-feu game tomorrow.

guess who i'm cheering for.

yeah. i'm a school snob.

Monday, September 27, 2004

random tidbits:

* my brother started blogging. i remember him writing a very short story when we were kids, bottles of beer, then leaving it out for everyone to ready. by the end of the day, everyone was hooked (it didn't have a proper end) but since he didn't admit he was the one who wrote it, we all ended up gushing about it while wondering about how it ended. right after he got stabbed and before the doctors decided whether to go on with a heart-bypass or not, he told me wrote bottles of beer. unfortunately, he couldn't remember how he wanted to end it.

needless to say, he writes better, way better, than i do.

* i'm glad feu won, but not that mac cardona lost out to arwin santos. since feu won, i've a date to watch the finals at araneta this thursday.

while my dear MISGUIDED friend believes that feu will win, i've got my money on mac and the boys. arwin's running on the high being mvp brought him, and mac was on a slump. ty tang's got a lot of promise, and yeo was just not THAT fueled yet, owing probably the the lack of tenorio to make his adrenaline run like mad. feu may have won 3rd place in cheering (in that absolutely weird "let me look like the people who do ice sledding/ racing whatever cheerleading costume) and 1st place last year, but i do love my dear mac cardona and i've got my bets on him.

* ara, i've got a plan. email you later.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

today i made a not-so-significant-but-still-a-contribution-nonetheless to our fiscal problems.

i got caught by an mmda.

i didn't bribe, although i was itching to do so.
i didn't cry, only because i was not capable of doing so.
i didn't run, there was a traffic light preventing me from doing so.

my hands shook while i texted a friend about what happened. still, i waited patiently inside my car as the traffic enforcer rattled on and on while writing my ticket.

calmly, i hope, i asked him if my license would not be confiscated and if all i had to do was pay the ticket at the nearest metrobank branch.

he nodded.

ten minutes later, i had my license, plus a ticket, and was on my way back to where i was supposed to go.

and at 12 noon, i made my way to a metrobank branch and made my P500 contribution to the mmda budget.

all in a day's work.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


blogging on a daily basis can be difficult, and i'm rarely able to do it, but me, blogging twice in a day, that's a rarity.

but when your school's assistant dean practically forces you to get married and settle down with your boyfriend of five months because, in her words, he's got postura, well, you do find yourself attracted to a computer with an internet connection and begin blogging. immediately.

at 27, i know what pressure feels like. it's your roommate looking at you with pity because you're currently unattached. it's you hanging on to that single ovary left in your reproductive system hoping against all hope that it functions perfectly when you need it to do its job. it's attending countless weddings of friends and relatives and baptisms of friends' kids.

pressure is also an ex getting someone pregnant a couple of WEEKS after he got mad at you for not telling him that you've begun to date someone else.

but i'm also tired of the pressure. i'm tired of proclaiming, yet again, that so and so is THE ONE. i'm tired of optimism over small gestures, of empty promises of the future and what not. i'm tired of looking at wedding pictures of people i don't know while idly planning how my own wedding will be like.

this afternoon, while the assistant dean coolly interrogated me about my relationship with pat, i had to restrain myself from digging my stilettos onto her shin and grabbing her coiffed salt and pepper hair. the pressure's killing me. and asking about it ain't helping.

not one bit.
fast forward to today

i've got a couple of quirks: i go through archives of blogs i like, i memorize gasoline prices (currently pegged at 26.84, but only 26.72 at my favorite caltex gas station), i measure days and weeks based on significant events (i.e. same time last week it was the foundation day conference), and i can't sleep the night before a significant event.

i also have an internal calendar running through my head.

which makes it awfully weird that not only did i get the date of an important hearing wrong (turns out it was september 29 and not september 23 as i had written down in my planner in orange ink!) but i also forgot that it was a wednesday today, nearly making me a traffic violator should i have failed to park in my slot by 7:00 a.m.

maybe i'm just really, awfully, majorly tired these days. in the thick of things last week, while crawling under a table to lay down newspapers on top of the carpet to make sure paint doesn't ruin it, i was thinking, what would i give for it to be saturday already. but then saturday came and went, and so did sunday, and before i knew it, it was wednesday already and i don't exactly remember what i've been doing the last couple of days. i do remember dinner with a good friend though, and a new friend being unable to make the abovementioned dinner. desperate for something non-law related and non-partisan (the collegian these days is trash, i tell you, them writing against everyone they don't like and gushing over anyone who writes anything that reeks of hate and "gloria tuta" lines), i bought a second-hand book from books for less.

i crashed into bed yesterday with my new book and fell asleep intermittently until it was time to wake up. maybe the 8-hour sleep (with a few breaks in between) did me some good. hopefully, i'll get my internal calendar back, right in time for next semester where i plan to take a couple of review courses as electives and finally, after three semesters, enroll in labor arbitration.

incidentally, and totally off-topic, it will be christmas soon. in case you're feeling might generous, and what not, here's my wishlist from coach. have fun.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

they a say a child has great insight. and they say that a child would say things that no one else, not even your very best friend, would tell you.

i've always thought i looked hot and fashionable in my sexy, pointy stilettos, until today when a kid in pre-school approached me and started pressing that part of my shoe where no human toe has gone before. after a couple of seconds, he looks up to me and asks, "why are your shoes like this?"

for once, i didn't have anything to say. i looked at him helplessly and tried to make do with a smile. not to be deterred, he continued looking at me, then my shoe, then at me again and pursued his line of questioning, "why are they pointed?"

i could have said to him, "well, all the sex and the city girls wear them" or "aren't you aware that they're the in thing right now?" i could have told him how pointy shoes make your feet look narrow and how pretty they look peeking out of the bottom of your pants. i could have given him a million and one reasons. but i didn't. i was stumped.

dear sweet little boy, i'll admit it. i don't know the answer to your question. but you know what? tonight i'd look at my shoe rack and all my pointy pumps. i'd think back on times such as this, and this, two of the numerous times i've gone home with a nice pointy shoe inside a paper bag. i'd think of the times i nearly sprained my ankle after having tripped and the times i've had to massage my feet after the muscles have cramped from being in an unnatural position the entire day. because, at that very minute, i understood perfectly well what you were thinking: unless my feet were triangular, i had no business wearing triangular tipped shoes instead of round ones.

Monday, September 13, 2004

me, and relationships with men with cars

being more of a commuter than someone who gets driven around in cars, my checklist guy never needed to have a car. we can ride a tricycle, a up-philcoa jeep, or the MRT every single date of our lives and it would not really matter to me. in fact, the long, feel-good, fuzzy relationships in my past, the ones that lasted long enough to celebrate an anniversary instead of simply month-sarries, were with sweet, caring, and loving car-less men.

on the other hand, relationships i've had with men with more desirable modes of transportation (read: car) have all come to awful, if not terrible, endings.

i don't know. maybe a car shares in the affection they could have given me.

last saturday, i crossed the five-month, one week, and one day barrier i've had when it comes to relationships with men with cars. and it got me thinking.

is it the car that's the issue or is it just the boy?

i don't care. i'm glad i've gotten rid of the men in my past, with cars or without, because now i'm with pat. he drives "victoria" and i drive "spike" and it doesn't really matter who has a car sometimes. we've yet to try commuting though, although i did promise him a ride on the mrt one of these days. together, we crossed the my relationship barrier and dates are still as sweet as ever. we still manage to sneak a kiss when we get to "our traffic light" and we still go out on dates every weekend. on the rare occasion that both of us are car-less, we make the date come to us through delivery (we've got a white board full of take-out numbers!). we're looking forward to our first out-of-town trip together (enchanted kingdom does not count as out of town!), if and when that happens.

so there.

Friday, September 10, 2004

end of the week

it's the end of another week and i am exhausted. (incidentally, so is wilma and therefore we haven't chanced upon each other awake. no wilma stories this time around.)

work and work-related stuff, not to mention law school and everything else that goes with it, have turned me into a grumpy, tired bitch.

an UGLY grumpy tired bitch.

and so i am itching to crawl into the nearest parlor and have something done.

like get my crabby, bitten nails buffed, scrubbed, and manicured. and get my now-wild hair relaxed, colored, and trimmed.

then crawl into the nearest spa and have my aching back kneaded and my tired feet scrubbed and pampered and my legs waxed so i can wear a skirt again.

but then i've got stupid little things on my to do list such as "do the laundry" and "buy shampoo and conditioner". then i've got a big event coming up next week where i'm practically at wit's end just trying to make sure i've got all my bases covered.

whew. it's friday and i'm supposed to be shutting down for the week.

but i can't.

dang. i don't even have a clean pair of pants to wear tomorrow.

no rest for the weary.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

i know i screwed up my master's degree by never finishing my thesis.

and i know that law school has its ups and downs for me, sometimes more downs than ups.

i'm definitely sure that i'll never get around to getting a ph.d. attached to my name, unless some university in the future decides to award me an honorary degree.

but i do know that eating fish won't make you a vegetarian.

yup, it's another w story.

last night, i had a styro full of cold calamares from a party and w was having fish and rice for dinner. both of us were pretty engrossed in what we were reading so conversation was quite minimal, until she piped up,

w: rosa, pag kumain ka ba ng fish vegetarian ka pa din?

believing her to be joking, or at the very least asking a trick question, i vehemently shook my head.

r: it's still meat. eating vegetables will make you vegetarian.
eating fish, won't.

not finished with her analysis, she ventured on, "but fish don't have cellulose."

now, without the power of google, i'm definitely at a loss as to what cellulose is and what it has to do with meat, but i remained steadfast and let out my on weak argument. "eh diba, fish meat. hindi naman leafy green fish?"

and i let out some more. "even chicken is meat, and i don't think it doesn't look anything like pork or beef either."

unconvinced with the wisdom of my arguments, she continued testing my knowledge. "so ibig sabihin mo lahat ng seafood, meat? kahit yung calamares mo?"

believing i had won the argument, i nodded, "oo naman. para maging vegetarian ka, dapat hindi karne ng animal ang kinakain mo."

i'm glad i was sleepy and i'm glad she got tired of it because i don't know how i could have explained what a vegan was to her.

Friday, September 03, 2004

my phone's turning a year old this weekend, but one look at it and you think it's older than that. it's taking such a beating the last year that i had it, and sometimes, when i see my brother's new phone or pat's hi-tech gadget, i can't help but want something new, nice, and scratch-free. however, at the end of the day, i know i love my phone and wouldn't trade it with anything else.

my life the past year has been so much like my phone. i've taken such a beating -- my first 5 ever, the incident with jay, the my parents' eventual separation, and the stress of continuing to work full-time in a sometimes thankless job -- that i feel i've aged more than a year in the last 12 months.

but much like scratches and dents on your phone's casing has a little story to tell, like how the first major scratch on the screen's left corner came from that time when you were exchanging SMS with your crush when your phone took a nosedive on the concrete floor, each battle scar tells you something about how the past year was. There are things you'd rather forget, but there are things which you proudly bear also. That little callo that began forming on your little toe came from wearing stilettos during your first hearing ever. roots showing shows how long you've been with your new love affair, recalling the mad rush to the parlor to have perfectly-colored hair the day he arrived from bangkok.

yesterday, i had the worst day of my life. it seemed like everything that could go wrong, did. but today, i don't know. somehow things are a bit better. when i was in the courtroom this morning, a couple of young boys were handcuffed to each other, apparently in jail for some misdemeanor, awaiting their hearing. a couple of guys who were obviously still in college had an aunt in tow, ready with their 30,000 pay-off for their attempted murder case.

yup, life can be worse than the life i'm leading.

so what if my one-year-old phone has the biggest and most awful dents any one-year-old phone has seen? it's still much better than a whole lot of other phones out there.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

they say that while you can't pick family, you can pick friends.

what they didn't tell you was that like family, you can't pick roommates either, at least not in the UP dorm system.

this is my third year with w, my dear roommate. four (or is it three?) years younger than me, she has provided countless hours of entertainment, especially with her lord of the rings analysis, and innumerable advice, especially when it comes to what she believes i should do with my lovelife. w has become a favorite lunch topic, boring office lunches perks up suddenly when i utter the magic words, "hey, i've got a w story."

now don't get me wrong. i like w, she's cool and she doesn't pretend she's all high and mighty even when she's on her way to earning a ph.d. at 23. but after the third day in a row where she left her desk light on (and therefore off-limits for me) before she left, a girl who can't sleep with the lights on can only take so much. i just gotta share some w stories.

such as when one day, as she was leafing through a cosmo i lent her, she suddenly let out a large gasp. panicky, she asked me, "rosa, pwede ka daw mabuntis kahit sa labas lang"

brain fuzzy from reading public international law, i replied, "labas lang ang ano?"

now on account of my desire to be not too graphic, you know what came after that. having read the same article, i authoritatively replied, "of course. they can swim, you know."

w doesn't usually trust me, believing i sleep more than any self-respecting student should, but when what i said jives perfectly with margie holmes' proclamations, i am the bomb.

she panicked, very much so, because apparently, while she claims to be one, they've been doing everything but the girl, if you get my drift.

she doesn't trust my knowledge of criminal law ("sabi ng isang ph.d. sa physics hindi daw pwedeng homicide yung charges kasi sa labas naman daw ng house nangyari. kaya nga homicide dahil galing sa word na home. babagsak ka na talaga sa bar, rosa!"), she doesn't trust that hey bf is the father of the 9-year-old child living with him ("hindi niya anak yun, no! i-pa-pa-dna test ko yung bata!"), and most of all, she doesn't trust me, such as one day when we were discussing about marriage and the white gown.

w: alam mo ba kung bakit white ang gown pag wedding?
r: oo. it's for purity.
w: so hindi ka pwede mag-white pag di ka na virgin (yes, it also seems to me that this is her favorite topic)
r: hindi na uso yun. diba may time na ecru yung uso? basta kung anong gusto mo isuot, bahala ka.
w: hindi ha. sabi ng pinsan ko pag nag-white ka daw nagsisinungaling ka.
r: kanino?
w: sa pari.
r: eh di mag-confess ka ulit.

now since that was such a heathen thing to do ...

r: (di nagpapatalo, as always) at saka, w, hindi naman nakasulat anywhere na kailangan virgin ka para mag-white.
w: ah basta. ako nga ayoko mag sobrang white pero kasi pag hindi white ang suot mo, hindi ka na virgin.

we've had funnier, weirder, and sometimes, i just ask myself, why do i even bother?

i don't know.
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