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.


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,


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.

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