Friday, December 31, 2004

the year-end report

sometime this year, as i was having lunch with nic, he mentioned how 2004 is the year for those born in the year of the snake like the both of us were. he said it's our year for love and romance, and how while neither of us were in a relationship at that time, it's bound to come and when it does, it's bound to make the both of us believers.

it was tough to believe him. by our fourth month together, i had a lot of questions about the "love" i was supposedly enjoying with jay. i've met his family, i've hung out with his friends, and at that time, while i thought it couldn't get any better, i knew in my heart that it was a difficult kind of love. add to that the valentine's day fiasco, and had it not for my turning 27 years old, i'd probably have ended it in an instant. by march, things couldn't get any worse. the eve of my birthday, my then boyfriend presented me with the most stupid birthday gift ever - a gym outfit - and my mom called me on my birthday to tell me that she and my dad had decided to divorce and stay in separate apartments while they're sorting things out. the day after my birthday, the sister of my dearest friend called me to say he had passed away that morning, ten minutes after he sent me his last text message. one week later, my relationship ended on the worst note possible.

but then our plans aren't god's plans. i met the pilot, i re-discovered old friends and got rid of those who weren't really friends in the first place. i've found love in the place i least expected it. i've grown to love the person i am right now - head-strong yet soft, bitter yet open to love, plumper than i want to be but comfortable in my own skin. i've bought my first high-end pair of shoes and learned how to use the electric drill.

tomorrow's the first day of 2005. i hope to finally put up the new curtains i bought for my room and clean my bathroom. i'll be changing my sheets and checking the pile of papers that's sitting on my desk. i'll get started on that paper that's two months overdue for supervised legal research and begin planning for the cases that are scheduled for january. i'll make that exam that i hope to give my students on january 6 and fix my stuff for the dorm.

spike, my car, is still as dead as dead can be, and i was unable buy some of the things i hoped to buy for myself with my 13th month pay. i haven't made peace with some of my demons and sometimes, i freak myself out with my paranoia over patrick's love.

i hope 2005 promises to be good to me. while turning 28 scares the hell out of me, i'm ready as ready can be.

bring it on.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

a prayer goes out to the 80,000 (as of the latest news report) who have perished in the recent earthquake and tsunami. tsunami used to be just a word i learned in grade school to represent huge tidal waves caused by earthquakes. today, tsunami is a word that represents death and destruction.

my brother captured it best when he said, "today's one of those days when i am glad i'm a filipino in manila."

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

unlike some parents, mine never made us believe in santa.

santa claus was my mom buying us the gifts we wanted.
santa claus was my aunt taking us christmas shopping with a two hundred peso budget each.
santa claus was a variety of christmas presents - some good, some bad, some meant to be re-gifted - every year.

after all, how can you believe in santa when the closest thing you have to a chimney would be a small exhaust tube on your roof?

this year, however, my brother's girlfriend and my boyfriend kept using the word santa on me. see, i wanted this lovely fino pencil case which i found to be awfully expensive. come on, P750 for a tiny leather thing? no way, right? but they just kept telling me, don't worry, santa's going to buy it.

and so i waited.

and waited.

by the 22nd, i was in near panic. my christmas stash was nowhere near impressive, and while my dear sweet friends have given me lots of things to rave about, none of the presents i've received came in a fino box. i've got bars of soap, a shirt (gary, it fits!) and a cd, stationary, and what seems like a toothpick glass with a dog beside it, but no fino pencil case.

until i woke up on the 23rd, and there, beneath the tree, was a small fino box addressed to me.

i was in sheer fino bliss.

until the 25th came along, and my cousin's wife presented me with a coach box with a lovely AUTHENTIC coach bag inside.

santa, you've turned me into a believer.

you may not be at all fat, and you need not be in a red suit. sometimes your gifts come a bit early and sometimes late, but by golly, when you give, you give good.

p.s. a big shout of thanks to gary for the internet connection. without you, this post wouldn't have made it online today. i wish i had the patience to upload the pictures. unfortunately, i don't.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

and the car went pfffft....

so there i was, excited over our videoke party. i parked my car at red ribbon so corinne and i can buy our contribution to the party and asked nini and rosan to stay in the car. upon being told that there was a ten to fifteen minute waiting time, corinne and i went to mini-stop to buy the softdrinks. we loaded up the car with food and by 6:10 we were on our way to prons' house.

or at least that's what i thought. apparently, spike (my car, yes it has a name, and no, i'm not ashamed) had other ideas.

instead of turning out that beautiful engine hum like he usually does, all i got was this tik-tik-tik-tik.

breathe. relax. pump gas twice. try again.


curse. shout obscenities. hit steering wheel violently. try again.


pray. promise not to miss another mass till you die. pledge part of your salary to the parish christmas project. try again.


spike, you little pot of sh*t! what did i do to deserve this?

i lovingly took you to the casa every 5,000 kilometers since i bought you a year and a half ago. with the exception of the jetti gas my universal pangit ex loaded with you once, you've been thoughtfully filled up with caltex gasoline. and while you may be one big dust bunny right now, we've had our moments in the car wash. i barely allow anyone to sit behind the wheel because i didn't want you to think i didn't care for you.

we were good friends. we've been to subic, cabanatuan, and batangas together. i loved you in spite of the fact that someone said you looked like a red owner jeep or when they raised their eyebrows thinking i was cuckoo for having picked you over a toyota.

and spike, i loved you more than i did any of my exes. promise.

so why?

how do you now expect me to finish my christmas shopping?
how do you expect me to go home to my lola on christmas day and hang out in subic with my cousins after that?
did you forget that ugly commuting incident a while back?

i'm disappointed in you. all i wanted was three or four problem-free years. i understand that sometime after that, either you'd begin quitting on me or i on you.

but one and a half years?

tsk tsk.

i don't think so.

Monday, December 20, 2004

the pressure of boyfriend gift-giving

he's told me what he wants ...

a spiderman x-box controller.
an arm band for his i-pod mini.
nike stuff.

but to get him an x-box controller would mean more time playing with his toys, and i can't fathom spending P2,000 on what seems like a plastic attached to a garter. nike stuff, i can manage, but at the rate things are flying off the shelves just because it's christmas, i'm scared there won't be any left when i get there.

gawd. the pressure of boyfriend gift-giving. sometimes, it's so tough that you can't help but wish you can put your relationship on hold for the holidays.

i thought i was off to a good start when i got him a tiny christmas pillow (and a matching one for me) and presented it to him at the start of the holidays. however, it seemed i got stuck there ... and even though i spent a good 3 hours going through each store in shagri-la last thursday, all i had to show for it was one gift for him and, ehem, a gift for myself.

they say it's the thought that counts, but believe me, after having received a gym outfit from an ex-boyfriend for my birthday (who thought it was the greatest gift ever cause i finally coughed up money for a gym membership. he had forgotten the membership was to expire four days after my birthday and i haven't been back to the gym for more than 2 months). i tried expressing the appropriate reaction to the gift, i even slept with the gift beside me in bed, hoping i'd wake up appreciating the gift. i tried it on several times and i showed it to my roommate, brother, and friends. nothing. nada. zilch. i hated it. and i hate it still.

and so my quest continues. i've lined up two malls to visit tonight and i'm enlisting the help of my male officemate who i've always found to be cool and stylish (but not gay). i've got 4 days to go, and i'm running on holiday shopping adrenalin.

here's hoping that THAT shopping adrenalin doesn't lead me though to buy more gifts for myself.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

pasko na, pasko na, ang saya-saya

and with that commercial, i accepted the hard reality that yes, christmas is here.

i've no problem with christmas, in fact, i happen to love christmas: the giving and receiving of presents, the bazaars, anything and everything peppermint - from the starbucks drinks to the mcflurry flavor they came out with three years ago, the christmas trees and lights, and the fireworks. i love christmas so much that sometimes, i don't even mind the traffic.


but then what i absolutely hate about christmas is when they practically force you to be in the christmas spirit. we are REQUIRED to attend the office christmas party, we are REQUIRED to present a number, and we are REQUIRED to make a belen for the contest. there was a time when we were also REQUIRED to bring presents for an exchange gift we didn't want to take part it, if only for the fact that we were sure we'd get a bunch of glasses we'd re-gift anyway.

but that's beside the point.

christmas isn't about being obligated to do anything; it's about being happy enough that everything comes easily. it's walking in the mall and seeing a cute present and buying it for an acquaintance, not because you have to, but because somehow, you realized that you're so happy you just want to share it with that person. it's spending time with family, and friends who are almost like family. it's being pleasantly surprised from text messages from people you haven't talked to in a while.

but when people begin forcing you to enjoy christmas, then it's not christmas anymore. it's work.

on a lighter note ...

i had a mentos moment yesterday as i was walking to the courtroom.

the heel of my shoe broke.

there i was, in a dress suit with a lovely bag and an envelope full of materials for a case with my mouth agape as i stared at the heel of my shoe lying some 2 feet away from me.

it was a good thing i had a car full of shoes and one of those happened to match my outfit perfectly and in two minutes time, i was on my way back to the courtroom as if nothing happened.

Friday, December 10, 2004

south beach diet, my style

owing to my desire to emulate a classmate in law school who keeps on losing weight every time i see her, i decided it was time for me to be serious about losing weight. i did say i went to law school to lose weight, believing that the late nights, lack of nutritious food, and non-existent social life will lead me to achieve my desired weight.

i was wrong. today, i am as rubenesque as the day i first stepped in malcolm hall. the only difference is that i have finally learned the power of high heels.

anyway, according to now-svelte classmate, south beach is the way to go: you never get to go hungry, you can still eat bacon (canadian lean bacon, but still bacon), and after two weeks in phase one, you lose anywhere between 8 to 15 pounds.

15 pounds? heck, that's exactly how much i need to lose to at least be considered slightly chubby. i want.

and so, together with another classmate who wanted to lose her post-baby fat around the hips, i decided it's time to do south beach along with everyone else, kris and korina included.

i spent money on mushrooms and fat-free dressing, cucumber, lettuce, and tomato. i gave away my stash of potato chips and began packing my lunch.

it's been two days and i must say, it's not that hard.

well, it's not that hard until it's 3 o'clock in the afternoon and major cravings kick in. yesterday, day one of my diet was ruined because of two small, but sinfully rich, cakes given by a friend. today, i was able to resist the lure of my favorite pancit bihon and barbecue until 4, then i caved.

as they said in the manual, don't give up. if you slip one day, plod on.

and believe me, i am. tomorrow, i'm thinking of having poached eggs for breakfast and chicken salad for lunch. who knows, i might be finally able to forget all about carbohydrates and sugar when the afternoon craving kicks in.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

there are things that make you feel like an adult: paying taxes, buying your own shampoo and conditioner, and actually getting your godparents gifts instead of expecting something from them on christmas.

and there are things that you wish you can do as an adult but could never afford to: buy your own two-bedroom condominium, have a million in the bank "just in case" and not think about it, and take time off from work to "search" for the meaning of life.

and in my book, there are things i've always dreamed of doing as an adult, impractical, crazy, but totally understandable.

buying a coach bag: impractical, crazy, but totally understandable.
or jimmy choo shoes: impractical, crazy, but totally understandable.

to a certain extent, my favorite aunt has helped me live my impractical, crazy, but totally understandable dreams: i am sometimes able to strut around in lovely impractical and crazy bags simply because i was able to pry them from her fingers. but then since my aunt is a size 5 1/2 and my foot's anywhere from a 7 to an 8, shoes have been a no-no.

believe me, i tried. i felt like cinderella's step-sister.

and so, to date, i've tried to curb my impractical and crazy dreams by indulging in less expensive brands. if i can't afford a manolo or jimmy choo shoes, then by golly, i'd look for something that'll make everyone think i'm wearing one.

but then much like eating yoghurt when you've got a craving for ice cream, you know it's not the same.

and so, this christmas, a week after my 13th month pay came in, i slipped inside designer's boulevard. i took in a whiff of the environment which screamed "money" and ran my grubby hands over the overpriced bags, shoes, and accessories. i gazed at the displays, gasped at the prices, and smiled pleasantly at the sales ladies when i'd shake my head to indicate, sorry, i can't afford that.

then i saw a pair of shoes on the kate spade stand.

they were made of black satin and the 3-inch heel was sure to make any calf slim and sexy. i've never seen anything like it, and i don't think even janylin - with their penchant for lifting imported shoe designs - can copy the exquisite wave running across the side of the shoe. hoping against all hope it wouldn't fit, i slipped it on my foot.

i couldn't help but curse, p*tang ina, ang ganda.

crazy? yes.
impractical? yes.

it would've been totally understandable if i walked out the store with empty hands.

but, i'm a girl. and i can only resist so much.

did i buy it? yes.

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