Friday, December 31, 2010

bagong taon ay magbagong buhay

kamakailan lang, binuksan na nila ang skyway hanggang sucat. ang bilis talaga ng taon -- parang kailang lang na nabasa ko na magbubukas banda december 2010 ang skyway at napaisip ako ng "ngek, ang tagal pa nun!" tapos ngayon, ayan na siya. di ko naubos maisip na ganun-ganun lang lilipas ang 2010.

ang daming nangyari sa akin. madaming masaya, madami ding hindi. tulad nung isang kaibigan na hindi ko na kinakausap ngayon. tulad din ng perang nasayang dahil ninais kong mag-tipid sa gown. at wag na nating pag-usapan ang walang-kwentang tubero na kaaway ko na din ngayon. lahat ng yan, dapat ipagpasa-diyos ko na lang. at isipin ko na mamayang gabi, pag-dating ng alas-dose, bagong taon na.

at dahil bagong taon, bagong buhay na. diba yun yung lyrics nung kanta?

kaya, heto ang mga new year's resolutions ko para sa darating na taon. kung matupad sila, eh di mabuti. kung hindi, walang basagan ng trip. bakit, kayo ba ang mananatiling mataba? hindi naman diba? kaya yun.

o, heto na sila:

1. magpapayat

siyempre, napakawalang kwenta ko namang matabagang tao kung hindi ko papangaraping maging payat. aba, wala naman sigurong gusto na mahirapan bumili ng damit, o kaya hingalin ng bonggang bongga tuwing umaakyat ng mrt.

and so
, kahit na ilang taon ko nang sinasabi na papayat ako, eto, totoo na talaga (then again, don't forget to read the disclaimer written above!). wag ka -- isinama ko pa siya sa discernment ko nung day of prayer ng mga lingkod sisters last 27 december 2010.

ganito yun: kailangan kong pumayat ng 50 lbs. para hindi na ako obese. ay, correction, obese II pala. ayon sa aking computations, i would have to lose 5 pounds for the first two months of the year, tapos, 4 pounds starting march. that's just one pound a week. siguro naman carry ko na yun.

isipin ko na lang na napag-aral ko ang sarili ko habang nagtratrabaho. nag-review ako sa bar habang nagtratrabaho. marunong akong umakyat ng bakod, gumamit ng drill, at gumawa ng gripo. suguro naman kakayanin ko ang pumayat ng 1lb. a week. aba, kung hindi pa, ang loser ko na.

2. moratorium sa pagbili ng damit

dahil papayat ako, bawal din muna bumili ng damit. read: muna. ibig sabihin nun, pag medyo pumayat-payat na ako, pwede na bumili. pero hindi masyado kasi 50lbs. ang target ng inyong abang lingkod. halos isang bata na yun. isipin mo mawalan ka ng isang bata. aba, malaki-laki din yun. kaya bawal mag-shopping.

3. matulog ng 7 hours each night

may nabasa ako, pwede kang pumayat basta matulog ka lang ng 7 hours each night. ni-try ko gawin yun, kaso, mahirap pala. as in. pero sa 2011, dahil gusto kong pumayat, gagawin ko yun. imagine mo, sarap na ng tulog mo, papayat ka pa, di ka antok-antok sa office. winner, diba? ka-level yan ng pasko na, birthday pa.

at eto pa pala ang bonus -- pag nakatulog na ako ng 7 hours each night, magagamit ko na din regularly yung kiehl's midnight recovery concentrate na napanalunan ko from frances last august. nabasa ko kasi that it wouldn't work as much kung hindi rin naman ako matutulog ng tama. so, papayat na ako, gaganda pa ang balat ko. aba, pag nangyari na yan, wala nang kalaban-laban yung crush ko. wahehehe.

4. wag masyadong magtipid

oo, tama ang nabasa mo. kung akala mo nagloloko lang ako, eto pa siya ulit: wag masyadong magtipid. na-realize ko kasi na baka sa katipiran ko, lalo pa akong napa-gastos.

tulad nung sa gown na na-doble ang pagpapagawa ko dahil chipangga at walang kwenta yung unang manang na nag-tahi.

tulad nung bidet ko na bonggang-bongga din yung tulo after just one week.

tulad nung mga bagay na binili ko dahil mura ngunit di ko naman pala ganun ka-gusto.

sasabihin ko sa aking sarili: rosa, hindi porke mura, okay na yan. okay lang gumastos. okay lang mahalin mo ang sarili mo. (at okay din aminin sa tatay mo pag gusto mo na siyang i-take-up on his offer to send money sometimes). at pag gusto ko talagang i-justify ang pag-bili, i can always tell myself that i'll be helping the philippine economy by shopping. sabi yun ni winnie monsod sa unang hirit. promise.

5. maging malinis sa kapaligiran

okay, parang di ata masyado maganda yung translation. ang gusto ko lang sabihin, keep the house clean. napaka-windang levels na maglinis the day of a party. or yung magpaliwanag ka all the time kung bakit madumi yung bahay mo. ngayong taon na to, bawal na magkalat. bawal nang hindi mag-ayos. bawal nang ipagpaliban ang maaaring gawin agad. todo na to.

after all, paano ako dadalawin ni prince charming sa bahay ko pag hindi ko siya mapapasok dahil parang dinaanan ng tornado ang gamit ko?

o, ayan na. lima lang. limang reasonable na resolutions. limang resolutions na super loser ako pag hindi ko magawa. pustahan tayo, kakayanin ko yan.

at kung hindi, eh di keber. usap na lang tayo ulit next december 31 pag nagsulat ako ulit ng resolutions.

maligayang bagong taon! sana ay maging puno ang inyong mga lamesa ng pagkain, puno ang mga wallet ng pera, at puno ang puso ng pagmamahal.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

on shopping at ace hardware, turning into a domestic diva, and receiving a step ladder for christmas

a year or so ago, i told my cousin that i'd stop sleeping at the top bunk when i turn 35.* apparently, she thought i would be cause i was afraid i'd break an ankle or something going up the steps, so she gamely offered to sleep on the top bunk so i could take her bed instead. i had to explain: it's not the going up that i'm afraid of, it's the fact that i still hang out there pretty much the same way i used to do when i was still in college.** i'm hoping that by the time i'm 35, i'd be married to some fabulous man (read: man, not boy) who, for obvious reasons, can't sleep on the top bunk with me. we'd probably take over the sleeper sofa in the basement or something like that.

yes, i dream a lot when i'm awake.

anyway, i'm thinking that notwithstanding my oh-so-persistently-single status, and my penchant for hanging around my aunt's place like a college student, i'm making great leaps and bounds by "taking charge" of my home and just "working it." hence, the numerous repairs around the house, the buying of appliances instead of shoes, and learning stuff like organic cleaning solutions, microfibre cloths, and how high a towel rack should be from the floor. it's fun, i must admit, and yet scary. after all, the persistent question on my mind right now is whether or not i am learning all of these things now cause i'll have to take care of these things, by myself (read: no spouse) from now till forever? oh no.

so yesterday, tita mayu and i hied off to ace hardware to buy her christmas gift for me. i love it how she's so generous that she gamely agreed to cross off one item from my christmas wish list. now, i'm the proud owner of a step ladder -- here's to being able to easily change lightbulbs, clean the chandelier, and remove the curtains for washing! in the process of going around, i also bought this, this, and this. so they weren't exactly in my budget, but i thought, hey my lola gave me christmas money, and wouldn't it be soooo smart of me (yes, i love patting myself on the back too) if i just bought something that would be useful, rather than a new bag or a pair of shoes?***

the trip to ace hardware was soooo fun ... i'm actually tempted to spend more money, like on garden pavers (yes, garden pavers!!! like spike could accommodate them, right?) and laundry hampers (buti na lang, wala yung gusto kong kind) and brass house numbers. the array of faucets, as well as shower heads made me salivate, and i can't wait till i have enough money in the bank to actually renovate my bathroom and kitchen and actually replace the existing ones with uber gorgeous fixtures. *sigh*

anyway, today's the last working day of the year, and i'm not sure how efficient i was over the "working break".**** i have the car, though, and i've a mind to go to sm after work and buy some of the stuff that i want to get. or maybe go home to tita mayu's first and then go to work afterwards. i dunno. what i do know is that it's crazy fun to be living ten minutes away from work. sigh, i wish it were like this everyday.

happy new year, everyone. i hope to see you again tomorrow. mwah. mwah.

*i sleep on the top bunk in my cousin's room whenever i sleep over at tita mayu's house.
** i graduated from college in 1998. you do the math ☺
*** in the interest of full disclosure, maybe the reason why i didn't think of buying a new bag or a new pair of shoes was cause i just got a new bag from my uncle, not the mention i got to borrow a previously unborrow-able bag from tita celia, and i've splurged on way too many shoes in the past couple of months. yes, that would be the reason. hahaha.
**** officially, there hasn't been work since the 23rd. while i was able to go on leave on the 23rd (i previously worked on a holiday), i couldn't afford not to work from the 28th to the 30th, especially since they've deducted bazillions from my last pay for this year to cover taxes and what not. so i've been at work. and i've done some work. but not as much work as i would've wanted to do. sorry boss.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

more, more

one of our favorite korean songs has a part that goes "more, more" and truly, after i thought that pipe repairs will be done and over with on the 23rd, here i am again, on the phone with my friend who owns a hardware store, ordering pipes and elbows and that t thing, pvc cement, teflon tape (side story: i had the old plumber make me a list of stuff i'll be needing and on the list he wrote tape long. kudos to the ace hardware guy who knew exactly what needed to be bought!) and ball valves. apparently, the gurgling sound i heard as i was doing my laundry the other day turned out to be a pipe that burst beneath the walls ... i'm half expecting my walls to cave in with the water pressure one of these days (i can't help but wonder where the water goes cause it ain't coming out of the faucet) so i'm just overjoyed over the fact that i got the plumber to agree to work for me on the 2nd of january.

another "more, more" moment is that the list of stuff i want for the house so that i can further personalize it. the more i read the websites i read, the more i can't help but want to do more stuff for the house. sometimes, i think i am awash with throw pillows already and yet i spy a new one and can't help but want to buy some more. i'm hoping that i can throw yet another garage sale on january 2, and i hope that more people buy stuff. i've gotten rid of about half of my giant pails already (memories of a past life with no water and just water delivery to rely on), as well as my old washing machine and spin drier. i forgot to get rid of the other stuff, like throw pillow covers that my other friends weren't too fond of, as well as the lamp i want to sell. there's this lamp that i soooo want to have from atc ... maybe with lola's cash gift i can buy the lamp already. then again, where will i put it? my house, for some reason, is sorely lacking in the electrical outlet department, making me terribly reliant on extension cords and octopuses. bad, i know.

home ownership, for lack of a better word, is a royal pain in the ass.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the year in review

ah, 2010.



you were the greatest, and you were the craziest. in a sense, you were the worse -- oh how you made my wallet bleed! -- and yet you were the most abundant.



here are the highlights of 2010:

i got that "job" with the supreme court and this NGO which allowed me to go to Bohol for a second time. Not only was the trip for free, i earned money from it which allowed me to pay for a whole lot of things that i wanted for this year. the money is all but depleted by this time, but let's just say that without the money i earned from that sideline, i wouldn't have been able to defray the huge mountainload of expenses that came my way this year.


mama came home! after seven years, i think, mama finally made good her promise to come visit. it was a hectic trip, filled with our usual issues and major disagreements with my brother, but at the end of the day, it was still precious time with my mom. i was happy that i got to introduce her to my friends, and that she met people who have been my family the last couple of years.


mama, kit, and i also found ourselves in hk disneyland! our family, save for my dad, has a thing for riding the craziest rides and the last time we were in HK, we got to go to ocean park. of course it's a dream that my brother and i will finally be in the US with our parents, and actually go to disneyland and/or disneyworld, but for now, hk disneyland is the most viable alternative. it seemed especially meant for us since at that time, cathay had this buy two take one promo which was perfect for our three-some. being the ride-crazed fanatics that we were, we made sure to book into a disney hotel and spend two days in disneyland. i don't care that they said it's tiny or that there isn't much to see. we loved every minute of it.


i also got to go on trips with friends this year -- to vietnam with the lingkod girls last august, and to kuala lumpur with the tuloy peeps last september. i don't even know how i managed to afford these things, i guess it helped that we purchased the tickets months in advance and the trips didn't take place until months later. plus, we all stuck to a miniscule budget which meant (at least in the KL trip) no taking cabs, eating at local places (instead of fancy schmancy restaurants), and minimizing the shopping (or so i'd like to think). all the times i've gone out of the country, i was either with my immediate family or with tita celia, so traveling with friends made me feel soooo much like an adult (shallow, i know. plus, yes, i AM an adult, but sometimes, i don't feel like it, like i'm still pretending to be someone i'm not.)


i switched jobs!!! when i first worked at the court of appeals, i knew that it was just an in-between job until i get my bearings, and when gay finally made me see the light and "forced" me to take the plunge, i actually did, and began working for a law firm that i've always had my sights on since law school because i was "in love" with labor law and believed that my labor law teacher was the nicest. and then i did litigation for two years, which, if my bosses were to be believed, i was actually great at. except -- something that i didn't factor in -- i didn't have the stomach for it. i couldn't bear doing stuff i didn't believe in, and hated billing a client especially when i knew the client could no longer make ends meet. there were a number of times i wanted to call the client in and tell him, hey, you should just stop cause you're fighting a losing battle (so not a litigation lawyer, i know). and there were times i also wanted to tell the client that what they did was wrong and that things would be better if they just owned up to the mistake and rectify it soonest (again, so not a litigation lawyer). there came a point that i hated every minute so much that i -- gasp! -- actually told some friends that i didn't want to be a lawyer anymore ... that i just wanted to be, say, an office worker who didn't have to think about her job the moment she left the office. then, one august evening, i got this text about a job. i sent my resume ASAP, got an interview ASAP, and got an offer. the only downside: the take-home pay was much smaller than i was used to. so not right, and so against every single thing that someone my age should be doing. but there was one major thing: i wasn't happy anymore, and i needed something new. so i took the job. and i'm loving every single minute of it. it was everything that i wanted -- super nice officemates, coolest boss ever (that's you, jewel!!), gwapo other boss (sigh ☺), and a job that stops nagging me after 5 p.m. and, oh, i'm still a lawyer, and i'm enjoying the lawyer stuff i'm doing here -- different, but in a good kind of way. so, i don't want to stop being a lawyer anymore. i actually want to become a better lawyer!



i finally got to cross off things from my "things to accomplish in 2010" list. one was to go to HK disneyland. the other stuff include finally replacing my 20-year-old television (which i got to sell for P500 to my neighbor -- hey, it was still working, and quite well, IMHO), having my sink re-attached to the wall once more (after one year and 4 months), getting an automatic washing machine, having a working kitchen sink, and get a new laptop (okay, the last one was courtesy of my dad, but it doesn't really matter as long as things get crossed off, right?). so, while i'm not 120lbs yet (a major major thing on my list), i think i've got that part covered in 2011 (yes, i have a plan! hahaha. the best laid plans of mice and men) so i'll get back to you regarding that next year, okay?


here's the biggie, i think -- we finally have running maynilad water at home! five (yes, FIVE!!!) long years after BF waterworks stopped supplying us with water, i finally got connected to maynilad. it's lovely, oh so lovely. and, while the repairs have set me back more than i bargained (and budgeted!) for, and while there are more repairs that would have to be done (gasp, said rosa's wallet), i am still thankful that water supply is now the least of my problems. i always think that money, i can earn, water, i cannot manufacture.

there's three days of work for me -- no vacation leaves yet for this probationary employee -- but it's all good. i'm working on two projects that i want to work on, although there are unhappy stuff that i have to finish. still, it's all good. after all, before i know it it'll be new year's eve, and new year's day, and then everyone will have a fresh new start.

2011, can't wait to meet you!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

a belated very merry christmas to my five readers :)


belated merry christmas everyone!

the entire week has been hectic and stressful. as some of you know, i had scheduled the plumber to come in last sunday and again on the 23rd to complete the minor repairs i wanted in my bathroom, the kitchen, and the dirty kitchen. i had thought they were minor, except that there's still stuff to be done and the list just keeps growing. i guess that's the stressful part about house ownership (or in my case, house sitting for parents who don't seem to want to sell the house but have no plans of coming back to manila). i had a major tiff with the first plumber whose only goal was to get the better of me, so i changed plumbers mid-job. the second guy was so much better - i guess he didn't have much of a choice since he works where i work too and you don't crap where you work, right? - but it turns out he was a carpenter who just knows about plumbing so that's a bit of a bummer too. still, he did a great job (at least to my limited plumbing knowledge) and he was so agreeable that i want to contract him to do more repairs around the house. well, more repairs as soon as i find the money to pay him with.

anyway, the repairs that absolutely needed to be done were completed by the 23rd, just in time for the party. funny cause while i usually hate latecomers, i wanted all of them to come late on the 23rd since i got home from a mad rush to ruins/sm/bring home theo at around 8 p.m. already and i still had to wash the dishes and cutlery we were going to use, clean the bathroom of debris, and wrap some gifts. anyway, the party started at midnight -- yes, we're a late bunch -- and ended at 5 a.m. and it was everything i hoped it would be. lots of laughter, lots of food, lots of good cheer. i'm blessed to be surrounded by amazing people, and i just can't help but be thankful that i've got these people to call my friends.

the 24th meant cleaning up after the party (a chore i don't mind now that i have lots of water, thanks to maynilad!), wrapping up more presents, and going home to my dad's family in cabanatuan. our christmas fare was lovely, except that the lady who made paella made something more akin to biko instead, which was a huge disappointment! and yesterday, we all went to bahay ni san jose, a place my tuloy thursday friends and i visited for KAP 10 which, by some miracle, turned out to be a place where my lola and aunt have been doing their own mini outreach for years. it was especially touching that the kids still remembered me, notwithstanding the very brief moment i shared with them. i just hope that i'll be able to do more for them in the future. they're sooo special, and they deserve so much more.

the plans for the next couple of days are up in the air. funny how i've always wanted to spend time away from my home during the holidays, staying either in nueva ecija or quezon city, but recently, i just want to hole up in my house. maybe it's cause my bathroom sink's finally back on the wall, or maybe cause i now have running water. maybe it's cause of the book my mom and dad sent (book 13 of the wheel of time!!!) or maybe cause my car aircon's broken. a lot of maybes.

but if there's one thing that's for sure, it's that i'm having the most wonderful holiday season ever.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

sheer randomness

since i am too sleepy to come up with a coherent post, and way too many things have happened since the last time i had the energy to write a post, here's to sheer randomness and to being updated about my life, twitter style:

♥ tubero came and said he'll charge me 2,800 for labor. do i have a choice? (posted 4 days ago)

☺uh-oh ... kuya ef and tita mayu said it's too expensive. but i've already said yes! bahala na si batman (posted 4 days ago)

♪ at ace hardware, buying stuff for the repairs. learned that nipple in plumbing terms is pronounced nip-le and not ni-pol. (posted 4 days ago)

♫ paid WAY TOO MUCH for repair stuff. ugh. (posted 4 days ago)

☼at the non-st. james bazaar at cuenca. too few nice stuff for gifts. (posted 4 days ago)

☻ooooh. nine west shoes for P800. guy said it doesn't fit his wife. it fits ME! sold!! (posted 4 days ago)

♦ where's the plumber????? (posted 3 days ago)

♣ okay. nagkakalokohan na ata kami. he said additional charge is for helper and the grinder, neither of which he brough. grrr. (posted 3 days ago)

♠ back at ace. had to return stuff and buy more stuff. magastos na to masyado. (posted 3 days ago)

§ ooooh. why didn't i go to wilcon sooner? this is sheer heaven!!! (posted 3 days ago)

☺okay, end of a long day with the plumber. i hate him!!! (posted 3 days ago)

☻i wake up and guess what -- bathroom's flooded!!! fudge. (posted 2 days ago)

♥ texted plumber. his only suggestion was turn off valve. ano baaaaah??? i need him to do his work right! (posted 2 days ago)

♦ enough about my plumbing woes -- must focus on christmas party stuff. performance level na i-tech. (posted 2 days ago)

♣ emcee time! (posted 2 days ago)

♠ nyak ... best in smile na lang ang nangyari sa akin. super fail being an emcee (posted 2 days ago)

♂ we won the grand prize!!! (posted 2 days ago)

♀hi-top ... arnott's mint stuff are on sale. 50% off!!! happiness (posted 23 hours ago)

♪ off to trinoma to return the oversized throw pillow covers (posted 17 hours ago)

☺oooh. more pillows! goodbye budget. (posted 15 hours ago)

☻shower curtain ... shower rods ... my bathroom will be soo pretty, once i replace plumber! (posted 14 hours ago)

oooohhh... cutlery! bought a set for the party. tee-hee. (posted 13 hours ago)

♥ okay, i've discovered source of the leak. turns out plumber didn't do his job properly. grrr. (posted 11 hours ago)

♦ finally texted plumber. told him he's kaput after the shoddy job he did. (posted 4 hours ago)

♣ gave new plumber directions to my house. keeping my fingers crossed that everything will be done by tomorrow afternoon! (posted 2 hours ago)

and there you have it. see, you don't even need a twitter account.

Friday, December 17, 2010

the string of unfortunate events has finally ended ...

... i think. and i think it ended cause i finally got to wear the gold gown.

as for how the gold gown fared, let's just cross that off my memory bank. it was an unfortunate day through and through, beginning with expensive but not-so-pretty make-up, difficulty finding a cab going to the wedding, and almost taking the mrt back to qc in a gown.

i say "almost" cause you see, the gold gown, after it was worn, wrinkled, and utilized, stopped being a curse. the wedding ended at around 8, and we anticipated how difficulty it would be to get a cab at that time. and then my friends and i thought, hey let's try the back of the hotel, and there it was, a nice taxi with a driver who didn't blink an eye when i told him where i wanted to go, a driver who didn't ask for additional payment, and a driver who didn't complain when i missed a turn and almost couldn't find my way back home.

and then that same night, right after i washed off my make-up and took off the unhappy gold gown, my aunt arrived and gave me stuff from my family abroad: the crocs i asked my mom and dad to get for me, book 13 of the wheel of time series, a lovely coach bag from my ninong, and kisses in cherry cordial and mint truffle. it was pasalubong heaven, IMHO.

yesterday, i got to work with five minutes to spare. and, although i had to practice, pass by tita mayu's house to pick up stuff i forgot, and buy prixes for our activity in tuloy, i actually arrived at tuloy just in the nick of time. this morning, an empty fx was at the corner exactly when i needed it, and i got to sit in the train after one station.

life's good. life's fun. life is finally how i want it.

finally.

Monday, December 13, 2010

why does my life feel like lemony snicket's a series of unfortunate events?

over the weekend, the martian sent me a text message. he was worried over the status message i'd posted on facebook.

i can't exactly remember what it was, but i do know i used the word tragedy. because, truly, in my mind, i'm beset with a billion and one tiny tragedies these days.

it must've been effective cause yesterday, theonoski called (yes, called!) from halfway around the world asking me if i were okay and if there was something he could do.

both were apparently worried. i guess the rosa they knew was a far cry from the puddle of helplessness that posted that status message on facebook.

unfortunately, unless either of them could whip out a fabulous gown ala cinderalla's fairy godmothers in five minutes, there wasn't really anything they could do to help.

uhm, did you ask what gown? okay, here's the backstory.

a month ago, i finally got around to bringing the fabric my friend gave me to turn into a bridesmaid's gown to kamuning. i'm the ready-to-wear kind of girl, so i'm not exactly the person who had a list of gown makers in her cellphone waiting to be called. and then the gown is in gold, not exactly my favorite color, which meant that i wasn't really into bringing the fabric to some fabulous designer to whip into a gown for me. i wanted minimal expense, minimal worries, instant gown. hence, kamuning.

my friend and i settled on this lady who came recommended and who seemed professional enough. she took my measurements, looked at the cloth provided, and assured me that she could copy the gown i showed her a picture of. she likewise promised that it would be done in time for the wedding. so i gave her all the money i had in my wallet at that time -- P800 -- as deposit for the gown. we agreed that she'd call me when i can come over and fit the gown for the first time.

a week after i gave her the cloth and the deposit, she called me to confirm when the gown would be needed. i lied and said december 8. and then i asked, will it be done by then? and she said, yes.

so i waited. and i waited. and i waited some more. until it was december 6 and i sent her a text message asking when i could get the gown.

her reply should've sent a bazillion warning bells cause she was like, what gown? what color? what design? we exchanged several text messages, and she even called me once, cause she couldn't find/remember the gown that i was talking about. and then at around lunch time, she called and asked for my waistline.

more warning bells.

long story short, she assured me the gown would be ready. so i was calm. i said, i'd pick it up wednesday.

but then wednesday came and she called and claimed that she forgot i was going to pick it up and she'd left for the day to visit a client so can i pick it up the following day instead?

oh--kay .... warning bells, warning bells, warning bells. felt like i was inside the carillon.

thursday, she called again. she was going to be out, can she just deliver the gown to me. i said, bring it over to the office. but then she replied, uhm, i'll be late, like 8 pm. i'll bring it to your house.

my boss then said, ask her to bring it to my house. so i gave her my boss' address, and i waited, and waited, and waited for a text to arrive from my boss saying that the gown is there.

by 9pm, i couldn't wait any longer. so i texted modista again. 11 p.m. pa daw. i said, no, bring it over to the office tomorrow.

friday. it was the point of no return. this lady better deliver or i'd be dead. i texted first thing in the morning and she replied saying she got detained by a customer so she'd be a little late. by lunch time, she still wasn't around, so i texted again. she called and said, could i pick it up, she was busy.

i blew up. i demanded that she bring it ASAP cause it was her fault that everything was so delayed already. i confronted her by asking if she really had the gown ready cause it seemed as if she were stalling.

the gown finally arrived at 4 p.m. she basically handed it over to me and she ran away. without getting the balance of her payment.

that's the only good thing -- cause the gown was tiny. as in five inches too tiny. as in even if i did not eat for five days i still wouldn't fit inside the gown. as in i wouldn't fit in the gown even if i cut off my boobs.

long story short: i scoured baclaran for solutions. the following day, i was able to bribe a man into making an entirely new gown for me. i had to find tela and the closest available tela was a shade too light. i don't care. it would either be that or cut off a boob.

and we all know how expensive it is to cut off a boob. even more expensive than growing a boob.

i hope they'll just photoshop my dress to make it the same shade as the other bridesmaids. i hope no one will notice. i hope it'll be fine even if they notice. and if someone would ask me why my gown is a shade different, then i'll tell bore them with this story.

but wait -- where's the series of unfortunate events?
well:
1. my faucet broke.
2. my pipes burst.
3. my key broke.
4. my car battery died.
5. my car aircon will cost me 12.5k.
6. my window is broken cause i had to break in when i left my house keys inside my car which was parked 33kms away.

a gold (gold!!!) gown being five inches too small being delivered five days before a wedding ... well, that just kills me.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

i dream of circles

... or more accurately, of the buffet at circles ☺

a long time ago, hotel buffets were just an offshoot of overnights with tita celia at various hotels. breakfast buffets meant all the bacon and corned beef i could eat, not to mention all the lovely fresh orange juice and waffles with whipped cream.

and then i worked for justice mpc, who loved to eat (but had a waistline way smaller than mine, so hateful, i know!). one day she told us she'd feed us at spiral, this fabulous (then) new buffet at sofitel.

what can i say? the world was never the same again. i fell in love with every single thing i shoved into my mouth. i remember being so full already, but then i spied pumpkin soup, so i ate once more, rationalizing the act by saying that the warm soup will melt all the stuff i had already eaten, thereby assisting me in the digesting process.

she fed me there again after i helped her with her mom's 80th (or was it 75th? 70th?) birthday party. but then she discovered more restaurants to bring us to, and that was the last time i stepped inside spiral (woe is me).

i switched jobs in 2008 and it came as a major surprise when, on my second day, the receptionist informed me that they will be having a welcome dinner for me at heat. oooohhh... i have had breakfast there, but never dinner. i was excited, and took it as a sign that i had made the right decision switching jobs.

but, boo-ness, since after that dinner, we never ate anywhere swanky again.

so i moved jobs again (no, there's no correlation between buffets and the jobs i accept) and what do you know ... my boss willingly adds to the december meeting budget and takes everyone to buffet at circles.

ooooohhhh. i can imagine it now.

steak.

lobster.

shrimp.

dessert.

more steak.

oysters.

prosciutto ham. (i hope)

more dessert.

maybe pumpkin soup.

and even more steak and more dessert.

i've got less than 24 hours to go. while i'm busy working, my mind is floating where no diet has gone before.

say it with me.

steak. oysters. dessert. shrimp.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

i need a hero


and, yes, i know enough not to panic when the battery in my car runs out because motolite is just a phone call away.

i am an independent woman who thinks she can do it all.

except yesterday, i left my house keys in my car. and my car happened to be in the office parking lot. so, a trike ride away from the house, i began dreading the inevitable -- how the heck am i going to get inside me house?

i texted pazi, who panicked along with me. and i texted dek, who asked me what'll i do now. i didn't even text person x -- i knew him well enough to know he won't be able to do anything.

in the end, i texted my ultimate knight in shining armor. he's the friend who would wake up early in the morning to bring me and my family to the airport. he's the friend who'd not only lend me his maid to ensure my house gets cleaned big time at least once a year, but would also buy new drill bits when i borrow his old ones (not to mention buy screws and the thingee you insert into the holes you make with your drill so the screws will have something to hold on to). he's the friend who'd bring you home when you're car-less (and even when you're just too lazy to drive) and would listen to you repeat the same story twelve million times without telling you "oh, i've heard that already."

so my knight in shining armor arrived, and we climbed two gates and broke one window in tandem (yes, i make an awful damsel in distress -- i had to be in on the adventure with him) so that we could finally get inside the house. it was embarassing enough to have been pretending all this time to be an independent woman only to call him when the going gets tough, it was even worse that he had to see the gubat that i had allowed to grow on the path on one side of my house, as well as my laundry gaily swinging in the breeze. and let's not even get to the part where i climbed said gates in a dress -- i'm just thankful that i left my four-inch heels at work and commuted home in my crocs. otherwise, a lawyer in heels and pearls climbing up her home's two gates would've been truly tragic.

my knight in shining armor, in true hero fashion, even suffered a minor injury along the way. but, ever gallant, he brushed it off and said, it'll be fine in a bit. i hope it is much better now ... we can't have knight in shining armor getting tetanus or something like that.

the night ended with a much needed trip to secret goto place, and major laughs about the "tragedies" i seem to get myself into all the time. in the end, i promised to duplicate my keys and leave a copy where they'll be easily accessible (translation: with knight in shining armor, of course). hopefully, with that done, i won't have to go through the trouble of scaling walls and braving crazy growing plants in the dark.

then again, if something like this happens again, well, i know who i'm going to call. and it ain't going to be the ghostbusters.

Monday, December 06, 2010

the weekend that was

after a bazillion fights, a million late nights, and thousands of meetings later, 4 december 2010 finally arrived. it was KAP10 finally.

31 centers, with a contingency of anywhere from 5 to 36 kids plus 2 to 4 coordinators each, 200++ volunteers, and almost a hundred guests. there was an opening program, arts and skills competitions, peryahan, sports, talentadong pinoy, and an afternoon cultural show. everyone arrived looking half asleep at 6 am, and everyone left looking just about dead at 6 pm. it was a wild and crazy day. but if i were to sum up the entire day in one word, it was FUN.

it so hard to put into words the chaos that led to the day itself, and the chaos that was the day itself. let me just say then that it's finally over, a lot of kids were made happy in a span of twelve hours, and finally, life can go on.

and for me, that means buying christmas presents, getting the house in order, finally contacting the plumber to get my bathroom and kitchen ready for the christmas party at home, getting my car fixed, attending a wedding where i'll do the first reading, be the program emcee, and be a bridesmaid for the nth time, and emceeing the office christmas party.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

on early mornings, late nights, and physically hitting someone in between

when i started with this company, i told myself, i'll be a model employee. i'll arrive on time, i'll ensure everything gets finished before the deadline, and i'll go way beyond what is expected of me.

and of these three, being early requires the most effort from me. i'm not an early bird, neither am i a night owl. i'm the person who'd sleep every chance she gets, and lists down "sleeping" as one of her hobbies. so for some reason, i've always taken jobs that would allow me to work flexi-time, or at least one that wouldn't require me to time in and time out every day.

until now. while one of the perks of my position is that i don't get deductions for tardiness (or at least i believe it's one of the perks, i've never tested it yet), i have to ideally be in by 8 am.

that's everyday. from monday to friday.

and oh, my work is in qc. and i live in las pinas. that's 28.5 kilometers. with traffic.

since driving almost 60 kilometers (roughly the distance from my house to tagaytay) every single day with all the maynilad diggings and skyway construction and holiday traffic isn't exactly something that i relish, i've taken to riding the mrt. as a girl, i get to ride the first car which is generally less stressful than taking the cars with mixed genders. but getting to the mrt requires a trike ride then an fx ride then a bus ride, then a 300 meter walk, before i actually get to board the train. and once i get to my stop, i have to walk around a kilometer before i can finally place my finger on the machine that'll log my arrival at work.

on my first month at work, i did great. i even arrived an hour before work starts on my first two days of work. and, while it went downhill from there, i arrived before 8 every single working day of october.

which isn't what i could say for november. 3 lates. or 4. i can't exactly remember. one happened though on the day my key broke.

so come december 1, i said i'd aim for a no-late record once more. except that the first day of the month happened to fall on a wednesday, baclaran day. and the diggings in the area have begun to cause major traffic. so, notwithstanding the lead time i had, i was five minutes behind schedule by the time i got to the mrt.

thus, it should be quite understandable if i was not only impatient with, but downright furious with this group of guys who attempted to cut in line in front of me. when they wouldn't take the hint with "excuse me, may pila po," i resorted to violence.

yes, violence. i actually pushed-hit the guy cutting in front of me and shoved him aside. and i did not mince any words at all. i did not curse, but i think telling someone how he is uneducated and hindi na aasenso is equally stinging.

i'd like to defend myself and say that i'm under a lot of stress, with KAP obligations and with my former firm still asking me to do stuff. plus it's less than a month till christmas and i haven't even begun shopping. but ultimately, i really have a short temper, and it's even shorter these days, and yesterday, as i was mulling over the sheer inefficiency of this person who shall not be named, the guy cut in front of me ... and i snapped.

i arrived three minutes - THREE MINUTES!!! -- late for work, and there being no grace period in our employee handbook, i was late, late, late. so much for being a model employee for november.

so there, i almost had an early start, and i physically hurt someone to ensure i got to work on time.

as for the super late night, let's just say i finished up at work a little before 11 p.m. and got home half past twelve. as to what happened on my trip home, that's the subject of yet another post.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

if it could go wrong, it will

and today, it did.

So there i was wearing my favorite dress and favorite cardigan and my spanking brand new four inch heels and carrying my favorite bag, all ready to head off to tektite for my lecture when my car refused to start.

It was dead. As dead as it could be.

So i said, fine, i'll commute. But since i was already late, i figured , how hard could commuting in four inch heels be?

Apprently, very hard. Especially when the trike is "lowered". And when you have to ride the back of the fx. And when you have to run after a bus that won't exactly stop.

Then imagine the bus cathching fire. Yes, fire. As in the one with flames. And then teaching 8 hours straight.

And call me shallow and show-off-y but the reason behind all the effort was the fact that i was in crush with one of my students. And i wanted to be cute for him. And he was absent. How crazy is that.

And then imagine doing it all over again to get to mall of asia. So thank goodness that i've a ride home. And thank goodness i bought slippers already. Cause seriously, one mpre step and i'd die. Die in my favorite outdit, carrying my facorite bag, wearing my spanking new four inch heels.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

helpless no more

for the longest time, i've had difficulty closing the double lock on my front door. one time, the key twisted in the process, but i was able to coax it back to serviceable form so i didn't really think about it any more.

until yesterday morning when the key broke as i was locking the door.

as in broke in half.

as in part of it was stuck on the double lock of my front door and the other half on my hand. pretty much like the key in the picture.

thankfully, i was able to easily remove the broken part using a pair of pliers. locking the door, though, was a different problem altogether. all i had was my key. my brother had the other key, and my mom, the last key. i knew we had a duplicate somewhere (my mom is organized that way) but (1) i don't know where the duplicates are; (2) my mom has been in the US for 8 years so i can't exactly ask her and expect her to remember pronto; and (3) i was so late for work that i can't spare a minute to look for it.

and as for my brother, let's just say he's incommunicado and i may be dying in a corner ditch somewhere and he wouldn't be my first call since i'd probably be dead, buried, and rotting somewhere already before he returns my call. i love him, but he's not exactly reliable. let's leave it at that.

so there i was, with a broken key in hand, and absolutely late for work. so i did the unthinkable -- i left the front door unlocked with a major prayer to god -- a prayer i kept repeating the entire day -- to please protect my home -- and my entire worldly belongings -- while i was away.



my friend said i could have the key duplicated, and i trusted him enough to believe what he said, but i was afraid that the key might not fit, or work, and i'd be forced to leave the house unlocked once more to get the new duplicate key "repaired."

so, i thought, why not replace the double lock on my door. as usual, google was my friend. it should be easy enough, at least it was easy in my mind. as a matter of fact, this website promised that i could do it in twenty minutes.

and you know what, they were right. in twenty minutes, i was able to get the old mechanism from the door, install the new one, and *pak* i have a new double lock installed.

now, if i can only learn how to buy stuff from the wet market. ☺

*first picture from monster guide.
*second picture from DIY Life

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

i am so worth it

last year, two of my closest friends went to the st. james bazaar without me and bought me a shirt. in front, it says in gigantic letters "i am so worth it."

being black, oh-so-comfortable, and with a cheeky message to boot, i've worn the shirt bazillions of times - to vietnam, to dinner with friends, to mass, to the grocery, and to the occasional date. i think i will be sad when the t-shirt dies a natural death, but until that happens, i think i will wear it as much as a can, and mend it as long as i can stitch its seams together.

after all, it is the best reminder there is that i am so worth it.

i guess the realization truly hit me last saturday as i was conducting my lecture and this uber-gorgeous male specimen entered the room and flashed me the winning-est smile ever. the last time i was struck by a guy's looks that way was when i first laid eyes on the pilot, at a friend's birthday party. six and a half years later, i am once more enthralled (starstruck? enamoured? dumbfounded?) by a guy's looks, and i can't help but ask myself, am i worth this guy's love and attention if, by some miracle, the opportunity presents itself?

when i first met the pilot, the first answer that crossed my mind was no. he was gorgeous, he was tall, and he was a pilot who drives a bmw. how could i, a teacher who goes to law school at night, ever merit this handsome guy's attention. but somehow, i did. and while that relationship ended a week shy of our first anniversary (although we still did go out on our anniversary, although no one mentioned the import of the date), to this day, i am still incredulous at how i was able to snag a guy as hot as he was.

and so here i am again, smitten with an almost-perfect specimen of the male species, and dreaming of future perfect offspring should he get down on one knee and propose. i am in major crush, so much so that i couldn't look at him the entire time i was doing my lecture. for the first time, i hated the fact that i had left the firm and couldn't hand him my business card and offer him my services (legal, of course). he was tall. he was cute. he was something i'd gladly melt into a puddle for.

as i was driving home that day, i texted a friend and declared that despite my delusions that i was slowly falling in like with this guy that i think i'm dating (i don't really know what our status is -- we've been eating out for two years, and he pays, but he never brings me home), i realized the moment almost-perfect male specimen walked inside my classroom that if i end up with guy i'm sorta dating, i would forever be hounded by "what if". and, if you've ever watched letter to juliet, you know how fabulous the ending is if you act on your "what if".

plus -- lest i forget the entire point of this post -- I AM SO WORTH IT. so what if i'm almost an old maid, and i am not yet thin. so what if my face is like the full moon and my right knee hurts like hell when i walk. so what if i drive a seven-year-old car and my homemaker skills are next to non-existent. I AM SO WORTH IT. the t-shirt says so.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

moving forward

a long, long time ago, i dated this boy.

he was one of the most fabulous boys i dated. he was smart, and he helped me understand the theory of relativity, helped being the operative word. you see, i never did, and still don't, get it.

this fabulous boy attempted to teach me how to drive, so he wouldn't bring me home to bf all the way from pasig where we both worked. and this fabulous boy introduced me to an entire world i wasn't aware of, including philosophers and neil gaiman.

they boy and i eventually parted ways, but unbeknownst to him, he left his tiny collection of neil gaiman graphic novels with me. i guess that's my bit of good luck. i may have lost the fabulous boy, but i did keep the best part of him (hahaha.)

out of the many wonderful characters neil gaiman created was death. and in death: the high cost of living, in the first couple of pages, i found my favorite neil gaiman quote:

(okay, it took me forever to google the quote ... and i can't find it. yes, i don't have my favorite neil gaiman quote memorized)

needless to say, the entire point of this blog is to announce to my five readers that neil gaiman is finally married and the pictures are here.

congratulations!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

a christmas wish list from a newly-minted domestic diva

so i'm now addicted to all things martha and young house love.

and after having spent what i would have spent on shoes and clothes on an automatic washing machine, and now that i can replace my own faucets, thankyouverymuch, i've realized it's time to revamp my typical christmas wish list with the new stuff that i now desire.

like a cordless power drill.


and a step ladder.






i also want my own continuity tester,




as well as a level



as a matter of fact, a gift certificate to true value or ace hardware would be very welcome, thankyouverymuch.

sometimes, even i can't understand this transformation that i'm going through. the other day, tita mayu gave me a set of shower fixtures to replace the one i had at home and i was extremely overjoyed and immediately placed it underneath their christmas tree. i'm tempted to replace the shower fixtures on my own soon, except that i don't think i have the skills to do that just yet.

then again, the word yet implies that i'll eventually get there. why not, right?

in the meantime, i'll go internet trolling for more stuff. there's this extendible rain type shower head that i'm majorly crushing on at amazon.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

bagong buhay

gosh ... ang haba ng hair ko diyan. literally.

dalawang linggo na ang nakakalipas mula nang putulin ko ang buhok ko. ilang linggo na lang, feeling ko, baka pwede ko na muli siya itali. iniisip ko din na siguro, bago ikasal yung kaibigan ko sa 15 december, hindi na rin siya masyado fluffy. normal fluffy na lang siya. at saka siguro, pagdating ng pasko, sanay na ang madlang people na makita akong maikli ang buhok.

parang weird yung pakiramdam ko talaga sa short hair ko. nakakatuwa na madaming natuwa sa kanya ... madaming nagsasabing mukha akong bata (dahil ba kamukha ko na si dora the explorer), madaming nagsasabing bagay siya, at madaming na-i-impress na naipaputol ko yung ganung kahabang buhok.

pero inasmuch na madaming natutuwa, madami ding nagulat, nanghinayang, at nagpahiwatig ng bewilderment kung paano ko nagawa ito sa sarili ko.

oo nga naman, siopao na nga, lalo pang pinagmukhang siopao ang sarili.

then again, madaling sabihin sa sarili, hoy lola, tutubo din yan. at saka madali ding isiping wala akong choice nung mga pahahong iyon.

pero, gosh, pag nakikita ko yung dati kong buhok, at maayos siyang tingnan sa picture, napapaisip na din ako, bakit ko ba siya ginupit.

Monday, November 15, 2010

the reluctant pacquiao fan

don't hate me for admitting this, but i am not a fan of manny pacquiao.

i remember when he was first starting out, and people were beginning to notice him. sundays, the residents of our dorm would all be watching in the tv room while i was in bed, sleeping or otherwise pretending to study. and then there was this officemate, whom everyone got pissed at, cause she would send text messages about the fight's outcome even before it aired on free tv -- me, i couldn't care less about her text messages.

so pacman got bigger, and jinkee got richer, and i just got more and more indifferent about the entire thing. yes, i was proud of his accomplishments -- in fact, i love his song which goes "pilipino ang lahi ko" -- but you wouldn't catch me forking over five hundred bucks to watch his fights via satellite. i would watch the telecast over on free tv, but i wouldn't exactly sit still and watch twelve whole rounds of the thing.

of course the fact that he insisted on being a politician made me even less of a fan.

but then he won his 8th belt, against a goliath of a fighter whom i was sure would win against pacman. and he did it with such charm and grace (not that i watched, i know, but i admire him for not wanting to hurt margarito more than he needed to win the bout) that i couldn't help but agree with the entire universe that manny "pacman" pacquiao is the man.

so here i am, the filipino who so carelessly disregarded the fantabulousness that is manny, admitting, once and for all, that i was so wrong in not becoming a fan sooner.

Friday, November 12, 2010

a volunteer's heart

if there's one thing that i'm proud of, it's the fact that i work with former street children at least once a week. for the past three years, i've been tutoring kids on thursday evenings, helping them with their assignments, projects, and what nots. and, once every two years, i also have the honor of being part of a major sportfest wherein at least thirty centers - a total of more than a thousand kids - participate.

i love the fact that i am proud of something bigger than myself, that in my spare time, i am able to change lives of children. i am proud of the fact that while each and every second of my professional life may be billed to a client, i can give it freely and without reservations to those who do not have a single peso to their name.

but sometimes, even the most generous of hearts gets burned, frustrated, and mad. last night, that heart was mine.

i do not mind spending my hard-earned cash. i do not mind giving up my personal activities to spend more time with the kids. i do not mind loving, caring, and nurturing these children. what i do mind is when another volunteer wastes my time with her own negligence, with her irresponsibility, with her inability to respect the fact that other volunteers have plans of their own and would appreciate, at the very least, a text message informing them of a change of plans.

i was so mad at her i couldn't help but lash out behind her back last night. if i had more guts, i probably would've lashed at her to her face. and, late into the night, i was still sending text messages to a friend at how frustrated i was about the entire thing.

in three text messages, he reminded me that more than anything, i was a volunteer who wanted to make a difference in the lives of these children. he made me realize the fact that ang asar ay talo. and he wanted me to keep in mind that a humble heart is the most beautiful kind of heart there is (okay, this last part was more interpretation than the text itself, hahaha.).

so, i guess i'm fine now. or maybe not. we'll see later.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

handyman, este, handyperson


i may not be a lot of things.

i cannot sing to save my life.

my mom did my highschool sewing project to ensure i'd graduate.

my gardening skills are non-existent.

but i've always prided myself in being handy around the house. when i was in college, i got my own landline extension by buying those long cords and splitter thing and extending it all the way to my room. a couple of years ago, i removed the old curtain installations and installed my own curtain rods (to my brother's amazement). and just this weekend, i figured out how to stop the faucet-to-washing machine connection from leaking.

i may be a girl, but i'd like to think i'm pretty handy with power tools and wrenches.

one thing i've never ventured into, however, was the area of plumbing. it seemed so specialized, so manly. so when the faucet + pipe elbow in the garden came off last week, all i could do was to send a text message to the plumber who installed the maynilad connection and ask him to come back. in the meantime, i gingerly re-attached the faucet + pipe elbow to the main line and prayed that the drip-drip-drip in the garden wouldn't affect my water bill so much.

so last sunday, the plumber came, listened to me gripe about the drip-drip-drip in the garden and the temporarily attached faucet + pipe elbow, and re-attached the faucet + pipe elbow to the main line. he then left, and after a while, i turned the main valve back on, and was frustrated with the fact that while the faucet + pipe elbow was now securely attached, the faucet was still dripping.

and since this wasn't part of the plumber's warranty (he guaranteed to me when he attached me to maynilad that all the pipes have been re-secured with pipe cement), i couldn't very well call him back without spending a lot of money once more. i figured, maybe i could detach the faucet + pipe elbow, replace it with a new faucet + pipe elbow i'll have someone in the hardware put together for me, and re-cement it to the main.

thanks to tita mayu (actually, to tito lito to whom she passed the phone to after i wailed out my predicament), i found out that my plans would ultimately fail -- once pvc has been cemented to pvc, i'd have to wait for a long time (like a decade of zero water passing through the pipes) before the cement would go weak. the solution, according to tito lito, was to replace the faucet itself.
now, cementing one piece of pvc to another piece of pvc is one thing, replacing a faucet is another thing. to my mind, that's a real plumber's work, something that i think i can spend a couple of hundred on rather than risk failure.

but then tito lito said it's a breeze, and proceeded to giving me instructions via telephone. that's all good, except that i didn't replace the faucet that day. yes, i'm lazy.

when i got home yesterday, though, the dripping was more like drip-drip-drip-drip-drip ... it was fast, it was a whole lot of water, and it was no longer negligible. "helpless" girl that i was, i tried twisting the faucet to "close" it even more. no deal. so i did the next best thing: i opened the faucet all the way (major gush of water here -- it was almost midnight and no one in the neigborhood, i suppose, had his faucet on) and attempted to close it, praying that the dripping would stop if i closed it hard enough.

major fail -- now, not only was it dripping, the faucet was gushing water -- apparently, opening the faucet all the way also meant i couldn't close it anymore. the faucet was old, and it had no intentions of stopping water from gushing out of the pipes. i did the only thing i could do: turn off the water main and tell myself that i had to do something i had never done before in the middle of the night.

i knew i had the white teflon tape handy, and by some miracle, there was a spare industrial-looking faucet in one of the toolboxes at home. my 88 store flashlight - thank goodness - was fully charged. so, while i was still wearing my pretty purple dress, pearls, and my work watch, i grabbed a rag and a wrench and started working on removing the old faucet.

it was hard, and there was a point that i was scared the old faucet won't ever come off, but it eventually did. i wrapped the tread of the industrial-looking faucet with teflon tape, prayed it would fit (it did) and connected it to the pipe. then with one major shout out to god, i turned the main valve back on and hoped for a miracle.

guess what -- i got my miracle.

fifteen minutes after my near-disaster, the old faucet was gone. no more drip-drip. no more broken faucet. just an industrial looking faucet snugly connected to the pvc.

now, if only i could have the brawn power to re-attach my bathroom sink back to the wall, i'd be invincible at home.

Monday, November 08, 2010

missing chio

dearest chio,

it's been six years, six months, and five days since you said goodbye to us, and i sometimes still find myself wishing you were just a text message away so that i can tell you about the million and one things that i'm going through right now.

remember when you told me that you've made reservations at q.c. sports for your wedding reception? well, i'll finally get to go there for my office's christmas party. they're telling me that i've got to perform in front of a huge crowd since i'm one of the new employees, and new employees always perform, but i don't think they know the extent of my tone deafness. you see, this year's theme is glee, and while i adore the show and wish i could belt it out like the best of them, i sing like i'm reciting a poem, and that isn't exactly the best way to make a good impression on my bosses.

oh, you'd be happy to note that tita hazel and i found each other on facebook. it's truly a small world -- the guy my friend married is from taal and she saw some of the pics they took during my friend's baby shower so she sent a note on fb, hoping it was me, and boom -- we're back in each other's lives, well, at least fb lives. she told me that my friend's father-in-law is buried near where you are, so hopefully, one day i can visit you there. i haven't seen your new "home" yet, but i'm planning on coming over soon. who knows, maybe i can take some time off and come on a tuesday. tuesday has always been our special day.

guess what -- gin blossoms will be having a concert in manila soon. the tape you gave me was stolen by our made, but i have them on my ipod and i think of you every single time "as long as it matters" plays. i bet if you were still around this would be a big thing for both of us. maybe we'd even watch the concert at araneta. without you, though, i'm skipping it. it just wouldn't be the same.

they say your younger brother looks a lot like you, albeit taller and fairer. i can't imagine that -- after all, you've always been short (ok, fine, you're taller than i am) and dark. tita hazel said he's graduating from college soon, too. i never did get to ask you if you finished college. did you? now i can't help but contemplate on what would've been if tita lynn allowed you to go to PMA. would you have graduated? would you have enjoyed every single bit of it? would you have had the time of your life?

sigh, half a lifetime later and i still have a lot of questions. i do wish you didn't have to leave us so soon.

your best bud,

rosa

Thursday, November 04, 2010

on red cups and lifelong friendships

now that the red cups are back, i'm willing to bet that a number of people will be blogging (or tweeting!) about their favorite starbucks christmas drink. mine happens to be the peppermint one, and the cherry one. gay, i know, happens to love the toffee nut.

i'm also willing to bet that several will be gaining a couple of extra pounds as they complete the required number of stickers (this year its 17 + 8 i think) to get the ubiquitous starbucks planner. i believe my brother will be one of those people.

to me, however, the red cups bring back memories of my first actual female barkada -- two women who became my friend because of a "lotto" comment made by one to the other, thereby making it necessary for the offended party to "invite" me to her imaginary wedding, notwitstanding the fact that she had known me for a grand total of 36 hours. with these women, i share lovely memories of "baby boy t____" in the form of a bugs bunny pillow, "the wrong a", and a certain man standing on the corner of their street with his overnight bag all packed. it's a friendship that isn't perfect - oh how many days have i suffered from the silent treatment, and how many days did i myself inflict the silent treatment - but one that is real -- we've seen each other cry, laugh, hurt, triumph. we've gone through the worst possible dilemna from the least expected source, and yet we're still here -- good friends, kumares because of a wonderful little boy.

our initial bonding was over hot cups of specialty christmas coffee from starbucks. that year, if i'm not mistaken, we all got the planner. whoever wanted airtime would have to treat the other two to a cup of coffee each, and the other two would be bound to listen, interject only at appropriate times, and agree without reservations. it was a pact that we have to this day ... and a pact that would live as long as the red cups keep coming back.

as i write this, and wax romantic about two of my closest friends, i also can't help but think of a friendship that i abruptly and quite rudely ended this year. i am the offending party, and i know that there are a million and one opportunities that came my way to actually mend the friendship, but for some reason, i couldn't. worse, i didn't even want to try. well-meaning friends have told me that the harshness i've exhibited isn't the best way to deal with the situation, and a number have pointed out that pride is the only thing that's fueling the feud between us, but, sad to say, i guess it's a thorn that i'll have to carry with me for the rest of my life. i can't, i just can't.

maybe cause she doesn't shop at surplus shop. maybe cause she's as bossy as i am. maybe cause she's just too nice to me that i can't live up to her expecting the exact same thing from me.

and maybe it's cause we never bonded over a cup of coffee in a red cup.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

when you turn OC, the world finds all the more reason to screw things up

so there it was -- another long weekend for the taking. and being the schedule conscious person that i am, i had everything figured out even before friday came knocking:

  • friday 5:00 - 6:00 - attend exercise thing in the office
  • friday 6:00 - 7:30 - travel to alabang
  • friday 7:30 - 9:00 - tuloy practice
  • saturday 8:00 am - 1:00 p.m. - laundry
  • saturday 2:00 - 4:00 - tuloy practice
  • saturday 4:00 - 8:00 - fix crappy hair cut, go to salon for root touch-up
  • saturday 8:00 onwards - get laundry, pack, clean-up house
  • sunday am - travel to cabanatuan
  • monday - cemetery
  • tuesday - back to manila

it was perfect, it was beautiful. i was going to get loads and loads done.

but then real life intervened.

so on friday night, i barely made it to alabang cause the traffic was crazy horrible. i arrived a little before 9, only to be informed that the CD we use to practice was missing and so they had to cancel practice. so we half-heartedly held a meeting, but everyone (including myself) just wanted to get things done and over with. a long weekend was looming, and i bet we could all think of better places to be in than a warm room in alabang.

on saturday, i tried -- and failed -- to wake up early. and when i finally stumbled out of bed and made it to my laundry area, my washing machine - a 2 1/2 year old american home single tub (i had a separate spin dryer) - spinned its last and just stopped working. it was making the requisite sounds but it wasn't spinning at all. nothing, unless i prompt it with my hands, but that would just be asking for major electrocution, IMHO.

so right there and then, visions of having the bathroom re-tiled, a water heater being installed, and fixtures being replaced flew out the window. whatever extra money i had was going to go towards buying a washing machine. and since i had long promised myself to get an automatic washing machine once we get water in bf, i couldn't exactly buy something that costs less than 5k.

since hair still had to be dealt with, i decided, okay, i'll go to the salon to have it fixed, atten tuloy practice, and then buy my washing machine. which i did, except that at the same time i was making these plans, anto texted.

there's going to be a sabado girls thing. and, after having been absent for a while, i wasn't going to pass that up. since they simply said "central", i figured, three hours of drinking in a dark, crowded place filled to the brim with teenagers isn't goint to be so bad.

well, it wouldn't be, if things went according to plan. except that central turned into dinner at sinangag express, then a trip to ruins to look for dirty dancing, then overnight at pazi's condo which we spent watching korean MTVs, dirty dancing, and letters to juliet. by the time sunday rolled in, i had about two hourse of sleep on a cramped chair, and six loads of laundry waiting to be done at home.

thank goodness for the wonder that is automatic washing machine, but not for the limitation known as low water pressure -- by the time i was done with six loads, it was 2 in the afternoon.

needless to say, it was almost 8 by the time i got to nueva ecija.

but then there was barbecue, and puno's ice cream, and a chilly november 1 spent in the cemetery. so i didn't really care that my schedule was horrible screwed up. we got to practice in tuloy, everything still got done, and i now have crazy short (at least in my case) hair.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

monster in the making

my *not-so-new* officemates might have begun thinking i'm a monster. inasmuch as i want to disavow them of whatever notions that are presently developing in their heads, i don't think i can. because this afternoon, i swear, the monster that i've so patiently kept inside me reared its ugly head.

you see, i've been hating my hair for the longest time. something must've gone wrong in the rebonding session a year ago because after a month or so, my hair turned into this monstrous mess. so i just kept having it trimmed.

in january at azta.

in march at the place where i have my hair colored.

in june, at this salon in trinoma that i can't remember right now.

and i kept having it treated too.

knowing that only gilbert the stylist can find a long term solution for the doldrums i'm going through right now, i kept trying to find a way to bring myself to his salon in greenhills. but between switching jobs, catching up with family, and doing other stuff, i just couldn't find the time.

so i was supposed to get a cheap haircut from wow salon last monday. but i got hair reborn instead.

when my officemates said, hey let's go to abs-cbn after lunch (one of them had to go to the bank there), i said, okay, may parlor ba dun?

i could've gone to antonio's hairdressing which was on the way, but i was too cheap to shell out Php450 for a quickie haircut. so i said, sige sa reyes na lang.

how stupid of me. i've never had a good haircut there, whether it be reyes, or ricky reyes, or rchc (or something like that). but maybe i was desperate. or impatient. or everything else in between.

since i was just going to go for a trim (translation: please follow the current cut, just trim it an inch all around), i picked the cheapest stylist. still, with all the P34.99 salons around, a hundred bucks isn't that cheap.

i should've known better. i should've known from the way he pranced around the salon. i should've known from the smelly towel he draped around my shoulders. i should've known from the way he attempted to dry cut my hair. there were a bazillion signs telling me to just stand up and leave, but i ignored them all.

as i said, i was desperate. and impatient. and everything else in between.

so he cut my bangs straight across. then he cut around one two three inches from the right side. by the time he cut three inches on the left side, i flat out asked him to stop.

and i asked him to explain himself. cause for the life of me, i couldn't picture in my mind what he was attempting to do. at this point, i looked like someone who was so frustrated that she cut her hair with paper scissors in her desk, without a mirror, in the middle of the day.

so he tried explaining. he said he cut my bangs. and i was like, no those aren't bangs anymore, "hair ko na siya" (obviously i know bangs are hair too, but you know what i mean).

he said, i can fix it. so he cut some more.

he attempted to cut some more is more like it.

because by the time he was finished, i had "patilla" of hair on the sides. and long hair at the back.

i'm a freak. and i hate it.

i threw a hissy fit. and my officemates saw it.

they saw the monster inside. oh no.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

bawal mangopya

bago ako naging ganap na abogado, isa akong guro.




ako yung guro na minumura ng mga estudyante kasi matigas ako. mataray. walang puso. ang paniniwala ko kasi, lalo na sa klase ng mga mag-aaral na tinuturuan ako, hindi chika ang pag-aaral. sa laki ng binabayaran ng magulang nila sa paaralan, kailangan ko siguraduhing may matututunan sila sa akin. at, dahil nga sanay sila sa marangyang buhay, alien concept sa kanila ang mahirapan at pahirapan. kaya ayun -- kung nakamamatay ang mura, hindi na ako umabot ng 30.


correction. hindi na ako siguro umabot ng 25. kasi lahat ang majority sa kanila, galit sa akin.


tanda ko tuloy, nung isang beses, may nakita akong dating estudyante sa premiere ng isang sine ni john lloyd at bea. at kahit na nakanigiti siya sa akin nung magtama ang aming mga mata, binulong niya dun sa isa ding guro na kasama na niya sa trabaho ngayon na inakusahan ko daw siya ng plagiarism na hindi naman daw totoo.


natawa na lang ako doon. kasi, sa pagkakaalam ko, pag kinopya, tapos hindi inilagay kung saan galing, plagiarism na yun.


minsan naman may isang estudyante, binagsak ko din dahil kumopya ng isang article. ang paliwanag niya, tito niya yung nagsulat sa isang website o pahayagan at pinayagan siya gamitin yung texto, kaya okay lang yun. ang sagot ko, hindi. pwede walang copyright infringement, pero hindi nun ibig sabihin na tama yung pag-alis niya ng attribution sa source.


sa totoo nga, may mas malala pa sa akin. yun teacher ni pam pastor, ibinagsak siya for plagiarism kasi i-sinubmit niya as an assignment sa teacher yung isang article na na-publish na dati sa pahayagan. tanda ko yung blog post pa niya noon -- aniya, i didn't know i could plagiarize myself.


so bakit ito yung pinag-uusapan natin ngayon? dahil dito. ayon sa mga punong mahistrado, wala daw plagiarism. malamang there was inadvertence at it was all an accident at the documents went through so many revisions that the original footnotes ended up being deleted in the editing process. pero para sa akin -- makitid man ang paningin ko, sana lang, they called a spade a spade.


because, inadvertent or not, accidental or otherwise, plagiarism took place. siguro, pwedeng mitigating circumstance yung hindi naman sinadya nung abogada na mawala yung mga footnotes niya. at malamang totoo namang ni-research niya ang draft decision. pero kung ang mga estudyante sa paaralan ay pwedeng ibagsak dahil sa pagkopya na walang attribution to the source, hindi ba dapat mas maalam ang isang mahistrado ng pinakamataas na hukuman ng bansa?


tama si justice sereno, and i quote (kasi baka ako masabihang nag-plagiarize din)

"Contrary to the view of my esteemed colleagues, the above is not a fair presentation of what happens in electronically generated writings aided by electronic research.

First, for a decision to make full attribution for lifted passages, one starts with block quote formatting or the “keying-in” of quotation marks at the beginning and at the end of the lifted passages. These keyed-in computer commands are not easily accidentally deleted, but should be deliberately inputted where there is an intention to quote and attribute.

Second, a beginning acknowledgment or similar introduction to a lengthy passage copied verbatim should not be accidentally deleted; it must be deliberately placed.

Third, the above explanation regarding the lines quoted in A.1 in the majority Decision may touch upon what happened in incident A.1, but it does not relate to what happened in incidents B.1 to C.6 of the Tables of Comparison, which are wholesale lifting of excerpts from both the body and the footnotes of the referenced works, without any attribution, specifically to the works of Criddle & Fox-Decent and of Ellis. While mention was made of Tams’s work, no mention was made at all of the works of Criddle & Fox-Decent and of Ellis even though the discussions and analyses in their discursive footnotes were used wholesale.

Fourth, the researcher’s explanation regarding the accidental deletion of 2 footnotes out of 119 does not plausibly account for the extensive amount of text used with little to no modifications from the works of Criddle & Fox-Decent and Ellis. As was presented in Tables B and C, copied text occurs in 22 instances in pages 27, 31, and 32 of the Vinuya decision. All these instances of non-attribution cannot be remedied by the reinstatement of 2 footnotes.

Fifth, the mention of Tams in “See Tams, Enforcing Obligations Erga omnes in International Law (2005)” in footnote 69 of the Vinuya decision was not a mere insufficiency in “clarity of writing,” but a case of plagiarism under the rule prohibiting the use of misleading citations.

Sixth, the analogy that was chosen ─ that of a carpenter who discards materials that do not fit into his carpentry work ─ is completely inappropriate. In the scheme of
“cutting and pasting” that the researcher did during her work, it is standard practice for the original sources of the downloaded and copied materials to be regarded as integral parts of the excerpts, not extraneous or ill-fitting. A computer-generated ocument can accommodate as many quotation marks, explanatory notes, citations nd attributions as the writer desires and in multiple places. The limits of most desktop computer drives, even those used in the Supreme Court, are in magnitudes of gigabytes and megabytes, capable of accommodating 200 to 400 books per gigabyte (with each book just consuming roughly 3 to 5 megabytes). The addition of a footnote to the amount of file space taken up by an electronic document is practically negligible. It is not as if the researcher lacked any electronic space; there was simply no attribution.

Seventh, contrary to what is implied in the statement on Microsoft Word’s lack of an
alarm and in paragraph 4 of the decretal portion of the majority Decision, no software exists that will automatically type in quotation marks at the beginning and end of a passage that was lifted verbatim; these attribution marks must be made with deliberate effort by the human researcher. Nor can a software program generate the necessary citations without input from the human researcher. Neither is there a built-in software alarm that sounds every time attribution marks or citations are deleted. The best guarantee for works of high intellectual integrity is consistent, ethical practice in the writing habits of court researchers and judges. All lawyers are supposed to be knowledgeable on the standard of ethical practice, if they took their legal research courses in law school and their undergraduate research courses seriously. This knowledge can be easily picked up and updated by browsing many free online sources on the subject of writing standards. In addition, available on the market are software programs that can detect some, but not all, similarities in the phraseology of a work-in-progress with those in selected published materials; however, these programs cannot supply the citations on their own. Technology can help diminish instances of plagiarism by allowing supervisors of researchers to make partial audits of their work, but it is still the human writer who must decide to give
the proper attribution and act on this decision."


ang pinakamalungkot sa lahat? baka isang araw, mabasa ng mga estudyante kong ibinagsak yung desisyon ng en banc sa kaso at isipin nilang tama sila sa pagkopya. ano na lang sasabihin ko? read the dissenting opinion of justice sereno? yun yung ni-point-out sa artikulong ito.

pero bago pa ako maging mas passionate at emotional sa topic na ito. titigil na ako. baka pati ako, padalhan ng show cause order ng korte suprema. unfortunately for me, unlike the UP College of Law, i may not have harry roque and dean leonen on my side.




* image from http://crizlai.blogspot.com/2007/06/understanding-meaning-of-plagiarism.html

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

hmph


dear boss,
how are you? i hope you're enjoying KL just fine. i enjoyed it when i was there, and knowing the fun person that you are, you're probably having a blast.
then again, you're away from your boys, so i understand why KL won't be as fantabulous as it would be on any other day.
anyway, in writing this post, i'm following your orders to blog. you see, i haven't been writing much, not for lack of stuff to write, but maybe just cause there's too much fun to be had at work. i mean, i work a stone's throw away from hi-top where near-expiry stuff (i don't really care about expiry dates, haha) abound. and the food (as you've raved about) is dirt cheap AND yummy.
and let's not even begin talking about your imaginary boyfriend. he's major major eye candy ... i think he must be the number one reason why i accepted this job notwithstanding that i now have to wake up at 5:00 a.m. each day.
thanks, by the way, for wonderful stuff that you say about me all the time -- in your emails, whether they be addressed to me or to your imaginary boyfriend, in our conversations, and now, in your blog. until now i can't believe i'm the same person you write glowing words about -- you may not know this but for the longest time i wanted to quit being a lawyer already. i don't think my past bosses were very happy about that, but ever since i started more than a month ago, i can't help but be thankful for each and every day that i'm here. i'm THAT happy.
or maybe it's just that i'm well-fed. you can never really tell. hahaha.
anyway, we're all doing great in here. "mama" is within the vicinity so i have to be spiffy and smart and alert (and yes, doing lawyer-ly stuff), so this will have to be it ... for now.
glad to be here,
rosa

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

between then and now

i know i haven't been writing much, and i'm so sorry about that. but maybe, just maybe, it's cause i've been having the time of my life.

yes, nerdy as it may seem, i am bouncing with joy over the fact that i think i have found my calling.

ironically, last night, we discussed financial stewardship in our AG and when i got home, i started breaking down my budget. and, in spite of how much difficulty i had figuring out where to get the money that i now have to fork over to the government by way of taxes (no tax shield anymore!!), i woke up not worrying about anything, and still excited to work.

i guess that's cause i'm happy now. as for the worrying, i'll be like that biblical verse about the birds and flowers trusting God for their provisions. this job is ♥ and i'm hoping that it won't be long before that ♥ is translated into moolah.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

water!!!

i live in bf, and if there's one thing that people know about bf (aside from the fact that it's the biggest subdivision), it's the fact that we don't have water.

and then they started digging. of course i was upset over the fact that the las pinas people were dragging their feet over the matter but eventually signs came up, and diggings began, and it wasn't long before the diggings were on my street.

that inconvenience was sheer bliss, i tell you.

of course after the main valve was placed in my home, i should have immediately contacted a plumber to connect me to the main but i ended up dragging my feet over the matter and so i was stuck for a while with delivered water.

until last thursday. and the plumber came. and just like that, i had water.

lots of water.

i could've emptied out anggat dam for all they cared. the girl who depended on delivered water for the past five years finally had clear, chloring-smelling water inside her home. i was in heaven (or a close proximity of it).

of course, my pipes are old, and my tiles have scum from 5 years worth of deep-well water. in spite of the copious amounts of water coming out of my faucets, i don't think i can make the tiles sparkling clean anymore. so the next step will be to get my bathrooms renovated.

but it will be done. budget lang ang katapat.

the more important thing is that i have water now. water. water. water. and it's all good.

*image is the classic photo taken by Harold Eugene Edgerton. learn more about him and his works here.


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