Sunday, October 31, 2004

while lounging in pajamas the entire day is the next best thing to lounging in your bathing suit by the beach, it has a major drawback: weight gain.

i've been plodding around the house in my pajamas for most of my semestral break. every so often i'd put myself in my binding office clothes to make an appearance in the office but my pajamas and i have been very good friends. i eat breakfast, watch all sorts of shows and their replays, cook lunch and dinner, and chat on the phone in my tank top and floral pajamas. it's great. it's liberating. it has come to the point that i've begun thinking of replacing all the waistbands of my pants with garters.

but then, last friday, i had to make an appearance at a party and since i didn't feel like going in my office clothes, i made a pit stop at home to change into jeans.

i tugged at them and pulled and plopped down on my bed so that i can zipper them up.

i was able to, but oooh-la-la ...

there's a huge roll of fat right above the waistband.

i swear. i had two cup a rolls of fat on my side. they actually seemed bigger than gwyneth's pre-baby boobs.

since that's pretty unacceptable. i peeled off my jeans before i fainted and tried on every pair in my closet.

i was not successful. they all cut off circulation.

maybe next week i'd find time to do the three-day diet and lose the promised ten pounds. maybe next week i'd put on my rubbershoes and begin doing my mtv exercise video which has helped me so many times in the past to get back into a respectable weight. maybe i'd cut back on rice and fried food which has been a staple for me and my brother. but for now, i'm back in my friendly pajamas. no pressure, no stress. just me and my fat roll happily chatting with my dad online.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

what would you do if your shoes turned out to be blue?

i bet men out there can attest to this: things are immensely different in natural light. that really hot looking chick in the bar last night just doesn't seem quite the same in sunlight does she? no wonder girls have been advised by cosmo all these years to never agree to an afternoon date until the guy has more or less pledged his love: the adoration that one gets in candlelight and soft accent lighting just isn't the same as one would get when under the full glare of the sun.

while i've never really been bothered by mood lighting (especially since i met pat at lunchtime, wet hair and all, while gorging on onion rings and buffalo wings, and clearly he didn't mind how i looked), natural light has caught me off guard more than once. the color combination that looked oh-so-right inside the dorm? a huge don't in real light. the soft blushed cheeks in dresser table light? clownish in sunlight. while i've avoided wearing THAT outfit again and have finally found the perfect blush application technique, there are things that you really can't prepare for.

i had a hearing yesterday and since one of the pasalubongs i got included this very chic and very respectable looking pair of anne klein pumps, i knew that it was meant to make its debut in the courtroom. unlike the pink pair which kicked ass, this one didn't pack that much of a punch. it sort of whispered "i am competent" and "i am composed" more than "i am so fashionable". call it lawyer-hot; i'm willing to bet that the judge - all 65 years old of her - would've thought i was a real lawyer instead of a law intern if only for the fact that i was wearing respectable shoes.

so there i was feeling all good and pretty and competent (forget the fact that i wasn't sure the subpoena has been properly served by the court, damn them sheriffs) until i swung my legs out of the car to make my way to the hall of justice (yes, that's really what they're called, no kidding) and realized that my kick ass competent shoes were blue.

i did a double take. were they just blue black? or was it just the reflection of, say, the sky that made them blue?

no they were blue. very dark blue, darker than navy, but still blue.

all of a sudden i felt stupid. there i was in a bright red top and a black dress suit and on my feet were what clearly was not a black pair of shoes. i mentally let out a silent curse for believing my aunt when she told me - quite excitedly - that my grandmother bought me a black pair of shoes. and unlike the past couple of months when i had at least five pairs of shoes in the car, yesterday all i had were my driving shoes and the, gasp, blue pair.

the judge turned out to be in a meeting and so the hearing was cancelled. while i planned to drop by the grocery and get some things done in OLA since i had taken the day off anyway, all i could focus on was the fact that i had a pair that didn't match my outfit. it was shallow, it was stupid, and it was that brand of girly-girl mentality that i sometimes hate - but god forbid that i'd stay out another minute in blue shoes.

Monday, October 18, 2004

that's it. the semester ended for me.

no drunken party, because i skipped out on the block party last saturday.

only me, and a really stuffed jimny full of boxes making my way home on a saturday evening. i arrived home to an empty house and opened my room to see a bed full of pasalubongs - some from my aunt, some from my dad, and some from my lola. i sniffed the intoxicating "imported" smell as i tried on my new shoes and and my new clothes. i then switched to pajamas and settled in bed, while still wearing my new pink shoes.

fyi - they're not pointy.

i thought i'd be more ecstatic, it being the end of the semester and all, but after sending out a couple of messages chanting "woohoo", it felt weird and empty.

maybe i'm just afraid of how things will be when school ends. because school ending does not only mean the end of a five-year dream in the making, sleepless nights, and tension over grades, it also means the end of a comfort zone. it means resigning from my job to prepare for the bar. it means leaving the dorm, and yes, leaving wilma and her antics. it means facing the question my dad, ex-boyfriend, and basically everyone has been asking me all this time:

what will you do after the bar?

until now, the answer is, i don't know.

what do i want (which is a totally different thing altogether)?

i want to travel. i want to be able to finally see the US and see snow fall from the sky. i want to be able to see what autumn is like in real life and wear knee high boots without looking stupid. i want to have the natural flush that comes from it being too cold. i want to try their roller coasters. i want to visit an outlet store and try on jimmy choo shoes in a boutique.

i want to rest. i want to stay in bed and sleep until i can't sleep anymore. i want to watch a movie without feeling guilty over the fact that i should be studying instead of watching some dumb movie.

i want to enjoy life. i want a stree-free existence. i want to bathe in the rain. i want to wax my car instead of bringing it to those carwash places. i want to sit in greenbelt and watch the kids pass by and think "thank god i'm not their age anymore."

don't we all want those (or some permutation thereof)? but then at the end of it all, our desire to live the great dream means the moment we are set free from one responsibility, we strap some new one to our backs. maybe it's the desire to continuously grow. or maybe it's just human nature. we never sit back to enjoy our triumphs. we jump from one challenge to the next, as if the moment we finally get done with one thing, we're longing for the next challenge.

so i guess i better catch myself. while my entire family is asking me what i'll do after law school, i'll sit in my little corner and wait.

i'll probably learn how to drink beer, from the bottle no less.
i'd teach all my girl friends how to change a flat tire.
i'd reorganize my books, my closet, and my shoes.
i'll learn how to cook sans rival and kare-kare for patrick.
i'll take another boat trip somewhere, alone, and be the helpless kid on board once more.

and at the end of that, i'd probably know what to do. and when i find out, don't worry, i'll tell you.

*a friend thought - after reading this post - that i'm done with law school for good. nope. i still have a sem to go. but it's just a sem, compared to the ten semesters i had to plod through at the beginning of it all, hence the tension. the end END of law school deserves a more ecstatic post.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

i had hoped to get through my first semester at the office of legal aid without much brouhaha. after all, i was your so-so law student. i definitely didn't shine, unlike my peers, and teachers would probably squint when i go up to them in the future, as if trying to place where and when they met me in their classes. i didn't hope to change the world, especially not when i squeak in fright at the thought of being the same room as prisoners.

but then, with only two of the six required compliances under my belt, i had to do some rethinking. and that included saying "yes" to a classmate who asked if i'd be willing to conduct the cross-examination at yesterday's hearing.

it was a criminal case, a homicide case at that, but going through the files, i felt pretty confident i could swing it. i spent a good part of the evening reading through year's worth of transcripts trying to get a clearer view of the case. i wrote my notes down in green ink (my own little tribute to mac c.) and conferred with the law intern in charge of the case regarding our strategy the following day.

in my trusty suit, non-pointy but nonetheless sexy shoes, and power bag, i thought i had my bases covered.

except my fellow law intern forgot to share with me one tiny detail: that the judge assigned to rtc br 121 happened to be adoracion angeles.


THE adoracion angeles who sent a couple of sweet old men to prison for soliciting without the necessary permit.

the ADORACION angeles who allegedly bitch-slapped her surrogate daughter.

the adoracion ANGELES who didn't get to the court of appeals because of a couple of cases currently filed against her.

i was lucky. she was having a good day. while that simply meant that she didn't shout at me for moments of incompetence, it also meant that i finally passed the halfway mark in compliances without so much as losing a limb.

but then, thinking long term, it also means another thing: that i will never EVER ever even begin to think i'd take on a case that will involve me being in caloocan city.

not even if it means never being able to afford my first jimmy choo shoes.

Monday, October 11, 2004

adopt me, why don't you?

before my mom left for the US almost two years ago, she gave me a choice: do i come back for your graduation or do i come back for the bar?

last time we chatted on the phone, she asked the same question.

and the answer has always been the same: the bar, of course.

while half (or more) the boys in my block joined a fraternity and a quarter of the girls in my class joined a sorority or an all-girls org in preparation for the bar, i've always resisted joining if only because i think it's pretty lousy to join any organization simply because you want to ensure that you'd have slaves at your beck and call for the bar. i've always thought my mom would be behind me 100% for the bar. we'd chat about how we'd both check in the hotel and we'd make a party of it, just me and her, bonding like we've done so many times in the past. for once, i didn't mind her missing out on a graduation, just as long as we get to hang out for the bar. i'm not looking forward to the beer-ops, i was actually looking forward to a smashing parlor time with my mom after four gruelling weeks of studying.

but then yesterday, when she called, she told me that she might not be able to make it for september. there are so many things she wants to avoid in the philippines, especially since the BIR is still making a big deal even if the business had already paid its income tax. apparently they want more, and she can't give more, not without endangering her own financial stability.

at first i thought it was okay. "just come visit me in the states when you're done with the bar," she said, adding "i'll even take you to disneyland." but then as they day wore on and as i stared at my glow in the dark stars that night, i realized that my mom had let me down.

i remember me and my brother asking ourselves so many times if our parents don't appreciate us. see, others get gifted with cars for simply graduating. we had to work our butts out just to get driving privileges. parents get excited when their children graduate with honors, mine expected us to graduate with honors. parents who have migrated call and write their children regularly. mine don't.

last christmas i was so depressed that i told a good friend who had 7 brothers and sisters if her mom and dad would be willing to adopt me for christmas. surprisingly, her parents said yes, and her siblings asked questions like "do we have to call her ate also?" and "what is she like?" but no one said "no". it never really pushed through, but for that brief moment, i felt some glowing feeling knowing that someone out there would not mind having me as their daughter.

so sometimes, i can't help but think, maybe someone out there would want a daughter like me. and if that someone is you, then you can be my mom, and i'll be your daughter.

and we can both enjoy that bottle of beer at the beer-ops like its the best damn tasting bottle of beer in the entire world.

Friday, October 08, 2004

final exams and happy feet sandals

tomorrow i'll have my first final exam for the semester. and by 4 p.m. tomorrow, i'd be done with 50% of the exams i have to take this semester.

exams are usually scary, at least for me. countless of exams have proven i am not an exam taker. you can make me do a paper, do a report in front of 50 angsty law students, recite even, but exams are a different thing altogether. nights before the exam i begin to get very sleepy, at least more sleepy than usual, and i develop ways and means to avoid stuyding. those papers i haven't checked all sem? i begin checking them. the mall? i begin to develop major URGENT needs, as in i HAVE to buy them, right now, ASAP, cannot be postponed another day.

which brings me to my second point: happy feet sandals. i had my first happy feet sandals way back in nursery when my entire class was going to sing magtanim ay 'di biro for graduation. part of our costume included bakya and somehow my fashion forward aunt and rule obeying mother believed that bakya as part of the costume meant authentic bakya hence the trek to buy happy feet sandals. and now, happy feet have made a comeback, and being the shoe whore that i am, i believed i wanted needed happy feet sandals, especially if i was going to take an exam i haven't prepared that much for.

early this morning, i began my search for happy feet sandals. i SMSd a student who told me they're available in galleria, but if i wanted, i could order from her friend who can give me my happy feet by next week. oh no, i replied, i need them tomorrow. after all, my first exam was going to be tomorrow.

to make the long story short, i spent a good part of this afternoon searching for happy feet, deciding between countless designs and wood color. in the end, i got a white one. i'm now a thousand bucks poorer (quite expensive for bakya, don't you think?)but what the heck: i'm definitely now looking forward to breezing into that exam room tomorrow, fully studied or not, in my happy feet sandals.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

three clues

i gave him three clues.

it's out of his comfort zone.
it has a great view.
it's cheap.

unlike all the saturdays we've had in the past, i SMSd him yesterday that i'm taking care of this weekend's plans. all he had to do was to make sure he'll be in shangri-la mall by 5.

do i have to bring a car, he asked?

oh no, i answered, just make sure your driver drops you off there. i'll be the one to take you home.

the entire day, he kept asking me, what is it? what is it?

and all i could say was, it's something you've never done before.

see, i really enjoyed watching my first live basketball game with him. and i thought, why not repay the favor? let me be the girl to take him on a date he'll never forget.

can i wear shorts and rubbershoes, he asked.

yup, i replied. the more casual your outfit, the better.

it's not naman drugs, right? he asked me. he reasoned out that it's something he's never tried before, and that the trip will give you such a great view of what not, it's definitely out of his comfort zone, and rugby, after all, is cheap.

i had to laugh. nah, while i enjoy the smell of gasoline and rugby, i wasn't into doing drugs.

i hope he enjoys the surprise, and i hope it turns out to be an experience he'll never forget.

what's the date all about?

you can guess. i've given you three clues, haven't i?

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

when the rebound lasts longer than the relationship

a rebound, except in basketball, is never a good thing. while a basketball rebound means you finally nailing that almost non-existent lead in the last 2.2 seconds of the game, a relationship rebound means you were too weak to be alone in your misery. while a basketball rebound is celebrated, a relationship rebound is kept hush-hush, a dirty little secret between you and the other party. and while a basketball player is praised for his ability to jump quickly to the rescue of the loose ball, a guy who preys on a girl who just got off a relationship gets thrown a look of shame, as if to tell him how dare he date someone while she's hurting.

a rebound is generally short-lived. you have to literally grab the ball a make a run for it before everyone else knows what's happening. you shoot, hoping that you score, but then if you don't, at least you had that brief shining moment where everything was in your hands.

at first i thought pat was nothing but a rebound. i did, after all, intend to set him up with my friends. i remember us exchanging sms, finding people we know in common, and setting up our first gimmick together, just you and i, without the people responsible for introducing us to each other. funny how two days later, the guy and i broke up, and funny how the reason for the break-up had nothing to do with you at all. you were my rebound relationship. i clung on to you, probably hoping that somehow, being with someone as gorgeous and amazing as you would validate my self-worth.

i doubted you. sometimes, i tried to justify what we had to myself. i didn't really believe it when you told me you loved me, and that you wanted to be with me. there were times when i probably nearly ruined what we had with my paranoia. i keep expecting this to end all too soon.

i don't know. maybe you just get a kick out of proving me wrong. or maybe, i should just learn to enjoy this. somehow, we're both learning to be comfortable with each other. we're less combative, and we're kinder to each other. we've learned that in the middle of the other one's tampong pururot (which is all it really is if you think about it) all we need is to smile and say "i love you" until the other person calms down.

the tidbits i know about you hasn't really increased in number. and while we both cheered for la salle, i doubt if we'll be cheering for the same side when the NBA opens this november. but what the heck.

if rebounds last longer the relationship, then there's nothing that a little NBA rivalry could do to hurt us.

Friday, October 01, 2004

animo la salle

standing way up in the upper box, surrounded by a sea of green, it might have seemed weird to see me, a girl who has never been in the la salle system, cheering along with the crowd. while the players were warming up, and while the pep squad was warming up the crowd as well, the cheers were a bit alien to me. however, by halftime, with the score tied at 32, i could not help but join the frenzy. after all, mac cardona, from the sidelines, was raising both hands as if to say, "keep the cheers coming!"

it was my first time to watch a big basketball game live. pat, after having watched game 1 and after la salle lost at game 2, promised me that we'd watch game 3. i was excited. very. not even the thought of having to sit (actually, stand) way up in upper box b derailed my resolve to be there to cheer my dear mac cardona on.

by first quarter, i knew i got lucky. while i would have wanted my team to be the runaway winner, feu challenged my faith in the archers. every so often, they'd catch up, even take the lead. and even though la salle had a 10 point lead coming into the 4th quarter, it was not long before the feu crowd was back into a cheering frenzy: la salle was down by 2 in the last minute and a half of the game.

everything that happened after that was pure serendipity. casio sunk a 3-pointer and miranda's shot -- in slow motion -- circled the ring once, twice, and inexplicably, tumbled out of the basket. cardona got the rebound, sunk in 2 free throws, and unless the entire green and gold crowd was praying to st. jude at that time, they had no chance in earth to win.

it was the absolute best game ever, and the la sallians were amazing. whether the archers were winning or not, the crowd cheered like there was no tomorrow. even those with seats hardly sat down the entire game. it was one cheer after the other. on the other hand, the feu crowd would be quiet when their team was losing, and would resurrect only after santos sinks in another shot that puts them in the lead. UP snob-ness notwithstanding, i was actually proud to be in the green and white corner, waving my green and white pompoms, shouting D-L-S-U animo la salle! the entire time.

and oh, mac cardona, you're my MVP.
(incidentally, ang puti mo pala!)
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